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The Third Portent

February 8, 2014 1 comment

The third portent is an Obsidian Basilisk. Like the previous ones, several green mobs spawn before it appears; this time they are called Legendary Beast Hunters. There are several possible spawn locations:

  • in the Northern Grasslands, near the bridge towards Kara Korum in the north;
  • in the Northern Grasslands, just north of the Hole rez pad;
  • in the Northern Grasslands, near the Red Cliff Inn on the eastern side of the playfield;
  • in Chosain Province, near the water just outside Gun Hai (the Scholars’ city in the northwest of the playfield);
  • in Chosain Province, near the water northeast of the Scholars’ tower on the northern side of the playfield.


(Click to enlarge.)

The mechanics of the fight are less interesting than I hoped. The boss does crushing damage; apart from white hits on the aggro holder, there is a rear cone attack (with knockback) called Tail Swipe, and a 360-degree aoe attack (with knockback) called Stomp. There is also Obsidian Gaze, which stuns people in front of the boss; it’s a relatively narrow cone and you can easily move out of it before it’s finished casting (similar to e.g. Frost Whip in the Palace of Yun Rau). This stun is a ruin, so it can be removed by a priest with Steadfast Faith. If you get hit by Stomp while having this ruin, you get oneshotted.

As far as I can tell, there are no ranged attacks, not even as an anti-kiting measure. The boss has 20.1 million HP, same as the previous two. It now respawns much more often in each instance (probably every 30–60 min or so), and for some reason it seems a lot easier to get into instances than before, so there’s almost no waiting between boss kills; this is a wonderful improvement compared to the previous two bosses, especially the first one.


(Click to enlarge.)

The loot is mostly the same as on the previous two Portent bosses; there is a blue cache (Hunter’s Trove of the Obsidian Basilisk) and a purple cache (Slayer’s Cache of the Obsidian Basilisk), etc. It seems that the drop rate of crappy food and potions has been somewhat reduced. Other changes I’ve noticed:

  • The Crown of Spring now drops instead of the Crown of Winter/Summer. I guess next month’s boss will drop the Crown of Autumn then.
  • Fatal Concoction drops from this boss (gives you +10% fatality chance for 20 sec), and it seems to have replaced Flaming Sanducca, Electric Boogie etc. from the previous bosses.
  • The Heaven’s Lake armor set is a new Khitai-themed social armor set. Presumably some of the regional-style social sets that used to drop from the previous two bosses don’t drop from this one.
  • There is of course a new purple Obsidian Basilisk mini-pet. The other pets (cobras, mice, salamanders, dancers, etc.) seem to be dropping same as before.

There’s been an interesting couple of developer posts in the testlive forum about the Portent bosses’ loot (1, 2). Most of the loot is shared; some of the social armor sets are “regional”, i.e. they appear only from bosses in certain areas, while other sets are “global” and drop from all bosses. I guess that the Hyperborean Shaman set from last month’s Yeti boss counts as regional then, as does the Heaven’s Lake set from this month’s boss.

The new basilisk pet looks nice and is pretty large for a mini-pet:


(Click to enlarge.)

It has several animations similar to those of basilisk mobs. Here is a picture from the “stomp” animation:


(Click to enlarge.)

And here is one from the “gaze” animation:


(Click to enlarge.)

The wolverine kit is not a new pet, but I only got it now, so here’s a screenshot of it as well:


(Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a screenshot of the new Heaven’s Lake social armor set:



And here’s the Fallen Leviathan set, which has already been dropping from the previous bosses, so I guess it counts as a global set:


Level 10-19 world-drop blues

January 25, 2014 4 comments

As is well known, the pre-expansion playfields can be entered in either normal or epic mode; in epic mode, all the mobs are group mobs, they hit harder and and have suitably higher health pools; but they also drop better loot. Among other things, each boss in an epic instance is guaranteed to drop a blue bind-on-equip item of a suitable level. These blue items exist across the whole range of levels, from 11 to 80. These items also have a small chance of dropping from normal-mode mobs and bosses, and a slightly less small chance of dropping from random mobs in various dungeons, both solo and group ones; they can also drop from Excavator’s Kits (green caches which drop in various high-end 6-player dungeons, e.g. the Vile Nativity) and Unopened Chests (green caches from the unchained dungeons introduced in update 4.1.4). Since they are tradable and their stats aren’t very good compared even to old-world dungeon items, let alone post-expansion items, they are often also available very cheaply on the trader.

At higher levels, the set of possible items that might drop at any given level is very large as it includes twelve full sets of armor (twelve sets in the level 40–69 range and twelve in the level 70–80 range; each of these sets exists in several versions all over its level range) in addition to various odd bits and pieces (both armor and weapons).

Below level 40, the set of possible blue BoE items that drop as part of this system is much smaller, so we can attempt to catalogue them all. As a first step, this post contains the items in the level 10–19 range. I’m not aware of any better way of collecting them than simply killing bosses in epic instances until you’ve encountered each item several times. Thus, investigating the level 10–19 range is quite easy now that you can enter White Sands Isle with a level 80 character again; if you had to go there with a level 25 character, killing the bosses would be a lot more time-consuming. I kept farming the bosses in epic White Sands Isle until I saw each item at least 5 times; and in fact, by then I’ve seen most of these items more than 10 times. So I guess it’s fairly unlikely that some other item drops there which I never saw drop at all.

The bosses in White Sands Isle are level 12 (Tear-Kirahn, Old Craggy), 14 (The Silverback Behemoth), 15 (Flesh-Eating Plant), 18 (The Ravenous One, Pict Chieftain, Greater Black One) and 19 (Gorilla Queen). Since each boss can also drop items that are up to two levels above or below him, this should cover the level 10–19 range pretty well.

Name Level Description
Augur’s Sash 18 cloth belt, int
Beheader 16 2he
Believer 17 necklace, protection
Blasphemy 19 DT talisman
Bloodleather Leggings 16 light legs, combat rtg
Bonegrinder Girdler 19 medium belt, str
Briskrunner Boots 14 light feet, +3% ooc movement speed
Brutecord 11 medium belt
Darkrift Cover 17 cloth chest, dex
Deadbolt 16 crossbow
Defiler Belt 19 cloth belt, combat rtg
Focus 17 talisman, magic dmg
Hangman’s Rope 11 cloth belt, dex
Helmpiercers 16 bolts
Hullbreaker 18 1hb, str
Lightning Rod 11 polearm, magic dmg + combat rtg
Marauder 19 polearm, combat rtg
Predator Leggings 15 medium legs, combat rtg
Prowler Legs 15 cloth legs, combat rtg
Resolve 18 shield, str
Runeskriven Robe 18 cloth chest, int
Sandtooth 13 dagger, dex
Savage Chest 18 light chest, combat rtg
Shockshafts 14 arrows
Skullstave 15 staff, magic dmg
Skyrush 14 bow
Sneak 13 cloth feet, combat rtg
Spellthreads 16 cloth legs, int
Spellwhisper Slippers 14 cloth feet, int
Stompers 13 medium feet, str
Stonecrusher 14 1hb, combat rtg
Strider Belt 12 light belt, str
Survivalist Chestguard 17 medium chest, str
Wavecrest 13 ring, protection
Windreaver 12 1he, str

Most of these items are very plain in appearance, but some are a bit more interesting or at least share their model with other interesting items. For example, you might find the Windreaver a bit familiar — it has the same model as Gargoyle Master’s Demise, a BRC quest reward that used to the the first purple sword many people got. (Several other world-drop blue swords use the same model: Corpsehacker at level 20 and Headsever at level 28.)

Stonecrusher might also look familiar: it uses the same model as the ToS T1/T2 raid weapons (Mace of the Cloudseer and Heaven’s Torment). Other weapons with the same model include Rageblow (level 22 world drop) and the Fist of Siptah (from Ulf in Atzel’s Fortress).

Resolve also shares a model with a much more familiar high-level item: Deflector, the level 80 city crafted shield which many tanks use for protection fights.

The stats on most of these items are of course not very interesting, as the stats you get at such low levels won’t make much of a difference in fights anyway. I was however intrigued by the Lightning Rod, which is a very rare example of a ToS/guardian hybrid polearm. Although any guardian and any ToS can equip any polearm, in practice most polearms have stats that clearly make them useful for only one of those two classes, and the Lightning Rod is the only exception I’m aware of. It would be interesting if more hybrid polearms would exist; but I guess PvPers would find a way to complain that they are OP. If you want to make a polearm attractive to guardians, you should put constitution and strength on them; to make it attractive to ToSses, you should put wisdom or magic damage on them; and it might be argued that a polearm that has both of these things will give a ToS too much survivability (while not forcing him to sacrifice any DPS for it).

Here’s a screenshot of all these items:


(Click to enlarge.)

More unchained loot

January 19, 2014 1 comment

Since my post about new loot from the unchained dungeons a few weeks ago, I completed one more armor set and got a few more pets, so I figured I’d post the screenshots of these new things as well. They have also been added to the original unchained loot post.

Pharaoh’s Guard social set

This set isn’t really new; it’s been available in the item shop for a long time, pretty much ever since the item shop was introduced. (Currently it doesn’t seem to be available individually but only as part of the “Hyborian Steel Style Pack”.) It’s a green social armor set with no level requirement; somewhat surprisingly, it consists of just 7 parts — everything except the belt. It drops from green and blue Acheronian caches.

In terms of appearance, it’s similar to other Stygian-themed sets, especially Stygian Deathcoil (ToS culture armor). In fact the legs, feet and hands are exactly the same in Stygian Deathcoil and in Pharaoh’s Guard. So if you don’t like the fact that Pharaoh’s Guard lacks a belt, you could use Stygian Deathcoil Belt and it would probably match the rest of Pharaoh’s Guard pretty well.


Moar pets

Mini-Pet: Un Nefer

This pet dropped from a purple cache (Mystical Acheronian Cache). He looks like a miniature Un Nefer from the Halls of Eternal Frost and has various spell-casting animations:


(Click to enlarge.)

Eventually he spawns two even tinier pets. Then he turns towards you, does the /rude emote and then they all stand there and stare at you :P


(Click to enlarge.)

You can’t accuse him of being undergeared, however — he’s wearing the Filament of Nightmare (T3 crafted staff):


(Click to enlarge.)

