rdhight

Lessons learned from my 20-day endless run

8 posts in this topic

I have finally seen the sunrise of Day 21 and earned the platinum trophy. What I learned:

 

  • This is a very hard game. Possible to beat, but very hard. Klei is very good at leaving you a thread of possibility even on the large, ludicrous levels you'll face on the last days. But sometimes it becomes clear the path through a level requires a truly deranged amount of retrying, and it's just a better use of your time to attack something else. Back up your save after every mission, and revert if you get into something you can't handle.
  • Your agents' starting items don't matter at all unless they are unique. Starting stats barely matter. You will amass a great deal of money and have many, many opportunities to gear up. I had four agents with all maxed-out stats and good gear by Day 11, and I kept improving certain things more slowly from there. Hold out for good augmentations that fit with your master plan.
  • Losing an agent doesn't mean losing the run. As long as your remaining crew can hold out for the short term, you have time to rescue a new guy and get him fully trained and equipped.
  • I used Fusion, Parasite, Lockpick 1.0, and Wrench 5 as my workhorse programs. Whatever programs you use, I would definitely save a slot for Wrench 4 or 5.
  • My MVP was Central, no question. Eventually, most things will have daemons, and everything will be magnetically reinforced, meaning EMP only ever removes 2 firewalls. You will just have to grit your teeth and march on through the effects of those daemons. And guards and alarms will also be installing daemons. On an Endless run, Central is like having a nuclear power plant on your team.
  • Nika was also amazing. I gave her a flurry gun and a stim 4. This gives her one turn where she has absolutely massive AP and as many attacks as you can afford at 4 PWR a shot. Making a massacre often raises the alarm, and this sets off Central, charging up the next shot. Other characters can do this too, but Nika is the best at it because her AP goes up even more every kill. On my final mission, she had double Piercing Scanners installed and pulled off a pentakill on Armor 4 guards!
  • Internationale's X-Ray vision is really good. Central and Nika seemed more irreplaceable, but she's incredibly convenient and helps you do what you want efficiently.
  • It gets really hard to sneak, because you need to visit more of the level and because the game has so many ways of alerting the guards. I got more confrontational as the days went by. Decoying them to draw them where you want is a big help, but eventually you can't just dance around them long enough.
  • EMPs will eventually only break 2 firewalls on everything, but they're still good because devices are very dense and you're still breaking large amounts at once. At the end, I was bringing five or more, sometimes setting off three of them on the first turn because there were so many horrible devices clustered around the starting room.
  • Shock Traps are very good. They are a small area effect and ignore armor. Their only weakness is KO resistance, because they go off on the enemy's turn, so certain daemons can get the guards back up. Still, many of the good armor-piercing weapons require extra PWR or have other painful drawbacks. Shock Trapping a tough guard can save so many resources.
  • But the most effective late-game weapon I found is Holocircuit Overloaders. When you cloak, you will set off a little knockout burst that also ignores armor, just like a Shock Trap. And this time you do it on your turn so you can pin them no matter how much KO resistance they have. The effect goes through walls, doors, and does not break cloak. By the end, I had an agent who went in with three Cloaking Rig 3's, mostly just to set this off. Late game, it beats any weapon I ever found. You can fight back into the face of multiple guards in a way that guns and tasers don't give you.
  • I would hang on to at least one powerful Buster Chip. When you need to find both the exit key and the battery for Incognita, it is really handy to be able to crack that one tough safe you need.
  • When you start, you'll be taking missions as close as possible. But eventually, when you have four agents with max stats, you'll want to switch over to running only 12-hour missions, just to speed things up. Starting on about Day 16, I gave up on most mission objectives and usually just ran for the door!
Edited by rdhight
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How long did it took you to master the game and get comfortable with it?

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I had to "retire agency" the first couple times I played. On my third or fourth try, it clicked for me, and I was able to beat the expert campaign and feel like a super-cool digital spy. Campaign gets you good at most things — avoiding guards, knowing what to hack when, buying things that will help, learning what style/tactics you enjoy. The later days in Endless get so hard they almost break the game, so you have to adjust to that, but the campaign playthroughs you have to do for platinum are a good tutorial.

