This guide assumes that you have read the previous guides, have arrived at level 115, achieved max kill of 15 monsters from masteries, started pushing through Pit of Greed questline and have several pieces of T7 gear and working on the rest. This guide will cover the progress through level 115 (T7) to level 130 (T8) and will mostly be about hitting certain Attack Speed stats. Anything after level 130 is covered by the End-game Guide. Other than speed, the importance of allstat will be extreme at this point, along with hitting several of the speed compendiums.
Also, the slowest completion of quests will take place. Don't panic, stay calm, grind compendium.
The Mastery Conundrum
Now that the new Slayer mastery is out, things have changed quite dramatically. This mastery is the ultimate max kill increase mastery, designed to increase your max kill over time as you progress through the game. Just about every player above 3 months of playtime is rushing this mastery. However, since we have been playing for close to 2 months of playtime (that's about the time it takes to complete the previously written mastery set in the Beginner Guide), our total kill count should be around 5M kills. This complicates things:
- It takes 34 days to train a 5x mastery to lvl 5. We can get to lvl 4 at 14 days.
- We can kill 15*13500=202,500 monsters a day —> 1M kills in 5 days.
- The mastery has terrible starting max kill bonus: +1 max kill 9M/8M/7M kills at rank 1/2/3.
- We wouldn't profit from the mastery at all until we get to rank 4, where it would give us +1 max kill. Our total kill count wouldn't be enough for getting +2 max kill from this rank when we hit rank 4. It may give us +2 max kill somewhere close to the end of getting rank 5 of Slayer.
- We would only start to profit significantly from the mastery at rank 5, where it would give us at least +3 max kill.
This is really a prime time to focus on other masteries if you wish. Unless you're jumping directly into the highest ores like Jaspil and Skasix, you should have enough time to deviate from Slayer and enjoy some other masteries other than max kill ones for now. My recommendation would be the combat drop and gold increase masteries for equipment pushers. At this stage, everything except the eventual Slayer 5 mastery is optional.
Acquire T7 sidearm
As the Pit of Greed questline doesn't require that many kills, even killing 5 monsters to complete a single mission is an acceptable loss. The goal is to finish the The Final Push I quest, quickly reinforce and empower it and get it to E10. Until you get more T7 equipment with E10 or above, don't go further in the questline: it becomes a massive slog without too much important rewards.
However, check the market to see if there is an exceptionally high empower (E13 or above, maybe E12) level T7 sidearm on sale: this will save you quite a lot of effort for the later part of this guide). As reinforcing the T7 sidearm is much cheaper than any other T7 equipment (+10 instead of +16), it's not that worth to pick it up since the base stats of the item will always be the same, unless you're in luck and said empowered equipment is on sale.
T8 Sidearm and rifle are using 8.5 cores, so you will be keeping the T7 version the longest. Therefore, you should at least empower this item, ultimately, into at least E13. For start, since we are saving money for the critical empowers and more T7 equipment, get it to E10.
Acquire the rest of the T7 equipment
The cost of empowering a T6 equipment to E10 was 26.5M gold. Since the upgrade costs are just a bit higher, and the materials definitely higher cost, I estimate that it would take 35M gold to fully empower a T7 item to E10. The current cost of 1x redeeming coin sits around 26M gold, so, going through the empower struggle is actually more beneficial to your funds. Just make several pieces of T7 with good base speed (the other stats really don't matter too much) and not sucky RNG stats, hoard a lot of quality reinforcements, and activate VIP for another VIP reinforce and empower push like we did before with T6 augments. Only this time, you're going to need an even bigger fund.
In any case, either purchase via trade or make it an empower it yourself, get a full T7 set that's empowered to E10 before anything else. Then, you can finally start continuing slowly through the questline, and start to get some real daily income.
Incursions are a great source of income, be it their flat gold rewards or the more valuable, non-craftable midas drops, along with the standard brutality and juggernaut injections. With T6 augments to fully E10, we would have gained enough power to somewhat contribute to lvl 4 incursions. With 2-3 more T7 equipment, we would be a significant asset in a lvl 4 incursion team. With a fullly E10 empowered T7 equipment set, we would pass the threshold to be part of the lvl 5 incursions.
As the incursion update meaningfully fixed the rewards, it's always better to step up the incursion ladder, instead of staying at lvl 4 incursions for a long time due to the power of getting too many lvl 4 midas injections and having better income overall than a lvl 5 incursion.
