Everquest The Darkened Sea Leveling Guide
It's a common trend in Everquest during the later expansions for people who are just starting out to be overwhelmed by all of the changes in the game and how much progress they have to make in order to catch up. Luckily though it doesn't take nearly as long for you to do the lower levels anymore and with the addition of Mercenaries and Defiant gear you'll breeze through these levels really quickly.
You can also drastically increase the speed of which you level by making sure your account is gold (meaning you're subscribed to the game) and also by playing more than 1 account at a time; something commonly refered to as boxing. Boxing can be a rather controversial topic in Everquest since many people dislike that it gives you an advantage over other players. It's just like every other hobby - the more time and money you're willing to invest into it the more you'll get out of it.
I strongly feel that boxing is the best way to enjoy Everquest. If this is something that interests you please check out my guide for getting started as a new boxer. Regardless of your decision to box or not the following guide assumes that you're just a solo player with a Journeyman Tank Mercenary.
Although my guide assumes you aren't Free to Play you can still use them if you are. Just instead of leaving each level location at the levels I suggest you may want to stay there a level or two longer since your merc is weaker. With the release of The Serpents Spine most players start out in Crescent Reach, which is where this new leveling guide will start us.
Follow the link below to be taken to a more indepth guide about each location for that level range.
That just about covers it for all the locations 1 - 50! The next batch of locations are going to be a bit tougher for you and you should check The Bazaar for any gear that's available for you to use as well as turn on your Auto Grant AAs which you can find in the AA window in the top right. All of these locations should be easily possible as 1 character and a Mercenary.
If you can't Autogrant AAs along the way you'll need to stop and grind them otherwise progression will get really hard later. Levels being more important than AAs "always" is complete nonsense at this point in the game, without at least the most important AAs for your class you'll end up getting rolled. Luckily though, as far as I understand it, autogrant AAs should always be a part of Everquest now even on Special Ruleset servers.
TDS Leveling Guide 50 - 80
The next few locations are mostly going to be focused on providing you with a decent amount of platinum from both vendor loot as well as raw plat drops. You should have been able to hodge-podge together a set of Defiant gear from mob drops by this point.. but we're going to need more.
Gearing your character is going to become extremely important over these next 10 - 20 levels. I want you to understand that getting platinum for gear and to pay for your Mercenary is just as important as getting experience for levels at this point. We're not going to be able to depend entirely on our Tank merc anymore so it's important that your character can start holding their own.
50 - 60 Old Sebilis
50 - 60 Chardok
55 - 70 Crypt of Decay (Boxer/Group; Undead Enemies)
50 - 60 Veksar (Harder Difficulty; Undead Enemies)
55 - 60 Howling Stones (Boxer/Group Only)
50 - 65 Grieg's End
50 - 63 Acrylia Caverns (Best EXP/Worst Money)
50 - 60 Siren's Grotto (Best Money/Slightly Annoying Zone)
60 - 70 Plane of Fire
65 - 70 Wall of Slaughter
60 - 70 Crypt of Decay (Boxer/Group; Social)
60 - 65 Siren's Grotto (Best Money/Lowest EXP)
60 - 65 Dragon Necropolis (Boxer/Group; Decent Vendor Trash; Antisocial)
TDS Leveling Guide 80 - 95
Now is when it starts to get much tougher! You'll need to value gear just as much as you value experience from now on. Hopefully I don't have to go into massive detail and explain how important gear is in EQ to you - but basically if you keep running around in defiant at this point you're not going to get anywhere.
Heroic Stats come into play from now on and play a large role in the future progression of your character. Armor class is still extremely important and if you're someone whose taking hits from enemies at all you should put some focus into increasing yours with each gear upgrade.
Once you reach level 70 you'll be able to group with players who are level 100, the current max level. The equation to tell if you can group with another player is half your level + 1; with a maximum difference of 30 levels. During the Rain of Fear expansion with level 100 being the new cap it's important you start remembering the 30 level maximum limit between group members.
