Into a Copper Hell
A Guide to Copperbell Mines
Copperbell Mines is the third dungeon players will encounter in FFXIV:ARR. This story dungeon continues the level 15 city quest sequence. The dungeon requires level 17 players and caps at level 19. Any player over level 19 will have level sync return them to 19th level for the duration of the dungeon. As with the prior two dungeons, players must all have the appropriate quest to enter the Mines for the first time.
Copperbell Mines is located in Western Thanalan near camp Horizon. This dungeon is designed for a light party of four players. The dungeon is more complex than Sastasha or Tam Tara Deepcroft. Players will need to know their respective roles and there are several encounters that require tactical planning. Even so, it is quite possible that players will initially meet their defeat in some of these encounters. While this is not an overly difficult instance, Copperbell Mines bites back!
As with the prior two dungeons, Copperbell Mines has a ninety minute duty timer. The dungeon is generally linear, but there are some side rooms along the way. While side-room encounters can typically be bypassed, several of them have chests which can add to the treasure haul from the dungeon. Unless you are strapped for time, I recommend hitting these rooms!
Descending into the Mines
The party initially needs to navigate its way into the depths of the mines. Along the way there will be several doors to open, lifts to take, and walls to blow up! The various lifts work off a toggle switch bringing them up or down. While this isn’t an issue on the way down into the dungeon, it may be confusing following a party wipe. You have to bring the lift back up (interact with the lever) before the party can return into the depths (interacting with the lever a second time).
You will also encounter a couple of rooms which require the use of blasting caps. In, or near, each of these rooms you will find some blasting powder. Place the powder in the powder chamber. Once placed, use the Blasting Device to produce a very gratifying explosion. When the dust clears, a new passageway will appear!
There are two aspects of the non-boss denizens of Copperbell that merit discussion. The first of these you encounter are the Wandering Spriggans. Spriggans in the mines are generally not linked to other monster encounters. You can tell this by targeting a spriggan out of combat since no linking lines appear between the Spriggan and nearby creatures.
However, the spriggans do wander around, typically moving through several monster placements while on their patrols. This means that you will quite likely encounter spriggans joining into fights in progress. The party should always be mindful of these approaches so that the tank can quickly pickup these “adds.”
The spriggans also have a jittering jig attack which is a frontal area of effect (AOE) cone attack. When it finishes, it damages everything in the immediate front of the spriggan. This attack does not place a red “warning” circle on the ground, but it can hit multiple players all the same. The attack has a long charge up to it and can be interrupted. It can also be avoided by simply moving behind the spriggan while he charges up his jig (watch the casting bar above the target). Healers and DPS should just remain positioned behind spriggans at all times to avoid taking this damage. This means the tank needs to pay attention to spriggan facing and turn the spriggan away from the party.
The other non-boss encounter of interest are the surprise Gigas. At two different points in your descent a Gigas will literally burst through a wall and attack the party. Typically this happens while you are already engaged with a Coblin, Elemental or Spriggan. This means, once again, that the party needs to keep their eyes open for “adds.” The tank needs to quickly pickup the gigas and turn him away from the remaining party members.
Bosses of Copperbell Mines
Copperbell Mines features three boss fights, Kottos the Gigas, the Ichorous Ire, and Gyges the Great. Each of these fights are much more mechanically rich than bosses in Sastasha or Tam Tara Deepcroft. Experienced MMO players will recognize most of these mechanics. Even so, I think the design team has used them in creative, unique and memorable ways. For newer MMO players, these mechanics will give your party pause necessitating communication and coordination (often on a second attempt).
Kottos is a gigas (giant type) monster and is the first of Copperbell’s named bosses. The Kottos fight is what’s referred to as a ring event. In a ring event, you face a number of waves (or rounds) of monsters before facing off with the actual boss. Indeed, you may not initially realize you are in the Kottos fight.
The fight begins with Spriggans, lots and lots of Spriggans. These spriggans spawn on opposite corners of the room and rush the party. They don’t have as many hitpoints as the earlier spriggans you fought and they die quite easily. The risk to the party lies with the tank failing to keep threat off the healer while the DPS burns down the spriggans. Additionally, you run the risk of depleting combat resources (TP and MP) fighting the Spriggan.
After several packs of Spriggan have been dispatched, Kottos appears. Kottos himself is not very strong, his primary advantage comes from your party being potentially depleted from the Spriggan waves. The tank should simply position Kottos facing away from the party and help the party burn down Kottos.
The Ichorous Ire
Prior to entering you will see a firepowder, grab it as its helpful to start the party with a charge of powder.
The Ichorous Ire encounter is truly a creative and fun fight. This fight is easily the most mechanically complex fight in the first three dungeons. It has several sequential actions that must be repeated while also requiring the party to divide its attention between two equally important tasks. You must do all this while taking a reasonably high amount of damage from the Ichorous Ire.
When you initially enter the battle arena for the Ichorous Ire you will observe an Improved Blasting Device which sits beside a glowing-red molten rock. These two devices are quite important, as the Ichorous Ire is completely invulnerable at the start of the fight.
The tank and healer are the only two who really need to interact with the Ichorous Ire at this point, the other two party members should move to the left of the entrance and position themselves on the platform at the side of the room. Throughout the fight, Spriggan will enter the room and attempt to obstruct the people working on the Ire. Your DPS needs to make sure Spriggan die quickly so that the Ire team can get their job done. Spriggan, on defeat, also drop blasting powder, helping the Ire team progress through later rounds of the fight.
