Basically, you're not. Cold start, sure; no deaths wasn't part of the plan though. It's probably possible even on Insane if you're very good and very persistent, but the direction for AF was simply "challenging in co-op but beatable". We didn't have a consistent measuring stick for what that meant. It wasn't until I was working on Anthology that I started being methodical about encounter design.
Though that's not to say that AF was totally random. Level 1 was intentionally supposed to be an only-moderately-difficult introduction to the set, and the real nastiness would hit you in level 2. And if I recall correctly I wanted level 4 to be a bit of a space to breathe as well, since the previous two were just painful. After that all bets were off.
I don't recall that being expressly intentional, i.e. we didn't set out to make a difficulty peak that early on. It was more a side-effect of Gauss coming in combined with that we didn't do much to ramp up the difficulty in response to the Gauss. There are a few ways to do that, but the only one I particularly like is controlling the ammo supply. Ambushes start to feel cheap and lazy if you use them too much, and custom robots wasn't something we wanted everywhere.AlexanderBorisov wrote: ↑Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:33 pmTo Sirius :
Ok then I will assume I did a decent job with AF . I mainly wanted to ask why it was designed that a bit "anti-climactic" way - L2, 3 being very diffucult, and for example L 14 and L15 not too hard... Was there any idea behind the difficulty progression and level order here?
Pick up all the weapons you can, and don't miss (much).
No, it's not exactly fair.
Agreed. That was part of the mission that was unquestionably a mistake. A level like that should be paired with a lower-difficulty boss.
Level 11 I recall being tricky and I had to just dash through fire at the start room, but it wasn't impossible. Once you got a couple guns you could get a foothold and the rest of the level was less scary. It was probably easier in co-op, since the start rooms were split and each player would draw the robots' attention away from the other.