Leveling is pretty straightforward : follow Sergent Knox instructions in Protector’s Enclave. Do all of the quests in the area he sends you, and come back to him to receive your next missions. In every leveling area, there is a merchant that will sell rare (blue) gear for tokens you collect while killing monsters in the area. These items will be great to keep your item level up to date with the areas you are going in.
Here is a guideline, to help you early on :
- Referral Link (level 10 or below)
- Your First Mount (level 5)
- Bags (level 6+)
- Invoking your Deity (level 10+)
- Your First Companion (level 16)
- Random Dungeons, Astral Diamonds (lvl 12++)
- Items to get while Leveling (when you have AD)
- Crafting (lvl 20+)
- Your First Artifact (lvl 21)
- Loadouts and Paragon (lvl 30+)
- Join a Guild !
- Level 70+
Referral Link (level 10 or below)
If you are a new player (level 10 or below), you can click on the following links to receive very valuable rewards (a Mercenary companion, a Carmine Bullette mount, a Greater Bag of Holding, and a character slot, among other things) :
Your First Mount (level 5)
As soon as you complete the tutorial, Sergent Knox will send you to get your first mount. You can either pick the Waterdeep Horse or the Sabino Horse. Both have the same stats and powers, both will let you travel at the maximum speed (all of the mounts in the game have the same speed). The only difference is that you can get the Sabino Horse for free later, but not the Waterdeep Horse... so pick the Waterdeep Horse ! You can buy both of them, plus the Palomino Horse, the Appaloosa Horse, and the Brindle Horse for 5 gold at the Mount Merchant, but as you level up, you will acquire tokens to get both the Brindle Horse and the Sabino Horse for free.
To complete the quest, you must "equip" the mount in your inventory, then go to the Mounts panel (Options -> Character -> Mounts on PS4). This is where you'll be able to change the mount and powers you'll be using (you can only have one combat power and one equip power at a time). Then go to the Stable tab, and equip the insignia you've been given to your mount.
Now, you have a mount that gives you a tiny bit of Movement Speed via its Equip Power : Fast Striding, and a Combat Power : Explosive Equalizer, that deals a bit of damage in an area, which you can use once every minute (with the same button you use to mount when out of combat). Both will get much better as you get new mounts.
You can read more about mounts, their powers, insignias and collars on this page. But do not worry too much about this for now, just play the game until you get more mounts and insignias. Simply equip the powers and insignias you have with the highest item level to make your progression easier.
Bags (level 6+)
Inventory space is something that fills easily. You can have a maximum of 6 additionnal bags on top of your starting bag (42 slots). On top of the bag you can get from the Refferal Link, there are a couple of bags you can get for free while leveling :
- The Adventurer’s Knapsack (18 slots), in the Blacklake District (lvl 5-9 region).
- At lvl 15, you get a Greater Elven Silk Bag (24 slots), from the Adventurer's Reward Box (instead of the Embroidered Bag of Holding, 12 slots, at the end of the Intro Campaign : The Staff of Savras, that was removed from the game).
- The Adventurer’s Pack (12 slots), in the Neverdeath Graveyard (lvl 25-30 region).
You need to complete most of the quests in each region before getting the quest that rewards the bag. Do not miss these ! The only other way to get bags is to buy them from the Zen market (1750 Zen for a 42 slots bag, the biggest ones available, or 1500 Zen for a 36 slots one), or get them from the Auction House, or during a couple of events (not very often). There's also a 24 slots bag which can be obtained from the Rise of Tiamat's trial, and premium bags can drop randomly from chests at the end of dungeons, but they are a super rare drops.
Invoking your Deity (level 10+)
At lvl 10, Sergent Knox will give you a quest to teach you how to invoke your Deity. It is particularly important to do this on every of your characters at least once a day. It must be done at a campfire, or in town. VIP 5 lets you invoke your Deity wherever you want.
You can invoke your Deity 6 times a day : when you log in, and then with a 15 minutes / 30 minutes / 45 minutes / 1 hour / 1 hour and 30 minutes cooldowns (so it takes at least 4 hours of cooldowns if you want to invoke your Deity 6 times, but you do not have to be logged in the whole time).
Invoking your Deity gives you an Ardent Coin the first time you invoke on each of your characters every day. Ardent Coins can be exchanged in the Vault of Piety (Options -> Store -> Vault of Piety), in the Ardent Favor tab. You can get the White Horse and the Medium Snowswift Horse mounts, the Angel of Protection companion, the Celestial Grace Dye Pack, weapons for every class (only for fashion), and Elixirs that give different buffs for 1H. All of these can be exchanged, or sold in the Auction House.
