SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Discussion

104 Multiplayer Strategy Ettiquite by Map
22 June 2014 08:14 PM
============== UPDATES ==============
- More input from the comments
- Another new map! (Meltdown)
- Nightmare Mode (dun dun duuuuuun!)

Check out my other guides:
Weapon Mechanics 101
Weapon Mechanics 201

A Note from the Author
When I first wrote this guide, I was a fairly low level player, trying to bring up 3 separate characters at once. I have since deleted all of those characters, started over, and worked a on a single assault (plus one of each other class I only play to get daily rewards so they aren't so "box-trolled"). I tend to play in cycles - a bit of over activity followed by a period of long rest. Because of this, I sometimes miss how updates effect game play as well as changes to maps and how mechanics. If you see something that is wrong or out of date, please let me know! I'm glad this thing is still relevant to some and has helped anyone. I think it is mostly geared towards newer, low-level players, but a lot still applies no matter how good you get (or at least how good you think you are) ...

It's no secret that there are a lot of incompetent players that end up on your team. People with horrific stats, those that carry one gun because "it's the only good gun they have" even though it sucks in many situations (like shooting a thermal rifle at a wicker), and medics that NEVER, EVER drop a medkit, even when asked. In case you didn't know, multiplayer is hard - at least, harder than single player in terms of zombie numbers and strength.

But all that could be ignored if those people didn't do stupid things during the game that get everyone else killed. I've compiled some of the really dumb things that people do that make me want to punch through my monitor. Feel free to agree, disagree, discuss and add your own. WARNING - this is kind of long because I wrote it while being frustrated from these very things happening.

This should be pretty easy, shoot the zombies as they come at the doors, beat the boss, go out for tacos afterwards. But there are those people who shoot blindly into the darkness, wasting a lot of ammo, but never actually hitting anything. At least they are trying. What really gets me are the people who leave the doors to push boxes around in the back (not against the doors, I mean in the back rooms(s), "preparing for later" as they say. BS. But even that doesn't compare to the morons who leave the doors the instant the pilot comes overhead saying he released supplies. Really guys? You don't think you will have time later to go get that $550 cash drop? Could kind of use your help here.

Even worse are the idiots who purposefully let the back wall get broken down early because "OMGZZZ DID YOU GIZ NO THER WAS A SECRET ROOM IN THE MIDDLE!!!!!" Chillax noobs. Yes, we know it's there, and I am pretty sure those doors will break down eventually, so just hang tight and shoot randomly in the darkness. Sometimes you actually hit something. (More on this in a minute)

Lastly are the REALLY smart guys that go charging into the dark just as soon as the door breaks down to shoot into the secret area. They usually die from acid in about 3 seconds and then the zombies they should be shooting swarm everyone else.

Bonus dingbat: That guy that is always giving orders to everyone else, but then is running around everywhere but where the boss is.. doing absolutely nothing of value. Then, on the chance that everyone dies but him, you can guess it's game over because he decides to be a hero and win it - dying in a matter of seconds.

Update from Comments: Everyone seems to do this map differently, and no one way is the right way (Although I do think my way is the best way). The point here is to do what the team wants to do, not what you think is best. Personally, I have never had a problem getting any of the drops or secret room stuff regardless of when the walls fall down. Ask first, if no one else agrees, then back down.

This is still fairly simple, but with the added challenge of going as fast as possible. Some people apply this cowboy quick-draw style to every map (as noted later), but here it can actually help, that is, if they aren't awful.

The nonsense starts in the pre-game chat, with some braniac suggesting we break into groups. WE ARE ALL GOING TO THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME. How is breaking into groups helpful here? Actually, all of our concentrated firepower is the best way to do this, unless you are actually AMAZING, then by all means, clear out that next room for us. Similarly, don't open EVERY door at once looking for the vaccine unless you have some way to deal with the crowd of zombies that will spring forth.

Also, there really is plenty of time to do this mission, unless your team is ... bad. Don't complain at people getting extra kills or going for loot just because you wet the bed at night worrying about the timer expiring.

On the other hand, DO NOT wander around aimlessly while everyone else is already on the plane. That is just bad form. This actually just happened to me, I suppose because I told this person to calm down about the clock. In retaliation, he stood in view of the plane and let the clock run down for 4 minutes...

