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The First Portent

December 28, 2013 13 comments

As has recently been announced, open-world raid bosses will now be spawning in Age of Conan for one week each month, and the first one has already been spawning since December 24. It’s a Black Dragon and can spawn either in Tarantia Noble District in front of Conan’s castle, or in Tarantia Common District at the top of the cliff (where the Rat NPCs are throwing a Crow NPC over the edge). In terms of appearance it looks just like Vistrix, or like the Black Dragon that we had for the 5th anniversary event in May 2013. The current Black Dragon has 20.1 million hit points, which is a new record in AoC (the 5th anniversary Black Dragon had “only” 17.3 million HP).


(Click to enlarge.)

Encounter mechanics

The mechanics of the fight are very simple. Several unattackable Dragon Cultist NPCs spawn first, which is a sign that the dragon will appear soon; it spawns about 5 minutes later. It does crushing white hits on the aggro holder; it also has two frontal cone fire aoe attacks, Dark Flames (hits for 2-3 k) and Funeral Flames (hits for 5-6 k). Funeral Flames has a slower cast and, I think, a narrower cone, so it’s pretty easy to avoid. Even the aggro holder can avoid these cones since the dragon doesn’t turn while casting them. There is also a 360-degree aoe knockback called Shockwave (as always, doubletapping helps you get back into the fight faster), and a ranged single-target attack called Fireball, which the dragon will use on the aggro holder if it can’t reach him with melee attacks.

Hunting the dragon

The dragon spawns are fairly predictable. When the cultists appear, you can set a timer for 2:20 hours or so and that will give you the time when the next set of cultists will appear in the same instance (assuming that the dragon spawned by the first set of cultists will be killed promptly). By keeping track of the timers of as many instances as possible, you can have a pretty good idea of where to go next. Note that in the busier times of the day, instances sometimes fill up as much as 30 minutes before the next boss spawns there.

To switch between instances, you should be near a rez pad and click the yellow triangle next to your minimap to bring up the instance selection window. If the instance you’re looking for isn’t shown in the instance selection window, that’s usually a sign that it’s already full. The capacity of each instance seems to currently be limited to 70-ish players, which is an annoyingly small number (during the 5th anniversary events, the limit was much higher; as a result, the fights were more laggy but it was much easier to get into an instance, and they hardly ever filled up before a boss actually spawned). Another possible reason why an instance might not be shown in the instance selection window is because it has already reset and despawned. This can happen if there are no players in it for a couple minutes.

Note that both the Common District and the Noble District support epic instances in addition to normal ones. You can recognize epic ones by the fact that they are labelled as “Playfield” in the instance selection window, instead of with the actual name of the playfield. You can’t use the instance selection window to switch from a normal instance to an epic one or vice versa; for that, you’ll actually need to zone out to a different playfield (the Armsman’s Tavern is a good option for switching in the Noble District, for example) and then choose normal or epic appropriately when zoning back in.

If you are in a group and the group leader is in a different instance than yourself, you’ll probably get a popup message asking if you want to switch to the leader’s instance. If you try to do so, but the leader’s instance is already full, you’ll get stuck on the loading screen and you’ll have to restart your client, so don’t do that.


(Click to enlarge.)

Quests and loot mechanics

There is a quest called The Twelve Portents, given by the new Astromancer NPC on the steps of the Old Tarantia library. It requires you to kill twelve open-world bosses and gives you one of four new legendary cloaks as quest rewards. Which four cloaks you get to choose from depends on the archetype:

  • Soldiers:
    • Dragon Scale Mantle of the Living Legend: 95 str, 40 con, 38 hit rtg, 41 hate inc rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Fallen Leviathan’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 187 armor, 75 con, 55 hit rtg, 43 immunity rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Conversant Mantle of the Living Legend: 529 combat rtg, 60 hit rtg, 50 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 73 offhand rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Infernal Mantle of the Living Legend: 52 con, 90 magic dmg, 45 hit rtg, 40 crit dmg rtg, 120 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Priests:
    • Savior’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 56 con, 13.1 nat mana regen, 425 heal rtg, 50 hit rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Beast Hunter’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 94 str, 227 heal rtg, 292 combat rtg (2hb), 55 hit rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Thunder Mantle of the Living Legend: 187 armor, 75 con, 55 hit rtg, 43 immunity rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg, 126 protection, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Star Touched Mantle of the Living Legend: 42 con, 60 wis, 64 magic dmg, 60 hit rtg, 68 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Rogues:
    • Conversant Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Slayer’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 100 dex, 274 combat rtg, 45 hit rtg, 22 hate dec rtg, 72 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Fallen Leviathan’s Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Terminator’s Mantle of the Living Legend: 75 str, 362 combat rtg, 62 hit rtg, 62 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
  • Mages:
    • Demon Mantle of the Living Legend: 169 int, 59 hit rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 5% ooc movement speed
    • Infernal Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Thunder Mantle of the Living Legend: same as above
    • Ash Mantle of the Living Legend: 80 magic dmg (fire), 52 hit rtg, 48 fatality rtg, 74 crit dmg rtg, 480 combat rtg (fire), 5% ooc movement speed

The idea is that a different boss will be spawning each month, but the quest doesn’t specify which world bosses you have to kill. This means that if you miss one of them, you don’t have to wait for an entire year before that boss spawns again; you simply get a new quest update each month when you manage to kill a boss. (See the dev’s testlive forum post.) Currently killing the dragon gives you a Slayer of the Black Dragon buff, which persists through death/zoning and can’t be cancelled; my guess is that the purpose of this buff is to prevent you from getting multiple quest updates from the dragon, and that it will be removed at some future point after the dragon stops spawning for the rest of the year.

