New Player Ideas

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ghostpoo's picture
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New Player Ideas

Yeah so we all know that the factions are discouraging new players. We also know that telling the factions to "stop" wont really work either. Anyone have ideas as to how to get more people to play next year/deal with the problem of decreasing attendance at each consecutive game?

Also, suggesting that they get on the level of the Bros, or any other Bro related suggestion does not count (but will probably still be funny).

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Zombies want hugs and brains.

I think it isn't the factions that are causing the issue, but rather people wanting to think they can survive the whole time and the game has gotten to the point where the only way to do that is to be a part of one of the larger and more elite factions. Being a zombie while fun for some is a relatively thankless job. If you die early you're going to spend the whole week sprinting after Bros only to get a face full of foam before you get within 10 feet of getting a tag. I think giving perks to committed zombies could change things for the better. Let's say at a certain number of kills you get a chance to be a noodler or even get a shot at a cure or higher priority in being an OZ next game. I think it would be pretty cool if zombies got a day mission objective that could lower respawn times or modify the game in their favor too. I think this game made some great progress in giving zombies some objectives other than just sprint heedlessly towards the nearest humans, but being a zombie still could be developed a lot more to make it feel less like losing and more like joining the winning side.

Also, this game was really late in the quarter and I think that affected attendance a good bit, I know I gave away my brains to a zombie because I knew I wouldn't have the time to pay attention in between classes and still make it on time, but that probably won't matter as much with semesters.

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i think the difficulty comes

i think the difficulty comes from the level of seriousness needed in order to survive. new players probably feel left out of the top factions, but that's because the top factions aren't going to trust just anyone to watch their back. i'm definitely guilty of this, and there are pros and cons to this that we could debate endlessly - makes new players feel alienated, but is a good strategy for survival etc. i think in a lot of ways this is a player base problem and there's not a lot i can think of for the mods and organizers to do that would fix this.

that said, honestly the best thing i can think of would be to assign different objectives to different groups and stick with that. i know bros, 501st, and sock ninjas are used to running around doing multiple objectives but if we had some missions where targets (or areas of campus) were strictly assigned it would give newer factions and individual players more of a chance to be part of a group and to feel like they're more a part of the mission. and yes, objectives would probably fall and it would be frustrating to watch, but it would give some newer players a chance to try out their leadership and/or zombie-fighting skills without being overshadowed all the time

but like i said, this is mainly a player base problem and assigning restrictions like this is going to be really (rightly) unpopular with the humans. it would be much better if the factions could figure out a way to include newer players without sacrificing their paranoia. (no idea how that would be done though, let me know if anyone thinks of something)

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On paper, this seems like a

On paper, this seems like a great idea. However, I'm not sure how the horde would react to it. Especially in the first few days, when the horde is small, attacking either 5-Bro-1st or a group of 15 new players isn't much of a choice. The horde just isn't ready to take on the larger factions until later in the week. Removing them from the leadership, experience, and sheer firepower of the vets may seem to the casuals like we're trying to 'weed them out,' as the horde is much more likely to pursue them than the larger factions.

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Hmm.

I hadn't considered how semesters would affect the game. That'll be great, to be able to slack off somewhat for a week and not fail.
I definitely agree that zombie gameplay should be more fleshed out and glorified. Unique zombie achievements and objectives could help rectify this. And individuals can help by being good sports on both sides, and not expressing anger when they're turned. (I'm looking at you, guy who smashed his gun at sphinx.)

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"Casual" Playing

Part of the problem lies within the makeup of the factions themselves. Players who are part of a faction tend to be those who are really serious about the game and want to do well. However, the 'main' factions only make up roughly 20-30% of the entire player base- the rest are what we could call "casual" players. So, we've come to a situation that resembles online gaming. I'm a casual gamer, and when I play a console game online it shows. I can't count the number of times I've been spawn camped or flat-out ignored by elite gamers, and it's gotten to the point that I don't really play the online aspect of console games anymore.

Now, I know that the main factions aren't bullying other players (for all the individuals who may be doing so, you're dicks) but I feel the analogy still stands. It wouldn't be fair to force the factions to disband or to tell them that they can't play the game the way they'd like to. But continuing to steamroll casual gamers isn't fair to them either.

I like Ebeth's idea of offering objectives of varying difficulty for players with different experiences. I wouldn't make it obvious what the UGC were doing though; maybe slip in a hint like "There's this wicked hard objective here, it would require lots of teamwork and firepower to pull it out," alongside a "Here's a retrieval objective that would work best with several small groups." Or the mods could approach the faction leaders quietly and tell them outright "You guys should probably try for the first objective." Hopefully, the serious players would be drawn to the first objective, leaving the second for more casual players and will help to boost their confidence.

