Suggestion: temperature effects on zombies

As the winter sets in and my hands go numb, I’m thinking about those damn hulks and how they move every bit as fast. I’ve heard the odd suggestion about zombies freezing in winter, but I think that would be a problem from a balance perspective. Here’s what I’d like to suggest.

Temperature above freezing: zombies behave normally

Temperature freezing to about -5°C /20F: zombie speed 80%, but bashing and cutting armour increases by 50%

Temperature about -5°C to -10°C (20F to 15F): zombie speed 50%, but armour is doubled and hit points increase by 70%

Temperature about -10°C to -20 (15F to -5F): zombie speed to 50%, but armour and HP doubled.

Below that, most zombies freeze solid with speed of zero (but are frozen solid and so have the armour and HP buffs). Tough, fat, hulk, brute, shocker, acid, firefighter, police, and soldier zombies cap at the final effect and can still move. This is likely only for cold labs anyway.

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I’m not sure how I feel about this proposal. Previous suggestions regarding zombies and the cold have been extreme, in my opinion. Yours is more reasonable but I still wouldn’t like it.

I think that speed reduction should be capped around a 15% decrease in speed, tops. These zombies aren’t like traditional zombies and I don’t think the cold would have the impact everyone thinks it would.

The current movement speed of enemies is a major component in determining their difficulty. Changing that, even slightly, can be extreme. For instance, when I began playing, I would set zombie speed and durability to 85% in the game creation menu. Even that small change had a MAJOR impact on the pace of the game. I don’t know that I ever really died in that circumstance, because reduced speed affects difficulty so profoundly.

I’m OK with making zombies slow down in subzero C temperatures. Cold temperatures affect the player so why can’t they affect monsters (including wildlife) as well? What I don’t like is increasing the hit points of the zombies. Suddenly they’ve increased hitpoints just because it’s cold? Doesn’t make sense to me. I half-agree with changes to bashing and cutting armor. Slashing/cutting weapons should be less effective against them and bashing weapons should be more effective during cold temperature. What’s more effective against ice (or something hard), a hammer or knife?

For people who don’t like this dynamic, perhaps freezing affects monsters can be a option (with different settings), just like you can change monster speed, population, migration, evolution, etc.

I’m fine with adjusting the speed values to suit… Whether it’s 50% or 85%, the goal would be a flavourful decrease in zombie speed accompanied by an increase in durability.

I strongly disagree with decreasing speed without an increase in durability. Zombies are wussy enough as it is, for one thing, and for another if the idea is that they’re freezing partly, then partly frozen tissue is much, much more durable than thawed. Take a piece of chicken and hit it with a hammer, then take a frozen piece of chicken and hit it with a hammer, and tell me after if you think that freezing it didn’t increase its blunt armour or hit points.

What I suggested is changing calculations when doing damage against the ‘hardened’ zombie, which is effectively the same as increasing it’s armor against certain attack types. I’m for the change in armor/damage calculations.

However I’m against the change in hitpoints. In your chicken example, a 10lb chicken somehow became a 15lb to 20lb chicken just because the weather became cold? Moreover do you really want to double the hitpoints of a hulk/shocker hulk? Not that they’d be hard to kill endgame, but imagine facing them early/mid game.

Remember, hit points don’t increase until quite cold in my model. That’s to prevent seeing it until winter, so you can’t run into them outside a cold lab or starting in winter scenarios unless you’re not in the early game.

I’m puzzled that you see hit points as a function of mass. I’d see them as an abstraction of how hard something is to destroy, and it is much much much harder to pulp a frozen piece of flesh than a thawed one.

Using long seasons (91 days) you’ll set lots of - temperatures late fall and early spring (default season spawn) so you’ll see them much sooner in your model.

Well the game seems to correlate mass (weight/hitpoints). Smaller animals are easier to kill and large animals are harder (take longer) to kill, plus you get more meat when you butcher the larger animals. One of the other variables is armor.

I see what you’re saying but you’re forgetting about armor. A 10lb chicken wearing +1000bash/+1000cutting protection would be very hard to kill.

No, it depends on your weapon and how it was frozen. In general things become more brittle when they’re subject to very cold temperatures. I think of the zombies as the extreme cold case since they’ve been wandering out in the cold for a long time.

