With the release of new floors for Hall of Philae, I've decided to make a small guide detailing this niche archeology instance. I was also surprised to find this never had a guide for even the initial floors.
What is Hall of Philae?
Hall of Philae is an instance (dungeon) that you can enter in Star Sand Desert. It is accessible at the same place that Ozymand Temple is.
Hall of Philae is an archeology instance, and for the most part, it would be done for much of the same reason archeology would be. You can obtain items that you can vendor to an archeology NPC for archeology tokens, as well as some unique things, and some of the things from the new floors in particular are what make this instance attractive. After each floor concludes, a large chest spawns, which has its own set of drops, including Orange masteries, Maja key fragments and her eidolon accessory, specific gear and unidentified gear, among other things. Note that treasure charms do NOT work on these chests, as they are not a target you attack with combat like regular chests, but rather one you pick up, so they behave differently!
Hall of Philae is split into two parts; the first and initial part, which consists of five floors, and the second and newer part, which consist of three floors. The first five floors are in a random order. The three newest floors are always in the same order. To enter the dungeon, you need to be level 55 (or... was it level 60 now?). You can then do the initial five floors. To progress and do the second and newer part, however, you need to be at least level 90.
Let us move on to how the dungeon itself, and each floor, works.
Hall of Philae - Explorer Base:
When you first enter, you enter into an initial room. This room has three NPCs of importance. The first is near the entrance, and will teleport you out of the dungeon, but... why would you want that? The second is an archeology NPC, which can sell you an Identification Tool Set. You will need this if you don't have one, or it has ran out of uses. You may notice the NPC will not sell you the actual archeology pick-axe tool. This is not needed; you don't need one, and at any time where you would, your skill bar is adjusted to temporarily give you one. The third is an NPC which will open to the portal to start the instance, and it is at this point that the time starts. You will given a buff that lasts 20 minutes, and when this wears off, you will not be able to proceed to a new floor. If you run out of time, you will, however, be able to finish the floor you are currently on. This buff prevents the use of the Teleportation skill, and if you finish the instance before the buff time runs out, it will prevent you from teleporting even after you leave the instance.
There is additionally an archeology NPC on each floor itself, so if you ever run out of the Identification Tool Set (although this is only needed for a few of the floors), you will never be stuck.
Hall of Philae Floors 1 through 5 (level 55 requirement):
As mentioned above, floors 1 through 5 occur in a random and not set order, so the order of these may not match your own. I will therefore just include them in any order here, and include a picture along with the description to help identify them.
Floor 1: This floor behaves similarly to how an archeology spot on the field maps would. You seek out Yellow glows, dig where they appear, and then identify from among three colors which it is. Only digging and checking the item is actually required to get it to count, so if you don't mind missing out on the item it will yield, you can simply dig, check, and cancel the process without identifying it to speed the floor up. As you do this, one of four relics will glow. Once all four are glowing, the chest spawns, and the room concludes.
Floor 2: This floor is strictly a gathering floor. Relics are strewn about on the ground, and you gather them up. You have a chance to obtain an aura after you do, and once you have the aura, you should run towards one of the ruined statues to transfer it. As a note, the very small round relics, as well as the horn relics, will never give you a glow. After you've done this three times for each statue, six total, the chest will spawn and the room will conclude. You may gather any remaining relics for their drops after this point, if you wish, but it is not necessary.
Floor 3: Somewhat similar to the prior floor, there are items strewn about on the ground. However, they are glowing one of three colors, and you need to target the item and use the skill that corresponds to each color. Each item has a chance to drop a Sun Runestone. Once you have seven of them, give them to the NPC near the stone tablet, and the chest will spawn, concluding the room.
Floor 4: This room is simply concluded once all of the chests are gathered, and there are 27 chests. Another NPC will participate in trying to gather the chests. It is very possible to get all 27 chests yourself, and the NPC seems to have a set order in which he chooses the chests. In addition, there are spots he will often run back to between chests. I do not have the exact order known myself, but roughly, I start in the far right corner, then work towards the far left, then collect the row of 4 or so along the right, and then the last 4 or so along the left, as that seems to be the way the NPC approaches it. Once all chests have been gathered, the screen transitions, after which the floor concludes. There is no large chest that spawns in this room.
Floor 5: This floor can be a bit frustrating, but once you learn the mechanics, it's simple.
At first, it will appear similar to the first floor. Glow spots will appear, and you will need to dig there and identify them. Do this twice. As with the first floor, you don't need to actually identify the item; just to dig and initially check it. Once you dig a third time, before you can identify it, the screen transitions, and you will appear back towards the entrance of the room, showing that this floor is not simply like the first. There are three goblins in the center along the back wall of the room. Ignore the last dig you did, and run to them. After some moments, they will begin to flee. Your skill bar changes to give you three skills. The first is an attack, and the other two are traps; one is a bear trap that will halt any goblin for a few moments that steps too close, and the other is an AOE trap which will rope any goblins for a few moments.
The key in avoiding the frustration is this; their initial behavior is to run a bit, then stop, and then run, and repeat. Once, however, they have been obstructed by anything, be it an attack or a trap, their behavior changes to more or less run nonstop, with the pause severely shortened (to next to nothing), making them much harder to lock down.
Therefore, ensure that once you have trapped a goblin, you dispose of it before it can ever even move again. Rope, attack, trap, attack, attack, repeat is a good order. It is okay if some flee at the onset, because their pattern will always be to to pause until they have been disrupted, so they are easy to lock down and dispose of. Focus on one at a time if you have to. If one gets loose and runs endlessly, however, it can be more difficult.
Once you dispose of all three, the screen transitions again, and afterwards a large chest spawns, concluding the room.
That concludes the first part of Hall of Philae. On to the new floors!