Nyll's 2017 Grinding Guide
It's an ironic form of euphoria.
To grind or not to grind?
To clarify; the former half of this guide is for skills, the latter half further below is for XP. There is a bit of controversy on the subject of skill grind. In a time long past, most new players were very much encouraged to grind most skills until 6 raw rather than spending XP to learn the skills from teachers. As I write this guide the general attitude has since shifted to buying raws instead of grinding. Hopefully this guide will help you choose which method is right for you.
- XP isn't spent on skills you train by grinding. This is the main reason why grinding is popular in the first place. XP in Hellmoo is a finite resource and spendable XP becomes increasingly hard to come by as you raise your total XP. By grinding skills instead of learning them, you can reserve more spendable XP for more important skills.
- It is easy to automate. With a few cleverly made triggers and timers, one could automate almost any skill grind they want for idle XP savings. NOTE: It is against the rules to AFK grind this way. You still need to be watching the process yourself.
- It gives you a feel for the individual skills. You will have several utility skills at your disposal that you may not know you needed if you choose to grind all of the skills.
- It takes a long time. Can't stress this enough. It takes a REALLY long time to grind skills. This is the main reason why grinding is so discouraged today. To grind all the skills can take hours or days of mindless monotony for (arguably) little XP savings that most newbies never get to put to use. Hours that could be spent actually playing the game.
- You're wasting your time if you're going to reroll. Most new characters end up rerolling their build or quitting before the XP they save through grinds ever gets put to use. If this is your first build I'd advise you to hold off on grinding entirely and just buy your skills first time around.
- You have to watch it during that time. I'll say it again, it is against the rules to AFK grind your skills. Occasionally admins will check up on you to see if you're there and if you don't respond in a timely manner you will be punted to the moon or worse.
- Things can kill you while you grind. Skill IPs and XP are not saved on death unless you update your clone at a cloner or do a job.
- The XP you save through grinds isn't that much in the long run. To put into perspective, most basic builds flourish at around 145k xp. This is enough for most people to learn their weapon skill and dodge to 15 raw (the highest any skill can go). XP doesn't start getting hard to acquire until around 190k which is where Fire Ant and Dinosaur XP rewards really start to taper off. This leaves you with a buffer of about 50k XP to spend on whatever you want. Focus, medic, wrestle, what-have-you. Even more if you have a competent corp to run group content with. This is usually enough XP to buy some basic utilities.
Newbies and people who are not sure of their build should not grind. Your time would be better spent having fun and getting a feel for the game rather than wasting hours on such a long term investment.
Veterans, autists, and people who are 100% sure their build is the right one for them MAY want to grind. Remember, not grinding is not a build breaker for the most part and is entirely optional.
Before we get into methods there are some things you should know.
- Type , where skill is the skill you want to grind. This will improve your chances of gaining IP in that skill. (May be a placebo effect. This function was created during a much older grinding system)
- Skill IP gains are not 100%. Every time you use a skill you make a dice roll whether you gain IP in that skill or not. Close failures = better IP gain chance.
- The optimal grinding range for skills seems to be 10 to 14 total. This is why grinding is encouraged BEFORE mutating and gymming.
- The optimal grinding accuracy for weapon skills seems to be 10 to 18 tohit, so adjust your fighting styles accordingly. Your character's threat level is also a factor in weapon skill grinding. A 100k XP player will have trouble gaining IPs from hitting orphans for example.
- Debuffing your totals will reduce efficiency. This prevents most people from being able to grind skills effectively later on.
- The highest raw you can grind a skill to is 6.00. After that you will have to spend XP to learn skills to their maximum 15.
- You cannot grind skills past 1.00 in "safe" places. This includes inside apartments, inside planes, inside corporate HQs etc. (Crafting skills like craft, science and chemistry are exempt from this rule.)
