Preparing for the lv80 Cap

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So we’ve had some clarifications as to how the level cap requirements work. Thankfully, it’s not quite as bad as everyone thought but not everyone is ready for the new level cap all the same. Hopefully this post will help people be better prepared for when the update hits on March 22nd.

Conditions

  • You’ll need to have the classes you want at lv75. Seems obvious but you can’t complete the other conditions easily without it and as it is there are a few class combos that get by just fine if their subclass is under 75, so many may have just no bothered to finish them.
  • You’ll need to have completed all of your target classes SP COs.
    • This means getting 21 class cubes which you earn by “levelling up” after hitting lv75.
    • This unlocks a title so you’ll only have to do this once per class per account!
  • You’ll need to have a +35 13* of one of your classes main weapons
    • Qualifying weapons (One per class):
    • Hunter: Sword, Partizan, Wired Lance
    • Fighter: Knuckle, Twin Dagger, Double Saber
    • Ranger: Rifle, Launcher
    • Gunner: Rifle, Twin Machinegun
    • Force: Talis, Rod
    • Techer: Talis, Wand
    • Braver: Katana, Bullet Bow
    • Bouncer: Dual Blades, Jet Boots
    • As you can see, GuRa and FoTe players have it a little easier than everyone else.
    • If you’re a Summoner, you’ll need a 13* pet at lv120.
    • This unlocks a separate title per class.
  • Turn both of these titles in per class and you unlock the right to level up to 80.

So yeah it’s a little bit less mean than the 4th Broadcast indicated. It’s not much different to someone with one character but this makes life considerably easier for those wishing to keep all their alts up to date.

So generally, you can split the requirement up into two main parts: Experience and 13* NT weapons or a 13* Egg. Those are going to be the main targets of any class you wish to bring to the new cap.  As such the guide is really going to just address techniques to approach either of these goals and the pros and cons to em.

Update: OK with the live broadcast tidbits released last night it seems things might change down the line, particularly with regard to the weapon condition. They may be making +35ing a weapon easier and reviving the Revolucio Files for a year to make it easier to get weapons in the first place.

Experience

To complete all of your SP orders takes a considerable amount of experience points. If you’re starting from scratch, you’re looking at 41,307,000 EXP per class in order to complete them all. Considering its 39,357,500 EXP to go from 1-75 in the first place you can see this is a considerable amount to get. There are a few ways to make this more manageable though.

What You Should Not Do

Grab an Emperor Axeon or Edel Io with EXP Boost III and go leech in an emergency quest. It’s a dick move that might get you banned for one thing and it’s honestly not the most efficient way to get EXP in general.

VHAQ Urban Exit Burst

This is the most effective way to get EXP in the game but I don’t like it for various reasons.

Essentially, you have your intended class you wish to level as your main and you sub-class Force. Then you simply trigger a PSE burst near an exit and just spam your techs while firing off your Photon Blast as soon as you can (preferably the one that restores PP). If done right, you can have a ridiculously long PSE burst which can net you potentially millions of EXP. There’s a number of caveats however:

  • You’ll need to have 3 other people with you, otherwise not enough enemies will spawn to make the PSE burst itself any good. It scales with the number of people you have in the party and AI Partner Characters won’t count towards it.
  • You’ll need spare Advance Capsule – As in order to raise the quest’s risk to 50. Max risk boosts the number of enemies that have, well, boosts which dramatically increases the EXP per kill. Only one person in the group needs to do this, mind
  • It’s possible the PSE can trigger in an inconvenient spot on the map. If this happens you might not trigger a Cross Burst or get a One More, leading to a fair amount of time wasted.

So yeah, because you need to find 3 other people to group up with you this method isn’t for the unsociable. In general, I don’t like playing to other people’s schedules so that plus the RNG factor of when a PSE burst can happen and just how boring it is to stand in one spot spamming techs turns me off from this method. It is unarguably the best way to get EXP (outside of Bonus Quests) in the game though so if you can pull it off go for it.

VHAQs and SHAQs

This takes advantage of the high rate of enemies in Advance Quests, the rate of boosted enemies at high risk and the boosted EXP rates the quest offers.

