Tag Archives: Qeynos Hills

Norrathian Scavenger Hunt

It looks like the low level armor quests are in for my two characters, a bard and an enchanter, as well as for Potshot’s paladin and druid.  So for much of this week we have put off the experience grind in favor of completing these quests, each of which give you a full set of armor and a weapon when done.

Seeking out these items is a bit of a scavenger hunt.

For example, to wrap up the bard armor quest in Qeynos, the Wind Spirits Armor quest line, you end up with quite a list of  items to obtain, which seem to fall into three categories.

There is the raw element needed for all of the recipes.  For the bard it is this:

  • 20 – Brick Of Crude Iron Ore

These drop off of gnolls in and around Blackburrow, so are easy enough to find, though they are a pain to accumulate as they weigh 15 lbs. and cause you to become encumbered after picking up only one or two.

There there are the standard vendor items that you can pick up around town at any time.  Again, for the bard quest these are.

  • 1 – Arrow
  • 1 – Bottle
  • 1 – Honey Mead
  • 1 – Throwing Spear

And then there is the Scavenger Hunt.  These items all drop off of mobs.  Some of them you can find at vendors in the area, having been sold for coin by people who did not need them, while others are flagged as No Drop and thus have to be looted from the mob in question by you personally.

  • 1 – Bandit Sash
  • 1 – Bat Fur
  • 1 – Black Wolf Tooth
  • 2 – Blackburrow Gnoll Pelt
  • 1 – Brown Bear Femur
  • 1 – Coyote Skull
  • 1 – Diseased Wolf Pelt
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Carapace
  • 1 – Giant Spider Egg Sack
  • 1 – Gnoll Backbone
  • 2 – Gnoll Pelvis
  • 1 – Gnoll Scoutsman Documents
  • 1 – Greater Cat Tooth
  • 1 – Lock Of Scarecrow Straw
  • 1 – Low Quality Bear Skin
  • 1 – Matted Greater Cat Pelt
  • 2 – Ruined Wolf Pelt
  • 2 – Spider Legs
  • 2 – Vial Of Gnoll Blood
  • 1 – Woven Spider Silk
  • 1 – Young Puma Skin

The No Drop items seem to be spread out so that each recipe has one, so you cannot work completely from the vendors in your area.

Via some aggressive shopping (I covered all the vendors in West Karana, North Karana, and East Karana), and only a bit of mob camping, I have been able to make two bracers, the boots, and the breast plate for Tistann.  The armor is… bright emerald green.

Bard turning slowly green

The nice thing though is that, when you make the chest item for your quest, you also get offered the quest for the weapon that goes with the set, which in my case was the Wind Spirits Longsword.

That sword might be one of the best looking I have seen so far in the game.

Tistann's new blade

The design is simple and functional, taking the form of a katana.

I am somewhat stuck on the coyote skull, the young puma skin, and the giant fire beetle carapace, none of which I have seen anywhere.  And then there is the diseased wolf pelt, which seems to drop quite regularly off of rabid wolves in Qeynos Hills, only they are a pretty rare spawn.  I count myself lucky to have gotten one so far.

The Qeynos armor quest for my enchanter, the Arcane Order Armor, has a likewise long list of items to obtain.  The magic users, magicians, enchanters, and wizards all get the same quest.  It is no wonder nobody can tell them apart on site.

Thrall looking for some clothes

For Thrall’s quests, the basic item for each recipe is:

  • 20 – Woven Spider Silks

Those are easy enough to find hunting spiders out in West Karana.

And the vendor items… well… they make more sense than perhaps some of the bard items.  An arrow and a bottle?  Really?

  • 1 – Cloth Cap
  • 1 – Cloth Sandals
  • 1 – Cloth Shirt
  • 1 – Cloth Sleeves
  • 1 – Cloth Wristband

And then, again, there is the Scavenger Hunt:

  • 1 – Bandit Sash
  • 1 – Fire Beetle Leg
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Carapace
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Eye
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Leg
  • 2 – Giant Whiskered Bat Eyes
  • 1 – Gnoll Jawbone
  • 2 – Gnoll Pup Scalps
  • 1 – Golden Bandit Tooth
  • 2 – Large Myotis Bat Ear
  • 1 – Matted Lion Pelt
  • 1 – Medium Quality Bear Skin
  • 1 – Puma Skin
  • 1 – Rabid Wolf Hide
  • 1 – Shadow Wolf Paw
  • 2 – Snake Eggs
  • 1 – Spider Legs

There is that giant fire beetle carapace again, and a rabid wolf pelt, which I am going to guess also only drops from rabid wolves in Qeynos Hills.  And then there is the medium quality bear skin, which Potshot also needs, and which does not appear to be a drop or vendor trash, but a crafted item.

Tistann had one of those as well, the low quality bear skin, but I managed to find one of those by searching all of the tailoring vendors.  We shall see if luck strike again in that regard.  If not, Thrall may have to take up tailoring, which will mean that Tistann might have to continue on with smithing since you need skinning knives to work on hides.

