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Twinking a new Ranger?Follow

#1 Mar 19 2012 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
So, i just came back to EQ from yet another one of my stints away from the game, and this time have come back to an 87 Monk with on the order of 950 AA's and have come to realize that the AA's left at my disposal as far as purchaseable are... less than exciting.

So, i've decided to say ***** it and start up a Ranger as my new main, I used to have one on another account back when PoP was the latest expansion and loved every second of it.

My question is, now that there's a ton of stuff in the game geared towards making it easier for returning players, what kind of gear should i buy/farm to twink said ranger? (Farmable for my Monk please) Or is it even worth farming or buying twink gear anymore?

Follow-up Question 1: What kind of progression/quests do i have to look forward to doing all over again?
Follow-up Question 2: Mercenaries: Tier 1 Journeyman or Tier 5 Apprentice? Which is better?
Follow-up Question 3: My ranger is now level 10 and i just got to Crescent Reach, I'm guessing i should level here until 18ish and go to Paludal Caverns, but that may be wrong nowadays, I suppose i should just follow Hot Zones for a while, but which zones should i not skip / what quests i should not skip as i go through the zones and level up? (I kinda feel like just chain pulling and farming is faster and easier exp than doing all these annoying quests in every zone that didn't used to be there) *edit: [In case you couldn't tell, i have no interest in questing unless it really leads to a worthwhile reward, i'd rather just grind the exp, got my fill of quests from WoW, no mas!]

Sorry for the huge list of questions, hopefully at least most of these get anwsered soon, I truly appreciate all your help guys!
Thank you!
-Bahruuk, 87 Monk - Drinal / Maelin Starpyre (Tarew Marr i miss you!!)

Edited, Mar 19th 2012 7:24pm by Falcoisgod

Edited, Mar 19th 2012 8:20pm by Falcoisgod
#2 Mar 19 2012 at 7:19 PM Rating: Decent
So, I'm looking at 28 views and no replies... Any advice will do people, and you don't have to answer every question at once, just any answers you have or think you have would be much appreciated.

Thanks again everybody!

Edit:
Like for starters the most important and immediate question i have is: Is it worth my time to do the Crescent Reach quests right now, or can i just grind through here?

Edited, Mar 19th 2012 9:21pm by Falcoisgod
#3 Mar 19 2012 at 7:34 PM Rating: Good
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Falcoisgod wrote:
My question is, now that there's a ton of stuff in the game geared towards making it easier for returning players, what kind of gear should i buy/farm to twink said ranger? (Farmable for my Monk please) Or is it even worth farming or buying twink gear anymore?

Follow-up Question 1: What kind of progression/quests do i have to look forward to doing all over again?
Follow-up Question 2: Mercenaries: Tier 1 Journeyman or Tier 5 Apprentice? Which is better?
Follow-up Question 3: My ranger is now level 10 and i just got to Crescent Reach, I'm guessing i should level here until 18ish and go to Paludal Caverns, but that may be wrong nowadays

-Bahruuk, 87 Monk


Yeah I looked twice but didn't respond. But more because I don't have anything decent to add.

I also returned to the game with my 65 SK. I'm working with a A2 merc that I wound up with from the mercenary tutorial. Surprisingly, it is keeping me healed and hasn't fled once. I've wondered about the difference between A5 and J1 myself, so I hope someone else has an answer to that one.

I don't know anything about progression - I'm using the Hero's Journey book for ideas. I don't know if you've noticed but if you use it in PoK, it tells you which zones to go to. If you use it in a real zone, it actually lists a ton of quest information. I was pretty shocked.

As for just leveling, it definitely matters very little where you go as long as you are killing stuff that is light blue or higher. I'm still appalled at how fast we level now.

So sorry I don't have any good advice, I'm also waiting for one of the more knowledgeable people to chip in here. Welcome back!
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#4 Mar 19 2012 at 8:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Falcoisgod wrote:
My question is, now that there's a ton of stuff in the game geared towards making it easier for returning players, what kind of gear should i buy/farm to twink said ranger? (Farmable for my Monk please) Or is it even worth farming or buying twink gear anymore?


