Talk:Survivor-Zombie Imbalance

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I feel like I'm nitpicking, but shouldn't this be "Survivor-Zombie Imbalance"? Zombies are players too, and all that. --RodgerYoung 01:23, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)

Yes. Brain fart. --mortimer shank 03:55, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)
Changed. --mortimer shank 03:56, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)
Moving on then... I think you've done an excellent job of restructuring, thanks. --RodgerYoung 04:10, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)

My user page has my thoughts on the topic; they're not well-organized enough for me to post them here yet. --LouisB3 04:07, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this (should it be in Suggestions:, or should the article this links to be in two categories?) but here's what I've seen as suggestions for righting zombie/human imbalance:

  1. Tweaking the melee system somehow
    • Giving zombies a bonus to hit
    • Making survivors' weapons less effective against zombies (for example, dropping firearm damage against the dead but leaving it the same against other survivors. Okay, this one's my idea.).
  2. Adding new Zombie skills to power them up somehow
  3. Making it easier for Zombies to get XP
    • Zombies who break barricades get XP
  4. Nerfing revival syringes somehow
  5. Making death more substantial (a serious change to the feel of the game!)
    • Survivors may lose some inventory items when they die
  6. Creating a Fear mechanic to make zombies more effective against survivors
  7. Generating NPC zombies to swell the ranks of the dead
  8. Giving PC zombies free actions, particularly as a reaction to getting attacked
  9. Other changes to discourage large, static masses of survivors
    • Areas cluttering up with dropped items, interfering with searching (no fun for new players)
    • Disease

If this looks OK, we can move it to its proper place and collect everyone's suggestions there.

I see the "Death Cultist" idea as being valuable and fun, but not directly a survivor/zombie balance issue. --RodgerYoung 04:42, 24 Sep 2005 (BST)


Most of those seem okay, except for nerfing syringes or making death more substantial if it only applies to humans. Death already costs at least 20AP for a high level human (without zombie skills), while it costs only 1AP for a high level zombie (without human skills). I don't think nerfing syringes would help the zombie population either: I think it would be more likely to make the human population frustrated and quit. Does anyone really want to balance by making people leave the game? (I don't know, maybe we do?) As I see it, making playing a zombie easier isn't the problem: if I dedicated some time to a zombie character, I'd be fine with it. Making playing a zombie more interesting and fun though... I don't want to play as a zombie, and if I couldn't get back to being human, I would simply stop playing. For me, zombies are boring. All they do is attack... At any rate, those suggestions probably should be with suggestions somehow. Maybe in a Balance Suggestions page? Shadowstar 03:52, 18 Oct 2005 (BST)

Request for Comments

I've also considered the Survivor-Zombie Imbalance issue and has written a draft wrt the Zombie career development idea under my user page. I would appreciate feedback and comments on the draft, located here.


Zombie Hunter-Zombie Imbalance?

Just thought it would be interesting to note that, as of this moment, there are more active zombie hunters than there are active zombies. g026r 02:26, 3 Dec 2005 (GMT)

As a player of both sides

I always hear the zombies complaining about how they have it so bad, and how the survivors have it so good, but that's hardly the case. Survivors constantly have to worry about barricades, ammo, health, and other survivors they may be hanging around with. I know I spend more time inside buildings with my survivor characters then out of them, and they only kill on average 1 zombie every one or two days. However, my zombie character doesn't need to worry about anything. He finds a building, breaks down the barricades, and is still able to kill at least one survivor, sometimes more if the health permits. If he dies? No problem, it's 1 AP to stand. He gets headshot? No problem; I'm still killing a survivor that day. He gets revived? Who cares? He can just enter the nearest building and jump off, or maybe spend some time as a survivor trying to get a flak jacket (which, by the way, hate me it seems).

The point is, I started my zombie character about a month or two after my main survivor, and zombie's already flew by survivor in experience and skills.

