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Zombie MMORPG in the Works

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the braaaiiiiii-ding-nnnnsssss dept.

102

Warcry has a very short blurb about a just announced Horror-genre Massively Multiplayer game. Titled Exanimus, the game looks to be set in a post-apocalyptic zombie setting. From the piece: "While most of the world is dead, there are small pockets of survivors that exist in barricaded cities across the globe. Players of Exanimus will have the option of playing as a living survivor or as one of the dead roaming the earth. Exanimus will allow players to experience a MMO based in a horror genre by creating a dark and visually "intense" environment. Exanimus is expected to be rated "Mature" and not intended for anyone under the age of 18."

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102 comments

Urban dead? (5, Informative)

Ligur (453963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886664)

Sounds like a beefed up version of Urban Dead. [urbandead.com]

Re:Urban dead? (0)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886760)

Mrh?

Re:Urban dead? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887198)

Brrraaains...thud.

Re:Urban dead? (2, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888296)

Brnhr.

Zombies (2, Funny)

Dukeofshadows (607689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886887)

Given the soullessness of much of modern life and the life-sucking cubicles and jobs found throughout the current economy, along with the 60+ hours that many of fresh-out-of-college employees and others are working already, how far are we from being basically a nation of better-groomed zombies who don't bite each other?

Re:Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14891063)

who don't bite each other?


speak for yourself...

Re:Zombies (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14897611)

You soooo need to go see _Shaun of the Dead_.

Chris Mattern

Re:Urban dead? (2, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887295)

HARMANZ GAN... Er, I mean, exactly what I was thinking. Personally, I'm interested in seeing how they make the Zombie side interesting, and able to keep players. Unlike UD, I imagine that when you log out of this game, your avatar goes as well, not leaving a body for other players to attack. What happens when you have 1000 Survivor players log in, and 5 Zombies?

Even if the sides are even number-wise, part of the horror atmosphere comes from being outnumbered by the shambling undead. It will be interesting to see how they handle balancing these inequities. Perhaps they can hire some of the people behind the Natural Selection HL mod for advice?

Re:Urban dead? (2, Interesting)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887625)

I think the key is to make the zombie portion of the game revolve around playing a mob rather than an individual zombie. Leveling up wouldn't give you more health, rather increase the size of the controlled mob. Playing a zombie character shouldn't essentially be like playing a living character who sleeps outside and can't use items.

Re:Urban dead? (2, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887920)

Hmmm.. in other words, the zombie players would be looking at it maybe a bit more like an RTS, controlling armies of units. Or maybe like a deranged version of Pikmin. Interesting...

Re:Urban dead? (3, Interesting)

Cy Sperling (960158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888077)

Pikman is a great example. The player could have a certain amount of points, relative to their level, that they could spend on their mob. Certain zombie types would have different costs allowing the player to customize the makeup of their mob. High level players would be powerful by having larger and more diverse mobs. The zombies themselves could be relatively easy to kill as individuals, but the emphasis for zombie players is the horde. I think the way they handle player death is really a tough nut to crack. Urban Dead does make dead players become zombies. The Necrotech skillset allows other living players to revive zombies back into living characters. I kind of see this as a bit of a cheat. Though this does lead to the fun concept of dumping the freshly dead outside before they wake up as zombies, people wanting to play as living characters don't behave as flesh hungry zombies- they simply head for the nearest advertised revive point. Player death is very tricky in this context... Perhaps player death would lead to a temporary NPC status where for a short time, the reanimated corpse would run wild. Players could respawn but would teleport back to a hub of some sort- leaving a doppleganger NPC zombie in their place. Either way- to actually recreate the threat of the freshly dead reanimating to attack their companions, they can;t leave the zombie-behavior of the freshly dead purely in the hands of the players. Granted some hardcore roleplayers will stick to the fiction of it, most won't.

