Lucifer Effect is a big issue: ideas to reduce it in Unturned

In basically all sandbox pvp survival games, usually people have this tendency to shoot on sight and never get in touch with other survivors. Small groups are created solely with people that are well known outside the game. The behaviour goes beyond material greed, like most known in games like Rust where even nakeds try to kill other, even idling or friendly, nakeds with a rock. This is what is called Lucifer Effect. The exertion of power exclusively because there’s nothing to incentivize otherwise.

As a survival game first and foremost, it would be interesting to try getting a more survivor like mindset, like it happens in some private-semiprivate DayZ and old Unturned servers. The whole concept of handling trust and grouping up, then fighting against other groups for resources/territory has been a natural human instinct for centuries and an interesting turn in a game that otherwise would be the latest “abuse of the immediately achieved power against anything”.

So, here are some interesting ideas that I don’t think have detrimental effect on the game, but only upsides:

  • Teamwork based Actions: actions that require the need of another player. This could be done by making some critical healing items much more efficient when another one is applying it to you and for a selected few even mandatory (after all having someone else is objectively better than self medicating when dealing with wounds or broken bones, and a few medical procedures can’t be done alone), locked loot rooms that require 2 players to open (the classic double keycard doors), lifting upside down vehicles, cooperative building, heavy/big items lifting and carrying, etc;

  • Ability/Crafting Specialization done well: if there will be a skill or craft learning system here too, surely one can’t get everything. By placing a proper cap on the maximum “allocated points”, having a small group is beneficial as each person is able to specialize in one field, like vehicle repairing, crafting heals, and so on. For this purpose, I don’t think that combat based skills should be a thing, or if they would, they should be handled separately from the “utility” ones. It would be just annoying having to choose between having a steadier hand when shooting or crafting a piece of transmission to repair the group’s truck;

  • A properly Hostile Environment: survivors group up to survive. If zombies are a joke to survive from like in the current Unturned, there’s not much incentive to group up. Also, good environmental enemies make the mood as real surviving and thrilling, and there would be plenty of satisfying shooting and whacking to do. Zombies, wolves at night, bears in the woods, there’s plenty of possible enemies that can give an interesting and useful variety of loot too. Zombies should be faster to not stay behind and more reactive than before, a real threat, even for a fully geared solo player. Wild animals should outrun the players when attacking;

  • Less focus on Long Range Engagements: sniping from a kilometer away doesn’t give any satisfaction for anyone. Maybe the shooter in the boredom, roofcamping. The game can be more focused on closer interaction without being detrimental for sniper/scout/marksman players. Instead of putting 8x scopes, make up to 4x. I see the ballistics idea in the wishlist and that’s nice;

  • Make Sharing Items easier: sharing is caring. Avoiding too many ammunition types makes the same bullets easier to use with more weapons that can be found around. As there’s an incredible amount of bullet standards, the idea of realistic ammunitions types maybe should be avoided, or it would be detrimental to weapon variety too. Just think how russian rifles have different calibers than the world standards. So maybe it could be like Heavy, Medium, Light, Shells, Precision bullet types, color coded and with varying models. Which would be even more pleasing and in line with the generally unrealistic style of the game. Splitting stacks should be quick and easy. Instead of dropping items, there could be a “trade” function, where it opens up a trade window, which would make sharing items easier, quicker and safer. After all, to give the car key to your friend you don’t throw it somewhere near him so he can pick it up, you give it to him directly.

That’s all I could think of for now on the top of my head, maybe this discussion could spark some interesting concepts to improve the quality of life of the game and the survivor style.

For the sake of inspiration and curiosity, maybe you could get some interesting in reading an article made specifically to talk about Lucifer Effect in survival games [Kotaku] as well as some fun social experiment videos [YouTube]

EDIT: I’m going to add a few more things right down below that I forgot:

  • Make player kills a tad less rewarding: This was a concept that I’ve always loved to see in a survival game, and that DayZ accomplishes in an interesting way. When a player gets shot in DayZ, the item they’re carring in that particular hit spot get ruined or destroyed. Applied in a simpler and not annoying way in Unturned, when a player dies and dies only, most of their items in the whole inventory should get applied damage. This means that hoarding weapons and powerful items is much more difficult and that players need to actual scavenge, repair and so on instead of just spraying someone and grabbing their stuff. Meaning that the whole game would benefit greatly in terms of quality and depth, as repairing skills actually mean something and the weapons/items inflation is much more difficult. A fine tuned combination of this plus proper wearing of items with use would mean that players would actually need to survive and there will never be an inflation of precious items, which on a side note would not make end game players bored too, unlike how it currently happens.

