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Crimson Fort set from Ardashir Fort

March 20, 2012 1 comment

Ardashir armor sets

Six armor sets drop in Ardashir Fort and Ardashir Arena; there is no heavy set, and also no HoX or ranger sets:

  • Crimson Fort [plate]
  • Grand Monarch [PoM/ToS]
  • Kozak Slayer [barb]
  • Putrescent [demo/necro]
  • Renegade [BS]
  • Usurper [sin]

Each of these sets consists of 7 parts; the head is purple, hands are missing, and other parts are blue. The major parts drop from Ardashir Fort, and in particular all heads drop from Sodabeh hardmode.

These sets are based on more or less the same 3-d models as the T3.5 raid sets from the Temple of Erlik, but the raid sets have fancier textures. Whether this improves their appearance or not is a matter of taste, I guess. For example, the Crimson Fort set is based on the same models as the T3.5 plate (Ostiary) and heavy (Milites Templi) sets, but I think most parts of the Crimson Fort set look better than the corresponding parts of the Ostiary set, perhaps with the exception of the chest.

I wonder why they didn’t add hands to the Ardashir blue sets as well. After all, the T3.5 sets all contain hands as well, so they’d just have to copy their models and alter their texture slightly.

Where do these sets drop? The loot tables are fairly systematical and can be easily summarized thus:

Location Boss Sets
Grand Monarch, Renegade, Crimson Fort Kozak Slayer, Putrescent, Usurper
Ardashir Fort Commander Kamangir wrist wrist
General Arman chest legs
Sodabeh legs chest
Sodabeh hardmode

head head
Ardashir Arena Marjan of Kara-Shehr feet, wrist shoulder, belt
Tomb King shoulder, belt feet, wrist

Crimson Fort

I recently got the last missing part from this full plate set, thanks to some farming of the Tomb King in the Ardashir Arena. The whole set looks like this:


I think it looks great, and I like it even better in the game (where it looks darker) than on the character selection screen (from which the above screenshot was taken). One thing that annoys me is that the chestguard is so blatantly asymmetrical. And the helmet of course looks positively ridiculous; though I guess the numerous antennae are useful for communicating with your alien overlords. Another minor annoyance is the lack of hands; I suppose that the T3.5 plate hands should go well with this set, but I don’t have them; but I noticed that the T4 plate hands (Gauntlets of Courageous Souls) are pretty much as black as the Crimson Fort set and go well with it.

Where does it drop?

  • Armguards of the Crimson Fort: Tomb King, Ardashir Arena
  • Belt of the Crimson Fort: Tomb King, Ardashir Arena
  • Boots of the Crimson Fort: Marjan of Kara-Shehr, Ardashir Arena
  • Chestplate of the the Crimson Fort: General Arman, Ardashir Fort
  • Helm of the Crimson Fort: Sodabeh hardmode, Ardashir Fort
  • Legguards of the Crimson Fort: Sodabeh, Ardashir Fort
  • Vambraces of the Crimson Fort: Commander Kamangir, Ardashir Fort; and Marjan of Kara-Shehr, Ardashir Arena

Like other Ardashir armor sets, this one also consists of only 7 parts (everything except the hands).

Stats

As with the other Ardashir sets, the head is purple while the rest of the set is blue. The head has very similar stats to the one from the Last Legion physical set (General’s Helm of the Eastern Sun), except that it has a bit of extra strength and constitution instead of hit rating.

  • Armguards of the Crimson Fort: 467 armor, 102 critigation, 41 str, 60 con, 33 hate inc rtg
  • Belt of the Crimson Fort: 311 armor, 161 critigation, 70 str, 58 con, 58 crit damage rtg
  • Boots of the Crimson Fort: 623 armor, 161 critigation, 65 str, 64 con, 58 crit dmg rtg
  • Chestplate of the Crimson Fort: 1402 armor, 292 critigation, 76 str, 58 con, 49 crit rtg, 30 hate inc rtg
  • Helm of the Crimson Fort: 1148 armor, 339 critigation, 85 str, 96 con, 50 crit rtg, 35 hate inc rtg
  • Legguards of the Crimson Fort: 1090 armor, 277 critigation, 74 str, 58 con, 49 crit rtg, 32 hate inc rtg
  • Vambraces of the Crimson Fort: 311 armor, 88 critigation, 58 str, 50 con, 24 hate increase rtg
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Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

How to spawn the Lurker at the Threshold

March 18, 2012 4 comments

The Lurker at the Threshold is a hidden raid boss that can be spawned in the Threshold of Divinity, the social part of House of Crom. After long efforts, some people have finally figured out how to spawn him and enough information has now been posted in the epic forum thread that the rest of the details can be reconstructed without too much trouble.


