By Cord "Think Tank" Carney
In the Drowning in Blood Trial, the island of Bloody Bay is under assault by the same Shivans that destroyed Galaxy City, also known as Neo-Shivans. You pair up with either Arachnos (Villains) or Longbow (Heroes) in order to secure the island and repel the Neo-Shivan threat. Bloody Bay has a long history with the Shivans, starting twenty years ago when fragments of the Shivan comet crashed down. The species has been observed and studied there ever since. What opportunities to better understand them found in Bloody Bay will be lost if the Neo-Shivans eradicate everything, and that's where you come in.
Drowning in Blood Trial
Personnel: 4 to 8 characters
Character Level: 15+
Rewards: Temporary Buff to Damage, Recovery, Defense, or Accuracy
Badges: Sibling Rivalry (completion), Sidereal Researcher (optional objective), Brotherly Love (optional Arch-Villain objective)
You will work with either Longbow Commander Nostromo or Arachnos Commander Sulaco to take back the island, fighting through the streets of the Boardwalk, through the cemetery in Ground Zero, and finally through the Forgotten Forest to confront the Neo-Shivans and demolish the leader of their assault.
Stage 1: Secure the Boardwalk
- Defeat all the Freakshow and the Shivans
- (Optional) Collect Meteor Teen
Both Heroes and Villains start on the Boardwalk beach, where you have been instructed to speak with your Commander. How well you get along with your Commander determines how many mission details the Commander gives you throughout the Trial. You also travel from one area to the next by interacting with the Commander and the Commander's assistants. (If you don't know where to go at any point, speak with your Commander, a Longbow Field Operative, or an Arachnos Psychopomp to move between areas.)
After being briefed by your Commander, talk with either the Longbow Scientist (Heroes) or the Night Widow Spy (Villains). These women oversee the research teams that study Shivans and Neo-Shivans. Either of these women offers you an optional task to collect ore samples by collecting meteorites .
Moving on through the Boardwalk streets, you notice that groups of Freakshow are fighting against packs of Neo-Shivans. While these two groups are locked in knockdown, drag-out fights to the death, both sides temporarily put aside their differences the moment your group arrives to focus on fighting you. The Neo-Shivans use radioactive powers, many of which disorient and reduce defenses, so be careful fighting them.
Once your group clears the Boardwalk, reinforcements arrive and secure the area for you. Your Commander is waiting just north of Meteor Teen. ("Teen" is three in Hindi.) Speak with your Commander to advance to the next area: Ground Zero.
Stage 2: Hallowed Ground
- Rescue or capture 3 Stranded Civilians
- Disrupt 3 Circle of Thorns ceremonies
- (Optional) Collect Meteor Ek
In Ground Zero, you focus on the cemetery that occupies most of this central section of the Island. The Circle of Thorns is doing a good job repelling the Shivan assault here. Groups of Neo-Shivans and Circle of Thorns members fight amidst the graves and crypts. Circle of Thorns ceremonial circles dot the area, and in these, Thorn mages ritualistically experiment on captured Neo-Shivans.
The Circle of Thorns is quite deadly. Its members employ Darkness effects that impair your chance to hit, and their specters are particularly resistant to damage. In addition, their Ruin Mages employ powers that have Control effects. You must use your group's strengths to achieve you objective while also dealing with the Neo-Shivans and their radioactive attacks.
When you complete of all your objectives, reinforcements arrive. Your Commander waits by the eastern gates of the cemetery. Once again, speak with your Commander to advance to the next area: the Forgotten Forest.
Stage 3: Confrontation in the Woods
- Defeat Neo-Shivans
- Defeat the Shivan Obliterators
- (Optional) Defeat both Shivan Obliterators within 30 seconds of each other
- (Optional) Collect Meteor Panch and Meteor Jay
The Forgotten Forest, whose undergrowth can be difficult to navigate, is teeming with both Shivans and Neo-Shivans. The Neo-Shivans are trying to eradicate older Shivans that have gone native. The fallout from the Neo-Shivan against Shivan battle has left strange swells of green energy and large plumes of radioactive smoke that mark the path of the fighting through the scrub and north to the Dead Coast.
Your Commander contacts you, ordering you to kill all the hostile Neo-Shivans that you encounter. Most of the Shivans that have gone native, who can be identified by their gelatinous green-blue appearance, are passive to you and do not attack you.
Upon reaching the shore of the Dead Coast, you face the final challenge of Drowning in Blood.
Arch-Villain: The Shivan Obliterator
- The Shivan Obliterator has the damage, resilience, and regeneration expected from a Shivan Arch-Villain.
- Its powerful Radioactive attacks can disorient you, knock you down, and ground flying opponents.
- Many of its attacks either bypass defenses or reduce them.
- It duplicates itself when it is reduced to 50% health. This duplicate also appears at 50% health. You fight both Shivan Obliterators simultaneously for the remainder of the fight.
Your group needs to prepare a strategy tailored for your group's composition before engaging the Shivan Obliterator, or the fact that you are suddenly fighting twice the attacks and can be pinned between two opponents with an optimal kill zone is likely to demolish your group. Either focus all your damage on one of the Shivan Obliterators once the second appears, or kill them both simultaneously. Groups with high damage may be able to divide their attacks into two groups and down both Obliterators simultaneously. Groups without a high damage capability may find it difficult to split their attention between the two Obliterators and overcome the regeneration on both, and instead decide to focus on one at a time. Groups with strong support may find it easy to mitigate the damage dealt by the extra Obliterator and can easily ignore the second one to down them one at a time.
Once the Shivan Obliterators are both dead, you get your reward: the Sibling Rivalry Badge. You can also exit the Trial at this point, but you may not want to leave yet. Your Commander arrives south of where you fought the Obliterators, bringing guards and the civilians found in Ground Zero. Talking to these NPCs lets you catch up on any storylines you may have missed. Finally, Villains that didn't see eye-to-eye with Commander Sulaco get one final chance to settle the score, and one of you might not be leaving the island!