EverQuest is a vast game, and it keeps getting bigger - each expansion brings new zones to explore, new places to go and new things to see - not to mention new things to kill and new stuff to take. Even between expansions, only a priveleged few have learned the game well enough to get to and master the out-of-the-way endgame zones. Sleeper's Tomb requires a drop from named, Velious dragons; Vex Thal requires spending time in ten different zones on Luclin; reaching the Plane of Time requires having gone through virtually all of Planes of Power.
My ambition with this paper is to lay out the geography of EverQuest in the most intuitive manner possible. Those who have been playing for awhile, who have many characters of higher or lower level, and have a lot of play time, will know how to get around. This guide is for all those who have had the experience of being invited somewhere by a friend and been forced to decline; for everyone who has died on his way to a raid; or experienced any of the many pitfalls that can befall the solo traveller in EverQuest.
The aphorisms of Part I of this Wayfarer's Guide are for the new and inexperienced player and cover what is needed to get from Here to There with a minimum of fuss. For the most part, it covers travel in expansions up to Planes of Power. The tables and charts in Part II form an easy reference to all the various modes of transportation. Taken together they form a nearly complete picture of the way EverQuest's geography is "put together."
By General Travel I am speaking mostly of running from here to there, which is the way it used to be done; I remember when crossing the Karanas on foot was routine, by gum, and you didn't even think about fighting in Lower Guk if you bound in Paineel.
Much, but not all, of that has changed. Some activities still require, as they say, truckin', and for these it is good to have a general knowledge of the tools and techniques of navigation, even given the convenience of the modes of transportation listed in Part II of this paper.
EverQuest's zones, and particularly outdoor zones, are generally square and bounded by walls; nine times out of ten, the zonelines will be along the wall of the zone - if you don't know where the zoneline you want is, your best bet is to simply follow the wall until you find it. More than this, at least in the EverQuest Trilogy, you will meet wandering monsters along the wall more rarely than you would if you cut across the zone.
Therefore, most players who are in the know hug the zone wall when travelling through unfamiliar zones; this is a technique which will, in all probability, last you your entire EverQuest career.
/loc is the original navigation tool of EverQuest, and returns your location, given in X,Y,Z coordinates, to the chat window. X is the North-South axis, Y is the East-West axis, and Z is the Up-Down axis.
In the early days of EverQuest this was a very useful feature to have and know if you didn't have your skill in Sense Heading trained up. Sense Heading is now given to all characters at 200 skill, and the map and the compass have simplified navigation to an extent which would never have been expected in the Days of Way Back When, so knowing how to read /loc is increasingly trivial.
However, learning to read /loc coordinates can be very helpful in recovering travel corpses, particularly in old zones without Graveyards, without stopping for a Chipped Bone Rod. In the days just before the release of Velious, I learned to navigate gloomy Toxxulia Forest by dead-reckoning, using /loc and the Sense Heading skill.
Invisibility sets a character's faction to "Indifferent" with anything that does not See Invisible, and forbids interaction with NPCs in most instances. This is obviously indispensible for travel, and may be attained in various ways - particularly spells such as Invisibility, Gather Shadows and Camoflage, and the Sneak / Hide skills. Undead "naturally" See Invisible, and must be "tricked" by Invis. to Undead; one cannot be invis to both Undead and normals at the same time, making mixed areas such as Karnor's Castle very difficult to sneak through.
Using Invisibility will cause summoned pets to unsummon instantly - this is the use of the quested Magician Earthen Boots having instant-click Invisibility to Animals, to get rid of wayward pets instantly; the pre-nerf Circlet of Shadow may be used similarly and has a hundred other uses besides.
Some NPCs, such as the Kobold Shamans in Nagafen's Lair, cast See Invisible on themselves and their allies; and this will make "sneaking down" into such areas more difficult and sometimes impossible. At any rate, any class which gets Invisibility or Invis. to Undead, or both, should make them a standard part of their "travel-ready" spell-list. The only danger while invisible, all else being equal, is NPCs who are ordinarily Threatening or Ready to Attack, cf. I.5. Faction, who are also able to See Invis.
