This guide will break down how to increase your gear to have max gear score and the best ways/locations to do so at.
What is the "High Watermark" system
High Watermark (HWM) is the term used to describe the system that governs your max gear score after you hit level 60. Once you reach level 60 you will have to grind to increase your Gear Score from 500 all the way up to 600. The HWM will increase for each armor piece (e.g. head armor, chest armor, ring, etc.) and weapon type (e.g. sword, hammer, musket, etc.) that is dropped. Each drop increases your HWM for that item type when the item drops, meaning you don’t have to pick the item up to get the increase.
How to raise your High Watermark
This can be a painful process since currently there are only two ways to increase the High Watermark (HWM) of an item. First is to have that item drop from a level 60+ monster by defeating it. Second is from the elite supply crate located in a level 60+ zone.
While it’s true that monsters over level 60 can drop an HWM item, not all enemies will provide the same chance to drop an item that will increase your HWM. For each level beyond 60, there is a higher chance of getting an HWM increase, meaning killing enemies that are level 64 will have a higher chance than a level 60 enemy to drop an HWM item. Also, enemies located in elite or group zone and expeditions have an even higher base chance to drop an HWM item. On top of that is level 60+ named monsters have an even higher base rate and expedition bosses have a guaranteed chance to drop an HWM increasing item.
For those wanting a more reliable way to of getting an HWM drop, containers are for you. Supply containers have a decent chance at dropping a weapon or armor item, and in level 60+ zones these drops mean an increase to your HWM. Since these crates/containers can’t be swiped by other players, they can be a more reliable source when dealing with a high populated zone. The chance of getting an HWM item increases depending on the zone level, so higher the zone level, higher the chances of getting an HWM item. Since crates and containers don’t refresh quickly, this method may have higher chances, but alone will make a slow progress.
Best way to Increase your High Watermark
Many players don’t enjoy sharing the monster kills with other groups of players, which is completely understandable. The best way that I suggest you use to increase your HWM is to do expeditions, Garden of Genesis and Lazarus Instrumentality to be exact. These two expeditions are full of elite monsters, a handful of containers and an expedition boss will guarantee that you will increase your HWM every time you run one. I know the Tuning Orbs can be expensive and time consuming to craft, but for a sure-fire way to increase your HWM, it’s worth it!