Link to bone brittleness:

Cougars weight 81kg in game and have 60hp, zombies weigh the same amount and have 80, giant wasps weigh the same and have 40. Hit points are an abstraction of how hard something is to destroy, not how much it weighs.

It’s a pretty simple matter to calibrate zombie toughness to peak in winter temperatures rather than spring. And no matter how much more brittle things become once frozen, it is simply silly to imagine a partially frozen zombie being more susceptible to bludgeoning than a squishy one. I’ve worked with a lot of partially frozen material. More susceptible to bludgeoning than to cutting while frozen, sure, but not compared to baseline.

OK I’ll admit that hitpoints is the baseline for how hard it is to kill something but there are other factors, eg . armor and their other defenses/attacks. So it’s not just hitpoints.

Guess you didn’t read (or understand) the link I posted. A normal zombie’s fat, tissue, etc will absorb the impact and while the same items will not absorb the force when everything is frozen. therefore increasing the chances of fracture. Hence, freezing things makes them easier to kill, again, depending on your weapon.

Overall your proposal seems commendable but I think it needs more tweaks.

Your link is about physical reactions after deep freezing to -72. It’s irrelevant to a discussion about partially frozen material around the freezing point. I feel like you’re being unreasonably stubborn here.

Oh and you’re saying your proposal is 100% correct and doesn’t need any tweaks? Who is the stubborn one here? Forget it, if you don’t want any input then don’t bother posting anything.

I already said, in my very first reply, that I agreed it would probably need adjusting.

While i love the concept of zombies speed/stats being subject to external effects, far as i recall all suggestions in this regard have been avoided thus far. weather due to the level of complexity/aspects/features you’d need to introduce in order to justify an overhaul of something that ‘just works’, or due to avoiding re-balancing the entire system around niche mechanics.

what i dislike about this approach is the separation of effects on mobs from the effects on the player / npc’s
if anything the effects should be similar unless it is something very, specific. to contradict what @ppalda0421 points out, Low temperatures tend to make things more brittle aka decrease elasticity(dampening)

however the mechanic you describe could probably be condensed to a single temperature based buff i’d imagine, so who knows :slight_smile:

Short version:

Flesh is flesh. Romero Zombies or alien blob zombies or whatever other zombie. You freeze if you are flesh and have little or no blood circulation. Game of throne be damned too. Magic freakin white walkers…Meh! xD

Seriously though. Zombies would freeze at freezing temperature levels. Canon can be whatever Kevin wants. But realism is nice too. I already explained in a other threads that having other creatures fill the gap in the winter wouldn’t be a stretch. Zombies in buildings could move slow and everyone outside would have to thaw to move again.

But whatever. My 2 cents.

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Blobzies, hell. If temperature effects mean anything, it would be slowing down ants/fungus/triffids as they hibernate, making winter the ideal season in which to conduct necessary purges.

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Zombie flesh isn’t flesh though. It’s tainted flesh. It doesn’t have the same properties as regular meat. Without knowing the basic rules of how zombies maintain homeostasis (because they do somehow), it’s entirely plausible that they are able to produce enough heat to not become an icicle as soon as the temperature hits zero. In fact, given that the blob can maintain function in the face of everything else, it’s very unlikely freezing temperatures would suddenly be the one thing it couldn’t adapt to.

The blob can work voluntary muscles to make zombies walk, grab, bash, claw and bite. Why can’t it work involuntary muscles to make the heart beat and circulate tainted blood to help keep the zombie warm enough to function in sub zero temps?

Another way then. Anything water will freeze at freezing temps folks. I know the game isn’t 100% accurate. It isn’t supposed to be. I just would like a little more realism in this regard, so the other mobs in the game can get some love.

Besides I’d like nothing more than to have Snorks, Chimeras, Blood Suckers and all the other mobs from Stalker: Last Day as well. But I doubt it’ll happen.

Actually, water with dissolved contaminates freezes at different temperatures, that’s how antifreeze works and could easily apply to the blob. And water with active chemical reactions going on in it produces heat to keep it above freezing, that’s why living things don’t freeze as easily as open water, and why having a jacket keeps a person warm - it prevents that produced heat from radiating. Zombies show up on ir, so they also produce their own heat.

This really isn’t a question of realism. It’s perfectly realistic for zombies to not freeze, within the rules laid out by the universe. I think temperature effects would be cool (ha) because they’d change the feel and play of the game, making winter zombies durable and slow and giving it a stronger immersive feel of coldness.

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