Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn - Lessons Learned
Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn - Lessons Learned
A few people heard I recently started tackling champion spawns and wanted to know if I would share some of my experience. Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn was the first champion spawn I tried solo. Years before I had done champion spawns with a guild, then settled into crafting and other activities. Once I transformed my old warrior into a Sampire, I was ready to try champion spawns by myself. Many thanks to those that helped me get ready, most particularly the character Richard Sharpe on Pacific and his video, "Sampire 101 - Champion Spawns." You can find his video on Youtube. I will focus mostly on what I learned outside his video tutorial, with just a couple of exceptions.
Sacrifice - Building the virtue of Sacrifice will allow you to resurrect yourself. I had heard of this before, but thought it UO myth and folklore. Now, I know that it is true. You will die a few times when you go solo into a champion spawn, for sure, and there is no where to resurrect in most spawns, so having the ability to resurrect yourself is priceless. I have not died in quite awhile now, but the first few runs here I did. Having the ability to resurrect yourself through the Sacrifice virtue gets you right back into the fight without abandoning the spawn. You can build this virtue ability by clicking the icon above your paper doll and selecting the Sacrifice virtue, then targeting a demon or other comparable creature. You can only build this virtue one time a day. Usually, I go to the Fan Dancer Dojo, on the 2 level down, where there is a little room with a lone Demon. I kill each demon until I build my Fame up to 10,000, or Lord, then sacrifice it all on the next demon. Checking your status on that virtue, you will see that your path in this virtue rises. In a few days, you will reach a level in Sacrifice that allows you to resurrect. I am not sure how much. With Follower level, I think I could resurrect myself 3 times. Under Knight of Sacrifice, I could do it maybe 5 or so times. Never had to use it that much. Oh, and one more thing. The great thing about this ability is that when you resurrect, you do so with all your gear on and your stuff. No death robe.
Arcane Boots – Invest in a pair of Arcane Boots. They allow you to cast Necromancy spells once you resurrect without the use of regents. This is important, for once you resurrect yourself, you want to get into Vampiric Embrace form again. The boots will allow you to cast this spell. In case you do not remember, this is written for a Sampire, and Vampiric Embrace is how you heal yourself by healing every time you inflict damage. You can craft Arcane Boots with an arcane gem or buy them.
Vermin Slayer Talisman – If you can secure a Vermin Slayer Talisman I highly recommend it. It will raise your damage on monsters significantly, as well as giving you more healing every time you strike.
Macros – Attack Next Target (Mobile), Whirlwind and Double Strike. I use Classic Client so I can not use the mouse wheel for targeting. Since I use a double axe, I use F1 for Attack Next Target (Mobile), F2 for Double Strike, and F3 for Whirlwind. I have tried other weapons, and found that the double axe suits me best. You will have to find what weapon works well for you. The macros, however, are important. Holding down F1 I run around after starting the spawn and target all the monsters I run past. This makes them follow you. Once I have a good group, I come to center and start spamming Whirlwind and Attack Next Target. This not only kills a large number of monsters, advancing the candles on the altar, but heals me at the same time. Remember, the more damage to monsters when you are in Vampiric Embrace, the more you heal.
Don’t Run – Don’t run away from spawn. You heal when you are killing. I learned the hard way that every time I ran I died. Once I started gathering up the spawn and fighting in place, spamming whirlwind, I started living on to the end. Practice it and see. Remember, this is written for a Sampire character.
Getting There – The Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn is located on the lower level of Despise. Years ago it was called Ogre Island. My warrior, before becoming a Sampire when I started playing again 3 years ago, cut his teeth going there to raise skills. Now it is empty except when a spawn is active. I do not run through Despise. Instead, I go to Felucca, Serpent’s Hold, down by the docks. There you will find a cave entrance to the Fire Dungeon. If you enter here, then run down a short way, to the west you will see a stone building with two mages. Inside you will find two sparkling gates lined up north to south. Run through the south gate. Once you run through, you will find yourself in the Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn area at the bottom of Despise Dungeon. Continue west and you will see a dike that takes you to the small island containing the altar. Click on your virtue icon above your paper doll, then select Valor, then click again targeting the skull at the center of the altar. This will start the spawn. Now, sometimes you may pop into this area and the spawn is already all about (rats and slugs). Take a run around the dungeon to see if anyone is about. If not, go at it. I popped into this situation once and just continued running the spawn to the end. Another time it did not work and I had to click on the skull on the altar to start spawn again. You will just have to play with it and see what happens should you encounter this.
Getting Out – The exit from this spawn location is up on the ledge to the west of the island. There you will see two sparkling gates running north to south side by side. Choose the north one, as the crow flies on your map compass. Now, this gets you out of the spawn area quickly, but you are not safe yet. You will appear in the Ancient Wyrm lair at the bottom of Destard Dungeon behind some rocks. Just wiggle your way westward to the ramp that goes up before the Skeletal Dragons and the Ancient Wyrm target you. Then, once you are at the next level, work your way quickly north to the next dirt ramp that goes into the Destard Dungeon proper. Run eastward quickly passed all of the dragons to the exit from Destard Dungeon. Then recall to your safe place. Recall will not work inside the dungeon or anywhere in the Champion Spawn. So, here, running is the rule. Now, as for the other sparkling gate in the Champion Spawn, that will take you to Terathan Keep. I recommend not going there as of yet. In the Ancient Wyrm lair, there is a cave exit just south and beside the ramp. Do not go there either. That takes you to Lost Lands. Unless you know the Felucca rule set for Lost Lands, I would again strongly recommend you not exit this way. I used my thief to stealth through all of these areas just to get myself familiarized with all the area before I actually took my sampire there. Think tactical reconnaissance.
When To Go – Picking the time to go is part and parcel to success. I used my thief to stealth the Champion Spawn area to find the best time when it was not active with other players. I will not divulge the time that I go on my shard, for that is not important. What is crucial is that you find the time when it is less likely to be active, and free of reds and player killers ruining your fun. You have enough to worry about. Remember the old adage, “fight without fighting” (Bruce Lee).
Getting Raided – Don’t fight, except to escape. I am lucky in that I have built deep relationships with characters in the game who are most likely to raid the spawn. When I first came back to the game a short while ago, I mostly crafted, made toons, and decorated houses. A lot of this crafting and decorating was for some characters that are notorious Pks and Traders on Atlantic, though on my shard they are neighbors. As a result, the few times when I have seen them on our shard, when they are not working Atlantic (they call it, “fighting on the line,” on Asian shards), they will let me be, or even ask if I need help. A couple of other times it was what I surmised were cross-sharders scouting, so I was able to get out quickly through that north sparkling gate I already told you about. You make money by getting away with your earnings. They make money killing you and taking your stuff. Do not give them the satisfaction. Your double axe respond slayer is not going to make them blink. They are geared up just for you.
Watch the Video - Rabid Sniper's, or Richard Sharpe's, video Sampire 101 - Champion Spawns on Youtube walks you through this spawn and how to work it. It is not about him, but specifically how to tackle this challenge. No wasted words, only what you need to know to win.
In conclusion, taking on the Vermin Hoard Champion Spawn and being successful changed my game play. I have now moved onto other champion spawns and look forward to each new challenge with relish. Even though I sell my power scrolls won at the spawns for half the price of Atlantic, I make more than I ever did crafting and such.
Hope this helps. Now get out there.