With the changes on 1.1 and 1.2 coming, gear progression will be more important than never. For those players asking about the best ways to improve their gear and reach the so desired 200GS+, here is a compilation of tips to best achieve the "actual" end-game.
The progression will be updated with both suggestions (all are welcome) and in-game changes. Soon the target will be 240GS and more.
For now, we won't be covering anything related to reaching rank 30. This guide will cover what to do once the player reaches level 30 AND finishes the regular game content. Please consider that gear score is only a superficial way to judge the player's level and you should be looking for proper, best in slot gear above anything.
GEAR SCORE - 147 or LOWER
Once you complete the regular game content you should be somewhere near 130 gear score (if the gear score calculations were correct). Because of how items level 29- are ignored in the GS calculations, you will be much lower than that. But your first goal should be to be able to farm Dark Zone levels 1 and 2, no matter what level or color your items are. You don't need a specific gear score, getting proper gear (improving DPS and Survivability) is what you need.
- PvE - Farming missions on Hard Mode (General Assembly, Lincoln Tunnel)
- PvE - Replay missions on Normal Mode (only if you can't handle HM yet).
GEAR SCORE - 147 to 163
Most of the drops in the Dark Zone are level 30 and thus gear score 163. This means the DZ is a very efficient way of improving your gear score up to level 163.
The first two zones of DZ are very efficient in terms of loot and experience.
In case you get tired of Dark Zone, you should practice advanced gameplay on Hard (later Challenge) Missions to be able to farm them quickly.
- Dark Zone - DZ01 and DZ farming
- PvE - Farming missions in Hard Mode. Lexington Event Center, Lincoln Tunnel.
GEAR SCORE - 163 to 182
Your target now should be farming Phoenix Credits, something you will be doing for a while. Forget about dailies and DZ and go for Challenge Mode missions for the best possible PxC income. Lexington for instance can be farmed in under 10 minutes, with 30 PxC per run. That means over 150 PxC as a steady income per hour.
Those PxC will be used in the Base of Operations Special Vendor to buy weapons, gear and blueprints for 182, 204 and later 214 (set) items.
- PvE - Farming missions in Challenge Mode. Lexington Event Center, Lincoln Tunnel.
- GEAR SCORE - 182 to 204
Your next bet should be completing and later farming the Incursion in Hard Mode. It's quite challenging but at some point your group will be able to do runs in 25-30 minutes, making it an efficient way to get 214 (once per week) and 191 items.
You'll also need to keep your PxC income up for the the two 214s gear set items (Mask, Pads), the occasional 204 item in BoO as well as your DZ experience for the 204 DZ blueprints (ranks 75+).
Note: Gear set items can also drop from DZ. The drop rates are quite low right now so it's not considered an efficient way of improving gear, but you might get lucky.
- PvE - Falcon Lost on Hard Mode
- PvP - Dark Zone Vendors - DZ03 for weapons, DZ02 for gear, DZ06 for the Nomad Gear Set.
GEAR SCORE - 204 and over
At this point only beating Falcon Lost on Challenge Mode will result in a significant improvement on your gear.
But the good news is that by now you'll be properly geared for pretty much anything in this game as long as you followed some build suggestions and BiS directions (not covered here). Just enjoy the game and get ready for 1.2.
- PvE - Falcon Lost on Challenge Mode
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Credits: Special thanks to biggoatbr for the tips.