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Dragon’s Spine armor sets

August 31, 2013 2 comments

If we don’t count the three social armor sets from the Sepulcher of the Wyrm, there are ten new sets of armor in the Dragon’s Spine:

  • Black Pharaoh (plate, defensive)
  • Dark Messenger (plate, DPS)
  • Haunter in the Dark (BS)
  • Howling Giant (ranger)
  • Ubah Kan (barbarian)
  • Oxmal (PoM/ToS, DPS)
  • Shivering Stars (PoM/ToS, healing)
  • Crawling Chaos (assassin)
  • Faceless Chaos (HoX)
  • Faceless Sphinx (demo/necro)

Each set exists in a blue and a purple version, but the purple versions are currently incomplete — no purple heads, chests, or wrists are currently available.

Unfortunately, the naming of the items is a good deal less transparent than in the case of Khitai faction armor. There, each item name started with a prefix from which you could easily tell whether it was blue or purple: for example, if a Scarlet Circle piece is called “Summoner’s”, it must be purple, whereas if it is “Neophyte’s”, “Thaumaturge’s”, or “Sorcerer’s”, it is one of the three tiers of blues.

Here in the Dragon’s Spine sets, there is no obvious naming convention that would reliably separate blue from purple items; for example, in the medium sets, blue shoulders are called “Arm-straps” and purple shoulders “Armbands”, while in plate sets it’s just the opposite (well, with a hyphen in “Arm-bands”); there is at least one case where the purple and blue piece have the same name (Grips of the Ubah Kan). At best you can hope to find a few heuristics here and there, e.g. all the purple legs seem to be called “Breeches”.

Where to get this stuff?

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that Dragon’s Spine is being released by bits and pieces. Initially, in update 4.0, things actually started off very systematically: you could buy purple shoulders and belts for rare trophies from the NPC vendor in the northern excavation camp; the first boss in the Sepulcher of the Wyrm dropped blue feet; the second boss dropped blue wrists; the third boss dropped blue legs and purple hands. Other items weren’t yet available.

Additionally, of the 10 sets mentioned above, only 7 were available at that time; Dark Messenger, Shivering Stars and Howling Giant were introduced in 4.1 only. The purple shoulders and belts for these sets were added to the NPC vendor, but the Sepulcher of the Wyrm loot tables weren’t modified to include suitable parts (blue feet, wrists, legs, and purple hands) of the three new sets; instead, these parts were added to the Coils of Ubah Kan loot tables. Additionally, the Coils loot tables contain purple feet and legs, as well as blue chests, heads, shoulders, belts, and hands, for all 10 sets.

Color Part Original 4.0 sets (Black Pharaoh,
Haunter in the Dark, Ubah Kan, Oxmal, Crawling Chaos, Faceless Chaos, Faceless Sphinx)
New 4.1 sets (Dark messenger, Howling Giant, Shivering Stars)
Blue Belt Coils
Chest Coils
Feet Sepulcher 1st boss Coils
Hands Coils
Head Coils
Legs Sepulcher 3rd boss Coils
Shoulder Coils
Wrist Sepulcher 2nd boss Coils
Purple Belt vendor
Chest not available
Feet Coils
Hands Sepulcher 3rd boss Coils
Head not available
Legs Coils
Shoulder Vendor
Wrist not available

The loot tables in the Coils of Ubah Kan are, unfortunately, not nearly as systematical as the ones in the Sepulcher of the Wyrm (although some patterns certainly do exist). It is even possible for the same item to drop from multiple bosses.

Appearance

A few months ago I was grumbling about how many of the House of Crom armor sets are very similar to each other, distinguished only by slight changes in color. In the Dragon’s Spine, the situation went a step further and many sets of armor look exactly the same. As it turns out, among the Dragon’s Spine sets the appearance of a piece of armor depends only on its weight: both full-plate sets look the same; both medium sets look the same; all three light sets look the same; and all three cloth sets also look the same. Furthermore, although each set is available in a blue and a purple version, both look exactly the same.

(Of course, I haven’t actually tried collecting and swapping around absolutely every piece of each of these sets, but I did try swapping around many of them, and in all those cases the above rule was confirmed: as long as the weight remained the same, the look was also the same, regardless of the set and color.)

I was initially somewhat taken aback at the idea that assassin and mage sets should look the same just because they both happen to be cloth armor, or that barbarian and PoM/ToS sets should look the same just because they both happen to be light armor; but on second thought we have to admit that this is nothing new — the same thing happened with many of the Khitai faction sets more than 3 years ago. (E.g. the Brittle Blade sets for assassins, HoXes, and demos/necros all look the same.)

Anyway, at least this makes it easier to collect a coherent-looking set for vanity purposes; you can mix blue and purple pieces from two or three sets, as long as they match in weight, and the result will be the same as if they had actually all been from the same set. So, as far as the appearance is concerned, we practically have just four sets here.

Full-plate armor

Two full-plate sets are available: Black Pharaoh, which is more defensive, and Dark Messenger (added only in 4.1), which is more DPS-oriented. (See my recent post for more.)

