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Author Topic: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?  (Read 4012 times)

Kristopher

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After a string of losses, I've recently started beating UV on a semi-regular basis(it would be more regular, but, well, I like trying out different builds even if some of them are gimmicky). Considering that, I decided that I might as well attempt to beat more special levels and the like (many of which I typically don't bother visiting unless it will actually benefit my build), but Phobos Lab just throws me for a loop.

Don't get me wrong, I can beat it, but not without one or more of these three things:

1) A build that achieves very fast movespeed by the Lab (either a build with early Hellrunner(2), or luck in getting some movespeed increasing armor or enough agility mods for both tactical boots and tactical armor, or both).
2) An early envirosuit so I can lead the nightmare demons around in the acid pool at the beginning of the level.
3) A willingness to waste a massive quantity of resources (envirosuits, large medpacks[typically including the ones I pick up], suits of armor, etcetera).

The main issue is those nightmare demons hiding in the corners near the beginning that you have to get ridiculously close to just to draw their attention since they idle otherwise. The real deal breaker though is just how bad the rewards are for a level that's as difficult as it is. Two random mods, some items that I probably have to use to get through it anyways, and a combat shotgun? If it weren't for the fact that I'm trying to beat more special levels than usual, I'd never bother visiting it at all.

So that being said, how do you deal with the little blue bastards? I can handle the ones after that beginning part; even the ambush feels pretty well-balanced since you can guide them around and through the acid while firing on them (no reason not to since the level itself has given you envirosuits by then), but the ones at the start are just agonizingly annoying. The best I could come up with (bar having envirosuits already on hand) is changing my tactics to running, leading them out, then rocket-jumping across the acid and firing on them as they cross it. Rinse and repeat with the small medkits you're given at the start.

It doesn't work nearly as well as I wish it would.
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Klear

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 14:41 »

Yeah, they are a problem. I'm not a fan of that bug/feature which causes melee enemies to get stuck.

You can lure some of the demons a bit more safely by splashing them with rocket launcher, though they still tend to rush you real quickly and eat your face off...
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AlterAsc

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 18:25 »

With MMB(and probably other melee builds)  it's pretty easy. It's somewhat passable with rockets and MAc. Otherwise i'm not going in.
Running in acid, waiting for N! demons to melt is not so easy. 80 hp is no less that 14 acid turns and with 140% speed they'll munch a lot of your hp if you're not a speed-oriented build.
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Fanta Hege

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 19:20 »

in UV and N! I recommend skipping phobos lab unless you're meelee orientated or have some serious firepower and resources to do it.
It's not really worthwhile to visit.

If you're trying to do conquer, just pray to rng for military base
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Kristopher

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 19:24 »

in UV and N! I recommend skipping phobos lab unless you're meelee orientated or have some serious firepower and resources to do it.
It's not really worthwhile to visit.

If you're trying to do conquer, just pray to rng for military base

Yeah, that's what I've been thinking for a while now, I was just hoping that somebody had figured out some magical way to handle the nightmare demons that I wasn't quite grasping. Getting that place instead of military base when you're going for conqueror is a real kick in the teeth.

Oh well, thanks anyways. =P
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 05:17 »

From my current experience, I surprisingly realized that my char already seems powerful enough at phobos lab. I always get a ton of free spare small medkits at the end.
I try to get the "best" traits I can, which leads to few variations in picks outside challenges... stupid but efficient.

My current build is SoB->Int->Int->SoB->SoB->Fin->Fin->WK->WK->Bru->Bru->Ber->Fin->...
The core are SoB3 and Int2. I'm always scout, since Int needs it, and movespeed is tasty (well, other class bonuses are too) Ber has only been added (as MCe replacement) to make UC clearing faster (throwing a knife for 1.30 hour is quite boring, and usually made me miss conqueror unless I find a nuke & globe -.-)

With SoB3, a simple shotgun usually knocks back enough to dispose of N! demons. (use a combat or tactical if you prefer, but I reverted again to 9d3 shotty recently, and think I prefer it)
The first times I tried phobos lab, I used to run for every pack of smurfs I pulled, but now, I often just go back some squares to ensure I can knock them back, and shoot them to death.
I think on N!, it's still better to run to the left part of the pool, so that they take the diagonal, and die in acid. I don't remember how I played, but the only alternative I see is too pull them respawn after respawn, which might be quite dangerous with N! demons, and will need to stock some shells.
I rarely use rapid fire, and carry RL only for gibbing or jumps.

Also, to max movespeed, I often use no armor... but sometimes wear a green or blue (I rarely don a red). Dunno if it makes a big difference. I also favor A modded Tac boots, which are just not Tac yet, at this depth.

Hope this helps.

