There was a point during the night where I said, "It's like we know what we're doing." And we did. This was a far cry from when we were dying at the Gatekeeper. We've done this enough now to have "our" strat for Gianthold and now we're stuck on the dragons.
During the week I actually soloed the Blue Dragon on casual, and with the help of Ophiga, we downed the other two dragons as well . . . on casual. Cake! Of course, the problem with casual mode is that the chance for dragon scales seems to be infinitesimal, and it's the scales we are really after. (Unfortunately, I'm reading that the scales are rare on normal mode as well.)
- We began the night having Spode tank the giant instead of the dragon. People started dying quickly when standing near the center of the room. (scratch)
- Next we had Spode tank the dragon and we all rushed to the outside walls where it was safer. We went full power on the dragon, which brought it "low to its belly," but the giant didn't go down fast enough . . . and because he didn't die within two seconds of the dragon, the dragon was resurrected and this did not bode well for Team Spode. (scratch)
- Next we decided to tank the dragon with the same positioning and switch to killing the giant when the dragon was down low, but after Ophiga died, people started crumbling domino style. (scratch)
- Repeat strategy, but this time it was the NPC clerics who caused the domino effect. (scratch)
- repeat strategy, same results. (scratch)
At the end of the night, we learned a few things at a pretty high price . . . but that's ok. The lure of the scales and the lure of simply wanting to best this was high enough that the multiple defeats from the blue dragon (the easiest of the dragons) was ok.
After reading a few strats around the net, it's becoming clear that you really need to finish this fight in under two minutes. Once two minutes hits, the damage from the lightning spires starts to kick up and kick butt--spode butt.
A huge problem also is that the giant's agro is random. He plunks arrows the size of tree trunks into everyone and anyone randomly.
Spode was quite disappointed to see the health of the dragon and the giant return to full after the party had been defeated . . . if only they stayed at the health we had mashed them to, eh?
Towards the end of the night I was thinking that perhaps tanking the giant while I kited the dragon might do the trick . . . we'd just need a ton of blade barrier and firewall for me to run him through and for Waves of Exhaustion to slow the dragon down. Of course, kiting is usually a longer than two minutes endeavor.
I'm not sure . . .
Eventually Team Spode will have our method down for killing this thing, but for now . . . repair bills and the loot and exp getting to the dragon are our only rewards.
I'm starting to think that it might just be time for Team Spode to move on to fresher instances, shake our fist at the dragons, and come back when we're a couple levels higher (similar to how we downed the demon queen).
One thing is sure, real-life Ulan is headed to the realms of Mexico for vacation next week . . . might be time to poke our heads into whatever content comes next (or finish up some rep grinding).