This guide contains an overview of all the ascension stages, how some of the systems work and guidance on common questions you may run into. It does not introduce you to the basics, but assumes you will instead read the pop-up hints.
This is a guide based on me playing through the game twice. I will not go into detail for the basics, hovering over many items will actually give you a lot of clues with respect to what to do. I also have not fully explored every single spirit’s upgrade grid, so I cannot fully judge how good some of them truly are.
So you are warned, the game requires heavy grinding due to heavy reliance on RNG for drops. I may occasionally editorialize parts when I feel they are poorly designed, kindly overlook me voicing my frustrations.
Savescumming refers to the practice of saving before doing something risky, and quitting to the main menu without saving (manually or the end-of-month save) to try again. You will be doing this a lot most likely.
There won’t be any screenshots, since to be frank, I’d have to add far too many to cover every aspect in this guide.
I will regularly reference the wiki, you can find it here: Wiki link – [fandom.com]
Furthermore, there is a Chinese trainer by XiaoXing, which alleviates a fair amount of questionable design choices. I cannot offer a link here since it’s regularly updated, but you should be able to find it with the name, there are also a few English translations of it available.
Alternatively, you may wish to look into Cheat Engine to reduce the mindless grind of certain parts of the game.
When you create your character’s appearance, you may see a red tag applied. This means you picked a clothing choice that boosts your charm. Charm is largely meaningless, so don’t worry about this.
Out of all your starting stats, only four are truly relevant. You should reroll until you have starting fates with meaningful boosts to them if you want to make things easier for yourself:
High perception will make it easier to learn manuals and more importantly, give you more reroll points for improving traits later. This cannot be increased permanently, so your starting stat is very important. Aim for at least going over 100, ideally significantly more if you feel like rerolling/using the trainer.
Luck is also very helpful. It cannot be increased permanently as well and you will encounter a large amount of random events in the game. Less important than perception, but helpful.
Agility is your movement speed in combat. There are only two starting fates that increase this (one for an achievement). The boost is however pretty small (20 points), but it does help a lot very early on. You can pass up on boosting this, but it is helpful.
Starting Attack/Defense makes the very start easier, but the value quickly becomes meaningless. If you can get a boost, it helps, but it’s not critical.
All other stats are either not important to boost or any starting fate becomes meaningless almost immediately.
Just/Demonic isn’t very important, the best quest results tend to come from doing Just things, so you will likely tend to slide to that anyway. Although there’s a questline much later where you may be compelled to follow the demonic path even as just character, you will shift by 50 points for it. If you go for the above-mentioned boosts, a few also have a shift to Just to begin with.
Incidentally, almost all starting fates are borderline useless, and the achievements actually add more that you don’t need. Getting more achievements makes it harder to get good starting fates. Enjoy the mindnumbing rerolling.
A loose collection of information you may wish to know ahead of time.
NPCs will steal from you like absolute bastards. Sect members will steal from you. Friends will steal from you. Everybody is a thief. It can get patently absurd when five people in a row try to steal the same item.
They steal martial manuals, ascension materials and even spirit stones from you.
The former include manuals you are studying right now even.
If you are being threatened, check the enemy’s cultivation level. If it’s the same as yours, you should win. If higher, due to the increasing ascension bonuses, you will likely not. Reload. If you run during the fight, you still lose the item.
You can prevent all of this by storing all your manuals and ascension materials in your cave at the end of the month. If you are studying something and it’s not done at the end of the month, teleport back, store it in the cave, and only then trigger the new month. This is tedious, I know, and I rather wish this system didn’t exist.
Buy teleportation talismans. Always have some handy. One set is enough, since you can just warp to other towns with money. Similarly, always upgrade your mounts and equipped ring when you break through.
Just go through the first area relatively quickly, items like the books that increase Specializations start at 5 points in the first region, but give 10 in the second. You don’t need alchemy in the first, so you can basically grind the points at twice the speed by going to the second region quickly. You will however be required to upgrade alchemy (and for sanity’s sake herbology) for every region past the first.
You can and should savescum breakthrough fates (unless on Chaos), item drops if you’re hunting the special metal for artifacts, as well as specific breakthrough items.
Always save before making pills/artifacts since they can randomly fail.
Mood/Health/Energy can give you a debuff if they drop too low, so rest/use hobby items to top them up (for mood, monster drops/buy in town) occasionally. They’re pretty superfluous as systems.
The first four difficulties only change the amount of grinding required, Chaos difficulty prevents you from rerolling breakthrough fates. You can use the rare mushroom drop from the mushroom man to get a second set of fates though.
For whatever reason, a lot of hitboxes in this game are rectangles. You should avoid doing that. In this game it means that some attacks can only be reliably dodged by walking left/right or up/down. You can also attack enemies better from above when they use circular attacks.
The tavern boosts are quite powerful, and you can get one for each drink and each region. Check the wiki to see what’s available. You should probably get fully drunk before any major boss later on.
Damage works as Attack-EnemyDefense, divided by resistances with some math, multiplied with skill damage. This means that you must have a high enough attack to meaningfully deal damage, that resistance values are much stronger than they appear and that the skill damage value is actually a multiplier. The attack boost pill actually counts double in its strength in the formula.
Due to the above, you should always upgrade all skills after a breakthrough to the new tier. The base attack bonuses overpower almost everything since they are multiplicative. It’s really only the movement technique where this matters less. A red skill is roughly comparable to a grey/green skill of the next tier, it’s that extreme.
Crits compare crit value – crit defense to determine the chance of a crit (it’s not that high), and then applies crit damage bonus % – crit defense %. Due to how things scale, defense lags behind and crits become increasingly dangerous as you go through the game. Lategame enemies can crit for 5 times damage, just as warning.
Your spirit roots don’t just enable you to learn skills, they also give you a chance to greatly reduce damage from an incoming attack, based on how high your roots are. Unfortunately, the spirit fruit grind is outright stupid so I would just suggest Cheat Engine here to be honest.
Your main source of spirit fruits are sects. You can either befriend a sect to get okay prices or join one. They give up to twelve fruits for each type each year, and if you look at the values, you may realize just how stupid this gets, since you would need to befriend all sects and clear them out for quite a number of years. For multiple regions.
For the random events, they usually have specific outcomes depending on your choice. Do X, get a spirit fruit, or money, etc. You will probably remember most after a while and after trying a few options. The scholar inquiring about love can give you skill fruits by the way.
You will probably see the fortune teller NPC a lot, don’t bother. The outcomes aren’t worth it.
You can also randomly trigger quests like events. This can include quests you are absolutely not ready for yet. It’s usually a good idea to put them off if the dialogue lets you, so you can at least reach the Late realm.
Making money is most easily done by auctioning ascension materials, as well as red or orange skill books from bosses. More in the town section. Sadly, you will only be informed of zone boss spawns in the area you are in, kinda wish you could always see them.
Running depends on your travel speed (mounts boost this) and the enemy count. One enemy makes it easiest, so if you accidentally run into something too powerful, try to run immediately before it summons adds. If you escape with no monsters around, you won’t even lose the drops.
You should resolve quests by being kind, helpful and willing to talk before fighting. This usually gets you the best results.
If you want to test something, you can export and import your saves to create duplicate save files.
The skills are absolutely not balanced all that well.
Sword is a very good beginner skill, since it offers solid damage and AoE. If you roll a good trait for the single-shot LMB, you can even get piercing on it. Summons are largely not that great.
Fire can be made pretty tanky. Blade can be turned into near-invulnerable facetanking. Sword+Wind movement can be rendered permanently invincible. Fist has a specific Fate that can let you create a Boss-OHKO build, if you need some build ideas.
Lightning is pretty fun since it has a chain lightning LMB that really chews through enemies.
Finger and Palm seem like they have decent AoE and Finger’s movement ability lets you get a crit. Sadly that really only matters for enemies.
Water has problems with damage and Spear is considered overall weak. Wood is mostly summoning-focussed, which tends to be weak on the damage side, but good for drawing aggro.
Wind is by far the best movement technique. It makes you invulnerable for three seconds (traits can increase this) while you can still attack. It is incredible.
Water movement leaves a clone that aggros enemies, this can be useful against specific bosses.
Single hit damage seems generally better than AoE multi-hitters for one target, though this is just my rough impression. Spread type attacks against a single target can be very powerful too.
Rarity is as follows: grey, green, blue, purple, orange, red. For skills, each higher tier of rarity has one more trait than the previous one. Attack skills also get boosts to their base damage. The difference is about double the damage from blue to red. This boost is very large and a major reason to try to upgrade to red skills. Passive skills similarly receive major base boosts. From blue to red, the difference is about 25% for the base value.
Never forget to upgrade your passives if you are able to. They provide absolutely massive boosts to your stats and keeping them upgraded becomes really important around area 3. You need skill points for them, from NPC interactions and Ascension Tournaments in Towns, see info below.
You can equip up to 8 different passives. You cannot use two passives that boost the same stat, but sometimes traits can boost stats the skill doesn’t.
The traits are a pretty big part of why red skills are king. Having more traits means more boosts, furthermore you can boost traits to the red, highest, level. Some of the traits are even critical for making builds work, good luck getting them to drop on skills you want.
Incidentally, around area 4 you will have to grind materials to upgrade skills since doing so through combat becomes prohibitive.
