EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II leveling zones

    
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One of the reasons new players find it so difficult to get into older games is because there is so much to do that you don’t know where to start. Few games exemplify that better EverQuest II; there is literally so much content that many newbies — and even returning players — have thrown their hands up and surrendered. Even if you take out everything else (housing, player dungeons, crafting, collections), there are so many different zones, how do you know where to go just to adventure? What you need is a handy guide. And here it is!

Although it’s not a sandbox, EQII does not force players along a rigid leveling path. There are so many zones that players can literally pick and choose what experiences they want as they adventure. You can start along the historically good path or the evil one or move fluidly between the two. There’s also a Golden Path you can follow after you wrap up the starting zones. But even there you have choice: Unlike other games, this Golden Path merely points you toward signposts to nudge you in a possible direction. As long as you check in with the NPC at the appointed levels, you can go anywhere you want to obtain said levels. If you put the wander in wanderlust (and I do), you can meander all around Norrath exploring.

Whether you want to detail an exact travel plan ahead of time or you just need an occasional glance to remind you of the choices, this guide will point out all the possibilities for where to go next. You can pick from any zone on the list in each level range and keep to that one, or move between them for something different. Keep in mind, however, that each zone has its own dungeons and quest chains, so hopping between various zones willy-nilly may cause you to miss story! The good news is you can simply pick differently on alts to experience things you miss — which coincidentally makes playing alts a new experience in more than just the class.

EverQuest IIGoing for the Gold(en Path)

Before breaking down the zones, let me first explain the lauded Golden Path just a bit more — especially since you won’t find anything by that name in game! The Golden Path was one way EQII tried to help direct players when the choices of where to go and what to do got dizzying. Of course, you have to know where to find it to be able to start it!

The Golden Path is actually a six-part Hallmark Quest series called The Legend of Roger Goldie. Players who are level 32 or higher will notice the NPC Ole’ Man Silvers has a quest for them if they choose to visit the Highland Outpost in Butcherblock Mountains. All Silvers does is tell you to meet him in a specific zone once you reach a specified level. Of course, you can obtain those levels by working your way trough the current zone and then heading into the one he mentions, but you don’t have to; those who want the rewards of doing this timeline can simply go wherever they want and then just head back to talk to him once they meet his prescribed level requirement.

Now the question is, where do you want to go for your XP?

In the beginning

Level 1-6 (progression servers only)

Queen’s Colony 1-6
Overlord’s Outpost 1-6

All players can start on the Isle of Refuge, but which version is determined by which alignment you chose based on your race. The name gives it away: the Queen is Antonia Bayle of Qeynos and the Overlord is Lucan D’Lere of Freeport.

Levels 1 – 10

 Qeynos
– Peat Bog
– The Caves
– The Down Below (sewers)
1-14
 Freeport
– The Ruins
– The Sprawl
– Thieves Way (sewers)
1-14
New Halas/Frostfang Sea 1-20
Kelethin/Greater Faydark 1-20
Neriak/Darklight Wood 1-20
Gorowyn/Timorous Deep 1-20

The dedicated starting zones go to level 20, but players can opt out of them earlier to go to the next zones, or forget them altogether in favor of a more old-school EQII experience in Qeynos and Freeport.

EverQuest IILevels 11 – 20

Frostfang Sea 1-20
Greater Faydark 1-20
Darklight Wood 1-20
Timorous Deep 1-20
Antonica 10-20
The Commonlands 10-20
Qeynos
– Vermin’s Snye (second level of sewers)
12-20
Freeport
– The Serpent Sewer (second level of sewers)
12-20

There’s nothing keeping players in the newer starting areas until 20, but the questline is designed to move you smoothly through there (and gives you an armor set and a horse to boot!). Those who prefer to venture into the other zones will have to hop between them more frequently.

Levels 21 – 30

Qeynos
– Crypt of Betrayal (third level of sewers)
18-25
Freeport
– Edgewater Drains (third level of sewers)
18-25
Thundering Steppes 20-30
Nektulos Forest 20-30
Butcherblock Mountains 20-35

The city sewers stop being useful after around Thundering Steppes and Nektolos Forest are the two original zones of Norrath for leveling, but Butcherblock added even more options (along iwth the Golden Path).

EverQuest IIIn the middle ages

Levels 31 – 40

Butcherblock Mountains 20-35
Zek, the Orcish Wastes 30-40
Enchanted Lands 30-40
Feerrott 35-45
Rivervale 35-45
Steamfont Mountains 35-48

Butherblock and Steamfont are the newest zones in this range if that’s your thing. Rivervale can only be accessed through Enchanted Lands.

Levels 41- 50

Feerrott 35-45
Rivervale 35-45
Steamfont Mountains 35-48
Everfrost 40-50
Lavastorm 45-55
The Sinking Sands 45-60

Here is where the zone progression between the Qeynos and the Freeport sides finally breaks apart: Everfrost and Lavastorm have slightly different ranges. For the getting the most out of the least amount of zones, go to the Sinking Sands at level 45.

