User:Lynx7725/Draft Suggestions

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Zombie Skill Tree Revamps

The primary problem I see with the Zombie Skill Tree (after writing my Alternative Guide here) is that there doesn't seem to be any ideas on what different kinds of Zombies there can be. It's easier with Living Humans -- they are either Firefighters, Cops, Scouts, Military, Scientist, etc. etc.

What we end up with are Zombies that are generic and not very interesting per se. So I think in order to create a better Zombie Skill Tree, we need to first think of the various possible types of Zombies we want to create. I can think of the following:

  • Ambushers: This Zombie relies on the element of surprise to claim his victims. It would wait till the victim is within reach before coming out from its cover and dealing the death blow to its victim. It is also the main foot troop of the Zombie Horde. Good Damage Dealer, but not spectacular at other tasks.
  • Chaser: This Zombie relies on speed to catch victims. It roams Malton in an attempt to return the living to death. It also has to slow the survivors sufficiently so that the foot soldiers can also catch up to share the meal.
  • Stalker: This Zombie has an uncommon amount of cunning and skulks in the shadow. It doesn't deal much damage, but has found ways and means to find out where the food is -- and to get the hordes to gather.
  • Tank: This Zombie doesn't think too much. It just soak up the punishment and keeps coming. And coming. Right through the barricades.
  • Evolved Zombie: This Zombie is beyond any hope of redemption. It is concerned only with the destruction of the living, and has evolved a set of traits and skills to help not only himself, but the rest of the undead to achieve his goals.

In conjuction with this, I think it's better to rename the Zombie Skills as Zombie Traits, as Zombies aren't exactly very good at learning things... Also, now that we got specific Zombie types, we can now have Class and Cross-Class Traits, using the same format as the Fleshies -- 75XP for Class, 150XP for Cross-Class. I'm not sure how good this idea is though. :)

I'll suggest reorganizing the Zombie Traits as follows, with text in italics as new suggested traits.

Suggested Zombie Traits

The Traits List below is not comprehensive; critically, many of the Traits that requires Level 10 or better currently can't be reached without taking some other Zombie Traits or human skills. That's not a very good thing.

Also, the majority of the skills are written with the idea that each set of Traits (other than Generic and Evolved) are somewhat Cross-Class. If the above assumption is not met, then there may be potential balance issues.

In addition, Diagnosis and Body Building should be turned off for Zombies -- we should rely on our own Traits, not on Human Skills. Also, maybe we should set First Aid Kits to deal damage to Undead too.

-I'm not sure if I understand how First Aid Kits could damage the zombie...could you please explain that in greater detail?

- Well, if a 1st aid kit adds 5 HP of life to a survivor and 10 HP if the person wielding it is a medic, then surely by pumping one into a zombie the effect would be to bring it closer to life - ie have fewer HPs. - Celt

How so? This theory works in Final Fantasy and suchlike because it's magic. Potions and cure spells are pure vital energy, and thus hurt things with anti-vital energy. As Terry Pratchett says, "You can't ask why, it's magic. That's the trouble with magic, it does everything by magic." Whereas in UD FAKs are just that--kits with bandages, disinfectant, painkillers, antibiotics. It's rather silly even to overlook the fact that things like that could bring someone back from the brink of death from, say, a gunshot wound, it's even sillier to assume that they would help repair dead flesh that won't repair itself, or will reattach ripped-off body parts, or help a zombie from falling unconscious, or whatever it that's physically supposed to happen to a zombie to cause them to "die."--'STER 21:05, 1 Nov 2005 (GMT)

Generic Zombie Traits

  • Vigour Mortis: This Zombie gets +10% to hit with all non-weapon attacks. The Corpse class starts with Vigour Mortis.
  • Neck Lurch: This Zombie gets an extra +10% to hit with bite attacks.
  • Death Grip: This Zombie gets an extra +20% to hit with hand attacks.
  • Rend Flesh: Hand attacks deal an extra 1 damage.

