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Starting Guide

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Shards of Dalaya (SoD) is an emulated Everquest server which focuses on creating an experience similar to Everquest Live while providing new experiences and adventures. We have taken the best parts of Everquest and integrated them with entirely new lore and content. We have hand made thousands of quests, NPCs, books, zones and pretty much every other part of our game. Shards of Dalaya is absolutely free, and is run entirely by a passionate volunteer staff.

If you have any questions after reading this starting guide, or just want to hang out, be sure to join us on Shards of Dalaya's official IRC server . If you do not have an IRC client, you can also use our IRC browser app .

Most importantly of all, thank you for taking the time try out our game. We have been going for over eight years now. We love what we do, and could not do it without the support of our player base.

Installing Shards of Dalaya


There are a few ways you can obtain the Everquest client. The client Shards of Dalaya is currently based on is the Seeds of Destruction expansion (October 21, 2008). While any install source will play the game, older sources will often be missing zone, model, and other resource files. The recommended install sources are:

  1. Daybreak Games - the client is free to download (you will need to make an account with Daybreak Games).
  2. Steam - the client is free to download (you will need to make an account with Steam).
  3. Any other install source Seeds of Destruction or later (listed below) should have the correct files (not all have been tested):
  • Seeds of Destruction (October 2008)
  • Underfoot (December 2009)
  • House of Thule (October 2010)
  • Veil of Alaris (November 2011)
  • Rain of Fear (November 2012)
  • Call of the Forsaken (October 2013)
  • The Darkened Sea (November 2014)
  • The Broken Mirror (November 2015)
  • Empires of Kunark (November 2016)

Whatever source you choose to install from, you will need to make note of the path it installed to. We're going to call this your game directory (catchy name, eh?!) and we'll need to know it later.

Once patched for SoD, this installation will not work with other servers. You may wish to make a copy of the installed folder for other servers if that's something you care about!

If you get to character select and you aren't able to create a character or enter world, it could be a bug involving overclocking. Try running SoD without overclocking and see if that fixes your problem.


Download the Shards of Dalaya (2.5) patcher  and register a game/forum account on the official site . You can register as many accounts as you want, and most players suggest one played character per account.

Put the SoD patcher somewhere you can access it easily - it should be your launcher for the game. Personally, I shove it into my game directory and create a shortcut to it there. Not necessary though, just a suggestion - you can run the SoD patcher from anywhere you want! If you're running in Windows Vista or 7, you may need to give the program permission to access your computer.

In the patcher window, click [Browse] and select the game directory. If your computer has a dual or quad-core processor, click the checkmark next to "Bind Affinity to Processor" and select either 1 or 2 for best performance.

Hit [Patch and Run] and wait for a while. The patcher downloads Mumble first (it takes forever for me!), EQW and updates the files in your game directory. The patcher window has a lot of little buttons and boxes, but leave them be for now.

As soon as patching finishes the patcher itself will close a window for EQW will pop open. Click the [Browse] button in this window as well, find the game directory again, and select eqgame.exe. Again, leave the little checkboxes alone - shouldn't ever even need to consider changing these. Only Fix eqclient.ini should be checked.

From here, you can click Start EQ and the game client should open to the EULA. Yay the game is running!

Character Creation

Starting Guide Character Creation.jpg

This is the Character Creation page. Here you decide important attributes about your character.

  • Name: Shards of Dalaya has restrictions on what kind of names you can pick for your character. Please be sure to pick an actual name, not "Iamagreatshadowknight"!
  • Gender: Set the Gender of your character. This is completely aesthetic!
  • Race: There are fifteen different races in Shards of Dalaya, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The race you pick will also effect where in the world you start your adventure. You can find more detailed information on this subject in the wiki article about the races.
  • Class: There are fifteen classes in Shards of Dalaya split into roughly five archtypes. You have the Priests (Druid, Cleric and Shaman), the Casters (Wizard, Magician, Necromancer and Enchanter), the Hybrids (Ranger, Bard, Paladin, Shadowknight and Beastlord) and the Melees (Warrior, Rogue, Monk). Shards of Dalaya is largely a team cooperative game, and each class plays a role in a group setting that compliments other classes in different ways. Each class has their own strengths and niches, and all the classes are balanced as well as possible to allow for many different effective class combinations. You can find more detailed information on this subject in the wiki article about the classes.
  • Abilities: There are seven different Statistical Abilities in Shards of Dalaya. They are Strength, Stamina, Agility, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma. Each Ability gives different bonuses to your character, and each class needs a different set of abilities. For a caster, it is generally recommended to put your starting points into Charisma or your casting ability (Wisdom for Priests, Intelligence for Casters). For Melees or Hybrids, the choice is less clear and you can decide more freely. You can find more detailed information on this subject in the wiki article about the statistics.

