Hey! This is my first suggestion post and I already looked to see if there was an elaborate suggestion of the idea of mounted weaponry but I wasn't able to find any on this forum. I even looked into the most commonly suggested ideas thread and I haven't found anything like what I had in mind either. Regardless I'm still a bit nervous that maybe there was already such an idea suggested so please bear with me! This idea was born from me talking with my friend who is a fan of Factorio, maybe looking to get Zomboid in the future.
Just pretend that's a zombie. Or a bandit coincidentally dressed as a baseball player. Or a zombified bandit dressed as a baseball player. Ka-POW!
Base building in Zomboid is an underrated mechanic of the game. However currently, base building in general seems to not be worth defending especially in late game with the tendency of zombies grouping up into overwhelming hordes and soon with the introduction of NPCs/bandits. Not only that, but you'd think there would be more evidence of certain attempts at containing the infection to certain areas and cities before getting overwhelmed. But outside of base building, it's rare that you can have creative and fun ways to kill hordes outside of throwing a molly on them and calling it a day. And also, isn't it weird that you walk into a sports store in America, a country proud of baseball as its historical pastime, not even a pitching machine can be found?
Mounted heavy weaponry! And no, they aren't automatic turrets. I'm talking about big, bulky pieces of machinery that you would have to deploy down in the world, load, and then mount to fire. That includes, but doesn't have to be limited to: baseball pitching machines, tennis ball machines, and the good old fashioned zombie fan favorite, the mounted minigun.
For the purpose of this idea, I will only be concerned with baseball pitching and tennis ball machines, and the mounted minigun. There are many benefits and caveats to each of them and for the purpose of this post I don't want to be writing an essay.
Outside of Zomboid stories, they will typically be found in areas you'd think to find them. For example the baseball pitching machines and the tennis ball machines would be found inside sports stores and even out on a field/court, and schools. Heavy mounted firearms like the minigun would obviously only be found in military bases.
Operating all of the weapons have three things in common: They must be placed on the ground pointed in a direction beforehand. With ball machines it's stricter since they can only fire straight (but amount of force can be adjusted somewhat to preference to cover desired distance). With the minigun can fire to roughly 70 degrees each side, but still optimal placement is required. The second thing they have in common with each other is that they are a royal pain to load and often take strenuous and tedious work (and not to mention planning, to make the most efficient use out of them). And lastly, moving/repositioning them is a hassle. All of those things they have in common is fitting as if added, because they'd be drawbacks as potentially the most powerful tools the players will have at their disposal.
For the miniguns, no, you cannot embrace your inner Rambo and fire the damn thing from the hip. It's literally impossible to do that even as a bodybuilder who sprints 10 miles a day and benches 150lbs. I mean, I guess the game could still technically allow that for muh realism, but with realistic drawbacks that fits roleplaying as an idiot. IIRC the force of the weapon firing can be well over 200lbs (not including the weight of the weapon AND ammo) and not only would you pose a danger to yourself and EVERYTHING around you, you can easily injure your arms and hands which is the obvious.
Speaking of minigun ammo, it's hard to say EXACTLY how much ammo would be available for the miniguns at a base. I'm not familiar with that. They may be stockpiled for all I know but at the same time, would the military really be expecting sieges from its own civilians? I feel like that can get complicated and debatable and I'd love to hear what you guys think. But for stories that involve miniguns at checkpoints and holdout zones, they could most likely be in poor condition, out of ammo or VERY low ammo for story and balance reasons.
As for the ball machines, they can be a viable alternative that not only have plenty of baseballs and tennis balls available, but they are also silent! And adding the balls into Project Zomboid provides loads of other opportunities, such as stealth where you'd throw a ball to force it to make a noise or break a window or as an improvised projectile to get a single zombie's attention from afar. Maybe that same system could also be used for throwing rocks foraged as well a la Far Cry 3. Hell, you could probably even have something to pass the time and reduce character boredom by playing baseball with a machine or sending a baseball at a zombie's head with a bat? This idea has many possibilities that it can serve as the foundation for other mechanics!
I clearly only want this idea added so I can see Spiffo in his infamous plank pose waiting for a baseball pitching machine to launch a baseball at him. Would make for a cute update image IMO.
So what do you guys think? Anything you want me to elaborate on? Any ideas for balancing the minigun ammo so you aren't set for life if you find a military base or luck out with a story?