This guide assumes that you have read the previous New Player Guide and Beginner Guide, are at level 100, have a T6 set with 1 T6 augment at E9. In other words, you're able to max kill Unseen Horrors. This is the first breakpoint of the game where you decide if you want to stay farming a certain monster even after getting its R3 compendium.
The plat monsters
These monsters are all the trigger points for the guide, and are as follows:
- Unseen Horror (requires T6)
- Filchers (requires decently empowered T8/T9)
- Dreadghouls (requires max empowered T9)
- Nassul Reaper (requires max empowered T10, only better due to t10 antiquing rewards, won't be able to max kill)
All of these are marked with a diamond sign, and are collectively called the Plat monsters, even though the first one is just a normal monster with very good drop rates. The latter monsters are different because their drops aren't used in empowering; every other drop in the game is used in empowering certain tiers in certain empower levels. Their difference from all other monsters is their plat points gain per action being way higher than normal and those drops are only used for Rbot and nothing else (unseen horrors are the exception to this). Therefore, when you're thinking about income, they are the best in their respective brackets. They have great drop rates and great point values, therefore everyone trades their drops to convert to plat points.
When people are choosing which monster to fight, they're choosing with 4 factors in mind:
- Total gold+drop gain
- Total exp gain
- Do I inject?
Since compendium is temporary as it's completed after 1M kills, late/end game players really only look the first 3 factors. However, we are not there yet, so compendium will be in our calculations.
The question from the previous guide comes after you've gotten the 1M compendium from UH: what do you want to do now? Now, let's analyze the different options. These options cover different fields of the game, but in effect mean only what you'll buy with your gold, where you'll spend your gold/ore/etc and what monsters you'll fight. After getting to max filchers, this question will repeat again but with the added caveat of how much you want to empower. Before we start on the details, you should know that people generally don't market trade UH drop 'Black ink' as most people have moved on from it; you won't be able to sell your drops for profit in the market unlike the other plat monsters. The income from UH solely comes from converting the black ink drops to points efficiently.
Why to stay on UH
The reasoning on staying on UH after 1M kills is simple: it's the most direct income you'll get from combat. You won't be able to max kill filchers without greatly empowered T8 (1 month later) or decently empowered T9 (2 months later). There is a world of difference in power requirements and therefore the investment into gear. Investment that could be spend otherwise.
Since you can snowball just a bit better if you invest earlier and more in any field, staying on UH gives the best income returns until T8, where we'll ask the same question with Filchers (but this time 50% of players will stay there).
Finally, it's more relaxing to not worry too much about combat and trying to sell/buy drops from market.
Why to switch from UH
The reasoning on switch from UH after 1M kills is even simpler: eventual income and power.
Even though there is a significant increase of income by staying on UH, when compared to other drops, it's not much. Gape gives only 15% less points in drops than UH while Burrowbone is 26% less. However, UH pales in comparison to the first true plat monster:Filchers. Filchers gives 158% more points in drops than UH. This is why many people go after staying on Filchers indefinitely during the game: good income, greatest exp, relatively easy to achieve. Basically, there are many abyss monsters, mostly on the lower end of Abyss (the higher end of Abyss monsters have really low drop rates) that have 3/4 to 2/3 of the income potential of the UH. When you finish 1M kills on UH, you can move onto other abyss monsters and not suffer a huge setback in income.
By switching away from UH to other monsters; be it Abyss or Wastelands, we gain Compendium. The way of the Compendium and where to switch is very nuanced. There are basically 3 ways to progress after UH and vary in terms of how much you invest in equipment.
- You don't invest in equipment at all, and choose to do all the lower compendium. Basically the entire Wastelands. Slowly. Even with the absolute lowest exp and drop gains in the game, you'll arrive at lvl 130 (T8) before you finish the Wastelands compendium and be in a great position to breeze through Abyss compendium.
- You invest in getting all t6 augments to E9 and get full t7 equipment and empower some of them to E9. You'll switch monsters as you gradually become more powerful due to companions leveling and giving you raw stats.
- You invest even more in equipment, get most T6 equipment to E9, go for the highest exp monster (that you can max kill), invest into T7 equipment similarly to force your way through the main questline until you finish “Pit of Greed” and get your final non-craftable sidearm (T7). You'll arrive at T8 and beyond the fastest while having best exp and good drop gains.
A thing of note is that completing a questline grants 100 permanent actions (10 minutes of combat), so if you progress through questlines more, you'll have an easier time to be at positive actions.
As you see, progressing through Compendium isn't as simple as it is. Even while doing abyss Compendium immediately, it may be better to get 1 rank (200k kills) in all monsters before going for the rank 3 (1M kills) for them. We need to delve into the topic of Compendium more.
