What to Do and When

This is a guide for current and returning players, who may be mystified as to what opportunities to advance their characters shouldn’t be missed. As many of these opportunities are from old expansions, and SOE’s crazy mudflation makes many things much easier over time, I will try to give suggestions as to when best to do these things.

I am writing this assuming that you have access to help (a guild, a friend, or a high level character), a decent amount of platinum (from the same sources, from the Loyalty vendor, or just work for it yourself - it’s easy enough to do), and want to know what is useful to get and when to get it, without being a complete spendthrift. For spells and tomes, you need to do your own research to find out what you need, then collect from the Bazaar, find as drops, or make (with research) as required; all spells up to level 70 are available in the Library in the Plane of Knowledge, and rank 1 spells from 71 to 90 (with some minor exceptions that are probably mistakes). The idea is that I have listed most items at the point that either: can be soloed - or - where they are most useful, if you can get them. It’s up to you to decide which I mean. This will work for starting from scratch, or for a returning character that is obviously under-equipped.

You can install Everquest using the Everquest Launchpad. Make sure that you have updated maps from Mapfiend and EQResource installed. The EQResource maps are per expansion starting with House of Thule.

If you left when EQ2/WoW was launched, then please read Returning from 2004 - it covers the big differences.

As you level, keep an eye on the Hero’s Journey achievements (/ach, or click on the Tome of the Hero’s Journey that you are given when you zone in to Crescent Reach for the first time), as there will always be some solid suggestions for things to do. Many of my tips here are covered in the Hero’s Journey; but this tries to hit all the high points that shouldn’t be missed.

Also keep an eye on the hot zones: Franklin Teek in Plane of Knowledge can tell you the appropriate ones for each level range, and give you a quest (kill 5) for each one. The quest rewards a small amount of money, a choice of waist, back or shoulder items (Defiant), and a reasonably large amount of experience. You can get a new quest every 16-20 hours. One useful strategy is to take several quests, then do them all back to back.

Start up 1-25

First start by making your character; just choose your class, and any race - pick the race you like the look of the most, there is no strong difference between races that trumps how you feel about the race. Don’t bother with changing starting stats, as your points are now automatically allocated in a reasonable fashion (and starting stats don’t matter anyway), but you get to choose the official starting zones (Crescent Reach, or the old home cities for your race - only available if you are a Gold member), although you will be directed into Crescent Reach if you follow the tutorial, regardless of which home city you pick. I’d do the Mines of Gloomingdeep (that’s the tutorial) just to get the Kobold Skull Charm; open barrels to get bags and some cash loot (Forlorn bows), and a full set of Gloomingdeep gear from completing the quests; it is a good starting set of gear. see Mines of Gloomingdeep for a guide. Make sure you get a Journeyman (if Gold) or Apprentice 5 tank mercenary while there.

At any time up to the start of level 10, any character can skip back and forth between the Mines, Crescent Reach and Plane of Knowledge. You can enter the Mines by clicking the Tutorial button at Character Select no matter where you are; from there you can enter the tunnel (click on it) to get to Crescent Reach, or /say to Arias “ready to leave” to find yourself in the Plane of Knowledge. Do the Bazaar and Marketplace quests from Secalna Galnor in the Plane of Knowledge for the free bag and experience potion.

At some point early on, you should set up your UI. I am happy enough with the default, and this is what I do: open out two hot key bars. On one of them, put any Veteran rewards from the AA panel that I want to use regularly: Lesson of the Devoted, Steadfast Servant, Throne of Heroes, Summon Agent and Summon Banker (if you have them, that is). On the other, I make hot keys for assist (/assist), and any useful abilities: hide, sneak, lay on hands, harm touch, forage, tracking; for melee characters, taunt, kick, bash/slam and anything else that seems appropriate, such as autofire (/autofire). Finally, I’ll make an open key (again, just /open), which is useful in the tutorial. I will usually open out the potion belt (shift-p), as I will be using potions (and it is a very convenient way to just drop items into your inventory without opening the much larger inventory window), and set a second main window for “spam” - setting this to gather all melee and spell messages; right click the title bar to configure the windows (this is not quite how the default window layout sets it).

If you have a melee character, then find (in the Bazaar!) a Blackened Acrylia Blade or Blackened Acrylia Greatsword, depending on class. Other options include Shaded Blade, Shaded Dagger, and Centi Short Sword. All of these have no level restrictions, and have a reasonable ratio. If priest/caster, do the top floor quest in Crescent Reach at level 10 for a 1HB (A Dark Heart). Knights are left out: an SK would want a Mace of the Shadowed Soul, and either class would want a Blade of Disruption, which becomes their best dps option from about level 30 to 65.

