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.)
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.
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).
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.
|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|
|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|
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.
This is not strictly speaking an AoC post but I found it funny so I’ll post it anyway. Zhu-Khang is the NPC in Tarantia Noble District who offers to sell you thirty gold for the low price of forty gold. I was reminded of him when I saw the following package deal on Steam:
This is the Vanir counterpart to the post about Nemedian armor from a few weeks ago. Age of Conan contains a decent amount of low-level green Vanir-themed gear; much like the Nemedians, any Vanir mob can drop armor that is within a couple of levels of the mob’s own level. Most of this gear occurs across several levels, such that the different-level version of an item have different stats (and often also different names) but the same appearance. The lists below will try to indicate which levels each item is available on, but this information is probably a bit incomplete; there is so much Vanir gear that I didn’t explore it as thoroughly as I did Nemedian gear for my previous post. When not mentioned otherwise, the gear in this post is green and bind-on-equip.
Each sub-list below is a group of weapons with the same 3-d model, but different names (the corresponding levels are given in parentheses). Many of these 3-d models are used numerous times in the game for various quest rewards, dungeon drops, etc., and I don’t pretend to have collected all these variants; the lists only include those that I’m aware of.
- One-handed blunt
- Crazed Vanir’s Mace (41)
- Vanir Prospector’s Mace (45, 47)
- Vanir Raider’s Mace (23, 25)
- Vanir Avenger (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Overseer Olik in the Vile Nativity
- Scoundrel’s Spiked Mace (80 green bind-on-pickup), quest reward from War on the Roofs, Tarantia Commons
- Skullcracker (31 blue bind-on-equip), drops from Commander Vakarr in Conall’s Valley (I’ve seen it in the epic instance, not sure if it also drops in the normal one or not)
- One-handed edged
- Vanir Aggressor’s Axe (20, 22)
- Vanir Beastmaster’s Axe (26, 28)
- Vanir Sentry’s Axe (24)
- Vanir Butcher Axe (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Overseer Olik in the Vile Nativity
- Vanir Ambusher’s Dagger (21, 23)
- Vanir Flametender’s Dagger (25, 27)
- Vanir Oracle’s Dagger (31)
- Vanir Ritemaster’s Dagger (45, 47)
- Vanir Fleshcarver (80 blue bind-on-equip) from Overseer Olik in the Vile Nativity
- Two-handed edged
- Vanir Assailer’s Greataxe (40)
- Vanir Infiltrator’s Greataxe (20, 22, 24)
- Redspray (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Tramplerage in the Onyx Chambers
- Two-handed blunt
- Vanir Basher’s Battlehammer (46)
- Vanir Cutthroat’s Battlehammer (20, 22, 24)
- Vanir Deathbringer’s Battlehammer (30)
- Vanir Reaver’s Battlehammer (28)
- Oxleg (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Nefru in the Onyx Chambers
- Spinebreaker (29 blue bind-on-equip), world drop
- Icebreaker (32 blue bind-on-pickup); prob. a quest reward
- Remorse (50 blue bind-on-pickup); prob. a quest reward
- Malignant Crusher (80 bind-on-equip), old-world drop
- Vanir Beastmaster’s Shield (27)
- Vanir Champion’s Shield (31)
- Vanir Desecrator’s Shield (29)
- Vanir Raider’s Shield (21)
- Vanir Sentinel’s Shield (25)
- Vanir Warrior’s Shield (43)
- Vanir Champion’s Throwing Axe (30)
- Vanir Raider’s Throwing Axe (20, 22, 24)
- Vanir Reaver’s Throwing Axe (26, 28)
- Vanir Warder’s Throwing Axe (40, 42)
- Vanir Warrior’s Throwing Axe (44, 46)
- Throwing Axe of the Ziggurat (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Narvi in the Threshold of Divinity
- Vanir Digger’s Bow (39, 41, 43)
- Vanir Lookout’s Bow (21)
- Vanir Master Scout’s Bow (31)
- Vanir Sharpshooter’s Bow (45, 47)
- Vanir Skirmisher’s Bow (23)
- Vanir Square Shield (80 blue bind-on-pickup) from Overseer Olik in the Vile Nativity
Each of these sets consists of 7 parts (everything except hands) at every possible level. They occur under two names: Vanir Champion’s (level 30, 32) and Vanir Warrior’s (level 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48). Regardless of name and level, all these sets look exactly the same.
