New players to Everquest should play the Tutorial, at least once. The tutorial consists of the zone called “Mines of Gloomingdeep”, which is actually two zones. The first is a private instanced zone, containing Arias and the Kobold Jailor, and is where your character first enters the world of Norrath. The second zone is part of the open world, and has a quest arc that will guide you from level 2 (you ding 2 just as you complete the initial familiarisation quest in the private instance) to levels 10 to 15.
At 15 you will be forcibly expelled to the Plane of Knowledge, and you can’t reenter this zone after level 10. But there’s no real reason to stay any longer, as Crescent Reach has better facilities for growing your character from level ten upwards, and some may prefer it from level 2-4 onwards as well.
This latest version of Mines of Gloomingdeep has been revised for the launch of Free To Play. Changes are to add a new quest that links together all the main quests in the zone; a few new NPCs are added to explain topics that were omitted before; and some of the gear drops are updated to be identical to Defiant. In addition, there are new items on the vendors (Gate spell, hurray!), and there is now a mercenary liaison in the zone.
Gloomingdeep was originally taken from Everquest sometime around the Dragons of Norrath era; although there was an earlier version with much less content and a simpler layout, and some other aspects are obviously added from Depths of Darkhollow. There are only a few potions (Divine and Celestial Healing I and II), … There are also no guild masters, so you can’t spend training points.
Install using the Everquest Launcher; the size (of EQ, not the Launcher) is approximately 8 GB, so allow time for it to come down. This launcher is significantly faster than older Everquest patchers.
and… Installation Problems
Make sure that your Desktop shortcut is pointing to Everquest.exe, and that you installed to somewhere other than ‘Program Files’. If you have problems with the display window size, edit eqclient.ini, look at the [VideoMode] section near the end. Otherwise, it’s liable to the same installation procedures as full Everquest – you will need to have Direct X 9.0c installed, and you may need to jump through some hoops to get multi-core CPUs to work properly.
Once you get past the log in, you’ll want to create a character. You can allocate statistic points, but I suggest you don’t bother; with modern gear, stats are mostly irrelevant (the exception is if you are playing on a Progression server, which is Gold tier only). You have a choice from 16 races and 16 classes. The automatic name generator will only rarely find an unused name, so be prepared with original names!
First you can watch an intro movie, or press Esc to skip it. The movie is just static images, each very blurry. I’d advise skipping it.
There’s a chance that you’ll hit the messages about “That zone is unavailable” and “Your personalized tutorial zone is still loading. Please click on Enter World again in a few seconds”; just keep trying – it may take some time if the servers are loaded!
You zone in to a private instance zone at level 1, and run through a series of pop-up windows that are intended to explain the interface controls. Once the initial pop-ups have been read and dealt with, you will be offered a task. When the quest window pops up, make sure that you accept the “Jail Break!” task, as it is essential to getting out of the Jail area. This requires you to move around and find the Kobold Jailor, melee and kill him, then loot the corpse and give the key to Arias - which is covering a lot of essential ground.
If you don’t like the layout of the windows, and the default layout isn’t great, feel free to drag them around, and start the conversation with Arias. When this is complete, you will know to click on an NPC to target it and for conversations, to press ‘h’ for hail (which will get you some introductory text in most cases), and how to auto-attack and loot.
Your inventory contains the usual bread cakes, skin of milk (both x20), Bandages (x20), Backpack, Gloomingdeep Lantern and guild note (of no use to you until you leave Gloomingdeep). You may also have a melee tome, which you can right click to learn. You will also be someway into level 2.
As you enter the main mines after completing Jail Break!, you will find two tasks in your quest journal”: The Revolt of Gloomingdeep”, which is the big task that collects together all (or almost all) of the tasks in the mines; and “Basic Training”.
Your bank has another Backpack – and has 24 slots, plus the two shared slots. You can equip the backpack straight away.
You should probably check over the Allakhazam spells and abilities list for your class. Almost all of the spells you get up to level 10 are available from the vendors in the main cavern.
