About an expansion to Zombasite, I mostly agree with the others.
My biggest wish would be the aforementioned deeper dungeons that would give the game a more Dins-like feel.
The idea of special hand crafted areas sound very interesting too. Ancient ruins, special terrain landmarks, maybe even a neutral village (with vendors)...
Also I really like the nemesis-mechanic and wouldn't mind, if this feature would be expanded further.
At last, my idea why Zombasite might not be as successful as it should be, I think, most people are turned down by two things: First, its the games name; once Shadow first twittered the name "Zombasite", I actually frowned and thought to myself, that maybe people are fed up with anything zombie-themed; and although the game mechanics are drastically different from a typical zombie game, it does seem as the same old stuff at first glance by just reading the games name.
The second turn off I can think of, might very well be the graphics. People are so spoiled by high end graphics; and, let's face it, Zombasite is not up to date on graphics. I, personally, don't care, and find the graphics absolutely sufficient (although I think there could (or should) be done some more work on performance). Only two additional remarks about my graphical wishes: I'd really like to see a more far out zoom, without editing any files, and, as mentioned before, maybe an overhaul of the player characters animations.
That's my two cents about that.
Besides that, you can put me on your buyers list for whatever you release next, be it an expansion or a new game; I love Soldak games ; )
Like maybe the player character is trying to build up an organization or make improvements to their part of the world or something.
More Zombasite expansion musing:
Most of us love the different random aspects that Soldak worlds supply. However, there's also a lot that is just way too static. Clan towns are all the same. While the clans themselves have plenty of character and differentiation, I feel like we could go much further with that, that would make allying with X clan so much more important due to some facet of their specific clan that you need, rather than where they are on the power comparison and such. Some clan-specific things were added during the beta period, but I feel like these can go a lot deeper. There could be clan-specific quests (or maybe clan aspect-specific if we don't want to spoil what clans are in the world and/or don't want to wait until they're discovered to make the quest available), and make them worthwhile to do. I feel like this was done better in Drox Operative.
I mentioned perhaps being able to swap out jobs/skills for your clan members -- this seems like a good place to implement some sort of unlock or tree system. Maybe an NPC skill could be selected (and maybe there is only one or two per NPC that could be changed), and you are given a choice of 2 or three randomized alternate skills, which each have different requirements -- maybe they spawn a quest, maybe the NPC needs to go adventuring with you and kill X number of monsters, maybe they need to meet another neutral NPC or allied clan member that has the target skill to learn it, but SOMETHING that makes this a process that has to be thought out and executed upon, not in a grindy fashion, but not in a way which lets you spam new skills all the time trying to roll that "perfect" NPC. Maybe there's a timer that doesn't allow this to happen more than once a game hour, or perhaps you can only do it once per available slot or something.
The game is touted as taking place during a zombie apocalypse, however I really don't get that feel anywhere. The way the towns are laid out and look, there is none of that gritty "grasping at every last piece of humanity to survive" aspect that I would expect. Towns just look like towns. The little shacks and carts you find out in the wilderness are "normal". Clearly this is in a low tech fantasy world, so I'm not expecting it to look like Fallout here, but things seem a little too "run of the mill" for it to be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Why isn't the single entrance to my town area better defended with chopped down trees and makeshift traps, for instance? Why are we happy with letting any old zombie come waltzing up to our gates? Why not manned guard towers to deal with these threats? (Better put an archer or magic user in them though, Mr. Sword isn't going to do much -- unless there are different types of towers [again, upgradeable]).
I don't want to repeat myself too much, but actual customization and personalization of town I think would be huge. Extended town management activities, that could be optional, would be cool. Spawn a quest that ultimately upgrades your walls (both visually AND effectively). (Maybe walls can be breachable, rather than only at the gates.) Be able to spawn a quest that would place some sort of simple turret-like structure near a gate (and hey, you have four gates). And these are upgradeable through quests as well. The available pool of these types of quest per world should be limited, so you can't just go through a ton of them.
The prospect of starting a world, playing through it, finding the few town-upgrading quests that the world randomly offers and completing them, then advancing to the next town with a new set... that sounds very appealing to me. The not knowing what you'll be able to improve this time around is fun, and the personalization is welcomed. Maybe these type of quests could also be a choice, when they're available, they're a choice between two or three different options, not necessarily for the same base structure or whatever either. This gives the randomization aspect along with the ability to build out your town how you see fit.
The pedestals just sitting out are not just unintuitive, they don't really make sense. Find a better way to deal with these (in a building like DoP?). Probably makes sense to put the stashes back in there too... who leaves that stuff just sitting on the ground in the center of town? :)
Suggestion for Zombasite expancion
New classes,monsters,quests quite nice :)
1)As been already mentioned,i too hope to see monsters from Depths of Peril and Din's Curse(Daemon War expansion),so are they clans if will be
2)if it possible the opportunity to start new world from a different part of the map,not always from left corner
3)jungle,desert,forest terrains we have in game already, so we need snowy ones :)
4) also if possible add buildings and ruins from Depths of Peril for the entourage to the world,or new more suitable
If I think of more I'll add to the list
A proto-screenshot, possible*?
