The Race to the Level Cap

Is leveling too fast in EQII, or is it convenient to be able to level an alt up fast? We learn how to hit the level cap in 7 hours.

I'm of the opinion that the game levels too darn fast.

I recently rolled a new toon and hit 20 before I ever even got to Frontier Farm in Antonica, causing me to choose between level-locking to experience the rest of the zone or moving on to Thundering Steppes.  I understand that after five years the developers want to provide the means for people to rapidly catch up to their friends and the current end game, but if you don't level-lock you're missing a metric ton of content.  I feel it kills some of the new player experience by rushing them through the game, and sets them up for grind and disappointment when the XP slows down at later levels.

Just how fast can you level a new character?  A little while ago, in a discussion on the official forums, I threw out a tongue-in-cheek challange:  can you level a character to 80 in one day?  Much to my suprise a player named Zimm took me up on it, hitting the level cap in an incredible 7 hours of playtime.

Naturally I wanted details.

The average player who just started playing EverQuest II probably won't have the resources to pull off this mad dash to level 80.  It really has to be done deliberately and with forethought.  But for those who would like to grind a new character to max rapidly, Zimm has graciously given us (almost) all his strategies.

You're going to need a Recruit-a-Friend friend (where you've invited them), friends to mentor you and a few experience potions.   Zimm used one Traveller's Potion (4 hours,  10% bonus XP) and three One-Year Reward potions (55% bonus XP).  You will also need a (very) little cash.  A guild that provides rapid transportation is really handy but probably not crucial.  Zimm also had two level 80 characters on this account for more bonus XP.

Zimm is a multi-boxer, but you could do this with a bunch of friends. "I was actually boxing many characters with the levelee," he said. "Gotta have the buffage! Berserker, Templar, Coercer, Dirge, Troubador and the Inquisitor (New One) "  The advantage to this is the mentoring bonuses stack. "5 people mentoring [is] 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1% each person from the first. So 15% total from all five."

Zimm's total XP bonuses were:  200% RAF, 15% from five Mentors, 20% for two max level characters, 10% mentor bonus (from the RAF bonus horse), plus the potions mentioned above.  He never had any vitality as he was going for speed, but if you waited a week for it to build up you'd start with another 100%.

To level this particular character Zimm did the following:

Skip the whole newb experience; instead, take that little bit of cash and buy some collections.  Remember that collection XP is capped, so you don't have to shell out for high-level stuff.  Zimm bought four collections, hit level 6, and set out across Antonica killing trash mobs all the way to Blackburrow.  He cleared Blackburrow once and dinged 18. 

Leaving Blackburrow he killed trash on the way to Stormhold and then proceeded to clear the zone until he hit level 26.  Then he moved to Thundering Steppes.  He again cleared everything in his path until he got to The Ruins of Varsoon, where he cleared the zone until he hit level 30-something.

He called to his guild hall and caught a lift to Enchanted Lands.  There he (you guessed it) killed trash mobs as he headed to Runnyeye, then proceeded to harass goblins there until he was 40-something.

Back he went to the guild hall for a hop to the Feerrott, where he (can you guess?) killed mobs on the way to Cazic Thule and cleared the zone until he dinged 48.  Then he moved to Sanctum of Fear and committed mass mayhem until level 58.  Back to the guild hall!

He took his group to  Sanctum of the Scaleborn and cleared the entire zone multiple times until level 66, took a nap, and went back at it until level 68.

At level 68 you can group with a full group of level 80's.  Zimm wants to keep his favorite zone for this stage to himself, but there are lots of group zones at that level to grind through.  "As long as its a constant flow of mobs to kill it doesn't matter," he told me.

Ding!  Level 80 in less playtime than an old school EverQuest raid, easily doable on your day off.  Here's the screenshot of his playtime (click for a bigger image).

What does it all mean?  A veteran with the right tools can certainly get a new toon leveled up to join his or her friends and guildmates with a quickness.  Even if you only had an hour a night you could do with with a little help from your friends.  But with all that help does the new player experience really need to be so fast?  While I wouldn't call for XP retuning at this point, if it happens I'd advocate slowing down the level 1-20 experience just a tad to encourage a more leisurely progression instead of driving the new player relentlessly toward the cap.

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Interesting, but Not Relevant for Most
# Dec 31 2009 at 10:58 AM Rating: Good
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While I find this article very interesting and worthy of discussion, I don't find it relevant for most players (or me). If you want to take it to extremes, I can get a character to level 80 in 10 minutes by buying it off eBay. I'm as likely to do that as I am to use the approach revealed here.

