Spire of Stars - Final Encounter Guide *SPOILERS* (Fireteam Builder Events)

by Chappy, Arlington, VA., Monday, August 13, 2018, 14:38 (804 days ago) @ kidtsunami
edited by Chappy, Monday, August 13, 2018, 15:05

For the non-blind folk, who here has Chappy level tips on how to make it through this raid smoothly?

I guess that'd be me :). I never did get this finished to my satisfaction, but here's the current draft of my guide to the final encounter.

The final encounter in “Spire of Stars” is complex; there are several events that are determined by random chance, and the fireteam must adjust roles and responsibilities on the fly. In this raid more than most, it’s important to be familiar with all of the different tasks that must be accomplished for a successful clear. Power Level 370 or above is strongly recommended - anything less and you're going to find it difficult to survive and do meaningful DPS.

The ultimate objective of the encounter is to kill Val Ca'uor (“Val Kilmer”) in the center of the room. He has a lot of health, and is surrounded by a shield that normal weapons can’t penetrate. In order to drop the shield, the fire team must impress Calus by destroying two of the ships outside the Leviathan, shortly after which Calus will use the destroyed “Calus-bot” behind the boss to drop the shield and allow the team to do damage.

The geography of the room itself is important; there are several mechanical elements that must be executed to destroy the ships.

• Launch Plates: There are four large activation plates (numbered 1-4 from left to right); two on the left and two on the right far from the center of the room. When four guardians stand on all four plates at the same time, an orange column of light is built in the center of the room that allows guardians with the “Superior Retainer” buff to travel into space and access the ships outside.
• Launch Elevator: The structure in the center of the room has plate over which a faint orange column of light glows. When the launch plates are activated, the column stretches up to the ceiling, and propels any guardian in the light up and out of the room into space, where they can get a clear view of the ships that must be destroyed. Only the guardians that have the “Superior Retainer” buff can survive this trip!
• Door Plates: There are three smaller activation plates (identified by the shape of the border surrounding a hieroglyph on the plate) near the center of the room. The left door plate has a square border, the door right plate has a triangular border, and the center plate has a circular border. When 3 guardians stand on all three door plates at the same time, three doors open in the center structure of the room. If two or more guardians stand on a door plate at the same time, a shield will raise around the door preventing access to it.
• Doors: Three doors in the center structure in the doom are located near each of the three door plates. There is a “Ball” receptacle behind each door. When a charged ball is thrown into the correct receptacle, it arms one of the Leviathan’s weapons.
• Charge Locations: above each of the three doors is a triangular platform. At various times during the encounter, one or two of these platforms will have a “smokey” effect above them. As with the other encounters of this Lair, walking through this effect will “engulf” a player, and the only way to remove the engulfing energy before dying is to catch or pick up a ball. Walking through the smoke with a ball in-hand will charge the ball without engulfing the player.
• Fountains: At the back of the room high on the wall with the glass, there are 4 fountains. As events unfold in the room to spawn a ball, the balls are shot from these fountains. A Purple glow indicates which fountain will toss the ball. Each fountain is pointed at a specific launch plate, so watching the fountains allows the fireteam to predict where balls will enter the field of play.
• Enemy spawn doors are located at the sides of the room, in rooms at the back left and right of the room, and on the center structure.

The encounter can be broken down into discrete phases:

Role Assignment:
At the start of each damage cycle, there should be 4 people assigned to the 4 launch plates, and one “floater” person for each side that can either move to cover a plate, or take a “spaceman” role.

Ad Clear:
The encounter begins with Cabal enemies spawning from the various doors around the room. There are 2-3 shielded yellow bars. This is a good opportunity to get in melee kills with Raid Gauntlets that have the “giving hand” perk enabled – there won’t be much power ammo floating around. The entire cycle is on a timer (indicated by the columns of blue flame in the back of the room), so kill the ads quickly. High power level teams can spawn kill them, while weaker teams should hang back in the “golden” rooms in the front left and right to kill from a distance.

