The Road to level 60: Part 1
Have a little class
The first and most important decision you will make as a Dragon Nest player is which class to choose. Personal preference is important. Ranged classes like Archers and Sorceresses are skilled at ranged combat, but might suffer from lower HP. Tinkerers offer a hardy companion in the form of Alfredo, and Clerics can buff and heal themselves. Kali and Warriors can drastically change as they advance in their sub-classes.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of each class, and never be afraid of starting over from scratch with a new character.
A Brave New World
You enter the world of Altera in the middle of chaos. Each class has a different intro, but they all serve to set up the world and mechanics of Altera.
Once you complete the tutorial, if you are a Tinkerer, Sorceress or Cleric, you will start in the Town of Mana Ridge, and if you pick a Kali, Warrior or Archer you will start in quaint Ironwood Village.
These Towns will serve as your quest hub until level 9, when you move on the Carderock Pass.
Towns provide you with a number of services. You can purchase, repair and enhance items, send and receive mail and get new quests. Also, you can open the Dragon Vault, which is home to some of the most precious treasures in all of Altera.
The first rule of leveling: Always finish the story quests. They provide a ton of EXP, can provide access to enhanced equipment, and to top it all off, they are the best way to experience the wonders of Altera.
Story quests can be distinguished by their gold color, as opposed to Daily quests, which are green, and side quests, which are blue.
The first aspect of Dragon Nest that you should master is the map system. You have 2 maps; the mini-map, at the bottom of your screen, and the World Map, which can be opened by hitting the default hotkey, ‘M’.
While you’re in a Town, pay close attention to the icons on your map; exclamation points (!) signal a new quest you can accept, whereas question marks (?) mark a quest that has been completed and can be turned in.
It’s wise to accept as many side quests as possible, especially early on, as many of these quests can be completed in conjunction with your main Story quest.
Field of Dreams
If you want to join a party, make sure you do it in town. Once you step outside, you’ll be in a field, and you’ll be unable to join a party.
Fields are the midpoint between Towns and Dungeons. You can still find the occasional NPC to give you a quest, and stations to repair your gear, but you cannot open the Dragon Vault to purchase cash items, or open Mail that has been delivered to your inbox.
On your mini-map, you can see 3 kinds of portals. The blue-green, house-shaped portal will take you to a town. The green, gate-shaped portal will take you to another field and the orange portal with crossed swords will allow you to choose from 1-5 different dungeons.
When you first enter a dungeon hub, take a second to orient yourself with the UI. The dungeon hub will tell you the suggested level and rewards of a dungeon, as well as any available quests for the dungeon, and will allow you to select the difficulty of your chosen dungeon.
More difficult dungeons will allow you to garner greater rewards and more EXP, but the enemies and bosses are far more difficult. At this point in the game, you will be able to select from Easy, Normal, Hard and Master, with Easy being easiest, and Master the hardest.
Keep a close eye on the PWR gauge beneath your hotkeys. When you consume all 600 PWR points in one day, you will dip into a reserve of PWR. When that is depleted you will only receive 20% of the items you could get when you have PWR points.
Each dungeon you complete will reduce your PWR, and harder difficulties will consume more PWR than lesser difficulties.
Your first dungeon will not be terribly difficult, but it will allow you to grasp the fundamentals of Dragon Nest’s combat. Regular attacks, special attacks and skills will be explained in detail, in addition to explanations on the various treasures you will find during combat.
At the end of every dungeon is a boss. It goes without saying that bosses possess more HP and Attack power, and will often require a little bit more strategy to defeat than your average monster.
After you take down the Boss of the dungeon, make sure you have room in your inventory, because you will have a chance to win a bonus reward at the end. You will be presented with the choice of one of 4 Treasure Chests. If you pick the golden or silver chest, you will get a valuable reward.
Every Dungeon hub has an Adventurer’s Guild Commission Board nearby. Commission Boards can offer you additional side quest chains for every Dungeon. Completing these quests will reward you with much needed bonus money and EXP.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Each time you level up, you can open up your Level Up Reward Chest, in your NX Inventory. Your Level Up Reward Chest contains potions, costumes and other helpful items that will help you quit a bit in your struggles to come. The Chest also contains discount coupons that can net you much needed storage at a deep discount. Using these coupons to save a ton of NX in the Dragon Vault.
Level 9 Already?
Levels 1-9 can be spent in the initial dungeons, and if you stack your quests correctly, they will go by in a flash. Once you reach level 9, you can venture to the Crystal Stream field, and beyond that, the charming little hamlet of Carderock Pass.
Carderock Pass provides you with more NPCs and quests, as well as a whole new range of Fields and Dungeons.
Hard as a Carderock
Carderock has NPCs that will provide quests to dungeons that are both North and South of the Town, so it’s the perfect place to start using the quest tracker’s direction arrows to guide you to the appropriate Dungeon.
Carderock Pass also contains the first Marketplace Master. The Marketplace is a great place to go for Equipment, Enhancement materials and more.
At this point, you should have at least a few pieces of Magical Equipment, which are identifiable by the green border around their icon. You can get the most out of this gear by Enhancing, or granting bonus stats to them, at the blacksmith, Korin. The higher quality an item, the more it costs to enhance it. Be careful, Enhancing an item over +6 can result in a broken item, but the results more than outweigh the risks.
Carderock Pass is also a good place to network. Find a few higher level players, and group up to run the newly uncovered Abyss difficulty. Abyss offers an even higher tier of rewards, but can be next to impossible for the solo player to complete alone.
If you don’t find any players wandering around town, open the main menu and select a different channel until you find willing party members.
Grinding Through the Ranks
The Dungeons within the Crystal Stream field will be able to carry you from level 9 to level 16. Once you reach level 16, you can focus on Ashen Ruins and some of the Autumn Shore dungeons. Keep in mind, there are dungeons for both of these level ranges in all 3 of these Fields, but focusing on one at a time will keep you from having to travel back and forth.
A Different Class
Once you reach level 15, you can take part in your first Class Specialization quest. The Class Specialization quest chain might seem like an unneeded distraction, but the new skills you acquire can definitely make the difference between failure and success. Make sure to read up on the style and skills of the Class Specializations available to you, as they can only be changed by purchasing a Class Change (2nd/3rd) scroll from the Dragon Vault.
Every Day is a Winding Road
At level 16, you can start taking Daily quests from Jeff in Carderock Pass. Daily quests award you with more bonus EXP, but more importantly, they reward Goddess Teardrops, which can be used to purchase powerful weapons and armor from Jeff.
When you hit level 24, if you’ve been keeping up with your Main Story quest, you can travel to the biggest town in all of Altera, Saint’s Haven. But more on that later…
To Be Continued!