I’ve been busy leveling my half orc fighter from 14 to 17 and in the interim also getting some stuff from update 7 and update 8 upgraded. Including 2 weapons for my ranger, 1 for my FvS and 1 for my half orc fighter. That’s why I’m fairly close to leveling up my half orc but haven’t made overly much progress due to running so many U7 and U8 quest with either capped toons or a lot over level with my half orc.
I managed to level from 14 to 15 by doing explorer. I used to do wilderness slayer runs – to the point I almost swore by them but I find them slow and ineffective now when there are so many more quests between 5-13 – effectively getting you over that hump that was always there around level 10.
But explorer as I found out is a good way of getting the first couple of hundreds of slayer about half the rare encounters and the explorer plus bonus that stacks up to a decent amount. All for less or around an hour per complete run. I got 41k from Vale – ran it at 14 with my sword of fury wielding half orc and healed adequately by a FvS hireling, then 15k for GH; it’s generally a lot more but I had already done some explorer and rare and finally 30k plus from Orchard.
Most rare at that level net around 750-1000 XP, you’ll hit 100 slayer easily (and sometimes more) for many thousands of XP and the explorers are generally close to 500 XP each with a bonus when hitting all. That will get you a pretty sum for XP equal to several high end quests and something a well geared and leveled char can run. I would wait until you’re confident you can pull it off, as long as you do it within the wilderness level range.
As update 8 was released I’ve managed to upgrade several items including a vengeful sword of fury (adds a 10% proc to hit my half orc with a 30 second rage), 2 shorts words of Vampiric sword of Fury (gave one to my ranger and one to my FvS) and one Petrifying Hooked Blade.
I toyed around with the idea of adding Vampiric to the blade of fury (half orc) or maiming, but I decided for Vengeful, since it’s nice to have such a relatively reliable proc and no need to use pots.. I’m combining this with the new light armor that adds +5 Reflex save and haste guard. I don’t have enough AC to worry about using jump and swim restricting heavy armor and the haste proc is a nice thing to have in dicey situations.
My ranger either use his con op Khopesh in combination with the short sword (con damage galore) or the limbchopper Khopesh with the short sword. They’re not as useful in end game content because DPS is always a lot more useful, but it serves a purpose even if it’s more on the niche side. I’d love to pull the pick and add maiming to it and do epic and combine that with the Hooked blade to see if it works on epic critters and if not a GS pick of straight earth for earthgrab. The damage from the pick is pretty darn high with its x4 crit and with hold monster (from caster) or earthgrab it translates into awesome amount of crit damage. Especially since the pick have Screaming, Thundering and added maiming. That’s 1d6 for the screaming part (although the critter might have sonic resist), 3d8 sonic on crit for Thundering and 3d6 untyped on crit for Maiming. I can see that being a big hit in Epic quests.
My FvS use the con damaging shortsword for the express purpose of lowering critters con so it’s easier to destruct them, but again it’s a niche at best since blade barrier is more useful.