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Soloing a T5 raid boss

October 27, 2014 2 comments

Here’s a funny screenshot from our recent alt T5 raid. The final phase of the Champion of the Honorguard fight can turn a little chaotic and on this particular occasion, we were eventually swamped by adds. My ToS was the last player character left alive, and fortunately her bubble wasn’t on cooldown, so I was able to stay alive for a few more seconds while the dots from the necros and demos finished off the boss — turns out he had just barely more than 1000 HP left at the time when the last player before me died.

Like in many fights, the adds drop dead as soon as the boss dies, which led to this nice screenshot with me as the only survivor while all the other raiders, as well as the mobs, are dead 🙂


Perfect kill! (Click to enlarge.)

Categories: Age of Conan, Humor

High ground bonus

October 25, 2014 1 comment

While playing with unarmed mobs in various playfields, I noticed an interesting mechanic that I have hitherto been unaware of: mobs have a hidden damage bonus of up to 5% if they stand on higher ground than you.

I did these tests with unarmed mobs, because that way all the hits are for the same amount, so it’s much easier to notice the difference due to the high ground bonus. Pull a mob and place yourself on some sloping ground, then slowly move around the mob and observe how the amount you’re getting hit for changes.

For example, here’s a level 85 Kang Zai in Paikang; the following table shows just the normal hits (the crits exhibit the same behavior). There are 3 columns of numbers because this type of mob has 3 different white hits.

Position

Hit amount
me above mob

284

342

510
me slightly below mob

289

349

520
293

353

526
me well below mob

294

354

528
me completely below mob

298

359

535

In the last row, I was standing so far below the mob that the mob’s feet were higher than my head. The “me above mob” row covers all situations where I was standing on higher ground (or approximately on the same altitude) as the mob, regardless of how much higher I was. So basically, the mob gets a bonus if you are below it, but it doesn’t get a detriment if you are above it.

You could probably find yet more intermediate damage values than the ones shown here by changing your position around the mob more carefully. (We’ll see an example of that below.)

If you compare the bottom and the top row, you see that the maximum damage (in the bottom row) is about 4.9% higher than in the top row. Probably the intended maximum bonus is 5% and the difference here is just due to the rounding errors — because we see damage rounded off to the nearest integer but the true damage is a non-integer number, the ratio for e.g. the third column could be anywhere between 534.5/510.5 = 1.047 and 535.5/509.5 = 1.051, i.e. the bonus could be anywhere from 4.7% to 5.1%.

Repeating the same experiment with other mobs gives the same results. Here’s a level 85 Hound of the Underworld in Paikang (it has 4 different white hits):

Position

Hit amount
me above mob

181

192

232

245
me slightly below mob

182

193

233

246
184

195

236

249
186

197

238

251
me further below mob

187

198

239

252
188

199

241

254
190

201

243

256
190

201

243

257
me almost completely below mob

191

202

244

257

A similar analysis as above now shows us, in the first column, that the maximum damage bonus could be anywhere between 190.5/181.5 = 1.049 and 191.5/180.5 = 1.061; in the last column, we see that the maximum damage bonus could be anywhere between 256.5/245.5 = 1.045 and 257.5/244.5 = 1.053. Assuming that the bonus is the same for all types of hits, we can conclude that the maximum bonus is somewhere between 4.9% and 5.3%, which confirms the idea that 5% is probably the correct amount.

This phenomenon is not limited to expansion mobs; here’s a level 79 Dagger-Tooth Leopard in Kheshatta:

Position

Hit amount
me above mob

104

105
me slightly below mob

105

106
me well below mob

109

111
me completely mob

110

111

Here the last row is about 5.7% greater than the first row. Of course, the less the mob hits for, the bigger the effect of the rounding errors will be.

Armed attacks

The high ground damage bonus seems to also apply to armed mobs. There it’s more difficult to investigate it because of the variance in armed hits. For the next experiment, I let a mob (level 63 Black Ring Theurgist in epic Ymir’s Pass) hit me about 200 times in each position:

Position

# of
hits

Hit amount
min

max

average

midpoint

me above mob

234

190

290

237.27

240
me below mob

228

199

303

250.58

251

No matter which of these statistics you look at, the ‘below’ hits are about 4.5%-5.5% harder than the ‘above’ hits, so the high ground bonus seems to apply here as well.

Incidentally, there’s something I don’t quite understand about this experiment. For any given position (above or below), you can see that the max/min ratio is approx. 1.52 (i.e. the maximum hit is about 52% stronger than the minimum hit). This is not what I would expect for a polearm-wielding mob: the max/min ratio for polearms should be 1.75 (which you can easily check by comparing the numbers in parentheses after the DPS amount on the tooltip of any polearm). In fact I’m not aware of any weapon type with a max/min ratio of 1.5; for 1he/2he the ratio is 1.6, for 1hb/2hb it’s 1.3, for daggers it’s 1.7 and for staffs it’s 2.35. Perhaps the max/min ratio from the tooltip only applies to a part of the hit (e.g. the part that comes from weapon damage, but not the part that comes from the character’s strength and combat rating etc.)? Anyway, hopefully some day I’ll investigate this stuff a bit further.

Magical attacks

This 5% high ground damage bonus doesn’t seem to apply to magical attacks; I made a small experiment with an Archpriest mob from the Yellow Priests of Yun faction in Paikang. He was nuking me with his ranged elecrical attacks while I moved up and down around him, and all the hits were the for same amount regardless of my location. The same applies to magical attacks by otherwise-melee mobs (I tried with a Wild Quilin, who is mostly melee but has a frost magical attack called Curse of the Quilin).

