Exclusive: Aion's Beshmundir Temple goes hard mode

Assault on Balaurea has been a part of Aion for nearly two months now. Are you getting bored yet? If you feel like you've done all of the new content so much that it's a snooze, get ready for a new challenge.

Beshmundir Temple is going into hard mode. Aion developers have been hard at work on this for a long time, and they've prepared a huge guide for the PowerWiki. You'll find advice, walkthroughs, details on the named bosses, and much more.

The guide will be released next week, but Massively got an exclusive look at it ahead of time. We've formatted it all up into a handy overview for you, so follow along after the jump for a look at what Beshmundir Temple hard mode has to offer!

"Beshmundir Temple: Normal Mode? Puh-leeze, I snored my way all the way to Stormwing, and then the scallywag didn't drop a thing I wanted! Give me a challenge worthy of my talent...and throw in some loot too!"

You wanted new challenges? You wanted loot? You GOT IT!

Enter Beshmundir Temple: Hard Mode, the cure for the common dungeon! Witness Macunbello make a meal of unsuspecting souls, Virhana dish out enough damage to choke a black hole, and Stormwing subsist on the tears, cries, and sorrows of foolish Daevas.

In addition to more challenging encounters, Named Monsters in Beshmundir Temple: Hard Mode have increased drop rates, and drop new items including Eternal grade weapons, armor, and accessories!

Beshmundir Temple Lore

The Beshmundir Temple is a series of catacombs constructed under direct orders from Dragon Lord Tiamat. The Temple was built as a memorial to fallen Balaur warriors, and is filled with sacred remains and relics from some of the strongest Balaur of the past. Graves of Balaur heroes are scattered throughout the Beshmundir Temple in crypts, vaults, courtyards, and gardens, and within the walls, Balaur priests hold ceremonies and conduct sacred rights.

While on the surface Beshmundir Temple seems like naught but a memorial, there are whispers that something darker and far more sinister lurks deep within its catacombs. Scouting reports indicate that Tiamat's strongest warriors guard the Temple, and the Laksyaka Legion, which consists of some of the most fearsome Balaur in all creation, is stationed there as well.

Forces of such power are unwarranted for a location of low strategic importance, but there must be a purpose for their presence. It is up to brave Daevas to discover that purpose. Penetrate the Temple's defenses, evade the traps, and discover what Tiamat so desires to protect.

Beshmundir Temple Walkthrough: Hard Mode

This walkthrough will cover Beshmundir Temple: Hard Mode, and will focus on strategies for defeating the Named Monsters. To enter Hard Mode, the Group Leader must choose the "Perilous Path" when prompted at the Beshmundir Temple Entrance. The "Safe Path" leads to Beshmundir Temple: Normal Mode, which is less difficult, but has decreased drop rates and inferior loot.

Named Monsters 1-10 can be accessed during the standard progression of the Instanced Dungeon, or, in some cases, by defeating other Named Monsters that fall within numbers 1-10. In order to access Named Monsters 1a-1e, players will need to acquire and complete different steps of a Quest chain. While reading this guide, players will come across references to damage. For example, a Named Monster may have one skill that inflicts "massive damage", and another skill that inflicts "fatal damage". Because there is disparity in how much damage players will take from various attacks based on their class and equipment, the chart below has been created for reference. Please keep in mind that all "damage" values are estimates.

(Beshmundir's Walk and the Gate of Repose -- Normal Mode, above; Hard Mode, below)

Players will begin at Beshmundir's Walk, a corridor with a switchback that leads to the Gate of Repose. On Hard Mode, Normal Monsters (also known as Trash Monsters) will be more abundant, thus it will take more time to clear to each Named Monster. Captain Lakhara protects the Gate of Repose, and is Beshmundir Temple's first Named Monster. Only by defeating Captain Lakhara will players be able to access the rest of Beshmundir Temple.

Named Monster 1: Captain Lakhara (aka the noob grinder)

Captain Lakhara is the first boss of Beshmundir Temple, and is designed to filter out Groups that are not prepared for the rest of the dungeon. If Groups have trouble with Captain Lakhara, or flat out cannot defeat him, it's a fair assumption that the rest of Beshmundir Temple will be even more difficult.

On Hard Mode, this encounter requires a Cleric and a Chanter; Captain Lakhara's burst damage combined with the healing debuff he applies is too much for a single healer to absorb. Lakhara's damage increases for all of his attacks on Hard Mode.

