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paladylan

Demolisher balance

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Posted (edited)

The demolisher has an identitity crisis with doing too many things with little to no drawbacks, and leaves non-exploitation and non-cheese base building almost pointless in its current state. If the zombie has a lot of HP, fast movement speed that cannot be counteracted by spikes, an almost unavoidable AoE that essentially destroys anything under the strongest block(steel) in only one explosion(if there are two demolishers next to each other you can say goodbye to your steel wall). Traps and others are either very cost inefficient or just add fuel to the fire by triggering the explosion, along with turrets of any kind. This leaves little counterplay apart from spraying down the demos with AP rounds with an m60(snipers become less effective later on because more demolishers spawn and the lack of firerate cant keep up), but not everyone wants to just shoot zombies endlessly, especially people in the late game who have probably already had their fair share of mindlessly killing the zombies.

 

One great aspect that lures people into this game is base building, and how to properly set up a defense against the zombies. With the demolisher, almost any complex base defense is punished. If you are like me and enjoy building a complex base with traps and turrets that try to automate some of the killing, then you find yourself severely limited in the late game in terms of base building.

 

In terms of how to fix this, I feel like the problem is not the stats of the zombie, but rather the concept. Its not fun to play against something that destroys your base in a cheap way and limits what you can use against it(ex: turrets will simply trigger it, so you cant build turrets late game unless you want to roll the dice every time it targets a zombie and hope its not a demolisher), Nerfing its AoE simply just makes it bad, making it slow but still having a large amount of damage doesnt solve it, as managing zombies on later hordes is very hard, and it will more than likely reach your defenses in one way or another. The concept of it simply limits end game content to either avoiding the horde(which is a main enticement of the game, so already not good), or just building a temporary base and hoping you can mow him down in time.

Edited by paladylan (see edit history)
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The damage scaling is a bit off with them....or was... I think I read they changed the damage scaling a little. There were several bug reports issued about this. I'm troubled to hear that issue has not been resolved yet.  I stopped playing vanilla, after I was overrun by them. I was standing on top of two layers of steel, and the explosion from one of those instantly killed me with armour and everything on. Did not destroy the steel, but the steel did nothing to reduce the damage of the explosion to me. Needless to say, the wiring and turrets also got blown up by same explosion. So the next three of them simply wrecked the rest of the place with all defenses rendered useless with a single explosion. 

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The devs afaik want to make you actively fight a bloodmoon, not just sitting in a base full of traps an turrets that do the whole bloodmoon for you. Imho demolishers are one try to force you do this. I'm basically the same opinion, you should fight on bloodmoon.

 

However as you said demolishers are the all-on-overpowered. Fast, just running through spikes, lots of HP and finally a big explosion that destorys everything.

 

Maybe make them into to two different Zs. On big tank, many HP, plowing through spikes but no explosion. And the other hand one fast, low HP (killed with 2-3 Headshots from the sniper) suicide bombing zombie that triggers when he senses a player within maybe 5 blocks (through walls). So they would make a good attack combination. The tank first plows the obstacles away if you can't kill him fast enough and after that the suicide Z can sprint that way to the player.

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One thing I've noticed that's likely an unintended consequence of Demolishers is turrets not being as common in base defense, due to setting them off.

That's kind of a big thing when it comes to resource exhaustion. Used to be shotgun ammo was always an urgent need. Now I've got tons of shotgun rounds & paper cluttering up storage and nothing to do with them, heh.

 

Maybe it would be possible to config damages so that normal Shotgun Shells (pellets/buckshot) wouldn't activate demolishers? But also did little damage to them.

But if you stocked shotgun turrets w Slugs, they'd do serious damage to demolishers but had a fair chance to set them off?

Possibly similar w SMG Turrets? Normal 9mm do med damage w med chance to detonate, HP ammo almost no chance of detonation but little damage, etc.

Not very 'realistic', but could possibly revive turret usage in base defense?

 

Devils Advocate/arm-chair dev mode: I wonder if the demolishers explosion is too much of a good thing?

Demos are now #1 on everyone's 'Must Kill!' list due to that massive damage.

I wonder if demo explosion damage were nerfed down to like a third, would players get complacent and demo might wind up, over time, doing more damage?

Thinking of the Cop Puke. It does quite a bit of damage to traps in the line of fire. If the cops explosion wasn't so powerful, would they get less immediate attention?

