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Argo-satha hardmode

April 18, 2014 3 comments

Argo-satha is the last-but-one boss in the Vile Nativity. It is fairly widely known that there exists a hardmode for him, but people hardly ever do it because the additional rewards aren’t worth the trouble. I never did Argo-satha HM before today, so I thought I’d write a post about it now that I know it a little better.

To trigger the hardmode, someone has to target the boss and click the [Curse of the Empowered Lich]. This is a generic item that you pick up by clicking the book on a pile of rubble near the entrance to Queen Cao-Polyphya’s room, approximately at (713, 347). Targetting the boss and clicking the Curse will also start the fight immediately.

The boss gets a typical green hardmode debuff icon (“Challenge of the Gods”) as well as a buff called Empowered Lich. This buff causes his Spiralling Descent (random single-target attacks that he does throughout the fight) to put a -50% received healing modifier on the target (Curse of the Empowered Lich). This means that pretty soon everyone in the group will have this -50% healing modifier and it will stay that way for the rest of the fight. I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it, you just have to manage to survive despite having less healing. (In fact this debuff remained on us after the boss was dead as well. Fortunately it’s not difficult to kill the next boss (Little Prince) with this debuff.)

Every 6 sec or so, the boss puts a wrack (Advisor’s Wrack) or ruin (Advisor’s Ruin) on someone. The target and type of debuff seems to be random, except insofar as the soldiers always get a wrack and other players always get a ruin. These debuffs have the usual yellow wrack/ruin icons, so they are easy to recognize. Both debuffs simply consist of an additional -50% received healing modifier. Together with the Curse of the Empowered Lich this would put you at -100% received healing, so it’s important to remove the wracks and ruins quickly.

Another difference compared to the normal mode is with the Ravenous Wardens, the red mobs that spawn on the outer edges of the platform and root random players. In the hardmode, you get several wardens spawning at the same time, but only one of them is real; the others are fakes. They look the same and have the same name, but they differ in several ways: the fakes often have a yellow nametag instead of a red one (at least until someone hits them); the real warden has a green Challenge of the Gods debuff, the fake ones don’t have this debuff; the real warden is casting Shackles of the Warden (the root spell) while the fake warden isn’t doing anything; and the fake warden has a ridiculously high natural health regen while the real one doesn’t. So if you start DPSing a warden and he keeps healing up, you know it’s a fake one.

When the boss was dead, a killable loot box mob appeared (Heavenly Remuneration). From it, everyone got 5 rare trophies and 75k AA XP; additionally, there were two items for people to roll on: an Excavator’s Kit and an [Advisor’s Treasure]. This latter item is a blue cache; clicking it gave the lucky winner 3 Potent Daggamalts and a Vessel of Attainment (i.e. another 75k AA XP).

The boss and the Argo-satha’s Soul (add) have the same amount of HP as in normal mode (365k boss, 152k soul). It’s hard to be sure about the wardens as you can’t tell from the combat log which hits were on the real wardens and which on the fakes.

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Yet more unchained loot

April 18, 2014 Leave a comment

(Earlier posts in this series: part 1, part 2.)

The Red Ruin heavy set

If you open the unchained caches on a guardian, you can get three armor sets: Fallen Empire (full plate), Red Ruin (heavy), and Pharaoh’s Guard (social). I was pretty luck with the Fallen Empire set and got all 8 parts of it within a few weeks after the unchained dungeons were released. I completed the Pharaoh’s Guard set about one month later. With the Red Ruin set, however, I was plagued by bad luck; it took me until today 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 😛

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 😛

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).

Moar pets

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 😛 (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.)

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.

Updated drop statistics

Unopened Chest (green)

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

What How many times it dropped
3 Daggamalt

55
3 Sweetpressed Haste

51
3 Moonspill

37
Manual of Instruction [2000 Mastery AA XP]

54
Manual of Discipline [10000 Mastery AA XP]

25
Flask of Completion [20000 Mastery AA XP]

11
2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir

9
2 Kingsmight Ale

7
2 Bloodpurple Ale

5
money (1–5 silver)

102
an old-world level 80 blue BoE item (not from one of the level 70–80 sets); e.g. I got a Freestrider Tasset, a Deathvigil Tunic, a Marrowbite Hauberk, a Demonflesh Tasset, and Bladefervor Boots

5
Pet: Shredder

4
Pet: Emperor Scorpion

3
Mini-Pet: Undead Guardian

1
Mini-Pet: Acheronian Raider

2
Pharaoh’s Guard armor (1× Sleevelets, 1× Gloves, 1× Boots)

3

These are statistics from opening 328 green caches; in 44 cases, two items dropped instead of one, and in one case there were in fact 3 drops (money + Pharaoh’s Guard Gloves + money), though I guess it might be possible that there’s some mistake in my records. There were two occasions where two separate money drops came from the same cache, which I guess answers my questions from one of the previous posts (if the game decides to give you two money drops from the same cache, they will be shown separately in the money channel, rather than added up and shown as a single drop).

