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That One Level / Splatoon 2 Salmon Run

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Is this screen burned into your head yet?
Ever since the Squid Sisters stepped off the stage, Mr. Grizz has set up shop in Inkopolis Square to collect Golden Eggs for reasons unknown, and has opened the gates to proven Turf Warriors, with fresh clothing and doodads to use in Turf War and Ranked Battle, to ensure a steady stream of workers against the Salmonids whose eggs he covets.

While there is much profit to be had working part-time for Mr. Grizz, many Inklings and Octolingsnote  consider the trends and conditions listed on this page to be falling under "diminishing returns" at best, and an exercise in masochism at worst. In short, these combinations of Salmonids and natural phenomena are why hazard pay is (well, should be) a part of Grizzco.

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    Environmental Conditions 
  • Higher-ranked Salmon Runners will face different event type battles from time to time. One of the most annoying is probably going to be 'Goldie Seeking' due to slight Unexpected Gameplay Change. Instead of normal horde battle for survival and taking out enemies, the players are tasked with shooting gushers (grates with spheres that explode into gushers of enemy ink when hit) that have light coming from them with supposedly the brightest being where a Goldie enemy will appear. The brightly shining enemy is the only way to get Golden Eggs during this battle, however enemies also pop out of gushers, which can eventually lead to them swarming the map in outrageous numbers if left unchecked. In situations where you have an online team, with one or more member not aware of the rules (although technically this and other higher difficulty Salmon run event battles are listed in the employee manual you get after completing the training) that type of battle is probably going to end up a loss, due to either not being able to find the Goldie soon enough to get the required eggs or misunderstanding how the battle works, shooting as many gushers as possible and being swarmed by mooks.
    • It only gets harder in medium tide, where the number of potential hiding points for the Goldie increases compared to High tide. Worse, if it happens during Wave 3, your team will usually end up with a high quota to meet.
  • High Tide in Salmon Run greatly reduces the movement capabilities and retreat options for a team, making it even easier for Scrappers and Steel Eels to knock players to their doom, to say nothing of the damage caused by Flyfish and Steelheads.
    • And that's not even mentioning the fact that, oh... Griller rounds have the possibility of occurring during these High Tides!
  • Did it turn nighttime? Are there Glowflies showing up? You're gonna have a bad time. Glowflies will swarm around one of the four players and Salmonids will go directly for that player. And there are far more Salmonids than usual, so if the targeted player isn't being protected by their teammates (due to lack of cooperation or understanding of how Glowflies work, or being knocked out), they will get splatted in short order. And if you get stuck with a low-fire-rate weapon such as the various Chargers while Glowflies surround you, may the gods help you.

    Weapon Loadouts 
Mr. Grizz provides a variety of weapon loadouts each time for reasons known only to him. While workers can be expected to perform admirably with the weapons provided, the following make the job much harder than it needs to be. Weapons are also balanced for standard 4v4 matches, with Salmon Run being an afterthought; weapons that are effective in the main game may still inspire only groans when they appear in the Salmon Run rotation.

