The Road to 500 Million

The Purpose

I am a guild leader of a semi-competitive raid guild. We’re not all-out-crazy Guardian Tales players but most of us put a little money in and devote enough time to the game and enjoy talking strat on Discord. That being said, whenever I improve or find improvement, I try to find ways to communicate that to my guildies so they can improve too. I figure, if I can not only improve but understand how I improved, I can give my friends a path forward and they don’t have to go through the heavy research and moments of epiphany that I did to get there and I can just illuminate the path forward. That way I improve, they improve, our guild improves, everyone’s happy and we can geek out in our little nerdy ways together.

The Back Story

I am no slouch on the damage meters for my guild. I'm usually doing pretty alright on the damage meters and while that’s certainly not getting me laid, it’s a fun little hobby.

That being said, I recently met a guy on Discord named Nikko and we shared damage logs. Needless to say, I thought after doing 355m in a raid season I was doing pretty good but Nikko’s 525m was humbling, to say the least.

Nikko's damage (censored):

Have you ever heard a story or a fact and after it was related to you, you can’t turn your brain off? Yeah, it’s like that. At this point I’m hell-bent on getting 500+ in damage in a raid season but the question is how in the piss is the discrepancy that large? Thus the purpose of this guide, to find out where I was lacking in damage and how to improve upon it.

The Biggest Hurdle

The biggest hurdle was my ego. I immediately thought “Well, it’s stat based! There’s no way he could possibly be that much of a better player than I am!" because historically, I’ve always been a top-tier player at whatever game I put my mind to.

There’s not a lot of crazy itemization in Guardian Tales so I knew my weapon regen and weapon damage were all capped and since those are kind of the staple points in raiding, I had to look towards the most crucial stat of all: Atk Bonus.

So I built a Atk Bonus List page on the GTG website so I could track my Atk Bonus. Since my account is pretty advanced, I can devote resources to investing in progressing my Atk Bonus, so I set my little OCD mind to doing so.

In addition, I asked Nikko what his Hero / Item Collection Bonuses were. Low and behold, Nikko’s was about 20% higher than mine (cumulatively) and after my obsessive procurement of more Atk Bonus I brought that number down to about 11% after a week.

If you’re astutely following here, you’ll see that while his Atk Bonus was 20% higher, his damage was 33% higher than mine. Atk Bonus alone will not make up that margin. It’s just not that powerful, so it finally dawned on me that I probably just needed to “gid gud scrub" and my ego went to the wayside and I started my real path of progression.

Understanding Atk Bonus

The second hurdle was to understand my statistical shortcomings. If I’m deficient by 11% on the Atk Bonus, what does that mean? How much damage do I need to make up? The answer was a lot easier than I thought and after doing a few calculations with a guildie, pen15 (charming name, btw), we figured that 10% Atk Bonus is roughly around 5% statistical DPS.

I have no doubt that it’s a very rough number and perhaps not even linear but we just needed to understand it a smidge before moving on.

So now I knew I was about 11% Atk Bonus deficient which is the equivalent 5.5%ish of DPS.

Being that I was down 32.5% of Nikko’s overall damage, now I knew that my stats accounted for 5.5% of that and so my skill had to make up for the other 27%.

Progression. It’s a start.

Video Exploration

Nikko has been nothing but helpful in all regards and after I asked him where the skill discrepancy was he linked me to some Korean player’s Youtube channels (you can find these on the Influencers section on the GTG site). Needless to say they were impressive and after watching each video a few times, I started to see small shifts in how they played (versus my own playstyle) of how they got an extra million damage here or there, and sometimes, much more.

I was totally a geeky lil kid in a candy shop. I might as well have been tossing popcorn in my maw the whole time. The videos were from the KR server (not the same raid that I could currently practice on) but it gave me some ideas of the difference in play style and the way the chains needed to optimally work so I started practicing and started to get a little more damage each day.

I had gained at least 10-15% damage on my current raid tier that I just found little improvements on myself w/o a video to breakdown.

Don’t worry, there weren’t that many videos and I was once again in no trouble of getting laid so I had all the time in the world to figure stuff out. While you could do the same (and should do the same if you desire improvement), you probably don’t need to go so deep into the rabbit hole as I did and you can just use the guides I wrote on the GTG website with the current perspective in mind.

Raid Ability Skipping

After watching the videos, probably the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that the chains of different group compositions aren’t chaining just to do damage but to delay or stall the bosses from using certain abilities. Think of the Worm that does that Death Spin attack but if you draw out your chain long enough, you can avoid it altogether.

While those abilities are often dangerous, they are also often very movement-enticing. It requires your AI teammates to move around the room to avoid fight mechanics and that loses a lot of DPS.

Most of the technical, high damage players will play with their chain timing in such a way that they draw out those long abilities or overwrite other boss abilities entirely. Sometimes they just chain as fast as possible because it doesn’t have much bearing on the boss at all.

Each boss has a different optimal chain setup and there’s no reason to be ignorant to it. Prepared raiders know what to do before they ever start the fight.


Now I have never been much of a scarecrow damage pusher but I wanted to test out the new fire unit Scintilla and see how much a particular raid composition would work. After I did it a few times I suddenly realized the raids that I had done in the last 10 minutes were now top 20 on my server. Guess who was #1? coughNIKKOcough

That’s a first for me.

So if the leader had 40m damage on the scarecrow and I was doing 20m, I knew there was something missing (after all, it’s only 15 seconds of damage). Once again, I know my Atk Bonus deficiencies against the top player on my server so I knew that it’s not a 20m difference on the scarecrow.

So after trying out a few chains and talking to Nikko to gain perspective, I’m suddenly 35m on the scarecrow and in the top 5 of the rankings for a given element.

That was exciting and motivating.

Now, keep in mind scarecrow damage is a really good exercise but the top tier damage dealers all rely on Veronica due to her amazing yet super-close-proximity-requiring buff and it’s not a realistic 1:1 raid output. What it does do though, is get you thinking of chain order, pushing your numbers, eeking out that little bit more and that’s what raiding is all about. I would also be lying if I said the scarecrow didn’t motivate me. It did. It was fun and I’m excited about what I can do on the next raid tier.

What the scarecrow can do is once you know the optimal group composition for a given raid boss, you can test that vs other compositions on the scarecrow to see how it will go.

Further Video Analyzation / Guides

So now that I felt confident that I could put up better numbers, knew my chains better and altogether, was ready for the next raid I wanted to see what I could to help my guildies get there too.

So I wrote some guides. I’ve done this before, many times in fact for video game networks that I’ve created for the last 15 years. Writing a guide always gives you a different perspective and when you understand something enough to explain it to another, a lot of the times you start to learn things that you didn’t expect to learn. I was banking on this.

So everything that I learned, I put into these guides in the most condenscened way possible because we all have lives (except clearly me) and we can’t all be super hardcore about the game and a lot of times our finances say we shouldn’t.

That being said, these are the guides that were written within the perspective of this guide:

Light vs Elphaba Raid Guide
Water vs Lava Slime Raid Guide
Basic vs Ghast Raid Guide
Fire vs Worm Raid Guide

Raid Prep

I’m kind of setting my feet square ahead and knowing that we have a week in between raid seasons and there will be plenty of videos in from the KR server. It’s the time to do a little research, figure out your plan of attack and the little odds and ends on how to make that possible.

Guardian Tales is all about planning. Who do you pick up next? When will they be 5 starred? Should I buy resources? Etc. I’m just adding in a few videos to my prep work and now guide writing so my guildies (and maybe yours) can get that research in with minimal effort.

Finishing Up

My last raid season finished up at 375m (but they were kind of harsh, technical bosses), I’m sure with the new level cap increase to 83 I can get close to or at 500m at the end of the raid season.

I’ve done my prep work, I know my plan and who I’ll be using and this next raid doesn’t have much of a bottleneck and I’m fairly sure I'll be able to hit my goal in this raid or the next.

The journey has been fun and hopefully you’ll enjoy making it as well.

Big thanks to Nikko for rejuvenating the game for me.