Rebalanced Professions

[quote=“FunsizeNinja123, post:15, topic:4078”]Not wearing socks give -5 to moral because uncomfortable.[/quote]I will only accept this if it was the most realistic game ever, otherwise, not an option.

I think this is a great improvement, the poll suggests people aren’t picking a lot of the existing professions and I am excited to see incentives to take something other than hobo and shower victim.

Specific suggestions:

  • Tailor - tailor skill down to 3, that’s enough to fit clothing and sewing kit is superdesirable for starting gear.
  • Lab Technician - needs some kind of bag (pouch if it’s big enough, messenger bag otherwise) to accommodate the 18 volume chemistry set. Also, why not amp it up? Make it a full blown scientist, up the cost to 3, increase cooking to be sufficient to brew mutagens (or a book to get up there), remove the other skills, and add in a Science ID. Now people impatient to mutate can pay a bit extra and get started early.
  • Lumberjack/Backpacker - These should cost 1 point (and probably give survival 2). Backpack or axe+jacket is great starter gear and if you price it at 0 there’s no reason to take Unemployed.
  • Hacker - give a laptop and a messenger bag, it’d be thematic and useful. I might lower Computer to go with that, but then again, Computer’s not that useful.
  • Crackhead - maybe rename back to Prostitute or Streetwalker and restore old text. Some kind of theme is nice to go with those high heels (perhaps streetwalker makes it more clear that you’re drug-addled). Superhappy to see a cost of -2 for this and Hobo, which I think is more accurate of a price.
  • Tweaker - I wouldn’t add this at all. Honestly, the choice and intensity of addiction is kinda irrelevant since whatever happens, you can sleep it off and wear a filter mask to avoid sickness. Adding a new profession at cost -3 is just going to shift those who currently play hobos to being tweakers.
  • Home Mechanic - Rename Mechanic. Also, would a hacksaw and duct tape give you enough gear to get a car together at the getgo by moving an Inline-4 engine into a vehicle with wheels? If so, that’d be pretty sweet.
  • Bow Hunter - shorten to Hunter, give a quiver instead of upgrading pants to cargo pants.
  • Law Enforcement Officer - shorten to Law Enforcement. Downgrade to cargo pants.

I don’t know what the decision on removing content ended up being, but you do probably want to add in the 3 professions that had multiple votes but aren’t in yet: Punk Rock Girl (as before, but cost at 1), otaku (differently dressed tailor?), baseball player (as before, cost 1).

I really wish for Unemployed to be more described in more generic terms, named something like “Blank Slate”, “Nobody Famous”, or “Survivor”, with a description that’s just an optimistic tone about forging anew and not being defined by what you were before the cataclysm. We can’t possibly enumerate every character concept in the world, so I see a lot of value in a default profession that gives players explicit permission to roleplay whatever past they want, especially if we continue on the current path of trying to list all the options. Every time we add a flavor profession in the style of Senior Citizen and Clown, we are implying more and more that you can’t be a Garbage Man or a Lawyer because nobody wrote that up.

GlyphGryph: Does the link point to the fixed file?

Yes, it is mostly fixed. The only error that remains is the Lab Technician. But this is easy enough to correct. Simply load up the professions.json file, locate the Lab Technician, and change the skill “computers” to “computer”.[/size]

I like how Failed Android is now -2 points, is a good number. However, I think it should be okay to have relatively useless and non-played professions in the list, like Clown. It brings flavour to the world, and gives your chosen character some personality. I would be sad if these went away.

Yeah, I’m fine with having the other professions if someone wants to update them, but they’d have to be reviewed and modified where appropriate, and the ones I did were time consuming enough. Feel free to make a PR to my branch with the others though!

Also, Lefler:
Tailor - Note that he doesn’t start with fire OR a knife. He pays a steep starting price for an easy to train skill, let’s be honest.
Lab Technician - Might add a full scientist later, and for now it’s assumed he’s carrying the chemistry kit. Maybe I should just remove it.
Lumberjack/Backpacker - “Backpack or axe+jacket is great starter gear and if you price it at 0 there’s no reason to take Unemployed.” - Except the fact that the default profession has a knife AND fire, which neither of these professions do. Both of those are also very good starting gear, arguably better than storage or an axe.
Hacker -Laptop and Messenger bag is a good idea. Will check and see if that changes his balance significantly. Not worried about the high level in computers since it’s not really a core skill (the level I decide to give them depends on how versatile the skill is and how easy it is to train. It’s obvious where this one lost out, I think)
Crackhead - There are things to be said for implying things, giving the player choices about how they interpret the character. At the very least I want every gendered profession to have a male and female mechanical equivalent, so we’ll see.
Tweaker - The primary difference between this and the other addicts is that he starts with no drugs (both the others do), almost no clothing, no knife, etc. I might well just pull the lighter from him as well, make him the more miserable version of the shower victim (except with a pair of mostly useless pants)
Home Mechanic - If I added those items, it would probably push him a step up, I think. I might make another proper tier 2 mechanic equivalent if there’s demand for it, which is part of why I went with the home mechanic appellation for the tier 1.
Bow Hunter - From what I understand, others would like to add different types of hunters. I don’t particularly want the Bow Hunter to be seen as the [i]only[/i\ hunter. The point about the quiver is well made, though.
Law Enforcement Officer -Why shorten the name to something that isn’t a profession or even a description of a dude? If I was going to shorten it, it would be to Officer or LEO or Cop or Deputy or something. I might well change the pants to regular pants though.

Have you actually played any of them yet? That’s the feedback I’m really hoping for here, how they actually play.

I like the full-blown scientist idea. I am going to grab the file and test…

Police officers often wear cargo pants where i live (most also wear body armor 24/7) so I say keep them in.

Doctor- I’ll boost the first aid to 7 or something but remove both the first aid kits and bandages I mean you did graduate.

Gangster-I’ll change the pistol for a shotgun if only for some variety.

Crackhead- Make it gender neutral?

Military Recruit- Change the top for the jacket

Other than that I like them changes. Also lol at the lumberjack description

Nah most gangsters carry handguns. Black 9s, yo. Rednecks would definitely have a shotgun though, as well as reasonably fabrication skill.

Different places are different

Were i lived shotgun were usually the norm

Say what you will, but the best choice will ALWAYS be the one’s with negative starting point values. Addictions are temporary, long term stat boosts are permanent :slight_smile:

Maybe instead of a difference in starting points there should be inherent morale boosters, so that professions in effect become buffs or debuffs, for example outdoorsman takes no morale damage from being wet, butcher takes small pleasure in butchering things, chef takes pleasure from cooking, crackhead takes more pleasure from crack, gun nut loves firing on full auto, subservient loves taking damage, sadist loves dealing it, bookworm loves reading etc etc

Maybe there would even be a way to GAIN traits in game :smiley:

Professions kinda’ mean different things to different folks.

Are they supposed to be “flavor”, giving you a theme to your survivor for roleplay purposes? If so, do the points they give really matter?
Are they chosen for the starting gear/skills? Frankly, I don’t value skills at the start at all … they’re all incredibly simple to train with a book or practice.
Are they metagame’d - as in, does everyone just pick the most negative profession so they can jack up their starting stats? (I’m 100% guilty of this. My last few characters are all Prostitutes in the 0.9 Ma release for the “bonus points”.)

Anyway, a good 90% of the time, the NPC in the starting shelter gives me a lighter. That completely removes the “didn’t start with fire” issue. (Ok I just tested this … 5 restarts in the Ma release, and I got a lighter 4 times. Once I failed to get an item all together.)

Without NPCs turned on … its still common to find matches/lighter in the shelter basement, and at the worst you’ll have to venture into 1 or 2 homes to find t.
Makeshift crowbars, pipes, boards, nails … all that you can arm yourself with before leaving the shelter. I assumed “smash locker, get rock, make crowbar” was every experienced player’s first hour of the game day. That makes any melee weapon given to professions feel not-too-special, to be honest.

