With Mephisto in their rear-view mirror, the Rogues now entered into Hell/Hell in the further pursuit of their quest. For this first session in Act Four, I snapped a picture of the Rogues as they stood at the gates of Hell and prepared to embark upon the Outer Steppes:
If you look at the pictures at the top, you can see that Sirian was missing this evening for what I think was the first time in Rogue Revival. As such, we were without our team leader when running a very difficult area. Not the best omen. The goal was to clear out the Outer Steppes and see what more we could do from there. The stairs were trapped, as always seems to be the case, but we ended up with a triple boss pack of 2 Doom Casters (Stranglers) and 1 Cliff Lurker. Here's a shot of the two Strangler bosses:
That picture is a cut-and-paste job of two seperate pictures to get the boss stats in one shot. The numbers might be a bit confusing; boss #1 is on the right side of the screen and boss #2 (with stats at the bottom) is at the top. We also had a Cliff Lurker boss running around at the same time, so it was quite a hectic little situation. I recall that we were pushed back onto the stairs at several points in time, and Rogues were getting stuck unable to retreat back into town due a press of their sister Rogues behind them on the stairs trying to get into the fight. We had a couple of deaths that way - oops.
At several different points in time it looked as though we might have to reroll a map, but the team eventually stabilized the situation (albeit with many deaths). The real danger of the night, however, was the endless hordes of Flesh Spawners, who would almost immediately pump out huge armies of cold immune Flesh Beasts, much faster than we could kill them. Here's a picture of one Flesh Spawner boss:
This is at the tail end of a battle - note all of the Flesh Beast corpses on the ground. This boss went down, but the fact that all of the Flesh Beasts pumped out by these mothers spawn as Cold Immune was causing our battles to take forever. Running into even two Flesh Spawners at once caused enormous problems - loss of ground, deaths, and tons of time needed to clear them out. Huge armies of Flesh Beasts were running all over the Steppes when we ran into a boss pack. Another picture of the aftermath from a battle is in order:
The game has actually removed a number of corpses, it was even worse right after the battle took place.
Eventually we cleared the Outer Steppes (after much dying) and made it to the Plains of Despair. We got a nice little reception from the Hell welcoming committee, forcing a retreat to the stairs where the Rogues held on for dear life:
LOTS of carnage piling up there at the staircase. You see we have yet another Flesh Spawner boss here; the aura is Holy Fire (if it had been Might or Fanatacism, we would have been in trouble!) Eventually we managed to clear this mess out, but the spectacle left behind was... pretty gruesome. Take a look:
With nowhere near enough time to clear the Plains of Despair, we found the City entrance (and Izual, but he was parked safely) and then Erick found us the City waypoint through teleportation. All in all, not our best session, but conditions were very difficult. I was sincerely hoping that the next session would not see any more Flesh Spawners!
Out full group was back together the next night to try and clear the Plains of Despair. We had gone through a good portion of the Outer Steppes when the server completely crashed, kicking everyone out of the game. After a couple minutes of downtime, we regrouped and went back at it, fortunately finding the Plains entrance very quickly. A horrific battle was fought right at the Plains stairs (again), with tons and tons of gore piling up from killed monsters. Another picture is in order:
So much for avoiding the Flesh Spawners on this evening... This time, we did in fact have to fight a boss with a Might Aura, and that caused the little Flesh Beasts to pack a real punch. At several different points we had to retreat back into the Outer Steppes because the stairs were just too dangerous to hold. Quite a few deaths piled up at these stairs; in addition to the Flesh Spawners, we also had Corpse Spitters to deal with, and they had ample corpses to work with from the little buggers. Thanks to them eating the corpses, the carnage afterwards was perhaps even more bloody when we finally reached the top of the stairs:
The Rogues are knee-deep in gore up there, and our fashion-conscious team did not like that one bit! This shot again doesn't really do the scene justice; the game can only display so much blood at once, so it had removed the horrible wreckage strewn across the entire staircase. Still, this should provide a good idea of what things looked like.
After gaining control of the stairs, the Rogues began full-clearing the Plains of Despair. Flesh Spawners again tormented us with their armies of cold-immune babies, causing huge headaches all night long. We came across quite a few boss packs, but none that were overly dangerous. Eventually the Rogues bumped into Izual:
Here the team is really giving him a beating, between Dathon's meteors and Jaffa's hydras. Izual died in literally 30 seconds, perhaps because he's weaker against fire than we thought? Maybe all that Enchant Fire damage that we were doing finally payed off. This was certainly a surprise; Izual died much faster in Hell than in Nightmare. The Plains were cleared, and after we encountered more mothers in the City, we stopped for the night.As a random side note, Svava finished at 999 million experience on the night, heh. I'd have to try and top a billion in our next session in the City of the Damned.
Little did any of us expect the fight that would be in store for us there...