Welcome to Higher Ground! Not able to join the server? Able to join but not sure what to do next? Let's see what we can do about fixing that.
Connecting to Higher Ground
There are a few base required files that players must have in order to join Higher Ground, so if you are unable to join the servers you are likely missing something from these required files. They can either be downloaded and applied manually, or there is an option for automatically obtaining the files you need with as little hassle as possible!
- Base Requirements
- Neverwinter Nights: This one seems obvious, but to be specific, Higher Ground is running version 1.69 with both installed expansions (Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark). If you do not have Neverwinter Nights or the expansions, you can purchase them from [Good Old Games] for $9.99 along with some great bonus content!
- Community Expansion Pack: Higher Ground uses the CEP to bring tons of new and exciting content to the server. The current CEP version used is 2.3c.
You can refer to the Installation Guide for details on how to obtain the game and all files needed to play on Higher Ground.
Joining a Server
There are many ways to get connected to Higher Ground once you have everything updated, from the more traditional Gamespy lobby approach, to programs designed to put all the activity in the world of Higher Ground directly at your fingertips!
- External Programs
- [ARF2]: If you used ARF2 to update your files, you can also use it to join a server! If you manually downloaded your files, you can still use ARF2 to join a server, and it will keep your files up to date as well (unless you specifically tell it not to in ARF2's options).
- You can find the Higher Ground servers listed under Action, running the Path of Ascension CEP Legends module
- Direct Connect
- You can direct connect to the following hub servers, then use the !portal command to jump between servers
- Hub 1: 126.96.36.199:5121
- Hub 2: 188.8.131.52:5131
- Hub 3: 184.108.40.206:5141
What to Do
So you have updated all your files and managed to connect to a server. What now? Well, since you likely have no characters in your vault (unless you have been to Higher Ground before, even years ago, in which case all of your old characters will still be there), you'll just have to create a new character!
Creating your Character
If you have played Neverwinter Nights before, this section should be familiar to you already. What might not be familiar is the number of new options available to you in character creation. Namely, feats (some of which can only be taken at first level) and subraces that can only be found on Higher Ground. While many of the more powerful subraces will not be available until you can find the items to unlock them, the benefits of the standard or so-called open subraces are worth looking into.
If you are not entirely sure what you want to play, take a look at one of the various classes available on Higher Ground (including some specially scripted quasiclasses) to find something that interests you. From there, you can either decide to build something of your own design or look to certain builds for inspiration (many of the class pages will have recommended builds listed within them). If you are not quite sure what you want to play but feel like testing a certain class or character mechanic out, you can use the Hall of Training to create a test character that can be leveled instantly to level 40 for just that purpose, to help keep you from investing time in a character that you might find yourself not enjoying weeks later.
The power of characters on Higher Ground stems from the diverse and intricate character building process. Many of the aforementioned builds that have already been created take advantage of this, but if you wish to delve into the mechanics on your own to come up with a unique character, you should review the Custom Changes to see how Higher Ground has modified many feats and skills as well as some of the general features of the server. When in doubt, ask other players what works and what does not.
Once you have created your character, you will appear on the Voyage--a boat destined for the port of Ascension. The Captain will fill you in with more details on where you're headed and provide some information about what makes Ascension such a popular destination. Shortly after concluding your conversation with the Captain, you will find yourself walking off the boat ramp onto the Docks of Ascension, where a stout dwarf will offer you a hearty greeting and answer many questions you are liable to have about what there is to be done here.
First and foremost, he directs you to visit the Rowan Guardian, who can be found in the center of the Town of Ascension proper, just north up the road from where you arrived. The Rowan Tree is capable of infusing some of its power into those needing it, enabling characters to immediately reach level 2 or 3 depending on their class. If you have any difficulty finding things in Ascension, remember to check your minimap; most important locations have map pins labeling them! After obtaining your free experience, it's time to get down to seeing what Ascension has to offer.
