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Maximum amount of player HP

August 22, 2012 12 comments

This post is an attempt to estimate the maximum amount of HP that a player character can currently reach in the game. (Of course there’s no good reason why one would actually want to reach that much HP, as in doing so you’d be losing too much DPS and make yourself much less useful in a group. For example, most of the armor used in the calculation below is from the Atlantean set, which gives you a lot of HP but no DPS.)

When you’re making a calculation like this, you have to decide which things to include and which not to. I decided to exclude purely short-term buffs such as the Blessing of Jhebbal Sag (which, among other things, gives you +20000 HP for 1 minute), or the one from the Sustaining Wrath AA perk (which gives you +1800 HP for 30 seconds, if you used it when your Wrath stack was at 20x), or the +2500 HP buff that you get from the fourth sarcophagus during the Grim Grey God encounter; everything else, however, is allowed, e.g. group buffs from priests, from a rogue’s Flanking perk, etc.

In the calculation below, we have to also keep track of constitution, not just HP itself, because the Empowered Vitality perk applies only to constitution.

New in Update 4.1: the Black Pharaoh set brings us slight improvements in HP from the helmet and boots; there’s also a new sword with slightly more HP. Additionally, there is a new potion, Refined Elixir of Constitution, available as a quest reward from the Mastering the Dragon’s Spine quest. This potion gives you +5% constitution for 4 hours; it works the same way as the Empowered Vitality perk and it stacks additively with it. For any aspiring HP-whoring conqs, there is now also a nice two-handed sword with 139 con (Brand of the Black Pharaoh).

What HP Con
Naked guardian: I created one on testlive and without any perks, buffs etc. she has 6673 HP and 230 constitution at level 80.
(No screenshots, you perverts! :P)
6673 230
Guild city buffs
Keep I 15
Keep II 30
Keep III
(Note: the buffs from all three tiers of the Keep stack with each other, so being in a guild with a T3 keep gives you a total of +75 HP.)
60
Battlekeep III
(Note: according to the guild city window, Battlekeep III gives +240 HP; however, the same character transferred to testlive, where we have a T3 guild city but no battlekeep, had only 225 HP less than on live.)
225
Destiny quest rewards
Level 30 destiny quest 40
Level 50 destiny quest 45
Level 60 destiny quest 50
Food buffs
Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir 324.5
Minor Brew of Fortitude 160 20
AA perks
Fortifying Empowerment (+79 con at rank 5) 632 79
Vitality (+800 HP at rank 5) 800
Empowered Vitality: see below (it’s applied on top of all your constitution)
Group buffs
Priest HP buff (by default it’s +1087.4 HP, but if the priest feats Spirit of Vitality in the priest general tree, the HP buff will be 40% higher, i.e. +1522.4 HP) 1522.4
Rogue AA perk: Flanking (375 HP at rank 5) 375
Demonic Vitality (group buff from the Demon Guardian pet; assuming that the demonologist has 2/2 feat points in Hell’s Embrace) or Soul Infusion (group buff from the Cacodemon pet; assuming the demonologist has 5/5 ranks trained in the Cacodemon perk) 409.3
Crimson Shield (group buff from the mage shield; assuming that the mage has 3/3 points in Crimson Shield in the mage general tree)

176.2
Armor
Helm of the Black Pharaoh 1040 130
Vambraces of the Atlantean 800 100
Armguards of the Atlantean 768 96
Belt of the Atlantean 840 105
Shin-pads of the Atlantean [feet] 1024 128
Gauntlets of the Atlantean 792 99
Chestplate of Courageous Souls 1056 132
Tasset of Courageous Souls 1120 140
Accessories
Ring: Death’s Ward (Brittle Blade faction) 624 78
Ring: Coil of the Jiang Shi (Jiang Shi faction) 680 85
Cloak: Valka’s Illimitable Aegis (drops in the Little Prince hardmode in the Vile Nativity) 624 78
Necklace: Pendant of Royal Zamoran Favor (Silk Road quest reward)
(Note: Soulbearer, from Sodabeh HM in Ardashir Fort, has 625 HP, but no constitution, so it’s worse than the Pendant of Royal Zamoran Favor after you take Empowered Vitality into account.)
624 78
Weapons
Sword: Blade of the Black Pharoah (drops in the Coils of Ubah Kan) 552 69
Shield: Impenetrable Word of Valka (drops from the Lurker at the Threshold) 680 85
Constitution so far:

1732
AA perk: Empowered Vitality (+5% constitution) 692.8 86.6
Potion: Refined Elixir of Constitution (+5% constitution for 4 hours) 692.8 86.6
Total 24147 1905.2

You can get another 1900 HP by mounting a rhino or mammoth.

