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[ZS] Redemption: The Key to Zombie Morale

  • With all the discussion centered around patient zero and making zombies even stronger I believe we’re missing the key reason why Z-Teams fail. They’re hopeless. No, I’m not implying they’re not strong enough, I mean what’s their endgame? Make everyone lose? Farm an arbitrary amount of brains to impress a lover? It’s nowhere near as interesting or engaging as winning or playing human, but what if even when you lost, your goal was still to win?

    Zombies have no long term goals, no big jackpot for persisting against humans. This is partially by design, as zombie should not be rewarding, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a goal. Any large point/exp bonus is a recipe for disaster, as then it will become another justification for suicide. Newer players also have no idea what exp or points even mean so I doubt they would even notice if we increased the point gain.

    So how do we incentive people to try as zombie without making it too rewarding? Redemption.

    A second chance at life is something tangible that can be understood by every player regardless of skill level, and fits the themes of the game perfectly. It’s the ultimate end goal for a team of losers, the ability to fuck everyone else over and save yourself. It encourages the same kind of frenzy that the last hit system of getting brains does. You get that last kill and you’re no longer a loser, even if human team is not long for this world atleast you can get back to making some points. And hell if you’re getting beat into the ground as a zombie, think about how sweet it’ll be when you’re the one shredding these losers back on human team. As it stands however, it’s not like that.

    Congratulations you redeemed! Now you’ve got a few problems…

    Say you’re on zombie team right now, it’s wave 5 and humans have been destroying zombies for the entire game. Half your teammates are afk, and don’t even speak english. You stick through it and manage to nab the top fragger as he’s running around outside the cade and congratulations you redeemed. Now you’ve got a few problems.

    1. You need to make it back to the cade unless the map developer is a benevolent god
    2. The DPS player had about 200 unspent points which is damage that human team will never benefit from, and his guns are in a mile into z-spawn and surrounded by very angry ghouls.
    3. You’re almost useless due to being 5 waves being on making points/getting ammo if you’re a shooter. If you’re not a shooter you’re completely useless. If you have friends they’ll maybe spot you a gun, but you’ll never be anywhere near the level of other humans.

    As it stands, redeeming is more of a burden than a reward in many cases and fails to motivate zombie team to continue attacking. Redeeming should be something that zombies strive for, the ultimate thing keeping them from afking, the chance to Redeem themselves and as such they should be rewarded for sticking through. I mean, really what do zombies have going for them other than getting a few brains?

    Not to mention it also reinforces that suiciding a human is pointless as your main goal as zombie is to become human again, and all you’re doing by killing yourself is setting yourself back as an individual while everyone else is actually making points.

    The 4th Brain

    It doesn’t matter how it’s done, it just matters that zombies get better feedback on their progress towards redemption (Could be something like getting a kill in rainbow 6 where they get a sound and a notification like 3 LEFT ) and that redeeming players have more potential to be useful on human team.

    Here are a few of my idea for rewards. Think of them as if they were implemented in isolation.

    • Point Stealing - redeeming players get a percentage of points from the players they’ve killed, making better players higher value targets and rewarding zombies that go through the effort to get them. Not to mention putting more pressure on well performing players. This could be communicated to them by a hud element stating the amount of points they’ll recieve upon redemption.
    • Regaining Worth Tools - For all those hammer/deployable mains out there who’s team didn’t look after them well enough. Even better would be stealing deployables back from those who claimed them.
    • Random Weapon of Tier (Wave Number-2) - Players get a weapon from tier (wave number -2), with anything below 0 being the redeemers. Would encourage redemption on the later waves, but would be a little strong. Ammo’s up to them
    • Welfare - Redeemers receive the point bonus (Not the exp) for every wave they’ve missed which may still not be enough to get them back on their feet.

    Now, some of these are strong, and the question of how this interacts with bosses is still up in the air but the value of redemption cannot be ignored. Reworking Redemption has the potential to make playing zombie just as tense and interesting as playing human without compromising the core game play of zs, or becoming more profitable than actually trying to win.

    Addendum (I forgot a few things)

    • Disabling redemption on wave 6 should be looked at. I know it’s annoying to chase people around but that’s where the potential reward for trying is at its highest, and zombies should be giving it their all.

