[GUIDE] 56(70) Source Marks under 3 Hours Solo (Infinite Catalyst Farm)

Discussion in 'Oracle’s Database (Guides)' started by MisterTeapot, May 17, 2021.

  1. MisterTeapot New Player

    This is an F2P speed leveling guide to get a character to 23 with the maximum Marks/Time efficiency for the purpose of farming Artifact Catalysts from John Constantine. We'll end up with 57 Marks and 2 Dionesium Catalysts (14 Source Mark value) for a total of 71 Marks worth of catalysts to transfer to your main character. It was originally 56/70 but I added another nice easy one that only adds about 25 secs to the total time and gives us a much better number to work with in the end as Dionesium Catalysts cost 7 marks each.

    The John Constantine quest becomes available at level 23; that quest is our end goal. His quest provides 4 Source Marks during the mission and 5 source marks for the completion. It also unlocks him as a Vendor and provides 2 Dionesium Catalysts for a total Catalyst value of 25 marks from that one mission alone.

    This guide is specific to Meta mentorship, but it is weapon/power/movement agnostic -- if you're willing to sacrifice some time on your runs this can be an excellent way to test out powers you've never tried or thematic weapon/movement combos.

    Some key leveling thresholds:
    Lx - Shield. Most powers have an early shield, you want this ASAP so that you can do Cogs/Cuffs/Consoles etc uninterrupted.
    L9 - Movement Tree. Unlocks Rocket Glide/Speed Force/Supersonic.
    10 - Iconic Powers. Heat Vision in boss kill rotations. Robot Sidekick is a constant DPS buff.
    15 - Stats/Crit. This is where all your points go, after your iconics and basic movement/weapon skills.

    This should also serve as a decent Quick Start guide for new players and alts... by level 23 most builds will have a reasonably endgame-worthy loadout to blast through the rest of the story missions and hit 30 in another 2-3 hours or so.

    For the rest of us, we're not touching investigations/briefings as these are throwaway toons, but we will grab Exo material and collections to mail to our main. We'll be getting all our gear from missions, but be aware that if a mission offers you gear for an empty slot it will NOT show you a row of (+) so be mindful of that when evaluating multiple choice loot. For instance you get gloves for the very first mission, and when you kill Grood he may offer a choice between gloves and a hat. The gloves will show with a row of (+) to indicate that it's an upgrade, but the hat will just show plain stats since you don't have one to compare against. In this case you obviously want the hat, but it's easy to overlook if you're used to just clicking the item with the most (+).

    What gives marks and what doesn't?

    All story arcs up to the last two (Lex and Constantine, who give 5 each) reward one mark after killing the boss and turning it in to the quest-giver, and all side missions give one mark immediately on completion of the numbered tasks. Side missions are the ones offered by NPCs that have an exclaimation point [!] in or near the entrance to an area.

    The lion's share of our marks (and a good chunk of our XP) will be coming from those side missions, as every single-mark story arc will have 2-4 extra marks available from the side quests. Things that don't give marks include stuff like Races (emblems), Booster Gold (jewellery) and sitting around in your base doing nothing (nothing).

    For brevity's sake, I will be using SM to represent Source Marks. It should also be noted that in most cases you would never walk/fly to a police station as Map->Warp->Watchtower[WT]->Choose Station is much faster.

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  2. MisterTeapot New Player

