Assault on Balaurea ("Aion 2.0"), Aion's massive, free expansion is just around the corner--it'll be hitting live servers on September 7th. In order to make sure you're prepared for the coming changes andthe new content, we've teamed up with NCsoft to get you all sorts of insider guides and tips for where to go and how to succeed on day one. This is the first post in the series, which will last all week, and it walks you through a recommended strategy step-by-step for leveling through level 51-52 levels as an Asmodian.
These guides were put together with the help of Aion's PowerWiki team: Jennifer "Gennwu" Randall, Scott "Hammer" Hannus, and Sean "Knite" Orlikowski. Read more of their awesome work at The Aion PowerWiki !
Let's pretend we're three weeks in the future--its September 7th and the expansion just hit live servers. You've rushed through Vidar's Call (the recommended way to get through that first level) and now you're level 51, ready to conquer the rest of Balaurea and seize all of the powerful weapons and shiny armor contained within its exotic locales. Balaurea is the home of your hated enemies, the Baluar, and it ain't a pretty place. Brainwashed followers of the Balaur, the horrible Dramata, and even the Dragon Lord Tiamat stand between you and the new level cap of 55. If you want to wield the amazing skills and abilities you get at those new levels, you're going to have to do so over their dead bodies.
You're going to need some help along the way. Luckily, our cute little helpers Bluebeard the Asmodian and Duddinerk the helpful Shugo are here to act as your tour guides for this epic journey, interjecting their hints, humor, and recommendations along the way. Feel free to offer the little guys a small bill at the end--tipping is customary.
Recommended Quests, Dungeons, and Undertakings (51-52)
Bluebeard: Oh noes, Assault on Balaurea has finally launched, and I have no idea what to do first! Wait…nevermind…WHERE ARE DA PETZ?!
Duddlinerk: Impatient Daeva! What does Duddlinerk look like—stable Shugo? Daeva can speak to Katin in Pandaemonium about pets. Katin stands between Shadow Court and Legion Administration Office.
Katin offers a selection of entry-level pets, both fashionable and functional. More effective pets can be acquired by killing bosses and other more difficult tasks later on in the expansion, but these ones should be perfect for getting your pet stable started.
Bluebeard: Crisis averted…now…what's this “Balaurea” place, and how do I get there? Is there loot?
Duddlinerk: Calm self, Daeva. Duddlinerk imparts wisdom. Daeva's first mission is to meet Vidar in Pandaemonium. Once Daeva reaches level 50, Vidar's Call will appear as a campaign mission in Daeva's quest menu.
This is when the real fun starts to happen. The best way to get started on the plethora of new content in Assault on Balaurea is to first grab the quest Vidar's Call from Vidar in Pandaemonium. This campaign mission is a great way to ease in, taking you down to the Convent of Marchutan to aid a high priest there. Complete the first two missions in Gelkmaros will net you some nice rewards and great EXP. We're going to give you a quick screenshot walkthrough of the highlights of this mission chain (hopefully) without giving you too many spoilers. Gaze into the screenshots and try not to get too excited for the quests, remember the expansion is still 3 weeks away--you need to pace yourself!
Bluebeard: Blue arrows! Gold arrows! Even…PINK arrows! I can't decide--what should I do first?
Duddlinerk: Daeva's senses on overload? No problem, nyerk! Duddlinerk has solution. Daeva should do Gelkmarosmissions first to become familiar with new areas. Daeva should also complete mission to enter Taloc's Hollow.
Like the little guys said, Gelkmaros is the place to be and doing the first set of quests there will help you reconnoiter and get the lay of the land before you set off on your own to adventure. There are a ton of new missions in Gelkmaros, here's the flow of the chain you'll want to do next:
Way to Inggison -> Crash of the Dredgion -> The Aether Must Flow
Complete the Way to Inggison and Crash of the Dredgion missions to receive The Aether Must Flow. The Aether Must Flow is the entry quest for Taloc's Hollow, a level 51 Solo Instanced Dungeon, so I hope your ready for your first dungeon of the next expansion! Like all solo instanced dungeons, Taloc's Hollow is a great place for leveling, andyou'll also find quests related to Gathering and Greater Stigma located inside.
