ArcheAge Beginner Guide: From Zero to Hero

With the headstart and the release of ArcheAge, a lot of people are trying to prepare the best possible start for them. Calculations and tests are being done over the past weeks in alpha and beta and finally people are getting their strategies down to an executable way.

While a lot of people did not get the chance, or did not have the Know-How, to create this kind of strategies for themselves, we decided to share our information with you so everybody could start into ArcheAge. This guide will focus on the basics of race and class selection and on the basic routine to level your character to 50. This guide will also cover the basics of gold making, as a basic of the crafting system, and the trade runs. In the last part, we will give you some general information combined with a look to the future and the stuff that will happen after you have reached the max level of the current version of ArcheAge.

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Race Selection

There are four (six in the future) races in ArcheAge you can choose from on your character creation. Two (or maybe three) races per starting faction. While the races differ not only in appearance but in special racial abilities, the most important factor is the starting faction. Everybody on the opposing starting faction is your enemy but there are two exclusions to this. The first exclusion is the possibility to join the pirate faction where characters of both races can play together while both are pirates. The second exclusion is not yet in the EU/NA version of ArcheAge, but later you will be able to fund your very own faction that every race can join. In both cases, you will have to learn the other race’s language that is not only time but also gold consuming. So if you want to play together with a friend, you may want to choose the same starting faction.

While all races does have different racial abilities, the impact of them is really low. Because of that, you can choose the faction/race you prefer by appearance. For the people who pick races because of their racial abilities, here are some recommendations on what race you should pick for your playstyle.

Racial Abilities
Nuian
Nui’s Blessing – Favored by the Goddess of the Hereafter, Nuians receive extra benefits from visiting her realm, doubling the time their stats are increased after being resurrected.

Warrior Architects – Frequent rebellions and civil wars have led the Nuians to become quick builders, reducing construction time for houses and castles by 30%.

Elves
Endurance Training – Trained for combat from the day they can walk, Elves possess increased physical ability. This stamina allows them to hold their breath underwater for an extra 20 seconds.

Lithe Flow – The decades spent around Gweonid Lake make most Elves talented swimmers, increasing their swimming speed by 5%.

Firran
Catlike Reflexes – The Firran’s quick reflexes allow them to twist their bodies, as they fall and land more nimbly decreasing fall damage by 20%.

Strong Claws – The Firran’s long, non-retractable claws allow them to climb trees and ladders 30% faster.

Harani
Portal Mastery – The far-flung Harani empire has forced its people to master the use of portals for quick travel, reducing the cast time and cooldown on their recall ability by 30%.

Jungle Tamers – Settling the jungles of Mahadevi taught the Harani to be efficient in their labor, reducing the time required for logging trees and gathering herbs by 10%.

Recommended racial picks for the Western Continent
As Nuians receive a 10% enhancement boost after they die, twice as long as every other race,they are the first choose for PvE player. This buff also applies to the Halycona War! Pirates and sailors should pick the elves as they are able to dive for 20 more seconds and swim 5% faster in general.

Recommended racial picks for the Eastern Continent
Since ArcheAge features a lot of air to ground combat, you will use the landscape and gliders very often in PvP situations. The Firrans’ decreased falling damage will give them the advantage if you can play it right. The Harani, on the other hand, are the only race that do not have a direct combat enhancing ability. But as they have a general increased logging and gathering speed, they make the perfect character for players that will focus on farming and trading.

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Class Selection

As we would be able to create a complete encyclopedia about the classes of ArcheAge, this part should just push you in the right direction. You may want to read this article for basic thoughts on class creation / choosing.
One important thing you should never forget about is that you can level all ten class trees and switch between them on your character. Because of this system, your starting class does not have to be your endgame class and a lot of builds are just focused on setting up your endgame.

Before we start with more in-depth information about the class building itself, we want to give you a overview of the 10 available trees in ArcheAge.

Tree Overview
As your class is only a set of your three chosen trees, there will be 120 classes available in ArcheAge. We are not able to cover every class in this, but we will cover basic information about each tree and the basic possibilities. Please note that we look at each tree for itself and only basic combination. It is likely that there will be uncommon combination to fit in special jobs or thinking outside the box.