From the 103 money drops seen so far, it seems pretty reasonable to conclude that the amount of money in each money drop is distributed uniformly in the range [1, 5] silver. (The actual minimum and maximum I’ve seen were 1.0062 and 4.9796 silver.)

One notable new drop compared to my original post is 4-hour mana food. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that it never dropped for me in the first few weeks, or perhaps they added it in one of the subsequent patches. In any case, mana potions were dropping from the very beginning, which suggests that the drops from the green caches are independent of the class of the character that’s opening them.

Acheronian Cache (blue)

Here are the results after opening 134 blue caches on my guardian. Again each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following (a double drop occurred in 40 out of 134 cases):

What How many times it dropped
money (10–49 silver)

7
Food:

2 Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir

14
2 Kingsmight Ale

7
Blue potions:

2 Dire Sweetpressed Haste

4
Green armor:

Pharaoh’s Guard Armplates

1
Pharaoh’s Guard Gloves

2
Pharaoh’s Guard Goldmail

3
Pharaoh’s Guard Helm

5
Pharaoh’s Guard Shenti

1
Pharaoh’s Guard Sleevelets

4
Blue armor:

Belt of Red Ruin

8
Belt of the Fallen Empire

6
Greaves of Red Ruin [feet]

9
Greaves of the Fallen Empire

14
Rerebrace of Red Ruin [shoulder]

13
Rerebrace of the Fallen Empire

12
Tasset of Red Ruin [legs]

16
Tasset of the Fallen Empire

17
Purple armor:

Gloves of Red Ruin [hands]

1
Vambrace of Red Ruin [wrist]

1
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire

1
Buffs:

Elixir of Brute Force [366 combat rtg]

3
Elixir of Guile [73 crit rtg]

5
Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [15 nat stam regen]

6
Elixir of Precision [73 hit rtg]

6
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg]

3
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez]

1
Pets:

Mini-Pet: Demigod

1
Pet: Living Statue

2

Regarding money drops, we still don’t have enough data to say anything much about the distribution; the 7 drops I’ve seen so far were 10.4923, 10.8027, 29.6378, 36.7848, 46.032, 46.0483, 48.1415, 49.3365 (plus 15.0030 and 34.5042 on other characters). IMO the safest guess would be that it’s uniform in the range [10, 50] silver.

Mystical Acheronian Cache (purple)

Here are the results after opening 112 purple caches on my guardian. Each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following (a double drop occurred in 19 out of 112 caches):

What How many times it dropped
Blue potions:

5 Potent Daggamalt

6
5 Dire Sweetpressed Haste

5
Purple armor:

Breastplate of Red Ruin

1
Cuirass of the Fallen Empire [chest]

3
Gauntlets of the Fallen Empire

3
Gloves of Red Ruin

4
Helm of the Fallen Empire

4
Mask of Red Ruin

1
Vambrace of Red Ruin [wrist]

6
Vambraces of the Fallen Empire

8
Other purple gear:

Claw of the Death Master [1hb: 116.1 dps, 86 str, 47 hit rtg, 47 crit rtg, 55 crit dmg rtg]

1
Clasp of the Fallen Empire [necklace: 68 str, 37 hate inc rtg, 192 protection]

1
Emblem of Red Ruin [necklace: 86 str, 42 con, 18 hate dec rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg]

1
Trinket of Old Acheron [necklace: 534 combat rtg, 50 fatality rtg, 28 hate dec rtg, 67 crit dmg rtg]

1
Ring of Ancient Python [52 con, 52 hit rtg, 267 protection]

1
Ring of the Fallen Empire [80 str, 50 con, 35 hate inc rtg]

1
Buffs:

Refined Elixir of Guile [183 crit rtg]

4
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen]

3
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg]

3
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con]

28
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str]

26
Other:

Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff]

10
Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point]

5
Pet: Scorpion Archer

2
Mini-Pet: Un Nefer

2

One particularly annoying detail: not one, but TWO hate decrease necklaces (both bind-on-pickup, of course) can drop for a guardian. Perhaps they were inspired by John Donne‘s bitter but delightfully snarky lines:

  My constancy I to the planets give;
  My truth to them who at the court do live;
  My ingenuity and openness,
  To Jesuits; to buffoons my pensiveness;
  My silence to any, who abroad hath been;
      My money to a Capuchin:
    Thou, Love, taught’st me, by appointing me
  To love there, where no love received can be,
Only to give to such as have an incapacity.

