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ShylokVakarian

Causes of Death - The Statistical Study

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Welcome to the unofficial-but-officially-endorsed statistical study on the causes of death in Project Zomboid.  This started out not as a study on causes of death, but rather on the number of scratches from zombies it takes on average to become "zombfected".  Alas, my baby has grown up into a much better study.

 

The study is now completed.

 

Responses as of date last edited: 298

Responses to the sub-form as of date last edited: 68


Results at 67 deaths:

Spoiler

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uSIBXCAZphynw4MBTbzk-xOBrAmjzKFpbfClJMgSBqY/edit?usp=sharing

 

Two-thirds of characters spawned into a fresh world.  Most characters don't last beyond 3 months.  Almost half of playthroughs are in Survival.  Almost three-fourths of characters are either zombified or mauled to death, which is personally surprising to me.

 

 

 

Results at 100 deaths:

Spoiler

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P0ftmx0vN81i6tC5PGsfVNuYc319yKOrTGr5GvpgJEU

 

For those of you wondering, our top contributor at the moment, at 5 rotting corpses, is Keshash.  Congratulations, I will engrave your name into the next zombie I kill.  Other multi-corpse contributors include Iyiy at 4, zombie_squirrel and Trusty McCoolguy at 3 each, and Lastboss42 and sobriquet9 at 2 each.

 

70% of players choose to spawn in a freshly-made world.  Currently, the oldest world players used for their characters was a six-month-old world.

 

38% of players died within a week.  Another 33% lasted at least 2 weeks but died within a month and a half.  17% died in 2 to 3 months, and 11% died anywhere in 4 months to 1 year.  The remaining 1% is an outlier, as they survived more than 3 years and presumably deleted their world out of boredom.

 

The top scenario is Survival at 47%, quelle surprise.  The First Week is the next popular, at 26%, and Initial Infection squeaks in at third, with 19%.  Presumably, no one seems to like Six Months Later, as it is at a mere 7%

 

Out of those playing Initial Infection, 63% of them play on Normal, with Hard and Hardcore tying for second, and Easy just falling over to the side with a measly 1 response.  Out of those playing The First Week, 69% play on Normal, and 19% of them play on Hardcore, with Hard taking up the remainder.  This trend reverses for Six Months Later, but the results for that are inconclusive.

 

But enough about that, you want to know how players are horribly dying.  Drumroll, please!

*Someone rolls a drum on the ground*

Not what I meant.

 

The leading cause of death in Project Zomboid is:

 

Zombification

 

at 45%.

 

The second leading cause of death is being mauled by zombies, at 27%, and the third leading cause of death is death due to injury or malady at 10%.  Everything else is literally no more than 5% each.

 

For Zombification, it was about 50/50 as to whether or not they were zombified by a bite or a scratch, but out of those who died to being infected by a scratch, most of them were infected in 1-3 scratches, putting the average number of scratches it takes to infect with zombiism at 2.65, remarkably close to my estimate of 2.4 scratches, and remarkably far away from the statistical estimate of 4.  I'm delightfully surprised, because this could mean that current statistical analysis in general is using the wrong estimates for this kind of thing.  Or maybe I'm just doing something weird that statistics doesn't cover.  On further review, this is not surprising.  Stupid me, unable to read the textbook.

 

Out of the 4 that fell to death, everyone died in one fall.  Two of them died from falling three stories, one died from falling two stories, and one died falling a single story.  Keep in mind, this is on the stable version, so fall damage is not calculated with weight in the equation.  Two of our four unlucky bastards fell off by not looking where they were going, one panicked and jumped off, and one was pushed to their death by a particularly evil zombie, probably zombie Stalin or zombie Kim Jong Un.

 

The single person who died of hyper/hypothermia died because they didn't have the proper clothing.  Obviously, more results are needed, but I thought I'd include it anyways.  And now for a question, can your character die of hyperthermia?  If so, I may need to add a new question in to determine which is deadlier.

 

Of the 4 saps who burninated to death, all of them claim it was an accidental fire.  Damn, microwaves are deadly.  Of the 2 saps that couldn't get their important resources, both of them mainly died of hunger.

 

Of the 10 people who died from injury or malady, things are quite honestly all over the place.  Lacerations run the gamut, with 2 people in each category, except for the More than 6.  Two suffered from bites, which probably means they were zombfected.  May need clarification on the chances of infection from bite.  If I remember correctly, they said 96% chance, but it's really 100%, and they made it up for false hope.  In the deep wound department, most people had one or two of these, and one player managed to get more than 6 of them.  Only 3 people had burns of any kind, and the most burns had were one person with 2.  Again, only 3 people had fractures, but all 3 had at least two fractures, with the largest number being one person with 3 fractures.

