Horde shortly after horde (+ boss) (on cata)

Can someone pls explain the following to me?
I noticed, that I sometimes get a horde just after dealing with a horde (like only 10 seconds afterwards), especially when a boss appears (I think).
Just recently we dealt with a horde, proceeded a few steps and got a boss, which is fine. But with that boss another horde slowly starts creeping in without sound cues or stuff. That was only like 10 or 20 seconds after the first horde.
Is that second horde maybe an ambush and the sound cues got swallowed by the boss spawn?
If so, is that a thing? Can an ambush spawn shortly after or even simultaneous to a horde, cause it’s an ambush and not a horde?

Edit: forgot to add, that that was on cataclysm xD


I don’t actually know what a ton of the situations are for Monster spawns, but I know that many of them are accompanied with groups of enemies even after a horde/ambush has drawn all of the nearby ambient foes into battle.

Sound cues have been a little jenky for a lot of people, recently, so it could be attributed to that. It might’ve just been that you missed the sound of the ambush triggering due to the monster scream or maybe just to the pitch of battle, too.

Lastly, I know for sure that there can be hordes nearly back-to-back with others (especially if you are taking a while to move forward). Again, I’m not omniscient, but I’m pretty sure this is possible to encounter in a combination of either monster+reinforcements or just a standard ambush.

1 Like

Someone who knows more can probably explain this better, but basically… the AI director looks at the threat level and throws enemies at you based on the current threat level. Every enemy has a threat level, and when added up all together, if it reaches a certain threshold he stops throwing things at you. If I remember correctly, there was an stop order for bosses, meaning a boss would stop hordes from spawning, but that is gone now.

Which is why people who have a good pacing during maps, 10-15 min runs, they normally have a much easier time. Also, certain things will trigger the AI to try and kill you. Like being to far apart from your team mates. Moving a few meters away can cause the AI to throw disablers at you. Things like that.

Then you have Cata, which has zero chill. I don’t think the AI threat level ever gets high enough to stop spawning. Meaning the director will never stop throwing more specials at you. Which is why you can get madness like 3 gas throwers committing war crimes while 2 ratling gunners and a storm is going on.


Meanwhile that one assassin jumps in trying to pull an Ezio on you only for the stormer to finish casting just then, resulting in the assassin getting an express ticket to the heavens, literally :rofl:

1 Like

If I remember correctly, there unlimited threat level for cata, i.e. kill things quick

In the recent Q&A, Marten said that the ambush timer had been shortened, which I believe is why it seems like non stop hordes. I honestly can barely tell the difference with Beastmen; I don’t know if it’s bugged or what, but I can get silent groups (which seem like they should be ambushes) but that come in several waves. Other times I will get the large horde sound and get a normal horde, sometimes less than a minute after the last one, and I notice it is VERY common during bosses.

I will not bother putting my pitiful knowledge into explaining threat and intensity, but I will link to this reddit thread that is amazing!

1 Like

Well I always thought after a certain threat was thrown at you it takes at least a certain amount of time, until the same kind of thread is thrown at you again. Which is why after getting 10 specials or so, it usually stops with those and instead throws a horde at you etc.

That could explain some stuff :thinking:

That’s something that very often wipes us, cause we (or at least I) usually don’t expect another horde after just killing one and getting a boss shortly afterwards.

Thanks for that reddit link btw, looks interesting.

1 Like

I don’t think that exists on Cata, might be in effect on Legend. But in Cata you can easily get 3 of the same special spawning in at once. Walking through an open area and seeing 3 ratling gunners hop over the same wall, you’re out of ammo, ah crap, what’s that sound que? Gutter runner whispers, why it the que echoing? Oh there’s two of them… gg


Yeah I thought like the game spawning lots of specials (like a “specials horde”) and after that it only spawns a few at a time for some time, but meh.
I don’t mind like 3 globadiers, several hooks, assassins and leeches and a blightstormer for good measure, you just gotta REPENT moar, indulge in the pain xD

1 Like

Iirc, from some stream or another conversation from long ago, the AI director (in addition to the other things mentioned) gets Special spawns quite regularly, but often “saves” them to release a bunch at once. After that, it may bring up a couple of others to replace the killed ones (there’re clear maximums for simultaneous specials, depending on difficulty), but after that it’s more likely to start “saving up” the spawns again.

This does cause the Specials to generally spawn in short sprees, often two of one type and a couple of others (on Legend; on Cata the limits are obviously bigger) at once. As for Hordes, they’re on a timer but it’s partially random and doesn’t line up with the Special spawns; there are also two types of hordes (“normal” and ambush) with different compositions and timings. Monsters and Patrols are on triggers from moving in the map, and thus are directly irrelevant to other threats (though hordes are limited during Bosses, mostly to give time to kite and clutch). Elites are mostly just the “roaming” enemies that populate the map independently of anything that spawns during the run; hordes gather them from the surroundings to assault you with them, but once you’ve slain them, they’re gone (though Cata’s different on that account).

All of this makes for pretty varied encounters, and when a Boss trigger, either kind of horde and a bunch of Specials line up it’s a pretty significant spike in difficulty.


Don’t forget a Horde has multiple “waves” and number of waves scales with difficulty.
Special cap on Cata is 5 with Max 3 of one type.


Funny thing how game turned. We are now screaming “HOOOORDE” in voice chat, cause these silent unpredictable 2 steps from your back darkfur spawns is most common and most dangerous threat in game. You can save ally from specail, but you cant save em from being stomped into ground in 0.2 sec by hyperdense horde)))

This stuff is all on a timer, right? Like clockwork, you’ll have ambient spawns, a specials wave, followed by horde. The timer never stops so if you struggle to two man a beastmen horde for too long and didn’t notice the specials wave then the next horde will have started.

That’s my theory, anyway.

Another theory, bosses come with their own ambush waves. I’m fairly convinced that no matter where you are on this timer, the moment a boss appears an ambush is 10 seconds away.