Is there / could there be a mod for constant increasing difficulty?

This is a bit crazy coming from me seeing as I’ve had real trouble getting getting past day 1 (even now I’m only on day 6). But I’ve heard that you can get pretty invincible later on in this game despite the fact that the game apparently does increase in difficult.

So I wondered if there was a mod which could make sure that things continually got harder ie increased number of tougher enemies, less resources etc, just to keep that sense of danger going? For me I can’t wait to eventually reach a position where I’m reasonably comfortable with a decent base, a good strong character etc, but I would prefer not to reach a situation where I could get cocky, because that would be the point where I might get bored and stop playing (or maybe start a new game with increased difficulty mods, although that wouldn’t be the ideal solution).

The draw of this game for me is surviving (ie just getting by) in a dangerous world, and for me I would like that threat to remain constant throughout the game if possible.

There are two things in the way of that currently:

  1. Unbalanced late-game skills and gear. Basically it’s possible to get so strong that no monsters in the game can harm you, really.
  2. Monsters don’t really increase in numbers over time. Instead, you will slowly whittle down their numbers.

But with monster evolution (especially once we nerf it so it’s spread out a bit better over the years), things already do get harder, so once the other two issues are resolved, this should be fine.

As it stands, there’s really no way to make anything resembling dynamic difficulty, which is what sounds closest to that idea. Zombie evolution works buts gives zero fucks about whether the player spent that time just surviving versus beefing up into a living god of war.

I tend to keep zombie evolution off, because…well, either I get flattened, or it does jack shit to stop my one-man/woman/dragon/fungus-army. I rarely encounter a point where the zombie upgrades are just right to improve the challenge. ;w;

I can see how dynamic difficulty would be very hard to incorporate. But I’m guessing it would be easy to create a very basic mod which would very gradually increase the spawn rate of zombies day by day? OK it might be luck of the draw as to whether it completely destroyed you or whether it let you off lightly (although there is an element of that in every game it seems). And OK if you made it late game then it might get a bit ridiculous with so many zombies everywhere. And OK death would be inevitable every game.

But from what I’ve read there is no way to actually “complete” the game, rather it goes on for ever, and given that, I would love to have a mod where it would be about surviving as long as possible, rather than developing to become an unstoppable tank and then maybe getting bored.

So if someone was able to create such a mod (at least until maybe the main game has a change in this area), then I for one would certainly definitely be grateful.

There was talk over a year ago about making a “escape to the west” mod, where there was an unstoppable horde coming from the east and you had to flee from it. Something like that would also be workable.

Or how about a mod which introduces major events at random intervals?

Maybe a meteorite strike or a gas explosion could all but destroy your base leaving a crater and a big fire which you have to get away from because of attracting zombies, and you have to grab what few items are left and make a new start somewhere else.

Or maybe while you’re away your base could be overrun by zombies and again you have to make a new start.

Or maybe an A bomb could be dropped not far away and there is radiation everywhere so you have to move away from where the missile hit.

Or maybe there could be incidents involving the character, maybe they fall and get injured or something and have to get somewhere to stop the bleeding.

There could be lots of different events that could happen which could force you to make a new start in a new area, with a new base, new items to scavenge and craft with etc but with the same character, which could keep things fresh.

For me the best roguelike is one which is endless (like this one), but which gets continuously harder to the point where death is a matter of when rather than if, and so it becomes about surviving rather than winning. And this is even more the case for CDDA.

I started playing a dungeon roguelike recently which I loved, but as soon as I completed it I never played it again, because although I knew the next dungeon would be different, I also knew that I would probably complete it, so the sense of danger was gone. And now that I know that CDDA doesn’t have an ending and also that you can end up being a tank where there’s no danger any more, it’s reduced my enthusiasm a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be playing this game a hell of a lot (I’ve still got a very long way to go before I feel safe in the game), but I fear that the day will come where I’ll feel like I’m just passing the time rather than surviving and may end up stopping playing, which there shouldn’t be a risk of happening considering the potential changes that mods could make.

Humans, humans are who I fear. They can wear the same or better armor, use the same or better weapons, and be better off, more skilled, more prepared, and more intelligent if you’re not careful. they can easily be unpredictable, and some would hug me as easily as others would eat me. They can turn, the can trick, and they can kill. I can easily know the zombie that killed me if there is one, but I won’t know the sniper who blew my brains out, nor why or how. Humans are some of the most resilient and deadliest creatures, we have been killing ourselves for years, but we just won’t die.

An NPC that could invoke the same fear is an NPC done right.

Yeah that’s true. In The Walking Dead the major events are nearly always caused by humans. So maybe there could be human-related events too. You’d want to avoid creating a story mode mod though because the game creates it’s own story.

Although I suppose it might be possible to have a completely separate story-based game mode which created a game with certain random predetermined timed events and a final goal at the end.

But for the main game it would be nice to have a sustained level of threat throughout every game.

Or we could just go the simple route and make bandits more fleshed out. They’d logically be a large portion of the people causing Fallout/S.T.A.L.K.E.R. shenanigans. :V

Yes, it seems like there are lots of options available for mods which could keep the danger and threat levels high and prevent the player from becoming too powerful or too comfortable. Kind of makes me wish I knew how to make mods!

I would love to see NPCs become as varied as player characters can be in terms of mutations, bionics, skills as well as seeing groups of NPCs who may be friendly or hostile. NPCs you encounter should also become stronger as time goes on, just like player characters.

Mutated packs of zombies might be interesting, similar to champion packs in Diablo. You could even go so far as to give them hard-immunities to certain types of damage, particularly as the game continued.

I was thinking seasonal difficulties might provide a bit of flavor for late-game.
Your first couple of seasons would be normal, but after winter had passed, each season would have a chance of being abnormal (severity depending on how long the player has been alive for).

Some example effects:

Random fires occuring during the day.
Volcanic activity / aggressive magma flows.
Meteor strikes replacing lightning storms.
Heat haze, massively reducing weapon ranges.
Energy activity resulting in random zombies being accelerated.
Radiation waves of increasing intensity. The closer you are to the surface / outdoors, the higher the exposure. (forcing the player to survive underground in part)
Scorching UV, damaging the player if he is uncovered or not wearing thick enough protection.
High friction air, where ordinary ballistics become highly ineffective or unpredictable.

Nuclear winter, a permanent snowstorm where moving outdoors would be much slower and difficult.
Icicle spores popping up from the ground like splinter mines. Individually not threatening, but walking on them creates sounds that monsters might hear.
Frost, giving guaranteed moments where your vehicle will lose control as well as poor/no plant growth.
Ice mutation, all outdoor zombies inflict a stacking slow when they hit players and vehicles (regardless of armor absorption).
Persistent ice storms where you take minor damage outdoors.
Brittle mutation, all melee damage doubled for both parties outdoors.
Crystal air, altering the effect of energy/sci-fi weapons erratically.

Spring/Autumn (perhaps keep these mild so as to give the player a break between rough seasons):
Acid pools bubble to the surface slowly.
Wildlife boon causing wild life to greatly repopulate (and obviously zombify shortly) as well as forests becoming laden with living plants. (forcing players out of their lovely forest resort)
Acoustic resonance mutation, magnifying sound loudness high enough that sneaking is no longer the primary option.
Zombie mutation (less zombies in general, more packs of identical specials)
Marsh weather, causing all grass tiles to be more difficult to traverse, sometimes acting as small holes.
Bacterial storm, explosively damaging bleeding and cut damaged individuals.

Really just the kind of things to force you out of your comfort zone in late-game. Not all effects would have to be a malus, just something to keep things interesting in late game.

Perhaps there could even be long-term quests to eliminate(or increase) certain weather conditions that players could attempt. For instance your game would be seeded with different malus seasons (you’d experience these consistently after the first winter) and you’d work towards restoring the world back to normal (mostly for your own convenience of course), otherwise the effects may intensify beyond your control.

Magitek, that’s some brilliant ideas!

Yes some great ideas, let’s hope that some can be incorporated.

Until then though, is it possible to change things mid-game to increase the difficulty? It looks like mods can only be chosen at the beginning, correct? But are there console commands that could be used mid-game?

How about making the spawn rate and monster evolution value dependent on base stats and skills? The higher they are the difficult it gets. Maybe it could be made in LUA (has no idea how lua works).

If you want to be mean without punishing survivalist players, you could always go the route of learned resistances.
e.g the more bludgeoning damage you use, the more zombies become resistant over time. There’s also the possibility of applying it powerfully to individual monsters while playing (designed specifically for making the players life hard), spontaneous mutation sort of thing.

In the short term, i’m sure you could just throw up the spawn rate and number of special zombies, but it might get annoying/impossible if not well balanced. If there’s one thing Cataclysm doesn’t have, it’s a difficulty curve. It’s pretty fun till late game though.

Right. If there was some way to sync monster evolution to player skills, I can see that being an option for dynamic difficulty. But that would fuck players over if they have skills rusting, would need to be focused on combat skills only, and would get bent over the table by Stats Through Skills unless it also looks at STAT increases as a source of “how much can the player handle” measurements.

I’ve been replaying Oblivion since a few weeks, and I’d just like to warn everyone for the main problem with increasing difficulty of a game.

Loss of resources.

When a game increases in difficulty and has crafting etc. you run the risk of locking the player out of certain resources because low_level_enemy_4 stops spawning and no longer drops its exclusive drop.

This game is focused on scavenging resources should always be available by moving else where. Besides, most zombie drops remain the same when a monster evolves.