After seeing new players coming from other servers, with quite a few questions, I decided to make this guide to welcome everyone. The main objective in mind was to act in accordance with the ingame knowledge process, following how a completely new player would progress through the game, from deciding which server to start until the end-game.
Right now, the guide doesn't intend to show gear progression or anything related to specific builds, but it is something that could be added later if needed. So, let's begin!
05/31/2022 (1.0.0) - Guide Released
06/01/2022 (1.0.1) - Some small corrections and the "Fake" Crit Skills from Niflheim added
07/17/2022 (1.0.2) - Added Info regarding MvP Ladder and Guardian Angel
If you’re reading this article it probably means you’re new to Shining Moon (SM) or you’re searching for some basic knowledge regarding how the server works. In any case, I’d like to welcome you to SM and I truly hope I can be of any help.
There might be a chance, however, that you are an old player coming back seeking new information about what happened while you were away, or even a very knowledgeable player who came in to find a specific piece of info you might have forgotten. Feel free to add any tip or hint that you think it can help others and I’ll give you full credits.
First Contact with SM
After creating a new account and patching the game, you’ll be prompted to the server screen, and the very first question you may ask yourself is “Where do I play: (1) Helheim or (2) Niflheim”.
Helheim: It’s the “new” server, with more people playing and following kRO-only items and progression. If you came by after watching some YouTube videos about SM, most of them are made from players of this server.
Niflheim: It’s the “old” server, it doesn’t have as many players as Helheim, but has items from kRO, jRO and iRO, and follows the progression in a mixed-way. Since it has more gears than Helheim, there is a wider build possibilities and also some extra custom content:
Soul System: In the Skill Tabs there is an extra tab with skills from the Soul System, which includes a skill that gives up to +10 All Stats based on your Spiritual Energy (gathered by killing mobs).
Limited Ores: Special version of the common ores, they won’t break nor downgrade in a failed attempt to refine. With those it’s possible to reach +20 Refine Armor and Weapon.
Custom Costume Enchants: There are special enchants in Niflheim for the Costumes, which can give ATK, MATK, After Cast Delay Reduction, Attack Speed and much more.
Half After Cast Delay (ACD): The server handles ACD with half the requirements needed compared to official formulas, allowing for spam of certain skills that would need much more investment on After Cast Delay gears.
“Fake” Crit Skills: In Niflheim, all Skills can crit, even magic skills. The formula used for boosting critical damage is different, however. You’ll get roughly 33% more damage when a skill crits (if you don’t stack any Critical DMG%), instead of the original 50%.
Getting into one server doesn’t lock your account to it, so you can play on both servers and see by yourself which fits best in your play style. But remember, you won’t be able to play with the same character in both servers, each of them has its own Char Server, so you’ll need to start again from the beginning.
This guide will follow what you’ll find in Helheim, but everything written is valid in Niflheim too.
First Steps of a New Character
When you log in for the first time you might be overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to gather to actually enjoy the game fully. However, don’t be afraid, you don’t need to rush things. Let’s take a step-by-step approach and everything will be fine.
When you start playing any new Character, you’ll be warped to @house and the NPC will start a conversation with you about rates.
SM can be played at any rate from 1x to 100x (base rate and job rate only, you can’t change drop rate, which is locked to 20x when you start). It’s advisable that, if it’s your very first character, you should stay with a 100x rate, so you can have an idea how the game works and begin your journey being able to reach high-lvl content faster.
The idea of having a 1x rate available is meant to give a challenge for veteran players and to enjoy an official server environment for leveling. After reaching a certain level as 1x character (right now, the goal is Base Lv 230) you may claim extra rewards from Belinda at Office (@go office or @go 38), such as:
Drop Rate Bonus: 50% extra drop rate, character-bound
100 Moon Coins: It can be used as Cash Shop Points (CP) or sold to players
Alternate Outfit Ticket: Extra outfits for your job (speak to the Stylist to use the Ticket)
Garment Coupon: Double click to choose a Costume Garment among all the server options
Choosing Between Normal or Baby Character:
The main difference between Normal and Baby Character in SM is the size (seems obvious). Your ingame sprite will be smaller and you’re going to be considered “small size”. Aside from that it should be the same as being a normal size character.
Of note, since the addition of 4th Jobs, whenever you change from 3rd to 4th Job, you will lose the status of “Baby” and will be turned into “Normal” Character again.
If you truly want to be tiny, there’s the Shrink Effect (Middle) (Item ID 25138), which can be put on any Middle Headgear costume to make your sprite smaller (you can get the item at the World Boss Shop 2 for 250 World Boss Coins)
Choosing How You See Mob Name
We also have a custom feature to change the display name of monsters, the @insight command. The last part of the introduction to the server asks you if you want to see the name as always, “<Name> <HP%>”, or if you want further info to be shown when you hover or click upon a monster, including <Size> <Element> and other info.
After finishing the introductory dialog and choosing the way you will play your character, you’ll be warped to Office (@go office or @go 38) to finally begin your journey.
Into the World of Rune-Midgard
Now you might ask yourself “What should I do?”. You’re in a vast world of content, probably mesmerized by the many possibilities thrown into you. Take into consideration that you’re playing a game from 2002 that got so much content throughout the years (we’re heading to the 20th Anniversary the moment this article is being written) that you’re probably lost on how to progress. It happened to me and to most of the players, since I believe nobody played uninterruptedly all those years.
If you’re a complete newbie and has never ever played Ragnarok Online, check the wiki, it has a huge article pointing out the “Basics” and “Beyond the Basics”: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Introduction_to_Ragnarok_Online.
Right now, you’re at Office (@go office or @go 38), a building you can enter through a portal southwest near the spawn spot from Fortessa (@go fortessa or @go 0, the main town of SM). All NPCs from Fortessa and its buildings (including the Office you’re in right now) are very important: There’s NO useless NPC in SM, all of them have some degree of importance, so take your time to speak to all of them and see what they ask and/or offer you.
You’re now Base Lv 1 and Job Lv 10, so you can choose a Job from the Job Changer right off the bat, just talk to Job Changer Elaine in front of you. SM has all jobs available (including 4th Jobs and Expanded 4th Jobs).
