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Community Fostering Rules Changes


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As the game is currently designed, it's very hard to have a 7D2D dedicated server with any actual community. Joining a server that's past day 14 at level 1 is very intimidating and most people just don't do it since the game gets objectively more difficult the longer it's online, especially when in a party with higher level players.

 

One elegant fix for this would be simply adding more POIs that are extremely high difficulty and reward but also easily avoided, such as POIs that only spawn in the radiated or burnt areas. This would allow a community to organize around raids on its own schedule for bloodmoon-grade looting while bloodmoons could be scaled back in difficulty or even eliminated via settings. This way, no players would be forced into fights with hordes at game stages far past their own. The best part about this is that it wouldn't be a disappointing change for people who like the game as it is. They could simply avoid the "boss dungeon" POIs and leave the bloodmoon settings at default. Finally, having boss dungeon POIs added to the game would be awesome anyway. I recommend boss zombies that grant a unique perk / temporary buff to all players in the party so that there's no awkward politics around who gets to loot the boss. Just take a special zombie, increase its size, health, and damage and voila you have a boss zombie. 😜

 

But my main reason for posting this is that I keep trying to build a community on my 7D2D dedicated server but invariably some people aren't able to log on as much as others and lose interest in logging at all since they know they've fallen behind the curve enough that the game is too difficult to enjoy anymore. So I restart the server at day 1, but then the veterans lose all their progress and quit playing. Compared to another game like Minecraft, ARK, or Conan, there's really no possibility for a casual 24/7 "play whenever you have time" server since even 1 person can run the clock until it's time for the next bloodmoon, leaving everyone else unprepared. Scheduling playtimes around when people can play is one way to handle this, but it seems like this is the type of game that should be able to run like so many other open-world survival crafters with just a couple settings changes around the bloodmoons without missing out on high difficulty and reward encounters.

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It's not clear to me what you are asking for exactly. Bloodmoons can be turned off in the settings. And the xml files for Bloodmoon hordes (gamestages.xml) can be modified to reduce or increase the difficulty of BM hordes. For example, you can change the difficulty modifier or you can change the weighting for how group gamestages are calculated. You can also edit the hordes themselves to change which zombies spawn and how many of them.

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11 hours ago, RipClaw said:

The Fun Pimps are currently working on POIs with higher difficulty and better loot.

Awesome! Thanks for the link. However, please note that what I'm suggesting is more than just POIs with higher difficulty and better loot. I'm suggesting adding POIs that have a boss encounter so hard that they are recommended for groups of players, aka raids (or solo players with end-game builds). This would encourage community since everyone should get online at the same time so we can go on a raid. The obvious response to this is "but bloodmoons provide that", however, bloodmoons are forced on players rather than being sought out by players when they're ready. I'm not another person here to complain that bloodmoons are too difficult, I'm saying I like that the challenge they present provides a reason for everyone to be online at the same time, which is perfect, but the fact that there's no control over when a community encounters that challenge outside of implementing a "don't play this game unless everyone is online, go fill out the whenisgood" policy is rather lame.

 

Honestly, it means that as someone who's trying to encourage community around playing games together I simply need to be playing ARK, Conan, or any other game that provides voluntary boss-raid community events instead of forcing raid events. If the development intent for this game is for it to be a solo-play experience, I guess I'm asking for something I'll never get. But I'm pretty sure TFP wants this game to have solid community oriented gameplay since it helps in so many ways, including sales. The bloodmoons are something unique to this game that give it unique character, but maybe there's a reason other games don't ship with any kind of similar gameplay elements. I can't even think of any mods that add this feature. IMHO: don't remove bloodmoons, just make it so they can be disabled without leaving the game without any fun PvE events that "require" everyone to be online at the same time.

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Update: I'm hosting a dedicated server which you can join, check out the details here. On this server, we've kept the bloodmoons at default settings but doubled day-length to 120 minutes and kept nights the same IRL duration by increasing daylight hours to 21 so that nights (including bloodmoons) go from 22:00 to 1:00. This allows players to get on and casually play the game while others are offline without running up the clock to the next 7th night quite as quickly. Incidentally, my community also appreciates the longer windows of time to go adventuring without having to scuttle back to base for 15 minutes every 45 minutes. With this setting, we have 115 minutes to adventure and then 15 minutes to sit in base. Much more chillax. We also bumped up the difficulty to 3 (2 is default) so partying up to conquer POIs like factories makes for a fun "boss dungeon" experience, although I'm still interested in actual boss dungeon POIs being added to the game. More on that here.