The Dream and Game Basics

Once you have created your character and entered the game, you will find yourself in The Dream. The Dream is half tutorial and half an introduction to the lore and main quest of the game. But before we go into how to go through The Dream, lets go over some game basics.

The User Interface

Starting Guide Dream 1.jpg

This is the default user interface for Shards of Dalaya.

  • Lag Meter: On the upper right is the Lag Meter. This bar will turn from green to yellow to red when your connection with Shards of Dalaya is interrupted while playing.
  • Songs and Spell Effects Windows: Whenever you have a magical Song or Spell causing some change to your character, it will show up in this box as an icon. Red icons mean you have detrimental spells on you, while blue indicate beneficial spells. You can manually take beneficial spells off of you by clicking on their icon.
  • Hot Buttons: This window allows you to place various custom abilities or macros in a convenient way. As you gain skills and abilities, this window will get much more use. You can find more detailed information on this subject in the wiki article about the hotkeys.
  • Chat Window: This is where you will interact with other players and characters in the game. The main chat 'channels' are Say ('/say *message*'), Shout ('/shout *message*'), Group ('/g *message*'), Guild ('/gu *message*') and Out of Character (/ooc *message*). Say sends a message out around your character, shout sends a message to the zone you are in, group sends a message to your group members, guild sends a message to your guild, and out of character sends a message to the entire game. All new players are started in a special guild where they can ask questions and meet friends - you can access this using "/gu *message*". Feel free to say hello! Click the bar at the bottom of the chat window to type into it (or press Enter). You can find more detailed information on this subject in the wiki article about the chat commands.
  • Compass: This shows the direction you are facing. The direction becomes much more accurate as you increase your characters Sense Heading skill.
  • Target Window: You target things in game by clicking on them. This window shows you the name of whatever you currently have targetted.
  • Profile Window: This window shows your character name as well as your current health (red bar), mana (blue bar) and stamina (yellow bar).
  • Group Window: When you join a group, this window will show your group mates names and current health.
  • Battle Window: This window shows all damage done by you and to you, as well as spells cast and abilities performed.
  • Action Window: This window allows you to invite people to your group, disband your group, sit down/stand up, toggle walk or run, and exit the game through 'camping'.
  • Spell Bar: If you chose a class with access to spells, this is the place where you place spells prior to clicking on them and 'casting' them. The little red button will show you a book with all your learned spells, of which you can pick eight to be on your bar and ready to cast at any one time.
  • Main Window Menu: This bar allows you to toggle on or off most of the other windows we have described. It also will open up your inventory window (you can also get there with the I button), and the options window (also reachable with Alt-O).
  • Map Window: You can display an in game map of the zone you are in by pressing the Backspace key.
  • Inventory: You can see what your character is carrying and wearing by pressing the I key.

It is important to note that Shards of Dalaya supports a huge range of custom User Interfaces, all with different looks and styles! You can find many by looking on the game forums, or by asking friends in game what they use.

Movement and Interaction

Movement is obtained by using the arrow keys, although many players rebind movement to the WASD keys in the options menu (alt+o). Other than movement, the other two most important keys to know are H for Hailing and Q for autoattack.

Hailing (defaulted to the H key) is the primary way players interact with characters in the game. Clicking your mouse on a character within the game 'targets' it. After targeting it and walking up to it you press H to hail it. The majority of characters in the game will respond to you in the Main Chat window. It will show its own text, followed by yellow text 'dialog' options. You can interact with the character by either using the dialog command (/cmd d# where # is the option you want to pick), or by typing out one of the options you are given. Talking to characters in Shards of Dalaya is the major way you receive quests and discover things in the game world!

Autoattack is the main way to deal melee damage in Shards of Dalaya. After targeting a monster or character, press the Q key to turn on auto attack. This will make your character swing their weapon until you turn off autoattack, or the mob you are targeting dies.

The Dream

On to the game! The Dream is the a tutorial that all characters enter into before being placed into the world of Dalaya. If you feel that you have a good grasp of the game already, you can skip the dream by talking to The Guide. If you are new to Shards of Dalaya, I highly recommend you go through the dream, as it is a great introduction to the game (albeit a bit tedious!)

The first thing you do when entering the dream, is walking up to The Guide, targeting him and then hailing him with the H key. The white text is what he says to you, while the yellow are your options to say back to him.

