Behavioral modification/little circular icons of dread in PvE

I’ve seen plenty of complaints & praises given to modifiers that “force” changes in play style, and those got me thinking about my own relationship to them.

Generally I don’t look forward to the gamble of “did this person read the daily Horde modifiers and choose that class intentionally?” since the answer is overwhelmingly “no”. That’s clearly common with the “Reduced ___ Damage” ones.

In terms of specific modifiers with outsized impact to my own play style, the Horde set with Ultra Power Drain and Ultra Slow Recharge is obvious, but I’d say sleeper ones are:

  • Poison ___, since they’re almost like Ultra Power Drain (few bother being Engineers or having safety-margin forts), but goes further with a damage component. Plus the puddles last So. Damned. Long. And then continue to hurt for seconds after the visual effect disappears.
  • Heads Up is also deceptively dangerous for anything that gets in your base when it can be hard to hit panicked CQC headshots (also, if “having fun” was the behavior meant to be changed with Flocks, congratulations, they’re insufferable with that mod). I don’t know if I always completely change my approach, but it does make me think twice (or three times) about jumping in with non-rifle/precision classes/builds. (Execution Nomad can be pretty constant for this and most.)

For Escape, I think the Invincible ___ modifiers effectively mandate certain hive designs (doors), let alone user play. But I personally hate Ultra Stopping Power because it effectively randomly negates my controller input, and playing a game that removes your agency is frustrating (particularly in a time-attack mode mandating movement).

Do you play wildly differently when a particular modifier is present? Never play that daily/hive at all? Auto-kick classes from your lobbies?

Conversely, have there been pleasant surprises if you picked “suboptimal” classes unintentionally or for the extra challenge (or to troll)?

For a convenient reminder reference, here’s a condensed excerpt of my topic where I’d looked up all the modifiers/sets possible in Horde:

1. Aggressive Enemies 20. Instant Reload 38. Shielded Grenadiers
2. Bobble Head Enemies 21. Long Range Gambit 39. Shielded Heavies
3. Close Range Gambit 22. More Health 40. Shock Grenadiers
4. Confetti Headshot 23. More Lethal 41. Shock Rifle Drones
5. Double Headshot Damage 24. More Melee Damage 42. Shock Snipers
6. Even Stronger Enemies 25. Must Active Reload 43. Super Charged
7. Even Tougher Enemies 26. Only Regen In Cover 44. Super Energy
8. Execution Rules 27. Poison Drones 45. Survivor
9. Frag Rejects 28. Poison Flushers 46. Triple Headshot Damage
10. Freezing Grenadiers 29. Power Boost 47. Triple Melee Damage
11. Freezing Rifles 30. Power Drain 48. Ultra Power Drain
12. Freezing Sniper Bullets 31. Reduced Bleeding Damage 49. Ultra Slow Recharge
13. Ghost Drones 32. Reduced Explosive Damage 50. Ultra Stopping Power (Allies)
14. Ghost Enemies 33. Reduced Heavy Damage 51. Ultra Stopping Power (Enemies)
15. Ghost Flushers 34. Reflective Shell Grenadiers 52. Vampire
16. Ghost Heavies 35. Reflective Shell Heavies 53. Vampiric Drones
17. Heads Up 36. Regen Penalty 54. Vampiric Enemies
18. Healing Heavies 37. Regeneration 55. Zero Gravity Gore
19. Increased Accuracy

And here are all the ones in any Escape hive:

1. Add Bastions 24. Healing Buzzkill Scion 46. More Wardens
2. Ammo Starvation 25. Incendiary Juvies 47. Poison Drones
3. Big Recoil 26. Invincible Mulcher Scions 48. Poison Flushers
4. Close Range Rifle Drones 27. Invincible Wardens 49. Poison Rejects
5. Close Range Warden 28. Ironman 50. Reflective Shell Scions
6. Even Stronger Enemies 29. Lethal Enemies 51. Regen Penalty
7. Execution Rules 30. Longer Recharge 52. Regeneration
8. Faster Scions 31. Melee Resistant Juvies 53. Shielded Dropshot Scion
9. Faster Venom 32. More Drones 54. Shielded Grenadiers
10. Freezing Grenadiers 33. More Filler Enemies 55. Shielded Heavies
11. Freezing Imago Bullets 34. More Gatekeeper Health 56. Shock Grenadiers
12. Freezing Mulcher Scion 35. More Health 57. Shock Juvies
13. Freezing Peacemaker Bullets 36. More Juvie Health 58. Shock Rifle Drones
14. Freezing Sniper Bullets 37. More Lethal 59. Shock Snipers
15. Ghost Enemies 38. More Lethal Gatekeepers 60. Shock Wardens
16. Ghost Heavies 39. More Lethal Scions 61. Shorter Ultimate
17. Ghost Ice Scions 40. More Melee Damage 62. Strength In Numbers
18. Ghost Juvies 41. More Pouncers 63. Super Fast Venom
19. Ghost Pouncers 42. More Scion Health 64. Ultra Stopping Power
20. Ghost Rejects 43. More Scions 65. Vampiric Enemies
21. Ghost Sires 44. More Sires 66. Vampiric Gatekeepers
22. Ghost Wardens 45. More Stumps 67. Venom Resistant
23. Heads Up
1 Like

With Escape hives, I generally don’t want Brawlers in it purely because of the mentality of the majority of Brawlers - no consideration for team mates, injuring them with All The Glory AOE explosions and often charging ahead and alert all enemies…

The only other red line, is Infiltrators on The Line and The Wanderer, purely because there are no shotguns on these hives at all (not even a potential chance through RNG of enemy spawns), and the Infiltrator is pretty dependent on shotguns. I get that in Escape with the enemy HP being lower than in Horde (11-50 anyway) and in theory Infiltrators are not much different from other “weaker” classes, but with randomers it always feels like it’s more bother to carry them than it’s worth. Plus the Infiltrator is very strong with shotguns, so if they wanted to be carried to get cards or whatever, there are plenty of other hives to do it on. With the other “weaker” classes I’m more understanding.