Or click here to see a larger map in vector format (SVG).

1. First, you need a Restored Keystone. To make it, you first need a Faded Keystone Fragment, which drops from the rare form of Narvi (Narvi the Opener of Hideous Doors). If you have this fragment in your inventory during the Alchemist Myk-ra encounter, and get hit by his Transmute spell, the fragment gets changed into a blue item called Energized Keystone Fragment.

For the next step, you’ll need the following ingredients in your inventory: 1 Energized Keystone Fragment, 1 Aqua Regia, 1 Aurichalcum, 4 Powdered Desert Glass. Then you can go kill Artificer Xan-Phon; after he’s dead, someone should do fire damage on the Heating Device (the pillar right of the forge) until it reaches 100%; then the person with the aforementioned ingredients in his/her inventory can click the forge and will have those ingredients replaced by a Restored Keystone. (The list of ingredients is hinted at by one of the Atlantean inscriptions in the Artificer’s room. See these forum posts: link 1, link 2.)

Both kinds of fragments, as well as the Restored Keystone, are tradable generic items, so you can also buy them from other players on the tradepost etc.

2. Now go place the Restored Keystone into the holder next to where Narvi is standing. You’ll probably have to kill Narvi first as you can’t reach the holder without aggroing him. Once the keystone is placed into the holder, it is lost from your inventory and there’s no way to recover it; it will stay in the holder until this instance of the dungeon resets, and then it will disappear for good. So you’ll need a new keystone the next time you want to do this in a different instance.

3. The next step is to “charge” the four circular platforms on the ground by spellweaving on them. These four platforms are located as follows (see the above map): one near Jotunrodull; one is reached by jumping down from the Hero Plateau; one is on the Ledge of the Scholars; and one is where the Arcanist Khor-nu is standing (so you have to kill him before you can charge the platform).

To charge a platform, someone has to spellweave on it for 2 minutes. Any class that can spellweave will do. When the platform is charged, yellow glowing particles appear on it, and the spellweaver gets a short cutscene which shows that the portal on top of the ziggurat (behind Narvi) is opening little by little.

Once a platform is charged, it remains charged indefinitely (until the instance resets). So you don’t have to have multiple people doing this simultaneously or anything like that; you can simply have one group moving around the dungeon and charging the platforms one by one.

4. When all 4 platforms are charged, the portal appears fully open. On the Ledge of the Scholars, there are 4 clickable Atlantean Scriptures (actually 5 but one of them isn’t clickable so I won’t count it). The Scholar NPC on the Ledge of the Scholars moves towards the middle scripture and starts repeating 4 lines of text, with pauses in between and with a longer pause after all 4 lines.

For the next step of the ritual, you’ll need one person on the ledge and one by the altar (next to the portal). When the Scholar says something, the person on the ledge should click the Scripture which produces a “matching” line of text. At the same time, the person by the altar should do the corresponding emote. The correct order of the scriptures, if you number them 1–4 from left to right (as you stand on the ledge and look towards the ziggurat), is 3-4-2-1. The corresponding order of emotes is /pointup, /horizon, /poundchest, /beckon (these are based on hints given by inscriptions in Priest Syth-Los’s room). The complete ritual looks like this:

Scholar: In his house, Yog-Sothoth waits dreaming.
Scripture 3: He is the Lurker at the Threshold, and his computation is eight, and twenty, and four hundred.
Altar: /pointup

Scholar: Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.
Scripture 4: He knows the gate. He is the gate. He is the key and guardian of the gate.
Altar: /horizon

Scholar: The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be.
Scripture 2: Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.
Altar: /poundchest

Scholar: Open the gate, Yog-Sothoth! Shatter the doors between the screaming stars!
Scripture 1: Ia, Old One! Ia, Faceless One! Ia, he whose name is The Abnormal Ones Are Coming! Ia! Ia!
Altar: /beckon

The person clicking the scriptures has to have more or less maxed out his/her Atlantean language skill (by consuming 8 Fragments of Atlantean) in order to be able to click all four scriptures. The person doing the emotes doesn’t require anything special.

5. If this ritual has been done correctly, four candles and a book will now appear on the altar. Anyone moving close to the altar gets a 60-second buff called Ritual Blessing. A female character wearing the Royal Atlantean Gown should now approach the altar, get the Ritual Blessing buff, and then click the portal. This summons the Lurker.

