Skyforge Beginner’s Tips
Skyforge Beginner’s Tips by yokaiichi
This guide contains some important dos and don’ts for your first month in Skyforge, based on lessons learned the hard way about counter-intuitive aspects of the game. This guide will cover the following points:
- Why you should NOT blindly chase after higher Prestige, and in fact should strive for keeping your Prestige as low as possible!
- Why you should NOT use credits to accelerate your adept missions in the Order system, and why you should not really train your orders system much at all at first (with rules of thumb for when to focus on the Order system to best effect)
- Why you should NOT disassemble your orange founders/collectors weapons
- Why you should NOT spread yourself too thin at first by equally playing every class you’ve unlocked (Berserker/Gunner/Knight/Alchemist)
- Why you should NEVER play any class until you’ve unlocked the “class sparks” portion of its class atlas while playing a different class.
- Why you should prioritize Strength/Valor/Luck/Accuracy/Stamina above all other stats and should avoid Might as much as possible!
- Why you should equip only BLUE/PURPLE/Founders/Collectors gear, and probably of a much lower prestige than you’re actually capable of wearing!
- Why you should focus on unlocking the three first “ether core” (Sun/Ket/Coph) nodes in the upper atlas before worrying about unlocking new classes
- Why you should focus on playing in regions as much as, if not more than, in instances when you’re in the 3000-9000 prestige range.
- Why you should often choose the lowest difficulty option for many instances!
- And finally, some easy rules of thumb for picking the right difficulty for solo, duo, and trio runs in Solo/Squad instances
Have I piqued your interest? Do you suspect I’m full of crap? If you answer “yes” to either of those, then read on and profit. First, the information in this guide is based on cumulative observations by many players and members of this community. These ideas are not all mine. FWIW, I’m that Yokai who has written guides and even entire wikis for other games (such as this one for The Secret World, which was a notoriously hard MMO that had players rage quitting by the third zone of the game). Point being, I’ve played nearly every game in the MMO and MMO-like genres since the inception of the genre, and I’m generally very strong at reverse-engineering design patterns and underlying mechanics and writing useful guides. For example, (as Red Monika) I was part of the team that reverse-engineered the Taper System of magic in Asheron’s Call, which was a nasty system based on three different modulo-12 algorithms. I also wrote the documentation and first spreadsheet tool for players to implement what we learned. We saved all the AC players a metric crap-ton of time and money learning their magic spells. Okay, enough credentials. On with the guide for this generally superb new entry in the genre.
1. Why you should NOT blindly chase after higher Prestige, and in fact should strive for keeping your Prestige as low as possible!
Skyforge’s system of using an infinitely-growing Prestige value instead of hard-capped player levels is very similar to the game Runescape, where your “combat level” is the product of various different skill levels. In Skyforge as in Runescape, your Prestige goes up with pretty much every major stat you increase (through gear, atlas nodes, ether core upgrades, and the Order system), but NOT all stats are equal in terms of increasing your effective “power” at fighting well and clearing tough encounters, bosses, or entire instances well and easily.
I will expand on details in subsequent sections below, but the main point to burn into your brain now is that not every stat is equal!
2. Why you should NOT use credits to accelerate your adept missions in the Order system, and why you should not really train your orders system much at all at first (with rules of thumb for when to focus on the Order system to best effect)
This follows from #1 above, and is the primary cause for players hitting a brick wall in difficulty as they approach 4000 prestige, and they feel it hard by about 6000 prestige. You suddenly find that most of your Solo/Squad instances are “impossible” by default, and they really feel impossible. Even if you’re grouped with a partner or a 3-person trio. And the players who fall prey to this trap and try out any of the 5-person Group instances as soon as they open tend to rage-quit like crazy and qq about the “terrible scaling” of the game, and these are the people who qq about the lack of dedicated healers.
What’s going on here is not “terrible scaling” or “lack of dedicated healers”. Instead, you have simply advanced your Prestige by adding only some of the weakest major stats you can pick up! So the game is giving you content that you simply aren’t strong enough for.
