Game Balance

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Game Balance refers to the playability of one class versus that of the other. It is generally measured by the amount of Zombies and Dead Bodies to the amount of Survivors and Reviving Bodies. Many players believe a good balance would keep the population at either 60/40 in favor of survivors, a 50/50 split, or 60/40 in favor of zombies. As of late April the population has stabilized at about 50/50, largely due to the cost of using a syringe being raised from 1 AP to 10 AP on March 28th, 2006.

Stabilising factors

The following aspects of the game encourage the population ratio towards a stable, moderate value, or make reaching extreme population ratios disproportionately difficult.

  • Many players want to play as the underdog. Playing for the currently weaker side can be more absorbing and glorious. For example, a tale of how 2 survivors held out against thirty zombies is much more interesting than a tale of how thirty zeds defeated 2 humans.
  • Many players try to make their character always play on a particular side. This can be because they are in a survivor or zombie-only group, or they may have a favourite side, or they may have multiple characters with one always a zed and one always a human. What this means is that when a side's population goes low, the few players left tend to be the dyed-in-the-wool die-hards. For zombies, this means either they have brain-rot, or they'll suicide if revived; for survivors this means they'll head straight for a revive point. This reduces the effect of the destabilising factors.
  • When an area has few zombies, healers tend to need to spend more AP on walking to find an injured person, and revivers need to spend more AP walking to find an appropriate zombie.
  • When an area has few survivors, feeding groans carry shorter distances due to fewer people being present, and zombies may need to walk further to find a populated safehouse.
  • As the zombie population rises, combat revivers become more likely to revive a dual nature zombie (who'll become a useful survivor) instead of a zombie who'll suicide and make the revive pretty much pointless.

Destabilising factors

The following aspects of the game encourage the population ratio to extreme values. They can be seen as examples of positive feedback.

  • When survivor numbers increase, there are more people to defend barricades, and more revives can be given out, which makes survivor numbers rise even more, meaning there are even more revives and so the cycle continues. This process, unchecked, tries to push the population ratio towards 100% survivor. Due to brain rot, jumping from tall buildings, and PKing, 100% survivors would not be achievable in practice.
  • When zombie numbers increase, the combined killing power of the zombie side increases. This means the zeds convert more people to zombiedom, and so zombie numbers rise even more, and the cycle continues. This process, unchecked, tries to push the population ratio towards 100% zombie.

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