Non-Static Spawn

That was…difficult. However, I think we’re basically getting to the same conclusion - stuff you do passively boosts zombie growth over time. So instead of ‘noise/explosions/smell = instant zombies’, it’s more that it just boosts the spawn rate in that rough vicinity and at a more gradual rate, with an ‘area cap’ so you feel as though you’re making progress.
I don’t think it needs a complicated model, and the most simplistic adjustment would just mean making sure that it spawns zombies a few overmap squares away from you so that you don’t feel that they’re just popping out of thin air as they do now, with a city wide Z cap of buildings x 25/50 zombies.

I think this could be added in as another variable within another spawning mechanism - so for instance the base Z cap or types of zombies spawned could increase over time. I just don’t like the idea of a linear time based spawn rate, as I feel it’s too fixed and would seem a bit too ‘unrealistic’ (as much as zombie games can get anyway…). It’s the same with the tension meter, I imagine you’d develop all sorts of tricks (or exploits) to keep the tension meter down, and it’d become too gameable, even if it was quite fuzzy.

Legendary zombies? Zombies generated with random abilities and stats?

“Huge fat zombies. His body consists of several bodies of people. Surrounded by gas, corrosive, all living and not living objects. Pukes acid over long distances”
“Slim skeletal body. Moves on all fours. Travel speed is very fast. The limbs have sharp bony growths. May emit a loud sound over, which run all the zombies in the area.”
“Humanoid creature charred. Most of the body is a metal and electronic inserts. Instead of hand pipe spewing flames. Looks very strong.”
[size=8pt]Hi Tarn Adams (DF).[/size]
:dream off:
Yes, I like it.

We can never go wrong with more badass zombies to test our badass guns/bows/melee/explosives skills on!

That was an excellent summary. Rather than shotgun blasts making zombies pop out of thin air around the corner, it should attract far-off attention. To refer to Left 4 Dead again, whenever you trigger a crescendo event, the zombies don’t appear immediately - there’s a pause, you hear them call out, and then you start to hear them approach; it can be a notable period of time before they actually arrive at your location. Having them emit actual sound would be great (but also very difficult) - “from the north you hear a multitude of footsteps!”

Essentially, if you make a ton of noise by busting out heavy weaponry, you make this area easier, at the cost of making the next area harder. Hence the ideal time to do so is when you’re trying to escape, which will put shotguns and high explosives back in the category of the ‘emergency weapons’ that they were designed to be.

Mostly. It feels like it’s currently “find a katana, win the game”. Without a katana, you’ll die a death of a thousand papercuts if you elect to take on a horde; they’ll wear you down, chip at your armor, and get in one or two hits here and there.

However, I completely agree that we need more nasty boss-type enemies. Like seriously. The current lineup is:

[ul][li]Brutes, Hulks: They are extremely dangerous in melee, and can outrun you, but are generally easily dispatched at range.[/li]
[li]Necromancers: Since the game has trained everyone to butcher every corpse, and they can now be pulped easily, necromancers have lost their edge.[/li]
[li]Masters: They’re only useful when they show up in a mob of normal zombies so they can actually use their ‘upgrade’ ability, as they are weak in direct combat. They also need meatshields because they’ll be the first thing you shoot for.[/li][/ul]

And that’s it. None of those three has a ranged attack; that’s solely the providence of spitters and shockers, and the former are generally harmless if you’re in an open space and have room to move.

Maybe if Hulks had the ability to shove cars (which an issue exists for on the Github), or throw rocks, that might make them more formidable, but having more boss types is a better solution.

@ binky - not getting the “popping out of thin air” reference. Is something wrong with Dynamic in general?

