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Ardashir Fort

The entrance is on the Coast of Ardashir playfield in Turan, on the northeastern edge of the city there. Recommended group setup: 2 tanks, a good healer, and plenty of DPS, ideally ranged DPS. To do the hardmode version of the final boss encounter, people should have Steadfast Faith, Tainted Weapons and preferably also Resolve, and it’s very good to have two healers in the group.

The dungeon begins with a ramp leading up to the first boss room. While moving up the ramp (and killing trash mobs), at some point the boss comes charging down the ramp on his rhino; move out of the way into the little side rooms or you will get oneshotted (similar to the giant boulder in Black Castle or to Sxi Ai in Ai District). A little later he comes charging in the opposite direction and you have to move out of the way again.

Commander Kamangir

He is in a big rectangular courtyard with a metallic grate in the middle. Don’t stand on the grate during the fight as you will take environmental damage (1000 points per sec).

The boss does physical damage and hits fairly hard so if the tanks are a bit squishy they might want to swap aggro between them. From time to time during the fight, he will run into the middle of the room (to the grate) and then perform two attacks: Hail of Arrows and then Rhino Charge.

  • The Hail of Arrows is an AoE hit to pretty much everyone in the room, but what is worse, they can also root you. You can remove the root with your AA abilities (such as Vindication), but of course you can’t afford to do that every time as they will be on cooldown. You can avoid getting rooted by standing on the grate (which isn’t a good idea as you’ll be taking environmental damage from it, as described above) or on the row of bricks immediately adjacent to the edges on the grate. But don’t stand on the bricks near the corners of the grate or you will still get rooted. See the following picture:


    (Click to enlarge. Green areas are safe to stand in, all other areas should be avoided. Picture by Drungly.)

  • After this the boss will turn towards a randomly chosen person and start casting Rhino Charge. At the end of the cast he charges into that person, who will take some heavy damage and also get a wrack (Crushed Armor Wrack: -20% damage mitigation, +30% hinder movement) and a dot (Crushed Bones). If this happens to a squishie, he will have a very hard time staying alive. To avoid getting hit by the charge, the person that’s being targeted must sprint towards the wall and then turn 90 degrees and keep running (start sprinting as soon as you see that he’s turned towards you!). The boss can’t change his direction quickly enough and will thus end up charging into the wall. This also gives him a 10 second stun and -25% damage mitigation debuff (Dazed) so you can DPS him more easily (the rest of the time he has a +50% damage mitigation buff, Natural Armor).

Note that watching target’s target isn’t very useful here, as he keeps targeting himself most of the time. To find out whom he is about to charge you must watch which way he is turned. Note that his charge has a bit of a cone so if you aren’t being targeted yourself but are standing near the line where he will move, you must run out of the way as well. (This also means that people shouldn’t all be standing close together while awaiting the charge — try to stand apart from each other on different sides of the boss.) If you see that he isn’t targeting you, get ready to run towards the place where he will hit the wall so that you can start DPSing him as soon as possible.

After 4:30 minutes he enrages and gains a +500% damage buff (Berserk). You should be able to kill him before that if you avoid his charges correctly. But even if he does enrage, the situation is not completely hopeless. A tank can try to kite him until he runs to the grating again; then, if you avoid the next charge, you can dps him for 10 sec while he is stunned, then kite him again, and so on.

By the way, when you enter the courtyard, you initially get a snare debuff. You can remove it by going (along the walls of course, so as not to aggro the boss) to the far left corner of the room (top left on the above picture); but be careful not to step on the grate during the fight or the snare will come back. But it’s also perfectly possible to do the fight without removing the snare.

Loot: 1 rare trophy, 62k + 50k AA xp, some blue items (armor and weapons).

