Z-levels and zombie mobility

As “experimental Z-levels” become more and more integrated, let’s talk a bit about zombie’s Z-level capabilities.
As of right now, Z’s don’t seem to have any.
I.e. they can’t climb anything but stairs, and they can’t jump up.
Below I’ve listed a few things I think might be worth adding. Please evaluate those and/or add your suggestions.

  • zombies that can jump 2+ tiles sideways (feral hunters, predators, etc) should be able to just jump one level up, assuming they have line of effect. (Maybe with non-100% chance to succeed on every try.)
  • zombies with good coordination (runners, etc) should have a chance to use anything a player could (drain pipes, corners, furniture, etc) to move up a Z-level
  • zombies that can pull a player 2+ tiles (grapplers, etc) should be able to pull themselves up a Z level as well.
  • enough zombies should be able to just form a ramp out of their bodies for other Z’s to climb.

As long as they start spawning on designated stairs after changing Z-levels via stairs first all that sounds good. Maybe the problem with Z-level changing was fixed already, but I got really tired of it before deciding to take a break.
Also paragraph 4 is likely to happen last if at all because an improvised ramp out of loosely piled probably mostly organic matter of uncertain composition and density sounds like a rather complex thing to do right.

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Well, “ramp out of bodies” in this sense:
So it’s mostly a question of getting enough zombonies.

But we have cells with a certain volume limit (is it 200 litres?) so figuring out whether the inactive specimens of homo cerebrophagus currently present in a given tile a) provide sufficiently reliable footing of b) sufficient height c) long enough to climb towards the desired Z-level cell above is not exactly trivial.

It can be as simple as “if X zombonies are next to each other next to a wall, one of them gets a chance to move up a Z level”.
I mean, a player can run up a level by just walking into a corner. The game isn’t exactly restrictive as to what counts as “stable enough support” to move up one level.

That screams “gasoline and molotov” target to me…


To be fair, you being on the roof with the horde trying to get to you already is a perfect chance to use a molotov. Or any DOT AOE attack, for that matter.

I find that if I get up onto a roof and zombies are swarming around below I can hit them with a melee weapon by standing at the edge of the roof and hitting the tab button. Unless they have ranged attacks they have no ability to retaliate. By attacking in Malay until you get exhausted, and then just resting because you’re safe, you can build up combat skills ridiculously quickly. While I really love the idea that zombies are at Spartan Knouff to climb so you probably could do something like that, it feels unsporting that they have no means of getting up. Even if only one in 10 had a chance to climb up each turn that would still make it a much more dangerous proposition

I also find it frustrating that, last I tried, you can’t shoot between z levels, even when the distance is ridiculously short

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The noise from fighting and zombies bashing on whatever is in their immediate surroundings should eventually attract more zombies. In worst case scenario there might be enough zombies bashing on the wall underneath your character, one brute with a few ordinary friends was sufficient at some point (don’t remember exact build). If that happens that wall will eventually collapse.
Just saying that this strategy is not 100% safe.

I have the corpse ramp thing sorted out.

If a zombie is standing next to a wall, and another zombie is trying to get onto the wall, the zombie next to the wall can be “trampled”, which turns them into a corpse-like item on the ground.
Then a relaed feature would sum the volume of all non fragile items in a tile and if it volume is higher than some threshold (1,500 L or so?) then that tile would count as a ramp.


As in it becomes inactive, paralysed in a way? What happens to carried items?
If z1 in that scenario legit dies then the following will sometimes happen: horde flocks to a source of sound (underground or whatever) near/under a wall -> horde kills itself recursively until only one zed remains or sufficient volume is attained.

It would be awesome if zombies were more than just a collapsed roof threat when you get up there using climbing. I definitely would love to see zombies like predators and athletic types be able to climb and to jump up as well.

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Your first guess was correct, it’s paralyzed not killed.

In older versions all Zombies could scale a wall (as in “jump up a floor, without any objects to brace against”), which was really annoying. I’m glad it got fixed, but yeah, it would make sense for some Zombies to be able to climb or jump up (with a “freeclimber” trait to pick for the player to do the same). Building a ramp out of bodies also makes sense.

Not sure if it was fixed, but in a version from about two months ago, the Feral Hunter Zombie could jump right next to the character, if the Zombie stood on stairs and the character was above/below him, even without a line of sight or stairs nearby (on the characters z level).

I might remember this wrong, but I think I was able to aim (shoot or throw) at a different z level after activating 3D-vision (or whatever it’s called). 'Was a few versions back though and I didn’t actually took a shot, so I’m not sure if it would have worked.

You can shoot in different Z-levels, it requires 3d/Z-levels vision or whatever it’s called, but it makes the game unbearably slow when in citylocations, especially when there is large multilayered buildings that contain lots of zeds. Once that is addressed I’ll definitely be using it.
As well as some labs and underground situations.

…It also causes turrets to try to shoot you through the roof/floor, just as it allows you to somehow view the surface from a basement (and reveal thereby parts of the underground map)…
…I still use it, though :smile: .

Okay, as long as this difference prevents vast majority of every early game horde from incapacitating itself for a long enough period of time I guess I can see no flaws.

If a bunch of zombies get trampled together, they should have a chance to fuse into a Dissoluted devourer.

Or spontaneously explode into a pile of blood and guts :boom: