Frequently Suggested

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Dead in the Water

These are concepts which are frequently brought forward in one form or another, and are just as frequently knocked down. They are commonly viewed as "game-breaking," or seen as completely upsetting the balance of power between survivors and the undead, and as such receive little (if any) positive response. Note: This isn't to say that is is impossible to come up with a workable variant of these broad ideas... but coming up with one, fixing the innate flaws of the concept, and getting it past an unfriendly jury just isn't very likely. In some of these cases, workable options for the central idea have already been laid out and voted in - further expansion on these concepts thus may make little sense.

AP and XP

AP Is Not a Unit of Time

Just because it costs 1 AP to do an action that takes very little time (such as speaking) and 1 AP to do an action that takes longer (such as barricading) does not mean there is a lapse of logic. AP is an Action Point and thus corresponds to actions, not time spent performing actions. Any comments like "I don't get how it takes the same amount of time to walk a block as it does to pull a trigger" are unnecessary.

XP Removal

Abilities that you must pay XP to use, or that cause the other person to lose XP are most likely to be overpowered. It doesn't matter much the cause of this loss of experience, people aren't going to be for it. This is rather similar to the concept of Leaving Skills Alone - you use XP to buy skills, and skills are how you become more powerful ingame. If your suggestion slows down peoples' progression they simply won't like it. Unless you can create a concept that works extremely well in the game, or manage to convince that the cost is worth it (without making the cost just a quick fix for an overpowered ability), you're better off not even trying.

XP Wastage

It is commonly suggested that max-level players should be able to buy certain special "bonus" skills (often which can be bought multiple times) that cost large amounts of XP and/or fiddle with AP and such; special titles, monikers, and extra levels; or activate "rage" modes or some variant thereof. This is often rejected because it would give people who have XP lying around from 2005 enormous advantages, and/or add more useless clutter to the game.

Interface

Screen Spam and Toggling

Many suggestions could potentially create screen spam (many lines of irrelevant or unwanted text). To avoid this, authors frequently make their suggestions toggleable (a player could choose to ignore the data generated by toggling it off on the "settings" page). Be careful when suggesting anything toggleable. Ask yourself, "How useful is the onscreen information generated by this idea?" "Is it useful to the majority of players, or just a relatively small group of players?" "Will most people leave this on, or will they toggle it off?" If most people aren't going to want to see whatever onscreen text your idea generates, what's the point? Toggleable or not, anything that generates screen spam will definitely get at least a few kill or spam votes.

Items

Crucifixes

The central issue with most Crucifix suggestions is that they involve divine or other mystical intervention, which would make them the only truly "magical" item in the game. As the rest of the UrbanDead world revolves around a sort of gritty "real world" feel (albeit with undead), this would be inherently out of place. Furthermore, many people who actively vote on the Suggestions page wish to see the Crucifix remain as a pure flavour-item. This would likely be best put as stated in the commentary of a failed former Crucifix suggestion: "Nah. Crucifixes should be useless, just like in real life. X1M43 10:35, 26 Nov 2005 (GMT)"

Military Weaponry

Rocket launchers, Sniper Rifles, Assault Rifles, and so on. These weapons may seem cool, and in fitting with "military" characters, but there's a reason they're not in the game. All attack abilities need to be closely-balanced, so that a character with a shotgun or a pistol is not heavily-outclassed by alternate weapon-types. Otherwise you end up with a situation even more stratified than the current one, where baseball bats and ski poles are utterly ignored because their damage-per-AP-spent is too low compared to other available options. Making weapons which do more damage potentially allows a character to kill many more people than should be "fair" within a day's time - and, similarly, making weapons that do balance with the other types already in existence is generally seen as a waste. After all, why use an assault rifle when a shotgun will do the same exact thing? New weapon concepts, especially those that rely on military-level technology, are thus frowned upon.

In addition, it is possible the external military removed all heavy weapons from Malton when they imposed the quarantine. The citizens of Malton are extremely dangerous; in essence, they are all zombies, most of them are capable fighters, and they are very, very difficult to truly kill. If they were to escape en masse from the city they could wreak enormous havoc in the world. If you wanted to keep such a populace detained would you let them have high grade weaponry?