In short, mainly zombie players need to stop being so whiny. I found that before these rash new updates (10 AP revive and DNA extractor upgrade) the game was perfectly balanced. It already took ~20 AP to find a syringe, so why does it need to cost an extra 10 just to use it? (This is all coming from a guy who plays as a scientist, and would hate to have to start one under these conditions)

In conclusion, you need to get both sides of the argument before you can complain the way that some people do.BuncyTheFrog 01:02, 1 April 2006 (BST)

Bouncy, while you do have a point, the fact of the matter is that humans were being revived too fast. It was extremely disheartening to kill the same guy over and over again. I started as a scientist, and I think that if a player could get revived in minutes, then something was definately wrong. --TheTeeHeeMonster 00:58, 11 April 2006 (BST)
I don't think the issue is so much that it is difficult to play as a zombie, rather, it's boring and repeditive. As a result, more people choose to play as survivors, and so it's harder for zombies to achieve anything. Example: Second Siege of Caiger Mall. Survivors didn't win because they were more powerful or because survivor skills are inherently more effective, they won because they had a massive numbers advantage. I play both sides, too. Elliothatman 18:48, 6 June 2006 (BST)


I've tossed in stats for today (May 29, 2007) at the bottom of the page, which had become a bit outdated. For whatever reason zombie numbers have been on a constant downward trend this month. Time will tell if this is a temporary dip or an actual problem.--Jiangyingzi 19:41, 29 May 2007 (BST)

It is not about the numbers

There are so many points that are not being said in this article.

  • It costs a lot more AP for a survivor to return to combat status, and even more AP is used getting ready for combat
  • When you first create a character, they start off as a survivor, so it should also be about character levels I've found buildings filled with level 1 survivor characters.
  • As a survivor you must worry about PKers, which are more into killing survivors than zombies, meaning that zombies don't have to worry about all survivors
  • How many low level characters are owned by zombies, to be spies? A survivor with free run, diagnosis can be a great help to a zombie horde. If the zombie controller is 10 blocks away, throw in Axe skills and the spy can take down barricades for zombies
  • How many zombies waste AP chatting with groans for their zombie buddies to hear? Survivors have people singing on radios with their day's AP.
  • There is no way to stop a zombie horde. You kill them, and they get right back up. So I must laugh at TheTeeHeeMonster, since you could kill a zombie and have the zombie stand up on its own within a minute. =)

If you want to focus on the number of players, you need to look at the number of players over level 6 to get something useful. Wenin 14:26, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

How about this very simple fact.