-Battlerage
Battlerage is a straight forward melee DPS tree. Most active and passive skills are based around high physical damage output. Battlerage is the first choice for every melee fighting class, as the damage directly comes from your weapons stats. Any weapon except for staff and scepter are good to go. As you can reset the cooldowns of your Battlerage, active skills with a parry tanks can pretty easy hold aggro with a good damage output. Basic combination for Battlerage are Auramancy and Defense. We could also recommend Archery due to the good synergy. It is viable to combine Battlerage and Vitalism if you are using a club or a two-handed club, as you could gain both important stats with these weapons.

-Shadowplay
This is the “thief” tree of ArcheAge. With a high mobility and the ability to stealth, you can combine Shadowplay with every other tree. While the melee damage from active Shadowplay skills is lower than the Battlerage damage output, you can increase your overall damage for Archers. The mobility and anti-crowd control options could be used in various situations. We do not recommend Shadowplay for dedicated healers, in general, but as mentioned above, every combination can do a special job the best.

-Archery
Archery is the only ranged physical damage tree in ArcheAge. Nearly all active Archery skills can be used while walking. It is the first pick for every bow-lover and combines very well with Shadowplay.
As you need Agility to increase your ranged damage output, your melee damage will lack its direct impact. As a full leather set increases your attack range even farther, it is your first choice of armor. However, there are some builds that focus around plate armor.

-Vitalism
Vitalism is the basic healing tree in ArcheAge. Both active and passive skills are based around helping your group to stay alive. The direct damage output of Vitalism is very low and we do not recommend to take Vitalism as your primary damage source. As a dedicated healer will use supporting trees instead of damage trees, we recommend to split leveling of a dedicated healer class into two parts (e.g. you want to be a Hierophant (Vitalism / Witchcraft / Auramancy) ; start your leveling as a Shaman (Sorcery / Witchcraft / Vitalism) and switch to Hierophant or Arcanist to level Auramancy).
As clubs and two-handed clubs are the only weapons that provide healing power, these are must-haves for healing characters. Without these weapons, even with a high spirit value, your heals will be bad.

-Sorcery
Sorcery is the primary magic damage tree that will provide huge benefits to every other magical damage tree you will combine with Sorcery. As Sorcery can “eat” a lot of your skill points, your second and third three will often provide benefits to your active Sorcery skills. Sorcery combines very well with Witchcraft and Occultism. Sorcery is often used in pre-dedicated healer builds, as sorcery allows a smooth switch to these builds at level cap. However, Sorcery lacks anti-crowd control skills. You may want to add a tree like Auramancy that will provide some of these.

-Occultism
Like Sorcery, Occultism focuses on magical damage. However, compared to the damage output of Sorcery, Occultism falls behind. On the other hand, Occultism will add a lot of crowd control and survivability. Overpowered Spell Locus, for example, will increase your damage while you are tanking damage. The basic attack of Occultism is one of the few casting attacks that can be used while moving. It combines well with Witchcraft and Defense.

-Witchcraft
Witchcraft is one of the three support trees in ArcheAge. It focuses around crowd control and survivability. Witchcraft can be used in offensive and defensive builds. One of the strongest defense abilities of Witchcraft is “Purge”, increasing you and your teams magic defense by 25% and cleansing debuffs or buffs from your team of the enemy.

-Defense
Defense probably is the tree that will add more survivability to your character than every other tree in ArcheAge. Besides the crowd control, anti-crowd control and survivability abilities, Defense will increase your aggro management as a tank. In term of PvP, this tree is strong in EVERY combination. We will recommend using a shield while playing with Defense to increase its value.

