Reduction of wildlife too severe?

Well this is mostly a flavour issue, but dont you think that its odd that most of the predatory animals become practically extinct by autumn?
Speaking mostly about cougars and wolves.

What killed them all exactly? I’m pretty sure that a pack of wolves shouldn’t fare that badly against a single zombie/zombear/zolf. And cougars well, cougars should pretty much be able to escape any other zombie as well as should moose’s and small animals like foxes. Did they all stop breeding all of a sudden? Cant they theoretically hunt giant insects like the player is apparently supposed to be doing by autumn? Did grass become poisonous and all grazer packs died? Why didnt giant spiders go extinct too when all herbivores died? Why cant we have both the zombie versions and the normal animals at the same time?

I mean my characters can survive well enough from insect meat, but I kinda like being able to hunt normal animals too. Personally, Hunting deer with a bow is way more evoking of the apocalypse that doing the exact same but targeting a giant fly instead. And its not like removing normal meat made the game considerably harder by autumn.

Animals lack organization. They can’t consciously form into organized packs and fight off the threat, they can’t even recognize the threat, and they have no means of countering infection. A pack of wolves will tear up a zombear, sure, but it will maul and infect several of them, and once they die they will become zombies too, and will attack the pack, causing more infections, and so on.

Wildlife is fighting a losing battle, and it doesn’t know it’s fighting it. Because it can fight back at all is why it doesn’t just disappear completely, but zombies gradually wear them down by sheer attrition. That’s why their numbers dwindle by the end of the first year.

I think we can expand this issue to other time-related things as well.
Because right now we can become cybernetic gods/mutant freaks/world-class (hunter/chef/mechanic/marksman/etc.) before the year ends.
I think Cata can do with smearing the game out a little.

Wildlife disappearing is extremely noticeable. In the ideal case (IMHO) the wildlife population will slowly dwindle over the course of at least a year. This would make survival in the early game focused on scavenging and hunting.

[quote=“Sean Mirrsen, post:2, topic:5689”]…
A pack of wolves will tear up a zombear, sure, but it will maul and infect several of them, and once they die they will become zombies too, and will attack the pack, causing more infections, and so on.
…[/quote]
I thought everything was already infected with the bloob.

[quote=“Adrian, post:3, topic:5689”][quote=“Sean Mirrsen, post:2, topic:5689”]…
A pack of wolves will tear up a zombear, sure, but it will maul and infect several of them, and once they die they will become zombies too, and will attack the pack, causing more infections, and so on.
…[/quote]
I thought everything was already infected with the bloob.[/quote]No, I mean literal infections. Like infected wounds you get in-game, and die within 24 hours if untreated.

[quote=“Sean Mirrsen, post:2, topic:5689”]Animals lack organization. They can’t consciously form into organized packs and fight off the threat, they can’t even recognize the threat, and they have no means of countering infection. A pack of wolves will tear up a zombear, sure, but it will maul and infect several of them, and once they die they will become zombies too, and will attack the pack, causing more infections, and so on.

Wildlife is fighting a losing battle, and it doesn’t know it’s fighting it. Because it can fight back at all is why it doesn’t just disappear completely, but zombies gradually wear them down by sheer attrition. That’s why their numbers dwindle by the end of the first year.[/quote]

Except for the fact that makes no sense for them to dwindle is such a severe way. I mean they should become somewhat less common, but the game arrives to the point were if you walk in a straight line, you are more likely to stumble upon artifacts than a pack wolves.

And well the extent of how dire situation is for most wildlife varies, its obvious that the same process of natural selection should apply to giant insects so they could not completely normal animal populations without going extinct too. Leaving only zombies as a threat to most animals, but zombies have no inclination to hunt or to do anything at all, so most animals should be able to outrun them fairly easily. Leaving only lack of food as a cause of death, well perhaps small populations of hunters would go completely extinct. But grazers and small animals probably shouldn’t. Even the ones that die daily would have some trouble reanimating as zombies considering that most animals in the wilderness die from being eaten.

Also who is to say that theres nothing out there that hunts for zombies too, spiders perhaps, scavengers themselves? If so were the case, populations of spiders/ animal-zombies/ animals could stabilize themselves too.

I mean its not like having lush forests become completely barren wastes empty from normal animal life was an interesting story.

I agree in general. My impression is that the current wildlife decay rate is pretty much an ad-hoc value that was added as a starting point.
Even the concept that wildlife populations will decay is somewhat questionable, if you remove humanity from the equation, whay you’ll see immediately is a population explosion, starting with the fastest-reproducing animals and working its way up the food chain. after the boom though, these oversized populations would implode due to resource depletion and disease.
It’s a very complex process, and normally it’d work itself out over the course of the next several decades. over the timeline of the game though, I’d expect to see a highly visible population explosion over the first several years, and only see a population implosion ammoung the fastest-multiplying species after several years.
it’s even more complicated by the goo, now EVERY animal that dies in these increasingly large populations (well, that isn’t eaten, that’s an interesting point…) is going to come back as a killing machine.
What I’d say we need is a believable narrative for how this would play out,and base the population numbers on that.

I’d say that part of the issue is that there are no ‘new species’ replacing them.

Some species simply can’t hit the infection limit due to size or are well suited to survival (rats, and crows for instance, I shudder to imagine what’s going to happen to them if they start developing advanced intellect (there is already strong scientific argument for crows possessing language and cultural memory, now!)

