While you’ll gain access to Darkshade Cavern fairly early in the game (level 20), it is one of the more difficult low-level dungeons in The Elder Scrolls Online. Some of the bosses require very specific tactics to defeat, and the fights can be lengthy if your party is not aware of the best strategies.
How to Beat Head Shepherd Neloren
While the battle against Neloren features adds and area of effect (AoE) attacks, the most important aspect is to interrupt the boss when he attempts to heal. If you do not interrupt the heal, this fight can drag on. In addition, because the battle begins with a number of adds, the longer the battle continues the more the damage begins to add up. Even with a top-notch healer, it can make things far more difficult than necessary.
Take down the adds before focusing on the boss. Burn them down as quickly as possible, then shift to the boss. Circles of fire appear throughout the area. Party members should move away from these circles as they appear, but if the boss is standing in or near a circle, the tank should move him away so the melee damage dealers (DPS) do not take damage.
In addition, watch out for the lines of fire that extend from the boss throughout the battle. These move quickly and can be difficult to avoid if you’re not paying attention. If you have slow reactions, you may want to reserve some stamina in order to avoid this attack. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult for solid healers to keep the party alive, even through this spell.
How to Beat Foreman Llothan
This battle is filled with environmental dangers, AoE attacks and adds. When the Foreman raises his staff, the tank and melee DPS need to move away quickly to avoid the AoE thunder spell that follows. This attack inflicts severe damage and should be avoided at all cost. There will be green poison clouds that appear throughout the fight. It’s important to stay away from these clouds and move the boss away from them if he happens to be standing inside.
Several adds spawn during the battle. When the adds appear, DPS should shift from the boss to the adds. If you have a solid healer, the tank can stay on the Foreman. If your healers are a bit lackluster, the tank should pick up the adds while the DPS burn them down as quickly as possible. Once the adds are down, continue attacking the boss until the fight comes to an end.
How to Beat the Hive Lord
The Hive Lord is the most difficult boss in this dungeon thus far. It’s extremely important that every party member pays close attention to the boss during this battle as the Hive Lord uses a number of AoE attacks. It’s equally important for healers to make sure all party members are as close to full health as possible. It’s very easy for a party to wipe if the healer is not playing his A game.
When the Hive Lord uses an AoE slam attack, healers need to be ready to recover as quickly as possible. The attack cannot be avoided and it inflicts massive damage to the entire party. If you have decent gear, you shouldn’t have to worry about a full wipe, but it won’t take long for party members to start dropping if the healers are not curing the party post-haste.
The Hive Lord also uses an moderately fast AoE that hits any party members directly in front of the boss. This can be avoided if you’re paying attention, but you need to move quickly. Once again, it’s important that the healer keeps all party members at near full health just in case one of these attacks connects. In addition, watch out for any red circles that appear on the ground. They grow in size until an add appears, damaging any party members within.
How to Beat the Cutting Sphere
Compared to the battle against the Hive Lord, this is a fairly easy boss fight. The tank should block the Sphere’s Power Attacks while the healer makes sure the party is well cured. The boss randomly attacks various party members, but nothing that will take down a single member in one attack. The main attack to avoid is when the boss spins around, attacking a random party member. This damages anyone in close proximity to the boss and should be avoided if at all possible. Even if the attack hits, healers shouldn’t have too much trouble recovering the party.
How to Beat the Sentinel of Rkugamz
The final boss battle of the dungeon can be a lengthy and tedious fight, but it isn’t overly difficult. The main point of contention are the spider adds that spawn throughout the battle. These adds heal the boss, so it’s extremely important to burn them down as quickly as possible. The longer they stay alive, the more health the boss recovers and the longer this fight becomes.
If you have a good handle on the adds, the only other attacks you need to worry about are the sporadic magic attacks that cover the area. These can be avoided by watching out for the red circles that appear on the ground. As long as you’re not inside one of the circles, you’ll be clear of the attack. The boss also uses a frontal AoE attack that’s not overly difficult to avoid, and the tank should block all Power Attacks to make the healer’s job a bit easier.