As terrifying as quadruple the number of floors to complete now might seem, don’t fret. Palace of the Dead has been, and continues to remain, a fun light party experience even after the update bringing us floors 51 through 200. While the playstyle remains casual to go through, there is a clear increase in the difficulty as you go along requiring a bit more attention than you probably gave during the first 50 floors. Again, don’t worry, increased difficulty means nothing as one Dragoon has already claimed soloing floors 51-100, as well as several other players touting having soloed boss and other floors. The cut scenes every 10 floors are very eerie, so definitely do watch those!
UNLOCKING NEW FLOORS
To unlock the new floors after you’ve cleared floor 50, just talk to the Wood Wailer used to queue into Palace of the Dead. Accessing floors 101+ requires you to have started from floor 1 or floor 51 with a fixed party, up to floor 100 with a KO count of zero. Beware, abandoning or logging out inside the duty will count as a KO.
FIRST, THE GEAR
There’s a massive Aetherpool Gear increase. We left off at +30, and now we can get +99. You only need +60 for the new weapon though, meaning starting from scratch you’ll need +90 total. While doing my runs post-maintenance, I noticed that my Aetherial Weapon and Armor were leveling up much faster than before, nearly doubling from just fully clearing the new set of floors. This is very welcomed, seeing as you need 90 total upgrades to your weapon to get the new Palace of the Dead weapon.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE MONSTERS NOW
During the climb (or plunge) you are going to encounter an incredible amount of lions, just like the Paladin achievement mount. Unfortunately, they’re not very fun. They hit decently hard and have a pretty tough hit point pool. Even worse, usually when there’s one lion, there’s several others waiting to randomly spawn on top of your party, sometimes in a seemingly endless stream. Proceed with caution, and try pulling to the hallways. Careful though, they do use a large AOE damage move called Cry that you’ll need to evade.
Next, the bombs. They’re very similar to slimes. If you don’t defeat the bombs quickly enough, they’ll burst without warning and wipe your party. You need to focus these down right away, even if there’s Wamoura flying into the room at you.
They’ve also added the alligator monsters to the Palace as well. They’re relatively simple to beat, just avoid Critical Bite and you’ll be fine. There are also Flame Dragons throughout some of the floors that will target random players, and use a targeted AOE without having aggro. Just make sure not to get caught in the fire.
NEXT, THE BOSSES
The new bosses are exciting and little terrifying, but nothing any setup can’t handle. Mechanics are pretty self-explanatory for The Black Rider boss on floor 60. Avoid the large AOE pool, smaller AOEs, and keep up the damage; it’ll run out of health fairly quickly. It does do a rush move with the resizable line-AOE that you’ll want to move up close to it for.
Floor 70 holds one of those dark serpent fish things that use AOE puddle abilities like Douse. This fight is very simple; however, whoever holds hate is going to have to move it around a lot due to the AOE puddles it repeatedly puts on the floor.
On floor 80, you’ll encounter a Behemoth. It loves to run across the arena and randomly trounce, so casters be vigilant about Sprint and make sure everyone is keeping an eye out for when it moves. When it nears its last bit of health, it begins casting Ecliptic Meteor which there is no escape from. You don’t need to save your Limit Break for this; however, just know if you don’t DPS it down in time, you’ll likely wipe.
You’ll relive Pharos Sirius (Hard) on floor 90 where you fight a very similar styled bomb boss. It’s not as simple as the previous boss floors though. The red bombs need to be stunned and burned down quickly, and the blue bombs need to be struck until they’re under the boss so their explosion interrupts his radial attack. All during this time, there’s a rapid appearance of small bombs in various patterns that quickly explode. Avoid these, keep the damage up, and you’re in the clear.
For the final boss on floor 100, the new pomander (Resolution) that transforms you into Kuribu for one minute will allow you to de-spawn corpses so you don’t get overwhelmed by respawning adds. Apparently it does decent damage against undead monsters, too. You also have the option of just powering through the adds repeatedly if you can handle it.
Beyond floor 100 there aren’t a whole lot of new mechanics. For floor 120, it’s Sohm Al’s first boss, but the bees target a player similar to T6. Just DPS the bees down to make sure they don’t become a problem. Floor 130 is similar to the Hydra for 2.0’s relic, involving AOE puddles and Fear Itself where you need to stack under the boss in the center of the room. There are some difficulties from players for 140’s boss that uses Scream. Damage mitigation seems to be the key to surviving through that. From 150 and beyond there isn’t a whole ton of information out there; however, it’s unlikely that any of the fights will require serious strategic thinking like endgame raids do, so no worries.
FINALLY, THERE’S THE REWARDS
The experience points boost you get from the new floors is the same as floors 30 and 40, and then the final floor is similar to that of floor 50. As with the original floors, you receive Lore and Scripture (or Gil and Poetics) for each 10-floor completion. New loot including Allagan glamours (even Dreadwyrm), Abigail Barding, and Edda’s music all come from the new appraisals. The other Orchestrion rolls cost 1 Potsherd each after clearing floor 100, 150, and 200 respectively.
Enjoy, and happy dungeon diving!