In terms of EXP, I actually feel like VHAQs are slightly better than SHAQs. It’s less EXP per kill, but you’re killing things much faster in VHAQs and its considerably cheaper to run. However, SHAQs do have marginally better drops and because items can drop with Ultimate Buster you can get higher affix slot counts on dropped weapons.

If you’re going to run SHAQs though, I recommend pushing to +12 risk because the drop rate of capsules is considerably higher and it also puts you in range to potentially get some decent drops. It’ll also potentially be useful for Collection Files that require lv71+ enemies that are otherwise difficult to find in the general game.

The downside to running SHAQs is you will need to run them fairly regularly in order to not have fewer caps than you started with. Ideally you want to make a profit so I advise clearing out the entire map which is kind of time consuming.

If you’re running VHAQs I actually suggest not clearing the entire map unless you really need caps. For one thing VHAQs only cost 1 cap per attempt, so you really don’t need to clear the map to make the quest pay for itself anyway. For another, getting rare boosted bosses is a ridiculous chunk of EXP (figures like 350,000 exp per kill aren’t unheard of). As a result, I argue it may be worth just killing mobs that happen to get in your way and just getting to the boss to increase the number of shots per hour you get at a rare boss.

One upside to this approach is you can get shots at Arks Clones appearing as well as Apprentice. These both can give very useful Affixes, though for clones it’s better if you have more people with you. You may also get shots at Tagami which can net a huge burst of EXP but it’s extremely rare.

Featureds

Run the daily featured quests. This will keep your daily boost up which is a 50% tri-boost plus it will give you shots at getting bonus keys. Bonus quests, particularly Gold-Key Tokyo can give insane amounts of EXP if you use enough boosters on them.

This is the most casual approach to levelling up and considering we have until March 22nd until it’s available even those with limited amounts of time to play should be able to use this method to be more than ready when the day comes. You won’t get a key every day, in fact you may go multiple days with no keys at all. However it’ll be more than worth it when you do get one because a Gold Key could net you up to two class cubes in one go.

Catch Emergency Quests

Naturally this has the disadvantage of having your playtime held hostage by the EQ schedule. I don’t recommend this as your main way of gaining EXP but it can be a nice way to supplement it.

Not all Emergency Quests pay out a good amount of EXP, but the following are of note:

  • Chaotic Tranquility – Nothing but boosted enemies. Very nice EXP.
  • Mothership – Again, nothing but boosted enemies. Includes Goldrahdas and shots at a boosted Nove Ringadahl, Dark Agrani and Rigshrayda. Generally a high EXP quest.
  • Mining Base Defense 3 – Probably the best emergency quest for EXP. Focus on killing enemies as quickly as possible. Succeeding at the quest isn’t actually required.
  • Dark Falz Elder – The Arms phase pays out a huge amount of EXP, though it can get repetitive fairly quick.
  • Dark Falz Loser – I’ve heard that Apos Dorios pays a decent amount of EXP on Extra Hard. Not played the quest in years so I can’t confirm.
  • Raidboss EQs – If the group is fast the boss can pay a pretty nice chunk of EXP. Not as much EXP/min as some of the other EQs here but its not a bad little chunk plus you get shots at some very nice items in some of them.

Bribing Franka

Franka has a large selection of Client Orders which all require items that can be bought off the player market. If you turn them in all at once it totals up to something in the region of 1M exp. They’re on a weekly cooldown, so its not an awful way to get some EXP however some of Franka’s Client Order items might be quite expensive.

Treasure Shop

Keep an eye on the Treasure Shop. Occasionally it sells bonus keys (silver Tokyo is 1.6M and gold Tokyo is 5M). It’s expensive, but if you have the Meseta to spare it may be worth considering dumping some in exchange for that sweet Bonus Quest EXP.

Weapons and Pet

This one is a bit trickier, because the ways you can obtain these items changes much more frequently than ways to gain good amounts of EXP. These will kind of be more general suggestions for now.

Collection Files

These are likely going to be the most effective way you can meet the +35 requirement, though it does depend on what the file is dependent on.

If it’s tied to an Emergency Quest you’re going to have to be able to catch as many instances of that quest as you can. In otder to +35 a 13* star weapon you will need to complete a file 6 times, which can be a tall order given that the files are usually on a limited timeframe.

You may have to use Stargems to reset your completed sheets in order to speed things up, otherwise you’ll end up having to wait 2 days which can be precious opportunities lost if any EQs happen in that time.

