Maintenance for the week of March 18:
• [COMPLETE] PC/Mac: NA and EU megaservers for patch maintenance – March 18, 4:00AM EDT (08:00 UTC) - 8:00AM EDT (12:00 UTC)
• ESO Website for maintenance – March  20, 7:00AM EDT (11:00 UTC) - 10:00AM EDT (14:00 UTC)
• ESO Store and Account System for maintenance – March  20, 10:00AM EDT (14:00 UTC) - 12:00PM EDT (16:00 UTC)

Joy's New and Improved Guide to Beating Maelstrom Arena

Joy_Division
Joy_Division
Class Representative
I wrote my original guide two years ago and the game changed so much that it’s probably easier to start a new one rather than update the entire old one. When Maelstrom first came out, there were no target dummies, 20K DPS was considered very good, and every class (except Dragonknights) had more potent skills to deal with its challenges. So, changed game needs a new guide.

This guide is meant for people trying to clear vMA for the first time. One of the big differences between November 2015 and now is that veteran players will have very different builds and capabilities than newer players. Back then, everyone had the same builds (magicka players wore Martial Knowledge + Willpower for PvE, Kagrenac’s Hope + Willpower for PvP). If you watch a Youtube clear by one of the top players with a 550K score and try to replicate their strategy, you are going to be in trouble because they have a build you can’t match and their strategies are dependent on memorizing spawn locations and burning down primary threats.

I heard Maelstrom is for players who mix-max, have max CPs with end-game gear, and beyond the capability of average players
I understand vMA has a reputation of being elitist, but I believe that is a false impression. Unlike most of the content in ESO, vMA doesn’t just rollover and die when confronted by experienced players. It fights back and humbles everyone who tries it, forcing them to alter their approach. This, quite frankly, is a step not everyone is comfortable taking.

Zos did make the veteran version accessible to the ESO masses by including the Power Sigils. These are incredibly powerful, are available every single round of every single stage, and can carry decent players through the challenges vMA throws. The best ESO players are not supposed to use them (and get rewarded with a higher score). Difficulty is not the primary obstacle you will face. Rather you will be challenged mentally because vMA will attack your self-confidence, your patience, and your fortitude. You will die. Repeatedly. You will be humbled. You will doubt your ESO competence. But it's not the difficulty of these challenges that's killing you. It's because you don't know the mechanics and thus lack a strategy to defeat them. You going in deaf, dumb, and blind. If the arena did *not* challenge you under such circumstances, then it would be a poor design. You've been face-rolling ESO content for probably over a year now. Even the DLC dungeons don't challenge you (provided you get in a good group). You've been bashing a target dummy that doesn't even defend itself let alone move. You aren't used to ESO content pushing back. Don't back down. Don't take the easy way out. Undergo some honest introspection. Have a build that useful against something other than a target dummies. If you are decent player, you can clear this if you do not let your frustration and your ego get the better of you.

I heard vMA is all about DPS.

You do need DPS. You can't heal or block things to death. And you gonna need a fair amount of it because there are DPS checks. Not going to lie, it's important because the more you have the easier vMA gets. But it's not necessary to have elite DPS. VMA was cleared way back when 20K was considered a lot. My wrong race healer who used no DPS gear and did not respec has the Flawless Conqueror achievement.

I included a video below of me clearing VMA not using any spellpower potions, having zero "end-game" gear, only using 300 CPs (yes, 300!), and using a build that was not mix-max for DPs (I used a resto staff). It's totally possible and I was kind of surprised that stuff still died pretty quick.

What's more important is learning how to survive Vs. multiple attackers and environmental hazards. By far the easiest, most efficient, and most effective means to doing this are two skills that every player has access to. If you are magicka, that is Harness Magicka (this morph, you need resources) and if you are stamina, that is Vigor. You must get in the habit of using these skills before you take damage. Other things you will have to do include: "Block-casting" (holding down block while using an ability), Dodge roll (for both damage avoidance and mobility when snared), use skills that DPS and heal you at the same time (even if these aren't your best damage skills).

Why Run vMA?

There's the obvious reason: the two best PvE weapons in the game drop here (Destruction Staff, Bow). I also think the Restoration Staff is a strong option for healers and PvP players who use the Regeneration skill.

But I would not recommend you doing content that you don't find fun because you feel like you "need" one of these weapons. VMA will humble you and if you are doing it for any reason other than the (accepted) challenge, you are going to subject yourself to too much aggravation. Especially since the weapon you want is more than likely not going to drop until you finish this enough times to be good at it.

So run it for that challenge. There really isn't much in ESO that can challenge a high CP player except 12 man trials and PvP. There was once a time when Spindleclutch tested our builds. Once a time when Craglorn was full of delves that players could go and test there their mettle. Once a time when even the questing zones occasionally required players to use their abilities and do things like block. If your someone who like fantasy / progression games whose whole concept is built around overcoming challenges by formulating strategies and using interesting abilities, then vMA is pretty much all ESO has to offer unless you got 11 friends handy who want to run Halls of Fabrication. I have 20 destruction staffs and I still come back to vMA from time to time because I want to stay sharp, want to see if I can do better, want to test builds under real conditions (as opposed to defenseless target dummies), and because one of the reasons I became addicted to ESO in the first place was because I liked having potent character abilities to deal with enemies that were actually threatening (I was in Beta). If you game because you are competitive and like a challenge, that's why you should do vMA.

