Welcome to our beginner's guide to EverQuest progression servers! The point of this guide is simple: Help new(er) players start and have fun on a new Everquest progression server.
This guide is not crunching any numbers or going into end-game mechanics. We won't even be min/maxing. This is for beginners, and meant as a starting point to begin your adventure. To several of our friends who are playing for the first time on the Coirnav server, we hope this helps!
Updates will be made regularly to the guide as we update info.
EverQuest has a slightly different class setup than most modern MMORPGs. The "holy trinity" of classes actually doesn't include DPS, but instead focuses on tanking, healing, and crowd control. Let's take a look at the class archetype breakdown.
Crowd Control / Utility
The lists above don't paint a completely accurate picture. Some classes listed as DPS become significantly more about Utility, and some listed as Utility can easily be the best DPS. For that reason, I'm going to go into a little more depth on each class to provide insights into their gameplay.
The most straight forward tank of them all. Warriors can be tough to start because they lack the "snap aggro" abilities that a Paladin or Shadow Knight have, but they quickly (mid-late 20's) come into their own. Solid class for anyone who enjoys tanking.
Paladins can access the cleric line of spells, but they lag behind by several tiers. Paladins can even user weaker resurrect spells. Paladins are great tanks early and later in the game. One of their best abilities is Lay on Hands which acts as a massive heal.
Shadow Knights can access necromancer spells, but they lag behind in spell tiers as well. They get a weak (nearly worthless) pet, and several abilities which help to hold aggro very well.
The only pure healer, and by far the best healer in the game. Clerics have access to a myriad of healing spells, buffs, and minor utility spells. Clerics are a mandatory class.
Druids are one of the few truly 'jack-of-all-trade' classes. They can heal, nuke, dot, buff, solo, and group. While they dabble in everything, they specialize in nothing. Druids won't get groups as easy as a pure caster dps or a cleric, but that doesn't mean their value in a group isn't recognizable. A good Druid can effectively "quad kite" which means kite four mobs at a time solo. Lastly, Druids get teleport spells which makes traveling (and having others tip you for a port) very easy.
Shaman are a great support class. They can off-heal well, buff the group, and even debuff monsters with an attack speed decrease debuff and magic resist debuff that every group will insist you use.
The hardest nuking caster class. Wizards are the truest glass cannon in the game. If you enjoy simply nuking monsters, then a Wizard is a good choice. Early on they are tough to solo with due to mana problems and having to keep monsters at a distance, but later on they can quad kite. Wizards, like Druids, can teleport around the world.
Often referred to as "Mage". Magicians are caster dps with a pet. Early on, your pet will be a huge part of your damage but will always remains a nice source of dps even at later levels. Mages can nuke well, and are always welcome in a group. Later on they get a spell to summon players in a raid and are jokingly brought along simply for this spell.
One of the most dynamic classes in the game. Necromancers get a pet which does less damage than a Magician's, but still a significant damage source. Necros deal their damage with dots. They can feign death, thus making an enemy think they are dead. This provide a huge boon to their solo ability. Necromancers are arguably the best solo class in the game. Due to their undead nukes, they're also very welcome in two of the best leveling spots in the entire game during the first 50 levels.
Monks are the "pulling" class in EverQuest. Groups will rely on you to go out and bring back monsters to the group. Having the ability to feign death helps greatly for pulling. Due to broken hand-to-hand combat damage tables, Monks do significantly more damage they they really should for quite some time. They can use blunt weapons as well, so be sure you're raising those skills.
Rogues are a very simple class early on, and due don't really come into their own for couple expansions. Rogues are much simpler in EverQuest than newer MMOs. They're purely melee dps with few abilities, but decent damage. If you like being a late bloomer and prefer to be sneaky, a Rogue could be good.
Though not as pathetic as they once were at the start of the game, Rangers are still a fairly weak class until later expansions. Rangers are a melee class during vanilla EQ, and gain access to Druid spells but lagged a few tiers behind. Rangers can serve as a tank in a pinch during leveling zones, and even pullers.
Enchanters are the kings of crowd control. They can mez (which renders enemy monsters unable to take action as long as they aren't damaged), charm (take an enemy as a pet), debuff, and buff. They have clarity, which is the best mana regen group buff. Though harder to play for a newbie, the Enchanter is a powerful class in the hands of someone good at multitasking. Charming a pet can yield some of the highest damage in a group, so you WILL be expected to charm a pet at all times.
