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The Slithering Chaos

October 20, 2016 3 comments

The Slithering Chaos is a six-player dungeon introduced in update 5.1. The entrance is located in the Dragon’s Spine at (1273, 316), in the southern excavation site.

The trash mobs can be CC’ed, but do not fear them as they can get bugged and you then have to exit the dungeon for 10 minutes to reset them. One ability that is particularly worth interrupting is Tempest, which is a frontal cone knockback. There is also Revitalize, a very powerful and annoying heal on the mobs (if you didn’t manage to interrupt it, a rogue can still remove it with Tainted Weapons).

There are three boss fights, all featuring the same boss (Avatar of Yig) that looks like an enormous dust mite.

Quests

The Void Behind the Veil: from Alanza, it requires the Shard of Madness as a prequest (that is a Sepulcher of the Wyrm quest from Ankh-Ausar; it becomes available after you’ve done the early part of the Crawling Chaos quest chain, up to the Serpent Beneath the Skin quest). Rewards: 2 expertise points, 24 MoA.

The Origin of Species: from Alanza; it becomes available if you have completed The Void Behind the Veil and also The Metamorphic Madman (the latter is a solo quest that begins with killing the Scorpion mob near (980, 527); note that sometimes the instance of the playfield gets bugged and the scorpion stops respawning; in that case try switching to a different instance). This is a solo quest that is mostly of interest because it leads to the next one.

The Descent of Serpent Men: from Yaqub-Har; this is a followup to the Origin of Species. This quest requires you to kill three bosses in the Coils of Ubah Kan, then all three bosses in the Slithering Chaos, and finally you have to get a Shard of the Trapezohedron, where the intention was probably that you’d have to also clear the Sepulcher of the Wyrm to get this; but the Slithering Chaos is really just a copy of the Sepulcher, and the developers presumably forgot to remove the Shard of the Trapezohedron from it, so that you can also pick it up from the Slithering Chaos. In both dungeons is on the little mound in the centre of the final boss room.

The quest reward for the Descent of Serpent Men is one of the rings that also drop from the final boss in the Shard of the Trapezohedron. You can choose among two or three different rings depending on your archetype.

The first fight

The boss normally does physical damage on the aggro holder. However, if the aggro holder isn’t standing in front of the boss and within melee range of it, the boss will instead hit him with Smite, which is a much harder-hitting magical ranged attack.

Occasionally, a gray circle spawns on the ground, centered on the player that is the farthest away from the boss. Anyone that stands in these circles will take damage, so you should have one player at range all the time to make sure the circles don’t spawn immediately in front of the boss.

Another important ability cast by the boss is Eradicate. At the end of this cast, there is a big AOE hit that comes from a glowing sphere in the center of the room. Thus, before the cast is finished, everyone should go behind the pillars to break line of sight to the center of the room (note: not line of sight to the boss!), and then go back to their usual positions after the Eradicate cast is finished.

The aggro behavior of the boss in this fight is a bit odd; it seems that he can only change aggro after eradicate, even if you use goad or forced engage.

The boss runs away at 25% of health and leaves behind a loot box which mostly drops blue chaos gems (which are tradable, unlike the purple and legendary gems which are bind-on-equip). There’s a small chance of getting a purple gem here as well.

(The loot box, just like in the other two fights in this dungeon, is a separately killable mob, so you can relog to a different character before killing it.)

The second fight

The boss still does mostly physical damage on the aggro holder and spawns gray circles on the farthest player, just like in the first fight. Occasionally he also cycles through three new attacks:

Primacy is a frontal cone magical attack. The cone is fairly narrow, but the hit (which comes at the end of the cast) is very hard and will oneshot most people, so everyone should avoid it by moving to the side.

Undertow: at the end of the cast, the floor of the room gets covered by electricity that will kill anyone that comes in contact with it. This electricity stays there for several seconds, until you see the electrical particles disappear. To avoid this damage, everyone must be on elevated ground — the various pillars, torch holders, and assorted other rubble that lies around the room. The very centermost part of the little mound in front of the boss is also safe, but has enough space for only two people; so ideally, the aggro holder should stay there (because if he moves away, the boss will hit him with Smite, same as in the first phase) with one of the healers.

Spines of Set: is like Primacy, but it hits in a cone on the sides of the boss (perhaps also behind him?), so everyone should avoid it by moving to the front of the boss.

When the boss’s health drops below 50%, he gains another ability: Resplendent Beam. This is a channelled cast where the boss targets a player at random and a beam goes from the boss to that player. This player and everyone else standing in the way of the beam will constantly be taking damage from the beam (this is untyped damage, so it bypasses mitigation, bubbles etc.). To break the spell, the targeted player must quickly run into one of the gray circles on the ground. Thus it is useful to make sure that at least one circle is not too far from the boss (but also not too close to it so that the mound where the aggro holder stays during Undertow doesn’t get covered by a gray circle). It is also useful is players spread apart a little during this phase, so that they won’t all be taking damage when one of them gets the beam.

The boss runs away at 10% and leaves behind a loot box which drops purple chaos rings. There will also be a clickable item on the ground called a Broken Antenna. Clicking it gives you an item called Luminescent Antenna Fragments in your inventory, which you will need in the third fight.

The third fight

The boss alternates between two phases. In the first phase, he does physical attacks on the aggro holder (and hits him with Smite if he is not in front of the boss and within melee range), puts gray circles on the ground where the farthest player was, and does the Primacy frontal cone attack.

During this phase, the boss has a 95% damage deflection shield, so he takes almost no damage. He also has a buff called Curse of Yig, which slowly stacks up and if it reaches 10 stacks, everyone gets oneshotted.

Eventually the boss casts Rapture; a large red circle slowly emerges from the boss and at the end of the cast, there is a big AoE hit of holy damage. Thus, everyone has to run out of the red circle to survive.

After Rapture, you should send three players to the three large orb-like structures on the outer edge of the room, where each of them should stand at one orb and click his Luminescent Antenna Fragments (all approximately at the same time, somewhat like Yaremka’s balls in BRC Wing 1; wait for a red particle effect to appear on the globe before using your antenna). This will switch the boss into the second phase, remove his damage deflection shield (so you can and should DPS him during this phase), and reset his Curse of Yig buff (so that it won’t reach 10 stacks and oneshot everyone). The three players that used the antenna fragments also get a protection buff (Blessing of the Trapezohedron: +80% electrical and holy invulnerability) that makes them safe from the Horror of Yig attack (on which see below). However, they must be careful not to take aggro while they have this buff, or they will get killed instantly.

In the second phase, the boss does damage in the following ways:

Horror of Yig: the boss keeps spamming this attack, which does electrical damage to everyone that is near the boss, unless they got a protective buff from using the antenna fragments (on which more below).

Seethe: everyone is constantly taking holy damage from this unless they stand in one of the gray circles on the ground that have been left behind from the first phase.

Baptism of Fire: a large fiery cone particle appears (without the boss casting anything) at the location of a player (seems to be always on the second one on the aggro list — it could even be a pet, dread shadow etc.). A few seconds later, the cone explodes and does a big hit of fire damage to anyone nearby, so players must move away from this cone to survive. (Note that the area of effect of this attack is a little bigger than the cone itself.)

• The boss still uses Smite on the aggro holder if the latter is not in front of the boss and in melee range. This should be avoided and in fact in this phase Smite hits harder than in the first phase..

During the second phase, the boss doesn’t have a damage shield, so this is when you should focus on doing DPS on him. Eventually the boss switches back into the first phase and the fight goes on like this until he’s dead.

