EverQuest | LDON Expedition Deepest Guk
Today is the tale of me reaching the deepest depth of Delve I have ever been. It is always fun to reach new and old milestones in a game and this one has several of them in it. With all the changes Delve has received over the years I was uncertain if this day would ever come.
It all started back in 2019 if you believe it or not. At the time I thought I was going to beat my record of depth 255 in Delve. I was only at the time at 167 depth and way overconfident. Since then, I have just been referring to my deepest depth as “the mid 250’s” as I failed during that league to go deep enough.
With every new league, you start all over. While finishing the main storyline will ensure you won’t start at depth 1 as there is a catch-up mechanic for Delve. It ends up dropping you in around depth 80 depending on when you enter for the first time.
The Delve map is so huge it’s not possible to zoom it out far enough to see down to where I’ve made it all at once. It requires a lot of scrolling if you want to check out an area that is not your current location. It is rather insane how massive Delve can be with its almost never-ending expanding paths.
With a little personal history out of the way, the rest of this tale takes place after day 15 of my Scourge league run. I had just finished an underground city that had 6 chambers full of loot to explore. It was time to go deeper.
Over the past two days, I’ve been farming Sulphite up to my cap of 30k before I would make my way into Delve and send my Crawler deeper trying to clear the way to the next node. There were many deaths on my part although I’ve made sure to return the favor when I could.
In a game like Path of Exile, it’s both possible to be fortunate and unlucky at the same time. It did not take that long to find the next city on the map after wandering downwards with only the light my Crawler was providing.
As I drew closer and closer to the city it soon became apparent that it was just going to be a tiny one. Marking the smallest city I’ve yet to find this league in Scourge. It however would not be the last either. Looking back at this feels a bit cured.
There was not much down there other than some higher-tier maps which I’m always happy to have. After that, it was back at it working towards my next unknown something hoping to find riches or items I could use.
Thankfully It did not take long before finding my next city. I almost had to travel more sideways than I did going down getting to it. As such as I got closer and closer the map would update to reveal more and more of the surrounding area. I was relieved it was not another one chamber city. Instead, it was four and I made quick work of them.
As most of the time, the loot was nothing amazing. I however cleared them all without a single death. This sometimes is more of achievement all on its own than I should be. The deeper I get the more I’m reminded I’m just a split second away from getting killed down in one of these chambers.
Thankfully Path of Exile has a custom item filter. Won’t you don’t see in a lot of these screenshots are a bunch of items being hidden. As I go deeper and deeper I have to beat an event at each node (the yellow dots on the map) to save my progress.
After those fights which involve a whole lot of killing at each node. It just rains loot down around my Crawler. Without the loot filter, it looks like the above screenshot. It truly is jaw-dropping how much stuff ends up dropping in one area. Along with how much of it is considered junk by the player unless you need something specific.
It seems luck was just not on my side for that night so far. Another single chamber city. While I appreciate that cities are supposed to be easy to find now with a higher chance of them showing up. It would be nice if they were a bit bigger for how deep I was getting into Delve.
At least that single chamber city had better loot than most of the chambers I’ve ransacked to this point in time. While it was great getting a 6-link weapon to drop. It was a lower-level unique and I doubt I’ll be getting more than 10 Chaos for it being over two weeks into the league now.
There was then a long period of just going deeper. It felt like I was never going to find another city to loot ever again. That kind of old feeling you use to get when playing in Delve in Path of Exile. Before they made quite a lot of changes.
Exploring Delve even when it’s not darkness farming is by no means a boring task. I’m starting to get down into depths where a single rare monster can kill me a few times over if I’m not careful. The level experience more than makes up for it with me pulling in two or three times what I do just running maps or doing anything else in Path of Exile.
I also happened upon a fossil node. While not the best one in the game and only being worth around five Chaos I sure had to fight for it. Instead of being in the chest, I had to open it after I beat the encounter. It was in a pillar like they usually are when you find them off in the darkness. Letting me know it was going to be something special if I did not get killed.
There are a lot of different biodomes in Delve and each one presents its challenges. Some are a cakewalk with so few monsters you thought they all died of boredom waiting for you to get down there. Others are so packed full it was like you unleashed the zerg and you sure hoped you killed them fast enough as they kept coming.
