"Retake the village of Rockgrove from Daedric-worshipping Argonians in a new 12-player Trial. Battle through the town and put a stop to the invading tribe's rituals before they can call forth Mehrune Dagon's great army."
Walkthrough & Strategies
Rockgrove Trial quest begins when you enter the dungeon. There are 3 bosses the team has to battle during the trial:
Expel the Sul-Xan from Rockgrove
- Quest: Of Stone and Steam
- Tank x 2
- DPS x 8
- Healer x 2
- Info coming soon
- Info coming soon
Rockgrove Trial Walkthrough
Boss 1 - Oaxiltso - HP: 69.9M / 139.7M (Hard Mode)
Oaxiltso is a large Argonian Behemoth who serves as the first boss of Rockgrove. He uses predominantly fire and poison attacks and employs a cleanse mechanic via the four pools in the corners of his chamber. Oaxiltso is also supported by Havocrel Annihilator adds that have massive health pools and serve more like mini-bosses rather than simple adds.
- Light Attack - The boss performs a standard claw swipe that deals moderate damage. He will usually perform 2-3 in succession.
- Ravenous Chomp - Oaxiltso takes a bite out of his target dealing heavy damage. This move should be blocked.
- Noxious Sludge - Oaxiltso drenches two players with Noxious Sludge which causes them to drop small poison pools every second, dealing heavy damage to anyone standing in the AoE. These players need to take a dip in one of the four pools to cleanse the debuff. This move is used roughly every 35 seconds.
- Savage Blitz - Oaxiltso focuses on the furthest player from him and dashes towards them after a short charge time. Any players caught in the path will be dealt massive damage and knocked down. This move can and should be dodged. This move is used roughly every 40-45 seconds.
- Hard Mode Modifier - From 50% Health and below, Oaxiltso will charge twice in succession, choosing the furthest target from him and then the furthest target relative to his new position after the first charge.
- Molten Earth - Oaxiltso performs three stomps in succession, the first two with a single leg and then the last one by jumping up and landing with both feet. Each stomp releases fiery projectiles on impact that move outward in a starburst pattern. These projectiles deal heavy damage if not mitigated. Avoid these as much as possible.
- Blistering Smash - The boss charges up a double-handed ground smash that leaves a large AoE on the ground around his target, dealing damage-over-time and persisting for a few seconds. Players should move out of this.
- Death Hopper frogs will periodically spawn near the Cleansing Pools in the 4 corners of the room. These frogs deal damage from range and can be dangerous if ignored as multiple will spawn at once and it won't take long for a whole bunch to fill up the room.
- Havocrel Annihilator - At roughly 90%, 75%, 50% and 35% Health thresholds, Oaxiltso will summon a Havocrel Annihilator miniboss to assist him. This is telegraphed by the boss roaring at the sky for several seconds followed by fireball AoEs raining down on players which should be avoided. The final AoE will be much larger and will have a longer arming time after which, the Annihilator plunges downwards with his sword. The miniboss will have its own mechanics detailed below.
- Enrage - The boss will enrage if he comes within a certain radius of one of the Havocrel Annihilator mini bosses, significantly raising the damage done both enemies for all of their attacks.
- Light Attack - Standard sword slashes that deal moderate damage. Sometimes does a jumping spinning slash.
- Sunburst - This is the Annihilator's heavy attack. He charges up and performs a spinning slash that deals heavy damage and subsequently drops meteors on 2 random players which deal immense damage and need to be blocked. The slash itself needs to be dodged by the off tank.
- Cinder Cleave - The Annihilator targets a random party member with a very long conal attack, sending out a fire wave from his sword along the path. This should be blocked and the resulting DoT effect cleansed.
- Fiery Chains - The Annihilator will often chain two random players towards him.
- Enrage - The Annihilator will enrage if he comes within a certain radius of Oaxiltso, significantly raising the damage done by both enemies for all of their attacks.
- Hard Mode Modifiers:
- Magma Sludge - Shortly after spawning, the Annihilator will raise its left arm up high dropping an orb of magma into one of the Cleansing Pools and permanently turning it into a Magma Pool, making it unusable for cleansing the Noxious Sludge. Magma Pools will periodically spew fireballs throughout the chamber, causing moderate damage to players hit.
