My papa would always say they were fuckin' ants. Well, that's what he used to call them anyway. I just call 'em fire ants.
Subterranean Colony is an isolated zone beneath the Crater Forest, most frequently visited as a grinding spot for its lucrative ants, and as a consistent source of pitchblende.
Subterranean Colony is a red zone. Any non-Carebear player can instigate or be the target of PvP in this zone, and instigating PvP will not produce a challenge.. Unlike the adjacent Crater Forest, however, the Subterranean Colony is not blink-blocked.
The Subterranean Colony can only be reached from Crater Forest, and is at the far north of that zone, behind the massive tree trunk and then down. This is also the zone's only exit. The zone is thus very isolated, and trekking to and from the Colony can be an annoyance or even a danger.
Blinkers who want to get to the Colony quickly would be well-advised to blink to the foggy clearing nearby and then walk the rest of the way. Flight mutants can land in Mountain Pass and then walk, while those who are plane-bound should land their planes in the nearby Ocean Cliffs and walk through the mine to preserve the safety of their planes.
As a red zone with only one way in and out (and that chokepoint being restricted with a climb), the Subterranean Colony is a prime spot for PvP attacks. The sky is also not visible in this zone, which prevents incoming planes from being seen. However, because the only route in is through the Forest, a stickycam planted in one of that zone's chokepoint tiles can provide advance warning for players in the Colony.
The Subterranean Colony is a zone firmly entrenched in the midgame, with mobs to match. Unprepared or underleveled characters will quickly die to the zone's aggressive inhabitants.
- Giant ants are the main draw of the Colony; they are hostile mobs with a high slash/stab/irradiation damage output, dangerous Crater Rim, which also fulfills the entomologist job, and they are worth $495 each on the Western Hunter contract.
s, and a couple obnoxious abilities. They give 96 XP per kill, and start scaling off at about 180k. Their carapaces sell for $1800 each to J'Lar in
- 9 ants spawn throughout the colony, though there is a chance that an antopotamus will spawn instead.
- Each ant also has a chance to drop a "carapace polyp" in addition to a regular carapace. These are worth more than regular carapaces when sold to J'Lar, and also count for the entomologist job. Carapaces and polyps are also used in making the Formic Facade and Carapace Cap. The cap requires carapaces, while the facade needs both carapaces and polyps.
- Ants are accurate; about 40 Dodge is needed to consistently avoid their attacks.
- Ants have very low Brawn and poor Dodge; this makes them easy targets for a . About 28 Wrestle will result in consistent grabs on ants. They also have low Brains and are vulnerable to , and are weak to the beat damage type.
- Ants will join in on any fights that occur in their tile, which can create dangerous swarms.
- Ants have a passive "hemolymph" effect, which has a chance of being triggered every time they take damage. The effect will deal burn damage to everyone on the tile and can damage armor. It is particularly dangerous to characters with low Endurance, who can be stunned or even knocked out. The effect can be avoided with high Dodge or soaked with burn soaks.
- Ants have the ability to powerattack, and their pows are notoriously damaging. They can also inflict fairly low levels of Carrie.
- A popular set for soaking ant attacks is leech-hide armor stacked with a radiation suit; MK and plasteel armor with a radsuit is also acceptable as a cheap substitute.
- Ants are also almost completely shut out by (very expensive) double-kraken exogear and deathgear; even pows will deal no more than six damage.
- Antopotami are a miniboss mob that has a small chance to spawn instead of a regular ant, and are notable for having high health, some stun resistance, and a slow, accurate and highly damaging beat damage attack. They drop 120 XP per kill, and are worth $700 each on the Western Hunter contract.
- Unlike ants, antopotami do not powerattack or carrie.
- Antopotami are more accurate than regular ants, and require slightly higher Dodge to consistently avoid.
- Antopotami have even lower Dodge and Brawn than ants, making them even more vulnerable to grabs than ants are.
- Tanking antopotamus damage is difficult. The best option available is double-titan exogear and deathgear, and even with this, considerable damage will still be sustained.
- Unlike regular ants, antopotami will not automatically join into any fights on their tile, and must aggro independently.
- Ant Guards spawn just outside the Ant Queen's tile, at the far south of the colony. They are similar to buffed up ants, and have a higher damage output while lacking the abilities of regular ants. They drop 120 XP each, and are worth $495 each on the Western Hunter contract.
- Unlike other ant mobs, ant guards do not aggro on sight. They will, however, join in if another ant starts a fight on their tile.
- The ant guard spawns are highly consistent; there will always be two, one called "menacing" and one called "hulking", and they will never move from their home tile. They also respawn faster than regular ants.
- If an ant guard is moved from its home tile to an adjacent tile, it will not attempt to move back. Wrestlers can take advantage of this by grabbing and shoving one of them out of the tile.
- Ants deal high fire damage with their attacks in addition to the regular slash/stab/irradiation profile.
- The Ant Queen is the zone's boss mob. She sits in her own tile and never moves, guarded by the guards outside. She is worth less XP than other ants, and also scales off earlier, but she gives a one-time 800 XP award for her destruction (Colony Conqueror), which also contributes to the Badass achievement. Upon death, she has a guaranteed drop of three ant carapaces, and also drops her mandibles, which are a Trophy.
- The Queen is more accurate than regular ants, and does high damage. Her attack is very slow, however, and can be reliably prevented by powerattacking on cooldown with a speedcapped weapon. Unlike Antopotami, she has no stun resist, and can even be knocked unconscious.
- The Queen is assisted by larvae on her tile, who will join in the fight to debuff the Dodge of any aggressors and deal significant damage. The larvae are worth $495 on the Western Hunter contract, and have a chance to drop carapace polyps on death.
- The Queen can heal herself mid-combat using a special ability.
- Like her guards, the Ant Queen and her larvae do not aggro on sight.
- Radioactivity is a problem throughout the colony, requiring protection from a radiation suit, Rad-Q or a similar method.
- High temperatures are prevalent throughout the colony, especially near and on the Queen's tile. These are especially problematic for mutants with Yeti Skin or Yeti Fur.
- A 50m climb stands between a "pre-zone" in the colony, directly beneath the forest, and the Colony proper. No mobs path into the pre-zone. The climb itself is of moderate difficulty.
- A water tile sits one tile down and two tiles east of the entrance climb. No mobs path into this zone and the water is safe to drink, but the tile immediately east of it is a spawn tile for the ants, which can be dangerous.
- Pitchblende can be harvested from three tiles in this zone, marked "Dead End". Each of the three has a 100% droprate for one pitchblende and one trash rock. This is the only totally consistent spawn for pitchblende in the game.
- Chokepoints abound throughout the Colony, which consists of single-tile corridors and junctions. This it very difficult to avoid mobs. It also means that ants in adjacent tiles have a larger chance of walking into fights in progress and joining in; this has led to ants being notorious for swarming.