Going into the Abyss
Located in the middle of the crumbled remains to the tower, the Abyss is the raging hell that is dominated by the Balaur. For the Asmodian and Elyos who dare to travel there to fight an eternal war, they will also face the dangers of Balaur warriors and their battleships that bring a whole new meaning to "war" for the people of Atreia.
Players may enter the Abyss upon completing a series of campaign quests that begin once the player reaches level 25. Upon the successful completion of these quests, you may make your way into the Abyss via portals; Elyos will find these gates located in Verteron Citadel, Eltnen Fortress, and New Heiron Gate while the Asmodae will find gates in Altgard Fortress, Morheim Fortress, Beluslan Fortress. Going through the gate will drop you into the landing area which is pretty much the only safe haven in the zone. Each faction has their own landing spot and this is where you will want to bind, stock up on essentials, or unload unneeded loot.
Within the Abyss you'll notice that it isn't quite like any other zone you've played in. The land is broken up immensely and flight becomes more than just a random amusement, it is a serious necessity. Once you leave the landing area, it is game on and you are a walking and flying target so be prepared with flight potions and other flight augmentations. Nothing sucks more than to be battling it out in the air only to be owned fiercely by gravity.
The Abyss offers faction versus faction PvP and fortress struggles, but there is also various other kinds of content. The Balaur are nasty creatures and you'll find great reward in killing these guys. There is also access to various instances via the Abyss. One you'll want to do right away is The Nochsana Training Camp. This small and quick group instance is perfect for players new to the Abyss. Once you've gotten your bearings here, there are plenty of other instances to choose from, some easier to find than others but most are very rewarding with coin and loot drops so they are worth getting a group together to run. They generally have level requirements and many have access quests that will need to be completed in order to gain access to them so be sure to keep an eye out for available quests.
Abyss Points and Ranks
Part of the reward of playing in the Abyss is the points that you will accumulate. These points determine your rank in PvP. Simply put, your rank goes up when you gain points and down if you lose them. To gain Abyss Points, you just need to kill other players in PvP, kill NPCs in the Abyss, or complete quests that specifically award points. Losing points is just as easy and will happen if you are killed by another player, killed by Balaur, or if you choose to spend your points. It's completely possible to lose enough points to lower your rank.
Ranks start you out as a Soldier and gain in varying degrees from Soldier Rank 9 to Soldier Rank 1. From there you will become an Army Officer, starting as a 1 Star Officer and progressing to a 5 Star Officer before moving on to General, Great General, Commander, and Governor of the Army. Your rank bar will indicate how many more points you will need to progress to the next rank and do keep in mind that some of the higher ranking titles can only be held by a certain amount of players at any one time so you may not get the rank even if you have the points to have it. Some ranks have nice ability perks so they are worth striving for, but it might be difficult to decide if you want to keep your fabulous rank or trade in some of those points for beautiful point purchased items.
Spending your points could be the best part of having them. Because of the nature of Abyss gameplay, the reward for succeeding against your opponents is great and the items you can purchase with your points are quite impressive. Contribution Vendors, found in the cities of Sanctum, Pandaemonium, and at the Abyss landing spots will take your points and medals in exchange for amazing armor, weapons, potions, and other fun goodies that can't be found elsewhere! These items are designed to give you the edge that you have earned in your hairy battles to continue the good fight against the opposing faction and the Balaur.