I would also like to see more zombie objectives. As a zombie from Day 1, my experience went from "This isn't bad. I could have fun with this." to "OH MY GOD LET IT END! I'm bored out of my mind!" by yesterday. A lot of it had to do with the day missions and nightly objectives. Most of the objectives we Zombies have been given have been "The humans are doing crap. Go get in their way." Because of this, we have created a "Zombie Faction" problem- it got to the point where I felt like if you weren't part of the horde you weren't playing and were a bad sport. Zombie attendance has been atrocious- even as a first-time player I can see that. There are only so many horde rushes one can do in a night.

TL:DR- Faction players are serious players and this can be intimidating, several nightly objectives with varying difficulties is a good idea, Ebeth, and Zombies need more to do than screwing with the human objectives.

At least it's not a Maverick

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This yep good. I'm a shitty

This yep good. I'm a shitty player and it's hardly fun to play when I'm either shunned by the "serious" players or purposefully targeted by every zed horde, though, so maybe even just attempting to change the mindset of "it's only fun if you survive" would be good?

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Zombie Incentive for Assisting

Rewarding zombie attendance and giving them specific achievements sounds like an awesome idea. I think giving out cures was already discussed, though, and it was concluded that it was a bad idea because it took away the "top" zombies from the horde. Achievements that gave zombies an incentive to operate as a horde and hunt in packs would be best, in my opinion. There used to be back in Fall 2010 (the second game) a "Top Zombie" kill counter and achievements like "All the Brains" for people who got tons of kills and this made it really exciting to be a zombie because you were always thinking "my name could be there for all to see!" However, it didn't reinforce the right thing. Zombies either flocked to these "top zombies" because they believed they were the "best" or became discouraged because they believed they weren't any good. Worse, it was a system that encouraged individual and selfish zombie play, when in fact the reason those "top zombies" got kills in the first place was almost always as a result of excellent teamwork and cooperation. This selfish philosophy seems once again to be the main mode of thinking for our current breed of zombies. After facing down horde charges these past few missions, I've been watching as zombies have veered off to the sides during charges so they don't get stunned, presumably because they think they can simply sneak through to get that almighty kill. Unfortunately, if every zombie does this, no one gets a kill.
What if, to encourage and give an incentive for teamwork, we try to record assists? This sounds really crazy and impossible, but it could work if the zombie who got the kill also recorded the usernames of the zombies who helped them if there were any. He or she could simply ask their fellow zombies for their usernames, write them down on the kill ID they have, and then enter them in to the database to record the stats. This would mostly work for day hunting, but you could also have your "line buddies" with you during a charge and get their usernames if they took a few bullets for you. Then, we could give achievements and bonuses for assists instead of kills.
It's certainly not a perfect system (e.g. what if I simply gave an assist to all my buddies for every kill?), but I would love it if we could try and give an incentive to zombies to work together and not simply just run together, instead of hoping they figure out on their own that it's really the best way to get kills. What do you guys think?

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This thread has started

This thread has started addressing two different topics. The first is new player involvement (new players joining, new players staying) and the 2nd is player, specifically zombie, engagement.

The 1st issue of decreased overall attendance comes from a combination of factors. I came into this game with a group of friends, so we had a small faction from the beginning. That said, I understand the pressure/isolation of coming in on your own. Factions can do better to include new players to at least run with them for a night mission. Even this game the "Bros over here, 501st over here, DA over here... everyone else you go over here" thing happened too often. I can see how this could lead lonewolves to think "Fuck this, I'll just be a zombie. At least I will be in 'a group.'" In 'the good ol' days' there were specific "factions" for dorms and campus areas. While I never joined one, there were plenty of people who did. What happened to these?

That's all fine and good, but there is another problem, getting people to actually sign up and play. Over the last few games there have been major issues that I think have brought on the decreased player count: Marketing and Barriers to Entry.

Marketing: You have to get the word out about your game and you have to get people hyped in the week or two leading up to the game. The problem is you can't do both of these things at the same time. This game is at least a week (more like two, honestly) of heavy commitment. People need to be able to plan their lives for it (Get school work sorted out, adjust work schedules) and they won't do it if they hear about the game a week before it starts. It leads to a number of issues, namely those barriers to entry I mentioned. Other things, like changing the name to Infection and the new website will work themselves out eventually, but with a name like Infection it needs to be more clear upfront what exactly the game is. Humans vs Zombies makes sense and needs to explanation. Infection isn't as obvious, so when non-players ask what the hell we are doing it takes more time to explain. Yes, I am aware of why the name was changed, that discussion isn't needed here.

Barriers to Entry: This game has become increasingly difficult to join. One problem I have always seen is that there is absolutely no way for people to jump into the game half way through. Sure, you can argue that they shouldn't because they have an unfair advantage to survive, but here is the situation:
Stanger: "Hey, what are you doing?"
Brogi: "Playing Infection, its a zombie/human game of tag, but I get to shoot people with nerf guns."
Stranger: "That looks like a lot of fun, I want to play that."
Brogi: "Cool, we would love to have you. I hope you feel the same way in 6 months when you can sign up for the next game."