  • The only way for survivors to take back a neighborhood is by the zombies leaving the neighborhood voluntarily. Now that's BALANCED! Wenin 03:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
No offense, but you're an idiot.
  • Do the numbers, you'll find it actually costs significantly less AP for a survivor to get revived than for a zombie killing them
  • You can start a zombie, but ignoring that check out the stats page so see how pointless that point is.
  • PKers actually cause more problems for zombies than normal survivors do, the fact that they need to keep revives up, at least for their members, and save AP by fighting less means they are more of a threat on the things that cause zombies problems. Oh, and two other things, PKers are less than 1% of the game, and there is such a thing as ZKers, check it out.
  • You're kidding right? A zombie spys argument? There are only two notable hordes that wouldn't remove members for doing that, and any Feral Zombies doing that would be zerging, which is against the game rules. Not to mention that both the hordes that allow it aren't exactly huge and Feral Zombies are the majority of the zombies in the game.
  • Survivors have people on radios because they have the extra AP, Zombies don't chat unless they are high levels or trying to help other zombies, they almost never have spare AP ever, barricades make sure of that.
  • So that's why Caiger 1 and Caiger 2 happened? What about the Battle of Blackmore(length), the Battle of Santlerville, the Battle of SantLUEville(length), or any of the other zombie defeats? Ignoring that you should look up the words Critical Mass and learn what they mean to zombies in this game.
  • I direct you to Barricade Strafing and every single damn invasion of Ridleybank or Eastonwood ever, let's not forget the time when all the malls in the game were active, the zombie getting driven from the Forts after the updates, or the fact that the DHPD managed to take back Dunell Hills when a specific group of zombies was actively trying to stop them.
But sure, it's not about the numbers, it's about the fact that zombies can't do anything unless there are 5+ of them on within 5 minutes of each other, it's the fact that the zombie game is based almost completely off luck of the draw, and the reason zombies have to horde together is because 100 people in the same square is the only way to guarantee a decent shot at getting into a building that 10-20 survivors are in. It's the fact that zombies are forced to kill other zombies to level, or have any chance at getting combat skills and even when they do have those skills they still can't deal with barricades. It's the fact that zombies start with 2AP to move, 10% to hit(translates to 5% to hit on barricades), 10 AP to stand up(although it's almost always 15AP due to headshot), the inability to get to survivors even if they beat the odds and break through barricades with the 5% to hit, 2/3 starting damage(survivors start with max damage), and the inability to speak beyond a selected set of words. All of that said, it's a lot better now than it used to be, still broken but at least now zombies can actually level. --Karekmaps?! 07:25, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Talk about selective reading.
The overall point I was making was that the Wiki mainly talks about the percentage of zombies vs survivors. That is not even remotely an accurate measure of a game's balance, especially one that is played largely for free and with the two sides having very different aspects one deals with when playing.
As to your counter points....
  • It takes significantly less AP for a zombie to be ready for combat, than for a Survivor to be ready for combat. If you think the game is not balanced towards zombies, then you DO NOT want to examine the amount of AP usage for Killing a zombie to the AP used by a Zombie to be ready for combat, then compared against the amount of AP usage for killing a survivor vs the AP used by survivors to get someone ready for combat. Granted survivors with shotguns can kill zombies far faster than a zombie can kill a survivor (especially if you ignore the AP used to obtain those shotguns), but it takes between 1 - 15 AP for a zombie to be up and ready for combat (typically only 6). It takes an investment of 24 - 36 AP (Plus the movement as a zombie to a revive point, the movement of the reviver to go from the NT building to the revive point and back (less impact when accounting for multiple revives), and the reviver to check for Rotters/Pkers to avoid wasting revives on them) for a survivor to be revived and healed to full. You willfully ignore the amount of AP used in sending people to a nearby mall just to get FAKs or a working NT building for syringes..... an entire process that zeds have nothing to worry about (they simply stand up).... and you want to complain about barricades....
  • The stats page doesn't provide overall average levels for zombie vs survivors (besides the fact that beyond level 25 it doesn't matter for either side. The average character levels listed account for 14% of the active population. While I was wrong about starting characters being surviors, I'd still like to see the numbers of 1st lvl Survivors vs 1st level zeds and 1-5th level survivors vs 1-5th level zombies.
  • My point wasn't about what incidental problems PKers can cause Zeds (They are survivors they should be causing zeds problems, you big baby).... it is about the problems PKers cause survivors. The AP PKers spend on PKing, if spent on messing with Zeds... would cause Zeds MORE problems... than whatever incidental problems they cause Zeds now. On top of that, the amount of AP used by survivors dealing (IE hunting, killing, radio reports, complaining about them, avoiding) PKers. Where are you getting this 1% number? As if it matters! The point is, the amount of AP wasted on dealing with PKers isn't being spent on dealing with zeds. Along with the small number of PKers showing up as survivors in the total count, when they aren't really survivors. The amount of damage a ZKer does compared to a PKer is remarkably different... I refer you to how easy it is for a zed to be up and ready for combat.
  • Survivors don't have people babbling on the radio "cause they have the extra AP" since there is ALWAYS a zed to be killed or a building to be barricaded someplace! They babble on the radios, because there are survivors that find it enjoyable to babble on the radio. The point being AP used babbling on the radio is AP not spent against the zeds. The point being, Zed APs are used more towards anti-survivor efforts than survivor APs. Hell do you have zeds wasting AP in search of christmas trees? =) LOL
  • A zombie zerging would be a funny thing to see, as the amount of AP wasted moving the characters out of each other's way in order to avoid the zerging penalty. It doesn't matter how many zombie groups permit it, it's about how many survivors aren't really survivors, but usless accounts. Again I'd like to see a listing of 1st level zeds vs 1st level survivors.
  • As for zombie defeats, they are at best temporary and small in comparison to the zombie tours. Zombie hordes go where they want, when they want.
You want to whine about barricade strafing? Barricading is the only true advantage that survivors have, and zombie players claim it to be griefing. Talk about idiocy.
I've seen malls and NT buildings with more than 20 players inside fall in just a couple days to a horde of 60 zombies. Watching it right now at Joachim... southern part of hte mall being ransacked, about 80 zeds attacking the mall. As for XPing off each other... what does it really matter when a zombie kills another zombie? Most of the time it is at the cost of 1 AP (Honestly what moronic zombie player isn't picking up Lurching Gait and Ankle Grab with the first 200 XP they earn)... "although it's almost always 15AP due to headshot"... I've walked across the Malton a couple times as a zed... I was mostly shot dead by noobs... out for XP... There are survivor groups that find it a waste of AP to kill zeds out on the streets... I wonder why???
Why don't you compare like levels players? A level 10 zombie character without the two movement skills??? I had those as a survivor before I was level 15!!! And your percentages to hit are off, unless again you want to compare some retard player starting off as a survivor and then going zombie and being further retarded and not having saved up enough XP to gain all the zombie skills in a single crack (why was he a survivor to start with??) Yeah yeah yeah, 1st level zeds have a horrible time, shall I compare the surviability of a 1st level consumer versus a zed??
River Tactics - Facing a zombie horde is more trouble than it's worth.... so tactics are introduced to avoid them. A tactic I'm sure you dislike, as you'd want survivors to cluster around a mall, so you can eat their brains enmass. =)
Again for the slow, my original post was about the lack of discussion beyond "LOOK AT THE PERCENTAGES!!!!"Wenin 03:12, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

