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Comparison of priest armor sets

October 27, 2012 8 comments

Actually, the title of this post is a bit of a lie. It isn’t really about all priest sets; I’m heavily biased in favor of ToSses, so I’m really only interested in ToS gear. I included PoM gear in the comparisons here since both classes can mostly use the same sets anyway. As for the smelly bear handlers, screw them and their medium armor 😛

The roots of this post go back to my fascination with the sudden wealth of gear options when Khitai was released. Before that, everything was so simple; you got your T2 gear and that was the best for everything (except maybe PvP, but I didn’t do PvP so that didn’t matter to me). Well, or T3 gear, but by the time the expansion released, we weren’t doing alt T3 raids yet, so I couldn’t really get T3 gear for my ToS. Anyway, once the expansion was released, we now had really meaningful gear choices, perhaps for the first time in the history of the game. You could get faction gear that focused on damage, or on healing, or on survivability, etc.

We have a rough idea of how the developers put stats on the gear. It involves getting totally drunk then writing stuff on a blackboard and throwing darts at it. Each item has a certain “budget”, and each attribute has a certain cost; so, the more of that attribute you put on the item, the less of the item’s budget is left for other attributes. Thus, if they put more wisdom or magic damage on a set, there’s less of the budget left for things such as heal rating, constitution, etc. The overall size of the budget depends on the tier of the item: T4 raid items have a bigger budget than T3 ones; old-world dungeon blues have a bigger budget than world-drop blues; etc.

So choosing attributes inevitably involves tradeoffs. For example, we know that the Scarlet Circle set sacrifices heal rating to get more magic damage, whereas with the Children of Yag-Kosha set it’s just the other way around. The Scholars of Cheng-Ho set sacrifices a sizeable chunk of its budget for immunity, the Hyrkanian set for constitution, and the Yellow Priest set has a good balance between heal rating and magic damage but it sacrifices some constitution to make space for extra critigation.

For the purposes of this post, I was interested in tradeoffs between magic damage (including the damage that comes from wisdom, where each point of wisdom gives you 0.6 magic damage) and heal rating. In addition to using “pure” sets (i.e. all 8 armor pieces from the same set), you can achieve interesting intermediate tradeoffs by mixing the parts from several different sets. This can be illustrated nicely on a chart, where each such set of armor is represented by a point whose x-coordinate tells you the heal rating and the y-coordinate tells you the magic damage. Or, in other words, you can take each such point to mean that if you want to have at least x heal rating, then the maximum amount of magic damage you can achieve will be y.

Needless to say, many of the mixed sets obtained in this way are decidedly weird and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good idea to wear them — after all, we ignored all other attributes when making this analysis. So this whole post is more for fun than for any useful purpose.

In any case, here’s the chart, but click on it to see the larger version:

The big yellow ♦ symbols show the “pure” sets. You can see all the sets without heal rating stacked on the left; that’s mostly the pre-expansion sets, though a couple of them are more recent as well. You can see how the magic damage increases as you move from old epic Kheshatta sets (Empyeral for ToSses, Resplendent for PoMs), old-world dungeon sets (Skyshear for ToSses, Exaltate’s for PoMs) through the T1, T2 and T3 sets and finally get to the Erlik DPS set from T3.5, which is a bit unusual in that it has absolutely no heal rating even though it was released well after the expansion.

On the other extreme you have the Nebulous set from House of Crom, a blue set with plenty of heal rating but no magic damage whatsoever. The other House of Crom priest light set, Unutterable, is extremist in the opposite sense, having a shitload of magic damage (for a blue set) but no heal rating. (You don’t see it on the chart but the same thing is true for HP: the Nebulous set has plenty of it, Unutterable has none.)

The various Khitai faction sets and T4 raid sets are in the upper right part of the chart, as they contain both magic damage and heal rating, though in varying proportions.

The red dots show us what tradeoffs between heal rating and magic damage can be achieved by mixing and matching the five faction purple sets (Scarlet Circle, Yellow Priests, Hyrkanians, Scholars, and Children). You can see that no such mixed set will give you more heal rating than the Children full set. On the other extreme, the Scarlet Circle set gives you almost the biggest amount of magic damage, but you can actually increase both magic damage and heal rating a bit by replacing the gloves with those from the Yellow Priest set.

The ♦ symbols for the other pure faction sets are below the red line of mixed sets because they spend a part of their budget on other things: Yellow Priests have critigation, Hyrkanians have HP and Scholars have immunity.

In T4, we have two light sets for priests: Dragon King focuses on damage and Thousand Blossoms focuses on healing. The dark blue dots show us the tradeoffs possible by mixing them. You can see that they are all quite a bit better than what you can get by using the faction sets. The light blue dots show us the tradeoffs possible by allowing both the T4 items and faction purples, but there are very few situations where this improves upon the results of the purely-T4 mixtures. No mixed set gives you more heal rating than the pure Thousand Blossoms set. On the DPS side, you can slightly increase the magic damage by taking the Dragon King set and replacing the shoulders and wrists with those from the Scarlet Circle set.