Medium armor

Two medium sets are available: Haunter in the Dark for bear shamans (rangers) and Howling Giant for bear shamans. Originally, only Haunter in the Dark was released in 4.0 and was thought of as a generic BS/ranger set, with generic combat rating; in fact those parts of it that were available then still have the same stats; but the parts that were added subsequently have more ranger-oriented stats (dexterity instead of generic combat rating). Howling Giant was released in 4.1 and has combat rating (2HB) on all parts, so there is no doubt that it’s a BS set.

Light armor

Three light sets are available: Ubah Kan is for barbarians, Oxmal is a DPS-oriented set for healers, and Shivering Stars (added only in 4.1) is a healing-oriented set for healers. Oxmal lacks heal rating altogether, except on the purple legs.

Cloth armor

Three cloth sets are available: Crawling Chaos for assassins, Faceless Sphinx for demos/necros and Faceless Chaos for HoXes.

Miscellaneous loot from the Coils of Ubah Kan

The following screenshot shows the Blade and Shield of the Black Pharaoh (tank sword and shield), but the devs employed the same level of economy in designing the weapons as they did for the armor, so that the Edge of the Ubah Kan looks exactly the same as the Blade of the Black Pharaoh, and the Shield of the Shivering Stars (healer shield) looks the same as the Shield of the Black Pharoah.

Here’s a screenshot of the Staff of Shivering Stars (healer staff), along with the Oxmal / Shivering Stars armor set. The mage staff, Totem of the Faceless Sphinx, looks the same.


(Click to enlarge.)

The Omni-Prophet (last boss) in the Coils of Ubah Kan drops several cloaks, which IIRC use the same models that were already made available in the item shop some time ago. The following screenshot shows the Cloak of the Black Pharaoh (153 armor, 556 HP, 101 protection); others aren’t exactly the same, but in a similar style.

And here is the Cloak of the Shivering Stars, which actually has more heal rating than any other cloak in the game (201 heal rtg, 80 wis, 10 hate dec rtg, 200 mana, 4.9 nat mana regen):

Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

Changes in Xibaluku in Update 4.1

August 29, 2013 3 comments

Several changes have been made in Xibaluku recently, probably in update 4.1, without any corresponding announcement in the update notes. Presumably these are some work-in-progress type of things that have been unintentionally and prematurely pushed to the live server. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to summarize the changes in a post. (See also the interesting forum thread.)

Changes in boss HP

Probably the most obvious change is that the amount of hit points for pretty much all the bosses there has been significantly reduced, by around 30–40%. (As usually, the HP measurements are only approximate.)

Boss Amount of hit points Change
Before After
Warlord Repadis 270 k 202 k −25 %
Master Gaoler Norach 238 k 151 k −37 %
Surberec 315 k 197 k −38 %
Acheronian Reaper 276 k 198 k −28 %
Balko 207 k 120 k −42 %
Martyr of Votantha 1178 k 744 k −37 %
Tia Shar 337 k 223 k −34 %
The Red One 302 k 218 k −28 %
Meskit the Fated 231* k 202 k —12 %
Iziel-Al’zeep 140–180 k 100–120 k −31 %
Jal Kor Bloodbane 355 k ?

(Some of the data is missing: I haven’t done any non-hardmode runs yet recently, so I haven’t seen Jal Kor yet either. The HP shown for Iziel doesn’t include his huge loss of health when the mirror is purified, and a range of values is reported since purifying the mirror doesn’t seem to always drop his HP to the same percentage. I’m not sure how reliable my pre-4.1 estimate of Meskit is; I couldn’t find a log in which I didn’t die during the fight.)

The latest combat log I can find with the old HP amounts was from April 2013, and it seems I haven’t done Xibaluku between then and this week. Some people in the forums say that the boss HP seemed normal as little as one month ago, which suggests that the changes were most likely introduced in update 4.1.

I’m somewhat disappointed by the nerfs to boss HP; in my opinion, Xibaluku was one of those places that didn’t require nerfing. I find it hard to imagine that the change from e.g. 300 k to 200 k would actually make a significant difference to anyone; even if you go there with a poorly geared group of newly-level-80 characters, anything that they can kill with 200 k HP they could also have killed if it had 300 k HP. And in the case of the Martyr of Votantha, it is now more tempting than ever to just tank and spank him instead of trying to deal with the platform puzzle, which is a bit of a pity (the platform puzzle has been fixed a long time ago so that it doesn’t require any jumping, merely walking, so isn’t unreasonably difficult now).

Loot changes

New epic accessories from Iziel-Al’zeep. Like before, Iziel drops one epic accessory, but the set of possible drops has been expanded. In addition to the Conviction of Will (magic damage ring) and the Fury of Iziel (combat rating ring), there is now a Might of the Wrathful (armor/con ring) and a Necklace of Thousand Souls (protection necklace).

I don’t think the new ring will be particularly popular, but the necklace is very nice; comparable to Scipio’s Necklace of Protection (45 con, 40 immunity rtg, 220 protection), which you get as a quest reward for killing Arbanus, but with a bit more HP and with armor instead of immunity. In fact I like the new necklace better than Scipio’s one.

