The 'Defend the Base!' game mode is now operational (in our test version :P), and is being tested to full extent to provide you with a top-notch experience once it is out in the Beta. Here's some more info (may still change) and in-depth screenshots (still WIP)!
Exclusive rewards (depending on difficulty level):
- Wave 6: 3-12 crystals (a valuable crafting material) per squad
- Wave 12: +1 min. and +1 max. permanent damage bonus for 1-4 weapons for the involved squads
- Wave 18: +50-200 permanent Credits bonus for the involved squads
- Wave 24: 1-4 level 9 (best) weapon prototype blueprints
- Wave 30: +3-12 Skill Points for all units in the involved squads
All these bonuses carry over with the squad files, so when starting a new DTB or Single Mission, you'll be able to enjoy them--even in PvP!
For all these "milestone" waves, an additional +1000 Base Points will also be awarded, so you can repair and re-equip a little better.
A few words on difficulty
DTB is designed to be much harder than a Single Mission. We're currently working to ensure that it is still playable without "too much pain" (at least on the basic difficulty setting), but this game mode will never be suited for "casual" players. Why? First and foremost, DTB is destined to be a truly hardcore survival experience. If you cut off difficulty, you lose the very point in this. The game must force you to use your wits and feel the adrenaline, to feel bad when the aliens get you and feel the euphory when you DO survive yet another wave. There is the Single Mission mode with a ton of difficulty parameters, objectives and map settings for those who are not skilled enough or just don't want to frustrate themselves over dying again and again. Pro secundo, the bonuses you can get are pretty awesome on the long run, and we don't want to give them for "free". Pro tertio, DTB is one of the "endgame" modes of USC--it is beatable, but you'll have to suffer for it. A lot. ;-) (But, again, difficulty balancing is in progress, because what we've just said doesn't mean we want it to be unenjoyably punishing.) There's also an independent scoring system for DTB, so if the aliens finally get you, you can still have a good game score and be proud!
It is now absolutely clear that you will need to adapt your tactics and gear when you aim to finish DTB. Squad configurations that work in Single Mission mode may prove unsuccessful on the long run of 30 waves. In DTB, you can buy and deploy medical crates, vending machines, useful containers, etc., and you don't need to "pack everything" like when you storm the horde in a Single Mission. Those credits and inventory space may be spared for something more useful--but it all depends on what strategy you choose for your Base. Playing with more squads (in Single Player or co-op) also gives you a new challenge on how to plan your resources.
That's all for now, thanks for your interest!