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Old 07-01-2011, 08:38 PM
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Default Norrath in a Nutshell: A Beginner's Guide

Norrath in a Nutshell: A Beginner's Guide

In case some of you are like me when I started playing EverQuest and haven't got a clue where to begin, I thought I'd write a guide to demystify things. I have noticed many new players have been trying to get their feet wet and, after fielding some questions for friends, decided that perhaps it would be helpful to create a starting guide. I am not expert at making FAQs, but fortunately I have a panoply of resources at my disposal. Note that this is not intended to be a leveling guide per se, instead focusing on character creation, the basic game mechanics, and a closing word on what to do immediately upon finding yourself in Norrath. The goal is to have a lot of basic starting info in one place.

After a decade hiatus, I find that I am myself relearning much of the game, and even learning things for the first time. This is testament to the fact that EverQuest is just as mind-boggling today as it was to me in my formative years.

As you read through the guide, you will note that it uses various resources. You will miss out on a lot of the game if you neglect to verse yourself in their use. Specifically, you should take note of the following resources:

Project 1999 Wiki
Project 1999 Companion
Project 1999 FAQ
EQ Atlas
EQ Thieves

I'd cite Casters Realm, but it looks like it's gone the way of the dodo.

I. . . . . . . . . . . . CHARACTER CREATION

1.1 ................... Races
1.11 .................. Alignment and Faction Considerations
1.12 .................. Size
1.13 .................. Racial Characteristics
1.14 .................. Stats
1.15 .................. Starting City
1.2 ................... Classes
1.21 .................. Pure Melees
1.22 .................. Hybrids
1.23 .................. Priests
1.24 .................. Casters
1.3 ................... Religion

II. . . . . . . . . . . . THE BASICS

2.1 ................... Interacting with the World
2.11 ................... Hotkeys and Commands
2.12 ................... Communication
2.13 ................... Lingo
2.2 ................... Money, Gear, and Trading
2.21 ................... Money
2.22 ................... Gear
2.23 ................... Trading
2.3 ................... Understanding NPCs
2.31 ................... Consideration
2.32 ................... Faction
2.4 ................... Spells, Skills, and Pets
2.45 ................... Spells
2.46 ................... Skills
2.47 ................... Tradeskills
2.48 ................... Pets
2.5 ................... General Mechanics
2.51 ................... Traveling
2.52 ................... Death
2.53 ................... Downtime
2.54 ................... Status Ailments
2.55 ................... Grouping
2.56 ................... Zone EXP Bonuses
2.57 ................... Quests
2.6 ................... Etiquette
2.61 ................... Looting
2.62 ................... Trains
2.63 ................... Camps and Kill Stealing
2.64 ................... Group Etiquette
2.65 ................... Tipping

III. . . . . . . . . . . . LEVEL 1 AND BEYOND


I. Character Creation

The game begins with character creation. You'll have to decide your character's race, class, starting stat distribution, deity, and in some cases starting city. Unfortunately, the in-game tooltips and descriptions do little to clarify the game mechanics. This guide will therefore focus primarily on the creation process, the fundamentals of playing, and what to do right out the gate.

1.1 Races

The first selection you will have to make is your character's race. Some races cannot be certain classes. Other race and class combinations are barred because they were introduced in expansions after Ruins of Kunark. Your race choice matters little in endgame but can significantly affect how difficult it is to get there. Most consider it a matter of personal or aesthetic preference.

1.11 Alignment and Faction Considerations

Significantly, the NPCs of Norrath are racist as hell. Your race, class, and deity choice will affect what factions are friendly or kill on sight (KOS) to you. This means certain races will have difficulty accessing some major cities or areas. The so-called "evil" races (dark elf, troll, ogre, iksar) have the most issues, especially on Faydwer. Conversely, most other races will not find themselves welcome in the "evil" cities, where gnomes and halflings are on the dinner menu. It is possible in some cases to change this by raising your relevant faction standing, as will be covered later in this guide.

1.12 Size

The size of your race determines what size (i.e. weight) armor you can use throughout most of the game, which in turn affects how much you can effectively carry before becoming encumbered. This drawback or perk eventually tapers off. More important, however, is that trolls and ogres particularly have trouble in some dungeons and towns due to their immense size. This can be cured by a shrinking spell, potion, wolf form, or illusion, although these remedies are generally not available early in the game.

The armor size chart follows:

Small: Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling
Small/Medium: Dark Elf, High Elf, Wood Elf
Medium: Erudite, Half Elf, Human, Iksar
Medium/Large: Barbarian
Large: Ogre, Troll

1.13 Racial Characteristics

Certain races have characteristics such as infravision (infrared nightvision) or ultravision (perfect nightvision), an innate ability, and/or resistances. You should specifically note the following:

Barbarian: Slam, Cold Resistance +10
Dark Elf: Skill Bonus (Hide), Ultravision
Dwarf: Poison Resistance +5, Magic Resistance +5, Infravision, males perform a badass tumble when jumping, females have beards
Erudite: Disease Resistance +5, Magic Resistance +5
Gnome: Tinkering, Infravision
Half Elf: Infravision
Halfling: Skill Bonuses (Hide, Sneak), Disease Resistance +5, Poison Resistance +5, Infravision
Iksar: Enhanced HP Regeneration, Enhanced AC, Skill Bonuses (Swim, Forage), Heat Resistance +5, Cold Resistance -10, Infravision
High Elf: Infravision
Human: None
Ogre: Slam, Infravision, immune to frontal stuns
Troll: Enhanced Regeneration, Slam, Heat Resistance -20, Infravision
Wood Elf: Skill Bonuses (Forage, Hide), Infravision