- The cooldown to gain an IP in a skill is 30 seconds. This means it will take a minimum of 5 hours PER skill you grind in the absolute best of conditions if you were to grind a skill from 0.00 to 6.00. (The timer is different for different skills. You can grind track and appraise in the same time for instance.)
Skill Grinding Methods
Also, check the Unemployment Office for jobs. Some of them reward skill IPs on completion and can be repeated a dozen or two times. A skill IP reward table can be found on Jobs, many thanks to Sobek for putting it together.
- Appraise: Have a timer that appraises a weapon or person every few seconds. This stresses you out, it is best to do while sitting in a chill environment. Note: The gambler job has a fast cooldown and is 20 appraise IP each completion. This grind slows down significantly at 14 total.
- Blades: Ask someone with high scavenge to improvise a bone knife with a skull for you. Killing orphans with this will take you up to 3 raw. Combat knives are an easier alternative. Once you hit 3, go to the top of Anyport and activate the beacon for an air taxi. Tell Bucko/Alexis to fly you to Charred Knoll where you will find Shimoji Kikoman and kill him for his katana. This will take you to 6.
- Bombs: This method also grinds chemistry. You will need either firewalker or leechhide gauntlets to do this safely. Buy a molotov cocktail schematic from New Clearwater. Take all of the makeshift bandages you made in your craft grind to a fuel pump along with some jerry cans and a chemistry set, then spam molotovs. You will need to have your chemistry set in a public area to do this since bomb ip cannot be gained past 1.00 in safe zones.
Alternatively, buy firecrackers from Thugg Lyfe in Gangland and nade a few adjacent tiles with them every 30 secs. (Bombs do not work within Freedom City)
- Chemistry: Search the Crater Rim trailers for a schematic for a Wasteland Still. Ask your corpmates for a protocol for making salt and assistance in making a Wasteland Still. Take your new still along with a few dozen jerry cans to the ocean and fill them with salt water. Spam salt.
Alternatively: See bombs
- Climb: There's a climbing rope in Rolf's Gym, Slagtown you can use. Spam up and down.
Alternatively: There's a longer rope behind J'mak in Crater Rim you can use which is over a river.
- Clubs: Buy a thighbone from Ammu-Nation and use it until 3 raw. Upgrade to a softball bat from the same store and use it till 6. Whacking zombies is especially good for this because they soak tons of beat, just wear some leathers.
- Craft: Kill and cut the skins off of a hundred or two orphans. Buy a sewing machine and engraving tool from Hell Up In Hardware, and a sewing book from the bookstore across the street. Make leather berets from the skins, engrave the berets with 14 letter strings, improvise bandage with beret, save the bandages for later chem/bomb grinds. It will hurt and cause stress when you fail, so wear leech gauntlets and sit in a chill room.
Alternatively: Gather wheat from Luskentyre and use them on a stove to make white rolls.
Alternatively, make pistol or rifle ammo. See pistols for more.
- Dodge: Enter combat with an orphan, set a timer to escape into a direction, set a trigger to stop escape.
You carefully engage scruffy Maggie, with regret for your pacifist principles.
Scruffy Maggie throws a clumsy blow at Nyll.
You try to escape from scruffy Maggie!
[ You gained 1 ip in dodge! ]
You stop walking the path you'd planned.
Note: The Interceptor job rewards 10 dodge IP, though is a bit of an intermediate job.
- Fish: Go to shoreline and buy a fishing pole from the fishing store. Go fish.
Note: Selling 5 fish to the Shoreline fishing store will reward you with some fish IP.
- Fists: Your bare fists will be good until about 5 raw. Upgrade to a knuckle buster from Ammu-Nation once you hit 5. Zombies are good to train beating weapons on.
- Flails: Please think twice about your build. Flail memes are stale and unfunny. Try to get a yo-yo from an orphan bully. It's a random drop. This will take you to 3. Upgrade to Nunchucks from Ammu-Nation. Zombies are good to train beating weapons on.
- Fuck: Get some horny person to wear a strap-on from the Hellfire store and suck on that all day.
