FROSTVAULT DUNGEON GUIDE
This Episode of "All About Mechanics" is taking part in "Frostvault". This dungeon you have access to at level 45 or if you travel to the opening yourself at lower levels. This is located in the Western Part of the Eastmarch map as shown below left.
The bosses are marked on the map below right , with their names and locations. I shall explain their mechanics as well as what you should and SHOULDN'T do while facing them. Tip: Running away from something just means they will kill you in the back, don't run /wink!
This boss is very straightforward mechanics wise but the group will need to work together and know what's what. It is very easy to get overwhelmed in this fight if people don't interrupt OR if people try to nuke the boss without paying attention to their surroundings. The bas has lots of aoe and can make short work of a group stacking on top of each others heads, OR people running away. So stay close but don't stack. A nice semi circle behind the boss is fine while the tank maintains a taunt and turns it away from the group. Do NOT drop the taunt!
Ground Pound - If you have been playing long enough you will have most definitely seen this mechanic before. The boss will slam the ground on repeat doing AOE damage to the group.
NOTE: although the damage looks to be frontal effects the damage CAN go behind him too. When you see him slamming the ground simply block to avoid getting killed. It is not a massive amount of damage but along side all the rest of the damage you can take at the same time from other mechanics, this CAN get messy. Block, wait for it to pass and then carry on as you were.
Uppercut! - This mechanic is so much fun you can actually forget what you are doing through laughing! Try to focus here.
The boss will uppercut a random member of the group throwing them INTO the air and then applying a stun. As soon as they land on the ground the boss will repeatedly smash them in the face until they die.
Whoever is not pinned, needs to interrupt the boss ASAP to get him off of the group member.
Jump! - The boss will jump on ANYONE who tries to run away! This mechanic is in the game in multiple areas. Bosses don't like people running away! Cowards will get jumped on and stunned, do NOT run away (demonstrated in the video).
Adds - Ice Wraiths and Spiders will spawn in waves throughout the fight. The spiders fire poison and general light and heavy attacks so are not too stressful BUT the ice wraiths will charge at people, they will heavy attack people, they will stun and they will do NASTY aoe. YOU MUST focus these adds per phase.
The tank CAN taunt them and control them but be sure if you are the tank that you do not spin the boss onto the group while doing so.
You can nuke the boss if you have very high damage in your group BUT if you do, these add waves will overlap and it is extremely likely you will die. SO, my advice to you is to pace it. Adds first boss second, rinse repeat!
Adds spawn based on health at around 90%/75% depending on damage output of the group (you can overlap easily if you have high damage, and then again at 50% and 30%.
I throw bricks! - The just like many other trolls will pull up a large rock out of the ground and throw it at a random member of the group! Now although you can mitigate the damage with a block you CANNOT stop the knock down. You will be stunned and knocked over if you get hit. So the easiest way to survive is actually to time it, and before it hits you, simply dodge roll away from it. Remember however, NOT to go too far away while avoiding this hit because otherwise he will jump on your head.
This fight is a bit of a pug killer for people who PANIC! The boss should be held in the middle of the room by the tank if possible. This makes moving around during the mechanics a LOT easier for the rest of the group. There are many phases in this fight which can happen one after the other very fast if you have high damage or are just simply not paying attention. Most groups wipe a few times before killing this one!
Archers - There are adds in the room several times in the fight and tend to be LONG ranged. Sometimes they will cast the bow ultimate effect where a player will be peppered with arrows over a very short period of time. If a DPS/Healer gets focused by this they will NOT live unless they are fast enough to dodge roll the incoming shots. When you see this you MUST interrupt them.
The easiest way to deal with these archers is to your tank chain them in so they can be dealt with at close range! The reason you tank the boss in the center of the room is so that when THESE spawn, they are all the same distance apart and they are much easier to chain in and control. IF you are holding the boss at one of the edges, the gap from the boss to the sides can be MUCH larger and you risk having to move the boss to get into range and by that time usually someone has died.