Apart from that, you don’t have to take a separate quest each time before you kill the dragon, like you had to do during the 5th anniversary events. Instead, when the dragon dies, a loot cache simply appears directly in your inventory. Normally you get a blue cache (Hunter’s Trove of the Black Dragon), but sometimes you get a purple one instead (Slayer’s Cache of the Black Dragon).

Furthermore, when you open the blue cache, sometimes a purple cache drops out of it.

I was half hoping that the purple cache would then drop a blue cache and I would get stuck in an endless loop, but unfortunately this didn’t happen ๐Ÿ˜›

So far, out of 184 kills, I got 6 purple boxes directly and another 2 purple boxes from opening blue ones.

What can drop from the blue caches?

A bewildering array of items can drop from the caches. I’m sure many things are missing from the list below, and I’ll update it as I get more information. An asterisk * marks items that I didn’t see myself, but were repoted in the comments.

Novelty animations, particles etc.

  • 3 Electric Boogie (gives you an electrical particle around your feet for 5 min)
  • 3 Bottled Spirits (gives you a drunk animation for 30 sec)
  • 3 Sticky Fresh Blood (makes your skin red for 30 min)
  • 3 Mitra’s Blessed Ointment (gives you a halo particle effect above your head for 5 min)
  • Void Essence (makes you look like a ghost — black and semitransparent — for 30 min)
  • 3 Fermented Brain Juices (makes you drunk for 30 sec and makes your skin green for 30 min)
  • 3 Cowardice Remedy (makes your skin blue for 30 min)

By analogy with the 5th anniversary event loot, I would also expect Cool Runnings (gives you a cold mist particle for 5 min) and Flaming Sanducca (gives you a fire particle for 5 min), but I haven’t actually seen anyone getting them yet.

Food and drink

  • 2 Potent Daggamalt
  • 2 Dire Sweetpressed Haste
  • 2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
  • 2 Kingsmight Ale

I never got mana food or potions on my guardian, so I guess these drops adapt to your class, so classes which use mana can probably get those as well.

Old guild renown items

  • Crown of Summer (social head armor)
  • 3 Ritual Knife (makes you drip blood for 60 sec)
  • 3 Prayer Book (creates a 1-minute particle effect that looks a bit like the old Shield of the Risen — a vertical column of light beaming on the ground at the place where you stood while using the book)

These items are the same as those sold by one of the NPC vendors in your guild city tradepost (if you have a sufficient renown level, but the requirement is not very high). That vendor solds several other items, e.g. crowns of other seasons, and I’d expect that those can also drop here; but I didn’t see anyone get one of the other three crowns yet.

AA XP items

  • Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
  • Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
  • Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)

Buff consumables

  • Elixir of Precision (+73 hit rtg for 4 hours)
  • Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation (+15 nat stam regen for 4 hours)
  • Elixir of Guile (+73 crit rtg for 4 hours)*
  • Elixir of Mystical Excellence (+40 magic dmg for 4 hours)*
  • Refined Philtre of Constitution (+5% con for 2 hours)
  • Refined Philtre of Strength (+10% str for 2 hours)
  • I guess that numerous other consumables of this type can also drop, I just haven’t seen them yet. Maybe it depends on your class.
  • Refined Philtre of Intellect (+10% int for 2 hours) [reported by a demo]
  • Refined Philtre of Wisdom (+10% wis for 2 hours)*
  • Minor Elixir of Resurgence (green bop; self-rez at 25% health)

Old raid items

You can get T1/T2 armor and weapons for your class. In my experience, T1 drops more frequently than T2. I got a full set of T1 armor by now, as well as a couple of T2 items.

Bag merchants

You can get a stack of 3 Traveller’s Merchant Contracts. Despite the name, this is a considerably different item than the one sold in the guild city keep (an easy way to tell the difference is by the level; the guild city merchant contract is level 80, the new one from the world boss is level 1). It can be used anywhere, not just near a rez pad, and the resulting merchant sells just one type of bag and nothing else.

The type of bag seems to be chosen at random when you spawn him; with some luck, you can even get a merchant selling the Coffer of Nullity (122-slot bag, which otherwise sells for quite a bit of real-world money in the item shop). The merchant despawns in 2 minutes, but during that time any player can buy the bag from him.

Note that the bags sold by these merchants are exactly the same as the original bags in every way, including their price and binding status. Thus, those bags which are normally available only through /claims or the item shop, and which therefore don’t have a price in gold, will be “sold” by this merchant for free (and will be bind-on-pickup). Bags which are sold by normal vendors elsewhere in the game will also be sold here at the same price (which isn’t very useful as those bags date back to the release of the game and are correspondingly small and expensive).

You can also get a merchant selling crafted bags (Soldier’s / Commander’s Haversack), which are free and bind-on-equip, so you can try reselling them to other players.

Some of the bags are very bizarre; I once saw a merchant selling a bag that was literally called [56 Slot Bag] and it cost 2000 rare trophies (yes, two thousand). This type of bag must have been dragged from somewhere deep within the bowels of the game’s item database, since no vendor hitherto visible to players has AFAIK been selling a bag with such an odd name or such a ridiculous price.

Another “bag” that you might get is a purple one called [Bank Space 50 slots]. The idea presumably is that it will give you 50 new slots in the bank, but from what I’ve heard, it’s currently bugged and overrides your backpack (inventory bag) instead, which is particularly disastrous if your previous backpack was larger than that. So I didn’t dare to use it on my character until this bug is resolved. (I suspect that even then, this item won’t do any good for people like me, who already bought 50 extra bank slots in the item shop.)

[Update: for a while, there was a warning on the patcher, advising people not to buy the [Bank Space 50 slots] bag. From the way the warning was phrased, I got the impression that they don’t intend to fix this item at all — probably it was made just for internal testing purposes and wasn’t really meant to be seen by players, just like the 2000 rare tropy bag.]

[Update 2: one of the subsequent patches disabled these traders, so that consuming the contract didn’t do anything at all. Since update 4.1.6, the contracts spawn a merchant again, but reportedly this merchant now just sells worthless social drink consumables. Apparently Funcom never intended to give away any of the decent bags at all ๐Ÿ˜ฆ]

New social armor sets

You get an entire set (all 8 armor pieces) from a single cache. If you don’t have enough inventory space, it will go into an overflow bag on the ground. These are blue, bind-on-pickup items. See near the end of this post for a few screenshots.

  • Sanctum Atlantis — looks like old assasin armor, painted green
  • Shattered Colossus — looks like a retextured Bloodseraph’s (old-world DT dungeon level 80 set)
  • Fallen Leviathan — looks like cloth sets from Ardashir Fort, but red instead of green
  • Titan Killer — looks like the heavy/plate sets from the House of Crom
  • Hero Ascendant — looks somewhat similar to Skyshear set (old-world ToS dungeon level 80 set)
  • Slayer’s — I haven’t found an exact counterpart of this set; the chest is the same as Hyperborean Scout Harness (green social armor from the item shop), and similar to things such as Goremonger’s Harness (barbarian dungeon set) and Hyperborean Grimsword Hauberk (DT culture); the legs are similar to Grizzly Breeches (medium armor from the Iron Tower); the boots, shoulder, wrist and hands are the same as in Balthus’s Woodsman set (medium armor from the Iron Tower).

Other social armor

Some of the following items are green and bind-on-equip.

  • Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic (green boe) — looks the same as Alvazar’s Vest (from Atzel’s Fortress)
  • Snowskin Tiger Cloak (green boe) — looks like one of the recent cloaks from Coils of Ubah Kan, and IIRC was already available at some point in the item shop; other cloaks with models corresponding to Coils of Ubah Kan cloaks can also drop here (see below)
  • Shadowskin Tiger Cloak (green boe)
  • Emberskin Tiger Cloak (green boe)
  • Ivory Tigerskin Cloak (green boe)
  • Amber Mask (blue bop) — a face mask in the style worn by some NPCs in Tarantia Commons (you can also get similar things as quest rewards there)
  • Azure Mask (blue bop) — like as the previous one

Pets

Several of the pets dropping here are, as far as I know, new:

  • Pet: Barachan Gull
  • Pet: Charcoal Firebird Chick
  • Pet: Fat Harry — a big fat toad; I love frogs and this one looks great, but I wish it could hop instead of just walking
  • Pet: Fire Salamander
  • Pet: Frost Salamander
  • Pet: Hippo Calf
  • Pet: Topaz Comodo
  • Pet: War Piglet — to make this of any use in warfare, you’d have to duck-tape a few grenades to it and send it into the enemy lines ๐Ÿ˜›
  • Pet: Wolverine Kit

Some of the pets are also available elsewhere:

  • Pet: Black Cobra — the same that is sold by one of the NPCs in the tradepost of Stygian guild cities; it is tradable, so you can also buy it from other players
  • Pet: Field Mouse — probably the same as the one sold by an NPC in Old Tarantia
  • I would imagine that other pets from the same vendors also drop here (e.g. the cats that you can buy in Aquilonian guild cities, and dogs/wolves that you can buy in Cimmerian ones, but I haven’t actually seen anybody get these here yet.

Several dancing pets also drop; there’s one for every combination of sex and race:

  • Pet: Aquilonian Folk Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Aquilonian Folk Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Cimmerian Folk Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Cimmerian Folk Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Khitan Ceremonial Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Khitan Ceremonial Dancer (Female)
  • Pet: Stygian Snake Dancer (Male)
  • Pet: Stygian Snake Dancer (Female)

What can drop from the purple caches?

In my experience, by far the most common drop from these caches is 3–5 Simple Relics III (i.e. same as those that drop in Thoth-Amon’s Stronghold). It can also drop an urn with 10 simple relics III instead, or a T3 Rare Relic (suitable for the recipient’s archetype, of course).

By far the most coveted drop from these caches is a new legendary pet, Mini-Pet: Black Dragon. It’s annoyingly rare, but with enough farming your chances of getting it are fairly decent. In my guild we’ve had 8 of them drop so far; I got mine from the 106th dragon kill (most of the people who got the pet so far, got it with considerably less farming than that). See near the end of this post for a few screenshots.