Alternatively: Try to find someone you can borrow an orgasmorator off of so you can jerk off alone, you sad degenerate.
Note: The Whore job rewards 20 fuck IP per completion
- Focus: Mutate screech or Writhing Smoke and set either (or both) on a 15 second timer. This is very stressful and best done sitting in a public hot tub. Be careful, if someone steps into your tile while you screech it will send a challenge.
Note: The WU Office Worker job rewards 10 focus IP.
- Hack: Buy an Alkatek DNI implant from Corpclave and hack computers. There's one near the chud mutation spot and one in South Necropolis behind a locked door. An easier one can be found in Gangland down the hidden basement of the Ruined Estate (thank Ori).
- Linguist: This skill cannot be grinded and is only used in a few schematics. The bookstore owner in FC teaches it.
- Locksmith: Buy a steel lockpick from the Rough Trade automat in Slagtown and pick locked doors. There's one in Sharpton Basement and one in the cemetary South of Sargos.
- Medic: Buy a steel table from Weezer and massage someone on it. Must be done in public places. It's expensive and heavy, better to ask your corpmates to borrow one.
Alternatively: Use the sonic scalpel if you can't find a partner. It will take an extremely long time with less than 5 medic raw, but it is possible.
Note: The Slagtown Medic job can be completed for 15 medic IP. Maas Organ Donor is 20 medic IP. Abortionist is 5 medic IP.
- Persuade: This one is easy. Set a timer to insult an NPC for a while.
Alternatively: Milk the beefalos in Crater Rim.
Note: The socializer job rewards 5 persuade IP. Prank Caller rewards 10 IP.
- Pilot: Buy a runabout from botany and sail around in it for a while. You must be travelling at 40 throttle or more to gain IP in the runabout. Be sure to bring extra jerry cans of fuel and use the boat map .
Note: EEE Delivery jobs reward 20 pilot IP each completion.
- Pistols: Buy a .22 revolver and the ammo from Thugg Lyfe in Gangland. You are going to need a lot of ammo. The automats outside (and inside) Ammu-Nation sells .22 speedloads, as well as the vending machine in Liddy Arms and Blastarms. Upgrade to a .38 snubnose from Thug Lyfe and buy ammo for that too. It has an even smaller capacity so it's good to buy both .38 and .22 ammo at the same time.
Alternatively, if you're brainy buy tons and tons of clips and magazines and break them on a gunsmith workbench with their respective schematics. Make and break pistol ammo all day and grind craft at the same time. You will need to move your gunsmith workbench into a secluded public area to grind past 1 pistol raw this way since it cannot be raised in safe zones.
- Quickdraw: Set triggers to draw and stow your weapon. This grind is much more successful while in combat.
- Repair: Set triggers to destroy a piece of furniture and repair it once it is destroyed. The furniture in orphanage works well for this.
- Ride: This one is tricky. You can buy a skateboard from a store in 420 High Street Corner Market, west, then down. Ride around until 1 raw, then upgrade to a warthog motorbike. This is a very painful grind and you will probably need to ask your corp for help building the bike.
Note: Fat Ratzo's Deliveryboy job rewards 10 ride IP each.
- Rifles: Buy a 10/22 rifle from Blastarms in Crater Rim along with the .22 speedloads (see pistols for where to get ammo). Ask your corpmates to make you an American-180 once you hit 3 raw. The pancake mags can also be bought from Blastarms.
Alternatively, make rifle ammo. See pistols for more info.
- Scavenge: You can be productive and grind this at the same time by scavenging in Sharpton, Gangland. The can opener weapon is also good until 3 raw and can be bought from Ammu-Nation.
Alternatively: Wear some beat protection like tire armor and buy a pickaxe from Eschaton Outfitters. Go mine in Mountain Pass.
Alternatively: There is a ruined estate in Gangland with a hidden entrance you can scavenge for. Search for the entrance, go down then up, and repeat search for the entrance again.
