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This article was written by the god Dentin, and posted on Sep 14, 2009.

Dentin's Guide to Experience on the Island of Archais

This isn't meant as a comprehensive guide to all things Archais; rather it is a list of some interesting and worthwhile experience areas that a mid-level group can try out. Hopefully, it will give both new and experienced players an idea of places to explore and ways to get experience in this part of the game.

Most of these areas are best approached with a group! A group of three or four players should be able to handle most of the areas on these lists, even at lower levels. Some of the bigger boss mobs should still be avoided until you're sure your group is ready.

One thing you'll notice about all of these areas is that they're aggro. Everything I list here is aggressive; in general, I don't like attacking things that don't attack me first. You may choose to take a different approach. Another thing that experienced players may have noticed is that there are a lot more areas on Archais than the ones listed here. This is just a small sample of what the island has to offer!

Now, on to the areas.

The Areas - Level 15-20

The Nurgling Mound - North-Central Archais

Go north to find the
Nurgling mound
This is a good area for the low end of the level scale. It contains a number of lower level critters that are worth decent experience, such as the smaller nurglings and slime hounds. There are a few higher level boss mobs, such as the Stench Lord, the Great Unclean One, and the Plaguebearer.

The Brigand Ambush - South Side of Gad's Mountain

Expect an ambush here
On the path between the Viking-raided village and Dragon Tooth, you may find your group waylaid by a small band of brigands and thieves. For a single character, this can be a dangerous ambush, but for even a two-person group you can quickly dispatch them and get on your way.

The Viking-Raided Village - South-Central Archais

A well plundered village
For lower levels, the village contains a number of lower level Viking raiders, including the Viking novices and neophytes. If you're feeling lucky, head over to the ship - the higher level Vikings remain on board. You should watch out for the octopus on the lower levels of the ship, and might want to stay out of the well in the village.

The Areas - Level 18-23

The Swamp West of Nurglings - Northwest Archais

Swampland to the west
The swamp to the west of the Nurgling Mound is slightly higher level, and has a lot of wandering creatures that make for good group experience. Look for the gas clouds in the northeastern quarter, and if you've got a very strong group you may try assaulting the tower in the southern section.

Azeroth Keep Guards - Southern Base of Gad's Mountain

The entrance to the keep
Near the entrance to the keep, you'll find a beautiful purple flower. Just north of the flower, you'll find a group of armed guards at the entrance to the keep. This is a good place to stop and get some experience, especially if you're on your way to the Viking-raided village. There can be up to four guards, though, so make sure you have enough firepower to take them out.

One of the guards has a key to get into the keep, which you'll need at higher levels to get in. Stay out of the keep itself until you have a healer and the sanctuary spell!

Viking Ship - South-Central Archais

On board the Viking ship
The source of the Viking raiders, the Viking ship, is moored off the village pier. You can board it easily and help push back the raiders. The Vikings here are stronger than the ones in the town, and you'll also find the Viking navigator.

If you're feeling lucky you can try the octopus on the lower deck, but stay away from the captain, Jaden Thorson, at all costs. Fortunately, Jaden usually stays locked in his room near the navigator counting his treasure.

Sea Serpents - South-Central Archais

Nothing but sea serpents
In the ocean near the Viking ship, you'll find sea serpents. These are great group experience and are quite a bit tougher than even the Vikings on the ship. Be careful about taking on too many of them at once.

The Areas - Level 20-25

The Den of Thieves - South-Central Archais

Hidden, but worth it
The area near the Viking ship continues to provide good experience even for higher levels. Near the entrance to the village on a hidden path, you may stumble across a hidden trapdoor, which leads to a den of thieves and wanted men.

It's dangerous to actually enter the den even at higher levels, so I recommend just opening the trapdoor and waiting. Some of the thieves will surely investigate the open door, and you can pick them off one at a time as they arrive.

Harpies - South Slope of Gad's Mountain

For serious climbers only
A small group of very mean, very ugly harpies has set up a lair in the upper slopes of Gad's Mountain. The Harpy leader is very powerful and will be a challenge for even strong groups, but you can often catch isolated harpies near the lair entrance. Until you have a strong group with sanctuary, it's best to stay out of the lair and pick off any harpies that fly out of it.

Locos - South-Central Archais

In the well in the Viking-raided village, you'll find a secret passage with a surprise at the end. For a decently armored group, you should have no problem with Locos, the terror of the well, and you may find yourself getting a deed to boot.

Octopus - South-Central Archais

The octopus in the hold of the Viking ship is a powerful adversary, but is much easier if you have sanctuary for your tank. It's a good monster to hit while you're on the ship, if your group is strong enough.

Azeroth Keep - Southern Base of Gad's Mountain

This keep is fairly high level, and will present a challenge for most mid level groups. You'll find several sets of guards, as well as wandering patrols and other creatures that should not be in a human-built keep. A good rule of thumb here is not to attack anything that doesn't attack you first!

Once you're comfortable with the upper levels of the keep, you may want to explore the dungeon and hidden crypts beneath it. There are several very dangerous creatures in the crypts, but a well prepared group should be able to handle all of them except the dark elven weaponsmaster on the lowest level. Make sure you scout ahead and stay away from him!

