Guide for Vah Shir Beastlords

Problems and Criticism

The guildmaster text (and the hints book) says that you can ask NPCs for directions - you can't. This is a pretty major headache to a newbie Vah Shir, who has to rely on eqatlas, which may be very difficult to use alongside Everquest for most players, or the helpfulness of the few players in Shar Vahl at any given time. Having said that, Vah Shir are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most helpful in the game (and dark elfs the least) - you would be very hard pressed to find a simple newbie question unanswered, even though the call of "where is Bindarah" (usually misspelt) goes up every five minutes; and gifts of armor and weapons are the normal course of events. This bug appears to have been fixed in a recent patch.

Most of the drops in the pit are too rare. It is possible to level enough to turn the pit green collecting just one item - scorpion carapaces, or gravel tea for the tailoring and brewing quests respectively, for example. Grimling runts, which I believe may possibly drop the finger bones required for the tailoring quest (they don't - these drop in Hollowshade), I have only ever seen on one single day, my first, and then just two or three of them - memorable because they killed me. Young rockhoppers are rare.

Outside of the pit, the same thoughts can be applied to bloodbulks in Shadeweavers; it just isn't feasible to collect enough of these to make a tunic (4). At the level it is possible to kill them, which is probably 14+, everything in the east side of Shadeweavers will be green apart from possibly the claw beast and Loda Kai traders, and they are an extremely rare spawn (which may be tied in with the claw beasts, which sometimes spawn in the brigand camp).

To collect Loda Kai blood for the Champion's Cape, you need to hunt traders, who never leave the cave (although they rarely spawn on the cave lookout rock); this isn't feasible to hunt at a level that will give you experience, except in a full group - and most Vah Shir have moved on by then. This is because the initial pull from the cave will always collect all of the poachers, usually 5 or more.

The Hollowshade War is extremely disruptive, and would still be so even without bugs. The various quests require collecting items from sonic wolfs and owlbears; this is only possible when the zone is not in war status; if it is, then one of these mobs will be absent. Given the bugs, I have only ever seen sonic wolfs in Hollowshade on one day, and owlbears on two days, over a more than two month period. This makes the sonic wolf bane weapons quest unplayable. Bugs mostly fixed in april 2003. Since then, however, there are still some problems. There are now only 2 or 3 roaming spawns outside the owlbear and sonic wolf caves, which drop most of the sonic wolf bane quest drops. Although there is now a better chance of getting access to the right mobs, the chance of getting the drop you need has been drastically reduced. In the owlbear caves, the drop rate of perfect owlbear pelts has been increased, to the glee of rallic pack farmers, but the drop rate of plain owlbear pelts is about the same as for perfects, which makes the tailoring quest very difficult to use for skill ups to 135.

The relatively low numbers of players attempting the sonic wolf bane weapons is partly a consequence of the Hollowshade War bugs, and partly due to the low numbers of mid-level Vah Shir to be found still on Luclin. It just isn't feasible to locate enough of each class with an interest in the weapons to assist - rogues are especially rare.

The changes made to Grimling Forest make the zone in general easier to play in; the individual camps, including the necessary camps required to get the Copper Medal of War to start the epic, are easier to complete. However, there are many reports of the zone reverting back to the old "polished acrylia sphere" stage, and having all mobs despawn from the camps. As it stands, once one group has completed the (easy) scout camps, you have either to wait around for two weeks for the zone to reset (it ignores server and zone resets), or start SoE's old trick of camping a rare drop from a rare spawn, the coin courier in the bandit camps. Having a popular and important quest, the epic, tied in to a 2 week reset cycle is, to put it bluntly, assinine. The Officers cloak was also changed from being applicable to all beastlords, to being Vah Shir only. This reduces even further the number of players going through the sonic wolf bane quests. Having this accessible, even by means of the level 1 citizenship slate multi-quest "trick", to all beastlords, made sense given the history of the beastlord class, and made it easier to pool resources to complete this difficult quest.

Now that almost all class/race combinations have their own newbie quests, aimed at the same level range for all, it seems a little unreasonable that vah shir have no class specific quests, just the Ghulam armor quests, which are a little higher level to complete than other newbie armors, and require all no drop items. It is also noticeable that, whereas before for other races beastlords had the only newbie quests, now other classes have much better newbie sets than beastlords get, with more pieces and better stats. The end result is that a good set of newbie quest armor is not available for any beastlord - and see my comment about about the impossibility of getting the Ghulam tunic. The next appropriate quest tunic is therefore the sleek sonic wolf jerkin, which results from the tailoring quest, with a trivial of 135, and my estimated level of 30 to complete it.

Beastlords also suffer from the hybrid problem. As a class, we are very dependent on our warders for damage; roughly 40-60% of our over DPS comes from our warder. As the damage the warder does, its chance of landing a successful hit, comes from its relative level against its opponents, the wide gap between spell levels causes signifcant hardship in the light blue and green levels (36-38 and 44-48). This could be resolve by having small intermediate warder level increases, through new spells at 34 and 44, or by making warders scale with our level. A related problem that comes from warder level is that of raiding; because of relative level, the warder does less melee damage and lands successful procs far less often against higher level (ie raid level) mobs. This isn't a problem when soloing, as we naturally tend to pick low dark blue mobs for experience. The increased warder level for the 62 pet is in part intended to address this.