Should I play with hordes on?

Hi everyone,
So as I said in my last post, I’ve only been playing for a couple of weeks, but I’ve gotten a fair amount of experience in the game, have cleared out a few towns and can now reliably survive at least a week or so. Recently, I’ve been considering playing with hordes on, mainly for the reason that seemingly after you clear an area there isn’t really much reason to fortify if you’ve dismembered all of the corpses. In my experience, you can basically set off a mininuke with impunity as long as you’re in the safe zone. (Note: I haven’t actually fought a necromancer yet, but I’ve heard that they can revive pulped corpses, which is why I hack them apart.) I feel like it would be fun to have periodic attacks by zombies so that traps and walls actually become somewhat necessary.

Buuuuut… I’ve heard that hordes use the old dynamic spawn system, which means that you basically have to kill a couple thousand zombies before killing a horde won’t attract another one. Is this information outdated, or am I going to see a wall of zombies every time I fire off a gun? If this is still the case, I feel like it’s going to be pretty impossible to defend anywhere without machine guns/lasers/deathmobile/crazy amounts of mutations or CBMs.

I’ve also heard, however, that hordes are mostly based on nearby buildings and “leave” that building when you attract them in your direction, so if you kill a horde, you’ve basically just cleared out part of the city. This would be really neat and would actually give me a reason to fight that horde. Does anyone know how hordes really work?

Basically, I like the idea of having small armies occasionally attacking my position, and it’s a bonus if hordes don’t just appear out of nowhere and if you kill a horde, it’s actually gone for good, but I really don’t want to have nigh-infinite zombies showing up that are going to completely wreck anywhere I stay even with rows of nailboards and spiked pits set up. Does anyone here have experience with hordes, and if they do, any advice? I’m not really concerned about hordes making the game harder, I just don’t want to have the only methods of dealing with hordes running like hell or having an automatic turret stationed outside my base. Any comments appreciated!

As far as I know necromancers can only revive corpses that would resurrect themselves eventually, so it’s “only” a matter of speed. Necromancers themselves are nothing special, so if you’ve cleared out their minions (and pulped them), they’re not hard to take out.

I can’t comment first hand on hordes as I haven’t tried them, but one problem with them is that the reality bubble boundaries can have them spawn inside your defenses if those are outside of the bubble (e.g. if you’ve been away raiding: as you return the bubble will gradually encompass more and more of your fortified location, but the horde members can spawn anywhere the bubble expands into). At least that’s my understanding of the problem.

Ah thanks, I thought I heard somewhere that necromancers could revive pulped corpses, it just takes longer and they have lower health. Although, I found a couple of unpulped corpses once in a cleared area I was in a while after I cleared it when I could have sworn I pulped them already, so that kind of freaked me out. I don’t know if corpses can actually heal from pulped to unpulped with time or if I just missed them earlier, but I dismember everything now out of paranoia. Also, it makes pretty good RP for a paranoid survivor that does things even if they aren’t strictly necessary. Yeah, I kind of heard about the teleporting problem, but I was more concerned with whether hordes are dynamic spawns. Thanks though!

I don’t believe there’s any way for pulped corpses to revive. However, it’s easy to miss the corpses that fall in locations where you can’t see them from a distance, such as bushes, cupboards, and desks. Thus, when you return you may find “new” unpulped corpses in such locations (blood stains might be a cue, but skeletons don’t bleed…).

I enjoy hordes, keeps the game interesting and sometimes it can be smart to hide out in a bunker and let em pass or encourage fortifications as you’ll never be perfectly safe.

Re pulped unpulped corpses - the +/- sorting for the V command is useful for that, you can +”corpses” and -“pulped”

Um… is this topic about wander spawns, or some other “hordes” feature I’ve managed to somehow never notice in more than a year of playing? Because in my experience, unless they are in/very near cities, they never ever move. Last playthrough, chilling in a bunker in the middle of nowhere, and there are at least 2 hordes, one about 40OMT to NE, another about 15 to the east. I am regularly driving to and from scavenge runs and they never move anywhere.

Had them move around all the time and been playing with hordes since before D stable. End up all over the place. Had two come say hi to my lmoe bunker so far in my latest game.

Yeah I haven’t played recently, but they used to wander all over for me, too. Somewhere between half to three quarters would clump up and sit around cities, but a sizable chunk would move about.

I never had much trouble with them popping up inside my base, but I preferred to not get too close if there was a stray Z on my base’s overmap tile, and just wait until it moved over to the next tile before heading over and clearing them out. I always imagined it like my survivor just seeing a horde moving past the base, and sitting on his hands for a bit rather than trying to get in past them and risk them following him inside.

Old screenshot from 2015, showing two cities running an exchange program

I remember I was trying to get to the west between those two cities, and it was not happening.

So the teleporting hordes problem doesn’t happen very often? Good to know I guess. Do you know whether it’s possible to actually clear out hordes or are they infinite? Basically, is fighting them an exercise in futility or actually viable with late-game equipment?

Again, I keep hearing that hordes are dynamically spawned, which of course makes sense but I’m kind of worried about the implications if that’s true.

They’re not the same as the old dynamic spawn zombies from the early days, where every noise you made would cause zombies to beam down behind you from the endless supply aboard the starship Zombieprise.
The way it works is that city regions have a spawn pool based on their size and the various buildings in them. Zombies are pulled from that spawn pool and spawned onto the map. Wandering hordes are pulled up from the map onto the overmap and move about until they hit your reality bubble, when they get dropped onto the map again. (This will likely cause the composition of the horde to change. The exact details of what’s in a horde isn’t tracked right now)
If you go through and kill every zombie visible on the map, you’ll kill like 75-90% of the spawn pool. You’ll still have new zombies pop up for a while in the areas you’ve been through, which simulates zombies that had moved about or were hidden or what-have-you. Eventually the spawn pool will run out and you’ll have a dead zone, but overmap hordes can still wander in from other places – and they tend to be attracted to cities.


Ah, thanks! Sounds pretty interesting, think I’ll try it on my next spawn. I’ll have to break out of the military base I’m stuck in first to notice the effects first though (overrun start, spawn in a surrounded military base). This is going to be my fourth attempt, but I really want to succeed in the overrun start at least once. Besides, it’s pretty fun trying to blast my way out with a Barrett and a grenade launcher, since you spawn with pretty much every top-tier gun and armor in the game, lasers excluded. After getting swarmed the last few times, I’m planning to find my way into another building via the stair system (I know it’s possible because I did it once) and funnel them through a window while I one-shot them with my Barrett. I’ll probably make a post in the “What’s happening in YOUR randomly generated apocalypse, Part 2” thread if I actually manage to clear the gigantic base (well, I certainly have enough ammo). I am a little worried that every horde on the overmap is going to converge on me while I’m fighting my way out though…

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