On Death and Dying
23 November 2002
On Death and Dying
One thing that you will do a lot of in your Everquest career is dying. It is easy to get used to the idea that dying is something to be avoided at all costs - after all, it is inconvenient at best, interrupts your hunting/exp graft schedule, and in most cases will cause you to lose experience. But there are times when dying is your best option, and you should know how best to recover from this experience both for times when death is planned as well as when unplanned.
What Happens When you Die?
Death can go through several stages in a slow fight, and it may help to know what these are.
As your health drops, there is a certain point where other mobs in the area will suddenly rush at you, and the mob attacking you will become much harder to taunt away. This appears to happen when your health reaches 30%. If it gets to below 20%, your agility will drop, causing your armor class to fall, and you will take more damage. Your speed will drop to a slow walk at about this point as well.
As your health bar reaches zero, you will fall down and become unconscious; you can't fight, but are still alive and your health will recover if you are left alone. Once your hit points reach a value below zero, which may be -11, you are dead. LOADING, PLEASE WAIT...
Most of the time, you will reappear at your bind point. If you are a level below 10, this will be with all your property on you already. If you are level 10 or above, you will be naked, and will want to retrieve your belongings from your corpse. In either case, if you are a caster, you will have lost any spells/songs that you had memorised.
Sometimes, you get a message that your corpse (or you) is 'under the world'. If this happens, petition immediately, as you will need a Guide/GM to get your corpse back (or you). If it is you that is under the world, sometimes camping and coming back will return you to the zones safe point - where succor will take you.
You may also have lost some experience, ranging from none to rather more than you can afford to lose. If you are level 10 or below, you lose nothing other than the time it takes to get back into the fight. From level 11, you will lose experience when you die. If you die from dueling, you will lose no experience - some people claim that if you die from a DoT inside a duel, you lose exp, but I don't believe this to be true. You may also not lose experience if the death is self inflicted - dying from a fall, for instance, or from removing +HP items when very low on health. From a single death, you will lose typically 5 - 10% of your current level, most commonly 10%; if this takes you below 0%, you will lose a level. I have heard reports of people losing much more and much less than this amount, and that it may vary according to how you die. You won't lose any skills that you have gained, or spells that you have scribed, but you won't be able to memorise spells from your previous level.
Your first task is to make sure that you are safe; some newbie bind points are right in the way of trains, or just plain close to newbie level mobs, which can be inconvenient. You may also have chosen to bind close to your fighting area, which can also be a big mistake at times. If that happens, and you get into a death loop, type '/q'; you may still die several more times, but you will end up camped.
Then rememorise your spells/songs, rebuff, and med up, ready to go fetch that corpse. Warriors, monks and rogues clearly have an easier time of this, with no spells, but pity the poor shaman, who will want to apply 14 buffs before moving an inch, or the beastlord, magician or necromancer with mana expensive pet summons and buffs to apply. Without your normal equipment, you will have less mana to cast with, but will take less time to med to full.
When to Die
Because you don't lose exp or have to retrieve a corpse at low levels, this can be an easy decision. Let yourself die when the chance of gaining extra experience in your current fight wins over the experience gain that you will lose from the time taken to recover from your death. If you are close to your bind point, and don't have to worry about spells and buffs to memorise, then let yourself risk death. For a caster, rememming, rebuffing, and medding to full can take a long time, certainly 5 to 10 mins - enough to gain 10% experience at these levels; which means that, for those classes, death is always worth avoiding beyond the melee stage (about level 5). Dying by deliberately attacking a guard or other NPC when you are far from your bind point is also a quick way to 'gate' back home to sell or train.
At higher levels, you won't want to die so readily. When soloing, I can only think of one good time to let yourself die, which is to keep the mob you are fighting from training the zone. There are a number of quests where the best way to complete the quest is to accept the death and experience loss, to get a quest item several levels earlier than you might otherwise be able to.
In a group, things are different. In order to pull and position a big mob (usually on a raid), one raid member may choose to take a certain death for the benefit of the group. This is often an Enchanter with a Tash pull. In that case, stand where the mob will be best positioned, and get on with it. For a planned death like this, check on two things first: what are the corpse retrieval arrangements, as someone should be preassigned to take your corpse to a safe recovery point; and what are the rez arrangements. The raid leader should have already assigned a cleric of the highest level available to give you a maximum experience rez. If that isn't the case, gate out immediately, quit the raid, and leave the guild.
