(Not so) Dreaded Hordes
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15 posts in this topic

Anybody else feel like hordes are a bit too easy to fight?

There, got to the gist of it! :) Now I'll state my reasoning.

 

I was watching Season 1 of The Walking Dead yesterday, back when survivors were trapped in the downtown district of Atlanta. When two survivors (Rick and Glenn) cover themselves up in guts to sneak through the horde, I counted around 20-25ish zombies in the general area. I realized that in PZ, I'd have no problem clearing out that number with a few butter knives or a hammer. What they would avoid at all costs in TWD, I'd have no problem clearing out in PZ.

 

In TWD, zombies are to be avoided like the plague, literally. Guns take them out quickly, but also quickly draw more in. Fighting them is common, but they aren't actively going out in killing sprees; survivors fight them only when they have to.

 

In PZ, however, (might just be me), hordes aren't that scary. Like I said, you can take out a street or even a whole downtown block with just a few butter knives.  I have no problem going out and finding them.  Guns are pretty much next to worthless, yes, but the zombies don't seem to be giving out a sense of "avoid as much as possible" but rather "kill however many as you want whenever you want."

 

I'm bringing this up now because with the animation update around the corner, I was wondering if anybody else felt like this, and, if so, what could/should be done in terms of combat and stealth to give survivors a sense of not having to go out of their way to kill anything moving. Basically, making zombies, for lack of a better word, 'scary'; threats that should be fought when needed, but not unnecessarily/excessively.

 

I'm talking purely vanilla hardcore survival here.  Anybody is absolutely free to disagree with me, I just think it's a bit of a problem being able to take out streets and blocks of hordes with butter knives and a hammer. :-)

 

Edit: For anybody wondering, this is the scene I am mainly referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBNlDO-rT5E

 

Edited by Deputy
Queen Glory and zoeyflower like this

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I agree though, I also feel like its partly due to having to actively kill thousands of zombies to level up your combat skills as well.

I spent most of my Multiplayer time running around in West Point killing thousands of zombies until it got boring

Edited by zoeyflower
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Thats usually how it goes, the default shotgun can take out 3 sometimes even 4 or 5 zombies at a time, which if you think about it is ridiculous, unless you were using like a sawed off close range. Though the axe is also really broken because you basically swing it and take off three zombies heads. As of right now, zombies really dont pose a threat unless they're numbers are like a 300+ horde and even then my shotty works miracles.

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With anims I keep hearing that new combat is coming. Not sure what this will look like mechanically, but I think this thread raises a good point. Zombies that can be killed with generic damage as opposed to targeted damage (headshot) don't really pose a threat. If you can kill a zombie by thumping it in the chest 100 times with a spoon, it will never be a challenge. 

 

The one-hit knife kill is probably the most "realistic" melee kill in game, while guns probably shouldn't do much of anything unless fired under headshot-friendly conditions. A revamped combat system that addresses the lack of combat challenge should likely focus on disabling, not destroying, zombies, and should involve second stage of combat with a number of creative final blows to then destroy the disabled zeds (with visually rewarding animations??!).

 

Hordes in this system would be nearly unstoppable, and at best could be reduced to crawlers (or missing limbs/attack power, if anims could allow) using conventional "run in swinging" tactics used in the game now. The Zeds in PZ now would never take off in RL; headshot zeds as proposed here would pose a much bigger threat.

 

That said, many players find this game challenging as-is, and any boost to the threat level might risk satisfying the 1% while taking the fun out of reach of more casual players. There are probably many other proposals out there for fixing this problem... would be neat to hear all ideas in the depth I accidently went into here :P

Edited by trombonaught

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fight hoards? I just lead them on a trail of alarm clocks into a building and watch them burn from the apartments across the street :-D

 

 

1 hour ago, trombonaught said:

*good points*

The only thing that makes knife kills woefully unrealistic is that there is absolutely no risk of being scratched by the zombie your killing.

 

I feel like a simple change that would kill any "run in and swing" tactic would be to let all melee weapons hit all enemies in the swing range but increase the endurance loss per enemy hit exponentially this could also give rise to a use for blunt weapons by allowing them to have less endurance gains per zed.

I feel like guns should continue to fill the role of a quick destruction of zombies at the cost of attracting lots more to your location, that said I wouldn't mind at all if lower levels of aiming caused primarily disabling effects rather than killing the zombies and vice versa for higher levels

 

lastly, I completely agree that many may find the added difficulty overwhelming(at first I couldn't last more than a few days, going on year 3 now) but one of the great things of PZ is that you can customize your zeds and maybe if this revamp turns out to be too harsh it could merit a spot in the options menu.