The Eleventh Portent

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This month’s world boss was called Banshee Queen of Acheron; she wears a mixture of guardian culture armor and a few Turan-style pieces from the item shop. She spawns in the Wild Lands of Zelata, near the bridge that leads towards the Sanctum of Burning Souls (1205, 645); apparently there was another spawn location, in Thunder River near the Xibaluku entrance (920, 960), but very few people bothered going there since the Wild Lands location was so much more convenient — Funcom even added a new rez pad on the other side of that bridge; so I never went to the Thunder River spawn point myself.

This boss is preceded by a single green mob called Black Ring High-Necromancer; he does a summoning ritual which includes bones rising up from the ground — a cute animation that I haven’t seen before in the game. When the queen spawns, she says: “Blood… Blood… I thirst for living blood!” This phrase sounds familiar to me from somewhere, but I’m not sure where — perhaps from one of the bosses in Atzel’s Fortress. (Update: yes, it’s from Tainmic.)


(Click to enlarge.)

She does slashing damage on the aggro holder. Occasionally she cast Bleeding Wounds, which puts a slashing dot on one or more players (-5% slashing damage every 3 sec, for 30.5 sec). I’m not exactly sure who gets affected by this; IIRC she targets a random player during the cast, perhaps everyone near that player gets the dot as well. Every 35 sec or so, she casts Power from Pain, which puts a 1-second debuff of the same name on about 12 random players, and the boss gets a buff of the same name on herself (which immediately stacks up to 10 stacks). This seems to buff her damage considerably for a short time (about 10 sec); I occasionally saw unusually high ticks of the Bleeding Wounds dot in my combat log, and she occasionally did unusually strong slashing white hits, practically oneshots. There is also an attack called Mark of Pain, which seems to be a single-target hit for 3386 damage followed by a dot that does 4 ticks of 846 damage each; all of this is untyped damage, so it bypasses bubbles and mitigation; it was probably an anti-kiting mechanic. There is also a slashing attack called Consume Life, which seems to hit the aggro holder every 10 seconds; 2 sec afterwards, the boss gains a buff of the same name (this seems to be a health tap buff lasting around 5 sec).

In terms of loot, there’s nothing particularly new. Predictably, the boss drops Aquilonian regional items, e.g. lots of Mitra’s Blessed Ointment; of the social sets, I only saw Sanctum Atlantis and the two global sets (Shattered Colossus and Slayer’s). I also saw an Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic but not any other Aquilonian social armor (e.g. the Tarantian masks that we saw from the Black Dragon boss).

Mitra’s Blessed Ointment gives you a 5-minute particle effect that looks like a halo above your head. Here’s my PoM looking all saintly and innocent at the temple of Mitra in Old Tarantia 🙂


(Click to enlarge.)


(Click to enlarge.)

There is of course also a new mini-pet, Banshee Queen, which I sadly didn’t manage to get despite lots of farming 😦

Here’s an overview of the loot I got on my guardian from this boss:

Count

Item
Social animations, particles etc.
3

Bottled Spirits
5

Cowardice Remedy
5

Electric Boogie
3

Fermented Brain Juices
10

Mitra’s Blessed Ointment
10

Prayer Book
6

Ritual Knife
6

Sticky Fresh Blood
1

Void Essence
Food, potions, buffs
2

Potent Daggamalt, Dire Sweetpressed Haste
11

Ta Neheh Leaf Elixir
6

Kingsmight Ale
6

Elixirs (0 Guile, 2 Invigorative Rejuvenation, 0 Physical Might, 4 Precision)
2

Philtres (2 Constitution, 0 Strength)
2

Minor Elixir of Resurgence (self-rez)
Vendors of crappy social consumables
3

Traveller’s Merchant Contract
Social armor sets
11

Sanctum Atlantis set
4

Slayer’s set
10

Shattered Colossus set
0

other social armor sets
Other social armor
1

Atlantean Spellbinder’s Tunic
4

Crown of Summer
2

Tigerskin cloaks
Raid gear
16

T1 armor
17

T1 weapons (4 swords, 4 shields, 9 polearms)
8

T2 armor
9

T2 weapons (3 swords, 2 shields, 4 polearm)
AA urns
9

Flask of Completion (20000 Mastery XP)
8

Flask of Direction (50000 Mastery XP)
4

Coffer of Radiance (62500 Mastery XP)
Pets
13

animal pets (2 Barachan Gulls, 2 Black Cobras, 1 Fire Salamander, 1 Frost Salamander, 1 Hippo Calf, 1 Topaz Komodo, 2 War Piglets, 3 Wolverine Kits)
7

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

Slayer’s Cache of the Banshee Queen (purple cache)

And an overview of purple caches from all bosses so far, on all of my 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
Ice Worm

191

1

9

10

8 (33)

0

0

1

1
Nergal

91

0

4

4

2 (7)

1

0

1

0
Leviathus

161

1

5

6

5 (20)

1

0

0

0
Execut.

122

0

6

6

4 (15)

0

0

2

0
Lurker

151

4

5

9

6 (29)

1

0

1

1
B. Queen

220

3

5

8

4 (15)

3

1

0

0

This boss was the first one where I got a rare relic — after a total of a little over 1500 world boss kills! I guess this tells us something about the drop rates…


(Click to enlarge.)