Everquest 2 can be a complex MMO to dive into as a latecomer. Questing on my newish insta-level 85 shadowknight I’d been dithering around in the Great Divide zone for many play sessions and leveling pretty slowly. He’s just recently gained level 88 but progress is pretty glacial. I’d noticed that once I’d dealt with some Gnolls and Othmir all the quests he was encountering were level 90, like the whole zone was aimed towards that level. It seemed strange to have so many quests above my level to do, yet the difficulty wasn’t that much harder so I ploughed on regardless.
Coming back to play after quite a break I started thinking about his slow progress again and suddenly wondered if there wasn’t some issue behind this. Do characters gain reduced experience if the quest is higher level than them? Is it just the case he’s progressing slower in the zone due to being a bit under-level for the content? Inspired by the desire for vistas new I checked out the wiki guide for zones by level and found I needed to head to Stonebrunt Highlands as the previous zone level-wise.
The gear differential is shocking, I’m doing quests on-level and finding random gear drops at or about my level but the armour I have received for quests in the Great Divide far exceeds the earlier zone’s spoils. Creatures likewise may be of a similar level but my character can slaughter them at an astonishing rate. This allows him to blitz through quests much faster and given that he’s started this zone at level 88 instead of level 85 there’s plenty of content to get him to 90.
A side benefit is that he can gather in this zone despite his gathering skills being pretty low (approx 100), all the sessions he’s been in Velious he’s not been able to gather anything at all.
It’s a bit confusing to step into an expansion’s story part way like this – earlier zones form part of the same expansion. I’m deliberately not getting to deep into the lore of the highlands as my inquisitor will eventually be leveling through this zone so I’d like some secrets left untouched for him to discover. Regardless it’s an interesting zone as a change from the frozen extremes of Velious.