GTFO: Purification Complete

Purification was the last mission we needed to complete to finish the second tier of the current Rundown. While I’ve tried the other two with the squad before I wasn’t there when they finally beat them. So it was nice to be able to complete one before I got dragged down to the thrid rung.

The objective on Purification is to find 4 power cells, power up the generators and get out. When the level begins, most everything is covered in fog. As more generators are powered up the fog starts to dissipate from the map.

The map starts in a very large, very foggy room. It’s filled with a number of little sleepers and a few big ones. We opted for a second turret over a bio tracker so taking out the room stealthy was not an option. You can barely see the little guys and there’s so many big guys we decided the best option was to trigger the whole room. Turrets out, mines deployed, guns blazing it takes a good bit of ammo to clear it out but seems to be the best strategy we’ve found. We grabbed the power cell in here and headed to the next room.

The second room is the main hub of the map. This is where the generators are located and the branching paths to the rest of the rooms. It’s slightly annoying to get around to to the giant trench that runs around the whole room and only one or two spots to cross safely. I definalty fell into the trench more than a few times…

The next door is a security door with enemies pounding on it. We set up a turret and two mines which made short work of anything that came out. At this point we’re hurting for ammo and tool refills but finding nothing. Typically, in this branch there’s a scout we end up having to deal with. We got lucky this time and the scout spawned in a room we didn’t need to go through, or so we thought. Turns out there’s a second scout that spawns a bit further down. We’ve found that the Hel Rifle makes the scouts way less dangerous. One shot to the head takes it out usually and we don’t have to deal with a scout alarm. We found the next power cell and headed back to the main hub.

The second is easier. There aren’t any scouts or many enemies. Which is good because we’re all low on ammo. Nothing eventful happens in these rooms and we quietly escape with the third power cell.

The last door is located in the hub room but down a ladder. If you don’t have 3 power cells the bottom of the ladder is filled with fog and will cause infection quickly if you go down there. This door is actually really easy. You can set up mines at the botton some c-foam and a turret at the top of the ladder and watch all the enemies die without firing to many bullets.

There was a scout in these clusters of rooms. I accidentally triggered it at probably the worst time. There’s never a good time to accidentally trigger a scout but when most everyone has 10%-0% ammo it’s usually a game over. Somehow we survived though and ended up finding some ammo packs and crawling our way back to the hub.

Placing all 4 power cells in the generators causes the lights to turn off. Who would have guessed? This leads to a group scan as enemies start pouring into the room. The first time we ever did Purification we assumed we’d need to run to the end and defend extraction totally missing the first group scan by the generators.

This time we knew better. We sealed up the doors as best we could leading to us. Placed the mines at as many doors as we could and started the scan. Nothing got to us on the first scan.

We ran back to the extraction point which has a very long group scan. Lucky for us it was in the same spot we usually trigger the first room so we were well versed in defending that spot. It was an easy finish.

Overall,Purification was probably my least favorite on this tier of the rundown. Once you know the general lay out and how to approach some rooms it’s not difficult. But it also doesn’t bring anything knew to the table mechanics wise and there isn’t anything all that interesting about it. Plus, it takes a long time. Our clear time was an hour and a half. Getting to the third door take about an hour so a failure on Purification is so denominational.

GTFO: On to Septic and Power Corrupts

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I wasn’t able to play with the squad last week. They managed to complete Pathfinder and Sacrifice without me. Since we had gotten so very close the times I played and because they take a while to run I’m not too worried about getting them completed for me. Once we clear the next two on the tier someone can drag me into the third tier lobby.

This week we attempted Power Corrupts and Septic. We’ve been putting these off as they have the most annoying mechanic so far: the cysts. These are basically proximity mines on the walls and ceilings that will explode when you get too close. They take a good chunk of health and leave you with some infection level. If your infection goes over 20% you take damage over time until you’re at 20% health. These can be “disarmed” by shining a flashlight at them but they will regrow after a few seconds. It’s quite annoying getting hit by these when you forget where they are.

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Power Corrupts has the players carry 4 batteries to put into generators across the map. It didn’t seem too bad at first. But then we noticed that most of the sleepers in the rooms were the large ones. These can’t be killed in one hit with a hammer and they take a ton of ammo to take down. We were running into rooms with 5 to 9 of these constantly. It also didn’t help that we were finding nothing but glow sticks in any of the lockers. With no resources and no way of effectively dealing with the big enemies we were not having a good time.

We reset a few times thinking we were just getting bad spawns. Unfortunately, it looks like rooms filled with big enemies is par for the course. The one saving grace was the lack of alarm doors. We ended up using our turrets a lot to set up traps and funnel the big guys into them.

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Just when we thought it couldn’t get much worse, we ran into a room with 4 scouts at the end. Luckily, our objective wasn’t in that room but still, 4 scouts are terrifying! The farthest we got this weekend was setting up 3 generators. The last one was behind an alarm door that we didn’t have enough ammo to complete.