If I start with one, I ditch my pocket knife the instant I find anything better (and even sometimes just leave it on my spawn point before I take my first step). I never use it until a day or two into the world to cut up rags and train tailoring. Butchering animal corpses isn’t a priority for me until after the perishable foods in markets turn to rot. I suppose “I should cut up the Z’s” is a good use for the knife, but often I’m running from clumps of Z’s and not wanting to expose myself by taking the time to butcher, early on.

I wonder how things would feel if there was no way to manually spend points to increase skills and instead you had to rely on a profession to give you any starting points you wanted (though, I admit again, I have pretty much never bought starting skills because they’re so easy to train). Also wonder if all this would feel different if/when we spawned differently. If the shelters were in the basement of, say, apartment buildings or gov’t buildings … and you had to sneak/fight your way outside, that would change things significantly. If you spawned in the hospital, or the shelters were so far outside of town you’d need to feed yourself while traveling TO town.

A “Bike Messenger” or “Paperboy” - collapsible bicycle, a messenger bag & enough driving to not wobble like you need training wheels would be powerful, IMHO. Bicycle isn’t so deadly to make Z-killing trivial early on, either.

[size=8pt]I think it would be nice to include season specific starting professions as well. Take the following quick edit I did with the survivalist, making it so that it could have a decent start during winter:[/size]

“type”: “profession”,
“ident”: “wintsurv”,
“name”: “Winter Survivalist”,
“description”: “Skilled at surviving off the land far from civilization, your skills are quite likely to come in useful considering civilization is now full of monsters that want you dead. Your equipment is basic, but versatile - and with your skills, more than you need.”,
“points”: 3,
“skills”: [
“level”: 4,
“name”: “survival”
“level”: 2,
“name”: “traps”
“level”: 2,
“name”: “fabrication”
“level”: 2,
“name”: “cooking”
“level”: 2,
“name”: “firstaid”
“level”: 2,
“name”: “swimming”

    "items": [

Hi folks, First post here from a long time lurker.

Started with the security guard earlier on and find it a bit OP. This profession should really start without the Handgun. Maybe give this profession the taser instead. Would fit better as a non-lethal weapon flavourwise. My first kill was a Zombie Brute on the first day and it didn’t even stand a chance (and that without stat grinding).

Just played a Military Recruit (10 in stats, quick, some flaws, and another skillpoint each in rifles & marksmanship). It was a lot less fun than I expected–I’m used to being afraid on my first day but it was a breeze with a combat knife, m4, and 50 rounds, even with my shelter spawning inside of town. By the end of day one I had killed 100 zombies, looted 4 gun stores, and fitted a good set of clothes (100 volume, 0 chest encumber). I really expected to run out of ammo, but the combat knife is such a great weapon that I could just use that in routine 1-1 zombie fights and save the gun for difficult situations. I’m not sure how to improve it. Ditching the knife would make it harder, but I suspect starting wtih a powerful firearm is easy mode no matter what. I suppose I should have run this on 2x spawns or more…

Also suspect we need a code change to make profession points increase the cost of skills as if you’d bought them, so you can’t just spend another character point for +2 atop your profession skills. Current system really lets you abusively stack bonuses to get skills that would otherwise be expensive, which was less of an issue when bonuses were only 1 point normally. Having rifles 4 meant a lot of crits and there’s probably more wicked combinations (chef + 3 skillpoints in cooking would let you brew mutagens right away).

I can try another profession if you want specific feedback on one.

About professions I haven’t played…

  • “Law Enforcement Officer” actually scrolls off the screen on windows. “Police Officer” would be fine there. Can confirm knowing real-life cops with cargo pants (I just didn’t like army pants, I’d rather have an upgrade to look forward to).
  • Some profession descriptions are too long, not sure if that’s new or old. (hacker, for instance)
  • Tweaker - not having your drug of choice really isn’t a flaw, since the first thing most folks do is go cold turkey anyway.
  • Backpacker/Lumberjack - I don’t think getting a knife+matches is too hard at the outset, but I’d have to try to be sure. One thing you could consider is moving Backpacker to 1 and giving him a pocketknife+matches, maybe skills, but reducing Student to 0 and giving them a backpack and nothing else useful (no skillbooks). That would give a mechanical distinction between the two professions that start w/ backpacks. Right now, backpacker is definitely a better pick.