Chances are, they will forget about it by next week. On the other hand, if they had a chance to play even one night, they would have some memory of a good time and maybe they will come back the next game.

Another major deterrent is availability of Nerf weapons. This goes back to the marketing thing. The only place to get Nerf crap around campus is Target, which is a problem for freshmen/sophomores living on campus or anyone without a car. Not sure of a solution to this, other than earlier marketing and letting people know of alternatives.

The last thing that I think keep people from playing is the commitment going to it. Everyone expects the game to be played for a week or 5 days or whatever it is, but between the info meetings, opening ceremony, and then the game... this ends up being 2 weeks worth of distraction from school. I understand the importance of the info meetings and while the Vet meeting helped some people it still is a lot to get through. The info meetings have always ended up being too long (two hours to go over rules for a glorified game of tag?) , and it only frustrates players when they have to hear the same thing over again at the opening ceremony. It discourages people to show up to the meetings if they know the rules already, and new players might end up intimidated if they have to go to a 2 hour meeting to go over rules that in many ways sound like they are written to belittle players as idiots. But no, I don;t think Finch's rushed 10 minute version is a better alternative... if you don't actually know the rules (even though everyone should) that way comes off confusing and important things get left out.

I'll cover the 2nd point later, but I'm at work making mad dollars.

TL:DR Bro-tential

"They win again. I didn't even know it was a competition." - admin

"Let's be honest. It never was much of a competition." - Pat

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I'm a new player, and I only

I'm a new player, and I only joined because of how awesome it looked Fall quarter haha.

I think that having the Invitational the weekend before may have helped (if anyone saw them playing, at least). Some sort of smaller game the week before like that would be a good way to advertise. I only knew when the game was because I actively followed the website and Facebook page. In fact, by the time I saw the fliers for the game I believe the orientation meetings had already begun.

The factions almost kept me from playing, actually. Looking on the website it looked like either you were in a faction or you just didn't play. I did manage to get a couple of friends together to play, and I certainly don't regret playing, but maybe there could be a meeting for new players only to get them acquainted with the game?

Finally, as a Freshman, getting a blaster wasn't all that hard, I just ordered mine off Amazon. CVS also sells Mavericks and Nitefinders, so that's close by.

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I apologize if anything I say

I apologize if anything I say is incoherent, as I am currently on about 15 minutes of sleep after pulling an all nighter on a paper I procrastinated on because of Infection.

As a member of the 501st, its pretty obvious that the hardcore faction mentality can be a big detractor for new players. Ultimately, 501st started as a group from Paterson Hall the very first game, but we only have about 3 members currently who were from the original squad, me included. As friendships were made with other players over the course of a couple games, a lot of us decided to just join up and be one big faction. As awesome as this was, it was also bad because since probably the end of Fall 2010 game we have been really wary of new people rolling with us. We recognized this as a problem prior to this game and tried to be a little more easy going with new players, letting some run with us who requested to join our squad on here. But a lot of our players are still really hazy about trusting new players to join our group.

Unfortunately, Factions will be factions, and if you try to disband the current big ones, in a game or two there will be 3-4 main factions popping up again. Chase made a point at the vet meeting that we need to be much more inviting to new people. Maybe one way of doing this is to have the larger factions present at info meetings as a way to greet new players and answer any questions they may have for actual players of the game, as opposed to mods and organizers. It would also be a good way for us to show our nicer/more relaxed side before we go into serious mode at the start of the game. A vet base that takes the time to personally greet new players and help them out during their first game would do a lot.

As for zombie incentives, I'm all for more zombie-based objectives and achievements. This is really the first game where I've tried being a zombie and I've had a blast, but the missions are all the same for us. Give us some variety. I think the organizers had a good idea in giving the zombies nodes as well on thursday nights mission, but it ultimately was useless for us zombies. I did like have something to do other than "kill the humans" though. As for incentives, achievements would be great, but I'm completely against resurrecting zombies who get a lot of kills. Not only does it remove good zombies from the horde, but it also defeats the message we've been trying to send the player base since the game began: Becoming a zombie doesn't mean you lose the game. Essentially you are saying "hey if you kill enough humans, we'll give you another chance to win!" No zombie should have any desire to be resurrected after being tagged, and this way you'd be giving zombies the wrong reason to go get more kills.

I agree with Chad in that a lot of zombies are focused on their individual kill counts, and it really dampers the horde mentality thats needed for the zombies to ultimately be successful. The solution? Submit all tags as player killed by "the horde." I don't know how effective that will be, but at least people wont have a number next to their name where one can brag that they're the best zombie. Players could still keep track of their tags themselves, but they're are getting kills for the horde, not for just them.