Heavy attack - The boss will heavy attack whoever has agro and this SHOULD always be the tank. The tank MUST block this, or die. If anyone else in the group gets this attack, they will die whether they block or not. If you ARE a DPS/Healer and this for some stupid reason is on YOU...you have one chance. A very well timed dodge roll or die.
Charge - The boss will randomly charge at a member of the group and it will look like a heavy attack (Technically it is. While a DPS/Healer will NEVER stand up to his actual heavy attack, THIS one is designed for you specifically. When you see him charging at you, BLOCK! If you don't block...you are dead. (you can dodgeroll if you prefer but blocking is a lot easier if you are not good with timing heavy attacks.
Tether Bomb - The boss tether two members of the group together with a long black/grey beam. If this happens, the two members must split up different directions to break the tether or they will explode and die. When you see this, spread out, pop it, and then come back in again.
Flame rage! - The boss at 70% health will jump into the air and vanish. He will then land again with a flaming crash to the ground. When this happens you must spread out, wait for him to land and THEN come back in again. Remember your positions. Tank one side of the boss, everyone else in a nice semi circle.
The boss now has a damage shield and every member of the group has a negative circle around them taking constant fire damage from the boss. This will NOT go away until you get rid of that damage shield. Tank needs to keep up protection buffs and the healer needs to keep people alive while the dps show what they are made of during this phase.
Be sure that as demonstrated in the video you do NOT overlap the circles. I showed you in the boss fight a very simple and effective formation. Utilize it. If you overlap, people will die. There is no need for dancing, running away, showing of doing the "Maelstrom Shuffle"...Stand still and do as you are doing until the phase is over. This is a lot simpler than it looks but people wipe SO often.
Basically the same as the shield phase in Maw Of Lorkaj.
Whirl winds! - The boss at low health (32-30% mark) he will make two whirlwinds go around the outside of the room in an anti-clockwise rotation. They are very easy to avoid, just follow behind them and go around the room in a BIG circle.
One MORE wind will also be spawned and this will be on a random player and this does NOT go anti-clockwise, this will FOLLOW the chosen target. So you must kite it. The easiest way to do this, is keep doing what you are doing! Follow those other two winds in a big circle while your personal one is chasing you and you will be fine. If you start running around crazy trying to avoid it you will inevitably run into it and die.
At the same time the boss is creating his own whirlwind in the middle of the room and it is spreading to a MASSIVE size. This is why you MUST stay on the outside of the room and not come into the middle.
If the random wind catches you, you are dead, if the two static rotation ones catch you, you are dead and if you stand in the middle, you are dead.
This is the simplest (scary looking) mechanic of all. Run around in a circle around the outside of the room until he has finished and then go back to the fight as you were.
This boss is the one that prevents most people from completing this dungeon. He can actually sometimes be trickier than the last boss if people do not focus on what they are doing. It can be straight forward or can be a complete mess. There is a lot going on so work together as a team on this one! Priority targets count for a lot in here especially in squishy groups where people are low health and/or have low resistances and such. It helps a LOT to have some mitigation buffs in here because there are a couple of mechanics that can sometimes not be so easy to avoid and CAN cause people to die fast.
The tank should hold the boss in in the middle of the room at all times to make the whole fight a LOT easier! The tank must NOT drop taunt.
Heavy attack/Steam - If you have faced Dwemer Centurions already in game (and if you are coming to this dungeon it is EXTREMELY likely) you will notice these mechanics right away. However, this is basically a very nasty heavy attack with a cleave. The tank should BLOCK this and make sure NO ONE is standing in it. Do NOT spin the boss around and if you are a DPS/Healer and you are caught by this because of your bad positioning, it is your own fault. This is for the tank, don't stand in it!