If you didn’t get the emotes correctly during the ritual, the candles and book might still appear, and even give you a buff called Ritual Blessing, but it will have a different icon (orange instead of yellow) and will last just 30 seconds instead of 60. This is your clue that something went wrong. If the gown-wearer clicks the portal while having this wrong buff, she will get a message that “something with the ritual has gone horrifically wrong” and will get oneshotted by a gian hand reaching out from the portal. But this is nothing tragic, the candles etc. will reset when the Scholar on the Ledge starts his four lines of text again, so you just have to wait a bit and you can try repeating the ritual again.

During all this clicking and waiting, Narvi will probably respawn, but he doesn’t hinder the ritual in any way. He’ll disappear anyway if you manage to summon the Lurker. I saw barriers going up at the entrances into Narvi’s area when the Lurker was summoned, so I guess that if you want to actually kill the Lurker, you should probably assemble your raid team in Narvi’s yard before you summon him.

Update: the tactics for the Lurker encounter have recently been published by X.legion on the German AoC forum: link.

Update 2: the above link is now broken since the old EU forums were shut down by Failcom, and it seems that nobody bothered to transfer the tactics to the new forums. Here’s an archived copy of the old forum thread: link.

World-drop purples

March 16, 2012 1 comment

This is another excuse for nostalgia and reminiscences of the olden days, thinly disguised as a post about world-drop purple items 😛


Watchmen in Old Tarantia shamelessly flaunting the Aegis of Five Mercies. (Click to enlarge.)

The old world-drop purples

In the early days of the game, pretty much any mob in areas such as open-world playfields, villas, etc. had a small chance of dropping a purple item; bosses seemed to have a higher chance, and bosses in epic versions of the playfields had a higher chance still. All these items were handheld — weapons, shields, ammunition and the like; there wasn’t any purple armor dropping in this way. There was generally one level 80 purple item of each kind, and typically one lower-level item as well. The drop rates were sufficiently high that you had a good chance of seeing at least one such drop by the time you levelled your character to 80. Those who farmed epic Kheshatta a lot in those days (either for gear or for money — mobs in epic playfields dropped several times as much money as they do now, until a nerf a few months after the release) saw them even more often, or so I heard (as I hadn’t done much farming there myself in those days).

Another very nice thing about these items was that, unlike most of the good drops in the game, they were tradable. Nowadays they are bind-on-equip, but in those days the concept of bind-on-equip didn’t yet exist in the game; an item was either non-tradable, i.e. bind-on-pickup, or tradable, in which case it didn’t get bound even if you equipped it. When the old tradable/nontradable system was replaced a couple months after launch by the nonbinding/BoE/BoP system (which we still have now), items that you already had equipped didn’t automatically get bound. I myself took off the purple crossbow that I had had equipped on my guardian and mailed it to a bank alt, where it still sits, happily unbound.

The following purple world-drop items were available:

  • Aegis of Five Mercies [level 80 shield, str]
  • Arc of Ophiuchus [level 71 bow]
  • Asylum of the Bloodied Maw [level 73 shield, str]
  • Axis of the Recondite Mind [level 56 staff]
  • Axis of Unearthly Accort [level 80 staff]
  • Barbs of Black Blood [level 59 arrows]
  • Barbs of Writhing Rot [level 71 arrows]
  • Black Cragfall [level 80 1hb, str]
  • Black Destiny [level 72 crossbow]
  • Blade of Black Bile [level 80 2he, str]
  • Blade of Red Rivers [level 64 2he, str]
  • Bolts of Effulgent Travail [level 72 bolts]
  • Bolts of Fateful Radiance [level 80 bolts]
  • Bolts of the Stormshrike [level 60 bolts]
  • Codex of Anagogic Observance [level 67 talisman, magic dmg]
  • Cusp of the Heavens [level 80 bow]
  • Dagger of Envy’s Fury [level 80 dagger, combat rtg]
  • Fang of Pestilent Blood [level 55 dagger, dex]
  • Fingers of the Frozen Soul [level 80 arrows]
  • Fire and Glory [level 78 polearm, combat rtg]
  • Fist of the Flamesire [level 51 1hb, str]
  • Heart of the Earth [level 80 2hb, str, combat rtg]
  • Heaven Sundered [level 76 2he, str]
  • Knuckle of Red Ice [level 63 1hb, str]
  • Mark of Abhorrent Deeds [level 70 talisman, str]
  • Mark of Dark Blessings [level 68 talisman, str]
  • Mark of Ineffable Sins [level 80 talisman, str]
  • Maul of the Stars [level 77 2hb, str]
  • Octavo of Cryptic Rites [level 57 talisman, int]
  • Opus of Mystical Consonance [level 80 talisman, magic dmg]
  • Sanctuary of Souls [level 61 shield, str]
  • Soulcarved Evil [level 74 1he, str]
  • Sting of the Venom Brood [level 80 crossbow]
  • The Cloud Anvil [level 65 2hb, str]
  • The Coldmorn [level 80 1he, str]
  • The Coldsnapper [level 60 crossbow]
  • The Edge of Anger [level 50 1he, hate inc rtg]
  • The Edge of the North [level 62 2he, str]
  • The Hand of Storms [level 75 1hb, str]
  • The Haven of Pain [level 49 shield, str]
  • The Herald of Blight [level 80 polearm, str]
  • The Ire of the Sun [level 62 1he, str]
  • The Reach of Storms [level 54 polearm, str]
  • The Ruinmaker [level 66 polearm, str]
  • The Scorpion’s Prey [level 79 dagger, dex]
  • The Sunmark [level 59 bow]
  • The Union of Gifts [level 58 staff, magic dmg]
  • The Vilegrist [level 53 2hb, str]
  • The Widow’s Pain [level 80 dagger, dex]
  • Veiled Hate [level 67 dagger, dex]

