Ascending - an Introduction
This will probably be my most end-game related guide to date however let that be something interesting to look forward to for you lower level players! The Altar of Ascension was introduced to Orna along with the Origin Town Buildings update in April 2021, and initially blew a lot of late game players’ minds with the hefty 50 Mil orns cost just to build the thing! It’s four months on from its introduction to the game now so I’m confident enough with my experience of ascending to make this guide.
Ascension is effectively the Orna Developer’s current answer to end-game levelling progress. They had posted hype screenshots of a possible Tier 11 class available at level 250, however that idea was replaced with Ascension, although I wouldn’t mind seeing a Carl class at some point! I feel the current live iteration is working extremely well, offering end game players a chance of increasing their favourite class’ stats by putting in some effort and paying the required costs.
The main points and rules of Ascending in Orna are as follows:
In general Ascension has given Orna players another goal to strive for, a new reason to grind for orns and the results of even ascending just a few levels are super noticeable for it to be worth doing for all players. Whether you plan on hyper-focusing on your favourite class and ascending only that one class before all else, or if you like to class swap regularly then splitting your resources into a balance of ascension levels will still give you strong results overall.
With the fix of the ascension HP ward bug, the increase to HP/Mana and therefore ward is also extremely potent and a big boon to all Tier 10 classes, making hard end-game content more accessible earlier on if you focus. Ascending is also way more powerful in terms of stat gain than levelling up (which only affects base stats, not gear) so it’s definitely something I’d recommend focusing on before reaching 250. Indeed there’s plenty of players who have swapped out theri Arisen Monster Tomes in favour of double Band of Gods in order to accumulate as many orns as possible in their grinding session. It comes down to personal preference I guess, do you want to get more orns now in order to ascend faster and get stronger now - or do you want to reach 250 as soon as possible for that double Godforge chance and Arisen status, then worry about orns afterwards?
There is no right way or wrong way, much like the rest of the game of Orna itself in fact.
If you’re in a kingdom with multiple Tier 10+ players or you like to scan the Orna discords you’ll likely have come across screenshots of players posting their next ascension level costs, usually with red text showing they don’t have enough materials and a caption saying something like “rip my orns”. Let’s go over exactly how ascending costs work in Orna, bearing in mind we’ve already spent 50 Mil orns + 1000 stone for the privilege!
Ascension costs are tied to the ascension level. There is a base multiplier for gold, orns and materials and then for randomness a range off of that base. Initially you’ll have 3 different random materials as an ascension cost, however after only a few ascension levels this will rise to a (current) max of 6 different materials. This obviously means there’s a greater chance of having to sacrifice rare and precious mats to ascend… We’ll come to rare mats later on.
As always there is some randomness involved: every player will have random costs for each class, no ascension cost will be exactly the same as someone else. I have studied a good amount of ascension costs and come to the conclusion below of what the base cost is per ascension level and the approximate range these costs can swing between:
For everyone’s benefit and understanding I'll give some examples below of some of my own ascension requirements and how they follow the above ranges.
Example 1 - Ascension Level 1 - Possible cost ranges
Example 1 - Ascension Level 19 - Possible cost ranges
Cumulative / Average Costs
A fairly common question I see getting asked is how much orns do I need to reach ascension level 10? Now due to the randomness within ranges and 20% either side for orns and gold being a fairly large range we can never have an exact answer for this however we can get averages and min/max range per ascension level. That’s exactly what I’ve done in this google sheet from ascension level 1 to 100, please feel free to have a look round and share.
For some fun and easy dreaming let’s look at a few scenarios of total ascension level costs... As the average cost is always going to be in the middle of the range it’s easy to figure out average costs per level so let’s look at some scenarios that take the total average amount of “plentiful offerings” we need to make to the altar to achieve true power:
As we can see the costs get seriously crazy fairly quickly. Remember that the first few ascension levels will give you the biggest relative increase in power. Going from 0% to 10% is a bigger increase than going from 30% to 40%. A lot bloody cheaper as well.