The 1st and 6th time you invoke your Deity on each character, every day, you get a Celestial Coin. These coins are also exchanged in the Vault of Piety, in the Celestial Synergy tab. Buy Coffer of Celestial Artifacts with your Celestial Coins. These coffers have a small chance to give you a Coalescent Ward (which are used to guarantee an enchantment/artifact upgrade, only use them for things which have a 1% chance to upgrade). They can also give Enchanting Stones rank 5 (two of them if you open the coffer during a double refinement event !). Coalescent Wards are extremely important once you reach end game. These are bound to account, so you cannot sell them, but you'll need many of them. If you invoke your Deity a single time every day, you will obtain about one coalescent ward per year, per character. It takes time, but having many characters and invoking once per day on every of them, is a pretty reliable way to get them.
Invoking your Deity also gives you experience points (XP), and bonus rAD (currency covered later on this page). You can actually gain 80% of a level if you invoke your Deity 6 times in a day (the 5th and 6th times give a lot more XP than the others). The bonus rAD is added to a reserve (capped at 150k), and each time you earn rAD, you'll get 50% more, from your reserve, until it's depleted.
And you'll get an Invocation Blessing each time, which, when used, gives you a small random buff for 15 minutes.
Your First Companion (level 16)
At lvl 16, Sergent Knox will send you to the Grand Emporium (a building in Protector's Enclave), to get a free companion. You can choose between the Cleric Disciple (healer), Man-at-Arms (tank), Wayward Wizard (ranged damage dealer) and Dog (melee damage dealer). The Wayward Wizard is the best pick if you do not have a better companion yet (it's actually a decent companion even at end game if you upgrade it). You can buy all of them plus the Sellsword, Con Artist, and Adbar Shield Maiden for 2 gold at the Emporium Vendor.
Your summoned companion is very important to give you combat advantage : by positionning properly and surrounding your foes, your damage will be improved by your Combat Advantage percentage. That's a huge boost, so always pay attention at your enemies' feet : when there are blue stripes is when you surround them, and deal more damage. Monsters can also get combat advantage over you, so be careful and do not neglect your Awareness stat.
You can read more about companions on this page. But do not worry too much about them for now, just play the game until you get more of them and you can afford better ones (at much higher levels).
Random Dungeons, Astral Diamonds (lvl 12++)
Starting at lvl 12, you have access to random dungeons, which reward Rough Astral Diamonds (rAD). Every day, you can refine up to 100k rAD to Astral Diamonds (AD), the main currency of the game. To refine your rAD, go to the menu -> Items -> Riches and click on the Rough Astral Diamonds line. They also automatically refine, if you forgot to refine them the previous day, but it's better to do it manually, and it won't refine more than one day worth of rAD.
The first random dungeon queue of the day rewards 5500 RAD, + 2500 if your role is in demand. Usually, tanks are in demand, sometimes healers. I’ve seen Damage Dealers in demand only a couple of times, after playing for more than 2 years.
Eventually, you will unlock :
- Skirmishes, at item level 16k, which reward 6000 RAD
- Trials, at item level 16k, which reward 34k RAD + 7500 if your role is in demand (+ more from chests)
- Epic Dungeons, at item level 20k, which reward 23k RAD + 5000 if your role is in demand (+ more from chests)
Make sure you read the strategy before joining these high level random queues, as many of them require some knowledge to not make things difficult for everyone.
Do all the queues available once a day (or more often if you feel like it, for fewer RAD rewards on completion but more chances for good loot), to cash in easy AD !
Items to get while Leveling (when you have AD)
Now, you know how to make some AD. You will be able to buy a couple of things on the Auction House that will make your life so much easier (you can access it from the Menu -> Store -> Tarmalune Trade House) !
- An Energon compagnon : that's the cheapest Epic companion, it will give you item level and lots of HP with its Equip Power, definitely a must have early on.
- Companion gear : there's 965 item level companion gear available in Companions -> Companion Equipment, but you can buy cheaper ones to start with. These will boost your item level quite a lot.
- Any mount with the Wanderer’s Fortune insignia bonus (Shadow Wolf and Inferno Nightmare are probably the cheapest ones) : to gain plenty of refinement points (you'll need tons later).