The Impenetrable Word of Valka mentioned in the above table is a healer shield from the Lurker at the Threshold. Other shields that make more sense for a guardian give less HP: Aegis of Dhurkan Blackblade (T3 shield) gives 528 HP; Waning Boundary (T3 crafted shield) gives 560 HP; The August Ones’ Impassible Grin (T4 shield) gives 576 HP; Steelforged Salvation of Undying Atlantis (from the Lurker) gives 624 HP.

Another good choice for the sword is Nilus the Blood Wake (T3 sword, 62 con); the T4 one-handed swords don’t have any HP or constitution. Other weapons with high HP include The Rock (thrown weapon from Den of the Crowmen), which gives 1040 HP, and Guisarme of the Bastion (blue polearm from General Arman in Ardashir Fort), which gives 1112 HP (just 8 HP less than the sword and shield combination in the above table). The Guisarme is an interesting example of a blue polearm which sacrifices armor and DPS in exchange for more constitution; as a result, it has more HP than any other polearm in the game, even purple ones. Unfortunately I didn’t find any sword with a similar tradeoff.

For the necklace, another option is the Ironclad Trinket of Eternal Resilience, which can drop from the Portents (world bosses) and also has 78 con.

Categories: Age of Conan, Mob HP

Onyx Chambers ticket bosses

August 11, 2012 Leave a comment

As is well known, Age of Conan was released a bit prematurely, and many things in the game were therefore a bit unfinished. Onyx Chambers is no exception to that; but what is really tragic in this case is that instead of finishing some of this unfinished content, or at least leaving it alone as it was, Funcom actually went out of their way to remove it.

Onyx Chambers has a system of rare bosses, where certain mobs (either common bosses or plain old trash mobs) are “placeholders”: when a placeholder is killed, there’s a certain probability (commonly estimated to be around 20–25%) that what will respawn in its place won’t be the same placeholder again, but its corresponding rare boss. Each rare boss has a specific, well-defined placeholder. You can consult the various maps of Onyx Chambers (e.g. link 1, link 2) to see their locations (and what they drop — each rare boss has a loot table consisting of several blue items that don’t drop anywhere else).

However, in the early months of the game, some of these rare bosses also had a small chance of dropping items with which you could spawn additional, even rarer bosses. These items were called either Manuscripts (of Siduvecte, Maelcortes, and of Lagicer) or Tablets (of Argech, Elib, and of Haes). Each of these can be used to spawn a corresponding level 83 boss.

The Tablets can be used at the Acheronian Summoning Portal in the northern part of the dungeon (238, 420). You need to have a Tablet in your inventory and click the corresponding part of the portal (incidentally, these clickable parts of the portal are also called tablets: Bile Stained Tablet, Flame Etched Tablet, and Energy Infused Tablet), and the corresponding boss will spawn.

Similarly, the Manuscripts can be used in one of the rooms that normally contains a Black Ring Slave Mistress, in the eastern part of the dungeon (344, 374). This room contains three clickable pedestals (Pedestal of Lust, Pedestal of Ice, Pedestal of Domination); having a manuscript in your inventory and clicking the corresponding pedestal will cause the corresponding boss to spawn.

Unfortunately, you can use each tablet or manuscript only once; it disappears from your inventory when you use it to spawn a boss.

I haven’t done that much Onyx farming in those very earliest months of the game, so I only killed two of these six bosses. It felt pretty sensational to be killing a level 83 mob; at that time, the only level 83 mobs were these extra rare Onyx bosses and king Atzel in Atzel’s Fortress (he was later demoted to level 81). Their full names were: Argech the Tempest, Elib the Defiler, Haes the Enflamer, Lagicer the Cold Hearted, Siduvecte the Ravisher, and Maelcortes the Impaler.

