Changelog: added brissa information, added unit resistance information
Since i have been seeing so much misinformation floating around i thought i chime in and make a low-effort gearing up guide, that gets players started who aren't exactly keen on how the process works. I will be explaining the stuff that i recommend to give you an idea, but this isn't a guide covering anything. If there is something you want to know, let me know and i can go in-depth about it.
This guide generalizes in order to make it accessible for newer players. This isn't meant to be a super accurate guide, because going into detail about how damage calculation works is only going to confuse people!
Alright here we go.
The strength of your weapon and how much it contributes to your total damage is roughly determined by these factors:
- ATK Power
- Element Level
These are ordered by their importance, although depending on specific cases these can vary. Let me go through each of them to explain.
ATK Power is self-explanatory. The value of it gets added to your ATK stats in your character menu. This Number in the weapon sheet includes the ATK that is added from the affixes, so don't get confused if it seems higher / lower in different cases. In almost all cases the weapon has already the correct ATK type for your class, so you don't have to worry about that.
This value is increased mainly by grinding your weapon. This bonus maxes out at +35. Grinding your weapon is important but can cost a lot of money. With newer types of weapons the ATK Power you get from it, isn't that big as it used to but it's still significant enough that it should be at the top of your list, because it also allows you to unlock poentials.
As an example i will use the 12 Star Sword "Nox Kvelle":
At +0 the weapon has a base ATK of 1017.
At +35 the weapon has a base ATK of 1327
These numbers might not mean much to you but you will get a feel for it as you keep playing the game. If you aren't sure how to grind a weapon efficiently here are a few quick pointers, refer to any grinding guide for more info.
If the weapon is 12 Star or below, use a variety of 7-12* weapons preferrably with Grind Level on it (boxed weapons can come with up to +5)
If the weapon is 13 Star, it will use Lambda Grinders for each weapon you feed it, so the idea is to make a high grind level 12 Star (the Sigma weapon series is good for this) and then feed the high 12 Star to the 13 Star to save on Lambda Grinders. This will be slightly more expensive, but as L-Grinders are a finite resource, this is more efficient for most people.
Don't worry if your weapon isn't +35, grind it as you go but getting it to +10 quick is going to make a big difference, especially because you get the option to unlock the weapons potential.
Every weapon has a potential attached to it that can be unlocked at Grind Levels +10, +20 and +30. The game will force you to pick one, so you don't have to worry about missing out on it.
For the most part players will look to potentials first when choosing a weapon, as it has a large contribution to your total damage after the base ATK value so it is good to find a weapon that has a powerful potential. Let us look at the Nox Kvelle again. This is the potential:
Lv.1 (at +10): Increase MEL Def by 75 and increase Striking and Ranged Power by 13% while Guard Stance is active.
Lv.2 (at +10): Increase MEL Def by 100 and increase Striking and Ranged Power by 15% while Guard Stance is active.
Lv.3 (at +10): Increase MEL Def by 150 and increase Striking and Ranged Power by 18% while Guard Stance is active.
18% does not sound bad and the added Defense is neat too, but unfortunately the Potential has a requirement and that is to have Guard Stance active. If you are playing Hunter with a Fury Stance Spec, this potential would do nothing for you, which means you are missing out on a roughly 20% damage boost. Let us look at the 13 Star Weapon "Nemesis Calbur", from the arguably best Series that is available at this moment:
Lv.1: Increase Power by 12%. Generates a barrier (-40% Damage Taken, 10% PP Cost Reduction) that disappears upon taking damage. Regenerates after 30s
Lv.2: Increase Power by 15%. Generates a barrier (-40% Damage Taken, 15% PP Cost Reduction) that disappears upon taking damage. Regenerates after 30s.
Lv.3: Increase Power by 17%. Generates a barrier (-40% Damage Taken, 20% PP Cost Reduction) that disappears upon taking damage. Regenerates after 30s.