-Songcraft
In terms of supporting skills that increases the damage and the survivability of your party, there is no better option than the third support tree – Songcraft. In combination with some crowd control, anti-crowd control and small heals, these tree offers the perfect basement for any dedicated support build. However, as the main supporting skills of Songcraft are channeling abilities, we do not recommed using Songcraft for its buffing potential as a dedicated healer. You can also use Songcraft to increase your own burst potential. Songcraft also offers the best movement speed enhancing skill of the game, making Songcraft the perfect pick for every trader / gatherer. I like to note that you can use your ballads while riding your mount!
Recommended beginner classes
As all trees are useful on themselves and there is a situation for every combination, some trees however combine and blend together better than others. Also, some combination will increase your capabilities in terms of solo activities after hitting level 50. Because of this, we want to introduce two combination that work really well together and giving yourself some advantages after reaching the current level cap.

The first combination is “Battlerage + Defense”, while Defense is one of the strongest trees in general, fitting in every builds last tree, the combination of Battlerage and Defense allowing one of the easiest level experiences while playing solo as well as creating the ability to solo grinding the Librarys’ physical enemies. As this combination is also allowing the highest error rate by yourself and we can recommend this combination to every beginner who wants to get in touch with ArcheAge without much frustration.

The second combination we want to mention is “Sorcery + Witchcraft”. With this high damage combination and sustain, you are able to level really fast on your own. While the damage is higher than the Battlerage + Defense combination, errors do cost a bit more, but it is still a recommended combination for everyone who want to end up as a caster instead of a physical fighter. You are also able to directly solo grind the Librarys’ caster monster after reaching level 50.

More in-depth class and gear information
Even with the impact to your gameplay by the choosing of your class, you will still have more important choices to make. These choices will also have huge impact on your playstyle and your possibilies, your Armor and your Weapons. As this guide is for beginners, we will not start the complete theorycrafting about gear, but we want to give you a small summary and the basic idea of gear impact of weapon / armor. These information should guide you through your leveling.

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Gearing up – Armor

Every Armor type will give a passive bonus on reaching four pieces and seven pieces of the same armor type. These passives will have a huge impact on your gameplay.

-Plate Armor
Plate armor has high Physical Defense and low Magical Defense base values.

Bonuses
Plate 4/7: Physical defense increased by by 3%.
Plate 7/7: Physical defense increased by by 3%. Maximum HP increased by 5%. Stun and Shackle duration -20%.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Weak against Blunt / Normal against Piercing / Strong against Slashing

-Cloth Armor
Cloth armor has low Physical Defense base values and high Magical Defense base values.

Bonuses
Cloth 4/7: Cast time reduced by 4%. Chance to interrupt casting when hit by an enemy is reduced by 50%.
Cloth 7/7: Cast time reduced by %. Chance to interrupt casting when hit by an enemy is reduced by 50%. Magical damage increased by 5%. The duration of the effects of control reduced by 30%.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Weak against Slashing / Normal against Blunt / Strong against Piercing
-Leather Armor
Leather armor offers fairly balanced defense values against both magic and physical attacks.

Bonuses
Leather 4/7: Increases Attack Speed and Evasion +3%. Increases the range of all bow skills +2m.
Leather 7/7: Increases Attack Speed and Evasion +3%, bow skill range +3m, and Melee/Ranged Citical Rates +5%. Also decreases duration of Trip -20%.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Weak against Slashing / Normal against Piercing / Strong against Blunt

Recommended Armor choices for beginners
Plate Armor, in general, is a great choice for nearly every class, as most enemies you will face on your journey to level 50 will deal physical damage. With the best physical damage absorb, you will sometimes cry when adding multiple magic damage enemies. Overall, we recommend plate Armor to every dedicated melee character before reaching level 50. Leather Armor, on the other hand, is a great choice for archers as you get a huge range damage and range increase with a full leather set. We also recommend leather Armor to Archery Hybrids using melee as well. Cloth Armor is the first choice for healers and a good choice for damage casters. But even if you are a damage caster, you may want to choose plate Armor before you have reached level 50. This consideration should be kept in mind by Battlerage + Vitalism builds as well. After reaching max level, you want to go cloth Armor as damage caster for the maximum possible damage!

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Gearing up – Weapons

Like the choice of armor, the choice of your weapon will have a huge impact on your gameplay. As the weapons theorycrafting is not easy to understand, we want to give you a basic idea on that.

