Gearing and gems are a key part of success in Final Fantasy: A New Empire. This article is going to break down how gear works, why you want it, and how to make the best gear possible for your goals in the game. This will include a full walkthrough of making a piece of gear start-to-finish.
We’re also going to discuss gems, which are an equally important part of the game that is tied to gear. We’ll go over benefits and drawbacks to different gem/gear combinations for different game roles.
Gear Is Strength
If you have read the other guides in this series, you know how important the Hero and Research boosts are due to the persistent boost effects. Gear is another way to get long-term boosts, which makes it very important. How good is gear? Let’s take a look at Sentinel Plate as an example:
Yellow-quality Sentinel gear would provide my troops with +207% armor, +8% trap attack, and 16% Troop Load. That’s equal to City Armor Level 9 research, 1 level of Trap Attack research and 5 levels of Troop Load research. That’s millions of rss and days of research timers, and City Armor can only be used when defending. Sentinel gear can protect your troops just as well when attacking or defending AND stacks with your research.
Now to be fair this is for the best possible quality of this gear, which is very hard to collect the materials for. But even lower quality gear can give you a huge boost in various aspects of the game.
Before we go any further, let’s cover the fundamental aspects of all gear:
- To craft gear you need materials. Materials are found by attacking monsters, fighting other players, gathering from tiles, gathering from monster shrines, chests in the Guild Store and from event rewards. Chests can also be purchased in packs, and these chests are for the highest quality gear.
- Gear is made out of materials in the Armory. You do not find whole pieces of gear as random drops in the game, although some are found in early quest rewards like the broadsword or the tunic. Everything good you have to make yourself.
- Gear has quality level. The quality level of the gear is determined by the quality of the materials used to make it. Quality is indicated by color. There are six levels of quality. The colors are grey, white, green, blue, purple and yellow. Yellow is the highest quality, followed by purple. The more high-quality materials you use to craft the gear, the better chance of getting high-quality gear.
- Higher quality-level gear has better stats. You can view this yourself in the Armory by clicking on the different possible colors for a piece of gear. Yellow will always have higher boosts than purple, purple will always have higher boosts than blue, etc.
- Materials can be combined to make higher-quality materials. 4 materials of the same name and color make one material with the same name but a better quality; so four purple materials with the same name will make one yellow one when combined.
Color quality levels for gear and materials are very important to understand before you go crafting. As a general rule you want to save and combine your materials for higher-quality gear. Also look at the percentile chances BEFORE you craft the gear.
The game always shows you the best possible item you could get, but this can be extremely misleading. If you look at the picture of Sentinel Plate above, I only have a .01% chance to craft a yellow version of that piece of gear with those materials. That would be a waste of a yellow material 999 times out of a 1000. In the case of the Sentinel plate specifically, I want to hold off on crafting it until I have better materials to ensure I get a stronger piece of gear.
Other forms of gear, I might be more likely to settle for a lower-quality version of. Even lower-level gear that give boosts to things like research speed or building speed are extremely helpful for making progress in the game, and I’ll take that over perfect in many cases.
For the more powerful pieces of gear, like the Sentinel Set or the Arbiter Set, they take so much work or so many packs to get the materials that I want them to be as strong as possible even if it takes longer.
We’ll give an overview of specific gear further down, but first let’s talk about how and where to get materials.
How To Get Crafting Materials
Crafting materials come from a ton of places. You can get them after battles with an opponent, from chests in the Guild Store that cost loyalty, from farming rss tiles, from guild gifts, and from fighting monsters or farming monster lairs.
You can also get them from chests in packs, although this shouldn’t be the first use of your pack buying money as we discussed in the What To Look For In Packs article.
Monsters and monster lairs are the most reliable ways to get gear materials aside from chests. Monster lairs are the resource tiles left behind when someone kills a monster. You should focus on these specifically if you are looking for more gear materials.
For enhanced monster-fighting and thus more material drops, you want to put some research into the Hero tree. This is covered in our Research Guide, and I cover an example of monster-fighting tactics in the How To Get More Loyalty article.
