Self-imposed restrictions I used to make the beta more challenging

During the closed beta I put about 14 hours into Itacua alone. Then I spent another 4-6 hours glitched out of the boundaries and exploring. One of the areas I got to see a lot of was Montyuc. So when Montyuc was included in the Open Beta, I had felt like I already knew a lot of what there was to know in the areas provided. Plus I did each of the story missions about 4 times because all of my "main circle" of friends got on at different times and I helped them each clear the beta.

You'd think playing the same missions over and over again would get old. But I found a couple ways to make it fun, like just trying the missions from different styles like loud and proud, silently sniping, or stealthy and non-lethal (or as non-lethal as I could get.)

Eventually though, all my friends were caught up and we were out of "new ways" to rush bases. So we made the game harder with the following rules…

1: Extreme difficulty. (Which we played on for the most part anyway, but I figured I'd specify it just to be clear.)

2: Markers off. No more little red pips indicating enemies. No more blue pips indicating C4 or mines. No more objective markers, you have to find those mortar shell boxes with your actual eyeballs now, and confirm the lieutenants based on their fancy clothes.

3: No mini-map. Partly because there's still red dots on the map to indicate enemy locations, but also partly because getting lost in the jungles of Bolivia is actually fun. And if you're like us and want to use cardinal directions to help with callouts, don't worry, there's a compass in the binoculars / drone screen that tells you which way you're pointing.

4: No fast travel. Road-side encounters happening organically is some of the most fun you can have in this game, believe me. When a Unidad technical rolls up and spots you and you're suddenly in a high speed chase avoiding gunships just because you were trying to get from point A to point B, you'll appreciate that you didn't just teleport to a new firebase.

5: No respawns. The timer that ticks away while you're downed isn't a "bleed out" timer. You can lay there indefinitely until you get revived or the rest of your team dies. Do not respawn, once you're out, you're out. The exception to this being a death inside a vehicle which will force you to respawn, but just C4 or Frag yourself afterwards to keep things fair.

6: No changing loadouts on the fly. You can only change your weapons at a safehouse (Itacua Echo, Montyuc Alpha, etc) Nobody cares if you change your clothes though, that's just cosmetic anyway, and maybe you packed a Ghilie Suit in the back of the truck.

7: No using "wild" ammo boxes. The game is littered with Ammo Boxes, there's never any real risk of running out. So the only ammo boxes you're allowed to use are the ones you find at a safehouse (the same ones where you can change loadouts.) In a pinch, you'll have to scavenge a new weapon and possibly play against your own style to make it out of the field alive.

After the inclusion of these self-imposed restrictions the game took a hard turn. I was one of our two infiltrators sneaking into the bases. We had a guy equipped for a big fight if we needed it who mostly used his drone to provide recon for us infiltrators. And of course, we had a dedicated sniper who covered us as we went in. The guy on drone would callout lone targets and one of us would drag them away and kill them. The sniper would help us take down multiple targets. It was amazingly tactical, everything this game should be.

Every firefight was tense. 3 shots would down us, and we didn't always know where the bullets came from. I'd be stuck on cover basically begging for a teammate to assist. During one night raid that went south, I popped a flare at where the enemy bullets were coming from and told my team to just frag the area. About 5 explosions and a rebel mortar shelling later, we managed to cross the street. It was amazing.

Even navigating the world with these restrictions becomes more tense. Someone drove, while the passenger side had the tactical map up as a GPS to tell us which turns to take and generally navigate. But when one of those roadside chases / firefights began and we needed all hands on battlestations, without a navigator it was just about driving for your life and hoping you're going the right direction, but not straight into a Santa Blanca checkpoint.

In conclusion, I'm going to die waiting for March 7th…

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