[ Disclaimer, --- , ]
Dumbledorf's 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. forum thread.
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 FAQ * EQ Atlas * Allakhazam * EQ Thieves * Casters Realm
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.
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.
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.
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
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: Skill Bonus (Tinkering), Infravision
- Half Elf: Infravision
- Halfling: Skill Bonuses (Forage, 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, Infravision, Heat Resistance -20
- 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:
- Halfling: +5% EXP bonus
- Barbarian: -5% EXP penalty
- Ogre: -15% EXP penalty
- Iksar: -20% EXP penalty
- Troll: -20% EXP penalty
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): AC (armor class) and evasion
- Dexterity (DEX): spell concentration (i.e. resistance to interrupts), weapon proc rate, critical hits (allegedly), and how quickly you level up melee skills (allegedly)
- Wisdom (WIS): determines base mana pool for clerics, druids, shamans, paladins, and rangers
- Intelligence (INT): determines mana pool for enchanters, magicians, necromancers, wizards, bards, and shadowknights
- Charisma (CHA): affects resist rate of lull spells, duration of charm spells for enchanters, and 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.
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.
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.
Two classes gain an EXP bonus; experience penalties for classes were removed on Project 1999 as of 9/21/15:
this is on top of any racial modifiers.
Following is a survey of classes. Each will list the class type, roles, and stats in order of priority.
Pure melees are distinct from other classes in that they have no spells and thus do not have a mana pool. They use auto-attack and a number of class abilities and skills (and at higher levels, disciplines) 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)
- Stats: STA, DEX, STR, AGI
Description: Warriors are the pure melee tank class. They have no spells and rely heavily on class skills and gear. While they are primarily defensive, DPS and weapon procs are an integral part of their role. Unlike hybrid tanks that use spells to instantly grab aggro, warriors are dependent on DPS, weapon procs, and the notoriously unreliable taunt skill. They are the only tank class that can dual wield, and they have the potential to reach the highest armor class and hit points of all the classes. A well skilled warrior will constantly be aware of the battlefield, managing aggro, determining the best weapon set to use, and making sure no one else in the group gets hit.
- Type: Pure Melee
- Roles: DPS (extreme), Puller
- Stats: STR, DEX, STA, AGI
Description: Rogues are masters of pure melee damage. Their main competitor in the DPS department are wizards, although rogues have the advantage of not needing mana and thus can provide sustained DPS over a long period of time. Relying on high speed/damage weapons (occasionally with high damage procs) and their class-defining backstab skill, rogues are there to quickly and efficiently dispatch enemies. More flimsy than their warrior and monk brothers, rogues rely on tanks to distract mobs while they execute backstabs. Rogues also gain the ability to pick locks and turn invisible via sneak+hide, making them invaluable for scouting and corpse recoveries. A well skilled rogue will output massive DOS while avoiding grabbing aggro from the tank, scout and pull mobs with sneak pulling, and help allies move past locked doors in high level dungeons.
- Type: Pure Melee
- Roles: DPS (high), Puller
- Stats: STR, STA, DEX, AGI
Description: Monks are kung fu fighters specializing in hand-to-hand combat. Monks are extremely limited in their weapon and armor choices but compensate for this with powerful attacks, high damage mitigation, and the ability to feign death. They are the least gear dependent melee class, and can deal increasingly high damage with just their fists. Monks should 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). Their ability to sneak and feign death, as well as occasionally heal themselves with mend, make them the best pullers in the game. In a pinch they can function as a passable tank due to their high damage avoidance / mitigation and abundance of proc weapons. A well skilled monk will constantly be pulling mobs for the group, providing high DPS, bandaging to help save healers' mana, and managing aggro with feign death.
Hybrids carry a massive XP penalty in exchange for having the abilities and functionality of multiple classes. (Class experience penalties are no longer in effect on P99 as of 9/21/15, though bonuses should remain.) Paladins and Shadow Knights 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, slow), Healer (HP/mana regeneration), Puller
- Stats: DEX, CHA, STR, STA, AGI
Description: Bards are truly the jack of all trades, having at their disposal songs that can produce just about every support effect in the game. They are primarily used as pullers and crowd control, as they have access to run speed, snare, lull, mez, and charm songs. Bards excel in groups, as many of their songs are group based and focused on making a group more efficient. Bards switch between buffing allies in battle, damaging and debuffing enemies, and regenerating allies during downtime, many times all at once via "twisting" songs. A well skilled bard is truly unrivaled in terms of what they can bring to a group: twisting 3 to 4 songs at once during battle, single pulling mobs consistently, managing the mobs in camp, and determining the optimal song to play at any given moment.
- Type: Warrior/Cleric Hybrid
- Roles: Tank, Healer (cleric healing spells at half level), Support (cleric buffs and utility spells at half level), Puller (lulls + root + stun)
- Stats: STA, WIS, STR, DEX, AGI
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 excel when fighting undead mobs, have decent snap aggro with stuns and blind, and can even resurrect at higher levels. Their Lay on Hands ability allows them to greatly restore a character's health (increases with level) once per game day. Paladins are primarily tanks and provide very minimal DPS, but their roots, stuns, and lulls provide excellent utility and aid in their ability to CC and pull. A well skilled Paladin will constantly be grabbing aggro, rooting/blinding mezzed mobs before they break, watching their party members health, and pulling or providing CC if the situation calls for it.