A few notes to help people survive the various sources of damage in the second phase:

• The aggro holder needs to be able to stand in a gray circle so he doesn’t get damage from Seethe; but at the same time he must still be standing in front of the boss and within melee range so that he doesn’t get Smite. And at the same time, this circle must be positioned so that the aggro holder can stand out of it in the first phase and still not get hit by Smite (because in the first phase, standing in the gray circle causes you to take unholy damage). This means that one gray circle has to be carefully positioned in front of the boss, but a little to the side, so that the area where the aggro holder is safe from Smite is partly within the circle and partly outside of it. (Note: circles disappear after some time, so you should spawn a new one if needed; e.g. after each Rapture, everyone can run in and wait in front of the boss until the gray circle spawns there, and then the three people who have to click the antennas should run out to the globes and do it.)

When the boss switches back to the first phase, one of the people that don’t use the antennas on the globes can use his antenna to remove the gray circle in front of the boss so that it won’t get in the way of the aggro holder while he is tanking the boss. You’ll be able to spawn a new circle after the next Rapture anyway, as described above.

• Ranged DPS players should stay at range from the boss so that they don’t get hit by Horror of Yig. So they should be staying in one of the other gray circles that are farther away from the boss.

• Three players can be made safe from Horror of Yig by having them use their antenna fragments. This should be non-tanks that will need to be close to the boss, e.g. melee DPSers and healers.

• The area in which a gray circle on the ground protects you from Seethe is slightly larger than the circle itself. A PoM/ToS can, with a bit of care, stand just outside the circle in front of the boss and thus be far enough from the boss to avoid the Horrors AoE while still being close enough to the circle to also avoid the Seethe AoE; and also be able to heal the tank from there and do some damage (e.g. with Storm Field). This is useful if you have enough melee DPSers that need the protection buff more than a PoM/ToS does (because they really can’t be useful if they have to stay at range).

• Tanks should use a lot of protection, various protection-related group buffs from healers etc. are also very useful here. Some offtanking (at least with a dread shadow) is also useful, preferably in the shielded phase.

• If you use the antenna and then have aggro, the boss oneshots you (Damnation), so you can’t use the antenna to provide tanks with protection buffs directly.

The loot box from this fight drops legendary chaos gems as well as (purple) rings with a chaos gem slot.

Loot

For more about the gems that drop in the Slithering Chaos, see this excellent post by Fass in the AoC forum.

Rings

  • Mark of Metamorphosis: 65 str, 373 heal rtg, 172 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -183 pvp combat rtg, chaos gem
  • Mark of the Serpent King: 79 wis, 60 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -54 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Might of the Serpent Men: 79 str, 258 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -247 pvp combat rtg, chaos gem
  • Ophidian Band: 79 dex, 258 combat rtg, 51 hti rtg, 43 crit rtg, -247 pvp combat rtg
  • Ring of the Serpent Father: 65 wis, 373 heal rtg, 40 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -39 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Serpent’s Scale: 280 armor, 63 con, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, 156 protection, chaos gem
  • Sigil of Yig’s Dominion: 79 int, 60 magic dmg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -54 pvp magic dmg, chaos gem
  • Undulating Band of Yig: 32 str, 32 int, 50 magic dmg, 172 combat rtg, 51 hit rtg, 43 crit rtg, -134 pvp combat rtg, -35 pvp magic dmg

Gem stats (excluding any blessings)

The new chaos gems that drop in this dungeon consist of a base stat and zero or more T6 blessings (zero for blue gems, one for purple, two for legendary). Additionally, the base stat is 50% higher on the legendary gems than on the other two; the list below will show this in parentheses. What exactly the base stat is depends on the prefix in the name of the gem:

Precise: 27 (40) critical rating.

Warding: 267 (400) armor, 47 (70) protection.

Fierce: the stats on this gem depend on the class of the character with which you’re looking at the gem.

  • Guardian, barbarian, assassin, conqueror, ranger: 150 (225) combat rating.
  • PoM, ToS: 160 (240) heal rating, 20 (30) magic damage.
  • HoX, dark templar: 20 (30) magic damage, 100 (150) combat rating.
  • Necromancer, demonologist: 33 (50) magic damage.
  • Bear shaman: 160 (240) heal rating, 100 (150) combat rating.

Blessings

The blessings on the gems are the same ones that also occur on T6 weapons and necklaces. Thus, by combining these with the new rings and gems, you can get three or even four stacks of a blessing. You need at least two stacks of a blessing for it to have an effect, but by combining the new rings (and gems) with T6 weapons and necklaces you can get three or even four stacks of a blessing.

  • Ashur — Armor/Spell Penetration
  • Black Pharaoh — Critical Damage Increase
  • Crawling Mist — Hate Increase
  • Emandua — Heal Rating
  • Manic Haze — Offhand Rating + Tenacity
  • Silence Falls — Hate Decrease
  • Silver Twilight — Mana Tap
  • Steel Behemoth —Critigation Chance
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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.

Scorpion Cave unchained

November 23, 2013 5 comments

Cave Crusher Tyrant

This is a boss that spawns after you destroy a scorpion nest. It’s just a tank and spank fight; it’s mostly interesting because it drops an Antivenom Sac, which is needed to remove a dot in the Shah boss fight (see below). You should let the tank(s) get the Antivenom Sac first, though eventually if you kill enough nests, you can get enough sacs for everyone.

The Shah

This is mostly a tank and spank fight. Occasionally the boss casts Relentless Venom, which puts a dot on the aggro holder; this dot stacks and eventually starts hurting pretty badly, so the tank should click his Antivenom Sac to remove his dot. The sac has a bit of a cooldown and the boss reapplies the dot often, but you should at least be able to keep your dot to 3 stacks or less this way.

The scorpion nest in the boss’s room will activate during the fight and spawn waves of minions, so it helps if you tank the boss by the nest so that you can DPS both him and the minions at the same time.

Scorpion Archer Prince

Every now and then, he targets a random player and casts Berserker Toxin. The targeted player gets charmed (Will of Selket, 35 sec) and also gets a +500% damage modifier and +40% hinder movement (Berserker Toxin, also 35 sec). At the same time, an add called Scorpion Dominator also spawns.

The charmed player hits very hard due to his damage buff, so be careful that he doesn’t kill other people. You can cc him or kite him. Focus your dps on the Scorpion Dominator; once this add is dead, the charmed player gets uncharmed, but his damage buff doesn’t get removed, so he can now do very high dps on the boss for a few seconds.

This extra dps on the boss is very important in this fight since the boss has 2.4 million HP (update: reduced to 2.1 million HP in update 4.1.5) and a 5:30 minute enrage timer. So you should focus on uncharming people as quickly as possible (by killing the adds), thereby giving them more time to dps the boss with their damage buff.

Scorpion Zealot / Scorpion Abomination

This is mostly a tank and spank fight, but the boss also spawns adds (Scorpion Vessel), which you should kill as quickly as possible, otherwise their aoe (Evolve) eventually hits too hard.

At 50%, the boss transforms (from Zealot to Abomination) and starts doing crushing damage instead of poison, but apart from that the fight is largely the same. He has two new abilities:

Scorpion Sting is a frontal cone root; you can avoid it by moving out of the frontal cone.

Dread Claw is a powerful frontal cone aoe attack, which comes immediately after Scorpion Sting.

The tank can avoid both simply by moving aside during Scorpion Sting and waiting until Dread Claw is over; other players shouldn’t be standing in front of the boss at all.

Constantius the Falcon

Strangling Grasp = 70% hinder movement on people nearby (you can break LOS to avoid getting this snare, but the cast is fairly short); it is followed immediately by Constantine Revenge.

Constantine Revenge = big aoe (16k holy dmg on my necro) over a wide area; people shouldn’t hope to outrun it, and they must break line of sight before the cast is finished. This is made more difficult by the fact that they are probably snared from Strangling Grasp. You should tank the boss near a rock or pillar or something of that sort to make it easier to break the line of sight.

A tank with good protection can stay next to the boss and use cunning deflection instead of having to run out and break line of sight. This is useful since he can then cc the boss quickly during Constantine Renewal (see below).

