1. Fort Rox
Power Type: Law / Shadow / Arcane
Minimum Rank: Baron/Baroness
Minimum Recommended Traps: Engine Doubler / Gorgon Trap or Clockapult of Time / Acronym Trap
Objectives: Get the Meteor Prison Core Trap, the Interdimensional Crossbow Trap, and the Droid Archmagus Trap / Get the map piece for the Queso Canyon
Recommended Area Progression Plan: Where Should I Go Next?
Once the train has safely delivered its cargo, the hero sits down in their favourite tavern for an evening drink. The sheriff tips his hat to the brave gunslinger as he goes to check on the outlaw prisoners in their cells. The city is safe.
… Or so they thought!
At night, Varmint Valley shines with a strange glow. A meteor has recently crashed into the desert, and now odd new mice are gathering to harvest the alien powers of the rock. Strengthened in that way, they may well destroy Claw Shot City! You need to get out there and build some fortifications to defend the town during the night.
To be able to go, you have to buy the map piece in Claw Shot City. Travel to Fort Rox and start hunting. During the day, Law traps are recommended, while at night you’ll need Shadow and Arcane traps. You may want to invest in the Clockapult of Time now (even though I advised against buying it before), unless you have a comparable LE trap. In terms of Arcane, the ACRONYM trap will work.
During the day you gather Meteorite Pieces. SB+ will get you more of it than regular cheese, but Gouda or Brie will work, too. Get some Moon or Crescent cheese (same concept, Moon is better, but Crescent works, too), and built your first wall. Then you can click on a button on the HUD to start the nighttime. Now switch to your Shadow trap. Depending on your trap, the mice will either be difficult or very difficult to catch!
Night has several phases that are different in length. During the different phases the mice populations change. The first phase is Twilight, which lasts for 35 hunts. The mice are most vulnerable to Shadow traps.
You should hunt for a single piece of Howlite, then click the retreat button. Now you can build the first level Ballista. It will make hunting at night a lot easier. Patch up your wall by paying Meteorite Pieces. Then start the night again.
Continue like this until you have crafted all extensions that exclusively cost Howlite. Since there is no penalty for retreating, in the beginning you may want to try and get more upgrades before you get to the later hours of the night, as each upgrade helps you in catching the mice, making them a little weaker.
Don’t kid yourself, you won’t get even close to Dawn for a while. But in the beginning, that’s not the objective. The objective is to strengthen your defenses, and at some point, Dawn will come automatically. There is nothing won in trying to force it.
Once you have all Howlite-only extensions, you want to hunt during the Midnight phase. It lasts for 25 hunts and has a mixture of the Twilight mice and a new set of mice, which are most vulnerable to Arcane traps. Depending on the strength of your traps and how many upgrades you have already managed to build, you can either switch your trap type now, or continue with your Shadow trap for a bit. You should switch to an Arcane trap at around the Pitch phase at the latest, though.
Now you can finally collect Bloodstones. This will enable you to get more upgrades. Since retreating now means you’ll have to go through Twilight again where there are no Bloodstones, you should stick it out until your wall crumbles. Get as much as you can from your trips into the later night hours. After Midnight comes Pitch, which lasts for 10 hunts, then Utter Darkness, 25 hunts, and First Light, 35 hunts. All in all you will have to defend yourself for 130 hunts before you’ll encounter the boss mice at Dawn.
However, there is a pretty nasty mouse, the Nightmancer, which extends the night by 3 hunts if you are not able to catch it. You are basically pushed back 3 hunts, which means you might get pushed into an earlier phase of the night. Keep in mind that in that case, it might be a good idea to change your trap type, depending on which phase you end up in.
The good news is that there is an upgrade that will enable you to instantly catch any Nightmancer you come across. It is probably one you should prioritize.
However, the order in which you get your upgrades doesn’t really matter that much. You should just go for what you can afford at the time. Everything helps.
There’s one exception to this rule: Unless you can get a lot of Tower Mana and intend to use it early on, don’t bother upgrading the Mage Tower. If you don’t have a lot of Mana already, which it’ll cost to buy and run the Tower, leave those upgrades for the very end.
Oh, and why are you here? Well, there are two traps here that you should definitely get! The Droid Archmagus and the Interdimensional Crossbow are extremely powerful traps, on a level with the Grand Arcanum and the Clockwork Portal from the Living Garden complex, only cheaper and with a lower point requirement. These sounds pretty great, wouldn’t you agree?
The final challenge is catching the Heart of the Meteor. You can only enter the Meteor during Dawn. Normally you’d be busy catching the Monster of the Meteor here, but if you have the key, you can enter the Meteor itself!
The key is made up of two items, a Portal Core and a Portal Console. These are received exclusively from Fort Rox maps as a rare drop. And rare means exactly that. Even dusted maps are painfully skimpy. However, they are available on the Marketplace as well.
You will also need a good amount of Dawn Dust (which you loot from the Dawn mice), and Sunrise cheese, which requires yet more Dawn Dust. Unless you like to live dangerously, you should craft 10 pieces. The reason is that while the Heart of the Meteor is very strong, with each piece of Sunrise it steels, it gets weaker, until your 10th try is always a sure catch. So don’t waste Portal pieces by being too low on it! When you leave the Meteor, you’ll be back in Dawn at exactly the same time you left.
After you have caught the Heart, you will be able to craft a new and superior Law trap.
* Get ready for the night by building a wall and gathering supplies/cheese.
* Collect Howlite and upgrade your defenses.
* Collect Bloodstone and upgrade your defenses.
* Make it through the night and defeat the Dawn mice.