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Older noob needing guidance in upgrading gear.


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OK  how to ask this.  

I started playing dd2 the beginning of August when a guildmate (from a different tower defense that had stalled in development) started playing DD2 with his son.
So outside of the basics(place towers, kill mobs) I know nothing.
 I really have no idea how things like gear progression for drops work, and I know I'm letting the other players down and it SUCKS.

I thought that by equipping my best gold/orange gear it would keep improving across the board  but that doesn't seem to be whats needed.
I was in a game today where a player with equal ascension to me had 3 times the power I did.   When they asked me why my gear was so low I had to ask them to clarify.
To their credit they didn't just curse me  out, and despite it being mid game, tried to explain it to me on the fly.

They suggested taking one hero card and equipping it with the best blue cards(by value) I had as they dropped.
Does this sound right?  and would it work for the whole deck or just the Hero (Squire, Monk, Huntress, etc) so equipped?

I apologize to all the players that shook their head at yet another noob that barely had any clue as to how to advance when I joined their game,

Sincerely,
a recluse in the Nort' woods

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Long story short: the advice you were given is solid, follow it.  If you want to read a bit, what follows is an explanation of why.

Loot used to have a stat called iPwr.  At some point in the game, they hid the stat, but it is still used in calculations.  When loot drops, it takes the average iPwr of your best equipped hero in your active deck (i.e., the hero whose average iPwr is best), and uses that to determine a range of iPwr for loot that drops.  After the iPwr stat is rolled, the weapon's stats are rolled.  The only stat that is solely dependent on iPwr is sell value, so that is the best stat to go by, although sell value also depends on rarity.  So a mythic item and a legendary item with the same iPwr have very different sell values.  People have made spreadsheets and formulas for helping to convert, but they are a bit imperfect (though quite useful if you are into that sort of thing, like me), and if you want a link to them let me know.  Otherwise, the easiest route is to just take the most common drops (which are blue, also called rare items), and equip one character with the highest sell value blue items whenever you can be bothered (at least after every game, after each wave if you are dedicated to it).

Why you are stuck/progressing slowly can be one of many reasons.  One could be that you got some loot with really high stat rolls, and so items with slightly higher iPwr but not quite as good stat rolls will have slightly less stats, discouraging you from equipping them even though you need to in order to progress.  Another could be that one of your items has fallen behind the others, keeping you from progressing until you get a better item for one of those slots.  I should add that each chaos tier has a max iPwr of course, so the general progression is to max iPwr in a tier and then move on.  You can go by max sell values (listed at https://dd2tools.com/calcs/) to know when to progress.  Actually, you can usually move on when you are within about 90% of the max sell value, because the formulas behave differently at the edges of the chaos tiers, and the loot in your next tier will jump up when you get there (but it iPwr will be frozen at the new level until ALL your gear has been updated).

So long story short, use one hero to always have your best blue sell value items, keep that hero in your active deck during the waves, and you should be good to go!  It helps to have the one hero (often called a "mule") to be the same class as your main DPS, so that they get weapon drops frequently.  

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Thank you Lekkin. 
  Your explanation is very welcome, F2P games are great on the one hand but on the other they depend heavily on the games existing community to teach the new players the ins and outs. (It helps if we new players ask for that information :P )
And I have been focusing on getting max Health and Ability(and Armor) stats on the legendaries and not on the sale value,  Thinking of survivability and focused power, not realizing there was another mechanic involved in getting better gear.
Sigh...I'm starting to regret having every hero(and 4 "twins") (some hero bundles and 3-4 unlocked with medals)    That is going to be a lot of gear to keep upgraded. Just glad I only have 6 extra card slots and didn't go for more.  I can only imagine what its like if you go beyond the number of slots I have

Heck,  I didn't even know we could double up on heroes until someone mentioned it while talking about focusing trap  Ascension.

So to recap,  Keep one Eeyore (blue mule) and until  I reach C7, upgrade the other gear to the highest value not by any of the stats.

Thank You again, :)Emoji_Kobalt.png

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Digger71, sounds like you got good overall advice. I would suggest one thing though. Try to build yourself if you can. It really helps you learn what works best on maps. I personally built through C4, and then hopped in some C5 farms to get the much sought after Power Transfer Shard (PT). At this time, you will progress quickly so it is very wise to only wear blue items.


For quickest leveling make sure to loot during the waves when you can. Equip a blue item in every slot except the Relic position. I would encourage only using 1 Relic during these times. When looting, make sure to check the sell value of each piece of gear you are wearing. Always equip the highest sell value piece. In rare occasions you can equip a Mythic/Legendary piece if the stats on it are much higher, otherwise stick to the blues and continue to compare the sell value.