 

90% of people had sustained bleeding injuries, with one person not having any bleeding injuries at all.  5 people were bleeding at the time of death, with one person at normal bleeding, three bleeding a lot, and one bleeding profusely right on my shag carpet.  The remaining four people were fully bandaged at the time of death.  50% of people had at least one infected wound, while 40% had no infected wounds, and 10% had no wounds at all.  60% of people had a sickness moodle, with 30% having the Feverish moodle, and 10% each having the Nauseous, Queasy, and Sick moodles.  The remaining 40% did not have a sickness moodle.

 

One player had this to say about his death:

 

Quote

I literally burned to death by lighting some twigs on fire. Maybe there should be some gradient or levels for fire-based injuries? The chance of my face and head actually going up in flames and killing me by lighting a twig on fire in real life is pretty damn low, unless that twig was slathered in napalm...maybe scale the level of damage to what fuel you're using (twigs & kindling<branch<log<gasoline, etc.) or have flames go out quicker once you're no longer exposed to open flame? Or have flames do less damage, but a chance for your clothing to catch on fire and REALLY damage you unless you strip them...or even an option for "stop, drop & roll"! I caught fire in the driveway of my base and couldn't even run inside for water, lest I burned my entire base and all my hard work down as well, so I had to run around like a flaming chicken with my head cut off setting fire to my lawn until the pixelated Gods mercifully allowed my character to die... :)

 

I concur.

 

Results at 253 deaths:

Spoiler

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yYa0BmZ1zdZebzmcn8lGgMB_Eq_KjSBSLi9H1X53D2w

 

Our biggest contributor of deaths this go around is McGroober at 10 rotting corpses.  Congratulations, I will now dance as a mustachioed crossdresser in a stupid hat for 37 minutes.

 

69.6% of players elected to start in a freshly-made world, down from 70% the last milestone.  The oldest world a player first spawned in is 8 months old.

 

Honestly, I did not think the in-game time survival question through, so I have no idea how to interpret it any more.  Next time, I may have to make it harder on the user's end by forcing them to calculate the number of hours they survived, because it would make my life so much easier.

 

And now, the updated causes of death:

 

In first, Zombification,  at 113 responses (44.7%). 

In second, Mauled by Zombies, at 80 responses (31.6%). 

In third, Injury or Malady, with 19 responses (7.5%). 

In fourth, Suicide, at 11 responses (4.3%)

In fifth, Falling/Gravity, at 10 responses (4%)

In sixth, Immolation, at 9 responses (3.6%)

In seventh, Old Age, at 6 responses (2.4%)

In eighth, Starvation/Dehydration, at 4 responses (1.6%)

In ninth, Hypothermia, at 1 response (0.4%)

And in dead (pun not intended) last, Hyperthermia, with no responses (0%)

 

I'm starting to think it's impossible to directly die of hyperthermia in this game.

 

Who here likes getting mauled?  Apparently 51.2% of you do, because out of the 80 responses for mauling, 41 of them said they thought they could take on the undead.  Guess they were wrong.

 

How are you more likely to become infected with whatever's making these zombies?  Studies show that bites seem to be the more likely candidate for turning you into a flesh-eating member of the undead, with 54.2% of participants being infected from a bite, while only 38.1% were infected by a scratch.  7.8% were unsure how they came to become infected, and suspect the weed they were smoking as to why they can't remember.  That's some damn good weed.  The average number of scratches it took for people to become infect was roughly 2.804, still fairly close to the estimate of 2.6.  And let's also give a big round of applause to the person that managed to hold out for 9 scratches.

 

In a shocking twist, only 7 out of 9 of the subjects that burned alive did so from an accidental fire.  The remaining two claimed they died from a fire that was intentional.

 

A surprise to me, the top method of suicide among our 11 depressed participants was Making A Last Stand, and not Drinking Bleach, like I had predicted.  The second most used method was Bleach.

 

I'm aware I skipped over some categories.  I'm just really bored.

 

Edited by ShylokVakarian

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1 hour ago, Millitron said:

Being infected by the zombie virus is not the same thing as having an infected wound.  Infected wounds are just normal, boring infections like the kind you can get in real life.  You cannot get infected by the zombie virus from being cut by broken glass.

Pretty sure you can.

 

DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK ZOMBIE ****.

Edited by ShylokVakarian

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41 minutes ago, Okamikurainya said:

I'm guessing the wiki hasn't updated that if it was ever true, I mean the option in Sandbox (which I believe is default) is through blood and saliva from the zombies.

 

Though if I'm wrong then I should have gotten zombified 100 times over while training my first aid skill. :P

Never trust that wiki.  Ever.

 

Alright, changing the procedures.

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2 hours ago, dannyisdude said:

Shouldn't the average be 4 because the chance of getting infected from a scratch is 25%? (Obviously testing may not be exactly 4.)

Is not the main point, it's a hypothesis.  Yes, that's what my Statistics professor said, but I just have a feeling that's not the case, no matter how stupid it may sound.  It's likely testing will prove me wrong, but I'm hoping that's the case anyway.

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45 minutes ago, ShylokVakarian said:

Is not the main point, it's a hypothesis.  Yes, that's what my Statistics professor said, but I just have a feeling that's not the case, no matter how stupid it may sound.  It's likely testing will prove me wrong, but I'm hoping that's the case anyway.

I understand you not quite believing the 25% chance of infection because, well, it is possible it could have changed or it may just be a number thrown out to trick people into thinking their chances of survival are different from what it actually is. However, I quickly looked at the code the verify, and made an explanation of the the code does. I also learned that the thin/thick skinned traits affect the chance of getting infected, which I did not know. 

This should save you some testing. http://imgur.com/a/WTmFg

Edited by dannyisdude

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25 minutes ago, dannyisdude said:

I understand you not quite believing the 25% chance of infection because, well, it is possible it could have changed or it may just be a number thrown out to trick people into thinking their chances of survival are different from what it actually is. However, I quickly looked at the code the verify, and made an explanation of the the code does. I also learned that the thin/thick skinned traits affect the chance of getting infected, which I did not know. http://imgur.com/a/WTmFg

...

Stop ruining my fun.

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7 minutes ago, ShylokVakarian said:

Well, I would like to have fun, too.  I want to do the thing with the statistics and stuff.

Well, stats can be fun too, however not so much when the results are already coded into the game. One thing that would be very interesting to look at is the top causes of death on survival. Like starvation vs killed by zombies vs burned alive vs normal infection vs zombification. That would be quite the interesting group study.

Edited by dannyisdude

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2 hours ago, dannyisdude said:

Well, stats can be fun too, however not so much when the results are already coded into the game. One thing that would be very interesting to look at is the top causes of death on survival. Like starvation vs killed by zombies vs burned alive vs normal infection vs zombification. That would be quite the interesting group study.

...True.  But it'd be hard to account for skill differences, as well as other factors.

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2 minutes ago, ShylokVakarian said:

...True.  But it'd be hard to account for skill differences, as well as other factors.

Or you could ignore that entirely. All you would really have to account for is that everyone is playing the vanilla game. If looking at what generally kills people in the game, regardless of play style, all you need to do is have a bunch people play the game a bunch times, and record the deaths.

Edited by dannyisdude

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10 hours ago, ShylokVakarian said:

...True.  But it'd be hard to account for skill differences, as well as other factors.

I say do it anyway, it would be interesting to see how the community plays (and therefore dies) vs how I play.

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11 hours ago, dannyisdude said:

Or you could ignore that entirely. All you would really have to account for is that everyone is playing the vanilla game. If looking at what generally kills people in the game, regardless of play style, all you need to do is have a bunch people play the game a bunch times, and record the deaths.

 

39 minutes ago, Rass said:

I say do it anyway, it would be interesting to see how the community plays (and therefore dies) vs how I play.

Alright.

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The study is now ready for volunteers.  Make sure you know what the cause of death is, and be prepared to answer deep, probing questions about the demise of your character.

 

EDIT: Also, the more submissions I get, the more data I can extract, and not only will the accuracy of my data increase, but so will the complexity of my data increase, allowing me to answer more complex questions.

Edited by ShylokVakarian

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1 hour ago, Zombie_squirrel said:

3 death so far.

 

1. Death via zombification (eaten by pack of zombies)

2. Death via zombification (scratch to hand).  Survived first scratch (to abdomen)

3. Death via zombification (scratch to neck).  Survived 3 previous scratches.  Had thick skin trait.  

Click on the Google Form link and fill out the form three times.  I need more information than that.

 

Also, the "eaten by a pack of zombies" death actually falls under Mauled by Zombies, not Zombification.

Edited by ShylokVakarian

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8 hours ago, GOGOblin said:

Your google-form is kinda incorrect. Most of the characters recieve a scratch and illness and do something like "drop good things for other character, die asap". You should add something like "How you got infection?" because death doesn't matter that much in PZ.

...

There's a suicide option in the main causes of death section.

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2 hours ago, ShylokVakarian said:

There's a suicide option in the main causes of death section.

Oh, well, then I will post a couple of google forms with this option, I've never lost a character (I play almost only single) for other reasons, only infection->drop bag -> suicide attack.

 

I don't know what is the purpose of your experiment, but maybe you should add a field for "how you got infected?" with options like "misclicked a single Z", "bad fighting tactics", "surprise bite", "surrounded by mob" and others.

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