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Are there times where zombies won't spawn?


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On my server we have zombie spawns cranked way up, went in to the xml files and increased the spawns that way instead of using a mod, but we've noticed that there are times zombies just don't spawn outside.  Usually every morning and night we have zombies spawn that we have to kill but there will be some days where the town and surrounding area is completely barren.  Usually as soon as it hits morning or night the zombies spawn in but occasionally it's like every spawn area in town doesn't activate.  We'll have to drive outside of town a good distance before we ever see a zombie, the sleepers inside POIs still spawn but I figure those are set to a different spawning setup than the outside zombies.  We never noticed it using default settings because the towns looked completely empty all the time anyway but after increasing them it is very noticeable, default is something like 1 zombie spawn every 3 days or so and we changed it to 10 zombies every day.  So I'm just curious if there are certain times where zombies won't spawn in towns or what could be going on.  The only other thing we've changed in the xmls is to show health bars at all times.  We aren't using any mods or anything else on the server.  

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Outside zombies no longer exist and in their place is the wandering horde event that is time triggered. Which points a horde of zombies in the players general direction and is tied to your game stage along with a chance to trigger at different times of day. Basically every single zombie is now purposely spawned in for a planed encounter with the player.

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There is a spawn limit, with the zombies alive setting, once that setting is reached the game will no longer spawn anything till they die, or timeout, happens to me in long single player sessions, usually have to exit to main menu and reload the save to get it to start spawning things again. Sadly the zombies timing out period in inactive chunks is way to long, if you travel a bit around you'll easly hit the cap. Sleepers also count towards this so if you go close enough to a Poi to spawn the sleepers, they will stay spawned till the game is reloaded taking up spawn slots, as the sleepers do not time out like the zombies outside.

 

With vanilla spawn settings the spawn rate is so low you'll generally never hit the 75 or 100 zombies alive without buzzing by a TON of poi's close enough to trigger sleeper volumes. However if you have modded the spawn rate, you will hit this easly. I play darkness falls mod that has a much higher outdoor spawn than vanilla, and usually every 1-2 hours I have to exit to main menu, and reload my game or else stuff pretty much stops spawning, other than maybe one in a blue moon, this also effects animals as well.

6 minutes ago, Danidas said:

Outside zombies no longer exist and in their place is the wandering horde event that is time triggered. Which points a horde of zombies in the players general direction and is tied to your game stage along with a chance to trigger at different times of day. Basically every single zombie is now purposely spawned in for a planed encounter with the player.

Naw thats not it, the wandering hordes will self-destruct after a short time if not interacted with by the player. Its like I said, its the Max Alive setting being hit and thus the game won't spawn anything new till they are killed, or time-out, and as I said the time out period is extremly long for outdoor zombies other than wandering hordes, that seem to time out in a short time once you move out of the chunk its in. Not to mention the fact sleepers don't really time out once spawned, if they do it takes a VERY long time.

Edited by Scyris (see edit history)
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I notice in long play sessions that zombies stop spawning for awhile. Relogging resets the spawns.

You can use decimals when setting the respawn rate.

    <biome name="wasteland">
        <spawn maxcount="2" respawndelay="0.2" time="Day"    entitygroup="ZombiesAll" />
        <spawn maxcount="5" respawndelay="0" time="Night" entitygroup="ZombiesWastelandNight" />
        <spawn maxcount="1" respawndelay="0.3" time="Any" entitygroup="EnemyAnimalsWasteland" spawnDeadChance="0" />
    </biome>

As you can see with the above, during the day, zombies respawn 4-5 times throughout the day.
At night zombies respawn when leaving and reentering chunks.

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(opinion based on what I have tested and seeing, as not everyone is experiencing this)

The spawning mechanic is partially broken, or it is working the way they programmed it, but has unintended consequences while working.

There is a max spawn limit built in, and once that limit is reached? Nothing over that will spawn, till entities are culled (manually).

For some reason the game doesn't always take the entities dying off on their own, into account. As days pass, the wilderness zeds slowly reduce to nothing (usually around 3-5 days) of a player staying in the same areas for long stints.

 

Initially you can increase the spawn counts, by a lot, artificially. After a couple/few days, it'll start dwindling the numbers again. You can reset it by logging out of the game , and then back in, or traveling to a distant new region and staying there for a game day or two. But, If you are doing long stints of playing in the same region, it'll happen again.

However, "Sleeper zombies" can still be triggered to spawn during this time, and the wandering hordes events still trigger.  

 

People can confirm this by: turning on /sm in the debug so the zeds can't "see you", bumping up the game time speed, and staying in the same areas of the map, and just letting the zeds die out around you. Then go to a new area (rinse and repeat), then travel back to that initial area, and find it a ghost town, minus sleeper entities, and wandering horde events. 

 

Actually has been a reoccurring issue [for me] since a18.ex and has persisted till now in Vanilla and modded games alike.

 

At one time a tester was going to look at this (can't remember who). Don't know what has come from it, other than its still an issue for my particular play style I guess. 

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I didn't even think about the max zombie count being the cause.  I was thinking that couldn't be it because we've noticed the problem a few times right when we log on for the day.  We get on and there are no zombies to be seen but then I got to thinking that we are on a dedicated server that runs constantly so time just freezes when no one is online.  Since the server doesn't go down there isn't any chance for the zombies to despawn.  Thank you to everyone for your help in figuring this out.  Now my next question is there a way to despawn all the zombies with a command or debug option?  I know there is the killall command but would prefer not to kill all the players as well lol.  It's fine if the only option is to restart the server but it would be great if there was a command to do it real quick.  

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