Here's the list of places a DUO/TRIO/... can level. Unfortunately, I've only been Duoing since LVL 37... so my contributions will be limited. This should be Stickied! :D
Leveling as a BST party differs from Soloing in that you need to find an area that has both Even Match pets and Incredibly Tough enemies. Sometimes these areas are easy to find, while most of the time they're not. This is my attempt to change that.
Please Provide your own contributions as well, this thread will be updated over time.
A Note on this guide: Most of these places are for two BSTs, but they can generally be adapted to a Trio or more, just expect to get about 27% less experience with a third in the group. This is usually offset by less downtime, so you'll be fine.
General Strategy: The idea behind a party of Beasts, and how they are very successful is HATE. Pets at levels 35+ dish out lots of damage and have tons of HP. They take all the hate, saving your precious HP for the end of the battle. The idea is to have you and your partner grab EM pets of the same type. This ensures one pet won't take more hate than the other, reducing downtime significantly. Once you have your pets. find a VT or IT mob (always avoiding "high evasion" mobs, they will end you) and set your pets to work. Once your pets have established hate, join them in the battle on the opposite side. Standing on the opposite side as your pets is helpful in showing you who has hate (Illustrated Here). If your enemy turns to face you, immediately stop hitting it by turning away using the "unlocked" target mode, allowing your pets to regain hate. If you take a beating, run off to cure yourself outside of hate range, then rejoin your team. When the enemy has a sliver of health left, hit Release to send the pets away. Finish it off, claim your 200+ EXP, and let your pets heal fully befor ereclaiming them. You should always let your pets heal fully after the first battle rather than jumping into a new battle right away. As the EXP chain gets higher, you have less and less time to kill the next enemy, so obviously the smart choice is to let the pets heal after the first few battles so they have more HP going into the later battles where you have no time to heal them. Dhalmels are great pets because they will heal themselves (and your party) during the battle. Great for reducing downtime. One last note: Don't let your pet die during the fight. If it's about to, just release it and let it regen. It's hard to find EM pets, so letting one die is a terrible waste. A warning though: Obviously, this can be risky if your ex-pet will link with your enemy... in that case just Heel it rather than releasing and hope the enemy doesn't go after it. That reminds me... the same can happen near then end of a battle when the BSTs release their pets. Be sure to save your TP for the end of the battle, ensuring a quick finish and allowing no time for your ex-pets to link with the enemy.
A RDM can be a great addition to the party. Controlled use of debuffs, buffs and refresh can eliminate downtime entirely. This could also work with a BRD. Most other non-buff/debuff jobs won't work in a BST party. They upset the balance you need to maintain in order to survive. If you ask your DRK friend to come along, he's going to steal the hate and wind up dead really fast. Avoid it at all costs :)
Tune your macros. You need to be able to switch, ditch, tame and claim pets on the fly, without disengaging from battle. Become familiar with the <stnpc>* tag in your macros. With it, you can do all of the above without ever turning away from your enemy. Now that you have a party, you also need to alert your partners of your actions. Be sure put all your /party comments after your commands though, because timing is critical and we don't want a /party and a /wait 1 to interfere with our abilities.
Be careful using Sic. Most of the time, you'll be ok just firing Sic as soon as the battle begins, but every once in a while your pet may do a AoE attack after some other creature has wandered into the playing field. This is where your highly tuned macros come into play. You can try taming, but that probably won't make it lose aggro. So what you should do is ditch your pet, charm the link, release it, then recharm your old pet. As long as you don't make the link-pet fight, it won't affect the EXP obtained from the battle. On some occasions though, it's even possible to split the pets between the two enemies, killing them both to come out victorious. This happened to me many times while partying in the deserts.
* This tag used in a macro brings up your purple selection cursor. This allows you to select an NPC-only as a target, without disengaging or changing your current target. This is really helpful when you're in the middle of a battle and you need to A) Recharm a wild pet, B) Tell your pet to fight a link, or any other number of possiblities. Similarly, the <stpc> tag will allow you to choose a PC-only. Handy for your Mage-ly duties.