    [3 SM - Apes/Grodd]
    • Exit the Little Bohemia police station. Jump down onto the beach killing Scouts, heading towards [!] who will offer us our first SM side mission.
    • Smash Fuel Cells as you do the story mission working towards the Teleporters in the far end by the Ferris Wheel. Finish story mission, get your three Teleporters and head for the next zone.
    • Do the first part of the next mission, then head to [!] in the next area. Kill Brigadiers on platforms and return to [!]. Interact with dish and collect your SM.
    • Finish story missions, kill Grood. Make sure to check the obvious present locations along the way since we still have most slots empty. Talk to Flash, Map->Warp->[WT]->Little Bohemia[LB] and talk to Flash again for L9 and a 1hr bonus XP juice box. Hang on to this for now.
    • Don't forget to grab your mail to get mask from Oracle if you didn't get the mail when you first landed at the station.
    [5 SM - Hive/Queen Bee]
    • Accept the Hive quest, and head for the stadium. First [!] is near the bend between parks, he wants you to collect drops from Stingers. You'll be fighting lots of them in the next area as well, so move on once you've done the main mission objectives.
    • Next two [!] guys are together beside stadium, kill some Royal Drones in the main area and hack/defend Turrets on the stadium roof.
    • You should be L10 by now, so grab Robot Sidekick and add Heat Vision to your rotation.
    • Inside the Stadium, grab [!] and arrest 3 LexCorp Special Ops then kill Queen, Warp [WT]->[LB] and talk to Flash. Finishing his quest will bump you to L12.
    • If you have access to the lair system, at this point you should sell eveything you can and drop your base in Tomorrowland. You need $1075 for Gothic Lair at 4251 Diviner's Ln. This will save you a ton of time during the all-important bonus XP window for both Giganta and Raven missions. Don't bother warping there when prompted, instead Warp->Flashpoint instead.
    [5 SM - Episode Dailies]
    • L12 will have unlocked the current episode, which right now is Flashpoint. Readers in the future will want to modify this for whatever is happening at the time.
    • Accept and run the 4 Dailies, but don't talk to the NPCs to complete the missions just yet. Remember that XP box? Well we're sitting on 5 instant mission completes right here so chug that before you grab your 5 SM (one is from Cyborg just for talking to him.)
    • Open your 4 episode boxes to hopefully fill a few of your empty slots. You're probably missing at least Neck, Legs or Shoulders, Trinkets and Rings, but do note that we will get one ring as a mission reward in a couple more minutes.
    • Warp [WT]->Chinatown[CT] and talk to Zatanna.
    • (Optional) You can also add the 8 SM Weekly (kill 100 amazons/atlanteans) to this if your loadout can handle it. It takes a while but it lets you omit the Jim Gordon side quest later and gives you another full Dionesium Catalyst.
    [2 SM - WW Mentor Side Missions]
    • Before we hit Tomorrowland, we're going to knock off the two WW side quests since they're really fast and on our way. Head North to [!] on the Boardwalk, he wants you to conjure and smash 5 globes.
    • Head South and a block East to the [!] in front of Mannheim Theatre. He wants you to kill Madame Dea on the roof directly above him, and then deal with some Soulless Thralls behind the Theatre.
    • Travel East to Tomorrowland or Warp to your base and exit if you set the location earlier.
    [5 SM - Beastimorphs/Giganta]
    • Do the first Beastimorph mission, there is no side quest. Find [!] at the starting point of second quest. She just needs drops from any Beastiamorph, so after you interrogate the 3 Bezerkers you can head directly to the third area and continue your progress.
    • At the third area grab the next [!] who wants you to collect shards from floating stones.
    • Head to [!] outside the Metro Station, she wants you to kill General Tehytus inside.
    • Grab the next [!] just inside - he wants you to save some cops. The cops are in the four side rooms off the big room that you fight Tehytus in.
    • Kill Giganta, talk to Wonder Girl, Warp [WT]->[CT], talk to Zatanna. Talk to Zatanna a second time to get Raven quest and head back outside.
    [5 SM - Trigon/Raven]
    • Find [!] at the bottom corner of first area who wants you to capture horns from Soul Reavers.
    • Find second [!] in the NW corner of second area, she wants you to collect samples from students.
    • Third [!] in front of SCPD, she wants you to inject defeated Succubi.
    • Last [!] is at the entrance to SCPD Interior, he wants you to arrest 5 Escapees inside.
    • Kill Raven, [WT]->[CT] and talk to Zatanna. Hit the teleporter behind you, and head to Little Bohemia.
    [5 SM - Hospital/Doctor Psycho]
    • Get quest near Booster Kiosk and head East to Hospital. Find the two [!] under the breezeway. They want you to pick up breifcases, and collect drops from Security guys.
    • Head to the next Mission area, do the first bit of mission (deactivate console) then drop down to [!] who wants batteries from Gladiators. The main mission wants you to kill 5 of those anyway, but you'll need a couple extra to get enough batteries.
    • Enter the Hospital, and grab [!], she wants you to break 10 tubes. You need to break 8 for the main mission, so make sure you grab two more.
    • Kill Doctor Psycho and [WT]->[LB] to finish quest.
    [5 SM - Diego/Bane]
    • Warp to East End GCPD[EE], talk to Batwoman to get Bane quest and talk to Gordon to get Harley quest.
    • Head to Cape Carmine, do the first part of the Bane mission. The first [!] is actually inside the second area, he wants you to collect samples from Hoppers (the balaclava guys). You can grab it on your way to the first area though, as there will be Hoppers there too.
    • The second [!] is at the entrance to the distribution center, he wants you to download lists from 5 computers inside.
    • Kill Diego, talk to Nightwing, head outside and go East to lighthouse. Third [!] is just across the road from it, he wants you to arrest Hoods.
    • Fourth [!] is at the entrance at the top of lighthouse, he wants you to destroy canisters inside.
    • Kill Bane, Talk to Nightwing, [WT]->[EE], and talk to Batwoman to get SM #5. (Or just head right back outside and talk to Batwoman when you turn in Harley mission)
    [3 SM - Batman Mentor Side Missions]
    • Follow the railroad tracks West from the station, and find the first [!] under them. Defend the 5 Hazmat workers and take your SM.
    • Head NE to [!] at the bottom of the V intersection. He wants you to ID Hazmat workers disguised as Hallucinations. Should only take 1-2 ranged shots to expose them.
    • Go NW along the line of the left side of the V, to [!], he needs to to find an item inside a giant joker head.
    [4 SM - Amusement Mile/Harley]
    • Head a block NE to meet [!] at the gates to Amusement Mile, Gordon wants you to rescue cops on the roller coaster, then deal with Toxins. 2 or 3 loops around the coaster should be enough, complete that and then head to the docks to diffuse some barrels.
    • Head into funhouse, there are two [!] just inside the door. They want you to find cops in presents and cops in cages.
    • Find the Cops, kill Harley, [WT]->[EE], talk to Gordon (and Batwoman if you haven't already), and [WT]->[LB].
    [6 SM - STAR Labs/Lex]
    • The quest will already be in your journal, so just go outside and head East to the first STAR Labs facility. Defeat Metallo for 1 SM, then head South to the second facility. Defeat Lex, talk to Superman and claim the other 5 SM.
    • This should also trigger L23 so congratulations, you've unlocked Constantine! It is actually possible to have hit 23 before this mission if you got some lucky spawns while you still had your XP boost, but it is still worth doing as it is very fast: in both facilities you can ignore every single add and just pop your shield to operate the door switches on your way to Metallo/Lex. In the Lex one, you literally pop a shield, open one door and then dash to Supes.
    [9 SM + 2 Dionesium Catalysts - Constantine]
    • Hit your on-duty menu and select Artifacts: Oblivion Bar under the Events tab.
    • Fight the four bosses for 4 SM, and talk to Constantine to choose an artifact.
    • Head back to the WT, and you'll be prompted to level the artifact to 20. Make sure you use the nth metal that says Cannot Trade, as the Account Bound nth metal can go into the shared bank for your main.
    • Talk to him again for your 5 SM and 2 catalysts. He'll offer you another 5 SM to breakthrough, but since the two catalysts are worth 7 SM each, that would just be silly. That said, if you decide you want to build up this character it might be worth doing as he also gives you a Seal of Preservation -- which is unfortunately character bound (not account bound) or this would be a much different guide.
    • Load up on catalysts, throw them in shared bank with any extra nth metal, and mail off all your collections and exobits. If you're planning on deleting the character immediately, then you can salvage all their gear as well. Catalysts can be mailed, but sometimes it takes forever and I just feel safer having them in the bank right away. With 57 SM you can buy 1 Dionesium, and two each of Quantum and Paradox for a nice little haul of 3/2/2 (or 4/2/2 if you did the optional Weekly.)
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  3. MisterTeapot New Player

