So, after farming syndicate all christmas vacation long and spending way too many hours than I like to think about hammering down the exact Syndicate interactions, I have put together this guide for you guys to enjoy.
First off: Link to my character profile to give you an idea of how profitable this is, I started farming with this character with just a tabula and a 1 socket windripper on dec. 22nd, and now on the 31st I have easily 40~50 ex in gear.
Ok so first off lets get into the meat of it.
Choose your Build
Gotta go fast. I ended up going with the pretty standard MF Windripper build because boy does she go fast. Nothing particularily out of the usual. Start with some fast boots, Windripper, Tabula, Ele Hit stuff, etc. Work your way up to a 6 link QotF, Seven League Steps, etc etc. I sit at about 220% move speed on my build linked there.
Do your Homework
Go through the various offerings of the Syndicate and figure out which member makes the best money. You can only really reliably pick one member so choose wisely. Sometimes its a specific Scarab (generally sulphite one), sometimes its breachstones, sometimes its other things. This varies every day as the economy shifts, and if you are gonna spend several hours farming this stuff take the 15 minutes to do your homework here!
Choose your zone
I chose harbour bridge over Ossuary, which are the two top favored zones from what I see, for several reasons.
- Bridge is much lower monster level, so I kill syndicate members WAY faster.
- Harbour bridge is much more linear, I never miss an encounter
- Ossuary has that annoying secondary zone which messes with my flask timings when I go in/out
I did some timing and found that the two zones have on average close to the same timings of Encounters/hour, so if you prefer ossuary or some other zone, go for it.
Do NOT lock down your other 3 syndicate encounters
This comes from the fact that if you have, say, Fortification/Research/Transportation all at 100%, for the next 3 maps 100% of your encounters will be Intervention.
And if you are targeting intervention for your choice member, this seems like a great idea, right?
And why is that? Simple, not only will those encounters not spawn, but members from Fort/Research/Transport will also not show up to assist in the Intervention Encounters
Which substantially lowers your odds of getting a 3 members+ encounter, because there is a much much tinier pool of members to pull from for encounters.
You do want to leverage this mechanic, yes, but at a specific point in time, I’ll get to that later.
Ok so the Syndicate has a long list of critical tricks to them I have seen, and I am suspicious there may be more, but to start:
- Choice #1 will always be imprison no matter what
- Choice #2 varies depending on circumstances
- If you have 3+ Members before you, choice #2 will always be to Rank up (this is important)
- If you have 2 Members before you, Choice #2 will be betray if they trust each other, otherwise it will be Rank up as well.
- If you have 1 Member before you, Choice #2 will always be Bargain(The above should be common knowledge, but now we get to the critical extra things many people don’t seem to know)
- When an encounter starts, there will be 1 ‘Leader’ member that spawns, and then at around 66% hp or so, give or take, they will start summoning friends. You can kill them instantly, the friends will still arrive anyways don’t worry. I have one shot members and then 1 second later portals opened and more members showed up to fight me.
- The leader will randomly select 0~2 allies to help them, this seems to basically work the same way some maps would have 1~3 sulphite deposits and etc in them. Sometimes you get 1 member, sometimes you get 3.
- The leader will prioritize summoning members from the following pool, I don’t think there’s any kind of priority order to this though, it seems to just be random:Members of the same Order, regardless of relationship or Rank0 Rank members not in any Order and are not Rivals with the LeaderMembers within one rank of the Leader of other Orders that are also Trusted (This means a Rank 3 member never seems to show up to help a Rank 1, and Rank 3 members mostly summon Rank Rank 3~2 members)
- Imprisoned members will instantly be released if the type of information they are being interrogated for hits or is at 100%. They will still demote regardless though. (This is incredibly important to keep in mind)
- When you imprison a Syndicate Leader (the top ranked member in the box who gives double rewards at the end), the next highest ranking member is promoted to replace them instantly. If two+ members are tied for that, one of them is randomly chosen. (I am suspicious though that if one of them is more trusted than the others it will be prioritized though, but haven’t verified this)
- *Important note Please read! There is also an existing glitch right now. When a syndicate member of order ‘A’ shows up to assist in a ‘B’ encounter, the listed option to interrogate them will say ‘Gain x A intelligence per turn’, where Foo is their order. BUT, when you imprison them, this changes and you will see when you hover over them in the interogation bar they are ACTUALLY providing
Bintelligence per turn! So keep an eye out for that!