Bone-Rattle of Gullah items. This is a social armor set that had originally been introduced for the fifth anniversary event a few months ago (May 2013). The five open-world raid bosses in that event would drop bags (called ‘pentasacks’), and opening them would get you various kinds of loot, among them this set. One particularly nice thing was that you would get the whole set (all 8 parts) from one bag.


Now it seems that at least some parts of this set drop in Xibaluku. In our recent runs, Iziel always dropped (in addition to his usual loot) one part (chest, legs, or head), and the Red One has a chance of dropping hands or wrists. I haven’t seen the other parts yet.

Other new social items. The (now separately killable) treasure chest behind Norach and Surberec can now contain (in addition to the usual loot) a social helmet called Mask of the Master Gaoler. It looks the same as the Nescient Helm (full plate protection helmet from Jal Kor / Iziel) and Frostmaw Helm (from the Devourer, Amphitheatre normal mode).

The Acheronian Reaper (rare boss upstairs) has dropped (in addition to the usual loot) a social belt called Reaper’s Loin Girding of Oblivion. This looks exactly the same as the Acheronian Convoker’s Belt (which drops from the Dimensionalist in Amphitheatre unchained). I haven’t seen any other parts of this new Reaper set dropping so far, and we only saw the Acheronian Reaper once in our recent runs, so I don’t know if he always drops a social item or only sometimes.

Other changes

Killable treasure chests. The treasure chest that becomes reachable after you kill Norach and Surberec is now a separately killable mob (which then drops a treasure chest with the loot), instead of a plain old treasure chest.

Likewise, Iziel-Al’zeep now doesn’t drop a loot box directly, but spawns a separately killable treasure chest (which then drops the loot box). One nice thing about that is that you no longer need to search for the loot box underwater — the killable chest now always spawns outside the pool.

Reduction of money drops. Formerly, each Xibaluku boss used to drop (in addition to the gear) around 3–4 silver per player (on average; if the group was full); this is a fairly standard amount for old-world level 80 group content. (See e.g. my posts about open-world bosses: 1, 2.)

Now, some of the bosses (Balko, Martyr of Votantha, Tia Shar) drop much less money than before — around 70 copper per player on average. Other bosses (Warlord Repadis, The Red One, Protector / Vindicator / Defender of Acheron) drop the same amount as before.

In the case of Iziel, it’s even worse; his new separately killable treasure chest contains almost no money (in our runs it was around 7 copper per player).

Reduction of trash mobs. Two mobs that were patrolling through Repadis’s room have been removed. This makes dealing with the trash at the beginning of the dungeon easier and less dynamic.

Boss levels. Whereas formerly bosses had various levels from 81 to 83, now they are all level 82.

[Update: according to the 4.1.6 patch notes, the changes in boss HP were unintentional and have now been reverted.]

Overpowered guardian specs

August 24, 2013 4 comments

Dual-wield polearms!


(Click to enlarge.)

Pole and shield!


(Click to enlarge.)

Bolts are for weaklings, real men shoot polearms from their crossbow!

Full-plate armor from the Dragon’s Spine

August 17, 2013 1 comment

Two full plate sets are now available in Dragon’s Spine: Black Pharaoh (which is more defensive) and Dark Messenger (which is more DPS-oriented). As with the other Dragon’s Spine sets, each of them exists in two versions, blue and purple (but purple helmets, chests and wrists aren’t available yet — my guess is that they will be dropping in some dungeon that will be added in the future). So basically there are four full-plate sets here, but as far as I can tell, all four look exactly the same.

For example, I have all four leg armor pieces and tried swapping them around, and couldn’t notice even the slightest difference in my character’s appearance. This will certainly make matters easier for people who just want to get this stuff for vanity 😛 So the following screenshots contain a mixture of blue and purple items, some from the Black Pharaoh set and some from the Dark Messenger set:


Congratulations, you are now a fully certified rhino molester!


Front side of the helmet.


Back.

A full comparison of the stats will have to wait until later since I don’t know the stats of all the items yet. I tried, however, comparing the total stats of belt + hands + legs + shoulder from various purple sets. It turns out that the Dark Messenger plate set has basically the same DPS as Tiger heavy set, but more armor. The Black Pharaoh purple set seems to be comparable to the Wolves of the Steppes set, but with more hit rating and critical rating.

The Black Pharaoh blue set has a lot of HP for a blue set (6152 HP), but almost no DPS; but on the other hand, it has shitloads of hit rating and a very respectable amount of critical rating and critical damage rating.

Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

Coils of Ubah Kan

August 14, 2013 18 comments

Shadow Spider Matriarch

She does poison damage and doesn’t seem to crit much.

The fight consists of 3 phases, each in its own room, but they are mostly similar.

Viscous Filigree = her main single target attack on the aggro holder.

Razor Web Spray = frontal cone, not very strong.

Venomous Condition = she casts it on a random player (see target’s target); from him it spreads a bit like Miasma in T3, so he should move away from others until it expires.

Webbing = puts a random player (see target’s target) in a cocoon; while there, he is stunned and is taking damage; the cocoon must be DPSed asap. This ability only appears in the third phase.