Additionally, I’ve also seen people linking a large number of new purple weapons and accessories (all bind-on-pickup), which can presumably drop from these purple caches. You will always get something suitable for your class, keeping in mind of course that Funcom’s idea of what is suitable might be slightly different from yours. I’ve seen the following items so far (P.S. I’ve only seen some of the items in the following list on the later bosses, but I assume they all share the same loot table anyway, so I’m just updating this list):

  • Weapons and shields:
    • Beast Hunter’s Malice Breaker (2hb): 139.5 dps, 95 str, 177 combat rtg (2hb), 80 crit rtg, 50 fatality rtg, 24 hate dec rtg, 109 crit dmg rtg, 100 protection
    • Beast Hunter’s Reaper Crossbow (xbow): 134.3 dps, 24 con, 83 dex, 93 combat rtg (xbow), 37 hit rtg, 33 crit rtg, 43 crit dmg rtg, 5 crossbow range modifier
    • Beast Hunter Barbs (bolts): 90 dex, 114 combat rtg (xbow), 56 hit rtg, 35 crit rtg, 30 hate dec rtg, 66 crit dmg rtg
    • Bounty Hunter’s Dirk (dagger): 79.7 dps, 409 combat rtg (dagger), 50 hit rtg, 48 crit rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg
    • Hero’s Clan Blade (1he): 117.9 dps, 355 combat rtg (1he), 28 crit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 46 crit dmg rtg, 35 offhand rtg, 45 health tap rtg
    • Hero’s Hellglaive (polearm): 145.2 dps, 664 combat rtg (polearm), 60 hit rtg, 50 crit rtg, 40 hate inc rtg, 76 crit dmg rtg, 193 protection
    • Paladinโ€™s Baneblade (1he):* 119.6 dps, 32 str, 131 combat rgs, 56 hit rgs, 33 crit rgs, 35 hate inc rtg, 57 crit dmg rtg
    • Paladin’s Siege Shield: 939 armor, 60 con, 45 hit rtg, 34 hate inc rtg, 182 protection — uses the same model as the beloved old-world purple shield, Aegis of Five Mercies!
    • Paladin’s Widowmaker (2he): 139.9 dps, 591 combat rtg (2he), 81 hit rtg, 65 crit rtg, 55 hate inc rtg, 80 crit dmg rtg, 166 protection
    • Repressor’s Codex (tali): 35 con, 350 mana, 8.9 nat mana regen, 70 magic dmg, 18 hate dec rtg, 117 protection
    • Repressorโ€™s Dagger: 77.6 dps, 58 magic dmg, 40 hit rtg, 26 crit rtg, 16 hate dec rtg, 50 crit dmg rtg, 45 magic life tap rtg, 45 magic mana tap rtg
    • Repressor’s Flamebrand (2he): 140.4 dps, 111 magic dmg (fire), 70 hit rtg, 70 crit rtg, 25 hate dec rtg, 100 crit dmg rtg, 610 combat rtg (fire)
    • Repressor’s Trident (staff): 67.3 dps, 71 con, 205 int, 9.4 nat mana regen, 112 crit rtg, 30 hate dec rtg, 135 crit dmg rtg
    • Terminator’s Diremaul*: 119.5 dps, 347 combat rtg, 30 crit rtg, 48 fatality rtg, 50 crit dmg rtg, 46 offhand rtg
    • Terminator’s Dreadmaul: 139.2 dps, 171 str, 30 con, 128 combat rtg (2hb), 40 hit rtg, 80 crit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 100 crit dmg rtg
    • Savior’s Spite Hammer (1hb): 115.6 dps, 114 wis, 40 hit rtg, 36 crit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 50 crit dmg rtg, 33 magic mana tap rtg
    • Saviorโ€™s Totem Pole (staff)*: 67.3 dps, 209 wis, 360 mana, 92 nat mana regen, 90 hit rtg, 60 crit rtg, 70 crit dmg rtg
  • Rings:
    • Amethyst Ring of Wisdom (ring): 126 wis, 3.1 nat mana regen
    • Asp of Mystical Supremacy (ring): 225 mana, 75 magic dmg, 18 hate dec rtg
    • Golden Ring of Dexterity: 85 dex, 195 combat rtg
    • Hallowed Ring of Divine Blessings: 74 wis, 225 mana, 186 heal rtg
    • Iron Band of Constitution (ring): 164 armor, 73 con, 52 crit rtg
    • Pearl Ring of Assault: 44 evade rtg, 55 hit rtg, 55 crit rtg, 44 immunity rtg, 120 prot
    • Ruby Ring of Strength: 82 str, 204 combat rtg
    • Runic Band of Inherent Hatred (ring): 78 con, 30 crit rtg, 30 hate inc rtg, 133 protection
    • Skull Clasp of Bloody Carnage (ring): 427 combat rtg, 50 crit rtg, 45 fat rtg, 15 hate dec rtg
    • Scorched Band of the Inferno (ring): 70 magic dmg (fire), 44 crit rtg, 440 combat rtg (fire)
    • Snakehead of Intelligence (ring): 126 int, 3.1 nat mana regen
  • Necklaces:
    • All-Seeing-Eye of Mystical Supremacy (necklace): 98 int, 3.5 nat mana regen, 50 hit rtg, 25 hate dec rtg
    • Bear Claws of Divine Might (necklace)*: str, heal rtg
    • Emerald Barbs of Subtle Striking (necklace): 80 dex, 50 hit rtg, 20 hate dec rtg, 58 crit dmg rtg
    • Ironclad Trinket of Eternal Resilience: 130 armor, 78 con, 26 hate inc rtg, 113 protection
    • Mitra’s Mark of Divine Blessings (necklace): 94 wis, 5 nat mana regen, 169 heal rt, 55 crit dmg rtg
    • Tribal Necklace of Bloody Carnage: 8.3 nat stam regen, 397 combat rtg, 28 hate dec rtg, 55 offhand rtg

A few screenshots

This is the Sanctum Atlantis set, one of the new social sets. Note that the head piece can clip very badly with your hair.


And this is the Shattered Colossus set:


Here’s the Slayer’s set:


The new Black Dragon mini-pet is in fact pretty decently sized:


(Click to enlarge.)

It has a nice fire-breathing animation:


(Click to enlarge.)


