Rogue's Guide to Upper Guk
Submitted by Lowinor
Edited by Zato
Upper Guk is, imo, the best 20-30 dungeon in the game. The spawn is _very_ plentiful, most of the froggies are not casters (and the casters are shaman -- and AI controlled shaman aren't the healing nightmares that AI controlled paladins or clerics are, nor the constant DD/AE nightmares that AI controlled wizards are), and it's generally underutilized because groups who are not good groups generally find themselves very dead very quick.
For starters: DO NOT *CONSIDER* PLAYING IN GUK WITHOUT SOMEONE WHO CAN CAST SNARE.
I'm normally not one to shout, but the point deserves emphasis. Lots of emphasis. If you don't have a snarer in the party, you will die. Not maybe, not probably, you WILL die. Root isn't enough, you need snare. That means, ranger or druid is required.
There's a nice map on EQ'Lizer of Upper Guk. It isn't perfect, and all but one of the rare spawns marked on it are wrong, but it has the basic layout correct. Download it, print it. Learn it, love it.
EQ'lizer map short cut http://gameznet.com/eq/zone/uguk.html
First, the rules of guk:
- anything that isn't a warrior, shaman, or knight is really low level.
- a shaman of the same 'caste' is lower level than a warrior, which is lower level than a knight. There is a level or two of overlap, but in general it goes shaman -> warrior -> knight.
In basic level order, from lowest to highest:
(Take my level approximations with a grain of salt, it's been a loooong time since I've fought the lower level frogs. These are general levels; most frogs spawn at at least 4 different levels. The order, though, should be correct within a level.)
tuk shaman (12ish)
tuk warrior (14ish)
gaz shaman (15ish)
tuk knight (17ish)
gaz warrior (18ish)
ton shaman (19ish)
gaz knight (20ish)
ton warrior (22ish)
shin shaman (23ish)
ton knight (ton knight and all higher level drop fine steel) (25ish)
vis shaman (26ish)
shin warrior (28ish)
nok shaman (29ish)
shin knight (30ish)
vis knight (32ish)
tal shaman (33ish)
A 34th level tal shaman is the highest level monster I've seen spawn in upper guk. The shin lord is only 30th, and I think the ancient crocs are around 32nd.
Named spawn points normally spawn monsters higher level than the surrounding frogs, and higher level than the named spawn they take the place of. However, since named frogs are tougher for their level, this pretty much means that the higher level normal frog that spawns on the spot is about as tough as the lower level named frog.
OK. Start with the map on eq'lizer. The good one that's in two parts; it has the lay of the land quite accurately and easy to follow.
Enter Guk, and take a left at the first fork. The right way is where you'll go when you're higher level and want to get to the shin lord room or lower guk, but at 20th, it's too aggressive and has too many green frogs to be worthwhile. A 15th level group might have fun down that way, but at 20th it's zero exp and too many aggros.
Following the left fork, you'll come to a circular bridge-thingy over water. Get on it and take the first ramp off. Turn the corner ahead and you're in a large room (The big room with a J on the top side on the map). Take the upper right exit on the map, and you'll come to a ramp going down. Go down, and you're in another big room. At 18th level, this room is a good base. A couple of tuk knights spawn in the room, and there are some gaz warriors/knights who spawn nearby -- one patrolls up and down the ramp (marked with a 5 on the map), and two are just inside the little alcove (marked with a 6 on the map).
Up the alcove marked 6 is a little tower-thingy. At the top are three frogs, generally two gaz knight level frogs and a third that is either a ton warrior, ton shaman, shin shaman, or the froglok idealist. He drops water breathing potions, and a mask with water breathing charges. Not all that special, but the room is a nice exp fight for a low 20s group (I've still got three or four of his potions in the bank).
If you go up the plank with a 3 beside it on the map, you'll go through a winding series of rough-hewn walls with lots of tuk knight/gaz warrior level frogs. I'd assume this would be decent exp for the 18th level group, as there are plenty of frogs just lined up. At the end of this path, as you can see on the map, it connects back to the circular bridge-thingy, and there's a connected room that has an 8 and two Bs in it; this is the bar. In the bar you'll generally find two gaz knight level frogs and a ton warrior or knight who sometimes spawns as the froglok realist (gee, the idealist sits in his ivory tower, and the realist hangs out in a bar. nice.) Realist drops either a potion of see invisible (ghoul ashes), or a reed ring that's +2 dex +10 hps if memory serves. This is a very poorly placed room, imo, as someone who would get decent exp clearing the frogs immediately outside would have trouble taking down the realist or a ton knight, while someone who could take down the room easily would just be annoyed by the frogs in the way. Plus, the drops aren't all that special anyway.
Now, go up the big ramp. That diagonal passageway on the map with a 5 at the base; that's actually a fairly long ramp upwards. There's a gaz knight level frog patrolling it, and another frog at the top. At the top there's a little dent in the wall which the map marks with a G; this is where the froglok gaz squire spawns. Now this, gentlerogues, is a spawn that has extremely nice loot for his level. He's only around 18th level, and he drops the collar of undead protection (5 ac, +7 poison +7 disease, 0.2 weight) for his common and the runed bone fork (5/29, +10 magic +10 fire +10 cold, can be put in ranged slot) as his rare. Both exceptional items for the level of the critter that drops them. The medium sized room that is right beyond the squire (with a B and a 7 on the map) is known as the plank room; there are lots of planks in here. Meleers are known to race around on top of them while casters meditate. The frogs that spawn in here are tuk knight/gaz knight level froggies. The next room with the big ladder in it generally spawns at least 2 shaman, usually something like gaz knight, gaz shaman and ton shaman. Another nice exp room for the low 20s group. Brave safe fallers can jump down the ladder to pull two more gaz knights.