Bards buff a group and debuff the enemy through use of songs. Though nowhere near the complexity of "twisting" songs in the past, Bards still use multiple songs at once to string together various buffs for their groups. Much of the complexity is now handled by the UI. Bards can crowd control like an enchanter, and even charm. They can also provide mana regen. Bards are even sometimes asked to pull for groups. This is not a class to play if you just want to sit back and relax.
Races, Stats, and Deity
Picking a race was once more complicated. Ultimately, the best answer is "pick what looks cool to you." However, there are some noticeable benefits for choosing particular race/class combinations. Let's highlight a few.
Some races have innate benefits unique to that race. Looking beyond the "X race makes the best Y class," there are some abilities and passive traits that give certain races an advantage.
Ogre - Immune to frontal stun. This makes them great tanks, and some even like them as Shaman. Lots of strength means you can carry a lot too.
Troll - Amazing innate health regen which is always convenient, but particularly good as Shaman because of their spell that trades health for mana. They regen it back faster with their regen spell on them. Also lots of strength.
Halflings - Small experience bonus
Large Races (Troll, Ogre, Barbarian) - These races can use Slam, which allows them to interrupt the enemy's casting.
Let's keep this incredibly simple. There are two schools of thought: (1) Knowing you can cap some stats easier later on (future expansions), put starting points into the stats that are harder to cap, (2) Put starting points into your most important stats at start to make life easier. Are you going to play for a year or two and be hardcore? Probably find a different guide. I prefer the here and now, knowing the server will probably be dead by the time it matters.
Bottom line, it's hard to (long term) screw up your character with your limited starting points, but let's make your life easier. Race ultimately doesn't matter. Let's look at some QOL starting stats.
Intelligence Casters (Necro, Wizard, Magician) - Max INT, rest into STA
Wisdom Casters (Druid, Shaman, Cleric) - Max Wisdom, rest into STA
Enchanter - Int, then the rest into strength to carry more or stamina. I separated this class from the others because there's often a misconception that charisma really matters. The data has shown you simply don't need a lot. Mana early on will help more.
Bard - Like the Enchanter, there is debate. The best quality of life recommendation is STR to carry your plate armor.
Monk - Agi to 75, rest in STR
Ranger - Balance STR/Dex
Rogue - DEX and AGI to 75, rest into STR
Some races are inherently evil or good because of the gods they worship. For example, Ogres and Trolls will be kill-on-sight everywhere. Some combinations, like Gnome Necromancer, are less KOS than a Dark Elf Necromancer, but are generally still considered evil.
Other than worshiping a god that some races may revile, some of the later implications are what quests you can do and what idols you can use. This guide will not get that granular. Your default deity should be fine. Enchanter tip: Going agnostic means you can go into cities with illusions.
Where to Level
Depending on where you start and your race, this will vary. The following are where we prefer to group.
Leveling Guide Overview
1-6: Starting area
6-10: Greater Faydark (outside Crushbone) / Crushbone
6-10: Commonlands / Deserts of Ro
28-44: Lower Guk
44-50: Lower Guk / The Hole
(Note: Almar's Leveling Guide is fairly complete if you're looking for alternatives)
Many zones what something called a "zone experience modifier" or "ZEM" which means you get more experience in that zone than others. Crushbone, Unrest, and Guk all have great ZEM.
(Note: The 3/6/2018 patch adjusted ZEM. Further testing may alter our recommended zones, but unlikely.)
Crushbone is a great zone for low level players to get acclimated with the quasi-indoor zone experience. The "Wall" is a great place to level from 7-10. Watch out for trains! You can manipulate the mob pathing near the entrance to buy you a few seconds. The mobs will often run back and forth near the two flags for a few seconds.
Unrest has two main areas: (1) The Yard, and (2) The House.
The yard (often called "yard trash") can comfortably support two groups. Gazebo on the right, and the wall surrounding the yard (usually camping on the left side) are popular spots. Watch out for swarming beetles and other highly-social mobs.
The Yard can support you easily from level 9'ish until 14 or 15 if you pull from the Back and Side Room of the mansion.
