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Lost Pages of Taborea: Power-leveling alts in an honor party

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Over the course of two years, Runes of Magic has had many patches. It has also had many changes and additions that never made it into the patch notes. They're usually nothing major -- maybe a minor graphical tweak or some other incidental improvements. Then there are items, quests, and features that seem to change, but I can never be sure based on my imperfect memory alone. Something seems to be new or different, but because it never made a lasting impression, I can't be sure whether I'm remembering it correctly. That's how I felt about the honor party.

The newbie tutor system seemed to quietly crawl under a rug, but over time it has proven to be operational. Even though the NPC in Varanas does a fair job of informing you what the honor party is and does, I'll give you a quick run-down of how it operates. One of the advantages of knowing about and using the honor party is having a very quick way of leveling alts through the first 20 levels. I wouldn't recommend it for first-time players, but let's take a look at using the honor party to give your alt a huge jump in levels on day one.



Power-leveling

First, let me explain some basics of power-leveling in RoM. It can be hard to do, because if you are too far apart from another player's level, you won't get any experience. You might think you're being clever by sneaking a level 10 character into Aotulia Volcano and partying with a level 62 player -- just sit back and soak up the residual XP, right? Unfortunately, you won't get anything.

The logic seems to be that RoM sees you as trying to cheat the basics of playing the game. Instead of letting you share the XP with the level 62 powerhouse, the game sees that there's no way someone of such low level could survive, and thus you don't deserve the XP. Think of it as the opposite of out-leveling a mob. When you get to be so many levels above a mob, you no longer get XP from killing it. In this case, if you're too many levels under the mob, you won't get XP when your power-leveling buddy takes it out for you.

Honor party

The main purpose of the honor party is to give high-level players a way to earn a bonus from helping newbies. It's an incentive system for helping your low-level brethren. Speaking to Lehman in Varanas' Class Hall will give you a three-hour buff. During this time, you can select "honor party" from the standard drop-down menu after right-clicking on any player under level 30 (you, of course, must be over level 30). After the other player accepts and joins your honor party, you can help him complete certain quests to earn spirit points. You can later exchange three spirit points for one stat point, which is applied to your choice of attribute, permanently. These are your character's base attributes: intelligence, stamina, dexterity, wisdom, and so on. You can also exchange spirit points for talent points.

The specific quests that earn tutors the spirit points are still not written down in any definitive guide to the honor party system. It's widely known that Forsaken Abbey and Necropolis of Mirrors contain some of the unknown total, but further details lie beyond the scope of this article. Let's talk about making use of the system for speed-leveling alts.

Speed-leveling alts

If you are new to the game, using this method might help you cheat yourself of some of the story, the natural learning curve of the game, and the overall fun you'd have doing the lower-level quests. For those reasons, I think this will be a much better method for players who are already familiar with RoM. The aim here is to quickly raise an alt that you want to play without having to go through the same quests repeatedly. It also helps to get an alt up to the point that you can quickly start working the level 20+ dailies in Aslan and gain easier access to higher-level resources to supplement your gold income (among any other personal reasons). I wouldn't even bother trying to make money selling drops from dailies before Aslan. Most people quickly level through Silverspring without much need to buy daily-drops along the way.

Start a new alt and get him to level 9 the old-fashioned way. The level 9 gift bag awards two fruit of extra experience. This will give you a bonus 50% XP for one hour. You could move on to the next step from here, but I recommend taking the leap with a cash-shop goodie. You can buy (or gift) an experience potion that gives out 50% XP for one hour and costs eight diamonds; you can buy a powerful experience potion that gives 70% XP for one hour and costs 17 diamonds; or you can move up to a high-quality experience potion that will run you 300 rubies but gives 100% XP for two hours. Since you're leveling an alt, I'm assuming some of you could have some real money invested by the time you'd be wanting to do this. In any case, pick an option and let's move on.

At this point you can head wherever you want because you'll need to shop around in chat for a high-level player to run you through Necropolis of Mirrors in an honor party. The higher he or she is, the better. Once you and your new best friend start the honor party in Varanas, you'll need to be cautious and head through a forest of mobs that can kill you just by looking at you. Once you've safely made it to the entrance of NoM, you can pop your potions and eat your fruit. The fruit of extra experience will stack with a potion, so you could get up to 150% bonus XP.

Conclusion

The honor party will allow you to receive XP from your friend's kills, and he will be amplified by your buffs. Because you'll be inside a level 30-35 instance, you'll be raking in gobs of XP and leveling extremely quickly. I've only done a few tests, but I used my level 55 Priest and took someone up 14 levels within an hour. My Priest wasn't a good choice to begin with; I'm squishy, NoM has mobs that drain mana, and my cohort decided to leave. It would have gone faster if I were, say, a level 62 Rogue.

The only downside I can see to power-leveling using the honor system is that the high-level player gets nothing out of it except for maybe some fun company, and it will cost him 5,000 gold to start the honor party. This could be negated for him if he uses the remaining time and runs another person through some of the actual quests that would gain him those juicy spirit points.

Note: I'll be elaborating on XP gain, the honor party and other methods of leveling in next week's column.

Each Monday, Jeremy Stratton delivers Lost Pages of Taborea, a column filled with guides, news, and opinions for Runes of Magic. Whether it's a community roundup for new players or an in-depth look at the Rogue/Priest combo, you'll find it all here. Send your questions to jeremy@massively.com.

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