Yeah there is a tiny mission blurb that says you need to do this to no keep losing your stuff every loop. Easily missable.
As for difficulty, I have noticed as McMaster said the game increases npcs on the ground as more visionaries are killed. I’ve only had 2 dead in one loop so far, but I noticed less npcs with knives and more with guns, an occasional sentry or two that is now deployed already, and npcs are up on rooftops.
Hard time falling asleep last night , I was all like: