The only one I know of is swapping equipment with your follower. It gives you a bit of a boost early on which is useful.

That's what I did until I got the other gear from Twitch drops, it was a really great help.

Accelerating Your Hope, Gear, and Estate Scores

In Nightingale, while Hope and Estate scores may not seem critical as they primarily reflect your quest progression and base development, they don't enhance your overall gaming experience. However, it's the Gear score that directly influences your progress, especially when accessing mini-dungeons and facing bosses.

Gear Score: Your Path to Progress

The Gear score is pivotal, dictating your progression through the game. Access to mini-dungeons, guarded by bosses holding key realm cards, requires meeting specific gear score thresholds (20, 30, 40 etc). Though you can sometimes bypass these with clever building strategies, ultimately, confronting the dungeon boss is unavoidable.

Crafting Higher-Level Items

To improve your item level, focus on using the highest quality materials available. The game currently allows crafting up to level 135 'white' common items. The best materials often drop from rare creatures and are marked with the 'fable' designation. Bosses like the Sun Giant and Carmut are also excellent sources for high-level resources. Additionally, the Trickster Minor card can be a game-changer, enabling access to Tier 2 materials like wood, fibers, and hides right from the start in your level 10 Abeyance Forest!

Upgrade Bench: A Game Changer

One of your primary goals should be to progress in your questlines to unlock the Upgrade Bench as soon as possible. This bench is a crucial tool that allows you to add an extra 25-50 levels to each craftable item simply by incorporating T1 Essence.

Boosting Your Scores

By focusing on these strategies, you can quickly reach a Gear score of 230+, which will invariably lead to increases in both your Hope and Estate scores. This is because enhancing your gear often involves developing a well-equipped workshop, which contributes to your overall base development and quest completion.

The key thing for me to increase gear score is that when you unlock a new card from a site of power, don't spend too long visiting biomes using the previous card difficulty, always push to unlock the next site and progress to a new card difficulty level.

The mistake I made early (and still am to a degree) is not using a new new major card unlock, but instead keep completed puzzles etc in the existing major card zones and getting enough essence to buy everything from the vendors in those zones.

In hindsight its best to tackle a site of power as soon as you unlock it and then make use of that sites new card. This is because you need to go through quite a few different major card levels before new vendor equipment starts to appear. It's only once you unlock enhanced crafting benches that the crafting system starts to open up fully and make use of the different augment items that can be built. It may mean you die numerous times at a site of power and it won't be so easy, but a bit of time spent tackling it (with the help of an npc follower) will pay off in time saved being able to level up your gear (score) at a faster pace.

By pushing through to a new zone, you can then upgrade your gear faster, revisit the older lower level major card areas to quickly despatch enemies and mop all those areas you didn't complete, with ease with the high level gear.

One small example of this is the amount of storage baskets I have now. I have had the gloom major card unlocked for a while, the vendors in this zone sell the storage containers.

I could have got these a long time ago but instead, as I spent so long unlocking things in the herbarium realms, I've ended up with more and more baskets as that's all I can build without visiting gloom. The same applies to gear level, I could have obtained the enhanced upgrade bench from the gloom zones long ago and massively upped my gear score. Instead I've been struggling along at the gear score the simple upgrade bench can get to.

This was a very useful read for me, I've been making the same mistake without even knowing it - taking a more completionist approach to each new Realm I create and saving the Site of Power until last.

Just a factual correction. The storage boxes are in a Herbarium realm I hadn't visited yet, not gloom, same point still applies though.

Gloom biomes are still a bit too hard for me, but going in, getting the enhanced upgrade bench off it's vendors, then going back to herbarium to get the essence to upgrade everything using it has really pushed my gearscore up now.


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