  • Scent Fear: Survivors with fewer than 25 HP are shown as "wounded" in room descriptions, and asterisked on the map.
  • Scent Blood: The HP values of nearby survivors are displayed next to their name.
  • Scent Trail: This Zombie is able to sense the new positions of survivors it's had recent contact with.

  • Death Rattle: This Zombie is able to communicate through a limited, groaned form of speech.
Please note that this has been shifted to a first level Trait.
  • Earth Renewal: Each AP the zombie gains while standing in a graveyard heals 3HP. -- Monstah

Zombie Ambusher Traits

  • Ankle Grab: This Zombie only spends 5 AP standing up.
Please note that this has been shifted to become a first level Trait, and that the AP cost has been adjusted.
  • Jumping Jack: This Zombie spends way too much time standing up and lying down. It can stand up by spending only 1 AP. Level 10 or better only.
  • Play Dead-er: This Zombie exhibits low animal cunning and had learnt how to disguise itself as a dead body. This Zombie can spend 10 AP to lie down. Survivors and other Zombies will register this Zombie as a dead body.
  • Feign Death Deluxe: This Zombie can Play Dead-er for only 5 AP. Level 10 or better only.
  • Element of Surprise: This Zombie gets a +5% to hit with all non-weapon attacks.

Zombie Chaser Traits

  • Sheer Momentum: This Zombie instinctively knows how to use its speed to barrel into a survivor, clawing and biting. It is now able to expend 2 AP to deal double the damage of its bite or claw attack, at +5% to the base attack's to-hit percentages.
  • Infectious Bite: Bitten survivors become infected and lose 1 HP per action until cured. (Anyone can cure the effects of a bite with a First Aid Kit.)
Please note that this has been shifted to become a first level Trait
  • Deadly Drool: Bitten survivors become infected and lose 2 HP per action until cured. Level 10 or better only. (Anyone can cure the effects of a bite with a First Aid Kit.)
  • Bite Practice: This Zombie had more practice then most in biting survivors. It can make Bite Attacks at +5%.
  • Grab: Zombie has a grab action. If successful, zombie cannot use claw attacks until the grab is released, but is bite attacks get +10%. The target may do nothing but attempt to brek the grab, with say, 40% chance of success. -- Monstah
  • Double Swing: If a claw attack successfully hits, a new attack will be calculated at the same target. -- Monstah

Zombie Stalker Traits

As I see it, this could be merged into Zombie Chaser Traits. -Monstah 20:20, 24 Oct 2005 (BST)

  • Small and Fast: This Zombie is smaller and more capable of getting into odd locations. It is also less resilient to attacks. It has 5 additional AP per day, but 10 less HP. - I like this. It's the opposite of the tanker. However the sewer monkey seems odd to me. Ignoring barricades but not closed doors? So, beneath the barricades, the doors are open? Instead, I'd give it the equivalent of Free Running. Monstah 20:15, 24 Oct 2005 (BST)
  • Undead Sewer Monkey: This Zombie remembers what sewers are.. and how to take advantage of them -- at a cost. This Zombie can ignore barricades, but not secured doors, and has 10 less HP.
(Yes, this means an Undead Sewer Monkey can creep in, but with 30 HP, at most. 40, if Cross Class Traits are allowed. And yes, it requires Memories of Life to be fully effective. No more Zombie Spies, this guy is more in-character to do the dirty stuff.)
  • Stab: This Zombie is notorious for its lethally accurate stabs from the shadows. It can make a special Claw attack at +30% to hit, but at 1 less damage.
  • Deadly Stab: This Zombie has such a natural affinity for stabbing from the shadows, it is almost supernaturally accurate. It can make a special Claw attack at +20% to hit, +1 Damage, for 2 AP. Level 10 or better only.
(Yes, this does mean a maxed out 100% to-hit at 3 Damage for 2 AP. Obscene, but works out to be 1.5 Dam/ AP, so should be balanced, and represents a Zombie with focus on finese rather than brute force.)
(In retrospect, giving the consistent and confirmed ability to gain 75 XP a day is a bad idea. Consider Deadly Stab removed -- I'll think of something else.)
  • Fear Tactics: This Zombie exhibits animalistic cunning and pack mentality. It would stalk its victims and use fear as a way to attract more Undead to the area. This Zombie can spend 2 AP to make a special attack against a living survivor. The attack will use its base non-weapon attack and stats (either a bite or claw) but will elicit screams from the victim, in a fashion similar to a flare gun attack.

