Full patch notes for 3.5 can be found here (pdf) all quotes and most images below are from these notes. If you're interested in changes to items, UI, quests, housing and pets it's worth just reading the notes, although I have picked out some of the highlights at the end.
First off, we have two new level 60 instances, Tiamat's Fortress and Tiamat's Hideout. These are available to both factions.
Tiamat Fortress floats above Tiamaranta's Eye in the center of Tiamaranta as a symbol of Tiamat’s supremacy over its lands. Tiamat is said to have created it by breathing magic into a vortex, creating a mystical fortress with a deafening crash and a burst of blinding light. Until now, it has been inaccessible to Daevas, but the Reians have finally found a way in.
The entrances to the Fortress are in the Elyos and Asmodian Breakouts in Tiamaranta’s Eye, and at the 12 o’clock position of the Eye.
There isn't a massive amount of searchable information on this one yet, but this post from the NA forums last year has some very pretty pictures.
The only approach to the lair of Tiamat was a magical passage in the center of Tiamaranta’s Eye, closely guarded by elite Balaur. Recently, Reian wizards have managed to create a magical passage of their own, but it remains in an unstable state, and cannot always be used.
The entrances to Tiamat’s Hideout are at the 3-o’clock and the 9-o’clock directions of the Commander’s Room inside Tiamaranta’s Eye.
If you want to take a look at what you're going to be up against, take a look at Akssi's Youtube channel where you can check out the boss fights. Here's the first part:
Shattered Abyssal Splinter
3.5 also brings a level 60 version of Abyssal Splinter, which depending on how good it is MIGHT actually inspire the higher levels of some servers to get more involved in taking the core:
A Huge Aether Fragment that broke off from Aion’s tower during the Cataclysm has reacted with a nearby Artifact of Protection to create an unstable Aether flow. Creatures affected by this flow become powerful and deranged, and even more dangerous than their counterparts in the existing Abyssal Splinter.
- The Abyssal Splinter Entrance that appears when your faction occupies the Divine Fortress will grant access to the Shattered Abyssal Splinter as well as the old Abyssal Splinter.
- The two Abyssal Splinter instances share a cooldown time.
This is the bit I'm most excited about - the addition of two new arenas. This section of the patch notes is worth reading, but here's the quick version for those of you in a hurry.
Arena of Cooperation
‘The Arena of Cooperation puts three teams of two against each other. The session ends when the time is up, at the end of three rounds, or when one team achieves the winning score.
- Players must have an 'Arena of Cooperation Ticket' to enter, not a ticket for another arena.
- You must be at least level 46 to enter.
- If you are already a member of a group, but your fellow group members’ levels fall into a different level range, you must disband your group in order to compete.
Entry times change
The introduction of the new arenas means the entry times to all of them change. The arenas of Discipline, Chaos and Cooperation will now be open at the following times (time zone isn't specified but I'm going to go ahead and assume it's still in CET):
- 12 P.M. – 2 P.M.
- 6 P.M. – 8 P.M.
- 10 P.M. – 2 A.M.
How it works
Essentially this is 2v2v2 with points shared across each pair. As usual points are gained by killing opponents and mobs and also by activating artefacts. Treasure boxes items are temporarily tradeable and you can't kick your partner if they suck.
I tend to look at patches with my guild leader hat on, and this seems like a good opportunity for weaker players to pair up with a stronger partner and gear up a little faster. I'm also expecting to see people offering to pair up with less able players in return for kinah...
Let's take a look:
Arena of Glory
This one will be familiar to Arena of Chaos players as it's essentially a free-for-all.
The Arena of Glory is a new arena, which only the first four winners of the “Arena of Chaos“ and “Arena of Cooperation“ can enter. This arena serves the purpose of selecting the best players of the arena and rewarding them with an “Insignia of Glory“.
Players can also gain the title of “Legend of the Kaisinel Temple“ / “Legend of the Marchutan Temple“ at the 50th victory in the Arena of Glory.
- The session ends when the time is up, at the end of three rounds, or when one player achieves the winning score.
- The winner and the first runner-up in the Arena of Chaos, and the winning team in the Arena of Harmony, will receive tickets to enter the Arena of Glory. You must be level 56 or higher to enter.
- The Arena of Glory is open from 6-8pm.
Aaaand here's another video, this time from Cruellia's Chronicles's channel:
This bit is added in at the end of the instance section but includes a couple of interesting points...
- In Eltnen, Elysea and in Morheim, Asmodae NPCs have been added for the Nochsana Training Camp.