Note that the Constantine Revenge also hits any undestroyed scorpion nests within their range. This can eventually destroy the nests and cause Cave Crusher Tyrant bosses to spawn during the Constantius fight. So if you wiped a few times on Constantius, check the health of the nests before the next pull.

Constantine Renewal = comes immediately after Constantine Revenge; this is a massive channeled heal, 60581 points every 3 sec. Fortunately the boss is CCable during this time, so you should CC him to interrupt the heal as quickly as possible.

Float Away = knockback on the aggro holder; it occurs in the middle of the cast rather than at the end. This is a good moment to swap aggro, to prevent the boss from moving to the knockbacked tank (or, even better, you should tank him with your back to a wall). The aggro holder can also doubletap before being kb’ed to shorten the amount of time until he can move again.

Touch of the Grave = frost damage, single-target attack on the aggro holder + it drains all his mana.

The rest of his attacks are slashing white hits on the aggro holder.

He has 1.5 million HP (update: reduced to 1.42 million HP in update 4.1.5) and a 6:30 enrage timer, so the key thing here is to make sure people stay alive (during Constantine Revenge) and to interrupt his heals quickly (Constantine Renewal).

Caravan Raiders’ Hideout unchained

November 21, 2013 12 comments

This dungeon has been changed a fair bit compared to its original normal version (I’m not sure if the same changes have also been made to the normal level 80 version or just to the unchained level 85 version). Prince Abaddon, the fifth boss, has been replaced by a Demigod of Acheron; the shape of the tunnels has changed a bit, and a door has been added which now forces you to cycle through the dungeon in one particular direction and not in the opposite direction.

Blood for the Blood God

Each of the first four bosses here (Jathred, Medjian, Sethik, Vral), when his health drops to 10%, starts casting a spell called Blood for the Blood God. This does a (weak) aoe on the players, and at the end of the cast the boss kills himself and puts a debuff on all the players. This debuff is called X’s Ritual Mark, where X is the name of the boss. The debuff persists through death but it can be removed by going into the throne room where the Demigod of Acheron will appear later (or where Prince Abaddon used to appear in the original version of the dungeon; but there didn’t use to be a throne there before, IIRC).

If a player has all four debuffs on him, they are replaced by a single debuff (Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark), which has the same properties as all four individual debuffs put together. Having this new combined debuff allows a player to spawn the Demigod of Acheron by clicking the dinosaur head in the throne room.

However, the debuffs can be very annoying for actually fighting the other bosses; for example, Jathred’s Ritual Mark is a -50% received healing modifier, and you don’t really want e.g. your tanks to be tanking the remaining bosses with that. So what you should do is to have just one DPSer collecting these debuffs, while all the other players in your group go to the throne room after each fight to clear their debuffs.

If you kill a boss before he is finished casting Blood for the Blood God, you won’t get his corresponding debuff and thus you won’t be able to spawn the Demigod of Acheron.

Jathred the Life-Drinker

First phase: tank and spank the boss; he does physical damage; occasionally he runs up the slope and to the right, and starts channeling Sanguinary Revival. This heals him up quite quickly. To interrupt this heal, one of the players should run below the three little waterfalls of blood on the right side of the room. Once the player has done this, he can’t do it again in the same fight, so you should set up an order of doing this beforehand. Going below the blood streams also gives you a -20% received healing modifier, so you should put the tanks last in this order.

Note that when he runs up to start Sanguinary Revival for the first time, it’s likely that he is at 100% or nearly 100% health even before he starts casting Sanguinary Revival (because you didn’t have much time to DPS him and some of the adds might have put a heal on him as well). In that case there’s no point in interrupting this heal — better keep all players available to interrupt the heals later in the fight (as each group member can only do it once).

Second phase: starts when the boss reaches 35% health. Now he will spawn two adds every now and then; they are ranged and hit annoyingly hard, so the players should focus on tanking and killing them.

In this phase, you don’t tank or DPS the boss. Instead, the boss occasionally casts Mark of the Life Drinker on a randomly chosen player. He starts chasing this player around the room and if this player gets hit by the boss, the boss will heal up quite massively. So it’s important that the targeted player starts kiting the boss immediately and keeps a distance from him. Meanwhile other players should deal with the adds, especially because the adds can otherwise snare (and DPS) the kiter.

To make kiting easier, you can snare or root (but not stun) the boss during this phase.

A good way of kiting the boss is to run up the ramp and to the left, and then carefully jump down, to avoid taking too much fall damage and getting too long a snare from the fall.

In the second phase, you just have to focus on kiting him correctly (to prevent him healing up) and dealing with the adds; you don’t have to actually tank or DPS him as he’ll lose health automatically anyway.

Medjian the Unholy

This boss does magic damage, so tanks should wear protection gear. In fact it’s useful if everyone wears gear with lots of HP and possibly protection.

Frost Void = aoe attack centered on the boss; move away, out of the circle which you’ll see spawning on the ground.

Forgotten Soul = means that the boss will start spawning skulls. This is followed by one or more Soul Binder casts, each of which is targeted on a different random player.

For each Soul Binder, a skull spawns from one of the four sarcophaguses and starts following the player that was targeted by that Soul Binder cast. This player has to click the sarcophagus from which the skull emerged; this will despawn the skull.

If the player clicks any of the other sarcophaguses, he gets KB’ed. If the skull reaches him (or touches any other player), the boss heals up by about 10%, so it’s very important to avoid this. (Players touched by the skull also take some damage and receive a −100% unholy invulnerability debuff (Bound Soul).

So if you’re the one targeted by Soul Binder, it’s best to walk around the outer edges of the room, behind the sarcophaguses, until you reach the correct sarcophagus and click it. Don’t lead the skulls through the middle of the room (where the other players are tanking and spanking the boss meanwhile). Don’t waste too much time walking around while the skull is following you, as it eventually gets faster and faster and will catch up with you.

Ideally you should move near the entrance of the room when the boss starts casting Forgotten Soul; this way you’ll be a bit farther away from the sarcophaguses, which means you’ll have more time to start kiting the skull if it happens to target you.

Initially there’s just one skull, later the boss will spawn two or even three at a time. To make it easier to figure out which player has to click which sarcophagus, they are color-coded: the sarcophagus has a colored particle effect, and the player has a particle effect of the same color as the sarcophagus which he must click. The problem is that all these colors look like different shades of black, so they aren’t that easy to tell apart. Still, with a little practice, red and green are easy to recognize, and then of the remaining two you can easily tell yellow apart from black because yellow is lighter after all.

If you look from the entrance towards the boss, the sarcophagus colors are as follows: yellow = near right; black = near left; red = far left; green = far right.

Sethik Bloodblade

The boss stands in the middle of a room, surrounded by about 6 adds (I’ll call them dogs although I suspect they are really hyenas). Don’t charge the boss — that would activate all the dogs as well, and they are group mobs and will wipe you quickly. Instead, stay near the wide pillar at the entrance of the room and fight the boss there; pull him with Irritate.

Incapacitate Foe = frontal cone knockback, you can move out of the cone.

Capture = the boss targets a random player while casting this. The targeted player gets rooted and one of the dogs wakes up and locks its aggro on this player. So if the player is one of the squishies, he’ll have to kite the dog around the pillar. The root lasts 10 seconds, but it’s really a ruin (Capture Ruin) so you can remove with with Steadfast Faith. Various other anti-root abilities also work on it.

Order: Kill = when the boss casts this spell, the dog gets a +250% damage modifier and +50% hinder movement; so it will hit very hard, but on the other hand it will be easier to kite. A squishie gets one- or two-shotted by the dog when it gets buffed like this, so it’s best to just kite the dog all the time.

Order: To the Death = this seems to cause the dog to change its aggro lock to a different player.