(Click to enlarge.)

And here’s that terrifying beast of war, the Pictish War Piglet:


(Click to enlarge.)

The Fire Salamander is less impressive than I expected:


(Click to enlarge.)

And here’s Fat Harry, great for frog-lovers like myself, I just wish it could hop instead of just walking:


(Click to enlarge.)

I’ll add more screenshots if/when I get more gear and pets.

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New unchained loot

December 23, 2013 3 comments

As is well known, the new unchained dungeons have a somewhat new-fangled loot system: bosses don’t drop loot directly; instead, they just drop caches (Unopened Chest = green; Acheronian Cache = blue; Mystical Acheronian Cache = purple), which then drop loot when you open them. The green caches are tradable, the blue and purple ones are bind-on-pickup. Purple caches drop very rarely and you mostly get them as quest rewards from completing the new quest from a poster at the beginning of unchained dungeons. (The quest is called Mastering the Old World and requires you to clear four unchained dungeons: Amphitheatre of Karutonia, Scorpion Cave, Caravan Raiders’ Hideout, and the Halls of Eternal Frost.)

In another departure from their usual practice, the devs posted pictures of all the new loot on the testlive forum some time ago. As we can see from that thread, among other things there are nine ‘new’ sets of armor — in terms of appearance, they are just copies of various existing sets (mostly from Xibaluku and the Amphitheatre of Karutonia), but they have new names and stats here. Each set consists of four purple parts (head, chest, hands, wrist) and four blue ones (legs, feet, belt, shoulder). In my experience, green caches don’t drop any of this armor; blue caches drop the blue parts and, very rarely, purple ones; purple caches drop only the purple ones.

What exactly can drop from those caches seems to depend on the class of the character on which you’re opening them. For example, among those nine armor sets, my guardian only gets two: Fallen Empire (plate) and Red Ruin (heavy). I wouldn’t be surprised if most non-soldier classes just got one set. Thus, you can’t really collect other sets than those which the system allows to drop for your class. From what I’ve heard, the non-unchained version of Caravan Raiders’ Hideout now also drops new sets with the same appearance but presumably worse stats, and doesn’t employ the new cache system, so it should be possible to collect sets there with any class you like; but I haven’t been there yet myself so I don’t know anything definite about this.

The Fallen Empire full-plate set

Anyway, after opening 36 purple caches and 56 blue ones, I finally completed one of the new armor sets, namely Fallen Empire:


As we can see, it looks exactly the same as the Acheronian Keeper set, i.e. guardian culture armor. The only difference is that culture armor sets lack wrists and shoulders, whereas the Fallen Empire set has all 8 parts.

In terms of stats, the purple parts of the set are pretty nice, comparable to Khitai faction sets or perhaps even slightly better. Too bad that only half of the set is purple.

I don’t have the complete heavy set (Red Ruin) yet, but it appears to be using the same models as full-plate armor from Xibaluku. (There also exists a heavy set in Xibaluku, but AFAIK none of the nine new unchained sets looks like it.) I like the Fallen Empire set better than Red Ruin, mostly because of its black color and golden sheen. Additionally, the helm from the Red Ruin set looks completely ugly, sort of like an Acheronian equivalent of a gimp mask.

I have long had a soft spot for Acheronian-style plate armor. I remember first seeing it in a screenshot of the guardian culture armor which was published by the devs some time before they launched the culture armor system (update 1.03); I was impressed by its menacingly bad-ass overall appearance, as well as by how revealing and non-platy it was. It is a common complaint against video games that they make female characters’ armor look unrealistically skimpy, but the armor that was available in Age of Conan at launch seemed to avoid this problem better than I would have expected. The full-plate armor that my guardian was wearing (from the Resolute and Steelspirit sets, especially the former) covered her up pretty thoroughly and made her look like a tin can. Compared to that, Acheronian-style plate was like a breath of fresh air.

But in the early months after culture armor was introduced, the recipes were so rare and the resulting items so expensive that I didn’t even think about buying any of it. A few months later, update 1.04 included Xibaluku, which had plenty of new Acheronian-style armor drops. This included several pieces of full-plate gear; I got myself a chest (Voidcage) and legs (Impenetrable Legguards), both of which were in fact small upgrades compared to what I was wearing before (probably the Steelspirit chest and Resolute legs), but what I liked even more was how much better my character looked wearing them ๐Ÿ˜› It was this discovery that set my previously demure guardian on a long road of wearing slutty plate armor. In any case, I’m glad that both styles of Acheronian plate armor have now become more widely available as a result of the new unchained loot system.

The Red Ruin heavy set

I was plagued by bad luck when farming this set; it took me about 5 months to get the chest piece (after opening 134 blue and 111 purple caches; meanwhile I got most of the other parts of the set multiple times, of course).

The main problem with this heavy set is of course the helmet, which makes you look like Hannibal Lecter’s more dangerous and less well-adjusted cousin:


Having zoomed in and checked carefully, I think I can safely say that there are no holes for the eyes whatsoever. Let’s hope the helmet is well-padded as you’re going to bang into a lot of things if you wear it ๐Ÿ˜›

If you get rid of the helmet and the belt (the latter seems to have been pilfered from a semi-retired wrestling hero), you’re left with a pretty decent-looking set of slutplate armor, though I think I still prefer the Fallen Empire / Acheronian Keeper set. The shiny black color makes that set look much more badass and menacing, as you would expect from an Acheronian set. You can almost hear the screams of victims on the altars as you walk around wearing it ๐Ÿ˜›

Much like the other “new” unchained armor sets, the models of this set are anything but new. It’s the same as the full-plate set from Xibaluku (Voidcage (chest), Impenetrable Legguards, Nescient Helm, Warlord’s Cinch (belt), Spiteful Gauntlets; there reportedly also exist boots called Bloodfeint Sabatons; I’m not sure about wrists and shoulders). The same models are also used Some of these models are also used in the normal (level 63) version of the Amphitheatre of Karutonia (full plate: Bloodbrute Chestguard, Bloodbrute Legguards; heavy: Frostmaw Helm, Frostmaw Gauntlets, Frostmaw Boots, Frostmaw Vambraces). The helmet model is also reused as the Mask of the Master Gaoler, which drops from Norach + Surberec in Xibaluku since 4.1.