As we can see this Potential Damage Boost is only 17% but unconditional, meaning it is always active, which is a huge plus. Additionally it has a Barrier mechanic that comes with a neat 1 time shield, and PP Cost Reduction, which is always active if you manage to avoid damage.
Obviously, all around the Nemesis Calibur Potential is a lot better and paired with the High Final ATK Power of 1802 at +35. It should now make sense why this is currently the most desired Weapon for any Sword user out there, only rivaled by the Slave Series, which has a similar powerful potential.
There isn't a very good way to look at the potential ingame before you have the weapon, one option is to look for a specific weapon on the Visiphone and scroll down to entries of players who have grinded the weapon already, but some weapons are untradable. Down below is a good resource to start for NA players to look at what currently is in the game. I'm not sure if this is complete, but if you are in doubt about certain weapon potentials, be sure to ask around people will most likely be willing to help you.
(There is also the option of using the JP wiki, which has a complete list, but use it at your own risk. It's completely in japanese and the list contains everything that is available on JP Servers aswell. On top of that, some of the weapons have an -NT added, so Nemesis Calibur would be called Nemesis Calibur-NT, due to how PSO2 JP still has Old-Type Weapons.)
We can roughly estimate that most potentials are going to be 10-20% base damage bonus + any neat added effects for you. This is the reason why grinding your weapon is doubly effective. It get's you access to the potential and increases you base ATK Power. Having a +30 weapon pretty much means you unlocked about 90% of the weapons full "potential" already.
Element Levels have varying importance for the classes but in general the calculation looks as follows:
Base Weapon Attack * Element Level / 100
In the case of our Nemesis Calibur which comes with an Element Level of 60 out of the Box it applies like this:
1802 * 60 / 100 = 1081
What does this mean? That means that 1081 of your ATK Power is going to have a Element Attribute attached to it. If you hit an enemy that is weak to that element then that portion of your ATK Power is going to be amplified by x1.2.
There are a lot of other factors to consider with Element Level, specific enemies might have different multipliers and some classes work differently but this is the basic gist of it.
Generally people choose Light Element because our friendly Falspawn Superbosses mostly have weakness to Light. This isn't as important as the first two previously explained parts of a weapon, but if you get a matching Element it's a neat added bonus.
Bouncers and Tech users will have different rules when it comes to Element Level, refer to their class guides for more information.
The last part of how your Weapons Power is determined is Affixes. Dropped weapons come with a wide variety of small stat bonues, that can be stacked up to make a significant difference. I mention this here, but for newer players this system is rather confusing. There are many guides explaining these in-depth, but keep in mind that affixing is generally the most time and money consuming task for just a small boost in stats.
Yes I do recommend everyone to have a basic affix, but for a new player even that task can be a handful. Don't feel bad if you skip this part for now, feel free to refer to affixing guides or ask questions.
To those who are a bit more experienced, i personally recommend skipping big affixes unless you have money to burn, currently the content will move forward rather quickly and you can assume your weapon to be outdated in about 1-2 months time anyways.
Choosing a weapon
If you don't care about the details of how damage works, or just want someone to tell you what to get here is a quick rundown of what weapons are decent as of the currently released content of NA.
1. Nox / Sigma Series
Both of these 12 Star Weapon Series drop as "junk" for most people right now that is why you can get any of these for around 50k Meseta in Player Shops. This is a good way to start, and they will outshine any other weapon on 11 Star or below or at least compete with it. Depending on the Potential this might shift a little. Nox weapons can have quirky potentials that might end up useless for you (as i previously demonstrated with the Sword's potential), the Sigma Series comes with a preset Potential for all it's weapons, which isn't very strong (about 8% of damage if you are above 50% health), but it is a good starter weapon.
The advantage is that you can feed this weapon into whatever upgrade you get, so you don't lose your money. I do not recommend affixing this weapon as it will most likely be replaced rather soon.