Anyway.. enough rambling... on to the locations:
LVL 35-42: East Altepa Desert
Pets: Giant Spiders (30-34), Sand Beetles (36-40), Desert Dhalmels (39-??)
Mobs: Lots to choose from, they're all over the zone.
Strategy: The Kuzots region is a gold mine. Many charmable mobs and enemies that span 20 levels. Get familiar with Wide Scan and Track. Start with Giant Spiders vs Sand Beetles. Level on those in quick chains until you hit 36, at which point I suggest you dump the spiders and upgrade to Sand Beetles as pets. Once you have beetles, test the waters with a T or VT Desert Dhalmel. If the battles go well, try an IT dhalmel. Whatever you do, don't chicken out. It's very possible you will die once or twice fighting Dhalmels pre LVL 40, but it will pay off big in the end. At Level 39, you can upgrade to Dhalmel pets. At this point, it's all fun and games. The area just outside the West Altepa zone is a Dhalmel playground, and it will be your bread and butter until you're ready to move into West Altepa. Chain 4 and 5 should be easily attainable even fighting ITs exclusively. Feel free to head over to West Altepa whenever the EXP starts to thin out for you. Note: This zone has apparently fallen victim to Party Infestation since I leveled here. Yet another place where BSTs will get dirty looks even though traditionally, this has always been a BST stomping ground. Anyway, just make sure you get the EXP while the getting's good, then move on to West. There will always be something to kill in one of the two zone. In fact, I was back in West Altepa last night killing Antican Secutors till LVL 52.
Contributor: Lindeus / Vaeryn
LVL 35-37: Sea Serpent Grotto
Pets: Royal Leech (35-38)
Mobs: Pond/Lake Sahagin (36-39), Ghast (33-41)
Strategy: It's a very bad idea to assist if you are going to be doing Leech >> Ghast. They have their AOE Drain which will give them back plenty of HP if they hit it on 4 targets (you, your partner, and 2 pets). Also, if you assist and it uses one of the various nasty *ga spells that they have, your HP could go yellow. If your HP goes yellow, you may be in big truoble since the ghast have a verrrrrry far low HP aggro range.
I recommend just sitting back and throwing leeches until the cows come home. ^^ One note about finishing these is that I highly recommend you use Cure2. We typically just both would toss a Cure2 at it when it got to us, which finishes them off nice and fast. If you wait, again, you run the risk of AOE Drain and *ga spells.
Contributor: Randomscrub / Jerji
LVL 40-47: West Altepa Desert
Pets: Desert Spiders (40-44), Desert Dhalmels (??-48), Desert Beetles (47-51)
Mobs: Dhalmels, Beetles and Ants... etc.
Stratey: Welcome to the West. East was fun, and you can do the same over here. Watch out for Cactuars, they're small, fast and mean. Start out using Spiders against Dhalmels and Worms (at night only). When you've exhausted the EXP, upgrade to Desert Dhalmels pets whenever the Even Matches start to show up. Now it's time to head outside to the plain west of Rabao. I found the best area for the first while was (J-7). Here you'll find some spare Dhalmels for pets and your new enemies: Desert Beetles and Anticans (Eques and Retiarius). Fight with these until EXP starts to thin out, which unfortunately happens after only a couple levels. When the Anticans are all dead and starting to appears as only Tough, grab some Dhalmels and head out to (H-7).. The Anthill. The anthill is surrounded by mean Ants you need to avoid. Once you get past them, you can stay in the grooves of the hill fighting Desert Beetles until you squeeze into LVL 47. As I saw it here, with only two people your options are limited at this point, so we head elsewhere. If you have 3 or more BSTs, you could try some of the higher level Ants, but be careful, they go as high as LVL 58. They also like to use little spells like Freeze, which can really ruin your day.
LVL 41-44: Yuhtunga Jungle
Pets: Soldier Crawlers (37-49)
Mobs: Goblins (Poacher, Robber, Reaper) (40-49)
Strategy: The Soldiers here don't aggro like they do in Crawler's Nest. Use the southeast exit from the outpost area to get to the Crawlers. It is recommended you scout out your nearest zone before getting down to business. The zone you're looking for leads to Yhoater Jungle.