Septic features the cysts even more heavily than Power Corrupts. You’re tasked with finding a fog turbine and brining it to extraction. There were many big rooms with large groups of small enemies so this took us a bit of time. You can’t shine your flashlight at cysts in rooms full of sleepers because they’ll get alerted. Not only were we watching for stirring sleepers but we also had to keep an eye on the walls and ceilings too.

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We managed to get the turbine and were rewarded with whole sections of the map with infection fog. Going in there without the turbine leads to 100% infection pretty quickly so everyone had to stay around the person with the fog turbine. To make matters worse, there are also enemies littering the dense fog. Good thing we brought a Bio Tracker or we’d be alerting things left and right.

I’d say we were halfway through the mission when discord disconnected our point man from voice chat. Perfect timing as he had the fog repelled and we were in a large room full of fog. With our communication, broken things declined very quickly. Before we knew it enemies were alerted but we had no idea where they were coming from.

Communication is key.

 

GTFO: Getting Closer on Pathfinder

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We didn’t end up having as much time as we usually do on Saturday night for our group game. As a result, we only had time for two mission attempts.  We almost finished Pathfinder last week so it seemed like the obvious choice. The one downside is Pathfinder is a long mission. A run typically takes 30-45 minutes depending on the spawns.

It started out really well. We got lucky with low spawns of sleepers in the first few rooms and lots of supplies. When you’re going into the first alarm door with 4 med-packs and full turret ammo, you start feeling pretty confident.

We tried a new strategy we tested out last week. Once we trigger the alarm, we have one person run into the room we think the horde will spawn in. That person then runs around the room holding as much aggro as they can while the other three chase the security circles to unlock the door.

This seems to work as long as the room is big enough and you guess the correct door most of them will come out of. Even holding off a room of enemies for an extra 30 seconds buys the rest of the team a lot of time to unlock the door. The group of three can also defend much better from waves of enemies coming through one door than two.

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Our luck ran out when there were two back to back security doors in one room. When this happens, the group has two choices. Close all the doors to defend against the first border. Or  Leave a door or two open to save for the next security door. The first options gives you a lot of time to prepare for that first door but leaves you vulnerable on the second door with nothing to stop the enemies.  The second option makes both doors equally as hard.

We ended up using option two. You can place C-foam on the ground instead of the door which will freeze enemies for a short time when they enter it. Usually, we set a turret up next to these spots which make short work of the first few enemies. This part was a little dicey, we had one or two team members go down on the second security door but we held on.

After this lovely room, we needed to find some more supplies. The Bio tracker didn’t show many enemies in the surrounding rooms so we took our chances with scavenging. We a room that had a med-pack but also had two large, tanky enemies. We encountered this room last week as well so we knew how to run it.

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This particular room is pitch black so it’s best to throw glow sticks around it so the person stealing can see without a flashlight. I had the glow sticks, so I started throwing them around. Fun fact, when you run out of glow sticks you’re automatically switched back to your primary weapon. I didn’t know this and miss counted how many glow sticks I had. So while our stealthy friend was halfway into the room I shout an entire clip into the air on accident. As you can imagine, that woke the two big boys and we had to spend a good chunk of ammo taking those down.

After that, we moved to a part of the map none of us was familiar with. We cobbled together some more supplies, got lucky and found an ammo pack, and made our way to the objective.

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The objective in Pathfinder is to find a terminal and establish an uplink. To do this one person has to man the terminal and type in the passcode. What the person on the terminal sees is a three-character code. The rest of the group seeing a lot of three-character codes with a corresponding 4 letter word. So the person on the computer reads out what they see and the other members have to quickly find the code they were just read and read out the 4 letter word. Once it’s typed in a new code appears. I found this to be a really cool group mechanic except for one thing…While all of this is going on, you also have to fight off very angry enemies.

We must have gotten the worst spawn for the terminal imaginable. It was a very tiny hallway room with two doors on either side. We set up turrets outside the doors, C-foamed each door and the area in front of the turrets, and sent our runner out to collect as much aggro as possible.  This worked until it didn’t

We were on the last code. We had done a great job reading off codes while fending off enemies. We were in the home stretch when the first door broke. There was an intense firefight and then we heard our man on the terminal say “Last Code!” He read out his number we read out our word and then we heard “Uplink failed. Re-enter the code” He had read us the wrong code and we had given him the wrong word.

This was when the second door broke. Everyone was downed.

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So close.

GTFO: We Were So Close…Twice

 

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This is a 9 round alarm door and it’s horrifying.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Taken seconds before I was downed on our last run of Sacrifice

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.

Expedition Survived!

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Typically, Saturday nights are reserved for playing Warframe as a group. This week, everyone was in agreement that we needed a break from that. So instead, we spent the night trying our hand at the first expedition, “The Dig”, in GTFO.

The first few runs did not look promising. Mistimed melee attacks alerting all the enemies in the room. Forgetting to turn off flashlights and alerting everything in the room. Moving too fast, making to much noise, opening lockers at the wrong time. You guessed it: alerting all the enemies in the room. Ammo is very scarce so the less of it that you can use between the alarm doors, which spawn hordes of enemies, the better.