There are several ways to exit Gloomingdeep, and you may want to leave more than once during your stay there. The simplest way out is from the main cavern: run to the black tunnel entrance, and you will be prompted if you want to leave; this exit takes you to Crescent Reach. One alternative exit is to say to Arias, “ready to leave”, which will port you to the Plane of Knowledge. You might want to do this to buy a mercenary of a different race, or to buy a dps mercenary, or to do some of the Secalna Galdor quests in the Plane of Knowledge (to get a free weight reducing bag, for example).
Getting back in easy: camp out, then click the Tutorial button at the character select screen. This will only work if you are under level 10. If you are over level ten and want to return for any reason, talk to Secalna Galdor in the Plane of Knowledge, and she may be able to send you. Casters can gate back in if they are still bound in Gloomingdeep until they are level 15.
OK, so this zone is quest driven, but that will only get you so far. You may find experience lacking at some points, depending on how you approach the quests, group versus solo, the order you take them in, etc. And if you want to level past ten, you will have to do some grinding: which means “gaining experience by repetitively killing mobs”, by the way.
At a low level, you can easily grind on spiders or kobolds, that much is obvious. I’d like to point out that diseased rats in the corridors don’t give a faction hit, if you happen to be one of the race/class combinations that kobolds don’t object to. Past ten, only the highest kobolds will give experience, so you may be reduced to grinding on Krenshin in the pit.
What To Do?
Start by completing “Basic Training” (I give details of all tasks below).
In the main cave, pay attention also to the optional tasks: hail Poxan to be told to fetch his sword (Poxan’s Sword, 1HS 4/28, which can be useful in some cases); he returns you a Kobold Leather Mask (AC 2). Frizznik can give you the rat steaks task, too – but ignore what he says about right click to eat and increase your strength; you can’t sell them, but they are free food and add 5 HP, but only while they are in your inventory ‘above’ any other food (like the bread cakes).
Remember to re-equip your weapon after handing it to Absor for an upgrade! (part of Basic Training)
If you haven’t already, you should speak to Elegist and hire the highest level tank mercenary you can; if you are Gold, this will be a Journeyman tier 1. If you don’t like mercs, that’s ok, but still hire one now as it will be free; you can suspend it if you wish. The price to hire a mercenary is ZERO until level 5 to 10 (5 for a Journeyman tier 1 merc), and the per 15 minute hire charge is also ZERO until then.
Rats & Bats
You then want to connect with Rahtiz (hail him) and collect your next tasks: “Clearing the Vermin Nests”, then “Spider Caves”, followed by “Arachnida” (see below). Make your /open hotkey now, if you haven’t already.
Details: press ‘q’ to auto-attack. Scribe in your spell book any spell or tome that Rytan gave you, and check the spell vendors for any other spells that you can use; you may also find some on the vendor (Wijdann). You create a hot button by pressing ctrl-o, right clicking on a blank button, giving it a name, then Accepting it; you can put it on your hot keys bar by left-click and hold on the button, then click on a blank space in the bar. There is an alternative way to create a hot button, which is to right click on a spare button space in your hot bar, and follow the menus.
You can add combat abilities (which you learn from tomes) to your hot bar; first right click the tome to learn it, then bring up the Combat Abilities window (either from your EQ menu, or by alt-c) and assign the new ability to a button by pressing the “S” button; drop the new hotkey on a hotbar or the combat abilities window. This is explained in the Basic Training quest; repeated here in case of information overload.
While you are in the rats and bats caves, use your /open hotkey to check all the targetable barrels. The bows you find will sell for more than 1pp, and you can sometimes find bags and even backpacks in them. Once you have some money from selling to the merchant, check to see if any of the spell merchants have anything you can use (i.e. spells).
Back in the main cave, and every time you return, go to Rytan for the “bless” buff.