The green dots show us the tradeoffs that can be obtained by mixing the two T3.5 sets (Erlik and Revelations). The chart is a bit misleading here because it shows just magic damage and heal rating, which makes these two sets (and what you can get by mixing them) seem much worse than faction sets; but they have their advantages as well — looking at the other attributes, you could say that the Revelations set combines the heal rating of the Children set with the hit, critical and critical damage rating of the Scarlet Circle set, with a bigger HP and mana pool than either of them.

Finally, the orange dots show us the tradeoffs between the two House of Crom blue sets. I suspect that Funcom deliberately made many of those blue sets extreme in one way or another (e.g. for soldiers, you have the Atlantean set with a shitload of HP but no DPS, and the Beyond set with a shitload of DPS but no HP), because you can then obtain any intermediate combination of attributes simply by mixing the parts of two such “extremist” sets. We can see that if you don’t care about healing (and your own HP), the Unutterable set will give you more magic damage than even many purple sets; and on the other hand you could mix in a few Nebulous pieces and reach more than 500 heal rating without dropping below the magic damage of old-world blue sets.

For the sake of completeness, here’s a table with stats of the various sets shown here:

Set

Heal Rtg

Magic Damage

Armor

Critigation

HP

Mana

Nat Mana Regen

Hate Dec Rtg

Hit Rtg

Crit Rtg

Crit Dmg Rtg

Other

Thousand Blossoms (T4)

2465

403.2

3679

1921

3168

3803

95.2

95

280

247

256

*

Dragon King (T4)

1195

706.2

3679

1921

2792

2721

63.5

120

274

244

290

Erlik (T3.5)

557.4

3679

1921

2960

3113

70.0

90

385

228

267

Revelations (T3.5)

1973

382.2

3679

1921

3248

3311

44.6

90

432

213

233

Children of Yag-Kosha

2012

404.0

3443

1883

2528

2807

72

120

96

130

*

Scarlet Circle

638

657.2

3443

1883

2504

756

17.6

440

220

268

Hyrkanians

1543

421.8

3443

1883

3200

2109

49.2

141

145

106

Yellow Priests of Yun

1379

523.8

3443

2339

2400

804

18.8

80

170

135

191

*

Scholars of Cheng-ho

1751

356.0

3443

1883

2464

3233

80

90

50

*

Nebulous

1316

2932

1460

2880

2850

82.8

122

192

*

Unutterable

543.0

2804

1460

2715

63.4

321

179

217

Sundered Skies (T3 ToS)

511.8

3652

3280

2984

80.0

110

221

105

189

Celestial Radiance (T3 PoM)

511.2

3652

3136

3203

84.9

133

222

90

185

*

Riftcaller (T2 ToS)

458.0

3607

3136

2704

70.5

91

206

90

171

Effulgent Devotion (T2 PoM)

456.8

3607

3008

2924

75.8

113

195

80

170

*

Cloudcleaver (T1 ToS)

406.0

3278

2976

2298

60.7

71

193

70

145

Illuminant Conviction (T1 PoM)

400.8

3278

2848

2486

66.7

96

179

65

144

*

Skyshear

296.0

2708

2328

1425

24.5

32

153

36

Exaltate

272.4

2708

2272

2162

46.6

41

30

Empyreal

177.6

2372

1848

888

20.7

328

*

Resplendent

228.6

2360

2384

1143

26.7

*

As usual, stat trickledowns (from wis, con etc.) have been taken into account, but stamina and stamina regen (from constitution) has been removed as PoMs and ToSses no longer have stamina since the sprint revamp. Holy/unholy protection from wisdom has likewise been removed.

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear

Amphitheatre Unchained loot tables

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I updated my post about the unchained version of the Amphitheatre of Karutonia with the loot tables for all three bosses: click here.

I guess there’s a tiny possibility that some items remain undiscovered, but I doubt it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Shadow Imp Lord

October 21, 2012 7 comments

The Athyr-Bast encounter in Wing 3 of the Black Ring Citadel contains a few elements that must have either been placed there to deliberately misdirect the attention of players as they were first figuring out the tactics for the fight, or that were perhaps originally meant to play a more significant role in the fight but the developers changed their mind about that later. As is well known, the main challenge in this fight comes from the Shadow Imp Lord, who spawns in the centre of the room when you begin the fight. He oneshots people at random unless the character that is on top of his aggro list stands close enough to him; so you always need to have a tank on top of his aggro list and standing next to him. But you can’t use just one tank for this purpose, because the Shadow Imp Lord puts an unholy invulnerability debuff on any players nearby, and this debuff gradually stacks higher and higher, so that the tank standing next to him is getting hit harder and harder; thus you need several tanks, and when the current tank’s debuff stacks high enough, you send the next tank in, he takes aggro and the previous tank then moves away from the Shadow Imp Lord until his debuff expires, and so on. In principle, two tanks are enough for this, if they are reasonably well geared and if they know what they are doing; but to be safer, many pug raids use 3 or even 4 tanks for this.