Lightning! - This is again another mechanic that all centurions do, When he puts his arm into the air, he will fire rapdi lightning shots into the air and they will land on the floor under the target/s of his choice. This is very easy to avoid. Simple relax and go around the boss in a circle while doing damage/healing etc until the phase is over. The tank can stand in it and block OR go around in a circle, depends on how squashy the tank is to be honest. But of course maintain a taunt at all times so he doesn't come out of that phase with a ninja heavy attack to the group.
Adds - During the fight you will be presented with 2x adds in waves. There will be a spider, which really doesn't pose much of a threat but should be killed asap, BUT...the Dwemer Sphere must be killed at all costs! Get off the boss and focus these things down! If you do not kill the Dwemer Spheres and they start overlapping mechanics (more than one at a time) you will be in serious trouble. These adds will pick a random target (taunted or not) much like the hagraven in Bloodroot Forge (usually the stamina dps) and cast a fast moving ground based aoe across the floor. If you are NOT protected by resistance buffs, damage shields, mitigating effects or anything else to that effect and you are HIT with this you are pretty much susceptible to a one shot ! If you have 16k health or less with low resists and no damage shield from yourself or the group...good luck, you are dead. Avoid this at all costs and kill that add!!!
Shock Spheres - During fight the fight you will see rolling Dwemer balls/spheres moving into the room. Avoid standing in these. They have a fairly obvious aoe around them and if you touch them they will explode, do HIGH shock damage AND stun you and anyone else nearby. Remember, these stun OTHER people as well as you! That is crucial for the last boss, don't touch them!
Frikken LASORS BEAMS! - This is the mechanic that kills groups over and over again due to lack of co-ordination and focus, along side lack of understanding of the mechanics. It is not just "avoid the lasers"... there IS a system for it.
During the fight the boss will go into a dome/shield of protection. If you touch this shield you will die so do NOT touch it. BUT this works as an obstacle that can avoid certain damage in the room...
When he is in the dome, there will be a small Dwemer sliding across random wall from one side to the other emitting a constant laser beam! If this touches you, you are dead.
How do you avoid this? SIMPLE! Look for the Dwemer with the laser, where the Dwemer is shooting from, you ALWAYS want to be on the opposite side of the dome. Look for the Dwemer specifically. Not just a laser from any angle, you must spot the Dwemer projecting the laser. Always have him in your sights so you can see where you need to stand.
Where ever he is, put yourself in such a position that the dome is between you, and it will block the laser and you will take NO damage.
As the fight goes on this gets increasingly difficult with more lasers and there IS a system to this so you can make it easier on yourself. Remember to always have the dome, between YOU and the DWEMER.
He will hide in his dome for the laser phase at roughly 90% depending on the dps burst of the group (damage can of course alter timings) and then again at 75% and 50%. After 50% it seems to push the laser phase every 20seconds rather than health afterwards (check the video he goes from 50% with a phase and then the next one is 43% and so on. It is "timed"). Each phase under set health % however does present more lasers!
So any health % to around 75% will always be 1x laser, any time after up to 50% will be 2x lasers and any time the lasers spawn UNDER 50% you will get 4x lasers.
Now the easy part. When you have more than one laser, do as you have been doing, put the dome between YOU and the Dwemer, BUT each one that spawns will be a a patterned rotation. So if the second beam means you have to rotate behind the dome going to the left, it will be left every single beam for that phase. If it is right, it will be that direction every single beam that phase. So always LOOK for the second one, which ever way you have to run as a group, repeat it for the remaining lasers until the boss stands up again. This makes things MUCH less confusing.
Demonstrated visually in the video for those whom are confused.
This boss is another pug killer because people are not considerate of group member's personal space. Basically if you stack on this boss, you are going to die! The tank should keep a taunt on Rizzuk at all times of course but the tank needs to stay WITH "Avalanche", the boss's pet. Unlike other fights where you would focus the adds, THIS boss, you focus the BOSS!
Teleport/ice damage! - During the fight Rizzuk will teleport from one side of the room to the other, this can be very tricky. While he is in his new location he will be channeling ice damage at the group and he MUST be interrupted. If you do not interrupt him asap the group will not survive, his damage is insane!