 

---

 

I've been mulling over a kind of King of The Hill, pyramid type base w multiple incoming lanes & turrets over top of the central fighting cage.

Pyramid would be full block steps, so zeds are slowed to jump up, and hopefully delay any triggered demos so they don't reach top before detonating.

 

If the incoming lanes use half-height blocks & have a blade trap at correct height then bt's will hit heads of tall zeds but not set off demolishers.

By not hitting all the short zeds the bt's should last longer, and if mounted onto 'wall' (vertical-3-tall) then central hub wouldn't get punched by zeds.

 

Right now there's the blade traps + half-height, electric fencing and dart traps that basically won't set off demolishers.

Combo them up and it's possible to design a base that, even without cheese or turrets, can put out a lot of damage.

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turrets are effective on demolishers, they had to aim at their back to not activate them

i'm using them in my base with 0 problems, combined with electric fences and dart traps make a more than effective defence

 

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Posted (edited)

I must agree, sadly. I feel like it's a cheap way to keep the challenge "alive" during late game. I personally find it a bit frustrating to put so much effort into building a base, with traps and turrets that have costed me so many hours of farming resources and skill points, only for one enemy to destroy it all in the blink of an eye. Everything, aside from dart traps and electricity, has a huge (or even certain) chance of triggering his explosion, so you're heavily limited when it comes to defense of the base, but not in a fun way.

 

I think it's terrible design, personally, but I also think it's possibly temporary until bandits and other threats are added that may prolongue late game without resorting to cheap "let's take away everything the player has to make it difficult" tactics.

Edited by Xtrakicking (see edit history)
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I should put the zombie block damage back to 100%, and try the dart trap base again.

 

60 traps will handle an entire horde of 64 zombies on insane, I can just nap, or shoot birds.

(well, poke my head up, lead'em down and let the shotgun turrets do the work)

 

Dart traps don't trigger demos, at least when shooting from the sides. (and they hit the legs and head anyway)

 

but yes, demo does need tuning.

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2 hours ago, canadianbluebeer said:

Dart traps don't trigger demos, at least when shooting from the sides. (and they hit the legs and head anyway)

The couple main horde bases I've recently made have dart traps firing either Up or Down, and have e-fencing through them to stun zeds in place.

Fwiw those haven't set off any demolishers... so far :)

 

The one demolisher I have set off was due to my poor shooting.

But this last horde night I got really paranoid about them as I'd spec'd into Penetrator... Haven't tested if you can set off a Demo by shooting through a zed in front of him, but it kinda stands to reason that you could..?

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penetrator can set em off, best to aim for the heads, and take out demos first even if walls are taking damage from normal z's, eliminate the chance of another zombie smacking the button themselves

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1 minute ago, Synvastian said:

penetrator can set em off, best to aim for the heads, and take out demos first even if walls are taking damage from normal z's, eliminate the chance of another zombie smacking the button themselves

The problem with targeting demos before any other zombie is that in order for this to happen

-demos must spawn first, or when zombie count is low so they can be identified and dealt with

-identified and killed before reaching base defenses

 

however, on later waves reaching either of these criteria are made substantially harder, because harder waves include

-more zombies which make identifying demos harder, and makes the window for killing them before reaching base defenses smaller

-more demos spawn, which means more firepower required(try killing 5 demos, or 5000 hp, as a single player. Even with m60 + AP this is very difficult to do, and on top of that other zombies are still present

 

 

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In my opinion the Funpimps did a great job with the visual overhaul of the game. But they obviously try to force you as a player into a certain weapon based offensiv direction and therefor the game is loosing a lot of what it once where. I mean why do you even be able to skill ninja style when at the end it comes all down to weapons after all? Why should I try to skill pummel pete when my mining axe is at the same level more powerful or I have to rely on firearms to be able to clear a building in the end? Why should I skill into cooking when it comes down to rely on the trader and vending machines to not get food poisening. Simple stuff like that. The game its called a survival game. The player should deside how he wants to handle the zombies. If he likes to be passive or underground then let him be. Thats what this game was liked for.

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10 hours ago, Liesel Weppen said:

The devs afaik want to make you actively fight a bloodmoon, not just sitting in a base full of traps an turrets that do the whole bloodmoon for you. Imho demolishers are one try to force you do this. I'm basically the same opinion, you should fight on bloodmoon.

 

However as you said demolishers are the all-on-overpowered. Fast, just running through spikes, lots of HP and finally a big explosion that destorys everything.

 

Maybe make them into to two different Zs. On big tank, many HP, plowing through spikes but no explosion. And the other hand one fast, low HP (killed with 2-3 Headshots from the sniper) suicide bombing zombie that triggers when he senses a player within maybe 5 blocks (through walls). So they would make a good attack combination. The tank first plows the obstacles away if you can't kill him fast enough and after that the suicide Z can sprint that way to the player.

While I may not be fighting the zombie horde directly, strategizing and innovating in order to create a unique base design that works is a way of dealing with the horde. If i farm enough parts and resources to make enough traps/turrets and have enough power to sustain it, is that not a fair exchange for trading me using a gun? I am sacrificing a larger yield of resources and parts in order to make the base function, and ontop of that creating a good base design to combat it. While you can argue that I am not actively fighting them with guns(although I use a crossbow to help the traps/turrets), I am "actively' fighting them when it is not bloodmoon by preparing the defenses, which take substantially more resources than just making ammunition and explosives. I sincerely hope the developers do not consider the only way to fight the horde as spraying into the zombies with firearms, as it would leave the game with a very shallow complexity.

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Thanks for the info @Synvastian, appreciated :)

 

Thinking there's still quite a bit of balancing to do related to horde nights, and who knows if there are more twists being added?

 

Things like ammo availability. Compared to earlier Alphas it's not even a minor concern now.

Yet where once using a Bow/Crossbow, with just regular arrows, for horde night was pretty okay, now I'm guessing it'd take a pretty specific base design to allow that.

(but as I haven't specc'd into Bows in a18, or used them except a wee bit in experimental, I've no real idea how good or bad they are <shrug>)

 

To Demolishers, maybe something like "Acid Arrows/Bolts", which could have a several hundred point dot; hit a demo in the face with one and melt his brain in 2 seconds.

(saying this but have never tried to shoot a demo w an explosive/fire bolt/arrow, maybe those already work really well against demos)

 

--I do hope though that the TFPs aren't tilting at windmills & trying to make Horde Nights _almost_ un-survivable...

--there'll always be some who won't be bothered, no matter what, heh.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FileMachete said:

To Demolishers, maybe something like "Acid Arrows/Bolts", which could have a several hundred point dot; hit a demo in the face with one and melt his brain in 2 seconds.

(saying this but have never tried to shoot a demo w an explosive/fire bolt/arrow, maybe those already work really well against demos)

 

explosive bolts will not kill the demo, it just activates the explosive while doing damage i believe, it also doesn't help that exploding arrows are not unlocked through skill unlocks(the wikipedia said its unlocked at yeah science 2, but the wiki page of Yeah Science says otherwise, and I cannot craft them with yeah science 5)

 

(Edited): I have just made an edit to the gamepedia wiki with the correct unlock method for the exploding crossbow bolt schematic in case anyone is looking for proper information in the future

Edited by paladylan (see edit history)
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Gladiator zombie:

Prevents players from using an exploit known as "base building" by insatantly teleporting them into an arena prefab.

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A few observations after adjusting to Demolishers (and some modlets with other new zombies).

 

Yes, it is not balanced out of the gate for some. Adapt - Where you would put one block thick, do two. Relatively easy solution. 

 

You can change the gamestages, limiting the rarity of these particular zombies if you so desire. Heck, you can edit them out if you want. 

 

You can adjust how much block damage they do in a variety of ways. You can even adjust if they plow through spikes or get damaged by them and how much.

 

We've added Snufkin's Custom zombies to our server. Some are much tougher than the Demolishers. We dumbed down the new Juggernauts to 1/2 damage so they don't take out 10 blocks with one rocket blast. We added a rare chance for them to randomly pop up in the wasteland. We re-adjusted when the tougher zombies show up. We are on Day 300+ and are just starting to deal with some of the overkill zombies on Bloodmoon. It still gives us some challenge, despite having a relatively rock solid base. It makes looting still challenging at late stages with the occasional custom zombie popping up in POIs. We added some of Snufkin's custom weapons to balance the new tougher zombies.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Ti2xGr said:

A few observations after adjusting to Demolishers (and some modlets with other new zombies).

 

Yes, it is not balanced out of the gate for some. Adapt - Where you would put one block thick, do two. Relatively easy solution. 

 

You can change the gamestages, limiting the rarity of these particular zombies if you so desire. Heck, you can edit them out if you want. 

 

You can adjust how much block damage they do in a variety of ways. You can even adjust if they plow through spikes or get damaged by them and how much.

 

We've added Snufkin's Custom zombies to our server. Some are much tougher than the Demolishers. We dumbed down the new Juggernauts to 1/2 damage so they don't take out 10 blocks with one rocket blast. We added a rare chance for them to randomly pop up in the wasteland. We re-adjusted when the tougher zombies show up. We are on Day 300+ and are just starting to deal with some of the overkill zombies on Bloodmoon. It still gives us some challenge, despite having a relatively rock solid base. It makes looting still challenging at late stages with the occasional custom zombie popping up in POIs. We added some of Snufkin's custom weapons to balance the new tougher zombies.

 

 

Most of your solutions either boil down to avoiding the demolisher as much as possible(gamestage modification, editing them out), or changing the stats of the zombie drastically(which rather suits better as proposed balance changes, and can act as a temporary solution for now). These seem more like putting bandaids on a severe cut- it will work only temporarily.

 

The adaptation of placing two blocks rather than one is quickly nullified when demolishers start coming in large numbers, and it doesnt help that two demo explosions destroy steel. While I do agree that adding some of these custom mods will improve the game, it ignores the problem that the base game has with balance, because not everyone will want to mod their game(consoles most likely will never have the option).

 

Editing out the zombies does not solve the problem, it ignores it entirely. I will look into the custom zombies as an alternative if there is not any progress towards fixing this issue in the next upcoming patches.

Edited by paladylan (see edit history)

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We personally don't avoid the Demolishers. We like how tough they are. We now consider them a "mid-tier" zombie and have adjusted our base building style. I'm just giving obvious solutions. It's in Alpha. It takes about five minutes to do each of these tweaks, excluding the gamestage modifications. You can sit and whine about it, or make it the game you want for now. It sounds like we're going to be in Alpha through at least 20. I don't have the patience to complain on the forums and wait. If you want solutions, it is relatively easy to change a number here or there and get a completely different experience.   

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Ti2xGr said:

We personally don't avoid the Demolishers. We like how tough they are. We now consider them a "mid-tier" zombie and have adjusted our base building style. I'm just giving obvious solutions. It's in Alpha. It takes about five minutes to do each of these tweaks, excluding the gamestage modifications. You can sit and whine about it, or make it the game you want for now. It sounds like we're going to be in Alpha through at least 20. I don't have the patience to complain on the forums and wait. If you want solutions, it is relatively easy to change a number here or there and get a completely different experience.   

There is no whining going on, I am not complaining about the zombie in a subjective way, because at normal settings the demo completely limits late game possibilities on multiple aspects, it's poor game design. Your solution is like playing an FPS where a gun does almost no damage, and your proposition is "just mod it and play", why should it be that way in the first place? Should we not discuss gameplay mechanics and features that we deem unfun, unfair, or damaging to the game so mods are not required to have a fun experience? If we do not point out these problems, then they will never be fixed. There is a difference between constructive analysis and feedback and whining

Edited by paladylan (see edit history)
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Just now, paladylan said:

There is no whining going on, I am not complaining about the zombie in a subjective way, because at normal settings the demo completely limits late game possibilities on multiple aspects, it's poor game design. Your solution is like playing an FPS where a gun does almost no damage, and your proposition is "just mod it and play", why should it be that way in the first place? Should we not discuss gameplay mechanics and features that we deem unfun, unfair, or damaging to the game?

By all means, discuss away. It's still in alpha and isn't a complete product. They obviously are already adding in some new zombies in A19. You're expecting this game to be "perfect" now. It's not a complete package. It's like you're trying to say the book sucks after reading three pages of a book that hasn't been finished writing. Your discussion of how it is unfun, unfair, or damaging is based upon an incomplete game. Get over it and tweak it for now. You could have already changed the demolisher to make it more fun, fair, or less damaging in the time it took you to respond to my post.

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Just now, Ti2xGr said:

By all means, discuss away. It's still in alpha and isn't a complete product. They obviously are already adding in some new zombies in A19. You're expecting this game to be "perfect" now. It's not a complete package. It's like you're trying to say the book sucks after reading three pages of a book that hasn't been finished writing. Your discussion of how it is unfun, unfair, or damaging is based upon an incomplete game. Get over it and tweak it for now. You could have already changed the demolisher to make it more fun, fair, or less damaging in the time it took you to respond to my post.

I am not expecting it to be a perfect game. When did I ever mention the quality of the game? Is a game in progress not allowed to have their game given feedback in order to possibly help with it going in a direction that is healthier for the game? Would you rather no one discuss balance and have the game be released with flaws that could have been discussed and ironed out in the alpha stages where changes are more likely to be added? It would make sense to give MORE feedback during the stage of rapid development and change, in order to make sure the correct changes are being applied, and that progress is being made. You seem to think this is a case of whining or that its a major problem I've made 10 threads on, hyperbolizing my argument.

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"Should we not discuss gameplay mechanics and features that we deem unfun, unfair, or damaging to the game?"

 

It's in ALPHA. It is a work in progress. Just imagine about 2-3 years from now when they have all the weapons, zombies, vehicles, and such in the game.....Oh wait. It's not done yet and we are discussing the balance of a game where at least 1/3 of the content hasn't been included yet. Yes, I think it's a case of whining. Just tweak the demolisher to make it what you want or pause and stop playing until it becomes the game they are trying to create....or, just keep "discussing" how out of balance it is...for now, I guess.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Ti2xGr said:

"Should we not discuss gameplay mechanics and features that we deem unfun, unfair, or damaging to the game?"

 

It's in ALPHA. It is a work in progress. Just imagine about 2-3 years from now when they have all the weapons, zombies, vehicles, and such in the game.....Oh wait. It's not done yet and we are discussing the balance of a game where at least 1/3 of the content hasn't been included yet. Yes, I think it's a case of whining. Just tweak the demolisher to make it what you want or pause and stop playing until it becomes the game they are trying to create....or, just keep "discussing" how out of balance it is...for now, I guess.

Is a game in progress not allowed to have their game given feedback in order to possibly help with it going in a direction that is healthier for the game? Would you rather no one discuss balance and have the game be released with flaws that could have been discussed and ironed out in the alpha stages where changes are more likely to be added, so that these problems aren't brought to light and people have to install mods when the game is released to make it more balanced? It would make sense to give MORE feedback during the stage of rapid development and change, in order to make sure the correct changes are being applied, and that progress is being made.

 

You seem to miss the point that even though something is infact in progress, it can still have feedback. These alpha updates are given to give us new content to keep the game fresh, and allow for a greater pool of feedback. If a chef is making the dish incorrectly and using wrong ingredients, should you correct him, or is it a work in progress and you should let him ruin the dish?

Edited by paladylan (see edit history)

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So, we discuss the entire book's balance based upon the three chapters that are finished, knowing the book isn't finished and we don't even have all the characters in the book yet. How do you expect to give opinions of the future weapons and features and how they balance to one of the newest characters in the game...without knowing or experiencing the new weapons first? Don't you get it? They're not adding a bit here and there. They are still in development. We're discussing the balance of the Demolisher, without knowing what weapons and future defenses will be in the game to combat them. It's a waste of a conversation, unless you think they are done with development and just making final tweaks. Since we know there will be at least an Alpha 20 (at least rumored), current balancing would technically throw off the power of the demolisher to the finished product. I love the discussion, but it's just for entertainment at this point. 

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19 minutes ago, Ti2xGr said:

"Should we not discuss gameplay mechanics and features that we deem unfun, unfair, or damaging to the game?"

 

It's in ALPHA. It is a work in progress. Just imagine about 2-3 years from now when they have all the weapons, zombies, vehicles, and such in the game.....Oh wait. It's not done yet and we are discussing the balance of a game where at least 1/3 of the content hasn't been included yet. Yes, I think it's a case of whining. Just tweak the demolisher to make it what you want or pause and stop playing until it becomes the game they are trying to create....or, just keep "discussing" how out of balance it is...for now, I guess.

Dude, the fact that it's an alpha is 100% irrelevant. Feedback is always needed, early access or not.

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