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Absolutely Your Grandfathers MMO: Let's Play Classic EverQuest!

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
You know, I’ve never been to Guk.

But I was a mage, so... hear enugh horror stories you decide you can stay clear of the place.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)
You know, I’ve never been to Guk.

But I was a mage, so... hear enugh horror stories you decide you can stay clear of the place.
I'm pretty sure that with default faction, as long as I stay away from the Undead Frogloks I could just run around Upper/Lower Guk for fun...

It is one of my favorite dungeons, but mostly because of how much time I spent there with friends. But Najena and Befallen are also top tier for me.
 

4-So

Spicy
Had a 60 Enchanter in Classic. Used to sit in the Plane of Knowledge and sell C3/KEI for cold, hard plats. Played this almost religiously for about two years until switching back and forth between it and Dark Age of Camelot when that game released. Did EQ2 for about three or four months before finally migrating to WoW in summer 2005, which I still play.

Awesome thread!
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)

Level 4-5​

As I mentioned before, level 4 is a game changer for Percii. With access to our pets we can now begin claiming camps of monsters for our own and work through to our next major milestone.

After our initial newbie area around the Druid Ring, we turn our attention to the nearby Kobold camp. Being dangerously close to Ak'Anon we are going to do our duty to thin their ranks significantly.

First off though, we need to summon our friend.


Say Hi Zabarn!
Based on the requests from everyone we are going to be spending our time with a Fire Elementaling. As a reminder this little spitfire has the lowest amount of HP of all our pet options, but packs a significant punch with their fists as well as a fire based direct damage spell. Not only that, Zabarn here has an inherent ability to become wreathed in fire - which causes direct damage on any successful melee attack against them.

Let's /consider Zabarn and determine their strength. Our pets can be summoned between levels 4-6. A level 4 pet will /consider white, and a level 6 pet would be red.

Our first couple of summons end up with white /con'd pets. Not awful, but we can do better. After 6 attempts we see...


Good Enough for Kobolds

This Zabarn is a level 5. Not the best, but each cast costs us a single Malachite, and our funds are still pretty limited. Let's go with this.

Traveling to the Kobold camp is easy - it is within sight of the Druid Rings (which also has a helpful vendor to unload our spoils without going too far away). Once there it is just a matter of killing the spawned Kobolds and 'breaking' the camp.

Before we did I set up a few useful macros for controlling Zabarn - mostly around attacking, guarding a spot, and following me. Also a quick readout of their health.

Keyboard 1-6

Camps​

In EverQuest nearly every zone has dedicated static spawn points where specific monsters will spawn. These are known as 'Camps'. Typically as a single character the aggro radius of the monsters in a camp make it difficult to survive - in our case there are 3 Kobolds in this area, all of which are of equal level to Percii.

But as a mage, with a fresh strong pet to back me up?

Yeah, I still couldn't do it.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to manage the aggro of the Kobolds as well as I had hoped, and Zabarn (bless them) tried valiantly to keep two of them occupied while I chain cast on the first to take them down. We managed to kill one Kobold, but we both perished in the fight. However, I was able to respawn close by, and because the zone was practically empty, nobody moved in on my space.

A quick summon (lucky with another Level 5 pet on my first try), and then a return to the camp, we were able to easily defeat the remaining two.

From here we had about a 3 minute window where there would be a single Kobold (the one we killed before we died ourselves), and then two more spawning within 30 seconds of each other. Plenty of time to take them out one by one, with a long rest of about 5 minutes before the first Kobold respawned. Not a bad setup.

From here we just buckled in to clean house. But a few really great things happened during this.

Now, looking at these events with 20+ years of hindsight don't sound that amazing, but believe me we hit the jackpot.

After about 20 minutes or so we had our first important 'Holy Grail' of a drop. The Cracked Staff!


My Precious
This is one of the most highly sought after drops from 'newbie' monsters. While we could technically equip it, it is actually worth the equivalent of two spells at our level to any vendor!


$$$
These aren't THAT rare, but it is always a treat to sell something for over a single platinum piece to a vendor, when average drops at this level might sell for MAYBE 1 gold, but often for less than half that. I've seen newbie areas where several low level players will swarm on a Decaying Skeleton wielding one of these hoping to be First To Engage in order to get the cash.

Our second lucky drop actually happened 3 times: Equipment Bags.


By default each character has 'pockets' with enough room for 8 items (or stacks of items). This is also limited by your carrying capacity. In a lot of cases that means low level characters have to fill up on 6 slots (remember, 2 for food!) then run to a vendor, unload, and go back.

We uncovered a 'Small Bag', a 'Large Bag' and a 'Backpack'. Each of these takes up one of our primary slots, but can be opened to add more items inside of it.

Each bag has its own number of spaces, and maximum sized items it can hold. The Small Bag has 4 slots, that can hold 'small items'. This will be our 'Essentials' bag for the next little bit: holding our Malachite, Food, Water, and Bandages


Never Leave Ak'Anon Without It

Our Large Sack has 6 slots and can hold 'Large' items. And the mighty Backpack can hold GIANT items. At low levels we have tripled our carrying capacity, meaning we can stay engaged in our camps longer, which means less downtime and faster EXP.


So much non-stacking loot
Aside from these finds, we are also filling up our slots with Cloth Armor, and our pockets with various change. This is great as we can then start the process of saving up for our level 8 spells.

Back To Camping​

I spent about 45 minutes or so doing the same loop (and drinking any Short Beers or Ales that were dropped to slowly raise up my Alcohol Tolerance because... why not) before I heard that great sound: "DING!"

Level 5 is ours! While this doesn't give us much of a boost outside of some more HP and higher skill ceilings, it's an important step. And I am absolutely not kidding when I say that Zabarn contributed to my fastest level gain in EQ I think I've ever experienced. I hope it continues through the next few!

When everything was said and done this is where we are with regards to level and equipment:

The only slot I expect us to be able to fill out easily is the 'Head' slot. For some reason nobody is dropping Caps. The Ear, Finger, Range, and Ammo slots will need to be filled via questing or higher level monster slaying... or purchases from other players.

What a Grind​

At this point you have seen the key loop for just grinding - one of the most tried and true ways to gain EXP. But next time...

Let's try a Quest. I heard there is some mail that needs delivering, and it can give us a tour of a few other corners of Faydwer.

CURRENT STATUS:
Level: 5
Location: Ak’Anon
Goals: Deliver Some Mail, Kill more Kobolds!
 

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
So do fire pets still annoyingly not always cast their shield right away like in the original?

Even once you get a damage shield spell of your own and even with their low HP they actually do the most damage soloing by a decent margin, but you need that shield up. And sometimes mine would just absolutely refuse to cast it. I don't remember them being able to cast it during a fight, either, which is relevant if you ever want to chain summon something hard. down.
 
Based on the requests from everyone we are going to be spending our time with a Fire Elementaling. As a reminder this little spitfire has the lowest amount of HP of all our pet options, but packs a significant punch with their fists as well as a fire based direct damage spell. Not only that, Zabarn here has an inherent ability to become wreathed in fire - which causes direct damage on any successful melee attack against them.

Let's /consider Zabarn and determine their strength. Our pets can be summoned between levels 4-6. A level 4 pet will /consider white, and a level 6 pet would be red.

Our first couple of summons end up with white /con'd pets. Not awful, but we can do better. After 6 attempts we see...


Good Enough for Kobolds

This Zabarn is a level 5. Not the best, but each cast costs us a single Malachite, and our funds are still pretty limited. Let's go with this.

You might have already explained this, but I'm not quite following. Every time we summon a pet is it a different individual and some are white and some are yellow, or is it leveling up from white to yellow?

Like, are we summoning "Dog" and sometimes we get Fido and something we get Spot, or do we always get Spot and he levels up?
 

SabreCat

Sabe, Inattentive Type
(they/them)
Like, are we summoning "Dog" and sometimes we get Fido and something we get Spot, or do we always get Spot and he levels up?
The way I'm reading it, we're always summoning Fido: same species, it has the same name and the same move set, etc. But sometimes Fido is feeling limp and only shows up at minimum strength (white, level 4), while sometimes Fido has had his Scooby Snacks and comes in looking and feeling pumped (red, level 6)!
 

4-So

Spicy
There's an element of RNG to pet strength upon summon. As far as the name, I don't recall. I had both a Necromancer and a Magician and I can't remember for the life of me if the name is randomized or if it sticks between summons.
 

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
Every individual pet gets a random name, they’re all pretty similar in format to what we’ve seen.

The RNG is just like how sometimes burn does 14 damage and sometimes it does 12. Level is a little random within a margin. The higher you go the less it will matter, unless you’re trying to kill something really hard.

The water pet has higher HP regeneration than the others, but they’re all pretty quick, faster than your mana. Even given that eventually there will be times when it’s easier to just reclaim energy and resummon your pet when it’s damaged, so best to not get too attached.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)
So do fire pets still annoyingly not always cast their shield right away like in the original?
So each time I summoned one, it seemed to cast it within about 1 or 2 ticks. And I would see it reliably recast every 15 minutes or so. This could be a difference with Project1999 client as well - there are a few corner cases like this where they don't have it exactly 'classic'.

I will keep my eye open on it and see what happens, but so far there haven't been any issues.

Every time we summon a pet is it a different individual and some are white and some are yellow, or is it leveling up from white to yellow?
I definitely wasn't as clear on this as I could have been. Each 'Pet' we summon is a totally unique entity within our type (Fire, Water, etc), and this is true for the Necromancer pets (Skeletons) and the Enchanter Pets (animated sword/shield).

@4-So has also called out the important part here:
There's an element of RNG to pet strength upon summon.
Each time the summon completes and it 'creates' a new pet, it gets a random name (more on this in a second) and a random pet level. We can just banish and resummon till we get one we want. I just kept our name consistent because I thought it would be confusing to reference all the poor elementalings I banished.

Every individual pet gets a random name, they’re all pretty similar in format to what we’ve seen.
I looked a little bit into this and it sounds like the Pet name generation scheme just uses a small collection of vowels and consonants and just builds it up. Likely over 1000+ pet name combinations. A few of them could be something like:

Gabarab, Gabartik, Jabober, Kebeker, Vonn, Xibon, and good old Zabarn.

At some point in the game timeline they allowed people to rename their pets, which because it's an MMO became a way for people to troll others and make jokes. They also changed the simple and honestly endearing mage pets into weird human faced abominations, for which I never forgave them.


Sorry this last post was kind of a mess! I didn't have the time I had hoped for to polish it up, and wanted to get SOMETHING out at least once a week or so. Next time we will get a deeper dive into Quests, the discovery and structure, and hopefully see a new zone or two (in between of course plenty of Kobold scorching)
 

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
Now that Percii can loose XP on death let me recomend the earth pet for breaking camps. If you’re lucky the root can be a weak crowd control letting you keep one of the mobs out of the fight for a bit. Hopefully another stealth improvement is making “back off” more reliable, in vanillia the pet would often reengage if it was hit while moving away.

Fire Pet is still good for efficent XP grinding once the camp’s broken.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)
ah, so I was incorrect about the Fido part 😅
I mean, it was very close!

In my time with EQ I never actually spent much time with a dedicated pet class (little bit of Necromancer). The closest I got was when I would use my Bard to charm a monster. Those were some wild times, and it often resulted in my death.

Charm is the bread-and-butter of Enchanters though. @4-So may have some stories to share, but my friend who played one could work magic on camps by using a combination of aggro reducing spells, stuns, and charms to break them one at a time. I never spent time going after the FBSS with him this way, but we definitely went for the Mask of Deception nearby!
 

Destil

Red Mage
(he/him)
Staff member
I partnered with an enchanter a lot as a mage, they’re insane.