Rerolling traits (Comprehend) makes sense until more than half are of the highest tier of the skill. You probably won’t have enough reroll points to go much beyond that. You cannot change the nature of a trait, only the strength of the boost. Reroll points depend on your spirit roots and perception, which is why the latter is so important. Unlearning skills to free slots gives you some Comprehension stuff.
Item drops from world bosses can be rerolled, but the active skill that gets dropped depends on your highest spirit root (the passive does not). If you go with a single-element build, you absolutely want to make sure that it’s also your highest spirit root for a guaranteed source of red books. There are no other guaranteed sources. This is incidentally one of the major issues with upgrading your skills, pray for good RNG. There are a few events that permanently increase some of the spirit roots (elemental ones, wood, sometimes all the martial ones), so you may wish to keep a bit of a gap to counteract this.
The other source of red skills is the auction and the ultimate+passive set that the sect has. That’s it. Before region 3/4, you can do just fine with purple/orange on Normal though.
Breakthroughs and fates introduction
You should basically always go for the optimal breakthrough, with the highest rarity items, since it really doesn’t take that much more time usually and the stat boosts add up. Especially on difficulties higher than Normal. You should generally value attack/defense boosts over increases to Vitality etc..
The minor breakthroughs just require a pill, the quality doesn’t matter, just buy it in a town/city.
Only cities (the bigger, blue map icon) offer stuff for the second realm tier of a region.
Incidentally, there are only appropriate recovery/buff pills for every second breakthrough tier, this means that in the latter tier of a region, you won’t really have good pills.
Always remember to upgrade your attack skills and your passives after a breakthrough.
The later you go, the larger the bonuses for breakthroughs are. Unfortunately this also means that it becomes less and less possible to defeat higher tier NPCs. You can if they’re still Early and you have tavern boosts +an artifact with the defense-reducing spirit, but it may well prove impossible.
Honestly, I find that mildly upsetting since surmounting a realm is a core concept of cultivation novel power fantasies, kinda wish the boosting pills were stronger, but harmed you too or something.
Every breakthrough has a chance to fail. When that happens you get a lightning tribulation. You can savescum this, or you can endure it with Wind movement + pills. It doesn’t even scale up in the later tiers so it actually becomes less threatening over time.
Fates are a difficult topic since some are build-dependent, but the gist is that most are bad. Expect rerolling. Many come in tiers with later ones offering better boosts. When you pick a tier I skill, you are much more likely to see the later tiers. You can look towards the bottom of the guide for an overview. Generally speaking, only combat-relevant fates are useful.
If you ever can’t find something, you should continue exploring the region you are in. All important areas are marked on your world map once you’ve found them. You can also buy special talismans from stores that allow you to find nearby special zones.
Qi Refining (I)
This is the first introductory segment after the tutorial. You should know how the basics work. You need pills from stores for minor breakthroughs, and items for the breakthrough to Foundation (II).
As a general rule, always pick the highest ascension route. The bonus stats add up over time.
You cannot use an ascension item more than once, even if you have duplicates.
To go to Foundation you need 3 special items (for the Heaven Path). The stronger ones come from the “Land of Spirits”. These are special places that cost 500 Spirit Stones to enter. After you pay, you enter a dungeon and the boss at the end is guaranteed to drop a specific item of the three. In short, you need to find and visit all three Lands of Spirits. Do not confuse these with the Lands of the Arcane. Those places cost 1000 stones and will murder you right now.
The second part are the Qi Pearls. In the region, you can find 6 separate elemental zones. You should spend time early on just mapping everything out for this purpose. Occasionally a zone boss will spawn and you will be notified. If you hurry over (you get about 3-6 months), you can kill them and get a guaranteed Qi Pearl of high purity of the associated element. The bosses will also drop a purple ascension material and possibly artifact rare metals. Do not throw the last one away.
For this region and all others where it matters, you can buy talismans that highlight nearby elemental zones if you have trouble finding them. Although usually you should just explore everything to find all the towns, sects, special spots, etc.
If you have no luck with spawns, you can manually make Qi Pearls. If you fight monsters in the appropriate elemental zone (don’t confuse wind and lightning by the way), you will get Qi Pearl fragments of an element. In towns you can synthesize 100 of these into Qi Pearls, usually of lower purity.
Purity of Qi Pearls doesn’t matter, it only affects your chance of getting a lightning tribulation, which is not an issue if you got some healing pills in your slots.
Remember to pick a good fate and upgrade your skills to Foundation (II) tier.
Unused ascension materials make for good gifts, or can be auctioned.
You should try to get through this step relatively quickly, since the specialization books in region 2 are worth 10 points. There’s little point in trying to grind for Alchemy and so on in region 1.
Foundation is quite similar to the first realm. You should have noticed that you got a lot more stats and are fairly more powerful. Get skills for the new tier, the difference will be noticable. You can only do that in the primary city now. While you’re there, upgrade your ring and your mount.
Incidentally, there are no healing pills for the Foundation level and the Qi pills aren’t very strong anymore. This will happen in every region for the second cultivation tier and is quite bothersome.
You need 4 treasures for the final step. One drops from the left world boss in the Lei Ze area, to the lower right. You are automatically attacked in it, so be ready with pills and a teleportation talisman.
Three more can come from the Lands of the Arcane, the ones that cost 1000 stones mentioned in the previous section. It’s the same as before, dungeon, boss, guaranteed specific drop.
The lesser treasures are random drops from the lesser bosses (no red skull map marker) in the Lei Ze area.
You also need a breakthrough pill. You can have the workshop of the city craft them for you or craft them yourself via Alchemy. The latter however is a waste of time, grinding Alchemy up is better done in Region 2. Just prepare for a potential tribulation if you fail the roll.
Once you’ve broken through, you need to go through the lower right to the next area. Once a month ends in the new region, you will be kicked out of your sect and free to choose a new one.
Qi Condensation (III)
You should now shift to the bottom right region, past Lei Ze. As alway, get new skills, equipment and so on.
There’re some new things in this region. You can take part in the Ascension Tournament once you reach the fourth tier, and you can get started on forging artifacts if you want to go through that grind.
The books for Specialization skills are now worth 10 points and you may as well get started on that grind once you are Late Qi Condensation or Golden Core. At least Alchemy and Herbology will be useful.
Avoid going to the upper right of the ocean, you will trigger a bossfight you have no hope of surviving. A questline will resolve this later.
To progress, you need to find the four Spiritlock Circles, they tend to be in the lower right. When you enter, a turtle will demand G4 Spirit Fruits from this region from you, 3 for each circle. You will then have to survive an endurance fight while protecting the turtle. Enemies will mostly target the turtle, having mob clearing ability is pretty important. It’s not particularly difficult on Normal however. After finishing, you get a treasure. The lesser treasures can be gained if you do this again, or as drops from the elemental zones, but there’s really no reason to.
You also got another world boss to kill, this time to the lower right in Lei Ze.
Lastly, you need Qi Pearls again, it works the same as before. Kill bosses spawning in the elemental zones or get pearl fragments and synthesize. The lesser breakthrough requires herbs from north of the filled in area, where you get attacked automatically.
During the Filling the Land quest, you will be given a choice to save the girl. The decrease is permanent, but most builds have no use for divine sense. She’s added to your cave and gives you items depending on the hearts. You can increase them by giving gifts, but even at 5 hearts, I have not gotten anything but junk from her. However, it seems that a new quest was added that she’s involved with, which gets you a new bossfight. Keep her around I guess.
Golden Core (IV)
If you joined a sect, register for the Ascension Tournament. You want those skill points badly.
Treasures are the same, only now they are to the north of the filled in area (Hundred Mountains, the place where you will be attacked automatically) in Demonseal Circles. And the turtles demand 5 fruits each, but thankfully there’re only 3 circles. The world boss is in the new area, but there’s a new snag.
Making the pill requires learning alchemy, the workshop will tell you the recipe is too complicated. Thus you must grind your alchemy in this region. The real challenge will be the herbs. You’re going to wonder where you can get them from since you won’t have them yet. There’s a dungeon spot called Cloud Cave in Hundred Mountains (the northern area where you get automatically attacked). In it, you can sacrifice 50 herbs (any will do) to summon very resilient mandragora and tree minibosses for a limited time. You won’t deal much damage unless you seriously upgraded yourself, but you can also just trigger it over and over. Every kill drops the herbs you need, trees drop more. Good mobclear makes this easier.
With that, it’s done. Register yourself for the ascension tournament one last time before it’s time to go.
Origin Spirit (V)
Welcome to the first region where things will be a bit tougher. Expect to spend a fair amount of time here, in addition to having to upgrade your skills more than before.
Incidentally, this is worst ascension method out of them all. Just so you are warned. The pill must be made by yourself again, so you will need to upgrade your alchemy (and herbology if you want decent drop rates).
The superfuntime is getting the heavenly treasures. One is a world boss as usual, but the rest are RNG of the worst kind. First you need to identify Lands of Beyond. You inject your divine sense and are taken to a combat arena.
Your goal is to destroy the Array Core in the middle, while being attacked by monsters and constantly taking damage from the area. If you are reasonably upgraded, this should pose no problem. Lifesteal makes it a joke.
This will give you a map item. If you pay Spirit Stones, it will show you a spot on the map where you must use Feng Shui nearby to find it. Do not go into the snow area, you are not ready for it.
You will find a cave with a fox boss that can be pretty tanky. Once it’s finally dead (wind movement is good), it will give you… a completely random treasure. Including the worse ones. Or duplicates. Or even none at all if it feels like it. You need a new map for each treasure, but you can savescum the bossfight itself.
