Dungeons & Dragons Online: Dragon Encounter strategy

Strategy discovered by Circle of Might, Lhazaar server

Players across DDO have been frustrated over an encounter where over half of the raid force flies off the fighting platform in under two seconds. We've found a way around this and discovered how to negate the dragon's breath attacks. These tactics are NOT ranged exploits and use the terrain WITHIN THE MAIN PLATFORM to negate the breath attacks of the dragon. Let's take a look at the class composition a raid group will need:

2 Rezzers
3 Tanks
3 DPS (arcane casters or range attackers with good dragon-bane weapons)

It may be possible to win the encounter without the suggested number of core classes but the encounter will present more challenge than it should. The above is a bare minimum for a smooth raid. Raids should strive to acquire a more balanced mix:
Balanced Composition:
3 Rezzers
4 Tanks
2 Free Slots

Our tactic involves sending our three best tanks to "snipe" each pillar down to 20% before training the mobs back to entrance where a thick network of webs traps the mobs for easy killing. Regardless of how you bring those pillars down, try to keep your arcane casters at FM and your clerics above 80%. Wands are an ENORMOUS help.

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The Fight:

Step One: Penetrating the Platform
We've discovered only one sure-fire way of avoiding an initial wing buffet that blasts the raid off the platform. The raid must move ONE PLAYER AT A TIME along the right wall to the safe spot behind the RIGHT stone pillar (do not confuse this with the pillars you killed, it's the giant stone stalagmite protruding out of the ground). I cannot stress to you how important it is to HUG THE EDGE OF THE WALL. If you do not HUG the right most edge, the dragon will aggro and wing buffet the whole raid. Move one at a time, having your raid leader call people to move over team speak, until the entire raid is standing behind the fat section of the large stone pillar. Stay CLOSE TO THE WALL and BEHIND the stone pillar!

Step Two: Managing Aggro
At this point, your rezzers and DPS'ers should be safely tucked behind the thickest part of the stone pillar. This is the position the REZZERS will remain for the rest of the fight (do not enter the dragon's line of sight or his fire will hit you). Once your raid is settled send in ONE tank to absorb the initial breath attack. The tank will most likely die. Once the breath attack goes off, send in the tank that can generate the most aggro over a QUICK amount of time. The tank needs to do as much damage as he can to the dragon and quickly retreat back to the safe spot. The dragon will fixate its aggro on this tank for the rest of the fight, but the tank will be safe from breath attacks by the large stone pillar. The tank needs to stand as far left as possible while staying safely behind the stone pillar. If your tank loses aggro, wait until a breath attack fires off, and have him go hit the dragon hard and quick. Ranged aggro doesn't seem to piss the dragon off too much. Remember, everyone remains BEHIND the safe rock until the tank gets aggro.

Step Three: Open Fire
Once the tank has aggro, casters and ranged attackers should slowly inch their way to the right. Move until your line of sight lines up with the dragon, maintaining close position to the rock, until your spells strike the dragon (test it a few times... make sure your spells are not hitting the stone pillar). Begin DPSing the dragon down with RANGED ATTACKS... Breath attacks and wing buffets can occasionally hit you from this position, but your clerics can quickly rezz you. Make sure some form of featherfall is cast on you. From this position, you can control your fall and land safely down on the ground. In the event of adds, the other 3 tanks can easily handle them. You're safe behind the stone pillar! DPS generously, avoid HP's.

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General Tips:

1. Dragon bane bows, crossbows, and repeaters are wonderful for this encounter. Tanks can join casters (stand ON them, literally) and DPS the dragon. One of our clerics did over 2,000 damage with his dragonslaying heavy repeater.
2. Arcane casters should use magic missile. Don't bother using empower or maximize, you'll do more damage over the long run with normal missiles.

Circle of Might did this encounter with only 9 players and 2 DPS'ers. We hope this helps some players overcome an encounter that prevents players from having a chance at unique loot, promotes the use of NPC powers that can instantly kill a raid in under 1 second, and depicts dragons as enormous beasts that can only swing their heads around in a 45 degree arc, because everyone knows they can twist them in 46 degree arcs!

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