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A large part of the issue with day count, is that people are used to years ago when it used to mean something. Since a15/16 day count doesn't mean jack squat for difficulty. One real killer that bugs me though is the number of people to run a server to about half an hour before bloodmoon and then just NOPE out of it.  Go through the server lists sometimes. You'll see an appaling number of servers that are on the cusp of a bloodmoon.

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5 hours ago, SylenThunder said:

A large part of the issue with day count, is that people are used to years ago when it used to mean something. Since a15/16 day count doesn't mean jack squat for difficulty. One real killer that bugs me though is the number of people to run a server to about half an hour before bloodmoon and then just NOPE out of it.  Go through the server lists sometimes. You'll see an appaling number of servers that are on the cusp of a bloodmoon.

Yea that has happened to me.  Where a few on the server do not want to deal with bloodmoons then I log in only to have to deal with them every time I log in just to go about my business afterwards.  It basically makes me have to deal with them solo with little ammo and forces me to build a horde base that would cheese the AI in some way because of the lack of resources and time when logging back in.  My experience gain would be greater (from dealing with constant bloodmoons and building) and they would wonder why.

 

As far as some players being intimidated about joining in late, offer a helping hand.  If they are grouped with a higher level player, they will get experience boosts like you wouldn't believe.  I think some players may join late just to get some of the hard work out of the way about food and water and get power leveled through the first few levels to remove the initial feeling of slowly progressing.  Group activities are building base together, bloodmoons and tackling larger POIs as a group at lower level.  Last one right now is no longer worth it because of the game stage loot table.  Who would want to tackle a factory for tier zero items really?  At least maybe give parts to build a tier one.  Maybe the sealed crates would have unfinished product of the production line or something.  Not asking for a box filled with pistols but maybe some components or mods so when you can set it up later on.

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Worst thing I've seen about the Blood Moon abandoners whenever I delved in PVP over the years is they come in immediately after blood moon is over and the go and raid all the soft targets that stayed during blood moon. It's incredibly cheap, in my opinion. It's just abusing the game and not being very sportsman -like.

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I've been thinking more about this issue some have with people leaving the server right before the Blood Moon, leaving the next player holding the bag, and I have a new idea.  Give servers a setting for the minimum number of players to trigger Blood Moons.  Then either people get together and do the Blood Moon, or the guy who can't get his friends together that night can go about his business and hope for better luck next time, without having to face a Blood Moon alone.

 

Hopefully the Blood Moon would then feel less like a chore to get out of the way, and more like a fun party that breaks out whenever there are a lot of people on at once.  Presumably if you actually wanted to do a Blood Moon solo, you wouldn't be on a multiplayer server.  And since there's already an option for servers to turn off the Blood Moon entirely, one can't really say this setting would go against the spirit of the game any more than the options that already exist.

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I'd like to loop back to the topic of this thread, which is brainstorming potential changes to the game's rules so that communities blossom and thrive rather than wilt as the day count increases. TFP has made some great progress on this specifically, such as changing difficulty progression so that it scales with individual player game-stage rather than day count. What else could be improved?

 

An idea I've been brainstorming is the addition of special "bounty hunter" enemies (non-zombie humans) that are very difficult to fight and target only players with a minimum game-stage. Anyone below the game-stage threshold doesn't have to worry about them, so they balance the playing field to an extent. At the same time, they drop especially high-grade loot, so being hunted isn't a complete chore. In fact, it would be exciting. Some thoughts on their design:

  • Able to pick locked doors and climb so as to enter bases without damaging them.
  • A notification and quest pops up when being hunted so as to allow players a chance to prepare (mines, traps, drugs, etc.).
  • Armed with guns in order to provide a fresh challenge.
  • While they ignore low-level players, if low-level players attack them they will temporarily stun the player and then run away.
  • Easily recognizable and scary appearance.