Pet: Emperor Scorpion

This pet dropped from a green cache; the pet itself doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup either, so I guess you could even buy one on the trader. The description says it’s a “giant scorpion”, which in practice turns out to mean that it’s about the same size as the regular scorpion mobs in Kheshatta.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Undead Guardian

Just like the scorpion, this one also dropped from a green cache and doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup. The description says that “his social skills are questionable at best”, and indeed he has various silly and rude emotes and animations, including the famous drunken piss emote:


(Click to enlarge.)

In fact this is pretty much the same behavior as the Corrupted Self pet from Xibaluku; just the model of the pet is different (and smaller), and it wears different armor.

Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

The Second Portent

January 2, 2014 5 comments

As of January 1, the Black Dragon world boss is no longer spawning and has been replaced by the second world boss. This turns out to be a giant yeti called The King of Winter. It can spawn in four possible locations:

  • in Atzel’s Approach, near Black Dragon Magnus;
  • in Atzel’s Approach, on top of the ladder above the Halls of Eternal Frost;
  • in Conall’s Valley, on the yeti plateau above the Mountain Groves resurrection poin (820, 1046);
  • in Conall’s Valley, in the Ymirish camp near Commander Magni (1375, 723).

The impression I have is that the respawn timer is still attached to the instance, not to each respawn point itself. Thus a new yeti will spawn about two hours after the previous one has been killed in the same instance, but which of the two spawn points in that instance he will respawn at is random.

As a signal that the boss is coming in a few minutes, an unattackable mob called Ymirish Herald appears first, just like the four cultists appeared before the dragon boss last week.

Moving around between the spawn points is quite a bit more annoying here than it was with thedragon boss, as they are spread so far apart. In my experience, it’s useful to bind your Path of Asura to the village tavern in Conall’s Valley, and you can use the veteran path to Vistrix’ lair when you want to port to Atzel’s Approach.


(Click to enlarge.)

The boss has 20.1 million HP, same as last week’s dragon. The maximum number of players per instance seems to be higher than it was for the dragon boss last week; I noticed as many as 116 players on some of my parses on the yeti boss. Unfortunately my impression is that this resulted in quite a bit more lag and lower frame rates, without making it substantially easier to actually get into an instance; instances still tend to fill up plenty of time before the boss is due to spawn.

Encounter mechanics

This fight is slightly more complicated than the dragon boss was. The yeti’s primary attacks are crushing white hits on the aggro holder.

There is a frontal cone knockback (and a bit of aoe damage) called Mighty Sweep, so it makes sense to stand behind him if possible. The knockback can fling you an unusually large distance away, so be careful that you don’t get knocked over a cliff.

There is also an aoe crushing attack called Pulverize, which seems to be centered around the aggro holder. People affected by this also get stunned for 3 seconds. I also remember sometimes getting a smaller hit and no stun, which I guess applies to those a bit further away from the aggro holder.

There’s also a ranged single-target attack called Ice Strikes (cold damage), which the boss uses if he can’t reach the aggro holder to do melee hits on him.

The most interesting new mechanic is a spell called Call of Winter. This spell traps several randomly-chosen players in a big cone of ice; these players get a debuff called Grip of Winter, which stuns them and oneshots them after 29.5 seconds. The ice cone is a destructible object called Shard of Winter, and other players should DPS it down to liberate the trapped player before he gets oneshotted. This is much easier to do if people aren’t spread far apart from each other all over the place, but I’ve largely given up hope that they’ll learn to huddle up together during this fight.


(Click to enlarge.)

The loot

The loot works pretty much the same way as on the dragon: when the boss dies, each participant in the fight gets either a blue cache (Hunter’s Trove of the King of Winter) or, rarely, a purple one (Slayer’s Cache of the King of Winter).

The loot that then drops from these caches is also very similar to what we were getting from the Black Dragon’s caches; the only difference is that a few items seem to be no longer dropping and have been replaced by others.

  • The Crown of Winter now drops instead of the Crown of Summer (both are social head pieces that are also sold by a NPC vendor in your guild city tradepost).
  • Winterdream Wine — a new consumable which gives you a 30-minute novely particle effect (snow falling on you).
  • Ymirish Prayer — gives you a 30-minute buff which causes you to leave a trail of ice wherever you go, and little icicles form on the ground around you if you stand still for some time.

Several of the social sets that we saw on the dragon still drop here, though I’m not sure if all of them. I also noticed a new social armor set called Hyperborean Shaman. Interestingly, it consists of only five items (head, chest, shoulders, wrists, belt). It’s the same costume that is worn by some of the Hyperborean (Gurnakhi) NPCs in e.g. the Eiglophian Mountains (see also my old post about the White Hand officers):


Note that items with the same 3-d models have already been available to players before this: the chest is the same as Incursion Shroud (from Alcippe in the Main System); the head is the same as Clandestinus Darkhood (also from Alcippe in the Main System); the wrist is the same as Nightlord Bracers (from the Sewer King in the Main System); shoulders are the same as Dimshade Straps (from Aturballon in the Catacombs). Those are all assassin items; legs and feet with matching stats also drop in the Main System, but they don’t match these items in appearance (Covert Leggings from Hek’lar and Gossamer Slippers from Alcippe). I couldn’t find a belt with the same appearance as the Hyperborean Shaman belt, however. The chest, head and wrists are also the same as the 3-part Cruel Rending set, which is a purple level 20-ish armor set from the item shop.

There’s another new social set called Black Leather. This one looks particularly unimpressive, little better than countless green sets of light and medium armor that you can get during levelling. Curiously, this set consists of seven parts: everything except hands.


Most of the pets that dropped from the dragon also drop here from the yeti, though I imagine that the legendary dragon mini-pet doesn’t. There is however a new purple one, Mini-Pet: Frost King. I was lucky enough to get it from my first purple cache, after only 18 yeti kills. I’m not much into yetis myself and this one looks particularly small and unimpressive.


(Click to enlarge.)

He does however have a very peculiar animation: occasionally he will spawn a small rabbit out of nowhere and whack it with his club, sending it flying in a way that would give even Tiger Woods a run for his money :P


(Click to enlarge.)

Black Dragon drop statistics

January 1, 2014 2 comments

Now that the week of dragon farming frenzy is over, it might be a good time to post a bit of statistics. Considering the size of the Black Dragon loot table and the low probability of some of the items, we can of course not get anywhere near to estimating the probabilities of various drops, unless we could get a large number of players to report their drops in an unbiased way (i.e. not just when it’s something exciting) — but that would be harder than herding cats. So the following table is just a simple summary of the drops I got from the 175 or so kills on my guardian. It might give us a rough idea of the relative frequencies of different kinds of drops (e.g. social armor, raid armor, buffs/potions, etc.). A lot of the outcomes are surprisingly skewed; for example, I got one social set 11 times, one 9 times, one 4 times and the other two sets not even once. And I got twice as much HP food as stamina food.

Count Item
Social animations, particles etc.
8 Electric Boogie, Bottled Spirits, Sticky Fresh Blood, Void Essence, Cowardice Remedy, Ritual Knife
14 Mitra’s Blessed Ointment
6 Prayer Book
6 Fermented Brain Juices
Food, potions, buffs
4 Potent Daggamalt, Dire Sweetpressed Haste
10 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
5 Kingsmight Ale
3 Elixirs (2 Precision, 1 Invigorative Rejuvenation)
3 Philtres (1 Constitution, 2 Strength)
1 Minor Elixir of Resurgence (self-rez)
Bags
3 Traveller’s Merchant Contract
Social armor sets
11 Sanctum Atlantis set
9 Shattered Colossus set
4 Slayer’s set
0 other two social armor sets
Other social armor
3 Crown of Summer
3 Tigerskin cloaks
1 Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic
3 Tarantian masks (1 Amber, 2 Azure)
Raid gear
20 T1 armor
17 T1 weapons (4 swords, 3 shields, 10 polearms)
6 T2 armor
1 T2 weapons (1 shield)
AA urns
10 Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
5 Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
0 Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)
Pets
12 animal pets (1 Barrachan Gull, 2 War Piglets, 3 Hippo Calves, 1 Black Cobra, 2 Field Mice, 1 Fire Salamander)
5 dancing pets (1 Khitan male, 3 Stygian males, 1 Stygian female)
Purple caches
2 Slayer’s Cache of the Black Dragon (purple cache)
Categories: Age of Conan, World Bosses

The First Portent

December 28, 2013 13 comments

As has recently been announced, open-world raid bosses will now be spawning in Age of Conan for one week each month, and the first one has already been spawning since December 24. It’s a Black Dragon and can spawn either in Tarantia Noble District in front of Conan’s castle, or in Tarantia Common District at the top of the cliff (where the Rat NPCs are throwing a Crow NPC over the edge). In terms of appearance it looks just like Vistrix, or like the Black Dragon that we had for the 5th anniversary event in May 2013. The current Black Dragon has 20.1 million hit points, which is a new record in AoC (the 5th anniversary Black Dragon had “only” 17.3 million HP).


(Click to enlarge.)

Encounter mechanics

The mechanics of the fight are very simple. Several unattackable Dragon Cultist NPCs spawn first, which is a sign that the dragon will appear soon; it spawns about 5 minutes later. It does crushing white hits on the aggro holder; it also has two frontal cone fire aoe attacks, Dark Flames (hits for 2-3 k) and Funeral Flames (hits for 5-6 k). Funeral Flames has a slower cast and, I think, a narrower cone, so it’s pretty easy to avoid. Even the aggro holder can avoid these cones since the dragon doesn’t turn while casting them. There is also a 360-degree aoe knockback called Shockwave (as always, doubletapping helps you get back into the fight faster), and a ranged single-target attack called Fireball, which the dragon will use on the aggro holder if it can’t reach him with melee attacks.

Hunting the dragon

The dragon spawns are fairly predictable. When the cultists appear, you can set a timer for 2:20 hours or so and that will give you the time when the next set of cultists will appear in the same instance (assuming that the dragon spawned by the first set of cultists will be killed promptly). By keeping track of the timers of as many instances as possible, you can have a pretty good idea of where to go next. Note that in the busier times of the day, instances sometimes fill up as much as 30 minutes before the next boss spawns there.

To switch between instances, you should be near a rez pad and click the yellow triangle next to your minimap to bring up the instance selection window. If the instance you’re looking for isn’t shown in the instance selection window, that’s usually a sign that it’s already full. The capacity of each instance seems to currently be limited to 70-ish players, which is an annoyingly small number (during the 5th anniversary events, the limit was much higher; as a result, the fights were more laggy but it was much easier to get into an instance, and they hardly ever filled up before a boss actually spawned). Another possible reason why an instance might not be shown in the instance selection window is because it has already reset and despawned. This can happen if there are no players in it for a couple minutes.

