Author Topic: Game difficulty seems higher than normal when playing in a full Squad  (Read 5937 times)

Nemo

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I've had some odd experiences with the game difficulty recently when playing with friends. Simply put, the AI difficulty seemed quite a bit higher than what the end game results screen showed. This might be due to my MMR being a lot higher than my friends' MMR, which perhaps causes the game to not average out the difficulty properly. My MMR is at 75 right now, and I think the friends I was playing with had an MMR around the high 30s to low 40s range.

I played two matches on In Shock, one with a 4 man squad, and another with a 3 man squad. The latter match was also a mentor match, with a level one player who didn't really know what he was doing. When I was with the 4 man squad, the difficulty was 48%, and with the 3 man squad, it was 43%. Regardless, I felt the difficulty was a little harder than what the game showed. 5th Council enemies needed two 80 damage Strikes to go down, whereas it usually takes one 80 damage Strike in my typical experience with them, playing with randoms in the 40-50% difficulty range. Enemy melee damage was 27, through 50% damage reduction, which seems a little too high for this particular difficulty range.

Moreover, playing with my Ignis Harec, I wasn't able to kill regular 5th Council enemies in one headshot. I've played matches around the 55% range and was still able to kill regular enemies in one headshot, so it seemed strange to me. Perhaps this is just a peculiarity with the In Shock mission.

There was a 50% difficulty match on A Low Blow which seemed a lot harder than it should have been, with enemies having boosted health and damage, and spawning more often. It wasn't too hard for me, but my friends were having a tough time dealing with the AI, especially during the first section. The Elite Captains were doing about 120-130 damage with their incendiary pistols, which seems a little too much for 50% difficulty. Rocket troopers were also downing teammates in one shot, which seemed to surprise them. Not quite sure how much damage they were doing though. They usually down anyone in one hit that's not 5th Council at the difficulties I'm used to.

Another match was with a few different players, but was a 4 man squad, playing A Weapon from the Past at 57% difficulty. In that match, enemies also were dealing more damage than I would expect, and they had more health too. The spawn rate of enemies was also quite high on both sections, whereas usually there's a bit of a gap between one group spawning and the next. This was most noticeable during the first section, where there was a constant influx of dropships; sometimes two at once. Additionally, rather than there being 4-5 enemies per dropship, it was usually around 6-8 enemies.

I played with another group of friends whose MMR was around the 60% range, and whilst the match difficulty was around 65% difficulty, the actual difficulty was a lot higher. I've played matches in the 60-75% range with friends in a full squad during the Hades update, and I've never experienced enemies being this tough at that difficulty.

Regular 5th Council enemies had about 200 health, Wardogs had a little over 300 health, Hades soldiers had about 500. The mine layers on White Noise and Mind Over Matter had around 300-400 health, and their mines were more durable than usual, perhaps around 250 health. Enemy melee damage was around 45-50, through 50% damage reduction. Riflemen had very high ranged damage, something like 30-40 damage per rifle bullet at medium ranges, with a higher fire rate. Hades and 5th Council shotgunners would one shot wound people that weren't Hades or 5th Council characters, as they were doing about 130 damage at close range. Wardog shotgunners could down a 5th Council character in three shots at close-medium range. Elites also had a lot more health than usual, with the Hades Brutes on Hanging by a Thread having about 700-800 health, whilst also moving faster. Enemies were also more resistant to push effects, as they didn't seem to get pushed as far as usual.

It was difficult to clear enemies quickly whilst going for objectives, as their high health and damage meant we had to play pretty conservatively. There aren't very many characters that can really output that much damage to clear enemies fast enough. We mostly just had to camp around Valeria's E.R. Bridge and heal up from that whilst picking enemies off, as a single rifleman could down a 5th Council character in a burst or two, and a whiffed Grapple or Strike against even one enemy was usually a death sentence.

I would say the enemies were doing a little more ranged damage than they do on Insane difficulty, whilst also having about two or three times more health. I don't really mind high damage enemies, but when they have high health too, it takes far too long to clear them, and the whole map drags out into an almost stalemate. This is despite having maxed out weapons with all the damage upgrades.

Even though we beat these maps, it took us a lot longer than usual and there were more deaths, so our scores and rewards weren't really all that great, which made the whole thing kind of pointless.

When I queue up on my own, and play with randoms, the matches don't seem quite as difficult, even when the difficulty level is roughly the same. Likewise, if I'm playing with one or two friends, rather than as as full squad, the difficulty doesn't seem too bad, even it's in the 50-60% range.

