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  • 2307 The Ultimate Question!

    1. 1. Which is better: pancakes or waffles?

      • PANCAKES
      • WAFFLES

  • Posts

    • Having observed zombie behaviours, as well as the various combat tactics which seem... un-movie-like, I have a partial list of AI tweaks which I think might work to address gameplay mechanics, and introduce interesting dimensions of risk to gameplay.   Zombies Avoid Fire   I recognise PZ follows the trope of 'all zombies are braindead dumb', but I think it leads to behaviour that's too easy to cheese if they're too stupid, and they should have some 'basic survival instincts' to make them more challenging.   Having zombies avoid fire would mitigate tactics such as leading them into campfires, as well as going near other, already on-fire zombies, meaning a zombie horde won't naturally spread fire to other zombies. It has the added benefit of preventing a single zombie from stumbling through a fire and burning a player base down, and it mitigates campfire cheese as it would mean the zombies would path around the campfire, and not cluster around on-fire zombies.   On-fire Zombies "Panic"   This would simply be a random "drunken walk" (nothing too CPU intensive). So instead of constantly chasing the player, on fire zombies become confused and 'panic' (I mean, if their eyes have melted, their nose is full of soot and their ears are burnt to a crisp how can they navigate to the player anyway?). This would mean the on-fire zombies will "break away" from the zombie horde (thus reducing the odds of setting the other zombies on fire), and there's a real chance they could run off into forests and buildings to set them on fire during this "panic" state.   Accelerating Zombies   Zombies who have been pursuing a player for a while, instead of having a static, constant speed, will start to accelerate as their zombie adrenaline starts pumping. This means if a player tries to simply do a "brisk walk" to outwalk zombies in a straight line, it won't work and eventually the zombies will go from a shamble, to a walk, to a jog, to an all-out sprint. The acceleration decreases whenever zombies lose line-of-sight of the player, and resets back to zero if they get hit or shoved. Injured zombies cannot accelerate.   Climbers   Periodically, a spawned zombie will have the trait that they "like" to climb things (basically: if there's any sheet rope or rope it can climb in range, it will climb up it; this takes priority over everything except chasing the player). This is to make it so sheet ropes become a liability if left out as an "easy" way to avoid zombies.   50/50 Fence Mechanic   Zombies have a 50/50 chance to not cross a fence. Currently tactics for killing zombies involve back-and-forth vaulting over a (short) fence endlessly. In reality, zombies would not perfectly cross a fence every single time, and some zombies would get stuck on the other side. This would not only aid player escape (meaning every fence you cross is a 50/50 chance of losing zombies), but also would avoid this abnormal fighting tactic (as the end result would be zombies on both sides of the fence meaning you can't easily one shot crossing zombies).   Disabled Zombies   Some zombies will spawn with disabilities. Specifically, either a lack of hearing or a lack of vision (mutually exclusive). Lack of hearing means players cannot guarantee shouting or making noise will clear an area. Lack of vision means using line-of-sight to draw aggro won't work.   Noisy/Screamer Zombies   Some zombies on spawn will have the trait of being noisy/screamer zombies. They make noise the moment they spot the player, drawing other zombies in an area to the screamer zombie. This prevents players from easily 'picking off' zombies one-by-one.   Bite-less Zombies   Some zombies have the trait they cannot bite under any circumstances (implied: missing bottom jaw, missing teeth, broken neck, etc). This is to reduce the prevalence of bite events whilst still presenting threats (they can still lacerate or scratch), to make up for the introduction of smarter zombies. Zombies also have a probability of being turned into a biteless zombie via player attack with specific weapons (E.G. hammer), meaning the better you are at fighting (and not merely armour!), the lower your overall risk of being bitten.   Stealth Zombies   These zombies spawn in trees and other ideal hiding spots, however unlike normal zombies, they don't redistribute or form rally groups, so they're always in hiding, waiting to surprise a player. May also optionally ignore 'loud' sounds like shouting or idling cars and only attack the player when they're in range (so they can "ambush" players).   Dozy Zombie Mechanic   If a player opens a door in a house to a room that contains a zombie (indoor zombies only!), and that zombie was not alerted to the player's presence before hand, the zombie will be in a dozy state and will not 'instantly' chase. This both rewards stealth and gives noobs a chance to react (E.G. by shutting the door again if unarmed) to their first zombie encounter.      
