「Guide 」OTOMO for minmaxers

Discussion in 'Guides' started by memetichazard, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. memetichazard

    memetichazard Member

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    Apr 26, 2015
    This is a guide/FAQ on the Buddies (aka OTOMO) that were released with version 2.9.0.
    This guide is up to date for version 2.9.0. Changes in future updates may invalidate portions of this guide.
    This guide is currently: Version 0.9 - Complete but in need of editing.

    One buddy can be attached to each character, granting them boosted stats and usually a skill. The stats and the chance of triggering the skill (if it is not an equip) increase as the level of the buddy increases. Buddies can be obtained by pulling them from the CoF at 2k gold a pull, or from the CoT at 3 energy a pull. Some can also be obtained as drops in normal levels, though they are unaffected by Negociator skills. Buddies can be levelled up by feeding them other buddies, though metal buddies obtainable from the metal zone are preferable. Once at max level, many buddies can be evolved, changing them into a stronger variant one rank higher but resetting their levels.

    The current definitive source of information on buddies is Tharos. Refer to the following posts of his for raw data:
    Buddy Listing
    Buddy Drops from Stages
    Buddy XP requirements
    Hiso Tear/Note XP requirements

    This guide primarily focuses on the buddies that can be obtained from the CoF, since CoT buddies require a lot of luck and energy to obtain.

    Quick Questions and Answers:
    Answers to common questions in this section. If you're in a rush, this will cover what you want to know. If you need an explanation as to why, look further in the guide.

    Q: Are buddies good?
    A: Yes, despite looking somewhat underwhelming initially, there are useful buddies that are obtainable without needing to spend energy.

    Q: Should I pull for buddies?
    A: The current consensus seems to be that until you've cleared PoT, are willing to drop money on buddies, or have all the characters you want, you're better off saving your energy for pulling adventurers.
    Instead, you can pull from the CoF if you have the gold to spare, or farm buddies in levels if you're tight on money and need to keep working on clearing the PoF.

    Q: Why shouldn't I pull from CoT?
    A: There are three reasons:
    1. The buddy pool is infinite. Dupes of buddies simply give you extra buddies, so you cannot clear the pool the way you can with PoF or PoT.
    2. There is significant overlap between CoF and CoT. CoT will drop buddies from B-rank up to SS-rank, but all of the Bs and most of the As can be obtained through CoF.
    3. The drop rate of S/SS buddies is low. Although we haven't collected enough numbers yet to determine the exact drop rates, it's looking like it'll be somewhere between 5 and 10%.
    In conclusion, many of the buddies you get for energy can be gotten for gold and stamina instead, the current drop rate for rare buddies is atrocious, and you can't do anything to improve the quality of your drops.

    So which buddies are good?
    A: Obtaining buddies from the CoT is a matter of luck. For CoF buddies, you can obtain them in a variety of ways. For general use, you may want to obtain a few Skullsplitters and Bewitching Bows, which grant stackable +10% ATK/MATK. For skill boosting, there is nothing better (in the CoF) than 6 copies of Demon's Chronicle. In Weekly Challenge, you may want Scaling Sword/Memorial Bow for challenges capped between 15 and 25, and Earth Sword/Sorceror's Shield for challenges capped above level 25.

    Q: Help! I'm running out of inventory space!
    A: For D and C rank buddies, only keep buddies that you want to eventually evolve, if you lack their higher-ranking counterparts. Beyond those, you want to keep Hiso Tears and Hiso Notes because they are worth a good chunk of xp when used the right way.
    Sell everything else.

    Q: Feeding my Ds and Cs to my buddies gets pretty expensive.
    A: You should not be using them as a primary source of xp, but instead to fill in smaller gaps to reach the xp cap. The primary source of xp that you will be relying on are Lambda Metal Buddies, which can only be obtained from metal zones.

    Q: I should upgrade my buddies all the way, right?
    A: Not all of them. Watch out for Skullsplitter and Bewitching Bow. At B-rank, they grant a stackable 10% ATK/MATK buff. When you upgrade them to A-rank, they become a 5% equip. This is clearly a downgrade. Some other buddies also change in behavior slightly; check the tables before upgrading.
    Finally, if you're using your Healing Wand for skill boosting, you won't gain any benefit for upgrading it to a Healing Rod; they both provide a 2% chance to boost in Heal phase.

    Q: How should I be upgrading my buddies?
    A: For C-rank buddies and higher, use only lambda buddies obtained from metal zones, and fill gaps in xp with metal buddies. To run these metal zones, farm tickets from 6-8. You will gain a lot of extra metal buddies, which you should sell for 500 coin each.
    C ranks require 1 lambda (worse alternative: 16 metal buddies).
    B ranks require 3 lambda and 2 metal buddies.
    A ranks require 7 lambda and 4 metal buddies.
    If you're not willing to wait for MZK in the arena, running MZ4 is fine but less efficient. In this case, feel free to replace one lambda with its equivalent in metal buddies.
    Note: XP requirements are different for some buddies. Please check the tables before committing to an upgrade.

    Section 1: You need this Buddy
    A quick perusal of the buddy list initially looks underwhelming. Most of the skills offered by the buddy are basically skills that show up on characters anyway, and the most interesting skills (Negociator, for instance, or the Peta- attacks) are SS rank. However, Buddies can be used in specialized situations.

