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Survival\Crafting vs Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society – Item Harness


Enisle

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Let me start by saying I love this game. I have been playing since shortly after “Dude Where’s my key!” Seeing the frustration with the initial key debacle, I decided to wait until things settled down a bit before jumping in, and I was really pleased with what I found when I did. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the game evolve and I’m thrilled with the new Random Map gen - It’s gorgeous. It really is. That the Dev team has gotten to this point in one short year is truly impressive and a real testament to their commitment and professionalism. 7DaysToDie is the best argument for the existence of “Early Access” games I can think of. Now that we’re approaching 1.0 and the basics are behind us for the most part, it seems to me that 7DaysToDie is at an important crossroads for the future of the game. Will 7DaysToDie be a Survival/Crafting game or a Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society game? I support the second path, and though I’m sure to offend someone by going into great detail about it, I’m going to anyway – because having the opportunity to express my vision of the game to the developers while it is still wet in the mold is the whole reason I purchased an Early Access game. What do I mean by Survival\Crafting vs Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society? To me Survival\Crafting means the focus of the game is on survival with crafting as a means to that end. The key here is that survival is the primary focus of the game. Up until now, I feel this has been the model of 7DaysToDie. I place the game into this category because the current mechanics require very active maintenance cycles when you build a fortification. Zombies will eventually tear through any structure you create if you are not examining and repairing them on a daily basis. With many of the construction materials available, you will in fact have to monitor and repair your base overnight as zombies can quite easily penetrate them in a single activity cycle and overrun your base. In essence, survival itself is the constant and overriding factor in the game. In and of itself this can be a lot of fun until you master the mechanics required – then you are left with a sort of “now what” feeling. Looking through the forums, it seems like a lot of us then go scouting for new POIs or hunting up some wildlife as you stalk through the gorgeous terrain. Some of us build elaborate truss systems supporting elevated bases or burrow deeply into the bedrock creating a maze of underground bunkers leading from one POI to another. The point is, I think we all begin looking for ways to extend the life of the game beyond simply Crafting\Survival. What I would like to see is the game taking on more of a Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society scenario. I really enjoy the idea of being able to build a base that most Zombies simply cannot penetrate freeing me up to build elaborate housing with a sea of zombies railing at the gates of my little village. Naturally, I will have a mess to contend with the next time I go outside. I like the idea of bringing steam power to my base and lighting up my mines with electric bulbs. I think it would be awesome if I could spend weeks restoring the local damn\ power plant to working condition stringing line down telephone poles back to my base or running them underground. I love the idea of riding range on my cattle ranch defending my herd from zombies that have come in through the barbed wire fences I put up after I cleared the land. I get really excited at the thought of defending my place from roving bandits who have to tools required to breach my perimeter defenses and I really like the way the bandits are smart enough to use the zombies as a tool when they try to wipe out my base by creating holes in the perimeter and then luring zombie hordes into my base. I love the notion that servers themselves could register as cities in the wasteland and communicate between each other if they had the requisite technologies online. Wouldn’t it be awesome if servers could register to participate in cross server raids on each other? OK – I’m going pretty far off the deep end here but the point is there are a lot of options for the future when the decision to go beyond Survival\Crafting is made. How do we get there? I think the first big step in moving towards a Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society game is to introduce hardness to objects. If you are attacking an object with a tool that does not meet the hardness of the object you are attacking – you cannot damage it. This means no amount of beating on a tree with your bare hands will bring it down. You have to have a stone axe to start. This goes for players and zombies alike. Zombies can beat down wooden doors, break through (and crawl through) windows, tear through boarded up doorways, destroy furniture, etc… but simply no amount of beating on a brick wall will get a zombie through a brick wall. Shingled roof? The question needs to be, could a grown person with bare hands get through it. If the answer is yes then how long would it take? If the answer is no, not really – then don’t let them through without a tool. That’s my two cents. Like I said, I love the game and really appreciate all of the effort that has gone into making it what it is today. I’m just trying to fulfill my obligation as a fan to let the developers know what I would like to see the game become.
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That indeed does sound like a lot of fun, but, I would just want to be sure that the whole "zombie" aspect of the game didn't get lost. I wouldn't want to get so consumed with my city rebuild/server cooperation that the threat zombies are completely out of the picture. There would need to be a balancing act. I do agree that zombies being able to tear through brick with bear hands does seem a bit much (I know I know, I'm referencing "reality" in a zombie game). But, the other side of that coin is, if zombies can't break through things such as brick or concrete, then at some point, you completely eliminate the threat of a zombie horde invasion. The question is how to deal with this conundrum.
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yeah the whole "Im safe behind my dirt wall" concept in minecraft is what really killed it for me. yeah it was nice to be safe, but it quickly got boring when you could simply ignore the outside world once you were inside your house. I don't want this in ANY way to come to 7DTD. IF they do decide to add a zombie proof block, they should be EXTREMELY expensive to craft, or otherwise very very rare to find. something to the point where you could only feasibly build a small panic room out of the stuff, and that only after many in game days.
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Sounds like a cool concept, for a "7days to Die : Societies", Basically a sequel to the first. I think they need to focus on the Survival/crafting side first, Then build into an Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilding Society game. Maybe towards, what could be considered The Endgame of this one, give the starting abilities of rebuilding societies to lead into a next game. Just my opinion.
