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Thread: Base Defense meta

  1. #1
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    Base Defense meta

    So right now it seems like the way you're 'supposed' to play the game is to build a wall around your base, surround it with spikes/barbed wire to slow attackers, and actively defend with your guns and ammo supply. However people have noticed that results in a rather tedious game of repairing spikes and wall damage. Some people have devised alternate base designs which worked better, like raised platforms over spike fields, deep pitfalls, underground bunkers, etc. The devs seemed to have worked to make these alternate base designs less effective in later updates, such as by giving horde zombies super health to survive falls, making spikes ever more fragile and costly to make, etc.

    All this really does though is punish the 'normal' defense strategy to the point it almost becomes useless around day 28-35. You spend countless hours harvesting all the stone and iron in the whole valley, build a giant wall of concrete, build rows of spikes of solid metal; and then a couple of super-zombies break everything by just standing on them. All your resources gone in minutes. You can't even recover the broken iron from the spikes, it just vanishes into the ether.

    I feel like at minimum that concrete walls ought to be zombie proof. There's just no amount of pounding on concrete with your meat fists that is going to reasonably damage it. Failing that, zombies punching walls should eventually cause their arms to break. We all know how physics work--equal and opposite reaction--and it just makes no sense that zombies can punch a wall indefinitely without their fists turning into hamburger.

    My question is if we're ever going to get any more advanced tools for base defense other than more and more useless spikes?

  2. #2
    Colony Founder LuckyStar's Avatar
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    Two things.

    First to answer your question:

    Yes there are different things coming. Madmole already showed us a flamethrower trap and one that shoots arrows.
    As well there are electrified fences coming.

    Not really sure why you hate spikes. They work just fine.

    Secondly, your comment about zombies not being able to hit through concrete sounds like you have a case of realism over game play.
    That's never a good thing.

    Why are you assuming zombies don't mutate steel hands? Do you know if they do? No.... no you don't.
    Where's your data? State your source.
    Oh that's right, you can't because it's a fictional world.

    See the zombies can break stuff because of game play not because of science.
    It makes the game fun because it adds challenge.

    Do you really need to nit pick or would you rather just have some fun?
    It's really up to you.

  3. #3
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    It's a game play style thing. I find it tedious to have to repair traps all the time, so I set my traps to take 0 damage just because a zombie walks on them. They still get damaged if a zombie hits them or a cop vomits on them. At least I assume so. I'm only on day 3 on my latest game, so I haven't seen it yet.

    That would ruin the game for some people, but it's ideal for me.

    Also, I agree with the OP that zombies shouldn't be able to punch through concrete or steel. So I changed the XML files to make it so.

    I get that for some people, it increases the challenge for zombies to have superpowers. For others (like me) it's just tedium.
    Last edited by The Rogue Tomato; 01-10-2017 at 10:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you could also use refining your build process too.

    1. Never upgrade spikes to metal. It's pointless.
    2. Ensure you can actively defend your base walls.
    3. Use Rebar Frames to build concrete structures. Cheap metal costs and halves stone costs.
    4. Mine iron in desserts if you're having a hard time getting iron.

    Gets pretty easy mode at that point.

    Oh..

    5. Use guns for fun as opposed to horde night. Cops being the exception. It's silly easy.

    If you want it even easier, look up tower base defenses. Zombies barely touch your walls and you can walk them over every wood log spike, no iron upgrades, that you set out.

    My base just went through day 77 horde night and immediately after, 5 screamers each bringing a zombie bear. Exciting? A bit. A threat to me and my base? Not at all.

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    Colony Founder Maharin's Avatar
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    You can easily make a spikeless fort. Some people use mazes to make shooting and killing the zombies easier and have them less prone to destroying things since they have a clear path. Some people make ramps and let the zombies come to them, again to avoid damage to their base and still being able to clear out the zombies. Some drop the zombies from great heights.

    You can find big fun in this game trying to come up with clever ways to kill the zombies that other people haven't tried. Think of it as a creative challenge.