    1.1: Buddies for Skill Boosting
    First, a quick primer on how skill boosting works in general. If you didn't know that, for instance, a 100% skill and a 90% skill have the same chance to trigger a skill boost, take a look.
    • Skill boosts have a chance of activating when your character uses a skill with a % chance associated with it. Equips do not proc skill boosts. Let's call this chance the 'emit' chance.
    • Skill boosts take place in three (plus one for counter) phases. Let's call the main phase the battle phase; the other two are heal and capsule.
    • A character can boost up to two times in a given stage.
    • During each phase, the lowest emit chance of all the skills that are activated in that phase is used to determine the chance to proc skill boost.
    • This chance is 200%/emit, rounded down. For instance, with a 30% skill, the chance is 200%/30 = 6%.
    • The reason that the rounding happens is because the random number generator spits out integers. Apparently this was changed recently for items so that TH now works on 1% drops, but they didn't change it for skill boosting.
    • Only capsules and bombs trigger in the capsule phase. Only Heals and status removals trigger in the heal phase. Buffs, Regen, and all attacks take place in the battle phase.
    If you don't care about the math, Rydia has compiled a list of the best buddies for skill boosting with their effect on your SB chance.

    To summarize, Demon is the best skill buddy because it increases your SB chance in the battle phase to 13%. White Candle and White Lamp add a healing phase and sets your SB chance in it to 6%.

    However, the above three are CoT pulls and out of reach to most SBers. For buddies that can be obtained without spending energy:
    Demon's Chronicle is the best skill buddy. The math on it is tricky and will be explained below. Healing Wand adds a heal phase with a SB chance of 2%. Any of the other buddies with 30% emit are also useful. Skullsplitter and Bewitching Bow are notable because they provide such a skill while also being useful in other situations, and are only B-rank.

    Note additionally that Healing Rod has the same SB chance of 2%, so it's not worthwhile to upgrade it unless you want the upgrade to gigaheal for other reasons.

    Demon's Chronicle is a 15% emit buddy with a 50% proc chance. When it activates, you have a 2/0.15 = 13% chance of gaining a skill boost. If you use no other skills, then because it activates half the time you have a 6.5% chance of boosting in every attack.

    When you already have a 6% chance of boosting (e.g. One 30% skill at 70% SB), then half the time you activate the Chronicle and have 13% chance of boosting, and the other half you have a 6% chance. This averages out to 9.5%, a 3.5% increase.

    Even at low SB, your characters will often have multiple 30% skills; three 30% skills at 0 SB is roughly a 4% chance to SB, and Chronicle will increase that to 8.4%.

    Demon's Chronicle is always better than a 30% battle phase skill buddy. In certain situations, a healing wand may be better. e.g. Your character has Pincer column (20% emit) but no healing phase, and is at 80% SB. His SB chance is then 10%, and Chronicle can only increase that to 11.5%, so healing wand's 2% is better.

    If you're wondering why the buddies have these specific emit chances, it's because they're using the same skills that the characters use. Since Gaiga's Death has a 15% emit, Demon and Demon's Chronicle use the same value for determining SB chance.

    1.2: Buddies for Weekly Challenge
    There are two sets of buddies you may want for weekly challenge.
    • Masamune/Trident for Row Megasword and Column Megaspear. Also comes with a 20 ATK bonus. There is also Lunar Bow, but Area (1) might be less useful than Column/Row.
      The B-rank variants of these buddies, Silver Sword/Spear/Bow, provide Gigasword/spear/bow, which can also be useful as a source of additional damage, and also provide a 15 ATK bonus.
      Similarly, B-rank Inferno/Blizzard/Lightning/Abyss Rod are magical equivalents to the Silver weapons.
    • Earth Sword/Sorceror's Shield (S rank) for the 80 ATK/MATK bonus. Lower rank variants grant a smaller bonus (50 at A rank), but can still be useful while you're saving up for the upgrade.
      Note that the S ranked buddies have a level requirement of 25, while the A ranked buddies have a level requirement of 15. Using a buddy with a higher level requirement than that of the WC will waste its slot.
    The latter set especially useful for low-level WCs where the fixed bonus grants a proportionally larger boost to damage.

    1.3: Buddies for General Use
    • Skullsplitter and Bewitching Bow grant 10% stackable ATK/MATK boosts to your attackers and your mages.
      • A Bewitching Bow on your Z-mage will allow it to one-shot enemies in MZ6K with its Row and Corner attacks, which was not previously possible.
      • A 10% ATK/MATK increase is a 17.5% increase in damage, which increases to 36% if you use the adventurer in every attack (assuming no other % ATK/MATK boost in effect).
    • You can also put healing buddies (Healing Rod) on your mages, and magic attacks (Elemental Rods) on your healers.
    • Rat's Buckler for Paralysis Ward for Chaos 3, and other similar Bucklers as needed for specific enemies.
    • Frog's Chronicle (Poison 50%) for Lamia.
    • King's Chronicle (Gravity 50%) for MZ6. If you don't have Seiryuu, however, you're better off focusing on clearing the PoF first.
    On the topic of HP and Elemental Resists:
    Section 2: How to train your Buddy
    There are three steps to obtaining the buddy you need:
    1. Acquire your buddy (or more likely, its lower ranking variant)
    2. Acquire metal buddies
    3. Feed and evolve your buddy.