    • Either make the dash to the cade the last trial for redeemers or make it drop them at a sigil. I like the concept of dragging people back under but it needs to be less of a gamble and more of a test of will or removed.

    I think at least one of these will work in the game, but I want to hear others’ thoughts on this as well. Talking will only bring us closer to the solution. Thanks for reading.

  • This is a great idea, as I’ve seen this sort of change being discussed in several different threads but those discussions weren’t nearly as in-depth as this.

    Building upon this, I would hope that the event of redeeming itself is made more satisfying, with a bigger payoff, as right now once you redeem you fade in from white and you just pop into a random spot on the map. Maybe you fall from the sky and cause all nearby zombies to take knockback?

    This is also a bit random, but redeemers could also be given an acrobatic frame trinket to go along with the theme of redeeming.

  • @binyot I talked about this in zs yesterday, but I guess I didn’t make my intention of doing a write up clear. I hope to unify discussion in this thread.

  • Given another chance at winning is big enough of a reward, it was never meant to be anything more.

  • @jetboom Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying make them gods, just give them some way to be useful. They’ve already traded 4 people for 1 and spent most of the game on ice while the humans have been earning exp, that’s punishment enough. It’ll still be hard to attain, but with just a little tweaking it could be much a more powerful motivator.

    Players who redeem now can’t do much of right now due to their lack of equipment, that is if they manage to make it to the cade. Those players should be expected to also pull their weight as a human if they want to win, something which they aren’t equipped for as the game progresses. Giving them the tools to perform ensures that they’ll at least have a chance to make some points, if they don’t succeed at the ultimate goal of winning. Redeeming just isn’t appealing if it’s out of your hands past the 4th brain.

  • @prof-dru said in [ZS] Redemption: The Key to Zombie Morale:

    • Welfare - Redeemers receive the point bonus (Not the exp) for every wave they’ve missed which may still not be enough to get them back on their feet.

    I think that this is the safest bet since it doesn’t provide any advantage that humans wouldn’t have without redeeming. Probably a bit underwhelming on its own though.

    Maybe replace the redeemers with a random tier 1 weapon, or give players their default worth loadout?

  • This is a great suggestion Dru. I think the “Rainbow Six Siege” “3 Left” is an interesting idea. It’d be fun.

    HVT is an alright idea, though I have mixed feelings about it.
    Welfare seems like a fair idea. That’s something that’d really motivate them.
    I’d recommend not doing “Random” tier two weapons, as a lot of people have specific “favorites.”

    Other than that, great list of ideas.

  • I’m not sure redeeming is inherently an issue or could ever be good enough of a motivator. I divide redeeming into 3 scenarios:

    • Zombies are tearing through terrible humans on wave 2-3 and you left redeems on, perhaps you volunteered as zombie. Redeeming is literally irrelevant here and effectively a way to spawn 100 pistol ammo on the ground if you redeem in a bunch of zombies.
    • You kill enough players to redeem mid wave later on, but you’ve killed enough humans in the process to make winning realistically very difficult. This is probably the most common case and it can be demotivational as a human to try in this case. You might get your 30 points out of your redeemers, the top 5 players will die with 200+ points, your contribution pale in comparison.
    • The rarest case, you’re on a team of terrible zombie players but you managed to trim the humans of their worst players too in order to redeem. It’s quite feasible to secure a win on this, since now you’ve made the zombie team almost worse by supplying them with bad players. Redeeming seems worthwhile here.

    The only case you are going to really care about redeems is case 3, which is a rare case but you cannot fix bad players. When humans back into the cade much more quickly than they used to, it can seem almost hopeless to start doing anything to humans unless they’re very stupid and don’t buy force fields or what not - but then why would you want to redeem into a bad team if they didn’t buy force fields? Redeeming is its own premonition in most cases. Unless there’s another metric that doesn’t involve weakening the humans in the process, that’s always going to be the case.


    • Redeemers receive the point bonus (Not the exp) for every wave they’ve missed which may still not be enough to get them back on their feet.

    This seems feasible enough to be more of a quality of life change than anything I doubt it would hurt the game too much to implement, at the least. You need to trade 4 humans to do this so the amount of points is still net negative.

  • @prof-dru said in [ZS] Redemption: The Key to Zombie Morale:

    @jetboom Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying make them gods, just give them some way to be useful.

    They’re useful by not being a zombie anymore, that’s enough.