These are updated set-ups for survival mode. NOTE: Some aspects of these group set-ups and executions are NOT for everyone! There are multiple ways to skin a cat with these rounds, but these I found were the easiest, fastest, and safest tactics and setups. WARNING!!! - These strategies were my latest attempts and were smooth, safe, and fast. However, they also heavily relied on all eight players knowing every detail possible about their power, role, and general knowledge and are absolutely top-notch players widely regarded for their quality play. All eight players were communicating at all times to make these setups possible, and surely will fail otherwise. That said, attempt these with that these points in mind. Adjustments can easily be made (the purpose of why I setup this way), and following these setups will allow you to progress as fast as possible or as safe as possible - whichever works best for you. DO NOT expect to try these with massive success from PUG's. Requirements/Advantages These are some of the things your group will want to have to run these setups. Some are absolutely essential, where others can possibly be your life-saver but often just another option... and some are just a small advantage. ------- Role-Flexible players - No, this does not mean having 4-5 power tokens in your inventory. You want players that can both DPS and use their role. You can have ONE troll, ONE healer, and ONE tank be purely those roles, but the other 5 players should be able to both DPS and use their support role. ------- Armories - These are essential for immediate emergency role changes in the event a group member is lost or is otherwise overburdened with their role. You do NOT need to purchase any armories to use this option - you can simply set up the role you are not using in your free armory, and then respec yourself to set up the role you will be using to begin with. Multiple armories are, however, a distinct advantage because sometimes you may need to switch roles more than once. ------- Overall Group Powersets - This one can be a life-saver, or be useless depending on what happens. DPS should NOT be necessarily the best burning powers in the game, but ideally your overall group powersets should be based upon the following: You will want 3 Tank powersets in your group. You will want 3 Healer powersets in your group. You will want 2 Troll powersets in your group. Small deviations can be made from this power setup. Probably the least needed powerset here is the 3rd healer powerset - you can very much get by with a 4th tank or a 3rd controller instead. However, aiming for this will help with Role-flexibility to make sure you can not only have the widest range of safety nets available, and the ability to keep fighting after losing 1 or even 2 players. ------- Communication - This should never be a quiet attempt. Coordinating pickups, role changes, supply drops, positioning, and tactics are life-and-death situations you cant just type out. Even with the safest tactics, poor communication can result in lost players - which will cut your run short very easily. I learned this one first-hand on our USPS first-appearance to Round 7 run. ------- Gear/SP -- Not as important as people really think, but every advantage you can get helps. In perfect runs through survival mode though - where every best action every player can take at all times is taken - the only thing that will ultimately prevent your advance through a round is Statistical barriers. Im not saying that a low CR player cannot reach something like Round 7, but I CAN say that a group with less than 106CR's will be incurring additional challenges - and can ultimately set their maximum potential round they can reach shorter just by their statistics. ------- Boss mechanic knowledge -- This is invaluable to have - by far the most important aspect to how effective you are in Survival Mode. Improper group formations or tactics will result in as many as 6 people dying from one attack - some of them happen with few tells or the ability to avoid them. And yes, every boss is fought differently. ------- Repair Bots -- Sad to say, these are required for most groups as well after a certain point. Especially your first few trips to the deep depths of Survival Mode, you will find that these will be essential at certain points - I've even ran into points where these would be popped mid-boss fight and would repair one player at a time. There's plenty out there in the game, and they are not necessary unless you are really quite far into your run. ------- PS3 VS PS4 -- Obviously, PS4 players have far less of a hassle than PS3 players. HOWEVER, for Survival Mode specifically, PS3 is very much able to run this instance without freezing. Cleaning out your memory by deleting excess saves from other games, wired internet connections, and emptying your mailbox (trust me, these messages can build up and take a TON of memory) will help minimize DC's and freezes. A hard-reset (Exiting the entire game, not just a character logout) before entering survival mode will help too. Sadly, you cannot expect to play the game for 3-4 hours continuous, then go into survival mode thinking a freeze might not happen. I run a PS3, it sucks, but I have yet to freeze or suffer connection problems in Survival Mode outside of enemies taking 2-3 seconds to appear at the beginning of a wave. (Knock on wood!) ------- Single-Tank mentality -- This just is a poor attitude to have for survival mode. This tactic was always the way to go from shortly after the game was launched - until now. Survival mode is best done with two tanks at the ready. Using just one tank, while it is possible, removes most of your safety nets for a fight in the event the tank falls. These bosses do significant damage, and one slight tank slip-up CAN result in that tank dropping - even on the adds. If you want to realistically advance through survival mode with as little headaches as possible for everyone, abandon this very long-tradition mentality. At the very least, you will want AT LEAST one tank and one DPS that is able to switch to a fully-functional tank.