2. Revolsio Series
This weapon series drops in SHAQ (Advance Quest) and due to it's rather low rarity is barely going to cost you more than 500k Meseta. This is also a good way to start, as it boasts a higher base ATK Power than most 12 Star, but you have to keep in mind that this is a 13 Star weapon, so you will need Lambda Grinders to grind it.
Generally i do not recommend getting this, because the upgrade you get is too little compared to the available 12 Star Series, and the potential is a pitiful 8% damage on Just Attacks too which means it can even fall behind some of the better 12 Star ones.
I will say though that this has very high base ATK Power even at +0 so if grinding seems too expensive or complicated, this Weapon will net you a decent base power although i do not recommend doing that.
3. Unique Weapon Badge Series
With the addition of the Unique Weapon Badge Series on NA we get access to a bunch of neat 13* Weapons that have powerful Weaponoid Potentials, that sometimes even get as high as 20% conditional damage boost, but most of these Potentials do require you to fulfill their conditions, so make sure you check beforehand what they are. These can be sold, so if you do not have the Badges most weapons will cost you 1-2m Meseta on the Visiphone.
Farming these badges isn't that bad, most of your badges are going to come from Rappy Spawns, which can be found in various locations, and if you really want to get these, AQ is the place to start, especially during PSE Bursts with the Rare Enemy Bonus, you are bound to get a lot of Rappies. If you have a group of 4 people fighting through a long Crossburst you can definitely get those 400 Badges quickly.
Keep in mind that out of the Shop these can only be grinded to +30 and only have an Element Level of 20. If you wanted to get past that Limit you would need a multiple of a given weapon and grind them together. (3 for 60 Element Level, 6 for Grind Cap +25) Refer to any Enhancement guide to learn about Element Grinding and Grind Cap.
Having one of these weapons pretty much makes you strong enough to tackle any content without having to worry about anything for now.
4. Gix / Nemesis / Slave
These weapons were introduced with the release of Ultimate Quest and currently are the strongest available Weapons across most classes. Their potential have a 20% - 17% - 17% damage modifier respectively while boasting the highest base ATK Power of what is available right now.
If you can afford these or happen to find one in Ultimate Quest, you pretty much have the best thing available currently and i recommend using it. In some cases these can range from 2 to 20m Meseta in cost if you want to buy them, so check beforehand if you can afford these. You definitely don't need these to do well in any content that is out currently, it is horrible overkill and makes you way stronger than what the current content is intended for (especially with class balance being up to EP6 standards), but if you do happen to fully enhance of these for your main class, it means you will be sufficiently strong for some time to come.
That concludes it for the Weapon Section. There are more 13 Star Series out right now, but i generally think they fall behind or end up too expensive / rare for their usefulness. I think any of the mentioned weapons are sufficient for the content that is currently out, in my honest opinion, even a +10 Nox Weapon is in some cases stronger than what we had available back when Ultimate Quests first came out in JP, so don't worry about it too much. Most of your damage is going to come from how well you play, your weapon can always only act as the modifier to that, if you are on the floor for 90% of the time, your fully enhanced weapon is not going to do much. And speaking of which, it's time we covered Units.
The topic of units is widely debated, because a lot of units on the first glance seem to be sidegrades. There are a lot of Units to choose from and it can be hard knowing what they even do so i will try to ease you into the process of finding some proper Armor for your purpose by explaining what to look out for and then adding my own recommendations.
The strength of your units and how much it contributes to your combat efficiency is roughly determined by these factors:
- Defense Power
- Hidden Bonus
- Set Bonus
This is pretty much the same as how weapons work, Units come with a Base Defense Value and grinding the Unit will increase this. Luckily for us the units only need to be grinded to +10 and don't come with a Potential, so basically people always recommend getting your Unit set to +10 and so do I. Enhancing Units uses the old type Grind Process which is pretty much just feeding it Grinders and Meseta until it finally reaches +10. To save on money i recommend using "Safe Enhancer (+1)'s to reduce your total cost.
People will generally overlook this, but make no mistake. Your defense stat is important. It often makes the difference of you dying or not. A unit with a high defense stat is good.
