View Full Version : A Complete Guide to Farming Sandstone Caves- Underground Desert

08-18-2011, 02:28 AM
Hello, this is Whirlz.
I have recently been doing dozens of Underground Desert runs and have gathered some farming experience to share with players.

Table of Contents:

This complete farming guide includes:
-Boss Strategies
-Monster Strategies and Comboes
-Class Gear
-Party Strategies and Formations
-Commonly Used Terms and Abbreviations

Sandstone Caves, or abbreviated as SSC, is a platinum campaign that you must purchase to be able to enter.
There are six dungeons, which unlock after the previous one is fully cleared.
Notice the dungeon has a white outline, meaning it is an elite dungeon and will be harder for lower level players.
Most people who farm Sandstone Caves are usually level 50+, however there are also level 21s that can farm there.
Sandstone Caves is a good way for a fast profit from pinks. Today we will be looking at the first dungeon- Underground Desert.
When you enter, you will have 77 Enemies Remaining.

There will be two different types of mobs that you will see in Underground Desert.
The first is the Regular Golem.
The regular golem will appear in many tan colored shades.
They are easy to kill and will die in a few hits.

The next mob is sort of a mini-boss and will only appear a few times.
These are Elite Golems, and are have the same appearance as the Regular Golems, but with a larger size.
They have high HP and can stop you from running if you get too close to their heavy smashes.
Several hits should take care of these.

The boss will appear at the end of the map when you have cleared mobs until there is 19 Enemies Remaining.
The boss is called Magnetic Golem, and has a lot of HP.
To take him down, you will need to buff up and hit some high damage.
But being an elite dungeon, it is not so simple!
The boss has a couple of pillars surrounding it, which wl blow up when the Magnetic Golem uses its special ability.
This ability will activate when a yellowish aura surrounds the boss and you get a violent pull towards him and then a knockback. Momentarily, all the surrounding pillars will have red orbs appear except one. This one will have a blue orb. You must hide behind the blue orb pillar to survive; otherwise the red ones will blow up and you will get an instant death regardless of Armor or HP. If you survive this blow-up, a second one will occur after a few seconds, and so on.
There is however a method in beating this boss without any worries. This method requires you to be able to kill the boss within two orb blow-ups.
Here we have a picture of two circled pillars to go to.
Start by buffing and going into the last room. Immediately run to the far left pillar(the top one in the picture)and huddle against the wall.
When the golem starts it special ability and pulls you out, run back to the pillar. A blue orb will appear there and you will be safe. The next orb appears at the bottom pillar near the entrance to the room. Run there next. You should be able to kill the Magnetic Golem before the second blow-up and collect your loot.

Quicksand Traps:
These will suck you into them when you get close and deal a large amount of damage. They can also critical hit on you so it is possible for you to die from one of them.
They can also hit twice sometimes. These traps will eject a wavy mini-sandstorm before sucking you in. Be sure to buff mana shield, put on some dodge, or buff some defense before rushing into these. Or simply just wait for them to be over.

These are little swirling pools of sand and will deal damage to you. Sandstorms are normally found near orbs and power-ups; just kill these.

Underground Desert has a power-up/orb near the end before the Boss Room. It is going to be a pinkish-purple orb or a red orb. The pinkish-purple orb raises your defense, and the red orb raises damage. Be careful, a sandstorm will be lurking close by.

Magnetic Golem
These drops include part of the Crystalline Set:

Conqueror's Crystalline Helm
Dreamer's Crystalline Circlet
Jewel Thief's Crystalline Hat
Dreamer's Crystalline Staff
Jewel Thief's Crystalline Bow
Conqueror's Crystalline Axe
Conqueror's Crystalline Sword

Also, Magnetic Golem seems to drop a piece of the Onyx Set:
Conqueror's Onyx Platemail

And of course, the two regular pinks:
War Hammer of Legend
Gem Staff of Lightning of Legend

Elite Golem Drops:
Elite Golem drops usually are white, trash, orange, green and purples. There are a few rare pinks he can drop, which includes:

Conqueror's Ursan Helmet- Level 25
Dreamer's Elven Helmet- Level 25
Jewel Thief's Avian Helmet- Level 25

Conqueror's Battle Axe- Level 30(also a level 29 version)
Conqueror's Battle Sword- Level 30(also a level 29 version)
Jewel Thief's Heavy Crossbow- Level 30
Jewel Thief's Thin Dagger- Level 30
Lightning Wand of Mastery- Level 30
Lightning Bolt Staff of Mastery- Level 30

Conqueror's Bone Plate- Level 29
Dreamer's Bone Cloth- Level 29
Jewel Thief's Bone Tunic- Level 29

Regular Golems drops worthless items so you are best off liquidating.