Once the initial adds are cleared, Val will ‘poop’ a ball from one of the fountains in the back of the room to a random plate (1 – 4). Don’t wait for this to happen; the 4 guardians assigned to the plates should be on them or right next to them when the “pooping” call-out is made. As soon as the ball lands, everyone will get engulfed. This ball must be passed to every guardian within 15 seconds, or whoever hasn’t touched the ball will die. The last person with the ball has 10 seconds to throw it back to Val Kilmer.

The guardian that receives the ball from the first throw should then throw the ball to the first person in line (closest to them). That person should immediately turn around and throw it to the next person in line, and the process repeats until the last person gets the ball. The last person with the ball should take their time to line up their throw at Val Kilmer, they must connect with their throw.

After the ball is thrown back at Val, Yellow-bar Cabal Butchers drop onto the launch plates via drop pods. Do not stand on or near the launch plates until the pods land, but as soon as they do, kill the yellow-bar Cabal quickly. At the same time that the Cabal are landing, 3 random guardians will get a “Superior Retainer” buff that allows them to survive in space if they go up the launch elevator.

It’s critical to identify these people quickly, as this can change guardian positions around the room. If one of the “floaters” is superior, they should immediately call this out and indicate that they will scout the ships (more on that below). The goal is to identify a “left spaceman” (who will destroy the left ship near the end of the encounter), and a “right spaceman” (who will destroy the right ship near the end of the encounter). Ideally, the floaters get the superior retainer buff and they’re the spacemen while the 4 people on plates cover the plates. That’s not likely to happen, though, so the team will need to quickly identify who the spacemen are, and if either/both of them were covering a plate, the floater on that side will need to swap places with them.

In general, the prioritization of the spaceman role should be floaters first, then plate 2/3, then plate 1/4. The guardians with the best ability to hold ground against waves of ads should be assigned to plates 1 and 4 – those plates see the most ads, and you want them to be the least likely to need to swap into the spaceman role. Examples:

Plate 2, Floater right and plate 4 are randomly given superior: Floater right should immediately call out that they’re superior and will scout, and the rest of the team should prepare to send them into space. While that’s happening, Plate 2 and 4 will also call out that their superior. Plate 2 will be left spaceman, and the floater who's scouting will be right spaceman. Plate 4 stays on plate 4, and the left floater moves to be the plate 2 person for the remainder of the cycle.

Plate 1, Plate 2, and Plate 4 are superior: This sucks, because it takes more time to talk out (and pulls your best guardians away from ad clearing duty). Floaters should immediately call out that they don’t have superior, and plate 2 should quickly indicate that they do and that they will scout. While that’s happening, left floater takes over Plate 2, and right floater takes over Plate 4. The person who was on Plate 4 will be right spaceman.

The spacemen will be responsible at the end of the encounter for destroying one of the ships. They will each attack the ship corresponding to their initial side of the room (“left spaceman” or “Right spaceman”. You need to identify one of them very quickly so that the can scout the ships quickly.

The first spaceman should call out to build the launch elevator when the 4 yellow-bars are dead, and should indicate “clear” when they are in space. When they're clear, the guardians on plates can leave them to better manage the ads. The scout must call out both symbols (or sides) that they see above the targeted ships. In space, the targeted ships will be surrounded by a large circular reticle. At the top of each targeting reticle there will be a symbol – Square (left), Circle (middle) or Triangle (right). These symbols indicate which weapons must be armed in the next phase.

The Scout should clearly call out the two symbols. When they return, they should assist in clearing ads (though they may be required to activate a door plate).

Arming the Leviathan
The goal in this phase is to quickly charge 2 balls, and get the ball carriers and one more guardian to all stand on the door plates at the same time to open the doors. The ball carriers will toss the charged balls into the receptacles behind the doors to arm the leviathan, and everyone moves back to starting positions.

Plate 1 and 2 will be responsible for activating the left (square) door plate when necessary. Floaters will be responsible for the center (circle) door plate when necessary. Plate 3 and 4 will be responsible for right (triangle) door plate when necessary.

