…or how i managed to beat an 8-lvl deep ice lab in the current (1-week) experimental version.
basically my observations regarding labs (hopefully will help people to beat them and the devs to balance them):
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- Skitterbots (as already observed) are extremely dangerous in the numbers encountered. By always hitting (no dodging) your torso, and hitting very quickly, it is very easy to die if you don’t engage them long range.
And long range engagements are hard unless you have high night vision or some other non-flashlight way to look a bit farther.
Ways to deal with them other than long range bow/xbow/rifle:
a. Uncanny dodge CBM (quite useful for turrets and bio-operators also)
b. Dielectric capacitance CBM (imo the best solution)
c. Emp grenades (impossible to get enough grenades for a whole lab)
- Bio-Operators are the second threat, since they can be highly dangerous. Most players should be able to kill them 1v1, if reasonably strong, but the problem is that they tend to be in the midst of skitterbots, manhacks, zombie scientists, and hazmat zombies.
The good part is that they glow in the dark, so they are long-range killable, unless they were hiding behind a door, or they somehow sense you.
In that case, i fight them with the uncanny dodge CMB on, or only on chokepoints, where 1v1 i get them with my fire axe/ zweihaender. Careful of skitterbots filling the gap once they die though!
Turrets. The third threat is well known, ever present and as dangerous as ever, with the lowered armors. Fight them long-range as you can see them before they see you. Careful when stepping into unknown rooms, as they could be lurking in the side and 1-shot you.
The rest is easy: Manhacks glow in the dark, are blockable and dodgable and low dmg, so just snipe them. Zed scientists are slightly more dangerous, i think the beam they shoot is irradiating, so have a way to treat yourself after the lab, and pick them with your weapon&way of choice. Hazmat zeds and globs are a nuisance only.
The problem is that all these things are all spawning near the entrance/stairs of a floor. One has to fight large swarms of mixed groups all at once.
Otoh, you learn about the large spawn’s existence by listening to the sounds of a room, and of the turrets bc the walls of the room ajacent to theirs are ‘glowing’ (they are barely visible from dark rooms)
So one can avoid them/be prepared for them.
The good stuff: So many high-lvl spawns mean rewards have skyrocketed. A successful lab will make a normal char into an unbeatable cyborg master with great big stores of energy to boot, as CBM’s are dropped by the 100’s and bio-operetors even drop rare cbm’s.
IMO this is broken. The rewards are too many, too quickly, as is the difficulty.
My way of tackling all this together: When just entering, and assuming no great CBM’S/mutations, i go extremely carefully.
Equipment: 1 emp grenade, a great melee weapon and the skill to use it well enough to melee bio-operators, a pneumatic bolt driver with a large stock of bolts and the best non-encumbering armor you can craft/find. I had torso enc 1, and i guess that up to 2 is ok when entering (when you can easily melee a bio-operator with your current char’s enc, should be fine)
Strategy: Super cautious until i get CBM’s: try to snipe everything you can when entering prioritizing skitterbots and bio-operators, unless something is at melee distance. Then switch to melee and kill them ASAP, again with same priorities.
Fall back if torso hp is at 50% and heal. Take it slow.
After uncanny dodge, dielectric capacitance and the power to sustain them enough to clear rooms, it gets slightly easier:
Use these intelligently, and combine it with the previous strategy to slowly clear the hordes and buff yourself to insane lvl’s in the process with the bionics aquired.
Always remember that it is still really easy to die if not very careful with turrets and using all your skills to deal with the threats.
- What about ice labs?
Ice labs are really hard with or without hordes. When the temp is -80oC, either you are in a lot of pain from the cold, or really encumbered, or usually, both. Thankfully the cbm’s still work, the internal climate CMB slightly helps, and the other ones can be the difference between life and death.
Hopefuly until lvl 4 where the cold is a real problem you’ll have really buffed yourself.
Around lvl5-6+, i try to avoid encounters, and fight with uncanny dodge+ranged in order to survive.
At lvl 7 it was ~ -120oC, the damn lab. I was trying to find the end room without opening the ‘monster rooms’ and i finally found stairs(!) leading a sheer drop down. Thank god i had a grappling hook, and the drop lead me to a totally enclosed end room with secubots and rare CBM’s. The rewards where nothing special, considering the CMB’s i had already aquired from bio-operators, And the secu-bots are snipable.
a. labs (and ice labs even more so) are dangerous. One has to be very careful to clear even one floor.
b. the rewards are amazingly good. spoiling the game in truth as a survivor will be almost unbeatable after clearing 1-2 labs.
c. i propose less spawns: Keep the skitterbots as they aren’t dropping any special loot, but definitely half the numbers of bio-operators and scientists. Or make some floors to not spawn anything to also lull the player into a sense of security.
Maybe even have the initial floor guarded by zombie soldiers, the middle ones guarded mainly by skitterbots, and only the final ones by the current lethal/broken-rewards mix.
PS. After having being lost one too many times around floor4. i had to actually make charts in paper of the lab in order to finally solve it. It was great fun, in retrospect. It must have taken me about 30 in-game days to finally beat the lab.
How about giving the player a way to make more detailed maps (and notes on those maps)?
Having a way to view the exact layout (e.g in a pda) with no darkness, after having passed from there once, would make labs that much less annoying (but not less hard or less fun)
PPS. Also we could make a permanent thread about people’s tactics for the new labs. it’d be quite useful i guess