There are 2 levels that will help you if you TR and especially if you do a lot of solo stuff. It’s fully possible to hit level 20 without any of the items out of these two levels, but it sure makes it easier. That’s true with anything you do – there are certain named items that’ll make your life a heck of a lot easier but it’s not impossible to TR or level on randomly dropped items alone.
The items I’m going to mention are items that you will probably use all the way to level 20. For most part we’ll find items that will upgrade our stats incrementally and as soon as we find something better we’ll replace them and move on. That would be your basic ability point enhancement (say a strength 4 item instead of a strength 2), better armor and weapons and items that enhance your HP and SP.
It’s fairly easy to hit the first 10 levels and in some cases soloing with a hireling. There are a few that require a more balanced groups because of traps and puzzles, but unlike level 10 and above you can do most quests on solo, casual and normal. With a full group there shouldn’t be that much of an issue hitting 10 within weeks.
Above 10 things change; quests are usually part of chains with end game raids that require flagging and most quests add one or two parts of it that might require timing in pulling levers or finishing bosses.
While there are staple products such as feather falling items and underwater action that you’ll find around 5 and above, they’re not must have products unless you play a rare few quests (the pit and the 3 barrel cove and necropolis under water quests) and it can most likely be replaced with clickie items and spells.
But above 10 you’ll face a hill of a challenge running most wilderness and quests without 3 specific items – AC, weapons and SP, that will determine how well you run them and especially how long (say a complete wilderness run compared to getting halfway before recalling due to running out of SP).
That varies between classes; tanks and fighters won’t get far without healing but can always use pots to self-heal. And they can do most stuff even with ‘bad’ weapons – it just takes longer.
But there’s no denying that having the right item makes a great impact on your over all leveling.
Worth mentioning at this point are some level 9 named stuff that you probably will use all the way till 20 – like spectral gloves, bloodstone, dusk heart and spell storing ring. But they’re not game changers. Spectral gloves add attack value and make all attacks non-corporeal (you don’t have the 50% miss chance against non-corporeal critters so it makes all weapons ghost touch). However a firewall is always more efficient against non-corporeal and you’ll find hirelings with firewall around level 8.
Bloodstone add seeker to your crit chance and dusk heart acts like a permanent 10% blur. Both of these can be replacement by enhancements and spells, nor will impede your ability to hit 20. They’re nice to have but they’re not night or day items.
So the first level that truly adds to a TR is 11.
That’s when you can start using green steel items.
They’ll be as or more potent than any item you’ll find all the way to 20. That is almost true with all effects you can get on a green steel items.
take my green steel cloak; it has Wizardry VI (150 SP), 150 stackable SP, +6 Charisma skill points (adds to things like haggle and diplomacy), earth guard and 2 dense stone golems/rest. You will not find a named item with wizardry VI earlier then 14 and I guarantee that you won’t find a item that provides 300 SP – the closest would be archmagi items and that would be skiver at 14 and some others stuff at level 18.
But it’s not just that – this item also provides 2 golems. That means that I can free up a spell slot and use these golems instead which happens to be in my opinion the best ones other than maybe the level 9 spell Hezrau.
That’s just one example of having an item with better effects normally reserved to higher level quests – all green steel items comes with premium ability point additions – like +6 Strength, con and all additional effects are stackable like exceptional skill, ability, HP and SP. To give you an example – you can get a helmet called Minos Legens at level 11. It’s almost a staple product as it adds heavy fortification and +20 stackable HP.
At the same level you can have a green steel helmet with +45 stackable HP, heavy fortification, +6 to your CON skill, Protection +5 (adds to your AC) and 2 stone skins/rest.
Same level, similar functionality and better item.
As I mentioned before – I’m making a goggle that has greater fire resist, +5 lighting resist, additional 10 fire resist (for a total of 40 fire), 3 displacement clickies (50% chance to miss) and permanent blur (20% to miss without the chance to de-buff or dispel it).
You could replace all of those with other things and spells, but probably not at the same level and certainly not on only item.
The next level is 12. At 12 you’ll be able to start using green steel weapons and they are by far better than any named or randomly dropped weapon you’ll find and they’ll work beautifully in combination with paralyzing and cursespewing.
The nice thing with green steel weapons is that you can create exactly the weapon that works perfect with your class and add the elementals effect that make sense, with some additional effects you won’t find on most other randomly dropped. Another thing is that all green steel weapons are +5 – compared to randomly dropped who are probably going to be everything from +1 to +4 and only seldom +5 and usually if it only comes with one effect.
For me as a healer you can get what’s called scepter of healing (Invader!) and I used it efficiently before I TR’d but it’s a level 14 weapon (+4 Heavy Mace, Greater Healing Lore, Greater Devotion V, Flametouched Iron). It’s really not that good for fighting and it’s okay for healing since it adds healing lore which increases my healing crit chance (9%) to 18% with enhancements. Greater devotion adds 40% to all your heals.
This is what I can craft (level 12) – +5 Greensteel Scepter (1d8, 20/x2) With Holy, +2d6 vs. Evil, 20% Healing Amplification – True Resurrection (1/day), Superior Devotion VI – Greater Disruption (~3% On-Hit, Will Save or Destroy Undead). You can of course craft a great axe to do the same thing but that’s just a little silly.
It doesn’t have greater healing lore – but you can add that to green steel items and you’ll find greater arcane lore on blue scale armor at level 14 (mine right now – +5 Breastplate (AB:11), Potency VII, Greater Arcane Lore , Spell Penetration VII, Greater Lightning resist). Or as I mentioned – Green steel item With Blindness Immunity, Disease Immunity, Improved Regeneration (1hp/30 sec) – +6 Wisdom, +10 Diplomacy, +10 Haggle, Superior Healing Lore – Concordant Opposition: When attacked, Chance (~1%) to gain HP or SP.
As you can see – green steel items provide you with better effects that can be the night and day item a lot earlier than you’ll find and use any named or randomly dropped ones. Items that will provide a pivotal boost to your leveling early on (11 and 12) that will last you all the way until level 20.
It’s not an understatement to say that if you are going to TR you are far better off doing so with 1 or 2 green steel items than to do it without.