So yesterday there were a couple threads about jailing and how some of us find it annoying in public lobbies and others think it is fine (this thread and this one). Someone posted a challenge for someone to do a 160 mission with a damage build and post a video. Part of this challenge was for the mission to have a hard modifier but I forgot about that part until just now when I was rereading the post and unfortunately this mission didn’t have a hard one. Though, to be fair, there is only one hard modifier and that is “exploding deathbomb,” the rest of the modifiers are pretty meh to be honest.
(sadly I suck and there is no audio).
This mission may not have a hard modifier like deathbomb, but it is still a 160 mission that is “four player suggested” (meaning it should be a bit a harder than a normal 160 mission), so I figure it at least goes to show that soloing the 160 missions isn’t exactly an insurmountable task (which I have done many, many times, even the four atlas missions which totally suck to solo). And if you can do that then you can certainly have a full squad winning a 160 mission with an efficient damage defense where you don’t have to use a whole stack of traps.
I actually did this mission three times and won it each time. The first time was literally the first recording of gameplay I had ever done (I downloaded OBS just for this), so since I am a noob I somehow managed to record it with no audio. And I was also having trouble uploading the huge 5GB file to YouTube so I reduced/compressed it but that made it so blurry it was unwatchable. The second attempt I apparently forgot to push the "start recording" button properly LOL. Thankfully the third attempt recorded although it also has no audio for some reason. On the bright side, the third win actually completed the two weekly quests for me (for the perk up and the supercharger).
The objective location in the uploaded video was a decent one that didn’t really call for what you might think of as “trap tunnels" or making blockoffs to funnel the husks or any other fancy building concepts. I just went for what jumped out to me as the most obvious defense: let the husks drop down into a death pit of broadsides, tire drops, and floor freezes. I used about 30 broadsides, 20 tire drops, 6-7 tar pits, and 15-20 floor freezes. I definitely went overkill with the number of traps (especially broadsides and freezes) and it was a lot more than I had used in the two previous games. I went overboard with the traps because I just wanted to make sure I won the mission again since this was my third attempt at recording it and I didn't want to fail and then have to do it all over again for the fourth time.
I did win a 160 ETS with a full squad last week that used maybe 20-30 traps total (damage build). But, of course, the amount of materials and traps you will have to use can vary wildly and completely depends on various factors like what mission type is it, what is the objective’s surrounding terrain like, what heroes are your teammates running, how many blockoffs can you build to reduce the number of pathways for the husks, etc. And of course the biggest factor: will your teammates actually help build and trap and do they have a clue as to what they are doing.
The moral of the story is that if you have decent trap schematics, a full squad of teammates (who actually contribute), and someone running BASE Kyle (or at least some type of Constructor), then you should definitely be able to win most 160s with damage builds and it will not cost you a ton of traps if you all contribute. Even if you go overboard and use 80 traps like I did (or even 100 traps), between four people that is completely doable. You should be able to place 20 traps in a mission, if you can't then you need to spend some time farming (which you may not like doing but it is a key part of playing STW). I mean, c'mon, a 160 mission is meant to be the hardest content in STW! Do you think you should just be able to breeze through it by placing down a dozen traps total or something?
Also, you should be able to consistently win a 160 even if it has exploding deathbombs or propanes (reset just gave us a 160 RTD with deathbombs so maybe I will try and record and upload gameplay of me soloing that mission). If someone is running BASE Kyle on your team (and PowerBASE in support) then that will definitely give you some cushion when it comes to deathbombs and propanes. And if you see propanes spawn then throw down some soundwalls and that will help mitigate some of the damage they can inflict. Same thing with flingers and lobbers. Have some anti-airs ready to place in case they spawn (anti-airs can eliminate husks that are flung if you have the proper perks).
Even if I or someone else uploaded dozens of videos showing how to win 160 missions with a damage build that used only 20 traps, it is not going to change almost anyone's behavior when it comes to jail builds. I'm sure it would change some people's minds but, c'mon, it isn't going to cause an overall shift in the meta. People jail mostly because of how time efficient it is. You don't have to spend anywhere near as much time farming for trap materials and you don't have to spend time building an actual defense (as opposed to a jail which takes two minutes). I know there are problems on Epic's side (the poor drop rate of five star materials), but I think it ultimately just comes down to people wanting to put in the least amount of effort. People just want to do their ten 160 missions each week to get their superchargers (largely because of FOMO) and so people choose the easiest path that requires the littlest effort … jailing.
Personally I think it is fine if you jail … if you do it in private. I used to jail a ton and then I mostly stopped because I just find it to be boring AF. And I think that is why many people hate seeing public lobbies being overrun by jails. It’s boring. If you are actually good at jailing then you should easily be able to do it in private. And why wouldn't you? In private at least you don't have to worry about someone griefing your jail by killing husks. Plenty of the playerbase still wants to build damage trap defenses, whip out their minigun, etc. That should be blindingly obvious. So if you jail in public and someone does come along and starts killing husks and ruins the jail, you have absolutely no one to blame but yourself. Go do it in private.
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