In MHGenU, you'll notice a lot of differences. The big one that might have some of you newer players scratching your collective heads is armor skills.
How Armor Skills Work
Instead of having multiple levels of a skill for every point you put into it, like MHW, MHGenU skills only activate at ten points. In general, a piece of armor will come with a few points towards 1-5 separate skills.
The Headpiece for this set has 4 points of the skill Combo Rate and 2 of Combo Plus. If you were to put the Makluva Hood U on, but nothing else, no skill would activate. Put on the rest of the Makluva set, and you now have 13 points of Combo Rate, 10 points of Combo Plus, and 5 points of Lasting Power.
With the full set of Makluva U equipped, you will activate precisely 2 skills.
Combo Rate Level 1: This skill increases your combo rate by 20%. Please note that this skill has 2 levels. To activate level 2 of this skill, you would need to have a total of 15 points in the skill Combo Rate.
Combo Plus This skill ensures that if you were to combine something that nets you more than one item, you would always receive the maximum amount of combined items.
Our third skill, Lasting Power, only has 5 points, it does not activate. Only the skills that have reached the minimum threshold of 10 points will be activated.
In short: You must have 10 points of a certain skill to activate it. Some skills have multiple levels, these are unlocked once you add more points to your already active skill, and the point thresholds are always a multiple of 5.
Sometimes referred to as Jewels or Gems. These are essentially portable skill points. You can create Decorations at the Blacksmith, and are made out of a Jewel (which you can mine, trade for, or receive as quest rewards… you will not have a hard time getting Jewels) and various materials.
After crafting your Decorations, you can fit them into a slot on your armor or weapon.
Going back to our previous example of armor. Let's assume that we want to activate our Combo Rate Level 2 skill. How would we go about this?
You can forge a Professor Jewel 1 at the Blacksmith. This is a Decoration that takes up one slot and has 2 skill points of Combo Rate. By placing this decoration in a slot (Like the one on the headpiece) you now have a grand total of 15 points of Combo Rate, and Combo Rate Level 2 activates.
Talismans are randomized pieces of equipment that you can have equipped at the same time as your armor. They don't add to your defense, they just have skill points on them.
You can receive Talismans by mining or sometimes in quest rewards. They cannot be upgraded, or changed. You can meld them to receive different Talismans, that are also randomized.
A talisman has skill points to 1 or 2 separate skills. If it has slots, there are a maximum of three.
Let's say that we mine a Talisman that has 5 points of Lasting Power. If we were to equip it along with our Makluva set (Which we added a Decoration to, as you remember) we would have a grand total of:
15 points of Combo Rate
10 points of Combo Plus
10 points of Lasting Power (5 from our armor, 5 from the talisman)
The third skill of our set, Lasting Power now activates. Lasting Power increases the effective time of items like Dash Juices and Cool Drinks.
We have now seen what happens if we have 10 points in a skill, but what happens if we have 10 negative point in a skill?
Something interesting about many Talismans, Decorations, and some pieces of armor, is that they will have negative points toward skills. If the negative points in a single skill do not reach 10, you have nothing to worry about. If they do, a negative version of the skill will activate.
Take the skill Attack, for example. If you were to get -10 points of attack, you would activate the skill Attack Down Small, which reduces your attack power.
Not every skill has a negative counterpart. Hearing only has a positive effect, which is negating Monster roars.
I hope this brief guide to Armor Skills in MHGenU is helpful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Edit: derped on a word
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