TERA (EU) Talent System Explained - Nub Edition

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I know it's been quite some time now (over 3 months already) but I still see people who don't know how the talent system works - how to maximise one's talent experience (EP XP) in particular. And that's understandable since Gameforge never published a proper overview or guide about the system apart from their "preview" as part of a news article before content was activated in EU in November 2018. Not only that but forum moderators were spreading misinformation... unofficially, making it harder for players to understand the system.
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Obviously, none of this is true. However, like probably many others, I was mislead into believing this was actually correct. I hope this thread will help you learn something useful that even happens to be accurate. There is literature on the subject already but none of it is on Essential Mana, so here we go.

Short URL to this guide: bit.ly/TERAtalents

Table of content:
  1. Talents in a nutshell
  2. Glossary
  3. EP menu
  4. EP XP sources and amounts
  5. Daily XP limits
  6. XP modifiers and boosts
  7. Calculating EP XP
  8. Maximising daily EP XP
  9. Screenshot examples
  10. Reference materials
  11. Comments and support

1. Talents in a nutshell
Similar to the glyph system, the talent system provides skill buffs, as well as general overall boosts such as extra raw power or endurance. Another similarity is talents also have different strength levels but instead of farming, say, Island of Dawn tokens for glyph boxes and glyphs, you don't have to do anything out of the ordinary to acquire talent XP. The major source of talent XP are Vanguard quests (see EP XP sources and amounts section below). The more EP XP you gain, the more EP points you get. And the more points you get, the more and stronger enhancements you can activate. You can have as many as 500 EP points but getting that many would require a lot of dedication with or without maximising your daily EP XP. I won't be using the term EP level much (see Glossary section) as it's not crucial to understanding the system but it's worth mentioning nevertheless. Moreover, it's not even shown in-game.

2. Glossary
- Talents - skill/stat enhancements, similar to glyphs;
- Talent experience = Enhancement (points) experience = EP XP - that's the experience you gain from Vanguard quests etc activities. It's shared on the account on each server, therefore every character can contribute;
Note: Server transfer resets your collected EP XP, i.e. you start with 0 points on the new server. Unless you were playing there already, I guess.
- EP level - increased automatically upon collecting enough EP XP; each level grants you 1 point (or 2 to 4 points at certain milestones); see Reference sources section; EP level is also shared and applies per server; max EP level is 443;
- EP points - acquired automatically as your EP level increases; they let you activate and improve your talents; the same amount of points is available to every character on the account on the server, e.g. each character can use the max amount; max amount of EP points is 500;
- Base XP - the amount of XP received from different activities such as delivering Vanguard quests and killing BAMs etc before modifiers are applied;
- Modifiers and boosts - these determine how much XP you'll actually receive. Modifiers are affected by your daily cap (see next) and EP level;
- Daily cap - a certain amount of daily XP used for reference to calculate the "soft" and "hard" caps; serves no other purpose, really;
- Soft cap = boosted XP - similar to "rested XP" for general levelling; that's the EP XP daily limit until which EP XP is acquired in full (100%);
- Hard cap - follows the soft cap; EP XP acquired after reaching it is minimal (5%);
- Overcapping - exceeding your soft cap by delivering a quest just before passing the 100% threshold.

3. EP menu
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1. Total amount of EP points earned.
2. Number of still unused points.
3. EP XP bar with next level percentage indicator.
4. Number of points you will receive for reaching next level.
5. Talent categories.
6. Self explanatory - shows only talents you've activated.
7. Selected talent (skill it's for is shown at the top, else you see "regular" if it's a general purpose talent).
7.1. Selected talent window;
7.2. Talent description;
7.3. Current level (already acquired);
7.4. Selected higher level (not acquired yet);
7.5. Effect with or without a condition to activate;
7.6. Effect value and chance to activate (if applicable);
7.7. Info box (tells you if you've run out of points or your EP level isn't sufficient, or when you've reached the maximum talent level).
8. Talent level indicator (if green, this means it hasn't been confirmed yet; if white, the level has been confirmed and can't be reduced).
9. Increase or decrease the selected talent's level (hold Shift to jump to max/min). You will need to confirm the change for it to take effect.
10. Amount of points needed for the next talent level upgrade.
11. Amount of unconfirmed points allocated right now. Already used and confirmed points aren't indicated.
12. Confirm your current changes. Can't be undone unless you reset the full setup.
13. Cancel your current changes.
14. Close the window without any changes.