As a certified JP Vet flashes badge i learned how valuable high defense is to the point where i prefer having high defense over some ATK or PP. I am playing Fighter, which all things considered is a glass cannon, but generally speaking, unless you play perfect and never get hit, defense will be useful to you.
And for those who blissfully ignore defense in favor of your big ATK and PP bonuses, please step a foot into Ultimate Quest, fight 3 mad fire elephants at the same time and tell me how that went.
Another thing that is often overlooked are the percental resistance bonuses on units, they come for the 3 main Attack Types and all Elements. While I'd not call it worth to go out of your way to get high resistances, in some cases you can get up to 10-15% Resistance for Striking Attacks, which is noticeable if you were to put it to the test.
There is more to this, but for the sake of brevity i will leave it at that.
Most units starting at 10 Star have Hidden Bonuses which usually fall into these 3 categories: HP, PP and ATK power. They aren't shown on the Unit itself (at least the HP and PP isn't) until you equip it, so it can be kind of unintuitive. I recommend checking a list of Units to get a feeling what they can provide:
This list reads pretty badly, because it lumps all the stats into one column but it should give you a general overview of what units provide. There is a unit list on the aforementioned JP wiki, but while it does contain all information, it's hard to read aswell and google translate further kills the format of the table.
Generally speaking you will get something in the ballpark of 10-100 HP, 1-10PP and 10-50 ATK Power on a Unit, while it usually is a mix of the three. You have to decide what kind of bonus you want to go for, generally these differences are minor enough to not matter, but there are some Unit sets that have a heavy lean towards HP and some that give up HP and sometimes even Defense in Favor of a high PP or ATK Power stat.
As i said in this case you have the option to pick from a large pool of units, especially as time progresses and we get access to the whole range of 12 Star Units, You could take a full set of 100 HP units (or 150 later on, hello izane units) or focus on PP and damage and end up as a glass cannon yourself.
This works similar to the Hidden Bonus, but you can actually check the Set Bonus you get ingame. I will say that this is going to be mostly outdated, because starting at 12 Star units, these Set Bonuses aren't really continued, and all the Power is going to be put into Hidden Bonuses, allowing players to mix and match any Units without giving up a percious Set Bonus, but for what it's worth they are still in here.
Most notably the Saiki Set Bonus provides you with a 60 ATK and 25 PP (that is a lot), but as i said this is probably going to be deprecated by the time everyone is wearing 12 Star units, as those have enough Hidden Bonuses per unit to outstat the Set Bonuses.
This process works the same as it does for weapons, with the only notable difference that Affix cost is much higher due to the scarcity of high affix unit drops. I'd recommend checking out guides, as together with units you now have 4 pieces of equipemnt to put extra Stats into your gear, but this should be the last of your concern, chances are you wont even feel a big difference with affixes unless you pay many many millions to get a sweet 100+ ATK Bonus on each of your Unit.
Choosing a Unit
This is pretty straight forward in based on what is currently out, I see various Unit sets being recommend, and a lot of them work, i will just give you my recommendation on what i consider to be "the best" especially for new players. I compiled a small list of a couple unit sets that are available with their total bonuses, so you get an overview of what we currently have available:
1. DIAVO / GLAN SERIES
The Unit Sets tied to their respective Boss Encounter in Ultimate Quest are what i consider to be way too cheap for how good they are. They have fairly rounded Hidden Bonuses leaning on heavy defenses and if equipped in the constellation i recommend (Diavo Leg Unit + Glan Arm + Glan Back) you get a 70 ATK Power Set Bonus from the Glan Set.
An important note here is that this Set does not give Tech ATK in it's Set Bonus, but regardless of that it's still a good Set to use if you just favor high defense.
This is important: I do not say this is the best unit set you can get right now, I'm merely saying that this set has very high defensive capabilities which make it very suited for new players to use and it's incredibly cheap as of today each of these Units can be bought for about 50k Meseta in total on Ship 1.