SHADOW KNIGHT (SHD)
- Type: Warrior/Necromancer Hybrid
- Roles: Tank, Puller, DPS (low to moderate)
- Stats: STA, INT, STR, DEX, AGI
Description: Shadow Knights are warrior/necromancer hybrids and are more offense oriented than Paladins. They gain necromancer spells at half level, notably Feign Death and Disease Cloud (for snap aggro). Though it can be tricky, Shadow Knights can solo passably well via fear kiting and their lifetap spells. Their Harm Touch ability allows them to greatly damage a single target (increases with level) once per game day, although it can be resisted. Much like necromancers, they are hated by good races and may have trouble entering certain towns. Shadow Knights eventually gain the ability feign death, which allows them to become excellent pullers. A well skilled Shadow Knight will consistently gain and hold aggro quicker than any other class, help DPS, manage aggro, and occasionally provide pulls for a group.
- Type: Warrior/Druid Hybrid
- Roles: DPS (moderate), Tank (off tank), Support (druid buffs at half level), Puller (in outdoor zones)
- Stats: STR, WIS, DEX, STA, AGI
Description: Rangers are the warrior/druid hybrid, the most underplayed of the hybrid classes (and maybe the most underplayed class in the game). They focus on offense and utility and are the only hybrid class that cannot wear plate, thus making them more squishy. Rangers get an outdoor only lull, which allows them to pull decently well in combination with their bows, snare, and invis. As you would expect, rangers can also track mobs, which can be useful to see if certain named mobs are up and is invaluable to the raiding scene. A well skilled Ranger will focus on providing DPS, damage shielding the tank, snaring mobs, and assisting with pulls and small heals.
Priests are WIS-based magic users. They gain new spells slightly less often than their INT-based counterparts, Meditate at level 8, and Spell Specialization at level 30. All priests can heal, root, and buff HP/AC. Druids and shamans are much more versatile than clerics, trading healing prowess for utility and support spells. Priests are generally less durable than hybrids and melee classes, but more durable than casters. Just about every group under the sun is going to need a healer to keep it above ground.
- Type: Priest
- Roles: Healer (best), Support (HP and AC buffs, lulls, resurrection)
- Stats: WIS, STA, DEX, AGI, CHA
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, given their ability to resurrect and heal efficiently. Clerics have the highest staple AC/HP buffs in the game, but their best buff costs a gem to cast, which most groups will compensate for by allowing the cleric to loot gem drops. At higher levels their resurrection spells can almost completely negate the exp lost from death. They have decidedly less utility than their druid and shaman brothers, but they can assist pulls with their lull spells, stun mobs, and have remarkably mana efficient undead nukes. A well skilled cleric will keep their party alive and buffed, pick the best moment and spell to heal so as to be mana efficient, root mobs to assist with CC, and sense when a party wipe is incoming so they can camp out in time, come back, and rez the dead.
- Type: Priest
- Roles: Healer, Support (buffs, thorns, snare), DPS (moderate)
- Stats: WIS, STA, DEX, AGI, STR
Description: Druids are one of the most versatile classes around and are renown soloers. Their ability to port to the various druid rings around the world, buff run speed with SoW, and track mobs make them excellent travelers. They make decent healers (although outclassed by a 60 shaman with Torpor) and provide various useful buffs, such as run speed, damage shield, hp/ac, and regen. The druid's damage shield and regeneration spells make them sought after power levelers for low level characters and are constantly barraged with requests for buffs and ports. They are the squishiest of the three priest classes and are limited to leather armor. A well skilled druid will keep regen and damage shield up on the tank, snare mobs, nuke without pulling aggro, keep evac loaded in case things get messy, and provide heals or DPS when needed.
- Type: Priest
- Roles: Healer, Support (buffs, haste, slows), DPS (moderate)
- Stats: WIS, STA, DEX, STR, AGI
Description: Shamans are the druid's bigger, bulkier cousin, gaining access to chain armor and the ability to slow a mobs attack rate to a snails pace. They boast impressive dots and direct damage spells, and can eventually summon a spirit companion pet. Where shamans really shine are their stat buffs, haste, and slows, pumping themselves and their allies up to Herculean stature, boosting their attack speed, and slowing down their foes attacks to drastically decrease the damage taken. Similar to Necromancers, shamans gain a line of spells that lowers their hp in return for mana, cannibalizing themselves. A well skilled shaman will almost always be cannibalizing, know when to slow (or not, when the mob will die too quickly), know when to malo (lowering the resists of the mob), keep their party buffed with stat buffs, regen, and haste, and provide heals or DPS when needed.