I suspect that each of them used a different 3-d model; Siduvecte looks like a smaller version of Succubus (from BRC Wing 2), and Argech looks a bit like a smaller Ahazu-Zagam. I don’t know what the others look like. You can see an old screenshot of Siduvecte here.

As far as I can tell, the only problem with these level 83 bosses was that they weren’t dropping any fancy loot. Their loot tables were basically the same as those of trash mobs. You can still see old forum threads about people killing them and complaining about the lack of loot: link 1, link 2.

Now, the complete absence of any sort of interesting loot is certainly a bit silly. I really don’t see why they didn’t simply add some loot to these bosses; they were hard enough to spawn that they could be dropping the old bind-on-equip purples if nothing else. Or, if they couldn’t be bothered with that, they could simply just leave the bosses as they were, as something for curious people to spawn and kill, even if it doesn’t bring any loot.

But these would have been reasonable things to do, and we can’t have that in Age of Conan; so Funcom, with its unerring instinct to always choose the worst possible course of action, decided to remove the level 83 Onyx bosses altogether. The 1.03 update notes include this item: “Onyx Chambers: Ticket Bosses – Elib the Defiler, Argech the Tempest, Haes the Enflamer, Lagicer the Cold Hearted, Siduvecte the Ravisher, and Maelcortes the Impaler are no longer accessible.”

However, as it turns out, this line from the update notes is a bit inaccurate. The fact is that you can still spawn the bosses just fine, as long as you have the tablets or manuscripts needed for spawning them. What they changed in 1.03 is that these tablets and manuscripts are no longer dropping; so after you consumed any old tablets and manuscripts that you might have kept from before 1.03, you really won’t be able to spawn these bosses again.

I happen to have an unused Tablet of Argech from before 1.03, and since I don’t want to actually lose it on the live server, I transferred my character to testlive and spawned the boss there. It turns out that the Tablet of Argech works with the top right clickable tablet (Energy Infused Tablet) on the Acheronian Summoning Portal.

Here’s a screenshot of Argech from one of my earlier suicidal runs to spawn him:


(Click to enlarge.)

And one from the fight:


(Click to enlarge.)

He hits fairly hard, mostly crushing damage, occasionally a bit of electrical. Sadly, he dropped no loot whatsoever. He turns out to have approx. 179 k hit points, which is the same as the Executioner in the Iron Tower (another level 83 group boss), and fits in well with my other measurements of level 80+ old-world group bosses:

Level HP
80 150 k
81 159 k
82 169 k
83 179 k

This is pretty close to a nice arithmetic progression, by approx. 6% to 7% per level (relative to the level 80 value).

Incidentally, these level 83 bosses aren’t the only sadly unfinished aspect of Onyx Chambers. There’s an Ancient Stygian Door in the room behind Kesh, in the grave robber area in the western part of the dungeon (197, 393), which as far as I know has never been of any use. Perhaps it was meant to lead to an adjacent dungeon that never got completed; an old page about Onyx Chambers on Funcom’s website (link 1, link 2, link 3) contains the following quote:

No Stygian tomb-robber would dare risk a venture into these chambers despite the riches that may be found there, but others are less aware of the dangers. Rumors of grave robbers from Shem are murmured in Kheshatta. No-one yet knows the horror they have disturbed down there but soon all will hear of Setsokhaten the death-knight.

And indeed to this day you can see a playfield called ‘Setsokhaten’s Crypt’ in the list of playfields in the player search window; but as far as I know, no dungeon with such a name has ever been actually available to players, nor has anything ever explicitly been labeled as a door intended to lead into it.

The T3 that never was

August 6, 2012 16 comments

T3 before release

Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold, Age of Conan’s Tier 3 raid dungeon, has had a curious and checkered history. You can find an old Youtube video “from the community event Jan 2008”, where a developer says quite plainly that “we will have 8 different raid dungeons when we launch the game; there will be 19 major raid encounters” (1:33), “the raids are divided into 3 tiers” (1:58); “tier 2 consists of three dungeons” (3:01).