What class should I play?
The one like and feel most comfortable playing. Just about everybody will say sorcerer is the easiest and best class, but the sorcerer does not make Maelstrom “easy,” rather it is knowledge of the mechanics and the experience of the player.
You probably going to doubt what I say here when you get to stage 5 for the first time and get Rekt repeatedly and then again on the last boss, when he kills you dozens and dozens and dozens of times. It’s not your class that’s getting you killed, it’s your unfamiliarity with the mechanics. The first time I did this on my sorcerer, I got Rekt and stage 5 and the final boss killed me time after time after time after time, and that was when sorcs shields lasted 20 seconds, critical surge could grant 20K heals, and Overload was OP. What people mean to say is that sorcerer has the potential for a little higher score than a dragonknight, which is a very different thing than being “easier.”

What about my build?
You're going to be better off with a more versatile and well rounded build than the DPS glass cannons who get a 550K score. The easiest way to go about that is to use damage oriented sets, have some extra regen, and add a few utility/defensive oriented skills on your bars. As for what specifically to go for, it doesn’t matter too much. The differences between many DPS sets and Mundas stones are so slight and situational that it’s not going to make or break a vMA run. As long as you avoid the many bad or overly specialized gear sets available in the game, you’ll do just fine. Julianos is strong for every magicka class, it’s a good default. Hunding’s the stamina equivalent, though if you can get your hands on Vicious Serpent Set (I always though it was Vicious Ophedia?) is a really good and versatile 5 piece.

No matter what you wear, you want to have at least 17K health (preferably 18K) and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300ish magicka recovery (I’m not much of a stamina player so I'm not sure of the sweet spot). The most efficient means of doing is to use Witchmother’s Brew / Dubious Camlorn throne drinks and to get some health somewhere else. Valkyn Skoria is great for this because it is a good DPS set and has the health bonus you need. Best stam monster set don’t have a health bonus, that’s fine, enchant one of your big armor pieces for health.

Supplement that with a couple skills that are more geared to keeping you alive than damage (such as Inhale, Funnel Health, Healing Ward, Leeching Vines, Reflective Scales, Refreshing [Instead of Twisting] Path, etc.) and don’t fret too much because it really doesn’t matter. Whether you use Lover, Mage, Apprentice, or this damage set, that damage set, infused or divines, the differences are in the grand scheme of things are so marginal it’s not going to prevent you from dying until you learn the mechanics.
Aren't you oversimplifying? Yes, but not really. That extra 5% you're going to get from min-maxing isn't going to be the difference between you beating the final boss. You rotation is way way way more important for your DPS than your gear. Your ability to shield, dodge, interrupt is way way way more important to survival than your resistances. In short, it's not your build that's going to get you a clear, it's your skill as a player. You'd be better served practicing a DPS rotation or going open world in Cyrodiil than calculating the minute differences between two solid gear sets.

Magicka tips:
  • I would not go double destro staff. You are not doing a DPS parse Vs. a stationary target dummy that doesn’t fight back. The more difficult the content, the more kiting you have to do, the more incoming damage you take, the less and less that other destruction staff is helping you. It's not like you can't slot Elemental Blockade on your front bar and equip a damage glyph on a backbar resto staff.
  • Harness magicka is on your front bar. It is up before you take damage. Often it is recast as soon as it drops.
  • Elemental Drain is very handy. Drain anything elite or higher. Drain single mobs when not under threat.
  • You want to kill things with your Destruction Staff because of the Destruction Mastery passive that returns magicka on a kill is key to sustain. On the last add on a pull, consider Elemental Drain + Heavy attack kill + Destruction Mastery = your sustain.
  • Inferno or Lightning is personal preference. Most of your attacks are going to be single target (favoring Inferno). You’re going to be heavy attacking a lot (favoring Lightning). For DKs, I’d go Inferno though.
  • Elemental Blockade is 1000% the best skill you have, it is always down.
  • I’m going to be blasphemous here: I would recommend not using Inner Light because the extra skill is going to help keep an inexperienced player alive more than 7% extra magicka. When you stop dying, then consider putting it back on.
  • You don't need Trap Beast. You do need skills like Reflective Scales, Healing Ward, and Elemental Drain.
  • If you are not under pressure and your magicka pool is under 60%, a heavy attack is almost always better than a spammable skill.
  • Your DPS ultimate is always Elemental Rage. Yes, even you DKs. If you PvP and use Eye of the Storm, that’s still better than anything else. A DK with Eye of the Storm might consider Banner, though I still think Eye is superior because its AoE is larger and it’s burst.
  • Sometimes you’ll need a heal rather than a shield, so...
  • I recommend your off weapon to be a nirnhoned restoration staff with a spell/weapon damage glyph. You’ll have some damage skills here you want to hit hard and are not doing a predictable DPS rotation, so I like setup because it’s always good as opposed to potentially the best. Healing Ward is an amazing skill, such that even Templars and DKs who have strong native burst heals are going to consider running it. Of course, you always want to use destro ultimate, however Light’s Champion is a great “oh crap” button.
    Lich "Backbar" is not a bad option at all. (If you are a DK, Templar, or Warden, you can use a sword and shield, relying on your native burst heals (Honor the Dead, Dragon Blood, Mushrooms) instead of Healing Ward. Could use a Willpower "Frontbar" to squeeze out a bit extra damage.
  • I am a sorcerer, watch me shield spam! Yes, that works when you have memorized the spawn locations and have a strategy. Shield spam is resource intensive and it's easy to die when you need an actual heal and your crit surge is only getting you 3K instead of 40K from Healing Ward. Use the Twilight if you are really adverse to using a resto staff. Though, if you any good at PvP, use your restoration staff as you would in Cyrodiil until you actually know the mechanics. Then use your double destro target dummy build if you are so inclined.

