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Yes, Project Zomboid is not some uber-life-simulator, of course, however, making some things more realistic means that they also make more sense for the player and player feels more comfortable with their presence and how they operate, and most of what I have to suggest is not extreme either, so here comes this: getting wet & getting the cold. Facts: Getting damp, wet, soaking or drenched does not significantly increase chances of catching a cold (the increase in chance is minimal and due to other factors primarily). Human rhinoviruses require other humans to spread, so without human interaction there is no infection (if you want to add zombies here or not is up to you). What to do? Getting wet should not directly affect chances of catching a cold in any way shape or form; only indirectly (explained below). Getting wet should affect player's speed, mood, agility, happiness, stress level, endurance and in extreme situations possibility to develop hypothermia. Levels of wetness should primarily affect mood, bad moods can make people's immune systems drop and they can get the symptoms due to that (implying they already have the virus). The Outdoorsman trait should minimize these effects, primarily on mood/happiness due to harsh weather conditions. The Resilient trait here should minimize the chances of developing symptoms. What about the cold itself? Having a Cold and having a Nasty Cold should also affect mood/happiness of character, as it tends to in real life. The Resilient trait could help here. Affecting Precision, Endurance, Agility should also be considered. Stress level could also be affected. In the end, the emphasis should not be on catching the cold, it should instead be on dealing with the cold. Common cold can turn into a serious fever and it can even help others diseases developer from weakened immune system. Since it is a virus, antibiotics are of no help and primary way of healing is making your immune system be able to do it. Antiviral medicines can help, but only marginally and they're not very common and only against certain strains, if you ever decide to have them in-game.
Okay, here's the scoop. I was thinking, as a new immersive feature to be added, you could activate certain animations. No, not combat animations, but leisure-focused animations. You could sit down on couches and chairs, or on table chairs, toilets, etc.... These actions could slow, or stop, the process of boredom. If you sit on a couch with a broken leg, it could prevent further damage, and heal it quicker. Etc other effects... But the reason I didn't mention sleeping animations or multiple actions on couches, is to prevent the game becoming the Sims all over again. But if it get's added, no problem. I just don't want this a major focus. Just a little something extra. (Now if this has been suggested, I am very sorry. I looked for it under "Animations", "Immersion", and didn't find anything close.)
I got this idea while watching a Let's Play of PZ. Have any of you played Dead Island? Maybe even Dead Rising (1-3)? Did you notice how the characters are, at first, terrified and fight for survival, but soon it becomes second nature to them? How, in Dead Island, they're disgusted at they slice the undead apart but soon just go about it like it's their job? Well, that's what I feel should be added to PZ. Think about it, you've killed 6000 zombies, you've survived for well over a year and you've (when they're added) seen your friends torn apart and had to put them and other human beings down permantly... Yet you still get panicked when you see a zombie 100 yards off. It doesn't make sense, does it? Simply put, we should have a length of time where Panic decays at a faster rate, then another when it decays faster still, till eventually you're steeled enough to punch zombies in the face without a care in the world. Another idea would be to have NPCs, when implimented, to change as well. Have people snap when things end badly. Would Steve really be fine watching his wife be eaten alive? Can Lisa really handle the moans of the undead anymore? Are you certain giving Alex, the mentally unstable prison escapee, a shotgun? Humans can be strong or fickle and a zombie world will, at some point, push someone to show their true colours. Maybe the sweet church going Anna will try to kill you when food runs low, maybe the ex-con artist Alan will sacrifice himself when the safe house is breached and hold the line while you and the others run from his screams of pain. Imagine the impact these events could have on the player, watching the person you trust most backstab you for their own survival or the person you distrust saving your life against terrible odds. Finally, what about the world itself? It's true, odds are you will die and come back as a zombie or be picked clean by them... But surely not everything can remain the same forever? Imagine if zombies accidentally sparked fires as they lumber around like fools, imagine returning to the safe house only to see a car smash through it, the driver zombified, killing everyone you knew and leaving you alone as the alarm of the car and the flicking fires lure the horde towards you. While likely a very distant thing for the future, the concept of these dramas, of these world changing impacts, could add untold amounts of realism and humanity to the game. Perhaps even out actions, like walking away from a friend in need, could make the character colder to the world, giving combat advantages but also social disadvantages. PZ can be made so that every single aspect of our actions, of other peoples actions as well should multiplayer become an option, cause drops in the ocean to become tidal waves in the future. But right now, making out character calmer after the 1000th day of survival is what matters. If we start with one small step towards realism, the rest could very well follow.