Dev Blog #9 - Nightmare Mode

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Dev Blog #9 - Nightmare Mode
There are many aspects to consider when crafting the most immersive zombie experience. Read about Nightmare Mode – the new, most challenging way to play Dying Light 2 Stay Human.

Hi, it’s Tymon here! Good to be back so soon. Last week, we shed some light on our Community Ideas initiative. I told you a bit about our approach and methods of getting your suggestions included in the game. I think it’s a fantastic project and your input in the constant shaping of Dying Light 2 Stay Human is incredibly valuable to us.

Today, I have the pleasure of letting you know that another one of your ideas goes live in just a couple of days! I’m talking about Nightmare Mode, also known as Nightmare Difficulty, which will provide the most challenging experience in the world of Dying Light 2 Stay Human. It requires total concentration and extreme caution on the part of the player and, in turn, delivers the highest level of immersion yet.

The main inspiration for this feature was, of course, a similar mode from the first Dying Light game – but we wouldn’t be ourselves without adding a lot of new and refreshed elements on top. Also, while implementing the changes to health stats and mob toughness, we paid attention especially to Volatiles, because we wanted to make sure they retain their status of the ultimate night predators.

To get you even more immersed in the terrifying world of our game, Nightmare Mode removes the majority of HUD elements. To notice an enemy, you will need to rely on your eyes and ears, instead of checking the UI markers. Additionally, we rebalanced some of the gameplay aids, such as Boosters, so that their use could become more tactical and involve a level of consideration on the player’s side. We took great care in making this mode as immersive and atmospheric as possible, so we borrowed the flickering flashlight from the first Dying Light. By the way, it’s another feature you asked for in Community Ideas that now lands in the game!

As I’ve mentioned already, we’ve built this new difficulty in Dying Light 2 Stay Human on the foundations of the first game – but there are updates and upgrades. The first noteworthy change is the stamina management system, which we called Tactical Stamina. It motivates the players to approach it more deliberately, as the repercussions of using it all up are more grave – it also gets restored more slowly. Additionally, we took a closer look at the chase mechanics and altered them considerably, so that every pursuit and escape can be even more terrifying and high-octane. So, you’ll notice the chases getting more intense pretty much right off the bat – and if you manage to evade the zombies for long enough, you’ll get to a new, 5th level, where Volatile Tyrants join in on the fun. Night roaming will get harder in general – for example, the inhibitors are going to grant less immunity.

Jan Rajtar-Kruczyński, our Game Designer, talks about the hardest difficulty co-op:

“Nightmare Mode overhauls a lot of settings that work differently in other difficulties. For example, normally, playing in co-op makes the game easier, but here it is quite the opposite – the fights are scaled to be very challenging. The idea here is that through good cooperation and communication, you will be able to overcome even the toughest enemies. During development, I had the most fun playing Nightmare in co-op – ever since the game’s launch!”

There is much, much more! I’ve listed the biggest changes, but bear in mind that while working on implementing this mode, we applied loads of smaller modifications – I hope you notice and enjoy them all. Actually, to make sure we deliver on your expectations, we carried out two rounds of playtests with some of our community pals and influencers. As I always say, we’re open to your feedback, so please be sure to share your thoughts on the Nightmare Mode on our social media channels.

And I almost forgot about the most important thing! You might be asking yourself why play in Nightmare Mode if it’s such a… nightmare? I’m not going to lie, this feature is mostly aimed at our most dedicated and hardcore players who are out there, reaping the Legend Levels. Janek explains:

“We’ve been noticing with each update that the players' characters grow, often outpacing even the newly added challenges. The goal of Nightmare Mode is to add a demanding yet fun layer to the game, addressing the needs of those who feel that they are too overpowered. In the end, we want Dying Light 2 Stay Human to allow players to be creative again.”

Additionally, all players who complete the game on this difficulty will be rewarded with a super unique outfit – can you guess whose? You’ll be pleased, I tell you!

One more thing – introducing Nightmare Mode to the game is another example of how we're making an effort to listen to the feedback that our players give us via the Community Ideas initiative. It’s the best way to get your voice heard. I’m pleased to let you know that we have just opened the next round of submissions – send us new ideas and vote for your choices on Pilgrim Outpost! And, as usual, let us know what you think on <<reddit>>.

Enjoy Nightmare Mode and other features coming with the Nightmare Mode Update this Thursday, April 18th!

Stay safe, Pilgrims!



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