Dragons of Norrath Expansion Guide
Dragon's of Norrath (DoN), EQ's 9th expansion is one of the more misunderstood, particularly by people who have not done it before. It is often compared to LDoN, although it arguably has significant differences. DoN is built around two factions competing to exploit the newly discovered "Broodlands", which are north of Lavastorm Mountains. The two factions are the Norrath's Keeper's (Good) and the Dark Reign (Evil). DoN has a very structured progression, in which you complete missions in exchange for currency and faction tokens. The faction tokens give 20 faction (base--modified by server bonuses and etc); and at the following faction tiers new missions open up: Indifferent, Amiable, Kindly, Warmly. You do not need Ally faction for any mission tiers. As you get higher reputation, you will unlock new missions that are part of the main "progression" of the expansion. By progressively completing the progression missions, and later the progression raids, you eventually end up fighting Vishimtar the Fallen, the final boss of the expansion. When you've looted the quest item off of Vishimtar and completed that final progression task, you have fully completed DoN progression.
Progression AA Abilities
DoN progression if five tiered, upon completion of each tier you get a new AA ability that will show up under your Special Tab as a Progression AA, if you are Dark Reign aligned the AA is named "xx of the Dark Reign", and has 5 ranks (one for each progression tier.) These AAs do the following:
- Tier 1: +10 to all stats, +10 increase in all stat caps
- Tier 2: 3% increase to HP from stamina, +200 mana, +a level 69 spell
- Tier 3: 1 extra buff slot
- Tier 4: 3% increase to your chance to critically heal/nuke/DoT, chance of performing a critical melee hit increased by 40% (not +40%, a 40% increase to your current % chance i.e. if you have a 5% chance to crit, you'd get +2%)
- Tier 5: 1% chance to completely resist an incoming detrimental spell
DoN Progression Raids
There's a long series of group missions, and faction grinding you need to do to finish DoN progression. There are also 8 progression raids, each raid drops a quest item, for a total of 8 quest items looted to be able to finish your DoN progression. You can preloot these quest items, no matter what stage of progression you are on. If you pre-loot, you just need to keep the item until you've reached the point in progression that requires you to turn in the item to continue. Each of these raids drop 6 or so of the quest items, so to complete progression for a whole guild/raid force you have to rerun these raids a number of times. Keep in mind DoN has no individual flagging, so even if you never do DoN progression you can attend any DoN raid, there is no flag mechanism for raiders--the raid leaders have to have completed progression to request the raids.
|Glowing Stone Fragment||Calling Emoush (24 man)||2|
|Lava Spider Spinners||Volkara's Bite (42 man)||3|
|Goblin Warlord's Beads||Trial of Perseverance (24 man)||3|
|Quintessence of Sand||Guardian of the Sands (42 man)||4|
|Meditation Stone||Goblin Dojo (24 man)||4|
|Yar'lir's Fang||An End to the Storms (54 man)||4|
|Diseased Wing Fragment||The Curse of Ju'rek (24 man)||5|
|Shadowscale of Vishimtar||In the Shadows (54 man)||5|
DoN Optional Raids
There are a number of raid events that are not part of progression:
Reflections of Silver - Kill dragon Rikkukin (Tacvi+ quality loot)
Kessdona's Perch - Kill Kessdona (Tacvi+ quality loot)
Fanning the Flames - Kill Tirranun (crap 180hp tier loot)
Circle of Drakes - Complete Circle of Darkes event (Tacvi+ quality loot--easy to low do w/small groups)
DoN is relatively easy to navigate, with a few confusion points. First all DoN raids start in Lavastorm Mountains at a DoN camp. You then go north into Broodlands, a new zone opened with the expansion. DoN follows a common EQ model: there are open world and instance-only versions of each zone, and they have different zone in locations.
This map explains how the zone ins are laid out:
You'll notice Tirranun's Delve open world doesn't connect directly to Broodlands--you zone into it from Lavaspinner's Lair. Similarly open world Ascent connects to Stillmoon Temple. However Tirranun and Ascent instances are access from the Broodlands, which can be confusing.
Dealing with Faction
While neither faction is very different, historically most EQ TLP guilds go Dark Reign due to a better/easier mission lineup with Dark Reign that make for easier faction farming. However depending on your character's alignment, you may not have high enough faction to request missions from the Dark Reign by default. Evil and neutral race members start at apprehensive to Dark Reign, which is high enough to begin Tier 1 progression. But if your faction is lower than that, you have two ways to raise it:
There is a mercenary camp located in North Central lavastorm before you get into the DoN camp caves (pictured above), with six Wayfarers Mercenary NPCs. The six NPCs do the following things:
Wayfarers Mercenary Varein - Gives solo tasks that increase Dark Reign faction, up to apprehensive (even if you're KoS)
Wayfarers Mercenary Jeryx - Gives solo tasks that increase Dark Reign faction, up to apprehensive (even if you're KoS)
Wayfarers Mercenary Limann - Accepts Dark Reign Token for +20 faction, up to apprehensive
Wayfarers Mercenary Youra - Accepts Norrath Keeper's Token for +20 faction (up to apprehensive with NK)
Wayfarers Mercenary Elanye - Gives solo tasks that increase Norrath's Keeper faction, up to apprehensive (even if you're KoS)
Wayfarers Mercenary Bitral - Gives solo tasks that increase Norrath's Keeper faction, up to apprehensive (even if you're KoS)
So as you can probably work out, there are two paths for going forward with a faction you start off bad with. One is to do the solo tasks until apprehensive, then you can start regular progression for your faction. The other is to group with people who can already request group missions for the faction you want (i.e. someone who is apprehensive to Dark Reign can bring you along for their group task), when you complete a mission, you get a token. You won't have enough faction to turn it in at the "normal" token NPC in the Dark Reign camp, but you can turn it in to Mercenary Limann and still get the +20 faction.
The mercenaries are basically for improving/changing faction, once you're at apprehensive or above with your chosen faction, you no longer really interact with them. At apprehensive and above you turn in your group mission tokens to the NPC inside the cave camp of your faction. For Dark Reign this is the Dark Elf merchant "Xeib Darkskies", who is also the vendor for Dark Reign currency gear.
In Depth Progression Guides
There are several very high quality guides for completing DoN progression--there's no reason to reproduce their work here. I have used the Allakhazam Progression guides on no less than 12 characters, and if followed, they work flawlessly:
Dark Reign Progression: http://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?quest=3062
Norrath's Keepers Progression: http://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?quest=3061
Rasper's Repository has a good write up on DoN, his progression guide is oriented toward Norrath's Keepers, but he also has write ups for all the raids events which can be good to review: http://www.raspersrealm.com/Everquest/DoN/index.html
If you want to review DoN "currency" gear, which is bought with Ebon Crystal (Dark Reign) or Radiant Crystal (NK), one of the easier sources is to just go to raidloot.com, select "DoN: Ebon Crystals" or "DoN: Radiant Crystals" as "Source", and it will generate a list of all the gear you can buy with the DoN currency. While even fully augmented this gear is just mid-tier PoP quality, there's a few general augments and such that can fill empty/weak slots.