When Nedder Test Area first unlocks for you and some side missions send you in there, you might feel overwhelmed. ?How am I supposed to beat all 5 of these tests?? Even if you think you?ve got a fairly well-developed build at that time, you might be surprised at how badly some of the test platforms spank you. As a result, you might be inclined to disregard Nedder as a place to go into only when forced to do so by a side mission or storyline mission, and only to grab the mission objective and then F11 out as fast as possible.
However, there are two compelling reasons to master Nedder:
- It?s a great place to farm class-specific gear super fast for newly-unlocked classes you are getting ready to actively play.
Nedder always drops 1-4 class-specific weapons (main- or off-hand) of the same class type, and you can easily pick exactly which class to drop the weapons for by using a simple technique that is NOT an exploit! Better still, you can easily farm Nedder in roughly 8 minutes or less with certain classes, and not much more time than that with any class. You can even get blue weapons from Nedder! Granted, all dropped weapons are 1-2 ?ranks? below your current Prestige?s typical gear ranks in normal instances, but this is still a fast and dependable way to get exactly the weapons you want, with exactly the (green/blue) bonuses you want for a specific class. (Bonuses are far more important than the raw might and stamina of the weapons.)
- Three of the platforms in Nedder provide great ?acid test? benchmarks for tuning and improving any class build.
If you can beat all three of the hardest ?acid test? platforms, you know you have a strong build on a strong class. And you know that your overall power level (through upper Atlas talent symbols and Order chapel stats) is optimal. And (for many classes), you know that your dodging/kiting and burst timing is functioning at a high skill level. In short, Nedder helps you to tune your build and practice your class and gives you clear feedback whether you?re playing that class as well as possible.
Why does Nedder exist?
If you?ve played games like Final Fantasy XIV or The Secret World, you?re already familiar with the notion ofskill gates or DPS gates. For example, in the early months of the first reboot of FFXIV (A Realm Reborn), you could not even attempt the highest raid dungeon progression until you acquired your Relic Weapon. And you could not earn this weapon unless you passed a series of increasingly harder Trials. The last two trials to acquire your Relic (Garuda Hard Mode and Titan Hard Mode) were extremely difficult and required a huge degree of both personal skill and team skill, as well as a very high DPS gate.
In The Secret World, they had a mission literally called ?The Gatekeeper? that you had to pass solo before you were even allowed to enter the staging area where the third, hardest tier of NightMare dungeons were queuing up. This mission was a grueling, exacting skill and DPS check.
Well, in a similar manner, Nedder exists here as a type of Gatekeeper mission, only it?s voluntary instead of mandatory. It?s meant for you to personally use to test yourself and improve. This is why it?s a forced solo instance, and why it always scales its difficulty to your current Prestige level.
The Platforms: what they are and what you need to beat them
First look at the following map, then we?ll highlight the three categories of tests you find in Nedder, and how to beat them.
Let?s order the platforms from Hardest to Easiest. The top listed group is the hardest, and the top listed platform within each group is the hardest within that group.
Acid Test Platforms
- Wind Ray
- Dangerous Opponent
A closer look at each of the platforms, and what you?ll need to beat them
Note that you must complete 5 platforms, and the choices are somewhat random (although the jumping puzzle is always available). Because there are only 4 total platforms that are ?easy? or ?intermediate?, you must be able to beat at least one of the ?acid test? platforms to complete this instance. If you cannot beat all 3 acid test platforms, pick the one that your class is best-suited to beat.
- Wind Ray is the hardest for most classes, because he hits very hard and constantly, including an intermediate attack that is very hard to avoid. And his big attack is a huge 180-degree cleave that does MASSIVE damage. This fight is designed to test your dodge timing, kiting, and burst timing. It?s also an unforgiving DPS check because the unavoidable damage puts an effective timer on how long you can survive while trying to dodge behind his big 180-degree cleave and burst him down from behind during the cleave.
- Dangerous Opponent is the next hardest for classes that aren?t capable of soloing bosses. You will face a variety of random big nasty bosses such as Ignis. This fight is a straight up check of your ability to solo any boss.
- Arena is the easiest of the acid tests. You face waves of trash swarms and lieutenant (normal) swarms and the come incredibly fast and are stingy with the health drops. This fight is a test of your ability to do both sustained and burst AOE damage, and is also a DPS check because of the constant pressure and tiny amount of healing balls.
- Ancient Golem is the harder of the two intermediate platforms, but most classes should be able to beat him if you?re even half-developed. His big attacks are AOES that have easy-to-see telegraphs with lots of time to avoid them. Think of him as an ?easy? boss. Note that he does get a little harder if you collect 12 blue orbs before activating him instead of the normally-required 7 blue orbs. (This is sometimes a blue stretch goal given to you.)
- Labyrinth is the easier of the two intermediate platforms. You can often find all 3 balls without a single fight, or at most a few easy trash mob fights. Any class should be able to do this one; it?s half-puzzle and half-combat.
- Jumping Puzzle is the harder of the two puzzle platforms because it requires some twitch timing. Note that you should indeed mount up for certain sections, mainly the two sections with the blue lighting balls, but also for long jumps in a couple other sections. Any class can complete this with some twitch timing, memorization of the best route, and developing muscle memory. Prepare to die at lot at first while learning it. There are some good video guides on YouTube for running this platform.
- Escort is the easiest platform because it?s a simple puzzle that requires only watching a few moving enemies and timing your movement to squeak past them. Anyone can clear this.
How to farm for class-specific weapons
You don?t actually receive your reward for beating 5 platforms until you finally jump back to the center platform after beating the 5th one. This gives you time to switch to another class before actually jumping back to center. Here?s what happens if you do this:
- The 1-4 weapons that drop will be for the class you just switched to.
- You?ll also get a bag that often has either gold-colored Sparks of Evolution or spark boosters.