Note that both the Common District and the Noble District support epic instances in addition to normal ones. You can recognize epic ones by the fact that they are labelled as “Playfield” in the instance selection window, instead of with the actual name of the playfield. You can’t use the instance selection window to switch from a normal instance to an epic one or vice versa; for that, you’ll actually need to zone out to a different playfield (the Armsman’s Tavern is a good option for switching in the Noble District, for example) and then choose normal or epic appropriately when zoning back in.

If you are in a group and the group leader is in a different instance than yourself, you’ll probably get a popup message asking if you want to switch to the leader’s instance. If you try to do so, but the leader’s instance is already full, you’ll get stuck on the loading screen and you’ll have to restart your client, so don’t do that.


(Click to enlarge.)

Quests and loot mechanics

There is a quest called The Twelve Portents, given by the new Astromancer NPC on the steps of the Old Tarantia library. It requires you to kill twelve open-world bosses and gives you one of four new legendary cloaks as quest rewards. Which four cloaks you get to choose from depends on the archetype:

  • Soldiers:
    • Dragon Scale Mantle of the Living Legend: 95 str, 40 con, 38 hit rtg, 41 hate inc rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Fallen Leviathan’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 187 armor, 75 con, 55 hit rtg, 43 immunity rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Conversant Mantle of the Living Legend: 529 combat rtg, 60 hit rtg, 50 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 73 offhand rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Infernal Mantle of the Living Legend: 52 con, 90 magic dmg, 45 hit rtg, 40 crit dmg rtg, 120 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Priests:
    • Savior’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 56 con, 13.1 nat mana regen, 425 heal rtg, 50 hit rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Beast Hunter’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 94 str, 227 heal rtg, 292 combat rtg (2hb), 55 hit rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Thunder Mantle of the Living Legend: 187 armor, 75 con, 55 hit rtg, 43 immunity rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Star Touched Mantle of the Living Legend: 42 con, 60 wis, 64 magic dmg, 60 hit rtg, 68 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Rogues:
    • Conversant Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Slayer’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 100 dex, 274 combat rtg, 45 hit rtg, 22 hate dec rtg, 72 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Fallen Leviathan’s Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Terminator’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 75 str, 362 combat rtg, 62 hit rtg, 62 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Mages:
    • Demon Mantle of the Living Legend: 169 int, 59 hit rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Infernal Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Thunder Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Ash Mantle of the Living Legend: 80 magic dmg (fire), 52 hit rtg, 48 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 480 combat rtg (fire), 5% ooc movement speed

The idea is that a different boss will be spawning each month, but the quest doesn’t specify which world bosses you have to kill. This means that if you miss one of them, you don’t have to wait for an entire year before that boss spawns again; you simply get a new quest update each month when you manage to kill a boss. (See the dev’s testlive forum post.) Currently killing the dragon gives you a Slayer of the Black Dragon buff, which persists through death/zoning and can’t be cancelled; my guess is that the purpose of this buff is to prevent you from getting multiple quest updates from the dragon, and that it will be removed at some future point after the dragon stops spawning for the rest of the year.

Apart from that, you don’t have to take a separate quest each time before you kill the dragon, like you had to do during the 5th anniversary events. Instead, when the dragon dies, a loot cache simply appears directly in your inventory. Normally you get a blue cache (Hunter’s Trove of the Black Dragon), but sometimes you get a purple one instead (Slayer’s Cache of the Black Dragon).

Furthermore, when you open the blue cache, sometimes a purple cache drops out of it.

I was half hoping that the purple cache would then drop a blue cache and I would get stuck in an endless loop, but unfortunately this didn’t happen :P

So far, out of 184 kills, I got 6 purple boxes directly and another 2 purple boxes from opening blue ones.

What can drop from the blue caches?

A bewildering array of items can drop from the caches. I’m sure many things are missing from the list below, and I’ll update it as I get more information. An asterisk * marks items that I didn’t see myself, but were repoted in the comments.

Novelty animations, particles etc.

  • 3 Electric Boogie (gives you an electrical particle around your feet for 5 min)
  • 3 Bottled Spirits (gives you a drunk animation for 30 sec)
  • 3 Sticky Fresh Blood (makes your skin red for 30 min)
  • 3 Mitra’s Blessed Ointment (gives you a halo particle effect above your head for 5 min)
  • Void Essence (makes you look like a ghost — black and semitransparent — for 30 min)
  • 3 Fermented Brain Juices (makes you drunk for 30 sec and makes your skin green for 30 min)
  • 3 Cowardice Remedy (makes your skin blue for 30 min)

By analogy with the 5th anniversary event loot, I would also expect Cool Runnings (gives you a cold mist particle for 5 min) and Flaming Sanducca (gives you a fire particle for 5 min), but I haven’t actually seen anyone getting them yet.

Food and drink

  • 2 Potent Daggamalt
  • 2 Dire Sweetpressed Haste
  • 2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
  • 2 Kingsmight Ale

I never got mana food or potions on my guardian, so I guess these drops adapt to your class, so classes which use mana can probably get those as well.

Old guild renown items

  • Crown of Summer (social head armor)
  • 3 Ritual Knife (makes you drip blood for 60 sec)
  • 3 Prayer Book (creates a 1-minute particle effect that looks a bit like the old Shield of the Risen — a vertical column of light beaming on the ground at the place where you stood while using the book)

These items are the same as those sold by one of the NPC vendors in your guild city tradepost (if you have a sufficient renown level, but the requirement is not very high). That vendor solds several other items, e.g. crowns of other seasons, and I’d expect that those can also drop here; but I didn’t see anyone get one of the other three crowns yet.

AA XP items

  • Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
  • Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
  • Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)

Buff consumables

  • Elixir of Precision (+73 hit rtg for 4 hours)
  • Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation (+15 nat stam regen for 4 hours)
  • Elixir of Guile (+73 crit rtg for 4 hours)*
  • Elixir of Mystical Excellence (+40 magic dmg for 4 hours)*
  • Refined Philtre of Constitution (+5% con for 2 hours)
  • Refined Philtre of Strength (+10% str for 2 hours)
  • I guess that numerous other consumables of this type can also drop, I just haven’t seen them yet. Maybe it depends on your class.
  • Refined Philtre of Intellect (+10% int for 2 hours) [reported by a demo]
  • Refined Philtre of Wisdom (+10% wis for 2 hours)*
  • Minor Elixir of Resurgence (green bop; self-rez at 25% health)

Old raid items

You can get T1/T2 armor and weapons for your class. In my experience, T1 drops more frequently than T2. I got a full set of T1 armor by now, as well as a couple of T2 items.

Bag merchants

You can get a stack of 3 Traveller’s Merchant Contracts. Despite the name, this is a considerably different item than the one sold in the guild city keep (an easy way to tell the difference is by the level; the guild city merchant contract is level 80, the new one from the world boss is level 1). It can be used anywhere, not just near a rez pad, and the resulting merchant sells just one type of bag and nothing else.

The type of bag seems to be chosen at random when you spawn him; with some luck, you can even get a merchant selling the Coffer of Nullity (122-slot bag, which otherwise sells for quite a bit of real-world money in the item shop). The merchant despawns in 2 minutes, but during that time any player can buy the bag from him.

Note that the bags sold by these merchants are exactly the same as the original bags in every way, including their price and binding status. Thus, those bags which are normally available only through /claims or the item shop, and which therefore don’t have a price in gold, will be “sold” by this merchant for free (and will be bind-on-pickup). Bags which are sold by normal vendors elsewhere in the game will also be sold here at the same price (which isn’t very useful as those bags date back to the release of the game and are correspondingly small and expensive).

You can also get a merchant selling crafted bags (Soldier’s / Commander’s Haversack), which are free and bind-on-equip, so you can try reselling them to other players.

Some of the bags are very bizarre; I once saw a merchant selling a bag that was literally called [56 Slot Bag] and it cost 2000 rare trophies (yes, two thousand). This type of bag must have been dragged from somewhere deep within the bowels of the game’s item database, since no vendor hitherto visible to players has AFAIK been selling a bag with such an odd name or such a ridiculous price.

Another “bag” that you might get is a purple one called [Bank Space 50 slots]. The idea presumably is that it will give you 50 new slots in the bank, but from what I’ve heard, it’s currently bugged and overrides your backpack (inventory bag) instead, which is particularly disastrous if your previous backpack was larger than that. So I didn’t dare to use it on my character until this bug is resolved. (I suspect that even then, this item won’t do any good for people like me, who already bought 50 extra bank slots in the item shop.)

[Update: for a while, there was a warning on the patcher, advising people not to buy the [Bank Space 50 slots] bag. From the way the warning was phrased, I got the impression that they don’t intend to fix this item at all — probably it was made just for internal testing purposes and wasn’t really meant to be seen by players, just like the 2000 rare tropy bag.]

[Update 2: one of the subsequent patches disabled these traders, so that consuming the contract didn't do anything at all. Since update 4.1.6, the contracts spawn a merchant again, but reportedly this merchant now just sells worthless social drink consumables. Apparently Funcom never intended to give away any of the decent bags at all :(]

New social armor sets

You get an entire set (all 8 armor pieces) from a single cache. If you don’t have enough inventory space, it will go into an overflow bag on the ground. These are blue, bind-on-pickup items. See near the end of this post for a few screenshots.

  • Sanctum Atlantis — looks like old assasin armor, painted green
  • Shattered Colossus — looks like a retextured Bloodseraph’s (old-world DT dungeon level 80 set)
  • Fallen Leviathan — looks like cloth sets from Ardashir Fort, but red instead of green
  • Titan Killer — looks like the heavy/plate sets from the House of Crom
  • Hero Ascendant — looks somewhat similar to Skyshear set (old-world ToS dungeon level 80 set)
  • Slayer’s — I haven’t found an exact counterpart of this set; the chest is the same as Hyperborean Scout Harness (green social armor from the item shop), and similar to things such as Goremonger’s Harness (barbarian dungeon set) and Hyperborean Grimsword Hauberk (DT culture); the legs are similar to Grizzly Breeches (medium armor from the Iron Tower); the boots, shoulder, wrist and hands are the same as in Balthus’s Woodsman set (medium armor from the Iron Tower).

Other social armor

Some of the following items are green and bind-on-equip.

  • Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic (green boe) — looks the same as Alvazar’s Vest (from Atzel’s Fortress)
  • Snowskin Tiger Cloak (green boe) — looks like one of the recent cloaks from Coils of Ubah Kan, and IIRC was already available at some point in the item shop; other cloaks with models corresponding to Coils of Ubah Kan cloaks can also drop here (see below)
  • Shadowskin Tiger Cloak (green boe)
  • Emberskin Tiger Cloak (green boe)
  • Ivory Tigerskin Cloak (green boe)
  • Amber Mask (blue bop) — a face mask in the style worn by some NPCs in Tarantia Commons (you can also get similar things as quest rewards there)
  • Azure Mask (blue bop) — like as the previous one

Pets

Several of the pets dropping here are, as far as I know, new:

  • Pet: Barachan Gull
  • Pet: Charcoal Firebird Chick
  • Pet: Fat Harry — a big fat toad; I love frogs and this one looks great, but I wish it could hop instead of just walking
  • Pet: Fire Salamander
  • Pet: Frost Salamander
  • Pet: Hippo Calf
  • Pet: Topaz Comodo
  • Pet: War Piglet — to make this of any use in warfare, you’d have to duck-tape a few grenades to it and send it into the enemy lines :P
  • Pet: Wolverine Kit

Some of the pets are also available elsewhere:

  • Pet: Black Cobra — the same that is sold by one of the NPCs in the tradepost of Stygian guild cities; it is tradable, so you can also buy it from other players
  • Pet: Field Mouse — probably the same as the one sold by an NPC in Old Tarantia
  • I would imagine that other pets from the same vendors also drop here (e.g. the cats that you can buy in Aquilonian guild cities, and dogs/wolves that you can buy in Cimmerian ones, but I haven’t actually seen anybody get these here yet.

Several dancing pets also drop; there’s one for every combination of sex and race:

  • Pet: Aquilonian Folk Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Aquilonian Folk Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Cimmerian Folk Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Cimmerian Folk Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Khitan Ceremonial Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Khitan Ceremonial Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Stygian Snake Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Stygian Snake Dancer (Female)

What can drop from the purple caches?

In my experience, by far the most common drop from these caches is 3–5 Simple Relics III (i.e. same as those that drop in Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold). It can also drop an urn with 10 simple relics III instead, or a T3 Rare Relic (suitable for the recipient’s archetype, of course).

By far the most coveted drop from these caches is a new legendary pet, Mini-Pet: Black Dragon. It’s annoyingly rare, but with enough farming your chances of getting it are fairly decent. In my guild we’ve had 8 of them drop so far; I got mine from the 106th dragon kill (most of the people who got the pet so far, got it with considerably less farming than that). See near the end of this post for a few screenshots.

Additionally, I’ve also seen people linking a large number of new purple weapons and accessories (all bind-on-pickup), which can presumably drop from these purple caches. You will always get something suitable for your class, keeping in mind of course that Funcom’s idea of what is suitable might be slightly different from yours. I’ve seen the following items so far:

  • Weapons and shields:
    • Bounty Hunter’s Dirk (dagger): 79.7 dps, 409 combat rtg (dagger), 50 hit rtg, 48 crit rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg
    • Hero’s Clan Blade (1he): 117.9 dps, 355 combat rtg (1he), 28 crit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 46 crit dmg rtg, 35 offhand rtg, 45 health tap rtg
    • Paladin’s Baneblade (1he):* 119.6 dps, 32 str, 131 combat rgs, 56 hit rgs, 33 crit rgs, 35 hate inc rtg, 57 crit dmg rtg
    • Paladin’s Siege Shield: 939 armor, 60 con, 45 hit rtg, 34 hate inc rtg, 182 protection — uses the same model as the beloved old-world purple shield, Aegis of Five Mercies!
    • Paladin’s Widowmaker (2he): 139.9 dps, 591 combat rtg (2he), 81 hit rtg, 65 crit rtg, 55 hate inc rtg, 80 crit dmg rtg, 166 protection
    • Repressor’s Dagger*: 77.6 dps, 58 magic dmg, 40 hit rtg, 26 crit rtg, 16 hate dec rtg, 50 crit dmg rtg, 45 magic life tap rtg, 45 magic mana tap rtg
    • Repressor’s Flamebrand (2he): 140.4 dps, 111 magic dmg (fire), 70 hit rtg, 70 crit rtg, 25 hate dec rtg, 100 crit dmg rtg, 610 combat rtg (fire)
    • Repressor’s Trident (staff): 67.3 dps, 71 con, 205 int, 9.4 nat mana regen, 112 crit rtg, 30 hate dec rtg, 135 crit dmg rtg
    • Terminator’s Diremaul*: 119.5 dps, 347 combat rtg, 30 crit rtg, 48 fatality rtg, 50 crit dmg rtg, 46 offhand rtg
    • Terminator’s Dreadmaul: 139.2 dps, 171 str, 30 con, 128 combat rtg (2hb), 40 hit rtg, 80 crit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 100 crit dmg rtg
    • Savior’s Totem Pole (staff)*: 67.3 dps, 209 wis, 360 mana, 92 nat mana regen, 90 hit rtg, 60 crit rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg
  • Rings:
    • Asp of Mystical Supremacy (ring): 225 mana, 75 magic dmg, 18 hate dec rtg
    • Golden Ring of Dexterity: 85 dex, 195 combat rtg
    • Hallowed Ring of Divine Blessings: 74 wis, 225 mana, 186 heal rtg
    • Iron Band of Constitution (ring): 164 armor, 73 con, 52 crit rtg
    • Pearl Ring of Assault: 44 evade rtg, 55 hit rtg, 55 crit rtg, 44 immunity rtg, 120 prot
    • Ruby Ring of Strength: 82 str, 204 combat rtg
    • Runic Band of Inherent Hatred (ring): 78 con, 30 crit rtg, 30 hate inc rtg, 133 protection
    • Skull Clasp of Bloody Carnage (ring): 427 combat rtg, 50 crit rtg, 45 fat rtg, 15 hate dec rtg
    • Snakehead of Intelligence (ring): 126 int, 3.1 nat mana regen
  • Necklaces:
    • All-Seeing-Eye of Mystical Supremacy (necklace): 98 int, 3.5 nat mana regen, 50 hit rtg, 25 hate dec rtg
    • Bear Claws of Divine Might (necklace)*: str, heal rtg
    • Mitra’s Mark of Divine Blessings (necklace): 94 wis, 5 nat mana regen, 169 heal rt, 55 crit dmg rtg
    • Tribal Necklace of Bloody Carnage: 8.3 nat stam regen, 397 combat rtg, 28 hate dec rtg, 55 offhand rtg

A few screenshots

This is the Sanctum Atlantis set, one of the new social sets. Note that the head piece can clip very badly with your hair.


And this is the Shattered Colossus set:


Here’s the Slayer’s set:


The new Black Dragon mini-pet is in fact pretty decently sized:


(Click to enlarge.)

It has a nice fire-breathing animation:


(Click to enlarge.)


(Click to enlarge.)

And here’s that terrifying beast of war, the Pictish War Piglet:


(Click to enlarge.)

The Fire Salamander is less impressive than I expected:


(Click to enlarge.)

And here’s Fat Harry, great for frog-lovers like myself, I just wish it could hop instead of just walking:


(Click to enlarge.)

I’ll add more screenshots if/when I get more gear and pets.

New unchained loot

December 23, 2013 3 comments

As is well known, the new unchained dungeons have a somewhat new-fangled loot system: bosses don’t drop loot directly; instead, they just drop caches (Unopened Chest = green; Acheronian Cache = blue; Mystical Acheronian Cache = purple), which then drop loot when you open them. The green caches are tradable, the blue and purple ones are bind-on-pickup. Purple caches drop very rarely and you mostly get them as quest rewards from completing the new quest from a poster at the beginning of unchained dungeons. (The quest is called Mastering the Old World and requires you to clear four unchained dungeons: Amphitheatre of Karutonia, Scorpion Cave, Caravan Raiders’ Hideout, and the Halls of Eternal Frost.)

In another departure from their usual practice, the devs posted pictures of all the new loot on the testlive forum some time ago. As we can see from that thread, among other things there are nine ‘new’ sets of armor — in terms of appearance, they are just copies of various existing sets (mostly from Xibaluku and the Amphitheatre of Karutonia), but they have new names and stats here. Each set consists of four purple parts (head, chest, hands, wrist) and four blue ones (legs, feet, belt, shoulder). In my experience, green caches don’t drop any of this armor; blue caches drop the blue parts and, very rarely, purple ones; purple caches drop only the purple ones.

What exactly can drop from those caches seems to depend on the class of the character on which you’re opening them. For example, among those nine armor sets, my guardian only gets two: Fallen Empire (plate) and Red Ruin (heavy). I wouldn’t be surprised if most non-soldier classes just got one set. Thus, you can’t really collect other sets than those which the system allows to drop for your class. From what I’ve heard, the non-unchained version of Caravan Raiders’ Hideout now also drops new sets with the same appearance but presumably worse stats, and doesn’t employ the new cache system, so it should be possible to collect sets there with any class you like; but I haven’t been there yet myself so I don’t know anything definite about this.

The Fallen Empire full-plate set

Anyway, after opening 36 purple caches and 56 blue ones, I finally completed one of the new armor sets, namely Fallen Empire:


As we can see, it looks exactly the same as the Acheronian Keeper set, i.e. guardian culture armor. The only difference is that culture armor sets lack wrists and shoulders, whereas the Fallen Empire set has all 8 parts.

In terms of stats, the purple parts of the set are pretty nice, comparable to Khitai faction sets or perhaps even slightly better. Too bad that only half of the set is purple.

I don’t have the complete heavy set (Red Ruin) yet, but it appears to be using the same models as full-plate armor from Xibaluku. (There also exists a heavy set in Xibaluku, but AFAIK none of the nine new unchained sets looks like it.) I like the Fallen Empire set better than Red Ruin, mostly because of its black color and golden sheen. Additionally, the helm from the Red Ruin set looks completely ugly, sort of like an Acheronian equivalent of a gimp mask.

I have long had a soft spot for Acheronian-style plate armor. I remember first seeing it in a screenshot of the guardian culture armor which was published by the devs some time before they launched the culture armor system (update 1.03); I was impressed by its menacingly bad-ass overall appearance, as well as by how revealing and non-platy it was. It is a common complaint against video games that they make female characters’ armor look unrealistically skimpy, but the armor that was available in Age of Conan at launch seemed to avoid this problem better than I would have expected. The full-plate armor that my guardian was wearing (from the Resolute and Steelspirit sets, especially the former) covered her up pretty thoroughly and made her look like a tin can. Compared to that, Acheronian-style plate was like a breath of fresh air.

