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How does progression work?


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Hi all! I'm starting this thread because i'm having quite a bit of trouble understanding how progression works in this game.

Me and my gf have been playing a lot lately and managed to down chaos VI (barely). Our path was pretty clear up to this point:

Do floors > get better gear > tackle the chaos trials.

It was that simple... however now we are stuck at floor 39 (which btw with all the crashes and lag issues is annoying as hell) with pretty much no hopes on clearing it soon because for the past 11 floors we were getting the exact same ipwr on all our loot drops (around 3k to 3.6k).

All of our characters are at 3.6-3.8k ipwr and 112-122 ascension which makes every single loot drop on this levels of onslaught pretty much useless. Not even legendaries are better. The floors feel almost impossible to do with mobs that take down our blockades easily, cyborks that shut down my best defense (ev2 wm and proton nodes), and pretty limited resources on every map which leads me to believe that my defenses should be a lot more powerful in order to tackle this challenges properly.

Up until now every single onslaught floor was giving us better gear every time we moved on to the next but now that is not happening. Am I supposed to farm chaos VI instead of onslaught?

I appreciate your help.

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@pRefa quote: Am I supposed to farm chaos VI instead of onslaught?

Yes. I wouldn't suggest farming Onslaught for gear, the loot that drops (at least from my experience) is not that good, Chaos is more reliable.

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Onslaught drops a more narrow range of gear than trials does. If you've got the max for that floor, running trials can help.   I have heard that upgrading a piece of two when you hit a wall can help push you forward to getting upgrades again. You can also try that if you haven't and see if you can progress any further. 

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I've noticed a pattern in the drops where they move up incrementally,  but the 3rd map of a 3-map floor will always drop better than the other two maps on that floor, the 2 floors before it, and the 1-map floor after it.  Usually I didn't see another upgrade until I got to the 2nd map of the next 2-map floor.

If you can handle chaos VI, it will probably net you more upgrades than the floors' incremental approach.  It took me about 7-9 C6 maps to jump from barely through the c6 gate, to getting into the c7 gate.

If you prefer to continue progressing via onslaught, you'll need a good anti-cybork strategy.  For example, well placed Mark slimes and  Medallion/PT bees work if you have the dryad (deadly strikes or vicious strikes or both on the tree to increase range), as well as Mark/Rate/CritDmg ramsters for the abyss lord.  Vicious Strikes is always nice if you have it.

@pRefa quote:

Up until now every single onslaught floor was giving us better gear every time we moved on to the next but now that is not happening. Am I supposed to farm chaos VI instead of onslaught? 

I appreciate your help.


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If you can get to 3915 Champion Score you unlock Chaos 7 Trials, floor 40 is the end of c6 gear anyways so you are right there. As far as progression goes, I personally think Trials is better than Onslaught after a point because they are predictable and unchanging. The build that works once will work 100 times in Trials as long as you can deal with the jump of enemy stats each time you go to a new tier but the best part is you don't have to deal with maps that just limit you all the way down to no defense options.

If you cant quite get into c7 then yes I would say going to c6 is a good idea because in both tiers you will be able to use your Ev strategy again and as long as Skyguards are your only tower in c7 you should have nothing to fear from special enemies there.

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To understand progression well, you need to be clear on how gear scores and champions scores work. 

Gear score (GS) is what is attached to each piece of gear that drops. Basically replaces the iPWR stats from before. What GS gear drops is based on the highest GS item that has dropped on a map that you have been on. There is no way to look up what this value is, so you have to just trust that it is working correctly. Do not try to upgrade gear to improve your GS top value - as you have no way of knowing what the best GS item you have "seen" is. 

Champion score (CS) is the hero in your deck that has the highest combined GS score. This does not include pets or offhand items such as the Squire shield or Barbarian second axe, so no cheating that way. The CS hero will get a little gold crown next to their profile pic in your deck indicating this. Your CS score is what determines what Chaos tier you can play on. 

