Soloing in EverQuest II
There are two types of players; those who solo because that is how they prefer to play and those who solo because it's in the middle of the day on a Tuesday and no one is around for a good group.
Regardless of which category you fall under, chances are that at some point, you will play solo.
For soloing to be productive, and not just something to do, there is a certain amount of skill involved. If you go in thinking that you can rely on grinding to get to level 70, you may be in for a long ride! This guide is for those who need the tips and tricks involved with general soloing. The best advice for specific classes will be in the class guides, so think of this as a general guideline.
The Career Soloer
Soloing is an art when done in place of any group or raid involvement at all, and I have seen soloers progress throughout the game with impressive speed. There are certain tricks that can help you get through it more efficiently, particularly when you get higher in level and experience is harder to come by. If you plan on soloing through most of your gameplay then making it worth your while starts in the very beginning with character creation.
Class choice has long been known to be essential to how well a player can solo. I've always said that any class can solo, but it is true that not all classes solo equally, some will always be a little bit better. A good example of this is the pet classes; the Conjurer and the Necromancer. These classes have been popular choices for soloers because of their ease of play. You more or less have a built in group with your very own tank and mage duo which can go a long way in tackling some tougher mobs.
Other classes that have been touted as solo friendly around the community are the Brawlers (Monk and Bruiser). These guys do a fair amount of damage for a fighter and have the handy ability to heal and feign which allows them to avoid death when others find it inevitable.
Also on that list are many of the scout classes, particularly the Brigand and Swashbuckler. Its my opinion that all of the scouts can solo nicely, but these two classes seem to really shine.
If a healer is more your style, then the druids are the best choice. The Warden and the Fury both get some very nuke like damage spells along with snare and other debuffs that make soloing as a healer a whole lot easier.
And for mages, other than the Summoners as mentioned above, Coercers do very well.
After making your character choice, its all about learning what your class can do. Class forums are so valuable for this as other players are always happy to share when they have found a trick that makes things easier. You can visit any of these forums to get class specific information: Ten Ton Hammer forums, EQ2Flames Class Forums, Official EQ2 Class Forums.
Even without the help of co-players, you are bound to learn as you go what combat arts and spells make life easier. Things like using direct damage spells on a rooted/snared mob because the addition hits of DoTs give more chances for the root to break. Or the liberal use of Cheap Shot for scouts during combat to get in those couple of flanking hits. These are the little things that make life easier, but are very tailored to one's specific class, so if you haven't clicked on the class guide link at the beginning of this guide, then get your rear back up there and do it!
Making the Most of Experience
Gaining experience is a simple thing. If you are in it just to enjoy the gameplay, then quests are the way to go. They give a certain amount of purpose to the game and help keep you from dropping dead of severe boredom. Even when I'm just trying to make levels, I switch back and forth between grinding and questing so I don't lose interest.
In my experience, the quickest way to gain experience when you are on your own is by soloing heroics. While a lot of classes can have a hard time with this, I find that with a little patience, nearly any class can solo at least green heroics, and some can solo blue heroics. Spending some time running through dungeon zones that are a bit lower than what you would go into with a group is a great option. I've spent a lot of time soloing through Blackburrow, Fallen Gate, Stormhold, and the Ruins of Varsoon in my lower levels that pushes me to level 40 quite quickly. This also gives you the benefit of dungeon loot drops which really help for making coin.
For help on knowing where to go, check out the Tier Leveling Guides. If you are hunting for heroics, I'd go with zones a tier lower than what you are. For solo mobs, shoot for a couple levels over what you are and stick with yellow cons for good, steady experience.
Multi-Boxing for Solo Play
If you plan to always solo and happen to have the resources to pull this off, multi-boxing is a great choice to group without actually grouping. You'll always be able to do more with more than one character killing, and even myself, being a total multi-box noob, can pull this off without extra equipment.
I have two accounts, mediocre computer setup, and 2GB of RAM. with this I can easily run 2 instances of the game with lowered graphic settings. I don't play like this often, only when I really want to get things done that I really can't do without some backup, or when I'm working on leveling one of my characters, but it goes a long way in helping me do more by myself.
Just be sure that you are doing things legit! Running multiple instances of the game with multiple accounts is not a violation of your User Agreement, but using any 3rd party programs is, so you need to run all characters yourself and utilize in-game macros for ease of play.
Skill will always be the key in successful soloing, so please do your research and take the time to get to know your class! A little bit of effort in the beginning can go a long way in helping your progress at a steady pace that helps keep you interested in EverQuest II.
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