Well, life with my little horde of pink and purple villains is pretty good. We’re playing together almost every night and the group is increasing in numbers every week – we actually have more than the 3 people in their 20’s now.

Last friday night, we decided to do the respec TF with one of our allies (a very effective healer who isn’t quite willing to jump ship from her current SG and join us yet). We started at 9pm and didn’t finish until 2am. The reason for this being that the final boss took us something like two hours to kill. With a healer, a nuke, and 2 summoners, we just didn’t have the firepower to beat him down fast enough – especially since our damage types were all wrong.

The boss was a tree. A great honking tree that shoots out poison spines, is surrounded by constantly regrowing vines that also shoot out thorns, and is worshipped by screaming hordes of evil necromancer types. The tree is located in a great big round room and is surrounded by a number of barrier mounds of earth that interrupt line-of-sight between the outer wall and the base of the tree.

The general procedure for killing the monstrosity is as follows:

  • Do a lap around the huge room and eliminate all cultists.
  • Do another lap – much faster this time – and kill all 24 vines.
  • Charge the base of the tree and pound on it until it dies.
  • Beat down any vines that respawn on you while you’re killing the main tree itself.
  • Retreat behind the hills when things get bad and when the occasional ambush patrol of newly spawned cultists shows up.

Had we actually managed to do this, we’d have been fine.

Unfortunately, the three vines that spawn close to the vulnerable portion of the base of the tree tended to all spawn at once and all target the same victim at once – for 300+ damage total per volley. My lich was probably the toughest one in the group – he only has 550 hp. If both the dedicated healer and I turned and healed somebody at once, we could probably keep up with the damage… but only if our reaction was immediate.

We tried several different tactics, including climbing the back wall and sniping the tree and vines. Unfortunately, they all seem to have an infinite range, and by climbing up high enough, we were subjected to fire by more than just the three in front of the tree.

Eventually, we settled into a groove of letting the lich attempt to tank most of the hurt. I spammed heal on him and he endeavored to heal himself from time to time. And this worked, so long as the vines never spawned. But, when they did spawn, they tended to drop him in about 2 seconds since Radio (the healer) was too far away to respond and was busy keepign the rest of the group alive.

When the vines (or ‘VOMES’ as it was typoed in a particularly loud cry for help from Kernel one time) spawned, the lich would usually die and we would turn all of our attention to dropping them. This typically resulted in several minutes spent licking our wounds and trying to resummon our pets – on those occasions where we managed to kill them all before they turned on and dropped a party member in stead.

Had the vomes been the only problem, we’d have been fine.

But, in addition to spawning new vines every 10 minutes or so, the blasted cultists liked to ambush us something like every 30-40 minutes. And they tried to coordinate their spawn with that of the vines… So we’d be very much busy trying to drop the vines before they dropped us when a handfull of demons and ghosts and archers would saunter in through the back door and start hammering on us from behind.

We would then die horrible sucking chest wound type deaths. By the time we all respawned, returned to the tree, and cleaned up the cultists, the tree would have been completely healed and we would get to try all over again.

Finally, we caught and survived an ambush, which gave us enough time to turn around and finish off the tree before yet another wave decided to show up.

Finishing off the boss and completing the mission bumped me up to level 28 and reduced my accrued debt down to 14k. Now… I must have been 12-15k away from level when we finally killed him, and exp earned while in debt is split down the middle. So he must have been worth around 30k exp and I must have racked up something like that in debt… each death costing me somewhere around 3k debt…


One time, while we were all busy running back from the hospital, I threatened that I’d create a new character – a dedicated healer/support spec who would actually do FIRE damage when he was forced to pick up a nuke ability (stupid trees…). And it was decreed that he would be named after the most vicious thing any of us had ever fought.

The CoH character builder utility has found a new home at http://sherksilver.coldfront.net/.


Archetype: Corruptor
Primary: Fire Blast
Secondary: Thermal Radiation

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