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I can see the argument both ways. Boredom with constant go fix my front door...again, conundrum. But also the total elimination of a threat. As for the ability or not to be able to damage something, you simple give the item an 'armor rating' that has to be beaten. Example - if a tree has an armor rating of 10 (tough bark and wood is hard in general), the zombie would need to exceed 10 points of damage to hurt the tree. If the zombie could do only a max of 8, it will never damage the tree...ever. But the police officer zombie that spits whatever it is that digs holes in the ground...the tree is easily knocked down. That is how the tough materials problem is resolved, by having those special zombies do more damage. So one can expect to build a fortification to keep most zombies safely out, but still need to keep an eye peeled for the 'boss' zombies. As for rebuilding society, John Ringo has an excellent series regarding this which might give a good foundation towards that idea (To Sail a Darkling Sea I think is the first book). I really like the idea of being able to go get specific parts of society back up and running - fixing the dam's generator and running power lines, then getting a local radio station back up and running, even if on auto mode (give yourself an in-game option to load your favorite mp3s and have them broadcast over your map). Cooperate with other players to rebuild a section of a city and get society running again with some NPCs coming in to 'fill up' the city. I'd also like an option for actually 'defeating' the zombies - killing them all off in an area or at least reducing their numbers down by 95%, or even having a fixed amount of zombies on a map, then an algorithm that adds a random number of zombies to the edge of the map based on wandering zombies straying onto your map over time, rather than having them respawn in a given area over and over again. This gives great incentive to move to another map or POI, to spread out the rebuilding of society. If they are planning on having multiple map options, and player-created maps, why not allow the players to pick a map area on a large grid to create a larger gaming world, with the option to move between them via roads leading off the map to the next map on that side of the current map - (Fred is building a map in A2 on the grid, I'll build a map in A3 so we can travel to each others map). And of course, the greatest challenge of all would be to take on a major city. Care to try to clear New York?? Have enough ammunition? Able to build a strong enough base? Or stay hidden at night in such a big city with literally millions of zombies? For that one, the game would simply need to keep a number in memory (12,345,894 zombies), then keep feeding them into the grid edges (and subtracting that number from the starting number) as the player(s) kill them off within until they are all dead (yeah, that's gonna happen...?). That way the game isn't brought to its knees and beaten over the head as it tries to maintain 500 zombies mobbing the player(s). And of course, it would be great if these were all options that could be chosen at game start up, so everyone can have their cake and eat it too! =)
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Bottom line you can build a impenetrable base ( as far as zombies are concerned) but you will have to leave for something and the longer your in your base the more zombies there will be outside. If you build the perfect settlement others will want to join you or take what you have. Whose to say I don't RPG your walls and let the horde clear you out. I think the hardness or damage threshold ideas are good and do not break the game. They could work against you on some supply runs especially if a tool breaks at a bad moment.
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So on the topic of block hardness, I agree that if you have a block of a certain hardness, a regular zombie shouldn't be able to destroy it by hand, however, assuming all players feel the same is arrogant at best, so why not simply make it an option on game creation. Easy to have it as a simple "On" or "Off" option for "Use Block Hardness" or some variant there of, that way everyone can custom tailor the game to their taste. That is the ultimate make or break in this game to me, everyone being able to pick and choose their level of reality in this game. If you want a game full of fear, set zombies to run all the time, ignore block harness, ect ect and just TRY to live more than a day. Other wise for the full effect of "living" in a zombie infested world, why not use the idea of real world physics and logic to give that feeling of realism if we so choose. On rebuilding society, I do like that idea, however it needs to be in the form of realistic terms. Ie.. I'm a solo player in most games, I love the ability to play solo if i so choose or multi if i feel the need. So making it realistic would be difficult without npc's ect ect, thinking of Fallout3 and the roaming traders... Sure you could have a nomad everyonce in a while, but think about it, if you set out on foot, and trusted your life on meeting strangers who didn't want to kill you and only wanted to swap gear w/ you, would that be a lifestyle you'd choose? Probably not in this world since carrying the wrong stuff would just attract zombies, not to mention having to safe up every night in an unknown location... not that smart... However you COULD entice some of those nomads to bunk w/ you IF you could provide them safety. NPC trading style. Maybe a few group together and randomly become hostile to you in your own base and run you out?? then you have to find a way to take your home back... or maybe they band together without your involvement at all and form their own base. the possibilities are endless on the AI front. But isn't that the appeal of this game? Limitless possibilities?
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I like this idea but I don't like blocks being impenetrable. [QUOTE]Example - if a tree has an armor rating of 10 (tough bark and wood is hard in general), the zombie would need to exceed 10 points of damage to hurt the tree. If the zombie could do only a max of 8, it will never damage the tree...ever. But the police officer zombie that spits whatever it is that digs holes in the ground...the tree is easily knocked down. That is how the tough materials problem is resolved, by having those special zombies do more damage. So one can expect to build a fortification to keep most zombies safely out, but still need to keep an eye peeled for the 'boss' zombies.[/QUOTE] I think VorrAkkagi has the best compromise. norms can't break cement or brick but specials can, allowing whatever horde has amassed to assault your base.
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Would we need to mess with block hardiness if we changed how the zombies pathed to us? Instead of drawing a straight line and beating on any block in the way, how about the zombies using the same AI as a robot going about a maze? a path of least resistance or even have them climb over the walls like that Brad Pitt film (its late and I forget its name) Perhaps like I am Legend, the zombies could only come out at night, leaving you to build all day and man the walls at night. I love the idea of being able set yourself up, then having to expand a base for live stock, farms and other NPC`s recruited through quests. To make room for garages, radio masts, power generators ect ect ect.
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