Mystical Excavator’s Kit (purple)

These are the purple caches that you get as a quest reward for the excavator quest (to clear Ardashir Fort, Vile Nativity, Sepulcher of the Wyrm, and the Coils of Ubah Kan). Here are the results after opening 24 purple caches on my guardian. Each cache can drop 1 or 2 of the following (a double drop occurred in 4 out of 24 caches):

What How many times it dropped
Purple gear:

Fellhammer of the Sanguine Disciple [2hb, boe: 133.3 dps, 67 str, 45 con, 391 combat rtg, 38 hit rtg, 60 crit rtg, 90 crit dmg rtg] 1
Halberd of the Archaeologian [polearm, bop: 142.7 dps, 169 str, 221 combat rtg, 100 hit rtg, 86 crit rtg, 55 hate inc rtg, 123 crit dmg rtg] 1
Partizan of Red Ruin [polearm, boe: 135.8 dps, 50 str, 40 con, 7.7 nat stam regen, 409 combat rtg, 50 hit rtg, 75 crit rtg, 80 crit dmg rtg] 1
Buffs:

Refined Elixir of Brute Force [732 combat rtg]

2
Refined Elixir of Invigorative Rejuvenation [30 nat stam regen]

2
Refined Elixir of Precision [183 hit rtg]

6
Refined Philtre of Constitution [+5% con]

4
Refined Philtre of Strength [+10% str]

5
Pets:

Mini-Pet: Forsaken Child of Yig

2
Mini-Pet: Queen Cao-Polyphya

1
Other:

Phial of Tranquility [1 Expertise point]

1
Minor Elixir of Resurgence [self-rez buff]

2

The Halberd of the Archaeologian uses the same model as Polearm of the Black Pharoah (from Coils of Ubah Kan).

The Partizan of Red Ruin uses the same model as Blighted Halberd (from Xibaluku) and Imperial Acheronian Halberd (from the Iron Tower). A recolored version of the same model is also used for the Whispering Touch (T3 crafted polearm).

In terms of stats, the bind-on-pickup polearm (Halberd of the Archaeologian) is very nice; basically the same stats as on the T4 polearm, just in slightly lower amounts. The bind-on-equip polearm (Partizan of Red Ruin) is much less attractive; compared to other purple polearms in the game, it’s low on strength and constitution and it seems to be a bit more dps-oriented. I guess you could say it’s somewhere on the level of T1/T2 polearms. At least it’s better than the other bind-on-equip purple polearms (The Herald of Blight, Return of Time).

Categories: Age of Conan, Gear, Vanity Gear

The Fifth Portent

April 10, 2014 7 comments

The fifth world boss was called The Thrice Drowned and spawned in three locations in Thunder River:

  • south of the graveyard, north of the Palisades rez pad (1310, 1650);
  • in the Wilds (green circle on the map, in the south of the playfield) (1000, 570);
  • on one of the islands in the west of the playfield, a bit east of the outlaw camp (500, 1300).

Like in the previous months, a green (unattackable) mob appears for a few minutes before the boss itself spawns. This time the green mob is called Follower of the Deep and says various pleasantly bizarre fishy cultist phrases in /say:

Follower of the Deep: Gods of the sea; hear my prayer!
Follower of the Deep: Rise! Rise! Rise!
Follower of the Deep: Glory to the drowned ones!
Follower of the Deep: All hail the lords of the deep!
Follower of the Deep: The water will cleanse you and gift you with new life.
Follower of the Deep: What is dead may never die!
Follower of the Deep shouts: That woman drowned. Her lungs filled with water, and the fish ate the scales of her eyes. Now rise again and see clearly.

The last of these lines is when the boss actually spawns.


(Click to enlarge.)

The boss looks like a giant crab, similar to the ones in the Sodabeh fight in Ardashir Fort, although the mechanics of the fight are different. Its white hits are crushing damage. There is an attack called Curse of the Drowned God, which puts a wrack on players standing in front of the boss (Drowned God’s Wrack: -30% physical invulnerability for 30 sec; also two ticks of poison damage at the start). There’s also a channeled frontal cone attack called Reaper Beam, which stuns people affected by it (3-second stun, as well as two ticks of holy damage). The boss slowly turns while channeling it, so that the frontal cone hits more people. There’s a nice blue beam particle effect associated with this attack (see the screenshot below).

