Human Adversaries

“without any motivation or reasoning applied at all” is a gross mischaracterization of the discussion. A close-knit group of people has decided that trying to communicate with other survivors isn’t worth the risk, so they shoot on sight. This is a perfectly reasonable scenario, even short of the fact that people aren’t reasonable in the first place.

I object to ALWAYS having a nonviolent conflict resolution option (which is also a strawman, keep your distance, bam, nonviolent conflict resolution, run away, there’s another one). Sometimes people are going to be set on what they’re going to do, and nothing you can do is going to change their mind.

I already pointed out that it wouldn’t be sensical to have crazy hill cannibals without some outside action, but it’s perfectly sensible to posit a more subtle reaction to the goo, e.g. “The Crazies” in some cases.

“Running from the people with guns who shoot on sight” is not actually likely to be an effective survival strategy, especially if they chase you, especially if they are about as .

I’m fine with having situations where a nonviolent option simply isn’t possible, but the other people in this situation should still feel human.

It’s okay to occassionally encounter some hostile humans where escape or fighting back is the only way out - but if we start introducing monster humans as “filler” until we can have real NPCs, then that’s going to be the only thing people encounter, assuming NPCs are turned off which they are by default, and I think that would be injurious to the feeling of the game.

But maybe I’m just silly and want far more from things thematically than I should expect, and as long as we can build crazy stuff and kill shit everything is fine.


I also said I’m alright with humans that had been somehow altered to be barely human anymore, mentally, and even gave the example of CHUDs which are already in and exactly that. Once we do get decent NPCs, I’d even like to play this up more, where if the player mutates too much it’s eventually assumed that THEY have become one of these crazy mutants that can’t be negotiated with. My contention was simply with placing “bandits” and “looters” in as generic enemies that can shoot back but are otherwise indistinguishable from random monsters, and which would then form the entirety of the normal players interactions with “other humans”.

I’ve tried trading with NPCs. After a few weeks ingame they all have the same reaction:


It’s kinda hard to see the NPCs as “friendly” when the vast majority of time it’s either “I WILL KILL YOU AND THE GENERATION OF CHILDREN AFTER YOU IF YOU HAVE THEM.” or “PISS OFF”

That existing NPCs need to be redone is blatantly obvious, esp. since I need to do them to complete the Kickstarter rewards. And I will be redoing them for .10, even if it kills me.

But they are also a total non issue for most players since they are off by default.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the game starts about three days after the cataclysm? Barring insanity, there’s going to be a human being under that traumatized being holding you at gunpoint to take your food and medicine, taking advantage of this fact when NPCs are overhauled is awesome. If the mind’s intact, the mutant with poisonous claws and fangs won’t kill you “just because” or for fun, unless they so desired before the apocalypse, perhaps.

Fallout’s raiders on the other hand. They’ve grown up many years after a global cataclysm with the principle of shooting on sight if they’re not with you and taking what they want. To survive through brute strength, force of will and cunning without getting soft by having morals, I imagine. There’s not much humanity there, just an enemy to put down, a monster. One that can talk and shriek in pain when lit on fire, yum!

tl;dr human enemies should have a good reason for murdering you. Insanity? Sure, kinda weak reasoning though. Cannibals? I can see it, down the line there should be the option of talking with them, maybe making an offering of food or other nice things to save your hide. Hell, it’d be a good hook for a quest. If you’re a doctor, you might even offer to save a wounded member of this group if you’re allowed to live.

Glyph pretty much wrote what I was trying to get across here, oh well…

[quote=“GlyphGryph, post:24, topic:3806”]That existing NPCs need to be redone is blatantly obvious, esp. since I need to do them to complete the Kickstarter rewards. And I will be redoing them for .10, even if it kills me.

But they are also a total non issue for most players since they are off by default.[/quote]

Well if it’s gonna be in before .10 then I don’t see the point in installing a patch in the meantime, the time’d be better used trying to implement a cover-system of some kind so gunplay in the open isn’t suicide… Just my thoughts.

Now, there is one type of human adversary I think could work. What I’m opposed to is people who seem to have an almost suicidal urge to see you dead - aka standard human game enemies.

If there’s an enemy that sees you, (maybe sometimes) shouts out a warning to the log, and then proceeds to either outright flee or shoot at you AND flee, I’d be alright with that. The whole point though, is that survivors should feel like survivors, and sacrificing their lives to outright kill a random dude, like they do in most games, just plain doesn’t fit with that.

