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Ending the AI vs Builder Arms Race and New Threats in the World


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So I've got a few ideas that I think would improve the game. They're aimed at two things:


1. Ending the armsrace of developers changing zombie AI behavior vs basebuilders building "invulnerable" bases in a satisfactory way.


I think some of the new AI is starting to not really make sense for zombies anymore, having them be smart enough to go for doors and support beams imo is already somewhat pushing the limits of what zombie intelligence should be (obviously you may disagree). Furthermore I think the attempt to "fix" AI to beat every base is futile anyway, as trying to improve the AI to a level that wouldn't be exploited by players will probably fail or cost soo much it's just not worth it.


Instead of changing the AI I therefore suggest adding some new zombies with abilities that require players to be a bit more tactical in their approach. Along with that there are some changes to blocks that also tie in to this type of gameplay.


2. Incentivizing players to go out into the world and be threatened there.

Of course since this is 7 days I think its fair that 7 day hordes are the most threatening thing in the game and you want to bunker down in a defended POI or strong base. That said I think there's still room to create organic moments of danger out in the world. Facing danger from your base can lead to predictable scenarios, and I think we can introduce a little more chaos.



So that said, lets get to the ideas!



Block Strength/Base Changes:

Walls above wood level now have armor, reducing zombie damage by a flat amount.

Stone: 10 armor

Iron: 15 armor

Concrete: 20 Armor

Steel: 25 armor

Adds a bit more realism and makes an upgraded base stronger against standard zombies, reducing the general need for repairs. I think it's totally fine for bases built of iron or steel to be almost invulnerable to normal zombies. Bases like that should feel strong. We'll still put them under threat but we'll do it by adding a few special zombies that add a more tactical element to that threat.


New Zombies:

There are three new zombies with special abilities to make horde nights more tactical and threaten you in new ways during the day. These Zombies should challenge you without requiring a crazy AI and super smart targeting. They don't show up until higher levels so it feels like a fresh challenge in the endgame.



Health: 300

The reaper is a very pale zombie with a seemingly molten face and freakishly long arms. Reapers move faster than standard zombies but never run. They grab players in melee range, rooting them in place and killing them within a few seconds. Reapers sleep during the day and screech when woken up.

First starts spawning at gamestage: 50

//Can be a bit of a jumpscare but should probably give players 0.5 seconds before they truly become "active" after the screech so you can react if you’re quick enough. This zombie is mainly meant to increase danger out in the world.



Health: 300

The blighter is a slow bloated Zombie whose pestilent corpse releases a cloud of Blight upon its death, this toxic cloud spreads in a large radius around it (~6-8 tiles). The cloud can pass over walls up to 4 tiles high and through all crevisces and doors except vault doors. The cloud lasts 20 seconds. Standing in the cloud costs 2 hp/sec but it does not damage blocks.

First starts spawning at gamestage: 60

//Basically a new form of siege that will work against most base designs without requiring super smart AI. They are basically "area denial", potentially forcing you to abandon your perfect little perch in your base.



Health: 600

The hivemind causes a frenzied state in nearby zombies, increasing their damage dealt by 10 and their movement speed by 15%.

First starts spawning at gamestage: 75

//basically a commander/high priority target during blood moon or wandering hordes. This guy turns normal zombies into a significant threat even against armored bases. You want to snipe these guys.




Weapon Changes:

New talent: Brain Surgeon

Let's you use a hunting knife to oneshot non special zombies from close range with a walking dead style stab to the skull.


New weapons:



Special: Power strike has a 5% chance to decapitate per point of Agility and Strength.

Doesn’t drop until gamestage 50+

//This weapon is intended to be significantly better when you build your stats for it.



Special: Power attack has increased range at the cost of longer animation time.

//Can come in Stone/Iron/Steel variation.


M134 Minigun

Uses 7.62 mm

Special: Extreme fire rate, spin up.

Doesn’t drop until gamestage 100+

//Endgame gun to have some fun when you have ammo to spare.


New event:


NPC Emergency calls:

These are similar to supply drops but more urgent. NPCs will spawn in a POI within 1.5km and radio for help. At that time a fairly short timer starts (~3-4 hours gametime). If you reach them in time and protect them for a while you’ll be greatly rewarded. If you take too long to reach them they’ll be killed and you’ll get nothing. Emergency calls can happen during the day or at night and are more random than Supply drops but cannot happen more than once every 2 days. On average they should happen roughly once every 5 days. They do not start until gamestage is at ~35.


//Goal here is to lure players out into the world, while protecting you’ll face a few tough zombies. Can also happen at night so you have a reason to leave your base at night for some high risk high reward gameplay.

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I really like the idea of having differently abled zombies. This could be greatly expanded on too.


I would love to see something along the lines of an arch vile that resurrects surrounding fallen zombies unless their heads are popped. Differently dismembered ones are now rezzed crawlers.


Or have the irradiated ones able to spread their radiation and make other lesser irradiated zombies that may or may not wear off.


I really want a Zoom-bie (COOORRAALLLL) that is faster, but I suppose the football ones do that to an extent.


Better climbers. Spiders were way more terrifying when then could climb right up all my walls.



In regards to the walls I like the idea of armor. My friends and I were lamenting that flesh and bone really shouldn't damage steel walls etc. I like the idea that barfers could have more of a focus on wall destruction, i.e. making a path of least resistance to me, as high powered acid seems a viable option for destroying the walls that are hardened.



In essence though, there should be more threats than just barf, or melee. I like the pestilent zombie you mentioned. There should be a balance between various types to increase the needed tactics. Right now I just need to dodge acid and stay out of melee range. Easily done really. Maybe looking to RTS or DnD type games that have status effecting enemies and require more thought to counter would be a good starting point.


Anyways, my musing aside, I love your ideas!

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