- The standard rewards in Dredgion, Chantra Dredgion and Terath Dredgion have been upgraded.
- The reward calculation formula for the Arenas of Chaos and Discipline has been changed.
- The levels of some monsters in the “Theobomos Lab” have been changed.
- Iprita/Silikor in the “Theobomos Lab” does not drop useless keys anymore.
Gotta love that. Dredgion rewards are increasing, one of the best bits of news in the entire document and it's hidden away at the end.
This section is a mixed bag, check the notes themselves for the full list but here are some highlights
- Lots of lower level elite areas have been tweaked.
- One NPC now covers all arena training grounds.
- Taros Lifebane in Beshmundir Temple has been fixed and now uses all his skills. Ouch.
- Killing mobs in Silentera Canyon will now earn you AP
- New teleporters have been added:
Dimentional vortexes to Theobomos and Brusthonin
Hang on! It's not as bad as it sounds!! First, here's the spiel:
Those who have undertaken the Crucible Challenge may be familiar with the Crucible Rift that appears when Vanktrist Spacetwine, the final enemy, is defeated. After an extensive investigation, both factions have discovered that the rift leads to a strange place connecting Elysea, Asmodae, and Balaurea. Suddenly, Theobomos and Brusthonin areas which were not previously accessible to the unfriendly faction, are vulnerable.
Research centers in Sanctum and Pandaemonium have just finished prototypes to reproduce the circumstances that created this rift, and are ready to test them at the Kaisinel Academy and Marchutan Priory. It doesn’t hurt that this provides an opportunity to carry out dangerous missions in enemy territory. The first mission for the Elyos is to rescue the Griffon's Claw Legion who are stranded in Brusthonin, and to drive out some of the Asmodians. The Asmodians, meanwhile, are attempting to hunt down and terminate Jamanok, who turned traitor, stole important data, and ran to Theobomos in Elysea.
This bit of news is likely to perplex hardcore PvEers but it shouldn't be too much of a problem for them as entry times are limited.
- Elyos can travel to Brusthonin and the Asmodians to Theobomos through a Dimensional Vortex.
- The Vortex is active for 2 hours, from 10 p.m. to midnight every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
- After two hours, or if the defense manages to destroy the attackers’ Rift Generator, the Vortex closes.
- When the vortex closes, any attackers still in enemy territory will teleport back to the Academy/Priory where they began.
Attackers can travel to the enemy zone through Pilot Dimensional Vortexes in Kaisinel Academy and Marchutan Priory.
Dimensional Vortexes are open to Daevas level 45 and up.
- An alliance of up to 24 members can travel through a given Dimensional Votex. If anyone leaves the battlefield by returning to their home turf or by quitting the game, they can be replaced by new members.
- By traveling to the enemy zone, players automatically leave their original group or alliance and join the raid alliance.
- Members cannot be invited to or kicked from the raid alliance.
- The raid alliance has fixed loot distribution settings which cannot be changed - looting is round-robin and rare items are distributed by dice roll.
Upon exiting the raid zone, you are removed from the raid alliance and returned to the
When a Dimensional Vortex is activated and you move inside the range of the raid, you can choose whether or not to join the defending alliance.
- If you choose not to join the alliance, you'll be alerted every 10 minutes with more opportunities to join in.
- You can perform a defense mission even when you join a group or alliance temporarily.
- The defending alliance can use all functions available for the normal alliance.
- When a member of the defending alliance moves to another area, that member will be automatically withdrawn from the alliance.
This one has me grinning...
- Rifts have been added in “Inggison” and “Gelkmaros“.
- Added NPCs near rift exits to guard them.
- Defeat the guards to get Mithril Medals and Major Ancient Crowns.
- Added many new flight routes for more convenient travel. New camps have Obelisks, Soul Healers and other useful NPCs.
- Kisks can no longer be installed in an abnormal position near the Hero’s Discus in Sarpan.
- Modified some terrain in Sunset Coast Village in Oriel.
- Modified some terrain in the Inner Ring of Tiamaranata's Eye.
- Fixed an issue where players were moved to an odd location if Source sieges began while they were riding the Zephyr Stream in Tiamaranta.
- An entrance to Silentera Canyon now appears when you possess any of your faction’s camps in Balaurea.
- Players who haven’t logged in for 30 days or more will be removed from the Abyss Rankings.
This should have an interesting effect on the PvP rankings!
- Improved the rewards for successful attack or defence of a fortress - please see the patch notes for the full table, it's long.
Upgraded rewards, including kinah, given to the brigade general of a legion that succeeds in defending an occupied fortress (ditto).
