Well, my one week stay has come and gone and as I stated before, I thoroughly enjoyed myself noobing it up on an unfamiliar server. I came in with nothing, used no SparkCash (aside from a Beauty Shop Coupon), and am retiring with a decent amount of money in the bank. My inspiration for this whole journey was the numerous postings I see complaining about how expensive it is to get established on a server, I intended to prove otherwise, and I think I've accomplished that.
This post is actually a week late, but I haven't logged back in to Epith until today for the sake of taking some screenshots and doing some last minute vending. Keep in mind too that this was before the recent patch that increased dungeon drop rates tremendously, your results now should actually be better.
So how did it go? Pretty well I think. A lot can be learned for the budding adventurer here. Hopefully someone will be able to follow along with what I did and get themselves set up to be financially successful in whatever server they choose.
Where to begin? Well with the sword and shield of course! Starting from scratch, the Fighter is the best choice for the new adventurer who finds themselves with nothing but lint in their pockets and a mystery vault in their inventory. With the highest base HP and DEF along with decent damage even with a 1H, the Fighter class is truly ideal. Remember, this is starting from zero, if you're financing gears using another "main" then your experience will be different.
The Build: The build I used was full STR. I wanted as much damage output as possible to make up for the fact that I will not be enhancing gear into the "break" point of enhancing, that meant a maximum of +5 on my one-hander. With how I planned out this character along with other alts to do my alchemy, the STR build was fine. If you want to add some DEX, END, or SPR, by all means, that's your choice. In my opinion, it's easy to add Aim/Evasion/HP/DEF via T1 or T2 buff scrolls, no need to alter your build to boost these.
The Empowerments: Since this character will only be used for farming low level bosses using a sword and shield, I fully empowered Slice and Dice for both damage and cooldown. Remaining points could possibly go into Concussive Charge duration. Again, she has no other purpose than low level farming.
Crafting: Potion crafting needs to be started immediately. Since potions become the life-blood of the "farmer" character, my Fighter needed to be able to make these while she was out adventuring. Stone production and Scroll production I left to two other alts that did nothing but stay in Roumen to craft these items from materials transferred through storage. All the scrolls and potions I crafted, I kept for my own use. Stones were also made, but I did sell some T1 Lix to add some additional income. If you are ahead of the game and get on your crafting early, this saves you a tremendous amount of money. It also keeps you alive out in the field, making your adventure time longer and more profitable. I'm also on the cusp of T2 Elrue which is exactly where I need to be given my character's level.
What I Didn't Do That May Surprise You: Many people suggest farming the Ratman repeat for easy money being that you can sell the town scrolls and what not. However, since I only had a self-imposed one week deadline, I needed to make more money sooner. I did do the Ratman repeats for the EXP gain, but banked all of the town scrolls.
Academy Rewards: As stated in a previous posting, this is essential to getting yourself geared early on. I was able to join a good academy that had excellent rewards, all told I was able to earn 12.6g leveling from 10-30. It could have been a bit more, but my academy's funds dried up by the time I hit 29. I had one level with no reward and another level with a fairly small 300s reward from another academy. I stumbled upon the first academy by chance, they were roaring to join, so I did. Thankfully, their rewards were true to what they were advertising. You can also check the rewards for your academy at the Guild Manager in any town. Be advised that you need to join the academy before you can verify what they are offering. Also, you need to be a member of that academy for 1 hour before you can leave, unless you request getting kicked out, though most guilds I've seen don't accommodate such requests so I never ask. If you do your research and ask around, you should be able to earn quite a bit here.
Mentor/Apprentice: Just as important as the Academy rewards are the Mentor/Apprentice rewards through the Holy Promise system. The most important thing to earn here are the 1 hour Hunter's War Rant cards. These are extremely precious to you as you try to earn your own money. These should be saved for when you are sure you can dedicate the time to farming. Use these in conjunction with a high-level Endure buff from a 100+ Holy Knight if possible. The better your survivability, the more able you are to take advantage of your drop-rate boosted time.