  6. #6
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    The way you describe things, FelixLightFoot, it sounds like the balance is shifting over time toward less active defense and more passive defense. That is, you're having to repair your walls and spikes more because they're doing more of the work.

    Ideally, your base is able to maintain the balance. For instance, in my bases balconies are important, so I can step out and shoot the ones doing the most damage to the walls. I've become convinced that the game works best (at least in single player) when your top priority is to damage the zombies, while your base's top priority is to regulate their flow, i.e. slow them down to the point you can take on as many of them yourself as possible.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyStar View Post
    Two things.

    First to answer your question:

    Yes there are different things coming. Madmole already showed us a flamethrower trap and one that shoots arrows.
    As well there are electrified fences coming.

    Not really sure why you hate spikes. They work just fine.

    Secondly, your comment about zombies not being able to hit through concrete sounds like you have a case of realism over game play.
    That's never a good thing.

    Why are you assuming zombies don't mutate steel hands? Do you know if they do? No.... no you don't.
    Where's your data? State your source.
    Oh that's right, you can't because it's a fictional world.

    See the zombies can break stuff because of game play not because of science.
    It makes the game fun because it adds challenge.

    Do you really need to nit pick or would you rather just have some fun?
    It's really up to you.
    Spikes do work but eventually the hordes get so big and tough they will wipe out most of your spike field every week. Rebuilding all the spikes is just a huge hassle.

    As far as realism is concerned, this game uses all kinds of realistic models so zombies punching through stone blocks without ever taking damage really stands out. Saying it's a fictional game and anything could happen is pretty silly when it tries to accurately model hunger, thirst, temperature, infection, bleeding, disease, physics, etc. We all understand that zombies aren't real but we also understand relative hardness scales and when flesh meets stone, stone usually wins.

    People say to use creative base design and tricks to beat the zombies but in my original post I stated that the developers work hard every update to try to make these tricks ineffective. So I wonder what the 'intended' mode of play is supposed to be because whatever the players try that works ends up getting nerfed. It's an antogonistic design philosophy.

    Active defense makes sense but let's take a look at that. Melee weapons are out because there are no reach weapons in the game and you can't fight effectively if you don't have room to backpedal. I think creating a 'murder box' of concrete with iron bars you can stab through with spears would be a good strategy, but in the world of 7 Days To Die spears are some form of mystical forgotten technology that no one can make anymore.

    The bow is the only ranged weapon the player is guaranteed to be able to make, and it sucks too. Even assuming you are accurate enough to get headshots on the horde, most zeds take multiple headshots to take down, let alone the super-ferals. I've easily run through hundreds of arrows on horde night with very few kills to show for it. All other weapon options are reliant on chance. Crossbow is more effective, if you find the schematic. Guns work too, if you find the parts AND calipers so you can actually make ammo. I've played for days with no calipers and not even most of the guns, raiding every safe I find. And the guns aren't even that much more effective; pistols are worse that arrows, hunting rifle is slow, shotgun has terrible range. I've never gotten any of the other guns together after 3 different games.

    So it's a hard game, resources are scarce, the player has to do the best with what they can find. Fine, I get that. But it seems like the game handicaps you in absurd ways. Let me make spears, stop making spikes so fragile and expensive, stop making iron vanish into thin air whenever a zombie steps on it. Recognize that zombies tunneling under your base is dumb and a spike pit would kill everything that fell into it. Let me make more than wooden spikes; let me create a hedgerow of metal stakes along the outside of my walls. Let me create traps that actually kill things. Dead falls, snares, burning oil.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Roland's Avatar
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    I'm interested in your line about antagonistic design and that the devs are actively working to nerf things to stop different types of base design. What is your evidence of that. Seems to me every post on the subject is people pleading with the devs to give some zombies leaping abilities, other zombies digging abilities, and all zombies the task to smash nearby blocks if the player cannot be reached and yet alpha after alpha none of that has happened.

    Where are you seeing the devs stepping in to redesign the game to make conventional defenses not work anymore?

