This is what I did to earn this dreaded achievement, the other guides are good but I’d like to share the tips and tricks that I did. First off, you’re going to hate yourself after this but the people you bring out, will be hardened to fight on any difficulty and give you a boost of confidence to dominate future playthroughs. This guide is designed around the Trader ending, reason for that is you’ll have yourself, your bullet sponge character, 3 other enclave characters to assist in the fight, and I recommend having a friend to tag along on the upper walkway as coverage but we’ll get into later.
So let’s get started!
The map I chose was Drucker County (yes I know this isn’t the best map but hear me out) the recent update Riding Shotgun has made traversing this map easier, and there is one centralized base that will help with taking down plague hearts, we will get to that in a moment.
I went with new characters just so I wouldn’t possibly have to see any of my other characters I’ve worked so hard for die, if this doesn’t bother you, then these are the traits you’re going to want to bring with you.
Immortal: “ Nothing can kill me, man. The world has tried, and the world has failed. Bring it, baby!” the added benefits from this are: -40% Injury Severity and +45 Base Health
This character is going to be your spongey character that you are going to take with you into the final mission.
That one is a necessity, you can run with all three starting that way or just one to save the time of going through randomizing but here are some other ones to look out for if it’s taking too long to get immortal or Hard to Kill for the others:
Hard to Kill:” I've picked myself up after fights that left dozens of people dead.” -40% Injury Severity, +45 Max Health
Determined:” Once I commit to something, it's really hard to shake me loose.” +20 Max Health, +20 Max Stamina, Not easily frustrated
Hard as Nails:” I sometimes like to do risky or painful things, just to test my limits.” -40% Injury Severity, +30 Max Health
After you’ve gotten your characters, here are some tips:
You see a hoard, you avoid them, or stealth take down them.
Always keep at least snacks, bottle of stimulates or energy drinks for when you’re getting overwhelmed by either a pack of ferals or zombies, pop open a can or a pill and haul ass out of there, it’s got the benefit of either keeping you alive along with boosting your cardio skill.
Try to keep a friendly enclave member following you, they’ll take some of the damage, maybe kill some zeds or be a distraction for a juggernaut that could rip you in half, it’s either you or them so use that to your advantage to get out.
You see a screamer, you kill it at soon as possible to avoid it bringing in multiple hoards or freaks, I’ve found myself being chased by 4 hordes, 3 ferals and 2 juggernauts by thinking o could sneak past a screamer, nope just take them down.
Lastly do not be afraid to exit the game, if you feel like your hard work is about to come to a drastic end, do not be afraid to exit and reload it, it’ll move you into another spot and push the threats further away, trust me in helped me when my survivor almost got ripped in half by a juggernaut due to a couple bloaters rushing me.
The base you’re going to want to go for to help with combating the plague hearts is Mikes Concrete, it’s a centralized location in the map, and it has a built in Machine Shop (workshop 3 for the explosives you’ll be using) Huge Fuel storage for the Molotovs you’ll need to wipe out a horde of plague zombies rushing you while you’re going after the hearts. It also has 2 large spots so one for your Trading Depot and the other for either a barracks like I used or a farm to keep your people fed. Now for outposts, make sure you get at least one for artillery strike, this will come in handy for some plague hearts (if you’re lucky enough for them to spawn in outside locations such as medical tents) and for the siege at the end of the traders mission.
Now for the first portion that will take the longest. Before you head out and take some of these plague hearts down make sure you have the following with you:
An allied enclave follower (they will distract the zombies and help with the initial attack on the heart) a vehicle of your choosing (I had the help of the Wizard Van), a Vial of Plague Cure, 3 Bottles or Stimulates or Energy Drinks, 3 Strong Painkillers, 4 Box Mines (crafted from your Machine Shop), 6 Molotovs to burn the zeds that are trailing you after getting there. As for the weapons, the melee can be that of your choosing I went with a blunt weapon to knock down the zeds and it’s slightly more durable than a bladed and swings faster than a heavy. For the ranged weapon, I recommend a shotgun that can take down multiple enemies and it makes it easier to kill a Feral because after every gas release from the plague heart a Feral spawned in with the next wave of plague zombies.