Animations don’t have any HP but also can’t hold aggro, so they can actually solo very well as long as they’re willing to spend money for their self damage barrier spell’s regant. Clarity plus crowd control tools to break camps and deal with bad situations plus charm can do some absurd stuff,
 

4-So

Spicy
I remember in group content literally being there just because I could cast Clarity and Enfeeblement or the higher level equivalents. If we had a Shaman, I wouldn't even need to cast the latter since Shaman slows were better. If I was soloing, yeah, just use something like charm/mez and then pull one by one with pet out; if things got out of hand, you always had Blanket of Forgetfulness or some other mind wipe. If I wanted to get saucy, I wouldn't use the chanter pet at all and instead use Charm on whatever mob was unfortunate enough to cross me. Nothing like administering a beat down to a camp of Deathfist orcs by...using a Deathfist orc.

And of course there was the fun stuff, like all the illusion spells, so I could get into Neriak with Dark Elf illusion or Grobb with Troll illusion.

Good times, good times.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)

Next Level​

I logged in the other day with the purest intention of grinding through the Kobold camps near Ak’Anon for another level or two, but they were already claimed and camped out by a few other players who weren’t interested in grouping up.

I wandered around looking for low level monsters to try and take care of, but it was slow going and honestly kind of a drag. If I couldn’t grind, what COULD I do?

Hey, isn’t it called Ever QUEST?​

You may have noticed that outside of our initial turn-in of our note, the Quest side of EverQuest hasn’t been something we have engaged with at all. There is a reason for it, and I think we are in a good enough spot now to talk through some of the details of the quest mechanics.

Unlike Modern MMO’s there isn’t any indication when you are wandering around that an NPC can offer you a quest. When I came from EQ to WoW it was one of the biggest things I noticed as a non-raid/non-endgame kind of player, and of ALL of the things that EQ does that are archaic it is the only one I would actually change if I could.

How do we find out there is a quest? We use the ‘Hail’ command.

Normally bound to your H key, if you target an NPC and activate it you will chat ‘Hail, <NPC Name>’. At this point the NPC will turn to face you, and if they have something of interest to say will respond back with some dialog in your chat window.

In most (BUT NOT ALL) cases if the NPC has a quest you can undertake it will appear with keywords in your chat [like this]. You then get to use your chat window and try variations of sentences using using those keywords to get more information about the quest. Sometimes the NPC will give you an item or container to help facilitate it, but more often you are just told some general information about what the NPC needs. As far as I know there is NO quest in the game that doesn’t resolve with handing an NPC one or more items to complete it. It is a simple structure that goes through the entirety of the game.

Also unlike Modern MMO’s most of these quests do not need to be manually initiated before you can work on them. If you know that (for example) Canloe Nusbac wants Crushbone Centurion Belts, you can just walk up and hand them in without Hailing him and still get the reward. Also, every quest is repeatable as long as you can still access the items that they want - you can hand in 400 belts to this NPC and get some experience and items each time.

Another interesting aspect is that quests can be ‘Multi-Quested’. Each NPC has their own inventory and remembers what items were given to them recently, allowing multiple people to work together to complete a single quest (although only the final person to turn in gets the reward).

A way this could work out is:
  • NPC Wants 1 McGuffin and 1 Doodad, both of which are NO TRADE
  • You only have 1 Doodad but want the reward of the quest.
  • Another player can give the NPC 1 McGuffin from their own inventory
  • Before anyone else does you can then give the NPC the Doodad.
  • You get the reward and credit for finishing the quest.

This is especially common with quests that offer high value items but require rare or difficult to farm ingredients. Enterprising players will gather these up and offer to do the multiquesting for a (not always modest) fee.

Quests can be a lot of fun, and an interesting way to break the cycle of camping and grinding. However there are very few of them that offer rewards that are interesting or useful at our level. Also the experience gained from them compared to an equivalent time spent grinding almost always falls in favor of the grind.

There were two big pushes in ‘classic’ EQ to make quests more interesting: The Temple of Solusek Ro and Epic Quests.

Released between the initial game launch and the Kunark expansion the Temple of Solusek Ro was unique in that it was populated only with NPC’s that offered quests for class-specific items that typically were quite nice. I spent a lot of time questing for Lambent Armor with my Bard - a bright blue plate mail that was a staple among the class.

Depending on how far we go with this LP we could absolutely find some use out of this for Percii - they have specific items for Magicians available that allow us to summon more powerful versions of our pets if we have them equipped while casting the spell.