I also agree with Brogi about marketing the game. I think the idea of having the invitational right before the main game is great, but not when there is only a 2 day buffer between the two. At the earliest it should be done 1-2 weeks in advance, so as Brogi stated, new players would have time to adjust their life accordingly. I think I can speak for everyone who played both games in that this is just way too much. It's essentially been 2 weeks of me being in infection mode, and I am exhausted. I've never been so glad for a game to end than this one.

I really enjoyed our advertising at the thompson statue on the oval a couple weeks back, but that needs to happen earlier and more often. It felt too much like the organizers said "oh shit, the registration count is really low, better go do some last minute advertising." As much as our players dominate the campus for two weeks of the school year, people still need to be reminded that a game is coming up.

Also, I don't know exactly what we could do to fix this, but Brogi's brings up a good point about players joining the game in progress. That happens all the time and we just have to say "sorry, wait 6 months." It would be great if we could do something to allow players to join in progress, but I can't think of anything right now, and it might take further debating.

And last but not least, I also thought about how quickly nerf stock runs out and how far away target is for a lot of students. I had an idea a couple months ago about a bunch of the veteran players somehow putting their money together and renting one of the vacant shops on high street and just make it a nerf haven. I mean floor to ceiling just covered in foam weaponry perfect for ugc events. I am, its completely unrealistic, but one could dream I guess :P

DON'T PANIC

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We definitely need zombie

We definitely need zombie based missions. The only issue is that without a massive hoard, it's really difficult to make those because humans just have a major upper hand in the early missions.

Good ideas for those could include the demolishing of safe zone power generators and things. Maybe bop-it based destruction.

The one particular mission that sticks out in my mind which was zombie based, was the one where we were collection balloons. But there were so few humans, they just sort of ran and that mission was only really possible because the hoard was huge.

Personally I really like the idea of zombie day missions to get more noodlers during the night missions, and perhaps a noodler during the day missions.

As far as getting the newer players to show up and not be intimidated, I think we just need more objectives, at least early on. If we had a day 1 mission where the humans were required to hit 7-10 points simultaneously than that would force groups to be created that weren't the major factions. Granted, we'd have to have something to do to distract the hoard so that they didn't just steamroll a few groups.

Actually, thinking about multiple objectives, I think we need more that aren't required, optional objectives. Say have 3 main points that have to be defended to maintain a safezone and 4 more which determine whether or not the safe zone shrinks or grows in size. Obviously the optional ones wouldn't matter if the main 3 weren't completed.

Also, I agree about proper advertising, maybe just a 3 day period of everyone carrying around nerf guns and wearing bandanas but not actually playing or something. Say the week before the game, mon-wed, then the game starts 1 week after that wed, with info meetings starting that first wed night.

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We definitely need zombie

We definitely need zombie based missions. The only issue is that without a massive hoard, it's really difficult to make those because humans just have a major upper hand in the early missions.

Good ideas for those could include the demolishing of safe zone power generators and things. Maybe bop-it based destruction.

The one particular mission that sticks out in my mind which was zombie based, was the one where we were collection balloons. But there were so few humans, they just sort of ran and that mission was only really possible because the hoard was huge.

Personally I really like the idea of zombie day missions to get more noodlers during the night missions, and perhaps a noodler during the day missions.

As far as getting the newer players to show up and not be intimidated, I think we just need more objectives, at least early on. If we had a day 1 mission where the humans were required to hit 7-10 points simultaneously than that would force groups to be created that weren't the major factions. Granted, we'd have to have something to do to distract the hoard so that they didn't just steamroll a few groups.

Actually, thinking about multiple objectives, I think we need more that aren't required, optional objectives. Say have 3 main points that have to be defended to maintain a safezone and 4 more which determine whether or not the safe zone shrinks or grows in size. Obviously the optional ones wouldn't matter if the main 3 weren't completed.

Also, I agree about proper advertising, maybe just a 3 day period of everyone carrying around nerf guns and wearing bandanas but not actually playing or something. Say the week before the game, mon-wed, then the game starts 1 week after that wed, with info meetings starting that first wed night.

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I actually really like the

I actually really like the idea of Vets welcoming people to the info meetings.

Another idea could be to make a few vets NPCs of sorts for maybe the first mission or two whose specific purpose is to "guide" anyone who ended up by themselves or smaller groups of newer players. The main goal would be to give them some tips and pointers, if they want them, about some basic zombie killing techniques. This is coming from an experience I witnessed earlier this week. During the "Oh Bros" mission Bro-tential, 101st and few other smaller factions were at the first node. The Horde came up and the vets didn't worry much, horde was pretty small for what we were used to dealing with. Some other humans (seemed like noobs to me) got worried and asked "When do we run away?!" and one of thier friends said "You run when they (I'm assuming the vets) tell you to."