Once you're level 15'ish you can go into the house "Main Room" of the mansion and pull all of the rooms on the first floor until around level 19 or 20. Then you can go up to the "Fireplace" and pull the second floor until level 24-25. From there, you can group in the Basement until level 30.
Lower Guk is comprised of the "Live" and "Undead" sides. Most of the time you'll be in the Undead side. This zone has some of the best loot in the game pre-Kunark, and also some of the best leveling camps. Unfortunately, this also means you'll find the worst people and personalities here too. Watch for bad trains (often on purpose).
Most players can start here in the high 20's in what's called the "Bedroom". From there you'll progress to camps like the Ass/Sup, Cav/Exe, etc. These acronyms represent the named monsters.
If you can't Invisibility vs. Undead yourself, I highly recommend buying potions. This will allow you to sneak your way past undead Frogloks and down to your group. Groups don't take kindly to people who can't get themselves to the group.
How Gear Works
Gearing up in EverQuest is signiicantly different from modern games. Seemingly crappy items you find at level 10 may last you until level 50. In fact, you may find a "best in slot" item at level 24.
While gear matters, it doesn't make or break you for most of the leveling experience. Replacing crappy gear doesn't really start to happen often until your 30's.
We recommend you focus less on obtaining great gear, and more on making sure you play your class properly and contribute the most you can to a group. Gear will come.
Our only current recommendation for weapons is for melee dps to quickly find a magical weapon to allow you to use magical and undead creatures. Going into Unrest beyond level 12 without one will pose a problem. Your best bet is to buy an ornament skin from the cash shop which will make your weapon Magical.
Most characters who can wear anything above cloth will quickly want to get Banded armor, which is created by other players. This can technically be used until 50, but should be replaced asap if you can get your hands on drops with stats. Bronze armor is a step above Banded for plate wearers, and can be obtained in Unrest.
Cloth wearers will probably find themselves wearing basic cloth until they get a drop or buy a robe from others.
Jewelry is mostly made by other players. Rings, Bracelets, and Earrings comprise the big ones. Some of the jewelry is more expensive when the gems are rare, such as Black Diamonds. If you find gems, you might be able to barter with a jewelcrafter to get a deal. Since jewelry is the fastest way to get stats early, don't hesitate to get some.
Camping for Items
EverQuest items typically all come from specific named monsters. The Ancient Croc in Upper Guk drops the Gator Legs, which are a great Druid item. That means Druids (and anyone wanting to sell them) will camp this location and wait for the spawn.
Mobs typically have spawn conditions, and will spawn on a timer. The Ancient croc, for example, spawns around every 16 minutes -- or his placeholder will. Certain mobs will spawn in place of a rare mob, meaning you have to clear those mobs before the rare mob can spawn.
When someone is checking if a spawn is camped, they may ask in chat "CC" or "Camp check" to which you should promptly reply the camp you're occupying. Even though the "play nice" rules have been around for nearly 20 years, people will still try and steal your spawn. It will happen, and it will suck, but life goes on.
Generally speaking, we recommend against crafting. If you are a newer player, you have enough things to worry about without spending your time and resources on crafting.
Unfortunately, crafting in EverQuest is very lackluster. It's more about grinding than anything else. Being such an old game, people have truly min/maxed the curve and know exactly how to race to the top. You will be at a severe disadvantage.
That said, there are three crafts you can do to make money:
Armor - Make Banded armor and ride the wave early, because it dies out fast.
Jewelry - The most lucrative, but requires a willing Enchanter participant. Most jewelcrafters will be Enchanters.
Spell Research - Making player-made spells and selling them can be steady income.
Grouping is always going to be better than soloing on a progression server. Despite some classes being better at soloing, we have found over the many years of playing on these servers that soloing experience and locations have been nerfed. For that reason, we highly recommend grouping.
Progression servers will give you multiple versions of the same zone when there are too many players in a zone. These numbers vary per zone. At any given time, there may be 30 zones of Unrest. If the zone you're in is too full, type /pick and find one with fewer people.
You can also use /pick to watch for when a new pick opens. This is a good way to grab a popular camp.
Spellcasters should remember to purchase their spells ahead of time. In a good group, you can easily gain several levels. Reaching that next milestone of a new nuke or heal, and not having it, sucks. Purchase them ahead of time and keep them in your bags.
