Play Dead/Hide

Seems like a pretty basic maneuver to try and pull off. The zombies don’t show any interest in something that isn’t up, moving, and clearly alive, so a smart (or panicked) survivor would think to take advantage of this by just…not moving. Laying on the ground, maybe hiding among some other bodies to try and cover one’s self. This wold also give scent an increased importance, and give the traits for light scent some real power.

If you’re cornered and can’t fight, or you would really rather just play it safe, you play dead and let them pass, or maybe shove yourself into a bush. Then you just wait, and if the enemy takes notice or goes hostile, it alerts you like it does normally. Otherwise you can just hold up and wait for darkness or for an opportunity to slip away.

There should also probably be better ways to cover one’s scent in a pinch, like smearing dirt or blood all over yourself to try and mask it before doing so. Boomer bile could be pretty useful in this way, seeing as it doesn’t alert the horde to your presence like in Left4Dead.

Maybe this works for animals too. Deer in particular are pretty flighty, so if you can cover your scent and remain hidden and wait for them to get a little bit too close…an addition of bait would also be nice for this.

Just thought of it as I envisioned my character waking up in a hospital under the Abandoned starting scenario. Sometimes there are zombies in the room with you and an unarmed, sickly, confused, and frightened survivor would typically take advantage of their such things if they’re trapped. Would definitely spice things up a bit in game.

Basically, this could just be a series of parameters (like Warmth) for different types of camouflage. You could have a system similar to Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater.

Visual Camouflage: an integer value that affects how easy you are to be seen. This value could be increased in the following ways:

  1. by reducing your size/profile, either by crouching or lying prone or by carrying fewer items.
  2. by being in a tile with high grass or some kind of obscuring passable object like under a table. Crouching or lying down could work in tandem with this for a large bonus to visual camouflage.
  3. directly from bonuses given by specialized apparel. The apparel could also conditionally give a bonus to camouflage providing you’re in a certain type of tile, i.e. green camo for the woods, urban camo for the streets.

Auditory Camouflage: an integer value that affects how much noise you make. We already have this but it could be improved in a few ways:

  1. Gear/apparel that makes more or less noise
  2. The ability to hold one’s breath temporarily to reduce noise from breathing. Perhaps this could be done without penalty for like 10 turns, then after that would result in you breathing even louder until you catch your breath.
  3. The ability to “sneak” at a movement speed penalty. This seems really necessary for hunting and night raiding.

Olfactory Camouflage: an integer value that affects your scent. We already have this and it seems to work well, we just have no ways of decreasing it. It seems like that is just a matter of adding items to the game, or perhaps the ability to smear tainted meat on oneself. Maybe there’s some sort of risk of illness for doing so, which would cause you to only do it in really desperate situations when you just can’t take on a pack of zeds.

Playing with wander spawn on, this seems like something that would have really helped me. I don’t know why but every single horde that spawns seems to have a zombie master or some variety of brute in it, and it’s only day 20 of 90 day seasons; I’m just not equipped to handle a Shocker Brute or the acidic things that are waddling around now. The biggest thing is that no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or anything else, you will ALWAYS be seen by zeds within a given distance, no exceptions. The only time you won’t be immediately descended upon is if they’re already in the process of descending upon something else.

The rate that these things advance is already kind of unmanageable if you’re trying to be careful, it definitely doesn’t help that they’re omnipotent and you’re incapable of hiding unless directly blocking line of sight, which is not always possible. Far from realistic no matter how you look at it and a little bit broken honestly.