The Map is accessed by hitting the Backspace key by default; it shows, in old world zones or ones you have a map for, a map of the zone and a moving arrow to mark your position and heading. Maps for most non-dungeon zones in the old world, Kunark and Velious are included; others need to be mapped using supplies from Broken Skull Rock, the island off Odus where Legacy of Ykesha takes place. The map is, really, the modern way to get around.
Note that some high-end zones, such as Temple of Veeshan in Velious and Ssraezsha Temple on Luclin, do not permit the use of mapping. For these you will need an external map, either from the Maps of Myrist book or from EQMaps, your free one-stop-shop for EverQuest maps online.
This is a recent addition to the EverQuest interface, and gives the direction you are facing. This was originally tied into the Sense Heading skill, but now that all characters are granted 200 skill to start, this is a very handy tool for navigating.
Faction reflects the possibility of interaction with NPCs; each NPC is associated with a Faction, and the PC interacts with NPCs by way of their Faction Standing with that NPC; you can determine your Faction Standing with a particular NPC (and thus also that of the Faction it is on) by way of /consider.
Faction Standing is a question of magnitude, and there is no instance in which higher is not better. The scale, as returned by /consider, runs: Ally, Warmly, Kindly, Amiably, Indifferently, Apprehensively, Dubiously, Threateningly, Ready to Attack. Ally is the maximum; Amiable is required to bank with an NPC; Apprehensive to buy or sell. Dubious will not permit buying or selling. NPCs who are Threatening and Ready to Attack NPCs will kill the PC on sight.
Faction Standing with particular factions is modified by questing and by killing NPCs; the Faction of the NPC usually determines the Faction Hits taken when they are killed or, conversely, quested with. Most factions oppose some other faction, as the Freeport Militia and the Knights of Truth - positive action for the one usually means a negative reaction for the other, forming a rough balance.
Negative faction hits are generally, but not always, larger than positive faction hits. A very low Faction Standing with the Factions in a particular area will cause problems travelling through that area c.f. section I.3. Invisibility. Illusions and the Alliance series of spells also temporarily affect faction.
Some zones and encounters are restricted, requiring a key, a particular level limit having been reached, or a Character Flag as a result of quest progression before the zone can be accessed; if a character does not meet the requirement he will be told that he is unable to enter the area, and why. The Old Planes, for instance, are limited to level 46+, and several named raid targets in Ssraezsha Temple require their own keys.
Some zones have more than one requirement. For instance, Sebilis and Sleeper's Tomb both require keys and have a required level of 46. The Planar Advancement quest in Planes of Power is progressive, and ideally each Tier must be "completed" before the next series can be accessed.
There are only two examples, to the best of my knowledge, of a Negative Level Requirement - these being the Lord Nagafen and Lady Vox encounters in the Old World, which will expel any character above level 52 who tries to participate.
As an aside, if you try to zone into an expansion you don't own, you will usually bounce to the safe point of the current zone; if you try to zone into an expansion which you own but which is not installed, you run the risk of getting stuck between zones. If you get stuck, you will need to petition for a GM to get you out, by using /petition and following the instructions.
This is the zone to which unrecovered corpses return after seven days, so that otherwise lost equipment may be recovered. It is accessed through an NPC in the Plane of Knowledge. There is a corpse caller at the front of the zone, who looks like a small Itraer Vius. Speak to him and he will summon your rotted corpse to you. The exit to this zone is a book placed along the wall.
These are important to know, since EverQuest is huge. Zone connection maps, such as those found in the "Maps of Myrist" are a big help. I will give a summary of my mnemonic here.
It is easiest to divide EverQuest's geography into the expansions. This gives us five main areas: The Old World, Kunark, Velious, Luclin and the Planes of Power. These also can be subdivided usefully.
Virtually every expansion released so far, save the "extension" Ykesha, has one or more prestige sets of visible armor for each class, which goes some way towards the "experience" of the expansion, and so I have also taken some brief time to describe these. The Old World armor is not as good as Old Planar; which is not as good as Kunark; which is not as good as Velious; which is not as good as Planes of Power Ornate; which is not as good as Planes of Power Elemental. Conversely, any of these may be obtained earlier in a PCs career than the next.
includes three continents — Odus, Antonica and Faydwer, from West to East. Legacy of Ykesha's Broken Skull Rock can be regarded as an extension of Odus, which was not complete when EverQuest was released. All starting cities but Cabilis and Shar Vahl are a part of the Old World. Factions here are governed by a complex "balance of power," which requires its own guide and really must be explored to be understood.
Faydwer and Odus are small enough to be taken each in themselves. I divide Antonica into an East Coast from Freeport to Highpass, a West Coast, starting from Qeynos and extending all the way to East Karana, and a Southern Part, including Rathe, Innothule and the Feerrott.
All of Lost Dungeons of Norrath is connected to the Old World. c.f. section IV, Wayfarer Camps.
It is worth noting that most classes have quests from the Temple of Solusek Ro, appropriate for about levels 25-40, and that many otherwise inexplicable drops found in the Old World are for these quests, many of which are class-defining e.g. the Magician Foci and the Wizard Staff of Temperate Flux, or required for a Kunark Class Epic e.g. Shadow Knight Darkforge.
The old Planes are the Plane of Fear, the Plane of Hate, and the Plane of Sky; each is accessed in a unique way, and requires its own special strategy. They are all restricted to characters level 46+, and were intended, when they were released, to be raid zones. However, by the standards of modern high-end EverQuest they are not very difficult.
The Plane of Fear is an outdoor, forest / jungle zone, and is accessed by a portal from the Feerrott. The Plane of Hate is an evil Citadel-city, accessed by Wizard teleport or by way of an NPC in Plane of Tranquility; either way requires a Fulvous Soulstone of Innoruuk. The usual reason to fight in these zones is for drops of class-specific Planar Armor for the visible armor slots, which may also be turned in at the Plane of Knowledge for experience and a chance for a Diamond or Peridot. Armor from here is generally inferior to that from high-end Kunark or Velious.
Plane of Sky may only be accessed by Wizard teleport, and is a quest zone consisting of a progressive series of seven Islands. The equipment here is comparable or superior to the drops from Plane of Fear or Plane of Hate, and are mostly for the invisible armor slots. One major reason to raid this zone is for the quested, class specific 40%-haste belts for melee classes (Rangers get a cloak.)
All new characters have the option of beginning their EverQuest careers in the Tutorial, and should take it; the character is granted level 2 for free and the Mines of Gloomingdeep are certainly the best "newbie yard" in the game. The quests are simple and result in nearly immediate upgrades, which is not to be expected otherwise of a newbie in Norrath. No existing guide has done the Tutorial justice.
In terms of travel, the NPC responsible for taking a character to his hometown can be found at the "Rebel Camp;" and characters can return to the Tutorial by means of a command at any time up to level 5.
Kunark the jungle continent is fairly homogenous, and can be taken as a single area. It does not subdivide into sections easily, but Cabilis forms something of a 'hub'. The other entrances to the continent are by boat, from Butcherblock to Firiona Vie ("good") and from Oasis to the Overthere ("evil"). The dungeons here are: Old Sebilis, Chardok, Karnor's Castle, Kaesora, Howling Stones, Dalnir's Crypt, Veeshan's Peak, Droga and Nurga.
Howling Stones (a.k.a. Charassis) and Sebilis both require quested keys. Veeshan's Peak was once a "Kunark level" raiding dungeon, with 32000hp bosses, but has recently been upgraded to the level of the Elemental planes; it too requires a quested key.
Kunark and the Old World are the focus of all the Kunark Class Epic and Iksar Class Epic quests, except for Beastlords (whose Class Epic extends to Luclin) and Berzerkers, whose Class Epic takes them, presumably, all over the previous expansions and into Gates of Discord.
Faction does not play a large part in Kunark; since the entrance to Kunark for evils is through the Overthere outpost, and since the Overthere Outpost is on Venril Sathir faction, to preserve faction here it is best for evil classes and races not to fight in Kaesora, Howling Stones, or Karnor's Castle. Most will always be killed on sight by Iksar. A few interesting quests are available from the Sarnak, faction with whom can be gained by killing Kunark Goblins.
Velious' icy zones are a linear progression: their order is Iceclad Ocean, Eastern Wastes, Kael Drakkel, Wakening Lands, Skyshrine, Cobalt Scar, Siren's Grotto, Western Wastes, progressing Westward from Iceclad Ocean. Great Divide, which has both a book and Nexus Spires, is a cul-de-sac - to progress deeper one must zone to East Wastes and go through Kael.