  • Efficient communication: communicating is key in trust and cooperation. Voice chat isn’t used by many people, either because they have no microphone, or are too shy/don’t want to be judged by their voice, or simply put they don’t want to talk or cannot in some form. So it’s clear that efficiency of other means of communications are required. First and foremost, quick messages via a radial menu and keybinds would prove useful. It doesn’t expose someone to the risks of using the chat to manually type in, and there could be preset messages that are automatically translated for players playing in different languages, which also connects with a possible issue of barrier language. Secondly, having a speech bubble briefly hover above someone’s head when chatting and using quick messages would greatly help with quick reaction (chat messages could be easily go unnoticed or read when it’s quite late) and sense of interaction (it feels more direct than a chatbox and you immediately understand who’s chatting and so also to whom usually). Then, having the chat to be normally set to a local area is the key to also a better cohesion among players, as global chat doesn’t give that interaction you could have with someone close to you and gives more estrangement to players. Frankly, abuse of global chat can be quite annoying too and ruin the immersion, to which maybe it should be set a small timer between posts to reduce traffic.


Other interesing videos [YouTube1] [YouTube2]

The Lucifer Effect was actually a book written on how good people turn evil, I don’t think that that particular label fits well with the situation, but yes, I do agree with your points. However, for future reference, most of us in the Unturned community simply refer it to the “KoS” (Kill on Sight) phenomenon.

Now onto the points in your actual post. The Turned will be much more dangerous than in previous iterations of the game, and this common enemy will provide a good reason for players to bond with other allies. However, some of your other points worry me, for example your opinion on realistic weapon calibers.

In my personal opinion, the addition of realistic weapon calibers would incentivise trading, as well as balancing certain weapons based on the type of ammunition rather than just a common ammo. For example, the Dragonfang and Maplestrike, which use the same type of ammunition, should instead be able to use different rounds for different situations. The current system in 3.0 makes using guns almost menial and breaks balance to the point where some guns are absolutely useless or overwhelmingly overpowered, as well as certain weapons being direct downgrades, for example the relationship between the Heartbreaker and the Maplestrike.

This is a good, well-formatted post, though I am a bit rattled on your lack of capitalization after the bullet points, but I’ll ignore it based on how well thought out the rest of the post is. Also, you’re able to edit your post up to around three days after the post was created, so feel free to do so instead of posting a reply to your own topic.

Welcome to the Forums. We hope you enjoy your stay!
@RedComm, resident communist and Forum Regular.

Thanks for the warm welcome @RedCo . About the title, I preferred to tie this small social analysis to a more scientific concept, fearing that a simple “KoS” would be perceived more like an obnoxious complaint. And that’s not wrong in the end, as yes, the term and concept was born with a book, but the idea is about “moral transformation as an outcome of the interplay between individual disposition, situation, and systems of power”. In simpler words, how context and situational variables create an aggressive behavior and immoral acts.

I read the post and all but can someone explain why KOS is an issue and not “survivor like”. If i was in this situation irl and I saw a dude with a gun im not just gonna let him have the chance to shoot me. I don’t think a zombie apocalypse is the environment I want to be teaming with other people in, Unless I already know them. Bigger group means more mouths to feed and higher chance of group wide infection.


Well, all of history. Even some modern tough prisons if you want. Humanity has a tendency to group up in times of need. Especially when it comes to requiring skillsets that you don’t have but others may. Grouping up is a natural way for many animals, which includes humans, to defend themselves from the “bad” of their species and other dangers. The Kill on Sight is purely about entertainment in games, and not very much because of fear of getting killed.

