Jump to content

A17.0 Stable - AAR (After Action Report)


Recommended Posts

OK, here's an AAR for a start on a RWG map. Enjoy!


Hardware: CPU AMD A10-7850, RAM 24Gb, game installed on SSD, GPU GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb (massive upgrade from an R7 200 series)


Game Settings: 3-Nomad, Loot respawn 5 days, Drop on death Toolbelt, Cheat mode On (trying it out for fun), Mark airdrops On (reach through web to strangle laughing devs feature disabled), map name "TargetPractice" North Jaxufe Mountains, RWG.


Video Settings: 1440x900, fullscreen, vsync on, gamma 38%, AA no, Textures Full, UMA texture Medium, Reflection qual OFF, reflect shadows no, Shadow distance Near, Water qual Low, Water particles 0%, View distance High, LOD Distance High, Tree qual High, Grass dist Normal, Motion blur Off (are you kidding me?), SSAO No, Depth of field No, Sun Shafts No, UI Background opac 75%, UI Foreground opac 100%, UI Size 100%, Temp unit F, Jornal Popup Yes


Gameplay Settings: Hours played - too many, Hours slept - too few, Coffee consumed - vibrated into a quantum field & tried to take screenshot of some dude in a lousy power ranger costume riding an ant, Primary specialization - melee, Secondary specialization - stamina, Iron Man mode: Don't hurt me daddy (respawn and tell everyone I crawled away from certain doom), Current goal: Minimal building, maximum exploring, maximum Z thwappage, HAVE FUN! Note: Previous goal of See how many arrows I can stick in a Z's head currently maxed at 9 arrows (5 arrow mohawk, 4 arrow beard) on Insane difficulty with Experimental build (but vultures ate my face and I died).


Day 1:

If I ever have grandkids, I'll have a lot of stories to tell them about my friend JD.


Like the time he asked me to try out one of his Zombie Survival Safari Vacation Specials in Navazgane, right on the edge of Z-Pocalypse Central. And I was drunk (drugged) enough to agree. I sobered up in what used to be the Ostrich Hotel driveway. In Navazgane.


Or today, where some former customers of his thought I was JD, discovered I wasn't about half way through the butt-kicking (my butt, their kicking). Then they got upset all over again when my posterior objected to repeated boot tread exposure and I accidentally stabbed their spare jerry can with a knife (thought it was the driver - concussions suck). They became even more disagreeable when I grabbed the driver's cigarette (and a half-handful of his facial hair), ripped it out of his mouth, and used it to light their custom paint job Road Warrior Mk IV jeep on fire (see aforementioned jerry can murder). They were so irate they threw me out of their MkIV jeep in the middle of a smoky U-turn. The Mk IV really does look much better with real flames on the sides instead of painted flames. But I was briefly seeing double at that point. I hoped the ground was soft. It wasn't.


I pried my gritty, aching eyes open, regretted it immediately when the sun stabbed me through them, and tried to roll off the sharp, broken bricks that cushioned my landing. I froze when I heard the moaning wind and distant, dry cries of diseased scavengers. The smell of old burnt stone and chalky, dessicated bone taste of the air sealed the deal.


Yes, I regained consciousness the next morning in the middle of a dusty, destroyed, vulture-infested, low-grade radioactive wasteland. Still seeing double. With a headache, a genuine pain in the asset, and no booze or drugs. In my underwear.


I checked the position of the sun. I know that there's a trader station or two on the east side of the wastes. If I'm lucky, the trader may have a radio. If I'm even more lucky, JD will have his turned on. Unless my friends from last night have caught up to him.


Yep. Sun's still screwed up. Time to get to work.


Basics of survival - you've read them and seen them before, there's no need to repeat it here. Grass clothing to try and keep the sun off, a wooden club, a simple hunting bow, and a semi-clean bandage harvested from my t-shirt.


Then I started walking.


When I ran out of roadway, I started dodging land mines and walking.


When I ran into my first Z, I stopped and clubbed him down. Can't really maneuver what with the random bandit and military boom-booms lurking about.


Then a damn infected vulture tried to eat my face. Left me with bloody tracks across one cheek and both shoulders.


A lot of survivors forget that the Z-birds are bony, infected, infectious, and have bloody, dirty talons coated with Zombie-funk. And they are suicidally kamikaze.


In a minefield.


Full of Z-dogs.


Leaking blood smell all over the place.










OK, that's pretty much how my first day went. I managed to crawl (almost literally with the stamina loss due to fighting Z's and dodging land mines) my way through the wasteland. No water and no food left by the time I made it - and only 23 health. No cookpot either. I seriously considered restarting when I saw I was beginning in the wasteland, but thought, what the heck, and gave it a try. It was a fun, risky, difficult trip - especially when the Z's stumbled across landmines I couldn't see!


Here's how I spent my first points. I'd been jumped by so many Z's, Z-dogs, and Z-birds that I had over 400 feathers and was just shy of level 4 by the time I made it to the Trader. Fortunately, I did NOT get a full-on infection out of the seven or so times I had the orange sick-guy face (the feeling of something coming on).



Master Chef 1.


