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More and more and more and more ideas


Kilala

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Hello all!

 

I’ve been playing 7dtd for about 3 years now and have accumulated a collection of ideas for the game in general and improvements for areas where I think it is lacking, as supported by my anecdotal evidence.

 

For clarity, I love playing this game with friends and most of my ~400 hours have been spent playing in a group of 4~6 people. So pretty much all of my observations are from the multiplayer perspective, as opposed to solo runs. This is a rough breakdown of how the game has flowed in my group for most of our runs.

Days 1-7: Find first trader, take over nearby poi, loot locally & run quests until at least tier 2/bike reward.

Days 8-14: Continue quests, bike around until someone finds a city and a decent base location.

Days 15-28: Same as previous. If group can’t decide on base location or hasn’t finished prepping the area, we can get through the two blood moons by chilling on top of a mid-range poi, like a motel, shooting range, church, etc.

Days 29-35: Commit to base building, group probably has minibikes too, so any need to move storage is fairly easy. Accumulated supplies probably have enough for full cobble base, if not immediate concrete.

Days 36-49: Remaining necessary upgrades to base, working towards motorcycles/cars, maxing out local Trader, tackling whatever high-tier poi hasn’t been looted yet.

Up to Day 56: Probably last blood moon anyone cares to play – the only remaining “goals” are things like jeeps for all, full steel base, gas tools for all, etc.

 

As it is, concrete tier & motorcycles is, imo, the “end game” of the game as it stands. I would like to see this expanded, or at the very least adjusted in a way that incentivizes working towards the remaining 10% of the game, like steel, gas-powered tools, jeep, gyrocopter, etc. And so, here are my ideas that could help with that.

 

  • Need for early-game cover and improvements to getting wet:
Spoiler

I think the necessity for “cover” should be increased. Right now, the strat is basically to find a town/Trader and sit on top of a nearby poi. Alternatively, build a quick wood pillar/cube and crouch on top of it for the duration of the first few nights. Improvements to roaming hordes makes this riskier, but it is still easily manageable, especially in a party. My adjustment to this would be to introduce pneumonia or the flu from prolonged wetness from rain or fog. In the early game, this will incentivize building at least some sort of cover or committing to clearing out a POI asap.

 

Introduce a disease or better side effect to being wet. In the early game this will incentivize building actual cover instead of chilling on a roof/tower/cube; will give more use to anti-wet clothing, and will force players to consider how they explore, instead of just running through rivers and lakes. A potential concept expansion would be making “drenched” clothing wet for 2 days, 1 day if dried via clothes line, .5 days if spent in a desert. Goal for this would be to make rain/snow/fog something to actually pay attention to and consider when making decisions in POIs or traveling between biomes. Will make keeping “extra” clothing and armor sets actually necessary rather than crate filler. The accompanying idea of flu can be supplemented in obvious ways: more foods, more meds, more plants to collect. A neat debuff could be coughing/sneezing – as in, the player is more likely to make noise, which would affect POI runs, particularly for stealth players.

 

Wetness should also affect vehicles. Not gonna lie, exploration was a lot more fun and dangerous in earlier versions, before the terrain gen improvements. The possibility of accidentally nose-diving off a 10-story cliff in the middle of the night was actually something to worry about. Now you can just beeline in whatever direction you choose and power through any obstacle, even with adjustments to vehicle durability. Particularly once you get a minibike+ and stamina stops being an issue.

 

Add gators or drowned zombies to large bodies of water. Iirc there are a couple POIs that have zombies spawn from ponds, but I would like to see more love given to rivers and oceans, in particular. Make them more than just would-be edges to the map. Allowing players to build a waterlogged moat might be too much to ask, but water desperately needs more interactivity in the game.

 

  • On that note, mountains and the wilderness in general could use some moar love, so here are some of my POI (and quest) ideas (though some can be placed in cities/towns just as well):
Spoiler

                -A dam or lake reservoir maintenance facility. Could be a fun way to intertwine terrain gen if the dam is large-scale, like the Hoover dam.

                -Small fisherman landings/huts on lakes. Possibly expanded to larger piers, boats and barges on larger lakes and ocean beaches in RWG maps.