Lacerating Mesh = puts gray circles on the ground (on random positions, unrelated to players), which snare you and damage you — it’s best to doubletap out of them.

Every 25% one of the Nest Sacks (hanging spider nests) around the room becomes active and must be DPSed (it spawns trashmobs — Shadow Spiders — until it’s destroyed). The first nest sack becomes active when the boss is at 100%, the second at 75% and the third at 50%. In phase 1 there’s just one nest, in phase 2 there are two nests and in phase 3 there are all 3 nests.

The order in which the nests become active is fixed; in the third phase, the middle nest becomes active first, then the left one, and finally the right one.

Serpent Man Hierophant

He does physical damage and crits a little. The fire trails, blue smoke etc. do magical damage but you shouldn’t be getting hit by those things anyway.

– First phase:

During this phase he has a 200% deflection buff, so you won’t tank him or fight him.

He opens the left alcove and 2 adds appear; kill them asap (they can’t be CCed, unfortunately). Repeat this for the middle alcove and finally for the right alcove. After that, the first phase is over.

Meanwhile there will be big lines of blue smoke slowly moving around the room — you might have to move as well to avoid coming in touch with them, as they will do heavy damage on you. Ideally you would kill each pair of adds so quickly that the blue smoke doesn’t reach you. (Once the adds are dead, the smoke disappears.)

Likewise avoid the white and red trails that move around on the ground. More and more of these will spawn until you’re finished killing the adds — and these trails will remain active until the end of the fight (which is why you should hurry with the first phase, so that you’ll have as few trails as possible).

– Second phase:

Lots of adds (Rage Vapors) will spawn; these are slowly following the boss and they buff him if they are near him; they also do self-centered aoe damage.

So you should frequently kite the boss around the room to get him away from the Vapors; apart from that, just tank and spank him.</p

The white and red trails on the ground from the first phase are still here, make sure to avoid them. The alcoves are potentially useful as a safe spot, since the trails never go inside them.

This fight has an enrage timer of 8 minutes (for both phases); this shouldn’t be a problem except if most of your group is dead.

Serpent Man Genealogist

– First phase:

During this phase he has a 200% deflection buff, so you won’t tank him or fight him.

He spawns a Serpent Man Unknown Hybrid, which needs to be killed.

Plasma Syphon = the Hybrid occasionally channels this spell while targeting a random player; this player should break line of sight to stop the channelling.

Plasma Charge = the Hybrid gets this stacking buff, we thought it was due to allowing him to channel Plasma Syphon for too long, but sometimes he got stacks of it outside of Plasma Syphon as well.

Bio Plasma = large area aoe hit (poison damage), whose power repends on how many stacks of Plasma Charge the boss had. At 5 stacks (which is the max), my necro was hit for ~8000 points. You can avoid it by breaking line of sight, but it’s a quick-casting spell so you don’t have much time to move. It’s best to tank him near one of the little walls on the side of the room so that people can quickly move behind the wall when they have to break line of sight.

– Second phase:

After the Hybrid is dead, the Genealogist becomes attackable.

This isn’t even a tank and spank fight — it’s just a spank fight. The boss runs around like crazy and doesn’t attack players, he just spawns lots of minions. Kill the minions, follow the boss and DPS him.

– Third phase:

A new mob called Serpent Man Bio-Titan spawns.

He’s mostly just tank and spank. He does physical damage, hits pretty hard and crits quite a bit. He seems to hit harder and harder as the fight progresses, though the GUI doesn’t explicitly show any buff that might indicate this.

Occasionally he casts Defile Evolution, which spawns an Incubating Egg; kill this add as quickly as possible, as the Bio-Titan gets healed while the Egg is up.

If he runs out of eggs before you kill him, he will start targeting players during Defile Evolution; he heals up even more now (even if the targeted player breaks line of sight), and oneshots the targeted player at the end. At this point you’re pretty much guaranteed to wipe.

The Unknown

This is an optional boss, i.e. you don’t have to kill it to progress through the dungeon. If you stand at the bridge which stands near the rez pad and leads deeper into the dungeon, and if you have the rez pad on your right, the way to The Unknown is to your left. Dive into one of the pools and swim underwater to reach the boss. He does physical damage and crits a little.

Exodus = large-area aoe kb; as usually with knockbacks, doubletapping helps.

Withering = frontal cone aoe, move out of the cone (like Frost Whip in the Palace of Yun Rau) or you will get an annoying debuff.

Occasionally the boss walks 1 circle around the room with a buff called Doom Gaze. This gives him +200% damage mitigation, so your attacks would heal him during this phase, so don’t attack him.

But more importantly, any adds (Bats, Vampire Bats) or players that come into his frontal cone during Doom Gaze will give him a stacking buff which is also called Doom Gaze. These stacks remain on him for the rest of the fight and give him +5% damage per stack. Once he reaches 20 stacks, he gets +500% damage instead of +100% damage, and at that point he is going to pretty much two-shot tanks and oneshot anyone else.

