Wander Spawns!

Fun fact: I’m legally obligated to hop on the forums once every three months to complain/discuss wander spawns, and it’s that time of the year again!

So it feels like Deja Vu because I download the latest experimental, generate up a new world with Static Spawns and Wander Spawns (Dynamic + Static NPCs, also), and I feel like I’m experiencing the same problems due to the latter.

I want to go off on a tangent for a moment and say that, sincerely, the previous improvements to Wander Spawns have come together really well and are very noticeable when you compare its current state to what it was six or so months ago. Namely, their generation is much more sensible and less frustrating (no more Zs covering my map!) and they act in a satisfyingly cohesive manner - they actually feel like a swarm both in their movements on the overmap (noticeably more so with 4< tile swarms) within your reality bubble. And I really like how they don’t spawn right on top of you any more :slight_smile:

Sidenote: I understand the need to strategically spawn additional Zeds to facilitate the creation of a swarm - gotta keep the game interesting, right?

What I’ve observed over the past few weeks of playing with the above configuration is that urban areas outside of the initially generated overmap have swarms up to a hundred strong spread over ~10 city tiles - as in each swarm is roughly bounded by that area within that city. Basically it feels like playing with a 2x spawn rate exclusively for cities, which I feel doesn’t fit with what Wander Spawns as an option should modify. The swarms don’t spawn out of nowhere, but as soon as I reveal the urban tiles the extra Zeds are already present.

The possible explanation is that I don’t explore unless I’ve read a map/guide that sketches that particular city out, resulting in the start of overmap events that might trigger swarm spawning (e.g. NPCs…). I don’t know what’s going on under the hood with the world-gen effect of reading a map, nor really anything technical about Wander Spawns (lmao), but I feel like they could cause something like this - also I’m a religious save-scummer which might have caused the resurrection of the infinite spawn-save-load-spawn bug (soz).

If I have some more free time I might also finally reveal why I’m so obsessed with Wander Spawns :smiley: thoughts?

I have noticed that the cities are particularly congested without fail. I never can go into the center of cities to start because of the sheer number of zombies that I just can’t handle. Not right away, anyway; given some gear I can clear out most of the basic types if they trickle, unless there’s brutes around. Spitters and electric zombies still wreck my shit, but I can gradually clear the swarm.

I’ve also noticed that there tend to be a disproportionately high number of zombies in very small towns; a block of 4 hours can have anywhere from 2 to 20 zombies milling about…but then again, I probably don’t care enough about that place to deal with them anyway, right?

I like that they spawn out in small groups at random. I’ve seen several packs of dead dogs running around and identical groups of regular zombies and roaming packs of Hunters. It really adds to the flavor of the environment and makes the zombies feel like they’re actually wandering around as opposed to just staying in one place forever and ever. It makes the world a lot less safe and means you can’t take it easy in one of the dead zones in the center of a field.

I like the hordes as they are. Compared to how they used to be, this is a miraculous system. Stopping because there’s a zombie that’s acting funny, just to have it run right by me, off to investigate some noise or something they found on the overmap, being encroached upon by a gang of hunting Tough zombies and dead dog packs, watching a horde kill itself on a car as they explode the gas tank and beat senselessly on the frame as they burn alive…

I like it. The zombies feel very fluid and are always shifting, settling occasionally and moving gradually over time. I don’t think I could go back to static spawn even if I tried to.

Might be a glitch in the version I was using (build 4672), but wander spawn was acting in a very infuriating way for me just now. Not only did an absolute ton of zeds appear out of thin air during day 1 in two 3-building areas, but, well… took out some zeds, withdrew to safe distance to catch my breath inside a car. One turn, the car is completely surrounded by freshly spawned zeds.

And even more infuriating: I was looting a cleared megastore, surroundings completely cleared of zombies. Until around two dozen spawn around and inside my cube-van and completely wreck it trying to get out.

During the couple of weeks I’ve been actively playing again, this is the first time I’m experiencing something like this, although I get the impression from various other threads here and elsewhere that wander spawn has been rather erratic in some versions. Now, I know it’s a risk you take when you play experimental builds.

Also, I’m not a 100% certain just how wander spawn is supposed to work, so I wouldn’t mind some insight. I think I’ve read some contradicting explanations, some saying the horde will spawn new zombies, but not infinitely, while others say it won’t.

I’ve been using Wander Spawns (aka hordes) nonstop in every game I play since they were implemented as an option in the game. I was a heavy supporter of them in concept before they were implemented, and I’m very happy with the direction that they are going in.

Anyways, I recently started a new game… RIP my last character… and I didn’t enable wander spawns in world generation.

And, the problem for me is that, well, the game is just… too easy without them now. I’ve played with them for so long that it’s babytown frolics for me to clear an entire city in less than two days, without the fear of attracting a horde from noise, and bases are too easy to set up, given that you can be as loud as you want and no zombies will spawn other than the ones that were in the city initially…

I guess I may have changed my perspective of this game from playing with hordes on for so long.

I was thinking of just scrapping my current game and trying a new world out with a spawn rate of 0 and hordes on… Would any hordes spawn, or are hordes dependent on the base spawn rate?

Do you have some good tips for keeping your noise down with wander spawn. Construction, cars, weapons…?

Construction is possible in areas that are far removed from cities, but building any kind of strong centralized base with hordes enabled usually turns out badly, because of how easy it is to make a noise loud enough to draw a horde, and vehicles, even with a muffler, can still draw a horde.

My rule for base building with hordes on has always been to either build underground, or one level up, in a two-story house, a two-story motel, or some other structure that will allow you to stay off ground level when hordes are passing through your base area, as they eventually will.

Other than that, never use firearms or explosives around your base, and never use unsuppressed firearms or explosives in general without a very quick exit.

Bows, melee weapons, and molotov cocktails are the most useful weapons, and I have found some suppressed firearms (especially those of smaller caliber) to be useable without attracting a horde.

Cars will always draw a horde without a muffler, and a muffler only lessens the problem, it doesn’t negate it. The best forms of transportation are the quiet ones: bikes, rollerblades, and electric vehicles. If you have fleet footed or indefatigable, running away from hordes is an option, just make sure not to run into a greater danger.

Basically, always plan before you act, always have a backup plan, always have an escape route planned for supply runs, and stay away from cities as much as you can. Hiding is an option before the hordes get close enough to your character to spawn zombies in your reality bubble, especially in basements, but once the horde spawns, you either run away or you get trapped and killed in your hiding spot.
IMO, other than the intentionally more difficult mods and settings, this is one of the most difficult and brutal ways to play this game. It makes everything more difficult, and everything more dangerous, and even characters that you’ve had for an in-game year can die from a dog stepping on a landmine near your hideout.

Best of luck

I’ve finally got my first character established and survivable with hoards on, don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back either. The game world is now far more active and interesting to be in, basically there’s never a dull moment. Everything you want to do is constantly being interrupted by stragglers, cities are only safe at night and anytime you go for a drive there is fighting between zombies and ants and fungals and triffids and just death and violence and explosions almost everywhere. THIS is how DDA is meant to be played!

Just so I understand… turning Wander Spawns to true, and leaving Static spawns also to true, means that nothing new spawns, they just turn into hordes? Or does it actually cause new zeds to spawn?

Zombies will spawn normally as they would in static spawn, but semi-random hordes (basically high-density moving zombie spawns will roam around the map) will cause new zombies to be generated if your reality bubble comes into contact with the horde spawns. Essentially, you will run into random map tiles that are full of zombies that shouldn’t be there, visible on your map with a blinking Z over the map tile that the spawn point is occupying.