General gaming crowds were never big fans of platformers that spawn identical enemy instances per screen/return; CataDDA is, however, much more implicit if you only consider balance, leaving elementary logic with those other games stay what it is - animated movement obstacles. My example was formed around an imaginary enemy base that forms a grid:

------ -TTTT- -TTTT- ------
This abstract formation is one whole, you just peel the overmap to see those structures and possible rewards for dealing with the threat that this Dynamic variant throws at the player character. In (my) solution above, if the cap steps over the limit (15) that mass_count variable stops spawning additional opposition per map square that consists of 9 tiles, but actions that generally draw zombies near might make clusters reappear. I think that there’s nothing wrong with the game if some of the zombies that close in on the player character from the map edges keep rushing as they are a quick response to player actions. In my humble opinion, leaving a large crowd of zombies on a map square because the player skipped them, escaping with a vehicle (that’s noisy too) or else isn’t exaggerating because “herds” start behaving like “hive minds” when the density is greater than usual. In fact it allows for a greater challenge than usual if your character is resourceful and skilled, with little tolerance to explosions, fire and destruction so epic-scale battles in large cities could happen.

The point where I started thinking this way was when someone made the player char revisiting areas relevant to the discussion. The game should handle the opposition if the player changes his/her tactical approach, increasing momentum if the “intruder” is overpowered, throwing clusters of difficult opponents if he/she engages in a hasty situation resolvement.

[quote=“vultures, post:25, topic:4229”]@ binky - not getting the “popping out of thin air” reference. Is something wrong with Dynamic in general?


Yes!!! I personally think that Dynamic spawning is awful, and I think this is where we differ greatly in position. I really dislike the idea of immediate player actions spawning zombies (and I know GlyphGryph does as well) - to me it seems too arcade like/unrealistic/jarring (even in a zombie game). With current dynamic spawns, as mentioned earlier, if you smash a window or whatever, zombies just appear out of nowhere where there previously were none. It’s jarring as you quite literally go ‘where the hell did those zombies come from!? it was empty before!’, and I don’t think this is what we should aim for.

Your example would be great for an action game (or for a mode in Cata I’m sure) but having zombies just spawn out of nowhere seems far too gamey instead of survival based. I do agree they should be attracted to the player, but I don’t think it should be that an area is clear (or nearly clear) and then suddenly (or even quite quickly) it becomes filled with zombies if loud noises are made. This could spawn them a few overmap square away, and obviously if you kept on making noise they’d get dragged over (and may move over gradually from the first noise, which would keep you on your feet).

Ian: Didn’t think about the balancing with explosives/heavy weapons - it’d certainly help put them back to emergency status!
As far as the stronger zombies, I think the surrounding mechanic (and the grabbing mechanic) should help a lot - although some uniques would be great, even in classic zombies it’d be good to have a few stronger/unique zombies.

Static is a gameplay mode, so is dynamic; I believe the intent of the OP here was to provoke a discussion that could yield a solution where the two were mixed. Your dislike to an endless supply of foes counts as an argument as far as there’s a point to inhibiting, as if there were quests that let you get rid of the pests. How about making peace with that fact, knowing that you might strip the wilderness flag from an urban area, so to derail the imposing spawn rate, if you had the means? The cities should behave like blooms and spires as far as zombies/spawns are concerned; in this case, the grey_goo instance could have various shapes and pose a different danger from place to place, so to encourage recon/resource/resolvement scale if we’re to keep the sandbox “feel” to CataDDA.
I’m really only asking you to imagine a different kind of thrill every time you/the player decide(s) to showcase battle skills, knowing that whatever happens - planning ahead is the key. :wink:

Yes. Static and Dynamic are currently both in the game, and should both stay in the game, but Dynamic is in dire need of a rework.

Static renders large parts of the game completely unnecessary; you don’t need to build a hold-out because nothing will ever assault it if you build it away from ants and triffids. That’s perfectly fine, and nothing about static mode should change, but dynamic should offer a different set of challenges and obstacles to the player. If you don’t like the idea of dynamic mode, then you can keep playing static; I just want to make dynamic a viable alternative to static mode because right now it goes straight from “empty streets” to “mobs of zombies” for breaking a couple of windows.

Think of it this way:

  • Dynamic mode should, in some capacity, make more zombies spawn than are initially in the world. Nobody seems to have a problem with ants, triffids, fungaloids, oozes, or even wild animals doing this; since Cataclysm is a zombie apocalypse roguelike, why not give zombies some kind of respawning mechanic?
  • The other groups will spawn over time (repopulating if the reality bubble devours them). Zombies should, too.
  • The other groups only spawn in the vicinity of some stronghold. For zombies, this stronghold would be the entire city, but the same mechanic holds; get far enough away and they are gone.