So just kite the dogs and DPS them, and also DPS the boss meanwhile. He will wake up new dogs on a regular basis, so you should put enough DPS on the current dog to kill it before the next one is activated. On the other hand the boss also has an enrage timer (5 minutes), so don’t neglect DPS on him either.

Vral the Wrathful

The boss stands on a platform and you should stand on the same platform while fighting him (with one exception, on which more below), or you will take very heavy damage (probably some sort of retributive damage from his Ritualist’s Shield buff).

Invocation = activates some of the candles on the edge of the platform. These candles buff the boss’s DPS, so you should destroy them as quickly as possible. The candles don’t actually take regular damage, but your attacks drain their mana instead; the candle gets deactivated when its mana is down to 0%.

As the fight progresses, the candles get harder and harder to kill (initially each point of damage done by your attacks drains 5 points of the candle’s mana, but later this drops to 4, 3, 2 and finally 1), so make sure to focus enough DPS on them. The way the candles buff the boss is nonlinear (1 candle = 10%; 2 candles = 20%; 3 candles = 40%; 4 candles = 60%; 5 candles = 80%; 6 candles = 150%; 7 candles = 200%); having him buffed by 3 or so candles is tolerable enough, but at 6 candles he gets unsustainable.

Every 25%, he starts casting Reign in Blood. Trails of blood emanate from the players and start making their way towards the boss; when they reach him, he heals up a lot. To prevent him from healing up, everyone should stand near the edge of the platform as the boss comes close to 75, 50 or 25% health; then, when he actually reaches that percentage, everyone should jump off the platform. This way the blood trails will take so long to reach the boss that they won’t actually reach him in time and heal him. It’s a good idea to tank the boss near the edge when he’s close to 75, 50 or 25; he will run to the centre of the platform in preparation for his Reign in Blood Cast, and this will give you a little more time to jump down before he actually starts casting it.

P.S. Curiously, this boss was named Varl, not Vral, before the introduction of this unchained version.

P.P.S. I suspect this dungeon was developed by people with OCD CDO, because the bosses appear in proper alphabetical order 😛

Demigod of Acheron

I’m still not quite sure what is the best way of killing this boss. I’d be interested to hear how other people are killing him — let us know in the comments.

Note that when you start the fight, everyone in the group gets a Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark debuff (see the Blood for the Blood God section above for more information), and you’ll have to fight the whole fight with this debuff.

In the first phase, the boss has the following abilities:

Withering = frontal cone aoe attack, it puts a poison dot and a debuff on you (-50% damage modifier, -50% received healing modifier), much like the Unknown in the Coils of Ubah Kan. To avoid this, just move out of the frontal cone. Note that this is the first ability he will use immediately after you start the fight. When you pull him for the first time, everyone will get ported in front of the boss, so be prepared to move out of the frontal cone immediately. For later pulls, it makes sense to have everyone stand behind the boss when you start the fight.

Tail Lash = a wide cone attack that hits behind the boss and on his right side. Either move in front of the boss, on his left side, or sufficiently far away from him (the cone doesn’t go very far). My ToS was getting hit by around 10-10.5k by it. In the first phase of the fight, Tail Lash always comes immediately after the fear (see below).

Will of Acheron = targets a random player and charms him. I’m not sure if Unbinding Charm works, but in any case you should just avoid hurting the charmed player with your splash damage.

Hell Barbs = his primary single-target attack; slashing damage.

Wail of the Darkest Dark = an aoe fear; it starts when the cast begins and ends when the cast ends. A Tail Lash will come immediately afterwards, so be ready to move to the correct side of the boss.

At 50% of health, two adds (group mobs) spawn in the boss room, while the boss himself goes out and starts casting Abyssal Revival, a 30-second channeled self-heal which soon heals him back up to 100%. He then comes back and the fight resumes. In this second phase of the fight, he still has the Withering and Tail Lash abilities, but not the charm and fear. Additionally, every 28 sec or so he casts Seasons of the Abyss, which is a huge magical aoe spell that will oneshot everyone (unless they have a bubble or immunity buff). This spell also ignores line of sight. If someone survives this oneshot spell, the boss casts it again not too long afterwards, etc.

To interrupt his self-heal (Abyssal Revival) and later his one-shot ability (Seasons of the Abyss), you will need to drop barrels on him from the bridge upstairs. You might remember that there are black spots on the ground in front of the boss room, and that mobs standing on the bridge upstairs used to throw exploding barrels on you if you stood near those black spots. Actually, you probably reached that bridge yourself at some point in your walk through the dungeon (on your way from Sethik to Vral). It turns out you can click those barrels by yourself to throw them down, and if you throw them down on the boss, you interrupt whatever he’s doing at the moment; including his self-heal or his oneshot spell. The boss doesn’t have to be exactly on the black spot for this to work; a couple meters away from it is still OK. Any players close to the spot will still take damage (and be briefly stunned) when a barrel drops, so they should stay away from the black spot when a barrel is being dropped.

The boss goes to one of the spots near the entrance to the altar room before casting Abyssal Revival; it’s always the same spot, so you know exactly which barrel to drop to interrupt his heal. Then the tanks will need to move him to a new black spot so that a new barrel can be dropped on him there when he casts Seasons of the Abyss; then you move him again and get ready to interrupt the next Seasons with yet another barrel, and so on until he’s dead. Note that you still have to DPS him in the second phase; the amount of damage he takes from the barrels is fairly small.

When moving the boss around in the second phase, there are a few things you should be careful about. If you try to run too far up the walls of the room, you might fall out of his aggro list, which can be pretty bad if you’re the tank. Other people must of course be careful to avoid his tail lash and withering aoe.

When tanking the boss in the second phase, it’s IME a good idea to keep him turned so that the wall is on his right side; that way, there won’t be any players there that could get hit by Tail Lash. The DPSers can be on the boss’s left side, and the tank should be in front of him; during Withering, he can move to the DPSers for a few seconds to avoid the frontal cone of Withering.

How do you get people up on the bridge to click barrels? One possibility is to have someone waiting up there from the very start of the fight. The advantage of this is that this player can drop a barrel as soon as the boss starts casting Abyssal Revival, so he won’t heal up at all; the disadvantage is that this player is not available downstairs in the first phase of the fight. Another way to get people upstairs is to use the pink teleportation circle that appears at 50% next to the dinosaur head with which you spawned the boss. It appears that this circle starts to work only after the two adds which spawned at 50% are dead, so by the time you can port someone up and have him click the barrel, the boss will probably have healed up to 100% already.

The main problem in the second phase of the fight is the fact that increasingly large numbers of adds start spawning on the bridge upstairs and attacking any players who might be standing there, trying to click barrels. There are several possible ways of trying to cope with this:

– Perhaps the most obvious idea is to port about 3 people upstairs and hope that this will suffice to kill the adds. However, in my experience, the adds spawn in such large numbers (and have so much HP) that even 3 people get overwhelmed. And, of course, the more people you port up on the bridge, the fewer you have left downstairs to actually DPS the boss.

– Apparently some people tried leaving 3 people upstairs on the bridge from the start of the fight. The first phase must be extremely slow and hairy with just 3 people downstairs, but the advantage of this idea is that people who were on the bridge at the start of the fight don’t get the Acheronian Blood Ritual Mark debuff, so they will now find it much easier to fight the adds on the bridge. But in my experience, if they go back down at any point, they will get the debuff then and it will be stuck with them for good (until they zone out etc.).

– Another idea is to have a soldier port up about 10-15 seconds before the boss will start casting the next Seasons of the Abyss; he should just ignore the mobs, run to the correct barrel and click it. The problem is that the mobs’ attacks are very likely to interrupt his clicking of the barrel; if this goes on for too long, the boss will finish his Seasons cast and everyone will die. Using a bubble helps to prevent being interrupted, but sooner or later your bubbles will be on cooldown. After he has clicked the barrel, the soldier should jump down (try to land so that the fall is not too deep, and that you won’t drop in the area reached by Withering or Tail Lash), heal up a little, and get ready to port again in time for the next Seasons.

