Official Build 32 Zombie Population Feedback Thread
5 5

146 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Okay, so this is a centralised repository for all the community's thoughts on the new zombie population / migration stuff in the build that's currently in the IWBUMS branch (at the time of writing 32.3) so that EasyPickins and the team in general can have a single place to look while we're balancing it all.

 

We're especially interested in the mid-late game stuff.

 

To quote the forthcoming Mondoid: 

 

From this point onward with Build 32 EP will be tweaking and experimenting with the new system until we hit a point that we’re happy with. We need a difficulty and population numbers that don’t necessarily lock off survival content [farming, fishing etc] for experienced players, but still throws in some curveballs. Then again, through making the challenge surmountable we don’t want to lose the added feeling of danger that we’ve reintroduced to the game.

 

It’s a tricky biting point to find, and this is where you come in! We need your reports from the game, generally from a few weeks/months into your playthroughs. Don’t just play in Survival mode either, but experiment with the new sandbox options – having more/less zeds in your game, and increasing and decreasing spawn times. 

 

I'll start a separate thread for feedback on the Build 32 challenges.

 

EDIT: Oh, and if you could be sure to tell us which gameplay settings you're playing on that'd also be swell x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally really like it and only thing I could think f that needs a bit of tweaking is how many zombies can be in a horde cause it can be a bit to much at times other than that great work :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 2 games with 2 months survival in good conditions in Muldraught and in west point I can say that I like the zombie population as it is.

 

However: some areas see huge hordes, some other areas are completely empty

Example: I went to Muldraugh police station and unluckily I triggered the alarm: not a single zombie came ! the entire highway was empty whereas there were neighborhoods with 1000 zombies packed.

So it really needs some balancing between areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far it´s really nice :) no safe areas anymore after cleansweep them.

Only like the others said some balancing in the disturbtion of the Z. Had parts empty where i thought some should be there and some areas like woodlands had to many for my taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While attempting to burn some zombie hoards away, I found out quickly that zombies just wouldn't stop flooding in from surrounding areas. It was almost like a gravity well for zombies and it went on for hours (irl) of just continuously trying to clear away the zombies from an area we were trying to secure.

 

Frankly it felt very overwhelming as it was just too constant to handle (probably burned enough zombies well into the 100's)

 

These were shamblers as well so I can't imagine that they were able to travel so quickly from one area of the map to the next in such a short amount of time. In short, I think migration could be more spaced out in how often it occurs, again felt to constant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently a month in '8 months after...' and I find zombie population to be quite balanced. I don't engage the hordes anymore and chose a more stealthy approach and sneak by them. What I'd like to see is (as it was suggested somewhere on the forums) solitary zombies which don't join into hordes (let's say 20-30% of Z population) because some areas are overpopulated and some are empty.

 

About respawning, by the way, I think 20% each day is a bit OTT. Securing and maintaining an area is a full time job now. 10% wouldn't be much easier but a bit more managable.

 

Scrap this, Invader Jim has got a better idea with random respawns. +1 for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zombies have a perhaps too powerful magnetic reaction towards each other. In my latest game I survived for 3 months, for the first two months it was running around Muldraugh looting houses and a lot of areas were completely zombie free (or so it seemed) with, at the most, 2-3 clumps of 5-10 zombies.

The respawn system, however, was doing it's work pretty well so I never truly felt safe when traversing any areas. On beginning of month two I fired a gun, which attracted a horde of something like 1000 zombies to me. I suppose that's why some areas were empty, zombies were so attracted to each other that they got together from a ton of areas to form an ultra horde.

And that was not the only one, after prolonged play session, the map has nothing BUT ultra hordes and a few loners.

While I find it awesome I think, personally, that the magnetic reaction is too strong, it leaves a lot of blind spots early on and creates ridiculous sized hordes with time.

The gamemode was Sandbox, lore was unmodified and zombie count was Normal.