Captain Lakhara will begin the fight with a Conqueror's Strike. This attack inflicts massive damage, and reduces the effect of healing on the target for 30 seconds. Lakhara will use this attack about once per 15 seconds, so expect it to be on the tank for most of the encounter.

Throughout the fight Captain Lakhara will raise his hands into the air and yell "Face my wrath!". This signals that he is about to use Spinning Smash. Prior to Spinning Smash, Lakhara will use Divine Grasp to pull all targets in range towards him.

Captain Lakhara will then attack with 3 back to back Spinning Smash attacks, which will hit all targets in melee range. Lakhara tends to follow up the Spinning Smash attacks with a Conqueror's Strike. In addition to a high amount of initial damage, Spinning Smash also applies a damage over time effect to the target that lasts 15 seconds.

This is the most dangerous part of the encounter for the tank, as the effect of healing will be reduced from Conqueror's Strike, and Spinning Smash can cause a lot of damage. To mitigate some of the damage from Spinning Smash, the tank can take the first Spinning Smash, and then move out of range while Lakhara winds up for the following two. The entire Group is advised to use their best judgment to move out of range before Lakhara yells "Face my wrath!" to avoid Divine Grasp and the subsequent Spinning Smash attacks.

Lakhara will also use Seal of Victory from time to time, which raises his Evasion rate making him harder to hit. This buff can be dispelled by a Spiritmaster's Dispel Magic.

For the duration of the encounter it's important that all heals are focused on the tank, and DPS goes all out on Captain Lakhara. Make sure to pour on extra heals when Lakhara uses Spinning Smash to ensure that the tank stays alive.

When Captain Lakhara drops below 20% HP, he will start using Certain Doom. Before unleashing this attack, a system message will display "Captain Lakhara is preparing his final strike!". This attack can kill a tank in one hit, therefore, once Captain Lakhara reaches 20% it's important to finish him as fast as possible, and for the tank to help soak the damage with any skills at their disposal.

Once Captain Lakhara is defeated, the gate behind him will open.

Captain Lakhara's Skills

Oracular Chamber

Once Captain Lakhara is defeated, it is possible to fight the next 9 boss monsters in whichever order. However, The Soulcaller is located in the Oracular Chamber, which is adjacent to the Gate of Repose. There is a Quest chain to access the true final boss of Beshmundir Temple, Stormwing, and one of the first steps of that Quest is associated with defeating The Soulcaller. In order to access the Oracular Chamber and The Soulcaller, players will need to be on the appropriate step of the Quest. If players have not completed or acquired the Stormwing Quest chain, and thus cannot access The Soulcaller, Manadar in the Crypt of the Vanquished is a wise alternative.

Named Monster 1a: The Soulcaller

The Soulcaller has two abilities that can cause instant death to those who do not pay close attention, but these fatal abilities are simple to counter. In addition, the Soulcaller on Hard Mode is almost identical to The Soulcaller on Normal Mode; Hard Mode Soulcaller just hits a bit harder.

The Soulcaller will begin the fight with an Earthly Retribution. This skill will inflict fatal damage to one player, but can be interrupted with silence, which almost necessitates the presence of a Ranger or Assassin.

The Soulcaller also uses Punishment; a shield which reflects 200% of the damage dealt back at the attacker, and lasts 5 seconds. When The Soulcaller begins casting Punishment, it's essential that all damage stop until the buff wears off.

Throughout the encounter, The Soulcaller will fear players using Curse of the Legion, which lasts 2 seconds. Curse of the Legion may interrupt heals or tanking from time to time, but shouldn't have a huge impact on the outcome of the encounter.

The Soulcaller's Skills

The Twisting Passage and the Crypt of the Vanquished

Once Captain Lakhara is defeated, players have access to Manadar and most of Beshmundir Temple's Named Monsters. Manadar is located in the Crypt of the Vanquished, and is one of the easiest to reach from Captain Lakhara.

To reach Manadar, exit the Gate of Repose from the door that opened after Captain Lakhara was defeated, turn right, then take an immediate left and follow the stairs down. At the bottom of this area is the Acheron Mire, and to the right is the Crypt of the Vanquished. Bhemah stands watch in front of the corridor that leads to Manadar. Follow the corridor to its end to find Manadar himself.

Named Monster 2: Manadar

Manadar is a standard "Ranger" class monster; he will use ranged attacks, drop traps, and attempt to slow the tank with Hobbling Slash and decrease their maximum HP with Hit Vital Spot.

