I made this guide a few years ago, maybe someone can still get some use out of it.
by Urste @ Asura
This guide was written for players new to the game, those entering midlevel, and people who haven’t really camped much before. Here is a list of some of the terms and abbreviations I use:
Spawn: To appear. A spawn area is where a mob would appear, a spawn time is the time that elapses before the mob spawns again, etc.
ToD: Time of Death.
Mob : Enemy, foe, NM, any NPC that can be engaged.
NPC: Non-player character.
Widescan: Beastmaster and Ranger job ability. Displays a list and locations of all mobs within a set radius overlayed onto the map.
NM: Named Monster. Also called a Notorious Monster.
Placeholder: As the name would suggest, a placeholder is a mob that appears if a NM doesn’t (usually in a lottery-type spawn)
Window: Usually represented as a set of numbers, such as 21-24. The first number is the time that must pass before the NM can appear again, the second number is the maximum amount of time that has usually been observed as passing without the NM spawning.
*** Please, do not post corrections without providing supporting data. If you’ve heard a rumor, or have an idea, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check it out.
Lottery vs Random vs Forced
Often, it would seem as though most NMs appear completely at random, but this is actually rarely the case. Every NM is assigned one of three basic templates, or methods, of spawning. We’ll call those templates Lottery, Random, and Forced. Every NM in the game will follow the rules set forth by one of these three templates.
Most of the first NMs a new player comes across are spawned by a lottery. The first method people learn to camp these mobs is to just run around the suspected spawn area, killing anything that may be a placeholder. While this sometimes gets the job done, it is much more efficient to learn how exactly lottery works, and to use that to your advantage.
Every lottery NM has a placeholder. Each placeholder, just like all the other mobs in that zone, has an exact respawn time. This is the time it takes for the mob to respawn after being killed. This time varies, but is usually 5, 10 or 15 minutes. When you kill the placeholder, either the placeholder mob or the NM will spawn again once the respawn time has elapsed. The respawn time is accurate to within 10-15 seconds. If the placeholder or NM does not spawn in that time, you have lost track of the placeholder.
While you may hear that all the mobs of a certain type in a certain area are the placeholders for a NM, this isn’t really true. Only one normal mob is the placeholder for the NM. To find that single placeholder, you will need the Widescan job ability available to Beastmasters and Rangers. All mobs in a zone load into the widescan list in an exact order. If some of these mobs have been killed and are waiting for respawn, then they will be skipped, and the list will be shorter. The list of mobs alive, however, will always be in the same order.
If you plan on camping alot of NMs, it is recommended that you unlock the BST or RNG jobs. Both will give you the widescan ability at level 1 when set as your subjob, although RNG’s widescan area is double that of BST.
Let’s take for example Jaggety-Eared Jack, a rabbit NM that spawns in West Ronfaure. The following is how the widescan list looks when standing at (H-9):
Forest Hare < = Jaggety-Eared Jack’s placeholder
NPC’s, indicated on your map with a green dot, are always listed last. Fished mobs are always listed first.
At higher levels, when widescan covers a much larger area, this section of the list appears about one-third the way down the widescan list. Your widescan list may differ slightly, due to mobs that have been killed and are waiting for respawn. When the NM, in this case Jaggety-Eared Jack, is out, it’s name will appear where it’s placeholder normally is. One thing to notice is that Jaggety-Eared Jack’s placeholder is the last mob in the group of three. If you were to see only 2 of the mobs in this group alive, you would claim and hold the last mob, and wait for the third to spawn. If it spawned below the mob you have claimed, you would know that the recently spawned mob is the exact placeholder. In West Ronfaure, the rabbit respawn in 5 minutes, so five minutes after killing the exact placeholder either another placeholder or the NM would spawn. You don’t need to run about, killing other mobs and refreshing widescan during this time. You can craft, chat, or go AFK. You only need to look for the respawn after 5 minutes has elapsed (+-10 or so seconds). One downside to this method is that it can be difficult to identify and maintain the placeholder if alot of the surrounding mobs used to identify the placeholder’s group are being killed. If you are camping a NM and you don’t know where in the widescan list the placeholder is located, be sure and check your widescan list the next time the NM is sighted and make a note of where in the list the NM appears.
