EverQuest II Leveling Guide
Tier 3 - Big Fun in Big Places
Guide By: Savanja
Tier 3 is where the game starts to really get fun. You have bigger areas to explore, and more content to take advantage of.
Your biggest help getting through these levels will be the armor quests. You can get from 20-30 on those alone, without feeling like you're in the grind, and you get a neat set of armor to boot! Be sure to visit our armor quest guide list to find the line of quests, suitable for your class.
At this point, it's become less important whether you are from Freeport or from Qeynos when you pick a spot to level. The T3 zones are all but a bell ring away from each other, and the run through Nektulos Forest and Thundering Steppes isn't nearly as dangerous as it used to be, particularly with the addition of the griffon towers in these zones (be sure to do those quests ASAP). I happen to prefer Thundering Steppes, so even my evil characters will make the trip over there to play.
Tier 3 Zones
- Thundering Steppes
- Nektulos Forest
- Ruins of Varsoon
- Fallen Gate
- Butcherblock Mountains
- Crushbone Keep
We touched upon the greatness of Stormhold and the Fallen Gate in the Tier 2 Leveling Guide, but now that you are a bit bigger, it's time to venture out of the entrance areas, and delve deeper into these dungeons. If you are doing the armor quests, you'll find yourself in these areas quite a bit anyway. It's a smart idea to get several people together to do the armor quests. For each quest step, the classes in each city will generally need things from the same areas. This makes it easy for a full group to get what they need for everyone.
I happen to really enjoy Stormhold. When I'm mentoring a friend in this level range, I always head there to take advantage of my mentored uberness. And way back when, when I was a young lil monk, I'd solo green and blue heroics there. Made it through my 20s and 30s right quick that way. But for the most part, you'll want to be grouped in these zones, as it is mostly heroic content.
For Stormhold, you'll want to take your group down the tunnels to the 2nd level. Here, you can either find a room to camp, or more likely, roam the halls and take out anything in your path, popping into rooms as you come across them. This works great for your early to mid 20s. If your group is on a roll, head on down to the 3rd level to find mid to upper 20s mobs. Be sure to hit all the named mobs on the way, and keep an eye out for those Scions, they can be mean!
The Fallen Gate is a great place to take a group throughout your 20s. There are so many named mobs in this zone, that finding master chests is almost laughably easy. If you check out the guide for Fallen Gate, you will see that we have marked where all the named mobs are, so it's just a matter of working your way through the zone. Word of warning though, most mobs in this zone are aggro friendly with each other, so you need to take care that you not pull too many mobs at once. The zone starts out with 19/20 solo mobs, and gradually works it's way up to upper 20, lower 30s.
For mid to high 20s group leveling, and darned good loot, I'd consider trekking over to the Ruins of Varsoon. I wouldn't go in here too much lower in levels than 25ish, level 23 with a good group. But it's a great place to burn through the upper 20s and lower 30s. Again, don't forget to hit those named mobs, and if your brave, take at shot at Varsoon!
A great grouping zone for this tier that I have been personally having a lot of fun in is Crushbone Keep. This dungeon is found in Greater Faydark, tucked away on the far east side. This zone has a great progression of mobs, stay on the main level for level 20-25 mobs, hit the lower or upper levels for higher level mobs, up to lower 30s. And for your convenience, you can nab the Orc Lore & Legend nearby if you haven't already done it!
For solo play, you will be far better off in the open areas of Nektulos Forest and Thundering Steppes, than in the dungeons. And I cannot say it enough for soloing ..Quests, quests, quests. They are found everywhere, and for these two zones, hit the docks to find several!
The armor quests are harder to do solo. I did do them solo for my monk, but I had to wait to start them in my mid 20s, and I don't believe that this is an option for all classes and all players, since some of the AQ mobs are heroics. But there are definitely parts of the quests that can be easily solo'd, and if you happen to be of a class and skill level in which taking on heroic mobs is doable, then by all means, go on with your bad self and get those AQs done!
In Nektulos Forest in the early 20s, I'd stick to the areas close to the path. On the southern end of the zone, you can find bats and snakes, and other bits of yard trash. These areas used to be full of zombies, but due to recent changes, most of the undead have been driven from the area. There is also a nice spot on the island in the middle of the river, where you can solo camp spores and a camp of elves and halflings. For the mid 20s, I like the area just north of N'Mar's Ascent. There are sentries, quetzaneks, bees, and treants roaming around. For more challenging solo mobs in Nektulos, head on up toward Nek Castle. You'll find upper 20s, and lower 30s single up solo mobs. Careful of the immediate area around Nek Castle, this region contains mostly heroic mobs (which is actually a very nice spot for mid-high 20s groups that aren't quite ready for the castle).
Moving on over to the Thundering Steppes, in your early 20s, stay close to the docks, the beach has a lot of itty bitty mobs you can cut your teeth on, or close to the Antonica gate where you can find undead farmers. If you follow the path towards tower 2 from the Antonica gate, you will find a bunch of bears of varying difficulty, these are great solo kills at levels 20-22.
(As a side note, at level 20, The Splitpaw Saga adventure pack becomes available to you. This adventure pack is amazing for soloing in your 20s and 30s, and well worth the investment if you plan on doing a lot of soloing.)
There is a lot of mixed heroic and solo content in Thundering Steppes, so you have to be careful. A good example of this is the river basin where you can find a lot of good undead solo mobs. Keep going further down the basin though, and you will eventually hit the same mobs as heroics. The basin is a great area to solo, stick close to the walls, and try to pull the mobs to the outside edge to avoid adds.
By far, my favorite solo leveling spot in TS, is in the Ruins of Karana. This is the area outside the entrance to the Ruins of Varsoon, where you can find a field of undead, levels 24-27. They are easy to pull to a safe spot (assuming you still have good faction with the centaurs) and easy kills.
It's about the time you'd start eyeballing those tier 4 zones, but we will save that story for another day my friends. Good luck on your journey from 20-29, I hope it's a smooth one.
If you happen to have the Echoes of Faydwer, then a great place to hunt, whether you are good or evil, is the Butcherblock Mountains. Reachable by a quick boatride from either the Nektulos or the Thundering Steppes docks, you can land here and get to hunting immediately. You'll find quite a selection of mobs here. Stay closer to the Butcherblock docks for your lower 20s, and move further out for mid 20s to low 30s mobs. The EoF zones offer a new place to play and explore, and we love that! Be sure to look for any quests that might be offered at the docks.
Questions, comments, or additions for this guide are always welcome! Please feel free to e-mail me.
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