Palace of the Dead

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Official image previewing the aetherial weapons available in Palace of the Dead.

In the subterranean city of Gelmorra, deep within a forgotten corner of Issom--Har, stout-hearted explorers have uncovered the entrance to a labyrinthine dungeon. Those who set foot inside its maddening halls find their vigor drained by an irresistible fog of innervation, and repeated excursions have failed to map its seemingly inconstant architecture. After hearing chilling accounts of spectral denizens, locals took to whispering of a "Palace of the Dead", and the Wood Wailers now seek the assistance of adventurers in laying bare its haunted secrets...

FinalFantasyXIV.com

The Palace of the Dead (commonly abbreviated as PotD) is a deep dungeon released on July 19, 2016. It's located in South Shroud at Quarrymill (X:25.2 Y:20.6), and becomes accessible after completing the quest The House That Death Built. As a roguelike dungeon, the Palace of the Dead's objective is to descend each varying floor, fighting creatures along the way while dealing with hazardous environment, until eventually reaching a boss that awaits at the bottom level.


Mechanics

The Palace of the Dead has specific features for characters, and data saving.

Entry interface

Players can enter the dungeon or manage character data by talking to Wood Wailer Expeditionary Captain, located in Quarrymill. He offers the following interface:

Palace of the Dead main menu

Each option means:

  • 1- Name — Character name and title.
  • 2- Gear — Character aetherpool gear level, including armor and arm (more information below).
  • 3- Commands — Commands to enter Palace of the Dead, manage save data, reset save data, or learn more about the dungeon.

Important: Regardless of which option is chosen (new run, load slot, reset slot, etc), the aetherpool gear level will never be erased. The only way that aetherpool data may be lost is by expending gear level for Padjal or Kinna weapons (more information below).

Enter the Palace of the Dead

This option serves to enter the dungeon. It offers two slots to save your progression within Palace of the Dead. You may pick an empty slot to start a new run, or load a previously saved run.

Palace of the Dead select slot

Entering the Palace of the Dead has the following requirements:

  • Class requirement: Disciple of War or Disciple of Magic
  • Item level requirement: None
  • Item level sync: None
  • Party size: Light Party (up to four players)
  • Time limit: 60 minutes
  • There are extra requirements depending on level range:
    • 51-100 — Players are required to complete level 50 and the quest What Lies Beneath.
    • 101-200 — Players are required to be in a fixed party.

There are two options to manage Palace of the Dead entry:

  • Enter with a fixed party: You will start the run with a pre-made party (or solo), and you can only load this slot with members having the same respective progress slot available (this includes all party members and party composition chosen upon registering). This is also the only way to progress past level 100.
  • Enter with a matched party: The Duty Finder will attempt to match a party seeking the same floor as your party. Similarly, you can only load this slot with members having the same respective progress slot available. You may only progress up to level 100 using this option.

Additionally, there are two floors from which players can start:

  • Floor one: Start on floor number 1.
  • Floor fifty-one: Start on floor number 51. This option is only available after you have cleared floor 50.

Note: Players who have not purchased FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward may only play up to floor 40, and players currently on the free trial may only play up to floor 10.

Reset your progress

This option will prompt you to reset your progress, and it will completely erase your data. Remember that this process cannot be undone.

Disband your party

This option converts a fixed party saved data to a matched party saved data, and reset pomander information. Under these conditions you will be able to be matched with other players who are currently playing on the same floor as you. If any members of a fixed party are unable to enter the deep dungeon after the deletion of save data or usage of the world transfer service, they must select "Disband your fixed party" to carry over their save data.

View your scores

When challenging the Palace of the Dead, players receive a score based on a number of factors such as highest floor reached and number of enemies slain. Separate scores for both solo and party play will be assigned after being defeated or clearing certain floors. The scores of players who venture beyond floor 100 may also appear on the rankings page on the Lodestone.

This option shows your score per class/job, and take you to the Lodestone.

Palace of the Dead scores

Learn about the Palace of the Dead

This option shows additional information about the Palace of the Dead.

Character growth

The Palace of the Dead employs a set of rules and mechanics unique to the deep dungeon.

Stats and gear

Attribute points will not be accounted for in the Palace of the Dead; strength and defense are based on aetherpool gear level.