"You want to whine about barricade strafing? Barricading is the only true advantage that survivors have, and zombie players claim it to be griefing. Talk about idiocy." You are wrong... Barricades are one of survivors' biggest advantages, yes, but they have many others... These include incredibly powered weapons that can use stored AP to devastating effect, and highly effective communications methods... Then there is the ability to repair 6 AP worth of Ruin damage with 1 AP; the nearly 100% chance to get to VSB++ in 10 AP vs. the very high probability that it would take almost all a zombie's 50 AP to destroy that very same barricade, hell it might not even destroy them in 50 ap! etc. etc. etc. You are right, raw percantages don't explain everything... What are much more telling are the significant advantages harmanz have over zombies inside the game mechanic... the ONLY time zombies have an advantage is in numbers, and when coordinated. Then they are very strong, but otherwise they are at a disadvantage. --WanYao 09:59, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

When you look at the amount of AP used to gather weapons, and then use them against a zed vs the amount of AP the zed must use to recover from the resulting death, the higher damage advantage is put into check very easy. That is why I don't consider it a "true" advantage. It is an advantage that brings about the ability to use the true advantage survivors have... barricading. There are many "advantages" that survivors have over zeds (barricading, damage, various means of communication (spray paint, talking, radios, profiles, phones), free run, NT buildings), but only one is a "true" advantage (an honest to goodness all around true advantage). The zeds true advantage is their ability to stand up at no more than 6 AP after the purchase of two no brainer skills. Killing zombies is like jumping around in a water puddle, with the goal of getting rid of the water. Only in UD the water can become bored and move on to another spot. =) Wenin 12:20, 21 December 2007 (UTC)


The Blackmore Building is very definitely not the RRF's headquarters. May 5 update edited for accuracy.--Jiangyingzi 10:30, 8 May 2008 (BST)

Not so unbalanced

I enjoyed the reading of this article and as I'm playing UD for some weeks, I wonder about game balance. As a survivor, I didn't fell that the game is ill-balanced against unliving players. Groups of Zeds is claiming a suburbs ? They will prevail no matter of time. There's no way for survivors to resist.

I think that the ratio living/unliving is pointless. Because there is PKers (Rker/Gker) et Zkers. And sadly for livings, PKers are doing much more damage (once killed you must spend some AP and time to be revived and somebody must revive you) than Zker (10 or 1 PA to stand up).

I've the feeling the living dead-cultiste/Pker a far more representative than zed life-cultiste/Zker.

Can you calculate real pro-living / pro-undead ratio ? That will be an interesting chart.

