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Kyonshi

How deep do you have to dig so Zombies can't hear you anymore?

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Posted (edited)

I wanna establish my hideout underground in my current game and i wanna be sure im not bothered by them anymore. I dont mind the heat signature from using workstations, because i think they have a too much large range anyway and i'll just deal with the Zs attracted to it. What im talking about is just simple noises that i produce when opening/closing my storage boxes or by simply walking and using ladders. Im getting quite annoyed that the slightest sound of going through my stuff triggers Zs and i wanna walk around by hideout without being in stealth mode.

Also, if you decide to build a tall tower as an hideout, how high do you need it to be so you cant be detected? Is there a flat, specific distance at which you remain undetected and is it the same for when you're underground or high above street level? If there is, is it calculated in blocks?

Edit: I dont plan to fight hordes underground, so dont bother reminding me they can dig down to you, i already know :)

Edited by Kyonshi (see edit history)
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I dont know the specifics as these things have changed over the years and I've stopped keeping track...

But I'd like to add the point that Going up is different from going down. You've only got about 20-40 blocks when going down to bedrock - if I recall correctly - while going up, you can go over 100blocks high. So a tower is likely more effective on hiding noise than an underground bunker - Although it might still work. Im not sure anymore. And blocks used to have a sound-resistance attribute based on what material it was made of - idk if that changed, but some stuff were better for sound isolation than others.

Yeah, all of that and I couldnt be of much use to you, right? But I hope I added something to your idea lol

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With zombies super hearing I don't think you can go deep enough under to evade them.

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It used to be 50 blocks, may be 100 now, not sure.

 

If you dig down from a mountain type, you can get deep enough that they won't see/hear you.

 

Bloodmoon excepted of course.

 

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50 blocks?! And it could now be more?

 

That's quite ridiculous. There's some places i raided, where i loudly axe-opened a door, just to find a sleeper on the other side who is still perfectly asleep but i would have to dig 50 blocks minimum to be able to simply open a storage box in peace?

 

I know its been said before but jesus christ, there's something seriously wrong with noise detection.

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I think it is less than 50 blocks. About 30 blocks. But I would have to test it to be sure.

 

I usually build my underground base on the bedrock because it is so deep down that even screamers can't spawn on the surface.
 

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The core aspect of this game is direct confrontation with zombies and that your never truly safe. Which effects all aspects of the game as it is all designed to force you to fight zombies. As a result any thing that allows you to be safe will always eventually get eliminated one way or another. Since the devs are dead set on that core aspect and logic be damned your going to have to always be at risk of needing to deal with fighting zombies one way or another.

 

For example not only are underground bases countered by digging bloodmoon hordes but also screamer zombies. Since screamers are not targeted on you at all and instead locked on to a heat generating event randomly triggered by anything that adds to the heat map of the world. Which can be as simple as a torch which the game randomly decided should have a screamer spawned to investigate. Which said screamer will do everything in her power to get to that torch including digging to it so that she can scream about it upon finding where it was. Now the only thing that will distract the screamer from this goal is if she sees a player first than she will lock on to them and scream.

 

Before you go removing all your torches the same heat event can get triggered with just about any action you take such as every block you place or remove to every second a forge or camp fire is going. Now it used to be possible to block screamer zombies from spawning by being far enough away from any where they can spawn and I am not sure if that is even possible now or for how long it will like that.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Danidas said:

The core aspect of this game is direct confrontation with zombies and that your never truly safe.

Well that is at least the intention of the developers but even they are powerless against the technical limitations of the game.

 

If you are very deep underground the chunk that contains the surface is removed from memory.
So no zombies can spawn there anymore. If the game still tries it, there is only an error message in the log that the spawning failed. :)
 

I know it's lame to use the limitations of the game against it but some players just want peace and quiet sometimes and not non-stop action.

 

By the way, this little trick does not work during the bloodmoon horde. At least, that was the case when Vedui tested it in A17 but I don't think this has changed.
 

Edited by RipClaw (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Danidas said:

The core aspect of this game is direct confrontation with zombies and that your never truly safe. Which effects all aspects of the game as it is all designed to force you to fight zombies. As a result any thing that allows you to be safe will always eventually get eliminated one way or another. Since the devs are dead set on that core aspect and logic be damned your going to have to always be at risk of needing to deal with fighting zombies one way or another.

