Asheron’s Call excels at having enough systems and ‘stuff’ in it for players to create their own goals and path to success. Some will require you to really stretch and dedicate yourself to their achievement, others you can simply fulfill in parallel to working toward something else.
Whatever mood, or whatever time you have available in the moment basically — there’s something for you. Some of my most common play blocks have been in 30ish minute chunks — or one set of under level V buffs.
But it does lead to the ‘problem’ of having so many things to chase at once that deciding the priorities becomes interesting. I have just ticked off three of the more major milestones I’d set myself:
Hit Level 50!
Levels in and of themselves mean very little in AC.
They’re an indicator of power rather than a dictator of it. Levels have no direct impact on your ability to deal or mitigate damage. Rather, levels tell you how much XP a given character has had to spend and distribute as they see fit. Some quests will have versions for different level ranges to maintain challenge (e.g., 50-79 would be my most common range now where this occurs.)
But the reason I was after level 50 specifically? At this point you can join a fellowship with any level 50+ character that shares XP without causing a penalty to the entire group. It’s still a ways off before I see myself grouping regularly, but it is still nice to know the option exists.1
Learn (and be able to cast) level V spells for Creature, Life and Item magic.
I’d already crossed the skill threshold (>210 for it to start being comfortable to cast V’s) a while ago, but it still left:
- Earning enough Pyreal2 to buy the MMD trade notes (worth 250k each, but bought for 275k) required for direct training from the Professors in Arwic. Until aiming for this goal, I’d been buying M notes for 115k (worth 100k on resale) as they more conveniently fit my typical loot haul.
- Completing Bleeargh’s quest for Item Enchantment Level Vs. (This was optional, but reduced the number of MMD’s I required by not learning these from the Professor.)
- Getting to a Master Mage (they don’t hang out in towns unfortunately) so I can buy the Gold Scarabs required for Level V casting.
Got my Atlan Bow! :D
The dungeon portal in the background there is to ‘Halls of Metos’ near Wei Jhou in the Direlands. It contains a range of undead and golems — but it was the golems I was there for. And their tasty, tasty pyreal motes to craft into the necessary ingot for the bow.
Atlan Weapons hold a significant degree of sentimental value to me. Back in the days of playing on Darktide — the full PvP world — there was essentially one motto above all else. ‘Never get attached to any gear or items.’ It was just too easy to lose them in a PvP battle gone wrong.
Atlan Weapons may not have been the best weapons available of all — but once you had one, it was yours. They could not be dropped on death and so in part could actually become an element of your character’s identity.
Over the years since — Atlan Weapons have had some significant changes. I went after this bow for the sentimental reasons, and found that in an upgraded form it might have practical benefit too, and may form part of one of my next major goals.
You see — the Major Elemental Stones existed back in my day too. But while they may’ve offered some degree of buffs to the weapon, the only fundamental way they changed it was to the damage type done. Minor Elemental Stones didn’t even do that. They were more cosmetic in nature than anything else.
Now though, even the minor stones add a cut back version of an effect known as ‘Rending’ AND upgrade the base damage range. The requirement to use the resulting weapon has been boosted to match too though. Rending essentially cuts through a portion of defense for the specific element or damage type in question. Normally you apply Rending to a weapon, you need to go through quite a process of salvaging material and then applying it to another looted weapon with the base properties you’re after. The cincher is that you only have a maximum 33% chance of applying the rend successfully. Failure blows up your salvage and the weapon you attempted it on.
Suffice to say, it isn’t common to go through this rigmarole for a whole set of weapons until you’re at the maximum damage tier. (Although I have managed to land a Fire Rend on a 130% bow I’m currently using to level with. I might also try for a general purpose Armor Rend, but the materials for that are a bit harder to come by.)
So anywho, back to my base Atlan Bow up there. It has only a 110% damage modifier. Not worth using at the moment for me (although if I’d done it earlier it could have been good!) But, if I stuck a Minor Sparking Stone in there, it would jump up to 130% damage modifier (which is what I’m currently capable of using), and add a limited version of Lightning Rend to it.
Limited how? Well, a ‘proper’ rend scales the extent to which the enemies defenses are bypassed in line with your skill. These limited versions have a flat modifier which is OK for a while but falls off fairly significantly as your skill continues to increase.
As a leveling weapon though? Amazing.
Although here’s where one of my next major goals comes in.
Stretching to 290 Missile Weapon Skill
My Missile Weapon skill is already far and away my most expensive skill to raise, sitting at around 1.1m XP required per point. The next closest in skills is Melee Defense sitting at around ~150k XP per point. For my stats, they’re now at around 550k XP / point.
Given Missile Weapon follows a formula for its base of Co-ordination / 2, to raise Missile Weapon Skill most efficiently at the moment I’ll be bouncing back and forth a little between directly spending XP into it and raising co-ordination.
And of course raising co-ordination has a slew of benefits to other skills too, defenses and healing in particular.
But the focus is on the weapon skill itself — and that is because to take the next step forward with my Atlan Weapon, I need to have a 290 unbuffed Missile Defense skill to equip it with a Minor Elemental Stone inside.
I’m sitting at about 278 at the moment — so it’s not that far to go in reality, and I know from prior experience I’ll be there before I know it and will be feeling the same as I do now about the next step (~315 skill). And that feeling is one of really having to push hard to reach the goal.
And I suppose on some ways that is fair — the XP required to hit 290 will be multiple levels worth even if I do absolutely nothing else until I get there.
But the power and versatility gain it offers is going to be worth the payoff, so I’m getting myself ready to do it. I don’t need any more Pyreal for spells (for a while, at least. Level VI’s might be my next big skill push though). I won’t need to worry about Salvage materials given I’ll be able to use the Atlan instead for a while.
So I can really just put my head down and focus just on this for a little while. Once I get this post out, that’s exactly what I’m going to do in fact. :)
And if the raw power buff wasn’t enough incentive… Typically after such a focused drive to hit a particular threshold, I let myself splurge XP for a while on more ‘fun’ skills or skills I’ve left behind for a while. Such as the ‘Jump’ skill. I can’t wait til I can jump right over fortress walls again, ground to ground. xD