Contributor: Randomscrub / jerji / Vaeryn
LVL 44-46: Yhoater Jungle
Pets: Worker Crawlers (40-46)
Mobs: Master Couerl (44-50)
Strategy: The area you're looking for is north of the Teleport-Yhoat crystal. Watch out for the Couerls' Blaster paralysis attack. Also look out for the morbol, Anemone. No need to camp and pull as the Couerls are spread out enough to avoid links. If you ever need to rest, rest right on top of the gate crystal, nothing will agro you there, except for a Goblin Digger (I beleive) that like to wander thru occationally. There are 5 exits from the gate area, 3 of which a Goblin Digger spawns in and will wander into the area occasionally. Keep an eye out for him, whenever you Wide scan to find another couerl, watch for him coming up a tunnel, he will kill you if your in the middle of a couerl fight.
Contributor: Randomscrub / Vaeryn
LVL 47-50: Gustav Tunnel
Pets: Labyrinth Leeches (45-48), Labyrinth Lizards (46-51), or anything you can get in an emergency
Mobs: Goblin's Leech (~55)
Strategy: Head to (G-9) and north through the small tunnel. You'll come to an area filled with Robber Crabs (aggro) and Goblins. Look for a Goblin Shepherd because he's got your target. His pet Leech is pure gold. There may be a party here leveling, which is good. Whenever they pull a Shepherd, steal the leech. Just explain to them why, and usually they understand and even help you. If you're alone down there it's a little tougher. Sneak and Invisible will help but aren't 100% necessary, and until you hit LVL 50, Invis isn't even an option. The idea is to sneak up behind a Goblin Shepherd and steal his leech while his back is turned. Using Dia is a good method. He won't care... they're very bad beastmasters ;) However, if he sees you do it, you're a dead man. Anyway, once the leech is chasing you, run back toward the tunnel and you and your buddy proceed to smash the leech with your chosen pets. These leeches are a lot like our Familiars, they are strong, but they have very low HP. Fortunately for us, they're still worth just as much as any other mob. These will be short battles and you don't even need to send your pets away as these babies are usually worth 200 EXP even with a pet. When that starts to dip closer to LVL 50, you'll need to start ditching the pets near the end and finish the battle yourselves to claim 200 EXP. The Shepherd will summon another Leech shortly after you take his first one. This is a dangerous dance, and you should expect to be running for your life once in a while. When this happens, one of you should stay behind while the other runs. The Goblin should only have aggro on the puller so the other remains safe. Just make sure you get out of the small tunnel so the Goblin doesn't aggro you on the way back. The idea here is to steal the Goblin's Leech as the goblin makes his way back home. Anyway, rinse and repeat until LVL 50 arrives. Maybe now you can go back to West Altepa, but I don't know.. this is as far as I've gotten. You'll probably need to do your Genkai #1 quest at this point anyway.
Contributor: Lindeus / Durginn's Solo Thread
LVL 47-48: Labyrinth of Onzozo
Pets: Labyrinth Leeches (45-48)
Mobs: Cockatrice (50-53), Mushussu (51-57)
Strategy: Pretty straightforward. Leeches are just around the corner from the zone.. past a room full of Goblins which may be a pain in the ****. Cockatrices are just at the end of the tunnel with more leeches and goblins. If the cockatrice uses baleful gaze, which they like to do a lot, drop your pet and grab a new one, making sure your partner still has his pet, even if his is petrified too, then once yours has hate, he can swap his out. Hate control is kinda shoddy here because of baleful gaze, so be careful. If you run out of ***** (which can happen if there are farmers around), you can kill the gobs, but make sure that you kill the gob BST's pet leech before you pull him because otherwise your pool of pet leeches will link with it, making you one dead BST. You can also kill the Mushussu around here, of which there is a room full of them if you take a left from your camp thru the big room into a tunnel. Only thing you have to worry about them is Cold Breathe (somethig like that) which is a forward cone attack that causes stun, so stay to the side or behind it, and Wild Rage which looks like it's having a seizure and does some heavy AoE damage. Apparently these guys don't use Death Scissors very often, if at all, but be careful just in case.
