The Slithering Chaos

October 20, 2016 3 comments

The Slithering Chaos is a six-player dungeon introduced in update 5.1. The entrance is located in the Dragon’s Spine at (1273, 316), in the southern excavation site.

The trash mobs can be CC’ed, but do not fear them as they can get bugged and you then have to exit the dungeon for 10 minutes to reset them. One ability that is particularly worth interrupting is Tempest, which is a frontal cone knockback. There is also Revitalize, a very powerful and annoying heal on the mobs (if you didn’t manage to interrupt it, a rogue can still remove it with Tainted Weapons).

There are three boss fights, all featuring the same boss (Avatar of Yig) that looks like an enormous dust mite.


The Void Behind the Veil: from Alanza, it requires the Shard of Madness as a prequest (that is a Sepulcher of the Wyrm quest from Ankh-Ausar; it becomes available after you’ve done the early part of the Crawling Chaos quest chain, up to the Serpent Beneath the Skin quest). Rewards: 2 expertise points, 24 MoA.

The Origin of Species: from Alanza; it becomes available if you have completed The Void Behind the Veil and also The Metamorphic Madman (the latter is a solo quest that begins with killing the Scorpion mob near (980, 527); note that sometimes the instance of the playfield gets bugged and the scorpion stops respawning; in that case try switching to a different instance). This is a solo quest that is mostly of interest because it leads to the next one.

The Descent of Serpent Men: from Yaqub-Har; this is a followup to the Origin of Species. This quest requires you to kill three bosses in the Coils of Ubah Kan, then all three bosses in the Slithering Chaos, and finally you have to get a Shard of the Trapezohedron, where the intention was probably that you’d have to also clear the Sepulcher of the Wyrm to get this; but the Slithering Chaos is really just a copy of the Sepulcher, and the developers presumably forgot to remove the Shard of the Trapezohedron from it, so that you can also pick it up from the Slithering Chaos. In both dungeons is on the little mound in the centre of the final boss room.

The quest reward for the Descent of Serpent Men is one of the rings that also drop from the final boss in the Shard of the Trapezohedron. You can choose among two or three different rings depending on your archetype.

The first fight

The boss normally does physical damage on the aggro holder. However, if the aggro holder isn’t standing in front of the boss and within melee range of it, the boss will instead hit him with Smite, which is a much harder-hitting magical ranged attack.

Occasionally, a gray circle spawns on the ground, centered on the player that is the farthest away from the boss. Anyone that stands in these circles will take damage, so you should have one player at range all the time to make sure the circles don’t spawn immediately in front of the boss.

Another important ability cast by the boss is Eradicate. At the end of this cast, there is a big AOE hit that comes from a glowing sphere in the center of the room. Thus, before the cast is finished, everyone should go behind the pillars to break line of sight to the center of the room (note: not line of sight to the boss!), and then go back to their usual positions after the Eradicate cast is finished.

The aggro behavior of the boss in this fight is a bit odd; it seems that he can only change aggro after eradicate, even if you use goad or forced engage.

The boss runs away at 25% of health and leaves behind a loot box which mostly drops blue chaos gems (which are tradable, unlike the purple and legendary gems which are bind-on-equip). There’s a small chance of getting a purple gem here as well.

(The loot box, just like in the other two fights in this dungeon, is a separately killable mob, so you can relog to a different character before killing it.)

The second fight

The boss still does mostly physical damage on the aggro holder and spawns gray circles on the farthest player, just like in the first fight. Occasionally he also cycles through three new attacks:

Primacy is a frontal cone magical attack. The cone is fairly narrow, but the hit (which comes at the end of the cast) is very hard and will oneshot most people, so everyone should avoid it by moving to the side.

Undertow: at the end of the cast, the floor of the room gets covered by electricity that will kill anyone that comes in contact with it. This electricity stays there for several seconds, until you see the electrical particles disappear. To avoid this damage, everyone must be on elevated ground — the various pillars, torch holders, and assorted other rubble that lies around the room. The very centermost part of the little mound in front of the boss is also safe, but has enough space for only two people; so ideally, the aggro holder should stay there (because if he moves away, the boss will hit him with Smite, same as in the first phase) with one of the healers.

Spines of Set: is like Primacy, but it hits in a cone on the sides of the boss (perhaps also behind him?), so everyone should avoid it by moving to the front of the boss.

When the boss’s health drops below 50%, he gains another ability: Resplendent Beam. This is a channelled cast where the boss targets a player at random and a beam goes from the boss to that player. This player and everyone else standing in the way of the beam will constantly be taking damage from the beam (this is untyped damage, so it bypasses mitigation, bubbles etc.). To break the spell, the targeted player must quickly run into one of the gray circles on the ground. Thus it is useful to make sure that at least one circle is not too far from the boss (but also not too close to it so that the mound where the aggro holder stays during Undertow doesn’t get covered by a gray circle). It is also useful is players spread apart a little during this phase, so that they won’t all be taking damage when one of them gets the beam.

