What are Your Options for a "Perfect" Game?

By options I mean of course world (or game?) options, mainly about spawn rates, evolution (although I have no experience with what that does, other than the desc. which sounds a little ambiguous), and maybe monster speed and resilience if it’s a good mix of the two.

I always wanted to set up a challenging world that won’t murder every single character within a few starting turns (or at least the first day) but have had difficulty attempting to mix the two perfectly (and trying to find that realistic mix of housings per zombies too).

I don’t want to spawn in a city with 6 houses but has almost 50-75 zombies, but also hate defaulting to setting spawn limits to 0.00 or 0.10 as it really takes the challenge out of Cataclysm (I sorta rely on high NPC spawn rates and random spawns to keep it interesting).

I really just want some input so I can even out a challenging but also have a fun experience along the way to becoming a demigod.

Another question: Are there always spawns for places like Triffilid Groves, Police Departments, etc.? Could this be an alternative to having high zombie spawns?

I don’t usually change options such as enemy speed and resilience, I personally feel that it is balanced quite well as it is. Evolution makes tough and hard-hitting baddies appear instead of normal zombies, but does nothing for your very first days of survival. I also leave that as it is on default. While I really don’t like the moment when it starts to make a noticeable difference, it has a solid reason to be there. Keeping city raids from becoming mundane, that is!
Wandering spawns is an interesting option to turn on. It tends to depopulate cities to some point, as I noticed, without removing any challenge. Those zombies may have wandered away from where all the sweet loot at, but they are still out there somewhere. Maybe waiting just for you at your front porch.
I also tend to double all the loot in the world. It may take away some challenge, but I personally like to have more options overall, and in a tight situation specific.
And I also change season length down to 30 days. Makes me enjoy all the hardships of all seasons within a single playthrough. Otherwise, I usually get bored halfway through summer.

I’ve been enjoying a broken cyborg lab start into a 16/1 mega city and reducing to 9/6 afterwards.

spawn rate 1
carrion spawn 3%
item spawn 0.3
npc spawn 0.01
evolution 0.3

speed 200
resilience 100

50 day seasons with scaled construction times
wandering on
z-level on

I always disable survivor gear and all power armor, all medieval armor, plus ww2/cold war weapons and all makeshift mechanics firearms (pistol from pipe anyone?), and zombie pheromone. I’ve been thinking about starting to disable nomad suit as well, it’s too good overall.

Since I like to play with z-levels I also have to nerf blob active splitting to only huge blobs and with higher cd to avoid labs becoming unplayable, and I reduce ant hills for the same reason, plus a bunch of other tweaks like labs having no road connections etc.

Another one I’d like to try is like spawn rate 10, normal speed zombies with double health. Maybe with some kind of duster challenge where I disable all the good offensive/defensive recipes you can craft and make the game more loot oriented.

If you do a city start like fled the riots with high speed zombies I recommend changing the starting time to night so your day-1 survival isn’t just pure rng.

What’s zombie pheromone?

Just out of curiosity, do you not like makeshift firearms? Makeshift firearms are a real thing. Its sort of amazing how simple it is to make a gun. It won’t last after firing too many rounds, but you’d be surprised at the number of crazy real world ‘pipe’ guns. I’d be interested in seeing a mod where the only firearms available are makeshift / cobbled together.

I’ll have to give some of your settings a shot. They sound interesting!

Zombie pheromones are an item that turn zombies in a small radius around you friendly for a short period. Some people consider it an OP item since it is relatively easy to craft and acts as a get out of jail free card in many situations. Suddenly that big scary hulk becomes your best friend and merrily helps you bash hordes of other zombies.

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If it’s anything like The Walking Dead where Rick and crew smear zombie goo on themselves then maybe it should make your outfit filthy or at least several items of it and that might make it a little less Op. Or just put a serious morale penalty on it

I usually disable ants because I think are op specialy when 90% when I spawn the nearest town is taken over by acidic ants.

16 city size and maximum city spacing

Doubled fixed spawns,50% speed,150% resilience

Starting at 12AM

The rest I up to what I want to play as I usually take an more role-play style to my playthroughs ._.)b

I tell new player’s to start with small towns and to set monster speed to 30% and durability to 40-45%

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here’s some good option i have on my daily basis :

  1. make a world with “world end handling” option to “Reset”, set monster evolution to 5.00, resilience and speed at 15%, start at Spring on hour 7. static and random NPC enabled.

  2. make a freeform character and max all the stats, traits, and skills of the character (fully max all)

  3. Enjoy…

result on my side :

even your character is maxed out, you never know where you gonna spawn and when you die, the world reset and regenerate new map so you’ll respawn at different map every new session.

the challenge :

you can spawn near area that heavily-infested with acidic ants and fungal population + even though you set the speed and resilience on low value… the evolution number on 5.00 makes the monster spawn with deadlier traits… including fungal that can shoot fungal projectiles at you.

I usually run default everything monster wise but I run 30-45 day seasons. Lots of mods of course and size 8 cities with 4 spacing. I do set NPC spawn rate to 2.0 so they actually exist. I don’t end up with many friends so beware lol. Leads to living survivors living in survivor homes which is cool. Usually I scale down construction time down by whatever percent of the season length change I made. Wander spawns on.

I also tend to play Experimental scenario, unwilling mutant, which defaults to no equipment or skills, not even shoes for ya. Gotta spend your points very wisely if you want to survive. Add in some robust genetics and genetic chaos and you got my typical play through.