Falstead Darak (Sewers) was an unpleasant, tedious surprise

I timed this fight. For my character (level 10), it took 8 mins to beat the first phase, being fairly aggressive and attacking at almost every opportunity.

Used most of my food thinking this would be the run that he dies. Until, of course, he suddenly does not. At this point I left, partially because of depleted resources, and partially because of the unwillingness to execute a perfect 8 mins of delicate combat dancing before even getting a chance to learn the attack patterns of the second phase.

There are several outlooks on this I can conceive of.

  1. Perhaps I am under-levelled for this fight. However, I was able to clear the rest of the sewers prior to this. In this case, I would appreciate stronger sign-posting about what an appropriate level would be. ‘Dangerous’ means nothing to me, considering that everywhere I’m seemingly supposed to go after Sacrament is labelled ‘Dangerous’, and the starter areas are ‘Safe’ even though they can still be unpleasantly annoying to traverse.

  2. I am not under-levelled, and need to improve my gear or something. Experience from previous games in the genre leads you to believe that expending resources to upgrade common gear is wasteful, as better gear is found quickly. If this game is different, again, you need to clearly signal the ways that the game defies genre norms that are often taken for granted. Something that screams “Hey, you! These greys are worth investing in!”

  3. I am at appropriate gearing + level, in which case, I presume that parries are a requirement for combat to not take aeons. In which case, I would also appreciate stronger signposting, and would wonder why effort is expended into developing other styles of combat. I beat Pontiff Sulyvahn faster than this, without parrying, and I greatly preferred that bitch. Darak is less demanding but significantly more tedious.

I do love Darak’s moveset and I do enjoy the fight. It just feels tedious right now, and the game gives no indication whether I am underpowered, or just incompetent.

If the length and difficulty of the fight is intentional, you could also consider making Darak’s transformation in the middle permanent, ie. starting subsequent attempts in phase two once unlocked. It is jarring to see Darak return to human form after witnessing a seemingly physically irreversible transfiguration. If not, the lack of indication of the impending second health bar tricks players into depleting their resources attempting to reach the halfway point, and the efforts are undone instantly upon death.

In conclusion, I have to value my time. I have a life to live, and my own projects to develop. I do not have several hours to spent on the second boss, though I wish I did. Well, to be honest, not really.

Point 1. I had the same experience. Dangerous means you’re underleveled for the area. I think the enemies show a skull next to their health too?
Agree the enemies should be tougher.

What also massively helped was when I enchanted and upgraded my weapon. I also agree on your point 2, since the gear system in this game is different than what you’re used to, they should make it clearer that gray items don’t necessarily just suck. I was pretty much selling anything that wasn’t blue.

If you’ve made it through the sewers, fighting him shouldn’t be too difficult. The first meeting with him is much more difficult.
In general, starting from the sewer there are no difficult bosses further, even the last one in the first act died very quickly on the second try. He died because he didn’t know his attacks and one was a surprise.

Look at your things, upgrade your weapons to the maximum. I have dual daggers with 17 base damage and that was more than enough.

In general, the fight with the boss can be carried out according to a simple scheme - dodge while the boss strikes, after several hits he will sit down to rest - run up, hit, run away - repeat