                -Having a large boat or other structure off the coast in RWG or on the Navezgane lake islands would be really neat. Paired with gators or other water-based threats would make building a gyrocopter and accessing those otherwise inaccessible POIs a particular treat.

                -A volcano-like POI could follow the same principle: player either tries to scale sheer terrain or builds a gyrocopter and flies directly to the top.

                -Rework water towers and POIs with pools to require being “drained” as an objective. Obligatory horde spawn as you wait for drain to complete, or having a zombie be sitting inside the smaller water towers.

                -A gym or YMCA-type of POI. Would also be a great place to introduce more décor items, like dumbbells, sports balls, and block color options that mimic courts.

                -A car factory that has a “worktable” that needs to be used to create motorcycles and higher. I think this would be cooler and more immersive than collecting parts and dumping them into a workbench for 3 minutes. Or maybe just introducing a station that is used for vehicles, turrets, blade traps, powered doors, etc.

                -I’d love to see more cave and mineshaft POIs, quarries, mass grave pits, etc. Can play around with some sort of “cave-in” mechanic, and maybe give more attention to landmines.

                -Above ground trains, tracks, scattered groupings of 2~3 freight train carriages.

                -Covered bridges over rivers (particularly in winter biome), half raised draw bridges, flimsy bridges over ravines in the desert.

                -Tunnels through large hills/mountains. Something similar to those seen in Days Gone maybe. Could also have a partially completed tunnel POI with a cave-in mechanic and more dynamite in loot.

                -Log driving POIs on rivers. Could be good opportunity for some neat parkour sections.

                -Art & toy stores, galleries, museums. Dyes and paints can be gathered easier here, and is a good place to introduce more decorative items. I’d be awesome to see zombies bursting through paintings in an art gallery, or a giant stuffed teddy in a toy store blocking a tunnel leading to a bank’s vault down the street.

                -Zoos and aquariums. Definitely requires more work given the low number of animal mobs and zero aquatic ones. Still, I’d love to see these places as POIs. Maybe lack of animals can be worked around by having animal skeletons for the exotic types (elephants, giraffes, etc.). Smaller size alternative could be a pet store, since we have snakes, rabbits, dogs, and chickens in game already.

                -Downed airplane, airports, or smaller hangars near mansions. A downed plane POI could be done like a homage to D. B. Cooper, with small amounts of old cash in loot.

                -Bakeries and butcher shops. What’s in the meat loaf?

                -A traffic jam at the end of the road running out of the edge of the map.

                -Some sort of statue/landmark POI. I’m thinking something like a Rockefeller Christmas tree in a city, the devils tower or terrain arch in the desert (or a canyon visitor center since terrain gen sometimes makes ravines). The wasteland can have a demolished Washington Monument. Could expand this to natural wonders, like hot springs in the winter biome, geysers in the desert, etc.

                -A waterfall 🥺

                -A castle, most likely as a tier 5+ POI. Zombies erupting from suits of armor!

                -Vineries, large parks with hedge mazes, or botanical gardens. If we have super corn, maybe we can get some mutated plants? Are venus fly traps are technically carnivorous?

 

To be clear, I love love LOVE the work that was done with POIs in v21. However, unfortunately, with so many improvements and additions to town/cities, it also highlights just how little reason there is to explore other parts of the map unless you really want super corn and snowballs.

 

I’ve also given some thought to fire mechanics, but I’m not sure what would be good limits that wouldn’t result in players accidentally burning their bases down or griefing on public servers. Or maybe that possibility can be embraced and be an eventual conclusion to huge heat generation. Maybe there can be a quest where you have to clear a zombie pit by fire bombing it. Or an introduction of oil leaks/slicks that can be lit up. It would also make burned zombies more dangerous and promote being aware of surroundings in more POIs. Maybe something like escape rooms.

 

Radiation storms or some sort of gas-filled POIs can also be added, particularly to wasteland areas and army bases. Would give more use to hazmat apparel or and potential for another drone mod. Never needing a gasmask in a post-apocalyptic world is surprising, though I guess it’s not a nuclear apocalypse after all…

 

  • Regarding zombies… I’m definitely looking forward to their visual variants! It was getting a bit boring know exactly who’s behind a crate if you saw a blue sleeve or an orange pant leg.