If you decided to get carried during C5 and C6, you really need to prioritize Health. The mobs hit way harder in these tiers. If you have no life, you will get wreck. I would also look into getting a Gato pet. Make sure it has Sparkle Party if not try and re-roll for it. This will help with them pesky Assassins that show up starting C5.


Now C7. This tier is a little more difficult. Based on my experience, not many people can AFK here. So please don't join a C7 game and AFK. Actively play. Make sure to equip Construction shard in your gloves. This thing will boost your wave repair speed by 75%. With that fast of repair during waves, nothing should fall. Make sure to upgrade and repair as needed.


Hope this helps!

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Some points of clarification. You shouldn't regret having many heroes.  Your Eeyore is the only one you need to keep up to date with best gear.  Everyone else can wear whatever else you want.  Also, upgrade is a technical term in the game that means spending gold/medals to power up equipment/shards.  There is no need to upgrade gear in this sense (though it is always useful to upgrade useful shards), just keep replacing it on Eeyore with new gear.

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OK  I managed a 4-6 games last night and things are definitely looking up.  I went from 250 ish to almost 400 on two weapons .  Still extremely sad for my ascension level but moving quickly in the right direction.  Emoji_WarBoar.png

Thank you again for the advice and information.


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@Digger71 quote:

OK  I managed a 4-6 games last night and things are definitely looking up.  I went from 250 ish to almost 400 on two weapons .  Still extremely sad for my ascension level but moving quickly in the right direction.  Emoji_WarBoar.png

Thank you again for the advice and information.

Glad to hear that. Keep on playing. Game is a blast!


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By the way is there a general range to the value of each tier of gear?
Example:

C1 50-400

C2 400-800

C3 800-1200
I know these values are off but I'm looking for clarity, both for myself and so I can help other players in the future.


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Thank you Lekkin and Ubara-tutu ,  
But question,  Do I really only need one relic equipped with Eeyore to get the benefit of "best gear"?  If so that will make it much faster to switch out between waves, (or games if I'm with a group)

It's already an adjustment for me  seeing 1M on a crit for a L3 Earthshatter tower I don't even have ascension in.  I can only imagine what it will be once I reach a higher gear level.  I may be playing the Gunwitch a little too exclusively. and not switching to other heroes, 

But thank you again.  It's already more fun,  I've gone further these last two days than I have in the 2 weeks prior.


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@Digger71 quote:

But question,  Do I really only need one relic equipped with Eeyore to get the benefit of "best gear"?  If so that will make it much faster to switch out between waves, (or games if I'm with a group)

I'll be honest, I've heard multiple theories but I am not convinced by any of them yet.  I have heard of people using no relics and advancing gear just fine.  I've heard people suggest that you get more consistent upgrades the more gear you have equipped.  There used to be a time when Gunwitch wouldn't drop relics, and people say its fixed now so she is one of the best for advancing.  

I say just do whatever you are doing that is working.  To be honest, you will be surprised at how fast you beat the chaos trials and then have maxed out gear.   Farming for shards (like power transfer, deadly strikes, etc.) will take much longer.  At least you can get some guaranteed good shards by doing the masteries, though that will take quite a bit of time on its own.

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I used only one relic, and that worked great. Some have claimed that no relics works too, but I had a problem with relic drops when another hero in my deck had a relic and my Eeyore didn't. It could have been just a really bad case of RNG hates me.

If you just have your DPS hero and your Eeyore in your deck and neither has relics, that should work fine, but I don't know for sure because I never tried myself.

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ok 5 days in since finding out about "mules" and I can solo C3.  Still having problems getting Legendary and Mythic gear to equip all of my heroes.  My Eeyore (well Eeyoria) is starting cap her c4 blues but on average half my relics are still only  c1,  The ones I play most I make sure to put the C3-4 on but it's a slow process.  But I get the impression that that's how the game works :P  Still thank you for the help, 

 The only "real problem"I'm having is that now I know I could have afforded to do more range gambit on the various towers.  Even with a 600 dp(20ap point) nerf most of the relics I have would give 4-5k damage anyway.  I did one drop in on the map for the poachers incursion where the lead had one or two Air def and then all Earthshatter.  They were set up behind the quab halfway to the eggs and were covering over 80% of the map.

It makes it tempting to do "rebuilds" with my spare card.  I mean, why pay Medals or crystals when I can make a new character and in 2-3 games to get  him/her to 50, assign the ap points to the (possibly) better way, switch out the gear from the original and then delete said original.

