Joined: 17 Aug 2005
|Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 15:48 pm Post subject: Newbie Guide - Skills, Stats and Leveling Up
|After watching the newbie channel for 3 years, and helping many new players, I have decided to write a series of guides that condense the common knowledge of the people who actually play the game. This guide will expand on the ever popular problem of deciding when to level, how much to level, how much to train skills, and how training stats affect your game.
First the basics. Many newbie questions involve Leveling. What is it, How to do it, and What do i need?
Leveling is defined as spending experence in a large lump sum to transform your charactor into a more powerful version of itself. Advantages of leveling are increased stats, new skills and spells (from now on simply described as skills), higher maximums on skills already learned, and other less defineable things, such as being more likely to be asked to join a party of high level players, having an easier time convincing people to bring you back from the dead (not necessary, but useful) and a general sense of accomplishment.
In order to level, you must have three things: a large amount of experence that is unused, 4 advance points (adv) purchased at the Adventurers Guild (and which also cost experence), and you are normaly required to have certin skills at a specific level or higher. Your individual guild information screen can tell you which ones if any (type info).
Once you have all the requirements, simply return to your guild and type either join (for when you are not yet a member, or when you are joining a subguild) or advance. You will "lose" your exp and adv points, and will be permanently stronger.
Leveling can only be done in YOUR guild. Once you choose a guild, you cannot level in a diffrent one unless you reincarnate your player (see help reincarnation). The only exception is the "open guilds," a series of subguilds that grant extra skills specific to one area of expertese, such as the Fishermans Guild or the Merchants Guild.
(It is not recomended to take levels in open guilds unless you have completed or nearly completed your guild levels, anywhere around level 50-70. Taking levels before that will impede your combat ability, so go into it with open eyes.)
Skills and Advancement Points
Skills and advancement points are the other things that experence get's spent on. Skills are everything that lets you do your job, from skill at kicking someone in the.... leg, to improving the damage that critical hits make. All skills come in the flavour of 1-100%, and the % can mean anything from how likely it is to go off correctly (Headbutt), to how powerfully it affects a skill that happens naturally or how much it affects other skills (Offensive Patterns).
Advancement points are one of the requirements to leveling, making them important in their own right, but they can also be spent to improve your basic stats such as strength or intelegence.
If training stats with advancement points, you must train them 4 times in order to improve that stat from one adjective to the next (see help stats for adjectives). Therefore, even if the adjective dosen't change, you are increasing your abilities by a specific amount.
Where to Spend Your Experence
Once you have played the game for a while, you will know exactly what kind of bomb that question is. If you talk to 50 players and ask them how to your exp, you will get about 40 diffrent answers, if not more. With three diffrent things to spend exp on (level, stats, skills), you can have a ton (for you) experence and spend it like water in less then 20 seconds. I am not kidding. I once made a "mistake" and spent something like 3 levels of experence on one skill, and barely raised it 5% (dont get scared, the skill was already above 70%).
One mistake that is made by players everywhere is to level as high and as fast as you can, only getting the skills you need for your leveling requirements. This is so totally not a good idea. Unlike many Muds, Leveling is NOT the be all and end all of the game. A properly played level 20 can easily defeat an improperly played level 40 in the arena. This is because skills are the TRUE purpose of the game.
Ahh, but there is the rub. "Osma, are you saying that I should train my skills to max before leveling?" Y...no... ummm. That is a hard question. Some players do exactly that, raising skills as high as possible before leveling. In general, that is not a good idea.
(in all things, there are exceptions. A player who joins the "Open Guild" of Royal Archers can become a terrifying force when placed behind someone else in a party. The guild only has 5 levels, and enough skills to make you a master archer that is welcome in almost any party. Their skills however are hideously expensive. To reach level 5 in the guild, you must train Sharpshooting to 70%, and when the skill gets that high, each % cost over 100,000 experence, enough to more then
level a level 20 player.)
Stats have an equal problem. Some people will argue that stats are more important then skills. Indeed, one of the benifits of leveling is gaining stat increases. Using the previous example of the level 20 beating the level 40, that assumes the level 40 is REALLY bad. The extra 20 levels will give the player a much higher Strength and Constitution (or a much higher Intelegence or Wisdom), which can give anyone smaller a really bad day.
The problem is that the game does not care how much you train stats. The stats always cost adv points, and the adv points constantly increase in cost! While the first 20 adv points might only cost from 2 exp up to maybe 1000 experence, the next 20 cost from 1000 to TEN thousand (numbers are a guess. I cant remember). The cost goes up in leaps and bounds, and if you spend too much, too bad. You STILL need 4 adv points to level. My friend Pyrana for example needs as of this guide aproximitly 1.2 million experence to level. However, do to training his stats quite high, he needs 1.3 million just to increase by one advance point. And he needs 4. Train stats if you wish, but limit yourself until you know what you are doing.
