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  3. Baffled by the undocumented upgrade system

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#1
I'm partway into the 2nd story arc, in my first (and probably only) playthrough. The guides all talk about upgrading gear (especially staves), but the only examples I can find use postgame gear and postgame collectables. Huh? What point is there in having an upgrade system if there's no reason to use it until postgame?

As far as I can tell, nothing I can do at my point in the game will significantly improve my current level 1 gear (I can add minor +ATK bonuses, but not enough to be worth doing). My time would be better spent playing further into the game and acquiring better level 1 gear. Is that correct? Are there examples of anything that improves enough to be worth the effort?

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#2
Partially answering my own question.

+ATK or +DEF bonuses are almost never large enough to be significant. However, 50% resist, 100% crit, etc, are available at mid-game and are worth while. The trick would be arranging 9 or more of those on each of weapon, armor, helm, boots, shield, and accessory so they all stack. Any help with those would be sorely appreciated.

And then there's also a bonus for using all level 10 ingredients, which I still don't understand.

I'm not ready to get into staves yet. They look even messier.

User Info: Tokenx

Tokenx
3 months ago#3
At your point in the game, the best upgrade mats available would be the Maya Road boss drop (for attack builds) and the Sechs Territory boss drop (for magic builds). Those both add +80 to the respective stat, but you're right that the +bonuses aren't too great until the bosses in the third arc. For non-ailment related bonuses specifically, the level bonuses are what you'd want to exploit for high stat gear early on in the game.

For the Level/Rarity bonuses, once your forging/crafting level is 50+, equips you make will get bonus Atk/Matk/Def/Mdef for having levels and/or rarity above a certain value. The level one is usually easier to abuse early on, since you can use Level 10 Seeds or Level 10 Equips as ingredients to reach the required amount for bonuses. For example, you can easily make a Broadsword with 1 level 10 Iron, 5 level 10 Turnip Seeds, and then upgrade it with 9 level 10 Turnip Seeds, and it will end up as a level 10 Broadsword with an extra +700 Atk and 650 Matk because the ingredients used had a total of 150 levels.

You can also combine that bonus with inheritance to make a "Broadsword" with the base damage of a Gorgeous Sword (Lv 10. Iron, Lv. 10 Gorgeous Sword, 4 Lv. 10 Seeds) with that 700 atk bonus (upgraded with 9 Lv. 10 Seeds) for a total of around 930 Atk. You could even add in 3 of the Maya Road boss drops when making the Gorgeous Sword and then save scum forging the Broadsword to inherit an extra +240 Atk (80 Atk times 3), if you really wanted, but that requires a bit of save scumming to get right.

It's worth reading up on the Level/Rarity and Inheritance sections of the Smarter Blacksmith stickied thread if you want to know about this more in depth. The level bonus is more exploitable at this point since all the high rarity upgrade items are also in arc 3 (or Grimoire Scales from Leon Karnak).

If you want to completely trivialize bosses damage-wise, you can stack as much magic attack as possible (with Levels/Inheritance) and make a staff with Dragon Bones, the drop from the Revival Cave boss (available around when Delirium Lava Ruins unlocks), which makes the staff's third charge release a magic-def piercing homing light ball that hits multiple times. If you have the Rainbow Waterpot unlocked, you could upgrade it with that after the Dragon Bones to make the charge time very low.

There's also Leon Karnak which is accessible, but the monsters are very hard at this point. If you have the staff you can kind of make your way through it very carefully to access: A) Orichalcum ore deposits to craft higher level gear, B) Mineral Squeeks to get 10-Fold/2-Fold Steel for crafting, and C) Grimoire Scales from the boss at the midpoint (+50 Str/Int, +160 Vit, also it has Rarity value for 15). The Smarter Blacksmith guide has some more info about farming Mineral Squeeks.

For defenses, I'd also recommend using the level bonus to get high Def/Mdef, as the level bonus for craft recipes gives up to +350 Def/Mdef per equip. I'd also recommend using a Chaos Shield as the base for inheritance onto a Small Shield, and using a few Broken Hilts or Broken Boxes inherited (save scum may be required) between your different gear to gain a variety of ailment resists. Even better if you farmed Mineral Squeeks for some 10 or 2-fold Steels.

Placid01 posted...
However, 50% resist, 100% crit, etc, are available at mid-game and are worth while. The trick would be arranging 9 or more of those on each of weapon, armor, helm, boots, shield, and accessory so they all stack. Any help with those would be sorely appreciated.

Ignoring the Steel items, when you craft an item, you can add 3 extra ingredients (on top of the required ingredients) which will apply their values at 100% (which can be the same item), and also use the same item as an upgrade. However using an item to upgrade again (or more) will halve its bonuses. So for example if you were using Broken Hilts for the variety of +5% res, you could make a hat with: [Required Ingredients] + Broken Hilt + Broken Hilt + Broken Hilt, then upgrade it with 1 Broken Hilt and it would give 20% Psn, Seal, Par, Slp, Ftg, and Sick res.

If you're doing that with the Level/Rarity bonuses, you can ask Barrett to check your equip to see if it was made using the correct extra ingredients, since it picks randomly if there were more than 3 extra ingredients. Also, Raven sells upgrade mats you've shipped already in case you need to buy a bunch of Broken Hilts, which as you might have guessed, is my favorite upgrade item for resists early on.

Eventually you'll want to combine all of the forging/crafting tricks to make gear that takes advantage of the Level/Rarity bonus as well as having good base stats from the upgrade materials, but like you said, the materials required for that are mostly in the third arc (besides Grimoire Scale). So I say exploit level bonuses on every possible gear at your point in the game.

If you have any other questions or want me to write out the steps to craft anything, feel free to ask.

FC: 5129-6943-6886

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#4
Tokenx posted...
you can easily make a Broadsword with 1 level 10 Iron, 5 level 10 Turnip Seeds,
Thanks. I'm doing Maya Road now, so I'll soon have access to that boss. My forge is level 32 or so. I just recently acquired a few level 10 irons (how people get those while still in the first arc is beyond me), and my best seeds (yams) are level 6. That broadsword is going to take some prep work.

Why does time flow so incredibly quickly in this game? I hardly do anything, and another day (year?) has gone by.

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#5
Tokenx posted...
It's worth reading up on the Level/Rarity and Inheritance sections of the Smarter Blacksmith stickied thread if you want to know about this more in depth.
And I did read that sticky. That was one of the guides that was so focused on postgame that I had trouble finding useful info for midgame, when I'm only starting to find level 10 items.

User Info: Sandor_Clause

Sandor_Clause
3 months ago#6
Placid01 posted...
Why does time flow so incredibly quickly in this game? I hardly do anything, and another day (year?) has gone by.

RF4 is blazing fast by farm sim standards, so I would say that it gives you a lot of time, if anything. Compare to its 3DS cousin Trio of Towns, which has a much smaller world yet everything takes much longer so you effectively have less time in a day. Are you making use of the return spell and the airship? Can't remember when you unlock the latter but I'm pretty sure you should have access to it.

You're right, the crafting is poorly explained in the game. A lot of important info is never given, or given only through easily missed generic NPCs giving unclear hints. The crafting system is one of the most complex that I've seen in a game, so it's unfortunate that it's so impenetrable for the average player.

A simple, low effort way to raise your crafting levels is to make something simple like a shield out of iron, and then upgrading it with more iron pieces. At least I believe the common material was iron; it's been a while so correct me if I'm getting anything wrong. It's a convenient way to gain levels without using materials that you'd rather save for something useful. Iron is plentiful and simple, unlike some other suggested materials.

User Info: Tokenx

Tokenx
3 months ago#7
You can exploit the level bonus by upgrading/making stuff with level 10 equips as the ingredients/materials too, so it doesn't have to be seeds. Like a Broadsword made with 1 level 10 Iron and 5 level 10 Small Shields (that you created while grinding your Crafting level to 50).
FC: 5129-6943-6886

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#8
Yay! I did the first exercise in the sticky: I raised my crafting to L50, made the small-shield-that-thinks-it's-a-chaos-shield, and upgraded it to L10 using L10 iron. Sure enough, it kept the chaos shield bonuses and magically developed monstrous stats.

Does it work for elemental weapons? If I make a broadsword-that-thinks-it's-a-gaia-sword, will it have earth element?

