Back in early 2005, in what were still the young days of EverQuest II, Vikund, my level 35 paladin, rode into The Commonlands from Nek Forest and spotted a named mob, the Lightbringer Wisp.
At this point in the timeline of the game, the Lightbringer Wisp only spawned once per 72 minute day/night cycle, only in the wee hours before dawn, and despawned when the sun came up.
It could be a tough beastie to catch, and here I had stumbled on to it and nobody else was camping it.
It was a weekday morning and I was home from work for some reason, so it was nowhere near peak play time for the game. Still, there was a certain amount of luck involved in showing up at the right moment.
Naturally, I killed it and looted the lightstone from it. The lightstone which starts the heritage quest The Return of the Light.
I then proceeded to run Vikund through the quest to the end in a little less than 2 hours.
It was one of those moments of luck that sometimes hits me when I first experience something. I ran around the zone and every named mob I needed was up and waiting for me. Even the last battle in Bloodskull Valley was a breeze. This was at the time when any mob that was low enough level to be gray to you pretty much could not hit you if attacked.
And so I came out at the other end of the whole quest thinking, “This is easy.”
Of course, it was never that easy again. Further attempts to run the quest with alts meant hours of stalking spawn points in hopes of catching named mobs.
Even later on in the life of the game, when specific placeholder mobs were put in place so you knew what to kill (often over and over) in order to make the named mob spawn, I was unable to match the sub 2 hour mark.
At least until this past weekend, when I did the whole thing in under an hour.
Things change over time I guess.
I recalled that the last time I checked the Lightbringer Wisp was pretty much up and available to kill all the time. You kill it, it respawns in a few minutes, ready to be killed again.
What I have only recently realized though is that ALL of the named mobs seem to be up at all times now.
So I was able to do the whole quest from start to finish, including the now unnecessary but I do it out of habit access quest for Bloodskull Valley, in under an hour.
Granted, it helped that I had access to a flying mount, since it was another free flying mount weekend. Though the flying mount was probably less help than you might think. The fact that I know the quest well certainly moved me along rapidly, and was a bigger factor than travel time. But the fact that every named mob I needed was standing there waiting to get the chop was the key.
When did that change go in and is it universal? Are named mobs always up everywhere in the game? I guess our peek into Stormhold agrees with that theory, as we saw a lot of named mobs.
The only part of the whole quest chain that seemed to move back in time was the big orc battle in Bloodskull Valley. Aside from the occasional spell Sigwerd, a level 37 berserker, came through pretty much unscathed. We are back to lower level mobs not being able to hit you.
The epic orc battle, which I really want to do with a full group at level, became more a matter of power management while waiting for General Drull to show up. The temptation to use my power gobbling area attacks was pretty strong.
I did get an achievement for slaughtering so many orcs.
I think I get a title and a side dish with that achievement.
Anyway, Drull was thrown down and I came to the only part of the quest with which I had trouble, the final turn-in.
The steps of the final act depend on your faction.
You give the lightstone to Cannix, who says he is going to keep it, at which point a small group of heavies show up and attack Cannix.
If you are from one faction, you have to kill the heavies, then on getting no thanks from Cannix, you must then kill him, at which point you get the lightstone and the quest ends.
From the other faction, you have to let the heavies kill Cannix, then kill them to get the lightstone and wrap things up.
But I could not remember which faction had to do which, so it took me three tries to get it right. Being from the Qeynos/New Halas/White Hat faction, I have to let Cannix die and then avenge his death.
Once I got that right, I received my reward.
All done in just under an hour.
And the Greater Lightstone was significantly better than what I was wearing in my neck slot, so it wasn’t just for status, AA points, and a sparklie house item.
Though I see the quest still has the problem of leaving you with four interim, no trade no value lightstones that you can only get rid of by destroying them. That always seemed odd to me.
I am not sure we could, as a group, do the whole thing in an hour at level. We would probably be an hour just collecting 6 lightstones from the Lightbringer Wisp. And the orc battle would be a challenge, but that is a good thing. We could probably manage the whole chain in an evening.
If you want a heritage quest you can do in an hour, solo, at level, In Honor and Service is it. But more on that another time.