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Epic Education 16: Against the Demon Queen pt 4

Hello and welcome to Epic Education – a show of tips and tactics for surviving epic content.  I’m your guide Shamgar and this is Episode 16: “Against the Demon Queen pt 4” alternatively titled “Killing a 6 armed snake lady…again.”

 

Having completed the preraid quest for the Demon Queen raid we are now ready to take her on in what is usually referred to as DQ2.  This particular raid is very short and can easily be completed in under 15 minutes.  Most parties gather around Zawabi to combine their 2 preraid groups since the preraid can only be run in 6 man groups.  A well rounded group should have 2-3 healers, 1-2 casters, 1-2 characters with strong ranged capabilities, and the rest melee.  A bard can also be handy, particularly one that can either heal or dps. Once your party is formed, lets zone in and begin.

 

A quick look around should tell you that a fire resistance and cold shield will be a good idea.  The corridor before you, while short, is full of lava, red named efreeti, and fire mephitis.  We’ll want to get some other buffs too, but this entry fight is pretty easy so its not necessary to spend ages buffing.  The effretti not only make heavy use of fire spells but also cast holds necessitating a freedom of movement.  Everything else is gravy at this point though anything that improves damage is a plus.  You can also buff for the queen fight (which I’ll cover momentarily) but there’s a shrine at the end of the hall – which also means casters can unload in this short hall.

 

The entry hall is blocked by a series of gates that open when their corresponding efreeti are killed.  Once the last gate is open the way to the portal will be clear, though it is flanked by some fire elleys.  Just run past them, they aren’t worth the time.

 

Once you are through the portal there’s a shrine and some space to buff.  The queen is much the same as in DQ1 so that means resistances other than cold, freedom of movements, deathward, and if you can cast it a night shield or a shield spell.  She also can displace herself so a truesight will be necessary for some.  And while it wont help much against the queen, blurs and displacements can help with the trash.  Once we are buffed head through the portal for the final confrontation with the queen.

 

The battle will take place in the same arena you last faced the queen, a sizable circular platform.  However this time there will not be a fire barrier preventing you from falling – and the queen can use telekinesis to toss you off.  Should you fall you will land in an area full of lava, efreeti, and fire elementals.  In most cases it could mean death but if you are quick you can make yourself invisible or sneak onto a platform.  After the queen is dead a portal will open here and if you survived you can port back up to the platform.  If you died, some kind soul will need to fetch your stone.

 

There are thankfully no disjunction orbs but the Queen will make heavy use of a special form of blade barrier.  Her blade barriers are disc shaped and travel across the platform continually hitting anyone within their area.  It is possible to avoid them to an extent by running between them, though this will take some practice and timing.  Squishy characters should avoid standing inside their area without some constant healing and it may be necessary to run through them to minimize their damage. She will again use spells like chain lightning, magic missiles, burning blood, and slow but like before melee combat is her specialty. 

 

 In update 12 the queen gained a new trick, the ability to cast comet fall 3 times in succession. While not heavily damaging, it can keep a healer on their back for an extended period of time save for a brief moment in which a mass cure spell might be cast.  To minimize the chances of this, healers can stand away from the rest of the party and each other ensuring that at most only 1 healer is incapacitated.

 

The queen will start the battle teleporting between 4 platforms that are some distance away from the main platform.  Casters will need to go near the edge for most of their spells to be in range.  Before she will come to the main platform Lailat must first be brought to about 90% of her hit points.  At that point she will insult you and teleport to the center of the main platform.

 

She will remain on the main platform until she is reduced to about 70% when she will again retreat to the outer platforms with another departing insult.  As she leaves a trio of red named efreeti will spawn which will give the ranged challenged melee in your party something to play with.  The queen will continue to teleport between the 4 outer platforms and the center platform until she is reduced to about 10% health.  Each time she retreats more efreeti will spawn and each time she comes to the center platform she will land in the center.

 

At 10% health Lailat will declare that she is war and destruction and teleport to the center of the main platform regardless of where she was and spawn several blade barriers around her (hint: don’t be in the center when she does this – it is certain death).  She will then enter a sort of rage or fury mode increasing her melee capabilities – but she will no longer retreat.  If you can survive here then you will be victorious.

