Hunting the Outliers
Now for the last map marker to clear before moving on to… well, another sidequest and more exploration, really. Around the Devil’s Grief ruins are four Campfires, one to the northeast, one to the northwest, one to the southeast and one to the southwest. Make your way back to the northwestern Campfire (near the Cultist Camp - North) and follow a road north to reach a river. Cross it and continue north and you’ll reach the outskirts of the Bandit Camp - Hollow Fort.
Ignore the scary recommended level - this place isn’t too hard. It’s much bigger than the Bandit Camp in Devil’s Thirst, but the basics are the same - there’s plenty of tall grass around, and the Sharpshot Bow should kill just about every enemy in one hit. Start out with the basics, use your Focus to scan and mark the location of enemies, then make your way around the perimeter of the base, opportunistically killing Bandits with headshots and hiding in tall grass (or just putting distance between yourself and the camp) if their buddies grow suspicious or if you miss a shot.
The only trouble this camp should provide (beside sheer size and numbers) are the Bandit Heavy units and "elite" units you’ll encounter (note these enemies by the skull that appears when viewed with your Focus). They carry dangerous weapons and might take more than one headshot to kill, but even so, they’re not likely to spot you after one shot, and two will put them down. Just take a shot, change locations, wait for their suspicion circle to fade, then finish them off… or use Double Shot or Triple shot if you have them to make sure one volley gets the job done. With the Nora Silent Hunter Heavy armor on, you’d have to make a pretty serious mistake to get detected.
Destroying the Alarm
Thin the herd near the gate on the southeastern end of camp, then make your way west across the southern end of the camp’s exterior, then turn north and head around the western edge of the camp. The northwestern edge of the camp is the ideal infiltration point, as you can scramble up some snow-covered ruins here to breach the perimeter of the camp. Do so and you’ll find a Bandit on a watch tower dead ahead (to the southeast) whom you can exterminate, after which drop down onto a lower section of old world construction near the watch tower and turn northeast to find the camp’s alarm system below you. A simple arrow later and the Bandits will have lost all opportunity to call in reinforcements.
Finsihing the Kill
Even better, this ledge should give you a height advantage over your prey in the camp below, and while there’s no cover on it, distance, height, and lying low when suspicions are high should make you pretty hard to detect. Pick off whatever Bandits you can to the southeast and especially the northeast from this ledge, then drop down near the watch tower to the southeast and continue through the camp in that direction, eliminating Bandits as you go and using the high grass as cover. The cover isn’t sufficient for the task, however, so you’ll need to risk some out-of-cover shots to eliminate a few Bandits near the southwestern gate.
Once the southwestern corner of the camp is pacified, take the high ground in the center of the camp and free the hostages in the ruins there. Now that you have a bit of backup clearing out the northeastern half of the camp (hopefully decimated by earlier sniping on your part) should be a relatively simple matter, especially if you go along the northern end of camp to do so, as there’s plenty of tall grass there to conceal you. Eradicate the Bandits in the northeastern corner of the camp and this should leave only the southeastern entrance to the camp to be dealt with, which is where you should have originally been led by the road running north from Devil’s Grief. If you thinned the herd here earlier, there should be little opposition left, and if you kill the Bandit Heavy you can claim his Firespitter weapon to put down the last remaining Bandits in satisfying fashion.
After the last Bandit is disposed of the camp will magically populate with Nora, and you’ll be free to do business with a merchant, loot the various Supply Crates around, rest at the Campfire and enjoy the massive influx of experience. As fun as all this was, however, there’s still more to do further north.
|For clearing the Hollow Fort Bandit Camp||15,000 XP|