Realism
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  I would like to suggest changes for the sake of realism, or perhaps options in the menu when starting a new game to bring more realism to the game. I love the game and one of the things I like most about it is that it has a feeling of realism to it that other games always lack. It is brutal and unforgiving just like a situation like this in real life would be. To that end, there are a few things already in the game, or expected to be added to the game in the future, that I think would break immersion.

 

  1 - Tool/Weapon durability.

 

  I understand that this was implemented to add difficulty to the game but it is completely unrealistic and just seems a bit silly to me at times. I am a contractor and I have been building houses from the ground up for about 10 years now. I still own the first hammer I ever purchased 10 years ago. While I did eventually upgrade to a titanium hammer, the steel hammer I used previously saw about 40 - 60 hours per week of smashing steel and wood repeatedly. After all of that punishment I can still pick it up now and use it. I never had to repair it either. The axe is another tool I use frequently. Admittedly an axe does require occasional repair but that involves popping in a new handle, which is just a milled plank of hardwood. Using these tools as they are intended would not damage them in any significant way and using them to chop or bash what is essentially human bodies would actually be less likely to damage them. Guns do require maintenance but that involves breaking them down and cleaning them and applying oil where necessary.

 

 2 - Power Generation -

 

  I know that generators are a planned feature but unless animal fat rendering is added to the game it wouldn't make any sense. Gasoline has a shelf life of about 30 days, so using that beyond a month or two is just out of the question. Same thing goes for vehicles. The only engines that would be viable after an event like this would be of the diesel variety, as they can run on biofuel. I would suggest that solar panels and windmills be added to the game as solar panels are fairly common and windmills are ridiculously easy to build.

 

  3 - Farming -

 

  I think the farming in the game is excellent and I'd love to see how the devs expand on it further. I just have one simple suggestion here and that is hydroponics. I usually play with the grow times cranked to max for more realism. It is harder and requires a much large farm. I think that growing indoors/underground would be the way to go in a situation like the zombie apocalypse. It would also be interesting to see the mechanics involved as growing with hydroponics is more complex than one might believe.

 

  4 - Fire -

 

  For the love of all that is zomboid, please fix the fire. I have the worst luck with campfires and watching fire spread across dirt, gravel and concrete just completely breaks immersion.

 

  5 - Forge -

 

  We need forges badly. Forges are relatively straight forward to build and simple tools, weapons and armour can be crafted with most metal lying around absolutely everywhere in modern civilization. While blacksmithing can take an entire lifetime to master, rudimentary gear could be crafted even by an amateur that would serve the desired function well enough.

 

  Perhaps some or all of things are planned for the future and, if so, I can't wait to see it. If anybody has any additional ideas to add realism I would love to hear them as well. This game is the closest I have seen to a true survival simulator and I believe it has the potential to take that realism even further. I believe it is the greatest strength of the game and the game should be pushed even further in that direction. Make it hard, make it impossible even, but do it in a realistic way, so that it's that much more horrifying when our face gets chewed off by a zombie.

 

 

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1. I agree but for some tools for example axe there should be items like whetstone to keep it sharp.

Hammer need more durability of course.

Axe will just lose his sharpness which of course would lower damage it causes.

So maintaining weapons and tools in good shape is very good idea.

 

2. Solar panels are not so easy to use, it require some knowledge how to install it etc. Also i don't know how many solar panels they have in cities in the game, probably not so much.

About gasoline i don't know so maybe other people can say something about it.

 

3. Farming needs some real balancing and more realism so i agree for now it's too easy and it doesn't have much realism.

Hydroponics are too complicated for zombie apocalypse scenario. Undeground? Nope, plants still need sun or special kind of lamps and power of course but glasshouses will be nice to have/craft.

 

4. It's annoying when you accidentaly step into your own campfire so maybe some kind of craftable furnace/stove will be good to avoid that, also to allow cooking indoors.

 

5. I think it's too complicated so not so good idea even building a simple forge could be very hard.

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I, an 'average Joe', have no idea how to work a forge, a windmill or solar panels and I sure as shit wouldn't be able to work it out with zombies beating on my door so I can't really agree with adding them unless they're so restricted there's no point in adding them in the first place. I agree with the other stuff though, durability is definitely too fast.

