Vehicle condition, post-cataclysm

Belasarius just pointed out on IRC that virtually all vehicles either need gas or need wheels or an engine in order to move an inch… I, at least, can’t recall ever finding a vehicle in fully operational condition with half a tank in it :smiley:

I understand that after the cataclysm hit everyone who could mobilize did, and apparently drove til the vehicle either broke mechanically or ran out of gas… Also understand that its this way because vehicles are a valuable and important item to own in the cataclysm, so for gameplays sake should not be easily obtainable (also it forces one of two missions/quests on you: The Hunt For A Container And Gas, or The Hunt For An Engine Or Wheels, and also allows flexing of the mechanic skill…).

I just don’t think that every single vehicle would be in this shape… As I said up top I can’t remember ever finding one that’d move without first being repaired/fed gas, but I’m not the most seasoned or experienced player… Figured I’d toss a post up and see how people felt about the subject.

Is this the way it should be? Should there rarely be fully functional vehicles sitting around (if indeed there are none, anyway)? Do you think the difficulty in gathering all the parts to repair a vehicle is too easy or too hard, or right where it should be? Thoughts on vehicle key parts (engines, tires, tanks etc) having durability/needing replaced after simple usage wears them down (this would make easily obtainable working vehicles possible while still needing to replace parts eventually even if you don’t wreck/damage it…)?

Add a fourth condition: “Driveable but with previous owner(s) in vicinity”, guarantee a special zed or “family unit” pack of standards/kids, and that ought to account for all possible vehicular outcomes.

(Could be any number of reasons to pull over and get out: pit stop, thought saw something useful, panic, stretch legs, foraging, etc.)

IME the refuel-vehicle condition is by far easier to achieve than the replace-parts condition. I don’t think I’ve ever repaired a motor vehicle, rather than found an operational one and refueled. Tires and engines just aren’t trivial to replace.

vehicles are super powerful. I think its important for gameplay that unless you tailor your start character for fixing vehicles (which means forgoing other useful stats) you wont be able to jump in a car day 1

I found a working (but empty) RV sitting in front of a gas station once, I promptly drove off in it (after dragging a broken motorcycle over to a gas pump, filling it, and then dragging it over to the RV to siphon gas), but I’ve never again gotten that lucky finding a vehicle on day 1.

Also even if you are tailored for repairing vehicles you probably won’t find a welder, a wrench, a hacksaw, and a decent vehicle missing parts you can scavenge from the local vicinity in time to repair a vehicle on day 1, unless you happen to forego collecting other supplies (like food, water, and carrying capacity).

I agree with game balance in theory, but practically cars shouldn’t be rare or hard to get, they should just be limited in how useful they are.
Carrying stuff long distances on paved roads is what they’re really made for, not driving offroad through hundreds of zombies, shrubs, giant mosquitoes, and small trees. A good reinforced vehicle should probably require finding an abandoned military vehicle or DIY, which balances out the difficulty and effectiveness pretty well, though pure random chance can still play its role.

If the infection took over in (less than) a week, I’m sure you can tell if a significant number of working transports were found useful in due time. Even if the general alert was raised with measures enforced (as for majority of people to die in a future incident) people would still flock; this or that most certainly being left behind.
I’m thinking of building a m’cycle from scratch in the spring; you’d be knocking yourself over if you saw what people get rid of in a sec.

This is one of the areas where we’re intentionally diverging from the realistic scenario for now. We have various pieces of development we’re working on to build out vehicle functionality, for example as Weirling points out to restrict “street vehicles” to roads, if not totally then to just make them fairly inneffective at driving cross-country. Then the next level if you will is to find or build an offroad capable vehicle. As features like this that rebalance vehicle effectiveness go in, we can loosen up on restricting availability of working vehicles in the early game.

The end goal is to have lots of working vehicles scattered around as you’d expect, but they won’t be a win button anymore, more a win button starter kit. For example I’d love for working stock cars to be a limited but extensive resource that it’s reasonable to extend by using them to smash into things.

I find it fairly easy to head out on day one (assuming I got lucky on world-gen) find a rifle in a gunstore and work my way through town, once clear, get to level 2 mechanics and then chop-shop ALL THE VEHICLES and build my ungodly massive MFB, if my laptop could take it the RMCC XD

Long story short - 90% of cars would be in near-perfect condition, but out of fuel.
5% - caught up in terrible crashes. Also, correct car deforming when?
4% - broken in process of usage.
1% - perfectly untouched in the garages or enclosed parking lots.

…When do we get enclosed parking lots? I’d love to have somewhere enclosed to build my ungodly vehicles… Fucking zombears ruin everything now.

Well, there are, like, a lot of them. At least three of them in my town.

Seriously. Three enclosed parking lots in russian town. And also garages. Lots of them.

All we need is house templates that have garages, and probabably some lightweight changes to overmap generation to generate “row houses” vs “suburban houses”. Another nice direction to go with it would be alternating roads and alleys, which is really common in city residential areas, along with wide roads with cars parked along the sides. (very common in NE for snow lanes in winter)

I’m not sure how “correct” it’ll be, but better car deformation is being actively looked at.

Ninja’ed: You mean parking garages? That’s probably a z-level thing, single level parking garages are kind of silly.

Speaking of off-road and correcting vehicle_mass<->tyre_property ratio, how about some immediate effects? Hitting enough bushes, ramming slender trees generates damage so parts are bound to fly, and just the right combination can render your car non-steerable (or with the left part of the axis remaining functional), brakes non-responsive, fuel tanks leaking and the engine(s) failing. The last one could possibly resemble the “lost control of the vehicle” pattern, because the aggregate is gaining power all of a sudden, or loosing it to no apparent reason (its breakdown seems inevitable)…

Makes sense to me, part of me is disappointed that my vehicle doesn’t roll when I completely lose control of it off-road.

Then again how does one make a bottom-heavy 20 ton vehicle roll…

More importantly, how does a 2D ASCII simacrulum of a vehicle roll <_<

Pfft, that one is easy. You just flip it turnways and stuff.

Vehicles on roads have two major spawning patterns:

If you’re in a city (read: there’s a sidewalk) the vehicles spawn either with busted wheels or a broken engine.

If you’re outside a city (read: no sidewalk), then vehicles spawn in working condition but a bit beaten-up.

I think the only way to get a perfectly mint condition vehicle is from the debug menu… parking lot vehicles have some damage, last I saw.

As soon as I feel like disentangling the bass-ackwards coordinate system used on vehicles where it flips the x and y around for no particularly discernable reason. I tried before as part of another PR but had to roll it back; I’ll give it another shot some day. This is why frames on wreckage look so messed up, but more importantly, why the vehicle interaction pane has the vehicle facing north, but the templates in vehicles.json are all facing right.

If I’d have to guess I’d say the reason the coordinates don’t match is that it was developed out-of-tree and dropped into the code. That was before I was around, and the commit history from that far back is unreadable, so hard to tell for sure.