1: Stay together
My friends and I have found that the best way to survive the hunt is for people to stay together. It means that you have a better chance of surviving if a strangler grabs you, and your healer is better able to help you.
What we found works best is to have an agreed-upon rally point that everyone goes to as soon as the hunt starts. My group had designated the entrance area as our rally point, and everyone goes there ASAP as soon as the hunt starts. Waiting for the trap to spawn just means that people wander around like headless chickens for the first few seconds of the hunt, whereas going to a rally point means that we start the hunt together.
We'll wait at our rally point for a few seconds for the shades to come a bit closer, and then we'll run either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the room, depending on what makes the most sense at the time. (E.g., if the first trap is easier to reach if we go clockwise from our entrance rally point, then we'll loop in that direction.)
We'll keep looping around the room like that, until all four shades have been trapped. If we fail to trap a shade, it's easier to get it on the next loop around the room than to backtrack--backtracking is exceptionally dangerous.
2: Gotta go fast
You must be mobile; there are several options--pick one:
- Major Expedition
- Class abilities: Refreshing Path, Boundless Storm, Falcon's Swiftness
- Other abilities: Hasty Retreat (bow passive), Accelerate (Psijic), Rapid Maneuver (though the stam cost is probably too high for this)
- Speed potions: For tanks and stamina DDs, crafted Speed potions are very strong (Thistle/Dragonthorn/Namira-or-Scrib make Speed/Stam/Power potions), or if you're thrifty, you could use the Roguish Escape Draughts found in Thieves Troves
- Swift jewelry
- Bolt Escape
You also need some form of snare removal, to deal with the snare from the wolves:
Note: Snare immunity does not work at the moment; only snare removal is working.
3: Dealing with stranglers
- Efficient Purge (Alliance War, Support)
- Shuffle (Medium Armor)
- Forward Momentum (2H)
- Retreating Maneuver (Alliance War, Assault)
- Reflective Plate (Dragonknight, Draconic Power)
My favorite moment from the dev run of vMoS HM was when Rich Lambert exclaimed, "f*** you, strangler!". But there are ways to deal with them!
First, stay together. You have a far better chance of freeing your allies if you do.
Second, have one or more people run a stun. Shock Touch (Destructive Touch with a lightning staff) is a nice ranged stun ability available to the healer and any magicka DD. Sorcs can use Rune Prison/Cage instead if they prefer. The stun serves two purposes. First, as you approach a strangler, you can stun it so that your team can safely run past the strangler without being grappled. If you were to listen to our voice comms, you'd probably hear something like, "Tank: I see a strangler up ahead. Me: Okay, it's stunned." Second, if someone does get grappled, a ranged stun means that you can free the person more quickly, without having to run to them. With practice, I can turn around, cast the stun to free my teammate, and go right back to running the loop without missing a beat. Crushing Shock can also be used to free people from range, but I really prefer Shock Touch because it can also be used preemptively.
Another option for dealing with the stranglers is using Time Stop. Cast one on the strangler as you approach it, and as a bonus, it can also CC any direwolves that are chasing you as you lead them through the bubble.
If you have the time and opportunity, it's a good idea to kill the stranglers, but there will often be times when the shades are close behind in hot pursuit, and you just can't afford to stop to kill stranglers, in which case stunning them is really, really nice. If you have someone who is not being hunted, they can run a bit further ahead to lay ground DoTs on a strangler or stay back a little to finish off a strangler. Just be careful that whoever does this doesn't stray too far from the group.
4: Dodge those fireballs
The fire DoT that you get during the hunt does more damage than the fire DoT that you get during the normal phases of the hunt. You really need to dodge them. Listen for the boss's audio cue (he'll say something before casting the fireballs, such as "I'll burn you to a crisp!"). Alternatively, there's an addon
that can help with that.
5: Survival is important; DPS is not
I change my gear when I do the Hard Mode of the Balorgh fight. As a magicka DD, I put on the Amber Plasm that I use for PvP, because it's nice having stamina to dodge and having the magicka to maintain my shields and purge those snares. Alternatively, health-stam-magicka tripots are nice for making sure that you have stamina to dodge. When I do this fight on my magicka nightblade characters, my entire back bar is devoted to surviving the hunt: it's a lighting staff with Harness, Refreshing Path, Shock Reach, and Efficient Purge. Different classes and builds will have different skill setups that make the most sense, but just keep in mind that the entire Balorgh HM fight is really a fight of survival where DPS isn't that important. So don't hesitate to tinker with your bars and gear to get a setup that works for you. Good luck!
PC/NA ― Officer of Nightfighters
― Officer and former GM of The Merchant's Reserve
– Breton Nightblade – DD – Snow Oryx ☙
– Dunmer Dragonknight – DD/Tank – Cinder Oryx ☙
– Altmer Sorcerer – DD – Elim Crake
– Breton Templar – Healer – Zebulon the Spirit Bear
– Bosmer Nightblade – DD – Higgs Bosmer
– Argonian Dragonknight – Tank – Erects-the-Horns-of-War
– Redguard Sorceress – DD – Rallina Oryx
– Altmer Nightblade – DD – Joyèd
– Dunmer Nightblade – DD – Raven Oryx ☙
– Argonian Dragonknight – Tank – Takes-All-Blame
– Altmer Sorceress – DD – Codegasm
The Flawless Conqueror • Dro-m'Athra Destroyer • Tick-Tock Tormentor • Voice of Reason • Bringer of Light • Blackrose Executioner
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Guides: Sunspire Mechanics