Defiant gear is globally dropped (you probably already know about it), and is the way to go until 80+, in general.

Falcoisgod wrote:
Follow-up Question 1: What kind of progression/quests do i have to look forward to doing all over again?

SoD Earth progression to get J5 merc access. Other stuff before that, can be bought / made / whatever, if you prefer not to do it, or even simply skipped on alot of it. EDIT: DoN progression is good to do also for some really nice AAs, but can be done at anytime. LDoN Aug progression will require shrouding if you go above level 82 or 83. Headshotting at 80 is a good way to go for the themes with humanoids (Commonlands one has the most, iirc).

Falcoisgod wrote:
Follow-up Question 2: Mercenaries: Tier 1 Journeyman or Tier 5 Apprentice? Which is better?

At low level (less than 60th level) go with a Tank Journeyman merc. They will basically powerlevel through up to the 50s, and even 60s a bit, if you stay with it. Make sure, in the group window, you set the merc as Main Tank role (Right-click on merc name, Roles - Main Tank).

Jman mercs are basically raid geared or high-est end group geared, especially at lower levels. Apps are casually group geared, so there is a significant difference. The higher the tier, the more confident they are and less likely to run from scary situations.

Falcoisgod wrote:
Follow-up Question 3: My ranger is now level 10 and i just got to Crescent Reach, I'm guessing i should level here until 18ish and go to Paludal Caverns, but that may be wrong nowadays, I suppose i should just follow Hot Zones for a while, but which zones should i not skip / what quests i should not skip as i go through the zones and level up?

I'd stick with the hotzones. Basically, Crescent Reach - Blightfire - Goru'kar - Blackfeather - etc. It's less running around, good xp, and lots of descent stuff to do.

Weapons are the only real twink items you should need, as defiant armor is fairly common and you'll probably pick up most of it just leveling. You may need to buy some pieces here and there as you see fit.

As far as quests and stuff, do the TSS Charm of Lore and Wanderlust aug for it quests. The NPC Boawb starts a quick series of 2 quests that result in a clicky resist buff and takes <5 mins, including the run time to find the starter NPC (near banker on 2nd floor). If you don't want to spend cash, the weapons quests in Blightfire are good to do. Do the Orc Ore Hauler's Haversack quest for a good weight reduction bag, at level 20, if you're so inclined.

When you get to Goru'kar and able to easily kill the giants (as the named ones are quite a bit tougher), you can do Scout Madu's aug quest series, for some really nice for the level augs. There is also a subquest for the Charm of Lore in Goru'kar that involves killing Giants.

Epics are good quests (especially 1.5 and 2.0 at 65+ and 70+) for a Ranger to do.

There's alot more descent quests in TSS expansion for some descent augs, but they're not must haves, just most are fairly easy, and even the ones that aren't are at least very worthwhile to some classes.

There's probably more progression stuff that's required 80+, but I'm not sure on all of it, and it should be a bit before you get there, so I'll just leave it out.

EDIT: Note that the following weapons list is pretty crappy. Using Advanced search will yield better results. I just had a twink spreadsheet made up and assumed the weapons would be good ratio, and not simply have AC on them. Some are great tho; Horn of Hsagra and Swiftblade of Zek. Twinkable Weapons quick list (No Rec. / Req. level, Trade-able, Wood Elf Ranger useable):
The Horn of Hsagra
Gleaming Shai`din Naginata
Reviviscent Combine Blade
Insignia of Broken Skull
Swiftblade of Zek
Bitter Blade of the Icepaw
Long Sword of Ethereal Energy
Stone of the Darkened Peaks
Warders Blade
Glowing Red Stone
Wrapped Entropy Serpent Spine
Mechlo Power Source
Polished Shai`din Naginata
Argent Protector
Dathor Great Hammer

***** Some Links *****
Serpent Seeker's Charm of Lore
Looking for Aug Quests
Sweeping the Steppes: Gnolls good quest for mid-level weapons
PoK NPCs that sell defiant jewelry: Iason Yureska (Level 50+ items) and Keefe Stearns (Level 5-49 items).
Franklin Teek in PoK offers quick hot zone tasks with belt/shoulder/back defiant gear rewards.
Re: Fabled Ranger Weapons

Yther Ore.