  • One such setup for Salmon Run had the Inkbrush, Roller, Mini Splatling and Blaster. While the Roller and Splatling fared decently well, the blaster lacked its infamous OHKO against Salmonids, combined with its slow attack speed made it was far less useful in Salmon Run than normal matches, and the Inkbrush already has a niche as a quick but weak weapon whose fast and ambush-heavy style could already be harder to get a grasp on, but here its advantages were barely any use when the enemies know where you are at all times and take more damage than Inklings to bring down.
  • Another horrible Salmon Run setup was an Octobrush, Heavy Splatling, Dapple Dualies and Goo Tuber. The brush is already a very underwhelming weapon in Salmon Run, being short range and still needing a good second and a lot of ink to kill any Salmonid, but usually it can slide by as an egg grabber if the other weapons can make up for it. The Dapple Dualies were usable but had short range, and their bonus of faster rolls didn't really make up for the lack of range against some boss Salmonid, and the Goo Tuber, as mentioned above, doesn't work well when its gimmick is hiding under ink and keeping its charge larger when space is already tight and you ink can quickly lose direct paths that force you to come out of ink, in addition to being slower to charge and shorter ranged to make up for that gimmick. The Splatling is okay if it has good backup and the one who rolled it is used to it, but being the only reliable long range in the arsenal means it had more than its fair share to cover for the rest of the team.
  • Then came the loadout featured with the launch of the Lost Outpost map: The L-3 Nozzlenose, Splash-o-matic, Blaster, and Splat Charger. The Blaster seemed to fare better here than in other maps (but still contained many of it's flaws, such as damage output and turf coverage), and the drawbacks of being a Charger in Salmon Run still persist, aside from being able to make escape routes up the outer sides of the building easily. The L-3 Nozzlenose was also rather difficult to use in some cases due to not being an automatic-firing weapon, which made the Splash-o-matic the only true shooter weapon of the pack.
  • Which was subsequently topped in bad performance by the H-3 Nozzlenose, the N-Zap '83, the Heavy Splatling and the Inkbrush. The only new addition, the H-3, has a slower rate of fire compared to the L-3, and its slight boost in damage and range is not enough to compensate when the user is being swarmed by lesser Salmonids, despite the weapon being a viable boss-killer. The Inkbrush is still woefully inefficient in combat despite being able to sweep over Smallfries, so if the Splatling and N-Zap wielders don't know what they're doing or get overwhelmed, especially during Glowfly or Griller events, you're screwed seven times out of ten.
  • Next up was the rather questionable selection of the Clash Blaster, Sploosh-o-Matic, Slosher, and Splatterscope. While the Slosher is decent, the other three have rather glaring flaws. The Clash Blaster is rather poor at claiming turf and is subpar at eliminating targets, the Sploosh-o-Matic is extremely risky to fight with even if it inks lots of turf, as it's shots cannot reach the head of a Steelhead before it throws it's bomb and require you to get really close to knock off the cans of a Stinger (additionally making Griller rounds a bigger problem), and the Splatterscope has the misfortune of being a scoped charger, causing you to lose focus of your surroundings when you charge up. Combine this with the map you're forced to use these three weapons on (Lost Outpost) and players are bound to have quite some trouble staying alive.
  • Ready for another horrid Lost Outpost setup? Carbon Roller, Dapple Dualies, H-3 Nozzlenose, and E-liter 3K Scope. Which the former two weapons can perform well, those last two weapons can easily break apart a team due to the H-3's aforementioned low shot count and the E-liter 3K being perhaps the worst Charger in a map where there is virtually no high ground to snipe faraway targets unless you have confident and skilled teammates that can help cover it's weaknesses.
  • Once again on Lost Outpost, players were blessed with yet another below average set in the N-ZAP '85, Rapid Blaster, Splatterscope, and the return of the dreaded Inkbrush. While the former two are decently strong in the right hands, users of the latter two weapons are no doubt crippled against the immense hordes of Salmonids- especially if they're unfortunate to face a Glowfly or Griller Wave.
  • The October 4th-5th, 2017 Salmon Run session gave you both the L-3 Nozzlenose and the H-3 Nozzlenose. Heaven for the few who have learned how to use the Nozzlenoses and play to their strengths, but hell for everyone else. The other two weapons were the also complementary .52 Gal and .96 Gal, one of whom often became the keystone of their team.
  • The October 9th-10th, 2017 Salmon Run session is all about the blasters: The available weapons were the original Blaster, the Luna Blaster, the Rapid Blaster, and the Clash Blaster. While a godsend versus Stingers, If you don't know how to use blasters, this session would've been near unplayable. Good luck if you happened to encounter an abundance of Steelheads, whose weak points are too high for the Luna Blaster and Clash Blaster to reach.
  • The October 11th-12th, 2017 Salmon Run gives the Splattershot Pro, Splash-O-Matic, Splat Charger, and the squiddin' Inkbrush at Lost Outpost. Whoever has this last weapon is relegated to Egg recovery duty, since the weapon's myriad flaws have not been addressed in any capacity by this point; while the Charger performs poorer than the Shooters, it has its niches like busting Steelheads through the doors and paving lines through lesser Salmonid, but if the Shooters go down, the difficulty spike may just be unbearable.
  • November 20th-21st, 2017, had the Splat Dualies, the Tenta Brella, the Mini Splatling, and the Rapid Blaster on Spawning Grounds. While the Splat Dualies are good basic weapons and the Tenta Brella has amazing range (though it's low rate of fire is a hindrance), those other two weapons can effectively make or break a team. The Mini Splaltling still retains the weapon class's problem of needing to be charged while also not having the range and quick shot of a Charger, and the Rapid Blaster is as underwhelming as ever, despite each shot traveling a decent distance.
