Transition to Region 2 Borders
So, you've now spent some time in Castle McDougan grinding cash in order to move up into the Borders region. It should be obvious as to why you've done this: the mechanisms and circles available in R2 are much more expensive, and the XP requirements are much higher than they were in R1. This reflects an increase in difficulty level in the game.
Although these values may seem high and perhaps even extremely difficult to achieve, the rewards for ghost captures have also increased enough to offset the majority of the perceived increase in difficulty.
The time that you will require to level up through the region will be approximately the same as it was in R1.
As you progress further into R2 you will notice that the focus of this region is all about making choices: there are more traps and more circles available here than in R1, and they have a much wider spectrum of attributes. It is up to you, the player, to decide which trap and circle attributes you want to use in the game. It now also becomes very important for you to become an informed consumer and to gather information from fellow players about performance before you purchase something.
There are many new items in the game: most notably
Blueprint parts for the Ghost magnet and molding pieces for the Black candle are also among the items that players may collect in R2 locations. Drops of blueprints and molding pieces are rare—you will be very lucky if you get such a drop. Neither the Ghost Magnet mechanism nor the Black candle magic circle are "must-haves" for success in Ghost Trappers—they are nice-to-have items.
This walkthrough only talks about traps in their unmodified state and you will need to refer to the appropriate wiki sections to learn how contracts and companions can affect the effectiveness and usefulness of a particular set-up.
Using regular and special edition magic potions
The rule of thumb remains the same: the stronger or older a magic potion is, the stronger the ghost you will attract. Some ghosts in any given area may have a scare factor that is higher than your trap can capture, so if you've got a relatively weak trap for the area you're in, pair it with a relatively weak magic potion.
If you are getting long strings of misses, or Angel's Share losses, or if most ghosts are stealing your magic potions — then adjust your magic potions downwards in age/strength. The misses and the steals are suggesting that your trap isn't strong enough for the ghosts you're attracting. Do not assume that because you have the option to use a more expensive magic potion as bait that its use is appropriate to your situation.
If you are getting lots of Failure to Attract messages (FTA)s on your hunts, bump the age or the strength of your magic potion upwards.
Experiment! What works well for other people may not work as well for you. Try things out. Be bold!
(£15,000 to travel / 80,000 XP)
You have probably already purchased the initial trap available in this area, the Black Hole (£400,000 / 80,000 XP), and still have the Red candles Magic Circle. You may even be hunting in this area using Silver star — green and/ or Moonshadow — green to minimize losses caused by some of those thieving ghosts and you've started to wonder what your next move should be.
Once you have the Black hole mechanism, you next have to make a choice between two Magic Circles — which one you choose depends on how you want to play the game. Wondering what that means? Read on...!
(£400,000/ 80,000 XP)
Many players ask if this magic circles "merely" +2 raw power is worth its cost. The answer is "yes". if you haven't learned it yet, learn this fact now: +2 raw power can make a huge difference in your ability to catch certain ghosts.
The Twilight Candles are a 'practical' choice and will provide a reliable and predictable catch rate with the Black Hole, and also with the Crystal spider trap and even the Eternal Happy Hour Bar trap (see Kilwittig House). Choose this Magic circle if you want to advance at a steady pace.
It is not a magic circle that is strong on mystic power, however, so it is not a good choice if you are concentrating on catching some of the special ghosts that require a strong mystic power set-up to catch. Purchasing it, however, can allow you to gain sufficient cash and XP to be able to purchase one of the more specialized, higher-mystic magic circles in a relatively short period of time.
(£400,000 / 100,000 XP)
The Dance-of-the-Wisps has slightly less raw power than the Twilight candles but has a huge amount of Mystic power. If you want to primarily pursue the small population of ghosts that are captured by Mystical power (i.e., the Heartbreaking temptress ghost, Ghost Nessy, Glowing Ghost Nessy, etc.), then you may want this Magical circle. Bear in mind that those ghosts may also be caught in the regular mode of play and that they're difficult to capture at the best of times.