If you want the optimal treasures, prepare for a lot of tries to get the last missing one if you’re unlucky. (I needed about 30…)
I really strongly hope this breakthrough will be reworked, especially since the next tier is the best in the game.
The Land of Origin/Land of Beginning work the same as the elemental zones from before, but there’s only two this time. Just get the Heaven Qi. You can also go via a pill, but why? Earth Qi is good for selling.
Nascent Soul (VI)
Welcome to the one ascension segment that I think is actually fun. It’s quite involved and very difficult. You are now powerful enough to survive in the northern ice area.
First step, upgrade your skills. You will likely spend a lot of time preparing in this breakthrough, so work towards getting red skills. If you have a monoelemental build and it’s your highest spirit root, you can kill the hundred mountains area world boss to get red attack skills, and a sect for some red passives. You should probably also visit the auction a few times, and possibly grind up your spirit roots. The latter will let you use a lot more passives and you’re going to spend a lot of time preparing here anyway. Upgrade your skills and Comprehend them too. Take part in the Ascension Tournaments for skill points.
Now for the breakthrough. When you go into the northern ice area, you will be given a special scroll, read it to start gathering 5 souls. In the area, you can find 5 special zones. If you enter them, you will be attacked by a guardian. They are pretty strong if you are unprepared, but appropriate tier skills will best them pretty easily. The water guardian can summon clones that attack too, you can just stay away from them. Each guardian will give you a quest to fulfill after you beat them.
One wants a pill you need to make, quality doesn’t matter. Another wants an ascension material from a Land of No Return. It works the same with the maps from the previous tier, BUT this time the quality doesn’t matter. You also get tasked with picking up a few items, just follow the quest markers.
Once a quest is done, you can challenge a unique boss. All of them are really, really powerful. You are hopefully prepared with good skills and plenty of healing pills, preferably the highest quality. You will need them. If Wind Movement doesn’t cut it, give Water a try. The clone draws aggro from some of the bosses, which is really convenient. Doubly so if you have reduced CD. I won’t spoil the bosses, they’re pretty neat.
Once you beat a boss, you earn a soul fragment. You need to Use it in your inventory to add it to your rotation and to gain its boosts temporarily.
Next you must forge an immortal soul via climbing the Stairway To Heaven, always located near the city. This is a very long endurance slog. Make sure you are fully stocked with pills. Your skills are hopefully prepared due to the previous bosses.
You are given a 2×5 area that represents the stairway, with one area marked as boss. In each area, you must fight a set of normal enemies or minibosses. Once all are defeated, you gain a soul fragment. You can pick one of three, generally just pick the highest attack/defense combo.
You can cut your soul gathering short if you go straight for the boss, but why do that when you can gain greater power?
I would suggest wind movement and triggering it immediately the moment the first battle starts. I’ve had enemies spawn directly around me and take me down to half health with little time to react. That only happened in the first area however.
Once you got as many soul fragments as you want out of 9 max, fight the boss. It’s not particularly strong, but some of the attacks are not really avoidable. If you still got plenty of pills, you will be just fine.
Now you must create your soul. You sacrifice four fragments, and keep one as foundation (the one you don’t select). The kept soul will give you special boosts which you can see in the description.
Honestly, as far as I can tell the blue dragon is just the best choice. The attack boost is massive and gets a very powerful special attack too. The turtle can help in certain builds too I guess.
And you’re done. Next up is a horrible grind. If you run into the giant do not continue the questline until you are in Enlightenment (VIII). Furthermore, you should perhaps stay here for a while and take part in tournaments to gain skill points. The next ascension will take a lot of time before you’re ready for the next region’s tournament.
Soul Formation (VII)
This is going to be long and pretty difficult. You really should update your skills and passives for the new tier. Also, more alchemy grinding for the pill.
Explore the area to find the strange new dungeons, there will be six total. Each will have two colors together, representing a combination of two elements for the dungeon. In those dungeon, you can find tao stones of the colors that the dungeon’s entrance has. Each type of stone has two associated elements, which are in the dungeon’s name.
Your first order of business is to go into the dungeons, fight enemies (up to the third room, read the next two sections first) and get 1500-2000 of each color of tao stone. Yeah, this is a pretty long grind, but you will need them, trust me.
|Name||Color||Martial element||Spirit element|
How do the dungeons work?
A dungeon consists of five rooms in a row, ending with a boss fight with one of two bosses. They are dungeon-specific and you should make note which dungeon’s bosses you can defeat easily for later.
- 1. Basic mobs and minibosses, each dungeon has its own set of mobs.
- 2. More of the same
- 3. A boss that will be weak usually and easy to defeat.
- 4. A group of minibosses combined with a cultivator. Depending on the skills the cultivator rolls, they can be pretty strong. The camera will lock when you kill the cultivator, you can be hit while that happens.
- 5. Each dungeon has 2 associated bosses, one of them is randomly picked for the fight. They are all very powerful if you aren’t heavily upgraded.
Once you have cleared a room, the action will stop and a two-colored symbol of the dungeon will spawn in the middle. If you touch it, you will continue fighting. If you want to get out instead, hit ESC, and run from the dungeon. Since combat is over, you will keep all the tao stones you got so far. In terms of speed, it’s usually best to clear the third room and then run. The cultivator can be a gamble with their skills and potentially a miniboss that can stun you.
Modifiers and you
After you clear a room, you can choose to continue by touching the symbol in the middle. You will be shown a new screen where two new modifiers are determined for the rest of the dungeon, ending in 8 modifiers if you finish the dungeon. These can range from giving enemies health regeneration, damage boosts, to guaranteed crits, increased attack cooldowns and more.
A modifier has an associated element, number and color. The element matters for Tao souls, the number too and indicate the strength of the modifier, the color is for rerolling.
A modifier will only appear if your spirit root of the element is above a threshold. 5 points modifiers are always on, 10 requires >100, 15 means > 200 and 20 point modifiers require a spirit root of their element of over 300. You may find out you have to grind fruits for a while here. Alternatively, having low spirit roots can prevent some of the more dangerous modifiers from appearing.
If you encounter a modifier that is too dangerous (like 5 guaranteed crits), you can click the arrow below to reroll the modifier. This costs Tao stones of the color of the modifier. Every 3 rolls, the cost goes up by 5 stones per reroll for all existing modifiers. This cost is reset if you move on to the next room.
Now you should prepare to get yourself at least 1000, ideally over 1500 tao stones of every color. since you will be rerolling a lot to get your ideal tao souls. Ignore the part in the middle of the modifiers until you are ready.
What are the souls for?
After you got enough stones, and hopefully have powered up your character, you should attempt a few runs to the end, to see if you can beat a boss from a dungeon. You will need to in order to gain the Tao Souls for ascension. You can just sell the tao souls in the auction, they’re a really good way of making a lot of money.
The Tao souls you gain will grant you a new domain ability once you ascend. The properties of said domain are determined by the primary and secondary tao soul elements. The primary (Stat) determines the effect, the secondary (Substat) provide boosts to the statistics. If you have the same primary more than once, it will add up to a different law. (Two sword souls + 1 wood primary soul give a mixed level 2 sword and level 1 wood domain, 3 primary means level 3.)
You may be tempted to just get a domain for your primary element, but that’s not a good idea. Many domain effects are unfortunately not very good.
Wiki entry – [fandom.com]
Sword 3 with Spear and Wood (extended duration) is good for many builds since ultimates hit multiple times and build those stacks up quickly. Blade 3 is great for blade builds. You can also mix lower-grade laws as long as it adds up to 3 (1+1+1, 1+2).
Decide now what you want and figure out which combinations are possible.
Fusing dao souls requires matching elements. The primary element of a tao soul has to be either listed in the primary or secondary elements of the other tao souls. This has to be mutual for all three souls. If you make 3 times the same primary, they will all fuse into a level 3 domain of the element you picked. If you wish to use a mixed law (like 1+1+1), then the primaries must be among the secondaries of the other souls.
If you want maximum stats from having the highest purity, you must only have one primary and two secondary elements. In other words, if you want a mixed high purity soul, your tao souls can only consist of a primary and two secondaries that are the primaries of the other souls.
The stat boost from purity isn’t that large though. A less pure tao soul can have more than 3 elements, which makes fusing easier.
How do I get the tao soul I want?
As you go through the dungeon, pay attention to the modifiers. Each has an element and a number. On the rerolling screen, you can see all the elements with the sums of the modifier numbers. The primary is the one furthest left, which has the highest number. The secondaries are all the other ones with lower numbers. If you have more than 3 elements, you will gain an impure tao soul, you will also lower the probability of actually creating one after you clear the final room.
Now then, your goal is to reroll all the modifiers of elements you don’t want, until you only have elements you want to have. Make sure the biggest number is the primary that you want to have. If you want max purity, the primary must have a value of 50 or more. The sums of the secondaries do not matter.
This is what you need all the stones for. If you are unlucky it can take an absurd amount of rolls (I reached a cost of over 150…), especially if you want a pure tao soul. Keep in mind that you can reroll between each fight and the price will be reset after the next one.
This is not done yet in the game as of this patch. Currently the preview indicates you need to farm drops again. You can already get the Emerald Leaf from the world boss in the desert area.
