First the video version. If you view it on the Youtube site, the video description (typed below, but also on Youtube) has hyperlinks to each part of the video.
Step 0: After killing Kitava in A10, talk to Kirac in Oriath and run his fetch quests.
Step 1: Just explore.
Run a few different maps. Kill monsters. Steal their loot. Pay attention to how you can craft maps – a transmute adds about 35% more loot to a map, an alch about 95% more.
– Completion, Bonus Objective: Just killing a boss ‘completes’ a map, making it easier for that map to drop again in future. Completing a new map at a certain minimum difficulty will permanently improve your map drops, increasing their tier by an average of 0.01. This will be magic (blue, i.e. transmuted, or higher) on all maps you can see now. Later you’ll encounter maps where this requires rare maps or even corrupted rare maps.
– Later you’ll get a chance to get more bonuses by running higher tier maps.
Step 2: 5:45 You want to expand to higher tier maps.
For this you need watchtowers and watchstones.
– Watchtowers: Found after your first tier 3+ boss kill in each octant
– Watchstones: Found after killing Conquerors of the Atlas. Focus on the eight Watchtowers first. If you incidentally happen to kill a Conqueror and get a Watchstone, great! You’ve got a headstart on part 3. Zana’s missions will help you progress here, as will any source of ‘random’ maps that will give you maps in unexplored parts of your atlas.
Step 3: 10:41 First 4 Watchstones
– Maps exist at (up to) 5 different tiers. e.g. Beach is tier 1, 4, 8, 10 or 14 depending upon the version you get. Watchstones influence this version.
– Watchstones require you to kill Conquerors at certain minimum map tiers.
– First 4 can be done at low tiers but ONLY in outer octants.
– To spawn a Conqueror, just run maps in that octant. The Conqueror will taunt you and their minions will attack you (first one will always be Baran) – First round you will get taunts on your first 3 maps. After this you’ll get an interface that lets you plan for taunts (you’ll see it soon) – Inner octants need Watchstones socketed.
– When you get your first Watchstone, more info will show up on your Atlas.
– RUN THE MAPS
– Once you have all 4 your Awakening Level will increase. This gives small bonuses on killing map bosses.
Step 4: 19:23 First 20 Watchsontes
– Check the storage grid for each octant to see how many watchstones must be socketed in a region to spawn Conquerors there. Eventually this will go up to 4 in all octants.
– At any given point in progression, the only maps that can drop are as follows – maps can only drop at their current Watchstone level, and only maps you’ve completed on your Atlas can drop
– OR maps adjacent to the map you are in.
– However, you don’t need to have completed the map at the current Watchstone level.
– Take Fungal Hollow in Glennach Cairns. With no Watchstones socketed in the octant, it’s tier 2 and competes with your other tier 2s to drop – but it can’t drop unless you’ve done it, or you are currently in an adjacent map.
– But with one Watchstone, the 0-Watchstone version can’t drop, and the 1-stone version (tier 5) now fights for your Tier 5 drops.
– You can’t get a 1-Watchstone Fungal Hollow (should you desire it to spawn a Conqueror there) unless the drop source can drop tier 5 maps. Importantly, you’ll want to run tier 4+ maps to get it.
– This means the best way to progress is to first put one Watchstone in each inner octant. Then spawn a Conqueror in each and kill it. (8 watchstones)
– Then put a second Watchstone in each inner octant. Spawn a new tier of Conquerors and kill them. (12)
– Now put a third Watchstone in each, and spawn one more round (16)
– Finally, put a fourth in each, and spawn the final round in each inner octant. You are now at 20, and you’ll get a chance to fight Sirus, the boss of the Conquerors. Don’t worry if he kicks your ass the first time. You’ll be able to get revenge. Chaos resist helps here.
Step 5: 32:50 All 32 and Awakening Level
– This will be a ‘whole of league’ goal for most folks. No shame in taking weeks here.
– Move to the outer octants and bring them straight up to 4 watchstone level. 9 maps per spawn, and you get to fight the conquerors there as well.
– Each round, you will get one more shot at Sirus. You can choose your Awakening Level each fight – 8 for max loot, 0 for the easiest fight (he’s still not trivial at 0).
– You will also make progress on the Awakening Bonus objectives.
Step 6: 34:32 Sirus cycles
– You’ve now completed the core of the Atlas.
– You can continue spawning the Conquerors. Sirus will become available once per cycle.
– Or you can do other things – Shaper or Elder or Uber Elder, Niko’s mine, or more.
The New Changes: Preferred Map System
– Once you complete every map in a region, you can tell the game to ‘bias’ map drops toward your favorite map in that region.
– Completing all maps in a region lets you pick one map to make it ten times as likely to drop.
– Completing all Atlas bonus objective lets you pick a second, all Awakener bonuses a third.
– These stack additively.