The good news about Hyrule Warriors - Legends is that you don't need excessive grinding in order to complete its Adventure Mode. So far the difficulty always stayed at a moderate level, so that character levels above 100 or even carefully built weapons aren't really necessary. The bad news is that grinding takes a lot longer than on the Wii U, if you still decide to bring your characters to the absolute maximum.
Leveling got slowed down significantly. If you try the typical "Rack up your K.O. count!" or "Put an end to the enemies' divisive plan!" missions that were best for leveling on the Wii U, you will only get around two fifths of the Experience. Also, the new 4 and 4+ weapon ranks are much rarer to obtain. So, overall the whole process takes a lot more patience than previously on the Wii U. Still, I decided to go for 100% completion and beyond, where I will now share some of my current impressions and strategies.
My first goal was crafting all the Badges for all characters. For the most part I was just missing materials from King Dodongo, Gohma and Ganon, where all of them can be found together in one mission on the Adventure Map, the one in the Death Mountain area with a Heart Piece for Ganondorf (there is the same mission on the east coast on the Master Quest Map, but the bosses have more health there). However, Toon Zelda needs so many Ganon materials that I had to resort to the "Final Battles!" of both the Twilight and Koholint Map (with double material drops). These missions take longer to play, but you're almost guaranteed to get Ganon materials, while in the Challenge Battle mission you often get weapon or food drops from Ganon. So, in the end it got the job done much faster.
After completing the Badge Market I set the following three goals:
- Getting all characters to MAX Level
- Obtaining and building best possible weapons (where applicable)
- Creating a complete Fairy
I'm still in the middle of all of this, but it's going strong thanks to the new Grand Travels Map. It has not only one, but four "Put an end to the enemies' divisive plan!" missions in red zones. These missions can be beaten within under a minute and they will score you about one Level, three weapons, two food (gold or silver) and a few materials including a golden one, if you're lucky. This used to better on the Wii U, where you would gain around 2.5 levels per run and get drops from every clone, but it's still one of the most effective missions for grinding.
If you're just trying to level your characters, the various K.O. or Rupee competitions with their constantly respawning dark enemies are probably the fastest way to do so, but the "Divisive plan" battles will net you much more stuff in the same time frame. I'm essentially hitting all three birds with one stone here, because I'm not only leveling characters, but also getting good weapons and lots of food. For the process you'd ideally want a weapon with a 25.000 Legendary seal on it, as well as the Stars+, Slots+, EXP+ and Materials+ weapon skills. The Materials+ helps with getting gold materials, which you then can invest into a Rank III mixture, which helps you with getting those precious 4 and 4+ weapons. One run will score you around 250 K.O.s, so essentially you can grind around 100 levels with a Legendary seal, which got quite some of my characters from 100 to 200 in the process and also got them many, many good weapon drops.
Most people were suggesting the "Stop the enemy merger!" missions on the Koholint Map for grinding best possible weapons with highest rank, five stars and eight slots, but I had far more success with the above method. You will only get three weapons per run, but since you're also doing it for the levels and the fairy food, you won't mind as much, if you're not getting anything right away. But ultimately you will accumulate quite some good weapons - in fact this works so well that with some characters I've gotten a full collection of TEN best possible weapons. All highest rank, five stars and eight slots.
They key is using Focus Spirit, where it's much easier to unleash the 130 K.O. weapon bonus on a large group of enemies at once in the "Divisive plan" mission types. You also get the Experience and Material bonus. What's nice is that in these missions you can find lots of Magic Vial drops everywhere, so it's easy to pull this off and keep Magic up for a while. If you've already gotten the Magic Fountain Rental Skill, it will be much more convenient, but it's not necessary to have this for the same results.
For it to work you want to lure all dark character enemies to the same location. In the beginning you already have one dark enemy following you and another one nearby. You can make the other dark enemy nearby follow you by attacking him so that he splits once. This has to be only once, not twice, or else the dark enemies will stay in place. Doing so will also cause the third dark enemy to approach, but usually it works best to go to him with the others following you. As soon as everyone is in one place, you can unleash Focus Spirit and get to 130 K.O.s thanks to the many small enemies that get dragged along with the dark foes.