  • Blade of the Turanian Army (dagger): 69.5 DPS, 80 dex, 38 hit rating, 58 offhand rating
  • Bow of the Rhino Rider (bow): 118.6 DPS, 80 dex, 200 stamina, 49 crit rating
  • Bracers of the Grand Monarch (light wrist): 156 armor, 88 critigation amount, 31 con, 120 heal rating, 58 magic damage, 36 immunity rating
  • Bracers of the Kozak Slayer (light wrist): 156 armor, 88 critigation amount, 61 con, 32 hit rating, 33 hate dec rating
  • Bracers of the Renegade (medium wrist): 206 armor, 88 critigation amount, 51 con, 115 heal rating, 48 hit rating, 28 hate decrease rating
  • Bracers of the Putrescent (cloth wrist): 109 armor, 88 critigation amount, 25 con, 296 mana, 54 magic damage, 29 hate dec rating
  • Bracers of the Usurper (cloth wrist): 109 armor, 88 critigation amount, 348 combat rating, 48 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Hammer of the Rhino Rider (2hb): 121.0 DPS, 152 str, 390 heal rating, 98 crit rating, 65 hate decrease rating, 102 crit dmg rating
  • Mark of the Ancient Sands (talisman): 82 armor, 10.5 nat mana regen, 10 nat stam regen, 70 magic damage, 47 crit rating, 32 hate dec rating, 56 crit dmg rating
  • Sword of the Old Commander (2he): 128.2 DPS, 153 str, 98 crit rating
  • Vambraces of the Crimson Fort (plate wrist): 311 armor, 88 critigation amount, 58 str, 50 con, 24 hate increase rating

Between the 1st and 2nd boss

In the next few corridors, avoid walking under holes in the ceiling as you will get a Burning Tar debuff (-40% fire invulnerability for 5 minutes; this isn’t a big deal by itself, as you won’t be taking any fire damage from mobs; the problem happens if you get another stack of Burning Tar, which then becomes a dot in addition to the debuff: 420-629 fire damage every 3 sec for 30 sec). Also avoid spike traps on the ground. Some of the trash mobs used to be pretty challenging, in particular the Turan Men-at-Arms (they used to have a very strong AoE attack called Fatal Strike, which could do up to ~5k damage on a tank), but they have been nerfed some time ago and aren’t much of a problem now.

After a while you reach a room with a lot of amphoras; don’t destroy them or they will release poison, which causes root, a dot and also drains your stamina. People should enter that room together and go to the far end of the room; at that point three Men-at-Arms will spawn and the door through which you entered closes. If you wipe on them, they will despawn and the next time all 3 will spawn again, even if you killed some of them in the previous try. But if you kill all 3, then the next door opens and you can proceed through the dungeon. Now that their Fatal Strike has been nerfed, it isn’t hard to tank and spank them, but if they are giving you trouble you can always have one of the tanks kite one or two mobs while the others are being DPSed. Fight them in the far corner of the room so you won’t be affected by the poison.

General Arman

The boss does physical damage; he can be solo tanked but if the tank is a bit squishy or the healing is low, you can always kite him a little. (You probably can’t have 2 tanks trading aggro because one of the tanks will be involved on the adds, see below.) Occasionally he will use a slow-casting ability called Fatal Strike, which is a very powerful AOE hit (tanks get hit by about 6k, so squishies probably more or less get oneshotted from it). So at that time everyone has to run out of range to avoid it; but the range isn’t terribly big, so don’t waste time by running too far out (you don’t even have to sprint to get far enough).

Every 30 seconds, an add will spawn out of the water to the right of where the boss was initially standing (right from the point of view of the person looking towards the water). The existence of adds gives all players a debuff called Poison Fog, which stacks (one stack for each add that is alive) and does some poison damage every 5 sec. The damage is expressed as a percentage of your health (1% at one stack of the debuff, 2% at two stacks, 3% at three stacks, 5% at four stacks, 10% at five stacks, 25% at six stacks, 50% at seven stacks), though your usual mitigation still applies to it. Getting up to 5 stacks is reasonably OK with decent healing, but at 6 stacks people will most probably begin to die.

So one way to do this fight is to regard it as a DPS race — ignore the adds, move the boss when they get close (CC the adds if needed), and keep DPSing him. The challenge in this case is to kill the boss before the debuff stacks to 6x or 7x (due to there being so many adds alive) and kills you. This is doable with good DPS, especially ranged DPS.