Several people have reported difficulties getting past the C6-C7 cusp. This is most likely due to RNG fun, and as well as how you have geared your team. Up until this point you may have gotten away with simply playing and haphazardly equipping your team - but if you are stuck, you will need to put a tad more effort into it. 

While you may not be able to raise your GS by doing anything other than playing more levels - you can affect your CS. First off - choose one player to designate as your CS hero. Most likely you should use the one who already is the CS holder. Then, look at all of their gear. Ensure each item is near the same GS amount. See if there is one item that is lower than all the rest. If you can find one, look at your other heroes, and see if anyone else is holding anything at higher value. If they are - remove it and swap it over to your CS hero. Repeat this for each item, until your CS hero has the best GS score on every single piece of gear they have, relics too. 

At this point - you can check to see if your new CS score is over any hurdles, If not - you may have to grind out for a piece of gear you have that is lower than the rest. Weapons are often a hold-up since they tend to only drop less often for one hero. You can fix this by playing all 4 hero slots as the same hero, or no other heroes. 

If you are close to the cusp of the CS score needed, you can also upgrade your gear on your CS hero. This will not help with what will drop (i.e. best GS value), but it will push your CS values up. If you can get above the score needed, then you can play C7 trials finally, and better gear will start coming right away. Even if you cannot beat a stage, just beat one boss - and that is enough to start getting the gear you need. That- or ask for a carry or two. 

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If your intent is to progress to C7 as quickly as possible, then you made a mistake by trying to play straight through onslaught.   You might want to try getting to CVII with the method that I use for re-gearing after Ancient Power resets.   The following method generally takes about 24-48 hours to re-gear from CI and you should be able to use any applicable parts to progress from where you are now though CVII.  

The method is as follows;


Step 1: Complete Onslaught though level 18

            - Your goal is to get trinket drops with a primary stat of 11k-12k in order to do CVI

            - Onslaught 18 gear drops will have high enough GS (or be up-gradable) to allow you to play Trials VI

Step 2: Play Trials CVI difficulty "Temple of the Necrotic" [don't forget to use Reflect Beams!]

            - If you sacrifice the sub objective on this level and focus your defense's damage where that

              sub core was, you can hold off 4 of the map's lanes with only two barricades (solving DU problems)

            - You want to repeatedly beat "Temple of the Necrotic" until your builders have trinkets with a primary

             stat of about 14k-15k and a high enough gear score to play Trials VII

Step 3: Farm Trials VII (solo or at most in a group of 2)

           - When you start CVII, you won't be able to carry other players until your builders have trinkets with a

             primary stat of at least 17k (or you use certain Manufacturer Node builds)

           - The easiest map to beat is the Sewers map, so re-play that map until you get better trinkets


You should keep in mind that your towers will always be too weak if you don't have the proper shards.    As a result, you might want to run CIII and CIV until you have enough "Deadly Strikes", "Power Transfer", "Defense Rate" if you don't have them already.


In any event, when working your way to CVII, you should only pay attention  to GS or CS s a method of unlocking higher Trials difficulties.   Your trinket (as far as i can tell) has no bearing on your GS BUT it is what determines whether you are strong enough to  actually beat any particular difficulty.


I should note that the above method is NOT the only method of progressing to CVII, but you might find it to be one of the easiest ones if you don't have someone to simply carry you all the way there.

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I kinda disagree but i know there is different paths to take for gear progression. 

I reseted for my 3rd time thursday, and as of yesterday, im currently on floor 63.

Took me aprox 20 hours from c1 to c7 from asc 30 (my min asc after reset) and didnt do more than 8 maps on c6 to get to c7. Lower chaos trials took less. 

Rng does place a role, but i was auto equiping my mule on every wave if drops were higher than what i had.

I still use a mule, cause i like to have all 3 shards on my dps active, so he only sees legendaries that mule unequip due to better item found. 

Most times blues are the highest gear score i receive, hence the reason of a mule, so i wouldnt have to worry about shards or lost in dps.


