Thursday, May 22, 2008

Journal Entry #2

Hey everyone it's time for entry 2 of my leveling journal series, thanks in advance to everyone reading :)

Levels gained this session: 31-43
Feat Spec. Used: Thunder - Click Here for build
Groupings Used: Solo

I started this session just after hitting 31 and headed to the wild lands of Zelata as I hadn't touched the zone yet. Upon entering I gathered the first quests at the beginning of the first town, called Tesso. Most of these quests were kill quests and as a tempest that sounded great to me! Since you receive Storm Field at 30 and I already had my Storm Crown feat buffed to the max, these quests were fast and I stayed at each site longer than required to grind out some extra XP (as I've said before, kill xp is very important!). My main strategy here was to drop an Idol, put up SF and SC and rush into mobs bringing them back to the idol. as my AoEs killed them I HoT'ed myself up. Wild Lands is an EXTREMELY useful zone if you can save it until the thirties, there's an abundance of quests and it you don't have to look far to find EXCELLENT AoE grind spots (Which I'll list at the end). After making it to 33 in Wild Lands, I headed to the Border Ranges, and instanced zone off of Wild Lands with it's own quests. ..
Since the zone is instanced to your character, you are standing in a gold mine of uninterrupted experience flow once you enter the zone. There are quite a few minions mixed in with tons of normal mobs in the zone, this is great because they hit for nothing, and each give you an extra 40-50 xp when they die on top of the xp from your pull of normal mobs. I would suggest clearing this entire zone a couple times to maximize xp as quests start to run slim in wild lands. I finished up the zone, turned in my quest and wow: I'd made 2 levels in under 2 hours here!
As I was now 35, I headed to Outflow Tunnels in Old Tarantia. As many of you know, this provided a generous amount of grind xp as well as the one or two quests for the zone. Here I would set up large groups of totems and pull rooms of the level 35 mobs back to them, rinse and repeat. Every run through took 15-25 minutes for a full clear and gave nearly a half a level of xp! This is the kind of place a ToS dreams of when they want to grind :) A summarizing video of my Outflow Tunnels adventures was release the other day and can be found on my site at the top of the page or on youtube by clicking HERE. A spent a couple hours in here to quickly get from 35-38 and prepare for my first instance which was....
Sanctum of the Burning Souls! At 38 I gathered the 5 quests I could find for the zone and got together a group from my guild. As we had a PoM along assisting on heals, I got to get my first taste of instancing and aggro control in general. I kept the same spell rotation as when soloing with the exception of letting our tank get some aggro first, and throwing heals in when needed. We completed the instance without incident, but nothing good loot-wise dropped for me : / At the end I had 6 quests to turn in (I had picked up another on the inside of tSoBS) each clocking in at 9800-12500 xp per turn in. I had made 39 and half way to 40.
Now I headed to the Noble District in Old T. I grabbed the first quests inside and went to town taking out the Nemedian rebels overrunning the land there! After the first few quests I had dinged 40 and moved deeper into the zone, opening up a treasure trove of new quests. Unfortunately many were bugged, and I temporairily left the zone to hit 40 elsewhere and make some of the quests more doable. I went to Wild Lands again and headed down to the valley in front of the Sanctum entrance. Here are camps of many level 38 NPCs as well as the area in which you complete two quests from the Outcast Camp in Northwest Wild Lands. I completed the quests and continued to grind until I was one bar away from 41. I did this because the quests were green at the time and I didn't want to level too quickly and gray them out, else they would provide significantly less xp. After turn ins I returned to the Noble District and was delighted to find that the "Villa quests" were available to me now :)
Levels 41-43 were done in the Villas. What are they you might ask? You get quests from various NPC's in the noble district for the Villas, each one is a different house that is instanced and holds many tightly packed together level 40-42 NPCs. These houses are heaven for AoEing and I suggest you let leave after clearing them and let them reset before turning in the quests you can grind them again, each more will give 600+ xp per kill. Once you're done turn in the quests and you'll be pleasantly rewarded by turn in xp of 25,000 to 30,000 PER QUEST. BAM! Now you're 43 :) For my next write up I'll be heading to fields of the dead, and I'll be able to confirm or deny that the zone lives up to it's reputation for AoE grinding experience!

Most Used spells: Storm Field, Storm Crown, and Idol of Set.


1) Instanced Border Ranges: mobs level 32-34
2) Outflow Tunnels, with mobs of level 35
3) Valley of Nemidian NPC's in east Wild Lands, mobs of level 38
4) Instanced Villas in Noble District, mobs level 40-42
Thanks a lot everyone for reading, as always I appreciate feedback so feel free to e-mail me or comment on the blog. Also if you havn't seen it yet check out the Outflow Tunnels video for examples of the AoE pulls there :)

Until next time!