This was all before the 1.05 itemization revamp, of course (although the notes in brackets in the above list are based on the post-1.05 stats); so it isn’t surprising that in terms of stats, these purple weapons and shields were only a tiny improvement over corresponding (and much more easily obtained) blue items. But many of them were impressive in appearance, and used models quite distinct from any item of blue or lower quality. I guess you could say they were the closest we ever got to vanity weapons in this game. Some of the models were reused for raid weapons, e.g. the Herald of Blight (purple world-drop polearm) was based on the same model as the T1/T2 guardian polearm; but many were completely unique (e.g. the Aegis of Five Mercies).

Purple rain

One notable incident regarding world-drop purples was the phenomenon often referred to as “purple rain”. Poitain and other resource-gathering zones were almost completely devoid of mobs at launch, but after some time — in the summer of 2008 — they added one or two camps of mobs to each of those playfield [link 1, link 2]. Poitain got two areas of level 80 beguiler demons in the central part of the playfield. You could farm them to get a bit of money, white or green gear that you could sell to vendors, maybe the occasional gem.

Of course it was only reasonable that they also had a chance, the same small chance as nearly every other mob, of dropping the world-drop purples; but by some odd mistake, their chance of dropping these purples was much higher than was intended. This was soon noticed by the players and became widely known, with the unsurprising result that you had considerable numbers of players, some individually and some in groups, farming the poor demons in every instance of Poitain they could lay their hands on.

This would presumably lead to a steep decline in the prices of these weapons on the trader, though the decline wasn’t as steep as one might perhaps imagine. I didn’t have the patience for extensive amounts of farming in those days, so the only purple item I got from those demons was an Aegis of Five Mercies, which I sold soon afterwards on the trader for something like 30 or 35 gold. This didn’t strike me as much less than what that kind of items used to cost before the purple rain period, and in any case it was a huge sum of money for me back then. It also seemed insane to me that someone would pay so much for a shield that was, in terms of stats, such a tiny improvement over something much more easily available (e.g. a blue world-drop shield such as Spellscourge, which might perhaps sell for 10 g or less).

As often happens, Funcom didn’t react to the purple rain as quickly as one might imagine. The really large-scale farming went on for pretty much an entire week before the drop rates of purples from those demons were nerfed [link 1, link 2]. A few months later, in update 1.03, there was a thorough revamp of the gathering zones, during which they removed the existing mob camps and added new ones which are still there now — beguiler demons were moved to Purple Lotus Swamp whereas Poitain was filled with Nemedians, cows and the like [link 1, link 2, link 3].

The end of world-drop purples

It used to be somewhat of a common misconception that world-drop purples stopped dropping immediately after the end of the purple rain period, but actually they kept on dropping for a while until they were silently removed from all drop tables some time in the autumn of 2008 (perhaps in the same update, 1.03, that introduced many other changes such as culture armor recipes and a revamp of the mob camps in resource gathering zones). This wasn’t mentioned in the patch notes, and I’m not sure if the devs ever even explicitly admitted that the weapons stopped dropping altogther. The way I remember it, it was mostly hints that the drop rates were reduced to balance out the glut of purple weapons that entered the economy during the purple rain days; there was always a hint that the purple weapons would eventually return, but they never did, despite many requests by the players.