There are Wizard / Druid portals, called Dragon Circles for their design, in Iceclad Ocean, Eastern Wastes, Great Divide, Wakening Lands, and Cobalt Scar.
Velious is dominated by the Giant, Dragon and Dwarf factions, the Kromzek, the Claws of Veeshan and the Coldain respectively. Coldain and Giants battle over Iceclad Ocean, East Wastes and Great Divide; Dragons and Giants contend for the Wakening Lands; and the Claws of Veeshan control the area from Skyshrine westward. The Giants are thus at war with both the Dragons and the Dwarves, but the Dwarves and Dragons are not allied. Alliance with any particular faction gives access to the cities and quests of that faction; each faction has a set of questable armor for each class, Dwarves being the least of the three, Giants and Dragons roughly equal with each other.
In terms of dungeons and other sites of interest: Tower of Frozen Shadow is off Iceclad; Crystal Caverns and Sleeper's Tomb are off East Wastes; Velketor's Labyrynth and Thurgadin are off Great Divide; Temple of Veeshan and Dragon Necropolis are off Western Wastes. Plane of Growth is accessed from Wakening Lands, and Plane of Mischief from Great Divide.
The Old World, Kunark, and Velious are sometimes referred collectively as the EverQuest Trilogy.
Luclin is a moon, tidally locked with Norrath, divided into a Light Side of desert areas which face the Sun including Sanctus Seru, a fungus-covered Dark Side including Katta Castellum, and an Underground which includes the Nexus Complex. There is also a "Twilight" area, including the Grey and a few other zones. Luclin's zone layout is seemingly the most complex of any expansion, and so must be explored firsthand.
The only keyed zone is Vex Thal which is Luclin's endgame, and the quest for the key takes one all over Luclin and requires a kill of Emporer Ssraezsha, which event is itself keyed and against whom Shissar Bane Weapons are needed. Many other boss encounters on Luclin require individual keys, and the endgame encounter with Lord Inquisitor Seru involves a difficult quest for the Arx Key as well as Seru Bane Weapons for melee. The watchword for Luclin key quests is time sink.
It is worth noting the existance of the Twilight Sea armor quests, if for no other reason than to note that they explain some of the unique and otherwise inexplicable drops which come from minor named in this expansion. These quests are approximately equal to the Sol Temple armor quests in the Old World, with major pieces being slightly better and minor pieces being slightly worse. However, in most cases the kills needed to complete the quest are much harder for the Luclin quest than its equivalent in the Old World.
Planes of Power is “Planar” in nature and is aimed at high-level players; to enter the Plane of Tranquility one must be 46+. The division of the Planes is in simple tiers: Plane of Time, the Endgame; the Elemental Planes below it; the Third Tier, Bastion of Thunder, Halls of Honor, and Plane of Tactics; the Second Tier, Plane of Storms and Plane of Valor, and the Crypt of Decay; and the First Tier, lowest of all, Plane of Justice and Plane of Disease, Plane of Torment, Plane of Nightmares. A player must complete one Tier to move onto the next one, although several zones in Tiers 2 and 3 are now for free at levels 55 and 62 respectively. This process is known as Planar Advancement.
Plane of Knowledge stands alone; Plane of Tranquility and provides portals to most of these except for a few "B" areas. A contrast between Planes of Power and the expansions which came before is the existence of Graveyards. When a character is killed in a zone, his corpse remains where it was for 15 or 30 minutes, and is then moved to the Graveyard, which is almost always near the front of the zone, to make recovering corpses from these high level zones faster and safer.
There are two standard armor types in Planes of Power: Ornate Armor and Elemental Armor, so-called from the planar Molds and Patterns by which the quests are completed, and which drop from bosses and "minis" in Tiers 3 and 4 respectively.
I do not here deal with the "Muramite" expansions, Gates of Discord and Omens of War. Gates of Discord, to the best of my knowledge, is linear in the same sense that Velious is, and is designed for Elemental and Plane of Time-capable PCs; its entrance zone, Natimbi, may be reached by use of the Magi at the Wayfarer Camps, c.f. Section IV in Part II. Omens of War has not been released at this writing.
This ends Part I.