Another way is to kill the adds as they spawn. The adds don’t have very high HP (although they are group mobs), and are CCable and easy to tank. So you can have 2-3 people killing adds one by one and the rest of the group DPSing the boss. In this case you probably can’t afford to have 2 tanks on the boss, but the boss can be kited pretty easily if the tank needs to regain some health. Killing adds gives everyone a debuff called Lingering Poison (one stack for each add that was killed); this gives you -5% poison invulnerability at one stack, -10% at two stacks, -20% at three stacks, -40% at four stacks, -80% at five stacks and -160% at six stacks (it doesn’t stack further than that, no matter how many adds you kill). This isn’t really a problem, however — you’ll never have more than one add alive anyway, so the poison damage from Poison Fog will be small and even if the Lingering Poison debuff causes this damage to double, it’s still small.

You can also have an offtank bring the adds to the boss so that they will die from the splash damage there. Just be careful that he runs out on time when the boss casts Fatal Strike (it helps if someone calls it on vent).

If you won’t be killing the adds, it’s a good idea to initially move the boss to the far left end of the area where the fight is taking place; that way the first adds will take a long time to reach you and you have more time to DPS him without too much moving around.

Loot: 1 rare trophy, 62k + 50k AA xp, some blue items (armor and weapons).

  • Arrows of the Bastion (arrows): 400 combat rating (bow), 48 hit rating, 36 crit dmg rating, 38 health tap rating
  • Breastplate of the Renegade (medium chest): 925 armor, 292 critigation amount, 35 con, 195 heal rating, 378 combat rating, 18 hit rating, 31 hate dec rating
  • Chestplate of the Crimson Fort (plate chest): 1402 armor, 292 critigation amount, 76 str, 58 con, 49 crit rating, 30 hate inc rating
  • Crossbow of Ardashir Garrison (crossbow): 120.0 DPS, 10.6 nat stamina regen, 48 hit rating, 48 crit rating, 33 hate dec rating
  • Guisarme of the Bastion (polearm): 138.3 DPS, 139 con, 35 hit rating, 99 crit rating
  • Leggings of the Kozak Slayer (light legs): 545 armor, 277 critigation amount, 41 con, 380 combat rating, 32 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Leggings of the Putrescent (cloth legs): 382 armor, 277 critigation amount, 35 con, 295 mana, 69 magic damage, 42 hit rating, 33 hate dec rating
  • Leggings of the Usurper (cloth legs): 382 armor, 277 critigation amount, 30 con, 244 stamina, 380 combat rating, 30 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Shield of the Kozak Slayer (shield): 692 armor, 80 str, 180 stamina, 38 crit rating, 33 hate inc rating
  • Sword of the Crimson Fort (1he): 104.0 DPS, 76 str, 140 combat rating (1HE), 49 crit rating
  • Vestment of the Grand Monarch (light chest): 701 armor, 292 critigation amount, 42 con, 192 heal rating, 70 magic damage, 30 hate dec rating, 25 immunity rating

Sodabeh

She initially stands a few steps behind the second boss and doesn’t get involved in that fight. After the second boss is dead, some level 40 crabs spawn in the area; killing them triggers the hardmode version of the Sodabeh encounter. (If you don’t kill them, you’ll have the normal mode version of the encounter, where you won’t get any ruins and wracks, and the adds won’t heal up.)

At the start she spawns two adds, giant crabs called Sodabeh’s Firstborn and Sodabeh’s Secondborn. Each of them has, at any given point, one of three possible debuffs:

  • Feeble Breeze (blue debuff icon): -250% damage
  • Empowering Wave (red debuff icon): +100% damage
  • Stormy Sea (black debuff icon): +250% damage, +10% scale.

Normally they change buffs every 40 seconds, switching from blue to red and back. They get the black debuff only if they are too close together or if one of them is dead.

