Due to getting all sorts of nice buffs last weekend, I just did some exp grinding until I hit 12. Once there, my Temperance ran out and I went looking for quests.
On the top floor of Crescent Reach there is Vunder the Dark who lists 10+ quests as his sub tag. He gives you the task of slaying Apothecary Shelga down on the second floor. He is the barbarian sitting on the floor in a corner up where all the trade skill NPCs are. You have to kill him without a sentry seeing you, then loot his pouch and return it to Vunder. I was expecting this quest to lead to something, but Vunder just says the same thing after you do this quest, so I went looking elsewhere.
On the second floor of Crescent Reach there is the council chambers. In there you will find Council Aid Mystrana. If you have done her past quests, which involved finding people and picking up a book for her on the third floor, she will have a new quest for you. She send you to speak to a member of the council who will, in turn, give you the quest “Proving Your Worth.”
This quest is small, you have to find Tailor Meilolu, who is in the shop Second Skin on the platform with all of the trade skill NPCs. Meilolu shows you how to make something via tailoring (make sure you have an empty slot in your inventory for a sewing kit), you make it, then return to the council member for your reward.
Before you run off, you will find, next to Meilolu, Skinner Bezuth who has three level 10-15 quests. Get them all.
Then, when you return to the council chamber and finish off “Proving Your Worth,” speak to Council Member Shay who has an additional quest. That will give you four quests to do and there is definitely a right order in which to do them unless you are already level 14 or 15.
Council Aid Shay’s quest, “Web of Fear” sends you back out after spiders in The Hollow. I started this at level 12, at which time all of the spiders were greyed out to me. You have to kill 10 spiderlings, any of them appear to update the quest, and collect 5 spider eggs. After you complete both of those tasks, the next stage is to kill the Queen spider. In a level of quest journal sophistication I was not expecting, you are actually told at which of her spawn points she is located. The Queen was actually green to me at this level, so I did get a tiny bit of exp at the end. Once you kill her, the quest is done, you get experience (4% for me, which was a lot relative to some of the other quests) and a message to go back and talk to Council Aid Shay for more tasks.
However, when I went back to Shay he gave me “Web of Fear” again, so it appears to be repeatable. At level 10, if the spiderlings are still worth some exp, it would probably be worth doing over. The spider eggs which you collect remain in your inventory and it appears that you can just vendor them. I did not try handing them to Shay, though perhaps I should have. There was no step in the quest requiring that.
The first of the Skinner Bezuth quests is “No Skin Off Your Back.” For this you have to slay 10 cave bears and bring him back 10 Pristine Bear Pelts. Of course, the pelts do not drop every time, so you are going to end up killing more than 10 bears, so I have to wonder why the bear count is part of the quest. Somebody needs to go to quest design school.
The cave bears live in a cave, of course. There is the mushroom sporling cave, the puma cave, and then further north, but on the same side as the other two, is the bear cave. You actually have to jump in the pond and swim a bit to get to the bear cave. The cave bears have a level range of 11-15, which a few more big, bad, bears in the back of the cave that will likely figure into some future quest. So at level 12, there were a couple of blue, a couple of white, and a lot of yellow con bears.
The bears, even when blue, offer pretty decent experience. I ended up killing over 20 bears to finish the quest. Blue and white con bears were manageable, but yellow con was risky. I wouldn’t try one unless I had my harm touch skill ready. All of this put me reasonably close to level 13, so I killed a few more bears and a couple of pond alligators to get my level. Then I ran back to Skinner Bezuth and turned in the quest for a miserable 1% exp bump. Bleh!
Crikey, It’s Not A Croc!
The next quest from Skinner Bezuth is “What A Croc!” For this you have to collect 12 pond alligator hides. The alligators do not drop these with every kill, but they dropped them more frequently for me than the cave bears dropped pristine pelts. At 12 the alligators con’d white to red for me, which meant they were good exp and helped get me into level 13. Another note to quest designers: Alligators and crocodiles are different animals. The pond alligators dropped, among other things, crocodile eggs. Now, perhaps they were stealing these eggs from the crocs, but somehow I imagine not. And then there is the whole quest name versus what you are being sent to kill. Unlike blog paragraph headings, not all quest names need to be pithy. “Gator Skinning” or “Pond Hazard” would have been fine names for this quest. Write if you need any further quest naming suggestions, I’ll be glad to help.
Back at Skinner Bezuth this quest gave me only 3% exp. What a crock indeed!
There’s Gnoll Business…
Then there were the gnolls. The third quest from Skinner Bezuth is “Rings and Things” which requires you to kill Mucktail gnolls out in The Hollow in order to collect 5 gnoll smithy ore and 5 gnoll smithy bits. Straight forward, kill gnolls, collect drops, turn in quest.
Only, at level 13, the gnolls were all red and yellow con, and even the yellows kicked my butt unless I had harm touch available. And even then, any gnoll fight was a near run thing.
So I went back to grinding pond alligators and bears. I was going to need another level to manage the gnolls.
Eventually I saw a level 10 druid trying to solo the gnolls. He was dying a lot. He asked on OOC if anybody wanted to join him in killing gnolls and I said yes. Together, the two of us slowly killed gnolls. It was good experience for me, excellent experience for him, and I was getting my drops, but it was slow. Health regen, which I needed badly after every fight, is a lot faster than mana regen, so he had to rest a while between fights.
Together I got most of the way through the quest and to within 15% of level 14. After the druid had to log off, I went back to bears for a while until I hit 14. At 14 I got Bone Walk, and improved undead pet. Now I had that, plus the lesser gnolls were now conning white to me, so I managed to finish off a few more and turn in the quest, which gave me another 3% exp.
I seem to have run out of level 10-15 quests before I hit level 15. I will probably have to grind some. As before, the quests from quest givers with a range (1-5, 5-10, 10-15) seem to be geared to the mid to upper end of that range. Some of the quests appear to be repeatable, but the rewards, exp only in most cases, are so minimal that I do not feel it is worth the bother to do any of them twice. In the time it takes to run back to the quest give and hand him, say, 12 alligator pelts, I could have made the same 3% exp just grinding.
Of course, one of the reasons that the quests are getting harder is that I am still using only equipment I have looted or found at a vendor in Crescent Reach. That, frankly, is not a lot of equipment. The urge to spend some money at the bazaar to twink myself up a bit is pretty strong, but I am going to try and bit the bullet and get to 20 just on what I can find. At level 20 I am told there is a series of armor quests that start with Kimem Saydel, in the Forge of Nokk, on the second floor of Crescent Reach.
Once I get myself to 15, I know where there are two quest givers sub tagged 15-20. They may have to wait for a while as I will be spending some time playing EverQuest II Echoes of Faydwer this weekend, if my server has settled down.