The world drop purples that were already in the game were of course unaffected by these changes in the drop tables; if you had an unbound world drop purple, it was still there, unbound and waiting for you to equip it or sell it. But by then, the bind-on-equip system was already in place; so as soon as someone equiped such a weapon, it got bound to his character. Thus, there was a mechanism that took unbound purples out of the economy, but no mechanism that would bring new ones in (since they stopped dropping), and their prices naturally soared.

This was exacerbated by the fact that raiding, the only other source of purple weapons, wasn’t as widely available at that time; not as many guilds raided, there were more or less no pug raids, and even if you did raid, weapons were harder to get than now. At that time, only Vistrix dropped T1 weapons, not all T1 bosses like they do now. And in the BRC, W3 hadn’t yet been released (until 1.04) and Chatha was in a bugged and unkillable condition (probably a deliberate decision by the devs to act as a content blocker until they released W3), so the only T2 boss that dropped weapons was Sabazios.

As a result, there was a period of several months, in late 2008 and early 2009, when unbound world-drop purples had a somewhat mythical status, extremely desirable and extremely expensive on the few occasions when they appeared on the tradepost. I saw an Aegis of Five Mercies for sale at 500 gold, and while I doubt it actually sold at that price, the fact is that prices around 150 gold were considered reasonable and unremarkable for many world-drop purples. I often regretted having sold an Aegis for 35 gold in the purple rain era, and I greatly envied the many NPCs that were carrying this shield as a standard part of their equipment.


Undead minion in the Catacombs with the Aegis of Five Mercies.

Gradually, this market must have cooled down a bit. After the 1.05 itemization revamp, the world-drop purples on the one hand became more noticeably better compared to blues than they were before, but at the same time they became more noticeably worse compared to raid purples. This, together with the increasing availability of raid weapons, made the old world-drop purples seem less alluring. Unless Funcom introduces support for vanity weapons the same way they currently support vanity armor, I find it hard to imagine that there will ever be much interest in the old-world purples except for nostalgia value. I still think the Aegis of Five Mercies is a beautiful shield, but it just wouldn’t make any sense to wear it instead of a raid shield; and as far as appearance is concerned, it’s only nostalgia that prevents me from admitting that the guardian T3 shield actually looks better.

Khitai world-drop purples

The expansion has a considerably different system of world-drop items than the pre-expansion content. Mobs don’t drop any armor or weapons directly; instead, they drop various kinds of bags, and then you can click a bag in your inventory and get something random from it: money, potions, esteem tokens, or in some rare occasions blue or (even more rarely) purple BoE equipment.

These drop rates seem to be quite low. In the first few months of the game I got several world-drop purples, so if the drop rates in Khitai were comparable I’d probably have found 10 or 20 of the new Khitai world-drop purples by now, but in fact I didn’t find any yet. Even of blue items I probably got no more than 10 or so.

Anyway, the following is a list of the new Khitai world-drop purples. They are all level 80 items, and like the old world-drop purples they are all bind-on-equip.

  • Blade of the Forgotten [1he, wis, heal rtg]
  • Discipline of the Immportal [1hb, con, hate inc rtg]
  • Divide of the Phoenix [2he, str, mana tap rtg]
  • Eclipse of Destiny [dagger, int]
  • Facade of the Interloper [level 80 shield, con, health tap rtg]
  • Hook of Infinite Woe [2hb, str, mana tap rtg]
  • Path of the Enlightened [staff, int]
  • Quencher of Hearts [staff, wis, heal rtg]
  • Rememberance [sic] [1he, str]
  • Return of Time [polearm, str]
  • Shell of Kings [talisman, magic dmg]
  • Soulreaper [dagger, dex]
  • The Challenge of Stone [crossbow]
  • The Solar Wind [bow]

Return of the old world-drop purples

Mobs and bosses in the House of Crom drop items called Excavator’s Kits, which have the same role as the various kinds of bags that drop from Khitai mobs. For me the most attractive thing about them is that they have a decent chance of dropping level 80 four-hour food; but they also have a chance of dropping old-world level 80 blue and purple items.

Thus, for the first time since the autumn of 2008, new unbound copies of the old world-drop purples are entering the game. Of course, as mentioned above, they aren’t really attractive in terms of stats nowadays, and the game doesn’t support vanity weapons, so there’s understandably not that much interest in them, and their prices reflect that. I’ve seen some of them offered for sale for 20 gold or less. Even I bought myself an Aegis of Five Mercies for 28 gold, for old times’ sake. Considering that I sold one for 35g during the purple rain week more than 3 years ago, I have the feeling that I made a profit from it after all 😛

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear

Old world-drop and dungeon sets

March 11, 2012 5 comments

There is a large number of blue armor sets dropping from old-world content in the level 40-80 range. Probably the only reason to go out of your way to farm for them nowadays would be as vanity gear; in terms of stats, they simply aren’t that impressive (the below-80 sets because you will outlevel them too soon and the level 80 ones because you will get better gear in Khitai easily enough). But many of these sets are quite interesting as vanity armor, and you can even notice that many of the social armor sets for sale in the item shop are just slightly modified versions of these old blue sets. So I figured I’d make a post about them, partly because I like vanity gear and partly because of nostalgia for old content.