    2.1: Buddy Acquistion

    Buddy acquisition is mostly done by pulling them from the CoF. You should expect to receive mostly Ds and Cs, and almost all of them will be useless. They will also be mostly useless as xp fodder as well, although there are some exceptions. Most likely you will have to upgrade your buddy from its C rank variant rather than count on pulling the B or A-rank version.

    You can also obtain buddies as drops during regular stages. Note that there are some high rank drops from special events, though the remain are all D and C-rank. Some suggestions by Person Man (paraphrased) on the topic:
    Metal buddies are obtained by running metal zones. Your most efficient way of acquiring them is to run 6-8 for metal tickets, then run the metal zones in the arenas. See this post by Tharos for specific numbers on what buddies you can expect to get by running the MZs. To summarize, you should expect to get 3* metal buddies and possibly one lambda buddy in a regular MZ4 or MZ6, with the same chance at a second lambda buddy when the king shows up. This chance is 15% in MZ4 and 25% in MZ6.

    *You will get only two buddies instead of three if there are less than 12 enemy mobs in the run.

    You should therefore expect to end up with around ten to twenty metal buddies for each lambda buddy.

    2.2: Buddy Feeding Basics
    Here are the xp requirements (rounded a little bit)
    • Hiso's Tear: 4.1k xp
    • D rank: 5.2k or 6.6k xp
    • Hiso's Note: 14k xp
    • C rank: 40.6k or 47.8k xp
    • B rank: 137k or 155k xp
    • A rank: 344k or 361k xp
    The lower xp requirement applies to the stat-only buddies.
    The HP wands are alone in requiring more xp than the others, and are not listed above.

    A metal buddy is worth 3k xp. A lambda buddy is worth 50k xp.
    Hiso Tears and Hiso Notes are unique in that they are worth a lot more xp than usual when fed to other buddies. This means it is useful to feed them metal buddies before feeding them to the buddy that you want to level up.

    Notably, a Tear with one metal buddy fed into it is worth 4800 xp, and a Note with three buddies fed into it is worth around 18k xp (value to be verified)

    Levelling up buddies also has costs associated with it. The cost is 50 coin * buddy level * number of minions fed. This makes it prohibitive to level up buddies using any buddies other than the metal buddies and the two special Hiso buddies.

    Finally, there is a chance to get a boost in the xp given to the buddies.

    2.3: Person Mans' Guide to Buddy XP
    Currently the best place to farm for xp to level up buddies is in the metal zone. Please refer to Tharos' post on the drop rates.

    To sum up the drop rates, higher zones offer more and better drops. Metal Zones happen to be the best way to level characters below level 70, too. This means the ideal use of your stamina to level buddies is to wait until double drop day to farm 6-8 and wait until metal zone 6 king is open in the arena.

    6-8 Rates - Short Summary
    • Normal days, 1 ticket / 17.5 stamina
    • Double days, 1 ticket / 8.75 stamina
    • 1 TH Double Days, 1 ticket / 7 stamina
    • 4 TH Double Days, 1 ticket / 4.4 stamina
    So how much does a ticket return in buddy xp?
    We'll keep it simple. You should only farm mz5k or mz6k using tickets. It's better to wait than to force leveling them up early. MZ5/6k offers 2 A rank and 3 B rank max. The A ranks drop at 20% in 5 and 25% in 6. You should pick the map that you can 100% clear every time if your goal is buddy xp.

    Short Summary
    • MZ5K - 9,000 xp from B ranks, 20,000 xp from A ranks. 29,000 xp / ticket
    • MZ6K - 9,000 xp from B ranks, 25,000 xp from A ranks. 34,000 xp / ticket

    You will gain 3 B ranks and ~.5 A ranks a ticket or a 6:1 B:A ratio
    • D ranks require 6,642 xp
      • 2 B rank + 642 xp
    • C ranks require 47,851 xp
      • 15 B rank + 2,851 xp
    • B ranks require 155,056 xp
      • 51 B rank + 2056 xp
      • or, 3 A rank + 5056 xp
    • A ranks require 361,077 xp
      • 120 B rank + 1077 xp
      • or, 7 A rank + 11077 xp
    So in 120 mz6k runs, you should have 360 B rank minions and 60 A rank minions.
    That's 4,080,000 xp. Enough to make 6 Demon's Chronicle's or max level A rank items with some xp left over.

    2.4: Buddy Feeding Optimizations
    Once you've collect enough xp buddies to level your buddy up to maximum, it's time to optimize it.
    As a quick rule of thumb, you want to determine the set of buddies you will be consuming for xp, arrange them in order of ascending xp value, and then group them in sets of four. With regards to the grouping, when you have a number of buddies to feed that is not divisible by four, it's probably optimal to make the first group the small one; e.g. if you have 10 buddies to feed, arrange them in groups of 2, 4, 4.

