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WoWApr 25, 2023 1:30 pm CT

How to solve the puzzles in every room of the Zskera Vaults

The Zskera Vaults in the Forbidden Reach are a weekly solo instance full of puzzles and creatures, and every week you’ll find a new, semi-randomized version of Neltharion’s treasure vaults (Az, Ix, Kx, and Ur). Inside the Vaults, you’ll find a central chamber with a few mobs to fight, and then you can start unlocking doors vault doors with Zskera Vault Keys. There are four tiers of rooms to unlock, with five rooms on the first floor, and eight on each floor above. So far my fourth floor has been identical each week, and certain rooms have been in the same positions on floors two and three, but the other rooms have all been random. Each door requires a key — or another way to get through it, such as a properly-positioned ballista or cannon —requiring a total of 29 keys to get into them all.

And you’ll probably want to open them all, because some of the solutions to puzzles are found in other vaults — and there’s plenty of treasure to collect, too. Roughly half the rooms will contain treasure caches, which are thematically linked to the room, and which will give you a Primordial Stone of a family aligned with the chest type — so if you find a vault that’s on fire, expect to find a fiery Primordial Stone inside. Any treasure chest not called a cache will most likely contain Dormant Primordial Fragments and some random greys. Mysterious Chests have a chance to contain a pet or items used for the Mossy Mammoth mount. The first time you head into the Vaults, you’ll find the the Onyx Annulet Ring, which you can customize and upgrade with your Primordial Stones and Fragments.

The Zskera Vaults can be interesting to explore, but sometimes it can be a little tricky to figure out just how to solve those puzzles. But fortunately, we’ve explored the Vaults took notes. Here’s what you need to know about exploring the Zskera Vaults and solving all of the puzzles inside — or at least all of the puzzles we’ve seen so far. So clean out your bags, stock up on keys, and let’s explore the Zskera Vaults.

Exploring the Zskera Vault atrium

Head out to the Forbidden Reach and talk to Pathfinder Jeb to go into the Vault. Before you go in, pick up any quests you see outside — there should be at least one each week. There will be a mini-boss inside, which varies week to week. So far we’ve seen three different groups of mobs, and it looks like the mini-boss will respawn periodically until you open all the doors at the first floor level. You’ll also find some unique things in the environment, which might help you get around!

Here’s are some examples of what you can find inside the first chamber of the Zskera Vaults:

There may also be a chest in the central atrium which requires a specific key to open — but you’ll have to explore to find it.

We recommend starting by opening all of the doors on the first floor. The Vaults will always include several items which give you movement abilities to help you move from floor to floor and around the ledges outside the rooms — typically there will be at least one on the first floor to give you a start on navigating the Vaults. Additionally, once you have opened all the doors on the lowest level, the mobs in the central atrium appear to stop respawning — which will make your life easier if you need to leave and return.

How to get to higher levels of the Zskera Vault

Though it can look impossible to get to higher levels of the Vault, there’s always something on the first floor that will help you up. There may be ropes or webs in the central atrium that let you climb up, but we still suggest starting by opening all of the doors on the first floor. In one of them you’ll find something to help you up and help you hop from platform to platform, like a Flask of Windward Steps, a Crate of Unfinished Scrolls, or a Bubble Lifter (activated with a Pearlescent Bubble Key). You may find other useful things, like elemental shields, too.

The item that seems to give you the most control over moving around is the Positional Displacer, which gives you a portal similar to a Warlock gate to move around between platforms. If you find a Positional Displacer, in the same room there’s also a Broken Waygate that can be repaired to give you an Active Waygate which seems to consistently take you to the top floor each time you use it.

Most of the movement objects are designed around helping you move upwards, which can make getting down again a little tricky. A fall two levels or more will kill you if you don’t have any way to slowfall or negate damage: if you miss a ledge or deliberately jump, you’ll die. This is a bit of a setback: you’ll respawn inside the vault, but will have lost any buffs you collected, and you’ll have to find them again. I generally track what I have found on which floor so I can go back again and look for it — or make sure you have abilities to help you make your way safely down, like the Stylish Black Parasol toy.

It is possible to get vaults that don’t have an easy and controllable means of moving upwards — I had a vault recently that only had a Crate of Unfinished Scrolls, which is a random teleport but only seems to have a set number of possible target locations. If you don’t play a Demon Hunter or Dracthyr, I recommend picking up some Potion of Gusts to help you move around at the upper floors. Note that the position has a 5 minute cooldown, but it may get you to a location that has another more controlled means of getting around. Another warning — its range is somewhat longer than the Flask of Windward Steps — make sure you are pointing in towards the doorway on the next platform or you can overshoot and fall to your death.

You can only have one transport item active at a time, and using a new one will overwrite the one you previously had available.

Now that you’ve cleared the first floor, move up to the second and work your way around, opening each door on each floor before moving upwards.

How to solve all of the puzzles in the Zskera Vaults

Most puzzles are fairly simple, and can be solved either within the room you are in, or by using an item or buff from another room. Unfortunately the random nature of the vault means some weeks you won’t find the right items unlock each treasure, but usually if you can’t get into a room or open a chest you just need to keep exploring. Some rooms have puzzles with multiple solutions.

Here are the types of puzzles you’ll find in the Zskera Vaults, and how to solve them.

