If you've never played an Online RPG before (known as a MMORPG for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) you are in for a new experience. Unlike other computer games, MMORPGs are played with others from around the world. It combines game play with great online socializing. This guide is designed to help you get started in the world of Dereth.
Even if you have played MMORPGs before, we suggest reading through this guide as well. Although MMORPGs have many similarities, in many ways Asheron's Call is different than the rest. You'll have to throw away your expectations and approach this from a new mindset.
If you have the itching to get in and play, you'll need a few things. The first would be an account. You can purchase a new account at The Turbine Store. After you have your account, you'll need to download the Client from the official Asheron's Call site.
After you have established your account and downloaded and installed the client, you'll need to pick a server. This part is easiest if you already know someone that plays. If you don't though, visit the New Players Forum on Turbine's website, or if you're daring enough, you can browse the various official Server Forums. There are generally players, just like you, looking for information on the servers. There aren't restrictions on playing more than one server, so if you don't like the server you picked, you can always try another one.
What's Unique About Asheron's Call
Okay, we'll get this out of the way first as it is often the first thing people notice when loading the game.
Asheron's Call graphics are based on an older engine that does not handle the high details many new games have. This engine was upgraded with the Throne of Destiny expansion, but still does not have the awe-inspiring glory of newer game titles.
However, even though the resolution may not be as great as other games, there are distinct advantages.
Buildings on the landscape act like real buildings. They have working doors, there is no 'zoning' in and out of a building. Windows are truly windows and you can watch what is going on outside through them.
The world has no zones or instances (the Colosseum being the only exception). You can run from one end of Dereth to the other, the mountains you see in the distance you can travel to, no matter how far away they are.
With over 500 square miles to explore, AC's world gives players huge scope and freedom.
In addition, these graphics allow for a much higher concentration of monsters, allowing you to be a true hero and fight entire swarms and emerge victorious.
These touches add a form of realism you don't get in other games. As you play you can find yourself immersed in Dereth as completely as you can any other MMORPG.
The gameplay of AC is unlike any other MMORPG, and that is where AC shines.
Skill-based Character Growth
AC does not have character classes as many other MMORPGs do. There is no 'healer' class, no 'tank' class, no 'attack' class.
With AC you have complete control of the design of your character, allowing you to mix and match skills from any of the traditional class based systems into a character that is truly your own design. The bad news is with this freedom, you can create some extraordinarily bad designs. However, even these designs can succeed, and some players take pride in taking a so-called unplayable design to very high levels.
When grouping for quests, player mixes of skills allow for much greater freedom in creating your groups. A group does not have to consist of a healer, a tank, a leader and damage specialist. Instead, parts of these roles can be taken by anyone in the group.
This also allows for a greater ability to 'solo'. Very little of the content in AC cannot be soloed by a powerful enough character.
Almost every month, Turbine releases new content. Content is divided into 'Story Arcs' that are delivered in parts month by month. Each update brings new quests, new items, new places to explore.
And Turbine has been doing this for over twelve years. There is a considerable amount of things to see and do, so you won't run out soon.
Third Party Utilities
AC is unique among MMORPGs in that it allows the use of 3rd party utilities to enhance or design AC gameplay to match your form of enjoyment.
3rd party utilities are available to help you in looting, crafting, managing your stuffs, buffing, finding your way around the world, keeping track of your quest timers and many other useful additions.
Also 3rd party utilities can be used to set up a 'bot' which is an unattended character that can provide services to the community. Bot's provide trading in the AC Marketplace, Bot's provide buffs, portals to far away locations, and services of every kind.
However, this power comes with a downside. Some people use bots to level while they are away from the computer. This is commonly called a UCM for Unattended Combat Macro. UCMs are against the AC rules, and can lead to the character account being banned. However, it is difficult to tell the difference between an attended combat macro (which is legal) and an unattended one. In AC you WILL find macros fighting.
Nope, no horses, flying dragons, speedsters, land rovers, jet airplanes or other methods of transportation.