 

On 7/22/2020 at 9:35 PM, SylenThunder said:

A large part of the issue with day count, is that people are used to years ago when it used to mean something.

I think that this is definitely a large part of what's keeping people from joining my server. Every time I start a new server, I get 2-3 random new people to join in the first 7 days. After night 7, no new players join even though nothing else has changed. However, I chat with these random new players and they are all aware of the latest updates and realize that game-stage has replaced day-count. So there's more to it than just being misinformed. I think the game currently gives excessive advantage to those who have been active since day 1; there's no way to compare to the server veterans. Some kind of reward for achievements, even if completely cosmetic (like ARK has done) would allow many people an appreciable, unique social status when joining a server late. Allowing players to import their character sheet from another server is another way to allow some account-wide continuity (also like ARK). Or perhaps grant low level latecomers the option to accept bonus xp scaling with the day count or highest player game-stage.

On 7/23/2020 at 3:44 AM, Lord Shakaka said:

As far as some players being intimidated about joining in late, offer a helping hand.

Yes, in PvE I always offer to boost latecomers by doing most of the work for them and giving them what they need to survive and get on their feet, but who wants to be the baby of the server? Honestly, the increase to the number of zombies that spawn is simply more influential than what the player can contribute since the party's game-stage is that of the player with the highest game-stage.

Edited by Ill Fred GMan (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Crater Creator said:

I've been thinking more about this issue some have with people leaving the server right before the Blood Moon, leaving the next player holding the bag, and I have a new idea.  Give servers a setting for the minimum number of players to trigger Blood Moons.  Then either people get together and do the Blood Moon, or the guy who can't get his friends together that night can go about his business and hope for better luck next time, without having to face a Blood Moon alone.

 

Hopefully the Blood Moon would then feel less like a chore to get out of the way, and more like a fun party that breaks out whenever there are a lot of people on at once.  Presumably if you actually wanted to do a Blood Moon solo, you wouldn't be on a multiplayer server.  And since there's already an option for servers to turn off the Blood Moon entirely, one can't really say this setting would go against the spirit of the game any more than the options that already exist.

Bad idea. This way you punish the people who want to play vs the horde.  People who don´t wanna play during bloodmoon should search for servers where there is no bloodmoon.

Edited by pApA^LeGBa (see edit history)
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I don't play MP or PVP in 7dtd, but a couple thoughts came to mind reading this thread.

 

1) sounds like an Admin option to trigger a horde night on demand would be useful. Automated pa spoken warning message that BM will begin in x minutes. Be kind and add Pause and Cancel options so Admin could hold off if they got a msg from a player saying, "wait!" "I'm 2 ks from my group/base!".

 

2) Something like the Mincraft Sleep mechanic with adjustable limits. So admin could set it so that if 1 or 2 peeps were on, and they both chose to sleep, then the horde night would end.

More work but could extend that general idea so that if there was one player who was a ways away from a group who wanted to fight the horde that night, the solo could go to 'sleep' for say 30 seconds, then his nearby area would be immune from the horde. Solo could still decide to run over and join the group, but no idea how gamestage/count would be handled, if it's not already dynamic that is.

 

Just off the cuff thoughts. Best of luck with you're server.

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On 7/25/2020 at 5:38 AM, Crater Creator said:

I've been thinking more about this issue some have with people leaving the server right before the Blood Moon, leaving the next player holding the bag, and I have a new idea.  Give servers a setting for the minimum number of players to trigger Blood Moons.  Then either people get together and do the Blood Moon, or the guy who can't get his friends together that night can go about his business and hope for better luck next time, without having to face a Blood Moon alone.

 

Hopefully the Blood Moon would then feel less like a chore to get out of the way, and more like a fun party that breaks out whenever there are a lot of people on at once.  Presumably if you actually wanted to do a Blood Moon solo, you wouldn't be on a multiplayer server.  And since there's already an option for servers to turn off the Blood Moon entirely, one can't really say this setting would go against the spirit of the game any more than the options that already exist.