It’s very important that you take some time to read and understand all @commands available (https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Player_Commands) since those will be a shortcut to get wherever you want to go: From searching for a specific mob (@whereis <mobname> OR <mobID>), warping to a specific map (@warp <mapID>) or to a city (@go), searching where you can get a specific item (@whodrops <itemID> // @wd <itemID>), finding an item you want to buy (@whosells <itemID> // @ws <itemID>) and even finding the price of an item that has been sold by other players (@price <itemID>). There’s a plethora of @commands that will definitely shorten the time you’ll spend growing up ingame.
Fortessa - Capital of Shining Moon
Fortessa can be divided into 6 areas: Main Area (@go 0), Dummy Area (@go 41), Vending Area (@go 42), Instance Exchanger (@go 46), Special Area - Quests (@go 47) and Fortessa Zero (@go 50).
Main Area (@go 0)
Most crowded area of the entire server, it is the default save point and it has many useful NPC, such as Healer, Warper, Special Tool Dealer, Lucky3 Slot Machine, World Boss NPC, Kafra Employee, Instance Manager, etc.
There are plenty of other save points scattered throughout SMRO’s Rune-Midgard, with many or all those NPCs found in those spots. However, there are some NPCs which are almost exclusive to Fortessa Main Area:
Rebellion Goods (a bit west from spawn): Sell Gunslinger and Rebellion weapons.
3rd Class Goods (a bit northeast from spawn): Sell Rune Materials, Sorcerer Points, Rare Herbs, Mech items and more.
Copycat (a bit southwest from spawn): Where Rogue Classes can get Plagiarize and Reproduce skills.
It is important to talk about the Special Tool Dealer, since it sells many items you’re going to use during your playtime and it can also identify all your unidentified gears. Take your time to check everything it has to sell:
Open Shop: Basic Items from many Tool Dealers around Rune-Midgard
Special Boxes: Items used for enchanting some gears and also Lapine Boxes regarding Costumes and Shadow Gears
4th Items: Consumables for 4th Job skills (and Meister Book for producing Capsules)
Spellbooks: Used by Warlocks’ Reading Spell Skill
Alchemist Supplies: Self-explanatory
Blacksmith Supplies: Self-explanatory
Mount Supplies: Warg, Falcon and Mado summoning items
Pet Supplies: Self-explanatory. However, it is important to note that pets in SM don’t need to be constantly fed, since they don’t lose intimacy when hungry. So stuff your pet until loyal and everything will be fine.
Poison Herbs: Used by Guillotine Cross to make 3rd Job Poison Bottles
Ammunition / Supplies Box: Buy and Make Quivers (Arrows), and also Make Boxes of other Ammunitions, such as Bullet Caches, Ammo Boxes, Ninja Boxes and Other Boxes (Gemstone and Talisman Boxes)
Single Ammunition: Archer, Merchant, Ninja And Gunslinger Ammunitions
Dummy Area (@go 41)
Test your skills against Dummies with 3 sizes (small, medium and large dummies).
Vending Area (@go 42)
Although it is acceptable to put a shop in almost any city or save point, there is a dedicated place for buyers and sellers to meet. Here you will find many shops open for business.
Even though, be aware that we have commands to search an item in any shop created by players: @whosell <Item ID> (@ws <Item ID>) and @whobuy <Item ID> (@wb <Item ID>).
Instance Exchanger (@go 46)
One of the most important warps, where you can exchange all kinds of goods gathered from instances, including Instance Coins. The wiki has a really big list of items you can get here, so check it out: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Fortessa#Instance_Area_.28.40go_exchanger.29
Special Area - Quests (@go 47)
Quite a miscellaneous place. It has some NPCs which give Quests for Items, NPCs that trade Monster Hunter Coins for really good items (leveling items and buffs), Enchant NPCs (mainly for Fallen Angel Wings) and NPCs for other currencies (Vote Points, Event Coins, etc). Of note, here you can find the Card Exchanger that trades Monster Card for Devil’s AdvoCARD, a currency used to buy Exchanger Card Album (ECA) during ECA Event (an Album ‘Gatcha’ containing ALL monster cards, including MvP Cards)
Fortessa Zero (@go 50)
A place to begin the Zero experience within the server. Try it by yourself, and you’ll be warped to another “Realm” where you’ll be a Novice BaseLv 1 / JobLv 1 and will play using Zero mechanics. The trade off for playing Zero is the Fortessa Medals, used to buy some goods at the same @go 50. This guide won’t cover Fortessa Zero more in-depth, but you can always read more on wiki: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Fortessa_Zero_Adventure
A place created to help new players boost their initial progress inside Rune-Midgard. To access Eden Headquarters, you can warp via @go eden or @go 40.
The Eden Headquarters has two floors, filled with NPCs, and many are really important, so let’s dive into some of them.
Eden First Floor
The Spawn Point from the building, here you can also make your save point by talking to the kafra north from you. It has a healer and a warper nearby too. Walking this room, you’ll find:
Town Bounty Board: It aggregates all Town Bounties into one wooden pole, which helps a lot!
Seasonal Booster Lady: She begins your Seasonal Booster Character (more info about this NPC later)
Merry Badger: She trades Old Purple Boxes for Eden Merit Badges and sells some items using those Badges as currency (she sells the Job Level Manual, a really important item to level up your job, used mainly while playing 1x rates before changing to 3rd job)
Illusion Dailies: Gives and Rewards players with Illusion Dungeon Quests
Secretary Lime Evenor: Introduces you to the Eden Headquarters, letting you join as a member of the HQ and allowing the player to take Lvl-Based quests along the wooden poles in this room. He also starts and rewards the Booster Quests and he has the Booster Coin Shop, selling items using Booster Coins as currency
Lvl-Based Wooden Pole Quests: A bunch of quests you can take, based on your current level, to speed up your leveling.