Cardio 1


Healing Factor 1 (probably saved my life)

Slow Metabolism 1


Sexy T-Rex 1

Skull Crusher 1

Pack Mule 1


Pretty basic perk loadout, IME. Chef, metabolism, sexy T-rex, and cardio were my first buys. I picked up Healing Factor and pack mule next. Skull crusher was last - and I needed it to get those last few Z's off my butt.


I hope you've enjoyed the AAR so far, and that my initial perk loadout offers some useful guidance for your playstyle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 2-6:


Let's just say that one of the White River traders WAS about where I remembered. He didn't have a radio (that he admitted to). And, greedy bastid that he is, couldn't spare any supplies for me unless I did some "work" for him.


We eyed eachother when he said "Work."


His eye had a greedy, "kiss-my-ass" gleam in it.


My eye had a, "I'm not selling bedtime company to your ugly face" axe-murderer gleam in it.


Since basic communication was now established, he laughed and gave me the run-down on where couriers, other survivors, and supply drops were located. When I started banging my head on his counter, he told me that I shouldn't get depressed at having to run 2-3K (one-way, with a concussion - remember?) just to pick up a 6-pack of soda for him, and that he had some uppers I could have for 10K dukes.


If I'd had a gun, I'd have shot him.


He mentioned there were some buildings about half a K east that had no Z's that I could hole up in. Once settled, he slyly suggested that I could resume my life's calling as a "leech" or "scav" survivor - by selling anything useful I found to him.


We exchanged our farewell reproductive insults and I headed out, again. I managed to score a cooking pot and a few other supplies (along with some desperately needed water, and couple cans of food whose expiration dates had become archaeological wonders). One episode of the runs later (and I don't mean traveling runs), and I found the buildings my "friend" had marked on one of my rag-maps.


He'd sent me to a pair of buildings that had burned down, upper floors collapsed into the basement. They even had hand-painted "For Rent - Cheap!!" signs on them. Oh, and they both had Z's wandering through them.


Let me summarize the next few days, with a few highlights:


I cleared out one of the burned buildings and set up camp. Minimal defenses, frame ramp to get up to the 2nd floor. Basically, just enough to keep the local live riff-raff from stealing what little I had, and for the Z-riff-raff to make enough noise for me to jump out the back and make a run for it to the other house.


Most of the people in this local community had tried to survive by holing up and fortifying. One particularly profitable 3-story house netted me two busted legs (falling through ceilings into the basement), a shotgun, a compound bow, and a renewed concussion. Two other houses were occupied by the undead remains of somewhat competent survivors - they had tools, workbenches, cement mixers and a few piles of quick-drying cement that I used to reinforce home base.


One house had dug out an extra basement that was now home to a bear. Fortunately, the bear was unable to fit easily through a dormer window in the attic when I pulled a Jason Bourne out said window and onto a poorly cushioned brick wall.


All through it, if it was alive, smaller than me, and didn't run away fast enough, I hunted it.


I was getting pretty worried as the Blood Moon got closer. I had no defenses, no real path of retreat, my weapons were still crap, and low ammunition.





By the start of day 2, I'm getting stamina management under control. For this melee-focused build, losing all of day 1 to just traveling really hurt. I typically would have been level 6 by then and have some clothes for temp management, an iron club, and maybe an iron tool or two.


My typical SP looting style is: Place a wooden chest across the street from the POI front door. Bang on said front door (or shoot it with a pistol). Let the Z's open all the doors/trigger traps. Kill the Z's. (If I'm bored, go to the POI next door and start a Z-train in that one too.) Sneak in, clear any remaining sleepers. Then loot everything. Drop stuff I can't carry in the chest.


When I get to the bicycle, my looting tends more to the "Get to the good stuff at the end of the dungeon, loot everything on the way back. Drop stuff in the chest. At 18:00 hours, I start making trips to the chests on the bicycle to move all the stuff back to/closer to base. Because there are so many guns (usually low quality), I tend to scrap them to mechanical parts as I find them. You need mech parts to build transport vehicles, guns, and pretty much all medium-high tier craftables anyway. You can quickly build up an extra stack of parts to sell to traders (for decent profit with the right perks).


Trader quests in RWG are a pain in the assets. The distance to travel can vary anywhere from 600m to 5Km, IME. All the tier 1 quests in this run were a MINIMUM of 1.8Km away. That's too far to travel without a bike or better, and time spent traveling means time NOT spent looting or gathering building mats. In other words, I could do _maybe_ a single 3Km round-trip quest in 1 day, get 1K xp and a 200 dukes for it, plus maybe 3-5K xp killing Z's on the way; OR I could spend the day killing sleepers in POI dungeons, gain between 2-4 LEVELS per day (minimum), and loot gear to better ensure my survival come horde night. Quests are off the table until I get the bicycle. Which is disappointing considering how the quests in Navezgane (and sane quest distances in RWG) get you to explore the world and cut down on the slay-loot-rinse-repeat grind. I'm sure that as the devs refine RWG that this'll get fixed. And hopefully, they'll add "rescue the NPC" quests to it - maybe give us a way to open up a new trader location that way.


The bear incident was definitely a "Oh Fecal Matter!" moment. I was laughing so hard I almost died running back through the building, into the one across the street (already cleared out), and up the stairs. Thought I was going to add a third broken leg to my list for the week! But the brick wall "saved" me.


