EverQuest 2 Leveling 1 to 80 Guide
EverQuest 2 Leveling 1 to 80 Guide by Mezelline
One of the most common types of questions I see on the boards are “where can I go get good xp at such-and-such level?” Well I thought it was past time that someone actually write a guide, so here it is.
This guide is divided into 2 parts. The first part includes some general leveling advice to applies to every level and class. The second part has a tier-by-teir look at where to get the best XP.
1. GENERAL LEVELING ADVICE
In my opinion, the best way to level in EQ2 is by solo questing, solo questing, solo questing. If you get a really good grind group going with full vitality, heroic xp *can* outstrip solo xp, however its often a total crapshoot how good of a group you get. This is not to say that heroic xp is worthless however; some quest-heavy dungeons are worthwhile to return to if you have surplus vitality.
To this end, anyone looking to powerlevel a toon to 80 solo should have two goals. Number one being complete most of the solo quest lines. Number two being to clear at least every heroic zone once to snag all the bonus named/disco XP and AA.
There are three tools that help a *ton* with leveling, and everyone should really get them:
EQ2 Maps: EQ2Interface : EQ2MAP – Auto Updating Version [Official] : EQ2MAP – Auto Updating Version [Official]
Most zones in this game do not have ingame maps attached to them, so you really need to download this to get player-made maps to show up in your map window.
EQ2Wiki:Main Page – EQ2i
This is the best source on the internet to find out info about quests, zones, on mobs.
EQ2 Interface: EQ2Interface
The default UI is poorly set up for many aspects of the game. There are many UI mods out there that give you additional options and information that will make playing the game a lot easier. The two UI that I would recommend the most are ExtremeUI and Profit UI. Profit is a little bit better for healers, Extreme is a little bit better for everyone else. Both come packed with the “Thor Information Center” which contains a lot of useful information for leveling. But more importantly, they both add a button in your quest journal that you can click and it brings up Allakazam/EQ2i in your ingame browser to whichever quest you’re currently on. This helps a TON with questing; especially if its your first time through the game and you don’t know where everything is.
The best way to solo, for pretty much every class, is to maximize your offense. In almost every single situation you’d be better off killing the mob faster than outliving it. The longer it takes you to kill a mob, the more time it has to dish out damage at you, and the more mana you waste fighting. Which hypothetical scenario would you prefer: A. Killing a mob in one minute, which costs 80% of your HP and 40% of your mana, or B. Killing a mob in two minutes, which costs 40% of your HP and 80% of mana?
You’re always always better off with option A. Yes, it can be risky because if the shit hits the fan you can die, which can set you back. But if you can xp 2x as fast while you’re doing it, even if you die sometimes it’s going to be better than the slow-n-steady approach.
This means, for most classes, this means maximizing your dps. If you’re a tank, use a two-hander or dual wield instead of using a one-hander plus a tower shield. If you’re a mage, make sure to stay up on your gear so instead of spending all your time rooting/mezzing mobs, simply tank them to death. If you’re a scout, make liberal use of your stuns so you can unleash all your positional attacks. If you’re a healer, don’t AA spec to make your heals better, spec for things that will let you do more dps instead. When you get to the end of the game you can always respec to become a better healer, but at the beginning of the game ALL healers solo TERRIBLE and they need all the help they can get.
There are two types of good xp groups.
The first, and best type has an AE dps tank such as a Shadowknight/Paladin, two healers of a different healing type, a mana regen such as Illusionist/Coercer/Dirge/Troubador and 2 high AE dps classes such as Swashbuckler/Warlock/Wizard/Conjurer/Necromancer. In this situation the tank should pull multiple mobs at once, using a bow to pull one group of faraway mobs and then a taunt to pull one group of nearby mobs. The whole group then uses their AE to kill what would normally be 2 pulls in the time it takes to do 1-1.5 pulls. However, this group is very dependent upon the tank being competent enough to know “how much is too much”.
The second is the more “standard” group setup. One tank, one healer, and 4 dps of any type. Burning down mobs one-by-one to minimize healer strain and to allow some regen between pulls. Generally you don’t want more than one tank or healer in this type of group because it means you’ll be killing slower.
