[ZS] The "Point Starve" Meta



  • Is kinda real, I think now. I didn’t believe it at first but the changes recently have made realise that it probably does happen.

    The principle is this: If the humans are going to stay in the cade all game, because patient zero zombies are harder to spawncamp, then zombies aren’t going to do very much until they get their strongest classes available. That way, they can push through the lack of DPS acquired because the humans didn’t get many points from them attacking early on. They’ll be left with 1-2 Tier 5 weapons which won’t be enough to stop them from ripping through 2-3 sigils in a single wave, which can and does result in losses.

    The problem that effectively happened before is debately worse because zombies are stronger and humans take less risks.

    I put this in the general since it’s a bit more meta oriented but I suppose a suggestion or idea to counter this problem should come.

    How much do you agree to this being the case? How often do you feel it’s occuring that zombies are very inactive on waves 2-4?



  • Maybe increase the amount of points earned during intermission? I would think that the increase would have to be no greater than 5 points.



  • See I don’t want to do that. I want the zombies to attack on earlier waves more, but I can understand why left clicking on a prop as weaker zombie isn’t always fun.



  • Every time I’ve seen someone point out “point starve” games end up in one of two boring scenarios.

    A: humans are outnumbering zombies 6:1, give or take afks on both sides, and by the time beefy and hard hitting classes are unlocked no progress has been made on destroying barricades so there’s not enough time to make humans lose. Unless there’s enough late joiners or idiots who die which brings us to…

    B: more zombies from late joiners or people who died from being impatient or suicided. Unless a lot of people died their small numbers won’t make the classes unlocked outweight the human’s firepower. And a lot pf people dying is something that can happen normally any round.

    So in short I don’t believe it to happen unless a deliberate nerf to guns happened combined with how early some classes are unlocked now.



  • destroying barricades so there’s not enough time to make humans lose.

    I’m not too bothered about the outcome of this (but I did quote that it can cause humans to just rapidly lose sigils), I’m more bothered, for clarification, that they just don’t attack on the earlier waves.

    Either way I think there an issue, not sure what would work yet.



  • The problem is there’s just no middleground. Either the humans were able to stay outside and spawncamp, which makes the zombies not try. Or humans are too afraid because patient zeros and early wraiths and fast zombies so they stay inside. Which causes what you’re describing to happen.



  • You could buff zombie health round 1 to encourage players using them and attacking while they have the buff



  • What about changing how frequently bosses spawn? One boss every wave is very rigid considering how variable the outcome of a round can be, even after one or two waves. They’re one of the few things that can allow the zombies to do something differently when there are only a few zombies.

    It also would get a larger pool of players using boss classes. Often when a game becomes very monotonous, it’s because a new player has been wasting the early bosses by running to the cade as nightmare for the first two or three rounds. More bosses in the game at once also opens up way more options for the zombie team.



  • @raox Implement some kind of beacon/waypoint system. Zombies have the tools to make humans lose without it being boring, it’s just that there isn’t always someone to yell at them.

    When you take the bigger problem of KILL HUMANS and break it down into smaller tangible goals like, press R and attack here, people are much more motivated to pursue those goals since they seen them as actually doable. Providing them with a way to build this team cohesion through little waypoints that can be directed by the boss or other zombies will make it more likely for them to cooperate, which will increase their effectiveness without requiring a massive re balance. Braindead zombies aren’t fun for humans or zombie, and no amount of buffs/nerfs will fix that

    Regardless, point starving only works if there are late joiners, as 5 zombies will never get near a cade unless they start taking humans. So point starving in general is just gambling.



  • Here’s a bunch of ideas to open up suggestions from different angles. Most of them are stupid but they can spark some other ideas or branch out. They’re useful for idea sessions at our game company to iron out directions we definitely don’t want to move towards.

    Measure zombie threat level and if they aren’t attacking then dynamically scale up an alternative ways humans can gain points. I don’t know what.

    Reward zombies for attacking in early waves.

    • First half of wave 1 requires 1 brain to resurrect, essentially swapping people out.
    • Gain more health and damage based on the damage you deal.

    If zombies do nothing then punish zombies by setting round end to wave 5 and trigger a minor victory for humans.

    Wave 1 flesh based zombies create slow infections with their claws. Healing infected people gives you little to no points, but removes their infection. Infections create fun situations where stupid or annoying people are just left to die, and sparks a discussion on who lives or not.

    An invulnerable, invisible zombie that moves really slow but creates zombie gas around itself. Has limits on where it can move based on humans within radius and such.

    A zombie flesh turret that can be built by flesh creepers. Inspired by Natural Selection 2’s gorge plant.



  • I was definitely thinking about making redeems easier to perform on earlier waves.

