The Elder Scrolls

A Beginner’s Guide To Trials – Sunspire (Mechanics, Roles, Finding Groups)

TheElderScrolls3 - A Beginner's Guide To Trials - Sunspire (Mechanics, Roles, Finding Groups)

Hey all, I'm a fairly new player to ESO and have begun getting my feet wet with endgame content. A few weeks ago, when I was looking into starting my first trials, I had a hard time finding beginner level guides. There's some great info out there for vSS, and even some full youtube runs of normal. I don't think it's necessary to watch a 20-40 minute video, and really just wanted a simple text guide on how everything worked and what to expect. The concept of finding groups on ones own and the expectation to know mechanics before entering a trial is intimidating to some players–and there really isn't a reason for it. If you can clear Fungal Grotto on Vet, you can probably clear Sunspire on Normal.


Sunspire is an entry level trial containing 3 bosses with similar mechanics. There are a number of trash packs between them that are comparatively challenging in contrast to the dragon fights.

Finding A Group

If you are at least CP 160 and reasonably geared (BiS not required) there is no reason you cannot complete this content. If one group turns you down, don't let it discourage you. To find PUGs for any trials, you will want to travel to Craglorn and use the zone chat. The common shorthand for normal Sunspire is nSS (vSS for vet). Simply typing "dps LFG nSS" in zone chat is likely enough to get you invited. Do not be afraid to start your own groups as well, during prime time hours you can probably get a full group in 5-15 minutes. Normal Sunspire can be completed with 1 tank and 1 healer (although a backup can be safe–I main a tank and like not having to put my faith in strangers).

Trash Packs

There are a few mobs you need to be aware of. The elite “Alkosh” enemies (big humanoid catlike characters) feature 3 different types, two melee and a caster. The caster, called “Alkosh’s Fate”, should be focused first. They stand in place and cannot be moved; pulling the melee types over allows AoE to hit everything. DPS should run melee elites to the caster for the tank to taunt if they find themselves with aggro.

The other mobs to be aware of are the large cat/cougar looking enemies. They are able to pounce forward, knocking down players who aren’t blocking. The forward pounce is telegraphed by the cat backing up and preparing to lunge. The tank should turn these away from the DPS. The small, non-elite enemies (mostly archers) do negligible damage and you do not need to panic if they are hitting you. Stick with the group to receive heals, buffs, and AoE the enemies.


Dragon Bosses

The three dragon bosses share some mechanics, including a high damage fire breath. The tank will stand to the left of the boss, and the DPS will stand to the right. Standing too close to any boss will deal damage, and moving too close to the wings of the dragon (the extreme right/left sides) will cause you to be hit by a 1-shot mechanic. Every boss starts with a DPS/burn phase, then rotates between flight phases and DPS.


The first boss flight phase will spawn 2 different enemy types, shock and frost atronachs. The shock atronachs leave behind a ring of lightning when killed that deals about 50% to the frost types if they step into it (deals no damage to players). The shock types closest to the middle should be killed first (so the tank can most easily bring the frost to those spots first–the lightning on the ground doesn’t last forever). This mechanic is played three times, on each flight phase.


The second boss will also spawn a few enemies; flame atronachs that need to be killed immediately, and large Iron Servants that can be killed later. During the fly phase players must stand on the outer ring of the area to avoid a massive fire AoE. This same AoE will debuff the Iron Servants, making them take increased damage. Failure to kill atronachs before the AoE will leave a massive pool of lava on the ground; potentially making the tank or DPS move out of position and cause a wipe.


The final boss will spawn groups of enemies before the fight, and during fly phases. The Alkosh types will reappear, and the casters should be focused first once again. In addition to spawning mobs, the boss will shoot fire AoEs and spawn groups of three flame atronachs that can be killed easily. Once again, there are three flight phases.

I hope this is helpful for at least someone out there, and I appreciate any feedback down below. I would like to continue doing this for other trials and veteran modes–Sunspire was an easy way to get my feel for writing an ESO guide. I am considering creating some heavily edited down video guides (in the range of 5 minutes) to show mechanics, as well as examples of things going wrong. Suggestions welcome.

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