Every weapon is dealing a fixed damage type, e.g. swords will always deal slashing damage, depending on your targets, armor type your slashing attacks will deal more or less damage.

In addition to the type of damage from your weapons, every weapon has a passive ability, e.g. while using a sword, there is a chance that your next attack will be a 100% parry. In ArcheAge, your melee skills damage is based on the average damage of your weapon. And for melee characters, auto hits are a very important source of damage .Because of this, the weapons attack speed also impacts your gameplay. The slower a weapon hits, the higher is its average damage resulting in higher damage for skills and auto hits. On the other hand, it will reduce the amount of possible weapon proccs.

For a summary about all weapons click here.

Recommended weapons choices for beginners
For the weapons you want to choose, one-handed + shield as melee, two-handed staff or scepter + shield as damage caster, bow + double one-handed as archer, and club + shield or two-handed club for healers. While weaving with a two-handed weapon may increase the damage of a melee, a shield will keep your downtimes to a minimum. For a more in depth guide on weapon types check – What weapon?

In-depth brainstorming on class creating
To get the right idea about setting up your endgame class, let us take a short look on leveling a healer. After the nerf or better said the change to magic power and healing power, it has become very hard for dedicated healers to level up. While it is still possible to level a dedicated healer solo, the time you need to do that is more than leveling up a setting class + the trees for the dedicated healer build.
Let us assume you want to play Cleric on release. You would choose Vitalism as your starting tree followed by Auramancy and Songcraft. While currently using healing skills without a club or a two-handed club is nearly useless, you can’t even use Antithesis to deal damage without a staff or a scepter leaving two options, first leveling this build till you reach max level or you die and second switch one or two trees, then level to max and switch trees again and level them one by one.
As you still could deal decent physical damage with clubs, one option would be to switch either Auramancy or Songcraft against Battlerage for damage and heal work together resulting in a huge increase in leveling speed.

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Leveling

You have two major ways to level your character. Questing or Crafting! While you are fine to quest by yourself, we recommend you quest in a group of three for the best questing speed. Also, you have to level side by side with the enemies faction after level 30 and a group of three will help surviving ganks and PvP fights. We still recommend to craft on a regular base even if you pick the Questing leveling. The Crafting way, on the other hand, need a lot of gold or the use of the cash shop. In addition, you can’t level from 1-50 without a break using the Crafting way as you will run out of labor points. This means you have to fill the time with questing or with being AFK. On the other hand, you will be setting up a huge economic profit for yourself as you need to spend 50,000 – 150,000 labor this way.

The Questing Way ( recommend )
As you will always be sent to your next question area after you have completed your current one, questing does not effort much of thinking. As we recommend, you will want to pick up two or at least one friend for a good question experience and just start questing. Around level 30, you will start to quest in the same zones as the enemies factions and you will enter areas your own faction will be able to kill you. Around level 40, the monster will start to scale as well, different than before. Because of this, you wil want to spend your labor points around level 30 and around level 40 to get some extra level, making it easier to continue questing. To get the most out of your labor points, we recommend buying a Vocation Tonic (double XP for labor points – only if you are above 3,000 labor points) in the cash shop of the auction house.

Important Notice:
Every labor point you spend is worth the same XP for your level. The only exception is crafting tax certificates. 100 labor points spent mining = 100 labor points spent tailoring!

If you want to spend your labor points for filling your pocket, we recommend mining thus this will cost you some time as you are able to spend 50-150 labor points per minute mining depending on your mining spot and the other players mining there as well. If you want do it as fast as possible, you will have to pay some money ,20s+ per 100 labor points, resulting in 5,000 labor points in less than 10 minutes and economic advantages on level 50. To do so, you have to craft plate / cloth / leather stashes for level 20 then using an Evenstone to get back your piece of dust. Thus, you have to pay for one Evenstone and three Whetstones for each craft. As you spend gold and labor, you will also increase your armor proficiency resulting in the ability to craft armors for yourself after reaching level 50.

