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Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
Picking your own coffer or chest can (obviously) save you a lot of time farming for a key! But it comes with other hassles and worries...There are dangers to consider when picking your coffers and chests.
First off, only a thief can pick coffers/chests. Not sub-thief, but main thief. And you need to get some tools to pick your coffers/chests. Not all picking-tools are created equally, so you may want to experiment...
- Thief's Tools: These are the cheapest tools. These can be crafted with Goldsmithing, Smithing, and Woodworking or purchased from a vendor when your nation is in 2nd or 3rd place in Conquest.
- Living Key: These cost more than Thief's Tools. Crafted with Alchemy skill or purchased from a vendor only when your nation is in last place in Conquest. Alchemy skill is not required to use them.
- Skeleton Key: These can be quite expensive, as they cannot be purchased from vendors. Crafted with Bonecraft and Alchemy.
A thief can also get 5 free Skeleton Keys (one every 30 minutes) from the quested item: Key Ring Belt. This is a possible reward for a quest in Bastok called Bait and Switch. Choose "Lucky Charm" at the beginning, and you will be able to get the Key Ring Belt. Quest can be repeated once a week; you do not need to drop the Key Ring Belt to repeat or finish the quest, but you can only ever receive one belt a week. If you have a Belt upon completing the quest, it will remain at the ??? until you drop the belt you currently possess, and you cannot flag the quest again until picking it up.
For a discussion on which, if any, tools are "the best" at lockpicking, please see the Talk Page.
The basics of it are that you go to the zone, find the coffer/chest, trade your tool-of-choice to the coffer/chest, and hopefully it works! If it doesn't work, one of 3 things can happen:
- Nothing, it just says you failed to open the coffer/chest and it continues to sit there waiting for you to try again!
- You receive Weakness, which can last anywhere from five minutes to three hours. During this time you can not try to pick the coffer/chest again, you have to wait for it to wear. In order to get rid of it more quickly, you can allow yourself to be KO'd -- returning to your home point will remove the weakness entirely, or getting a Raise will give you a 5-minute weakness as normal.
- A Mimic spawns!! This is not good when you are alone and you probably want to get out of there as fast as you can, or get KO'd. More on Mimics can be found below.
In any of these cases, the lockpicking tool used is consumed.
Note: Since the Dec. '08 update, the chest may also vanish with a message about it being "only an illusion." In this case the lockpicking tool is NOT consumed and the chest will respawn elsewhere in the zone after a short delay. This will only occur if someone has recently opened a chest in the zone that wasn't for Artifact armor or a key item/quest, and you are attempting to do the same. Opening a chest for AF or a key item will never cause the chest to be an illusion.
There seems to be a strong correlation between the success of a pick and your level to that of the mobs in the zone. Basically, to have a good success rate, you want to be near the level of the mobs in the zone. You will probably fail over and over again if you were a 20 thief picking coffers in Castle Oztroja. But as a 58 thief you should have a much better success rate. (See talk page for discussion)
Once you've failed a picking, you will lose the tool that you used. So it's possible to go through a stack of tools and not succeed.
Chests as a general rule of thumb tend to be a bit easier to pick than coffers.
Mimics only spawn from failed coffer picks. They can last in a zone for quite a bit of time.
After a coffer/chest has been picked, it can take for 15-45 minutes to respawn. They have also been reported to respawn almost instantly, although this is a rare occurrence.
If you get a critical failure (i.e. Mimics from failed coffer picks & trap), the coffer/chest can respawn immediately (usually between 5 to 15 minutes).
More on Mimics
- They will instantly do an AOE attack that does Poison and/or Stun. This attack is called Death Trap, and Mimics will also use it when they have TP. The poison effect is pretty strong and lasts for a long time.
- You can't run from them - they have an ability that draws you in. It basically transports you from your running-away to right in front of it again. Even Flee can't stop it.
- Recommended Solo Tactics: Only recommended if Evasion, Marksmanship skills are capped. If the level difference is too great, use the recommended escape as described below. Hit Perfect Dodge and use an antidote (Even better if its macro'd). Pop accuracy food such as sushi, and reposition yourself. Use Perfect Dodge duration to apply blind bolt and acid bolt. Mimics have high evasion and good accuracy so defeating it quickly is necessary, as nearby mobs may join in the fight. Blind bolts have a noticeable effect of lowered accuracy and are critical as Mimic attacks are fast. Apply sleep bolts when needing healing or for Utsusemi recast.
- Recommended escape: Hit Perfect Dodge and use a Scroll of Instant Warp (or some other Warp item). Run as fast as you can from your Home Point to your Mog House to get rid of lingering poison effects. To set your home point to just outside your Mog House, you can of course change your main job to get the pop-up message. This works even when you change your job back to what it was when you entered the Mog House.
- A party of level 60's should be able to kill it. It is possible for a 75 THF/NIN with antidotes and status bolts to solo mimics in most zones, depending on where that mimic is located.
- If it's killed, a coffer key of the current area will drop. This is one guaranteed method of acquiring coffer keys.
- When it is killed, a coffer will spawn immediately somewhere else in the area (or possibly, at the same spot).
See the Treasure Chest/Coffer Guide if you're interested in what they contain and where they are.
Thanks to Rayel for great information!