The boss runs away at 10% and leaves behind a loot box which drops purple chaos rings. There will also be a clickable item on the ground called a Broken Antenna. Clicking it gives you an item called Luminescent Antenna Fragments in your inventory, which you will need in the third fight.

The third fight

The boss alternates between two phases. In the first phase, he does physical attacks on the aggro holder (and hits him with Smite if he is not in front of the boss and within melee range), puts gray circles on the ground where the farthest player was, and does the Primacy frontal cone attack.

During this phase, the boss has a 95% damage deflection shield, so he takes almost no damage. He also has a buff called Curse of Yig, which slowly stacks up and if it reaches 10 stacks, everyone gets oneshotted.

Eventually the boss casts Rapture; a large red circle slowly emerges from the boss and at the end of the cast, there is a big AoE hit of holy damage. Thus, everyone has to run out of the red circle to survive.

After Rapture, you should send three players to the three large orb-like structures on the outer edge of the room, where each of them should stand at one orb and click his Luminescent Antenna Fragments (all approximately at the same time, somewhat like Yaremka’s balls in BRC Wing 1; wait for a red particle effect to appear on the globe before using your antenna). This will switch the boss into the second phase, remove his damage deflection shield (so you can and should DPS him during this phase), and reset his Curse of Yig buff (so that it won’t reach 10 stacks and oneshot everyone). The three players that used the antenna fragments also get a protection buff (Blessing of the Trapezohedron: +80% electrical and holy invulnerability) that makes them safe from the Horror of Yig attack (on which see below). However, they must be careful not to take aggro while they have this buff, or they will get killed instantly.

In the second phase, the boss does damage in the following ways:

Horror of Yig: the boss keeps spamming this attack, which does electrical damage to everyone that is near the boss, unless they got a protective buff from using the antenna fragments (on which more below).

Seethe: everyone is constantly taking holy damage from this unless they stand in one of the gray circles on the ground that have been left behind from the first phase.

Baptism of Fire: a large fiery cone particle appears (without the boss casting anything) at the location of a player (seems to be always on the second one on the aggro list — it could even be a pet, dread shadow etc.). A few seconds later, the cone explodes and does a big hit of fire damage to anyone nearby, so players must move away from this cone to survive. (Note that the area of effect of this attack is a little bigger than the cone itself.)

• The boss still uses Smite on the aggro holder if the latter is not in front of the boss and in melee range. This should be avoided and in fact in this phase Smite hits harder than in the first phase..

During the second phase, the boss doesn’t have a damage shield, so this is when you should focus on doing DPS on him. Eventually the boss switches back into the first phase and the fight goes on like this until he’s dead.

A few notes to help people survive the various sources of damage in the second phase:

• The aggro holder needs to be able to stand in a gray circle so he doesn’t get damage from Seethe; but at the same time he must still be standing in front of the boss and within melee range so that he doesn’t get Smite. And at the same time, this circle must be positioned so that the aggro holder can stand out of it in the first phase and still not get hit by Smite (because in the first phase, standing in the gray circle causes you to take unholy damage). This means that one gray circle has to be carefully positioned in front of the boss, but a little to the side, so that the area where the aggro holder is safe from Smite is partly within the circle and partly outside of it. (Note: circles disappear after some time, so you should spawn a new one if needed; e.g. after each Rapture, everyone can run in and wait in front of the boss until the gray circle spawns there, and then the three people who have to click the antennas should run out to the globes and do it.)

When the boss switches back to the first phase, one of the people that don’t use the antennas on the globes can use his antenna to remove the gray circle in front of the boss so that it won’t get in the way of the aggro holder while he is tanking the boss. You’ll be able to spawn a new circle after the next Rapture anyway, as described above.

• Ranged DPS players should stay at range from the boss so that they don’t get hit by Horror of Yig. So they should be staying in one of the other gray circles that are farther away from the boss.

• Three players can be made safe from Horror of Yig by having them use their antenna fragments. This should be non-tanks that will need to be close to the boss, e.g. melee DPSers and healers.

• The area in which a gray circle on the ground protects you from Seethe is slightly larger than the circle itself. A PoM/ToS can, with a bit of care, stand just outside the circle in front of the boss and thus be far enough from the boss to avoid the Horrors AoE while still being close enough to the circle to also avoid the Seethe AoE; and also be able to heal the tank from there and do some damage (e.g. with Storm Field). This is useful if you have enough melee DPSers that need the protection buff more than a PoM/ToS does (because they really can’t be useful if they have to stay at range).

• Tanks should use a lot of protection, various protection-related group buffs from healers etc. are also very useful here. Some offtanking (at least with a dread shadow) is also useful, preferably in the shielded phase.

• If you use the antenna and then have aggro, the boss oneshots you (Damnation), so you can’t use the antenna to provide tanks with protection buffs directly.

The loot box from this fight drops legendary chaos gems as well as (purple) rings with a chaos gem slot.


For more about the gems that drop in the Slithering Chaos, see this excellent post by Fass in the AoC forum.