So it’s important that you kill the bats before the boss would reach them with its Doom Gaze. The bats are of two kinds: Bats, which are solo mobs, and Vampire Bats, which are group mobs. In the middle of the room there is a walled-off area containing a gaseous particle effect (Suppression Gas). You should lead the Vampire Bats into this gas to DPS them, otherwise they will be healing up and will be impossible to kill. The normal bats can be killed where they are.

You should kill the bats near the entrance to the Suppression Gas area first, since those won’t be respawning. The bats on the opposite side of the room will be respawning frequently (and you have to keep kiling them).

Serpent Man Grand Vizier

Affectionately known as “the Disco boss”.

– General information:

The boss always stands in the middle of the room.

In the corners, there are four circles: Beryl (blue), Pearl (white), Emerald (green), Scarlet (red). Standing in a circle gives you a 20-second buff called X Aptitude, where X = Beryl, Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet. If you keep standing in a circle, the Aptitude buff won’t refresh continuously, but only after it expires. This also applies if you move to a different circle while still having the Aptitude from a previous circle; you will only get the new Aptitude after your old one expires.

Along two of the walls, there are smaller violet circles. Moving into the violet circle removes your current Aptitude buff immediately. This is useful if you need to quickly switch to a different Aptitude.

The Aptitude buff is extremely important if you want to DPS anything in this fight (more on this below). Pets do not currently get the Aptitude buffs. Thus you should absolutely not use pets in this fight. Remember that a DT’s Dread Shadow and Zone of Gluttony etc. are technically also pets. Do not use any of these things. Yes, I know one of your combos spawns the Zone of Gluttony. Do not use this combo.

– First phase:

The boss is invulnerable during this phase (Prismatic Shield; +200% damage mitigation), but there are four adds, called Holder of the X Light, where X = Beryl, Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet; each stands in the corresponding circle.

To attack an add, you need to have the Aptitude buff of the opposite color. The opposite means from the opposite side of the diagonal: red and blue are opposites; and green and white are also opposites.

If you attack an add without having the opposite Aptitude buff, you will take very heavy retributive damage (magic) and the add will heal up massively. To avoid trouble with that when your buff changes or expires, you shouldn’t use dots and retributive damage shields either. That includes Curse of Gwahlur, etc.

Meanwhile, the boss is doing Prismatic Aura (piercing damage aoe, pulsing all the time on the whole room), so everyone should gear up defensively. If you aren’t standing in one of the four colored circles, you will be taking another aoe (Spectrum).

When any of the four adds is dead, Prismatic Aura starts hitting much harder and will wipe the group quickly.

So you need to dps all the adds to a very low percentage first (e.g. 5%), then you need to send 4 players to finish them off all at the same time, each player going to one of the adds (and before that going to the opposite add to pick up the correct Aptitude buff of course).

There are various ways of organizing the group during this phase. It’s best if squishies are accompanied by a healer all the time. You can even have them wait by one of the circles while the tanks move around and DPS all four adds to 5%, then the squishies get involved only at the very end when all four adds are nearly dead and just need to be finished off. When you need to kill the 4 adds, you can send the tanks on one add each, and a squishy + healer on each of the other two adds.

– Second phase:

Once all four adds are down, the boss becomes attackable.

He has one of four possible buffs, called X Shield, where X = Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet, Beryl; you need to have the Aptitude buff of the opposite color to hit him, otherwise you’ll heal him up massively and take heavy retributive damage.

Aura Shift = he casts this every 20 sec and switches randomly to a different buff color.

So when you see him casting Aura Shift, stop hitting immediately. Seriously, just stop hitting. Yes, I know you’re tempted to finish your combo or spell or whatever. Just don’t do it. Stop hitting and move away from the boss. If you don’t know how to cancel your combos, learn how to do it. Otherwise you can keep doing this phase for hours and not get anywhere because you will be healing him up all the time by hitting him without the correct Aptitude buff.

Once you see his new buff color after Aura Shift, go to the circle of the opposite color to pick up the correct Aptitude buff. Remember that you might need to go to a purple circle to clear your old Aptitude first.

In my experience, the color always changes during Aura Shift, it never remains the same. This means that it’s a good idea to go to the other side of the room during Aura Shift because there’s a 2/3 chance that the new color will be on the other side than the old color and just a 1/3 chance that it will be on the same side.

During Aura Shift, the player that is farthest away from the boss gets a ruin called Aptitude Ruin. This ruin prevents him from getting any Aptitude buff (and he and people near him also take some damage when the ruin appears — Aura Burn, ~4k unholy damage). This is dangerous since if he doesn’t notice this and starts attacking the boss anyway, he will take retributive damage and heal the boss up. The ruin should be removed quickly by a healer with Steadfast Faith. One way of dealing it is to have a healer remain the farthest away from the boss during this phase, and other players remain closer to the boss, so that the healer gets the ruin and nobody except him gets hit by the Aura Burn. (A slightly more desperate way would be to have a healer standing in the middle by the boss, not taking any Aptitude buffs and not attacking the boss, just healing and removing ruins. So people with the ruin know where to go to get it removed, and then they can go pick up the correct Aptitude buff and start attacking the boss.)

