After soloing to level 10, adventurers finally have the strength and utility to begin forming together in experience parties. Early on, the partying experience may be rough. New players are learning the ropes, and even veteran players often struggle to grasp the basics of new jobs. Some people don't buy the best gear the can, figuring they may not be playing the job permanently. And even skilled parties sometimes find themselves in bad situations, lacking the job abilities and spells that can get them out of tight situations at higher levels.
That said, low-level experience parties can be a blast, as long as you're a) somewhat prepared, and b) ready to learn.
The good thing about low-level experience parties is that almost everything works. Red mages can melee nearly as well as the warriors, thieves are effective with swords, and just about any melee job is capable of tanking.
So, to be productive, a low-level party (we'll say up until lvl 30-ish) only really needs two things: a healer and a tank.
The rest of the party can be filled out with a variety of other jobs. I've always prefered balanced parties:
But the wonderful thing about low level parties is that you can get away with almost anything. In a setup like this, kills would take longer, but the party would still be productive:
Or even this could work:
So if party setups don't matter so much, then what makes a good low-level party?
The answer: minimal downtime.
At higher levels, gear, food and the presence of a bard are among the factors that can most influence the flow of exp. This is because several factors that normally cause downtime -- i.e., deaths in the party -- are minimized. Endgame merit/exp hunting grounds are often overcamped, with mobs being targetted by different parties moments after they pop. Also, players by this time are more skilled with their jobs, and they have more tools to kill quickly and control links.
At lower levels, a single bad pull can spell disaster for a party. A "bad pull" could be a linking monster, or it could simply be an overzealous puller who tries to pull too quickly, before the party is adaquately ready. Finding a raise at low-level camping areas can be difficult, and too many deaths -- even if caused by simple bad luck -- will cause even good parties to break up.
So, pulling carefully is perhaps the biggest influence on exp/hour when participating in a low-level exp party.
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