Trying to Solo Dark Shade Cavern II - and getting clobbered! I was able to do Dark Shade Cavern I without dying.....
What is the difference between the two.
This is non Vet....or maybe I should check?
Then after a time, ZOS introduced 2 new veteran dungeons - Crypt of Hearts (which level I honestly cannot remember but I assume vet 10?) and City of Ash (which was I think veteran 12 as they raised the cap by then?), with even more complicated mechanics, nearly unbeatable at launch.
If you wanna hear the full story...once upon a time, when the concept of CP was unheard of, when 700 was considered good dps (as all stats were generally roughly 10 times less than they are now), when you needed to be EP to play with an EP in PvE and mobs actually had levels...in this distance time around the dawn of ESO, there were no versions I and II. There were simply normal and vet dungeons. Dungeons, just like zones, were gated by levels. Normal Spindleclutch, Fungal Grotto, Banished Cells were level 10-ish (iirc); normal Wayrest, Elden Hollow, Darkshade were level 20-ish, etc. The higher the zone was in main questline, the higher its level along with corresponding dungeon level, the highest being Coldharbour and Vaults of Madness at ~level 45. Once you outleveled mobs in the dungeon (as well as open world) by more than...was it 7 levels?...you could no longer get loot from them. And, of course, any loot you did get from leveled monsters was the level of the monsters, no scaling to you.
Once you hit 50 you became level veteran 1 and unlocked veteran dungeons. There were only 6 veteran dungeons at launch - vet Spindleclutch, Fungal Grotto and Banished Cells which were all veteran 5, and Wayrest, Elden and Darkshade which were all veteran 10. These dungeons were made to continue the stories started in normal dungeons of the same name and, being made veteran from the start, had harder fights and more complicated mechanics. Then after a time, ZOS introduced 2 new veteran dungeons - Crypt of Hearts (which level I honestly cannot remember but I assume vet 10?) and City of Ash (which was I think veteran 12 as they raised the cap by then?), with even more complicated mechanics, nearly unbeatable at launch.
Then ZOS saw the light and revamped the dungeon system. They gave ALL dungeons a vet version, and what was veteran dungeons originally became dungeons II (and their formerly normal-only counterpart became dungeon I to avoid confusion). All the dlc dungeons already came out with this system in mind so they have no dungeons II version, it's DLC dungeon normal and DLC dungeon vet.
Tl;dr - yeah, dungeons II are generally harder than dungeons I because they've been made as their harder counterpart in mind. They're no longer THE hardest as they've been nerfed to ground over time (I do remember when you needed a heck of a healer to survive Vila Theran's beams of death in FG2, or when EH2 last boss was a more than decent dps check, or when only chosen few teams could make it through CoA2 at all), but they still are harder.