Portable Light Sources

Flashlight, torch, lantern, or glowstick. No matter what you call it, a portable light source is overpowered. Light sources boost search rates and aid skills like Surgery. There is a huge difference between a portable generator and one of the previously mentioned items. A generator is carried until set up and then always in place until destroyed. A portable (or personal) light source will be kept in a player's inventory until dropped by that player. The portable personal light source offers all of the benefits with out any of the risk. It can not be destroyed as long as it is in an inventory.

It can't be balanced by limiting the length of duration and adding a fuel source that needs to be found because it will only be used when searching for more fuel for it. Thereby removing the "balancing factor" of the time and fuel.

If the item is also able to be turned off and on at will it makes it ridiculously unfair due to the fact that the main balancing drawback of a lit building is the fact that it attracts zombies.

Vehicles

Vehicle suggestions crop up regularly, often allowing double speed movement in exchange for a set up cost to get started. They reliably get shot down for being out of genre, not useful enough, or not accounting for the amount of debris that would likely be blocking roads and railway tracks.

Mechanics

Air Drop Suggestions

Air drops are occasional events; if crates became overly plentiful it would make survivors too powerful as they would have no need to search. Take care to fully think through the consequences of the additional items a suggestion involving air dropped crates would give. Any suggestions which aren't well thought out are likely to get shot down very quickly.

Artificially Forcing Players to Play as a Zombie

Buying a certain skill, spending XP, or spending a certain minimum of AP or minutes/hours/days as a zombie before a character can get revived have been suggested numerous times. However, the effect is to make playing as a zombie a chore for those who prefer to play as survivors. The common sentiment prefers making zombies more fun to play in order to increase the undead population.

NPCs

Non-Player Characters are almost anathema to the idea of UrbanDead. From its very conception, every active entity in the game has had a living player running it. Every zombie and every survivor is a person, and their conflict is player-vs-player combat. The concept of creating non-player "things" which interact with players is thus very much frowned upon, be they pets or merchants or enemies. Even suggestions which approach computer-controlled actions against players, such as auto-attacks from either players or inanimate objects, are met with harsh criticism. You're better off just finding a way to entice human players to do whatever actions your NPCs would be taking.

Player Killing

Kevan has stated that he does not intend to remove PKing from the game. It adds to the inherent "apocalyptic" nature of the game when one has to worry over whether the person in the corner of the building is going to axe you in your sleep, and zombie cannibalism is not unheard of in the film lore of the genre. Suggestions that outright punish PKing, "tag" PKers so that they are obvious and easy to avoid, or specifically counter PK attacks are thus often voted down.

However, PKers are not popular among certain groups within the game environment themselves - Therefore, skills that are of sole use to PKers or gameplay changes that encourage PK behaviours are usually shot down. That's not to say that they shouldn't be suggested but, they should be done in a way that encourages fun.

Effectively, if your suggestion either actively punishes or promotes PK activity you can expect it to meet firm opposition.

Underground Tunnels

Many suggestions appear adding a sewer network, a subway, or some other underground tunnel network. These probably will never pass due to the sheer volume of coding involved in them as well as the excessively large ramifications that they typically would have on gameplay. While these suggestions would add an element of realism, how could one realistically explain their sudden appearance in game? The amount of changes to the way the game currently functions would be impractical to code and further add to an overabundance of space on the map.

Skills and Abilities

Area of Effect Abilities

Anything that allows a player to impact a bunch of other players within a certain area is an "area of effect" concept. These have previously included explosives, status effects, and group heals. Effectively, these concepts fail the "Multiply It By A Billion" rule - in a siege environment, with hundreds on your side and hundreds on the opposing side, any skill that does one thing per person in a square will effectively result in a single-use of an ability that causes 400 damage overall, or heals 250 HP in total, or any number of other similar ideas. Generally, these also make it far too easy to "grief" - or perform negative actions on other players out of malicious intent - large numbers of people. Concerns have also been raised about the difficulty of implementing a skill or item that has an effect on everyone in an area at once. In general, AoE just isn't very good - there are other ways of performing similar actions without so many potentially-negative consequences.