And of course, what's lesson #2? Using other L10 items with additional specials instead of L10 iron ore, and learning what stacks and what doesn't? You mentioned broken hilts, but I don't think I have any L10 broken hilts.

Rarity bonuses? The sticky had a section on those, but didn't really say what the bonus did. I'm going to assume that iron ore doesn't rank high on the rarity list.
(edited 3 months ago)

User Info: Tokenx

Tokenx
3 months ago#9
Grats on your first craft! Yup the Broadsword with the Gaia Sword's stats would also have Earth element on it.

Lesson 2 would probably be to add any 3 of your preferred extra ingredients while making the base equip (like Gaia Sword + 3 of the Maya Road boss drop for 240 Atk), then inherit that onto a Broadsword with all level 10 ingredients (save scumming and Barrett required since it's random) to make a Broadsword with a Gaia Sword base and +240 Atk from the 3 inherited ingredients and finally upgrade that to 10 with level 10 ingredients to end up with around 1247 Atk.

In short, the 3 choice extra ingredients from the Gaia Sword won't count for the Level/Rarity bonus, so those can be any level, while everything put in for the Broadsword craft (like Seeds/Irons) would count, so when done right, the Level bonus won't be affected by your 3 choice extra ingredients. However it does require save/reloading and asking Barrett to inspect the equip, since the Broadsword's 3 extra ingredients would be choosing randomly between the 3 Maya Road boss drops from the inherited Gaia Sword, and 4 other fodder.

The chance is pretty small so it takes a lot of save scumming. Also if you remember the stats 3 extra ingredients would provide, you can skip asking Barrett and just check if the sword has exactly +30 Str (since Fire Dragon Ash adds +80 Atk and +10 Str) to save a bit of time. It's up to you if you want to spend time doing that for a relatively small bonus at this point.

Also somewhat related, but the 3 "Glove" type accessories with the Level bonus will give Atk/Matk instead of Def/Mdef, so you can squeeze out some more offensive stats in that gear slot if you want.

For the Rarity bonus, the "Forging/Crafting/Cooking Mechanic Compilation" has those numbers for Atk at least, and it's about similarly proportioned for Matk/Def/Mdef as the Level bonus is, although for weapons it only adds Atk for non-staves and Matk for staves unlike the Level bonus which adds both to all weapons.

Quick ref from the guide:
Total Rarity Points (TRP) tiers for Weapons
Tier 1: 10 Attack (25 TRP)
Tier 2: 30 Attack (50 TRP)
Tier 3: 80 Attack (75 TRP)
Tier 4: 150 Attack (100 TRP)
Tier 5: 300 Attack (125 TRP)
Tier 6: 500 Attack (150 TRP)
Tier 7: 1,000 Attack (175 TRP)
Tier 8: 2,000 Attack (200 TRP)

And the FAQ "Item Rarity Table" by Anketam has the rarity values for every item. Most of the high rarity mats are from the 3rd arc as well, so hitting 200 TRP is going to be nearly impossible at this point, apart from Grimoire Scales from Leon Karnak.

Also regarding the third arc mats, you can sort of bypass the third arc restriction to get those mats by unlocking the Sharance Maze through a Princ(ess) order once you beat the second arc, but be warned that the mobs there start off at level 300, so it's already way harder than the mobs at Leon Karnak. You can cheese it with a Rosary and Dragon Bones staff though.
FC: 5129-6943-6886

User Info: Placid01

Placid01
3 months ago#10
Tokenx posted...
Lesson 2 would probably be to add any 3 of your preferred extra ingredients while making the base equip (like Gaia Sword + 3 of the Maya Road boss drop for 240 Atk), then inherit that onto a Broadsword with all level 10 ingredients (save scumming and Barrett required since it's random) to make a Broadsword with a Gaia Sword base and +240 Atk from the 3 inherited ingredients and finally upgrade that to 10 with level 10 ingredients to end up with around 1247 Atk.
First things first. I threw together a Claymore-that-thinks-it's-an-EarthShade, so I would have some extra offense to farm that Maya Road boss. That worked as I hoped. I now have 3 dragon ash, plus some diamonds from the next road, so I can make your boosted Gaia Sword idea or even something in the diamond tier.

Now that I have the mats, onward to your idea.
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