I left off last time with my quest plans thwarted due to a failure to speak the language.
Without that language, Sathirian, I was not going to be able to get the quest that would lead me on my way to getting access to ascension levels. The wiki said I needed that.
Fortunately, the side task to learn Sathirian turned out to not be that big of a deal. I needed a collection that rewarded me with a book that unlocked a quest that sent me to somebody with a couple of tasks. Really, in post-cataclysm Norrath that is like being asked to pop around to the store for a pack of smokes. So I was soon back, speaking the language, and ready to move on. That led to a series of quests… because it always does… which I seemed to be able to move through pretty smoothly. I was following the wiki because, as I noted, this was all a huge side task to unlock ascension levels. So I ran off and did the quests and reported back.
That led me to a quest that, over on the wiki, had the following language requirements.
- You need to be able to speak draconic to speak with the Scrollkeeper Sataleeti
- You need to be able to speak Sathirian
- You need to be able to speak Goblish for this quest.
Goblish, the language of the goblins I had for sure, and I had just done the quest for Sathirian, so covered on that base. But Draconic? I had to check my language list.
Draconic was not on the list. (My list is kind of short compared to all the possible options.) So I went to the part of the wiki about that language and it advised me that I needed to run through the quest To Speak as a Dragon.
That told me I needed to speak Krombral first, which I had covered, and that I needed to head to Lavastorm in order to kick off the quest. Off to another zone.
There I followed the first couple of steps… though I seemed to be going through the motions. I wasn’t getting any updates, and the steps seemed vaguely familiar to me. But I’ve been dinking around in Norrath for more than 15 years now, I’ve been a lot of places and Lavastorm is one of the original launch zones.
I got to the step that sent me off to Solusek’s Eye, a dungeon in Lavastorm, which I fumbled around a bit finding, but eventually got into. Once inside, I needed to go to Nagafen’s Lair, which is at the very end of the dungeon… and this is a big dungeon. But getting down to the bottom started simply enough, largely because I still have the EQ2 Maps addon installed, so it was a matter of finding the arrows that led to ramps or elevators or whatever.
Along the way I saw some Efreeti, which reminded me that I still had a lore and legend quest for them. So I slew all that I saw, which actually completed the quest for me eventually… on the second run.
Way down on level 7 you have to run along translucent ramps over lava pits to get to an elevator that isn’t well marked and… well… mistakes were made and I got stuck and had to recall and start over again.
The second time around I got to the right elevator, went from level 7 to 6, followed the other path, went through the thingy, killed the guy, and eventually got to the right person. Really, there is a whole wiki page about the dungeon and then another on how to get where I was going.
Majordomo Inferinus had a quest update for me, the first that I had run into, indicating that I had started down this path at some time previously… and likely gave up trying to get to Nagafen.
The update sent me to the Tower of Oracles in Antonica, a really old school zone. There I spoke to the Sage of Ages who said he could teach me Draconic if I could run out and fetch a few things for him. Runes. Twenty-six runes. Twenty-six runes that had been scattered all over the original zones of post-cataclysm Norrath.
I was going on the road.
I wasn’t going to even pretend to seek any of these runes out on my own. I went straight to the wiki to get zone and location of every single one of them, and they were hidden far and wide.
Most were easy enough to get to. The first one was nearby in Qeynos.
For one of them I had to sneak into Freeport via a side door. Fortunately, at level 108 the Freeport guards mostly just shake their fists at you in annoyance.
There was a lot of entering old dungeons, pasting in the waypoint from the wiki, and just running to grab the rune. But there were three spots that I had trouble with.
The first was in Stormhold, which was a dungeon I used to know like the back of my hand. We spent a lot of time there back in the day. But I could not recall how to get to the library. Eventually I found a reference to a grate on the floor, but I spend some time running around.
Then there were the three in the Obelisk of Lost Souls. The first was easy, but the other two were on the third floor of the dungeon, but to get to that you had to solve the maze on the second floor. In the end it didn’t turn out to be difficult. The problem was more that the wiki was focused on the step before then the step after, rather breezing over a couple of key facts that would have made everything go much more quickly.