Honestly, it feels like zombies deserve a way to respawn more than the others, because what they guard (cities and their associated loot) is hundreds, maybe even thousands of times more lucrative than what the others guard (ant eggs, slime bits, triffid chunks). You don’t even get anything for killing a triffid heart besides a memorial file note and a cessation of triffid spawns, yet triffid groves are probably the hardest type of lair in the game to clear out. I’m not saying that cities should be harder than triffid groves, just that they shouldn’t be trivially clearable.

In fact, it even seems strange that static spawn non-zombie creatures exhibit non-static spawning behaviors. I would think that everything in static mode should not respawn. Triffids, ants, oozes, the whole bunch. That way (especially with triffids) you can’t use them as a safer-to-cities approach for getting easy amounts of food. Then, static spawn would be truly static - but that’s a totally separate issue.

Uselessly stating that this sounds great :slight_smile:

I had an idea that maybe weather code could be used to create some kind of horde mechanic, but IRC tells me weather is global, instead of being actual travelling radii of activity, and weather or events like that would need cardinal direction indicators (or whenever hordes do get implemented I’d like to hear them approaching before I was screaming in a lake of Z’s, opportunity to flee or fortify, or gear up and meet them head-on) :slight_smile:

How about this:

Each world tracks both the population of each town and the global population. When you approach a town with a population of, say, 100, the game instantly populates it with 100 zombies as with static mode. As the zombies start dying, the town slowly draws from the global population until it’s back to the original level. The global population also rises over time to keep things interesting. In addition, zombies might overflow out of towns as time goes on, eventually covering the map if left unchecked.

This adds both a source of constant danger, and a means of delaying the inevitable (killing enough zombies in rapid succession should be enough to keep the global population from rising, and thus prevent the zombies from reaching your innawoods hideouts). It also lets a well-equipped player clean out towns for a little bit so they can loot the place in peace, which is nice.

[quote=“asdfzxc, post:30, topic:4229”]How about this:
I like the idea of zombies overflowing more over time, that’d definitely increase later game difficulty as if you’d have a lot less ‘safe’ areas. If they could gravitate towards other structures (including your hide out) that’d be really awesome!

I agree entirely with OP, i have the exact old history and i know many of my friends who dont go to the forums or the IRC for varying reasons that would want the OLD spawn ADRESSED and FIXED. I entirely agree with you.

It would be a great way to counteract the lowered endgame difficulty if zombies “mutated” more over time, so eventually all of them will be special and eventually those would all get harder, etc, etc; so if you survive for 10 years, you’re not going to still be fighting normal green Zs.

Agreed, everyone who I’ve introduced to it mainly complains about the spawning/balance, and I’d really encourage the devs to look at that before adding more features, as it’s the one thing that seriously impairs long term enjoyment.

Make normal zombies more of a threat. Making L4D zombies is a copout Imo. Don’t ruin the best zombie simulator ever with uncreative roguelike tropes.

And what about hostile npc scavengers? Way better than freaking zombie mages and sacrilege fast zombies.

I completely agree, and really would like to see Cataclysmdda as a completely ‘classic zombie’ simulator. However, I think many people like the challenges that other types bring about, and as long as a classic mode stays in then I’m happy. I’m sure when NPCs come in the other elements will get shuffled off a bit, as npcs offer a much better range of options.

Regardless, classic/normal zombies really do need to become more of a threat, at the moment the spawning mechanisms seem so bad as we’re churning through so many zombies. Even with pretty much zero skills and melee weapons I made in the evac shelter I can go through a smallish town without much problem.

Think of it this way:
  • Dynamic mode should, in some capacity, make more zombies spawn than are initially in the world. Nobody seems to have a problem with ants, triffids, fungaloids, oozes, or even wild animals doing this; since Cataclysm is a zombie apocalypse roguelike, why not give zombies some kind of respawning mechanic?
  • The other groups will spawn over time (repopulating if the reality bubble devours them). Zombies should, too.
  • The other groups only spawn in the vicinity of some stronghold. For zombies, this stronghold would be the entire city, but the same mechanic holds; get far enough away and they are gone.