Additionally, certain races incur EXP gain penalties, or in the case of Halflings a small bonus. These are multiplied (not added) to any class penalty or bonus. Additionally, you can receive bonus EXP for grouping and for killing mobs in specific zones. The EXP modifiers for race are as follows:

Barbarian: -5% EXP penalty
Halfling: +5% EXP bonus
Iksar: -20% EXP penalty
Ogre: -15% EXP penalty
Troll: -20% EXP penalty

1.14. Stats

The range of your starting stats will also be determined by your race selection. Certain races are inherently more suited to roles than others but all combinations are ultimately viable. Obviously an equally geared Ogre warrior going to be markedly more resilient than a Gnome warrior at the outset.

Following is a basic explanation of stats:

Strength (STR): attack power, melee damage, carrying capacity
Stamina (STA): hit points and endurance
Agility (AGI): key Monk stat, AC (armor class), and defensive skills
Dexterity (DEX): key Rogue and Bard stat, spell concentration (i.e. resistance to interrupts), weapon procs, critical hits (allegedly)
Wisdom (WIS): mana for priests, paladins, and rangers
Intelligence (INT): mana for casters and shadowknights, determines how fast your skills increase
Charisma (CHA): key Enchanter and Bard stat, affects charm spells, slightly affects merchant prices

Your stats also inform these statistics:

Hit Points (HP) = determines how much damage you can sustain before dying
Mana (MANA) = determines how many spells you can cast
Endurance (ENDR) = determines how long you can perform strenuous activites before becoming fatigued
Attack Power (ATK) = your physical attack rating
Armor Class (AC) = your defense rating (i.e. damage mitigation)

To be on the safe side, you should start with at least 75 AGI as anything under this results in defense penalties. It was once believed that Monks should start with 100 AGI to receive a hidden defense bonus, but at this time there is nothing to support this ancient belief.

Apart from this caveat, it is generally a good idea to pump your class' primary stat. Some races may want to instead go for being more well-rounded. For instance, an Ogre warrior already has extreme starting STR and STA, so he may instead want to make up for his AGI and DEX deficits. When in doubt, STA is a good dump stat since everyone needs more HP.

1.15 Starting City

Your race selection will determine available starting cities. Apart from Humans and Half-Elves, there is one starting city per race. Any starting location is viable as you can have your character bound (i.e. respawn and recall point reset) elsewhere. Odus (Erudites), Halas (Barbarians), and Cabilis (Iksar) are more isolated, although characters from there can journey to more populated areas early on after reviewing the relevant zone maps or acquiring a port from a druid or wizard.

Areas around Qeynos (Blackburrow), Freeport (East Commonlands, North Ro, Oasis of Marr), and Greater Faydark (Greater Faydark, Crushbone, Unrest), have the highest density of lower level players.

1.2 Classes

Classes in EverQuest may be categorized several ways. To leave it at pure melees, hybrids, priests, and casters oversimplifies it, so let's run with class roles: tanks, healers, DPS (damage per second), and support (crowd control, utility, buffs, etc.). Many classes have more than one role. Some lend themselves more to soloing, while others are indispensable to groups. Paladins, shadowknights, rangers, and bards are known as "hybrids," having the features of multiple classes.

As with races, some classes incur EXP penalties and bonuses:

Bard: -40% EXP penalty
Enchanter: -10% EXP penalty
Magician: -10% EXP penalty
Monk: -20% EXP penalty
Necromancer: -10% EXP penalty
Paladin: -40% EXP penalty
Ranger: -40% EXP penalty
Rogue: +9% EXP bonus
Shadowknight: -40% EXP penalty
Warrior: +10% EXP bonus
Wizard: -10% EXP penalty

As stated above, this is multiplied to any racial modifiers.

Following is a survey of classes. Each will list the class type, roles, and stats in order of priority.

1.21 Pure Melees

Pure melees are distinct from other classes in that they have no spells and thus do not operate on mana. They use auto-attack and a number of class abilities and skills to deal damage to mobs. They can become progressively difficult to solo as they increase in level, and so most pure melees opt to find groups.

Type: Pure Melee
Roles: Tank, DPS (low to moderate)
Description: Warriors are the pure tank class. They have no spells and rely heavily on class skills and gear. While they are primarily defensive tanks, they must be able to generate hate via DPS in order to grab aggro. Because taunt does not work as it did on live, they are less apt at snap aggro (i.e. quickly stealing aggro) than paladins and shadowknights. They are the only tank class that can dual wield, and so they chiefly need to dish out damage in order to tank effectively.

Type: Pure Melee
Roles: DPS (extreme)
Description: Rogues are masters of pure melee damage. Their main competitor in this department are wizards, although rogues have the advantage of not needing mana. Using high speed dual wield weapons, rogues are there to quickly cut foes down to size. As they are not as dense as warriors, in groups they rely on tanks to distract mobs while they execute backstabs. Rogues have at their disposal thievish skullduggery skills, including the ability to turn invisible and move around undetected with hide and sneak.