So it would seem that at that time, less than five months before release, they still thought they would really be able to launch with all this raid content; and yet we know that not only was T3 not available at launch, but neither was the last part of T2, namely Wing 3 of the Black Ring Citadel; and that several of the earlier encounters were heavily bugged in various ways. Wing 3 became available in update 1.04, nine months after release, and T3 was open only in 1.06, one year after 1.04.

T3 at release

Well, in fact it isn’t entirely true that T3 was not available at launch. If you tried clicking its door, you were told that you couldn’t use that item at that time; but the playfield was there, probably in some partly finished form, and at some point it would seem that some player managed to hack into the communications between their client and the game server deeply enough that they got the server to port them into Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold such as it existed at the time. This was shown in a Youtube video from January 2009. We can see a player sneaking through a couple rooms with lots of trash mobs, but he doesn’t get far as the trash mobs soon spot him and kill him.

What is more, at least some T3 raid armor seems to have been in the game practically from release. Patch notes from 12 June 2008 say that the Champion of the Honorguard will now correctly drop T1 PoM shoulders instead of T3 ranger shoulders; and a couple months later, the notes from 28 August 2008 mention that some clipping issues on assassin T3 armor have been fixed — an odd thing for developers to worry about, considering that no players would have access to T3 gear for another year and a half.

The late, lamented yg.com also included a few T3 items well before the 1.06 days, namely the guardian armor set and the ToS mace (Maahes’ Crackling Spite), so at least these must have been present in the game files from which yg.com was ripping their data. The yg.com pages for these items showed the pre-1.05 heroic rating stats even in the post-1.05 period, so either they were based on an old rip of the data or Funcom didn’t bother updating their stats during the 1.05 update as they knew that players couldn’t yet get these items anyway.

Change of plans

But what I find even more curious is how T3 as it was finally released seems to differ from their earlier plans, and how thoroughly it seems to have changed relatively shortly before its release. For starters, let’s look at the numbers mentioned in the above developer interview; we have three T1 dungeons (Kyllikki’s Crypt, Yakhmar’s Cave, Vistrix’ Lair), three T2 dungeons (BRC Wing 1, 2, 3), and Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold; that’s 7 raid dungeons, but the developer said there would be 8. Perhaps they intended to divide TAS into two wings, the way they eventually really did (in update 3.3.5, June 2012).

And there’s a small discrepancy in the number of bosses as well. We have four T1 boss encounters and nine T2 boss encounters; if the total is to be 19, that leaves just 6 T3 encounters, but we know that T3 as it was actually released contains 7 encounters.

So I guess these are some small ways in which T3 has changed between their pre-launch plans and the release of T3 in 1.06; but even bigger changes are revealed when you look at the text of T3 quests. At the launch of the game, very few T3 quests were available; there was certainly the Defense of Asgard quest, from Wulfhere in King Conan’s Castle (see below); and there might have been another one, though I don’t remember exactly which (probably from Hashima), but that was pretty much it. (Of course, picking up such quests didn’t do you much good as you couldn’t even enter TAS.)

It was during the 1.05 update cycle that they added several more T3 quests. One imagines that at that time, less than half a year before T3 was released, they had a pretty good idea of what the final T3 would be like, and the quests would presumably reflected that.

The truth, however, turns out to be very different. The text of these quests reveals a very different T3 from what was finally released in 1.06; it would have contained bosses with different names, perhaps fewer of them, and it would contain lots of trash mobs of many different kinds (in this respect it would have been more similar to the BRC than to the T3 as it was really released). If you had any of those 1.05-era T3 quests in your journal, they were deleted when 1.06 was patched on the live server, and you could now pick up new T3 quests (the ones we’re all familiar with now), most of them entirely different from the old ones. (If you had the old Defense of Asgard quest, it wasn’t deleted during 1.06, but its text changed; see below.) In fact the 1.06 patch notes contain a list of removed quests.

Fortunately my then guild was doing a few raids on the testlive server while 1.06 was there but not yet on live, and I therefore noticed that the quests on testlive are different from those on live. This excited my curiosity and I took screenshots of the old quests in my quest journal. So let’s take a look at these old quests and see how they compare with the T3 as it was really released:

Pre-1.06 versions of T3 quests

Apostates of Acheron

I. The Traitorous Legion

Hashima, a strange mystic devoted to Set, has had visions of evil events in Thoth-Amon’s stronghold.