After the last section, you got a shiny new ability, your domain. It takes some time in combat before it can be activated, but then it triggers the effect you picked via your tao souls (you can read it on the breakthrough screen… after you picked it. Not before. Sadly.) As long as enemies are in the range of the ability, they will be affected (with few exceptions). If the domain builds stacks, they stay until the domain ends.
Use requires Tao Points which replenish every month, more if you equip a specific spirit. No other way for now.
If you want to go west, you need to go through the Giant questline, make sure to keep him healthy. As there are time limits, you should only start it once you are in Enlightenment.
There’s no point going through the desert right now once you’re done with the Giant quest. There’s nothing at the end, and you will be teleported back. There’re no towns, so even if you find a trick past it, there’s nothing there. The mobs get harder if you want to check if you can make the trip I guess?
Annoyingly NPCs from Ascension realm are around and can try to fight or steal from you…
If you want a challenge, fight the Fallen Valley boss from the last area with 50 Nether Breaths. Good luck. Save beforehand.
Storage caves are all linked, and I think the space is infinite? Nobody can steal from them too.
Inns restore all your stats.
The quest board lets you earn spirit stones and Mayor Decrees. The latter is the currency for the manual pavillion. You can get new quests every month, but you don’t need to finish them in a month. Keep in mind that the quests are tiered. If you breakthrough, you will get more difficult quests. In Area 4, Hell quests will be rough if you don’t have a full set of tiered and orange/red skills and passives. Resource quest will be easy since you will quickly have a large amount of items. Avoid the storage ring or assassination quests since that requires stealing/fighting and incurs NPC hatred.
The quest for finding treasures with Feng Shui can end with the NPC attacking you. They should not pose a challenge. The treasures are almost always worthless though.
Taverns can give you temporary boosts (useful), increase affinity with random sets of people in town and let you trigger a small number of sidequests (purple exclamation mark).
Markets let you buy basic pills, minor breakthrough pills, rings and mounts, teleportation charms and some other items. They also have a set of books to learn for the specialization skills.
Every town has its own set of books for Feng Shui and Herbology, but not for Mining. So make sure you do a round and buy them all when you’re about to leave a region.
Cities (bigger, blue map icon) offer stuff for the second realm tier of a region.
Pavillions let you buy martial manuals, excluding Ultimate skills. Usually only up to purple rarity. They require stones, mayor decrees and reputation (from quests). Cities have manuals for the second realm tier of a region. These can be decent if you broke through and need to update your skills. They will never have anything red and almost never anything orange. These are refreshed every 6 months, so don’t dilly-dally if you need one.
Workshops cover forging and alchemy, which will be covered below. Synthesis lets you make qi pearls from fragments and upgrade the materials to upgrade skills if you need more.
You can buy the forging and alchemy recipes here.
Immortal wardrobe lets you buy new outfits. It’s largely pointless unless you really like one. You need to buy an item to start a time-limited monster fight for the drops to buy anything.
Auction Houses sell their inventory every 2 years, first month. They cannot be rerolled since their inventory actually comes from NPCs. You can sell tier-appropriate red/orange items here for a lot of cash. This is a primary source of red manuals, make sure to take a look. The manuals are usually only for the second realm of a region though.
During the auction, if you like something you can try outbidding the NPCs. Be warned that you can incur hatred here for outbidding someone, though this hardly matters. Furthermore the prices get pretty high, 10-20 times the sale price isn’t uncommon, make sure you have a lot of money.
NPCs seem to have a specific buy limit, so if you reload you can just bid that directly.
By the way, you can make the game skip all the items you don’t want anyway.
After the first region, Ascension Conferences are a pretty long tournament for the sake of Skill Fruits. They happen every 3 years. You can participate if you are in a sect, have a high enough reputation (do quests) and are in the later tier of a region. You should always participate since the Skill Points grind is dumb and you can get a lot of points at once.
You will be up against the strongest NPCs of the region, and rarely the world simulation may put you up against next tier NPCs. Make sure to drink up first. NPC victories are random, but weighed based on their stats, so rerolling can occasionally let you bypass a cheater.
By the way, there seems to be a minor bug where if you reregister immediately after a tournament ends, you don’t actually register. Let a month pass.
So why would you want to join a sect? It gives you access to the sect stores at reasonable prices for spirit fruits, lets you participate in the Ascension Tournament, gives you backing which can make NPCs not want to fight you, and access to techniques.
Joining sects is somewhat necessary. You get a letter of invitation for the very first from the prologue events, but you need to meet the requirements for the rest. That is either having the appropriate root or sufficient friendship levels. My impression is that befriending higher ranking people counts for more. You can also leave a sect, but you’ll be banned from them for years and lose all sect tokens.
Then you need to go through a short tournament to actually join. It’s the same for when you want to get promoted. (Incidentally, it used to be that you might randomly have to fight NPCs of a tier or two higher that somehow were stuck in the sect. This made things occasioanlly frustrating.)
Your current sect will be a brighter icon on the map than the rest.
After you join one, you get access to a new currency, sect tokens. They’re gained from doing sect quests and are used to do basically anything in a sect. You also get a rank-dependent yearly salary.
In the first area, each sect controls 3 elements, in the others 2. They always have manuals and spirit fruits for these. Unfortunately, each region has an equal number of just and demonic sects, you can tell them apart by the design. Joining a sect with an alignment opposite to yours can be a hassle since you will be taxed on your sect tokens and may even suffer worse penalties like detainment. Sadly, each element is only ever present once, so if you’re in a region where the sect with your primary element has an opposite alignment, you’re out of luck. You can still befriend them for spirit fruits and get manuals elsewhere, so it’s not that bad.
If you wonder, the building levels seem to mean nothing.
The Treasure Pavillion lets you buy items. This includes the critical spirit fruits, for which sects are the only reliable source. This is also the only place to buy alchemy cauldrons (more later) and flames for refining artifacts. If you have joined a sect, all prices will be in sect tokens, if you have not, you can still buy items for spirit stones.
The prices for items will be greatly inflated if you haven’t befriended the sect however. If you want to get more access to spirit fruits, you will have to befriend the higher ranking people of the sect to make the prices sensible. This can also let you get an alchemy cauldron with better passive traits.
All other buildings can only be accessed by joining the sect.
The Manual Pavillion lets you buy manuals, mostly up to purple, for both cultivation tiers of the region. If you get promoted to Grand Elder, you can access a set of red passives and ultimates for the elements of the sect. These can still be pretty useless though. Sects are largely not the best source of manuals. Every 6 months, they toss out the non-treasured manuals like the city pavillions. The Grand Elder “treasures” will not change. If the ultimate is not what you need (you got Combat Expertise, but it’s an ultimate that requires field objects), or the traits of the passives are bad, you’re out of luck.
Hospital lets you heal for free, Inns cost so little that this doesn’t matter.
The Cultivation chamber lets you trade sect tokens for Qi, this can occasionally be less annoying than hunting for Qi spots, especially in higher difficulties where they’re rare.
Council Hall lists the sects higher members, lets you withdraw your yearly salary and apply for promotion. The latter requires winning a tournament so check the NPC realms beforehand.
Mission Hall lets you do sect tasks for sect tokens. I’d suggest avoiding the Kill Sect Enemy and the Retrieve Manuals tasks, since those just cause problems with NPC hatred. Either you kill a named NPC or you steal from them. The Rogue Cultivator is different, it’s not a named enemy. It’s only generated for the task and has no relationships. You can kill them without worry, but they can be tough. You get new tasks every month, but you don’t need to finish them in a month.
The entire system is largely superfluous and is really only good for dao/skill points.
When people want to discuss the dao with you, always agree and check their personality. Try to answer according to their personality. Everybody likes a yes-man, even the psychopaths.
Spars are fine and don’t threaten your life, you can agree to them. Becoming “Training Partners” is also a quick end-of-month dao points boost (and requires the least work for grinding skill points outside of tournaments…). Agreeing to become friends is never a bad thing too.
As strangers, you can only talk to them. This can backfire if your just/demonic alignment or your three character traits differ too much, but you can just give them gifts once they hate you. It’s easier to try to catch them into a town and just buy everybody a round of drinks over and over until you have a base rapport with them. You can mark an NPC like a sect leader with your divine sense and just check occasionally.
User ITalkToSky points out that buying and gifting rings works extremely well. I can confirm that.
Here. – [steamcommunity.com]
Ascension materials of any tier are always good gifts, but manuals of red/orange quality are only important if they are of the tier of the NPC or higher.
Stealing from NPCs is only worth it on very rare occasions, such as right after an auction when they have something you want. You need a higher divine sense (or use a specific artifact spirit’s ability) to steal and then get lucky with the charm roll to do it unnoticed. Lower charm is better, so unequip your mount if needed and eat the special mushroom. If noticed, you may get into a fight and they will hate you. See below for a tradeoff if you need to.
NPC hatred is like a chain of dominos. One person hates you, you kill them, their family hates you, you kill them, it never ends. I would suggest never killing anybody to reduce the sheer hassle. You can give gifts to remove hatred though, ascension materials and books will completely reverse hatred.
More annoyingly, if NPCs pick a fight with you, they will hate you if they lose. Same with NPCs during the treasure search quest that decide to attack you before getting stomped. And if you find an unconscious NPC in a dungeon outside of the specific quest for it and heal them, they will attack you too. And then hate you if you knock them out.
When somebody invites you to a place, you can perform multiple interactions with them to increase the bond. It’s a unique area you can’t see otherwise I guess? When somebody there wants you gone, make sure to check their cultivation tier before fighting.
