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Zones are areas of the map with designated themes, mobs, and scenery. They are connected to other zones by "zone lines"; crossing over to another zone is called "zoning". Zoning can take anywhere from several seconds to several minutes, depending on the player's computer. Zones are, in essence, the smallest unit of seamless playable area in the game, and are stored on the player's hard drive.[1]

An area such as a city might be comprised of two or three smaller zones (like Freeport), while a large zone might contain an entire small city and a vast forest (like Greater Faydark). Zones represent a wide variety of geographical features that can be found in EverQuest, including plains, oceans, cities, deserts, forests, and alternate planes of existence.[1]

With the many expansions for EverQuest released over the years, there is a noticeable difference in the appearance of older zones and newer zones. Newer zones tend to have more advanced graphics and some advanced features such as interactive objects or scripted events with non-player characters. One feature introduced in Lost Dungeons of Norrath is "instanced zones" where a group of players can have an "instance" of the zone all to themselves, and a large number of instances can exist simultaneously.[1]

Zoning time[edit | edit source]

When you move from one zone to another, the game must load that zone as well as other information. One thing it has to load are all the items your character has equipped, in their inventory, their bank, and in their houses. This means the more items you have in those places, the slower you will zone. Dragon's Hoard was created in an attempt to help relieve this issue.

Reducing the number of items in your bank and, most importantly, in your houses, may help reduce zoning times.

Server-side, the main slowness in zoning is caused by real estate items. When a server first comes up it will also be slowed down by lots of characters loading.

niente, EQ Developer, February 10, 2023

With each item that is added to a plot that you have permissions for, this does add additional lag to zoning including into combat zones. All items that are in all plots are always loaded and processed with you each time you zone.

JChan, EQ Producer, March 13, 2024

Hot Zones[edit | edit source]

For a number of years, selected zones have been labeled "Hot Zones". These zones offer an extra experience bonus and bonus augmentations. Every so often the selected zones would change.

Beginning with the April 20, 2016 patch, new hot zones will now rotate randomly every 3 months on the first of January, April, July, and October. There are zones designed for levels 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95.

If you speak with Franklin Teek in the Plane of Knowledge, he will inform you of the current hot zones. Franklin Teek (Allakhazam, Magelo) and Skal Nethull (Allakhazam, Magelo) also offer quests for these zones, which grant extra experience and items.

Keys, flags and zone level requirements[edit | edit source]

See also: Keys

Many keyed zones from the Ruins of Kunark, Scars of Velious, Shadows of Luclin, Planes of Power, Gates of Discord, Omens of War, Depths of Darkhollow, and Prophecy of Ro have had their key/flag requirements modified. All players that have obtained the key/flag will still be allowed entry into the zones, as will players that have met minimum level requirements for the zones. The zones and minimum level requirements are as follows:

Required Level 40

  • The Howling Stones - Key
  • Old Sebilis - Key

Required Level 46

  • Skyshrine to Cobalt Scar - Key

Required Level 55

  • Plane of Storms - Flag
  • Plane of Torment - Flag
  • Plane of Valor - Flag
  • Crypt of Decay - Flag
  • Sleeper's Tomb - Key
  • Veeshan's Peak - Key
  • Vex Thal - Key
  • Locked areas of the Temple of Ssraeshza - Key

Required level 57

  • Bastion of Thunder - Flag
  • Halls of Honor - Flag
  • The Temple of Marr - Flag
  • Tower of Solusek Ro - Flag
  • Drunder, The Fortress of Zek - Flag

Required Level 60

  • Plane of Water - Flag
  • Plane of Air - Flag
  • Plane of Fire - Flag
  • Plane of Earth - Flag
  • Ikkinz - Flag
  • Uqua - Flag
  • Yxtta - Flag
  • Kodtaz - Flag

Required Level 62

  • Plane of Time - Flag
  • Inktuta - Flag
  • Qvic - Flag

Required Level 65

  • Txevu - Flag
  • Tacvi - Raid Instance

Required Level 68

  • Anquish - Flag Raid Instance
  • Theater of Blood - Flag

Required Level 69

  • Riftseekers' Sanctum - Zone Min Level

Required Level 70

  • Dreadspire - Key/Flag
  • Demiplane of Blood - Key/Flag

Required Level 72

  • Deathknell - Flag

Howling Stones[edit | edit source]

From the October 8, 2009 patch message:

  • Apparently while performing some end-of-the-summer cleaning, the doors within Howling Stones were left unlocked. It may be some time before a maintenance crew can be sent there again to lock the doors up tight. Use this knowledge as you will.
  • In addition, the spells protecting the entrance to Howling Stones have weakened, and adventurers of lesser skill and strength may find its halls now accessible.

Planes of Power[edit | edit source]

  • The Plane of Innovation requires that you be level 46 or higher.
  • The Planes of Power flagging guide - Note: This is now mostly obsolete, as being level 62 or higher will get you into almost all of the Planes of Power zones.

The Serpent's Spine[edit | edit source]

Removed the flag requirements for The Serpent's Spine (TSS) expansion raids to enter the raid zones as long as you are level 74 or higher. The person requesting the raids will still be required to have the proper flags to request the raid. - Patch December 23, 2008.

Secrets of Faydwer[edit | edit source]

Zones with key or flag requirements will now unlock themselves automatically when later expansions open (on standard and progression servers). Meldrath's Mansion and Crystallos zones are now unlocked on standard servers.

— Patch Notes for April 13, 2011

Seeds of Destruction[edit | edit source]

Korafax, Lair of the Riders (Kuua) and Discord Tower used to be locked until you completed The Void "E". With each new expansion, older zones are unlocked. They are now unlocked.

Further unlocking[edit | edit source]

According to the schedule announced in the April 13, 2011 patch notes (above), the following expansions should have their locked zones unlocked:

Sanctus Seru[edit | edit source]

Access to Lord Seru[edit | edit source]

When you port in with Arx key, turn left and go up first staircase. When you come to the first lobby at the top of the stairs, bear left (south) and head all the way down the corridor. You come to another lobby. There is a room directly ahead. Open the door and go in. On the left wall is a bookcase. Immediately after the bookcase the wall is fake. Pass through it to a similar room. Exit the room by its door and dead ahead is the clicky-portal to get to the start of the maze.


References[edit | edit source]