Basic Leveling
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This is a guide on how to level quickly. Be aware that leveling isn't all there is to the game, and other aspects, like questing are enjoyable and bring their own sense of accomplishment. Thus, commandments like "Thou shalt not do silly quests" and "Thou shalt not kill silly creatures" are specifically intended to be applied when rapid leveling is your goal. All players are recommended to enjoy a complete game experience - some folks power level for awhile, then go back and do the quests, or take a break and bounty hunt - others do such things as they go.

If you follow this guide and play actively, you'll level between 2-3 levels a day. Many have done better. First, the commandments - followed by an explanation of why these are true.

While this guide discusses leveling in general, you can go find info relating your current level in Level Specific Game Play.

The Ten Commandments of Rapid Leveling

If thou art leveling quickly, thou art following these commandments:

  1. Thou shalt one hit kill creatures.
  2. Thou shalt not let stamina reach maximum.
  3. Thou shalt not waste stamina with unnecessary movement.
  4. Thou shalt not hunt without buffs.
  5. Thou shalt always wear a complete equipment set.
  6. Thou shalt wear level appropriate gear.
  7. Thou shalt not kill silly creatures.
  8. Thou shalt not do silly quests.
  9. Thou shalt not die in combat.
  10. Thou shalt not provoke vengeance from other players.

The Basic Principles of Leveling

There are some basic principles of Fallen Sword game play and leveling that don't change no matter what level you are in the game. The better you understand them now, the better you'll do in-game.

Leveling is all about getting as much Experience (xp) as you can. Each level requires a certain amount of xp to move to the next, and the amount goes up as your level increases.

Stamina is the ultimate limiter of what you can do in Fallen Sword. You need stamina to move and you need stamina to attack. Once you run out of stamina (aka. you're stam dead) you have to wait for more stamina before you can do anything.

Getting The Most Stamina

There are two numbers that define how much stamina you have available:

  • Stamina Gain Per Hour - the amount of stamina that you accumulate in your account per hour.
  • Maximum Stamina - the maximum amount of stamina you can have available at one time. Once you hit it, your stamina fails to increase until you use some.

Which of these numbers is more important depends on how often you play. If you play once a day or less, your stamina is likely topping out, and you're letting stam fall on the floor unused. That is bad, and will hold you back from leveling as fast as you could. If you play twice a day or more frequently, then you are likely never maxxing your stam out, and you'll level faster by getting more stam per hour.

It's a balancing act, but the basic idea is that you want to get the maximum amount of stam per hour (+90 with guild structures and full upgrades) while never letting stam regen get lost (by maxxing out).

NOTE: 90 Stam gain per hour will refill EXACTLY 2160 stam points in 24 hrs.

There are a number of ways to increase max stam:

  • Upgrades using fsp.
  • Equipment that increases max stam.
  • Guild structures.

There are also ways to increase stam per hour:

  • Upgrades using fsp.
  • Guild structures.

Raw Stam

You can buy raw stam at the rate of 25 stam per 1 fsp. This is how many of the fast movers in the game shoot up through the ranks, but it's very expensive. Before you blow fsp on raw stam, you're far better off spending the fsp on upgrading your stam per hour and your max stam.

Experience : Stamina Ratio (xp:stam)

Fast leveling is all about making the most effective use of your stamina to get the most xp possible. This is the xp:stam ratio - and the higher it is, the faster you'll level. Simple as that.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your xp:stam ratio:

  • Increase the xp you get per creature kill.
  • Kill creatures faster (with less attacks) and therefore use less stam.
  • Don't lose stam by dying while creature killing or in PvP battles.
  • Use less stam moving around and more actually killing creatures.
  • Do quality quests that earn you good xp without burning a lot of stam.

Let's take a look at each of these things separately.

Increase The XP You Get Per Creature Kill.

Not all creatures are created equal. Don't bother killing a monster if it's not going to earn you great xp. The xp earned is based on the base xp given by the creature and the difference between your levels. The best creatures to kill are the highest level, highest xp creature you can kill without dying, ideally in one hit.