Skyshear (the ToS level 80 dungeon set).

World-drop sets

These sets drop mainly from bosses in open-world playfields; when you kill such a boss, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a green item, but there’s also a small chance that he’ll drop a blue item instead. On the other hand, if you go to the epic instance of the playfield, you’re guaranteed to get a blue item from each boss kill. Thus, people who explicitly want to farm for this sort of blue gear do it in the epic version of the playfields.

The loot tables of open-world bosses are fairly huge; besides armor they also have a chance of dropping various kinds of weapons, shields, etc., many of which are bind-on-equip (and most of which have rather unimpressive stats compared to dungeon drops). What exactly can drop from a boss depends on his level; IME each boss generally drops items that are up to 2 levels above or below him.

Besides open-world playfields, this sort of items also drop from bosses in the Oasis of Zaara, Frost Swamp and Imirian Ravine (which are scalable level 40-80 group dungeons; the level of the mobs adjusts to the level of the first player that enters the dungeon), and also from Attilius Mansion and Slaughterhouse Cellar (where you can choose between normal and epic mode when entering, similarly to an open-world playfield). They also have a small chance of appearing in the loot bag that’s created when a player is killed in PvP.

All this huge jumble of world-drop blue items includes 12 sets of armor in the level 40-69 range and 12 sets of armor in the level 70-80 range (in addition, there are various odd pieces of armor which don’t form sets, so they won’t concern us here). Thus, each of these sets actually exists in several versions for different levels; all these different-level versions look exactly the same, but the higher-level items of course have better stats.

Chests, heads, legs and hands are bind-on-pickup and are available in even-level versions (40, 42, …, 78, 80); shoulders, wrists, feet and belts are bind-on-equip and are available in odd-level versions (41, 43, …, 77, 79), and also for level 80, so that you can get the whole set at level 80 if you like.

People who want to farm the low-level (40-69) sets for vanity usually do so in the epic instance of Field of the Dead, in the Haunted Forest area in the southern part of the playfield. There are a lot of bosses there near to one another, so you can farm them very efficiently, and by the time you’ve killed them all, the first ones have already started respawning, so you can keep farming without delays for as long as you like.

To farm the high-level (70-80) sets, people usually go to the epic instance of Kheshatta. Occasionally people would farm the lions in the eastern part of the playfield, near Kalanthes’s camp; these bosses are level 75 or so, and drop armor in that range as well. If you specifically want level 80 versions, you have to go to the camps in the southwest of the playfield. The first few bosses in the Ghanatan area are level 78-80, so they have a chance of dropping level 80 armor, but they can also drop slightly lower-level versions; as you go further you reach the bat camps with level 81-82 bosses, which always drop level 80 armor.

Open-world bosses like these tend to be vulnerable to CCs, so it’s often perfectly possible for a decently-geared level 80 character to solo such a boss if he uses enough CCs (don’t forget the stun from double-tapping forward and melee hits!) and maybe a bit of kiting; but this is slow and people of course usually did this with a group (though it doesn’t have to be a full group). Most of these bosses are in tents surrounded by lots of trash, so the usual approach was to have one player aggro the mobs and kite them while another player then extracted the boss from this group and started fighting him. The trash would eventually reset and go back to the tent, at which point the kiter can go to the boss fight as well.

Level 80 dungeon sets

These sets are sometimes referred to as “T0” or “T0.5” sets, the idea being that they are naturally one step below T1 raid gear. In any case, they drop in the three original level 80 group dungeons: Atzel’s Fortress, Caravan Raiders’ Hideout, and Onyx Chambers. These were in fact the only level 80 group dungeons available at launch, if you don’t count the scalable ones mentioned earlier (Frost Swamp, Imirian Ravine, Oasis of Zaara).

There are again 12 sets here, but the loot tables aren’t all mixed together like they are for the world-drop sets. Instead, each boss has a smallish loot table consisting of maybe 5 or so specific items. So if you want to farm for a specific set, you should look up which bosses drop those items, and focus on farming those particular bosses. Many parts of these sets drop from rare bosses in Onyx Chambers, which makes farming these sets a major pain in the ass (not to mention very time-consuming).