That's something about injuries and debuffs. There's the versimilitude argument: If I've got a broken leg, it shouldn't heal completely in a single game day. There's the gameplay argument: Crippling the player for hours on end is boring as hell. It'd be nice if this was configurable, so that both sides can get what they want. I'd like for serious injuries to be more than a half-game-day's inconvenience.


Also with disease: I got food poisoning once, and it was over and done within 15 minutes. By day 6, I've been clawed, scratched, and spattered with enough Z-juices that I should be a walking plague victim. Yet infections never take. In all my 17.0 stable plays, I've only had to take honey/herbals/anti-b's once. They simply aren't really a consideration on Nomad difficulty.


That said, I think the issues surrounding initial stamina drain, balancing, and building should be addressed first. Being a starting character (stamina drains too fast), getting infected (stamina drain), and a sprained leg (slower movement) would be boring and frustrating as heck. Maybe consider a debuff immunity tied to the starting temperature immunity trick might be a good idea. This way, if RNGesus hates you and kills you on day 1, you also aren't stuck with the crippling death debuff right at the outset.


By the end of Day 6, I'm Level 16, and approximately the following stats:


Lucky Looter: 1

Strength: 3

Sexy T-Rex: 2

Skull Crusher: 2

Pack Mule: 2

Healing Factor: 1

Slow Metabolism: 1

Agility: 3

Cardio: 2

Intellect: 2


I wasn't happy about not being able to bump Slow Metabolism to further reduce stamina drain. But I'd hunted enough food that i had about 20 bacon & eggs spare by this point. Sexy T-Rex and Skull Crusher were more important (melee build, remember?) to me. IIRC, I was holding a point or two in reserve to see if I could get the bicycle before Horde Night. Gathering parts for it just wasn't going well, even though I already had access to a workbench. RNGesus was _very_ stingy with the acid under sinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 7 - Sanguine Moon


Before the Fall, there was a book about how all us plebians should rest on the seventh day of the week. Must've been nice.


So, I've got a crappy shotgun and some ammo. I've got a composite bow and a small collection of really good arrows, plus a large collection of really crappy arrows. My clothes are such that frostbite and heat stroke are still a danger. No armor. And my base is 90% burnt wood. In other words, it's made out of wet kleenex as far as the Z's are concerned. Plus, I keep all my stuff there.


So I go out exploring to try and find some sort of stone or metal structure that might allow me to survive this horde night. I don't have any transport other than a factory original ACME bipedal locomotor (warranty expired), not even a bicycle.


So I start off early in the morning.


Whoever planned this city was on crack. I mean, seriously, who needs FIFTEEN radio/cell towers? Makes you wonder what people before the Fall were doing all day. How could one human being spend _that_ much time staring at a 2" x 3" screen?


Well, whatever. It's not looking good. I need a place to try and make a last stand. I've been leaving a scent trail, some of it blood, all over the place. When the red night light jacks whatever passes for those Z's adrenal glands, they're going to go on a frenzy hunt. I'm the huntee.


Then, a miracle happened.


The dust storm on the edge of this desert cleared, and there she was. The most beautiful sight I'd seen on this involuntary vacation yet.


An Ostrich Hotel. Complete with the Head-in-the-Sand logo!


Brings back memories of waking up in Navezgane...


I quickly checked the cars near the parking lot. Lady Luck indeed rains fortune down on me here. A construction worker's safety helmet, complete with light, spare battery, and a solar charger. And the spare battery still works!


Next, I built a ladder climb up to the top on one corner, put some wood spikes around the top and a campfire (both for warmth and to set Z's on fire). Someone else tried to make a stand up here. Guess it didn't work well for them. They left a construction box and a shipping crate from my favorite candy store, Shotgun Messiah. More shotgun shells! All the dietary lead you need with half the calories.


Of course, there was also a hole in roof where some of the wood rotted away. That unknown survivor had holed up in one of the hotel's Presidential Suites, built a ladder and escape hatch to the roof in case he (or she) had to make a quick getaway. Probably forgot to caulk around the hatch, so water got in and rotted away around the emergency exit. Ladder still works. I follow it down to the hotel entrance, then back up - dropping wooden spikes and makeshift barbed wire on the way back up. I hit the kitchen before sealing myself in to grab some extra food and water...


Lo, for I am truly blessed by Lord Irony and Lady Luck. Four - count 'em - FOUR - containers of acid! Right under the sink! All I needed to make wheels for my bicycle... that's back at home base.


I finish setting some ramp frames to help me climb up on the stonework in case I start to get overwhelmed. Finished just in time for the horde to scream it's hunger.


Ten minutes later, my meagre defenses are swamped and I'm cursing Lady Luck for not seeing fit to supply me with some oil (or heck, even soap!) so I could've had some molotov cocktails ready.


I gotta say, tho, the lead up to that was fun! Smacking Z's off the top of a ladder and hearing that nice, solid CRUNCH when they hit the bottom is funny as heck! After they damaged the ladder I'd made, they were streaming in through the building, broke through my spikes and barbed wire, and were swarming up the ladder. There were just too many to bottleneck over there. So I fell back, did a run and gun circle around them, fell back up onto the stonework, and fed them arrows and shot shells while they started cutting the stone out from under me.


