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Thread: Shadowfox's EPIC Aion Starter Guide

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  1. #1
    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default Shadowfox's EPIC Aion Starter Guide (now with MOAR pictures :D)

    The Starter Guide...

    I’ve decided to steal a page from Voicy’s book (with his permission ) – and do a starter guide for anyone who feels like dipping their toes into the pond that is Aion. As with Voicy’s starter guide for WoW – I’m aiming at the newbies, but I intend to cover some more advanced topics later on if it becomes necessary – hopefully before I stop playing Aion

    NOTE: Aion is a subscription based game, 10 – 14 Euros per month. Depending on the exchange rate and which payment plan you’re on, you can look to pay anything between R90 – R140 per month. The game is divided into regions, and for clarity everything I’m talking about refers to actions taken on the European servers – with some fiddling around you will be able to connect to the US servers, but I’m not certain about the steps you need to take, so I won’t be covering that … just yet.


    Right ... so you've bought the game, now what?

    STEP 1: Getting an Account!

    To register your account, visit the URL http://eu.ncsoft.com/en-gb/ and register. If you’ve played any other NCSoft games (Guildwars, Age of Heroes) – then all you need to do is add the game and the serial key provided on your game card.



    Your purchase usually includes a month of free play, but you will still have to enter your credit card details to enable you to play.

    STEP 2: Choosing a server

    Aion is spread across numerous servers – many of them classified by language (English, French, German etc). Since we’re in SA, I’m assuming most of you will want to play on the mainly English servers, which gives you the following servers to choose from:

    1. Spatalos
    2. Gorgos
    3. Kalil
    4. Kahrun
    5. Perentos
    6. Telemachus



    These servers cater mostly to English players, but some of the other languages you’ll encounter includes Polish, Russian, Dutch and the Scandinavian variants.

    Keep in mind that creating a character of one race on a server removes the ability to create another character of a different race on the same server. You are, however, free to create a character of a different race on another server.

    Keep in mind - this is not a leveling guide. It would require playing through both the Elyos and the Asmodian campaigns - multiple times, something I simply don't have time for. If there is enough demand - I'll do a quick walk-through of the Elyos pre-ascension quests that can and will get you ascended in 3 hours or less - but that will be a project for later.

    If you've made your way through the starter guide - I'm covering some other topics surrounding Aion below:
    1. I'm using a lot of MMO Speak in this guide, so you may want to keep the following list of MMO terms and definitions handy.
    Last edited by shadowfox; 14-04-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default Character creation

    Step 3: Creating a character

    This is probably the most important step when starting to play. This is because you’ll be spending a lot of time with the character – so you’ll want to spend a bit of time thinking about this – your race, body, face, class (which will determine your final profession as well).

    There are 3 prominent races in Aion: Elyos, Asmodian and Balaur. Of these 3, the Elyos and Asmodians are the only playable races. The Balaur feature as a common enemy and form a large part of the game’s storyline.

    As part of a particular race, you are free to visit any outpost/town/city occupied by your race, and you are also free to invade the territory of the opposing race and attack or kill any players or NPCs you encounter there.

    As part of your chosen race you’ll also – later on in the game (level 25 onwards) be able to visit the Abyss, where you are likely to encounter members of the other 2 races.

    So, which race do I choose?

    The choice between Asmodian and Elyos is almost completely cosmetic – there are no differences in abilities and no class restrictions. There are some minor differences in skills and stigma spells (limited to names mostly) – but for the most part these skills are similar in nature.

    In the end, it really comes down to which race you think suits your personality – and to help you along I’ve added a short description of each of the two playable races:

    Elyos:

    After the Cataclysm, the Elyos found themselves occupying the lower half of Atreia, bathed in sunlight which resulted in a beautiful, graceful and radiant white-winged race. The Elyos, as a race, can be warm and comforting, but their beauty has resulted in them becoming arrogant. The Elyos are servants of the Seraphim lords, and their capital is the floating city of Sanctum.

    Asmodians:

    After the Cataclysm, the Asmodians were plunged into a world of darkness, and after time started changing, adapting to the darkness. Due to the harshness of their world, Asmodians are strong and hardy, with clawed hands and feet and black wings – in battle, their eyes glow red. The Asmodians are fiercely loyal to their own, but have in recent times become increasingly hostile. They are servants of the Shedim lords, and their capital can be found at Pandemonium.

    Classes:

    When you start the game, and before your Ascension quest at level 9 (which also grants you your wings) – you are given four basic classes to choose from. Once you ascend, each of these four classes offers two specialist professions, which will determine the role you play for the rest of the game.

    I’d advise you to think very carefully about your specialist class – you can’t change your mind later on once you’ve made your final confirmation.

    The roles can be defined as follows:

    Tanking: Their jobs consist of taking the aggro and soaking up damage while the others do the damage.

    DPS (damage per second): Their jobs consist of doing damage, as much as possible, as fast as possible. They can be divided into melee DPS and ranged DPS.

    Healing: Their job probably one of the most important – keeping the group, and especially the tank, alive.

    CC: When in Elite areas, ideally you only want to be taking on one critter at a time. CC’s have the job of sleeping and rooting any additionals until such time as the tank can turn their attention from their target. CCs tend to take a lot of aggro, and usually don’t last long if they’re targeted.

    Buffs: These guys provide the group with some handy power-ups to help them in their battles.

    Let’s take a quick look at the base classes – I’ll cover the specialists in the next section:

    Warriors

    The Warrior is a melee class. Starting off, you have the ability to wield swords, maces and use a shield for defence. For armour, you’ll start off with chain armour.

    Warriors deal out a respectable amount of damage to their foes, and can soak up some damage as well thanks to chain armor. However, they have little ability to stun their foes, and it’s recommended you carry a few healing potions along when questing.

    Specialist classes: Gladiator & Templar

    Scout

    The Scouts are a melee class. They start off with the ability to wield swords and daggers, and gain the ability to dual wield fairly early on. Armour-wise, Scouts wear leather armour.

    Scouts deal out less damage than Warriors, and due to the fact that they wear leather armour, are not nearly as hardy as Warriors. However, their ability to hide, move quickly and their high chance of critical strikes (which interrupt long-casting skills), as well as surprise attacks and high evasion offer them the ability to kill their opponent before a significant amount of damage is taken.

    Carrying healing potions is recommended though.

    Specialist classes: Assassin & Ranger

    Priest

    Priests are a melee class with some ranged spell-casting ability. They start off with leather armour and with maces as a weapon, and also have the ability to use shields for defence.

    They do a decent amount of damage, and due to the fact that they carry shields are able to soak up a little more damage than Scouts – beyond this their healing abilities make them a force to be reckoned with. However, due to the fact that they wear leather armour, their healing skills do stand a chance to be interrupted. But, careful play insures that you don’t have to waste inventory space on healing potions – however, having some mana potions on hand might not be a bad idea.

    Specialist classes: Cleric & Chanter

    Mage

    The mage is a spell-caster specializing in ranged attacks. They are equipped with cloth armour, which makes them somewhat fragile in combat, although they gain some shielding spells fairly early on – use this to gain distance and immobilize your opponent though – not to stand face-to-face exchanging punches. While not as good at evading as Scouts, the cloth armour does provide the mage with a fair amount of mobility.

    For a weapon the Mage starts with a spellbook – I’d urge you not to rely on it though – its attack rate is extremely slow and the amount of damage dealt is negligible. Keep your distance and use spells – the amount of damage the Mage does is higher than any of the other classes at this stage of the game.
    Mages should keep both mana and healing potions on them for emergencies.

    Specialist classes: Sorcerer & Spiritmaster

    I'll be covering the specialist classes (also referred to as sub-classes) in the next section. Still busy with it, so you may have to wait a little longer.
    Last edited by shadowfox; 14-04-2010 at 02:52 PM.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default On to the specialist classes

    I've Ascended - What Now?!

    Once you reach level 9, you'll be given access to your Ascendance quest. Once completed the NPC which gives you the quest will offer you two choices, based on your starting class. Whichever one of these choices you pick determines your class for the rest of the game. Be very sure when you make your choice, you're stuck with it once you've done the final confirmation. No going back.