The respawn of the actual NM is often referred to as a Window, as in 2-4. This means that the NM will respawn after 2 hours, not more than 4 hours after original time of death. This is not entirely true with all mobs, and most windows for NMs with such short respawn times are usually rough estimates, not exact times you can expect the NM to appear. In the case on a lottery NM, every time the placeholder is due to spawn, the NM has a chance of spawning. The chance of the NM spawning instead of a normal placeholder can be figured using the rough estimate window and the respawn time of the placeholder. For example, if a NM is said to respawn 2-4 hours after time of death, and the placeholder respawns 10 times an hour (or every five minutes, allowing a few moments to find and kill it), you can roughly estimate that the NM has a 1 in 20 chance of spawning, instead of the placeholder.
It should be noted the the maximum time allowed for respawn is usually just an estimate, NMs with a window of 21-24 have been known to spawn well after 24 hours has passed since the original time of death. The important number to know is the minumum respawn time; if you start camping the NM from this time, it will eventually appear. No NM has ever been known to ‘skip a day’.
On stronger NMs, it is often better to get a time of death (ToD) with just one person, then return when the minimum window has elapsed to try to claim it with a full party. You can even get a rough ToD while AFK for long periods by using the Conquest Update, which is sent to your chat log every hour, at the top of the hour. Simply scroll back and count the Conquest Updates until you find “PlayerX defeats the NM”. It’s recommended that you unequip your linkshell during this time, as it can fill your log up. Camping ToD rather than the actual NM is much less stressfull, and is a good job for those new to camping the stronger NMs, including HNMs. Simply go to the spawn location, watch, learn, and report the time of death to your group.
Some NMs have a minimum time before the NM can replace the placeholder again; this time varies from NM to NM and is difficult to confirm. Some NMs are confirmed to have no minimum respawn time, and can replace the next placeholder immediately after being killed. This is an example of where it is often best to ‘be safe rather than sorry’, and take all rumors regarding lottery NMs with a grain of salt.
Probably the most difficult type of NM spawn to camp is time-based random. No one knows exactly when the NM will appear, and you must be constantly scanning your surroundings for it. On a random spawning mob with a 21-24 window (reappearing not less than 21 hours of original time of death, and not later than 24) you have 3 hours when you must be paying attention.
If you have compitition camping this type of NM, the basic tactic is to spread your party out evenly around the suspected spawn area, and have your fastest spells or abilities at-hand to make the quickest claim. Properly set up macros are a must for these types of camps. Watch your radar; the red dot indicating a foe will appear before the sprite loads and the actual NM character appears on your screen.
There are 2 basic types of forced spawns: Those forced by the server, usually by meeting conditions involving time or weather, and those forced by players. Player-forced spawn include those popped by examining a ‘???’ to pop a NM for a mission or quest, and those popped by trading an item to a ‘???’ or other target to pop a NM.
NM spawns forced by players doesn’t really require much for tactics in regards to camping; you know when the mobs is going to spawn, and when the mob is spawned, it is usually already claimed by you or your party.
Mobs spawned by certain environmental conditions, such as moon phase or weather, require you to pay the most attention only when changes in these conditions occur. If you know the mob appears once a game day at 24:00, you only need to be ready for it at that time.
Compitition and Ethics
Rarely will you have the luxury of camping a desirable NM alone. You may find yourself surrounded by people, all trying to claim the same NM. This can be frustrating, and how you behave in situations such as these speaks volumes about you as a player, your party, your linkshell and your friends. Often, when you find a NM being camped by many people, it is best to simply find a NM with less competition. If you find the topic of conversation in the area not to your liking, start blacklisting offensive players using ‘/blist add’. You can also filter /shout in your Config => Filters menu.
When you or your group does get a claim, there are some people who will try various tactics to try to kill you, or make you lose claim. They may round up alot of tough mobs and leave them on your camp, they may try to lag you to the point of disconnection, or they may slip in a strong Cure on one of your party member to gain the attention of the NM, then run it out of sight, resluting in a lost claim. Any reputable linkshell has a firm policy barring such action; if the linkshell worn by the offender is well-known, try talking to a sackholder of that linkshell.
There are some action you can take to prevent many lost claims due to other campers. To stop others from training mobs on top of your party, you can try to move your NM toward a zone; the mobs will disappear rather than resume being aggressive when released. To stop alot of lag, intended or otherwise, filter all effects in the Config => Effects menu. To stop someone outside your party from casting Cure or other spells on you, type ‘/blockaid on’.
Should someone else rightfully claim the NM you were camping, don’t b a poor sport. Don’t stand directly on top of the NM, blocking the view of the NM’s animations.
In lottery spawn camps, many people feel they need to ‘slash and burn’ every mob in the zone. If you are killing mobs that you know have no bearing on the NM spawning, be aware that there may be people trying to gain experience points off these mobs. This is particuliarly true in the zones closest to the three main cities.