I've been having fun with Zombasite. Those others have a lot of good suggestions for improving towns, but here's three I came up with.
1. How about a second teleporter in town. This one is long range, has a steep activation price (maybe pearls or diamonds), and can only teleport the player. It is a long distance device taking you to a different area randomly chosen at area creation. Possibilities are a deep cavern, a long dead city of ruins, an abandoned temple, a fools paradise, a mountain village, and a city being consumed by dense crowds of zombies as it burns. These places should have a higher level of difficulty and higher rewards.
Using it takes you beyond the range of your healthstone, so death is hardcore until you return.
2. Here are some ideas for quests.
An NPC party (1 boss and 2-6 guards) is working for Baron Emptypants and he wants your food. They pay highly for it, but might attack if you don't give them any.
This basic pattern could work for a lot of different groups and goals. A warrior from an isolated fortress needs health potions, the Doomed Tower of High Magery sends a wizard for mana potions, and a conjurer from the Witches Brewery needs particular monster drops. All of them would be merchants that carry gold instead of wares, and would buy food, potions, and maybe the types of items their class could use. The warrior would reward you with guards or towers, the wizard with a rare ring, the conjurer with a potion gives a stat or skill point, and so on.
Baron Soandso might have several people/nemesis/clans he wants dead and his soldiers have failed spectacularly. His agent is hiring replacements and if you can succeed he'll hire you to work for the Baron. Success would give you a Rescued Victory. You and the two adventuring with you that is, everyone else in the clan is left behind as you move on to a brighter future.
I'd like some quests that reward you with stat or skill points, even hard quests would be worth it.
Also one of the tropes for fantasy worlds is the Sealed Evil in A Can. With a zombie apocalypse some of those are going to break loose and be tremendous threats. I'm thinking a mega-enemy (wandering around but not entering towns) that you have to avoid at all costs. Maybe with a quest chain to divert it to another area.
3. Alternative Game Mode:
You start in a dungeon. You don't start with a town or a healthstone or a clan. You start as the enemy of a clan and destroying them is your only path to victory.
NPCs that you meet can be recruited as henchmen, they can also be sent to infiltrate a clan. You're not limited to working against your nemesis-clan, you can undermine and destroy the others too.
Your relations screen will allow you to make deals with the elite monsters of the area, as well as the other clans. You would gain points with a clan by doing things they want and can use those points to get them to do things for you.
It would naturally be a Hardcore character, and with monsters and elites as business partners/questgivers/allies he will need to gain experience and power faster than a normal character. He could have quests to gain the ability to party with more than two others. Maybe he would have a Nemesis skilltree instead of the Traits.
I would caution regarding the hereditary mechanics: every game I've seen with them ultimately suffered from them.
Since you're going in a hardcore direction, I think a rogue-lite is a great idea. The strength of the Soldak games has never been in the long-range gameplay, since that requires endless balance and tweaking. The huge number of points you get over the course of a game mean that things get out of control quickly. Soldak's strength, of course, is in the dynamic systems, which have short to medium term impact.
I do think that a game like Din's with a set number of levels and minimal character progression could do very well. Nobody has explored the ARPG space within the rogue-lite sub-genre, and I think Soldak is in the right position to do it. Imagine if Din's Curse only had 3 or 4 towns to save to beat the game, but that each town got more frantic, and you had very limited lives -- perhaps 3 (with a super-hardcore option of 1). After you save 3 towns, you win and the character is freed by Din. This means skill upgrades are few but will pack a punch, and leveling up will happen rapidly and have great meaning. Every choice you make has meaning and could cost you the game.
The game can be balanced to perfection, with spell upgrades that don't just involve a number being incremented, but rather, a real change to the chosen spell. And once a character is freed, you move on to another character with a different build. A dead player character may be encountered as a zombie enemy in a random dungeon (in the rogue-like tradition), may become a looted corpse (with a grave), or may even turn into a quest-giving ghost in a later game. And the limited number of towns means that the level of difficulty can almost always be preserved.
Another advantage of this model is that real, permanent changes can be made to the player character, in the rogue-like tradition. A curse may turn the character into a beast forever unless you solve a quest in time. This will be reflected in the rest of the character's life. Permanent changes can even be made to the world -- a curse of eternal darkness can render the rest of the character's game dark, for example, meaning that quests have real impact.
And of course the dynamic stuff is what will really benefit from this, setting the tone of the game rather than playing second fiddle to the ARPG leveling aspect.
It also means there can be less focus on quantity of loot, and more on quality: loot that changes systems rather than just giving some bonus (though that's good too). In rogue-lites, monsters tend to be dispatched not for loot, but because they're dangerous and need to be dealt with. In the case of Din's, your goals derive clearly from the quests, pushing you to dispatch monsters as needed (though it'd be cool if you'd have strong incentive to stay away from the stronger monsters). Good loot is rare, especially since every session should feel sufficiently different.
It almost seems like the design was really meant for this short-term hardcore system rather than the long-term ARPG model. There's just so much fertile ground here.
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