If you go down the ladder and take a left, you'll come to that funky room with lots of exits on the map. Gaz knights, ton warriors here. Another nice place to pull for a 20th level group. You can go from there to the room marked "Possible Lord Room", but I wouldn't suggest it. Normally, there's a shin knight in each of the alcoves and four shaman sitting there in the pit in the center of the room. It is possible to get the shin knights by themselves, but if someone steps too close to the pits, you pull the shaman down below... another poorly placed room, imo, as any group that it wouldn't be a hassle to take down 4 shaman and a shin knight at the same time most likely would get very little exp for it and not be close enough to a good source of exp to warrant staying there. There is a named that spawns here; the froglok summoner. He's a 28th level magician. Not a nice froggie. Likes his AE spells. Likes to lag your party to a crawl while he and his shaman friends cast all sorts of nasty spells on you. Drops a potion of elemental summoning as his common, I have no clue what his rare is (if anyone knows, please tell me).
Backtrack a bit to the ladder room (circled A in it), leave it and take a right this time. You'll come to a long ledge with a couple of gaz knights on it. If you follow it down, there's a fork. Take the right fork and you'll come to the room on the map that has 4 connected subrooms and a G, 6, and L in the center. This is the warden room.
In here (looking at the room from the perspective of someone who just entered from the path I mentioned) is a raised platform with a gaz knight/ton warrior and ton warrior/shin shaman on top. Behind the platform on the ground is a ton warrior, and to the right of the platform between two of the cells is a ton warrior/ton knight/froglok warden. There's also a gaz knight level frog that patrols in from the other exit of the room.
I'll give special attention to the warden fight as it is such a nice fight for a rogue.
One very important thing to note is that the frogs on the platform will not attack unless you climb up the ladder; you can pull the frogs in the room from right under them and they won't budge. Hence, with careful pulling, you can get the warden along with only one other frog to deal with. The warden is tough, basically as tough as a ton knight. He casts invis on himself as soon as he spawns, so be aware that if the spot seems empty when you enter the room, he may be there.
I've done the warden with a four person group, everyone at 22nd level. It was tough. The same group at 24th level breezed through the room. It is still get XP for the warden all the way to level 35.
The warden, of course, drops two bard/rogue only items: elf hide gloves and troll hide belt. Another case of a monster having an amazing drop for its level.
Additional comments from Kelnya Madweasel
First thing to do if you intend to fight in Upper Guk is get bound. your a rogue, sneak into Grobb and bind. Now MOST times there is never a basher there, however there is a quest inside grobb involving skeletons that escaped the Shaman's guild. These skeletons aggro on nearly everyone including some DE's...this in turn sets off bashers who then get trained to the zone. So you might find one at the zone. If there is, get invis cast on you, then go inside and bind.
Are you NUTS?!? I'll be ressurecting on a Troll Basher!
Don't worry, just make sure you bind facing the zone and you'll only take 150 points or so getting the 3 steps to the zone. Taking the damage is MUCH better than humping it back from Freeport. Besides have your team cleric who ressurected outside Guk jsut heal you when you get there. Be sure to keep sneak up till your clear of the Bashers.
Upper Guk by Room
If your doing upper, I am gonna assume you have a team and know how to play, so I don't need to go over trains, runners, rooting and snares again. Not oging over team dynamics, they've been discussed before. If you don't have the appropriate party and skills you WILL die and I wouldn't even walk in the zone.
For level 18-20 Parties the "Squire" area isn't bad, and the squire has timed respawn of about 30 minutes, with a Tuk Knight spawning every other time. The squire drops the Colar of Undead Protection and the Runed Bone Fork, both items which you can use. You will need to cross the Plank room of death to get here. You'll know what I mean when you see it, bear left at the first fork in the dungeon to get to this.
The Spiders are there mostly for lower level people 12-15 or so, and there is almost always a party in the Giant spider room to try for Chitin Shields and Armor. Past the spiders is your first real challenge, the Scyer room. 20-24 can get xp in here, and when the spawn is sufficiently broken pull from "The sewer room" underneath. The Froglok Scryer will occaisonally spawn here, with a Vis Shaman holding his place
To get to the area all use rogues want "The Warden Room" you have a few options. I personally feel the best way (least combat and therefore wasted resources) is to go through the Squire area, go down the ladder onto the stone bridge. Jump OFF this bridge into the Funguss patch, kill these. Funguss area generally not that bad, being somewhat fragile. Soldiers will have damage shields and more HP, the worst being Breeders, which are druids, will heal, cast Flame Lick, DD, and Area Effect Rain Spells on your party. Beware the ancient funguss, he is a rare spawn and has VERY high tolerances to magic and is stronger than he looks.
This is actually useful, as you will be pulling from this area to punctuate the warden room spawns, so breaking the spawn isn't a bad thing. From the funguss room, you will have 3 frogs in the hallway, pull these into Funguss room and kill them. You now have a clear route to stab directly into the southern entrance of warden room. If you have a caster have "See Invis" up, as the warden will cast invisibility on himself when he spawns. Otherwise A Shin Knight will most often hold his place. An important note, when you enter the Warden room, the frogs on the raised dias WILL NOT ATTACK YOU. You can fight the 3 or 4 frogs on the ground, rest, then pull them. They will not move unless attacked first.
After you break the spawn, you will have the odd wandering frog, feel free to pull up from the Funguss area, or the front of Shin Lord area. DO NOT PULL FROM INSIDE SHIN LORD AREA, there are Vis and Shin Shaman/Knights/warriors and other frogs which are higher than normal due to their association with the Shin Lord.