After the initial spot, 2 balls will be dropped onto 2 random plates. Whichever guardian is covering the plate where a ball lands is responsible for picking up the ball and moving to the center of the room to get it charged. The ball carriers should call out which door plate they’re going to stand on and throw from (one of the two called out by the spotter, preferring their side of the room). Whichever door plate wasn’t called by the spotter will still need someone to stand on it; one of the people responsible for that plate should call out that they will cover it so everyone knows all three plates are covered.

When moving to charge a ball, take it to the closest charge location to your side of the room, and then get onto the called door plate closest to your side. If you’re covering Plate 2 (left side of the room) and the active charge locations are center and right, then you should charge at center. Call out when your balls are charged, and when you’re stepping on the door plates.

After the “charging” callouts, the three people that will active the door plates should be moving to those plates. They should stand on the plate, throw their balls, and stay there until both weapons are armed. The other three guardians should be providing cover and killing ads. They must not get too close to the door plates – if two people are on a plate it raises a shield that prevents balls from arming the leviathan.

When both weapons are armed, a wave of ads will appear, including 2 shielded yellow bar enemies. Prioritize killing the yellow-bars, you don’t want them alive for long as they’ll mess up the next phase. Call out when the left and right yellow bars are dead.

Destroy Ships:
Two more balls will enter the arena and will need to be passed to the two spacemen. The spacemen should position themselves on top of the front center cover to make easy targets for the guardians on the plates to grab a ball and pass it to them. Spacemen should indicate when they have a ball.

When both balls are in hand, the spacemen should move to charge them (each using the smoke closest to their original side). As they’re charging, they should call out to build the launch elevator.

The spacemen should ride the elevator back into space, and each throw a charged ball at a targeted ship. Left spaceman should throw at the leftmost ship, and vice versa. Ideally both spacemen will enter the launch elevator at the same time, but you can go one at a time if someone gets knocked off. Be clear if this happens and tell the people on the launch plates to stay on their plate! The launch plates are big, you can single jump on them, and move to an edge to avoid a grenade without deactivating them.

Destroy both ships.

Hot potato:
Ball Juggling! During this phase 3 balls will enter the arena at intervals of 10 seconds after the previous ball was charged. The goal is to charge all three balls, and wait until the destroyed Calus-bot in the center of the room rises into the air and raises his hand. The three charged balls then need to be thrown into the pulsating hand to drop the boss shield. The challenge is the time it takes before the balls can the thrown – holding a charged ball will kill a guardian after 11 seconds, so they must pass it to someone else.

There are 3 balls that need to be charged, and 6 guardians. The first ball will be passed among 3 guardians – they can pass the ball indefinitely since all greed will disappear before the ball needs to be handed to them. These guardians should pass the ball when they hit 9 or 10 greed. The second ball will be passed among 2 guardians – this is more dangerous, as eventually they will succumb to greed after a few back-and-forths. They should pass the ball to each other when they hit 6 or 7 greed. The last ball will be handled by a single guardian – they will charge the ball and must throw it into Calus’ hand before greed kills them.

If the first ball goes left, the three people on the left side (1, 2, and left floater) are the team of three. The person with the ball must charge it ASAP to trigger the next ball. The team of three should move to the back of the room by the glass behind the boss. While one person hold the ball, the other two should kill ads. Talk to each other so the next person is ready to receive the ball.

If the ball goes right, the three people on the right side (3, 4 and right floater) are the team of three that will pass the ball between themselves. Left team plays hot potato at the back left, while the right team plays hot potato on the back right. Don’t confuse each other.

The 3 people left behind without a ball to juggle should identify who among them will stay behind to get the last ball, and which pair of them will get the second ball. The second ball can appear on the right or left side of the room, so the pair must cover both sides – one should watch plate 1/2 and one should watch plates 3/4. As soon as the second ball appears, the pair should charge that ball and then move to the back of the room to pass it between themselves (~greed 6-7) and kill local ads.