Stamina Tips. I now have beaten this with a stamina build. So, this advice is not just theoretical, though I'm not a great stam player.
  • Bow is your back bar because Endless Hail is your best skill. Poison Injection is also fantastic.
  • Caltrops is strong. Vigor is necessary. Zerg surf in Cyordiil for a weekend to get these skills.
  • A really good stamina player told me that Vigor should be used exactly the same way as shields. Preventatively to ensure 5 seconds of survival.
  • Although dual wield is stronger DPS, a player used to and likes the two handed can certainly clear the arena (stun, execute, stam on kills, and Rally heal are all good).
  • You need to make sure you have incoming healing active at all times. I would take the healing options of the dual wield weapon skills or use Rally and even then, top this off with vigor.
  • Ballista, Dawnbreaker (Smiting preferred) are legit ultimates.
  • If you feel incoming damage is really high and at certain points it is, use the defense or heal power sigal at the trouble points until you get better at the arena.
  • If you are overly defensive, you will die. You really need to be disciplined and kiting stuff inside your endless Hail and Catrops so the bad guys die.
  • Don't listen to people who say ESO favors ranged magicka builds. It's kind of like when people say Communism favors healthy economic development: outdated and wrong assumptions based on a different era.

Some general principles:
  • Every stage is "hard" until you get accustomed to the fights, opponents, threats and develop a strategy for defeating them.
  • Learning this will make you cry and want to quit ESO. We've all been there. You're not alone. That being said, every stage becomes considerably easier once you are knowledgeable of the mechanics.
  • Once you develop a strategy, you will wonder how it was you died so many times before.
  • Target recognition and prioritization is absolutely essential. When you are dying, you will get frustrated, but it is critical you objectively assess what is killing you. You *cannot* clear these stages without recognizing priority threats.
  • You should take breaks. You will get frustrated. Don't compound the problem playing mad. Eat lunch, call a friend on the phone, stretch out, etc., just move your mouse every 5 minutes or so and you will be fine.
  • I highly recommend using generic blue magicka potions instead of spellpower or tri pots for every round until you get to the final boss (and even then keep using blue magicka pots until you can at least clear the crystals consistently). This will be an EXPENSIVE undertaking and you don't want to waste your resources when you are wiping because you have not developed a strategy yet. Use your good stuff when you actually get good at the arena.
  • It is generally better to burst down single targets than trying to AoEing them all at once.
  • Let me say that again: burst down single targets rather than AoEing them. Seriously, Pulsar is a suboptimal skill that only works in easy as pie overland PvE content.
  • The Best DPS skills are Ground DoTs, then AoE Dots, then single target DoTs, then DPS skills that heal you, then last and certainly least: single target spammables. If you do not heed this advice, you will run out of resources
  • Use the power sigils. When you master downing a Crematorium Guard while the final boss is channeling a necrotic storm that kills you in two seconds, then go ahead and practice getting that higher score without using the power sigils. All of them are strong and useful.
  • Don't waste your soul gems. Just rez at wayshrine. Your PvP healer friend would love those Soul Gems, trust me. Besides, the amount of time you’re stuck in ghost form and for the arena to reset is about the same as if you rode your horse from the wayshrine.
  • You're overly complex super duper killer combo that works on target dummies won't work in vMA. Keep it simple.
  • I shouldn’t have to write this, but I will. vMA (and for me all Instanced areas) begins to lag noticeably the longer I am in it. It is bearable for me because I can finish it in under an hour. When I was first learning this, when it got so bad, I found it necessary to restart my client (back then no save feature, so I would Task Manager force shut-down rather than log out).

OK, Joy, I'm trying this but it's getting too expensive.
  • Stop wasting your soul gems and repair kits. Rez at wayshrine.
  • Stop using expensive spellpower and weapon power potions when you are dying trying to learn a strategy. You can get 90% of your DPS without them and that extra 10% is not going to make you learn the mechanics. Use these after you've nailed down a successful strategy, not before.
  • You don't need to respec your CP points doing the arena coming from other ESO content. I PvP, heal, and do vMA with the same setup and it does fine.
  • Don't gold out anything (except your weapon), thinking it will give you that extra edge you need. Difference between gold and purple on everything but weapons is tiny. Gold should be reserved for absolutely 1000% sure I will use this build for a long time.
Edited by Joy_Division on September 3, 2018 3:42PM
  • Fexelea
    Fexelea
    ✭✭✭
    Awesome thank you! <3
    Join the fan-powered community wiki for Elder Scrolls Online.
    https://elderscrollsonline.wiki.fextralife.com/Elder+Scrolls+Online+Wiki. All Eso Sets
    or check out the Dark Souls Wiki. We also have a Fallout 76 Wiki Bloodborne Wiki, Fallout 4 Wiki and Dark Souls 3 Wiki

  • Runefang
    Runefang
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the guide Joy! It's been a big help in the first four stages, now I just need to put the time in to get through the 5th.

    Any MagNBs have advice for a first-timer?

    I'm running 5x Juli, 4x IA and 2x Iceheart

    Destro: Swallow Soul / Harness Magicka / Elemental Blockade / Elemental Drain / Soul Harvest
    Resto: Impale / Healing Ward / Refreshing Path / Merciless Resolve / Siphoning Attacks / Shooting Star

  • Asmael
    Asmael
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭
    To add a bit more to the stamina part that I didn't see mentioned:
    • Vicious Ophidian (VO) is a game changer set, the mobility it gives allows to kite much more effectively by giving near-constant Major expedition, on top of making sustain infinitely easier (pretty much like the destro passive, except it works with all abilities)
    • For stamina DKs, Igneous shield helps both staying alive, sustaining, getting a bit of ult back and the minor Brutality debuff. Corrosive armor is a very strong "oh crap!" button, which can be used to safely attack a boss while being near unkillable. A much safer pick than Standard of Might.
    • Shrouded dagger is a very underrated, yet versatile tool. You will rarely get enough mobs for steel tornado to be worth it, it gives Major Brutality, it is ranged and comes with a snare, a good way to deal with melee mobs (or stacked mobs) without having to take too many risks

    For magicka DK: Molten armaments with a shock heavy staff works wonders.

