One important note: these suggestions are based on maintaining a balance between earning potential and EXP gain. If you prefer to get rich, focus on easy to kill mobs that con green. If you prefer to level as quickly as possible, team up with two other people your own level and find any hunting ground with Strong (4x HP) monsters that con yellow or pink.
From 0-25, most of the available quests are set up so that you will hunt the most consistent leveling mobs for your character. In addition to keeping you in the steady growth range, the quest reward is a nice bonus, even when it’s small. For that reason, I am using the quests as a cornerstone to this guide on leveling.
Stay in your starter village. Run every quest you can find, run the repeatable quests more than once. If this is your first character on the server, take full advantage of the ability to use the Equipment Exchange option available through the Weapon shop.
This is the first point where things get tricky. Local quests become few and far between while things like Grim Collector in Giran are not anywhere near as lucrative as they once were. One good quest that any race can run is in DE starter village. Talk to the Dwarf Collette in the Warehouse, deliver his letter to Gludio, and then deliver the letter you receive there to Gludin. The quest takes about 20 mins. when you run along the roads, less if you know some safe shortcuts, and the two runs together pay over 20,000 adena. Good money at this level for a one-time quest.
Despite the fact that it is far less lucrative than it once was, Grim Collector is still not a bad way to spend an afternoon. If you don’t use NG shots (the free novice shots, however, are very helpful), you can easily turn 20-25,000 adena in a couple hours. Nowadays it is better to sell the bones and everything to Samed and not bother having complete skeletons made.
Don’t overlook the Level 15 Pet Quest from Martin in Gludin. It’s expensive for those who have to use the boat or Gatekeeper, but for Elves or Dark Elves it’s a couple hours of easy leveling. Selling the wolf collar should bring you around 25-35k You could also choose to keep the wolf. They are a pain to level in today’s Aden, but quite fun for anyone who is not a powerleveler solely intent on hitting 52 as early as possible.
Do your Class Change quest. When you finish it, hunt in the Neutral Zone between the Elven and Dark Elven starter towns, or hang out in the Langk camps south of Gludin. Once you make 20, sign up with Dusk/Dawn, get a pick up group in Gludin, and poke your nose into Necropolis of Sacrifice for the first time. Don’t expect too much your first time there, but make it a point to try. In later levels you’re going to be spending a lot of time in Catacombs and Necropoli all over the map.
There are a couple of options here, but I personally only recommend one: Vanquish Remnants. Get the quest, go to Abandoned Camp, stay right there until you make 25, then go back and turn in your badges. Try not to use shots and potions except in emergencies, and try to party with two other people near your level. A three player party of almost any make up can tear through AC with relative ease, quickly burning through levels and building up a good supply of adena and items. If you can’t find a party, soloing is still possible, and downtime can be minimized if you are careful not to draw too many occurrences of multiple mobs. I have yet to find any class that cannot level consistently and make decent money doing this quest.
Two choices here: Turek Orc Camps (you can get a quest for these guys from the guard at the north gate of Gludin) and the Black Lion Quest from Sophya in Dion.
True, there are other possibilities, but these are the only two that will provide a nice balance between consistent leveling and good adena earnings. Groups, if you enjoy hunting with others, are relatively easy to find in Dion. It is possible to find Turek hunting groups in Gludin, but they are not as common as they once were.
This is also a good time to experiment heavily with the Dusk/Dawn competition and start building up a stock of Ancient Adena. Necropolis of Sacrifice south of Gludin is doable solo, but you will be spending a lot of money on healing potions and shots, so you will probably lose money. Duos and Trios, especially a good balance of damage dealers and healers, can do quite well here, but finding a pick up group is difficult. I spent dozens of hours down here with a three person group: my Palus Knight and two Dark Wizards. Between 25 and 30 we could easily control any room in the Necro, and on more than one occasion successfully fended off people trying to drop trains on us.
Between 25 and 30, this would be the third week of July or thereabouts, the three of us rotated between Necropolis of Sacrifice, Partisan Hideaway, and Delu Lizardmen south of Floran. We gained a full level every other day or so, and we only hunted about two hours a day. By the time we hit 30 we were all in top D-grade weapons and armor/robes. Nice consistent leveling and income with almost no downtime at all. One of the best weeks I’ve ever had playing. (Partisan Hideaway Ol Mahums and Delu Lizardmen are both Black Lion quest mobs, you can change missions at Sophya in Dion quite easily.)
This is another of those awkward times. Not many good quests, and not many good hunting grounds, esp. if you solo. Breka Orcs and most of Death Pass is good for solo melee fighters, but Clerics/Oracles should start sticking to groups whenever and wherever possible, preferably in Catacombs or Necropoli. Wizards and Sorcerers will probably bounce back and forth between soloing in places like Bee Hive and grouping in Cruma Tower or the Catacombs/Necropoli.
If you can get together with 4+ people in a balanced group, you might explore early parts of Dragon Valley or head through Death Pass to Leto Lizard country. Leto Overlords are excellent EXP, very good drops, and not too difficult if your group is reasonably competent. The pit beneath the Ivory Tower is not too bad either, and spellbooks are always in high demand.
At the moment, my level 33 Palus Knight is back to soloing. I’ve been hunting in Gorgon’s Flower Garden (quest from one of the guards at the north gate of Giran, Arrow of Vengeance). The mobs are not too difficult to solo, but there is considerable downtime and I have to watch out for people running trains. I took down a train of Bugbear and Harpies the other day (much to the surprise of the dwarf who dropped it on me), but it was touch and go and cost me a bundle in potions and DSS. I’d much rather be grouping in Pilgrim’s Necropolis, but my friends are 35 and busy doing their first class change quest.
Well, I suppose it bears mentioning that Cruma Tower is also doable from 30-40. Personally, and for a variety of reasons, I don’t recommend it, but many players swear by it and the vast majority of people who are now 60+ spent much of their early game in Cruma Tower or in the swamp surrounding it.
Focus on your 2nd Class Job Change quests. These are very time-consuming, especially if you can’t afford Gatekeepers (or simply prefer not pay for them). You might also see the Pet Manager in Giran and do the level 35 Pet Quest. Hatchlings are very useful, sturdier than wolves, and if you can get them to level 55, you can take them on another quest to evolve them into Stryders.
When you hit 40 and complete your Class change the first thing you need to do is find a clan that is both online the same time you are and enjoys hunting together. Almost no one can solo effectively past 40, and when you get beyond 52, anyone other than Archers or Summoners will have a very hard enjoying the game solo.
And that’s it for a quick, off-the-cuff guide to leveling and making adena in C3 for players between 0 and 40. Others will have different ideas, especially if those ideas are specific to their favorite class. Following the brief outline I’ve made here though, will provide a good starting point for any player of any class who does not cheat and spends most of their ingame time hunting solo or in small groups.
Naturally, if you depend on the secondary market, have top D-grade gear and can spam DSS or DBSPS to your heart’s content, then you can hunt almost anywhere on the map south of Aden/Oren. However, I would hope that most of us don’t utilize the secondary market. Ideally, none of us.