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@Digger71 quote:

It makes it tempting to do "rebuilds" with my spare card.  I mean, why pay Medals or crystals when I can make a new character and in 2-3 games to get  him/her to 50, assign the ap points to the (possibly) better way, switch out the gear from the original and then delete said original.

Yep.  This is the way to do it to save medals, though sometimes I'm lazy and spend the 200 anyways (I've got most of what I want with medals, but not all yet).

And I will say this about trying to gear up your heroes: shards are useful, but often times just better stats are even more useful.  I used quite a few blue equips while working through the chaos tiers.  I would only worry about mythic/legendary when you find it very hard to go up the next tier, or when you finally get to C7 and just want to get the best gear possible.

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@lekkin007 quote:


And I will say this about trying to gear up your heroes: shards are useful, but often times just better stats are even more useful.  I used quite a few blue equips while working through the chaos tiers.  I would only worry about mythic/legendary when you find it very hard to go up the next tier, or when you finally get to C7 and just want to get the best gear possible.

Problem is it seems like getting Health AND Armor on the same piece of gear is a Snipe hunt as often as not. Emoji_Goblin.png

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@Digger71 quote:


@lekkin007 quote:


And I will say this about trying to gear up your heroes: shards are useful, but often times just better stats are even more useful.  I used quite a few blue equips while working through the chaos tiers.  I would only worry about mythic/legendary when you find it very hard to go up the next tier, or when you finally get to C7 and just want to get the best gear possible.

Problem is it seems like getting Health AND Armor on the same piece of gear is a Snipe hunt as often as not. Emoji_Goblin.png

Armor is on every single gear that exists.

What do you mean?

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@PandynatorDD
Armor is on every single gear that exists.

What do you mean?

Armor is,  Health isn't.  Nothing like getting a piece of gear and it being -500 health (or -800 or -1000)  it gives you the choice of doing damage at the cost of getting one shot just because an ogre hopped and you were in range.


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You should be able to survive without health on every armor piece until basically C5 (when assassins come into play).  Learning to avoid ogre stomps (especially when the ogre is near your towers, and you don't want him destroying them) is just part of learning to play the game well :). 

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Actually my Eeyore capped C4 yesterday so c5 is next up.  I'll probably try to co through all of my characters and see who has the best gear and consolidate it on the 3 I plan on starting C5 with.  Only one of my heroes is 100 k so far we'll see if I can get at least 80k on the others.


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Tips for C5: create a kill zone in a lane close to spawn.  Kill zone means using towers that can do high single target damage with CC (like huntress's geyser can pop assassins off you and monk's lightning strike aura can do really good crit damage when you gear it for that, often enough to one or two shot assassins).  Get one DPS hero to have your best gear (other than your Eeyore of course) and that should be enough.  If you die, you just get full health back.  Also, if you don't have a pet at level 10 yet, try to do so.  You can buy an affection booster for example with medals fairly cheaply, and just one is enough to get affection to 10, and you should have way more than enough food to get their experience level to 10 as well, at which point you can upgrade your pet to tier 2, which means you get an ability.  You can reroll that ability too at the cost of gold.  Most helpful to you will probably be any of the gato pets (they look like cats), and reroll until you get the sparkle party ability, which is a AOE stun and can help a lot with assassins.

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@Digger71 quote:

Actually my Eeyore capped C4 yesterday so c5 is next up.  I'll probably try to co through all of my characters and see who has the best gear and consolidate it on the 3 I plan on starting C5 with.  Only one of my heroes is 100 k so far we'll see if I can get at least 80k on the others.


It be easier to get only 1 hero geared if you are planning on getting carried. If not, having around 65k life in C5 will help a bunch on each hero. Furthermore, if you can snag a Gato pet you can re-roll its ability until you have Sparkly Party. That will help keep them pesky Assassin's at bay.

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@SnaksAwnSnaks quote:
@Digger71 quote:

Actually my Eeyore capped C4 yesterday so c5 is next up.  I'll probably try to co through all of my characters and see who has the best gear and consolidate it on the 3 I plan on starting C5 with.  Only one of my heroes is 100 k so far we'll see if I can get at least 80k on the others.


It be easier to get only 1 hero geared if you are planning on getting carried. If not, having around 65k life in C5 will help a bunch on each hero. Furthermore, if you can snag a Gato pet you can re-roll its ability until you have Sparkly Party. That will help keep them pesky Assassin's at bay.

If you don't want to waste thousand of money on rerolls, use proton beams with frosty shard and Mystic walls.

Both can remove assassins form your butt as soon as they spawn on you, also combine that with a hard hitting defense like LSA.   Crits from LSA can kill those pesky assassins rather quickly.

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