Where the true journey begins.
Xeno’Jiva is down, which effectively marks the transition from story game (and High Rank) to end game. From the start until this point, there was mostly linear progress. I am now in the horizontal progress phase. What I mean by that is that I never felt the need to hunt a specific monster for a rare drop. I just kept plugging away at the Assigned (story) quests until I got here. It’s provided me with a rank 5 (of 8) weapon, which has been quite enough for most cases. I’ve also acquired a fair chunk of armor upgrade, making earlier battles a lot easier.
What’s next is the question.
Breadth & Depth
In terms of weapons, I need to fan out with a few more Charge Blades that address specific monster weaknesses. The one I have now is focused on Blast damage (build up for an explosion), but it would be extremely practical for a set of water/fire/ice/dragon weapons to dramatically speed up specialized farming.
Some high level theories on damage. Some weapons provide innate elemental damage. That listed damage coverts ~10% per attack (depending on weapon speed). So if a weapon lists something like 500 normal, 250 elemental, then on a monster weak to that element, you will be doing 50% more damage per attack. In practice most weapons have a 25% bonus through elemental damage. This can be further boosted through weapon enchantments (gems) up to their cap. That cap depends on the base damage… more complicated than need be so here’s a link to explain it.
This is all discounting the fact that some weapons are just plain better on some enemies than others. The Charge Blade (Hammer and Greatsword are similar) are skill-based weapons that require very good positioning. Something like Dual Blade or Sword and Shield can be much more mobile. Some enemies spend way too long in the air, or have some seriously deadly AE attacks, making ranged weapons a better alternative.
A Good Defense
At the base, everyone needs armor. It has a linear relationship to the amount of damage you take. High rank gear makes a tremendous different when it comes to a generic armor set.
Yet similar to weapons, armors have elemental resistances. Something like Teostra who is pure fire, would be best served by fire resistance. It’s entirely possible to find a piece of gear with amazing armor stat but resistances that make you into a wet tissue. Fighting Kirin without Lightning resistance is key to a bad time.
I will say that elemental resistances are the safety net of battles. If you are significantly overpowering your target, then it doesn’t matter that much. If something like Teostra is taking half your life with a single swing… then get some fire resistance and see a world of difference.
Putting it into Practice
Bazelgeuse. I need his horns. I wasn’t too flustered with him in the past as a dual blade user – easy to get in and out. Charge Blade is more of a challenge since you can get move locked and then he decides to blow up everything around him.
This particular mission decided to have Deviljo show up. For those unawares, he randomly spawns in HR zones and is top of the food chain. He will attack anything, and doesn’t give up chase. I didn’t realize he was in this zone until he roared (stunned me), which gave Bazel ample time to finish his dive bomb and wipe me out.
My second death was also due to that bugger shoulder checking me into the wall, then body slamming Bazel on my body. Ok, enough. I knew I had Bazel on the ropes, he took a nap and I put a barrel bomb to get things going again. Deviljo was far away, so I figure to finish it off with a mount.
Sure enough, as I’m in the middle of the final swing of the mount attack, Deviljo shows up. Maybe I lucked out, maybe it’s the code, but he didn’t attack me while mounted. He did however attack me when I dismounted and couldn’t move. 3rd faint and will need to give it another shot.
So now the journey begins to round out the gear set. Less large jumps in power and more about targeting specific builds for specific monsters. Make a goal and work back from there. Fun times.