Suggestion:20080121 It's A New Year, Time For A New Scent Life

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20080121 It's A New Year, Time For A New Scent Life

Gene Splicer 18:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion type

Suggestion scope
Trailblazing Zombies

Suggestion description
Scent Life: You can smell the presence of the living when the air is clear.

When in a high-Survivor/low-Zombie area, a Zombie can obtain a random piece of information about the Survivor presence in the area. Subskill of Scent Blood.

The below may seem to fall foul of the KISS rule, but all the complexity is server-side. The player never see anything bar "press a button, get results", and the obsfucation is actually a major selling point of the suggestion.

When this skill is purchased, the Zombie gains a "Scent Life" button (Or Scent Death turns into a Scent (dropdown), whatever). When the "Scent Life" button is pressed, the number of Survivors in the 5x5 area surrounding the Zombie is compared to the number of Zombies + Corpses in the 7x7 area surrounding the Zombie (25 squares vs 49 squares). If this check fails, you receive the message "Your senses are overwhelmed by the smell of the dead". If the check succeeds, the same comparison is made between the 7x7 and 9x9 area surrounding the Zombie (49 vs 81). You receive no info on the success of the second check.

If the first check succeeded, the Zombie will then receive one random piece of information from the list detailed below. Whether it applies to the 5x5 area surrounding the Zombie or the 7x7 area surrounding the Zombie depends on whether the second check succeeded or not. Each option has an equal (10%) chance of being chosen, rolls resulting in non-applicable choices (i.e. no Survivors outside in your area, no infected Survivors) are secretly re-rolled by the server. If you get a non-applicable result the second time, you get the fail message "You smell life here, but cannot pinpoint it".

Possible returned information:

  • The nearest Survivor standing outside - "You scent exposed food (directions)"
  • A random Survivor standing outside - "You scent exposed food (directions)"
  • The nearest injured (<25HP) Survivor - "You smell blood (directions)"
  • A random injured (<25HP) Survivor - "You smell blood (directions)"
  • The nearest infected Survivor - "You smell blood (directions)"
  • A random infected Survivor - "You smell blood (directions)"
  • A random building containing 10+ Survivors - "You scent much food (directions)"
  • A random building containing 30+ Survivors - "You scent much food (directions)"
  • A random building containing 50+ Survivors - "You scent much food (directions)"
  • The largest collection of Survivors in the applicable area - "You scent much food (directions)"

You only get one result because as soon as your Zombie smells something worthwhile, he stops looking. Also, for balancing (see below). Ties for "Nearest" determined by search method artifacts. If used inside a Survivorless building, returns the message "The air in here is still and tasteless". If used when you can already see a Survivor on the minimap, returns the "You scent exposed food (directions)" result automatically.

Zerging penalties: If this is used while under Zerg scrutiny, the Zerger receives the message "You scent much food (a random block in range containing no Survivors/the block with the highest barricades if all blocks contain Survivors)". If inside/in the presence of Survivors, the normal messages occur (to prevent Zerg deection detection).

Reasons why I think this is the best Scent Life idea ever:

  • Helps de-crucialise Metagaming: Biggest buff is to off-the-cuff playstyles, making organic gameplay more viable.
  • It is self-balancing: The more battered a suburb (or Malton itself) is getting, the more places you'll just get the fail message, and the more noise (infected, injured, dragged etc) you will get. This may even make it easier for small bands of Survivors to survive post-assault cleanup due to Zombies getting lazy and just moving on once their scents start failing.
  • Innovative Threshold mechanic: The "When do people become detectable?" mechanic has plagued Sense Life suggestions since day one, as most suggested ones would lead to rampant PKing to keep numbers below "threshold". The threshold in this case is out of Survivor hands, with the most effective defense actually being to heal up your mates.
  • Cannot Multiply by a Million: Skill becomes less useful the more Zombies there are, so Multiplying by a Million actually reduces effectiveness.
  • It won't buff/nerf sieges: Get too near the siege, and you'll either be overwhelmed by Zombie stench or just keep being given the sieged location as your result. What this skill does do is make it easier for Sieges to form organically.
  • Does not affect Stealthy Survivor Suburb Assaults: Any Zombie-ridden area will be too... Zombie-ridden for this skill to be much use for nipping retake attempts in the bud.
  • Barricading Strafing is go: Once things are hairy enough to be dangerous this skill becomes unusable, at which point your dummy barricades will start to distract any newcomers. Hell, if you up shop and move everyone one block to the left, the Zombies will continue to wail away at the old building because dammit, we know you were in there yesterday, and it's too smelly around here now to find out where you've moved.
  • Much more useful for Ferals than Hordes and Metagamers: For a Feral just looking for a bite to eat this skill is pure gold, as every single one of these results will lead to food of some variety or another. Also, a Feral is much, much more likely to be in a sufficiently low-Zombie/high-Survivor area to be able to use this skill in the first place. On the other hand, a Horde player would have to be far away from their Horde to use this skill succesfully, and so would probably looking for a specific piece of information (e.g main safehouse). Many of the possible results are just noise to someone with a specific agenda, and the uncertainty of how much area your scent is actually covering and the similarity of the flavour texts significantly reduces the usefulness of this skill for e.g. pre-assault scouting purposes.
  • Infection buff: Being infected increases the chance of your safehouse being targetted. Use protection.

MAJOR ERROR OH CRAPSTICKS ANYONE WHO VOTED KEEP PLEASE READ THIS I appear to have forgotten to include an important sentence at the top. The "Check" is to see if the number of Survivors in the 5x5 area EXCEEDS the number of Zombies in the 7x7 area. THIS SKILL ONLY WORKS WHEN THIS HAPPENS. If this was non-obvious, let me know and I will resubmit this suggestion.

Voting Section

Voting Rules
Votes must be numbered, justified, signed, and timestamped.
# justification ~~~~

Votes that do not conform to the above may be struck by any user.

The only valid votes are Keep, Kill, Spam or Dupe. If you wish to abstain from voting, do not vote.