 

For example not only are underground bases countered by digging bloodmoon hordes but also screamer zombies. Since screamers are not targeted on you at all and instead locked on to a heat generating event randomly triggered by anything that adds to the heat map of the world. Which can be as simple as a torch which the game randomly decided should have a screamer spawned to investigate. Which said screamer will do everything in her power to get to that torch including digging to it so that she can scream about it upon finding where it was. Now the only thing that will distract the screamer from this goal is if she sees a player first than she will lock on to them and scream.

 

Before you go removing all your torches the same heat event can get triggered with just about any action you take such as every block you place or remove to every second a forge or camp fire is going. Now it used to be possible to block screamer zombies from spawning by being far enough away from any where they can spawn and I am not sure if that is even possible now or for how long it will like that.

Jeez. 🤦🏻‍♂️

 

I clearly mentioned in my initial post that i know about the heat signature of workstations and that i dont intent to fight hordes in an underground bunker because again, i know Zs can dig. So, why are you telling all this? I take it that you only read the topic title and not what was following.

 

I dont wanna be 100% safe and sound from Zs 100% of the time im playing... I just wanna be left alone for a second when i transfer my stuff in a storage box, which btw does not generate heat. Im sorry, but you wont ever convince me that it makes perfect sense that a Z can hear you perform such trivial task 50 blocks underground when, like i sais earlier, i can bust open a door with my axe and that the sleeper on that room didnt even budge. Whatever the intentions of the devs are, this-doesnt-make-sense. I take it that there's some suspension of disbelief but this aspect is completely dumb.

 

The issue of people locking themselves up in the ground has been solved by digging Blood Moon hordes. So i guess that i can have a slight moment of rest while i sort my stuff out in my storage. That isnt cheezing the game out...

Edited by Kyonshi (see edit history)
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Dig down to bedrock for a safe underground base. They won't hear you. You can probably do it shallower buy why not just spend the extra little bit of time dropping that ladder shaft all the way down.

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24 minutes ago, Kyonshi said:

Jeez. 🤦🏻‍♂️

 

I clearly mentioned in my initial post that i know about the heat signature of workstations and that i dont intent to fight hordes in an underground bunker because again, i know Zs can dig. So, why are you telling all this? I take it that you only read the topic title and not what was following.

 

I dont wanna be 100% safe and sound from Zs 100% of the time im playing... I just wanna be left alone for a second when i transfer my stuff in a storage box, which btw does not generate heat. Im sorry, but you wont ever convince me that it makes perfect sense that a Z can hear you perform such trivial task 50 blocks underground when, like i sais earlier, i can bust open a door with my axe and that the sleeper on that room didnt even budge. Whatever the intentions of the devs are, this-doesnt-make-sense. I take it that there's some suspension of disbelief but this aspect is completely dumb.

 

The issue of people locking themselves up in the ground has been solved by digging Blood Moon hordes. So i guess that i can have a slight moment of rest while i sort my stuff out in my storage. That isnt cheezing the game out...

I read your message and what I wrote is not just aimed at you but is more general about the game.

 

As for how sound works in the game it is via a very crude system that does not follow logic at all. For example all sound is emitted from the player currently including explosions such as a pipebomb going off. Since as far as the game is concerned noise wise it went off at your feet and not where the explosion really happened. The same is true when you shoot open a cabinet to expose the sleeper with in. Now the devs are trying to fix this to be more logically but until they do we are stuck with the crude system.

 

As for the sound events themselves they start out strong and diminish the farther they travel. Also they have less of a impact on random zombies at your door then logic will dictate. Since the game likes to spawn random zombies and path them to your general location regardless if they heard you or not.

 

Also as for sleepers and basically all zombies in POIs they literally do not exist until you cross into the cube shaped volume the level designer drew around that room. Which said volumes are always arranged with the intended path of the POI in mind to force you to cross into them before you get to the intended entrance for that room. Naturally this means that any time you deviate from that path situations like you described can and will occur. Aka where you loudly break open a door, enter the room, and find a sleeper right around the corner from the door. Which if it actually existed before you crossed the door way into the room would of noticed the door get busted in but naturally it just spawned in the second you stepped into the doorway.

 

Basically the heart of the issue is that the game is ultra aggressive with limiting the number of zombies in the world and only spawns them if their is a good enough chance  that it will lead to a confrontation.

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3 hours ago, Kyonshi said:

50 blocks?! And it could now be more?

 

That's quite ridiculous. There's some places i raided, where i loudly axe-opened a door, just to find a sleeper on the other side who is still perfectly asleep but i would have to dig 50 blocks minimum to be able to simply open a storage box in peace?

 

I know its been said before but jesus christ, there's something seriously wrong with noise detection.