After reaching level 40, you will get roughly three levels if you spend 5,000 labor points combined with a Vocation Tonic. Because of this, you can choose keeping some labor points at level 30/40 to stop questing with level 47 (with Vocation Tonic) or level 48 1/2 (without Vocation Tonic).

Doing the Questing Way will result in a good Control of your character as well as some decent gear for level 50 and about 50-100 gold in your pocket only from questing.

Hint: Overachieve every quest possible after level 15!
After you hit level 15, we recommend you Overachieve every quest possible! Overachieving is available for a lot of quests. To Overachieve a quest, you have to do 50% more than the questgiver is asking for, e.g. if you have to kill six spiders you have to kill nine to overachieve the quest. This will result in increased bonus XP / gold from the quest itself and more XP from killing the monsters as well in more drops what is equals more gold.

The Crafting Way
While this Way does need a lot more time without spending money/gold, you can reach your max level combined with a set of proficiencies fairly safe. If you spend money /gold and some time to setting up everything, you will be able to level to max in no time. As Trion changed the Worker’s Compensation to a four hour cooldown, you can get about 6,000 labor points per character in 24 hours resulting in a possible daily amount of over 36,000 labor points (around 3,600 cash shop points). While you would start crafting around level 15, you get one level per 1,000 labor points using a Vocation Tonic until you hit 40, where you will get three levels per 5,000 points spend with a Vocation Tonic. As you need to wait four hours until you can reuse a Worker’s compensation, you can fill this time with being AFK or for a faster leveling with questing. With this much labor points spend, you will be able to craft level 50 gear in no time resulting in a secured income at level 50 until other players will be able to craft the same gear you are able to craft. Until this, you should be able to make some regular customers.

On the other hand, if Trion will change the Worker’s Compensation back to its former cooldown, we do not recommend the crafting way to level your character. However, the basics of this guide would still work for casual players that do not have a lot of time to invest but want to level fairly quick while being online.

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Gain Wealth

There are a lot of possible ways to make gold in ArcheAge. We want to use this part to show you some basic money-making tricks.

-Coin Purses
These are the real deal! While the first three purses are worth to open only if you are short on money, with the 4th coin purse, the possible money from opening them will increase dramatically as there is a possibility to get Sunlight and Moonlight Archeum shards out of them. Later on, one of the best ways to make money is to open the coin purses dropping in the Library, as these will drop not only money but regrade materials as well.

-Gathering, Logging & Mining
One way to get money without spending anything is gathering wild plants or logging trees. As you can get decent money out of this, you will need much time to search for your prey. If you do not want to spend your time searching for wild plants and trees, you may to invest some gold into private and or public farms as the plants and trees will grow for themselves. You only need to pick them up after they have matured. Mining, on the other hand, is a very safe way without much time needed and with not even a single copper investment to get some gold.

-Crafting
Gear Crafting and Consumable Crafting proficiencies will always be a safe source of income after you invest gold, labor points and time in them. As the best gear of ArcheAge is coming from Crafting and the consumables will become very important in the endgame, you will always be able to sell your goods.
Every proficiency in ArcheAge is worth to be chosen but the most important proficiencies maybe are Tailoring, Metalwork, Leatherwork, Weaponry, Carpentry and Handicraft as the main source of endgame equipment as well as Alchemy and Cooking for the consumables. Picking one or two off this list will secure your income in ArcheAge after you have reached level 50.