Keep Votes

  1. Keep - I think this is Awesome --Gene Splicer 18:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC) I am goddamn retarded, read my footnote --Gene Splicer 21:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  2. Keep - I like it, doesn't seem to powered up... BoboTalkClown 18:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  3. Keep - this cup of tea is lovely. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 18:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    Holy elephant skillets! A Keep from Funt! Truly this is a day of wonders! --Gene Splicer 18:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    I play feral zombie from time to time, and it's just no fun. I go up to a building, spend all my AP breaking in, usually ruin my claws in the process and then wake up the next day dead (well, deader than normal) facing a full barricade. I don't like to meta-game, so as a zombie, I'm fucked. Your suggestion is well thought out and balanced, and might make for a faster, more fluid game. With something like this, playing feral might be fun - and it may lead to natural swarming (just like the zeds in the movies) instead of the current lonely-life-of-the-undead thang. Elephant skillets, eh? You've been over at Malton zoo again, right? --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 22:56, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  4. Keep - Well thought out and a good addition to the game.--Cpt Masterson 18:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  5. Keep - A bit too complicated, but still OK. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 18:49, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  6. Keep - Normally, I wouldn't vote for something this powerful, but given the current situation, I feel as if I have no choice. -- Mordac the Refuser 20:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  7. Keep - too complicated, but i like it --~~~~ [talk] 20:59, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  8. Keep - Rather powerful, but well thought out. --Themanwhocares4 21:00, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  9. Keep - Interesting suggestion. --  AHLGTG 21:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  10. Keep You've put too much effort into this to kill it.Studoku 21:17, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  11. Keep - Sounds like it makes ferals more viable, so keep. --Ciaran Deckardson 22:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  12. Keep - Meh, why not, I like it... --/~Rakuen~\ 00:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  13. Keep - a great example of helping out the feral without buffing megahordes or nerfing survivors--CorndogheroT-S-Z 00:47, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  14. Keep - Well thought out, easy to program, and all the "thinking" is done on the server end. If this passes, I'm going to play a feral. --Uncle Bill 00:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  15. Keep - Gives a boost to ferals but doesn't overpower large groups, I like it. --FXI 03:29, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  16. Keep - I'm normally against anything remotley like X-ray vision, but this I actually like. Kuddles 03:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  17. Keep - What zombies really need is to fix free-running from ruin. But this couldn't hurt. - Grant (talk) ON STRIKE 06:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  18. Keep - Another limited x-ray vision that I don't mind. However, do make up your mind - which type of result is the feature supposed to return: "nearest" or "random"? ~AriedartinTalkA KS J abt all 17:23, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
    It returns one and only one of the listed results, chosen secretely and randomly by the server. So it might give the nearest infected Survivor, OR a random badly injured Survivor, OR the largest Survivor gathering in the area. The reason some of them have both "random" and "nearest" options for the same quality is to make your most likely result to be the nearest one while still giving out as little information as possible. The aim of this skill is to give a Zombie in a heavily Survivor populated suburb the location of a relatively nearby Survivor, while making it as difficult as possible to obtain much information about the suburb at large and still leave intelligent Survivors with the ability to hide (any Survivor in a low population building containing only healthy people cannot be located by this skill, with the chances of your safehouse being targetted increasing with population and lack of healthcare) --Gene Splicer 21:56, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  19. Keep - Very well thought out. --Mayor FittingTalk RR 22:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  20. Keep - They could use a buff. --Heretic144 23:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  21. 'keep not over powerd and well thought out --Androo the 2 02:54, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  22. Keep - GOOD, and also to offset the spammers. If you can think of a building that's been repeatedly broken into and boarded up that can magically block air and thus scents from escaping it, let me know. --Howard Bentley 22:42, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  23. Keep My, my, what have I come to... Voting keep on a pro zombie suggestion instead of abstaining... Well, it is a good idea... ~A`Blue`JellyTME*V*I*L*? 05:28, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  24. Keep - I don't mind. -- John RubinT! ZG FER 10:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  25. Keep - A viable gameplay mechanic for ferals? In my wiki? It's more likely than you think. --Crotchtacular 14:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  26. Keep - Zambahs have a really good sense of smell, and mass survivors who haven't taken a bath in days on one spot... they smell a lot. --Aeon17x 14:04, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  27. Keep - I love this idea!!! We can smell those tasty survivors now :D--Worthog117 14:41, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  28. Keep- Awesome!! --Darth LumisT! A! E! SR 03:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  29. Keep - Nicely balanced with so many applications. There can only be good things to come of this if it were to be implemented. Low(ish) level zombies would have more incentive to travel into greener areas without so much chance of disappointment. I love how this greatly benefits the casual player in that the player can wander without so much need for support forums and the wiki, all of which can be overwhelming to the new players. --FrozenFlame 19:56, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  30. Keep Me likey. --Sanpedro 23:49, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  31. Keep - Helps the little guy and only the little guy. awesome -Inky 05:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  32. Keep - Zombies need an advantage. --The Gecko PKer 02:28, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Kill Votes