A point I agree with you is that playing a lonely zombie is difficult and less interesting than playing a lonely human. But in a zombie game, it's logical. -- Bug MacLock 20:46, 22 July 2008 (BST)

Re. The Theories

As far as the theories go, doesn't Let it be (Laissez-faire) imply that there is some impartial starting point for search/barricade odds? I don't agree that this is true. I propose another theory. Given that the game is supposed to be fun, and that players should be able to play the type of character (survivor or zombie) that they want to play most of the time, then the percentages should roughly reflect the percentages of what character types the players choose. If 60% of the players wanted to play survivors then the percentage should roughly reflect that. Now obviously this isn't really a knowable number, especially considering that many players have multiple characters of different character types. But ideally that would be the percentage the game numbers should reflect. Things like search/barricade odds are tweakable numbers to allow that.--mvario 19:09, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Massive Overhaul

I've redone this a lot, included some graphs of awesome (how can you possibly explain this without some graphs, you're mad if you don't) and focused on the history portion of this article. (IE: The history of the imbalance)

It could still do with work on the theories behind the imbalance, and the mechanics behind it too, from the sociological (all players are human, humans tend to want to be survivors) to the game mechanics like AP and cades etc.

I hope the history provides a good read though. -- User:The Rooster RoosterDragon User talk:The Rooster 21:50, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The old page was somewhat tacked together, but I find this revision rather muddled. Removing total player numbers from the ratios was ill advised; this page also tracks the total number of active accounts in the game, and follows that trend as well. The previous page, despite all its chaos, was fairly concise. Your revision, however, is wordy and cluttered.
Your heart was in the right place here, but the results are a bit questionable. I think we'd be better off reverting the page to its former self and relegating your personal trend analysis to your user page.--Jiangyingzi 01:48, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Could've sworn I replied to this before... anyway, if you think the page has indeed suffered somewhat then I invite you to correct the wordy text since I'm probably just catering to myself rather than the audience. I would go against a full reversion, since I've added more recent analysis that was missing before and the passage of time has made it easier to lump the trends together. The total player count can easily be re-added where you feel it's necessary.
I would like to ask though, it what ways exactly has it become more wordy and cluttered? There's significantly less text from before where I tried to compact some analysis. I tried to sort out a few headers to make navigation easier, and thus create bit-size chunks of text. I can see how this might've added clutter given the amount of headers, but something was needed to help people navigate better. Have you got a suggestion to improve this? There are indeed a lot of headers... -- User:The Rooster RoosterDragon User talk:The Rooster 23:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
In retrospect I think the only necessary change would be to reincorporate the player totals to the writeups. It's true that any reader with a calculator can figure out how many total players were in the game at the time of a given entry, but why make them do the work?--Jiangyingzi 23:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course, the active char count also includes dead bodies and revivifying bodies. While mostly low and constant, these inflate the figures a little and so I had to make a few estimations for pre-logged levels based on the recorded data on the page. I guess it also makes the count more worthwhile since you can't calculate it directly after all. -- User:The Rooster RoosterDragon User talk:The Rooster 18:36, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

re "Survivors Restore Status Quo (02/2010)"

As I recall, in the 12/2009 to 2/2010 timeframe there were a number of human offensives taking place with the aim of changing the human/zombie ratio. The big one I remember (and participated in) was GREAT_EASTSIDE_RP_CLEANUP, where the whole east side of the map started red or gray and ended being green. Asheets 22:53, 20 October 2010 (BST)

It will never last

On the idea of Zombie Curbstomp meaning 99% of Players are Zombies it'd get fixed once new players signed up and then they'd add Zombies to their contact list and act the zombies(desperate for revive) will act as bodyguards until the new player gets the ability to use revive needles and then newly revived higher levels would Extremely Heavily barricade buildings and then it would just be Zombies Vs Pistol Ninjas.

Or in the case the New Players aren't guarded well then Zombies would simply decide to go inactive after a month or two of Zombie Vs Zombie and Zombie Vs Newbie Violence. A Group of Survivors would after about 6 month have fixed things back to the point Survivors once again become a powerful force to recon with. Then It would balance itself out. Point of my rambling is A ZOMBIE CURBSTOMP WILL NEVER LAST —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Radio (talkcontribs) at an unknown time.

I think I got stupider to the point of forgetting integration of a curve whilst reading this. Also sign plz. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new 02:46, 22 October 2010 (BST)
Here here! -- LEMON #1 03:26, 22 October 2010 (BST)

Kudos on the page update

Good work on refreshing the Survivor-Zombie Imbalance page, that new graph is particularly pleasing. Aside that, I can't believe I missed Big Bash 4! --Wez 11:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! --  AHLGTG 15:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
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