When ArcheAge Unchained launched just under a month ago, I was new to the MMORPG. Known for being a sandbox MMORPG with a large open world full of things to do, I quickly learned AAU throws you out into that world ill-prepared. Many of the tutorials are cryptic at best, and some game mechanics are never explained. There were so many things I wish I had known to help speed me along during leveling. So, in an effort to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made, here are 10 tips every new player to ArcheAge Unchained needs to know.
NEVER LET YOUR LABOR MAX OUT
Labor is used for just about everything that makes you money, including farming, mining, crafting, and even opening coin purses and identifying equipment. So if someone told you your bank account capped out at 5000 gold and they would give you 10 gold every 5 minutes as long as you weren’t capped, you would always find a way to keep your account below the max, right? Well, the same thing goes for labor. You don’t have to get it down to zero each day, but make sure to burn some labor before logging off if you’re close to the cap. You could spend a few minutes at your favorite mining spot or open up any coin purses you still have hanging around in your inventory. If you need to bur a lot of labor, go ahead and make some bound tax certificates; you’ll need them anyway and at 300 labor a pop it only takes a minute to clear up that cap space.
The experimental glider you are given for free works ok if you’re jumping off a cliff and want to land softly somewhere below, but it becomes less useful on more level ground. Fortunately, it only costs 30 gilda to purchase the upgraded models. The upgrades are found on Mirage Isle are well worth the trip. The upgraded glider gives you an extra push into the air when you take off that can even vault you over an incline that is too steep to climb. What a time saver. As an added tip, make sure to equip each upgraded glider as you make it earn an achievement that rewards you with a glider chest.
GET A LITTLE SALTY
The Blue Salt quest line is important for anyone interested in the vocational skills of AAU. The quests will net you a ton of free goods, not the least of which is an 8×8 farm. The starting quest becomes available when you hit level 30, and as such is located right along with that spot of your main storyline. The Blue Salt quest giver, Tasha, doesn’t have the typical exclamation mark above her head. Instead, she intuitively has a small green sprout floating above her. Located in eastern Halcyon, Tasha can be found just north of the road in Solisa. The quests run side by side with your story quests, so be sure not to miss picking this one up if you don’t want to spend the time to come back and run this series separately (like I did).
LEVEL UP YOUR MOUNT AND PET
Your mount and battle pet gain levels just like you, so make sure you have them out at all times. They are both pretty squishy so make sure you stop by the Stablemaster and pick up some gear for them. The coins you invest in their armor will help keep them alive and earning XP, and your mount will even get a speed buff!
DON’T VENDOR YOUR LOOT DROPS
The Explorer’s equipment you get as you start the game stays with you until the end, making the loot drops from mobs a less than optimal gea choice. There is still value to be found in this junk so don’t just sell it off to a vendor. If you are short on gold you can sell items on the auction house for a larger profit. Another choice is to pick up some Evenstones from the General Merchant and use them to salvage anything you don’t need. Doing so will turn the useless gear into materials that can be used to craft something more useful.
START RUNNING THE GRIMGHAST AND CRIMSON RIFTS EACH DAY
Starting at level 30 you gain access to the GR and CR world dailies. The events run every four hours and there are always players looking to fill their raids, so just watch your Nation Chat and jump into a group when you see one advertised. The event is a hot mess so be prepared to spam your AOE skills when the spawns start popping in. You’ll earn some easy XP, but more importantly, you will start getting honor points and gear infusions that will come in handy when you reach higher levels.
STARTER EQUIPMENT IS THE BEST GEAR IN THE GAME
If there is one thing I screwed up royally while leveling it has to be handling my starter gear, so I have several tips to give about what you should and shouldn’t do with your gear as you level up:
- The Explorers gear that you get early on in your story quest is a keeper, literally. Don’t ever throw it away, you’ll need it at end game. Well, technically your beginner armor and weapons can be replaced, except for your bow. Guess which one I discarded early on?
- The equipment may be replaceable, but the scrolls and infusions needed to upgrade them aren’t. You are given the exact number of each needed to upgrade your gear so losing any of the materials means you can’t upgrade all of your gear.
- There are three ranks of awakening scrolls and infusions (Rank 1-3) that need to be used at each stage of upgrades. If you use a higher rank too soon it messes everything up, and again you won’t be able to upgrade your full gear set.
- As long as you haven’t made the final upgrade to Hiram gear you can switch your armor or weapons to a different type. To do so you will need to use an Adventurer Evenstone to reclaim all the mats used when you upgraded. I can not stress enough that Adventurer Evenstones are not the same as Evenstones. If you use a regular Evenstone on your gear, you will lose ALL of the mats you have invested in that gear piece. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 gold.
- Fortunately, you are able to get replacement Hiram gear from mobs later in the game, so if you make mistakes at any point in the process like I did (bow and boots didn’t make it to level 50 ☹️) there is still a chance to recover later. It does make it harder and more expensive to get the stats you want on each piece, but you mess up, you pay the price. Lesson learned.
STICK TO YOUR PLAY STYLE
There are six North American servers to choose from, but they aren’t all populated equally. Many of the large PVP guilds rushed onto Wynn and Tyranos at launch, and the queues that are still present 3 weeks later prove they aren’t releasing their hold. It also means that when you are fortunate enough to log in you can expect well geared and skilled players ready to crush you under their boot. The other servers are still busy and have their own populations of hardcore players, but casual players have a better chance of finding their way against others closer to their level. In short, the gaming experience varies by the server so don’t just rage quit and never come back until you test the waters on all of them.
No matter what server you find yourself on, there is always the pressure to keep up with the Jones’. Some of the hardcore players may like this, but for a more casual player, it can cause burnout. ArcheAge Unchained is a sandbox game for a reason, and although there may be a ‘bestest’ path to end game, unless you are wanting to top the leader boards there isn’t any reason to alter your chosen playstyle.
HIT UP AEGIS ISLAND AT 45
If you aren’t level 50+ when the story quests sends you to Diamond Shores, all is not lost. Aegis Island is the best place to grind from level 45 to 50. The mobs are pretty easy to kill, and the XP will rain down on you at up to 20k per kill. Players in the area will all be doing the same thing, so group up and you’ll be level 50 (or higher) before you know it. An even faster option is to beg a higher level guildie to come along and let them do all the work while you reap the rewards.
PLAN OUT YOUR DAY
It may seem silly to put time into planning out your MMO time but, with so many things to do in AAU, spending a little time making a plan of attack will make your grind much more efficient. Use alarms or a Google calendar to track what times plants, trees, and livestock will be ready to harvest (thank you @KelleyPlays for giving me this tip) – it will save you time and money in the long run. World events run on a set cycle and daily quests reset at 12:00 game time, so many groups will be looking for people to fill their raids at the same time every day. Hooking up with one of these groups will help you complete your dailies much faster, leaving more of your playtime for the fun stuff, whether that is dungeons, PVP, crafting, or just getting in a little fishing.