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Questions from a Level 57 Returning ShadowknightFollow

#1 Jan 23 2013 at 11:52 AM Rating: Decent
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I last played EQ from release until just after the release of Lost Dungeons of Norrath and I've decided to give it a spin again as I have some free time and missed the game. I have a level 57 Shadowknight on Firiona Vie that has Defiant gear on my chest, arms and legs. I've picked up a couple other items for cheap in the Bazaar (my how my rings and ear slot items were outdated). My 2h weapon is a Fabled Dark Reaver 47 dam 42 dly, I also have a 25dly 25 dam one hander and shield (that's not great but not bad). Until I get back into the swing of things and get a bit of better gear (and get the gear augmented), I'm probably going solo. HPs unbuffed are 5K AC is 1500.

I have a few questions:

1) What are some good zones to hit up solo that drop decent stuff (need money) and aren't typically overcamped. I tried Crypt of Nadox and it was fine, but I had to go in aways and ended up having to FD my way out of there after a bad pull. The entrance seems to be always camped. I know the current hotzone is Plane of Disease, but that's a terrible zone. I'd prefer something either A) I haven't seen since I quit before it was implemented or B) something not a Plane. Old school zones would be fine (I was thinking Howling Stones or Grieg's End, but I'm not sure the drops there would be worthwhile these days) and I prefer indoors.

2) Tank, Healer or DPS Mercenary. I've tried Tank and Healer. Having a pet Cleric is nice, but there's no damage output from them, so I think a Tank and me offtanking/DPSing (as poor as it is) is probably a better option. I toyed with getting a melee or spell DPS merc just to see how it would work, but I'd rather not eat dirt to find out if someone with experience would let me know.

3) Should I try to get to 60 or work on AA's first? Or put like 30 percent experience to AAs?

4) Does anyone do LDoN or something similar or is everything outdoor grouping these days?

5) Does the game run slightly poorly for anyone else? I've got a quad core, 8 gb ram, HD7700 graphics and pretty much everything else runs fine, but EQ seems to chug occasionally

Thanks in advance, and if anyone knows of any good levelling/non-raid guilds on FV that might be recruiting, please let me know!

Edited, Jan 23rd 2013 12:53pm by Grady
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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machin ery of night.
#2 Jan 23 2013 at 12:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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Blackfeather Roost in the TSS expansion would be great at your level, specially with either a tank or healer merc. (Tank? well, yeah, if your skills/DPS are out of practice, the tank will mow through them.)

Get the AA's you want at your current level, then level up. The way the bonus XP works for mobs near your level, it will go quicker that way.

Tat
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Tatankaa (95 Inquis)/Urkell (38 Conj)/ Seanthornton (24 Pally), <Inisfree> Freeport server

Tatanka Wolfdancer, 87 Wood Elf Druid
Anaceup Mysleeves, 85 Erudite Mage
Snookims Whinslow, 85 Erudite Enchanter
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#3 Jan 23 2013 at 1:51 PM Rating: Decent
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I cannot overstate how much plat you can make just from vendor loots in the "new" zones like The Serpent Spine or The Buried Sea. Defiant gear drops everywhere, but in these zones you will also earn enough to buy some as well. This can be a viable gearing strategy.

I would also look at Franklin Teek and his Hot Zone tasks. It will reward you back, shoulder and waist armors that will be an upgrade and platinum. He is on the Plane of Knowledge by the Guild Lobby door, just hail him.

I would also look at the Hero's Journey Achievements for the zone you settle on, like Blackwing Roost. For doing a set of tasks, you get armor rewards that are the same as Defiant, but free. You have a book you can click on, or try the /ach command or http://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?quest=5553 These are basically a tier behind the best Defiant you can equip, but it's free and you know the reward going in.

With the AA boost.. I would very much do AAs as you go.. they come so fast! You could just run at a 50/50 mix or the like.. sometimes I run 90 or 100% to AA when I have things I want to buy before advancing. At 60, I stayed 90% to AA and dinged 61 before I could buy everything on my list.. ;p

I am told the Tank merc can handle multiple red con mobs (I've read claims of 5) until 60ish. Then they would need healing. I've not leveled an SK in the modern era so I'm not sure what the best strategy for you is.

I spend a lot of my time in the Hot Zones. Good coin, augs, quests with rewards you would use. We did a couple of LDoNs for old times, and some other instances. My priority right now is access.. I like places I can port right to, or near to. And then I have a casters.. so outdoors places I can mount are a plus.

Miss Jacky has such a guild - http://eqinsanity.com/wordpress/
#4 Jan 23 2013 at 2:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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"I am told the Tank merc can handle multiple red con mobs (I've read claims of 5) until 60ish."