Each of these sets consists of 2 parts (head and chest) at every possible level. They occur under various names: Vanir Assailer’s (level 40), Vanir Deathbringer’s (30, 32), Vanir Raider’s (level 20, 22), Vanir Reaver’s (level 26, 28), Vanir Sentry’s (level 24), and Vanir Sharpshooter’s (level 44, 46, 48). Regardless of name and level, all these sets look exactly the same. In the following screenshot I combined the two medium parts with the other 5 parts of the heavy set (legs, feet, belt, shoulders, wrists).
Each of these sets consists of 7 parts (everything except hands) at every possible level. They occur under various names: Vanir Ambusher’s (level 21), Vanir Berserker’s (level 27, 29, 31), Vanir Hunter’s (level 41), Vanir Infiltrator’s (level 25), Vanir Pathfinder’s (level 45, 47, 49), Vanir Skirmisher’s (level 23), and Vanir Warder’s (level 39). Regardless of name and level, all these sets look exactly the same.
Each of these sets consists of 7 parts (everything except hands) at every possible level. They occur under four names: Vanir Acolyte’s (level 20, 22), Vanir Mystic’s (level 30, 32), Vanir Ritemaster’s (level 44, 46, 48), and Vanir Runecaster’s (level 24, 26). Regardless of name and level, all these sets look exactly the same.
Vanaheim Conquest armor
This is conqueror culture armor; like other culture armor sets, it consists of 6 parts: the head, chest, and legs are level 78, and the hands, belt, and feet are level 79. These are all crafted blue bind-on-equip items and the recipes (one for the big pieces and one for the small pieces) drop from the Ghost of Rorik in Atzel’s Fortress. This set looks exactly the same as the Vanir heavy armor we mentioned above (except of course that it lacks wrists and shoulders, and on the other hand it includes hands, which the Vanir green sets lack).
In principle you could combine the conqueror culture armor with low-level green Vanir heavy armor to obtain a complete set (the conq culture set has hands, the low-level green sets have wrists and shoulders, and the other 5 parts are available in both sets and look identical). However, the result isn’t that great, in my opinion; as the following picture shows, the hands don’t go too well with the wrists.
This is a level 80 social armor set (containing all 8 parts) that drops partly from the Overseer Olik in the Vile Nativity and partly from Narvi in the Threshold of Divinity. It’s closely related to the Vanir heavy sets shown earlier. Here’s a screenshot of it from my old post about the House of Crom armor sets:
One of the Clan Vigdis vendors (in Conarch Village) sells level 39 purple chests using the same models as the green bind-on-equip sets we’ve seen above (to buy them, you need rank 2 in that faction): Housekarl’s Harness (light), Vanir Bloodied Mail Jerkin (medium), Pathfinder’s Jerkin of the Wilds (medium), Raider’s Feral War Coat (heavy).
Narvi in the Threshold of Divinity also drops a few additional pieces of armor (blue, bind-on-pickup, often with interesting stats, especially a high amount of constitution) that reuse the same models:
- Vanir Armguards of Subterfuge (heavy shoulder, using the same model as shoulders from the low-level heavy sets above): 446 armor, 102 critigation, 74 str, 40 evade rtg, 46 hit rtg
- Vanir Bracers of Deterrence (light wrists, using the same model as wrists from the low-level *cloth* sets above): 284 armor, 132 critigation, 75 con, 30 hit rtg
- Vanir Helmet of Vitality (medium head, using the same model as heads from the low-level medium sets above): 699 armor, 263 critigation, 96 con, 5 nat stam regen, 45 hit rtg, 48 crit rtg
- Vanir Boots of Rapidity (cloth feet, using the same model as feet from the low-level cloth sets above): 295 armor, 161 critigation, 65 con, 7.5 nat stam regen, 48 hit rtg, 58 crit dmg rtg, 5% out of combat movement speed
There are also several low-level cloth feet that use the same model as the feet from the Vanir cloth sets: you can get Frayed Padsoles (level 5, white) and Coarse Padsoles (level 10, white) from the armor vendor NPC in Tortage; green versions (with additional adjectives in the name, e.g. Dense Frayed Padsoles) in this level range also drop randomly from mobs.