First, let’s understand that in Skyforge (like in many MMOs such as Guild Wars 2, FFXIV, and The Secret World), your best defense is a strong offense. To put it another way, you have “dps checks” everywhere in this game. Not just for boss encounters, but also for what other games would call “trash mob” encounters. If you cannot put out the DPS fast enough, then it doesn’t matter how much Stamina/Health you have, and it does not matter how many sheilds you can put up. The incoming damage even from three-diamond trash weenies will eat your lunch fast. The best mitigation is therefore to burn down the enemies as quickly as possible. Being able to burst down half of a 6-mob 3-diamond weenie pack in an alpha strike (or all 6 of them) is FAR more effective than having a ton of health and shields! Being able to take out just one 1-sword dps monster in a 3-pack trash mob of two swords and a shield is FAR more effective than having a ton of health and shields.
DPS is everything.
And DPS does NOT come frrom you ranking up your provinces and temples in the order system!
When you rank up a temple, gain new provinces, and then rank up the temples in those new provinces, you gain ONLY:
- and “Health bonus percentage”
Neither Stamina or health bonus contributes to your DPS. And Might contributes VERY poorly. The ratio of Might:DPS is roughly 10:1. By contrast, the ratio of Strength:DPS is roughly 5:1. (See here).
So by spending credits to instantly accelerate your adept missions, so that you can quickly gain a LOT of prestige through the Order system, you are effectivelygimping yourself. Such gimpage is temporary, but painful. You’ll feel the gimpage start kicking in around 4000 prestige, and you’ll really feel it through the 6000-9000 prestige range.
So don’t do it. Don’t accelerate your missions. Just do the missions according to their normal timetable while you play. Don’t try to “game” the Order system by throwing lots of credits at it. By using the game-designed rate of advancement (i.e., no instant mission completion, but time-gated to be pretty slow overall), you’ll be raising your prestige through those less-important non-DPS stats much more slowly relative to the other ways you are raising your prestige through atlas nodes and gear choices. And you can largely tailor both of these other avenues of Prestige progression to give you a larger balance of DPS-oriented stats per every point of prestige gained.
Alternatively, you can simply not level your Order system at all until/unless you find instances at your current Prestige level are far too “easy”. If/when this happens, dump some credits into the Order system to gain 300 points of prestige, then check the instance difficulty again. In other words, use credit-accelerated missions in the Order system to tailor your overall perception of “difficulty” to your personal liking.
3. Why you should NOT disassemble your orange founders/collectors weapons
Oh how I wish someone had explained this well before I disassembled my Berserker and Knight weapons. (Insert much QQ here.)
As you’ll see detailed further below, these orange and purple founders/collectors weapons become your best friend at higher prestige levels. Like as you pass 30,000 prestige. For a while they might seem weaker than “better” greens and blues you’re picking up, but that’s temporary. Just buy some cheap extra bag slots and hang onto these orange/purple weapons for later.
Why? Because some of the special stats/attributes on these weapons are uber, and they’re based on true DPS stats like Strength/Spirit/Accuracy/Valor, etc. The effect of these bonuses on your total DPS far outweigh the bonus of weapons with hundreds of Might on them.
Sure, if you find at any point that you seem to be doing better with newer green/blue weapons, use them for a while. But keep testing those original founders/collectors weapons as you approach 20K and 30K prestige.
4. Why you should NOT spread yourself too thin at first by equally playing every class you’ve unlocked (Berserker/Gunner/Knight/Alchemist)
As pointed out in #2 above, your DPS is everything. And a lot of every class’s true DPS potential comes from those talents and skills and stat nodes that are unlocked very late in the class atlas. Also, when you fully unlock every central talent/skill node in the class atlas, you gain that class’s “Symbol”, which in some cases is incredibly powerful. The Paladin symbol, for example, looks underwhelming at first. Only mitigates your damage every 70 seconds? Pffft. But then you learn that 70-second cooldown resets at the end of every fight, and is ready to pop again instantly at the start of every new fight, and suddenly you get a strong urge to fully grind up a Paladin.
So the lesson here is to not spread yourself too thin dabbling in every class you’ve unlocked so far, because that keeps you from having one “main” class that has full DPS potential and can help you get through instances more easily.
“But I get bored playing only one class!” Yes, many of us do need variety to enjoy the game and keep it from turning into a boring job. So the best middle-ground approach is simply to pick only one or two “main” classes for use when you do instances, which are the hardest content. And especially don’t go into instances with other players by using some newer class that you haven’t leveled very far yet, because you’re just making it harder on everyone else that way too!
Pick a single main, or at most two (for different roles, such as tanking or DPS) and do your instances only with those until their class atlases are fully maxed out.
“But when will I ever get to level other classes if I do this?” Two ways:
- First, play your lower classes when you are farming regions.