Unknown Basement: A new NPC introduced after the implementation of Clock Tower Basement (@warp clock_01). It gives you the quests from that map, working similar to the wooden poles, but for BaseLv 240+
Eve Natalia: She trades some specific gears for +7 refine ticket (armor and weapon, at random)
To the north you’ll enter a corridor with 2 warps, and the east one has some interesting NPCs for you to know:
Beginner Shadow: She gives a set of Paradise Shadow Gears really useful for early and mid game, with on option for BaseLv < 100 (Beginner) and for BaseLv >= 100 (Advanced)
Advanced Armor: He gives a set of Paradise Gears that should help you achieve higher levels really fast. He also has two options, but they are based in your main damage output: Physical or Magical
Intermediate Weapons: He gives you Paradise Weapons. Although it says “Intermediate”, he has intermediate weapons for 2nd jobs and advanced weapons for 3rd jobs
Beginner Weapons: He gives you Paradise Weapons and Gears (even though the NPC name implies he only gives weapons). His items are suited for 1st jobs
Back to the main room, there is a warp a bit to the right with some stairs, leading to the second floor.
Eden Second Floor
Here you may find more useful NPCs:
Piercing Expert: He punches a slot in a few mid headgears using Spiritual Auger (ID 6396)
RWC Enchanter and RWC Socketer: Those two can enchant and socket the RWC Accessories, which can be gained through Lucky3 Slot Machine using Moonlight Coins as Gamble Currency
Gum & Manual Exchanger: You can combine Gums and Manuals to be able to get better versions of both
Clock Tower NPC: Here you are able to enchant the Clock Tower Weapons (Solid, Precision and Wicked Weapons)
The Office (@go office or @go 38) is a place where you will find Quality of Life (QoL) NPCs, so let’s talk about them:
Compensation Poring: The most beloved NPC of the entire server. Whenever the server crashes (for whatever reason) this little guy rewards the players who talk to him with great items, and also resets the entire instance's cooldown.
Job Changer Elaine: Straightforward, she changes your job once you meet the requirements.
Daily Reward Officer: He can check in your Daily Login and rewards you accordingly (you can also use “Alt + ‘ “, click on Daily Reward Icon and check in without talking to him). Every 20 successful logins, you will receive a Daily Trophy, which can be traded for some goods if you choose to Exchange Trophy while talking to him.
Belinda: She gives you the bonuses from getting a character to BaseLv 230 if you played it entirely at 1x rates (type @checkrate to see if your char can receive her bonuses once you reach the threshold).
House Manager: He sells you a guild house, essentially a save spot where you can customize the NPCs.
Cashshop Expert: It sells items using Moon Coins as Currency. You can also access the Cash Shop by clicking on the icon at the superior-right corner, beside the map.
Channel Master: She lets you enter and leave channels (#global, #main, #trade, #lfg, #support and #bg).
Cooldown Manager: He can reset your cooldowns for instance and daily quests. However, he’ll only do that for as many times daily as the level of Class Mastery unlocked (more about this later) and only if you hit a level threshold on your 1st Class:
If the 1st Char was leveled with 1x rates, you can reset from BaseLv 230 onwards
Otherwise, you’ll need to be BaseLv 250 to use his services
Storage Manager: He lets you rename your storages and, if you get 100 Kafra Passes, he teaches you the Call Storage Skill (check the etc tab at your skill tree) and also lets you use the @storage command anywhere. SM has 10 storages per account and when you use the Skill you can choose from the list of storages which one should be opened. If you would rather use the command, it needs to be written with the storage number after the command (e.g. @storage 1). It is important to clarify that the Call Storage Skill and the @storage commands, once taught by the Storage Manager in one character, enable all other characters within the same account to benefit from it (the skill and command is account-wide enabled).
Class Master Brutus: He allows you to buy or reset you 2nd and 3rd Class Mastery. Class Mastery is a Skill found in the etc tab of the skill tree that enables a 2nd and 3rd Classes to be played on the same character (you can be a Biolo in the 1st Class Mastery, a Wind Hawk in the 2nd and a Dragon Knight in the 3rd). He can also change your character into a Doram if you forgot to choose this race when the character was created.
Raffam Oranpere, Shaam Rumi, Berman Aire and Devon Aire: Those 4 are from Clans you can join. Each clan gives pre-determined extra stats.
Feel Resetter: Straightforward, she reset Feeling and Hatred from the Taekwon line.
Platinum Skill NPC: She gives you extra skills depending on your job.
Reset Girl: She resets your stats, traits and skills.
Build Manager Stella: She saves and loads your skill tree (very handy)
Costume Maker Cherryl: She turns any headgear into Costume Headgear, but it loses all bonuses and it can’t be enchanted after doing so.
Costume Converter: He converts any headgear or costume headgear into another slot costume headgear (from top to mid or low, and whatsoever).
If you go to the north warp, there will be a second room with more NPCs:
War Effort: As a feature to activate the ECA Event, we have the War Effort. The ECA Event is a very important event within the server that lasts for 24 hours, where the Card Exchanger (at @go special or @go 47) trades Devil’s AdvoCARD to Exchanger Card Album (ECA), an Album featuring ALL cards from the game (including MvP Cards). However, to activate the event, the players must complete certain tasks, which usually includes finishing quests or instances and donating items to the War Effort NPC. She lets you see the overview of efforts done and also accepts donations to activate the ECA Event. Once the War Effort is complete, a global announcement appears and the Special Announcer NPC in the center of Fortessa (@go fortessa or @go 0) starts a 24h countdown for the event beginning and a second 24h countdown for the event duration. The wiki has a dedicated page about War Effort: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/War_Effort.
Item Restore Manager: She is a life saving NPC that lets you rebuy a mistakenly sold item or a mistakenly broken item while refining. She has some limitations to prevent abuse, so be sure to read everything she has to say before attempting to get back an item.
Local Exchanger Pherryl: He trades Moon Coins and Moonlight Coins to Cash Points (CP), and vice versa.
Card Remover: She removes cards from slots of any gear for a fee (1 Yellow Gemstone, 1 Star Crumb and 250.000 zeny for each card removed). It has a 100% chance and no chance to break or lose the cards after de-carding. Although this is really a good way to recycle cards and gears, we have the Card Removing Matrix (Item ID 40915) that does the exact same thing and asks for nothing, being able to be used again and again indefinitely.
Eden Marketplace: Kinda a forgotten NPC, she warps you to the Marketplace (@go market or @go 44), a place where you can find many NPCs selling common items, be sure to check it out.
After understanding some of the features SM has to offer and diving into some custom areas and NPCs that will help your journey, it is time to finally begin!