Edit: now that i think about it, thats my second time that im able to start c7 farming solo at around asc 100. On my second reset i was around there as well.

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All these recent suggestions are great everyone. My problem with each and every one of these suggestions is that they are tuned for someone in specific. 

Each player will have a unique experience when first going through the game (ie. like OP who hasnt even looked into resets yet) and players who are very far and has a lot of Minimum Ascension (ie. Juicebags). 

Because these paths are so different you have to consider where the person asking for advice is in the game. I saw in most of these posts that it was suggested to go the fastest route based on some idea except some players don't have some heroes yet and, most importantly, doesn't have all the shards yet which is a big farm in some cases. This will alter the speed at which progress can be done. 

I personally highly suggest to new players that you do not speed run your first playthrough of the game because you will find a wall at which you don't have all the shards you need or a good ascension level to get max gambit or crit chance, which has recently become a problem with the speed at which gear upgrades drop. More on top of that you want to have a good understanding of the enemies and defenses in the game to make it easy on yourself. I and many around will also suggest getting a high asc and push floors to get min asc up which further supports what I have above.

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In short , play the game :) 

@Exglint quote:

All these recent suggestions are great everyone. My problem with each and every one of these suggestions is that they are tuned for someone in specific. 

Each player will have a unique experience when first going through the game (ie. like OP who hasnt even looked into resets yet) and players who are very far and has a lot of Minimum Ascension (ie. Juicebags). 

Because these paths are so different you have to consider where the person asking for advice is in the game. I saw in most of these posts that it was suggested to go the fastest route based on some idea except some players don't have some heroes yet and, most importantly, doesn't have all the shards yet which is a big farm in some cases. This will alter the speed at which progress can be done. 

I personally highly suggest to new players that you do not speed run your first playthrough of the game because you will find a wall at which you don't have all the shards you need or a good ascension level to get max gambit or crit chance, which has recently become a problem with the speed at which gear upgrades drop. More on top of that you want to have a good understanding of the enemies and defenses in the game to make it easy on yourself. I and many around will also suggest getting a high asc and push floors to get min asc up which further supports what I have above.


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I reset to 27 :) Depending on which reset you're on this is how many hours you'll save per onslaught floor completed (assuming each floor takes 1 hour on avg). (somewhere around 114 you'll bottom out)

@chickendude33 quote:

My reset asc is 30 lol im a noob

OnslaughtLevel
Hours Saved (net)
660.75
671.72
682.80
694.06
705.50
717.07
728.89
7310.86
7413.03
7515.42
7617.97
7720.80
7823.81
7927.05
8030.39
8133.84
8237.39
8341.04
8444.79
8548.64
8652.59
8756.65
8860.81
8965.07
9069.43
9173.89
9278.46
9383.12
9487.89
9592.76
9697.73
97102.81
98107.98
99113.26
100118.63
101124.11
102129.70
103135.38
104141.16
105147.05
106153.04
107159.13
108165.32
109171.62
110178.01
111184.51
112191.11
113197.81
114204.61
115211.51
116218.52
117225.63
118232.83
119240.14

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@pRefa quote:

Hi all! I'm starting this thread because i'm having quite a bit of trouble understanding how progression works in this game.

Me and my gf have been playing a lot lately and managed to down chaos VI (barely). Our path was pretty clear up to this point:

Do floors > get better gear > tackle the chaos trials.

It was that simple... however now we are stuck at floor 39 (which btw with all the crashes and lag issues is annoying as hell) with pretty much no hopes on clearing it soon because for the past 11 floors we were getting the exact same ipwr on all our loot drops (around 3k to 3.6k).

All of our characters are at 3.6-3.8k ipwr and 112-122 ascension which makes every single loot drop on this levels of onslaught pretty much useless. Not even legendaries are better. The floors feel almost impossible to do with mobs that take down our blockades easily, cyborks that shut down my best defense (ev2 wm and proton nodes), and pretty limited resources on every map which leads me to believe that my defenses should be a lot more powerful in order to tackle this challenges properly.

