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|This page contains spoilers.
This page contains information that may reveal plot or quest details. This information is part of the primary content of this page, and so has not been hidden from view.
First of all, there is enough free content in the game to test it thoroughly and enjoy several hours of play before having to decide if you want to sign up for the Adventurers Guild (AG). You can check the advantages in the AG page. But still, even if most players decide to join, some others don't. This page is for the latter ones. It will help you get the most out of your free account (or non-AG character).
A part of the advices in the main Character Startup Guide still applies to non-AG characters. Because the majority of the wiki editors are also AG players, this guide may be outdated. Check with the main guide for more updated tips.
First, you need to Create your character.
After having rolled up some nice stats, you will have to select skills and possibly powers. You can check Skills to learn about them and see which of them you can gain while non-AG (basically, every single one except Weaponry: Staves, Weaponry: Lances and Horsemanship). Check also the Powers page.
So, making the long story short, if you want to have the maximum number of skills, you should get Thievery (useful by itself, and required for some quests), Arcana (your only way to identify items, since all sages are AG-only) and two of the following:
- Diplomacy - Useful in several quests and situations.
- Unarmed Combat - Can give you the (almost) highest possible MR in the game, although see YWIIATE for the drawbacks.
- Horsemanship - Gives you several bonuses in explorable locations and a few quests.
As for Powers, some of the freely available ones are in AG-only quests, and you won't be able to use the Grey Circle instead. As you currently don't get Startup Scenarios if non-ag, you only have the one you start with and two powers from the Murk Quests (one chosen, one random) for a maximum of 3. So choose what you want carefully.
You must keep in mind that the difficulty of the game is set having the AG members in mind, and they will often have better equipment and bonuses than non-AG members, so several quests will be from a little to quite more difficult to achieve. Also, as a non-AG, you won't be able to buy the Quickstone and the maximum gold you'll be able to get from any piece of equipment you may sell will be 400 gold (check the Item Selling Guide for details).
Non-AG Quick Startup Edit
Below is a quick startup guide for a free player. However, it's as flat as it is quick. Also, please note that this guide may not be helpful if you plan to become an AG player eventually.
Warning: Tons of spoilers ahead...
- Roll your character: As a free player, your resources are relatively limited. Thus you want a character with really good stats. Here's my lowest standard: 31+ MR, 35+ SP, all stats no less than 18 and at least 25% exp bonus to skills and powers. Actually, I strongly recommend you don't settle for less with 32MR/36SP and a 30% bonus on Powers, Weaponry, and Unarmed Combat. (Warning: This is an extremely boring and time consuming process. It involves you clicking on one button endlessly for over 50 real hours, and you have to do it attentively too. If you accidentally clicked a little too soon.... So, spend more time enjoying the game instead!)
- Starting skills and power: Arcana, Diplomacy, Thievery, Unarmed Combat, and Restoration, or necromancy [Note: To maximize the 20 pts allocated to 4 starting skills ~ I would recommend putting 17pts into Unarmed Combat and 1pt into each of the other skills chosen. This is worth @ 100% more in terms of early game XP than the default option of putting 5 pts into each skill and has only a minor downside easily managed if you boost Arcana, Diplomacy, Thievery skills to at least Level 10 ASAP.]
- Keep in mind acquiring a mount [Charger] from Garsmyn, the Horse Trader in Southern Tyasa once you can afford 6000gp. A high Diplomacy Skill gets you a 1000gp discount but might not be the best use of early game XP. Because of Game Implementation facts, Charger is the only recommended choice of Horses. Be sure to go into the Details link for your horse to actually begin riding your mount. +1Bonuses to MR, Stam, NRV will then be activated as long as your horse is not overworked.
[Alternatively: Planning to switch out of Unarmed Combat to Weaponry and Weaponry: Slashing after achieving Unarmed Combat Level 20+ is perfectly viable ~ even though the swords available to Non-AG players are not the best in the game. 2 Non-AG blades still provide substantial upgrades from Unarmed Combat MR. One of them can be purchased in Trithik for @7000GP. Players choosing this route will of course delay purchasing a Charger.]
- Entering the game: now you should have something like 36MR/44SP/14NR, 4 skills and 1 power, and 1024 general xp from your bonus code (you will get an additional 2048 if your account becomes AG at a later date). Now level your Unarmed Combat skill to 25-30, Arcana to 20 and your Necromancy to 20 - so you're not so easily dispatched. As you won't be able to easily access the AG good starting weapons, you've better combat Unarmed. That way you'll also save gold.
- You can hang around in Hawklor for a while. Visit Irzynn to dress up; then visit the tavern, the church and the stable for some easy adventures. Explore Hawklor for some good XP from figuring out what to do with a Wilted Rose. You might encounter a Hag while exploring Hawklor that is beyond your abilities in the very early game but you will want to revisit her soon as she has a nice item. The Savage Wild is an easy adventure to complete in the Hawklor area. After that, let's get down to business. Clear The Caves of Westwold. Your only real challenge should be the goblin war band, which is manageable with your power and some luck. Your rewards are 700ish XP and a +2 MR ring. Now you your stats should be close to 50 MR / 45 SP / 14 NR.
- Now go to Durnsig. Buy yourself a dwelling and get ready for the next challenge - The Seven Knight Statues. You're not likely to clear them all with melee, nor need you do that. Use only necromancy in combats to get a handsome amount of specific xp. Flee and rest as you like. Now you have the best free cape and the second best free shield. Your stats should now be around 56/49/14, with 800ish general XP left. (At this moment I'd like to level my Necromancy up to 40... to feel even safer in this dangerous world.)
- Note: If you are on a completely free account--without the extra 2048 general experience a free character on an AG account receives--you may want to spend some time leveling up Necromancy by doing only the first two parts of Axepath Cemetery several times, once you have about 16 NV after obtaining the Ring Of Souls from Hawklor explorations.
- Not exciting enough? How about dashing straight into Gralgarak's Tomb? Oooh, yes you'll like it. The hardest enemy (Gralgarak himself) is 12+, but also manageable with your power and some luck [Save before picking up the Quest in Stoneback Tavern]
- . You'll get the best free shield, the best free bracelet, and some nice armor. I walked out of the tomb with 57MR/56SP/19NR and near 1000 general xp in stock.
- Now that you've just finished an undead warrior, it shouldn't be a big deal to fight some humans. Let's head for Trithik to enter the The Thane's Tournament of Arms. The hardest fight is 7+. You leave with 1200+ general XP in total.
- Time to learn some other skills. Follow the order of the skills listed below:
- Now you're an adventurer able to stand your ground against many enemies. You can check the Quest List or your Adventurer Finder to find more quests to do. You can also enter the replayable scenarios to grind your Necromancy and collect better armor and gold. Remember to retreat and rest/leave whenever you can't go on. When your mastery of Necromancy is high enough to clear the Ruins of Yir-Tanon, you'll be able to raise your MR and other skills faster, and eventually be able to do harder quests and clear more perilous replayable scenarios. When your MR is above 60, you can venture into The Murk and get the other 2 powers. (Recommend: Fortification / Elementalism / Telekinesis / Conjuration - if you want a pair of +3MR/+4SP gloves, a +5MR shield and a +5SP ring, you'll need level 70 Conjuration to get them all).