When things go wrong in a group it is the job of all the tanks, and the main tank in particular, to make sure that the casters have time to get to safety. If this is well planned, the wizard or druid can cast succor/egress and and everyone will get out alive, 9 times out of 10. If not, then one or more tanks may have to let themselves be killed to keep aggro from the casters. If ever a tank runs without warning, take a note of his name, tell everyone you know, and never ever group with him again, or be in a guild that will take him. This cuts both ways - if you are a tank holding aggro for casters, it is their job to let you know when they are clear, or if they are stuck and you should run. I vividly remember a rooted shaman in High Keep who had said, several minutes before, "low on mana", I died needlessly while waiting for a last heal from her, hoping she would break root and get clear.
If a group wipe out is inevitable, perhaps because there is nowhere to run to, clerics will be told to camp out while the tanks can still hold the mobs off. This is most common in a higher level raid, but can happen in some dungeon zones. Monks, necros and shadowknights will avoid death by feign death, and will call the clerics back, usually from an EQ chat room or from an alt, when it is safe for them to come back in and rez the rest of the party.
There is one other case I am aware of where dying may be useful. When you camp, 'no rent' items will disappear within 30 minutes. But on a corpse they stay until it is looted. So if you have a 'no rent' item and have to camp (real life intruding, no doubt), either take a duel death yourself, or create a mule newbie on another account to hold it for you - and let them take the death. But be aware that newbie corpses below level 10 won't hold items.
Finding a Corpse
When you think you might die, type '/loc' ('/l' works). That's it. If you know you are going to die, don't move from that point, and if you think you might make it, and are running, keep hitting your /loc social button. If you don't have one, make it now - /loc doesn't need to be on the hot button bank, in the socials window should be good enough.
But let's suppose that you died, and can't find your corpse. There are several ways you can find it for yourself. You can buy and use a Chipped Bone Rod, or you can locate a bard, necro or shadowknight to find it for you. You have to be in the same zone as your corpse for any of these methods to work. If you are in a group, a tracker (ranger, druid over 20 or bard over 35) will be able to track your corpse provided he is in the same zone, and you aren't. If you really aren't sure about which zone, select yourself and type /corpse; if you don't have a corpse in the zone, it will tell you.
Chipped Bone Rods can be brought for vendors in most zones. A list of these would be really useful. The price is between 4 - 8pp, it seems to vary quite widely, according to faction, charisma, and how popular that merchant is. When you are dead this can be an issue, as you will need to reach a bank to get money (or a cached rod), or borrow some from a player. Equip the rod in one hand, and right click on it - you will rotate to face your corpse. The rod only has 3 charges, so bring extras if in doubt, and be careful of when and how you use it. Following the track it gives you will bring you to your corpse.
Bards get a locate corpse song at level 4. As they also have Selo's at level 5, they are a good choice to use to find a corpse with you. Many bards will have no idea of how to use this - tell them to select you first, then sing the song and follow the way they point.
Necros get a spell with the same effect at level 1, called Locate Corpse. They are almost certain to have plenty of experience using it on themselves. Shadowknights get the same spell at level 9. At level 20, necros also get a Track Corpse spell, which may be useful in some circumstances; Shadowknights don't get this at all.
In a dangerous zone, you may wish to take bearings from zone exits or corners to get a rough idea of the general location of your corpse by plotting bearings on a map, to keep either yourself or your corpse tracker safe.
There are two possible cases: you know where your corpse is precisely, and just need to get it to safety; or you have absolutely no idea (apart from the zone, of course), and want to get it back.
Finding your corpse is a great feeling, except for those sinking cases where the deep red mob that killed you is still standing over your body. Even when your corpse is all alone, it may be best to drag it to one side away from the paths of wandering monsters. You should have a social programmed with the /corpse command, as this will summon your corpse to your current location, from up to 50 feet away. As this is within the aggro range of a lot of monsters, and you don't have sneak/hide ability (only possible for rogues) get an invis from someone first (you will need to be grouped with them for it to cast successfully), then /con the mob to make sure that it can't see you - if it can't you will get a message that it is indifferent. A rare few mobs will con indifferent but can still see through invis and will aggro on you. You should be aware that Invis and Camo will make you invisible to normal mobs, but not to undead, and Invis To Undead will make you invisible to undead (skeletons, mummies and the like) but not to normal mobs. Being attacked, attacking, or casting spells while invisible will break invis, so don't do it. This why having bixies in Kithicor Forest is so fiendishly unpleasant.
- Bard: Shouri's Sonorous Clouding, level 19; Selo's Song ot Travel, level 51
- Beastlord: Invisibility, level 49
- Cleric: Invisibility Versus Undead, level 14, Sunskin, level 51
- Druid: Camouflage, level 5; Invisibility Versus Animals, level 9; Superior Camouflage, level 19; Foliage Shield, level 52
- Enchanter: Invisibility, level 4; Invisibility Versus Undead, level 16
- Magician: Invisibility, level 8
- Necromancer: Invisibility Versus Undead, level 1; Gather Shadows, level ?