    Maybe another idea to add to this would be even have some points transferred in some degree from the person(s?) you kill and redeem from. Encourages you to try becoming human and then playing human after the redeem.

    Another thing that I’ve previously discussed before is allowing Flesh Creepers to build multiple constructions or something. Flesh turrets would be one of these.

    Reward earlier classes on an individual basis to players who do well or increase the amount of boss spawns would be also things considered.



  • How about this.
    Change the zombie unlocking system to also take into account how well humans are doing + how well zombies are doing.

    If you are point starving humans then you shouldn’t be allowed to play as higher tier zombies.

    Side idea: You gain 1 zombie point for each 100 points of damage dealt to humans and for each 1000-ish points of barricade damage. You buy unlocked zombie classes for these points.
    Standing around doing nothing will fuck you over in the long run.



  • Honestly I think we should just reduce the amount of time before players are kicked, as zombie team very frequently has a team of 10 where only 5 are actively playing it, preventing those few zombies from getting patient zero.



  • @atomic
    I like this really much.
    Still, we’d have to take into account late joiners. Wouldn’t want to gimp the zombie team on eradicators come wave 6 just because a quarter of the team joined on wave 3.



  • @frugert Wave 6 would unlock burst and eradicator no matter what.



  • Fail to see how point starving is a strategy that needs to be snuffed out. You don’t get dead humans by doing that.



  • I was thinking more in terms of just making the game less slow after patient zero expires and zombies decide to not try because there’s enough zombies to deter the humans being outside, which is what I think this thread now identifies



  • @raox said in [ZS] The “Point Starve” Meta:

    making the game less slow after patient zero expires and zombies decide to not try because there’s enough zombies to deter the humans

    In that case, one solution is to increase the threshold percentage for patient zero buffs each wave.

    e.g.
    wave 1 - 15%
    wave 2 - 20%
    wave 3 - 25%
    wave 4 - 30%
    wave 5 - 35%
    wave 6 - 35% (50 players -> 17.5 zombies / 32 humans)



  • Some years ago I thought the following changes might be interesting. It’s likely unreasonable to implement them in ZS as it would require retooling a lot of the gameplay (and I don’t even know how well it would work) but I figure there’s no harm in laying it out. It might trigger some sort of epiphany.

    • Drastically reduce Z-kill point gain
    • Have fewer waves with longer intermissions
    • Humans can collect randomly-ish spawning bundles of tokens (souls, holy shards, w/e) around the map
    • The tokens held by these bundles, by humans and by sigils expire over time (e.g. 1 per 3 seconds)
    • Sigils with a soul count below a threshold are corrupted
    • “Damage” to sigils destroys tokens instead
    • Players can channel their tokens into sigils in exchange for points (this is the main source of points)

    There’s probably more but I forget.



  • @zetanor said in [ZS] The “Point Starve” Meta:

    Some years ago I thought the following changes might be interesting. It’s likely unreasonable to implement them in ZS as it would require retooling a lot of the gameplay (and I don’t even know how well it would work) but I figure there’s no harm in laying it out. It might trigger some sort of epiphany.

    • Drastically reduce Z-kill point gain
    • Have fewer waves with longer intermissions
    • Humans can collect randomly-ish spawning bundles of tokens (souls, holy shards, w/e) around the map
    • The tokens held by these bundles, by humans and by sigils expire over time (e.g. 1 per 3 seconds)
    • Sigils with a soul count below a threshold are corrupted
    • “Damage” to sigils destroys tokens instead
    • Players can channel their tokens into sigils in exchange for points (this is the main source of points)

    There’s probably more but I forget.

    The idea that comes to mind with where these would be spawn would be to use the existing sigil nodes (which don’t have a sigil occupying them). Apart from that, it involves refactoring the game to making running outside more viable.

    There was some idea that Jet had on the publish queue a while ago for bones or something that spawn on the map and they’d give you points and also decrease the wave timer a little bit.

    Found it:

    Bones

    • Red, floating bones will appear in random locations over time, giving humans an incentive to continue exploring the map and moving around.
    • One will appear every 30-60 seconds or so as long as the wave is active. Up to 5 can be in the world at once. The oldest gets removed.
    • Both zombies and humans see them the same but only humans can pick them up. Zombie players can choose to camp them if they desire.
    • If a human collects one:
      • They will be awarded a few points.
      • The current wave will be reduced by a few seconds.
      • All Sanity Sigils will have some of their health restored.

    I’m getting the feeling and it’s understandable that it really is boring playing zombie if the humans are inside the cade almost at all situations. I suspect the winrate does not really change much when zombie buffs come in to play, because humans react eventually not to take risks.


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