So I'm going to try and break down the best way to beat this game on Cataclysm. My friend and I beat the game on all difficulties through Nightmare and once we had a full set of unique orange weapons for our characters and we felt like we knew the game really well, we decided to try out cataclysm. To start you will need a full team. Playing with 2-3 people and having bots is next to impossible. Now that doesn't mean there aren't some crazy people out there who solo Cata difficulty, because there are, but if you're like me and just want to get through it to get the achievement build a team of four people who communicate. My friend and I played a lot of nightmare and eventually we met some randoms online who had a good handle of the game and had mics. Once we all agreed to try Cata it took us around a day and a half to beat all of the levels. .
My plan with this guide is to give some general tips that worked well for us and over the next few days build up a level by level guide. I'm not going to give a long walkthrough for each level, just some pointers and tips on things to look out for.
DISCLAIMER: The tips I'm about to give are not perfect. Some players are leveled up in the hundreds and they probably have a much better grasp on every detail of the game and the best weapons, characters, trinkets and strategies. These tips are what worked for us. There were only two levels that we spent more than a handful of times on, so most of what we did worked pretty well.
1. Your team of characters. For our team we used the Witchhunter, Elf, Dwarf and the Soldier. The Mage might be the greatest character to ever exist and I might not know that, but for us she was the worst one. Or maybe none of us had no idea how to use her. Either way these four worked really well for us.
2. Use of the characters. Cata difficulty is the biggest jump of any of them and the hardest to get used to. The reason bots don't work is because you have to stick close together to survive the hordes. So for us it worked great to have the dwarf and soldier. They are heavy characters, or "tanks" and therefore are great at taking agro from enemies and keeping things clear. When the hordes come it's effective to have these two characters out front bashing enemies away with their stamina. While they are doing that the witchhunter and elf slice or blast everything in sight behind the tanks keeping a keen eye on taking out any specials right away.
3. Character loadouts: For all characters make sure you have unique orange weapons.
Dwarf: Axe and shield and Drakefire Pistols
Empire Soldier: Mace and Shield/sword and shield and Repeater Handgun.
Elf: Dual daggers/Glaive and Trueflight longbow/swift bow depending on level.
Witchhunter: Rapier and Brace of pistols.
4. Trinkets: After level 30 you have three slots to fill up with trinkets and just like the weapons you ideally would want as many unique trinkets as you can get. Here are the ones that we found to be really useful.
Charm of the Hedge Wizard: Whoever wears it if they drink a health potion it will heal other characters within 15 meters 20% of their missing health. This is great for when several characters get downed. Whoever has the trinket heals and brings the others out of last stand gray health.
Silver Dove of Shallya: When using medical supplies on an ally, you will be healed for 20% of your missing health. Works great to heal at least two characters with one health.
Rainbow Fish: When using medical supplies and healing draughts there is a 20% chance that it won't be consumed. Another one great for potentially giving the group more chances at getting health.
Seal of the Swift Strider: Makes your characters movement 8% faster and no penalty on stamina when you dodge. The enemies move quicker than you so this puts you faster than them. Can help in some tight situations.
Rack of Masters Brew: when drinking a potion the effect will spread to all allies within 15 meters. This one is fantastic for fighting the rat ogre with. Have the person who has the trinket consume a strength potion and then everyone attack the ogre. If done right he will be downed within 15 seconds even on Cata difficulty.
Gunnery school guide: Expert: Effective radius of Grenades increased 40% am day no friendly fire damage taken from grenades. This trinket is amazing. Because on Cata the person wearing it can throw grenades to their hearts content without worrying about killing their teammates. We always gave the guy holding this trinket any firebombs we found so he could clear out large hordes. And bombs are good too for rat ogre fights in close quarters.
5. Specials. Become a pro at understanding each special. Learn the sounds they make. Each one has a distinct cue and a lot of the time one of the characters will mention whatever special is near by. Learn the tactics to fight each special with the least amount of damage taken. Ideally the elf or witch hunter should snipe any specials as soon as they see them.
