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City of Heroes Raid Guide: Taking Down Lusca

MMORPG.com City of Heroes Correspondent Marjorie Rhoadhouse writes this guide to defeating Lusca in a City of Heroes raid.

No Squid Here! The term, “lusca,” emanates from the Caribbean, and refers to a legendary species of giant octopus --- not squid (or calamari) as some would have you believe.

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The Facts: Heroes of any level can participate in a Raid on a Giant Monster such as Lusca, but that doesn’t make a Level 2 Empath with a single Heal, or a Tank too low for Taunt, particularly welcome. Lusca spawns in several locations within the Harbor of Independence Port. Two highly balanced, experienced teams of eight or three teams of a less acute composition are required to take down this giant octopus. Lusca’s inky spray imparts grave Toxic Damage-Over-Time that negates Fly. One thwack from a tentacle can kill. Lusca’s head cannot --- I repeat --- CAN NOT be damaged until the tentacles are all defeated. Each of the eight tentacles, plus the head, count as Giant Monsters (35,215 hit points EACH for a Level 50), and EACH award XP, Influence, Prestige and Debt accordingly. The DevilFish badge is awarded once the head is defeated.

History:  Lusca was introduced via Issue 3, in January of 2005. In-game lore arose beforehand with bickering among dockworkers who feared for their safety, followed by a strike, all due to unnatural occurrences on the waterfront. Then came Lusca.

Spawns: There are three documented spawn locations for Lusca. The spawn cycle is a matter of much debate. Spawns are set to a timer which seems triggered by Lusca’s defeat. Whether individual spawn locations are on separate timers is unknown, as upon occasion more than one Lusca is seen (at different sites) in the Harbor.

Ssshh! These days those sites are where Lusca is least likely to be spotted! The first place to check is not marked on any map: look north-west from the roof of Icons.

Selecting a Target:  If more than one Lusca is spotted, select the one furthest north as the target for your Raid. The surrounding mobs will be of less danger to your lower-level team-mates. The site to the west of Power Island is ideal because the land masses are close enough that many toons can stand on solid ground for much of the Raid.

Assembling the Forces: The best way to quickly create strong and balanced teams for a Raid is to do it yourself. If the idea of forming your own Raid team makes you squirm, try these pointers:

Forget blind invites.

Buddy up with another player to lead the second team and check first with each of your Supergroups and Friends lists. Such people are usually more forgiving of waiting for the action to start. Then start open recruiting. Don’t be afraid to tap into talent beyond you’re own level. Remember all levels are equal when fighting a Giant Monster. Keep moving, zone to zone, but have your buddy recruit from a different set of zones.

Use the search tools available. PLEASE read teaming notes from likely prospects. Someone who’s cites that he’d rather solo Hami than jump in the water with Lusca again, is likely to treat an invite as a piss-off.

Advertise the Raid in Broadcast, but don’t rely on it. In my experience Private Channels and Private Tells work much better. Keep notes on whom you’ve asked; don’t ask the same person multiple times.

Be sensitive to introverts. A geek-oid’s aversion to start conversations with strangers is inversely proportional to their warmth toward incoming personable contact. This is why, when you see a Broadcast from a team looking for more, it’s normally followed by a Broadcast from an individual, looking for a team. Sometimes there are two or more in Broadcast, close in level and with similar interests, all looking for a team, but none answer the other. They need a personal invitation. Why, you might ask? Who cares! If they can help take down Lusca with reasonable skill, then a personal invitation it is!

Consider the wording of your Team Invites.  “Lusca?”  is far from tantalizing. Try: “Got DevilFish Badge? Want to sink Lusca? Two teams forming up!”

Treat all recruits as one talent pool. Transfer them between teams as needed to balance archetypes and player experience. When those teams are full, start the third. Take care to pair up lower level support toons with higher toons. We may be equal when standing toe-to-toe against Lusca, exerting risk and effort proportional each to our own level for rewards in kind… But we do not stand equal with each other. Healers get dibbs on sidekicks.

Travel Tip: If your target is in the southern half of the harbor, the Brickstown Tunnel is the nearest point of entry entrance to Independence Port. The train and all Portal drops are halfway across the zone.

Raid Communication: When all are assembled, announce yourself as the Raid Leader on a Public Channel, and instruct everyone to use it from that point forward. I recommend the Request Channel because everyone has it right there in front of them, with no fiddling around, and nobody uses it anymore. Chat bubbles will be seen by all who have them activated, and the text color is bright and immediately noticeable to anyone who relies solely on their chat windows for communication.

TP vs. Rez: Have all healers with Rez and TP make this macro: /macro NoRz Tell $target, “My rez is regenerating. Go to Hospital. I will TP you back.”

Establish Point of Reference: If in the midst of battle the Raid Leader calls out, “Everyone move to the West,” half the people won’t know which way is West. Call out, “To the left,” and people will move in all directions, and all will be correct. Even using the Leader himself as a point of reference (“My left!”) will fail, because when working with this many people on a beast this size, few are going to be able to pick out the Raid Leader, much less determine which way he faces. The best point of reference is the Giant Monster himself: front, back, GM’s right, GM’s left.

One at a Time: Everyone must focus on one tentacle, starting at the back. Each requires the Raid’s concentrated firepower, and if more than one tentacle at a time is attacked, the agro can be devastating. After each tentacle is defeated, the beast dives and re-surfaces nearby --- or upon occasion in the same place. As soon as he dives, order everyone to move out, because if he does resurface in the same place, anyone in his wake is dead.

TGIF: Tanks Go In First. They draw the agro and are built to withstand it. The Lead Tank chooses a tentacle. Everyone targets through him.

Getting In Synch: Things may not go smoothly for the first tentacle. You‘ve got a large number of people who are trying to figure out how best to work together. Usually by the second or third tentacle, everything falls into place and rapidly progresses toward a successful Raid.

Like No Other: Unlike other Giant Monsters, taking down Lusca requires strategy and a coordinated attack, a true adversary for the thinking hero!

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