Zombie Tanker Traits

  • Digestion: Whenever the Zombie deals bite damage, it gains HP equal to the damage dealt.
  • Unearthly Hunger: Whenever the Zombie kills a living survivor with a bite attack, it gains 10 HP. This stacks with Digestion.
  • Tough: This Zombie is much bigger and meaner (and slower!) than the norm. It has 10 additional HP, but 5 less AP per day
    • Thick Skin: This Zombie has spent way too much time as an undead. All attacks above 5 damage have their damage reduced by 20%. This stacks with Flak Jacket. Level 10 or better only.
  • Strong: This Zombie is stronger than average, and is better at destroying barricades than normal Zombies. It gets a +20% on all attempts to reduce a barricade.
  • Wide punch: When a claw attack successfully hits a survivor or zombie (not a barricade), another attack is calculated at a random different target on same block. New random target may be human or zombie. -- Monstah
  • Yell: Zombie can howl, or make any other unearthly sound, to draw his companions. It works as a flare gun.

Evolved Zombie Traits

(We can consider making Evolved Zombie Traits an entire post-level 10 tree, but I'm a bit reluctant to suggest it.)

(The more I think about it, the more fun it is to have this as a high-level class. I'll strongly suggest to keep this as a post-level 10 class tree, and have rewritten them accordingly.)

- I believe all these trees should be post-level 10, actually. Monstah 20:16, 24 Oct 2005 (BST)

  • Brain Rot: This Zombie can never be revived, and is harder to DNA-scan. Level 10 or better only.
(Please note the new level requirement.) - Actually, I think this is better in the basic skill tree, as it should be a requirement to all those new nifty trees -- Monstah
  • Undead Connection: This Zombie is able to see the HP values of nearby Zombies. Level 10 or better only.
  • Heal Undead: This Zombie can heal one other zombie (not itself!) for 5 HP. Level 10 or better only.
  • Improved Heal Undead: This Zombie can heal one other zombie (not itself!) for 10 HP. Level 15 or better only.
  • Regenerate: This Zombie has an incredible connection with undeath. It can regenerate 1 HP per action. Level 15 or better only.
(Even I think this may be way too broken. Gotta think about it)
  • "I Say, Old Boy...": Through it's improved connection with undeath, this Zombie has found a means to control its vocal cords to communicate with both survivors and lesser Zombies. This Zombie can now use the Talk action normally. Level 10 or better only.
  • Memories of... stuff: This zombie is able to search buildings for objects. No guarantee it can use them, though. - some melee weapons are useable, and so is the flak jacket. And lots of zombies want to be revived for some time so they can get the jacket. -- Monstah


Please insert your comments here so that we can discuss! :)

To tell the truth, I was thinking of this last night. My approach was slightly different: More skill trees which can be bought after the basic one is maxed (unlike humans, which have different skill trees to start). Each different skill tree you have (apart from the basic) makes it 50XP more expensive to get another of these skills. So, if you just maxed basic, you can choose one of these new skill trees and max it for 150XP a skill. However, if you choose to buy two different skill trees, it will cost you 200XP a skill, and so on.

And the trees I had in mind were the zombie tanker, the evolved zombie and a small running berseker zombie..

I will be adding some skills to your trees. Monstah 20:01, 24 Oct 2005 (BST)

I think both our ideas are basically the same -- to introduce more specialized Zombies so that Zombie players can have some personalization. Humans are actually in the same vein, just that their base tree has zero skills. :)
The reason why I have 4 classes is really because I percieve 4 types of Zombies - one Damage Dealer (DD) as the main line units, one Runner to chase down the enemy, one Spy to scout and a Tank to absorb damage. If I were to reduce, I would prefer to merge DD with Runner actually, but that might be a tad unbalancing as a Runner would be able to deal large amounts of damage at one go.
I prefer not to mix Spy with Runner as this would allow some rather heinous combinations -- the ability to nearly do Free Running with AP reduction can be rather powerful.
Please feel free to suggest additions, that's what this wiki is here for. :) -- Lynx7725 08:17, 27 Oct 2005 (BST)

