A trick if you are looking for manuals. Leave your character AFK over night, but turn off picking up equipment. You actually find manuals off of normal monsters. But if your bag gets filled up by equipment in 10 minutes you can't pick them up. Turning off equipment pickup means you can always have space open and over hours of time you will find a nice amount of manuals. It's a good strategy if you have to go away from the game for a long time. Or so my guildmates tell me anyways. I've never done it. I don't like leaving my computer on over night. hahaha
Dungeons are the best place to grind rare equipment and items. Emphasis on grind. If you really want the best rare stuff, you need to go compete for boss trial kills in the Crossroads. But that can be really hard, because whoever gets the last hit gets the drops. Dungeons are a much more reliable place to get decent loot in.
Regarding dungeons, Mawtusk Marsh is an awesome map to farm, especially at lower levels. Since you can go in to it by yourself and get the 4 NPC party members, you can get all of the loot to yourself. Even when you are past needing level 30 gear and are on to level 40, it's still a good source of recycleables and other crafting materials.
There are pets on almost every map in the game to be caught. Only ones that don't have them I don't think are Dawnhold, all of the cross-server maps, and possibly the first zone outside of Dawnhold. The real trick to this is that they are rare. It's entirely possible that a map doesn't have a pet spawned on it when you go looking for one. You can definitely go pet hunting by roaming maps and keeping your eyes peeled. But luck is a big deal. You could find one in 5 minutes. Or you could be looking for an hour and not see any. If you are really desperate to get a new pet, getting them from the black market or auction house is the most reliable way.
Another tip that is only really going to apply if you are a casher, is to consider using the Storm Banking. It is honestly really awesome... The bad side is you lose that pyrum at low level. And once you get the pyrum back, it is bound pyrum. So you can't use it in the auction house. But the good side is you really do get back a lot more pyrum than you put in in the long run, and auction house is pretty much the only place in the game you are required to use unbound pyrum. Escort quest, leveling up your quests, buying Chaos Dice to reroll imbues, buying bags from the shop, heck buying anything from the shop, all can use bound pyrum. And you are very likely going to want these things. So why not turn 1000 pyrum in to way way way more? It's just efficient. I'm kind of blown away that this is in an R2 game myself... It's so good.
A tip on equipment that you have probably already heard is not to worry about upgrading level 30 gear much. Just aim for level 40 gear.
A tip on equipment you may not have heard is that the base stats on most armor pieces isn't very important. Your boots for example. They just give some defense and HP. And when you go from level 30 boots to level 40 boots, it just isn't a big deal. HP and defense are important of course, but if you are in PvE content and just farming, you really only care about damage. So a tip that can save you some resources is to farm Mawtsuk Marsh for those pieces with strong bonuses on them, like +2.5%+ MATK or PATK and then just use those for a while. No rush to get level 40 or 50. If you find strong level 40 or 50 pieces, sell them on auction house! Because later on that stuff will be super cheap because no one is looking for it anymore. So just buy it then. When its cheap. Be lazy about upgrading those armor pieces and you can save a lot of money. But obviously if you are trying to be very competitive and do lots of PvP and stuff this wont work as well. You want some good HP and Defense for that.
Be sure to do your 4 escort guard attempts each day. It's pretty much free gems. Just go to world chat during the escort event and look for guard links. Click them and off you go. Worst case scenario, the carriage gets robbed and you lost nothing but a little bit of time. Otherwise, you just got yourself some free gems.
Don't forget to do your arena matches each day. Arena gear is very strong for player vs. player. And its practically free. Even if you can't beat any of the opponents in front of you anymore, a loss is still 5 arena points. Don't waste them by not doing them!
Don't forget to refresh Forlorn Rift each day and do the fights. They don't give tons of gold, but it adds up. Especially once you are doing 14 bosses a day. It's like 30 gold a day! And I personally am saving up all those polar souls for when I get a strong enchantment. So I can supercharge it right away.
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