Introduction to Tier 1 Raiding
the beginning there was Everquest.
And from this void emerged the Raid.
And it was good.
Since the early days of MMORPGs raids have been the endgame; that place where all players gravitate to once they have achieved the maximum number of levels and are looking to do something more challenging. Raids come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and Age of Conan (AoC) is no exception.
AoC actually has two types of raids. The Player vs Player (PvP) raids take the form of siege warfare (both offense and defense), the basics of which were covered in an article by Martuk. In this article I will only cover the basics of the 2nd type of raid; PvE raiding. I will not be covering any strategy, but there will be some tips at the end.
The PvE raids in AoC are in three distinct tiers, each tier needing to have a particular event completed before the next tier may be attempted. Tier 1 has four bosses in three separate zones.
While there is no particular order in which you need to tackle the four bosses I am going to go through them in the order I recommend that you attempt them. My recommendation is based on three arbitrary factors; difficulty, gear, and necessity.
Disclaimer: I would like to submit two quick disclaimers here. First, raiding is still very much a work-in-progress in AoC. These bosses have been rebalanced several times since launch and will most likely undergo changes in the future, so remain flexible. Second, I do not consider myself omniscient in terms of AoC raiding. I am just a guy in a great guild who has taken down these bosses many times in the last couple of months and is sharing some information. All of you who know more than myself about T1 raiding are welcome to post away to correct any errors I have may have made.
None of the Tier 1 bosses are very difficult for a full team of coordinated players who communicate well. Each boss has been taken down with less than a full raid, but as they say, the more the merrier. Therefore, I recommend you have a full raid if for no other reason than efficiency. It is very possible to take down all four T1 bosses during a solid raiding session of 4+ hours. Each boss (except the Champion) also has adds (additional monsters) which take a varying degree of coordination to handle.
Gear is important in AoC. All four bosses can be taken down with good players who have standard green gear. However, taking the time to gear-up and acquire as many blue pieces of gear as possible will definitely improve your chances. Crafted gear is very good for most classes and indispensable for main tanks so farming gems can be very beneficial.
By completing the easier bosses and getting the purple gear they drop, you should find your more difficult bosses easier to defeat.
Note: To get to Tier 2 raiding you must have one of Vistrix's teeth. This makes killing her necessary.
This zone is found in the Field of the Dead and the POI is shown in the upper right hand corner of the zone at (1228,920). It has the distinct honor of being the only Tier 1 raid zone with 2 bosses. As far as I know, there are no quests associated with this zone currently.
When you enter Kyllikkis Crypt it looks like well, a crypt! Dark, dank walls. Ancient pillars. You get the idea.
This zone is very small, with only four rooms. However, there are quite a few mobs here and they are all in groups. Be very careful pulling these groups, as each type of mob has a different set of attributes. I will give you one hint here; watch the spell guards closely.
After you have cleared the first room, the second room holds a large number of evil groups and the Champion of the Honorguard. The Champion can be killed in a variety of ways and is a simple fight, making him an alternate for a first raid.
This is where I should probably make mention of the fact that raid bosses have unique spells. Some are only dangerous to a single person and some to the entire group. There are even some that are insidious and do what you would not expect. Watch for these spells and learn what they do.
Once you have killed the Champion and cleared out the following rooms ( I recommend you clear everything because these mobs have a chance of dropping epic belts) you will come to a large chamber containing Kyllikki. Do not worry, this is a small zone and there is no way to take a wrong turn or get lost.
There are many ways to kill Kyllikki. None of them are the right way but having a Necromancer around sure does not hurt (shout-out to my undead brethren).
This zone is found in Atzels Approach and is marked as a POI in the upper left hand corner of the map called The Lair at (353,859). It is actually fairly hard to find, as there is only one way up and you might miss it if you are not looking.