Bonus dingbat: That guy who always drops a turret on the train. Don't get me wrong - if you are loaded, then do what you want, but that's kind of waste, isn't it? We could probably use that turret in the last area to clear a path if you really want to use it.

----- Update from Comments: The biggest pain of this level seems to be people who run off at the end without the vaccine, while others stay behind to try and beat the boss. If you have less than a minute left, you should probably ignore the boss and run for it (yes some people can kill a Dev or wicker in 5 seconds, but not everyone can). Do not EVER get on the plane without the vaccine.

I think some people miss the point of this level: TRY TO RESCUE THE SURVIVORS. They drop money, and I like money. Again, this is not an area to split into two teams unless you are REALLY good, and few are. However, if you have a great team, splitting can work well.

There is always some wisenheimer who thinks he is amazing, and rushes off by himself, inevitably causing mass hordes of zombies to come out of every hole in the map, swarm him, and then swarm everyone else - often from both sides. Don't do that unless you actually can kill a plethora of regen, extra strong, extra fast runners.

One strategy that has worked well is to clear the entire map before opening any doors after the first one. Try it, you might like it.

Bonus dingbat: Guy who runs under the earthquake destructed road during the boss fight because he thinks it will lead back into the main area. Spoiler alert: he dies.

Update from Comments: Most people seem to be in agreement about this one. DO NOT MOVE AHEAD UNTIL AN AREA IS CLEARED AND NEVER GO OFF ON YOUR OWN. Simple.

-----------------------------Zombie Pods-----------------------------
This is a great mission. It is quick, and often easy, given the right team. It is also a great place to farm kills. But there are those who come unprepared for the zombie apocalypse, and they seem to enjoy getting everyone else killed.

The mission is very straight forward until you get to that last room with the boss. That's when it usually hits the fan. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT shoot, touch, go near, or even look at the boss egg (the one cleverly labeled boss egg) until all of the other eggs and pods have been taken care of. When the boss egg pops, so do all of the other eggs in addition to the sometimes insane amounts of random side spawns. You will die quickly, and then we will get swarmed.

Stay in a group and systematically take out all of the other eggs and pods, or split and go hi-lo. THEN go shoot the boss egg. The only reason you should ever shoot the boss egg first is when going for the "Precision" achievement, and that should be agreed upon ahead of time or done on your own.

Bonus dingbat: The guy who dies from the spikes coming from the ground around the boss egg, then recovers, stands in the same spot shooting, and dies again, from the spikes coming from the ground around the boss egg. NEWSFLASH: You know that blood trail coming towards you? Move quick, because spikes are about to come up out of the ground and kill you.

Update from Comments: Yes, we have all been hit with the spikes and thus are all the occasional dingbat (lag is a huge factor in this one...), but that wouldn't happen if people would just stay away from the boss egg. Seriously, there are some of you who still do this, and no one else agrees with you. I have NEVER known hitting the boss egg early to weaken the contained boss. Can anyone prove this?

On that note, I have done a lot of missions on this level, and shooting the smaller eggs/pods DOES NOT cause the boss egg to start shooting spikes at you. If you think it does, it is because you are too close to the boss egg, or have inadvertently shot it yourself. It is fairly simple to clear all of the other eggs and pods without ever waking the boss egg. Although, if you take too long, a timer will trigger all of the pods to open on their own.

** NIGHTMARE Notes **
There is a mid-level boss at the first pod... shouldn't be too hard. There is also an extra pod where the bloaters are normally guarding the medkit.

Let's face it, the VIP is a moron. He gets in the way, often walks TOWARDS the zombies, and complains more than we do on these forums. One game, I had to go back and get him because he was just walking into a wall in the house.

The jerks in this mission are probably the same as those in other ones - they rush through the house, waking up all zombies at once, dying, and leaving us to deal with it. Go slowly! Deal with one area at a time, then move on. This actually is a map where a couple of teams can work, as long as each team is capable of taking care of whatever springs up from the abyss.

After the house is dealt with is NOT the time to split up. Go either up or down, not both at the same time. Follow the rest of your team. Those zombie droids can be fierce, and they come in large groups. If everyone else is cleaning up one side, they don't want to have to deal with you bringing in the whole other side as well. Better yet, take the VIP and just wait by the house until the other zombie droids are all killed. Apparently, they like to eat his face off.