Ever since the launch of the game, various low-level mobs have been dropping green armor with names and appearance specific to their culture. Thus, we have Vanir, Nemedian, Darfari, and Pictish armor. The introduction of the achievement system has encouraged us to perpetrate small-scale genocides against Vanir, Nemedians, and Picts, and this in turn has enabled me to work on cataloging as much of their loot as possible. This post will be about Nemedian gear, and hopefully one about Vanir gear will follow in due course.
It appears that any Nemedian mob has a chance of dropping a piece of Nemedian gear (in addition to whatever other things you might expect a mob of that level to drop); however, a mob can only drop Nemedian gear close to its own level. Thus, if there is no Nemedian gear of a suitable level, the mob in question won’t drop any Nemedian gear. As we’ll see below, two pieces of Nemedian gear are level 37 (two-handed weapons) and everything else is on level 26–30. This means that you can’t get Nemedian gear from Nemedians in Tarantia Noble District and in Poitain; and the level 37–39 Nemedians in the eastern parts of the Wild Lands of Zelata can only drop two pieces of Nemedian gear (level 37 two-handed weapons). Thus, the best place for farming Nemedian gear is in the southeast of the Wild Lands and in the Border Range. Since this gear is green and bind-on-equip, you can also buy it from other players.
- Nemedian Crossbow
- Nemedian Double-handed Axe
- Nemedian Falchion
- Nemedian Mace
- Nemedian Pugio
- Nemedian War Maul
These weapons are available in several versions with different levels: 26, 28, 30, 32. Additionally, the Double-handed Axe (2he) and War Maul (2hb) are also available in a level 37 version.
There is another weapon which is a bit of a special case, called Nemedian Skinning Knife. This is a blue bind-on-pickup weapon (unlike everything else in this post, which is green and bind-on-equip), exists only in a level 34 version and drops from General Zarathus in the Border Range.
Nemedian Legionary’s armor
This medium armor set consists of 6 pieces (head, chest, wrist, belt, legs, feet) and exists in a level 30 and 32 version.
Some items with the same models also appear elsewhere: the helmet uses the same model as Zukas’ Prized Helm (from Zukas in the Main System) and Border Kingdom Helmet (quest reward for Atzel’s Head on a Pike, from Aelfrith in Conan’s castle); and the leg piece looks the same as Dogmatist’s Tasset (from Zukas in the Main System).
Nemedian Mage armor
The only Nemedian Mage item is a chest piece (Nemedian Mage Robe), which also exists in a level 30 and 32 version.
This robe uses the same model as generic level 20–29 mage cloth chest pieces; the basic level 20 white version is called Rough-stitched Robe (you can buy it from NPC vendors) and there are also lots of green versions with additional adjectives in front of the name. Another similar robe, but not quite the same, is the Dark Ember Robe (from the HoX level 40–49 world-drop set).
Nemedian Scout’s armor
This light armor set consists of 7 pieces (everything except hands) and exists in a level 30 and 32 version.
It looks exactly the same as the Pathfinder set (level 40–69 world-drop set for rangers), except that the latter also contains hands. The Pathfinder set is medium armor, so Nemedian Scout’s might be a useful option if you want it for vanity on a character that can only wear light but not medium armor.
Some of these models are also reused elsewhere: the legs look the same as Corruptor’s Tasset (from Renato Savill in the Cistern); the shoulders look the same as Proselite Armbands (from Zukas in the Main System).
Nemedian Cursecaller armor
This is HoX culture armor and is thus not really part of the Nemedian armor system; it doesn’t drop from any Nemedian mobs (although you can see some of them wearing at least some parts of it, e.g. caster mobs in the Noble District, so I just mention it here for the sake of completeness. Like other culture armor sets, it consists of six parts: the head, chest, and legs are level 78, and the hands, belt, and feet are level 79. These are all crafted blue bind-on-equip items and the recipes (one for the big pieces and one for the small pieces) drop from Black Ring Slave Masters/Mistresses in the Onyx Chambers.
