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Uphill Defense is now a viable thing… maybe! It’s still just another mindless monster grinder, but we’ve always needed alternative timesinks, and the rewards aren’t overly random or totally godawful. So, let’s explore that other instance in Saalus Convent!
Where is it?
Saalus Convent. You’ll get a pop-up and a quest once you reach level 100. If you’re questing your way through the game, you should be somewhere around Fedimian. Exit to Starving Demon’s Way, then to Pilgrim’s Path, then to Saalus Convent. Otherwise, find a Sage shop warp to Saalus Convent (it will be marked as Pilgrim’s Path in the shop).
What level should I be?
The minimum requirement for entry is 120. However, you should be level 315 or higher, though 350+ is preferred. While it is not strictly an endgame content instance, most people who run it are 350+. If you plan on going at lower level, bring some similarly leveled friends with you. Most public groups tend to be 350+. Being 350 gives you access to the strongest common weapons (Raffye) in the game.
How many people should I bring?
If you actually have to ask this question, five. Three can do it easily, but someone will have to camp the middle ground instead of the outside lanes (more on this later), so the run will take a few minutes longer. Five is best in case someone has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the run, or if someone/the server is lagging particularly badly, or if someone can’t quite handle the monster flow.
Specific builds like Elememe can solo, but this is heavily reliant on luck.
350 Elememe with +11 Trans 5 Primus Raffye Staff
What classes are viable?
You will be killing many, many, many weak monsters on a near constant basis. Unlike a Challenge Mode run, the monster’s HP will not increase every wave, but will remain relatively consistent. There will be progressively more monsters per wave though, so burst-damage classes like Lancer aren’t terribly useful here. Large AoE classes like Elememe (Wiz3, Ele3, War3), all Inquimeme variations (as long as you maxed your Burn attribute and you have the sense to kill stuff), and most Archer and Cleric (not full support) builds are useful. Swordies don’t get much love here, but can work if they’re supported by another player or are overgeared.
What kind of gear do I need?
Like most content, you can get by with a +11 Level 5 Transcended weapon. Having more AoE Attack Ratio is also nice (Phada/Gladiator Band, Centaurus Cards), but not an absolute necessity. Your armor shouldn’t matter as long as you can kill everything. Inquimeme, stupidly enough, doesn’t even need a weapon, but does need level 20 Burn attribute.
Inquimeme, top lane
Inquimeme, broken weapon
How do I start Uphill Defense?
You need to be in a party. Usually people will link a party specifically for Uphill Defense in Shout. Or you can check if your guild wants to do it. Click the link to join the party (if you don’t get in, it’s probably full already).
Head to Saalus Convent and talk to Sister Lhasa. Hit the Enter Now button. All the other buttons have been disabled for whatever reason.
If you leave Uphill Defense before completing/failing it, it does not count against you, as long as you re-enter before it is completed/failed. You will need to re-enter via the Enter Now button. Again, it does not count until your particular instance is completed/failed.
You can run Uphill Defense ten times per character per week. Reset happens at Monday 6:00 am server time.
How do I complete/fail Uphill Defense?
You complete it by finsihing 30 Stages without the Torch in the center dying. The Torch has a set amount of HP, which does not naturally recover and cannot be healed by any player skills. If the Torch loses all its HP before the end of Stage 30, you fail, you will get considerably less points (75 at Stage 28), and the run will count as finished.
If you disconnect before stage 30 is completed, and reconnect and re-enter after stage 30 is completed, you will very likely lose your run. I have had teammates lose two runs in a single go because of this. Pay attention to what stage you are on!
Monsters can come from one of three directions: North, West, and East (up/top, left, right). Once you enter the instance, a direction is randomly chosen, and monsters will come from that direction and that direction only.
Each Stage lasts 40 seconds. You do not get any downtime between stages, so rebuff towards the end of each stage after most monsters are dead.
At the end of each Stage, there will be a reward chest. It contains various items, some of which are useless, some of which are decent. You need to open this chest before the end of the current stage, or it will be replaced by the reward chest for the current stage.
If there are too many monsters still on the map when the timer runs out, the instance will stop and notify you that you need to kill the current monsters. You will not be able to advance to the next Stage until you do so.
If you clear a stage of all monsters before the timer hits 0:00, you will receive some bonus Ranking Points. See that section near the bottom of this post.