Ok that’s most of it. The biggest points are 7 to 10 though, and are the key to farming fast. I average about 2 Syndicate runs per hour doing these tricks, which is a tonne of currency.
Okay, so this is straightforward. Focus on capped out your mastermind intelligence using the below tactics. This kind of just happens naturally as you do your runs, but the important fact is that once capped, you will shave off 3 entire encounters per run. Why is that?
When your Mastermind intelligence is capped and you then imprison your Leader at the end of the run for Mastermind intelligence, they instantly get re-released out of captivity. You don’t need to wait 3 runs for them to get out so you can get them back into the correct order!
Also, spend time getting as many ‘Trusted’ links between everyone you can. Avoid betrayals at all times, only take them when it gives you a shit tonne of intelligence on your target order (I have seen upwards to 48 intelligence from a single betrayal, those are fine to take) Otherwise, Green Lines everywhere!
Also you want to aim to have each of the Orders with a Rank 2 Leader, and a single Rank 2 member. Everyone else should be a Rank 0 floater in the pool. This substantially speeds up farming! Ok lets start now!
Step -1: Once you cap out intelligence on your order, DO NOT run it asap! I know its strange that we are starting our steps here at the end of a theoretical run. Spend 2 more runs doing other encounters and try your best to get intel to cap out a couple other Orders here. Remember what I said earlier about locking down orders? This is the time you do it, at the very end of the run.
Step 0: Do your encounter and reap your rewards. If you have capped mastermind intelligence and you followed Step -2, you’re target Leader should instantly re-release as a Rank 0 member floater and a new Rank 1 Leader takes over the Order.
Step 1: Now we actually are starting a theoretical new run and the guide really starts. There’s a lot of setup involved but trust me, the rewards are worth it. Your first goal is to get that floating member back into the correct order.
Now, a few things can happen here.
A. If your target member auto assigns to the wrong order, encounter them and imprison them to demote them back to a floater.
B. Another member of your target order may offer a bargain to hire your member into the order and become trusted with them, definitely take this
C. You encounter a 3 Member+ encounter of your target order, including your target Member. Rank+1 them and they will become a Rank 1 Member of your target order.
D. You may also rarely get a Betray option off them to demote another member and promote them. Only do this if it DOESN’T POSITION THEM AS A < Rank 3 Leader
E. You will have an existing Rank 1 member of your target order. If you encounter them, imprison them which will cause a new Rank 0 member to rank up to 1 and take there place. This has a chance of being your member you want there, so definitely do this too!
IE: If it promotes them to a Rank 1 or 2 Leader, Do not take it! If it promotes them to a Rank 3 Leader, or just a Rank 1~3 normal non-Leader, go for it.
Step 2: Ok now we have them in the correct order, next we want to rank them up to Rank 3. Basically there are two ways to do this:
A. Encounter them as part of a 3 member encounter. This good, always prioritize ranking them up
B. A member of their order will have a betray option of “+1 members of <this order>, -1 to members of <other order>”, DO NOT take this, as it Ranks up the Leader. You want your Leader to be Rank 1 for Step 3!
Step 3: Next up, we want to imprison the Current Rank 1 Leader of our target order. Assuming you followed the setup above and there are green lines everywhere and basically every order has a Rank 2 member, you should encounter the Leader quickly. Imprison them and now your target member is a Rank 3 Leader! Success!
Step 4: Ok now this is basically the same as ‘Step -1’, this is when you want to Lock the other 3 syndicate orders at 100% when you can (Without ever taking betrayals unless the caveat I stated above happens for your target order), basically cap out your intelligence on your target order, then go back to Step -1!
This shit is complicated, and I’m pretty sure there are still subtle tricks and nuances to it I haven’t fully grasped yet. For example I am fairly certain the Bargain offers you get from members are based on whether they just witnessed a Assassination or a Betrayal, and they change behavior based on how you treated them before.
But I haven’t been able to fully figure out a distinct logic to it yet, but I have noticed that when I follow my guide strictly, I only get a significantly smaller pool of Bargain offers repeatedly from members, certain bargain offers just don’t show up until I start Imprisoning members at Step 3.
Let me know if you have any questions!