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So I've heard that the NPCs are mainly being scripted in numerous timelines from various backgrounds, traits, and other conditions that are essentially being hand-made. Which I can absolutely respect as that would allow more "human" responses in comparison to AI. I understand the idea of event chains that act like a logic system in a way, but I can't fathom anything short of a small army of writers to make it possible. Atleast without years of development. So I propose the following; why not let us, the community and gamers help write scripts or events? I'm sure we've all been through a number of situations and reacted to them differently depending on our own character builds or goals. If they allow the player base to contribute to this end, it would allow the devs to focus on the mechanics end to aid in speeding up the final release of NPCs. Not only that but it would allow some great diversity in the PZ world as of course, not every writer is the same. This could be accomplished by giving the community some form of template and maybe bracket it into categories of responses, reactions, or goals. Or a similar tool to properly and effectively integrate it seamlessly into the game. Essentially give us the guidelines and a relatively basic tool to help create the NPCs you, the devs, envisioned. Because trust me, we the players would love deep, lore rich NPCs. One way I could think of implementing this is breaking it down by traits or prebuilt classes. This way we could formulate different NPC reactions and goals that could potentially mesh together with other traits depending on their capabilities or limitations. Maybe even adding in reliance on other NPCs (such as potential family members) for negative traits such as deaf, weak ect or vice versa for bonus traits. Maybe have npc cops, firefighters, soldiers ect try to do their jobs at first and maintain the crumbling civilization. The possibilities are endless. A way to allow us access to this could be a form of massive logic chains. Where inputs from the beginning of the game could be handmade by thousands of players. Such as family members, goals, occupation, and some background information such as preferences, relationships ect. Perhaps even slap on a labeling system such as traits, personality ect to easily organize and piece together multiple chains. Finally a team of moderators to accept or decline certain inputs/outputs or entire chains for rating purposes or feasibility. It could be something as simple as a blog similar to this one, or more complex as a plug-in or game extension. Or even a bit of basic coding. Anything that would allow us to effectively help the core game.
I noticed that last update shown on Steam is from June of 2019-- that is, update notes. If I were a prospective buyer, and I saw that the devs were doing regular updates, but then stopped a year-and-a-half ago, I think I'd conclude that the game was dead/abandoned as opposed to freaking awesome and alive!
"Valve has implemented a new "Game Ban" policy on Steam, allowing game developers to permanently ban Steam users from individual games, the company announced recently. Through the game ban initiative, Valve is allowing developers to run their own systems to "detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats," according to a Steam Community page that explains what a game ban is. This is separate from Valve Anti-Cheat, the technology that is already built into Steam. If a developer discovers a player who is cheating, the company notifies Valve, which issues the game ban on the player's Steam account for that particular game. Until now, only Valve has been able to root out cheaters and ban them. "The game developer is solely responsible for the decision to apply a game ban," Valve noted. "Valve only enforces the game ban as instructed by the game developer." via Polygon. Thoughts? Will this help PZ at all?
The multiplayer is severely broken. Like, really, really broken. With that being said, I understand that I purchased this game with Early Access via Steam and willingly took on the responsibility. However, I don't think the focus should be on adding cars and the such when the MP side of things are so broken that it might ruin the potential of it ever being what it could be down the road. I might have to stop playing all together because it's that bad. With that being said - it has a lot of potential, but some things I thought of, in my opinion, my plant some seeds - who knows. If you are already working on some of these things, great! If not, then I worry a bit. I understand that this was a SP game first and foremost, therefore if the focus isn't going to be on multiplayer in fixing these huge problems within the next few months, then I'd say remove the MP until it can be better focused on altogether because the single player is great! This is from two weeks and almost 100 hours of playing Project Zomboid Multiplayer. (I played the single player like it was going out of style from 2013 and up and love the idea of the multiplayer) 1. Server Side Saving This would fix so many problems it's not even funny. People can easily manipulate the saves therefore, everyday on the server I'm on we're hit by more hackers than actually DDOSing now because people just load their save right back in once they die, or they edit the save file since it's saved on the computer in an easy-to-find location. It doesn't quite make much sense. This would prevent the easy editing and at least make it much, much harder to change things in-game. The server I'm on even checks files for its size to see if its been modified and still to no anvil. 2. Server optimization The netcode could be optimized a lot better than it is, but I'm sure this is already being worked on. 3. Zombie spawn behavior The spawn system for the zombies are a little weird, I think from experience the game checks to see if there isn't anyone in the area and if it isn't then it'll spawn zombies, so the end result is that you have zombies in places nobody will ever visit/or visit often and most of the zombies in the city killed off. Shouldn't it be something along the lines of % based + the activity in the area? I.E. if there's more activity in the city than the highway, then focus on spawning zombies around that area instead of the house by the lake which no one goes to and it ends up lagging the server because of all these zombies. (One time it was so many zombies, they all would lag off my screen when shot, then reappear out of no where and some wouldn't die, but they couldn't do damage to you when I had 67-92 ping) 4. Balance the weapons The weapons are extremely unbalanced in the multiplayer side of things. I'm not exactly sure how the weapons act besides from experience, reading the wiki, and hearing from others but it seems its just single player weapons for multiplayer. 5. Respawn times I had food from the night before, I logged back on the server and one second later it's rotten.. What? I just made it. It shouldn't go by the timer of the server if it's in your bag, each item should just have it's own timer, global protocols don't work for everything. 6. Multiplayer should only allow one file save. I've noticed that people are modifying saves so they can get resources way faster by just making multiple accounts all hacked to max level in different areas gathering different things. Not sure if that's an issue, but - it's happening. I think one save is good enough since it's a hardcore game first off and secondly, it'll probably be a lot more manageable for the server, the dev and the end user. 7. Fires can start but can't be put out without an admin? Fires should be able to be put out with dropping water on the ground at least. Or a fire extinguisher that's located in most stores. What happens is if an admin isn't on, people start fires online and it lags the entire server badly. It's like if one person is lagging, everyone is gonna lag - regardless if they aren't even by the fire itself, they will feel the lag as if they were nearby it for whatever reason. Misc. things Logged in but I'm not logged in.. How does that happen? It should be a checker to see if they haven't moved/said anything/no interaction with anything then they should be kicked after a certain time for inactivity instead of being denied service. Even after kicking the "ghost" of my friend dark nano, he was still unable to come on because it said he was still on the server. I think if you have a backpack on you, you shouldn't need to drag items to your main inventory, the game should just know what items you have and either just do it automatically or just treat it like an extension of the player, which it is, and cut out the dragging of items so much. These are a few of my ideas, regardless of them all I hope that Project Zomboid thrives to become something amazing as it's one of the best Early Access games I've gotten to read about, see videos of, and play myself for me to see that this is a game with a great community and even amazing devs with passion. I just really want the multiplayer to thrive because I believe people come for the single player, and stay for the multiplayer. I'll make another one of these if more ideas come into my head.