  • Mark of Metamorphosis: 65 str, 373 heal rtg, 172 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -183 pvp combat rtg, chaos gem
  • Mark of the Serpent King: 79 wis, 60 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -54 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Might of the Serpent Men: 79 str, 258 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -247 pvp combat rtg, chaos gem
  • Ophidian Band: 79 dex, 258 combat rtg, 51 hti rtg, 43 crit rtg, -247 pvp combat rtg
  • Ring of the Serpent Father: 65 wis, 373 heal rtg, 40 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -39 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Serpent’s Scale: 280 armor, 63 con, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, 156 protection, chaos gem
  • Sigil of Yig’s Dominion: 79 int, 60 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -54 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Undulating Band of Yig: 32 str, 32 int, 50 magic dmg, 172 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -134 pvp combat rtg, -35 pvp magic dmg

Gem stats (excluding any blessings)

The new chaos gems that drop in this dungeon consist of a base stat and zero or more T6 blessings (zero for blue gems, one for purple, two for legendary). Additionally, the base stat is 50% higher on the legendary gems than on the other two; the list below will show this in parentheses. What exactly the base stat is depends on the prefix in the name of the gem:

Precise: 27 (40) critical rating.

Warding: 267 (400) armor, 47 (70) protection.

Fierce: the stats on this gem depend on the class of the character with which you’re looking at the gem.

  • Guardian, barbarian, assassin, conqueror, ranger: 150 (225) combat rating.
  • PoM, ToS: 160 (240) heal rating, 20 (30) magic damage.
  • HoX, dark templar: 20 (30) magic damage, 100 (150) combat rating.
  • Necromancer, demonologist: 33 (50) magic damage.
  • Bear shaman: 160 (240) heal rating, 100 (150) combat rating.


The blessings on the gems are the same ones that also occur on T6 weapons and necklaces. Thus, by combining these with the new rings and gems, you can get three or even four stacks of a blessing. You need at least two stacks of a blessing for it to have an effect, but by combining the new rings (and gems) with T6 weapons and necklaces you can get three or even four stacks of a blessing.

  • Ashur — Armor/Spell Penetration
  • Black Pharaoh — Critical Damage Increase
  • Crawling Mist — Hate Increase
  • Emandua — Heal Rating
  • Manic Haze — Offhand Rating + Tenacity
  • Silence Falls — Hate Decrease
  • Silver Twilight — Mana Tap
  • Steel Behemoth —Critigation Chance

Unchained loot: updated drop statistics

September 25, 2016 1 comment

Here is an updated version of my previous tables about loot that drops from the various kinds of caches that you get from unchained and excavator dungeons. As a bonus, I have now included a table for plain old Excavator’s Kits for the first time!

Excavator’s Kit (green)

The other caches in this post were introduced with the unchained dungeon system in Update 4.1.4, but Excavator’s Kits are older, having been introduced together with House of Crom in Update 3.2. They drop directly from bosses and even trashmobs in unchained and excavator dungeons, and judging by what we’ve seen on testlive, they will also drop in the new Slithering Chaos dungeon.

The table below is based on 1084 drops from 719 Excavator’s Kits (I got one drop 385 times; two drops 303 times; three drops 31 times). There doesn’t seem to have been any change in the number of drops per kit in Update 5.0.

What How many times it dropped
Green potions: 235
3 Daggamalt 83
3 Sweetpressed Haste 76
3 Moonspill 76
Blue potions: 71
2 Potent Daggamalt 22
2 Dire Sweetpressed Haste 24
2 Absolute Moonspill 25
Food: 204
Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 70
Kingsmight Ale 69
Bloodpurple Ale 65
Small money drop (48–88 copper) 238
Large money drop (3.9–15.5 silver) 10
an old-world level 80 blue BoE item (not from one of the level 70–80 sets) 46
an old-world level 80 purple BoE item (I got a Blade of Black Bile) 1
Manual of Discipline [10000 Mastery AA XP] 214
Flask of Completion [20000 Mastery AA XP] 65

Each type of money drops seems to be roughly uniformly distributed in its range. For the small drops, the minimum I got was 0.4813 silver, the maximum was 0.8830 and the average was 0.6778. For the large drops, the minimum was 3.9099, the maximum was 15.5092 and the average was 9.7149.

Unopened Chest (green)

What How many times it dropped
3 Daggamalt 119
3 Sweetpressed Haste 114
3 Moonspill 106
Manual of Instruction [2000 Mastery AA XP] 126
Manual of Discipline [10000 Mastery AA XP] 69
Flask of Completion [20000 Mastery AA XP] 34
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 21
2 Kingsmight Ale 17
2 Bloodpurple Ale 16
money (1–5 silver) 285
an old-world level 80 blue BoE item (not from one of the level 70–80 sets) 15
an old-world level 80 purple BoE item (I got a Black Cragsfall) 1
Pet (9× Shredder, 7× Acheronian Raider, 5× Undead Guardian, 4× Emperor Scorpion) 25
Pharaoh’s Guard green armor (1× Armplates, 1× Boots, 2× Gloves, 1× Goldmail, 1× Helm, 3× Sleevelets) 9

When we say that several of these things can drop, they can be the same thing twice, so you might get e.g. 6 Daggamalt from one chest. if the game decides to give you two money drops from the same cache, they will be shown separately in the money channel, rather than added up and shown as a single drop.