Spoiler

                -An old farmer in overalls with pitchfork prongs sticking out of him. And maybe he has a wife counterpart that’s still carrying around the pitchfork’s broken handle. Would make for some clever story telling. And I think it’d be acceptable to have a zombie or two holding items from their living days.

                -A zombie lady in a wedding dress. Iirc, v21 added some parks and wedding-venue-esque locations, so something like a zombie bride would be neat. A groom, priest, widow mourner, for possible variety.

                -Wheelchair zombies? Or maybe a patient zombie that’s still hooked up to the IV bag pole.

                -A zombie that’s half encased in a body bag, or at least allowing zombies to somehow hide in the bags. Would make corpse pits and body bag piles more nuanced.

                -Obligatory butcher, could swing a meat cleaver and have chance of infection if hit. Put him in the winter biome alongside the lumber jacks to spruce up the diversity.

                -As mentioned earlier in the post, some sort of swimming/drowned zombies to spice up large areas of water.

                -An army zombie in a ghillie suit.

                -Football player zombie. Would be an alternative to the biker.

                -A zombie in a scientist/professor getup. Model him after Einstein for the lolz.

                -Prisoner zombie. Simple striped costume, or striped top with orange jumpsuit pants.

 

  • I’m still brainstorming ideas for “special” zombies, but here’s what I came up with:

Spoiler

                -A zombie clown. Could be something like… being very noisy and waking other zombies if not taken out asap. Or maybe have some sort of misdirection mechanic, like sound coming from opposite location, being relatively weak but taking longer to get up once knocked, or being able to get up as many as 5 times. Some sort “fake death” idea. Or can stun/daze the player using a sound or a flash of light. Something like this could also be used to make travel more difficult by throwing the player from the vehicle or severely impacting control over the vehicle.

                -Another type of spitter zombie that significantly slows you/traps you in some sort of glue substance thing. Would be a pretty neat threat in doorways or if the player aggros too many at a time. If not a spitter, then the zombie can explode into a sticky/slowing substance upon death and influence pathing throughout POIs

                -A surprise zombie that’s without a head (and therefore really unexpected). Or maybe the head is on backwards.

                -A four-arm zombie. Its “skill” would be to be able to disarm the player if it gets within melee range, or knock/throw the player backwards. Maybe even give it some additional climbing potential to make it a bigger threat to bases.

                -Some sort of juggernaut that can knock the player down from a distance. A “psychic” zombie would accomplish this, but that might be getting much too much into magic territory. So just a really buff zombie that can shake the ground or something would be cool. Could also excel in breaking cement+ defenses, making camping in mid-tier POIs not as lucrative. In late game, they would join the demo man in level of concern.

                -Zombies that actually burst from the ground (and leave holes behind). Would be a lot harder to spot than zombie closets and affect escape pathing because of the holes. Maybe just zombies that excel in digging in general, making bases on steep plateaus or without upgraded flooring more dangerous. A mole-man zombie!

                -I’d love to see some sort of night stalker zombie, or one that appears in underground POIs or POIs with little lighting, but I wonder if that may become too difficult to deal with considering the changes to roaming hordes and animal packs.

 

  • Speaking of animals...
Spoiler

                -Alligators in deep bodies of water. Another leather and meat source. Or sharks. Or barracudas.

                -Mutated bats, particularly in caves or other POIs that run underground.

                -Vermin, like rats or raccoons. Maybe have them potentially steal cooked food that isn’t stored in a fridge or isn’t removed from a campfire.

                -Maybe change egg source to spawn from felled trees. It was always a little weird to have so many nests just sitting on the ground. Though nests could remain in the game in general, for rooftop placement and inside farm chicken coops.

                -I also wouldn’t mind having chicken coops or rabbit hatches added to the game. It adds another thing to have to consider when building a base and horde nights are a lot more immersive when you have more things you want to protect.