Starting Guide Dream 2.jpg

To pick an option to say back, type /cmd d1 or /cmd d2 depending on what you want to say. /cmd d3 skips The Dream entirely, which is not recommended for new players. Further text and interaction is done the same way, by using /cmd d# and pointing it to the dialog number you want.

After a bit of back and forth with The Guide, he should cast a beneficial spell on you and tell you to continue past him.

Starting Guide Dream 3.jpg

Here you can see the spell he cast on us to the left. Holding your mouse over it will show you that the spell is called "Power of Dreams". Further, in our Battle Spam window, we see that the spell cast on us also healed our character.

Also, in our Chat Window we see that The Guide gave us experience and added a quest to our journal. Experience is the main progression method in Shards of Dalaya. As you gain experience, your character gains in level and you get access to new and exciting abilities and areas. The quest journal system is a way for players to see where they stand on certain quests throughout the game. You can access it with /cmd journal help.

Okay! It is time to move on. Head away from The Guide and journey further into the dream. Remember that you can bring up a map by pressing Backspace. You may need to turn off the Height Filter to see the map in its entirety.

Sooner or later you will find yourself face to face with your first trial, The Challenge.

Starting Guide Dream 4.jpg

The Challenge may be male or female, so if this picture looks a little different have no fear! As you did with The Guide, walk up to The Challenge, target him by clicking on him and then press {{key|H]} to hail him. The Challenge demands that you fight him using autoattack. Tell him you are prepared, and then turn on auto attack either by pressing the Q button or by hitting the 'Melee Attack' button on your Hotbutton Bar. Once you defeat The Challenge, you can continue on your quest to The Sorcerer.

Starting Guide Dream 5.jpg

The Sorcerer's trial is accomplished by using magic against her. If you are a class that has access to spells, she will give you a spell. If you are a pure melee, she will give you a magical item that you can use to channel the spell.

For mana users - talk to The Sorcerer until she gives you the scroll. Press the I button to bring up the inventory screen. You will see the scroll there, and it will be named "Spell: Sorcerer's Defeat" if you hover your mouse over it. Click the spell scroll to pick it up, and either type /book or click the little red button on your spell bar to open up your spell book. Move the scroll to one of the slots in the book and click on it. This will write the spell down in your book. Once the spell is written down (this takes a few seconds), you can click the "Sorcerer's Defeat" icon, and move it over to your spell bar. Again, this will take a few seconds, but after you are done you should see a gem appear in your spell bar. Stand back up, target the Sorcerer and click the spell gem. If your spell 'fizzles' you might have to click it more than once (spells fizzle less as your skills go up). Once cast, the Sorcerer will tell you that you passed her trial and you can move on.

For non mana users - you will get a magical stone from The Sorcerer. Open your inventory with I, and find the little stone there. You can inspect the stone by holding right click on it for a second. Target the sorcerer, and right click the stone. This should cast the spell, and allow you to pass the trial!

Continue on your path! Unfortunately, you will encounter a skunk. You will also be sprayed by the skunk - yuck! Luckily, you will soon after find The Healer.

Starting Guide Dream 6.jpg

As the ingame note describes, you will also find a Healer in major cities. Speak with this healer and he can cleanse you of the skunk funk. After that, it is on to the last trial - The Choice.

Starting Guide Dream 7.jpg

The Choice introduces new players to the Shards of Dalaya alignment system. Talk to The Choice, and then talk to The Thug, The Merchant and The Victim. After hearing their stories, go back and Hail the one you want to give the gift to. Afterwards, to initiate the gifting, open your inventory with 'i' and click on the gift (looks like a golden earring) to pick it up. Then click on the character you want to give it to. This will open up the NPC Trade Window.

Starting Guide Dream 8.jpg

Click 'Give' in this window, and you will have made your Choice! Depending on your choice, your alignment might have shifted in different directions. Go speak to The Choice again before moving on in The Dream.

Soon you will find yourself in the end Arena. Here you must talk to The First, then The Second, then The Third and finally The Last.

Starting Guide Dream 9.jpg

The First will offer you a range of different starting weapon combinations depending on your class. After picking your weapon, speak to The Second and then The Third. Finally, go to The Last.

Starting Guide Dream 10.jpg

After you are done talking to her, you will wake up and enter the real world of Dalaya! Thus ends the tutorial of The Dream.

Further guides

Although this starting guide covers only installation and The Dream, there is an entire set of starting area guides to help get new characters started.