Are the quests worth doing or should I just grind?
To begin with, you should definitely complete quests as the rewards and experience, as well as the exploration, is well worth the effort, generally speaking. Toward higher end game play, that would definitely depend on your playing style more than the outcome.
Do I have to stop around level 15-20 to farm skill points?
No. But if you don't the result is that you will have a hard time leveling up until the point you decide to stop and farm to truly develop your character
What is the ratio of skill to level that achieves the best farming rate?
A gap of 9 between your characters actual level and your highest skill will give you the best possible skill point farming ratio. Thus, if you plan on farming skill points at level 18, your highest skill mastery should be 9.
Are there any disadvantages to farming skill points?
Actually, yes there are. While splitting the experience for a given encounter, you are not actually receiving 100% of the encounters actual experience.
For example, lets say you kill a Mutant Turtle and this NPC is worth 1000 experience for your level. If you are level 20 and your highest skill is 20, if you add your experience and skill experience earned, they will equal 1000. However, if you are level 20 and your highest skill is 12, you will notice that if you add your experience and skill experience earned do not equal 1000 but rather a number like 500-600 in this case.
Thus, there is actually a passive penalty for farming skill points. This was put in game to serve as a balancing issue to prevent the possibility of a person farming enough skill points to master all abilities for a 300 skill mastery while at an early level. Even with this penalty, it's still definitely worth the time to farm a little.
I want to farm skill points while low level but I keep leveling and am now getting less experience for the NPCs I am farming. Is there anything I can do?
Well, of course. You can actually delevel back to the level you so desire without effecting your skill points. Simply get/pay a player with the ability to revive you to follow you to some higher level mobs and revive you every time you die. Just remember to leave all of your gear in the bank, otherwise you'll have a costly repair on your hands.
How does grouping experience work?
There are two options which you can set for handling group experience. Auto share experience and experience distribution.
Auto share experience allows your party to have eight group members and shares the experienced based on how much damage each member does in the group, basically creating the same effect as if you we're not grouped at all. However, a small shared experience bonus is applied to make it worth your while, not to mention the lack of downtime.
Experience distribution allows your party to evenly share the experience, regardless of how much damage each person does. You will definitely want to use this mode if you take a healer along as he will get experience for your encounters. Take note that while using this party setting that the group is restricted to four members.
Is there any way I can increase my experience rate other than joining a group?
There are scrolls throughout the game that will allow you to have experience bonuses for a specified duration. Most new characters now start with a experience bonus scroll but the most common method of aquiring one of these items is through the Item Mall, marked as Gold and Silver Tickets.
There are two durations specified on each of these scrolls. There is a scroll lifespan and a bonus duration. Basically, if a scroll says it 1 day for 3 hours, then it actually means for the next 24 hours, the next three hours of engagements you incur will have the bonus applied. This means that you will not be wasting your bonus time between fights while you are resting or just hanging out in town, as long as you don't exceed the lifespan of the bonus.
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