There’s also the downside that not all Collection files cover all weapon types. As it happens, we currently have one that does and another coming up.

Collection files are by far the easiest way for Summoners to get a 13* pet. If you’re a summoner, this is pretty much your only way. Don’t care about which pet happens to be available at the time, just get it.

Astra Files

Astras are a pretty good one for now as there’s plenty of time before they expire and it doesn’t take many Escafalz Mother kills to clear a file. You’re still going to have to plan your schedule around the Emergency Quest schedule though which just isn’t practical for everyone to do.

Ray Files

Ray files will be back next week. Like Astra, it covers every weapon type but unlike Astra you will be able to make progress on these in your own time. You’ll be able to buy Quest Triggers for the Emergency Quest these are tied to for 50 2017 Gold Badges each which you can earn in a mere 5 runs of the current Limited Quest. This Limited Quest will be gone next week, however the quest taking its place might pay a similar or better amount. It has to pay some at least because the Web Event’s progression is based on Badges earned.

Bare in mind however that parts of Ray files will require you to run other quests to get kills of specific high-level Darker bosses and enemies. This might involve running SHAQs or doing runs of either of the Heaven and Hells. The sheets are also likely to be around for a limited time, possibly only a month which means you’ll have very little time to clear all 6 files that you’d need. You may need to use Star Gems to help.

Revolucio Files

Late March will see the return of the Revolucio Collection Files. Unlike the other two mentioned here, these files are not bound to any Emergency Quest and can be progressed at your own pace. They’ll allegedly be available for an entire year, which gives you plenty of time to obtain the weapons you need in order to satisfy both the level up requirement and the future Expert Block requirement.

They’ll also apparently be making them less demanding to grind out, which is potentially a good thing because the original files required enemies that were pretty difficult to find in the general game. Things like lv71+ Goronzoran, which only shows up occasionally in Sanctum’s SHAQ or certain Emergency Quests (Who knows though, maybe one day we’ll see Extra Hard added to all Free Fields and Arks Quests…). The amount of time it took to progress certain files was also pretty harsh, with boss kills netting maybe 1 or 2% towards completion.

NPC Client Order Weapons

Fairly easy weapons to get when they’re available.

One downside is they  tend to only offer two weapon types at a time. This only covers a very small portion of classes as you can imagine.

Another downside is the client orders are on a 1-week cooldown and are typically only available for a month. The good news is if you have alts this is less of an issue, as the weapon hand-out cooldown is only 2 days. So as long as you complete it on alts and turn in one of your alt’s quests every 2 days you should easily get the 6 weapons required to +35 a weapon. If you don’t have any alts then this option is impossible for you.

2016 Badge Weapons

The old 2016 badge weapons are 13* NT weapons, so if you have enough 2016 Badges laying around (about 1200 gold at least) you can pick up enough weapons to make a +35 that way.

The very obvious flaw in this approach is that 2016 Badges aren’t available anymore, so this isn’t an option for new players or anyone with less than 1200 gold badges.

2017 Badge Weapons

Xie’s current selection of weapons are 13* NTs as well though! If other methods are impractical to you then saving up enough weapon badges might be the best option you have. You’ll need 1200 badges total in order to get 1 +35 weapon.

The big advantage to this approach is these weapons are permanently available. As you’ll be able to earn 2017 Badges all year this method doesn’t suffer from the limited time-spans that the EQ limited Collection Files or NPC Client Order weapons suffer from. So you really can progress these entirely at your own pace. If you’re a casual player this may be the best way to meet this condition by far.

The downside of course is this consumes 2017 badges, which might be better spent on other things.

Summary

So for gaining EXP, consider any of the following methods:

  • Get a team of 4 people together and see if you can get VHAQ Urban exit bursts Boring but very effective if you can pull it off.
  • By yourself or with other people farm EXP in VHAQs or SHAQs. Lucrative EXP but need to play often to not lose Advance Capsules.
  • Run Featured Quests and hope you get keys. Fairly RNG but Bonus Quests have the highest payout of EXP of any quest.
  • Keep an eye out for particular Emergency Quests. Some pay good amounts of EXP
  • Consider dropping Meseta on Franka Client Order items for a decent chunk of EXP per week.
  • Consider watching the Treasure Shop and dropping Meseta for Tokyo keys.

