- Defensive Measures - the quest is optional for the zone. you can get all needed parts to deactive the shield without doing the quest as well
- Underdepths Saga: Zaphardt's Defenders
You will need both trauma and arcane cures for this zone - bring potions or a merc that can handle it if you're not a healer.
Upon zoning in, turn right (West) and head up the stairs, clearing the immolated for the timed quest. Once they are dead in this area, then head back down and East to the mercantile district to finish the immolated before the time runs out.
To the mercantile districtEdit
Once you are in the Stone Mercantile District, and clearing the rest of the immolated, keep an eye out for Malduran citizens. These can be left-clicked and 'rescued', although frustratingly they're mostly found behind aggressive mobs. The reason you'll want to do this is for the first boss, Old Doclin.
Old Doclin will wander around the Stone Mercantile District 'immolating' the Malduran citizens. For each one he immolates, he gets a stack of a buff. His main ability is summoning clouds of ash. Inside those clouds, you receive a massive debuff and he receives a stoneskin. The more citizens you rescue before the fight, the less often he does this. The ash clouds last the duration of the fight, and you have to drag him out of them as he calls them up.
Back to the Alcove of ReasonEdit
The Alcove of Reason is full of deactivated spidermech defenders. Head to the canister containing floating crystal shards at ( -87, 13, 178 ) /waypoint -87, 13, 178 and left-click. This activates all the spidermech defenders. Clear them to spawn the next boss, X-O Arachmech.
X-O Arachmech nerfs your ability to do ranged damage at the start of the fight. He has a joustable AoE that he emotes in red before using. Some seconds into the fight, he'll summon an electro-charged reinforcement add. Kill it, and it drops a battery. Now drag Arachmech into the water and left-click to drop the battery in the water. Burn down Arachmech. He continues to summon adds, although at a fairly slow rate, and it's probably safer to kill them as they spawn.
Once you kill Arachmech, loot An X-Electro-charged battery, take it back to the crystal canister, and left click. The canister explodes. Click and pick up the crystals.
To the WaterworksEdit
Watch Stonerend. He's not aggro, but if you touch him he'll hit you for 600K. A white circle will appear on the ground in front of him, he'll walk into it and bounce his arms up and down. Click on that white circle to put a crystal in it. When Stonerend smashes the crystal, he takes 20% of his health in damage. He's surrounded by four Dark Gear necromancers. Kill the necromancer on the far right by the door, then the necromancer right in front of the bridge - they're not aggro now, but they'll attack if Stonerend dies, and if you kill all 4 Stonerend attacks. Which necromancers are still alive determines Stonerend's pathing. When you place your fifth crystal, kill one more necro while Stonerend is busy.
Once Stonerend goes down and you kill the last necromancer, harvest the crystal shards by clicking on them, and the blood from a necromancer corpse by clicking it.
Note: If you do not complete this zone in one go, you will be unable to collect the shards and blood and the rest of the zone will be unavailable to you.
Deactivate the shieldEdit
Head back up to Black Bolt.
On the ground by the shield, there are five ghostly cylinders that can be left-clicked, indicating where you put a phylactery. Once you've placed all five, Black Bolt runs off and leaves you with three skeletons to fight: The Undying Apprentice, The Undying Mechanic, and The Undying Technican.
The Apprentice is rooted in place and has an effect where if he takes damage, he puts a 5 Million Damage stoneshield on all three of them, so drag the other two away, and save the Apprentice for last. The Technican has a stacking buff that increases his damage output, so kill him first. The Mechanic has a curable trauma effect. The Apprentice will cast a cureable arcane detrimental that does about 50K damage per tick. Once you kill the Technican and Mechanic, the Apprentice will drop his stoneskin ability and root and attack you. He'll keep using the arcane detrimental, but has no other tricks.
Note: don't forget to start the timed quest either once you placed all 5 cylinders. The encounter counts as 3 updates already and all the undead will come alive after this fight
Take out Black BoltEdit
Go back to the Alcove of Reason, and find that it's now full of Dark Gear gnemlins. The Animated Gnemlin Bones are aggro but the Dark Gear Vassals and Conscripts aren't aggro, but they will join in the fight against Black Bolt if you don't clear them. So kill them all everywhere in the zone before attacking Black Bolt.
Once they're cleared, find the stairs to the elevated section of the Alcove, at the top Black Bolt is waiting. He's non-aggro, so you'll have to pick the fight.
Some seconds into the fight, Black Bolt will open a portal. Pay Attention to what color the portal is. He'll walk through the portal, left click it to follow him and keep burning. After a bit he'll summon a dozen portals, each of a different color. You want the one that's the same color as the one he first summoned. Again, click the portal to follow him and then keep burning him. Should he do the portal routine again, just remember which color portal he summoned.