- Added new reward items for the entire legion who successfully defends an occupied fortress.
- Legion rewards which could previously be bought using Medals can now come from a Siege Defense Reward Box.
- The Fortress Siege Defense Bundle contains a variety of consumables.
- The Seal Ring is an Eternal ring (7-day) given exclusively to the brigade general.
Rather than go through the other sections of the patch notes I'd suggest reading them if you're looking for specific information on housing, items, quests, legions, mounts and UI, as lots of tables and pretty pictures are involved, however, here are some of the highlights:
- Scrolls will now have useful pictures on them to show what they do.
- Stigmas will also have symbols on them to make them easier to identify.
- Mythical supplements will now be available from Special Ordinance Quartermasters in Balaurea
- Abyss equipment of level 50 and below can now be stored in the Account Warehouse. This, coupled with the changes to rifting, means low level areas are about to get a lot more dangerous, as your baby toons can now essentially inherit their older sibling's armour. This also means that you could use AP on your main to gear your alt.
- Drop rate of some Superior manastones has increased.
- Housing has gotten even more twee, you can now visit a bulletin board in Oriel and Pernon for jobs to do around the neighbourhood. Residents of a village will be able to buy more shiny stuff from NPCs as your village levels up. Personally I'm not really into the Farmville side of Aion, but for those of you who are there are here's a pretty picture:
- You can now remodel the exterior of your house to make it leafy. I know at least one person who's going to love this (hello Aoiffe!)
- A battlefield return function has been added. This is actually pretty awesome. In instances that allow summoning, players can return to the spot at which they used Homeward Bound within 5 minutes by pressing a new UI button that apears next to the 'decorate' button.
- You can now paint your furniture, and palaces and estates can use more of it.
Added new campaign quests in Sarpan and Tiamaranta. Completing the quest "The Oldest of
Foes" automatically makes the new ones available.
- For storyline reasons, not all campaign quests will appear in this update. Additionally, the mission cannot be done halfway through,
- It is planned to unlock these campaign quests at a later point in time. This will be announced.
- A level 60 Daevanion weapon quest has been added. As soon as the ‘Siel’s Spear’ quest is completed, players can accept the quest for the level 60 Daevanion weapon.
Changed some details of the Level 50 and 60 Daevanion quests.
- The quest for the level 50 armor is now available starting at level 45.
- The quest for the level 60 armor is now available starting at level 55.
This is nice. Part of the problem with Fenris/ Miragent now is that you usually complete the quest line at around 52 if you are not level holding, Allowing players to start earlier makes it a lot more relevant.
- Removed prerequisites for the Level 60 Daevanion armor quest.
- The level 60 Daevanion armor quest now grants Fragrant Energy, a gatherable item for "A Tribute for All Seasons".
- Added new quests for the Tiamat Fortress and Tiamat’s Shelter. They are available from multiple NPCs inside and outside the instances.
- Old arena quests will be available in the new arenas, and you can gain titles with special qiests granted every 10th win in the Arena of Glory.
- Certain campaign prerequisites have been deleted. Some campaigns now have automatic teleporters to take you to the next step. Some Campaign quest instances can now be entered solo.
You can now level your legion up to level 8:
Legion tasks have been added to legions level 5 and above. These have multiple sub-quests and reward the whole legion on completion with Legion Coins that can be redeemed at the legion item merchant for weapons and armour.
New mounts have been added:
- Offline players can be added to your friends list using the Friend Find window.
- Characters on the same account on a server now share a block list, an awesome idea that's long overdue.
- An emote button has been added to the right of the chat window.
- You can now set a personal status.
- Cooldowns can now be displayed on the task bar.
- A reconnect button has been added for AFK disconnects.
Well that about wraps it up!
To me this seems like a good list of changes that should reinvent the lower level areas of the game as well as giving end game players new challenges. It's pretty PvP focussed and it does mean PvE players will have to be on their guard, but hey, this is a PvP game and I think most people will welcome the changes, or at least be inspired to get more into that side of the game. The gear hill has been made slightly less steep, legion quests will give guilds something to work for and there are plenty of pretty things for those of you who like that side of the game.
Yes, for those of us who put all the work into our PvP sets before 3.0 hit it is a little galling to see how easily you can get ahold of it these days, but being able to kit my sorcerer out in my cleric's old cloth PvP gear and accessories as soon as it hits level 30 is an awesome bonus. PvP armour is a lot more accessible than it was a year ago and it's now a lot easier to get a PvP set on and get involved, which is good for the game.