Oh, shut up and help me remodel the Asphodelos: The Second Circle page!
The warder Erichthonios has brought with him the chilling news that all creations within Asphodelos, the highest level of Pandæmonium, now run free of their fetters. In order to prevent total chaos from bursting forth unto the world above, Themis and Erichthonios plan to utilize interment magicks to safely capture any errant creatures─if their theory translates well into practice, that is. With only one way to find out, you head for the waterways to confront a monster of legend, the water-wielding hippokampos.Description
You continue recounting your tale of Pandæmonium, and Nemjiji is so impassioned that you aren't certain how she can even hear you over the sound of her manic scribbling. A glance over her work reveals some clear exaggerations regarding the hippokampos, but you can't find it in yourself to spoil her fun by correcting her. So long as she gets the general idea...Description
The arena consists of a large square which encloses a smaller square. The smaller square contains subsquares in each of its corners, which are raised platforms that contain a grate in their center. In addition, there are industrial catwalks connecting the four raised platforms, which are also partially raised. The boundary of the outer circle inflicts Instant Death.
The boss begins by casting Murky Depths, dealing moderate raidwide damage, followed by Doubled Impact, a physical tank buster which is meant to be shared by the two tanks to halve its damage or survived with an invulnerability. The boss then casts Sewage Deluge, dealing heavy raidwide damage and targeting all of the arena except for the raised platforms and catwalks to fill up with sewage, and causing a raised platform to glow red. The glowing platform is spewing sewage, so we will refer to it as the septic platform. Standing in sewage inflicts Dropsy, dealing heavy damage over time that will probably lead to the player character's death, so must be avoided.
The boss can separate its head from its neck, and will do so after casting Sewage Deluge. When this happens, the head will be clearly marked with a red arrow facing in the same direction as the body, while the body will be marked with a yellow arrow facing in the same direction as it.
At 0:59 after pulling, the boss will cast either Winged Cataract or Spoken Cataract. The body will attack in a straight line in front of and behind hit, hitting everywhere between the grates (see diagram). The head will attack in front of it (Spoken Cataract) or behind it (Winged Cataract). These attacks deal heavy damage and inflict Damage Down.
To survive the Cataract attack, if the boss casts Winged Cataract, the party must stand on the two platforms behind the boss' head, while if the boss casts Spoken Cataract, the party must stand in front of the head. Either way, they should stand on the grates interior to the platform to avoid the body's attack. (Of course, they must also avoid the septic platform.)
After Cataract resolves, the head reattaches to the neck.
At 1:19, the boss casts Coherence, tethering to a party member and targeting them with a tank buster that will also deal proximity damage to the rest of the party, followed by a linear stack on another party member which does heavy damage. A tank must intercept this tether and take it as far away from the party as possible. Ideally, the party would stand on a platform adjacent to the septic platform, and the tank would stand on the other adjacent platform, so that the party is not adjacent to the tank. However, it is possible for the party to be adjacent to the septic platform with heavy mitigation.
After Coherence resolves, the boss casts Murky Depths.
At 1:42, the boss casts Ominous Bubbling. This targets the two healers for a stack marker, which does not appear right away. Before it does, the boss casts Shockwave and faces one of the three nonseptic platforms, then jumps to it, dealing raidwide damage and knocking everyone back from that platform. As soon as the knockback resolves, the stack markers go off. Since the stack from Omnious Bubbling inflicts Water Resistance Down II and is Water-elemental, the party must split into two light parties that are knocked to different points on the grate or platform. The easiest way to deal with this is simply to use Surecast and Arm's Length to avoid the knockback and have the two light parties stack wherever is convenient.
At 2:12, the boss casts Predatory Avarice, marking two nonhealers with Mark of the Tides and a healer with Mark of the Depths, both of which will resolve 21 seconds later. Mark of the Depths is a stack marker that casts Hard Water. Mark of the Tides casts Deadly Current, dealing damage to and knocking back anyone close to the marked character, though the marked character is unaffected. Before the marks resolve, the boss separates its head and casts a Cataract spell, which resolves 6 seconds before the marks do; it then reattaches its head.
To deal with this, the party should stack on a safe platform to avoid the Cataract and septic platform, and then the two characters with Mark of the Tides should leave the stack and stand a distance around the diameter of a platform away from the party stack to avoid cleaving the party with Deadly Current.
After Predatory Avarice resolves, the water from Sewage Deluge recedes, allowing full use of the arena.
At 2:49, the boss casts Channeling Flow, marking each character with either Fore, Rear, Right, or Left Mark of the Tides and an arrow under them which points either north (fore), south (rear), east (right), or west (left). When that mark resolves 12 seconds later, the character will be Stunned before getting hit by Great Typhoon. Great Typhoon deals water damage to the target and nearby allies while also inflicting Water Resistance Down II, and launches the target in the indicated direction, stopping only when they crash into the death wall on the outside or into another character whose arrow points in the opposite direction. In the latter case, both characters take damage from Crash. Past a certain distance threshold Crash will deal massive damage and inflict Damage Down, punishing players who manage to survive the typically fatal damage. Each of the four directions will be assigned to two characters.