Instead, you play a super character, faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings at a single bound. The run skill allows for faster travel than mounts in other games. You don't have to buy anything special to use it, just add points to your quickness and run skills. With portals to far areas dotting the landscape, and the ability to run as fast as a Volkswagen going up a mountain pass, you will find you don't need a mount.
A complete list of in-depth articles on a wide variety of game mechanics can be found here.
You can also jump straight to Connor the Craftmaster's Asheron's Call: A Complete Video Documentary by clicking here.
"Asheron's Call develops a heroic fantasy setting familiar enough to draw you in yet mysterious enough to draw you onward. A varied host of monsters populate the benighted, medieval terrain; mysterious artifacts of great power embellish vast treasure hoards; and sorcerers, fighters, and rogues plot both heroic alliances and base villainy. However, Asheron's Call retains a strong flavor all its own, with an original backstory and creatures, and unparalleled flexibility in character creation and development. After selecting your attire and facial features from millions of possible combinations, customize your skill set to make your character truly unique. As you defeat foes, you can allocate experience to not only specific skills but also the base attributes like strength and intelligence. And the allegiance system grants you power and prestige as you recruit followers to your service. Enter the vast and magical world of Dereth, where a new and heroic identity awaits you!"
There are 13 character races to choose from in Asheron's Call, ranging from the traditional Isparian races, to many new recently added races such as the Isparian crushing, giant weapon wielding Lugians and even the previous masters of Dereth and beyond -- the Empyreans.
Whether your goals in Dereth are to obtain powerful magical items, greater experience, or a glimpse of the strange wonders the lands have to offer, you can achieve these ends more easily within a group.
Whether joining up with old allies or assembling a new party from passersby in a dungeon, you'll want to create a fellowship to unify your group. In addition to generating strength in numbers, a fellowship makes communication easier and allows both experience and treasure to be shared. There is absolutely no reason not to form one, as you can create, join, or leave a fellowship at any time.
"An allegiance differs greatly from a fellowship. A fellowship is a group that lasts for a single adventuring session, potentially sharing experience points evenly, or not all, between its members. When you exit the game, you leave the fellowship.
Swearing allegiance puts you in a more permanent relationship with other characters. When you swear to a character, you become his or her "vassal" and that character becomes your "patron." Your patron may have other vassals and a patron of his or her own; therefore, you become part of an extended allegiance group until you break your allegiance to your patron, if ever.
What are the benefits of an allegiance? When a vassal earns experience points, he or she also generates extra points that are automatically passed up to his or her patron. In such a way, the patron may gain experience even while not playing! This does not mean that a vassal loses a portion of his or her earned experience; the extra experience generated is completely free. Furthermore, the allegiance system establishes a character's noble rank within the game, which determines some of the magic items he or she can use.
Each character in Asheron's Call can swear allegiance to one other character of equal or greater level, and a character can have a number of sworn vassals equal to his or her level, up to a maximum of 12."
Player Factions: Societies of Dereth
Introduced in Ancient Powers, the Societies of Dereth are factions that characters greater than level 180 are able to join. Societies provide players with high level content, including access to tier 7 loot and a new island. Characters are able to advance in rank within their society by completing tasks. Societies also provide a faction vs. faction PvP system in the form of the land control castles.
"Engage enemies or even other players with combat skills. Swing with reckless abandon increasing your damage while increasing the risk you take in combat with the Recklessness skill. Drop that shield and fight with two weapons at once with the Dual Weapon skill. Deliver punishing blows to the back of your enemy with Sneak Attack, turn the fight in your favor with the tricky tactics of Dirty Fighting or try the previously added Void Magic and Two Handed Combat options."
Two Handed Weapons
"The Viamontian masters have agreed to offer training in the art of Two Handed Combat to the peoples of Dereth. Due to the expanded use of Two Handed weapons they have become more readily available and will be available in all tiers of loot."
