You can join a nation at any time.
However, it is easiest to wait until you get to level 20.
Being level 20 helps in getting past the L20 Jackals on the Soplar Highway.
You may want to get some Health pots before trying to get past the Jackals.
Try to get the Accelerate/Movement Speed buff from an Archer of at least level 28.
Try to get an escort or go in a group.
Always stop at the camp and talk to the Innkeeper and Teleporter NPCs.
Once you successfully join a Nation, you are moved inside the Capital city.
Always talk to the Innkeeper in the Capital to save your position in the Capital.
Talk to the Transporter NPC in the capital so you travel back and forth between the Capital and Astir.
I'll get some Soplar Highway maps added later
Joining the Empire
The Empire is probably the easiest Nation to join, but has the longest run.
You can make it during the Day or at Night.
Go to Imperial > Western Soplar Highway > Himurart Desert and head north through Himurart.
The Himurart Desert is an open area so it is easy to avoid monsters at any time of day.
Here is the map from the jp wiki with a route highlighted.
The red dot is a camp. Always try to get to the camp.
At the camp talk to the Innkeeper to save your spot in the Himurart Desert.
Talk to the Teleporter NPC, but don't teleport back to Astir, so you can teleport to the Himurart Desert Camp from Astir.
|white line = route / red dot = Himurart Desert Camp (Innkeeper, Teleporter, Supplies)|
Once you reach the southern end of the map, you'll automatically talk to the Imperial Guard at the gates.
Click on the top option to join the nation.
Joining the Kingdom
Getting to the Kingdom has the shortest run, but has a couple of dangerous choke points and higher level monsters.
Go to Royal Street > Eastern Soplar Highway > Nelstadt Plains and go east in Nelstadt.
Here is the jp wiki map with a route highlighted.
Notice the chokepoints around d-9 and e-9.
The red dot is the Nelstadt Plains Camp.
Always talk to the Innkeeper NPC and the Teleport NPC at the Camp.
The Innkeeper saves your home spot in the Nelstadt Plains.
Talking to the Teleport NPC allows to you teleport from Astir to the Nelstadt Camp.
The area west from the red dot/Nelstadt Camp has a lot of level 50+ mobs.
|white line = route / red dot = Nelstadt Plains Camp (Innkeeper, Teleporter, Supplies)|
You'll talk to some NPCs at a fortification at the eastern end of the map.
Take the top option to join the Kingdom.
Joining the Varik Confederation
This is the most difficult run, especially at night. Always try to get to Varik during the day.
Go to Confederation Road > Northern Soplar Highway > Leapholtz Gorge
You'll be running through a lot of narrow canyons with lots of monsters with ranged attacks.
At night the main danger are Skull Shooters which can one-shot kill most low level players.
Monsters tend to be less aggy than the monsters in other maps, but you should still always try to run behind mobs.
Running high against the walls is usually a good idea, but monsters can spawn along the walls so sometimes you need
to run down the middle of a canyon.
Here's a route from the jp wiki.
The red dot is the Leapholtz Gorge Camp.
Always go to the camp so you can save your position by talking to the Innkeeper NPC at the camp.
Also, talk to the Teleport NPC so you can teleport from Astir to the Leapholtz Gorge Camp later.
|white line = route / red dot = Leapholtz Gorge Camp (Innkeeper, Teleporter, Supplies)|
At the north end of the map, you'll automatically talk to the Confederation Guard.
Take the top option to join the Varik Confederation.