Edit: Oh, and safehouses remain safe unless you do something utterly idiotic, like, say, shoot a damn shotgun, although I'm fairly sure that horde could have found me anyway as it was pretty close in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

These were shamblers as well so I can't imagine that they were able to travel so quickly from one area of the map to the next in such a short amount of time. In short, I think migration could be more spaced out in how often it occurs, again felt to constant.

 

 

I think some randomness would be good.  Instead of a once per day respawn of 10% I would rather see a 33% chance each day of a respawn but it would be a 30% instead of 10%. (Credit goes to Rathlord for the daily % chance of respawn idea.)  Slow, steady and predictable is less fun than a more random  and intermittent influx.

 

You could even randomize the number that respawn. 

 

I am currently in a sandbox game with weekly respawn at 30%.  I am on the north side of West Point.  There is nothing between me at the river last time I checked and I killed maybe 3-4 zombies in that area previously.  I have not noticed the two respawns that occured.  The area around my house has remained fairly clear since I cleared it.  A block to the south and there are two or 3 large (15-20 zombies) groups.  There is much more clumping.  I also see the zombies move in response to meta-events. 

 

Overall I like the clumping zombies. Respawn is a good thing but I wish it were more random. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sandbox

water 0-6 months

Food extremely rare

Experience x 1.01

Everything else vanilla.

I like the overall zombie population, really gotta risk everything now going into towns. BUT. Zombies herd themselves into massive hordes and attempts to kill them with a molotov yielded a burning horde lasting around three days burning most of West points downtown. Then there were other areas where I felt like the zombies almost had a complete aversion to. Horde migration to my safehouse near the little Lake in the woods was pretty sketchy, but I am only at one month. I'll report again if I see it pick up / get better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience of survival mode has been extremely varied. The majority of the time I've survived less than a week but generally if I can get over that hump it's a very different experience. I once spent 2 weeks grinding carpentry in a house on the corner of the suburbs - chopping trees, sawing, all that noise stuff - and saw maybe 5 zombies that entire time. On another run I broke down a single internal door and attracted literally hundreds of them.

Personally I am not opposed to there being quiet areas but agree that there should be a small minority of zombies that don't react (oor react less) to meta events and clumping so that "quiet" does not mean "deserted".

Mostly I love the new mechanics, but I would argue for a lower population on day 1, steadily rising over the first week or so to current levels. A LOT of my runs are spent ineptly sneaking from house to house trying to find even a usable weapon/bag - the absolute basics really - then getting in over my head and dying. A little time to find your feet would need the frustration and up the fun IMHO.

Edit: this was all on survival mode

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playing sandbox: Mostly normal settings but with very slow stats decrease and fast endurance regeneration. And some settings to make farming easier as I'm a beginner with farming. Only relevant setting change for zombies is short memory.

 

I settled in the center of westpoint above the food market. 20 days in now, most of that time spent with a broken leg. Fortunately the food market has an unsurprising amount of food in it. ;)

 

I like the movement behavior of zombies. They're unpredictable enough and tend to move in groups of a nice size. In a pinch and with planning I can fight those groups. So not too big not too small.  I think they cluster up a bit too much though. Perhaps a behavior that lets them spread out while idle. It's okay to bunch up if they're hunting for food or chasing sounds.But idle you'd expect them to disperse a bit. Also right now my sneaky character has no problem just avoiding them. It'd be more of a challenge when the zombies are spread out over the area instead of bunched up in groups.

 

Population density wise I think it's a good balance if a bit on the sparse side.

 

I picked the game up again after a hiatus of almost two years. Grats on the distance covered. It's really come a long way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you mentioned you're particularly interested in mid/late game things, but I haven't been able to get that far yet. I have about 20 hours in the game, but on an old patch. I put it down for a few months, and when I came back I figured I'd play on the newest possible build. I play on a private server with one friend. 

 

Initially I didn't tweak any settings, so I was dealing with the default zombie rates (normal/daily/10%) and populations for this version. HOLY SHIT. We couldn't do anything. And we aren't total noobs here, but there's no let up. Before, if you ran into some zeds, you could at least run away for awhile and lose them in some trees/houses. Now, everywhere you run there are zombies, seemingly more than are already chasing you. We could barely establish a safehouse, as there were too many zombies around any given house for us to hope to kill them using frying pans and the like. 