Refer to the level specific guides to know where you should be hunting, and which creature you should be killing.

In addition, there are enhancements and buffs that increase the amount of xp you earn per creature. There include:

  • Elite Hunter (EH) - You get this when you wear a complete set, like Infernus.
  • Adept Learner (AL) - This is a buff that is activated on you and increases the xp earned when you kill a creature. The higher level the buff, the more the xp goes up.
  • Librarian (LIB) - Provides a chance each kill that the xp earned will double. The higher the level of teh buff, the greater the chance it will double. This really adds up.

EH and AL combined stack up for a total of 40% more xp. That's like killing a monster and a half per kill. When Lib doubles it, it's like killing 3 monsters in a single kill.

Kill Creatures Faster.

Every time you take a swing at a creature, it burns a point of stam. To really level fast, you want to hit a creature once, and kill it. This is called one-hitting, and it is your goal to be doing this at all times. In order to one-hit you first have to land the hit, then do enough damage to kill it. Landing the hit requires more attack power than the creature has defense. Killing the creature requires more damage than the creature's hit points + armor.

While one-hitting is the goal, if it takes more than 5 swings to kill a level appropriate monster, there's something seriously wrong with your setup. You may be missing too much, doing too little damage, etc. Find a way to fix it through equipment, level up points, buffs, etc. Ask any DSA staff member or guild mate for advice if you can't figure it out.

Attack and damage are the key numbers to build up for one hitting. You can increase these numbers by:

  • REPAIR YOUR STUFF. As you hit monsters your equipment gets damaged and your stats drop. Repair all gear after an attack with the "R" key. Always.Assign all your level up points to attack and damage (mostly damage). You should assign the points 1 attack point for every 2 damage points until you get 20 attack points, and then put everything from then on into damage. Many recommend all damage and none in attack at all.
  • Upgrade your gear. As you go up in level better gear becomes available and you should be regularly replacing your gear with the better stuff. Crafting and Hell Forging can increase gear stats but rather than spending the fsp on this, the academy has upgraded gear it can loan you if you are not one-hitting. You will outgrow gear quickly so don't spend a lot on it.

Another way to increase your attack and damage is through the use of offensive buffs. If you are already one hitting without the buffs, don't use them, since they cost stam to activate. The offensive buffs that really help are:

  • Enchant Weapon (EW) - increases the effectiveness of your equipped weapon.
  • Fury - increases your base points for attack and damage.
  • Berserk (BER) - increases your base points for damage.

NOTE: Enchant Weapon will probably be better than Fury or Berserk in the early levels since your weapon is usually better than your base points.

Don't Die.

Every time you die you lose xp, so obviously dying is to be avoided if you want to level quickly. There are a number of things to keep in mind to prevent dying:

  • Don't attack creatures who can kill you. There are a number of guides that coach you on how to run the numbers on a creature to see if you can kill them, but one rule is for certain: if a creature kills you, don't attack that type of creature again until you have improved your stats.
  • Don't provoke other players who might attack / bounty you. Nothing will drop your xp faster than getting hit by other players, so avoid PvP. More on this later.

Obviously if you are not one-hitting creatures, you need adequate defense against them when they swing back. The key numbers here are defense, armor and hit points.

You can increase your defense, armor and hit points (similar to the above) by upgrading your gear and using defensive buffs. If you are not dying without the defensive buffs don't use them, since they cost stam to activate. The only defensive buffs that really helps is:

  • Enchanted Armor (EA) - increases the effectiveness of your equipped armor.

NOTE: You're really better off increasing your gear's effectiveness and attacking / damaging stronger than investing in defense.

Use Less Stam Moving Around.

