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Malone's Mercenary Starter Kit

DISCLAIMER

This guide is primarily designed for beginner players, as I claim not to be an expert in any way. I hope you will learn something new from this guide to enhance your playing experience.


INTRO

Well, if you're looking to be a serious damage dealer, then you've come to the right place! The Mercenary is Albion's premiere dual-wielding fighting tank. While mercs do not get the defensive advantages of plate armor and shields, they more than make up the weakness with their offense. Mercenaries can choose to specialize in any one of the following weapon types: Slashing (Swords, Axes, etc.), Crushing (Hammers, Maces, etc.) or Thrusting (Dirks, Stilettos, etc.). Each weapon type has its strengths and weaknesses versus different types of armor, but choose the type of weapon that suits your style -- there are no wrong choices!

CHARACTER CREATION

You begin your life as a member of the Fighter class. You must choose a race for your character which will determine your starting stats and starting location in Albion.The three choices are Briton, Highlander, and Saracen. The only stats that concern a fighter are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Quickness. Highlanders are blessed with high Strength and Constitution and are best suited to using Slashing or Crushing weapons where Strength alone determines how much damage the weapon does. On the other hand, Saracens are blessed with high Dexterity and Quickness and are more suited to using Thrusting weapons to utilize these abilites to the fullest. Britons fall in between and are balanced in all four of the fighting stats, so there is no real advantage to choosing one weapon type over another. My recommendations for distributing your starting points would be to put 10 into Strength (for carrying more loot/armor and to to do more slashing damage) and Constitution (for more hitpoints) and then put the remaining 10 points into Dexterity or Quickness. Ultimately, its up to you what you want to do -- just don't dump all your points into Piety! Throughout you career, your STR, DEX, and CON stats will continue to increase, while all other stats will never change - except of course if they are modified by magical items.


LIFE AS A FIGHTER (First 5 Levels):

When you first start out, you will appear next to the Fighter Trainer. My starting town was Humberton, so most of the information I will relay to you will be relevant to this starting location. Anyhow, make sure you remember where his location is because you will need to return to him at the start of every level until you reach level 5. If you are absolutely sure what weapon type you will be specializing in, then start pumping training points into it as you gain levels. Doing this will give you access to special attacks which you can use to augment your attacks. Make sure to drag these special attack icons to the Quick Bar (along with the Sprint) for easy access -- allowing you to trigger the special attack or Sprint ability easily from the keyboard.

Here's a link to more information on weapon skills and special attacks:

http://www.classesofcamelot/skills/weapons.shtml

You begin with a starting weapon. Head out a short distance from town and start killing stuff! Click on a monster before you attack it to see what level it is. Monsters that con blue are your best bet. You you may be able to kill yellows too, but it will be harder and add a little more rest time -- though you will get more experience points. Just keep killing stuff, sell the loot to merchants, and check your trainer after you level.

Now to get some equipment. At around level 2 or so, you should be able to take down skeletons. These mobs drop armor which you can start equipping yourself with. Keep upgrading what you are wearing if you find a new piece that has better AF on it. Don't buy any armor at this point, but save your money to first buy yourself a new weapon.

By the time you hit level 5, you should be fully outfitted in some kind of looted armor and a new weapon that you purchased. Get to know the outlying areas around Humberton, like how to get to Ludlow and of course Camelot --- the Big City.

BECOMING A MERCENARY (Level 5)

When you hit level 5 take a trip to Camelot and meet up with the Mercenary Trainer in the Guild of Shadows. He will ask you if you want to become a Mercenary and of course you will agree. At this point, you will be given an Initiate Weapon based on your choice of weapon types. This weapon should be an improvement over what you have and will last you up until Level 10 or so. Keep maxxing out your weapon skill with your training points (you can only go as high as your current level) and save the rest of your points for level 10 when you get Dual Wield. At level 5, you should have a couple of special weapon attacks which will require endurance to use, but really help you bring the mobs down. Since endurance regenerates so quickly, there's really no reason why you shouldn't be using alot of special attacks per fight, unless you want to be cautious and save some endurance for sprint in case you get into trouble.