Zombies in the wild and sleepers in POIs are not the same thing. They are coded differently. Affordances have been made for the sake of gameplay. Zombies in the wild have a decent detection radius and sleepers will only waken when you are in their defined volume. There is nothing "wrong" with noise detection. TFP have designed wild zombies and sleepers to work in specific ways. You are free to disagree with those design decisions but it doesn't make them "wrong".  

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3 hours ago, RipClaw said:

If you are very deep underground the chunk that contains the surface is removed from memory.

This would be very surprising to me, as a chunk in this game is 16x16 bedrock-to-sky. No matter how deep you are nor how high, the chunk you are in should be active (i.e. all AI tasks are being processed).

 

But I'm going to go test all of this out. Maybe I'll be surprised.

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11 minutes ago, Boidster said:

But I'm going to go test all of this out. Maybe I'll be surprised.

Go to the bedrock, light 20 campfires there and watch the log. You will see that the game fails to spawn a screamer.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Kosmic Kerman said:

Zombies in the wild and sleepers in POIs are not the same thing. They are coded differently. Affordances have been made for the sake of gameplay. Zombies in the wild have a decent detection radius and sleepers will only waken when you are in their defined volume. There is nothing "wrong" with noise detection. TFP have designed wild zombies and sleepers to work in specific ways. You are free to disagree with those design decisions but it doesn't make them "wrong".  

I won't say I "disagree" with their design decisions, but I will point out the incongruities and lapses of immersion those decisions produce.

F2F44AC9CC66412927032E050F36CFF963755BCB

 

This is one of the gas station POIs on Navezgane map. I had never gone near it before, but having gone near plenty of other POIs I looked at it and immediately inferred I should enter from the roof. Well . . . ACTUALLY . . . scout it carefully from outside first (and shoot the zombie dog in the head while he was standing quietly) all the way round. Then climb up on roof, then chop into roof enough to see inside, then see this, one-shot sneak head-shot kill this guy with my prim bow and stone arrow and then scan around for other traps inside and go inside to loot it.

 

All that chopping and he was just peacefully asleep, heh  . . .

 

Please do not take me the wrong way. It is a fantastic, visionary, extraordinary game with enormous long-term promise (Arma-esque mod for 7DTD anyone??). JUST the voxel landscape, building and crafting features and leaving out all zombies entirely would be a fine game. I also understand that development is not an easy craft, and that Unity has its limitations. I also empathize with the pressures and demands of developing, particularly for a small studio.

 

But with all that said: the context presented in this image does not represent "good user experience." If we "testers" to this Early Access product do not point out these things then the prospects that these fine developer folks address them in one way or another are lower.

Edited by Diche_Bach
editing is life (see edit history)
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24 minutes ago, RipClaw said:

Go to the bedrock, light 20 campfires there and watch the log. You will see that the game fails to spawn a screamer.

Okay I'll test that, but I think that is a slightly different thing from "the chunk at the surface is removed from memory". I think maybe screamers have a max radius check from the heat source which could prevent spawning, but the surface otherwise ought to be fully loaded and active. I.e., other zombies on the surface will continue wandering, fighting animals, digging for you if somehow they hear you, etc.

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54 minutes ago, Kosmic Kerman said:

Zombies in the wild and sleepers in POIs are not the same thing. They are coded differently. Affordances have been made for the sake of gameplay. Zombies in the wild have a decent detection radius and sleepers will only waken when you are in their defined volume. There is nothing "wrong" with noise detection. TFP have designed wild zombies and sleepers to work in specific ways. You are free to disagree with those design decisions but it doesn't make them "wrong".  

And it doesnt mean that its "good" either.

 

TFP can of course decide to do whatever they want with their game, some far stretched inconsistencies can still take place and there's one right here.

 

There's place where i can see sleepers sitting and lying on the ground, through a doorless access, while im in the adjacent room, either digging cobblestone, breaking open a crate or even clubbing another zombie and it'll go down growling and screeching without waking up the sleepers. Yes i get that some of them are scripted to wake up or "appear" when i cross a certain node, but that still looks weird and inconsistent to me when i can attract a Z in the wild, from several blocks away, by opening my storage in my bunker deep below, but the sleepers next door, in the situation i mentioned above, dont wake up with all the ruckus i can generate 🙄.

 

I also get that, for the sake of several technical and design inconveniences, corners can be cut round. But again, this doesnt mean that some issues cant get exaggerated and that they dont need rectifications, whatever the intentions the devs initially had.

