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Pumpkin Moons - Arena building and Ranger strategy

KickMeElmo November 9, 2013 User blog:KickMeElmo

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Preparation

Armor:

Accessories:

  • Sniper Scope (damage/crit mostly, generally the zoom is unnecessary here) or Ranger Emblem (-only- if you don't have the scope available)
  • Destroyer Emblem (boosts damage and crit on ALL weapons, not just ranged) or Charm of Myths (only if survival becomes an issue)
  • Master Ninja Gear for kiting/damage dodging (Tabi would work as well, though without the damage dodging) or Moon Shell/Moon Charm for werewolf's increased regen/stats
  • Ankh Shield (There's never a good reason to remove this if you have it. If you don't, get it.)
  • Hoverboard (My preferred wings, but any wings are fine. Hoverboard's fast horizontal flight is amazing for kiting as well]]

Weapons:

  • Unreal Stynger (ground mob control, kill count advances waves, not just boss count. Primary weapon, bring plenty of ammo)
  • Unreal Megashark with Chlorophyte Bullets (switch to the mask for this, heavy damage weapon, but I reserve it for only the Pumpkings)
  • Unreal Flamethrower (Honestly, this one I have yet to test properly. It won't show up in my strategy, but some prefer it, and if it works for you, go for it. I'll try it out properly down the line and update this guide as needed.)
  • Mythical Nimbus Rod (Long duration, strong passive damage, quick to use, requires nearly no upkeep. Can't go wrong here.)
  • Mythical Rainbow Gun (stays around, hits multiple times, good for ground control as well as extra damage on the Pumpkings.)
  • Mythical Magnet Sphere (I don't particularly like this one myself, it requires too much upkeep for what a ranger's purpose is, but it's an option, and a viable replacement for the Rainbow Gun if necessary)
  • Mythical Staff of the Frost Hydra (extra DPS on Pumpkings mostly)
  • Mythical Golden Shower (piercing, high DPS for ground control and for sticking Ichor on targets)
  • Unreal Piranha Gun (Mostly for continuing DPS while running for your life, if necessary)
  • Godly Vampire Knives (extra health gain when needed, can also be used with Flask of Ichor while flying overhead to stick Ichor on many mobs quickly)

Buffs and Buff Items:

  • Flask of Ichor (optional if Golden Shower is preferred, drops enemy defenses)
  • Clairvoyance (keep a Crystal Ball in the spawn point, boosts Rainbow Gun and Golden Shower. Might not be necessary, but does it hurt to have?)
  • Well Fed (I prefer Pumpkin Pies. Easy to obtain, long duration, can't go wrong.)
  • Ironskin Potion (I usually don't use these, but it's an option if you need it)
  • Battle Potion (Haven't tested this fully yet, but I'll update once I do. If it works properly, it'd allow you to progress through waves much faster, which is especially vital for anyone playing solo)

Other Items:

  • Greater Healing Potion (shouldn't need to explain this. Don't hotbar it, use it with H, or whatever you changed the keybind to)
  • Greater Mana Potion (shouldn't need these, but having a stack will save you embarrassment if you suddenly find yourself out of mana. Use with J or whatever hotkey you use.)
  • Magic Mirror (you should always have one, but in this case you can use it to kite Pumpkings if you have a spawnpoint in your arena)
  • Grappling Hook (your choice which to use, limited use here, but never leave home without it. Comes in handy on rare occasions, use with E or other hotkey)

For accessory prefixes, as a DPS class, best to go Menacing (or potentially Lucky, though low crit is rarely an issue for rangers) on most/all accessories if you can survive that way. If you're alone or otherwise need survivability, stick with Warding on your accessories.

Group Suggestions

Minimum for a proper group should always be a melee tank wearing Turtle Armor and a caster wearing Spectre Armor. These are support and advancement roles primarily, neither can solo the Pumpkin Moon as easily as a properly-geared Ranger can, though casters will have an easier time reaching higher waves than melee-users will. Casters will likely want to focus on magic damage boosting accessories primarily, while tanks should focus on survival-based accessories and carry almost entirely thrown or otherwise ranged melee-stat weapons. All classes should be carrying and using Golden Showers. I'll post guides down the line for proper gearing and functionality for these two classes.

Bear in mind, the group strategy I've written relies on having -at least- these two classes, and on the caster being geared well enough to handle the ground mobs (all but the pumpkings), preferably alone. If you can't manage that group, you'll need to follow the solo strategies. DO NOT duo with a caster and a shroomite ranger unless the caster can handle taking most or all mob and boss aggression.

Strategy

Waves 1-6: This section is fairly easy for all classes, but especially as a ranger. Stand still on a raised wooden platform (let stealth kick in, it no longer drops as you shoot) and nuke waves of enemies with the Stynger. In a group, leave the health drops for your buddies unless you somehow take notable damage. You shouldn't take much if any damage during this part. Solo, feel free to grab drops or leave them, as you prefer. Mourning Woods will show up on 4-6, but they too crumple under the Stynger. Feel free to dodge their fire if needed, but there shouldn't be much of that required. Just focus on wiping out numbers mostly.