When you’re looking to create a good group, the most important thing is to find a good tank. A tank that already knows the zone is going to be able to pull zones up to 50% faster than a new one learning the ropes. When you find a good tank make sure to put them on your friends list and keep in contact with them if they’re around your level. The same thing goes for really good healers, although its more difficult to tell how good healers are because they’re really only as good as their tank.
However, what is usually the limiting factor in creating a group is finding a healer. It is possible to run groups without pure tanks, by having a pet/scout/mage tank with 2 healers. However it’s impossible to run a group without a healer, because heroic mobs dish out way too much damage. So usually what I’ll do is try to find a healer that will help start a group; then, if I find one, I try to find a tank. If you have both a healer and tank, it’s really easy to fill the last 3 spots. Many people won’t touch a group until they have both a healer and a tank, because no one wants to sit around waiting for classes to join when they could be earning xp instead.
1D. BROAD TIPS
You want to be fighting mobs and completing quests that are close to equal to your level. Green mobs give bad xp even if you kill a ton of them, and orange mobs give bad xp even though you get a bunch per-mob. Blue/yellow is more forgiving, but white is the best.
Make sure to check out the solo questlines:Category:Solo Timelines – EQ2i
Timeline quests are better than random quests you pick up someplace, because timeline quests will usually have updates close to the quest giver. Non-timeline quests often require you to do lots of running to get to your update.
Try to do every writ once, because writs are often easy to complete, and even though they don’t give xp they give a big chunk of AA that you simply cannot get once you level outside a tier. Qeynos toons get Fighter and Priest writs in North Qeynos, Mage writs in South Qeynos, and Scout writs in Eldaar Grove. Freeport toons get Fighter writs in West Freeport, Priest and Mage Writs in North Freeport, and Scout writs in South Freeport. Kelethin toons get all their writs in Kelethin; all four of them are in the south-east corner of the kelethin map. Neriak toons are kinda screwed, because they can only get one writ at a time, which they can get from the docks area. However, once you ding 71 all classes unlock new writs that they can get in the Dreg’s Landing area of Kylong Plains. These writs give faction with your home city, and you can pick up all four from the same quest giver.
If you get a quest and find EQ2i/Allakazam’s information to be vague/not available, just skip the quest. If someone hasn’t spent the time to fill out the quest information, chances are the quest isn’t worth your time.
Try to stay away from heroic quests. Unfortunately, heroic quests usually give the same amount of xp/aa as solo quests, and usually the time you spend getting everyone in the group on the same step outweighs whatever gain you would get from completing the quest. There are a few worthwhile ones out there, and those are usually the ones found in heroic timelines: Category:Heroic Timelines – EQ2i but be warned, heroic timelines are often bad because it can take your group a lot of grinding to get to your update, and then back to the quest giver.
If you play a toon without innate run speed, make sure to buy a mount. When leveling we spend more time running to updates/between pulls than actually fighting, so making sure you have good runspeed is important. At level 45 (I think) you can start the Carpet Questline in Sinking Sands, which will get you a free 40% runspeed mount after a couple heroic quests. At level 60 (I think) you can start the Warg Questline in Loping Plains, which lets you buy a 45% for a low price of 3p or so. Otherwise you’re looking at either buying a horse for 8p+ (depending upon how high level is your guild) or a ton of run-speed totems (not worth it imho)
Buy lots and lots of power regen totems. Search the broker for “totem” and you’ll get a list of totems for every tier. Health regenerates relatively fast in this game, so it’s usually power that you have to wait on. You want one running all the time while you’re fighting
Upgrade your equipment every 5 levels. At every tier go with the most appropriate mastercrafted gear because its cheap and effective. But check the broker every half-tier, because often treasured/legendary drops in your tier will be better than current-tier mastercrafted. But make sure to conserve gold; there’s no point blowing your wad on a legendary ring that’s going to be replaced in 5 levels. The only thing gear you should spend a lot of money on is your weapon, if you’re not a mage.
Make sure to get apprentice 4s of all your spells every level. You’ll want to be spending most of your money buying adept 3s of your best abilities; your big single-target nukes for mages, your specialty heals for healers, your stances/taunts for tanks, your stances/big-hitters for scouts. However, for both tanks and scouts your weapon is more important than your spells, so make sure you get a good weapon first.