Sure, big ego boner for Bro-tential, but this did nothing to help this new human play better and potentially disenfranchised them. "I am new, don't know what to do, and suck. I'll just sit here and try not to die." Cna be fun for sure, and part of the game I love is the frantic paranoia, but what if an NPC like Pettiti at the Invitational was running around giving them some idea about how to hold your ground against a horde... or knowing when to get the hell out of there. Things sorts of things don't always come naturally. And maybe it would give some new players some confidence in their own bad-assness. I don't know, just a thought.

"They win again. I didn't even know it was a competition." - admin

"Let's be honest. It never was much of a competition." - Pat

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As for the barriers to entry,

As for the barriers to entry, I see no reason why people shouldn't be able to jump in after the game has started, as a zombie.
Consider the following.
Zombies don't need killIDs. I imagine it would not be too hard to allow non-registered players to submit tags. Or they just give them to their fellow zombies to register.
Zombies don't need guns. So buying one wouldn't be a barrier.
Zombies do need headbands, but how hard would it be to bring some extra? I know we did this during Assassins and people jumped in, and loved it.

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So to sum up some of the main

So to sum up some of the main points:

Factions need to be less intimidating, new players need to feel welcomed.

Stop separating yourselves into 3 main factions and other people.

Take the newbies with you despite how this may be a disadvantage

Zombies need their own objective based missions, see dinosaur dodgeball.

Stop advertising the week before. Needs to be done well in advance. I know for anyone in campus dining a minimum of 2 weeks notice is needed to request off. (Unless that has changed).

Feel free to add anymore tl;dr posts.

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Oh stop making the game about

Oh stop making the game about winning. Unless you are brotential it isn't about winning. This game is about having fun and socializing with other players, not rage quitting when you die.

As much as the mods and orgs can stress this at info meetings, when new players see some people dispute every tag on them ever and demand an honor duel for every tag, it sets a bad mentality for anyone watching. You don't want to make the idea of this is about winning and losing.

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Human Day 1 NPCs

I really like Brogi's idea about human NPCs on the first night mission. They don't even have to be mission-related. Just take some vets willing to break off from their faction for the first night, and have them lead small groups of newbies for the night. New players feel more included, learn tactics, and feel like the orgs have made a conscious effort to reach out to them. Since it's the first night, there's minimal risk of zombies wiping the newbies or of the NPCs' factions seriously needing them.

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Invitational Sandbox Mission

For those of you who went to the Invitational, you probably remember the "sandbox mission" we all had to do before the opening ceremonies. For those of you who weren't there, the organizers basically sent out small-ish groups at staggered times with a handful of mods. Players were taken along a predetermined route around campus and encountered different kinds of zombies along the way. The point was to help familiarize non-OSU players with our campus and let the orgs have a chance at creating a few more zombies before the Invitational officially began.

Even though I found the sandbox mission to be tedious at the time, looking back I realize it was actually a really good idea. Could we implement this again for our week-long games, as an alternative/supplement to the NPC Guide?

At least it's not a Maverick

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Tons of awesome feedback here

Tons of awesome feedback here guys, hope everyone takes the time to read through these and understand what people are talking about. Here's my two-cents on some of the issues raised here:

Zombie Participation: I feel you guys hit the nail on the head on this one. Zombie attendance for achievements was the start of rewarding zeds who show up, a trend I hope is continued. Also, regarding the statement that "if you're not part of the horde you're a bad zombie", that's absolutely not true. There are many ways to play the game, and often one or two solo zombies can keep a disproportionate number of heads and blasters pointed in the wrong direction, ambush groups coming around corners, or pick off people that a horde would never be able to catch.

Encouraging participation of new Players: A lot has been said on this issue so I'll refrain from beating a dead horse, but in addition perhaps incorporation of the Build a Squad concept into our marketing material might help. At least to me, the invitation to "Come band together with a group of your friends to survive the zombie apocalypse! Register your squad at www.ohiostateugc.com for Infection Fall 2012!" sounds much more appealing. HvZ, especially the H part, is certainly more fun with teams of friends, so we ought to let them know up front that a squad of friends will have much more fun (and be more competitive) than a group of solos.

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here"
-The Tempest

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What I've wanted since the

What I've wanted since the info session where this was hinted at as a possibility...ANTI-ANTIDOTES

Zombies need to work for an antidote just like humans do. When you kill someone with an antidote, depression just sets in that you made a really amazing tag, and you get nothing for your effort...but now you do! I am immune to your antidote trolololol.

