Submitted by ravenclaw on Wed, 05/04/2005 - 14:45.
The Valkurm Emperor is one of the more popular NMs in the game. He is popular because obtaining him can be farily easy once you understand his spawn patterns and because the item he drops is an item which many people feel is essential for certain jobs and because it can sell for some very good money.
Successfully camping Valkurm Emperor is quite possible once you get past level 35. He can be camped solo, or in a group. The larger the group, the more likely your success can be, but the more you will have to divide up the profits.
What is the drop?
The drop for Valkurm Emperor that you want is the "Emperor's Hairpin". This is a head item equipable at level 24 by all jobs that adds 3 DEX, 3 AGI, and 10 Evasion. It does this at the expense of 15 HP.
That 10 Evasion is perfect for many different types of tanks (especially Ninja-style "blink" tanks) as well as various pulling classes (Thief, Ranger, even Samurai). The 3 DEX increases attack accuracy as well as your chance of criticals, and the 3 AGI increases ranged accuracy as well as evasion. If you are a Thief, the DEX and AGI bonuses can help you with SATA (see RapRot's excellent post on that), so many people say this can be the ultimate Thief gear.
If you are camping for money, the hairpin has gone for upwards of 1 million gil. When I first camped it back in September 2004, it was going for 500k on the Pheonix server. At the time of this writing (May 2005), it is going for 850k. I personally saw the hairpin peak at 1.2 million gil in November 2004, but it has been declining to more reasonable prices since the tax-patch of December 2004 (see this for more information).
Any job can camp the Emperor, but certain jobs will have a tactical advantage over others. In my humble opinion, I think the ideal setup for camping the Emperor is RNG/THF when your RNG is past 40. The combination of wide-scan, steal and flee make you almost unstoppable.
Another good choice seems to be MNK/RNG after MNK gets Chi Blast. While they will not have flee, the long range and 100% accuracy of Chi Blast almost makes up for it.
Valkurm Emperor spawns north of the Whitebone Sands beach as indicated in Figure 1. He is a timed-lottery spawn. The approximate spawn time is 1 hour, but since it is a timed-lottery spawn this means that 1 hour after his previous death he could spawn again provided his placeholder is dead.
Figure 1: Emperor spawn location
The placeholders for Valkurm Emperor are the Damselflies. This makes since because the Valkurm Emperor is the king of the flies in the dunes (I've always imagined some sort of sick dog-pile orgy between all the flies and the Emperor, but I'm not well in the head).
At any given time there will be up to 4
Damselflies spawned north of Whitebone Sands beach. These are the potential placeholders for Valkurm Emperor. If there are more than 4 Damselflies in this area, it means that a Damselfly from another area has been dragged into the area (some crafty gil sellers have been known to do this with BST just to confuse their competition).
When you first start camping the Emperor, unless you are very fortunate to find someone helpful, you will not know the last spawn time. You can expect to spend at least an hour waiting for the next spawn to calibrate your hunt in the future. Because you will not know when he will spawn, you can also expect to lose out on the next pop. Basically, be prepared to do a lot of searching just to know when the spawn is. One helpful way of guesstimating when a spawn will occur is when you start seeing people flock to the area. This typically means that the spawn is very close. If you see large numbers of people warp from the area, this typically means that the spawn just happenned and someone else claimed the Emperor.
Once you know when the last spawn occured, you can relax a bit. You have 50 minutes or so before you have to pay attention to the game. Read a book. Watch some TV. Farm some lizards. Help some lowbies. Whatever. Just don't stay intently focused on hunting for the Emperor during that 50 minutes or you will burn yourself out. You need to be well rested for the hunt ahead.
10 minutes before the next potential spawn, widescan the area. Check how many flies have spawned. If there are less than 4
flies, wait until all 4 placeholders have spawned
. Once all 4 placeholders have spawned, run around and kill them to clear the placeholders for Emperor to pop.
There is a 5 minute respawn time between total placeholder obliteration and the next pop. This 5 minutes is pretty definate, so you can relax again for another 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes (I would say 15-20 seconds before it ends) begin wide-scanning again. Once again, you want to watch for the 4 pops. If all 4 pops are flies, once again kill them off and wait another 5 minutes. Keep repeating this process until the Emperor spawns.
For those of you who would like this process represented algorythmically, here it is:
- Wait 50 minutes from last respawn.
- Widescan and wait for all 4 placeholders to spawn.
- Kill all 4 placeholders.
- Wait 5 minutes for next respawn.
- Widescan for Valkurm Emperor. If 4 placeholders spawn instead, return to step #3.
If you understand this process, you realize that camping the Emperor is really quite simple and only requires around 10 minutes of intense hunting per hour. With appropriately timed flees just before spawn time, you can be ready the instant he pops.
Clear the field
If you have more than one person in your party camping the Emperor, a good strategy is to have one person dedicated to clearing the zone from enemies just before the potential pop. The advantage to this is that it clears widescan for those actually looking for the Emperor, and makes finding him easier.
The disadvantage is that it will also make finding him easier for your competition. Because of this, I would only recommend doing this if there are relatively few people hunting him alongside you.
Know the location in Widescan
If you have played Ranger for any period of time, you have probably noticed that every mob and NPC in the field has a set location in your widescan list. The NPC characters are always at the end, for example. Well, Valkurm Emperor is no different.
Valkurm Emperor always appears at the end of the Damselfly list and before the Thread Leech list begins (see Figure 2). This will usually be in the middle of your widescan results. When you know this, widescanning for him becomes much more efficient because you will not have to read every entry to see if the Emperor has popped.
Figure 2: Emperor location in widescan
Understanding the spawn pattern is the key to successfully camping the Valkurm Emperor. Once you get this simple technique down, you will find that camping him is a breeze. Getting the drop is another story entirely^^