You can also marry people etc., but all that is largely meaningless since you really only want skill points from NPCs.
If you need to track an NPC, you can use Sense to mark them. This will always show you where they are. This does not remove sense from your bar, instead your maximum sense acts as a cap for how many artifacts you can equip/how many NPCs you can track.
They can cultivate and progress on their own, but you can also give them materials they can use. If an NPC dies, you can make a pill of the appropriate tier via alchemy to resurrect them. You got a time limit on that however, and if they surpass your tier, you will probably not make it in time.
By the way, NPCs don’t play by your rules. Their stats are rolled and can be higher than yours can be. I got an NPC with a higher base attack than I could reach with a purple passive. And an 800% crit damage monster.
So you need these to equip more passive skills. There’re multiple ways to get them. All but the tournament happen as end-of-month event, but you can also trigger them manually.
You can look at the NPC section for the NPC interactions that grant knowledge you can transform into points. This tends to be slow and one interaction will give you about 3 skill points. Fastest is usually Training Partner over and over.
The last option is the triannual Ascension Tournament. Please look into the town section. I’d suggest participating as often as possible if you are at the appropriate tier. The skill fruits are a huge reward.
There is an exploit you can do with these. You must be part of a sect and ready to participate in the tournament. Normally, when you have ascended to the realm of the next region and you enter it, you will be kicked out of the sect and lose the right to participate, however… this event only happens at the end of the month. And teleportation talismans take no time.
You can indeed indefinitely teleport back, remain in your old sect while convenient, and sign up for a few tournaments while starting the grind of the next area. Gets tedious, but lets you score a few more skill fruits
As a point of reference, a full red passive layout in Enlightenment (VIII) will take about 3000 skill points. Yeah, that is a lot.
If you trigger it, it will identify nearby special areas (herb spots, qi spots, etc.). It can also trigger new special areas that didn’t exist before with some of the subskills.
After upgrading your stat high enough, you can go into the various towns and buy skill books to learn. Every town has its own unique set of books. Later regions only upgrade your existing skills. Since they are a prerequisite, you always need to start from the lowest tier.
The treasure or dungeons Feng Shui can find are almost always useless.
Turns out grave robbing can be quite useful. It will reduce your lifespan by 10 years each (and there’s an ingame counter, so there may be karma much later?). But you will usually get a Rare Material (the special metals) for forging. This is by far and away the fastest option to savescum for rare materials. Only downside is that Feng Shui, even with the highest skill, only spawns graves very rarely. If you are in Fallen Valley anyway for the spirits, you may as well savescum the random zone bosses instead.
If you run into a quest requiring Feng Shui, you can do that even without upgrading the skill at all.
You improve it by hunting Blood Puppets that spawn near towns. You will be notified when it happens and you are in the region. They give 5 times region points, this holds true for all skill books. All these special town spawns are somewhat strong, you should either be in late realm 1 or realm 2 for the region to stand a chance. The book grind gets pretty obnoxious for all of the Specializations to be honest.
With Herbology, you can use it in green herb spots to gather materials. It’s a good idea to grind this out since it feeds alchemy, and alchemy is useful. A herb spot will only have a single herb, in amounts depending on the quality of the herb spot.
Every town, like Feng Shui, has its own set of herbology books. The herbology books let you get a specific plant from an herb spot. If you get weeds, you rolled a plant you don’t have the chart of. You can savescum this. The charts also increase the drop rate from monsters significantly.
To improve it, you need to hunt mushroom men which spawn near towns. Like the other town spawns, they drop a book. They also drop a lot of herbs, which is handy.
Alchemy is used to make specific pills according to pill recipes you can buy in the workshops of towns and cities, the latter having more charts to learn. Each region has its own set, but all the towns have the same. This is the only reliable way to get red grade pills, which you will probably want down the line. Alchemy is used in multiple ascension quests too. You pretty much need to improve it. Save before crafting pills.
Early on, you can use the workshops to have pills crafted for you, but they will be of lower quality. And since alchemy has a chance to fail, you should save beforehand.
For doing it yourself you need the recipe from the workshop, the herbs and a cauldron.
Herbs require herbology. The cauldron can be bought from sects (by joining or befriending them). Check the passive traits of the cauldron, some can randomly add elements you don’t want, which is really obnoxious. Make sure you are using a cauldron of the appropriate region for the recipe, they must have enough slots for herbs. Even within a region, the amount of slots can differ. You want the higher one.
Now alchemy requires you to have enough herbs for the recipe. You will also see “Required Elements” bars. Here is where things get annoying. The elements are always calculated in a manner that you need all the herbs in the amounts listed, and one more herb you need to do math to figure out. The cauldron always accomodates one more herb than strictly needed for the realm of the pill according to the recipe, if it’s of the correct region.
For example, Qi Condensation Elixirs requires 50 of two herbs, these fill Yin and Yang. But then you also need 200 Lightning element. So you need to calculate the elemental amounts missing, and then check which herb covers that. A cauldron of the first region will have 2 or 3 slots, and you should check you get one with 3.
You want to avoid adding unnecessary elements too. Only one type of herb always fits exactly what you need. These herbs can also cover multiple elements at once, keep that in mind. Across the regions, you get higher tiers of herbs with higher base stats. You can use the lower tiers too, but it takes more. The max is 100 herbs at once. If you get a rare cauldron that has extra slots beyond their tier, you can be more flexible.
Check you have everything, then start. Select the pill, the cauldron and confirm. Throw in the necessary herbs in the pre-filled amounts and check what elements are left over. Then figure out what the missing herb is and add it. Finish crafting and you get a QTE. You must stop the bar at the marked ideal spot. If you miss it, you incur impurities. Overshooting seems worse than under-.
After you finish, you get a random roll where the cauldron can explode and turn your herbs to ashes (you did save, right?). If not, you get an assortment of pills and a boost to the proficiency of the pill recipe. I assume it improves the odds of getting good pills, but if you exactly correctly fill the cauldron, you will get a bunch of red grade pills anyway.
By the way, your cauldron has a durability rating, it can break if you use it a lot.
Health pills become pretty important later on, attack pills count double in the damage formula, and doing alchemy yourself is the only way to reliably get red pills.
Mad Alchemists town spawns drop the skill book, as well as a lot of random and useful pills.
Mining / Ore
Mostly useless. No really, I mean it. It gives you access to items that drop from Fallen Valley anyway. And since the artifact spirit grind is obscene, you will almost always have more than enough anyway.
The drop charts should increase the drop rate in Fallen Valley.
You can also mine resins used to refine artifacts, which changes the traits they have.
The crystal golem city spawn gives you books, they’re worth 5 points times the region you’re in.
You can reroll mining spots like Botany, but why even bother.
Forging is pretty complicated. You first need a high enough forging skill and learn the recipe from a workshop, if you want the best artifacts (you do). It’s enough to make the cut, your skill does not influence the outcome. Largely it’s not worth it since the artifact + spirit grind is dumb, and they aren’t even that strong.
Every artifact requires a core material. All but the sword are drops from world bosses that spawn after long periods of time. Since you also need those cores to upgrade them, you better get hunting when they spawn. The sword requires an item that drops from the dragon boss in Fallen Valley, more below.
Supplementary materials are simply monster drops. The total impurity of these materials needs to be below an artifact-specific value. Most are found in the Fallen Valley of the region of the artifact (where you can get the chart).
The Rare Material is where it gets really obnoxious. Each artifact has its own. You need 10 of these to make a red artifact, which has 25% higher base stats than purple. This is a lot more than it sounds, since it’s +25% for all stats.
First identify the material, then figure out which zone boss drops it. For example, the bosses in the special elemental zones of the second area drop the metal for the horn. These drops are random. The spawning of the beasts is random, slow, and you are only notified if you are in the area. You can get 3-5 drops per boss monster, but it’s far more common to get nothing at all. Or ones you don’t need. I very strongly recommend savescumming the daylights out of this whenever a boss spawns.
There’s an alternate method. Grave robbing. Feng Shui has a skill that generates graves, with a rather low probability even with the highest skill level you can get. The grave robbing will reduce your lifespan by about 10 years (an artifact spirit can negate that), and you will get a region-appropriate rare metal, 3-5 pieces. You can savescum this if you are after something. Grave robbing has a counter in your stats, so there may possibly be something done with that down the line?
The last part is a special flame you just buy in a sect. It seems to have no influence on quality.
After all this, you need to play a minigame. Read the description, click to zap the bad stuff away. If you have 10 rare materials, you should have an almost filled purity gauge, 0 impurities, and get a red artifact.
Artifacts need to be equipped into your pill slots. They are limited by your maximum divine sense. They also have a durability. If used in combat, it goes down by 2 if you recall it ahead of time, and by 20 if you let it be broken. And unfortunately later bosses will break them almost instantly.
You can repair them at the workshop with a material from Fallen Valley and monster drops below a certain impurity.
You can also upgrade them. This requires another copy of the core item (the boss drop), a different (and rarer) material from Fallen Valley and a large amount of quartz from Souleater Tower. You have to upgrade artifacts to your cultivation tier if you want them to be useful at all. Unfortunately the Souleater Tower is pretty hard to survive, so you may have to see if you can even survive grinding out the materials before the end of a region. The realm of the artifact determines from which region you need the quartz.
Forging’s associated spawn is the treasure fiend, same deal as the others. It drops materials for refining on death. Be warned that its attacks are hard to dodge and you may wish to be in the second cultivation realm of a region before picking a fight.
