Guide for Vah Shir Beastlords

Paludal (Level 8 - 24)

Objective: experience!

Paludal is a dungeon zone (with a hefty experience bonus, some say perhaps 35% - it is actually closer to 100% over normal hunting areas) that is very well laid out for Vah Shir starting from both Shadeweavers and Hollowshade entrances.

It is probably best to start at level 8, although 7 or even 6 is certainly possible, at the Shadeweavers entrance. To reach it, follow the path north from Shar Vahl, and drop into the cave; in there, take the first left turn, then the next two right turns. Beware of the diggers in there - they are tougher than the mobs inside Paludal, and are both aggressive and social. So just run by them without stopping, making full use of the tunnel sides to stay out of reach. Inside Paludal you will find a series of mud burrowers and mud diggers; these too are social, but they are not aggressive, and most of the spawns in the first tunnel can be taken one at a time - if you find you pull two, run to the zone to lose aggro, and zone straight back in. The first pond area has slightly higher level bugs and lower reishi, and includes a couple of reishi spawns - these hit a lot harder, but are non-social. If you are at the lower level range, some of the reishi will be dark blue and suitable, as well as those in the first tunnel to your right. Keep on going, but stop as soon as you see the fiends ahead in the next couple of pond areas. Moving up and down this corridor will take you to 12 with ease.

Solo, I normally start with the reishi at the pond, and stay on reishi in the right side corridor until 11. In a duo or group, chain kill the bugs as you go, as you can easily handle the adds, and need the larger total pool of mobs to kill.

When too many of the mobs are light blue, so that you can't continually move from one dark blue to the next, it is time to try the Hollowshade entrance. Go back through Shadeweavers and Shar Vahl into Hollowshade; be very careful there, as mobs are social and aggressive, and much higher level. Run straight south along the higher zone sides to the lake. There you will see a cave entrance at the west extreme of the lake, with a short tunnel leading to the Paludal zone line. You will need to swim a short distance to climb onto the rocks leading into the cave; run in and zone if you have collected a train of beetles.

The first tunnel here is very profitable for experience at this level, and full of muck diggers and some grime tunnelers with a single, slightly tougher, reishi. Glowing muck diggers are tougher (about level 14) and much more social, but will drop a glowing heart stone for the latest stage of your beastlord cloak quest; you can do this at 14, or with ease at 15. Be warned that glowing muck diggers run when low, which can cause a lot of adds. The normal muck digger hearts are for a shaman quest. Move up and down this passage until they turn light blue (probably around 16). This passage can support two small groups, although it is also popular with power levellers, unfortunately.

Next, move to the end of the passage in sight of the fiends. All will be dark blue. Some can be easily single pulled, although you will get twos and threes at times. Work out which points will do which - the obvious single pull is the one to the right of the entrance, but the two on rocky points can also be single pulled, provided they are dealt with in order. The fiend to the left will usually bring three at a time. Fiends will get you to 18 easily and quickly, and they drop some reasonable loot. Fiends also give you Creeping Crud, which lasts for 90 minutes, and does enough damage to counteract your normal hit points regeneration while it lasts. For this reason, use Cure Disease (level 9 spell) at the end of fights, and remember that your pet heal spells also cure disease on your warder.

As you reach 17, you will gain dual wield; remember to carry and equip a second weapon!

When too many are light blue, it is time to move into the next corridor beyond the fiends. If you use sneak and stay high on the walls, it is unlikely that they will attack. Remember to con a test fiend before moving; if you are behind it and it is indifferent, then your sneak is working. In this corridor, there are grime tunnelers, sediment delvers, and more reishi. The bugs are mostly too close together to safely single pull, plus there are wanderers that can make a safe single into three or more. For this reason, the reishi are a better target. A duo can fight reishi in a continual stream with no downtime from 20 - 24 with ease. There is a single outcast shiknar to the right that will aggro; it also double hits, so take care; until you have levelled up a couple of times it may do enough damage to cause you to take extra downtime for healing and meditation, although you will be able to take it as a dark blue easily. Be careful exactly where you sit - there are a couple of points here where sitting against the tunnel wall will aggro one of the adjacent shiknar.

If you get bored with this group of reishi, move along the corridors killing shiknar; you will eventually end up at the Reishicyben. Collect Shiknar legs and bile (which stack) and carapaces, as these fetch the best cash; a single trip can easily pay you 20 platinum. Shiknar will turn light blue as you reach 23/24, but the reishi will still turn up as dark blue a reasonable proportion of the time. By the time you reach 22, you can get probably slightly faster experience from the higher level fiends around the large lake close by the Shadowhaven entrance and the bandit camps. At this point, you will be able to walk in front of plerg fiends with immunity, but patog fiends, in the inner caves, will still aggro unless you sneak, so a trip to Shadowhaven becomes feasible as you reach 24. They will stop aggroing on you when you reach level 30.

During your time in Paludal you will need to leave to sell up, and will want to spend time in Shadeweavers and Hollowshade to complete your class quests; it makes a pleasant change to be able to alternate between zones, at some times concentrating on quests, and at other times on levelling. Remember that it is more satisfying to do the quests in Shadeweavers and Hollowshade at a point when you still get experience from killing the quest mobs. Check my notes for the other zones to see when you should be training new skills - but block should be gained at 25, which I don't think is mentioned elsewhere.