A blasphemous legion of Acheron has gathered in Thoth-Amon’s stronghold and I have agreed to do battle with them and wipe them from the face of Stygia.

  • Kill Acheronian Enforcers (0/20)
  • Kill Acheronian Aegis (0/20)
  • Kill Acheronian Deathguards (0/20)

Here we already see plenty of T3 trashmobs; three different kinds, and we’d have to kill 20 of each. Unless they intended us to complete this quest over many weeks, there would have to be lots of trash mobs in T3, similar to the BRC.

There is no comparable T3 quest now. The only mob whose name resembles the ones mentioned in this quest is the Eldritch Aegis, which is one of the adds in the Keeper of Artifacts encounter.

Appeasing Crazed Demons

I. Legion of the Dead

Sudi asked me to go to Thoth-Amon’s stronghold and destroy several archers, fighters and warriors of the Leagion [sic] of the Dead. The stronghold is in Kheshatta city, on the top of the hill.

  • Kill Fighters of the Legion (0/20)
  • Kill Archers of the Legion (0/20)
  • Kill Warriors of the Legion (0/20)

Three new kinds of trash, and another quest to kill 20 of each! Sudi, incidentally, is the slightly crazy NPC that stands on the northeastern side of Kheshatta city; she is mostly known for giving you quests for the deeper levels of Onyx Chambers. IIRC a new Onyx quest was added to her during the 1.05 update cycle, namely to kill Neptummon, Nefru, and her guard Imp (“Punishment Fit for the Damned”); this quest is still available.

I also seem to vaguely remember having the impression that her T3 quest cited here was a followup to these Onyx quests, as I wasn’t able to pick it up on some of my alts. In any case, Sudi doesn’t give any T3 quests now.

The Renegade Legion

I. Faithless Followers of Set

A high-priest of Set has offered me a rich reward if I hunt down and exterminate a legion of mutinous Stygian soldiers. They have betrayed Set and Stygia and their lives are forfeit.

They hide within Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold.

  • Kill Stronghold Watch (0/20)
  • Kill Stronghold Guard (0/20)
  • Kill Stronghold Defender (0/20)

The third trashmob quest, again with three new types of trash and having to kill 20 of each. Taken together, these quests suggest there would be at least 9 different types of trash, all present in plentiful numbers.

Incidentally, the early-2009 video that we discussed earlier seems to be showing some of the mobs mentioned by this quest; it’s hard to read their names due to the low resolution but the two mobs at the end of the video seem to be Stronghold Guards.

T3 as it has been actually released has a much smaller number of trash mobs, and also just 6 different types of them: Grim Blade, Grim Curate, Grim Lancer, Grim Demonic Lancer, Blood Magus, Storm Magus. If I’m not mistaken, there was a total of 22 trash mobs in the entire TAS at its release (not counting the Grim Demonic Lancers, which spawn randomly while you fight other trash mobs); and a few of those were removed during its recent conversion into two floors in 3.3.5.

The “high-priest of Set” mentioned by the text of this quest is probably Kerim-Thes; see the “Traitors to Stygia” quest below.

Defense of Asgard

I. Evil Allies

King Wulfhere of the Aesir is offering weregild for the deaths of the Vanir King and his Hyperborean ally, a sorcerer of the White Hand. They are both mortal enemies of the Aesir.

Whatever alliance they have must be put to the sword.

They plot together in Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold in Kheshatta, under the watchful gaze of Set’s disciple no doubt.

  • Slay Vanir King Hiemdul
  • Kill Isanta Surmako

This quest has been available in the game ever since launch, and you could even pick it up without doing any other raid quests, without being attuned to T2 or T3 etc. In the 1.06 patch, its text has been changed a bit: all mention of the Vanir King has been removed, and Isanta Surmako has been renamed into the Favored of Louhi, but apart from that he’s still a sorcerer of the White Hand. The new version is:

I. An Evil Ally

King Wulfhere, of the Aesir, is offering weregild for the death of a sorcerer of the White Hand. The Favored of Louhi is a mortal enemy of the Aesir, and whatever alliance he has formed with Thoth-Amon must be put to the sword.