I like this idea, simple yet elegant. It could even be a vote command like "/bloodmoon" in chat so no admins would need to be around. After one person chats the command, everyone gets a pop up box asking if they want to trigger the bloodmoon to start tonight (22:00) or not. Presumably, people would enter the command sometime in the morning so everyone has a chance to prepare. A concern with this is that in PvP the politics could get hairy, especially if only an admin command. But in PvE this would be perfect. Hmmmmm, thought just occurred to me that bloodmoons could be instantly triggered by an in-game event, like activating a quest exclamation point or opening the ultimate loot chest at specific high-level POIs. This would give an epic Indiana Jones sequence to the game while letting players have more control over when they are pushed into high-risk, high-reward encounters. It could even be per-player, so the bloodmoon rules (no stealth, constant horde spawning nearby) only apply to the individual who "raided the tomb."

18 hours ago, FileMachete said:

I don't play MP or PVP in 7dtd, but a couple thoughts came to mind reading this thread.

 

1) sounds like an Admin option to trigger a horde night on demand would be useful. Automated pa spoken warning message that BM will begin in x minutes. Be kind and add Pause and Cancel options so Admin could hold off if they got a msg from a player saying, "wait!" "I'm 2 ks from my group/base!".

 

2) Something like the Mincraft Sleep mechanic with adjustable limits. So admin could set it so that if 1 or 2 peeps were on, and they both chose to sleep, then the horde night would end.

More work but could extend that general idea so that if there was one player who was a ways away from a group who wanted to fight the horde that night, the solo could go to 'sleep' for say 30 seconds, then his nearby area would be immune from the horde. Solo could still decide to run over and join the group, but no idea how gamestage/count would be handled, if it's not already dynamic that is.

 

Just off the cuff thoughts. Best of luck with you're server.

Thanks! I agree that being able to sleep would be nice, even for non-bloodmoon nights. Perhaps activating a bed could open a special sleep UI with a clock where the hours pass much more quickly, but there's a random chance of an "encounter" type event occurring, like waking up prematurely to a bear or horde appearing nearby. This would retain the sense of immersive survival while cutting out the tedium of sitting around with one's thumb up one's forge all night.

 

Another issue with mandatory, forced bloodmoons is that stealth builds are objectively worse than others since one can't stealth during bloodmoons. Making bloodmoons more optional would allow stealth players to play the whole game sneaking anytime they like.

Edited by Ill Fred GMan (see edit history)
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Wow, there are a lot of cool ideas here! I never really get to foster a group of people unless I KNOW them already onto my server. On a different topic posted, another idea was if we could literally schedule when a blood moon will take place. Or if there is a way to keep the server timing running even without players, you could modify all the times and blood moon frequency to always occur on a particular evening of our week, etc.

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A good server admin could always adjust the time to skip a bloodmoon or log in and float to let it naturally progress if needed. Are you talking about servers of more than 8 people? irc 7 days is meant for groups of up to 8 players, so servers with 10-30 players really are not the devs problem.

 

A sleep mechanic just doesnt make sense, night can be a big issue or a little issue depending on the settings, skipping it just because doesnt feel right.

 

 

I think alot of what you're looking for will be a thing modders look into doing once the game is released. 

On 7/25/2020 at 7:38 AM, pApA^LeGBa said:

Bad idea. This way you punish the people who want to play vs the horde.  People who don´t wanna play during bloodmoon should search for servers where there is no bloodmoon.

this isnt always why they skip the horde. If I log in and decide to base near some of the higher level players I might end up getting a higher leveled horde due to proximity and get mauled before I have enough defenses. Does bloodmoon still go off proximity? I remember it was soemtihng like the highest 5 players in an area decided to horde that would spawn, so servers only got 1 horde each horde night.

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5 minutes ago, myrkana said:

this isnt always why they skip the horde. If I log in and decide to base near some of the higher level players I might end up getting a higher leveled horde due to proximity and get mauled before I have enough defenses. Does bloodmoon still go off proximity? I remember it was soemtihng like the highest 5 players in an area decided to horde that would spawn, so servers only got 1 horde each horde night.

The group multiplier is a pretty small distance. maybe 30 meters tops.  The players don't decide what would spawn, but if the client's capability is exceeded, then it could lead to others not getting spawns. Again, the game is based on a max of 8 players in co-op. Usually you only see the issue with one group getting all the zeds on servers hosting 20+.