Rolling ice - During the fight there are ice affects which roll across the floor, just watch your feet and move away from these and you will not die. If you are high though you will take high damage!
MASS STUN!! - The boss will channel an UN-interruptible ability and he will cast what looks like a small blast of wind with no effect...however that is your warning to get AWAY from each other. Within 2-3 seconds every member of the group is going to be stunned to the ground with a small spreading aoe which will explode.
IF you have spread out, it will pop and you will live. If you overlap the circles, the people who overlapped will die! (demonstrated in the video, do NOT stack up in this fight.)
Avalanche heavy attack! - This all about the tank, this should not be on ANYONE. His heavy attacks can be single target hits and aoe frontal hits so the tank MUST keep this guy away from the group at ALL costs!
Avalanche roulette! - This is called roulette simply because of the randomness of it. The pet will hit the tank rapidly from time to time with so many heavies and lights hitting one after the other and during this you will see different aoe circles under the boss. Technically these are the same thing but they alter in their visuals to show safe and bad places to stand.
If the entire aoe is solid, the tank should stand out of it (or face tank it if brave) BUT when Avalanche hits with a GAP in his aoe, you CAN stand in that section (sometimes half the circle, sometimes a quarter of the circle) and you will actually be unharmed! This is there ONE mechanic where the tank is somewhat permitted to disco dance a bit to avoid the big hits, BUT you must make sure this is not near the group of course (don't spin the boss on the group).
If however like stated above, you are a chunky tank. You can basically just block it and it's not an issue.
Tornado - Finally when the fight is almost over (low health on the boss) he as well as keeping up his rotation will show one more mechanic. He will cast spinning tornado type ice effects around the outside of the room. The longer the fight the more he will cast. These are extremely easy to avoid. They tend to be on the edges of the room, so just DON'T go near the edges. The part where this becomes difficult is if the ice stun is present, you are limited to room, so...watch your feet and don't stack up, but avoid the sides!
This boss is actually a lot simpler than it looks although he is a MASSIVE boss so he does look very scary. He can wipe groups quickly if you do not focus but you have to do everything in order and if you stick to it you WILL succeed. The tank must maintain a taunt at all times and the group needs to know what is coming. Yoloing won't help. There are also a couple of skills that can help in here but we will get those those on the way down as i explain the mechanics individually. (Note hardmode does not have steam, or the rat race with dps/tank/healer roles and is a lot less complicated).
Firstly the rat race you have to do at the beginning before the boss fight is the SAME on non hard mode. But on hard mode it is a lot more complex, so bare that in mind.
Mechanics wise for the boss as a whole however is as simple as "kill the arms first". THEN the real fight begins.
Face Blast Beam! - The boss will constantly throughout the fight be casting laser face beam shots at the tank (or whoever has agro). Block this damage at all costs, they can be fast paced and they really hurts. Squishy tanks will NOT stand up to this if they drop the ball too often.
Lightning Field - The boss has a small lightning field around his base. If you touch it you will take damage and be stunned. Try not to stand too close to him.
Steam (hardmode only) - The floor will be FILLED with steam causing HUGE damage over time. The healer's work will be really cut out here! Lots of heal over time is required, damage shields also help and it is AOE damage too for those abilities/sets that reduce aoe damage. This also applies defile so you must stay on top of your survival in these phases. They tend to happen roughly every 30 seconds and lasts for 10seconds, so there is a 20second gap between each one. Healers are finally tested in a hard dungeon mechanic!
Flame arm - The boss's flame arm will cast a flame thrower in the direction of whoever has agro (this should be the tank at ALL times) do NOT spin the boss around, plant your feet and take it! You can block the damage and the healer will need to focus as much healing over time as possible when this happens.