So far I have not been able to complete any of the recipes for Thrall, so he has no new armor to show off.  But I suspect Potshot and I will spend some time this weekend trying to outfit our team.

Death Gains Teeth, I Learn About Maps

Potshot wasn’t around, but I had some time to play, so I thought I might fool around with the whole mult-boxing thing again.

But then as I was getting setup, I got an invite to a group in Qeynos Hills, so I decided to run with that instead.

An odd fact about me in MMOs is that I will hardly ever bother other people and ask them to group, worrying that I might be interrupting something else they have going on, but if I will almost always drop what I am doing to join a group when asked.

This lead to another educational moment.

There was no map back in EverQuest at any time when I played it seriously, just as there was no quest log, no mounts, and no avoiding running naked back to your corpse when you died.

But I knew that a map had been added.

The map SOE added in has struck me in the past as probably the best compromise one could hope to have tacked onto the game, but not exactly a feature you want to put up in a head to head challenge against maps in other MMOs.  While it accomplishes the basics, there is a drawing of your current area and an arrow that represents you and the direction you are facing, it comes across as quite primitive.  In wide open places like West Karana, you have to zoom way out on the map to even see a landmark, while in town you have to zoom way in because all of the landmarks and legends blur together.

Finding something in South Qeynos

Now, on the upside of this map interface, you can get in there and add your own notations and create your own maps.  And you have to at some point, as I recall that maps to a lot of the zones are not provided by SOE. (Though you can find maps for most locations at MapFiend.)

Anyway, enough map background.

When I joined the group I asked where they were and was told to look at the map.

Really?

I opened up the map and just saw Qeynos Hills.

Then I noticed a button over on the right hand side with the label “group.”  It was not selected, though SOE’s choice of indicating what options are selected and which are not is… suboptimal in my opinion.  I look at it, see text in yellow and text in white, and my first thought is to wonder if the stuff in yellow is highlighted because it is somehow more important.  I have to think about it for a minute before I realize that yellow is “on” and white is “off.”

Not the worst UI choice in the world, but even back in 1999 there was a huge body of work on UI design and I don’t think this would have made the cut.  But like so much in EverQuest, it is what it is and after 12 years it is not going to change.

So I clicked on group, turning it on (and yellow) and… nothing happened.

Then I closed the map and opened it back up again and there were little green Xs where the group members were on the map.

A little green X

Crude, but oh what a time saver that would have been back in 1999.  We used to sit on group chat or in tells trying to direct people by landmarks or, worse yet, the /loc coordinates.  There is a whole list of unofficial landmark names for nearly every zone, or there used to be, to help direct people and point out what is currently camped.  Only you had to have memorized that list, and the list sometimes changed… it was one of the great oral traditions of EQ, the passing down of the landmark list around the campfire.

Anyway I found the group, and in any current game I am not sure that it would come across as the ideal mix, but it worked well enough.  We had a ranger with tracking to run out an pull mobs, two shaman, and a paladin.

The paladin was invited to the group just after I got to the others and it was, hey, Stroppadin.  And he asked, “Where are you guys” and got told “Check the map” just like I did, which means that maybe I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t turned on the group markers.

We all sat at a fixed location while the ranger, Siege, ran around and pulled stuff to us.  We then took over the fight, beat up or burned down the mob, and moved to the next one he brought.  So it was puller, tank, and two healers/buffers.  We did later add a damage dealer, Samoth, a wizard who spent most of his time seated and regaining mana but who, when he was able to stand up and join in, pretty much one-shotted anything that got pulled.

Waiting for the next pull

We did that for a stretch, and things were working well enough, and then another group moved in up the way and mobs were scarce for a while.  So we decided to run over the hill and see if Blackburrow offered anything.

Behold! Blackburrow!

Of course, we got in there and nobody claimed to know anything about the place except me, so everybody followed my lead.

My usual plan for Blackburrow is to dive right in but just falling through the false bottom in the hollow tree and then spending the rest of the time trying to find my way out.  So down we went.

However, as I might have expected, Blackburrow was heavily camped.  We got complaints and moans from people as we elbowed our way through the throng, killing the occasional gnoll we could get our hands on.  Siege, our puller, chose the moment after we dropped through the tree to go AFK for half an hour.  He was killed by something aggro in short order.  I’m not sure what, since we were all wandering around lost.

Eventually we found a small spot to camp where a couple of gnolls would pop.

In Blackburrow

Siege eventually came back and wanted to know how to get to us.  Meanwhile, we decided that we had actually been doing better up where we were, so told him to sit tight and we would come to him.  Our little camp in Blackburrow had the advantage of being a point from which I knew how to get out of the place.

We ran back to Siege outside of Surefall and resumed our routine.  The other group had moved on and mobs were plentiful.  Both Stropp and I managed to hit level 6.


And lest you think that line about losing experience when you die is a bit subtle, a window also pops up to remind you that death will now cost you.


Now what constitutes a “small fraction” of my experience… we shall see.