As soon as you start the fight (and the Shadow Imp Lord appears), a steady stream of small imps begins spawning from all sides of the room and walking towards the Shadow Imp Lord, where they disappear once they reach him. The little imps can be DPSed and, with a bit of effort, killed before they reach the Shadow Imp Lord; but there’s no obvious reason to do so, and nowadays people very reasonably ignore the little imps altogether. In the early days after Wing 3 was open (in update 1.04), people had the idea that the little imps buff up the Shadow Imp Lord when they get consumed by him, and that this is why you should kill them (or at least most of them) before they reach him. But the little imps were too numerous and had too much HP to be killed, at least without having practically your entire raid dealing with them and almost nobody on the boss herself.

This is where the other two mysterious elements of the fight come in: the torch and the braziers. There’s a torch near the central square (where the Shadow Imp Lord appears once the fight begins), and several braziers along the walls of the room. One player can pick up the torch and then click the braziers to light them, and while a brazier is alight, no imps spawn from that side of the room (or at least much fewer than normally — it’s been a very long time since I’ve been in a raid that tried this, so I don’t remember the details). After a while, the fire in the brazier goes out, and the imps spawn normally again. So people naturally got the idea that you should assign a player to pick up the torch and then move around the room all the time, lighting the braziers so as to keep the overall number of the little imps as low as possible.

Carrying out this idea was made harder by the fact that picking up the torch generates a lot of aggro on Athyr-Bast; in other words, she’ll tend to attack the torch-holder no matter what the other players are doing to her. Nowadays some pug raids use this mechanic to reduce the risk that the main tank on her will lose aggro (e.g. because they put all guardians and DTs on the Shadow Imp Lord, leaving only conqs to tank Athyr-Bast, and many conqs have (or used to have, until the recent revamp) relatively weak aggro). But admittedly this mechanic looks like exactly the sort of thing that Funcom would implement to make the “proper” tactic, with lighting the braziers, harder to implement: if the torch-bearer is walking around the room all the time, and you practically can’t pull the boss off him, this means that the main part of the raid has to move around the room with him as well if they want to keep DPSing the boss. Additionally, it’s a challenge to prevent the boss from killing the torch-holder, because if she kills him, there’ll be no way to keep the braziers alight and prevent the small imps from spawning.

So this would be quite an interesting tactic — considerably more complex (and harder to execute) than what we have now, when we ignore the braziers (and often also the torch) altogether and just tank and spank the boss in a fixed place all the time. All that’s missing here is a reason to be interested in killing the little imps before they reach the Shadow Imp Lord. So perhaps the developers initially did intend the little imps to buff up the Shadow Imp Lord’s damage to the point where it would be impossible to tank him, even with 3 or 4 tanks; or perhaps they intended it to make it impossible to use more than 1 tank on him at all, because, from what I remember of the early post-1.04 days, swapping aggro on the Shadow Imp Lord was unusually difficult, much harder than on other mobs (nowadays swapping aggro on him is no harder than on other mobs), and perhaps the devlopers’ initial idea was that it would be impossible altogether.

But in practice, neither of these two things is the case. It is (and always was) possible to swap aggro on the Shadow Imp Lord and thus use more than one tank on him; and he never got noticeably buffed no matter how many little imps he consumed. So either they didn’t implement the missing mechanic here (to have the little imps buff up the Shadow Imp Lord), or they balanced things incorrectly, or they deliberately introduced the braziers and little imps (and TBH the torch as well) for no other reason than to confuse players.

But anyway, is it really the case that the little imps don’t buff up the Shadow Imp Lord? If they don’t, why would there be, early in the post-1.04 period, such a widespread idea that they do? (Of course it’s possible that they don’t buff him now but that they did buff him back then. I wasn’t analyzing combat logs back then so I can’t check.) And in fact, even in more recent times, I occasionally had the feeling that the Shadow Imp Lord hits a bit harder as the fight progresses. So I started to wonder if perhaps the little imps do buff him up a bit, just not enough to really make a difference (or to require a change in the tactics).

Then I remembered that I have a good way of analyzing this. A few months ago we killed Athyr-Bast with a 6-player group for fun: two tanks on the Shadow Imp Lord, one on Athyr-Bast, two healers and one DPSer. (In fact you could do it with 5 people — remove the extra DPSer and the only difference would be that the fight would last longer. Perhaps you could even do it with 4 people by removing one of the healers, but that would require a bit more care and some luck.) This fight took about 20 minutes; so if the little imps were buffing up the Shadow Imp Lord at all, surely this would be noticeable over such a long period. So I now processed the log file from that fight and came up with the following chart:

This chart shows us one point for each hit that the Shadow Imp Lord did; the x-coordinate is time when the hit occured (in seconds since the start of the fight), and the y-coordinate is how many points the hit was for. You can see the typical zigzagging shape — as a tank goes in, he gets hit harder and harder because of his stacking unholy invulnerability debuff, until the other tank takes aggro. But you can also see that there is no long-term growing trend in the strength of the hits; after nearly 20 minutes, the Shadow Imp Lord wasn’t hitting even a tiny bit harder than at the start of the fight. So I think we can safely say that the little imps don’t buff the Shadow Imp Lord at all.