    The choices offered are the following:

    Warriors get to choose between Gladiators and Templars
    Scouts get to choose between Rangers and Assassins
    Priests get to choose between Clerics and Chanters
    Mages get to choose between Sorcerers and Spiritmasters

    Let's take a brief look at each of them:

    Templars

    The templars are primarily tanks. At level 10, they gain the ability to wear plate armour. They can soak up tremendous amounts of damage, but, on the flipside, the amount of damage they deal out tends to be fairly low.

    Templar abilities make them more resistant to stun and knockdown skills, and tends to cause more emnity than the skills of other classes, enabling the templar to keep mobs focussed on attacking them so the rest of their group can do the major damage. This does require a lot of work on the part of the player - making Templar one of the less popular class choices. When in groups though, the Templar needs to have a good healer present.

    Base attributes:
    Power 115/Health 100/Agility 100/Accuracy 100/Knowledge 90/Will 105

    Available weapons:
    Swords/Maces/Greatswords

    Roles:
    Tank/DPS

    Gladiators

    Gladiators are focused on DPS - they're slow on attack, but deal out tremendous amounts of damage. As with Templars, they gain the ability to wear plate armour at level 10, and can also use most of the weapon types in the game (excepting Sorc weapons and the staff). They have almost no healing ability.

    Gladiators are very versatile - they can switch between being primary damage dealers, to off-tanking and later on Gladiators even have the ability to be a group's primary tank - dependant on the healer's ability. Several of the Gladiator's skills allow it to take on and deal damage to more than one opponent at once. Due to this versatility the Gladiator is one of the more popular class choices.

    Base attributes:
    Power 115/Health 115/Agility 100/Accuracy 100/Knowledge 90/Will 90

    Available Weapons:
    Swords/Daggers/Maces/Greatswords/Polearms/Bows

    Roles:
    DPS/Tank

    Rangers

    Rangers fall solidly into the DPS class, but also have the ability to engage in limited CC using a variety of traps. Rangers rely mostly on their bows (which can be used from level 10 onwards) to inflict massive damage using ranged attacks, and are excellent at kiting high-level and elite mobs. Their ability to hide also allows them to sneak into a lot of places unseen.

    Rangers wear leather armour, and have a naturally high evasion ability - coupled with some skills that boost evasion and magic resistance, they are excellent at solo play and are valuable additions to groups. Due to the fact that they wear leather armour, they do tend to be soft targets and can't take many hits. They are still fairly versatile, and can switch between melee and ranged combat, but lacking the skills that makes an assassin so dangerous, its usually a good idea to keep their distance.

    Base attributes:
    Power 100/Health 100/Agility 115/Accuracy 115/Knowledge 90/Will 90

    Available weapons:
    Bows/Daggers/Swords

    Roles:
    DPS/CC

    Assassins

    Assassins are probably one of the most dangerous classes in the game where PvP is concerned. Like the Ranger, they wear leather armor, and possess the ability to hide. In addition, their ability to do high levels of DPS along with the barrage of stunning attacks they can employ can usually keep an enemy from effectively attacking them. Their primary weapon, daggers, are low damage weapons, but have a much higher base crit chance.

    Unlike the Ranger, the Assassin needs to get up close and personal to be able to do damage and can't take a lot of hits before going down. Like the Ranger, they have skills that boost Evasion and Resists, but the fact that they are within easy reach of most melee opponents makes this a challenging class to play. They tend to do pretty well against ranged opponents. The Assassin is a tremendously popular class to go rifting with.

    Base attributes:
    Power 110/Health 100/Agility 110/Accuracy 110/Knowledge 90/Will 90

    Available weapons:
    Daggers/Swords/Bows

    Roles:
    DPS

    Clerics

    Clerics are Aion's healers, with limited ability to buff. At level 10, they gain the ability to equip chain armour, giving them a much higher level of protection than the leather they start out with. Chain also inherently gives concentration bonuses. Despite this, Clerics are no weaklings when it comes to solo play. They lack the range of melee skills other classes are equipped with, but possess the ability to do massive damage with ranged spells.

    Clerics are a primary component of groups - they can almost singlehandedly keep an entire group going by pouring out huge amounts of healing power. However, healing the group tends to draw a lot of aggro their way; using the shield/mace combo helps reduce damage until other party-members can help out; in addition they also have skills to reduce emnity. Another role is the removal of debuffs/conditions on themselves and party-members.