Jaden Thorson - South-Central Archais

The Viking captain, Jaden Thorson, has barricaded himself in his room on board the Viking ship. You'll have to get a thief to pick the door lock to get in, and you'll need a very powerful group to be able to handle him. Only try Jaden if you're comfortable with the high level guards inside Azeroth Keep.

Example Experience Runs

For the next part of this article, I'll discuss some sample runs using these areas for various level groups. I recommend using the waypoint in Dragon Tooth as your starting point. You can also start from Gad's Landing, but then you're going a little farther out of your way to get to the Brigand Ambush and Harpies.

Level 15-20

As an initial test of a lower level group, start from Dragon Tooth, then head west and north toward the Nurgling mound. It should only take a few minutes to find and clear out the area, and this will give you a good idea of whether or not your group is overpowered. If you're having trouble in Nurglings, you definitely don't want to try any of the level 18-25 areas.

Once you've exhausted the Nurgling mound, have your group recall back to Dragon Tooth. Take the group west and south this time, looking for the brigand ambush. The ambush is on the way to the Viking-raided village, and it's a quick bump of experience and fighting along the way. Make sure your group knows about the ambush! There will be several thieves, and everyone in your group will have to help out.

Once you get to the village, help the villagers out by fighting off the Vikings. It's best if you stick to the village and the beach until you're higher level; avoid the well and the ocean for now. If you're feeling lucky, you might be able to take on the stronger Vikings aboard the raiders' ship. No matter what you do, avoid the quicksand on the beach at all costs!

By the time you get done with the Vikings, you should be able to level a couple of times, get some new spells and skills, and head back to Nurglings. When you're ready, move on to higher level areas.

Level 18-23

For higher level groups, take the Nurgling mound out of the picture. Odds are good it's no longer interesting and isn't good experience anymore. We're also adding another pit stop along the way, and a couple new areas.

Starting again from Dragon Tooth, march northwest past Nurglings, into the swamp. You'll find many things there worth the experience, such as the gas clouds in the northeast corner, the hawks to the west, and possibly even the guards for the southern tower. Once you've cleaned out everything worthwhile, recall and regroup.

Now it's time to hit the southern part of the island. First off, hit the brigands just like the lower level experience run. They're in the way and they'll jump your group regardless, so you might as well take them out.

Instead of heading directly to the Viking ship from here, go instead to the entrance to Azeroth Keep. Just north of the big purple thistle is a group of orc guards. Like the brigands, they will jump your group en masse when they see you, so be prepared. Unless your group is exceptionally strong, it's best to stay out of the keep for now.

With the orc guards dispatched, go toward the Viking-raided village, but instead of boarding the ship, go to the west of town and explore the ocean. You should find several sea serpents, each of which is worth a hefty amount of experience. When the ocean is clear, it's time for the Viking ship.

You can board the ship both from the village pier, and from the lifeboat moorings in the ocean. Once aboard the ship, you can start cleaning up the source of the Viking mess. You should be able to handle the Viking navigator, but the octopus may give your group some trouble. Stay away from the captain!

When you're finished, it should be about time to recall, learn some new spells and skills, and start over again.

Level 20-25

For the highest level groups, it's probably best to remove both the Nurgling mound and the swamp from your list. You might use them as fallbacks if all the other areas are empty, but even so it's probably better to explore and find new places than bore yourself running lower level areas.

For this run, we again start in Dragon Tooth. Head toward the brigand ambush, but stop just short; instead you should take your group up the mountainside looking for harpies. With any luck, you'll find one or two harpies on the mountainside. In isolation, they should be pretty easy for your group to pick off. Once you get to where you can see the decrepit harpy to the north, stop.

If you enter the lair to attack the decrepit harpy, expect to get jumped by at least a couple of other harpies from the back room. If your group feels like it can handle three harpies at once, you should be fine here. Make sure to sanc your tank!

You should only approach the leader in the back of the lair when your group is fully healed and you're comfortable with taking on three harpies at once. The leader is always guarded, and she's much stronger than the other harpies.

Once you're done with the harpies, go back down the mountain side and take care of the ambush and the guards at the Azeroth Keep entrance. If your group is very strong, you can enter the Keep at this point. A good indicator of whether or not you're ready for the Keep is the harpy leader; if you can dispatch her relatively easily, you should be able to handle the upper level of the Keep.

After this, head back to the Viking-raided village, but stop short and look for the den of thieves. It's best to open the trapdoor and pick off the stragglers, for a while. Only if the den is nearly empty is it safe to enter.

After the den of thieves, you can of course look for sea serpents, but for a really strong group, even these may not present much of a challenge. Even the Vikings aboard the ship are certain to be too easy, but there are still three bosses you can go to: Locos in the well, the octopus in the hold of the ship, and the captain of the ship, Jaden Thorson.

If you've done all of this easily, explore more of Azeroth Keep and add it to your list. If your group gets strong enough that you're handling all of this easily and have run out of things to do, odds are good you're too high level for Archais and should move to the mainland. Congratulations!

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