User:BobHammero/Sandbox/Frequently Suggested Rework

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This is my attempt to rework the Frequently Suggested page. Please do not edit this page under any circumstances. If you have any comments to make, please leave them on the talk page. Thanks.

Goals of the rework:

  1. Significantly shorten the page so that people can actually read it
  2. Reorganize as necessary to put all of the like things together
  3. Reword wherever necessary to make things clearer
  4. Use proper wiki formatting wherever possible

The List

Before suggesting any of the following, read ALL the linked similar suggestions. If you can't suggest something better than ALL of them, you shouldn't bother making the suggestion.

Barricade Negation

Bites

Crucifixes

Eat Brain (Zombie Headshot)

Fences

Free Running Changes

Forts

Headshot Removal/Changes

Hiding

Inventory and/or Ammo Management

NPCs

Rifle/SMG

Scent Life/Scent Death

Shooting Through Barricades

  • To be added

Traps

X-Ray Vision

  • Needs to be added

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.

X-Ray Vision

Either as zombies seeing into buildings or survivors seeing out, this is commonly seen as just too powerful.

Zombies with any X-Ray Vision powers could completely negate the Distributed Defense strategy by searching out only those barricaded structures with people inside them, removing one of the more-popular concepts in survivor tactics (and also inherently punishing the people clever enough to conceive and codify the idea by putting in a game mechanic specifically to nullify it).

Likewise, survivors with X-Ray Vision abilities could freely barricade to Extremely Heavily across entire swaths of space - as they could see outside without risk, they could keep themselves updated on zombie concentrations without having to exit into the street through more-vulnerable Strong barricades.

Other considerations involve giving a group an ability that can be used with no associated AP expenditure, display problems with clearly-delineating between characters inside buildings and those outside, and sheer game-screen clutter resulting from siege-level concentrations of players.

Barricade Negation

A common zombie suggestion, this generally involves a skill that zombies can buy that will allow them to bypass a barricade in one form or another. Previous suggestions have involved zombies 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.

Essentially, the barricade "problem" has been a hot-button issue ever since the Siege of Caiger Mall; zombies see barricades as being too powerful of a defensive skill, and many attempts have been made to produce a way to either fully or temporarily nullify it. As nearly all of these skills render the early weeks of a survivor's life inherently deadly (as most of the skills involved would make Strongly-barricaded buildings, which players without Free Running are limited to, very easy to access), and it is the opinion of many survivors that their win at Caiger was a statistical anomaly instead of a sign of any zombie weakness, skills that allow zombies to traverse barricades are met with general hostility.

Shooting Through Barricades

Related to Barricade Negation, skills allowing survivors to enter and exit Heavily-barricaded buildings as easily as they do with Strongly-barricaded ones have met with similar opposition for different reasons. One of the accepted suppositions of the game is "There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" - in other words, every game 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 the Heavily-barricaded areas.

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 incentives for survivors to move. This is nearly impossible to balance and should not be suggested in most cases.

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 ailments. Likewise, allowing the Bite attack to confer more status ailments (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.

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 Urban Dead 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.

Hiding

Skills that allow humans to hide while acting or resting are viewed as inherently in opposition to the central concept of the survivor's game: that humans are in danger, and there is no way to fully guarrantee their safety. Being able to easily disappear from either PKers or zombies potentially allows any human a quantity of security which is seen as just too high, no matter what the associated cost of that disappearance might be.

Similarly, skills that allow zombies to hide in various ways are met with extreme opposition because they mean that a horde of hundreds could effectively vanish from view with no significant troubles - a clear violation of the "Multiply It By A Billion" concept. They also generally overpower zombies by giving them the ability to easily ambush individuals before hiding away again, and they provide too much protection from attack for zombies using the ability.

Effectively, any "ninja" skill allowing a player to hide from others is inherently too strong.

NPCs

Non-Player Characters are almost anathema to the idea of Urban Dead. 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 electrified fencing damaging attackers, meet with harsh criticism. You're better off just finding a way to entice human players to do whatever actions your NPCs would be taking.

Area of Effect Abilities

Anything that allows a player to impact a bunch of other players at once 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, Area of Effect just isn't very good - there are other ways of performing similar actions without so many potentially-negative consequences.

Military Weaponry

These suggestions include Rocket launchers, 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 kitchen knives 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.

Player Killing

Kevan has stated that he does not intend to prohibit PKing in his 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 within the game environment themselves - Kevan even specifically halved the XP gain from PKing and ZKing to discourage it. Therefore, skills that are of sole use to PKers or gameplay changes that legitimize PK behaviours are similarly shot down.

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

Combos

Okay, everyone knows that in some fighting games you can chain together connecting moves in certain ways to create "combos" which are inherently more damaging or otherwise powerful than the same attacks conducted separate from one another. As it is such a common game inclusion, however, people seem to think it'd be appropriate for Urban Dead as well. "Increasing percentage" skills are thus a dime a dozen. Whether through persistant combat improving hit chances, search misses improving search chances, or zombie numbers improving the chances to hit zombies, everyone seems to want to create skills that make you compoundingly better at something the more you do it.

Of course, ironically, the "compoundingly better" part of that is the exact problem. Whenever you have a concept that gives you an ever-increasing chance at something, you'll have some obvious situation where you will wind up hitting a 100% chance. That is, a guarranteed success. For a game like Urban Dead, which is based on turns and thousands of players acting on balanced percentage chances to prevent one person somehow managing to slaughter thirty others in a day's time, any skill that gives someone a guaranteed success at one of the fundamental game basics (attacking, searching, reading books, or what have you) is simply inherently broken, because it violates the percentages that maintain the game balance. As a result, no one likes combo skills.

Even if it only builds to a smaller, non-100% plateau, it is tough to calculate what the final average "hit" percentage will be on these concepts when you Multiply It By A Billion... and that means that the final chance of your combo-skill allowing you to do something far more often than you should is always present.

If you want a better percentage chance at doing something, suggest something that raises the percentages. By a flat amount.

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.

XP Removal

Zombie equivalents to the old Headshot. Amnesia caused by blunt force trauma. Abilities that you must pay XP to use. It really doesn't matter what causes you to lose the XP, most people aren't going to be for it.

Simply enough, 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 you try to suggest something that involves knocking people back in their progression, they simply won't like it. Unless you can create a concept that works very well with the game, or manage to convince everyone affected 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.

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.

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 laspe 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 trigger" are unnecessary.

Corpses as Zombie First Aid Kits

There have been a several suggestions to allow zombies to nibble on corpses of slain players to regain health. Considering how plentiful these are it would become far too easy for zombies to regain health. First-Aid kits must be searched for but you can't take a step without walking on a corpse. Suggestions that use player corpses as a healing mechanic are usually overpowered and rejected.

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 to rectify the current problem of survivor overpopulation relative to zombies. While the intention of these suggestions is good, 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.

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.

Air Drop Suggestions

Air drops are new to the game and how they operate is not fully known. If crates become overly plentiful it will make survivors too powerful because they will have no need to search. If you haven't had one then don't make flares summon helicopters to drop McDonald's outside your safehouse. 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.

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