Abyss Daily missions
At this point, doing any daily quest for the monsters that we haven't reached the 1M kill mark is quite useful to getting some income, with platinum crafting making the prices rise sky high. However, these all reward inconsequential monster drops. The real price comes from abyss daily missions, especially the “Purge The Scourge” questline that gives Condensed Vapor and Fragment of Silence as rewards. While the market prices have dropped, these still give substantial income of close to 1M gold (if sold at market). I don't recommend to sell them, as we will need quite a lot of both in the next phase of powering up: they are essential materials in empowering T7.
Let's assume we currently have a full T7 set, with some pieces being bought that are more than E10 and having an AS of 20. The rest of the guide will follow from this step. This should get us to 9-10 steamdrakes and 8-9 deathwhispers.
Having the complete T7 set with all E10 is not quite enough to max kill (15) steamdrakes and deathwhispers yet. Just by following the bare minimums stated in the guide: we should get everything at E10, which means 113% allstat. If you have bought some T7 equipment from the trade chat, that means you should have close to 120% allstat. Sadly, this is not sufficient if we want to max kill them both for the daily quests (and you really should).
The requirements to max kill steamdrake and deathwhisper are:
- Full T7 equipment
- 18 AS
- 132% allstat
- 5% multikill debuff
- Optimal energizements on sidearm/weapon (IDR and damage mix), armor (per level armor), boots/leggings (speed)
With companion stat bonuses, this should be enough to max kill 15 deathwhispers.
Decipedes for 19 AS
Getting to 18 AS really is the primary goal here, as this makes just about everything much easier. An AS increase will likely mean +1 kill on any monster in abyss. But first, we need to achieve 19 AS and then get the remaining AS with allstat. The most critical way to achieve this is by killing Decipedes that are the 2nd monster that grants speed in abyss compendium. If you haven't, you should immediately go for getting the 1M mark of excavator for the speed bonus.
Depending on your equipment and allstat count, you may or may not achieve to kill 15 Decipedes. Then, you can either jump into the next point (which you will need to anyway), or farm the 200k kill marks on abyss for quick stat gains. If you continue leveling Drone and Drake up, they will also provide great stats, especially after reaching lvl 25 and unlocking the armor/pierce stat bonuses. Repeat this cycle until you can max kill Decipedes, then stay on it until you get the 1M mark and the extra +5 speed (that's modified by your corp compendium buff, speed % mods, allstat that probably gets it to 13 speed).
After fixing the energizements on your boots and leggings, that should get us to 19 AS!
Empowering for Allstat
Now we have truly entered the horror RNG part of the game: the wild world of allstat empowering. The start of this isn't actually punishing at all. At most, you'll lose 1 empower level. However, when you attempt to step further than E11, you may get the horrible -2 empower level hit. This is also the area where you finally get to buy and use Skasix.
Just as before, prepare your stash, focused on T6 augments this time, with a dash of T7 upgrade materials (which is also our goal incidentally). Pushing everything to E11 and the augments to E12-13 will get you to the desired allstat count.
My own empowering spree to reach from 120% allstat to 133% allstat took 110 empower attempts. A third of it was extremely expensive because I ran out of stocked ores and materials. I know I got unlucky, but that's the way it can go sometimes. Prepare a BIG stash. At least 200k Jaspil and 300k Skasix. Ore is the biggest spending on empowering here.
Now we can max kill steamdrakes and deathwhispers! That means we can go for the 1M kill mark (and still continue doing the daily quests later on because they are still good income) if we want to. We can also progress through the main questline requiring us to kill tens of thousands of Steamdrakes and Deatwhispers. After this point though? We can be much more relaxed, act freeform and choose our goals, as the only significant one left is about 30% allstat away.
After all of this, around 131-133% allstat, we achieve the coveted 18 AS. All of this allstat should safely get us killing 15 Steamdrakes and Deathwhispers. Since the monster drop prices are very pricey, getting to 1M kill mark for both is a sizeable income.
Continue doing the daily quests for Steamdrakes and Deathwhispers even after reaching the 1M kill mark: they bring great income. Both quest combined will bring more than 1M gold worth of materials every day.
Mining laser investment
Until you achieve level 80 in mining, it's best to just keep a Flat Orthoclase mining laser. However, after mining level 80, you can go all out for a single ore's mining lasers as it brings an incredible amount of income immediately. The order of upgrade is Base, Percentage, Purity, Double. There is one thing: with the Expertise mastery requiring mining level 100 and equalizing all mining exp at rank 5, arriving to level 100 mining is as important as having income. If you are going to pick the lowest hanging fruit and go for Orthoclase/Anorthite ores (the reason is written in the below paragraph) which are the lowest xp ores, you delay Expertise mastery and thus your long term mining income. Decide accordingly.