The other major quest push - Epic Quests - were introduced after the Temple of Solusek Ro and were made to give every class an end-game questable weapon with unique properties. Prior to this the Paladin class had access to a similar quest for the holy weapon known as the Fiery Avenger. It was a well known and enjoyable quest, and it was even utilized as a key component of the updated Paladin Epic Quest.

The downside was that despite being billed as a ‘Quest’ every single one of these requires the player to get specific loot from end game raid bosses. Long story short, while I definitely WANTED these during my time playing on the original servers I never had the chance to get into Raids at all, let alone win the lucky roll to get a specific rare item.

Aside: Progression Quests
One class of quest that I loved were the progressive quests that gave you a stronger version of an item as you completed more of the quest line. In true classic there were really only two that I know of: the Monk Headbands and Monk Belts in Freeport and Qeynos. You would be required to kill level appropriate enemies and turn in some loot - including the prior headband/belt you had to go through the full quest. You always felt like you were truly going up in rank and power as you worked on them, and I know this format exists in other MMO’s that followed.

More quests of this type were added later, owing to the popularity of the format, but they were either linked to specific cities (Qeynos Badge of Heroism) or very end game focused (Coldain Prayer Shawls).

Okay Neat, but what Quest can we do?​

Ak’Anon doesn’t have too many quests that are appropriate for our low level character. However, nearly every ‘good’ aligned city in Norrath has a representative of the League of Antonican Bards who doubles as the mail carrier for the good races.

Our local representative is Lyra Lyrestringer - easy to spot because she towers over all the gnomes in the market square.


Sadly, not 9'6" tall.

We walk up to her and give a hearty ‘Hail’.

Lyra Lyrestringer says 'Hail, Percii - Are you [interested] in helping the League of Antonican Bards by delivering some [mail]?'

Here we can see she has two quest dialog options for us. We need to (with her targeted still) chat out something that incorporates one of those phrases. Often it is a simple parse of ‘what [keyword]’ or ‘I want [keyword]’. Let’s try...

You say 'What mail?'
Lyra Lyrestringer says 'The League of Antonican Bards has a courier system made up of travelers and adventurers. We pay good gold to anyone who will take messages from bards such as myself to one of our more central offices. Are you [interested]?'

Okay, progress. Let’s try something with the [interested] keyword.

You say ‘I am interested.'

Lyra Lyrestringer says 'I have messages that need to go to - well, right now I have one that needs to go to Kelethin. Will you [deliver] mail to [Kelethin] for me?'

Here is an example of where we need to combine a few phrases. Asking ‘Where is Kelethin’ or just ‘I will deliver’ doesn’t advance the dialog at all.

You say, 'I will deliver mail to Kelethin.'

Lyra Lyrestringer says 'Take this letter to Jakum Webdancer in Kelethin. You can find him at the bard guild hall. I am sure he will compensate you for your troubles.'

We now have a letter on our cursor that we can put into our inventory. Now it is time for us to head off to Kelethin and find this Jakum Webdancer, and deliver the mail to him.



Precious Cargo

This item has the keywords NO DROP, NO TRADE, and NO RENT. This mail was entrusted only to us, we can’t throw it away (although we could Destroy it if we needed to) and if we logged off it would disappear. Otherwise there is no enforced deadline for this quest.

Where is Kelethin in relation to Ak’Anon?


Official Map

On the illustrated map it looks reasonably far away, but in game terms only two zones separate us from it. We will need to pass through the Steamfont Mountains, then take a quick journey through the Lesser Faydark, and into the Greater Faydark. Kelethin is found high in the trees of this forested zone. At 5th level we are generally safe doing this overland travel between cities as long as we stick to the roads.

Without much else to say let’s head out.

The zone line to the Lesser Faydark is far to the western side of the Steamfont Mountains. As I said, if we follow the road we would be relatively safe. The only major challenge is that it is nighttime in Norrath, and I am having a hard time seeing monsters that may be wandering around. Luckily, all I find is a higher-level skeleton (who /cons RED) far off the road. Eventually we come to a break in the hills that will lead us into the most dangerous non-dungeon zone on Faydwer: The Lesser Faydark.