    A major drawback for clerics is the rate at which they burn through mana - clerics need to rest often after intensive encounters.

    Base attributes:
    Power 105/Health 110/Agility 90/Accuracy 90/Knowledge 105/Will 110

    Available weapons:

    Maces/Staves

    Roles:
    Healing/Buffs/Limited CC
    Last edited by shadowfox; 14-04-2010 at 02:53 PM.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default And the rest of the classes

    Chanters

    Chanters can be classified as a jack-of-all-trades, but their primary mission in Aion are to be the buffers. At level 10, like Clerics, they gain the ability to equip chain armour, giving them a boost in defense and concentration. Chanters possess more physical attack skills, especially chains, which can inflict large amounts of damage, and while equipped with a staff can inflict regular knock-downs on opponents. Their ability to deal damage and heal themselves make them well equipped for solo play; however, Chanters are somewhat disadvantaged in PvP until higher levels.

    In groups, Chanters possess the ability to buff the entire group through the use of mantras and can also back up the Cleric in tough situations with low level group heals and single healing spells, and when equipped with a shield and a mace can also perform limited tanking. Unfortunately, their damage dealing abilities are not very high - limiting their ability to end fights quickly.

    They're not quite as mana intensive as Clerics, and can regenerate mana and health faster with some of their mantras.

    Base attributes:
    Power 110/Health 105/Agility 90/Accuracy 90/Knowledge 105/Will 110

    Available weapons:
    Maces/Staves

    Roles:
    Buffs/Healing/DPS/Limited Tank

    Sorcerers

    Sorcerers are the undisputed masters of high-damage spells. The Sorcerer doesn't gain any new armour at level 10, staying with cloth, which makes them one of the more vulnerable classes in Aion. They have several protection spells which can even things out a bit, but without these, Sorcerers can go down to any high DPS class which manages to get in close. At level 10, the sorcerer gets the ability to wield Orbs - which are floating balls hovering between their hands. Unlike the spell-book, the orb is a melee weapon, and while it does cause more damage, I recommend using it as a last resort, as it does have a slow attack speed.

    In groups, the sorcerer has a dual role as DPS and CC which makes them a valuable addition to any group; spells at later levels, while slow-casting, do enourmous amounts of damage, and the sorcerer can also sleep and root mobs to keep them off the cleric's back (remember the aggro caused by healing) so he can keep the Templar on his feet rather than run around screaming for help. In PvP, provided the Sorcerer can keep his opponent at a distance, they are incredibly dangerous and melee characters are at a distinct disadvantage. They do have trouble against Rangers, Spiritmasters and Clerics.

    While mana intensive, Sorcerers have some fairly good mana management abilities, meaning that they don't really have to rely on mana potions.

    Base attributes:
    Power 90/Health 90/Agility 100/Accuracy 100/Knowledge 120/Will 110

    Available weapons:
    Spellbooks/Orbs

    Roles:
    DPS/CC

    Spiritmasters

    Like Sorcerers, Spiritmasters are also spellcasters - but DPS spells are actually a secondary skill. The Spiritmaster, as the name implies, relies on the control of summoned spirits to do damage, while standing in the background and utilising DoT spells and limited CC to keep the enemy away from them. The Spiritmaster has access to 4 types of spirits - Water, Earth, Fire and Wind, each of which have attributes that suit them for a particular role. As an added bonus, the Spiritmaster can also heal his spirit and keep it going for a lot longer. Due to the fact that their opponents are usually focused on the spirit in PvE - the Spiritmaster can actually utilise the additional damage of the Orbs by dashing in and thumping them a few times.

    In groups, the Spiritmaster is focused on DPS, with limited CC capabilities. The SM however, doesn't have the same spread of mana management skills as the Sorcerer though, and tends to burn through mana at an amazing pace. In PvP the SM is equally, if not more dangerous, than the Sorcerer, since at later level you ignore the spirits at your peril, and the SM has a wide range of DoT spells that do massive damage while at the same time hindering an opponents ability to move quickly.

