Jump to content
Dragonbahn

The zombie system is a plain annoyance

Recommended Posts

I haven't played much since build 31 since I had lots of other games to play. Back then, I didn't play survival, just because I wanted to change the length of the day and which month I started. But today, when I tried survival since I didn't and still don't fully understand the sandbox settings regarding re-spawns (Another topic which could have been handled differently but thats for another day) I found myself surrounded and massacred before I even had time to loot the starting house. And if I were to survive being surrounded by hordes conveniently placed around me (By completely ignoring my RP experience and running around, stabbing everything I see with a butterknife), it wouldn't matter, because they will respawn anyways.

   

What made PZ so damn good was the sense of hope and security, knowing that you would survive, just to have your hopes and dreams get crushed by a bathroom bite. With the new spawn system, all false hope is non-existent. I know for real that I won't survive, and that makes the game bland. It tears out all motivation to press on because there is nothing to press on for.

 

If you ask me, I'd say that respawning zeds as soon as you leave is a bland way to "increase" the difficulty. Maybe try some kind of intellegent migration that I know you awesome guys at TIS are capable of! :)

 

Tl;dr  The new spawn system ruins the RP and "false hope" for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairly sure the default respawn time is 72 hours without you being in the cell that's respawning. Zombies actually do migrate to some extent already, but a refinement would be nice. Too often the area you have made your home in is devoid of zombies, due to no respawns, and the occasional migrating zombie. Needs to be more!

 

The game is based on the premise that you'll die - "This is how you died." I do however agree that the default Survival settings are unnecessarily hard for what is to be considered the "normal" experience for PZ, hence why Sandbox exists.
But one person's idea of what the perfect apocalypse is differs from the next person. Survival is TIS's idea of what theirs is, and if theirs is crazy high spawn rate and respawn rate, then that's what it is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also dont like survival zombie settings, thats why I play sandbox.

try this:

Starting population 0,5

peak population 2

peak time ~90 days

respawn 10% after 3 days same with migration (3days).

With those you can go for loot missions without having to kill a horde whenever you back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be fine with a "Random" button in advanced zombie population setting. So you'd never know when they respawn and when they migrate ever.

i think the reason why there is no random button on the settings yet is that they want it all tested. (by themselves and us)  i'm sure randomness will come :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly this way in Survival is kind of pointless...Not challenging, because it is not, after you reach +1 sprint and get some points with axe and baseball bats you're already too strong for them; if you select traits that make it a bit harder, it'll take a bit more, but the outcome won't change.

 

I mean, I clear an area, go back to base and find 100-200 or more zombies coming out from nowhere.

I wouldn't mind a huge migrating horde, even of thousands, every week, every day, random, but with a logic.

Piling up corpses is fun, burning them is fun, but, as I said, pointless. This way it pushes me to visit places only once, loot like there's no tomorrow and never come back, because if I return to base and go back to where I was looting (let's say 3 or 4 in game hours, or even less) I will find hundreds of zombies again!

 

That leads my character to become even more "stationary" then usual, considering after a couple of weeks in game you already have what you need. If you want to move it's just for the sake of visiting other places(out of boredom or to "check" a particular area), because you don't actually need to go there and clearing an area is not possible: you'll find 1000 other zombies there tomorrow. Sure, it's good to have an axe, baseball bats, vitamins, bags to carry things you don't need when you kill them, but...At some point (less than a month ingame) my character is just too strong and can handle them easily and when they're too many can just run and leave. Just killing to kill more of them, if I needed a tower defence game...

 

I know how the game works and the way it handles portions of maps and zombies (and that's the problem), however it's kind of annoying when I clear a place, turn my back for a minute, and find 100 more zombies coming from...Where?

 

I am not complaining and I have no suggestions at the moment, just saying my opinion.