Edited, Mar 24th 2012 2:07am by Yther

Edited, Apr 1st 2012 4:21am by Yther
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#5 Mar 21 2012 at 4:07 PM Rating: Excellent
Yther wrote:
At low level (less than 60th level) go with a Tank Journeyman merc. They will basically powerlevel through up to the 50s, and even 60s a bit, if you stay with it. Make sure, in the group window, you set the merc as Main Tank role (Right-click on merc name, Roles - Main Tank).

Jman mercs are basically raid geared or high-est end group geared, especially at lower levels. Apps are casually group geared, so there is a significant difference. The higher the tier, the more confident they are and less likely to run from scary situations.


Yther, would you recommend this for all classes (assuming Gold and access to Journeyman mercs)? How would App5 mercs compare?

EDIT to add: I have a handful of low level characters I was farming up gear for but none of them have mercs so I was trying to figure out which to go for since apparently the obvious 'cleric merc for melee/tank for caster/priest' logic doesn't appear to be the best option. Characters in question are (all silver unless indicated):

49 Monk
40 Warrior
31 Berserker
29 Druid
16 Ranger (Gold)
11 Ranger
10 Magician
1 Wizard (Gold)

Edited, Mar 21st 2012 6:10pm by Remianen
#6 Mar 21 2012 at 4:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes, I recommend J1 Tank for everyone upto 50s or maybe higher. The deal with J1s, is they have superior regen and resists, and can easily solo hard reds (7 levels above the merc), and even most red named upto the 50s. I used to use Clerics for melee / tank player characters, until I found out the tanks were basically as good or better than my best twinked Warrior character.

As long as you're killing, looting, and selling most of the time, you make enough cash to support the merc (unless you've found a really poor set of mobs to exp on). Just remember to suspend them when running to sell or buy new spells, etc. that's taking up much time away from killing.

By the 50s or 60s, or I usually switch to whatever is appropriate for the played toon's class. If you go with dps mercs, App5 maybe fine. I haven't noticed alot of dps loss between App5 and J1. There's a bit, but not a ton (guessing around 20%, as it's noticeable but not dramatic). The J1 rogues are alot tougher defense wise though, but even teh App5s do descent when they have to tank. The App5 tanks are also descent tanks, but if you try consistently red cons, you'll run into needing to heal them (or down time for them to med).

My usual, now-a-days, boxing setup, is a J1 Tank and A5 Rogue for mercs at low levels, then switching in the low 60s to whatever is really needed for the classes. If you're selective with an App5 Tank, you can prob minimize the downtime / healing, but accidental multiples or mobs with DoT spells really take them down, compared to a the J1 tank.

EDIT: At silver, App5 tank would be my recommendation to 50s also, even with a Warrior player class. I've done at least one War with a War merc, and it was very fast. The problem with Clerics is they run out of mana too fast until 20s or higher, and aren't really effective until they get a complete heal in the 40s. Wizard mercs have the same OoM problem at low levels, and why I go with a Rog as a secondary (they have a little bit more dps than the tank, and don't fight over aggro that way).

EDIT 2: App5 Rog on burn stance has good dps, and the J1 tank keeps aggro most of the time. Sometimes vs. named or something, I'll have to switch the Rog to normal stance at the start, but that's not common, and is more about me protecting the Rog from needing healed / med time.

Yther Ore.

Edited, Mar 21st 2012 6:27pm by Yther

Edited, Mar 21st 2012 6:34pm by Yther
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#7 Mar 21 2012 at 5:02 PM Rating: Excellent

Thank you! That was most helpful!

How far does this extend? I have a group at 65 (cleric, enchanter, wizard) that I was going to box together. My initial plan was to level the 40 warrior up to be their tank but would App5 tank mercs do the job? What configuration would you recommend (2 tanks and 1 melee damage or 1 tank and 2 melee damage or 1 tank/melee/caster or...)? I was primarily going to do AA with these three so probably nothing above elemental planes type content (aside from hotzones).
#8 Mar 21 2012 at 5:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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At App5, I'd probably go with 2 tanks. That also seems to fit good with the Clr and Enc. I'd probably go with a Wiz merc for the Wizard. I haven't personally tried them except at low levels, but hear they are good at the mid-to-higher levels, and with an Enc to keep them cracked up, they shouldn't have the mana problem by then.

