Home > Age of Conan, Vanity Gear > Dragon’s Spine armor sets

Dragon’s Spine armor sets

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):

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Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear
  1. zetware
    November 10, 2013 at 19:14

    Very interesting post. But Im afraid, in a loot table by mistake you placed two times feet but no legs.

    • November 10, 2013 at 20:28

      Good point, I fixed it now.

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