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Setting rewinds to 99 makes this fairly easy, since you can do a lot of trial and error early on until you figure out the weak points of the AI and the map layouts. Expert Plus is ridiculous at times because of the number of guards, but there's nothing a few Shock Trap III can't solve ;-)

 

Endless was just a chore after Day 10 with Internationale and Derek, I just ignored the goals and went for the power source and the exit codes. By Day 10 you should have all four agents fitted with Power Rig III, Chamaelon Legs, Stim III or IV, Hack Chips III or IV, Shock Trap III and other useful gear. Managed to get Draco as my fourth agent, so had to do a fair bit of killing to level him up. Program setup was Seed, Parasite 2.0, Rapier, Bless, Ping (when you need to distract people) and Dagger. Swapped Dagger for Wrench 5 on Day 15, because from this day onwards all safes have minimum 5 firewalls and this breaks them down in 4 PWR. Quick way to find the exit codes.

 

P.S.: You can set off Shock Traps by opening the door yourself :-p

Edited by pkopetzky
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On 4/26/2020 at 4:40 AM, rdhight said:

I have finally seen the sunrise of Day 21 and earned the platinum trophy. What I learned:

 

  • This is a very hard game. Possible to beat, but very hard. Klei is very good at leaving you a thread of possibility even on the large, ludicrous levels you'll face on the last days. But sometimes it becomes clear the path through a level requires a truly deranged amount of retrying, and it's just a better use of your time to attack something else. Back up your save after every mission, and revert if you get into something you can't handle.
  • Your agents' starting items don't matter at all unless they are unique. Starting stats barely matter. You will amass a great deal of money and have many, many opportunities to gear up. I had four agents with all maxed-out stats and good gear by Day 11, and I kept improving certain things more slowly from there. Hold out for good augmentations that fit with your master plan.
  • Losing an agent doesn't mean losing the run. As long as your remaining crew can hold out for the short term, you have time to rescue a new guy and get him fully trained and equipped.
  • I used Fusion, Parasite, Lockpick 1.0, and Wrench 5 as my workhorse programs. Whatever programs you use, I would definitely save a slot for Wrench 4 or 5.
  • My MVP was Central, no question. Eventually, most things will have daemons, and everything will be magnetically reinforced, meaning EMP only ever removes 2 firewalls. You will just have to grit your teeth and march on through the effects of those daemons. And guards and alarms will also be installing daemons. On an Endless run, Central is like having a nuclear power plant on your team.
  • Nika was also amazing. I gave her a flurry gun and a stim 4. This gives her one turn where she has absolutely massive AP and as many attacks as you can afford at 4 PWR a shot. Making a massacre often raises the alarm, and this sets off Central, charging up the next shot. Other characters can do this too, but Nika is the best at it because her AP goes up even more every kill. On my final mission, she had double Piercing Scanners installed and pulled off a pentakill on Armor 4 guards!
  • Internationale's X-Ray vision is really good. Central and Nika seemed more irreplaceable, but she's incredibly convenient and helps you do what you want efficiently.
  • It gets really hard to sneak, because you need to visit more of the level and because the game has so many ways of alerting the guards. I got more confrontational as the days went by. Decoying them to draw them where you want is a big help, but eventually you can't just dance around them long enough.
  • EMPs will eventually only break 2 firewalls on everything, but they're still good because devices are very dense and you're still breaking large amounts at once. At the end, I was bringing five or more, sometimes setting off three of them on the first turn because there were so many horrible devices clustered around the starting room.
  • Shock Traps are very good. They are a small area effect and ignore armor. Their only weakness is KO resistance, because they go off on the enemy's turn, so certain daemons can get the guards back up. Still, many of the good armor-piercing weapons require extra PWR or have other painful drawbacks. Shock Trapping a tough guard can save so many resources.
  • But the most effective late-game weapon I found is Holocircuit Overloaders. When you cloak, you will set off a little knockout burst that also ignores armor, just like a Shock Trap. And this time you do it on your turn so you can pin them no matter how much KO resistance they have. The effect goes through walls, doors, and does not break cloak. By the end, I had an agent who went in with three Cloaking Rig 3's, mostly just to set this off. Late game, it beats any weapon I ever found. You can fight back into the face of multiple guards in a way that guns and tasers don't give you.
  • I would hang on to at least one powerful Buster Chip. When you need to find both the exit key and the battery for Incognita, it is really handy to be able to crack that one tough safe you need.
  • When you start, you'll be taking missions as close as possible. But eventually, when you have four agents with max stats, you'll want to switch over to running only 12-hour missions, just to speed things up. Starting on about Day 16, I gave up on most mission objectives and usually just ran for the door!

