Secrets in the Swamp

One of my favourite events in Guild Wars 2 is the fight with the Shadow Behemoth in Godslost Swamp in Queensdale. This is the event that really drew me into the game when I first encountered it months ago in the beta weekends. Fighting this giant monstrosity really made me want to explore the world and find other battles like this one. The January patch saw a fix to a bug that was preventing this event from occurring and I have been meaning to write an article about it ever since. Today I will satisfy that itch by introducing you to the Shadow Behemoth.

The Shadow Behemoth encounter is accessible by almost everyone as it is only rated at level 15. You can join in on this battle once every three hours in the Queensdale zone. Simply head to the southern areas of the zone and search for the Godlost Swamp. When you are in the general area of the swamp a new event will appear in your event tracker in the top right of your screen called, "Secrets in the Swamp". By looking at this you can tell whether the event is active or not. There are four states that this event tracker can be in.

Firstly, it most often says, "The swamp lies dormant." This means that currently the event is not active. From the time the last Shadow Behemoth was defeated until the next fight starts is about three hours. If you are looking for other things to do in the mean time there is a jumping puzzle in the South East of the zone called "Demongrub Pits" and events will spawn frequently around the Krytan Freeholds, Phinney Ridge, and Altar Brook Vale.

Once the 3 hour timer is up portals will open up in three different areas surrounding the Godlost Swamp and the event tracker will update to, "Underworld forces have been spotted outside the swamp." This indicates that the first set of events have begun. You will need to head to the three different areas of Queensdale; Phinnery Ridge, Taminn Foothills, and Krytan Freeholds. Each location has three portals protected by shadow creatures. Damaging the portal will cause a number of these creatures to attack you but since they lack ranged abilities they can easily be kited while you damage the portals from a distance. Working on your own or in the group you should be able to quickly close the portals in all three locations. Don't be afraid to announce in map chat that the Shadow Behemoth events have started. There are usually a number of people in Queensdale that will come to assist.

The Portals in Phinney Ridge.
Fighting to close the portals in the Krytan Freeholds.

Once you have managed to close all the portals surrounding Godlost Swamp the event tracker will update to say, "There is a disturbance in the heart of the swamp." At this time you will be directed to enter the swamp where you will find three more portals to the underworld and a large vortex of energy that is beginning to form. Use the same tactics you used on the other portals in the previous event and prepare to meet the Shadow Behemoth.

The location of the final pre-event and the fight with the Shadow Behemoth.
More fighting to close portals to the underworld.

Shortly after you close the last of the portals surrounding the vortex the Shadow Behemoth will emerge from the depths and the event tracker will update to say, "The beast has been awakened."

He is magnificent isn't he?
Time to get down to business.
The fight with him is rather straight forward and it will not take long to complete. The fight essentially has three phases that occur one after the other. The Behemoth will start by tossing a number of shards of dark energy around the battlefield creating large areas of damage. Simply watch for him to bring his hands together to cast the spell then get out of the red circles of damage. If you can not get out of the circles in time just be sure you are not in any over lapping areas. This is where the damage will be most intense.

The Shadow Behemoth summons dark shards of energy from the underworld.
He then rains the dark shards down upon the battlefield.
Once the Shadow Behemoth has completed casting his spells he will be vulnerable to damage while he prepares his next ability. Target the Behemoths head and let loose with your ranged attacks. If your main damage is done through melee attacks get ready for him to scream. While he is doing this you will be able to close to melee distance to unleash a burst of damage. The scream will open a number of portals marking the beginning for the next phase of the fight.

The Shadow Behemoth's scream pierces the veil between Tyria and the underworld.
Now content the Behemoth summons his allies from beyond.
Once the portals are open focus on destroying them and the monsters the spill out from the underworld. Spread out and focus on a portal that your allies are neglecting. Beware though, the Shadow Behemoth will begin casting his spells shortly after the portals have opened. Close all the portals, dodge the AoE damage, and get ready to hit the Behemoth again. The Shadow Behemoth will follow this pattern for the rest of the fight. The battle will not take long and soon you will be sharing in the loot with your allies.

Expect typical loot for a chest in Guild Wars 2. With the new dynamic loot system you will receive level appropriate gear which makes this a great event for everyone to participate in. You can even track when the next Shadow Behemoth fight will take place on the dragon timer at Guild Wars Temple so long as someone on your server has kept it up to date.

If you haven't checked out this event for yourself what are you waiting for? It takes virtually no time at all. For the next week do your daily achievements in Queensdale and I am sure you will encounter this event at least once. If not, hang out a while and wait for it to come up. It is worth it in my opinion. *Edit* A guild mate uploaded this video of the entire fight in 1080p. Check it out. Thanks to "The Badger".

What I like about this fight are the visuals, the mechanics in the fight, and the length of the battle. Firstly, the visuals are outstanding. When the Shadow Behemoth first spawns into the world is it like a cloud of smoke bursting forth from the ground. The amorphous blob of shadows then slowly arranges itself into the form of the Shadow Behemoth. During the battles the players are constantly kept busy. Whether you are closing a portal, dodging an AoE attack, or wailing on the Behemoth itself you are constantly on your toes. None of the phases of the battle last too long either which keeps things fresh. The Behemoth itself also does not have a crazy amount of HP and he will be downed inside 10 minutes no problem.

The only complaint I really have about the encounter is that at no point do you really feel in danger. None of the Behemoth's abilities really do any significant damage and even if they did they are easy to avoid. I understand that the encounter is in a starter zone and can not be overly difficult but even new players need to learn the revive mechanics in the game at some point.

Overall, the encounter is fantastic and I am ecstatic that it is working as intended once again. What do you guys think of this encounter? What was your impression of it the first time you did it? Also, what do you think of the format of this article? I tried something different then my usually by including more screenshots then I normally do to help break up the text. Let me know in the comments!


  1. Thanks for that write-up. I have never done this event. I didn't really touch the human areas until long after launch, by when I think it must already have been bugged. I'll go check it out over the weekend.

    I'm the wrong person to ask about screenshots in blog posts - I very strongly prefer blogs that use them to those that don't. I like blogs to look like magazines. I thought you generally used quite a few, though.

  2. The only critism I have of the Gw2 events with large boss creatures like this is that they stand in one spot, make lots of roaring noises and are very much Not a threat at all. Only in Orr have I found a couple of event bosses to be somewhat challenging.

    At the very least these bosses should be moving around and laying the hurt on the characters fighting them.