At 75%, 50% and 25%, the boss temporarily ports upstairs (casts Phase) and starts a channeling aoe spell called X Bombardment, where X = Pearl, Emerald, Green, Scarlet. This aoe hits quite hard and you have to run to the circle of the matching color (not the opposite color!) to avoid it. So if he’s casting Pearl Bombardment, run to the white circle, etc. After he goes through all four bombardments (in random order), he comes back down and the fight resumes.

Note that when the boss comes back down, he has a color shield again, but the first thing he does is cast Aura Shift and switch to a different color. So you should wait to see the new color before picking any Aptitude buffs.

Serpent Man Omni-Prophet

(I don’t understand everything about this fight yet, so I might update this section when I learn more.)

– General information:

The fight takes place in a circular room, with the boss standing in the middle. Along the walls there are 6 murals, numbered clockwise: 1 = far right, 2 = middle right, 3 = near right, 4 = near left, 5 = middle left, 6 = far left. At various points during the fight, these murals become clickable; a player that clicks the mural gets transported into a separate room where he has to kill a few mobs, after which he gets a buff that will be important for the continuation of the fight. In fact you can have several players click (different) murals at the same time, they can fight the mobs together and at the end each of them will get the buff corresponding to the mural he clicked. The buffs are as follows:

1. Annals I: Dispatching the Living: makes you do a big amount of additional damage to the Serpent Men Warriors, just by standing near them.

2. Annals II: Point of Convergence: makes the boss lock aggro on you in the third phase; the aoe from Deliver Prophecy: Discovery will also be centered on you (instead of on the boss).

3. Annals III: Purging the Dead: allows you to destroy the Serpent Man Echo mobs.

4. Annals IV: Vengeance of Yig: if you stand in the floating light (which appears in the 2nd phase) while having this buff, you get a 5-second buff called Wrath of Yig (same icon as Test of Faith in the Leviathus encounter), which allows you to remove the boss’s shield in the second phase by standing near him. I don’t see much use for this buff as we don’t really DPS the boss before the third phase (after all the rifts etc. are removed).

5. Annals V: Reclamation Denied: allows you to remove Cosmic Rifts.

6. Annals VI: Invasion Repelled: allows you to uncharm players.

The boss’s primary attack is a single-target unholy nuke called Bad Omens, so the main tank should have good protection.

– First phase:

The tank aggroes the boss, who will move closer to the center of the room, where he will be tanked. A violet cloud appears on the ground; standing in it gives the tank a very useful buff called Unwelcome (+90% unholy invulnerability, +500% hate). Other players should stand behind the boss, outside of the cloud, so that they don’t get the hate buff. (There’s not much point in DPSing the boss in this phase as he’ll heal up later anyway.)

One of the players should click mural 6 (far left); possibly you can have another player click mural 4 (near left) at the same time. They will be ported to a separate room where they have to kill 6 trash mobs.

The players that are fighting the boss have to watch out for the following two abilities:

Chosen = the boss targets a random player while casting this. Everyone needs to be close to that player to avoid taking some damage. Thus, the tank should run to the other players by the 11 o’clock mural as well.

Forsaken = the boss targets a random player while casting this. The targeted player must move away from other players or they will take aoe damage from him.

This phase ends when the players that clicked the murals are finished fighting the mobs there and emerge back into the boss room.

If the player that clicked mural 6 comes out during the Chosen phase, and the chosen player isn’t standing near him, the mural-clicked might die from the aoe (which hits anyone that isn’t near the chosen one). To avoid this problem, it’s best if everyone stands next to mural 6 during the Chosen phases.

– Second phase:

Gather near the entrance of the room. The boss has a retributive damage shield during this phase, so don’t hit him.

Several players will get charmed; the player that clicked the far left mural (and therefore now has the Annals VI buff) must uncharm them by hitting them.

Murals 1 (far right) and 3 (near right) become clickable during this phase, so (after the first wave of chamrs) have two players to click these murals, one each. They will be ported to a separate room where they have to break some eggs.

After they come out, some trash mobs will start spawning, called Serpent Man Warriors (group mobs, they spawn two at a time); bring them together, CC them and kill them. The player that clicked the far right mural (and therefore now has the Annals I buff) should stand near them because his buff will do huge damage to them, so they die very quickly.

Several stationary mobs called Serpent Man Echos also appear around the edges of the room and heal the boss. The player that clicked the near right mural (and therefore now has the Annals III buff) should go around the room and destroy these mobs (probably by hitting them, or maybe just by being near them).

Eventually, murals 2 (middle right) and 5 (middle left) become clickable. Ideally these should be clicked by tanks. Clicking gets them teleported into a separate room where a group of mobs are slowly moving towards the Messenger, who stands in the middle. You have to either kill the mobs or the Messenger before the mobs reach him. When the clickers come out, the third phase begins.

Clicking mural 5 will give the player a buff with which to remove Cosmic Rifts (see below); in my experience, it’s useful if this is a tank, otherwise he is very likely to die while removing the rifts.

Clicking mural 2 will lock the boss’s aggro on that player in the third phase, so this has to be clicked by a tank. It also causes the AoE from ‘Deliver Prophecy: Discovery’ to be centered on that player.

