illovich's guide to starting a PVP monk (or other class) in a post-pop world

It's happened to me before...the blue world gets a little boring, and I decide to see if I would like one of the PVP servers. Unfortunately, last time I tried it I went to Sullon Zek, where I was immediately ganked non stop by level 50's slumming it in my newbie area...thus I never made it past level 8 or 9--or Qeynos Hills.

Recently though, I thought it would be fun to try one of the more forgiving PVP servers, Vallon Zek. Why more forgiving? Becasue PVP combat is restricted within an 8 level range, so the folks that would gank you are not too far above you in level, so you at least have a shot. I guess. Also, the tems are less enforced, and frankly not everyone is in PVP mode all the time.

I decided to write this guide because it was the sort of thing I looked for when I started my blue server monk, and frankly I would have liked something like this when I started playing EQ in general.

Core assumptions and drives:

This is a guide about starting on a new server with no friends, i.e. no starting money, no twinking, no one to help except for kind strangers. All you have are your wits, your charm and dual wield at level one.

Furthermore, this is a guide about the above taking place on a PVP server, where the world becomes a lot more dangerous to you after level 6, because other players can attack you. I'll try to point out what I can about the differences between so-called "blue" (non-PVP) servers and the various rulesets of the PVP servers.

The general drive of this guide is to help you hit the ground running on an old server. On an old server there are lots of folks who are already 60+, many more who are in their mid-fifties and (in my experience) most of the folks you meet lower than that are the alts/twinks of the higher level chars. Generally this is just annoying, becasue you have 4 gold pieces and you meet level 4 warriors in full crusty or other gear that used to be reserved for much higher level characters.

In a PVP environment, it's even more of a problem because given 2 equal characters, the one in velious or luclin gear will smear the one wearing cloth pants. So, this guide is written with survival and hopefully prosperity in mind.

One thing I won't discuss is fighting other players. For that look at Monks and PvP by Searyx for monk info and general PVP tips.

Lastly, this is written for a human monk. Other races and classes may be able to use this info, or at least some of it. Iksar monks specifically may find much of this info worthless, because of initial faction.

Before the Beginning

So this guide will be useful to new players and/or players that want to play something other than a human monk, I thought it would be helpful to spell out the considerations and research I did before beginning my monk.

First, my experiences on Sullon Zek made me overly paranoid about being ganked, so i was interested in a character that can kick some ass. Going over my options, I chose a monk because they tend to be valued by other players, can dish out serious damage and aren't known for carrying a lot with them. The last two factors in my mind make the risk/reward ratio less favorable for griefers (monks are risky to attack and probably aren't carrying much on them). Of course later I could run into some sort of "monk hunter," but it's a risk I'll live with.

Second, I misunderstood a key rule on Vallon Zek. I was under the impression that when killed by another player, they got all the money you had on you, plus one equipped item. For that reason I started off being overly concerned about aquiring NO DROP equipment. It turns out that on Vallon Zek loot off of players is coin only, so I wasted a little time there.

Important Note: if you play on a PVP server, you should be very clear on all the rules of that server.

Third, although I started an iksar monk I abandoned him at level 3 and rerolled a human monk. The reson is that human monks unlike iksar monks have a set of quests for newbie armor [freeport / qeynos ] that is attainable by level 8 or so. The armor is of some value at least into your mid-30s and it is free/very cheap to attain. Given that we are working in a no friends/no twinking milieu this armor seemed too important to pass up. As a note to people who don't want to play a monk but want a nice set of newb armor, maintains a list of the newbie armor quests sorted by starting city (you'll have to scroll down the page). Not all cities have them, and in general if your starting city doesn't have the quests, they aren't available to you.

With the above in mind, lets begin our monk.

Choose Create Your Partner

The first step is to create your monk, and I assume you know how to do that. If you want some advice, has a nice monk creation guide that I used for mine. I've heard the opinion that stamina is more important for agility, but I've made two monks by the crgaming guide and they've both turned out fine--with one exception, and this applies to almost every crgaming creation guide thatI've read.

Religion is important, and since sometime between the Velious and Luclin expansions those who choose agnostic get a little left out in terms of equipment. There is now a lot of deity specific items now in game that don't matter when you're starting out non-twinked, but later you might kick yourself over. For example, monks of quellious can use a Golden Idol of Quellious, whereas there is no similar item for agnostics. Of course, there's other items out there, but in general I think that now it is better to choose a religion.--with one other caveat (no one has ever called Everquest a game of simple choices).

The other race that has monks are the iksar, who hate everybody and worship Cazic-Thule. Starting out, you can not enter the iksar city of Cabilis withouut being attacked by the guard. It is possible to build your faction as a human monk and do some quests for nice monk equipment (e.g. the Shackle of Tynnonium) in Cabilis. Apparently, it is much easier to become non-kos if you are agnostic rather than a follower of Quellious. In my mind, this does not make it worth being agnostic, but other people may not agree.

If you follow Quellious, your human monk will start in Freeport, while Agnostics will spawn in Qeynos. This guide will advise heading to Qeynos before level 4, but don't worry about that now. With the Planes of Power expansion, it is easy and almost without danger to get from Freeport to Qeynos, if you travel via the Plane of Knowledge. The manual that comes with the expansion has maps in the back detailing the locations of all the portals between the cities.

Begin the Beguine (Levels 1-5)

Here we go. I probably shouldn't have to mention this, but you will spawn in your starting city naked and penniless. Woot! Check your inventory and right click on the note that you have. This will tell you who your guildmaster (And your first trainer) is. Find that person's usually not that hard. If you are a human monk it will be either Puab Closk in Freeport or Velan Torresk in Qeynos. Hand the guildmaster your note, and you will be rewarded with faction, XP and a shirt. Put it on.

Now right click on the master. You have five points to train with, and you should train all five in either 1 Hand Blunt or Hand-to-Hand (whichever you choose next level you should train your next five points in the other). I recommend starting with hand-to-hand, since you have dual wield from level one, which means you will be dealing max possible damage immediately. This is not to say that that's a lot of damage, but every little bit helps at level one.

With this completed, make sure your shirt is equipped, and if you chose to start with 1HB, equip your club. When everything is set, head to the newbie yard and get ready to kill.

If you are a first time player, see your Everquest manual for more information on starting a new character.

For the first level, don't worry about anything except killing and getting to second level.


Some tips:

If fighting in the North Qeynos newbie yard, do NOT buy/sell from Tubal Weaver... he overchrges and underpays. Instead, spend the extra 10 seconds and go to Shenro Kazpur, the merchant in the monk guild. Since he is on the guild faction, he will be amiable to you before the generic Qeynos merchants are. If you are not in Qeynos, make sure to check the prices on a few common items with whatever merchant you plan to be selling to. In the beginning every gold piece helps, so no sense in selling short to save a few steps.


Did you really read all of that? Sheesh.

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