Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ask Fatal: Simple Questions With Not So Simple Answers

Time for another round of questions.... These are mostly questions that I've gotten asked in my chat box that I just can't answer in such a limited amount of space... So here are a few I figure I'd tackle today since the servers were down.

How long did it take you to get to ____ level?

This is a question I get asked all the time and sadly it's one that I can't really give a good answer for.  I've been playing Fiesta for 3.5 years now, I started in early November 2007 (level 59 cap), and all of my characters were created at that time, excluding Trickster of course.  I've played all of them from time to time as the mood strikes me.

Starting out, I played my Cleric and got her to 50 within the first 2 months, just before the cap was raised to 79.  After hitting 50, I went back to my Mage, which I had difficulty playing when I first started.  I eventually capped my Mage hitting the 79 cap, meanwhile playing my Archer and Fighter from time to time.  I left my Archer at around 20 so that I could do Mara KQ which I still find fun.  I kept my fighter at around 48 or so for some time farming Giant Goblin King, there were no Set Armors back then, so mostly I did it for the challenge, farming weapons and rings wasn't all that lucrative.  After a while I leveled both my Archer and my Fighter to 60 so that I could do the new promotion quests with them.  Ironically, my 'first to 50' character was my last to 60.

The 89 cap was released and once again I leveled my Mage to the cap, mostly grinding/farming in Guardian's Holy Shrine and then went back to my alts.  Blue (Purple to you Teva people) armors were introduced so I used my Fighter to farm Giant Orc Captain for blues to sell.  When I wasn't farming bosses, I'd level up my Archer, reaching about 83 before I decided to take a break from Fiesta.  I was gone for about 8 months from February 2009 to late October 2009.

After returning to the new 105 cap, which I think was raised around April of 2009, I leveled mage a bit, getting to 100, meanwhile also leveling my Fighter, spamming a lot of KKP KQ to get into the 80s so that she could do the Dragon's Tomb Instance.  I also duoed my Cleric through the Crystal Castle Instance and eventually into Trumpy Remains with my in-game husband's Mage.  Meanwhile, my Archer also saw significant playing time in Dragon's Tomb to get to 91.

I shelved my Mage, now Warlock, at 100 and just played everything else.  Eventually getting my Archer, now SharpShooter, to 100, my Cleric, now HolyKnight, to 100 and my Fighter to 90 where she's remained for nearly a year now.

I have leveled some other newbie alts, couple of Mages and an Archer, but honestly, I powerleveled these alt characters a lot since I was able to with multiple computers, which sadly I no longer have since one broke.  I didn't feel that going through the lower levels again on classes I'm already proficient in would teach me anything new, so I just went the easy route.  It also helped me complete some licenses on some godly weapons I acquired after my main account's characters had already passed them by.

My Trickster though, so far it's been 1 week or so since its release, and in somewhat limited play time, I've gotten to 41.  To all you aspiring prestiges though... keep in mind that 1-50 is really only about 10% of the way to 100.  The time committment is so much greater, especially once you reach 91.

So yeah, unfortunately, I don't have a clean, easy answer for something like this because I play all of, or a combination of, my character simultaneously.

How do you level quickly?
Leveling up quickly means leveling up wisely.  You need to learn to maximize your time and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take some risks.  It also means being properly funded in-game and oftentimes with SparkCash.

Being Properly Funded:
Do you make your own, or can you afford to buy, scrolls?  Do you make your own, or can you afford to buy, potions?  Do you have enough in-game money to afford enhanced weapons and armors? ... and so on.

I've spoken on this many times in other postings here on my blog as well as on the OutSpark Forums, but getting yourself financially independent and being able to consistently generate income is the key to a much easier path in Fiesta.

How you manage your finances will have a huge effect on what you can accomplish in-game.  Everybody's situation is different, but if you want to level quickly on your own without resorting to powerleveling, you need to take matters into your own hands.

SparkCash for the most part, isn't necessary in the early going, it just makes the early going easier.  Being smart about how you play will have a greater effect on how quickly you progress than simply throwing real money at the game.  But, if you can afford it, and take everything else I say into consideration, you'll be that much farther ahead.

Leveling Up Wisely:
This simply means to plan ahead.  I'm always reminded of that saying, "Fail to plan then plan to fail."  While not planning ahead in Fiesta doesn't mean you'll completely fail at everything, it will make your life a bit harder.  Planning ahead means looking forward to what you have ahead of you as far as quests, skills, and milestones.  You can save a lot of time by doing as many quests on a single map as possible before handing in.  Sometimes this means saving those quests for another level.

For instance, on my Trickster, I saved nearly all of the Vine Tomb quests to do at once.  I did the second part of the Ghost repeatable, Bone Imp bags, Earth Spider first part, Robo, Hob Fighters, Hob hoes, and Hob kills all simultaneously on one run.  Had I done these all at their designated level, it would have meant a lot more time wasted travelling.  If you can remember these types of quests, great, if not, there's no shame at all in consulting the Fiesta Wiki @ FiestaFan.  It's a good source of information about the game, but just remember, the game evolves and the information there, like this blog, is not official.  In other words, use it as a guide, but don't assume everything there as law.