Auto Attacks

Auto attacks are not inherently bad, they just have a lot of potential pitfalls. Such as:

  • Would an infected person lose health each time they auto-attacked?
  • If every high level player could automatically defend themselves, this would encourage people to attack newbies first, which isn't really fair.
  • If characters can automatically shoot when they are attacked, shouldn't they be able to automatically heal themselves or even run away? If you make those changes, would the game be fun for the attacking side?
  • Zombies hardly care about HP anyway.
  • Why let the computer do the fun part of the game?
  • It would be less fun to attack people if you were being automatically attacked back.
  • Would it use up AP/supplies? Imagine logging on to find the computer spent all of it. Not fun.
  • PKing is an important way to get rid of griefers. Auto attacks could weaken PKing.

Barricade Negation and Shooting Through Barricades

Barricade Negation generally involves a skill which allows a player to ignore the barricades in one form or another. This includes zombies traversing barricades or survivors attacking players who are outside of barricades. The barricade "problem" has been a hot issue since the Siege of Caiger Mall; zombies see barricades as being too powerful as a defensive skill, and many attempts have been produced to either fully or temporarily nullify them. It is however the opinion of many survivors that their win at Caiger was a statistical anomaly instead of a sign that Zombies are underpowered. As such, most attempts to weaken barricades in one form or another either through sacrificing XP (by purchasing tiered skill levels), AP (either through a required low-percentage hit to make the crossing or just a set cost to pay), or even HP are met with hostility.

One of the accepted suppositions of the game is "There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch", in other words every benefit carries an associated cost. For heavy barricades it is generally-believed that the "cost" involved is the associated lack of easy and unencumbered movement through heavily barricaded areas. Additionally, there is a benefit for breaking down barricades (at least for zombies) in the form of XP, although not as much as would be received for a survivor kill.

Another form of this is the frequently suggested mechanic of shooting through windows, sniping, or otherwise being able to attack outside from inside. This is usually met with a great deal of hostility since it changes the fundamental mechanics of fight and flight, and eliminates most incentive for survivors to move. This is nearly impossible to balance and should not be suggested in most cases.

Bonuses By Class Type

Any bonus bestowed simply because you started as character type X acts as a incentive to play as a certain character type- that's the point, right? Well, the whole point of zombie horror is that anybody can be turned into a horrific zombie. By creating an incentive to play as the character type you started as, you create (for the majority of characters, who do not start as zombies) an incentive to NOT play as a zombie when you get killed. This goes the other way too- revived zombies get a dis-incentive to play as survivors. A lot of people already "lock in" as one type or the other (witness the herds of Mrh Cows, and Death Cultists) but it's wrong to discourage Dual Nature play.

Other disadvantages include the fact that it reduces a player's freedom (someone "born" a firefighter could never become an effective healer, for example), and that it (unreasonably) asks new players to make a crucial decision before they are familiar with the game.

Boosts to Zombie Bites

Both improvements to damage ratings and the addition of various status ailments have been suggested for the zombie's bite attack. Truth is, the zombie's bite already has four basic benefits to any zombie using it in its maxed-out form:

  1. It does 4 damage.
  2. The zombie gains 4 XP.
  3. The zombie gains 4 HP.
  4. The target becomes infected.

There isn't much need to improve upon this - increasing damage would make the Bite more powerful in terms of damage-per-action than the Claw attack, which is unfair to that attack as it confers no status effects. Likewise, allowing the Bite attack to confer more status effects (especially those which would affect AP or XP) would create a situation in which a single zombie could potentially threaten an entire group of survivors just by biting each of them once - a general conflict with the commonly-accepted view of the zombie side as being primarily effective en masse. Suggestions for further-improving the Bite attack are thus often highly criticized.

Exploding Suicide Bomber Zombies

Zombies as generally portrayed in stories and myth are lurching corpses that attack the living. In the zombie apocalypse genre zombies never explode and kill the living like suicide bombers. The usual attitude is that having a zombie able to detonate due to internal build-up of gases or any other reason would be out of character.

Giving or Trading Items

These often get shot down because they would encourage multi-abuse. A player could create a number of alt-accounts who would spend all their time searching, and if they find anything useful, giving them to the player's main character. By freeing the main character from the need to search for items, it gives them an unfair advantage. Other potential issues include begging, extortion and trade message spam.

Hel Characters

Hel was a Norse goddess who was half-living, half-corpse. While that was in a literal sense (she was corpse on one side, living on the other), the idea of "Hel Characters" is having characters that can use zombie attacks and human items and weapons. Generally, characters such as these are very much overpowered. There is also the fact that humans are humans, and zombies are zombies. Zombies have the advantages of easy regeneration, while survivors have many different methods of gameplay, with a wide range of items and many different options for XP gain.