To resolve this mechanic, each character should stand on one of the raised platforms positioned so that their marker points towards a character with the opposite mark on another platform. They should stand as close to the outermost corner as they can to weaken Crash without overlapping with the one other character who will stand on that platform, as the water resistance down debuff will otherwise cause Great Typhoon to kill the characters. While this is not strictly necessary for this Channeling Flow, later Channeling Flows will be cast after a Sewage Deluge, so only the catwalks will be viable locations for collisions.
After Channel Flow resolves, the boss casts Doubled Impact, Murky Depths, and Sewage Deluge, again restricting movement, and before its next new mechanic, it casts Shockwave. There are no healer stacks to consider this time, however. Crucially, the boss will always land on a platform which is adjacent to the septic platform.
At 4:18, before it can move away from its Shockwave location, the boss casts Kampeos Harma. Before the cast can resolve, however, the boss tethers to four characters and gives them blue numbers, 1 through 4, and gives the remaining four untethered characters purple numbers, 1 through 4. When the cast finishes, the head separates and attacks each of the purple-numbered characters in order, dealing physical splash damage and inflicting Physical Vulnerability Up, while the headless body dashes across the platform four times, each time moving in a straight line and crashing into the blue-numbered characters in order. This attack is also physical and inflicts Physical Vulnerability Up, and does less damage the longer the body travels before collision; it also damages and debuffs anyone who collides with the boss while it is traveling. The boss does not autoattack while the head and body are separated.
The purple-numbered characters thus just need to spread out, one on each catwalk, perhaps assigning 1 to be clockwise from the starting position, and then 2, 3, and 4 to be clockwise from their predecessor.
The blue-numbered characters, however, need to ensure that they maximize the distance that the body travels and minimize the number of collisions. In particular, the body cannot be allowed to pass over a catwalk, or it will kill the character standing there. To ensure this, characters 1 and 3 should stand opposite of where the body starts, and character 2 and 4 should stand where the body starts. Character 1 should stand in front of character 3 to intercept the body, and then swap positions with character 3. The body will dash to character 1, and then back to character 2, who will be standing in front of character 4. The body then dashes to character 3, while characters 2 and 4 swap, so that the boss then returns to its initial position to collide with character 4. With this movement, the boss only passes through the central square and avoids all catwalks.
This mechanic is very similar to Fundamental Synergy from Alphascape V4.0, and essentially the same ideas apply.
The boss reattaches its head as the debuffs fall off, returns to the center, and then casts Doubled Impact and Murky Depths.
At 5:02, the boss casts Channeling Overflow, inflicting everyone with the same statuses and arrow markers from the Channeling Flow phase, but this time four of the marks—one of each direction—last for 8 seconds, while the others last for 25 seconds. The short-time debuffs should be resolved like usual, taking care to avoid the sewage that was not a problem the previous time, but while it resolves, the boss will cast Tainted Flood, targeting each of the long-time characters with a pink spread marker and inflicting AoE water damage and Water Resistance Down II. Those attacks must be placed on the catwalks that are not being used by the short-time characters. The boss then casts Tainted Flood again, this time targeting the short-time characters while the long-time characters deal with their Channeling Overflow marks.
The boss then separates its head, casts a Cataract spell, reattaches its head, and allows the sewage to recede, freeing up movement.
At 6:01, the boss casts Predatory Avarice again, followed by Dissociation. This spell severs its head, which then flies to one of the four corners of the room and faces an opposing wall; a new head grows in shortly after. The old head is going to dash across the arena, instantly killing anyone on the half of the arena that it was looking at. The boss then severs its new head and casts a Cataract spell, which will resolve at the same time as Dissociation and Predatory Avarice. This will always leave a quarter of the arena safe, in particular one of the raised platforms. Thus, for example, the party can stack on the unique safe raised platform and the two characters with Mark of the Tides can leave the stack.
The boss then casts Dissociation again, followed by Sewage Eruption, which will target each character with a telegraphed attack three times in a row. To survive this, the party should stack somewhere that will not be hit by Dissociation, and then move carefully three times as a stack to drop off the telegraphs. As they are moving, the boss will cast Tainted Flood, this time targeting all eight characters, so everyone must spread out after the third telegraph, while also dealing with a Coherence cast.
From this point, the boss uses no new spells. It casts Doubled Impact, Murky Depths, and Sewage Deluge in that order.
At 8:16, the boss again casts Channeling Overflow. This time, however, it casts Coherence instead of Tainted Flood. To deal with this, the tank with the long-time mark should intercept the Coherence tether and take to a catwalk adjacent to the septic platform, since the short-time characters will not use that catwalk to resolve Channeling Overflow. This mechanic requires heavy mitigation and healing to survive.
The boss then casts Dissociation and Sewage Eruption. Since the party has limited space to move, they should try to bait the first telegraph of Sewage Eruption into the trajectory of the old head, and then immediately move out of the trajectory.
The boss then casts Ominous Bubbling and Shockwave, and then once that resolves, it casts Doubled Impact.