A good tactic for this phase is to divide the group into 2 subgroups of 3 people each. Each subgroup has one tank, one healer and one DPSer (in one subgroup the DPSer is a rogue, in the other he is presumably a mage). Each tank grabs one of the adds when they spawn and from that point onwards he and his subgroup will focus on that add. When an add switches from blue to red buff or vice versa, he swaps the first and second person on his aggro list; this is why it’s good to keep the two groups separated, because if e.g. a DPSer moves from one add to another, it might happen that he’s still second on his old add’s aggro list and that add will run to him the next time he changes buffs. Because the add does almost no damage in the blue phase, he can easily be “tanked” by a DPSer at that time, while the tank goes frenzy; when the add switches to red, the tank takes aggro again and tanks him.

The add with higher health will occasionally get a heal, so the subgroup that includes a rogue should wait a bit at the start before DPSing their add; this will make sure that their add will have higher health and will get the heals all the time, so that the rogue can easily remove it (it’s inconvenient to remove heals if they occur on the add that’s being dealt by the non-rogue subgroup). You might want to have people calling the adds’ health on vent to make sure that the correct add is higher on health, and also to make sure that you don’t kill one add while the other one is still high on health.

(If you don’t have a rogue in your group, this part of the fight is trickier but still doable. You should focus on DPSing one crab down to a very low percentage of health first; then one person kites that crab far away from the rest of the group, which can meanwhile focus on the other crab and hopefully out-DPS his heals. The tricky part comes when the crabs change from blue to red or vice versa; the crab that’s being kited will leave its current kiter and run to the second person on its aggro list, but that person is at this time probably DPSing the other crab; so this person has to run towards the kited crab very quickly to prevent the kited crab from coming too close to the other crab that’s being DPSed (coming close together gives both crabs the black damage buff). This is easier if you can afford to keep two people on the kited crab all the time, but this means you have just 4 people on the other crab and they might have trouble out-DPSing its heals.)

The adds have a frontal cone attack called Poison Breath, but it’s slow casting so the person tanking that add can move out of the cone before the cast is done. Others should be standing to the side anyway, not in front of the add. The add also puts a wrack on the aggro holder (Poison Pincer Wrack: +50% hinder movement for 15 sec; applied by the crab when it casts Wracking Stab), which you can remove with Resolve if you’re a soldier.

When the two crabs are dead, Sodabeh herself changes into an even bigger crab and attacks you. This is basically a tank and spank fight. The main challenge ATM is that Sodabeh switches aggro like crazy; so she’ll often end up hitting squishies and they should try to maximize their HP and survivability. Watch out for the following abilities:

  • Necrotic Gaze: channeled spell which applies a debuff on the targeted player (not necessarily the one who is tanking); for each 1 sec of the channelling, a new stack of the debuff appears. It causes a snare and a poison dot, and squishies have a hard time surviving it at 5x, so make sure to interrupt the channeling quickly. At 5 stacks it hits people for 900-1600 per sec (depending on whether they are tanks or squishies) and also gives a 50% miss/fizzle chance. You can remove it by doubletapping to the side; it’s best to do this early, when you have just 1 or 2 stacks, it not only removes the stacks you already have but also prevents additional stacks from appearing. (This also works on a similar snare debuff that you get while fighting the Firstborn/Secondborn crabs.)
  • Shell Shock is a big targeted nuke (can be up to 4-5K damage on squishies), AFAIK it can’t be interrupted and you must simply survive and outheal it. There used to be another similar but even more annoying nuke called Tormenting Shell Shock, which would additionally afflict the target with a torment (Sodabeh’s Torment: -45% crushing inv, -45% poison inv, -5% damage every second for 15 seconds; can be removed by a mage with Unbinding Charm, or by a BS with Steadfast Faith); fortunately this ability was removed in the 3.1 patch. The Shell Shock cast is relatively slow and if you tank the boss near a corner, the target of shell shock can run behind the corner to break line of sight and avoid taking damage.
  • Occasionally she afflicts more or less everyone nearby with a ruin (Sodabeh’s Ruin: -4500 armor, -4% damage every second for 15 seconds), which the priest has to remove very quickly with Steadfast Faith, otherwise people will start dying. You won’t see her casting the ruin on her casting bar, so you have to watch your debuffs and people have to stand so that the priest can easily reach them with the cone of his Steadfast Faith.