    As you select your sacrifices, remember that you can use Hiso Tears and Hiso Notes by feeding them buddies. These will provide alternate values you can use to reach the level of xp you need and save yourself a buddy or two.

    Buddy XP Categories

    You will be using the Metal Buddies and likely some Hiso buddies to provide the majority of the xp you use to do your levelling. However, the small amounts of xp that D and C-rank buddies provide can be useful in certain situations. Before blindly using them, however, be aware that buddies can be separated into four main categories that affects the experience they require to level up, as well as the experience they give when consumed, plus some miscellaneous types. The buddies can be split into the following groups:
    1. Stat Boosting Buddies. These Buddies grant no skills and provide the best stat boost.
      Example: Dark Blade (D), Mariner's Spear (C)
    2. Healing Buddies. These Buddies provide Heal and Regen.
      Example: Healing Ring (D), Regen Flute (C)
    3. Elemental Resist Buddies: These reduce damage from specific elements
      Example: Fire Visor (D), Shadow Helmet (C)
    4. Standard Buddies: Most other buddies.
    5. HP Wand Buddies: This is a single chain of buddies that has increased xp requirements and values
      Example: Twilight Wand (D), Darkling Wand (C)
    6. Miscellaneous: Hiso Tear, Hiso Note, Metal Buddy, Metal Buddy Lambda: These have unique xp tables.

    Table 1: Buddy Experience Requirements

    Buddy TypeDCBAS
    Stat Boosting5,231 xp40,661 xp137,280 xp344,820 xp1,007,666 xp
    Standard6,642 xp47,851 xp155,056 xp361,077 xp1,033,560 xp
    Elemental Resist6,642 xp47,851 xp155,056 xp361,077 xp1,033,560 xp
    Healing Buddy6,642 xp47,851 xp155,056 xp361,077 xp1,033,560 xp
    HP Wand7,484 xp51,942 xp164,790 xp378,102 xpN/A
    †Some CoT S-ranks have different values.

    Table 2: Buddy Experience Value
    Buddy TypeDCB
    Stat Boosting52 xp203 xp457 xp
    Standard66 xp239 xp516 xp
    Elemental Resist79 xp287 xp620 xp
    Healing Buddy86 xp311 xp671 xp
    HP Wand104 xp363 xp769 xp
    †Hiso's Fan has non-standard xp value, but it has standard xp requirement.

    Why You Will End Up Selling Metal Buddies
    The optimizations in this section make the following assumptions, in order to allow simpler comparison between options:
    • You are aiming to complete multiple high level (A rank+) metal buddies.
    • You are willing to grind 6-8 for tickets in order to run metal zones.
    • You want to optimize for the stamina cost of upgrading the buddies, including that of grinding for coin.
    From the assumptions above, we use stamina to bridge the xp and coin cost of leveling up buddies.

    First, the conclusion. As stated in the title of this section, lambda buddies will be the ultimate means of leveling up buddies, so much so that the optimal leveling path is to use them in all buddies from B rank up, using metal buddies and trash mostly to fill smaller gaps in xp where it would be a waste to use a lambda. Finally, since metal buddies will become abundant enough that you may sell them for coin, the even more abundant D and C-ranks should be viewed even more strictly in terms of their coin value.

    To start off, we shall estimate the opportunity cost of lambda buddies in terms of coin. Here, we will assume that the only value that metal buddies have is their coin value. Note that in the case that we consider metal buddies to have significant worth greater than that of their coin value, this diminishes the cost of the lambdas since it is now shared with that of the buddies; as a result, this is a pessimistic estimate.
    • 6-8 runs are a 0.8 chance at tickets for 7 stamina on double drop days. One ticket requires 8.75 stamina.
    • CC3 is 8k coin for 20 stamina.
    • Although the above values change depending on your characters - Alika, Gatz, Zeera, Yulia, Bajanna - here we calculate a base comparison without them and apply their modifies afterwards.
    • Always available: MZ4 is a 0.1575 lambdas per ticket.
    • Arena MZ5K is a 0.4 lambdas per ticket
    • Arena MZ6K is 0.5 lambdas per ticket.
    • Each ticket gives you ~three metal buddies with coin value 1500.
    • The 8.75 stamina that each ticket costs would have gotten you 3500 coin from CC3.
    • Therefore each ticket you farm instead of running CC3 is an opportunity cost of 2000 coin.
    • Note that while tickets are not always available for double drop, CC3 is not always available either. Your opportunities on other days can be considered roughly equivalent.

    Now we determine the opportunity cost of lambdas in coin.
    • MZ4: 6.35 tickets = 12,6k
    • MZ5K: 2.5 tickets = 5k
    • MZ6K: 2 tickets = 4k
    Next, corrective factors:
    • Treasure Hunters increase the likelihood of ticket drops and thus decrease the stamina cost of farming lambdas; divide by your increased drop rate. e.g. If you have Gatz alone, divide by 1.25.
    • The calculations above use a base estimate of 8k coin on average from CC3; determine what you believe your average to be and adjust the lambda value above, based on your coin boosting characters.
    • With 2.9.0 came half-stamina Coin Creep in the Arena. Unlike MZ, however, you can't bank tickets, and thus are limited to the amount of stamina you're willing to spend while it's available. On its first run, it will last 3 days, providing essentially two weekend's worth of coin farming. How you want to incorporate this factor into the cost of the lambda buddy is up to you. Some options:
      • If you have a large coin stash and will only farm coins while half-stamina events are active, it doubles the opportunity cost.
      • Assuming you'll spend equal amounts on Coin Creep as you do over the weekend, and furthermore that coin creep comes once every four weeks, you get six weeks' worth of coin for the cost of five, or a net 20% increase.

