Scalecaller Peak – review/boss tips
I was able to twist my group’s collective arms and get them to run Scalecaller last Thursday (by which I mean I said “hey, let’s…” and they said “YES”). I also did Fang Lair Keep this weekend, too.
Fun dungeons, both. Challenging, but that’s good. The DLC dungeons have been harder than base-game, and that’s true in this case. But it’s been long enough since I’ve been in any of the DLC dungeons that I can’t really compare this one to any previous – Scalecaller seems easier than Cradle of Shadows, for example, but the last time I ran CoS my DPS was at least 10K lower, maybe 15…
(Wow, hadn’t realized it, but that’s true. I suddenly want to re-run every hard dungeon that’s ever kicked my ass. Suppose my boss would understand if I told him I needed to take today off, go home immediately, and run DLC dungeons all day?)
We got hung up a couple of the fights and looked around online for walkthroughs detailing those mechanics, but couldn’t find any with the info we needed, so we wiped and watched and wiped and experimented and wiped and eventually figured them out. A couple of those wipes were frustrating, but I’d much rather have battles in the game I can’t walk through the first time.
The story for Scalecaller Peak: a group of Peryite cultists found a Dragon Priest lair and is using it as a base of operations to concoct a powerful new disease to ravage Tamriel. All the previous lair-dwellers are now infected w/the disease – skeevers, ogres, leimenids, etc. Someone in your group needs Purge slotted on their weapon bar.
Peryite is the Daedric Prince of pestilence, and he is depicted as a wyrm (skinny dragon) as a sort of insult to Akatosh; when you get to the final battle you can see statues of him the cultists have erected. I mention this because it confused me – they’re obviously not statues of proper TES dragons and just as obviously not part of the original Dragon Priest construction, and I forgot Peryite is depicted that way. My group asked me about them; I rolled and failed my Daedra-Lore check. How embarrassing. Hopefully doing the follow-up research will redeem me. 🙂
It was nice to see the Dragon Priest trappings again. (For a value of “nice” that includes enemies trying to melt your face off, natch.) The “interior” of the dungeon is very reminiscent of Skyrim – after the entrance the path leads up the mountain, taking you outside for beautiful vistas of snow-and-ice-covered ravines and peaks before leading you back to disease-filled cave corridors and then ultimately up to the mountain’s summit overlook for the final battle. Really beautiful work.
In summary: tough, fun, pretty, fun, slot Purge!, fun.
Armor sets and boss tips are after the cut.
And about the bosses…
Orzun the Foul-Smelling (Ogre) & Rinaerus the Rancid (Ogre)
One is ranged, the other is melee. As usual w/two bosses, they need to be brought down at close to the same time or the remaining boss gets enraged and does worse/different attacks.
If the two ogres stand close together they are more powerful; the tank needs to grab the melee ogre and drag him to the edge. At one point the ranged ogre in the middle will cast a huge ice storm with patches of ice spikes inside it (huge AoE with smaller, internal AoEs). The ice spikes will stun you. At the end of the snowstorm, the melee ogre will launch a ground AoE (Snow Tremor) at all players; it cannot be dodged. The ranged ogre will also spawn huge single ice spikes from the ground – hide behind one of these before the ranged ogre’s follow-up attack, which is “Huge Ice Ball Attack”.
In vet I believe the only way to live through the Snow Tremor is to walk into the ice spikes, be ‘frozen’ while the Snow Tremor attack is going on, then break free when it’s over, but I can’t confirm that mechanic. And apparently that’s foreshadowing for the final boss fight in Hard Mode, where each player has to deliberately walk into a different sort of stunning-type attack simultaneously in order to survive whole-room kill-everyone mechanics.
Doylemish Ironheart (Gargoyle) & his Orbs of Stone
In normal mode, this is the toughest fight of the dungeon.
The gargoyle is in a large square space with columns on three sides, and a firey Pokeball floats on the top of each column, ~a dozen of them. (Thanks to Alcast for that joke; he’s exactly right.). Ice wraiths will also show up on the regular.