The tank should position the Ire atop the magma stone (see the red arrow in the above image). Once the Ire is placed there, the healer can interact with the Improved Blasting Device, using up the fire powder. Once the Blasting Device is used, a Bomb NPC will spawn. It is very important that no one attack and kill the bomb (the spriggan will attempt to). Instead, the bomb needs to be kept near the Ichorous Ire.
Bomb monsters eventually “give up” and explode, sacrificing themselves and dishing out a large aoe damage. The tank must keep the Ire and the Bomb close together, using Shield Lob or Tomahawk on the Bomb to initially acquire enmity and possibly Flash to keep them together as needed. Once the Bomb begins his suicide, a large red circle will appear. Everyone in the party needs to get out of this circle (hopefully only the tank was in it to begin) and the Ire needs to be kept in the circle. He moves slowly, though, so as long as the Bomb and Ire were close together you should be fine.
When the Bomb goes off, the Ire splits! The first time this happens, you will find yourself facing two large (but smaller than the initial) Ires. These are still invulnerable, so you need to repeat the Magma Stone – Detonator – Bomb – Explosion tactic again. The second time you will face four Ire’s, who are also still invulnerable. You need to repeat the Magma Stone Detonator – Bomb – Explosion tactic a third time. Once this is done you will face eight very small Ires who are no longer invulnerable. At this point your party DPS players should jump in and help dispatch these small blobs.
The entire time this fight progresses, the tank will be taking fairly significant damage and the DPS may be taking damage from the Spriggan spawns. This means the healer will be very busy curing the tank, possibly curing (or mending) the DPS, and using the Detonator Cap all while avoiding Bomb circles, the Ire and the Spriggans.
While you could have a DPS do this, we like to keep the DPS on the Spriggan spawn since Spriggan can take out a bomb very fast if left unattended. To help out the healer, the tank should make liberal use of defensive cooldowns in this fight. In particular the cross-class defensive abilities from Gladiator, Marauder, Pugilist and Lancer are all helpful in this fight.
Gyges the Great
After defeating the Ichorous Ire you will enter the deepest parts of the Copperbell Mines. You will encounter some new (to the mines) enemy types, but nothing overly complex. Do keep your eyes out for treasure chests as there are a couple down here to grab. Ultimately, though, you are looking for the battle room for Gyges the Great, the final boss of Copperbell Mines.
You really have to feel bad for Gyges. Had you not just fought the Ichorous Ire, Gyges would have seemed like a reasonably complex fight. He does feature two mechanics, again requiring splitting the party’s attention. However, since you just fought the really unique Ichorous Ire, Gyges is likely to feel “easy” by comparison. He is big and imposing looking, though, and he does pack a wallop if your party is careless.
Gyges’s battle arena is a large circular, rocky chamber. Gyges initially enters from the right side from where the party comes in. Your initial engagement with Gyges is not unlike other gigas fights, have the tank keep him turned away from the party and fight him.
However, after a short bit of fighting, Gyges changes his tactics. He runs over to the wall near where he entered and starts beating on a loose rock. Keep fighting Gyges while he does this, but be ready to change tactics once Gyges finishes breaking the rock.
When the rock breaks, a new cave opens and a new gigas comes running into the battle arena. This add runs directly across the room and attempts to break down a rock on that side of the room. Your DPS should follow the smaller gigas and kil him, preventing him from achieving his objective. Once they defeat gigas (who will not attack them), the DPS should return to fighting Gyges the Great.
Every now and again, as the Gyges fight progresses, a new Gigas spawns and rushes the far wall. each time this happens, the DPS should break off and dispatch the new gigas. I don’t know what happens if they succeed at breaking down the far wall, let’s assume it’s not good and should be avoided!
Note, Skies (in comments below) tells us what happens if the gigas are left unchecked:
I know what happens when that rock breaks.
It starts spawning even more hecatoncheires, in am atter of 15s after it breaking there will easily be two new ones in the fight and within 1m you will be with more or less eight hecatoncheires in the fight. And they are all attacking your party, and they hit hard.
We have the tank just keep Gyges near the place where he broke down the wall. Keep Gyges facing the wall and remain fighting him. Gyges charges up a very powerful frontal cone aoe attack periodically, you don’t want your healer or DPS to accidentally get caught in it! There is no red ground warning, just a casting bar charge up, so the lower hitpoint teammates are unlikely to notice it amidst chasing down smaller gigas and keeping the tank healed.
Wrapping up Copperbell Mines
After defeating Gyges you will receive the standard end-boss treasure chest, a nice green tier item. We have had a second chest spawn after this fight too, it appears the second chest is a bonus. At this time we are uncertain whether this is “just luck” or tied to a hidden achievement in the dungeon run itself (time, efficiency, no deaths, etc.).
As always, thank the party and congratulate winners on the items they received. You are going to need to group up again soon to battle Ifrit, so if you enjoyed playing with this team you might want to consider adding them to your friends list. Additionally, by this point of the game you are likely starting to see Linkshells (chat communities) form up. If you find yourself enjoying the company of people from specific linkshells, you might wish to inquire how to join their community.
You are now finished with the three dungeon stories for the mid-teens city quests. You are also, most likely, pushing level 20 and ready to move on towards the Ifrit confrontation. You can always repeat Sastasha, Tam Tara Deepcroft, and Copperbell Mines. The treasure from these zones is pretty nice into your low 20’s and the experience is quite decent. Plus, it’s always fun to play in a party.
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