    Hiso's Tear Optimizations:
    In this and the following section, we present different methods to level up Hiso's Tears and Hiso's Notes. These techniques usually involve feeding trash C and D buddies to aid in leveling. As stated above, due to the prohibitive cost of using trash to level up, their worth lies wholly in their coin value. I will provide two sets of values for each method, one of which treats a metal buddy as being worth 500 coins, and the other providing a net xp value ignoring the cost of invested buddies. Note that the Tear and Note themselves have coin values which are also included.
    1. Feeding it a metal buddy, plus a C-rank worth at least 215 xp (not a stat-boosting buddy).
      Upgrade Cost: 100 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 750 coins (1 buddy + 250 coins)
      Value: 5400 xp Tear for 850 coins (net +2400xp for 350 coin)
    2. [​IMG]
      Starting with 8 D-ranks and 4 C-ranks, feed two D-ranks into each C, then feed the four C-ranks to the Tear. The result is a level 7 tear, and depending on luck may come out up to level 9 due to xp boosts.
      Cost: 600 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 1500
      Value: 4200 xp Tear for 2100 coin.
      credit @Person Man
    3. MikeS's technique.
      Requires 10 C class, 4 D class, of specific composition as specified.
      Cost: 1200 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 2000
      Value: 6000 xp Tear for 3200 coin.
    Hiso's Note Optimizations:
    1. Feed it 3 metal buddies:
      Cost: 150 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 1650 (3 buddies + 150)
      Value: 19200 xp Tear for 1800 (net +10200xp for 300 coin)
    2. Feed it 3 metal buddies + 794 xp worth of Cs and Ds
      Note that 3 regular Cs plus one regular D will only add 793 xp, but 4 regular Cs will add too much xp and push the Note up one additional level (6 instead of 5). You need to make sure that at least one of the buddies fed into the note is an elemental resist or healing item.
      Feed the junk first, bring the Note to level 5, then feed it the three buddies.
      Cost: 950 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 2200 coins (3 buddies + 700 coin)
    3. Value: 20400 xp Tear for 3150 coin (net +11400xp for 1650 coin)
    4. Feed it 4 metal buddies:
      Cost: 200 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 2150 (3 buddies + 150)
      Value: 21600 xp Tear for 2350 coin (net +9600xp for 350 coin)
    5. Feed it 4 metal buddies + 529 xp worth of Cs:
      You'll end up pushing it into level 5. This can be done with 2 Cs, but requires that one be a healing buddy or that both be elemental resist buddies.
      Cost: 900 coins
      Coin value of consumed buddies: 2450 (4 buddies + 450)
      Value: 22800 xp Tear for 3350 coins (net +10200xp for 1350 coin)
    Example Buddy Upgrade Coin Requirements
    These calculations use the provided xp requirement tables which only cover the most common set of buddies. They do not apply to the Stat Boosting buddies, which require less xp, or the HP wand, which requires more xp. Furthermore, this is only the cost for the upgrade, and does not include the coin value of the buddies themselves.

    Finally, remember the valuation for lambda buddies, which ranges from ~5-15k depending on your farming choices.

    Standard C rank (47,851 xp):
    • Upgrading using 16 metal buddies requires 200+2000+2800+3400 = 8400 coin (+8000 for metals)
    • Upgrading using 1 lambda requires 50 coin
    • Conclusion: Use of a lambda here saves you 16.3k.
    Standard B rank (155,056 xp):
    • Upgrading using 3 lambda + 2 metal buddies requires 50 + 1000 = 1050 coin (+1000 for metals)
    • Upgrading using 3 lambda + 5,4k Hiso Tear requires 200 coin (+850 for Tear)
    • Upgrading using 52 metal buddies requires 49200 coin (+26000 for metals).
    • Upgrading using 1 lambda + 35 metal buddies + 1 D-rank requires 28050 coin (+17600 for fodder).
      Toss in the D-rank by itself, then upgrade using sets of 4 metal buddies. The last set will contain a lambda.
    • Upgrading using 2 lambda + 19 metal buddies requires 12450 coin (+9500 for metals).
      First metal buddy by itself.
    • Upgrading using 2 lambda + 17 metal buddies + 1 5.4k Hiso Tear requires 10800 coin (+9350 for fodder)
    • Conclusion: Using one lambda will save you 29.5k coin. The second will save you ~23.7k coin. The third will save you 19.9k coin.
    Standard A rank (361,077 xp):
    • Upgrading using 7 lambda + 4 metal buddies requires 6950 coin (+2000 for metals)
    • Upgrading using 7 lambda + 2 metal buddies + 1 5.4k Hiso Tear requires 6700 coin (+1850 for fodder)
    • Upgrading using 121 metal buddies requires 159.6k coin (+60.5k for metals)
    • Upgrading using 119 metal buddies + 1 5.4k Hiso Tear requires 157.4k coin (+60.3k for fodder)
    • Upgrading using 54 metal buddies + 4 lambda requires 52.9k coin (+27k for metals)
    • Upgrading using 52 metal buddies + 1 5.4k Hiso Tear + 4 lambda requires 51.6k coin (+26.8k for fodder)
    • Upgrading using 37 metal buddies + 5 lambda + 1 D-rank helmet requires 33.4k coin (+18.6k)
    • Upgrading using 19 metal buddies + 6 lambda + 1 5.4k Hiso Tear requires 17.3k coin (+10.3k)
    • Conclusion: Using four lambda will save you over 140k coin. The fifth will save you ~27.9k coin. The sixth will save you 24.4k coin. The seventh will save you ~15k coin.
    Standard S rank (1,033,560 xp):
    • Upgrading using 345 metal buddies requires 693k coin (+172.5k)
    • Upgrading using 12 metal buddies + 20 lambdas requires 40.4k coin (+6k).
    • Upgrading using 28 metal buddies + 19 lambdas requires 52.9k coin (+14k).
    • Upgrading using 43 metal buddies + 18 lambdas + 1 5.4k Tear requires 68.3k coin (+22.3k).
    • Conclusion: If you decide not to pay as much of the xp with Lambdas, the first one you forgo will cost you 20k, the second will cost 23k, and the cost will only go up from there.
    And the conclusion:
    For C-rank buddies and up, use Lambdas all the way. In certain cases, an argument can be made to replace one lambda with a buddy.