Back in the day it used to be 20-25% of a level gone with each death, though you would get some of that back if you got a ress.

And now I suppose that, when I die, I will leave corpses laying about the landscape, like Skronk and I saw in West Karana the previous night.  Progress, in a way.

A new aspect of the game.  But at least I am now a level closer to Spirit of the Wolf.

We Storm the Qeynos Hills

A level a night is about all we have in us on the week days.

The schedule for posting this has been… interesting I guess.  We play on one day, I write the next, and post on the third.  The posting date is because the blog time runs on UTC.  I could change that.  WordPress.com has that option now, but it didn’t back when I started blogging and I don’t want to have to redo my blog stats spreadsheet because end of day suddenly changed by 8 hours.

Maybe, if we find some time this weekend, I’ll get to level 9 and be able to get the spell Spirit of the Wolf.  This is one of the reasons I chose a shaman.  They not only get that spell, but they get it earlier than any other class.

But so far we’re climbing the level ladder slowly.

This time around we missed each other outside of Qeynos initially, with Skronk off to do some exploring.  It can be hard to tell if your friends are online, since the buddy list seems to be broken.  Fortunately the command /who all skronk generally gets the job done.

While he was out exploring, I decided to see if all accounts really were enabled for this week.

Sure enough, another Station account I had was live, so I decided to try a little bit of multi-boxing in order to pass the time.  I decided that a bard would be a reasonable choice.  I could leave him just playing his buff song while I did the fighting, and if I needed and extra hand I could just switch windows and have him join the fray.

I played around with my bard in tow for a while, then finally caught up with Skronk.  Things were thinning out some on front of Qeynos because, like us I imagine, people were ready to move to slightly more dangerous game. (I suspect that the Qeynos front yard will fill up again this weekend.)

We headed out into Qeynos Hills this time.

Qeynos Hills, hand drawn

(Map, again, from EQ Atlas.  I love those old maps.)

Out in QH we got a few more lessons in how things used to work… and how they still work in EverQuest.

We had made our way to the ruins where the skeletons are and were starting to rack up some kills out there as a trio, Skronk, Vikund, and Tistann the /follow bard.

Out by the ruins in Qeynos Hills

I was a bit surprised to see player corpses laying around the ruins.  There is no corpse run at low levels any more, so I am not sure why people wouldn’t just use the respawn option that pops up in a window now.  I remember a time when dying by those ruins at night would make you seriously consider just logging off, but now…

Anyway, we had settled in and were doing well when along came a higher level player with a level 2 in tow and began just taking all our mobs.  You see, in EverQuest, it isn’t who tags the mob first, it is who gets in the most damage on the mob, and we just weren’t able to compete.  Community means bad things as well as good.

So we moved along since we hadn’t a hope of even slowing down this power leveling event and our own time was limited.

Then in a case of unnoticed adds, Tistann got slain.  I decided at that point to just log him out.  Skronk and Vikund were probably powerful enough for the area and I’d already had to go back and fetch Tistann after he got hung up on the scenery a couple of times.

We still managed to find enough prey to keep us going, but soon we ended up learning another lesson from the old days.

It was night time and there were wisps all over the zone.  While they were red to us at level 3, we were itching for something that deliver some good experience, and in my memory wisps were excellent sources of exp.

So we decided to try to take one.  I buffed up Skronk with everything Vikund had in his spell list (a surprising number of buffs), rested a minute in order to get back mana in case I needed to heal, and then it was after the nearest wisp.

On the first swing, we both got the message that the wisp was INVULNERABLE, in all caps.  It was at this point that my memory decided to share with my consciousness that you need magic weapons to damage a wisp.

I said run and Skronk started towards Qeynos, which was the wrong choice, since we were within spitting distance of Surefall Glade at that point.  Not that it mattered, since we were certainly not invulnerable to the wisp and it beat down Skronk before he got very far.

I had headed towards Surefall, then stopped to see how Skronk was doing.  He went down and the wisp came for me.  I started to run.

Wisps are social and another one joined in the chase, but I had enough of a head start to make it to Surefall alive.

Another lesson learned.  Fortunately, with the current rules of the server, which are different in many regards to the 1999 rules, there is no real penalty for dying if you are under a certain level.  So we formed back up and carried on.

As we started out that evening, I didn’t think we would get our level, but we managed to make it to level 4 out there in the Qeynos Hills.


And, for the evolutionary shot of us through the levels, here we are, level 4 monk and shaman.

Hunters in the Night

You can see that Skronk managed to pick up some leather armor while Vikund got some cloth drops so that he is not completely bare from the waist up.  Skronk is pooling up his cash for more armor upgrades while Vikund has to save for spells.  Only five more levels until Spirit of the Wolf.

Maybe this weekend we can catch up a bit to the hard core players.  I saw several level 20s that night.  That is more dedication to the game than I can muster, or more knowledge about how and where to level than I posses.

Soon we’ll be in the wide hunting grounds of West Karana.