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Blade & Soul Online Soulstone Plains Guide for Newbies

Soulstone Plains can be rather confusing at first to navigate and this guide will attempt to break down some preliminary basics. It will start with phases in SSP, then move onto quests, then move onto farming, then onto the raiding aspect.


Phases in SSP

Before we get into daily quests, you need to understand how SSP works. There are essentially 3 phases to SSP. These phases are Capturing, Mining and Battle.

Capturing

This is the first phase of SSP, and it is relatively simple. The faction wins the Capturing phase when they kill the opposite faction's named NPC boss in the middle. For Cerulean Order you need to kill Suljun. For Crimson Legion you need to kill Konta. You will get a Soulstone Faction Loot box, which is always decent value as it very frequently holds Moonstones or Soulstone Plains Key. Both of which have a market value of 1 gold each on NA (not sure about EU).

This phase is important as it will dictate the rest of the match. The faction that wins progresses into mining phase.

Mining

This is where the bulk of the farming action begins. The faction that wins the capturing phase gets to defend the North and South drilling points from waves of bosses which hold prestige that can be farmed (and are also important for finishing Dailies).

There are 2 types of bosses that are sent during the waves, one is a Hogdonny clone (Pig) boss that is very easy even for melee classes to do. The other is a Terror, which is the one that forces melee players (and some undergeared ranged players) to pepper their angus. Most oftentimes, their angus is not sufficiently peppered, as these terrors are not your ordinary, run off the mill, Misty Woods Terrors. These are the new and improved super fun happy time SSP Terrors, which means on top of their infamous 20m 0.5s red aoe, they also get the effect of the Grassquatches that roam Skypetal Plains. This means that you get to fight Cross Terrors (red line aoe in the shape of a cross), Poison Terrors (red aoe that does about 25k damage, followed with poison that does 25k damage over 15 seconds) and Volley Terrors (does 5 hits of 10k damage each, either expanding from the centre or aimed at the person with aggro).

Besides from these two bosses you have a roulette of bosses that can be dug up by the mining machine, these can either be the Highbloom Bulbari, the Golden Pig, a Hulking Augurite or a Grassquatch. The Grassquatch is exceptionally important as it always drops Sacred Beast's Treasure, which has a chance of giving Soulstones, Soulstone Plains Key or Moonstones. Other people have also reported that you can get Sacred Beast's Treasure from the other Beasts as well, but its not guaranteed.

However, on the last wave, right when mining phase is about to finish, a final boss, King Grindtooth, will spawn instead of a random beast. He uses the exact same model as Shockhog from Skypetal Plains and is just as annoying. His charges can easily one-shot people who do not have a high pool of HP and he constantly shocks the area around him, making him a very melee unfriendly boss (seeing the trend here?)

Lastly you might also see Ri Zho or Bi Zho the Great. Both of which are rats with a bit less than a million hp and drop pouches that may contain the infamous Gold Pouch, which can give up to 5000 gold (which someone in my server got, lucky bastard). More often you'll only get Naryu Coins though. They spawn during mining phase around the quarries. There's no pattern that have been found for their spawn or for any qualifying triggers that may spawn them. Also do not get distracted by them. So far, too many people die and lose prestige cos they got distracted by these goddamn rats walking by in front of them when we're killing Terror 

Mining Phase lasts approximately 30 min and the waves always happen in this order:

Wave 1 begins -> Pig -> Pig -> Terror -> Random Beast
Wave 2 begins -> Pig -> Pig -> Terror -> Random Beast
Wave 3 begins -> Pig -> Pig -> Terror -> King Grindtooth

End mining phase.

Battle Phase

Everyone skips this phase usually, because the rewards are not usually worth the effort put in, although it must be noted that you can get a decent amount of prestige if you do do this boss. He has 30+ million hp and about 2100 prestige to be shared amongst the people who kill him.

Quests

These daily quests are an excellent source of Soulstones and can be done within 40 min to 1 hour if you are in the stronger faction. If you are in the weaker faction, you will need to organise a group of people to force a capture in a channel to do the quests.

Quest 1: "Regional Warfare" - Kill 8 Crimson/Cerulean Warriors, Vice-Captains, etc. (6 Soulstones)

This is a fairly simple quest. The best place to do this quest is either near the middle, where there are 4 of these mobs (being careful not to aggro the Terror) or near the weapons cache of the opposite faction (also being careful not to aggro the Terror and being aware of the patrolling Terror as well). One thing to note is that you usually have to pull the mobs a little away from the Terrors/Pigs that are near them, as they have a wide aggro range and if you do hit the mob where they're standing, you're gonna have a bad time.

Quest 2: "Battle for the Soulstones" - Kill 6 Pigs and 3 Terrors (15 Soulstones)

You need to have a Mining channel for your faction to do this quest. Deal enough damage to the Pigs/Terrors and get quest credit from the loot they drop.

Quest 3: "In Too Deep" - Kill King Grindtooth (15 Soulstones)

As simple as the quest above.

Quest 4: "Herbin' Warfare" - Pick Medicinal Herbs (5 Soulstones)

A lot of people don't know about this quest, because it's not offered in the conventional sense. You need to have 25 prestige then go back to the camp and talk to the Faction Merchant. They have a quest scroll right at the very bottom that is sold for 25 prestige. Use it and gather 4 Herbs from the outskirts of the field to get an easy 5 Soulstones and 220 Faction Contribution Points.

