I’m sure you Xboxers are all excited about the Rise of Tiamat release and to make the start for you as smooth as possible, I compiled some interesting information about the newest expansion. Be warned, it’s a massive spoiler alert and it’s entirely based on the PC version, which might or might not be what you’ll be seeing on your console later today.
Our Ratings Calculator by the way is already ready for Tiamat, any new gear can be selected and previewed there.
The Well of Dragons & Campaign Extension
The new zone with a 10k gear score requirement offers a variety of daily quests, three per day, which grants Cult Secrets and Dragon Sigil for the old ToD campaign as well as the new currency Dragon Fang that is needed for the campaign extension. You don’t however need to progress through or finish the campaign to have access to the new Tiamat Heroic Encounter.
In the Well of Dragons there are many new Heroic Encounters that drop the campaign currencies Dragon Hoard Coins, Dragon Hoard Coffers and the new Artifact Gear. The major encounters (3-5 players recommended) do drop BoE versions of the new Artifact Cloaks, but the drop rate is so low that on PC they never really have been farmed. The biggest challenge from those was “Cover of Night”, because the boss is invincible and people didn’t get you need to collect Motes of Midnight from the Evokers first to make him vulnerable. Here’s a video how to do it.
What people did farm excessively until today are the epic Draconic Heralds, dragons like those you know from the ToD campaign areas. All major and epic Heroic Encounter are on a timer and the Heralds spawn at :45 each hour for ten minutes. On PC players gather at the green dragon and zerg down one dragon after another. On top of Dragon Hoard Coins and Coffers, the Heralds drop a lot of refining points for Artifact Gear in form of Resonance Stones and the new Artifact Belts.
Zerging the Heralds sadly has always been a lag fest to say the least. People were suggesting that certain spells like the Cleric’s Astral Seal would cause it, but that could never really been proven and probably the game just isn’t as great handling so many players in one place. It might help however to not use proc and DoT heavy spells.
Temple of Tiamat Encounter
On the top of each hour you can enter the Temple for five minutes and fight the goddess in a Heroic Encounter that lasts 20 minutes at max. On PC we refuse to call this one a raid, because it really isn’t. One reason is that you can’t premade the fight. Even if you enter the Temple as a group, there is no guarantee you land in the same instance and can fight together. What you can do is try to interact with the door at the exact same time so that you directly line up behind each other and might be thrown into the same instance. But the queue also fills vacant spots of earlier instances in case players have left, so it’s really random.
What makes the system annoying is that the 10k gear score is really low for the fight (13k+ is highly recommended) and high-end players are forced to carry the lowbies (or even afkers), because they can’t team up with equally geared players. Because of that custom Tiamat channels formed on PC, most of them with a gear score requirement much greater than 10k (up to 18k), in which one caller would announce a time at which the group enters the Temple.
The strategy for the fight itself is rather easy. In the first phase, you kill summoners and gather Soul Gems that grant temporary immunity against on type of dragon AoE attack. Focus on getting green and blue gems and some red ones, white and black are not needed as much. After that, two phases alternate. You first have to protect three Clerics from attacking minions. The Clerics slowly charge spells, but only do so if unhindered. So the key is not necessarily to kill the mobs as fast as possible, but keep them away from the Clerics. As melee you should never fight on top of the Clerics, draw aggro and back off or use CC to push them away. That’s the most effective, because fastest way, to complete the phase. You need the most players at the cleric in the middle, but everybody should pay attention where help is needed the most, because the phase only completes if all Clerics are fully charged at the same time.
If that’s done you can approach the heads and attack them for two minutes. The best strategy seems to be zerging down the heads like the Heralds. Meaning all players rotate from the black head on the left to the white head on the right (it’s black -> green -> red -> blue -> white from left to right). Here’s also when the Soul Gems come into play, because every head has a massive AoE breath that’s hitting the whole plateau you are fighting on. Players need to activate the proper gems to get immunity or risk a wipe. The black breath however is ‘only’ a debuff and the white breath a freeze that can easily be avoided, so black and white gems are generally not taken. Players with dodge can also avoid other breaths, but that needs experience and timing. The second important notice is that Tiamat can only be defeated if all five heads are going to reach zero HP during the same head phase. So what you want to do is get heads to ~15% HP and move to the next one. If you just kill a head it will respawn with ~25% HP in the next head phase. After the two minutes passed, you need to protect the Clerics again and repeat.
You normally get three head phases within the 20-minute time limit, well organized teams are able to hit four. That means you need to take down two and a half heads in the first two phases each and then finish off Tiamat in the third phase. For the kill it’s better to split up between the black and white head equally and move towards red from both sides. Of course, those that have green gems should start from black, those with blue gems from white. If everything goes according to the plan, you get a new currency called Linu’s Favor, Dragon Hoard Coins and either a Resonance Stone, Dragon Egg (rare) or Dragon Cult Pack (super rare), which is a bag with 20 inventory spaces. Players can also buy additions keys to open a Chest inside the Temple, which consists T2 gear or some of new stuff (Tiamat’s Orb of Majesty Artifact, Artifact Off-Hand, the new boon book or Draconic Templar Arms).
I know that’s a lot to process for now, but you’ll get it. Make sure to use the new Dragon Scrolls and Potions to get additional damage and resistance against Tiamat. On the PC the fight wasn’t available for 2-3 weeks after the release, so it might be delayed on Xbox as well. Also, the lag is real. I severely hope the adjustments they mentioned in the patch notes will make Tiamat a better initial experience than it was on the PC.
New Artifact Gear
First of all, here’s the news posting from the PC version about the new Artifact Gear that previews the new stuff pretty well. As said, BoE Cloaks and Belts drop from Heroic Encounters, the new weapons come from the campaign and the new Off-Hand and the Cloaks can be acquired for Linu’s Favor as well. Besides getting Favors by defeating Tiamat, you can also do the repeatable task “Rewards for the Hoard” that wants you to salvage Dragon Hoard Coins (1 point each), Coffers (5 points each) and Dragon Empire Treasures (200 points each) for a total of 1,500 points in exchange for a Favor. The Treasures are available in the campaign or for 50k AD in the Wondrous Bazaar, so you can get the new gear instantly by spending a lot of AD.
Draconic Templar Armor Set
The new set that drops from Tiamat or can be bought for Favors in the campaign shop features different party buffs. Control Wizards, Clerics and Warlocks still want to use their High Viziers, High Prophets and Accursed Diabolists, but everyone else should be looking hard at the new set, because it’s most likely an upgrade.
A new profession will be introduced that is widely useless but brings new BiS rings with two slots (one offensive and one defensive) for everyone. You need to level it to 20 though, which should take a while. Jewelcrafting is also the next best thing for neck and belt slots in case you don’t already own the Artifact Gear.
I hope that helps you start off. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate!