Slowly but surely our group is starting to get better each week we play. It’s nice to play a game where progression isn’t dictated by an XP bar or unlocks. It’s just pure player skill improvements and learning the game. The missions always have to same room layout but items may appear in different rooms from run to run. It makes each run unique but doesn’t have the randomness of a procedurally generated map.
We’re getting better at communicating and planning ahead of time as a group. We’ve also started taking a stealthier approach. There are some rooms that are filled to the brim with enemies. Sometimes, it’s easier to send one person in with a lock melter and silently open lockers instead of trying to take out everything in the room first.
It leads to some great moments too. We needed a tool refill for the turrets and the only one available was in a room with 2 big sleepers. I was sent in armed with glowsticks and my crouch button to get around the room without waking up the big guys. Nothing is more intense than having 3 people tell you one is waking up while your halfway up a stairwell in pitch-black darkness.
We started the night off running “The Dig” again. One of our group members hadn’t completed it the last time we ran it. While you can drag your teammates into higher tier missions in the rundown we thought it would be a good warm-up. The run went as smoothly as it could have. No one was downed, we left extraction with ammo, and we completed it in 20 minutes or so.
Unfortunately, that would be our only completed mission of the night. That’s not such a surprise considering it took us 2 weeks or so to get the first mission done. The next tier of the Rundown has 4 missions, each with their own unique situations. We ran Sacrifice and Pathfinder a few times each.
Pathfinder has a lot of little alarm doors which means there’s a lot of hordes to deal with. Some of the alarm doors are in the same rooms or in a connecting room. We found that we had to leave a door or two open in the first area so it wouldn’t be broken down when we needed it for the next set of alarms. Pathfinder is big too. Each run took about 30 minutes.
The objective in Pathfinder is to find a specific terminal and start an uplink. We found the terminal once. When the uplink is established you have to defend the terminal while someone typers in the codes. This leaves you with a man down for the enemy hordes that start to spawn. This was also the first time we’d been this far so no one quite knew what to do with the terminal. There were some great moments of sporadic shooting and furious typing all mixed together. I’m not sure how far we made it in the terminal but we only survived a few horde waves before we were taken down.
That’s when we switched over to Sacrifice. Sacrifice is a much smaller map. The gimmick here is security doors open with 10 or so aggroed enemies waiting on the other side. They make this great thumping noise like the enemies are beating their fists against the door waiting for you to open it. However, the Bio Tracker doesn’t pick up what’s on the other end so you never know just how many you’re about to unleash.
The other mechanic here is the nine-round alarm door. So far, alarm doors have been a max of three rounds. The nine-round door mixes up individual circles and full squad circles. That means, at some point, your whole squad has to be in very close quarters while being swarmed with enemies.
The strategy we found most effective was having one person run around the room and try to take as much aggro as possible while the other 3 got the security scan circles. Once we had started getting good at this we were able to unlock the door. Sadly, we were out of ammo and large chunks of health by then. With my last 5% health, I started the door opening sequence but we were overwhelmed before the door opened.
Well. there’s always next week.