Game of Realms
Realm & Rulership
Note: You can download a printable version of this document in the Shadowbane: Getting Started portable document (PDF) that requires Adobe Reader.
So you've decided to try your hand at crafting a legend in the world of Aerynth? Let me welcome you and wish you many enjoyable adventures! I'm going to warn you right from the start, that this game isn't like any other MMORPG you might have played. At it's heard, Shadowbane is a Player-versus-Player (PvP) game. It has arguably one of the shortest leveling grinds ever found in a MMORPG, and unlike most others, Player-versus-Environment (PvE) is merely a means to a greater end in this game, rather than the bulk of the game itself. If you want to form parties and wander the land completing quests and slaying formidable dragons, then this game is probably not for you. However, if you wish to test your wits and skills against other players in an online world where you can duel other players, battling over mines, gold, adventuring areas, and most importantly, building and destroying cities and empires, then this is the game for you.
But, to get to the end-game, there are a few things you must accomplish and understand. First and foremost is Character Creation.
The best advice I can give you when making your character is plan on a template on paper beforehand. Create an outline of what Race you wish to take, pick one of the applicable Base Classes available to that Race, learn what Profession that Base Class can promote to, and then find out what Disciplines it can take (remember, you can take up to four Disciplines; three at level 20 and a fourth at Level 70). Map this out and you will have an easier time once you are actually in-game.
Once you have a new character created, you will be tempted to start another one. This is because, after playing for some time, players have a better grasp of the game's mechanics that they did not have when creating their first character. I would urge you to take your first character to at least Level 40 or 50, though, to get a glimpse at the elder game where the real fun is.
When plotting out your character, though, make sure to visit the following sections:
The last link you may find invaluable since these are players, just like you, who have a high degree of knowledge about the classes they play. If nothing else, I would recommend you check out the Shadowbane Player-Created Guides.
Finding a Guild
Since Shadowbane is based around group conflict, one of the best pieces of advice any player can give you is to join a Player Guild! Guilds within Shadowbane are more than a collection of players banded together for the sake of camaraderie: typically, the members of a Guild share common in-game goals and aspirations. In Shadowbane, player created and controlled Guilds can claim and own territories within the virtual world, building entire Cities, strengthening their defenses, and increasing the effectiveness of their City's shops and buildings. City building and territorial conquest are the primary activities of most Guilds. Because Cities are notoriously difficult to pack up and move around, Shadowbane Guilds tend to be more local and stationary than the player organizations seen in other games. A Guild's fortunes are bound to the health of its City and its territory within the game. Guilds may wander around initially, but after gathering enough power and resources, a Guild or an alliance of Guilds will usually settle down, founding or conquering a City-State to use as a home base, open marketplace, or military stronghold.
Finding a guild will not only give you a great knowledge base but also make the game more enjoyable. We don't play MMOs for the single-player experience, we play them to adventure alongside and against others! The best place to find a guild is by perusing the Enlistment forums for the various servers on the official Shadowbane Forums.
Once you have your character created, it's time to get to adventuring! While Shadowbane is a Player-versus-Player (PvP) game, you will be safe from such conflict until you leave the lands where all players begin. Once you reach Level 10, you'll have the option to venture to the mainland but will not be forced to until you hit Level 21. Furthermore, while you are on the starting adventuring zones, whenever you die, you will respawn with all equipment you have and are carrying. This will not be the case when you venture forth into the battlegrounds on the mainland.
Once you are in the game world, adjust your interface so it works for you. All windows can be moved around by moving the top of your cursor to the top of the window simply holding down both the Shift Key and the left Mouse Button at the same time. Then simply "drag" the window to anywhere you want. There are also additional windows you may wish to have onscreen that can be found under the Character Info and Windows menus on the Main Menu. The one window you will want up at all times is your Local Map.
Look around and you should find some creatures nearby where you enter the game. You will be able to distinguish them by the red plus sign (+) in the Local Map. Green plus signs are other players who belong to the same guild and/or city as you, blue ones are other players who belong to other guilds, and yellow ones are non-hostile Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Once you find these creatures, attack them. Do not worry, these monsters will not attack you until you attack them, they are merely target practice. Others will not be so gentle.
Kill these in the best way you see fit, be it with spells or your weapon, until you level up to level 2. You will have 5 stat points now, and some training points, so you may run back to town and train up your spell or weapon skill. Once you're satisfied, adventure a little further out until you come across stronger creatures. These will yield not only better loot but also better experience. Rest as you need to. Continue to ask for groups every so often, and try to find people to level with. Do note, grouping in Shadowbane will help you level faster since there are experience bonuses associated with the system..
Once you have hit level 5, run back to the hamlet and train up some more then head back out. If you adventure even further out, you will find even better creatures to slay. Beware, though, no longer will these creatures sit idly by until you attack. These creatures will attack you if you stand too close, so be very careful that you do not pull more monsters than you can handle. This process, if you are on your own may take a while, but if you find a good group, you can move to the mainland quickly. Many players will leave the island once they get to level 10, and never come back, but I would recommend trying to stay a bit longer, exploring the higher level zone, and getting to know your character.
You can get to level 10 at many of the camps located near the hamlets. Once you have reached Level 10 (also known as Rank 1), go back to town. You must now promote. Bank before doing this. Go to the Runemaster, and cycle through the speech options until you get "How do I leave this village?". You can then pledge to other towns, including player owned towns, where you can buy items later on, and more importantly, train your character. Later on you will want to go to training towns with friends, to help guard each other from players wishing to kill you. For now, repledge to the city that shows on your world map near you. There you will be able to find the trainer you need to promote to your Profession.
And there you have it, you are a level 10 character who can begin adventuring. You can either go back to newbie island and use your newly acquired abilities to hunt some more, or you can find a guild and level quickly on the mainland. Either way, you have begun.
For more information, check out the Character Development guide.