  • Kill the Favored of Louhi

Where do all these names come from? Ultimately, like many names in Conan lore, much of this is borrowed from the real world. Wulfhere and Heimdul (AoC’S ‘Hiemdul’ seems to me to be a misspelling) are mentioned briefly in Howard’s Gods of the North alias The Frost-Giant’s Daughter. (This story, incidentally, has also been the inspiration for much of what goes on in the western part of Ymir’s Pass. For more about it, see this excellent series of posts: 1, 2, 3.)

Wulfhere was an established Anglo-Saxon name, and you can find king and a bishop of that name on the Wikipedia. As for Heimdul / Hiemdul, I guess this was inspired by an old Norse god of a similar name.

Hyperboreans are mostly Finnish-inspired, and the Favored of Louhi is no exception, as Louhi is a powerful witch in Finnish mythology. According to her Wikipedia page, Louhi isn’t mentioned in Howard’s stories but does appear in some post-Howard Conan material (e.g. The Witch of the Mists). As for Isanta Surmako, I can’t find any non-AoC related mentions of this name in google. According to Google Translate, the word isäntä means “host” in Finnish; I can’t find anything about who or what Surmako might be, though.

So Speaks Mighty Set

I. Sorcerous Ingredients

I have asked Hashima the oracle of Set to share her secrets with me.

It requires potent oils, elements and herbs such as dust from the tomb of a boy Pharaoh, salt gathered from the tears of a thousand angels or fat from a lamb killed under a red moon. I should look out for similar items in chests stored within the stronghold.

I can find such components in Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold in Kheshatta.

  • Get Sorcerous Ingredient

I’m not aware of anything of this sort in the current T3; my guess is that the idea was that we’d have to click a quest item somewhere in the dungeon, similar to one of the BRC Wing 3 quests (The Cursed Treasure of Constantius).

The Keeper of Artifacts

I. The Artifact War

I have agreed to aid Hashima, a strange oracle. She says a man known as the Keeper of Artifacts, who lurks within Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold, possesses ancient relics of unimaginable corruption.

Hashima has promised me great rewards if I deliver these relics to her, so that she may dispose of them and end their corruption.

  • Find and kill the Keeper of Artifacts
  • 1st Acheronian Artifact
  • 2nd Acheronian Artifact
  • 3rd Acheronian Artifact
  • 4th Acheronian Artifact

This quest is similar to one that we actually got in the post-1.06 world. Hashima still gives a quest, called “Keeper of Artifacts” (now without “The”) and with a slightly different text. You still have to pick up four artefacts, but now the quest also gives their names:

I. Corrupted Relics

I have agreed to aid Hashima, a strange oracle. She says a man known as the Keeper of Artifacts, who lurks within Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold, possesses ancient relics of unimaginable corruption.

Hashima has promised me great rewards if I deliver these relics to her; so that she may dispose of them and end their corruption.

  • Pick up the Azurite Turtle
  • Pick up the Ruin of Drozem
  • Pick up the Dirk of Yinshala
  • Pick up the Obsidian Hawk

I didn’t find any non-AoC mentions of these relics on the web, so I guess that Funcom made them up by themselves.

Another change from the pre-1.06 version is that the new quest doesn’t require you to kill the Keeper; you can simply loot the relics while he’s patrolling on the other side of the room so you wouldn’t even have to aggro him.

Heretics of Acheron

I. Death to Heretics and False Gods

Hashima, a strange mystic devoted to Set, has had visions of evil events in Thoth-Amon’s stronghold.

She says two powerful followers of Set have renounced the snake god and worship a pair of Acheronian fiends. She has tasked me with destronying them all. They roam the basement of Thoth-Amon’s stronghold.

  • Death to Ehedunes the False God
  • Death to Amunosis the False God
  • Death to Overseer Nepthammon the Heretic
  • Death to Warden Theptah the Heretic

I find this quest to be extremely fascinating, as it mentions four bosses of whom there is not a trace in the T3 such as it actually went live. This is just a speculation, but perhaps they were meant to be encounters where you fight two (or even all four?) bosses at the same time, and gradually evolved into the Kharon/Daimone/Ixion fight that we now have on live?

