Or, cutting down the entire early game learning curve.
Gearscore Explanatory Guide
This is just a quick guide to clarify a few things that are pretty poorly explained that make the game much simpler to understand once you have a grasp of them, as well as some thoughts on putting everything together.
Fair warning: though I’ve spent some time doing a little research on these basics, I’ve only played the free version for about an hour or so as of writing so if the basics go off in a different direction at higher level that’s something you’ll have to discover for yourself.
Gearscore vs Item Tier
Gearscore is an item’s base level that influences its stats, and those stats can increase rapidly as gearscore gets higher. Gearscore is probably the most important thing to know about your items at a glance, which is unfortunate because the game does a really poor job of communicating it.
The numbers directly next to each piece of equipment is it’s gearscore. You can also see it on the item tooltips as highlighted here:
An item’s tier is a little more clearly explained and can also be clearly seen at a glance in the screenshot above, denoted by the flag on the icon with a roman numeral (though it’s ironically missing in the item tooltip!).
Put simply: an item’s power is most influenced by gearscore first, and then modified marginally by item tier second. You can think of it as though the item level is something like 2.I or 3.IV or 6.VI, etc. Enemy power increases in a manner similar to gearscore versus item tier as ring # increases as well.
Gearscore correlates to loot dropped by ring. So the first ring you start in, 1, drops gearscore 1 items, the next ring (2) drops gearscore 2 items and so on.
With this in mind, you can sort of simplify your goal in progressing: to inch your equipment’s item tier higher until you can safely defeat enemies in the next ring in order to begin collecting that ring’s gearscore in loot. Once you get a few items from the new ring, getting more items from that ring should get easier and then let you once again begin the process of increasing your items’ tiers for that ring/gearscore.
Also keep in mind that disassembling gear of a higher gearscore increases the base crafted gear to that gearscore for everything in that equipment category (ie one-handed weapons, accessories, gloves, etc.), which makes those first pieces you get from each ring that much more important.
Item Tier Nuances
The game’s explanations for disassembling and item crafting with regards to item tier and gear score seem especially convoluted so let’s try to straighten that out:
- Basic crafting ingredients also have tiers! When crafting an item you can use materials of a particular tier to make an item of that tier (so say 2 tier II iron and 1 tier II wood let you directly craft a tier II sword).
- Despite each tier taking up different inventory slots, crafting ingredient tiers seem to transcend gearscore, so for example you can use tier II iron/wood/etc. gathered from ring 1 to craft a gearscore 3 tier II item.
- Despite what the game’s help messages seem to imply, disassembling a tier II item does not give you a recipe to craft a tier II item, it simply gives you the base recipe (plus tier II ingredients). So, to get a disassembled tier II item back you would need to recraft it using tier II materials. This is instead referring to gearscore.
As item tiers increase you gain access to additional item perks, which incrementally boost the item’s stats (generally to a degree that’s much less than a change in gearscore).
And of course, you can combine identical items of the same tier to create a copy of the next highest tier.