P.S. This post gets funnier if you mentally replace each occurrence of the word “imp” with “pimp” 😛

Amphitheatre Unchained

October 11, 2012 20 comments

Today’s patch, update 3.4, introduced the unchained (level 84) version of the Amphitheatre of Karutonia. This post is a somewhat preliminary version, based on what we learned of the boss fights while the dungeon was on the testlive server; so of course there’s a chance that the current live versions are different, and I intend to update this post later if/when I learn something new about the dungeon. I’ll also add information about loot etc. later, when I have more of it. For now it seems that the bosses drop blue accessories (with quite decent stats considering that they are blue), social armor (nothing with really original looks so far, AFAIK), and they also have a chance to drop purple items — several weapons have so far been reported.

(Update 20 Oct 2012: more details about the encounter mechanics and strategies.)
(Update 21 Oct 2012: loot tables.)
(Update 17 Nov 2012: screenshot of Pain’s Edge, plus more statistics.)
(Update 1 Dec 2012: screenshots of all the armor sets are now available in a separate post.)

Currently the bosses seem to hit relatively hard, and there will be several adds to deal with in the Dimesionalist fight, so it’s a good idea to have two tanks and two healers in the group. As for the AA perks, IIRC you don’t need TW or FH but the other perks are useful here. It’s good if one of the healers is a ToS, so he can help with removing the torment in the Devourer fight.

The Dimensionalist

Seems that he doesn’t spawn unless you destroy all the portals on the way there.

He does fire damage.

Firestorm: puts a fire dot (Lingering Flame; 6.5 sec) on the aggro holder and nearby; so it’s safer if the tank keeps him turned away from the rest of the group. He can also run away from the other players before the cast is done, to prevent them from getting the dot.

Fiery Ruin: -50% fire invulnerability for 20 sec on the aggro holder; should be removed quickly with Steadfast Faith. The first ruin comes very soon after the start of the fight.

Demonic Aggression: AoE knockback at 75%, 50%, 25% of health. Doubletapping is a good idea to avoid being kb’ed.

At 50% of health, he casts Shield of Flames. This gives him +100 damage deflection and some very heavy retributive damage, so everyone should move away from him and wait until the next wave of adds spawns. Kill these adds and wait for the next wave of adds to spawn; at that point the boss’s shield will be removed. (Rogue AA can’t remove it.) Apparently the shield also disappears after a while anyway (50 sec or so), even if you aren’t killing any adds.

Summon Demon: spawns adds; but if any adds from the previous wave are still alive, no new adds will spawn. This spell is cast every 30–35 sec or so. If the boss is above 75% of health, two Guardian Fiends will spawn in each wave; from 75% to 25%, three Guardian Fiends will spawn; below 25%, a large number of minions will spawn instead, which are trivial to kill. The Guardian Fiends can and should be CCed. They have a frontal cone fire attack called Flame Signature; you can move out of the cone like you would from Frost Whip in the Palace of Yun Rau.

An easy way of dealing with the adds in this fight, though some people consider this to be an exploit, is to take advantage of the fact that no new adds will spawn until you kill the previous wave. So when the first wave of 2 Guardian Fiends spawns, you can kill just one and then kite the other one indefinitely, thereby preventing any further adds from spawning. Some people kill this add when the boss is at 50% and then also kill 2 of the 3 adds in the next wave and kite the surviving one until the end of the fight. But the boss’s shield at 50% seems to disappear after around 50 seconds even if you don’t kill any adds.

Abyssal Convoker

He looks like Chatha and stands where the Abyssal Keeper stood in the pre-3.4 version of the Amphitheatre. The cages with animals that used to be there are gone as well. The Abyssal Keeper now appears as a normal boss in Ymir’s Pass and is a mere shadow of his former self.

He does crushing and some fire damage.

Blazing Maw: frontal cone channelled spell; move out of it like from Frost Whip in the Palace. Being hit by it will put a wrack on you (Scorching Wrack: -25% fire invulnerability per stack, for 30 seconds), so you can remove it with Resolve. Non-tanks shouldn’t stand in front of the boss at all, of course.

Hellish Influence: big 360 degree AoE (up to 5.7k fire damage). So squishies should move away from the boss (or stand at range to begin with, if possible).

Hellfist: usually appears immediately after the end of Hellish Influence on the player that was farthest away from the boss . Hellfist is a debuff on that player and after 3 seconds it causes a knockback and -50% fire damage to anyone within 5 meters (but not on the player that had Hellfist himself). So at the end of Hellish Influence, the player farthest away from the boss should stay there and not go back to the boss until his Hellfist expires.

Eviscerate: at the beginning of this spell, it stuns the aggro holder [on second thought, it might stun everyone in a frontal cone?] and puts a debuff called Death Draws Near on him. He will get oneshotted at the end of the cast unless someone interrupts it (with a silence, stun or knockback — the boss has a debuff called Reckless during this time, whose tooltip shows you what he’s vulnerable to). (Using a knockback to interrupt Eviscerate has a tendency to cause the boss to partly reset and heal up by a considerable amount, so it’s better to use only stuns and silence.) Interrupting it will prevent the tank from being oneshotted, but won’t unstun him. Since a Blazing Maw usually comes immediately after Eviscerate, you shouldn’t interrupt Eviscerate too soon or the tank will be hurt badly by Blazing Maw (as he’ll still be stunned and won’t be able to move out of it quickly enough).

