Challenge game: lets generate more zombies

New Features in the experimental build that make the game harder and more fun:

  1. increase the number of zombies (up to 50x)
  2. increase the size of cities (this was buggy as of last weeks version above a certain break point. See below).


  1. Start with atleast 4x zombies in options. Every week increase this by .5 up to a max of 50x. Note this only happens in ‘newly generated areas’
  2. start with 2x city size (there is a bug in last Thursdays Experimental Build with larger city size. Not sure if its fixed. See below). When this is fixed, this size will increase too.


  1. Increase your starter points to 25. If you think 4x zombies is too easy for this build. start at a higher number.
  2. turn off skill rust for 2 weeks. Then set it to rust down the level only for 1 week, then back to normal after 4 weeks. Again if you think this is too easy turn it off.

If you think the ‘balance’ is scumming, try to survive with extra zombies without doing it, or start with even more zombies. I think its a good balance. Note that its alot harder to train archery now. Kevin posted you don’t train archery by making arrows. So you will incur alot more skill rust to get archery good and archery now sucks until its at about 6 and you can make better arrows.

City Size Bug: When i generated a world with 4x city size, upon start I got a debug error that said ‘can’t find shelter’. So I started in the woods with minimal amount of the map visible. you usually get a nice view of the surrounding area. So I’m sticking with 2x until fixed.

Recent Changes to the game that make this even harder

  1. no archery skill gain from crafting arrows. Have not tested this. Was posted. Not sure about bows. Makes getting archery up much harder and will lead to other skills rusting if you don’t tamper down skill rust. this skill is more critical since getting to town for guns early is not practical. plus its hard to find ammo for guns.
  2. toilets run out of water: in the past if you cleared a house at the edge of town and it had a working toilet you had water. have been told this has changed and toilets run out of water. so water is alot harder to get. plus going to town for water early is a death sentence.
  3. zombie soldiers randomly spawned in woods. not sure if this is due to increased zombies or not. these used to only be at military locations. these are hard. The hammer was critical to beating 2 of them my first day. I doubt a pointy stick would have worked.

My Build (with 25 points. Might be slightly off, since not at home).
Profession: Blacksmith: This starts with a hammer. Great starter weapon. Don’t understand the fabrication stuff yet but you get a point of that. Other EQ is ok, but its the hammer that matters. you will fight alot early and pointy stick won’t cut it. Have not looked at my new crafting options much yet. So don’t know about that. Open to other professions

str: 14 Dex: 14 int: 12 Perc: 12 (looks like still no reason to raise perc above 12 anymore. im sure this will change eventually).

Good Traits: Fast Learning, Night Vision,Fast Healing,Fleet-Footed,Quick ,Robust Genetics
Robust Genetics hurts early game survival. However, since I will quickly get to 50x zombies, I will need the mutations to survive. For early game, pain resistance is probably better.

Negative: Ugly,Fast skill decay,Near Sighted,Far Sighted,Trigger Happy,Wool Allergy

Fast Skill Decay is scumming early since I turn off skill decay in options. Early game is really hard to survive and I balance this by increase the zombies. Later on I’ll pay for it since it will be harder to keep my skills up.


  1. Water is a problem. Going to town is a death sentence for a few days. Finding a water source outside of town is critical.
  2. Only eat food that has some water such as strawberries, blueberries, apples. if you fill up on other stuff you can’t get water from this. gives a little water, so buys you time
  3. explore alot of territory outside of town during the day. goal is to look for corpses, crash sites, and maybe farms (have alot of zombies now). you need corpses for the water bottles and other liquids.
  4. always carry rocks with you. trains throwing and weakens zombies. with quick and fleet footed, throw and retreat works. plenty of rocks you can find. good to weaken and then finish with melee.
  5. avoid fighting more than 1 zombie in melee for more than 1-2 rounds. throw rocks and smash. your pain will go up quickly and then your too slow to get away. you can’t afford alot of rest time since you really need water quickly.
  6. Just before night fall throw rocks at rabbits, butcher and bring back to shelter. cook, but don’t eat (you need to only eat fruit to get liquid from food). you need survival 2 and cooking 1 for stone pot for water. I usually turn off survival after this so I don’t waste morale. more important to do now since you need to train combat skills quickly. Turn back on later.
  7. you really need to find a water source outside of town. my understanding is toilets empty out. so wilderness houses wont work. mansion pool,standing water, and rivers are critical. you will probably need to relocate from your shelter.
  8. no time to craft early. you need water and combat skills up or your gonna die. remember 4x zombies is just the start. its gonna get worse.
  9. NEVER FIGHT ENCUMBERED. in the past you could afford to fight with a backpack on and other things to hold your stash. There were not tat many zombies and you could run away. not anymore. Have to drop stuff. This is a hassle with the interface. there is no ‘drop all’ and then re-grab my grenades and such. You can’t afford to be encumbered while fighting. you will get pain up too quick and then your too slow to get away.

Secondary Issue:

  1. you will need to board up doors and windows and set traps. Too many zombies. you will get chased back to your shelter. Best option is to lure zombies to 1 broken window. they slow down alot in windows
  2. stockpile 50-100 rocks in shelter so can kill or maim zombies while stuck in window at range. odds are you will have a high pain if they chased you back.
  3. since you are quickly increasing the zombie spawns you cannot leasurely stockpile everything. must make choices. must have traps outside of shelter. probably need a getaway vehicle with fuel nearby.
  4. mark all trap locations. you will probably need to lure zombies to them when you get in trouble. Good to use with rocks and your increased speed.