 

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You're good at the game, though. 

 

I'm just letting the zed routines simmer for now. In the future, I want long distance flows from a major urban area. You wouldn't expect TWD atlanta in muldraugh kentucky.

 

One thing I think that reallly holds back the current zombie threat is the cell system. Once you figure out where the imaginary borders are, you can really thin out groups by using their population dynamics against them. If you get a big group and carry them into a different cell, then split back to your home cell, they stand around dumb for a bit and then spread out into their current cell. Therefore if you get them JUST accross the border, they thin out into a more distant location. 

 

set up at a corner, and have them go into a diagonal site, they might as well be 600 tiles away in terms of how long it would take them to drift back to your safehouse door.

 

Once this kicks in in a few months into the game, I find very little motion in places like muldraugh. The game simply won't be threatening until long range migration is in- the zed need to keep coming and keep coming in ever increasing numbers for them to matter, and I think thats exactly what is on the agenda for the game over the long term. 

 

In terms of making the zed something to be feared, two changes would have a considerable effect.

1. I want the groan to be a zed magnet.  Every idle zed in eyeshot turn towards a groan and groan back, then start walking in that direction. 

2. Base persistence of zed to walk in that direction can be increased. Once you figure out how to juke a group of zed they're pretty easy to manipulate. What needs to be enhanced is the zed persistence and tendency to follow one another in concentrated, dangerous groups.

Edited by thiosk

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I think the problems with hordes stem less from a balancing issue, and more suppositions on how zeds are supposed to work.

 

Hordes are only ever an issue because of poor planning, stupidity, and tight spaces (lets call that one a result of the first two.)  In most media, the protagonists will often end up backing themselves into a corner due to some unforeseen plot contrivance for dramatic effect.  And that's key.  It's just a horror trope, a thing that's repeated and repeated over in scripts as an easy way of creating suspense.

 

Give the agency of the script to the player, however, and things change.  A skilled player simply isn't going to be dumb enough to back themselves into a corner unless something forces them to (linear levels, for example.)  They know how the zombies are going to react, how the world works, and how to exploit it to their benefit; that's something horror characters aren't allowed the benefit of.  There's a reason zombie folklore generally doesn't exist in zombie films.

 

There's nothing stopping TWD survivors from leisurely jogging in a circle around a horde and occasionally pausing to swing an axe at the confused zombie ball.  Also nothing stopping Rick from carrying around a sidearm that holds more than 6 bullets.  A standard double stack 9mm magazine holds 15-18 rounds, assuming he has at least two magazines and he doesn't miss, everything on that street had a bullet with it's name on it.

 

_

 

Also, a bit off topic, but guns don't just leave little bullet sized pinholes in things, they're truly awful things to be hit by, even if it doesn't kill you.  Bullets tear muscles, tear ligaments, break bones, sever motor nerves, hydraulic effects, etc.  Regardless of where a zombie is hit (unless some literal wizardry is involved), it will do severe harm, regardless of the lack of pain or bleeding.  Shooting a rotting corpse in the chest with a shotgun is a sureshot way of snapping all the useful spine bits in half, making sure it doesn't get back up.

 

Even small bullets are real bad to get hit by.

 

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Why shouldn't torso hits with guns or melee weapons be lethal?  These aren't magically-animated zombies a la draugr from Skyrim; they're just people with a horrible disease.  Why wouldn't a stab to the heart kill it?  They're not driven by necromancy, they still need to breathe and have their blood circulate and what-not.  I assumed the zombie virus rewired the victim's brain, not that it made them into nigh-invincible husks.

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On 20.3.2017 at 9:13 PM, trombonaught said:

The one-hit knife kill is probably the most "realistic" melee kill in game,

120% agree with you here and adding a 30% special agreement cherry on top of it, and I love how you're stuck in place while doing that kill plays the realistic and fun to look at animation, it always makes me back off hordes because a zombie can always walk up to and kill / scratch / bite me during the animation and I'm defenseless to it and that's how it SHOULD be.

This is partly reason why I really hope for immersive axe kills in that style where it can result in you having to yank the blade out of the skull for 1/2/3 seconds, it would make me avoid hordes and combat altogether and only pick off single zombies if theyre spaced out enough since killing them close around zombies would be life threatening.

Other reasons being 1, it looks cool, 2 its realistic and looks cool and 3, it will finally remove the 30 boring, arcadey comic looking generic axe swings and knockback animations before you finally get the kill, making it look cooler.