    Spiritmasters are probably, like the Ranger, one of the best kiting classes available - given space to move about they can relatively easily take out Elite mobs several levels higher than themselves.

    Base attributes:
    Power 90/Health 90/Agility 100/Accuracy 100/Knowledge 115/Will 115

    Available weapons:
    Spellbooks / Orbs

    Roles:
    DPS/Limited CC
    Last edited by shadowfox; 12-04-2010 at 09:29 AM.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default A quick look at crafting

    Before playing Aion, I've never had to really deal with crafting as such, so getting into it was something of a new experience. Based on what I've heard and experience though, crafting in Aion is somewhat complicated (and not noob-friendly), so I'm going to attempt to simplify it a little bit. We hope.

    Crafting requires a range of different materials - some of this you will be gathering (I'll do a quick run-through of gathering at a later point), and other materials you will receive as drops from mobs that you kill.

    Aion has 6 different crafting disciplines:
    1. Armorsmithing
    2. Tailoring
    3. Cooking
    4. Alchemy
    5. Weaponsmithing
    6. Handicrafting

    In addition, each of these professions has different levels of mastery, and you level it up in a similar way to your normal experience:
    Lesser crafting: 1 - 99P
    Regular crafting: 100 - 199P
    Greater crafting: 200 - 299P
    Expert crafting: 300 - 399P
    Master crafting: 400 - 449P

    Gathering

    Gathering is not a profession as such - everybody can do it, and it levels up in the same way as the crafting professions. As such, I'd recommend you start gathering early on and keep gathering, since many of your later missions require you to gather materials for your rewards - without your gathering leveled up you'll be forced to buy the materials at the Trade Broker, which can become extremely expensive later on.

    Some materials can't be gathered and can only be purchased from shops in the crafting area, but these materials, as a rule, are fairly cheap. These same shops also carry the more generic recipes for items, which you can buy and learn when you reach the appropriate level of skill. Other recipes can be picked up as mob drops during your quests, and your Crafting Skill Trainer will sometimes give you a recipe as a reward for completing Work Orders.

    Work Orders

    Work Orders are relatively quick ways of leveling up your Crafting Skills. Work Orders are provided by your Crafting Skill Trainer, who will also provide you with some of the materials needed to complete the order - the rest of the materials you will need to purchase from the Crafting Shop in your crafting area. This is less time consuming than gathering materials and producing weapons, items and armor, but becomes very expensive later on; not to mention monotonous. On completing the Work Orders you return to your Trainer with the completed product(s), for which you will be rewarded with basic recipes, materials and a small amount of XP.

    As you reach the top end (99P, 199P, etc) of your particular crafting level, you will need to visit your Crafting Skill Trainer and pay a fee to upgrade yourself to the next level - so, on reaching 99P in say Armorsmithing, you go to your master, pay the required fee, and will be upgraded to a Regular crafter at 100P.

    Crafting can only be done in the respective Crafting Halls of each race in Sanctum and Pandaemonium. A player can do as many of the crafting disciplines as they like, or even all of them, but you can only achieve Mastery in 1, and you can only be Expert in two disciplines. So assuming you push your crafting as far as you can, it will look something like this:

    |-1 x Master
    |--1 x Expert
    |---The rest


    I'm not going to recommend any particular discipline for any particular class - my views will probably differ from many other players. In addition, leveling crafting skills are incredibly time consuming and can become prohibitively expensive, making many players opt to rather just buy what they need - disregarding the excessive prices some players charge for their crafted items.

    However, I'd recommend players spend some time on Cooking and Alchemy at the very least, even if you don't go beyond Greater crafting. Food can give several useful buffs, and having potions on you can get you out of some sticky situations (such as running out of flight-time in the middle of the Abyss).

    Let's hope the descriptions below make the choice easier - just be aware that some things may not be obvious (Ranger bows and Chanter/Cleric staves fall under Handicrafting, for instance).

    Below is a brief overview of each of the crafting disciplines:

    Armorsmithing:

    Armorsmithing grants you the ability to craft metal armors - that is: chain and plate armor for use by the priest and warrior classes. In addition, chain or plate helmets (which can be worn by anyone) and shields can also be crafted using this discipline.

