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Archive for January, 2014

Level 10-19 world-drop blues

January 25, 2014 5 comments

As is well known, the pre-expansion playfields can be entered in either normal or epic mode; in epic mode, all the mobs are group mobs, they hit harder and and have suitably higher health pools; but they also drop better loot. Among other things, each boss in an epic instance is guaranteed to drop a blue bind-on-equip item of a suitable level. These blue items exist across the whole range of levels, from 11 to 80. These items also have a small chance of dropping from normal-mode mobs and bosses, and a slightly less small chance of dropping from random mobs in various dungeons, both solo and group ones; they can also drop from Excavator’s Kits (green caches which drop in various high-end 6-player dungeons, e.g. the Vile Nativity) and Unopened Chests (green caches from the unchained dungeons introduced in update 4.1.4). Since they are tradable and their stats aren’t very good compared even to old-world dungeon items, let alone post-expansion items, they are often also available very cheaply on the trader.

At higher levels, the set of possible items that might drop at any given level is very large as it includes twelve full sets of armor (twelve sets in the level 40–69 range and twelve in the level 70–80 range; each of these sets exists in several versions all over its level range) in addition to various odd bits and pieces (both armor and weapons).

Below level 40, the set of possible blue BoE items that drop as part of this system is much smaller, so we can attempt to catalogue them all. As a first step, this post contains the items in the level 10–19 range. I’m not aware of any better way of collecting them than simply killing bosses in epic instances until you’ve encountered each item several times. Thus, investigating the level 10–19 range is quite easy now that you can enter White Sands Isle with a level 80 character again; if you had to go there with a level 25 character, killing the bosses would be a lot more time-consuming. I kept farming the bosses in epic White Sands Isle until I saw each item at least 5 times; and in fact, by then I’ve seen most of these items more than 10 times. So I guess it’s fairly unlikely that some other item drops there which I never saw drop at all.

The bosses in White Sands Isle are level 12 (Tear-Kirahn, Old Craggy), 14 (The Silverback Behemoth), 15 (Flesh-Eating Plant), 18 (The Ravenous One, Pict Chieftain, Greater Black One) and 19 (Gorilla Queen). Since each boss can also drop items that are up to two levels above or below him, this should cover the level 10–19 range pretty well.

Name

Level

Description
Augur’s Sash

18

cloth belt, int
Beheader

16

2he
Believer

17

necklace, protection
Blasphemy

19

DT talisman
Bloodleather Leggings

16

light legs, combat rtg
Bonegrinder Girdler

19

medium belt, str
Briskrunner Boots

14

light feet, +3% ooc movement speed
Brutecord

11

medium belt
Darkrift Cover

17

cloth chest, dex
Deadbolt

16

crossbow
Defiler Belt

19

cloth belt, combat rtg
Focus

17

talisman, magic dmg
Hangman’s Rope

11

cloth belt, dex
Helmpiercers

16

bolts
Hullbreaker

18

1hb, str
Lightning Rod

11

polearm, magic dmg + combat rtg
Marauder

19

polearm, combat rtg
Predator Leggings

15

medium legs, combat rtg
Prowler Legs

15

cloth legs, combat rtg
Resolve

18

shield, str
Runeskriven Robe

18

cloth chest, int
Sandtooth

13

dagger, dex
Savage Chest

18

light chest, combat rtg
Shockshafts

14

arrows
Skullstave

15

staff, magic dmg
Skyrush

14

bow
Sneak

13

cloth feet, combat rtg
Spellthreads

16

cloth legs, int
Spellwhisper Slippers

14

cloth feet, int
Stompers

13

medium feet, str
Stonecrusher

14

1hb, combat rtg
Strider Belt

12

light belt, str
Survivalist Chestguard

17

medium chest, str
Wavecrest

13

ring, protection
Windreaver

12

1he, str

Most of these items are very plain in appearance, but some are a bit more interesting or at least share their model with other interesting items. For example, you might find the Windreaver a bit familiar — it has the same model as Gargoyle Master’s Demise, a BRC quest reward that used to the the first purple sword many people got. (Several other world-drop blue swords use the same model: Corpsehacker at level 20 and Headsever at level 28.)

Stonecrusher might also look familiar: it uses the same model as the ToS T1/T2 raid weapons (Mace of the Cloudseer and Heaven’s Torment). Other weapons with the same model include Rageblow (level 22 world drop) and the Fist of Siptah (from Ulf in Atzel’s Fortress).

Resolve also shares a model with a much more familiar high-level item: Deflector, the level 80 city crafted shield which many tanks use for protection fights.