    Example Hiso's Note usages
    These will be investigated later.

    2.5: Buddy Evolution Costs
    Buddy upgrades follow a fixed pattern. Each upgrade requires coin, a number of tears, and the same number of a certain component. In addition, they require 15 weapon items or attribute rings, which corresponds to the current type of buddy.
    For the first three components, these are:
    • D Rank to C Rank: 3 Tears, 3 Particles, 6000 coin
    • C Rank to B Rank: 3 Tears, 3 Particles, 8000 coin
    • B Rank to A Rank: 5 Tears, 5 Particles, 10000 coin
    • A Rank to S Rank: 5 Tears, 5 Ores†, 12000 coin
    • S Rank to SS Rank: 5 Tears, 5 SS-class weapons, 16000 coin
    Orichalcum, Dark Matter, Animaton, Oxsecium

    For specific upgrade requirements, refer to Terra Battle Stats' section on Buddy Evolutions.

    2.6: Buddy Cleanup
    When it's time to clean out your buddies because you're getting close to that 300 buddy limit, it's time to clear out the Ds and Cs. In order of importance, here's what you want to keep; sell the rest.
    • Any buddy you don't have enough (or any) higher ranking versions of, that you might consider fully upgrading in the future.
    • Hiso Tears and Hiso Notes, because they're worth more as xp fodder than as coin.
    • Optional: A small stock of HP Wands, and Healing/Elemental Resist, because they're worth slightly more xp when used as gap fillers. Some of the combinations in section 2.4 require specific D or C-ranked buddies with specific xp values.

    Appendix A: Upgrade Chains for Notable Buddies
    Notable buddies are bolded. These include only the buddies that can be obtained through CoF.

    Flat ATK/MATK Stat Buddies:
    • Dark Blade (D) -> Seeker's Sword -> Discerning Spear -> Scaling Sword -> Earth Sword (S)
    • Quickfire Bow (D) -> Mariner's Spear -> Miasma Blade -> Memorial Bow -> Sorcerer's Shield (S)
    Physical Attack Skill Buddies:
    • Beastfolk Sword (D) -> Iron Sword -> Silver Sword -> Masamune (A)
    • Beastfolk Spear (D) -> Iron Spear -> Silver Spear -> Trident (A)
    • Beastfolk Bow (D) -> Iron Bow -> Silver Bow -> Lunar Bow (A)
    Magical Attack Skill Buddies:
    • Sunstorm Wand (D) -> Blazing Wand -> Inferno Rod (B)
    • Icestorm Wand (D) -> Glacial Wand -> Blizzard Rod (B)
    • Thunderstorm Wand (D) -> Thunderous Wand -> Lightning Rod (B)
    • Shadowstorm Wand (D) -> Sable Wand -> Abyss Rod (B)
    Skill Boosting Buddies:
    • Healing Ring (D) -> White Pendant -> Healing Wand -> Healing Rod (A)
    • Demon's Tear (D) -> Demon's Note -> Demon's Fan -> Demon's Chronicle (A)
    ATK/MATK % Skill Buddies:
    • (Note that you do not want to upgrade to A or S because they become equip and can no longer stack)
    • Bronze Sword (D) -> Stalwart Sword -> Skullsplitter -> Mythril Sword -> Orichalcum Sword (S)
    • Bronze Rod (D) -> Killer Bow -> Bewitching Bow -> Mythril Rod -> Orichalcum Rod (S)

