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SotA Leveling Guide

Themo Lock

Finding the right zone to start off in is quite often the first thing that confuses and enrages people, so i offer this advice...
Look at the skull pole at the scene entrance
The number of skulls on these poles indicate the difficulty level of the scene, when starting off you are looking for a pole with a single skull. A good example is South Valeway in the Hidden Vale, so lets start there.

Straight ahead when you enter, you will find a pack of grey wolves. These are great starting creatures that can also be skinned with the use of a skinning knife (skin and loot everything). Try to engage as few as possible when you first start off and slowly back away as you fight to avoid triggering additional creatures (but do not move too far away or the creature will lose interest and path back to its spawn area). Keep killing these wolves until you find that you can kill them very quickly and can handle 3 or 4 at once. That is the indicator that you are ready to go find a 2 skull area to train in. If looking for humanoids (for farming gold) West Perennial Trail has a nice low level bandit camp, and Kings Road has a good cluster of weak undead.

West Ravenswood (2 skull) is right next to the South Valeway scene. Directly to the right of the entrance you will find large grey wolves and large brown bears... train on these in the same way as the wolves in South Valeway until you are finding them very fast and easy to kill. Then we move on to a 3 skull area. West Veiled Swamp is another good 2 skull option, with skeletons for gold and crocodiles for skinning and suet.

Greymark Forest (3 skull) is along the road to the north and, though it has no skull pole, trust me it is a 3 skull scene. This zone also has large grey wolves, but the things you want to be training on here are the elves. If you follow the path forwards, you will encounter a burning cart flanked by elf warriors and an archer, train on these until you no longer find them a challenge. Remember to control where the combat takes place as much as possible to avoid being swarmed by additional mobs. Being humanoid, these mobs have loot that can be salvaged or sold to help pay for repairs and further skill training. This scene also has a high number of harvestable trees. Another good 3 skull area is South Brightbone woods, with humanoid wizards and archers to farm reagents and arrows.

South Ravenswood (4 skull) is our next port of call. Directly to the left of the entrance you will find large timber wolves ... you know the drill.

Deep Ravenswood (5 skull) is where we ultimately end up. When first progressing to this scene, take a left and train on the elder wolves that are here in great number. When you feel these are no longer a challenge .. move further to the left and start fighting red spiders (at this point an end game mob) in larger and larger numbers until you are rounding up 10 to 12 at a time. Without holding a control point solo or as a 2 man team, there is no faster leveling than on the large red spiders. Another 5 skull option is Savrenoc Stronghold in the Grunvald region.

Adventure level is a somewhat hidden level *eye twitches* that can be found by pressing "V" and scrolling to the top. When fighting against creatures this level is compared to the level of the mob you are fighting to help determine both your chance to hit and your chance to be hit. If you move to a 5 skull area too soon, you are going to miss too often and get eaten. This level has no function for PVP.

At the bottom of the screen you will find your producer and adventurer EXP pools. When you kill stuff, this pool fills up and when you use skills that are set to gain levels, exp is moved from this pool into those skills upon use. It is important to keep a balance when adventuring so that the exp coming into that pool is greater than the exp going out.
One way to manage this is to make sure you don't have too many skills set to train at once, particularly innate skills (which are a huge drain). Skills with a green arrow are set to gain exp, a yellow arrow will maintain themselves and a - means it is set to gain no further exp. While this doesn't exactly slow exp income, it will greatly slow individual skill gain. I am not going to talk about skill decay here *eye twitches*.
The other important thing to keep track of is that you are killing things fast enough and at a high enough level that your pool is benefiting from your time spent. If you train on mobs that are too easy, your pool will slowly deplete and, while you will still slowly gain adv levels, your skill gains will slow down until they stop completely. The more exp in that pool, the more exp per use your individual skill will gain.

Player created gear is a huge help, especially gear created with critical success. You will be able to withstand more damage and deal more damage per second. Gathering materials to either craft this gear yourself or to get others to craft it for you is an early game priority.

Grandmasteries are skills that have reached a level of 100+. When in a party with somebody who has a GM in a skill that you are using, you will receive an apprenticeship bonus, causing that skill to level up at a faster rate.

Quests: Questing to start off can give you a large starting exp pool and set you at roughly level 30-35, do not ignore quests ;)

Skinning and looting: Skinning and looting your kills is not only for gathering to fund repairs and training... mobs will not respawn if they are still laying there dead. Skin/loot as you go to keep them coming back as fast as possible.

Healing: If you are going to play solo and you are concerned with speed of progression, you need healing of some type. Healing touch is the most obvious choice, though you can get there with death magic and water magic as well. The water elemental is very useful for throwing out heals as you go. Heals will become more effective as you raise both the level of the spell and the associated attunement level. Healing potions are another choice, though they are more of a supplement rather than an alternative.

Shardfalls are another option for leveling, keep in mind though that these scenes are open PVP zones and you can be attacked and killed and partially looted(or pay the ransom to get your stuff back).
These areas have large, man-eating plants known as Flesh-flayers that are fairly top end EXP gain for a reasonable difficulty level. When you reach the point where you can kill them without being reduced to half health, this zone can be a good speed grind area.
The Golems here on the other hand have one of the highest defensive ratings of any mob in the game and are slow to kill until you are quite high level. The shardfalls are a very rich source of ore, and Grunvald is a good place for cotton, Verdantis a great place for wood.

The following video show the two different styles of leveling i use, the first part is a leisurely run around Grunvald shardfall, the second is a small spider pull in Deep Ravenswood, followed by a huge pull at the end (operating on the concept that if you are not almost dead, you can handle more mobs)

Ideal Locations for mining include...
Owls Nest Mine (hidden Vale) has a nice amount of iron, copper and sapphire crystals with just a couple of wolves to guard them (unless you irritate the bandits). One of the safest areas for high level ore nodes. I Start my mining leveling here, harvesting crystals and putting up with fails (you still get exp) and often still return to this area late game.

The Epitaph (in Desolace). As you enter, go to the bottom of the stairs to the area with a couple of slimes. In this location, and also behind the nearest door are some fast respawning, high level copper nodes. An excellent source of tin.

Graff Gem Mines have some nice iron nodes (for nickel) and are the best location in game to find silver nodes. You will need to fight your way past some kobolds, but the mobs themselves can be nice to farm here for weapons to salvage for scrap.