These methods ought to help with actually getting to lv80 as well.

To meet the +35 weapon condition or the lv120 13* pet condition consider the following approaches:

For Eggs:

  • Do whatever Collection File happens to be up at the time. You only need one 13* Egg.

For weapons:

  • Do Collection Files if you think you can satisfy their conditions, ie: if you can make every Emergency Quest it needs. Consider using Stargems to reset files to speed things up.
  • Collect 2017 Weapons Badges for Emergency Quest triggers for the upcoming Ray collection files.
  • Consider clearing NPC Client Orders that give out 13* weapons. This method is only practical for people with alts. Remember that the Client Orders are on a weekly cooldown but the weapons themselves can only be given out to an account every two days.
  • Consider 2016 Badge weapons if you have enough 2016 Badges left (at least 1200)
  • Consider 2017 Badge weapons as they’ll be available permanently and you can make progress towards them at any time.

These are all the techniques I can think of for now. Let me know if there’s any I’ve forgotten about or if there’s anything wrong with the techniques I’ve laid out. I hope this at least helps some people out there because I know these conditions have taken people by surprise.

Advance Quest Update

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With today’s maintenance, the Advance Quest update has arrived. Gonna just start the post with a summary of the changes:

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  • You can now raise advance risk by paying additional caps (from +0 to +50 costs 50 caps)
    • Risk bought this way persists for a week, the same as risk gained the old fashioned way.
    • You can also apply this to Very Hard Advance Quests, which I’ll discuss below
  • Enemies can now be leveled up to 80 (this occurs at +30 risk)
  • Drop rates for Large Pyroxenes is boosted at maximum risk
    • This is what they say, anyway. So far I’m finding it hard to believe.
  • Additional E-trials and bosses can occur, such as Nyau, Apprentice, Persona and Dark Falz Angel.
    • There may be others, at this point it’s too early to say

I’ll edit additional details in as they come to light.

Apprentice

Well not really, she’s a clone of the previous Apprentice made by Dark Falz: Double. She made her first appearance in story mode, much like Persona did, however unlike Persona she didn’t wait something like a year to appear outside of it.

apprentice


I’ve only fought her once so far, all I can say about her is she seems to hit like a wet noodle most of the time however she seems to be considerably more violent than her story mode self. Small hits they may be, but they come often. She also has a hell of a lot more HP, but I was not playing the most DPS-oriented build. Additionally, she can also summon Predicahdas to assist her.

Like most other boss characters and unlike all gingers, Apprentice has a soul (ORIGINAL JOKE ALERT). Her soul gives +40 s-atk,r-atk and t-atk and also boosts the transfer rate of Modulator by a measly 10%. While small on its own, it will help with up-slotting modulator onto something. If I’m correct in how the formula works, instead of being 86% when pushing from 3 to 4 slots, it would be 93%. This is assuming you’re using a 30% booster, which I feel you should if dealing with Modulator because I’m poor. For 4-5 it’d be 84% instead of 78%.

Very Hard Advance Quests

As said in the summary, you can also raise the risk of Very Hard Advance Quests. This is particularly relevant to those wishing to level alts, as the exp gained from boosted rare enemies is formidable. That said, it does require that you can reliably kill max-boosted enemies at that level, which is why this is only really suitable for alt characters as they’re likely going to be the only ones that can be twinked to cope with it. As such, this method isn’t really suitable for new players.

The small pyroxenes you generate here can also be used on the new Live-series weapons at that!

Live-Series Weapons

This update added a new series of exchange weapons, the “Live” series. They’re straight-up recolours of  the “Bio” series weapons from Extreme Quests. Each one requires a selection of 15 large pyroxenes of 3 different kinds (for a total of 45 large pyroxenes).

They require a rather daunting 450 dexterity in order to equip them, which may demand points in Mags or Skill trees for some race/class combos at 75/75. This makes them pretty strictly end-game weapons.

LiveSword

The exchanges for each weapon class are as follows:

  • Sword: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Wired Lance: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Partisan: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Twin Daggers: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Double Saber: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Knuckles: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Gunslash: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Katana: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Bullet Bow: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Dual Blades: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Jet Boots: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Assault Rifle: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Launcher: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Twin Machineguns: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Rod: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Talis: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Wand: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama

As can be seen, there are some which require the same stones. The weapons come with 20% element and 4 affixes (Stat IV, Arm IV, Ability III, Status Effect IV).