I know there's sandbox, etc etc, I am just talking about Survival as I see it at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how the game works and the way it handles portions of maps and zombies (and that's the problem), however it's kind of annoying when I clear a place, turn my back for a minute, and find 100 more zombies coming from...Where?

 

That's what I dislike the most about the new migration system. I had a situation once (playing the 8 months after setting) there was so many zombies in an area that I had to kill them with fire to be safe and before fired killed them all there were already new zombie groups pouring in from inside the city to take their place. It's just artificial and immersion-breaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how the game works and the way it handles portions of maps and zombies (and that's the problem), however it's kind of annoying when I clear a place, turn my back for a minute, and find 100 more zombies coming from...Where?

 

 

I think the problem you're facing has more to do with how zombies migrate, instead of how zombies "respawn". Before the 32 update, zombies were only ever "Moving around" in an area that you are in. This whole loaded "square" that you see around you was the ONLY place where zombies were mobile. Anywhere else on the map, zombies were non-existent, and were just saved up as a bunch of randomized numbers, "spawning" into the area as soon as you visited the cell without following a specific pattern.

 

That's why before, in builds 31 and earlier, you could just clear the square your house is located on, sit inside and never have to face another zombie bothering you again, even after gunshots and helicopters.

 

Now, after the update 32, the zombies FINALLY got themselves physically saved positions OUTSIDE of the player area, and to add to that, those zombies, outside of player area, even MOVE AROUND when you hear gunshots or helicopters. The zombie movement isn't confined to just a small 50x50 square around your player anymore, they move around the whole city, instead of around you.

 

Now, to your actual problem, when the zombie hordes happen to swarm a specific place after you hear a gunshot, there is often a huge influx of zombies in a few specific cells close to gunshots, while a huge lack of zombies in cells around them (Because nearly all zombies walked away after gunshot, makes sense right?). The game is handled to see when the cell is "overloaded" with zombies, and when the cell is "empty", and if those cells are located close to each other, then every set amount of time, a random amount of zombies from "overloaded" cell will migrate to "empty" cell to occupy it. It happens irregardless of your "zombies respawn" time, because they are literally "moving in" from another area, not "spawning in".

 

Okay, so the main question that a lot of you probably have by now : How does a player make a distinction between "Respawning" and "Migrating" Zombies? 

 

It's easier than you might think: 

1) If you see a group of zombies (about 5-10, sometimes more) all moving in a specific direction without any kind of meta-event (gunshots, helicopters), then those zombies are "migrating" from other cells. 

 

2) If you are absent from your base in a long loot run, let's say a trip to west point, and after coming back in 4+ in game days you see a lot of zombies in an area around your base, then those zombies are "respawning".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LeoIvanov

thanks for your reply, the point is topic is about zombie system in Survival , to me  is:  zombie system = migrating + respawing.

The outcome is, quoting Geras, indeed "artificial and immersion-breaking", then if someone loves it, good for him, but that doesn't change anything, it's still artificial and immersion-breaking. Now, if that's what they want to achieve, mission accomplished :)

I played, I play and will play PZ again, I am sure I played more than many people here, so it's not like I don't understand what's going on...

Anyway, it's more like going from mendy's eatery to twiggy (to give you an idea about the distance) kill 100 hundred, come back later the same day and finding 200 hundred.

Or when I go looting here: http://pzmap.crash-override.net/#0.6610564898236058,0.15592208657374496,28.712103624861488

clear the block, come back with 2 hiking bags, go to the food market to leave collected items, resting or sleeping a couple of hours not more, go back there the same day (or just a few hours later) finding even more zombies than before, all the times, every day.

That's not hard, because my character can handle them or run if necessary, but that's just pointless.

I have everything, I don't even need to visit the rest of the map, but why should I clear the mall when the mall will be full of zombies again 1 min after I leave?

As I said, if I want to play that kind of game I play how is it called...? *search on google* Boxhead.

