Good morning, Poison Clan!
If you're reading this, it means you are a member of Poison Clan and are working on getting geared up and getting stronger, so that you can accomplish more in the game. You may have already seen the difficulty that players have getting into Alliance groups to run advanced content - most players announcing are looking for characters with 3k item level and there's never enough room for DPS, it seems.
Our guild can put together strong groups that allow lower geared players to complete T2s, skirmishes, and eDemo to help you get seals, twisted, and good drops, which will help you along the way. You'll need to keep in mind, though, that Alliance groups are less tolerant of this and are often very strong players who are looking for players who can keep up on speed runs.
You also should keep in mind that there are only so many runs a day that guild members can take players through in order to help them gear, as they're sacrificing their own progression to help you. Almost all of our officers are willing to throw together a group to help you, but don't assume that they'll stop playing to cart you around. You need to connect with other players, hopefully form a group of your own, and, when you need help from players outside your group, be respectful of their time. At all times, you should focus on becoming stronger and more capable of handling content instead of looking for someone to carry you.
This write up is intended to help players who are working to get to item level 2500, which is when the epic Demogorgon raid is unlocked - but also intended to help you become strong enough to effectively contribute to a group working to complete difficult content, like a T2 or eDemo. As you grow stronger, you'll be able to handle harder and harder content, eventually moving from guild-only groups to the outside world.
The good news is that these principles apply whether your item level 1400 or item level 2485 - the only difference is the starting point and how long you need to get there!
Also, this will serve to take you beyond 2500, and to get you started on points that will not affect your item level but will make you stronger, just the same.
Remember that all of this is advice, not hard and fast rules, but if you're struggling, follow the advice, get stronger, and have more fun.
Here are the basic steps:
- Make connections
- Map your build and boons
- Earn AD
- Road map to Rank 9 enchants
- Upgrade artifacts & artifact equipment to uncommon to epic to legendary
- Select companions and start upgrading
- Progress through content
So, here are the details:
1. Make connections
Stop running Pick Up Groups (PUGs) and make connections in the guild. If there aren't enough players on during the hours you play, let officers know your time zone and schedule so that they can let recruiters know to focus on when you play. Solo players don't progress well enough in this game - to really succeed, you need a regular group of partners that you gel with. It takes time to build that up and the best place to find them is in your guild roster.
We have an official facebook page and we have forums, but the best advice I can give you is.... get on SLACK. Slack is our mobile app (also runs on your computer) and it offers huge advantages to players who use it. You've got access to other players for virtually the entire day, allowing you to ask questions and learn, to find out about upcoming guild events, and to partner up to complete content.
2. Map Your build and boons
The very best advice that I can give you is to run a solid, survivable build until you hit item level 2500 or higher and you have 90% of your boons finished.
If you don't have a good reference for a build, go to www.mmominds.com and read the most recent builds for your class. Some builds, like DC, are fairly durable no matter what build you choose (as of Mod 9/Mod 10, your greatest utility will come from running a Buff or Buff/Debuff build). For OP and GF, run tank builds to increase your survivability. For DPS, there is typically 1 path that has been proven to be the most effective path for your class - until you're well geared and have most of your boons, you should run that. Then, when you're more survivable, try out other builds that may interest you.
The most important key to remember about your character is that nobody has any right to tell you how to build it - that's your character, it is your choice what to do with it. By the same token, nobody has to run with you, either. If your build is flawed, but you're willing to respec or to adjust your equipment, to become more able to contribute to a group, you'll find your guild mates and other alliance members are more tolerant of helping you get stronger.
3. Earn AD
Until you have reliable sources of AD, you should run 2 "baby" dungeons (like cloak tower), 2 skirmishes, and 2 pvp domination matches every day. Do Maze Engine dailies every day. Do your "weekly" tasks in each campaign zone. Invoke every chance you get - in Mod 9, you will be granted AD directly. In Mod 10, it instead gives you "bonus" AD that will increase the amount of AD you earn from doing those tasks. The "baby" dungeons grant seals of adventure - every time you accumulate 500, cash it in for a bag of rough astral diamonds.
Astral Diamonds are the primary currency in this game and you can't progress without regularly earning it.
4. Roadmap to Rank 9 enchants
To start with, you should equip rank 7 enchants in every slot - the exception being if you equip Lesser Dragon's Hoard Enchantments in utility slots, since they're rank 8. Rank 7 enchants are available for 6 trade bars, which means they're very cheap on the auction house.
HOWEVER, your goal should be a minimum of rank 9 on yoru enchants, so for EACH enchantment slot, you will need to eventually compile:
24 rank 7 enchants of the type you plan to use 3 Greater Marks of Potency A minimum of 15 preservation wards, and possibly more (there will be three total refinement events)
Note: 20 of the 24 rank 7 enchantments are "refinement" points - refining a same type enchantment is worth twice the value of a differing type - you can substitute 172,800 worth of RP (refinement points) for those 20 rank 7 enchants. Another 2 are "reagents" to get the rank 7s to rank 8.
Refine 4 rank 7 enchants (each) into 2 rank 7 enchants. Using preservation wards, a greater mark of potency, and an additional rank 7 enchant, upgrade the two refined rank 7s to rank 8.