    Btw, no part about CPs or it is planned for "futur use"? :3
    PC EU - Zahraji of the Void, aka "Kitty"
    Poke @AsmaeI (last letter is uppercase "i") and receive a meow today.
  • Nestor
    Nestor
    Community Ambassador
    Nice guide. Thank you.

    One of these days I will do MA. Vet? Leave that to you young whippersnappers that still have reflexes.
    Enjoy the game, life is what you really want to be worried about.

    PakKat "Everything was going well, until I died"

  • LadyLethalla
    LadyLethalla
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division For the stage 9 summoners, since Rune Prison is such a short stun I always slot Restraining Prison instead - since it immobilises them and then slows them for another 4 secs after.

    x-TallyCat-x // PS4 EU DC - For the Covenant! // Max level CP since idk when. // ESO Platinum trophy - 16th May 2017

    Proud member of the Aetherium Alliance.
    Melbourne Australia - the land of Potato Internet.

    WTB ESO OCEANIC SERVER
    Looking for PS4 EU Oceanic players
  • LadyLethalla
    LadyLethalla
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nestor wrote: »
    Nice guide. Thank you.

    One of these days I will do MA. Vet? Leave that to you young whippersnappers that still have reflexes.

    I am not a "whippersnapper" (though my adult and almost-adult sons are) but I've managed to muddle my way through the entire arena to the Boss fight. My point being that yes it's a difficult learning process but even I, with terrible internet and poor reflexes have managed to do most of it.

    If you hear a faint cheer (no matter where you live), you'll know I've finally taken down Voriak Solkyn...

    x-TallyCat-x // PS4 EU DC - For the Covenant! // Max level CP since idk when. // ESO Platinum trophy - 16th May 2017

    Proud member of the Aetherium Alliance.
    Melbourne Australia - the land of Potato Internet.

    WTB ESO OCEANIC SERVER
    Looking for PS4 EU Oceanic players
  • LadyLethalla
    LadyLethalla
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division Doesn't seem to matter what I do IF I get to the crystal phase - either I get knocked down or jump/fall off, and I cannot survive that damn Crem Guard that's waiting. Always seem to be almost out of resources by that point, and haven't yet managed to clear the crystals. Any advice as to what I could be doing wrong?

    (I also tend to forget about most of the skulls apart from the first one... but that's just an old person thing...)
    x-TallyCat-x // PS4 EU DC - For the Covenant! // Max level CP since idk when. // ESO Platinum trophy - 16th May 2017

    Proud member of the Aetherium Alliance.
    Melbourne Australia - the land of Potato Internet.

    WTB ESO OCEANIC SERVER
    Looking for PS4 EU Oceanic players
  • BuddyAces
    BuddyAces
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division Doesn't seem to matter what I do IF I get to the crystal phase - either I get knocked down or jump/fall off, and I cannot survive that damn Crem Guard that's waiting. Always seem to be almost out of resources by that point, and haven't yet managed to clear the crystals. Any advice as to what I could be doing wrong?

    (I also tend to forget about most of the skulls apart from the first one... but that's just an old person thing...)


    I'm guessing that you are a magicka sorc so I am basing this off of that.

    Run in circles around the guard while spamming shield. You do not need to sprint (can if you want until you get the hang of it). You don't need to do wide circles, you can practically hug the dude. Just spam those shields. Maybe allocate some CP around to make your shields a wee bit stronger. When he's done with that crappy arsed attack of his then just nuke him down. I remember specifically having to type into my search engine "How to beat the Crematorium Guard on last round of VMA" when I first got there. Found a reddit post that said to do what I just mentioned.

    I didn't read the guide, glanced at sections, so if this is already mentioned then disregard me =D

    edit:
    I've also seen people suggest using speed potions while up top there. Maybe give that a try?
    Edited by BuddyAces on December 8, 2017 1:56PM
    They nerfed magsorcs so hard stamsorcs felt it,lol - Somber97866
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    @Joy_Division Doesn't seem to matter what I do IF I get to the crystal phase - either I get knocked down or jump/fall off, and I cannot survive that damn Crem Guard that's waiting. Always seem to be almost out of resources by that point, and haven't yet managed to clear the crystals. Any advice as to what I could be doing wrong?

    (I also tend to forget about most of the skulls apart from the first one... but that's just an old person thing...)

    If you watch my video in the 4th post, there is one example of me getting thrown off.

    Basically, if you are struggling to clear the crystals in one go then you shouldn't feel compelled to do so. Don't drain your resources and when the third wall spawns, jump down. Yes jump down. First thing you do is go to the shield sigil. At this point, as long as you don't stand in Lich Crystal, the CG shouldn't kill you; just keep your ground DoTs up and shield when necessary.

    Also, if you are using Hardened Ward this round, change it to Harness Magicka as it's much more resource efficient.
  • Masel
    Masel
    Class Representative
    Nice guide! While reading o noticed one thing:

    Dragonknights are 100% better off using a charged lightning staff with a shock enchant, flame lash and a restoration staff.