Up until now every single onslaught floor was giving us better gear every time we moved on to the next but now that is not happening. Am I supposed to farm chaos VI instead of onslaught?

I appreciate your help.

Looked into your account specifically, as any kind of loot progression error would be very problematic for players in general. Based on where your gear is, you have reached the cap for highest gear dropping on Floor 39. You won't actually see better gear until Floor 41 (based on where your current highest seen Gear Score is).

You do have an item that is above the gear score cap for that floor, but it's only that one item (presumably) on both your and your girlfriend's characters. Because of this one item, it's skewing your Hero/Champion score (an average of your gear equipped), and makes it seem like you're seeing worse items than what you would anticipate. This may be why you're confused. While drops are tuned to your highest dropped/seen Gear Score now, there are caps set throughout progression (which is what you're running into on Floor 39). This is to prevent anyone just doing Chaos Trials 1 difficulty and farming up Chaos Trials 7 gear. 

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@BeerGoggles quote:

I reset to 27 :) Depending on which reset you're on this is how many hours you'll save per onslaught floor completed (assuming each floor takes 1 hour on avg). (somewhere around 114 you'll bottom out)



As much as i will like to not argue that statement, ill do my best by simply saying that that table would hold true based of how you play the game and how much time you invest in it. 

Someone once told me push to floor 114, you get 174 or so asc upon reset and can go up to reset again within a week. 

He said that at my reset level would take me about 2 weeks per reset. 

I just went from ap3 to ap4 in aprox 30-35 hours in 4 days. 

I dont think you save that much time as your table says.

And i feel we hijack the op, so im leaving this topic alone.

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The table is considering an infinite number of resets. They take less time because progressing through onslaught and to max c7 gear increases each time. The first reset should take you about 12 hours of grinding c7 to get to where you can push onslaught, (total time ~25 hours /reset). You can reduce that 12 hours segment only. to a fixed amount. I was using my numbers. So if you complete c7 maps in more than 8.25 minutes then you'll save more time by pushing onslaught. But if you complete onslaught maps in more than 1 hour then your costs will be higher too. so YMMV

I can give you the data for how much exp is required  per ascension if you'd like to calculate it yourself with your own data. 





@chickendude33 quote:


@BeerGoggles quote:

I reset to 27 :) Depending on which reset you're on this is how many hours you'll save per onslaught floor completed (assuming each floor takes 1 hour on avg). (somewhere around 114 you'll bottom out)



As much as i will like to not argue that statement, ill do my best by simply saying that that table would hold true based of how you play the game and how much time you invest in it. 

Someone once told me push to floor 114, you get 174 or so asc upon reset and can go up to reset again within a week. 

He said that at my reset level would take me about 2 weeks per reset. 

I just went from ap3 to ap4 in aprox 30-35 hours in 4 days. 

I dont think you save that much time as your table says.

And i feel we hijack the op, so im leaving this topic alone.


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my starting acension is 207. I never have to worry about acension to reset. I speed run from c1 to floor 65 in about 12 hours and have around 270 acension at that point. 

Put a lot of time into playing a few weeks ago and was able to do 5 prestiges in a week. 

Getting your starting acension to the point where you no longer need to worry about acension grinding makes the AP treadmill alot better.

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Ya, I'm finally doing it at ap 14. spent at least 200 hours in c7. Pretty rough. It's still more efficient to hit 114+ even though I'm gettin around 11mil per c7 map

@Nigiri_Toro quote:

my starting acension is 207. I never have to worry about acension to reset. I speed run from c1 to floor 65 in about 12 hours and have around 270 acension at that point. 

Put a lot of time into playing a few weeks ago and was able to do 5 prestiges in a week. 

Getting your starting acension to the point where you no longer need to worry about acension grinding makes the AP treadmill alot better.


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