Monsters will now also come from one of the other directions, so you now have monsters coming at you from two different directions. Otherwise, there is no difference other than an increase in the number of monsters (both on the map in general and per Stage).
Stage 10 lasts for one minute for no real reason. Also, rewards start getting better, though you’ll still be getting crappy NPC potions.
Monsters will now come from all three directions. The lag intensifies for those on potato computers, so you may want to turn off character effects.
Stage 20 will last one minute.
These are stages where weaker parties tend to fall apart. If there are enough monsters on the map, everyone’s game client will actually stop rendering monsters and they will become invisible. You can still kill them, you just can’t see them. This isn’t impossible to recover from, but it is likely that your entire party will need to come back to the middle and defend the Torch from there. You can use your Warpstone to instantly warp back to the middle of the map.
Stage 30 will last two minutes, though you should be finished by the one minute mark.
What are the stage rewards?
Some potion rewards are random, and are indicated by “/”.
Stage 1 - HP/SP Potion
Stage 2 - HP/SP Potion x2
Stage 3 - Large HP Potion, Large SP Potion, Large HP/SP Potion
Stage 4 - Large HP Potion, Large SP Potion, Large HP/SP Potion
Stage 5 - Large HP Potion, Large SP Potion, Large HP/SP Potion
Stage 6 - Lv6 Exp Card
Stage 7 - Enhancement Card: 100, Large HP/SP Potion x3
Stage 8 - 2-Star Gem Abrasive, Attok Box of Materials
Stage 9 - Uphill Defense Shop Points: 10
Stage 10 - Lv6 Exp Card x2, Huge HP Potion, Huge SP Potion, Large HP/SP Potion
Stage 11 - Huge HP Potion, Huge SP Potion, Large HP/SP Potion
Stage 12 - Movement Speed Potion x2, Huge HP/SP Potion
Stage 13 - Attok Box of Materials, Huge HP/SP Potion
Stage 14 - Keista Restoration Potion Lv1 x2
Stage 15 - Enhancement Card: 100, Lv7 Exp Card, Lv6 Exp Card
Stage 16 - 3-Star Gem Abrasive
Stage 17 - Looting Chance: 100
Stage 18 - Uphill Defense Shop Points: 10
Stage 19 - Attok Box of Materials
Stage 20 - Keista Restoration Potion Lv1 x3, Lv7 Exp Card, Lv6 Exp Card
Stage 21 - 4-Star Gem Abrasive
Stage 22 - Keista Restoration Potion Lv2 x2
Stage 23 - Enhancement Card: 100
Stage 24 - Keista Restoration Potion Lv2 x3, Attok Box of Materials
Stage 25 - Looting Chance: 100, Lv7 Exp Card x2, Lv6 Exp Card x2
Stage 26 - Keitrys Bravery/Protection/Recovery Potion, Keista Restoration Potion Lv3
Stage 27 - Uphill Defense Shop Points: 10
Stage 28 - Keista Restoration Potion Lv3 x2, Attok Box of Materials
Stage 29 - 5-Star Gem Abrasive
Stage 30 - Lv8 Exp Card x2, Ancient Golden Coin
Enhancement Card: 100 is used for leveling up regular cards, and is tradable.
Gem Abrasives add a big chunk of exp to your Gems. If you start with a level 1 Gem, the Abrasive will level it up to the # on the Abrasive, i.e. 4 for 4-Star. Abrasives cannot be traded or put in Team Storage.
Uphill Defense Shop Points: 10 is an item that you eat to get 10 Shop Points. It cannot be traded and cannot be put in Team Storage.
Attok Box of Materials has been revamped to be pretty decent. It can drop one of the following, but cannot be rerolled:
Nucle Powder x30-70
Sierra Powder x5
Mithril Ore x10
Keista Restoration Potions are actually very effective SP recovery potions, particularly when you have some SPR. However, they’re very heavy as well. Higher levels restore more SP. The HP recovery is irrelevant.
Looting Chance: 100 is a potion that boosts your Loot Chance by 100 for 1 hour. It can be placed in Team Storage and is tradable.
Ancient Golden Coin is an item you can exchange with the Gem Merchant for a free random Gem, which can be a level 4-6 Red/Green/Yellow/Blue Gem or on rare occasions a random Monster Gem (usually one you’ve never heard of and is probably useless). The Gem Merchant shows up every hour that is a multiple of 3 (3:00 pm, 6:00 am, etc, server time) and stays active for an hour. You can find her in the upper right corner of Klaipeda, slightly further up from the Sentinel Rian (the dungeon NPC). The coin itself is tradable.