Tanking and Positioning
- For positioning, we will consider the cardinal directions and Cleansing Pools as key points of reference. For the purpose of this guide, the Entrance to the chamber will be referred to as the south while the exit is referred to as the north.
- The Main Tank should aim to keep Oaxiltso in the North and faced away from the group but avoid hugging the north wall as you will need some maneuverability. While he does not have any cleave attacks, Oaxiltso will frequently use Blistering Smash which will leave a large AoE under his target's position.
- The Damage Dealers and Healer 1 will position themselves at a slight diagonal behind the Boss, in the outer corner of either the northeast or northwest Cleansing Pools. When the Annihilator Mini Boss spawns, the Off Tank should place him directly south of the group. The Off tank will be responsible for pulling the Death Hoppers that spawn from the southern pools.
- Healer 2 should stay on either the east or west pockets of the room and as far south as possible while still being able to heal the group. This healer will be the bait for Oaxiltso's Savage Blitz charge as it will always target the player furthest from him.
Once engaged, the Boss should immediately be pulled to the north of the room and faced away while everyone gets into position and begin dealing damage. Oaxiltso will perform his first Savage Blitz charge shortly and Healer 2 should prepare to dodge out of the way. Note that this can be quite difficult to accomplish on higher latencies so try to dodge a little early in anticipation of the charge. He will always take a few seconds to focus on the charge target so use this to your advantage. The main group should be nowhere near the Boss' charge path if you are following the positioning tips above. He will charge the furthest player approximately every 45 seconds. Note that Oaxiltso can perform his other moves as he is walking back towads the tank, such as Molten Earth or Blistering Smash. In the case of the latter, the AoE will always appear beneath his target so as long the Tank is maintaining position, this should be no issue.
Shortly after the charge, Oaxiltso will drench two players with Noxious Sludge. These players will receive a notification on the HUD, as well as a distinct orange/brown tinting of their screens. Players affected should immediately move into one of the Cleansing Pools to get rid of the debuff. Note that only one player may use a single pool at once as the process of cleansing will taint the pool for a few seconds so it may be useful to call out which pool you'll be using to prevent overlapping. It is advisable to use only the northern pools for cleansing the sludge. This is due to the targeting mechanism for Savage Blitz which can potentially lock onto a player cleansing in one of the south pools at the wrong time.
Once his health drops to around 90%, Oaxiltso will begin roaring into the sky signaling that a Havocrel Annihilator miniboss is about to drop. Before it does, several fireballs will fall from the sky, dealing damage in a small radius under random players. Once the Annhilator lands, everyone should stop DPS on the main boss and immediately switch to the Annihilator as the Off Tank moves him into position. His two most dangerous moves are his Sunburst heavy attack which drops meteors on two random players which need to be blocked or dodged, and his Cinder Cleave attack which he aims at a random player. As with most long conal attacks, the narrow start of the cone is the safest and easiest part to dodge. As the target is picked at random, it's best to have them stay put and block while everyone else sidesteps the cone's AoE. Beware of the DoT effect it leaves regardless if it is blocked.
Players should also look out for projectiles from Molten Earth as they move in varying starburst patterns and have quite a long travel distance. These projectiles can deal large amounts of damage and move pretty fast. Lastly, do not ignore the Death Hoppers that spawn around the cleansing pools as they will wreck your team if left to multiply.
Hard Mode Tips
- Hard Mode can be activated by raising the challenge banner near the entrance to the chamber.
For the Hard Mode encounter, the most notable mechanic added is the Havocrel Annihilator's Molten Sludge move which will lock out one of the Cleansing Pools permanently. Each Annihilator will perform this move shortly after spawning. This essentially means that by the third Annihilator, you are already down to only ONE usable pool for cleansing Noxious Sludge and no pools at all for the fourth while the main boss still has ~35% Health remaining. At the time of this writing, we have not found a way to revert the pools or prevent them from getting locked out and have simply resorted to allowing the affected players to die and get resurrected. It is advised that the fourth Annihilator be kept alive and simply tanked to the side while the rest of the group burn the main boss down.