There isn’t any obviously comparable quest to this one now; Hashima only gives the Keeper of Artifacts quest (see above).

Incidentally, I wonder if they got these names from any particular source or simply invented them out of thin air. I did a bit of googling but didn’t come up with anything useful. They are obviously meant to sound Egyptian, like most Stygian names, but the closest thing I actually found to them was a high priestess named Enheduanna, who is actually from early Mesopotamian rather than Egyptian history.

There is also still one reference to ‘Enhedunes’ (not Ehedunes) in the game: Nephturi, the NPC west of Kheshatta that gives you some of the Onyx Chambers quests, introduces herself as “apprentice to the great mage master Enhedunes”.

As for Nepthammon, two NPCs with similar names already exists — there’s a Stygian man named Nephtammon standing in Old Tarantia near the tradepost, and a level 20-ish quest there requires you to win a debate against him (with the cunning and clever approach of always pressing the ‘1’ key, of course); and there’s a boss called Neptummon in the Black Ring level of Onyx Chambers (Sudi in Kheshatta gives you a quest to kill him).

Traitors to Stygia

I. Delivery of Set’s Punishment

I have agreed to help Kerim-Thes, high-priest of Set, by executing two wayward priests. He is certain they have betrayed Set and serve a new master.

I will find them hiding in Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold.

  • Get Overseer Nepthammon’s Head
  • Get Warden Theptah’s Head

This is another quest for Nepthammon and Theptah, whom we’ve already seen in the previous quest, Heretics of Acheron. Kerim-Thes doesn’t give any T3 quests now.

Mizra’s Lost Child

This quest is mentioned in the list of deleted T3 quests in the 1.06 patch notes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of this quest before 1.06; thus I don’t have a screenshot of it and I have no idea what it was about.

Presumably the Mizra mentioned in the quest is the NPC that stands in the Oasis of Rahotep in the northwest of the Kheshatta playfield; currently he just gives various levelling quests in the 70–80 level range.

From 1.06 on, there is a new T3 quest given by Nadir, a NPC standing nearby Mizra; her quest requires you to kill Kharon, Daimone and Ixion. I have no idea if this quest is in any way related to the deleted “Mizra’s Lost Child” quest.

The Fall of Thoth-Amon

This quest is listed as changed in the 1.06 patch notes. I didn’t pick it up before 1.06, but I know that for a long time after 1.06 the Thoth-Amon quest existed in two versions, and you could have them both in your quest log at the same time; so I suspect that they didn’t really change the old pre-1.06 quest but simply added a new one.

The two versions differed in quest rewards; the now normal one, which you can pick up by talking to Conan and then hand it in after killing Thoth-Amon, has Amra’s Pride (a cloak) as a quest reward. The other quest is probably the pre-1.06 version and had the choice of 5 weapons as quest rewards; this other version was bugged in the sense that it didn’t update when you killed Thoth-Amon, and the quest reward weapons from it were obviously unfinished as they hardly had any stats yet. You couldn’t get this quest from Conan after 1.06, but players who had it in their quest log could share it with you. However, lately I haven’t been able to find anyone with this quest at all, so I’m beginning to suspect that Funcom deleted it completely in their recent revamp of T3 (in update 3.3.5).

Unfortunately I didn’t take a screenshot of the quest text or rewards from this pre-1.06 quest, but the quest rewards were all named along similar lines: Thoth-Amon’s Destruction, Thoth-Amon’s Demise, Thoth-Amon’s Fall, Thoth-Amon’s Fate, Thoth-Amon’s Oblivion.


Many thanks to Atallanti for the help with Thoth-Amon’s Fall!

Even the appearance of these items seems to have been unfinished, as most of them look identical to various other weapons: Thoth-Amon’s Demise looks the same as Jagged Cut (quest reward from Armsman’s Arena); Thoth-Amon’s Fate looks like the Pavis of Fealty (T1 PoM shield); Thoth-Amon’s Fall looks like Spinegrist (from the Acheronian Warlord in the Sanctum of Burning Souls); Thoth-Amon’s Oblivion looks like Mindraker (old-world BoE blue drop). I can’t think of anything that looks like Thoth-Amon’s Destruction, however.

