Games Day '09: An overview of the Land of the Dead, pt. 2


All of this culminates in the Tomb of the Vulture Lord, a massively long dungeon filled with 7 public (in this case, your group) quests and 8 unique bosses. Between these events are your standard trash pulls, but there are also rooms filled with Indiana Jones-esque traps. For example, one hallway is littered with swinging pendulum blades while another has columns that shoot darts. Three people need to successfully clear these action/movement oriented traps so they can be shut down for other players to pass. Even to get into the instance you need to complete a public quest "puzzle" that involves your group attempting to open the doors of the tomb. Also... the final boss battle... let's just say that it won't be the last time you'll be seeing the king once you defeat him. You'll see him again very, very soon.

Finally, there's the infamous "purge" mechanic that occurs when the Land of the Dead changes hands over to the opposing realm. As mentioned before, when the zone changes hands, the prior owners lose the right to respawn. They will be alerted of the switch in ownership, but they will not be kicked out of the zone. Their new task will be to defend themselves as the new realm recieves quests to purge the enemy from the public quests and destroy the other realm's base camp on the other side of the map. Purging the enemy gives lots of experience and rewards, so it's a very lucrative thing to do, especially as you have free respawns and your enemy doesn't.

"Mythic has built in a purge mechanic for the instances as well -- giving the enemy the option to invade your instances while you're still in them."

At this point, smart players are thinking they can hide in the various instanced lairs and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord. Wrong. Mythic has built in a purge mechanic for the instances as well -- giving the enemy the option to invade your instances while you're still in them. Don't think of trying to do cooperative realm dungeon clears either, because the minute your enemy hits your boss, he'll no longer reward experience or loot. Dungeon crawling players will be informed that their instance has been invaded by the enemy, and they'll recieve the new objective of "survive for X minutes" while the other players have the sole objective of "destroy all enemy players."

If you're invading the Tomb of the Vulture Lord, beware! Defenders may not be able to respawn, but they do have the ability to reset the traps they've cleared in the dungeon! Players who progress further will be able to reset more traps to bide time against the invasion, allowing them to continue to clear bosses while the invading enemies wiggle their way through the traps littered in the instance.

Finally, it all comes down to loot. Land of the Dead will be offering loot that will be on par with and a little below the endgame gear offered in city sieges. This will come from drops, but it will also come from the various tokens that will be dropped by literally everything in the zone, from public quests to players. The big change comes with the new sigil system that's going to now encompass the prior ward system.

Wards will now be pieced together to form character-centric sigils, which are placed inside of the Tome of Knowledge instead of on the armor itself. These sigils are always active, no matter what armor you're wearing, eliminating the need to carry the right wards on the right parts. Prior players who are loaded with ward gear, do not fret! Your wards will combine together to form sigils right off of the bat, so you won't be outdated when the new system hits. Even if you don't have the right wards to get a sigil, you can now unlock "pieces" of the ward by completing achievement objectives, like defeating a boss that would give you that piece of ward armor X times. So even if it never drops for you, you'll still get it eventually.

Overall, the Land of the Dead is a very active zone with much going on inside of it and for it. Token drop system, new sigils, action oriented design, and crazy RvR objectives are simply a gloss over what this place has going on inside of it. Come back later in the day, when I'll be speaking on my direct experiences with the "dungeon zone" and what I enjoyed inside of it. WAAAGGGHHH!!
The sands of the Tomb Kings are coming as the final release in the Call to Arms live expansion, the Land of the Dead approaches! Massively has your back with coverage from Mythic Entertainment at Games Day '09, so get your WAAGGGHHH ready for RvR mayhem as Massively re-arms for WAR!
This article was originally published on Massively.