- Paladin: Invisibility Versus Undead, level 22
- Ranger: Camouflage, level 15; Superior Camouflage, level 49
- Shadowknight: Invisibility Versus Undead, level 9; Gather Shadows, level 29
- Shaman: Invisibility Versus Animals, level 14; Invisibility, level 29
- Wizard: Invisibility, level 16
With your invis on, get within range of your corpse, summon it, and run away to a safe place mashing away at the corpse button. If the mob sees invisible, or you can't get an invis, rogues are probably the best corpse retrievers, using sneak/hide, followed by monks/shadowknights/necromancers, who, with a lot of practice, can get by most mobs using feign death.
If you can't find your corpse, or it is in an exceptional dangerous area (like the level 20 shaman who ran the wrong way when attacked by a bat in Tenebrous Mountains, the week before the Luclin ports were introduced), you will want to summon your corpse to a safe corner of the zone. There is a spell called Lesser Summon Corpse, which necros get at level 12, and Shadowknights at 25. This can summon the corpse of a selected target to the location of the summoner, and requires a coffin (black ceremonial coffin) as a reagent. The coffin is widely available, usually from bag merchants, and costs between 1 and 2pp. This spell will summon corpses of players up to a maximum level of 35. At 39, necros get Summon Corpse, which has a no ceiling (or possibly a ceiling of 60), and requires a more expensive coffin reagent (146pp with good charisma); it is also a spell that is dropped in Paw only, and relatively difficult to get. At 57, necros get Conjure Corpse, which is also a drop only spell, this time from Kunark, and uses a cheaper stackable coffin (75pp). This spell is also a clickable effect on Velious robes for necros. Shadowknights get Summon Corpse at 51 only. To use it, both you and the caster must be in the same zone as your corpse and grouped with you; the caster selects you, having a coffin in their inventory, then casts the spell.
Looting your Corpse
Just right click each item, and it will be filed away in its place; you may have to be careful about the order of looting to get items into the right slot. For bags, remember that they appear on your corpse in rows, left to right, but will be filed on your corpse in columns.
If you want to be resurrected later, but need your armor and weapons, leave one item on the corpse. Once it is looted, you can't put items back. However, if you keep the corpse looting window open, after several minutes it should close automatically, leaving the empty corpse still present.
At low levels, possibly below level 10, corpses last for 30 minutes, and after that will decay. At higher levels, a corpse will not decay until 7 real life days have expired, and it will be rezzable for 3 playing hours. As a rule, always locate and loot your corpse in the same playing session if you possibly can. The corpse decay timer works differently if you are logged off or still playing - remember, even if you are playing a different character on another server (possibly not - I have heard conflicting stories about this), or just siting at the server select screen, the corpse time is ticking at the same fast rate as if you were logged on with the dead character. After your corpse has decayed, you may get sympathy from a GM if you send in a very polite and sorry /petition; or you may not.
Rez spells have two advantages: first off, they get you back to the point where you died quickly; secondly, you will regain a certain amount of lost experience when resurrected. When you are first rezzed, you will have a 'Resurrection Effects' spell buff, and your stats will all be dramatically, low, including hit points. Make sure that you are well clear of the aggro range of any mobs for the duration of these effects, as you will be dead meat, unable to move or defend yourself, and with low enough health to be a mob magnet. You can loot, mem spells and chat all the while you are recovering, but you won't be able to cast strength buffs until the effects are gone.
A cleric is likely to have gone well out of their way, and used up a lot of mana to rez you, so be generous. You can locate a cleric by using '/who cleric 14 65 all' (which will give you far too much information). Be polite, and don't demand that they drop what they are doing and come to help you - most players are here for their own satisfaction, not yours or mine.
If you die in a group, and there aren't any rezzers in the zone, don't play a prima donna and demand to be rezzed (at least at low levels). All of your downtime is likely to be group down time as well, during which they aren't getting any exp, and neither are you. Waiting for a rez can consume so much time that you could have made all the experience back by normal fighting. Just get on with it. You can partially loot your corpse if you hope to get a rez later; even if a rezzer is available, at times this may be preferable so that you can get back to a fight quicker, with full mana/HP and no rez effects.
If someone in your group dies, see if you can help them get a rez. They are likely to be stuck rememming spells and trying to get back to the group, and won't have time to bother with finding a rezzer. If this isn't possible, drag their corpse (with their /consent) to a convenient location. All of this is good selfish sense, as it will reduce group downtime, sometimes considerably. If more than one person dies, and you have arranged a rez - fix it for everyone else who died, or expect to get put on quite a few 'ignore' and banned lists.
If you are a cleric or paladin, then rez anyone in your group who dies, with the highest rez spell available to you - at no charge. These are all commonsense rules of good behaviour, but all are ones that I have seen broken more than once.