See this forum post for a list of what drops where; this post for more about farming Onyx Chambers; and this excellent interactive map of Onyx Chambers. Many people complain that Onyx is confusing and easy to get lost in, but once you get used to it you see that it’s really fairly simple, and you can always know exactly where you are and how to get to where you want to go.

Various other things drop in these dungeons besides the above-mentioned twelve level 80 dungeon sets. Atzel’s Fortress contains a few odd bits of armor and incomplete sets (Mordec, Gunderland). Onyx contains a wide assortment of weapons, many of which are curiously class-specific by present-day standards. Although none of them has an explicit class constraint, their stats have been set up so that many of them are really only useful for one class; for example, there’s a mace with electrical damage (Windfury) to make sure that it’s useful only for a ToS but not for a PoM; there’s a staff with holy damage (Shadow’s Bane) to make sure that it’s useful only for a PoM, etc.

Additionally, various crafting recipes also drop in these dungeons; in particular, some of them drop culture armor recipes, and Brokk the Smith in Atzel’s Fortress drops several alchemy recipes (useful for crafting ingredients for T2/T3 crafted raid weapons). Of course, it’s very doubtful whether it’s worth the trouble to farm for these recipes in the current state of the economy.

Before 1.05, the level 80 world drop sets and level 80 dungeon sets were very similar in terms of stats, but since 1.05 they are very different; the world ones are utter crap, but the dungeon sets are actually still pretty decent. The only problem is that they take so much effort to farm; if you spend the same amount of time in Khitai, you’ll get much better gear in the process.

Set names

As mentioned above, there are 12 sets in each group; that is, twelve level 40-69 world drop sets, twelve level 70-80 world drop sets, and twelve level 80 dungeon sets. Although none of them have any explicit class constraints, it’s obvious that there is meant to be some sort of correspondence between the 12 character classes and the 12 sets in each group. Most of the time you can see that a particular set has been given stats with a particular class in mind, and usually its name is also in a certain (somewhat poetic) relationship to the class.

Class Level 40-69
world-drop set
Level 70-80
world-drop set
Level 80
dungeon set
Assassin

Twilight

Midnight

Widowdusk
Barbarian

Corybantic

Ravager’s

Goremonger’s
Bear Shaman

Wildsoul

Beastfury

Strifescar
Conqueror

Vindicator

Vanquisher’s

Warglory
Dark Templar

Heretic’s

Baleful

Bloodseraph’s
Demonologist

Brimstoned

Nadiral

Blacksulphur
Guardian*

Watchman’s

Resolute

Steelspirit
Herald of Xotli

Dark Ember

Wildfire

Bloodseer’s
Necromancer

Eidolon’s

Voidseeker

Nihilistic
Priest of Mitra

Beatific

Resplendent

Exaltate’s
Ranger

Pathfinder

Crow Feather

Wildstrider
Tempest of Set

Zephyrous

Empyreal

Skyshear

* Note: in the case of the “guardian” sets, the transition from one set to another occurs at level 60 instead of 70. In other words, Watchman’s is available only up to level 59, whereas Resolute is available for the whole 60-80 range. This is because full-plate armor becomes available from level 60, so the alternative would be to either make some other kind of plate drops available in the 60-69 range, or to make the Watchman’s set partly heavy (in the 40-59 range) and partly plate (in the 60-69) range (which would be odd as you’d have items from the same set looking substantially different).

Many of the correspondences between sets and classes are readily obvious; for example, if you see a light armor set with melee DPS stats, you will naturally say it’s a barbarian set. But there are a few cases that are less obvious. Clearly the Beatific and Zephyrous sets are PoM/ToS sets; but how will you say which is which? In terms of stats, it seems to me that the Zephyrous set has very little to recommend itself; it has more hit rating than Beatific, but less HP and magic damage.

One possible fallback mechanism in such a case is the name itself. The PoM as a class is associated with holiness and positive divinity, whereas the ToS tends to be associated with skies, storms and lightning. Thus, Beatific is a very PoMmish name (even though I have to admit that Zephyrous isn’t a terribly ToSsish name).

Another argument is historical. As you can see from old screenshots in this thread, the Beatific set used to have holy damage (as opposed to generic magic damage), and Zephyrous used to have electrical damage. Similarly, Brimstoned used to have fire and electrical damage while Eidolon’s had cold and unholy damage, so the former is the demo set and the latter is the necro set. The above-mentioned thread unfortunately doesn’t contain screenshots with the stats of the level 70-80 sets, but I assume they similarly had stats that left one in no doubt as to which set is meant for which class.