    Some general speed/levelling tips:
    • If you Warp to Rally Point inside a police station it takes you straight to the exit.
    • Pressing Ranged Attack while holding a quest item throws it, which is a lot faster than carrying it due to the movement penalty. This is especially great for the Bombs at Amusement Mile since you can just fly up and whip 'em into the water.
    • Early on you'll be likely to find yourself running out of power. Soder Colas heal power as well as health, so don't be afraid to use 'em even with full health. Most boss rooms have health barrels, which will also recharge your power as you stand in them. These can also be thrown directly at the boss with Ranged Attack.
    • You only have one hour of boost, but if you log out the clock stops ticking. So if you get a phone call or the cat starts chewing your monitor cable, slap that Switch Character button ASAP. You can check if you still have the boost by hitting your inventory button -- your toon will show a purple aura for a few seconds.
    • You'll get a ton of $ from the episode daily completions, immediately buy yourself a dozen L9 soders and a couple dozen L16 ones from the vending machine that's right there and you'll be set for the rest of the playthrough.
    • When you are popping a shield and running past enemies, make sure you pop it before you take a hit. That movement penalty can seriously mean the difference between a 2 minute and a 5 minute instance.
    • If you're playing this across two days, keep in mind that Cyborg in Flashpoint will give you a free SM (and a ton of XP) every day just for talking to him. This means you can cut the Jim Gordon side mission at Amusement Mile which is by far the most annoying/time-consuming one.
    • Make sure you wait for the video to pop up before exiting an instance or else you will get stuck in a loop. If you do get stuck you will need to log out and wait for the instance to expire, then do it again.
    • If you messed up or got distracted with your XP booster, the Level 3 Brainaic Missions at the three starting PDs are good for half a segment of XP each, even at L22. If you really messed up, head to Midtown for the Brother Blood arc.
    Here are the artifact Breakthrough points. Level, Catalysts, %Chance, SM Cost/Chance, and Cumulative Average SM Cost. This is from the Wiki, and is only included here for quick reference.