Cards: Cards at this early stage in the game are truly a luxury item. Valuable cards should be sold, not used, unless you have many multiples of cards that give you a title and stat boost. Personally, I stuck with the Quest Expert title which gives a 1.3% increase to HP/SP and +10 to both Physical and Magical Defense. The Slime S and King Crab A cards I received, I sold for 5g and 10g, respectively. I also sold various other cards like Hungry Wolf for 3-5g while some others sold at 100-300s. Again, an easy moneymaker for the newbie. Look around the marketplace and see what the prices at which cards are being vended for. If you're unsure, ask in your academy. More on cards later.
Get Geared: I was fairly lucky in that I was able to find a +0 level 20 Bone Top in a vendor for 10g. I only had 8g at the time, so I whispered the vendor hoping he would accept my 8g, which he did. The level 20 blue shirt, even at +0 is a huge improvement over the white NPC armor. Just in base form, it has nearly double the DEF and also gives a +200HP bonus. If you can find one, do whatever it takes to get it, you will need it. I spent nearly all the money I had on just the shirt, but I was confident that I could earn it all back and then some. At this point, you should have somewhere in the ballpark of 220 base DEF. If you are unable to find a Bone Top, getting a decent buff is essential. Moral here: You often have to spend money to make money.
Enhancement: By now, you've accumulated tons of old dusts from killing Greenkies, Phinos and the like. You will need to start enhancing all of your gear. With kind of a bare-bones approach to farming, you need every extra bit of DEF you can muster out of your gear. Everything should be at a minimum +3, while going to +5 on your essential pieces, namely shirt, shield, and weapon (I did not enhance my NPC pants because at level 20 they are T2, I did not find Bone Pants which would have been a T1 enhancement). Hats and boots give fairly low DEF gains even at +5, so take care of the bigger pieces first. If you need more dust for stones, you can buy stacks of dust directly from Nina in Elderine then transfer them to your stone maker through storage. Same goes for Lix. If you find yourself out of Lix and out of dusts, you can opt to just purchase the Elrue from Kenton in Elderine of Pey in Roumen. They sell them for 2.700s for a stack of 10. If you've got a bunch of extra LQ Copper Ore and don't mind vending stones, you can also just buy the Elrue and craft them into Lix and sell them at a decent profit. Check the other vendors around you though and price accordingly. With a cost of only 810c + 3 LQ Copper Ore, you can easily vend at 20-40s and make a sizable (relatively) profit. Copper Ore, you need to farm it yourself, take a pickaxe and go, don't be lazy.
What to Farm - Preparation: Epith's Mara in Sea of Greed was always occupied whenever I went past there, so it was off to the Marlone Clan Hideout, where I intended to go anyway. Before setting out you should have a ton of HP/SP potions (think 200 HP/100 SP, if you can manage another 50 T2 HP, that's great). If you're running short on materials to craft them, go ahead and buy from Nina. You will pick up quite a bit in Marlone Clan Hideout (MCH), but not unless you have your rant active. Enough potions should be made that you are able to continuously spam them while fighting King Marlone. Your DEF is not that high and you will get stunned and you will have a bleed debuff almost constantly. Altogether there are seven King Marlones waiting to be farmed. Respawn time on each is about 5 minutes from time of death.
What to Farm - Execution: If you have your level 25 Mystery Vault Raccoon, great, it's ideal for fast travel within the MCH going from KM to KM and avoiding the other mobs along the way. If not, then go with the hobby and do the best you can. Try to avoid as many battles along the way as possible as these not only cut into your 1 hour War Rant boost time, but also heavily deplete your HP/SP stones and potions. If mobs are following you, try to pull them as far as you can, dismount and kind of "wiggle", basically just move back and forth a bit. Many of the mobs will give up and turn around, others may run up and hit you once then leave. Unless they hit you multiple times, don't bother fighting them. Remember, your target here is King Marlone, not the rest of his gang. Fight what you have to, avoid the rest of the battles as best as you can.