Note: The RDCD Corpse Grinder job rewards 15 scavenge IP per completion.
- Science: This one is difficult but can be done in safe areas. You can buy a proton pack from CSICOP Operative Shop near Bradbury along with some MK I cells and spray it in a room full of furniture for science IPs. You will need at least 1 raw to start with or else the proton pack will fizzle and hurt you.
Alternatively: Scavenge for spent fuel rods in Toxic Dump and bring them to the New Clearwater calutron to make them into plutonium. They are irradiated and heavy, bring a trail pack. (Credit to Maimai for this)
The CSICOP Ghost Buster job rewards 20 science IP each.
- Sneak: You can literally idle grind this. Stand in front of a FC or Galleria camera and idle. You will make a sneak roll every time it warns/fines you. Easy, but very long and seems to only work at around 10 total or higher.
Alternatively: Gain a few FC stars and run around under the cameras. It's a sneak roll whether you're detected or not. This works for any faction and their respective cams, just be wary of cops.
Alternatively: Deploy a sex slave under any faction camera and enter/exit combat with it repeatedly. Even though it's technically legal to attack slaves you will still make a sneak roll. This works for any NPC, but slaves are the most convenient since they're weak and don't move.
Note: The Ronin job rewards 25 sneak IP per completion. This one is quite hard for the average newbie.
- Spears: Buy a sharp pole from Ammu-Nation and use it until 3 raw. Upgrade to military fork until 4 raw, then ask your corpmates to improvise a piece of scrap wood into a wooden stake for you. This will take you to 6.
- Swim: Pretty straight forward, just swim in and out of the water a bunch. There's a pool near 420 High Street, FC and a beach in Shoreline. Don't go too far out from the shore or you will be swept into the gulf.
- Teach: I don't think you can grind this one. At least I don't have a method. It's the cheapest skill to buy anyway.
- Throw: Have a trigger system to pick up and throw an object at a door over and over. This grind seems to slow down massively by about 14 total so switch to throwing shurikens or boomerangs on live targets if that happens.
- Torture: Go into the back room of Hellfire Basement with a partner and tie them to the torture bed. Torture nerd with cigar, This is a cheap skill and you should buy it instead.
Alternatively: See wrestle.
- Track: Type track repeatedly on a 15 second timer. This does not work unless there are players in the area to pick up. The best results are from the orphanage or a corner of Freedom City.
Note: The Prisoner Invasion job gives 15 track IP. Gangland Dexter job gives 20 track IP.
- Wrestle: This one is stressful and annoying. Sit in a hot tub with an NPC to grab and grab them repeatedly. If you miss, they may enter combat with you and make you stand up. Leave the tile, enter it again once they've stopped attacking, and resume the grabbing. This grind seems to jump off a cliff after 14 total.
Alternatively: If you're brawny enough to hold your victim for long, dress them in clothes and strip the clothes for more gains.
Alternatively: Hire a Ganglander and mix torture into the grind. Torture ganglander with cigar when you have them in a hold. (Credit goes to Medina for this.)
- Whips: Scavenge Gangland for an electrical cord to use until 3 raw. Go to the 2nd floor of the Giggling Schoolgirl to upgrade to a riding crop until 4 raw. Ask your corpmates for an upgrade to the linkwhip or try your luck at the random spawning Sharpton lockers for a nail sjambok. They will both take you to 6.
XP Grinding Methods
Under construction. This guide is assuming you are spending all of your XP on weapon total and/or dodge as you go. This is by no means a definitive and complete guide to all of the XP methods. Listing all of them would be tiresome and some builds cope much better/worse in certain areas than others.
0 to 10k XP
- You may be tempted to start killing orphans for XP right away, however, this is a very inefficient, with only a measely 7xp a pop.
