If you read the guides you'll find the set of skills that you should max out, but they rarely address the order at which you should max out your skills, and that's exactly what I'm gonna address here.
For starters, most guids will ALWAYS tell you to max out first your Holy Light and even Lex Divina, however I found it easier and faster to use your skill points to get Aspersio as soon as possible. Let's say that instead of using your first 4 points to max your Holy Light for 39% dmg, you use them to get access to Aspersio and get criticals, your Holy Light would do 54% dmg for the next 3 attacks, and since the first 6 levels are very easy to achieve you can max out your Aspersio for a cooldown of only 20 sec. meaning that you would do 3 criticals and 3-4 normal attacks while waiting for the cooldown.
At the beginning this is a HUGE difference in damage output, because if you max out your Holy Light you would do 39% dmg, but then it will take a lot of time to reach for that Aspersio skill and get criticals.
Second, if instead of maxing out your Heal (and even before maxing your Holy Light too!)you max out your Renovatio first, you will save A LOT of time and SP and level up even faster, because you would only use 10 SP to heal 22% every 2 sec. for a total of 132% WHILE YOU'RE STILL ATTACKING, instead of healing only for 43% and having to wait for the cast time and animation to finish. I've played many times as Aco and from my experience even the mobs from Southern Plains won't do damage higher than the heal you get from Renovatio.
All this is achievable with only 9 skill points, then you would max out your Holy Light and you'll start leveling so fast and smoothly that more than once you'll even be surprised that you run out of SP (even with the use of Aqua Benedicta!).
Next, for the last skill points I advice to max out your Heal and Blessing, trust me by the time you have maxed out your Heal you'll be near Wolves Cave (the 1st big dungeon), and as a healer you'll have no problem getting a party and you'll be expected to be a FS Aco which I strongly advice.
So, in retrospective this is how you'll build your Aco:
Lv 2 - Increase Agility
Lv 3 - Ressurection
Lv 4 - Aqua Benedicta
Lv 5-7 - MAX Aspersio
Lv 8-14 - 1 point on Renovatio and then 1 point of Holy Light until you max both
Lv 15-18 - MAX Heal
Lv 19-22 - MAX Blessing
Lv 23+ - After this point you can choose any skill you want, but I strongly advice to get Highness Heal instead of maxing Lex Divina, mainly because the damage you get from Crit HL is high enough to even kill most mobs with 5 HL making LD kind of useless, and making Blessing more valuable because of the SP boost you get (and that you'll need due to the non-stop killing you'll do), and also because you'll be more useful for the dungeons.
Finally, DO NOT BECOME A MONK AS SOON AS YOU HIT LVL 25, instead wait until lvl 27 or even 28 if necessary for 2 very good reasons:
FIRST by the time you reach lvl 25 I'm pretty sure you will still have to complete both Izlude Cave and Sea God Temple, and like I said earlier you'll have an easy time finding a party as an Aco rather than as a Monk.
SECOND if you change into a Monk chances are you won't have suitable equipment for your Monk, and the leveling will be way harder, which is why you want to complete both IC and SGT first to get the statues and exchange them for equipment with the NPC cats found in Izlude Village and the Mermen Campment for some cool Monk equipment. Then you'll be ready to be a Monk.
Now that's it for leveling your aco but, what is the most suitable job for a Monk?
Again, the general concensus says that melee classes are better played as Alchemists, this is not necessarily true. I've played a Monk as both an Alchemist and a Chef and found the Chef's healing food and boosts just as helpful as the Alchemist's crafted potions, the difference is about playstyle, if you just love to level up a bit faster, then the Alchemist's potions will be better suited for your needs, but if you're not in a hurry and don't mind waiting 30 sec. to refill your HP, then a Chef will do a great job for you, and also the big advantage of a Chef over an Alchemist is that you'll save A HUGE LOAD OF MONEY, because a single Salad can refill from 60%-70% of your total HP, but with the potions you'll need A LOT of them to cover up the HP lost.
Also, it's not true that a Chef is hard to level, it's just that you don't use its skills as much as the Alchemist and hence the impression that it doesn't level that much. Another myth is that the Chef's have the problem that within an area of aggressive mobs, they can't rest, but this is also not a problem since 95% of the mobs you encounter are passive and in areas where you're dealing with aggressive ones there are always spots where you can rest.
Edited by JustGabe, 14 May 2013 - 03:29 PM.