As a mean to help new players, the guide will take a step-by-step approach: (a) Freebies, Daily Rewards and Events, (b) Simple Mechanics, (c) Choosing a Job that fits your Playstyle, (d) Early Levels [1-99], (e) Small talk about Rebirth, (f) Mid Levels [100-200], (g) Last Levels [200-250].
To further help you out, it’s advisable to have an extra place to search the things you might need to progress, since it goes beyond the scope of this guide to point out which gear/card to use to improve “Job X” or “Skill Y”. You should save these websites for reference purpose:
Shining Moon Wiki (https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Main_Page): Our server’s wiki, best place to search almost everything, not only custom contents.
Forum (https://www.shining-moon.com/ipb): You're already here! But if by any chance you're reading this guide outside the forum, make a specific login and you’ll be able to read guides from other players and check all updates the game has already had (it’s a great place to see where to find specific items ingame).
Discord (https://discordapp.com/invite/8NuTZZZ): Join and use the built-in search function, you might find all the answers you need just by going through what others have already answered. If you couldn’t find it this way, ask around, there will be players and GM to help you out.
Hazy Forest (https://hazyforest.com): A wiki-based website with information regarding the Korean progression, with plenty of tips and references to get on your feet.
Divine-Pride (https://www.divine-pride.net): Best database to search for specific items. It also has some gimmick features, such as Skill Tree Simulator and MVP Timer.
Google (https://www.google.com): Believe me, this helps!
Freebies, Daily Rewards and Events
When you first create a character and begin the game, going through all the initial dialog explained above on item 3, you should go back to your character screen (Esc → Character Select) and return to the game: This way you’ll receive Level Up Rewards, a box you can open at predetermined levels (1, 50, 99, 150) containing great freebies, including 6 Spirit of Union, a coupon you can double click and get some free gears which boosts experience gain by a tiny bit.
After that, your next step should be going to Eden Headquarters (@go eden or @go 40) and grabbing the Paradise Gear and Shadow Gear: Go a bit northeast from spawn point, enter the warp between the wooden poles, go north and then east again.
Those are the main freebies you get from a fresh character, but do remember to come back to the Paradise Gear NPCs when you change class to keep using better gears onwards.
Daily Rewards are items you can get by talking to a NPC or doing simple tasks on a daily basis. There are plenty of daily quests, but I’ll focus on fast and easy things a newbie can do that will bring great return with low or almost no effort.
Daily Login Check in: You can either talk to the Daily Reward Officer at Office (@go office or @go 38) and choose “Check In” OR you can hit “Alt + ‘ “ and click on Daily Reward Icon (last row, middle column) and check in there. This will give you Moonlight Coins, Valor Badges and Loyalty Certificates, along with the specific daily reward. On Day 20 you get the Daily Reward Trophy. For more info about the Daily Check in, go to https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Daily_Rewards.
Moonlight Coin (MLC): A currency used to gamble the Lucky3 Slot Machine (found in many save points). It can also be traded for Cash Points (CP) as a 12 MLC : 100 CP ratio (and vice versa) talking to Local Exchanger Pherryl at Office (@go office or @go 38). If you are a complete newbie, always gamble on those coins, since there are great items you can get from Lucky3 (Card Removing Matrix, Infinite Fly Wing, Blacksmith Blessing and so forth) – for a list of items, check https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Lucky_3. Once you get more into the game, save the coins whenever the bonus from Lucky3 turns on (every 4 weekends there is a +10% bonus chance at Lucky3 gambling).
Valor Badge: A currency used at Battlegrounds (@go battle or @go 39) to buy a lot of different items, including foods, buffs and consumables. However, the majority of those items (if not all) are Battleground-bound, which means you won’t be able to consume them on other maps, making this currency pointless, since the PvP is non-existent.
Loyalty Certificate: A currency used at Fortessa’s Special Area (@go special or @go 47). Talk to Loyalist Hanna and trade them for HE Bubble Gum (the other items aren’t good enough to justify not trading for HE Bubble Gum).
Daily Reward Trophy: A currency used at Office (@go office or @go 38), traded by Daily Reward Officer. The noteworthy items you can get here are the Garment Coupon, Spiritual Auger, Infinite Fly Wing and Boarding Halter. However, the best Return of Investment is the Garment Coupon.
Kachua’s Secret Key: Maybe not suited for the newbie at the very beginning of the game, but really important once you are able to do instances. The Kachua’s Secret Key is a loot box (just double click on it) containing some really good and expensive items – for a list of items, check https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Kachua_List. There are many ways to get it, but 2 are really effortless:
Once a week you get 5 Keys from Weekly Manager NPC at Fortessa Instance Exchanger (@go exchange or @go 46) for free, just talk to him. The NPC resets on Monday at 00:01 Server Time.
Daily you can get 2 Keys if you manage to finish 2 instances at any difficulty. After finishing 2 instances, go to Fortessa Instance Exchanger (@go exchange or @go 46) and talk to Daily Quest NPC. The fastest instances to take are Buwaya Cave (find the MvP and kill it) and Twilight Garden (start the MvP fight after talking to Sweetie, and finish him off)
In SM you may see global announcements quite often, most of them are automated announcement of some kind of Event, and it is interesting to scrutinize a few:
World Boss: You should have noticed by now that the World Boss NPC has a Chat Room above its sprite, with a number. This number represents the Kill Count for the World Boss to appear. The threshold for Helheim is 300.000 Kills, while for Niflheim is 150.000 Kills. When the threshold is achieved, a global announcement is made with a screen pop up asking you if you want to join the fight. The World Boss is a random predetermined custom MvP that spawns at the @worldboss map. Each MvP has its own mechanics, so check https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/World_Boss to get to know what you will fight against. It is important to hit the MvP, even if it is just for the smallest possible damage, since everyone that participates in the fight gets a reward, and those who achieve better damage receive better rewards. To check if you will be granted any reward, check @rank while the MvP is alive, if you want to check all the rank for that specific fight, check @ranks. After the fight is over, go see your inventory (or mail, if your inventory is full) to open you World Boss Box and store/use your 5 World Boss Coin (a currency used at the Shops from World Boss NPC)
Fortuna’s Light: Also known as World Drop. Every mob has a chance to drop a list of useful items, check https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/World_Drops for the list. This is the main source of Monster Hunter Coin, a currency used at Fortessa Special Area (@go special or @go 47) to buy many really important and useful items, from buffs to experience gears.