The table above shows 957 drops from opening 728 caches. It appears that the number of drops per cache has been increased in Update 5.0 (this also applies to Acheronian Caches and Mystical Acheronian Caches), at least for subscribers. Before 5.0, I got from 1 to 3 drops per cache (1 drop from 535 caches; 2 drops from 86 caches; 3 drops from 2 caches); since 5.0, I got from 2 to 4 drops per cache (2 drops from 76 caches; 3 drops from 24 caches; 4 drops from 5 caches).

It seems that potion and food drops don’t take your class into account, so that I get mana potions and food on my guardian as well. (Initially I thought that food drops take your class into account, but eventually I started getting mana food on my guardian as well; perhaps it was just a matter of randomness or they may have changed that in 4.1.5 or thereabouts.)

From the money drops seen so far, it seems pretty reasonable to conclude that the amount of money in each money drop is distributed uniformly in the range [1, 5] silver. (The actual minimum and maximum I’ve seen were 1.0062 and 4.9796 silver.)

Acheronian Cache (blue)

Here are the results based on 361 drops from 260 caches. Like with the green caches above, the number of drops per cache seems to have been increased in Update 5.0. Before that update, I got 1 or 2 drops per cache (1 drop 165 times; 2 drops 85 times); after that, I got from 2 to 4 drops per cache (2 drops 6 times; 3 drops twice; 4 drops twice).

What How many times it dropped
money (19–50 silver) 22
Food: 47
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 27
2 Kingsmight Ale 20
Blue potions: 6
2 Dire Sweetpressed Haste 6
Green armor: 37
Pharaoh’s Guard Armplates 6
Pharaoh’s Guard Boots 4
Pharaoh’s Guard Gloves 5
Pharaoh’s Guard Goldmail 6
Pharaoh’s Guard Helm 9
Pharaoh’s Guard Shenti 2
Pharaoh’s Guard Sleevelets 5
Blue armor: 185
Belt of Red Ruin 14
Belt of the Fallen Empire 21
Greaves of Red Ruin [feet] 23
Greaves of the Fallen Empire 23
Rerebrace of Red Ruin [shoulder] 25
Rerebrace of the Fallen Empire 23
Tasset of Red Ruin [legs] 29
Tasset of the Fallen Empire 27
Purple armor: 7
Gloves of Red Ruin [hands] 1
Vambrace of Red Ruin [wrist] 2
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire 4
(41× Elixir, 6× Refined Elixir, 2× self-rez)
Elixir of Brute Force [366 combat rtg] 7
Elixir of Guile [73 crit rtg] 8
Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [15 nat stam regen] 13
Elixir of Precision [73 hit rtg] 13
Refined Elixir of Brute Force [732 combat rtg] 1
Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg] 1
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen] 1
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg] 3
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez] 2
Pets: 8
Mini-Pet: Acheronian Bloodletter 1
Mini-Pet: Acheronian Ritualist 2
Mini-Pet: Demigod 2
Pet: Living Statue 3

Regarding money drops, the ones I’ve seen so far lead me to believe that the amount is uniformly distributed in the range [19, 50] silver or so. The average of the drops I’ve seen so far is 34.19 silver. The only problem here is that my notes show drop drops far outside this range, namels 10.4923 and 10.8027, but that might well be an error in my notes. Apart from those two outliers, the lowest drop I’ve seen is 19.4109 and the highest is 49.3365.

I’m surprised that I got blue stamina potions (Dire Sweetpressed Haste) but no blue health potions (Potent Daggamalt). Mystical caches drop both, as we’ll see below.

The elixirs shown above are what you can get on a guardian; other classes get whatever is suitable for them (e.g. (Refined) Elixir of Mystical Excellence for mages).

Mystical Acheronian Cache (purple)

Here are the results based on 249 drops from 209 caches. Before Update 5.0, I was getting from 1 to 3 drops per cache (1 drop 172 times; 2 drops 30 times; 3 drops once); after that update, I got 2 or 3 drops per cache (2 drops 4 times; 3 drops twice).