Zone to Lesser Faydark

I may be overselling it a bit, but not by much. The Lesser Faydark connects a few zones: Steamfont Mountains, the Greater Faydark, and Castle Mistmoore. Mistmoore is a favorite zone of mine, and is inhabited by the throngs of undead in service to the vampire lord Mayong Mistmoore. However, Percii has no business being even NEAR that zone right now, so we follow the (relative) safety of the road until we find our first friendly face in the forest.



Gnome Camp in the LFay

The Lesser Faydark has a few of these camps of NPC’s (this one gnomish) that can be used as waypoints. We travel past this one and continue on the road hoping we don’t run into wandering Brownies.

Brownies are the bane of the Lesser Faydark. NPC’s of all types in the game have Classes just like PC’s - including all of the same spells and abilities. The terrorizing Brownie Scouts for example are Druids. These diminutive jerks cast the ‘Spirit of the Wolf’ spell on themselves which makes them incredibly fast moving. Couple this with their tiny models you often accidentally run into one and not even realize it until you are already dead. They are highly aggressive to all characters and will immediately stop their patrols to cast high level damage-over-time spells on you. Percii wouldn’t last 30 seconds, and even if she could take a hit of this, running away would be impossible.

Thankfully we didn’t encounter any of them on this trip. At this stage of the games lifecycle I am pretty confident the other major threat hasn’t been put in (an evil marauding defiled unicorn shadow knight), so we did pretty good.

It isn’t too long before we find ourselves at the entrance to the much friendlier and safer Greater Faydark.

The Greater Faydark is one of the largest zones, and relatively easy to get lost in without any sort of Sense Heading skill if you stray off the road. Arranged in a giant square it contains exits to the Lesser Faydark, the Butcherblock Mountains (the dwarven starting area) and Clan Crushbone (the home of the Crushbone Orcs). It also houses two cities of its own: the shining high elf city of Felwithe and the wood elf treetop city of Kelethin.

It is also full of odd curiosities that seem out of place in a sylvan wood


Combine Spire View (IT IS SO HARD TO SEE AT NIGHT)

The main road out of the Lesser Faydark will take you near to these giant spires - a relic of an earlier civilization known as the Combine Empire.

Combine Spires

These things are HUGE. You will find a handful of these around Norrath and they all serve one primary purpose: Wizard classes are able to teleport to them. Much like the Druid Ring we saw in Steamfont, this is a nexus for folks who are looking to quickly travel from place to place in the world without the standard overland travel requirements. Certain guilds exist on this server that are composed of characters who can cast these portal spells - <Dial A Port> being the biggest I know of. While most of the time they will give ports for free to low level characters, or those who are attempting a corpse run, it is customary to pay for these.

The story of the Combine empire is a key part of the Lore of Norrath as well. You will find weapons and relics from their civilization all over Norrath, but they generally have no presence in the ‘modern’ world.

In any case, this was a fun diversion, but let’s keep traveling through the zone.


Felwithe Vista

Going through the zone we eventually see what looks to be a castle, and our game audio swells with a majestic tune. This is the facade on the outside of Felwithe - the High Elf capital.


Felwithe Entrance

Flanked by high level guards who will protect the low level characters outside the city, The Entrance to Felwithe leads deep into the mountain and into an open vale. Let’s take a quick detour and see what we can find.


Felwithe Interior

Of course as soon as we enter this new zone, it begins to rain. Coupled with the night time travel we are doing, it really cuts down on the majesty of this zone. I won’t spend a lot of time here then. However...


Bard in Felwithe

Around the corner near the building known as Faydarks Bane we see an out-of-place wood elf. This is another representative of the League of Antonican Bards.


Felwithe Bard Member

We are able to Hail this individual, and go through the same ‘I will deliver mail to Kelethin’ process and get a SECOND piece of mail to take to the Bard Guild in Kelethin.

With that, we return to the Greater Faydark and continue to follow the road away from Felwithe and towards the middle of the zone.

