I finished up the “Welcome to Crescent Reach” quest. Inn keeper Fathus has his own quest for you that involves finding people who send you off to find other people. I am not going to cover it because they were all pretty easy and I forgot to take notes so anything I wrote would be about as helpful as the quest information you get in game.
As part of this running around I passed an NPC named Jinkin who has “5 – 10 Quests” as her subtext. I was well into level 6, so I figured I was in prime position to talk to her. She has three quests on tap. For some reason I was only able to get them one at a time. This might just be the way things work with this quest giver, but I would not rule out me having done something wrong.
Jinkin is easy enough to find. She is on the second level of the city sitting in a little booth looking for all the world like a Drakkin version of Lucy VanPelt in her Psychiatric Advice booth. Jinkin is a crafter. Her three quests involve collecting supplies for her so she can make bracelets and necklaces as well as dye with which to adorn them. I took the necklace quest first.
The bracelet supply quest is called “Here Kitty, Kitty.” You have to go back out into The Hollow and kill 12 young pumas and collect 12 puma teeth. Since puma teeth drop about 75% of the time, and you never get more than one per kill, you are going to kill more than 12 young pumas getting your teeth, so having both of those goals seems a bit pointless.
The young pumas are out in The Hollow across the north bridge. There are two fixed consistent spawns and then some wanderers. The wanderers do not respawn consistently so I gather that they share a spawn table with drakes that also inhabit the area.
At level 6 most of the pumas were red to me, so this quest is a bit more on the 10 end of the spectrum. I managed to kill one that conned yellow, but only just barely. The exp was huge for the kill, nearly 20%, but I had to use my harm touch and was down to 3% health when the puma died. The battle could have easily gone the other way. And, to prove it, I tried another puma before I had harm touch ready again and died with the puma still at 30% health.
I decided I needed another level before I tackled any more pumas, so I started killing the hollows drakes that wander in the same area. They all conned blue or white to me and gave pretty good exp per kill, so I was approaching 7 at a fair rate.
Then I got a lucky break. A high level healer was running through the zone casting Temperance on all of us noobs. I gave an enthusiastic “thank you” and went looking for pumas again. A level and a good buff was enough to get me through the quest. I ended up killing about 18 pumas to get my 12 puma teeth. That was also enough to get me to level into level 7 and close to level 8.
At level 7, turning in the 12 teeth, the quest gave me 5% exp. I thought I was going to level on the quest turn-in, but I was still about 8% shy. That was mildly disappointing.
Rats and Bats!
I took another quest from Jinkin, this one called “Thrills and Quills.” I am not sure why it is called that. There were no quills and it wasn’t exactly thrilling. You have to go up to the top level of the city and kill bats and vermin (rats) to collect 5 special bat pelts and 5 special vermin pelts. The drop rate is pretty low so you have to kill quite a few and, as soon as I hit level 8, most of the vermin went grey to me and the bats were all blue. There are actually some higher level stuff further back in the top level of the city, but some of it was red, so I kept to the forward portion and slew my exp-free rats and their bat cousins.
There was very little drama involved with this, but it is now clear that I should have done this quest first.
Handing in the pelts at the end of the quest got me 3% exp. Now that was depressing.
How many hits am I going to get from people looking for the Will Wright game now? Probably even more with his name in there.
The third quest from Jinkin is “Cap of Color” and it involves running back out into The Hollow and exploring a little cave off to the right side after crossing the north bridge. You need to collect 12 sporling caps from the sporlings that live in this cave. As with the previous two quests, the mobs are all non-aggro, so it is pretty safe hunting. All of the sporlings were blue to me at level 8, except one that conned my level. The drop rate seemed pretty good and I killed approximately 15 sporlings to get my 12 sporling caps.
I ran back to Jinkin and turned in the quest for another 3% exp. I got more than 3% exp for each sporling I killed.
First, of course, I should have done these quests in a different order. That would have made my life easier. Bats and rats first, spores second, and pumas third, or [bracelet], [dye], and [necklace] to put it in the order of the keywords you should choose.
Second, I am kind of annoyed with the quest rewards. I am going to make the unfair World of Warcraft comparison here. In WoW, when you complete a quest, you get a reward that makes it worth the effort. These quests ought to give a whole lot more exp, especially since exp was the only reward for them. No cash, no items, no faction, just a tiny dab of exp. This is also one of the things I hate about so many EverQuest II quests as well: The payoff is so low you might as well have just gone out to grind mobs. The quest has no meaning.
I hope this changes as the quests go along.
Third, while the quest givers are labeled, it is a bit of a pain to go run around and find the next layer of quests. I do like when you get a at least a hint about where you should go when you have finished the quests for a particular NPC. You get a lot of that in EQII and WoW. That both helps you find your way and it turns the quests into a story rather than an isolated series of day laborer tasks.
Finally, all that aside, I am pretty happy that I am nearly level 9 and I have just over 2 hours of play. I think that is okay considering that the only twinkage that occurred was my getting a health buff from a passing cleric. Done in the right order, I could have managed these quests without the buff.