"The world of Dereth is steeped in magic. Magicians are nearly as plentiful as warriors, and many an enchanted item waits to be found by adventurers. It is perhaps a more difficult choice to begin a career as a spellcaster than it is to begin as a warrior, but the potential rewards may also be greater. Consider that high-level spellcasters are powerful characters whose magical expertise is as important to gameplay as skill with the axe or bow, and as much in demand as the deadliest flaming sword."
"Asheron's Call continues to evolve in all aspects, and the magic system is no different! With the November 2010 event, From Darkness, Light, a new school of magic was introduced known as Void Magic! This is a mastery of a darker form of magic, which focuses on Damage over time."
Color coordinating your outfit just became a lot easier! Using the cooking and alchemy skills along with special dye plants found only in the wilds of Dereth, you can create dyes of various colors to dye your armor and clothing. But beware -- don't expect it to be easy! If your skills are not up to the task, you could permanently damage your armor!
Salvaging and Tinkering
The salvaging skill allows you to salvage any items you don't want into useful materials; for example, salvaging a steel dericost sword into a bag of steel. These salvaged materials are collected until you have a certain quantity and are then used to enhance the abilities of another item using the four tinkering skills: armor tinkering, item tinkering, magic item tinkering and weapon tinkering.
Asheron's Call wouldn't stay exciting very long if death had no consequences. When you are slain, you'll resurrect at the last lifestone to which you attuned your character, having lost one or more valuable items, half your pyreals, if any, and a percentage of your "vitae," or life force. All your skills are decreased by the percentage of your vitae loss and so are the maximum values of your secondary attributes -- Health, Stamina, and Mana.
However, not all is lost! once you have been resurrected, you can return to your place of death and claim your dropped items (except Pyreals, scavenger Drudges cannot resist these shiny coins) and restore you vitae by earning experience. But be warned, leave it too long and you will lose your items forever. Also, should you play on the PvP world of Darktide and were killed by another player, they too can claim your dropped items.
Help the Arcanum and unlock the secrets of a new kind of magic that the Empyreans called Aetheria.
Players can learn the ability to gather and manipulate Aetheria to tap the energies of the ley lines of Dereth to gain power and benefit from surges of magic. These items level up as you gain experience.
Each sigil also has a different power which it granted to those who wield it, provided the Aetheria has gained enough experience to increase in levels. One example sigil is the sigil of destruction that increases your damage rating.
Once you reach the higher levels of power on your character, you will need ways to spend experience. This is where Augmentation Gems come in. These gems provide unique ways to enhance your characters from things such as lessening damage received, increasing your number of pack slots, reducing the sting of death and much more.
By completing a quest to acquire a gem and paying an experience point cost, you can add one of these permanent abilities to your character. These gems are one of the most powerful forms of character advancement for heroes in Dereth.
Experience one of the newest end-game mechanics, Luminance. Players over level 200 can now increase their abilities even more with this new feature. Improve everything from your Critical Hit success, to your ability to craft. As with everything in Asheron's Call, the choice is yours!"
"Denizens of Dereth can wear cloaks of varying patterns to compliment their tailored suits. Cloaks are equipped into a new back slot on your character inventory panel. As the Arcanum has learned to weave magic into these garments, cloaks have begun dropping from creatures and appearing in chests throughout Dereth.
Cloaks appear with a small number of patterns to suit the varying tastes of the adventurers of Dereth. The Arcanum has created cloaks that automatically take the colors of the basic clothing of the person wearing it. As such when a traveler changes the color of shirts and pants the cloak changes to match it. Because of this the tailors of Dereth have learned to tailor not only cloaks, but the shirts and pants of the lands as well.
Cloaks can also have magical properties. Cloaks are created with a level. Low level loot will drop level 1’s, mid level loot will drop level 2’s and high level will drop level 3’s. There are rumors of cloaks that might have an even higher level of power, but those rumors are unconfirmed. Cloaks do not have their full power when they are created; each must be increased in power by being worn while the adventurer wearing it seeks glory and experience in Dereth. A cloak will only reach its full potential when it has been worn in battle and on quests so its magical potential can be fulfilled."