Also while the animation plays and a zombie sneaks up dangerously close to you in the middle of it you would be able to just press any movement key and it would immediately make you push the zombie away / let go of the axe and walk into the direction you press while losing your axe in the zombies inventory or on the ground

Edited by zoeyflower
Faalagorn, Deputy and trombonaught like this

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Wow, a lot of replies! Alright, let's start.

I've replied to all the comments in sequential order, so if you can't be darned to read everything, feel free to scroll down to just the response to your comment. :)

 

Queen Glory - That sums up quite a bit of my feelings towards combat at the moment. Being able to hit and take out 3 zombies at a time swinging the axe, especially.  The shotgun taking out multiple Zeds at a time - While I understand it's meant to be an easier-to-kill-with weapon, it seems a bit silly with the spread.

For reference with a 12-gauge:

Image result for shotgun pellet spread over distance

I understand that different shotguns may have different spreads, but this seems to be the general spread I've found. There is that factor of game vs real life, but I think that guns leave much to be desired especially.  It would suck to have a bunch of new firearms in game and not be able to hit anything with them (apart from the shotguns, which are a bit too powerful).  That's also why I started this thread - to get opinions and see what other players might have to say about the combat.

 

trombonaught -

Quote

A revamped combat system that addresses the lack of combat challenge should likely focus on disabling, not destroying, zombies, and should involve second stage of combat with a number of creative final blows to then destroy the disabled zeds (with visually rewarding animations??!).

 

Hordes in this system would be nearly unstoppable, and at best could be reduced to crawlers (or missing limbs/attack power, if anims could allow) using conventional "run in swinging" tactics used in the game now. The Zeds in PZ now would never take off in RL; headshot zeds as proposed here would pose a much bigger threat.

Absolutely.  I agree. Headshots or nothing is what ultimately makes zombies, zombies. Still make zombies killable upon initial encounters, but also place an emphasis on disabling when needed.  This could also make firearms apart from the shotgun, though still dangerous because of the noise, useful, rather than very large paperweights. Love your post.

 

thiosk - Few things:

Quote

You're good at the game, though. 

I'm mainly referring to hardcore vanilla survival. If death is around every corner, it must be running away from me because I'm taking out virtually every horde I see. While I admit that 2000+ hours logged into the game might have helped, I just feel that combat itself leaves a bit to be desired.

 

Quote

In the future, I want long distance flows from a major urban area. You wouldn't expect TWD atlanta in muldraugh kentucky.

While I would like to see hordes of undead flowing out of Louisville looking for food - The survival rate in West Point and Muldraugh is virtually zero, according to the in-game T.V. and radio broadcasts.  The virus had an airborne strain that infected all but I'm guessing around 1% of the populations.  In each town, respectively, you are dealing with thousands of zombies confined in a relatively small area.

Quote

In terms of making the zed something to be feared, two changes would have a considerable effect.

1. I want the groan to be a zed magnet.  Every idle zed in eyeshot turn towards a groan and groan back, then start walking in that direction. 

2. Base persistence of zed to walk in that direction can be increased. Once you figure out how to juke a group of zed they're pretty easy to manipulate. What needs to be enhanced is the zed persistence and tendency to follow one another in concentrated, dangerous groups.

In terms of groaning, I agree. It'd be nice to see "herds" as seen in The Walking Dead, which a character describes as one zombie following a sound, another following that zombie, and so on, until large "herds" of zombies begin to form, roaming. Though we are seeing a bit of that going on with clumps of zombies spawning together, I'm guessing because the noise they made drew each other together, they stay balled up - they never really go anywhere, and therefore pose no threat as long as you avoid them while in the area. Gunshots won't bring them out of the city to your farmhouse.

 

Fuji -

Quote

I think the problems with hordes stem less from a balancing issue, and more suppositions on how zeds are supposed to work.

This is an interesting take on it, but I have several qualms with the combat in general to address. Being able to hit multiple zombies at once with the baseball bat or the axe, in particular.  In the animation video released just over a year ago/the "You Got Blood On You" video, we see a player hitting only one zombie at a time, though I have no idea if that's been changed, and no info on the axe. 

 

While suppositions might be part of the problem, I ultimately feel that combat is a part of the problem.  Zeds become more of a nuisance than a life or death matter for me in hardcore survival, and if I'm ever given the choice between stealthing my way around town or just taking the horde head on, I'll just take the horde head on. If they're not in the hundreds-they're manageable, and that sort of defeats the purpose in stealth.