Keep a list of Lore and Legends on you, so when you’re nearby you can swing by and pick one up: Lore and Legend Timeline – EQ2i . All L&L; quests give phenomenal xp and AA and they scale to your level (to a certain point) which makes them excellent buys. Don’t waste time killing mobs to get the drop updates for the L&Ls; though, you’re almost always better off buying them off the broker from plat farmers and focusing on completing other quests.
If you’ve got money to twink, blow it on collections as much you can. However, a good rule of thumb is that if it looks like completing the collection is going to cost you more than 1.5p, its probably not worth it. Stay away from the “tome” collection quests because they usually give pretty bad xp, but pretty much all “regular” collection quests from 1-60 give great xp and AA. The KOS collections give great xp for 60-70, however the EOF collections are usually a mixed bag because even though they give as good XP as the KOS collections, they cost much more because of everyone trying to complete that “Expert Recognition” quest. However, they do give some fantastic quest rewards, so they’re definitely worth it if you need the gear. ROK collections are pretty much terrible across the board, both in cost and also in the small amount of XP/AA you get from them. Not to mention that pretty much all the quest rewards are terrible, except for a select few that are incredibly expensive.
Save all your bonus exp pots for the level 50-65 band, as it is usually the most difficult band to level in.
2. TEIR-BY-TEIR OPTIMAL LEVELING GROUNDS
0-20: Darklight Woods, no question at all. Lots of quests in easy-to-access hubs, small zone that’s easy to find stuff in. Both freeport and qeynos are terrible for starting toons, they do have lots of solo quests for beginning people but they all involve a lot of running, which is very difficult to do at a low level when you don’t have the money to buy a mount or high-level runspeed buffs. Timourous Deep is a close runner up because it has a very similar quest design to Darklight Woods, but Tim Deep loses some points because its also a really big zone, and Gorowyn is a headache to navigate…but this is offset by the fact that Tim Deep has great quest rewards that are usable all the way to level 40. Gfay is a bit better than FP/Qeynos because all the quests are collected in one zone, but it involves a ton of running as well.
20-25: Nektulous Forest, because the questlines you get from nek docks are all really easy to complete, and you have very little competition. TS is pretty bad compared to Nek because the quests involve much more running.
25-30: Butcherblock Mountains, because it has the best questlines in this tier. The only bad thing is that you have to navigate the whole zone to get the griffin tower access to each quest hub. The froglok timeline is also worthwhile doing, but its pretty short so there’s not a whole lot to it.
30-35: Zek. Large quantity of easy quests you can do from the docks, however the quests further out aren’t really worth doing at all. Enchanted Lands is okay, but often those quests requiring killing mobs that are difficult to find and/or spawn in low quantities.
35-40: Feerot. Lots of good quests in the beginning camps, however once you start getting quests that send you to the other half of the map its a good idea to stop doing them, because they require too much time running. There are a couple quests that can be a hassle if there’s anyone else in the zone, because much like EL there’s quests that requires killing 15-20 mobs of a certain type, when only 3-4 of that type is up at any given time. So if you get competition, its usually better to just leave and do something else.
40-45: Steamfont. Loads and loads of quests from gnomeland hq, all of which give fantastic XP and AA. No one should miss steamfont; its possible to start here as early as 35 if you’ve got bad competition in Feerot.
45-50: More steamfont; unfortunately both Everfrost and Lavastorm are terrible for soloing. This is a rough area to solo in, so hopefully you can find a lot of groups in this band.
50-55: Sinking Sands, there’s quite a few quests here and even though they don’t give great xp and aa, there’s really no other good options in this band. Don’t bother with the Peacock timeline because its generally a waste of time unless you have crazy runspeed and know the Peacock questline exploit (I won’t detail it here as I do regard it an exploit)
55-60: Lesser Faydark, there’s a large quantity of quests here, but much like Butcherblock the mobs hit much harder than mobs from earlier expansions.
60-65: Mystic Lake, it gives fantastic xp from both easy quests and easy-to-kill mobs, and is a godsend in this 50-65 band that is difficult to level in. Tenebrous Tangle basket quests is a close runner up, by doing the basket quests over and over you can make a lot of money, but after they run out you’ll get better XP in mystic lake.
65-70: Both barren sky and bonemire timelines, barren sky can be done a little earlier. Both zones are fantastic though, lots of disco, lots of easy-to-get-to quests. After you’ve spent up those two zones though head to loping plains because there’s a lot of good quests there, even though the zone is more annoying than the KOS zones.