Carrying essential items also helps.  To me, it's common sense, but after experiencing 3.5 years of interaction with other players, it's surprisingly not.
For me, essential items are these:
  • Town Scrolls - I keep a few to a full stack of each town scroll on every character.
  • Buff Scrolls - I keep nearly a full stack of each buff scroll, including no less than t3 Speed, on every character.  Of course stuff like Concentration, Mentality, and for my Archer and Cleric, Aim aren't always necessary.  But the rest I'm always holding.
  • Potions - Typically I keep 2 different HP potions on hand at all times.  Usually an essential pot, and then an 'oh-crap-wtf-did-I-just-get-into' pot of a higher tier.  So early on it's T1s with a few T2s just in case, then progressively I ween myself off of the lower tier stuff and go T2/T3, T3/T4, T4/T5, and so forth.  I assign my regular pot to the "-" key and my OCWTFDIJGI pot to "0", it's an easy transition between the two.  Or I go "=" and "-" on any non Fighter/Trickster class since I almost never have a need for SP pots.
  • Learning Scrolls - This can be a big time saver also when you can plan ahead.  If you're close to leveling, next time you're in town, stop by the Skillmaster and purchase anything that you can activate once you level.
  • Equipment - Same goes for equipment as the Learning Scrolls.  If you can carry it, take it with you.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa Fatal!  You're asking me to carry alllllllll that stuff?  I won't even have space to pick up any of my quest drops or materials!"  -- Again, this goes back to what situation you find yourself in financially.  If you can afford an Iron Case, or two, you're that much better off.  If not, then you need to prioritize and plan ahead even better.  Activate non-critical scrolls at storage so you don't have to carry them, like Mentality, scrolls that won't get you killed if you're not using them.  Think ahead, are there magical-type damage mobs where I'm going?  Can I play smarter around those mobs so I don't have to take these with me?  Keep Sand Hill scrolls instead of carrying Roumen, Elderine, and Sand Hill.  Sand Hill is an easy gateway to the other two towns.  Prioritize your material/equip drops.  White jewelry and near-worthless mats like Vanished Signs, Master Commander and Iron Badges, and Bones and Crystals of nearly any tier don't have much value other than what the NPC gives you.  Do you really want to give up an inventory slot for a stack of something that only gives you a couple of silver?

I'm very much of the, "Better to have and not need, than need and not have" mindset.  You will never, EVER find me asking someone for a town scroll, or being one of those sad fighters in Dragon's Tomb that has to ask his partymates for buff scrolls.  Always be prepared.

Getting out of your comfort zone - Abyss and Soloing.

Okay, now people always have this really bad, end-of-the-world feeling about the Abyss.  That it's full of PKers that will relentlessly hunt you down and kill you over and over then stand over your corpse and call you a noob.  Personally, I've never had an experience like that, ever.

Being comfortable grinding in Abyss is a huge advantage if you're able to break out of whatever fears you have about the place.  The experience is far better, the material drops are much more plentiful, and you have a chance to pick up some rare stuff like rare scroll recipes.

Have I been PKed while grinding?  Of course.  And while it bugs me a bit, it's not that big a deal.  Simply click out, exit, take a minute to go restone, unload your drops, rescroll and get back in there.  The one time you just got PKed doesn't wipe out either the EXP gain nor the financial gain you just accumulated.  So get back in there!
Players often times dread that first room and for good reason.  There are usually multiple people in there waiting to rack up kill points or oftentimes just chatting.  So the best thing to do?  Invest in a T1 Speed scroll and spend as little time in there as possible.  I do a lot of running and navigating using the keyboard WASD buttons.  So as soon as the map is loaded, my finger is holding down the W as I hurry off down one of the many hallways.  The abyss entry rooms don't provide any choke points, there is always multiple ways in and out of that main room.  So just put your head down, stay focused, and get to somewhere you are comfortable grinding in.  Chances that a PKer is paying enough attention to you to give chase?  Very small.

Oh, I should also note that again, I'm a soloist by heart.  So yeah, I enjoy the freedoms of coming and going as I please and I don't need to wait for someone or rely on that person either.  I enter, I exit, I change maps, I go do something else all on my own accord.  The more comfortable you can get soloing, the better off you'll be.  Sadly, you may out level your friends, but hey, if they can't keep up, it's not your fault right?  You're maximizing your time in-game, there's no fault in doing that.

Where should I grind?
Again, this goes back to finances, playstyle, and comfort level.  It's a bit harder to give advice to anyone that doesn't think or play like I do.  I could offer a suggestion, to which they'd counter, "Oh, but I don't have +9 gear." or "Oh, but I don't like to solo." or "Oh, but I don't have a cash shop mover." or "Oh, but I can't afford to scroll." and so on and so on.  There are just way too many variables for me to make a blanket statement of, "At such-and-such level, you should grind here."

So, test your own boundaries and try to push past them!


  1. You know, I've actually never been PK-ed in an Abyss on Legel. Eventhough I'm always in one that's at least 10 lvl higher than mine (better exp), no one's tried that. O_O And I'm not that bada** looking at all. The first part made me reconsider things, I'm at 66 on my main- a Cleric and really discouraged. May be I should get a break from Fiesta.
    Anyway, expecting your next post ^_^ And I don't how it is on your server, but last weekend was so annoying with all those Tricksters running around. :)

  2. Hm... the thing you said about PKers not chasing you is not really true in my case. I don't know why but PKers always seem to want to chase me. Do I look that squishy? I'm not saying you're wrong FatalLace, there are some very nice PKers out there and some who, like you said racks up their kill points. I do get annoyed when I get PKed but I'm not the type to call on my high level friends and then start some b**** fight. There was this instance where I got PKed a few times then after awhile the PKer lost interest... guess I'm too easy for them? Dx


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