    The fall damage nerf had nothing to do with base design. It was a by-product of changing the zombies so their arms and legs and head could be chopped off. Zombies were mostly dying from HP loss before any limbs could be removed so they made the limbs HP separate from the overall HP so that damage to legs and arms wouldn't kill a zombie and those limbs could be lost after their individual damage limit was reached. It was coincidence that when zombies fall they always land on their feet so that all fall damage would apply only to their legs and not at all to their overall health.

    Spikes have been a series of rebalancing changes over the lifetime of the game. I don't think they've remained the same for longer than a single alpha. Currently they are expensive but extremely lethal and can be repaired cheaply if they are not completely destroyed. I know the most recent changes to the spikes were to help differentiate them from the log spikes.

    The last time I can remember the devs specifically doing something to force changes in base design conventionality is when they introduced the spider ability to climb and added the wasps. These two enemies were purposely put into the game to make it tougher for people who camped on rooftops without any kind of shelter. Conventional base design changed pretty quickly after that....

    What I would like to see is a bit more of what you are claiming. I'd like to see a bit more antagonistic design to challenge conventions. I would be tickled if without warning Alpha 16 released and suddenly dogs would jump over a block of spikes, some zombies could leap over a 4 block-wide gap, some zombies could dig downward, all zombies could destroy straight upward, some zombies could crawl through a 1-block opening, all zombies would go berserk on nearby blocks if they were hunting you but could find no pathway open to you, etc.

    Unfortunately, the same base conventions that have worked since Alpha 5 still work today and even work better today since digging was removed from zombies to protect the beauty of the precious terrain and at some point along the way zombies started just spinning below an unreachable player rather than doing anything else.

  9. #9
    Guppycurian Forum Whore Guppycur's Avatar
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    Absolutley no one can legitimately say crap about balance until it goes gold. As an alpha they are literally adding features in pieces... So it's like the bandits; parts are in, but to judge them now is retarded. The same goes for ALL aspects of the game.

    That the pimps do so well achieving balance; that they put that much effort in doing so, boggles my mind. But we can't count on it. Ever.

    So nerfing one thing, one build, in preparation of adding a balance hardship in the next, is okay.

    ...but that's not to say we shouldn't voice concerns... We just have to be smart about it.

  10. #10
    Colony Founder LuckyStar's Avatar
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    In the end, so long as we're able to mod the game, it makes little difference.

    We can all adjust the game to the way we think is fun even on a server, we'll find others who like our ideas.

    I don't agree with everything in the thread but then so what? ^_^"

    If we're having fun then carry on.

  11. #11
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppycur View Post
    Absolutley no one can legitimately say crap about balance until it goes gold.
    ...but that's not to say we shouldn't voice concerns... We just have to be smart about it.
    I see mixed messages here. How can one voice concerns about balance if they can't legitimately say crap about balance?

    Lightfoot: I think you misjudge the trajectory of the game in some ways. It's not at all about making the zombies win in every situation but one. It's about making the zombies as engaging, challenging, and balanced when you use a raised platform or an underground base as when you use a "normal" defense strategy. The game is 7 Days to Die: it should require some day's worth of effort to survive each week, with no 'get-out-of-zombies-free' strategy that thwarts them outright. Raised platforms and underground bases aren't just more effective strategies. They're foolproof, and that indicates the game is broken.

    Some of your ideas, like a spear weapon that in particular goes through iron bars, could improve the level of engagement without being a 'nerf' when viewed in terms of its black-and-white effect on difficulty. I'm completely in favor of that!

  12. #12
    Guppycurian Forum Whore Guppycur's Avatar
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    It's not mixed. Hitching about balance that's not finished, bad. Voicing concerns about fire demons, good.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppycur View Post
    It's not mixed. Hitching about balance that's not finished, bad. Voicing concerns about fire demons, good.
    Even that isn't completely accurate. When the game is finished, some people will still consider it unbalanced. That's why I like how this game is so easy to modify to suit your play style.