When you click on a lair, you’ll see a picture of Gear. It’s important to remember that you will not get whole gear pieces as a drop, only materials for that gear. Each shrine has a higher chance of dropping materials that are needed for one of the specific Sets:
- Shieldshears Lairs have materials for the Hunter set.
- Garula Lairs have materials for the Sentinel set.
- Flan Lairs have materials for the Arbiter Set.
Gathering from Lairs, particularly higher level lairs, is very profitable for materials:
One other thing to know about getting materials for sets is that some materials drop less frequently regardless of source. Bluestone shards and sahagin scales are less common but sourceable from lairs, whereas chrome bits and meteorites (required for the Sentinel Set and Arbiter Set respectively) are very rare from any source including chests.
We’re going to talk more about the gear Sets farther down in the article, but first let’s walk through completing a piece of gear from start to finish.
Combining Crafting Materials
Let’s go to the Armory and have a look at the potential gear. I’m not ready to make any of the Set items until I get better mats, but one of the utility items that provide some kind of boost to rss production or speed would really help.
After looking around a bit, I’ve settled on a Zephyr cape. I don’t have one yet, and my research timers are stretching into the weeks at t3. The cape has a percentile reduction effect, which means the bonus gets better the longer the timer is. Perfect.
What’s not perfect is the odds here. It’s showing me the blue, but with one blue ingredient and 3 grays, I only have a 2% chance of getting a blue item. I don’t want to burn the blue ingredient unless I’m sure this thing is going to be amazing. Let’s see if we can get a sweeter deal.
By going to the “combine” menu in the Armory, I can use the “combine” button to make better materials. By combining four materials of one color, I can make some better royal fabric. And then I’m going to do the same with the Resplendent Dye. Now we have no chance of a gray or white item:
If I swapped that single blue mat out for a green one, that would give me a 100% chance for a green cape. And that would normally be the optimal strategy, or wait until I had 100% chance of a blue or better. But Royal Fabric isn’t rare, so I am willing to take a risk and see what I get:
Success! I got lucky that time. And with mats being limited, you will have to make choices about when to take chances and when to play it safe with your materials. In this case I was fine with a green item, but was willing to risk a blue royal fabric for a chance at a better cape.
That said: I strongly recommend you never use a purple or yellow material unless you are guaranteed a purple or yellow gear result. And never craft an item if you won’t be happy with the worst possible outcome. Green mats drop often enough that replacing the odd lost green or blue mat is doable, but don’t waste a level 4 or 5 mat on a dice roll.
One other note about crafting gear: You have a limited number of inventory slots. If you run out of space, you will have to destroy old gear or purchase a Tool Kit for 73,000 loyalty in the Guild Store to open up more slots.
Best Starting Gear
It is worth crafting some early gear for utility and survival purposes even if you aren’t able to build the gear sets yet. Crafting some “starting greens” or blues early on can really help speed you along. Furthermore, the utility gear that increases your rss production or reduces timers remain useful even after you start crafting set pieces. Those would include the weapons like the Hardedge that also give a boost to a specific troop type, which makes those doubly-useful.
The weapons are also the strongest attack weapons that you can get before the Arbiter Spear. It’s worth making a green, blue or even purple version of each of these weapons to both help with rss and keep your troops effective while you are working on the Arbiter gear. T1 resources remain useful all the way to t4 research, so those gear pieces also remain useful well into the higher levels.
Of the time-reduction items, the Zephyr Cape is the most useful because it adds a percentile bonus to research as well as a decent HP buff. Make yourself a good-quality Zephyr cape as soon as you are high enough hero level to do so.
Pro-Tip: Times are calculated based on your boosts from gear and other sources when you start the timer. If you then take the gear off and swap to an attack or defense set-up, the timer will not change. This means you only have to wear the gear when you start a timer to get the bonus.
The other starting gear includes some armor than increases the attack of specific troop types but no rss boost or timer reduction. Those can be useful, but I’d prioritize them lower than the utility gear. And giving those a pass can help you save mats for the Gear Sets, which we cover below.
