The Treasure Hunt
A few times a year, the Treasure Hunt event takes place, usually over a weekend. It is a fun, competitive event, and provides a number of cosmetics, emotes, and pets. It can also provide a few useful items, for example, Sturdy Steel Keys, a high-stat goat or standard mount, and lower-tier stat tomes. Many more details can be found at http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Treasure_Hunt.
The treasure hunt area is in Ered Luin. You can get there with the map provided by the notification quest, or by a Festival Announcer stable-master in West Bree, Thorin’s Gate, Michel Delving, or Celondim. Or you can ride to the entrance at 18.3s 97.9w north of Gondamon.
The first time you go to the treasure hunt training grounds, there is a brief tutorial quest line that you have to do. It leads you through the basic operations, and gives you some items to get you started. When you complete that, you can (and should) immediately take the two repeatable quests that give you additional items. (You can take one of the repeatables from Arngills at the end of the intro quest line, but the same quest is also available in the training grounds.)
The repeatable quests have a cooldown of 15 minutes. The first, from Aldúlf, simply sends you to Halthor Goldeneye to get 2 more picks. The second, from the Trained Cave-Claw, requires you to gather berries in the treasure field to get more items to use. There will be competition among other players gathering berries, so a speed buff might help, but they respawn fairly quickly, so if someone beats you to a berry bush, head in a different direction.
Plan to do these quests every 15 minutes so you can accumulate the items you need for the treasure hunt.
The treasure hunt occurs in rounds. At the beginning of a round, a new set of Dig-sites are available. A round ends when someone digs up the Huge Treasure Cache (there is one in each round) or an hour has passed without someone digging it up. Someone might find it as soon as the round starts, so many rounds last only a few seconds and it is rare for a round to take more than a few minutes if there’s a reasonable number of people in the area.
If you have a Treasure-hunter’s Pick, you can right-click on a Dig-site and dig it up to take what it has. However, that consumes the pick and they are limited. There are Small, Medium, Large and Huge Treasure Caches, with larger ones holding more and better stuff. You would like to know the size of the cache in a site before you spend a pick to dig it up.
The Dowsing Gem lets you determine the size of the cache in a Dig-site. Carefully left-click the Dig-site, then right-click the Dowsing Gem. It will tell you the size of the cache, a very weak, slight, strong, and very strong reading corresponding to Small, Medium, Large and Huge Cache. This helps save picks, but uses Dowsing Gems. Warning: if you accidentally right-click on the Dig-site when intend to use a Dowsing Gem and you have a pick in your inventory, it will dig the site and consume the pick.
The key to success in the Treasure Hunt is the correct use of the Trained Cave-claw Cages. Using one releases a Trained Cave-claw. The Trained Cave-claw will find the largest site within a certain radius (some say 20m, but it seems larger than that to me) and run to it. This means you can search a number of dig-sites and find the best one to dig.
You must carefully watch the cave-claw when you release it to see which dig site it finds. After running to it, it will retreat, dig a hole and disappear. The site it finds is locked by you for a few seconds so another player cannot steal it from you. Don’t delay if you want to dig it up, however, since if someone else finds the Huge Treasure Cache, the round can end before you get a chance to dig.
Since it finds the largest cache in the area, if it finds a medium, you know there are no Large or Huge Caches in any nearby sites. After you have used a few cave-claws, you will get an idea of the radius from how far away the farthest sites are that it finds.
To moderate the number of players competing for berries and dig sites, different layers are created. If you leave the treasure hunt area by riding out into Ered Luin or taking the stable somewhere and back, you might end up in a different layer. As players leave or log off, you could even find yourself alone in a layer.
Having fewer people means less competition, allowing you to search different areas before other players. It may also mean the round drags on since it can last an hour if no one finds the Huge Cache.
If you’re in a crowded layer and leaving and returning hasn’t worked, you can try asking someone in a different layer to bring you in. If someone in a different layer invites you to a fellowship, you can transfer to the fellowship leader’s layer by clicking on the layers icon at the lower right of the screen.
I focus on using the Trained Cave-claws to search a bunch of sites to find the best one. The payback for a Small Cache is not worth a pick, so I don’t dig those. Medium, Large, or Huge sites will, on average, provide enough tokens to let me barter for additional Trained Cave-claws.
I find a location with as many dig sites as possible within the range of the Trained Cave-claw, away from other players who are probably pursuing the same strategy. As soon as a round begins, I use a Trained Cave-claw Cage. If it finds a Small Cache, I wait for the next round; otherwise, I dig it up, then go back to my starting position.
If there are other players doing the same thing near you, they may find the largest site before you, so it is best to spread out. The sites are relatively uniformly distributed. It used to be easy to see that because the dig sites would show up as dots on the mini-map, but now you have to zoom out and eye-ball it.
If there are only a few players in the layer, you may be able to move to another spot and search another area, but normally I just wait. There are some spots near the edges that are not likely to be searched in this manner. If a round has gone on for a while, there’s a chance that the Huge Cache is in one of those, so I will use any Dowsing Gems I’ve accumulated there, digging only Large or Huge Caches.
You can get 4 picks every 15 minutes from the quests, and you may find additional ones in the caches. That is the main limitation. (You can buy them for TP in the store, but with my strategy, you shouldn’t need to.) You also get a Trained Cave-claw Cage and a Dowsing Gem. You will run out of Trained Cave-claw Cages, but you can get more from Sigtir for 5 Buried Treasure Tokens. Digging only Medium, Large, or Huge Caches should give you more tokens than you use to buy them.
There are many emotes, cosmetics, and housing items you can barter for Buried Treasure Tokens. Some also can be found in caches.
A Huge Cache may contain a Treasure Laden Goat, which has the best stats for a goat (68% speed, 250 morale), or a Cave-Claw or Treasure Laden Steed, which have the best stats for standard mounts (68% speed, 250 morale). Since goats are required for Moria, that would be useful for a character that hasn’t gotten there yet. (I actually got one on the first Michaleo on Nimrodel, but I started over on Landroval so he’s never made it to Moria to use it.)
When I was lower level, I bartered for Sturdy Steel Keys (which are bound to you) so I could sell any unbound ones I got elsewhere. Also of possible interest is the Unearthed Sack, not cheap at 500 Buried Treasure Tokens. Like a lootbox, it contains random things many of which are underwhelming, but it may include tier I-VI stat tomes, which are bound to your account.
The treasure hunt is a fun event that can be done at any level and doesn’t require you to fight anything. Check out the range of emotes, cosmetics, housing items and pets to see what might be interesting to you.
by Michaleo on 2016-08-26 06:59:47