    Elemental Damage Reduction:
    • Fire Visor (D) -> Fire Helmet -> Fire Shield -> Scorching Shield -> Infernal Shield (S)
    • Ice Visor (D) -> Ice Helmet -> Ice Shield -> Subzero Shield -> Crystalline Shield (S)
    • Lightning Visor (D) -> Lightning Helmet -> Lightning Shield -> Radiant Shield -> Luminous Shield (S)
    • Shadow Visor (D) -> Shadow Helmet -> Shadow Shield -> Stygian Shield -> Dusky Shield (S)
    • Rat's Badge (D) -> Rat's Amulet -> Rat's Talisman -> Rat's Buckler (A)
    • Frog's Tear (D) -> Frog's Note -> Frog's Fan -> Frog's Chronicle (A)
    • Twilight Wand (D) -> Darkling Wand -> Gloomy Wand -> Shadowy Rod (A)


    Thanks, Tharos, for providing the raw data.
    Thanks to Moronica, Shanrak, and particularly Person Man for providing contributions that have gone into this guide.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
    Zakn, Kouromaro, Ashitaka and 34 others like this.
  2. edwin santander

    edwin santander Well-Known Member

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    Oct 27, 2014
    I feed a hiso's note with 4 metal buddys and get to lv 20 (some times when they give 25%+exp) and get 24k xp, double than you used..
    Bahamut likes this.
  3. limitbereaker

    limitbereaker Active Member

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Are there any more buddy with high exp boost when fed to other buddies?
    I notice hiso note and hiso tear give more exp than other buddies.
  4. MikeS

    MikeS Active Member

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    Dec 5, 2014
    I disagree on 2.3:

    Hiso's Tear - 2 x lvl4 Elemental Helmets + 2 x lvl4 C-class junk (Notes, Amulets) will bring it to lvl 10 (6000 XP), cost around 600 coins.
    Hiso's Note - 3 x Metal Minion + lvl3 Elemental Helmet will bring it to lvl 17 (20400 XP), cost around 450 coins.

    Optimal for Hiso's Tear is lvl 10, because it's obtainable for cheap with junk companions.
    Optimal for Hiso's Note is lvl 17, because by adding just 784 XP using junk companions to the 3xMM you gain additional 1200 XP.

    If you want to feed MM to Hiso's Tear, then add a junk C-class companion (Note, Amulet) - it will bring Hiso's Tear to lvl9 instead of 8. Cost 100 coins.

    In Appendix A, Elemental Damage Reduction - first Shields (B-class) should be bolded, not Helmets.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  5. Moronica

    Moronica Member

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    Mar 7, 2015
    OK, so a Hiso Tear fed with Metal Minion (3000 exp) levels it to 8 with 215 exp remaining to level 9. Each level adds 600 exp to its value, so the total exp worth is 8x600=4800. As MikeS suggests, it's a good idea to pair the Metal Minion with a C buddy to provide the push to level 9 (normal C buddies give 239 exp).

    Hiso Tears need 4118 exp to max, and can be dropped from 19-7.

    Whereas a Hiso Note fed with 3 Metal Minions (9000 exp) levels it to 16 with 784 exp remaining to level 17. Each level adds 1200 exp to its value, so the total exp worth is 16x1200=19200.

    Hiso notes fed with 4 Metal Minions (12000 exp) go to level 19 with 2036 exp remaining. Its total exp worth is 22800.

    Hiso notes require 14036 exp to max. They are not dropped.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  6. memetichazard

    memetichazard Member

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    Apr 26, 2015
    I don't think it's worthwhile to farm Hiso Tears. You effectively get 3 Metal Buddies for less than ten stamina through MZ4, which is worth more than a single maxed tear. (Is there something else in 19-7 that you might be farming for instead, though...?)
    I'm also not sure if it's optimal to feed Metal Minions to Tears, if you can feed it D/Cs instead (you have a lot more of those), since if you consider the value of the buddies sacrificed, it's +2200 xp for feeding the minion, and +2600 with PM's setup (assuming 100xp value per D and 200xp value per C). The coin cost might become the bigger factor when you start dealing with higher-end buddies in any case, and what you should level your Tears to might boil down to 'how can I fit this Tear in optimally', and be a non-issue for A/S/SS due to needing to pretty much use only lambdas on them and having your calculations screwed up by random xp boosts.

    Status of the Guide: I'm taking a break from this to do my CC and other things, and will probably resume tomorrow (or maybe just later tonight).
  7. Tharos

    Tharos The Source Explorer

    Likes Received:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Small precision, because it's important here: Hiso's Tear drops from 19-7 (14 stamina to enter), from Lock-On 333. 20% chance to drop on each, and you have 2 of them.
    So it is a 36% drop chance per run (not counting that this stage also have Sentient Flame, Ignorant Flea and Wisp of Jealousy)
    Rydia likes this.
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Active Member

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    Dec 5, 2014
    Even smaller precision. :)
    Strictly speaking using drop chance is a bit misleading when we are talking about collecting multiple items - using expected number of items from one run is more correct. And it's easier to calculate because it's just a sum of individual chances: 0.2 + 0.2 = 0.4 HTs on the average per run.
    From probabilities perspective it will look like: 1*0.2*0.8 + 1*0.8*0.2 + 2*0.2*0.2 = 0.4
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Active Member