The Energon companion is clearly not the best to have summoned, but it's very cheap (you can get it easily in the Dread Legion Skirmish) and it will still give you combat advantage if you position properly and surround your foes (look at their feet : when there are blue stripes, you deal more damage). The next best companion to get early on is probably the Phoera (a lot more expensive, but still one of the cheappest Epic companions, much less expensive than upgrading your starting companion), as it will fight with you and deal decent aoe damage... But you can also keep your AD for better ones.
The priority while leveling, is to boost your item level as much as possible. Do not worry about stats, they do very little early on, though you can look at this page to know which to prioritize if you have two items that have the same item level.
Crafting (lvl 20+)
You can start crafting at level 20. You will get a Workshop, which is your own private instance, which you will be able to upgrade 3 times. The retainer you pick is a permanent choice, but it has no impact whatsoever on anything at all, except that you'll be stuck with them and the others will be gone forever. You can pick any profession to start with, you will be able to do all of them eventually. Crafting is great to make gold. There are a few items that are interesting to craft later on (with Mastercraft), but the costs to be able to craft anything good are about 10 times the costs of buying them directly from the auction house... and it takes about a year to max out crafting. Furthermore, items tend to be obsolete after only a couple of months... So, crafting is nice, but investing a lot into it is not really that great, though it's good for completionists and can be profitable on the very long run (a couple of years). To learn more about Crafting, you can look at this page.
Your First Artifact (lvl 21)
At level 21, Sergent Knox sends you to the Elder Reader Laris, who will give you a quest which will reward you with a choice of one of three artifacts.
- Lantern of Revelation : deals damage to foes around you, increases the damage they take by 10% for 10s. Also lets you see hidden targets 10' further.
- Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue : summons a vendor. Keep one in your inventory if you are not VIP 7.
- Waters of Elah'zad : heals you over 6s and removes Damage over Time effects you are afflicted with.
The Lantern of Revelation is a good debuff artifact, which is used in very end game content, so it's a very good idea to pick this one. All three of these drop in dungeons, so they can be bought for cheap (Lantern costs about 4k AD, while the two others cost about 1k AD). Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue is definitely good to have if you're not VIP 7, though the simplest way to empty your inventory is to convert items to Refinement Points.
You can read more about Artifacts on this page, but Artifacts are not a priority, and it's better to keep your resources for when you reach end game, as you'll need tons of them.
Loadouts and Paragon (lvl 30+)
At level 30, you get 2 loadouts and you get to choose your Paragon. You can buy more loadouts from the Zen Market (500 Zen each). You can change loadout whenever you want for free at a campfire or in town. On different loadouts, you can make different choices on :
- Ability Scores
Each loadout saves a different state of your character. All the items, mounts and companions you have are accessible on all loadouts, but you can set different ones as active or equipped for each loadout.
Paragon, Ability Scores, Boons, and Feats, are semi-permanent choices : you can change them but it requires a Retraining Token. You can get Retraining Tokens during certain events from time to time, or from the Zen Market (100 Zen each). You also get 3 from the Adventurer's Reward Box at level 31.
I strongly advise getting a damage dealer loadout for solo, even if you want to heal or tank in dungeons. This will make your progression much better, and healing/tanking are really not necessary in solo content.
Join a Guild !
Guilds not only are social places, in which you'll find help and friends, but they also offer their members guild boons, which will balance your stats and give you access to different bonuses. They also give you access to an entire zone, the Stronghold, in which you'll find daily quests and get currency to buy many different things (food, items, overload enchantments, explorer charts for masterwork materials...) when you donate stuff to their coffers.
Guilds cannot give you access to all of the guild boons, so choose your guild wisely. The most important thing for a new player is to get item level. In that regard, the highest level a guild is, the more item level you'll get from their boons, up to 3000, which is a very nice boost to damage and HP early on (300 Damage, 30k HP, +10/20% depending on your role).
Guilds are generally part of Alliances, which have a chat in common. Members of the same alliance can move to any Stronghold of the alliance. So, if you're not happy with the boons your guild offers, even though you like the people, you can always move to another guild of the same alliance, to keep the contact with your current guild mates.
You can look at the list of guild boons on this page !
Once you reach level 70, start the Undermountain campaign. It will give you proper level 70 equipment when you start it, and make you reach level 80. Do not worry about the other campaigns, you’ll have time to do them later. In Undermountain, you’ll get the most important items in the game : good companion gear, and proper equipment to start endgame (+% damage gear mostly). Then you can look at High Level priorities.