I would like to help introduce some newer players to the game, but it doesn't really make the best impression for them when the regular AI enemies are harder than usual. I generally have more fun playing with friends than with randoms, but it seems hard to do currently due to the difficulty spikes unless you reduce the teams' average MMR to the 40-50% range.

Anyway, has anyone else had similar experiences? I've mostly been playing with randoms in solo queue since the Spacelords update, so I don't have too many examples.

Level9Drow

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Yes, I think it's also map dependent. I noticed Hollow Ones on In Shock are WAY different from Hollow Ones in any of the Council Apocalypse missions.

 I don't think the health of enemy AI should go up that much regardless of difficulty. I can understand damage, accuracy and speed, but not health.

The game punishes you for getting a higher MMR. They do this in the name of "challenge" but if you aren't rewarded for higher challenges, what's the point? Because of this I often lower my MMR through peaceful antag games I do. It's best to keep it hovering at around 40% to 45% where you can get a 9 point score and get more rewards without being too low as to get new players throw the game. There really is no incentive to get high MMR. If you get an antag you will also have a more than likely chance that the antag will have a significantly lower MMR than you and so the AI will be extraordinarily strong, so strong that the antag doesn't even have to spawn to win the game. It's just generally a good idea to keep MMR in mid range. You have to throw, surrender, lose games on purpose, but this is the system that we have to work with, and it punishes players who get a higher MMR.

Nemo

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Yes, I think it's also map dependent. I noticed Hollow Ones on In Shock are WAY different from Hollow Ones in any of the Council Apocalypse missions.

 I don't think the health of enemy AI should go up that much regardless of difficulty. I can understand damage, accuracy and speed, but not health.

The game punishes you for getting a higher MMR. They do this in the name of "challenge" but if you aren't rewarded for higher challenges, what's the point? Because of this I often lower my MMR through peaceful antag games I do. It's best to keep it hovering at around 40% to 45% where you can get a 9 point score and get more rewards without being too low as to get new players throw the game. There really is no incentive to get high MMR. If you get an antag you will also have a more than likely chance that the antag will have a significantly lower MMR than you and so the AI will be extraordinarily strong, so strong that the antag doesn't even have to spawn to win the game. It's just generally a good idea to keep MMR in mid range. You have to throw, surrender, lose games on purpose, but this is the system that we have to work with, and it punishes players who get a higher MMR.

Yeah, I know. High MMR is a bit pointless really. I'm just rather stubborn.

What I'm trying to say in this topic though, is that the difficulty of the matches is a lot higher when in a squad than when I'm playing with randoms.

Hence, a 50% difficulty match with randoms is a lot easier than a 50% difficulty match when I'm in a full squad of friends, as the enemies have less health and deal less damage in the former case, rather than the latter.

Either the game makes it harder when you're in a squad, or it's some sort of a bug.

Level9Drow

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Yea I've noticed that to and had quite a few head scratch moments. Being higher level you get kind of accustom to difficulty levels.

LordDraco3

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last night we had 9 deaths in the first part of HBaT, before Lycus was rescued, with a 50% difficulty match. 3 in squad, 1 random level 13. I died 3 times, personally, as Alicia. First time was because I took a shotgun to the face to the tune of 125 damage.... other 2 were because I went to melee, and they rolled and killed me before I could recover. At one point I was upstairs in a corner, and below me looked like at least 15 guys curb stomping our newbie, it looked like a Commander had called in an order!! Reminder: THIS WAS ALL BEFORE LYCUS WAS EVEN RESCUED.

Things definitely feel harder than before. Either due to AI, damage, or both. Hard to put my finger on it.

Also ran Mind Over Matter twice with a full squad, roughly 55% difficulty. Died over 30 times and 25+ minutes BOTH games.

Level9Drow

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They need to make up their minds with the difficulty scores. A certain difficulty score should express a single consistent difficulty that should change. A 45% difficulty should be the same wether you are one single person with randoms in solo queue or with a 4 squad. The values should be the same, there should be no hidden difficulties.

If MSE want the game to be 10% to 20% harder with a squad it should say this at the end so people know WHY it was harder. Something like; "3 man Squad bonus: +15% difficulty" to be seen at the end. So players can make educated choices about how they progress in the game. Some may not mind this and grow to expect it, others, like me, will lower MMR when in a squad or just know to roll solo if the game punishes squad play. Weird how they would punish squad play though. why would anyone do this?

I think the reason is so it draws out the grind. If squads team up their consecutive successes raising their average group MMR may not gate them enough and so MSE penalizes a squad with an additional hidden difficulty to ensure they are less likely to success with higher scores in order to slow and gate progress. They make it hidden, because they obviously know people would feel they are being punished for making a squad and they don't want that, which means they know it's dubious.