Casters are INT-based magic-users. They gain new spells every 4-5 levels, Meditate at level 4, Research at level 16, and Spell Specialization at level 20. Wizards and magicians are heavily focused on dealing instant damage, necromancers deal in health/mana manipulation and damage over time spells, and enchanters are highly sought after for their crowd control abilities and haste and clarity spell lines. Magicians and necromancers are particularly powerful solo classes due to their summoned pets, while enchanters (and to a lesser extent necros and druids) have the potential to out-damage every other class in the game with their high risk / high reward charm spells.
- Type: Caster
- Roles: DPS (extreme direct damage and area of effect nukes)
- Stats: INT, STA, DEX, AGI, STR
Description: Wizards are the epitome of the term 'glass cannon'. Much like rogues are the king of sustained DPS, wizards are the king of burst DPS. They are highly sought after by raid guilds for their burst damage on raid targets and their porting abilities. Although not as proficient as necros and mages, wizards can carve out a nice solo career by rooting and nuking mobs (and quad kiting at higher levels). Though they do receive some self-buffs to increase their survivability, they are better off blasting from afar in groups, and only after the tank has gained sufficient aggro. In addition to the normal wizard spire ports, they are the only class that can port people to the Plane of Hate and the Plane of Sky. A well skilled wizard will be able to time their nukes so as to not draw aggro or waste any of the damage, know when to empty their mana bar to quickly clear the camp of mobs and when to nuke conservatively, and keep evacuate loaded in case the group is going to wipe.
- Type: Caster
- Roles: Support (crowd control, mana regeneration, haste), DPS (charmed pets)
- Stats: INT, CHA, STA, DEX, AGI, STR
Description: Enchanters are the go to class for crowd control and support. Like shaman, they can boost or cripple attack speed with their haste and slow spells. They have access to powerful mesmerise spells that can completely stop mobs from attacking until they're awoken, and charm spells that can turn your enemies into allies for short (and somewhat random) periods of time. They also get summoned pets, but lack the ability to give them orders, which limits their use in groups. their Clarity line of spells provide long lasting mana regeneration buffs that are constantly sought after. Enchanters also have the unique ability to disguise themselves with illusions to look like anything from a troll to a tree which gives them access to many more towns and quests than other classes. A well skilled enchanter will always be in control of the situation regardless of what the puller brought to camp, charm a pet for optimal DPS, keep the right stuns and mezzes loaded and keep the group buffed with haste and clarity.
- Type: Caster
- Roles: DPS (high), Support (heals, rez, lull, root, mez)
- Stats: INT, STA, DEX, AGI, STR
Description: Necromancers are the masters of the undead and expert manipulators of hitpoints and mana. They have a wide variety of undead-only spells that put them nearly on par with enchanters and wizards as long as their target is undead. Necromancers can transfer mana and hitpoints to other players at the cost of their own, but they can also efficiently siphon hp from enemies and regain mana faster than any other class, albeit at the expense of slowly draining their own hp. Their summoned pets are outclassed only by magicians, their DoTs second to none, and their undead-only charm and nuke spells can take necromancer DPS to ungodly levels. The combination of their dots, snares, pets, fears, and variety of utility spells give necromancers unparalleled solo capability. Necromancers are incredibly good at getting out of sticky situations, with the ability to siphon hp, feign death, become invulnerable for 18 seconds, summon corpses, and even rez at high levels (and at high cost). A well skilled necromancer is constantly busy, transferring mana and hp to their party members, siphoning hp from mobs to replenish their own, keeping their pet buffed and on the right target, providing backup CC with roots and short duration mez, and nuking or doting depending on the group composition.
- Type: Caster
- Roles: DPS (high), Tank (off-tanking with pet)
- Stats: INT, STA, DEX, AGI, STR
Description: Magicians are the masters of ephemeral conjuration. In addition to summoning the most powerful pets in the game, they can also summon a number of useful No Rent that disappear when you log In terms of mechanics, magicians are essentially wizards who have sacrificed some of their nuking efficiency (and the ability to port) for a powerful elemental pet. Magicians have powerful solo capabilities due to their pets and nukes, but they lack the ability to cast root. Due to their heavy reliance on pets, they are perhaps the least gear dependent class in the game, and thus make an excellent starting class for those looking to focus on leveling instead of gear. A well skilled mage will know when and how to chain summon pets, what type of pet to summon based on the situation, how to properly off-tank with their pet as a form of CC, how to nuke without drawing aggro, how to control their pets in a situation with multiple mobs, and to keep a damage shield up on the tank.
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.
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.
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.
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 the Pet Guide)
- /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
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 emotes.
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.
Money, Gear, and Trading
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.
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.
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.
This section is a compendium of general information that you will find handy in understanding the game.
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.
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, look at the corresponding mob page.
It's easier to lose faction than to gain it so be careful, but don't be paranoid. For more information see Faction.
Spells, Skills, and Pets
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.
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.
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.
See Tradeskills for several guides for those interested in becoming artisans.
See the Pet Guide.
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 Travel Guide.
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.
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.
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
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.
Zone EXP Bonuses
As if there weren't enough EXP modifiers, you will receive bonuses for killing mobs in certain zones as explained Recommended Levels and ZEM List.
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 Players:Newbie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Acknowledgements and Updates
Originally written by Dumbledorf.
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 make additions to this guide.
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