Note: You can't decrease already confirmed talent levels. You can, however, reset your talent setup with an EP reset potion (literally). It costs 30x Dragonwing Scale but you should receive 6-7 for free as achievement rewards.
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4. EP XP sources and amounts
As already mentioned, your primary source of EP XP are Vanguard quests. Here's a table (a screenshot, actually, because of poor forum text editor) of what you get from different Vanguard quests, divided into categories - Dungeons, Battlegrounds, Solo (Misc.) and Wintera as an event battleground:
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And this is my list of non-quest sources:
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30 EP XP per L63+ BAM kill before soft cap and 1 EP XP after hard cap.
24 EP XP per L60-62 BAM kill before cap and 1 after.
18 EP XP per L59 BAM kill before cap and 1 after.

Note: It's worth mentioning that enchanting Frostmetal to +7-9 gives a (very) good amount of EP XP, especially after reaching your hard cap for the day when quests give very little XP. Similarly, enchanting Stormcry also gives EP XP but I can't confirm how much as I haven't done any SC enchanting recently, unlike FM which gives a few thousand XP to +9 (last checked: mid March 2019). As a side note, levelling a character also gives a tiny amount of EP XP. I have no recent information about SC giving EP XP.

5. Daily XP limits
Daily cap in more detail:
  • Value is set by the developer and changes every few EP levels (see table in Reference materials section, last column);
  • Used to calculate soft and hard caps;
  • Note: Daily cap resets at 04:00 CET in TERA EU.
Soft cap in more detail:
  • Represents the amount of EP XP you can receive in full (100% of awarded XP);
  • Soft cap is calculated as 0.8901403358192 part of your daily cap (or 89% for short HnAHNeX.gif);
  • Important: Unused rested XP (= XP until reaching your daily soft cap) is carried over into your next day's allowance;
  • Condition for carrying over unused rested XP is to log in during that day to earn any XP, so the remaining/new rested XP will start getting added to your accumulated rested XP day by day.
Hard cap in more detail:
  • Kicks in after soft cap. You receive a decreasing amount of EP XP (between 99% and 6% of awarded XP);
  • Hard cap is calculated as 89% to 109% of your daily cap. At 100% of your daily cap you get about 50% of awarded XP. Useless info but there you have it;
  • There's no record of unused hard cap XP being carried over, i.e. server doesn't send such data;
  • You get just 5% of your awarded XP after exceeding your hard cap.
To me personally, having 3 different caps is ridiculous and pointless. However, it's how the system works. I'm just trying to explain it in a more comprehensive way.
Use the daily cap to calculate the soft cap. You can ignore the hard cap - no-one cares about it anyway.

Note: There's a(n event) potion that can reset your daily cap XP - Kaia's Will.
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6. XP modifiers and boosts
As explained in the glossary, modifiers and boosts determine how much overall XP you'll get from your activities. Modifiers can increase, as well as decrease the awarded XP. Generally, there are 4 types of modifiers and boosts:
  1. Balance or catch-up modifier - increases base XP gained 3 times until EP level 317 (358 EP points), then gradually starts going down until it reaches 0.1 by level 405 (458 points);
  2. Regional EP XP boost - currently, we (in EU anyway) are getting 30% extra XP as a semi-permanent event;
  3. EP XP Boosts - 2x 50% extra EP XP boost (1-hour) from TERA Club, the occasional 100% extra EP XP boost (1-hour) from giveaways or token events, as well as longer lasting 100% EP XP boosts from the cash shop;
  4. Cap modifiers - you receive 100% of your awarded XP until soft cap, from 99% down to 6% until hard cap and 5% thereafter;
Obviously, where there is more than 1 option per category, only one modifier can apply at a time. However, all categories apply at the same time. When calculating how much XP you're going to get, you should apply the modifiers and boosts in that order.

7. Calculating EP XP
Here's a typical example of a typical ilvl 439 dungeon quest such as Red Refuge NM. Let's say it's your first dungeon for the day (i.e. soft cap mod applies), you have therefore not exceeded your 16 Vanguard quests quota, your current EP level is, say, 130 and you have a 50% EP XP boost from TERA Club.

The formula could be presented like this:
Received XP = ((Base XP * Catch-up mod + Regional EP XP boost) + EP XP boost) * Cap mod
Where Base XP for ilvl 439 quests before Vanguard cap = 1518, Catch-up mod = 3x base XP until level 317, Regional EP XP boost = 30% more EP XP in EU, EP XP boost = 50% more EP XP from TERA Club, Cap mod = 100% until soft cap.

