Currently we have some regular old animals (rabbit, wolf, squirrel, dog, etc…) and some stupid mutant animals (mosquito, centipede, frog). What about some infected animals? Infected dogs ala Resident Evil. Perhaps you are saying canon is that the virus only affects humans?

There already are dogs. Mechanically, they’re about as annoying as zombie dogs would be anyway.

I think as far as the canon goes, the virus is human-only, yes. I would like to see more wildlife, though. I think there are plans for tossing some more stuff in, including the wildlife of the hellscapes that the portals open up to. If we’re really lucky, we’ll get dinosaurs or something.

Mostly though, I don’t think we need more stuff that is mutated or infected right now. More development of the other wildlife would be preferable to just tossing in stuff that doesn’t have a place yet. I would like to see alligators or fish or something that makes the water dangerous and/or useful, but that’s an ‘eventually’ thing.

The giant (mutant) animals are infected. It’s the same thing that infected humans but a different effect because they’re… well, not human. Different subject different effect. Would monkeys be zombies or giants? What’s the difference, 2%? Could go either way. Giant zombie monkey! King Kongdaver?

I’m just waiting to see a rabid giant squirrel come take vengeance for his uninfected brethren. “Oh god not the nuts!”

I imagine a giant infected squirrel would EAT his brethren. Bees aren’t normally carnivorous, and humans are omnivores, but when the virus kicks in… well… meat is on the menu, as it were. What might be interesting, if the virus just affects random changes to things, is to see it work the other way around. Wolves that are herd animals, herbivores. Or better yet! Wolves that hunt the plant creatures, like Triffids! Their new digestive system is hyper efficient, and they have a vastly raised limit on growth, so the longer a green-wolf is alive, the bigger it gets. They don’t EAT humans anymore, but they still remember that people are a threat, and they will bite back if you get too close. If you manage to kill one, though, you can harvest the delicious and rare herbs that grow on its back, the kind of stuff that people used to have to synthesize to make painkillers or antibiotics now growing naturally out of this mutated monster.

Personally, I’d be more interested in seeing rational animal behavior that we could use to avoid or escape them.

For example, I saw a video Let’s Play where a pack of wolves and two cougars ganged up on a character, but why would wolves and cougars cooperate like that? I’d rather see it just the reverse, where a desperate character might lead a predator near another predator to get them fighting, or just distracted.

And maybe you can do it already (I haven’t had the opportunity to test it), but it would be nice to throw meat to get a predator off your tail, or even to distract a pack of wolves briefly as they fought over it.

Similarly, you’d think that wolves would avoid zombies (if not attack them), wouldn’t you? And are zombies really smart enough not to get distracted by wolves? Or deer? Maybe humans smell like food and other animals don’t, but then it would be simple to carry around a wolf pelt, I’d think.

I’m just trying to think of ways a smart player might solve problems without violence, either because he’s just beginning the game or because he doesn’t want to attract more enemies. I think I heard that fire would keep an enemy (zombie or animal) from following a scent trail, though I haven’t had a chance to test that. (I can’t seem to play the game past Day 2 without it crashing.) But that sort of thing is great, isn’t it?

Again, this is just personal preference, but I’d rather have creatures with realistic behavior patterns (realistic to the extent that a fantasy creature would be real at all) than more kinds of creatures.

Hi, WCG: I’ve had the same concern re animals attacking when it’s clearly not in their best interest. (The random wolf pack coming me in full gear, at dark-green health? Bad, but OK. After I melee down half the pack whilst taking no damage myself, only one decides to flee? Worse.)

Meat-distracting is somewhere in the planning stage; I haven’t checked the github today.

Smoke should screw up a scent trail but I’ve had better luck with just using buildings (go in one door, deal with pursuers, preferably out the other side).

I chose Animal Empathy for this character, after my previous two characters walked right out of the evac shelter into the loving embrace of a cougar. I really didn’t like the idea that a cougar or a lone wolf would be so aggressive towards human beings.

But now, with Animal Empathy, they still come right towards my character (“tracking”), then dither around in rock-throwing range until they’re dead. Even when I hit them once, they don’t run away, but they don’t attack, either (or very rarely). So I can’t say that I like this behavior, either.

I guess I’d like animals to generally ignore your character unless you got too close. And Animal Empathy would just let you get closer than a character without that trait. But once you did get close, they should either attack or run away. Certainly if you injure them, they should choose one or the other, don’t you think?

It also seems like wildlife ignores other wildlife, whether they’re predators or prey. They seem to ignore zombies, too - and vice versa. I guess I’d expect predators to either avoid or attack zombies (depending on whether they smell good to eat?), and I’d expect prey to avoid everything. And although zombies should be dumb enough to walk into lava, I don’t know why a squirrel would be likely to do so. :slight_smile:

I’m sounding more critical than I should, though. I love the game. I think animal behavior could use a little tweaking, but that’s all.

I’d love to see wolves and cougars dropped, honestly. There haven’t been wolves or (non-transient) cougars in rural New England since the 1800s at least.

