I constantly get asked questions about Treasure Hunting, so I expanded my New to UOSA Guide
to include the following:About Treasure Maps
One of the more exciting ways of creating wealth in this game is by treasure hunting. On rare ocassions monsters will have a treasure map as part of their loot. Fishermen have also been known to get lucky and fish a treasure map out of the deapths of the sea. However all maps are not created equal. Higher level monsters will hold maps for treasure chests that are much more valuable than chests from maps that have been fished up or have been dropped by lesser monsters.
But be very wary, every treasure chest will have a fair deal of creatures who will guard the treasure with their lives. As is the case with who drops the map, the higher level maps will have much more formidable guardians than lesser maps.
Once you have acquired a map, your first order of business is decoding it. For this you will need the cartography skill
. Characters with 0 cartography skill can decode level 1 treasure maps, they might fail a couple of times, but eventually will get it. If they try to decode higher level maps without sufficient skill they will get a message that says something to the effect of "this map is too difficult for you to decode". This comes in real handy when you have amassed a good number of maps, and don't know where you got them from. There are people who have characters at different cartography levels who can assess with precision the level of each map.
But I digress. Once you have successfully decoded a map you need to find a way to get to its location. There are 200 confirmed locations for treasure maps, and they are all numbered out in a very handy guide. This guide can be found following this link
. "Also, I have found THB_Offline.v1.01.exe located here
to be helpful." (Thanks applejack) Most rune libraries mentioned in the corresponding section above includes a section for treasure map locations following the numbering on that guide. If you would like to enhance your adventure, you could get a boat or just run to its location. A sextant is a very handy tool to carry along, as it will provide you the exact coordinates of where you're standing, which can be compared to those on the stratics guide. Some other helpful gear to carry on your treasure hunt is a shovel, lockpicks, an axe (any type except war axe) or hatchet, and a container to bring back all your loot in (a pouch, bag, backpack work just fine).
So you have found the exact location of a map, now what to do? First you must dismount so you can dig up your trasure. You dig up the chest by double clicking your shovel then targetting the map, and THEN targetting the ground. A common mistakes by unexperienced treasure hunters is failing to target the map after double clicking their shovels. The higher your mining skill, the wider your "dig" radius is. However mining is quite useless if you're using the stratics guide and a properly marked treasure rune library or sextant.
As soon as the chest is fully dug out, a small army of monsters will appear. These will need to be taken care of. Keep in mind that treasure chests are locked AND trapped. Lower level chests can be unlocked by using the magic unlock spell with the sufficient magery skill. Higher level chests will require a character with lockpicking to pick the chest. Level 5 chests can only be unlocked by characters with GM lockpicking or 95 lockpicking AND 60 detect hidden skill. The chests' trap have been known to kill explorers, so that is why it is highly recommended to use the telekinesis spell on the chest once it is unlocked and before opening it. After disarming the trap, the loot inside the chest is freely lootable to anyone around. Keep in mind that as you remove items from the chest or move them around, there is a good chance of spawning more guardians by the chest.
When you're done looting the chest, please take the courtesy of using an axe on it to destroy it, as this will allow other treasure hunters who come behind you to dig chests up at that same location. If you fail to do so, your chest will block the location for up to 4 hours. It is important to note, that only the character who dug up the chest can destroy it.TIPS for treasure hunters:
Everyone has their own way of doing t-maps, so do not take this as gospel, I'll just share my way of doing them.
Template: My suggested build is: cartography, lockpicking, musicianship, provocation, magery, meditation and hiding. Stats: 100 STR, 100 INT, 25 DEX. Of course there are other builds who can t-map successfully.
When you start digging, the chest will have 7 "steps" between showing itself breaking ground and being fully dug out. The first of these is very hardly noticeable. This is important, because if you can time this well, you can hide as soon as the chest pops up, and buy a bit of time before the monsters aggro on you. This is particularly helpful in higher level maps where the initial spawn include balrons and poison elementals which can spell immediate death for the digger.
Since you need to dismount, and monsters will spawn immediately with the chest, it is sometimes helpful to order your mount to stay, and casting invisibility on it. This might spare its life while you can bring it out of hiding and remounting safely.
Once you have unlocked the chest and popped the trap, drop your loot bag into the chest. Instead of dragging all the loot from the chest into your backpack, drop it in the loot bag you placed in the chest. This will make it faster to loot, as your cursor needs to "travel" less between the loot and the bag in the same container, vs. the loot to your backpack. It also helps you not get encumbered (overweight) in case you need to make a hasty retreat from the chest if a large monster spawns. And if you do eventually get over weight, it makes it easier to gate-hop the loot out.
Chests have a good amount of guardians left after you're done looting the chest. If you want to "milk" the chest for maximum profit, you can put an item in, and just move that around. What I do is record a brief macro that moves the loot bag twice inside the chest. Put a 1 second pause between each move, and check the loop box. Now press play, and the bag will start moving in the chest forcing spawn to come up. You can keep the macro going and it will not interfere with other functions like provoking creatures or targetting spells. You just stand by the chest, and you'll be moving that bag around. If you're moving the bag constantly for a couple of minutes and no monsters are spawning, you have probably milked it dry and are ready to leave.