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This is my personal smandbox. It is to be used exclusively for my own personal smandboxing. Please, respect the smandbox. --Jimbo Bob ASSU! 03:30, 4 June 2006 (BST)

Advanced Communication

Timestamp: ~~~~~
Type: Skill
Scope: Zombies
Description: This suggestion would create a skill - the titular "Advanced Communication", unless a better name is come up with - located under Death Rattle and accessible only to zombies over level 10 (as with Headshot for humans). What it would do is allow the zombie possessing to skill to speak without distortion to other zombies. How this would work is that the zombie would be able to type speech into their speech box, and other currently zombified players, even if they themselves do not possess this skill, would hear the resultant speech as clearly as if it had been spoken by a survivor, albeit with additional flavor text such as "Name groans <insert text here> sonorously", or some bullshit like that. The flavor text isn't an important part, so don't vote kill if you don't like that. Humans, however, would still hear speech from the skill-possessing zombie as if it had been run through the Death Rattle filter.

Okay, now for the reasoning behind this. First, as anyone who's seen the Stats page can tell you, zombies numbers are declining precipitously. This isn't even owing to them getting revived - they're just quitting. The number of players has dropped by somewhere in excess of 5000 people, and the bulk of that is zombies. Second, this is because (as pretty much all experienced zombie players will tell you) playing a zombie just isn't as much fun - and in large part this is because (my theory now) playing a feral zombie is simply a much more isolated, alienating experience. A lot of attention is paid to the relative combat power of the two sides. What people pay less attention to, however, is that the survivors possess a virtual monopoly on communication. They can spraypaint static messages to one another that can be left for people who aren't even there right now to see. They can speak freely to one another. And with cellphones and, especially, the new radios, they can speak to one another clear across the city with very few restrictions. Zombies, on the other hand, have to purchase a skill just to enable them to grunt out more than half-unintelligible (albeit hilarious) messages to one another and nearby survivors. I've played both sides extensively, and I know whereof I speak. As of right now zombies - the race which is supposed to be highly skilled at hording together, highly skilled at rooting out hiding places, highly skilled at finding and inevitably exploiting the weaknesses of their enemies - cannot communicate anything much more sophisticated than "Grab mah manbagz, harmanz!". For newbies, especially, having nobody to lead them or give them an idea of where they can go must be disheartening. This skill would go a long way towards fixing all that, without being unbalancing - it just gives the zombies a little taste of what the survivors have.

And now for the genre justifications for this. I recognize I may be on shakier ground here - most of my zombie knowledge comes from UD.However, I believe that this is the kind of thing that fits in with the zombie/monster movie theme. Often, the supposedly animalistic enemies display unexpected - and generally incomprehensible - intelligence. Examples would be the aliens in the Aliens movies, or "Big Daddy" in Land of the Dead. That last example, in particular, establishes a precedent for more advanced zombies having some form of communication. This isn't "magic zombies", or anything like that. It's just an example of emergent behavior on the part of a new "life"form, namely the zombies.

I'd appreciate it if voters would note what, if anything, I could do to fix/improve this suggestion in their votes. If I get enough input, I'll take this to Talk for a rewrite and then resubmit it.

Votes here

Newbie Quickstart

Timestamp: ~~~~~
Type: Improvement
Scope: Newly created characters
Description: Reviewing the Stat-tracking page, I stumbled across a disturbing fact: about 50% of all level 1 players quit before reaching level 2, and about 50% of those players quit before reaching level 3 (at which point it levels off). In other words, about 75% of all new players in the game quit almost immediately - something that undoubtedly contributes to the crashing total number of players of this game, which has recently dropped by more than 5000 players. Why shouldn't be hard to decipher: as of right now, playing a newbie sucks almost unbearably. You can't do anything very well, and you're ignorant enough to be very easy prey. So, I thought I'd come up with a suggestion to try and at least partially remedy this without unbalancing the game.

My suggestion is simple: all characters should be created with 100 XP. This wouldn't affect any existing characters. It would simply permit new players to immediately purchase any available skill (skills under skills they don't have would, of course, be off-limits) of their choice upon starting the game, enabling a bit of customization, and helping them through the steepest part of the learning curve for the game.

As before, if voters don't like this version, I'd appreciate it if they would note what, if anything, I could do to fix/improve this suggestion in their votes. If I get enough input, I'll take this to Talk for a rewrite and then resubmit it.

Votes here

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