 

Take a look at this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzEWXTTnBU

I could take that number out easy in PZ, but I don't think I should be able to. Shane would rather put a bullet into the leg of a fellow survivor, take his supplies, and haul it, rather than take them on.  These are relatively experienced survivors, mind you. Imagine if this happened with NPCs; you can't take on every zombie, and it's either you both die, or you cripple your buddy and leave. Improved combat, imo, would greatly help.

Another example:

Image result for twd high school evac

Two experienced survivors (hiding behind the police car off-screen) are sneaking around.  I'd like to see a heavier emphasis on stealth, like this.  Sneaking in, taking out only which zombies you can, and getting out with the stuff you need as fast as possible. Make those runs into the heart of the city dangerous and dreaded when your supplies are low, your crops fail, and your people are hungry. I feel improved combat has a lot to do with this.

 

Millitron - On the off chance your post isn't a joke (no offense intended), headshot-only is largely what makes zombies, zombies. That's why unaware soldiers, police officers, and civilians aiming for the center mass fail and join the horde,

 

They are, at least in the lore and sake of zombies, clinically deceased. The virus killed them, then jumpstarted their brains, bringing them back to life with a hunger. Blood no longer flows in their veins, their hearts do not pump blood. They are deceased yet moving; they are the walking dead.

Zombies as explained by Dr. Edward Jenner:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCzwt5dwJPA

 

Alright, break time for me. :-)

Edited by Deputy

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One could make fatigue play a bigger role. Swinging the bat or the ax draining more stamina, making it harder to hit and slower to walk, etc. therefore forcing the player to consider running away instead of taking on a group of 10 zombies. Right now, even with low fatigue I can outwalk / outsmart zombies with a bit luck. If the player can drain so hard out of fatigue that he can't outrun zombies anymore, now that will change things, I guess. It also makes guns more useful, as shooting a shotgun or pistol probably isn't as exhausting as swinging a heavy hammer.

 

Especially with the addition of cars, making players less fast (for a longer time) seems like a reasonable thing to think about.

Edited by Lexx2k
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I think adding more stamina drain would be really good. Even professional fighters can burn them selves out in minutes if they are not careful.

adding a better grabbing system would be a big help. If a zombie grabs you, you can't run away and there friends can get to work biting you. 

Also harder to kill zombies would be great. i like the idea about needing a time consuming kill hit. Zombies should keep getting back up unless you destroy the brain.  

 

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2 hours ago, Trojan_Turps said:

I think adding more stamina drain would be really good. Even professional fighters can burn them selves out in minutes if they are not careful.

adding a better grabbing system would be a big help. If a zombie grabs you, you can't run away and there friends can get to work biting you. 

Also harder to kill zombies would be great. i like the idea about needing a time consuming kill hit. Zombies should keep getting back up unless you destroy the brain.  

 

I think stamina is a cool idea but I really wanna see the time consuming one hit kills with the axe where you can run off in the middle of the animation at the cost of dropping the axe / leaving it inside of the zombies skull cause you don't have enough time to yank it back out of its skull.

>Looks cool 

>Realistic

>Is entertaining as opposed to the current system of swinging a 3 pound axe blade into a skull 24 times before finally getting the kill

>Also this is more of a wish but since the zombies all use a single base model i figure they could implement some cool gore for those kills like a split head from an overhead swing which would also be really cool

 

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13 hours ago, zoeyflower said:

I think stamina is a cool idea but I really wanna see the time consuming one hit kills with the axe where you can run off in the middle of the animation at the cost of dropping the axe / leaving it inside of the zombies skull cause you don't have enough time to yank it back out of its skull.

>Looks cool 

>Realistic

>Is entertaining as opposed to the current system of swinging a 3 pound axe blade into a skull 24 times before finally getting the kill

>Also this is more of a wish but since the zombies all use a single base model i figure they could implement some cool gore for those kills like a split head from an overhead swing which would also be really cool

 

Idk why people said forging your own weapons would be too OP and minecraftey when really it's not. If you get to the point you could forge your own weapons like swords, battle axes and spears. I mean in TWD you think The Kingdom just raided a museum to get that shit? With the amount of stuff they have I highly doubt it. Iron armor would also be a possibility but would take more to forge you'd have to be LV 10 metal forging or something, stop zombie bights better than gunshots, reverse would be true for a bullet proof vest.

1:Cooler pvp (Arena death fights)

2:Cooler zombie splitting action when not being too op come anims

3:Just absolutely awesome and if you get your friends start another crusade against the zombies

4:Armor up so you can be a real life tin can.

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