Probably any combo of a tank + any non-healer merc would work. Two tanks is just good in case of emergency, and you can probably keep on passive and alternate them as Main tank to keep their Endurance up, and get twice the discipline use out of them. I suggested the Wiz merc for the Wiz just to keep them in the same line (ranged dps), and would probably be better molo also (Root+nuke or Kite+nuke, and set the real Wiz up as puller to keep the merc one planted in a single spot). I'm just guessing here though, as I don't have any higher level Wizzies yet (although I've enjoyed the one I started, just haven't leveled it yet).

EDIT: Although my tendency with 2 tanks is just let them burn up the endurance and discs together. I usually only alternate mercs, when it's two healers to keep their mana pool up. A clr merc along with a tank merc will make the mercs self-sufficient (people do this for AFK xping, although it's frowned upon). I've actually left a molo toon afk to xp with a tank merc, but it's very slow having to wait on respawn time and only get a few mobs a time, but works, especially nice, if you just have to get up for 15-20 minutes, and just don't want to miss a spawn cycle.

Yther Ore.

Edited, Mar 21st 2012 7:21pm by Yther
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#9 Mar 21 2012 at 5:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Great info, Yther, thanks!
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#10 Mar 22 2012 at 8:49 PM Rating: Excellent
Just to put in my two cents: I've been playing my Ranger a lot lately, grinding out AAs in Blackfeather and The Steppes. I've found that a Rogue mercenary is REALLY nice for kiting. They'll follow behind the snared mob and dps pretty heavily. Just make sure you toss an extra snare on the mob now and again to make sure you hold aggro
#11 Mar 24 2012 at 4:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Once you get a 15min snare (Entrap AA is 15-min mana-free snare), I usually use Flame Lick for aggro, as it's about the same aggro as the snare, shorter cast time, and basically mana free. I only redo snare if 2 or 3 chained Flame Licks don't get aggro back. For kiting, putting an Enraging Blow proc aug on the bow helps alot too for extra mana-free / time-free aggro.

I'm not sure if there are any augs with AC+DoT debuff / tap procs, but they might do better kiting than EB, since they keep adding aggro every tick. Maybe something worth trying out.

Aggro Procs

Yther Ore.

Edited, Mar 25th 2012 5:18am by Yther
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#12 Mar 25 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Falcoisgod wrote:
My question is, now that there's a ton of stuff in the game geared towards making it easier for returning players, what kind of gear should i buy/farm to twink said ranger? In my experience at low levels for sheer hitting power for 1hs/2hs, get the blackened acrylia blade/blackened acrylia greatsword from acrylia caverns.
Follow-up Question 1: What kind of progression/quests do i have to look forward to doing all over again? Stick with TSS zones and quests and you'll be pretty happy. They all be hotzones, too, mostly.
Follow-up Question 2: Mercenaries: Tier 1 Journeyman or Tier 5 Apprentice? Which is better?I have always used J1 from lvl 1 and have no complaints, fwiw.
[Follow-up Question 3: My ranger is now level 10 and i just got to Crescent Reach, I'm guessing i should level here until 18ish and go to Paludal Caverns, but that may be wrong nowadays, I suppose i should just follow Hot Zones for a while, but which zones should i not skip / what quests i should not skip as i go through the zones and level up? (I kinda feel like just chain pulling and farming is faster and easier exp than doing all these annoying quests in every zone that didn't used to be there) *edit: [In case you couldn't tell, i have no interest in questing unless it really leads to a worthwhile reward, i'd rather just grind the exp, got my fill of quests from WoW, no mas!]See 2nd answer. Smiley: grin

There are some nice aug quests in/for goru'kar mesa. Do those. Also in the SW part of Mesa there is an named treant (Ternsmochin). Kill it for 100 point Life Tap aug.

BTW, I'm answering here based on the assumption that you are, indeed, running a lvl 10 Ranger. Just thought I'd, y'know, throw that out there.Smiley: tongue
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