For those who want to have 1k XP per minute as their baseline.
XP Farming Guide
This guide will help you to get the Legend rank faster. The resulting XP gain will be higher than 1k XP per minute.
This part describes the main points of the whole method.
1. Latejoin is the king
- Sort mission by time in the Server List.
- Join the closest one to the end.
- Press Esc as you drill down.
- Check the mission progress and dwarfs' state.
- Decide whether to stay or disconnect.
2. Do promotions solo on Hazard 1 with primary objective only
It's very rare that you can do a mission faster than with an EPC Driller on Hazard 1.
3. In lobbies, always do the secondary objective if not told otherwise
4. Be lazy in terms of resources
The economics of the game is very lax: you're basically swimming in resources after several hours. So don't waste several minutes on mining and depositing the gold that nobody else would see.
5. Don't communicate more than absolutely necessary. Be polite so you don't get kicked
Classes and Loadouts
Here I provide the key points in loadouts and explain them.
The points that apply to all classes:
- You will play mostly hazard 4 because the community doesn't play hazard 5 enough.
- Choose firepower over endurance because you join at the end.
- Use Heightened Senses perk to be self-sufficient.
- Flamethrower 11132 Lighter Tanks.
- EPC 22112 Heat Pipe.
You will be often far from others, so Cryo is not a good choice.
Driller with EPC Thin Containment Field is the easiest class to level up.
EPC makes you a better miner than Scout in many situations.
- Shotgun 22211 Special Powder.
A balance between ammo and firepower.
Special Powder to mine anything safely and escape any situation.
Blowthrough Rounds because you will mostly deal with the waves of common grunts.
Auto Reload to free a perk slot.
Gunner is very flexible. I had three loadouts: common, AOE, and Elimination.
- Common: Minigun 32122 Thinned Walls, BRT 22221 Composite Casings.
- AOE: Autocannon 23122 Carpet Bomber, Revolver 22321 Six Shooter.
- Elimination: same as Common but without Beast Master.
Use Common for haz 5, AOE for anything but dreadnoughts.
Two loadouts: the standard and the same without Beast Master for Eliminations.
- Shotgun 12221 Light-Weight.
- Breach Cutter 11213 Return To Sender.
- Turret 2211.
- Proximity mine.
Mission Types and x2 XP Case
We look only at hazards three to five because the XP/time ratio on the lower ones is too unpredictable.
The key is to know how fast the missions are done and up to what point it's possible to join them.
Below are the desired mission types and their usual timeframes in minutes (L means Length):
- Point Extraction. L2: 15, L3: 20.
- Egg hunt. L1: 11, L2: 15.
- Elimination: L2: 14, L3: 22.
- Salvage Operation: can join up to the refueling start.
In general, you want to look for Point Extraction before anything else, then Egg hunt, and so on.
Point Extraction is a time race. Even though the XP yield is not big, you will be above 1k XP/min. However, if the mission time is 25+ minutes and not close to completion, that's a lost cause.
Warning: Elimination became less predictable in Update 33 and thus less desired. If the fights are not consistent on haz 4 with Silver teammates, please tell me.
Egg hunt is the second guaranteed case due to its shortness on Length 1 and 2.
Warning: The XP gain of Egg hunt was nerfed in Update 33, so please re-test the XP/min ratio.
Salvage Operation has reasonable XP gain when the defense starts in a couple of minutes after your join. However, it should be started sooner on the hazards 3/4 to remain on level of 1k XP/min.
The edge case is the Korlok Weed: that's almost always a disconnect because Korlok takes a lot of time in public lobbies of Silver and below.
Regarding the other mission types, they are listed in the order of benefit:
- Egg hunt L3: 25.
- Mining mission: L1: 18, L2: 28, L3: 40.
- On-site refining.
- Escort duty.
Egg hunt L3 takes much longer due to three swarms and big caves.
Mining mission is a lottery: join and see if they're close on the objectives.
On-site refining can be joined only before the refining starts, and refining takes a lot of time.
Warning: Escort duty XP gain was buffed in Update 33, so check it yourself. Previously, it was reasonable to join only if the Hearthstone was about to start.
There is only one hard rule about secondaries: if Gunk Seeds are low and not ready to be deposited, that's a disconnect.
Also, if you're joining as a Scout, any objective aside from Gunk Seeds can be done fast.
The rule of thumb is to consider the secondary only after primary and worry about it only if it's really low or hard.
For Point Extraction, you want either latejoin haz 5 or host it yourself on haz 5 if no such lobbies available.
The same was true for Egg hunt of length 1/2 and Elimination, but with the Update 33, it needs to be tested.
If hosting, set the server name to require Gold or higher promotion because there will be skillful players to join. Tone it down to Silver if no one joins within a minute.
If you can skip Omen and Korlok, do it: they're risky and thus not XP-efficient.
The point of it all is to do three runs of the mission until it disappears, and then do latejoins of it if they're still available.
For the following mission types, do only latejoins because they're only a bit above 1k XP/min if done from the start even with double XP:
- Egg hunt L3.
- Mining mission.
- Salvage Operation.
- On-site refining.
- Escort duty.
The timings to join are more lax due to the doubled XP gain.
I used Autohotkey scripts for repetitive actions and the LiveSplit timer to see how much time I spent on the mission.
In Autohotkey, I used the following:
- The key to disconnect. You will be doing this quite often.
- The phrase "Dear Host, do we finish after we're done with the objectives, or is there an event on this map?"
- The phrase "finish?"
- The phrase "I'm ready to start."
In terms of the timer, you want to compare the number of minutes you spent on the map compared to the thousands of XP you got. If minutes on the timer are bigger than XP, you chose the wrong lobby.
The most important thing when farming XP is your mental state.
As you will meet many players, I suggest the following:
Disable voice communication
- One toxic person can ruin your mood for the whole day.
- You don't need voice to finish the missions fast: you will just exhaust yourself faster if you use it.
Stay calm no matter what
- With so many lobbies and situations, you will definitely meet some bad cases.
- For example, being kicked without a reason or failing the mission due to a mistake.
- Simply make a mental note of how to do differently next time and move on.
To keep the latejoins going, we need lobbies.
To have enough lobbies, we need players willing to create them.
If we push the button without asking the host, they would create fewer open lobbies.
Therefore, please ask the host before pushing the button: keep the playerbase happy and willing to create open lobbies.