Type: Pure Melee
Roles: DPS (high)
Description: Monks are kung fu fighters specializing in hand-to-hand combat. Monks are extremely limited in their weapon and armor choice but compensate for this with powerful attacks and haste. They are the least gear dependent melee class seeing as their their very fists are magical lethal weapons. Monks should start with at least 100 AGI and never carry more than their sliding scale carrying limit allows (i.e. at low levels, monks will lose AC if they carry more than 14 pounds). Monks also can save their bacon with abilities such as mend and feign death, which makes them master pullers.

1.22 Hybrids

Hybrids carry a massive XP gain penalty in exchange for having the abilities and functionality of multiple classes. Paladins and shadowknights make excellent tanks, while rangers and bards have a number of utility powers that can make them attractive choices for players wanting to experience an array of spells. Hybrids first gain spells at level 9, gain Meditate at level 12, and have a spell progression at roughly half their priest/caster counterpart's level.

Type: Pure Hybrid
Roles: Support (buffs, utility, crowd control, and mana regeneration), Healer (utility HP regeneration), DPS (low but constant)
Description: Bards are really pure hybrids, having at their disposal songs that can produce just about every support effect in the game. They are billed as the jack of all trades, which holds mostly true. In practice, they are the most versatile utility support class given their wide array of songs, ranging from run speed, resistance buffs, mesmerization, charm, you name it. Most groups will do anything for either a bard or an enchanter for their excellent crowd control and mana regeneration. Bards switch between buffing allies in battle, damaging enemies, and healing during downtime by doing a little something called the twist. At higher levels, they can track mobs like rangers.

Type: Warrior/Cleric Hybrid
Roles: Tank, Healer (cleric healing spells at half level), Support (cleric buffs and utility spells at half level)
Description: Paladins are warrior/cleric hybrids, holy knights who eventually wield fiery blades of vengeance. They acquire cleric spells at half cleric level, making them natural backup healers that can truly excel at high levels. They have certain soloability against undead mobs, can resurrect at high level, and have snap aggro comparable to shadowknights. Their Lay on Hands ability allows them to greatly restore a character's health (on a formula that increases with level) once per game day. They can achieve good snap aggro by casting stun and blind spells, which makes them able to peel mobs on a dime.

Type: Warrior/Necromancer Hybrid
Roles: Tank, DPS (moderate, via dots, drains, and pet)
Description: Shadowknights are warrior/necromancer hybrids, the more offense oriented of the two hybrid tanks. They gain staple necromancer spells at half level, the most important to taking being disease cloud, which combined with their melee damage makes them especially sticky tanks. Though it can be tricky, shadowknights can solo using darkness and fear spells. Shadowknights can use Harm Touch (the evil Lay on Hands) once per day, which can, if successful, deal a lot of damage to a single target. Their nefarious line of work impacts their faction in the same manner as a necromancer. Like monks and necromancers, shadowknights may eventually feign death, although if you're the main tank in a group that won't earn you any friends.

Type: Quasi-Warrior/Druid Hybrid
Roles: DPS (moderate), Tank (off tank), Healer (utility, druid healing spells at half level), Support (druid buffs at half level)
Description: Rangers are the warrior/druid hybrid, the most underplayed of the hybrid classes (and maybe the most underplayed class in the game). Their focus on offense and general favoritism of dual wielding makes them less chewy than the other tanking hybrids. Rangers have at their disposal many spells that make them especially good at performing utility functions, such as lull, damage shields, and SOW. Rangers are natural pullers with their ranged attacks and snares. As you would expect, rangers can also track mobs, which can be useful to see if certain camps are up.

1.23 Priests

Priests are WIS-based magic-users. They gain new spells every 5 levels, Meditate at level 8, and Specialization at level 30. All priests can heal and buff HP and AC. Druids and shamans are much more versatile, trading healing prowess for utility and support spells. Just about every group under the sun is going to need a healer to keep it above ground.

Type: Priest
Roles: Healer (highest), Support (HP and AC buffs, resurrection)
Description: Clerics are the undisputed kings of healing. While it's possible to have a healthy group without one, many view having a cleric in their party as a necessity in many situations. Clerics have the highest staple AC/HP buffs in the game. Importantly, they can resurrect fallen allies and can restore lost XP (almost completely at higher levels). Unlike the other priest classes, clerics are specialists in healing and therefore sacrifice a great deal of versatility. However, clerics can dish out some respectable direct damage to undead mobs.

Type: Priest
Roles: Healer (slightly higher than shaman), Support (buffs, thorns, SoW), DPS (moderate to high, via dots and nukes)
Description: Druids are one of the most useful classes around while at the same time retaining high soloability potential. They make excellent healers and provide various useful buffs, including the Cadillac of buffs, Spirit of the Wolf (SOW), which they can use in conjunction with their dots to kite mobs. Between their dots, direct damage, and healing, druids can adapt to a number of group roles. The druid's thorn damage shield and regeneration spells make it the powerleveler of choice. Like wizards, druids are highly sought after for ports across Norrath.

Type: Priest
Roles: Healer (slightly lower than druid), Support (extreme stat buffs, debuffs, SoW), DPS (moderate to high, via dots and nukes)
Description: Shamans are the druid's bigger, burlier cousin. They boast impressive dots, heals, and direct damage spells, and can eventually acquire a spirit companion. Where shamans really shine are their stat buffs and speed debuffs, pumping themselves and their allies to Herculean stature and slowing down their foes to drastically increase the group's damage mitigation. Shamans can also solo via kiting with Spirit of the Wolf, as well as boost their mana recovery with cannibalism.