    As long as you put blockade down and are able to use flame lash, you are basically invincible.
    PC EU - CP 1100+ All trials + HM

    Intis Ravelen - Stamina Nightblade - Redguard - DD - Flawless Conqueror
    Annisca Micus - Magicka Sorcerer - High Elf - DD and Hobbytank - Flawless Conqueror & Voice of Reason
    Shéogórath - Stamina Dragonknight - Imperial - DD - Flawless Conqueror
    Pilar Joranil - Magicka Dragonknight - High Elf - DD - Flawless Conqueror -
    Adeline Du Mont - Magicka Templar - High Elf - Healer & DD - Flawless Conqueror & Voice of Reason + Bringer of Light
    Olivia Thaloran - Magicka Nightblade - Dunmer - DD - Flawless Conqueror & Dro'mathra Destroyer & Voice of Reason
    Pu'jarr Ticklebeard - Stamina Sorcerer - Khajiit - DD - Flawless Conqueror
    Treehugger Joe - Magicka Warden - High Elf - DD - Flawless Conqueror
    Stuga Beluga - Stamina Templar - Orc - DD - Flawless Conqueror & Dro'mathra Destroyer
    Anna Terra - Stamina Warden - Redguard - DD - Flawless Conqueror
    Igneous Lizard Wizard - Dragonknight - Argonian - Tank - Flawless Conqueror
    Spongecroc Scalepants - Warden - Argonian - Tank - Flawless Conqueror

    Youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChVEG6ckuAgGs5OyA6VeisA
  • LadyLethalla
    LadyLethalla
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    After many attempts over the weekend and getting to the crystals I think only once in that time... I'm giving this up until probably February. Constant 3-4 sec lag means that I'm not making any progress on it at all, so all I'm doing is wasting potions, and money on repairs and getting frustrated beyond belief. I'll end up hating ESO. As it is, I thought maybe I could try it on my MagDK instead, except she needs a bunch of skill points, and I *really* cannot be bothered atm.

    So, once all the lucky folks who have holidays (ie everyone in my house except me) go back to work/school in Feb, then maybe I'll try it again.

    x-TallyCat-x // PS4 EU DC - For the Covenant! // Max level CP since idk when. // ESO Platinum trophy - 16th May 2017

    Proud member of the Aetherium Alliance.
    Melbourne Australia - the land of Potato Internet.

    WTB ESO OCEANIC SERVER
    Looking for PS4 EU Oceanic players
  • Lukums1
    Lukums1
    ✭✭✭✭
    Love of god Joy most of your information is pretty spot on.

    But tell the people about suppression field PLEASE!.

    LOL. Good Job again.
    PS4 Yellow Scum Dominion
    1600+ vMA runs and counting
    Magicka Sorc - Flawless - 544k Score
    Stam Sorc - Flawless - 559k Score
    Stam DK - FLAWLESS 512k Score
    Stam NB - 492k Score - Work in progress
    Magicka Temp - 482k Score

    The Ozmeric Dominion (Oceanic) Australian Based Guild

    vMA "guru" - VHRC - vSO - vSOHM - vDSA - vAA - vMOL
    The Maelstrom BIBLE for beginners/Flawless Achieve Below
    https://www.twitch.tv/lukumms/v/111730700
    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/181142505

    You have vMA questions? Want a guide? Helping hand? PM me!

    Returns after 6 months back to back flawless
    https://go.twitch.tv/videos/180384648


  • Yvarhna
    Yvarhna
    ✭✭✭
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this up for players such as myself. Really appreciate players such as yourself who take the time to help others out. You've given me a lot of good advice and tips that I can take on board and I'm keen to give it a go. :)
  • Runefang
    Runefang
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just wanted to say thank you so much! Completed it for the first time, your guide was so helpful.

    Lightning Staff first time too :)
  • Pijng
    Pijng
    ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the guide, Joy.
    Yesterday was my ever first vMA (actually, that was my first MA at all, since I dont own dlc and free eso+ trial gave me the chance to obtain MA weapons). So, it took me 4.5 hours to complete it with my stamnb(was 496cp at the start and reached 500cp when finished). Yes, I died a lot (pretty obvious, hah), but completed it without any rage (just 5th stage made me "upset" cause I was tired to repeat the last boss at the 15th time). Actually was very fun. Gonna farm weps this weekends, thanks again <3
    Edited by Pijng on January 12, 2018 9:44AM
  • Harrdarrzarr
    Harrdarrzarr
    ✭✭✭
    I would like to add for stamina builds: consider swapping poison injection for it's other morph called Venom Arrow because that will interrupt enemies when they are casting, puts them off-balance and stuns them. Very useful, because otherwise you have to run towards enemies to bash/kill them, for example the trolls in ice-arena, taking-aim-archers, fireball mages. Even the final boss when he spamfires skulls at you.
    Lightweight trap might also be better then rearming trap because no enemy will stay where they are, and it has a range of 28m so it can be placed on a spawn portal from the other side of the arena.

    !!!!Just be careful not to use venom arrow when the argonian boss in the poison arena is doing his shout, because that will interrupt his shout and enrage him, causing him to oneshot you
  • Ciovala
    Ciovala
    ✭✭✭
    Great guide, thanks! I got to the final boss in a few hours of my first attempt, really - the earlier stages were so much easier for me! 80% of the time I last maybe 20 seconds and if I manage to get up top it is only those attempts where I have an ultimate to take out the guard, etc., all in one go. Been trying a two pet magsorc build but maybe I should change it up.
    Edited by Ciovala on January 13, 2018 1:03PM
    Looking for a mature and helpful social guild - play PvE, PvP, and like crafting.
  • TwinStripeUK
    TwinStripeUK
    ✭✭
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...

    The two sphere spawn on stage 4 is one of the more difficult pulls in the entire arena.

    When I was trying to get my first clear, I remember on that round (3rd) that I would go from power sigil to power sigil and use them all. The two spehres spawn during the second wave. After you kill the single sphere in the first wave, make your way to the shield sigil, which just happens to be where the two spheres spawned.