Being a zombie is difficult, like it has been stated it is a thankless job. But not only is it a thankless job, your work is also in vain more than half the time. I counted 7 tags I got this game where the human either complained they tagged me or just outright refused to give me their kill code. That isn't making this any more fun for us. I admit that perhaps some of those 7 occasions I simply did not feel any dart, but when I am told "I shot you repeatedly" I'd like to think I can feel repeated rounds of darts...1 occasion I watched a human shoot around 15 rounds of air at me but after tagging him I didn't feel like arguing with his bitching. So I just went to pick up his darts he apparently shot me with and there were none on the ground at all...as I expected.

Most of these missions are stacked for the human side. This is understandable because we can't die and they need to have some survive 7 or 8 days to get to the finale. Of course, being extremely stacked against the zombies also means that zombie attendance suffers terribly. We had 18 zombies day 1 at the mission, and 40 zombies day 7. That shouldn't happen. I would suggest not stacking missions so heavily against us, and maybe that would mean these games last 5 or 6 days instead of 8, but I believe that would make the game better.

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Amarillo Caballero, one thing

Amarillo Caballero, one thing you need to consider about the missions allegedly being weighted towards the humans, keep in mind what would happen in reverse. If the humans wipe the zombies in a mission, they come back in 7 minutes. If the zombies on the other hand wipe the humans, that's it, game over. Alternatively, if it looks like that is going to be the case, the humans (as demonstrated over multiple games) tend to flee the mission in the face of overwhelming odds. Either way this has the most unpleasant effect of stopping the fun for everyone, something I am rather opposed to :-p

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here"
-The Tempest

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New marketing plan. Put Bro

New marketing plan. Put Bro-tential on the fliers.

"They win again. I didn't even know it was a competition." - admin

"Let's be honest. It never was much of a competition." - Pat

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Brogi wrote:New marketing

Brogi wrote:
New marketing plan. Put Bro-tential on the fliers.

You know what, that'll probably work.

-- Bro-mom broodmother

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I just wrote a ridiculously

I just wrote a ridiculously long post last night about a bunch of things. It disappeared, and I'm now out of fucks. Cliff notes version follows

-What happened this game? All bad for trying to keep new players. Humans split off by factions. Zombies focused on the soft targets--read, newbs--who if they thought zombies were just the losers rage quit, and if they actually played were frustrated by the lack of support we got from both the organizers and the other zeds. The big 3 were omnipresent throughout the game, and it just went to further the idea that a) you live to win; b) factions are the only way to go about this; c) if you're not in one, you're irrelevant; and d) they get to do all the epic stuff (How many new humans got noodles in the end?)

-Idea I talked about with a few people Wednesday. Midgame insertion of new players as a plot device/training grounds (think stripes type military detatchment). Since they probably don't have a clue about the game, they also probably aren't going to have an advantage over people who started on time in the living department, simply due to skill level. It gives people who are new to the game a chance to kind of ease there way into the dork, and if we can get a couple volunteers from the main factions to NPC lead them, give them less difficult, but still entertaining missions, and it kills 2 birds with one stone. Yes, it'll be complicated. Yes it'll lead to needing some protections against the horde just going LOL FRESH MEAT! and bum rushing them. But if it's pulled off, it could give a significant boost in numbers for future games.

-This said, new people derp. They will face check the one bush with the zombie. They will go for a leisurely stroll across SEL courtyard. They will forego socks for extra ammo for their maverick. This will lead to a disproportionate rate of them being turned zombie. Pettiti is on the right track with his idea of tier based systems, as by its nature it will favor the new players. Balancing can be done by randomizing the actual recipients of the weaponry/perks, and just putting all eligible zeds into a pool. Or having some funny contest for them while we're usually just sitting around waiting for the humans to finish up their 10 hour brief. Or a zombie day mission to give us something to do on the late days with no human mission and ALL the building hopping.

-An idea I'm surprised no one has come up with yet to deal with the factions is to implement some of the area's invitational rules to make things interesting for the first few days. Add a squad to a players killcode, and let the first few missions run with them. It's usually not dangerous enough to lead to full wipes that early, it puts vets and noobs together in a sort of combined arms deal, and it will give new players valuable experience in playing with some of the better players.

-Another, considerably worse, idea would be to institute a "faction cap" This would require factions with more than xxx people to break off into squads within their faction for certain missions. It actually could prove to help with communications between groups, can give factions a chance to compete against themselves for a change, and can make things a little easier on the zombies, but it's a forced split for players who want to be together, and should be talked about with the factions before implementing for their feelings on it.

-Kill the cures. Antidotes are fine if used sparingly or to save a Pettitified game, but the fact that you never knew who was going to show up because you couldn't tell what team they'd be on is a great way to kill any sense of community on the zombie side. It's also inherantly biased towards factions, because they have the resources to get those cures, and are going to use them on their own members over that noob who got thrown to the wolves.