Level

Upon registering for floor one, players will start at level 1 regardless of their current class or job level; for floor fifty-one, players will continue from level 60. By defeating monsters that appear in the dungeon, players will be able to gain EXP and level their characters up to 60 while below floor 51. The levels gained in progression of the dungeon, however, will not be the same as what players will receive upon clearing.

Your level inside the PotD can exceed your class level. Note that players currently on their free trial or who have not yet purchased FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward will also be able to level their characters to 60 inside the Palace of the Dead.

Experience

All enemies players encounter in the Palace of the Dead will give a fixed amount of EXP regardless of the number of members in your party or the difference in level between you and the enemy. Rested experience and experience bonuses (eg. foods) will also be ignored.

Players have the full 60 minutes to run around and level up, but once you move forward you can't go back and keep your progress. The actual character experience gained is based on your current PotD level when you complete the set of floors. The amount is approximately 30% of a level for the first 10 floors, and is incrementally 10% higher for completing each subsequent floor set. This experience is awarded every time the floor set (10 floors) is cleared.

Actions

There's no adjustments to or restrictions on any actions, role actions, or statuses. However, players must first reach the required level in the dungeon to have access to them. Players will even have the opportunity to gain actions and statuses above their current level regardless of whether or not they have completed the necessary class or job quests.

Please note that players who have entered the deep dungeon with a class will be restricted from using any job actions. Role slots become available at the levels at which they would during normal leveling.

Consumables

You can use any consumable item, including those from outside the PotD. HQ potions will drop from enemies inside. A good supply of HQ potions will make classes without heals viable as well as Sustaining Potions exchanged for Empyrean Fragments, but they will need to beware traps. Several traps within cause long-duration status effects which can be cleansed normally using the respective potions. Food will provide a benefit to stats, but not to XP gained.

Aetherpool Gear

When entering the Palace of the Dead players are assigned an aetherpool rating. It's a measure of your character strength and defense within the PotD, and should be directly considered a stat. As long as the player completes a floor set (every 10 floors), any gains made are permanent (saved). It is the only attribute which affects your character in the PotD (aside from level), and it's not tied to any class, weapon, or gear.

Strengthening aetherpool gear

Aetherpool gear can be enhanced by accessing Silver Coffers. These coffers appear randomly on each floor and after defeating certain enemies (eg. under the effect of Pomander of Fortune). When enhancing gear, there is a chance of failure that varies depending on the current level of your gear and the floor where the silver coffer is found. Aetherpool gear can be enhanced to a maximum strength of +99. In the event the strength of your aetherpool gear exceeds the maximum allowed by your current level, its attributes will be synced.

Fully upgrading a character aetherpool gear requires repeating floors. However, aetherpool gear will not be upgraded if its rating would become a higher number than the floor you are on, ie. it's not possible to farm floors 1-10 to maximize your stats for example. Failed attempts at enhancing aetherpool gear will show up the message: "Your aetherpool arm/armor remains unchanged."

Although upgrades are not guaranteed when the level exceeds your aetherpool rating, the greater the difference, the higher the chance that you will gain a +3 increase instead of +1. (Your aetherpool arm/armor flares, instead of flickers).

Progress and syncing

Upon successfully finishing a Palace of the Dead run – completing all ten floors –, any aetherpool progress, and Accursed Hoards obtained are kept. Failing to complete the duty for time running out or party KO, before finishing the tenth level, will result in lost progress to experience, attained aetherpool gear level, and Accursed Hoards obtained.

After level 1, your aetherpool gear will be synced if its rating is higher than 1/2 your current level.

Gear durability and spiritbonding

Aetherpool gear is not subject to durability loss, nor can it gain spiritbond when inside the Palace of the Dead. This also applies to any gear equipped upon entering the instance.

Floor mechanics

Inside Palace of the Dead, players are subject to various mechanics. The Character Panel is changed to show the player's current aetherpool gear level (arm and armor), current pomanders available, and active pomanders. The map is also changed to show each floor map; note that it is hidden at the start and it's uncovered as players progress throughout the rooms.

Map

Hitting M now shows the Palace of the Dead floor map along with a header UI.