What How many times it dropped
Blue potions: 14
5 Potent Daggamalt 8
5 Dire Sweetpressed Haste 6
Purple armor: 53
Breastplate of Red Ruin 2
Cuirass of the Fallen Empire [chest] 5
Gauntlets of the Fallen Empire 6
Gloves of Red Ruin 9
Helm of the Fallen Empire 5
Mask of Red Ruin 4
Vambrace of Red Ruin [wrist] 10
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire 12
Other purple bind-on-pickup gear: 12
Clasp of the Fallen Empire [necklace: 68 str, 37 hate inc rtg, 192 protection] 1
Emblem of Red Ruin [necklace: 86 str, 42 con, 18 hate dec rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg] 4
Trinket of Old Acheron [necklace: 534 combat rtg, 50 fatality rtg, 28 hate dec rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg] 3
Ring of Ancient Python [52 con, 52 hit rtg, 267 protection] 1
Ring of the Fallen Empire [80 str, 50 con, 35 hate inc rtg] 2
Claw of the Death Master [1hb: 116.1 dps, 86 str, 47 hit rtg, 47 crit rtg, 55 crit dmg rtg] 1
Purple bind-on-equip gear: 3
Fellblade of Crimson Slaughter [2he, boe: 132.4 dps, 42 str, 91 magic dmg (fire), 337 combat rtg (2he), 38 hit rtg, 72 crit rtg, 12 hate dec rtg, 90 crit dmg rtg, 18 mana tap rtg] 1
Fellhammer of the Sanguine Disciple [2hb, boe: 133.3 dps, 67 str, 45 con, 391 combat rtg, 38 hit rtg, 60 crit rtg, 90 crit dmg rtg] 1
Heater-Shield of the Fallen Empire [shield, boe: 890 armor, 36 str, 52 con, 24 hate inc rtg] 1
(38 Refined Elixir, 99 Refined Philtre, 18× self-rez)
Refined Elixir of Brute Force [732 combat rtg] 8
Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg] 9
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen] 9
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg] 12
Refined Elixir of Strength [183 hit rtg] 1
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con] 47
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str] 52
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff] 18
Pets: 7
Pet: Scorpion Archer 3
Mini-Pet: Un Nefer 2
Mini-Pet: Scorpion Abomination 2
Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point] 5

One particularly annoying detail: not one, but TWO hate decrease necklaces (both bind-on-pickup, of course) can drop for a guardian. Perhaps they were inspired by John Donne‘s bitter but delightfully snarky lines:

  My constancy I to the planets give;
  My truth to them who at the court do live;
  My ingenuity and openness,
  To Jesuits; to buffoons my pensiveness;
  My silence to any, who abroad hath been;
      My money to a Capuchin:
    Thou, Love, taught’st me, by appointing me
  To love there, where no love received can be,
Only to give to such as have an incapacity.

On my ToS, I got an Amulet of the Hell Walker and Aegis of the Blood God; on my assassin, I got an Amulet of Ancient Python.

Mystical Excavator’s Kit (purple)

These are the purple caches that you get as a quest reward for the excavator quest (to clear Ardashir Fort, Vile Nativity, Sepulcher of the Wyrm, and the Coils of Ubah Kan). Here are the results after opening 99 purple caches on my guardian, for a total of 120 drops. All this was before Update 5.0; there were 1 or 2 drops per cache (1 drop 78 times; 2 drops 21 times). I haven’t opened any caches of this type after 5.0 yet, so I don’t know if the number of drops has been increased here as well.

What How many times it dropped
Blue potions: 8
5 Potent Daggamalt 6
5 Dire Sweetpressed Haste 2
Purple bind-on-pickup weapons: 8
Arakh of the Archaeologian [1he, bop: 117.6 dps, 83 str, 50 hit rtg, 34 crit rtg, 34 hate inc rtg, 47 crit dmg rtg] 4
Halberd of the Archaeologian [polearm, bop: 142.7 dps, 169 str, 221 combat rtg, 100 hit rtg, 86 crit rtg, 55 hate inc rtg, 123 crit dmg rtg] 4
Purple bind-on-equip weapons: 4
Fellhammer of the Sanguine Disciple [2hb, boe: 133.3 dps, 67 str, 45 con, 391 combat rtg, 38 hit rtg, 60 crit rtg, 90 crit dmg rtg] 1
Greatsword of the Death Master [2he, boe: 131.3 dps, 123 str, 169 combat rtg (2he), 35 hit rtg, 70 crti rtg, 100 crit dmg rtg] 1
Partizan of Red Ruin [polearm, boe: 135.8 dps, 50 str, 40 con, 7.7 nat stam regen, 409 combat rtg, 50 hit rtg, 75 crit rtg, 80 crit dmg rtg] 1
Scimitar of Red Ruin [1he, boe: 111.7 dps, 60 str, 84 combat rtg (1he), 30 hit rtg, 20 crit rtg, 40 crit dmg rtg, 21 offhand rtg] 1
(36× Refined Elixir, 43× Refined Philtre, 6× self-rez)
Refined Elixir of Brute Force [732 combat rtg] 13
Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg] 2
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen] 10
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg] 11
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con] 17
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str] 26
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff] 6
Pets: 11
Companion: Atlantean Shade 2
Companion: Excavator 1
Mini-Pet: Deep Walker 1
Mini-Pet: Forsaken Child of Yig 3
Mini-Pet: Queen Cao-Polyphya 1
Mini-Pet: Serpent Man Underling 1
Pet: Atlantean Shade 1
Pet: War Rhino Calf 1
Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point] 4

The Halberd of the Archaeologian uses the same model as Polearm of the Black Pharoah (from Coils of Ubah Kan).

The Partizan of Red Ruin uses the same model as Blighted Halberd (from Xibaluku) and Imperial Acheronian Halberd (from the Iron Tower). A recolored version of the same model is also used for the Whispering Touch (T3 crafted polearm).

