Edit - Just seen the news on UO.Com, apparently these begin for all shards tomorrow, 22 October, so keep an eye out before recalling in to towns! Been having a look at the upcoming 'Invasion' scenarios on Test Centre, and since many of us will be trying the fights out I thought I'd pass on some of the things I've noticed, learned or guessed at - there are some good threads on UHall too, which may add more, I'll link to those at the end of this one, and anyone who knows more, or better, please chip in so we can get it right - I am confident I don't have it all worked out by any means... Invasion forces are summoned by a 'beacon' (Most invasions do not start AT the beacons, but arrive and head towards them) in the town to be attacked (don't ask me how they crept in, built a bloody great lighthouse, then crept out again...), the beacon spots seem to be constant for all the invasions, Fel and Trammel, and the ones I have managed to see so far are Britain : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/BritainBeacon.jpg Jhelom : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/JhelomBeacon.JPG Minoc : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/MinocBeacon.jpg Vesper : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/VesperBeacon2.JPG Yew : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/YewBeacon.JPG Trinsic : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/TrinsicBeacon.JPG New Magincia : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/NewMaginciaBeacon.JPG Moonglow : http://www.robertiain.webspace.virginmedia.com/MoonglowBeacon.JPG I saw the Skara one in passing, at the southern part of the town - which is also where the invaders were, probably a fluke of limited space there - but could not get a screenshot. Invasions are of varied types - there will always be a group of human NPCs with 'specialisms', such as Eric the Fencer, Fred the Necromancer, and so on. Be careful, they are much better AI than usual and actually USE their skills.... Alongside the humans will be one of either ten or eleven (I'm not certain which) monster types. The 'elemental' type will have all types of elly, including the Shame versions, though I've not yet noticed any of the 'special metal' types yet. Daemon will have imps, daemons, bone daemons, chaos daemons, succubi ... The nastiest I have seen so far is the Fey group - satyr, dryad, centaur, cu sidhe, wisp .Beware, at the moment the satyrs and dryads will 'strip' people of your armour, dropping it into your pack. I've not seen the other monster groups so far. As for the humans... they have 'captains' who are a serious pain. Until you kill most of their followers, they are yellow tag and invulnerable - but are also aggressive, and very fast. Unce you kill enough 'cannon fodder' they turn red, and can be killed. They are pretty tough, high resists and tons of HP, and all have special attack types alongside the improved AI and use of skills. the bard ones are particularly bad, they use the bard masteries, their 'discord' is severe and lasts a long time (dropped my mage from FC2 to FC -3!!), and they peace pets a lot as well. The wizard types are very like crimson dragons in disguise - if one mentions 'you will burn' or similar words, dodge back FAST, they unleash a huge explosion as the crimsons did, high damage and same graphics (not sure if it still makes the EC hang, I hope not but can't test that one...). Assassin captains stealth, seem to be using ninja skills (seen some change form, and been hit by poisoned weapon attacks) plus an area poison blast that is tricky. Necro ones heal themselves a lot with Spirit Speak, and are far too fond of Blood Oath, so be careful of reflected damage. I dread to think what their mystics can do... The groups seem to spawn in 7-8 different locations in the target town, each group I've seen is not too big - maybe 10-12 of the monsters and humans in each group. You defeat the invasion by destroying the beacon - but the beacon is itself invulnerable most of the time..... When you kill the captains of the first attack, there will be a message that the beacon can be damaged - at that point you can take it down by about 25% of it's HP by melee or spell damage - but another invasion wave hits soon, and then you need to kill that off to make the beacon vulnerable again, and so on until the final stage where it can be destroyed. There are 'mini artifacts' from killing the invading troops (supposedly you gradually build up points towards getting one of these) which look like semi-decent Shame style items, but bearing the crest of Minax. Luck is meant to be a factor in how fast you get one of these - can't confirm that. In each city will be an NPC 'Agent of the Crown' you can turn these over to, to gain points towards the more impressive 'proper' artifacts as listed here : http://uo2.stratics.com/items/blackthorn-artifacts Edited : As I understand it, the points build up to you getting an item drop, plus the top qualifying damagers (see the next post for a clarification on 'damagers', it's not just damage done, it also covers damage taken and healed) of a captain are up for a chance of one when he dies (randomly allocated to one of them), plus everyone on the damagers list who harm the beacon in it's last stage is meant to get something (* - see edit 3 below.... damage from all stages MIGHT carry over to a total qualifying level). All items are worth one point towards the Blackthorn items. As for templates and tactics.... Split up the smaller stuff and take it down quick, they are usually not too tough individually. Once the captain types turn red, concentrate on those as much as you can - I have yet to see a template that can handle the captains easily solo. Sampires struggle to regenerate health enough, and greater Dragons get blasted down unless they have two or three constant healers. That may change when we have more people around since Test is a little empty, and a few characters concentrating on a captain might make if faster - but it will not be a simple fight. You are probably best in a team, I'd suggest a bard running a mastery for you all and someone or something (or two or three) acting as tanks, with some archers and casters throwing in damage and healing as needed. At 120 magery and eval and 60 SDI, I could flamestrike a captain for about 60-66 damage but that made no noticeable dent on their health bar, they have a LOT of HP... supposedly cannon damage is very good at handling the invaders, not had chance to try that yet so can't give any damage levels. Over in UHall. at the moment I'd recommend these threads - http://stratics.com/community/threads/documenting-the-publish-first-installment.306308/ http://stratics.com/community/threads/uo-com-publish-84-tc1-patch-notes.306265/ Frarc's been working on a comprehensive guide, currently http://uo2.stratics.com/posts/42584 Please add to, correct or comment on this lot! Edit : Added Trinsic Beacon, with a special guest appearance by Hex in the picture And New Magincia, but lacking a Hex in that one.... and Moonglow Edit 2 - Clarifications and corrections on the damagers for captains and beacons, and their item drop eligibility... Edit 3 : There's a question about the way you gain 'points' towards item drops from the beacons - it may be that damage to the earliest stages carries over and counts towards the totals, rather than it being just damage done in the final stage as I'd thought - not got a definitive answer yet, but hitting it at any time it is vulnerable is probably a good plan anyway, whatever your playstyle, either to bring on the next wave faster or to further the 'story' and defend the town by ending the threat.