80-85 Oceangreen Hills (If Solo) // Loping Plains Worgs (If Boxer/LFG)
80 - 90 Old Commonlands (Antisocial)
80 - 85 Field of Scale
80 - 85 Oceangreen Village
80 - 85 Katta Castrum (Relatively Weak enemies)
80 - 90 Fortress Mechanotus
80 - 90 Gyrospire Beza
80 - 90 Gyrospire Zeka
85 - 95 House of Thule, Lower Floors // The Grounds
85 - 90 Toskirakk
85 - 95 Kaesora Library
85 - 90 Korascian Warrens
90 - 100 Valley of Lunanyn
90 - 100 Beast's Domain
85 - 95 Rathe Council Chambers
TDS Leveling Guide 95 - 100
Depending on what class you are, how good your gear is, how many AAs you have and whether or not you're boxing determines where you should go to level up at next. If you're not boxing or able to group with other players from here on out things are going to start getting pretty tough for you.
If you haven't already now is one of the best times for you to gear up through The Bazaar. Unless your server is extremely low population you should be able to get at least half a set of VoA/RoF gear which will greatly assist you in the levels to come.
One thing Solo players will want to keep in mind is there's an NPC in PoK nearby the Guild Lobby entrance named Franklin Teek. This guy offers daily quests which require you to do some killing in Hotzones which'll give you a nice break from all of your daily grinds for EXP.
Shard's Landing (Solo/Boxer) Extremely Social - This is the best spot for under geared characters to hunt. There are a bunch of Relatively Weak enemies in Shard's Landing which can be found around the mountains of the large central dome area. There's an occasional regular mob mixed in with them so you'll need to be careful if you can't handle a regular enemy.
The Grounds (Solo/Boxer/Group) Social Zone - The Grounds is a fantastic zone which tons of mobs to kill and enough room for 5 or more groups! This is usually my go-to zone when leveling alts that aren't geared the best. When RoF hits and you can get a mixture of the level 92 RoF gear on your characters from T1 - you'll tear this zone up.
Valley of Lunanyn (Solo/Boxer/Group) Moderately Social - This zone is a pretty popular one during the VoA era. It's split into two parts, the top half is Tier 1 enemies which are pretty easy to kill and the bottom half of the zone has Tier 2 which gets a bit more tough. The zone has enough spaced out enemies for you to pull mobs to safety and even kite if you'd like.
Beast's Domain (Kiting/Boxer/Group) Antisocial - This zone is connected to Evantil, The Vile Oak which you'll probably want to attune to while you're in the area. There are tons of different camps in this zone since the zone is so HUGE; you're unlikely to bump into another group if anyone is here. You'll also have the room to kite just about anywhere as long as what you're pulling doesn't summon.
Erillion, City of Bronze (Kiting/Boxer/Group) Antisocial - In order to reach Shard's Landing on foot you'll have to pass through this absolutely massive zone. The City of Bronze is broken up into two sections, the inner sanctum/city which you'll most definitely need a group for and the outskirts of the city where you'll find many different roamers which you can safely pull to the walls for solo kills.
Grelleth's Palace (Field Killing) Semi-social - This is a decent spot for EXP just like the Field camp in Evantil. The thing that makes this camp a little bit worse though is the named, Stitches. He has an extremely annoying knockback mechanic that will send your group flying around the entire zone. Unlike Evantil though at this camp in Grelleth you'll also be getting Befouled Silk which is a huge money maker. Other loot you can expect to get here is Planar Energy Shards, Planar Goo, Dreadmotes.
Evantil, The Vile Oak (Field Killing) Semi-social - This zone is also a wide open field with one large tree in the middle which houses some alarans and ants. The main area to hunt in this zone is the large field surrounding the central tree. There are occasional safe spots to pull mobs to along the walls which is where you'll be camping; your location depends on the named(s) you're pulling. Aside from the first floor of the tree, the top of the tree offers a decent hunting location with a unique named, Ruaabri. The common loot you'll get while hunting in Evantil is Planar Energy Shards, Planar Goo, Befouled Silk, Dreadmotes.
Valley of King Xorbb (Field Killing/Dungeon Crawl) - This zone is another huge one with many different options for you. You can stay topside and find a camp pulling all different kinds of enemies or travel down into the sewers and fight enemies there. I recommend you stay away from the underground tunnels, the sewers are ok but the tunnels have some tricky enemies that mind control and fear.
Chelsith Reborn (Field Killing) Semi-social - On the same beach you zone in at in Chelsith Reborn you'll find one of the best camps in the zone. On the far end of the beach where Floppy Flick is located you'll be able to pull turtles, crocodiles and shissar enemies. The common loot you'll get while hunting in Chelsith is Planar Energy Shards, Planar Goo, Befouled Silk, Dreadmotes.
Plane of Shadow (Field Killing/Dungeon Crawl) - Much like the other RoF zones Plane of Shadow has a location for players of all types. There are a few wide open fields in the southern portion of the zone as well as a ton of monsters to kill in the huge castle which makes up a majority of the zone.
Heart of Fear - Candle of Hollowed Souls (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This camp is extremely out of the way and is very dangerous to get to unless your group has both normal Invisibility and Invisibility to Undead; IV and IVU as they're known. Though once you get here there are plenty of safe spots in the area to pull to and since this camp is so out of the way you'll barely ever get bothered here. The mob you're going to be farming is Soulhollow. Aside from Soulhollow you'll also be able to kill another named at this camp quite often, A Vision of Fear. The main item we're here for is, Candle of Hollowed Souls and other loot worth saving here is all the Dreadmotes you get from nameds as well as Planar Energy Shards.
Heart of Fear - Herald's Glyph (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This camp is extremely out of the way and is very dangerous to get to unless your group has both normal Invisibility and Invisibility to Undead; IV and IVU as they're known. There is one or two nearby safe locations but they don't give much wiggle room at the camp. There are actually two other nameds nearby this location too you could pull if you have a good enough group. The main item we're here for is, Herald's Glyph and other loot worth saving here is all the Dreadmotes you get from nameds as well as Planar Energy Shards.
The Dead Hills (Field Killing) Antisocial - Aside from Heroic Adventures players can hunt "behind the scenes" so to speak in Dead Hills. In the northern section of the zone there are mobs that spawn that are frequented for their XP. No nameds spawn up here and the loot isn't the best but the XP can be good enough to draw a crowd. Since there are no nameds up here it makes it pretty easy for those who are under geared, leveled or AA'd. Loot worth keeping an eye out for at this location includes, Ethernere Essence.
The Dead Hills Gribble HAs (Dungeon Crawl) Group or Boxer - The famed Gribbles HA of Dead Hills and really the whole X-pac of CoTF. These are probably the most run Heroic Adventures just because of how easy they are in the entire game. You can farm all three in under an hour if you get quick at it with friends or a boxed group of your own. The loot is good from them and so is the XP - another bonus is there are almost always people LFG for them either in the area or in general chat channels. If you're looking to make friends, this could be it! Loot worth keeping an eye out for at this location includes, Ethernere Essence.
Ethernere West Karana (Field Killing) Antisocial - In the far eastern end of Ethernere - West Karana there lies a mobs that has a name that is impossibly hard to spell without double checking three or four times you did it right. This is a frequented location and mentioned by many when suggesting places to check out and hunt in early CoTF. The XP here is decent and the loot isn't that bad either but if you stick here past 103 expect it to slow down a lot. Loot worth keeping an eye out for at this location includes, Ethernere Essence.
Neriak Fourth Gate - (Dungeon Crawl) Semi Social - In Neriak Fourth Gate one of the better camps is Entrance R`ker. The reason she stands out so much here is because she drops a non prestige augmentation. Non prestige augs are extremely rare so if you're the kind of person who likes letting their boxes go Silver grabbing an aug from here will be a big upgrade over having nothing at all. This named is fairly easy except for the fact that she can mez you, that of course is a total nightmare. Loot worth keeping an eye out for at this location includes, Ethernere Essence.
Argin Hiz - (Field Killing) Antisocial - In Argin Hiz one of the most difficult but best camps is Master Sage Lowenn who drops Sage's Light, one of the better AC/HDex augs in the game. This named is no push over though, he summons a lot of adds that all pack quite a punch. The best strategy I have for him is burning him down as quickly as possible. If you are a group with good DPS make sure all your burns are up before pulling him then you should be able to lay waste to him. Loot worth keeping an eye out for at this location includes, a collectible set that drops off the Blood elves here as well as Ethernere Essence.
