What do you have as a standard?

Been playing for a month or two now, and decided to ask: what do you usually have set to world standards in terms of item spawning, monster evo and spawn rate, city size, etc? Also, what are some interesting things you do to spice things up? I enjoy turning the npc spawn rate crazy high, set the town spacing to 2-5, and have the town size be 8-11, and watching as the cataclysm should happen: people panicking, looting, running, and trying to survive in mega-cities. Item spawn goes higher to to show panic and a general mess, and also helps to get me into the action of survival without having to dig for days just to have enough food to move on.

Also, what do you have as a standard for inventory? Should you always have a ranged weapon regardless of melee status? Do you have items like welding googles and welders on hand for spur of the moment chop-shoping of vehicles in the road to add to your baby death machines? How about mini-libraries, just in case you find something you need to try and make (and thus memorize) and recipe? What DO you have sitting in your duffel bag?

City size 7, NPC spawning 1.00, wander spawns on, everything else default.
Usually do carry ranged weapons at all times, for shocker and acid zombies and stuff. Besides that a full tool set (most of it in a tool belt or similar), reinforced lockpicks, welding googles, soldering iron, tailor’s kit, a canteen of water at the hips, easy to carry food and drugs/meds and a mp3 player. As I get closer to late game more and more of that gets substituted by bionics, but I also start carrying less backpacks and the like.
It’s also really worth it wearing a shooter’s cuffs and a survivor headtorch.

I usually set NPCs to 0.7 or more, city size to 5, city spacing to 3. Almost all my worlds have hordes enabled, with a spawn rate of 1.2, and an item spawn rate of 1.1. It gives a nice challenge without being overwhelming, and the item spawn rate is high enough to feel reasonable. I’ll usually hand edit my save file to reduce the item spawn rate over time, to represent stuff decaying/getting scavenged by other people.

My basic kit is crossbow or bow and small quiver, melee weapon (in a scabbard if possible), knife for butchering in the boots, 2 first aid kits, a bottle of disinfectant, some aspirin, 4 improvised lockpicks, a light source, and a crowbar/halligan bar[1] on a firefighter’s belt if possible. I’ll carry a gas mask or survivor mask but only wear it when I spot boomers or smokers.

I don’t carry sewing kits or toolboxes on me regularly. I leave them, and the welding gear, in the mini-deathmobile of the moment. The library stays at home. I usually have a couple of duffel bags in the deathmobile for moving loot, but I don’t wear them except briefly in safe areas while transferring stuff from one point to another.

By midgame, I wear a survivor suit, survivor rig, and survivor pack for storage in the field.

Normal city size/distance, 8-20x enemy spawns, wander spawns on, 50% enemy speed, 200-500% enemy hp, 1-2x item spawn rate, static npcs on, random npcs depends on the game, but if on I set the number very low, 0.1-0.5 typically.

My gameplay revolves around stealth, traps, and luring things away from where I want to go and circling back later. Most important tools for me are fire source, lockpicks, and rubber hose (can siphon gas into a bottle then pour it out for a fire trap)

For armor I tend to go for maximum storage and ignore encumbrance as long as it doesn’t slow me down, because I find that in the early game, I die if I get into combat because I never find drugs quickly, and almost always get a deep bite if I fight. Later on I shift to whatever I loot that has good armor values plus a second set of gear that has good storage. Go out in combat gear with low encumbrance and clear an area completely, then switch to looting gear and take everything I want back.

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  • city size 9 space 5 (recently mapgen gets weird with that, using default 7 and 4 now).
  • mon spawn 1.5. evo default 4.0.
  • item spawn 0.5.
  • npc spawn 0.3.
  • wandering hordes on.
  • random and statoc npc.
  • zlevels on.
  • intcap skillrust on.
  • 14 day season, start at balls.

I pick a modified survivor, shower victim, or hobo as my char, and burning building as a usual start. I usually aim for a melee heavy build with a backup shotgun and revolver. I focus on mechanics and tailoring as skills, and grind up fab. I prefer light mutation and minimal bionics.

As the author of pks, i play with that on. that makes the world different a little. Early on I need armor and warmth. City starts in the freezing cold are usual for me. later I get a car.

Jeez, that sounds crazy. What do malls look like at that point?

I don’t go to malls, but it is normal to have >200 zombies in the reality bubble at a time, and with hordes on, you REALLY don’t want to make noise nearby your base. Combine with the 200-500% hp and you are not going through a horde until lategame, and even vehicles don’t do much against a full on horde, typically getting trapped after 3-5 zombies and then being demolished. Basically you need to make heavy use of traps, fire, and infighting (lure to mi-go/moose/turrets/tanks/etc, and make use of spitters/shockers hurting other zombies they catch in their attacks)

Even guns don’t help that much with the hp/horde combo, you can take out a few strategic targets, but until lategame you aren’t going mainly guns - you run out of ammo far too quickly. Bows/crossbows are a little better because you can get more ammo far easier, but they still require a lot of work to take down that many durable targets.

The lower speed is a mixed blessing - the shambling horde seems less dangerous when you can outwalk them, but you are more likely to underestimate them and get boxed in, at which point you die because you can’t carve a path out before they build up multiple layers around you and slowly beat you down.

I leave city size/spacing alone or else turn them up by 1 point. The main thing I alter is monster speed and monster resilience, which I lower to 92%. Why? When I was learning the game I set them to 75%, to give myself a large margin of error.

Now that I play well I’m trying to ‘dial in’ the best setting for me. I plan to start an RP Youtube channel focused around Cataclysm sometime in January, so I’m trying to find a pace that will give me ample room to role play without constant pressure of death. At the same time I don’t want it so easy. At 92% you’d barely notice a difference, but it tips things in your favor all the same. Or maybe I’m just crazy.

I also sometimes use Freeform when creating characters, because I’d rather set up the person I want to roleplay, rather than be restricted based on a pool of points. I try to adhere to standard points, though.