Choose My Adventure: Running for my life in Legends of Aria


Welp, we’re in the deep end now. Legends of Aria definitely is the sandbox that’s giving me the hard knock schooling on sandbox MMORPG gaming, with its decidedly hands-off approach and design decisions that definitely hearken to ye olde dayes. That’s not to say I wasn’t expecting this, to be fair — I had played the game on a trade show floor before and understood what the devs were trying to accomplish — but dang this is a tough nut to crack.

As per your voting, I followed through with the pre-selected Mage character build. After that, I dropped my character off into Pyros Landing of the Southern Rim and set out to try and find my way in the realm of Celador. What I found was a great level of challenge, but at least an intriguing one and not a terribly frustrating one. So far, anyway.

In fairness to Legends of Aria, I wasn’t entirely kicked off of the boat and into the water, so to speak. Loading in to the town of Pyros Landing, I was greeted by a few tutorial bits and a spirit I could call upon at any time to get additional instructions and even a bit of direction. I consulted with the little floating blue mote and elected to head out to a place to hunt, which offered me two choices: a nearby graveyard or a sewer. Since the latter is the in-game equivalent of leavings when compared to others in-game, I decided to head home to the sewers.

It was here that I got my first taste of magic-based combat. At the start, I was granted a sparkly magic missile attack, an instant spell called Ruin, a healing spell, and a poison clearing spell. Seemed pretty generous, and all that was down here were rats and spiders. Easy.

No. No, not so. I don’t know what sorts of things the people of Pyros Landing are tossing down the bog, but these critters were not your garden variety noob fodder. These rats took several strikes to take down… when my spells weren’t outright fizzling, of course.

Perseverance and judicious use of my healing spell saw me through a number of fights down here while also helping me get my bearings on combat and skill advancement. Using my skills and even getting nibbled on by these ultra rats saw me incrementally improving my skill in the use of Evocation, Magic Affinity, and even things like Vitality and Bludgeoning, which leads me to think that I wasn’t using the knife that I thought I had equipped and instead have been whaling away on foes with a torch. Nice as this system was, though, it wasn’t exactly filling me with a great sense of personal advancement, so I climbed out of the sewer and elected to head out into the world in search of potentially more rewarding challenges.

The second I stepped out of the safety of Pyros Landing’s walls, I was immediately in defense mode. If rats were a mini boss, surely things out in the woods were worse? My instincts proved right, as bears immediately began to run me down and nearly maul me and coyotes proved to be a tougher fight than I had anticipated.

It wasn’t helping that the two attack spells I had didn’t really seem to be providing a lot of grunt for me. Despite its name, Ruin is barely ruinous and is more like a magical tickle explosion, while the sparkly magic missile attack did good damage but also seemed to take forever to travel to its target, even at close range. Then, after a few harrowing fights with coyotes — a sentence I never thought I’d ever type — I realized that there was a Reagents Bag.

My spells required materials to cast, and I was running low.

Nevermind skilling up; all I wanted to do was find reagents for my spells now, especially since I was evidently taking on foes with a torch as a weapon. I ran around in a variety of circles and figure eights, looking for as many plants as I could pluck in order to keep my reagents bag full of fuel for my spells.

During my meandering, I stumbled across the graveyard, which featured animated skeletons that ran me down like the T-1000. At one point during my panicked running from the murder skeleton, I managed to also kite a coyote and a bear. Mercifully, I survived the encounter, as the bear started slapping the skeleton and I attempted to kill the coyote. The comedy of errors most definitely didn’t stop there, as at one point when I logged on, I managed to spawn right in front of an orc and into the path of some goblins, which ran me all the way back to the gate of Pyros Landing.

My newbie orbits must have drawn some attention, as I was hailed by other characters during my clearly aimless movement. After asking them where I can find some lemongrass reagents, they informed me of the ctrl button’s ability to highlight nearby collectibles. They even gave me a horse mount and instructed me on how to use it. So, hilariously enough (to me anyway), other players have thus far not been the danger I expected them to be, and I have had more to fear from rats and coyotes.

Despite all of this flailing, I still feel like I can make this work and climb the hill Legends of Aria is putting in front of me. Call it stubbornness, maybe, but I prefer to call it an attempted appreciation for what a “true” sandbox MMORPG is supposed to be.

Clearly, though, I need some direction, which is where this round of voting comes in to play. I’m dedicated to following through with the Mage build, but the reagent spell requirement was not a wrinkle I saw coming and so I’d like a bit of advice on how to proceed with my class build:

What should be my combat build priority for my character?

  • Pure mage. You've only got a limited number of skills to earn anyway. (38%, 52 Votes)
  • Switch. Find a warrior trainer and use something else. (17%, 23 Votes)
  • Mix it up. A bit of magic, a bit of steel. (45%, 61 Votes)

Total Voters: 136

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Next is the matter of direction in the more cardinal sense. I figure a bit of skilling up is a good idea, but I also understand that there’s an NPC in the town of Pyros Landing that can offer me a few jobs for what I assume are some manner of rewards. Of course, there’s also something to be said for continuing to roam the area and trying my luck a bit more. So, how about it?

What should I do out here in the Southern Rim?

  • Roam if you want to. Roam around the world. (25%, 32 Votes)
  • Get some missions. Obviously you're not helping yourself right now. (52%, 67 Votes)
  • Grind up. Get back in the sewer and beat up rats until you can crush them. (23%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 129

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As always, polling will close up at 1:00 p.m. EST this coming Friday, March 8th. Until then, I think I’ll take up that guild invite that was kindly provided in the comments section of last week’s column and perhaps further get my bearings. Until then, remember: coyotes are murderous little suckers.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.