-Let the players play. King noodlers as a game mechanic are quite anti fun. Can't shoot em, can't stop em, and they can just troll the shit out of whatever you're trying to do. I understand they're there to stop a complete wipe, and they did occasionally act as neutral scouts, but they also prevented a lot of player strategy. Additionally, it put far too much of a focus on the NPC, and not enough on the players. Zombies got noodles night 1, and only if they got butt-sexed or grizzinated. After that, everything special was given to organizers or on rare occasions mods. Give the new kids something to play with on the zombie side, and they may want to try this while brain munching thing out as well.

-Make honor duels more balanced. Realistically, the only way a zombies winning this is if the human blows his load early, or his gun jams. It's hard as hell to get a tag. If a zombies in an honor duel, it's because they legitimately believe they already got a tag most of the time (the rest are just dbags). Now you're telling them they have to do it again, with no stealth, no support, and limited space.

-Marketing is a big issue, and the invitational is a good start to a solution. Just for the love of god do it a few weeks before the main game. And advertise it a bit better, I know some schools weren't even aware you were having one. Ask other schools with invitationals for their contacts, and send an invite their way as well. The invitational was incredibly fun, and getting more people for that as well can only help the week long in terms of advertising. It may not hurt to organize a Nerf Run the week prior to the weeklong/invitational as well, so people who don't have access to transportation can get with people who do. Additionally, I know I have an asinine amount of nerf weaponry that isn't currently, and probably won't be ever, used. Having an armory of loaner weapons couldn't hurt, and it encourages new players to talk to veterans.

-Love these ideas

Vets at the welcome meeting
Zombie objectives
First day NPC's
Playing the Bro's movie on the Oval for all to see

Less love for the kill reward system, especially putting people higher on the OZ list. That would severely handcuff them if people know they had a high kill count the prior year. Also, placing tangible value on individual kills will lead to selfish play on the horde side. Tends not to end well. On the other hand, if there were a post mission debriefing type thing, where zombies could vote on best tag of the night, or funniest fail, or just random acts of epicness for the night, and give out some sort of rewards for that? I could definitely get on board with that.

I know there was more, but I'm either too drunk or not drunk enough to remember them. I'll add on when I do. Hopefully this much was somewhat coherent. Also, a reward for making it all the way through!

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dbogue wrote: Make honor

dbogue wrote:
Make honor duels more balanced. Realistically, the only way a zombies winning this is if the human blows his load early, or his gun jams. It's hard as hell to get a tag. If a zombies in an honor duel, it's because they legitimately believe they already got a tag most of the time (the rest are just dbags). Now you're telling them they have to do it again, with no stealth, no support, and limited space.

Helps if you finish your thoughts. Idea is, give zombies something they can use to even things up. Maybe its a noodle. Maybe it's 2 on 1 with 3 shots. Maybe a time limit to keep the human from just sitting back and waiting for the zombie to get close enough to make it easy. But do something to make things a little more interesting then "stand in place until its harder to miss the zombie than hit them." It might help to keep humans from abusing them and keep zombies from just feeling screwed.

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The Purpose of Operation Faction

I don't know if it was ever apparent enough, or if Petitti and I didn't make this known but Operation Faction (OpFac) was created for a very specific reason: to bring new players into a faction and train as a team before the Spring game.

I've only known most of the members of OpFac since January, some less. When Petitti brought up the idea after last Fall game, it was meant as a solution to the faction and new player problems. I took his idea and ran with it, having weekly meetings to organize a faction of all new players. Some of them weren't entirely new, but at most they had played last Fall and weren't exactly veterans at the game.

At the night briefings for the humans (the first three nights), I took on new players to the faction without hesitating. If they wanted to play with us, they could. We took on a lot of new players.

It was not in my best interest as an experienced human player to play with a faction of new players. This decreases my survivability when the horde attacks. I was tagged on night 3 when the horde overran our faction on the Oval. But if one new player felt included, or that their experience was made more enjoyable by playing with us, then it was completely worth it.

Obviously, I'm not out to "win" the game as a human. Our faction took quite a bit of time to organize and prepare for the game to give ourselves the best chance we could at surviving. We also tried to find as many new players as we could bring in, show them this wonderful game and just have fun. New players surviving after day 2 is good for the game and their experience, right?

I want to continue this faction next Fall and bring more players into the game. As Chase said at the Vet meeting, we should all strive to do this. New players eventually become the veterans, moderators, and even organizers. They are the lifeblood of the game when the experienced players leave.

Some other finer points that I'd like to explore:

The faction problem:
For some reason factions are starting to take negative flak for existing. Factions seem to have this reputation now that they are composed of players that have one goal: winning. This is simply untrue.

After getting to know many of the factions here, I can tell you that they are merely groups of people that are 1.) Friends who enjoy the game and enjoy playing the game together 2.) Making (probably) the best tactical choice by sticking with people they know and trust 3.) Not always out to win, but to play a game of tag in which nobody "wins" or "loses".