 

I ended up turning the zombies down to low, the respawn to weekly, and setting our spawn point in a house as opposed to random. The density of zombies is much more reasonable now, as they don't blanket the entire map, but there are still quite a few in some places. I feel like this is closer to how it should be. 

 

If we progress further I might report back with mid game stuff. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we need a few deaf zombies that wont react to noise and group up

 

Or maybe just really shy and polite zombies...

 

I'd really like some socially awkward zombies in my PZ. The ones that run away from you the moment they see you, blushing profusely and then trip over all the trashcans on the way. Also most likely to become peeping toms. So... lonely...

 

Back on topic though, as a new player (playing for the first time in 3 years since Desura release), at the risk of sounding whiny - I'm finding survival nigh impossible mostly because of how utterly unforgiving the early game is. Beelining between the houses and avoiding clusters of zeds is challenging and fun and all, but game almost never gives you a chance to actually prepare to face them... For the most part I end up skulking around and poking lone zombies with a fork (unsuccessfully for the most part, but game refuses to give me anything else aside from kitchen utensils, it must be a sign), and it kinda never goes anywhere from there. It's as if every house in vicinity is being guarded by a zombie mob. All I ask for is just some breathing room in very early game. Blargh.

 

I must add though, I've had some amazing experience in sandbox with weekly respawn, zombies seemed to respond to the events like alarm etc. really well. It made the game incredibly fun and intense. After the event was over however, the whole area remained deserted post-clear and the entire remaining zombie population moved to a non-explored area and just stayed there for god knows how long, waiting for the nearby coffee shop to open to get their morning Starbucks frappuccino or whatever.

 

I'm gonna ditch survival for now and play around with sandbox settings for now, see how that goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't played in a while, but I've played a bunch, so some of this might be old news:

 

Is fire less effective now? A campfire used to be pretty effective against a horde/the general area around a horde but now I'm finding that burning zombies will just burn and not reliably die. Also I've come back to an area after sleeping and found that zombies were just standing there, being on fire. Molotovs are super great but I'm still finding that its not really reliably making zombies die.

 

The cool thing about the zombie distribution is that it makes the early game extremely challenging because I'm finding small pockets of zombies living juuust on the other side of the house/utility building you're trying to get into. Unfortunately the groups of 4-6 zombies that seem to clump up are obnoxious to fight with a newly minted character because they take too long to kill with a melee weapon short of an axe. A really common cause of death for my characters is that after getting somewhat established (2-3 days in) trying to fight a group of zombies near my safehouse turns deadly because they keep getting back up and repeated hits (even the ones that knock them down) aren't nearly damaging enough.

 

In buildings, zombies still only spawn 1-2 to a room, right? I'd like to see more in-building zombies in greater numbers, like a closet stuffed full of them or fully infested buildings.

 

The burglar career is extremely useful because just on virtue of not being noticed, within a couple days I was able to establish a barricaded safehouse near the high school and repeatedly raid it for stuffs, at least until hordes of burning zombies accumulated out front, making this difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Played 23 days worth of a map (survival mode, no tweaks) using multiple characters. Once I got past week 1 my "safehouse" was in one of those deserted areas - if I walked a street or 2 away there were huge hordes, but none of them ever came to visit, even when there were nearby gunshots. I even had a helicopter hovering overhead, zipping back and forth, but nothing came of it. Both of the houses where this has happened have been on corners - this one wasn't on the edge of town, there was an infested street to the west, but there was nothing to the north but grass and the river and the nearest westward building was probably a screen or 2 over. Something about the mechanics of the game seems to mean these places never get besieged (not that it would have been a terribly long siege - my defences consisted of a couple of sheet ropes, no barricades and one of the downstairs windows was even broken!).

 

I didn't mind the breathing space, to be honest, and my survival was still highly dependent on me going on highly dangerous looting expeditions, but I'm not sure these "blind spots" are intentional. Two weeks isn't really long enough to know for sure whether a horde would have *eventually* come my way either. Sadly my third death saw me experiment with burning down half of west point, so I guess I'm gonna be starting a new game. 