Before the stonework collapsed, I made a running leap, took a clip from a flailing claw in mid air, but landed far enough past them to run and gun again. I parkoured the heck out of the rooftop, vaulting AC ductwork, cooling vents, dodging the skylight full of broken glass, and must've put down a good twenty Z's before the last one's head became an impressionist painting on the roof. Just in time for dawn.


I'd survived... barely.




Day 7 was GREAT! I was so unprepared in this run that I really thought I was a goner. Fortunately, the bottlenecks and slowdowns I made on the roof (and inside) the hotel worked darn near perfectly. It was all done spur-of-the-moment. When the Z's inevitably destroyed the main ladder outside, they shifted right to the maze inside.


And it WAS a lot of fun smacking Z's off that ladder to fall multiple stories!


So, on Nomad difficulty with default horde settings, the Z's aren't much of a threat unless they corner you or you get stun-locked. Because I could outrun them by circle-strafing them, I was only at risk of being stun-locked. That meant using the shotgun (7 shots only so I wouldn't trigger the slow-down/reload animation) to eliminate tough Z's (fat Z's) or thin down the herd to 2-3 that I could handle in melee (most Z's are 2-3 hits, non-power-attack, by this point). They were _slow_ on that roof, running about 75-80% as fast as I could. That made this a LOT less dangerous than it should've been. Seriously - with as little prep as I made, I should've died. Especially without any molotovs to cause mass AoE damage. I still had fun, tho.


I'd like to see more variation in Z movement/run speeds. There should be some Z's that can run a little faster than a poor, starving, tired human.


I gained 3 levels off of Horde Night. So, level 19 now. IIRC, I put the points into Intellect (Grease Monkey for the bike) and strength. I'd already found a couple of intact workbenches, so by mid afternoon of Day 8, I had a bicycle!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Days 8-14:


So, ye olde pattern of breaking into dead people's homes, killing them (again), and taking their stuff. This is a lot easier now that I've got a bicycle. I just wish I could stitch together some leather saddlebags for it. What with the close proximity to the wastelands, Z-dogs are a pretty common occurrence. They're downright dangerous if they use their ninja skills to sneak up on you, but a couple hits to the head and they are bones and hide!


It took a while for the concussion to finally fade (i.e., so I could walk a straight line). The only real major occurrences are that I started a clay mine (to make cobblestones) and I started a garden. I also started work on a more permanent base, so I could move out of the Burned Shack of Suicidal Survival, and into something that might hold up for a few seconds against rampaging Z hordes.


The second Sanguine Moon was much the same as the first. Except without the concussion, I could two- and three-tap Z's and drop them. Plus, I had my favorite game-changer-and-self-immolator, the Molotove Cocktail!!


Bless you, holy Molotov, for it is in your Cocktail that we are forgiven our sins, and burn clean the curse'd of the land. It is by your third degree burns that we are made whole. And it is by the libation of many jars of water that our burns are healed in turn. Though verily I walk through clouds of my own smoldering flesh, I shall fear no burn balm. For aloe cream art with me. Amen!




Short one tonight, because...


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE, Players and Devs alike!


I hit level 30 around day 12. And 36 by the end of day 14.


I started a garden on Day 12. I had to burn a perk point for Living off the Land because I couldn't find a bloody magazine. I've got a storage chest half full of the damn things, but no Living off the Land. Go figure. I'd finally collected enough raw plants for the majority of the crops, but RNGesus hates me this run. I've also started encountering occasional ferals at this point. But one good Power Attack to the head will usually stun and/or knock 'em down where I can finish them off.


Day 14 was pretty much a repeat of Day 7. More Z's, had fun with molotovs. For whatever reason, I didn't get quite the mass of Z's I was expecting. Only gained 2 levels. I spent the next day building up the base a little with cobblestones.


I'm telling ya, I can't get enough of knocking Z's off a roof and hearing them go SPLAT!!! I don't see that getting old any time soon :)


Looking back on this, I'm noticing that my level advancement (when I'm not gathering materials and crafting) is pretty quick. I'll shift to mining at night pretty soon, so I can better maximize my time. At this time, I've branched out my perks a little so that I can build at something close to decent speed.


As many have noted, building *hurts* in this version - up to this point. You need levels to get the perk points to focus into Miner 69er and Mother Lode. I realize that I focused pretty strongly into melee/stamina. But upgrading frames is a draaaaag. Maybe speed up the swing time for the various tools? Or even tie it to the Flurry of Blows perk?


Make no mistake, though. I'm still having fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 15 - 21:


The smell from my own sweat and blood is drawing in more and more Z's. Plus, when one of them sights food, they somehow all start moving towards that food. I better start shoring up the defenses on my new home base. Now I'm alternating days gathering materials and trying to find better equipment.


I can't write much in my journal for this week. I'm too injured. Hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow as still "me", and not one of Them.




It's New Year's day when I'm writing this, so I'm going to cut the in-character part a little short. Below are some highlights and notes.


Day 16, level 41 - Went into a POI in the early morning, planning to gain some levels today. Got killed in the waterworks. Fell into a sewer water maze, gang-shanked by 2 feral workers and a crowd of utility worker groupies. My own fault - should've just stood a few squares back & blasted with the boomstick. Ferals are starting to appear in 2's and 3's in dungeons. Spiders are showing up with minihordes.