Many times I would be trailing behind my Crawler just trying to kill as much as I could. The thing will keep moving forward unless you step into the darkness. Since you can’t stay in the darkness forever as you take more damage the longer you are in it. Sooner or later you need to catch back up and the Crawler keeps moving forward if you like it to or not.
Sometimes the encounters at each node have their little side area that you step into. This is kind of nice as you don’t have to worry about moving too far anywhere and dragging in a rare monster that was off-screen killing you while you have a horde of monsters beating down on you.
While it felt like it took forever to find the next city. I eventually did. It took a couple of trips farming Sulphite in maps and then coming down Delve and spending it all going deeper before having to go back up and repeat the process.
I had the mishap of taking a right to try and find the next path downwards instead of going left. As I got closer and closer to the next city I did not know at the time I was traveling along a dead-end path. Nothing like wasting a bunch of time and Sulphite having to go the other way on the map.
I was at a point now where I was starting to take getting to the loot in each chamber in a more thought-out manner. Before I could just rush to each of the dead ends and pop all the chests. Loot everything as quickly as I could and then run off to the next section.
Since a rare monster can kill me without much trouble. I would stand on a triggering pad that would light the way for a short while to one of the ends of the chamber. Pull some of the monsters including the rare monsters. Kill them. Retrigger the light and repeat till I got to one of the areas with the loot chests in it.
After that, there would still be some killing and risk on my end. It however ensured I was not mistakenly dragging half a dozen rare monsters and their friends with me. Once you die in a chamber it closes and you can’t get back.
Once I finished them all off it was time to head back out and keep going deeper. I had some decent luck at the start finding cities not that far apart. The next one was yet again another long trip down to find.
It happened to be a one-chamber city yet again. Getting closer and closer to my deepest depth I was no longer in the mood to just run a one-chamber city. I left it behind to run another day.
I had high hopes for the way the outline of that city was placed on the map. It made you believe there would be more chambers on a different path on the map. Disappointment had set in once I got closer seeing there was nothing else.
Along the way, in my many trips in and out of Delve, I ended up reaching my highest level. Rather I ended up tying with it at level 94. While I always think maybe this is the league I get closer to 100. The fact of the manner I just die too much and the experience lost penalty is starting to get a burial. If I recall you are not around halfway to level 100 till level 98 as far as experience goes. I won’t hold my breath.
After a fair bit more clearing down I was within 10 depths of being the deepest I have ever been. I was wondering if I could finally beat my old record or if things would just get too hard to press any deeper. I was hoping the game would be easy on me. That ended up not being the case as there happened to be a city where I was going.
The first chamber I ended up running at 255 depth was quite the challenge. I managed to clear it after spending some time and taking things real easy. The loot was not that impressive. The Harpy Rapier bow that dropped was nothing special as the stats it rolled were worthless.
It just so happened the game thought why not put depth 256 right in the middle of a city. Give the player something to work toward and perhaps some kind of reward? I do like rewards after all.
I managed to clear the above area to open the chamber. Despite how small of an area it was I got rushed by several rare monsters as I was almost within range of entering the chamber itself. They did not put up much of a fight which I was somewhat shocked by being at this depth.
I then started to work on clearing out the hallways leading to one of the ends of the chamber. This being a special occasion I took my time. I did not want any surprises ending this trip early.
I made it into the first loot room thinking the worse was cleared. I prepared for the wave of monsters that spawn on you once you enter. My mana and life flasks slow decreased over time as I was fighting off some nasty monsters.
At one point I realize I was in trouble. My energy shield was gone. My life flask was empty. I started to dance around the room keeping the monsters in my damage over time effects on the ground. While trying to give me long enough to gain another life flask.
They were just not dying fast enough. I knew I was out of time. I made a mad dash back into the hallway. I was hoping to give myself some distance and time to recover. The good news is I cleared out the hallway so there would be no extra monsters to fight off.
The bad news it was too little too late. I did not click my life flask fast enough once it got a charge. Not all tales have a happening ending. I’ll never know what was in that chamber at 256 depth as I can’t re-enter it. The rest of the chambers in that city will be left to explore another day.
What a thrill it was reaching a new personal best for myself in Delve. While it’s not by any means deep compared to what the top players can do. It will be interesting to see how much further I can go before finding a nice depth to just farm sideways on.
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