Compendium is simple: you kill a certain amount of any monster and get their listed bonuses. There are 3 bonuses that are granted at 200k, 500k and 1M kills. The 500k bonus replaces the 200k bonus and so on. At 1M kills, you get another bonus: multikill bonus. This is explained more in the Multikill page. A summary of it is that it reduces the speed monsters become more powerful, so for killing a lot of monsters, it's quite useful, especially towards endgame where we'll be killing 50+ monsters. This is why people go back and grind wastelands compendium: the multikill bonus. Additionally, for every 10 Compendium ranks you gain 3% damage bonus (base 2%, multiplied by 1.5 from Corp skill).
After Wastelands, the 200k reward gives a great amount of stat while the 500k and 1M rewards barely increase the total amount of Compendium stat gained. Coupled with the 10 TR = 3% damage bonus, going for rank 1 for all Abyss compendium bonuses are optimal in terms of gaining combat stats fast.
My personal preference on the stats to focus on are speed > armor > pierce. Therefore, my recommendation to focus on which monsters are, in order:
- Excavator - 4 speed at 1M kills (hardest one, you can switch this to when you can max kill and do others first)
- Karth Drake - 3 speed at 1M kills
- Warped Tormenter - 7 armor at 1M kills (you probably farmed this at your lvl 80 grind)
- Shadow Giant - 7 armor at 1M kills
- Flamebreather - 7 pierce at 1M kills
At 15 base kills, it takes 4,6 days to get 1M compendium for a monster from 0. However, this can be fastened up with Slayer mastery: a must when entering middle game and will be discussed a bit below.
Keep in mind that if you want to progress a lot faster and want to support the game, buy a VIP pack and you'll get 10 more max kills from VIP alone. Since currently credit prices are insanely high, I don't recommend buying VIP until you at least reach lvl 130 combat and unlock T8. You'll definitely need VIP when you arrive at t9 and start getting your t9 augments.
The Slayer Mastery
Slayer mastery is the ultimate max kill increase method, 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, our total kill count should be around 7-8M kills. This complicates things:
- With no negative actions and no slayer/frenzy, we can kill 15*14460=216,900 monsters a day —> 1M kills in 4.62 days.
- The slayer 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 decently from the mastery at rank 5, where it would give us at least +3 max kill.
When should you go for Slayer V? My recommendation is when you get 12M kills. Getting +2 kills isn't that significant, +3 kills is barely worth speeding up the snowballing of max kill limit while +4 kills is worth it enough to go for it. You can see how many monsters you've killed on the Compendium page, under “Total kills”.
The Wastelands Dilemma
If you want to go all the way towards the endgame and be a top player, you'll need to eventually do all Wastelands Compendium. The only question is when? You can immediately start working on Wastelands compendium after UH compendium, or at any time really. Due to it's simplicity, you can mix and match with Wastelands compendium at any moment, insert it into your grand plans whenever there's a roadblock.
The tradeoff for switching into Wastelands is getting the worst exp, drops and compendium stat gain. This is why I recommend getting income investments first (Rbot ranks, mining lasers, Cache ability) and then starting the grind when you have much more multikill (so it'll be shorter).
If you're immediately switching into the Wastelands compendium after UH, since you don't need to invest in equipment, you'll be very weak against Spire and incursions. However, Spire really isn't that great until you can get more than 60k points (at the end of the month) and get the 10 bonus actions. Incursions can be compensated by joining a team where a member can easily wipe the incursion and you're just an extra on the side. You can get some degreee of power by simply getting your T6 augments by slowly cruising through the questline and empowering them to E9 when needed.
Assuming we max Slayer mastery sometime during the Wastelands grind, we'll average 1M kills in 4 days, it will take 17 monsters * 4 days = 68 days. So, around 2 months of grind time. Abyss has 21 monsters, so it'll take a similar amount of time, especially if done after Wastelands and you have more max kills.
If you wait until you have all of the Wastelands compendium done, it'll take long enough that you'll be combat level 145, enough to get t9. This'll be covered in the advanced guide. For comparison, doing at most 5 R3 compendium for abyss monsters and getting most of them to R1 compendium will be enough to get to level 145.
Trading for power
As t10 is the highest current tier, buying equipment from other players for t8 and below (2 tiers below max and below) needs only 1 redeeming coin. Therefore, buying a max empowered t8 equipment from other players is currently quite economical. And to buy equipment from others, you need to complete the quest that opens trading: Reclamation. Just inject some brutality and juggernaut injections and clear quests until you complete that one. There isn't anything critical in the missions themselves like the previous sidearms, so the main questline isn't as important as before.
