The Division's Global Event Blackout has kicked off on 23 April 2018 with new commendations, gear sets and masks. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of info in Blackout so here is a few tips on how to optimise your farming time.
There are three main reward types that appeal to players in Global Events, so let's go one by one. First off, Global Events are a prime opportunity to farm up classified gear sets that would take weeks or even months otherwise. Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have made it a lot easier with Blackout, as this is the first event where set specific classified caches can be purchased.
Lincoln Tunnel Checkpoint and Hudson Refugee Camp are the best missions to farm GE Credits, but I would suggest running Hudson before you complete the commendations for the Tao mask, but more on that in the mask section of the guide. If you're not interested in the masks, or have already acquired them, the fastest GE Credit farm is to run Hudson on regular Blackout modifier.
Once you start going into the train yard tunnel, a new wave of Cleaners will flank you from the left side. When they are disposed, the train doors within the tunnel will open allowing you to proceed, and at this point you can just skip all the mobs by running past them until you reach the refugee camp. Kill the 4-5 Cleaners so the objective changes from "Kill hostile Cleaners" to "Find the chemical source".
Follow the map marker and kill any Cleaners in the way so the cargo doors pictured below open.
Mission objective will soon be updated to "Reach the crane controls", at which point you can also skip mobs, by moving to the right once you're outside the building. If the bridge is closed, kill the big Cleaners with flamethrowers. Once you're across the bridge, you will find yourself in the position on the next picture.
Kill all of the Cleaners and as soon the last of them are down, the objective should change. At that point run through the newly opened gate and skip all of the mobs that come pouring out of it. Once you're through the gate, you should see a bunch of boxes on the left that you will need to climb to get to the final area of Hudson Refugee Camp. Kill all the bosses and their minions, et voila, 750+ GE Credits in 7-8 minutes.
Recommended gear for farming the Hudson Refugee Camp would be Striker's Battlegear classified set, but if you don't have it yet, just bring whatever loadout gives you the most damage output. It really adds up with the Blackout modifier and you will find yourself melting bosses as if they were regular mobs.
To earn the Tao mask, shown in the title image, you will need to perform 200 melee shock kills so the large open battlefields in Hudson Refugee Camp are a better option than Lincoln Tunnel which favours verticality. Automatic weapons with high rate of fire are best suited for building up the charge meter fast, since you can stop firing when you reach the red zone in order not to shock yourself.
Bullfrog, The House, Big Alejandro, MG5, M4 variations and MP 7 work wonders here. If you have a reclaimer in your team, you can also use Cassidy since it will build your meter up completely with every shot, but it's risky if you're not immune to shocks.
Path of the Nomad set is the best gear set you can have for farming melee kills due to massive healing it provides after killing an enemy, as well as the free get out of jail card, in case they somehow manage to empty your health bar. Four piece set is good enough, so don't be discouraged if you don't have a full classified set, you will still be able to pull a Leeroy Jenkins and get out of it alive.
Reclaimer is a great alternative, since you can just let enemies get into your green circle and then proceed to ruin their lives without worrying about shocking yourself. If you don't have any of the sets, just make sure you bring a Support Station with the Immunizer effect and you're good to go.
Unlike Tao mask, the Vulcan mask can be farmed anywhere, as it is not bound to missions only. Kills on enemies who are shocked can easily be racked up with weekly High Value Target (HVT) missions, since you will be swarmed by enemies who have enough health not to die before getting shocked but are also not beefy enough to give you too much trouble, so you can just gun them down.
You will need 500 kills on shocked enemies, but it's not as grindy as you may think. If you grind the Tao mask first, you will be at least half way through getting the Vulcan when you're done, since it doesn't matter how you kill an enemy as long as they're shocked in the moment they die.
Once you're done with the Tao mask, it should be enough to finish three or four weekly HVT missions in order to get 500 kills on shocked enemies. Go solo on these missions for maximised kill count, as the Blackout modifier makes them easy enough so you don't need a group. In total, getting Tao and Vulcan masks was definitely more enjoyable than killing Larae Barrett 150 times for the Jungle mask during Strike.
Rictus mask is a bit trickier to get though. For this challenge, you will have to complete a mission without shocking yourself on either Extreme or Total Blackout modifier. Therefore, it would be best to run either Hudson or Lincoln Tunnel mission in a group of you and one more agent. World Tier 5 is required for this one, but you can tone mission difficulty down to Hard for faster clearing and lower risks.
Optimal build would be dual Reclaimer for the permanent green circle of immunity, but if you can also do it with other gear sets, as long as you both bring Support Station with Immunizer. Make sure you're both communicating how long your Support Stations have before they self destruct so the other one can activate theirs in order to prevent surprise shocks.
If I had to choose a single best mission for getting this mask, I would still recommend Hudson as the enemies there will be running towards you, making it easier to bait them into your shock immunity circle.
Rictus mask's commendation was glitched at the moment of writing so it was possible to get it without a group. This is a subject to change in the coming days though. Tactician's Authority set is the easy mode for this approach as Sticky Grenades and Seeker Mines can one shot enemies, while not building any shock meter in the process. It's also doable with 6 piece Striker's Battlegear combined with Immunizer Support Station and, of course, the Reclaimer set should also make the mission a walk in the park.
Provided you want to farm all that the Global Event has to offer, you should first focus on getting the Tao mask, as the progress there will award you both GE Credits and shock kill count towards Vulcan. After that try getting the Rictus mask - while getting this shouldn't take more than one or two runs, it will still get your more GE Credits and Vulcan progress. After those two are done, you can either continue farming Vulcan mask via Hudson and Lincoln Tunnel or take the shortcut and get it with HVT mission mobs.
Blackout's commendations are pretty straightforward, and I completed 11 out of total 18 commendations by the time I got the masks by simply farming as described in the article. The remaining ones included "We Will, We Will Shock You" which requires you to shock enemies using a pistol.
Lincoln Tunnel Checkpoint is a great place to farm these shocks, especially during the phase where you protect a JTF bomb defuser. You can sit at the tunnel entry and just shoot your pistol as the enemies are landing on the truck from the scaffolding on the right. Don't worry about your low damage output, as your teammates can easily mop the shocked enemies up in close quarters.
"Target Acquired" commendation requires you to kill 500 LMB soldiers during the event but there are no other restrictions. You can literally solo run Russian Consulate or General Assembly on World Tier 1 until you rack up 500 kills for those four Cypher Key pieces. You can consult the full commendation list on reddit.
To maximise the benefits of your time spent with Blackout, you should consider building stable servers and donating them to Ubisoft in order to prevent more Delta errors. Jabs aside, Ubisoft have compensated for the two days ruined by server instability with extending the duration of Blackout by seven days.
As far as Leaderboards go, the best you can do at this point are Tier 1 rewards, since Tiers 2 and 3 are filled with people who hoarded caches before the event started and got a pile of GE Credits by simply opening them. This is definitely an issue Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment will need to address sooner rather than later, as Global Event Onslaught is also close since it's scheduled for May 2018.
Following the Hudson Refugee Camp speed farm guide above, you can get 6.000 to 8.000 GE Credits in an hour which will at least guarantee you don't drop out of Tier 1.