Here is a Google Doc link (created by user BillZRT) to help you figure what level of difficulty you will start your challenge at based on your Top 3 Survivor levels, along with the repeat rounds: I can’t verify that all of these are accurate:
I will be using the following terms for challenges.
- Maps – This refers to the playable maps that you play to earn stars.
- Rounds – A “Round” is just the complete set of 6 maps.
- Bonus Stars – These are the stars you earn for successfully completing a round.
Let’s take a look at the Challenge Home Screen:
Here’s the breakdown of what you see on the Screen.
- Challenge Info Screen – Clicking here will show you some of your individual and guild stats in challenges.
- Round Level – This is the level of difficulty of the Round. The Round Level is how many Bonus Stars you earn after completing the Round.
- Round Info – This shows how many maps you have completed towards beating the Round and the Rewards for beating the current Round. This is also where you advance to the next Round.
- This screen will automatically pop up when you get at least 1 Star on all 6 maps. If you earned 1 or 2 Stars on a Map, and want to replay the map to try to get 3 Stars, make sure to hit the “Back to Missions” button. Once you hit “Move on to the Next Round”, you can’t go back.
- Personal Star Count and progress towards next reward.
- Guild Star Count and progress towards next reward.
- Map Information shows how many stars you’ve earned on the specific map.
- BE VERY CAREFUL!!! You can replay maps even after you’ve earned 3 stars for the map. Don’t accidentally waste your gas on a map you’ve already earned 3 stars on!!!
Here are some important aspects of the new Challenge Structure:
- Most people won’t start at Recommended Survivor Level (RSL) 3 difficulty missions. You will be started at a difficulty level based on the Level of your Top 3 Survivors.
- You should start repeating rounds at 1 level below the average of your top 3 survivors.
- In order to advance, you must earn at least 1 Star on each “Round” of all 6 Maps. You do not have to earn 3 Stars on each map in order to advance past the “Round.”
- If you don’t earn 3 Stars on a map, you may replay the Map and try to earn 3 Stars. 3 Stars is the maximum you can earn on each map. Again, be careful not to replay a map you have already earned 3 stars on. These are intentionally left playable after you earn 3 stars so you can “farm” them if you want to.
- If you replay a map multiple times, only your HIGHEST STAR TOTAL for that map counts; it doesn’t add up the stars you have earned every time you play the map.
- So, you must complete all goals on a map to get 3 stars in order to earn 3 stars for the map on each Round. Getting 2 stars one time and 1 star another time won’t add up to 3 stars for the map; you will still only have 2 stars for the map as that was your best individual score for the map on that Round.
As you can see, I only earned two stars on the bottom right map. I am still allowed to move on to the next Round, but I can also keep trying to get 3 stars on that map before advancing to the next Round.
- After you are satisfied with the number of Stars you earned on each map, you may now advance past the Round and on to a new Round with a higher difficulty.
- Beating the Round will give you “Bonus Stars” equal to the Level of the Round you just completed. For example, after completing Level 15, you will earn 15 Bonus Stars (10 Bonus Stars for completing Level 10, 20 Bonus Stars for completing Level 20, and so on).
- So, the potential number of Stars you can earn is 18 Stars for completing all 6 of the maps perfectly, plus bonus Stars equal to the Level of the Round you just completed.
- As you approach Round Levels close to the Level of your Survivors, you will eventually have to beat each Round Level multiple times. Each progression will be slightly higher than the previous level.
- As you can see in the picture below, there are 3 segments to the Level 20 icon. This means that there will be 3x Level 20 Rounds to beat. Each of these 3 Rounds at Level 20 will award Bonus Stars and Trade Goods.
- You will earn a lot more Stars under the current format.
- If you buy a Gas Booster, I think it will be best to buy Gas early in the challenge to give you more time to beat the harder levels on the last days of the challenge. Buying a Gas Booster early will allow you to speed through the easier maps faster, then slowly try to beat the harder maps the last few days. If you purchase a Gas Booster later in the challenge, you will most likely be spending more Gold to heal your Survivors as you try to complete many difficult missions as the challenge comes to an end.
- The “cool down” timer works differently now. There is no timer unless you Advance 2 Rounds within 60 minutes. Then, there is a 1 hour wait until you can advance to the next Round, but you can still play the maps and earn stars; you just need to wait for the timer to end before advancing to the next round. You may experience back to back cool downs since you would have still advanced 2 Rounds in 90 minutes.
- You will play a lot more higher level maps. The “low level” grind is now replaced with the “high level” grind that will give better rewards.
- Expect some random walkers thrown in to some levels. You may see an extra Armored/Tank walker that wasn’t there in previous Rounds.
Level 20 Guide
If you have at least 3x Level 20 Survivors, these are the costs for the Rounds you will encounter. I think these costs are accurate, but things could have changed. Keep in mind that if you sleep for 8 hours a day, but maximize your gas, you will generate about 720 Gas over the 5 days of the Challenge (not factoring in Gas from Post-Mission Reward Crates). That will get you somewhere around Level 26. Please note: there are only 3 repeat rounds at level 26 (and above) instead of 4 repeat rounds.
“CUM Gas” is the Cumulative Gas that it takes to get through the level (assuming you don’t repeat a map), and “CUM Stars” is the amount of total Stars you’d earn if you got 3 Stars on each map.