By the way, phobos lab's difficulty and vicious design are ridiculous, especially if you consider it's paired with military base, and there's about no rewards.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 05:23 by Evilpotatoe »
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Kristopher

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 09:52 »

That should actually be pretty helpful, thanks. I did have my best time in there on a Scout that rushed SoB(3) first (then went for Int(2)), but I had the same problem with UC(since why would I go to Phobos Lab anyways unless I had a homing phase and really wanted the mods at the end or if I'm going for conqueror?). When I do choose Scout, I tend to choose it for the master traits(specifically MCe or MBm), and I didn't think to just pump Brute through Berserk later on. It's a good idea.

I also favor A modded Tac boots, which are just not Tac yet, at this depth.

Do you just mean A-modded steel boots?
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 14:19 »

At this time, yes, stupid A-modded steel boots (sometimes without an A, if I found "bad" mods, like power :p).
Protective boots might be better for this lab... but unless you put an A on them, they'll kinda suck, and putting one looks like a waste to me.

When you say you don't bother to visit special levels unless they benefit your build... I'm tempted to reply that all special levels benefit any build, for obvious XP purposes.
The only 'build' specific special level which comes to my mind is CC, for chainsaw, which also has zerk packs and 2 free mods... good for any build. CC+ are a little tougher, but outside of challenges, I think they are a great training ground anyway, and should never be skipped.
In fact, they are even a better training ground for challenges... but I can understand if you prefer skipping them.
Personally, I learnt a lot when I trained (read - played 50+ times, from a save, to compare different possible strategies) in the CC+ as an AoMr, on UV.

The only level I was used to skip was the mortuary, but now (maybe because I don't play under UV anymore), I always go in. UC is particular. My current choice is to weaken my build rather than losing conqueror, but it's clearly not optimized to ease my win (those 3 levels could be in HR instead...)
Arena can be particularly good to skip now, not only for AoB, but also AoRA, and probably a few other ones, since new chain courts are a real gift for an early char.
And city of skulls is bad for AoMr (but possible !)

Outside of those (and some other challenges), I don't see a reason to skip a level, other than a speedrun :)
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Kristopher

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 15:15 »

When you say you don't bother to visit special levels unless they benefit your build... I'm tempted to reply that all special levels benefit any build, for obvious XP purposes.

That's just the thing; on UV at least, I've come to notice that the XP is way high enough to skip some of the special levels and still level up at very good pace. In fact, if there's anything UV has taught me, it's that there's absolutely no reason to stretch out for XP (I'm sure this can depend on your build choice, since some master traits need more xp and are more important to get to early than others) if it seems like even a remotely poor idea.

As a more extreme example, though I don't post my mortems, my last and by far most successful victories were:

-- Special levels --------------------------------------------

  Levels generated : 11
  Levels visited   : 5
  Levels completed : 4
Ammochain - The non-completed level was The Vaults (when applicable, I don't see any reason not to enter it just to clear two vaults when I don't have the AM's staff on me, even if it takes away my YAAM). Got to the true evil, but ended up getting killed when he started randomly teleporting off-screen whenever I was shooting at him. First time that's ever happened to me. Was weird.

-- Special levels --------------------------------------------

  Levels generated : 11
  Levels visited   : 5
  Levels completed : 4
Army of the Dead - Non-completed level was The Vaults; same reason as the one before it. Full win.

-- Special levels --------------------------------------------

  Levels generated : 11
  Levels visited   : 2
  Levels completed : 2
Gunrunner - Would've been 3 levels visited, but Phobos Lab spawned. Nope. As soon as I got Gunrunner, I just started dashing down stairways. I could have explored looking for a nuke or nuclear weapon, but I kind of hate this master-trait(it was a themed run), so I just went straight down and finished it. Standard victory.

-- Special levels --------------------------------------------

  Levels generated : 11
  Levels visited   : 2
  Levels completed : 2
Masterless Melee build - This one was actually the easiest run of them all (would've been 3, but, yeah, Phobos Lab spawned). Once again no nuke or nuclear weapon (I really hate how not only is the Spider's Lair paired, but it no longer has the nuclear plasma rifle), but no stress. Standard victory.


I know that these are just isolated examples, but it's funny just how successful and easy these runs were in comparison to ones where I attempted to visit a bunch of special levels. Admittedly, I got lucky and found a Super Shotgun in HA on my Army of the Dead build, but on every other one I actually had pretty eh luck and a decent batch of awful spawns.

So, while I understand why one would want to complete more special levels (otherwise I wouldn't have made this thread regarding a level that I genuinely can't see a decent tactical reason to visit without a homing phase), I don't see a reason to do a good share of the levels unless it, obviously with a few exceptions, directly benefits your build with more than just XP.

Note that I don't play on N!. Not yet, anyways.
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 04:51 »

I absolutely agree that you have a ton of XP in UV, and can waste a lot, either by skipping special levels or rushing stairs, like you did with gunrunner (which looks to be an awful mastery to me.. tried it once for AoRA, and quickly repicked SoB on next runs)
When I say I see no reason to skip thoses, here's what I meant :
-They give XP, and sometimes useful stuff
-They have fixed difficulty, so outside of some random or dangerous aspects, like AM, phobos lab, double shamblers, or mortuary... I rarely see any risk going in. City of skulls for example, is terrible for an AoMr, but else.. ? just take a shotty and ammo box, and you can make it damageless past the initial ambush very easily.