In theory, Hard Mode Manadar isn't all that different from Normal Mode Manadar. Hard Mode Manadar drops Shock Traps more often, and uses Hit Vital Spot, while Normal Mode Manadar drops Explosive Traps more often, and is not able to use Hit Vital Spot. However, in execution, the frequency and severity of the Shock Traps make Hard Mode Manadar a great deal more difficult.

This encounter is less healing intensive on the tank than Captain Lakhara, but there is a potential for more area of effect damage to the Group.

Manadar will begin the fight with Auspicious Spur, which decreases the tank's evasion rate (nothing too heinous). He will also start using Hit Vital Spot, which lowers the tank's maximum HP. Throughout the fight Manadar will use Hobbling Slash on the tank to slow their movement speed. Since there's no need to move Manadar around, Hobbling Slash doesn't seem like a huge issue.

However, Manadar will drop traps, which the tank will want to avoid when possible. The Explosion Trap will deal moderate damage in its area of effect, while the Shock Trap will deal a similar amount of damage and cause knockdown. The Shock Traps will keep the tank on their back for most of the fight if not avoided, so it's imperative to keep an eye on the ground. The Cleric should be able to heal the tank through the traps, but other melee damage dealers should avoid all traps when possible.

On Hard Mode, Manadar will use the Shock Trap often, dropping three to four at a time throughout the fight; Manadar will use Explosion Trap less frequently. Ranged classes and healers should bunch up and remain at max range from Manadar. Use area of effect spells and attacks to destroy traps that appear near the ranged and healers.

While Manadar's damage is nothing compared to Captain Lakhara, it can be a lot to keep up with when paired with traps, so avoid and destroy them when possible.

Manadar's Skills

The Acheron Mire and Macunbello's Refuge

To reach the Acheron Mire, head back to the Twisting Passage from the Crypt of the Vanquished, and turn right, then proceed to the dock where the Plegeton Boatman awaits.

To get to Macunbello, players will need to cross three islands. The Plegeton Boatmen will offer to ferry players across. On these islands are several Normal Monsters, as well as an Elite Brutal Soulwatcher. Killing the Brutal Soulwatcher releases the soul of a Plegeton Boatman, who will provide passage to the next island. Killing the normal monsters on the island weakens Macunbello.

To begin the Macunbello encounter, speak to the Plegeton Boatman on the dock near Calike. Be advised, falling in the water here is a bad thing, and tends to result in instant death. The boatman will provide passage to the first island. Players will have about 4 minutes 45 seconds to engage Temadaro, Macunbello's Guardian, who patrols the shore leading to Macunbello's Refuge. Once Temadaro is engaged Macunbello will remain.

On each island it's important to engage and defeat as many of the normal monsters as possible, in addition to the Brutal Soulwatcher. Area of effect skills come in handy to defeat the Normal Monsters. Remember, there's a time limit, so balance defeating the Normal Monsters with reaching Macunbello in time.

Depending on the number of Normal Monsters defeated, Macunbello will be stronger or weaker. If none of the Normal Monsters are defeated, Macunbello will deal colossal damage with his Shockwave and Tide of Darkness abilities, and Shockwave is an area of effect skill that can hit the entire Group. If all the monsters are defeated, Macunbello will deal less damage.

Named Monster 3: Macunbello

Macunbello will begin the fight with the Devour Soul buff, which makes him invincible for a short time. Because it will be hard for a tank to build threat while this is happening, try to limit healing while the buff is active.

Once the Devour Soul debuff disappears, Macunbello can be engaged. Macunbello will cast Absorb Energy of Darkness on the tank, which will drain their MP. He will also use Tide of Darkness to deal area of effect damage to the Group, and Shockwave which will hit the tank.

On Hard Mode, it's important that the Group hide behind the pillars and line of sight Macunbello's Tide of Darkness skill while the tank is tanking Macunbello.

Soon after the fight begins, Macunbello will start spawning additional monsters called Macunbello's Right Hand. These monsters appear near the tombstones in the corner of the room, and begin casting Curse of Souls, which will turn the targeted player into a soul for 15 seconds and cause them to flee in terror. Curse of Souls has a long cast time, and Macunbello's Right Hands don't have much HP, so it's best to kill them as fast as possible.

If a player becomes afflicted with Curse of Souls, Macunbello can use Devour Soul on them, which will inflict fatal damage and give Macunbello the Devour Soul buff which makes him invincible and increases his statistics for a short time. Devour Soul is a bad thing, so be sure to kill Macunbello's Right Hands with all haste.

Macunbello's Skills

Macunbello's Right Hand's Skills

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