For the people who say that it's now too easy to level up, I say that there's a solution to that. Resist the temptation to succumb to the dark side. If you don't want to level up quickly, then don't. Lock your exp, pick up some AA, do some quests, learn the zones in and out, in other words enjoy the game. I know players who've been here since release and haven't reached level 80 yet. It's the journey, not the destination, that makes it fun.
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PLing
# Dec 30 2009 at 6:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes you can PL a char to lvl 80 quickly. You don't have to use that method though if someone wants to complete quests to lvl up they can use that method still. And that char who is lvl 80 w/ 30 AA's is completely useless you now need to go spend the time you would of spent leveling up completing quests and mentoring down for AA xp.
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PLing
# Dec 31 2009 at 3:16 AM Rating: Good
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Only that it takes about another 20 hours to get 200aa's by grinding... Epic quests in about a 6 hours depending on class. Mythical run the next night... 80/200 Myth in 2 days.
This is common. I am a BAMF tho ;)
PLing
# Jan 04 2010 at 1:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Even then to lvl to 80 that fast you still need the RAF bonus which means your paying atleast $40 The situation that is being used here alot of people wouldn't consider. Not to mention you already need to have a lvl 80 char to do the PLing or find someone willing to do it for you.
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AA gridning using RAF
# Dec 29 2009 at 2:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Using the same method, people are already getting massive AA and exp using the RAF method. I was able to grind my sk from 54 to 64 in an hour yesterday with my RAF toon and a 55% exp pot alone.

http://www.eq2flames.com/zones-population/54720-aa-grinding-combat-exp-converting-aa.html



Edited, Dec 29th 2009 3:24pm by Seloba
AA gridning using RAF
# Dec 29 2009 at 2:16 PM Rating: Decent
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So I thought I would Try IT
# Dec 28 2009 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
Ok My set Up was My main Pally then I had Raf On my 2 other accouts I started them at lvl 1 one was a Defiler and the other was a Illy also had my wife with 2 of her player mentoring each of my toones. I played yesterday first zone was Oak forest
up to lvl 12 then went to firemyst Gulley got them to lvl 25
Moved over to The Ruins of Varsoon lvl to 38.
Then went to Runeye lvled to 42 got a few aa.

Then at 42 went to Oblesk of lost soul ( how ever you spell it LOL),made It to lvl 45 moved on from there to CT in freerott
made it up to lvl 48 then went in to SS and went to living tombs and lvl to 55 then went up to Sanctum of scale and played for like ever it seemd like LOL made it to like 69 ran around trying to figure best place to start to lvl from 69 to 80 and that where I ran out of speed and engery I wish he would tell us where he went form 68 to 80.
It would make it so much easyer then just running around
Please tell us

so far I have played just under 6 hrs I wont beat his time but Iam power lvl 2 toones and trying to get some aa and I did a few quest along the way.

sorry for my bad spelling and Punction !!

It was fun so far and there was no third party programs used
So I thought I would Try IT
# Dec 28 2009 at 5:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hint hint: with full group of level 80's you've found in your late 60's, try the group dungeons in RoK and TSO.

Edited, Dec 28th 2009 7:04pm by Calthine
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L20 in 10 hours is my best
# Dec 27 2009 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
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It takes me 10 hours straight staying awake just to get a toon to level 20... And thats non stop for me. No breaks. I do all quests available rather then grind too. I know some people are better at it then others. I just burn myself out so i stopped at 20.

Edited, Dec 27th 2009 6:34pm by Eschia

Edited, Dec 27th 2009 6:34pm by Eschia
L20 in 10 hours ismy best
# Dec 27 2009 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Of course if i had enough patience and no corporal tunnel from being a healer so long i could probably do better lol.

Edited, Dec 27th 2009 6:35pm by Eschia
What does the example have to do with your conclusion?
# Dec 27 2009 at 6:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
A veteran with the right tools can certainly get a new toon leveled up to join his or her friends and guildmates with a quickness. Even if you only had an hour a night you could do with with a little help from your friends. But with all that help does the new player experience really need to be so fast? While I wouldn't call for XP retuning at this point, if it happens I'd advocate slowing down the level 1-20 experience just a tad to encourage a more leisurely progression instead of driving the new player relentlessly toward the cap.


Emphasis mine, these things have very little to do with each other. Anyone who gets this level of boost is receiving it from one or more individuals who are making a major effort to get the newbie to level 80 ASAP. If someone did this for a legitimate newbie, it would be because that person was someone they wanted to play with on their current characters. Would either side of that equation really be better off keeping friends/guildmates apart? And what does the speed of 1-20 have to do in any way whatsoever with the speed with which this player met your challenge for getting to level 80 in general? You want to tune the exp curve for 1-20 based on someone who bought their way past the entire level bracket on the broker? How do you propose to deal with the zones that offer exactly enough quests to get to level 20 (DLW, TD, GF, and probably New Halas too) if you increase the exp required to 20, pad out all of the kill quests with additional kills?