Either way, the choice depends on how you personally are playing the game and consideration should be given to that.
The two other traps available in Castle McWallace should be compared with the traps listed in the section below on Kilwittig House . In terms of XP and cost, as well as in terms of benefits and constraints, your time will be well spent-comparing all 4 of these traps before you make your decision about which trap to buy next.
(£800,000 / 110,000 XP)
The Crystal Spider is the game's first Bio trap. Even though you may see that the Eternal Happy Hour Bar is the more practical trap to get next, this awesome powered trap does great work with the ZEP contract. Even though this trap lacks mystic power, it has enough raw power to get through to the next place, Loch Muir.
But this can be a very good trap to buy if you want to remain in Castle McWallace to grind cash for such items as the mocktail recipes. It has a solid catch rate when paired with the Twilight candles in Castle McWallace and will help you gain both cash and XP.
Balance what this trap can do in McWallace (and the need for a stronger trap gong forward) against the stronger mystical power of the Basilisk pit described below, and against the practical strength of the EHHB and its increased cooldown time and its hefty price tag in deciding which trap is the right one next for you.
(£800,000 / 120,000 XP)
The Basilisk Pit is the second trap in the Arcane category, and reflects many of the same attributes of the Magic mirror from R1. It is a little more difficult to use than more practically-oriented mechanisms and requires some patience and tweaking to achieve successful results.
Consider this trap if you want to concentrate on that small population of ghosts that are attracted to mystical power (see also Dance-of-the-wisps magic circle).
Players using the Basilisk pit will note that it fails to catch the majority of regular ghosts that more practical traps will easily capture, although it has been used quite successfully throughout Region 1 Dumfries and Galloway.
As of 10 July 2009, this trap now has an additional 5 mystic power and a one minute reduction in the hunting cooldown time, both of which may make the trap more attractive to you.
You must still exercise discretion and forethought in using this mechanism — it is a difficult trap to use well and if your catch rate fails to meet your expectations, remember that it is your decision to use it.
At some point you will gain the XP level required to move into Kilwittig House. By now it should have occurred to you that your best move may be along the same lines as what you've been doing so far: moving forward to the next area to purchase the next mechanism/circle, and then deciding whether you want to move back to the previous area to grind cash.
(£25,000 to travel / 200,000 XP)
Kilwittig House presents a wider and somewhat bewildering array of choices in mechanisms and illustrates the previous statement that the player will have to learn to make decisions about which traps will best suit their game plans.
(£1,100,000 / 200,000 XP)
The Eternal Happy Hour Bar is a very practical though often maligned trap due to the additional 3 minute cooldown time (note that this means 18 minutes between hunts in its unmodified state).
Used with the Twilight candle this trap will deliver strong consistent results, particularly when using mocktails. Ghosts seem to like this one, after all what could be more attractive to a party ghost - or any ghost - than a trap that promises a 24 hour a day reason to party it up? Especially when the magic potions and mocktails flow freely 24/7?
Sometime in the course of your use of the EHHB you may decide to skip the one magic circle available in this area (see the Ghost ink circle) and instead purchase the UV Light available in Loch Muir. This choice reinforces the EHHB, bringing it to its optimum level and allowing you to accrue cash and XP at a very reasonable pace. It is very much worthy of consideration and use, and an enterprising player with the proper contract and companion may be able to reduce their cooldown time as well.
(£800,000 / 200,000 XP)
This magic circle works wonderfully well when paired with the Eternal Happy Hour Bar. This circle increases the raw power of EHHB and guarantees successful catches in this area. However, you do pay for this circle's high raw power: it costs a wee bit more. Recommended if you have extra cash and would love to grind more cash in Kilwittig House. This magic circle is a good buy if and i would like to say it again if you have extra cash. If you do not have enough cash save up for your Ghost magnet and Black candle and you will have a happier time in Loch Muir.
(£1,100,000 / 300,000 XP)
As of 10 July 2009, the Addictive PC Game has been given a T/SC of -2 minutes (the time you must wait between hunts with this trap has been reduced by 2 minutes) which makes the Addictive PC game much more attractive to players wanting to increase their hunt rate.
Unmodified by contracts and companions, this mechanism will give you a solid 75% catch rate. Combined with the appropriate contracts and companions, this mechanism can be a solid source of cash and XP.
(£30,000 to travel / 400,000 XP)
Loch Muir represents the point in the game when it becomes most obvious that you have to make hard decisions among traps — when it becomes clear that no one trap will have the top ratings with respect to all features and capabilities. It is up to you to decide what level of performance you aren't or are willing to accept.
It is also up to you to recognize that what you consider optimum standards for a trap/circle combination may be unrealistic or even unachievable with the resources available to you.
In Loch Muir it begins to become very important to consider game strategy, and that is best addressed by communicating with the player community in general. It is a good idea to make an effort to learn from the successes and mistakes of those who have gone before you.
However, if you have equipped yourself with the EHHB and Twilight candle, you should have a good catch rate here (expect 75%-80% catch rate) since most of the ghosts here are the same with the ghosts you found in Kilwittig House. Use that combination with Whisperwind — green or mocktails to have a consistent catch rate.
With the use of proper contract (in this case Inspector James Sinclair/IJS) and companion, you can even expect a higher catch rate (85%-90%).
(£1,200,000 / 400,000 XP)
This trap delivers a moderate rate of success if used properly. This trap teamed up with the UV Light will give you an 80%-85% catch rate in Loch Muir. The proper special edition magic potion will ensure that your results are consistent and profitable in regards to your efforts. In this case the use of Glengreen — green will deliver better results than the use of Whisperwind — green in that the ghosts attracted by the latter Special edition will outstrip this trap's abilities to catch the ghosts. It may be in your best interests to consider the use of Nessy's and/ or mocktails to offset the possibility of losses. This is a good trap to consider if you want to go back to Kilwittig House and grind for more cash at a faster pace. Take careful consideration into buying this if you want to buy other better traps as this trap has little raw power. Another thing to note is that you can use Inspector James Sinclair contract to work with this trap and the outcome would be feasible. Lastly, this trap is only slightly better in terms with Eternal Happy Hour Bar so you should think carefully before buying this trap.
(£900,000 / 400,000 XP)
Proof that sometimes appearance is not always an influence in the decision to use an item, the Dragon breath's stats were obviously not enough to entice players into considering it as a part of their game plan. With the update on the 10th July 2009, the Dragon breath's Mystic power has been increased by 5 and it has added a T/SC of -1 (hunting cooldown time is reduced by 1 minute when using this magic circle).
It's now regarded as a perfectly fine circle teamed up with German Volksmusic Band or Eternal Happy Hour Bar in Loch Muir or going back and using it in Kilwittig House for a 95% catch rate. The real winning combo though is pairing it up with the Ghost magnet in Loch Muir. Its T/SC of -1 and 5 mystic make it quite useful in getting ahead in the game. Even teaming it with the Time warper from Castle McKenny and going back to Loch Muir will give you an even greater -3 minute hunting cooldown, with a 90% catch rate. Just add a companion and a contract with negative T/SC and you'll be well on you way to earning quicker £'s and XP, which you'll need for the later items further in the game.
(£1,000,000 / 400,000 XP)
This circle is comparable to the Black candle, but relies primarily on raw power, totally lacking in mystical attraction. You may wish to start using this in combination with traps as early as the EHHB, and it will work well with all traps up to The Emerald Pearl in Castle McKenny.
It should be noted that this circle's lack of mystic power makes it highly unlikely that one will capture ghosts that demand the presence of mystic power unless teamed up with a trap with some mystic power.
If given the option of using the UV Light or the Black Candle the player should make a conscious decision whether they want to have a chance at capturing mystic ghosts—and missing some regular ghosts—or just capturing the regular ghosts that respond to high raw-power combinations.