Also a note that I forgot to include. My FPS currently sits at 50-60 when traveling the woods (and those beautiful trees). Near towns with POI's, FPS drops to 30-40. When Z's start spawning in, lose another 10-20 FPS, depending on the number of Z's (especially noticeable when a minihorde spawns in). I suspect that certain textures are causing part of the drops, based on simple observation (certain POI's don't cause a drop, others cause it as soon as they render in). Z animations also seem to cause FPS drops and a noticeable stutter once there are more than 4 present and "awake". I've experimented with turning off all shadows (reflect shadows no, Shadow distance OFF). That nets me about +10FPS in all situations so far.


I found Trader Jen just a little ways away from the first trader - WHOA!!! I'm glad to see survivors from all walks of life included in the game, or is it laryngitis, or just a real severe smoking habit? I mean, it's the apocalypse so dress however you want. But dang that was a shock!



Day 18 - Yay Workbench! Yay Minibike!


Day 21 - Back to Ostrich Hotel. Going to see if I can hold off the hordes of hungry hellions again.


Well, fecal matter! My toolbelt bugged out and I couldn't use my painkillers at all. I cleared out the immediate wave using the shotgun, and restarted the game with <20 health. I forgot to drop my spikes and barbed wire before exiting, so the startup/spawn in time meant the Z's were already climbing up onto the roof when I could move again. So I basically started back right where I left off. I popped pills (which put me up to 50+/- health, reloaded the shotgun, and sold my life as dearly as I could.


I will say that, up to where my toolbelt bugged, more and more Z's were making it up to the roof and pressing me harder and harder. So even though I had iron armor (everything except legs (military) and head (miner helmet), it was a tougher and tougher fight. If my belt slot for pain pills had actually let me use them, I *probably* would have survived. I still had my stone wall last stand that I could circulate in and out of with molotovs to clear out the immediate wave.


With the sudden reduction in gamestage due to dying, I didn't get any special infected on this horde night. Very disappointed that I didn't get a "fair" fight! (Note: This is not saying A17.0 suxx0rzlololol!!!. This is saying that the #@)(&% toolbelt bug is a !#$^%# pain in the @$$ if it hits during a fight.)


Couple things I learned, tho. By the day 21 horde (Nomad difficulty), I'd better have a good defense-in-depth set up with multiple fallback positions so I can fight the zombie hordes. Slowing down the Z's access to you is A Good Thing. Stairs and ramps do NOT slow Z's down. Ladders slow them down some, but wooden ones are too easily destructible. Making them jump up a block definitely slows them down AND gives you an opportunity to smack 'em with your Z-Smacker. Also, the defensive perks (pain tolerance, heavy armor, healing factor) start becoming important for this type of melee/stamina build. First aid bandages or a first aid kit probably would've saved me. Unfortunately, RNGesus hates me on this playthrough. Not only have I NOT found a Poppin' Pills, but only a couple of the medicine cabinets or medical supplies I've looted had any. And I ended up using them during tight spots on POI dungeons.


I've never played 120 minute days, but I can see the appeal in 17.0. If I'd had more loot/travel time, I could've done more quests, explored more, and actually built something other than a "come crush me and take my stuff" base. I also haven't run across any useful mods for my Z-Smacker (iron club). I don't have a sledgehammer because I'm not one of RNGesus' Chosen. (Yes, I know I've got Creative Mode enabled, but I'm using it only if the game glitches and I lose my stuff.)


I would also like to point out that for this playthrough, I haven't been digging/mining at night. The reason is two-fold: First, this is a melee/stamina focus build. And second, early game mining is boring to me in this version. Once I get iron tools at yellow or better (or a couple of mods to compensate for not spending points on the 69er and mother lode perks), I start doing it.


I'm going to try and build a slightly better base with a (hopefully) fatal funnel - a kill zone that forces the Z's into a choke point - for Day 28. Since building doesn't net me any worthwhile xp/levels, I'm going to try and do it in a cost/time efficient way. We'll see how that goes.


(edited for typos)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh. Last week was bad. The Z's definitely won a couple of rounds. All those stories about me undoing my belt buckle and mooning the undead to death are COMPLETELY false! Those bite scars on the left cheek were edited in, I swear!


The rumor about almost drowning in the water pumping station... well, that's true. I screwed up. It happens, even to a semi-, un-un-retired-, professional. Like me. Fortunately, there were a few evolved Z's to help me up out of the clogged, slimy settling pool and dry me off. By gnawing the wet, algae-coated flesh off of me. I've got some bandages in interesting places to show for it.


So I rested up by improving my homestead's defenses. Lots of digging, lots of mixing, lots of baking in a forge. I kinda wish I had a bunch of JD's vacation specials brochures... to light the fires with.


My plan is to build some defense-in-depth with me as an active defender. If I can ever recruit some help, this means we can trade off who's Z-bait, and who's resting. Right now, it's just me. There's no way I'm asking "Trader Rekt", like that's his real name, for help. Probably charge me 8K dukes a minute and kill the Z's by complaining at them until they suicide to escape the torture.


I'd like to build a death-trap maze for the Z's to run through, like rats in one of those pharmeceutical company's labs. These Z's are just a little too smart for safety. So I better identify the clever or tough ones, and kill them first.