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    Dec 5, 2014
    Getting Hiso's Tear to lvl 10

    C-class groups:

    GR1 - flat +Stat boost items: Seeker's Sword, Shield of Vigilance, Mariner's Spear, Fine Shield
    these are the cheapest - they have XP base cost of only 203, but require just 62 to advance to lvl 2

    GR2 - majority of items: Iron weapons, Notes (except Hiso's), Amulets, Wands and some others
    these have XP base cost of 239 and require 991 XP to advance to lvl 4

    Elemental Helmets (EH)
    these have XP base cost of 287 and require 991 XP to advance to lvl 4

    White Pendant, Regen Flute, Darkling Wand - we'll not use those

    Upgrade steps:

    1. Get 4 companions of GR1 to lvl 2 by adding one of 66 XP D-class companions (Tears, Badges, ...) = 200 coins
    2. Get 2 GR2 companions to lvl 4 by adding 3 x GR2 L1 + GR1 L2 = 400 coins
    3. Get 2 EH companions to lvl 4 by adding 3 x GR2 L1 + GR1 L2 = 400 coins
    4. Get HT to lvl 10 by adding 2 x GR2 L4 + 2 x EH L4 from previous 2 steps = 200 coins

    Ok, it looks I've miscalculated coin cost in my previous posts - total is 1200 and not 600. :/
    memetichazard likes this.
  10. White Mage

    White Mage Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Just gonna say, you put the cost for CoT at 2 energy when it is 3.
    memetichazard likes this.
  11. Tharos

    Tharos The Source Explorer

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    Dec 10, 2014
    I do not understand your last formula, but I usually lack of probability skills, so it does not really matters.

    Someone told me that when you have a max number or item like monster capture, or the HT drop where you can't have 2 drops per run, you have to combine the drop chance (I use a website for that), thus this 0.36 expected drop per run.

    For my hunting zone guide, as you can drop tons of items, I used the expected drop chance additively to compare HZ levels.
    Rydia likes this.
  12. memetichazard

    memetichazard Member

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    Apr 26, 2015
    If the HT drop is indeed capped at 1, then you're correct, Tharos. I don't seem to recall you mentioning that detail before, which lead to the confusion.
  13. Tharos

    Tharos The Source Explorer

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    Dec 10, 2014
    It's on the post with all the drop location, right above the spoiler table. If there is no max drop, then the cap is one. In fact, the only buddy drop not capped at 1 seem to be the MZ buddies.

    I gave @Matthieu the full list of buddy drops and rates. Hopefully he will be able to make a buddy drop expected per run page, as he did with items/monsters.
    Rydia likes this.
  14. MikeS

    MikeS Active Member

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    Dec 5, 2014
    Oops, I missed that part about capped number of buddies. In this case you are correct and I'm not. Sorry for the confusion.
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Active Member

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    Dec 5, 2014
    Ok, I thought last two shields were equips, but it looks like only the very last 40% shields are. Which means A-class shields (Scorching, Subzero, Radiant, Stygian) are the best ones.
  16. Tharos

    Tharos The Source Explorer

    Likes Received:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Here are the table of drop rate of the items quoted in the OP, from @Person Man's list (I also added Hiso's Tear, for those who wants). Feel free to copy it into the guide ;)
    The number after the monster name is the number of this monstre that drops the buddy in the stage. This number might be wrong, as I counted it too fast, but the drop rates per enemy is ok.
    Matthieu's TBS have the correct data, so we will see soon.
    You cannot have more than 1 buddy drop on all those stages.

    BuddyStageDrop rate per runEnemy dropping (and count)Drop rate per enemy
    Hiso's Tear19-736%Lock-On 333 (x2)20%
    Killer Bow34-736%Frostshroom (x2)20%
    Killer Bow33-736%Oxsecian Zapper (x2)20%
    Killer Bow27-334.09%Grim Leaker (x5)8%
    Mariner's Spear29-633.66%Hover Zapper (x8)5%
    Mariner's Spear18-434.15%Chargebot (Beta) (x3)13%
    Demon's Tear34-536%Rossi (x2)20%
    Stalwart Sword24-234.39%Impaler (x4)10%
    Stalwart Sword31-934.09%Spitch Leader (x5)8%
    Stalwart Sword32-936%Kirusk (x4)10%
    Seeker's Sword32-234.09%Carrion Cutter (x5)8%
    Seeker's Sword17-734.39%Oxsecian Battery (x4)10%
    Iron Sword28-534.39%Oxsecian Blitzer (x4)10%
    Iron Bow33-540%Rebel Soldier (x1)40%
    Rydia, TriggerHurt, vortax and 3 others like this.
  17. Clever Sleazoid

    Clever Sleazoid Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Very comprehensive guide. Thanks for taking your time to piece this together.
  18. Rima

    Rima Member

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    Mar 7, 2015
    Awesome thread, ty
  19. Anonymous apple

    Anonymous apple Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
  20. limitbereaker

    limitbereaker Active Member

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Is it normal I spent 1.5mil coin and only maxed out 15 d ranks otomos?
    Did not use any metal otomo. Saving them for higher rank leveling.
    Been infusing low rank with low rank otomo.
    Been pulling x10 coins otomo and got a few A and B.

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