In practical terms, this game has 12 classes and 24 subclasses, but only offers players 7 slots on all retail servers for the base monthly fee. Because of the old archetype branching system, it's sometimes necessary to play as far as level 20 to tell the difference between classes. As someone who started the game back in February 2009, I actually went through half a dozen characters before finding a class that really clicked with me. If 1-20 had been a real grind, I probably would have quit after my first three fails instead of sticking with it until I found something I was prepared to level to 80.
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80 in a day, huh?
# Dec 26 2009 at 3:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Ey, I get the feelin that some third-party illegal software was involved.
80 in a day, huh?
# Dec 27 2009 at 1:00 AM Rating: Good
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What is so hard about sitting down and grinding something for 8 hours? NTOV anyone? VT? PoTime? 8 Hours on an online game is a drop in the bucket.
80 in a day, huh?
# Dec 26 2009 at 11:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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According to Zimm, no, he only used items and means legitimately available in game.
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How about a real challenge?
# Dec 24 2009 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
I'd like to see a Level Challenge where you don't have a ready made group (friends or multi-boxing), or anything extra other than what a BRAND NEW player would receive.
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# Dec 24 2009 at 2:29 PM Rating: Decent
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I am satisfied with the current rate of experience gain.

I have played that damned low lvl content since EQ2 beta, and frankly I am sick of it. Especially on the pvp server where grouping for that content is severely limited.

Thus power-leveling and AA runs is the only tolerable way for me to play the game.
Haha
# Dec 23 2009 at 7:46 PM Rating: Good
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What little I could see of his armor is that he hardly has any, hehe.
Haha
# Dec 23 2009 at 8:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Heh, my only criteria was "80 in a day". "80 with good gear" might be a different run :)
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Crazy
# Dec 23 2009 at 6:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Thats insane!

Interesting to see that it can be done, but I have never understood the rush to level and the missing of content.

My only rush is to be able to buy gear that makes me look cool! :)
Crazy
# Dec 24 2009 at 5:13 AM Rating: Decent
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The only reason I could see doing this is cause your guild really needed a specific class badly, and you where a brawler, summoner, or some other class low on the raid desirability scale. Also remember if you kill everything in your path you will get SOME AAs from it, just from Discos and First Kills. And you still have all those quests, including collections to get both AA and converted AAxp from.
How about 80/200?
# Dec 23 2009 at 4:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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If anyone wants to document the same experience with the additional requirement of hitting 200 AA, I'd love to hear about it for a similar guide/editorial.
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How about 80/200?
# Dec 30 2009 at 9:51 AM Rating: Decent
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My son and I are doing an experiment along this line. We have 2 accounts and have started new toons (coercer and sk) on Test. Our aim is to level lock these toons at 10 and grind a ton of AA's out so that we can kill way over our heads (yellows and hopefully barely reds) once we have enough AA's to max out what is workable in our trees for that low a level. (Typically the Crusader tree for the sk for example.) So we are doing a ton of low level content, getting our crafting on so that we can level up to 80 and select our higher level attributes (because that is based on exp or crafting level) and to get us good gear by crafting. We still need a guild on test for that, but I am looking. I would also solicit ideas or guild invites (that have crafting set ups!)

We have no 80 toons on that server and are making our money and levels kind of the old fashioned way. But I am open for suggestions.

Thanks!
Sam and Dan
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How about 80/200?
# Dec 30 2009 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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SamAndDan wrote:
My son and I are doing an experiment along this line. We have 2 accounts and have started new toons (coercer and sk) on Test.


There's an XP bonus on Test, won't that skew your results? Interested to see it though!
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How about 80/200?
# Dec 30 2009 at 4:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, since Im really not going for a record, I dont think it will affect anything. (I had forgotten about the exp bonus though..) But I am just interested in trying this different type of game play. I dont know if it takes longer or shorter to get AA at lower levels, but I suspect shorter.

Take Care!
S&D
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How about 80/200?
# Dec 23 2009 at 7:29 PM Rating: Decent
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One would assume you could grind the same way until 200 AA. Being that you would lose the 15% mentor XP, but you would have potions remaining. 3 1 week, 3 6 month and then any you want from LoN or Marketplace.

I'm sure the math would look something like 19 hours roughly ;)
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