New zombie mechanics - adaptation

Focus on zombies: add random generation and adaptation, a collective mind, a story to them (for example, the fungus infected them).

Instead of the standard types (2-5), they will choose for themselves any characteristics and behavior in order to better fulfill their goal (adapting to the conditions). Thus, the species of zombies will be 50-10000. They will not let the player get bored, especially when they themselves learn to kill more efficiently c:

How to implement this? (it’s not that complicated)

Each zombie has 10 random modifications.
| +50 health.
| +50 health.
| +40 meters of sound detection.
| +40 meters of sound detection.
| Behavior: avoid obstacles.
| Behavior: when a sound is detected (shot, explosion), move away to the shelter from the epicenter of sound and hide for a certain time.
| Behavior: breaking buildings.
| + Speed ​​of movement.
| + Speed ​​of movement.
| + Speed ​​of movement.
| Behavior: jump off if the player has pointed a weapon.
| + Power of blow.
| Behavior: make a sound when a player is detected.
| Behavior: Spit acid.
| + Bleeding during attacks.
| + Attack Speed.
| + Attack Speed.
| Behavior: move in passive behavior.
And much more.

Each zombie gets points for completing his task, which over time will be reset: points for causing damage, for destroying buildings, for finding a player, for killing a player, etc.

If in the crowd of zombies someone got the most points, then the rest (if they can see him) remember 9/10 of his modifications and after a certain time copy them to himself. And 1 modification is chosen randomly. (For example, they stand in place and go into the stage of metamorphosis for a certain time)
That’s all!

(So ​​that there aren’t many similar zombies in one place, you can add different groups to the modification to copy the behavior of others from the same group.)

An example of a situation with new mechanics:
A player secretly kills a mob of zombies with 1 stab, but suddenly 1 zombie had more health and survived and managed to find the player before dying. Other zombies nearby saw this. The next day, all these zombies will not die with 1 knife strike)


To quote myself on a recent and fairly similar post:

In short, zombies should have at least somewhat obvious visual indicators that they are different.

This system, in general, feels extremely off.

Extremely random differences between the same type of enemy means you can never really adapt to any type since there is such a vast degree of randomness that every single enemy is unique. And I would argue that that has no place in a zombie survival game.
Learning how to counter, or if nothing else, at least play around enemy types is an important skill to learn in games like this and one I have no issue with existing - especially if II sees the existence of much more difficult and diverse Turned enemies. Considering bandit AI is extremely likely to exist, bandits are another enemy to consider for PVE purposes. So while I agree that Turned should always keep you on your toes, there should always be a level of proper logic with the Turned, so that gameplay never feels unfair. And for that matter, I hope to never see the Burner zombie again, as it is an example of bad game design. If you don’t have a firearm, consider an area of town completely locked to you until you have something to deal with the burner.

I would be ok with a limited system of “adaptation” where depending on a combination of what Turned types you have been killing frequently, weapon types used to kill said Turned, the number of players in the area, and likely several other factors, the subsequent Turned spawns would change to provide a better challenge. This is the extent of what I would accept.

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sounds normal

mhm yes

hmm, seems a bit buff

that’s fine

not too bad

wait what there’s more

if that’s not a crawler that’s gonna hurt


wait no that’s bad

oh fuck there’s more

oh god shit there’s actually even more noo


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I would recommend reading a concept mega-post @MoltonMontro did on his interpretation of how Turned could be for UII (note that he made this prior to becoming an official SDG employee). It’s incredibly detailed and addresses a lot of similar things.

Personally, I like the idea conceptually but modification stacking (I assume this is part of your idea) reeks of balance issues.

Obviously the fix would be to nerf the modifications, probably outright remove stacking of modifications, and then reduce the cap from “10” to something like “5” but make it so the average is in the range of 0-3 modifications.

I think there was a similar post for RNG-based zombie stats? Both negative and positive stat RNG chances.

Visual distinctions are also a notable issue brought up. It might be better if most zombies were the same in stats, but very rarely you have a special zombie that can spawn (with a more unique design) that has RNG-based stats (which can be more extreme because it’s not every zombie, and the visual design gives the expectation of a randomized encounter).

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WTF? That’s impossible because he’s a zombie

I don’t see how being a zombie would prevent someone from committing suicide.

Actually, being a zombie means you are 90% more likely to walk into a claymore, so yes, there is nothing stopping you.

I think random stats could work if they have the visual indicators like Teh mentioned. This could definitly be a way to easily add more variety to zombies.

A slower zombie could be limping and a fast zombie could have thinner limbs.

A zombie with a larger torso could have more health

a zombie that’s smarter could have its brain exposed slightly

A zombie that does more damage could have larger forearms

Things like these would make it more fair to encounter a randomized zombie, rather than having to guess if this zombie is going to be Usain bolt or if he’s gonna take 5 more hits to kill

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While the idea of variation does sound nice, I feel that introducing too much “intelligence” to the Turned would change the dynamics of the game from what it should be as a zombie (or should I say Turned…?) survival game. If there is going to be Bandit AI, then doing this with Turned would be overkill, in my opinion.
Also, it would be cool if they did slowly learn to roam in small groups (during a full moon or something like that) around the map, or near the cities, so you would get the occasional unexpected run-in with a group. This might introduce some suspense( in my opinion, at least)…

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