In terms of stats, the bind-on-pickup polearm (Halberd of the Archaeologian) is very nice; basically the same stats as on the T4 polearm, just in slightly lower amounts. The bind-on-equip polearm (Partizan of Red Ruin) is much less attractive; compared to other purple polearms in the game, it’s low on strength and constitution and it seems to be a bit more dps-oriented. I guess you could say it’s somewhere on the level of T1/T2 polearms. At least it’s better than the other bind-on-equip purple polearms (The Herald of Blight, Return of Time).

On my necro, this type of cache also dropped a Dagger of the Archaeologian (BoP).

For a complete list of the various purple weapons and accessories that are available from the Mystical caches (of both types), see AoC > TV.

Categories: Age of Conan, Drop Rates

Item shop revamp in update 4.10

June 9, 2016 13 comments

Funcom’s approach to monetizing AoC has been despicably greedy ever since they first introduced the item shop about a year after launch. But with today’s changes, they have surpassed my wildest fears. All vanity items and a great many other things have been removed, prices on many of the remaining items have been increased dramatically, and you can now buy full sets of T3 armor as well as treasure chests which have a chance of dropping T4 and T5 raid tokens (rare as well as common ones).

And meanwhile the community manager has the unspeakable, bald-faced impudence to say that they only “streamlined the item shop and removed some clutter”!

Fuck off and die, Failcom, you worthless, pathetic excuse for a game company.

Categories: Age of Conan

Bloodhunter cloth armor

May 7, 2016 2 comments

This is one of the armor sets that were introduced with the unchained dungeon system and parts of it drop from the various boxes that you get there, either as direct drops from bosses or as quest rewards from the quest to clear all 4 unchained dungeons. Bloodhunter is the assassin set.

One of the many wonders of Funcom’s software development is that somehow they manage to make some items look vastly different on the character selection screen than they do in game. This set is one of them. On the character selection screen, it has a hideous combination of colors, some parts are purplish and some are a sort of greyish green that can best be described as puke-colored:

Looks like a cosplay effort gone horribly wrong.

Fortunately, in game it looks almost completely black instead. That’s much better and especially suitable for an assassin:

And it looks even better without the headpiece and the belt 🙂

I was quite lucky with this set; I got the whole set after doing just 3 full unchained runs (i.e. where each run consisted of all four unchained dungeons), whereas on my guardian it took me about 12 runs to finish collecting the full-plate set and over 30 runs for the heavy set.

The HoX unchained set (Crimson Slaughter) looks exactly the same, as far as I know. And the demo/necro set (Hell Walker) looks the same too, except for the fact that it isn’t (nearly) black in game — it’s vomit-colored, same as on the character selection screen (another way to describe this set is by saying that it’s worn by Black Ring Reanimator mobs in BRC Wing 2).

So I’m half afraid that one fine day, someone at Funcom will decide that the badass black color of the HoX and sin sets is really a bug, and the set will be ‘fixed’ into having the same vomit color that the demo/necro set already has now.

Since all parts of the unchained armor sets are bind-on-pickup, the various caches only drop items from sets that are suitable to your character’s class. If you want to wear this stuff on a character from some other class, one possible option might be to farm Caravan Raiders Hideout in normal mode (i.e. not unchained). The bosses there can drop items that have the same names and appearance as those from the unchained armor sets, but not the same stats (for example, items from CRH normal mode don’t have any critigation). Another difference is that in the unchained sets, hands are always purple, but in CRH normal mode the hands are blue. I don’t know if the drops in CRH normal mode cover all possible locations; I’ve seen hands, belts and feet so far, but admittedly I don’t do CRH normal mode much.

Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

Steel Behemoth plate set

May 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Steel Behemoth is one of the two T6 full-plate sets. I recently got the last piece I was missing from it, so here’s a screenshot of the whole set:

If you went on a safari wearing this stuff, you’d either get molested by a rhino or shot at by poachers 😛

I actually rather like the look of most of the T6 raid armor sets, and I’m glad that the developers took the trouble to design new sets rather than just recolor old ones like they did in T5. Of course, they had to cut some corners anyway, and so for example the other T6 plate set (Warded Brute, the protection set) looks the same as this one, just in a different color (a kind of violet). One minor complaint is that for a full-plate set, it sure doesn’t look very plate-y. In fact the chest piece is delightfully revealing:

There are of course the inevitable clipping issues, or in case of the dangly bit in the front (which is part of the leg piece), they aren’t so much issues as lifetime subscriptions and charter memberships 😛 Still, overall I’m definitely happier with the look of this set than I was with the T5 set.

In terms of stats, Steel Behemoth is a physical tanking set, with an emphasis on armor and HP; thus, it’s similar to the Courageous Souls set from T4, but with most attributes increased by 5–10% (the DPS and critical damage rating got a more substantial increase). In addition, wearing T6 armor gives you a buff called Emerald Lotus Coating, whose strength depends on how many T6 armor pieces you’re wearing:

  • 2–3 items: 220 armor penetration, 152 spell penetration, 158 tenacity
  • 4–5 items: 470 armor penetration, 330 spell penetration, 340 tenacity
  • 6–7 items: 845 armor penetration, 590 spell penetration, 610 tenacity
  • 8 items: 1250 armor penetration, 875 spell penetration, 900 tenacity

In addition, the buff includes some negative PvP stats to make T6 armor unattractive in PvP. For PvE, my understanding is that tenacity is only useful in T6 for now, since that’s the only place where mobs have critigation. Armor and spell penetration might also be useful in some lower raid tiers where the mobs have a lot of armor and protection (see also this interesting recent forum thread about penetration stats).