To be honest, with Escape it’s more about the team composition and which hive. For example with Ice Queen, if you have a decent Marksman, then the other two players can be pretty much any class cos the Marksman can (if they have enough ammo) clear the majority of the hive, if not all. With Melee Brawl I’d want at least one melee class ideally, and it wouldn’t be good if I had a team that was dependent on ammo boxes and no other means of providing ammo (e.g.: if there was no Tactician, or Demolitions with Good Kill) because this hive has very few ammo boxes - we’re talking literally about 4 medium boxes or so.

I could never get BBCode tables to work on these forums, but Markdown and HTML do. With Markdown, you need a header row.

Markdown :

Modifier Modifier Modifier
Aggressive Enemies Instant Reload Shielded Grenadiers
Bobble Head Enemies Long Range Gambit Shielded Heavies
Close Range Gambit More Health Shock Grenadiers


Aggressive Enemies Instant Reload Shielded Grenadiers
Bobble Head Enemies Long Range Gambit Shielded Heavies
Close Range Gambit More Health Shock Grenadiers
1 Like

Oh, nice, thank you! I’d briefly tried Markdown but was in fact missing that header row, I think. I’ve now edited my original post to use tables so it looks a tiny bit better.


Use a Cryo Cannon, spam the Trigger (don’t hold it) and it dies fairly quickly, thank me later.

Spaming the Trigger applies to everytime you use the Cryo (Ice Scions as Jack excluded) on whatever Enemy, it deals more Damage/Freezes way quicker.


Yeah, very odd that it works this way. Not only is it quicker, but ammo is used much more constructively.

Don’t forget about the distance - it’s best to stay away from the target at least 5-6 feet away to deal the most damage.
I’ve seen so many people using Cryo in a very inefficient way by staying too close to the target and holding the trigger button instead of doing the bursts. :woman_facepalming:t2:


I learn something every day.

Admittedly, I don’t use Cryo Cannons much. Not useful at the time on the Horde waves they appear, never have free locker slots or remember to save, not worth buying barring late game cash. Though ironically I guess I did always intentionally put a Cryo somewhere in all my now-deleted custom hives that had Flocks (R.I.P.,…now there’s a place where I’d like to have used modifiers to influence behavior choices/challenges).

Also perhaps once in a blue moon I’d be a dedicated-support-Cryo Gunner for the lulz (Flash Freeze and only team-helping cards… I remember having a stars-aligned game of Frenzy on Tomb a long time ago where by the end I had almost no damage done on the scoreboard because it never counts Cryos, but, damn, if the rest of the team didn’t clear the frozen boss waves quickly).

Anyway, maybe these usage tips explain why I feel Flash Freeze has wildly fluctuated in actual freeze speed. It used to feel like it was Palace Guard speed, now it mostly feels like level 1 Icy Precision and barely better than without the card.

As for freeze “circular icons of dread”, Freezing Grenadier modifiers do make me at least debate taking Freeze Resist or CQC behavior changes. Freezing Sniper Bullets doesn’t scare or influence me, though. They’re generally avoidable, and if you get aim-botted by them, you would’ve been downed or worse without the modifier anyway.

Using this build (with heavy capacity card) on the Line and your teammates will thank you.


Yeah it’s actually alot of fun too. If I use the ice-build, it’s basically Bait Armor, Heavy Deflect and Ice Armor for the sheer tankiness; and Heavy Capacity and Flash Freeze to buff the Cryo Cannon. I tend to end up with zero kills with this build, but what can I say? I am the support son! I just wish it had some more effectiveness in Horde. All it would take is if the Chain Gun Ammo Regen was changed so that it also regenerated ammo for all heavy weapons (Salvo needs to be slow though for balance).


I did and they hated me for it lol. I hate The Line so much! Its the only hive to still give me such a hard time lol.

1 Like

To be honest it worked only 2 times for me (among others tentatives). This hive is most of the time a painful experience also on my side considering the huge among of time teammates do not cooperate, trigger too much scions at a time or steal weapons/ammo.

Good call, yepp!

1 Like

I’ve said this before, that’s why i rather Solo a Hive than playing with Randoms, never did and never will. :joy:

The Line is a hella easy Solo with BM,Marksman,Tactician or even Anchor.

1 Like

I wish I could solo hives … and on the other side, I enjoy playing with randoms just for the times it goes well (for instance yesterday on the Barracks after struggling a bit 3 times to understand what the host wanted to do).
Usually and especially for escape, you can figure out pretty fast if it is worthy or not to invest some times with new teammates.

Some of them are pretty easy.

Last Stand as Gunner
The Clock as Infiltrator
The Line as Tactician etc…
Brawler on a lot of hives helps too


I trust you and others PVE experts here that some are easy to solo but I think I prefer playing with them with at least one mate.
I don’t need anymore cards for any classes so I can afford some losses. It is part of the « fun » to see how it will go.

1 Like

Venom Run as Infiltrator is like playing Beginner.


Yeah that’s another one.