Point of this discussion, exactly. I even presented a viable method for doing so.
There’s a question in the mid-air, however:

If the wildlife varies just like your approach to resolvement (extermination), what is your choice when dealing with undeath? <<

For those (very formidable imho) giant ants, you pull the cork out if you slay their queen. I wasn’t gonna explain a thing using “challenge rating”, but here it is - and only as an abstract, not a constant throughout the game; this one consists of making your way through an armoured front of enemies, exploring a dungeon and putting an end to the egg-pooper and her entourage. Other than beating the challenge that the game had to offer, it’s both clear_area and render_safe when you look at the game map. I won’t forget the simple fact that the ants here never behave like bloodlusted, enraged undead spawns driven by the force that came from within the portal; they are only accomodating their mutated size to the post-cataclysmic scenery and cover ground while doing so.
When we look at Zombies and zombified creatures and see their numb bodies stumbling upon the civilization’s remains, we’re actually looking at the sole cause everything went bonkers. I think that dropping a nuke or two wouldn’t cut it, but I’m also not a great fan of rendering a solitary problem-solver to the whole dilemma; think of building strongholds to hold-off the threat, and you get my drift. Having a scaled solution (developing a cure on a small scale, then bigger and even greater) is the most sensible way, but then we’re discussing a purge of an area, not ridding the entire Earth of portal-filth, mutation and acidic enviroment. Since the grey goo is really the key here, we declare its means of zombification the exact opposite of ressurection; the concept of ressurection revolves around rebuilding the tissues as well as the spirit, while the grey goo corrupts the decaying process. The undead cannot heal naturally as a consequence, and they also fail at utilizing anything that has no central nervous system. A valid way of preventing them on a city-wide scale would be the deployment of a neurotoxin solution that speeds up the decay at first, feeding off the grey goo afterwards. If every settlement had a unified source for the mallevolent specie, that “heart” should die out after a short period of time. This, however, doesn’t mean the “herd” can’t find its way back again, and because the “solution” is airbourne, precautions have to be taken after the initial “purge”.
I can only imagine how the development of this “cure” could be costly with both materials and effort, but I’m thinking it’s a valid way of checking the box for this kind of an in-game goal. Also in theory, if it was somehow applied to the whole ecosystem, the complex infestation that consists of extra-dimensional species would most likely resist, and the end-game thing left untouched until dealt with in a whole different way. So yes, it makes sense to have dynamic spawning zombies and to lose them, both at the same time. :slight_smile:

I concur, but I think it might also get unmanageable to fight nothing but shockers and spitters. Maybe if there was more variety to the special zombies…

It might also be good to see more ‘classic’ zombies that have different flavor to them - zombies that just run up and whack you but have different strengths, like the zombie cop’s armor, the scarred zombie’s toughness, the swimmer zombie’s aquatic nature, etc.

That’s an alternative idea I hadn’t thought about, and a good one. Keep the normal green Z’s around, but make them stronger over time as the ooze adapts them more and gives them better abilities. That way, even in classic mode, you can still have dynamic spawn do more than just throw more zombies at you.

In essence, regular zombies could ‘level up’ over time (for lack of a better term) and do more damage, hit harder/more often, and take more hits to bring down. Would certainly give the feel that the mutation is ongoing, and would offer a challenge without spawning gigantic hordes. Furthermore, it would serve to differentiate zombies from the other critters; whereas ants just get more and more numerous, zombies actually get tougher over time.

Obviously there should be a limit on how much it happens, and it should be gradual, but it’s an interesting concept. It’d certainly combat the “regular zombies can’t touch me, I’ve won the game” problem of both game modes.

Because bullets hurt.

High points for me so far:

Because bullets hurt.[/quote]

Please don’t disregard this one. Hostile survivors contribute a lot to the tension of games like DayZ because they are so powerful. Growing zombie power is not as scary or exciting as another survivor killing you for your beans.