6. Rat ogre(tank). Most levels have a rat ogre random event. If you don't know how to fight them they can end your run really fast. Most likely you've been through nightmare and have a good idea of how to handle them. Ideally have the dwarf or soldier agro the rat ogre so its focused on them. That leaves everyone else to blast it with their ranged weapons. You can use melee but that leaves you open to big hits if the ogre quick turns on you. Your best bet is to make sure whoever has the trinket for shared positions acquires a strength position as soon as possible and a bomb. When the ogre spawns that character drinks the strength potion and its shared between all characters. Thrown any bombs you have and then open fire with ranged weapons. Generally our team could take down a rat ogre within seconds with this method on Cata. The other thing to be aware of is often times other Skavin will spawn and give you grief during the Ogre fight. So make sure you are aware of other enemies or someone on your team is taking care of the skavin while the rest fight the ogre.
7. Block. Block is your absolute best friend. No matter what you are doing block pretty much. In cata you will go down in just a few hits. If you hold block before you open a chest of downed ally you will not take damage unless you get hit enough to break your stamina shields. Learn to read enemy patterns and block their attacks and then strike. Block will save your life.
8. Open spaces/walls. Walls you say! Well I’m here to tell you that walls will save your life on Cata. Several levels have wide open spaces and that’s bad. Like really bad. Especially if a horde is on its way. You’ll be surrounded and dead before you know it. If a horse is coming back into a wall or corner with all four of you and fight them off until it’s clear. If done right nobody will take damage. Learn where good spots to hold off in are at in each level.
9. Communication. Put together a team with four people who have mics. Call out what you’re doing and what you see. I have surround so it was easy for me to pick out when specials spawned in due to their unique sound. So I would call it out to the group. Communicate who needs ammo when it’s limited. If you hit RB on your controller when you are pointed at an item it will highlight it in blue for all to see. Do this for everything. Communication is also really important during events when you have to destroy certain things or carry barrels.
That’s enough rambling about tips. Just follow those and have patience and things shouldn’t be too bad. It seems daunting and impossible but it’s not. We started Cata with levels ranging from 40-70 and one 150. Levels don’t really matter as long as you know the enemy patterns, levels and your character is equipped with all uniques and good traits. Okay then, on to level tips.
So I’ll break down this section by each individual level. I won’t go into crazy detail about every part of the level. Just more tips on certain parts and what to expect. I’ll also give each level a difficulty rating based on how it was for my group on Cata.
Horn of Magnus
Overall this is a good easy intro level into Cata difficulty. You start on the docks with only a few enemies here and there. There’s quite a few supplies before you press on so snatch those and head to the guard tower. As you’re leaving the guard tower a horde always spawns as well as a rat ogre sometimes. Jump down to the clearing as the horde comes and make sure no one stays up top. Otherwise they could get jumped by a special and you won’t be able to reach them. Press on through the city until you reach and ammo box and some fallen wood that leads you to another area. Have everyone move quickly to the new area because once again you can’t get back. At this point you have to carry an explosive barrel over to the gate three times to blow it. This spot is kind of a crapshoot. Sometimes it’s super easy and other times the hordes don’t stop. Just gather together and put your backs against the wall during hordes. The gate blows up and you’ll be in a large open town square. Follow the left side and stick together. This is another area a rat ogre might spawn if you haven’t fought one yet. Keep moving until you enter a house and head upwards and then out onto the roof. Soon you’ll reach the tower and climb the stairs toward the horn. None of this area is very tough if you stick together. Just be on the look out for stormvermin patrols. They can easily ruin your run. After you blow the horn head down and to the right of the stairs there’s an alcove your group can hide in. Nothing will drop down on you or come from behind. It’s easy to hold out with shield characters in front until the event is over. Once the whole opens drop down and escape. Nothing much to it.
