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So, first, a scenario to illustrate my point: I started a new Sandbox game, and it spawned me in the middle of the woods. No big deal, right? So I walked in large concentric circles, expanding out as I went. After an hour (real-time) of finding nothing, not even a berry bush or a single zombie, it begins to rain. Fifteen minutes later, at this point I'm wet, hungry, and tired - I realize my strategy isn't working. I decide to pick a direction and just walk. I head Southeast. Another 1/2 hr later (with my actual fingers beginning to fatigue) I'm now starving, soaked, and exhausted. I'm about to just give up. Suddenly, I come to a clearing, thank goodness. It goes in two directions; West & East. I head East. Another few minutes of this, and it curves northeast. another 10 min and it comes to a road; Northwest & Southeast. Hallelujah! There must be a town or structure around here somewhere. I go back to my strategy of heading Southeast. Half a freaking hour later, barely moving and unable to run, I am nearing total exhaustion (and my fingers are aching), and I'm desperate for food and water. Where is everything? I decide to try and find some berries, and head into the woods again. Some more time passes, fruitlessly. It's not looking good, I'm just wandering aimlessly in the forest. I'm completly out of options. I die - alone, starved, and perplexed. Is this a Zombie apocalypse? I wouldn't know... I never saw one in nearly 2.5hr of playing. As far as I know, I just woke up in the woods, like an amnesiac dropped from the sky. That just felt like a total waste of time, unexciting, and not engaging - but it doesn't have to be. I love that you can get lost in the woods, and think being miles from civilization (as far as you know) really adds to the immersion. However, it's not very realistic that you can literally die of thirst while it's absolutely pouring rain outside, and reach exhaustion when you have plenty of trees to sit under (or simply stand still to catch a breath). Suggestions from Observations: 1) Water Sources; There needs to be more access to water. While out in the woods, or even in rural areas, some streams or small ponds, or at least SOME kind of water source every now and then would be helpful. Realistic, even. If you've spent any time in the wilderness, or live in a small country town, you'll know water sources are much more plentiful than this game portends. Especially after a rainstorm. They may not always be GOOD sources of water, but at least they're an option. Heck, even being able to wring-out the water from the soaked clothing would be a nice option; it's a totally viable solution when you're desperate and dehydrated. 2) Resting; There definitely need to be more options for resting, especially when lost in the woods. I'm really looking forward to the new animations hopefully introducing some more methods for resting without beds or furniture. It's ridiculous that we can't lay down, or even sit down , and sleep for a while in the woods, to rest and regain stamina. It provides just enough cover to at least be moderately safe, to a degree, for a period of time, and rest up. Instead we just stand there, breathing heavy, with no relief, gradually dying of exhaustion. In the middle of nowhere. 3) Long Roads; The roads are just TOO barren. Walking for, what seems like miles, with no idea if you're heading in the right direction is not very fun - especially after an hour or more without seeing ANYTHING. That's not a game, and I'm not even sure it qualified as a walking simulator; at least those give you something to do. I'm not totally certain of how to solve this, though breaking up the monotony and adding some minor interaction aspects would be a start. Maybe placing some street signs that, at the least, let you know there's civilization somewhere; a speed limit sign, a mile marker, a billboard ad, a rest area sign, an 'X-Miles to Next City' sign, something. Also, maybe the occasional random item, pile of junk, wrecked/abandoned car, etc. Some way to possibly get some supplies, even if they may not be too helpful. Something is better than miles and miles of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Even seeing a few Zomboids would be a start. Anyhow, that's my long-winded two cents.
For most, when asked about a Zombie Apocalypse, many are quick to answer that they would find somewhere remote to hunker down and survive. Whether this be on a deserted island, in the mountains, under the sea - don't ask how, or in the forest, the answer usually involves seclusion from the general newly-zombified populace. Fortunately for us, Project Zomboid has us covered for that! ... But as any experienced outdoors-man (or woman) would undoubtedly know that, despite the absence of any 'human element', the forest would not be any safer than the city. Especially not now with hundreds, if not thousands, of people who - much like you - seek the remoteness of a farm or cabin, one that you might have already claimed... But we'll leave the role of 'bandits' up to the players themselves, for now. What am I talking about? Well, it's simple, I already know that animals and wild life are being prepared for a future build - and quite frankly, that alone is enough to get me hyped for some hunting/trapping... But it also worries me. Why? Because, having grown up in the Northern parts of Canada where forests and wild life are abundant, I know that the forest - while lovely and peaceful in comparison to the city - is not in any way shape or form 'safer' than a zombie infested town may be. Bears, wolves, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, these are just a few of the many things that can make a camping trip go from delightful or horrifying in a heartbeat if you aren't careful and constantly aware of your surroundings. it would be a shame if this wasn't reflected in the game. Now, I know for a fact that the Zevelopment Team wouldn't just cut us a break - surely they have something up their sleeves, I know better than to trust the creators of a Zombie outbreak! But here's my own suggestions on how to make our hike in the woods just a little more interesting; So, what am I suggesting? Animals Aggressive Wild life - BearsOne of the most obvious suggestions I have - and one I'm sure is already in the works, or on the to-do list, is animals that won't hesitate to attack if given the opportunity. Bears, in my opinion, are the best for such a role; they're highly unpredictable, and unbelievably dangerous even to someone carrying a gun. They will not hesitate to charge you down and kill you, either because they are hungry or simply because they have cubs - they will tear the ever-living-hell out and there's very little you can say about it. Imagine yourself tending to your crops, or possibly scavenging an overgrown city - as cities can already become deteriorated and overgrown - only to see a Bear in the distance, likely moving from trash can to trash can and eating the spoiled food you, or others, have left behind. Now imagine if, unlike a single zombie, said animal cannot be dispatched very easily... In fact, imagine if the mere sight or sounds of a Bear sends you running indoors. This is the kind of 'threat' the forest needs; something big, and more importantly, something scary. Persistent Wild life - WolvesAnother idea I really liked was the inclusion of animals that could stalk the player - or at least, follow the trail of spoiled/abandoned food, or corpses, they may leave behind. A pack of animals that could very easily out-number and out-run a player if prompted to. it would certainly give more reason to keep zombie corpses neatly piled a safe distance away from your camp. Unlike Bears, wolves are actually quite picky about what they choose to attack; they won't attack if the need to isn't present... The only real need that coaxes them to do so is hunger and the defense of their territory. Now imagine if you, or your group, unknowingly set up camp near a Wolf den only to hear or see them stalk the forest near your camp... Or - for simplicity's sake, because Script writers have it rough - you hear them howling in the distance, prompting your group to immediately pack up and leave before a bunch of wolves spawn from the forest and hunt you down. Neutral Wild life - Deer, Buffalo, CoyotesThis is pretty straight forward - while trapping and foraging may be excellent ways to get food, they're also quite slow and not very efficient in comparison to farming - which is even slower, but far more rewarding. If one was living out in the woods for months, if not longer, and had nothing to eat but canned goods and whatever food they can get to grow out of the ground, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd be willing to spend a few precious bullets to shoot down a Buck or a handfuck of shotgun shells to bag a Buffalo. While I think these animals should be quite rare and extremely evasive of the player, I also think they should yield a lot of raw meat - make finding and killing one a rewarding, albeit rare, occurrence. It would give ability to preserve food a lot more value for end-game scenarios where normal goods are long gone. Passive Wild life - Raccoons, Rabbits, Fish, etcThese are already implemented - at least, some of them are. Still, they bare mentioning; these are the bottom of the food chain competitors, but ones with their own means of survival as well. While it's quite easy, in theory, to trap a rabbit or to shoot a raccoon for food... If one isn't careful, and leave their doors open, they may find one of said creatures raiding their fridge - or worse - carrying unwanted pests and diseases into their very home! While this might be a little advanced for the current medical system, even for the new system being developed for the 30.0 release - can you imagine acquiring a new hatred for urban pests and scavengers? Suddenly hearing an annoying 'Scratch Scratch' sound every few minutes because - oh dear, you've gotten fleas... Or worse, rabies. Other suggestions Radio StationIt's been discussed that radios and TVs will now have channels which will deliver exposition and a story which will develop along with the game's timeline. This alone is brilliant. I love the idea that there could be people out there still hanging on - just like you, and are trying to communicate to others, even if said 'others' can't communicate back. -but I'll be blunt; Someone had brought up the idea of having a Broadcasting station on the map - or on one of the new maps, one who's doors would be locked shut and the building would be inaccessible whilst the people broadcasting are still inside. The story, either through TV or Radio broadcasts, would continue until their stories end. When ended, the station itself becomes unlocked - or atleast, accessible - and the player would then be able to enter it and further investigate what happened to the people within it. Whether or not they died depends on the Dev team, but with the broadcasting station freed, Players might be able to send out messages of their own. I can already guess that, if the power is still on, every TV will be shouting "DICKS DICKS DICKS" non-stop. Forest / House FiresWhile this is an easily abused concept already, fires are a constant threat to those who use it. Whether this be a house fire which renders an entire building to rubble, or a forest fire which destroys a large chunk of trees and anything within it, the concept alone would make using campfires and stoves a lot riskier and require a much more cautious approach - such as not leaving them on, or not stuffing flammable objects within it. This could also be a good way to send a daunting threat to other players; if they find a building near their base, or their own hideout, burnt down... Again, easily abused, but an interesting idea - I would think. Derelict VehiclesIt's already been confirmed that Vehicles are in the works, but why not add non-functional vehicles as well? Why? Well, when me and a group of 8 other players were traveling from city to city in search of more supplies, we found the travels exceptionally fun due to our own comradery, however the journey itself was... Well... A little underwhelming. While the vast expanse of emptiness and endlessly stretching road gave me a sense of immersion and a realistically grim sense of seclusion, there wasn't very much to make me feel like the world truly was alive; there were no hints of population other than occasionally wandering Zeds. Why not spruce the roads up with derelict vehicles; trucks which have burnt down or tipped over, blocking portions of the road - ones that can be searched. Cars that have been destroyed due to riots, or simply broken in. Their only use would essentially be window dressing and possibly a spot for loot to be found, nothing more than added details to the world. "Nah man, we can't go down Barker Street. A truck's blocking it, we gotta' go around." Anywho, that's really all I have for now. Stay safe out there.
So! Another idea popped in the old brain of mine! Adrenaline trait- When in combat for a course of time, your adrenaline would pump! (YEAH BABY!) So you run faster for escapes for a short period of time and last a little longer before high exertion... nothing to major and this trait should be very costly being so its not over powered. I think puttin it in the game all together it would ruin it because the effect after it wore off would be your tired increases dramtically, which i wouldnt like but would have fun with this trait as a option to try. Creams loot- Im not sure if this would work or be to much of a negative but its and idea... So you been running through the forest and you hit a patch of poison ivy or what not.. Gotta loot bathrooms for the ointment now, i mean you cant tell me theres no poison oak in a whole batch of woods in KY?? Maybe you guys can help me balance this or maybe its just to much trouble for the average player.... idk just a idea guys