Champion Levels

This is a Guide to Champion Levels in modern Dark Age of Camelot. Champion levels are an advancement system that starts once you hit level 50, and talk to the king in your realm's capital city. You can gain up to 15 champion levels. Each level grants additional hit points, power and a champion point you can spend on new abilities.  This guide discusses the various paths for gaining Cxp, the rewards you can expect along the way, and where to train champion level abilities.

Starting Out

When you first hit level 50, talk to the King in the Kings Throne Room of your capital city to unlock champion levels.  You start off at Champion Level 0.  If you left click click on the label to the left of your XP bar (in the character status summary window, by default in the lower right half of your screen), you can change it from displaying "Exp" to "Chp."  When you mouse over the Chp text it will say "earning X champion level XP" where X is the champion level you are working towards unlocking.  For example when you first talk to the King it will say "Earning Champion Level 1 XP."  When you earn new champion levels you need to talk to the King to activate whatever levels you have unlocked. You can complete several Champion levels at once if you have earned more than one when you talk to the King.

A Level 50 Valkyrie wearing King's Epics (and using a few artifacts)
ready to embark on her Champion Levels.
Earning Champion Levels

There are several ways to gain Cxp.  Killing any player or any mob that is high enough level grants Cxp. Champion levels 1-10 all take exactly the same amount of Cxp to earn, levels 11-15 each take significantly more.  Items that grant bonus XP like Orion's Belt also grant bonus Cxp.  For example, it's well worth carrying around Orion's Belt and putting it on before you use Cxp scrolls or turn in the final glass quests.  There are two basic routes to quickly earning champion levels.

Bounty Quests and Cxp scrolls:

On both Gaheris and Ywain there is a repeatable quest "Scouting Ellan Vannin" that will get you a little over a third of a Champion level and 250 bounty points every time you run it.  This quest is granted by an NPC (the Royal Emissary) in one of the New Frontiers camps you can port to from most channelers:  (Alb) Commander Wentworth in Forest Sauvage, (Hib) Commander Locke in Cruachan Gorge, (Mid) Commander Hrurdan in Uppland. The towers that the quest refers to are no longer in game on Gaheris, but the gray icons for them are still present on the in game map of Ellan Vannin.  On both Ywain and Gaheris the quest adds red dots your map that are in the right general area.  On Gaheris, this is also the only easy source of large quantities of bounty points for a solo player I've found.  On Ywain there is an additional option, "Supplies for the Cause" granted by Cargomaster NPCs hanging out on specific docks in the new Frontiers, either the dock in Emain Macha (Hib), Hadrian's Wall (Alb) or Odin's Gate (Mid).  You can pick up the quest on Gaheris, but as nearly as I can tell it can't be completed on that server.

This NPC grants Scouting Ellan Vannin to Hibernian classes.  On Gaheris you can run this quest in ten minutes or less. Standing nearly behind Commander Locke is a Bounty Master that sells Bounty Master's Greater Insight scrolls.  If you aren't saving your bounty points up for anything else (for example Master Levels or Illustrious Weapons) you can power through your Champion Levels very quickly here.  That said, I find questing for my champion levels to be a lot more fun.

To further speed up getting champion levels, you can use the bounty points you earn to buy Xp scrolls.  Look for bounty point merchants, they are found in many border keeps and frontier camps. The easiest one to find is a Bounty Master standing near the same quest giver that grants Scouting Ellan Vannin.  These merchants sell scrolls of "Bounty Master's Insight." The scroll of Greater Insight only costs 100 bounty points and grants 1600 Cxp (about one bub).  Repeating bounty quests and using all the points to buy scrolls, you can burn through all of your champion levels in a few hours. This seems to be the route that the vast majority of players use to get Champion Levels in the modern game.

Questing at the Cap

If you haven't finished out all of the glass quests in Atlantis, each quest is worth a few bubs of Cxp (varying with how many mobs you end up killing to get the quest done), and if you are on Gaheris there is another easy questing option good for about a  level.*   There are Champion Quest lines that also grant Cxp, though the amount varies quite a bit depending upon the line you decide to work on.  Unfortunately there is a bit of a dichotomy in these quests in that they are either easy to find and grant almost no Cxp, or grant great Cxp, are much harder to find, and have quest text instructions that are either unhelpful or actively misleading on some steps.  The Champion Quest lines and how they stand in the modern game are as follows:

Level 30 Champion Quests:  This is the quest chain you are offered at level 30 from a popup dialogue box.  This is a long and interesting series of quests.  They also grant no worthwhile rewards at any level.  Even if you run out and do them at level 30, you are looking at maybe 1/4 of a level's worth of XP for a hour or more of work and you will get stuck on the last step.  As a level 50 many of the mobs you need to kill to finish the last quest con orange or red, solo at level 30 it's pretty much suicide.  You will also have a very tough time getting  a party together to do the quest if you decide to try it at level 30, almost no-one runs this chain any more.  At level 50, when you can actually solo the entire chain, the rewards from it are practically non-existent.  Rewards at 50: 179 Cxp, 10 gold (total for the entire chain).

