It improved dramatically in 188.8.131.52 but there’s still a noticeable degree to which different hosts orpeople seem to have consistently unique director behavior. Since the patch, I’ve partied with 1-2 guys who were more like I was in 1.0.6 and several people who say they simply refuse to host on account of this sort of thing. My director’s aggressiveness is about average in 184.108.40.206. Been with people who get weird, constant numbers of berzerkers, e.g. 12-15 in the very first area then abnormally steady, regular clusters of 6-9 thereafter. With one guy, every run had two simultaneous patrols in the same area. In every case except one, one of the patrols would be stuck and not moving; in the case where it was moving, the two individually full-sized SV patrols had merged into a fun little army, which was cool. Other times the quirk is more subtle but always seems consistent in any group.
Not sure what could be causing this. In 1.0.6, when ruling out deed contamination, the overall behaviour or vibe would change noticeably if one client left and was replaced by another, so it’s hard to nail down just what’s going on. Everyone in the group may bring something to the table. May not be exclusively the host.
At least now when it’s max-aggression for me it’s still at a fun, reasonable level. Even with myself and three of my most skilled friends, my 1.0.6 runs were basically, “director becomes more aggressive and buggy until you all die and it will blatantly break the rules if necessary to kill you.” It literally felt like the director would actually not allow us to win, especially when one time very near the end of a hard-fought Righteous Stand it dumped a full horde directly into play on us and proc’d the attacks and damage immediately, killing us all through block in ~1s from the first indication anything at all was happening.
The host, in instances where the quirk was really pronounced, affirmed they had it pretty much every time. As such, I’m confident there is no universally recognizable perspective of how “hard” the game is. What some people consider ludicrous director behavior is extremely tame or par for the course to others. This is probably why there are some outlandishly over/undervalued classes/weapons/talents in the forums. This is why I dramatically undervalued HM, for example. I still don’t consider it very good compared to most other classes but it’s definitely perfectly fine; I was just assessing it in a world where for a class to even be viable it had to be able to consistently shred 2-3k trash mobs and a hundo specials without being able to see them half the time. Some people I’ve spoken to seem to have consistently balanced runs, some consistently lite, some consistently ape. As a result, some people can get away with objectively inferior loadouts that don’t stand much of a chance against a more brutal director. Like, with some hosts, it’s a consistent recruit-level cakewalk to any player with any experience. I’m not ashamed to say I try to ride those hosts out for the long haul to compensate all the time lost to a bugged out director, though I do enjoy when it does its crazy business too and prefer overall balanced runs in general.
All of this is concerning in that it makes balancing classes nearly impossible. It also affects my choices in that I just won’t ever take Kruber, for example, because I want to be prepared for the eventuality that my pug host has crazy AI. As such, I feel obligated to stick to classes that can consistently obliterate both hordes and specials, as they tend to be the most problematic aspect of the director worst case scenario.