At level 5 (or so) you can use a goblin rogue shroud to do the mapping quests for Slipgear’s Gem. This doesn’t take very long, is “safest” to do at this level, and is better value for time spent than the Crescent Reach charm aug. Speaking of charms, you can consider getting Serpent Seeker’s Charm of Lore from the collection quest for the Librarian in Crescent Reach, although you will be upgrading it at some point from 75+, and an Intricate Defiant Charm is excellent and can be worn from 48.

Level to 20 in Crescent Reach; do the two Disgruntled Boawb quests, which can be done at level 1. Upgrade by vendor mining for the Crescent Reach drops and Blightfire quest items (Blightfire-infused and patterns; see Kimem in the Crescent Reach forge) - this isn’t as good as Defiant/Gloomingdeep or the Hero’s Journey rewards, but can fill in weak slots (equipable at level 20 or 25); Defiant will be too expensive to be worth buying from vendors, so stick to the Bazaar for those. Collect HQ bear pelts from the bear cave for Handmade Backpacks and/or tailoring skill ups. Most mobs in Crescent Reach offer some relatively high value vendor trash drops for their level.

You may want to get an Adventurer’s Stone, if you want to use LDoNs, although they certainly aren’t necessary. You don’t need it for all of the Magus ports, although there are some restrictions. The starting NPC, if your home city is Crescent Reach, is just outside the upstairs banker, sitting on a chair - Vladnelg Galvern. You need to be level 15 to get this.

Move to Blightfire; if you need any Kimem quest gear to fill out any missing Defiant, collect any armor quest items that drop, by repeat killing Plaguebringer and Mossback. Melee characters can do the Scout quest by the gnolls for a 1HB (not knights or berserker, unfortunately). Do the bag quest from the forge (killing gnolls, so collect the quest before leaving Crescent Reach).

Levelling spots 25-50

City of Mist is good for 35-50, and not bad up to 55.

The Hole 35-71, various camps. This is also a very good zone for high value vendor trash drops.

Hot zones in general. Talk to Franklin Teek outside the Guild Lobby in the Plane of Knowledge for details, and quests that will give you Defiant gear for back, waist (haste) and shoulders. There are rare drops of augments from most current and old hot zones, see Allakhazam for a list. I don’t bother to start collecting these until 55.

Consider moving to Goru’kar Mesa around 40, do the Scout Madu armor quests; help will be required at this level for the two named animals: Ursalua and Fantoma. This is a reasonable zone for experience, and the armor quests can fill out any gaps cheaply; again, if you have been following the Hero’s Journey achievements, you will already have some better gear, but completing these quests will give you some Defiant level rewards as well.

Fabled Goblin Skull Earring from Fabled Grachnist the Destroyer can be soloed at 40+. Fabled JBoots from 55+, but you can often persuade a higher level to get them for you, if you have the Najena keys required. This obviously only applies during the Anniversary season when Fabled mobs are active (16 March/April each year).

45: collect any Kunark armor clickies that are useful for your class (eg Warrior shrink and invis, shaman nuke, ranger summon arrows and LFay gate, etc). The Bazaar is the obvious starting point.

50: consider the Classic EQ class specific spell quest - eg, Coin of Tash, Concussion, Life Leech, Call of Earth, Divine Might, etc. This is more for fun than actual benefit from the spell, which you can now buy in Plane of Knowledge.

Level 46-51: consider doing epic 1.0. Some are very easy given a little help: beastlord, rogue, enchanter, ranger, druid, magician, berserker, shaman, cleric. The rest either have minimal benefit or are still unreasonably hard to complete, for reasons of death touch mobs, or over-camped mobs. A level 100+ friend will be able to survive the classic death touches.

Levels 50-65

From 50-65 collect the better hot zone augments; you only want the ones that will make a full set at 65, as you will be upgrading from there.

Collect PoP ornate molds/patterns for the clickies for use at 55. Clickies will be hands, chest, legs for pure melee, chest and legs for others.

Collect Elaborate Defiant armor set from the Bazaar for equipping at 59.

Levels 65-70

Collect SoF tier 1 drops in the Bazaar: search on level 65 required, for non-visible slots and weapons. You should also be able to buy Elaborate Defiant rings and earrings from the vendors in the Plane of Knowledge, close to the Crescent Reach stone; these are likely to be much more expensive than the Bazaar items. The Franklin Teek quests starting at this level will give Elaborate Defiant back, waist and shoulders.

Level 65: start on epic 1.5; some are much harder than others, but most can be soloed by a friendly level 80+ with a merc (not paladin or rogue, which require raids of a certain number). These will require some trade skills at 100+; consider doing these early and possibly getting the TS trophies, in case you want to trade skill later; the trophies you can get at skill level 50 are much easier to get than at higher skill levels, and once you have a trophy, it will level with your skill if you equip it while doing combines.

There are several shield options for 65-71 tanks: a drop from Fire (Basalt Bulwark), Undershore (Dark Void Shield - same quest can also give a 2H +dmg aug), and Valdeholm/Frostcrypt (Battered Shield of the Fallen Guard - quest starts with Haesgrin).

You can start Fenden Helter quests at 65 for SoF faction and currency. You will only need the Loping Plains/Hills of Shade quests (“acts”) if you need currency. Faction comes from “errands” and “combat”; you may not be able to do the combat tasks until higher level, and some are much easier than others. 20 hour lock out. He sells SoF tier 2 items, equippable at 75.

Levels 70-75

Level 70: weapon augs from DoN camp in Lavastorm. Start DoN faction and progression for AAs and currency (radiant and ebon crystals; these can also be bought from the Loyalty merchant in PoK). The DoN AAs are never superceded.

Level 70: epic 2.0; will require “raid” (aka one group of friends, no mercs allowed) for the orb, and some fights may not be soloable even with a 95, although this depends on class.

Level 70 (69): Tank/Melee classes should consider collecting a set of AC augs from RSS (Riftseekers Sanctum); these are AC 25/20, and fit wrist, chest, legs, head, hands, arms, feet.

Level 70-75: Jonas Dagmire Skeletal Hand quests. Can start the easy ones at 70 (or earlier; some will open up at 65 or 66), finish at 75, possibly with a little help depending on class. Requires a lot of bank space and some expansion currency (80 doubloons; again, see the Loyalty merchant in PoK, but these are easy to earn yourself with the right quests).

Level 70-75: TSS clickies/aug quests. Dog Whistle - Icefall. Necklace of Warportal Fragments - Steppes. Direwolf Totem of Spirit - Icefall. Direwolf Totem of Battle - Icefall. RSS AC augs, for tanks.

Level 71: collect Othni/Athlai drops for armor, which can be equipped at this level. These drop from zone revamps active for a few weeks over the summer; hand in NPC in Plane of Knowledge is Thach Jerden.

Consider the Coldain Ring quests to number eight for DS clickie. MPG group trials for the AAs, which are never superceded, and the Dragons of Norrath progression for the AAs.

Levels 75-85

If you are lucky enough to have the Fabled pet weapons, they are usable at 75, and are the best dps weapons until higher end weapons.

The fastest experience will come from doing the Franklin Teek daily quests, plus the Call of the Forsaken Heroic Adventures, from level 75 up. There is a discussion on doing these here. The HAs give reasonable currency rewards, which can be used to buy good armor.

Level 75: level 99 and up magicians can summon augs with good AC (34) that fit in head, shoulders, legs and feet.

Level 75: SoD progression. Do as early as possible for the merc upgrades and access to spells. You only need the Warrens progression to get the tier 5 mercs. Or you can defer to 85 to do the mercenary upgrade quest in Feerrott the Dream, which should be moloable, so is far easier at 85 than Warrens progression. Complete the SoD aug quests if possible. Bayle’s Heraldic Crest should be easy, Blood of the Fallen is afflicted by various bugs, so is harder to complete than it should be.

OMM missions (from Old Man Mackenzie in Plane of Knowledge) are monster missions that send you to Nagafen’s Lair or Lower Guk as a level 50 character in 1999 gear. These require a group of average level 80+ to start. Chest rewards when the mission is complete are good, of SoD tier 3 or better equivalent. This is superceded by House of Thule dream mote gear from level 80.

Level 80-85. SoF zone drops - Mechamatic Guardian augs. Armor upgrades come from the Bazaar, from House of Thule tier 1 drops. If you can, buy 330 dream motes in the Bazaar, and use that to buy 11 non-visible items; the low tier visible armor items will also be available in the Bazaar.

Levels 85-100

Level 85: Again, armor upgrades in the Bazaar, this time from Veil of Alaris tier 1. Do the two quests (no killing required): Welcome to Shard’s Landing and Words of the Unspoken, which gives you maximum Alaran language skill. If you have access to a group, do the Partisan quests for VoA.

This is where Heroic characters will enter, with a full spell book, all AAs up to Underfoot (so some good AAs are still open to get from lower levels), gear, and cash. They should do the J5 mercenary quest in Feerrott the Dream as soon as possible. The partisan quests in Feerrott the Dream and House of Thule Lower give a good set of augments (for Heroic Characters only, unfortunately). Look for experience grinding in hot zones, in Heroic Adventures, in TBS zones (easy), in SoF zones (FM, Beza, Zeka or Mechamatic Guardian), or HoT zones (House of Thule or Feerrott the Dream). House of Thule has some relatively easy kill quests available at the zone in.

You can also do the Rain of Fear portal atunement quests from 85.

Level 92: More Bazaar armor upgrades.

Level 100: Yet more Bazaar gear upgrades. As there is a fairly large nerf on experience as soon as you hit 101, which applies to zones before CotF only, you will either want to AA at 100 so that you can still group with lower levels without killing their experience, or confine yourself to CotF/TDS zones only.

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