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Panama J. Craig

In this game, there is little room for end-game error. If you want to run something useful, then run a mage with Healing and Vigor or a Mage/Tamer. If you run tamer, 100 Taming/100 Lore/100 Beastmastery/80 Evo/80 Mani/80 Affin/60 Channeling. (Start Magery first and get all 4 skills to 80, dropping channeling as needed, pick up Taming/Lore at the Stables and immediately start taming horses at 30). Once you’ve completed that build and pick up the Skill Ability – Meditation, then drop Channeling 10 points at time to slowly raise Evo/mani/Affin to GM without channeling, and manage your mana with potions and the meditation ability at that point.

Panama J. Craig

Oh 3 Abilities you’d want —
Mage Armor


A common misconception is that you have to have 100 skill in each skill you choose to be effective. There are a few places you can skimp.

Based on the poll answers it looks like you might be adding a bit of steel in with your Magery.

You can look at it several ways. Mage takes 4 skills. Manifestation, Evocation, Channeling and Magic affinity. If you take all 4 to 100 then you only have 200 skill points left to play with and a good argument can be made for those to be Healing and Vigor to 100. Healing is very powerful and doesn’t have a casting animation.

However if you wanted to take that Mage start and add a little steel skill you could make some alterations to max skill levels expected.

Evocation 100
Magic affinity 100

These are your damage dealers as a mage. Keep these 100 to stay “whole mage”.

Manifestation 80
Channeling 80

This allows you to still be able to resurrect with magic.Plus do all the teleporting and portaling ect. Your Mana recovery will not be 100 but its okay because…

Healing 80
Vigor 80
Weapon skill 80

Now you can resurrect with bandages too, Vigor adds to your Healing and your Weapon damage.

You won’t wear anything but cloth armor for defense, but you will be able to save on reagents by whacking things with your weapon and self healing.

High INT 50
Med Con 40
Low Agility 30 (15,30 and 45 Agility offer bonus attack speed)
The rest 10.

Just as an idea where to go with stats for a PvE style character. This would be an Agility weapon (low hitting fast swinging) way to go since you are not using armor and have a lot of points tied up in INT. Going the 30 STR route may not do as much DPS but you could carry more.

Will and Wisdom have their uses too. Will for stuns in PVP,Wisdom of at least 20 helps for spell resists. But you can worry about that later.


Most common newbie mistake in loa, make a mage as first character :)
I would be surprised if you could even break even on reagents, and if(when) you go broke then you are really screwed. More experienced players know what to kill and where to go, so they may get away with a mage as first character.

Sword and board or two hander melee character is a steady choice. Get bandage skill up asap, as it is ridiculously op and if you keep spamming it on cooldown you can take on very hard foes.
A general note, skill up makes a huge difference .. sometimes just 10 extra skill make you twice as tanky or hit twice as often.

Bow characters are really strong and fast killers, the downside is that you have to spend a good deal of time chopping wood and crafting arrows to sustain yourself.

Tamer is also really strong and fast, but mostly at the early & mid game.

But you got to specialize in one offensive thing.. jack of all trades is a waste from mid game and onwards. If you really get into it, make special characters just for various crafting/gathering that you need.. though you need a house to safely transfer stuff, and a house requires a serious grind face, but then again the whole game is grindy.


Best to buy reagents from the mage shops. You’re never going to get enough running around.

I tried to play straight mage but the multiple resources you had to manage was a bit too much for me. Warrior is where it’s at.


Oh my goodness, Chris Neal. I feel like they’re trying to make your experience harder based off the results in the polls 😂😂😂

As a pure mage build, something I picked from the start and committed to myself, it is very hard to skill up alone legitimately in combat. I paired with a warrior from the getgo and stuck with them in my travels. Choosing a pure mage is also expensive due to reagents requirements.

I’d really recommend, if you are soloing more often than not, to roll warrior or hybrid… If you are sticking to pure mage though, find a buddy ASAP!

Feel free to contact me via idiivil#4910 if you need help via Discord! If you happened to roll a character on Verdant Earth, I can log in and have my character be there too!


I confess I voted mage to see how he handled the reagent system.

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The only realistic ways to get more spells are to buy them from player vendors (if you can find one selling what you need) or to craft them yourself. I’d train Inscription to 30 and make some of the basic spells, since the starter evocation spells aren’t particularly useful.

I’d also avoid doing the missions, whatever the poll says. They’re terrible.


I believe too pure mages on sandboxes are harder to master. The game seems fun, if a bit hard, and overall I think you will have a good time and take your revenge….on the bears. Either way welcome to the world of sandboxes


You should make a support character for your Mage. Either a crafter or a Sword and Board fighter with bandage healing.
It is going to be very, very difficult to make coin as a low skilled mage.

A crafter ( lumberjack/carpenter or miner/blacksmith) can make money without leaving town (Helm), slow and steady.
Or a melee PVE fighter can make money even faster, but with some more risk involved. You can start killing skeletons and zombies with the starting 30 in melee/armor skills, but a few laps around the sewers wouldn’t hurt to get some copper for more skill training.

You could also make a character with Animal Taming and the 30 starting skill will just barely be enough to start taming your own horses.

You can transfer gear between your characters by leaving them parked by an out of the way crate in town somewhere and swapping characters in and out to transfer. Until you get a house plot of course.

The whole purpose of the housing, besides the cool factor, is to share equipment easily between characters.


Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be fine! Magic is always tough in these type of games, it may be better to try a non-magic offensive class or animal taming :)

It’s good to hear other players have been helpful


Good read!