Movement can burn a lot of stam. There are two things you can do to make movement more efficient:

  • Plan your route when moving or hunting. Use FallenGuide and the in-game maps to take the shortest path or use the most efficient hunting pattern.
  • When hunting, never move diagnoally. It costs the same as moving sideways and then up/down - and the two steps might reveal a monster in the meantime.
  • Use portals to move from region to region.

In addition, there are two buffs that really help with making movement cost less relative to creature attacks:

  • Doubler (DBL) - which doubles, triples or quadruples the xp and gold gained from a creature kill (but also doubles, triples or quadruples the stam burned when attacking). This is particularly useful if you need to walk around to find monsters (ie. they are not densely packed into stacks) since when you DO find a monster, it counts as multiple monsters.
  • Animal Magnetism (AM) - This buff creates a chance that when you kill a monster, another will spawn in to replace it. Obviously this will reduce the amount you need to move, since the monster will be there to be killed again.

Do Quality Quests.

Some quests require very little movement and effort for reasonable gains in xp or equipment. Others require a lot of wandering around and attempting to get an item to drop from a creature in order to complete the quest.

So, while all quests can be fun and challenging, not all are well suited to rapid leveling. The level specific guides identify quests that are best suited for leveling.

Other Considerations

On Equipment

The main thing to concern yourself with your gear is that you are ideally one-hit killing your monsters and certainly not dying.

Since you are leveling fast you'll outgrow your equipment fast. Don't bother growing attached to your stuff. Sell it, give it away, destroy it and move on. If you have forged items on loan from the school, return them so the next trainee can make use of them. Don't spend a fortune in fsp on any one item, including sets. There's always a better or cheaper set a few levels down the road.

Of course, as you level you will want to replace your gear with better equipment. Most low level gear can be bought cheaply in the Auction House, and the academy and guild store has gear that can be loaned. Consult the level specific guides on what gear is best for what level.

In the Auction House, set your preferences and look for equipment at your level range (within 2-3 levels) and check off fsp auctions. Now check out each section until you find something you want. Then, type that item's name in the search and buy the cheapest one regardless of quality. Remember, you'll outgrow it soon so don't pay an arm and a leg for a "perfect" item.

Buffs

The buffs you absolutely want to have turned on when hunting are:

AL, LIB, AM and DBL. Treasure Hunter (TH) and Mercenary (MERC) are also useful for getting more gold, but don't help you level. As mentioned above, you can use offensive and defensive buffs if you are not one-hitting or are dying.

Don't buff yourself when you are low level - get an academy instructor or higher level guild member to buff you. Your buffs won't be high level and they will eat your stam - which you need for leveling. Remember that when someone buffs you, you use up their stam, so say "please" and "thank you." They are doing you a favor.

Save up your skill points until you reach level 25. Once you reach level 25, you can decide to take Adept Learner yourself or maybe some other skill like Enchant Weapon, etc.

A Note on Find Item (FI): Most of the stuff you will find leveling on the lower levels is junk. The FI buff is really only useful when hunting gear for quests and from elite, super-elite and legendary monsters.[/i]

Player vs. Player (PvP)

You're focus should be on leveling, not PvP early in the game. It might seem nice to get 1K gold for just 1 kill than getting 0-3 gold per monster kill. But in the end it just isn't worth it. Here are the reasons why:

  • You'll have to use 100 stamina to get a decent amount of gold, which stops you from leveling.
  • You'll make enemies.
  • These enemies will put a bounty on you, causing you to lose xp.

A bounty is when the person you attacked puts up gold or fsps for ANY player to kill you. ANY means ANY. Level 100's can come down on you. If the bounty is high enough, you'll get several players after you.

If you want to PvP, it is recommended that you hit inactive accounts, of which there are plenty with some gold.

If you are Attacked

At the lower levels of the game if you are PvP'ed by another player, it might be just that the player wants to get a feel for the game and will attack anything. Check to see if the player is in a guild, and check to make sure they are not in an alliance with Dark Siege. You should always ask DSA staff or a guild leader or guild mate for advice before taking action like a posting bounty on the player.

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