TDS 100 - 105 Locations
The locations in this section will include everything added in TDS. Keep in mind that TDS is an expansion that requires flagging to enter basically every single zone. There's only 3 zones you can do that don't require any flagging, Katta Castrum, Tempest Temple and Brother's Island.
If you don't feel like flagging, RoF/CoTF zones still offer some great EXP for this level range - try some of my 95 - 100 locations!
Katta Castrum: Deluge (Field Killing) Social - This is the entry TDS zone. This zone is pretty easy for smaller/weaker groups but not the best for solo players without much gear or experience. There's some relatively weak enemies in Tempest Temple if you can't handle regular enemies your level - alternatively if you're that ungeared/AA'd I'd recommend you stick to an older zone during this level range anyway.
Tempest Temple Goblins (Field Killing) Moderately Social - This location is great for those who would like to fight harder mobs than what are offered in the CoTF T1 zones and want something a bit different than the bland T2 zones CoTF offers. Tempest Temple, Brother Island and Katta Castrum in TDS require no flags. This camp is on the western side of Tempest Temple (opposite of the boat to Brother Island) and is really great for field killing. There is a "druid circle" that is an object on the ground on the western side of the large central island. This is where I usually camp and pull to. There is a collection set that drops off of the mobs here and they also drop other decent loot such as Relic Fragments and all TDS mobs have a rare chance to drop Briny Essences. Nameds drop them commonly.
Brother Island (Field Killing) Moderately Social - This location is pretty popular for people who don't want to do any flagging in TDS but want to fight mobs that are 102 - 105. The rare drop from this zone in TDS is Purity of Chastity. It is a 30 purity aug that has a chance of dropping off of any named in the zone. Much like the Power Sources for all the other TDS zones. One of the best nameds to camp on Brother Island is Lidia the Castaway, she drops a HAGI Aug, Token of the Waveswept as well as Briny essences.
Caverns of Endless Song (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This camp is a bit of a pain in the ass even if you roll in here with a full 6 box. There are a lot of mobs around and they all have a ton of health and some of them have annoying abilities (like mez). The reason I mention this camp though is because of the caster aug that this guy drops, Old Spirespine's Spine. Plus, he has a chance of dropping the caster Power Source Ocean Purification Stone which is a random drop off nameds in this zone. The last thing of interest here is of course, Briny essences.
Degmar Commander (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - The aug he drops isn't that good but you may be interested in it depending on what you have, it's one that almost everyone can find useful especially if you still have crappy ones from hotzones in pieces of gear. This location isn't too bad and you could handle it on a group of 103s or so with the proper CC and a decent tank. If you have good geared 105s you should be able to handle this room + the one behind it with Horthin Blackbook.
Thulisaur Island (Field) Antisocial - This is a great camp if you don't want to be all cooped up inside the temple area, which is the other camp I recommend for Thulisaur. This one you can park safely on the side of just about any mountain where mobs don't roam and pull to here. It makes it great for AFK breaks since there is a safe spot nearby. You don't get that leisure everywhere! Reginasaur is camped for his Reginasaur's Tooth, Briny essences, as well as the random named zone drop, Thaell Ew Totem.
Thulisaur Island (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This guy is tucked away all the way up in the top right corner of the pyramid area and the reason I am mentioning him is because sometimes I enjoy camps where I am fighting humanoids instead of beasts. The loot tables are usually different and also it's definitely a change of scenery in here! The only thing worth hunting at this camp for is the random named zone drop, Thaell Ew Totem and Briny essences if you're after them.
Combine Dredge Franchesca the Feared (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This named drops one of the good heroic stam augs for tanks in TDS. It is prestige, as are all TDS augs. This camp is quite difficult, honestly I found it harder than almost all T1 TBM. You'll need a good healer, good tank and CC if you want to do this on 6 or less. This camp is honestly really annoying for boxers because there are hills and walls everywhere and there isn't really any safe spot. As well as the Fragment of Tenacity Hstam Aug that drops here you can also find the Tank Power Source, Geomantic Steelstone ontop of the usual, Briny essences.
Combine Dredge Necromaticus Abominatio (Semi-Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - Safe spot to pull to in the mining area. Lots of mobs to kill and the pulling is very easy. This is one of the easier camps in the zone if you are after the Power Source that drops here, Geomantic Steelstone or Briny essences. The rest of his loot you will probably find to be junk however.