 

  • Regarding deco items:
Spoiler

I personally would love to have the ability to build, buy, or paint items into clean variants. A big part of the immersion for me is “trying to regain a sense of normalcy in a post apocalyptic world.” So I’d love to outfit my base with beds, cabinets, toilets, etc. that aren’t all super nasty looking. I think RPers and players that enjoy home-making would like this as well.

 

Similarly, it would be great to be able to store appropriate items in cabinets, shelves, cases etc. Instead of relying exclusively on crate-lined walls.

 

I know that work stations and such were just reworked to look so much better and change based on attachments added, but I’d also love to see larger sized stations. Surely forges should be bigger than two blocks? And maybe require better ventilation than a tiny basement room? I think this would be a neat way to influence how players build their bases to accommodate additional size and ventilation requirements and such.

 

  • My general decorative ideas are:
Spoiler

                -The motion sensitive singing fish decoration. Would also serve as a great booby trap in POIs.

                -Doghouses. Maybe that could eventually lead to taming wolves and getting a dog companion as an alternative to drones.

                -A radio or telegraph machine. Can go big with things like piano, guitar, ukelele, gramophone, etc.

                -Would be grand to be able to make the clock-face blocks into a working clock, since the game already keeps track of time. Or maybe a city quest where you have to climb a clocktower and “fix” the clock, which chimes and spawns a horde for your troubles, or a similar idea for church bells. 😊

                -Some sort of trophies/awards, or place-able items that can pass as such, like wall-mounted deer antlers or bear rugs.

 

Of course there's a lot more I'd love to see added for pretty much purely decorative purposes, but these are some of the things I think would immediately add a lot to POI building and how players interact with the world.

 

  • Other ideas
Spoiler

                -Buried supplies quest type is pretty lack luster at the moment, particularly in multiplayer. It might be faster to complete than a POI with having multiple people dig a hole at the same time, but it is comparatively much more boring and nets less loot than just stripping a house or store. Maybe buried supplies quests can be reworked into something more engaging than just spawning a mini-horde every time the circle shrinks, like opening up into an underground cavern, mineshaft or bunker. And leave pure digging for the treasure maps.

                -I’m curious to know FP’s plans for the long-awaited raiders and such. I think things like factions might be cool on a public server, but I dunno if I want to have to also prep for mid-week raider attacks, particularly in the mid and late game when screamers already pop up hourly. Unless he devs have something super special planned for factions/raiders, I think a lot of the things I expect raiders to add can be achieved by further refining current systems instead of introducing an entirely new one. As others have posited, world lore can be built through lootable collectables and environmental story telling.

                -Continuing earlier points regarding improvements to the wilderness… gameplay differences between biomes can be improved a lot more. Things like biome-exclusive POIs are a given, but I’m also talking about adding more unique crops, recipes, zombies, resources, debuffs, and even décor items. Wasteland could give radiation poisoning, require wearing hazmat suit and anti-rad meds more regularly; Burned biome could be perma-fogged/have bad air quality and require a ventilator; Hypothermia can make a return to the winter biome and require actual winter clothing and hot food; Maybe have the desert deal with heat waves, flash fires, or make iron/steel-based items untouchable.

-More variety of illnesses/debuffs/afflictions in general. This could lead into more specialized foods, beverage, medical aid, and crop types. 7dtd isn’t a farming sim, but I think mindful base building and sustainable husbandry align well with themes of survival. It’ll help medics feel more useful than peaking at medkit creation, and force players to give more consideration to what kind of consumables are looted and which ones are left behind. More diverse growing requirements would be neat and make mushrooms feel less lonely. Would be cool to have to loot more at night to get special medicinal plants.

                 -I think there should be some sort of “end game” event or boss to strive for. Like a mother of all POIs. I suppose the “Duke” is probably envisioned as the one, but in a game about zombies, the crown should definitely go to a King/Queen Zombie. Maybe some sort of mass-amalgamation of all the other types. Sorry, Duke.

 

I'll post as a reply if I think of more stuff.

This was like 6 pages in Word, haha.

Edited by Kilala (see edit history)
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59 minutes ago, Kilala said:

As it is, concrete tier & motorcycles is, imo, the “end game” of the game as it stands. I would like to see this expanded, or at the very least adjusted in a way that incentivizes working towards the remaining 10% of the game, like steel, gas-powered tools, jeep, gyrocopter, etc. And so, here are my ideas that could help with that.