But in the early months after culture armor was introduced, the recipes were so rare and the resulting items so expensive that I didn’t even think about buying any of it. A few months later, update 1.04 included Xibaluku, which had plenty of new Acheronian-style armor drops. This included several pieces of full-plate gear; I got myself a chest (Voidcage) and legs (Impenetrable Legguards), both of which were in fact small upgrades compared to what I was wearing before (probably the Steelspirit chest and Resolute legs), but what I liked even more was how much better my character looked wearing them :P It was this discovery that set my previously demure guardian on a long road of wearing slutty plate armor. In any case, I’m glad that both styles of Acheronian plate armor have now become more widely available as a result of the new unchained loot system.

The Red Ruin heavy set

I was plagued by bad luck when farming this set; it took me about 5 months to get the chest piece (after opening 134 blue and 111 purple caches; meanwhile I got most of the other parts of the set multiple times, of course).

The main problem with this heavy set is of course the helmet, which makes you look like Hannibal Lecter’s more dangerous and less well-adjusted cousin:


Having zoomed in and checked carefully, I think I can safely say that there are no holes for the eyes whatsoever. Let’s hope the helmet is well-padded as you’re going to bang into a lot of things if you wear it :P

If you get rid of the helmet and the belt (the latter seems to have been pilfered from a semi-retired wrestling hero), you’re left with a pretty decent-looking set of slutplate armor, though I think I still prefer the Fallen Empire / Acheronian Keeper set. The shiny black color makes that set look much more badass and menacing, as you would expect from an Acheronian set. You can almost hear the screams of victims on the altars as you walk around wearing it :P

Much like the other “new” unchained armor sets, the models of this set are anything but new. It’s the same as the full-plate set from Xibaluku (Voidcage (chest), Impenetrable Legguards, Nescient Helm, Warlord’s Cinch (belt), Spiteful Gauntlets; there reportedly also exist boots called Bloodfeint Sabatons; I’m not sure about wrists and shoulders). The same models are also used Some of these models are also used in the normal (level 63) version of the Amphitheatre of Karutonia (full plate: Bloodbrute Chestguard, Bloodbrute Legguards; heavy: Frostmaw Helm, Frostmaw Gauntlets, Frostmaw Boots, Frostmaw Vambraces). The helmet model is also reused as the Mask of the Master Gaoler, which drops from Norach + Surberec in Xibaluku since 4.1.

In terms of stats, the purple parts of the Red Ruin set are similar to e.g. Tiger heavy armor from Khitai, but with a bit less constitution (and some combat rating replaced by strength).

Pharaoh’s Guard social set

This set isn’t new either; it’s been available in the item shop for a long time, pretty much ever since the item shop was introduced. (Currently it doesn’t seem to be available individually but only as part of the “Hyborian Steel Style Pack”.) It’s a green social armor set with no level requirement; somewhat surprisingly, it consists of just 7 parts — everything except the belt. It drops from green and blue Acheronian caches.

In terms of appearance, it’s similar to other Stygian-themed sets, especially Stygian Deathcoil (ToS culture armor). In fact the legs, feet and hands are exactly the same in Stygian Deathcoil and in Pharaoh’s Guard. So if you don’t like the fact that Pharaoh’s Guard lacks a belt, you could use Stygian Deathcoil Belt and it would probably match the rest of Pharaoh’s Guard pretty well.


What do the new unchained sets look like?

Hell Walker (demo/necro): several parts of this set (shoulder, hands, wrists, legs, feet) are the same as in the Bloodseer’s set (HoX level 80 old-world dungeon set). The chest is the same as Catacomb Tunic, a level 59 blue item dropping from the Catacomb Stalker Queen in the Catacombs. The rest seems to be mostly in the style of cloth gear from Xibaluku.

Bloodhunter (sin): judging by the pictures in the testlive forum, this seems to be the same shape as the previous set but completely black. I don’t think I’ve seen items like that before.

Crimson Slaughter (HoX): judging by the pictures, it seems to look exactly the same as Bloodhunter.

Blood God (PoM/ToS): looks the same as the Crusader’s Abyss social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Death Master (barb): looks the same as the Abyssal Battle social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Blood Drinker (ranger): looks the same as the Acheronian Convoker social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Sanguine Disciple (BS): this is an interesting mixture of several earlier sets. Some parts are the same as the Blood Drinker / Acheronian Convoker set; a few parts, however, look as if you took the shape of the Doomsayer set (HoX PvP T1 armor) but the color of the Ashbone of Oblivion set (social armor from the Amphitheatre unchained). This is very easy to see on the chest, but also applies to the head.

Red Ruin (heavy): looks the same as full-plate armor from Xibaluku.

Fallen Empire (plate): looks the same as the Acheronian Keeper set (guardian culture armor).

Cloaks from the Demigod of Acheron

The Demigod of Acheron, the last boss in Caravan Raiders’ Hideout (unchained), drops one of four new cloaks.

Here’s the Abyssal Cloak of the Death Master (with melee DPS stats: 167 armor, 531 combat rtg, 62 hit rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg), though it seems to me that all four cloaks look very similar anyway.

Next, here’s the Abyssal Cape of the Fallen Empire (with tanking stats: 151 armor, 52 con, 30 hate inc rtg, 262 protection; it’s like taking Amra’s Pride and replacing hit rating and crit damage rating with hate increase rating).

And this is the Abyssal Cloak of the Hell Walker (33 con, 75 magic dmg, 41 hit rtg, 30 hate dec rtg, 56 crit dmg rtg):

Finally, here’s the Abyssal Cloak of Crimson Slaughter (28 str, 76 magic dmg (fire), 35 hate dec rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg, 178 combat rtg (fire)):

Considering how hard it is to kill that boss, I was expecting the cloaks to look more impressive and less faded. And it seems they all look more or less the same, with slight variations in color.

Accessories from the Excavators quest

I got the following beautiful bind-on-pickup purple cloak, Great Cloak of Blessed Winds (117 wis, 193 heal rtg, 45 hit rtg, 54 crit dmg rtg), on my ToS from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit (purple cache that you get as a quest reward from the excavators quest):

Given the stats, I would imagine that PoMs can also get it. The amount of heal rating is unusually high for a cloak; only the Cloak of Shivering Stars (from the Coils of Ubah Kan) is comparable (201 heal rtg), but has just 80 wisdom and no hit rating. The T4 cloak has only 72 heal rtg, but on the other hand it has 122 wis and an extra 20 magic damage. (Two of the legendary cloaks from the Portents quest will have still more heal rating: 227 on the BS legendary cloak and 425 on the non-DPS healer cloak.)

Judging by the dev’s post on the testlive forum, there is also a Bear Shaman cloak with the same style, but orange instead of white; as well as a dexterity necklace and a HoX ring.

Pets

The new caches from unchained dungeons also have a chance of dropping various pets. Here are some screenshots of the ones I’ve found so far:

Pet: Shredder

This is a hyena pet that dropped from a green cache. It’s about the same size as normal hyenas in Kheshatta.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Demigod

When they say mini-pet, they aren’t joking. It’s intended to look like the Demigod of Acheron, the difficult final boss of Caravan Raiders’ Hideout, but in practice this also makes it look like a tiny chill crawler. It dropped from a blue cache.


(Click to enlarge.)

Occasionally, an even tinier humanoid figure spawns in front of it and starts worshipping it:


(Click to enlarge.)

The worshipper appears to be wearing the Hell Walker armor set (see above).

Pet: Living Statue

This pet looks like one of the Acheronian statues that come alive in the Halls of Eternal Frost (and is also the same size). It dropped from a blue cache.


(Click to enlarge.)

Pet: Scorpion Archer

I really like this pet. It’s at least as large as the Scorpion Archers in Kheshatta. For some of us it brings back uncomfortable memories of that time in Summer 2008 when one of the patches unintentionally buffed all archer mobs in the game, making the Scorpion Archers ridiculously overpowered :) It dropped from a purple cache. Occasionally it’s surrounded by a nice green particle, as you can see in the screenshot below:


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Forsaken Child of Yig

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit, i.e. one of the purple caches that you get as a reward from the other new quest, “In the Service of the Excavators” (which requires you to clear Ardashir Fort, Sepulcher of the Wyrm, Coils of Ubah Kan and the Vile Nativity). As you can see, it’s basically a small skeletal serpentman.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Un Nefer

This pet dropped from a purple cache (Mystical Acheronian Cache). He looks like a miniature Un Nefer from the Halls of Eternal Frost and has various spell-casting animations:


(Click to enlarge.)

Eventually he spawns two even tinier pets. Then he turns towards you, does the /rude emote and then they all stand there and stare at you :P


(Click to enlarge.)

You can’t accuse him of being undergeared, however — he’s wearing the Filament of Nightmare (T3 crafted staff):


(Click to enlarge.)

Pet: Emperor Scorpion

This pet dropped from a green cache; the pet itself doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup either, so I guess you could even buy one on the trader. The description says it’s a “giant scorpion”, which in practice turns out to mean that it’s about the same size as the regular scorpion mobs in Kheshatta.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Undead Guardian

Just like the scorpion, this one also dropped from a green cache and doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup. The description says that “his social skills are questionable at best”, and indeed he has various silly and rude emotes and animations, including the famous drunken piss emote:


(Click to enlarge.)

In fact this is pretty much the same behavior as the Corrupted Self pet from Xibaluku; just the model of the pet is different (and smaller), and it wears different armor.

Mini-Pet: Queen Cao-Polyphya

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit.


Note: the pet is the ugly malevolent hag on the left,
not the beautiful guardian on the right :P (Click to enlarge.)

She does various emotes and has a couple of magic-looking animations:


(
Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Acheronian Raider

This pet dropped from a green cache. He doesn’t seem to do anything particularly interesting, just a few emotes such as /track and /poundchest.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Deep Walker

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit. It’s one of the adds from the General Arman fight in Ardashir Fort. It doesn’t do anything interesting, except turning left and right every now and then in a vaguely paranoid way.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Acheronian Bloodletter

This pet dropped from a blue cache and is really small, barely reaching up to your hips. She wears the Hell Walker armor set, wields a sword or maybe a large dagger, and has two or three different combo animations.


(Click to enlarge.)

