^ Better hope that wasn't just an event. I think it still applies, though; when you sign allegiance to the Giants, you should get a Giant assistant card (and likewise with Elves).
Here's an extensive list of tips that I didn't plan on typing:
Pro Tips: Pets. They are invaluable. These guys are the backbone of many adventurer's inventory space, and also the most valued possesions in Mabinogi that you actually get your money's worth (and more so) out of. If you EVER have extra cash to charge for this game, get a pet ASAP (preferably a mount, so that travel will be a lot easier on you, so you won't have to travel on foot.)
The cheapest two-person mount that I know of is the White Ostrich (9,300 NX, I believe). Try getting that. You won't regret it.
Windmill is probably one of the most invaluable combat skills you can have, even if you specialize in archery or magic. Within a given radius dependant on its rank, this skill hits all nearby enemies onto their backs and pretty much resets their AI (which is usually good, but can backfire) all for the cost of 10% of your total HP. Don't overlook this skill because of that 10% loss; you'll find that you pretty much need it later.
In this game, there aren't any classes; you choose what you want to specialize in (for this, Humans are the best if you want a little bit of everything). There are only races: Humans, the most versatile, and the best for magic; Giants, the Melee masters of the mountains (They can wield anything and wear the heaviest armor, which can be hard to come by); and Elves, the arching rangers of the sands (They shoot 2 arrows in one attack, can become invisible, and can shoot an arrow that saps HP from a crowd of enemies).
I do reccomend that you use Human first, so that just in case you can ally with either the Giants or the Elves to get your Assistant Character cards from their leaders. Giants aren't best at Magic, and have a limited range ability called Throw Attack. Elves aren't the best at Melee; they can't wield two-handed weapons
Transformations: It is optional to get transformations, but preferably you want to strive and get these as soon as possible. But don't make trying to get a transformation an excuse to skip G1; it's preferable that you do it. Transformations are pretty much a significant stat boost to your character in tight situations. These transformatios heal your HP, stamina, and MP by a great portion . Also, the more you level, the more points you get for your transformation. It's preferable that you rank up the actual transformation first rather than the skills that it has so that you will be able to stay in that Transformation longer. Plus, as you go, you'll see that your transformation will look different at certain ranks. You want to get to Rank 1 ASAP.
Humans can have either the Paladin (boasts very high Defense) or Dark Knight (High Attack and Magic) Transformations.
Giants have the Savage Beast Transformation (Has an AoE attack called Giant Full Swing, preferably used with a 2-handed Blunt weapon)
Elves have the Falcon Transformation (Has an AoE attack called Magic Missle, which, on a roulette wheel, determines what magical element will be used to hit the enemy with).
I'd tell you more, but the rest you gotta learn for yourselves, really.
I do have one more thing to say though:
Do NOT spread out your skills early on; doing so will make you versatile, sure, but weak. Focus on either just Melee, Range, or Magic. When you're satisfied with one aspect, you can focus on another. Don't neglect your Life Skills though, like First Aid, Rest, Production Mastery, and some others; they help a lot.
Might be a lot to take in now, but you'll confront it sooner or later.
Good luck on your Mabi lives.