1.06 T3 quests

For comparison, let’s just briefly list the T3 quests that were (and still are) actually available after T3 has been released:

Betrayal: the quest to kill Hathor-Ka, given by Moulay, a NPC standing in the Temple District of Kheshatta. This NPC was added in 1.06.

Master of Blades: the quest to kill Master Gyas, given by Ettivel the Artful; just like Moulay, he stands in the Temple District of Kheshatta and was added in 1.06.

Guardians from Beyond: the quest to kill Kharon, Daimone and Ixion, given by Nadir, a NPC in the Oasis of Rahotep in the northwest of the Kheshatta playfield. This quest is new to 1.06, but Nadir herself isn’t; she has always been there and also gives an early-70s levelling quest (“Slayer of Snakes”).

Keeper of Artifacts: as we already saw above, this is an old quest that has changed just slightly compared to the pre-1.06 version.

The Face of Evil: the quest to kill Arbanus, given by Scipio in Old Tarantia; this NPC is new in 1.06.

The Fall of Thoth-Amon: the quest to kill Thoth-Amon, given by King Conan. The change here has been in the quest rewards; see above.

The Four Sent: this is a quest to warn people to whom Thoth-Amon’s urns have been sent; you pick it up from a poster inside TAS, so it of course wasn’t available in the pre-1.06 days.

The Phoenix Sword: the quest to gather dancing steel from adds (Eldritch Arms) in the Keeper of Artifacts fight. You get it from Dexitheus in Conan’s castle; AFAIK it wasn’t available in the pre-1.06 days.

Conclusion

So, what do the pre-1.06 quests (most of which were introduced in 1.05, around half a year before T3 actually went live) tell us about Funcom’s earlier ideas for Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold?

For one thing, we saw that it would most probably be thickly infested with trash mobs. This suggests that the very layout of the dungeon would have been considerably different than it’s now. In the BRC, boss rooms are separated by long hallways and intermediate rooms, which is where trash mobs are stationed; in TAS such as we have it now, most boss rooms are separated by nothing but a door and there really isn’t enough space for a hundred or more trash mobs. Indeed the video from early 2009 that we mentioned earlier shows several rooms with plenty of trash mobs, more in the style of BRC than of the TAS as it was really released.

And the list of bosses would look very different than what we have now:

  • Vanir King Hiemdul
  • Isanta Surmako (now Favored of Louhi)
  • Ehedunes the False God
  • Amunosis the False God
  • Overseer Nepthammon the Heretic
  • Warden Theptah the Heretic
  • Keeper of Artefacts
  • Thoth-Amon

Of these bosses, the Keeper of Artefacts and Thoth-Amon are still with us, as is Isanta Surmako (though renamed into the Favored of Louhi); but all the others are gone and replaced by bosses that weren’t mentioned in the pre-1.06 quests.

This would mean a total of 8 bosses. But as we saw from the developer interview linked at the beginning of this post, there should be 6 boss encounters; so at least one if not two of these encounters should involve two bosses (similar to how the first encounter in the actually-released T3 involves three bosses: Daimone, Kharon, and Ixion). Of course it’s also possible that their plans regarding the number of encounters changed between that interview (January 2008) and the release of early T3 quests in 1.05 (June 2009).

It’s tempting to speculate whether some of the bosses from the above list have slowly changed, during the design process, into some of the bosses that we have now. The cases of the Keeper of Artefacts and of Isanta Surmako a.k.a. Favored of Louhi are obvious, but what about others? Vanir King Hiemdul sounds to me like he should be a strong melee warrior, so he might have evolved into Arbanus. I don’t see anything in the above list that would obviously correspond to Hathor-Ka, or to Master Gyas, at least not his second form. As for Ehedunes, Amunosis, Nepthamon and Theptah, perhaps one or the other of these couples — or all four of them — eventually evolved into the Kharon/Daimone/Ixion fight that we have now.

P.S. If you have any information about the “Mizra’s Lost Child” quest, or about the old bugged version of the “Fall of Thoth-Amon” quest (especially the screenshot of the quest text), or if you are aware of any other item that looks like Thoth-Amon’s Destruction, please let me know.

Categories: Age of Conan, Lore, Quests