  1. Kill - Too powerful, well thought out I'll give you that, but as grim said it is X-ray vision and as Karek said these are zombies not gods. It just seems that this would bypass anyone barricading a building and trying to keep an active defence force inside. Yes the current zombie attacks aren't perfect, but for this to work constantly in the long term future of Urban Dead seems too powerful and more of a backstep in creating an equal playing field. Acoustic Pie 21:05, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  2. Kill - I like some of it, but the x-ray stuff is too powerful. Giving less specific directions, or not smelling survivors who are indoors, might alleviate this issue. --PdeqTalk* 21:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  3. Kill - Zombies are not bloodhounds. --Pgunn 01:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  4. Kill - Unbalances gameplay in favor of zombies. I like it, I really do, but it is just too powerful.  Billy Club Thorton  T!  RR  03:55, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  5. kill - I really like this but the balance seems wrong. If its going to include harmanz in buildings (and its got to or its pointless) the area needs to be dropped. Thats not the only problem but it is the one that earned the kill rather than just a change vote! --Honestmistake 09:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  6. Kill - I'm impressed with the amount of work that went into this, and even if it's X-Ray Vision, it's got some reasonable limits to it. However, I agree with way too many of the other comments here: it drastically reduces the survivor's valuable ability to hide, it's yet another addition to the bloated Scent tree, and I can see it tipping the balance too hard for zombies (because Survivors have no equivalent advantages when they're going solo in zombie-heavy turf). Perhaps further adjustments will change my mind. --Diano 20:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  7. Kill/Change - Only because of the "smelling survivors in buildings" thing. Make it only so zombies can smell them only if the door is open and/or the building is ruined, and I'd vote Keep. Otherwise, well done!--Actingupagain 17:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  8. Kill - So if i get revived and have my infection im even more prone to die?, already at half health and losing more as I go, taking refuge in the closest building and now they can seek me out and pick on me, yay, if a week wasen't long enough lets triple it.--Zach016 02:55, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  9. Change - its awesome but too powerful. Keep the outside survivors and the injured survivors but get rid of the large group detection.--Jed 07:44, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  10. Kill - Seems overly good at finding survivors through barricades. Too powerful. --R33F3RM4N 14:35, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Spam/Dupe Votes

  1. Spam - Superpowerful X-ray vision. Ive always been against this kind of thing. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 18:06, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    Suggestion posted: 18:03. Grim replies with "Spam", 18:08. A new record! Stop pretending you actually read these, Grim. --Gene Splicer 18:11, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    Im a very, very fast reader, plus i had a general idea what you were talking about from the start. As soon as i i saw you were including X ray vision, i voted spam (After flipping through your arguments section). So, how about you actually respond sensibly instead of dropping a half baked attempt to insult me with your re. |Content of third Re reposted into second Re. Slicers response on the talk page is to everything that came before this notice|. You just dont get it. X ray vision suggestions are game breakingly bad. They take away the human ability to hide, which they should have. Its one thing to correct a game imbalance, its another thing entirely to go and fuck it up entirely, and this is one such suggestion. As karek said below, the way to fix the problem is by fixing the ap imbalance between the classes, not by stripping humans of their ability to hide. While it wont do a terrible lot NOW, if the game is ever to be properly fixed hiding will become a lot more important to humans, and this will make that absolutely impossible, as such this suggestion, if implimented, would make balancing the game almost impossible. So get down off your cross about spam votes on your suggestion, and quit whining about how quickly individuals such as myself can accurately weigh your suggestion and discover it to be crap. --The Grimch U! E! WAT! 18:16, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    Further discussion on the talkpage. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 22:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  2. Spam - As Grim, and also make suggestions not arguments.--Karekmaps?! 18:10, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    I was highlighting why this Scent Life rocks and other ones suck. That was an itemised list of Awesome --Gene Splicer 18:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    No, you were arguing why a suggestion that basically removed survivors ability to hide isn't overpowered. Survivors being able to hide is the #1 defense survivors have and unlike everything else it is actually a decent ability that shouldn't be messed with, especially not in this way. Not to mention that adding anything to the scent tree sucks, the scent tree is over large for an underused and unessecary skill set as is, don't make it worse.--Karekmaps?! 18:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
    Further discussion on the talkpage. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 22:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  3. As Grim. --•▬ ▬••▬ • •••• •▬ ▬•▬• ▬•▬ #nerftemplatedsigs 14:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  4. Spam - As Grim said.--Kolechovski 16:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
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