 

I seem to perpetually reach the point where I can start the "end game" then die trying to get the final item I need (in this case a simple saw for the barricades I may never have actually used, sigh). Hopefully my next character will actually get his farm, barricades and water set up in one of these corner houses so I can tell you for sure how long they actually stay quiet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this happened to me after about a month in a vanilla game (sandbox so I could have a starter kit). I awoke in the middle of the night to hear a steady knocking on the door at the beginnings of my safe house. I did my normal thing of going over to the door with the intent of opening it and shutting the zombies up, violently if needed.... but, not this time. Before I even got to the door it bursted open and in rushed no less than a dozen zombies into my house! I bolted for the other door as I noticed the barricades on my windows breaking and a steady flood of zombies entering my kitchen door. I made my escape to come back to take this pic of my house in shambles and totally overrun by zombies.

 

Hordes will now destroy your safehouse. It happened to me.

 

 

tfCVcNa.jpg

 

With that being said, and how awesome it was, I did find the zombie population to be a bit too much. I attributed this to the fact that I had sleepyhead (or the other one) as a trait and I had to spend more time sleeping. This in turn enabled the zombies in surrounding areas to spawn more freely since I was out and about fighting zombies less, because I was sleeping. Since they were respawning everyday, and I was sleeping alot, I couldn't keep up with thinning their numbers.

 

I also started a vanilla game with a hard server reset with the friend. We have established ourselves a safe house and are surviving for now (well kinda anyways, he died once). While we both loved the mechanics of the zombies moving around the map more fluidly (I especially like the 'waves' of zombies that seem to migrate in meta events), we both felt like we were spending too much time fighting zombies and that it began to get too repetitive and almost 'cumbersome' to loot anywhere. There was always a group of 8-10 zombies at every single house. We did try rounding up hordes of zombies and leading them a block or two away and then sneakily ditching them and escaping, but every time we came back, there was always some more zombies to round up and clear out. Looting a suburban area in West Point took forever. It was like zombies nearby were filling in the areas that we just cleared out unnaturally. BTW we didn't go after every zombie, just the ones we needed out of the way. Often we left a lot of them alone and just circled around the house and snuck in the opposite direction. We spent 4 IRL hours playing and didn't loot much more than 1 block of suburban West Point. We didn't find it overly difficult, it was just time consuming.

 

I started a new game SP on sandbox with zombies set to respawn at 20% weekly. And I did not take the sleeping trait. So far, I find it to be fairly well balanced and I don't feel completely overwhelmed in SP. I do have to kite hordes away instead of fighting since it is much harder to survive solo than with a friend. But, I have at least been able to get myself what I feel is a reasonably safe place to rest my head at night. After a few more days of surviving I will report back, if this thread is still active, and give my opinions on this setting more accurately. I have only survived for about 6 days so far so I don't feel like I probably have an accurate opinion of daily vs weekly.

 

BTW, I am curious. Do the zombies respawn all at once or evenly over the period of time? For instance if zombies are set to respawn at 10% daily, do they respawn 10% once each day or do they continually spawn throughout the day up to 10%. Or if it is set to 10% weekly, do the zombies spawn once a week or do they spawn regularly/daily up to 10% over the week?

 

Overall, I would like to see a transition period in the beginning where there are less zombies and their numbers increase as time goes on. Maybe after a week we would have the numbers we do now? This is an immersion thing for myself. When I spawn in, the entire world has turned to zombies and I am literally the last survivor (yeah yeah NPCs in the future), but yet I have no weapon, no supplies, nothing. So how is it that I managed to be the last person alive without any supplies, preparation, and I'm not even in a good location? It had to take at least a week before the entire town has become infected and turned. Was I in a coma or something, did I not see this happening? For me this would also aid in the immersion of the sound effects of screaming or where the gunshots were coming from. When you hear the girl's terrifying scream you could think, well there's at least one more zombie out there now! Their numbers are increasing!