The mining masteries, especially the lower ones for Orthoclase and Anorthite, are incredibly useful here. 'Surface Mining' gives up to %60, the ore specialization masteries give up to 25% more ore. These are easily achievable masteries, with 1x and 2x times. If you're a serious miner: at the deepest end of the mining mastery chain, 'Depth Mining' gives 25% more ore. Going for Jaspil would be ideal to getting the Expertise mastery as fast as possible, but also the most expensive (mining lasers are the most expensive to upgrade).
Look at prices, pick an ore accordingly, check the investment gold of the lasers and pick your lasers. Ditch your Flat Orhoclase laser and equip all 4 mining lasers of the same ore. All your income should go to getting them to level 80 ASAP.
This income is what will carry us through Plat gate troubles and T8 equipment acquirement.
More Attack Speed breakpoints
After this point, there are 3 ways to increase your Attack Speed, which is the biggest factor of combat in the later stages of the game. At this point in the game, you should be progressing slowly into level 130, the point where T8 equipment unlocks and the cost of increasing your firepower gets bonkers expensive.
The 3 ways left are:
- The speed killmarks in compendium. The remaining one should be the first Maw monster: Unhallowed Husk. Max killing this monster without some T8 gear is night impossible as the jump from Abyss to Maw is just as hard as it was from Wastelands to Abyss. It's feasible to get the first killmark at 200k kills for an AS jump if your current speed is close to a breakpoint.
- Getting level 75 and above Drone. The level 75 Drone alone grants 37.5 speed. Compare that to the max compendium speed gain of 30 and we can see just how powerful it is. However, this is the most expensive method to get more speed, as getting to level 75 of a Companion takes 75 plat.
- More Allstat. MORE!
Without the level 75 Drone bonus (it wasn't there when I got to the AS breakpoints): we can get…
- 17 AS at 143% allstat
- 16 AS at 151% allstat
- 15 AS at 159% allstat
It's most likely that we won't even achieve 17 AS before we arrive at the critical Combat level 130 point and unlock the T8 equipment. The global gold boost of combat exp is especially powerful before level 130.
The long wait
Even with the global exp boosts and increased exp injections from incursions, it will take quite a while to arrive at combat lvl 130. However, how you arrive there wildly differs between players. Here are some ways:
- Way of the compendium: Follow the outlined plan above and do all the speed compendiums, also adding R1 of filchers for massive speed gains. If you don't arrive at combat lvl 130 after finishing all that compendium, do the highest exp monster you can max kill, up to 1M kills and switch into something similar.
- Way of the softcore plat runner (aka casual player): Ignore all of the above and just go kill the easiest accessible, beloved of everyone in Elethor: the Unseen Horror. 3rd best plat monster in the game (the first 2 are Maw monsters so ignore it for now) and extremely easy to max kill, not even needing many T7 pieces. Stay there forever.
- Way of the hardcore plat runner: Follow the outlined plan above, do all speed compendium except the Skrivets (very low exp/gold income), then switch into Unseen Horrors. Unlike the casual player, you prepare to make the T8 pieces to make the jump to max kill Filchers, the better plat monster.
What to prepare for
Here are the primary goals we should achieve before we hit level 130:
- For income: Mining level 80, maxed mining lasers of a single ore type. Preferably, choose a higher exp ore since they are all about equal price now and the Expertise mining mastery gives enough exp to go all-in on any ore. However, it does need mining level 100, which is crucial now.
- For power and income: All T7 gear, optimized energizements, at least E10.
- For income: Slayer V
- For power: invest all plat into Drone and Drake levels (equally)
- For income: invest plat into Prospector levels first, Merchant levels second
All of the Advanced Guide basically boils down to these. You might have noticed how 4/5 of our goals have 'income' goal in them: that's our goal. That's what necessary for T8 equipment: a good income to buy all materials, progress with empowering more, etc… The reason for this is simple: it takes time to progress in T8 and beyond. A lot of time. We have progressed fast in T7 and below. When I got to level 115, I had 6 pieces of T7 ready (bought or prepared, empowered at least to E10). Before I got to level 130, I couldn't even prepare a single T8 piece. This, however, changed now since T9 came out and the crafting of reinforcements and energizing shards changed. Now, it's entirely possible to have 2 or more T8 pieces ready when arriving at level 130.
With this, I finish the guide with my only advice for T8: prepare for a very slow advancement. You are limited by your income and by the daily 4th dungeon in this phase. This will also be the point where the extreme divergence of playstyles will become apparent. That's why the end game guide will be seperated into different playstyles.
You will learn just how expensive the T8 equipment are, and the ease of T9 compared to T8, at the End Game Guide.