    Basic ingredients include metal ores, armor fluxes and aether. Sadly, armorsmithing is quite expensive, the ores need to be refined into usable metal, and any piece or armor you make tends to require several armor fluxes. Leveling up your armorsmithing can also be a massive timesink, and unless you proc when crafting, the armor can be relatively worthless.

    Tailoring:

    Tailoring is to leather and cloth what armorsmithing is to metals, and gives you the ability to craft cloth and leather armor for use by the mage and scout classes respectively. It also crafts cloth/leather belts and cloth/leather helmets.

    Basic ingredients include plant fibres for cloth, which can be gathered, and leather, which drops from mobs - along with aether powder and armor fluxes. Unfortunately, tailoring can be just as expensive - if not more so - than armorsmithing, since some of your materials are dependant on drops, and you may be forced to visit the Trade Broker for materials. These materials also require some refinement before they can be used.

    Cooking:

    Cooking gives you the ability to craft food. Cooking is seen by many as a relatively useless profession; since in many ways it doesn't carry the same weight as other professions - however, this is not completely true. Food can give you several important boosts to your attributes, along with speeding up HP and MP treatment - at later levels the boosts given by food purchased from general dealers in town simply isn't good enough.

    Compared to other crafting professions Cooking is very cheap to level up, although you shouldn't expect any great return in income. Basic ingredients are multiple - gathering from plants, lakes (fish), drops from mobs (meat) - later on you will be using aether in your cooking as well.

    Alchemy:

    Alchemy covers the creation of potions, scrolls, manastones, Orbs and Spellbooks. Pretty self-explanatory, but this discipline requires a fairly wide range of materials to be used - which can chew into your open inventory space at an alarming rate. Potions require the gathering of various plants, along with elemental stones, which needs to be refined. Where Orbs and Spellbooks are concerned Weapon Fluxes are a requirement as well, while flight potions and later potions will require aether materials.

    Apart from the space required, Alchemy can also turn into quite an expensive crafting discipline to level up.

    Weaponsmithing:

    Weaponsmithing concerns the crafting (or forging, if you will), of bladed weapons such as swords, daggers, polearms and greatswords and blunt weapons like maces. These are weapons particularly utilised by the Warrior classes, which makes people recommend this one for those classes above others. However, given the difficulty of crafting quality weapons, it is often better to just buy your weapons or hope for a good drop.

    Weaponsmithing relies mostly on gathered metals and aether, along with weapon fluxes which drop from mobs. As with Tailoring and Armorsmithing, a very expensive craft to level up.

    Handicrafting

    Handicrafting covers the creation of Accessories for the most part, such as certain types of headgear, earrings and rings - and, notably for the Chanters and Rangers, bows and staves. Primary materials needed for accessories include precious metals (such as silver and platinum) and crystals (which is rare and more difficult to gather), aether and Accessory Fluxes, with the weapons requiring aether, wood and weapon fluxes.

    Handicrafting is second only to Alchemy with regards to the sheer number of items that can be produced, and is recommended as the best way to proceed if you want to craft for money.

    ----------------

    As I've mentioned earlier in this section, Aion's crafting system is not noob friendly, and later on can become daunting to even the more experienced players - even those that have the patience to see it through. Since I'm running out of space here, I'll give a brief walk-through of the crafting process once I've finished compiling it (with pics)

    Source for some of my info: Aion Armory
    Last edited by shadowfox; 13-04-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default

    reserved post 1/3
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    Default

    Awesome guide there man! thanks for putting in the effort!

    Perhaps put in a hyperlink to the Mygaming character / server list for quick reference on who wants to roll as asmo/elyos and has trouble deciding.
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    Default

    There's still more coming - I'm just suddenly finding myself severely short of time. MOAR pics too

    I'll add a link soon - but I'm sure the list needs to be updated.
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    Default

    Heya Shadowfox, I just read over your guide again. Really cool!

    Any info on the expansion you'd like to share with us?
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    Anime Junkie shadowfox's Avatar
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    I was thinking that I should do something about it ... bar the fact that I'm not level 50 yet and actually need to play into it. Regardless ... there is some new content added for lower levels - so I'll take a look at putting something about it up during the next week or so
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