Ranged classes can DPS her from range; if you stand far enough, you won’t get any ruins from her, nor any white hits (you can still get Shell Shock but this should be easy enough to survive and outheal).

If you wipe on the boss, you’ll have to fight the two crabs again on the next attempt. The adds no longer give any AA xp when killed. There is no lockout after killing the boss (nor any other boss here in Ardashir Fort).
After you’ve killed Arman, a door near the entrance to the dungeon becomes active which takes you directly to the entrance of Arman’s room; this saves you some time when running back after a wipe on Sodabeh.

Loot: crate of rare trophies, around 250k AA xp, some blue items, one purple helmet; sometimes a purple necklace (Soulbearer); sometimes an Old Grimoire (used in Ardashir Arena).

  • Coverings of the Grand Monarch (light legs): 545 armor, 277 critigation amount, 35 con, 200 heal rating, 68 magic damage, 31 hate dec rating, 38 immunity rating
  • Hammer of Dreams (1hb): 110.0 DPS, 200 stamina, 49 crit rating, 58 crit dmg rating
  • Harness of the Kozak Slayer (light chest): 701 armor, 292 critigation amount, 40 con, 382 combat rating, 32 hit rating, 33 hate dec rating
  • Headband of the Kozak Slayer (light head): 574 armor, 339 critigation amount, 43 con, 430 combat rating, 53 hit rating, 52 crit rating, 36 hate dec rating
  • Headdress of the Grand Monarch (light head): 574 armor, 339 critigation amount, 60 con, 315 heal rating, 72 magic damage, 51 crit rating, 37 hate dec rating
  • Helm of the Crimson Fort (plate head): 1148 armor, 339 critigation amount, 85 str, 96 con, 50 crit rating, 35 hate inc rating
  • Helm of the Renegade (medium head): 757 armor, 339 critigation amount, 35 con, 324 heal rating, 434 combat rating, 30 hit rating, 47 crit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Hood of the Putrescent (cloth head): 402 armor, 339 critigation amount, 42 con, 405 mana, 74 magic damage, 54 hit rating, 50 crit rating, 35 hate dec rating
  • Hood of the Usurper (cloth head): 402 armor, 339 critigation amount, 32 con, 280 stamina, 439 combat rating, 47 hit rating, 47 crit rating, 36 hate dec rating
  • Legguards of the Crimson Fort (plate legs): 1090 armor, 277 critigation amount, 74 str, 58 con, 49 crit rating, 32 hate inc rating
  • Legguards of the Renegade (medium legs): 720 armor, 277 critigation amount, 30 con, 200 heal rating, 376 combat rating, 28 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Putrescent Blade (dagger): 68.6 DPS, 105 int, 150 mana, 48 crit rating, 41 fatality rating, 55 crit dmg rating
  • Soulbearer (purple necklace): 625 HP, 11 nat mana regen, 11 nat stamina regen, 54 hit rating, 65 crit dmg rating
  • Staff of the Crustacean (staff): 59.5 DPS, 720 mana, 121 magic damage, 98 crit rating, 78 magic mana tap rating
  • Tunic of the Putrescent (cloth chest): 491 armor, 292 critigation amount, 30 con, 310 mana, 71 magic damage, 49 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating
  • Tunic of the Usurper (cloth chest): 491 armor, 292 critigation amount, 28 con, 200 stamina, 380 combat rating, 40 hit rating, 32 hate dec rating

The whole Ardashir Fort run (with hardmode on Sodabeh) gives you around 500k AA xp, and can be done in about half an hour if everything goes smoothly.

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  1. Tore
    February 14, 2012 at 14:12

    Thank you very much for this guide šŸ™‚

  2. lapprendista
    June 15, 2014 at 01:34

    ofc, the right perk for removing the ruin is steadfast faith and not celestial gaze

    • June 15, 2014 at 13:09

      Good point, I fixed it now. Hopefully some healers were tricked by my erroneous description into doing some extra healing šŸ˜›

  1. March 20, 2012 at 01:13
  2. December 23, 2013 at 14:01
  3. March 4, 2014 at 03:32

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