Bonus dingbat: The guy who rushes into that side closet for the med pack WHILE a huge group of zombies is chasing him, because a dead end is always the best place to be. In case you couldn't guess, he dies too.

Update from Comments: People hate this map on multiplayer because it has no automatic box drop and one moron can easily cause everyone to loose. If it comes up, I typically back out. If NK adds a box drop at the helicopter or the other gazebo (as they should), this level might warrant more conversation.

Second Update: If you are in a hurry, you can trigger both sides of droids to come at the same time, then stand as a group in the middle and hit them as they come forth. But make sure your team is OK with the idea before you just do it on your own. Also, standing IN the house with the VIP will eventually cause new zombies to come forth from within, so be on your guard.

** NIGHTMARE Notes **
It is a good idea to clear the whole house before you start opening doors. The first doors opened will spawn a few nightmarish bosses.

-----------------------------Power Out-----------------------------
I used to hate this level. Those loader bots are so OP - having 7 or 8 of them chase you around while you fend off poison runners in front of you is nerve wrecking, especially when a few of them are savage. But once I got better and found better weapons, it isn't so bad - not unless THAT guy is on my team.

You know, the guy who rushes down each hallway, past all of the spawning zombies and hits the switch. Sometimes that guy actually is good and can shoot his way out of the switch room, but often times not. In either case,the rest of us are now in the middle of the hallway shooting the original zombies PLUS the new spawns after the switch is thrown. Yeah, don't do that.

Sometimes, someone insists on staying behind in the center room, I suppose to get more kills or speed up the mission... Usually, they die too, and then all of those zombies also swarm us in the hallway after the first moron hit the switch. These idiocies sure do compound quickly. The worst is would be after the third switch, when the zombie droid swarm comes, but is actually after the 4th switch, since the moron who stayed in the center room wakes up the loader bots and dies. They then march down the narrow hallway to crush the rest of us. Yeah, I hate that.

Lastly, I am often running in circles in the first area shooting backwards at 3 or 4 loader bots hot on my tail when someone else gets the bright idea to come in there as well with their 1 loader bot in tow, which usually causes me to get surrounded. You die, I die, we all die together. If you have any doubts, just look at my kills to death ratio in multiplayer. I like to kill zombies, not be killed by them.

Bonus dingbat: anyone who dies or takes any damage of any kind while shooting at the turrets (At least at lower levels). You know those light grey boxes that barricade zombies? Well, they block turret gunfire as well. CBS cares.

Update from Comments: Apparently, some people are faster than other people due to skills and armor augments. Who knew? Regardless, this is multiplayer, not time to screw everyone else. UNLESS YOU ALREADY AGREED UPON A STRATEGY, DO NOT GO OFF ON YOUR OWN OR STAY BEHIND.

1) If you are flying past other people, wait at the entrance to the switch room for them.

2) If you are flying past other people WHILE zombies are spawning around you, it is most likely because they are shooting while you are not doing anything. Slow down and help.

3) If someone is flying past you towards the switch room, change out your LMG to a pistol AND FOLLOW THEM. Do not stay in the center room. They won't know if they should wait for you or not. Also, you will likely get swarmed in the center anyway. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR THE LAST SWITCH. It's better for you to die in the hallway, than everyone to die in the switch room.

Secondary Update: Now that I am a higher-level player with a lot more speed, I find it easy to rush down hallways, but I never do so on my own. Usually, the entire team is also capable of doing this, and we are also more than capable of handling all that comes at us at once. As with everything else, DO WHAT THE REST OF YOUR TEAM WANTS TO DO. If they don't want to rush, then don't do it.

-----------------------------Last Stand-----------------------------
Do not leave the front line to go pick up a piece of loot or to go shoot into the secret room while zombies are coming in. That is just dumb. The one exception is when someone is single handedly killing everything or you drop an all powerful bio-bomb. Then, go ahead, just get back quickly. Also, go one at a time! Realistically, there will be plenty of time to do all of that either during the boss fight or when you have to chase down a runner who slipped past everyone else.