My point of view is that it has no cost (in term of risks taken), and makes the rest of the run easier. Of course it's not necessary at all, else, we couldn't complete, for example, a N! game in 20 (or 4!) minutes.

By the way, if you're speedrunning (be it for a badge, or just because you want your game to end quicker than a conqueror YAAM YAFW one), skipping levels or levels part is a good choice, as long as you know what you do and don't get to hell with CLvl 3, wondering how you'll dispose of those viles pack :p

My recent build shift is a good illustration of the differences in our playstyles : I used to get MCe, but had to skip UC -> I switched to Ber instead, to get conqueror. Benefit : conqueror, drawback : 3 levels wasted !
Usually, I was always skipping UC for that reason (didn't even consider it unless I found a nuke): there's no point wasting 3 levels for that... which is exactly what you do with most levels (except that, imo, most other levels don't need anything particular to be cleared without taking risks)
Now that I know I don't need those levels anyway, I clear it, for the sake of completion, but if I just wanted to win ? I'd continue to ignore it, of course.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 04:58 by Evilpotatoe »
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Equality

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 05:33 »

as for me my last runs skip
- Hell Arena completely or only last wave on Arena. No a medal for Arena, no reward, but killing cacodemons easy then hell knights/barons in last wave. And exp still quite good from 2 waves. And CC without Master more safe.
- last chamber at Deimos Lab (if no good equipment). 2 Shamblers too dangerous.
- Containment Area sometimes. Really I prefer The Wall!
- UC if non-melee build.
- Spiders Lair. Too hard sometimes and revard not so good
- Mortuary/Limbo if no good armor, sculls and B2 modded BFG.
- LavaPits/Erebus if no nuke and no boots with 100% resist fire. At this moment some more experience not vital.

but I play on HMP.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 05:40 by Equality »
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Fusilliban

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 06:23 »

I found the map to be cool and interesting but not actually that hard as a Shottyman.  If you fire a few blasts across the first acid lake, the tagged demons come and say hello, which goes poorly for them.

FWIW, this was with Rel->Rel->SM->HR->Fin->Jug, combat, double, A-mod steel.

The ambushes are nice - not as brutal as Anomaly, but still a nasty surprise.
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Kristopher

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 09:43 »

I found the map to be cool and interesting but not actually that hard as a Shottyman.  If you fire a few blasts across the first acid lake, the tagged demons come and say hello, which goes poorly for them.

FWIW, this was with Rel->Rel->SM->HR->Fin->Jug, combat, double, A-mod steel.

The ambushes are nice - not as brutal as Anomaly, but still a nasty surprise.

I don't see how firing a few blasts across the lake is supposed to tag & drag the nightmare demons that like to shove themselves into the furthest, most annoying little nooks and crannies in the upper right-hand corner of the map.

Unless what you're saying is that they spawn directly across the lake at first and then just make their way into said corners (which seems like really unusual behavior to repeat every single time I play it without fail, but it wouldn't surprise me terribly), and that I just haven't been exercising the option of 'immediately exit the room and fire across the lake before dealing with the formers'.

@Evipotatoe:

Yeah, Gunrunner is pretty awful. It was kind of funny, because I chose it just to be thematic and because I was tired of messing up with Gun Kata(I know that everybody always insists that SoG is borderline OP or OP, but I swear I am just flat-out terrible at Sharpshooter/pistol builds in general for some reason), and it really is just bad. Not to mention if you get a level full of barrels, then have fun activating it; nearly blew my face off with a few acid barrels before.

That being said, it was kind of entertaining solely because I had shottyman with it, and automatically blasting things out of the way with rockets while scooting along was pretty funny. Now that is a build that would especially benefit from as much extra XP as possible.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 09:45 by Kristopher »
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Fusilliban

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 14:37 »

Some of them definitely hung out in the corners, and that made using the acid harder since it's tricky to outrun them at this level, but IME it's nothing I couldn't handle with SM and a double shotgun.
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Kristopher

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Re: So, anybody have good advice for Phobos Lab on UV+?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 16:51 »

Oh, speaking of which, that strategy with SoB(3) on a Scout works pretty beautifully in Phobos lab. If you're willing to use run or have some movespeed-boosting gear (not much, either), you can lead them without taking any hits. I ended up doing it with a power-modded combat shotgun (otherwise I can see why you might just suggest the normal shotgun for the knockback), and I didn't even have to move as long as they were in a spot where I could fully knock them back. Keep in mind, I was also using that build mentioned earlier, so it had some levels in Finesse as well by the time I got to the lab.

Sadly, within the next few levels I got a spawn in the middle of a -ton- of Barons and former commandos with no phase devices on hand. Still, that thing just kind of happens.

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