Now, if you have one tank clicking mural 5 and one clicking mural 2, you will have both tanks inside the wall for a while and meanwhile the boss will aggro some other player in the main room. This can be hard to survive (use bubbles etc. if possible); there are various ways of ameliorating that. For example, you can have just one tank click his mural initially, then after a while, when he’s nearly finished inside, he calls the other tank to also click so that they will in the end both get their curresponding buffs, but there will be just a few seconds without a tank in the main room so the people there are more likely to survive. You could even dispense with clicking mural 2 altogether, though this makes it harder to deal with Deliver Prophecy: Discovery later (see below). Both of these solutions, especially the second one, require that the tank that is inside alone have good DPS so he can kill the Messenger quickly enough. Another possibility, I guess, is to have a non-tank clicking mural 5 so that a tank is available in the main room to have aggro of the boss (while the other tank, having clicked mural 2, is inside the wall).

– Third phase:

Several Cosmic Rifts spawn around the room; standing between them and the boss makes you take damage. The player that clicked the middle left mural (and therefore now has the Annals V buff) can destroy these rifts simply by touching them. It’s safest if this is a tank (but not the one that actually has aggro on the boss).

Infinite Discovery = when the boss casts this, the players should spread away from each other because at the end of the cast, each of them will do a hit of aoe damage. To make this easier, the tanks should run farther away and the squishies should stand relatively near to the entrance, and take care to not come between the boss and one of the rifts. Using the pillars along the walls of the room to break line of sight from other players also helps.

Make sure that the rifts near the entrance of the room are destroyed so that when people are moving around to spread in preparation for Infinite Discovery, they don’t have to run in front of any rift. The rifts occasionally respawn but eventually they stop respawning and the player with the Annals V buff can (and should) eventually destroy all of them.

Vision from the Beyond = puts a ruin on everyone, which needs to be removed quickly or it will give you a dot (Destruction of Humanity) that will kill you. So everyone should run back to the entrance and stand in front of the healer, who will remove the ruin. The ruin (Visions of Ruin) needs to be removed before it expires (it lasts 8 seconds from the start of the cast). (Note: a red crystal appears in front of the boss during this spell, and at the end of the cast there is a big aoe hit around it. So it’s a good idea to huddle up at the entrance of the room to make sure you’re out of the range of this aoe.)

Deliver Prophecy: Discovery = a large-area aoe attack centered around the player who has the buff from mural 2; so this player must run away from others before the cast is finished. If nobody took mural 2, the aoe will be centered on the boss, which means that squishy players should be near the walls at the end of this cast to avoid being hit.

Initially you can’t afford to have anyone go near the boss because this will put him in line between the boss and the rifts, and he will therefore take lots of damage. (You can still hit the boss from range during this time.) Once all the rifts are removed (and stopped respawning), people can go within melee range of the boss and fight him normally. Now it’s just a tank and spank fight, but you still have to deal with the Infinite Discovery and Vision from the Beyond all the time, as described above — spread to the walls during Infinite Discovery (and during plain Discovery if you’re squishy), and then return back to the boss so you can remove the ruin during Vision from the Beyond.

Trash mobs

Some of them are a bit nasty. Most of them can and should be CCed, at which point they aren’t particularly hard to kill. The whining about the amount of trash on the testlive forum seems greatly exaggerated. Besides, they drop items that you have to collect for some of the quests; some of them occasionally even drop purple loot.

Lots of the initial trash mobs (before you get to the spider boss) can be skipped by jumping down on your right side as soon as you enter the dungeon.

Dominated Excavator: very slow mob, has a ranged (?) ability that hits very hard and might even oneshot some people; kite him, DPS him from range and break line of sight if needed.

Serpent Man Toxin Keeper: casts a self-centered red circle on the ground (Flesh-bane Potion); move out of it to avoid a big hit. You can also CC him.


A curious structure after the final boss room.

Attilius’ Mansion

August 3, 2013 5 comments

This is a small level 80 dungeon attached to Tarantia Common District. It was added to the game in update 1.5. Like several other dungeons, you can choose between a solo and a group version when entering; but last time I tried, the group version was bugged — each member of the group ended up in a separate instance of the dungeon. In any case, I vaguely remember doing the group version at some earlier point (when it was possible to get everyone into the same intance), but the bosses just dropped world-drop blue gear, so it was hardly worth doing.

Therefore, this post will be just about the solo version of the dungeon. None of the bosses in this dungeon is in any way challenging to kill, nor do they require any special tactics, so the interesting thing here is mainly in the items they drop. Some of the drops here are well known — the pet kitten and a few gemcutter recipes — but the thing that really surprised me is that Funcom also took the trouble to design several green items that are completely uninteresting in terms of stats, but that don’t drop anywhere else in the game; in other words, they designed several useless crappy items specially for this dungeon. Some of them even have unique and interesting 3-d models.

Trash mobs

Trash mobs have the chance to drop the following four green bind-on-equip rings:

  • Conjurer’s Ring: 40 int, 179 mana
  • Preserver’s Ring: 40 wis, 179 mana
  • Blade Ring: 40 str, 55 combat rtg
  • Shield Ring: 90 armor, 36 con

I find it hard to imagine why anybody would want these rings; you can easily get better blue ones as quest rewards from group quests in Tarantia Commons and Crows’ Nest.

