Defender of Ascalon title track
Note: Since the March 3rd update, death leveling is no longer required to obtain this title, and hence most of this page is out of date. After level 10, there is a daily quest avaliable in Ascalon that awards 1000 xp.
Note: Progress for this title is not shown until the character reaches level 12 (Title Track in your Hero panel).
The most important thing if you want to start working on this title is to understand how the experience gained from killing monsters decreases as your character gains level. Please read the Experience article.
Step by step
- You may start any and all quests (especially to unlock skills given upfront or in the process of the quest), and you may even complete the quest, but do not claim the reward until you reach at least level 16, preferably level 19 - the quest can sit in your log marked as complete, but do not talk to the final person to claim your reward. The only exception to this rule is your very first quest for your first two skills (such as from Van the Warrior, Ciglo the Monk, or Verata the Necromancer). It is advantageous to wait until level 19 because when you begin death leveling (see below), you will not need to wait as long for the monsters to be the same level as you are (or higher).
- Fight your way to level 16 solely by killing monsters. Most foes in pre-searing are level 2 or less but there are some exceptions you can farm to climb to level 7:
- There are plenty of Ice Elementals and Hulking Stone Elementals in Wizard's Folly. Getting fire elemental skills from the Elemental Experiment quest will help against ice.
- There is a trail of Black Bears and Bandit Blood Sworns just north-west of Foible's Fair. After killing them, follow the path between Foible's Fair and Lakeside County and proceed west once you pass the house. There should be a portal to enter the catacombs. Use this to respawn the enemies as necessary.
- Inside the catacombs, via the Green Hills County entrance, there are Shatter Gargoyles who are also level 3.
- Take the bridge South from Ashford. There is a lake on the right which you access by passing over a big tree trunk. In the nearby dead-end there's a level 4 River Skale Brood.
- Another method that can be used is obtaining the quest Bandit Raid from Baron Egan in Ascalon City and continually defeating the group of four level 3 Bandit Blood Sworns by map traveling over and over into Ashford Abbey.
- There is also a level 5 Rogue Bull nearby on the path to the Charr.
- There is a level 5 River Drake in the river outside Ascalon itself.
- There is a warrior boss skeleton in the dead end above the pit in the Catacombs (go to the right).
- There is an Oakheart in Regent Valley in the southeastern corner of the map.
- You can choose to skip to steps 3, 4 or 5 to accelerate your progress but be warned that you will inevitably spend a lot of time repeating them later.
- An effective method to finish (or earlier speed up) the climb to level 11 is by repeating the quest Charr at the Gate and abandoning it every time it is completed. The foes are level 4-5 and Prince Rurik and his forces beat them easily while healing you effectively if you join in. Make sure that you have the foes in your danger zone in order to collect the XP. Map back to Ascalon and abandon the quest immediately so as not to accidentally accept the reward.
- Instead of abandoning the completed Charr quest the process can be sped up (at the cost of one kill's XP and possibly drop) by map traveling back to Ascalon City while one Charr remains alive. This saves abandoning and reclaiming the quest from Rurik. It is fairly easy to map travel just as the party attacks the last Charr if you are paying attention.
- You are not splitting XP with Prince Rurik so killing the Charrs with him out of XP range is useless (and considerably harder at low levels).
- From level 11 on you will have to venture into the Northlands to kill level 7+ Charr.
- From level 14 you must get your XP from killing the level 10 Charr bosses.
- From level 16 on, you must use the "death leveling" method. For details see the section "Death-leveling" below.
- At level 19 you may claim the XP reward for all quests, including all quests for all secondary professions. This will boost your level to 20, or very close to it. Be warned that as soon as you've confirmed your secondary profession, other profession-specific quests become unavailable, so you should complete those first, but do not click the "Accept as secondary profession" button. As long as you have the quest in your quest log, you may complete it and collect the reward at any time - but be sure that you have all the profession quests in your quest log before accepting your secondary profession.
- For a list of all quests available in pre-searing Ascalon, click here.
Due to the fact that you do not gain experience from killing foes that are more than 5 levels lower than yourself, and the fact that the highest level foes in pre-searing are level 10, the only way to climb higher than level 16 is by completing quests with an XP reward, and by so-called "death leveling".
This involves leveling an opponent monster by allowing it to kill your character over and over (typically while the player is afk). The monster gains experience from this (at twice the rate of players) and levels up. The monster must be located near a Resurrection Shrine in order not to lose aggro before your respawn.
Once the monster reaches an appropriate level (preferably within -3/+2 of your own level, at least your own minus five) it can be killed for experience. Remember there is no death penalty in Pre-Searing. Remember, too, that if your character is dead when the monster dies you will get no XP from the death and all the leveling will have been wasted. For this reason health degeneration attacks are not recommended. For more information, see Death leveling analysis.