Artifacts and spirits get their own section.
Fallen Valley, Acquiring Spirits
Be warned that the grind for spirits is more excessive than anything else in the game, by a pretty large margin. You want to have good mobclear for this. You will also need to interact with almost every system of the game to fully upgrade spirits.
So you made yourself a fancy artifact by forging, and now you want to have a spirit for it, so that it’s actually useful. This requires you to buy an item to go to Fallen Valley, to get spirits and items that let you go to Souleater Tower, which has stuff to improve spirits.
First you must buy “Ultima Sands” from any market in any town. They’re all equivalent and each shop stocks 10. If you need more, just teleport around. It’s the same item no matter the region.
Next you must find one of the two Fallen Valleys in your target region, either will do. The valleys of different regions are not identical, and far harder. Each entry costs one sand and five days. Take note that the Valley is very dangerous, you should be in the 2nd cultivation realm of the region to be safe.
PS: I recommend the chain lightning LMB if you want to grind. Even if you need to get spirit fruits first.
Unequip your artifacts and pills before entering. See random events as for why.
The valley is always a 3×3 dungeon, where you start in the middle. Your goal is to get Soul Lure objects (blue spheres, they can’t be taken out of the dungeon), and offer them to the large purple crystal to get crystals shards. Those shards contain a random spirit.
The center area is (with one exception) always safe. If you go in any direction, you will start a fight against a large group of monsters and minibosses. These can randomly drop Soul Lures that you need. The trees tend to drop them usually.
While fighting, be very careful of the purple spouts and the AoE circles you can see. This are environmental hazards and they deal a percentage of your max vitality as damage. This means they are always dangerous and you can never outlevel them. The explosions only happen once, and if you look closely, you can see which pieces of terrain will explode when approached. These things also damage enemies by the way, might be useful.
Once you have found the room with the large purple crystals, you can choose to end your excursion by interacting with it. You will offer your Soul Lures to the crystal and get a number of shards depending on how many lures you offer (… and it’s random how many lures you can get to drop, so…). Less than 10 means 2-4, 10-20 seems to be 5-7, about 30 will be 9 or so. More than 30 is just wasted. You can hammer space to fast-forward through.
A boss can spawn when you interact with the crystal, but it’s very easy to beat. If it happens you get more crystal shards than usual and a treasure chest.
You must go near the shards and interact with them to… roll the dice. Spirits are gacha. Great.
There’re three types of spirit rarities (more in the spirits overview section).
Aside from the shards, you also get two types of liquids which are used to repair or upgrade artifacts respectively.
Fallen Valley Random Events
Aside from the purple crystal room, there’re a number of other random special rooms you can run into. Most are beneficial.
If you see a floating green crystal in the middle of the room, you have to keep attacking it a few times to break it for free soul pearls.
If you find a white dead body, interact with it for free pearls.
A room can have a random cultivator you must fight. They can be somewhat strong for the region. If you find you are doing no damage, escape right away. You will waste a run, but it’s better than dying. They do not seem to scale up.
A room can also spawn a clone of your character. The clone can use your artifacts and your pills. They will have your stats and skills, but not your fates. This makes them unable to use ultimates. The AI isn’t too smart, but something like a blade lifesteal build may struggle a bit. They give out a lot of pearls on death.
You may run into a treasure chest, this can be a gamble. It can either just give you pearls, or have a cultivator attack you (the odds seem 50:50 or worse). The cultivator can range from very weak to hopelessly powerful, irrespective of your cultivation tier. Even if you are in Enlightenment and visiting a Fallen Valley from region 2, it can still beat you. Peak Enlightenment can be barely enough. Prepare to run if you do 1 damage.
If you manage to beat it, you get a lot of soul pearls.
Very, very rarely an artifact rat will spawn. This is a special enemy that only takes 1 damage from all attacks, has little health and does not counterattack. You need to kill them relatively quickly to get pearls from it.
Lastly you may find a pond that took me a while to figure out. It acts as a bank. Every pearl you throw in is stored for future runs. But if you throw in fewer pearls than are stored, it will instead give you double back. For example, if you do a run where you throw in 4 pearls, then throw in 5. The 5 is bigger than the 4 stored, so the 5 is also stored for 9 total. If you throw in 7 next run, you get 14 back and the bank is reduced to 2 pearls.
Unfortunately, due to how the math for crystal shards in relation to soul lures works, I’m pretty sure this object is completely useless and you should never bother. You get more shards out of two separate bad runs, than of combining the soul lures into one 0 pearl and one good run.
As you keep rolling the gacha, you will get duplicates. Initially these upgrade the soul level of the spirit, but once fully maxed, you receive “Nether Breath” items instead. 1 for normal spirits, 2 for rare ones. You can use a large stack of these (up to 50) at the center of the starting area to summon an empowered version of the crystal dragon boss.
It will be far more powerful than you may expect.
If you spend 50 breaths, it will be scaled to the cultivation realm of the next region. If you don’t have one of the busted builds, you will find it difficult to win.
If you win, you get a large amount of crystal shards, more if you spent more Nether Breaths. If you spent a lot of breaths (or get lucky?), you can find a special equipment ring here. This ring gives you a percentage-boost to your damage for each artifact you have equipped, but constantly drains your sense. (1%/2%/3% bonus damage per artifact for 2/4/6 sense per second). The damage bonus is pretty negligible sadly and you can’t really restore sense.
Souleater Tower, Upgrade Materials
You must have Soul Eater Stones for each time you want to enter, you can get them from Fallen Valley.
The tower is a series of 5 increasingly difficult boss fights, with a timer.
If the timer at the top ever runs out, you die. Defeating a boss drops small blue objects that grant additional time.
If you aren’t at the peak of the second realm of a region, you will probably not survive until the end, but you can still get the drops you want from earlier enemies.
Those being Forge Quartzes (used for upgrading Artifacts) and various Dews (used to upgrade Spirits). These are region-specific, so you can’t upgrade items beyond your realm.
If you finish a tower, you can get a soul sphere, which is an item to upgrade a spirit with. You only get it once, but it acts as equipment you can take back at any time. Some towers also give you mounts.
Overview of Spirits and Artifacts
So you got your artifacts, and you got your spirits, and you may wonder what next.
Artifacts must be equipped in your pill slots (and are used like one). They all have unique special effects. You can read what an artifact does on the artifacts screen you can click on below the bag icon in your inventory, on the left.
All artifacts also have a number of skills, which are pretty much traits for artifacts. However, when you refine an artifact, you do not improve the traits, you change them. Some are decidedly more useful than others I’ll say. The traits can have tiers, but you cannot pick which trait to replace. You can only replace the whole set at once.
To unlock the real power of an artifact, you must combine it with a spirit in the upper right. This process is reversible at any time, but doing so reduces the durability of an artifact to zero.
Spirits add their own special abilites to an artifact while it’s active. Some also have passive traits that are triggered if you have the spirit merged with an artifact in your pill slots. The tier of an artifact can boost the power of the spirit’s abilities (not durations or probabilities though).
When a spirit says something triggers on “attack”, this means an attack by the spirit itself, not the artifact. Generally, attacks are somewhat slow projectiles (that can miss…), while buffs while home in on you. As far as I can tell, you cannot find the stats like range and cooldown for the spirit’s unique attack anywhere. Damage should depend on the artifact.
Many effects from spirits only stay around while the artifact is active. Exceptions are for skills that explicitly have a timer (like Charon’s boar summons).
Artifacts are sadly only useful if you keep upgrading them to your tier. This requires the liquid from Fallen Valley, quartz from the Souleater Tower and another copy of the world boss material.
In combat, you summon them by pressing the inventory button. They tend to draw aggro from enemies more so than yourself. You can unsummon them by pressing the button again. This incurs a 10 second wait time before you can use it again, their vitality will stay the same. If the artifact loses all vitality from attacks, it will break. This costs 20 durability total and incurs 60 seconds of wait time, but then it has full vitality again when summoned once more.
They sadly tend to break quickly, and bosses will often just tear through them.
There’s a lot to see on the artifact spirits screen. The left side contains a list of all spirits you have obtained from the various Fallen Valleys. The middle piece is art. The bar below is their soul realm, upgraded by rolling duplicates of the spirit in Fallen Valley.
Lower left has a history of the spirit (more unlocked with a higher soul realm).
Below you can give them gifts to increase affinity displayed as hearts in the top right. Each spirit has a preferred type of gift (like Mengyi and Iridescent Gems), those are just drops, from the Fallen Valley where you can find the spirit. The very first entry tends to be the special gift that gives half a heart. You can only give a limited number of gifts per year. Once you exceed 10 hearts you can form a pact. This simply unlocks the third combat ability of the Spirit.
The right side of the screen contains the abilities of the spirit, hover over them to learn more. Dark skills are not unlocked yet. You do so either by pact, by the Talent web or by increaseing their Soul Level.
Specialization skills may require the use of Energy. You get it for feeding items to the spirit by clicking on the plus next to the bar. There is no quickfeeding. Enjoy the clicking. Some items can give up to 5 energy points each.
Talents are special upgrades for Spirits, unique to them. Each talent upgrade increases the Spirit Power level. If you want to bind a spirit to an artifact, it’s spirit power needs to be lower than the artifact’s capacity. So if you upgrade spirits a lot, you must also upgrade your artifacts alongside.