She also has a long worshipping animation:

Pet: Atlantean Shade

This pet (which dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit) looks like the Atlantean ghosts in the Threshold of Divinity. It also does more or less the same emotes as they — /poundchest, /cheer, /laughheartily and several others. The green-on-white assassin-style set he’s wearing is, as far as I know, not available to players, but the red-on-white and red-on-black versions are. He always carries a polearm, which seems to be chosen randomly when you spawn him: it can be either the T1/T2 guardian polearm or the T1/T2 ToS polearm.


(Click to enlarge.)

A bit of statistics

I haven’t really opened enough caches yet to be able to collect any reliable statistics; and besides, it’s possible that some of the drop rates were changed in the 4.1.5 patch. But we can at least have a rough idea of what things can drop from what kinds of caches.

Unopened Chest (green)

This cache can drop one or two of the following things:

What How many times it dropped
3 Daggamalt 21
3 Sweetpressed Haste 15
3 Moonspill 17
Manual of Instruction [2000 Mastery AA XP] 21
Manual of Discipline [10000 Mastery AA XP] 10
Flask of Completion [20000 Mastery AA XP] 2
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 4
2 Kingsmight Ale 5
money (1–5 silver) 34
an old-world level 80 blue BoE item (not from one of the level 70–80 sets); e.g. I got a Freestrider Tasset and a Deathvigil Tunic 2
Pet: Shredder 1

When we say that two of these things can drop, they can be the same thing twice, so you might get e.g. 6 Daggamalt from one chest. The table above shows 132 drops from opening 117 caches, so a double drop occurred in 15 caches.

It seems that food drops take your class into account, but potions don’t: my guardian sometimes gets Moonspill (mana potion), but never Bloodpurple Ale (mana food).

I guess that other pets besides the Shredder are also possible, but they haven’t dropped for me yet.

It would be interesting to learn more about the distribution of the amount of money that can drop from these caches, but this is complicated by the fact that if the cache decides to drop two things, and both of those things happen to be money, the game will show you just the total amount and not each individual drop. So what we would expect to observe in our data is really a mixture of two uniform distributions: one for regular money drops and one (with a smaller probability) for double drops. It is well known that many money drops in the game follow a uniform distribution of the form [a, 3a]; however, this can’t be the case here because the lowest money drop I’ve seen from these caches was 1.0062 silver, and on the other hand I once got 3 Daggamalt + 3.6016 silver from the same cache, so a regular (i.e. non-double) drop can clearly go at least up to 3.606 silver. What is more, if an individual drop can be up to 3.6 silver, you’d expect a double drop to go up to 7.2 silver, but the highest drop I’ve ever seen was 4.9216 silver. Indeed the distribution of money drops I’ve seen so far doesn’t look like a mixture of two uniform distributions, but like a single uniform distribution on the range from 1 to 5 silver. But I have just 34 data points so far, so it’s hard to be really sure about anything.

Acheronian Cache (blue)

Here are the results after opening 56 blue caches on my guardian. Again each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following:

What How many times it dropped
money (10–46 silver) 3
Food:
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 8
2 Kingsmight Ale 1
Green armor:
Pharaoh’s Guard Gloves 1
Pharaoh’s Guard Goldmail 1
Pharaoh’s Guard Helm 2
Pharaoh’s Guard Shenti 1
Pharaoh’s Guard Sleevelets 1
Blue armor:
Belt of Red Ruin 3
Belt of the Fallen Empire 3
Greaves of Red Ruin [feet] 4
Greaves of the Fallen Empire 4
Rerebrace of Red Ruin [shoulder] 6
Rerebrace of the Fallen Empire 7
Tasset of Red Ruin [legs] 8
Tasset of the Fallen Empire 8
Purple armor:
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire [wrist] 1
Buffs:
Elixir of Guile [73 crit rtg] 4
Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [15 nat stam regen] 3
Elixir of Precision [73 hit rtg] 2
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg] 1
Pets:
Mini-Pet: Demigod 1
Pet: Living Statue 1

Oddly, I’ve never seen a case of a double food drop, e.g. getting 4 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir or something like that. I also never saw a double drop of blue/purple armor pieces, though I did see a green + blue armor drop or 2 green armor drops. I guess that with more data, the missing combinations might also show up. It’s also very odd that stamina food is so rare compared to HP food.

The Pharaoh’s Guard is a green social set that is also available in the item shop — it’s been available there pretty much ever since the item shop was introduced. Currently it doesn’t seem to be available individually but only as a part of the ‘Hyborian Steel Style Pack’ (which includes two other social sets). It seems to consist of seven parts: in addition to the five in my above table, there are also boots and shoulders. (In fact I got the boots from a blue cache on my ToS.) The armor set has a Stygian style and is somewhat similar to ToS culture armor (Stygian Deathcoil; in fact the legs appear to be completely identical).

For the money drops, we have far too little data to say anything concrete. I saw 3 money drops on my guardian: 10.8027 s, 10.4923 s and 46.0483 s; the first two dropped together with an armor piece, while the third one dropped by itself so maybe it’s intended as a double drop. I also saw one drop of 34.5042 s on my ToS.

The Elixirs are part of the same system that has been in the game for a long time. They are all 4-hour buffs and persist through death; the Refined ones are blue instead of green and give you twice the stat modifier of their green counterpart.

Probably there are more pets and purple armor drops than shown in the above table; I’ll update it as I get more data.

Mystical Acheronian Cache (purple)

Here are the results after opening 36 purple caches on my guardian. Each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following:

What How many times it dropped
Blue potions:
5 Potent Daggamalt 4
5 Dire Sweetpressed Haste 3
Purple armor:
Cuirass of the Fallen Empire [chest] 1
Gauntlets of the Fallen Empire 1
Helm of the Fallen Empire 2
Mask of Red Ruin 1
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire [wrist] 3
Other purple gear:
Ring of Ancient Python 1
Claw of the Death Master 1
Buffs:
Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg] 1
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen] 1
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con] 11
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str] 10
Other:
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff] 3
Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point] 2
Pet: Scorpion Archer 1

I’ll never understand how they imagine an elixir that gives you 30 stamina every four seconds — it would still be utterly worthless at twenty times the amount — to be equivalent to one that increases your critical chance by 5%…

The Ring of Ancient Python is a nice protection ring (52 con, 52 hit rtg, 267 protection) which, as far as I know, can drop pretty much for any class. It uses the same model as Devourer’s Ring of the Abyss (a protection ring from the Amphitheatre of Karutonia).

The Claw of the Death Master is a decent one-handed blunt (116.1 dps, 86 str, 47 hit rtg, 47 crit rtg, 55 crit dmg rtg). Judging by the name, it seems to be intended as a DPS-oriented weapon (the Death Master is also the name of the barbarian light armor set, see above), but it would also be good for a tank. Just like the ring, this blunt weapon also reuses an old model: identical looking weapons include Bonemaim (level 78 old-world BoE blue) and the Gargantuan Fist (which used to drop from the Gargant in the old Scorpion Cave; that boss is gone in 4.1.4 but presumably the weapon still drops from one of the bosses in the normal version of the dungeon).

See also the previously mentioned forum thread for other weapons and accessories that can drop from these caches, but note that the stats are now a bit different than what is shown on the old screenshots there.

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Vanity Gear

Scorpion Cave unchained

November 23, 2013 5 comments

Cave Crusher Tyrant

This is a boss that spawns after you destroy a scorpion nest. It’s just a tank and spank fight; it’s mostly interesting because it drops an Antivenom Sac, which is needed to remove a dot in the Shah boss fight (see below). You should let the tank(s) get the Antivenom Sac first, though eventually if you kill enough nests, you can get enough sacs for everyone.

The Shah

This is mostly a tank and spank fight. Occasionally the boss casts Relentless Venom, which puts a dot on the aggro holder; this dot stacks and eventually starts hurting pretty badly, so the tank should click his Antivenom Sac to remove his dot. The sac has a bit of a cooldown and the boss reapplies the dot often, but you should at least be able to keep your dot to 3 stacks or less this way.

The scorpion nest in the boss’s room will activate during the fight and spawn waves of minions, so it helps if you tank the boss by the nest so that you can DPS both him and the minions at the same time.

Scorpion Archer Prince

Every now and then, he targets a random player and casts Berserker Toxin. The targeted player gets charmed (Will of Selket, 35 sec) and also gets a +500% damage modifier and +40% hinder movement (Berserker Toxin, also 35 sec). At the same time, an add called Scorpion Dominator also spawns.

The charmed player hits very hard due to his damage buff, so be careful that he doesn’t kill other people. You can cc him or kite him. Focus your dps on the Scorpion Dominator; once this add is dead, the charmed player gets uncharmed, but his damage buff doesn’t get removed, so he can now do very high dps on the boss for a few seconds.

This extra dps on the boss is very important in this fight since the boss has 2.4 million HP (update: reduced to 2.1 million HP in update 4.1.5) and a 5:30 minute enrage timer. So you should focus on uncharming people as quickly as possible (by killing the adds), thereby giving them more time to dps the boss with their damage buff.

Scorpion Zealot / Scorpion Abomination

This is mostly a tank and spank fight, but the boss also spawns adds (Scorpion Vessel), which you should kill as quickly as possible, otherwise their aoe (Evolve) eventually hits too hard.

At 50%, the boss transforms (from Zealot to Abomination) and starts doing crushing damage instead of poison, but apart from that the fight is largely the same. He has two new abilities:

Scorpion Sting is a frontal cone root; you can avoid it by moving out of the frontal cone.

Dread Claw is a powerful frontal cone aoe attack, which comes immediately after Scorpion Sting.

The tank can avoid both simply by moving aside during Scorpion Sting and waiting until Dread Claw is over; other players shouldn’t be standing in front of the boss at all.

Constantius the Falcon

Strangling Grasp = 70% hinder movement on people nearby (you can break LOS to avoid getting this snare, but the cast is fairly short); it is followed immediately by Constantine Revenge.

Constantine Revenge = big aoe (16k holy dmg on my necro) over a wide area; people shouldn’t hope to outrun it, and they must break line of sight before the cast is finished. This is made more difficult by the fact that they are probably snared from Strangling Grasp. You should tank the boss near a rock or pillar or something of that sort to make it easier to break the line of sight.

A tank with good protection can stay next to the boss and use cunning deflection instead of having to run out and break line of sight. This is useful since he can then cc the boss quickly during Constantine Renewal (see below).

Note that the Constantine Revenge also hits any undestroyed scorpion nests within their range. This can eventually destroy the nests and cause Cave Crusher Tyrant bosses to spawn during the Constantius fight. So if you wiped a few times on Constantius, check the health of the nests before the next pull.