Another argument in the case of demo/necro sets is the following, based on their stats. Throughout the game, demo sets tend to have intelligence whereas necro sets tend to have a mixture of intelligence and magic damage. You can certainly see this in the case of T1/T2/T3 raid armor sets, which are explicitly marked as class-specific in the game itself. TBH it isn’t quite obvious to me, although I have levelled both a demo and a necro, why one of these two arrangements (i.e. pure int vs. a combination of int and magic damage) should be preferable for one class and not for the other class, but it’s certainly a distinction that is maintained with some degree of consistency across many tiers (you can even see it in T4, with a pure int set (Outer Dark) and an int/magic damage set (Bone Oracle)).

For the dungeon sets, we have another way of resolving these questions, which is probably as close to “word of god” as we can get on this matter. You can go to the testlive server, roll a PoM or a ToS, and ask Fate to level you up to 80 and give you suitable armor. You can see that a PoM will get the Exaltate’s set whereas a ToS will get the Skyshear set. The demo vs. necro dilemmas can be resolved in the same way. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for the world-drop sets, because Fate doesn’t hand out those (if you ask for gear at a lower level, you get a mix of various green and blue items, none from the world-drop sets).

The original world-drop system

It would seem that in the very early days of the game, the world-drop system had somewhat different naming conventions, based on a division into six tiers, not merely two, spanning the level ranges 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-74, 75-79, and 80. (This sort of arrangement actually still exists for white and green gear, as well as for crafted gear.)

There’s a very interesting forum thread about this, dated 19 June 2008, i.e. still in the pre-release period. According to that thread, for any given class, the sets for the 40-69 range all looked the same, as did the sets for the 70-80 range, so I guess the transition to the current two-tier system was merely a matter of consolidating the names, thereby making sure that sets which look the same will also have the same name. The other details, such as which parts are tradable and which aren’t, or which parts are odd-levelled and which are even-levelled, seem to have been the same as they are now.

(Incindentally, information about these early names of the sets can also be found on the AoC wikia, a fascinating site much of which is so awesomely out of date that it’s actually very interesting for a person curious about AoC as it was in the very early stages.)

I’m not sure when exactly the renaming to the present-day two-tier system took place, but it must have been fairly early after the release as I started playing only a week after release and don’t have any memory of the earlier six-tier naming system. Perhaps this was done on 17 July 2008, as the patch notes for that day mention renaming some sets of armor.

The names of the sets were apparently meant to be as follows. We can see that the principle of a certain poetic association between the class and the names of its sets has been adhered to, and that many of the names that were dropped in the consolidation to two tiers have subsequently been recycled for other purposes (e.g. the Defiant and Dauntless sets, both mentioned in the table below as guardian sets, are now actually the names of the guardian T1 and T3 PvP sets, respectively).

Class 40-49 50-59 60-69
Assassin

Whispering

Shadowmarked

Twilight
Barbarian

Corybantic

Vicious

Fearsome
Bear Shaman

Bestial

Ferine

Wildsoul
Conqueror

Challenger

Vanguard

Vindicator
Dark Templar

Heretic’s

Sadist’s

Wicked
Demonologist

Brimstoned

Fiendish

Blackheart
Guardian

Watchmen’s

Custodian’s

Defiant
Herald of Xotli

Harbinger

Doomsayer

Dark Ember
Necromancer

Forsaken

Eidolon’s

Darkwretch
Priest of Mitra

Devotee’s

Beatific

Rapturous
Ranger

Pathfinder’s

Marksman’s

Swiftstriker
Tempest of Set

Zephyrous

Nebulous

Thunderous
Class 70-74 75-79 80
Assassin

Midnight

Darkshroud

Blackshadow
Barbarian

Ravager’s

Berserker’s

Ragereaver
Bear Shaman

Scarhide

Rendclaw

Beastfury
Conqueror

Vanquisher’s

Battlemaster’s

Exemplar’s
Dark Templar

Cruel

Baleful

Tormentor’s
Demonologist

Demonsoul

Nadiral

Abyssal
Guardian

Resolute

Dauntless

Indomitable
Herald of Xotli

Wildfire

Rageflame

Ascendant
Necromancer

Voidseeker

Soulbinder

Shadowmancer
Priest of Mitra

Resplendent

Exalted

Resplendent
Ranger

Farseeker

Ravenwing

Hawksight
Tempest of Set

Stormrager

Skyfury

Empyreal
Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Vanity Gear