So you've spent the last few hours or even days leveling and you've made it to 20. At this point you should have a main story quest pointing you towards the Amrine Excavation, the fist available expedition in the game. DO NOT DO IT YET. I know it may be tempting but as of now it's not the most efficient. Hold off just a bit more. I'll get into why later.
What you should to do is gather a group of your fellow adventurers and head to the southern part of Monarch's Bluff. Nestled in between the bluffs and Cutlass Keys is the Deadman's Cove. This point of interest (POI) is what some people refer to as an open world, or open air dungeon. This is a POI that is not instanced but is recommended for 5 adventures level 25 or above. However, as of open beta you won't need that. Sure it will help if a few of you are above level 20 but at level 20 you can start killing the monsters effectively. Keep in mind though this is based off beta so these enemies could be adjusted accordingly at release.
Before you set into the area make sure to place your camp outside. People are going to die. There will be overpulls. Don't get discouraged. You don't suffer an XP penalty. Gear is easily repaired. Even if you wipe with your camp so close the recovery time is negligible.
At the lower level's you'll want to start on the outside of the area closer to the Nautilus of Nunez. These mobs are lower in difficulty which you can tell by the fact they only have two gold stipes under their health bars. As you gain confidence, gear, and maybe a level or two you'll want to start pushing inside of the wall and into the caves.
As you push your way into the caves the monsters will shift from two gold stripes to three.
One big thing, especially early on to keep an eye out is for whether it is day or night. During the day you'll have a much easier time. During the evening hours Tortured Electrogeists will spawn. These glowing electrified poltergeists can be a pain because they'll spawn in between packs and do little patrols which makes it easy to overpull. They really aren't that difficult on their own but they can take a standard pull and turn it into chaos. You'll also want to make sure that if you are using a weapon that has elemental chain damage that you run a higher risk of pulling extra lost.
Don't be afraid if you see other groups in the area. There are plenty of enemies in the area for multiple groups to farm here at the same time. Even if you end up on the same enemy at once the experience penalty is pretty light. Normal kill on a poltergeist would award 55 xp. If it was killed by two groups each member of the groups would get 39 xp. Sure it's not ideal but it's not the end of the world.
In under and hour I earned 15,000 character experience points, enough weapon points to go from 10 to 12, and enough standing experience to go from 2 to 8 in Monarch's bluff. Like spice, the experience flowed.
A normal elite mob in the cover awarded 41 player experience, 40 weapon experience, and 35 standing. When we dropped down to a 4 man group we were earning 57 experience, 54 weapon experience, and 39 standing.
The Tortured Electorgiests awarded 55 exp, 54 weapon exp, and 35 standing.
Also every pull seemed to result in mobs dropping green loot. There were also more chests than I could count and a lot of higher level resources like star metal. This is a great way to collect resources to either sell or use to level your crafting later.
There are also two boss encounters inside the cave. There is Master Cannoneer Jennings in the south part of the caves. In this part of the cave you'll be able to mount a cannon and attack the lost. If you hit one dead on you'll be able to kill them in one shot and do significant damage to their pirate brethren next to them.
Jennings isn't' necessarily hard he just has a lot more health than other named monsters in the area. Once you beat him down you'll earn about 143 xp, 136 weapon exp, and 163 standing. Seems like killing named mobs in this area reward you with bonus region standing.
In the norther branch of the cave there is what we will call the triplets. There is
Mizaru which is a 3 stripe elite Kikazaru and Iwazaru
There are a couple rarer chests in this area so it's worth killing these mobs for the experience alone but no one picked up any special loot in multiple kill attempts.
After two runs we got it down to where we could clear the entire cave section of the cove in 12 minutes. The mobs were respawning but we were clearing the area so fast that the chests were not.
While I can't say with a mathematical certainty that this is the best damn farm spot for this level but what I can say is it's excellent and will get the job done.
I did however do some rough math and this is why I maintain that you should continue to farm here over running Amrine
There is a repeatable quest that opens up at level 23 from Barkimidis the dog that awards you around 4800 exp. You can do this at least once per run but if you exit the dungeon you can do it as many as 5 times for every 3 dungeon runs. Running Amrine with the Barkimidis quest you can get about 18-20k an hour. Without the Barkimidis quest you'll earn a hell of a lot less.
I earned close to 20k an hour in Deadman's Cove and that was without any quests. If the area does become over run with adventurers and you are fighting for spawns then you can always head back to Amrine but it's best to start off here until you are 23 and then make your way to Amrine. Or just stay here until you are 25 and can wear the good blue gear you'll pick up in Amrine.
I'll see you in Aeternum!
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