Horde Mechanics: How do they work?

So, I’m considering turning on hordes in my game, but I have a few questions regarding how they work before I do, in case they make some of my long term plans impossible to achieve.
Some of my more ambitious plans include:

Clearing a city, walling it off, and repopulating it with NPCs.
Constructing an underground vault city.

My questions are:
1.) What are the conditions which cause a horde to spawn?

2.) What determines the size of a horde?

3.) What is the maximum overmap distance a horde can detect activity from?

4.) Can a horde spawn anywhere? Ex: if you wall off a city cleared of enemies, could they spawn inside the walls?

5.) Can surface hordes detect underground sounds? If yes, from how far? How deep would you need to dig to be undetectable by zombie hordes?

6.) Does being deeper underground affect the chances for a horde of subterranean creatures, like the giant mole rat or giant worm spawning?

I don’t know the answer to all of them but I play with horses so I can at least answer ahat I’ve gathered from observation.

  1. Hordes spawn when they enter the reality bubble. I think large amounts of zombies gathered in an area will form a horde when they leave your reality bubble, but generally the hordes don’t spawn out of thin air. You can still clear a town by killing all the hordes. It’s just much harder than with static.

  2. I’m not sure about size. I’ve ran into hordes that appear to consist of about six zeds and others that are around 40. Multiple hordes can converge on one point so it’s hard to say for sure though.

  3. I don’t know.

  4. Yeah they could. The whole wall would have to be within your reality bubble. It’s been an ongoing problem, but as I understand it the game can only mostly detect closed off areas, but if the whole area isn’t inside the reality bubble then it assumes it’s open.

  5. I think only with experimental Z levels on but I’m not 100% sure.

  6. Not that I’m aware of. All hordes are zombie derivatives. Everything else seems to spawn normally. I’ve never seen a horse underground, which makes it the best way to travel in the city.

I know zombie hordes can be potentially enormous, with hundreds or even thousands of zombies. What I want to know is what controls how big they are? For example, is it based off of local zombie population, and if I purge the area, will the hordes that spawn there be limited in size?

Hordes are basically groups of zombies that are outside your reality bubble. Without hordes on all zombies will be completely inactive outside the reality bubble. With hordes on they start wandering across the world map and will spawn zombies if they reach the reality bubble.

Technically, hordes consist of the same zombies that spawn with static spawns. So you can expect hordes of zombie kids near schools to be very big and hordes made out of wandering zombie soldiers from crash sites to be rather small. Although multiple hordes can merge together and grow very big.

Hordes are attracted to noise, IIRC the distance they react to sound at is found by the formula sound/4or5 (so if your gun makes 60 sound when you fire it, one shot will attract hordes from 12-15 overmap tiles away).

Hordes will spawn once they reach the edge of the reality bubble. Currently there are no obstacles to hinder hordes movement outside the reality bubble so they cross forests, swamps, rivers and walls outside the reality bubble just as easy as they do fields. This does unfortunately lead to silly situations like hordes spawning in your perfectly safe fire house because you left it for too long, or breaching massive fortifications outside the reality bubble as if they didn’t exist.

Only if you have Z-levels on. Even if they do hear the sound of your Jackhammer they still will not spawn underground. So even at Z -1 you will be perfectly safe from any and all hordes. At least until you go back to the surface.

No, so far only zombies gather into hordes.

My monsters’ spawn is set to 50 and all of my hordes are very tiny… They should be called “groups” of zombies rather than hordes. Despite the fact that my LMOE shelter is in the middle of nowhere, zombies still knock on my doors from time to time. If you attack zombies which are city population you should run FAST because they will gather into many bigger hordes which act as one huge horde. On the other hand, imagine that a given city is separated into four big squares. If you interrupt zombies from one square, zombies from the other squares are not “active” and they won’t gather into a horde. Maybe hordes work differently but my experience tells me something else

So even with hordes turned on, there are still a finite number of zombies in the explored area then? If I have killed all the zombies in the surrounding cities, more won’t just suddenly pop up from nowhere and show up at my doorstep?

They can’t show up from outside the explored area can they?

They do seem to still wander around slowly and appear in cleared areas. I’ve cleaned a huge space around my base, and there are multiple layers of walls, but zombies still show up inexplicably from time to time.

This is correct. Hordes don’t spawn zombies infinitely, they merely make the zombies outside the reality bubble actively move around instead of waiting for the player to “wake them from their cryogenic sleep”

If you killed every zombie in the town then it is unlikely for a big horde to come knocking at your door. A few random zombies might come wandering from, say, that prison you ignored, but nothing scary will likely show up.

I’m not exactly sure on this. I think they can come from any place the game has already generated but since they move moderately slowly it is unlikely for hordes from unexplored areas to bother you much.

Sweet. I’ve mostly cleared out the nearby towns, as well as the mall to a significant extent (that mall was a doozy though, I killed maybe a hundred or so easy, but I’m certain there are still a bunch inside).
When I go on looting expeditions, I make a point of finding the largest concentrations, parking my tank, and then honking the horn until they stop showing up to get serviced by the 6 lascannons.

What would it take to get the attention of every (or at least most) of the zombies on the overmap, so they will all come to me and get baptised in laser fire? Think setting off a mininuke would work? I suspect I could probably deal with a pretty big horde with my tank. More so if I set up the turrets I’ve been stockpiling, and I’ve got a few more lascannons and other mounted weapons I could stick on my tank as well.

I’d like to just exterminate them all at once instead of having to hunt them all down or worry about them showing up unexpectedly.

The overmap is huge. 180x180 tiles is a lot, I don’t know if we have anything loud enough to get the attention of most of the zombies out there. Although a mininuke is pretty loud so it might do the trick after all.

Hm, looks like an RDX charge is louder than a mininuke so might want to try that instead if you manage to get your hands on one.

Is that the maximum world size, or just the number of tiles on the screen without scrolling? I could swear I’ve driven farther than that.

Thats silly. I’m pretty sure I can craft one though.

180x180 tiles is the size of one overmap, not the whole world which is pretty much infinite. I can’t think of a simple way to describe the overmap even though it isn’t anything complicated so maybe someone else can do that :confused:

No, I think I understand. Overmaps are basically map sectors correct?

Pretty much. They regulate map specials, so if labs have their spawn rate set from 4 to 14, anywhere from 4 to 14 labs will spawn in any given overmap.

So if an overmap is 180x180 map tiles, how many squares across is one of those tiles? And how much linear distance (like in meters or feet) is a single square?

I’d like to be able to figure out just how far I’m traveling for example, or determine how much concrete, rebar, etc I need to build a curtain wall around a city, to a more precise value than just “a metric shitload”.

Each overrmap tile is 24x24 regular tiles big. As for how big each individual tile is I will have to say I don’t really know.

Good thread. I’ll add that it’s been my experience that continuous noise is much more effective at drawing a horde than one-off sounds, even if the one-off sounds are louder. Hordes tend to wander a bit and can veer off and miss you entirely.

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Anybody know how loud the air raid siren vehicle part is? I bet its pretty damn loud.

Wish I could bolt some big ass speakers to the back of my tank and hook them up to an MP3 player or something.

This is why I prefer sacrificing buildings to draw hordes. As a bonus you can usually get a good number of them to burn to death or get buried in debris.

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Ok. Now I really want to mod in enormous speakers, build a monster truck, and have it blast “come and get your love” at top volume for a while.

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