You’ve just made it to G-Rank in MH3U (or maybe you’ve been at G-Rank for a while) but you have yet to get a killer charm for your armor set(s) You’ve read about charm sniping but it sounds too difficult, precise and/or repetitive. You just want a good charm, not THE BEST charm. Thankfully, there are two alternatives to charm sniping; gathering tours and Felyne explorer runs. You won’t be zeroing in on the exact charm you want, but both of these methods yield a large amount of charms over a small time span, meaning that you are likely to run into a good charm eventually.
(If you already know what both of these are then you might want to skip to the conclusion)
1.2 THE SETUP
- While both of these methods lack the requirement of precise, repeated timing of charm sniping (and the frustrations associated with it) they are still pretty dull and you will be doing them A LOT. Have some music playing in the background or watch a movie or something while farming if you’re a good multitasker. Unlike farming large monsters you don’t need to give the game your full attention for charm farming, so you can get away with looking away from the screen for extended periods of time.
- Before we get into what both of these methods are, you need to make sure you know your charm table and also know that you are NOT in a cursed table. If you are in a cursed table then charm farming is pretty pointless as you will probably never see a good one (sorry buddy) A guide to figuring out your charm table is here;http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/642342-monster-hunter-3-ultimate/65819530
- Now that you know your charm table, check out the charms you want from it in Athena’s Charm Table Search: http://forums.minegarde.com/topic/6766-athenas-charm-table-search-for-mh3g-and-mh3u/ (you need WinRar or an alternative to extract the files) What kind of charm are you looking for? Are they mostly blue or are they a mixture of red, blue and yellow? If they are almost entirely blue then you are going to want enduring charms over all else, if you have a mixture of colours then you will want shining (yellow), timeworn (red) and enduring (blue) charms
- You’re going to want access to either the volcano harvest tour at G-Rank, for which you need to be HR7, or you want some non-harvest misty peak quests, the earliest of which is in HR6, so make sure you get there first.
- Wear an armor set that grants you the following skills (Low Rank Leather set is ideal); Gathering +1/2, Speed Gather, Spirit/Divine Whim, Charm Chaser (optional)
- Get yourself a 3 slot weapon (all weapon types have one that can be found and easily upgraded from rustshards/ancient shards, check your weapon tree online for more info)
- Buy 99 mega pickaxes, 99 Large Barrel Bombs, and 99 Farcasters from the shop and send them to your box. (Money shouldn’t be an issue at this point, but if it is then don’t buy the barrel bombs yet)
2.1 VOLCANO GATHERING TOURS
If you’ve made it to HR7 then chances are you know what a gathering tour is; you gather as many materials as quickly as possible then use a farcaster to quickly return to base camp, take out the paw pass stamp and deliver it. Simple. In order to be most efficient at this, you should ONLY BRING 5 MEGA PICKAXES AND A SINGLE FARCASTER EVERY TIME. Your inventory will quickly fill up each time, and discarding/swapping wastes time, so dump anything else in your box.
Bring Cha-Cha and Kayamba with you for this one, and make sure at least one of their dances heals you, this means you don’t even have to worry about cool drinks as they will heal you whenever your health gets low from the heat! Don’t bother eating at the canteen, you won’t be running out of stamina enough to justify the time wasted eating, and you don’t need any specific canteen skills. Finally, make sure to sell any charm or weapons you don’t want at the appraisal screen, you’ll get a decent amount of cash for them.
2.2 Volcano Gathering Tours Pros
- Only materials needed are pickaxes and farcasters, both can be bought in bulk and require no farming
- You will never need to abandon the quest prematurely
- Most Charm Chaser sets are actually viable here, as defence doesn’t matter (charm chaser increases the odds of finding extra charms when you mine one)
- You are making money over time
- You get three types of charm here; shining, timeworn, and enduring
- While hunting for charms, you also get a decent amount of tru armor spheres, rustshards, ancient shards, and earth crystals in the volcano, many of which will be useful in the endgame.
2.3 Volcano Gathering Tours Cons
- For the first 30 seconds of each tour you are not gathering any materials, just running to the first mining spot.
- None of the mining spots have a particularly high chance of giving rare materials, you get them due to the sheer number of mining spots (around ten on average)
- Enemies may sometimes disrupt your mining (Rhenoplos -_-)
- The volcano is not an ideal location for gathering a single, specific endgame material (like JUST enduring charms, for instance)
3.1 FELYNE EXPLORER RUNS
In contrast to harvest tour runs, it seems pretty fair to say that Capcom did not intend for Felyne explorer runs to be a legitimate way of farming for charms, this becomes pretty clear once you know how to do them. What you have to do is wear a set of armor with the least defence possible (LR leather is best) and gem in the bomb boost skill to +10; this boosts the power of your bombs and makes all bomb combinations 100% successful. (This is probably what you will need your 3 slot weapon for) Make sure you also have the Gathering +1/2, speed gathering and Spirit’s/Divine Whim skills.
