A warcamp can be located by any member of the Guardians of Sunfist who has achieved at least the second rank, namely access to the Sigil of Location. Warcamps are essentially instanced hunting grounds, filled with only one race of Grimswarm which spawn randomly near the skill of any character inside. As such, they in principle provide like-level hunting for any character in any area of Elanthia.
Once located and opened, a shimmering path will appear, leading into the warcamp. Firstly, there is no entry requirement, such as GoS membership nor in a member's group to enter the camp. Thus, a member of GoS can use the Sigil of Location to open a warcamp for another character, even if the GoS member does not (wish to) enter.
Inside camps, Grimswarm spawn fast. Spawn rate may have some relationship to the character movement through the camp (although this is worth investigating), but especially correlates with encounters with guards who may call the alarm and the number of characters that enter (as standard for spawn rates). Cautious characters are advised to stay near the entry area. The central areas are especially dangerous as they have many rooms feeding them for random movement.
Creatures can spawn of any class, including all basic skills like combat maneuvers and spells. The capabilities of the Grimswarm generally reflect the skill level of their opponents, so the less-skilled Grimswarm are less capable and vice versa. Although they never disarm, most other capabilities can be considered game, such as the devastating Focused Implosion from sorcerer-type Grimswarm. This can make warcamping difficult for pures and squares alike. Pures will be subjected to a barrage of maneuvers which may induce RT, while squares will be easily warded or possibly hit with ball spells. On the other hand, all the creatures crit and stun (even though they usually shake it), which make them easy game for many hunting strategies.
Only a member of GoS can locate and open the portal to a warcamp (manifested as a shimmering path). However, once the path appears, anyone can go down it to enter the warcamp. Incoming teleportation of any sort is restricted, and the shimmering path is the only means to enter a warcamp. It is noted, however, that most types of out-going teleportation are perfectly viable either for rescues or escape.
Since the requirements to open camps are minimal, a player could easily make a 'scouting' character to find warcamps for another character in Voln or the Council of Light, even on the same account since the shimmering paths remain open for about five minutes.
The ideas covered in this section should be considered a useful guide to add to a character's portfolio to hone their specific tactics. Considering the array of characters, playing styles, and the unprecedented swarms which can be encountered camping (outside invasions), players must devise their own tactics, which may range from simple to complex. As there are no area dispel effects, characters are encouraged to enter warcamps glowing brighter than a supernova.
The most effective tactic will surely depend on if the character is camping solo or with a group.
Stay Near the Entry!
Without a specific reason to do otherwise, characters are advised to stay near the entry path. The two main reasons to leave the entry area are to make more use of area effect spells (see The Shroud below) or to complete specific tasks assigned by GoS which require going deeper into the camp. Reasons for staying near the entrance are fairly straight-forward. The number one reason is that it is easier to get out, or to get a dead companion out, from near the path than further away. Although this may seem obvious, it is noted that once there are several Grimswarm in a room, leaving the room will incur hard roundtime, which may happen repeatedly as the character moves from one swarm to another, significantly delaying or preventing escape. Characters venturing much beyond the entry path are well-advised to have one (and preferably more) means of teleporting out, such as a gold ring. Another reason to stay near the entry is that there are not many adjacent rooms, which generally results in smaller swarms spawning elsewhere and wandering in. However, when a character first enters a new or calm warcamp, the initial spawn rate may be very low, so the character may wish to quickly encounter a guard so that the alarm is raised, and then retreat to the entry area, particularly in the case of using short-duration buff spells such as Wall of Force (140), Wizard Shield (919), and Crusade (1618).
The mystical shroud created by the Grimswarm to obscure the camp's location can react poorly to certain kinds of magic, especially near the entry area. Powerful offensive area of effect spells in particular can cause the shroud to become unstable, which will be evident to any characters nearby. The shroud naturally re-stabilizes in about half a minute, but can backlash at a character who continues to cast such spells while it is unstable. According to the original post, such magic includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Major Ewave, Nature's Fury, open Implosion, and Song of Disruption.
In short, although there is generally a strong motivation to use such mass destruction spells, they should be used sparingly. Groups of characters, in particular, should either discuss with or keep an eye on the tactics of their partners, so an inadvertent backlash is not caused.
If the shroud is about to backlash, one of the two following messages will be seen:
Distorted ripples begin to appear across the mystical shroud surrounding this area!
The ripples in the mystical shroud surrounding the area become more prominent!
As the shroud can be disrupted in adjacent rooms, entering a new room where the shroud is also unstable will show:
You notice ominous ripples undulating across the mystical shroud surrounding this area.
When the shroud settles back down and all magic may be safely used once again, the following message will be seen in the room:
The ripples in the mystical shroud surrounding this area fade away.
List of Spells
The following spells are known to disrupt cause the shroud to become unstable. Note that some spells seem to set off the shroud more easily than others.