Monsters commonly used for death leveling are Striders in Ashford Village and Moss Spiders and Striders near Barradin's Estate. A more complex but ultimately much faster method is to lure several Charr walking patrols in the Northlands close enough to the Res Shrine (where they get stuck) to death level them (stationary groups and the running patrol cannot be lured). This method requires some time to set up as a single Charr patrol may not be strong enough to defeat the NPCs defending the shrine. However the set up is easier than it first appears because the paths from the shrine to the main ruins are effectively a trap for the Charr from which they will not usually find a way back to the open. Using that feature it is possible, with practice, to lure more than one patrol together. See the guide in the External Links section for details.
You can speed up the frequency of being killed (and consequently the experience gained by the foe) by
- removing all armor to reduce your AL.
- aggroing more than one foe at a time (but only one of them will level up).
- wielding a vampiric weapon (giving yourself -1 health degeneration). As of April 2006 they no longer drop in presearing but can be purchased from people who found drops before the update.
- repeated life sacrifice (which means you can't go afk).
- using the warrior skill Frenzy, causing you to take double damage.
- repeatedly activating the warrior skill Healing Signet just before getting struck and canceling it with the escape key after being struck, causing you to have -40 armor without getting healed.
- Turning your back to the enemy and running away as it hits will result in a critical hit.
Warning: After 10 hours of no activity at all (no movement, no keystrikes, no inputs, etc.) you will be automatically disconnected from the server with an error 059. Also beware that sometimes after 24 hours you will get kicked off the game regardless.
- If you want to train a rarer pet along with you while going for this title (i.e. the Black Bear) and you wish to have Ranger as your second profession, take Master Ranger Nente's quest that involves taming a Melandru's Stalker. Simply use Charm Animal on any pet of your choice, and do not return to Nente. You can easily return for the reward when you reach a level where the experience will be much more valuable.
- It is not possible to let a partner do the death-leveling for you and stay alive yourself (for the Survivor title), since a party will only be resurrected at a Resurrection Shrine if all party members are dead, and since there is no resurrection skill other than Resurrection Signet (and no more than four Morale Boosts in one area), you can't resurrect your partner enough to level up an enemy to an acceptable level. Pets can be resurrected repeatedly with Comfort Animal, but do not give experience to the foe after their first death. The highest possible level you can reach and still have zero deaths in Pre-Searing is level 17 (except for primary elementalists and mesmers because all the quests' XP would still leave you at level 16 and 99% experience).
- Legendary Defender of Ascalon is the only title that is available exclusively to native characters of a campaign. Canthan or Elonian characters can't access it.
- Owning the "Game of the Year" (1 million edition) or the "Guild Wars Eye of The North Prerelease Bonus Pack" editions enable characters to acquire max weapons with the /bonus command. The prerelease items for the Factions and Nightfall campaigns also boast maximum damage but don't have attributes linked to the Prophecies campaign professions. Be aware, though, that some of the modifications can be useful.
- The Fire Imp, which can be acquired via various methods, can be used as an equal-leveled ally, giving a slightly easier killing process.
- For a complete list of available XP quests, see Pre-Searing quest XP. This list includes XP break-down by profession, the XP rewards for each quest, which quests can be lost, total XP possible from quests alone, and a few tips.
- Setting your pet to "Heel" will prevent it from attacking, preventing it from killing your foe before you are ready to do so yourself and giving your foe a small amount of experience. Additionally, since high-level foes will generally kill you several times while you are working on killing them, having a pet limits the amount of time they spend healing while you are dead (as they will be busy attacking the pet and will not have time to gain natural health regeneration.) As a mild bonus, if you didn't already death-level your pet before adopting it, your pet will gain experience along with you. In this case, it will almost certainly end up with the "Hearty" evolution.
- If you wish to use the Charr in The Northlands to death-level, in addition to the link below, invest some time providing service in Ascalon as a Gate opener. Eventually you should find someone who knows how to do it and is willing to take the extra time to give you a hands-on lesson.
- To leave Rurik behind in the Charr at the Gate quest, bring Rurik and his forces just behind the last curve in the road and veer to the left quickly, so that Rurik is no longer in your danger zone. From the hill you can then pull or aggro the Charr. Once you engage in battle, Rurik's helpers will leave him standing on the road and come help you, assuming that you are close enough to them.
-  - related thread on the GuildWarsGuru forums
-  - A guide, including details of how to death-level Charr in the Northlands
-  - A presearing community website with video and guides
-  - A video guide to the title.