Be friendly to newbies: Save them from mix-maxxed "Normal" outposts

noggieB Alpha Surveyor Posts: 63
edited February 12 in Feedback

Motivation: My friend is a new player, and he is struggling to get through even Normal outposts.

Problem: The game estimates whether a base is Normal, Dangerous or Brutal, but the reality can only be found out when it is raided. As a builder, I want to maximize kills. So I add as many traps as I can, until the outpost turns Dangerous, then I remove one trap, to make it Normal.

(OLD) Suggested solution: If an outpost makes a lot of kills, or gets a lot of Brutal accolades, then bump its stats, so it will move from Normal to Hard category, or from Hard to Brutal category. This way, Normal outposts really will have Normal difficulty, and my friend won't give up. (I will also encourage him to keep practicing!)

UPDATE: Loys makes excellent points that automatically bumping up an outpost will be bad for the builder, and there will always be new min-maxxed outposts to farm newbs. Therefore I propose instead this alternative solution (from my comment below):

  • Add (or automatically detect) some newb-friendly outposts, and offer these outposts to players who are just making their first raid, or who have made a few attempts but are still struggling to complete a raid.

(You could make the rewards smaller for such outposts, but I guess that's not so important.)

Post edited by noggieB on


  • noggieB
    noggieB Alpha Surveyor Posts: 63

    Little update about my friend: I convinced him to keep trying, and he eventually got the skill to be able to beat the Normal level outposts. However, there was a risk that he was going to uninstall!

    I was thinking how the game might be able to prevent putting off the new players. Perhaps:

    • It the game detects a new player is failing a lot, and unable to survive any of the outposts they play, then present them with some known easy outposts.

    A few easy wins might give them time to learn the basic mechanics, and prepare them for the tougher challenges ahead.

    For some extra context, my friend didn't know he could destroy the traps with the sword, didn't know the sword would also lunge, and didn't know which key to press for the grapple! Now he knows these things, and is happily fighting his way through some outposts.

  • Hodderfodder
    Hodderfodder Member Posts: 163

    I found this on the Steam community, can't figure out how to link to it. ANyways:

    I finally found what makes it tick! after hours of testing in a bare outpost and trying different things i stumbled on how it determines normal, dangerous and brutal.

    Ever thought why you had a normal outpost and decided to move a spiked trap somewhere else thinking it be better there than here? but to your amazement your base turns dangerous. People thought it was buggy.. so did i... but i found out why it does.

    There is some sort of point system before it reaches a threshold turning the difficulty up, depending how far or close the traps are to the main path. It costs the most on the path then reduce by half (almost) 1 block away then reduce again in half 2 blocks away then stays the same no matter how far.

    For example: You can put down 8 Boltshots Traps on the main path to active normal then 25 to get dangerous and 50 for brutal. However it takes 15 Boltshot Traps 1 block away for normal and 50 to get dangerous and 100 for brutal. Then finaly 30 Boltshot Traps 2 blocks away and well... you get the gist now.

    If confused, here's the short version.

    Boltshot traps take (below) in order to reach difficulty:

    Normal > Danger > Brutal in that order

    On path: 8 > 25 > 50

    1 block: 15 > 50 > 100

    2 Block: 30 > 100 > 200

    Each trap that has the same CAP ( apart from the cube traps ) cost about the same in points

    In short for all traps, on main path

    Normal > Danger > Brutal in that order.

    10 Cap traps:

    Corrosive: 69 > triple it? > then double it? (cba testing to the rest of it.. deal wit it! xD)

    Holocube: 6 > 18 > 36

    30 Cap traps:

    Impaler / Iron Claw: 13 > 42 > 84

    50 Cap traps:

    Boltshot / Death Piston: 8 > 25 > 50

    Plasma Sentinal: 9 > 27 > 54

    70 Cap traps:

    Bomb Ejector / Incinerator: 6 - 18 - 36

    Then just double those figures for each block away from path.

    Edit: I forgot to put in that Upgrades on traps as well as guards also effect the threshold. Yet to fully test how much they effect it but unsure i'v i want to delve deep into that. Just a heads up.

    However Guards work little different, it isn't how close they are, rather how the SEE the path in a cone line of sight. which is 7 blocks range, you need 6 guards to ALL SEE the path to get normal, but if you block there line of sight you need 11 guards to get normal... even turning them to the side, back towards the path or slapping a block right in there face between the path and a guard works.