Explaining Each Gear Set
These are the sets that are included in the game: the Hunter Set, the Sentinel Set and the Arbiter Set.
The Hunter Set
The hunter set is primarily for hunting monsters, and also provides Armor and some HP for your troops. Hunter is also the first set available based on hero level, when you hit level 36.
You should start crafting hunter pieces as soon as you can wear them. A green set is very easy to put together and will provide a solid boost to your loyalty and crafting material collection, as well as a small amount of protection.
The Sentinel Set
The Sentinel Set is a defense set, which in this case means a huge amount of +Armor. Sentinel is currently the best gear in the game for defensive builds, granting an enormous amount of +Armor, as well as some HP and troop load to help you gather more rss.
While it is certainly intended for defense, the Sentinel gear might also have edge case uses for higher-tier troops soloing lower-level players to prevent casualties, or when you are being rallied by lower-tier players, but that isn’t what the suit was designed for given the +trap on the weapon.
The Arbiter set
The Arbiter set is all about offensive capability. It combines pure attack power with armor to protect your higher-tier troops when assaulting other empires, along with faster march speeds that are critical for much-slower high tier troops. It will also work well on defense at obliterating any incoming opponents, but the primary use is in burning down other Empires.
Gems are related to Gear. Each gem type provides a different kind of boost effect, and have levels like crafting materials. They can be combined just like crafting materials, resulting in a stronger gem of that type. You utilize gems by putting them into sockets in your gear. This will permanently add the gem’s boost to that piece of gear.
Caution: You need an item called a Gem Remover from the Guild Store to remove gems from gear sockets. Higher level gems require a more expensive Gem Remover. For this reason, do not use higher-level gems on lower-quality gear.
You get gems primarily by attacking or tile hitting other players and killing troops. Tile hits are the safest way to do this, as the defending troops do not have any City Defense or Wall boosts to their stats when they are on a tile. You can also get gems from chests, randomly from gathering rss tiles, and from Quests on the Quest page. To maximize the number of Gems you receive, attack other players often and win.
There are currently 8 gem types in the game:
- Amethyst provides an armor boost to all troops
- Emeralds provide an HP boost to all troops
- Rose Quartz increases march speeds
- Garnets boost Warrior Attack
- Sapphires boost Mage Attack
- Topaz boosts Cavalry Attack
- Citrines boost Trap Attack
If you read the Combat Attack Guide and the Combat Defense Guide, or the Section in the Building Guide on the Utility buildings, you should have an idea of which situations +Attack, +Armor and +HP are useful in. But just in case:
- Armor mitigates incoming damage, which reduces casualties.
- HP increases the amount of damage your troops can take, which reduces casualties.
- Attack increases damage in enemy forces.
- March speed is exceptionally useful for higher troop-tiers and longer-distance fights.
Which gems to prioritize is going to be down to your playstyle. If you are a raider, you will want Attack and March Speed with some Armor and HP. If you are a defense-heavy player, HP and Armor followed by Attack.
Note: It is recommended for safety reasons that you do not send your hero in siege-only marches without doing a test-attack first. This can limit the effectiveness of the Siege gem somewhat. Refer to the Combat Attack Guide for more information on when and how to use siege.
Checklist For Gear and Gems:
- Gear provides boosts to troops that your hero is marching with.
- Gears is created from materials found as random drops and in monster lairs
- Do not use yellow materials unless you have a 100% chance to get yellow-quality gear.
- Hunter gear is for hunting monsters and defense, Sentinel is for defense, Arbiter is for attack.
- Hero Quests and Guild Quests often drop rare materials and gems.
- Gems are also found when attacking or tile-hitting other players.
- Gems can be combined like materials into stronger gems and added to armor.
- Don’t use higher-level gems on lower-quality gear because they are expensive to remove.
While scrounging materials for a good set of gear can take a long time or a lot of money, a good set of gear can help as much as Hero Skills or research. Moreso if it is a yellow piece. Keep grinding monster lairs and hitting enemies for gems, and eventually, you will have some incredibly powerful armor boosting your stats.