    The huge damage is the telegraphed "shock wave" attack; you get a visual warning its coming, you just can't be there when it does.
  • TwinStripeUK
    TwinStripeUK
    ✭✭
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...

    The two sphere spawn on stage 4 is one of the more difficult pulls in the entire arena.

    When I was trying to get my first clear, I remember on that round (3rd) that I would go from power sigil to power sigil and use them all. The two spehres spawn during the second wave. After you kill the single sphere in the first wave, make your way to the shield sigil, which just happens to be where the two spheres spawned.

    The huge damage is the telegraphed "shock wave" attack; you get a visual warning its coming, you just can't be there when it does.

    The huge damage wasn't even the "shock wave" (which has caught me out even on Normal a couple of times) - it was from a cleave ('Blade') followed by a Dart and a Steam Wall (8K, 8K, 11K) which all hit in under a second from the same source (there was only one Sphere left)

    Just had exactly the same thing happen again - two Steam Walls (8K, 8K) and two Sentry hits (4K, 4K). If I'm at anything other than full health and both shields I'm done.

    I doesn't matter what gear I run, whether I go with your suggestions or not, they still hit me so hard I don't even get a chance to heal or shield out of it.

    Just died AGAIN to a single, 17K Steam Wall during the final round (yep, not even due to the Spider boss). That's even above a crit based on the previous damage.

    It's beginning to feel like pure masochism, especially when I can guarantee it's just going to troll me with a ***-poor 'reward' if by some miracle I actually make it out of this stage and to the end.
  • TwinStripeUK
    TwinStripeUK
    ✭✭
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...

    The two sphere spawn on stage 4 is one of the more difficult pulls in the entire arena.

    When I was trying to get my first clear, I remember on that round (3rd) that I would go from power sigil to power sigil and use them all. The two spehres spawn during the second wave. After you kill the single sphere in the first wave, make your way to the shield sigil, which just happens to be where the two spheres spawned.

    The huge damage is the telegraphed "shock wave" attack; you get a visual warning its coming, you just can't be there when it does.

    The huge damage wasn't even the "shock wave" (which has caught me out even on Normal a couple of times) - it was from a cleave ('Blade') followed by a Dart and a Steam Wall (8K, 8K, 11K) which all hit in under a second from the same source (there was only one Sphere left)

    Just had exactly the same thing happen again - two Steam Walls (8K, 8K) and two Sentry hits (4K, 4K). If I'm at anything other than full health and both shields I'm done.

    I doesn't matter what gear I run, whether I go with your suggestions or not, they still hit me so hard I don't even get a chance to heal or shield out of it.

    Just died AGAIN to a single, 17K Steam Wall during the final round (yep, not even due to the Spider boss). That's even above a crit based on the previous damage.

    It's beginning to feel like pure masochism, especially when I can guarantee it's just going to troll me with a ***-poor 'reward' if by some miracle I actually make it out of this stage and to the end.

    Oh, and now 70K damage from the spider after being knocked into the air nicely with a wrecking blow for 8K. No healing through that!

    There has to be something VASTLY different with either the PC version or the 'battle levelling', because I'm not seeing you take anywhere near this sort of damage in your videos.
  • Lukums1
    Lukums1
    ✭✭✭✭
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...

    The two sphere spawn on stage 4 is one of the more difficult pulls in the entire arena.

    When I was trying to get my first clear, I remember on that round (3rd) that I would go from power sigil to power sigil and use them all. The two spehres spawn during the second wave. After you kill the single sphere in the first wave, make your way to the shield sigil, which just happens to be where the two spheres spawned.

    The huge damage is the telegraphed "shock wave" attack; you get a visual warning its coming, you just can't be there when it does.

    The huge damage wasn't even the "shock wave" (which has caught me out even on Normal a couple of times) - it was from a cleave ('Blade') followed by a Dart and a Steam Wall (8K, 8K, 11K) which all hit in under a second from the same source (there was only one Sphere left)

    Just had exactly the same thing happen again - two Steam Walls (8K, 8K) and two Sentry hits (4K, 4K). If I'm at anything other than full health and both shields I'm done.

    I doesn't matter what gear I run, whether I go with your suggestions or not, they still hit me so hard I don't even get a chance to heal or shield out of it.

    Just died AGAIN to a single, 17K Steam Wall during the final round (yep, not even due to the Spider boss). That's even above a crit based on the previous damage.

    It's beginning to feel like pure masochism, especially when I can guarantee it's just going to troll me with a ***-poor 'reward' if by some miracle I actually make it out of this stage and to the end.

    Oh, and now 70K damage from the spider after being knocked into the air nicely with a wrecking blow for 8K. No healing through that!

    There has to be something VASTLY different with either the PC version or the 'battle levelling', because I'm not seeing you take anywhere near this sort of damage in your videos.

    You're not understanding the mechanics that's all and I mean that in the nicest way.

    Lightning will zap the hell out of you and can crit upwards of 20k+ without warning. You must stay within his green circle so you don't get zapped.

    You can also mitigate ALL damage on this boss fight by doing the following:

    1. Engage boss (stay in his green circle)
    2. As soon as he stops grab yourself the defense sigil to mitigate (small spider add) and Sphere add.
    3. Soon as boss finished the fire phase back under him dealing dps (both adds should be dead either by reflect) or cleaves while your defense sigil was running.
    4. If boss stops again and enters fire phase (dps check) grab yourself the healing sigil to mitigate this damage further and the Malee add with upper cut making life easier.
    5. Soon as he is dead you can either finish the boss off by this point by going back under him or you can grab power sigil to help further.
    6. Note: Don't get power sigil at the start as you loose so much time making it from one side to the other (which may cop lightning damage from range)

    Good luck.
    PS4 Yellow Scum Dominion
    1600+ vMA runs and counting
    Magicka Sorc - Flawless - 544k Score
    Stam Sorc - Flawless - 559k Score
    Stam DK - FLAWLESS 512k Score
    Stam NB - 492k Score - Work in progress
    Magicka Temp - 482k Score

    The Ozmeric Dominion (Oceanic) Australian Based Guild

    vMA "guru" - VHRC - vSO - vSOHM - vDSA - vAA - vMOL
    The Maelstrom BIBLE for beginners/Flawless Achieve Below
    https://www.twitch.tv/lukumms/v/111730700
    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/181142505

    You have vMA questions? Want a guide? Helping hand? PM me!

