User:Odd Starter/On the imbalance of Survivors and Zombies

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It can be claimed that any imbalance in favour of the survivors is Bad News. It makes the game non-genre, and makes the horde that much less scary, if you know you can beat them with sheer force of numbers.

I have stated through other's comments about this issue that I don't think we'll ever hit a point where Zombies outnumber the Survivors. I'm sorry, no way around it. Many different issues contribute to the problem:

  • Protagonist Bias - If given the option, a larger number of people will want to play the good guy, rather than the bad guy. As this is a Zombie Apocalypse game, the convention is that the survivors are the good guys. So, most new players to the game will begin their game as Survivors.
  • Starting Bias - If most people start as survivors, there will be irrational attachments to their survivor character, simply because it's all they've ever played. If they cannot find a person to revivify them, it is probably more likely that they will begin a new survivor character than choose to continue as a Zombie, regardless of how engaging Zombie play becomes. Also, if people choose to play both Zombies and Survivors, people are much more likely to seek out Revivification for their fallen survivor, as they are already playing Zombies and probably have partitioned their characters different function (that dying and becoming a Zombie will disrupt).
  • Breadth of Play - Survivors have a total of 8 starting positions - Zombies have a total of 2 (including death of a survivor). If every player desired to experience all possible starting points, they would have 4 survivor character for every zombie player they created.
  • Group Membership - Survivors in groups are likely to want to remain in said groups. This is rarely possible if one changes factions.

With these points going against the Zombie Population, I think it's difficult to even run towards a 50:50 population. My belief is that the best we can get would be a 2:3 ratio in favour of survivors. I note that currently, the Urban Dead Statistics record this as the current ratio. What is, perhaps, a little more surprising is that out of all the active zombies (approximately 20000), Corpses (ie Starting Zombies) make up 95% of the population (around 19000). What this tells me is that it's a rare player that chooses to continue playing their character as a Zombie if they die as a Survivor. And any evidence will tell you that survivors are dying all around us - Ask any Zombie on the map, since they're typically killing about 1 survivor a day, and they'll tell you that Survivors are dying in droves. They just have no desire to stay dead.