Another Hard Mode mechanic of note is Oaxiltso's double Savage Blitz charges which he performs in sucession once he dips below 50% HP. An effective method to deal with this is to have Healer 1 break off from the main group and stand behind the Main Tank in the north after Oaxiltso charges Healer 2. This will cause him to charge back into the original position without having anyone else get targeted. Note that Healer 1 is used to bait the second charge as Oaxiltso doesn't seem to target the Tank with Savage Blitz.
Boss 2 - Flame-Herald Bahsei - HP: 65M / 173.9M (Hard Mode)
Flame-Herald Bahsei is an Argonian Sul-Xan cultist that serves as the second boss of Rockgrove. This is a highly mobile fight that involves a lot of repositioning and many overlapping mechanics. Bahsei will also summon several adds that need to be focused down. This fight involves 2 Phases with varying mechanics.
- Light Attack - Standard sword slashes that deal moderate damage.
- Heavy Attack - Bahsei turns his body to the right while spinning his left sword. He then performs a heavy strike with both swords that deal heavy damage. This attack should be blocked.
- Convoke the Flesh - Starting from 90% Health, Bahsei will summon a Flesh Abomination add which appears from one of the runes around the arena. Bahsei will summon a new Abomination at roughly every 5% of his health until he is down to 50%. These adds need to be tanked at the outer edges of the arena as they will perform a smash attack that leaves a large AoE circle called Mouldering Taint which deals heavy damage per second to players caught within. Mouldering Taint will persist for the entirety of the fight.
- Forgotten Archer - These periodically spawn from the runes and need to be interrupted when they channel a spell that forms a slow-filling circle around the feet of players, culminating in a heavy damage attack.
- Sickle Strike - Bahsei strikes his target and sends three swirling darkness AoEs that fork outward, afflicting players hit with the Death Touch curse. This attack will always be targeted at the tank unless aggro is lost somehow.
- Cursed Ground - Bahsei summons chains from underneath two players' feet which explode after about a second, dealing moderate damage and inflicting the Death Touch curse on any players hit. The chains will always target the two furthest players from Bahsei so it's possible to bait the mechanic.
- Death Touch - This is a curse inflicted by the Sickle Strike and Cursed Ground mechanics, represented by a dark aura swirling around the player. It causes a moderate damage-over-time effect on players afflicted. After 8 seconds or upon the player's death, two Kiss of Death AoEs are released, which are whirlwinds of dark energy that deal damage on contact and inflict Death Touch. The more times Death Touch spreads from player to player, the stronger the DoT effect will be. The Kiss of Death whirlwinds are released in a random direction and will roam the arena for a brief moment before exploding in an Embrace of Death, dealing massive amounts of damage in a medium radius.
- Skull Salvo - Bahsei raises his hand and continually bombards the group with bright blue projectiles that deal moderate damage. This attack can and should be interrupted.
- Phase 2 - At 50% HP, Bahsei will begin using several new fire-based mechanics while retaining all moves from Phase 1 except for the Flesh Abominations.
- Fire Behemoth - These adds will spawn from the Oblivion Portal in the corner. They will need to be tanked away from the boss and focused down as they will explode in a medium radius upon death, dealing massive damage to any players caught in the AoE. The Behemoths also summon a Starburst that targets a random player whenever they perform their heavy attack.
- Burning Specter - Periodically appear from the outer edges of the arena. These adds cannot be tanked and deal light to moderate damage but do not ignore them as a group of 4-5 can become problematic.
- Meteor Swarm - Bahsei will periodically rain meteors down into the arena which deal moderate damage on impact. The meteors are easily avoided but the group should be on the lookout for a Prime Meteor which will appear with each swarm. This meteor is targetable and should be destroyed immediately as it will continuously deal damage to all players via Radiating Heat until finally obliterating the group with Luminous Erruption.
- Dagon's Wrath - Waves of fire will periodically emanate from the outer edges of the arena, traveling in a straight line and dealing moderate to high damage to any players hit.