  14. #14
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    Okay, bunch of things here:

    "You can't criticize it yet because it's not done." Don't even start with this nonsense, I don't care what label they slap on the game, it's out and they're charging money for it, we can criticize it. Development could stop tomorrow and the game we have now would be the only game we'd ever get.

    "We can use mods to change whatever we want." Not exactly a defense of the game, to some players this constitutes cheating.

    As far as antagonistic design goes, that's just how it seems to me, my friends, and some other comments I've read on the forums. Maybe that's not what the developers intend, but that's how those changes are being perceived. In earlier builds people would stockpile huge amounts of ammo, build endless spike fields, create these elaborate bases, and the developers would make changes which, for some mysterious, unknowable reason, made those strategies harder to implement.

    Whatever the case, the nerfs fall harder on people who mostly play single player. Making regular spikes cost an insane amount of wood (enough to build 6 wall blocks) with no commensurate increase in durability or damage is a flat-out nerf. There is no other way to justify it. It's absurd and makes no sense, it's only reason for existing is to make spike defenses harder and more costly to implement. Likewise log spikes seem to get more fragile and more costly, with something like 8 upgrade levels which cost hundreds of iron, enough to build tons of walls. And unlike walls, log spikes are guaranteed to break down and need to be fully rebuilt after every horde. Even if they get knocked down 1 or 2 upgrade levels that's still a lot of iron that just melts away because a zombie was standing on it, and you have to pay the full costs to upgrade them again. Those are NERFS, duh, and it's all the evidence you need of developer intent. In fact most players responses here are saying that metal spike upgrades aren't worth it and you shouldn't bother, that seems to be the goal of the nerfs. Make those strategies too costly to implement.

    Going by resource costs, time investment, building, maintenance, etc, all changes to the game make passive defenses more costly and less efficient than walls. That's a clear design intent, to make passive defense strategies less viable. Okay fine, that's how they want the game to be played. But what alternative is there? The only weapon the player can count on having is the bow, which is totally inadequate for later hordes. Otherwise the player simply can't scavenge enough ammo and casings to mount an active defense, unless they luck out and find calipers. I've played three games now and I've never found them.

    Spikes are the one thing players can always rely on having every game to defend themselves. I'm sure in each new build they'll get more and more costly and time intensive to create, where you'll need to fell an entire tree to make one spike, it takes an hour to craft, and it evaporates whenever a zombie looks at it. That will show those stupid youtubers with their infinite spike fields!

  15. #15
    Guppycurian Forum Whore Guppycur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FelixLightfoot View Post
    Okay, bunch of things here:

    "You can't criticize it yet because it's not done." Don't even start with this nonsense, I don't care what label they slap on the game, it's out and they're charging money for it, we can criticize it. Development could stop tomorrow and the game we have now would be the only game we'd ever get.
    Well, no see, actually... it DOES matter what label they slap on it, because that particular label (Early Access) is specifically designed with the understanding that YOU, the END USER (who paid money for it) understands that the game is NOT finished, may NOT be finished, and even if IS finished, can and will be changed in any way they see fit to the point where it's unrecognizable from the game it was when you first purchased.

    But you people are getting too hung up on semantics... can we voice concerns? Of course! Should we voice concerns? Not always... it really depends on what we're voicing concerns about. Fire demons? Sure. Behemoths (more relevant)? Yep. Console port? Absolutely! But balance? No. Not until it goes gold. THEN we can bitch about balance until we're blue.

    We have this expectation that each alpha should be a complete and playable game, and although it's pretty clear the pimps strive to meet that challenge, that's not always going to be the case, and in those rare moments, patience is warranted.

    Right now Barbwire is /extremely/ op. But there is a zombie coming down the line who's sole purpose is to smash blocks. Once he comes in (a16), will barbwire be op? I doubt it.

    So my point is, we have to pick and choose what is legitimate to bitch about, because bitching about one piece when the other hasn't been put in place yet is unproductive.

    Case in point, spikes. The whole reason spikes were "nerfed" is because people were bitching about its balance and how "easy" they were. Well, you got your response, now the other side of the coin is bitching about how "nerfed" they are. How does that make sense?

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