On that note, no, it is not helpful for you to stay back from the front, just to pick off anything that slips by. If you really want to, put a turret or two back there to do it automatically.

Bonus dingbat: the guy who wastes turrets on the front line during the first 4 or 5 waves. Unless you have lots of them, only use them on waves 6, 7, and 8. If you can't handle the first few waves, there's little chance of victory anyway.

Update from Comments: Not much else to say here... Don't go for the secret stuff unless you are certain the front line is being handled. Personally, I have never had a problem with getting ALL of the drops either during or right after the boss fight (aside from medkits, which I get as needed). If you feel the need to run off, then I guess that is just more kills up front for me.

-----------------------------Ice Station-----------------------------
I really like this mission. It combines the round style action with barricades prevalent in SAS3 with a few surprises. As far as I can tell, there isn't much a single player can do on this map to screw it up for everyone else, aside from (of course) being bad at the game. With that in mind, there are a couple of things that people could do differently...

During the first part of the game, FIX THE BARRICADES, but don't forget to shoot stuff while you are doing it. In SAS3, pressing F fixed a barricade. In this map, you just have to move in their direction; however, you have to keep pressing towards the gate for it to be completely fixed. You will know it is done because the welding animation and sound will stop.

During the first surprise (SPOILERS) the hired help turns on you for some reason never fully explained... I know they they say no witnesses, but didn't the command send you there to see what was going on, as in, they want you as a witness? I also doubt these future soldiers don't have some sort of camera on at all times, similar to the squad in Aliens (Alien 2). In any case, SHOOT THESE GUYS! I have been with a few people who didn't even realize what was going on, because they were just running around getting shot. Sure, the HVM team is pretty weak, but they can still kill you. Eventually.

The only thing that can make this part tricky is releasing your own SAS team to help. Since your team and the guys you are supposed to be shooting look similar and are the same color on the map, it can be difficult to tell who is who. However, I do this, and have not really had a problem - just shoot at anything shooting at you!

The next stage is pretty fun... reminds me of my younger days on the farm, riding in the back of a truck shooting random things in the country. The most important thing to do here is GET IN THE FREAKING TRUCK. I have been with people who walk around confused while the rest of us sit and wait, even saying what to do. Again, not much else you can do to mess this up except for doing nothing. Placing a turret in the truck can be a huge help, and don't forget to shoot at the boxes along the road as they contain loot. The one thing to watch out for is the acid on the road, as this is unavoidable and can kill you quickly.

Bonus dingbat: the guy who drops a turret before they get in the truck, but it goes outside of the truck because he is too close to the tailgate. It doesn't really affect anyone else and shouldn't get him killed as the other dingbats, but it is still funny to see. (Yes, I have done this once as well.) It is funny to put turrets on the edge so they are pulled around behind the truck, too!

I have to admit, my first few attempts at this map were complete failures. Even after I figured out how to get around, I've still been defeated my random shadow swarms in the last few seconds after the bosses are dead. I think it's safe to say, this level is a new kind of challenge, but it is still a really fun level. It didn't take but three multiplayer games before I had enough material to add this section. By the way, is it just me, or does this mission seems to pop up the least?

To start, you need to play through this level a few times on your own!!! It is kind of a maze, and you will be essentially useless if you don't somewhat know where you are going. I know my way around, and I know the quickest path to each of the reactors. You should, too. Do not be that guy that just randomly goes into rooms, spawning new zombies for no reason.

This is yet another level where splitting up could be useful; however, everyone has to know where they are going from the start. Talk about it in the lobby. If no one says anything, then just stick together.

Another sure fire way to be named LVP is to reset the computer after the reactors have been shutdown when no one else is ready. Yeah, don't do that. The screen goes dark (the power is out, duh!), and then a whole lot of zombies crash the party.

On that note, this is not the time to run around shooting puke worms. You know what is creating those puke worms? About five savage regurgitators. Shoot them. Yes, the big fat ones. Shoot them. Don't see any puke worms? That's because the boss is a Necro and a Dev, and a Wicker, and a Zombie Mech. Get the picture? This level spawns a lot of random bosses. If the mission hasn't ended yet, they are still alive. Find them, and shoot them. Do not just stand in some random side room shooting lesser zombies.