Duddlinerk: Questing becomes much easier in Assault on Balaurea, Daeva. Now can enable option to mark all Quest NPCs on map, akakakak!
Take advantage of this amazingly helpful feature by clicking "Display Quest NPCs on Map" in the Options window (pictured below). Having all of the locations of all of the Quest NPCs located conveniently on your map lets you plan out your questing loops a lot easier, and even locate new quests that you might have otherwise overlooked. This will be particularly helpful (if not the most helpful feature in the entire expansion) in the new Assault on Balaureazones that you don't know the nuances of quite yet. Hardcore players may want to keep the feature disabled so they can attempt to find all the quests without help, but I know I'll be turning it on the first time I step into Balaurea.
Love little gems that let you customize your gear's stats? Assault on Balaurea introduces level 60 manastones. Only weapons and armor above level 41 will be able to be socketed with level 60 Manastones, but they're definitely worth it if you've got the right gear!
Bluebeard: OMG Level 60 Manastones! Time to replace all these old ones…now then…I'll just head to the Manastone Remover…pay the fee….
Duddlinerk: NO DAEVA! DON'T DO IT! Duddlinerk must remind Daeva that there is no new Attack Manastone. Daeva must think before acting, nyerk!
To give you an idea of the new mana stones, we've listed the benefits of some of the stones here (normal level stat listed first, then rare level stat):
Duddlinerk: Once Daeva has reached level 51, new Skills and Stigmas become available, nyerk!
Bluebeard: Where can I learn new Skills and purchase new Stigmas?
Duddlinerk: For new Skills and Stigmas, Daeva must travel to Convent of Marchutan from teleport statue in Pandaemonium.
Head to Pandaemonium to access the Convent of Marchutan, then use the Teleport Statue near the Vifrost Bridge.
Characters level 51 or greater can learn new Skills and purchase Greater Stigmas at the Convent of Marchutan.
**Note that Normal Stigmas for characters level 51 and above can be purchased from Vergelmir, the Stigma Tuner in Pandaemonium. However, Greater Stigmas for characters level 51 and above are only sold at the Convent of Marchutan.
Duddlinerk: Gelkmaros is dangerous place, Daeva! Duddlinerk knows this! Strange new places, lots of fierce creatures, and always the Great Eye, watching…wait, that wrong place, nevermind last part. Take look at Duddlinerk's map.
In the red areas, everything wants to kill you with a normal amount of bone crunching hatred, so stick to these if you plan on showing-off for your friends. In the purple areas, monsters are filled with epic hate--these guys eat the bones of the bone crunching haters for breakfast.
Duddlinerk: Windstreams and Geysers are all over Balaurea, nyerk! Daeva can use Windstreams and Geysers to move between different areas, or even escape Elyos soldiers. Duddlinerk wishes he had wings….
Windstreams can be seen in the skies above most of the areas in Balaurea, and act like one-way railroads between the various areas within Gelkmaros and Inggison. To use one, just glide into it. While in a Windstream, Flight Time will not decrease. While some Windstreams lock you in until the ride is done, many can be exited by releasing glide, free falling for a moment, and then gliding down for a landing. Not only do they make travel a breeze, Windstreams can also be utilized for a more dynamic PvP experience.
Geysers and Updrafts allow Daevas to reach locations at higher elevations, and can also be used to drift into Windstreams.
Geysers and Updrafts act the same as Windstreams; to use one, just glide into it. Some Geysers are blocked from by a monster, and can only be accessed after the beast's demise.
Duddlinerk: Mithril Coins are available to Daeva at level 51. Mithril Coins can be exchanged for Shadesoaked armor, akakakak!
There are several different Mithril Coin quests, including those that take place in the field, as well as some that take place in Instanced Dungeons. In addition to a fancy coin, using the quests' EXP reward for leveling is an efficient strategy. If that's not enough, we've including a handy list of Mithril Coin quests with required level, region, quest name, quest giver, and reward right here:
**Mysterious Seed, the item which starts the Mysterious Seed quest, can be obtained once the Taloc's Wound quest has been completed.
