Improvement to mid game

I had play a few characters and I really love the early game. I think the difficulty for early game is just right now.

However, past a certain stage, I realize the game become a grind. When I got my food supplies up, I will start to get some of the more important skills up. Most of them are done through simple tasks that you do when you just wake up with full experience. Mechanics , throwing/firearms/archery (combat skill in general), electronics , first aid are some of them.

I hated this part of the game and the funny thing is, after this part of the game, the game will become easy. I start to one hit/2 hit most Zs, no more food/water problem, I can make almost anything and most parts are really easy to come by.

Here is some ideas that i had and might be able to help making the mid game challenging.

  1. Skill vs Knowledge.
    I thought about this for a while and I think this would make sense. I want to put a cap on most skills(like 10). Skill do not allow you do new things. They should only increase the chance of success and the effectiveness. For example, skill will determines if you can successfully make a flashlight or not.
    Knowledge on the other hand, allow you to make things. Knowledge can be gained may ways. For example, you may find blueprint in the science lab that allow you to make CBMs but if your skill is low, chances are, you will waste the resources and failing to make the CBM. Perhaps you can dismantle a hotplate and learnt how to reconstruct it. If your skill is too low, you may damage the hotplate.
    This fix the “grind” part of crafting and make it more interesting, and more things to find in lab / houses etc.

  2. HeadShoT !
    This is a very random idea I had today. I haven’t look at this part of the code and not sure if it is easy to implement. In most Zs apocalypse , most Z can only be killed with a headshot. I was thinking about making all non-headshot damage non-lethal. So if you hit a Z in the leg and manage to break it , it is still alive but it may not be able to move. If you disable the hand it may have a low chance of hitting you. If you burn the corpse, it will be slowed and slowly dies after a while.
    This makes breaking into the center of the city harder and make it more difficult in the mid game to clear a city.

  3. Z respawn
    I like static spawn, but I don’t like the fact that the town has no more Z and become totally safe. I thought about it and think that the best way to do this is to simulate Zs that roam randomly into the city , attracted by extreme loud noise. Some examples of such noise is gunfire, collapsing buildings, vehicles without mufflers. So instead of spawning in the city, it will spawn some area outside the city and slowly move towards the sound. This provide some kind of surprise when the player wake up and suddenly see a Z. Combine this with 2, that one Z may still cause the player some troubles in the mid game.

Personally I might be able to put (1) into code, but I am not really familiar with the code for (2) and (3). But I think best see what other players think :stuck_out_tongue:

(I’ll ignore point 1, don’t have nothing to add)
About point 2, that seems a good idea, a alternative for it could be a “Realism” mode, with “headshot-only” Zs.
And point 3, there is/was Dynamic Spawn, which Zs respawn (but the game start without Zs). Devs are thinking (don’t know exactly) removing D-Mode and making the game around Static Spawn. They’re also thinking about Z wandering hordes (a horde of zombies walking city-to-city).

I agree with (1) for the most part, although there are case-by-case things where the current system works well IMO (arrow carving, tailoring, pretty much anything involving Survival). But I have indeed been perplexed by my character’s ability to just suddenly figure out really complicated tasks, just by practicing menial stuff over and over. If handled right (in particular, making sure it’s not something that needs to be looked up in the wiki), I think it could also be enjoyable to actually tinker with stuff by disassembling and such, before you can make certain items.

For (2), I think it would require an update to body part code, and aiming code. I’d say implement that stuff first, giving the player alternate ways to deal with enemies (something kinda like Dwarf Fortress, probably), and THEN see about requiring headshots.

(3) Is, from what I gather, something the main devs are planning on implementing already. And I agree, it would be nice to have to defend against proper zombie attacks in cleared areas, rather than just being annoyed that they’ve broken my window and I have to build a new one.

I have no particular comment on 1), and 3) has already been covered; but with regards to 2):

This might be made available as a separate game mode, like classic is now, but it’s not something that’s likely to make it into the core game.

It wouldn’t really be a “Realism” mode so much as a “Storytelling Contrivance” mode. Center mass damage is extremely disruptive and destructive, and while a hole in the chest might not put a zombie down; not having a chest at all will put anything down.

Sorry D: when I typed “Realism” I was thinking of this mode from L4D/L4D2, which Zs are headshot only. Regardless, you’re right.

On the headshot bit, I personally think we should move in the opposite direction, where the tougher zombies can actually survive losing their heads. Or, if not survive it, not have it be a permanent problem.

Remember, these zombies are not really using those heads of theirs for much beyond sensing stuff, the actual motivator is the subprime ichor, and the zombies are taken down by loss of homeostasis rather than any sort of organ damage - to that end, chest shots are actually likely to be more effective against them than headshots.

There’s lots of interesting places we could bring this later, and it makes a lot more sense than the “headshot” mode and is (if I get my way) more the direction we’ll be going in.

For (1), I’ve had the same idea, but the main barriers there are fairly technical. I would like to see something like this, at least, for more “advanced” recipes, and I think the idea of a skill cap is a decent one.

For (3), we’ve got the roaming mob system planned, which should serve to repopulate cleared areas if they aren’t maintained, and the zone system which might repopulate them with things other than zombies, but both of those are a ways down the road if they happen at all (with roaming mobs being far more likely and far more likely to happen soon than the expanding zones)

I kind of know how to add this part into the game, but extremely tedious on the coding side. Unless it is something that people likes, I wouldn’t even start on it :P. Let continue the discussion for this part first.


I agree with this. I think there is a lot of work there and people may end up not liking it as well. Then that would be a waste of time :X

For me the main issue with the current system is the number part of health. I can throw a spear, hit a random part of the body, and the Z just die. Similarly most weapon should not be able to kill Zs. Unlike humans, they don’t have blood, so they can’t bleed to death. They also don’t really have internal organs, i supposed. So traditionally, we can see that they are mainly controlled by the brain, unless we want to go the other direction lore-wise. If we want to stick to traditional Zs, then I would say things that kill them need to destroy the brain.
Fire shouldn’t really kill them, maybe burn their leg, then they slow down, then slowly burn them to death if they stay inside. Shot gun will not kill them , but may damage a large number of parts.

I saw the IRC discussion , just want to put it here to start a small discussion to let others (who are not in IRC) to contribute to this idea.

(1) is similar to something a few of us were kicking around on IRC the other day (regarding electronics crafting), and I think I’d personally like to see it implemented. I think there should still be some recipes that you can rely on just figuring out, but some of the trickier ones do seem like they should involve knowledge other than just skilling up.

Only thing is GlyphGryph seems to be doing an overhaul related to recipe code, so personally I plan to see what that’s about before I go overhauling the same system.

  1. Skill rust already caps development pretty hard around 7-9. Nobody seems to like it; IIRC TDW turns it off entirely. Not sure what value a hard cap would add, and equally unsure why I’d want to have to do more work to get to the same capability-level I can get now.

  2. I’d say separate mode or not at all. Making higher skill mandatory to get zeds to stay down seems like more of the same difficulty-inflation.

  3. Why am I not surprised?