Even though it's early to ask the question of “Do I stay on Filchers?” again, it's important to determine if you need just the combat power and compendium progress to max kill Filchers. You can do it several ways, but the most used and recommended way is Abyss 200k compendiums, waiting for t9 and buying several pieces of max empowered t9 from other players.
Max killing Filchers
After level 100, it takes roughly 20 days to reach level 130 (t8). After t8, it takes roughly 25 days to reach level 145 (t9). These numbers are for killing early-mid abyss monsters without rushing equipment and will change depending on which way you chose (wasteland, early abyss or late abyss). In that time, pick one of the plans outlined above in Compendium and level up your companions up to max uncapped level instead of focusing on any combat abilities (Cache Finder is the only exception).
The easy metric to calculate how close you are to max killing Filchers is the fastest Attack Speed possible: 10 AS. When you have enough empowers, allstat, compendium and companions to get 10 AS, you're most likely powerful enough to kill 20 Filchers or more.
The 10 AS milestone
10 Attack Speed is the highest Attack Speed (denoted AS) a player can achieve without injections (lightning injection lets you get down to 9 AS). As you get lower AS, you will hit enemies way more often progressively more. If an enemy has 20 AS while you have 10 AS and you can 2-shot that enemy, you won't take any damage in that round. Similarly, if you can hit an enemy twice before they hit you once, you can proc incapacitate Drake ability much more likely and get more free damage in. It's generally very useful and a must at late game.
To get a good idea of how to get to 10 AS (1419 speed), we need to do some math. I'll make some assumptions below for this:
- We leveled our drone up so that we have more than 200 levels in it. Let's assume 240 levels.
- We have some speed compendium, assumed 18 total.
- We have T6 E9 exo gear.
- We have T7 gear as base and we build up from this.
- When we buy gear, we buy it as E25.
- We either buy T8 or T9 gear.
- When we craft T9+ gear, we get it to E10.
- We have all speed energizements in boots and leggings.
Now here are the numbers:
- T7 gear generally has an average of 5 speed.
- T8 gear generally has an average of 10 speed, 17% speed energizements
- T9 gear generally has an average of 18 speed, 19% speed energizements
- E10 always adds 10 speed.
- E25 gives 16% allstat.
- 2 levels of Drone gives 1 speed.
Now let's add all of this and craft several plans. There will be 2 main plans: T7/T8 and T9
As per our assumptions, in all scenarios, we will passively have:
- Level 240 Drone gives 120 speed.
- Compendium gives 18 speed.
- Our T6 E9 augments give 29+28+10+10 = 77 speed.
- Passive Sub total: 215 speed
If we're using 2x T8 with T7:
- We really need the boots and leggings at T8 to get the best speed energizements. These give 39 total speed at E25, 102% speed and 32% allstat.
- If all of the rest were T7 E9, we get 8x(5+10) = 120 speed.
- Item Sub total: 159 speed, 102% speed and 32% allstat
2x T8 piece total: (215+159) * 2.02 * 1.32 = 997. Not enough.
If we're using 5x T8 with T7:
- 4x T8 pieces would give (10+10) * 5 = 100 speed, 102% speed and 80% allstat.
- The rest of the 5x T7 pieces would give (5+10) * 5 = 75 speed.
- Item Sub total: 175 speed, 102% speed and 80% allstat
5x T8 piece total: (215+175) * 2.02 * 1.80 = 1418 speed. Barely enough.
So, with using E9 T7 and E25 T8, we need to buy 5x max empowered T8 gear to barely get to 10 AS.
If we're using T9 gear, we don't have to E9 every single T7 gear we have and just cheaply craft T9 gear instead. Since there's more than 10 speed difference between E9 T7 and base T9, it's better to just craft a T9 instead of using E9 T7. If we have 10x T9 all at E9:
- 10x E9 T9 pieces would give (18+10) * 10 = 280 speed, 114% speed.
- Item Sub total: 280 speed, 114% speed
10x E9 T9 piece total: (215+280) * 2.14 = 1059 speed. Not enough, we need some allstat. 1418/1059 = 1.338, therefore we need 34% allstat. That's 2 pieces of E25 and 2% more allstat. Therefore, we need to purchase 2x max empowered T9 gear to get to 10 AS.
Now that we have 10 AS, we should easily be able to max kill Filchers. The next Advanced Guide will feature what to do after reaching that point, including getting all T9 augments. The true question that will be asked in the next chapter is: “Do I stay at Filchers forever?” When we can max kill Dreadghouls, we will enter the End Game Guide
Thank you for reading my guides,