In terms of stats, the purple parts of the Red Ruin set are similar to e.g. Tiger heavy armor from Khitai, but with a bit less constitution (and some combat rating replaced by strength).

Bloodhunter assassin set

I was quite lucky with this set and completed it after opening only 15 purple and 14 blue caches on my assassin. On the character selection screen, it looks fairly unappealing:


Fortunately, in game it looks almost completely black instead. That’s much better and especially suitable for an assassin:


And it looks even better without the headpiece and the belt ๐Ÿ™‚


Pharaoh’s Guard social set

This set isn’t new either; it’s been available in the item shop for a long time, pretty much ever since the item shop was introduced. (Currently it doesn’t seem to be available individually but only as part of the “Hyborian Steel Style Pack”.) It’s a green social armor set with no level requirement; somewhat surprisingly, it consists of just 7 parts — everything except the belt. It drops from green and blue Acheronian caches.

In terms of appearance, it’s similar to other Stygian-themed sets, especially Stygian Deathcoil (ToS culture armor). In fact the legs, feet and hands are exactly the same in Stygian Deathcoil and in Pharaoh’s Guard. So if you don’t like the fact that Pharaoh’s Guard lacks a belt, you could use Stygian Deathcoil Belt and it would probably match the rest of Pharaoh’s Guard pretty well.


What do the new unchained sets look like?

Hell Walker (demo/necro): several parts of this set (shoulder, hands, wrists, legs, feet) are the same as in the Bloodseer’s set (HoX level 80 old-world dungeon set). The chest is the same as Catacomb Tunic, a level 59 blue item dropping from the Catacomb Stalker Queen in the Catacombs. The rest seems to be mostly in the style of cloth gear from Xibaluku.

Bloodhunter (sin): judging by the pictures in the testlive forum, this seems to be the same shape as the previous set but completely black. I don’t think I’ve seen items like that before.

Crimson Slaughter (HoX): judging by the pictures, it seems to look exactly the same as Bloodhunter.

Blood God (PoM/ToS): looks the same as the Crusader’s Abyss social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Death Master (barb): looks the same as the Abyssal Battle social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Blood Drinker (ranger): looks the same as the Acheronian Convoker social armor set from the Amphitheatre unchained.

Sanguine Disciple (BS): this is an interesting mixture of several earlier sets. Some parts are the same as the Blood Drinker / Acheronian Convoker set; a few parts, however, look as if you took the shape of the Doomsayer set (HoX PvP T1 armor) but the color of the Ashbone of Oblivion set (social armor from the Amphitheatre unchained). This is very easy to see on the chest, but also applies to the head.

Red Ruin (heavy): looks the same as full-plate armor from Xibaluku.

Fallen Empire (plate): looks the same as the Acheronian Keeper set (guardian culture armor).

Cloaks from the Demigod of Acheron

The Demigod of Acheron, the last boss in Caravan Raiders’ Hideout (unchained), drops one of four new cloaks.

Here’s the Abyssal Cloak of the Death Master (with melee DPS stats: 167 armor, 531 combat rtg, 62 hit rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg), though it seems to me that all four cloaks look very similar anyway.

Next, here’s the Abyssal Cape of the Fallen Empire (with tanking stats: 151 armor, 52 con, 30 hate inc rtg, 262 protection; it’s like taking Amra’s Pride and replacing hit rating and crit damage rating with hate increase rating).

And this is the Abyssal Cloak of the Hell Walker (33 con, 75 magic dmg, 41 hit rtg, 30 hate dec rtg, 56 crit dmg rtg):

Finally, here’s the Abyssal Cloak of Crimson Slaughter (28 str, 76 magic dmg (fire), 35 hate dec rtg, 60 crit dmg rtg, 178 combat rtg (fire)):

Considering how hard it is to kill that boss, I was expecting the cloaks to look more impressive and less faded. And it seems they all look more or less the same, with slight variations in color.

Accessories from the Excavators quest

I got the following beautiful bind-on-pickup purple cloak, Great Cloak of Blessed Winds (117 wis, 193 heal rtg, 45 hit rtg, 54 crit dmg rtg), on my ToS from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit (purple cache that you get as a quest reward from the excavators quest):

Given the stats, I would imagine that PoMs can also get it. The amount of heal rating is unusually high for a cloak; only the Cloak of Shivering Stars (from the Coils of Ubah Kan) is comparable (201 heal rtg), but has just 80 wisdom and no hit rating. The T4 cloak has only 72 heal rtg, but on the other hand it has 122 wis and an extra 20 magic damage. (Two of the legendary cloaks from the Portents quest will have still more heal rating: 227 on the BS legendary cloak and 425 on the non-DPS healer cloak.)

Judging by the dev’s post on the testlive forum, there is also a Bear Shaman cloak with the same style, but orange instead of white; as well as a dexterity necklace and a HoX ring.