    • I think perhaps my views seemed more critical than intended (it sort follows on from the context of the vanilla server discussion earlier).   So earlier in that original discussion, I mentioned I didn't mind other players using mods, I however feel some mods are compensating for unintended gameplay mechanics. I "embrace the suck", as you say, because for me, I'm approaching this game from a beta-test angle.   In gameplay design, there's a view towards protecting a player 'from themselves'. For example, players in video games will often hoard and not use health items, fearing some upcoming boss battle. What ends up happening is not only do they not use the items during the course of the game (which is what they're supposed to be for), they also don't use it during the boss battle. The end result is the player engages in hoarding and micro-management of the inventory in what should be a fast-paced game. Half-life 2 solved this by making medkits instant use. Other games solve this by making stationary healing areas, or by limiting the health item slot to one, encouraging the player to use up spares. Some games lean into the hoarding factor and encourage it, by making it more pleasant by removing inventory micro-management (for example, Link in BotW can hold basically an infinite number of meals. Don't ask where he stores it all).   It strikes me currently that players are so singly afraid of that one-bite-run-ender (especially if one has been squirrelling away a lot of resources), they either play extremely safe, in a way that's arguably not fun and defeats the point of having zombies (go to a remote enough wood area and you're basically in sandbox Minecraft), or upon the tiniest unfair mistake - and they do happen - they fire up debug mode and remove the infection via god mode. The other way being, they invent a mod that mitigates that risk; cures, super-thick body armour, a crap ton of guns.   Essentially it strikes me the players are trying to avoid the key feature of Zomboid, which are the zombies. What you end up with is a sort of... remote wood hoarding simulator. Which suggests to me the gameplay mechanics need an adjustment. I've not yet sussed what the adjustment needs to be as I'm testing the 'hide in a remote house' strategy.   For me, I had the most fun when I was periodically sneaking from house to house, staying for a period of time in each one, trying to conservatively use canned supplies, whilst killing zombies in backgardens, as I didn't have to worry about trying to ferry goods everywhere. At one point, I thought the zombies stopped pursuing you the moment you went indoors. It's not how they actually behave, but I found the idea of zombies losing interest if you go indoors interesting because it invites a stealthy strategy.   I'm having the 'least' fun with the remote house setup. It's safe, but it is... also boring. However, the game hard punishes any exciting playstyles. I tried a run where I was aggressive with a dedicated strength build, and despite capping 100+ zombies (pure melee), it was over by day 3 because of an errant bite. Essentially, the more zombie engagements you have, the higher the probability of a bite, so the game encourages zero zombie engagements.   I suspect this might be because killing zombies themselves does not carry any direct rewards (besides maybe better clothing and a bag). I think zombies ought to be carrying food supplies more frequently, as well as maybe other types of more frequent rewards. That way, the risk has a reward as trade-off.   I also tried the hobo foraging approach, which sort-of works but because foraging does not find food regularly enough, and most of that foraged food goes stale very quickly (sometimes, such as mushrooms, even immediately!), you end up still setting up a collection point, which then turns into a remote wood base. I'm not sure what the 'right' style of play is, or what the gameplay mechanics should be tweaked to... but I'm not a fan of OCD hoarding where I spend all day inventory sorting, and I'm also not a fan of suicide missions. Still, I think mods are trying to patch the symptoms, and not the cause.
    • Going to guess that because it isn't a single file but a bunch of small files ( map zone data ) it doesn't work like a normal save. 
    • Could you try sharing the game logs again in that case? Just to confirm that the drivers have been updated successfully. Additionally, can you check the Windows Reliability monitor for any ProjectZomboid application crashes there? If you do find any, can you share a screenshot of the Technical Details section so we can check the errors that show up there? https://www.computerworld.com/article/3575353/troubleshooting-windows-10-with-reliability-monitor.html https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/sk-sk/000178177/how-to-use-windows-reliability-monitor-to-identify-software-issues
    • i tried doing that, the game still doesn't open  
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