Four Winds: MassivelyOP’s guide to getting started in Swords of Legends Online

    
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It’s a strange trend whenever new MMOs launch that there’s a deluge of tutorial videos on a bunch of topics but a shortage of written guides. Sometimes I just need a quick question answered without having to skip the 30-second intro and repeating the video a few times because the speaker was talking too fast. Sometimes a written article is far more helpful.

So let’s change that with Swords of Legends Online. I spent an extended amount of time (60 hours!) in this game ahead of launch, mainly to unlock the PvP, and I picked up a few nuggets of knowledge from the betas. And I’d like to share the things I learned to spare a few headaches. I’ll be updating this guide as new items come up.

Leveling

SOLO’s leveling system is like an onion: It’s got layers. All characters begin at Beginner 1. That’s the “tutorial levels,” similar to how players in Black Desert Online consider levels 1-58 as an extended introduction to the game. Players will need to achieve Beginner level 36, fill up the experience bar, and do a quest to advance to Student 1.

In my estimation, Student 1 is where the game begins. That’s when players unlock the harder dungeons difficulties and PvP. When I played in the beta, this took a long time. And I remember players poop-socking it just to get to Student 1. The recent patch notes mentioned that Gameforge improved the pacing of these levels so that players don’t have to rerun the Frostbitten Path dungeon 40+ times. The team has also added various in-game messages since the beta to better communicate what players have to do next.

The cultivation menu, ancestral records, and biographies

As players progress through the game, a special “cultivation” window will be available for players to access next to the minimap. It’s hard to miss; it flashes. It’s a one-stop shop to guide players through the various systems of the game. They’ll be able to accept and complete special quests that get said systems unlocked.

The round, peach colored cloud icon is the cultivation window. Check it often. It will guide you.

So what exactly do players need to do to level? There’s the main story quest, the tasks in the aforementioned cultivation window, and biographies. (Biographies are special side stories to help players get to know the important NPCs better and provide that sweet experience.) Rounding all that out are a few dungeons available for players to run with other players or computer-controlled companions as well. The game also provides a variety of world quests, dailies, and weeklies as well through the ancestral records, default key for which is CTRL+Y. These unlock as players continue their leveling and questing.

In short, it’s nothing an MMO vet hasn’t seen before. But it’s also buried in layers of quests and aren’t available off the cuff.

Biographies add a few lore bits for players who want to get to know the world a little better. The experience makes it worthwhile for all players

PvP and gear

From the beginning, players have access to unstructured PvP. They simply have to request a duel from another player. But the structured 3v3 unlocks at Student 1. As players progress through Beginner 1-36, they’ll get PvE gear. Players can bring their PvE gear to a PvP arena, but they’ll get clapped pretty hard. As soon as players unlock the PvP, they’ll get beginner PvP gear to get them started on their journey. This was one of the key touted features of the game – PvP with standardized gear. Regardless, players will have to work through the PvE before they can start brawling it out in the arenas, so keep that in mind.

Players can save gear templates too, so at the very least, I recommend saving two: one for your PvE gear and one for your PvP gear. It’ll be a huge time saver. You also need to know that PvP is accessible only at certain times. According to the latest patch notes, the arenas are open between 11 a.m. and 4 a.m. (presumably locked to the server’s timezone). Apparently it’s to prevent smurfing; I don’t know the logic behind it. I imagine those times are also the slowest PvP times, so it probably saves on costs in one way or another.

As with the PvE, the cultivation menu and the ancestral records are your go-to resources for PvP activities to help you strengthen your gear. Long story short: There’s separate gear for both modes, and playing whichever preferred mode will get players the gear they need.

The true endgame is fashion. You literally get a score for your appearance in this game

That darned Delectable Dish quest

I don’t know whether Gameforge fixed this quest for the release version, but in beta, it was just downright confusing. There were a ton of translation errors, and the quest description was esoteric. To complete the quest, you’ll need one “lean, boneless meat,” one “edible wild vegetable,” and three “rice and freshly milled flour.” The veggies and rice are available from the nearby merchant. You’ll need to kill bears and wolves outside the town to get the meat. Also, for some reason the coal is called cabbage, but that can also be purchased from the merchant. Be patient with the meat. It took me half an hour of bear-killing to get one drop.

Pets

Pets aren’t just for flexing on stream. OK, they are, but they’re mainly cosmetic items, and there’s a function attached to them. By feeding them items, you help them generate Soul Qi. That Soul Qi is needed for crafting. In the story, the players get only one pet, but they can change its appearance. So before selling items, be sure to feed the pet.