-Trade Runs
Trade Runs want you to craft a special regional goods and transport it to a specific NPC located in each zone. As there are three possible kinds of Trade Runs, we discourage from doing trade runs on the same continent aka the gold trade runs. As you get more money than you will invest, the time you need in doing so is a lot with a looking to the profit. The other two kinds of trade runs, the trading good and the Gilda star trade run, are worth a lot more profit. On the other hand, you will need to sail the sea resulting in the possibility your goods will be stolen. Also the profit of these trade runs will increase dramatically after you got your hand on a merchant ship. Well… to get a Merchant Ship you need 250 Gilda stars resulting in a lot of small trade runs for Freedich Island – the only place you can get Gilda stars out of trade runs at the moment. As you have always to consider about pirates, only go for trade runs with a bunch of friends or guild members. While you can’t trade Gilda stars but the blueprints, the worth of the amount of Gilda stars increases with their number. As no one will pay you much money for blueprints worth under 50 Gilda stars, you will get a lot more money per Gilda Stars after you break the 250 Gilda star mark with another huge increase per Gilda star above 500. This means the more Gilda stars you could sell at once, the more profit you will get. On the other hand, this means you won’t see any profit soon as you need to save a lot of Gilda stars to get the right exchange rates. Trade Good trading runs will give you a fast and assured income as you can sell these goods one by one. We recommend at least five people and one Merchant Ship for trade goods runs and 30 people with at least two Merchant Ships for Gilda star trade runs for a secured benefit.

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Endgame content

Level 50 – The first steps!

As Trion stated, Auroria will not be available at launch due to the huge benefit for alpha testers. But you will still have some things to do after reaching level 50. This is a list with the most important steps you should take besides improving your equip. This list will still be important after the opening of Auroria and the Library.

-Halycona War
Every few hours your faction will call you to arms in Halycona. In this war, the eastern and the western faction will fight over the dominance of Halycona resulting in a one hours lasting buff and a special crafting material you will need to create one of the best necklaces of the game. We recommend to participate every time possible as the necklaces require a huge amount of this crafting material. You will also get honor points by taking part of the Halycona war.

-Crimson Rift
Once per day, you should take part in the Crimson Rift Event to complete the dailies that give a lot of safe honor points for completing. Crimson Rift will start every few hours between 12:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. ingame time. As there are several places Crimson Rift will occur, just take a look at your factions chat as there will be always open raids for this event.

-Hasla Weapons
There are specific level 50 monster types in Hasla dropping one of six tokens by chance. These tokens are needed to craft the best level 50 starting weapons. As this is a PvP area we recommend to grind these tokens in group as you are able to roll for the drops and your party members may need some tokens you do not need and backwards. These weapons are worth the time you need to farm them.

-Dailies & Mentoring
Besides the trade runs to Freedich Island, there is one more way to get some Gilda stars. The Mentoring dailies as well as the Blue Salt Lake dailies. For the Mentoring dailies, you need to clear dungeons with a mentee once per day. The Blue Salt Lake dailies are a bunch of easy quests for your daily Gilda stars. You should do these everyday if you aim for a Merchant Ship, as Clipper Runs to Freedich are not only time consuming but dangerous.

 

Recommended sites

Community

http://forums.archeagegame.com/forum.php -The official forum for ArcheAge Online.

http://archeagesource.com/ -Fansite forum discussing all things ArcheAge.

http://archeagecommunity.com/forums/ -General discussion, news, tips & tricks. All you need in one place.

http://teamlegacy.net/forum/443-archeage-general-discussion/ -Complex MMO site that is also dedicated to ArcheAge Online, with useful gamers comments and views.

Fansite

http://www.justop.de/ArcheCraft/?page_id=79 -Find interesting insider tips on ArcheAge Online here.

http://archeage-online.com/ -Contains news blog and links to other useful site s.

http://archeagescene.com/  -Check this site for the latest update on newly-released patches and good game guide here.

Guild Site

http://justop.de/EasyGamingEU/ -Guild recruitment site from Germany, soon to open for international soon

http://www.solaguild.com/forum/m/6084117/viewforum/4512954 -Guild side that provides useful information about game

http://archeage.guildex.org/guilds -Complete compilation of guilds for ArcheAge where you can choose your zone and guild to apply for.

http://www.oranthul.com/ -ArcheAge hardcore guild, a place an ArcheAge-lover will love

 

Wikia

http://archeage.gamepedia.com -The so-called ArcheAge encyclopedia where you can find all you want to know.

http://arche-base.com/  -Want to know how to spend your skill point wisely? This site has a build simulator and skill calculator that you can use.

http://archeagedatabase.net/us/ -A site with useful information, skill calculator and forum.



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