Quest 5: "Crimson/Cerulean Intel" (15 Soulstones)

This is a uncommon drop from any boss mob and is usually farmed during mining phase. You can get them from both Pigs and Terrors. If you are in a party, and one of your party members proc the drop, everyone gets it (providing they all did damage to get loot from the boss individually). Once you do have it, the quest is about gathering some papers from within one of the three tents in the opposite faction base. The middle tent is nearly impossible as the tent is occupied inside by the Faction Commanders (who 1 shot most people). Therefore the North or South tents are the ones you want to sneak into. You can go into the opposite faction's camp by gliding into it after climbing one of the big trees outside, or by muscling your way in through the front gate (not highly recommended). If you don't have a pet who can distract the guards outside the tent (Pigs) you might need to ask a Warlock or a Summoner for help (so they can distract the guards with their pets) or an Assassin to stealth/flower you inside or try to make a mad dash inside the tent yourself and chi restore when you inevitably get slain. The papers look like this:

(picture taken from Chaose5's guide, credit goes to Freedom). 
They only take 2 seconds to gather and you can escape out once you've successfully done it.

Additional info: If you do not have a pet/stealth to easily get past the guards:

For the Intel quest, just climb the middle tent, glide in behind the guards at the door of the intel quest tent, run to get the papers (this way you will get them before you get hit), use dash abilities(SS/Q/E) to get some distance, get out and get behind the middle tent where usually they de-agro. If you fail, you can always do the last part to de-agro and try again. This method not only saves on repairs, but it's safer since you never know if there's an enemy player lurking and might kill you on chi recovery.

Quest 6: "Crimson Legion/Cerulean Order Elder's Agenda" - Slay the Enemy Battlefield Elder (20 Soulstones)

This quest is also not accepted beforehand. You must kill the elder of the enemy base (for Ceruleans it's Crimson Legion Battlefield Elder Heuk Bulmu, for Crimson it's Cerulean Order Battlefield Elder Yachun), who will drop a quest item that you can read to activate the quest. These leaders have 37 million hp and are inside the enemy base, patrolling in front of the middle tent. What you want to do is rally your faction so that you have at least 12 or more people to get this started. You can lure the boss up to the top of the middle tent itself (so that you don't attract the attention of any patrolling bosses) and slay him there. Just be careful not to pull him too far away or he will reset. Deal enough damage to get credit and you'll get 20 free Soulstones.

Quest 7: Meteorites/Injured Soldiers (5 Soulstones Each - Repeatable)
These are events that occur on a timed basis. Carrying either of these back to camp will net you 5 Soulstones each. Injured soldiers are usually in front of the opposite faction's base and meteorites land near the weapons cache. Meteorites also damage you over time, so its not unusual to see some vultures following you hoping that you'd need to heal up (or die) so they can steal it when you put it on the ground. Meteorites also give an achievement when you do it 1/10/100 times, so there's that.
Quest 8: "Restoring Order to the Quarry" aka Screw the other faction over (15 Soulstones)

No-one does this quest, but if you choose to do it, it is very self-explanatory. You need to let the other faction win, then go around killing their named bosses. Everyone prefers to skip this quest, however and finding people to do it with may be challenging.

Raiding in SSP

Now this is something I don't think many people have seen or experienced, particularly in lower population servers or if you're on the side that doesn't have as many players. You need a full channel (and I mean hard-cap full) to do this, so around 40-50ish people. Everyone needs to get at least 51 prestige to tap the first drum in the faction camp next to the Merchant/Vault/Exchange NPCs to get a buff that will help you against either Ak Bul (for Crimsons) or Hwang Gwi (for Ceruleans).The 101 buff helps even more as it gives evolved defense, something that will greatly assist in your survivability. HP is recommended to be above 60k+.

What exactly are Ak Bul and Hwang Gwi? Well if you look to the middle top of your screen in SSP you'll see their names, a prestige symbol and a number next to it. The number is how much prestige these bosses have, and it accumulates as people lose prestige through deaths (could have other factors, don't know much about it yet). In bigger servers its not uncommon to see Ak Bul or Hwang Gwi have 50k+ prestige. All that prestige on one boss. Split between even 50 people doing equal damage, that's about 1k prestige each (aka a shitton of soulstones/contribution points).

The hard part, however, is getting ready for it and killing them. Once you've gathered your little army of 40+ people, you want everyone to have at least 51 prestige to activate the drum buffs, 101 to be safe. Once that is done you glide into the base on top of one of the tents. Then you slaughter every living thing inside the base so that they do NOT interfere when you initiate the fight against Hwang Gwi/Ak Bul. This includes killing the Archer guards on the front wall of the base, the NPCs, the patrolling guards and the Base Leaders (good time to get this quest done too). Once the base is squeaky clean you can start the fight.

The bosses have I think 66 million-ish HP (off the top of my head), but also importantly they also have an enrage timer of 7 minutes or so. They are Terrors, so their outgoing damage, without the 101 drum buff, will be unreal. If you don't have ANY drum buff, they will also keep stacking a debuff on you which will instantly kill you when you hit 10 stacks of it. Think of them like Terrors, except they make the Terrors that you've faced before look about as harmless as Golden Pigs. Once you do kill them, enjoy your boatload of prestige and cash it in.

That's the end of the guide for now.

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