The stats on most of these items are of course not very interesting, as the stats you get at such low levels won’t make much of a difference in fights anyway. I was however intrigued by the Lightning Rod, which is a very rare example of a ToS/guardian hybrid polearm. Although any guardian and any ToS can equip any polearm, in practice most polearms have stats that clearly make them useful for only one of those two classes, and the Lightning Rod is the only exception I’m aware of. It would be interesting if more hybrid polearms would exist; but I guess PvPers would find a way to complain that they are OP. If you want to make a polearm attractive to guardians, you should put constitution and strength on them; to make it attractive to ToSses, you should put wisdom or magic damage on them; and it might be argued that a polearm that has both of these things will give a ToS too much survivability (while not forcing him to sacrifice any DPS for it).

Here’s a screenshot of all these items:


(Click to enlarge.)

More unchained loot

January 19, 2014 1 comment

Since my post about new loot from the unchained dungeons a few weeks ago, I completed one more armor set and got a few more pets, so I figured I’d post the screenshots of these new things as well. They have also been added to the original unchained loot post.

Pharaoh’s Guard social set

This set isn’t really new; 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.


Moar pets

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 😛


(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.

Categories: Age of Conan, Vanity Gear

The Second Portent

January 2, 2014 5 comments

As of January 1, the Black Dragon world boss is no longer spawning and has been replaced by the second world boss. This turns out to be a giant yeti called The King of Winter. It can spawn in four possible locations:

  • in Atzel’s Approach, near Black Dragon Magnus;
  • in Atzel’s Approach, on top of the ladder above the Halls of Eternal Frost;
  • in Conall’s Valley, on the yeti plateau above the Mountain Groves resurrection poin (820, 1046);
  • in Conall’s Valley, in the Ymirish camp near Commander Magni (1375, 723).

The impression I have is that the respawn timer is still attached to the instance, not to each respawn point itself. Thus a new yeti will spawn about two hours after the previous one has been killed in the same instance, but which of the two spawn points in that instance he will respawn at is random.

As a signal that the boss is coming in a few minutes, an unattackable mob called Ymirish Herald appears first, just like the four cultists appeared before the dragon boss last week.

Moving around between the spawn points is quite a bit more annoying here than it was with thedragon boss, as they are spread so far apart. In my experience, it’s useful to bind your Path of Asura to the village tavern in Conall’s Valley, and you can use the veteran path to Vistrix’ lair when you want to port to Atzel’s Approach.


(Click to enlarge.)

The boss has 20.1 million HP, same as last week’s dragon. The maximum number of players per instance seems to be higher than it was for the dragon boss last week; I noticed as many as 116 players on some of my parses on the yeti boss. Unfortunately my impression is that this resulted in quite a bit more lag and lower frame rates, without making it substantially easier to actually get into an instance; instances still tend to fill up plenty of time before the boss is due to spawn.

Encounter mechanics

This fight is slightly more complicated than the dragon boss was. The yeti’s primary attacks are crushing white hits on the aggro holder.

There is a frontal cone knockback (and a bit of aoe damage) called Mighty Sweep, so it makes sense to stand behind him if possible. The knockback can fling you an unusually large distance away, so be careful that you don’t get knocked over a cliff.

There is also an aoe crushing attack called Pulverize, which seems to be centered around the aggro holder. People affected by this also get stunned for 3 seconds. I also remember sometimes getting a smaller hit and no stun, which I guess applies to those a bit further away from the aggro holder.

There’s also a ranged single-target attack called Ice Strikes (cold damage), which the boss uses if he can’t reach the aggro holder to do melee hits on him.

The most interesting new mechanic is a spell called Call of Winter. This spell traps several randomly-chosen players in a big cone of ice; these players get a debuff called Grip of Winter, which stuns them and oneshots them after 29.5 seconds. The ice cone is a destructible object called Shard of Winter, and other players should DPS it down to liberate the trapped player before he gets oneshotted. This is much easier to do if people aren’t spread far apart from each other all over the place, but I’ve largely given up hope that they’ll learn to huddle up together during this fight.


(Click to enlarge.)

The loot

The loot works pretty much the same way as on the dragon: when the boss dies, each participant in the fight gets either a blue cache (Hunter’s Trove of the King of Winter) or, rarely, a purple one (Slayer’s Cache of the King of Winter).

The loot that then drops from these caches is also very similar to what we were getting from the Black Dragon’s caches; the only difference is that a few items seem to be no longer dropping and have been replaced by others.