I couldn’t talk about ascending without leaving out the craziest man in the west, this bloke took ascending to the next level before anybody else, went from around global rank 80 to top 10 as a side effect of his crazy love for ascension. I am of course talking about the one and only Jeffles. He’s currently taking a wee break after blowing up to ascension level 32, maining Realm Swash he has pushed the max attack anyone has seen in Orna to 14,188! The 1.32 multiplier to all stats helps a tonne, also multiplies with swash bonus of course! Let’s take a look at his current ascending requirements for asc lvl 33:
This ascending requirement will either be overlooked or be the main focus for a lot of people during their ascending adventures. The materials you need to offer are random every time and as mentioned already, it’s not going to take you too long to have to cough up 6 different types of material each ascension. It’s not so bad when you’ve only got 3 different mats but obviously with 6 there’s a good chance you’ll have to give up something you don’t have enough of or something you’d rather use to demonforge some gear. That is the nature of the beast and what we have to sacrifice to achieve ascension.
The common term you’ll hear when folk haven’t got the required ascending materials is “material locked” or the classic “herb locked” (herbs were introduced in the same update as ascension, and clearly nobody had any herbs so almost everyone got herb locked in their first few ascension levels even if they had 100 Mil orns). You’ll all of a sudden realise you need some Draconite when you’ve not killed any Draconians for months, or that you ascended out of excitement and accidentally spent 1300 cursed ortanite you were about to use to demonforge your 200% Fey Badb Catha. Let’s take a look at some of the rarest/worst materials to farm and material farming in general.
Rarest / Worst Materials to Farm
Cursed Ortanite - The most obvious material being Tier 10 only and required for the majority of best gear in the game dropping from both Morrigan and Arisen Morrigan.
Realm Ore and other raid-only mats - Apollyon gear is viable for an incredibly long time deep into tier 10 and depending on your luck you may have multiple gear pieces you’ll want to demonforge. Also not everyone has a kingdom where they raid Apollyon a lot. In terms of other lower tier raid mats like Titanium, Balorite, Avalon Ore and Solarite, keep an eye out for event raids throughout the year but also have a word with your kingdom to open up some of these lower tier raids if people need the mats for ascending.
Greater Souls - This has emerged as probably the most sought-after material in Orna’s end game. Arisen Morrigan gear, tier 10 random origin and most world raid boss gear has greater souls as a requirement. It’s seemingly everywhere and yet nowhere. Swashies will likely have more greater souls stockpiled than other builds due to Arena farming, which is probably the best way to farm them (check my realm swash volley build here). Arena farming should definitely be quicker than farming world raids like the horsemen which can only drop up to about 5, whereas arena farming yields on average 1 greater soul per 3.7 wins (0.27 GS/win) source: Major of the Research Team.
Herbs (Silphium / Mandrake) - Now that we’ve had herbs in the game for over 4 months they’re not as gated as before. Nightshade and Dayleaf can be purchased from shops but Silphium and Mandrake only drop from Witch type mobs (Fallen Witch, Carman bosses, Arisen Carman). People have been known to smash Tier 6 boss dungeons for the double Carman boss when chasing herbs. Added bonus that they both drop gauntlet keys.
Platinum - Surprisingly rare, I've never not been able to buy these in shops, which funnily enough is one of the best places to farm Platinum. Fomor raid does drop a few, tier 4 Magma Golem also. But apart from the Phoenix January event raid you’re looking at dismantling Mighty Ensembles and Realmspikes.
Twilightstone - One of the worst, currently only exists in the game for Nightbreak weapons, time to saddle up and farm those Dark Pegasi. T10+ normal dungeons and chaos scrolls are your best bets.
Wolf’s Blood - Personally I never want to see another Arisen Fenrir again. Kerberos month in February is by far the best way to farm these, just be weary about demonforging all decent drops. T10+ normal dungeons again for Arisen Fenrir (although the droprate is agonising) and Fallen Freyja’s Chimera Staccato (never level one of these up like I have). Another great shout is using Monster Remains in woods, ideally on a T7 character for those Fenrir and Lord of the Wolves spawns.
Hardened Steel - Used to be rare but now drops from quite a few more mobs and plenty of event raids. Only including because no doubt someone will mention “why isn’t hardened steel on the list”.
Random Mid-Game Boss Mats - I’m going to finish this list by chucking in a bunch of mats which only drop from one or two bosses or their Arisen counterparts. While the bosses won’t necessarily be rare, accumulating their mats can take longer because they’re not dropping 5+ each kill. A mix of general world farm, daytripping and dungeoneering is probably the best focused plan of attack. One player might run out of Cavestone while another will never have to touch their stack and instead be chasing Sluaghs for Fogstone. Here’s what I’m including in this picknmix: Ancient Stone, Broken Statue, Cavestone, Eyestone, Fogstone, Sandstone, Skystone and Vampiric Ore.