Their potential at level 3 appears to boost damage for each consecutive Just-Attack by 5% to a maximum of 10%. To take a single weapon as an example of attack power, the Live Katana has 499 S-atk at +0 which puts it on the same level as Orochi Agito and Evil Rakuka but inferior to Yamigarasu in terms of stats. However, the Live-series are all-class weapons, so it’s something to consider before writing them off entirely.

Zieg’s Order

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You can also obtain a Dark Falz 12* weapon by showing Zieg 3 Live-series weapons. Which ones he wants to see depends on the weapon you want to get!

Here’s the list of weapons and their required Live weapons:

  • Ely Sion  – Sword, Wired Lance, Partisan
  • Lavis Blade – Twin Daggers, Double Saber, Knuckle
  • Yasminkov 7000V – Assault Rifle, Launcher, Bullet Bow
  • Blitz Fender – Twin Machinegun, Assault Rifle, Gunslash
  • Psycho Wand – Rod, Talis, Gunslash
  • Magical Piece – Wand, Talis, Jet Boots
  • Edel Arrow – Katana, Bulletbow, Sword
  • Niren Orochi – Dual Blades, Jet Boots, Twin Daggers

This leaves out a good number of Falz 12*s however, which is kind of a weird decision I feel. I get that they might not have wanted to give classes more weapons than others but this would be the case regardless anyway by virtue of classes having differing amounts of weapons they can use in the first place. In any case, if the Falzes have been stingey to you for the past two and half years then you can work towards getting one now. It will not be a quick trip, necessarily, but this is probably for the best.

At this time it isn’t know what affixes or elements the weapons have when you receive them.

Rumourmill – Hatou Rindou Nerf

ハトウリンドウ!!(っ’ヮ’)╮▁▂▃▅▆▇█▓▓

Going by forum posts and twitter, it seems Hatou Rindou has been nerfed somewhat. The exact how has yet to be established, but it appears that it doesn’t land as many hits as it used to. As far as I know there’s no official word from Sega at this point, so it isn’t known if this is a bug or a stealth-nerf.

Thoughts

I’m pleasantly surprised. As I tweeted, I would not have been surprised at all if Sega had just updated 3 of the Advance Quests and then rolled out the rest whenever they felt like. The company is reputable for drip-feeding content like this, I mean it’s precisely what they did when they released SHAQs in the first place. So I’m glad I was wrong, it was good of them to upgrade the entire mode like this.

The downside is they’re still not worth running solo, even if you’re capable of handling them at maximum risk. The capsule reward rate simply varies far too highly, making profitability dubious and risking making a loss in caps overall.

Also solo PSE bursts are still the saddest things in the game.

The Grind

Live-series weapons have 20% element, which means you’ll need 3 of them to max them. As each requires 15 of 3 different types of pyroxene and each large pyroxene is about 100 regular pyroxenes this means you’ll need roughly 4500 of each stone or 13500 total. That number seems familiar somehow…

So far, running the missions solo I’ve managed to make something like 70 regular pyroxenes throughout 4 quests. I have yet to earn a single large-pyroxene, which feels roughly a similar drop-rate to how they were before. I’m feeling mildly cynical that maximum-risk actually boosts the drop rate at all, if it does then it’s such a small boost that it might as well not even be there. Regardless, this appears to demonstrate that Super Hard Advance Quests are still not worth running overall which is a pity. Once again the effort-reward ratio feels off judging by experience so far, especially given that you can still obtain Apprentice Soul on Very Hard as well as the materials you can use to buy the Live-series weapons without the risk of making a loss in caps. My opinion on this may change over time, especially if I can get some decent group runs going.

The worst part arguably is that as the weapons need specific combinations of stones, you’d better hope your entire group want weapons which happen to use the same or else people will be wasting their time. The issue is due to the fact that you can’t exchange Advanced Quest pyroxenes into any other kind.

All in all, not the most enjoyable of updates. It is nice that we have a higher tier of all-class weapons at least.

As always, please let me know if there are any inaccuracies in the facts stated within this post.