Vile Invocation: the boss casts this when he’s at 75%, 50% and 25% of health. It spawns several adds (Impious Trespassers) and afflicts several players with a debuff (Fiendish Curse). These players will start being hit by the adds (Char; does fire damage) after the boss has finished casting Vile Invocation. To protect them from this attack (which would likely kill them quickly), everyone should go into the burst of light (Sanctuary) that will spawn in one of the corners of the room (it isn’t the same corner each time, so it might be random). Standing in the sanctuary gives you a buff (Deific Protection) which prevents the adds from hurting you. If you don’t reach the Sanctuary before the Vile Invocation cast is done, you won’t be able to enter it afterwards (you get kb’ed out of it if you try). If you move close to an add on your way to the Sanctuary, you get snared (Fiendish Mark: +50% hinder movement for 3 sec). The boss stands still meanwhile, but he has a heavy retributive damage shield (Hellish Retaliation), so people should stop hitting immediately when his HP reaches 75/50/25% or they will kill themselves on the shield.

The Devourer

You can spawn him by clicking the Axe of Ymir that stands in front of the Frostfather, or in the old-fashioned way by pulling him from the lava area downstairs.

He does crushing and fire damage.

Touch of the Devourer: frontal cone AoE attack, unholy damage. The tank can move out of the cone, like from Frost Whip in the palace; other people shouldn’t be in front of the boss anyway. For each person that gets hit by Touch of the Devourer, the boss heals up by 6915 HP (which is 1% of his total HP).

Blast of the Devourer: puts a torment (Scorching Torment) on the aggro holder and anyone nearby. So the aggro holder should run away before the cast is done. The torment is a fire dot and should be removed by a mage with UC or by a ToS with SF. Blast of the Devourer is on a 30 sec timer. This spell is used only after at least one chain is broken; and in that case it is the very first thing he does after healing up during the chain-breaking phase, so the aggro holder should watch his cast bar and run away immediately (if you don’t want to risk infecting the entire group with the torment).

At 50% he gets a shield called Infernal Regeneration (+100 damage deflection, heals 10% every 1 second) and spawns a bunch of adds (Devourer Thralls). These just stand still for a few seconds, later they become hostile; so you should try to do as much damage as possible before they wake up. Someone has to go break the chains (you’ll need the Axe of Ymir from the Ymir’s Pass quest chain) while others DPS the adds.

Thirst of the Devourer: puts a mana draining debuff on people within 4 meters of the main aggro holder. This debuff doesn’t appear immediately, but only after 3.5 seconds — you can see the circle slowly being formed around the aggro holder, and the debuff comes when it’s complete.

Currently you can kill this boss more than once in the same instance of the Amphitheatre. After killing him, everyone from the group should exit the dungeon, reform the group, and go back in. You’ll end up in the same empty dungeon as before (and you still have the 20-hour lockout to it), but you can click the Axe of Ymir again and it will spawn the Devourer again, so in principle you could farm him as much as you like. It’s hard to imagine that this wouldn’t be considered an exploit, however. [Update: apparently this was fixed in update 3.4.2.]

Each boss gave 53k AA XP for the kill and dropped a chest with 3 rares, two 75k AA XP vessels, some blue accessories and social loot (which is based on models that are already in the game). Together with 53k AA XP directly for each boss kill, the total AA XP for the entire dungeon is around 600k. The whole run usually took us around 1 hour and could probably be done in half the time once people get used to the fights.

Loot tables

Each boss drops one accessory, two social armor pieces, and occasionally a purple item.

Accessories

There are six rings and six necklaces dropping here, named Abyssal Demon {Pendant, Ring} of {Assault, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength, Wisdom}. In terms of stats they are very specialized — they tend to have a very high amount of one specific attribute (e.g. wisdom, intelligence, etc.) and nothing (or almost nothing) of any other attribute (such as hit rating, critical rating, constitution, etc.).

Attribute X Necklace (Abyssal Demon
Pendant of X)
Ring (Abyssal Demon
Ring of X)
Assault Devourer Dimensionalst
Constitution Convoker Dimensionalst
Dexterity Convoker Devourer
Intelligence Devourer Convoker
Strength Dimensionalist Convoker
Wisdom Dimensionalist Devourer

Social armor

Five sets of social armor drop here, each consisting of 8 items: Abyssal Battle, Acheronian Convoker’s, Acheronian Monarch’s, Ashbone, and Crusader’s of the Abyss.

Part Set
Abyssal Battle Acheronian Convoker’s Acheronian Monarch’s Ashbone Crusader’s of the Abyss
Belt Convoker Devourer Devourer Dimen. Dimen.
Chest Convoker Devourer Dimen. Devourer Devourer
Feet Dimen. Dimen. Dimen. Convoker Devourer
Hands Dimen. Devourer Convoker Convoker Dimen.
Head Convoker Convoker Dimen. Devourer Convoker
Legs Dimen. Dimen. Devourer Convoker Convoker
Shoulders Devourer Devourer Dimen. Devourer Convoker
Wrists Devourer Convoker Convoker Dimen. Dimen.