 

Just my thoughts, thanks for taking the time to query the community like this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like some other people have commented before me, I do like the challenge but I think the zombies are a bit too strongly attracted to each other which leads to super-concentrated areas and areas with almost nobody and not a lot in between. Someone also suggested having a small percentage of zombies not react or react less to meta events, which seems like it could be good. As it is right now they've congregated into groups of a couple dozen in a kinda churning, mosh pit sort of constant movement. 

 

I'm playing on survival and am a month and a few weeks in. Unfortunately, my "safe"house is right splat in the middle of an INCREDIBLY concentrated area (I haven't relocated out of stubbornness). It nearly always has a mob of 300+ wandering around nearby, making looting missions tricky at best. Meta events don't really make a difference to my area, as one group will move out and another moves in, leaving about the same result in my front yard. Also my base (a boarded up second story room with sheet ropes) has the first floor entrances being completely broken into on a regular basis, which is actually pretty cool. Of course when I manage to get a couple blocks away everything is super empty.

 

Also, late game things such as farming and construction seem to be impossible for me to start doing as I'm constantly boarded up in my tiny upstairs bedroom and can't possibly plant crops 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit that I do enjoy the increased challenge of the new zombie distribution, but my problem with it is the grouping system that came in a few builds back. It is most visible when you attract a fraction of a group of zombies be it any size. I would run into a house after attracting about 7 zombies from a 20ish group. They would start banging on a window after me briefly, and then turn around and wander back to the group. Its almost as if they forget that 10 seconds ago there was some fresh meat in that house they were scrambling to get into.

This "forgetting" phenomena disappears when a meta-event or player action would attract a group en masse. I wouldn't say this build introduced the problem but merely blew it out of proportion with groups of 1000s of zeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, here is my findings after two full IRL days of playing in Survival mode Muldraugh.

1st character died within 28h IG From a massif 100+ horde.. He also spawned in a house with zeds inside and at the windows breaking in in and the only weapon in the whole house was forks and butter knives. Went through a good fight therethere.

2nd character, 15+IG days and still alive despite about tennish scratch and one major food poisoning.

So here:cocktail Molotov are extremely dangerous. The hordes aren't hordes they're f.k.g. armies of 300++ not kidding!! I was stuck in a house in the suburbs a while because I was completely surrounded at every corner by these huge freak Hordes! Couldn't raid the small food store in suburbs because of a mass gathering of insane Proportions!

Finally I got out sprinting like a mtfr and using two Molotov. Which BTW ended up burning down four houses and after three IG days is still burning grass,road,zeds and House because of 300++horde on fire walking around setting shot on fire.

I accidentally burned down the garage at the other end of Muldraugh by molotoving another major horde50++. They where on fire and broke in the garage (which I wanted to loot and can't now cause it doesn't exist anymore). They then followed me to the café and Chinese restaurant and that's currently burning to he'll right no.

So Molotovs work and are very lethal and dangerous. The game has reached max Brooks workld war z proportions! It is very challenging. Because u have to be extremely carefully not to get caught by these armies!! And not burn down your neighbourhood.

Advice: do not use Molotovs within five houses of your base!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sandbox - 30% respawn, once per week.  Day 24 - 176 zombies killed.  Recon map is below.

 

The two green circled houses are my safe houses.  The yellow circle around them is where I have spent most of my time.  There was respawn a couple of days ago and one of the results was the group down the road west of my house near the dirt path.

 

My recon path (day 24) is blue.  It starts going north and then turns due east down the street.  I was running and saw no zombies until I neared Spiffo's.  They are red dots.  I was easily able to get into Spiffo's and the Pharmalug.  Never been there before in this campaign.  Dropped down to Gigamart and killed a few and got in there.  Headed west on the road and noticed the Drake was swarmed.  Stealthed past that group.  Went south through the parking lot, maybe 1-2 there and went between the dentist and Enigma Books.  Got swarmed near the south end of that narrow alley and ran back north and then headed west.  Ran into more groups and used some stealth but then headed north to get away from them.  From there I encountered just a few on my way home.

