Sunday, March 25, 2018

Opportunities : EverQuest

Back when I used to make a character on every new EQ server that rolled by, I prided myself on being able to bootstrap from abject poverty to very comfortable thank-you in a handful of sessions. That seems like a very long time ago.

These days most servers have some form of hyper-inflation and all the real market movers count their wealth in Kronos not platinum. And anyway, I have no idea what's valuable any more. I used to make a lot of money going through the bins buying back potentially valuable items players had sold to vendors but I can't parse vendor stock for value at a glance the way I once could.

Still, there are ways. A good one is to take a look at what players are selling in The Bazaar - particularly what they're buying on the /barter system. You can set your character up as either a seller or a buyer. Almar has a guide on how to do it but you need to be an All Access member (aka subscriber), which, on the account I'm using on Vox, I am not.

Doesn't matter. I don't want to set up a vendor. I just want to know what to look out for so I can sell it to whoever's buying.

I got fed up of sitting and medding so I claimed the mount from the Echoes of Faydwer expansion. It's supposed to be a warg but it looks more like a pig with a lion's head. A green pig.

Only a fraction of the number of players buy compared to those who sell but you don't need many. Today on Vox there were 68 vendors and 13 buyers, which is actually a higher ratio than I'm used to. I spent a while perusing the buy offers. Mostly crafting materials. Always is. A few people looking to buy Defiant armor on the cheap. The odd specialist request for weird rares.

It's interesting how many things have held value and interest. I was making coin selling odd gems like Taaffeite and Harmonagate a decade ago and they're still in demand today. Even older than that, apparently you can still make money farming Iron Oxide and Permafrost Crystals, something I remember doing even before the Bazaar existed, when you had to do your trades in the EC Tunnel or by the Freeport bank.

Nothing I had on me was on the list and a trawl round the vendors in The Bazaar and Plane of knowledge only turned up a couple of pieces of Crude Silk and a Crude Animal Pelt. Still, that got me forty plat, which was a start.

A start that needed a stop. I'm very wary of getting sucked into the "must check all the vendors" cycle again. Mrs Bhagpuss and I fell so far down that rabbit hole at one time we had to quit EQ and play something else for a while. I try to keep my vendor diving casual nowadays.

You know the boats are running again, Sedina? Wait, never mind - just port me!

The player economy may have moved on but there were always a few classic ways to make money for spells and gear at low levels that didn't involve trading. One of my favorites was hunting Willowisps for their Greater Lightstones.

GLSs are extremely good low-level loot in their own right. They sell to vendors for around four platinum per. Regular Lightstones sell for just under a plat. Rather than selling them straight away, though, it always used to be worth hoofing down to the Gypsy Camp in North Karana, where Mrysla would swap you a GLS for a Concordance of Research and then buy the Concordance back for twice what she'd pay for the Greater Lightstone. It's a wonder she wasn't kicked out of the Gypsy Union years ago.

I remembered all that without having to look it up. I also remembered where wisps can best be hunted and that Level 12 pets can "hit magic" - essential since wisps are immune to normal attacks. I hunted wisps in Qeynos Hills until I needed to sell, then I went through Qeynos to the docks to take the boat to Erud's Crossing.

There was no need to wait for the boat, alhtough I later saw it pass the docks. The Translocator Gnomes, who were added as a "temporary" fix, way back when the boats first began to misbehave in the early 2000s, are still on the job, porting on request. I zapped over to the rock we used to call "Wisp Island" because it was where we'd go there to farm them.

It looks a lot nicer in daylight. Also fewer zombies then.

After a while I had as many GLSs as I could carry. I gated to PoK and went to The Nexus to catch the portal to the wizard spire. It fires up every fifteen mniutes. I checked and even in 2018 that seems to be the fastest way to get there.

I'm noticing a lot of small quality of life improvements that would have made things so much easier back in the old Luclin/PoP days. The Nexus Scions now have descriptive names that tell you where they're going to send you and all the spell vendors tell you which level spells they sell. There's loads of stuff like that. Or maybe there always was and it's just my settings that have changed. I do tend to play with all information switched off but on Vox I'm mostly still using the defaults.

One thing that has definitely changed and not for the better is Mrysla. Someone has finally clued her in to the reverse-scam she was running on herself. She now pays exactly the same for the Concordance as she does for Greater Lightstones. She may not be making anything but at least she won't go bankrupt.

