Reward Merits are awarded for completing a variety of activities. Characters can then go to a Merit Vendor and use merits to purchase recipes, enhancements, salvage, and more. This article describes the sources of reward merits, how they are calculated and valued, and purchases that can be made with them.
A character receives the following pop-up when they receive their first Merit Reward:
In Issue 13, Merit Rewards, replaced the random recipe option at the end of Task Forces, Strike Forces, and Trials. Reward Merits are also given at the end of every Story Arc, whether it is major or minor, and by defeating most Giant Monsters. Each activity has had a different reward amount assigned to it, based on its datamined time required to complete it.
- Task Forces give an average of 1 merit every 3 minutes of average time (20 merits an hour), Trials give an average of 1 merit every 2.5 minutes (24 merits an hour), and Story Arcs give an average of 1 merit every 7.5 minutes (8 merits an hour). The reason for this major difference is due to the considerable time and effort Task/Strike Forces can take to set up and complete, so naturally these tasks grant a much greater reward.
On February 10, 2009, how many merits per minute each activity is awarded with was altered. Task Forces were previously 12 merits per hour, Trials were 13-14 per hour, and Story Arcs were 4-5 per hour. Additionally, datamining was performed to adjust each activity's specific awarded amount according to the new formula.
The formula used by the developers to calculate number of merits to award a task was described here:
(MedianTime / MPM) * TaskModifier * TimesRunModifier * TimeModifier + ArtificialModifiers
Decimals in the result are dropped off (ie: the result is rounded down).
- MedianTime: The datamined median time to complete the task
- MPM: The desired Minutes per Merit, currently 3.7
- TaskModifier: 1.5 if the task is a raid, 1.2 if the task is a trial, 1.0 if the task is a Task Force or Strike Force, and 0.6 if the task is a Story Arc
- TimesRunModifier: 1.0 if the task has been run enough times for the developers to be comfortable with the datamining, 0.6 otherwise
- TimeModifier: A percentage merit bonus equal to the median time divided by 20 (ex: the Synapse TF has a MedianTime of 194 minutes. 194 / 20 = 9.7, rounded up to 10% bonus)
- ArtificialModifier: Manually added bonuses or penalties to a given task; from Synapse:
The Statesman Task Force has a datamined median completion time of 133 minutes.
(133 / 3.7) * 1.0 * 1.0 * 1.07 + 0 = 38 merits
The following pages list the rewards for all available Merit Rewards sources:
- Hero Merit Rewards -- Task Forces, Trials, and Story Arcs
- Villain Merit Rewards -- Strike Forces, Trials, and Story Arcs
- Cooperative Merit Rewards -- Cooperative Task Forces, RWZ Story Arcs
- Miscellaneous Merit Rewards -- Giant Monsters, Hamidon, etc.
If an activity only awards merits (does not give a reward screen upon completion), repeating the same activity within  hours will lessen the Merit Rewards by this formula: 1 / (# of attempts), rounded down. So, the first time gives the full reward (1/1), the second time gives half (1/2), the third time gives one third (1/3) and so on, to a minimum of one merit.
- The Temple of the Waters SF normally gives 25 merits. So, the first time its completed will give you 25 merits. The second time will give you 12 merits (25/2). The third time will give you 8 merits(25/3). The fourth time will give you 6 merits (25/4).
The 18 hour timer counts how many times you've received a Merit Reward for that Task Force in the past 18 hours.
- If you've received a Merit Reward from a particular TF 3 times in the past 18 hours, then the fourth time will get 1/4 of the full reward rounding down. If you wait 16 hours and do the Task Force again, and there is only one Merit Reward payout in the past 18 hours (the others are now outside the 18 hour window), then your reward will be 1/2 (rounded down).
Diminishing Returns on Task Forces, Strike Forces, Trials, and Raids that give a reward screen upon completion will always give 50% rewards for subsequent completions within the 18 hour time period.
- The Sewer Trial gives 28 merits for the first time run, the second time will give 14, the third time 14, the fourth time 14... etc.
After 18 hours without completing a particular activity, the Merit Rewards reset to their default value for that activity. The time between when the merits are awarded is what counts, so a repeated activity that is started less than 18 hours from the last one may still be worth the full reward if the task finishes more than 18 hours later.
Diminishing Returns on most Task Force/Strike Force rewards was changed in Issue 14, from 24 hours to 18 hours. The remaining Task/Strike Forces, Trials, and Raids were dropped to 18 hours in Issue 16. As such, all activities subject to Diminishing Returns are now on an 18 hour timer.
Each Task Force/etc. has its own separate timer. Completing one will not diminish the returns of others.
Completing Story Arcs is not subject to diminishing returns. This includes completing multiple different Story Arcs, and flashing back repeatedly to the same Story Arc.
Completing Ouroboros Task/Strike Forces is also not subject to diminishing returns, since they are not true Task or Strike Forces. They follow the Story Arc rules.
Note: A player can avoid Diminishing Returns on activities that have a reward screen by leaving the screen open until the appropriate time. Most activities do not have a reward screen, thus their merits cannot be delayed, only waiting to complete the activity until after 18 hours has passed will gain full merits. Note also that if a character does not meet the reward options (exemplared into the Abandoned Sewer Trial, for example), the popup screen will not open and the character cannot delay their merits.
Heroes and villains can visit Merit Vendors to turn in Reward Merits for various items.
- Large Inspiration: 1 Merit
- Single Origin Enhancement (levels 20-50 only): 8 Merits
- Invention Salvage (three "tier" options: Levels 10-25, Levels 26-40, Levels 41-50):
- Random Rare Salvage: 20 Merits
- Random Rare Magic Salvage: 30 Merits
- Random Rare Tech Salvage: 30 Merits
- Common Invention Recipe: 12 Merits
- Invention Origin Enhancement Sets (select specific recipes):
- Uncommon Enhancement Recipe: 50-75 Merits
- Rare Enhancement Recipe: 125-275 Merits
- Random Rare Recipe Roll: 20 Merits
- Archetype Enhancements (Standard, not Superior):
NOTE: Not all recipes can be purchased at vendors; a list of unavailable recipes can be found here. Summed up, basically, what cannot be purchased are:
- Costume Piece Recipes
- Invention Temporary Power Recipes
- Special Drop Pool Recipes
- Very Rare Drop Pool Recipes (aka Purple Sets)
- PvP Drop Pool Recipes
- Respec Recipe
- GoogleDocs Rewards and Purchases (Pages 3-4) by DJ_Jules
- GoogleDocs All IO Set Recipe Merit Costs ugly but compiled by Robziel
- Synapse reveals the reasons behind Merit Award amounts