Constantine Renewal = comes immediately after Constantine Revenge; this is a massive channeled heal, 60581 points every 3 sec. Fortunately the boss is CCable during this time, so you should CC him to interrupt the heal as quickly as possible.

Float Away = knockback on the aggro holder; it occurs in the middle of the cast rather than at the end. This is a good moment to swap aggro, to prevent the boss from moving to the knockbacked tank (or, even better, you should tank him with your back to a wall). The aggro holder can also doubletap before being kb’ed to shorten the amount of time until he can move again.

Touch of the Grave = frost damage, single-target attack on the aggro holder + it drains all his mana.

The rest of his attacks are slashing white hits on the aggro holder.

He has 1.5 million HP (update: reduced to 1.42 million HP in update 4.1.5) and a 6:30 enrage timer, so the key thing here is to make sure people stay alive (during Constantine Revenge) and to interrupt his heals quickly (Constantine Renewal).

Caravan Raiders’ Hideout unchained

November 21, 2013 9 comments

This dungeon has been changed a fair bit compared to its original normal version (I’m not sure if the same changes have also been made to the normal level 80 version or just to the unchained level 85 version). Prince Abaddon, the fifth boss, has been replaced by a Demigod of Acheron; the shape of the tunnels has changed a bit, and a door has been added which now forces you to cycle through the dungeon in one particular direction and not in the opposite direction.

Blood for the Blood God

Each of the first four bosses here (Jathred, Medjian, Sethik, Vral), when his health drops to 10%, starts casting a spell called Blood for the Blood God. This does a (weak) aoe on the players, and at the end of the cast the boss kills himself and puts a debuff on all the players. This debuff is called X’s Ritual Mark, where X is the name of the boss. The debuff persists through death but it can be removed by going into the throne room where the Demigod of Acheron will appear later (or where Prince Abaddon used to appear in the original version of the dungeon; but there didn’t use to be a throne there before, IIRC).

If a player has all four debuffs on him, they are replaced by a single debuff (Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark), which has the same properties as all four individual debuffs put together. Having this new combined debuff allows a player to spawn the Demigod of Acheron by clicking the dinosaur head in the throne room.

However, the debuffs can be very annoying for actually fighting the other bosses; for example, Jathred’s Ritual Mark is a -50% received healing modifier, and you don’t really want e.g. your tanks to be tanking the remaining bosses with that. So what you should do is to have just one DPSer collecting these debuffs, while all the other players in your group go to the throne room after each fight to clear their debuffs.

If you kill a boss before he is finished casting Blood for the Blood God, you won’t get his corresponding debuff and thus you won’t be able to spawn the Demigod of Acheron.

Jathred the Life-Drinker

First phase: tank and spank the boss; he does physical damage; occasionally he runs up the slope and to the right, and starts channeling Sanguinary Revival. This heals him up quite quickly. To interrupt this heal, one of the players should run below the three little waterfalls of blood on the right side of the room. Once the player has done this, he can’t do it again in the same fight, so you should set up an order of doing this beforehand. Going below the blood streams also gives you a -20% received healing modifier, so you should put the tanks last in this order.

Note that when he runs up to start Sanguinary Revival for the first time, it’s likely that he is at 100% or nearly 100% health even before he starts casting Sanguinary Revival (because you didn’t have much time to DPS him and some of the adds might have put a heal on him as well). In that case there’s no point in interrupting this heal — better keep all players available to interrupt the heals later in the fight (as each group member can only do it once).

Second phase: starts when the boss reaches 35% health. Now he will spawn two adds every now and then; they are ranged and hit annoyingly hard, so the players should focus on tanking and killing them.

In this phase, you don’t tank or DPS the boss. Instead, the boss occasionally casts Mark of the Life Drinker on a randomly chosen player. He starts chasing this player around the room and if this player gets hit by the boss, the boss will heal up quite massively. So it’s important that the targeted player starts kiting the boss immediately and keeps a distance from him. Meanwhile other players should deal with the adds, especially because the adds can otherwise snare (and DPS) the kiter.

To make kiting easier, you can snare or root (but not stun) the boss during this phase.

A good way of kiting the boss is to run up the ramp and to the left, and then carefully jump down, to avoid taking too much fall damage and getting too long a snare from the fall.

In the second phase, you just have to focus on kiting him correctly (to prevent him healing up) and dealing with the adds; you don’t have to actually tank or DPS him as he’ll lose health automatically anyway.

Medjian the Unholy

This boss does magic damage, so tanks should wear protection gear. In fact it’s useful if everyone wears gear with lots of HP and possibly protection.

Frost Void = aoe attack centered on the boss; move away, out of the circle which you’ll see spawning on the ground.

Forgotten Soul = means that the boss will start spawning skulls. This is followed by one or more Soul Binder casts, each of which is targeted on a different random player.

For each Soul Binder, a skull spawns from one of the four sarcophaguses and starts following the player that was targeted by that Soul Binder cast. This player has to click the sarcophagus from which the skull emerged; this will despawn the skull.

If the player clicks any of the other sarcophaguses, he gets KB’ed. If the skull reaches him (or touches any other player), the boss heals up by about 10%, so it’s very important to avoid this. (Players touched by the skull also take some damage and receive a −100% unholy invulnerability debuff (Bound Soul).

So if you’re the one targeted by Soul Binder, it’s best to walk around the outer edges of the room, behind the sarcophaguses, until you reach the correct sarcophagus and click it. Don’t lead the skulls through the middle of the room (where the other players are tanking and spanking the boss meanwhile). Don’t waste too much time walking around while the skull is following you, as it eventually gets faster and faster and will catch up with you.

Ideally you should move near the entrance of the room when the boss starts casting Forgotten Soul; this way you’ll be a bit farther away from the sarcophaguses, which means you’ll have more time to start kiting the skull if it happens to target you.

Initially there’s just one skull, later the boss will spawn two or even three at a time. To make it easier to figure out which player has to click which sarcophagus, they are color-coded: the sarcophagus has a colored particle effect, and the player has a particle effect of the same color as the sarcophagus which he must click. The problem is that all these colors look like different shades of black, so they aren’t that easy to tell apart. Still, with a little practice, red and green are easy to recognize, and then of the remaining two you can easily tell yellow apart from black because yellow is lighter after all.

If you look from the entrance towards the boss, the sarcophagus colors are as follows: yellow = near right; black = near left; red = far left; green = far right.

Sethik Bloodblade

The boss stands in the middle of a room, surrounded by about 6 adds (I’ll call them dogs although I suspect they are really hyenas). Don’t charge the boss — that would activate all the dogs as well, and they are group mobs and will wipe you quickly. Instead, stay near the wide pillar at the entrance of the room and fight the boss there; pull him with Irritate.

Incapacitate Foe = frontal cone knockback, you can move out of the cone.

Capture = the boss targets a random player while casting this. The targeted player gets rooted and one of the dogs wakes up and locks its aggro on this player. So if the player is one of the squishies, he’ll have to kite the dog around the pillar. The root lasts 10 seconds, but it’s really a ruin (Capture Ruin) so you can remove with with Steadfast Faith. Various other anti-root abilities also work on it.

Order: Kill = when the boss casts this spell, the dog gets a +250% damage modifier and +50% hinder movement; so it will hit very hard, but on the other hand it will be easier to kite. A squishie gets one- or two-shotted by the dog when it gets buffed like this, so it’s best to just kite the dog all the time.

Order: To the Death = this seems to cause the dog to change its aggro lock to a different player.

So just kite the dogs and DPS them, and also DPS the boss meanwhile. He will wake up new dogs on a regular basis, so you should put enough DPS on the current dog to kill it before the next one is activated. On the other hand the boss also has an enrage timer (5 minutes), so don’t neglect DPS on him either.

Vral the Wrathful

The boss stands on a platform and you should stand on the same platform while fighting him (with one exception, on which more below), or you will take very heavy damage (probably some sort of retributive damage from his Ritualist’s Shield buff).

Invocation = activates some of the candles on the edge of the platform. These candles buff the boss’s DPS, so you should destroy them as quickly as possible. The candles don’t actually take regular damage, but your attacks drain their mana instead; the candle gets deactivated when its mana is down to 0%.

As the fight progresses, the candles get harder and harder to kill (initially each point of damage done by your attacks drains 5 points of the candle’s mana, but later this drops to 4, 3, 2 and finally 1), so make sure to focus enough DPS on them. The way the candles buff the boss is nonlinear (1 candle = 10%; 2 candles = 20%; 3 candles = 40%; 4 candles = 60%; 5 candles = 80%; 6 candles = 150%; 7 candles = 200%); having him buffed by 3 or so candles is tolerable enough, but at 6 candles he gets unsustainable.

Every 25%, he starts casting Reign in Blood. Trails of blood emanate from the players and start making their way towards the boss; when they reach him, he heals up a lot. To prevent him from healing up, everyone should stand near the edge of the platform as the boss comes close to 75, 50 or 25% health; then, when he actually reaches that percentage, everyone should jump off the platform. This way the blood trails will take so long to reach the boss that they won’t actually reach him in time and heal him. It’s a good idea to tank the boss near the edge when he’s close to 75, 50 or 25; he will run to the centre of the platform in preparation for his Reign in Blood Cast, and this will give you a little more time to jump down before he actually starts casting it.

P.S. Curiously, this boss was named Varl, not Vral, before the introduction of this unchained version.

P.P.S. I suspect this dungeon was developed by people with OCD CDO, because the bosses appear in proper alphabetical order :P

Demigod of Acheron

I’m still not quite sure what is the best way of killing this boss. I’d be interested to hear how other people are killing him — let us know in the comments.

Note that when you start the fight, everyone in the group gets a Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark debuff (see the Blood for the Blood God section above for more information), and you’ll have to fight the whole fight with this debuff.

In the first phase, the boss has the following abilities:

Withering = frontal cone aoe attack, it puts a poison dot and a debuff on you (-50% damage modifier, -50% received healing modifier), much like the Unknown in the Coils of Ubah Kan. To avoid this, just move out of the frontal cone. Note that this is the first ability he will use immediately after you start the fight. When you pull him for the first time, everyone will get ported in front of the boss, so be prepared to move out of the frontal cone immediately. For later pulls, it makes sense to have everyone stand behind the boss when you start the fight.

Tail Lash = a wide cone attack that hits behind the boss and on his right side. Either move in front of the boss, on his left side, or sufficiently far away from him (the cone doesn’t go very far). My ToS was getting hit by around 10-10.5k by it. In the first phase of the fight, Tail Lash always comes immediately after the fear (see below).