At this stage, hailing Rahtiz again will offer you two tasks: “Rebellion Reloaded”, and “Arachnida”. Take both. You can also take two tasks from Guard Vyrinn (next to Rahtiz): “Spider Tamer Gugan” and “Spider Caves”; again, take them both, although they are significantly higher level. Vyrinn also gives “Arachnophobia (Group)”, but you need to be level 4+ to see it. Finish Spider Caves and Arachnida.
At this stage you should be level 4-5, and have a full set of Stitched Burlap, and you can move on to the kobold area. Save Gugan and Arachnophobia for later, and check out the guards leading to the kobold mine: Guard Hobart and Guard Maddoc. You can get tasks from Hobart at level 4, and Maddoc at level 6; save Hobart’s group task to last. If you don’t already have a full set of Stitched Burlap, either collect more silk for Vahlara, or buy some from Wujdann.
Start with the first kills for Battle of Gloomingdeep; you will need to be level 7/8 or in a group to finish this, so start with the easy ones around the pit. Work your way to Dig Site 2, which is where you will find Zajeer and Kaikachi with some more tasks for you. Take them all.
If you can invis or are a race (like ogre) that has good kobold faction (just con them – target a kobold and press ‘c’; so long as it doesn’t include “scowls” or “glares”, you can move around in complete safety), you can easily complete “Scouting Gloomingdeep”, “Sabotage” and “Busted Locks”. If not, you need to level up first.
You will want to get to level 7 or 8, depending on class and friends, before completing any more tasks. Just kill anything that is dark blue or higher – spiders, lurkers, warriors, grunts, diseased rats, and goblin slaves.
It is probably easiest to finish “Goblin treachery”, then “Spider Tamer Gugan”, then “Arachnophobia”, then “Kobold Leadership” – and if you can do that, you will have finished “Sabotage” and “Scouting Gloomingdeep” as well. Rookfynn, along with most of the goblins, is in a chamber at the end of a tunnel at the first level down in the pit.
Grind some more by killing until you are level 9 or 10. At this point you should be able to complete solo “Freedom’s Stand”, “Flutterwing’s Dilemma”, and “Pit Fiend”. I completed all quests by 50% into level 10, with no unnecessary kills, and under 3 hours played.
And after all that? Try seeing how high you can level. There will come a point where even Krenshin doesn’t give you any more experience.
You need gear to build up your character to handle tougher mobs, not just levels. Start by getting the Kobold Skull Charm from the initial quest (Basic Training). Then you should get a set of Stitched Burlap, which looks like leather when equipped. You get chest, legs and arms from completing some of the tasks (“Spider Caves”, “Cleaning the Vermin Nests” and “Basic Training”); the rest come either from handing in Gloomingdeep Silk to Vahlara, or buying back ones that other players have sold to the merchant, Wijdann. Which means that starting with the spider cave quests is a good idea.
You can get bags, a bow, and arrows from opening barrels, so make that /open hot key. Melee can get a haste item for range (Spiritweaver Voodoo Doll; only 5% haste, or Kobold Quicksteel Orb from Slavemaster Ruga and Overlord Grikan – 10%) dropping from named mobs, and casters can get a Mana Preservation item (Spiritweaver Nexus). Tip: Rufus can also drop the two main range items, and he is much lower level.
Your next step will be to upgrade your visible armor. Some of the tasks (“Freedom’s Stand” and “Battle of Gloomingdeep”) give chest and leg items appropriate to your class – plate, chain, leather or silk.
Other visible armor items drop from random kobolds, more frequently from named mobs.
For weapons, you will get your first upgrade during “Basic Training” from Absor. After that, you need to find a Chunk of Bronze (random from mobs) and/or a Chunk of Iron (same) to hand in to Absor in return for a better weapon. After that, weapon upgrades drop from named mobs – Ruga and Overlord Gnikan.