[Edit note: was corrected. 1.3 million exp for 4 adv points, or about 325k for each. However, even with training a few stats, another player with equal level would only be paying 200k or so, there is still a signifigant diffrence (and cost) for training stats with adv points.]
So now we are down to the nitty gritty; when do I spend on Levels, and when do I spend on Skills. Skills let you fight, survive, and raise your experence faster so you can get the next % experence. Levels increase the number of skills, and how high you can raise them. My method, which while only my opinon, tends to work well, is to balance based on what you will receive versus how much you need the skill. Let me elaborate.
Skills can be broken up into 5 catagories: Not Useful, Rarely Useful, Useful, Nessasary, and Key (aka Very Freaking Useful).
Key skills are anything you use constantly, and that are nessasary for proper completion of the task. If you are a cold mage, Frost might be a Key skill. If you are an Army, it might be Melee or Strike. Only you can decide what skills you absolutely cannot live without.
How high to train: Spend experence until it hurts, then spend a little bit more. If a skill is truely Key to your playing style, then it is only in your best intrest to max it out if possible. Personaly, unless the skill cost more then 50% of a level, I would raise it some more.
Necessary skills are anything that isn't quite Key, but are damn close. These skills are ones you use constantly, but can't bring yourself to raise any more because they are too expensive. It is difficult to give examples because many Nessasary skills are Key to other people, but examples are a Shadowdancer's Backstab, an Army's Strike, or a Rangers Whirling Blades.
How high to train: As high as you can stand, and no higher. Find what you are comfortable spending, and stop there. But don't be nervous about it, these skills are important enough that any experence spent on the skill isn't lost, because it can only help you.
Usefull Skills These are all the skills that are often used, but not always, or not specifically. While melee combat charectors may consider Melee Nessasary or Key, Slashing Weapons, or Sword would be Useful skills. They help with hit and damage, but you are not required to max them, especially since they are so expensive.
How high to train: High, but not insane. I would not spend more then 10-15% of your level on these skills. (If it takes you 100,000 experence to level, dont spend more then 10,000 experenece on these skills.)
Rarely Useful skills are filler. They are usually non-combat skills such as Orienteering or Herbalism. Often, not only are they non-combat, but you simply dont use them often. For example, if you rarely fish, then the Fishing skill is Rarely Useful. It is helpful on the occasions you do use it, but you can train the thing by using after all. Another good example is things you need, but almost never use, like Orienteering or Bowery. An archer may need a good Bowery skill in order to make his bows, but he might only make a bow once every 24-60 hours.
How high to train: Not high. The ones you almost never use, or can be trained by using should not be trained any higher then you can spend with one kill (aka, if a deer is the biggest thing you kill, and it gives you 1200 experence, dont spend more then that). If it is a good skill, just rarely used, like Fletchery or Orienteering, you can raise it as high as 10% of your level, but 5-8% would be better.
Not Useful skills are self explainitory. There are not many of them, but most of them are skills that are the extra ones they put in for variety. If you are an Army type that uses nothing but swords, or maybe an axe, then the skill Stave (quarterstaff) is Not Useful.
How high to train: Don't. Some skills are always good to train a tiny bit, like Bludgeoning Weapons or the other combat skills, even if you dont use them. You never know what hidden game mechanic might be out there. But even then I wouldn't spend more experence then I can get in a single kill, and maybe not that. Other skills simply are not worth the time to put points into. If you find that you just absolutely MUST use this fancy new quarterstaff you found, you can always put points into the Stave skill later. In the meantime, it is a waste of experence points that helps you not at all.
Now that that is out of the way, you also need to figure in how much a new level will help you. If you have to choose between raising that Key skill another 1%, or leveling and gaining access to 20% of a new useful skill, a Strength bonus, and the ability to raise another key ability 5%, then a level would be a better investment of your skills. Remember, as good as it is to master a skill, many skills can enhance other skills. If your Whirling Blades skill is at 60%, and for the cost of raising it 5% you can raise Bladesinging 30%, the Bladesinging is better choice. It can quickly raise your overall damage and speed for the same cost, which lets you more quickly kill monsters, letting you get experence faster, making it easier to raise the expensive skills.
If you absolutely need a "set in stone" answer of when to train versus when to level, then do this. You should have 33% of your total experence spent in leveling, and the other 66% spent in skills. However, that is really a black and white answer, and there are no such answers on this question. As i said, there are so many variables that it is a constant question of when to level, how much, and when not to at all. Find your balance, and enjoy the game.