Weekend Bonus: It is also an automated event, but it changes every weekend. From Friday 00:01 to Monday 00:00 the server grants the player with Experience and Drop Bonus, and also some extra nice features that rotate every weekend. It is noteworthy that every 2 weeks there is a Refine Event with 10% extra chance (sometimes 12%) along with the experience and drop bonus, and this is the best moment to refine and grade your gears. Every 4 weeks there is a Lucky 3 Slot Machine Bonus (+10%), this moment being the best to gamble your Moonlight Coins (MLC).
The game has some mechanics that should be reviewed to help you progress faster. Those are based on the original game, but tweaked to a more “Quality of Life”-friendly play.
Adventurer’s Agency (Ctrl + Z) - Party XP Share and Loot Share
The Adventurer’s Agency is a “Party HUB System”, where you can join open parties or let other players join your party. It is most used for booster party leveling and instance rush. Just click an open party and ask to join (check the party description before joining).
Parties in SM are handled with a great Quality of Life change: The Party Experience (XP) Share is wider than the original game, allowing for XP Share with up to 30 levels of difference between the players. The Loot Share is also really important, and a whole Loot Share System exists to encourage players to form parties, letting everyone roll the possible drops from a monster killed by a party member nearby, even if you didn’t hit the mob. for more information about this system, check https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Advanced_Looting.
Shortcut List (Alt + M)
The Shortcut List (Alt + M) is a list of 10 commands you can assign to an Alt + #number. You can assign a @command, such as @go 0, @warp nif_dun01 or @storage 1, or a string of text. Players use this to have fast access to most used commands.
Smartcast (@smartcast or @sc)
Many skills need a target to be casted, but it is possible to use such skills without the need to click the mob, and this is where smartcast comes into action. Activating the @smartcast (or @sc) makes a target appear on a mob when you hover or select that mob, enabling the cast of spells without clicking it. This helps a ton when spamming skills, given that you won’t need to click the target every time you hit the hotkey. It needs a bit of setup before you use @smartcast:
@smartcast 1 (@sc 1) activates the smartcast, while @smartcast 0 (@sc 0) cancels it.
@smartcast 2 (@sc 2) changes the visual setting of the target around the mob (by default, you get a red target resembling a crosshair).
@smartcast 3 (@sc 3) setups how the mob will be targeted.
@smartcast 3 0 (@sc 3 0): The mob needs to be selected using the Select Target Skill, found in the etc tab of your skill tree.
@smartcast 3 1 (@sc 3 1): Just hover a mob and it will be targeted.
Even if you make use of click-target or hover-target, there’s also a Random Target Skill which changes target without the need to hover or target again a new mob. A great use of such skill is putting it on F7 and F8 (with two different levels) and enabling the /q2 command, this way you can change target scrolling up and down the mouse wheel.
Make a good use of @smartcast and your life ingame will be way better.
In SM you are able to dual-client (opening the game twice or more) and use two (or more) accounts at the same time. This is best used for buff slave (Troubadour / Trouvere and Cardinal).
Autotrade (@autotrade or @at)
You can have a second account to make a merchant and sell your loot to other players. Open 2 clients, one with your main account and the other with your merchant, trade your loot to your merchant, put the loot in your cart, use the Vending Skill and after you finish setting and opening your shop type @autotrade (or @at). Doing this you'll be logged out, but your shop will still be up.
Navigation is such an underrated feature in the game it doesn’t even have a default command to open it! Nonetheless, it can help new players to find a monster or search for a place to level.
To open it, you’ll need to “Alt + ‘ “ and click on the little flag in the 2nd row, last column. After opening it, there’s a search bar where you can search for a mob using its name, search for mobs of a certain level or level range or search for a map.
There are some commands for the search bar as well:
$$all: Show all entries
$$lv### (e.g. $$lv134): Shows all monsters from the input level
$$lv###~### (e.g. $$lv38~58): Shows all monsters from the range input level
The Refine UI from SM is already updated. You just need to double click any refine ore to open the Refine UI, so you don't need to go to the refiner just for this.
Weapons and Shadow Weapons are refined with oridecon and its variants. Gears and Shadow Gears (including Shadow Accessories) are refined with Elunium and its variants.
In SM there is also a “pity” system for refining, with a chance to not lose any material (10%) or not breaking or downgrading a gear (5%) in a refine attempt.
For Lv 5 Weapons and Lv 2 Gears you'll need to go to the Refiner (a bit southeast from Fortessa Spawn Point) to buy the Advanced Ores using Normal Ores and Etel Dust. The Grade System is also in the Refiner Building. For more info about Refine and Grade, check Fishy’s Guide on forum: https://www.shining-moon.com/ipb/index.php?/topic/12339-a-guide-to-grading-equipment/.
Costume Headgears can be farmed in SM. There's a long list of costumes and who drops them in wiki, so search for the one you want and make it happen! https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Costume.
Costume Garments, however, aren't farmable, and need to be acquired using Moon Coins at the Cash Shop, Daily Reward Trophies at the Daily Reward Officer, World Boss Coins at the World Boss NPC, Fortessa Medal at the Fortessa Zero Trader, gambling the Lucky3 Slot Machine or Completing the Seasonal Booster Challenge.
You can put Enchant Stones in any Costume Gear, fitting the right place of course, just double click the stone and choose the costume. You can also re-enchant the same costume with a new stone doing the same as before, but you won't be able to retain the old stone that was encrusted before.
In Niflheim, costumes can also roll custom stats using Costume Enchant I and Costume Enchant II. Those custom stats include a great range of possibilities.
The wiki has a dedicated page just for costume enchantment: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Costume_Enchants.
Choosing a Job that fits your Playstyle
First things first, the "Best Job" is the one you like! Don't worry about meta jobs when you begin playing the game (don't burn your pleasure and happiness because of Job X or Y, and go at your pace!). Said that, we can group the jobs into Melee-, Range- and Magic-oriented jobs:
Melee Jobs: Shadow Cross, Sky Emperor, Inquisitor, Meister (Axe Tornado), Abyss Chaser, Hyper Novice.
Ranged Jobs: Wind Hawk, Night Watch, Dragon Knight (Dragon Breath), Imperial Guard (Cannon Spear), Shinkiro/Shiranui, Biolo, Meister (Arm Cannon), Troubadour/Trouvere.
