If there’s one single quest I had to pinpoint as being absolutely essential to have completed at any level, it has got to be “To Speak as a Dragon”. This quest was released when EQ2 first came out way back when, and has been used in every single expansion in key quests all over Norrath.
Lets go back in time, to when EQ2 first released and the level cap was 50. To Speak as a Dragon used to be an epic encounter just to start the quest (it’s since been changed to heroic). You needed to speak the language of giants in order to progress the very first step of the quest – and of course the most difficult aspect of all, you had to go visit Nagafen multiple times in Solusek’s Eye to progress it.
Solusek’s Eye has changed a LOT since release. It was an “end game” zone, and the mobs saw through invisibility. That means to even get to this quest (after picking it up) you needed a full group. It would take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to clear your way down to Nagafen’s lair (remember, this is before the times of any gate potions, veteran rewards, or call of the hero) and there was no short cut port to skip the cave area.
Since that time things have changed. You can bypass a lot of the walking, especially if you know a friend who may be close by that you can port to. The mobs are gray, and while the annoyance of running all over Norrath for updates hasn’t changed, getting around Norrath certainly has.
So why am I doing this quest?
As I said, it’s the “key” quest in pretty much every expansion. You needed it for Prismatic 1.0 (Darathar raid anyone?) you needed it for Claymore. Soulfire. Multiple deity quests (one in specific where you have to speak to Wooshi in an instanced version of Emerald Halls). You need it to convert your mythical weapon into a buff – which is why I’m currently doing it.
Nagafen is one of the most imposing dragons EQ2 has to offer, and the zones leading up to Nagafen’s Lair are absolutely stunning. Everything from Lavastorm, to Solusek’s Eye, to Nagafen’s Lair screams of molten lava and pain. Or maybe that’s just for me, because I have such fond memories of doing my prismatic 1.0. Back when we did x4 raids for legendary weapons and thought they were the best thing since sliced bread.
I really miss those days.