Purple items

Several weapons and one ring are available. Some of them have stats comparable to Khitai faction purples or even T3 raid weapons; others are less impressive (e.g. the bow and crossbow lack the +range modifier). The ring is similar to Death’s Ward, which is potentially useful as you can’t have two Death’s Wards. It’s bind-on-equip and seems to be considerably more rare than the weapons (which are bind-on-pickup); I’ve heard of people paying as much as 150 gold for this ring. The devs apparently intended it to be rare and tradeable.

Item name Description Boss # times I’ve seen it drop
Abyssal Gale bow Convoker 4
Abyssal Slicer dagger, dex Devourer 6
Abyssal Sting crossbow Dimensionalist 7
Bloodbane shield Convoker 7
Devourer’s Ring of the Abyss ring, con, protection Devourer 3
Grimwrest 2hb, heal rtg Dimensionalist 3
Harbinger of Acheron 2he, magic dmg Convoker 6
Pain’s Edge 1he, str Devourer 6
Relic of Dark Blessings talisman, heal rtg Dimensionalist 9
Toil of Woes staff, magic dmg Devourer 7

A few observations for the statistically inclined:

  • So far I’ve seen 58 purple items drop in 113 Amphitheatre runs; that’s an average 0.51 purples per run.
  • Of this, 19 purples dropped from the Dimensionalist, 17 from the Convoker, 22 from the Devourer. So I guess that each of them has the same chance of dropping a purple.
  • Once it even happened that we got 3 purples in a single run (one from each boss).
  • I saw the Devourer’s Ring drop 3 times, so the drop rate would seem to be around 1/30 or 1/40 or so. This seems consistent with what I’ve heard from other people farming it.
  • A nice illustration of the vagaries of fortune: I never saw Pain’s Edge drop in the first 53 runs. In the remaining 60 runs, it dropped 6 times!
  • Another illustration: Grimwrest, the healing 2hb from the first boss, isn’t supposed to be any rarer than other weapons, and yet I saw it drop only 3 times — as few times as the ring, which is intended to be very rare!

Loot list for each boss

The Dimensionalist

Drops one of:

  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Strength
  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Wisdom
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Assault
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Constitution

And two of:

  • Abyssal Battle Armwraps
  • Abyssal Battle Chestguard
  • Abyssal Battle Helm
  • Abyssal Battle Footwraps
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Belt
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Wristwraps
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Legcasing [feet]
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Loin Girding [legs]
  • Ashbone Boots of Oblivion
  • Ashbone Gloves of Oblivion
  • Ashbone Legplates of Oblivion
  • Crusader’s Belt of the Abyss
  • Crusader [sic] Gloves of the Abyss
  • Crusader’s Wristwraps of the Abyss

And sometimes one of:

  • Abyssal Sting [xbow]: 127.0 dps, 80 dex, 50 hit rtg, 45 crit rtg, 45 immunity rtg
  • Grimwrest [2hb]: 132.5 dps, 160 str, 525 heal rtg, 100 hit rtg, 90 crit rtg, 90 immunity rtg
  • Relic of Dark Blessings [talisman]: 275 heal rtg, 62 magic dmg, 50 hit rtg, 48 crit rtg, 33 fat rtg, 65 crit dmg rtg, 44 magic life tap rtg

Abyssal Convoker

Drops one of:

  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Constitution
  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Dexterity
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Intelligence
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Strength

And two of:

  • Abyssal Battle Gloves
  • Abyssal Battle Wristwraps
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Boots
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Gloves
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Legguards
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Skullcasing
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Vambraces
  • Ashbone Headdress of Oblivion
  • Ashbone Jewelled Plate of Oblivion
  • Ashbone Loin Girding of Oblivion
  • Crusader’s Armwraps of the Abyss
  • Crusader’s Helm of the Abyss
  • Crusader’s Legguards of the Abyss

And sometimes one of:

  • Abyssal Gale [bow]: 127.0 dps, 80 dex, 50 hit rtg, 45 crit rtg, 45 immunity rtg
  • Bloodbane [shield]: 900 armor, 75 con, 55 hit rtg, 55 crit rtg, 45 immunity rtg, 65 crit dmg rtg
  • Harbinger of Acheron [2he]: 132.5 dps, 160 str, 135 magic dmg (fire), 100 hit rtg, 90 crit rtg

The Devourer

Drops one of:

  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Assault
  • Abyssal Demon Pendant of Intelligence
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Dexterity
  • Abyssal Demon Ring of Wisdom

And two of:

  • Abyssal Battle Belt
  • Abyssal Battle Legguards
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Armwraps
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Chestguard
  • Acheronian Convoker’s Helm
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Knuckleplates [hands]
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Ribcasing
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Navelcasing [belt]
  • Acheronian Monarch’s Straps [shoulder]
  • Ashbone Bands of Oblivion
  • Ashbone Wristwraps of Oblivion
  • Crusader’s Boots of the Abyss
  • Crusader’s Chestguard of the Abyss

And sometimes one of:

  • Abyssal Slicer [dagger]: 76.5 dps, 80 dex, 50 hit rtg, 45 crit rtg, 45 immunity rtg, 40 crit dmg rtg
  • Devourer’s Ring of the Abyss [ring, bind-on-equip]: 130 armor, 78 con, 54 crit rtg, 113 protection
  • Pain’s Edge [1he]: 111.0 dps, 80 str, 50 hit rtg, 45 crit rtg, 45 immunity rtg, 50 combat rtg (fire)
  • Toil of Woes [staff]: 64.4 dps, 122 magic dmg, 100 hit rtg, 90 crit rtg, 90 immunity rtg, 105 crit dmg rtg, 88 magic mana tap rtg

White Hand Officers

October 10, 2012 4 comments

The northeastern corner of the Eiglophian Mountains playfield is a curious and somewhat unfinished place. Most people probably encounter it due to the two quests that lead there, one to kill a number of trash mobs (called Into the Fire, IIRC) and one to kill the three bosses in that area (Na’Tsu’Ko, Kamoinen, and Torumjumala). This latter quest is called White Hand Officers, from which this post also got its title.

The mobs in this area used to be group mobs, which made these quests fairly challenging to do with a level-appropriate group, especially due to the numerous patrols, the relatively quick respawns, many ranged mobs, and the fact that two of these bosses have an annoying ability to teleport around randomly during the fight, and might aggro additional trash mobs if they happen to teleport near them.

Eventually, update 3.0 changed all group mobs in Field of the Dead and Eiglophian Mountains into solo mobs, so these two quests are now quite easy to do. In a way, it’s a pity — in the previous form these quests were a nice challenge — but it was too difficult to get a level-appropriate group for them, so most people skipped them (or got a level 80 player to help them).

White drops

The curious thing about this bosses is some of the stuff that they have in their loot tables. Torumjumala always drops one item from the White Hand Master set, which is white cloth armor. It seems to consist of 6 parts: Tunic, Hood, Leggings, Boots, Gloves, Bracers. I’ve been farming Torumjumala long enough to get each item at least 3 times, and most of them 5 times, and a belt or shoulders never dropped, so I guess it’s reasonably safe to say that they don’t exist. (I found an old post on the US forum that had the same experience.) I tried checking this with a search in bebot’s item database as well, but it seems that most of this set is missing from there anyway (or maybe it’s misclassified under the wrong language and therefore doesn’t show up in searches).

Their stats are exactly the same as on the white level 60 armor that you can buy from NPC vendors (Sateen X, for various values of X):

  • White Hand Master Boots: 104 armor
  • White Hand Master Bracers: 52 armor
  • White Hand Master Gloves: 78 armor
  • White Hand Master Hood: 156 armor
  • White Hand Master Leggings: 182 armor
  • White Hand Master Tunic: 234 armor


(Click to enlarge.)

As you can see, this is a very unusual set. Technically it’s marked as cloth, but several parts of it (especially the chest and boots) look more like plate than cloth. The “hood” looks more like the sort of thing that is elsewhere called a “circlet” (an identical-looking item, Lauded Curatic Band, drops from Jan Vermis in the Catacombs; another such item is Leonid Helm, level 52 medium armor, which I suspect is one of the quest rewards in the Armsman’s Arena), and the “leggings” are the same sexy blue miniskirt that we also know as the Resplendent Tasset or Elegiast’s Britches.

There’s at least one other chest that looks the same as White Hand Master Tunic, namely Fangbreaker (level 50 green BoP medium chest), which is probably a quest reward but I’m not sure from where. As for the boots, another item based on the same model are Emerald-hide Shoes from Old Emerald in the Main System.

As we see, though other items with the same appearance do exist, they are scattered all over the game, so farming Torumjumala is an easy way to get the whole set in one place.


In addition, Torumjumala sometimes drops a white weapon called White Hand Dagger. It didn’t drop even once in 32 kills of Torumjumala in the normal instance of Eiglophian Mountains, but it dropped twice in 14 kills of Torumjumala in the epic instance; so either I had pretty bad luck in the normal instance or it only drops in the epic instance. Being a white weapon, its stats are of course utter crap, but it looks interesting; I particularly like the blue decorative end of the hilt:


 

 

 

(Click to enlarge.)

Kamoinen always drops a thrown weapon called Kamoinens Sling [sic] and a quest item called Key to Thurga.



(Click to enlarge.)

Sometimes he additionally drops a 1-handed edged weapon called Kamoinens Shortsword [sic]. Unlike the dagger from Torumjumala, this sword seems to drop just fine in the normal instance. I got it twice in 25 kills of Kamoinen in the normal instance, and once in 5 kills of Kamoinen in the epic instance. The sword looks interesting as well and I’m not aware of any other that looks exactly the same:




(Click to enlarge.)

I suppose there’s a tiny chance that some other weapons also drop here that I haven’t seen yet, but I think it’s pretty unlikely. This is the sort of thing that would be easy to check with yg.com if it still existed 😦 I can’t see any other weapons of this sort in bebot’ sitem database.

I haven’t seen Na’Tsu’Ko drop anything interesting. But he’s different from the other two bosses anyway; he’s level 59 and judging by his happearance he seems to be a cannibal native to this region, whereas the other two are level 60 Hyperboreans.

Unfinished content?