 

@EnigmaGrey, is that your answer to? I don't see any quote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not artificial or unrealistic to have zombies migrate across the map or for over time now-deserted areas to be repopulated, as the world is a big place and is now filled with zombies. What was artificial and unrealistic was to have any threat gone from the game the moment you lured it away or killed it.

Respawning and migration are mandatory parts of the game and won't be removed from Survival. Tweaked a bit? Sure, removed? Never. If you want that, we fortunately supply a readily-available custom game mode known as Sandbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you were talking to me then.

I like the idea of respawning and migration, never said I don't like it in general, but not how it is now in Survival, many people explained why way better than me.

Like it is now it's not exactly the only way and sure it's not the best.

I never liked when there was no threat, but I would prefer 100000 times a random horde, even huge, with some logic than these zombies coming from nowhere and in a place I cleared just the day before (or even the same day) and not exactly in the opposite part of the map, just like a block away. It's not increasing difficulty like "next day will be harder", because it is not, same thing again and again, it's just annoying and immersion-breaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you were talking to me then.

I like the idea of respawning and migration, never said I don't like it in general, but not how it is now in Survival, many people explained why way better than me.

Like it is now it's not exactly the only way and sure it's not the best.

I never liked when there was no threat, but I would prefer 100000 times a random horde, even huge, with some logic than these zombies coming from nowhere and in a place I cleared just the day before (or even the same day) and not exactly in the opposite part of the map, just like a block away. It's not increasing difficulty like "next day will be harder", because it is not, same thing again and again, it's just annoying and immersion-breaking.

Then disable migriation in Sandox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you were talking to me then.

I like the idea of respawning and migration, never said I don't like it in general, but not how it is now in Survival, many people explained why way better than me.

Like it is now it's not exactly the only way and sure it's not the best.

I never liked when there was no threat, but I would prefer 100000 times a random horde, even huge, with some logic than these zombies coming from nowhere and in a place I cleared just the day before (or even the same day) and not exactly in the opposite part of the map, just like a block away. It's not increasing difficulty like "next day will be harder", because it is not, same thing again and again, it's just annoying and immersion-breaking.

 

I think it's more of a problem with how you perceive the message that the game is trying to communicate to you rather than the problem with the game balance itself : Cities and towns are -not- supposed to be safe areas to make your base in, you should have "leaving the town in outskirts" be in the list of your highest priorities, because otherwise it's a hell on earth.

 

And, just like Enigma has stated above me, you could always take your time to learn the sandbox functions and tweak the apocalypse to your own tastes. You could easily remove both respawning and migration entirely, or make them take a much longer time so all your loot runs end up miles safer than they are in Survival. That's the beauty of Sandbox, that many players seem to completely dismiss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since they seem to try to maintain a population average of an area of space there seems to always be zombies nearby regardless of how many you kill, thanks to both respawning and the migration, and them liking to hang out in 20 zombie thick hordes as they do so. I've killed down right ludicrous numbers of zombies in a small area and it seems like nearly every day there are new hordes.

 

In my experience, even with reducing starting zombie population to .25 (peak day 20) guns are now way more of a death trap than ever before. Just the other day I fired a pistol on day 4 or 5, and within a minute or so I saw more zombies on screen that I EVER had before. I died. So just for giggles I loaded up another world with the same settings and cheated in a sawed off shotgun and a bunch of boxes of ammo, ate till I was well fed, and put reloading on easy and fired off a round. Sure enough another massive horde shows up I literally ran around the same building gunning down scores of zombies until my character was beginning to starve. The horde size even after so many losses was probably down to only about about 70% of it's peak due to constant reinforcements. I am NOT kidding. I always thought they had really limited use before, but now you're just ringing the dinner bell. If this works the same, when NPCs are added, I imagine every NPC that uses a gun is DEAD in very short order, as is everyone within a block of them. You can't fix it with zombie hearing settings either. This is on the average hearing level. If you change it to low then you can practically run right by them and they won't hear you, and can make the game too easy.