The three slots are for items you get for completing a souleating tower of a region. They only drop once and increase all stats by a few percent. You can also take them back out for another spirit if you want.
If you click on “View” next to talents, you open the upgrade web. Every upgrade comes with a cost, and increases the Spirit’s Spirit Power, keep that in mind.
The upgrades will tell you what they need. This can be money, dew from the Souleater Towers (note which region’s tower is needed), practically any kind of pill (of specific grades too… You can buy grades 5+6 in towns, 3+4 in sects), interacting with NPCs (even killing them), and a lot more. You need to interact with most systems in the game to upgrade Spirits. Hope you didn’t slack with your Specializations.
If you see a node that requires you to see an event, these only count after you unlocked the node. Anything that happened before does not count. This is an issue since some events are one-offs. To combat this, you can also feed the spirit an orange or red skill book, any tier, but of the appropriate type. Just defeat world bosses to have fodder.
The upgrade web also enables the second combat skill for the spirit.
If you cannot progress in the upgrade web, you may need to increase the soul level of the spirit by rolling duplicates in Fallen Valley. Have fun.
The most common spirits have 3 soul levels, the moderately rare ones 4, the ones with a frame 5. The size of their upgrade web increases with rarity.
The lower part of the upgrade web is currently not done.
Opinions of breakthrough fates
All flat stat boosts aren’t worth it. Including perception and so on unless you really have free slots in your fates of your build. The summoning types (Jo’s here etc.) don’t seem worth it either. Spirit fruit gift is a joke. On death skills are pointless since you shouldn’t die.
Not all fates are available at all breakthrough tiers, keep that in mind. Some quests give items that let you reroll fates once. If you pick a fate that you have higher tiers of, you will be made to change all of them. (Can’t just delete a tier 1 and keep tier 2.)
Big thanks to the contributors of the wiki.
|Energy/Vitality Essence||Good for boosting survivability and you can only pick one of the two. I usually go with Energy Essence since life recovery traits seem more common.|
|Elixir Recycle||Excellent survivability since it makes your pills go a lot further, at least while pills are still useful.|
|Jo’s Flying Sword||Very strong past tier 1. The first level just deals damage, but the second can inflict random status effects. On many bosses. This can be rooting them, but also sealing/freezing them (they can’t attack and skip a phase in their attack cycle). If it poisons the target, it will deal full attack damage for a number of ticks. It attacks often enough for this to be extremely powerful. Tier 3 makes it shoot a spread of swords, and if you happen to be near a boss with that, it will deal a lot of damage.|
|Combat Expertise||Extremely useful. This lets you skip the requirement of building up stacks for ultimates. This lets you open fights with your ultimate and use it on CD, which is really useful. However there are always two ultimates and one requires objects on the field. This skill does not help with those. In practice this means that half of the ultimates are just worse. You should only get this for the ultimate you intend to use though.|
|Martial Skill Cooldown||Strong if you use those. There is no equivalent for spiritual skills.|
|Blood Claw||Hits hard, but requires a lifesteal build to not endanger you.|
|Power of Blood||A close-range lifesteal. Ideal for blade builds, questionable due to the range limit for most others. You can regain life through skill traits too, keep that in mind.|
|Spirit Fusion||Multicast your RMB and ultimate for reduced damage (30% of normal), while keeping energy cost. Even then this can be exceedingly powerful if you go for the higher tiers. Works very well for builds that are boosted by a high number of hits. If you do the math, you get 90% bonus damage 25% of the time, so 22.5% overall to your RMB and Ultimate. That is quite high. And the spirit cost only triggers when you get the bonus. Also racks up hit stacks like nothing.|
|Burning Butt||Improves agility, by a pretty large %. At the highest level it even reduces damage you take to your back. It’s pretty strong.|
|Spiritual Sword||Decently powerful if you have an energy recovery setup for bosses. Alternatively you need tier 3 for it to matter. At that tier, it can steal energy for you.|
|Old but Strong||Gets better the more you grind, but outside of Chaos you should get to Enlightenment before it becomes all that useful.|
|Quick Escape||Not as useless as it may seem, since it’s easy to get into fights you can’t win. That said, it has no combat utility to make you win fights.|
|Warlord’s Phantom||If you use a shield-burst build with Fist skills, this can be used to OHKO bosses even on Chaos. If you have strong life recovery (traits, lifesteal), this can also be used to double your effective health, but you may not need that with strong recovery?|
|Fight and Learn||Iffy. It only happens randomly, and you can’t pick the ability. You may think you can get red tier skills from it (and it will even skip the spirit root requirement), but you will mostly get bad passives since NPCs don’t tend to have good ones. You cannot learn skills of a higher realm based on a little testing.|
|Starlight||Funky rainbow. Requires mobs to build up (useless against cultivators). Deals roughly your LMB damage every tick. Seems okay if the build up isn’t an issue.|
|Sword Shadows||Deals pretty hefty damage, but takes a lot of time to trigger. Can only be triggered once per battle, which makes it pretty limited. Not that good, especially since it takes up two fate slots if you want the real damage output. It does last for 30 seconds though. Possibly more useful on lower difficulties where fights end faster?|
|Commander of the dead||The necromancy tree is far too weak to be useful.|
|Shield stance||Time-limited damage reduction after you already have taken a lot of damage. Pass.|
|Burning Jealousy||Utility is far too marginal, and non-human bosses are the bigger challenge anyway.|
|Rain of Energy/Blood Energy||Just use pills/traits for spirit recovery instead of wasting a fate slot.|
|Counterattack||Just consider the math. You need to take 6 times your max health as damage for a 100% damage boost. This only works out for lifesteal builds.|
|Witchcraft||Transforming is a cute idea, but it does not work against the targets you would want it to. Mobs are already just fodder.|
|Mirage Pot||Ahaha it boosts alchemy and reduces agility. Nope. Not ever. Not even the boost to summons makes this worthwhile.|
|War Drum||The damage is weak, but it will reduce boss damage by 25% half the time. This has some use for survivability.|
|(Elemental) Burst||Supports your basic damage, but there’re just better options.|
|Mysterious Shield||Sadly only works against projectiles. AoE-type of attacks do not count, and some of the more dangerous bosses are melee-oriented anyway.|
|Enhanced Spiritual/Martial Skill||Increases range, which has some marginal utility. Ranged skills don’t need it later on and Blade skills rely on lifesteal fates/traits, whose range isn’t boosted.|
You can tell what a sect specializes in by their name if you forgot where to get something. Sects can have the name of the element, or transliterated Chinese characters as part of their name.
This was directly taken from the wiki, thanks to the contributors.
The names may change due to changes in the translation, I cannot promise they will stay accurate.
|Element||Name part 1||Name part 2|
The following was taken wholesale from the wiki and put here for convenience, full credit to the wiki contributors.
You can buy them from taverns. Each tavern has three different drinks, which have a selection of different boosts. You can have one boost from each drink active. If you drink the same thing twice, you overwrite the previous buff. You can just keep spending money until you got what you need.
Furthermore, each region’s buffs count separately. You can get three buffs from your current region, three from the previous one and they stack. Going even further is not that useful since the buffs will be weak. You cannot get a drink from the next region sadly.
The strength will be in ascending region order 1/2/3/4/5. 5 may not be out yet, but was datamined.
All buffs last for three or six months, it seems random.
Nu Er Hong’s Placid buff is buggy. The third area should give you 4000 vitality recovery per month, but it only gives you 1000 per month, like the same buff from the second area. It seems to be treated as the 2nd region’s buff in the code, since you can overwrite it by drinking from there.
Nu Er Hong
|Name of buff||Strength|
|Bloodboil||+100/500/2000/7000/25000 maximum vitality|
|Force of Nature||+100/250/800/1200/3000 maximum Energy|
|Refreshment||+100/250/800/1200/3000 maximum Focus|
|Placid||200/1000/1000 (bug)/14000/50000 vitality recovery per month|
|Lively||200/500/1600/2400/6000 Energy recovery per month|
|Tranquil||100/250/800/1200/3000 Focus recovery per month|
|Name of buff||Strength|
|Killing Intent||Crit +20/65/200/700/2200|
|Body of Steel||Crit RES +20/65/200/700/2200|
|Enhanced Stamina||Maximum stamina +10/20/30/40/50, stamina recovery +10/20/30/40/50|
|Blissful||Max Mood + 10/20/30/40/50, mood recovery +5/10/15/20/25 per month|
|Name of buff||Strength|
|Mighty Strength||Attack +6/24/85/320/1150|
|Robust Body||Defense +6/24/87/317/1146|
|Light as a Feather||Agility +15/25/35/45/55, Travel Speed +400/700/1000/1250/1500|
Tao Souls laws
Likely too large, have a gander here. – [fandom.com]
Haven’t tried out of all of them yet at a fully upgraded level. Artifacts that deal damage use their own stats for this, this can make them less powerful than it may seem. Or more powerful if you aren’t keeping up with your passives.
Many NPCs carry artifacts. If you want an overview, you can just walk into a town of the region where you can find the forging recipe and check out various backpacks. In combat, you only need to expect artifacts from the region you’re in.
Horn of Desolation
Summons boars and offers healing. The boars’ vitality is based on the artifact’s. But since they will just facetank everything, it’s probably not that much in practice.
Even upgraded, this just seems mediocre. The boars are not strong, the healing is not that strong. Its traits tend to boost summoned units, so you could make it work with wood/earth builds?