Marcus Antonius

This is a rare boss that might appear on the ground floor, next to the big dinner table. It’s a matter of luck whether you get him or a plain trash mob in his place. He drops green bind-on-equip cloaks:

  • Conjurer’s Shroud: 40 int, 179 mana
  • Blade Mantle: 40 str, 55 combat rtg
  • Shield Mantle: 90 armor, 36 con
  • Preserver’s Shawl: 40 wis, 179 mana

Some of these might be potentially interesting as vanity gear. In terms of stats, it’s again hard to see why anybody would want them, as you’ll get a better cloak as a quest reward in Crows’ Nest. The Blade Mantle seems to use the same model as Heavy Jovian Cape (Crows’ Nest quest reward) and Hek’lar’s Cloak (from Hek’lar in the Main System). A number of cloaks in the same style, but in different colors, are sold by one of the NPC vendors in your guild city tradepost (X Swept Cloak, for various values of X).


Conjurer’s Shroud.

Pia

This is a rare boss on the middle floor. As with Marcus Antonius, it’s a matter of luck whether you get her or a trash mob instead. (Neither of these two bosses is actually terribly rare, IME.) The developers tried to make the fight more interesting by causing her to spawn adds (pumas), but it’s a pretty trivial fight anyway.

She drops a pet kitten:



Mmmm, dinner.

By the way, several other cat-themed pets are available in the game: if your guild city is in Poitain, one of the NPC vendors in the guild city tradepost sells the Black Cat, Tabby, and Orange Tabby. These pets are tradable between playeres, which can be useful if your city is in some other zone (or your renown level is too low).

AFAIK none of the quests or conversations with NPCs mention anything about Pia or Marcus Antonius. The only lore information I could find about them is in a single sentence in an old forum post by Famine: “ Random bosses include Marcus Antonius, corrupt watchman friend of Attilus [sic], and Pia, his mistress.”

In an early version of Attilius Mansion on testlive (before 1.05 went live), Pia was called Kitty and appeared topless 😛


(Click to enlarge.)

Aisa

This is Attilius’ daughter; she stands on the middle floor and you have to talk to her to get the key to Attilius’ room. She hates Attilius and his lotus drug habit, so if you tell her you’ve come to kill him, she’ll cheer you on, but if you tell her that you brought him a new delivery of lotus, she’ll attack you. For some reason, some of my characters don’t get the conversation option to make her attack, but I don’t know what causes this.

She drops four green bind-on-equip handheld items:

  • Aisa’s Archive [talisman]: 49 int, 180 mana
  • Aisa’s Lifeshield [shield]: 473 armor, 49 wis, 180 mana
  • Aisa’s Spellblade [dagger]: 39.1 dps, 21 int, 22 magic dmg, 16 magic life tap rtg
  • Aisa’s Trophy Pike [polearm]: 70.5 dps, 65 wis, 380 mana, 31 magic dmg (electrical), 83 crit dmg rtg

I’m particularly intrigued by the shield and talisman, which have a very curious design that is, as far as I know, completely unique in the game. The talisman actually makes you appear to be holding a scroll in your hands:


Aisa’s Archive and Aisa’s Lifeshield.


Aisa’s Lifeshield.

Attilius

He stands on the top floor; he’s easy to kill but occasionally he stuns you and runs to the opposite end of the room, which is a bit annoying (you can avoid it by moving away when he’s near 75% and 50% of health).

He drops one of these green bind-on-equip handheld items:

  • Attilius’s Bulwark [shield]: 587 armor, 42 con
  • Attilius’s Fury [polearm]: 70.5 dps, 90 str, 163 combat rtg (polearm)
  • Attilius’s Guile [dagger]: 39.1 dps, 23 con, 31 dex
  • Attilius’s Might [2he]: 69.0 dps, 90 str, 163 combat rtg (2he)

Unlike Aisa’s items, I can’t say that any of these looks particularly interesting. Nevertheless, the shield has, AFAIK, a unique model:


Attilius’s Bulwark.

He also drops the following blue gemcutter recipes — sometimes even two at the same time. They are tradable and can often be bought very cheaply on the trader.

  • Gemcutter: Marquise Jet
  • Gemcutter: Marquise Pushparagam
  • Gemcutter: Sanguine Radiant Sapphire

They make the following gems:


(Click to enlarge.)

He can also drop the following architect recipe:

  • Architect: Acceptance

This requires renown level 14 to learn and 525 Granite + 75 Adamant to craft it. The resulting decoration looks like this:


(Click to enlarge.)

Here’s another picture with my barbarian next to it for size comparison:

Some statistics

The bosses have around 12.6k HP each, which is the standard amount for old-world level 80 bosses. The exception to this is Attilius himself, who has 25.3k HP, i.e. twice as much.

The average amount of money dropped by each boss seems to be around 3.20 silver, which is about the same as for level 80 open-world bosses. But I haven’t killed the bosses in Attilius’ Mansion sufficiently many times to get a really good estimate.