Decay

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Decaying buildings can quickly become a real issue if not repaired.

28th May 2008: Decay spreads through the ruined buildings of the city. The longer that a building stands ruined, from today onwards, the harder it will be to repair. And as the moss and lichens spread across the final few skylights, several types of buildings are now dark without a generator hooked up, reducing search and attack rates until power can be restored.


Decay is an ingame feature affecting buildings that have been Ruined. When Ruin was first introduced in August 2007 it was a fixed state, where all ruined buildings could be repaired for a single AP by any survivor with a Toolkit and the construction skill. However, it was widely argued that ruin was a waste of effort for many zombies, as it would take 5AP to ruin a building, yet only 1AP for it to be repaired.

The Decay update in May 2008 sought to remedy this, making decay a more realistic process. Any ruined building became increasingly difficult to repair as time went on, meaning that after a few days it would cost survivors more to repair a structure than it had taken to initially ruin it.

Rate of Decay

  • AP cost to repair any building begins at 1 AP and increases by 1 each server midnight left ruined.
  • As an example a building ruined for 7 days would have a repair cost of 7AP.

Repairs

Repairing a ruined building requires that all zombies be removed from it, and that the survivor has the Construction skill and a toolbox in their inventory.

  • This is shown on the "repair building damage" button.
  • In dark buildings AP cost for repairing the building is not displayed.
  • Ruin costs in the permadeath cities of Monroeville and Borehamwood are much higher overall than in Malton. No cap has yet been discovered, but the largest claimed repair is 2758 AP, related to a building ruined for 7½ years. This was achieved through a repair leaving the survivor on negative AP for 55 days.
  • The previous cap on repairs was 150 AP, caused by a bug in the code. The bug was discovered just as the entirety of Borehamwood was beginning to fall into the 150 AP range of decay.

Ingame descriptions

Any survivor with the construction skill can see the exact repair cost of a ruined building, (Dark buildings must be also lit first).

In addition to this the in game location description will change based on the level of decay. For instance a zombie standing inside a building that is where Small weeds and vines are beginning to grow in the dusty wreckage. can use the list below to know the decay level is 6 and the building will have a repair cost of between 32 & 41AP.

This information can be of use to differing groups;

  • Scouting survivors can get a snapshot of approximate decay costs while scouting as a zombie.
  • Zombies can see how long they have kept a building ruined.
  • Newly spawned players can quickly see whether the area they start in is a long term Ghost Town that is best avoided at low levels.
  • A player does not have to enter a building to get an approximate repair cost, as he can just use the external description, although this is less accurate.

Internal descriptions

The internal descriptions in ruined buildings all begin with The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin.

This is followed by more description, which indicates the level of decay.

Decay Description Days Ruined AP To Repair
The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. A thin layer of dust covers the debris.2 1-2 2-3
The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. The wreckage is thick with dust.3 3-5 4-6
The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. Cracks in the ceiling have let the rain in, and rust and rot creep across the damaged surfaces.4 6-10 7-11
The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. The walls are damp and crumbling, with pools of stagnant water gathering across the uneven floor.5 11-20 12-21
The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. Mould and fungus blooms across the crumbling walls, and the building's fittings are buried beneath dust and fallen plaster.6 21-30 22-31
Small weeds and vines are beginning to grow in the dusty wreckage.7 31-40 32-41
The debris is thick with dust and weeds, and the walls are starting to collapse in on themselves. 8 41-50 42-51
Vines and lichen cover the floor and walls, and sections of the ceiling have fallen through.9 51-60 52-61
The ceiling above you has collapsed, and a carpet of a thousand weeds reach towards the sky.10 61-70 62-71
The ceiling above you has collapsed, and a carpet of a thousand weeds reach towards the sky.11 71+ 72+


External descriptions

How decayed does it look inside that building? I don't know. A bit "ruiny" I guess.

Outdoor descriptions follow the same pattern, but are even more vague, to reflect the fact you just passing them and don't have time to make a detailed assessment.

Level 2 to 5

Doors open
The building's doors have been left wide open, and you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for some time.12
Doors secured
The building's doors have been secured. Through the broken windows, you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for some time.13
  • Days: 3-30
  • AP to repair: 4-31

Level 6 to 8

Doors open
The building's doors have been left wide open, and you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for several weeks.14
Doors secured
The building's doors have been secured. Through the broken windows, you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for several weeks.15
  • Days: 31-60
  • AP to repair: 32-61

Level 9

Doors secured
The building's doors have been secured. Through the broken windows, you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for months.16
  • Days: 61-70
  • AP to repair: 62-71

Level 10

Doors open
The building's doors have been left wide open, and you can see that the interior of the building has been ruined for a very long time.
  • Days: 71+
  • AP to repair: 72+

Tactical Considerations

Even in suburbs where there are very few zombies some buildings are intentionally left to decay. One such building is Upsdale Bank in Grigg Heights. Rather than having a repaired, but useless building the Bank is left intentionally ruined as a guaranteed Entry Point to the neighbouring NT. Over time the rising repair cost means it is less and less likely to be repaired by a passing survivor.

Borehamwood and Monroeville

Both Perma-Death Cities were eventually destroyed as a result of the Decay mechanic. As survivor numbers diminished the available AP for building repair was rapidly overtaken by the large number of buildings needing repair. Both cities are now entirely ruined with repair costs running into hundreds of AP's.

To combat this problem The Borehamwood 100 eventually established "clusters" of buildings throughout the city where ruin costs were kept low. Although each cluster was comprised of only a few buildings, the existence of twenty or so of these clusters meant that survivors were able to move and maintain a network of TRPs througout the otherwise abandoned city.

Historical information

  • The description does not exist in the game anymore. It was replaced by the new level 5 description.

The building has been completely ransacked, and has fallen into ruin. The walls are damp and damaged, the floor thick with dust.17

  • Days: 11+
  • AP to repair: 12+

See Also

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