Well, I still have all my old equips, and for the most part, they were all unscrolled. It's only since late 5x that I tried scrolling anything (epic phail on my Cromi).
These are the equips of a Regular Luk Female I/L (in eMS at that
From 28-38 I stuck with my Green Fairy Top and Skirt
, Green Jester
(quest reward) and only had two weapons: Mithril Wand
, followed by Petal Staff
(28 and 35 respectively). I have a feeling I had White/Blue Magicshoes
(quest reward), as I couldn't get my hands on a pair of Black. I remember those being my main shoes until 40. Someone made a Blue Lutia
for me, so I didn't upgrade it to Black. I found I was levelling so fast it didn't matter. I think at this point I still had my Leaf Earrings
. I'd used an Earring MP scroll on them. I was even still wearing my Raggedy Cape
. And I made sure I went straight from Stolen Fence to Esther Shield
. Probably saved myself a lot of mesos that way. To start with I could only afford a +1 Int Esther, which was fine.
From Lv 38/40-48/50 I had:Red Moonlight
(quest reward), Brown Guilitan
(quest reward), Dark Moonshoes
, Blue Noel
(quest reward). Yes, as you can see, a lot of the good (i.e. +Int) mage armour can easily be got through quests. I made a Dark Arten
(bought a Red Arten from the FM and upgraded it) which gave me +3 Int, something that's beaten at Lv 50 by only a Dark Pennance. I was willing to forgo the extra MP from a Dark Pennance at the time, so in theory one would be able to keep a Dark Arten until Lv 60+. With hats I decided to forgo a Matty as a hat for all of 5 levels with little difference in stats seemed silly.
Well, for now. I was still using the Petal Staff
(it was scrolled with one 60% and lent to me by Drychiolaeth) and as I recall borrowed and unscrolled Arc Staff
for 3 levels, then made and scrolled my Cromi
at 48. At this point, I had pretty much everything to make a Cromi with already, so it wasn't a great leap. If scrolled well, they can last for ages. Unfortunately, mine was 3/7 success... It's still lurking on a mule somewhere. I wouldn't recommend jumping from Petal Staff to Fairy Wand to Circle-Winded Staff to Hall Staff etc. The difference is slight so it's best to pick a weapon that you can afford, is good and you feel comfortable sticking with for several levels. Some people stick with just staves, some go all wand. Personally I prefer the look of wands but this becomes less important the higher level you are.
With Icarus Capes
, I was lucky and had a +15 Avoid one, which I kept and scrolled ending up with +20MP on it. Which suits me fine. It's a handy mage cape with high avoid. It lasted me over 20 levels.
Earring-wise, I had Blue Moon Earrings
. I decked them out with 100% Earring scrolls.
At 48/50, my set up was like this:Cromi
(3/7 success with 60%s) (made)Aqua Golden Circlet
(bought, then upgraded)Green Gold-Winded Shoes
Around this time we start to stop getting equips from quests. This means we've got to either farm monsters for what we want, or buy from other players. The equips I had all gave the max Int for my level. All were unscrolled (apart from my failure Cromi). One day I got bored and made a Dark Pennance
. Aside from that, I kept the same set up for 8/10 levels.
I made a Thorns
which I used unscrolled (from what I recall) until 58 when I equipped an Evil Taylor
(as it's called in eMS) that I found cheap in the FM. Not wanting to botch scroll it, and figuring I'd be finished with it soon, I scrolled it with cheap 100% Wand MA scrolls. Gave me the same MA as an average Evil Wings.
At 50 I equipped my Skull Earrings
(quest reward) which again, I scrolled with 100% Earring MA scrolls.
My next (and current) set of equips now looks like this:
The two pairs of shoes? Simple really. The Orange Goldrunners I bought pre-scrolled, but sometimes I need the extra jump boost so my old Green Gold-Winded shoes are still useful. As I don't really care about the amount of Luk I have (aside from my base Luk still being +3 of my level), there's not a whole lot of difference between the shoes. I tend to wear my Goldrunners while training and my Gold-Winded for travelling from one place to the next. Once I have Max Tele, they'll be almost obselete.
I'm still using a Dark Pennance? Yes, it has better stats than a Dark Manute due to the simple fact that I scrolled it because I wanted to use a scoll and not blow up my Dark Manute. Result being I'm still using a Lv 50 glove, which is better stats than a Lv 60 one! The only reason I scrolled my Seraphis was because a guildie could replace it for me easily if it went bang. I was willing to blow up my Lv 50 glove, but not a Dark Manute that took me ages to find! The result is, I can now sell my Dark Manute and not have to worry about taking up another slot on my mule
My +2 Int Esther Shield... I recommend to any mage that once you're comfortably off meso-wise to invest in one of these. According to Hidden-Street, natural +3 Int Esther Shields are possible. Now, I've never seen one of them, and considering how much this +2 Int set me back, I can only imagine how much a +3 would cost. In any case, +2 Int seems common enough to be possible, and while it's pricey, it WILL last the rest of my Mapling life (with my mage at least!)
In the earlier levels, there's really no need to equip-hop so often. It's certainly a waste of money around the 3x-5x levels where so many pieces of equipment can be obtained through quests, requiring little more than... well, killing things and making more mesos.
In later levels (5x and above) mage equips are costly, yet frequent trips around the FM can prove fruitful. I found a VERY cheap above avg Dark Infinitum Circlet a week or so ago, which I now have stashed away for Lv 70. If you have the spare cash on you and see something cheap that will benefit you later on, by all means GRAB IT! I now have a full set of Lv 70 equips on my mule waiting, and even some parts for Lv 8x and above. Simply because I've spotted bargains and will be saving myself money in future. As I/Ls have one of the highest earning potentials, we can afford to treat ourselves every once in a while with a nice piece of equipment, or a scroll for something. Be warned, although 30% and 70% scrolls look lovely, they CAN blow things up. If you really don't want to lose a certain weapon/piece or armour, make sure you only usde 10%, 60% or 100% scrolls. Certainly at high levels it's tempting to make a godly weapon, but it's all to waste when it goes bang in your hands and you have to start from scratch. As you can see from my equips, I manage ok with what I have. I have no plans to scroll anything further, certainly not until I get my next weapon (which will most likely be a Dark Ritual or Phoenix Wand).
Other tips on saving money on equips are making sure that any mage guildies/buddies are aware of what level you are and know that you're looking to borrow/buy new equips. Quite a few weapons/equips were lent to me by guildies who either didn't need the items any more, or had drops that they were going to NPC otherwise. Don't let people overpricing in the FM put you off. ALWAYS ask around before buying anything that seems overpriced to you. For example, my first Esther Shield I bought for 800k. I KNEW it was a bargain as I'd previously seen them sold for 1mil+. They've now dropped down to about 800k, so I won't make any money on what I bought, but I saved mesos at the time. So yes, market awareness is the key. Ask guidies/buddies how much they paid for something (provided it's not all that long ago) before commiting yourelf to blowing everything you earned at Sakuras or what you made from those Steelies you found at Red Drakes.
Right, I hope that's in-depth and informative enough