Penetration FTW!

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Vanity Gear

The Rare Panda of Chosain

April 28, 2016 2 comments

A rare panda boss spawns in Chosain, just southwest of the bamboo grove in the central part of the playfield (the one where you go as part of the quest chain to obtain your tiger mount from the Tamarin Tigers faction). I first heard of it (and of the unique thrown weapon that drops from it) when people were talking about it in the comments of my “About” page; since then I occasionally rode past that bamboo forest on purpose every now and then but never had any luck seeing it. So, more recently, I decided to look for it a little more deliberately, and yesterday I finally found it.

Take that, WWF!

There is a tiger mob (Wildwood Stalker) patrolling slowly south of that bamboo grove. If you kill it, it can take quite a long time to respawn, up to 2.5 hours when I was killing it. The impression I have is that this mob is a placeholder for the panda boss, so when you kill it (or you enter a new instance of the playfield), there’s a small chance that the panda boss will spawn in its place instead of a new tiger. The patrolling tiger spawns around (455, 755) and then moves in a sort of rectangle south and east of there.

So getting the panda to appear seems to be mostly a matter of killing that tiger again and again, and waiting for a very long time between the respawns. I was mostly standing at the nearby rock at (435, 775) and waiting, alt-tabbed away from the game. When the tiger respawns, its patrol route will soon bring it close enough to this location that it will aggro you, so I was simply standing there in defensive stance and checking back every few minutes to see if the tiger showed up or not. With some luck, I found find it nibbling on my guardian so I could kill it, but sometimes it had already managed to kill me by the time I got back into the game.

On one occasion I found my guardian dead but the combat log showed that she had been getting hit by a Panda, not by the Wildwood Stalker, which confirmed that I was on the right track 🙂 Unfortunately, the panda had already despawned by then. After another day or two of waiting, I finally got lucky and alt-tabbed back into the game just as the panda was attacking me, so I could finally kill it.

The Panda was a level 83 boss and according to my combat log, it had around 22225 HP, which is just as one would expect from a level 83 Khitai boss. There’s a nice video on youtube where someone’s fighting the panda on a barbarian and almost gets killed by it 🙂 so I was sort of expecting a harder fight than it turned out to be. (Incidentally, that video also shows that the panda appears in a sort of impromptu miniature bamboo grove, which then promptly disappears. I didn’t see that one myself, probably because it was already gone by the time I had alt-tabbed back into the game.)

The panda boss does have a few interesting abilities: occasionally it casts a buff called Bamboo Grove (+20% evade chance, +50 damage deflection for 20 sec) and eventually it got another buff called Shadow Style (-30% movement multiplier, +50% damage multiplier for 25 sec). Its white hits are crushing damage, but it also has an attack called Bamboo Paddle, which does slashing damage. When you kill it, you get a 12-hour debuff called Panda Killer (-500 charisma), same as from killing the panda pet in the new Pit Master’s Arena. (Charisma, of course, is a joke stat that doesn’t actually do anything. IIRC it appears in some other places in the game, possibly from one of the whores in Tarantia Common District.)

(Click to enlarge.)

Another interesting thing about the panda boss is that it drops a thrown weapon called Bamboo Javelin with a unique 3-d model. Thrown weapons, of course, are largely a joke as well; they had some use in the very early times of the game, when most classes couldn’t use bows or crossbows until level 40, soldiers didn’t have the Irritate ability yet, so for some classes a thrown weapon was the only way they could pull a mob from range. But after these things were changed in update 1.05 or so, thrown weapons are mostly interesting as some sort of easter eggs, and by the time the Khitai expansion was released, the devs seemed to see them in such a light as well.

(Click to enlarge.)

There is another famous joke thrown weapon in Khitai, namely The Rock (which drops from the somewhat uncommon mini boss in the Den of the Crowmen). I was naturally curious how the stats on these two thrown weapons compare. It turns out that The Rock is very defensively oriented (306 armor, 130 con, 99 hit rtg, but only 35.1 DPS) whereas the Bamboo Javelin is much more aggressive (62.3 DPS — twice as much as The Rock! — 86 hit rtg, 89 crit rtg, 93 crit dmg rtg, 61 hate increase rtg).

Khitai world-drop blues

October 31, 2015 1 comment

The introduction of the achievement system in update 4.5 has been an unexpected boon for my efforts to catalogue the world-drop blue loot. (For my previous posts in this series, see: level 10–19, level 20–39, level 40–49).

A large number of (moderately) rare open-world bosses were introduced for the Bane achievements, and these bosses always drop a piece of blue BoE loot, even in normal-mode playfields. The two big differences between them and the traditional open-world bosses that we’ve known since release are the following:

(1) From the traditional bosses, a blue drop is only guaranteed if you kill them in an epic instance; in a normal instance, a blue drop is very unlikely. By contrast, the new achievement bosses always drop a blue item, even in a normal instance.