Saving enough plat to purchase your spells is also advisable. The links below will show you what spells you get at what level, and where to find them.
Progression Server Spell List - This is the best list of spells per era. Be sure to sort by your class and the expansion/era you're in. Note: This website is often down.
Allakhazam's Spell List - Here you can sort by class, expansions, and level. Not quite as easy-to-use as the one above, but doesn't go offline.
Some spells are only made by other players. Some of your spells (1 or 2) may be player-made in the 20's, then by the time you are in your 40's most of your spells may be player-made. Look for deals, but remember to save a significant amount of platinum for them.
40 Slot Broker's Backpack Set
Available at the start of each progression server, Daybreak sells a 40-slot backpack with weight reduction. This is $34.99, and comes with 3 25% experience potions. Whether or not this is valuable to you will greatly depend on your race and stats. Ogres may not care as much as a wood elf bard who can't carry their gear plus anything to sell.
What to Sell
Gems and basic weapons will be your bread and butter vendor loot. As you level you'll go from Rusty to Bronze, then to Fine Steel weapons. Once you start getting the better weapons, don't pick up the lower tier anymore -- it'll just weigh you down.
Avoid picking up most things that say "LORE", as they are meant for a later era and can't even be sold to a vendor. When in doubt, quickly google the item to see if it's worth keeping.
Many things will drop such as "pages" and things. Most of those are from an older era when they were used in spell research. Vendor if you can, but generally ignore them.
Any items that appear to be properly named or have stats you should keep and check the server's auction website to see if anyone is willing to pay for it.
Players will congregate in the Commonlands tunnel (between Commonlands and the Desert of Ro) to sell their items. As a result, this zone is 24/7 spammed with trade auctions. Looking for a specific item or want to sell something? Go there. Alternatively, there are often /auction channels you can join which tend to be world or continent specific.
We highly recommend the Brewall's EverQuest Maps. These maps add to and replace the existing game maps to provide you with specific locations. These are a must-have for everyone.
Krono are an item that can be redeemed for a month of game time. Krono can be purchased from Daybreak at a price higher than the monthly subscription price. These items can then be traded in-game, across all servers. These items act as an integral part of the in-game economy, and will fluctuate in price - usually always going up in price.
Eventually, Krono becomes the main currency and players will trade valuable magic items for a set number of Krono. For example, Golden Efreeti Boots may go for 6 Krono.
Cash Shop Items
Various items can be purchased from the cash shop. These items are mostly cosmetic in nature such as pets, weapon effects, and armor appearances.
Potions can also be purchased, and provide a variety of benefits. Some provide an experience boost, others mana regen, etc.
You can purchase these items at your discretion, but we definitely recommend spending your monthly All Access stipend on the deal that comes up for cheaper potions.
3/9/2018 7:15pm - Guide posted
Going to have to come back when I have more time to read all that in detail before I comment, but I just wanted to say I’m frankly amazed there’s anyone playing on the new Prog server who hasn’t played EQ before. I thought the entire target market was current and ex-EQ players either looking for a fresh start or a nostalgia hit. I’d be very interested to hear the reactions from some of those completely-new-to-EQ players – and to hear how long they stick it out.
I was surprised too! A few of us were talking in Discord about going back to play the leveling game and three of our friends chimed in and said they wanted to join us. I was happily surprised, and knew they would need some help navigating this nearly 20 year old game so many of us love.
Read the whole guide now – very sound. Should be very helpful for real newbies. Also the link to Brewall’s Maps was new to me. I use something else (can’t remember what without logging in) but new maps are always good.
Couple of things surprised me. I grouped with many enchanters back in the day (“the day” being 2001-2007, mostly) and my heart sank every time one of them would charm a pet. Most groups I was in would point blank tell them to stop or just let them do it and then let them die when they inevitably lost control. There was a time when I grouped regularly with a couple of very good Enchanters from big raiding guilds. One of them always insisted on charming a pet and given his experience and status we could hardly tell him not to. He didn’t ever get killed by his own pet because he was too good for that but any benefit there was in the extra DPS was often outweighed by the time he had to spend getting the thing back under control. I’d always rather see the Enchanter concentrating on mezzing adds and keeping haste and runes up rather than fiddling about charming mobs.
Also Bards. This will vary by expansion, I guess, but by the time of LDoN Bards were absolutely the top choice for puller. Monks had had their day by then. Bards are hard to play, though (or they were) so the quality of service varies a lot.
As for your suggested leveling route i think I’d have given up playing in three months if I’d had to do that. It reduces the game to five or six zones. I’m not saying it isn’t the most efficient and indeed even when I was first playing there were plenty of people going that route but I’d hate to think of newcomers thinking EQ was all about sitting in a room in Lower Guk for days on end. What about Blackburrow instead of (or as well as) Crushbone? Or Splitpaw, which, depending which version they use for Coirnav, would come in somewhere across Unrest/LGuk? Or Sol Ro? Or Najena (I love Najena). And that’s just dungeons. The birdhouse in South Karana was always one of my favorite leveling spots – you can do 10 to 25 there in a group (from memory, might be a bit out) and it’s under the open skies!
Anyway, now I feel like playing myself. I’d like to see what those ne ZEMs are. That’s on Live, I think?
Enchanters will absolutely be expected to have a charm pet, always, on progression servers. Charm is easy to manage these days and a charmed pet will outdps the rest of the group combined in many cases, especially early on.
I know it wasn’t always like this but any Enchanter not charming on a progression server is going to be labeled as bad. It’s tantamount to a tank not taunting or a Cleric not healing. Enchanters are the most powerful group class in the game by a good measure and one of the more difficult classes to play well. Any Enchanter worth their salt should be able to do all the things you mentioned plus keep a charmed pet.
His leveling guide is spot on if your goal is finding groups and being efficient, though I do hope the ZEM changes spread things out a bit more.
Now’days, charming a pet is the highest form of DPS a group can hope to have. It will out-damage everyone by a HUGE margin. In fact, Necromancers are even expected to charm undead pets as soon as they can in Unrest and LGuk. It’s THAT ridiculous.
Bards are still great pullers. I never complain about a Bard pulling in a group. I think Monks are usually pulling more often when there’s a great need to speed pulls and feign death.
Blackburrow works for sure if you’re on the Qeynos side of the world. Nice for ‘good’ races. I usually avoid it because of the travel inconvenience on a new server.
Splitpaw sadly sucks compared to Unrest. It’s that ridiculously under-performing on the experience. 🙁 Mobs density is so low, and it’s super inconvenient to get to out in the middle of South Karana. If they ramped up the ZEM and made it work it, I’d go again.
In real vanilla I was always at the Aviak village, just not really worth it anymore. SolB is still frequented, and Najena is a nice spot. Just not ideal for exp, but has some nice loot and a fun zone.
The new exp modifiers are probably on live, and will be on Coirnav at launch.
Being one of those that never played EQ but have played MMO for many years I am too surprised I never gave the game a go. I did dabble in EQ2 for a few weeks way back when they had their first free trial. I am just curious to try EQ out and see if I really missed out on something great. Any help for me at this stage is much appreciated.
Any questions you have while playing, you can always ask. There’s a mindset you have to place yourself in when going back to an older game. The question of whether you missed out on something is a really hard one to answer in hindsight. I hope you enjoy the game as much as I do!
Many enchanters will make the mistake of trying to charm yellows or whites. While those mobs have higher dps the charm breaks way more often. Blues, a low blue, or even light blues are the way to go. The charm will often last the full duration on mobs a few levels lower than you.
Most groups will now leave the decision of charming up to the enchanters rather than always expecting an enchanter to charm. An inexperienced charmer can actually slow a group down.
A white pet should be very doable. My Enchanter on Agnar was taming whites consistently until 45+, at which point I was taming blues more often. Yellows were doable in the mid-late 20’s in unrest because of the specific mobs. Always scary, but they don’t really hit as hard then.
Looking forward to trying out EQ for the first time!
I was trying to resist the urge but I will be back as per usual. Probably won’t get to group much with you guys due to the time difference but will hang out when I can.
I know some people prefer the stock UI, but eqinterface is still alive and kicking for those who prefer something a little more slick. I highly recommend Vert UI, of which I use the blue variant myself. I’m also a huge fan of TKing spell icons and spell gems, which I always use whenever I come back and play.
Vert UI is good. I personally prefer the base UI just because I like to keep things simple without any fuss.