[ Disclaimer, --- , ]
Druid Leveling and Item Hunting Guide by Mefdinkins
Introduction – After relying on a lot of great information from other guides and the forums I wanted to try to compile some information for druids. I’ve played many MMO’s and many different types of characters (wizards, druids, rogues, assassins) but for some reason the original EQ druid is one of my all-time favorites.
Goal of this Guide - My goal is to give new druids suggestions on places to level a first character. This guide will aim to provide solid XP, while bringing you to areas where you can find a good item upgrade, or you can work on your epic quest. If you follow this guide you can slowly upgrade your gear through drops and make decent platinum to fill in the rest of your slots. If you’re super twinked and don’t need to worry about platinum or items then there are probably better XP options and you can ignore those suggestions. If you aren’t interested in starting the epic quest until later then there may be better XP options for you and you can ignore those sections. Additionally, once you reach 50+ the world opens up to you, you can camp a great deal of items solo and most items in the game with a group so I only highlight some early level 'items'. I hope this guide can help a player or two who is wondering where to hunt or frustrated with their current XP spot.
Druid XP Techniques
Druid XP Techniques - druids have many ways to get XP, unlike a warrior who typically only has the option of grouping, druids can group for experience, Root/Rot, Charm/Kite, DD/Kite, and Quad. Each technique has its strengths and weaknesses.
- Grouping - Grouping is a great way to have fun with other characters. It allows you to meet other players and bring valuable skills from other classes that supplement your own. I think it is important for new players to gain levels through both solo and group experience because it can be a little overwhelming jumping into a level 50+ dungeon having never contributed to a group before. This guide will focus on solo XP though… so be sure to check the wiki, your guild or /who all ‘your current level’ to see where other characters are for group XP opportunities.
- Root/Rot - Druids have a good line of root spells, like Grasping Roots and have strong and mana efficient damage over time spells, like Breath of Ro. This technique involves rooting a mob in place and casting your damage over time spells on it.
- Pros - 1) Can be very mana efficient, damage over time spells like Breath of Ro have a great damage per mana ratio (1030 damage for 225 mana). Additionally, once you cast your spells you can sit down to regenerate mana while the mob slowly dies. 2) At 45+ Elder Spiritist's Vambraces can add ~370 damage for free on every rooted mob. 3) Great for dungeons, so you can take advantage of higher XP modifiers per single kill. Dungeons are typically not spread out enough to allow for easy kiting, but root/rot requires minimal space. 4) Great for unwanted adds and dealing w/ random mobs. If you’re attacked at 20% mana you can usually root a mob and then cast your most efficient DOT on it while medding up and take it out without running out of mana.
- Cons - 1) Considered not as efficient XPwise as quadding or charm kiting. 2) At lower levels root doesn't last long enough and casting/recasting makes it less mana efficient. Dots do less damage on mobs that are chasing you.
- Charm - Druids have a powerful charm animal line of spells, Befriend Animal. This technique involves charming an animal and having it fight a similar level mob. Once both mobs are low, you can invis or hide yourself and finish off both mobs to get solid XP.
- Pros - 1) Can be very mana/time efficient, considered to be the best possible XP for many. 2) Should try to learn eventually because it is almost mandatory to solo levels 57-60.
- Cons - 1) Can take a while to get used to, especially learning how to invis yourself and when to. 2) Criticized by some as 'not having enough downtime' since you have to constantly pull and play attentively (instead of having downtime like quadding) to med up. 3) Only works on animals (who typically don't have the best drops) and in some levels there may not be a good area/place to do it.
- Quadding - Druids have a powerful area of effect direct damage spell line, Lightning Strike. This technique involves snaring a group of four mobs and then casting your AEDD on them all while staying out of melee range allowing you to kill four mobs in one kite
- Pros - 1) This can be very mana efficient, some consider it the best XP available. 2) At level 46 when the Luminescent Staff proc becomes available to you you have a right click AEDD for 187 that can essentially allow you to power level yourself from 46-49 (or even higher) while expending minimal mana for Ensnare or zero mana when coupled with Elder Spiritist's Gauntlets.
- Cons - 1) This technique is not available until higher level, first AEDD comes at 34 2) This technique is considered to have a lot of downtime. You will generally expend most or all of your mana to get the four kills, but then you will need to med to full before you pull again. Some see this as a pro depending on your playstyle (as a student I liked doing a little work when I would med to full so it was great for me). 3) Somewhat gear dependent, sometimes it requires a larger mana pool than available. It is important to be aware of your mana pool and the HP pool of mobs.
- DD Kite - Druids have strong direct damage spells, starting with Burst of Flame. This technique involves snaring a single mob and then casting your direct damage spells on it while staying out of melee range.
- Pros - 1) This is a great technique for the lower levels and can be done as soon as you pick up Spirit of Wolf at level 14. 2) At lower levels it can be the most mana efficient way to gain XP. If you account for the damage per mana of your spells, the costs of casting roots, etc. 3) This technique is fast and allows you to burn a mob down quickly (for instance at level 55 your DD does 688 instantly, compared to a DOT ticking for 1030 over 60 seconds). 4) This technique is very safe, if something does not go as planned (resists, SOW wearing off, aggro) you're only dealing with one pulled mob instead of having 4 or 2 on you when something goes awry while quadding or charm kiting.
- Cons - This technique burns a lot of mana and is generally seen as not as efficient once you master and have available the other techniques (root/rot, quad, and charmkiting).
- Disclaimer - As I begin this guide it will be based on my observations and the lessons I’ve learned from leveling a druid in classic and now here on P1999. I have scoured the forums and spoken in game with many great druids and asked for their thoughts on this as well. However, this list is not exhaustive and everyone’s in game experience is different. This guide may not be helpful to you. Please use this information as you see fit, feel free to explore the world and try to find better/faster/more efficient ways to gain XP! If you let me know of your experience leveling I would gladly update this guide and add it.
Levels 1 - 15
- 1 - 6 Greater Faydark: Newbie mobs, then on to orc camps. This is your generic entrance zone to grind out those early levels.
- 1 - 9 Misty Thicket: Great starting zone for halflings newbie mobs, then out closer to Runnyeye. Some places may be better or quicker but since leveling up this early is pretty quick it's nice to be near your home zone and class trainers.
- 1 - 9 Butcherblock Mountains: Level up in front of Kaladim, focusing on decaying skeletons. Going from levels 1 to 5 on skeletons will allow you to pick up about 10 stacks of bone chips. A little over 10 stacks of bone chips is what's required to jump from level 5 to level 8 using the Gunlok Jure Bone Chips Kaladim bone chip hand in quest in the paladin's guild. Thanks to NegaStoat for this tactic.
- 6 – 9 Steamfont: Kill at the kobold camps, or the countless blues outside mino caves.
- 9 – 15 Crushbone: Solo or group.
- Item Alert: Prayer Cloth of Tunare – Shoulder Item, 3 Armor, 3 Wisdom. If you loot Bracers of Battle dropped by the Orc Warlord, you can turn them in to the Elven Priest in Crushbone for these shoulders.
Levels 15 - 30
- 14 – 19 Lesser Faydark: Killing the Nybright Sisters with harmony. These sisters can drop bronze weapons and there are vendors in the zone. This is a great opportunity for you to make some decent platinum.
- 14 - 20 Oasis: Killing Crocodiles. This can be your first opportunity to use the charming method.
- 19 – 24 Eastern Karana: Originally I camped some of the wolves and roamers near the bridge, then I went over to the spiders. This is a great area to first try out Charm/kiting and charm/killing mobs.
- Item Alert: Polished Bone Bracelet – Wrist Item, 2 Armor, 3 Wisdom, 3 Intelligence. Be sure to check tracking often because you may see An Evil Eye up and they have the chance to drop a Polished Bone Bracelet, I got one during my time spent in Eastern Karana.
- Item Alert: Testament of Vanear - Offhand Item, 10 Wis, 10 Mana. This item can be picked up from the Testament of Vanear Quest which isn't in Eastern Karana but it will bring you through Highpass Hold and ends in Qeynos. If you're in the area around these levels 24+ you'll likely be able to solo it. I threw this quest in because the item is really valuable and in classic I kept it as my main OH until level 55+.
- 20 – 30 Lake of ill Omen: North of the Windmill past the goblin ruins. Can charm kill some of the animals around here and most importantly attempt to camp the Goblin Gazughi Ring.
- Item Alert: Goblin Gazughi Ring – Finger, 1 Armor, 5 MR, Effect: Invisibility Versus Animals. Be sure to check track and camp out the A Sarnak Courier. This is an invaluable item for charm killing, instead of having to cast hide or invis on yourself you can equip the ring and insta cast this to release your pet when it is low. If you have a chance to get this item it will save you a lot of plat and is valued upwards of 10,000p.
- 22 - 29 Warslik Woods: Giant Fortress killing everything.
- Item Alert: Forest Loop can drop here, 2 AC, 3 Wisdom, 3 Agility, 3 Dexterity.
- 23 - 26 South Karana: Killed aviaks and some of the gnolls near splitpaw.