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18 hours ago, Riles said:

Wow, there are a lot of cool ideas here! I never really get to foster a group of people unless I KNOW them already onto my server. On a different topic posted, another idea was if we could literally schedule when a blood moon will take place. Or if there is a way to keep the server timing running even without players, you could modify all the times and blood moon frequency to always occur on a particular evening of our week, etc.

I like this idea, it's kinda like what was mentioned before about letting an admin just enter a command that triggers the bloodmoon to occur "tonight" (in-game). But what you're suggesting, if I read you correctly, is the ability to set it so that the dedicated server enters bloodmoon rule-state at a specific date and time in real life. For example, every day at 1:30pm and 8:00pm. That way players aren't surprised by a bloodmoon when they log on, instead they can plan to start playing at 12:00pm in order to have plenty of time to prepare or alternatively at 9:00pm to never have to play during the bloodmoon but still be on the same server with their friends. No trapping other players into having to encounter bloodmoons unprepared. Very cool.

Edited by Ill Fred GMan (see edit history)
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21 minutes ago, Ill Fred GMan said:

I like this idea, it's kinda like what was mentioned before about letting an admin just enter a command that triggers the bloodmoon to occur "tonight" (in-game).

With sgs command you could possibly emulate something like that. You can use this command to set the next blood moon day, among other things.

 

sgs BloodMoonDay [day]

 

Just set the day e.g. to 9999 and if you want to have a blood moon horde then set the day to the current day. Works in my test world in the single player game without problems.
If you want to see which day is the next bloodmoon horde then use the command ggs. This command also shows you what you can set with the sgs command.

 

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Using the set game setting command does work! Now i'm thinking about it's gameplay effects... Having significant more time to prepare for Blood Moon can eliminate its difficulty. However, the more players on, the more challenging it does get... up to whatever your max zombie number is and game stage.... hmm.. there are a lot of ways to tweak the options. So I guess the question I need to answer first is what do I really want to achieve here? Or go back to the question of how can we get people to join a server with a later game day?

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15 hours ago, Riles said:

Or go back to the question of how can we get people to join a server with a later game day?

I think the issue with people avoiding late game days will get better as people realize that the game isn't quite as punishing for late joiners as it used to be since TFP introduced the game-stage rules and trader quests (especially since quests reset POIs to the way they were on spawned day 1). Additionally, a server description describing the server's alternative use of "sgs bloodmoonday" could help a bit. I still want a way to schedule bloodmoons to occur on a schedule IRL rather than in-game. This would also require a different way of warning that a bloodmoon is about to occur, such as a status effect similar to a broken leg timer that counts down until the bloodmoon begins, and another that counts down until the bloodmoon ends.

 

Some people still don't like the idea of joining later than other players, especially in PvP. This is a really difficult problem to solve. Even long-standing games such as MMORPGs have problems with this; people are most excited to play when they are among the first to begin, then subscribers dwindle because joining as a newb while there are many veterans playing at much higher levels is intimidating. The term "gank" actually comes from WoW and originally meant being a high level player engaging PvP with a much lower level player. The solution these games came up with was to make certain areas, most areas in fact, strictly PvE. Learning from this, what if there were certain areas in 7D2D maps that are flagged for PvP, but outside of these areas the game is always PvE. For example, going into the burnt biome could immediately allow one to engage in PvP with other players in the burnt area. If this were the case, the quality of loot in the burnt area could be increased in order to give players a reason to take the risk that PvP poses. At the same time, new players would be able to get on their feet by simply avoiding the burnt areas. Additionally, a server catering to both PvE and PvP playstyles is more populated, which is something both communities would enjoy. Imagine being someone who only plays the game PvE but still able to play on a server with your friends who play PvP. The PvE players could even team up with and support the PvP players with supplies and bloodmoon solutions.

 

Low population servers suffer from the intimidation of new players more than high population servers since more players means more new players, so you won't be the lowest level player for long. 7D2D suffers harshly in this department since it's designed specifically for 8 players per server. If further development leads to the default supported server size increasing to something more like 70 (like ARK) then the problem of no one joining after the first few days will dwindle. This would of course require many performance improvements since each player objectively increases server load, so we may be waiting a while for this change.

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