– Another idea is to have a soldier on the bridge all the time, kiting the adds when he isn’t clicking a barrel. This can get a bit tricky because there are so many adds eventually, but often some of them reset while they are being kited. The adds also have an annoying tendency to interrupt you while you’re clicking the barrel; you might have to CC them or use a bubble to prevent that. Note that having one soldier on the bridge all the time typically means that just one solder is available downstairs for tanking the boss; this is doable with one tank and two healers if they are well geared. This seems to be the most common way of killing this boss nowadays.

Occasionally the boss forcibly teleports one of the players from the bridge back downstairs. IIRC someone said this happens if he feels that he can’t reach the current aggro holder. In any case, you should try to avoid this because it can interfere pretty badly with your barrel-clicking efforts.

A small historical note: before 4.1.5, you could also do this fight by leaving the yellow mobs on the bridge alive, which then meant that you could get *them* to drop barrels simply by having any player move close to the black spot where you had positioned the boss. Thus you didn’t have to send players to the bridge at all. However, the yellow mobs no longer drop barrels during the Demigod fight, so you should just kill them along with all the other mobs on the bridge.

Apart from the usual Acheronian Chests, the boss drops one of four possible purple cloaks with very nice stats:

All cloaks look very similar, with small variations in color:


Abyssal Cloak of the Death Master


Abyssal Cape of the Fallen Empire


Abyssal Cloak of the Hell Walker


Abyssal Cloak of Crimson Slaughter

Halls of Eternal Frost unchained

November 21, 2013 5 comments

Spirit of Un Nefer

There are four mobs with this name, and although they are labelled as bosses in the game, they are really more like minibosses.

Their primary single-target attack does electrical damage, so the tanks should use protection gear. Apart from this, each of them spawns a different kind of adds:

1. The first Spirit casts Raiseth the Dead, which spawns several solo adds (easy to kill).

2. The second Spirit casts Awakening, which spawns several minions (even easier to kill).

3. The third Spirit also casts Awakening, but this now spawns a group trashmob (Living Statue); it can be cc’ed.

4. The fourth Spirit also casts Awakening, which now spawns a group trashmob named Risen Bloodhunter. This add can’t be cc’ed.

The Risen Bloodhunter will occasionally petrify (i.e. stun) one of the players; anybody can unstun a petrified player by clicking him, as if he was a clickable object.

After you’ve killed all 4 spirits, you should click the sands on the balcony as you’ll need them for the Acheronian Warlord fight later. Every player in the group should pick up the sand.

You should also break the urn on the balcony. This will cause the Soul of Un Nefer to spawn (see below). After this point, some of the statues in the dungeon will start becoming active when you move near them, so be careful when moving through the dungeon again.

Soul of Un Nefer

This boss spawns after you break the urn on the balcony; you’ll find him waiting for you in the first big room just after where you killed the first Spirit.

He doesn’t actually hit you by himself. Instead, he spends all of his time spawning adds, using the four abilities that we saw earlier on the Spirits of Un Nefer. So you’ll be getting some minions, some solo mobs and some group mobs — make sure to tank the group adds so that they won’t kill the squishies. As before, the Bloodhunter adds can petrify people, and you will have to click the petrified player to unstun him.

If the boss activates all the statues in the room before you kill him, everyone gets oneshotted.

Acheronian Warlord

– Dealing with the statues and Shatterfield

The boss stands in the middle of the room, and there are 8 statues around him: 4 in the corners and 4 on the sides of the room. Each statue has a Gift of Acheron debuff; at the start of the fight, this debuff has 4:00 minutes left on the corner adds and 2:30 minutes on the side adds. After a statue’s Gift of Acheron debuff expires, it comes alive and has to be tanked and spanked. To avoid having to do this, you should use the Shatterfield mechanic to oneshot the statues (see below).

Occasionally the boss casts a long cast called Shatterfield, during which he targets a random player. This player has to run to a statue and it will get oneshotted; if he isn’t near a statue at the end of the cast, the player himself gets oneshotted instead. Note that this only works on statues that haven’t woken up yet. You can also break line of sight at the end of the cast to avoid being oneshotted.

You should use this mechanic to oneshot the statues before they become alive; make sure to destroy the statues on the sides of the room first, and the ones in the corners later as they have a longer timer before they will wake up.

Other players should avoid being near the player that is being targeted by Shatterfield, or they will take very heavy damage (and likely get oneshotted). Note that this damage already comes during the cast itself, not just at the end!

– Using the sand

The boss has a heal (Acheronian Revival) running on himself all the time (without a corresponding icon above his name and healthbar), which heals him by 1% every 3 sec. To remove this heal, a player has to target the boss and click the sand (which you picked up earlier on the balcony, see above). This will not only block the boss’s heal but even put a dot on him, called Sands of the Ancients, which takes away 1% of his HP every 3 sec. The icon for this dot is easy to recognize, as it looks just like the ToS root (Quicksand).

Eventually this dot will expire, or the boss will remove it from himself by casting Cry of Acheron. At that point another player should click his sand, etc. The sand has a relatively long cooldown so it’s a good idea to set up a rotation beforehand; that way, you can keep the dot on the boss pretty much all the time.

– Other abilities

Flames of Acheron = frontal cone fire aoe attack by the boss, it hits very hard and the cone seems uncomfortably wide (in fact it sometimes feels as if at least a part of this attack is 360-degree aoe rather than any kind of cone), but it isn’t very long, so you might want to run away to be safe. I have the impression that Flames of Acheron always comes immediately after Shatterfield, and that it’s directed towards the most recently shattered statue.

Apart from that, he does physical damage (and crits quite a bit).

Changes in Xibaluku in Update 4.1

August 29, 2013 3 comments

Several changes have been made in Xibaluku recently, probably in update 4.1, without any corresponding announcement in the update notes. Presumably these are some work-in-progress type of things that have been unintentionally and prematurely pushed to the live server. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to summarize the changes in a post. (See also the interesting forum thread.)

Changes in boss HP

Probably the most obvious change is that the amount of hit points for pretty much all the bosses there has been significantly reduced, by around 30–40%. (As usually, the HP measurements are only approximate.)

Boss Amount of hit points Change
Before After
Warlord Repadis 270 k 202 k −25 %
Master Gaoler Norach 238 k 151 k −37 %
Surberec 315 k 197 k −38 %
Acheronian Reaper 276 k 198 k −28 %
Balko 207 k 120 k −42 %
Martyr of Votantha 1178 k 744 k −37 %
Tia Shar 337 k 223 k −34 %
The Red One 302 k 218 k −28 %
Meskit the Fated 231* k 202 k —12 %
Iziel-Al’zeep 140–180 k 100–120 k −31 %
Jal Kor Bloodbane 355 k ?

(Some of the data is missing: I haven’t done any non-hardmode runs yet recently, so I haven’t seen Jal Kor yet either. The HP shown for Iziel doesn’t include his huge loss of health when the mirror is purified, and a range of values is reported since purifying the mirror doesn’t seem to always drop his HP to the same percentage. I’m not sure how reliable my pre-4.1 estimate of Meskit is; I couldn’t find a log in which I didn’t die during the fight.)

The latest combat log I can find with the old HP amounts was from April 2013, and it seems I haven’t done Xibaluku between then and this week. Some people in the forums say that the boss HP seemed normal as little as one month ago, which suggests that the changes were most likely introduced in update 4.1.

