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Defender Post Is a utility trap. It is found among the Floor Traps in the crafting tab, although it's not able to damage the incoming enemy waves. The Defender Post allows the player to summon Defenders to assist in protecting an area.
- Can only be placed on a full (2x2) floor
- Defender patrols an area that's 3x3x3 tiles, centered at the defender post, so long as there's no obstacles along the way.
- Mission Defenders can be summoned in any mission but will be kicked for every additional player i.e.: a full party will not allow any defenders.
- Defender Squads can be summoned only in the outposts they're assigned to. They do not get kicked when there are additional players.
- Defenders are very fragile except for the melee defender, which is surprisingly more resilient than players. However, even with that bonus, they still get knocked out easily due to poor AI often choosing to be surrounded by husks.
- Engagement range is not the same as the weapon's range. Snipers will not shoot as far as players could. The engagement range of Pistol, Sniper and Assault Rifle Defenders is precisely 5.5 tiles. The engagement range of Shotgun Defenders has yet to be confirmed.
There are 5 defender variants which generally use the weapon associated with their name:
- Assault - Assault rifles. Great for mid-range area defense.
- Melee - Melee weapons. Has a greater patrol area than the other variants and is also less fragile.
- Pistol - Pistols. Great for short to mid-range area defense.
- Shotgun - Shotguns. Great for Short-range area defense.
- Sniper - Snipers. Great for long-range area defense.
Defenders can be leveled up with Hero XP. They have randomized affixes that generally alter their interaction with weapons i.e.: chance to not consume ammo, increased weapon fire rate. While they consume precious hero xp, they need to be leveled up so that they can use higher level weapons.
Take note of the "Weapon Skill" stat which limits the power of the weapons they're given. "Higher-level weapons will act as if they were this level while equipped". Note this is related to the level of the weapon, not the effective power i.e.: 3 star weapons are up to level 30 but generally has an effective power above 60.
- Currently the AI adopts the strategy of Pray and Spray resulting in extremely high ammo consumption
- With the exception of the melee defender, make sure that they have enough cover i.e.: 4 walls (1 with a door, 3 with windows) and a ceiling. They're unable to run away from threat and need to be encased in some sort of protection. They're ideally placed in an elevated position so that they have a better field of view and are relatively safer. Lobbers are especially dangerous for Defenders.
- Never give the defender a high ammo consumption weapon i.e.: Burst Rifle, LMG, auto- sniper, etc. They will drain the ammo and be useless shortly.
- Never give defenders a weapon way above their Weapon Skill as they will not utilize the damage the weapon gives. Their base Weapon Skill is 21 so it's generally safe to give them up to 2 star weapons if not leveled up.
- Make sure to check the defender's affixes before investing too much precious Hero XP in them. It's a terrible idea to level up a defender that has 4x increased weapon fire rate since they will consume ammo even faster.
- Summon Defenders if you're short a player. While they're not as efficient as a player would be, they still offer an extra source of firepower, being the closest thing to an automated turret.
- Always summon defenders from the defender squads when they're available to you. Later levels of Storm Shield Defense i.e.: 8+ tend to require all the help you can get.
- Shotgun Defenders are great when placed near the objective. Give them windows with Wall Lights and they'll devastate husks that come near.
- As noted before, engagement range is not the same as the weapon range. While it's a good idea to place the sniper defender in a high vantage point, beware placing them too high because it will actually reduce their effective range.
- Place the ranged defenders somewhat out of the direct path of oncoming waves so as to not be directly threatened. They can still pull some aggro like players can and redirect swarms towards their location so make sure there's ample traps to help them survive.