Magic Jobs: Arch Mage, Elemental Master, Cardinal, Soul Ascetic, Troubadour/Trouvere, Abyss Chaser, Hyper Novice, Spirit Handler, Imperial Guard (Genesis Ray)
Some jobs have builds in all 3 main damage outputs, so this list isn't carved in stone. Some jobs assume a tank or support role in parties. Give it a try to whatever you want and build the way you like!
Early Levels [1-99]
So, now that you have jobchanged from Novice, you should begin to level up your character. There are some approaches to how you can level, but don't forget to:
Get your 2nd job when you reach Job Lv 40-50 (talk to Job Changer Elaine at Office).
Take the next tier of Paradise Weapon at Eden HQ.
Open up your freebies (Level Up Rewards).
Talk to Secretary Lime Evenor at Eden Headquarters (@go eden or @go 40) and join the Eden HQ as a member. Doing this allows you to take all quests from the Eden Boards (those wooden poles with level ranges on them). Those boards alone can take your character from Lv 1 to Lv 250.
Similar to Eden Boards, in the Eden HQ you can find a wooden pole next to the healer. This wooden pole is not linked to the Eden Boards, and it gives repeatable quests from Town Boards. Unlike the Eden Boards, the quests don't go up to Lv 250, but you can take advantage of some quests during your leveling process.
There are some common maps used as a blueprint to the "Where to Level" question, which arises quite often on Discord.
From Base Lv 1 to 99, many players follow the sequence: @warp anthell01, @warp orcsdun01, @warp bra_dun01 and @warp mag_dun02. You can also check the wiki for maps you can use to level up (https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Leveling_Guide), or use the navigation system to find places you want to level.
Fast Early Leveling
If you have help from a friend (or a dual client), you can try the Nightmare Pyramids Quests, given by the cat in @warp moc_prydn1.
Kill 20 Nightmare Verit in @warp moc_prydn1, go back to the cat and resolve the first quest. Jobchange to your 2nd job, kill 20 Nightmare Ancient Mummy in @warp moc_prydn2, go back to the cat and resolve the second quest.
These 2 quests alone can bump your level by a lot, since in SM it is possible to level up multiple times from a single source of experience.
Gramps (Niflheim Only)
In Niflheim, from Base Lv 70 onwards, you can take Gramps Quests at Eden HQ. These quests are intended to kill 100, 200 or 400 mobs in predetermined maps (which rotate every week) and give a huge amount of experience. The quests are also repeatable, you just need to buy the reset key from Merry Badger.
Small talk about Rebirth
Always rebirth when playing non expanded jobs, period. The only exception is seasonal booster characters, since you begin as High Novice (already a rebirth character).
After reaching Base Lv 99 and Job Lv 70, get your 3rd Job to keep growing from Base Lv 100.
Mid Levels [100-200]
Here is where things start to get a bit slower than before, but nothing really astonishing. Once you get your 3rd Job, don't forget to:
Take the next tier of Paradise Weapon, Gears and Shadow Gears.
Open your Level Up Reward.
Some tips from early levels are still up and running at mid levels, such as Eden Boards, Town Boards and Gramps, but new options become available.
The Illusion Dungeons are a set of improved maps from old dungeons, with reinforced mobs (and MvPs as well) and higher density. They also have a separate set of daily quests. The dungeons have level cap, not allowing for a low leveled player to enter before its minimum level requirement. To take the quests, go to Eden HQ, at the northwest of the first room you’ll find the Illusion Dailies NPC, talk to him and choose the map you want to take the quest.
Illusion of Moonlight (@warp pay_d03_i): Open from Base Lv 100+
Illusion of Frozen (@warp ice_d03_i): Open from Base Lv 120+
Illusion of Vampire (@warp gef_d01_i): Open from Base Lv 130+
Illusion of Underwater 1 (@warp iz_d04_i): Open from Base Lv 140+
Illusion of Teddy Bear (@warp ein_d02_i): Open from Base Lv 150+
Illusion of Abyss (@warp tur_d03_i and @warp tur_d04_i): Open from Base Lv 150+
Illusion of Twins (@warp ant_d02_i): Open from Base Lv 160+
Illusion of Luanda (@warp com_d02_i): Open from Base Lv 160+
Illusion of Labyrinth (@warp prt_mz03_i): Open from Base Lv 170+
Illusion of Underwater 2 (@warp iz_d05_i): Open from Base Lv 180+
Although not pointed out as a leveling map, this place is of great importance due to the drops from the mobs. Here you can farm Unknown Part and Cor Core. These items are really important for gear progression: With them you can get the Grace Set at Fortessa Instance Exchanger (@go exchanger or @go 46).
The Grace Set is a combination of Armor, Garment, Shoes and Accessory equippable from Base Lv 150 onwards that greatly boosts a given skill. It is considered within the “Freebies” items, since it is almost effortless to get and you can buy the +9 Refine Ticket for them with the same items above.
With the Grace Set you’ll be able to progress your way through Base Lv 200 (and beyond) without much trouble. So whenever you feel comfortable to farm at @warp sp_os go there!
Same as before, there are players who decide to take a simple map progression while leveling. Here is a progression example: @warp mag_dun02, @warp ba_bath, @warp sp_rudus3, @warp mag_dun03, @warp ein_dun03, @warp odin_past, @warp abyss_04, @warp ba_pw03.
Author’s note: I like to go the simplest way possible, but take into consideration your gears and how you’ll handle the mobs in each map:
@warp mag_dun02 when Job Lv 1 until I can get some 3rd job skills.
@warp ba_bath until I reach Base Lv 110.
@warp sp_rudus3 from Base Lv 110 to 170.
@warp prt_mz03_i from Base Lv 170 to 175 (here I also take the Illusion Dungeon quest).
@warp mag_dun03 from Base Lv 175 to 184 (here I also take the Eden Board quest).
@warp ba_pw03 from Base Lv 184 to 200.
Last Levels [200-250]
You reached Base Lv 200 and Job Lv 70 by now, congratulations. Go to Office and talk to the Job Changer one last time to change into your 4th Job! Now things get a bit straightforward, since what you should do is just level up a bit more and there aren’t many places to do so.
Go to @warp nif_dun01 and kill everything until Base Lv 240 (don’t forget to take the Eden Board Quest for it), after that, go to @warp clock_01 and kill everything until Base Lv 250 and Job Lv 50 (again, take the quests from Clock Tower Management, beside the Wooden Pole from Eden Board Quests 200+), and that’s it!
What is there after The Beginning?
A long time ago, reaching Max Level was an achievement that just a few people managed to get. However, as you just noticed, playing through the game with the new mechanics (and also with x100 Base Rate) made this task way easier than before.
Nowadays, it's best to understand Max Level as the end of the beginning. Even without Max Level, once you reach Base Lv 240, all maps, quests and instances from the game become available, and all of them are feasible to complete. But what should you do now?
As said before, you can talk to the Instance Manager NPC (or use the Instance HUB within the icon menu beneath your top-left status) and begin an Instance.
Instances are script-based quests that can be done once daily and rewards the player with gears, valuable items, cards and even zenny.
In SM, you don't need to complete requirement quests before engaging the Instance. Nonetheless, to be able to enter the Instance, you must be in a party (even if it is just a one-man party).
When you finish the Instance (most of the time by killing the MvP), you receive Instance Coins, a currency used to buy items from the Instance Coin Shop at Fortessa Instance Exchanger (@go exchanger or @go 46), and also have a chance to get Kachua's Secret Key.
Before attempting the Instance, you can choose the Difficulty, and as expected, the tougher the Instance Difficulty the better will be the rewards. Of note, you should have noticed the last tier is Purgatory Mode: This difficulty is intended for high-end party play, with many tweaks and features to push the players abilities and adaptability even further: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Purgatory.
Some of the most popular instances are:
Sarah's Memories and Horror Toy Factory: Really fast instances that yields good profit: Looting and selling all items from Sarah’s Memories mobs makes around 6.4m zenny in 2-4 minutes; Looting and selling Gold and Platinum Bullion dropped from the Creepy Demon (the little ghost) at Horror Toy Factory makes around 16m in 10-12 minutes (there are 16 creepy demon in 2nd part and 42 creepy demon in 3rd part of the instance). There's also the chance to get Celine Dress as MvP Drop from Kimi at higher difficulties (Nightmare, Hell or Purgatory Modes).
Ghost Palace: Gray Piece farm, which you can trade for the Thanatos Weapons, you can use for enchanting these weapons and for reforming and enchanting the Thanos' Weapons and Helms. At higher difficulties there's a chance to drop the Thanos Weapon Reform Cube.
Room of Consciousness: If you want to get one of the best pets the game has to offer, you'll need to farm 30 Piece of Valkyrie Fragments, dropped by Bijou, the MvP. If you get lucky, the Bijou Card is one of the best Shield Cards for both physical and magic builds.
EDDA Biolab: A tougher Instance compared to the ones above. Here you can farm Yggdrasil Seed and Berry, get Somatology Fragment and Somatology Research (used to enchant EDDA Weapons) and the Experimental Weapon Box, which gives a random EDDA Weapon. The cards from all monsters are also really good for both physical and magic builds, if you use the right weapon type.
EDDA Glast Heim (Normal and Hard): Here you can farm Curse-Eroded Crystal (Normal) and Curse-Eroded Gemstone (Hard). The cards from White Knight and Khalitzburg Knight make a very strong weapon-shield combo for physical builds and the MvP can drop Temporal Box, containing Temporal Armors and Manteaus (although it is best to get those gears from Instance Coin Shop).
Hidden Garden (Normal and Hard) and Water Garden (Normal and Hard): These instances are part of the 17.2 Episode addition. All the cards are used in card combos for some skills of all jobs. You can get Automatic Module Boxes (and Epic Module Box from Hidden Garden Hard), whose modules are used to enchant the Automatic Gears. They yield a good amount of Instance Coins and the MvP at Water Garden Normal and Hard at higher difficulties (Nightmare, Hell and Purgatory Modes) has a chance to drop Pirate's Captain Coat, a highly sought garment for critical builds.
Buwaya Cave and Twilight Garden: Probably the fastest instances (start the MvP fight and kill it!). Great to get the Daily Kachuas at Fortessa Instance Exchanger (@go exchanger or @go 46).
Morse Cave: Not a really good instance (it's kinda boring actually), but if you kill the MvP at higher difficulties (Nightmare, Hell or Purgatory Modes) there's a chance to drop Hero Insignia, an enchantable Accessory used with Hero Boots LT.
Old Glast Heim - OGH (Normal, Hard and Challenge Mode): One of the oldest instances, and quite long to finish, OGH Normal and Hard are very important for the Coagulated Spell (Normal) and Contaminated Magic (Hard) items, both instances' MvP also drops Temporal Crystal. These 3 items are used to craft and enchant Temporal Boots. Normal and Hard mode also yields a good amount of zenny, although it is not considered a high profit place, since it takes quite a bit of time to finish. OGH Challenge Mode is a new addition to the OGH plot, and it is a really important instance, given that the MvP drops Sealed Temporal Circlet, Temporal Gemstone and Temporal Spell, items used to craft and enchant the Temporal Circlet. If you have (insane) luck, you might get the Himmelmez Phantom MvP Card, a really expensive Garment Card.
Werner Laboratory, Wolfchev's Laboratory, Temple of the Demon God and Sky Fortress: A potpourri of Instances that yields a high amount of Instance Coins in just a few minutes.
Endless Tower (ET) and Endless Cellar (EC): Two 100 Floors Instances with monsters every floor and MvPs every 5 floors. It's a great place to farm cards, costumes and also MvP Cards: ET has Golden Thief Bug, Drake and Phreeoni, while EC has Tao Gunka, Kiel and Nightmare Amon Ra.
Tomb of Remorse: The first high Base Lv Instance released (Base Lv 220+). It's an important Instance due to its items: Sakray's Wrath and Regret (and its condensed counterparts) - which are used to enchant the Poenitentia Weapons and the Thanos' Helms -, Mineas (don't forget to take the daily quests from this instance at Fortessa Instance Exchanger to improve the quantity of Mineas you'll receive) and a chance to get the Thanos Helm Reform Cube. The MvP Cards are also good, but not awesome, unless you get a hand in both Cards.