  • The Crown of Winter now drops instead of the Crown of Summer (both are social head pieces that are also sold by a NPC vendor in your guild city tradepost).
  • Winterdream Wine — a new consumable which gives you a 30-minute novely particle effect (snow falling on you).
  • Ymirish Prayer — gives you a 30-minute buff which causes you to leave a trail of ice wherever you go, and little icicles form on the ground around you if you stand still for some time.

Several of the social sets that we saw on the dragon still drop here, though I’m not sure if all of them. I also noticed a new social armor set called Hyperborean Shaman. Interestingly, it consists of only five items (head, chest, shoulders, wrists, belt). It’s the same costume that is worn by some of the Hyperborean (Gurnakhi) NPCs in e.g. the Eiglophian Mountains (see also my old post about the White Hand officers):


Note that items with the same 3-d models have already been available to players before this: the chest is the same as Incursion Shroud (from Alcippe in the Main System); the head is the same as Clandestinus Darkhood (also from Alcippe in the Main System); the wrist is the same as Nightlord Bracers (from the Sewer King in the Main System); shoulders are the same as Dimshade Straps (from Aturballon in the Catacombs). Those are all assassin items; legs and feet with matching stats also drop in the Main System, but they don’t match these items in appearance (Covert Leggings from Hek’lar and Gossamer Slippers from Alcippe). I couldn’t find a belt with the same appearance as the Hyperborean Shaman belt, however. The chest, head and wrists are also the same as the 3-part Cruel Rending set, which is a purple level 20-ish armor set from the item shop.

There’s another new social set called Black Leather. This one looks particularly unimpressive, little better than countless green sets of light and medium armor that you can get during levelling. Curiously, this set consists of seven parts: everything except hands.


Most of the pets that dropped from the dragon also drop here from the yeti, though I imagine that the legendary dragon mini-pet doesn’t. There is however a new purple one, Mini-Pet: Frost King. I was lucky enough to get it from my first purple cache, after only 18 yeti kills. I’m not much into yetis myself and this one looks particularly small and unimpressive.


(Click to enlarge.)

He does however have a very peculiar animation: occasionally he will spawn a small rabbit out of nowhere and whack it with his club, sending it flying in a way that would give even Tiger Woods a run for his money 😛


(Click to enlarge.)

Black Dragon drop statistics

January 1, 2014 2 comments

Now that the week of dragon farming frenzy is over, it might be a good time to post a bit of statistics. Considering the size of the Black Dragon loot table and the low probability of some of the items, we can of course not get anywhere near to estimating the probabilities of various drops, unless we could get a large number of players to report their drops in an unbiased way (i.e. not just when it’s something exciting) — but that would be harder than herding cats. So the following table is just a simple summary of the drops I got from the 175 or so kills on my guardian. It might give us a rough idea of the relative frequencies of different kinds of drops (e.g. social armor, raid armor, buffs/potions, etc.). A lot of the outcomes are surprisingly skewed; for example, I got one social set 11 times, one 9 times, one 4 times and the other two sets not even once. And I got twice as much HP food as stamina food.

Count

Item
Social animations, particles etc.
8

Electric Boogie, Bottled Spirits, Sticky Fresh Blood, Void Essence, Cowardice Remedy, Ritual Knife
14

Mitra’s Blessed Ointment
6

Prayer Book
6

Fermented Brain Juices
Food, potions, buffs
4

Potent Daggamalt, Dire Sweetpressed Haste
10

Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
5

Kingsmight Ale
3

Elixirs (2 Precision, 1 Invigorative Rejuvenation)
3

Philtres (1 Constitution, 2 Strength)
1

Minor Elixir of Resurgence (self-rez)
Bags
3

Traveller’s Merchant Contract
Social armor sets
11

Sanctum Atlantis set
9

Shattered Colossus set
4

Slayer’s set
0

other two social armor sets
Other social armor
3

Crown of Summer
3

Tigerskin cloaks
1

Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic
3

Tarantian masks (1 Amber, 2 Azure)
Raid gear
20

T1 armor
17

T1 weapons (4 swords, 3 shields, 10 polearms)
6

T2 armor
1

T2 weapons (1 shield)
AA urns
10

Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
5

Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
0

Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)
Pets
12

animal pets (1 Barrachan Gull, 2 War Piglets, 3 Hippo Calves, 1 Black Cobra, 2 Field Mice, 1 Fire Salamander)
5

dancing pets (1 Khitan male, 3 Stygian males, 1 Stygian female)
Purple caches
2

Slayer’s Cache of the Black Dragon (purple cache)
Categories: Age of Conan, World Bosses