Palace of the Dead floor map

The map displays the following information:

  • Header UI
    • Cairn of Return activation status (more information below).
    • Cairn of Passage activation status (more information below).
    • Map enchantments — Each floor can have active enchantments on them; these change various aspects of gameplay such as quicker cast/recast time, or reduced party damage, etc. More information below.
    • Floor level.
  • Map UI
    • Floor rooms — The rooms are uncovered as players visit them. The Pomander of Sight uncovers the whole floor at once.
    • Each floor may contain additional information:
      • Green flag — This is the initial room when you are first transported into the floor.
      • Leaf-like icon — This icon denotes the Cairn of Return.
      • Key-like icon — This icon denotes the Cairn of Passage.
      • Golden chests — These are the Golden Coffers, which contain buffs in them (more information below).
      • Silver chests — These are Silver Coffers; they offer a chance to strengthen your aetherpool gear (more information below).
      • Bronze chests — These are Bronze Coffers; they contain items in them (more information below).
      • PS.: If a room contains a Golden Coffer, the map will always display only a golden chest icon there. This means such room still has a chance to have a Bronze/Silver Coffer. That may confuse groups that use a Pomander of Sight to reveal the whole floor, and are seeking Bronze/Silver Coffers.

Cairn of Return

Cairn of Return.
Cairn of Return is a magical resurrection device within Palace of the Dead. It serves to resurrect fallen party members. Similarly to Cairn of Passage, in order to use it players need to kill creatures until it's lit up. On group with no jobs able to resurrect, it's very important to have Cairn of Return activated in case someone dies.

Cairn of Return indicates how far it is to activate by the header icon above the floor map.

  • Cairn of Return inactive — Inactive
  • Cairn of Return nearing activation — Nearing activation
  • Cairn of Return inactive — Activated

Cairn of Passage

Cairn of Passage.
Cairn of Passage is a magical transportation area within Palace of the Dead. It serves to teleport the group to the next floor. In order to activate it, players need to kill creatures in the floor until it lights up. Once it's lit, all members must stand within the glowing area to teleport to the next floor. Note that the Cairn of Passage won't teleport the group if someone is in combat, therefore requiring to kill any aggroed creatures, or if someone is dead.

Cairn of Passage indicates how far it is to activate by the header icon above the floor map.

  • Cairn of Passage inactive — Inactive
  • Cairn of Passage nearing activation — Nearing activation
  • Cairn of Passage inactive — Activated

Character panel

Character panel is changed while inside Palace of the Dead, and displays information related to the current floor or set of floors.

altPalace of the Dead character panel

This UI displays the following information:

  • Level, class/job, and experience to the next PotD level.
  • Aetherpool gear level — This is broken into arm (strength) and armor (defense), each can increase up to +99.
  • Items — This is a list of all pomanders obtained in the current run, as well as accursed hoards acquired.
  • Item effects — This is a list of all active pomander effects inside PotD.

Environment

Palace of the Dead rooms.
Palace of the Dead is a dangerous place, and its danger increases at each floor the groups descend. Floors are comprised of rooms which contain mostly hostile creatures awaiting players to attack, but they may also hold treasures for those bold enough to venture forward. Each group of ten floors, called floor set, is considered a PotD run, and beating all ten levels will complete the duty.

All creatures inside PotD are hostile and will aggro at sight. Creature density varies with each room and floor level, and as players descend to lower floor sets, some patrolling mobs will start roaming the rooms to catch players off guard. At every tenth level there will be a boss guarding the exit; beating the boss completes the floor set, and awards players all rewards obtained over the course of the duty.

Hostile coffers

These hostile coffers are random, and can be encountered in most levels:

  • Silver Coffer Traps — These silver coffers look like regular ones, but will explode upon opening, dealing high damage in an area around it. It's recommended players don't attempt to continue walking until they have their health back. It's fairly common for groups to wipe because players chain Trap Silver Coffers with explosion traps, since both cause high AoE damage, instead of standing still to recover their health.
  • Golden Coffer Traps — These golden coffers also look like regular ones, but will become a Mimic upon opening. Since Mimics can apply the Pox debuff, which causes damage over time for 10 minutes, they should be killed quickly before having a chance to apply the debuff.

