The Battle for Grunt: My Experience with Hardcore Difficulty

Posted by Skillface (562 posts) -

 *NOTE* This Blog has early game spoilers (first 6-7 hours most likely). Also, do not post any spoilers past this point in the game...I'm not there yet.*/NOTE*
 
     As soon as I got this game, I imported my ME1 character and began a new character on normal. Infiltrator, just like the last. However, I was kind of disappointed...it wasn't enough of a challenge for me. I felt like I was just shooting my way through like a Gears of War game or something. So, naturally, I created a new evil lady Shepard, a vanguard this time, to play on veteran. Nope. Wasn't hard enough. So, like a moron, I started an engineer on Hardcore. Hoo boy!
 
    I almost died at the first mech. I think I died a few times on Freedom's Progress, too. This was perfect...the rush of battle, the quick movements, the strategy, oh the strategy! I had been doing pretty well actually, getting used to the difficulty...until the mission where you have to recruit Grunt. Note that I had absolutely NO trouble with this mission on my Normal Shepard...I think I did it on the first try , actually. This was tough. At a few points I actually ran out of medi-gel and had to finish fights as solo Shepard, my teammates lying limp beside me. At one point I went through a 15-20 minute battle with just Shepard. Stressful. Finally, I make it to Okeer, and say "Okay, time for that battle. Didn't cause me any trouble the first time, so it shouldn't be that bad." I was extremely wrong.
 
   I must have died at least 20 times. If you don't remember the battle, let me jog your memory. A giant mech, a lady with shields shooting rockets at you, and spawning Krogans to ruin your day? Yeah. So, my starting strategy was to take care of all the Krogans, then the Mech, then the captain. However, due to the scarce cover and the rushing Krogans, I found that the giant mech/captains blasts would put me in just the right position for the Krogan to one-shot me. This wouldn't work.
 
    So after trying this SO many times, I decided, "You know what? I'm just gonna get rid of this mech first." And that I did. With the help of Garrus and Jack distracting the Krogans, I put missile after missile after missile after overload after cryo blast into that mech. So once that was done, I focused my fire on the Krogans, and then the captain went down without a problem. It felt so good...so rewarding. I had overcome what I thought was an impossible battle. So although it's quite frustrating, I LOVE Hardcore mode. I'm anticipating the upcoming battles (especially a few that I found hard on normal...yikes). I highly recommend Hardcore mode for those looking for a strategic, rewarding experience (without the insanity that is insanity).
 
Tell me your hardcore stories! Or better yet, Insanity stories! How did you overcome insurmountable odds?
 
And please no "You suck, that battle was easy" comments. Everybody plays the game differently...why can't we just get along, eh? :P

#1 Edited by Skillface (562 posts) -

 *NOTE* This Blog has early game spoilers (first 6-7 hours most likely). Also, do not post any spoilers past this point in the game...I'm not there yet.*/NOTE*
 
     As soon as I got this game, I imported my ME1 character and began a new character on normal. Infiltrator, just like the last. However, I was kind of disappointed...it wasn't enough of a challenge for me. I felt like I was just shooting my way through like a Gears of War game or something. So, naturally, I created a new evil lady Shepard, a vanguard this time, to play on veteran. Nope. Wasn't hard enough. So, like a moron, I started an engineer on Hardcore. Hoo boy!
 
    I almost died at the first mech. I think I died a few times on Freedom's Progress, too. This was perfect...the rush of battle, the quick movements, the strategy, oh the strategy! I had been doing pretty well actually, getting used to the difficulty...until the mission where you have to recruit Grunt. Note that I had absolutely NO trouble with this mission on my Normal Shepard...I think I did it on the first try , actually. This was tough. At a few points I actually ran out of medi-gel and had to finish fights as solo Shepard, my teammates lying limp beside me. At one point I went through a 15-20 minute battle with just Shepard. Stressful. Finally, I make it to Okeer, and say "Okay, time for that battle. Didn't cause me any trouble the first time, so it shouldn't be that bad." I was extremely wrong.
 
   I must have died at least 20 times. If you don't remember the battle, let me jog your memory. A giant mech, a lady with shields shooting rockets at you, and spawning Krogans to ruin your day? Yeah. So, my starting strategy was to take care of all the Krogans, then the Mech, then the captain. However, due to the scarce cover and the rushing Krogans, I found that the giant mech/captains blasts would put me in just the right position for the Krogan to one-shot me. This wouldn't work.
 
    So after trying this SO many times, I decided, "You know what? I'm just gonna get rid of this mech first." And that I did. With the help of Garrus and Jack distracting the Krogans, I put missile after missile after missile after overload after cryo blast into that mech. So once that was done, I focused my fire on the Krogans, and then the captain went down without a problem. It felt so good...so rewarding. I had overcome what I thought was an impossible battle. So although it's quite frustrating, I LOVE Hardcore mode. I'm anticipating the upcoming battles (especially a few that I found hard on normal...yikes). I highly recommend Hardcore mode for those looking for a strategic, rewarding experience (without the insanity that is insanity).
 
Tell me your hardcore stories! Or better yet, Insanity stories! How did you overcome insurmountable odds?
 
And please no "You suck, that battle was easy" comments. Everybody plays the game differently...why can't we just get along, eh? :P

#2 Posted by Jeust (10480 posts) -

Crazies... :p

#3 Edited by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

The easy way to deal with this battle is to camp just outside the door and shoot Jedore once, which activates both the Mech (which cannot reach you at that position outside the door) and the Krogans (four of them total; they charge one at a time).
 
If you can whittle the defenses down this way, Jedore herself is a pushover. 
 
Good luck with Hardcore. Insanity is quite a step up.

#4 Posted by AndrewB (7496 posts) -

I could handle Hardcore. It's insanity that makes you want to crack the disc in two.

#5 Posted by Skillface (562 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: Yeah, I noticed that the door seemed cheeseworthy. 
 
Also, forgot that it was called Insanity and not Nightmare. Edited.
#6 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

That stage wasn't too hard for me.  On Insanity I had Jack and Moridan.  You fight a lot of heavies in that stage and I loooooooove heavies.  Drop their shields, hit em with a Dominate and they kill their team mates.  However the heavy attacks is probably out of shield, so you pop them with Dominate.  The whole time that's going on me and the crew are taking out anyone else or at least getting rid of shields and armor. 
 
The boss took me a long time.  I got it on my first try but it took a long time.  Jack ran off and got killed immediately.  The Krogran were annoying but then I started Dominating them and had Moridan Incinerate the mech while the Krogran got mowed down trying to attack it.  During the cooldown I found a decent spot where the mech couldn't really attack me from and the fight went like that. 
 
I wanted to kill Jedore by Dominating her and having the mech attack her, but Moridan blew the mech up before I could cast one on her.  Like others said, she's a pushover once the mech is gone. 
------- 
The craziest thing that happened on my Insanity play was Horizon.  After you meet the coward citizen who hates the Alliance you fight a Scion, Collectors and Harbinger.  My gang of idiots got mowed down immediately and I only had 2 medigels, which I wasn't going to waste since I knew the real boss was about to come up.  I had the Cain as my Heavy Weapon but I wasn't about to waste it here.  I ended up having to fight all of them myself.
 
There's like an empty cabin on a walkway one side of the stage.  You can walk through it and around it and there are cover points no matter how you tackle it.  I ended up circling through there for like 10 minutes running away from the Harbinger and Warping/Dominating the Collectors.  After that it was running away from the Harbinger while popping off Warp when I had a chance.  Then doing a similar tactic to the Scion. 
 
I didn't die a lot like on other stages, but it was tense the entire time.

#7 Posted by pause422 (6172 posts) -

I don't find Hardcore all that bad, but when you first try Insanity, from really any lower difficulty, the difference is pretty crazy.

#8 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

I started my first playthrough on hardcore :P The only part I remember dying multiple times was against that god damn thresher maw it can take a fuck load of hits. Starting my Insanity playthrough tomorrow what should I play as an Adept or an  Infiltrator?

#9 Edited by pause422 (6172 posts) -
@Dylabaloo said:

" I started my first playthrough on hardcore :P The only part I remember dying multiple times was against that god damn thresher maw it can take a fuck load of hits. Starting my Insanity playthrough tomorrow what should I play as an Adept or an  Infiltrator? "

Hmm, not sure, I played through first on veteran as an adept and I really liked it, for Insanity I've heard some things though, because of all the damn protection everyone has that some people have a lot of trouble with adepts. I myself dunno though. I'm probably gonna go with a Infiltrator/Vanguard next playthrough.
#10 Posted by rjayb89 (7717 posts) -

I've just started playing an engineer on normal and it's been pretty tough to really take care of dudes on my own, so hearing about your venture into hardcore is really making me reconsider how I spend my squad points.

#11 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -
@Dylabaloo said:
" I started my first playthrough on hardcore :P The only part I remember dying multiple times was against that god damn thresher maw it can take a fuck load of hits. Starting my Insanity playthrough tomorrow what should I play as an Adept or an  Infiltrator? "
Infiltrator. The massive bonuses to sniper rifles along with the upgrade you get in disc 2 turns you into a one shot killing machine.
#12 Posted by Skillface (562 posts) -

I'm assuming most people playing insanity and such are Vanguards? That's the class to use when tackling higher difficulties, or so I've heard.
 