This new variety of Z is almost like an ant colony. They follow a human meat scent trail, looking for the easiest and quickest way to get to the prize (my flank steak). With that in mind, I've built a new set of heavy armor and put in some extra reinforcing... along with better straps so I can carry the weight better.


Then came Sanguine Moon #4.


It started off pretty good - the Z's swarming up the hopping-blocks in two's and three's. Only to get a nice solid smack to the face at the top. Not as much fun as knocking 'em off the roof of the Ostrich, but still made me chuckle watching them slide back down.


Note to self: Move the wooden barricade back a little bit. The damn biters will take swings at me while they're still downslope a block.


Finally, a spitter showed up. I took cover in the half-block side barriers. But just as the spitter was spraying, a feral Z made it to the top, skipped off the slumped body of one of his kin, and vaulted the wooden barricade. He staggered against the vomit smell and swung at me... just as a Z-bird tried to make a meat nest out of the back of my head. Double-whammy. I staggered up against one barrier, almost dropped my club, and whipped out the boomstick. One quick blast of homemade dental implants staggered him back, and I flipped around to give the Z-bird a one-fingered buckshot salute. I started falling back, finishing off the wave of normals with the club, and the spitter with the boomstick.


The rest of the night was more of the same. I'd fall back when two or three Z's would pile up against a barricade and whittle them down, lob a molotov when five or more were together, and use the boomstick whenver the Z's got too handsy on our date night - or if a feral or spitter wouldn't settle for anything less than a gunpowder "No" for an answer.


At one point, around midnight, a spider Z made this amazing flying leap at me while I was setting up behind the 3rd barricade. My club made a beautiful meaty clunking noise as it connected with his head in mid-air. Now that - the sight of him flipping backwards over into the wood spikes below - was beautiful!


I did get backed up to my main base's defense cage a couple of times, but Mr. Boomstick was in full party mode. Heh heh heh!!! Dawn arrived with a few Z's left in need of a clubbing. Which they received with tired enthusiasm.




Edit: Heh, so, I lost the screenshots of my upgraded base from day 28. The design hasn't changed yet, but I'd started upgrading the foundation/walls to concrete in this shot from day 32.




Some notes and a bit more information on relevant points.


Day 24 - level 52

Took 1 in hidden strike, so when I pop sleepers with a little wake-me-up, they're easier to take down.


For this week, I've spent the nights digging out a mine under my base. Plan is to start improving my base and turning it into a melee Z-grinder for horde nights. Especially since surviving on top of the Ostrich Hotel is getting less and less feasible.


I'm really liking the mod system for tools. One or two mods on a green shovel make digging a LOT less grindy (miner 69er 0, motherlode 3). However, while I'm finding a good number of mod schematics, I ain't found jack for my club. And I've found damn little for guns or tools. In fact, most of what I've found are armor pockets.


From this point on, I think I'm cranking strength and melee perks for a while.


Stay Down 3 - after taking this one, ferals aren't so dangerous. I can generally keep 3 of them on the floor with repeated knockdowns. If I can buy up flurry of blows, this'll be very helpful. This doesn't mean I'm not taking the occasional hit, but yellow iron armor and the Heavy Armor perks allow me to tank them. Now I just need some pain tolerance and healing factor.


Day 25 - level 55


Perception 1

Lucky Looter 1

Strength 6

Sexy T-Rex 3

Stay Down 3

Skull Crusher 3

Pack Mule 3

Mother Lode 3

Fortitude 3

Heavy Armor 2

Living off the Land 1

Healing Factor 1

Slow Metabolism 2

Agility 4

Cardio 2

Hidden Strike 1

Intellect 6

Daring Advent 3

Hammer & Forge 3

Grease Monkey 2

Advanced Engi 1

Yeah Science 1

Physician 1 (funny, because I bought this to make first aid bandages, but can't find any #$@)*& aloe plants!)

Master chef 1

* 2 points unspent


Also finally got a bunker buster from a trader today! Yay mining!


Day 27


Turned off V-Sync. Now getting 60-80 FPS outside with the beautiful trees. Spent the day digging up clay, crafting cobble blocks, and using the workbench to grind more cobblestones. Forge going constantly for cement so that I can upgrade to reinforced concrete "soon".


Day 28


Handled the horde at my improved base MUCH better. Check out the screenshots. I accidentally created a infinite loop ramp monorail that would constantly cycle the Z's over and over again. (Found this out when I took down the 4 wood frames so that I could rest and recover from a vulture/feral soldier combo that tried to make a Zombie Love Sandwich or ZLS. I was the meat in the middle. One power attack later and I launced the bloody Z-bird over my base :> Then I was out of stamina while the feral soldier added pepper and nommed me :<) This is _NOT_ what I wanted. While I realize that the Devs are working on putting more variety in the enhanced Z pathing/AI, I was expecting the Z's to turn and do more structural damage to my base. I put the frames back on fairly quickly (Z's took out one support column), and continued using a combination shotgun/club (bracing mod), with occasional steel arrow spam and about 4 molotovs, to finish off the night. I'd gathered up about 3 first aid bandages - used two of them. Came close to dying a couple of times. Overall verdict - I'm reserving judgement until I see what happens with Z AI. Not having seen the code, I _think_ it would be very easy to give the Z's multiple optional attack paths once the primary path is "broken" (1. Fling yourself off the ledge at the player and hope you get in a good hit before you hit the ground, 2. stop and obliterate the nearest random block, 3. Jump to the ground and charge the wall. etc.) My next steps in base building are to get some spinning blades and dart traps up. Plus I want a maze full of deadly, dastardly, dirty traps done dirt cheap so I can watch the rats... er, Z's try to run it.