 

I think PZ is now the hardest it's ever been. I couldn't imagine being a new player right now, it's probably downright brutal for all but those who crave hard challenges. Seems more like the Dark Souls of sandbox games now. I hope it that doesn't hurt the flow of new players.

 

I'll add a disclaimer that this is just my opinion, but I think the standard settings are a bit heavy handed towards new players. Yes the game is supposed to be hard, but it can be off putting to repeat days 1-4 over and over as you acclimate to controls and zombie behavior. The game has always fizzled out in mid to late game due to a lack of things to strive for. The new difficulty these new mobile hordes add would be a welcome sight late game, but having it so early in the game doesn't have the same effect and just makes the early game too difficult. I'll also add I have no multiplayer experience yet, so maybe the difficulty is more on target for multiple people.

 

 

You just have to slog through it, tweaking sandbox settings as you go and die until you find the elusive balance that gives you the proper challenge for you. The amount of control you have over the game is pretty impressive, it's one of the things I like most about the game. So be thankful that you do. :)

 

If you find the game too hard, or you want it even harder there are simple changes (more, less) that have a profound effect on the difficulty:

 

Population Options -> Advanced -> Rally Group Size and Population Start Multiplier.

Zombie Hearing - Low has a huge impact on their awareness. I would advise not to change it unless you're REALLY struggling.

Zombie Memory

Endurance Recovery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@EnigmaGrey

lol, whatever.

Thanks for your time.

 

@LeoIvanov

C'mon, I am not saying it is hard, it isn't (and that's funny because I am not a gamer, as I said in other posts, but this game is easy and without late game at this point), I am saying random zombies appearing from nowhere doesn't make any sense, especially if it happens just a few minutes after I cleared the area, just because I moved 1 or 2 tiles???

It's not like I don't know what is going on (but your explanation was good anyway, thanks) as I said I played this game a lot, but I can't keep pretending it makes sense like you guys are saying, it does not make any sense.

Tell me the sense (or the need) of clearing the mall if they keep coming a few minutes after you left, you don't even need to go there: the day your character is ready to take them all you have 100+ axes, all the rotten food to survive for 100+ years, water has never been a problem. That's a goal you give yourself, it's not in the game.

Truth is the map is too big for SP as it now, especially with this weird tower defence EG seems to like so much, it could be just half WP or even less...

If you think most of the servers have loot spawn, like taking the only difficult thing of this game out...I understand why so many people seem to be blind about obvious things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maps are too big for single player, but they also need to be big for multiplayer. Once transportation methods are implemented it should get a little better.

 

I think a lot of the issues I read people complaining about now are due to the migration system defaulting at too aggressive a level, and the zombies forming large hordes even with no stimulus from the player. It strikes people as unexpected and unnatural. It gives an impression that the zombies are all telepathically linked and try to spread out and blanket an area with a general population average, so when you create a gap by killing a bunch, more flood in to seal it back up.

 

EDIT:

 

A less uniform and more random-ish distribution with varying density would probably make the "reinforcements" look and feel a little less mathematical and deliberate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maps are too big for single player, but they also need to be big for multiplayer. Once transportation methods are implemented it should get a little better.

 

Just to be clear: I said it's too big for the game in SP in its current state, I meant:  you can find everything you need in West Point without having to go anywhere else. I don't mind running to the other side of the map, but at the moment there's no reason or need to go somewhere else, that's all, especially considering you can't just "clear" an area anymore.

I am not complaining, it's just the game as it is now...

Of course in MP is very different and makes more sense.

 

[...] defaulting at a too aggressive level

[...] even with no stimulus from the player. It strikes people as unexpected and unnatural.

It gives an impression that the zombies are all telepathically linked [...]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only flaw is you believe you can't clear out areas when you can actually do so through luring and slaughtering zombies and through building walls. It's not permanent, but again it's not meant to be, particualrly if you built in the wrong part of the map.