Elemental puzzles in the Zskera Vaults

These rooms may be full of ice or fire, or guarded by an elemental sentry of some kind. You’ll have to find an item in a different room that will shield you from damage or remove the danger — such as dousing flames or melting ice.

I’ve noticed that doors for rooms filled with ice may have clouds of frosted air visible around the doorway, and rooms filled with fire may have a red flame glow around the base of the door. If you don’t have enough keys to open every door yet and you haven’t found the counter for these rooms, you may wish to leave them locked until you have more keys.

Rune puzzles in the Zskera Vaults

Rooms may have chests in them with wards above them that require you to solve a puzzle to complete.

  • Runelocks will give you a Bejewelled style puzzle. To solve them you need to make a group of four crystals of the same color as the Runelock — such as purple for Amethyst, blue for Sapphire.
  • Runic Wards require you to click on the runes in the right order. If you make a mistake, the rune explodes and resets the puzzle. The most commonly reported combination to date is 2-4-3-1.

Other puzzles in the Zskera Vaults

The majority of puzzles in the Zskera Vaults require you to interact with something in a particular way. Here are all of the other puzzles we’ve seen so far.

  • Stone Encasements require an Empty Obsidian Vial filled with Dissolving Formula to reveal the chest contained within.
  • Inanimate Crystalspine requires an Empty Obsidian Vial filled with Restorative Water. You can then loot it to collect Kobaldt, a battle pet.
  • Neltharion Coin Mold requires the Blacksteel Hammer and an Empty Obsidian Vial filled with Oozing Gold. It rewards you with five Neltharion Gift Tokens.
  • Prototype Tinker-Tron exchanges Neltharion Gift Token for Tattered Gift Package which can contain a number of random rewards including the Gilded Mechafrog battle pet.
  • Unkept Aquarium — after returning the three Escaped Fish to the tank, use an Empty Obsidian Vial filled with Restorative Water and you will be rewarded with the Patos battle pet.
  • Recipe Rat — if you loot this little guy and Negotiate with him, he will give you a small number of Torn Recipe Scraps. Collect 30 to get Ratcipe: Deviously Deviled Eggs. This will take a while, as Negotiate has a five minute cooldown and the rat will despawn from your bags after five minutes unless you have Fine Aged Cheddar. If you don’t have any cheese your bags, you can go collect him again until you have enough pieces. You will need this recipe to complete the achievement The Gift of Cheese and earn a pet called Roland in 10.1.0.
  • Resilient Goo — clicking on this object will cause you to dive head first into its belly. Use the vehicle UI to Wriggle Closer until you can reach the gem inside, then hop out.
  • Disgusting Vat — this item acts as a small fishing pool when you click on it. It contains a number of rewards including the Emmah battle pet. You can also fish up Research Chest Keys.
  • Champion Battlebot — mount the battlebot and use the vehicle UI to fight and kill the two Malfunctioning Clockwork in this room for a small reward.
  • Bound Earth — activating this item will release an earth elemental that drops a Key of Bound Earth required to open the cache in this room.
  • Forgotten Lockbox will contain a Research Chest Key to open the Research Chest. There’s no guarantee that you’ll have a chest in your vault, but the keys persist in your bags from week to week, so you can save them for when you need them.
  • Lowering Chain will lower a raised chest in another room in the Vaults, letting you open it when you find it. Find a vault full of raised chests? Look for chains to pull in other vaults. When this puzzle is active there is 5 chains scatters around the instance, each one lowers a chest.

Helpful objects in the Zskera Vaults

  • Energized Circlet can spawn in random rooms and sometimes appears move between sessions within the same week. While you have this buff you will be able to see Neltharion Gift Token scattered around the instance.
  • Celestial Transocular allows you to see intractable objects through walls.

Unsolved mysteries in the Zskera Vaults

There are several objects in the Zskera Vaults that we haven’t figured out yet. We’ll be watching to see when these puzzles have a solution!

  • Forgotten Statue — this dragon status has a tooltip associated with it and a nameplate similar to other intractable objects. When you click on it a ‘book’ object comes up telling you the name of the creature. It’s unclear whether this is a puzzle to solve. This seems to be linked to Veritistrasz, when you hand in the quest A Dusty Vase one of the gossip options mentions Hraxian’s last stand against the Djaradin elders, but Veritistrasz isn’t ready to talk about it yet. We may get more information in future weeks.
  • Malfunctioning Dragon Mech in the Tinker-Tron room — similar to the statue mentioned above, this object has a nameplate and tooltip but is inert. It might be a puzzle, we’re not sure.

How to get to the secret room in Zskera Vaults

While there are 29 doors accessible within the vault, there is another room you can only access after obtaining Neltharion’s Toolkit. Once you have it:

  • Go to the broken portal at /way #2022 35.8, 48.0 in the Worldbreaker area near the vendor who sell the Worldbreaker Membership.
  • Repair the broken portal using Neltharion’s Toolkit.
  • Use the portal to get to the bonus room!

This room has a couple of spiders and an Obsidian Grand Cache to open. To leave, move to the doorway and you’ll be be ported outside the vault entrance next to Jeb.

This is everything we’ve found in the Zskera Vaults so far, but we’ll keep updating this as we find new puzzles and solutions.

Originally published April 5, 2023. Updated April 25, 2023.

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