Is monster evolution scaling bugged/backwards?

I feel like something might be wrong with the monster evolution speed. According to the options menu, a higher number means slower evolution, with 4 as default, 0 as minimum, and 100 as maximum. I wanted evolution to happen a little slower in my world, so I upped it to 10. But by day 5 I’m already fighting zombie necromancers and skeletal juggernauts, in various places around my city map. There are no special buildings around or anything like that, and these are in areas that I’d already been through and only found basic monsters in before.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine set his to 2 and didn’t see his first evolved monsters until day 80.

Is it backwards? Is a higher number actually a faster evolution speed? Is there some kind of bug? If I want evolution to happen actually slowly should I up the number to 50 or something? Or lower it down to 2 like my friend?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Is it possible that you’ve started a scenario (or using the setting) which puts you further into the year?
For example the scenario The Next Summer, Sheltered or Ambush? Or a Spawn delay setting anything other than 0?

I don’t believe so. The scenario was “large building” and I started in a shopping center food court. I didn’t touch the spawn delay setting. I increased city size to 16, reduced spacing to 0 (to make an all-city world), increased spawn rate to 2 and decreased monster speed and resilience to 50% (so there would be many zombies but much slower and weaker). I didn’t touch any other settings, and double-checking the world settings, spawn delay is set to 0.

In the game it is currently spring day 65. I believe the game starts on day 60 by default. I am using the latest stable version (Ellison).

What locations were the evovled zombies in?

every zombie is assigned a ‘half-life’ value in days (i think standard zombies is 28). this value is the point at which half of the population of that type of zombie is expected to be evolved into the next type. some will do it earlier, some later, but that number is the mid-point or ‘half-life’ for that population to be upgraded. The evolution scaling factor is a multiplier for that half-life value. so at default 4.0 evolution the standard zombie has a half-life of 112 days (4x28)…again some WILL evolve sooner, sometimes much sooner, so you can find upgrades early, even day 1. if you want SLOWER/LESS evolution then increase the evolution scaling factor. if you want FASTER/MORE evolution then turn the scaling factor down.

TLDR: no matter what you set the evolution at you CAN still get upgraded zombies right at the start. Random be Random.

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I’m finding evolved zombies all over the place. It isn’t just one or two. They’re in standard, basic city locations - houses, streets, restaurants, etc.

I get that it’s possible for randomness to cause mutations earlier by chance. However, this isn’t just a few. There are loads of them. It seems at least a tenth of all the zombies in the entire city are suddenly evolving on day 5. So that’s why I’m wondering if there is some kind of bug here, or if I misunderstood the instructions (or if they were wrong). By your description, I understood the instructions correctly, and I turned the scaling factor up to 10 (so on average 280 days for evolution by your math), so the fact that so many of them are evolving this early feels like something else has to be up. If I’d seen one or two of these I’d agree it’s probably just random chance, but so many… It feels wrong. :-/

By setting the spawn rate to 2 you have doubled the number of zombies that spawn. This means that roughly twice as many zombies will upgrade early. Don’t know if this accounts for all of the evolved zombies you are seeing, but it explains at least part of them.

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As has been said - one huge city and x2 number of spawns = a LOT of zombies. That might mean significant number (in absolute terms) of randomly fast evolved zombies. So maybe that’s it? And maybe not, hard to say. I am tempted to test it myself.