Adaptive Enemy Evolution

Presently, zombies can mutate to a new more dangerous form after a period of time or interaction with a zombie master. I was thinking an additional mechanic might be also implemented: Adaptive evolution.

Basically, if you run around killing zombies or anything else related to the blob with a particular type of damage, (ex: a bashing their heads with a mace) they will slowly become more resistant to that type of damage, up to an upper limit. If you switch to using a gun, they will gradually lose their added mace-resistance (blunt resistance?) and start becoming more resistant to projectile weaponry.

You would also see MORE of the types of zombie which your particular playstyle might have more issues dealing with. Hand to hand melee players might start seeing many more corrosive/spitter or shock zombies for example. Ranged characters might start seeing boatloads of feral predators which can close the distance before they can get shot, or skeletal juggernauts which just don’t care if they get shot.

This might also be implemented with the fungus or the triffid enemy groups as well.


Another interesting evolution pattern I’d like to see is smart zombies.
Have late-game zombies start to adapt human intellect and become smart enough to wield guns, weapons, etc. (goo ganados).

Would be cool to also have animal and some “failed” smart zombies turn into hideous monstrosities where the goo just goes nuts and turns zombies into lovecraftian/demonic mashups.

Fungal Smoker Feral Antlered Skeletal Hulk Zombie would be cool.
Maybe add a mechanic where instead of evolving into specific zombie types, the zombies acquire characteristics and traits of types over time (much like PC mutations), turning them into unpredictable modular killing machines.

Exposition to labs, radiation and otherwordly stuff, as well as fungi, insectoid and triffid locations would dictate what traits they acquire.

I understand this would require a lot of rewriting though. Would be nice nonetheless.
Both these ideas could also be toggleable, so people who want classic gameplay, smart zombies or mutant debles can chose their treats.


oooh, what about anthills too. If enough ants at a given anthill get killed by the player or other monsters, that particular hill will start undergoing Darwinian adaptation. It will start cycling through variants that can spit fire, leap towards the player, armored juggernaut ants, etc until it finds a combination that works well enough to overcome whatever is attacking the hive’s ants. Kind of like the Arachnids in the Starship Troopers movie/cartoon adaptations.

Ditto for beehives.

It would definitely give players a reason to want to exterminate the damned things instead of just ignoring them.


Wouldn’t they only become resistant if they experience and survive it?

The zombies are controlled by the blob, so each individual zombie death is experienced by the whole.

I figured something along the same lines would apply to Giant Ants & Bees as well, except as a side effect of a hive-mind or pheromone communications. For the Bees it might also be the result of selective breeding & experimentation by Apis.

And again, its not just resulting from casualties caused by the player. The ants and bees will fight zombies and other things too, so there will be some survivors that will adapt as well. Even players will probably leave some survivors, if not to conserve ammo, then simply because they are busy, or don’t feel like killing every single ant in the reality bubble.

I can see them evolving, but not controlling their evolution. You can’t grow more hair in the winter if you tell yourself to(even if your hair is always growing, I just meant grow a lot more). Plus it seems like a hassle to code. Also why spend energy becoming resistant to damage when you could deal some more?

Dealing damage is useless if you don’t have the strength to sustain it or a wall. Plus variety makes games harder. I mean if Diablo only had skeletons it’d be SUPER easy because people would set themselves up so skeletons die instantly to them but if you add a mage skeleton and a kamikaze skeleton now you got a whole new layer to deal with. Similar to what’s proposed here. Adding “new” zombies and adaptability. Kinda reminds me of a game idea I heard of where the computer gets harder as it fights you more same idea different execution.

Not really how evolution works. I get what the idea is. But this would make the game a bit…something less enjoyable for the reason of “player is god” kind of thinking.

To me. The game would slowly revolve only around the player as a center piece and I hate games that do this. The game as is now has the player toon in the world space. With everything behaving, more or less, autonomous. Enemies want to eat the player toon. But they are just as content to eat any one else too.

Option perhaps?

I was thinking of the upcoming Phoenix Point game.

Haven’t heard of it what’s it about?

Its AWESOME. Its made by the guy who originally created X-COM. World is being overrun by mutant lifeforms created by a mutagenic alien virus that was freed from the polar ice.