Maybe the reason I'm having so much trouble is because I'm rolling an engineer :P People talk trash about combat drones, but I actually find them very useful. And cryo blast can be a lifesaver.

#13 Posted by GaZZuM (443 posts) -

My worst experience with Insanity so far has been the Abandoned Collector Ship. Alot of people say the platform section is the worst but it only took me a few tries, it's the Praetorian a few rooms after than had me tearing my hair out!!! I eventually killed it by luckily getting the other enemies in the room without dying then forcing it to circle a huge stone pillar i was also circling round. It's definitely cheap but after a certain number of tries, cheap is more than acceptable!

#14 Edited by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

I must've died 20 times with my Hardcore Adept trying to recruit Jack. That goddamned mech near drove me insane until, randomly, I just sort of eked out a victory. Euphoria followed. So... yeah, I agree, Hardcore is AWESOME.

#15 Posted by cap123 (2477 posts) -

i did it on veteran but i'm skipping on hardcore and going straight to insanity. s'gonna be tough

#16 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -
@Skillface said:
" I'm assuming most people playing insanity and such are Vanguards? That's the class to use when tackling higher difficulties, or so I've heard.  Maybe the reason I'm having so much trouble is because I'm rolling an engineer :P People talk trash about combat drones, but I actually find them very useful. And cryo blast can be a lifesaver. "
 
 
Vanguards are difficult to use effectively on Insanity,  being a risk/reward class. Most people will generally tell you to go Sentinel/Soldier/Infiltrator on Insanity. Sentinel because it's a bit more survivable with the tactical armor.
#17 Posted by jkz (4003 posts) -

Yeah Hardcore wasn't much trouble with my vanguard; so long as you went along the right upgrade path it was quite manageable. 
 
Now Insanity on the other hand.....

#18 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -
@sickVisionz: Dominate? How do you get Dominate that early if you can't get Morinth until near the end-game?
#19 Edited by cap123 (2477 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: second run through maybe?
 
edit: you get to choose a power when you new game+ if you didn't know
#20 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -
@Sir_Ragnarok: Dominate is her loyalty power.  You can learn the loyalty powers of any of your squad members once they are loyal to you.  I chose Dominate as my bonus power upon starting a new game.
#21 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -
@sickVisionz said:
" @Sir_Ragnarok: Dominate is her loyalty power.  You can learn the loyalty powers of any of your squad members once they are loyal to you.  I chose Dominate as my bonus power upon starting a new game. "
Huh. I thought that was tied to the achievements. Good to know otherwise.
#22 Edited by Garrus (543 posts) -

Widow Sniper Rifle, Warp Ammo, headshot. Scoped and dropped.
 
Avalanche if they got too close or I just needed one or two to stop shooting me even if they had no armor or shields.

#23 Posted by Roboyto (80 posts) -

I played through the game the first time on Veteran with an imported adept, didnt find it to be too terribly hard so i tried my next playthrough on Insanity with the same character. Lord was that a huge mistake. Adepts are pretty useless for insanity, at least for a second playthrough where you're already 30 and everything from the first mission on starts with all their weaps fully upgraded while almost all adept powers dont have any effect until shields/armor are whittled down. I found myself laying low pretty much only casting Warp while trying to rely on my teammates to do most of the killing. Those of you who have done Insanity know that relying on the teammates to do anything is a surefire way to hate the game.
 
So I stopped that Insanity playthrough and started a fresh Soldier on Hardcore. Loved the Soldier class a lot, didnt have much problems getting through any one section of the game really. So I started a new Insanity playthrough taking a lot of people's advice and using an Infiltrator imported from ME1. Its gone pretty well, started rough but as things get upgraded the fights get a little less lopsided. The final fight in the Grunt recruitment was probably the hardest encounter Ive had. Died a ton before I settled on a strategy that worked(wait out the Krogans til they're done spawning then work the mech then the merc leader). 
 
The thing that really surprised me about my Insanity playthrough has been the Horizon mission. I thought for sure it was going to make me hate the game with a passion after seeing so many people say how ridiculous it is. It only took me a couple of attempts to get through, though I was soloing most of it cause its nigh impossible to keep teammates up. The Collector Ship was the other infuriating sequence. The way the fighting in that part starts had me swearing at my TV a little bit lol.

#24 Posted by jmrwacko (2443 posts) -
@Skillface said:
"   And please no "You suck, that battle was easy" comments. Everybody plays the game differently...why can't we just get along, eh? :P "
Hey, one of my four deaths in my entire hardcore playthrough was on that boss battle. I feel your pain! ;-)

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