My total about of hearts was 17 and I had one glitch to where it was two in one and it wouldn’t take damage from melee or ranges, I had to rely on explosives.
For going after the heart, try to stealth kill as many as you can on your way there into the heart. Make sure you know your escape route and to where you parked your vehicle. Once you get in there, use up your stamina on damaging the heart with your melee weapon, once it is about empty use your item that replenishes stamina whether it be the energy drink or the stimulant, roll out of the way when the first cloud of gas is about to be emitted, you can tell by an audio cue of it sounding like it’s about to erupt, the blood particles in the air will also move faster too. Get your Molotovs ready and wait for the cloud to dissipate while taking note of your surroundings, make sure you throw that Molotov to where the zeds are grouping at if a feral is in the mix, he ready to dodge and weave and take him down. Once the feral is down and your follower is being the bait you wanted them to be, rush over to the heart and put down 2 mines, depending on if you’re running a train of zombies behind you, they’ll go off with the zombies, if not, shoot the shotgun or whichever weapon you brought at the mine and set it off, that will set off its second cloud, if not you can either chuck some Molotovs at it or run up if it’s safe and smash away at it while your follower is either killing the zeds are getting torn apart, either way once that heart is down, the plague zeds die with it even if there is a plague jug nearby they will die too. Rinse and repeat till all the plague hearts are down. Now going back to the artillery strikes, I have a medical tent with a heart under one of the canopies, I chucked the artillery marker outside the fence and it destroyed the heart. Now as for it working on buildings where the heart is close to a window I can not verify that this works so if it works or not for you, drop it down in the comment section.
Now for your immortal character, one of your starting people will have a mission about their aunt that is a prepper, the Bug-Out vehicle will come in handy since the Vagabond is better on gas consumption than the Wizard Van but what you really want to bring out from this is the Prepper’s 10/20 rifle, make sure your immortal character has this for when it comes down to the final mission.
By this point you should have the hearts done, then it’ll go into the Trader’s legacy missions, build the depot, get the triangle trade started up, going after one of the three that’s trying to set the others up, what have it be, the final mission can be a breeze or a death sentence and I’ll explain both reasons why.
IMPORTANT!!! MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS DURING DAYLIGHT
The meet up spot for the trading meeting is going to be down at the warehouse near the Artillery strike outpost and the medical tent it’s in the areas between Hoda Valley and Gawain, it’s on the left side of the road coming down from South Santa Maya. Now from your exploration of the map, you might’ve came across some smoke grenades, some whistling mines overall what I’m getting at is explosive ordinance. Make sure you got your immortal character with you and make sure you got the following.
A fully automatic weapon with plenty of ammo, fuel bombs instead of Molotovs this time (larger area, more damage) mines that are triggers on proximity instead of manual detonation to avoid the split seconds you could be using to get the the vantage point on the upper portion of the warehouse. You can block off the loading dock on the back part of the warehouse, furtherest from the road I mentioned earlier with a vehicle that’s about to blow along with box mine around it. Now here is where you can have a friend with you already at the vantage point (which I recommend, if you can’t then just be prepared to pause and exit if you’re about to die). To initiate the first part, talk to two of the three people here that are representing their enclave, when you try to talk to the third it will say fail and that’s when you get ambushed so as soon as you’re done talking to the second person, run up to the vantage point, once you see the red diamonds throw down some smoke grenades to throw the AI off, then throw the fuel bombs down there, then as they’re trying to put the fire out shoot down there, you should be able to see their silhouettes. Once they are dead and hopefully the other trade participants are (if they are not it fails and you will have to wait 30 minutes or so for them to start up again)
Talk to one of the traders there and it’ll initiate the zombie siege from what just occurred from the raiders.
Once you survive that onslaught congratulations!!!! You just beat nightmare mode on the trader legacy!
If y’all have any questions comment down here, if y’all need help with the final portion you can talk down in the comment section or even message me to see if I’m available to lend assistance.