Contributor: Randomscrub / Vaeryn
LVL 47-49: Garlaige Citadel (Trio or higher recommended)
Pets: Citadel Bats (45-48)
Mobs: Chamber Beetles (56-58)
Strategy: Trio is needed for this. Duo would lose too many pets. We never released pets and lowest xp we got was 182 at lv49. Chains for 240-280 with pets. We just used sneak before leave after each fight. Every 4-6 fights, 1 bat would not make it. But all three where always below 30% health after fights. So it's close but still safe. For some reason they healed up extremely fast after leave though.
LVL 49-54: Crawler's Nest
Pets: Soldier Crawlers (37-49), Witch Hazel (50-52), Hornflies (50-53), Exoray (51-54), Blazer Beetles (52-54), BAH! There are pets here for 20 levels! You'll have no trouble finding one.
Mobs: Rumble Crawlers (53-56), Helm Beetles (51-62)
Strategy: If you level here you'll eventually wind up with a coffer key used for BST AF Gloves, which is great. If your fighting helms, one of you might want to get a Blazer beetle for their Evasion down attack when the Helm does Rhino Guard (Evasion up). The blazer won't get nearly as much hate as a Rumble would, so the person with the Blazer can do the pulling. I only recommend Helm Beetles on lvl 53-54 when you can charm Rumble crawlers, otherwise the battles will last too long and xp will be slow. Btw, Helm's are 59-62 and Blazers are 52-54. At 49-51, you can kill higher lvl blazers for decent xp if your a duo, and possibly Mushussu if you have a stronger pet like an Exoray. Don't bother with Dragonflies, as was previously suggested, because they use Venom, which can prevent your pets from healing for up to 5 minutes, which means no chains and a lot of downtime. You can give them a shot if you really want to. Also, do not fight Wespes, they use Pollen all the time, and get 500 HP back with it.
Contributor: Randomscrub / Vaeryn / Lindeus
LVL 50-52: Western Altepa Desert
Pets: Desert Beetles (47-51)
Mobs: Antican Secutors (54-58)
Strategy: This may only work as a Trio. Grab your favorite Beetle and head down to (H-8) I believe, the little area with the East Altepa zone. This is the breeding ground for Secutors, and they'll net you 100-200 EXP. It's not the fastest EXP you can get, but it's low risk. We had one link all night, and we survied. Beetles spawn in this area too, for emergencies.
LVL 53-59: Garlaige Citadel
Pets: Funnel Bats (51-56)
Mobs: Chamber Beetles (56-58), Hellmine (59-62), Fallen Mage (59-62), Fallen Major (59-62), Magic Jugs (62-64)
Strategy: The Basement of the citadel. To get to the basement area, as soon as you get to the first junction in GC, take a left and fall thru the first hole, then follow the wall on the left to get the to stairs/camp. The basement isn't very big, I recommend buying a map. Funnel bats will do well with Jet Stream! At Lv 57-59, kill magic pots. They are easy to kill, and most times you can chain up to 3-4. Kill the pots on the side with 4 spawns, don't bother killing the other 2 on the opposite side of these 4, instead while waiting on the respawns kill a skeleton. Pull the mobs into the tunnel that is near (sometimes PT's are here and have to fight outside of the tunnel, just watch out for beetle spawns and stay FAR from skeletons during battle >.<). Watch out for AoE spells/ and the AoE WS (adds weight and hurt a lot >.<) These are great for farming also, they will drop light crystals and WHM spells (they are rare so you can only hold one T_T) also pot shards i think^^). The best camp for BST in GC is right in front of the hellmine/undead room on the west side of the basement. Nothing links in there, so the pulls are simple...sneak, fight, heel, smack it down. Hellmines seem to be more trouble than they are worth til prob. 55 (due to having T bats outside sometimes, and finding new pets after a 3500 dmg explosion creates downtime like crazy). Whenever you in the right lvl range tho (53+), go kill some fallen major and fallen mages (59-62 I believe). Funnel bats for pets. They die easy (save for them blood saber spam sometimes) and are great xp even in trio. At 54 we're drawing in 160 easy off them w/o chains. So, yea its fun stuff. Also, hellmines are great xp if they explode. Otherwise they take a little time. DON'T get in there w/ your pets. Note the 3500 dmg i was talking about up there. That would hurt just a little :). But we fought 4 before we logged the other night, 3 blew up, chain 3 for 280. So they can be good, but risky.
