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If you decide to start playing DAoC, here's a few things you should know. This is really just an introduction for new players. The FAQ is great, but I tried to offer this moreso in the form of "Start to Finish, how to survive" style.
1) Tutorial: The tutorial is a great start to your adventures! It will provide you with level 10 or 12 gear that is absolutely astonishing for your level. Pay close attention to everything you do in the Tutorial, it's very important. . . this game does not baby you past the Tutorial.
2) After The Tutorial: Some quests will remain, but this is really when you start adventuring by yourself. There's quite a few things you need to keep in mind. This game does not feed you constant rewards. You will need to work for your gear and/or spend your gold on cheapo items to progress. As you level, the start items will become blue/green/grey, you want to keep your gear blue or better to have full effectiveness in combat. It is important to understand that DAoC is not a "Quest Hub to Quest Hub" kind of game. DAoC gives you land to adventure and explore, it does not tell you how to adventure and explore. I will suggest this if you like dungeon crawls, find your Catacombs City (Kobold Undercity, Shar Labyrinth, Inconnu Crypt) and then become comfortable with the underground system to your corresponding realm. This connects all classic world dungeons via mine shaft/aqueducts.
3) Aurulite: (A form of rock/stone based currency for the Catacombs expansion, ask someone in game where you can go and where to purchase the gear) This stuff comes from instances of world dungeons. If you find yourself in Nisse's Lair or other similar 10+ dungeons, you will see other zones on your map. When you enter these zones, you have entered an instance where aurulite can drop. The higher level the instance, the more aurulite will drop. Aurulite is a great way to keep your gear on par with your level. Aurulite dungeons are not the fastest method of leveling, but MMO's aren't about speed.
4) Epic Quests: These are granted by your trainer every few levels. They are a simple quest that builds up to the final level 45 Epic Quest which will give you an entire suit of level 51 armor (You won't understand what I mean by level 51, max level is 50 right? RR5L0 is considered level 51) The epic quests are a great way to adventure and see all the stuff out there.
5) Task Dungeons: These are provided at a few towns. (1-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-50) If you find a taskmaster that isn't for your current level, he will send you to the correct location. Task Dungeons are a great way to level but do not provide much in the way of equipment. This is why aurulite is so important. Unfortunately, task dungeons are a little boring. . . I like to just adventure the classic world and dungeons and level there.
6) Expansions: DAoC has released quite a few expansion and you can get lost in them. Frankly, I'm pretty phased by all of the expansions, but iirc this is how it goes. Classic World (DAoC) is really where the main focus is. Classic will provide everything you need to go from 0-50 via dungeons and outdoor killing Shrouded Isles (SI) is an expansion of the classic world, this was basically a leveling ground for the new classes released with SI. This area provides some great experience camp locations including Modernagrav and Avalon City. Trials of Atlantis (ToA) was an expansion that introduced Artifacts/Master Levels, one of the reasons DAoC took a large hit in population, this land is pretty vacant but it is still fun to adventure and check out all of the artifact encounters. You will learn more about Master Levels and Artifacts if you decide to play on a regular server. They can be fun or boring depending on the kind of player you are. Catacombs (...) is an expansion that introduced aurulite and a few more leveling areas. Catacombs also introduced an instancing system and a zone that interconnected ALL classic world dungeons (Ex, Abandoned Mines). Darkness Rising (DR) is an expansion that introduced Champion Levels and Champion Weapons as well as a small form of subclassing. These quests are available past level 30 and grant an awesome weapon that goes well with your epic gear from epic quests. New Frontiers (NF) is the new PvP zone, basically a revamp of the old world. They really need to consolidate it, but it's not . . . terrible. Labyrinth of the Minotaur (LotM) is an open PvP dungeon within NF. There's a ton to explore and get lost in, it's quite overwhelming and does need some consolidation.
7) Template: Once you reach level 50 and have obtained a few Artifacts/Master Levels/Champion Levels/Epic Gear/Champion Weapon you might want to consider a template for your character. A template is when you find the perfect arrangement of gear to compliment your characters every stat. This means capping your Str/Dex/Con/Quick/Resists/Buff Caps/Melee Damage caps etc. This will allow you to experience the full capacity of your character.
8) Trade Skills: You can raise your trade skills from 0 to max level all within the walls of the capital city because you can purchase all of the require materials from merchants. You can make and customize every weapon and piece of gear you want if you master all of the trade skills available. The tutorial will teach you about customizing gear and crafting items. Example: You can make a level 51 piece of armor, give it any stat/resist you want, and give it a proc (A reactive effect cast when the armor is hit) . . . not only that, you can dye the piece of equipment any color you desire.
9) Battlegrounds: You can level in Battlegrounds when there are others out there to fight. Battlegrounds actually provide a great amount of experience and equipment if you kill the monsters within them. Players also grant an insane amount of experience. You will also get an insane amount of experience if you manage to take the keep in the middle of each battleground. Yes, this game has siege battles and keep defense and capture!
10) Realm Abilities: The more players you kill, the more realm points you acquire, the more realm points you acquire, the more realm abilities you can get! Realm Abilities are abilities you can get at your trainer and are absolutely game breaking for any PvP character. A high realm rank character will be significantly more difficult than a low realm rank player. The longer you play your character in the frontier, the more powerful they will become.
11) Specialization: Each character specs at their class trainer and each spec line provides something unique. Different types of classes receive more spec points than other classes because they may require many different styles of combat. (A stealther needs many spec points because they have poison/stealth/weapon/critical strike/offhand spec lines, a caster receives fewer because they are either nukers, DoTers, or pet masters "usually") I will not go into detail about this because all of this information can be obtained on the main website www.camelotherald.com. I could talk for DAYS about the right specs for the right characters, but do what spec works best for you.
12) Server Types: There are different servers for DAoC. Classic servers don't include Trials of Atlantis which introduced many time sinks. . . the downside to Classic servers is most of the bonuses ToA introduced are back. . . it's kinda silly now. Classic servers also hinder the use of Buffbots (Many people use multiple accounts to buff and heal their characters, buffbots really hurt the game) Regular servers are . . . regular. There are other rulesets like Co-Op and Full on FFA. . .
13) Lastly: The best thing you can do is ask questions within the game. What specs are good, where to go to level, what to do, who to help. The best thing i can say is. . . look for a guild! It's always important to be involved with a guild in DAoC because this is a true MMORPG. You depend on others and they will depend on you.
Enjoy! I hope this helps any of you newer players out there. . . the game is a bit overwhelming right now with all the new stuff they've introduced over the years. There is much more in this game that you can experience and i'm not going to ruin the fun. There are items that give great benefits, buffs, and even shapechanges! I'll let you learn the rest. . . an MMO is about discovery!
Gaming is serious business.