Yes, actually. With the ability to monitor changes in bonus score, I found that it is entirely due to yellow bonus score pickups. Deaths and revives do not impact your score, except that of course if someone is dead that means they aren’t able to earn assists during that period. Maximizing your score, then, means:
- Milk every opportunity to get more enemies spawned to kill. Don’t kill teleporters/spikes, don’t damage a boss unless they’re definitely done spawning new enemies…and only enough damage to trigger more spawns.
- Many bosses that will spawn waves of enemies drop bonus score balls near them each time that happens, and all of them drop bonus score balls when they die. These have a limited lifetime, so have people in position to grab them before dealing that last bit of damage!
- Geoff will repeatedly spawn “spiderbabies” for a long time without any prodding. The Conservator needs to take a little bit of damage to trigger a new wave after you’ve killed the previous wave. The Heliophage usually has enough minion spawning bosses that you can run out of server time before you can’t get any more minions to spawn. Experiment with each boss to see how you can trigger new spawns.
- Make sure that you and your teammates are getting assists on as many kills as you can:
focus fire on the same enemies as a group.
- Most enemies are worth slightly more score if you kill them immediately after they spawn: even little minions can give 31 pts vs 25 pts base.
- If you have a healer/support make sure they are able to heal/buff everyone else on the team regularly so they are getting assists.
- Regardless of your class, watch for helix options that let you more easily get assists.
- Spend shards on gear before buildables
- If you can survive without them, don’t build turrets at all and only build the temporal traps.
- If you must build a damaging trap, use the flash trap rather than an incinerator so it damages without killing
- If you must build a damaging turret, use the shock turret in a last-line-of-defense position to limit how many enemy spawners it destroys and how many enemies will enter its kill-zone
- If someone dies or needs a revive, use crowd control to get a window to revive them or back off towards the respawn area to avoid killing enemies unassisted. If you have enough extra lives, it is better to let them respawn, then get vengeance together, than it is to get solo vengeance then revive them.
- Open every chest, pop every destructable in the environment, they all have the chance to contain blue score balls.
- The few epic chests in each level also drop some yellow bonus balls when you open them, be quick to grab them before they despawn
Although its worth a few points to kill enemies immediately after they spawn, there is no score impact for simply finishing a level quickly. Be methodical in getting every chest and destructable for those score balls! The only level timer that matters is the maximum server time your game has been allotted (you can see it if you hit escape).
Some levels are very easy to get gold score on if you finish them, as either the boss or some stage during the level allows you nearly unlimited spawns to kill. Some, like The Archive, have both (besides the sparse spawns the boss produces, the biggest score payoff is with the data minions: let them all get slaughtered while you carefully kill a fraction of the enemies, leaving enough around and not aggro’d on you that they’ll kill every data minion, only start protecting them when you’re confident you have enough score and are ready to move on).
For The Renegade, note that swarmers only award score if you kill them…if they self-destruct, they award no score. (The baby swarmers spawned by frozen bloated swarmers on other levels aren’t worth any score). This level also features a lot of minion spawning spikes that are at danger of being destroyed by a turret or trap if you buy them, shock turrets are your safest bet if you must buy any in order to survive, their limited range will minimize how may spawning spikes they can hit. Temporal traps and either repair or temporal drones are much better choices of buildables.
If its just the two of you playing together, it helps if one of you is a support who makes sure to frequently heal/shield/buff the other player even if they don’t need it much, as that way nearly all of player 1’s kills will be an assist for player 2. If there’s more than 2 of you, supports who can aid multiple people in a short span of time have great potential, Miko of course if the team stays close enough he can top off everyone frequently with his heal beam, but my personal favorite is Kleese for PvE support. If everyone on the team knows to stand near a rift while they fight, he can get the team an assist for nearly every teammate that has a shield (Kelvin is the only Eldrid I’ve found who can gain a shield from his rifts, for other Eldrids you need to use his self-AoE heal helix option and/or his overshield helix option for the black hole to earn assists). This works better with ranged characters, as while supporting a melee character you’ll need to drop your rift where it hits enemies who may or may not all be struck by that melee character before the rift kills them (resulting in a kill for Kleese and assist for possibly no one). Taking his self-AoE heal helix option fixes this, as he can follow them to heal them and make controlled attacks against their current target, while using his rifts to support the ranged characters. Another strong choice is Toby with his very early helix option to heal allies behind his shield, with the similar caveat that the team must know to fight near that shield so they are frequently healed by it.
Of course, in open Public matchmaking you’ll almost certainly have teammates too disorganized to abide by these guidelines but its still worth informing them (I’ve had a few great open games with Kleese but I usually find myself chasing teammates, waiting for the rift cooldown to put a rift down they’ll immediately abandon). Players who go “lone wolf” in PvE are your biggest score liability: either they are getting kills nobody else can get assists from, or the team is getting kills that the lone wolf isn’t getting assists from. Similarly, snipers like Marquis, Toby and Thorn need to be firing at the same mid-range enemies as their teammates (and be close enough to the team for support characters to heal/buff them)…though anyone who picks a sniper would naturally want to focus on critical hits on the distant targets the rest of the team isn’t able to engage (the exception is Deadeyes, they award proportionally a lot more score if you kill them immediately versus their base value, so snipers should kill them the moment they spawn even if there’s no assist…I’ve gotten a max of 500 pts from a single Deadeye). I’m really not a fan of this scoring system because of that aspect, as even PvE can breed a culture of infighting with teammates for sub-optimal strategy, where this ideal strategy runs counter to good tactics or playing your character as it was designed and nothing in the course of normal gameplay will let you learn what you’re doing wrong score-wise…and in the case of lone wolves, the game feedback in the form of relative player scores will suggest they were the only one doing things right!