"Tailors create tailoring kits to enable citizens to customize the look of their armor if the character has an initial armor piece to work from.
Each tailor sells tailoring kits. These kits enable your character to take the appearance off an item that looks good and add that appearance to another item equipped in the same place(s) with more favorable adventuring qualities. The initial piece is always the piece that looks good. Using the tailoring kit upon that piece destroys it, but the look of the item is retained within the kit. The tailoring kit is then applied to your tried and true adventuring armor piece to change its appearance.
If you use the kit properly, the end result is that your trusty armor that once had an old, tired looking appearance will now have the new attractive look of the piece you liked! You can put together a unique style and leverage the varied colors and styles of Dereth without fear of having your skull crushed because a piece you like does not have the armor protection you might require as you adventure throughout the lands."
"Weapon Masteries allow a character to pick one melee and one ranged weapon to excel at. Choose from: Axe, Sword, Mace, Dagger, Staff, Spear, Unarmed, and Two Handed weapons for melee and choose between: Bow, Crossbow, Thrown Weapons, and Magic when fighting from afar."
This is to be a place where you can bring your characters, their friends, and allegiance at the end of long hard day to share stories, hang your trophies and keep safe all the spoils of battle. There are over 6,200 dwellings to be found in Dereth, ranging from small Apartments and Cottages to luxury Villas and even immense and awe-inspiring Mansions."
"The sun sets in a fine shroud of mist, reddening the stucco of a cheery hilltop inn as wind sighs through the groves; in the mountains, a giant banderling shadows a warrior party amid a lulling patter of snow; and somewhere below the flagstones of the deepest Empyrean excavation, the clicking, chittering Olthoi share mad and bloody dreams. Fond human fantasies meet strange nightmares in the magical realm of Dereth. Escape into 500 square miles of hills, mountains, deserts, forests, towns, dungeons, and hidden islands, where no invisible boundaries interrupt your journey over the vast open spaces. Storms sweep the countryside, the sun sinks into the west, the moons rise and fall, and dawn creeps over the horizon."
Never has a more feared collection of monsters been found than of those plaguing the lands of Dereth. A hero would be wise to train in the safer areas before daring to explore and engage such creatures of the wild.
"Walk the wilds of Dereth, and such fearsome creatures as Golems, Reed Sharks, and Ursuin may be found. Yet by exploring only the world's surface, one will rarely, if ever, encounter Dereth's most fearsome denizens. To face such beings as the Lugians, Sclavus, and even Olthoi, heroes must delve beneath the ground -- into the dungeons.
Walk the paths between human settlements, and strange portals will often glimmer. Portals which lead not to any civilized town, but rather to underground lairs and ruins and even exotic cities beneath the soil. Before daring to enter such dungeons, adventurers would be wise to stock up on torches, recruit a fellow explorer, and find out all they can before blindly heading in."
The Colosseum is a dungeon of sorts with repeatable content. The premise is very simple. Players enter the Colosseum and fight their way through increasingly difficult stages.
The Colosseum consists of 18 arenas, each of which contains a variety of monsters. The goal is to defeat the creatures in all 18 rooms and use the final exit before the 1 hour timer is up. Many prestigious rewards await those that overcome all 18 arenas.
Players of any level will be able to participate, but The Colosseum is geared towards Fellowships. In order to go through, you must be part of a fellowship. When players enter, they will be in a staging area which will be used by everyone. This is a great place to get your fellowships together, or to find a group to tag along with. Once in a fellowship, one person will need to purchase a ticket at a reasonable cost from a nearby NPC. That person will then give the ticket to the starter NPC who will lock the fellowship and let them know they can enter The Colosseum.
There is no timer on repeating, so players will be able to enter The Colosseum as often as they would like, as long as their initial 60 minute timer is up.