- Second, pony up for a premium account. Why? Because when you play a maxed out class and you’re a premium player, then instead of earning class sparks (you can’t any more, because there’s nothing to spend them on), you instead earn gold sparks. And gold sparks can be spent in ANY class tree. So you can keep main-ing your maxed out Berserker in instances, helping the group burn down content as efficiently as possible, and all the while you are earning these neutral gold sparks that you are dumping into some other class that isn’t maxed out yet. See how this works?
Premium is worth every penny for this aspect alone. If you’re not premium, you have to actually play some other class to earn sparks for it, and that means: A) you can’t play your best strongest class or you stop earning any class sparks of any type, and B) you are gimping your group mates by bringing a lower-DPS body to the fight.
5. Why you should NEVER play any class until you’ve unlocked the “class sparks” portion of its class atlas while playing a different class.
This is similar to, but slightly different, than the point made in #3 above. Here the issue revolves around the best use of colored sparks (red/green/blue). When you hit that point in each class atlas where you now need class-specific sparks (or neutral gold sparks) to purchase new atlas nodes, you keep earning colored sparks too! This enables you to play one character and dump the class sparks it’s earning into the class itself, while you can spend the colored sparks you earn at the same time on a different class’s early “colored” part of its class atlas. (Or spend those colored sparks in the upper atlas.)
If you instead switch to a new class and start playing it directly after you’ve first unlocked it, you are earning only colored sparks. You have just cut your progression speed in half.
So the rule of thumb here is never start playing a new class until you’ve already earned enough colored sparks playing some other class to push that new class past the “colored” portion of that new class’s atlas.
6. Why you should prioritize Strength/Valor/Luck/Accuracy/Stamina above all other stats and should avoid Might as much as possible!
This goes back to points #1, #2, and #3. Might is terribad. Might is arguably theworst major stat in the game because it scales your DPS at a very slow rate compared to the prestige it earns you. Things around you get harder, but you don’t get more powerful at the same rate those things are getting harder!
It’s rumored that in the next major NA/EU patch, the devs plan to improve the scaling of Might. In which case this rule #6 and the impact of #1, 2, and 3 above are lessened and might become obsolete. However, for now this rule holds true: you should avoid gaining Might as much as possible.
Instead, you should focus on gaining as much of the following stats as possible. In priority order:
- Stamina/Health Bonus
- Spirit (priority might be higher for some classes; not all. If you know for certain that Impulse is a significant component of your total DPS, then prioritize this attribute at #4 above Proficiency.)
How do you do this? By three methods:
- Always equip BLUE gear (or green if not enough blue) that grants ONLY these stats. You should TOTALLY IGNORE the might value of all your gear. TOTALLY. IGNORE. For example, if you have a blue ring of Prestige +30 with Strength/Luck, +Crit chance, and +Accuracy and you are staring at a blue ring with Prestige +200 that has Valor/Spirit with +Dash Activation and +Health bonus, you should use the Prestige +30 ring, because it’s granting you FAR more DPS power proportional to the amount of Prestige it adds.
Wrap your head around this thoroughly. It’s super important to your real power and super important for managing your apparent difficulty, especially for Solo/Squad and Group instances.
The rule of thumb here is simple and universal: ALWAYS choose the gear with the lowest Might/Prestige that gives you as many of the above-listed attributes as possible.
- The second method is to avoid atlas nodes that give you only Might as much as possible. You are forced to pick up many of these to get to the other juicy nodes with stats you really want (or to unlock classes, ether core nodes, talent nodes, etc.), but avoid the Might nodes that you can.
- The third method is already covered in point #2 above: don’t power-level your Orders system. In fact, you might want to just not deal with the Orders system at all unless/until you start feeling like all the instances at the default difficulty levels are just “too easy” for you.
Edit: Based on the comments below that aren’t wrapping their head around this point and keep saying “but Might increases your damage so how can it be bad?”, let me summarize my essential points here to all such comments:
- Some might is good and necessary.
- You cannot avoid all might; much will be unavoidably gained as you play the game.
- You should level your Order and run Adept missions, but you should NOT accelerate the missions. The might that you gain by the normal time-gated Order progression is “just the right amount”.
- The amount of might that you unavoidably earn through atlas nodes or juicy weapons with great bonus properties is “just the right amount”.
- It’s earning an imbalanced amount of might relative to your other important DPS stats that is the problem at prestige levels below 10,000, especially in the range of 4000-6000 prestige.
