I decided to throw together a newbie walkthru guide for people new to the game and deciding to start a character in Neriak. Personally I think Evil toons are more fun to play, and I have all of my alts residing in the nefarious city. I found also that when questing in Darklight wood, that it was much easier to level and gain achievement, and the zone progressed quite naturally, something that cannot be said of The Commonlands or Antonica. Since the addition of Kelethin/Gfay and Neriak/Darklight, questing has taken a new precedence in a lowbie’s world, and its much more efficient than in times past. I am currently working on a lowbie Brigand (level 21 at the moment), and this is the pattern I have followed with much success. So without further adieu, on to the guide:
Humble Beginnings: After the character creation screen, and a short load, you will begin your adventures in the outpost of Hate’s Envy, within the Darklight Wood zone. This is a small outpost with everything an adventurer needs, including quests, shops, a mender, a bank, etc. A quest is available to you at the start, so go ahead and complete that. New quests will continue to open as you level, and all of the creatures/items needed to complete them are all within a short distance, so you will blow through these quests in a short amount of time. Once your remaining quests all point towards T’vatar Post, go ahead and journey there.
T’Vatar Post: Here you will recieve more quests, all of which are easily completed. This will take you through the next part of the zone, and you should hit level 10 in this chunk, at which point you can start earning achievement. If for some reason you aren’t level 10 when you start receiving quests of that level, make sure to ding 10 before completing any, or you will lose out on AA. Many people will recommend turning off combat experience at this point to maximize AA, but I do not suggest this. My main, who was created before EOF was released, still managed to get 100 AP only a few months after hitting 70, and that was going slow. Since the release of EOF, AA is very easy to get, and you will most likely hit 100 before you hit level 70. The same people who recommend locking xp will also say to do all the quests in all the lowbie zones, but this is also something I do not suggest, mainly because a lot of the quests don’t give AA, and the rewards are pure crap. Not really worth it to me. And because I want to hit 70 before the new expansion comes out, I need all the xp I can get. Once you hit level 10, I also recommend heading into the city (Neriak) as there are a couple more easy to finish quests inside that give AA, along with a very important quest to activate the teleporters within the city. After you’re done with this head by to T’Vatar, where the quests will eventually lead you to The Wanderlust Fair.
Wanderlust Fair: By now you should have a couple AA points distributed where ever you see fit. Continuing these quests will fill out most of the rest of the zone. Don’t forget that to try and swing by any spot where named mobs are on the map, as they give free easy AA, and none are more than ^, which is easy for any class to solo. When you are sent on the quest to kill werewolves in the northern village, don’t forget to grab the Werewolf L&L in one of the buildings. I recommend trying to finish all L&Ls when you find them, as they are very useful, providing you with enemy masteries. Eventually you will be sent to the Shadow Oak, to get your final few quests in the zone.
Wrapping it up: At the Shadow Oak you will find a few more quests, sending you to the spider caves and surrounding areas. You will also be send back to the Wanderlust Fair, in which you will get a quest taking you to The Tower of Bone. Inside the Tower is the Skeleton L&L, which you should finish before moving on to bigger and better things. If you are a caster class, you can visit the portal trainer at The Warpfont Spire once you hit level 20, which you should be around when done with all the quests in the zone. There is a final quest given to you at the Wanderlust Fair, that will send you to Nektulos Forest, which I assume was SOE’s attempt at continuity, though there are a few things you need to do before hand, as it’s a level 25 quest and you’re not quite ready for that.
What now?: Less experienced players will now hit a roadblock. They see people chatting in the channels about zones they never heard of, and don’t know how to get to. I have had characters starting in every starting city, and I know what quests to do for AA/gear, and what quests to avoid as they are completely useless. As far as I’m concerned, Antonica/CL are useless, as are Nektulos/Thundering Steppes. These zones were fine when AA didn’t exsist, but at this point they all need a major revamp (hopefully coming with the expansion or future GUs). So at this point you’ve cleared Darklight, and you’re wondering what to do next. This is what I did.
Expanding your horizons: There are a couple new quests in Neriak that will take you to the Commonlands, and also to Fallen Gate. FG is a great grouping zone, but if you like to solo, or you can’t seem to get groups due to extrenuous factors, you’re not going in there. The quest from Neriak however is soloable, and it’s cheap AA, so I headed to CL. The first quest asks for Black Wolves, and Orc Skeletons near the Wailing Caves. Clear those and then head over to Fallen Gate. Once zoning in, you need to kill Gloom Snakes. There are only 4 in this entry way, and you need 5, so you will have to wait for repops. After getting your updates, exit to CL. At this point you can get more cheap AA by visiting all of the Discovery Locations (disco from here on out). Zarvonn’s Tower, Ruins of ValMarr, Turmoil Cemetary, The Crossroads, The Seige Lands, Pride Lake, and The Dog Pond will give you a nice little chunk. You can also pick up the Orc L&L in The Crossroads in the tower behind a shield on the wall. A good rule of thumb with L&Ls I should mention, is to kill only enough mobs to get the auto-updating parts, the others are usually cheap on the Broker, provided you can spare the cash. When running by the Druid Circle, make sure you harvest your “Blessing of Tunare” which will come in hand for ports later on. Near here as well is the “Lightbringer Wisp”, who drops the item starter for the Greater Lightstone HQ. When you’ve finished these tasks, it’s on to Antonica for similar adventures.
In Ant, you can get more cheap AA at The Keep of the Gnollslayers, Windstalker Village, The Ruins of Caltorsis, The Oracle Tower, Vhalen’s Tower, The Keep of the Ardent Needle, Crater Pond, Qeynos Hill, Archer’s Wood, Coldwind Point, and The Glade of the Coven. Also in Gnollslayer Keep you can pick up the Gnoll L&L, and in The Ardent Keep, Hwal Rucksif gives the Dwarven Workboots HQ. Kill some Gnolls, and then you can travel to The Greater Faydark.
Getting to Gfay is easy. Run to the zoneline for The Thundering Steppes. On your way down the path you will see a griffon tower. In this zone as well as Nek, you need to complete a quest to access the griffon stations. Go ahead and grab the quest, but don’t worry about finishing it now, push forward to the Docks. Wait at the end of the dock for the ship to arrive. Hop on and zone into The Butcherblock mountains. Now as I stated before, Nek/TS suck for quests. The zones require too much running around and its a huge pain when you discover that you didn’t get AA rewarded to you for the tedium. BB is where you will move on after finishing up the exteme lowbie content. Right when you hit the docks you will discover some quests waiting for you. Go ahead and pick these up. Also, in one of the tents is a bookcase that contains the Kobold L&L. Head up the mountain path and you will find another quest, along with some easy Kobolds to get your auto updates. From here you will have to cross the breadth of the zone to get to the GFay zone in. If you have stealth/invisibility, make good use of it. If not, be very careful because some of the mobs you will cross will con much to high for you. When you hit level 20, you can choose a deity to follow, and all said deity starter quests are within the EOF expansion. I chose Rallos Zek for my Brigand, and grabbed my started quest which is near the GFay zone. You can research deities here.
Once in the Greater Faydark, head to the Orc Hill. Here you can pick up the Treant L&L in one of the tents. You can also pick up the Bixie (near crushbone keep) and Goblin (in the nursery) L&Ls in this zone. After grabbing these, head up into Kelethin. Don’t worry about being kos, for some reason though you have terrible faction with the city as an Evil toon, the guards will not attack you. Find R.K. Irontoe near the broker, and after pouring through his dialogue, he will give you the Honor and Service HQ. Now as a personal preference, I have decided to avoid HQs on my Brigand, as I’ve done all but three of them on my main, and I don’t want to go to the effort. Instead I will do them when they are grey, and mentor to get the AA/XP. If you choose you can follow this path, or work on them as you see fit. The game is about enjoyment, so do what you enjoy! Despite wanting to avoid HQs, this one is easily soloable for any class at level 20+, so I would burn through it now. I’ve done it before in as little as an hour, so it’s not difficult. You can research the steps towards completion at the above linked site.
This is where I’m at currently. I’m pretty much making this up as I go, so there will be more in the future. My projected course will finish the HQ, and then head into Nek/TS for cheap AA, a couple quests (the Auger’s quests give some decent gear), and to pick up any L&Ls/HQs. Once I finish those, I will work on Butcherblock quests until I have completed the timeline, and then move on to Steamfont/EL/Nek. Basically I will do all quests in EOF zones, and only specific ones in the old world zones, as the AA is simply better in the expansion. Once into the 50s, DOF zones become available, along with the Lesser Faydark. From there, it’s on to KOS/Loping Plains, and then the signature/HQ/instance grind.
I will be back with a more details as I progress through the game (again).