Waves 7+, group: This is where your first Pumpking shows up. In a group, this is where you start to focus on him. Your caster will become the primary mob clearer. Swap to the Shroomite Mask (sadly can't be hotkeyed), quickly place two nimbi and a rainbow for a starter damage field, drop a hydra on the nearest solid block (not near the ground), and start wailing on him with the Megashark. Your turtle tank should hold aggro, kite him around you, and maintain Ichor (via flask most likely) for you. If so, stay stealthed and slaughter your first boss. Any time there isn't a Pumpking around to play with, go back to nuking mobs. I'd suggest keeping the mask on from here out so you're ready to take on Pumpkings as they arrive. If a Pumpking ever does come after you instead of the tank, follow the notes in the kiting section and continue to focus fire entirely on him. Whatever you do, stay in range of your caster to gain health from the Spectre's leeching. Keep it up until dawn. Not too complex.

Waves 7~10, solo: If you like a challenge, you'll love this part solo. If you like survival... well, too bad. Pumpkings start to show up at this point. They're two things to you. First up, they'll be the primary source of the drops you want, but they'll be low droprate at this point (early waves). Second and more importantly, they'll be your biggest source of irritation, damage, and general panic for now. Think of them like the Dungeon Guardian. If you ignore them, you will die. Your goal is to run like hell while you focus on your target: the giant swarming mass of mobs beneath you. If you have a teleporter bridge (read the arena section below), using that will save you some headache, but not all, especially in later waves with multiple pumpkings tailing you. First off, drop a hydra on the nearest solid block, not near the ground, and set up two nimbi (not in the same space). If the mob swarm is staying manageable or coming in slow, use the Rainbow Gun (and/or Magnet Sphere) to maintain a damage field over the platform bridge you're shooting from. These all will let you passively damage the Pumpkings as you kite them without having to focus on them. Kite using the notes below and maintain at least the hydra and nimbi while you continue to nuke the horde. If you've chosen the lava pit route, you'll still need to assist in the mobs dying, though you could potentially switch to the bullet-boosting mask permanently and start working down the pumpkings early. Just be sure you never neglect mob killing in favor of pumpking killing during these waves, or you'll never make it to the later ones.

Waves 11+, solo: If you have a notable amount of time left, you may want to hold off another couple waves before switching to Pumpkings. Once you do, you likely won't progress much farther wave-wise. From here out, ignore the mobs entirely. Keep the nimbi running, but drop all other magic damage sources, they take too much time to switch between weapons and set up and will detract from your damage speed. At this point you likely have something akin to a swarm of Pumpkings chasing you. If three or more are clustered and your aim is decent, keep the shroomite helmet on for now and focus on them with the Stynger. While the single-target DPS is lower than mask+megashark+chlorophyte, the Stynger's area effect will provide more overall damage to all the pumpkings at once, and their large mass will ensure all pellets explode on them. If you find yourself at the end of the night with a weak one left or facing only 1-2 pumpkings, feel free to swap to the mask and focus on damage with the Megashark. Keep kiting and killing until dawn.

Kiting Pumpkings (the hard part): First up, let me say this section is somewhat misleading. You can run, but hiding is a laughable prospect. Pumpkings fly through all obstructions, move quickly, come in groups in later waves (as an already tough boss, yes), have massive range, and are decently large. Your main boons are going to be your arena design and your wings. If you have a Tabi or Master Ninja Gear equipped, don't underestimate the air dash. You aren't invulnerable mid-dash, but you can still use it to quickly dodge through a gap and get to the other side of your pursuer, or to evade a thrown sickle. Without use of the dash, evading the ranged attacks of the pumpkings won't be reliably possible. Stay airborne 9/10 of the time, landing only for split seconds to restore your flight. If you have the hoverboard, holding jump, down, and a direction while you have flaps left will let you move much faster, allowing some increased ability to dodge. Once you begin kiting pumpkings, you won't get to stay stealthed long enough to make it worthwhile without a decently long teleport bridge. If you ever get caught in a truly desperate situation, use your magic mirror to get back to your arena spawn and get a headstart.

Short edition: keep moving, keep dashing, keep airborne, don't stop for a second.