Level 40 Champion Quests:  Once you finish the level 30 chain, this series opens up.  I have no idea what the leveling Xp is like as I've never unlocked this chain before level 50.  It's a long but decently fun quest chain that again yields no rewards to speak of.  However, when you finish the chain you do unlock the same weapon you get for free at Champion Level 5  . . . so I guess there's that. Rewards at 50: 3276 Cxp, 20 gold (total for the entire chain), grants a Champion weapon even if you are not yet Champion Level 5.

Level 50 Champion Quests:  These become available at level 50.  To start them generally you need to talk to the same NPC that initiates most of your Epic quests.  The quest line is also a bit obscure, with a start that's easy to miss on some classes and instructions that are not infrequently out of date with the modern game.  Update: If you would like to try out this involved but rewarding series of quests, I have a guide to them up now.  Part 1 covers how to get started and the Emissary quests, Part 2 covers the later steps that will eventually take you deep into the Labyrinth.  You can solo all but the very last step in the quest chain on most classes (I've done it with everything from bolt casters to pure melee characters).  Rewards:  nearly 5 Champion levels worth of Cxp, around 8 platinum (just for the steps you can solo).

Champion level 10 Champion Quests:  This final chain opens up once you hit Champion level 10.  Champion levels 11-15 take considerably more Cxp to earn than the first 10 levels, and this quest chain is designed to get you through most of them.  To start it, talk to the same NPC in the King's Throne Room that has been your contact for the previous Champion Level quests: (Alb) Chamberlan Harlan, (Hib) Seneschel Desmond, (Mid) Athr Hesetti Theyr.  The first few steps can be soloed, but eventually you will get stuck and need a party to progress further.  The furthest I have been able to make it solo got me almost to Champion level 12 and netted me about 5 platinum.

*On Gaheris you can return to Cathal Valley even at level 50 by talking to a channeler (on that server, this is one of the main ways to get around between various towns).  If you grab the level 49 versions of all three bounty quests at the keeps for all three factions right before you hit level 50, you can come back after talking to the King and do these quests one more time. The level 49 versions of these quests are each worth between 2000 and 4700 Cxp when you turn them in.

Champion Level Progression

As you go up in Champion Levels, you will unlock a variety of rewards.  You can read more about Champion Points and subclass trainers below.  However, as you go up levels you will unlock various abilities, in addition to mounts and horse armor.  Important levels are as follows:

Champion level 1:  if you have taken a Champion Level ability that you need power to cast on a class that doesn't naturally have power (for example many melee classes), you will gain your first power points and the ability to cast spells.

Champion level 3: additional abilities of the King's Epics will activate.  You will also unlock the ability to equip new types of equipment at this level.  Doing so is not really useful for attacking or for stat boosts, but can be very handy for getting access to new "clicky" abilities.  For example, pure spellcasters gain the ability to equip bucklers at this level.  There is a common buckler (the Basalt Buckler of Oblivion) that can be activated to replenish your power.  You can equip it in your offhand slot, and then re-equip a staff in your two handed slot to get the full benefits of your staff but also have access to the buckler's power replenishment ability.

Champion Level 5:  You unlock your first Champion weapon, talk to the King and then a Weaponmaster near him in the Throne Room to get it. You will have your choice of two abilities to assign to the weapon.  You can try different weapons and change out the ability at any time by talking to the Weaponmaster that gave it to you as long as the weapon is fully repaired (when you first get it is a good time to try out all the options that are available).  The weapon will have a design unique to your class, and is likely to be better than any Artifact or Exemplar weapon you have available for the same slot.  However it often isn't quite as good as the "illustrious" weapons that the Illustrious Merchant standing nearby, next to the king, sells for bounty points.

Champion Level 8: All horse armor is now usable, and additional abilities of the King's Epics will now be activated.

Champion level 10: All mounts are now usable, the final set of Champion level quests becomes available, the final abilities of the King's Epics are activated.