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One of the reasons for the sleepers working the way they do is so that they don't all exit the POI when you shoot a gun at the front door. This is how it worked when sleepers were first introduced. And players did exactly what you would expect. They stood at the entrance and made noise to get their attention and quickly dispatched all of the zombies. TFP decided they didn't like this and came up with the current implementation.  The game would be boring if zombies in the wild had a tiny detection range and would equally be boring if all the sleepers in the POI woke up when you fired a gun. 

 

In terms of your original question, I really don't understand what the problem is. Zombies in the wild are so sparse it's not like your base is being constantly attacked by zombies. The only time I see zombies around my base is when I've been away for awhile and they've respawned or if there's a wandering horde. And I only see a wandering horde if I've been hanging out in the same place for a long time.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Kosmic Kerman said:

One of the reasons for the sleepers working the way they do is so that they don't all exit the POI when you shoot a gun at the front door. This is how it worked when sleepers were first introduced. And players did exactly what you would expect. They stood at the entrance and made noise to get their attention and quickly dispatched all of the zombies. TFP decided they didn't like this and came up with the current implementation.  The game would be boring if zombies in the wild had a tiny detection range and would equally be boring if all the sleepers in the POI woke up when you fired a gun. 

 

In terms of your original question, I really don't understand what the problem is. Zombies in the wild are so sparse it's not like your base is being constantly attacked by zombies. The only time I see zombies around my base is when I've been away for awhile and they've respawned or if there's a wandering horde. And I only see a wandering horde if I've been hanging out in the same place for a long time.

Fair enough and totally legitimate . . . In the interest or promoting more constructive discussion and perhaps promising ideas for a 'better' third take on the system(s), I quote myself from the other thread where this issue and related issues are being discussed.

 

  

13 minutes ago, Diche_Bach said:

If having sleepers inside structures is desirable for reasons which were obvious in past builds I can understand that. The most obvious "solution" would be that any and all sleepers ARE responsive to noise. Check out my screen cap here: 

 

That type of thing is now going to become a very common experience for users who stop to consider how to survive with the least risk and most reward.

 

I realize that, if ALL zombies respond to enough noise then players can "game" that system by making a bunch of noise while in safety either outside a POI structure or otherwise, but those are the breaks. Either the game is "open world" or it is "linear" and if it is one then the degree to which it can involve elements of the other while still retaining a high degree of fidelity, immersion, and fun is necessarily limited.

 

ADDIT: one possible happy medium . . . set ALL zombies in the game to be sensitive to sensory inputs. Let us assume that the maximum level of sensory receptivity is "1000" for a wide awake monkey dude zombie roaming in the wilderness (or whichever one would represent "the most perceptive" and aware).

 

In addition to a basic sensory receptivity threshold (1, or 10, or 50 to 1000 or whatever was appropriate) which would be compared to the level of light/noise/other the player creates, zombie "sensation" could have a second variable regulating it which would be something like "Repetition Threshold." This variable would represent how many sequential cycles the zombie would have to be exposed to a sensory signal that exceeded their threshold. 1 would be the "most alert," 10 would mean that, even if the zombies sensation threshold is "500" it needs to receive a player generated signal that is >=500 ten times in a row in order to be alerted -> this, if properly tuned, could conceivable achieve the intended purpose of the "Stasis Zombies" without making them totally insensitive to noise.

 

I have to say, the game is terrific! Apart from the fact eggs are so scarce and chicken domestication is not yet a thing, this issue with the "Stasis Zombies" inside POIs is really the first issue I've encountered with the game that struck me as rough around the edges. Even with that said it is just that it is "not polished" more than that it is horrifically bad design.

 

Edited by Diche_Bach
highlight main point (see edit history)

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Okay, test setup is complete. Got a hole to bedrock with chests every 5m, and a tower to the sky with platforms every 5m.

 

For what it's worth: vanilla RWG water level is 43m. So generally that is the least amount you will need to dig to get to bedrock (really about 41m 'cause 2m is bedrock).

 

The test setup starts from that level; the pit is 41m deep or so. If zombies still hear me down there then I'll go find a mountain.

 

image.png.abce5b310c5ac488652b7df5cd346b90.png

image.png.53b54879182b6d9ee9e76907d4a8f7b9.png

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11 minutes ago, Boidster said:

 

image.png.53b54879182b6d9ee9e76907d4a8f7b9.png

Here's to not having a wandering horde decide to knock out one of the ground level blocks of the tower. 🍺

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I don't know the real answer, but from looking at some of the xml it appears if you're "doing something" to generate noise, there's more than just "the loudness of the noise traveling a distance" that's being calculated.  On top of that, I also believe that a "chunk" is from bedrock to max sky height, so anything done in a chunk (making a noise, etc)  should be calculated for the entire chunk.  Some of this has been talked about above, just leading on to my next points...