While fighting the flame arm Dwemer Spiders will appear one at a time and should be killed. They are low health and really don't cause much of a problem. You can even kill these in aoe if your group has good aoe damage, but failing that, kill it, and then back to the arm.
Once the flame arm is destroyed a centurion will spawn and MUST be taunted asap by the tank and killed quickly by the group. If this heavy attacks the tank, the tank must block or die. If it heavy attacks a group member who is NOT a tank, they must dodge roll with perfect timing, or they are dead. You will NOT block it as a dps/healer, it's a one shot.
From here move on to the spinning arm.
Spinner Arm - Just like the flame arm mechanics, you must kill this before you can attack the boss and during the fight Dwemer spiders will appear one at a time for you to deal with. Unlike the flame arm this CAN damage the group. The tank should block the arm whenever it does it's spinning blade attack BUT the group ALSO need to block when this happens (also while fighting the flame arm, this mechanic is very important). Every hit with the spinning blade will throw lightning shock attacks at the group (direct damage). The healer will have to work very hard to keep up here but when the shots are firing, the group should be blocking! If you are too slow or you don't block, 9 times out of 10 you will die. Group mitigation buffs for resists and damage shields help a LOT here.
Once the arm is down the next centurion will appear and again this MUST be focused and the tank MUST taunt it!
NOTE: The boss is no longer immune when both arms are down, NOW you can hit the boss!
Rolling Spheres - These were in the Vault Protector fight. Very simple, they will roll across the floor going to the middle towards the boss. Do NOT touch them. If you do, you and surrounding friends will take damage and be stunned.
Dwemer Spheres!!! - When the boss is able to take damage (arms dead) the room will start to randomly spawn Dwemer Spheres! These spawn on the edges of the map and will agro random targets. There are TWO choices here to deal with them and neither is an easy task.
Option 1: Get the tank to chain them in and kill them.
Option 2: put knock back effect skills on and knock them OFF the edge to one shot them.
Stamina need to put on draining shot (bow skill) and magicka will have to use destructive clench/reach with a flame staff.
The choice is yours either way but i demonstrate the knock back tactic in the video with a bow. There is an achievement for it too. BUT do whatever is better for your group. While other mechanics are happening this can get extremely tricky so you MAY be safer with most groups to pull them in and kill them.
These also channel effects at once person of their choice in the group. If they are not killed, knocked off or interrupted the spreading aoe will pop and the person affected will take high damage as well as anyone caught inside of it. However, IF you dodge roll JUST at the peek of the aoe(just as it pops) you can avoid the damage. DON'T PANIC!
Spinning Flames! - The has no arms left and so now the actual sockets they were torn from is the danger! the boss will cast massive cone AOE flame damage from each one. If you touch them you WILL die. So, when this happens, pay attention to which way he is rotating and follow him. If you are in front of him OR behind him, it does NOT matter, stick with him and just don't touch the fire! This is one of the most obvious mechanics...BIG aoe, and spinning, "No touchy!".
Rat Race!!! - At 56% and lower(depending on overlapping mechanics) the 4x teleport pads will be lit up (the rat race from the beginning) all 4 of you need to get one each asap!
When you get into the portal and turn into a rat, each member will have to figure out which role they are! In hard mode you have to work together as a team rather than just run and break terminals.
What you will need to do is charge up by spamming your charge up skill (ps4= square, xbox = x, pc = number 1) on the lighting circle. And each terminal you need to blow up will need to be hit with your Ultimate to destroy it...TWICE!
Role wise there are differences in skills (imagine these being 1-5 from left to right).
2xDPS = Charge up, Resurrect, Ice stun attack, Fireball, Lightning spamable.
Healer = Charge up, Resurrect, Speed boost, Heal over time, Spamable lightning
Tank = Charge up, Resurrect, Speed Boost, Damage Shield(group), Spamable Lightning.
Figure out based on your skills, QUICKLY who is who. Make sure the healer and dps stay together and a tank and dps stay together. Go in 2 groups of two.
