Exclusive guide: Get everything in Aion's Empyrean Crucible dungeon, and get out alive!

PC Gamer

The Empyrean Crucible is a brand new gladiatorial arena-style dungeon that will be added to the game next week when patch 2.5 goes live, and we've been given a veritable treasure trove of information on it by the developers. New monsters, epic loot, and more--we've got the official guide put together by the experts of Aion's official community team on how to get through this nasty dungeon alive, and with some shiny new gear to show for it!

First up, some basic questions:

  • How do I get there? Entrances are located in Sanctum and Pandeamonium, as well as in Inggison Illusion Fortress and Gelkmaros Fortress.
  • What level do I have to be? This is a level 50 group instanced dungeon with a cooldown of 22 hours.
  • How does it work? It is themed after a gauntlet and plays a bit like other game's Last Stand modes: you must battle through 10 stages that each have 5 rounds, for a total of 50 different combinations of monsters.
  • What kind of monsters are there? Lots of 'em, including level 55 versions of popular named monsters like Vile Judge Kromede, King Zugog and Tahabata Pyrelord
  • What do I get? Worthwhile loot includes Eternal weapons and armor, Fabled weapons and armor, exclusive costumes, functional pets, and more.

Stage 1: The Daeva apprentices

In this stage, players will face the apprentices of Marchutan or Kaisinel in a training coliseum. Be wary, these Daevas may be mere apprentices, but their strikes and spells pack a wallop.

After you take out the apprentices in the first four rounds, an Instructor will appear in the fifth round to take a crack at teaching the group a lesson in pain.

Reward by the end of the stage: 10,000 points

(Points are accumulated throughout the entire dungeon for each kill your team gets. At the end, these points are converted into Crucible Insignias at a fixed rate. The Insignias can be turned in to purchase any of the available loot.)

If one of your teammates died during this first round, don't worry! Throughout the dungeon, a total of six Worthiness Ticket Boxes will appear in Illusion Stadium. The Worthiness Tickets looted from the boxes can be used by surviving players to resurrect their fallen allies and bring them back by their side in the Stadium. Kind in mind, however, that traditional resurrection spells cannot be used in the Empyrean Crucible.

Stage 2: The Mau and Krall

After you beat the apprentices, you'll find yourself being lowered into an enclosed arena and assaulted by Mau or Krall warriors and their minions. In later rounds, elite Mau or Krall soldiers will attempt to wreak havoc on the group.

In the fifth round, players will face the fury of Eltnen or Morheim's zone bosses, who each have a few new tricks up their sleeves in their dungeon versions!

Immediately following the fifth round, the Empyrean Crucible's first Prize Round will start. These Prize Rounds are optional, will occasionally occur after the fifth round of a stage, and often have more fun-focused rewards. This Prize Round is launched by Administrator Arminos, who (like a total jerk) will appear and spawn a King Saam boss for you to fight. The goal of this Prize Round is to smack around the King Saam as much as possible, while still managing to squash all the little Saam offspring he spawns. The little guys have a chance to drop rare items as well, which will be helpful later on in the Empyrean Crucible--so whack 'em all!

Reward by the end of the stage: 21,000 points

Stage 3: Spirit temple

After you've had your fun in the Prize Round, the Illusion Stadium will transform into an ancient temple of moving panels and swinging blocks. Players are pitted against an onslaught of elemental spirits that will increase in strength until the final round.

In the fifth and final round, players will face a devastating Tempest Spirit and Magma Spirit duo.

Prize Round! Administrator Arminos spawns another four elemental spirits. Defeat these spirits as quickly as possible, because each spirit has a chance to drop one of the rare spirit hats. The spirits disappear after a limited time, so don't delay!

Reward by the end of the stage: 34,000 points

1 Worthiness Ticket Box appears in the Ready Room.

Stage 4: Balaur air drop

Next, the Illusion Stadium is hoisted into the sky by a trio of curious flying creatures (try not to stare at them for too long). While in flight, Balaur Dredgions hover above you and drop Balaur troops on the makeshift transport.

In the fifth round, the players' endurance is put to the test with an intense onslaught of Balaur soldiers.

Prize Round! Administrator Arminos appears and conjures up another challenge. This time, Drakies and Drakes will spew out of a dimensional gate, and must be slain before they reach the gate a second time.

Reward by the end of the stage: 48,000 points

Stage 5: Flying pirates

Almost halfway there! This time, you'll face either the air-pirate Shulacks of the Steel Rake or Drakan from the Draupnir Cave. However, the battle will always be fought aboard the Steel Rake, a massive airship run by pirates. The first several rounds consist of average-joe monsters, but later on, named monsters will join the mix.

Watch your footing, the floor will cave in after the fourth round, and players will face Brass-Eye Grogget or Commander Bakarma in the belly of the Steel Rake.

Reward by the end of the stage: 63,000 points

Stage 6: Under da sea

Remember when we said the dungeon kind of resembled Left 4 Dead's Survival mode? Well, that goes even moreso for this stage: players fall to the depths of the sea and must face a hoard of relentless undead. The ocean floor dredges up all manner of skeletons, liches, and ghouls--your group will have to fight together and one-on-one at different points.

This boss battle is so big that it takes up the fourth and fifth rounds, so be prepared for a long fight!

But you get rewarded for the long fight with a Prize Round ! Administrator Arminos appears, finally ready to get his hands dirty, and assaults you himself. He's not easy to take down, but man, is it satisfying after he's been pestering you the whole time.

Reward by the end of the stage: 81,000 points

2 Worthiness Ticket Boxes appear in the Ready Room.

Stage 7: Turning on the trainers

In this stage, players are teleported to snowy Morheim to face their toughest challenge yet: the Class Preceptors! Players will confront all four Class Preceptors for their race, concluding with a battle against the Stigma Master.

In the fifth round, the group faces the Stigma Master of their race, who utilizes Chanter skills and attacks.

Following the Stigma Master's defeat, a treasure chest will spawn and reward players with some well earned Kinah.

Reward by the end of the stage: 105,000 points

Stage 8: Desert brawl

This is the first of two stages of boss battles. Fighting amidst the dry heat and swirling sands of the Eltnen Desert, players will first confront Vile Judge Kromede and several other infamous monsters from Atreia.

In the fifth round, players will face RM-1337c; the most dangerous (and l33t) Lepharist creation ever conceived!

Reward by the end of the stage: 141,000 points

Stage 9: Crab shack

And now you have the second set of boss battles, beginning with a crustacean horror conjured up from the sandy shallows…the legendary Crab Norris! More boss battles follow, including an epic showdown between Heiron's Takun the Terrible and Gojira.

In the fifth round, players will face the terrible Kamara, a faceless beast that unleashes a variety of elemental attacks on its enemies.

Prize Round! The Lightning Drakie appears and begins sprinting through the Illusion Stadium. Slay it before the time runs out to have a chance at special candies and a unique pet!

Reward by the end of the stage: 200,000 points

Stage 10

You're almost there! Only one more stage to go! It's not going to be easy, though. Fend off waves of fearsome Balaur on a volcanic platform, ending in an ultimate battle with the three headed monkey--I mean dreadnaught--Tahabata Pyrelord.

And just when you think you've won it all and can finally relax, the lights in Illusion Stadium dim and players are transported to a realm outside of time and space. A realm where the nightmarish Vanktrist exists for the sole purpose of torturing your group. Good luck!

Reward by the end of the stage: 500,000 points

(players earn about 193,000 points for killing Tahabata Pyrelord alone)

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