 

Why do developers feel the need to create such ridiculous, asshole trophies? No trophy or trophies is worth this headache and for the life of me I'll never understand why people put themselves through it.

Edited by MrTacoNinja
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14 hours ago, MrTacoNinja said:

 I'll never understand why people put themselves through it.

Because the more obnoxious the trophy, the better the feeling when you finally crack it? I have a a very low skill level so what's hard for me will be very easy for most but for example, there was a level on Battleborn that took me around a year of on/off trying to get through. When I eventually figured it out, I felt like crying! I bet it's the same feeling, but much more intense for properly hard trophies like this one. 

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15 hours ago, MrTacoNinja said:

 

Why do developers feel the need to create such ridiculous, asshole trophies? No trophy or trophies is worth this headache and for the life of me I'll never understand why people put themselves through it.

 

Those trophies do exist, but this isn't one of them, for one simple reason:

The game is so testicle-punchingly good that it makes you want to beat it. :) 

 

Figuring out your tactics and play-style to do so is the game.

 

I mean, what would be the point in labouring over the crafting of a game this smart and flexible and addictive, only to disincentivize people from playing it, by giving the trophies out too easily?

 

If you're going to do that, you might as well just make My Name is Mayo

 

 

 

 

33 minutes ago, JoesusHCrust said:

Because the more obnoxious the trophy, the better the feeling when you finally crack it? I have a a very low skill level so what's hard for me will be very easy for most but for example, there was a level on Battleborn that took me around a year of on/off trying to get through. When I eventually figured it out, I felt like crying! I bet it's the same feeling, but much more intense for properly hard trophies like this one. 

 

I know what you mean - I had that with Lumines Remastered 'vsCPU' mode.

 

took over a year of trying to beat that damned mode without losing, but when I did, and that Platinum popped, it felt amazing!

 

And you know what I did right after?

Played some Lumines.

 

You know why?

'Cause Lumines is ace! :)

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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Thank you to rdhight for the tips, wrench 5 tip was the highlight for me! I found it on day 2 and never used it till day 14 but it's one of those things that you'd rather have and not need, than need and not have. Here are some stuff that happened on my run and might prove useful to others:

 

1. Tag pistol. I used this on endless plus but it may be of some help even on endless. Knowing where the guards are, their patrol routes, and the direction they're facing is quite handy. However it doesn't warn you if guards remain stationary. I also got this item very early in the run so rng may've been a huge factor. Nika was my 3rd agent so she can tag 2 per turn and gain up to 6 ap; you can also overwatch with the pistol if a guard flits in and out of your line of sight. Pistol is better than Incognita's wisp program since agents can spare the inventory space.

 

2. Build up at least one of your agents to be a scout with the following items: one cloaking rig 3, but if you manage to fit two into their loadout, even better. Four stim packs, preferably rank 3 because they don't need charge packs. At least three augments: Chameleon movement, subdermal cloak, and Torque injectors. In the late game you should be able to afford the 5 pwr cost whenever you stim. Every stim 3 can potentially give up to 14 additional ap, for a total of 26-ep ap per turn. Torque reduces stim cooldown to 3 turns so you can keep them in rotation. This scout should carry three buster chip 4s so that you can open at least three big safes.

 

3. In the late game you'll have tens of thousands in credits, so don't be shy in using it to buy new Buster chip 4s and Stim 4s. Replace drained chips with fresh ones, and refill your ap with any stims found at the nanofabs then sell them right back to clear your inventory. The same can be done with any item that's on cooldown.

 

4. File Banks was my 1st agent. Being able to open lvl 1 access doors can be quite convenient, especially in the late game when speedrunning through levels. Also means I don't have to carry a card, as inventory can become valuable in the later days.

 

5. Portable server 3, if you see it, grab it. Even deploying it for 1 turn can be of help. I didn't have File internationale to access consoles from afar so these were 2nd best. I had three servers by the end, with fusion program, which gave me up to 9 pwr per turn.

 

6. Archive prism was my 2nd agent. Learning how and when to use disguise meant she usually didn't need to waste her cloaking rig. Most guards, not all, can walk past her without realising it. She can also walk right up to to most cameras and turrets. If had to choose between using a cloaking rig or disguise to enter a guarded room, the choice was easy, disguise has no cooldown. That's why she carried five buster chip 3 by the end.

 

7. Try to get at least four buster chip 3; I didn't get the bulk of mine till 75% through the run. But they'll help you hack devices when you need them most; busters are also immune to daemons that reduce Incognita's hacking efficacy.

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