Monster Strategies and Comboes:
To be able to kill and thus run the dungeon efficiently, you must know how to use your skills wisely.
You should be level 50+ to regularily run Underground Desert, so many skills should be maxed.

As a Mage, you want to buff the two Blessings often.
After that, I found this combo to be helpful with mobs of 3-5: Lightning->Ice Storm->Firestorm. A simple Revive or Debuff will attract nearby monsters' attention and draw them to you. Don't waste debuffs other than on attracting or on bosses.

As a Bird, focus on DPS. You should buff Focus a lot, and most of your attacks can be used in any order to wipe the mobs.
Evade is typically not needed for this dungeon; your low armor is still enough to survive.
Screams, especially the Avian Scream is good with large mobs when focus buffed.
Screaming and then promptly using Blast Shot creates the "Cruel Blast" combo; another great two-shot KO for mobs.

As a Bear, your job is NOT to tank, but to just simply deal damage. I suggest you have some DEX invested.
You want to have Rage maxed. Buff it before combat, and the basic Beckon+Stomp is enough to wipe most Regular Mobs around.
If you do have a DEX weapon equipped, be sure to put it on AUTO and fire it at the golems, whether buffed with rage or not; it adds up damage in the long run.

Class Gear:
Generally all gear is acceptable during farming as long as it is level 50 or above. I suggest a simple level 60 Generic Orange/Green Nuri's Hallows Drop Set or a level 55 Orange/Green Balefort Sewers Drop Set for farming if you are poor.
If you have a Cyber Set, go ahead and use it.

Twinking is getting more and more popular at Sandstone Caves! When you twink, you usually choose level 21 to farm Sandstone Caves. The pink drops will become level 21 instead of level 25 and therefore be considered "odd level". These pinks will be worth a lot more than their level 25 versions.
To twink, you will need a good party, ALL AT THE SAME LEVEL AS YOU OR LOWER! This is important, a single non-level 21 could result in a drop being a different level. It is possible to solo Underground Desert, but to save time, find a level 21 group to farm with. Although it will take time, the drops are absolutely worth it.
You should use Winter Holiday Gear or Level 21 Sandstone Cave Gear.

Enjoy the twinking and have fun!

Farming Strategies/Party Formation:
This is the main focus of the guide.
After doing run after run after run after run of Underground Desert, there are four ways to farm the dungeon.
These are completely opinion based, and comes from research and experience.

The first way is by doing the whole dungeon password locked with only yourself. This is called Solo.
Basically, you clear the dungeon and beat the boss using the method and get the drop. Only do this if you feel lucky. Runs should take under 5 minutes at the most.
Suggested Classes are Mage and Bird.

The second way is what I recommend and is basically having two players split the whole dungeon in half. This is especially good for Underground Desert. This method is called Dual. The technique behind this is, you are able to clear just as fast as a whole group and are able to get drops only to two people, giving you a 1/2 chance instead of a 1/5 chance. This strategy starts off in which you clear the main path with your team mate until you reach this area.
Your partner takes the left route and clears a straight path. They will reach a hole on the left and clear that too.
After doing so, they will come out and meet you in front on the hole.

You, on the other hand, will take the right side and keep going until you see a hole on the right.
*Clear that and go back out and to the far left to meet up with your partner and continue your path.
At the end you will meet Magnetic Golem and then use the method to successfully kill the boss and advance forward.
Runs should take 2-3 minutes at most. Suggested classes are mage plus mage and mage plus bird.