Contributor: Randomscrub / Blindnightshade / Vaeryn
LVL 58-60: Quicksand Caves
Pets: Sand Lizards (56-59)
Mobs: Anticans (62-70)
Strategy: Exp from Hellmines starts to become bad for BST duos around lvl 58. You can try heading to the higher lvl area in Quicksand caves. Enter Quicksand Caves from the southern area of Western Altepa Desert, think its around C-D 11. Charm lizs(non-aggro b.t.w.) v.s. anticans near the entrance. Try to start each chain with killing a PLD type ant( they have cure IV and have high Defence, therefore they take LONG to kill >.<)
BLM and RNG type are good to kill, they die REALLY fast! >:D( just watch out for ancient magic and AoE spells^^;)
Contributor: deebiggy / Blindnightshade
LVL 60-64: Boyahda Tree
Pets: Death Caps (60-63), Bark Spiders (60-63), Robber Crabs (60-68)
Mobs: Moss Eaters (62-66), Knight Crawlers (60-67), Mourioche (62-68), Robber Crabs (60-68)
Strategy: Everything links, be very careful! Also... this is just a note: I assume you could also use Knight Crawlers and Robber Crabs as pets while you're in there. And while LizzieCerberus only did a half level there, it looks like this place has the potential to go to at least 64, so I'm making that the range for this area.
LVL 62-64: Cape Terrigan
Pets: Sand Lizards (62-66), Beach Bunnies (62-65)
Mobs: Goblins (Shepherd, Mercenary) (64-69), Stygian Pugils (63+), Robber Crabs (60-68)
Strategy: Lots of bran keeps you regular... or is it fiber?
LVL 62-64: Upper Delkfut's Tower
Pets: Incubus Bats (62-64)
Mobs: Jotunn (Wildkeeper, Wallkeeper, Hallkeeper, Gatekeeper) (65-69)
Strategy: This will be difficult due to Bat shortages, but it is workable. Recommended more for solo activity.
Contributor: Alwags / Aiantes
LVL 63-66: Cape Terrigan
Pets: Sand Lizards (56-66)
Mobs: Sand Cockatrice (71-74)
Strategy: Duo is workable here, but you'll have to do some pet swapping. Trio is better, faster kills, less pet swapping. As always, stay on the rear end of the cockatrice due to the directed silence WS it has.
LVL 65-70: Boyahda Tree (3 - 6 BSTs only to start, Duo at higher levels)
Pets: Mourioche (62-68), Moss Eaters (62-66)
Mobs: Steelshell (73-76), Elder Goobue (74-77)
Strategy: EXP is good all the way up to a 6-member BST party with level ranges of 65-67 for the 6, lvl68 for a trio, lvl70 if duo (recommend you grab a few levels in a larger group before downgrading to duo). More BST's the merrier. Shouldn't be a problem since Boyahda is BST-land.
LVL 66-72: Cape Terrigan (5 - 6 BSTs recommended)
Pets: Not Supplied. I assume Crabs, Rabbits.. Pugils, maybe even Raptors.
Mobs: Greater Manticore (74-77)
Strategy: Seeing as how the manticores level range is from 77-81, even at 72, thats a 5 lvl difference for VT. Did a 5 BST party from LVL 65-69 and me being 65 at the time got 182xp off the manticore, pretty **** good I'd say. Note: This site lists the manticore levels as 74-77, but Primitive suggests they are 77-81. Can we verify this?
LVL 72-75: ???
Edited, Thu Jul 29 10:31:47 2004 by Lindeus
Edited, Sun Sep 19 01:15:16 2004 by Danalog