I apologize for my long absence. I probably will be absent until at least July. Got a huge term paper coming up. However, i note with interest the discussions on the board. And specifically to the difficulty levels. I'm sure half or more than half of us come from the generation "when games were hard" and "nintendo hard" was a commonplace term we threw around. Unfortunately, times have changed, be it for better or worse. nowadays i see a majority of the games handholding the player through. Perhaps you'd require some skill for the more difficult parts, but nothing you'd have to scratch your head over and over again. in fact even SC2 has been tailored to meet the scrubbish crowd. how many of us have difficulty completing the missions, even on hard or brutal difficulties? in contrast we have NOTD, where a completely new player is bombarded with stuff they have to do. the average new player will not be familiar with hotkeys (how many ladder gamers you know use them effectively?) and will not be familiar with the mission, effectiveness of various guns etc etc. and we throw them into the thick of it, and expect them to learn on the fly, fully knowing it will take at least 5 games' worth of tries to understand the basic mechanics, never mind the intricacies of the map. I feel like recruit mode needs to be just that, a mode where there's lots of hand-holding, or lots of obvious tips and tricks, similar to the first three missions in campaign. I don't know much about coding, but i doubt you can add in a tutorial stage to the map. perhaps we should have a whole new mission or something for <500xps just so they become familiar with the guns and kiting and stuff. just throwing stuff out the top of my head. but from experience so many newbies either die or quit halfway, that most pubs end up being recruit modes played by vets, and that's really disheartening.