Build Tips

Arena

You'll want to build an arena for Pumpkin Moons. The design is entirely up to you, but my main suggestions are as follows:

  • Pick your location carefully. If you want to be able to farm other invasion events here, presence of crimson, corruption, and hallow can prevent spawns. Having the arena closer to the default spawn point can help those invasions spawn faster as well. Presence of a glowing mushroom biome nearby will pause the pirate invasion, so avoid that if possible.
  • NEVER build your arena near NPC housing. Doing so nearly guarantees the death of all your NPCs every Pumpkin Moon.
  • Build a spawn haven above your arena (details in the next section)
  • Choose between lava and asphalt for the floor of your arena. Asphalt allows quick travel and easier dodging, lava will help thin the enemies faster but provides a potential source of severe damage in a fight where you generally can't afford that. If using lava, keep it to a maximum of one bucket per six blocks of width, or the lava will consume most if not all item and coin drops from the events. Be sure to leave a platform in the middle for the ground clearer at ground level.
  • Make at least one bridge entirely out of wood platforms around 10-12 blocks above the floor. This will be your primary location as a ranger. Adding more bridges above that (generally ~6 spaces apart each) can help vertical mobility, but will also hinder dropping speed. Choose quantity based on your preferences.
  • If you plan on running in any form that involves taking aggression as a ranger, consider placing two Teleporters per end of the (bottom) bridge, with about 10 blocks' space between the two at each end. Wire the first and third together, then the second and fourth. This would look a bit like A-10-BKickMeElmo (talk) 22:41, November 9, 2013 (UTC)A-10-B. Place player-only pressure plates on the outer edge of the outer two to activate them. This will allow you to run repeatedly from pumpkings without having to kite as much or run through them.
  • Outfit your arena with Heart Lanterns, Campfires, and Water Candles. Bear in mind heart lanterns require a solid block to hang from, and all three have a square 48-block range in all directions (96 blocks total vertical and horizontal).
  • Consider adding a honey pit somewhere convenient but out of the way. You'll want it one block deep and 3-4 wide so you can touch down quickly, get the buff, and keep going. Building it above the floor prevents having to jump through mobs, but bear in mind you can't shoot through it when picking a location.
  • For extra health, you can place heart statues on the bridge with a timer to run them. Up to five can be chained to one timer safely (used to be three), but avoid putting too many rows in or you'll find them too spread out to be useful.
  • When making multiple timer-driven rows of heart statues, you can use a second wire color connected to a switch and all the timers to toggle them all at once.
  • If you'd like to farm key molds from the pumpkin moon as well, under the floor you can add layers of crimstone, ebonstone, pearlstone, mud (with jungle grass given time to grow on it), and snow. I'm not 100% sure on quantity required, but it should be at least 200 blocks of each to be effective.
  • You'll want to have a small solid platform up in the air around the middle of the arena. A single block is more than enough if you can aim mid-fight. Position it so a hydra summoned on it will have line-of-sight to the typical pumpking locations and will be closer to them than the mobs on the ground, if possible.
  • Pumpkin Moons occur at night. Be sure you have ample lighting in the arena. Excess campfires work wonders, placed torches are wonderful as well. Do whatever suits you best.


Spawn Haven


Above your arena, you'll want a spawn haven. This is quite simply a floating spawn point with all the amenities you'll need for the events occurring in the arena (pumpkin moons primarily), as well as a bed and anything extra that's useful for the endeavor. A few suggestions for designing one:

  • Place it directly above the arena, just high enough to be out of range of any area effect items at the highest arena tier.
  • Make plenty of exits or make it entirely out of platforms, you don't want to get trapped mid-fight in your spawnpoint or you'll die repeatedly until dawn.
  • Be sure to include a bed, a crystal ball, 1+ chest(s) (for storing ammo, materials, medallions, potions, excess junk, etc), a piggybank and safe (item/gear access and coin storage), and any other necessary items. Do NOT make it habitable housing (beds count as seating).
  • Place a heart lantern and campfire on/in the spawn haven to allow faster regeneration on spawn. A honey bath is a viable addition as well, if desired. Do not place a water candle here, you don't want to encourage spawns near your respawn point.


Notes

  • Night starts at 7:30pm, dawn comes at 4:30am. This gives you 9 minutes of real time to run the Pumpkin Moon.
  • I've listed 4/5 key-gained weapons in my loadout. I have all five, but most do not. All five are optional for Pumpkin Moons, they simply make it run smoother. Don't panic if you're missing some or even all of them.
  • While a somewhat risky tactic, if your defense is high enough you may be able to place a bed of spikes and stand on it while fighting pumpkings, using the damage from the spikes to bypass the boss damage and stay stealthed. Due to taking constant damage, it's suggested you have three heart statues on the spike bed with either a One or Five second timer attached to all three (they'll spawn together), or three of them, one per statue (turned on at different times, they'll spawn more gradually). I have yet to test this tactic in practice, if someone else gets to it first, let me know.
  • Some of the weapons obtained from the Pumpkin Moon are useful within it. Because this is a bit of a crash course geared toward those new to it, I haven't mentioned any of them. If you find one works for you, by all means, use and abuse it.
  • There are plenty of ways to approach Pumpkin Moons. This is mine. I make no claims that this is the "right" way to do it, just that it is an effective way and my personal favorite.

Gallery

I've included a Terrafirma screenshot of my original arena below, built with a couple friends. Consider it a basic guideline, not a picture perfect example. It has far too many heart statues, isn't quite wide enough, and has a few other basic flaws, but it's nevertheless a functional arena. I'll post an updated picture when I've rebuilt it. Anyone else with a good arena, by all means, show me yours!

HQarena

Basic Pumpkin Moon Arena

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