It has 2 more raw power than the Black candles which can make just that difference to your trap. Compared to the advantages of the next available magic circle, the White phosphor, it does not seem a lot, but as with all advantages, there are disadvantages. While the UV Light has only 35 raw power and no other perks, the White phosphor with 40 raw power and a mystic bonus comes as a burner.
(Crafted Item/ 500,000 XP)
This mechanism is one of two crafted items introduced into the game in R2. Players will start finding the parts for it in Castle McWallace and may or may not be able to collect all 3 parts by way of regular play. Quite often parts for this item are offered for sale on the trading forums. It is up to an individual player to decide whether they want to purchase one or more of the blueprints,to continue to hunt for the blueprints in regular play, or to skip this trap all together. Performance-wise this is an excellent trap, and once assembled - and particularly if paired with the Black candle - it performs in a most satisfying manner throughout Kilwittig House and Loch Muir, the two areas in which it is meant to be used. It is possible in fact to back up into Castle McWallace with this combination and enjoy an outstanding catch rate. It offers a much weaker performance in Castle McKenny unless combined with the White phosphor or the Ectoplasmatic goo from R3. We do not recommend that this trap be used in R3 because it lacks the necessary power to work well there.
(Crafted Item/ 500,000 XP) As with the Ghost magnet, the Black candles magic circle is a crafted item and its two parts can be obtained either through purchase on the trading forums or through regular game play as Ghost loot drops.
It is an excellent candle to add to any mechanism in the middle areas of Region 2 Borders and gives a significant increase to a trap's raw power there, along with a small increase in mystic power. The small increase in mystic power may be a plus when using it with High tech traps that are otherwise totally lacking in mystic power.
If you want to use this circle in Castle McKenny though, you must pair it with a stronger mechanism than the Ghost magnet for optimum performance.
Note re: Ghost magnet and Black candle
Blueprints and molding pieces are crafting items that you can assemble once you have acquired the components and have the required XP. The blueprints and molding pieces required to make these items appeared in the game after R2 opened. At that time the Developers had not publicly announced what the experience requirements were for these items and some individuals sought to acquire and sell the pieces as they were found. Because of a bug in the game code, players who did not have the requisite XP were able to buy and assemble this trap mechanism and Magic Circle. The Developers dropped the XP requirements temporarily but announced at that time that these requirements would be reinstated in the future. That "future" arrived in June 2009.
As of March 2010, you must have 500,000 XP to assemble either the Ghost magnet or the Black candles. There are no exception to this rule. Players who had less than 500,000 XP when the rule was put in place but who had already assembled and mounted one of these items were allowed to continue using it, as long as the item stays mounted.
Always check for requirements that must be met before use for any item before you buy or trade for it. The developers are not responsible for the actions of individuals who trade these items nor will they make adjustments to the accounts of individuals who have purchased these items in ignorance of the rules.
(£1,500,000 / 600,000 XP)
The Bottle Barrage Tank is our introduction to the concept of the burner, a mechanism or circle that uses extra bait to perform its required task. While this may seem a disadvantage in some peoples eyes due to the expense of operation this trap seemed to bring in a slightly better return in regards to cash and delivers consistent results, at least in regards to catch rates as compared to the German Volksmusic Band. It does appear to have some disability issues when higher special editions (including Nessy's) and mocktails are used but this can be remedied again by dropping to a lower special edition, thereby alleviating some of the expense incurred by losses. Teamed up with the UV Light in Loch Muir you'll find you'll be getting about a 98% catch rate (excepting those ghosts that require a high-mystic set-up).
(£35,000 to travel / 700,000 XP)
Okay, by now you've heard the rumors, and you dread the entrance into Castle McKenny. Well, the rumors are true; Castle McKenny is hard on the players. Now would be a great time to switch to money making instead of rushing through the experience levels because the costs of R3 are high and you want to keep to McKenny as long as possible to fund R3. It is strongly recommended that your trap have a combined raw power of at least 200 or you may find yourself taking unacceptable losses. You will note that your initial catch rate in this area seems somewhat lower than in others, and that at times you are being subjected to long strings of misses, FTA's, and angels shares. Fortunately thefts are few and far between in Castle McKenny and further problems can be overcome by using mocktails and Nessy's as they can't be stolen.
