The first champion spawns were released with the Third Dawn expansion. They were actually hidden from players until one person noticed that their character's title changed after killing monsters in a certain area. Upon returning they found the spawn would change after killing many monsters. Eventually brand new creatures called Champions would come forth to do battle. Many people flocked to attempt these spawns but it was quickly realized you only gained a special Champion Title as the reward. This did not appeal to many people.
The original designer of the champion spawns (Fiery Ice, now of Worlds of Warcraft) wanted the chance to get a champion to be rare. He succeeded overly well. One factor was that a player had little to no idea of where they were in regard to summoning the champion (thus the introduction of the candles).
A second was that multiple creatures from different spawns would appear at the same time. The type of champion spawn was determined by the number of the same creatures you slew. Because of the limited amount of spawn areas, it was common to see players slaying opposite types of monsters at the same spawn, ensuring that the spawn would never advance.
Another, but the absolute kicker, was that even if you got the spawn to the densest possible, this was only a chance (25%) to get the champion to spawn. There were so many variables in success that it took 1 full month after release before the first champion ever was slain (on Europa).
Champion spawns were re-introduced during Publish 16 as a way to reinvigorate the dead Felucca landscape. The purpose was to "Establish an area where non-consensual PvP can thrive for a significant number of UO’s players" and "Provide meaningful and compelling rewards for players that successfully adventure in the specified areas." The system was a smashing success drawing hundreds of players per shard to Felucca, many who vowed never to go back and some who had never ventured there before. This was due in part by players losing nothing except the potential rewards, upon death a player and all their items would be transported to a Felucca town healer such as the one in Britain.
During the Age of Shadows expansion, the teleport to town was removed and murderers could once again loot the corpses of the innocent. This drove away many of the characters who used to frequent the spawns. Not only because they feared losing their items, but because the PvP skill gap was stretched even further. Characters could die to a murderer before they even had a chance to reach for their heal macro. Additionally, the Age of Shadow increased character strength, which allowed champion spawns to be completed with much fewer players.
With Publish 57 in December 2008, an additional set of rewards were added to spawns on all facets. The rewards included new three new sets of artifacts, better known as as well as Champion Spawn Artifacts and an opportunity for a Scroll of Transcendence.
The concept of a champion spawn is quite simple: Kill lots of monsters to summon the champion. As monsters are killed the spawn will level up to more powerful ones. Eventually the champion will appear to try and defeat the intruders The first Ilshenar spawns only gave special titles as a reward. To entice players to come to Felucca, much more substantial Power Scrolls were introduced. In addition, Felucca champions will also drop special skulls which allow you to summon The Harrower.
For Felucca spawns, there was an entire new dynamic introduced. The idea was to give Felucca players a brand new battleground for non-consensual PvP. Before Publish 16, player verse player combat was in steady or possibly rapid decline across Felucca. The Faction System was no longer seeing much participation among players. This concept sparked fierce debate for players who did not want to put themselves in danger in such a manner.
Conducting a Spawn
To complete a spawn you must first choose which one you want to go to. There are currently champion spawns on all Facets, except Trammel, and of different types. The reward you want will also help determine where you go. Once you have determined which spawn you wish to attempt, gathered some allies, and arrived, it is time to get started. If the spawn is currently not active (no red candles on altar) you can manually activate it by using the Valor Virtue. If none of your party are Knight of Valor, then you will have to seek another champion spawn.
Upon activation, 2 or 3 different types of monsters will begin spawning within the area around the altar. This spawn may seem easy now but it will quickly gain in strength as each level is attained. As you kill the spawn white candles will appear in the altar's center. Each white candle represents 20% advancement to the next red candle. One white candle is 20%, 2 white candles is 40%, etc. Upon reaching 100% a red candle will appear on the edge of the altar. If you do not kill enough spawn within 10 minutes of the first monster being killed at that level, all white candle advancement will be reset to 0. If you do not advance at least 20% at a single level, then 1 red candle will disappear and the spawn will begin moving backwards.
Once you have gained enough red candles, the spawn will increase the strength of the spawn. This means 2 or 3 higher level monsters will begin spawning which were tougher than the previous. Since the monsters are tougher, it also requires fewer kills to advance the spawn. The number of red candles for spawn strength enhancement also varies slightly. Here is a chart detailing specifics of how many need to be killed and when the spawn will increase in strength:
|Red Candles||Monsters to Kill|
|Level 1||1 to 5/6||256|
|Level 2||5/6 to 9/10||128|
|Level 3||9/10 to 13/14||64|
|Level 4||13/14 to 16||32|
At 16 red candles, the spawn can cycle a few times before the champion is summoned. Each time the spawn advances 100% and the champion does not come forth, it will take less spawn to advance another 100%. If you target the Idol at 16 red candles the champion will be summoned immediately. Upon their defeat, the spawn altar will deactivate and no more spawn will come forth. A gold explosion will take place depositing around 250,000 gold on the ground. If you are at a Felucca champion spawn, 6 Power Scrolls will be awarded to the top damaging players and the Idol on the altar will turn into a black moongate which will take you to the Star Room.
See main article: Champion Spawn Altars.
- As the spawn strength increases, the light level in the area goes down.
- Pet summoning is forbidden in the spawn zone which decreases as the spawn strength increases.
- You cannot cast Recall, Gate Travel, or Sacred Journey inside the Spawn Zone.
- You cannot mark a rune in the spawn zone.
Champion Spawn Artifacts
While power scrolls were still only to be obtained in Felucca, all spawns would now have the chance to drop artifacts from three new sets of artifact items. Previously, the only reward for fighting Ilshenar and Tokuno spawn champions were a specialized professional title and the gold drop upon defeating the champion.
- See Champion Spawn Artifacts for a complete list of what each champion drops
The three artifact reward sets were:
- Replicas or Shared Rewards - copies of items given out during past EM events and quests on all shards, matching both the appearance and properties of the original items, save for the Replica description.
- Decorative Rewards - special decorative items for player homes
- Unique Rewards - all new artifacts with thematic elements relating them to the specific spawn champion creature they could be obtained from.
Each reward has a Durability of 150 and cannot be enhanced or unraveled.
The drop rate for a reward is 30% overall as follows:
- 10% Shared(Replica) reward
- 15% Decorative reward
- 5% Unique reward
Scroll of Trascendence
Another incentive added to Champ Spawns was the Scroll of Transcendence. In summary, when used the scrolls allow players to instantly raise their level in skill by a specific amount for a skill indicated on the scroll. The scrolls are obtained by fighting the spawn and drop straight into player backpacks. Unlike Felucca, the Ilshenar and Tokuno spawns gives Transcendence scrolls but not 105 Scrolls of Power. Scrolls obtained in Felucca have double potency of scrolls obtained in the other facets. Overall, the maximum potential skill gain from a Scroll of Transcendence is 1.0 skill points per scroll.