Bluebeard: Gah…pwn'd by a Sorcerer again…if only I had an extendable weapon. With my last breath, I will curse you, Kromede!
Duddlinerk: Calm self, Daeva, Duddlinerk has solution. Daeva can obtain Fabled extendable weapon through new quest chain from Athana. Quests not easy, but reward is well worth it, nyerk!
Your guide to greatsword greatness:
Quest Chain | Quest Name | Weapon Reward
1st | To Stand Against the Elyos | Athana's Greatsword
2nd | Fate Greatsword | none
3rd | For a Better Greatsword | Athana's Fate Greatsword
**Greatsword is used as an example, but all weapon types are available from this quest.
Daevas will find hundreds of new quests in Balaurea, but To Stand Against the Elyos is one well worth completing earlier than the others. To Stand Against the Elyos is a repeatable quest which offers a large amount of EXP, and once completed 30 times, Daevas will receive a title and a Fabled grade weapon which can be upgraded through subsequent quests. Once the subsequent quests are completed, an option to extend the weapon will appear. The final result is a level 54 Fabled grade extendable weapon (except for Bows, Spellbooks, and Orbs).
Duddlinerk: New Daily Quest faction has appeared with Assault on Balaurea, Daeva. Charlirunerk's Daemons are Shugos after Duddlinerk's own heart.
Bluebeard: The Blood Crusade was getting a little stale…but…NOW IS COWARD KILLING TIME AGAIN! Heeeheeeheee!
Duddlinerk: Ack! Daeva has it all wrong, Charlirunerk's Daemons is Shugo run outfit…all quests for profit, not for silly battles, nyerk!
The Assault on Balaurea update introduces a new Daily Quest Faction named Charlirunerk's Daemons. Some of the rewards include Heroic and Fabled grade items, Titles, and Godstones. Unlike the rewards from the Field Wardens and Blood Crusade, most of the rewards from Charlirunerk's Daemons are permanent. In addition, all the quests involve hunting monsters and delivering items, and can be completed in Gelkmaros alongside other quests and missions. Charlirunerk's Daemons representatives follow in race, region, reward NPC format:
The Blood Crusade has undergone several changes. New rewards, including pets and Godstones, have been added, and there is also an NPC located in Silentera Canyon who will exchange the Tokens from one Daily Quest Faction with those of another Daily Quest Faction. New rewards include a Godstone or even a pet. The Blood Crusade quests have also been adjusted:
Quest Name | Days Available | Description
Bluebeard: Taloc's Hollow? Where is it? It might be a scary place…I don't wanna go!
Duddlinerk: Quit being coward, Daeva! Whine like Shugo dangling over Krall stewpot. Taloc's Hollow is new Instanced Dungeon. Daeva can help Elim and earn exciting rewards!
Taloc's Hollow is a Solo Instanced Dungeon accessible to Daevas level 51 and above. Inside the dungeon are Elite grade monsters levels 51-53. While this is a Solo Instanced Dungeon, Daevas will have help from NPCs and unique items. Resourceful Daevas might be able to secure the aid of an NPC Templar or Cleric, and will also be able to use items like the Taloc Fruit, which grants a massive boost in power, or Taloc's Tears, which allows use of a devastating attack skill. Notable undertakings include:
ExpandGreater Stigma Slot: Speak with Garath in Gelkmaros Fortress to receive a quest to kill Named Monsters in Taloc's Hollow. Upon completion, Daevas will unlock a new Greater Stigma Slot.
Collect a Greater Enchantment Stone: Find Dorkin at his secret hideout inside Taloc's Hollow. Purchase an axe from him, and break the egg he discovered for one random Greater Enchantment Stone.
New Fabled Accessories: The final boss of Taloc's Hollow, Celestius, has a high chance to drop two Fabled Accessories: Celestius's Corundum Earrings and Celestius's Turquoise Earrings.