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1. I agree but for some tools for example axe there should be items like whetstone to keep it sharp.

Hammer need more durability of course.

Axe will just lose his sharpness which of course would lower damage it causes.

So maintaining weapons and tools in good shape is very good idea.

 

2. Solar panels are not so easy to use, it require some knowledge how to install it etc. Also i don't know how many solar panels they have in cities in the game, probably not so much.

About gasoline i don't know so maybe other people can say something about it.

 

3. Farming needs some real balancing and more realism so i agree for now it's too easy and it doesn't have much realism.

Hydroponics are too complicated for zombie apocalypse scenario. Undeground? Nope, plants still need sun or special kind of lamps and power of course but glasshouses will be nice to have/craft.

 

4. It's annoying when you accidentaly step into your own campfire so maybe some kind of craftable furnace/stove will be good to avoid that, also to allow cooking indoors.

 

5. I think it's too complicated so not so good idea even building a simple forge could be very hard.

 

  I agree about the axe sharpening, though that can be accomplished pretty easily with a whetstone, which can be used repeatedly. This only applies to bladed weapons though. Blunt weapons may require a new handle periodically if they have wooden handles. I know there is probably no solar panels in the cities in the game at the moment but in real life they are pretty common. Farming underground is absolutely possible. I should have specified when I mentioned hydroponics that UV lights would be included. The furnace/stove idea is basically what I was going for with the fire. Even a simple, short stone wall around the fire and having the surrounding floor covered in non-flammable material would make it practically impossible for the fire to spread anywhere. Forges are not really too complicated. I would suggest that anybody reading this topic check out the television show "The Colony". A lot of the ideas I put into this are utilized across both seasons of that show.

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1. yupp, the durability is a thing to work on and as far i know the tools last your lifetime and longer, just from time to time need a new handle and sharping with wet stone or the like. And Axe and hammers are very commen stuff so a decrease in spawn is not good.

Other tools like a sickle/scyte can brake since there just a thin peice of metal. But for the gameplay there is a need of balancing :) in game i have about 30 hammers stored in my garage, in RL i would have max 5 :)

 

2. The whole generator thing is still something which needs to get worked on and will be soon in game, so just waiting to see what this will be :)

Solarpanels are maybe commen but without a manual i would would say that most of the worlds population can´t use them :) but maybe with the mentioned manuals there would be a way of learning difficult stuff at certain lvls and maybe getting a new skill like engeneering or so for more advanced stuff.

 

3. Farming is fine to the extend gameplay/reallife. Maybe adding more stuff to it and have real season use of diffrent crops and vegies. while with generators you could really have crops growing for the poupose of making biofuel. But also here it could go with manuals and maybe having 2 skills in certain high to even use this

 

4. Yupp fire needs rework, ingame are allrdy some castiron stoves, so why not make them extrem heavy but transportable.

  and building a simple fireplace isn´t rocketsience. Also ways of putting a fire out needs to be in game, we allrdy have waterstoring, so why not use a bucket full of water or a bag of sand for that pourpose.

 

5. Forge is a hard thing to judge, me as a trained plumber it is no problem and i would know how to use, but for others it will be a no go. but also here it could work with manuals and a 2 skill system.

 

Over all i would like to see manuals in game which train you new stuff you wouldn´t know how to do without. But with all the new stuff coming i just wait :)

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The big problem with solar panels is the inverter. A PV array generates direct current (DC), but pretty much every electrical object in the PZ world is going to run on alternating current (AC). If you're lucky you can maaaaaybe scrounge up some PV arrays from things like streetlamps (though I think you're overestimating their common-ness by quite a lot), but without an inverter you wouldn't be able to use them to power your coffee pot.

 

Even with an inverter, you'd be looking at something on the order of seven square meters of PV panels to power that coffee pot, and that's on a cloudless day at noon. A regular household coffee pot draws on the order of a kilowatt of power, and solar power is only good for a kilowatt per square meter at about 15% efficiency under full, direct sunlight.

 

Of course, the way around that is to wire your PV arrays up to a bank of batteries. Charge the batteries gradually over several days, then dump all their amp-hours into your coffee pot at once. But that requires even more electrical know-how and scrounged parts. Not saying it couldn't be done. It might even make for a fun little aspect of gameplay for the mid- to late-game. Just saying that throwing solar panels into the loot table and calling it a day would, to be, be overly simplistic and disappointing. But I'm weird.

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1. yupp, the durability is a thing to work on and as far i know the tools last your lifetime and longer, just from time to time need a new handle and sharping with wet stone or the like. And Axe and hammers are very commen stuff so a decrease in spawn is not good.

Other tools like a sickle/scyte can brake since there just a thin peice of metal. But for the gameplay there is a need of balancing :) in game i have about 30 hammers stored in my garage, in RL i would have max 5 :)

 

2. The whole generator thing is still something which needs to get worked on and will be soon in game, so just waiting to see what this will be :)

Solarpanels are maybe commen but without a manual i would would say that most of the worlds population can´t use them :) but maybe with the mentioned manuals there would be a way of learning difficult stuff at certain lvls and maybe getting a new skill like engeneering or so for more advanced stuff.

 

3. Farming is fine to the extend gameplay/reallife. Maybe adding more stuff to it and have real season use of diffrent crops and vegies. while with generators you could really have crops growing for the poupose of making biofuel. But also here it could go with manuals and maybe having 2 skills in certain high to even use this

 

4. Yupp fire needs rework, ingame are allrdy some castiron stoves, so why not make them extrem heavy but transportable.

  and building a simple fireplace isn´t rocketsience. Also ways of putting a fire out needs to be in game, we allrdy have waterstoring, so why not use a bucket full of water or a bag of sand for that pourpose.

 

5. Forge is a hard thing to judge, me as a trained plumber it is no problem and i would know how to use, but for others it will be a no go. but also here it could work with manuals and a 2 skill system.

 

Over all i would like to see manuals in game which train you new stuff you wouldn´t know how to do without. But with all the new stuff coming i just wait :)

  I really love the idea of manuals. I watched a documentary once about survival where a guy went into an apocalyptic looking section of a city and salvaged supplies and such and showed the viewer some tips on urban survival and he said that most likely his first target would be a library. Apparently during most disasters in heavily populated areas the libraries are almost always completely untouched. Knowledge is power and in case of the apocalypse of any flavour, knowledge is life. I understand the issues with the forge that a lot of, or most, people may not be able to figure out how to make a forge. I guess I take my knowledge in such things for granted sometimes. Everybody should learn at least one skilled trade, it will save your life when the zombies come :D .

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Farming underground is absolutely possible. I should have specified when I mentioned hydroponics that UV lights would be included.

Well i know it's possible but it's not something that your grandma do in her basement, to put it more clearly, i don't think it should be possible in the game. Just too complicated and require specific various tools and materials.

 

Also i agree with jefferyharrell, solar panels are too complicated, maybe with electrician occupation but still hard because of needed material etc.

When i say about solar panels i mean solar panels in real life in West point and Muldraugh, these are real cities which game is based of.

 

Edit:

 

  I really love the idea of manuals.

When power is up in first 2-3 months why go to library when you can just google everything and be omniscient :D

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The big problem with solar panels is the inverter. A PV array generates direct current (DC), but pretty much every electrical object in the PZ world is going to run on alternating current (AC). If you're lucky you can maaaaaybe scrounge up some PV arrays from things like streetlamps (though I think you're overestimating their common-ness by quite a lot), but without an inverter you wouldn't be able to use them to power your coffee pot.

 

Even with an inverter, you'd be looking at something on the order of seven square meters of PV panels to power that coffee pot, and that's on a cloudless day at noon. A regular household coffee pot draws on the order of a kilowatt of power, and solar power is only good for a kilowatt per square meter at about 15% efficiency under full, direct sunlight.

 

Of course, the way around that is to wire your PV arrays up to a bank of batteries. Charge the batteries gradually over several days, then dump all their amp-hours into your coffee pot at once. But that requires even more electrical know-how and scrounged parts. Not saying it couldn't be done. It might even make for a fun little aspect of gameplay for the mid- to late-game. Just saying that throwing solar panels into the loot table and calling it a day would, to be, be overly simplistic and disappointing. But I'm weird.

  I agree that just providing solar panels in the loot table would not be a solution. I'm not sure about where all of you live but I live near Toronto, Canada and there are plenty of solar panels around and I am assuming they are connected to inverters. Besides, I think the easier and most practical source of power would be the windmill anyway. Hopefully, however, if they do decide to add solar power to the game I hope they make it interesting. As you say it is complicated and can be inefficient. On the show I mentioned, "The Colony", they used light sensors and servos to make the solar panels track the sun on swivels.

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Edit:

 

  I really love the idea of manuals.

When power is up in first 2-3 months why go to library when you can just google everything and be omniscient :D

 

 LOL. I love that but that's something you would have to do either before the apocalypse happens or very shortly after. The internet requires a massive amount of manpower around the clock and around the globe to actually function. I imagine once people started turning into zombies the internet would go down rather quickly. I think the new generation of youngsters would be in big trouble though because I doubt if they know how to use the dewey decimal system. Perhaps they could google it before the net went down.

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For some things like solar panels they could make them randomly generate rarely attached to random houses.

 

These houses would already be considered equipped with solar power so building a base there would be more desired than elsewhere.

This could be a rare possibility and would randomly happen on new world start. (To make it different every time.)

 

This was it somewhat works and would require less knowledge other than plug in the fridge and such. Later on they could add a way to find out how much power is available and the player could remove/add things to not go over the generated power.

 

Damaging the solar panels should also be a thing such as if they are attacked by a player or zombies they could break or loose efficiency.

 

- Still say that based on skill and such random books/pieces of paper might teach people with the correct skills/levels how to install/uninstall/move/modify items in the game world to an extent. High mechanic skill and a couple books and installation guides to the solar power things (the ones that are small of course) could allow someone that worked hard to maybe go around and steal the parts from other areas and set up in a safer place.

 

Special instruction papers/books could end up as a trade-able commodity for in multiplayer.

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Personally I think PZ already does a pretty good job.  Not that there isn't room for improvement.

 

1. As with all games there needs to be a balance between realism and good gameplay.  For example, I too have an axe that I have  owned for decades.  While it has lasted a long time, I can also say it can only chop through so many trees before it needs to be sharpened or it becomes so dull it is practically useless.  Durability in PZ, or any game is an abstraction that can take these elements into account.  A completely dull axe can be akin to being practically "broken".  In that vein I don't have an issue with the current durability system.  We already have where hammers and saws, for example, don't lose any durability when used to build.

 

2. While I almost always use stabilizers in my gas cans, I have on occasion forgotten.  I have had unstabilized  gas sit for 6 months+ and still worked.  Not great in some cases but it worked.  Given how rare gas seems to be so far in PZ, I think it is ok if it doesn't go bad.  But you could add a mechanic where it is less effective the older it gets. Realism vs gameplay.

 

3. Farming right now is too easy.  By the same token I don't think making growing be "realistic" timewise would make for fun gameplay.  Personally I just think overall yields should be lowered.It is too easy to grow crazy amounts of food. It would also be interesting if farming seasons were made more realistic, IE making it hard if not impossible to grow through the winter.

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(I'm just waiting for another Blacksmithing Flame War to start)

 

Some of these suggestions are reasonable and downright commendable, while some of them hit the "realism" cap, broke through, and continued flying into space.  

1, 3, and 4 are all excellent and valid points, and I would be interested to see where the game goes from there.

But I would like to address 2 and 5.

 

On your second point you said that windmills are ridiculously easy to build, which I do not agree with, nor do I think many people would know that or how to build one even if it was easy to build.

 

Your fifth point has been discussed so much that it's become somewhat of a sore subject on the forums.  I'm not trying to say your suggestions are bad, they sound intelligent and I hope I'm not coming off as snarky.  However, I personally disagree with including forging and to say we "desperately need it" is false, but there's equal support on both sides so at this point it's really up to the devs on whether or not it will be included.

 

Overall though, this post is something I would mainly agree with. 

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