I’m somewhat disappointed by the nerfs to boss HP; in my opinion, Xibaluku was one of those places that didn’t require nerfing. I find it hard to imagine that the change from e.g. 300 k to 200 k would actually make a significant difference to anyone; even if you go there with a poorly geared group of newly-level-80 characters, anything that they can kill with 200 k HP they could also have killed if it had 300 k HP. And in the case of the Martyr of Votantha, it is now more tempting than ever to just tank and spank him instead of trying to deal with the platform puzzle, which is a bit of a pity (the platform puzzle has been fixed a long time ago so that it doesn’t require any jumping, merely walking, so isn’t unreasonably difficult now).

Loot changes

New epic accessories from Iziel-Al’zeep. Like before, Iziel drops one epic accessory, but the set of possible drops has been expanded. In addition to the Conviction of Will (magic damage ring) and the Fury of Iziel (combat rating ring), there is now a Might of the Wrathful (armor/con ring) and a Necklace of Thousand Souls (protection necklace).

I don’t think the new ring will be particularly popular, but the necklace is very nice; comparable to Scipio’s Necklace of Protection (45 con, 40 immunity rtg, 220 protection), which you get as a quest reward for killing Arbanus, but with a bit more HP and with armor instead of immunity. In fact I like the new necklace better than Scipio’s one.

Bone-Rattle of Gullah items. This is a social armor set that had originally been introduced for the fifth anniversary event a few months ago (May 2013). The five open-world raid bosses in that event would drop bags (called ‘pentasacks’), and opening them would get you various kinds of loot, among them this set. One particularly nice thing was that you would get the whole set (all 8 parts) from one bag.


Now it seems that at least some parts of this set drop in Xibaluku. In our recent runs, Iziel always dropped (in addition to his usual loot) one part (chest, legs, or head), and the Red One has a chance of dropping hands or wrists. I haven’t seen the other parts yet.

Other new social items. The (now separately killable) treasure chest behind Norach and Surberec can now contain (in addition to the usual loot) a social helmet called Mask of the Master Gaoler. It looks the same as the Nescient Helm (full plate protection helmet from Jal Kor / Iziel) and Frostmaw Helm (from the Devourer, Amphitheatre normal mode).

The Acheronian Reaper (rare boss upstairs) has dropped (in addition to the usual loot) a social belt called Reaper’s Loin Girding of Oblivion. This looks exactly the same as the Acheronian Convoker’s Belt (which drops from the Dimensionalist in Amphitheatre unchained). I haven’t seen any other parts of this new Reaper set dropping so far, and we only saw the Acheronian Reaper once in our recent runs, so I don’t know if he always drops a social item or only sometimes.

Other changes

Killable treasure chests. The treasure chest that becomes reachable after you kill Norach and Surberec is now a separately killable mob (which then drops a treasure chest with the loot), instead of a plain old treasure chest.

Likewise, Iziel-Al’zeep now doesn’t drop a loot box directly, but spawns a separately killable treasure chest (which then drops the loot box). One nice thing about that is that you no longer need to search for the loot box underwater — the killable chest now always spawns outside the pool.

Reduction of money drops. Formerly, each Xibaluku boss used to drop (in addition to the gear) around 3–4 silver per player (on average; if the group was full); this is a fairly standard amount for old-world level 80 group content. (See e.g. my posts about open-world bosses: 1, 2.)

Now, some of the bosses (Balko, Martyr of Votantha, Tia Shar) drop much less money than before — around 70 copper per player on average. Other bosses (Warlord Repadis, The Red One, Protector / Vindicator / Defender of Acheron) drop the same amount as before.

In the case of Iziel, it’s even worse; his new separately killable treasure chest contains almost no money (in our runs it was around 7 copper per player).

Reduction of trash mobs. Two mobs that were patrolling through Repadis’s room have been removed. This makes dealing with the trash at the beginning of the dungeon easier and less dynamic.

Boss levels. Whereas formerly bosses had various levels from 81 to 83, now they are all level 82.

[Update: according to the 4.1.6 patch notes, the changes in boss HP were unintentional and have now been reverted.]

Coils of Ubah Kan

August 14, 2013 18 comments

Shadow Spider Matriarch

She does poison damage and doesn’t seem to crit much.

The fight consists of 3 phases, each in its own room, but they are mostly similar.

Viscous Filigree = her main single target attack on the aggro holder.

Razor Web Spray = frontal cone, not very strong.

Venomous Condition = she casts it on a random player (see target’s target); from him it spreads a bit like Miasma in T3, so he should move away from others until it expires.

Webbing = puts a random player (see target’s target) in a cocoon; while there, he is stunned and is taking damage; the cocoon must be DPSed asap. This ability only appears in the third phase.

Lacerating Mesh = puts gray circles on the ground (on random positions, unrelated to players), which snare you and damage you — it’s best to doubletap out of them.

Every 25% one of the Nest Sacks (hanging spider nests) around the room becomes active and must be DPSed (it spawns trashmobs — Shadow Spiders — until it’s destroyed). The first nest sack becomes active when the boss is at 100%, the second at 75% and the third at 50%. In phase 1 there’s just one nest, in phase 2 there are two nests and in phase 3 there are all 3 nests.

The order in which the nests become active is fixed; in the third phase, the middle nest becomes active first, then the left one, and finally the right one.

Serpent Man Hierophant

He does physical damage and crits a little. The fire trails, blue smoke etc. do magical damage but you shouldn’t be getting hit by those things anyway.

– First phase:

During this phase he has a 200% deflection buff, so you won’t tank him or fight him.

He opens the left alcove and 2 adds appear; kill them asap (they can’t be CCed, unfortunately). Repeat this for the middle alcove and finally for the right alcove. After that, the first phase is over.

Meanwhile there will be big lines of blue smoke slowly moving around the room — you might have to move as well to avoid coming in touch with them, as they will do heavy damage on you. Ideally you would kill each pair of adds so quickly that the blue smoke doesn’t reach you. (Once the adds are dead, the smoke disappears.)

Likewise avoid the white and red trails that move around on the ground. More and more of these will spawn until you’re finished killing the adds — and these trails will remain active until the end of the fight (which is why you should hurry with the first phase, so that you’ll have as few trails as possible).

– Second phase:

Lots of adds (Rage Vapors) will spawn; these are slowly following the boss and they buff him if they are near him; they also do self-centered aoe damage.

So you should frequently kite the boss around the room to get him away from the Vapors; apart from that, just tank and spank him.</p

The white and red trails on the ground from the first phase are still here, make sure to avoid them. The alcoves are potentially useful as a safe spot, since the trails never go inside them.

This fight has an enrage timer of 8 minutes (for both phases); this shouldn’t be a problem except if most of your group is dead.

Serpent Man Genealogist

– First phase:

During this phase he has a 200% deflection buff, so you won’t tank him or fight him.

He spawns a Serpent Man Unknown Hybrid, which needs to be killed.

Plasma Syphon = the Hybrid occasionally channels this spell while targeting a random player; this player should break line of sight to stop the channelling.

Plasma Charge = the Hybrid gets this stacking buff, we thought it was due to allowing him to channel Plasma Syphon for too long, but sometimes he got stacks of it outside of Plasma Syphon as well.

Bio Plasma = large area aoe hit (poison damage), whose power repends on how many stacks of Plasma Charge the boss had. At 5 stacks (which is the max), my necro was hit for ~8000 points. You can avoid it by breaking line of sight, but it’s a quick-casting spell so you don’t have much time to move. It’s best to tank him near one of the little walls on the side of the room so that people can quickly move behind the wall when they have to break line of sight.

– Second phase:

After the Hybrid is dead, the Genealogist becomes attackable.

This isn’t even a tank and spank fight — it’s just a spank fight. The boss runs around like crazy and doesn’t attack players, he just spawns lots of minions. Kill the minions, follow the boss and DPS him.

– Third phase:

A new mob called Serpent Man Bio-Titan spawns.

He’s mostly just tank and spank. He does physical damage, hits pretty hard and crits quite a bit. He seems to hit harder and harder as the fight progresses, though the GUI doesn’t explicitly show any buff that might indicate this.