- Hard Mode Modifiers:
- Portal Mechanic - Bahsei will summon a portal in the center of the room which will throw out a large cone of shadow in front of it, similar to the portals of the Z'Maja fight in the Cloudrest trial. The cone will rotate around the room very slowly, transporting any players hit into a Shadow Realm. Inside the Shadow Realm, players are dealt damage in pulses which gets stronger the longer they are inside. There will be several Wraiths that need to be killed. Each Wraith only has 1 HP. Three Creeping Eye AoEs will also roam around the Shadow Realm, dealing heavy damage to players caught within. Once all Wraiths are dead, the Creeping Eyes will turn into synergies which must be activated simultaneously by 3 players in order to channel beams at the portal, destroying it and returning the players to the real world. Players who successfully exit the portal in this manner will be debuffed by an effect that will kill them instantly should they try to enter another Portal. This debuff lasts for 2 minutes and for this reason, you should have 3 damage dealers rotate with 3 others to tackle the Portal mechanic as Bahsei will summon a new portal roughly 1 minute after the last is destroyed. Failing this Portal mechanic will result in a wipe.
Tanking and Positioning
- Note that the very edges of the arena are lava-filled trenches and it should go without saying you don't want to be on the lava at any point in the fight.
- Take note of the runes on the ground along the edges of the room. These are where the Flesh Abominations and Forgotten Archers will spawn. There is also an Oblivion Portal in the northeast corner of the room where the Fire Behemoths will spawn from.
- The boss should be maintained near the middle of the arena and faced away from the group, eliminating the chance for Death Sickle to hit anyone but the tank. The rest of the group should be in a loose stack behind the boss and ready to move to counter incoming mechanics. There should be two players (preferably the healers) standing a little further back from the group in order to bait the Cursed Ground chains, but these players should not overlap.
- When the Abominations spawn, the Offtank should rush to their position and immediately bring them to the outer edges of the room, just before the lava trenches. This is the ideal location to drop Mouldering Taint. The Offtank should make sure each instance of Mouldering Taint is placed along the outer edges with some space in between each for players to drop Kiss of Death safely.
When the fight begins, the tank should face the boss away immediately. He will likely only perform his standard attacks until he reaches 90%, at which point he will summon the first Flesh Abomination. It is important that the group stops damaging the boss whenever an Abomination is up as he will summon a new one for every 5% Health lost until Phase 2. Having 2 or more Abominations up at the same time will prove problematic for any group. Damage should be focused on the adds as soon as they spawn as the Offtank positions them along the outer edges of the arena. Any Forgotten Archers should be pulled by the Offtank towards the Abominations or by the Main Tank to the boss and have them AoE'd down by the group.
Bahsei will soon begin using Death Sickle which should only ever hit the Main Tank. The tank should then call out his Death Touch explosion, signaling the group to watch out for Kiss of Death whirlwinds. If you want to be extra safe, have the group fall back a little when the Main Tank calls out, giving the group plenty of time and space to avoid the whirlwinds. The two furthest players will also be dealing with the Cursed Ground chains. If they have fast enough reflexes, they should be able to dodge out of the AoE. In the event that the players are hit by the chains, they should make their way to a safe area in the outer edges of the arena to drop the Kiss of Death whirlwinds as well as calling out in case the whirlwinds roam towards the group. Proper management of these two mechanics should result in only the tank and/or the Cursed Ground bait players getting hit by Death's Touch. However, players should always be on the lookout for roaming Kiss of Death whirlwinds as these can inflict Death Touch as well. Remember that Death Touch deals more and more damage the more players it jumps to via its transfer mechancis so avoid those whirlwinds at all costs.
The battle will follow the same flow for pretty much the entire first phase. Occasionally, Bahsei will channel the Skull Salvo attack which should be interrupted immediately. It's very easy to see as he will raise his hand up high and shoot bright blue projectiles at everyone. Once he reaches Phase 2, you will notice the fight take on a more fiery theme as Bahsei begins summoning Fire Behemoths periodically from the northeast portal. These adds should be pulled by the Off Tank immediately as they hit very hard. They can be placed right next to the main boss for easy AoE and cleave damage but watch out for when they die as they will explode in a medium radius for massive damage.
Fiery waves called Dagon's Wrath will continually emanate from the lava trenches and travel to the middle of the room, dealing moderate damage to any players they come in contact with. As his health gets lower and lower, Bahsei will begin channeling a Meteor Swarm every few seconds. Each swarm consists of meteors that impact random spots in the arena, dealing moderate to heavy damage, as well as a Prime Meteor. As soon as the Prime Meteor lands, it will begin Radiating Heat which damages all players in pulses. If left alive for too long, the Prime Meteor will explode and likely wipe the entire group. In most cases, the damage from this Luminous Erruption is not survivable. Players should destroy these meteors immediately.