1.24 Casters

Casters, or "clothies," are INT-based magic-users. They gain new spells every 4 levels until level 24 (then every at every 5 levels), Meditate at level 4, Research at level 16, and Specialisation at level 20. Wizards, magicians, and necromancers focus on dishing out damage, while enchanters are experts at crowd control and bestow much-desired Clarity and Haste. Magicians and necromancers are particularly powerful soloers.

Type: Caster
Roles: DPS (extreme direct damage via nukes, area of effect)
Description: Forget what you know from Harry Potter, wizards in EverQuest are considerably more credible. Their direct damage and area of effect is unrivaled except by the accounts of exaggerating rogues. The wizard's motto is root and nuke. In addition to the raw firepower, wizards can port themselves and others across Norrath, a feature that can come in handy when a group needs an emergency evacuation. They are, however, glass cannons. Though they do receive some self-buffs to increase their survivability, they are better off blasting from afar in group situations.

Type: Caster
Roles: Support (crowd control, mana regeneration, haste)
Description: Enchanters are everyone's friend. The Clarity line of spells is arguably more sought after than SOW. Like a shaman, they can hasten and slow targets. No solid group is complete without some crowd control (mesmerization and charm), which is the enchanter's unmatched expertise. They lack the damage potential of other casters but more than make up for it with their enviable ability to control the situation (and make everyone love then). Enchanters may also disguise themselves with illusions to look like anything from a troll to a tree.

Type: Caster
Roles: DPS (high, via dots, drains, and pet)
Description: Necromancers are the evil masters of forbidden magic, utilizing a potent array of spell lines that drain (lifetap), dot, fear, snare, and debilitate foes. Their pets are matched only by magicians and when used with darkness and fear allow the necromancer to solo at a fast pace. While not exactly as group friendly as others, necromancers can eventually summon corpses anywhere in a zone, which can be a lifesaver. Necromancers are given added survivability by feign death and can convert their HP into mana, or transfer some of their mana to another.

Type: Caster
Roles: DPS (high, via nukes, area of effect, and pet), Tank (off-tanking with pet)
Description: Magicians are essentially wizards who have sacrificed some of their direct damage (and ability to port) for a powerful elemental pet. As such, magicians make for natural soloers. They employ similar tactics to wizards but have a greater margin of error in the presence of their tanking pet. Like druids, magicians receive temporary damage shields of lesser power, which helps their pets burn down enemies. Magicians may also summon a number of useful No Rent items, being the resident master conjurers.

1.3 Religion

After you have chosen a race and class, you will be prompted to select a deity. Religion in EverQuest is a lot like alignment in Dungeons & Dragons. This is mostly for fluff purposes although it can affect your starting faction standing. The gods can be good or evil, beloved or hated depending on the NPCs. The in-game descriptions should be adequate. You could always opt out as agnostic unless your class dictates otherwise.

II. The Basics

Before you start playing, and in order to minimize your vexation, you owe it to yourself to familiarize with some of the basic concepts of the game.

2.1 Interacting with the World

To a new player, EverQuest may seem a lot less intuitive with its interface than MMORPGs of the last decade. Before you begin playing, it will help you to learn default keybindings (which can be remapped), commands, concepts, and etiquette.

2.11 Hotkeys and Commands

The following is a bare minimum of commands you must know in order to play. Please note that hotkeys can be remapped to different keys. Most significantly, you may want to remap your movement keys immediately. You can also create macros that will greatly assist your functionality (for example, a /corpse dragging or /loc macro). You may find a complete command list here.

left-click - basic targeting, opening/closing doors
right-click - basic interactions with targets (considers target, inspects other players, accesses trainers and vendors, loots corpses, opens containers, forgets spells, etc.)
I - opens/closes your inventory
C - considers your target
D - ducks
H - hails target (used to speak to NPCs)
Q - auto-attack
R - replies to last received /tell
CTRL + B - opens/closes spellbook
num lock - auto-run
spacebar - jump
tab - switches targets rapidly

Commands must be typed into a chat line or, alternatively, embedded in a macro/hotkey. Here are some basic commands you should know:

/assist - when targeting another player, switches your target to the mob that player is attacking
/camp - safely logs out after 30 seconds
/con (hotkey C) - performs a consideration check
/consent (<player name>, group, guild, raid) - gives permission to drag your corpse
/corpse - drags your corpse if it is in range
/decline - declines a duel
/deny (<player name>, group, guild, raid) - revokes permission to drag your corpse
/disband (target, player name) - used to leave a group, or if you are group leader, to remove the targeted player from your group
/duel - challenges targeted player to a duel
/emote <text> - emotes the text (e.g. "/emote eats a pizza" returns "<Name> eats a pizza.")
/follow - follows targeted player (note: be careful, pathing is often shoddy)
/invite <player name> - invites targeted player to join a group with you
/loc - returns your current coordinates
/makeleader - makes targeted player the leader of your group
/pet (command) - gives your pet a command (for more details, refer to <a href="">this</a>)
/quit - automatically quits the game, not as safe as /camp as your character remains linkdead
/random (# to #) - rolls dice, usually "/random 1 to 100" for rolling for rare items
/rewind - can get your character "unstuck" if trapped in the environment
/sit - sits/stands

2.12 Communication

The following are some basic social commands:

/afk - flags you as afk
/auction <text> - the zone-wide channel for buying, selling, or trading goods and services
/friend <player name> - adds player to your friends list
/group <text> - sends a message to your group
/guild <text> - sends a message to your guild
/lfg - flags you as looking for a group
/ooc <text> - the zone-wide channel for general discussion
/reply (hotkey R) - replies to last received /tell
/say <text> - sends a message to everyone nearby
/shout <text> - sends an emphatic zone-wide message
/tell <player name> - sends a private instant message
/who - returns the names of everyone in your current zone
/who all friends - returns the names of all your friends online
/who all guild - returns the names of all guild members online
/who all lfg - returns the names of all players looking for a group, can be modified by "/who all lfg <min lvl> <max lvl>" to narrow the search
/who corpse - returns the names of all players with a corpse in the zone
/yell - sends an distress call to nearby players

You may further communicate or annoy players with <a href="">emotes</a>.

2.13 Lingo

EverQuest has its own lingo. Players will often use abbreviations to convey messages. If they are not in the list below, chances are they could refer to a zone, item, or spell. Learning some of these basic abbreviations could save your life.

ADD - another mob has begun attacking
AGGRO/AGRO - mob hate/anger
BUB - a bubble of XP, HP, or mana
C(#) - clarity
CAMO - camouflage
CON - considers
DD - direct damage
DING - just attained a new level
DOT - damage over time
DS - damage shield
FD - feign death
HOT - healing over time
HT - harm touch
INC - incoming
INVIS - invisibility
KOS - kill on sight
LD - linkdead
LFG - looking for group
LFM - looking for more
LOH - lay on hands
LOM - low on mana
MED - meditate
MEM - memorize
MEZ/MEZZED -mesmerize(d)
MOB - mobile object (i.e. monsters)
NINJA - a no-good thief who loots rare items and runs
NPC - non-playable character
OOC - out of character
OOM - out of mana
PC - price check
PL - powerleveling
POP - mob has spawned
PROC - process (i.e. triggered weapon effect)
PST - please send tell
PULL - brings the mob to where the group is parked
REZ - resurrection
SOW - Spirit of the Wolf
TP - teleport
WTB - want to buy
WTS - want to sell
WTT - want to trade
WTTF - want to trade for

If you encounter an abbreviation you don't recognize, check out this list.

2.2 Money, Gear, and Trading

2.21 Money

Just like real life, it's all about earning those greenbacks. In EverQuest it comes in the form of copper, silver, gold, and platinum.

Platinum is the primary currency. The conversion rate is 10:1 (i.e. 10 copper is 1 silver, 10 silver is 1 gold, and 10 gold is 1 platinum). Money can be converted and stored at a bank located in all major cities.

Coins can weigh you down. Every 10 coins, regardless of type, weigh 1 lbs. This is especially troublesome for monks, who must keep their carried weight low. Once you're out of the newbie starting zone, you will find yourself getting rid of your copper periodically.

2.22 Gear

As you can probably guess, your gear plays a significant role in your success. It improves all your vital stats, HP, mana, AC, and more.

That said, don't become obsessed with gear at a low level. Basic cloth or leather (i.e. patchwork) armor is readily available and will serve you well until you can afford to upgrade. I have personally leveled a character to 50 wearing scarcely more than banded mail. So while it is certainly a nice luxury to be a twink, it's not at all necessary.

Most aspects about armor are obvious, but there are several features you should know.

No Drop: binds on pickup, cannot be traded
No Rent: summoned, disappears upon logout
Lore: you cannot possess more than one of the item
Magic: applies to weapons, allows you to damage creatures otherwise immune to physical damage

Procs are effects on weapons that have a random chance, based on your DEX, to activate.

Items with uses may be right-clicked to activate. Note that some, like potions, are single use.

2.23 Trading

Trading with other players will be your means of making the big bucks and acquiring items you want without having to personally camp them.

To engage in a trade, simply drag and drop an item from your inventory onto another player. This will bring up the trade window. Make sure you're getting what you've bargained for before hitting accept.

The main hub for commerce is the East Commonlands tunnel, which runs between the East Commonlands and North Ro. Upon entering, you will find the auction channel bombarded by offers to buy (WTB), sell (WTS), and trade (WTT) everything under the sun. If you're wanting an appraisal for a rare item, ask for a price check (PC). If you can't find a buyer or seller in-game, you should try the East Commons Tunnels forum.

Remember, you can inspect items with ALT + left-click. You can also link to the stats of the item in chat by hitting enter to open chat and SHIFT + right-clicking the item's icon.

2.3 Understanding NPCs

This section is a compendium of general information that you will find handy in understanding the game.

2.31 Considering

You must use /con on practically everything you are thinking about killing.

Considering your enemies is of supreme importance. It will roughly approximate the target's level. A consideration of a mob contains two elements: its attitude towards you (affected by faction) and its difficulty, a rough and occasionally inaccurate reading based on its level. As you might expect, you are awarded higher EXP per kill for tougher mobs relative to your level and none on the other end of the challenge spectrum.

Gray: zero difficulty, no EXP
Green: trivial difficulty, no EXP on some greens
Light Blue: low difficulty
Blue: average difficulty
White: even difficulty
Yellow: high difficulty
Red: extreme difficulty

Note that mobs that /con "ready to attack" or "threateningly" are kill on sight (KOS), while all others will not automatically aggro you.