Therefore:
Received XP = ((1518 * 3 + 30% * 1518 * 3) + 50% * (1518 * 3 + 30% * 1518 *3)) * 100%
Received XP = (4554 + 1366.2 + 2960.1) * 1
Received XP = 8880.3

Short versions of the formula above (assuming soft cap applies and catch-up mod is 3x):
Without extra boosts
Received XP = Base XP * 3.9

With a 50% boost on
Received XP = Base XP * 5.85

With a 100% boost on
Received XP = Base XP * 7.8

8. Maximising daily EP XP
Golden rule for maximising your daily EP XP allowance:
Sunflare wrote:
Don't go big at start!
What this means is don't deliver big quests (ilvl 439+) at the beginning of the day. Instead, gradually use up most of your rested XP with smaller quests or BAM kills, then go big just before reaching the soft cap. Why? Because the amount of XP received is calculated at the moment you earn it, so if your soft cap modifier still applies (100% of awarded XP), then you'll get the full XP. So, to go big means to deliver a 439+ quest, ideally with an EP XP boost.

Delivering a 439+ quest before reaching 200 EP points means you're slowing down your progress approximately 2 times. Explanation why you're gaining 2x less points: One 439+ quest gives you 5922 XP (100% soft cap mod, no boost). Until EP level 178 (200 EP points), your daily soft cap is below that amount. This means you instantly exceed your soft cap and even the hard one (which no-one cares about anyway) at lower levels, so next quests start giving you just 5% of the awarded XP right away. So, you get only 5922 XP + 5% thereafter instead of your daily rested XP + 5922 XP + 5% thereafter, i.e. you "lose" your daily rested XP allowance which is up to 5334 XP. That's 18 big quests at 5% cap mod (without a boost) of "lost" XP. Lost = missed or not utilised.

See Reference materials section for suggested 10-minute routines for maximising your soft cap on a daily basis. Thanks to Brawndria (from Mystel, TERA EU) for it. 9491mUa.gif
I'll repost only his advanced soft cap table to tickle your interest.
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Note: Don't forget that overcapping is done after completing your daily routine.

Here's my current routine. Rather here's my routine until yesterday. lol I reached EP level 235 and now gotta think of another routine*, or just follow the suggested solo content one in the table above. So, I was level 231 the other day. This means my daily cap was 7476 (see the EP table in Reference materials section). So, my soft cap was 89% of that, which is 6670.
Note: Bear in mind values in the EP table aren't official. Difference in actual "corrected daily cap" values is up to 30 but that's insignificant, really. It's still a very helpful reference source.
So, what I was doing over the past few days: 2x Kumas Royale quests + 3x BAM kills (teraliths outside Highwatch) and I was done with my routine, having 4 XP left until my soft cap. That's 6670 (daily rested XP) - 2 * 3288 (2x Kumas quests) - 3 * 30 (3x L63+ BAM kills) = 4. I'd then switch to an alt which had a running 100% EP XP boost and a few completed but undelivered 439+ quests in store, deliver a quest and log back to my main in order to preserve the boost for as long as possible. As a matter of fact, I had 1 Kumas quest undelivered from the previous day on my main and on another alt, so the whole procedure of overcapping took 3-4 minutes, including loading times. lol I could then do anything else without worrying about missing EP XP, as I had already overcapped effectively.

*Here are 2 casual examples of a routine for this category (level 235-288). The soft cap is 8005 EP XP.
Option 1 (without a boost):
- 439+ dungeon or battleground (CS/SH) quest - ideally, keep one from the previous day, as those are repeatable and you won't get unwanted XP from kills - 5922 XP
- Fishing or Guardian quest - do it now or keep one from the previous day, doesn't matter - 1950 XP
5922+1950 = 7872. That's 133 until soft cap. If you did a dungeon where bosses gave XP, then you would've got additional 90 XP, so you'd have 43 XP left. You could kill a random BAM but I'd advise against that if you're not sure.
- To overcap, deliver a 439+ dungeon or battleground (CS/SH) quest. Mind what dungeon you're doing. It's best to use an undelivered quest from the previous day or do a dungeon where bosses do not give XP. CS gives up to 300 XP per match (that's 10 destroyed objects), so keep that in mind too. You should use your TC boost now or switch to an alt with an active 100% boost.