(£1,500,000 / 700,000 XP)
The Time Warper has an initial 2 minute reduction in cooldown time and if purchased and brought back to Loch Muir you will find that it has an excellent catch rate there. Even if it is not modified with contracts and companions it will deliver a very pleasing result.
Be aware that this is not an indicator that the Time Warper shouldn't be used in this location;it is quite adequate and can deliver good results. We recommend that you plan to make these tweaks when using the Time warper. See the entries on Contracts and Companions for ideas on how to go about tweaking it properly. Pair the Time warper with the Dragon breath, Black candle or the UV Light and use Inspector James Sinclair (Contracts) and Companion that increase raw power (e.g. Ghost kitty) to expect 80-90% catch rate.
(£1,400,000 / 800,000 XP)
This is the second burner in the game, the first circle that requires an extra bait to achieve its purpose. Ultimately this item reinforces the Emerald Pearl's ability to tame Castle McKenny's harsh conditions, giving it enough power to boost the catch rate into or beyond the 80% range. The frequency of misses, Angel's Shares, and FTA's lessens and spreads itself out enough that it no longer seems like you're being beaten by the game. It also lends a touch more mystic power—a mere 3 points—but this is enough that you will have at least some success at pinning down the more elusive mystic ghosts.
Again some modifiers will probably be needed to further reinforce this circle's abilities, but that is still no guarantee of complete success. However, this candle has a burner, and will again obviously "help" you to earn lesser. Use this magic circle if you are really keen to get the best setup and use a lighter magic potion.
(£1,900,000 / 900,000 XP)
On top of looking really cool The Emerald Pearl has a fair bit of mystic power and when combined with the White phosphor this circle it can reach a 90% over all catch rate with relative certainty. However it has only 5 more raw power than the Time warper and would not make a large difference. Use this trap if you want to grind cash in Castle McKenny. However, I would like to emphasize this really strongly that this trap is not a must buy. Use the money to get this trap to get the UV Light and use the magic circle with the Time warper and expect reasonable results too. The The Emerald Pearl is also a good trap but you should really consider to save the gold here for the much needed Explosive sheep dummy you should need to get later on.
Note re: Ticket to Strathclyde
As in R1's Castle McDougan where Devil ghost, Angel ghost and their midnight counterparts dropped ticket to Borders, in Castle McKenny you will trap the Samurai ghost and its midnight counterpart that drop tickets to R3 Strathclyde. You will only require one, and will be able to travel back and forth between R2 and R3 at will after reaching the required XP and acquiring the ticket.
You will probably pick up several of these tickets in the course of your stay in Castle McKenny and once again you will be able to exchange these for mixers at the Ticket-trader in the Office tab at S.C.O.T.C.H. HQ, again on a 1:1 basis.
Transition to Region 3 Strathclyde
At this point you have done one of two things; you've made a trip into R3 to pick up the Ectoplasmatic goo and returned to Castle McKenny or decided to stay in Wellsington Tower to take your chances there with The Emerald Pearl.
Depending on your priority (XP gain, money gain, ghosts caught, etc.) these rates may not be high enough to satisfy you. Returning to Castle McKenny is your best bet in this case, but you'll probably find that your returns will not increase by a truly appreciable amount, and you may also see some erratic results from your trap.
Other players will recognize that despite the relatively low percentage rate, their overall rate of XP gain and money gain is significant and they will stay in Wellsington Tower.
In either event, you should bear with your course, since it won't be long before you can afford to buy the Explosive sheep dummy mechanism.
After that, you can again consider either returning to Castle McKenny yet again or staying in Wellsington Tower; either way, your focus should be on grinding some quick cash to take some of the sting out of the expenses you will be encountering in Wellsington Tower.
There is a recipe for a new mocktail to buy: Black Tartan costs £500,000 and your next mechanism and circle cost a combined £6 million.