There are fourteen Elder Vaults on the Isle of Siptah each with their own décor, peculiarities and quirks, some containing simple puzzles that you have to solve to progress. I rank them by difficulty at the end of this guide (together with some tips) but all vaults are classed as Level 60 dungeons and you’ll need to be that level to pick up the Legendary loot on offer. The type of vault you encounter will depend largely on the enemies living in it. For example, the two Fish-Men vaults include hidden pools that you have to swim through, while the two Harpy vaults include many features that will test your coordination in climbing and jumping. However, despite their differences you can expect to find the same features in each:
When you enter an Elder Vault you’ll find yourself in a small antechamber. There’s loot to be found here – a devolved insignia recipe that you can use to craft a trophy. Look for a decorated shield-like object lying on the floor or propped against a wall and interact with it to learn its recipe. You can then use Eldarium to make your own. Beyond the antechamber you’ll encounter your first…
Lots and lots of enemies. There are various enemy types within a vault (though they’re all of the same Elder race) and are of varying degrees of savagery and toughness. Some dead enemies will drop Eldarium so make sure to search each one. Try to deal with enemies individually or in small groups (see ’Tips’ below). If you try to run through a vault to evade individual enemies you just risk gathering a large mob behind you.
Buttons and Levers
You can’t miss the buttons. These are huge discs you stand on to open interior doors. Be aware that your followers can also set these off and enemies often lurk in wait for you when a door opens, so make sure you’re ready to deal with them. Occasionally you’ll come across floor and wall levers and other devices that do the same job.
You’ll find many of these chests scattered around a vault often in guarded side chambers. Most of them contain pretty mundane stuff, but they’re sometimes useful if you need raw materials to replace or repair equipment. Some chests are larger that normal loot chests and have a circular pattern on the lid (see above). These are weapons chests and you’ll need a skeleton key to access these. Skeleton keys are harvested from the corpses of three-skull world bosses, but you can’t make use of keys till you reach Level 60. Each of these special chests contains a Legendary Weapon.
Examine anything that looks out of the ordinary, especially random statues and unusual items that look out of place. You’ll usually find them lying or standing on the ground or in piles of rubble. Some of these objects can be interacted with to teach you recipes for decorative items and other good stuff.
All vaults have a boss at their end. Most bosses also have at least a couple of henchmen with them, so try to deal with the little guys first if you can (see ‘Tips’). The dead boss will usually drop a nice cache of Eldarium together with other goodies. After the boss is defeated look for a final floor button that will take you to the…
The Lore Chamber is the final room before you exit the vault. It contains a globe that will tell you some of the history of the Elder races and how they came to be on the island. There’s also a large loot chest that contains a Sigil (see ‘All You Need to Know About Sigils’) a large cache of Eldarium, and other valuable materials. Two regular loot chests in the chamber will also contain useful materials, though more mundane.
Also look for two scroll holders in the Lore Chamber. These are sometimes hidden in a corner but most will be in plain sight. Interact with them and one scroll will give you recipes for vault armours, the other will give you recipes for vault weapons.
Vault Tips for Adventurers
Food and water – vaults can take a while to complete so make sure you’re well supplied. Some vaults contain pools of drinkable water, but in others the water you come across can’t be used. You can’t make a fire in a vault so you can’t cook up dead enemies. A few vault loot chests might contain edible insects and grubs, but don’t count on it.
Take a torch – different vaults have different levels of lighting, but most are gloomy so take a torch to help you search for hidden treasures. If you forget to bring a torch, dead enemies will often drop what you need to make one, or you can find materials in loot chests.
Take a bow – a bow is vital to kite enemies towards you to ensure you don’t agro too many at once. Kiting is especially useful in separating a vault Boss from its henchmen. Sometimes enemies can be kited individually, but usually they’ll come at you in groups of two or three. Be careful, if you get surrounded by a mob things can go downhill quickly.
Take a mount - a horse is a useful addition to your team. There’s lots to pick up in a vault and it can be easy to become over encumbered.
Take a companion - if you want a real challenge go alone, but the wise player will take a thrall equipped with plenty of healing gruel, good armour and weapons.
Don’t die - if you die in a vault the game gives you the option of respawning in the vault itself. If you die repeatedly you’ll usually get to do this two or three times, but as some point the game will respawn you ‘outside’ the vault. This means that all the enemies you killed have respawned and you’ll have to kill them again, this time bare-handed unless you can recover your equipment.
Beware of other players (even in PVE) - more than one player can explore a vault at the same time. In rare cases they will be able to trigger mechanisms that will get you into trouble, in particular the weight room in the Harbour of the Drowned where it’s possible to become trapped underwater.
In my opinion the vaults rank in difficulty as follows:
Very Hard: Harpy Vaults (Volary of the Harpy and Volary of Jhil). Even ordinary harpies have very strong attacks and they will often mob you. Both harpy vaults have reasonably challenging obstacles to overcome that will kill you with fall damage if you’re not careful. The Volary of the Harpy probably has the most aggressive vault boss.
Hard: Fish-Men Vaults (Harbour of the Drowned and Harbour of the Twice-Drowned). Fish-men are strong and some have an unpleasant ‘barf attack’ that heaves acid at you from a distance. They’re also assisted by fishy, trident-wielding henchmen. Some swimming is involved in navigating these vaults so Breathing Potion might be useful (though not vital). These are some of the most interesting looking vaults.
Hard: Fiends (Asylum of the Fiends). Fiends are large and nasty, but they’re slow and you can usually deal with them individually. The Fiends are accompanied by lots of easy, but annoying, human skeletons.
Moderate: Demon Spiders (Demense of the Demon Spider and Asylum of the Outsiders). These look nasty but don’t pack too much of a punch. Some large demon spiders have pustules on their behind and these have a nasty attack that swamps you with purple venom. Others have a rapid stabbing attack that can take you by surprise.
Moderate: Wolfmen (Den of the Wolfmen and Den of the Wolf Brothers). These guys like slashing and pouncing but are easy to dodge. They’re only very dangerous if they mob you but it’s easy to seperate them with a bow (see ‘Tips’ above).
Moderate: Snakemen (Sanctuary of the Snakemen and Sanctuary of the Serpent). Fairly straightforward to deal with but they occasionally come at you in larger groups. They are easy to stagger with rapid attacks.
Easy: Bat-Demons (Bastion of the Bat-Demons). Don’t take them for granted, but these guys are pretty weak. This vault was bugged out till recently but is now open for business.
Easy: Goblins (Refuge of the Goblinoids and Refuge of the Gremlins). Goblins will often come at you in threes and fours, but they’re quite puny. As long as you don’t agro too many at once you’ll be fine.
I hope you found that useful. If you want more why not check out some Isle of Siptah gameplay videos.