Introduction: Why is this even a problem?
I have ran into people asking how to achieve Full Combat Rating on level 8, Advanced Research Complex in Doom 2016 several times. It is tricky, since it is a peculiar level. This is the one and only level in the game, where even killing all demons, including all fodder at the beginning, and every Lost Soul at the platforming area doesn’t guarantee that you will have all 5 circles completed by the end of the level, so here are my tips, which have helped me.
In this guide, I only focus on the last battle, but it shows excellently how much difference can be made even in the course of a single battle. Imagine using the tactics discussed later since the beginning of the level, and you can easily make a difference of half circle, or more!
Warning to Nightmare and Ultra-Nightmare players.
Keep in mind that all the tactics discussed below are VERY dangerous on Ultra-Nightmare, since it goes against anything you would normally do and puts you at extreme risk. There is a video at the last section of the guide, see how I take only 30 damage in total at the final battle while not bothering with Combat Rating (start: 200/49, end: 200/19) and how I almost die while retrying it minding Combat Rating progress (start: 200/49 and I drop to 66/0 mid-battle, while I still have: an Imp, a Possessed Soldier, 2 Cyber-Mancubi and 2 Cacodemons to face, each of them capable of dealing attacks which do over 75 damage, basically one-shooting me). The Possessed Soldier and the Imp are on the left, outside of my field of view and the second Cyber-Mancubus, as well as the second Cacodemon are in cover, but they are there.
Health/armor at start:
Health loss with weapon mods and BFG:
Health loss without weapon mods and BFG:
Main Tactics, a.k.a. why you are here for + video.
1. Take main battles (Gore Nests) slowly. Do not use (or even better, unequip) any upgraded or mastered weapon mods that drastically increase your damage output. For example: Siege Mode, Mobile Turret, mastered Remote Detonation (it is stupidly powerful), Double Trouble. Since it is ARC we are talking about, I must mention the BFG also. Don’t use it more than once on the final Gore Nest, but even that one can be too much if you fire it too good and kills all 4 Cyber-Mancubi. The best is not firing it at all, but if you are in a clutch, and you need to eliminate at least some demons instantly, always give the projectile a short trajectory. You can achieve this by shooting it into a nearby wall or into the nearest Cyber-Mancubus so you will have still 2 or 3 of them left.
Since your damage/ammo cost ratio will be much lower because of not using powerful mods, consider equipping Ammo Boost Rune or use the chainsaw more than usual in order to not run out of ammo.
2. Glory kill as many middle (3 fuel, such as Hell Knight) and heavy (5 fuel, such as Mancubus) class demons as possible. A Glory Kill on these types of enemies always grants you more progress than a regular kill. Don’t bother glory killing the ton of fodder outside main battles. They don’t grant any progress, kill them as you see fit.
3. Keep Summoners alive for a while. They swarm you with extra Hell Knights. Middle class, so even a regular kill grants you progress, but you can glory kill them as well. There are two of them, one in the first and one in the final Gore Nest. This will come naturally if you don’t have weapon mods equipped since you won’t instakill them with Siege Mode, insta-stagger them with Lock-on Burst or stun them with Stun Bomb. Also you won’t delete them accidentally with a BFG shot. Without these mods, they will get away, and they will summon at least once until you can kill them.
Look how I start with roughly 2,72 circles:
And end with roughly 4,60 while using my weapon mods and BFG:
In the replay, I start with the same 2,72:
Then I end with roughly 4,81 without weapon mods and BFG.
This is only the last battle, while I cheesed the first two battles with my mods and masteries. If you follow these instructions throughout the entire level, you will have either fully completed the 5 circles before the final two Barons or you are very close (like over 4,90).
If your fifth circle is less than 3/4 filled (you are below 4,75), you need to Glory Kill one of the final Barons also. I messed it up in the video, since gradually damaging Barons while being on 76 health on Nightmare or Ultra-Nightmare is NOT recommended. (Fireball: 90-120, punch swipe: 90, leap attack: 175 on full contact).
If your fifth circle is more than 75% filled, you can kill them the way you please, except BFG. BFG is ill-advised also for the reason that even if you haven’t used up all BFG cells in the arena, you won’t have access to the BFG cells after triggering the Baron battle, leaving you with only 2 BFG cells for Lazarus Labs. Unless you have mastered Ammo Boost.
Good luck, keep slaying!
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