- If you haven't already grinded your weapon skill you should try doing jobs in Freedom City until you can learn your way to 6. Check the Unemployment Office, it is a purple UO on your lmap one block north of the orphanage. Orphan Exterminator, Gambler, Socializer, Corpse Grinder, Delivery Boy, Scam Artist, Whore, and Medic, are all good starter jobs. Ask your corp for help doing journals (quests) too if you're still feeling lost.
- Try to kill some crack heads in the Crack Mansion (blue cm on your lmap). Type
- You can also try the Crack House in Gangland which you can find from the Western Freedom City exit. (The crack house will be a blue ch on your lmap) Beware, crackfiends spawn here more often and are marginally tougher than the average crackhead.
- If you can afford an electric lantern from Eschaton Outfitters, try taking on the chuds down the manholes in Freedom City. Avoid the chobos unless you have a parry class * or higher weapon. They are stronger and often have weapons of their own.
10k to 25k XP:
- If you've joined a player corp already (it is heavily advised that you do), you can try your hand at prisoner and chud invasion contracts in the Citihall (purple CH on your lmap.) Go up to the second floor and simply buy/sign the contract from Sgt. Hatred. This will spawn five prisoners or chuds in semi-random spots in Freedom City, Gangland, Slagtown, or Corpclave. The prisoners are stronger than chuds and will try to feint/pow you. There is also a job for completing either of them for even more XP if you do manage to complete them.
- If you head further north into the sewers you will eventually find alligators, crocodiles, and caimans. They're basically the same strength and are not much of a threat against a trained fighter with a PC* weapon. Beware, these things have a nasty habit of appearing all in one tile when they respawn. It may be worth going to Maas Neotek to buy a Rhodopsin night vision implant to look ahead.
- There are zombies in the Bradbury basement (Purple BR near the South exit of Freedom City). Don't try zombies if you only have beat or bullet weapons. These things are tanky even later in game, but are relatively vulnerable to anything else. If you're brawny and mutated hooligan however, you can these zombies for critical damage. Just be careful of the boomers, they have more health, more brawn, and will spew bile all over you which will infect you with zombierot.
- There are also stronger zombies in the middle of Gangland in the mall. These give more XP than Bradbury zombies and hurt a bit more.
- Zombies will infect you with zombierot if they bleed or vomit on you. You will need to take a shower or wipe yourself off with a towel before the zombie rot sets in. Leaving zombie rot unchecked will eventually lead to death. Call your corpmates for help if this happens.
- Rednecks and Juicers in Crater Rim are an alright source of XP if you're strong enough to kill the bridge juicer J'Mak.
25k to 40k XP
- If you've made it this far, congratulations on losing your Ntag. Be wary of headhunters.
- Keep doing jobs and invasion contracts. If you feel like branching out of the safety of Freedom, try a Broken Arrow contract from Sgt. Hatred. The job is 200xp and the payout is about $7000 which is absurdly high for the trouble. The bureaucrat you have to escort will spawn in either:
-The Southeast-most part of Wasteland (Bring a radiation suit)
-Southwest-most corner of Maas Neotek (Have some dodge to evade the hepcats)
-Or up a few difficult Mountain Trail climbs in Northeast Crater Rim (Have at least 16 climb total)
- You can also try killing the Bug Queen in the subsewers of Freedom City. Go down the manhole south of the Orphanage, then e, s, s, nw, w, n, n. You will have to kill the web wall to make your way past. The bug queen has a lot of health, but is slow and quite easy to dodge or parry and rewards you with a 200xp journal. Remember to power attack. (Very rarely she will use a special move that swallows you whole. Bring cigarettes to light inside of her or use Writhing Smoke to spew and make her throw you back up).
- Behind the Bug Queen is the arachno lair. Arachnos are 25xp and $200 each kill if you've signed a Sewer Cleanup 2 contract from the 2nd floor of Unemployment Office. it is highly recommended you have at least 25 tohit with your weapon when you're down here since the arachnos will deal much more slash/stab damage than anything else you've likely faced. Avoid the arachno queens at all costs. They spawn rarely when enough arachnos die and deal radiation damage. They are also parry class ** and will generally ruin the average newbie's day.