Interestingly, this set used to look pink but was eventually changed into a much less appealing pale green. See the following screenshot of my HoX from early 2009 or so:
It looked a lot less attractive on male HoXes, as can be seen from the following picture (linked from the now-lost EU forum):
There are also some other items with the same models: the chest (Nemedian Cursecaller Robes) uses the same model as Darkcraft Vesture (from Hek’lar in the Main System) and Corpse-mouldered Robe (Trapped Ghost, Slaughterhouse cellar); the head (Nemedian Cursecaller Cap) uses the same model as Border Kingdom Headdress (quest reward from the Atzel’s Head on a Pike quest, given by Aelfrith in Conan’s castle).
Some of the lovely Nemedian Priestesses in the Wild Lands of Zelata wear these very cute boots, but unfortunately they don’t drop as part of the Nemedian armor drops:
I’ve also seen some other mobs wear these boots, e.g. Jovus in Crows’ Nest.
It turns out that this model is available to us players on the following items: Leopardbane Slippers (level 44 quest reward from the Armsman’s Arena), Shadowmantis Treads (level 61 world-drop blue bind-on-equip item), Svelte Treads (level 69 world-drop blue bind-on-equip item), Ironsilk Padsoles (generic level 75–79 assassin cloth feet; you can buy a white version from NPC vendors, you can craft green and blue ones (the blue version is called Fine Ironsilk Padsoles), and there are also several green ones with additional adjectives dropping from mobs in that level range).
This month’s boss, The Thrice Drowned, is mostly the same as last year, with the same name and appearance, spawning in the same locations, preceded by the same green mob, etc. etc. See my post from last year for more about it.
Crabs with LAZERS!!! (Click to enlarge.)
A notable difference is that they gave the boss a new ability: What is Dead May Never Die, which gives the boss a 15-second shield (including an easily noticeable yellow particle effect). This shield provides it with both damage deflection (so your hits will do a lot less damage while the boss has this shield) as well as retributive damage, so it’s quite easy for people to kill themselves on it if they keep DPSing while the shield is up. The other abilities are the same as last year: Reaper Beam (channeled spell, the boss turns about 180 degrees while casting it; it’s a frontal cone attack that does holy damage and a 3-second stun); Rise Again (piercing damage, probably in a frontal cone); Curse of the Drowned God (frontal cone, does a bit of poison damage and puts a wrack on people, giving them -30% physical invulnerability for 30 sec); Geyser (ranged frost attack which the boss uses as an anti-kiting mechanism). The boss has 19.55 million HP, just like last year (and a bit less than most world bosses).
As usual, killing the boss gives you a buff called Slayer of the Thrice Drowned, but curiously it doesn’t remove the previous buff, Slayer of the Dust Fiend. I guess the devs forgot to update this when they replaced last year’s March boss (Serpent Man Oldblood) with the Dust Fiend.
The new shield particle. (Click to enlarge.)
Last year I had very bad luck on this boss, killing it 236 times without getting the purple pet. This year was better, as I got the pet after 67 kills on my guardian. The boss seemed to take much longer to kill than last year, perhaps because of the new shield ability and perhaps because there’s fewer people and/or more of them are AFK. I wouldn’t be able to manage even half as many kills as last year, even if I didn’t slow down after getting the pet. Fights lasting over 20 minutes are nothing unusual this week.
Here are a few screenshots of the purple pet dropping from this boss, Mini-Pet: Drowned One. The description (“A miniature replica of a drowned sorceress, she is now one with the sea”) seems to allude to Sodabeh, which makes sense since that’s the fight that contains mobs that look like this crab. But in that case, why did they use this model here in Thunder River, which (1) is in Aquilonia instead of in Turan, and (2) is a river and not the sea?!
People used to say that my guardian is a slut that probably has crabs…
Now, in a sense, they are right😛 (Click to enlarge.)
Occasionally, the pet will KB you, producing a big geyser-style particle effect:
I’ll add the loot table later, after I’m done farming the boss and opening the boxes.
At the end of the first cycle of 12 portents, the devs announced that they would be replacing two of them with new ones, supposedly for being unpopular or something like that. I wonder thy the Dragon Spine portent, Serpent Man Oldblood, whom we fought in March 2014, was scheduled for replacement; there was nothing particularly wrong with that fight, nor did I have the impression that it was unusually unpopular. There may have been a bit fewer people there, but that’s probably just because the Dragon Spine is not accessible to people on free-to-play accounts.