The third way is basically using four people instead of two, and is called Splits. The map is divided the same way, only faster with two instead of one player in each half. The host will assign the members to each half. Example:
"Pink and Jespo left, Whirl and Red right, go."

Runs should take 2-3 minutes at most. Suggested classes are a mage on each half, with a bear or bird.

The fourth way of farming Underground Desert is by using a full party, what I call Obliterate or simply, Group. You must work as a team and smash through line after line of golem as fast as you like. This is for casual people, and not for when you want fast gold.
Runs should take 2-3 minutes. Suggested classes are Bird, Mage and Bear.

Special Terms:
-SSC: Sandstone Caves
-Cave Bear: Level 21 Dex Bear made for the purpose of Farming SSC.

Credits and Thanks:
-Thanks to the following for participating and ending up with over 500 Sandstone Cave Runs:

-Thanks to Adobe Photoshop and Photobucket for great Editing Tools/Uploading Services!

-Thanks to Consignment Shoppé for listings of all the pinks!

-Thanks to Doodle Buddy for Drawing Tools!

If you notice any mistakes or have any questions, PM Xwhirlz!

Good luck farming!

08-18-2011, 02:46 AM
First to comment! Yeah!

Definately a good guide, good job!

08-18-2011, 03:12 AM
Cool Guide.....

Are you doing the other levels in SSC or is Underground the best/easiest/effective to farm?

Is the boss level, Golem Gauntlet, any good for farming, or are drops limited/restricted like Forest Haven Boss Gauntlet.

Thanks for the info was just dipping into SSC yesterday... sweet

08-18-2011, 08:55 AM
R the pink drop rates lower in the mini boss duegon,the very last lvl with all bosses, or is it better off farmin at regular lvls 1-5

08-18-2011, 08:57 AM
lol just read rebridges question and realized it was,the same as mine......

08-18-2011, 08:58 AM
Greta job

08-18-2011, 09:39 AM
You might as well indicate the complete cycle of which pillars get the blue orb. I think someone else had an image which diagrammed that. Not everyone can kill MG by the time the second cycle happens, especially if theyre farming L21 items.

08-18-2011, 09:53 AM
Cool Guide.....

Are you doing the other levels in SSC or is Underground the best/easiest/effective to farm?

Is the boss level, Golem Gauntlet, any good for farming, or are drops limited/restricted like Forest Haven Boss Gauntlet.

Thanks for the info was just dipping into SSC yesterday... sweet

Pinks do not drop in Boss Gauntlet.

08-18-2011, 09:57 AM
Why don't you show us your skills? ;)

08-18-2011, 10:08 AM
Cool Guide.....

Are you doing the other levels in SSC or is Underground the best/easiest/effective to farm?

Is the boss level, Golem Gauntlet, any good for farming, or are drops limited/restricted like Forest Haven Boss Gauntlet.

Thanks for the info was just dipping into SSC yesterday... sweet

Pinks do not drop in Boss Gauntlet.

Pinks DO drop in boss gauntlet!
Just not the really good ones

08-18-2011, 10:19 AM
Props on a great guide. I was wondering if anyone would do one of these.

As far as drop rates go... I was under the impression from Physiologic's drop rate guide that each person.has an equal chance of getting a pink on a given run regardless of the number of people in the party. Thus, if an item has a 5% chance to drop each person has that same 5% chance to get said drop. The drop rate shouldn't go down or be split between players if there is a full party or even only two players. This also explains how more than one pink can drop from a single boss. So the more the merrier in a farming party I guess. Elixirs and luck items are the only things that could affect drop rates as far as I understand and even then it is a small chance.

08-18-2011, 04:53 PM
Sorry guys, was and still am at our new house refurnishing it and such.
I'll answer questions tonight and tomorrow.

08-18-2011, 06:48 PM
Ooh, nice guide! How do you have time to type it all out? Lol

08-18-2011, 08:05 PM
And now to answer questions and comments!

@Glam: Thanks!!!
I will eventually do all the other sections, but I will need lots of time to perfect my strategies.
To answer your question, Underground Desert is the fastest dungeon to run, so if you get lucky, fast pinks and gold will be yours! In my opinion, farm this if you are bored and have already gotten enough pinks for the day.