- Silence (210)
- Minor Sanctuary (213)
- Mass Interference (217)
- Elemental Wave (410)
- Mana Focus (418)
- Major Elemental Wave (435)
- Cold Snap (512)
- Cone of Elements (518)—both versions
- Breeze (612)
- Mass Calm (619)
- Nature's Fury (635)
- Corrupt Essence (703)—open cast only
- Energy Maelstrom (710)—open cast only
- Implosion (720)—open cast only
- Tremors (909)—open cast was confirmed
- Call Wind (912)†
- Core Tap (950)
- Holding Song (1001)
- Song of Peace (1011)
- Song of Power (1018)
- Song of Sonic Disruption (1030)—open cast only
- Empathic Link (1117)
- Sympathy (1120)
- Pious Trial (1602)—minor chance to disrupt
- Beacon of Courage (1608)—minor chance to disrupt
- Aura of the Arkati (1614)—minor chance to disrupt
- Quake (1714)
† Any spell cast with Core Tap is treated by the shroud as an area of effect (AoE) spell and will affect the shroud of a warcamp. The spells individually count much less than most other true AoE spells (even though their effect is just as pronounced).
- Spirit Fog—gsguide says it does, but they were also wrong about Web and apparently Searing Light.
- Cleric Base
- Paladin Base
- Minor Mental?
- Grasp of the Grave (709)
- Evil Eye (717)
- Tremors (909)—EVOKEd version
- Song of Noise (1017)
Spells that do not affect the shroud:
Tips and Tricks
It is onerous to give in-depth information for all the hunting styles available to all the classes. Below is a list of simple things to remember and consider, if they apply to a given character. Your basic concept is essentially killing creatures as fast as possible.
- Area Web (118) is very effective, either at catching or distracting the Grimswarm.
- Pures should take advantage of ball spells, especially when camping in a group to tag lots of creatures.
- Mstrike and Berserking are very effective.
- Remember, trolls hate fire!
- Spells that kill fast are particularly good
- Focused Implosion is especially suitable, as the loot on Grimswarm is poor anyway.
- If you need to eat herbs, leave the camp.
- If a partner is incapacitated or knocked down, drag them out of the camp immediately.
- If more than a few creatures are in the room, go to another room or leave.
(It would be nice to have any clever ideas for these, but maybe not necessary.)
Besides the occasional rare gear carried by a Grimswarm, most of the loot is simple and they are not at all rich. Thus the drops are mostly limited to some silvers, common magical items, paltry alchemical reagents (ayanad crystals, etc), and assorted junk like food. Grimswarm do not carry boxes. However, keep an eye out for a crude bone key; it is not only required for some GoS tasks, but can be used to unlock the treasure chest after all the Grimswarm are killed. The treasure chest is in the Supply Hut on the east side of the camp. For each 20 Grimswarm a character kills, that character can find one box by searching the treasure chest.
Death inside a warcamp is just as bad, and usually worse, than other hunting grounds in Elanthia. The main reason is because of the difficulty it poses for (would-be) rescuers, particularly if the character was camping solo. Because warcamps cannot be teleported into as well as the fleeting duration of the shimmering path, many rescuers will not have knowledge or means of how to get to the corpse. Thus, the common result is that after some delay, the Grimswarm tear all the flesh off the corpse and discard the skeleton outside (in the room where the shimmering path initially appeared). At this time, the character can be rescued normally (for whatever circumstances apply to the area from which they entered the camp), but will need quite dedicated healing (rank 3 wounds on every potion of the body). Unfortunately, rescuers may have given up searching for the corpse by this time. Thus, it is usually a good idea to let others know that you're warcamping, so that in case you die, they can eventually help you out.
It's generally a good idea to know who else in the area is likely to be warcamping. If a character enters a warcamp which is already occupied, possibly by a less-skilled adventurer, unannounced entry could lead to severe difficulties for the person(s) already inside if higher-skilled Grimswarm begin to show up. Even if a camp is presently vacant, a character may have GoS tasks relating to warcamps, in particular razing them among others. It would be very rude to finish off the last few remaining Grimswarm in a formerly large warcamp and raze it without the person who did most of the hard work getting credit for destroying the camp.
One easy way to tell is the use of Sigil of Recognition once inside. Warcamps are initially created with only round numbers of Grimswarm (e.g. 100, 200, etc), and if the remaining number in the camp deviates from such a value (e.g. 88, 172), it indicates someone has been camping there recently, and not only may return shortly, but may not like you tinkering about in their camp.
Razing the Camp
Once all the Grimswarm are killed, and the treasure chest is looted, one member of the party needs to simply RAZE it. This incurs 15 seconds of RT. It is recommended to do this near the entry and leave promptly! Once it is totally burned down, a thick plume of smoke will be visible in the nearby areas, indicating its destruction. A given character must have at least five kills within the camp to receive credit for the camp destruction to be counted.