- The two biggest culprits for imbalanced might gain is accelerating your Order missions with credits, and automatically equipping the highest might weapon as possible.
- You should generally pick your weapon based on the best bonus stats available to you with the lowest might possible. There are some exceptions to this rule where during certain spots in your prestige growth you mightfind that a higher-might weapon serves you better! You should always experiment with a higher-might weapon (even if it has fewer bonuses) periodically to see if it seems to be improving things relative to the lower-might (but better bonuses) weapon.
- However, you should generally avoid accelerating your Order missions until you crest ~9000 prestige AND you have at least one “main” class that is (almost) fully developed and as strong as possible, talent, ability, and symbol-wise. After that, though, feel free to pump your Order temples for more Might and Stam/HP%, because you’re “over the hump” that this guide is specifically warning against. Even so, you might not want to go crazy on pumping your Order temples: if the relative difficulty of the game seems to be getting too much, then put on the brakes, because again, the imbalanced scaling of too much Might might be the culprit for the sudden jump in perceived difficulty. Or you simply might have a weaker class build, a weaker skill at playing the class, or (if the problem arises in group/squad play) simply have some teammates who are too weak for one reason or another. This game is big on the DPS checks at every level.
7. Why you should equip only BLUE/PURPLE/Founders/Collectors gear, and probably of a much lower prestige than you’re actually capable of wearing!
I already touched on the meat of this in #6 above. But the main point here is that those extra stats at the bottom of blue/green/purple gear (such as +crit chance or +accuracy) are very important to raising your DPS relative to the prestige gain of that gear item.
Just remember this rule of thumb: “lowest Might possible with the highest number of juicy, high-priority stats”. Might is your enemy. Might is misleading. Might inflates your prestige too fast without also inflating your DPS power.
8. Why you should focus on unlocking the three first “ether core” (Sun/Ket/Coph) nodes in the upper atlas before worrying about unlocking new classes
The key here is that some ether cores provide bonuses to the really juicy stats like Strength, Luck, Valor, etc. So unlocking those three nodes in the upper atlas early on helps you to instantly apply the good ether core drops that pump these stats, and the prestige bump from each such upgrade is very small.
However, be careful NOT to upgrade with ether cores that provide Might! Or, arguably, Spirit or Stamina. Just keep such cores in your bag. Bag slots are cheap. Save those cores for much later when they won’t hurt you, or might even help you.
9. Why you should focus on playing in regions as much as, if not more than, in instances when you’re in the 3000-9000 prestige range.
Here the problem centers around your effective difficulty in solo/squad or group instances versus the listed difficulty in the mission selection screen. When the selection screen says “Normal” or “Easy” or “Hard” or “Impossible”, etc., that subjective indicator presumes you have made balanced choices in how you’ve upgraded your stats per the various points above in this guide.
If you have made the mistake of pumping tons of credits into your Orders system, thereby seriously unbalancing your progression for much lower DPS than a balanced progression would yield, all those listed indicators seem seriously out of whack. In such cases, a “Normal” mission that should take you 18 minutes can take you nearly an hour, and multiple deaths, to slog through!
Where you’re most likely to feel a “difficulty bump” is in the 3000-9000 prestige range, because in this range none of your classes are “maxed out” yet. You’ll feel this difficulty even if you’ve followed the above guidelines and strongly prioritized your progression towards DPS stats and have avoided the Order system, etc. And you’ll feel it 10 times worse if you didn’t observe the above guidelines.
After 9000 prestige, you’re nearly certain to have fully purchased the entire class atlas for at least 1 or 2 “main” characters for instance running, and you’ve probably learned how to play them well, and you’ve probably wised up to the above points and started really prioritizing DPS stats over raw Might and Stamina, etc. So by this point you will struggle much less with “too hard” instances as long as you’re using your fully-developed mains.
10. Why you should often choose the lowest difficulty option for many instances!
This ties in to #9 above. Especially during the 3000-9000 Prestige range where you feel the “difficulty bump” the hardest, you’ll find many new instances open up to you at “Impossible” difficulty. And they are made even more impossible by your lack of a fully-developed “main” for instance running, and perhaps even yet more impossible by your unbalanced choice of stat progression so far.
So there’s no shame in picking the next difficulty down from the default. In fact, if this situation is hitting you really hard, there’s no shame in just grinding regions alone for a while, until your overall DPS-based “power” level catches up with your Prestige.