"Adventurers looking to fill their coffers with the gold and magic Dereth has to offer will be quick to learn -- not every treasured relic may be won by simply battling creatures. At times, a more heroic effort is required.
While coins and certain magic items can be readily found, in the pouch of a young Banderling or within the hollowed recess of a Mud Golem, the most powerful objects have been secreted away. . . and often kept by equally powerful guardians. Consider the legendary Sword of Lost Light, or Oswald's Dagger. Truly, such objects cannot be found without embarking upon some quest."
Item Sets refer to items that when equipped at the same time cast additional bonus spells that are not listed on or cast by any individual item of the set. Set bonuses are based on the number of pieces of the set that are currently equipped, not specific item combinations. Some set bonuses will only activate when all pieces are equipped, others will have different bonuses depending on the number of pieces currently wielded.
There are 13 quest item sets available and 2 rare sets. The 18 most formidable sets can only be obtained through the loot system.
The Mana Forges
These wonderful places are locations where the Arcanum is putting the wonders of the Ley Lines to work for the betterment of all Dereth. Help power the forges with shards and you shall be rewarded with powerful weapons, armor and other useful items.
"The ability to harm and be harmed by other players implies assassinations, ambushes, vendettas, and player battles large and small, but it also makes altruism and cooperation more meaningful, and allows for the possibility of player-organized law enforcement. You may have heard that the Player Killer world is a chaotic free-for-all where players get ambushed at every turn, but those who've had this initial experience likely blundered into a bad situation, or even created one by not observing etiquette. If you learn some basic survival tactics and observe the unwritten codes of conduct, you'll find that you can have the same experiences as on an NPK server, while leaving open the possibility of much deeper intrigues and friendships."
Player Killers or PKs are players that have converted to one of Bael'Zharon's Chosen by using an Altar of Bael'Zharon or Eye of Darkness.
PKs are able to help and—unlike Non Player Killers—harm, kill and loot other players who have also coverted. Player killers appear as red dots on the Radar, hence the term “go red” as an expression for turning PK. The Darktide server is a PvP world, everyone who plays there automatically begins as a Player Killer.
"Players can jump right into the PvP action as an Olthoi! The evil race of bugs that started it all is now in your hands. Starting out on Olthoi Isle, players can get all the action and excitement of PvP right from the start! Play as an Olthoi Soldier or as one of the winged Spitters!"
"Contracts are a way to track the acquisition and progress of the quests they represent. A contract initially takes the form of a written parchment. These parchments can be found in various places in the game, but most often they can be purchased from contract brokers and barkeeps who sell them instead of rumors. Contracts help track quests, and sometimes they can lead you to quests."
The in-game journal for players is used to take notes and track timers as players complete quests. The quest journal is not an item in the normal sense; it does not have burden and will not take up pack space. The quest journal is basically a series of pages that hold information on quests and other notes.
"These artisans use their expert techniques to restyle your hair and freshen up your look. Their craft is not entirely mundane for they can even change other aspects of your appearance such as skin color and facial features. Located near the tailors, you simply talk to the barbers. If you can pay their price you will find a variety of options appear to allow you to change your style. The barbers are very particular about their time, however. You pay up front, and their fee stands regardless of what look you choose, even if change your mind and get cold feet."
"In Dereth there are houses of games (or 'dens of iniquity' to some), where adventurers returning from a successful hunt can gamble away their hard-earned gains. Some have entered clutching their last trade note, and left with prizes such as Pyreal Nuggets and Platinum Scarabs. Others, more confident, less fortunate, bet all they had, only to walk away with but a single, rotting cabbage."
"The Arcanum, under the direction of the Queen, has created a special Marketplace that is accessible to all of the people of Dereth. Now with just a simple act of will, those in search of goods or services can be transported to the Marketplace. In conjunction with the Secure Trade feature, the marketplace makes it easier for everyone to find the materials they need to prepare themselves for whatever challenges lie ahead."