- If you know you're tired of Freedom City, pack your bag and make your way Westward to Mountain Pass. Down the water fall and then North you will find a forest full of Yetis you can fight for about 20xp each. Like arachnos, but with beat damage instead of slash/stab. These are more plentiful, but will sometimes power attack. Pack lots of insta-cast in case of broken limbs.
- Like the Bug Queen, you will gain XP rewards from journals for visiting places and killing things for the first time. Collect them whenever you are able.
40k to 55k XP
- Now we're really getting into sperg territory. You may want to upgrade your leather armor to Tire armor at this point.
- Make your way far westward, past Weezer Village into Adamant Canyon. In the middle of the depths climb up to Luskentyre, then go West into the shack and buy a Lamprey Invasion contract for about $1000. (You can also easily fly here in a plane or ask a corp member to fly you.) This will spawn 15 rock lampreys all over Luskentyre you can kill for 30xp and $500 each if you complete the contract. Be very careful, these are aggressive and will team up on you if there is more than one in the room. Lampreys deal slash/stab like arachnos, but also a bit of unsoakble bleed damage. They also power attack, a lot. Bring nanites, suture kits, your favorite leathers and a weapon with at least 30ish tohit and farm these until they start scaling off at 55k. Be sure to
- For gunners, since you cannot parry, dodge is much more important here than your weapon tohit.
- If you really don't want to leave Freedom City, make your way to western Slagtown and try killing Karnivores in Nukem Academy (Yellow NK on your lmap). These guys are meaner and tankier than lampreys and use .38 revolvers which couldn't care less about your dodge and parry. This means they can't parry you in return, however. Armor here is a must, so ask your corpmates for a set of tire armor for here or make a set yourself.
- Alternatively, the Firehall in South Gangland is full of mutant firefighters with PC* slash fire axes you can parry or soak. These guys have low speed and tohit but eventually they will pow and crit. Hard. Use your own pows as fast as possible to daze and counter them. Try to avoid the top floor. Rock Hardplace lives there and he's a lot tougher than regular firemen. The firehall itself is also a bit hot, so buy a keffiyeh or two from New Clearwater.
- Don't forget to keep doing Freedom City jobs when they're off of cooldown. By now you're probably strong enough to take on the tougher jobs like Dam Repairman in Weezer for 800xp.
55k to 100k
- Gangland firemen are also probably still good here for a while.
- Remember yetis? Me neither, but make your way to the NW part of Mountain Pass and take the NE path in the yeti woods to Crater Forest. Here you can fight treemen for about 90xp each. This place is irradiated and the trees themselves do beat/radiation damage so for god's sake bring a radiation suit. The treemen are also PC** and hit MUCH more often than lampreys so a layer of armordillo plate armor or leech-hide over your radisuit will help. If you don't have at least 25 dodge, bring a PC** weapon yourself or remember to Tree of Life in Botany for $1700 each. The downside is they scale off a bit fast. often. You can cut the bark off of dead treemen and sell them to
- In Weezer there is a contract store across the cafe that will sometimes sell Ice Yeti contracts. They work just like lamprey contracts and spawn Ice Yetis all over Weezer which you can kill for 45xp and $800 each ($1000 each if you sign a Botany Western Hunter contract at the same time). These things are much, much tougher than normal Yetis and cannot be parried. Decent dodge or a fast is critical here. If you get hit by them you will be cold and put into shock, which will quickly spiral out of control if you are unprepared. Remember to check up the climbs and in the rivers. Keep buying out all the contracts from the store if the Ice Yeti Invasions won't stock.
