I have always thought mastodon actions to be a bit crazy but the trouble goes beyond that. First, real ones can’t do that. I mean that snap turn they do to face a target. And it’s not just them but big things like the avalanche creature. Part of the issue it their size, you can be standing next to one and all of a sudden there’s legs in your face and your getting stomped, no clue. There are tells but you can’t see them. Second, and this is an issue with all npcs, is the run back to spawn and heal mode they go into. I never liked this, since when to mastodons have healing pots? Yet this is the effect. That was never a rebalance but an unbalance to sensibility. More than once playing at level 60 with a mid level T3 or named fighter using legendary weapons and standard heavy armor I have failed to kill a mastodon. The next step in armor progression requires elephant hides but there is a sense of impossibility in the process at a point at which it should be doable. I understand it should take some time and skill to take an animal of that size down but as it is it’s a frustratingly weird and pointlessly difficult process.
It’s frustrating that elephants, mammoths, and dragons do this gliding turn-in-place movement to reorient towards you, instead of going through an animation to do so.
If you use daggers, and optionally a one-handed axe, it goes from difficult to somewhat tedious. The best way I found of dealing with elephants and mammoths is to equip the daggers, get behind the beastie, and do a few heavy attacks to stack bleed. Repeat until you’ve stacked a full stack of bleed effect on your victim, and then optionally switch to the axe. With an axe, you deal more damage, and if you do it right, you should be able to get to the 3rd heavy attack, which should keep the bleed stack refreshed.
I hope that helps.
I experienced the exact same thing.
I then did previously as per @CodeMage 's suggestion.
Star metal daggers with Armor pen upgrade, then switching to an axe. My T3 thrall was using a mace stacking sunder as well and I was able to keep killing them in a reasonable amount of time. However they don’t yield many hides or much xp.
Some months later with a variety of gear I can take them down considerably faster,
but I prefer to farm gold around vaults that I visit, make coins then head to the central northern most NPC camp and simply buy the elephant hides.
I’m using a couple great swords with high damage. Mine is a bleeder and my thrall’s is a sunder. The Mastadons are dropping at a pretty good ate now. Honestly almost everything we face is dropping quite fast. Can even take down the boss Mastadon now, if I dance in and out of battle, to let the thrall take most of the damage.
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