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[ZS] More Starting Zombies?

  • I was wondering what the implications would be by increasing this.

    Right now we have to make the starter zombies really strong or give them good anti spawncamping classes right off the bat. It’s a brittle system though, only 1-2 players need to AFK or disconnect to make said point moot, because 1-2 zombies trying to attack a group of 50+ humans is not going to be a fun experience for them even if they have significantly improved hit detection and overall stats now. These aren’t your old romero zombies anymore.

    If there were more starting zombies, this would be less likely to be the case. You’d need to lose more players for it to occur. I think a larger starting zombie count is much harder to handle with spawncamping so it kinda counters it. I also feel in retrospect you could probably dial back zombie stats if it works out okay to make the later game less rough. I think one of the most impactful things you get out of increasing the number of starting zombies is having more wave 1 action which would fit as under JetBoom’s post:

    That means normalizing the effectiveness of both teams throughout the entire duration of the round. Additionally, humans will become less effective early on and zombies less effective later on.

    People still are spawncamping very frequently and the zombies aren’t strong just by numbers early in the game, so I think a new strategy could be tried out. Also note the selection system prunes out players who somehow are incapable of finding sigils so it often places players who are less skilled on the zombie team. Something could also be looked at for this.

    It could however make the game into a more of a wave 1 death fest too often which isn’t good if the humans don’t even try to cade anything. But this is generally the case, anyway, trial by fire I guess.

  • My (admittedly limited) experience with this is that having more starting zombies tends to piss people off because they have a higher chance of getting kicked out of being human. Sigils help to alleviate this because rarely will you actually get picked if you’re even close to one (albeit, this does lead to the issue you mentioned where the starter zombies tend to be absolute morons unless a decent player intentionally goes zombie). I’ve seen rounds on some servers where there are 9 starter zombies because of wave 1 suicides (and therefore humans get annihilated round 1 because of morons who don’t know how to do anything wave 1 except spawncamp and refuse to back up) and some rounds where all of the people who get picked ragequit and humans have to suicide.

    Spawncamping is cancerous in any case. Not only is it stupid as a human because it wastes medical supplies (and in many cases, ammo thanks to retards shooting zombies under spawn protection), it can lead to zombies going afk until later waves or leaving, and then we loop back to the issue of zombies being too weak to do anything early on.

    Of course, if you do decide to buff wave 1 zombies, there’s going to be a period of excessive wave 1 wipes (or just mass deaths) due to people trying to spawncamp like they’re used to and getting annihilated. This might iron itself out over time, but if you’re worried about people not having time to build barricades wave 1 then maybe a bit of extra prep time could be looked into?

  • was about to suggest this. A static increase in starting zombie % would be fine, although it would be better if the map winrate could be factored in.

    e.g. very low winrate would keep 10%

    It could however make the game into a more of a wave 1 death fest too often which isn’t good if the humans don’t even try to cade anything. But this is generally the case, anyway, trial by fire I guess.

  • I’ve seen many rounds where a bunch of new players become zombies and get ass-blasted during wave 1 and they quit, leaving sometimes 2 or 3 zombies pitted up against usually 40-60 humans. Not to mention new players almost always go nightmare which when you only have 2 zombies, leads to humans tanking the boss in 3 seconds.

    I have a few ideas on how to combat situations like this. Say for instance the round starts with 6 zombies and 4 of them leave by the end of round 1. There could be a randomized lottery that picks 4 humans to be moved over to the zombie team. You’d need to account for afk players as well, with a system that detects whether someone hasn’t moved since the start of the round so they aren’t picked.

    Another way would be to make players joining during wave 1 go to zombie team if there are less zombies than when the round started. Once the amount of zombies playing is the same as it started, joiners go to the human team instead.

    Don’t know if these ideas could work, but just throwing them out there to see if we can flesh a solution out.

  • zs is eugenics - lengthen that speed boost you get out of spawn?

  • @god-king-takara An extended speed boost out of spawn would defiantly drive humans back and force limitations on spawn camping

  • @god-king-takara This may work on huge maps like Abandoned mall and Splinter, but this could make winning maps like Vault 106 and Nasty House very difficult.

  • A speed boost doesn’t work when 2/4 players disconnect and the other 2 use act muscle in spawn

  • Being an initial zombie is boring because you’re either (a) farming morons and AFKs to redeem because it’s easy but also because it won’t affect your victory chances much, or (b) you’re “z-maining” (intentionally or because you know you’re not redeeming) but early on, you’d mostly only kill morons and AFKs that can’t move the round so you just sit in spawn chatting and watching YouTube videos on your other screen for a couple rounds.

    The first zombie players aren’t doing shit unless there’s fun and purpose to be found in actually playing. This means you should be able to score kills and get a game going even if the humans are all top tier players. This in turn means giving those first zombies major, major assistance. It could be a “patient zero” status with insane stat buffs that carries over deaths but tapers off as the infection grows. I’m not sure how this specific example would interact with barricading and the point economy but there has to be a way.

  • Off topic: Humans should spawn at a random sigil. Boss zombies are now “who gets to the afk spawning humans first”.

    This might sound fucking stupid but I believe thinking somewhat outside of the box can allow for some creative ideas. Tweaking existing features is an endless task. I was thinking about having zombie crows as wave 1 only zombies but that might be too much of a deviation from what we have.

    So to analyze the problem. Humans are outside and camping the zombie spawn. They are far away from their sigils and ideally, in a perfect game, they should be all inside and barricade. In a full server, zombies get blasted and can’t get out of their spawn.

    So what if we make it dangerous to be outside and also, at the same time, make people be scared of being alone?

    Zombie Parasite
    You are an infection that spreads around humans. This is most useful for wave 1 and against humans that are far away from sigils.

    • You have -10 DPS if you are not inside the zombie gas or inside of a human.

    • You are completely invisible.

    • You take damage if the human you are possessing is close to a sigil or if the human is healed.

    • A successful “attack” against a human will put you in a first person spectator mode on that human with the ability to look around.

    • You can always do another “attack” and jump to another human you can reach.

    • Respawning parasites can choose to either spawn at another parasite (branching out, spreading) or spawn normally.


    • E: Jump to a human you can see within a radius.
    • Hold Mouse 2: Apply a damage over time + “so high right now” effect on the human you are currently possessing. Ignoring blood armor. Dealing damage will make you stronger.

    Countering Parasites

    • If a player is taking damage from a parasite, someone with a medkit can keep their health up until they can reach a sigil.
    • Staying near sigils will protect you from parasites because they take damage from being near them.

    Being Effective

    • Dealing damage and jumping to another human. Good for those groups of people camping outside of the zombie spawn.

  • I think patient zero is a better idea. Have miniboss zombies roaming around until a certain % is reached. Better than just upping the start % because it punishes you for being dumb rather than semi randomly.

  • Patient Zero sounds like a good idea. Don’t have people pissed off about there being more starter zombies and it makes being early zombie not so dreadful.

  • Next update will have a stat boost and adjusted health formula for starter zombies. The buff is generic - I wanted to apply to any class.

    After 15% infliction (subject to change?), this buff no longer happens.

  • If you wanna do that you can just do it in the global takedamage and move functions rather than every single weapon.

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