After a few minutes you can hear the song that has been stuck in my head since 1999:

Kelethin Theme

And a quick look up we get our first view of Kelethin.


Kelethin From Below

Kelethin is the starting city for Wood Elves and certain Half Elves. It is also the most dangerous city in all of Norrath. Situated high up in the trees, in a dark zone, in a dark game, the ground around it is littered with corpses of players who took one wrong turn and fell right off the edge. The only way to get up into the city is to take one of the three lifts situated around the ground.


Lift Bottom

Even these lifts can be dangerous. In 1999 especially, where 56k modems were still an uncommon sight, it was’t unusual for someone to lag out while the lift was moving up or down, and then plummet to their death. Thankfully in the far off future of 2020 I haven't run into this, but I STILL get nervous.


Lift Top

At the top of the lift we see a helpful sign to let us know this is the way down to the forest floor.


Kelethin Upper

The entire city is connected with rope bridges and ramps, with several levels that can sit directly on top of eachother. When I had my first character EVER (a wood elf druid) I was lost for over an hour looking for the guild. It turns out I kept missing a single ramp that you could only see once you got RIGHT up next to the edge (which as mentioned before, is a scary prospect).


Bard Guild

A quick turn though from the lift brings us face to face with the Bard Guild, and the end location for both of our quests.


Bard Guild Leader

And here is the individual we need to give the mail to. As mentioned up at the top, we will take one piece of mail, pick it up with our cursor and hand it over to him. When we do we get a quick ‘Thanks’ message from Jakum as well as typical quest rewards:


Rewards

You can see we get some experience (honestly a decent amount for our level, about 3%), some Faction adjustments (Mayong Mistmoore HATES bards), and some gold.

Turning in both of these nets us the equivalent of 6% of our level experience, 1.5 platinum pieces, and some minor faction adjustments.

If we did this quest about 15 times we would be able to get to level 6. All told this took about half an hour of overland travel. If I didn’t make the detours I bet I could get it down to 20 minutes or so, and if I got a friendly druid to cast Spirit of the Wolf on me, it could be about 10.

Even with that support though, it really doesn’t make as much sense for us to do it. There IS a run from Kaladim (The dwarven capital) to Kelethin that gives the same rewards and can be done in about 8 minutes or so with Spirit of the Wolf. But even then, way too much time.

Back to the Grind​


So, with the mail delivered Percii uses her Gate spell and returns to the Steamfont mountains and beelines to the Kobold camps.

Luckily the other groups have dropped off, and we find ourselves the only bulwark standing against the kobold swarms.

Taking the advice of Destil we give a few summons of our Earth Elemental pet to help us break up these camps. The elementals ability to ‘root’ enemies makes it easier for me to help blast them and break up the camp. The higher HP of the earth elemental means they can really hold on while getting pummeled. It only takes a few minutes to clear things out, and we can resummon up as a Fire Elemental.

The loop goes really well until I make a really really bad choice. Sometimes the monotony of the grind gets to you and you want to speed things up. So of course I load up my Area of Effect fire spell, wade deep in with the Fire Elemental…


Oops

Well that ended up about exactly as I should have expected.

Starting at level 5 each death does cost us some experience. Thankfully not enough to cause too many problems, but it is a small setback.

Lesson learned, Percii heads back, summons up a new Elemental and settles back into the loop. It only takes about half an hour to get to level 6! Throughout all of this we ended up with lots of container equipment (boxes and bags), tons of sellable loot, and raw coinage. I put all the money into the bank (enough for 3 spells at 8th level), a few of the bags, and some backup malachite. Also our old robe and dagger for nostalgic purposes.


Results

We are getting closer and closer to level 8, where we will get a significant power bump through new spells, and thus the chance to move into more difficult and interesting zones.

I don’t know if I will have any major updates until then, as it really is just going to be more of the same.

Instead I may do some updates on more details about Faydwer and the history of the Elves and the zones themselves if there is any interest?

CURRENT STATUS:
Level: 6
Location: Steamfont Mountains
Goals: Grind Grind Grind!
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)
Aside: Hail Problems
So to 'Hail' an NPC, which is an incredibly common thing to do, you can hit the H key, but it was also possible to just type it in.