There are four main quests that end with Vistrix. The first is for Vistrix Bane (more on that in a moment). The second is from King Conan and upon completion gives you the rank of Black Dragon and an epic cloak. The third is for Vistrix's crown. The fourth will give you Vistrixs tooth; which is needed to move on to Tier 2 raiding.
To get there, head to the middle of the zone towards Atzels tower, but just before you cross the moat into Atzels tower take a left, heading up the mountain through a passage in the ice walls. Watch out for the roaming mobs, head West over the bridge, and climb down the long ladder.
Note: 300 climbing was required to climb down at one time, so if you have trouble using the ladder you may want to increase your climbing skill.
Ah, the final Tier 1 raid. What could be more appropriate than a Dragon?
Enter the lair and you will be in a small staging area. Go down the stairs and the path branches left and right. These paths each go through a few rooms, creating an oval with Vistrixs Lair at the apex. If you are going straight for Vistrix you only need to clear one side or the other. If you are trying to get the Vistrix Bane then you will need to clear both sides. The mobs in here are some of the most FEARful mobs in the game. I highly recommend having a few Necromancers in the raid, as their pets are immune to fear and will stay on the target while everyone else is running around like a bunch of ninnies.
Vistrix can definitely be defeated without this item. However, having Vistrixs Bane to use on your tank makes the fight smoother than Angelina Jolies newly oiled bottom.
Black Dragon Cloak
|This one is straight forward. King Conan will give you a final task to prove your worthiness to join the elite Black Dragons. Once you kill Vistrix go back to him and receive your reward.|
|Kurtz Mandros (284,266) gives you this quest. After you have killed Vistrix everyone who has this quest can grab Vistrixs crown from the chest and turn it into Kurtz for a little silver. Unfortunately, Funcom has not put in an item reward for this achievement.|
Once Vistrix is dead, a totem will appear in the front of the cave where you fight him. Each person can take a turn clicking on this totem and getting a tooth. Take the tooth back to a Char in Kheshetta City and you will start on a series of quests that will keep you on the move for a while.
Tip: set your bind point in Kheshetta, as you will be returning many times.
When you are all done you should have 9 quests (Tier 2 and Tier 3) for Black Ring Citadel.
Welcome to Tier 2 raiding!!
To see what loot is available from each of the four bosses I would recommend looking at this link:
- When traveling in a large group on horseback be careful. Horses have an oddly large collision circumference and it is quite easy to knock guildies off of bridges and paths.
- If possible, have at least one of each type of class on the raid. I know everyone would fill their raids with just Necros if they could, but try to mix it up a bit. It is not uncommon to have all of the loot drops belong to one particular class (damn you Ragnar) and since it is Bind on Equip you cannot give it to someone who is not there. A puppy dies somewhere every time a piece of epic gear sits and rots.
- Make sure that your entire team is assembled before you go into any of the zones because there are sometimes challenges with lockout timers and getting everyone into the same instance of the zone.
- Let the raid leader go in first especially if anyone in the raid has been in the zone within the last week.
- Once a boss is killed, everyone who was there for the event is supposed to be locked out of that zone for a week. Funcom has changed how this works a few times, so play with it a bit.
- Before entering the zone have everyone reboot their computer. Some of the zones are notoriously bad at crashing people; which puts them outside of the zone until the fight is complete. This is particularly annoying when you kill the boss and someone cannot get back in and get credit.
- Make sure that people who do not have high level systems turn off particle effects, adjust settings to medium or low, and set shaders to 2.0.
- Have everyone bring (and use) lots of food and mana drinks (if necessary) and stamina drinks (if necessary). Have them stack up on HP/mana/stam potions. The vendor in Kheshetta is a great place to buy cheap high level food, drinks and pots. Alchemists can make food with the best stats and alchemist food will also last 4 hours (even when you die).
- If you are having trouble visit the AoC forums for ideas.
Well, that sums it up. Good luck and have fun!
Notleh the Necromancer
Brotherhood of the Spider
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