Recommended levels and binds
In order to dungeoneer efficiently, it is highly recommended to have 64 magic, 50 attack, 48 crafting, and 54 runecrafting.
Having 50 magic and attack allows you to wield the best magic and melee equipment available to free-to-play players, namely the bovistrangler wand and catalytic orb for magic, and any two-handed zephyrium weapon for melee. Having these binds is essential for maximum damage per second, yielding faster floors.
The best magic bind for free players is the bovistrangler wand and catalytic orb because neither the bovistrangler staff nor the duskweed orb is obtainable in free-to-play worlds, despite being free-to-play items themselves.
Having 48 crafting and 50 runecrafting allows you to craft the catalytic orb, which is the best off-hand magic weapon in free-to-play.
Having 54 runecrafting allows you to craft law runes which is required for the group gatestone teleport spell. Having 64 magic allows you to cast said spell.
Finally, binding 125 cosmic runes in the ammunition slot is highly recommended as it gives you easy access to the Create Gatestone spell at the start of every floor.
How XP works
The base XP is the average of two numbers: floor XP and prestige XP. These numbers depend on six things: the complexity, the floor size, your floor number, your prestige, your party configuration, and the percentage of bonus rooms you opened on that floor.
Both floor XP and prestige XP go up with increasing complexity, and are maximized at complexity 6.
The floor XP increases as your floor number increases, and your prestige XP increases as your prestige increases. However, the prestige XP becomes 0 if you have already ticked off all floors in the same theme as the floor you have just completed. The themes are categorized as:
- Frozen: floors 1 to 11
- Abandoned: floors 12 to 17
- Furnished: floors 18 to 29
- Abandoned 2: floors 30 to 35
As such, the best experience is obtained by avoiding ever completing a floor which will give you 0 prestige. This is done by ticking off floors 1 through 35 exactly once each, then resetting, then repeating.
The floor size also affects both the floor XP and prestige XP. Small floors get the least XP, medium floors get more, and large floors get the most XP.
How base XP depends on your party configuration is less straightforward. Generally speaking, the base XP is maximized in solo raids and 5-player raids at maximum difficulty (e.g. 1:1 and 5:5), and is lower if you have between 2 and 4 people in your party or if the difficulty is set to lower than maximum. However, this effect on base XP is not very large, and generally better XP per hour is obtained in a team than in solo.
Finally, the base XP depends on the percentage of bonus rooms you have completed. Opening all bonus rooms yields roughly 2-3 times as much base XP as opening no bonus rooms.
The modifier is a percentage which is applied to your base XP to obtain your final XP, and is comprised of bonus rooms, level mod, difficulty, complexity, whether you have guide mode on, and the number of deaths you have.
These modifiers are more or less straightforward. The bonus rooms modifier ranges from 0% at no bonus rooms opened to 12.67% (shown rounded up to 13%) at all bonus rooms opened.
The level modifier depends mainly on the percentage of monsters you kill in the dungeon, and ranges from -24% (at almost no monsters killed) to a maximum of 10% (at 81% or more of monsters killed).
It is interesting that bonus rooms, difficulty, and complexity appear on the modifiers section while their greatest effect, which is not shown, is on the base XP. This can be misleading because one might be led to believe that opening all bonus rooms is not worth it because it only adds 13% to the modifier, while in reality it multiplies your final XP by 200-300%!
The main goal when starting out is to unlock complexity 6 as well as obtain 35 prestige. In order to do this, do solo smalls at floor 1 complexity 1 and raid dungeons successively until you unlock complexity 6. Be sure to bind a weapon early on. Then keep raiding solo smalls until you do not have the level required to unlock the next floor. At this point, reset and start from floor 1 again. Repeat this until you have unlocked floor 35.
Some notable things to watch for:
- If you encounter the Astea frostweb boss, pay attention to what it drops. If it drops the bovistrangler wand, bind it, as this is the best magic weapon available in free-to-play. At this point you can also craft and bind the catalytic orb. To craft it, buy 1 bryll and make a bryll orb at a spinning wheel, then imbue it at the altar.
What to do at prestige 35
Once at complexity 6 and prestige 35, you are a fully-fledged dungeoneer! At this point, there are two main options for maximizing experience per hour.
Solo smalls or mediums
Doing solo raids, you can obtain up to 180,000 XP/hour. Raid solo smalls or mediums. For smalls, aim to complete each floor in around 2-3 minutes. For mediums, aim to complete each floor in around 5-8 minutes. A recommended split between small and medium is to do 1-17 small, and 18-35 medium.
Doing 5-way raids, you can obtain up to 250,000 XP/hour. Optionally, you can set up a team of three level 3 skillers and two combatants and set the difficulty to 5:3. This comes at a slight cost to final XP but makes all monsters extremely low-levelled, making dungeon times faster. This also yields about 250,000 XP/hour.
It is suggested to do floors 1-17 small and 18-35 large. For smalls, aim to complete each dungeon in about 1-3 minutes, and for larges, aim to complete each dungeon in 4-7 minutes.
Achieving these XP rates is not easy - it takes great skill, planning, and pathing. Do not be discouraged if you get less than the stated rates above. See the strategy guide for more information on how to do this.