EverQuest IILevels 51 – 60

Lavastorm 45-55
The Sinking Sands 45-60
Lesser Faydark 50-60
The Village of Shin 50-70
Pillars of Flame 52-60
Tenebrous Tangle 55-62
The Mystic Lake 55-65

In this range, The Village of Shin has the most staying power, letting players go through a whole extra 10 levels beyond the others. Like Rivervale was to Enchanted Lands, Pillars of Flame is located within The Sinking Sands.

Levels 61 – 70

The Village of Shin 50-70
Tenebrous Tangle 55-62
The Mystic Lake 55-65
The Barren Sky 60-67
Loping Plains 60-70
The Bonemire 63-70
Kylong Plains 67-72

At this point, zones stop making any attempt to adhere to ranges of 10. Players who want to leave the confines of Norrath’s continents can venture up into the trio of Tenebrous Tangle, Barren Sky, and The Bonemire in the sky, accessed via wizard spires.

Levels 71 – 80

Kylong Plains 67-72
Fens of Nathsar 70-75
Kunzar Jungle 72-77
Jarsath Wastes 76-82
Moors of Ykesha 76-82
Sundered Frontier 78-90

For a seamless run through levels, choose Sundered Frontier. For a chance to visit a variety of zones and experience different environments, hop between a selection of the others.

EverQuest IIIn the home stretch

Levels 81 – 90

Jarsath Wastes 76-82
Moors of Ykesha 76-82
Sundered Frontier 78-90
Stonebrunt Highlands 85-90
Great Divide 86-90

Again, Sundered Frontier can get you through this entire range, but then you’d be missing some spiffy Dwarven architecture in The Great Divide! Stonebrunt Highlands is actually connected to Sundered Frontier, so moving between the two is fairly easy — if you have your flying mount!

Levels 91 – 100

Eastern Wastes 90-92
The Withered Lands 90-92
Cobalt Scar 92-95
Eidolon Jungle 92-95
Obol Plains 92-95
Vesspyr Isles 95-100
Tranquil Sea* 95-100
Phantom Sea* 95-100
Far Seas Distillery* 95-100

Some of these zones pair up: Cobalt Scar follows The Withered Lands after Eastern Wastes (which comes after The Great Divide) and Obol Plains follows Eidolon Jungle. All zones past level 95 (as well as the levels themselves!) can only be obtained by purchasing expansions beyond what is available currently in the base free-to-play game. Tranquil Sea and Phantom Sea can only be accessed by those who own Altar of Malice, and Far Seas Distillery can only be adventured in if you own the Rum Cellar DLC.

Level 100+

Thalumbra 100+

The newest zone, this area can only be accessed by players who own the most recent expansion, Terrors of Thalumbra. However, any level can enter this underground region to harvest and collect shinies, but questing, mob-killing, and dungeons are really only doable by those at level 100 or higher (as soon as there is a higher).

The EverQuest franchise is a vast realm, and sometimes MJ Guthrie gets lost in it all! Join her as she explores all the nooks and crannies from Antonica to Zek. Running biweekly on Thursdays, EverQuesting is your resource for all things EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Daybreak. And keep an eye out for MJ’s OPTV adventures!
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lorenleah
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lorenleah

How handy.  I picked up EQ2 for the first time ever recently and I’ve been enjoying it, but this bit of direction will be a help :)

Jalek
Guest
Jalek

Edgewater Drains and Crypt of Betrayal?  The only reason to go to those zones is for the level 20 armor quests, and I would wonder about the itemization at this point whether they’re worth the trouble.  Class quests sent you there as well, but those have been gone a long time.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

MJ Guthrie BritoBruno I played on Antonia Bayle, since it was the RP server.
Never seen a soul walking on leveling zones.

MJ Guthrie
Guest
MJ Guthrie

BritoBruno All but abandoned? I have no idea where you play but Antonia Bayle is always pretty full.

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

I want to love this game, but i can’t play on the timelocked server ( no moneis ) and the f2p server is all but abandoned.
And Frostfangsea is god, so boring.
Also the game is too complex for me :c

BritoBruno
Guest
BritoBruno

Ironwu Is FFS the ice zone? God that zone is boring.

ntellect
Guest
ntellect

mysecretid Whats EQN again? I forgot

ntellect
Guest
ntellect

I dance around EQ like a flame in the wind.  I want to play it again but I get players block after awhile due to the animations.  Combat just doesn’t look right. But man are those first few days playing fun!  I really wish they could just update the engine or re-launch it.  But I day dream…

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

So typical of MJ, just as I make a firm decision to put EQ2 to bed once and for all, along she comes with a leveling list designed solely for the purpose of drawing me back in again :)!

Nicely done!

I         must        move       on…….

Ironwu
Guest
Ironwu

Having done this many times, I would certainly recommend NOT starting in Qeynos or Freeport.  The progression and gear is much better in the other starting areas, especially Frostfang Sea and Timorous Deep.
Not following the Golden Path is also a very serious mistake for new players.  The leveling and gear through those zones is especially good, including what will probably be your first major multi-piece armor set.
Just my 2c, based on a whole lot of experience.