As I was leveling up a low level alt the other day I noticed that a LOT of people must have gotten this game for Christmas - I haven't seen so many people in Kessex Hills since launch! Anyway, in honor of our new batch of up-and-coming heroes I'd like to present 8 lessons I wish I had learned before I hit 80.
- Vitality and Power are your two most important stats early on, in that order. If you're buying gear go for the Vital prefix until you're level 21, then I'd recommend Vigorous. Precision requires a higher amount to get the same crit chance as you gain levels so you outgrow Precision gear quickly, and your armor is high enough early on that Toughness isn't as important as Vitality.
- Upgrade your armor frequently. It makes a tremendous difference for all your stats, not just your survivability. I'd recommend never letting your equipment get more than 10 to 15 levels out of date. You find good weapons much more frequently through drops, so don't worry so much about those compared to your armor.
On a related note, Crafting produces Masterwork (Green) equipment at levels 20, 35, 50, 65 and 80, so those are good times to change your wardrobe.
- If you're going to craft, craft Armor. It's much harder to come by good armor than good weapons. You should be able to collect about the right amount of materials to level up a single crafting profession if you play through normally on one character, but don't be surprised if crafting still drains your gold reserve.
- Defensive Utility Skills should be a priority over offensive ones while you're still learning the game. Sure that huge firestorm is fun, but when you accidentally aggro a pack of raptors having an "Oh Crap!" button to use to escape is the smarter option. Movement based skills that give you swiftness or slow/stop enemies are great for this.
- Don't neglect lower level content. Turning your nose up at an area 5 levels bellow you and trying to complete hearts 2-4 levels higher than your character can make for some pretty difficult and frustrating leveling. You won't lose out on much experience if you're a few levels above your area and it will be a ton easier. In particular, comb lower level areas for Skill Points!
In particular I found that from level 30 to 50 it's hard to keep up with the flow of PvE zones, so skip back to Harathi Hinterlands or Fields of Ruin and clean them out to make up for that.
- Don't feel you have to stay in your race's zone! Content will often level up faster than you do, so if you need a few more levels, take the Asura gate in your home town and visit another race's starting areas.
- Racial skills are crappy, especially the Elites. Get your profession's normal skills first, then go back and get your racial ones last. Notable exception to this are Pain Inverter, Radiation Field, Warband Support and Hounds of Balthazar, but still skip them if you're unsure.
- Salvage Whites, Vendor the rest. For junk equipment you collect, that's how you get the most bang for your buck - the materials you get for salvaging outweigh the coins you'd get for selling common (White) equipment, but the opposite is true for Blue or above.