- Item Alert: Crown of Leaves - Head Item, 1 Armor, 5 Wisdom. Be sure to check track often for Narra Tanith who drops this great druid item.
- 26 - 32 Everfrost Peaks: Camped wooly mammoths, these guys were decent XP and great money. You can DD kite, Charm kite, or root rot this mobs. Figure out what method is best for your level and your play style. Mammoth Tusks drop from wooly mammoths that sell for 10p and there is a vendor in the zone you can sell to.
- Epic Alert - Be sure to check tracking often for the Tainted Wooly Mammoth. Upon its death a Corrupted Wooly Mammoth will spawn and you can loot a Chunk of Tundra to grab a piece required for your epic
Level 30 - 45
- 32 - 37 Frontier Mountains: Giant Fortress, root/rotting at first, then quadding when mana permits, probably post 34.
- Item Alert Forest Loop - Ear, 2 Armor, 3 Wisdom, 3 Agility, 3 Dexterity. These are somewhat rare but drop off of Mountain Giants throughout the zone if you stay long enough you can fill both ear slots with great druid items.
- 35 - 38 Upper Guk: Ancient Croc Camp, this camp is a little more dangerous but you can use charm animals.
- Item Alert Gatorscale Leggings - Legs, 7 armor, 4 Wisdom, 15 HP.
- 35 - 42 Firiona Vie: Quadding Drolvargs and Pirates in the cliffs.
- 36 - 45 The Overthere: Quadding everything near the FM zoneline. The OT is also a great place to charm kill animals.
- 42 - 45 Emerald Jungle: Can charm kite some of the trakaraptors and gorillas.
- Epic Alert - Be sure to check track for a Tainted Gorilla, killing it will spawn a Corrupted Gorilla and allow you to loot Green Tree Bark, this guy will be hard to kill at this level so you may need to get a few animals to charm and help beat it up.
- 40 - 45 Rathe Mountains: Killing hill giants, generally root rotting, possibly quadding if mana permits.
- Epic Alert - Be sure to check track for Tainted Hill Giant, killing it will spawn a Corrupted Hill Giant and will allow you to loot an Ancient Rock for epic.
Level 45 - 55
- 43 – 46 Butcherblock: Camped the dwarves in BB. I put this in because it is a definite option however, be wary there are faction hits. Note: the faction hit will not interfere with your ability to do the portion of the epic quest in Kaladim.
- 46 - 51 Lake of Ill Omen: Quadding Bloodgills
- Epic Alert - Check track for tainted Deepwater Barracuda to spawn the Corrupted Deepwater Barracuda to receive Pure Lakewater
- 47 - 54 Dreadlands: Quadding everything outside the North or East wall of Karnor's Castle.
- 49 - 53 Timorous Deep: Quadding Aviaks, great XP not great loot
- 49 - 53 Cobalt Scar: Quadding Wyverns. Recommended non-KoS CoV faction, watch out for Yvolcarn and Azureake and avoid Drakes (500 damage dispel nukes)
- 49 - 54 Ocean of Tears: Quadding or Root/rotting seafuries. This is great plat but not the best XP available.
- Epic Alert - Be sure to keep your eye out for a Tainted Seafury, this will be hard for you to solo but the other people camping the island will prefer to have the Tainted Seafury out of the way and they may help you kill it, it will spawn the Corrupted Seafury and you’ll have another piece towards your epic
- 49 - 54 City of Mist: Root Rotting
Level 55 - 60
- 54 - 60 Timorous Deep: Quadding Raptors, great XP and virtually no loot. At 54 you may need a lumi staff to finish off that extra hp on raptors. Once you get Fist of Karana it's pretty smooch, quick. I have seen druids do this from 53-60 straight.
- 55 - 60 Kedge Keep: Charm-killing throughout the zone. In here not many mobs can see invis, so you can essentially go through the zone. I know a lot of druids who have made their fortune in this zone, I know a lot of other druids who have lost quite a bit of XP dying in this treacherous zone. Be sure to grab a Fishbone Earring or a bunch of fish scales before you venture into Kedge.
- Epic Alert - Be sure to keep your eye out for the Corrupted Seahorse. This is a high level cleric that you cannot solo, at least I don't believe you can, but if you have a friend or two nearby they can help you take it out you'll have another piece towards your epic.
- 55 - 60 Permafrost: Charm-killing in the bear pits. This is another popular area to grind those last few levels of XP.
- Conclusion - At this point in the guide you have likely mastered all the techniques available to druids to quickly gain XP. Adventure throughout Norrath and best of luck! This is a great time to join a guild, camp some higher level loots, get to know some of the end game dungeons, or even twink out an alt for fun.