So, in total, for all 30 Stages, assuming someone got all the boxes, you should end up with:
90 points – Clearing the instance at Stage 30
30 points – After eating your three Uphill Defense Shop Points: 10
Enhancement Card: 100 x3
One of each Gem Abrasive from 2 to 5-Star
Attok Box of Materials x5
Looting Chance: 100 x2
Ancient Golden Coin
A ridiculous amount of pots and exp cards you will probably never use. Huge HP/SP pots are nice for those that use Chapparition/Glass Mole Cards. Kiesta and Keitrys might be useful for Challenge Modes and other high SP usage instances, but cannot be put in Team Storage.
What is in the Shop?
What’s the best way to run Uphill Defense?
Spread out. You can clear it faster if you can camp the spawn points. This reduces the time spent waiting for monsters to get to you so you can kill them, because they should be only be able to take one step and then immediately die. You should have one person sitting in the middle to collect the chest and kill any stray monsters that made it past the people spawn camping (it always happens).
Run times range from about 17 to 25 minutes, depending on the strength of your party and how well the spawns are camped. Server lag will also factor in, as the game occasionally takes a while to scan for monsters.
The Torch will be in the center of the top of the hill. The Essence Purifier will be south of that, and the chest spawning area will be southeast of the Torch.
Orange Rectangle – This is the area where Fire Crystals will randomly spawn. This also happens to be the general area you will be if you decide you want to defend from the middle.
Purple Rectangle – These are areas from which you can defend two lanes at once, or transition from one lane to another.
Green Rectangle – Spawning points for monsters. The west side has four spawning points, while the north and east have three.
Red Circle – Spawning points for Bosses. Which side the boss will spawn is random. Bosses will very slowly walk towards the Torch along the intended path. If aggro’d, they get a slightly movespeed increase.
Blue Circle – Recommended camping spots. Some classes do better at camping by being slightly further away.
The next Stage will still start if the boss is alive when the timer for the current stage reaches 0:00. Remember, you do not get downtime between stages, so you still need to kill the all the regular monsters first, and you don’t want to be caught out of position.
YOU CAN JUMP OVER MOST WALLS. This is probably the stupidest thing I see parties; you don’t need to walk the actual path the monsters take, just jump the walls and get to wherever faster. Granted, some walls are too tall, but there are specific corners that can be jumped to save time climbing back up up hill.
Jumping over walls is hard
What is the Ranking Point Bonus?
This is nothing more than some listing of who farms Uphill Defense a lot. This list is reset weekly.
To see the Rankings, press F4 to open your Adventure Journal. On the right side of the book you’ll see three tabs; click the bottom one to bring up the Rankings.
You get more ranking points by
1) Defeating more Uphill Defense bosses
2) Completing stages in less time (remaining time is converted to points)
3) Clearing higher stages
What are Fire Crystals? Exploding monsters? Bosses?
-None of this even matters, it’s just here for completion-
Fire Crystals are used for a somewhat useless gimmick to help you with defending the Torch. You run around picking up Fire Crystals and take them to the Essence Purifier. You can slow down the enemy, or summon one of your party members to the Torch, or teleport yourself to a party member. You can also heal the Torch, but by the time you have enough Crystals it won’t actually matter.
Every so often a Lapemiter will spawn with a wave. When it reaches the Torch, it self destructs and deals deals damage to the Torch equal to 10% of the max HP of the Torch. This is actually kind of irrelevant, as there aren’t enough Lapemiters spawned to make this an actual threat.
There are other gimmick monsters, but they’re irrelevant.
Bosses will spawn every so often, at a random stage of a given interval. Apparently they spawn on set sides, but nobody really pays attention to this crap.You get a total of 3 bosses for 30 stages.
- Section 1: Stage 1-9 (probably left)
- Section 2: Stage 10-18 (top)
- Section 3: Stage 19-27 (right)
They’re not particularly powerful, but if you leave them alone at the Torch long enough they will do noticeable damage.
This guide came into existence because the guild leader of
MaidCafe FullMoonCafe, Edoweiss, explicitly refused to put on the guild Velcoffer spreadsheet. You’re welcome!
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