Cosmetics and the store

All purchases and unlocked cosmetics are in the store page, default key being “U.” The right side of the store has all the items players have purchased for their accounts. Players can customize their appearance from there, but don’t forget to click “save current loadout” or the changes won’t reflect on the character. It’s a nice quality-of-life change. At least outfits don’t take up any inventory space.

Those are all the things I can think about for getting players started on their journey through Swords of Legends Online. As I mentioned in my previous articles, it’s certainly one of my new favorites. I certainly hope it becomes yours too!

The four wind tiles in Mahjong open all sorts of winning combinations for players of this ancient game – and the “Asian” MMO subgenre is just as varied as the many rulesets in Mahjong. Join Massively OP’s Carlo Lacsina here in our Four Winds column as he covers the diverse assembly of MMOs imported from the East!
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Neurotic

Sometimes I just need a quick question answered without having to skip the 30-second intro and repeating the video a few times because the speaker was talking too fast. Sometimes a written article is far more helpful.

Ab-so-lutely!!

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Loopy

Love me some more game guides! Please consider doing this for all new MMO launches.

That being said, this sentence:

In my estimation, Student 1 is where the game begins. That’s when players unlock the harder dungeons difficulties and PvP.

is immediate dealbreaker for me.

I’m done playing games where leveling is an afterthought, and the game “begins after x”. I’m gonna start printing red baseball caps that say “Make Leveling Great Again”.

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Bereman99

Honestly, I don’t think it’ an accurate statement – leveling here is intentionally a tutorial meant to introduce you to the variety of systems you’ll be engaging with when you hit max-level, with the exception of housing, PvP, and maybe a couple other things.

And even then, as you’re leveling you’re making progress on things like crafting, gathering, your Pet’s saved up Qi amount, Prestige levels (what they call reputation), getting Astral Points, etc., that you’ll need once you’re at max level anyway.

It’s really only applicable if you’re in this game for the PvP and not much else, as that truly does only start at Student 1.

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tiltowait

Agreed, love written guides, I don’t have the time or inclination to watch videos, so thank you! Another guide I’d like to see for SOLO would be a in depth plot and faction (and other game-world-important stuff) written out for reference, because I’m skipping through the bad cutscenes like I’m playing FFXIV!

Oh, for the PVP times, I saw that system done really well in Archeage, the effect was that certain times of day people started yelling in chat “Hey, form up, we are going to ___ arena/world event/etc” and both factions would show up in force and duke it out. Made it an event looked forward to, and exciting, as opposed to a low-key do it whenever thing. Making it 11am to 4am completely ruins the point of doing it that way, should be every 4 hours for 1 hour or the like.

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Bereman99

For the basics of the plot, at least, the Sword Mastery Adventure menu (Ctrl+L by default) has a rundown of the plot in each section. Doesn’t detail the factions much, but it does tell you the major plot beats.

As for the PvP thing, it’s designed that way primarily (as I understand it) to make sure win-trading isn’t particularly common, by keeping it during day-time hours for the server. Other than that, it’s just when the instances – the arenas mentioned -are open. Notably, these are mostly smaller fight things…stuff like 3v3, 10v10, or 15v15. Not really something people would be showing up in force for.

Faction open world PvP, where you choose a faction and then intentionally flag and can attack and be attacked by those in the opposite faction, can be done at any time, so organizing a duke it out session is still doable. Though you’re generally committed to the faction PvP once you flag up – you can’t unflag again till the next daily reset, except for twice a week with a specific consumable.

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feleran

I totally agree that more written guides would be a welcome thing :)

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Hikari Kenzaki

Thanks for the guide. I’ll be looking back on it as we play more heavily.

It’s a bit inaccurate to say the game begins at Student1, but it definitely opens up in depth of gameplay.
There’s some fun story leading up to that and you get to learn the individual motives of the classes/clans/ships.

If anyone is curious about the issues with NA servers yesterday, they completed maintenance about 6 hours ago and the issues seem to be resolved. Keep in mind that the game performed quite well in the EU during launch, so there was clearly something amiss between the developers and their NA server hosts and not something necessarily wrong with the game.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Another MMO where it “gets gud” after X amount of hours ain’t my cup of Lapsang Souchong.

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Vanquesse V

What makes this game good are all of the non-standard systems. There are so many of them that if you introduced them all at once I think it would be too much for the vast majority of players, so they have to roll it out slowly. And the game does spend the time and effort to weave those systems into the story and open them up over time.

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Brinto Sfj

Here is my suggestion to get started with Swords of Legends online: DON’T. Stay away from Gameforge and anything that comes from Gameforge. You are welcome.