 

To sum it up, the north part of West Point and the grassy/wooded area from the houses to the river are essentially completely clear although I have done very little there.  The zombies do cluster.  In my sneaking around in the houses to the south and to the southwest of my safehouse there is lots of evidence of hordes wrecking houses.  I have found planks and hardware where there once was a door and many broken windows.  I use stealth a lot more than in any previous campaign in earlier builds.  I like the clumping and destructive zombies but it seemed way too easy for me to get to the Pharma and Gigamart.  I do prefer vacant areas and concentrated areas to a fairly equal distribution across the world.  I do wish there were a few more stragglers out there though.  

 

 

Recon_zpsusl84ptr.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the only problem is the predictable nature of zombie re-spawns.

 

The old system was boring because you could clean out an area by your base and never have to worry about it again...  no point making a fortress because no zombie will ever see it, let alone test it.

 

Now zombie respawning is predictable enough that it just becomes routine, clearing out the area after a looting trip is just routine now and when something is routine, its not more difficult, its just more time and tedium.

 

I used to set daily zombies but now I just set weekly because I want to get on with the game, not take out the trash every time I return from a looting trip.

 

Whats needed is some kind of 'random respawn' option thats similar to the electric and water.   One thing I like about the electric and the water shutting off is that you cant predict it, sometimes its early sometimes its late,  sometimes both go off sometimes one a time.  I tend to pick 0-2 months. 

 

Maybe zombie respawn options can be changed to 0-3 days, 0-7 days, 3-7 days, 7-14 days or maybe just 'completly random' I just dont like the thought of being able to configure respawn options. 

 

Maybe it could also be linked to 'time played'  so that the first month there is no respawning, 1-3 months its 7 days, 3-6 months it becomes daily...  so that the game becomes more difficult the longer you survive.. not easier, which is still the current status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest easy AI opponent

the only problem is the predictable nature of zombie re-spawns.

 

The old system was boring because you could clean out an area by your base and never have to worry about it again...  no point making a fortress because no zombie will ever see it, let alone test it.

 

Now zombie respawning is predictable enough that it just becomes routine, clearing out the area after a looting trip is just routine now and when something is routine, its not more difficult, its just more time and tedium.

 

I used to set daily zombies but now I just set weekly because I want to get on with the game, not take out the trash every time I return from a looting trip.

 

Whats needed is some kind of 'random respawn' option thats similar to the electric and water.   One thing I like about the electric and the water shutting off is that you cant predict it, sometimes its early sometimes its late,  sometimes both go off sometimes one a time.  I tend to pick 0-2 months. 

 

Maybe zombie respawn options can be changed to 0-3 days, 0-7 days, 3-7 days, 7-14 days or maybe just 'completly random' I just dont like the thought of being able to configure respawn options. 

 

Maybe it could also be linked to 'time played'  so that the first month there is no respawning, 1-3 months its 7 days, 3-6 months it becomes daily...  so that the game becomes more difficult the longer you survive.. not easier, which is still the current status.

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Zeds are...

 

Overwhelmingly OP.

 

I've ended up turning respawn to every week, and make zombies spaced out more, because otherwise it's insane. Huuuuuuge massive hordes in some places, basically nothing in others. My average day is as follows

 

8:30- Wake up

9:00- Finish meal+drink

9:15- Suited and booted (I RP and take my clothes off at night)

9:20- Out the door

9:50-10:10- Start looting after about 15-30 confirmed kills

12:30- Make a loot deposit at one of my storage houses, 1/3 chance that I have to kill 3-5 zeds that have wandered inside. 50-60 Confirmed kills

3:30- Finish looting, return home 60-70 confirmed kills

4:00-7:00- Farm, Farm, Farm, Farm, Farm

7:30- Finish meal, undress

8:10- In bed & snoozing  :-D

 

I'm getting 70-100 kills PER DAY without changing the settings ( :o) and on bad days, like when I run into a mega horde, I can rack up around 200 before I retreat/die.

 

It's sorta crazy out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 5