Champion level 15:  Class cloaks become available, talk to your King in the Throne Room to get it after a short conversation.  These are cloaks with stats tailored to your class and a unique look that matches the King's Epics.  Depending on the class, the utility of these cloaks varies between "awesome, one of the very best cloaks in the game" and "not even as good as Shades of Mist" (an Artifact that's very easy to get)  A second set of Champion Weapons also becomes available from a vendor in Darkness Falls in exchange for Blood Seals.  These items are quite nice given how easy they are to get.  Some of the CL 15 cloaks and weapons are even still used in modern end-game character builds.

The Cloak of the Loyal Enchanter, granted to Enchanters at Champion Level 15.

Champion Abilities and Subclassing

As you gain champion levels you gain Champion Points that can be used to train a wide variety of abilities.  You can mix and match abilities from three or four subclasses (depending on your realm), but you can't train abilities from a subclass that corresponds to your main class.  For example, Rangers and Nightshades (the two hibernian stealth classes) can train abilities from from the Magician, Naturalist, Gaurdian and Forester subclasses but can't train any abilities from the Stalker subclass since this is the stealth subclass.

Training Champion Abilities in Hibernia.  Spending points on these subclass abilities works a lot like talent points in many other MMOs.  Each tier of abilities costs more points than the last, such that you will need to spend all but one of your champion points in a single line to get the final ability.  I rarely find these upper tier abilities to be worth such a heavy investment, and generally spend my points in at least two lines (often from different subclass trainers).

To train Champion abilities, you need to find the subclass trainers in the first town you entered right after leaving the new player tutorial area.  Subclass trainers can be found in the following areas:

Albion: on the bottom floor of a two story house (loc 13166, 28995) in the south part of Cotswold Village.

Hibernia: in a house (loc 27303, 8113) on the south side of Mag Mell.

Midgard: scattered around town in Mularn.  Two of them can be found standing next to the quartermaster (loc 49133, 54906).

To plan what Champion abilities to buy, using a character planner is advisable.  The one at excidio.net works really well for this, just select your class from the dropdown menu and and hit the "CL" tab.

How to respec Champion abilities:

If you decide that you don't like the champion abilities you have chosen, you can change your specializations at any time by visiting the King's Throne Room in your capital.  If you are at least Champion Level 3, the Quartermaster sells an item called a "Luminescent Cambiare Stone" for 10 gold.  Using this item resets your champion level abilities and refunds all of your champion points.

Quartermasters in the King's Throne Room allow you respec your Champion
Abilities using a Luminescent Cambiare Stone.  It is on the third page of
items this NPC sells.
What to pick

Given how cheap and easy it is to redo your champion abilities this is a system that lends itself to experimentation.  If an ability looks good to you on paper, take it out for a spin.  If you don't like it, ditch it for something else.  Even if you go through several builds doing this you aren't going to rack up much of a bill.  That said, there are some abilities that I think are very useful and take relatively few champion points to unlock, so I tend to use on many of my characters:

Shield of the Soul: a buff that lasts 20 minutes and adds 10% to your fire, cold, energy, body, matter and spirit resistance.  Given that realm enhancements don't boost your resistances, this is a great ability if you don't have access to a buffer.  It's also nice to use on your pets if you have any.

Shield of War: an instant cast that boosts your slash, crush and thrust resistances by 5% for a minute.  It's only ok, but it also only costs three champion points.

Low level DoT abilities (the names vary a lot by subclass):  if you are playing a class that doesn't have any ranged attacks, for example many pure melee classes, this beats the hell out of carrying around a stack of throwing weapons and only costs one champion point.

Damage Add abilities (names vary):  These self buffs last for 20 minutes and add spirit damage to all of your melee attacks.  Not a huge damage boost, but well worth 2 points.

Cure Poison/ Cure Disease: Cure poison also cures all dots, and so is very handy for solo PvE work.  Diseases last a long time and are annoying, having an easy way to clear them is nice (though only situationally useful given how rare diseases are in PvE and the cast time).

Group Heals:  decent for boosting your health regeneration out of combat if you aren't going down the line that has single target heals, and you'll have to take it anyway if you want to unlock access to Shield of the Soul.  I have also read that you can spam these abilities in RvR fights for easy Realm Xp, but I haven't tried it.

Stat Buffing Skills:  these don't grant even as much of a boost as the realm enhancements that you will have up pretty much all the time, and so aren't that great on most classes.  However, if you have pets these are very nice for buffing them.  Tank pets in particular benefit a lot from the physical buffs.

This guide is current as of January 2018, DAoC v 1.124C.

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