Everyone has a different view on what part of the game is most interesting to them.  You like the mid game to early late game and aren't interested in the rest of the late game.  I enjoy the mid game through entire late game.  I don't really start getting interested until I get the motorcycle and power tools and steel.  At that point, I'm building interesting bases and trying various options for horde nights and traveling all over the place.  No matter what they add or change, you'll still have people who prefer early game, or mid game, or late game, or any variation of those.

 

They will continue to add more POI and decorations as they work towards gold.  Any of these ideas could potentially be added, though any new POI and decorations are welcome.  I do know they've commented on a zoo possibility.  There is a difficulty with that to avoid it being a meat farm, so would likely need to only have zombie versions of animals.

 

They said they'll be added a few additional zombie types at some point in addition to the zombie color variants.  I wouldn't expect too many new ones, though.

 

Regarding animals, the game is set in Arizona, so they are unlikely to add any animals that would not be found in Arizona to the vanilla game.  For other animals, you'd need to rely on mods.  They are considering water enemies and a raft for getting across water, though they aren't promising that.

 

I agree that for a player base, using "clean" decorations is nice.  But I wouldn't expect them to add many that don't look like they belong in the world they've created.  However, there are some decorations that are already "clean", so we'll see what they decide to do with them.  I'm far more interested in them making all POI decorations available for your base without needing to use the creative menu.  They've said a main reason for some things not being available is that they can be abused on a server because they take more computer resources to display and placing a bunch of them in an area can slow the server down.  However, if these were grouped into a category that had a server/game option to allow or disallow, you could allow the use of these for single player games and games with friends who you trust not to abuse it or even on servers where they don't have problems with players.  To me, the server admins should be the ones policing what players are doing and preventing abuse rather than the devs.

 

Their plan is for bandits/factions to be the story and final scenario of the game with the Duke being a main focal point and his casino being a main end game POI.  It is unlikely they'll do anything beyond that for story or end game scenario.  I agree that this is a zombie game (at least for me) and bandits don't really interest me, so having a story more around the zombies instead of bandits and factions would be preferred for me.  Of course, I may find I like bandits and factions after trying them, though I really don't think they'll add anything worthwhile to the game.  At least for me.  Also keep in mind that the story will basically just be a Navesgane map story.  If you play RWG, you won't have a story.

 

As a last note, they are nearing gold.  They won't be adding a lot more content to the game at this point that isn't already on their list of goals for gold.  We'll see some art and POI added and things like bandits and armor/clothing rework but most of what we'll see going forward will be fine tuning for gold.  Feel free to give all the suggestion you want and they may possibly add some but you should also expect that they aren't going to be adding very many feature requests at this point.  You may have better luck with much of this by talking with the modders.

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You're right that I enjoy the late early-to-mid game the most, I like having things to plan for and look forward to being able to tackle. And those things are definitely more skewed in multiplayer where rate of accessing materials and such is significantly expedited as opposed to as a solo player. Steel, gas tools, gyrocopter, etc. simply don't open up much of the game for me (or my teammates) that I/we don't have access to beforehand. Which is why I'd love some super secluded POIs or those that are not accessible by land, and a couple more zombie varieties to make things more special/more dangerous for the base than just demos and spitters.

 

Regarding a zoo... A smaller, farm-y petting zoo type location might work. I agree that it might be too op as a meat farm, but I think that can be avoided by relying on existing animals (and maybe one or two more), their zombified varieties, and filling the rest with carcasses to achieve the effect. I'm not actually expecting them to add things like elephants, haha. Similar idea with an in-town pet store - have a handful of snakes drop through the ceiling and maybe a rabbit/chicken or two in a cage. Oh! Scorpions might fit!

 

I agree that perfectly clean items would look out of place in the world, but I think there's room to play around with cracks, peeling, rust, etc. without having the item look completely soiled.

 

I just really wanted to get my ideas down on paper and thought I might as well post them for anyone else who might be interested. It's completely fine and expected if devs aren't looking for any new ideas that aren't already on the books.

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