The mutation effects are not limited solely to humanity I imagine, and some new, more fit, species are likely to arise and start filling niches as they are vacated.

Disorganized examples of xenofauna should also be considered apearing more and more often, taking up the ecological slack (disorganized I mention in contrast to the current examples of xenoflora which are both shockingly organized, ie: the fungals and triffids.)

I think Sean’s description is the narrative for how it’d play out - all predatory pack animals would quickly become zombified like humans did. They wouldn’t understand the threat, and wouldn’t have the means to ‘go for the head’ or avoid zombification. Even with the lack of humans hunting and whatever, the zombification would outstrip that for any pack animals.
Other animals that are below the goo level would skyrocket, although we probably don’t want the world to be full of billions of rabbits and crows, so we can fudge over that one.

In general though, I’d like to see this over a few seasons rather than right away - a gradual tapering off would be much better than ‘bam everything is zombified or dead’

My feelings are that without humans constantly culling them, the deer, moose, antelope and many smaller animals (weasels, groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and so on) would naturally begin to boom, We have to consider that most diseases/infections have very different affects on different species, consider rabies, humans it just outright kills, but many other animals will just go into a rampage attacking anything it sees moving(including its own limbs) This would be the same with this issue, some of the animals (mostly mammals it seems) would be susceptible but some would have either too simplistic brain structures, or too strong of an immunity system. Then other animals would survive due to avoidance… cougars, bear, smaller animals, birds, they all see humans now and GTFO, why would they be any different to a human or group of humans who seem to be snarling and ever so loud.
Would seem to me the most common way the animals would die off would be from the ingestion infected meat(say of pulped zombies scattered across the road>.>) and yes some of their populations if susceptible to the disease, would then lower severely but then they would also soon after have a large boom, due to the fact that their scarce resources are now plentiful so breeding increases, maybe in certain areas there would be large populations of certain types of species and less of the other types.
Birds would be kinda debatable, It isnt very common that a disease will pass from a species of a avian type to a mammalia and vice versa, Now im not saying it never happens as it has happened with many but, the chances are less, and from those insects and reptilians are event less likely to pass disease, aside from blood suckers which can carry any disease from on human to another… which i think mosquitos and fleas should play a small part in cataclysm towards disease.

All in all most animals should have their own characteristics and have different times of extinction, also some should mutate, changing due to environmental issues and radiation… this is just common sense in a world with tons of radio active waste. The few things that shouldnt go extinct or mutate much would be things like insects and birds, they would mutate but not as much, they have common sensors to detect things like radiation and toxicity levels. While so do many mammals they aren’t as refined. so they would commonly walk into radiation or toxic waste and soon figure out they are and leave, of course taking a huge hit to their rad levels.

But i think mutations would have to be seen after a couple years, the first year is unrealistic as mutation should come from animals breeding that have been highly dosed with rads… This can be seen in japan even today, though the people at the time of the actual bomb didnt suffer any mutation the generations after certainly did.
Theres my opinion Love the idea and totally support it.

Something that occurred to me was linking the blob immune response and the congregation tendencies with the behavior zombie animals, so most massive cities and average sized towns would form a wildlife “deadzone” around them which should probably be very big (alternatively it could be a overmap quality), in which only zombified animals would spawn.

Then as you get into the more remote forests and plains (the different overmap regions would help with this) the chances of having normal animals steadily increase back to the spring values while the zombie animals become less common/ or form groups and inherit a horde like behavior and start migrating toward cities and other focal points of blob activity. Having the forest you are living in go completely silent and devoid of animals as a warning that a horde of Zoose will pass through it in a few days would be a pretty interesting/dangerous thing to happen.

I think that ultimately normal wildlife and interesting zombie animals can work together very nicely, no need to sacrifice any of them for the other.

snip
A few important things I think you should know.
  1. Zombification isn’t a disease. It is the ooze repurposing your dead body to make it continue working as a host. Species and immune system has very little to do with it.
  2. Birds as a whole are pretty much too small to revive. You might get it in a few of the very large species, but other than that it probably wouldn’t ever happen.

I could see zombie animals eventually mutating to more forms (witness the might of the Zombear-Hulk!) but it would probably be pretty rare early IMO.

I’d probably lean to the lenient side for allowing animals to consume other infected animals, especially since their systems are generally much better aimed at that sort of thing, but I’d say that exact canon is still up in the air right now.

[quote=“i2amroy, post:11, topic:5689”]

snip

A few important things I think you should know.
  1. Zombification isn’t a disease. It is the ooze repurposing your dead body to make it continue working as a host. Species and immune system has very little to do with it.
  2. Birds as a whole are pretty much too small to revive. You might get it in a few of the very large species, but other than that it probably wouldn’t ever happen.

I could see zombie animals eventually mutating to more forms (witness the might of the Zombear-Hulk!) but it would probably be pretty rare early IMO.

I’d probably lean to the lenient side for allowing animals to consume other infected animals, especially since their systems are generally much better aimed at that sort of thing, but I’d say that exact canon is still up in the air right now.[/quote]
Ah I see…thanks for clarifying that… so i guess this zombie problem comes directly from the labs. I never really got too far into the cause of the infection, I just figured like most zombie scenarios the cause was like an evolved version of mad cow or rabies.