The flagstone 1/2 blocks were there to protect my flanks from spitters and vultures. They worked great against the spitters. Not so great against the Z-birds. I think I'll put some bars (wood or iron) above them to discourage Z-birds getting intimate with my head. When I used the half blocks as cover from the spitters, they usually aborted their vomit routine. Spitters became unexpected bad actors when they aborted, as I thought that, since it was horde night, they'd want to wear down my defences - by digesting the scenery! (Get it? Instead of bad actors chewing the scenery, they became bad actors trying to digest... the... hmmm. Tough crowd.)


Overall, I gained 3 levels off the horde night and was well on my way to a 4th.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This week I accomplished a lot!


A cement mixer was born. Proof once again that if you hit something enough with a big enough hammer, it'll start working. What started life as a decrepit, rusted dishwasher is now a brand spanking new cement mixer! Admittedly, you have to turn a crank to get it to spin, and it does spin in reverse. And you have to change out the chewing gum holding the axle to the reservoir (watch out for the bent paper clip - those are hard to find in this apocalypse) once every 2000 revolutions or... your floor gets a permanent cement finish. Definitely use work gloves when near it - some of those edges are sharp! (That's in case a Z gets near while you're working and you need to perform a prophylactic decapitation. It's a feature.)


I took time off to talk with Trader Rekt. After he spat in my boot (while I was wearing it), he mentioned that another group of "survivors" - though they looked like homeless bandits to me - needed some "professional assistance clearing out a minihorde of Z's - but all we've got is you."


Well, it was a paying job, and he offered me a recipe for some "Gayr-run-teeed" home-made anti-biotics. Clearly, this was a valuable holdover from before the Fall. Even had the word "Meth" partially scratched out on the back.


So I did it.


One MacGuyvered field surgery, a cracked tibia, five broken ribs, and a liver in need of a miracle later, I presented the band... er, homesteaders, with their smoking hot re-newed, Z-free home. I didn't even burn it down all the way. Just... an accident in the kitchen, and on the loading docks, and in the storage room. They thanked me so profusely that my bone density increased due to the lead content of their gifts. It was heart-warming.


But the best part is I found an INTACT PHARMACY on the way back. It had everything I needed to patch the bullet holes in my minibike. And my hide.


Rekt didn't even try to stiff me on the payment. Parking a trailer of boom-booms, with a lit fuse, outside his front door may have helped.


Then came Sanguine Moon #5, and everything went to hell.


No, I don't want to talk about it. It was the sort of colossal screwup that makes you wake up in the middle of the night with terror-sweats.


Go away, now.



A few more details:


Day 29: By this time, I'm level 63, and I just bought pain tolerance 1. Ran into my first irradiated feral. One power attack from the braced iron club followed by a pair of shotgun blasts to the face and she was DOWN. Reminds me of my first attempt at dating in college.


Idea: Make the crafting stations able to take mods. For example, the cement mixer - Moisture Control Module, decreases crafting time by 10%.


Day 31: Cement mixer!!


Day 32: Turned Shadow Distance: Off. Surprise!! This made about a 10% improvement in FPS.

Turned loot respawn time back to baseline 30 days for Nomad. It's strongly influencing me to cut back on exploration and looting.

Finally made a sledgehammer. Got tired of waiting to loot one.


Man, I'd maim someone for an auger...



Day 33: Took on a Tier 2 clear the Z's quest. Almost bought it - swarmed by 3 irradiated (1 spider), 3 ferals, a couple of soldiers, and a spider. Got knocked off the roof - landed on a window sill. Single-digit health. Made a jump to a loading dock roof and sniped for all I was worth. Managed to survive, but then had to spend the night (snow biome, path back to home base is through a tight, twisty mountain pass that is <1 block wide at points).


Day 34: FOUND A POP'N PILLS!!! Finally, first aid kits, medicated bandages, steroids, fort bites, and two -count 'em- TWO beakers!!!


Day 35: Upgraded base a little, bought Int 8 (heading for steel), 2 weighted head mod (packing an iron club & sledge now), fortifying grip.


Finally got an actual infection while clearing out a POI. It reached stage 2. Irritating that it doesn't tell me what the effects are. Took herbals. They appear to reduce Agilty levels. Waited a while, then took anti-biotics. Very irritating that none of the descriptions list what the side effects are. Oh, look! I've miraculously become hungrier... Not a fan.


I do like how the infection cures in stages. That's a very nice touch!


Horde Night: Crap! I died! Fell off my ledge into my own spikes twice! Self-inflicted, should've put railings up. Dagnabit!!


Respawned, accidentally clicked "Near my bed", got whacked again by Z-dogs while trying to grab my death-bag heading back up to the jump-stairs. Double dagnabbit!!!


Ended up doing a run & gun with the minibike up and down a road.