The spirit Charon also summons boars for tanking. Maybe two summons at once are good for drawing aggro?
Typical traits: Boosting summoned units. A debuff that makes enemies take more damage.
Casts lightning spells with a small AoE in its area. Going by the numbers, this artifact should be dealing solid damage. The spirit root reduction for enemies should be borderline pointless, since enemies rarely get reduced damage anyway.
Typical traits: Faster Bolts
You can be linked via a lightning bolt. This means additional damage, and an agility boost with another trait.
Some traits seem to reduce your Crit RES? I’m assuming this is a typo and means enemy Crit RES.
Basically acts like one of the Sword ultimates, in that it summons a lot of tiny swords. Damage is okay, can be worthwhile. Seems to have low health though for me, even as red artifact. This is your go-to damage artifact.
Typical traits: Larger amounts of the summoned swords, damage buffs, debuffs for enemies on hit
Traps and stuns enemies in its area, while dealing minor damage. There’re also traits that can further debuff the target, like sealing specific abilities. You want a longer ranged skill to attack from outside the area where your opponent can’t hit you.
This is pretty much an anti-cultivator weapon, since you can very thoroughly obstruct them.
This will usually get destroyed pretty quickly.
Do not take this into Fallen Valley with you.
Typical traits: Sealing certain abilities, taunting the enemy and forcing them to attack the bell, stuns, damage on destruction
Can block items, but I can’t remember NPCs using them.
Damage debuff for enemies in range, does not last that long. I’d say there are better options.
Typical traits: Increased range for each debuff, damage for enemies moving in the area (they will), more debuffs
Can block movement skills. While nifty, those shouldn’t really be a threat to you in the first place.
Somewhat low fire damage in an area. It also absorbs spirit energy that is used by skills, but I’m not sure how useful this is. It requires traits to work. I don’t know if bosses even count as expending spirit energy, which would basically only make this artifact useful against cultivators or with a small number of abilities that reduce enemy energy.
Traits: Absorbing spirit energy from enemies triggers debuffs, damage upgrades.
Pool of Pearls
Generates orbs that fly to you. Once they reach you, you receive a solid damage boost. Since it’s created pretty late, it also does not require lengthy upgrading. If you want to go hunt down traits, you can get some really useful ones.
Traits: Faster orbs, more orbs, and new special orbs.
Black orb that makes you dodge (take no damage) from multiple attacks for a limited time span. That trait is rather good since it basically makes you invincible in most cases for the time span. Green orbs heal a lot.
White orbs make you much faster.
Good healing, minor defense boost, affects your summoned units too. This is a good survivability tool. The range is not very large.
Typical traits: More healing, agility buffs/debuffs, more range, one autododge per healing stack, guaranteed crit for a stack, a strong attack within its range
I have not even come close to finishing all of the upgrade webs, that would be way too much. Most of the upgrades are stat boosts in general, a few offer some new traits like health regeneration.
The spirits will be segregated by region, since each region’s Fallen Valleys have their own set. Within a region, the valleys are identical.
You can tell a spirit’s rarity pretty easily. The common ones have no Specialization skill and only a max of 3 soul levels. The next has one skill and a max soul level of 4. The last has a golden frame in the menu, 3 skills and a max soul level of 5.
The specialization skills that give you stuff can fail, savescum if needed. I will only mention Specializations if they don’t explain what they do or are useful.
Some spirits that seem like they are decent:
Region 2 Yunling (energy recovery), Searing Feather (fire DoT) and Youling/Muqing (healing)
Region 3 Zhenxin (damage boost), Charon (tanking), Jiuchen (crits), Ningshuang (damage)
Region 4 Cangya (First specialization, defense)
Yunling: Artifact attacks recover your energy. Bosses will likely shred it quickly since it has to be near them to attack them, so limited use for the fights where you may want it the most.
Silver Edge: Slows enemies, not useful
Searing Feather: Fire damage zone spawns. This can be pretty powerful with upgrades, since it keeps spawning zones in the same spot against bosses. The zones disappear once the artifact is gone, so survivability is once more a concern.
Feiming: Attacks, others are better.
Huofa: Chance to charm by attacks. Mengyi is better.
Youling: Good fit for healing artifacts like the Cloak or the Pool. Specialization acts like resting in an inn, which is useful if you’re on a longer trip.
Mengyi: Charms on attacks, which disables enemies, but not bosses. Needs to survive to make full use of the damage boosting spirit foxes. Specialization 1 has a number of random results depending on the dream. A random outfit, a temporary buff to Perception or Luck.
Survivability is an issue, and bosses are immune to charm, I’m pretty sure of that. Doesn’t seem that useful, even with the damage boost to charm.
Her node for talking to friends refers to people in your social web, not just anybody with high affinity. Maybe you need to invite them to make friends?
Muqing: In combat, reduces enemy attack, emergency healing, recovering your status means healing. Normal healing range is short. Talents can boost healing pills a lot.
Her first specialization only seems to give you money. It’s not even that much. Third just lets you access your cave wherever you are.
Youling always heals.
Zhenxin: Boosts its own damage, and then all allies’ damage if they are in range. Can work with defensive artifacts if you let them boost you. Just remember that you need to stay close.
Sharp Edge: Works strangely. Throws out objects that stick to the ground, then retrieves them for damage. Sometimes it just throws them at enemies for very little damage. It will miss if the enemy is directly below the artifact. Overall damage seems low.
Sharpclaw: Defense reduction on attack that scales with artifact tier (-141 per attack on Enlightenment). After some testing, this does not seem all that strong, since resistances still matter.
Voodoo: Increases enemy damage taken effectively, seems okay.
Charon: Summons rather slow boars. They are surprisingly tanky against bosses. Best used with an artifact like Pool that does not have to be near the boss to work. Seems quite good if you want an aggro-drawing artifact. Could work well with the Horn too for even more boars?
Darkfang: Deals minor damage when attacking, but gives you a decent AoE that lasts for a few seconds when unsummoned. You pretty much want to summon and unsummon this over and over for damage output I guess?
Specialization guarantees success when stealing from same or lower tier people.
Jiuchen: Specializes in crits. Normally the crit rate is too low to be relevant, but if you want to build for that, this is your spirit. Skybreak storm should be pretty strong, if your own crits count for it too. I haven’t tested that.
First specialization gives you random ores from mining/Fallen Valley drops. You should never need this. Second gives you a chance not to lose lifespan while digging a tomb, but lifespan doesn’t matter. Third is a forge you can use anywhere.
Ningshuang: Can ignore 50% of enemy Defense on attack, less than it sounds due to resistances, but still enough to be decent. Damage values overall seem pretty high. If you want a damage spirit, this is it.
First specialization just gives you random monster drops. The second lets you kill someone unnoticed if you are willing to savescum.
Her upgrade web requires doing things that cause NPC hatred like stealing or deliberately triggering revenge. This can be a bit annoying.
Xuanti: Chance of counterattacks, nope.
Bajio: Gains shield for the artifact on attack. Can detonate the shield after 10 attacks. So this spirit would protect your artifact, but artifacts attract aggro, so bosses will deal with it anyway and reduce the shield for the detonation. Furthermore, you want artifacts to survive for the power of the spirit, so this seems kinda backwards? Maybe for Pools or so?
Brawler: Slowdown and knockback on attack, and max vitality for some reason. The way the max vitality works can be useful. While it retains the damage taken (You are at 450/500 and go up to 750/800), when it reverts back, if your current HP is above the cap, the damage disappears (you lose more HP to 550/800, go down to 500/500). In other words, if you take less damage than the max vitality boost, it heals sorta. With upgrades, it only takes four attacks. Youling seems better.
Rainmaker: Steals spirit roots, deals damage after doing so. First is pointless and there are better damage spirits.
Jiuzhu: Increases def, can convert vitality into shield. Def increases can stack and are decent. Second only matters for fist builds. That said, if you need to tank, you can use Charon or Cangya.
Muke: Seems weak. Also seems to have a bug where the first attack after summoning is aimed at you instead of the enemy.
Specialization lets you find a revenge target. So you can hunt them, or you can befriend them to end an NPC hatred chain if you want.
Cangya: Generates shields for you on attack, pretty small shields though. However, this is actually a good thing. A shield, irrespective of health, will always fully block an attack without bleedthrough. If you have 5 shield and take 10000 damage, only the shield will be hit, no vitality damage. Furthermore, since you should rapidly lose shields, he will also erase projectiles regularly (not AoEs). Third skill should hurt bosses too.
First specialization is far more useful than you may think. The bad outcome is an increase to your martial spirit roots, which don’t really matter. The good outcome is that training with him increases the Upgrade level multiple times (how many traits you have unlocked) of any attack skill you have equipped. This can save you a ton of time and resources for grinding. Second boosts travel speed, third lets you basically use a town teleporter anywhere.
Definitely get him. Excellent defense spirit for non-fist builds and the first specialization will save a lot of time. Bosses may take the artifact down quickly though.
Lingge: Her combat skills steal stats, but too little to matter. And it takes way too many attacks to trigger the rest. Does not seem strong.
First specialization gives random medicines, they will be of your tier. Since the result is mediocre in quality, and you don’t get many, this isn’t that useful. Second specialization is the only way to increase your recovery of Tao Points for your domain. Third lets you instantly learn a manual.
Specializations have some uses I suppose.
I will try to remember to look occasionally and will include questions that may be helpful to know.
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