I don't know where the "Well you can't play the game unless you're in a Faction" idea came from. This is the first week-long game that I've played with a faction, and I've played three games before this. I enjoyed all of those games.

Factions don't need to be raised up to a status of elitism. In all honesty, most of them are just a handful of friends who thought of a funny squad name and decided to play the game together. That is not against the rules. That is not harming any other player's game experience. Enforcing rules on factions, to break them up or otherwise, is not in the best interest of the game or those players involved.

Resident Mad Scientist of Operation Faction

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QFT

Xellah wrote:

New players eventually become the veterans, moderators, and even organizers. They are the lifeblood of the game when the experienced players leave. ...
After getting to know many of the factions here, I can tell you that they are merely groups of people that are [...]3.) Not always out to win, but to play a game of tag in which nobody "wins" or "loses".

Quoted for truth. Thanks, Richard.

-- Bro-mom broodmother

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The issue here is the new players

Xellah wrote:

The faction problem:
For some reason factions are starting to take negative flak for existing. Factions seem to have this reputation now that they are composed of players that have one goal: winning. This is simply untrue.

After getting to know many of the factions here, I can tell you that they are merely groups of people that are 1.) Friends who enjoy the game and enjoy playing the game together 2.) Making (probably) the best tactical choice by sticking with people they know and trust 3.) Not always out to win, but to play a game of tag in which nobody "wins" or "loses".

I don't know where the "Well you can't play the game unless you're in a Faction" idea came from. This is the first week-long game that I've played with a faction, and I've played three games before this. I enjoyed all of those games.

Factions don't need to be raised up to a status of elitism. In all honesty, most of them are just a handful of friends who thought of a funny squad name and decided to play the game together. That is not against the rules. That is not harming any other player's game experience. Enforcing rules on factions, to break them up or otherwise, is not in the best interest of the game or those players involved.

This is the reality, but that's never been the issue; it's the perception. It doesn't matter what the people who are already in the game and are going to play it no matter what think, it's the ones who either are playing for the first time, or the ones watching from the sidelines. The challenge that you guys face is getting those people to play, and feel like they can have an impact in the game.

The other issue with the factions is just the simple fact that they're better than a random group of new players. They've played longer, they have more experience, and in a lot of cases they're more prepared. It's one of the big reasons why you guys died day 3, zeds took you for the softer target, and we needed numbers to combat most of the highly organized groups (that and you guys found our respawn point). Additionally, in this game, it was far bigger an issue because of the extremely low numbers. Under normal circumstances, the big factions would consist of a smaller percent of the overall player base. This lead to them being much more prevalent in group dynamics, especially with most missions this game involving group splits of 3-5.

I agree it's not in anyone's best interest to just do away with factions, they've become an integral part of the game and it would be retarded to tell friends they can't play together "for the good of the game." This said, something needs to be done to make it feel less clique-y to new players and to help remove the idea that they're this huge wrecking balls of doom that you can either follow to victory or become dart fodder for after you inevitably die.

Also

Xellah wrote:
3.) Not always out to win, but to play a game of tag in which nobody "wins" or "loses".

Couldn't agree more with this, but unfortunately there are many people who don't think that way. On top of that, a good amount of people don't think that happened this game, which is only going to perpetuate that idea further. That's something else I feel needs to be addressed.

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A newb here, just wanted to

A newb here, just wanted to spin my thoughts on factions. They do at first seem intimidating because we assume they are all hardcore players who just want to win. But, after hearing about them and learning/meeting members, I've realized they are friendly people just like us. They enjoy the game. I think one big problem here is just ignorance of factions. Now that I am not intimidated by them, i am starting to look into them for next semester.

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Noob

So, I'm a noob to infection. I see that it is set for 3/27 at 6:45, but where?

221Beimesche

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And not to spam this thread

And not to spam this thread in particular, but I didn't participate last semester and barely wanted to this semester due to the attitude a lot of people take towards the game (i.e. winning is all that matters). My freshman and sophomore years I really enjoyed playing the game because it still seemed to be treated like a game. A lot of the tryhard faction members (and I'm not trying to imply all faction members are tryhards, but there are those special few) had a shitty attitude, ignored my presence completely, and made it nearly impossible for me to enjoy what I was doing, so I stopped playing.

So again, changing people's attitude from "I want to win" to "I want to have fun" seems pretty important. No idea how to do that, though.

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Maybe have an incentive for

Maybe have an incentive for people to start new groups, mix up factions, and take in new players. Nothing kills like stagnancy. Additionally making things more and more goofy never hurts to attempt to ease the SUPAR SERIUZ BIZNIZ players and just make things more fun.

Barring this, when killed, I offer shoulder rubs to console to new zombies.