Pets

The new caches from unchained dungeons also have a chance of dropping various pets. Here are some screenshots of the ones I’ve found so far:

Pet: Shredder

This is a hyena pet that dropped from a green cache. It’s about the same size as normal hyenas in Kheshatta.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Demigod

When they say mini-pet, they aren’t joking. It’s intended to look like the Demigod of Acheron, the difficult final boss of Caravan Raiders’ Hideout, but in practice this also makes it look like a tiny chill crawler. It dropped from a blue cache.


(Click to enlarge.)

Occasionally, an even tinier humanoid figure spawns in front of it and starts worshipping it:


(Click to enlarge.)

The worshipper appears to be wearing the Hell Walker armor set (see above).

Pet: Living Statue

This pet looks like one of the Acheronian statues that come alive in the Halls of Eternal Frost (and is also the same size). It dropped from a blue cache.


(Click to enlarge.)

Pet: Scorpion Archer

I really like this pet. It’s at least as large as the Scorpion Archers in Kheshatta. For some of us it brings back uncomfortable memories of that time in Summer 2008 when one of the patches unintentionally buffed all archer mobs in the game, making the Scorpion Archers ridiculously overpowered ๐Ÿ™‚ It dropped from a purple cache. Occasionally it’s surrounded by a nice green particle, as you can see in the screenshot below:


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Forsaken Child of Yig

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit, i.e. one of the purple caches that you get as a reward from the other new quest, “In the Service of the Excavators” (which requires you to clear Ardashir Fort, Sepulcher of the Wyrm, Coils of Ubah Kan and the Vile Nativity). As you can see, it’s basically a small skeletal serpentman.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Un Nefer

This pet dropped from a purple cache (Mystical Acheronian Cache). He looks like a miniature Un Nefer from the Halls of Eternal Frost and has various spell-casting animations:


(Click to enlarge.)

Eventually he spawns two even tinier pets. Then he turns towards you, does the /rude emote and then they all stand there and stare at you ๐Ÿ˜›


(Click to enlarge.)

You can’t accuse him of being undergeared, however — he’s wearing the Filament of Nightmare (T3 crafted staff):


(Click to enlarge.)

Pet: Emperor Scorpion

This pet dropped from a green cache; the pet itself doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup either, so I guess you could even buy one on the trader. The description says it’s a “giant scorpion”, which in practice turns out to mean that it’s about the same size as the regular scorpion mobs in Kheshatta.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Undead Guardian

Just like the scorpion, this one also dropped from a green cache and doesn’t seem to be bind-on-pickup. The description says that “his social skills are questionable at best”, and indeed he has various silly and rude emotes and animations, including the famous drunken piss emote:


(Click to enlarge.)

In fact this is pretty much the same behavior as the Corrupted Self pet from Xibaluku; just the model of the pet is different (and smaller), and it wears different armor.

Mini-Pet: Queen Cao-Polyphya

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit.


Note: the pet is the ugly malevolent hag on the left,
not the beautiful guardian on the right ๐Ÿ˜› (Click to enlarge.)

She does various emotes and has a couple of magic-looking animations:


(
Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Acheronian Raider

This pet dropped from a green cache. He doesn’t seem to do anything particularly interesting, just a few emotes such as /track and /poundchest.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Deep Walker

This pet dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit. It’s one of the adds from the General Arman fight in Ardashir Fort. It doesn’t do anything interesting, except turning left and right every now and then in a vaguely paranoid way.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mini-Pet: Acheronian Bloodletter

This pet dropped from a blue cache and is really small, barely reaching up to your hips. She wears the Hell Walker armor set, wields a sword or maybe a large dagger, and has two or three different combo animations.


(Click to enlarge.)

She also has a long worshipping animation:

Pet: Atlantean Shade

This pet (which dropped from a Mystical Excavator’s Kit) looks like the Atlantean ghosts in the Threshold of Divinity. It also does more or less the same emotes as they — /poundchest, /cheer, /laughheartily and several others. The green-on-white assassin-style set he’s wearing is, as far as I know, not available to players, but the red-on-white and red-on-black versions are. He always carries a polearm, which seems to be chosen randomly when you spawn him: it can be either the T1/T2 guardian polearm or the T1/T2 ToS polearm.


(Click to enlarge.)

A bit of statistics

I haven’t really opened enough caches yet to be able to collect any reliable statistics; and besides, it’s possible that some of the drop rates were changed in the 4.1.5 patch. But we can at least have a rough idea of what things can drop from what kinds of caches.

Unopened Chest (green)

This cache can drop one or two of the following things:

What How many times it dropped
3 Daggamalt

21
3 Sweetpressed Haste

15
3 Moonspill

17
Manual of Instruction [2000 Mastery AA XP]

21
Manual of Discipline [10000 Mastery AA XP]

10
Flask of Completion [20000 Mastery AA XP]

2
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir

4
2 Kingsmight Ale

5
money (1–5 silver)

34
an old-world level 80 blue BoE item (not from one of the level 70–80 sets); e.g. I got a Freestrider Tasset and a Deathvigil Tunic

2
Pet: Shredder

1

When we say that two of these things can drop, they can be the same thing twice, so you might get e.g. 6 Daggamalt from one chest. The table above shows 132 drops from opening 117 caches, so a double drop occurred in 15 caches.

It seems that food drops take your class into account, but potions don’t: my guardian sometimes gets Moonspill (mana potion), but never Bloodpurple Ale (mana food).

I guess that other pets besides the Shredder are also possible, but they haven’t dropped for me yet.