Option 2 (without a boost):
- 412 dungeon quest - ideally, keep one from the previous day, as those are repeatable and you won't get unwanted XP from kills - 4944 XP
- Fishing or Guardian quest - do it now or keep one from the previous day, doesn't matter - 1950 XP
- Kill 50 mobs quest - do it now or keep one from the previous day, doesn't matter - 1053 XP
4944 + 1950 + 1053 = 7947. That's 58 until soft cap. It's important that you don't do dungeons where bosses give XP. You could kill a random BAM but I'd advise against that if you're not sure.
- To overcap, deliver a 439+ dungeon or battleground (CS/SH) quest. Mind what dungeon you're doing. It's best to use an undelivered quest from the previous day or do a dungeon where bosses do not give XP. CS gives up to 300 XP per match (that's 10 destroyed objects), so keep that in mind too. You should use your TC boost now or switch to an alt with an active 100% boost.

9. Screenshot examples
Disclaimer: This section is purely for educational purposes. I do not endorse the use of third-party tools unless they are formally tolerated and/or don't adversely affect other players' gaming experience.

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Image explained:
First you deliver small quests and kill a few BAMs if necessary (don't forget some dungeon bosses give EP XP).
Once you've used most of your daily rested XP (obviously, play safe and don't try to overdo it, i.e. calculate your soft cap as 85% of the daily cap), deliver a 439+ quest (this includes major battleground quests; see EP XP sources and amounts section above) ideally with an EP XP boost on (11841 XP is a 439+ quest with an active 100% boost and with soft cap modifier).
XP received after overcapping is limited to 5% of what you could've got (296 XP is a 439+ quest with no boost and after hard cap).

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Image explained:
66770 rested XP - that's accumulated soft cap over 2 weeks. Not utilising your soft cap practically prevents you from overcapping, thus missing many EP points.
Delivering 4 stocked quests without a boost - 3x 439+ and 1x 431. Soft cap still not reached, as there is 44060 remaining rested XP.

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Image explained:
Getting only 94% of awarded XP because soft cap has been exceeded by a little (88 XP). That's why it's best to do your routine safely first, then anything else. 94% is still better than 5% though.

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Image explained:
11835 XP - overcapping with a 439+ quest while soft cap modifier still applies (100%) and with an active 100% EP XP boost.
7368, 7374 and 7380 XP - enchanting +8 Frostmetal pieces to +9 with an active 100% EP XP boost.
It's best if you did this after overcapping, as enchanting EP XP isn't influenced by your soft cap. If you look closely, you'll also notice that your daily rested XP increases with each successful enchantment. However, while the bigger part of the consumed rested XP is indeed added back, part of it remains used, that's why you should do enchanting last. I personally didn't know about this mostly because game publisher didn't bother telling players anything about it and partially because I didn't care to do my research for a good few weeks. I wish I'd read Roukanken's EP manifesto document earlier (see Reference materials section below). Thanks to him for providing the foundation for this thread. 9491mUa.gif

10. Reference materials
- EP Manifesto - an early introduction to the talent system based on KTERA data, with graphs
- Soft Capping Daily EP xp - how to maximise one's daily EP allowance, with suggested solo content daily routines
- EP : Table - talent levels, needed experience, points and daily cap values in one place
- Tera_Talentsystem - talent lists for every class with descriptions and requirements, plus author's(?) recommendations
- Enhancement calculator - helps you plan your talent upgrades in advance

Comments and support
If you've reached this far, you should now know all or most there is to know about the talent system. Hopefully. 2tS92uy.gif
It's all I know about it anyway. Feel free to add extra info or suggest corrections in the comments or message me on Discord (Sun#0314).

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Comments

  • Updated non-quest sources, added a hard cap image example and gave examples for casual routines for level 235-288 which don't involve only solo content. Ideally, keep quests from the previous day, so you don't have to waste time at the start of the day - it will take you just a minute for everything.

    Option 1 (without a boost):
    - 439+ dungeon or major battleground quest - 5922 XP
    - Fishing or Guardian quest - 1950 XP
    (- kill 4 BAMs - 120 XP)
    - 439+ dungeon or major battleground quest to overcap

    Option 2 (without a boost):
    - 412 dungeon quest - 4944 XP
    - Fishing or Guardian quest - 1950 XP
    - Kill 50 mobs quest - 1053 XP
    (- kill 1 BAM - 30 XP)
    - 439+ dungeon or major battleground quest to overcap

    See section 8. Maximising daily EP XP for details and warnings.

    Short URL reminder: bit.ly/TERAtalents

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