There are a few key places that will be important in your early adventures on Higher Ground. Make sure you talk to everyone when you get the chance, and remember to talk to them throughout your adventures, as what they have to say might change depending on what you have been doing!
People and Places to See
The Sage of Ascension
This old man has been in Ascension for as long as most can remember. He spends most of his days in his house, reviewing all manner of lore and artifacts. As such, he has become a source of knowledge about the fabled Crown of Ascension, though some parts of its nature have still eluded even him. In addition to his connection to the quest for the crown, the sage can often tell you about mysterious items you may come upon throughout your adventures. If you are puzzled as to what purpose a particular item might serve, the sage may be able to point you in the right direction.
Captain of the Ascension Militia, Borian often enlists the aid of adventurers to undertake quests which he cannot spare the resources from the town guard to pursue. There are several items on Higher Ground that must be obtained before a certain level. If a character forgets or somehow misses obtaining one of these items, Captain Borian is able to provide them, but he requires the donation of a weapon to the Ascension Militia's stockpile, from a [very specific list].
Rip's Wretched Brewery
This tavern in the heart of Ascension may be frequented by some shady characters, but Rip's is the place to go for those seeking information concerning the fabled immortal crown. With all the adventuring patrons that come and go, the locals here have picked up more than their fair share of stories to tell about the crown, and even some stories concerning other happenings in and around Ascension. Check out the bar for some rather potent potables and the new merchant that's taken over the store there--just try not to startle her when you walk up. In the back you can enjoy the company and entertainment of some fine dancers, but as the Bouncer forcefully suggests, "don't touch the ladies".
The Northern Trader
In the Docks of Ascension, you'll find a ship docked adjacent to the ship you arrived on. Amidst the crates of supplies, a rugged old sea dog informs you of the state of one of his trade routes to the city of Bywater, which he has used to bring exotic items to the shops of Ascension. Asking if you can sail with him to the north, he mentions that the route is dangerous and that the city of Bywater has been overrun by Frost Orcs and other beasts. The Frozen Wastes and areas beyond that are accessible through sailing north with this trader are good areas to adventure in when starting out.
The Silver Moon Inn
Fresh off the boat and looking for something to do? There's always need for adventurers at the Silver Moon Inn! Several of the not-so-adventurous patrons are more than happy to give you some advice or reward in exchange for accomplishing small tasks for them. These tasks are good ways to learn about the world and what tools you have available to you in exploring it.
The Sooty Crow Tavern
The Northern Trader is not the only sea dog in these parts. The Sooty Crow is a tavern nestled in the corner of the Docks right across from the Silver Moon Inn, run by an old man named Obidiah whose ship wrecked not too far up the coast from Ascension. It may not look like much, but where there's people there's needs, so a willing adventurer may find some work here. Though be warned, the work may be as questionable as the clientele at times.
From here, your adventure becomes your own. Look for other characters in your level range (characters in a party must be within 6 levels of each other in order to gain experience) by using the !who all command available through SIMTools (for more information on what SIMTools is or how to use the commands, visit the SIMTools page). To restrict the results of what is returned, you can use +x -y switches to look only for characters in a specific level range, such as within 6 levels of your current level. As examples:
- Find all characters within 6 levels of level 2: !who all -8
- Find all characters within 6 levels of level 8: !who all +2 -14
If you find players, but they are on a different server than you are, use the !portal xxx command to jump over to that server and fire off a !lfg to shout your interest to join a party if one exists. Higher Ground emphasizes and rewards party play, and interacting with other players helps you discover more of the game world and provides you with an opportunity to ask more questions. At any time you can use the !chat or !newbie commands to send an inter-server message to all players currently logged into any Higher Ground server.
For more detailed information on the basics of Higher Ground and what you can expect from the game world and community, as well as some tips and tricks, check out dodrudon's [newbie guide]. If you have any other questions, check out the [F.A.Q.] or ask people logged in by using the above mentioned inter-server chat commands.