The last person left behind will watch the fountains to position themselves to pick up the final ball, and charge it immediately and move to the back of the room. They must throw the ball to Calus in the next phase before their greed reaches 10 or they will die.

Shortly after the third ball appears (if everyone’s timing is right), the destroyed Calus bot will start to rise into the air. At his apex, his left arm will raise, and a purple light in his left hand will begin to pulsate. The three people holding charged balls at that time must throw their balls into Calus’ hand quickly to keep the fireteam alive. If Calus-bot receives three charged balls, he will remove Val’s shield and fall back onto the platform (do not stand where Calus-bot normally rests when he is in the air, because he’ll kill you when he falls back down).

At least 3 different ways to do this – need more time to document. You can mix and match these depending on the fire team makeup. More Warlocks favor Wardcliff, Hunters should always ArcStride, More Titans favor shotgun. You likely want at least one titan for melting point, and one Warlock for a rift.

If there are tractor cannons, 'boop' ASAP, tractor cannon void debuff lasts 10 seconds. Titans, Hammer strike ASAP (lasts 6 seconds) Val, Void Warlocks pop healing/empowered rift right on Val’s plate, Hunters pop arcstrider and go to town on Val. *Val’s crit spot is the fuel tanks on his back, try to focus on this spot. Unload on Val until the missiles start.

Shotgun Strat:
Put a lunafaction empowering rift slightly behind and to the side of the boss as the balls are being thrown (or as soon as possible if you’re throwing). Stand in the rift with full auto shotgun and empty the magazine at the boss, trying to hit the fuel tanks in the chaos. If you’ve got several people shotgunning, have one of them wield a tractor cannon, and the rest set their shotguns to Void. EP Shotgun preferred; melee the boss and go to town. When you get knocked off, do not try to get back on – pop your super (Hammers or Nova) at the boss and then get to safety.

ArcStrider Strat:
Pop your Raiden Flux super before his shield goes down, and slam the boss repeatedly. Press A to jump, then left trigger to slam. Press A to jump, then left trigger to slam. When you get knocked off, melee (right bumper) to get back to the platform. Repeat until 20-15% of your super is left, then get to safety.

Wardcliff Strat:
Put a lunafaction empowering rift on each of the two boxes in the back behind the boss on either side. Ideally you will also put 2 healing rifts in the same place. Stand on the boxes and empty your Wardcliff at the boss IMMEDIATELY as his shield drops – the initial stun is important to this (an ArcStrider can also help with the stun). As soon as all 5 rockets are done, move away and fire your super, then get to safety. Don’t kill yourself with a rocket, don’t move laterally if the guardian next to you is still firing rockets.

If Val’s melee slam knocks you off his platform (and you are not an Arc Strider), pop your super and then take cover from the incoming missiles. If you empty your equipped weapon, pop your super and then take cover from the missiles. Cover can be found standing directly underneath the left or right charging platform by the arming doors. Make sure you’re not taking cover at the mid-level spawn door – it should be the ground-level door that opens to arm the leviathan. If you’re slammed far away from center, take cover in one of the golden rooms front left or front right.

Surviving is more important than damage. After unloading on Val, hide against the doors to avoid the missiles and shoot any ads that are visible, but most importantly wait for the missiles to stop before reviving someone and clearing ads.

Do the whole thing over again for a second damage cycle. A well executed Wardcliff strat can one-phase him, but I find it harder to execute safely over Shotguns/ArcStriders.

Final Stand:
When Val’s health hits zero, 6 charged balls will be tossed into the arena. Every guardian should run to pick up a single ball. Balls generally land near the starting positions, so try to run to the ball near your plate or floating position to ensure all balls are accounted for. When you have your ball in-hand, turn back to Val and throw it at him. You have time to aim your shot – don’t miss! The charged balls do massive damage to his final stand shield. After throwing your ball, get back to Val’s platform to unload whatever ammo or abilities all have left until he is defeated.

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