    Returns after 6 months back to back flawless
    https://go.twitch.tv/videos/180384648


  • TwinStripeUK
    TwinStripeUK
    ✭✭
    Lukums1 wrote: »
    Just doesn't work (unless it scales directly to your CP and I need to unassign a load) .

    I'm a 690CP (720 'in the bank') Mag Sorc stacking Healing Ward and Harness Magicka and I'm consistently getting wiped at stage 4 by the Spheres which hit me for 17K APIECE (which means if two do it, I essentially lose all my shields to one and all my health to the other). And it's unavoidable damage, because as soon as I block or roll out of it, the sentries hit me for the same amount.

    I can't see any amount of 'learning the mechanics' which can mitigate that.

    I don't expect it to be easy, but I do expect it to be possible

    [EDIT] Scratch that - I've just had one hit me for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND in one go...

    The two sphere spawn on stage 4 is one of the more difficult pulls in the entire arena.

    When I was trying to get my first clear, I remember on that round (3rd) that I would go from power sigil to power sigil and use them all. The two spehres spawn during the second wave. After you kill the single sphere in the first wave, make your way to the shield sigil, which just happens to be where the two spheres spawned.

    The huge damage is the telegraphed "shock wave" attack; you get a visual warning its coming, you just can't be there when it does.

    The huge damage wasn't even the "shock wave" (which has caught me out even on Normal a couple of times) - it was from a cleave ('Blade') followed by a Dart and a Steam Wall (8K, 8K, 11K) which all hit in under a second from the same source (there was only one Sphere left)

    Just had exactly the same thing happen again - two Steam Walls (8K, 8K) and two Sentry hits (4K, 4K). If I'm at anything other than full health and both shields I'm done.

    I doesn't matter what gear I run, whether I go with your suggestions or not, they still hit me so hard I don't even get a chance to heal or shield out of it.

    Just died AGAIN to a single, 17K Steam Wall during the final round (yep, not even due to the Spider boss). That's even above a crit based on the previous damage.

    It's beginning to feel like pure masochism, especially when I can guarantee it's just going to troll me with a ***-poor 'reward' if by some miracle I actually make it out of this stage and to the end.

    Oh, and now 70K damage from the spider after being knocked into the air nicely with a wrecking blow for 8K. No healing through that!

    There has to be something VASTLY different with either the PC version or the 'battle levelling', because I'm not seeing you take anywhere near this sort of damage in your videos.

    You're not understanding the mechanics that's all and I mean that in the nicest way.

    Lightning will zap the hell out of you and can crit upwards of 20k+ without warning. You must stay within his green circle so you don't get zapped.

    You can also mitigate ALL damage on this boss fight by doing the following:

    1. Engage boss (stay in his green circle)
    2. As soon as he stops grab yourself the defense sigil to mitigate (small spider add) and Sphere add.
    3. Soon as boss finished the fire phase back under him dealing dps (both adds should be dead either by reflect) or cleaves while your defense sigil was running.
    4. If boss stops again and enters fire phase (dps check) grab yourself the healing sigil to mitigate this damage further and the Malee add with upper cut making life easier.
    5. Soon as he is dead you can either finish the boss off by this point by going back under him or you can grab power sigil to help further.
    6. Note: Don't get power sigil at the start as you loose so much time making it from one side to the other (which may cop lightning damage from range)

    Good luck.

    While I get that you're trying to help (and all credit to you for that), there's something that I may not be getting across here - I 'get' the mechanics, absolutely. I've run (and finished) this many times on Normal that I even know the tells before Spider goes into the flame attack (hell, on the Argonian stage I can even get the boss nuked down not long after he's finished the first roar because I'm next to one of his 'shield buddies' before they've even raised it and I figured out that DOTs aren't necessarily going to trigger interrupts). I've taken out all the crystals in the last round without getting knocked to the lower level. The mechanics in normal are essentially no different than those in Vet.

    What I'm saying is that the mechanics/boss isn't the problem here, it's the adds that seem to be INCREDIBLY overpowered in comparison. On a 5 Julianos, 5 Netch's Touch, 1 Grothdar/Iceheart (I've tried both for reasons I'm about to go into) setup, most of the adds right up until this point take around 15-20% of my Magicka pool to take down. This is because even though they're dropping to a simple Force - Light attack - Mages Wrath (and perhaps another Light if I didn't get the crit) rotation, they're burning through my shields (Hardened+Healing Ward) so quickly that I might as well not have them up at all. Within two hits I've lost 19k of shields and they're already into my health pool and I'm CONSTANTLY having to re-apply them.

    My sustain eventually drops through the floor (because what few heavy attacks I can get in without standing there with my metaphorical pants down don't even come close to replenishing enough to keep the shields going and don't cover what I lose in shields) and I end up just running around with a dozen adds in tow (because they end up spawning quicker than I can take them down), barely scraping together enough Magicka to keep my shields up and waiting for the inevitable crit to just wipe me out. Harness Magicka? Pointless, because you don't get enough elemental damage to get a return off it that won't immediately kill you because it's all crit.

