My adventures in the swap progressed quite a bit! Rather than take the same approach as the Black Forest, I opted to take the environment before tackling the goals. Bhagpuss certainly pointed me in the right direction.
The swamp is, uh, swampy. There’s water everywhere, and in nearly every puddle is a leech. Leeches are painful enough in terms of damage, but they also poison. And poison in the swamp deals about 100 damage. It’s also always dark, so you’re near guaranteed to step into water at some point. Prevention is the big one. And the hoe tool is amazing! It will level any ground for no material cost, so you end up making road through the swamp and just entirely avoid water. You’ll still be wet all the time (reduces stamina regeneration), but your feet will be safe. Of note, never be in the swamp if you are WET, COLD, and NOT RESTED. Your stamina regeneration is practically nil.
If the floor is no longer lava, then you can start worrying about the other stuff. Draugr and Skeletons abound, and in groups of 3-6 at a time. You just don’t have the stamina to take them all on at the same time. There are some large respawn areas too, where you’ll have a large mass of them come at you non-stop. The archers are the worst, especially those at level 2 or 3… they can kill you in 1 hit. Then there are slimes and oozes (who spawn slimes when killed) who spew poison. Get hit by that, and you’re going to die. Finally, there are Surtling who spawn near fire geysers and shoot fireballs. Water kills them, and a bow is a great tool for them. They are annoying more than deadly.
Most things in the swamp will hit for as hard as a frost giant, either directly or as a DoT. You need a LOT of HP, 120+ to be safe, which means 3 pieces of quality food. And if you’re planning to explore at all, you’re going to want a Poison Resistance potion. For 10 minutes, your poison damage drops to maybe 20pts total and you become much more resistant to even getting hit by it in the first place.
So all that in mind, you’re 100% prepared, you’re still likely going to die.
Building a Base Camp
Since you can’t transport any metal in raw form (ore or bars), you need to build a base camp. You’ll want to put up a portal for easy access to home base material + when you’re gonna die. I first created a portal on the shore until I found a nearby crypt. At the crypt, I leveled a wide swath of ground and fenced off the front door. I built a smelter, a forge, and then leveled up that forge with some tools (level 2). The forge is the problem – it requires copper which can’t go through a portal. I was lucky and found a nearby forest and mined some up. You’re going to need a LOT of coal, so the kiln at home base is effectively running 24/7, and there’s an actual use for the Elder power!
Each crypt has a junk pile you need to mine through, with a small chance to get iron scraps. You may luck out with a chest that has more! Crypts are chocked full of Draugr and Slimes, and your #1 best friend is the Stagbreaker. This is a 2hnd mace that does large AE attacks. The damage is tiny (like 20% of a normal weapon), but it causes knockback and goes through walls. It is amazing, and should be used before you step into a new room to just make space.
As with all new material, you now get a ton of new recipes. What do you need to build?
- A new mining pick is the most important tool you have. Only need rank 1 for now, since the forge can repair it quickly.
- Shields are super powerful, not only in preventing damage but in being able to parry, which doubles damage to the target. Get an iron shield – upgrade to 2 for reasons.
- Everything in the swamp is vulnerable to blunt damage – get an iron mace
- Iron armor isn’t terribly useful. It costs a lot, and nearly all the damage you take will be from poison.
- You gotta build a boat! The longship takes 100 iron nails (10 iron). Why? It has 18(!!) storage slots, compared to 4 for the Karve. You want to mine until you have at least 300 iron ready to transport back to base. A fully upgraded forge requires a ton of iron.
A giant flaming green skull in the ground. Sure does look like it’s going to go poorly.
I set up a nearby portal (after having put a new one at home base) and took my time to level as much of the ground around the spawn as possible. I didn’t want to fall into any water. Went back home, slept for the night, and filled up on food (sausages, cooked meat, and royal jam), took 6 poison and 6 healing pots and headed out.
Bonemass is something else. A giant walking slime demon with 3 attacks. His melee strike deals a truckload of damage if you get hit (you can block with a level 2 shield, or dodge). He, um, regurgitates a massive AE poison cloud. And he will throw some goop out that spawns 2 skeletons and 2 slimes. This last one isn’t so bad, as long as there are no archers. Get our the Stagbreaker and you’re a-ok for that spawn. Bonemass is vulnerable to blunt, so your iron mace is mint here.
Bonemass himself has a ton of hitpoints, and you’re going to be darting in for a bunch of attacks, then coming out to get extra stamina. He also heals if you need to go back home and recharge. I did manage to take him out, two deaths included, over a period of 30 minutes. It took all my poison pots and healing pots to get through it.
I got a trophy and a wishbone. The trophy unlocks the Bonemass power, which is a major damage reduction, figure that’s useful for starting a new biome or a boss. The wishbone, I don’t quite know. It says it finds secrets. Hugin says something about heading to the mountains as a next step. I need to go back and transport my iron home, then find a good spot in the mountains to start exploring. I do know that I take cold damage in the mountains, so frost potions are brewing up.