Mithril Coin Rewards Inside Taloc's Hollow: Speak to an NPC to receive a quest that provides Mithril Coins as a reward. Be sure to look for the Mysterious Seed as well, which offers a quest that rewards 5 Mithril Coins upon completion.
Bluebeard: Now that I'm level 51, can I still run the Dredgion?
Duddlinerk: The Balaur now have two Dredgion battleships, nyerk! Strongest Daevas will fight on the new Chantra Dredgion.
The maximum character level has been raised to 55 in Assault on Balaurea, and as such, the Dredgion will now be divided into two separate Instanced Dungeons. Daevas levels 51-55 will now battle aboard the Chantra Dredgion, while Daevas levels 46-50 will battle aboard the previous Dredgion, which has been renamed the Baranath Dredgion.
Just as in pre-Assault on Balaurae, Daevas can enter a Dredgion when a button appears on the UI. While both Dredgions have a similar layout, the Chantra Dredgion features higher level monsters and, thus, better rewards like Platinum Medals which can be used to purchase the new Primus Pilus weapons, armor, and accessories--now that's how you separate the wheat from the noobs.
Bluebeard: Nooo! I was so close to full Anuhart! I only needed the chestpiece…now it's not even worth it…waaaaaahhhh!
Duddlinerk: Don't cry, Daeva, Duddlinerk is here. Just because Daeva is level 51 doesn't mean old Instanced Dungeons not worth it. Some loot from old Instanced Dungeons has been enhanced, and drop rates increased!
The high level Instanced Dungeons that existed before Assault on Balaurea have had the statistics of certain pieces of loot enhanced. In addition, the drop rates on most rare loot (Fabled items in particular) have been dramatically increased across all Instanced Dungeons!
For example, the loot from the Upper Abyss Fortress Instanced Dungeons has been enhanced, and many items from Dark Poeta and Theobomos Labs have also been enhanced.
Duddlinerk: When Daeva reaches level 52, be sure to speak to Garath, nyerk. Complete a quest for Garath to unlock a new Greater Stigma slot!
Garath in Gelkmaros Fortress offers a quest to Daevas level 52 and above to unlock an additional Greater Stigma slot. Speak to Garath, and then proceed to Taloc's Hollow to kill a handful of Named Monsters. Gather 5 rare items from the Named Monsters and then return to Garath. It's not possible to collect more than 3 of the rare items in a single run of Taloc's Hollow, thus, Daevas will need to run the Instanced Dungeon at least twice to complete the quest. Once the quest is complete, be sure to head to the Convent of Marchutan in Pandaemonium to peruse the new Greater Stigma.
Bluebeard: Ding 52! Bwahahaha! I'm bristling with power, nothing can stop me! You hear me, NOTHING! Bring on a new challenge—I require carnage and fat loot!
Duddlinerk: Ack! Daeva is frightening Duddlinerk …but if Daeva is looking for a challenge, maybe Udas Temple is right up Daeva's alley. Fanatical followers, terrible Balaur, and Fabled and Eternal items, nyerk!
Udas Temple is the home of the brainwashed followers of the Balaur. The temple is divided into a main level (Udas Temple), and a lower level (Lower Udas Temple). These levels do not share a cooldown timer, so it's possible to complete one level and then move to the other right after. It's also worth noting that Lower Udas Temple is intended to be more difficult than Udas Temple. While defeating monsters in Udas Temple, Daevas will earn Abyss Points. In addition, the Named Monsters in both Udas temple and Lower Udas Temple have a chance to drop a number of Fabled items, as well as Eternal accessories.
**The Fabled armor set from Udas Temple drops from Named Monsters in both Udas Temple and Lower Udas Temple.
Well kids, if you've made it this far, chances are, you're in for the long haul; unfortunately, that haul don't start-up again until tomorrow. We've already circled the wagons and the chili's in the pot. Check back with us tomorrow for more on Aion's new expansion, and remember to keep this guide handy for Assault on Balaurea's release on September 7.