I googled this to see if I could see when it changed but every reference went back a few years at least and all claimed she paid double for the Concordance.  Well, she doesn't, so it's probably not worth lugging the things all the way to the back of beyond any more. You do get some decent xp for handing them in so it might be worth the trek if you're leveling. Otherwise I'd just sell your lightstones where you get the best price and save yourself the trip.

What do you mean it's the same price?! I came all this way for nothing???

It's a dangerous journey, too, at low level. I had to avoid griffons and Hill Giants, some of which path right through the gypsy camp. Classic EverQuest. Luckily as a necro I have Gather Shadows, which, in another quality of life upgrade, no longer fades randomly but always runs its full duration.

Or maybe it doesn't. I don't know. I've used it a load and it hasn't dropped. Maybe I'm just lucky. It's very difficult these days to find accurate, current info on EQ because the signal is lost in all the noise from the game's long history and, especially, from P99.

Then, EQ was always a mystery. For years nothing was documented and now even when it is I don't always believe it. For example, we always used to believe that some wisps were massively tougher than others but we never knew which or why.

I noticed today that I could clearly see the buffs on  wisps in North Karana and some had none at all while others had Heroism and Symbol of Marsan. These are  Level 52 and 54 Cleric spells respectively.

There was one other person in the zone other than me - a Druid - and in any event as far as I know you haven't been able to buff random mobs in EQ for about fifteen years. You can charm them then buff them then break charm and I think they still keep the buffs, although I'm not even 100% sure of that, but Clerics can't charm and it seems beyond reason to imagine a Cleric/Chanter duo roaming the Karanas, charming and buffing wisps and then releasing them just on the off-chance some passing low level might get griefed. I mean, I know that was common practice back in the day but back in the day there were people in these zones...

I call Shenanigans.

Maybe there's some NPC that buffs them. I know I got charmed by one of the Gypsies in North Karana once, who then set me on some unfortunate player. NPCs have minds of their own in Norrath - or they used to. I thought it was all meant have been toned down but maybe not.

And...this is why I love Norrath. Weird stuff happens all the time. You never really know what's going on and even when you think you do, often as not you're just fooling yourself. .

Level fifty cleric buffs or not, I managed to kill my wisps. I have a pocket cleric of my own, thankfully, or I would have had to run them across the bridge to East karana. Mercenaries and Defiant armor make the low/mid level game a playground not a purgatory these days.

Back in Plane of Knowledge I spent my GLS money on a full set of Crude Defiant Jewellery from the handy vendor near the Soulbinder. Like a million other good things in EQ, you have to know it's there. No-one's going to tell you. Except, I just did...

I'm about half-dressed in Defiant now and at Level 14 I have six more levels before I need to think about upgrading. At the rate I'm going that should be sometime on Thursday or Frday.

Whether I'll carry on after that, who can say. I'm having a heap of fun right now, though, so maybe I will. If I do, I'm going to need to come up with a better money-making scheme than selling Greater Lightstones for union minimum.  Any ideas?


  1. Armadillos is Ro, on the grassy area and around it. Easy way for a low level to make easy money. The tails and other items sell well and it's easier than whisp because they die a lot faster and the drops are more common. On the PoP locked server it helped fund us with spells and gear. I always run new characters there if they need some funds. I've heard many ways to make money at low levels but this was always a sure bet IMO and easy at a very low level. If none are up, clear everything until they pop a some of the other mobs drop items that sell decently too.

    1. Oh that's a good one. I think I even wrote about it here a while back. Armadillos are odd in that for many years they had absolutely no loot whatsoever. They may have been the only mobs with no loot table. Then one day - possibly it was when they did the graphical revamp of the Ros - they suddenly acquired some very good cash drops.

      They're great to farm and level on at around 1-4 but I think they're a bit counterproductive once they go grey. I have a level 3 Paladin on Vox, though - I might get him on them!

  2. Unrelated to this post, but I just wanted to let you know that your blog recently started acting up in Firefox for me, to the point of becoming unreadable in that browser. Basically every time I try to open one of your pages, it keeps spamming refreshes so quickly that nothing actually has time to load and I can't make it stop.

    I'd blame it on Firefox weirdness because that browser sure does a lot of weird things these days, but at the same time I haven't had an issue like that occur with any other blog, so I did want to point it out in case you made any unusual changes to the site lately...

    1. Interesting. Thanks for letting me know - but I have made absolutely no changes at all for many months. I also get that issue with Firefox, though, on several blogs and other sites. Only since the big Firefox update a month or two back. I have to close and re-open Firefox and sometimes I have to switch to Chrome for a while. No idea what causes it.

  3. Firefox user here. All working fine.

    Perhaps clear your cache if you are a regular visitor?


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