The last post was about the view of progression while going through it. For most of the process there’s a small gap between your power and the enemy’s. You’re always slightly behind the curve, and would need to hunt the same beasts for 2-3 upgrades per piece to stay on par. Or… you simply attack the next beast and there’s a 90% chance they drop the material for a new item. In this method, you’re simply changing weapons every other beast. Still a gap, but it certainly forces you to learn the battles rather than just mash your way through.
And for the first 4 islands, this generally works. For the primary reason that you’re fighting as a group and that the difference in power levels is objectively small (10% of 100 isn’t much, 10% of 1000 is a lot more). You get to learn monster types, and whether speed/mobility is more worthwhile than large strikes. Stormclaw for example, is much easier with a quick weapon, while Charrogg is all about big swings.
Then you hit island 5 (Maelstrom). By the time you reach this place, you’re probably rocking ~250 power gear. More than serviceable for island 4. Island 5 needs 310 for you to have an even chance. And then the model goes sideways a tad.
This is due primarily to the crafting system requiring rare components to craft items. Up until this point, you were reasonably assured that a single kill would give you enough to make something, and potentially upgrade it. Tier 5, not so much. You can go a dozen or more kills before getting the drop you need.
And the power gap that is ever present means that nearly every behemoth will kill you in 2-3 hits, and you’re pretty much tickling them. Choices.
- Stick with it, hopefully getting a lucky drop and dramatically changing your output
- Grind out Kharabak (who is a super mobile wasp that can turn invisible) and get >320 power
- Grind out your repeaters (guns) to the 280 level and play a distance game with tier 5 monsters
I took option 3. I also opted to grind the Ragetail Gnasher (tier 5) since he was weak to fire, and that’s extra damage I could take advantage of. Still took a dozen fights to get the drop I needed for a weapon, but I was able to craft 2 new pieces of gear. When I did craft the weapon (war pike), I was able to put 5 levels on it – getting it to 380.
From that point, it was more about figuring out what type of build I wanted to go about.
Similar to Monster Hunter World, the “end game” is about planning out a gear set and building it out. Where it’s different is that all the gear at tier 5 is of the same power level – compared to the +/- 25% swings on MHW. So you’re really only looking for the passive effects, which are related to play styles.
There are however, some general items to take into consideration.
- Generally, you want to pick a weapon type and stick with it. Try them all out before tier 5.
- Blaze(fire) is death. Pure liquid death. There is no more important resistance than Blaze. Frost may freeze you in place (but it’s hard as heck to get hit by it), and Shock prevents item use (whoopie).
- Stagger damage is only truly useful for Hammer builds.
- Wound damage is great for part breaking – if you can get it to stick. It increases slash damage on that part by 50%.
- As a general rule, % increases are better than flat increases.
- Increasing attack speed and damage is always useful
- Lanterns (in particular the Drask version) are very useful. Increasing lantern charges (through Aetheric Attunement) is a significant damage increase.
- Cunning (crit chance) gives a % chance to deal double damage. That can cause some seriously insane numbers.
- You are capped at 350 armor/weapon power until you increase both to that level. You can’t just go all offense. Getting to 350 armor means 4 pieces of tier 5 armor upgraded to +4.
I personally opted for a damage build
- Visage of Thorns (Koshai)
- Stride of Thorns (Koshai)
- Bloodfire Gloves (Bloodfire Embermane)
- Scorched Carapace (Scorchstone Hellion)
As a base, I get
- Ragehunter (more damage on enraged beasts)
- Molten (drops orbs that make you fire immune and increase attack speed by 20%)
- Evasive Fury (increase damage after dodging)
- Evasion (increase invulnerability time during dodges)
- Predator (increase damage dealt after avoiding damage taken)
Then with the various cell upgrades (like gems in slots)
- Aetheric Attunement (increase % latern charge while attacking)
- Cunning (increase chance to deal double damage)
- Bladestorm (increase part damage)
Getting over that initial hump of tier 5 gear… the game is still a challenge but it’s smack dab in the part that I really enjoy.