Also, killing someone in real life isn’t as easy as it is portrayed in games and movies. Or scavenging dead bodies, with all the smelly gore that is not like in games. Resources are also wildly different, you don’t want to waste precious and scarce ammo.

You can’t just compare games and real life as they are equal, because they are not.



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Good, you can be our resident psychologist or something.



Well, all things considered, I wouldn’t be too surprised if some big studios actually ever hired specialized psychologist to fine tune parts of the game and monetization strategies.

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I see a things obvious

1° Kill a player is the way PLUS EASY TO GET LOOT (Is the thing than everyone want LOOT)
How solve this??? Players dont drop your loot when die! solved!!


I believe than the mechanism behind KOS in online games comes from FEAR of lose your loot or the incentive of dont had nothing to lose and the “calculate” (Risk x Recompense = Decision).

Seeing Recompense like (My itens vs Enemy itens) or territory ETC…

In my opnion the best way to reduce KOS is change factors adding RISK. and in here you see many things than is possible change.

In ambient.

  • Add types of problems to difficulty locomotion like.
    -Types of shoes make different speeds on different terrains
    -Much cold or much heat make you plus slowly and go kill you
    -Turn much hard take the decision of drive a car on forests

In Zombies

  • Turn much more faster and stronger
    -Make zombies detect shoots at a good distance
    -REDUCE THE LOOT OF “Aleatory” ZOMBIES (That is important to reduce factor of recompense)

In players
-Die for a good weapon maybe destroy your item and item inside this item (For example a shoot on shorts destroy or damage the gps on shorts and the shorts)


I think it should be easier to be a "lone wolf"in a game like 4.0, if you’re a skilled player. You’d need to calculate the right moment to kill someone, be stealthy, etc. Rather than just go full-out Rambo on them and hope that you win, or one-shot snipe them in the head.

I actually forgot about item damage on death as a concept @Zero . It’s something I’ve always been interested in. I added it on the main post.

I also forgot to put some key points to an efficient communication, essential to promote player interaction.

In my opinion, I think this should be handled similar to how the ArmA games handle teamkilling. If you cause enough damage to friendly units (whether it be players or other), then certain AI will attack you. So lets say you are at villain status after slaughtering a bunch of fresh spawns, then if you approach a Coalition or other faction location, they will shoot at you. Of course this will have to come with the absolute headache of AI combat that makes all us devs groan, but if it’s done well then it should give people a serious reason to try and get a good rep.

That’s another good idea. But if alone is not going to do much. For this type of issue, there’s no one size fits all, only by combining multiple factors to influence the general behavior.

In this regard, maybe the Turned and predator animals could also smell player blood from a distance. This way not only the environment becomes more hostile and the pve aspect more challenging, but makes also killing on sight without thinking first more discouraged and promote more creative strategies to tackle a problem.

i think you should get a “bounty” level, so all npc’s will be more inclined to hunt you down.

I really admire the teamwork based actions you presented to the table. Especially in the case of medicine.
Skill caps in my personal opinion would be a great idea as well.

I don’t know about you, but I would still KoS under these changes.
There remains the irrefutable fact that I cannot trust that anybody wouldn’t do the same to me. Everybody could be out for my things, and my presence could drain the loot from a location, loot which somebody may want. I don’t think the internet would like to kindly ask me for it, would they?
I know I wouldn’t.

The huge problem with suggestions that encourage cooperation is that there is no middle ground for cooperating where you do not undermine the aspects of a certain major play-style, there is no way to avoid this either.
To put it simply and hyperbolically: you can either have Rust or Fallout 76 in terms of player interaction.
Or maybe this is just something I dislike that everybody else is ok with?

I don’t think this would remedy the issue of “Lucifer Effect” in most manners too, here are some examples of how I think it won’t.
And I don’t even think it’s an issue, let alone an issue which can be solved. Because Unturned is a game.

Teamwork Based Actions

The only thing needless to say here but anyways: players can just get their friends to help with these.
There really is no encouragement for pacifism here, this would much more just make the game a pain for solos and encourage players to group up with their friends.
Good luck finding somebody who interacts with or let alone trusts another player (if your intent was that regular players would group up this way)!