- In Western Crater Rim, past Maas Neotek you can find Glowstiller which is swarming with mutant bootleggers you can kill for about 55xp each. These are probably the toughest option at this level since they use a variety of weapons including waster shell shotguns and m100 rifles. The melee bootleggers are easily dodged or parried by a PC* weapon but they'll have guns more often than not. It is more important to have a lot of health (hopefully you've been using endocrines) and a tire armor or radiasuit/plasteel set because those shotgunners will rip you to pieces. Did I mention this place is also irradiated?? If you're bringing tire armor, buy a booklet of radq pills from Weezer and take one before you go in. DO NOT take a radq while irradiated or under the effect of another radq or bad things will happen.
100k to 150k
- If you've made it this far, welcome to money fountain midgame. Hope you like being forced to work with other people. Jobs and journal XP will also start to scale off past this point.
- Ice yetis and bootleggers are still good here for a while.
- If you can fly, look at the SkyMap and make your way to Stormfront Island. There are small, medium, and large dinos here which you can kill for 10, 80, and 150 xp respectively. The medium and large dinosaurs are PC** and hit HARD, so if you're melee bring a PC** weapon and some double leech-hide armor. If you can't parry, at least 30 dodge is recommended. It is heavily advised that you also bring a medic friend or two here for your first time as well since the medium and large ones are capable of one hit killing some players. They're are also VERY tanky and have no real weaknesses except cold damage. Cut the hides and sell them to J'lar in Crater Rim for $2000 each.
- If you've hit the 55 HP cap from buying endocrines and can take on dinosaurs, you might be tough enough to take on the Ant Colony in Crater Forest (with a group of course). For your first time it is heavily advised that you take at least two other people to fight the Giant Fire Ants with. These things are mean as hell even to endgame players and will pow, carrie, and ruin a poorly prepared party. An armor set of leech/radiationsuit is vital (Firewalker mutation will also help greatly) since making them bleed will cause molten hemolymph to spray everywhere and deal burn damage to everyone in the room. The ants themselves deal high slash/stab/radiation damage and have a VERY nasty habit of swarming, so cheaping out on armor here is definitely not recommended. Each kill is 96 xp and you can cut the carapace and carapace polyps from dead ants to sell to J'lar for $1800, and $3000 respectively.
- If you don't like working with other people, fly to Southern Necropolis (NOT Necropolis Gate) and make your way to the South Westernmost part of Camp Benjaman. The contract store here stocks like Ice Yeti Invasions in that only 3 random contracts stock at a time. Keep buying them out and keep the Corpsegrinder Invasion Contracts until you have a decent amount. These will spawn about 7 corpsegrinders you can kill for 45 xp and $1500 each. Not as big as dinos or giant ants, but makes for easy soloing since they're PC0, spawn in a condensed space, and are weak to just about everything. These guys will spew once you enter their area whether you enter combat with them or not so ALWAYS bring a gas mask when hunting these to reduce the spew stun duration. They also hurt like hell when they hit, dealing only slightly less damage than medium dinos. Fortunately they're relatively inaccurate and are easy to dodge or parry. (Credit to Cynder)
- All of these can be soloed by a competent dodger with 30+ dodge. Gunners with high senses have it easiest because none of their weapons parry, making it much easier for them to dodge everything. At this point dodge becomes much more reliable than parrying.
150k to 200k
- By this point you should have both your weapon skill and dodge close to 15.
- Giant ants are still very good here. Even better if you're good enough to solo them, but don't underestimate their ability to swarm. You should always help your lowbie corp members through here when you can as well.
- If you still want to play solo make your way to Screaming Chasm Ashbeasts which is East, then up the North East path in Crater Rim to Mountain Trail. Keep going East and you will find yourself in Ashen Valley (don't fly here, the skydock above you has flak guns that will shoot on sight). Further east is the Screaming Chasm you can hunt ash beasts in for about 75 xp each. They're very fast, deal burn with a bit of suffocation damage, and like Ice Yetis they can only be dodged, not parried. They also feint hard so a good set of leech-hide armor to fall back on will save your life here. These things are also much tankier than ice yetis so you will have to frequently. Their only weakness seems to be cold damage so gunners should bring plenty of South Necropolis Iceblox mags. The downside to these is only 7 spawn here at a time and unlike most things at this level, you can't make any money off of Ash Beasts.