Refine the remaining 12 rank 7 enchants into one of the two rank 8 enchantments. Refine the enchant using 2 greater marks of potency, preservation wards, and the other rank 8 enchant.
You're not going to instantly have the funds to raise your enchants to rank 9, so don't take this to mean you have ot try. Instead, get a complete set of rank 7 enchants to put into your gear ASAP and then collect the preservationw ards, greater marks of power, and additional rank 7 enchants that you will need to upgrade.
If possible, wait for a 2x RP event to do this - it will take HALF of the RP to do the job (16 instead of 24).
If you've got the resources to buy dusk armor (tradebars or pieces sold on AH), do it. It is a solid set and good enough to get you started on going for your Dragonflight gear. If you don't have the resources, grind out Shores of Tuern and Lair of Lostmauth to get elemental seals and (occasionally) drops you can equip.
I'd completely skip elven armor - you're in a guild that is a member of the strongest alliance in the game. You've got access to dragonflight runs multiple times a day, which lets you get the fangs you need, plus earn guild marks. Dragonflight armor requires Dragonfangs, guildmarks, and seals of the protector - and if you buy elven gear, it is taking away seals of the protector you could be using for your dragonflight.
Whenever Dusk gear is available (and is an upgrade over what you have), grab it, otherwise, just focus on getting a decent base set of elemental armor and grind out your dragonflight.
6. Upgrade artifacts & artifact equipment
You get your first artifact main hand from the last mission in Spinward Rise and you get your off hand from Protector's Enclave when you hit 70. They come "green," or "uncommon" quality and need to upgrade at least to blue, "rare," quality to become useful - you can't equip a weapon enchant until blue, for example, or unlock powers.
HOWEVER - this is not the weapon set you're most likely to run with in the long term.
If you're running an AP-build gain, you will most likely want the burning set from the Fiery Pit. That's a hard grind, as you'll need to get 100 motes from heroic encounters, requiring you to buy a booster from the tradbar merchant or auction house.
If you're running almost any other build, the Twisted set will be your best choice. You will need to accumulate demonic ichor (occasionally from heroics in IWD, Well of Dragons, or Dread Ring, always from Throne of the Dwarven Gods or Prophecy of Madness skirmish, Demogorgon, epic Demogrogon). You will also need 20 twisted ichor - which comes from silver or gold epic demogorgon runs - silver gives 1 ichor, gold gives 2 - and both require unlocking the chest at the end. This can go quickly, depending on getting in with a good group and buying keys, or it can take a long time to grind out.
Once you get your "long term" weapon, you can feed your elemental set into the new set - and you will get roughly 85% of the RP value you've put in so far. The less you've put into the old weapon, the less you will lose.
Another HOWEVER - by upgrading your first weapon set to purple (epic), you become stronger, with better bonuses, and will complete content more easily.
You've got to determine if your grind is going to be fast or slow and decide how much to refine based on that. If you're not going to put a lot of money into the game, do yourself a favor and upgrade your elemental weapon set to epic.
Get your artifacts (the four you equip to your "belt") to rare, at the very least. If you don't have 2x RP in the near future, upgrade them to epic. When upgrading during 2x RP, keep in mind that upgrading 1 artifact to mythic provides bigger boost sthan upgrading 2 artifacts to legendary. Read up on feeder artifacts, will make a huge difference in how quickly you get to mythic.
Artifact equipment - main hand, off hand, neck/waist - I'd do them in that order, but it doesn't really matter.
Whichever course you pursue first, all your artifacts and artifact equipment need upgrades and the higher you take them, the more powerful you become.
7. Select companions and start upgrading
You've got 5 slots for "active" companions, one of whom can be summoned. Don't bother putting runestones or equipment on companions you will not have summoned. Upgrade those four "active" companions to epic (as you can afford it or you get tokens from lockboxes) but make your "summoned" companion your focus.
While you're gearing up, i suggest you get the cheapest "augment" companion available, like the goat. It passes all of its stats over to you automatically. Don't put bonding runestones on it, unless you're looking to add power or defense stats - you won't get extra passed to you, you just get whatever the augment's stats are when it is summoned.
If you can afford it, put personalized rings/belts/necklaces on the augment, to get the benefit of an extra enchatment slot - you'll need jewelcrafting at 25 for that. If you get a +4 or +5 ring from a skirmish or CN, that can be equipped to your companion, though the "utility" rings don't provide any benefits, aside from the enchantment slots.
After you've got the AD to properly kit out a companion, determine if you need a tank or a striker and pick whatever works best for you - put bonding runestones on it (the highest rank you can afford to start with) and the best ring/neck/waist/whatever you can obtain. The bonding runestones will pass the companions powers over to you and, if you upgrade it to legendary, it will also pass along 15% of its stats, in addition to the bonus from the bondings.
8. Progress through content
Get your boons.
Get every boon you can. Re-read your build write up periodically to see if it has been updated for new boons that come out, but, if you know what your focus is, it should be easy to fgure out.
A character at item level X - who has a majority of boons completed - is substantially stronger than a character without boons at the same or higher item level.