2. BRISSA SERIES
The Brissa Set was released with the first Rising Weapon Badge store and while those do not really drop anymore, you can get the second iteration of them and exchange them for the first 2:1. For the entire Brissa Set you will need 60 Rising Weapon Badges 2, which should be covered by a couple Wind & Rain UQ's.
Brissa now drops also from Magatsu, making it relatively cheap to buy and easy to farm yourself if you catch the UQ.
The Brissa Series offers 40 HP and 5 PP per piece as well as 3% Strike and 4% Shoot Resistance the Defenses cap out at 295 / 308 / 295 and the 3 Piece Set Bonus is 70 to all Attack, 50 Dex, 80 HP and 5 PP.
This makes the Brissa Set a viable Allrounder.
3. SAIKI SERIES
I can't get around speaking about the notorious Saiki Series, it boasts the second-highest PP Set Bonus available currently, and has the record for probably the longest "meta"-Set on JP Servers, especially with the PP Craft. It was pretty much rendered obsolete by the time 12-Star Units were made available, due to their Skill Ring Addition and we pretty much see this here aswell, but regardless if you got money to burn this is a good Set to get, but even if you do have the funds i wouldn't recommend buying it.
4. RAY SERIES
Speaking of the best set you can get right now, Ray Units are going to be in most cases the strongest thing you can get currently. They might fall behind in terms of raw stats to some sets but they are the first 12 Star units we have access to, and the first Unit Set where we will be able to Equip Skill Rings into, once the Feature is made available to us.
Having the ability to use 4 Skill Rings in total is really useful for a lot of classes and considering it will probably have the Union Update which will make them just a bit more stronger, i think this is a good choice to shoot for.
Right now i'm using a mix of 2 Ray Units and the P-Drive Unit for the back because the P-Drive is very powerful (100 HP / 5PP), but i will probably switch to a set of 3 Ray Units once i'm able to put rings into them.
That being said getting Ray Units will take some time, they are extremely rare as they are a drop from Ultimate Quest, or need your attendance in Wind & Rain for the Rising Weapon Badge 2 (and you need 200 per piece!) and they can't be sold on the Player Shops so you have to get them yourself.
5. RAY SERIES + P-DRIVE
This is the Set i run, this ends up just being a bit stronger in defense than all the other Sets, while exchanging some precious PP and ATK for HP. It also saves you the trouble of getting a third Ray Unit, which are hard to get by currently. I consider this personally "BiS" for me, and i can see using this Set for a while, especially if i don't need the third Ring, which depends on what Rings they will roll out on NA first.
Alternatively you can use the Magatsuhi back piece if you don't have a P-Drive, as it's a lot cheaper.
6. GEMINI SET + P-DRIVE
Another overlooked set, skipping the ATK Bonus but adding insane amounts of defense, this is pretty much the best combination out now that provides substantial beef for literally 100k Meseta. Very good for beginners who just start out and tank the floor a lot, and definitely an amazing choice even for Veteran players, some of my Fighter buddies use it, surviving one more hit is much more important than those 70 ATK you can get otherwise.
In conclusion, i think especially newer players should not forget about Defense when it comes to units. I'm not saying you can't work your way around it, classes with strong defense capabilities such as Katana Combat invinicibility or Charge Parry on Hunter can definitely neglect that more, but since right now Ultimate Quest is the Content to run endgame and you will never be able to fully avoid taking damage in there (even for seasoned players).
Having a high defense stat is going to mitigate a lot of frustration a new player is going to have in these types of quests and will help them actually contribute instead of just lying on the floor.
Thank you for reading i hope this helped.
This concludes my guide, i tried to focus on what is important to me, and made recommendations on what i think gets you started as a newer player. There are very cheap options even a player that just started can use to be efficient in combat and while this definitely was glossing over a lot of information i intended this to be a quick read-up for anyone who doesn't know where to start.
If you have any questions or suggestions, lemme know and i'll see what i can do.