11. Some easy rules of thumb for picking the right difficulty for solo, duo, and trio runs in Solo/Squad instances
Solo: Never try anything at more than “Hard” difficultly. If the default is “Impossible” and the next lower difficulty is “Very Easy”, that sucks but there’s nothing you can do about it: the smart money is on spending your time in the “Very Easy” mode. The one exception here is if the downward bump causes the mission reward to _entirely dissappear! How do you know this has happened? If the number in front of the symbol disappears entirely, that means “0” reward.
This “zero reward” happens nearly every time when the default difficulty is “Normal”. Bumping down from “Normal” will almost always result in 0 reward. Bumping down from “Hard” or higher will always result in a simply reducedreward.
Duo: Never try anything more difficult than “Impossible-Hard”, where the person with lower prestige sees “Impossible”, and the person with higher prestige sees “Hard”. If the instance is Impossible-Impossible, bump it down and see if that falls into Impossible-Hard range or lower. Also if one person is playing a tank class, then the tank must be the one who sees “Hard”. If it’s “Impossible” for the tank, they won’t be able to stand up to the onslaught no matter how good their DPS/support partner is.
Trio: Never try anything more difficult than Impossible-Hard-Hard, again with a “Hard” rule for the tank in the group.
More Tips by samoox
Okay so here’s the thing about the talents and also with unlocking classes. First off, unlocking classes is not a dumb idea as long as you have a plan in mind of which classes you want to prioritize. Second, the reason this is the case is because when you fully complete a class (Which means hitting all the big nodes, avoid any small nodes if at all possible) you will get two things.
You will get that class’s symbol which you can see in the symbol page. And you will get two symbol slots.
I have been told that you can get a max of 20 symbol slots but I am not sure if that cap even exists because some people say you can go higher than 30. In any case it is actually your goal in the long run to max out every single class.
Now if you want to decide which classes to aim for first I can help out with that in detail if you tell me which class you want to play. But I will give you a general overview.
If you are playing any DPS character then you’re in for a wild ride because a majority of class symbols are DPS related so you’re going to be maxing out a lot of classes. Some examples of class symbols for DPS are the Alchemist, Kinetic, and Archer symbols.
For tanks I’d say there aren’t a whole lot of class symbols you want. So there’s a big focus on the other symbols that you unlock in the upper atlas. Basically just grab anything that reduces your damage taken or gives you shields in any way. Anything that can block damage is your friend. I believe there are probably one or two class symbols as well that go with this theme.
As far as support goes I’m not going to lie there are not a whole lot of good symbols. Like both in terms of class and upper atlas symbols the support barely has anything going for it. Definitely get anything that improves crit or impulse because supports run a LuckSpirit build. And it’s definitely a good idea to hit some of those tanking symbols because you don’t want to be randomly killed by some AoE. The only support symbol that I’ve heard is incredibly important is the one that reduces the cooldown of consumables because apparently in the late game it’s important for light binders to be able to resurrect people using the rez item.
Also, two symbols that are absolutely of the highest importance to have on every single class regardless of their type are the Lightbinder symbol and the Paladin symbol. You will have a terrible time raiding in the late game if you don’t have both of these symbols. If you need to prioritize one over the other, pick the paladin symbol.
So this is basically an in depth answer to your question, if you want any more detail just ask me anything. But also you really need to keep in mind this last bit of information, its REALLY IMPORTANT. DO NOT ONLY SPEND SPARKS ON THE CLASS ATLAS. If you spend all of your colored sparks on leveling up the classes, you’re going to run into some trouble. The reason is because the upper atlas is where you get your “Proficiency” stat and also your “Greatness” stat. If your proficiency is too low you won’t be able to wear better gear which means you’ll have a harder time progressing. Same thing with greatness. I am aware that Yokai says to not put too much into your order, which is a smart idea. But it’s also important to not put too little. Your order gives you a lot of health. Like A LOT. Don’t take that lightly. You should make sure to hit some greatness nodes every once in a while to allow yourself to keep improving your temples. I have a general rule of thumb for this one.
Upgrade all of your temples until it won’t let you because your greatness is getting in the way. Hit just enough greatness nodes that you can upgrade again. Once you manage to get enough holy texts, upgrade your temples again. Once greatness starts being an issue again just go hit some more greatness nodes. There’s no need to rush if you simply go about it like this.
Anywho I’m sorry about the wall of text. I hope this helped!