Ranking Escape Hives by Difficulty

I’m just thinking back of how Escape had to be played around launch. Mac, Keegan and Lahni (or Emile) were working so well together and it was still difficult to beat the hive (take The Gauntlet as an example).

All of a sudden we have some characters like Cole who can just… run through it…?

Cole is comparable with Lahni in a way that they’re both melee characters. But Cole just blows up sections of hives while with Lahni you sort of had to rely on Venom and yet still be a little bit careful with your moves. Cole has just way more damage resistance and even gets stim on every kill I mean like… don’t tell me that’s not overpowered?

Yes I know, some people can’t handle Cole’s movement. Same as I could never handle Lahni. But even by just holding down A and getting to cover to recover your health every once in a while is enough distraction usually to have your teammates take out the guys without being shot at.

Also Fahz straight up replaced Mac.


It depends on the play style of your friend group I would assume because fahz didn’t replace Mac with who I play with. I’d say he replaced Mac for score runs exclusively. They are both excellent in their own right. Now if fahz has viable health cards then I’d agree with you 100%.

Cole is a very powerful character but only powerful if the user knows how to play him.

(Not intended to be offensive) I guarantee you if I go in a random lobby right now and a person chooses cole, I’m going to be disappointed and likely not win the hive if it’s one of the more challenging ones.

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I was just starting escape when it was that brutal. If only it was like that now.

I also just found out gauntlet was nerfed sometime in March because players were having a hard time getting seriously 5.0. I had no idea :/. I wasn’t even playing escape yet.

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Well, I know some posters here have called it stupidly easy, that any characters could do it blindfolded, etc., I’m a bit on the older side of gamers (in 30s) so perhaps I’m missing some of the twitch reflexes they have. Anyway, I feel like I’m a good player based on my track record, but not good to the point where I can make up for starting out at a disadvantage from the get-go, such as using a team that’s less than ideal, or people playing characters not adhering to their natural roles.

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Kait is fine in the mist aswell or any sure beaters even lahni can handle mist.

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Yeah I’ve done it as Kait and Lahni too, but I had Fahz and Paduk with me.

I think Cole’s power in hives also largely depends on what level his skills are. Mine gets what, 70 or 73% resistance from Damage Dash and Inner Fire combined currently? It’s still noticeable when a lot of fire is coming in, not that I play Cole often. Which is probably why most of my Rares, Epics and the Legendaries on him are Level 3/4 or 2 in case of the legendaries.

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For the record, I was one of those people [who felt that The Mist was very easy] on my initial playthrough. I did mention in the other thread (the one specifically about The Mist) that I am revising my assessment of it to a 2-star Hive. :smiley:

It’s one of those hives which can easily go horribly wrong if people don’t stay together as a group, get isolated and snatched away by a Sire. But then again, alot of hives can become much much harder if people start doing silly things.

I think I likened The Mist to The Ambush and The Hunters. The Hunters comparison is obviously - lots of Sires. The Ambush comparison, was in reference to the constant Juvie reinforcements coming at you from behind. If someone is designated the rear guard and sticks to this role in a disciplined manner, then the hive is very easy. The rear-guard role is boring for sure, but very necessary in my opinion. A similar thing applies to The Mist in that teams should move as a unit, listen and watch out for Sires, and either call them out or at least mark them.

I don’t think Paduk is super essential (although he is very good), but you’d need someone who can deal with Sires who tend to come in small groups of 2-3 at a time. Kait is very good as her bleed is powerful and the Sires have less health. I do think several different combinations of characters can be used, but I’ll add a caveat here - they will need to be able to deal with multiple Sires at the same time. As ever player skill can compensate to an extent and make some of the weaker characters seem viable, but some characters are definitely better than others. If people start rushing off to explore, search ammo boxes and get separated from team mates then they’re taking a big risk.


I have yet to find a public lobby where someone really tries to Master a map as Mac. Since Fahz’ appearance in Escape, I have never seen a Mac in any lobby anymore (besides card/XP grinds obviously).
Fahz is way more powerful in terms of damage than Mac. Mac relies on his bleeding Boltok mainly, with a few exceptions. Fahz can just shred everything, even bosses (Mac can’t). The only thing Fahz is missing is damage resistance. Well good thing we have our decoy Cole usually running around right? Oh yeah Fahz can also blow things up, Mac can not. Forgot to mention that. Fahz also can shoot through walls, applying even more damage than usual. Mac receives a shield which is alright but again, it’s simply better to get rid of enemies quickly so you have less enemies shooting at you. Mac just overall takes longer for everything.

This already speaks for itself. Many people pick him even if they’re not great at it because he’s just straight up good.

Of course not everybody is good with any character, yet also not everybody is supposed to beat the highest difficulty (which I believe is the reason of having a very hard difficulty).

True. I also don’t think it’s the intention to run Master difficulty on low level cards. The cards are supposed to assist you while at the same time I’d say they’re not supposed to make runs very easy (on Master) when you maxed them out. Still comparing to Mac/Lahni/Keegan here around launch.

Public lobbies tend to steer towards the more obvious choice or set up (if it’s horde). All I’m saying he is still playable on master at a high level and in my small escape world, he wasn’t replaced.