- If you've looked at the boat map you may have noticed Coventry Island far to the north. Here there are basilisks you can kill for about 120 xp each. They're like large dinos on steroids, much much faster and with a feint instead of tail whip. You will need high brains or bleeder's rend command to resist the feinting. These are only weak to bleed damage so if you don't have a bleeding weapon just take whatever is fast and deals the most damage. They're also PC0, but it is highly recommended that you have high dodge here as well because parrying becomes much less reliable than dodging (This means that only senses gunners can really solo or tank for this well). Did I mention this place is sky blocked? If you die here you won't be able to recover your things without buying another boat to come back, or blinking into the lighthouse. Bringing one or two medic friends and some autodefibs here is highly recommended unless you really know what you're doing. You can cut the basilisk hides to sell to J'lar for $2000 each.
- If you're a Hideous Freak or Zombie you can purchase Gulfhound Invasion contracts if you have about 250 Abom Nation rep. The contract store is a bit hidden, the entrance is Northeast on the first intersection out of South Necropolis. Unlike the other random contract stores, this one restocks very slowly, so you might have to wait a while. This will spawn 6 Gulfbitches and 12 Gulfhounds all across Necropolis Gate you can kill for about 70xp and 120xp respectively. The Gate is a huge and confusing place to newcomers so it may be worth getting a feel for the area killing spectres for Abom Rep before trying this out. The gulfs will travel in packs of 3, with 1 gulfbitch and 2 gulfhound escorts. The gulfbitch is much stronger than the two gulfhounds and will screech very frequently. All 3 do mostly cold damage meaning most armor won't do a thing against their bite, so high dodge, a PC* weapon, and/or a craft-only HEV suit is key here. They're all especially weak to burn damage and burning so break out the willy petes and incendiaries. Heroin might also be good for resisting the screech shock if you're a zombie or an endurance build. Killing the gulfbitch first will make the other two gulfhounds go into a frenzy, increasing their damage and tohit significantly. The gulfbitch on the other hand will screech and pow the entire time it is alive. It's up to you to decide which is more important to kill first. As with most things at this level, these are not meant to be soloed and it is recommended that you bring one or two friends to help. Butcher their hides to sell to Sparq in Camp Benjamin for a job and about $1000 each.
- Finally the ultimate source of XP; Nullianac packs. These are extremely dangerous to solo and is usually done in parties of three or more. Nullianacs live in the Necropolis Heart escorted by 3 gulfhounds. Like gulfbitches, the Null is worth about 120xp and is only weak to burning damage. Nulls are also very brainy and their feints will send the average idiot into a stun stasis while it's 3 pet gulfs rip them to pieces. The Null itself has an incredibly strong, extremely accurate PC3 electrical attack, meaning they can't be parried by normal melee weapons and will probably kill it's target in one hit if it gets a shot off. Fortunately, it is also very slow and can be interrupted by a few well placed s. The main threat are the gulfs which will the Null when anyone attacks it. The party simply has to retarget the null and queue power attacks to suppress it long enough to whittle it's HP to death. When the Null dies, all 3 gulfs will enter a frenzy and queue attacks for everyone in the area. Players who can't dodge or parry will find themselves chewed up pretty badly here.
- Nulls are still good here. If you're an absolute madman you can take these all the way to 360k. Most people stop at 280k.
- Or you can make pattons if you're a nerd I guess. I've never done this. Scavenge parts to make pattons for 2500 xp each and sell them to Bosco for a tidy $400k profit.
Always remember that Hell is not all about raising numbers and grinding skills all day long. This guide isn't meant to hold your hand through the entire game. There's a whole world of obscure and poorly documented content in this game so go out, make some friends and explore it! There is more to Hell than the stats on the sc sheet.