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.
Good tip on the Stagbreaker. I made that but couldn’t see what it was for. If it goes through walls that’s going to be incredibly useful.
I hate those kind of long boss fights so if i can overgear it I’ll wait. I can’t find mine yet anyway. I just wrote a post about that. No rush.
I’ve poked around in the mountains. Frost Resistance potion stops the cold from affecting you at all. All I saw in the place I explored was a frost drake and some wolves. Killed the wolves, ran from the drake. I might work on that more before I go for Bonemass.
Dunno if overgearing is possible…poison is like 50% of the damage in that fight. My first attempt was figuring out the attacks. The winning run was pretty straightforward and less time than the Elder.
I finally found the vendor after sailing for 3 days to explore the map. That 150 boost to carry weight is amazing.
I think I have some mountains on my main isle. Get that explored and probably move out towards a spot with access to the plains. I found an abandoned town that looks quite promising!
I should have been preparing for Bonemass this week, but I been busy with other Real Life things and had a rest from the game for almost 7 days. So it was only just last night I sat down and had time to play which means actually adventuring far west to find the location of Bonemass and a swamp for more crypts and scrap iron. Still, it be a while as be traveling this week for work and a bit less time to play. However, the Iron gathering is coming along and over halfway to 300 pieces of iron. Will surely need a longship to transport all the Iron across the vast long ocean.
I know when i fought the Elder Boss solo that was damn epic long by a mile fight. I ran out of Arrows and I started with 100 as well also had Flaming Arrows. Boss destroyed the entire forest area all around. You can almost never be too prepared. You do all you can prudently do to put things to your advantage. Bonemass will be a solo affair for me. And while my Outpost base is set up not far away I still don’t quite yet know the lay of the land around the boss as I have not yet focused on venturing there to look at the location. I’ve heard and read various strategies that worked. Yet to each their own game plan. One of my strategies is to make the entire area an obstacle course minefield with spiked fencing kinda like D-Day. If the Boss, enemies, and adds have to run into or around stuff it may be to my advantage. Shield and Board don’t always work on Bosses but Bonemass is rated at slow with time to dodge and strike 2 good hits and dodge roll. And the obstacle course to even slow things down more. Will do a tree stand thing too. But in the end, will see what works based on the location geography I yet not know. Still, it’s good to read what worked for others.