  • December 8th-9th, 2017 presented a trio of weapons that require rather high skill to use effectively. Aside from the Dualie Squelchers, these included the Luna Blaster, Bamboozler 14 Mk I, and Hydra Splatling on Marooner's Bay. The Luna Blaster and Hydra Splatling both slow the player's movement when being used, while the latter has it far worse, requiring lots of charge to be used and leaving the player wide open to attack if they charge up next to some Salmonids- turning Flyfish and Stingers into absolute nightmares despite a charged Hydra Splatling being able to mow down targets and knock away Stingers from a relative distance. Lastly, the Bamboozler has less range and power compared to other Chargers, requiring the user to get in closer to be able to land a hit.
  • February 4th-5th, 2018 gave perhaps one of the worst loadouts ever to be graced in Splatoon 2 history: Dapple Dualies, Inkbrush, Range Blaster, and the Hydra Splatling on Spawning Grounds. The Dapple Dualies, while fairly strong and able to spread ink quickly, lack the distance of other shooters and Dualies, meaning attempting to take on Steelheads will be a severe issue (and you cannot pull off jumping shots unless you let go of the trigger before jumping). The Inkbrush returns with all the problems it had since launch- it's weak and cannot spread ink reliably without eating up almost an entire tank worth of ink. The last two weapons turn your Inkling into a Mighty Glacier, which is not ideal for Salmon Run since the number of threats painting over friendly turf is far more plentiful. The Range Blaster, despite it's power, slows your Inkling to a crawl while firing and cannot cover turf as well as the Dapple Dualies or Inkbrush, while the Hydra Splatling, since it isn't joined by arguably better and easier to use weapons that help balance out it's weaknesses of having a very long charge time that also decelerates the user's walking speed to a snail's pace while charging becomes much more worse in the long run despite the amazing rage, power, and speed each shot creates.
  • February 15-16th, 2018's Lost Outpost weapon loadout managed to cram in not one, but two Splatlings to make movement and attacking difficult. The regular Heavy Splatling and its big cousin, the Hydra Splatling, are here to bring the salt out of any Inkling that cannot handle the moderate to severe speed drops of each weapon while charging, especially on a map with more cramped areas. Not even the inclusion of two good weapons for attacking and inking with (the N-Zap '89 and the Slosher respectively) help out much in the long run.
  • March 1st-2nd, 2018 had an arguably even worse layout than the one on Feb 4th: Sploosh-o-matic, Blaster, Splat Roller, and Goo Tuber on the Salmonid Smokeyard. Each weapon already had significant drawbacks on their own in other layouts, however all four of these weapons together meant no one player could sufficiently cover for the weaknesses of the others. This lack of balance lead to nightmarish and brutal rounds that meant you got team wiped every five out of six attempts.
  • The March 10th-11th, 2018 Salmon Run hits the Smokeyard again and keeps the curse rolling with the Hydra Splatling, the Dark Tetra Dualies, the Splattershot Pro and the Carbon Roller. Between the Dualies' lack of range, the Splatling's abysmal charge rate, and the Carbon Roller's lack of weight, the Splattershot Pro has to carry the weight of the world in consistent performance, and in a place like the Salmonid Smokeyard, that particular user getting more than ten Inkling body lengths away from their teammates is an invitation for lots of bad mojo. High Tide + Grillers + SAO Abridged tier intelligence with this loadout? Good luck — you'll need it!
  • Returning to Lost Outpost, March 20th-21st, 2018 brought in a grand total of three "power" weapons, weapon types that are not suited for Salmon Run as a whole. The Tenta Brella, the Sloshing Machine, and once again, the dreaded Hydra Splatling. All three of these weapons suffer in one way or another, with the Sloshing Machine not being able to cover much turf, the Splatling's abysmal charge being too fatal of a flaw to make up for the amazing fire rate and range it provides (alongside no other weapon that can cover it's weaknesses), and the Tenta Brella's low fire rate. That last weapon? The Sploosh-o-Matic, the only non-charging, non single shot weapon in the loadout, which is the only one that's good at spreading ink. However it's short range and low accuracy forces it to get up and close to bosses (especially Steelheads) and put itself at risk of danger, and it also struggles to paint the various high outer walls that surround the main interior area and provide escape routes for themselves and others to take.
  • March 24th-25th, 2018 had the Sloshing Machine, the Rapid Blaster Pro, the L-3 Nozzlenose, and the Bamboozler Mk I, all of them beginner-unfriendly weapons. This was a shift dominated by Wave 1 team wipes due to one or more participants not really understanding what to do with the weapons they were given. At least the stage was Spawning Grounds, the easiest and most straightforward one.
  • April 18th-19th, 2018 brings workers to Marooner's Bay with a loadout consisting of nothing but average to outright questionable weapon choices. Carbon Roller, Blaster, the infamous Hydra Splatling, and the classic Goo Tuber.
  • April 26th-27th, 2018 gives a nasty loadout for the Salmonid Smokeyard consisting of the Rapid Blaster, the Sploosh-o-Matic, the L-3 Nozzlenose and the Hydra Splatling. Joy.
  • July 3rd-4th, 2018 on Spawning Grounds brings with it a below-average set of weapons that seems to have trouble overall keeping the Salmonids under control. The Splattershot Pro, the Clash Blaster, the Splatterscope, and the newly-introduced Explosher. The Splattershot Pro, despite it's increased offenses, range, and accuracy over the standard Spalttershot, does not function well at taking back turf thanks to it's low rate of fire, the Clash Blaster also doesn't ink well even with it's decent strength and lacks range, the Splatterscope continues the trend of scoped Chargers not being as useful as their un-scoped counterparts, and then there's the Explosher. Even though it can paint walls and floors extremely well, it chews through lots of ink per projectile and despite the added bonus of knocking away multiple Stinger segments and being the only weapon (aside from the Grizzco Slosher) that can destroy Flyfish with standard projectiles, it comes at the cost of needing at least three hits on Steel Eels and Steelheads and doing suboptimal damage to Scrapers and Drizzlers.
  • Random Weapon sessions. If you don't get a good Shooter, Dualies, or a rare Grizzco weapon, you're bound to wind up with a Scrappy Weapon. Goo Tuber? Dynamo Roller? Inkbrush? H-3 Nozzlenose? They're all here and ready to cripple you one wave after another. Multiple players can even wind up with the same weapons, to the point where a team will have nothing but Chargers and Rollers.

