This is a hateful Grand Tour! It took me several hours to complete because movement on the Novia map is PAINFULLY SLOW and I was pulled into dozens of random encounters. Everywhere you walk is at half speed and there are barricades everywhere you turn. You have to find the exact path or you can’t make any progress. I ended up doing the mission solo, but I would seriously advise new or low level players against that. There are some tough characters out there so you’ll want to either level up quite a bit before then or level up and grab some friends. Also, the paths on Novia are very confusing so the most obvious path isn’t always the right one.
Also, there are MANY graphic glitches out there. Multiple times I completely disappeared off the map and turning the camera put me inside a mountain, under a hill or inside rocks. And when you can’t see your Avatar, it’s really hard to drive and your progress is even slower than normal as you bang and bounce into things.
During my outing I was set upon by Bandits, Thugs, Ruffians and Cultists. There were the usual bears, wolves, skeletons and mages. But in the end I was victorious! I walked away with the mask and my life. Here’s some notes I took while I was out that might help others cut down on the time they spend wandering aimlessly.
So, how to start. How do you get to the Novia overland map? This confused me as I thought you had to go through Ardoris to get there. That is partially correct, but there is a much simpler way.
Go to Kingsport, but don’t enter the city. You see those two boats out in the water that you’ve probably ignored? Those take you to Novia.
This is the new PvP area and was perhaps the easiest of the bunch.
In Kingsport, take the boat to Ardoris
In Ardoris, take the middle boat to the Verdantis Shardfall
In the Shardfall, head to the left and follow the path. He’s only a few yards in front of you. I didn’t run into any man eating plants or other nasties to block my path.
Solania is a quiet town. It can be found northwest of Ardoris, next to a lake.
This was the hardest town to find and getting there is woefully slow.
While standing on Ardoris on the overland map, go to the right, follow the path into the West Celestia Wetlands.
Don’t take the most direct path as that doesn’t get you where you want to be. It says go North, but you need to come at it from the side. Also, inside the Wetlands, you need to follow a specific path across the marsh.
Inside take a right at the statue and head West
At the end of the footpath go left, then take the first right heading West again
At the top of the stairs go the right and Tour Guide is in the building
The Spectral Mines:
Are an ancient mining complex; rumor has it it has been taken over by a dangerous cult! It can be found north of Solania, past the lake.
This was also another pain in the path to find. You need to leave the Wetland area and retrace your steps all the way out. You cannot simply go North. Basically go back to Ardoris and start off again following a path that curves along the coast.
Head East and follow the path.
Head North to Solace Bridge.
Keep following the path and take the left over the river and follow the path
The Spectral Mines are quite a way up the path. You area heading deep into the map.
Once inside things get a little tricky. You will have to do some thinking, which is always my weakness.
The door you come to won’t open so go down the opening to the right. Yes, drop down through the floor. Go straight and as you turn the corner, the Guide is right in front of you across the small bridge. Go SW across the bridge. There is also a skeleton archer shooting down at you just to make things fun. The Ghost is in the room right behind the Guide.
There are lots of skeletons lying in wait and there is also a Ghost down there.
Now, the tricky bit, how to get out? You can’t climb back up through the floor so now what?
Go back across the bridge and go to the opposite far end of the room and go up the stairs. This puts you on the walkway so you can make your way back. There are several Cultists blocking your path and when you wind your way back to the door you’ll noticed it’s locked and you have no key.
Ok, one of the rooms you passed had crafting stations in it. After you steal bottles and bowls look for the chest on the floor. It contains the key you need to get out. You tricky Devs!!
Be careful in this area, there is a lot of lava ready to incinerate you. There is also the Ghost and a Lich if you wander down the wrong corridor.
West Perennial Trail:
Is the main roadway from Ardoris, along the coast. Head west and you should find the Tour Guide.
On the Novia map, keep heading West. It’s down the coastline a far way, but it’s right off the path.
Inside, take the Northwest fork (Left) in the road. You can go left or right. Go down the path and he is on the left next to the rock before you hit the exit.
The Restless Woods:
Can be found west of the Perennial Trail, some ways to the west of Ardoris along the coast.
Keep going West and you will run into the Restless Woods.
Once inside, you’ll be in front of ruin. Go SouthEast down the path.
This will take you East down a path and will put you near the Exit. Take a left (North) and then East at the first path. Keep following this until you see ruins in front of you. The Tour Guide is on the side.
Is a perilous mountain pass within far Midmaer. For now, the only way for you to get there is through the Owl’s Head lunar rift!
This was another tricky area. You’re not actually in the Blackblade Pass yet. You’re in the entrance. The Guide is not in this first part. It took me 30 minutes of searching nook, cranny and under rock to realize h wasn’t there.
Go down the path. At the bottom, go left.
Run between the bear and to the right of the rocks is a slit to run between. This is the real Backblade Pass and it will seem like you’re leaving the area. This is correct!
Go down the path and the tour guide at the bottom.
Start here. This is the way to get to Novia.
Take the middle boat over to the Shardfall.
Hello Tour Guide sitting all by yourself in this extremely dangerous PvP area with man-eating plants. Spot of tea before I go?
Head West down the coast to the West Perennial Trail
The Tour Guide hiding behind the rocks in the Perennial Trail. Maybe he left the path to go tinkle.
Keep going West to find the Restless Woods. This is a big area inside with plenty of monsters.
Go to the left of this building. This should be right in front of you as you enter the scene.
Follow this path
Turn left at this exit, which isn’t really an exit at all
Take this right
Go down this path to find the Tour Guide. This is the big rock you take a right at as pictured above.
Tour Guide on the side of the ruin. Terrible place to hang out. Doesn’t he know these skeletons will loot his pockets and leave him for dead?
To get to Solania, head to the East and follow the path. Where it splits, head to the left. Make note of this spot, you can follow the other path up and go to the Spectral Mines.
The left path takes you to the Celestia Wetlands. You’re in the right place. Forge ahead!
Solania is at the end of the Wetlands. It’s very slow going through here and you have to pick the right path in and out.
To find the Spectral Mines go over Solace Bridge and keep following the path as it winds left.
You will come to this river crossing. The Spectral Mines are across this and up that path to the North.
The Tour Guide in this building in Solania
For the Blackblade pass, go down the left hand path. At the bottom of the path take a left and then look for this slit between the rocks. If you see two bears trying to maul you, you’re in the right place. Go through into the real Blackblade Pass
Phew, the Carnival Jester Hat is mine! This rascal took forever to find!
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
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