You need to bring 5 mega pickaxes, 3 Large Barrel Bombs (LBB), 2 Large Barrel Bombs+ (LBB+) and some scatterfish with you every time. Go to the canteen and eat the fish and drink combo, try to go for the fresh stuff. Hopefully, you will get a message saying ‘Felyne Explorer Activated!’ If you do, it’s all good, if you don’t, then you need to pick any quest, abandon it, and try for the skill again. Once you have the explorer skill, pick any G-Rank, non-harvest tour quest that takes place in the misty peaks. You don’t have to bring cha-cha or Kayamba.
You will start in a ‘secret area’, mine and gather the hell out of everything on that small platform; those spots have the highest chance of giving you enduring charms out of everywhere in the game! After you’ve gathered all you can, lay down a LBB+ and kick it, you should faint instantly, if you don’t then you need armor with less defence. After fainting you will be brought back to base camp, leave to area one and bomb yourself again. Once you regain consciousness combine your LBB with a scatterfish to create a third LBB+, leave for area one and, you guessed it, bomb yourself for the third and final time. You will fail the mission BUT your charms will get appraised. Rinse and repeat.
3.2 Felyne Explorer Runs Pros
- Each quest will be significantly shorter than harvest tours, on average
- Every place you gather/mine has a high chance for giving charms
- Misty peaks is ideal if all you want are enduring charms, and the Felyne explorer runs there are the most efficient way of getting them.
- No enemies to encounter whatsoever
3.3 Felyne Explorer Runs Cons
- You are losing money over time
- Sometimes Felyne explorer will not activate at the canteen, requiring you to abandon a quest and try for it again, wasting time
Scatterfish (for LBB+) are a pain to farm, as the fastest way to get them is by the fishing voyages, and those are unreliable sources.Download the GoTo Granny DLC and SOMETIMES she will sell scatterfish!
- Most charm chaser sets are NOT viable, as the added defence from Azruros sets (which give points in charmer) give too much defence, making LBB+ a 2HKO instead of a OHKO, making the self-destruct part take longer.
- For the last minute of the run you are not mining any materials and just blowing yourself up over and over.
- Repeatedly failing quests lowers your ‘hunter for hire’ ranking.
4. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS?
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a mixture of these two methods of charm farming, and I believe I’ve found the best way to get a large amount of different charms/rustshards/tru armor spheres etc. if you also have a lot of money and scatterfish. What you do is eat for feline explorer but go to the VOLCANO (non-harvest tour quest) you mine out the secret area BUT jump down and mine everywhere else in the volcano too. If you don’t bring cha-cha and kayamba then by the time you reach the highest area (with the two uroktors) you will be almost dead from the heat, so a couple hits from the uroktors and you’re done, you then use your 2 LBB+ and fail the quest as if you were doing a misty mountain explorer run. You will frequently get A LOT of charms and rust/ancient shards this way, and you use a third less scatterfish than normal (2 LBB+ needed per run instead of 3). However, this method is still less efficient at getting enduring charms than the misty peaks explorer runs.
If all you want are enduring charms (handicraft +5 charms are always enduring) then you want to do Felyne explorer runs at misty peaks. If, however, you want some timeworn/shining charms/tru armor spheres/ancient shards/earth crystals/money in addition to enduring charms, then volcano harvest tours are the way to go, ESPECIALLY if you have a charm chaser set not viable for Felyne explorer runs.
Please let me know if anything I have said is incorrect or there are more efficient methods I am not aware of (other than charm sniping)
Edit: It’s been pointed out that the felyne explorer runs are similar to charm shotgunning runs, while alleviating much of the cons found in them due to quitting without saving. The issue is that you need to either have a a large amount of charms you are happy with getting (50+) or be lucky in that many of your desired charms have RNG’s that are close together for shotgunning to be efficient. If you only want a handicraft +5 charm from shotgunning then it’s unlikely that you’ll have any charms with RNG’s that are close together (20 handi charms out of 5000+ enduring charms per table), so you might as well snipe them or stick to the two methods I listed.
More about charm shotgunning here: http://mh-science.blogspot.ca/2013/05/charm-sniping-and-shotgunning.html