  • Lost Outpost in general is one of the harder Salmon Run maps. Compared to Spawning Ground and Marooners Bay, Lost Outpost is fairly flat with only a few small pleateus, giving you even fewer places to escape from that are not the outpost walls (which you can't attack from). The outpost walls also block line of sight and the narrow entrances makes it easy to get boxed in if you let too many Lesser Salmonids or god help you, multiple Steel Eels live. Outside has a lot of grates that will send you into toxic water if you even think of turning to squid form, and thus slowing you down if you need to go over them. And need we forget Glowfly and Griller waves, which are brutal as there's almost no high ground to escape to and the enclosed walls limit your view point.
  • If you can feel the shivers creeping up your back at the Ruins of Ark Polaris, know well that you're not alone. The basket is at the top of the central structure (unless it's low tide), meaning that you have to ink your way up the walls if you want to take the short route so long as there aren't ink rails nearby, and the salmonids can come from all directions too, meaning that while attacking from above is often a good idea, dropping in to get eggs without clearing the lower level first is likely to end with you getting dunked on. And the Great Zapfish forbid the Steel Eels overstay their welcome, because getting cut off on these small walkways is going to eat chunks off the clock if not horribly damn you outright. Playing this stage with randos who lack common intellect? They'll never find your bodies.
  • High Tide waves in Salmon Runs can range from fairly difficult to brutal. The sea level rises, turning much of the map into a Bottomless Pit and severely limiting your team's range of movement. Marooner's Bay and Lost Outpost remain rather large, while Spawning Grounds and Salmonid Smokeyard shrink drastically in this format. If the Random Number God isn't on your side, you can end up with several of these in sequence, and if you get a Griller or Glowflies wave, you'll be in for one hell of a time.
    • Spawning Grounds has a dead end that can easily lead to your team separating if a Stinger or Flyfish spawns there and lots of grate walkways that prevent players from entering squid form- thus crippling their movement and leaving them an easy target if they run out of ink to defend themselves with. The main island can also become crowded with an infestation of Salmonids, and Steel Eels in particular can block off parts of the map in no time flat while Steelheads and Drizzlers are able to cover a good portion of the island in enemy ink if the game decides to let a couple of them loose.
    • Salmonid Smokeyard gets divided into two halves, each half connected only through moving platforms with fans that initiate when shooting them. The Salmonids can freely cross to the other side through the water with Stingers and Flyfish being able to snipe Inklings from the other island while the Inklings' own weaponry, aside from some Shooters, Chargers, and Splatlings, cannot reach the other island. Each island is also fairly small, and the Salmonids can easily overwhelm and coat them in ink if left unattended. Plus, careless players can end up falling into the Bottomless Pit when attempting to use the platforms.


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