 

Anyway, it looks like anything that makes a noise contributes 2 things (at least): a "sound" and "heat".  Both appear to *not* "go away immediately" and may be additive, meaning if you make 2 loud sounds, the "noise level" from both sounds may be added together, and heat may both be added together.  I know if you make 0 noise/do no actions/generate no heat the heat map lingers and slowly decays over time.  It appears (from just looking at the xml) that sound may also linger for "some" time after it is made.

 

I'm not seeing anything obvious that indicates that a block or material the block is made from "deadens" or isolates the noise.

 

I don't know, but I'm going to guess things like stealth perks/actions (like crouching) and clothing are going to reduce "sound level" as well as how much heat is made from the player (but not from torches/vehicles/forges/etc)

 

Additionally, each zombie can have its own "sound seek distance" (in the XML: AINoiseSeekDist), I guess translating to "some can have better hearing than others".

 

Anyway, all of this still leaves some unanswered questions (for me, but probably as well for OP):

- Are sound levels calculated "for the chunk" like the heat map or do they only have a distance from the point they originated from? 

- Are there actually any sound effect dampening from blocks or the base materials blocks are made of?

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29 minutes ago, doughphunghus said:

It appears (from just looking at the xml) that sound may also linger for "some" time after it is made.

They do as indicated by what happens to the observability gauge while crouched and doing multiple things in "rapid" succession. The "fade time" for sound is allot shorter than for "heat" though.

 

32 minutes ago, doughphunghus said:

I'm not seeing anything obvious that indicates that a block or material the block is made from "deadens" or isolates the noise.

Per a conversation on this subject over in the Alpha 19 Dev Diary several months back, there is currently no "deadening" (devs referred to it as "occlusion") of sound from blocks (terrain or otherwise). This may or may not change, time will tell.

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49 minutes ago, doughphunghus said:

Are sound levels calculated "for the chunk" like the heat map or do they only have a distance from the point they originated from? 

I'm almost positive that sound is not chunk-wide.  Otherwise, a sound loud enough to wake a sleeper, would potentially wake an entire POI.  I believe Its distance based from the source (which, currently, is always you)

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Posted (edited)
Test Question Method Result
What happens to surface zombies as you increase vertical distance from them? Spawned Arlene in a caged platform at the surface. Used god-mode flying to increase vertical distance while watching her behavior (AI active or not).

AI remained active until about +140m at which point Arlene despawned. Further attempts to spawn a new Arlene resulted in immediate despawn.

How far underground do you have to be for a chest opening to be undetectable by a surface zombie? Spawned Arlene on surface, opened/closed a chest multiple times at various depths, listening for Arlene alert sound. No reaction at -10m
How far underground do you have to be for a gunshot to be undetectable by a surface zombie?

Spawned Arlene at base of tower, fired pistol & M60 at 5m platforms until Arlene showed no AI reaction to noise (i.e. did not path to the corner of her pen closet to me).

 

Repeat test underground.

Above ground: for both pistol & M60, no reaction at +45m.

 

Below ground: no reaction at -35m

How far underground do you have to prevent Screamers from spawning in a hot chunk?

Fired dev pistol (unlimited ammo) at various depths under ground, watched chunk heat (F8) and console (F1) for screamer spawns.

 

Repeat above ground.

Both below ground and above ground, screamer spawns failed at about +/- 30m from the surface.

 

1 hour ago, doughphunghus said:

Anyway, it looks like anything that makes a noise contributes 2 things (at least): a "sound" and "heat".  Both appear to *not* "go away immediately" and may be additive, meaning if you make 2 loud sounds, the "noise level" from both sounds may be added together, and heat may both be added together.

33 minutes ago, Kalen said:

I'm almost positive that sound is not chunk-wide.  Otherwise, a sound loud enough to wake a sleeper, would potentially wake an entire POI.  I believe Its distance based from the source (which, currently, is always you)

I think you both are talking about related mechanics and both are correct.

 

For the purposes of waking up a sleeper or attracting notice, sound is immediate and localized, with distance-based attenuation.

 

For the purpose of adding "heat" (they call it the Activity Map in the journal), sound affects the entire chunk, as do torches, forges, building/upgrading etc. You can press F8 twice to see current chunk heat, and shoot a pistol or something to see it go up. If it reaches 100%, a sleeper will spawn almost always (and reset the heat back to 0%).

 

Edited by Boidster (see edit history)
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