The rest of the fight will follow the same flow with some Burning Specters spawning in periodically. Players should have the following Kill Priority in mind: Prime Meteor > Fire Behemoth > Burning Specter > Bahsei while being mindful of the Death Touch mechanic. Take your time with the mechanics and don't push Bahsei too much as his adds and managing the overlapping mechanics are a lot more important to completing this encounter. Remember that all mechanics from Phase 1 will be retained in Phase 2 except for the Abominations. Keep those Kiss of Death whirlwinds in check and make sure not to spread Death Touch and you should be able to succeed.
Hard Mode Tips
Aside from Bahsei having a lot more Health, the Hard Mode version of this encounter only adds the Portal Mechanic explained above. Overall, the fight should remain mostly similar. Ensure that your group will have 2 groups of 3 damage dealer taking turns to enter the portal and maybe one or two on standby in case someone dies in the Shadow Realm. Another thing of note is that the Portal's teleport cone will slowly rotate around the room so the tank should position themselves to the side of the cone and slowly follow it around the room. You do not want the tank to be sucked into the Shadow Realm. Lastly, it is best to stop damaging Bahsei when a Portal is up as you may not have enough damage to deal with the Flesh Abominations or Fire Behemoth at the same time.
Boss 3 - Xalvakka - HP: 60M / 238M (Hard Mode)
Xalvakka serves as the final boss of the Rockgrove Trial. This boss will have three phases beginning with Phase 1 at the bottom of her tower. Phase 2 begins as she reaches 70% Health and she will quickly run to the second floor of the tower. The final phase begins when she reaches 40% and runs for the third floor. Aside from the phase changes, the Xalvakka encounter will involve a lot of adds.
- Phase 1 - From 100% to 70% HP, Xalvakka will employ the following mechanics:
- Flame Pillar - Xalvakka summons a fiery geyser right in front of her, which sends several waves of fire crawling along the ground dealing moderate damage.
- Adds - Xalvakka will constantly throw a plethora of adds at you. While many of these are inconsequential, look out for the Iron Atronach that spawns from one side of the room periodically. This add should be focused down as it spawns since it likes to use nasty group damaging abilities. Another add is the Flame Watcher which targets the group with AoEs and should be prioritized with the Iron Atronach.
- Scathing Evisceration - A highly damaging ability which hits three times. Xalvakka slashes with one arm, then the next and then performs a double slash with two arms. Each hit can be blocked or dodge rolled.
- Corrupted Azureplasm - These are blobs that are periodically left on the ground throughout the fight. They are untargetable and deal damage via Unstable Charge when players step on them. If too many blobs are in one area, they may coalesce into a larger blob which will increase the damage done by Unstable Charge. Don't stand in these.
- Deadstar Blast - Xalvakka will periodically throw fireballs that deal moderate damage on impact.
- Phase 2 - When she reaches 70% HP, Xalvakka will run towards a corridor in the outer edge of the map leading to a stairwell and the second floor of the tower. The team will need to rush after her as the bottom floor will fill with lava which will kill players almost instantly. Along the stairwell are flamethrowing traps that deal moderate damage. A well geared group can just run through them and heal, otherwise try to dodge roll past the flames as you make your way. Note that any dead players will be automatically transported to the entrance of the next floor but will still need to be manually resurrected. Xalvakka will retain the mechanics from Phase 1 while adding the following:
- Adds - A Havocrel Goliath will now periodically join the fray. This add deals significant damage and will need to be picked up by the off tank but he can be positioned next to Xalvakka for AoE and cleaves. The Goliath will occasionally channel a Firestorm ability, encircling himself in a whirlwind of flames that deals heavy damage along its radius. There is a safe space in the eye of the storm where players can stand and deal damage to the add and/or Xalvakka.
- Deadstar Burst - Deadstar Blast will now bounce on the ground, creating a burst of energy on the impact site before jumping to players.