If you want to try this for yourself, you can find the four missions on the following squares of the Grand Travels Map:
- Lvl5 on B06 - Tingle (Fire, Hot Spring Water)
- Lvl6 on F01 - Toon Zelda (Darkness, Hot Spring Water)
- Lvl7 on D11 - Medli (Darkness, Elixir Soup)
- Lvl8 on D10 - Twili Midna (Light, Ordan Goat Cheese)
I wish that Medli would have been replaced by Ruto or made weak to the Lightning element, because the elemental weakness plays a big role in it. You can do this with any character and weapon, but only if you have the elemental advantage, the dark enemies will go down quick enough. So, use characters with Fire weapons on Tingle, characters with Darkness weapons on either Toon Zelda or Medli and characters with Light weapons on Twili Midna. Hopefully the Map in the upcoming A Link Between Worlds DLC will feature missions like these for the Water and Lightning elements (e.g. Volga and Ruto), so that characters with such weapons can have an easy time as well. But thanks to the 4+ dual element weapons most characters are covered by this anyway.
You want to do this on the Grand Travels Map (as opposed to similar missions on the Twilight and Master Wind Waker Maps), because of the double food drops. These are tied to the enemies, so you will always get the same food, silver or gold, sometimes even two gold. There is a limit of 255 pieces per food and you will hit this after a while, where it's time to take a pause and convert them into Gratitude Crystals. Those are not strictly necessary to unlock all skills on a fairy, but they are very helpful. Depending on the element of the fairy that you want to built, you are going to have to chose two other fairies of the same element and essentially keep replacing them with each other. Feed them with your accumulated food amounts (the element doesn't matter) to get them to Level 50 and then do the replacement in order to score a golden Gratitude Crystal of their element.
Right now I got a Fire Fairy (the one that looks like Din from the Great Sea Map) with all the important Rental Skills (Water Wall+, Magic Fountain, ...) and I'm waiting for the next update to complete her. I'm sure that Koei Tecmo will add more Rental Skills in the final update, probably even more rainbow color skills (maybe even Magic Fountain+ for double usage). So, it's best to wait for me right now and just simply collect many Gratitude Crystals in the meantime, where later I can use them to unlock all Rental Skills efficiently. And it's also possible that they might add a "Unlock all Rental Skills on one fairy" medal a with the last update, where building a complete fairy would then even count towards 100% completion. In any case, the food from the above "Divisive plan!" battles are mostly Fire type and one Darkness type, which is convenient if you're working with Fire or Darkness fairies.
Additionally you can get quite a lot of gold food from the Linebeck Trading Companies. After while you get into a cycle, where every nine battles a two-for-one sale will be happening and there's always exactly one Linebeck and one Songstone around. But still this gives you some additional free food, which might be useful for unlocking skills. (More about Rental Skills and My Fairy in a later post!)
There is other things you can't do yet before the final update. The level maximum will surely rise one last time to 255 and there are still multiple 4+ weapons left missing. I did get a best possible weapon for every weapon type, where the highest tiers are already available. But grinding weapons like the Hylian Sword, the Great Swords or the Crossbows will have to wait until the update.
Keep in mind that this process is rather slow and dull, so it's best to do this while watching a TV show or listening to a podcast in the background. Once you get the hang of it, the game doesn't need your full attention, except for when you're selling weapons, because you don't want to accidentally sell good ones or ones with skills that you still need. Actually a big part of the grinding time is spent within the Bazaar to buy mixtures and to sort through your weapons. Most of your Rupee income will be from weapon sales and this money can be put into leveling characters that you don't want to play or to built perfect weapons. Removing weapon skills is still ridiculously overpriced, but you will easily be able to afford it all thanks to constantly selling high-tier weapons.
That's it for now. We will talk more about Hyrule Warriors, as soon as the A Link Between Worlds Pack has been revealed.