(2) From level 40 up, the loot tables of the traditional bosses include 12 armor sets (see my old posts for screenshots: level 40–69, level 70–80), which account for around 90% of the items in these loot tables. So if you’re only interested in farming the other items, those which aren’t part of the sets, you’ll have to kill the bosses a lot more times than on lower levels because most of the time they’ll be dropping the set pieces that you don’t care about. The new achievement bosses don’t have these 12 armor sets in their loot tables, so the problem is gone.

This makes the new achievement bosses very attractive for farming the open-world blue loot. They do have one disadvantage, however: they are, in principle, rare — you have to kill a placeholder mob and hope that your boss will then spawn in its place. But in practice, they aren’t *that* rare, so farming them isn’t that much of a problem.

When the Khitai expansion was released, the old open-world blue drop system was extended with a number of new level 80 items — armor pieces (which do not form complete sets), weapons, and accessories. Unlike in the old world, these items did not drop directly from bosses, but had a small chance of dropping from various bags which you could get as random drops from mobs (not just bosses) or as quest rewards. I got a few blue items that way, but the drop rate is very low, and there was simply no practical way for an individual player to explore the whole loot table.

But now, these Khitai blue BoE items also drop from the new achievement bosses in Khitai and the Dragon’s Spine, so they are quite easy to farm and I was able to explore the loot table in the same way as in my earlier posts for low-level open-world BoE blues; I kept killing the bosses until I had seen each item drop at least five times. Who knows, I just might eventually do the same for old-world level 50–80 blue drops.

Name Level Description
Administer’s Gloves 80 light hands, magic dmg
Band of Introspection 80 str/con ring
Bands of Consequence 80 heavy shoulder, str/con
Belt of Adulation 80 cloth belt, str/con
Bracers of Evaluation 80 light wrist, magic dmg
Bracers of Quick Study 80 ranger wrist
Ceremonial Blade 80 1he, wisdom
Cloak of Flourishes 80 cloak, magic dmg
Dagger of the Ninth Rank 80 dagger, magic dmg
Dragon Grips 80 plate hands, str/con
Drape of the Headless Man 80 cloak, combat rtg
Examiner’s Skirt 80 cloth legs, magic dmg
Exemplar’s Breastplate 80 plate chest, str/con
Girdle of Courage 80 heavy belt, str/con
Gloves of Remark 80 light hands, str/con
Greaves of the Bold 80 plate feet, str/con
Hammer of Fortunes 80 2hb, con, combat rtg
Harmonious Sword 80 2he, con, combat rtg
Heirloom of the Barren Line 80 DT talisman
Helm of the Wise One 80 medium head, wisdom (WTF?!)
Helm of Tribute 80 ranger head
Hoop of the Fox Demon 80 ring, magic dmg
Intruder’s Wrist-straps 80 light wrist, str/con
Lance of the Province 80 2hb, con
Lively Bands 80 ranger shoulder
Martial Blade 80 1he, con, combat rtg
Master’s Bolts 80 xbow bolts
Mysterious Necklace 80 necklace, magic dmg
Officer’s Chestplate 80 heavy chest, str/con
Pendant of Longevity 80 necklace, str/con
Prefect’s Hammer 80 1hb, hate inc
Red Fletched Arrows 80 bow arrows
Ring of Leverage 80 ring, combat rtg
Shield of the Scale Mountain 80 shield, con
Shirt of Contention 80 light chest, str/con
Shoes of the Long Road 80 cloth feet, magic dmg
Silent Treads 80 cloth feet, dex
Skirt of Sustaining Fire 80 cloth legs, str/con
Soulkindle 80 2he, HoX
Staff of Justice 80 staff, mage or priest
Steward of Secrets 80 dagger, combat rtg
Stifling Cord 80 cloth belt, dex
Survivor’s Luck 80 necklace, combat rtg
Swordsman’s Shoes 80 HoX feet
The Fifth Arm 80 guardian polearm
The Rose’s Bloom 80 crossbow
The Subtle Disguise 80 assassin legs
The Two Cranes 80 medium wrist, con
Thickened Silk Rope 80 cloth belt, magic dmg
Tightly-woven Armbands 80 BS shoulder
Truncheon of the Lawgiver 80 1hb, magic dmg
Tunic of Talent 80 light chest, magic dmg
Waterbuffalo Horn Bow 80 bow
Wind of Battle 80 cloak, str/con
Wise Man’s Trinket 80 talisman, int

(Click to enlarge.)

(Click to enlarge.)

An interesting difference compared to the old-world BoE blues is the absence of procs on these new ones — things like retortive revenge, sacrarial guard, and countless others. Such procs were a prominent feature of AoC combat and itemization at release; they were present on many pieces of gear and you could also get them from crafted gems. Later the developers seemed to change their mind; from the big changes in update 1.05 onwards, procs of that sort are more or less irrelevant, and none of the items added since then (including anything from the Khitai expansion) have them.