For reference, here is a list of resurrection spells:
- Reanimation, level 14
- Reconstitution, level 19, 10% exp
- Reparation, level 24, 20%
- Revive, level 29, 35%
- Renewal, level 34, 50%
- Resuscitate, level 39, 60%
- Restoration, level 44, 75%
- Resurrection, level 49, 90%
- Reviviscence, level 56, 96%
- Reanimation, level 22
- Reconstitution, level 30, 10% exp
- Reparation, level 39, 20%
- Revive, level 39, 35%
- Renewal, level 49, 50%
- Restoration, level 55, 75%
- Resurrection, level 59, 90%
Note: this spell uses an Essence Emerald, which requires another 45+ player to die with full exp loss to make the emerald. This will be very expensive.
- Convergence, level 53, 93%
Corpse Retrieval on Raids
Corpse retrievals badly need to be efficient. Sometimes you want to get a working group back in place before a mob despawns, or before the CR area repops; and sometimes people just want to get out and get to bed. I've spent a lot of time on CRs when in a guild that used to routinely wipe on every mob lots of times, then once more for good measure after they could kill it.
The first part of the problem is getting people in place for the CR. On most raids that wipe you have a couple of monks, necros and shadowknights FDed in place, and maybe some rogues managed to escape. That is enough material to get corpses out of immediate trouble and into a safe spot. If that isn't possible, it is coffin time. These comments apply both to rezzes, and to corpse summons where required. Always assume that corpses will be dragged, and use /consent on all of the rogues in the raid (and possibly the monks, too); if you died more than once, you need to give consent for every corpse you have. Forgetting to give consent and then going afk is one of the biggest delays on raid recovery. For corpse summons, you have to get back to the raid zone and be grouped with the summoner; always remember to disband immediately once your corpse has appeared.
The first and most important advice - ignore ALL tells. Everyone wants to be rezzed first. Use /afk with a message. If someone has to leave urgently, that's not a problem the recovery team can deal with; all they should consider is the speed of getting the raid as a whole back on its feet, which is a matter of everyone's convenience. Corpses can always be summoned the next day, etc.
If you are lucky, you have a cleric camped on the spot; or a necro can burn an essence emerald to rez one. Always bear in mind that if there are two people and one of them has an emerald, a necro can always sacrifice the other (for an unrezzable death) to rez back in a cleric.
OK, so which cleric? This shouldn't be in issue, but it is. Rez an epic cleric immediately. If you are desperate, any cleric will do. But the first order of business is to get at least one epic cleric back in as soon as possible. Remember: epic clerics can rez other people immediately; non-epic clerics have to med back quite a lot of mana to rez the next person, and then again for every subsequent rez they are forced to do.
The order of rezzing after that depends on the safety of the area. In a safe area, first rez all the epic clerics; if there aren't many, rez non-epic clerics as well - all of them. That way all corpses will be rezzed in the minimum and at worst gradually recovering.
When corpses are being dragged, especially by rogues, what often happens is that the end up suddenly appearing immediately behind the rezzing cleric - who naturally can't see the corpse. If you are dragging, you can speed up the recovery considerably by putting the corpses in front of the clerics, and putting each in a separate space. If you want to, you can hail the corpse so that clerics know it is there. For everyone else, please, please, do not hail the corpses! The clerics know they are there already, the corpse has been clicked, and the person hasn't zoned yet. If you want to be helpful, do a '/who %t all' on the corpse and see if they are around and send a tell (you can use /tt on a corpse) to check if they have received the rez box - if the cleric clicks quickly, the person may not yet have popped at their bind point. Be aware that clerics sometimes also hail the corpses - this is a system they use to claim the corpse for rezzing, so that other clerics don't waste time clicking it. Extra hails just confuse.
In an unsafe area, where the rezzers and newly rezzed need protecting, add a couple of pure melees to the mix: warriors and monks (the monks should all be there FD, but you never know). They can defend the area most effectively while still suffering from rez effects, and without buffs. Paladins are equally effective, as they can use Lay on Hands to get back to full health when rezzed. Next, get a bard back. They can play area effect mana/hp regen, which means that when a caster is rezzed, they can buff more quickly. After the bard, rez an enchanter. Once the enchanter has enough mana to cast VoQ, the raid is almost back on normal footing; clerics can buff again, and the defense force will become fully capable.
For maximum speed in recovery, any beastlords with Paragon or druids with Spirit of the Wood should be prioritised - snag one immediately before the enchanter.
After that? Get everyone rezzed as soon as possible.
- rez an epic cleric
- if the area is unsafe, rez a couple of warriors and monks
- rez all the rest of the epic clerics first
- rez a bard
- rez an enchanter
- then, and only then, rez everyone else