Interestingly, this boss has slightly less HP than the previous portent bosses — 19.55 million instead of 20.13 million.


The boss using its Reaper Beam ability. (Click to enlarge.)

In terms of loot, there are again blue (Hunter’s Trove of the Drowned God) and purple (Slayer’s Cache of the Drowned God) caches, with the same mechanics as on the previous months’ portent bosses. There is likewise a new purple mini-pet, [Mini-Pet: Drowned One]. Unfortunately I had no luck in getting this pet, despite much farming (which is also one of the reasons why I didn’t make a post about this boss earlier in the week — I was busy farming). From what I’ve heard, it has a curious ability, namely it knockbacks the player that spawned it.

Apart from the new mini-pet, I haven’t seen any new loot from this boss that hasn’t been dropping from earlier bosses. As we saw in the previous months, some of the portent loot is considered “global” and some is considered “regional”; since this boss spawned in Aquilonia, the corresponding regional loot is unsurprisingly the same as e.g. from the Black Dragon last December. So we had lots of Mitra’s Blessed Ointment (which I still think should really be the name of a herbal hemorrhoid remedy), the Sanctum Atlantis social armor set, Tarantian-style masks, Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic (social chest piece which looks the same as Alvazar’s Vest from Atzel’s Fortress), etc.

Although I had no luck in getting the new mini-pet, I got a prodigious amount of other pets, including four Black Cobras, three Field Mice (I feel cheated; there should have been a fourth mouse to provide balance with the cobras), 11 dancers (I finally completed my collection of 8 dancing pets — 4 races × 2 genders), and a Charcoal Firebird Chick:


(Click to enlarge.)

I was impressed by its ability to bury its head into the ground regardless of what the ground is made of 😛

One positive side of my bad luck in not getting the new minipet was that I kept on farming the boss intensively throughout the week, resulting in plenty of data for my drop tables. The following is a table of what dropped from blue caches on my guardian:

Count

Item
Social animations, particles etc.
6

Sticky Fresh Blood
12

Prayer Book
12

Mitra’s Blessed Ointment
16

Electric Boogie, Bottled Spirits, Void Essence, Ritual Knife, Cowardice Remedy, Fermented Brain Juices
Food, potions, buffs
7

Potent Daggamalt, Dire Sweetpressed Haste
10

Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
5

Kingsmight Ale
9

Elixirs (4 Guile, 1 Invigorative Rejuvenation, 2 Physical Might, 2 Precision)
2

Philtres (2 Constitution)
1

Minor Elixir of Resurgence (self-rez)
Vendors of crappy social consumables
6

Traveller’s Merchant Contract
Social armor sets
13

Sanctum Atlantis set
5

Shattered Colossus set
5

Slayer’s set
0

other social armor sets
Other social armor
6

Crown of Summer
3

Tarantian-style masks (2 Amber, 1 Azure)
1

Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic

3

Tigerskin cloaks
Raid gear
26

T1 armor
17

T1 weapons (5 swords, 3 shields, 9 polearms)
8

T2 armor
2

T2 weapons (2 polearms)
AA urns
10

Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
5

Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
7

Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)
Pets
8

animal pets (4 Black Cobras, 3 Field Mice, 1 Charcoal Firebird Chick)
10

dancing pets (2 Aquilonian male, 1 Aquilonian female, 1 Cimmerian male, 2 Cimmerian female, 1 Khitan male, 2 Khitan female, 1 Stygian male)
Purple caches
1

Slayer’s Cache of the Drowned God (purple cache)

And here’s a refreshed version of the table for purple caches, on all characters:

Boss Total
no. of
kills
# purple caches Drops from purple caches
from
blue
direct total Simple
Relics
Urns Rare
Relics
Pets

Gear
Dragon

185

6

2

8

7 (29)

0

0

1

0
Yeti

61

3

2

5

4 (15)

0

0

1

0
Basilisk

141

4

2

6

2 (7)

2

0

2

0
Serp. Man

78

3

6

9

7 (25)

0

0

1

0
Thrice Dr.

236

1

12

13

8 (31)

4

0

0

1

This month’s boss was the first one where I got a piece of gear from a purple cache; this turned out to be a pretty unimpressive BoP purple ring called Iron Band of Constitution (164 armor, 73 con, 52 crit rtg).