OK, now back to the equipment discussion. You should try to get into a set of studded iron armor as soon as you can and get rid of the newbie armor you looted. Start saving your money and buy one piece at a time. Also, pickup a decent Medium-sized shield for a little added defense and a Short Bow for pulling mobs to you -- since you have have the skills to use these items. The Mercenary Trainer can supply you with as many free arrows as you need. With decent enough equipment, you should be able to solo yellows pretty well, though you will have to rest a bit between fights. Killing blues is quicker and safer, but you get less experience from them -- its up to you. Try to match up to mobs that your weapons are good against. For instance, if you use slashing weapons, you get a damage bonus versus mobs like lions and bears. With crushing weapons, mobs like ants and spiders will give you a damage bonus. Check for the (-1) or (+1) bonus modifiers when you deal damage. Forest Lions, Bears, Giant Spiders, and Goblin Fisherman are all go mobs to hunt in the Ludlow/Humberton area.

Now, a note on using bows and switching weapons during combat. When you pull a mob, you'll want to wield your bow, fire it, and then switch your sword and shield back on to begin melee. With this in mind, you will want to create Quick Bar keys for your main weapon, shield, and bow. Lets say you map them to keys 5 (main weapon), 6 (shield), and 7 (bow).

To begin a fight you do the following:

Press 7 -- Puts your bow in your hands.
Press 7 -- Aims your bow.
When you see the message that the target is in range and ready to fire then:
Press 7 -- Release an arrow.
Press 6 -- Wield your shield.
Press 5 -- Wield your weapon.
Press Attack Key to begin melee.

I went through a whole level switching my bow and weapon, but not knowing that I needed to load my shield every time too! Oh well...live/die and learn! I keep all these hot keys on a separate Quick Bar from my main melee bank because I only use them before combat. Once combat begins, I switch to my primary melee bank, giving me access to all my special weapon attacks (and sprint).

Keep in mind that your bow is not a high damage weapon like it is for scouts, rangers, and hunters. Its is mostly useful for pulling creatures to you or your group. When you start to make enough money, start buying long range arrows from arrow merchants to increase the distance you can shoot your bow and allow you to get multiple hits in before the mobs hits you. By the way, its possible that you can use Short Bows before level 5, I just don't remember exactly when Mercs get that skill.

WHERE TO HUNT

Finding good places to hunt is always a challenge. One way to do it is to try to get kill tasks from named guards at various places like Camelot, Humberton, and Ludlow. Not only will you make a nice chunk of copper and experience, but you will most likely be given tasks that lead you to mobs that are in your hunting range! Some tasks are much quicker and easier than others, but the good thing is that they force to run around a bit and learn the countryside. You can set up a Quick Bar key to do this by typing in "/macro /whisper task". This way you can quickly (and silently) request tasks from NPCs.

Now, for quick-levelling, get yourself a group or partner and find a good hunting spot with plenty of yellow/orange/red mobs. With a larger group of 5+ people with a healer, 4 or more mobs can be pulled simultaneously and your group should be able to handle them OK. There is no better experience. The downside with grouping in outdoor zones, is that it will not help your money situation very much. So you might want to mix in some solo hunting time or head on over to Mithra's Tomb.

MITHRA'S TOMB

This is a fun little dungeon located in Camelot Hills that you can start going to at around level 7 (with a group) or level 10 (solo). The item drops here are frankly pretty incredible for the level. Stick to the top floor and you will do fine. The nice thing about this dungeon is that ANY loot can drop off of ANY mob, so don't be particular when it comes to picking mobs to kill! Loot drops include:

Forlorn Chain Armor: Incredible armor for level 10+ Mercs to use!
Ceremonial Scimitar: Good slashing weapon.
Ornamental Rapier: Good thrusting weapon.
Lucerne Hammer: Good crushing weapon.
Studded Armor: Nice armor if you don't mind the Leather look.
Other weapons and armor drops that sell for 300+ copper.
Gems which sell from 50 to 150 copper.

Getting weapons and armors that you can use will save you ALOT of money. At level 10 you will need to spend some money on an off-hand weapon. Its best to try to get a steel weapon at this level. Keep in mind that not all weapons are off-hand usable! For slashers, you'll need to get a steel hand axe or short sword for the off hand which will cost you around 1 gold. Buy weapons from players whenever possible because player-crafted weapons are better. Also, for steel weapons or better you might want to visit an enchanter NPC in town have them enchant it for you.

FINAL REMARKS

Well, like I said, this is just a little guide to jump start your Mercenary. After level 10 or so, you should have a pretty good idea how to play your character. Keeping coming to great sites like this one for more information on your class!

Safe Travels!

By Malone
Highlander Mercenary of Albion

 

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Last modified: 02/16/07
 

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