It would be interesting to learn more about the distribution of the amount of money that can drop from these caches, but this is complicated by the fact that if the cache decides to drop two things, and both of those things happen to be money, the game will show you just the total amount and not each individual drop. So what we would expect to observe in our data is really a mixture of two uniform distributions: one for regular money drops and one (with a smaller probability) for double drops. It is well known that many money drops in the game follow a uniform distribution of the form [a, 3a]; however, this can’t be the case here because the lowest money drop I’ve seen from these caches was 1.0062 silver, and on the other hand I once got 3 Daggamalt + 3.6016 silver from the same cache, so a regular (i.e. non-double) drop can clearly go at least up to 3.606 silver. What is more, if an individual drop can be up to 3.6 silver, you’d expect a double drop to go up to 7.2 silver, but the highest drop I’ve ever seen was 4.9216 silver. Indeed the distribution of money drops I’ve seen so far doesn’t look like a mixture of two uniform distributions, but like a single uniform distribution on the range from 1 to 5 silver. But I have just 34 data points so far, so it’s hard to be really sure about anything.

Acheronian Cache (blue)

Here are the results after opening 56 blue caches on my guardian. Again each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following:

What How many times it dropped
money (10–46 silver)

3
Food:

2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir

8
2 Kingsmight Ale

1
Green armor:

Pharaoh’s Guard Gloves

1
Pharaoh’s Guard Goldmail

1
Pharaoh’s Guard Helm

2
Pharaoh’s Guard Shenti

1
Pharaoh’s Guard Sleevelets

1
Blue armor:

Belt of Red Ruin

3
Belt of the Fallen Empire

3
Greaves of Red Ruin [feet]

4
Greaves of the Fallen Empire

4
Rerebrace of Red Ruin [shoulder]

6
Rerebrace of the Fallen Empire

7
Tasset of Red Ruin [legs]

8
Tasset of the Fallen Empire

8
Purple armor:

Vambraces of the Fallen Empire [wrist]

1
Buffs:

Elixir of Guile [73 crit rtg]

4
Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [15 nat stam regen]

3
Elixir of Precision [73 hit rtg]

2
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg]

1
Pets:

Mini-Pet: Demigod

1
Pet: Living Statue

1

Oddly, I’ve never seen a case of a double food drop, e.g. getting 4 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir or something like that. I also never saw a double drop of blue/purple armor pieces, though I did see a green + blue armor drop or 2 green armor drops. I guess that with more data, the missing combinations might also show up. It’s also very odd that stamina food is so rare compared to HP food.

The Pharaoh’s Guard is a green social set that is also available in the item shop — it’s been available there pretty much ever since the item shop was introduced. Currently it doesn’t seem to be available individually but only as a part of the ‘Hyborian Steel Style Pack’ (which includes two other social sets). It seems to consist of seven parts: in addition to the five in my above table, there are also boots and shoulders. (In fact I got the boots from a blue cache on my ToS.) The armor set has a Stygian style and is somewhat similar to ToS culture armor (Stygian Deathcoil; in fact the legs appear to be completely identical).

For the money drops, we have far too little data to say anything concrete. I saw 3 money drops on my guardian: 10.8027 s, 10.4923 s and 46.0483 s; the first two dropped together with an armor piece, while the third one dropped by itself so maybe it’s intended as a double drop. I also saw one drop of 34.5042 s on my ToS.

The Elixirs are part of the same system that has been in the game for a long time. They are all 4-hour buffs and persist through death; the Refined ones are blue instead of green and give you twice the stat modifier of their green counterpart.

Probably there are more pets and purple armor drops than shown in the above table; I’ll update it as I get more data.

Mystical Acheronian Cache (purple)

Here are the results after opening 36 purple caches on my guardian. Each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following:

What How many times it dropped
Blue potions:

5 Potent Daggamalt

4
5 Dire Sweetpressed Haste

3
Purple armor:

Cuirass of the Fallen Empire [chest]

1
Gauntlets of the Fallen Empire

1
Helm of the Fallen Empire

2
Mask of Red Ruin

1
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire [wrist]

3
Other purple gear:

Ring of Ancient Python

1
Claw of the Death Master

1
Buffs:

Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg]

1
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen]

1
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con]

11
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str]

10
Other:

Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff]

3
Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point]

2
Pet: Scorpion Archer

1

I’ll never understand how they imagine an elixir that gives you 30 stamina every four seconds — it would still be utterly worthless at twenty times the amount — to be equivalent to one that increases your critical chance by 5%…

The Ring of Ancient Python is a nice protection ring (52 con, 52 hit rtg, 267 protection) which, as far as I know, can drop pretty much for any class. It uses the same model as Devourer’s Ring of the Abyss (a protection ring from the Amphitheatre of Karutonia).

The Claw of the Death Master is a decent one-handed blunt (116.1 dps, 86 str, 47 hit rtg, 47 crit rtg, 55 crit dmg rtg). Judging by the name, it seems to be intended as a DPS-oriented weapon (the Death Master is also the name of the barbarian light armor set, see above), but it would also be good for a tank. Just like the ring, this blunt weapon also reuses an old model: identical looking weapons include Bonemaim (level 78 old-world BoE blue) and the Gargantuan Fist (which used to drop from the Gargant in the old Scorpion Cave; that boss is gone in 4.1.4 but presumably the weapon still drops from one of the bosses in the normal version of the dungeon).

See also the previously mentioned forum thread for other weapons and accessories that can drop from these caches, but note that the stats are now a bit different than what is shown on the old screenshots there.

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Vanity Gear