Settar - Tyranny

P.S. I won't be making many videos while leveling, but the positive response to my last one encouraged an idea. I'll be making a short video on spellweaving and possibly some other AoE clips once my character hits level 50, so stayed tuned and subscrube to my youtube channel to be the first to be notified! :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Journal Entry 1 - May 18th 2008

Hey everyone the time has come for my first ToS leveling journal. Early Access has been exceptional and just now we're entering the first period of downtime, so way to go Funcom on that! :)
Alright anyways, I'll break this up into a few different parts that were relative to my leveling experiences.


Levels gained this session: 1-31
Feat spec used: Click To View - A Primarily Thunder Build
Groups Used
1-20: Group of 5 (ToS x2, HoX x1, Bear Shammy x1, Conq. x1)
20-25: Group of 2 (Conq. + Myself)
25-31: Solo

1-20: As you can see I made sure to try different sized groups to see how I contributed on my character with my mainly Thunder specialization. In the 5 man group I focussed on keeping my HoT's up, mainly using 'Life of Set', and throwing in my "Lightning Strike" nuke whenever our enemies were clumped up and thus would eat the AoE. As I began to spec into "Lightning Crown" I was sure to pick up the feat that enabled my group to have a similar pulsing AoE to my own on each member. This was when the Thunder spec really started to support the large group gameplay, with an AoE field on each group member, area of effect pulls in general became much cleaner and more efficient. I mainly used lightning strike for damage here, suplemented by Charged Blast when off cooldown. Storm crown seems really beneficial but I didn't get the hang of keeping it applied until the mid 20's, since you have to apply it every 30 seconds it can easily expire unnoticed.

20-25: During these levels I duo'ed with a conqueror from my guild mainly questing in the Khopshev Province of Stygia. This zone provides an abundance of quests for all levels 20-30ish but seems to do a better job than the other two in providing fast XP in the LOW twenties.
Duo'ing seemed much more efficient in straight up grinding out levels not only duo to the straight XP ratios but also to the fact that you lose time when coordinating the quests and locations of everyone in a 5 to 6 man group, not to mention collection quests are atrocious with a big group. I would heal my conq., Hurx, and let him get aggro on a large camp of mobs before running in, applying storm crown, and beginning to cast Lightning Strike. This method was very effective for kill quests and we were able to tear through any quest we had short of a couple red "Group" tagged quests. In these levels I was maxing out my feats that improved lightning crown and this shot my damage WAY up improving my AoE capabilities quite a bit.

25-31: At this point I broke off in the wee hours of morning for a power nap and awoke to find my leveling partner offline. Now it was time for the real test, to see how I could fair on my own. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my level rates went insane as a soloing Tempest of Set. I leveled in a progression of zones for these levels as follows: Conal's Valley > Khopshev Province > Wild Lands of Zelata (started the Wilds right before servers went down).
When questing in these zones I noticed that most quests had a good deal of walking distance between their givers and their objectives, so here is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of leveling advice I can give so far: Kill everything. What I mean to say is, don't just walk from place to place, stray from the roads and use your amazing AoE powers to take a few mobs at a time, zig-zag back and forth over the path and kill anything within a few levels of you. The difference is HUGE, it all adds up and it's worth your time to take a little longer to get to a questing area if it means you gain a few thousand XP along the way.
Anyways, during this time your spec really begins to mature, as your storm crown becomes more potent and you begin to invest into Idol of set. Oh and a note on Idol of Set, whether intended or not, you can summon unlimited Idols right now and it seems a little overpowered as you can solo some pretty rough pulls with an army of totems :P Also when you hit 30, you gain STORM FIELD and your troubled days are over, storm field constantly pulses aoe damage around you, at this point you are an AoE machine and I expect to fly through 31-40. At this point you'll have Storm Crown, Storm Field and your Idol(s) of Set all pulsing lightning damage out around you... At this point leveling becomes a blast as you blow through large camps for kills quests and find yourself pulling ahead of many other classes in XP/hour. Just remember to keep those HoT's up and use your CC if needed (Quicksand the AoE root and Cobra Stare the 5 second stun have saved my butt more times than I can count).

Notes on PVP for this entry: Even when minding your own business (wink wink) PvP on a PvP server is ever present. After 45 pvp encounters thus far (30 kills to 15 deaths) I think the most important thing to do is to not rush yourself. When you are about to engage someone you should be fully HoT'ed and rather than straight up nuking, begin setting up camp. Apply storm crown, place your Idol of Set and apply storm field, the pulsing AoE damage is far superior to straight up nuking in pvp because if you aren't actively casting a spell, you are free to heal, melee, quickly CC etc. whereas if you were in the middle of lightning strike you would have to cancel it and begin casting another spell to switch gears. So in review, HoT up get your pulsing AoE's up and get in their face, make sure you use your weapon too in between casts, it helps!

That's all for today everyone,


P.S. I'll be getting some fun screenshots up for you guys that highlight some points made in this post as soon as the servers are back up, so keep checking back in as the day goes on! :) Also I'd love to hear what people think of the write up or site in general, either leave a comment on this post or e-mail me at or even contact me via my youtube channel with any questions or comments.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


This will be the space for all leveling journals and thoughts... Enjoy!