I ran a quest that I didn’t need to, but whatever. Eventually I made it to the last run on the third floor.
That got me the runes from there, though I saved the two in Lavastorm, down in Solusek’s Eye, for last just in case I needed to speak to Nagafen or his buddy again. But I did not. It was back to Atonica to the Sage of Ages who agreed that he could now teach me Draconic.
Then, hey presto, I had the language on my list.
That done it was back to Kunark and the Obulos Frontier to carry on with the quests. I pressed on ahead, successfully running down the quest chain. Everybody around the ascension trainer I wanted to speak to was now no longer hostile to me, the vendors wanted my business. It was time to speak to Aranolh Tol’ren, master geomancer, to learn the Geomancer ascension class. So I clicked on his and…
Yes, I totally did not speak the right language. Again. Fuck me.
By this point though Bhagpuss had left a comment on my last post suggesting that I might not even need to do this quest chain, that the ascension trainer in the Coliseum of Valor might just train me up if I asked. Th wiki says you can upgrade your ascension level cap there, but seems to suggest that you have to start out in Kunark as I was attempting. Still, checking out the suggestion was probably easier than another language quest.
So I went back to the Plane of Magic and went to the Coliseum of Valor and spoke to Sunspear the ascension trainer and, well…
Thus enabled, I trained Geomancer powers, used my little five level ascension boost token, which got me a couple of heavy hitting skills, which I managed to find room for on my four hot bars.
From there me, my mount, my mercenary, my pet, and my familiar, my upgraded combat skills, and my new Geomancer attacks, headed back into the Plane of Innovation to put the hurt on some tinker toys.
Seriously, the numbers in EQII are pretty much set to ludicrous speed.
At that point I really couldn’t tell which thing I did had what effect, but overall I seemed to be slaying things more quickly. Named mobs were maybe 8 minute fights, down from 25, while normal heroic groups were just a minute or two.
I fought a rogue roomba and what looked to be a giant floating mechanical head.
It all ended up with a final mechanical boss that I had to stop and wind up at various points of the battle… anything to keep the fight going.
That got me through the first instance. However, I was disappointed at my leisurely progress. I remained level 108 and, though all of this, I think I advanced maybe 2%. It isn’t that I haven’t enjoyed tracking these things down, but my goal is to get to level 110 before the Blood of Luclin expansion hits, and time was running out. After all of that… and a lot of those Kunark quests were blue to me, so granted experience… I was all of 7% into level 108.
Well, there was no point in going elsewhere, so I pressed on into the second instance for another round of battle with clockwork menace.
There was some slow going. A couple of the named mobs, like Toa the Shiny there, drain you power, which means you end up being unable to use your combat abilities, and you are nothing it you are reduced to melee only. This isn’t WoW Classic. But I muddled through, thanks in part to some power restoration potions I had in my inventory. I am not sure where I got them… probably part of the ages ago level 90 character boost… but they came in handy. Anyway, I made it to the final confrontation with the Great Gear.
There was, of course, a fight, but I made it through once more, grabbed the magic dingus, and retraced my steps back to an NPC and then back to the Coliseum of Valor.
The Wiki entry on this was very helpful, as at several points it has to tell you not to do what the quest tracker tells you to do or you’ll have to start the instance all over from scratch.
Back in the Coliseum of Valor it was time to turn in the quest to Druzzil Ro. My hope was that this would at least get me close to level 109. But when I turned it in, I was suddenly level 110.
This may be the first time in nearly forever that I was at the level cap before the next expansion dropped. I was maybe level 48 when Desert of Flames hit back in the day, and I’ve been behind ever since.
I was also now able to use some of that stuff that dropped from the dragon event! Time for some mount and merc upgrades.
But I was left wondering what to do next.
Part of me wants to just go run the dragon event some more, to farm for more drops. But another part wants to get out an alt and, using what I now know, do a sprint to 110. Don’t I get some sort of xp boost now that I have a character at level cap?
And then there are my lagging trade skills. Do I get moving on those?
Any route I choose, my main goal was accomplished. I will actually be ready when Blood of Luclin goes live on December 17th.