Entirely my own fault. I did not make improvements to my base as quickly as I thought I would, so I skimped on some important upgrades. Then I did NOT follow my own fight & fall back plan - instead of backing up straight until I hit a safety railing, I tried to turn & run. Guess I'm too used to a more balanced ranged & melee build :/. One wall of my base got pounded pretty good (concrete on that side - no breaches). My "monorail" got half-trashed. Only gained 1.5 levels off this horde night.


On the plus side, with the cobblestone areas out of the way, I can now focus on a possible death-maze build. We'll see.


Day 36 - Level 72:

Per: 1

L. Looter 1

Str: 7

Sexy T-Rex 3

Stay Down 3

Skull crusher 3

Pack Mule: 3

Motherlode 3

Fort 3

H. Armor 2

Living off land 1

Pain tolerance 2

Healing 1

Slow metab 2

Agi 6

Rule 1: 2

Hidden strike 1

Int: 8

Daring 4

Hammer & Forge 3 (buying steel next)

Grease monkey 3

Adv. Engi 2

Yeah Science 1

Phys 1

Master chef 1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is where I'm going to call it for this AAR. I get the impression that TFP are going to release a patch, and I'd like to get back to my usual playstyle. It's been a lot of fun going through this (and telling a story in-character). And I hope you've enjoyed reading about my successes and screw-ups. This doesn't mean I'm done with 7D2D - very much the opposite. This game still scratches that survival/building/crafting itch in a way no other game I've played does.


I accomplished my goals - I am a melee stamina monster, when I don't commit suicide. I drop normal Z's in one headshot usually. Ferals in 2-3. Irradiated take about 5. I'm in a position where I pretty much HAVE to spend points on crafting/looting/bartering perks. Plus, melee-primary - while fun - isn't my preferred style.


Lessons Learned in this AAR for SP:

1. Specializing too much means you take a hit in all other areas. There's no way to have a "pure" melee build in SP. If you go that route, you will be unable to loot really good loot (no lucky looter) or craft good gear (no hammer & forge, no engineering, no science, etc). And you will be on foot the entire time (no grease monkey).


2. Pick melee or ranged. You'll need to put points in both. But you will do much better if you focus on one or the other.


3. Pick Stealth or Stamina. You'll need to put points in both. But you either need the stamina to fight (including Aiming Down Sights (ADS)/Running Away (Z Survival Tactic #1)) or the ability to sneak up on sleepers and put them down in one shot (ranged or melee). Ranged and Stealth is a very good combo.


4. As-is, builder level advancement without an auger is crippled. Devs have said they're addressing it. So crafting builds will need to design a horde base that makes use of an active defender armed with molotovs and guns (plural) over a good defense-in-depth (lots of wood, lots of spikes, lots of cobble/concrete) with multiple fall-back positions and bait-to-kill points. That's assuming you don't want to cheese the AI pathing and endless loop the Z's. Once you have a couple of workbenches, mixers, and forges going, there are multiple options for an active defense base that does NOT require uber-combat perks and stamina. Provided, of course, you don't suicidally jump off your own defenses into a spike-filled moat surrounded by Z's. I speak from experience.


5. Mods rock. Tools mods can make up for a lack of materials gathering perks. Armor mods can not only make up for lack of pack mule perks, but can also negate certain temperature and hydration aspects. Nothing like a helmet water filter to turn toilet-sourced poo water into Dasani. Weapon mods can make up for a lack of combat perks. Fortifying grip? Turns your melee weapon into a regen stick.


6. Base building requires a little more thought. Defense-in-depth is still a go-to concept. However, with the Z's smarter pathing, active defense is a must. Multiple walls at higher gamestages, with tower-based fallback positions and removable frame "drawbridges" still work, and are still useful. Bars (wooden and metal) are a must as part of your building plan. Arrow slits - both the blocks and "constructed" ones (top block solid, middle block is a half-block, bottom block solid) are also very useful. You have to be able to shoot at the opposition, or have a protected "slot" for your traps to shoot at them. Aerial attack from the vultures is a very nice addition. Vultures have replaced Z-dogs as my most hated add-on complication in a battle. Your base construction must now take into account roofing and alcoves - for cover from spitters and spiders, as well as the effing vultures.


7. Melee combat: It's a provably valid tactic to keep an iron club and a sledgehammer on your toolbelt. The iron club doesn't use as much stamina. The sledgehammer puts Z's down - and can even knock them back a ways or completely off a ledge (takes a bit more for the club). Again, mods are your friends.


8. Shotgun is my go-to gun for levels 1-60. Knockback/stun is good, damage is good (ignore anything from A17e), ammunition is plentiful and relatively cheap at the traders. Ferals can shrug off a shotgun blast pretty quick. Irradiated may very well ignore the first boomstick to the face.


9. Barbed wire rules. Learn how to use it effectively for POI clear-outs. Wood spikes are in second place.


10. If I had it to do over again: I prefer a mixed ranged/melee loot monster for my play style, with a secondary in Int/crafting perks. As long as coffee is available, stamina usually isn't a problem. It's been fun to see what I could do with a melee specialization. But I neglected the fun of finding higher grade loot than I could make. Gotta say, tho, that power attacking Z's and knocking them off roofs hasn't gotten old in 35 hours of playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...