 

Grouping, surprise-surprise, can also be disabled in sandbox. It is meant to recreate eariler versions of PZ where zombies swarmed and dealing with individual zombies took a bit more effort. You don't like it? That's fine, we understand. You can't reconcile what you see on the screen with a motive (such as movement of other zombies attract other zombies, causing them to form little packs)? Also fine.

 




We've provided the necessary tools to customize the game if you disagree with the developer's specific vision provided via the Survival setting. Use them, please.

This thread is  locked specifically because the resolution the OP and one poster within this thread want isn't going to happen without taking charge of the game themselves. There is no point re-iterating it further.

With build 33's new menu, you'll find this has been made much, much clearer, ensuring misunderstandings like this do not continue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the problem we have:

 

In an ideal world, we would simply simulate a million zombies in real-time - they would all move around the map according to what they see and hear, if they're killed, they're dead permanently. Additional zombies would only ever 'migrate' in from the very edges of the map. No approximation would be going on. I think that we can all agree that this would be the perfect way for the game to operate.

 

I think we also intuitively know that such a system would be impossible for a number of reasons - not just the processing required for the A.I or the ridiculous burden on your net connection in multiplayer, but also the fact that the zombies would need to know about parts of the map which aren't streamed in (even if we made the map a fraction of the size it is, parts of it would still not be in memory at any given location). So that's out as a solution, by miles.

 

So. What can we do? How can we get the huge zombie populations that we need to give a satisfying sensation of being in the zombie apocalypse? Well, on some level, we have to cheat, just like all other games do on some level. Again, in an ideal world, you cheat in a manner which looks to the player as if you're not cheating. When you play games with incredibly sophisticated A.I. and oh my God it's so clever and amazing - this is because they cheated in a way in which it wasn't noticeable. Good job! 10/10

 

Now we've got a problem. We're a sandbox game. We need to give the player control over how the game operates. We need to let the player customise their experience. This means exposing the controls to the sandbox settings. Now when we cheat, we need to give you a little box in order to customise that cheat. We need to reveal that there is such a thing as migration and respawning. Without the sandbox options, we could have randomised the respawning a little and simply pretended that what you were seeing was migration. Oh! Those zombies were simulated! They must have heard a noise, wandered over, and that explains why this cleared out area now has some zombies in it. With some incredibly well phrased bullshit, we probably could have convinced a number of people that actually somehow we were able to pull off simulating that ridiculous a number of zombies.

 

The more technical amongst you probably would have smelled bullshit - but you wouldn't be able to say exactly how we were bullshitting.

 

Not so with a sandbox game. We have to expose how it works. There's no way we can bullshit our way out of this. And that means, because you know that respawning is something which happens, you're now in the position of thinking that the only explanation for some zombies being somewhere they shouldn't be is because of respawning - sort of Occam's Razor logic. And it puts us in a position where we're having a discussion in terms of those sandbox options, rather than having a general discussion about how the game feels - completely isolated from number in boxes. Once the cat is out of the bag, you can't put it back in.

 

Because in an ideal world, all you guys would be talking about how the game feels - and only we developers would be worrying about what numbers go in boxes to make it feel good for you.

 

What can we do about this? Well, we're in Early Access - there's still plenty of room to tweak the actual ways in which respawning happens, when it triggers, all that jazz - to make it feel right. But regardless of what we do, it'll still be exposed in the sandbox settings. We could obfuscate those settings by giving them fairly meaningless names, but that would then make customising sandbox kind of shit - if you're setting options whose effect is unknown.

 

edit: I would also like to mention in this word "cheat" heavy post, that we endevour to cheat as little as possible, obviously. I've banged on about it simply to emphasise the point that it has to happen at some point in this, and almost every game. But the fact that most times, you can see a whopping horde, turn, run off, turn, run back, and there is the same whopping horde shows that we are actually simulating in a non-cheaty way a pretty damn large number of zombies ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...