Occasionally he casts Defile Evolution, which spawns an Incubating Egg; kill this add as quickly as possible, as the Bio-Titan gets healed while the Egg is up.

If he runs out of eggs before you kill him, he will start targeting players during Defile Evolution; he heals up even more now (even if the targeted player breaks line of sight), and oneshots the targeted player at the end. At this point you’re pretty much guaranteed to wipe.

The Unknown

This is an optional boss, i.e. you don’t have to kill it to progress through the dungeon. If you stand at the bridge which stands near the rez pad and leads deeper into the dungeon, and if you have the rez pad on your right, the way to The Unknown is to your left. Dive into one of the pools and swim underwater to reach the boss. He does physical damage and crits a little.

Exodus = large-area aoe kb; as usually with knockbacks, doubletapping helps.

Withering = frontal cone aoe, move out of the cone (like Frost Whip in the Palace of Yun Rau) or you will get an annoying debuff.

Occasionally the boss walks 1 circle around the room with a buff called Doom Gaze. This gives him +200% damage mitigation, so your attacks would heal him during this phase, so don’t attack him.

But more importantly, any adds (Bats, Vampire Bats) or players that come into his frontal cone during Doom Gaze will give him a stacking buff which is also called Doom Gaze. These stacks remain on him for the rest of the fight and give him +5% damage per stack. Once he reaches 20 stacks, he gets +500% damage instead of +100% damage, and at that point he is going to pretty much two-shot tanks and oneshot anyone else.

So it’s important that you kill the bats before the boss would reach them with its Doom Gaze. The bats are of two kinds: Bats, which are solo mobs, and Vampire Bats, which are group mobs. In the middle of the room there is a walled-off area containing a gaseous particle effect (Suppression Gas). You should lead the Vampire Bats into this gas to DPS them, otherwise they will be healing up and will be impossible to kill. The normal bats can be killed where they are.

You should kill the bats near the entrance to the Suppression Gas area first, since those won’t be respawning. The bats on the opposite side of the room will be respawning frequently (and you have to keep kiling them).

Serpent Man Grand Vizier

Affectionately known as “the Disco boss”.

– General information:

The boss always stands in the middle of the room.

In the corners, there are four circles: Beryl (blue), Pearl (white), Emerald (green), Scarlet (red). Standing in a circle gives you a 20-second buff called X Aptitude, where X = Beryl, Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet. If you keep standing in a circle, the Aptitude buff won’t refresh continuously, but only after it expires. This also applies if you move to a different circle while still having the Aptitude from a previous circle; you will only get the new Aptitude after your old one expires.

Along two of the walls, there are smaller violet circles. Moving into the violet circle removes your current Aptitude buff immediately. This is useful if you need to quickly switch to a different Aptitude.

The Aptitude buff is extremely important if you want to DPS anything in this fight (more on this below). Pets do not currently get the Aptitude buffs. Thus you should absolutely not use pets in this fight. Remember that a DT’s Dread Shadow and Zone of Gluttony etc. are technically also pets. Do not use any of these things. Yes, I know one of your combos spawns the Zone of Gluttony. Do not use this combo.

– First phase:

The boss is invulnerable during this phase (Prismatic Shield; +200% damage mitigation), but there are four adds, called Holder of the X Light, where X = Beryl, Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet; each stands in the corresponding circle.

To attack an add, you need to have the Aptitude buff of the opposite color. The opposite means from the opposite side of the diagonal: red and blue are opposites; and green and white are also opposites.

If you attack an add without having the opposite Aptitude buff, you will take very heavy retributive damage (magic) and the add will heal up massively. To avoid trouble with that when your buff changes or expires, you shouldn’t use dots and retributive damage shields either. That includes Curse of Gwahlur, etc.

Meanwhile, the boss is doing Prismatic Aura (piercing damage aoe, pulsing all the time on the whole room), so everyone should gear up defensively. If you aren’t standing in one of the four colored circles, you will be taking another aoe (Spectrum).

When any of the four adds is dead, Prismatic Aura starts hitting much harder and will wipe the group quickly.

So you need to dps all the adds to a very low percentage first (e.g. 5%), then you need to send 4 players to finish them off all at the same time, each player going to one of the adds (and before that going to the opposite add to pick up the correct Aptitude buff of course).

There are various ways of organizing the group during this phase. It’s best if squishies are accompanied by a healer all the time. You can even have them wait by one of the circles while the tanks move around and DPS all four adds to 5%, then the squishies get involved only at the very end when all four adds are nearly dead and just need to be finished off. When you need to kill the 4 adds, you can send the tanks on one add each, and a squishy + healer on each of the other two adds.

– Second phase:

Once all four adds are down, the boss becomes attackable.

He has one of four possible buffs, called X Shield, where X = Pearl, Emerald, Scarlet, Beryl; you need to have the Aptitude buff of the opposite color to hit him, otherwise you’ll heal him up massively and take heavy retributive damage.

Aura Shift = he casts this every 20 sec and switches randomly to a different buff color.

So when you see him casting Aura Shift, stop hitting immediately. Seriously, just stop hitting. Yes, I know you’re tempted to finish your combo or spell or whatever. Just don’t do it. Stop hitting and move away from the boss. If you don’t know how to cancel your combos, learn how to do it. Otherwise you can keep doing this phase for hours and not get anywhere because you will be healing him up all the time by hitting him without the correct Aptitude buff.

Once you see his new buff color after Aura Shift, go to the circle of the opposite color to pick up the correct Aptitude buff. Remember that you might need to go to a purple circle to clear your old Aptitude first.

In my experience, the color always changes during Aura Shift, it never remains the same. This means that it’s a good idea to go to the other side of the room during Aura Shift because there’s a 2/3 chance that the new color will be on the other side than the old color and just a 1/3 chance that it will be on the same side.

During Aura Shift, the player that is farthest away from the boss gets a ruin called Aptitude Ruin. This ruin prevents him from getting any Aptitude buff (and he and people near him also take some damage when the ruin appears — Aura Burn, ~4k unholy damage). This is dangerous since if he doesn’t notice this and starts attacking the boss anyway, he will take retributive damage and heal the boss up. The ruin should be removed quickly by a healer with Steadfast Faith. One way of dealing it is to have a healer remain the farthest away from the boss during this phase, and other players remain closer to the boss, so that the healer gets the ruin and nobody except him gets hit by the Aura Burn. (A slightly more desperate way would be to have a healer standing in the middle by the boss, not taking any Aptitude buffs and not attacking the boss, just healing and removing ruins. So people with the ruin know where to go to get it removed, and then they can go pick up the correct Aptitude buff and start attacking the boss.)

At 75%, 50% and 25%, the boss temporarily ports upstairs (casts Phase) and starts a channeling aoe spell called X Bombardment, where X = Pearl, Emerald, Green, Scarlet. This aoe hits quite hard and you have to run to the circle of the matching color (not the opposite color!) to avoid it. So if he’s casting Pearl Bombardment, run to the white circle, etc. After he goes through all four bombardments (in random order), he comes back down and the fight resumes.

Note that when the boss comes back down, he has a color shield again, but the first thing he does is cast Aura Shift and switch to a different color. So you should wait to see the new color before picking any Aptitude buffs.

Serpent Man Omni-Prophet

(I don’t understand everything about this fight yet, so I might update this section when I learn more.)

– General information:

The fight takes place in a circular room, with the boss standing in the middle. Along the walls there are 6 murals, numbered clockwise: 1 = far right, 2 = middle right, 3 = near right, 4 = near left, 5 = middle left, 6 = far left. At various points during the fight, these murals become clickable; a player that clicks the mural gets transported into a separate room where he has to kill a few mobs, after which he gets a buff that will be important for the continuation of the fight. In fact you can have several players click (different) murals at the same time, they can fight the mobs together and at the end each of them will get the buff corresponding to the mural he clicked. The buffs are as follows:

1. Annals I: Dispatching the Living: makes you do a big amount of additional damage to the Serpent Men Warriors, just by standing near them.

2. Annals II: Point of Convergence: makes the boss lock aggro on you in the third phase; the aoe from Deliver Prophecy: Discovery will also be centered on you (instead of on the boss).

3. Annals III: Purging the Dead: allows you to destroy the Serpent Man Echo mobs.

4. Annals IV: Vengeance of Yig: if you stand in the floating light (which appears in the 2nd phase) while having this buff, you get a 5-second buff called Wrath of Yig (same icon as Test of Faith in the Leviathus encounter), which allows you to remove the boss’s shield in the second phase by standing near him. I don’t see much use for this buff as we don’t really DPS the boss before the third phase (after all the rifts etc. are removed).

5. Annals V: Reclamation Denied: allows you to remove Cosmic Rifts.

6. Annals VI: Invasion Repelled: allows you to uncharm players.

The boss’s primary attack is a single-target unholy nuke called Bad Omens, so the main tank should have good protection.

– First phase:

The tank aggroes the boss, who will move closer to the center of the room, where he will be tanked. A violet cloud appears on the ground; standing in it gives the tank a very useful buff called Unwelcome (+90% unholy invulnerability, +500% hate). Other players should stand behind the boss, outside of the cloud, so that they don’t get the hate buff. (There’s not much point in DPSing the boss in this phase as he’ll heal up later anyway.)

One of the players should click mural 6 (far left); possibly you can have another player click mural 4 (near left) at the same time. They will be ported to a separate room where they have to kill 6 trash mobs.

The players that are fighting the boss have to watch out for the following two abilities:

Chosen = the boss targets a random player while casting this. Everyone needs to be close to that player to avoid taking some damage. Thus, the tank should run to the other players by the 11 o’clock mural as well.

Forsaken = the boss targets a random player while casting this. The targeted player must move away from other players or they will take aoe damage from him.

This phase ends when the players that clicked the murals are finished fighting the mobs there and emerge back into the boss room.

If the player that clicked mural 6 comes out during the Chosen phase, and the chosen player isn’t standing near him, the mural-clicked might die from the aoe (which hits anyone that isn’t near the chosen one). To avoid this problem, it’s best if everyone stands next to mural 6 during the Chosen phases.

– Second phase:

Gather near the entrance of the room. The boss has a retributive damage shield during this phase, so don’t hit him.

Several players will get charmed; the player that clicked the far left mural (and therefore now has the Annals VI buff) must uncharm them by hitting them.

Murals 1 (far right) and 3 (near right) become clickable during this phase, so (after the first wave of chamrs) have two players to click these murals, one each. They will be ported to a separate room where they have to break some eggs.

After they come out, some trash mobs will start spawning, called Serpent Man Warriors (group mobs, they spawn two at a time); bring them together, CC them and kill them. The player that clicked the far right mural (and therefore now has the Annals I buff) should stand near them because his buff will do huge damage to them, so they die very quickly.

Several stationary mobs called Serpent Man Echos also appear around the edges of the room and heal the boss. The player that clicked the near right mural (and therefore now has the Annals III buff) should go around the room and destroy these mobs (probably by hitting them, or maybe just by being near them).

Eventually, murals 2 (middle right) and 5 (middle left) become clickable. Ideally these should be clicked by tanks. Clicking gets them teleported into a separate room where a group of mobs are slowly moving towards the Messenger, who stands in the middle. You have to either kill the mobs or the Messenger before the mobs reach him. When the clickers come out, the third phase begins.

Clicking mural 5 will give the player a buff with which to remove Cosmic Rifts (see below); in my experience, it’s useful if this is a tank, otherwise he is very likely to die while removing the rifts.

Clicking mural 2 will lock the boss’s aggro on that player in the third phase, so this has to be clicked by a tank. It also causes the AoE from ‘Deliver Prophecy: Discovery’ to be centered on that player.

Now, if you have one tank clicking mural 5 and one clicking mural 2, you will have both tanks inside the wall for a while and meanwhile the boss will aggro some other player in the main room. This can be hard to survive (use bubbles etc. if possible); there are various ways of ameliorating that. For example, you can have just one tank click his mural initially, then after a while, when he’s nearly finished inside, he calls the other tank to also click so that they will in the end both get their curresponding buffs, but there will be just a few seconds without a tank in the main room so the people there are more likely to survive. You could even dispense with clicking mural 2 altogether, though this makes it harder to deal with Deliver Prophecy: Discovery later (see below). Both of these solutions, especially the second one, require that the tank that is inside alone have good DPS so he can kill the Messenger quickly enough. Another possibility, I guess, is to have a non-tank clicking mural 5 so that a tank is available in the main room to have aggro of the boss (while the other tank, having clicked mural 2, is inside the wall).

– Third phase:

Several Cosmic Rifts spawn around the room; standing between them and the boss makes you take damage. The player that clicked the middle left mural (and therefore now has the Annals V buff) can destroy these rifts simply by touching them. It’s safest if this is a tank (but not the one that actually has aggro on the boss).

Infinite Discovery = when the boss casts this, the players should spread away from each other because at the end of the cast, each of them will do a hit of aoe damage. To make this easier, the tanks should run farther away and the squishies should stand relatively near to the entrance, and take care to not come between the boss and one of the rifts. Using the pillars along the walls of the room to break line of sight from other players also helps.

Make sure that the rifts near the entrance of the room are destroyed so that when people are moving around to spread in preparation for Infinite Discovery, they don’t have to run in front of any rift. The rifts occasionally respawn but eventually they stop respawning and the player with the Annals V buff can (and should) eventually destroy all of them.

Vision from the Beyond = puts a ruin on everyone, which needs to be removed quickly or it will give you a dot (Destruction of Humanity) that will kill you. So everyone should run back to the entrance and stand in front of the healer, who will remove the ruin. The ruin (Visions of Ruin) needs to be removed before it expires (it lasts 8 seconds from the start of the cast). (Note: a red crystal appears in front of the boss during this spell, and at the end of the cast there is a big aoe hit around it. So it’s a good idea to huddle up at the entrance of the room to make sure you’re out of the range of this aoe.)

Deliver Prophecy: Discovery = a large-area aoe attack centered around the player who has the buff from mural 2; so this player must run away from others before the cast is finished. If nobody took mural 2, the aoe will be centered on the boss, which means that squishy players should be near the walls at the end of this cast to avoid being hit.

Initially you can’t afford to have anyone go near the boss because this will put him in line between the boss and the rifts, and he will therefore take lots of damage. (You can still hit the boss from range during this time.) Once all the rifts are removed (and stopped respawning), people can go within melee range of the boss and fight him normally. Now it’s just a tank and spank fight, but you still have to deal with the Infinite Discovery and Vision from the Beyond all the time, as described above — spread to the walls during Infinite Discovery (and during plain Discovery if you’re squishy), and then return back to the boss so you can remove the ruin during Vision from the Beyond.

Trash mobs

Some of them are a bit nasty. Most of them can and should be CCed, at which point they aren’t particularly hard to kill. The whining about the amount of trash on the testlive forum seems greatly exaggerated. Besides, they drop items that you have to collect for some of the quests; some of them occasionally even drop purple loot.

Lots of the initial trash mobs (before you get to the spider boss) can be skipped by jumping down on your right side as soon as you enter the dungeon.

Dominated Excavator: very slow mob, has a ranged (?) ability that hits very hard and might even oneshot some people; kite him, DPS him from range and break line of sight if needed.

Serpent Man Toxin Keeper: casts a self-centered red circle on the ground (Flesh-bane Potion); move out of it to avoid a big hit. You can also CC him.


A curious structure after the final boss room.