Updated Wed, Dec 16, 2009 by RadarX
After a few levels Tabula Rasa's flat and war torn Plateau, perhaps it's time to get back to nature the way the Eloh intended. Enough with the jagged rocks, vast canyons, and heavy Bane patrols already, let's move to an area that is more hospitable and relaxing. The Valverde Pools zone is a masterful medley of rolling hills, babbling streams, and a Bane Weapon Test Range. What? You really didn't see that coming?
Pools is reached through the southern end of Plateau and is one of the trickier zone portals to find. The easiest way seems to be heading past Ustor yard and following the trail down into the valley below. There is a similar path on the other side but please, don't try teleporting to Maligo Base and dropping off the falls. It'll just ruin your clothes. Once you reach the valley in the center you'll go back up another trail and stay on the right looking for a sign. Bring a friend or follow someone who knows if you are in doubt.
The Pools zone is a fairly large and open area with various types of terrain and plenty of space between areas. Snipers, Engineers, and other ranged classes will thrive here but others should do just as well. These are the major areas you'll want to visit in your time here:
Snakepit - Just west of the zone in, this will very likely be your first stop and the largest mission hub you'll find in Pools so expect to become very familiar with it. This may be your first encounter with the Retreads so forgive the Mad Max look of their facilities. Here you will find fast access, merchants, and even a Logos. The landing pad and teleporter are separate so be sure to grab both waypoints before you wander off into the wilderness.
You'll grab your Targets of opportunity and at least one of the story arc missions here.
Retread Camp - This interesting camp to the east of Snakepit is essentially a handful of people standing around what appears to be an ancient pyramid. This unusual location will also provide you with not only quite a few missions (some level restricted) but a safe place to stand. There is nothing more than a teleporter and medic here so the bare necessities will require you go elsewhere. Be sure to grab the Logos behind the pyramid while you are here.
Retread Camp outpost Control Point - Further east, commanding a strategic high point overlooking the valley, this control point is frequently overrun by Bane. We aren't talking a few squads of Bane, I mean dozens literally. This is a great place to grind out your TOO mission, just remember to watch your escape routes and leave when it gets too hot. You'll need to visit this CP also to collect the Lightness Logos.
Eloh obelisk - Just south of the Snakepit is a small Bane controlled base guarding an obelisk. While that might be interesting historically, it matters to you because 2-3 missions will send you down to this area to set beacons, sabotage equipment, and even assassinate a Bane commander.
Hermit - High atop the Fractured Butte, a man lives in solitary helping the cause against the Bane. You'll be sent to see the Hermit after completing a number of missions and when you do finally go to find him, note you can only get up the butte from the north of him or you'll find nothing but sheer wall.
Bane Communications Center / Bane Guard Station Control Points - These are pretty cut and dry standard CP's. You'll NPC's for tokens, a vendor, and a teleporter which will help in your TOO mission. The unusual thing about these is they are Bane controlled. That means while the AFS attacks, we've yet to see the AI overrun one. This means it's up to the players to control them.
Weapons Test Range - The beautiful scenery of the pools and mountains lessens here and gives way to unnatural sand dunes. These are the work of consistent weapon testing. This is just an area you will have to move through at some point. You'll want to be wary of artillery strikes hitting you, large Bane patrols, and Striders.
Bane Barracks - In the far northeast, this is the Bane stronghold of the zone. Having dozens of infantry nearby, it is dangerous, confined, and required for a few missions. The building in the north center has at least one named Bane patrol while the one west has considerably more. Approach this area with caution.
East Listening Post - The most secure AFS facility in Pools, this is one of the last areas you'll visit before moving on. Requiring at least one stop for a trial and error computer mission, this won't provide much more than a teleporter, vendors, and a place to rest.
Lamna Armory - The center of Bane experimental weapon technology this instance will have players not only committing sabotage, but killing key research officers as well. You'll find you may need to wander a bit here, as the first main room requires you kill all the boss creatures in the zone.
Retread Caves - This is a series of caverns to the north of the zone which will provide you with quite a bit of killing and running around. Filled with miasma, Mox, and a crapton more Mox you'll slaughter dozens of creatures all in the name of science. There are at least four or five missions to complete here including a story arc.
South Listening Post / Turpis Refinery - This outpost is really not much more than a fancy entry point for the Turpis Refinery instance. This instance beyond one or two bosses is actually quite enjoyable and can be soloed easily. You'll finish 5 or 6 missions here providing well over 250k experience making this a necessary visit.
|Symbol Name||Area of Wilderness||Location (x, z, y - type /loc to display)|
|How||Branches off the "Question" Logos tunnel which is the same as Retread Caves||-311, 747|
|In||Just a bit southeast of the Snakepit Landing Platform||-886, 528|
|Lightness||Deep inside a cave within Retread Outpost Control Point. Requires Many, Will Not, Question, The, and Past Logos||313, 379
|Nothing||Southwest of Retread Outpost Control Point||93, 377|
|Permit||Inside a cave a little west of the Bane Guard Station. Requires If, You, Give, and Choice Logos||Cave Entrance around 248, 69|
|Question||In the Retread Caves entrance requiring Knowledge, Will, Be, and Yours Logos||-239, 818|
|What||Far east of the Southern Morass||-893, -179|
|When||South of the big lake behind a huge rock.||11, -491|
|Where||Just west of the Bane Communications Center Control Point||-665, -394|
|You||Right behind the Retread Outpost Pyramid to the southeast.||-85, 463|
|Distant||The last accessed area of Lamna Armory requiring all 3 boss keys.||-34, 15|
|Far||Southeastern portion of Turpis Refinery||39, -223|