The dps can kill the spider dwemer adds but stunning them with ice and then hitting them straight after with a fireball (demonstrated in the video).
The lightning spamable for all x4 roles can be used for small damage while abilities are on cool down.
The healer and tanks should use damage shields and heals IF required when you get in trouble.
The speed buff should ONLY be used if you are trying to get down tunnels to get through quickly BUT be sure that everything is safe first.
Things to look out for.
FIRE: Large tunnels/corridors have flame throwers which come out of the walls. Wait for them to finish, THEN hit the speed buff and run like hell.
Spinners: Circular pads on the ground pop up to be spinning blades with lightning hits firing from them. Stay away from these and when they go back into the floor, quickly go past them.
Adds: Kill them at all costs. Do not try to sprint past them, do NOT yolo. Deal with each mechanic at your own pace.
Tactic wise it is really up to you what you do as a group BUT shown in the video is how we did it.
Split up as tank+ dps and healer + dps.
Charge up your ultimates and split up 2 different directions following the lightning on the ground to direct you to a Conveyor/terminal. Along the way, keep your eyes open, kill adds, and avoid traps. Utilize the speed to get through flame corridors and eventually once you blow up the terminal, use BOTH ultimates, and then travel back to the middle and charge up again to refill your ultimate.
Now follow another path to get to the second terminal, following the same rules as above. Once both teams have killed 2 each, you will go back upstairs and continue the fight.
You have 3 minutes. That is at least 1:30secs per terminal, per team. Take your time, Rushing it will cause a wipe, and if you die as a rat, you are dead when the group goes back upstairs. Team work is key!
TIP: If both teams are efficient enough and all 4 members are back at the middle at the same time, the healer and tank CAN cast heal/damage shield for your next run to help recover in case you were hit on your first run and low health. BUT that is rare it will happen.
Once all 4x terminals/conveyors are destroyed the team will be ported back into the room.
After the rat race - After you come back up you will have to kill the arms again, remember centurions spawn after EACH arm is killed. You will have adds, exploding lightning balls and the steam still to deal with BUT there are more mechanics now as well.
Spinners! - That's right, more spinny stuff! The spinning blades from maelstrom arena round two, are in the room. These go around the room in a circle and if they hit you they will cause a nasty bleed. Walk round these or dodge roll through them to avoid them.
There is a massive issue with these however. If they go through the flame thrower from the arm, it will turn the flames into fire balls and launch them at members of the group! When this happens you need to block! Get that arm down quick!
Meteors/steam/fire - Once the bosses arms are destroyed, the same mechanics as before with the Dwemer Spheres are present along with the spinning flame affect the boss did. So everything pretty much the same as the first time apart from the spinning blades moving around.
This however is not the end of it, at 30% you will get meteors landing randomly with small spreading AOE affects to indicate they are on the way. Do NOT get hit by these.
Steam/flame cone effects will emit randomly from multiple locations surrounding the boss, do NOT stand in this stuff! and finally, at 25% you will get your final Centurion, he MUST die!
Execute panic for most people is a real thing. The boss will spin, adds will spawn, aoes will hit the ground...BUT there is no dps race. Keep doing what you are doing and passively even with dots around so long as you focus on your foot work, this boss will eventually die. People getting scatty and panicking will kill you. Take your time, learn the mechanics, relax and put them into practice. You can do it!!
Here is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in Frostvault. On normal the loot is blue and the boss does NOT drop a monster helmet, but on veteran difficulty all of the loot is purple and Stonekeeper DOES drop a special monster helmet. Note Each individual boss can drop a unique item but generally the weapons and jewellery (non named items) come form the last boss) HOWEVER weapons and jewellery and regular loot can also drop from trash and chests, so loot everything!
Thank you for taking the time to watch the content and read this guide.Be sure on your travels to remember, although once you get very experienced you may make these dungeons much easier and faster... it starts from the ground up and it's...
"ALL ABOUT MECHANICS!"