Floor enchantments

There's a chance for some floors to have one or more special effects. These effects which affect the whole floor are called enchantments.

Enchantment Description Notes
Auto-heal PenaltyAuto-heal Penalty HP regeneration for all part members is disabled. Applies to out-of-combat passive HP regeneration.
BlindnessBlindness Accuracy of all party members is reduced. This enchantment effectively causes all attacks to miss more often.
Damage PenaltyDamage Penalty Damage dealt by all party members is reduced.
GloomGloom Enemy movement speed is increased. Enemies also deal more damage while taking less. The environment acquires a gloomy, pink-filled mist effect.
HasteHaste Weaponskill recast time, spell recast time, and auto-attack delay for all party members are reduced.
HP/MP BoostHP/MP Boost Maximum HP and MP of all party members are increased.
HP PenaltyHP Penalty Maximum HP of all party members is reduced.
InabilityInability Use of abilities is prohibited for all party members.
Item PenaltyItem Penalty Use of items (including pomanders) is prohibited for all party members.
Knockback PenaltyKnockback Penalty Knockback and draw-in effects for both enemies and allies are disabled. Manticore transformation attacks are greatly reduced since damage is based on knockback.
Sprint PenaltySprint Penalty Use of the action Sprint is prohibited for all party members.

Pomanders

Pomanders are items exclusive to Palace of the Dead acquired by opening Golden Treasure Coffers. Each pomander has an effect that may change party strengths, enemies around them, or the room itself. There are three pomanders which affect the next floor: Pomander of Affluence, Pomander of Alteration, and Pomander of Flight; all other pomanders take place immediately for the current floor. For example, Pomander of Sight immediately reveals the current floor, while Pomander of Affluence will increase the number of treasure coffers for the next floor.

Pomanders can have a maximum stack of 3 per type, any excess will be returned unless the pomander is used. All obtained and active pomanders are listed in the changed character panel.

Pomander Description Notes
Pomander of Affluence Pomander of Affluence Increases the number of treasure coffers on the next floor.
Pomander of Alteration Pomander of Alteration Changes the enemy occupying a random room on the next floor into a mimic or a mandragora.
Pomander of Flight Pomander of Flight Decreases the number of enemies on the next floor.
Pomander of Fortune Pomander of Fortune Increases the chance enemies on the current floor will drop treasure coffers.
Pomander of Intuition Pomander of Intuition Reveals the current floor's hidden treasure. The effect of this pomander is carried over until an Accursed Hoard is found, therefore it's not required to reactive it unless its effect is consumed.
Pomander of Lust Pomander of Lust Transforms user into a succubus.
Pomander of Purity Pomander of Purity Removes the Pox status. This is regarding Pox debuff applied by Mimics.
Pomander of Rage Pomander of Rage Transforms user into a manticore. Manticore can't KO creatures when the floor has the Knockback Penalty enchantment.
Pomander of Resolution Pomander of Resolution Transforms user into Kuribu. Appears only on level 51+.
Pomander of Raising Pomander of Raising Instantly raises the first party member to be KO'd.
Pomander of Safety Pomander of Safety Removes all traps from the current floor. This pomander doesn't remove coffer traps.
Pomander of Serenity Pomander of Serenity Removes all enchantments from the current floor.
Pomander of Sight Pomander of Sight Reveals the current floor's map and the location of all hidden traps. While all hidden traps become visible, they can still be triggered.
Pomander of Steel Pomander of Steel Decreases damage received by 40%. This effect lasts for 8 minutes.
Pomander of Strength Pomander of Strength Increases damage dealt and HP recovered via healing magic by 30%. This effect lasts for 8 minutes.
Pomander of Witching Pomander of Witching Transforms all targets within range into a frog, imp, or chicken. Polymorphs all enemies within a 20 yalm radius of the user into harmless creatures for 30 seconds, though they retain their normal HP and defense values. This effect generates a large amount of enmity for the user.

Note: Some pomanders won't have any effect upon using more than one, this includes Pomander of Purity, Pomander of Safety, Pomander of Serenity, Pomander of Sight, Pomander of Steel, and Pomander of Strength. The last two will only replace any applied buff.

