Some would have you believe that life in Aion begins at level 55. Others say endgame is at 50 (to dominate in Dredgion) or at 35 (to maximize the rifting experience). Content may even seem geared only toward these higher levels; this can leave Daevalings little but to hope they acquire levels and power at a break-neck pace in order to participate, a concept that may not be appetizing to newer players just starting the game.
Well hogwash and poppycock! Don't listen to those nattering old naysayers -- NCsoft has not left the lowest-level players out in the cold when it comes it content. In fact, of the three solo instances introduced in Assault on Balaurea, one was designed specifically for the freshly ascended crowd. Catering to levels 18-22, Haramel offers the same benefits of the other instances -- namely, loot and XP sans group -- with the added bonuses of small time commitment and helping new Daevas become more comfortable with the game.
Zone in past the cut for Wings Over Atreia's guide to a Daeva's first instance: Haramel.
On your marks...
You young whippersnappers are soo spoiled! One notable difference between Haramel and the other solo instances is the lack of an entry quest. It's a good thing too, else we may have more players give up in frustration before they can even taste of PvP in the Abyss! While Kromede's Trial doesn't require too much, the entrance quest for Taloc's Hollow makes some Daevas rue the day they leveled to 51. That isn't to say that you won't want to grab what available quests you can before heading in; you definitely want to make the most of this short-lived experience!
Getting to the instance isn't difficult either -- just take a flight path to Impetusium in Altgard (Asmodians) or Cantas Coast in Verteron (Elyos) and saunter just a few steps away to the entrance. With the new game maps, the instance is displayed as a large cave and is difficult to miss.
Although a quest is not necessary to zone into Haramel, Daevas will want to grab one quest before heading in: Odella, Odella, Where Art Thou? in Altgard or Big Kinah in Verteron Citadel (look for the pink quest icons). These quests involve simply clicking a couple of items before entering the instance, and then they are ready for turn in after speaking to the Shugo just inside. Definitely a good return on your time investment. Other quests are available once you're inside, and others still will be available after you complete your first run (including a coin quest). Just be warned -- the likelihood of actually completing the 10x repeatables is very minimal without very careful planning!
Just as in the other solo instances, once you're inside, the layout for both the Elyos and Asmodians is the same; however, the quest givers and quest names, along with their accompanying stories, are different, although the objectives are the same with only one exception.
So you have grabbed the quests and thrown yourself into the Haramel story. The first thing you encounter is the Shugo Moorilerk. Take any and all quests he may give you. Then you can move into the Odium Refinery and begin the actual killing. Don't worry if you don't have a lot of time on your hands: Clearing the instance of all mobs, completing the initial quests, and defeating all bosses took only 40 minutes, and subsequent runs can go even faster.
The second run-through, comprised of five quests (including the coin, which requires killing 65 mobs and another the gathering of dried ginseng and making soup with it) took the same amount of time as the first but yielded an entire level of experience when all quests were turned in. Asmodians also acquire a weapon as a reward from the quest Overseers Under Attack and a chest piece and shoulders from Every Shugo has a Price and Destroy the Haramel facilities, respectively. Elyos do not get any weapon rewards, but they do get armor -- a shoulder piece from Murder, My Shugo and legs from the Big Boss. Hint: To pad your kill number, attack the 10 entralled peons in Hamerun's office. They die in a single hit and cause no real damage (otherwise they can be avoided as can the prisoners in the cells).
A third run focusing only on the bosses and the one quest for the box on the tower finished in just over 18 minutes with 25 mobs slain. Daevas can go even quicker by ignoring the bosses -- especially if you don't need the loot -- and training through the instance. The mobs are all regular difficulty, so using a shield or evasion should be enough to avoid too much damage for non-plate wearers. Hint: To lose all those chasing you, just jump over the rail at Haramel Tower and glide right across to the wooden structure. The next place to ditch mobs is at the elevator leading to Hamerun's office. This run took only nine minutes from start to finish, including the box quest on the tower. Just don't forget that to open that box you will need to grab the quest from the second Shugo Moofrenerk and kill the MuMu mechanics for lubricating oil and Keymaster MuMu Dang for the rusty key.
A benefit not shared by other instances is that each mini-boss in Haramel drops its respective weapon as loot each and every time (oh, if only Queen Mosqua would be so generous!). Drudgelord Kakiti drops a big club, MuMu Ham the Grey drops a flower sword (sellable as a skin to higher-level Daevas), and Bossman Nukiti drops a hammer. Sadly, Mages are shafted when it comes to weapon loot in this instance; apparently the MuMus are too simple to grasp magic, and the only pieces a Mage might acquire is randomly from the mobs.
After defeating Hamerun the Bleeder, players will find that the treasure chest will offer either gloves or boots respective to the armor class of the Daeva. Each boss can also drop a jewelry, and the severely rusted chest for the quest always offers a low-level enchantment stone and one green manastone. Just a warning to new Daevas experiencing the joys of guaranteed loot: It ain't gonna happen anywhere else!
The time is too short
Haramel offers so much XP for so little effort, so why would Daevas rush through? One reason may be to complete the repeatable quests, although doing so is nearly impossible! If you skip most of the mobs, the box quest can be completed all 10 times. Although the kinah and XP is nice from the turn-in, the loot in the box may be what is most worthwhile. And even though this quest can be done without clearing the instance, you still rack up a third of a level of XP each run.
However, the only way to complete the coin quest 10 times by clearing 65 of the mobs is to either A) do absolutely nothing except Haramel from the moment you turn level 18 and twiddle your wings during the three-hour instance cooldown or B) kill yourself enough so that you don't level beyond 22 until finished. It's even worse if you happen to have the energy of repose buff on or have used an XP boost amulet. Frankly, the reward of three scrolls for each quest turn in is hardly worth that kind of effort (and XP debt). And who really wants to just sit around doing nothing while on cooldown? Unless you luck out and try it during a reduced cooldown timer event, chances are you will not see the inside of Haramel too many times due to gorging on so much experience. My advice is to complete the box quest if you like, but just turn in the coin quest as you happen to finish it, regardless of how many runs that takes.
So there you have it folks -- a quick run-down of the Haramel instance for the younger Daevas. Between the easier XP while questing and this instance, Daevas will find that their time at lower levels is relatively short. I am glad I finally had the chance to see it for myself, even if playing alts is against my nature. The experience was fun, and the challenge of trying to complete all the quests was interesting (and no, I didn't resort to plan B and suicide in order to finish the coin quest -- I let that one go the way of the Dodo). We'd love to hear your experiences infiltrating this odella operation, so feel free to share in the comments below.
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.