Supply and Demand:
This level is a pain in the ass. It’s only the second level but for my group it was a huge, rage inducing pain in the ass. Here is a rat ogre and sometimes two different stormvermin patrols on this level. My best advice is stick together, take it slow and scavenge everywhere for supplies. The level has several large open areas where hordes will come and mess you up st the most inopurtune times. Walls are your best friends. Put your backs to them and fight before moving on. For the last part where you collect food for the wagon some tips. We had the elf stay up top before you drop down to start the final event. It’s the room with the ammo box and first aid. There’s a whole in the wall above the final area where he can rain pain down on the land with true flight arrows and unlimited ammo. He just has to worry about specials. The other three stick together and follow the sides of the area. Don’t go through the middle. You’ll get stuck on stalls or get separated and the horde doesn’t end. It sucks. We also didn’t throw the sacks into the wagon. We just theew them in front until we collected all of them. I don’t know if it made things easier but it felt like it did. Good luck.
This one is a short and easy level. You start in the sewers and have to go through a few small tunnel like areas collecting supplies. You’ll drop down into a larger area fairly quick in the level and knock s chain to drop a door. During this event you’ll have to fight a constant onslaught of skaven. It’s not bad. Just group together with your backs against the wall. Use fired grenades if you get into trouble to clear out he groups. Once the door is down move on and fight through some more tunnels gathering supplies. Soon after you’ll drop down again. This time the event is much shorter. When the door is down you have to dash down a few more tunnels to a ladde. During this time it feels like and endless horde, but usually it has breaks in between enemies. So move down the tunnel, stop as a group and kill the onslaught and move forward again. Eventually you’ll come to a ladder that leads to street level and the exit. Watch out going up the ladder as sometimes specials can attack. Like most levels a stormvermin patrols or rat ogre might spawn. But not always. Overall super quick and easy level.
The Wizards Tower
This level is not as bad as we thought. It can be confusing at times but if you’ve played it enough, which you should at this point if you’re trying it on Cata, then it’s not bad. There’s stormvermin patrols and a rat ogre like most other levels. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand and they come at the worst time. But if you stick to the tips you can get through it. Biggest advice would be to really stick together. This level has a lot of stairs and areas you drop down into. So if you become separated you can really screw yourself and your team. Protecting the wards at the end isn’t bad either. Just try to get to the last room with each member fully supplied with health, potions and grenades. Guard just one wardas a group and let the other three fall. As long as you stay with each other you should be able to defend just fine. Kill enemies at range when possible. Use bombs or fire if you get overrun.
This is a level that would be hard on Cata, but due to an exploit it’s super easy. Start the level like normal. Collect the supplies along the dock and kill enemies before you drop down into the main area. Now have the team wait up by the chest where the drop off is too the main area. Have the designated player head to the tall ladder on the side of the level with your boat. It’s a ladder on the second floor and it leads up to a look out point type area. Climb the ladder and stop right near the top. If done right as the horn sounds for the first horde they will all go to the guy on the ladder and just freeze. The rest of the team can then jump down and collect barrels pretty freely. You only should have to worry about a special here and there, but the rat ogre won’t spawn if you do the exploit. Once all the barrels are in, everyone gathers on the boat. The person on the ladder can either make a mad dash to the boat to try and escape or just die. It doesn’t matter.
Engines of War
Man, F this level. This one is probably the level we had the most absolute hardest time on. It’s long, there’s large open areas and plenty of moments where you just get shit on. There are ogres, patrols and lots of hordes. When you think you’ve got it and you’re going to win the level decides to destroy you and then it’s back to the start again. Anyways, I digress. You start the level outside working your way through a small ravine. Enemies are sparse so have your ranged characters take them out as you go. You’ll move through some rocks and on the right side there’s always a medley before you drop into the swamp. Now as you reach the swamp there’s a horde. So choose to fight above on the rocks or down below in the swamp. Either way stick close to each other and put your backs to the wall. The swamp area is wide open. Sometimes an ogre will spawn in the area also. Move along quickly finding supplies where you can. You go up a hill. Then back down into some caves. Tons of specials to fight. Globediers and rustling gunners can catch you in some bad spots out in the open so take them out as quick as possible.
Man the Ramparts
Garden of Morr
Wheat and Chaff
The Enemy Below
The White Rat
I Will keep updating this over the next couple days.