Anyway, the new March boss still spawned in the Dragon’s Spine, but is now a humanoid mob called the Dust Fiend. It spawns at (920, 680) in front of the Palace of Cetriss, near the T5 raid entrance. In terms of appearance it is nothing to write home about, and reminded me a little of the sand demons that were introduced with Turan. (Incidentally, there is also a quest called The Demon of the Sands in the Gateway to Khitai, at the end of a chain from Dair Usun in Menudsjin’s camp; but the resulting boss, called Writhing Sandstrosity, actually looks like a kraken.)
Initially, the boss was CC’able, so the fight was completely trivial since he pretty much never had the time to use any of his abilities. After a few days, they patched this in a hotfix and the fight was slightly less trivial, though still not particularly challenging. His abilities include: Swirling Sands (spawns moving fire circles on the ground; the circles knockback any players standing in them); Quicksand (spawns a circle on the ground, gives anyone standing in it +70% hinder movement and a slashing dot); Sandstorm (puts a 15-sec debuff on people near the boss: +50% miss chance, +0.5% fizzle chance, and a slashing dot).
Curiously, the boss has just 18.97 million HP, which is about 6% less than most world bosses.
The loot follows the usual pattern: you mostly get a blue box, Hunter’s Trove of the Dust Fiend, or occasionally a purple box called Slayer’s Cache of the Dust Fiend. Presumably you can also get this purple box from the blue box (instead of directly to the boss), but this never happened to me this week (admittedly, I didn’t farm the boss *that* much). On one alt I got a Slayer’s Cache of the Inferno Lord from one of the blue boxes — i.e. I got a purple box belonging to one of the previous bosses, rather than to this one.
There is of course a new pet, Companion: Dust Fiend, which looks like a miniature version of the boss but doesn’t do anything terribly interesting. He does have a few nice spellcasting animations:
For comparison, here’s the Sand Demon, the combat pet that comes with the Turan pack:
Things I got from the blue boxes on my guardian:
|Social animations, particles etc.|
|1||Eighth Plague of Stygia|
|Food, potions, buffs|
|0||Potent Daggamalt, Dire Sweetpressed Haste|
|0||Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir|
|3||Elixirs (2 Invigorative Rejuvenation, 1 Precision)|
|6||Philtres (4 Constitution, 2 Strength)|
|1||Minor Elixir of Resurgence (self-rez)|
|Vendors of crappy social consumables|
|0||Traveller’s Merchant Contract|
|Social armor sets|
|4||Khemi Guard set|
|3||Shattered Colossus set|
|3||Vizier’s set of State|
|0||other social armor sets|
|Other social armor|
|1||Crown of Autumn|
|3||T1 weapons (1 sword, 2 shields)|
|1||T2 weapons (1 sword)|
|4||Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)|
|5||Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)|
|0||Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)|
|6||50 Esteen Tokens|
|5||30 Marks of Acclaim|
|3||animal pets (2 Charcoal Firebird Chicks, 1 Topaz Komodo)|
|3||dancing pets (1 Aquilonian male, 1 Cimmerian male, 1 Stygian female)|
|0||Slayer’s Cache of the Dust Fiend (purple cache)|
Also seen on other characters: Stygian Special Mushroom, Hero Ascendant social armor, Coffer of Radiance.
And an overview of purple caches from all bosses so far, on all of my characters (some of the bosses from the 2nd cycle are omitted as I wasn’t farming them much):
|# purple caches||Drops from purple caches|
|Serp. Man||78||3||6||9||7 (25)||0||0||1||0|
|Thrice Dr.||236||1||12||13||8 (31)||4||0||0||1|
|Ice Worm||191||1||9||10||8 (33)||0||0||1||1|
|B. Queen||220||3||5||8||4 (15)||3||1||0||0|
|Inf. Lord||154||2||4||6||5 (19)||0||0||0||1|
|Dust F.||91||1||5||6||4 (16)||1||0||1||0|
I got a second legendary Black Dragon minipet during the second appearance of the Black Dragon boss (December 2014). Sadly, as I already had one from last year and it’s BoP, I couldn’t do anything other than vendor it :S