    So I switch to something with better sustain (old school 5 Seducers, 5 Mother's Sorrow, 1 Ilambris/Kena), but I need every ounce of that sustain because I do so little damage, I might as well be throwing wet cotton balls at them. Should I happen to be lucky enough (and it really is starting to feel like pure RNG) to get through to the final round, I pretty much copy exactly what you've said, word for word, the boss will be down to 25-30% and then an add comes out of nowhere and a full health bar and shields (because this is usually the only time in the fight I've had a chance to get some crit surge and heavy attacks in, so I'm invariably not far off 100% for both) suddenly count for nothing. One hit, dead. Sometimes, I don't even make it to the sigil (or when I do, I die as I try to trigger the synergy).

    I like getting challenged. I remember when soloing a dolmen seemed impossible, then it wasn't. Then soloing a public dungeon was too tough. Then it wasn't. Soloing a dungeon is impossible, isn't it? Nope, just seemed that way until gear, patience and experience all got to the right level. The only reason I didn't finish a solo Vet run of Direfrost Keep the other week is that I ended up with a stalemate with Drodda (whereby we took it in turns for an hour to chip the other down to half health only to watch them heal it all back and return the favour). But I got her down to half health and didn't die, so I know it's possible and I just need to do 'something' different. I'm used to difficult content. I grew up at a time when videogaming meant sitting at a computer or console for anything up to 8 hours at a time and having 3-5 lives (or in some cases just one shot!) to get it right or you have to start all over again. From the very beginning!

    This though? It's just not fun to die over and over and over again when there's precisely zero way to avoid it. Hitting the player with more damage than they can possibly mitigate themselves might be considered a 'mechanic' in group content (where they role of healer/support comes into play), but in solo content it's just pointless and unenjoyable. If I were losing out to a boss each time, yeah, I can get angry with it and hate that boss, but I know that it's just an issue of understanding the boss mechanics and mitigating them.

    To have it happen with the f*ckin' ADDS though? To roll off a well timed rotation and execute and turn to your next target only to have that one *** slap you into the next DLC before you've even got an attack off? Turning the difficulty up to 11 isn't a mechanic, it's just p*ss-poor design. And until I can see somebody finishing a vMA run now without a monster set and/or trials gear equipped, I'm honestly never going to believe that it's anything other than ZOS usual approach of 'The best way to solo Vet content? Run Vet content with a group first'. The fact that the gear that gives you the best damage or damage mitigation in Vet dungeons and trials is only available in those self same Vet dungeons and trials is testament to that line of thinking on their part.

    Even your own included run through has a monster set equipped, which is essentially resource-free damage that a lot of solo players simply won't have access to (unless they've amassed a truckload of gold, ventured into Cyrodiil and got really, really lucky with the RNG for 'The Golden' one week). That view that vMA is 'Elitist'? Easy to understand where that comes from when it appears to require Veteran level gear just to complete it.

    As it stands, I'm probably just going to avoid vMA completely from now on, because it's actually making me hate the game (just as you said it would). I'm actually enjoying Cyrodiil more than this and I DESPISE the PvP in ESO, which should give a pretty good indication of where I am with it right now. It's not rewarding to me on any level (either in terms of loot or personal achievement). When I finish a stage I should feel proud; instead I just feel relieved and that's probably why I don't see any value in sticking with it. If I just want to feel glad it's over, why begin in the first place?

    But all that having been said, kudos to you for at least trying. I may not agree with what you're trying to say here but you deserve credit for taking the time out to say it. There are probably people out here with far more masochistic tendencies than I, or people with the right gear to carry them who will be able to take what you've said onboard and forge on through it (and good luck to them).

    As for me, I'm about 25K down in respec and regear costs and I don't think I've gained anything from it (other than the feeling that this is yet another aspect of the game that's going to remain walled off from me).

    Thanks for taking the time anyway, and best of luck to you
  • Amp151
    Amp151
    ✭✭
    @TwinStripeUK

    If you post a link to a video of you trying to beat it, it'll be much easier to see where you're going wrong.
    There are some subtle things you may be messing up, that are easier to see than for you to explain.

    I don't do well in there with the with destro/resto setup. Too little damage and too much bar swapping for my play style.
    Edited by Amp151 on January 23, 2018 5:17PM
  • Ciovala
    Ciovala
    ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the guide, Joy. I finished it and have now completed it ten times - no lightning staff yet, though. 2 pet magsorc build based mostly around heavy attacks and ward. I admit I use power surge and the lighting form, too, and they help a lot on the crystals.
    Looking for a mature and helpful social guild - play PvE, PvP, and like crafting.
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    Ciovala wrote: »
    Thanks for the guide, Joy. I finished it and have now completed it ten times - no lightning staff yet, though. 2 pet magsorc build based mostly around heavy attacks and ward. I admit I use power surge and the lighting form, too, and they help a lot on the crystals.

    Great to hear! Lightning form is excellent in conjunction with Power Surge.
  • Runefang
    Runefang
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Amp151 wrote: »
    @TwinStripeUK

    If you post a link to a video of you trying to beat it, it'll be much easier to see where you're going wrong.
    There are some subtle things you may be messing up, that are easier to see than for you to explain.

    I don't do well in there with the with destro/resto setup. Too little damage and too much bar swapping for my play style.

    @TwinStripeUK yes if you can post a video that'd be a big help.

    I had a in RL mate help me out, literally standing next to me telling me what I was missing or getting wrong. A video is the next best thing.

    vMA is actually fairly easy once you get the hang of it, so it's definitely worth keep on going. Quitting on hard content ain't an option as far as I'm concerned . vMA Destro Staff and Bow both make a huge difference to your dps, so well worth the effort.
Sign In or Register to comment.