The role of wolves could be replaced by feral dogs. They run in packs and are probably pretty hungry what with no humans around to put down Kibbles n’ Bits. Cougars seem redundant with all the spiders running around.

IIRC, the canon is that animals don’t get the zombie virus, but there seems to be something arcane about zombies themselves. I mean, there’s a zombie necromancer after all. Maybe animals that have been eating on dead zombies get mutated and aggressive? That could open the door for mutant dogs and maybe even scavengers: rats, vultures or crows? These could start showing up as time passes and would allow animal threats to scale up as time progresses.

Auspice, you’re a bit wrong on the wolf things. Wolves WERE removed in the 1800s, but they’ve been reintroduced and multiplying, breeding with the local coyote population (which we have plenty of in New England) and creating a ton of Wolf/Coyote hybrids. Which are clearly what you encounter in the game - after all, wolves are are afraid of humans, but the hybrids aren’t afraid of /anything/. Still, if we are going to replace them with anything, coyote hybrids would be the obvious choice (maybe not wolf/coyote, but dog/coyote with maybe a bit of wolf mixed in?)

I think the wolves are fine though. The cougars… not so much. (I also just really don’t like the cougars, heh)

Beyond that…
There are some plans to add in some infected animals beyond those you already encounter (The bees, wasps, ants, spiders, and mosquitos) There are also many plans to greatly improve animal behaviour. (Feel free to contribute! We’d love it if someone dove in and worked on this)

Orleks, for example, are going to be infected kitties, and are going to have some pretty complex behaviour - they will be much, much smarter than zombies (and much more dangerous).

There’s also some potential fun to be had with amphibians and reptiles. Not alligators - that isn’t appropriate for New England. But that’s fine - we have something BETTER.

Say hello to one of the most common examples of New England aquatic wildlife:

Now, imagine for a minute. Your average new england pond has at least a couple of these. They are everywhere. Now imagine them large. With mutant infection-related powers like an extendable tongue that whips out and drags you towards them.

So yeah.

I also want to add porcupines or infected versions thereof, since they are basically everywhere in New England (though most people have no idea. Living in trees, being super stealthy, they are the spiked ninjas of the animal world), and I’ve got some special plans for bats (See: Rust Eaters and Junk Gluttons) as well.

After first admitting I have no idea how easy (or possible) it is, and also admitting some of this might already be in the game, if I was going to rewrite animal behavior…

Wolves almost exclusively hunting at night

Rarely deciding to attack if you are in perfect health and gradually increasing odds of attack as player is more injured

Not more than one species of animal actively hunting/attacking player at once

Not sure of canon, but cougars have such huge territories to themselves there would almost never be more than one in the same area, let alone attacking the same prey

If half a wolfpack is killed then they would likely flee, more dead, more likely to flee

Loud noises scare wolves and cougars away, particularly if they have not yet tasted blood

Wolfpack has an alpha dog that is not distinguishable by player, but if it is killed or injured the pack may break chase

All I got for now…

(By the way, super excited for the next release, especially after seeing a lot of z level related code going in.)

BTW, Snapping turtles are allready able to get HUGE. I have heard about ones that where 8 feet across. and they are NASTY. attacking humans, plus they got that shell.

You know what’s funny? I’m from New England (New Hampshire to be exact) and I’ve never seen a snapping turtle. I’ve heard of them, known they were there, but never seen em.

really? I can see them in NY, but i dunno.

Well, snappers are pretty stealthy - much like most people in New England have never seen a wild porcupine despite them being pretty common, I wouldn’t be surprised if most hadn’t seen a wild snapper. It’s only in certain ponds and lakes where you get some that are both REALLY LARGE and you have a whole bunch of them that they generally get noticed. Even at a pond I knew of that was practically overflowing with them, that I visited fairly regularly, it was uncommon to see them unless you were actively looking for them, and even pointing one out to people is pretty difficult to convince them you aren’t just pointing at a rock. They are considered “ambush predators” for a reason.

Like porcupines, they are also nocturnal and only really active at night, and they don’t sun themselves out of the water like sliders do. The only exception is during the breeding season where they will occasionally come on land during the day (and this is when most people see them, if ever)

Now, if you want to see some, drag some bacon through the water on a line and pull them in. You don’t even need a hook, snappers are just that easy to fish for. :stuck_out_tongue:

dont they grab and never let go?

You can get them too, but they certainly don’t let go willingly if they think there’s any value to holding on…

Luckily, once you’re stopped pulling long enough for them to rip off the bacon, they are usually perfectly happy to let go of the line.

Actually, trolling with bacon would work for me, too, although it would probably have to be cooked first.

But that’s pretty funny. I hadn’t heard of that, although snapping turtles are common here in Nebraska, too. Only occasionally do I see one of good size, though. (However, I’m careful to keep my hands away from all of them.)

They’re not aggressive, and I’ve never seen one move (on land) at anything but a very slow, deliberate walk. They’re easy to avoid, but they’re built like a tank, so I’d hate to see them with a ranged weapon! :slight_smile:

It isnt even a virus, its blobs.

Also zombie dogs is a really stupid idea.