I really hope I'm wrong about this. But with this decades gamin companies and their shady practices from EA and Acta-Blizz with their gambling for minors for profit to the wave of Battle Arenas charging people for what amounts to a basic stripped down game two guys can make in their garage you never know.

Nemo

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last night we had 9 deaths in the first part of HBaT, before Lycus was rescued, with a 50% difficulty match. 3 in squad, 1 random level 13. I died 3 times, personally, as Alicia. First time was because I took a shotgun to the face to the tune of 125 damage.... other 2 were because I went to melee, and they rolled and killed me before I could recover. At one point I was upstairs in a corner, and below me looked like at least 15 guys curb stomping our newbie, it looked like a Commander had called in an order!! Reminder: THIS WAS ALL BEFORE LYCUS WAS EVEN RESCUED.

Things definitely feel harder than before. Either due to AI, damage, or both. Hard to put my finger on it.

Also ran Mind Over Matter twice with a full squad, roughly 55% difficulty. Died over 30 times and 25+ minutes BOTH games.

We did Hanging by a Thread and Mind Over Matter at around 65% difficulty as a 4 man squad. On Hanging, Lycus almost died after about 10 seconds of sustained fire from the machine guns, so we really had to focus on stopping any stray enemies from getting to them. This was an addition to fending Hades troops that had around 550 health. I was playing Magnet Ayana at the time, and my regular mines were doing about 100 damage, with criticals being about 300-320. Even so, I saw one Hades guy run through one critical mine and two regular ones and he just kept on trucking. Wardogs had a little over 300 health, as they could eat a critical mine without dying. Their ranged and melee damage was very high, with a Hades shotgunner wounding me from full health in one shot at close range. We also had only 24 seconds to reach the extraction point at the end, so we basically just bum rushed our way there. At least I got a Versatile after all those shenanigans.

On Mind Over Matter, we were just camping in a corner under Valeria's E.R. Bridge and healing from that, fending off enemies, and shooting at the boss whenever it made a pass. We couldn't really do anything special during the test phases, as the enemies would kill people very quickly. It did take a little while, but we did it without too many deaths. However, the strategy required a relatively specific character, card, weapon and team setup, which I don't think is something the developer really intends people to do.


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They need to make up their minds with the difficulty scores. A certain difficulty score should express a single consistent difficulty that should change. A 45% difficulty should be the same wether you are one single person with randoms in solo queue or with a 4 squad. The values should be the same, there should be no hidden difficulties.

On the topic of inconsistent difficulty, I had two matches on Hanging by a Thread recently. Both matches were at 34% difficulty, with the first being a Mentor match, and the second, a non-Mentor one. However, the second match had slightly tougher enemies despite being the 'same' difficulty.

The levels of the players on the first match, aside from myself, were below level 10, and with one level 1. The levels of the players on the second match were around 20-25.   

I was playing Konstantin in both cases, and I could tell that the enemies in the second match were taking more hits before they died than the ones on the first. The enemy damage on the second match was also slightly higher. It was very strange.

I think the only thing that could explain it, is that the game accounts for player levels when it comes to the difficulty scaling. This could explain why high level, high MMR players are having much harder matches when grouped up, as the difficulty scaling could be affected by both player levels and MMR.

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I think the reason is so it draws out the grind. If squads team up their consecutive successes raising their average group MMR may not gate them enough and so MSE penalizes a squad with an additional hidden difficulty to ensure they are less likely to success with higher scores in order to slow and gate progress. They make it hidden, because they obviously know people would feel they are being punished for making a squad and they don't want that, which means they know it's dubious.

I'd like to think that this is an error, rather than anything malicious. As it stands, players can always game the MMR system by just making suicide squads, as they've done since the Hades update. I'm sure the developers must know that people are doing that, since they have match data and such.

DARKWIZARD999

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No, Mercury Steam Wizards. Let the power flow through you. Let the AI become even more advanced like in FEAR 1. Let them aggro, flank, be accurate, and NASTY. Just keep the mob numbers from getting ridiculous. Its so refreshing that this isn't a horde shooter full of weak mooks. I want to feel powerful, but challenged. Once you bring the cosmetics, and do so heavily, the whales will come. Consider making the first stages of Campaigns easier to draw them in, then increase. It's a delicious addition this "AI" so keep it up! SO SAYS THE DARK WIZZZZZARD!

