How to beat the Royal Pools
The Royal Pools encounter is located through the ‘sun’ door in the Castellum. Like the rest of the raid, it requires a lot of coordinated running and shooting. It’s the most combat-heavy encounter behind the final boss and can be overwhelming at first, but once you get used to the timing, it’s actually one of the easiest sections.
There are five plates in the Royal Pools: one in each corner marked with the same symbols as before, and another in the middle. On each plate is an orb which gives you the ‘psionic protection’ buff. This temporarily protects you from the poisonous bathwater covering large sections of the room, including the plates themselves.
In front of each corner plate is a large gold chain with a bell at the top, a white ‘soap’ link in the middle, and a lock at the bottom. These soap links will be lowered and locked when you enter, but they’ll snap up when you begin the encounter. Standing on the plates will slowly lower the chains.
Around the edge of the area where the middle plate is are three clusters of canisters, making nine in total. Your goal is to lower all four chains until all the soap blocks lock in place. This will expose the canisters in the middle area, which you must destroy to complete the encounter.
Lowering the chains
Split your team into two groups of three: three people for the front plates, and three people for the back plates. One player should head to each corner plate, and two players should head to the middle plate. To start the encounter, jump onto all five plates at the same time.
This encounter is all about rotating players on and off the plates. Psionic protection only lasts 50 seconds. After that, you’ll be killed by the bathwater in seconds. However, you need someone standing on the corner plates at all times to keep the chains lowering. If you step off for more than a few seconds, the chains will stop moving.
This is where the middle plate comes into play. The psionic orbs on the corner plates are one-and-done, but the orb in the middle will respawn every few seconds. So, middle players need to grab the middle orb and continue trading places with corner players. This ensures there’s always somebody on the corner plates and keeps the chains lowering.
Let’s look at a sample rotation. Immediately after the encounter starts, the middle player for the front team grabs the middle buff and heads to the front right plate. Once the middle player is on the front right plate, the corner player leaves that plate and goes to the middle to refresh their buff. Then they move to the front left plate, allowing that player to leave, refresh their buff, and move to the front right plate. Rinse and repeat. The strategy is the same for the back team. Just think of it as a triangle offense. Again communication is key. When your buff is about 15 seconds from expiry, you should make sure the replacement player is already en route. Once you grab the refresh buff from the middle, let the player whose plate you're heading to know you're on the way.
Aside from killing waves of normal Cabal while you’re rotating, and taking care to keep the middle plate as clear as possible, you also have to keep an eye out for the ‘ceremonial bathers’ which periodically clamber out from the chain pits in front of the corner plates. Use your best shotgun or fusion rifle, as well as DoT grenades such as Arc Pulses or Voidwalls, to take them out. In particular, Hawthorne's Field-Forged Shotgun and the exotic fusion rifle Merciless are exceptional for taking out a bather fast.
If you happen to have run out of power ammo and grenades, let your replacer know you'll likely need help. In the worst case scenario, you can also leave your plate for a second or so to grab ammo. Continue rotating until all four chains are lowered and locked. An audio cue and chat notification will let you know it’s time for the damage phase.
Destroying the canisters
Once the gong sounds, immediately group up in the middle. Four players should stand on the plate, which now gives the ‘force of will’ buff allowing you to damage the canisters. Two other players should stick to the walls of the room and target the enemies which will spawn around you using roaming supers like Stormtrance and Fist of Havoc. Pay particular attention to the bathers who will spawn under the canisters. If you’re a high power level and can use supers and power weapons effectively, you may be able to get away with five players damaging canisters and just one handling enemies and bathers.
You’ll have 40 to 50 seconds to damage the canisters, at which point your protection will run out and the encounter will effectively reset. Corner players go back to the corner plates and middle players clear out the remaining middle enemies. Step on all the plates again to begin the next chain phase.
Before that, after each damage phase, the middle players have to kill the ‘sol councilor’ which spawns on the middle plate. A ‘psion projection’ may also spawn nearby. Failing to kill either the councilor or the projection will result in a wipe.
It should take you two or three damage phases to destroy all nine canisters. You do not need to destroy them in any particular order, but taking too long will result in a wipe, so keep the damage up and work methodically from one cluster to the next (confirm the order with your team beforehand). Merciless offers outstanding damage, along with cluster bomb rocket launchers. Titans should use Rally Barricades and Warlocks should use Arc Soul Rifts to speed up DPS. Once you destroy all nine canisters, you can collect your loot and proceed to the next encounter.
Next: How to beat the Pleasure Garden.