- Volatile Shell - Xalvakka will split into three instances of herself, two of which are fakes. Each instance will have a Volatile Shell protecting it which needs to be destroyed. Destroying the shell of the correct Xalvakka will end the phase. Players will be able to tell a fake Xalvakka by getting within melee range of it. If it turns translucent, it's a fake. She will also channel a Nova which engulfs the entire room in flames, dealing light but consistent, periodic damage until the Volatile Shell of the correct Xalvakka is destroyed. Note that damaging the wrong Xalvakka will cause the image to turn into stone when the shell is destroyed. Further damaging the petrified image will result in an Eruption that deals heavy daamage to all players.
- Phase 3 - At 40%, Xalvakka will make a final run and head for the third floor of her tower. The transition will be the same as the first. Run after her immediately to avoid the lava, dodge roll through the flame throwers. This final phase will play out the same as the first two with the added hazard of a hole in the center of the floor which players should avoid.
- Hard Mode Modifiers - Pending
Tanking and Positioning
- Xalvakka does not have any cleave effects and therefore does not need to be faced away from the group. Positioning is less important here as she will periodically teleport around the arena. The tank simply needs to maintain aggro of her and pull the occasional adds for easy cleaving.
As soon as Xalvakka is engaged, she will begin summoning a flaming pillar which can be brute forced with light healing. Adds will start pouring in from the sides of the room. While the plethora of different add types can be overwhelming, don't panic because most of them are small and inconsequential. Look out for the Iron Atronach and Flame Watchers and focus on those instead.
On the second floor, the Volatile Shell mechanic is introduced. Xalvakka splits into three images and the group will need to find the real one while dealing with the Nova. An effective strategy here is for the group to maintain a tight stack so healers can drop AoE healing to counteract the Nova while a player runs to each Xalvakka. Fake ones will turn translucent when a player gets within melee range, signaling the group to stop damaging that one. When the real Xalvakka is found, focus her shell down to end the mechanic. This will repeat periodically throughout he fight at roughly 80 second intervals. Depending on your group's speed and damage capabilities, you may be facing less Volatile Shell phases throughout the entire fight.
Be wary of the Havocrel Goliath add which comes into play during this phase onwards. This add can decimate non-tanks and should be picked up by the off tank immediately. You may want to consider actively thinning out all other adds during this phase as the Goliath has a massive health pool, necessitating a significant amount of time taking it out which can cause your group to be overwhelmed by the other adds. Keep in mind that Iron Atronachs and Watchers will still be spawning during this phase and the final phase and should be focused down with the Goliath before any other targets, including Xalvakka herself.
Phase 3 will see the group fighting Xalvakka at the top of the tower, but not much will change aside from the large hole in the center of the floor. Do note that all mechanics will occur during this phase and should be handled accordingly.
Hard Mode Trips
- HM tips coming soon
- Location: Blackwood
- Behemoth Beleaguerer
- Havocrel Slayer
- Keep Your Distance
- Light Stepper
- Rockgrove Completed
- Rockgrove Conqueror
- Rockgrove Sprinter
- Rockgrove Vanguisher
- Slay the Messenger
- Soul Bombardier
- Soul Savior
- Sul-Xan Slayer
- Turtle Soup
- What is this Filth?
- Will of Stone
- Xalvakka's Bane
- Title: Ca-Uxith Warrior (Rockgrove Conqueror Achievement)
- Title: Daedric Bane (Xalvakka’s Bane Achievement)
- Title: Defender of Rockgrove (Rockgrove Completed Achievement)
- Title: Planeswalker (Soul Savior Achievement)
- Title: Xalvakka's Scourge (Rockgrove Vanquisher Achievement)
- Sul Xan Raider Body Markings (Rockgrove Conqueror Achievement)
- Sul Xan Raider Face Markings (Rockgrove Vanquisher Achievement)
- Mount: Sul-Xan Fleshripper (Xalvakka’s Bane Achievement)
- Dye: Glenbridge Green (Rockgrove Completed Achievement)
- Death Hopper
- Haj Mota
- Sul-Xan Bloodseeker
- Sul-Xan Disciple
- Sul-Xan Flamebinder
- Sul-Xan Militant
- Sul-Xan Reaver
- Sul-Xan Scavenger
- Sul-Xan Sharpslinger