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[Brainstorm] Problems And Solutions-Survival


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Hello, trying out a different way to go about proposals and suggestions. This thread is meant to list any decent suggestions to improve the Survival mode experience. Let's keep the proposals constructive and the ideas flowing! Partial fixes and QOL improvements welcome! If you have a link to a thread that has a solution that has or hasn't already been said please post it below, I hope to make this a hub thread and link great ideas made by the community!


Things to keep in mind when thinking of a solution:

1)Keep it a challenge. Making survival missions a cakewalk the entire time and endlessly raining rewards might be wanted, but we need to keep this game a game and not a glorified arcade shooter.


2)Try to keep it simple. The less complex a proposal is the easier it is for others to understand and add to it, as well as making it easier for DE to implement. That being said, some problems don't have simple solutions.


3)Try to keep it within the current system. If you're solution involves using current game mechanics and little to no additions to the game it makes it all the better because it keeps it easy and quick for an already overburdened DE.


Life support Drop Rate

The big one. Specifically the personal life support drops not dropping enough, making the mission itself incredibly difficult to finish or downright impossible to extend.

How can we help those unlucky few while still making it a challenge?


1)Mod increasing---Either an aura or single mod (I like aura imho) that simply increases the chance of drop or the amount of life support restored per pack (similar to scavenger aura).


2)Dynamic drop table---Simply, if you have not picked up a life support drop the higher the chance is of one dropping.


3)"Streak" multiplier---If you pick up a bunch of life support drops at once then each concurrent pick up will add slightly more than the base amount. i.e. I pick up 3 packs at once, the 2nd pack gives 1.2x the air, 3rd pack gives 1.25x etc....as long as they are picked up relatively close to one another. Has the side effect of rewarding players who stand their ground and wait till the last second.


4)Lockdown---Give the choice of opening and/or closing doors via hack panels. The more locked rooms there are the less oxygen will deplete, but the less enemies will spawn. While a bit more complicated this solution gives the most player control over the oxygen mechanic so far.



Enemy Spawn Rate (Not Enough)

There are many causes of this, from tile sets to the tiles themselves, AI navigation, faction specific bugs, terrain bugs etc. No one solution will fix this, but that's where brainstorming comes in!

How can we improve spawn rates? Spawn locations?


1)Take out elevators---Elevator rooms/tiles naturally have a comparatively small amount of spawns (split between two floors) and effectively split the level. They cut-off allies and mess with mob AI. In general I don't see any actual benefit to keeping them in.


2)Despawn/Spawn Transfer---Simply put, once all players are a certain number of tiles away from an enemy it will despawn and spawn again nearby. This has been a commonly proposed solution for mobs getting stuck and other mission spawn problems as well.


Lotus Drops

The lotus drops become a necessary mechanic unless a run is being very generous with the enemy drops. Their existence as a whole has been argues, but these are a necessity because it keeps the group moving and prevents permanent entrenching.

How can we improve the drops? How can we make them more significant?


1) Less large rooms---Can also be described as adding more small rooms, this will give less spaced out but more Lotus drop locations. This only shaves off a few seconds when running around, but it makes the cross-map runs for the last lotus drop less painful by making the entire level smaller overall.




​Repetitiveness: Same enemies. Same gameplay

Aside from the naturally increasing stats on enemies that spawn there is very little change in Survival gameplay as the mission progresses and has been a talking point in survival posts for awhile. While not a pressing issue because it doesn't really come into play unless you're shooting for a leader board spot or something, getting ideas out for this can only help! This a shared problem with Defense missions.

How can we keep survival/defense entertaining? Even when we're 30 minutes in?


1) Enemy AI increase---This has been wanted for a while now, especially more and more "intelligent" enemies at you   as the mission continues. Provoking different gameplay and bringing in new threats from the same units.



2) New units---The idea of bringing in new units as the level progresses has been discussed fairly often, feel free to     post unit ideas to the gameplay forums. Post the link on a reply though!


3)Mini-boss---At either set or random intervals a mega-heavy or new super unit appears and will require a lot of         attention to take down. This is also a popular idea that has been proposed off and on. If anyone has a few ideas for survival specific mini-bosses, make a thread and post the link, I will happily add the link here :)



A problem unique to survival, where without proper communication it's hard for a PUG group to agree on when to leave.

How can we make it easier for PUG groups to agree on a departure point?

1) Lull point---Taking a page out of Defense's book, there can be a brief portion of time as little as 10 seconds. This gives a moment for easy communication as well as an indicator for a conscious choice to leave or stay.



Thank you for reading, that's all I have for now, hopefully will add more. Would love more ideas from you guys! If I am unclear about any solution ideas be sure to say something, I will happily try to clarify. If you would like to see similar posts like this for Defense, Exterminate, Rescue or other missions upvote this one!

Edited by ArmaMalum
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"Enemy AI increase" is one of those things that we as players can just throw around without ever considering how much work it actually takes.


It's kind of like saying "Make the game better" or "Make more tiles for the levels."

Having dabbled in programming I personally can say I have no bloody idea how to program decent AI and I appreciate how hard it is. It's a popular proposal and I'd rather have it in the OP instead of being suggested several times. The link that is right there with it is a thread for behavioral suggestions. While it's not the programming required, it's a step farther than just throwing it out.

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I like the idea of a dynamic drop rate on packs.

Regarding enemy spawning and lotus drops, I think these could both be addressed with a change to how maps are generated. I find there are three general classifications of survival maps: linear, branching and ring.

Linear maps are probably the worst sort as your team gets separated, and spawns/drops get strung out and diluted.

Branching maps are better (so long as they arent also linear) but can be a bit confusing.

Ring maps are the best as you (generally) keep going round and round and always end up meeting teammates, enemy spawns and drops.

I think survival maps should be seeded as rings with random shapes and branching elements (maybe even figure-8 shapes or more complicated loop shapes). I do not know how feasible this would be, but I think it would make the whole experience better.

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let players leave when they want to in survival. people want to play until different times in pub games so i usually end up afking at extraction waiting for people to finish

I knew I was forgetting another sore point, although my personal opinion is that it's not too much of a problem it IS a frequent complaint and I'll put it up.

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I like the idea of minibosses to spice Survival level up. I'd take that idea further and make it into a random event. Give events a small chance to occur every X minutes.


  • Random set of rooms enter Lockdown: Each individual room must be separately unlocked.
  • Miniboss spawn: Spawn a group of enemies 10 levels above the current average enemy level.
  • Different enemy faction: A small, non-respawning group of a different faction rolls in causing chaos and infighting.
  • Something hilarious: Every spawn for the next 60 seconds is a rollermine, someone left the Desert Skate pen unlocked, Lotus accidentally teleports in a cryopod, next air canister opened drops a bunch of credits for some reason, opening lockers releases a bunch of oxygen, etc.
  • Hull breach: 10% of the remaining oxygen is depleted and all enemies lose their shields/some health.
  • Tactical retreat: All enemies attempt to move to and defend a specific tile for a short duration.


These are just a few dumb examples but they'd add some more flavor to what's a pretty straightforward mission right now.

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just give us back our survival mode from the event...


1)Life support Drop Rate


2)Enemy Spawn Rate (Not Enough)


3)Lotus Drops

will be a fix for #2 for sure... since the map itself is the defense map tile.

as for LS, keep the rate of lotus LS ... but spread it around the map. as the current defense map tile is much bigger now.

as for LS cap, i'm just speachless :D

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