But we found our groove again after three runs or so. The objective of “The Dig” is to find two cargo containers and take them back to the extraction zone. Every time we’ve played, we’ve been consistent in getting the first container and bringing it back. The second container is behind another alarm door. This one spawns fewer enemies and only has one cycle of circles to stand in to disarm instead of 3 cycles. It’s easier mechanically but we also had less ammo for our guns and our turrets going in.

After a few more runs we were able to get the second door open with ammo to spare. We grabbed the cargo and took it back. Which then triggered a scan and another horde. We were expecting this but our ammo reserves were low. We put up a good fight but with 50% of the scan completed, we were all downed.

So close!

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We did complete “The Dig” around 10pm last night. About 3 hours after our first attempt. We learned a lot last night about appropriate load-outs and using our tools more effectively.

  • The Bio Tracker is essential. I had been taking the mine launcher because the few times I had taken the Bio Tracker I didn’t see the use of it. It shows you how many enemies are in the room and will show you the location of moving enemy types like Scouts. But that’s not all. If you hold the left click it will scan and mark all moving targets. Helpful for tracking the movement of scouts and extremely helpful for the alarm hordes. Marking enemies puts a little red triangle on top of their heads making it much easier to hit enemies in dark rooms. Plus, you can mark enemies before they enter the room so the group knows what door their about to break down. This allows for additional set up time.
  • C-Foam is not only good for reinforcing doors but if it’s shot on the ground enemies will be stuck for a substantial amount of time. Our newest strategy is to C-foam one or two doors in an alarm room and then c-foam the ground near our turrets.
  • Scouts can be killed but you better do it quickly before they start their own alarm and alert everything in the room and beyond.  We try to kill as many sleepers in a room with a scout before taking it out because the gunshots will wake them. Sometimes it’s better to wake up a few sleepers than have the Scout set off an alarm. A few well-timed revolver shots from a couple teammates will down it. I’m curious to see how many shots it would take with the sniper. That’s something we’ll try next time we play.
  • Communication is key. GTFO will test your group’s communication skills and I’d say we’re getting better at this. We now formulate a plan for each room and the Bio Scanner makes it easier to communicate to the group where enemies are in dark rooms.

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Now that “The Dig” is complete we unlocked 4 more expeditions. I’m not sure if we have to complete all of them to unlock the next tier. At least we’ll have some variety now!

 

GTFO or Trying to At least

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We’ve been experimenting with GTFO this weekend. And by experimenting I mean dying over and over and over again. But hey, losing with your friends is better than losing by yourself, you always have someone to blame!

With approximately 4 hours of gameplay under my belt here’s what I can tell you. GTFO is a tough as nails, early access, co-op, survival shooter. It’s a game scaled with 4 players in mind and doesn’t appear to scale down if you have a group of less than 4. The objective of the first “Rundown” at least is to get cargo and bring it to extraction. Along the way, you’ll run into a menagerie of nightmare creatures that make equally horrifying noises.

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The first experience I had with the game was a 2 person Co-Op run with Greg. We were able to clear the rooms with enemies effectively after some time learning how everything works. We ran into enemies called sleepers that wake up and attack if they detect you. We quickly found that the easiest way to deal with these was to sneak up with a melee weapon and bash them in the head.

The big problem we faced as a duo was the alarm door. We were tasked with finding a key for this door first in the various rooms of the first area. Once found, inserting it into the door triggers a blaring alarm that starts spawning enemies to attack. While the horde is attacking there are circles on the floor you need to run and stand in to turn off the alarm. More often than not these were in the middle of the enemies which makes it challenging to stay in one place for the 10 or so seconds required. We were able to get to this point every run but couldn’t get past this stage. Now, I’ll admit that I do not have the best aim. Perhaps if I was better at shooters we would have done better as a two-man team but I just don’t have the skill.

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On Saturday we did a few runs as a three-man team. The extra gun helps a lot and these runs went a lot better. We discovered that the C-Foam launcher is a must-have because it reinforces closed doors which makes it harder for enemies to get through. This paired with the sentry turret and mine launcher lead us closer to opening the door. I found that while I’m not the best shot I can run around to the circles while my teammates kept the enemies off me. With a little practice, I think this is absolutely doable with 3 people.

On our final run that night we managed to get the door open. We all rushed through it assuming it would close behind us. It didn’t which lead to us getting mauled by the remaining alarm enemies and waking up the enemies in the next room. Good times.

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We roped one more friend into getting the game so we could play with a group of 4. Again the extra tools and guns help a lot with the alarm doors. Getting past the room enemies is a little harder since 4 people have to manage to not be detected by enemies while they take them out. Multiple times when we played as a group of 4 we got past the first alarm door and made it to the second area. The main issue we were running into was ammo and the lack of ammo refills. This is a game where every shot counts and if you’re out of ammo there’s not much you can do.

I’m looking forward to playing this more with our 4 man group and seeing what else the game has to offer. There’s no character progression or unlocks but the gameplay and atmosphere keep each run engaging and intense  From the looks of it, there are multiple rundowns to complete and we’ve spent 4 hours in the first 2 areas of the first rundown. Something tells me we’re going to have a lot of game time here.