This sounds like a bizarre question, so let me explain. Time and again on this forum I read anguished complaints about the ‘Difficulty Spike’ – the game seems to be progressing nicely, then suddenly you’re being swarmed by 20+ Crabbies with one-shot machine-guns, backed up by 4 or 5 Sirens all at once and at least 2 Chirons blasting worms, goo or explosives all over you. From what I can glean here, this has something to do with the way the game reacts to how well you are playing.
Thing is, I’m over 40 hours in, playing on Heroic with a current ODI of 12% (down from a max of 14%): I’ve encountered Chirons, Sirens, one-shot Crabbies and I’ve just cleared out my first Lair: but I haven’t encountered anything like what’s being described - Yet. The most I’ve come across is a Lair with 5 Sirens appearing one at a time, which spawned at most 10-12 Crabbie/Tritons (with the obligatory Chiron being annoying in the background). And I’m wondering if it’s because of the way I play this game.
You see, I play what I call ‘HonestMan’. It’s basically Ironman with backups. So I’ll do a backup save before every mission, in case it crashes the system, but then I’ll take the result no matter how bad it is. No Restarts, no Save Scumming, just take my punishment and move on.
I’ve broken that rule twice. I restarted one mission after exposing one of my favourite squaddies to a Crimson Bat (a rule/mechanic which if I’d known it existed, I would never have made that move). And I Restarted the Lair Mission twice – first after my Stealth Dude got Crimson Batted by the system and I bugged out the rest of my B Squad (the second attempt went so badly that I reverted to the backup and accepted the first result: Mission Failed but only 1 casualty). Then my A Team totally clusterf!d its first attempt and I decided to try again – Mission Accomplished with 1 KIA and 5 WIA.
So I don’t save scum; I pull out of missions that go pear-shaped, which means I have several ‘Failed’ missions on my log but only 4 dead squaddies so far; I refuse to ‘cheese it’ with things like Sniper Rage or infinitely jet-packing Heavies doped up on Dash and Rally; and I take all the punishment the Pandas dole out to me, suck it up and move on.
So here’s my question – does that mean that the dynamic difficulty system is treating me more kindly than someone who does all of the above?
Am I just lucky, do I have all that pain to look forward to, or am I and @Pr8Dator (who professes to play the same way I do and is experiencing the same ‘easy’ ride) doing something different to most players?
Seriously Julian, UV, anyone out there who might be reading this, I – and I suspect most of this community – would really like to know.