This is a false dilemma.
Adding crazy canibal enemy or raider encounters: About 2 hrs of work (an evening or two) for someone moderately skilled at modding (there are at least 30 active devs that would be up to doing this)
Implementing a basic cover system: A week of effort from one of the elite devs (there are about 10 people that qualify)
Implementing the cover system we WANT: A month or more of sustained development, probably involving work from several of the lead developers.

Please consider this kind of thing when saying not to do things. What it boils down to is whether someone capable of implementing it is interested enough to put in the work. “don’t do because I want more” is nonsensical.

Forgive me for using this as an example but there’s reason for it, in STALKER there are a couple of times when the Bandits will try to mug you, usually doing so successfully. The first time you’ll be lucky to have an AK but most the time you’ve still only got a pistol, maybe an SMG. They come at you with several AKs, several SMGs, a few shotguns and heavily outnumber you. Not to mention they have grenades and know how to use them. The second time is a similar situation, you shouldn’t be able to win (but it’s interrupted by a blowout if I remember right) and the third time they weren’t expecting to see you and frankly still out-gun you even though there’s only two of them. (I had a pistol and one mag VS their AKs and what would have realistically included my fancy guns)

If you’re going up against Bandits, or Ex-Military “Bandits” I feel there should be some kind of confidence value, EG if you walk up on them wearing a house coat carrying a broom they will put your sorry ass down but if you come up on them heavily mutated, in powered armor, carrying an LMG they’re gonna run.

That said I completely agree with some kind of in-log warning. “Hey, we’re looting this building. Not you. This shit is ours, get out or we will bury your ass.” “This is a US Army operation, leave the area or you will be fired upon.” “This is a State Police Department Operation, please move along or we will use deadly force.”

Maybe we should put the hostile human enemies on a release scale, like how it’s planned with special zombies? But instead of rating it on how dangerous the zombie is, rate it on how reasonable the human is.

The first starting enemies would be present from the start, and are simply desperate people just trying to survive by looting, just like you. They think of a player as a player thinks of current NPCs: either a psychopath who will shoot them and their family down for no real reason, a crazy person who makes a snack from their own lighter, or just an asshole in general. However, they won’t attack you because they’re still basically human. If you try acting dangerously towards them or be sufficiently cybernetic/mutated, they run off. However, they present a problem in that they go for essential supplies you want to have since they’re scavengers just like you.

The second enemies would be around after a week and would be criminal scumbags who will take what they need from anyone who they can take it from. These guys are not like the raiders from the Fallout 3 series: they are simply people who were assholes in regular life but are now given guns and a lawless situation to do what they like. They act similar to wolves and other monsters with behavior specifics: they are stay away from armed players, players who just killed a human, and anyone lacking in valuables. However, if the player is not any of these three things, then they go in for the kill. So, in essence, they are not psychotics but they are criminals and don’t hestitate in murdering you.

The third enemies would be around after a season and would be creepy survivalists who will kill you just for being on their turf. They have seen some serious shit, and know that just because something looks human doesn’t mean it is, so they don’t trust anyone anymore. They will murder you, and are also very good at sneaking around since they wear ghille suits that require a perception roll to detect. Thanks to their paranoid attitude, everyone who goes for them is a kill. Luckily, they tend to be self-sufficient and put up warning signs of mutilated corpses around their territory, so they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.

The forth enemies would be around after a year and would be psychotics who have finally snapped from all the insanity they have seen from the past year. They can be horrifically mutated, heavily equipped with late-game weapons and armor (Or at least, their attacks/defense would have the same effects as late-game weaponry and armor), and/or bionically modified, making them a tough foe to beat. When they are encountered, they will attack you even if you are a heavily armed mutated cybernetic demon. They are just plain monsters.

So, why are these people attacking you? Well, we have to face that the lore in Cataclysm says that this the worst fucking apocalypse ever. It’s like a horrible combination of Revelations, a zombie movie, and a Lovecraftian incursion. As the situation grows worse and worse, with hope of rescue growing steadily down the tubes, who is to say that the people would not too grow worse and worse? The good people either get killed, leave New England for greener pastures, or lock themselves in their houses. The only people left are the insane, the bandits, and the desperate. By the end of the first year, I imagine it’d be a similar situation to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: everyone is so desperate and the situation so bleak that attempting to care about your fellow man just seems pointless.