Remember when you first started playing Orna and were asking how to get wood to build a shop or blacksmith and people told you to buy items from shops that looked wooden so you could dismantle them for wood? This is the end-game version of that where if you can be arsed and have nothing better to do, go shopping and buy loads of shitty items for dismantling, to then be used in refineries or for ascending. Pro shoppers will send their common mats to the keep to be able to buy mats below their 5k carrying limit. Picking up the usual assortment of Monster Remains and Arena Tokens etc. might hold off insanity for a little while. At least you can use those for doing more fun things like greater soul farming or trying to summon a Fenrir for Wolf’s Blood.
As a stingy Scotsman I'll refresh my shops a couple of times for only 250k, maybe the 500k cost after payday, but I’ve built up a mall of about 20 shops and it does take time to sift through them all. I’ll personally buy everything up to tier 6, the Kobold stuff is a little too dear for me. Bonus points for Fomorian gear which dismantles into 2 mats each. It’s close but overall I’d say shopping isn’t as bad as the next strategy for gaining mats, although I did say I buy all these cheap items to dismantle and then refine those materials didn’t I...
A useful yet in my opinion boring strategy for material farming is refineries. To be fair you’re not going to need 15000 Mythril for quite some time so it’s not too bad a strategy for getting rid of some of the most common materials and getting some rarer ones back. However it is probably my least favourite gameplay in the entire game. During certain material shortages I will load up my refineries for a few days and then leave them mothballed for weeks. A quick recap of how refining works:
In my personal experience refining every now and then is a decent way to supplement your normal gameplay in the hunt for ascension materials. It cannot be your only source of materials because the majority of mats output much less than you put in. It can certainly be useful for those final few obscure mats you need to get the next ascension level. I recommend building a few refineries for sure but 21 is certainly not needed. Build and use what you can cope with using and don’t worry about leaving them empty for weeks at a time because it’s the least engaging feature I’ve come across. I much prefer killing stuff and auto-dismantling their drops.
A quick word here about end of dungeon rewards, it should be obvious from not only the above but your own personal experience in playing Orna that you’ll be able to focus farm certain monsters and mats they drop in dungeons. Perhaps a by-product we don’t pay too much attention to are the materials gained on dungeon completion, which are completely random and don’t appear to have any weighting which is always good when we’re after the rare stuff. Remember hard mode dungeons gives us increased mats also on the dungeon completion (probably double but I’ve never confirmed). The other important point on dungeon completion is in regards to the greater soul farm - those random origin t10 version of lower tier items you get all have greater souls as an upgrade cost. That means we can dismantle these for greater souls!
And of course let's not forget about those orn costs. Double Band of Gods is going to be your accessory loadout for almost everything that involves killing mobs. the 1.5x multiplier to orns/gold/exp is too good to pass up (unless you're gunning for exp). If you haven't got your second BoG yet then dungeons are the only way to get that second one anyway!
Currently on the Orna Roadmap is the concept of themed dungeons. Now this is “coming soon” and I believe it could have some potential for farming the rarer mats. At time of writing I can only speculate how they may work, but for example I would expect certain types of mob or indeed certain biome spawns would be the focus in some of these themed dungeons. My most recent ascension material nightmare involved wolf’s blood, which is painfully slow to accumulate outside of Kerberos raiding month. Only dropping from Lord of Wolves / Fenrir bosses and their Arisen mob versions and as a material upgrade for Fallen Freyja’s Chimera Staccato weapon, it has taken me almost two months to accumulate 1600 of the stuff.
Imagining themed dungeons had only wood biome spawns, that would probably make the wolf mobs spawn much more often and thus I could focus farm those specific dungeons for wolf’s blood. In recent hype screenshots Odie the Dev has also shown some glimpses of party play and multiple mob spawns per floor. This makes me reasonably confident there will be more mobs available per dungeon for us to kill and therefore increase our material gain.
Shabbash has been playing Orna since the summer of 2019, reaching max level 250 a year later, and has a vast plethora of experience within the game. After completing and surviving the grind, Shabbash now turns his attention to creating the best guide resources for players to improve their enjoyment of what Orna has to offer.
Sprite Legends art contest 10/11 Sep