Hiding

Skills which allow players to hide are viewed as inherently in opposition to one of the central concepts of the game, that there is no way to fully guarantee a player's safety. Being able to easily disappear from other players means that you are essentially protected from anything. Being able to disappear also allows for ambushing, this means that an entire survivor or zombie group could disappear from view without any troubles and show back up at any time, a clear violation of the "Multiply It By A Billion" concept. Most, if not all hiding skills are effectively "ninja" skills and will be voted down as they are inherently too strong.

Infection Immunity and Reviving Yourself

These would take away from the risk of playing a human, and make kills less satisfying.

Insta-Kills

Anything that effectively kicks you immediately to the "Stand Up" button regardless of your HP is an instant-kill, because it takes you fully out of interaction with the game environment unless you have the AP to spend on getting back up. Not surprisingly, insta-kills are extremely unpopular - is there anyone in any game who wants to be taken down in three seconds with no warning? For some reason, though, they are very popular suggestions. People want revivification to insta-kill zombies with Brain Rot, people want to introduce weapons which insta-kill, people want Headshot to possibly insta-kill zombies, and so on and so forth.

Pied Piper Skills

The Pied Piper of Hamelin had the mystical power to compel rats and people to follow him. Simply enough, you don't. Skills which lead other players around are almost universally seen as inherently bad ideas - prone to grief play (by leading individuals away from their goals or into dangerous territory) and difficult to implement (what happens when a player could be conceivably "led" by two others simultaneously?) all around. Whether with humans or zombies, the ability to be carried along in your "sleep" without spending AP (a potential violation of the "Free Lunch" principle) is not worth the potential headaches in abuse and game mechanics. The general consensus is to just have players move on their own, and keep the "leaders" of any hordes or buildings safely in metagame play.

Speed Actions

While most play in Urban Dead is you alone with most of the other players around you offline, real-time situations do occur. Suggestions that perform multiple searches, attacks or actions with one click of a button would unbalance any real-time action. If a survivor is being attacked by a zombie, they may be dead by the time you find a First Aid Kit to help them. A 'search X times' function would allow you to find one, and enough ammo to kill the zombie, before it can inflict any amount of damage. The game should keep a sense of real time, in that each action is performed one at a time.

X-Ray Vision

X-ray Vision is seen as either zombies seeing into buildings or survivors seeing out. This is commonly accepted as being too powerful. Zombies with X-Ray Vision powers could completely negate the Distributed Defense strategy by searching out only those barricaded structures with survivors in them thus effectively removing one of the more popular concepts of survivor tactics. Alternatively survivors with X-ray vision would be able to barricade entire suburbs to Extremely Heavily and keep themselves updated with Zombie concentrations with minimal risk to themselves. Either way this sort of mechanic gives a lot of power to the side which has it - and, unless the other side can easily nullify it, it is generally too strong. Other considerations involve giving a group an ability that can be used with no associated AP expenditure, display problems with clearly distinguishing between characters inside buildings to those outside, and sheer game-screen clutter resulting from siege-level concentrations of players.

The List

Before suggesting any of the following, read ALL the linked similar suggestions. Avoid submitting ideas which are very similar to the existing suggestions.
Type Summary Peer Reviewed/Undecided Rejected Spaminated
Zombie Headshot Skills allowing Zombies something akin to HeadShot None
Fence improvements Modifications or additions fences and fence behavior None
Free Running Changes Modifications to the Free Running skill. None None
Forts Some form has been implemented. See Game News November 20, 2006
Headshot Removal/Changes Most of these suggestions were made in response to the older version of Headshot that removed varying amounts of XP. New suggestions in response to the current version of Headshot are theoretically possible, although several of the suggestions below would still be relevant in that case. None
Inventory and/or Ammo Management A mechanic which alters how the inventory is utilised. None
(Sniper) Rifles/SMG (submachinegun) A military type weapon suggestion
Scent Life/Scent Death Suggestions affecting the Scent Life/Scent Death skills None
Traps Traps are considered to be auto attacks. None
Throw items The ability to throw items at others to cause a small amount of damage.
Portable Light Sources Items like torches, flashlights and glowsticks
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