Recommendations for gear while levelling. These assume that the character is self-funded and not being powerlevelled.
The basic principle is to work your way through quested/crafted armor, and pick up some items from the Bazaar. Worthwhile Bazaar items are old school armor, and weapons. Look for armor with focus effects and without recommended levels, as these were retrofitted onto old zone drops when focus effects were introduced around the time of PoP (a little earlier, I seem to recall – probably mid-Luclin). Level 2 focus effects are the best to get (in most cases), and they will work at least to level 44 on all spells.
Start in the Gloomingdeep tutorial, and stay there up to level 4/5. Get the kobold skull charm from talking to Arias and the other NPCs, a full set of stitched burlap from handing in gloomdeep silks, and any of the random armor drops that seem suitable; the latter are rare drops, so don’t be too hopeful; watch out for ooc’s while you are doing other quests.
Move to your original newbie zone around level 5, after first making lists of all the drops required for newbie armor (from EQTraders and/or Allakhazam). Many of the items can be found on vendors, only a few are no drop rare drops from rare spawns in the EQ tradition. Most items can be obtained before level 8; the exception is usually a weapon with extremely poor stats that requires killing mobs around level 12-14. Don’t spend too long doing this, as the experience isn’t as good.
Return back to Gloomingdeep before 10 to finish some tasks and possibly get more drops. This isn’t essential. Although you can’t enter Gloomingdeep after level 10, if you are bound there you can gate in, up to level 15 or 16 (not sure which).
If you have The Serpent’s Spine (TSS), this is probably the best levelling area, and some of the quest rewards are good for filling out slots. I know that I had a 1HB, ring, cape, hat, and mask, all from standard and easy tasks. Around 15, start the PoK quests, both the new tasks and the old ring/mask quest (both of which can be done much earlier if desired).
Then at 15+ consider starting the cultural tradeskills. As they need 100+ skills in smithing and tailoring, this isn’t going to happen unless you are a keen tradeskiller. The tradeskill quests in Crescent Reach will get you to 54 in all skills for free, and look on EQTraders in the guides section for further advice. I always used to reckon that it would take 100pp to take the average tradeskill to 100, and considerably more for some – brewing was the cheapest to reach 250 (the old max) with. It may be cheaper now, but I doubt it. The Drakkin tradeskill quest NPC is Artisan Irisi, in the raised merchant/tradeskills area on the upper floor in Crescent Reach.
At 20/25+, look at the Kimem quests. If you are in TSS, you will probably be seeing the required drops anyway. Kimem is in the upper forge area. Patterns drop from named mobs, and the blightfire-infused components drop at random from any mob (but are rather more common in the Bazaar).
Meanwhile, fill out and/or replace with Bazaar items according to your class. Weapon dependent classes should consider spending some time gathering pelts and silks to sell in the Bazaar to fund their weapons (Centi shortsword should be reasonably cheap still). Casters should be concentrating on level 2 focus effects.
There are more TSS armor quests at 45 (Goru’kar Mesa) and 70/75 (Crescent Reach again).