For your next question, you are completely wrong.
Golem Gauntlet does not drop any Sandstone Cave Pinks, but it does drop two other pinks, which are worthless now and are better of liquidated or given away:
War Hammer of Legend
Gem Staff of Lightning of Mastery
So dungeons 1-5 would be your farming place.
Also, froma recent patch a couple months ago, Developers STRONGLY HINTED that recipes/doom pinks/craft stuff DO drop from Forest Haven Gauntlet, so I can say it is safe to assume these items DO drop there.
Also, glad to hear you picked up farming this campaign^^

@large: I'm pretty sure Magnetic Golem, Magic Golem, Sandstorm Golem, Earthquake, and Onyx all have different drop rates or similar ones.

@Con: Thanks!!!

@Drew: Yeah, I might hang out a bit there tonight, maybe do an hour of orb looping.
@Silent: I have parties already for Solo, Dual, Splits, and Group for every Sandstorm Dungeon.
I just need an app/program/something to clearly record my iPod with. Any suggestions?
@Cold: What physio said is true. However I do have a hunch that drop rate is also affected by level and player numbers.
My expirement on Forest Haven Farming is halfway done, I'll see.
@Ayc: thanks Angie!!^^

My Frozen Nightmares Return of Tha' King Guide will probably be done in a week or two, started it a whiiiiillleeeeeee back.

08-18-2011, 09:15 PM
Sometimes farming is a virtue.
Today I came home after playing some nice hours of tennis, took a bath and had a dinner and went to farm on PL.
I usually do Onyx Split runs with friends, but they seemed to not be on, and so I decided I would be forced to solo.
I felt relaxed and lucky and decided to do Magnetic Golem.
The first round, I got a Conqueror's Crystalline Helmet.
The lesson here is, farm solo when you are relaxed and happy, go grind or farm in teams when you feel bad.

08-19-2011, 11:31 PM
-Added some more pink drops from Elite Golems.
-Indicated confirmed Crystalline pinks that drop from Magnetic Golem.

08-20-2011, 08:40 AM
Cool guide:single_eye:

This method is called Dual. The technique behind this is, you are able to clear just as fast as a whole group and are able to get drops only to two people, giving you a 1/2 chance instead of a 1/5 chance.

I'm pretty sure the forum consensus, confirmed by devs, is that drop rates are independent per player against the loot table. Your 2% chance at a good pink doesn't change with more or less players also getting drops from the same boss. It only seems like it does because your confirmation bias has you remember when other ppl get pinks ( which really does happen 4x more frequently in a full group) more than when no one gets any ( which really does happen more often with Dual).

08-20-2011, 12:40 PM
Nice guide. Wanna farm SSC with me whirl?

08-20-2011, 05:20 PM
Nice guide Ty :D

08-20-2011, 06:31 PM
Nice guide. Wanna farm SSC with me whirl?
I've been restricting myself to Duals/Group with Onyx. Farming Underground Desert SOLO* is the best profit in game for me.

09-07-2011, 05:34 PM
Oh on the elite golems, they drop bone armors lvl 29, i've seen cloth and plate.

09-07-2011, 08:08 PM
These are cross-level pink armors, used to drop in Skeleton Cult Crypts.

09-07-2011, 08:09 PM
shouldn't table of content be table of contents? :P

09-17-2011, 09:05 AM
Made various changes

09-17-2011, 05:04 PM
Hey whirl I rarely see you on anymore.Anyway wanna farm with me?I'd be glad to do the split one.

09-17-2011, 06:02 PM
Lol eyesharp, your like whirlz's #1 fan. Get in game so we can pvp! I got some new stuff :)

09-27-2011, 05:33 PM
Lol eyesharp, your like whirlz's #1 fan. Get in game so we can pvp! I got some new stuff :)
Never take chances I'm on sl most of my time getting to 30 :p

10-02-2011, 06:34 PM
Sorry I took long to reply, but thanks for the mention :D funny how I received pretty much nothing of value in every single one of them runs lol :p

10-02-2011, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the positive feedback!
-Added various changes and corrections to guide.