Sometimes though folks would forget to hit Enter to pull up their chat command and do an H-A.... and engage auto attack on the targeted NPC.

This never ends well for a new character, as most NPCs you would interact with were near top-tier level and would just react with a single punch and kill the character.

Therefore, a lot of early EQ guides had 'rebind your auto attack key' as step one.
 
The lack of quest markers, the keyword process, glitching out on the lifts, man. I'm really glad you're doing this LP because it's such a cool time capsule.
 

4-So

Spicy
Another for lore here, especially if you can segue into the gods/goddesses lore, which was always my favorite part of the lore. :D
 

nataeryn

Discovered Construction
(he/him)
Unlike Modern MMO’s there isn’t any indication when you are wandering around that an NPC can offer you a quest. When I came from EQ to WoW it was one of the biggest things I noticed as a non-raid/non-endgame kind of player, and of ALL of the things that EQ does that are archaic it is the only one I would actually change if I could.
When I first saw the "?" over npc heads in WoW, i felt like it was EZ mode. Because everyone needed to do the quests and each person needed a drop, there's no advantage to grouping. That made the whole process boring and repetitive sequences of kill 10 x and bring back their hides/horns/ears/teeth etc. without the enjoyment of needing to do the boring thing with other people.

I will say that one of the most fun things of MMOs is traveling to a new place for the first time. Because the scale has to be big enough for all those players, seeing massive cities or dungeons was my favorite part.
 

4-So

Spicy
I will say that one of the most fun things of MMOs is traveling to a new place for the first time. Because the scale has to be big enough for all those players, seeing massive cities or dungeons was my favorite part.

One of my absolute favorite moments in my game history was in EverQuest. I made a monk and ran around Qeynos and Qeynos Hills, slowly figuring how to play and what to do, and I was already amazed by the scope. Over a few days I managed to find Blackburrow, and then somehow worked my way through Blackburrow to the "back" entrance. The initial walk into black nothingness (with, admittedly, a loading message) that eventually gave way to light - "Oh! This is a big cave!" - and then, slowly, the snows of Everfrost came into view? Phenomenal. Finally having it dawn on me how big the game could be? I've had very few legitimate "holy shit" moments with games, and that was one of them.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)
The Qeynos area is probably my favorite in all of EQ for what you mentioned. You have one dungeon zone that connects the Barbarian starting zone to the secondary zones of Qeynos itself and Surefall Glade, which brings in a lot of players from disparate classes. Also, because Odus is so barren past level 5 (until the Warrens open up) you get a lot of Erudites moving through as well.

Then, as soon as you want to go travel onwards you go into the Plains of Karana - 3 incredibly large zones with WILDLY swinging level ranges which force you to really pay attention and be cautious - and with no in game map you are relying on others to help you get where you need to. Getting to Freeport requires traveling through either a Minotaur and Beholder infested canyon and THEN a Goblin stronghold.... or going up through a high mountain pass chock full of Orcs.

Faydwer on the other hand is effectively fully self contained. You can spend time in your starting zone, and all of the 'dungeons' are far out on the spokes of zones with no interconnectivity. So you see people filtering through Crushbone, to Unrest, to Mistmoore, and then finally Kedge Keep, all of which are within a zone or two of a city.

Let's take a look at some of these zones in more detail soon. It's been a wild week so I wasn't able to get much time in, so I am still working on the update.
 

Cyrael

...we're shy.
(he/him)

WE ARE STILL GOING!​

Hey folks, just wanted to say I am sorry for the general silence on this LP. When I got into it I totally underestimated two key things:

1. LP's take a lot of effort to pull together!
2. Everquest is not a game you can get much meaningful progress without a couple hours of play at a time!

Something about this February has been uncharacteristically busy for me, and my free time has been spent mostly on my handful of side gigs (coffee roasting and software development, a match made in The Plane of Hate).

I hope to be able to get back up to speed here in the next week with a Lore post about Faydwer and the races thereon, as well as get some more play time in to get a more interesting tier of details on the game itself.

Thanks for all of your interaction and support!
 
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