While you are killing, you will find some Crude Defiant drops; these have identical stats to the quest reward gear, but will have focus effect and instrument focuses on them. If you are a bard or a caster, equipping drops rather than the quest rewards will make a large difference. Very rarely you will find Crude Combatant/Adept items for waist, back and other slots that aren’t covered by the quest gear. The named mobs will also drop the previous set of Gloomingdeep gear (called Gloomsilk, Gloomchain and Gloomsteel), which has much worse stats than the quest rewards that should already have claimed by the time that you can kill the nameds.
There’s not much you might want to buy – spells, potions, and just possibly Stitched Burlap early on. But the answer is easy – open barrels. The Forlorn bows that drop sell for more than a platinum, and the staffs that drop from Spiritweavers sell for over 4pp (with high charisma!). Another trick that will only work if the zone has been running for a while (and no one else knows the secret): you can buy from Wudjan any Gloomingdeep Silks that players have sold to him, hand them in to Vahlara, and sell the Stitched Burlap back to Wudjab for a profit.
This is pretty much self-explanatory – but remember to “/say others” to Vahlara: people seem to misread this step; she gives you some Gloomingdeep Sleeves appropriate to your class (and same stats as the basic Defiant sleeves). Remember that saying “bless” to Rytan will rebuff you at any time (every 27+ minutes). On completion, ding level 2 (if you haven’t already) and get the Kobold Skull Charm. This is the best charm you can use for some time.
Reward is A Worn Totem, which can be clicked from inventory and has a small run speed effect (which works indoors).
Mercenaries for Hire
Optional task from Elegist; you have to both hire a mercenary and hail him again afterwards, with your merc unsuspended, then kill a nearby kobold.
Optional task from Scribe Farquard. Reward is 10s and 2% experience (and marks a General Achievement, “Mastering Achievements”, as complete). This is more useful than it sounds, as 10s is enough to buy many level 1 to 6 spells.
Kickin’ Things Up A Notch - Augmentations
From McKenzie the Younger, in the rats and bats cave. He gives you an augmentation (henceforth called ‘aug’), Steatite Fragment, which gives your weapon extra damage when used against kobolds. As you are likely to get a weapon upgrade while fighting spiders (Chunk of Bronze/Chunk of Iron), save this for then. You can move augs between items by removing it using a distiller, but as this costs 1pp, you can save money.
Cleaning the Vermin Nests (Guard Rahtiz)
This can all be done in the first, non-aggro, section of the tunnels and first chamber. Bats are level 1, rats level 2. Destroy the nests by creating a /open hot key and using it; remember to loot the nests and use or sell the contents. While doing this, you should also look for and look the barrels and piles of bones. When the task is complete, Vahlara should give you some Gloomingdeep trousers. Loot everything and sell to the merchant if you can.
Rebellion Reloaded (Guard Rahtiz)
If you have been looting barrels, you should have (at least) one of these, so give it to him. You get a quiver and 9 gold, plus some experience (more than for some of the earlier quests). Sell the quiver for 1p4g2s9c. Remember that the bows from the barrels are also worth more than 1pp.
Spider Caves (Guard Vyrinn)
Combine this with the next task – you need to /open the cocoons to collect these, and can kill spiders at the same time. Your reward will be a Gloomingdeep tunic.
Arachnida (Guard Rahtiz)
Carry on into the spider cave – directly south from where you were before. Kill spiderlings (level 2) as well, to collect the Gloomingdeep silk needed for armor from Vahlara; they also seem to count as spider kills for the task. While killing, you should find a Chunk of Bronze – hand this to Absor for a weapon upgrade. Try to complete the spiders (level 3) and get some armor before moving on to the lurkers (level 4). Again, you should reach level 4 while doing this, and then level 5 on hand in. Another weapon upgrade, from a Chunk of Iron, is a possibility while doing this. Reward is some experience and 1p7g.
Spider Tamer Gugan (Vyrinn)
Gloomingdeep Violet drops from Spider Tamer Gugan, who is level 6. Approx 20% exp at level 7.
Probably need to be level 4 to request this, and the queen is 7. Reward is 5 Celestial Healing potions, some exp, and a Gloomingdeep cap. There can be a chest to open next to the Queen.
