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re: Playing on your own Part 3 - Monster Slayer

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Playstyle Monster Slayer

General
This is likely the play style that draws PvE players looking for a fantasy MMO to PFO. And expectations what can be done playing this way might have driven a lot of players to be non-active.
This doesn't mean you can't play on your own this way - but coming from a different game might cause you some rude awakening. Stay with us to figure out more how it can be fulfilling and hopefully you will be back.

Some important information to know:
I called the playstyle Monster Killer and not fighter - because you can play with either of the four implemented roles - fighter, cleric, rogue and wizard and slay monsters.
Levels of fighter, cleric, mage and rogue are pretty much meaningless if you don't have the equipment to go with it. This is most apparent for wizards. They go to the wizard school - learn all these fancy spells available and go out - and the first goblin they encounter kills them because none of the spells can be used.
This is a very hard first lesson. You need a staff or wand before you can use the spells. It is similar - but not that obvious for other classes - like fighters. Train up your two-handed sword attacks several levels - and wonder that you haven't got better. What you lack is +x equipment as only in combination with the right equipment do your feats translate into improved damage or other benefits.
To reiterate - you need skills/feats/spells AND equipment to benefit from both. There is a whole fighting guide written by Ryan - so I'm not explaining this here - go and read it when you want to become a monster killer.
Okay - what else? If you target a monster then the colour tells you how dangerous they are. White is 'simple', yellow more tough, red pretty deadly (for a beginner, solo player) and don't try any other colour on your own - not that I have seen any apart of purple for Thornguards.

Meaningful play
There is a decent amount of different monsters out there to fight. Goblins, bandits, wolfs and Ogres are the basic staple to hone your skills. Escalations bring in more variety and you can go out trying to bring down the total escalation in a hex or you fullfill some of the minor quests like Bookworms, etc.
What you want to do is to slowly start with simple monster and go for more and more advanced creatures. I managed to repeatedly kill whole Death Squads (1 white, 1 yellow and 3 red) on my own as fighter 4.
And off course you can kill monsters for the loot they offer. You get some coin (copper) as well as salvage and more importantly recipes for crafters, manoeuvres for fighters and rogues and spells for wizards and clerics.

Useful commands / items / feats
I don't know yet what is included in the basic player pack. During alpha you would start with a simple club and peasant clothes. So the very first thing to get is items.
Heavy armour (banded steel) and a decent weapon (sword) and a long bow is likely easiest for a fighter, a wizard needs a wand and a staff. Most of these items drop from simple monsters - Omega wolfs, goblin scouts, bandit recruits (I hope I got them all right).
Of high importance to survive are Hit points - train the feat up as high as possible. Also armour increases hit points and makes you less vulnerable. This can make even a bigger addition to hit points as the feats. And +1 armour which gives twice the Hit points as +0 - but ensure you have the matching feats - or it won't do anything.

Your role and settlements
Your biggest issue as a lone monster slayer are access to items. The drops only give you the very basic items. If you want anything better then there are only three options:
a) trade with people using chat. This works great in alpha as many players have surplus. It is also great at the start when you want to play a fighter and got a staff or wand - and want to exchange it with a weapon more suitable for you. But this likely won't get you very far and the best equipment will be out of reach unless you are good at trading what you get from monsters (recipes/spells/manoeuvres against equipment).
b) use the auction house to spend your money. A large warning - so far there isn't much choice and expect the best items to be traded under the counter.
c) align with a settlement and ensure this supplies you with equipment in return for services. These could be recipes and salvaged items you leave for the crafters or it could be that you keep escalations down and keep shrines free of monsters.

Downsides
You are dependent on equipment. If you can't organize decent equipment for you in one way or another then you will be severely handicapped. This is likely the biggest reason for players stopping to play in frustration. Drops won't give you what you need (unless you are extremely lucky) and they will restrict what you get to the basic items. This means you can 'play' on your own - but you need some form of interaction with other players to get what you need to function.

You won't be able to finish a full escalation. They are build in a way that needs collaboration. There also likely will be monsters that you never will be able to attack as a single player.

What GW could do to help this play style
Some people wanting to play this playstyle like better graphics. It is improving - but I guess that would attract more people. Also a dungeon would be great. Will it be feasible to explore on your own - who knows. The Emerald Lodge is close to the Emerald Spire - albeit right now (and for a while to come) we will have to wait if/when something functional will be made out of that place.

My personal thoughts about a monster slayer
I slowly developed killing monsters as a necessity to get recipes and as part of gathering. It was interesting to get better and better - yellow ogres which seemed untouchable in the early days became easy prey on their own. Spending enough time you can develop tactics against tougher monsters / monster groups.
This role also means you are not a push-over when PvP starts. I can't see myself doing only this role - but I sprinkle in a certain amount of it and I will ensure each of my characters has at least some basic weapon training to be able to kill up to yellow monsters on his own.

 

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