The gargoyle will bleed the tank. At every 10% drop in the gargoyle’s health, one of the firey-stone Pokeballs will float down into battle. The Pokeballs cannot be taunted, but when they are in melee they can be destroyed. They project a flame ray that will chase you around, and they will also put a target on you – a red double-circle around your feet. You’ll be slowed, but you need to keep moving. If you are targeted and a Pokeball gets too close, you will be turned to stone.
You remain stone until another player frees you. If you’re stone too long the gargoyle will start channeling an attack that will one-shot kill you; the channeled attack can be interrupted by the tank. And don’t forget the ice wraiths, which will also spawn at every 10% increment of the gargoyle’s health. They don’t do a ton of damage, but they will surround you and make it difficult to evade the Firey Pokeballs of Stoney Death™.
We had the tank drag the gargoyle to the far end of the space and the rest of us stayed on the other end. When moving evasively we ran back and forth across just our end – it kept everyone near’ish to the healer and grouped us a little so it was easier to free stoned people. I recommend stopping all DPS on the boss when the adds spawn – if you continue to damage him, it’s easy to get overrun by adds. (She said from personal experience.)
Fight gets nasty at the end – everyone needs to save ults and executes and be ready to burn the boss down when he gets low. I think more than one Pokeball drops into action at 20% and 10% health, but tbh, I was too busy dodging and firing to say for sure.
I cannot believe I got through all that without a single joke about stoned people or firey balls. The 12-year-old boy who lives in my brain is so pouting right now.
Matriarch Aldis (Giantess)
Not a hard fight, but: Stay out of her AoE. Stay out of the ice water. Stay out of the ice spikes. Kill the Leimenids as soon as they spawn. Fire is your friend here.
Plague Concoctor Mortieu
This is one where you have to know the mechanic to get through it. The boss is going to be pumping out AoE damage, and one of his tricks causes a damage multiplier to stack up. Thanks to that multiplier, I took over 300,000 points of damage from a single attack source on one of my death recaps. Buh-bye, Zells. The multiplier effects also make Magicka/Stamina/Healing cost more, progressively. It’s ugly. So much wiping.
Here’s the trick: an npc, Jorvuld, follows you around in this dungeon. During the fight adds will spawn: beetles, imps, and stranglers. Jorvuld will cry out for certain kinds of ingredients from the adds (“imp guts”, e.g.) to make antidotes. You don’t need to take anything to him or from him – that threw us – just immediately find and kill the kind of add he’s asking for, and he will run over and grab what he needs. (Then keep killing the other adds as they spawn.) He will make an antidote, and will call out again when it’s ready. At that point gold circles will spawn on the floor; step into one and it will cleanse the multiplier off you.
Also, there are about a dozen circular grates on the floor, and sometimes waves of poison will erupt from one. The tank will need to stand on top of the erupting one to absorb the damage or the poison affects everyone. The boss will also call in a guard to protect him, but the guard doesn’t have additional mechanics (not that I noticed in normal anyway), just kill him.
Zaan the Scalecaller (Dragon Priest)
Ah, Dragon Priests. Good times.
I didn’t find this fight particularly challenging in normal mode, and I hear it is not terribly difficult in regular vet, either, but apparently Hard Mode is a bear.
Zaan has an AoE shield-bash that can kill non-tanks, but it’s a small radius, so just avoid it. She does a channeled attack fire-beam that locks a player in fire, and the only way to get out is if another party member interposes themselves and blocks the fire ray; she also sends out waves of fire that do a ton of damage and should be side-stepped. Every 20% health drop will cause two huge ice creatures to spawn, and they will need to be killed immediately or everyone will turn into ice statues and die. Right after the ice adds are destroyed, Zaan will drop her shield, then go to the Peryite statues to pray – the entire party needs to immediately get into the shielded area, because the room will then completely fill with poison. As soon as the poison is gone, move – Zaan will come back, pick up the shield, and do her AoE shield-bash in that spot.
In normal mode, I mostly remember standing and burning her down, with the occasional break to kill the ice simulacrums. If you need Hard Mode info, I’ll refer you back to Alcast’s walkthrough, which is detailed.
Happy hunting, everyone!