Traps

As players progress, they will arrive at floors with traps scattered around the rooms that will be set off when walked across. These traps are invisible unless a player has a Pomander of Sight which can reveal their locations.

Trap Effect Notes
Enfeebling Trap Enfeebling Trap Causes Enervation status. Enervation: Reduced damage dealt and increased damage taken.
Impeding Trap Impeding Trap Causes Pacify and Silence statuses (30 seconds), pets are also affected by this.
Land Mine Land Mine Causes approximately 80% of maximum HP to everything in range when stepped on. This trap stays topped off between rooms.
Luring Trap Luring Trap Spawns three random enemies from the floor to attack you. All enemies will aggro on the person who stepped on the trap.
Toading Trap Toading Trap Causes Toad status (20 seconds), effectively transforming the player into a toad. Toad debuff prevents you from taking any action; this includes sending a pet to attack, and even opening treasure coffers.

Treasure coffers

Treasure coffers are special chests scattered around rooms with each floor inside Palace of the Dead. They contain varied items and each type works differently:

Accursed Hoard

While exploring the Palace of the Dead, players will, on occasion, discover hidden treasure known as the Accursed Hoard. These items are counted on the character panel as players unveil their respective treasure coffers. Since these coffers are hidden by default, players can discover them by remaining stationary for a brief period of time at various locations, or they may activate a Pomander of Intuition, which reveals them. Upon using the aforementioned pomander players will have a notification stating whether there's an Accursed Hoard in the current floor, and can then seek out a golden glowing light to reveal the coffer.

Upon saving progress and exiting the Palace of the Dead, all party members are granted the same number of Accursed Hoards which will translate into a trimmed sack item. Players can take these items to the Expedition Bishop at Quarrymill in the South Shroud (x25.1,y20.6) to have it appraised and discover what lies within.

Contents

Depending on the Palace of the Dead's level, Accursed Hoards are translated into different trimmed sacks. Each sack contains varied items which range from fireworks to materia or even minions and mounts:

Appraising these sacks at the Expedition Bishop will unveil their contents. If the outer ring flashes it will be a rare treasure, if the outer ring does not flash it will be a normal treasure.

Floors

Each floor has all mechanics mentioned before; what varies among each floor set are enemies, patrolling enemies, insta-kill enemies, enchantments, trap density and bosses. Players can also obtain better trimmed sacks at each 50 floors, as well as a guaranteed Gelmorran Potsherd from level 100 onwards.

Floor 1-10

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 11-20

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 21-30

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 31-40

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 41-50

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 51-60

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 61-70

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 71-80

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 81-90

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Floor 91-100

Enemies
Patrolling enemies

None.

Boss

Rewards

Level 1-49

Level 50-59

Level 60-69

Level 70

Gelmorran Potsherd

Aetherpool weapons

Padjali weapons

Kinna weapons

Tips and tricks

The tips and tricks below have been collected from players and are intended to make Palace of the Dead runs safer and more productive:

  • Try and stay close to your group to avoid being wiped alone.
  • When crossing rooms, walk closer to walls as there are less chances for traps near them.
  • When luring an instant-kill creature, kill it as soon as possible to prevent the party or party members from wiping.
  • Save pomanders instead of using them in any situation, unless your party is capped at three pomanders. Some guidelines are as following:
    • Pomander of Witching: Use when a lure trap is triggered of there's a filled room your party has to cross.
    • Pomander of Rage: Use when approaching second-to-last or last floors before boss.
    • Pomander of Lust: Use in the boss floor to lower a boss' defense. One person is enough.
  • Don't bother with Silver Chests if everybody in the party has +99/+99 Aetherpool Gear as these chests may trigger a bomb.
  • If a silver chest bomb trap has been triggered, wait a while until your health is fully recovered or a healer heals you. Moving as soon as a bomb is triggered may be dangerous as there's a possibility for a second bomb to trigger, effectively killing you and other members nearby.
  • Pet classes/jobs are advised to dismiss melee pets as they can aggro roaming creatures.
  • Healers are advised to aid a member suffering from Pox by casting a regen on them if possible.

Notes

  • Heaven on High is the second deep dungeon introduced with Stormblood. It shares almost all rules with Palace of the Dead with a few exceptions.