Locations added during TBM
These locations were added in The Broken Mirror expansion pack. I don't cover any of the Heroic Adventures that the expansion added (which is the main appeal of TBM) but almost every named that drops a decent item is on the list below.
Sul Vius: Demiplane of Life Glorious Cistina (Semi-Dungeon Crawl) Semi-social - One of the nameds that drops an aug in the Demiplane of Life is Glorious Cistina. She is located in the northwestern most building of the zone. I find that the best place to camp her is usually by pulling all of the mobs out of the building or heading into the second floor of the building and pulling them to the balcony. The balcony is safe as are a few spots out front.
Sul Vius: Demiplane of Life Vizier Albert (Field) Semi-social - Probably the best named in the Demiplane of life to camp primarily because of the aug he drops. It's a heroic stam aug with AC on it + hp/mana/end so it makes it quite useful for pretty much any class and it isn't prestige which means if you have a box and usually let him go silver, you'll still benefit! Definitely worth hitting up this guy for a few augs!! What I usually do is camp behind the large building in the Demiplane of life and pull everything out to this location. It's safe here.
Sul Vius: Demiplane of Life Guardian Jenat (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This Named drops a non prestige melee aug which is useful for anyone with melee boxes which remain Free to Play.
Sul Vius: Demiplane of Decay Remnants of the Darkseer (Dungeon Crawl) Social - This is one of the Heroic Dex non prestige augs in TBM. As you could imagine for this reason it is pretty saught after by quite a number of classes. If you're one that's after it, this is a camp you'll want to hit up. How this camp works is there are 3 different floors once you reach the bottom of the center of the zone. Click on the giant statue in the middle to reveal a hidden staircase and you can go down two more floors from there. An assistant to the Darkseer spawns on each floor. There are a few safe spots that are safe on each floor for you to setup camp and afk if you need to bio.
Sul Vius: Demiplane of Decay Master of the House (Field Killing) Social - This guy drops a 2H aug. If you can't get the one from Plane of War then this is a decent alternative. I am not sure what was added in EoK but I know people still use this aug quite frequently. I am mentioning this camp primarily because of the aug, however you may find it to be an annoying camp as most of the time you're going to be pulling mobs out of buildings which will mean constantly opening and closing doors.
Crypt of Sul Bokon Revel the Reborn (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This is one of my favorite Crypt of Sul camps since it's easy to get to and the named doesn't do anything fancy. Also the named drops one awesome aug, Rationalist's Sigil, that is great for Clerics, Druids, Shamans, Tanks - really any one that holds a shield. Also despite the restrictions of the T2 TBM zone (lowering your health/mana/end) this camp actually isn't too bad. As I said before the named doesn't really do anything difficult and also the camp is literally right around the corner from the entrance.
Crypt of Sul The Watcher (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This is one of the hardest camps of Crypt of Sul imo and will take a well coordinated player or group to handle. This guy is in a giant room with a lot of mobs that run around it almost at random. Clearing the room will take an extremely good group in both gear and skill. Pulling the named out of the room will just take one really good player. You can choose whichever is easier for your playstyle. The whole point of this camp though is if you are a pet class or have one in your group. This named drops an awesome Enhanced Minion earring, Shade's Phase.
Crypt of Decay Brightfire (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - One of the tier 2 TBM zones is a revamped version of Crypt of Decay. In the basement area of that zone one of the nameds you'll find is Brightfire. He is saught after for his Heroic Dex aug, Sickly Distended Horseshoe. The named himself is nothing fancy but there is something you should keep in mind about this zone. All of the nameds down here have to be kept in their "corner" live mobs can't cross into dead areas and dead mobs can't cross into live areas. They'll immediately break from agro with you.
Crypt of Decay Akkapan Adan (Dungeon Crawl) Antisocial - This is one of my favorite camps in both the regular CoD and this one. The rats don't really have a safe spot but there are so many around that you never run out of them to pull. It makes the area quite fun! The named we're killing here drops a Heroic Wis/Int aug, Rummager's Bauble. And as with all the other augs in TBM it is non prestige meaning you can use it even as Free to Play!