I think Master Zombies are a bit dull at the moment.
It would be very interesting to have a Zombie class that weilds items the same way as NPCs - currently fighting NPCs is the most interesting combat in cataclysm. Changing Master Zombies (which is a silly name imo) to somthing like Possessed Zombies (glowing red eyes of awesome) that can wield, throw and behave as intelligently as humans would be a nice source of wtfpain
Yeah, well, I didn’t think encountering one around 1700 on day 2 was that dull. Those are supposed to be top-of-the-line zeds, and I’d hold that killing one ought to set the blob back a week or so. Upgrading them further really ought to result in something that the player should fear–but is severely worth killing.
(Maybe have it damage/panic all zeds in the map square on its death or something–call it a resonant shock?)
For the short term, give them a really high dodge value and/or have them skitter around and leap like cougars or wolves and/or short range teleport triggered by being targetted (whether the attack hits or not). Long-term: improve their crowd control. Allow them to move around with normal/special zeds surrounding them as a flesh shield.
I like this. There’s probably a reason the blob actively seeks out terrestrial life for infection, right? It basically seems to turn them into carriers and hosts for itself, building bigger and better bodies - it mutates dead humans into various forms, enlarges certain animals, and so on. I’d like to think a master zombie is either someone who managed to retain some of their intelligence and form a sort of symbiosis with the blob, or are some sort of emerging nether intelligence. Either way, they seem like a good keystone for whatever the nether/extradimensional forces (including the blob) are doing, and maybe a good story hook to move from the zombie-fighting stage to the wider world of stuff to encounter.
I like the ideas of master zombies becoming some kind of horde gatherer. Gathering most of the green zeds around them, it both makes them able to use their special ability to more effect, as well as discourages trying to run them down in smaller vehicles as the zeds can potentially stop the car dead.
Make the green zeds prefer following the master over the player, they get to be a protective wall, absorbing bullets and making melee risky, while the specials the master transforms become the threat to the player. Allow the master to weaken his shield himself, but have to fight special zombies a few at a time, or go in quickly, killing the weaker green zombies before they become dangerous at the cost of more dangerous, aggressive tactics, and being in the middle of a horde at close range when the master does go down.
But they might need to get a little smarter as well, give them a short range teleport, like the cougar’s leap, that they use when they think they are about to be run over or an explosive is nearby, or make them try to stay under a roof when they hear a vehicle. Few players are willing to damage their vehicle by driving through a building. Force them to fight it on foot or be willing to spend a lot of batteries on repairs.
And then, with the discussions on static spawns and a thought I heard of making greens randomly mutate to specials over time, perhaps having a master among the population can increase the mutation rate of surrounding tiles. Make the player NEED to kill them.
We need to feel a sense of accomplishment killing a master.