Left 4 Dead Guide

The 'Nothing Special' Achievement Guide

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Left 4 Dead Guide

The "Nothing Special" achievement is one of the hardest awards to win in Left 4 Dead. In order to win this elusive achievement, 4 players have to complete a co-op campaign with no one taking damage from any special infected: i.e hunters, boomers, smokers, tanks and witches. 

The strategies developed in this guide are for co-op play and are based upon my own personal experience at winning this achievement. This help guide is for players who want to win this achievement legitimately.

For this challenge, players need to be vigilant and work closely together as a team. Some of you may already have your own ideas/plans on what strategies are best used -- and no doubt, much of this guide will be self-explanatory to veteran players. However, I feel that the more attention we give to the finer details of the game's mechanics and its dynamics only increase our chance of success. Here is my guide on the strategies and tactics that helped prepare me for this challenge:

About game set-up:

- Choose the shortest campaign: Crash Course.
- The campaign must be started with all players in the lobby. Don't have players join in-game, even at the beginning of the map.
- turn the captions on. The hints help inform you about special infected nearby.
- No player must leave the game before the achievement is unlocked.
- Use a vanilla server with good latency/pings. If the server lags in-game, switch to another server. 
- Play on "easy" difficulty, as special-infected (SI) will die quickly, also there won't be as many of them.
- Play in "offline" mode to avoid distractions from online friends.
- Switch off the game music, it makes it easier to pinpoint an SI's location from its sound alone, and it helps infer an SI's path movement towards the players.
- Use voice chat for communication, or else you might take damage from an SI while typing.
- Decide who should carry which weapons. Ideally, one player should carry a short-range weapon, and the other three carry long-range weapons.

About teamwork and tactics:

- Nominate one player as the team leader, so the other players follow him/her through the map. If the leader stops; you stop, if the leader runs; you run, if the leader backtracks; you backtrack.
- During a panic event, stay together, if possible have 2 players crouching upfront for melee and shooting the horde, and have 2 players, those with the long-range weapon standing behind the crouched players. The standing players can melee the horde too, but they should always be ready for the SI, as they will have a better line-of-sight to shoot them when they finally appear with the horde. 
- All players MUST keep a mental record of their health bar status PRIOR to an SI attack and AFTER the attack. Remember: it's better to check your health bar status when you hear the sound of the SI coming, then focus your attention on the incoming SI attack. If your health status is ignored during that most crucial moment of the attack, then you won't know if you took damage. Keeping a mental note decides whether or not the game should continue or be restarted. 
- If during a horde event, a player takes damage and is uncertain whether it came from an SI or a zombie, it's best to STOP and RESTART the game. 
- Stay together! A lone player has more chance of being damaged by the SI.
- Keeping together makes it easier to quickly melee a hunter or smoker off a player.
- A player should not stray away from the rest of the team to collect items. Instead, go collect the items together as a team.
- If the team should somehow get split up, try and stay together in pairs, then rejoin the others ASAP.
- "Run and Gun" - Running through a chapter can really help reduce the number of SI spawns at any given moment. It also keeps the team slightly ahead of the SI that do spawn, but they usually spawn at a distance away from the team's running position. The players should keep moving all the time though, and try not to let any zombies block your path. If they do get in your way, just shove or shoot them while running. The team leader will need to judge whether to employ this "run and gun" tactic or not, depending on the situation.

About the smoker:

- No damage will happen to you while being dragged towards the smoker with his tongue. Once you are at his side you will take damage from his first swipe.
-  If you get snagged on an object while being dragged by the tongue, you WILL take damage.
- When being tongue-dragged, you are helpless, so WATCH your health bar status for damage.
- If you get swipe-damage OR object-obstruction-damage, then it's game over, restart the game.

About the hunter:

- A hunter will NOT inflict damage when pouncing on you. You WILL only take damage from his first scratch once he has you pinned down. It's very important for the other players to react very quickly and shoot or melee a hunter off of the pinned-down player because the hunter is quick at inflicting damage.
-The biggest bugbear for all players is taking damage from a hunter when he scratches you at very close range. The best course of action here is to try to back away and shoot the hunter quickly before he gets anywhere near you.
- When pounced on, you are helpless, so WATCH your health bar status for damage.
- If you get scratch damage from the hunter, it's game over, restart the game

About the boomer:

- If players hear a boomer approaching, stop and back away, then shoot him from a safe distance.
- When puked on, WATCH your health bar status and melee the horde frantically to avoid damage, team players (not puked on) should instantly melee protect a player covered in vomit.
- If the boomer bumps into you, you WILL take damage, it's game over, restart the game.
- It's better to shoot a boomer at point-blank range rather than push him away, as you will NOT (on Easy difficulty) take damage from the Boomer's body explosion or his vomit. 
- If a boomer vomits on you and you take NO damage from the summoned zombies, then the team is still eligible for the achievement. 
- If a boomer vomits on you, and you take damage from the summoned zombies while covered in green goo, it's game over, restart the game.


About the witch:

- Avoid shooting the witch, unless she's blocking your pathway. 
- If she spawns close to an event, kill her first, then she can't be accidentally shot during the panic event.
- If she does get shot accidentally by a player, all players should shoot to kill her, don't worry about zombies attacking and damaging you, ignore them until the witch is dead.
- Don't risk crowning the witch, just shoot her quickly a few times to avoid damage.
- If you startle the witch and she hits you, it's game over, restart the game

About the tank:

-  Try shooting the tank from a distance, or better still, burn him and stay well away. On "easy" difficulty he will burn and die very quickly.
- If the tank throws a rock at you, strafe left when he's about to throw, then strafe to the right when he's thrown it, the rock will continue its flight path to the left.
- When the tank spawns, 2 players should distract the tank and focus on killing it, while the other 2 players keep away and watch out for SI, just be ready to shoot them with the long-range weapons.
- If a player gets punched by the tank or hit by his rock, it's game over for the team, restart the game.

About the finale:

- The finale can be the hardest part of the challenge. Players need to stay closely together and find a wide open space to see where the SI's come from during the panic events. Confined spaces will obstruct the player's vision and make it harder to see the SI's approaching.

I hope you find this guide helpful.

Game on!

Sunyata ✶HardA✶

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