Into the Tomb
So now's our chance to get back into the Imperial Tomb. I know that despite my best intentions, I didn't travel into those Shugo vaults nearly as many times as I wanted to the last time they were available. Whereas my lack of runs was a matter of a lack of time on my part, for many other newer players it was a matter of being too low-level to enter. Unfortunately, my other request
of making the instance scale to more levels didn't come to pass (although I did pitch it again to Orlikowski at GDC
On a positive note, at least folks have had a couple of months to add some more levels if they were too low before. And as long as players level better than I have lately, there's a good chance they can experience the Imperial Tombs this time around. Still just a tad too low? Well, you've got three weeks to get your chance to test your luck with some Imperial loot; the event lasts until maintenance on June 12th. Debating whether the loot (or your chances of getting it) are worth the bother? Check out my first trip into the instance and see what I took away from it.
Working for your loot
All ready and able to go? Nothing about the instance has changed from its first run in Atreia, so if you remember running it last March, then you're golden. If not, then here's the lowdown on the instance itself.
Daevas level 51 and above will band together in groups of two or three and enter the instance via the quest given by the Shugos placed in various cities, such as Sanctum, Pandaemonium, Ingisson, and Gelkmaros. Once inside, Daevas are transformed into Shugos. That's right -- you trade your wings for fur (although to be fair, Asmodians already have fur on their backs). The group must then complete the entirety of the instance, which consists of three rounds of tower defense, in that form and with only the special Shugo skills! Group make-up doesn't matter as everyone is equalized in Shugo form.
Groups that succeed in defeating the boss in the third stage will get either gold, silver, or bronze tags that will allow each Deava entrance into a special vault (gold being the best vault, of course) to select treasure chests to open. Sean's super tips and tricks
Since Daevas can enter the Imperial Tombs only once per day (the cool-down timer resets every morning at 10 a.m. EDT, although this can be circumvented by purchasing cool-down timer reset scrolls), you'll want to make the most of each trip. To do that, follow these helpful hints offered by the Daeva-of-All-Trades himself:
1. Set loot to free for all.
The instance can get chaotic very quickly. By setting loot to free-for-all, you help make sure that you're not leaving valuable consumables on the enemy corpses because the looter is off somewhere else.
2. Create a designated skill bar.
You will gain a total of five special abilities to use in the instance, and there are four different consumables that you can find inside. Having these nine things on a dedicated skill bar will greatly improve your response time.
3. Get in position BEFORE you press go.
Each stage has two or three basic lanes that the enemies spawn from and move along. Have two party members in position at the spawn point while the third starts the stage. This saves valuable time running toward the enemies.
4. Run speed counts!
Your abilities, attacks, and damage are all regulated by the instance skills, but you can still improve your response time by wearing run speed boots and using run speed scrolls!
5. Stop what you're doing and kill the spirits!
Yes, even if you're looting that boss you just killed, stop and kill the spirits. Spirits appear in between waves and have a high chance of dropping consumables. They appear almost immediately after a wave dies, and they disappear shortly after, so your group must be fast!
6. Designate a person for healing, chilling, and shielding. Pick one person for each consumable type. There's no limit to how fast you can use the instance items (Chill, Heal, DP fillers), and in the chaos it is very easy to double up on using these items, essentially wasting one. Think of it as adding roles to the instance -- healer, CC, tank. When the loot roll window pops up, simply pass on the items that aren't for your designated role! The healer is in charge of healing the middle turret when it falls below 50%, the CC is in charge of using chill when the number of enemies on your towers start to get overwhelming, and the tank is in charge of using DP to shield the main tower when it is under heavy attack. Note that the CC and tank should switch off so that valuable shield time isn't wasted while enemies are frozen.
7. Middle tower takes priority.
The side towers can be effective for holding off enemy waves while you fight, but the stage doesn't end until the middle tower falls. Use your own judgment on whether or not to use heals or shields on the outer towers, but always make sure you stop enemies attacking the middle tower first. If that falls, the stage will end! During stages two and three, some enemies will spawn in the middle lane and attack the main tower directly, bypassing the outer ones. Be ready for them!
8. Doom. DOOOOM!
Shugo Doom does the most single-target damage out of any of your abilities. Use it every time it is up and try to target an enemy with a high amount of health remaining.
9. Brand the tower.
Have your group leader mark the middle tower with one of the brand symbols that you have a hotkey for. This will make it very easy to select during the chaos for that emergency shield or heal.
The final piece of advice is admittedly a plug for the BlackCloud Marketplace
, but it could very well come in handy for those who find themselves with too many treasure chests and not enough keys... and no willpower to leave them unopened. After all, you never know what awesome treasure may be in the one you left behind.
10. We deliver... anywhere!
The Shugos are grateful for your help and are willing to let you take some of their treasures using the keys you've found... but they're also businessnyerks! After you've mastered your skills and have managed to enter one of the secret treasure rooms, remember that the Zephyr Delivery Shugos deliver anywhere in Atreia -- even lost and forgotten tombs! If you've run out of keys and want to open more of the chests, simply head over to the Black Cloud Marketplace and send yourself some more. Before you go
While that's definitely a great list, I'd add just one more hint (and anyone who's seen my run through the instance will certainly understand this one): Empty your cube before entering! Yes folks, major ancient crowns do not stack, and unless you have a boatload of available space, you may find opening chests to be torture when you're deciding which old treasures to delete to make room for the new ones.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a cluttered cube to clear out and not enough time to do it! Perhaps we'll bump furry elbows come next week. See you, Shugos! Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down biweekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.