The Battle of Gloomingdeep (Hobart)
Work on this one first, at least until you level and can get tasks from Maddoc. Spiritweavers are level 6. The reward, eventually, will be a pair of Gloomingdeep footwear.
While killing around the mine, you can work your way towards what is marked on the map as Dig Site 2. East of there is a pool with two more revolt members with a mission: Revolt Scout Kaikachi and Revolt Scout Zajeer. You can also swim underwater from here back to the main revolt camp.
Freedom’s Stand (Group) (Hobart)
The Overlord is level 9; he can drop random armor, weapons, or a range item. You should be able to get Gnikan with just one add, from the side room, if you fight him at his spawn point; it will be much harder if that is a spiritweaver, so try to kill it first. The two others in his building can add, and a spiritweaver in the other side room will heal him, so best to take that out first. There can be a chest to open next to him, although I haven’t seen that for a while, so it might have been removed. The reward from Hobart is a Gloomingdeep weapon.
Scouting Gloomingdeep (Zajeer)
If you can invis, this one is easy; or if you have ok faction – I was surprised to find that an agnostic ogre did. Otherwise, you’ll have to fight various Gloomingdeep Captains (level 6) along the way. Combine this with Sabotage and Kobold Leadership. 30% of a level for completion.
You are given the bomb when you take the task, so defer this until you do scouting if you are short of inventory space. Give the bomb to the crate just as if it were an NPC, then watch the effects. This gave about 60% of a level.
Kobold Leadership (Maddoc)
No armor reward. You need to be level 6 to request this, so remember to come back before doing the Sabotage/Scouting tasks; although you will almost certainly have to return for Freedom’s Stand, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Busted Locks (Kaikachi)
The key is in a chest in Slavemaster Ruga’s room, and drops from the Gloomingdeep Locksmith. You don’t need to kill anything to collect it, so long as you are free of aggro to loot the chest. Gives you about 30% of a level and Gloomingdeep gloves. You can stand at one end of the long corridor inside the jail and wit for the Locksmith to come to you at the crossroads if fighting in is unappealing.
Goblin Treachery (Kaikachi)
Level 5 goblins and the named is level 7. Killing goblins reduces your faction with the kobolds. Rookfynn is at the end of a tunnel at the first level down in the pit. Reward is a Potion of Invisibility, some exp (20% at level 9), and a Gloomingdeep wristband.
Flutterwing’s Dilemma (Rashere)
Slavemaster Ruga (in the jail) drops randomly one to three eggs when you kill him. Reward is probably about 50% of a level. When you pull Ruga, his two guards will spawn, and will attack you if you don’t pull him far enough away. The simplest approach is to kill the kobold on one side, then pull Ruga to that spot. I have also seen people pull Ruga to the jail cells next to him.
Saving from Slavery
You get the quest from the various (non-goblin) slaves in the jail area. Reward should be a chunk of iron (for Absor weapon hand-in).
Pit Fiend (Group)
Probably need to be level 8 to get this task. You need to go to the bottom of the pit, and kill Krenshin, a bazu type mob; level 12. He can drop a range item (there are three possible), although I haven’t seen this in a while.
The Revolt of Gloomingdeep
This is the one quest that binds all the other quests together, and has too many stages to usefully list. When you complete it, you get a small amount of experience (8% at level 10), and are told to clear off!
Other Rare Named Mobs
Rufus – grey rat, level 3. Drops range items; PH cave rats
Sliver – kobold, 7 or higher
Selandoor – kobold, probably level 8
Brokenclaw – kobold; level 8.
Ratasaurus - up to level 7; PH is diseased rats
Pox - kobold caster
Tips for Gloomingdeep
No fire beetle eyes (for druid Flame Lick, etc).
No snake scales for shaman/beastlord Scale Skin. Gloomingdeep counts as indoors, so Camouflage and Harmony don’t work; but Spirit of Wolf does.