Mega Hordes Suggestion

Pretty much what it says on the tin.

A horde.

But mega.

Made up of several overmap tile hordes traveling together.

I think it would add a lot to the game. Currently the world feels very dead and sandboxy. It lays dormant at the players whim. The occasional, tiny “horde” aka group imho doesn’t pose much threat, even if the impossible happens and they wander into your base.

The mega hordes would add to the game, it would make the world more alive, it would force the player to react to something, finally which is a big problem for me - too often I find myself lost, wondering what I should do next and not seeing much reason why I should do anything. I want to survive. I want to be forced to run away or fight, to be forced into a corner and pull off an awesome, dangerous and bold escape that would make my blood start pumping. I want to wake up in the middle of the night whether inside my base or in my car and feel terror on realization that I am completely surrounded from every side. I want to be desperate, and a Mega Horde is about the only thing that would do that.

Swarms of ants, bees, Mega Forests and Mycus Waves are a bonus for variety. Maybe even a stampede of deer or something of that type.

Just imagine it. Opening up the map and instead of dully searching for a deep blue L or something, you feel the tension and worry about that giant blinking blob of Zs as they wonder dangerously close to you. And then a giant frog hops on a minefield next to you. You think nothing more than “ha, free meat” at first. But then you realize. Your pupils dilate. Your heart races. You open the map. You close it and pick up the meat. You open the map again and…

It has moved.

Towards you.


So, how many zeds are we talkin’ here? Hundreds? Thousands? Massive numbers of any type of zed, even hulks, are meaningless to a fully kitted out survivor. Heavy survivor armor for melee damage, dielectric capacitance CBM (or Faraday shark suit if you’re lucky) for electrical damage, acidproof mutation for acid damage. Take any martial art with a counter attack and watch the horde break on you like waves on rocks. You’d be in more danger of dying of dehydration than damage taken. It only gets more broken if you use the vehicle additions mod and use the AoE electric turrets.

Once the player gets powerful enough, they’d probably end up actively seeking out mega hordes due to the presumably high concentration of shockers (shockers = power storage CBMs = plutonium cells). And once they clear out all the mega hordes in the area just like they cleared out all the labs, they’ll just end up drifting aimlessly again.

Oh lord, and what about the aftermath? All those corpses to smash…

I’d say if you want a challenge as an endgame survivor, go for quality, not quantity. And “quality” does not just mean “how high can we pump up these numbers”, because in the end the survivor will always win the numbers game. Be creative. Make the player work with multiple mechanics to reach their goal, give them options, and give them incentive. Taking the labs for example, there are several ways to simply get inside (ID card, electrohack, explosives, jackhammer/pickaxe) and deal with the turrets (facetank, EMP grenades, smoke grenades, cloaking). There’s a variety of enemies (zed scientists, manhacks, robots, bio-operators), and multiple reasons to raid a lab at every level of play (chemicals, CBMs, mutagen, the finale).

Or, well, that’s just how I see it. I just love labs. If you want a massive all-out brawl, that’s cool too. But I don’t think stuffing the reality bubble to the point of popping is the way to do it.


I’ve been working on this on and off for well over a year:


hordes that wander overmap kind of random and like weather? sure, but with the condition that they don’t home as well, they don’t absolutely destroy the value of a stationary home, and the game provides some forewarning andor clear way to avoid the majority of them.

zeds just walking westward in a straight line would destroy walls and windows, and some method of spawning zeds further out would be helpful.

given the meta ‘zeds go where they know’ I’d expect them to follow open roadways.

given the nature of size zero city games, I’d suggest paying attention to that balance too.

ideally mega hordes wouldn’t start right away but perhaps trigger after a player stays in a small radius for too long, or be time-based.

and hopefully they’d remove many local city hordes from the spawn pool while active, providing a chance to loot inner city neighborhoods

Not really like weather, they’d tend to congregate in cities and such unless disturbed, then wander towards the disturbance, eventually losing interest and wandering back to structures of some kind.

That’s funny, I don’t remember asking for conditions.
I don’t know what you mean by “don’t home as well”, but they’d tend to follow noises around, but only particularly loud ones are going to have much impact. Some monsters would track scents, but not your run-of-the-mill zombies.
They would tend to enhance the value of stationary homes, because a stationary home has a lot more resources for dealing with hordes. In a vehicle you can pick up and move, but that’s your only option, just endlessly running from them and fixing up the vehicle. Both are feasible of course, but there are scenarios that better mobile hordes would enhance greatly, mostly revolving around stationary bases.

The dominant meta is “zeds walk in straight lines”, if they’re wandering randomly they might prefer roads, but if they’re following some stimuli they’re just going to move toward where they think it was in a straight line.

Zombie populations are going to continue to derive from human population centers, so city-less games are going to be fairly zombie-less as well.

Like literally everything else, they will spawn at game start, though I do have some ideas around having some of them spawn in a “dormant” state at game start, so as long as you don’t provoke them, they won’t mess with you.

If you actively lead them away, yes, but if you don’t it’d have the opposite effect of re-populating sections of cities after they’ve been cleared.

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Wow your introduction really got my imagination going, it would definitely spice up the game. Lets hope mr Kevin can make it happen!

This would be a fun challenge for a trapper master:
Build a huge trap field with mines, bear traps and whatever high end traps there are and try to grind them down without actively attacking them.

You can do this already. But another way to take out a million man herd is to cull them to a forest and light everything on fire. I’ve done this already and it works really well. Problems only arise when you find the reality bubble is to small. That is my only gripe.

Which reminds me. How big is the reality bubble Kevin? Will it be bigger in future editions/experimentals?

It’s roughly what you can see, with just a little border around it. I don’t expect it to get much bigger, because the overhead of running the game very rapidly increases as you make that area larger. However, I do have some plans for “cheating” a bit in various ways that let the player interact with things outside the reality bubble.

The fire thing in particular is very challenging because fire can spread chaotically and sustain itself as it does, so it’s very difficult to use our usual approach of just forgetting about it until the next time it is loaded and then making it catch up to the present.

I like what you’re thinking here: quality over quantity? Maybe a super dangerous zombie that has abilities so dangerous all but the most fully kitted survivor wouldn’t think twice about running from? This zombie should be able to sprint temporarily, but only temporarily so that even starting players can run away from it. It should probably start with a rifle/shotgun and be able to actually shoot the gun, like some kind of intelligent zombie/zombie hybrid.

So basically, a zombie that can break into your trapped base, avoid or ignore the traps, forcing you to run away from your “safe spot”. And a way of permanently ruining your “safe spot” like spreading lava all over the ground, ruining any farm or item caches you might have accumulated. This way, your survivor always feels like you really need to have a grab bag to run away and start over in case this scary zombie hybrid shows up.

The zombie should be very loud, waking up even sleeping player characters with poor hearing that are heavy sleepers. The player should be given some kind of notification…like “having a really bad feeling” and “you hear a horrifying sound” so that you have the chance to pack up very fast and get out of town. Perhaps the zombie should disable all car engines within the players reality bubble, so you can’t just mobile base your way out of trouble. This way, you can’t just run over the zombie to kill it and you even have to leave your precious deathmobile behind.

I think this would be very harsh on new players, so it should not be enabled by default, and added only as a mod. Like some kind of zombie hybrid apex predator. Only at the very end of the game, with either a mutation that requires multiple stages and/or rare non-craftable CBM would you even think about trying to kill this zombie, instead of running away and starting over.

I feel like whatever creature you’re describing should not be a zombie.

Yeah, that makes sense. It probably shouldn’t be a zombie, maybe it’s like an alien from another dimension eating everything in our world, reducing Earth to an empty wasteland. It should be neutral to all other creatures. It would be pretty sad if all you had to do was run towards ants/fungus to nullify it.

This eater eats human souls or maybe just everything organic, so that’s why it’s tracking you and always shows up if you linger in one place too long. Every time you sleep, it senses your mind and gets closer to the player, eventually teleporting to the edge of your reality bubble. This would make underground bases in small rooms a very, very bad idea as it would have a chance to immediately step out of nowhere in your vision. There would be no way to deal with this creature without a endgame mutation/CBM.

Some more thoughts: would be great if we could get a way for whole map tiles to be corrupted/destroyed as this creature tracks the player. As time passes, all tiles known to the player become permanently destroyed and it becomes like a wasteland. No food can be grown on wasteland and it would be completely empty and of no value to the player. This would force the player to keep exploring the unknown, taking risks just to stay one step ahead of whatever is trying to eat your soul.

This game takes a bunch of inspiration of lovecraft, theres tonnes of big, mega dangerous, boss level monsters.