I’ve been experimenting with mercenaries a bit in EQ2, mainly because there are quests in the current zone I couldn’t solo. For instance in my last big session I went back to Enchanted Lands for some revenge. I’d tried killing the rather over-sized fish called Chomper (a ^^^ heroic monster meaning so it should be tackled by a group of three).
I’d tried soloing it and even with me three levels higher it still killed me very quickly. So I hired a mercenary, Nevis Yewkus (a mystic), to drop heals on my while I fought the beast. Of course Mr Yewkus doesn’t scale so well and ended up tanking the thing while healing me without breaking a sweat.
He also helped me clear out a mine full of trios of nasty heroic (^^) lamias that I’d almost died running away from when I tried soloing them a previous time. Inside caves it can be very hard to see just how many creatures are tied together in an encounter! With this healing, tanking, crit machine at my side we made short work of the area. Sure it was a bit too easy for my tastes but at least I was finally finishing off quests I’d had for some time uncompleted.
Using a jumper mount, as normal, to avoid nasty things like these void observers (another ^^^ creature), I found out a disadvantage to having my mercenary active. Quite realistically he runs behind me on the ground. So if I bound off at full speed he will run through anything in the way of that path. I landed to see where he why his health was falling, only to have this monstrosity come zooming up the hill at me. In the end with my merc’s help we killed it but unlike the other creatures in the zone the evil eyes are still no push-over.
I suspect I’ll use mercenaries to finish off the group quests in zones. I went back to Steamfont last night for a quick game and was back soloing happily as I haven’t yet collected many quests requiring me to kill heroic opponents.