Will of Acheron = targets a random player and charms him. I’m not sure if Unbinding Charm works, but in any case you should just avoid hurting the charmed player with your splash damage.

Hell Barbs = his primary single-target attack; slashing damage.

Wail of the Darkest Dark = an aoe fear; it starts when the cast begins and ends when the cast ends. A Tail Lash will come immediately afterwards, so be ready to move to the correct side of the boss.

At 50% of health, two adds (group mobs) spawn in the boss room, while the boss himself goes out and starts casting Abyssal Revival, a 30-second channeled self-heal which soon heals him back up to 100%. He then comes back and the fight resumes. In this second phase of the fight, he still has the Withering and Tail Lash abilities, but not the charm and fear. Additionally, every 28 sec or so he casts Seasons of the Abyss, which is a huge magical aoe spell that will oneshot everyone (unless they have a bubble or immunity buff). This spell also ignores line of sight. If someone survives this oneshot spell, the boss casts it again not too long afterwards, etc.

To interrupt his self-heal (Abyssal Revival) and later his one-shot ability (Seasons of the Abyss), you will need to drop barrels on him from the bridge upstairs. You might remember that there are black spots on the ground in front of the boss room, and that mobs standing on the bridge upstairs used to throw exploding barrels on you if you stood near those black spots. Actually, you probably reached that bridge yourself at some point in your walk through the dungeon (on your way from Sethik to Vral). It turns out you can click those barrels by yourself to throw them down, and if you throw them down on the boss, you interrupt whatever he’s doing at the moment; including his self-heal or his oneshot spell. The boss doesn’t have to be exactly on the black spot for this to work; a couple meters away from it is still OK. Any players close to the spot will still take damage (and be briefly stunned) when a barrel drops, so they should stay away from the black spot when a barrel is being dropped.

The boss goes to one of the spots near the entrance to the altar room before casting Abyssal Revival; it’s always the same spot, so you know exactly which barrel to drop to interrupt his heal. Then the tanks will need to move him to a new black spot so that a new barrel can be dropped on him there when he casts Seasons of the Abyss; then you move him again and get ready to interrupt the next Seasons with yet another barrel, and so on until he’s dead. Note that you still have to DPS him in the second phase; the amount of damage he takes from the barrels is fairly small.

When moving the boss around in the second phase, there are a few things you should be careful about. If you try to run too far up the walls of the room, you might fall out of his aggro list, which can be pretty bad if you’re the tank. Other people must of course be careful to avoid his tail lash and withering aoe.

When tanking the boss in the second phase, it’s IME a good idea to keep him turned so that the wall is on his right side; that way, there won’t be any players there that could get hit by Tail Lash. The DPSers can be on the boss’s left side, and the tank should be in front of him; during Withering, he can move to the DPSers for a few seconds to avoid the frontal cone of Withering.

How do you get people up on the bridge to click barrels? One possibility is to have someone waiting up there from the very start of the fight. The advantage of this is that this player can drop a barrel as soon as the boss starts casting Abyssal Revival, so he won’t heal up at all; the disadvantage is that this player is not available downstairs in the first phase of the fight. Another way to get people upstairs is to use the pink teleportation circle that appears at 50% next to the dinosaur head with which you spawned the boss. It appears that this circle starts to work only after the two adds which spawned at 50% are dead, so by the time you can port someone up and have him click the barrel, the boss will probably have healed up to 100% already.

The main problem in the second phase of the fight is the fact that increasingly large numbers of adds start spawning on the bridge upstairs and attacking any players who might be standing there, trying to click barrels. There are several possible ways of trying to cope with this:

- Perhaps the most obvious idea is to port about 3 people upstairs and hope that this will suffice to kill the adds. However, in my experience, the adds spawn in such large numbers (and have so much HP) that even 3 people get overwhelmed. And, of course, the more people you port up on the bridge, the fewer you have left downstairs to actually DPS the boss.

- Apparently some people tried leaving 3 people upstairs on the bridge from the start of the fight. The first phase must be extremely slow and hairy with just 3 people downstairs, but the advantage of this idea is that people who were on the bridge at the start of the fight don’t get the Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark debuff, so they will now find it much easier to fight the adds on the bridge. But in my experience, if they go back down at any point, they will get the debuff then and it will be stuck with them for good (until they zone out etc.).

- Another idea is to have a soldier port up about 10-15 seconds before the boss will start casting the next Seasons of the Abyss; he should just ignore the mobs, run to the correct barrel and click it. The problem is that the mobs’ attacks are very likely to interrupt his clicking of the barrel; if this goes on for too long, the boss will finish his Seasons cast and everyone will die. Using a bubble helps to prevent being interrupted, but sooner or later your bubbles will be on cooldown. After he has clicked the barrel, the soldier should jump down (try to land so that the fall is not too deep, and that you won’t drop in the area reached by Withering or Tail Lash), heal up a little, and get ready to port again in time for the next Seasons.

- Another idea is to have a soldier on the bridge all the time, kiting the adds when he isn’t clicking a barrel. This can get a bit tricky because there are so many adds eventually, but often some of them reset while they are being kited. The adds also have an annoying tendency to interrupt you while you’re clicking the barrel; you might have to CC them or use a bubble to prevent that. Note that having one soldier on the bridge all the time typically means that just one solder is available downstairs for tanking the boss; this is doable with one tank and two healers if they are well geared. This seems to be the most common way of killing this boss nowadays.

Occasionally the boss forcibly teleports one of the players from the bridge back downstairs. IIRC someone said this happens if he feels that he can’t reach the current aggro holder. In any case, you should try to avoid this because it can interfere pretty badly with your barrel-clicking efforts.

A small historical note: before 4.1.5, you could also do this fight by leaving the yellow mobs on the bridge alive, which then meant that you could get *them* to drop barrels simply by having any player move close to the black spot where you had positioned the boss. Thus you didn’t have to send players to the bridge at all. However, the yellow mobs no longer drop barrels during the Demigod fight, so you should just kill them along with all the other mobs on the bridge.

Apart from the usual Acheronian Chests, the boss drops one of four possible purple cloaks with very nice stats:

All cloaks look very similar, with small variations in color:


Abyssal Cloak of the Death Master


Abyssal Cape of the Fallen Empire


Abyssal Cloak of the Hell Walker


Abyssal Cloak of Crimson Slaughter

Halls of Eternal Frost unchained

November 21, 2013 5 comments

Spirit of Un Nefer

There are four mobs with this name, and although they are labelled as bosses in the game, they are really more like minibosses.

Their primary single-target attack does electrical damage, so the tanks should use protection gear. Apart from this, each of them spawns a different kind of adds:

1. The first Spirit casts Raiseth the Dead, which spawns several solo adds (easy to kill).

2. The second Spirit casts Awakening, which spawns several minions (even easier to kill).

3. The third Spirit also casts Awakening, but this now spawns a group trashmob (Living Statue); it can be cc’ed.

4. The fourth Spirit also casts Awakening, which now spawns a group trashmob named Risen Bloodhunter. This add can’t be cc’ed.

The Risen Bloodhunter will occasionally petrify (i.e. stun) one of the players; anybody can unstun a petrified player by clicking him, as if he was a clickable object.

After you’ve killed all 4 spirits, you should click the sands on the balcony as you’ll need them for the Acheronian Warlord fight later. Every player in the group should pick up the sand.

You should also break the urn on the balcony. This will cause the Soul of Un Nefer to spawn (see below). After this point, some of the statues in the dungeon will start becoming active when you move near them, so be careful when moving through the dungeon again.

Soul of Un Nefer

This boss spawns after you break the urn on the balcony; you’ll find him waiting for you in the first big room just after where you killed the first Spirit.

He doesn’t actually hit you by himself. Instead, he spends all of his time spawning adds, using the four abilities that we saw earlier on the Spirits of Un Nefer. So you’ll be getting some minions, some solo mobs and some group mobs — make sure to tank the group adds so that they won’t kill the squishies. As before, the Bloodhunter adds can petrify people, and you will have to click the petrified player to unstun him.

If the boss activates all the statues in the room before you kill him, everyone gets oneshotted.

Acheronian Warlord

- Dealing with the statues and Shatterfield

The boss stands in the middle of the room, and there are 8 statues around him: 4 in the corners and 4 on the sides of the room. Each statue has a Gift of Acheron debuff; at the start of the fight, this debuff has 4:00 minutes left on the corner adds and 2:30 minutes on the side adds. After a statue’s Gift of Acheron debuff expires, it comes alive and has to be tanked and spanked. To avoid having to do this, you should use the Shatterfield mechanic to oneshot the statues (see below).

Occasionally the boss casts a long cast called Shatterfield, during which he targets a random player. This player has to run to a statue and it will get oneshotted; if he isn’t near a statue at the end of the cast, the player himself gets oneshotted instead. Note that this only works on statues that haven’t woken up yet. You can also break line of sight at the end of the cast to avoid being oneshotted.

You should use this mechanic to oneshot the statues before they become alive; make sure to destroy the statues on the sides of the room first, and the ones in the corners later as they have a longer timer before they will wake up.

Other players should avoid being near the player that is being targeted by Shatterfield, or they will take very heavy damage (and likely get oneshotted). Note that this damage already comes during the cast itself, not just at the end!

- Using the sand

The boss has a heal (Acheronian Revival) running on himself all the time (without a corresponding icon above his name and healthbar), which heals him by 1% every 3 sec. To remove this heal, a player has to target the boss and click the sand (which you picked up earlier on the balcony, see above). This will not only block the boss’s heal but even put a dot on him, called Sands of the Ancients, which takes away 1% of his HP every 3 sec. The icon for this dot is easy to recognize, as it looks just like the ToS root (Quicksand).

Eventually this dot will expire, or the boss will remove it from himself by casting Cry of Acheron. At that point another player should click his sand, etc. The sand has a relatively long cooldown so it’s a good idea to set up a rotation beforehand; that way, you can keep the dot on the boss pretty much all the time.

- Other abilities

Flames of Acheron = frontal cone fire aoe attack by the boss, it hits very hard and the cone seems uncomfortably wide (in fact it sometimes feels as if at least a part of this attack is 360-degree aoe rather than any kind of cone), but it isn’t very long, so you might want to run away to be safe. I have the impression that Flames of Acheron always comes immediately after Shatterfield, and that it’s directed towards the most recently shattered statue.

Apart from that, he does physical damage (and crits quite a bit).

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