Maybe in most circles he’s been replaced but probably not everyone.

Before your Solo runs I don’t even remember anyone saying Cole was overpowered. I don’t remember 100% but I doubt it was even a conversation.


I’ve found Mac is still a very good escape option. I mastered The Split on my first try using him.

There are a lot of sections where his ult comes in handy, as you’re able to pop it and take out large groups of enemies at your leisure.

This goes for most other maps too. Mac is a very good character on almost any map due to his boltok bleed, in my opinion. Very good for helping the team get through the first 1-2 encounters until everyone has their weapons.


I did manage to 2-man it this morning as Kait while someone played Fahz. I think we were just above average players though and it may not be repeatable with any randoms, based on my experience with failure in plenty of 3 person teams. Fahz Fahz’d it up as I did work on Sires, poppers, grenadiers, and Matriarch, keeping my head on a swivel. It also required occasional cloaked medic duty. I still think I could’ve played the role slightly more easily as Paduk though Kait is very close.

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Yep, the Lahini can definitely solo this hive.

I joined a master escape game on ‘The Line’ pretty late… By late I mean I joined when the animation showed of Lahini boarding the helicopter at the LZ. It was just Lahini… and no one else.

But the interesting fact is that I had an achievement pop up for me. It was ‘Brought a knife to a Gun Fight’.
I realized that Lahini had killed all the scions in this hive just by using her knife… and no other weapons at all.

This was the most hardest achievement I had gotten so far with absolutely zero effort from my side lol.

Idk if I completely agree with the “it’s about the player not the character” talk. Well, only to a certain extent, but that’s it. Some hives just suit certain characters better. It doesn’t take world class skill to put Paduk over Cole on the Mist for instance. All it takes is awareness of surroundings and the ability to hold down the chainsaw button. I would also take a decent Fahz over any pro COG Gear, for instance. I recently did The Mist as Paduk with COG Gear and a lvl 10 Kait. The two players were really good, but it was still unnecessarily difficult. I quickly realized that was the point. They were doing it on purpose to prove that they’re “badasses.” I think it took us three tries. I only stuck around because I guess I was slightly entertained by it. Still when we finally got it I didn’t share in their excited celebration. Heck, I didn’t think it was such a big deal guy successfully replaces Fahz with COG Gear in three tries with high lvl Paduk watching his ■■■. So what? Honestly, I’d just rather get hives done the most efficient way possible and that means using the characters best suited for each particular hive.


That’s totally fine to play that way but if you only use the best possible characters for a hive for “efficiency” then you are likely to use less than half the characters all operation. The same/similar line-up over and over can get boring. I do agree with your sentiment when it comes down to score runs though-if you want to waste your time with those. choosing the best characters that leads to the best strategy relative to your teammates is pretty much the only way to go when only using 3 skill cards.

I actually could see myself doing no skill cards on that map as a team not because it would be hard but it would be slightly more interesting than a regular run or score run.

I’d do it with two other people that also wanted to do it. I wouldn’t do it with one person who didn’t know it was happening or wasn’t all that interested or invested.

A long time ago my old horde friends would pick bizarre 1-50 horde (middle of vasgar for instance) set ups because after winning the same maps the same ways 20 or more times on master, it’s nice to add some flavor.


On Forever, all they have to do is look at you and then you will fall over.

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Lol pretty much. It’s a shame its bugged.

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I’ve never once legitimately played Forever. Every time I’ve tried it’s been bugged.

I’ve done it once on Master, in Op 1, but it was a “easy” completion, in relative terms, because we didn’t get an extremely difficult spawn at the starting act and in the second, we didn’t get any extremely tough enemies either and just some Imagos, Pouncers and Grenadier Elites in the final room when it could have been filled with Drone and Hunter/Sniper Elites + at least one Mulcher Scion with Pouncers or a Warden that gets shielded by multiple Bastions.

I once did that final room when it spawned Drone and Hunter Elites on Inconceivable when it first released. It was ridiculously tough and I must’ve been stuck with those randoms in it for at least an hour until we managed to get through there, no thanks to the execution rules(the one time where they actually make something more difficult because the enemies won’t be killed by bleed) and getting 1-2 shot sniped by the ridiculous Claw from across the room. While prior to that facing a Flock, Ice Scion and 2 or 3 Elites and having a Juvie/Popper spawn before the big room.

Although I did also once do an Incon run on the hive again later on in Op 2 where I had the pleasure of getting a Bastioned Stump with a Sire and some Elites right outside of the saferoom, then Drone Elites with Sniper Elites and the dreadful Warden + Bastions spawn in the big room back when it didn’t seem to be widely known yet that hitting Bastion shields with the Boomshot transferred damage and bleed to the Bastion(I had to tell the Keegan player that it did and they seemed to be forgetting about it). Although then, Wardens were also still a little trickier to deal with than now.

Not a pleasant experience to say the least, even though I ended up eventually beating all those runs.

Until you turn on 3x damage(which I think used to be a 4x damage modifier on top of More Lethal, but could be wrong), Forever was however quite fun and not nearly as annoying to play, if you weren’t looking for an excessive challenge.

Of course none of this really applies too much if the spawns always bug out on you.

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