Bonus dingbat: that guy who goes into a gas chamber room, barely gets out, and then goes in there again. In case you haven't been following along, he dies. RIP, moron.

** Pro Tip **
Did you know you don't actually have to go into a room to spawn the zombies? While this tactic may add a bit of play time, it is a great way to NOT DIE! When a door is green, go to the edge of the door, almost go in, then go back out. It might take a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but this will activate the new room without trapping you inside with the spawning zombies. I actually find this to make the game go faster because I can activate multiple rooms at once, then sit back and shoot the zombies in one line as they come to me. However, do not do this if you are into spelunking...

Did you know there is a secret cave in this level? It is awesomely terrifying. I found it by accident once, died mercilessly, but fared much better my next go around. Want to learn more? Read this awesome guide by Sdentin. Note, this also contains a map of the level!:

-----------------------------Nightmare Mode-----------------------------
I am really happy about this addition to the game. Some players need an extra challenge, and this is definitely it! With that said, although you might think you are awesome at level 35 and want to go for it, don't me bad when higher level players back out of games with you. Until NK filters this mode by level, you can expect this to happen. Higher level players want to play with other higher level players. You will not help them win, and will decrease the loot then can get.

It goes without saying that this mode can be really, really hard. It takes a lot of teamwork to win these missions. Stick together and work as a group. A team of low level players can definitely win (I've been on a few of them), but only if they respect the difficulty and don't do stupid things. Reread this guide, and don't do the things that I said are stupid.

Do you see all of the random eggs and pods on every level? Those contain nightmarish zombies that will kill you quick. DO NOT POP THEM until you are are ready to face what is inside. That is, don't do it when you are already fighting other zombies.

For a map-by-map nightmare mode strategy guide, checkout this post by pistols:

Do NOT argue in the lobby over how valuable you will be regardless of your level. Unless you hit the ultimate lottery with a lot of drop boxes, you are not going to be as awesome as you think you are.

Also, with nightmare mode terrifying noobs in their sleep, stats mean a whole lot less now. My deaths and losses have both skyrocketed in NM mode, so this next section is kind of a moot point anymore.

-----------------------------Player Stats-----------------------------
This seems to be more debated than I had anticipated. I only mention other players' stats as indicator of their abilities because I have found it to be useful. FOR THE MOST PART, people who are killed more often than they kill are not very good. Obviously, having a team made up of people mentioned in this post will often get you killed, but it shouldn't be happening all of the time. If so, you are probably doing something stupid, too. As for lag, that is something we ALL experience at different times. What I mean to say is that it shouldn't be affecting any one player (that much) more than anyone else. If so, your internet connection is probably awful, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. With that in mind, if you are dying multiple times a game from "lag" than you need to learn to deal with it...

-----------------------------Dealing with Lag-----------------------------
Like I have said, we all deal with lag, so you can't use it as an excuse forever.

In a game, there are two kinds of updates: data, and frames. The data is what is happening mechanically: player positions, guns firing, ammo count, etc. The "frames" are what you see on screen. There are multiple frames per second. What most people seem to not realize is that even if lag causes the screen to freeze (or move really slowly) the game data is most likely still updating at a constant rate. That's why you are dead in a different place when the screen starts moving normal again.

To combat this issue, I typically keep shooting towards the zombies while moving backwards away from them. This has kept me alive in numerous situations, but it takes a bit of luck and knowledge of the surrounding area. Never just stop and complain about the lag. That is why you are dying from it so much.

What this really boils down to is respecting your fellow players. Yes, I am always trying to die the least and kill the most, but that doesn't mean I purposefully cause others to get killed, nor does it mean I take on the attitude of "I'm fast and good, so try to keep up." If you have that attitude, then play in single player mode.

Don't count on other people to bail you out. If you are being dumb, than deal with the consequences. Don't keep running into zombie crowds and then scream for a medkit. It was your own fault. On the flip side, medics, use your medkits when you see that someone needs them. Yes, some people are stupid and don't take them, while others take them when they don't need them. Regardless, USE THAT ABILITY. It is the best thing you can do in most situations.

Finally, the strategy you use in single player is not always good for multiplayer. Work as a team, not as a bunch of individual Rambos.

-----------------------------Final Thoughts-----------------------------
And that about does it. I am sure I missed a thing here or there. Please, add your own frustrations to this list. We can be angry together.
  1. Captain Hunt 22 Jun 2014 08:39 PM I tried to make a barricade in the back during Onslaught, got myself and my team almost killed because we couldn't handle it, it was tough. I saw someone else do it and it worked amazing, because my team at the front lines could handle the horde, so I tried it, didn't work as well. Most of the time, you should just push the boxes in front of the barricade and be done, you do offer awesome advice, I'll give you that :)
  2. Sunrise Sophie 22 Jun 2014 08:40 PM You are my new favorite person on this site now. This was a great read. I can sympathize so much with you about people who rush and get swarmed.
  3. Kurt Clothier 22 Jun 2014 08:54 PM Thanks, I do what I can.
  4. Squideer 22 Jun 2014 09:08 PM Your "dingbat" for Zombie Pods is easier said than done. Multiplayer has the tendency to lag <strong>severely</strong> for users, Seriously killing their movement speed to about 1-5%. Making it impossible to dodge the spikes, Unless some people manage to luck out 1-2 times with Adrenaline.

    I'm actually one of those users that prefers to take out the Boss Pod right away, My reasoning is simple.

    - Destroying the boss egg prematurely reduces the bosses health inside by a certain degree. Weaker bosses = Faster game.

    - While maybe taking out one Minion Pod is useful so you have an area to temporarly flee after the boss pod breaks, Taking out all 4 is practically useless. All of the zombies from the pods would have most likely died in the crossfire between you and the boss, It's just an extra hassle that's not worth it.

    - Smashing the boss egg faster helps remove that factor of the deadly red spikes.
  5. LovelyJane 22 Jun 2014 09:09 PM You can do it with Trail Blazer instead of Gigavolt too, the Trail Blazer is like a mini-Gigavolt in the form of a pistol, one of the best pistols ever imo and its much lighter and cheaper ammo too with same damage and pierce. :3
  6. Tankwars 22 Jun 2014 09:10 PM Gotta love the other dingbat on vaccine who steps onto the train early, teleporting you to it and preventing you from getting the loot from the other train. ;)

    I also had a game on survivors where one guy deliberately stood still under a gazebo at the top of the map after we rescued everyone, preventing us from fighting the boss and finishing the level for a long time (all you have to do is wait, about half an hour lol xD).
  7. Kurt Clothier 22 Jun 2014 09:28 PM I forgot to mention in Onslaught, when some commando think he needs to take care of the top and bottom doors, running back and forth. Seriously, we've got this, pick a door and stay there unless one side gets some crazy swarm.
  8. 91ghost19 22 Jun 2014 09:33 PM Very entertaining. Good job. So much which is sad but true.
    But i have to admit, on last stand, first thing i do is get the stuff from the secret area. After that i activate my assault team.
    Most annoing people are the super fast guys who spawn alot of zobies, but dont kill them. They just want to finih the match as fast as possible.
    But i have to differ. There are two different kinds of these "rushers". The noobs who also die and you are the one who have to clean up the mess they left behind and the high level pros who have +50% speed(at least) who dont care how often you die because they have a level10 3 stars RED Gigavolt/ Mixmaster or an similar gun.
  9. -ChillyCheese- 22 Jun 2014 09:54 PM This one time in power out, this one guy stayed at the center square while we were activating the 4th switch and realized he couldn't handle the loaderbots. He lead them down to the switch room we were in! (the bottom one) There were 8 loaderbots, we died multiple times, but still barely completed the mission. Did I mention 2 of the loaderbots were savage!? I'm not kidding...
  10. Kurt Clothier 22 Jun 2014 10:01 PM Most of these annoyances are directed at people who rush, get swarmed and die. If you are actually capable of taking down a swarm by yourself, then I suppose you can do whatever you want. Although, it is SUPER annoying when people player multiplier and don't care what happens to the rest of their team because they can take care of themselves. If what you are doing causes other people to die, you are doing it wrong.

    As for the boss egg vs minion egg... from what I have seen it isn't the boss that usually kills people, its the rushing poison zombies spawning from the sides. I have never noticed a decrease in boss health from popping that egg first, and the last 5 games I have played where someone did that, we lost.

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