2.32 Faction

Your faction standing determines your favorability to the NPCs of Norrath. You will gain or lose faction by killing or assisting in killing (by healing or otherwise) a faction aligned mob and by completing certain quests.

The only reliable way to gauge your faction standing is to /con a mob or NPC. As stated above, "ready to attack" and "threateningly" are kill on sight (KOS), while all others will not attack you.

As a general rule, humanoid enemies are ones you should be wary about engaging before knowing the faction consequences. To find out about a mob or NPC's faction hits, perform a search on Allakhazam.

It's easier to lose faction than to gain it so be careful, but don't be paranoid.

2.4 Spells, Skills, and Pets

2.41 Spells

At the outset you can buy your spells from class spell vendors in major cities. Acquiring new spells can cost you a pretty penny, so make sure that you save enough money to purchase your next tier of spells. Many carry their next spells around with them to avoid having to return to the bank or spell vendor.

Research becomes mandatory for casters at level 16. Essentially, you combine words or runes as ingredients to create your spells. You can find needed components from other players at the bazaar, or even the completed spell itself.

Specialization will allow you to cast spells of the chosen Specialization with greater mana efficiency. There's some debate as to what the optimum choice is for your class. I won't take the blame for advising you on this point, so do some research on the forums before deciding.

To cast a spell, you first must scribe it to your spellbook and memorize it. Some spells have timers and operate on a cooldown, others require a regeant, but most work directly from mana.

You should learn the Meditate skill at the earliest possibility. It drastically improves the rate of your mana regeneration when seated.

Note that spells require time to cast and can be interrupted by damage, stuns, and forced movement effects. This applies to NPCs as well, so try to interrupt those pesky enemy healers.

2.42 Skills

There are far too many skills to comprehensively cover in this guide. To determine when you acquire skills, consult your class's skill list.

Many skills will increase through use without needing to be trained. Others will not be available for use and will not increase without putting one point into it.

2.43 Tradeskills

Tradeskills allow players to craft items for use or for sale. However, tradeskills are costly to raise and are therefore generally not the best moneymakers for new players.

The Project 1999 Companion and Wiki contain links to several guides for those interested in becoming artisans.

2.44 Pets

The Project 1999 Wiki contains an excellent guide on how to use your pet.

2.5 General Mechanics

2.51 Traveling

Traveling can be very perilous, especially at lower levels. You don't want to venture too far off the beaten path if you don't know where you're going. Most players will figure this out on their own, as it seems to be a natural instinct, but hugging the zone wall will be your best friend.

You cannot outpace mobs unless you have some run speed enhancement (or the mob is movement impaired), such as SOW (acquired from druids, shamans, and mid-level rangers), or they otherwise get lost in the pathing (usually generating a huge train). Your best bet is to run to the guards or zone line as quickly as possible when you are overpowered in the newbie area. As a courtesy, you should broadcast that you are bringing a train to the zone line.

Getting between continents can be time-consuming, as you must wait for the boats at the docks. Alternatively, druids and wizards are able to port players to other zones. Generally, you should tip them for doing so (as explained in the "Etiquette" section below).

It's probably more fun for me not to tell you about traveling through Kithicor at night.

For more information, consult the Project 1999 travel guide.

2.52 Death

If there's one certainty, you will die. A lot. The good news is that death is reversible. The bad news is that it's also repeatable. Most of EverQuest's legendary reputation for being unforgiving is owed to the consequences of dying.

Once you have been reduced to 0 HP, you will fall unconscious and gradually bleed to death. Usually all it takes is for a mob to hit you one more time. However, you will surely experience situations in which you are brought back from the brink of death by a timely heal.

At level 6, you will start losing EXP when you die. This will undoubtedly become a source of great rage. However, at higher levels, it will be possible to have a cleric resurrect you to recover some to all of the lost EXP (depending on the cleric's level). For this reason, some higher level players will leave an item of trivial value on their corpse to keep it from disappearing before they have found a cleric.

Dying will respawn you, totally naked, where you were last bound. This means, you guessed it, naked corpse runs. You need to familiarize yourself with the zones and remember where you died. In wide open zones like West Karana, you should use the /loc command before dying to get the exact coordinates of your corpse. If you are unable to find your corpse, your best bet is to have a necromancer summon it for you.

Retrieving your gear from your corpse is time sensitive. Corpses decay (i.e. disappear) after 7 days.

Some classes are inherently more adept at avoiding death. Monks, necromancers, and shadowknights acquire a feign death utility that can break aggro and make angry mobs "forget" them.

For more information on death and its effects, read this article.

2.53 Downtime

It won't be long until you notice that the rate at which you're slaying gnoll pups or goblin whelps is fast exceeding your health or mana regeneration. Every once in a while you're going to have to take a breather. There are some ways in which you can reduce this downtime.

When there's a break in the action, pull up a chair. You will regenerate more quickly if you are seated. To sit, use the /sit command.

Meditation is one of the most important skills in the game. It must be trained at your class trainer at level 4 for caster, level 8 for priests, and level 12 for hybrids. When trained in meditation you will recover mana more rapidly when seated. Note that it is not necessary for you to have your spellbook open for this.

The healing skill can be quite valuable, especially for melee classes. Healing allows you to use bandages to heal another to 40% their total HP. Bandages can be purchased from vendors or summoned by magicians.

Furthermore, spells and items exist that allow characters to regenerate more quickly and covert HP to mana. Trolls and Iksars also have an incremental bonus to HP regeneration.

2.54 Status Ailments

The following are some of the more common status ailments you will encounter in your leveling:

blinded: rendered temporarily blind
charmed: under the control of another, usually causing problems for your allies
diseased: impairs your health regeneration and dampens healing directed at you
mesmerized: a long-term stun that takes you out of commission
poisoned: afflicted with a poison-based damage over time (DOT)
slowed: reduces the speed of your attacks
stunned: interrupts casting, rendered immobile and cannot perform actions
weakened: reduces your strength

2.55 Grouping

Most of the EverQuest experience involves grouping. Joining a group can offer some great advantages. You will be able to mow down mobs faster, better explore and camp dungeons, and take on difficult battles. Splitting the EXP isn't as bad as it sounds as it is offset by a group EXP bonus.

2 person group: 2% EXP gain bonus
3 person group: 6% EXP gain bonus
4 person group: 10% EXP gain bonus
5 person group: 14% EXP gain bonus
6 person group: 20% EXP gain bonus

Groups will ideally have characters that can fulfill every role. A tank is needed to pull and hold aggro, a healer is needed to keep everyone alive, DPS is needed to cut down mobs, and support is needed to buff, debuff, crowd control, and reduce downtime. Because some classes can perform multiple roles, you should coordinate with your group to see what is needed.

Tanks should always alert the group when they're pulling and make sure the group is ready for what they're bringing. An incoming (INC) macro is helpful to this end.

If you're a healer, you may want to set up a healing macro that when used not only heals your target but notifies everyone in group chat that you're doing so. This can keep party members from panicking and will prevent redundant healing from another healer.

Caster direct damage dealers, such as wizards, should be careful not to burn mobs too quickly or it will prove difficult for the tank to pull aggro from you before you're turned into wizard pizza. On the same note, overhealing during combat can generate a lot of hate.

You should be careful not to peel aggro or break mesmerized mobs until the group's tank does so. You can make sure you're attacking the right mob by using the /assist command on the tank.

2.56 Zone EXP Bonuses

As if there weren't enough EXP modifiers, you will receive bonuses for killing mobs in certain zones as explained here.

2.57 Quests


I will be adding to this section in the future, but for starters I have two quests to point out the quests referred to in the Project 1999 Wiki's newbie guide.

2.6 Etiquette

If you've played another MMORPG, odds are that most of this discussion will be old hat to you. Even so, there are some unique social considerations in EverQuest. Because it's a persistent world, your reputation can quickly haunt you.

2.61 Looting

Nowhere is etiquette more necessary than in the case of looting in a group. Ninja looting a valuable item is the ultimate black mark on your name.

Rare items can drop from specific difficult mobs. When such an item drops, the group will roll dice to see who takes it, absent an express understanding that it's need before greed. To roll dice type /random 1 100.

Unlike soloing, you can't just loot every corpse that piles up. This is really up to you to monitor as most of the time it will be a free for all except on items of value. Some groups do a round robin on valuable drops, like quest items that can be turned in for EXP and faction (e.g. Crushbone belts).

Another side effect of overlooting is you'll have to run to town to sell items and put your group in a situation where they're down one man. You will know this jerk when you see him and you'll hate his guts.

A general rule of the thumb, especially with a monk in the group, is to leave /autosplit off. It ends up generating an obnoxious amount of copper and silver pieces. Even with autosplit off, you will undoubtedly become tired of deleting copper to avoid encumbrance.

2.62 Trains

Sometimes you'll be overwhelmed by a mob and figure that it's better to run away if possible. Trains happen. It's alright, just be sure to set up a macro that announces in /ooc that you're bringing a train to the zone line.

2.63 Camps and Kill Stealing

Being respectful of other players entails that you must respect their camps and kills. When helping other players, unless they are in immediate threat of death, try not to outdamage them on the mobs they're attacking. Further, if a camp is taken, you should not maliciously interfere by stealing their spawns or training the camping group.

2.64 Group Etiquette

Try not to bail on a group immediately after a wipe before your fellow group members' corpses have been retrieved. They will not appreciate being left high and dry, having to work their way back to their corpse under perilous conditions.

2.65 Tipping

It is customary to tip druids and wizards for ports. Many also tip for solicited resurrections, Spirit of the Wolf (SOW), and Clarity. If someone gratuitously buffs you out of the kindness of their heart, be sure to /thank them.

V. Level 1 and Beyond

You're in our world now... bitch.

EverQuest, like other MMORPGs of its day, drops you in a starting zone somewhere in its world of Norrath with no tutorial or explanation. The only clue you will have is a note that, upon right-clicking in your inventory, directs you to deliver it to your class guild leader. All you have to go on is the guild leader's name, so consult your map (backspace) and see where he or she is located or check out EQ Atlas.

After you have found your guild leader in your starting city, target and hail him, then drag and drop the note onto him. This will bring up the trade window; hit accept. Congratulations, you've completed your first quest. Open your inventory with I, and equip your shiny new article of clothing. The equipment screen is fairly self-explanatory.

Your grinding career begins now. To kill a mob, target and auto-attack it. If you're a caster, try to use your spells from a distance. Be certain to /con mobs to see how tough they are and stick to whites and blues unless you're feeling risky.

