Graveyard Camping 101
So young pup you want to learn about the ancient art of graveyard camping …?
As any warg worth his salt knows graveyards are an excellent place to do some killing. These are spots that are guaranteed to see freep activity at some point as players retreat and try to get back into the fight. However, the key to successful graveyard camping is not just killing your opponent, it’s about how and when you do the killing.
I will assume that you are as fresh faced as fresh faced can be so let’s start by briefly looking at what a graveyard is.
The Ettenmoors has two graveyards: one located north of Tirith Rhaw and one located a little north of the River Outpost. These graveyards are what are commonly called ‘rez circles’, ‘spawn points’, etc in other games. In LOTRO the most common terms seems to be graveyard. They are the locations you end up if you are defeated in PvMP and retreat (spawn) your character.
Both of the graveyards are linked to one of the keeps in the Ettenmoors. graveyard to the north of Tirith Rhaw is linked to that keep and its defenders will be of the same faction as currently controls the keep. The same is true of the graveyard near River Outpost except that it is linked with Lugazag. Thus we get the common names ‘TR Graveyard’ and ‘Lug Graveyard’ or ‘TR GY’ and ‘Lug GY’ to denote these two graveyards.
When Lugazag or Tirith Rhaw are captured by the opposing team the corresponding graveyard falls under the control of that team and only players of that faction can respawn at that graveyard. Each graveyard is protected by powerful NPCs from the controlling faction that will kill any opposing faction player with one shot. Thus it isn’t possible for you to get inside the opposing faction’s graveyard to kill players there.
Because the guarding NPCs (the ‘One Shotters’) prevent you from getting inside the graveyard itself to kill freeps you have to maintain a safe distance. The one shotters can kill you from 40m away so all your graveyard activity must be kept further away than this.
Below I have outlined a basic strategy for camping a graveyard.
How It’s Done
There are three basic ingredients for a successful graveyard camp: i) positioning ii) situational awareness and iii) timing.
Positioning – You need to make sure that you are positioned far enough away from a graveyard that the freep can’t just quickly run back to the safety of the one shotter NPCs, but at the same time you don’t want to be so far away that you risk miss freeps leaving the graveyard. I would suggest around 100-200m away from the graveyard itself.
Situational Awareness – Graveyards are busy places and that one freep you spot riding out can quickly be joined by more. Make sure that you have a good sense of what is going on around you before you attack so that you don’t get any nasty surprises.
Timing – The goal is to kill fast and re-stealth as quickly as possible to maximise your time at the graveyard. Don’t hang around to gloat after a kill, there will be plenty of time for that later. Once word gets out that you are in the vicinity of the graveyard chances are some freeps will show up to try and hunt you down. That means that you have to be efficient in your killing. It also means that you need to know when to get out of there. The longest I would suggest spending at any one graveyard is around 10 minutes. You can always come back later once the heat dies down.
It’s a simple procedure of rinse and repeat:
- Park yourself in a good position at a safe distance from the graveyard that still let’s you see who is coming in and out of it
- Keep an eye out around you to make sure that what you think is a lone target really is alone
- Go all out for the kill. The freep needs to die ASAP and as soon as he does get back in stealth and resume your position.
- If the freep looks like he can make it back to the one shotter NPCs alive let him go. Don’t chase too far or you will get killed yourself.
- Don’t get distracted by talking in OOC, replying to tells, etc. You will only be here for 10-15 minutes probably so stay focused.
- If more freeps turn up it’s time to exit.
When To Camp
Graveyards are good spots for wargs to prowl around in general, but some times are better than others and recognising those can significantly increase your tally of kills.
Raid vs Raid – If there is raid vs raid action taking place, especially at a keep then you have one of two choices: stick around the fight and try to pick off stragglers at the side of the freep raid or hotfoot it to the freep graveyard to try and catch anyone retreating and going back to the fight. This can be a really lucrative time for a warg because a raid vs raid fight can produce a steady stream of freeps leaving the graveyard in ones and twos.
Local Kills – Another good occasion is when you kill someone in the general vicinity of the graveyard. When he retreats he will end up at the graveyard and he is going to have to leave at some point! This can be a nice little two for one situation; you initially send him to the graveyard and then get up there yourself to get him on the way back.
Communication – If your server has a warg only chat channel then this can be used a great indicator of when you should head towards the graveyard. If you let each other know when you have just killed a freep somewhere on the map the other wargs can home in on the graveyard the freep is likely to have retreated to to kill him as he leaves. Better your brothers get a kill than a freep gets away!
Things To Remember
There are one shotter NPCs with 40m. Do NOT get into a pissing contest with a ranged class at a graveyard. You will loose.
If a freep is trying to get back to the graveyard and looks like he might make it let him go. Don’t be greedy. Chasing a freep too close to the one shotters will just get you killed and the freep will probably get renown out of it. Better to let the freep go and choose a better target.
Don’t hem freeps in. Remember you want freeps to think they can get out so you can kill them. If freeps feel that they are trapped at the graveyard they will just map out, which means no kills for you. Back off a bit and maybe let one or two pass so the rest think the path is clear.
Know when to quit. If freeps start pouring in then don’t hang around, you’ve been rumbled and they will be looking to kill you. Go do something else for a bit until they realise you are no longer there and leave.
I would be remiss if I wrote a guide on how best to camp graveyards and didn’t mention QQ. In short freeps are going to whine at you for camping graveyards. Yes I know they whine at wargs for everything, but graveyard camping seems to be especially unpopular amongst freeps. My advice, as usual, is to ignore it.
Freeps don’t like being camped at graveyards. The short answer to that is … tough shit.
The long answer, which of course you are under no obligation to provide them, is that camping a graveyard is as valid a strategy as any other. It has consistently proven effective over the years in terms of getting wargs kills. What’s not to like about that? It’s a strategy fully accredited and approved by the Association of Warg Campers and Gankers!
At any rate you are probably going to see the usual stable of pathetic insults rolled out e.g. you’re lame, you’re an ezymoder, you’re crap because you ‘have’ to camp the GY (rather than it being a choice as it’s an effective tactic). This is all in place of the freep getting a group together to hunt you down of course because whining like a little bitch is obviously easier.
The best response, as always, is to ignore them … well that and to keep killing them of course.
Special thanks go to my good friend Cazikee, the best damned graveyard camper on Laurelin, even if he is a freep!