    L20 2/0/0 N/A 14 14
    L40 2/1/0 95% 24 39.3
    L60 3/2/1 90% 56 101.5
    L80 4/3/2 80% 88 211.5
    100 5/4/3 60% 120 411.5
    120 6/5/4 40% 152 791.5
    140 7/6/5 20% 184 1711.5
    160 8/7/6 10% 216 3871.5

    We're moving out of the realm of possibility here, so I won't go any further. But it goes to 5% and 3% for the next two, so certainly not useful information for the purposes of this guide. L120 is attainable though -- I've managed one while writing and researching this. TBH the fact that most Artifacts don't even unlock their basic skills until 80 or 120 really grinds my gears, and was part of the motivation behind this guide. You'll want to identify your L80 (Trans/Strat) and L120 (Solar) targets immediately to use your Catalysts to their best potential.

    Here's a quick checklist with my timestamps from my first timed run-through using this guide. This was by no means a perfect run, but should serve as a pretty useful baseline. The first number is a running total of SM.

    03 [3 SM - Apes/Grodd] 00:18
    08 [5 SM - Hive/Queen Bee] 00:37
    13 [5 SM - Episode Dailies] 00:53
    15 [2 SM - WW Mentor Side Missions] 00:59
    20 [5 SM - Beastimorphs/Giganta] 1:18
    25 [5 SM - Trigon/Raven] 1:35
    30 [5 SM - Hospital/Doctor Psycho] 1:52
    35 [5 SM - Diego/Bane] 2:10
    38 [3 SM - Batman Mentor Side Missions] 2:15
    42 [4 SM - Amusement Mile/Harley] 2:31
    48 [6 SM - STAR Labs/Lex] 2:41
    57 [9 SM + 2 Dionesium Catalysts - Constantine] 2:54

    If you are going the low-SP alt route, you'd probably want to skip the alternate Mentor side missions as well as Flashpoint, Raven and Bane, and just follow the story prompts. Either way, after this you'd be looking at Brother Blood(4 SM), Poison Ivy(5), Sinestro(5), Riddler(5), Intergang/Mannheim(5), Aquaman(4), Isis/Black Adam(4), Brother Eye(5), Spectre(5) and Hall of Doom(10) to complete.

    Well there you have it, happy farming! If you use this strategy, I'd love to see your times and loadouts. I'm thinking you can probably get it under 2 hours with the right setup and proper focus. And of course if I've missed any other easy pickups, I'd love to hear about them!
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  4. MisterTeapot New Player

  5. Melusine Midnight Rainbow Phoenix

    How long does this take you? I use endgame CR low SP alts to farm instead. Spending 16-18 mins per toon I get 10 source marks (1 vault, 1 freebie, 4 dailies FP, 4 dailies 31st) each day plus 40 per week, from the weekly open-world missions.

    Rounding the time up to 140 minutes per toon, per week, I am getting 110 source marks each. That is 0.7857 marks per minute - we can round it down to 0.75 - or 45 source marks per hour. Additionally I get million$ (transistors and neurals) in extra drops, since it's current level content. I also have tons of extra currency when new rewards get added to the vendor each episode, which gives me even more cash (plus feats). And when episodes roll out of relevancy, all that currency turns into additional source marks. Essentially doubling my hourly rate, less whatever I spend on sellable items.

    So, unless this takes less than 90 minutes and also generates tons of cash, it doesn't seem very efficient.
  6. MisterTeapot New Player

    Thanks for the info! Sounds like a great strategy. This one takes between 2.5-3 hours for 71 marks, but it's one and done. Run, mail, delete.

    If you can run vault, flashpoint and doomed metropolis in 18 mins that sounds crazy efficient. I feel like it takes me at least double that though, I'll time it on my main today. No central city/toyman? CC is 10 SM although kinda lame with all the Defend missions, but Toyman is extremly fast once you get used to it.

    At any rate, I should have probably mentioned that this guide is directed at premium/f2p players so generating cash is not really worth much of anything. That's a super good point about the mark conversion tho, if you're willing to sit on 'em for months.
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  7. MisterTeapot New Player

    So I just timed fp, doomed metro, vault and I got 24 minutes. Then I re-read your post and realized you were talking about 31st century metropolis haha. I was going to ask why bother with 'endgame CR' since doomed gives you the buff already, but it all makes sense now.
    • Like x 1