From zero to hero: dressed for success

Saturday, December 13, 2014 by spiralspy

So, you want to be a vanguard, but you have no idea what gear to pick? Well, i got some bad news for you:

  • Upgrading gear is expensive. You cannot afford to go wrong.
  • Most of the gear choices lead to dead ends. You cannot complete the storyline with them. They either lack a full upgrade path or completely under performs later on.
  • If you happen to have spend your mission reward orbs on dead end gear, you might find that starting over is faster than digging yourself out of the hole you are currently sitting in.

That being said, what equipment should you own if you don’t want to depend on your credit card? In order to finance yourself using only ingame currency, you need to be able to farm the Firestorm Citadel. It is part of the final mission and naturally also the place where most money drops. There are several loadouts that work in FSC, but the tried and tested general purpose endgame loadout consists of (a combination of):

  • Chaos Hood
  • Chaos Cloak
  • Combuster
  • Barbarous Thorn shield
  • Shivermist Buster
  • Blitzneedle
  • Acheron

You may choose between the Shivermist and the Blitz as your first secondary weapon (in the end you want both). The Acheron is not needed at all in Firestorm, but it is a must have to get there. Several missions sport enemies that are resistant to elemental damage (your Combuster), so you need a Plan B weapon. Having Combuster and Acheron gets you through pretty much everything. Don’t let the status penalties of the Chaos set put you off. The attack powers you gain more than make up for the defenses you sacrifice. Ask an endgameer  to give you a demonstration on how to play this loadout!

Knowing what to get is only half the battle. It is equally important to know how to get this equipment (as in: with the least effort possible). Here are some pointers:

  1. You don’t need to buy any gear early in the game. In tier 1, different armor choices make almost no difference.
  2. You will get a full cobalt set in 3-2 “Faith in Armor”. You should stick with it till you hit 5-2 “Hall of Heroes”. Once you do, ditch it for the magic set and upgrade that to 3* instead. Do NOT upgrade the cobalt gear! Cobalt has a full 5* upgrade path, but it seriously under performs!
  3. Consider buying your magic set from the auction house. A lot of players craft magic gear in hope for a unique variant and dump the rejects underpiced on the market. If you can grab a piece for 3.5k or less, go for it. It’s a bargain.
  4. You get one free brandish sword on 4-1 “Advanced Alchemy”. You have to make a choice here if you want to upgrade this to the shadow or the fire line. Considering that you will spend a lot of time on fighting slimes for money, shadow is probably the better choice at this time. You will need a second brandish later on and as with the magic gear, consider AH hunting for it.
  5. Once you have the brandish from 4-1, go back to 3-2 “Shadow of the beast” and earn a total of at least 20 “Frumious Fang” tokens. Once you got them, trade them in with Brinks in the Bazar for the “Bristling Buckler” (that will become the Barbarous thorn shield later on) and a “Snarble Barb”. The shield will boost your sword damage. The sword will come in handy real soon when the game throws fiends and beasts at you.
  6. Once you pass the 3* hall of heroes, you are on a straight path. From here on its collecting money and focusing on upgrading your gear.