Thurga is the partly ruined temple in front of which Torumjumala stands. Presumably it was at some point meant to be an instanced dungeon and the Key to Thurga might have been needed to enter it; but as with so many other things in the game, they never actually got around to fully implementing it. Some people say there used to be quests mentioned on yg.com involving this key, though I can’t say that I remember seeing any such quest in the game itself; see the comments to one of my previous posts for further interesting information about this.

My guess is that the white armor and weapons that drop here are likewise unfinished. Even if they were intended primarily as vanity gear, the fact is that other similar sets in the game are green, not white, and their stats are at least somewhat useful (as far as green gear goes). Examples of this include the Darfari armor from Purple Lotus Swamp and the various Vanir armor sets from Conall’s Valley and Fields of the Dead. So maybe they intended to give the White Hand Master armor some more meaningful stats (and maybe even more original visual models), but never got around to finishing that either. Another thing that suggests this stuff is unfinished are the missing apostrophes from the weapon names 😛

Another odd thing is that, as far as I can see, the White Hand mobs aren’t actually wearing the items that drop here as the White Hand Master set — unlike the Vanir and Darfari mobs, which actually wear items that drop from their loot tables. I don’t think I’ve seen any mob in the Eiglophian Mountains wear the sexy blue miniskirt that drops here as White Hand Master Leggings (nor the plate-looking White Hand Master Tunic, for that matter).

There is at least one good thing about this armor being white, rather than green — it doesn’t get bound to you even if you equip it.

By the way, speaking of vanity armor worn by White Hand mobs in the Eiglophian Mountains, I’ve noticed that White Hand Witch and Warlock mobs here wear the interesting and little-known chest called Incursion Shroud, which drops from Alcippe in the Main System.


 

 

Torumjumala’s Champion

Another curious thing I noticed is that when you pull Torumjumala, another boss suddenly spawns and attacks you. This was called Torumjumala’s Champion and was level 80, even though Torumjumala is just level 60. Maybe the Champion’s level adapts to the level of the player that pulled Torumjumala.

In any case, I’m pretty sure this Champion wasn’t there initially, but I’m not sure when exactly they added him. Perhaps it was in update 1.06; this update added the guild renown system and one aspect of it were some additional quests through which you can obtain the Tarpani Stallion if your guild is at renown level 20. The last part of these quests involved the area around Torumjumala, and in fact you can now see a Tarpani Stallion in a cage next to him. Perhaps the Champion was added at that time; or if not, maybe he was added in update 3.0 when the mobs in that area were changed from group to solo mobs.

The Champion never seemed to drop anything interesting.

Epic instance

I also tried killing these bosses in the epic instance of Eiglophian Mountains. It turns out that the white armor and weapons, as well as the Key to Thurga, drop the same as in the normal instance. The only difference is that, as I mentioned earlier, I never managed to get the dagger from Torumjumala in the normal instance, only in the epic one.

As you would expect from an epic instance, each boss additionally also drops a piece of blue gear around level 60 (i.e. mostly from the level 40–69 sets), and the level 80 Torumjumala’s Champion drops a piece of blue gear around level 80 (i.e. mostly from the level 70–80 sets).

The Champion was a bit of a pain in the ass to kill, because he hits fairly hard and you’re fighting him and Torumjumala at the same time, as well as one or two trash mobs (which will likely be respawning during the fight); and you have to be careful about kiting as the Champion resets fairly easily. So I didn’t try killing him more than once in the epic instance of the playfield; usually I would just let him reset and then kill Torumjumala alone.

Helm of Fearless Souls

October 2, 2012 6 comments

I recently bought the Helm of Fearless Souls. While the stats are nice, in terms of appearance it . . . leaves much to be desired. So this post is a little ode to what is undoubtedly one of the ugliest helmets ever seen in Age of Conan.


Where is your god now?

It would take purple-prose skills of Lovecraftian proportions to do justice to the ugliness of this helmet. Phrases such as “grotesque obscenity” and “blasphemous abomination” come naturally to mind when contemplating its hideous abnormality. “Amorphous blight”, sadly, does not, for this priapic monstrosity is far from amorphous, indeed its shape is all too readily apparent:


Khitan sages are still disputing whether it was based on the Zang Xin,
the shark, the tiger, or even the noble quilin.

Not only will you be walking about with a giant throbbing red cock stuck to the back of your head, there’s even a hint of a pair of partly castrated balls underneath! And you’ll never look at the phrase exotic creature handling the same way again, in fact there’ll be a lot more than just handling going on once your lonely female rhino, mammoth, or tiger discovers the joys of this helmet!


Legend has it that when the Emperor neglected his concubines and
even his exhausted palace guards were no longer . . . up to their task,
their helmets would be used to finish the job.

We know that Funcom developers are stoned much of the time — it’s the only reasonable explanation for so many of their decisions — but the day they were designing this helmet, someone must have mixed an extra large dose of viagra amongst the other stuff they were taking.


After the crafting revamp you’ll be able to attach miniature flags,
flashing LEDs, and radio receivers to the tip of the helmet, for bonus perversity.

We can only hope that other classes will get a fleshlight-themed attachment on their helmets in the next tier, to balance out the ridiculousness more fairly across all the archetypes 😛

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Humor