My approach in the merc era so far has not utilized this feature, but I have heard the same from others. My only word of caution would be, if it's a Silver/F2P account, take it easy before trying this approach. I have a feeling that everyone I've heard say this is speaking about J1 mercs, and not the apprentice level ones.

Tat
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Tatankaa (95 Inquis)/Urkell (38 Conj)/ Seanthornton (24 Pally), <Inisfree> Freeport server

Tatanka Wolfdancer, 87 Wood Elf Druid
Anaceup Mysleeves, 85 Erudite Mage
Snookims Whinslow, 85 Erudite Enchanter
<Inisfree>, Tunare (Seventh Hammer!)
#5 Jan 23 2013 at 3:07 PM Rating: Good
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This is correct Tatanka. App 5s, can take a couple reds, if they're not casters, every once in a while, but do more steadier with just 1 at most, maybe mixing in a yellow or white or couple of blues as well. The App 5s, don't resist or have as much regen as the J1s.

Yther Ore.
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#6 Jan 24 2013 at 7:43 AM Rating: Good
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Grady - for a zone to hunt I would suggest you check out The Steppes. When you first arrive there are basilisks and mambas to kill. They are not social and not kos so you can kill them with impunity. I believe they will be red to you (L61 mobs iirc) but with a merc you may be able to kill them. If it doesn't seem to be working you are 3 seconds away from the zoneline so you can escape easily and maybe retry next level. You get a lot of experience from these mobs especially as it is a hotzone.

If you find they are too much for you, then a second suggestion is bears and spiders in Blackfeather Roost - the caves on the first level. They would be light blue but still give decent experience and you will level up easily there - there are many of them and I am sure you will kill them very quickly. An advantage of leveling on light blues is you get to loot a lot more corpses.

In both my suggestions the loot you get will be good - teeth and fangs and whatnot will sell to NPCs from 20-50pp or something like that and you will get a lot of them.

#7 Jan 24 2013 at 8:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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When I returned this fall, I started in BFR with a 58 necro. A lot of the mobs in that first area were dark blue. At 55, I imagine most would be. It's a great place to go at 55.

Even better news: both BFR and Steppes are hot zones, and to walk from the spot he mentioned, to the spot I'm talking about, takes about 2-3 minutes, they're very close to each other :)

Tat
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Tatankaa (95 Inquis)/Urkell (38 Conj)/ Seanthornton (24 Pally), <Inisfree> Freeport server

Tatanka Wolfdancer, 87 Wood Elf Druid
Anaceup Mysleeves, 85 Erudite Mage
Snookims Whinslow, 85 Erudite Enchanter
<Inisfree>, Tunare (Seventh Hammer!)
#8 Jan 25 2013 at 10:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up doing both the Roost and the Steppes (was in a group for that). Got 17 AA and am now level 60 (about a third of the way to 61).
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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machin ery of night.
#9 Jan 25 2013 at 2:24 PM Rating: Good
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I use both a healer merc and a melee dps for Jon, but then a paladin can heal a bit better than an SK. Also went with a split choice for my Shaman. One has to pay for the extra merc slot, I just waited for an sale.
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#10 Jan 28 2013 at 11:56 AM Rating: Decent
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I'm going to give the melee merc a shot tomorrow. I like the tank, but I'm doing light blues and I want to be sure my defense, dodge, riposte, bash, and taunt are up to level. I'm now 62 with 60 AA's (all pretty much defensive at this point other than my instant horse and my lifetap increasers).
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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machin ery of night.
#11 Jan 28 2013 at 3:06 PM Rating: Good
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Good going Grady. I stayed at the Steppes with my necro until 70, when everything including the wolves and elementals had gone light blue. At that point I had a look in Sunderock and I found a good spot with Seething Steam Drakes and Seething Mist Drakes (L64-67). They started to go light blue when I hit 71 but I stayed there until L73. Next time I level a character this route I may go to the drakes a little earlier.

These drakes are close together but not so close you don't get a single every time, just watch the occasional roamer. To reach them from the zone in, go straight and across the river, bear right past a few manticores, and up the ramp ahead of you. Just next to the Drakes is a friendly NPC camp which includes a banker.

At L73 I took a break from leveling and did Dagmire's Hand quests. This took me to L75 by the time I was done. I cheated and 2 boxed to get both characters the aug and the free armour. The armor rewards are better than defiant although if you are shooting to L80 you will be replacing it all very cheaply in the bazaar.

Edited, Jan 28th 2013 4:14pm by polixenes
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