Constellation Tower: Highly sought Instance and one of the last additions. Here you can farm the material needed for the Nebula Armors and Stella Accessories and its enchantments.
Thanatos Tower (Rework): Highly sought Instance and one of the last additions. After the rework, Thanatos Tower gained a few more enemies and with them a new challenge. You will farm Shards to make the Sinful and Brilliant Light Accessories (which can also drop randomly from the mobs). The new cards are also a great boost to many builds.
Fortessa Dungeon is part of the Custom Content SM has to offer. Similar to Purgatory Mode, it is a place intended for high-end party play with most of the same tweaks and features seen in Purgatory.
There are 6 different Themed Dungeons: Netherworld (Demon Race), Volcano (Dragon Race), Reef (Fish Race), Forest (Plant Race), Pit and Ruins.
To better understand the mechanics of the Dungeons, read more in wiki: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Fortessa_Themed_Dungeons.
Guardian Angel is a custom boss from Purgatory intended for high-end party play. You don’t need to enter an Instance through instance manager nor anything like that to reach it. Instead, you use Proof of Divinity at the Book NPC (Noli me tangere) from Purgatory Hall (@go 48 or @go purgatory). To get Proof of Divinity you need to finish any Purgatory Mode Instance, and all members of the party must have the item to access the Boss.
There are 2 difficulties to choose when fighting Guardian Angel: Normal (1 Proof of Divinity per attempt) or Hard (10 Proof of Divinity per attempt) and the main rewards from fighting Guardian Angel are Blacksmith’s Blessing and Moon Coin, but there is a chance to get HD Ores, Sealed Card Albums, Shadow Refine Hammer, +9 Shadow Refine Hammer, Random Shadow Box and Shadow Coupon. For more info, here’s the wiki link: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Guardian_Angel.
Reintroduced after the 2022-06-01 Patch, the MvP Ladder returns reworked and available both in Helheim and Niflheim. You just need to talk to the MvP Ladder NPC in most towns to be warped to the arena, where you’ll fight 10 random MvPs which will gradually become more difficult, while the arena will try to kill you with traps.
However, to enter the arena you must have any instance finished, as a currency to get in: 1 Instance finished = 1 entry. Inside the arena, talk to the NPC and choose which difficulty you want to fight: Beginner, Normal, Purgatory or Party.
After each floor you’ll be granted Ladder Points you can trade for goods, and there’s also a chance to get other items. Be aware that the MvP WON’T drop its normal items nor give experience. Every week the 10 MvPs are changed. For a list of the what can be traded with Ladder Points and which items are those, I suggest checking the wiki, since it has more insight about item drop chances, ladder points for each floor in each difficulty: https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/MvP_Ladder.
For those who enjoy the happiness of endlessly grinding, over and over again, this is for you! Seasonal Booster is a 1x rate leveling challenge until Base Lv 230. The main reason to begin the challenge is the reward you get in the end: MvP Card Album (a Card Album containing only MvP Cards – once opened, the Card turns into account-bound, so you won’t be able to sell or trade with other players).
To begin the challenge, talk to Seasonal Booster NPC at Eden HQ (@go eden or @go 40), and then choose how you want to start: High Novice (for non-expanded jobs), Novice (for expanded jobs) or Doram. It is advisable to do this with a new character, and not your main one.
After accepting the challenge, your character will be turned into the desired novice class, with 1x Base and Job Rate and several restrictions will apply:
You won’t be able to change rates using @baserate or @jobrate.
You won’t be able to use Class Mastery Skill.
You won’t be able to use any kind of Battle Manual with more than 50% extra experience gain.
Your quest log will be wiped as soon as you begin the booster character.
Check your inventory when your character turns into Seasonal Booster, a variety of Freebies will appear, and every time you hit a specific level, you will be able to open another box with more freebies. Pay attention to the Booster Coins you get every time a box is opened, as those are really important to trade for goodies with Secretary Lime Evenor at Eden HQ. The best item you can trade for is the Automatic Set which costs 600 Coins, with it you get a full Automatic Gear Set: Armor, Boots, Garment, 2 Accessories, 2 Epic Module Boxes and 5 Auto Module Boxes.
After you achieve Base Lv 230, talk to Seasonal Booster NPC again and choose your final reward, but always go for the MvP Card Album. If you don’t like the MvP you get, talk to Seasonal Booster NPC again and trade your MvP Card for 50 Exchanger Card Albums (ECA) for a chance to get a better reward. These prizes are only available when you finish your first booster once monthly. You can do booster again in the same month, but you won’t receive the same prizes.
Alongside the MvP Card Album, you’ll also get 200 Moon Coins, a Garment Coupon and a ton of great Consumables. Afterwards, go to Office and talk to Belinda, to get your extra prizes for reaching Base Lv 230 as 1x rate character, which includes more 100 Moon Coins, an Alternate Outfit Ticket (trade it with the Stylist to unlock more outfits) and the fixed 50% Bonus Drop (relog after claiming the prize to apply the bonus).
You can read more about Seasonal Booster at https://wiki.shining-moon.com/index.php/Seasonal_Booster. You should also check some tips and tricks from other players' guide, such as:
Iridium’s Sky Emperor Booster Guide: https://www.shining-moon.com/ipb/index.php?/topic/12413-iridiums-booster-mini-guide-for-sky-emperor-no-mvps-no-graded-gear-minimal-enchant-dependance/
Iridium’s Arch Mage Booster Guide: https://www.shining-moon.com/ipb/index.php?/topic/12351-iridiums-booster-mini-guide-for-arch-mage/
Fishy’s Niflheim Booster Guide: https://www.shining-moon.com/ipb/index.php?/topic/12322-booster-my-path-to-230/
Is this The End?
Definitely not, the game is already 20 years old, so it proved its worthiness in the mind and soul of its player base (we don’t surely know why after so many years we come back to it, probably to scratch that nostalgic itch, quitting and returning as a never-ending cycle).
Play at your pace, don’t burn out trying to reach higher grounds so fast, enjoy the process, talk to other players, form bonds and do whatever you feel like! With so much content you can always try that meme build (battle priest, let’s go!), make a time attack booster character, refine your gears, hunt that MvP card you always dreamt on or simply shine at Fortessa with your costume gears and garment (some postulate this is the true high-end game, and I can’t disagree).
Most importanty, have fun!