The following are responses to Monstah's Traits suggestions:

  • Earth Renewal: I like it, but it depends whether Kevan can implement it. I'm mostly aiming for changes that Kevan can do quickly. I do think this makes Cemetary more interesting though. Only thing is, in conjunction with the Evolved Zombies' healing traits, this can get very very nasty when a building is next to a Cemetary.
  • Grab: No objections on this, just whether Kevan can implement it. Can be rather vexing to program, is all.
  • Double Swing: I'm not too sure, it's essentially doubling the Dam/ AP to 2.25, which is very dangerous; Currently the max is 1.5 Dam/ AP, and that's about enough to kill 2 Fleshies every day (from experience, especially in Zombie-infested areas). This might be a bit over-powering.
  • Small and Fast: - I like this. It's the opposite of the tanker. However the sewer monkey seems odd to me. Ignoring barricades but not closed doors? So, beneath the barricades, the doors are open? Instead, I'd give it the equivalent of Free Running. Monstah 20:15, 24 Oct 2005 (BST)
Well, I was actually trying to make it such that it has a difference from Free Running. Also, this Trait doesn't have a level restriction but it is rather powerful; the need to take MOL to maximize it gives it some balance.
Wrt doors behind barricades, my understanding is this: Barricades go in front of doors. You may be able to barricade in front of unsecured doors, so you end up with 4 possibilities:
  • No Barricades, Doors unsecured (anyone can come and go)
  • No Barricades, Doors secured (Zombies without MOL cannot go in)
  • Barricades, Doors unsecured (Zombies must break barricades down first, but can go in after that)
  • Barricades, Doors secured (Zombies must break the barricades AND have MOL)
Hence, a Zombie with Undead Sewer Monkey but no MOL can go into (Barricades, Doors unsecured) buildings; it's really easy for fleshies to forget to secure the doors after barricading...
  • Wide Punch: Well... This becomes essentially an AOE attack, and AOE attacks are not popular with Kevan mostly because of game balance issues. Honestly speaking I'm a bit leery of random damage falling on player's heads, but I can see why you might want to up the damage potential for the Tanker.
  • Brain Rot: The reason I set this as a Level 10 Trait is precisely to allow for revivification before Level 10; in game terms, revivification is the most effective tactic the survivors have against Zombies. Evolved Zombies are meant to be fairly powerful, and taking the most effective tactic from the survivors will guarantee that.
But leaving it available under Level 10 means the game balance at lower levels get shifted drastically. With the improved Traits, a level 7-8 Zombie can be rather deadly, and there must be a effective counter against such creatures that the survivor of around level 7-8 can have -- and that's the revivification syringes.
After Level 10, we got Brain Rot, they got Headshot. Fair's fair. :)
  • Memories of... stuff: I don't see why not. Any level restrictions?

(Text in italics are responses by me -- Lynx7725 08:58, 27 Oct 2005 (BST))

Good to know you liked some. About the undead sewer monkey thing, i thought barricading the doors automatically shut them. I play mostly as a zombie, so i haven't seen many barricated buildings with doors open from the insides. But that name still needs changing, I think. After all, if he goes through the sewers, well then, doors wouldn't block it anyway.

About the double swing and wide punch, well, the chance of hitting at least once is the same, because the second attack is only given if the first one hits. And it's not much of an area attack, because it may only (if it does) hit a second target, never a third. And the chances are fairly small (16%, with claws maxed) that there will be the second attack, so I don't see is as much problem. Maybe the second attack deals 1 less damage?

And the Brain Rot deal... well, I figure all these classes don't look as much human as they did as a basic zombie, so they're probably all advanced putrified states. Therefore, none of them should be able to be revived. Maybe Brain Rot can be pushed to a post-10 skill, but still as a basic zombie tree.

Monstah 18:05, 27 Oct 2005 (BST)