 

Aside from the efreeti and the Queen there will be 4 gnoll archers atop the pillars at the perimeter of the main platform.  While they aren’t too much of a problem, they do carry crippling arrows which can be quite annoying – especially if you are trying to run away from the queen.  You can kill them but they will respawn after a short time.

 

Now that we have a basic overview of the sequence of the raid fight, let’s talk strategy. I will cover 2 possible strategies, the widely used “ball method” and what I will call “the standard method.”

 

The ball method is remarkably simple. The idea is for the entire party to stand on the same spot. The theory is that if everyone is standing on roughly the same spot then the queen won’t move around when she changes aggro thereby reducing the likelihood that people will get knocked over. It also theoretically makes healing easier as everyone will be in range of mass cure spells. To start casters will break off to get with in range of the queen to get her down as fast as possible. When she does they run back to the group.  The efreeti will simply come to the party to be killed and the archers are largely ignored .  As for the queen, she will simply wander over to the group for her spanking. She might knock some folks down when she gets there but she won’t be moving much after that making this less of a concern. It is however important that people don’t back away behind the group in case she randomly aggros on them and knocks everyone over. Healers mostly just spam heals on the party until victory is achieved.

 

While this strategy is simple and easy to explain, personally I dislike it.  There are a couple of strategic problems inherent in using the ball method. The first is that if everyone is in the same spot then that means when the queen swings (and she swings a lot) she hits everyone. That means the healers have to heal to the lowest hps character (who will probably die). This will increase the load and sp usage. The second problem is that the same is true of the blade barriers, again the squishy party members won’t be able to avoid them and will need extra healing. Thirdly is the increased potential for lag. Think about it, if the queen is swinging 6 times in a sequence and each of those strikes has to be calculated for 12 party members, at least half of which are likely swinging back, and all while 2-3 healers are spamming heals because they are concerned about the lag spike they are experiencing – thats a lot of calculations. Lastly, the queens new ability to spam cast comet fall can easily derail this method. But really, the problem I have with the ball method is that it is simply boring.

 

The standard method is a far more fun and natural way to approach fighting the queen. Using this method everyone is free to move around as they need to, but the dps should try and stick together. Assign 1 person to deal with the archers.  They can either kill them outright or kite them around moving about to avoid the arrows. Personally I prefer to bring the archers down to about 10% and wait to kill them until the queen is down to about 25-30% so I don’t have to deal with them respawning, but unless you are a caster this is likely not very feasible.  A displace will help with this task, the archers don’t have true sight.  Ideally the kiter should be fairly self sufficient.

 

Once the queen comes down the dps should immediately engage.  Those on the lighter side of hps should try to attack from the back to avoid some damage and leave the frontal assault to the beefier folks. Healers and casters can run from the queen, and the melee should give chase to reacquire aggro, but this is less of a problem since the changes to marilith aggro in update 12.  When the queen goes up the melee should kill the efreeti as a group staying together, but whenever the queen comes back down the melee should abandon any efreeti and engage the queen. This is important, if the melee don’t stay together then it can be difficult for the healers to keep everyone up, and the queen not only needs to be occupied with the tougher melees but until she dies you’ll just keep getting efreeti.  If the melee are unable to kill all the efreeti before the queen comes down the casters can finish them off or the kiter can kite them too.

 

By using this method the healers shouldn’t need to heal quite as often and they can stand away from the melee drastically reducing their chances of getting comet falled. The biggest thing to watch out for is when the queen gets close to war and destruction.    When that happens the melee group should make sure to vacate the center if they are currently fighting there.

 

Lastly, regardless of which method you are using, those with manyshot and endless fullisade should open the fight with these abilities to lessen the time the queen is out of range from the melee focused characters.

 

That will end this week’s Epic Education.  If you have any questions, comments, or corrections you can email me at DDOEpicEducation@gmail.com or visit myDDO blog at my.ddo.com/pjstechie. Join me next time as I discuss the changes in the epic dragon raid.  Thanks for listening.

 

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