The tale of endless ammo

Crashed Helicopter start.
Profession - soldier

Day 60 Spring: Only valuable thing in crashed heli is single huge EMP bomb. No civilisation nerby except one military bunker and one lumbermill. Lots of tools at lumbermill, including acetylene torch. Unluckily no welding googles. Throw EMP bomb at the side of a bunker.

Day 67 Spring: After setting up base in mansion not so far away, doing usual crafting and skill grinding finally i get a filthly firefighter mask that lets one weld or use acetylene torch. Open the metal door to the bunker. Find 6 destroyed turrets and about 10 000 ammo for your starting rifle. From now its won game as long as you dont do anything stupid.

Day 30 Summer: Zombie genocide lasts for almost two months. Whole cities are cleared during days, crafting and book reading at nights. Any ocasional enemy that cant be baited and killed with 5,56 ammo is dealt with small ammounts of other ammo and guns you find raiding gunstores and gun basements. Deathmobile finally takes shape so i can carry few thousands rounds for m4 easier. Find first tankbot. Snipe it with m107 found in basement of that mil bunker at day one using 3 .50 rounds that i had to reload mid fight because 3 of them werent enough. Tankbot drops another few thousands of rifle rounds and 250 of super powerfull HEDP 40mm grenades. I found their main use as quick breaching tool, they oneshot closed metal doors and sometimes they damage reinforced concrete walls.

Day 45 Summer: Find Hub01. This one might be actually a bug but the intercom does not respond. I have NPCs enabled. Breach the doors, get to elevator. Everyone down here is dead for some reason. Corpses still not rotten. No radiation, no enemies, no signs of fighting. But there are few snakes and brown chicks that are still alive. Gather about 2500 9x19mm +P. Armory has both laser pistol and rifle. Get RM13 armor of the boss, along with good flachette SMG and 1000 penetrator rounds.

Day 50 Summer: Find first military base. Its in open field. Snipe all 8 turrets easily. Get around 2k .50 ammo and 4k 7,62 NATO ammo. Robots inside are little more tricky but military Northrop Dispath drops more than enough explosives, one nuke included.

Summary:
About 12.500 5,56 military ammo,
4.000 7,62 military ammo,
2.000 12,7 ammo,
2.500 9mm +P ammo,
1.000 5mm flachette penetrators ammo,
250 HEDP 40mm ammo,
infinite laser ammo with how easy it is to carry big ammounts of energy in heavy batteries and one UPS, recharging them at solar powered deathmobile is free,
Shitton of explosives and lots of other ammo that dropped from zombies and such, not even worth mentioning, and sometimes even picking up.

Conclusion: Ammunition ecconomy is broken. If you find one place where military turrets or robots are and you have at least one way to destroy them, then zombies are no longer enemies but walking loot pinatas. Old robots carried much less ammo and when they were destroyed, ammo was blown up. While it probably wasnt the most realistic, it kept ballance somewhat at bay. And even fresh characters have at least few ways to deal with robots. Throw makeshift explosives, acid bombs, or ever just rocks or pipes from behind a corner. That corner might be a corner of dragged furniture or some poor-ass vehicle. You can try doing this at night and blind-throw. You can travel a bit, find some semi-working pistol on corpse, clear zombie soldiers from some crashed helicopter and hope for some better gun to shot down the turrets. You can ram robot with a vehicle.

Possible ideas for improving ballance:

  • change existing robots from being exactly TALONs or CROWs to other fictional, yet similar and functional, not SCI-FI brand of combat robots. For example smaller robots that carry less amunition, but have other features like autoexplode or at least ammo-frying device in case of “death”
  • for the love of gods why every combat robot you face is filled to full with ammo? Werent they fighting for days already? Or for months if you find them much later? If the cataclysm struck, isnt it possible thet there were ammo shortages because every unit was mobilised, so they could not give every CROWS ther 10k.ammo. Most robots you face should probably be at 20% of their ammo at best. Not sure about robots you face inside closed buildings, but they would never need hundrets of amunition to began with.
  • some robot spawning places need revisiting. For example that military bunker defence. 6 turrets are not rlly 3x harder to deal with than 2 turrets, but they do drop 3x more ammo. One lab can give you thousands of rounds too. If every turret dropped 30 5,56 ammo it would not be a problem.
  • i am not sure about this one, but maybe more enemies should be somewhat resistant to ranged attacs, zombies included, while still being vernuable to melle and other means. Long time ago smoker zombies and skeletons had 75% chance of miss when being shot, thus making ranged weapons much more inefective aganist them than now, where they are just treated as smaller target, and you headshot them anyway, jyst need to be 2 steps closer.
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Welcome to America, enjoy your stay!

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and here im using bows even when they have been nerfed, because the ammo is renewable xD.

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Are you playing vanilla? I’ve never seen HEDP 40mm ammo in vanilla, and if you’re using some weapon/vehicle mod, then your complain is about mod balance, not vanilla balance. Neither turrets nor robots there do not drop thousands of rounds each.
e: except for those CROWS turrets, those ammo belts are ridiculous indeed. but IIRC they were fixed already.

fixed when? they’re still ridiculous for me, but those chunks generated a while ago.

Playing pretty much vanilla, only no fungi, disable NPC needs and national guard beta.
My game version is the last one that still had Tanks and chickenbots.
HEDEP 40mm grenades are mainline for few weeks, i have found them in reasonable ammounts in some standard places.
About turrets being fixed - police roadblocks have mostly non ballance-breaking rubber grenade launchers now, tankbots are obsolete, and HUB01 crew being dead was most likely a bug, but there asre still problems.
Military roadblocks have their turret ammo reserves allways full at first encounter. Same for military bases turrets, and their ammo is very valuable because it can be used to snipe every other turret.
Military bunkers and labs have lots of 5,56 turrets. Here argument about them already using most of deployed ammo doesnt work because of closed space, but they probably should not be deployed with over 1k ammo each, especially in such big numbers.
Too much ammo trivializes lots of game aspects and destroys the apocalyptic feel where everything of value is scarce. While turret hunting to get more ammo wouldnt be a bad gameplay activity, it wouldnt break ballance if they dropped 30-100 rounds each, and main source of ammo should be military bases.

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Or perhaps things can be balanced more elegantly once better wandering hordes are in. Additional nether portals appearing (and disappearing; maybe even moving) from time to time after a certain in-game date can positively contribute as well.

In other words, you got lucky in that your starting character and the loot you found matched perfectly. From that point on you were in a positive feedback loop of useful loot begetting more useful loot, as should be expected.

Meanwhile, my character who doesn’t start with a gun may find a hundred rounds of 10mm or .700 NX and still have to stab half the people in town before I can find a gun to use it in. And it’ll be instant death if I run into any of the things that you took down without a shrug.

How to balance? I don’t think you can. I just don’t see a way to design the game so that it can be challenging for a lucky gun character, while still survivable for an unlucky melee character, while still being anywhere within the realm of realism.

Heck, it’s bad enough that the range of guns and bows are so horribly nerfed. I should NOT have to let a mi-go get within 30 paces of me before I’m able to shoot it.

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Yeah, this is why I am currently trying a game with a loot spawn value of 0.01

edit: I still managed to find a swat van with a H&K and Beretta complete with magazines and a handful of ammunition by midday of the first day.