I turned a C.H.U.D. into this:

{ "type":"MONSTER", "id":"mon_human_terror", "name": "terrified human", "species":"MAMMAL", "symbol":"@", "color":"ltgray", "size":"MEDIUM", "material":"hflesh", "diff":4, "aggression":20, "morale":10, "speed":80, "melee_skill":4, "melee_dice":1, "melee_dice_sides":3, "melee_cut":0, "dodge":3, "armor_bash":0, "armor_cut":0, "item_chance":0, "luminance":0, "hp":40, "special_freq":0, "death_function":"NORMAL", "special_attack":"NONE", "description":"A nearly unrecognizable human being, obviously unfit to deal with the stress and danger posed by the cataclysm.", "flags":["SEES", "HEARS", "WARM", "BASHES", "HUMAN", "VIS40", "BONES"], "placate_triggers":["PLAYER_WEAK"], "fear_triggers":["PLAYER_CLOSE", "HURT", "FIRE", "SOUND", "FRIEND_ATTACKED"], "categories":["CLASSIC"] },

(plus this line: { “monster” : “mon_human_terror”, “freq” : 320, “cost_multiplier” : 2, “pack_size” : [1,10] }, tucked into the GROUP_HOUSE entry in monstergroups… Of course they have no items on death, and I have yet to find them naturally in-game yet… (The one I spawned through debug ran away properly, just left a naked butcherable body on death…). To be useful they’d need some clothes and minor items added, and a couple flavor speech statements wouldn’t hurt either (Leave me alone! Gwararaaa!! Noooooo!! crazy/terrified type stuffs…). Generally harmless, and by the tags I added I’m assuming the placate_triggers means they’d ignore you if you were too weak to be threatening (like them?) and I meant for the “pack size” stuff to supplement “anger_triggers”:[“FRIEND_ATTACKED”, “FRIEND_DIED”, “HURT”] (where they’d hopefully turn on you as a group if you harm or kill one…) but the code segment above has no anger triggers added…


Perhaps another thing could be benevolent (but not really that complicated AI wise) humans? Like, say, a guy in a barricaded house who serves as a version of the caravan from defense mode?

Non-complicated AI humans are a great idea for making classic zombie mode a challenge after the first 5 days. Currently, once you can kill vanilla zombies in one hit and have some speed altering drugs, you’re pretty much invincible.

I would much prefer some overly-crazy humans were put in to increase the challenge and add more variation than waiting until a fully functioning NPC AI was in place. If you need justification: All the normal people have fled or are dead - everyone left has gone mad. Perhaps they could be ‘infected humans’ which is a stage between being alive and zombified?

Regardless, having a cannibal camp or a few infected humans/crazed humans would add a serious amount of variation/challenge to classic mode, and I don’t think it needs much justification.

Haha, unfortunately “crazies” aren’t classic zombies either… Have you tried upping the spawn rate?

Even with a high spawn rate, as long as you can one shot things (and have decent dodge) it becomes pretty much a cakewalk (as a slightly off topic note, I feel CZ zombies should be massively upped in damage resistance). I’ve always thought of ‘classic’ mode as just not containing anything otherworldly or sci-fi? Obviously having it turn into fallout with zombies isn’t desirable, but a few crazies here and there would certainly stay ‘within the fiction’ in my opinion

Alright, been eyeing this for awhile and something just clicked in the back of my head as far as an always hostile human type enemy.

The Friendlies

Picture the sort of after-the-fall raiders that illicit that knee-jerk run and hide reaction from sane individuals. Fidgeting maniacs latticed with fresh scars and body graffiti toting the sort of ad-hoc bastardized God-worriers the PC would craft as they prowl about looting. Now picture them gibbering helpful advice, terms of endearment and friendly phrases all the while.

A group of friendlies notices the player and gives chase to cries of “Howdy Neighbor!” the staccato of their firearms and whir of their chainsaws punctuated by the occasional expression of concern over the PC’s distressed state and light-hearted banter.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I was being chased by a psychotic with a parking meter ((Parking Meater if you will.)) few things he could shout would be more chilling than “I love you!”

“I’m doing this,” she screamed as she hit him over the head with a piece of rebar, “because I LOVE YOU!”

What can I say, I like the idea mainly because when I first started playing a Mi-Go that had spawned in an apartment building lured me to my doom by carrying on a conversation with itself. I thought I was eavesdropping on NPC’s through the wall–was I ever wrong!

As for an in-lore explanation for the friendlies: Somehow a virus has found its way into human language, infecting certain words, and only certain words infect certain people. Once these infected words are said and understood, the virus takes hold of the host.