Ability/Crafting Specialization Done Well

This isn’t incentivising player interaction (through speech, not bullets) as much as it is just another encouragement to play the game with friends.
Is this a suggestion to encourage playing with groups or encouraging cooperation between random players?
It seems the latter.

A Properly Hostile Environment

You probably have wondered before: ‘Why are there no hard mode servers?’.
No normal Unturned player wants a hard mode server, that’s why.
They prefer the PvP aspect of the game, hence the kits, TP, rocket, economy, etc.
Nobody wants to deal with the zombies and environment as though they were actual threats, nobody besides an esoteric amount of Unturned players who actually bother to frequent these forums.

The common community won’t care.

Less Focus on Long Range Engagements

This isn’t a problem at all, neither does this suggestion in particular fix anything.
The only argument here is that long range engagements are boring, which is subjective.

I do not know what Nelson said about ballistics but I’m going to assume he wants to shorten every weapon’s maximum range even further, judging by how you said it was nice.
Giving the players limited zoom up to 4x won’t stop players from shooting from long distances (if every weapon class’s average range didn’t change from 3.0), probably distances long enough for you to complain about.

I would still prefer the threat of random death from snipers every time I enter a town to loot though.

Making Sharing Items Easier

Great, we’re having this again.
No, no it would not.
Depending on the country and its gun laws either more or less guns and ammunition, and of certain types depending on trade, will be in the hands of citizens. And the military (first world) would commonly use one caliber for each kind of rifle they employ.
I’ll give you a simple example: the popularity of the AR-15 in the United States of America.
Also using a locally produced and widely available ammunition type in the country: 5.56x45mm.
Not only that but their Military is (probably) swimming in it.
This is backwards. Realistic ammunition: more weapon variety. I explain this below.
You may be implying that all weapons shoot the same according to their ammunition type, this is wrong.

This isn’t making sharing items easier, it’s just shitting on another suggestion (for lack of a better term).

And make the guns themselves have unique stats instead of the bullet reflecting the stats of all weaponry which use it?
No thanks, also given what Unturned 3.0 has done when it had a simple ammunition system and what little variety it had between the types of rifles.
This is detrimental to weapon variety.

Make Player Kills a Tad Less Rewarding

It would be much easier and beneficial to keep the items which I need than to give it to somebody else in exchange for what they have.

Once I get back to my base I could just repair the items with some scrap if I chose to kill somebody.
Unless the magic exploding bullets happened to pierce a hole in every bean can & water bottle, good luck repair those, especially the bean can.
More of an unnecessary pain rather than an issue solver.

It’s not what you said.

Let me give you a scenario where this would be a pain.
Player1: Hey you, do you have-
Player2: No./No speech./Pulls out weapon.
Player2 runs away from/shoots Player1.
Player1 shoots Player2 because he wants his loot, despite not knowing if he has it./defending himself.
Player1 gets damaged loot because not every encounter results in trading.
In fact: almost none will. Where do you think you are?
Player1 continues this cycle many times.
Player1 finds that the answer is always the same, proceeds to KoS.
Other new players don’t like Player1 and neither do they like others because if one person has the potential to behave this way others will too, and it shows too.
KoS ensues.
Of course, this is suggesting that the character ‘Player1’ has never played a survival game before.

And this part of the suggestion is basically what Rust does.
It doesn’t incentivise pacifism or teamwork either.

Efficient Communication

Quick messages won’t solve anything because they will never get any unorthodox point across. Ever.
Neither will communication solve anything, I don’t communicate because communication is pointless in a game where everybody shoots each other no matter what, and you cannot stop people from killing each other either.
Unless you’re Todd Howard.

I’m not going to bother further explaining why quick chat won’t work or why it’s not efficient.
I just want to go to bed.


OP hates solo players.
OP prefers less weapon variety.
This is a group empowerment thread.
The “Lucifer Effect” is incurable while keeping aspects of PvP.
OP is part of the ‘I force pacifism.’ club.


Ok, I have an idea.
If they were carrying explosives/grenades/mines then they would explode when you killed them, which could damage the loot as well as possibly kill you.
Not the most realistic suggestion, but a balanced and awesome-looking one.


I don’t think that would be very balanced or enjoyable to have in game.