Deathprize

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The current issue is not how they act but the fact loads get spawned in that bum rush you. They also do huge amounts of damage and are bullet sponges. That isn't tactics, it would be better if they used tactics rather than what is happening now.

Level9Drow

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I wish I could get a Hollow One energy Rifle, the enemy AI weapons are so ridiculously powerful. If we had the same weapon it would be a different story.

reaperofsorrows7

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No, Mercury Steam Wizards. Let the power flow through you. Let the AI become even more advanced like in FEAR 1. Let them aggro, flank, be accurate, and NASTY. Just keep the mob numbers from getting ridiculous. Its so refreshing that this isn't a horde shooter full of weak mooks. I want to feel powerful, but challenged. Once you bring the cosmetics, and do so heavily, the whales will come. Consider making the first stages of Campaigns easier to draw them in, then increase. It's a delicious addition this "AI" so keep it up! SO SAYS THE DARK WIZZZZZARD!

On the difficulty aspect the early campaigns are easy as they dont require as many mechanics as missions such as mind over matter or white noise. You don't require as much as these missions for the alien myth campaign at least in my experience. Of course that is if you ignore MMR.

Eikazuya

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I was around lvl 55 and matched with 100+ player. The difficulty was around 45%. The AI shot me and I was on the verge of death. They are also very hard to kill. The whole game, I was hiding to not waste lives and hoping high level player to carry me. Most of my guns are non-upgraded default guns so deals potato damage to AI. The game frustrates me a lot. I am only here because of characters.

MSE_TENKA

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Hi everyone!

This is a very intresting topic. We are currently looking into several threads in the forum discussing this issue in diferent forms. I would like to let you know that we are very thankful for your feedback and we are studing how to best tackle this topic.

Cheers!

Level9Drow

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Me and a few other GOOD players made a 4 man squad just now. We went through and BARELY beat Hanging by a Thread. The AI were SOLOING me and I am level 300+. The Elits would dodge my punch then ONE SHOT me with their shot gund then grab and pound my face. Guess what the difficulty was? 46% it said. I've been in 46% missions before, many MANY times before, and this wasn't 46%. This felt like 65%. We went to In Shock after that. We got anihalated. In Shock, baby missions that don't require Aleph. We were on our third survive and they had us pinned in the spawn. Not an antag, enemy AI that shot me for 143 point of damage in a single shot, The Hollow ones. I tilted, the others were demoralized. I didn't get mad at them. I told them, "I'm done. We won't even be properly rewarded for this if we win. This is a waste of my time." They lamented their feeling as well. We all just AFKed as the Hollow Ones killed us in SECONDS. I said "Fuck this game!" and we all brok group. I saw them all log off the game and go and play other games instead.

Here's the problem, we are punished for making squads with a hidden difficulty of 15 to 20% extra difficulty. Whish is bad enough, but if we win, we aren't actually REWARDED for this extra hidden difficulty. The alternative is to go solo so the difficulties are actually honestly what they are, but then get Mentor matches where you lose anyways.

Unless MSE addresses this, I honeslty believe this is a devious and deceptive gating mechanic. Well it's not working, it's pissing people off. Getting people to play more doesn't involve making super punishing games and gating progress of ALREADY paltry rewards behind hidden difficulty mechanics that reduce these low rewards even more.

So if you want to progess in this game, go solo and pray for no Mentor matchs and antagonists. Ot play antagonists and take advantage of the feast of new players coming in and enjoy it now, because they WILL NOT stay because you just steam rolled them. Or you can get your group of freinds and hit In Shock and surrender about 5 times to lowe all your MMR to about 20% or lower. Then the system will will add that 20% hidden difficulty and you will only have a game that is 40% but only be rewarded for a 20% game.

This experience did harm to our group and we will most likely never group again. these are players i've grouped with a lot in the past. We won't any more because MSE punishes you for grouping with a hidden difficulty that does not reward you for it. I will never group again because of this. I have to solo to grind faction in a never ending attempt to get Rare Stroma, for more than a month now. I hope I don't get burned too bad with the mentor situation or I will no longeer be able to progress in a reasonable manner in this game and will be pushed away from it.

They need to fix this ASAP.

Nemo

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Hi everyone!

This is a very intresting topic. We are currently looking into several threads in the forum discussing this issue in diferent forms. I would like to let you know that we are very thankful for your feedback and we are studing how to best tackle this topic.

Cheers!

Thanks for looking into it.

I played a 60% difficulty match with randoms recently, and whilst it was still a little tough, it was much easier than playing in a Squad.

I haven't really been grouping up with people as of late, so hopefully this issue can get a fix soon.