What to Farm - The Target: King Marlone will always have 2-3 minions surrounding him. Once you approach one of them, they will all chase after you because their aggro is initially linked together. In these fights, you should kill them in the following order: Marlone Archer, Marlone Fighter, Marlone Megaton, King Marlone. The Archer has the faster attack rate and also has a bind skill that locks you in place for a few seconds, take her out first. The Marlone Fighter has a short stun skill and does decent damage. The Megaton is basically just a grunt, he has no special skill to watch out for. If you are able to confidently switch targets during battle, try to save your Concussive Charge (stun) for KM himself. He will stun you often. If you're down to just the 1 vs 1 against KM, you can use your Rest House while stunned. This helps alleviate some of the damage by recovering your HP a bit. Just mouse over the stun debuff icon so you'll know when to pop back out of your house and immediately go back on the attack. Always stun when you can and try to keep Bone Slicer on him since that will slow down his attacks meaning, hopefully, less stuns of his own thrown your way. Another reason why the Bone set is great for Fighters farming KM, the two piece effect increases Bone Slicer's duration. Another note: if you do not kill all of his surrounding minions, he will not respawn. The 5 minute respawn timer begins upon the death of the last mob in his grouping, whether it is KM himself or a Megaton, Archer, or Fighter. Be a responsible and courteous farmer, please kill all minions.
What to Farm - The Payoff: Remember how I said cards are a luxury? This is the biggest example of such. The gear that KM drops is honestly, not all that valuable, but the cards can be. The Marlone S (Marlone - King of Thieves) card can be sold for 40-60g, while the Marlone-A (Marlone) card can be sold for 20g, the final A card that he drops "Path of Sin" can be sold for about 5-15g. The Marlone A card does grant a title and a good bonus to both damage and attack, a 2.5% increase in both and is desirable. The S card will sell to collector's as well as the Path of Sin. Most armors from KM can be sold from 1-10g depending on stats and class, typically fighter and mage stuff sells for more than the other 3 classes. Rings can be valuable based on their stats, END/DEX preferred as base stat along with huge bonuses to them. The weapons will also sell from about 300s-3g depending on stats, number of slots, and class.
Things to Keep in Mind: While more expensive, it's better to use T1 HP pots to heal yourself rather than your HP stones. Normally this is not the case, but because your stone capacity is so limited, use the stones when you need that bigger boost in HP recovery, use the T1 HP potions mid-battle. Plan to carry about 4 stacks of these if possible.
|Treasure Chests abound in the Marlone Clan Hideout|
Other Loot: There are some other decent cards to get in the MCH, including Grave Robber A (Tenacity Towards Treasure), Grave Robber B (The Gold Miner), Mage Book S (The Mage Book of Doomed Spirits), Mage Book A (The Mage Book of Darkness), Mage Book B (The Mage Book of Light). There are also Treasure Chests galore in there, the best items being the occasional pet (500s-1g).
The Verdict: All told, here's the bottom line. One week of adventuring, averaging less than 2 hours per day, I amassed a total of 1.11 Gems, with still a ton of items remaining unsold. My highest level character remains at level 30, the remaining are two level 1s, used strictly for productions. The main character could be remade over and over with similar, if not better (because of the increased dungeon drop rate) results. For someone without any SparkCash investment and new to the server, it's a great way to get your feet on solid ground financially. The character's equipment can easily be passed along as you remake your farmer character once his/her War Rants have expired. It's a bit of work, but there's potential there.
The Disclaimers: Your results may vary tremendously depending on the server you choose to play on. Epith has one of the highest populations and that helps when factoring in prices. On a lesser populated server, items such as cards may not sell as well simply because there are less players. It is up to you to analyze your own server's marketplace and see where you can fit in. Epith and Bijou both suffer, surprisingly, from very few vendors selling gear of low to mid quality for the level 20-35 player. This is a market that can be tapped into. Not everything you sell needs to be uber godly, there is a market for players of all budgets, just price accordingly. The lower quality items will keep your cash flow high while you can sit and wait on cashing in on the best items you've collected.
Some Other Differences - Know Your Server: Between the hours of midnight and 3am, server time, Epith really is a ghost town around Elderine and the surrounding areas, many vendors, but few active players. This is perfect for the well-equipped farming character, but makes finding a buff difficult for the farmer using lesser gear.