As soon as you unlock PvE Co-op events and PvP matches in Darkness Rises, you’re bound to notice some of the extraordinary gear other players are wearing – first, because it looks awesome, and second, because these players have exponentially more character power than you do. You quickly turn to your own character gear screen and you ponder. How do you take this motley equipment of yours and turn it into 500,000+ power?
Below are a few key things to consider while you devise your master plan.
The Basics of Gear in Darkness Rises
When it comes to this dark fantasy RPG, gear is your main tool to climb the character power ladder. If, 10 minutes in, you might be thinking that 100,000 power is a lot, you’ll soon be shocked to discover that the current most powerful character sits at a handsome 16,000,000+. This is not to say that such an extravagant number should be your target, but you will require a decent amount (say, upwards of a few million) to participate in most activities. You’ll mostly rely on gear to take you there.
In Darkness Rises, gear is first and foremost classified by quality, which is ranked from N to D, C, B, A, and S. Provided that you’re an F2P player, a few days into the game, your gear will look something like this:
But as you can see on this [PvP] Archangel Staff, for example, there is more to each piece of gear than meets the eye.
First of all, B, A, and S rank gear can also appear in “+” and “++” quality, which is obviously superior to its simple counterpart. Moreover, each piece of gear has its own level (from 1 to 50, in the case of A quality gear), which you can enhance for a variety of bonuses. As you increase the quality of gear, it gains additional traits and jewelry slots. Finally, certain pieces come with powerful set bonuses and this is likely to determine your best-in-slot armor and weapons, depending on your play style and preferred play mode.
If you’re more into PvP than PvE, our dedicated guide features info on choosing the right skills and gear for the task.
Gear Upgrade Options
As you can tell just from glancing at some of the items in Darkness Rises, there are a variety of means to improve gear with significant bonuses. The simplest is the “Enhance” option, which you can use to upgrade the level of a certain item by feeding other, lesser items, as well as the appropriate polish into it.
For S-type gear, you can access the blacksmith in order to refine an item for massive stats increases. The most effective resources to use here are the correct X stones (different for armor, weapons, and accessories), although you can also employ polish and other items for the same purpose. The idea is to obtain the highest upgrade chance possible in order to avoid wasting mats with no result.
The first time you refine an item, you’ll pay 300,000 gold in addition to the materials. This will double with each subsequent refinement and eventually lead to whopping sums. Such is the life of adventurers!
You’ll also notice that, depending on the quality of an item, it will display 0 to 3 random traits in addition to its base stats. If these traits don’t match your play style, you can open the eponymous menu on a piece of gear and use tickets or diamonds in order to randomly re-cast a trait.
Careful, though – you might end up with a trait you like even less than the previous ones. You can recover a trait right after it was recast, but only before you close the window. Once the menu is closed, the traits are final.
Jewels are fairly straightforward in this RPG, although no less difficult to obtain for high-end gear. They are divided into weapons, armor, and accessory jewelry, as well as into different levels of quality. You’ll find basic jewels in the honor shop, as well as while fishing with second tier bait. To obtain a jewel of a superior quality, you’ll have to combine five of its lesser counterparts.
Finally, there are two ways to upgrade a piece of gear to a higher quality rank – upgrade stones and fusion. Upgrade stones are the basic way to go about it, but they are not easy to come by. You’ll be able to get them by completing Duo Dungeons and PvP content, but only a few will be granted to you at a time, whereas one upgrade will set you back 100 stones of the appropriate type.
Fusion, on the other hand, is slightly more entertaining and is done in the blacksmith’s shop. It’s particularly useful in frustrating situations where you’re trying to get an upgrade for your chest or cape, but you end up with another weapon, which you don’t necessarily need. Using this option, you can fuse your current weapon with the new one and hope for a better item. The only drawback is that only items that are fully leveled can be fused together, so you’ll have to expend a bit of polish to get the whole thing going.
Costumes vs. Cosmetics
In Darkness Rises, gear looks pretty cool, but costumes take the matter to a whole new level. Put together, gear and costume options are varied enough to please the most exigent fashion souls expert, but unlike in most games, costumes are not purely cosmetic in the case of this RPG.
Take, for instance, this handsome costume here. Notice the gorgeous silver tabby sitting casually on our wizard’s head? Is it comfortable? No, not at all – especially when it starts using its claws to stay on top during combat. Is it useful, though? Apparently so.
As the item description will tell you, this tabby somehow improves our hero’s DEF and stun recovery stat.
All costume items display similar stats across the board and can be incredibly useful in giving your character a power boost. Unlike gear items, however, costumes cannot be upgraded or fused together, which means that what you get is what you have. You can increase the level of a certain costume item, but only by feeding other costumes into it.
Where to Get Better Gear
Like in most F2P RPGs, there are two ways to obtain better gear and increase your character power. These are paying and grinding – the two oldest methods in the book. While you’re aiming for D to B rank gear, completing adventure stages and gathering all 30 stars per adventure (for the first time) can occasionally get you a noteworthy upgrade. To cut the grinding significantly, you can set up a BlueStacks Combo Key.
For pieces A and upwards, however, you’ll have to find a different source. One great place to start is the “Chests” tab, on the right hand side menu. This will take you to the shop, where you will be able to pick up free chests regularly.
In addition, the game will award you upwards of 5,000 diamonds for progressing through the story, various achievements, and PvP actions, which you can then use to purchase additional chests. Since there are many options to upgrade gear, but none to upgrade costumes, we actually recommend buying the 10x costume chest bundle, which guarantees at least one A to S+ piece.
Meanwhile, special events will take place regularly and this will also give you the opportunity to acquire more high-quality gear. Take a look at some of the rewards for the “Amazing Water Festival” below:
In order to find your best-in-slot items, you can always access the “Grimoire” under the “Items” submenu, where you’ll find and be able to preview all obtainable pieces of gear and costume.
Is the game taunting us ever so gently by putting these fascinating sets under our noses from the very beginning? Yes, it is. Did we spend ages looking through all possible combinations and stats, anyway? Yes, we did. On the bright side, however, we’ve learned pretty much everything there is to know about gearing up in Darkness Rises and now, you have, too.