Requirements and Progression Pyramid
You need two requirements to do Star Hunts. First of all the corresponding tasks must be unlocked in the campaign (the left tree). After doing that you can to buy lures in the Hunter’s Square in Port Nyanzaru. One Tyrannosaurus Rex Fang and one of the other Trophies can be combined to buy a lure for a 1-Star Hunt. This also explains why Fangs are the bottleneck of the whole feature. It’s the hardest Trophy to get, yet is needed for every single lure.
The six 1-Star Hunts have a chance to drop new Trophies, which can be combined to trade for lure of 2-Star Hunts. All three trophies of the 2-Star Hunts then land players the lure for the King of Spines, the boss mob of the feature. Don’t mix it up with the Heroic Encounters by the way, both are not the same.
Other than rare mobs, the Star Hunts are not directly found in Soshenstar River. You need to place the lure in specific locations, which triggers the fight. The map below shows the location for all ten Star Hunts. It might not be final and will be updated as I progress with Hunting.
Reward vs. Effort
Since all Star Hunts are not guaranteed to drop Trophies, the feature can turn into a noticeable grind. A drop chance of 20% in example means that you need to do 90 1-Star Hunts on average to get one lure for the King of Spines. That’s why you should carefully evaluate whether the possible drops are worth it. Some of the legendary rings are best-in-slot for some builds, but little else can be considered a must-have. Here’s a list of the best items:
- Ring of the Goblin Slayer +5: Some DCs are obviously going to love this one. Drops from Batiri War Mask.
- Ring of the Beast Slayer +5: More stuff for DCs (AC primarily) that are running the Con Artist. Drops from Sailor’s Shroud, Flask of Sulfur, Embroidered Cloak and Jewel-Studded Collar.
- Ring of the Dinosaur Slayer +5: From the other rings, this one is the likeliest to appear on Bonding companions for DPS. Drops from Eotyrannus Horn and Tribal Yklwa.
- Rex Amiculum: Decent armor for DPS with a nice little proc, Power/Crit and more AC. Drops from Tribal Yklwa.
- Rex Corona: Could be something for AC/DCs. If a boss fights takes longer than two minutes (which most do nowadays), the equip bonus is null and void. Drops from Tribal Yklwa.
- Zephyr Armguards: If you need Crit/ArPen this is not a bad choice. Don’t like the crit proc too much as you want to reliably hit 100% though. Drops from Jewel-Studded Collar.
- Ring of the Curse Bringer: Nice tool for controller / support type builds. Drops from Bottled Terror.
The custom gear from each boss has a decent chance to drop. So going after those is actually fairly easy. It’s however another story for the +5 rings.
One nice side effect of doing Star Hunts is that they can generate 25 extra Forgotten Totems (1-Star = 1 Totem etc.) that do not count against the weekly cap. So even if you’re not after specific drops, doing a Hunt here and there helps with your campaign progression. You can ask for a group in the zone chat. Sometimes you need to bring your own lure, but often you can just join. The normal setup of hunting groups is that the one that places the lure keeps the loot. So everyone else is just tagging along for the currency.
Loot works as follow: Each Star Hunt has a chance to drop the Trophy and up to two pieces of equipment. All members in the party of the one that placed the lure are eligible to roll for it. In Hunting groups however the loot system is normally changed to “leader decides” so that the loot can’t be ninja’d. This also means that it makes absolutely no sense to help killing a Star Hunt of another player or party. No matter how much damage you are doing, you’ll get no drop. Standing near a foreign Hunt however will be enough to get credit towards the weekly quest.
There are already multiple channels around Hunting by the way. The biggest public one seems to be “Hunts”, that currently has close to 600 members.
Speaking of grouping up: Depending on your power and build you might want to tackle Star Hunts with a group anyway. The 1-Star mobs can be solo’d comfortably, but 2-Stars are already challenging and the King of Spines requires a full endgame group. Currently I usually transfer lures to my GF, which can solo 2-Stars comfortably, albeit not very fast.
If you’re not sure, try to assemble a group. The lure will be lost if you die and depending on how much time you invested, this can be really frustrating.
Some players currently utilize the Hunting feature in a completely different way, and that’s selling Trophies. You can’t post them on the Auction House, but very well trade with other players. One T-Rex Fang goes for a Superior Mark of Potency, other Trophies at least net a Greater Mark of Potency. The market will eventually crash, but for now it seems to be a great way of making some ADs.
Hunting offers some nice rewards, but also comes with a considerable grind. The best stuff drops from the King of Spines for which you need to farm dozens of Trophies. I would closely evaluate whether going after the gear is worth it. Otherwise you might be able to dodge the farming completely and just tag along in Hunting groups for campaign currency. As said most players don’t mind if they can keep the loot.
Just like Fishing in SoMI Hunting suffers a lot from the grind attached to it. It however is not the single best thing to do in the module, which makes it less of a pain. I still think the focus of such a system should mostly be on exploration and not as much on repetition. Without unbound drops the long term viability is limited as well. Whenever people will have finished the campaign and / or got the loot they wanted, there’s little incentive to come back.
Overall Hunting is a great mechanic though and I had tons of fun figuring out locations. For some reason farming for rare spawns is also more intriguing than other repetitive tasks. I guess finding rare ones is the little success that keeps your motivation high although you pretty much just mindlessly cycle the map.