Some mobs will be KOS to you (i.e. they /con "ready to attack" or "threateningly"), so take care to avoid them when you're low on health and mana. Other mobs are not KOS but instead have social aggro, meaning other similar mobs will become KOS when you're attacking one (e.g. klikniks in Qeynos). These can pile up quickly in the newbie zones, so be aware of your surroundings.

Many humanoid mobs like orcs, goblins, gnolls, and skeletons will drop weapons and cloth armor which can be sold for gold or worn (hey, better than nothing). In the case of the coveted Cracked Staff, you can net over a platinum from a vendor. Bone chips, high quality pelts, and spiderling (or spider) silk can also be sold to other players (advertise using /auction) for platinum. Be patient as it may take some time for an interested buyer to spot your wares. Your stream of income will be slow at lower levels and increase exponentially later down the road. Your chief priority is to make certain you have enough platinum to purchase your most important spells as they become available to scribe. If you're a more gear dependent melee fighter, you'll want to save up for a decent weapon and some banded/bronze armor.

You'll soon notice that you don't have much space in your inventory. Rather than frequently running to a vendor to unload, one of your top priorities is to purchase containers to expand your inventory space. Usually backpacks will be the most readily available option, though many use large sewing kits for their greater capacity and lesser weight. Unless you have a ton of strength, you probably won't need to carry that many containers on you. Eventually you will want to fill your bank with containers in the same vein.

Leveling early on should progress swiftly. Use this time to familiarize yourself with your skills, spells, and UI. It's generally ill-advised to venture beyond the starting area before level 5. Also, remember some skills (such as Meditate) must be trained one point at a trainer in order to be used or increase.

While leveling can sometimes go faster when soloing, for many classes it is more beneficial to find a group. Most players begin forming groups in the zones and dungeons adjacent to their starting city.

Blackburrow, the gnoll warren infamous for its trains, is the low level dungeon of choice for Humans and Half-Elves starting in Qeynos, Barbarians, Erudites.

For the rest of those starting in Antonica, the East Commonlands, North Ro, and later the Oasis of Mar are hubs for grouping. Eventually they may migrate to Highpass.

On Faydwer, the zones with the highest activity are Greater Faydark, Crushbone, and Unrest. Before then, you may find a group outside Crushbone on Orc Hill in Greater Faydark.

Iksars start in Kunark in the field of bone, but many travel to Antonica or Faydwer at early levels in order to build faction with "good" cities. The Lake of Ill Omen becomes an excellent leveling grounds in the teens.

This guide is not intended to be a comprehensive leveling guide and so ends here. Take off your training wheels and have some fun getting lost in the world of Norrath, which is really half the game's charm.

You can do it. I believe in you.

VI. Acknowledgements and Updates

Thanks goes to everyone who has compiled the information referenced in this guide, specifically the creators of the Project 1999 Companion, which is an excellent one-stop shop for all your reference needs, as well as contributors to the Project 1999 Wiki. I will add more information and revise the guide as needed. Much of the guide is based off my knowledge from over a decade ago, so it may not be entirely accurate. If you find an error or would like to make a contribution, please feel free to post in this thread.

Additionally, if you have information to add or would like to help expand the guide, I will add your contribution to the thread along with attribution.

Special thanks goes to the following contributors:

Ektar: added better information on paladins and hybrid EXP penalties
Estu: contributed information as to the significance of AGI for monks
Krait: prepared the Project 1999 Wiki page for this guide
Vermicelli: corrected a racial trait and gave better spell info
[15 Cleric] Dumbledorf <BroQuest>
Last edited by Dumbledorf; 07-15-2011 at 04:06 AM..
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:40 PM
Ektar Ektar is offline
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holy mighty mouse that's so long I'm not gonna read it. but assuming it's a good guide then good for you and thanks for the effort
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:41 PM
Doors Doors is offline
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Originally Posted by Drakaris View Post
You can be my squire once you can bench half of what I can.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:44 PM
Uthgaard Uthgaard is offline
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Moved to library and stickied.

Thanks for writing this.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:46 PM
Dumbledorf Dumbledorf is offline

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Basically, I wanted to put all this info in one place so that friends I'm trying to induce to play have an easier time of finding the information they need. The Wiki still covers most of this far better than I can.

Hopefully some of the community finds it useful!
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:55 PM
Dumbledorf Dumbledorf is offline

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Cleaned up the formatting.

Again, please note any erroneous information or add any contributions you'd like to make to the guide. It takes a village.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:08 PM
Ektar Ektar is offline
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change paladin description:

loh does not fully heal someone. it is a formula based on level. if a level 1 paladin LoHs a level 60, he will be healed for like, very little.

blind is not their famous snap agro. stun is their famous snap agro (not that blind can't also be used)
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Dumbledorf Dumbledorf is offline

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Originally Posted by Ektar [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]
change paladin description:

loh does not fully heal someone. it is a formula based on level. if a level 1 paladin LoHs a level 60, he will be healed for like, very little.

blind is not their famous snap agro. stun is their famous snap agro (not that blind can't also be used)
Thanks, man. Fixed the description and acknowledged your contribution.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:44 PM
Ektar Ektar is offline
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also pretty sure hybrid exp penalty is 40%, not 45%.

when I said it was too long and I won't read it I obv~ lied. I'm hitting pieces here and there [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:47 PM
Bardalicious Bardalicious is offline
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Research becomes mandatory for casters at level 16. Essentially, you combine words or runes as ingredients to create your spells. You can find needed components from other players at the bazaar, or even the completed spell itself.
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