  1. your skills go up fast. Fast Learning, no skill rust, tons of zombies. means your melee, throw, and dodge will go up really fast.
  2. lots of drops. most zombies don’t drop good stuff, but you can get cargo pants, army pants, etc… quickly to carry stuff. plus chance of better drops just on volume.
  3. its fun. lots of action. The extra points and no skill rust balances the game to make it more manageable. you have to actually make decisions. you can’t just grab everything. time is of the essence because more zombies are coming.
  4. you are turning off skill rust… so take advantage of this early.
  5. i dont think you can ever get to the point where you can cruise. Most roguelikes are hard early, then you get so strong its easy. Even if you have lots of CBMS , good mutations, cars, and guns, with 50x zombies, its not going to be easy.
  6. with 50x zombies there will be zombies everywhere. I don’t care how strong you are. you still will need to boil water and sleep. so you need a secure shelter to keep the zombies out.

Long Term Hope:

  1. larger cities gets fixed. sure this will happen
  2. game can dynamically spawn more zombies to make the game more dangerous if you choose.
  3. would like to see the game add a fatigue factor so you get tired from fighting too much. Prefer that you can have the option to have this turn on over time. so even with 50 zombies and your super build… you still get tired from fighting too much.

My Status:

  1. Survived 1 day, at 50 pain at end of day. torso down to 1.5 bars left.
  2. Cleared a mansion outside of town (just outside of town, so this is dangerous. Has a pool for water. Had about 30+ zombies in it.
  3. Found soldier corpses, so i have a few grenades and a rocket. Critical for survivability. found a few bottles of water. will be a hassle to get water from pool go outside make a little clean water and go back, but i wont die of thirst.
  4. melee 3, dodge 2, throw 2, survival 1.5, cooking 1

Not dead, but real lucky to find a mansion nearby since it has a pool. its at the outskirts of town. so ill get raided with all these zombies. Need to sleep overnight. pain too high and running to town at night with this many zombies is probably a death sentence until i get better skills and EQ.

that being said, I have my water source, i have skills to boil water(though a pain with just plastic bottles), and getting food is easy. So my goals are to wander around outside for corpses and get melee, dodge, throw all to 6-7 in a few days time. have 8 grenades I found which makes wandering less of a risk. i almost died, but survived day 1.

Glad people are enjoying the expanded options :smiley:

To let you have a single map-spanning city, we need to rework player spawning, it just assumes there will be a certain amount of open area in which to place a shelter, and if the city is covering the whole map, that won’t happen. Until that happens city size of 8 or so (2x normal) seems pretty good for making a bunch of cities that mostly cover the map. city size 16 pretty much never ends up with a viable map, and would be nearly impossible to play anyway, since there’s no “not city” at all to hide in.
One option is to reserve at least one bubble of non-city area on the map to stick a shelter in, another is to make spawning in a house or something viable, there’s never any shortage of those! :slight_smile:
Zombie soldiers spawning: A while back, someone added a very rare spawn of a zombie soldier at dead soldier specials. The way spawning and spawn frequency adjustment works, if you crank up spawn frequency that translates into a guaranteed small group of zombie soldiers at every dead soldier special.

Im ok with the zombie soldiers in the woods. Adds a challenge element. The one thing, I think we need to do is find away around the water issue for people who play in hardmode. If you dont get a good spawn location with access to water in the woods, its probably game over if you jack up the zombies. That can go into scenarios for down the road.

As far as the towns. Im sure you guys will figure it out eventually. Not worried about it. It is an ‘experimental build’.

Rather disapointed that no one responded taking this challenge. Wimps.

When we get scores up, we will probably get more takers since it makes sense to give a higher score for harder games. After a while just collecting massive amounts of loot and driving from city to city blowing away zombies gets old in game after game. I did allow for ‘increasing your starting points’ and turning off skill rust to balance out the difficulty level. If you increase the zombies its more like a shooter.

It’s just another crafting skill. Look for skill books to train the early stages if you’d rather not train it by making piles of simple weapons.

As for the metalworking system, it’s just fabrication crafting with a specific set of tools and base materials. Train the skill up a bit and look into the recipes and it’s pretty obvious how it all works.

so fabrication just adds additional granularity? so you moved certain items over to a new skill from previous ones?

I think I read that you guys were going to get rid of secondary skill requirements and just require 1 skill per item right?

Let’s just say you want to make a two-bladed scythe with a spike on top, a handle, and a lighter so you can go out buck-naked (since noone’s watching) and just burn that cigarette behind your ear; you’d need more than just fabrication - there’s mechanics, too, for making all the “swooping” blissfull and easy, some survival so you can adapt it to your current needs and who knows what else.
I believe the basic idea is to have simple items, made from one or two puzzle pieces, and arrays of advanced items to produce, and that could take place at a dozen specific spots - like a carpentry table, a chemical processing, a metalforge, brewery etc. Ever played Settlers or one of its spawns? This is gonna be waaay better when you get NPCs to work with you in the Foundries.