70-75: Loping plains is still good in this tier, and chances are you’ll hit 70 before you finish barren sky/bonemire/loping. Otherwise RoK is very straight-forward; you have to do Kylong Plains first (docks to outpost to grasp to highton) and then fens (watch to span to outpost/omens to riliss to droga/bellywumper
75-80: Same RoK straightjacket format, Jungle first (Jinisk/Renegade to Villager to Dalnir/Reet/Outer Seb) and Wastes second (Del’nok to skorpion to danak/hunter)
0-30: Pretty much all of them are pointless, you’ll get much better xp soloing, and its hard to find people for groups at these levels. If you can find a fallen gate/crushbone group thats great, but in all honesty they’re probably not worth your time.
30-35: Ruins of Varsoon, lots of nameds on fast repop.
35-40: Runneye, much like Ruins of Varsoon except more difficult and more AE encounters. Nek Castle is either a hit or a miss, you simply cannot do this with a pickup group because too many slow players will get behind on the questline in here; but if you can find a really good group the zone has amazing xp from doing the timeline alone.
40-45: Drafling Tower, its not very popular but should not be under-rated imho. The mobs here give fantastic xp and the heroic questline is very simple to do. Deathfist citadel is a runner up because it gives awesome loot for its level, but the xp isn’t as great.
45-50: Obelisk of Lost Souls, there’s a reason why plat farmers are in this place 24/7. You can haul a LOT of loot out of here with one group cycling the whole outside of the zone and then the inside of the zone. You can actually start doing this at level 40 but the mobs are pretty tough so you want to make sure to bring a good group. Much like Drafling, a zone that isn’t very popular but is still very good. Other than OLS, Temple of Cazic Thule can be good, but the heroic quests are difficult to complete and the zone requires a lot of experience to pull it very well.
50-55: Solusek’s Eye is actually the best XP for this band, but the problem is that its near impossible to get a group to do it since everyone needs the portal in lavastorm. So in reality the best thing is to chain Sanctorium/Cache runs because there’s really no other option. You can throw in a Vaults, but its only worth it if you already have someone with Clefts key access. Stay away from Silent City/Living Tombs, as they are low-xp zones with nameds that have a convoluted spawning process.
55-60: Roost/Ancient’s Table replaces the Sanct/Cache combo. Mines of Meldrath is good too. Klak is okay for AA the first time, but the mobs are too difficult to warrant grinding much there. Stay away from New Tunaria because the zone has very buggy pathing/aggro issues.
60-65: Poets Palace is great, if you have someone with access. But that’s pretty rare, so the only real option is Sanctum of Scaleborn, which is probably one of the most annoying zones in the game, but everyone has to end up doing it anyway. Nest is also good for a quicky. If you have a really good group you can hit Vaults of El, but you want to make sure to have 2 healers for that.
65-70: There’s a lot of really good dungeons in this band. Vaults of El, Den, HoF, Acadachism, OOB, CoV, Unrest, Kaladim, Mistmoore Catacombs. Actually the biggest problem you’ll have is you’re probably outlevel the band before you can visit all the great dungeons. Stay away from Forsaken City/Nek3 though, they’ve got almost as many problems as New Tunaria.
70-75: The more difficult T7 zones such as Unrest, Nizara, and Mistmoore Castle are better than running headlong into Karnor’s, imho. I’ve seen waaay too many groups get chewed up in karnors because groups thought they could go in there at level 70 because the mobs conned 74. They really hit like they’re 78, so I would stay out of KC until you’re 75. But in all honesty you probably won’t be grouping much in this band because there’s so many good quests in RoK that all you’ll want to do is solo quest.
75-80: Again, pretty much all the RoK dungeons hit really freaking hard so you don’t have much business trying an ROK dungeon until you’re at least 78 or so. (the only exception being healers, which can pretty much always get into a group 5 levels earlier than anyone else) Otherwise you’re just going to be a xp leech. That being said, it is possible to do Chardork/KC as early as 75, but the xp is so terrible compared to solo quests I don’t know why’d you want to do it. After those two zones, I think CoA is the next-easiest instance, followed by Vaults. After you hit 80 though and you’re just looking for loot, CoA is going to be your best bet for M1 drops. Chelsith/Maidens has high quality loot, but you need a high quality group in order to make them worth your while.