    In short for ALL guards to SEE path:

    Normal > Danger (20 is max so can't reach brutal)

    Enforcer / Warmongers: 6 > 20 ( when LOS is blocked it's 11 for Normal stays at 20 )

    Cannoneers 6 > 18 ( when view blocked it's 8 for Normal and ditto above ^)

    If you got guards only just block 1 of the 20 facing away from the path to keep it normal, but the more the line of sight the more traps you can put in.

    And yes Holocube blocks their view... so get creative!

    Edit: Normal blocks ADD NOTHING, can put as many as you want, it just uses up CAP.

    Edit 2: Patrol may look like it works if their view is blocked and making them turn around or move keeping it normal, however once you refresh the tick box it changes it to the next difficulty if it's near to the threshold.

    I now understand why i been seeing easy brutal maps because they mostly had all the traps on the main path.

    But yea, that's the gist of it, wouldn't say it's fully solved as mixing traps require more depth which am not going to find out, i'll let others do that :D

    Spent like 8 hours on this but.. ENJOY! and You're Welcome! .... dammit now i got that song stuck in my head from Moana.


  • clownkrieger
    clownkrieger Member Posts: 121

    Yea i saw that as well, but that isnt helpful, on the contrary. People will just use that to minmax their bases to be as deadly as possible while still rated as normal to farm kills from newbs probably.

    Honestly i have a "normal" base as well that seems to be pretty deadly, although i do my best to ramp it up slowly and teach some lessons on the way... but lets be bland, that base is laughable for a skilled player and nothing compared to some stuff out there. You cant take everyone at the hand and set up rules so newbs have an ez life - especially not in a game that is somewhat competitive after all...

  • Loys
    Loys Member Posts: 8

    Terrible solution if you ask me. I totally understand that some normal bases are hard for beginners, but that is how you learn the game. It would also not really solve your friends problem. There are constantly new bases made and the old ones would need some time to be adjusted. So your friend would still constantly run into to hard maps. It also just punish creative and good base builders. Once your Base is "bumped" a tier higher you effectively lose all value since nobody will have a problem with a hard base that has "normal" limitations. The creator would've to update the map like 3-5 hours after publishing it to make it usable and now ask yourself how realistic that is since maps are only active for 1,5 days. Imagine someone even ran the mode where you lose "money" when someone raids your location. You would be poor after you slept 8 hours and check on the game. In the end it would just lead to worse and even cheaper maps to be build, because people are scared that their maps get randomly bumped a tier up.

    Considering this is the closed beta they will probably need a lot more data to optimize the difficulty recognition tool. They should optimize the recognition tool further in the future, because this is much more effective way to get better maps for your friend: That way it will detect more and more maps that are "to hard" to be considered normal.

  • noggieB
    noggieB Alpha Surveyor Posts: 63

    I agree with what you said Loys. My suggestoin was problematic! So I've updated my suggested solution (but kept the original so that your feedback still makes sense!)

    I think the difficulty-recognition algorithm is not easy to optimize. Because many traps use human inginuity and psychology. It would probably need to be a full A.I. trained on lots of data, to accurately judge the difficulty of an outpost.

    We should probably just accept that some maps will be significantly easier/harder than others in the same category, and we'll just have to live with that. For me, I don't really mind that. I just don't want the newbies to struggle so much that they quit.

    Having said that, this won't be a free-to-play game, so anyone who buys it will probably have the incentive to keep trying, longer than usual for F2P games (which really do need to optimise retention).

  • Hodderfodder
    Hodderfodder Member Posts: 163

    The downside is that higher difficulty bases get fewer raids. This may not be an issue when there's a lot of players.

  • Loys
    Loys Member Posts: 8

    Honestly your edit is a great idea if you ask me. They could make the first 10-20? normal outposts a player encounters made by the devs themselves. So they can tune the difficulty curve. Pretty much a prolonged tutorial. Start with a super easy one and make it a tiny bit harder each step. That way they could also show some creative ways to show and use the different traps/mobs. So people gradually learn when they start new.

  • Lastpenfighter
    Lastpenfighter Member Posts: 18

    I ran into some TOUGH outposts right away and you know what, I viewed it as a "baptism by fire" concept. I learned what would and would not work via trial and error that wouldn't have been necessary in easier dungeons. It made me a better raider and I fed the first couple builders a lot of mats, so its a win win! Haha. I say it doesn't need a lot of change. The bases in this game are unforgiving and instead of making it easier on newer players, we should just increase their rewards and make the early grind a little less expensive to compensate.