Red Algorithm

Red Algorithm

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By Eugene
This guide explains overwhelming mechanic in Red Algorithm. What is it, how does it work, and how to avoid it.
What is Overwhelming?
Hey there! You may experience a game in Red Algorithm when you weren't sure what killed you in the end. Was it a monster that appeared just behind you, or what?

Most likely, if it wasn't a monster that took your life, it was the overwhelming mechanic.

There are many causes of death in the game (14 in the current version).

You can see them in stats:

Ok, so what is that then?

Overwhelming is a game mechanic that does damage to the hero if there are more than 100 monsters on the map at the moment.

The damage is done as a % of the maximum HP (and it's higher in Hard Mode), so as more monsters there are, as more damage the hero will receive every second. With 200 monsters on the map, the hero will receive double damage from overwhelming, etc.

It's a quite unpleasant thing that basically cancels almost all healing or regeneration, and that signifies that you have to start reducing the crowd size and kill more spawners asap.

You will know that you are overwhelmed when you see a red number at the bottom-right corner:

A plus (+) after 105 means that there are also spawners present on the map.
How to see the total number of monsters on the map?
The number of monsters currently on the map is shown only when you are overwhelmed by default, but you can always change it in settings:

Set "Mob counter" to "always".

It's actually helpful to see how many monsters are out there right now and whether there is a spawner present or not (if there is a + after the number).

You will also hear a special audio effect when there are 50 monsters on the map, and another one when there are 100 of them.
How to deal with it?
An obvious way to deal with overwhelming is to kill monsters and their spawners as soon as possible. The key strategy is to kill spawners as soon as they appear (at the start of each minute), don't let them produce monsters for a long time.

There is one small exception from this rule, it's the beginning of the game (first 2 - 3 minutes), when spawners and monsters are weak. It's better to let those spawners make some monsters, so you can get a better start and more experience for the mid-game. You can even hit each early spawner a few times (but don't destroy it!), so when the time comes to clean everything up, it'll require just a few hits to kill it.

There are many ways to reduce monsters' crowd size:

  • Take a damage bonus (small fire) and kill them
  • Take a fire circle or nuke bonuses near the crowd
  • Use consumables (drones, grenades, barricades, and turrets)
  • Take The Thin Red Line perk, that going to kill all of them
  • Just focus fire at them with your regular weapon

But killing many monsters is just a temporary solution, in the long run, you have to concentrate on killing spawners to avoid overwhelming.

Spawners are quite durable, they have:

  • Early game spawners have 25% resistance (armor)
  • Mid game spawners have 50% resistance (armor)
  • Early game spawners have 75% resistance (armor)

So getting a special perk that reduces monsters' resistance (Resistance Suppression perks) is very important for the late game. Also, if your weapon doesn't have good damage yet, and you anticipate for spawners to be the problem, pick Visions perk, that will increase your damage against spawners (this includes Gluttons and Liches, as they are spawners too!) by a lot.

Lastly, there are two great perks that help to deal with overwhelming:

  • Spartan - reduces overwhelming damage, and delays the time when it triggers, so it will affect you when there are 150 monsters, instead of 100
  • Outnumbered - gives you more damage for every X monsters on the map (double effect for John, which makes him really strong)

Sadly, in many cases, taking those perks is more of an act of desperation, rather than the solution for the long-term problem that you created a while ago
Why was it added to the game?
Traditionally in these Steam guides I, the game developer, cover the game design part of the mechanic a little bit as well, just so some people who are interested in it can understand the game better. Why did I add overwhelming in the first place? It's such an annoying thing...

One reason to do so was to make sure that the game will work well on weak and old computers. I didn't want spawners to generate a million monsters, who will reduce FPS and slow down the game, I want this game to run on all computers and laptops well, even on very old ones. Adding this mechanic was a sneaky way to force the player to kill monsters faster and to keep their number low and after all, it turned out to a fun new mechanic.

Another reason to add overwhelming was just to speed up everything. Honestly, when there are 100+ monsters on the map and like 10 spawners, you will probably die after a few minutes anyway, you actually already a dead man walking, so why would you waste your time and play a game that is kinda already over? Surely, the fact that you are overwhelmed doesn't necessarily mean that you will certainly die soon, there have been many cases during tests when players managed to clean up the crowd completely and kill all the spawners too (with a few lucky bonuses, perks, etc.). But in many cases overwhelming means that the end is near, so it saves the player a few minutes of misery just running out of monsters while they overload the processor.

The last reason was kinda psychological and role-playing-related. You would be scared a lot when you feel like there are too many enemies against you that you can't handle, wouldn't you? Your performance will go down if you feel like you can't win and the odds aren't in your favor. So this is simulated with overwhelming in the game.
In conclusion, to prevent overwhelming just focus on killing spawners as soon as they appear, at the start of each minute. Good luck!