Re:Urban dead? (3, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888169)

You know, that could be the start of an interesting mechanic... The zombie player starts with one zombie - will call him the "Zombie Lord", for lack of a better term. He gets knocked down, he gets back up, maybe with a penalty, maybe not. He kills a human, the human player goes back to a spawn point of some sort to start again (again, with or without penalty). Meanwhile, the corpse he leaves behind stands up, and becomes the first minion in the Zombie Lord's horde. He follows the ZL around, attacks his targets, etc. Next corpse left by a human he kills becomes the second minion in his blossoming horde. Now, if a minion gets knocked down, does it get back up? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe only after a period of time, and maybe only for a finite amount of time.

Now if they come out with this game and it uses any of these mechanics, we'll have to point back to this thread and demand royalties...

Re:Urban dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14888805)

I think the people in this thread should play or read a review of Stubbs The Zombie. It's basically what you're talking about, although a single-player style game.

Re:Urban dead? (1)

cluke (30394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889329)

heh, nice ideas in this thread, but don't kid yourselves. It's gonna be whomping rats for phat lootz, all the way.

Re:Urban dead? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889426)

Are they zombie rats at least?

Re:Urban dead? (1)

LiquidAvatar (772805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14892219)

Meanwhile, the corpse he leaves behind stands up, and becomes the first minion in the Zombie Lord's horde.

While being a cool idea and an excellent direction for a single player game (where a linear progression from weak to powerful is expected), that logic doesn't work too well in an MMO space. Letting players use their power against other players to build more power will lead to high stratification of the power levels in your player base. You will have several "power players" running around with 100+ zombie hordes, that none of the human players have a chance of killing, and many weak zombies who are unable to ever really build up a horde (they could only kill so many newbies before someone comes along and stops them from gowing into another zombie super-power) because all of the humans are struggling to compete on the level of the few power zombies.

Re:Urban dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14895362)

We've saw this problem decades ago, in the old CompuServe game MegaWars III. MegaWars III involving flying a spaceship around, colonizing planets, and setting those planets to manufacture bigger and badder parts and replacement consumables (fighters, missiles, etc) for your ship. Then could fly around and whack other players' planets and ships.

Naturally, the bigger ships could destroy the smaller ships and take over their planets. A latecomer had no chance against the highly developed ship that had been around for a while.

CompuServe reset the game to start conditions every three weeks, as otherwise there'd be no point in starting to play. Even at that, the game was decided in the first 24 hours. If you didn't do without sleep to build up your empire right after reset, you'd get nowhere.

PvP really hasn't advanced much in 20 years.

Re:Urban dead? (4, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889772)

Though this does lead to the fun concept of dumping the freshly dead outside before they wake up as zombies, people wanting to play as living characters don't behave as flesh hungry zombies- they simply head for the nearest advertised revive point. Player death is very tricky in this context... Perhaps player death would lead to a temporary NPC status where for a short time, the reanimated corpse would run wild. Players could respawn but would teleport back to a hub of some sort- leaving a doppleganger NPC zombie in their place. Either way- to actually recreate the threat of the freshly dead reanimating to attack their companions, they can;t leave the zombie-behavior of the freshly dead purely in the hands of the players.

Simple solution: there's a limited number of lives in the game. In order to have a life, you have to take it from someone who has it. That is, kill a living player and you become one, and he becomes a zombie. Now you just need to have the server control the ratio between living and dead by automatically making some people living and some zombies at the start...

A zombie cannot be permanently killed, but will always raise back up again after a short while. However, a zombie can't earn exp, and will always be "level 1" - if you had levels as human, you lose them when you become a zombie, and regain them when you regain your humanity. Same for items. That way, all the zombies will desperately want to become humans, and because they are so much weaker, pretty much have to attack en masse. Since zombies can't level, the various grinders are sure to fight tooth and nail to become human again.

As a practical matter, you don't immediately become a human when you kill one, it takes five minutes (with a running countdown). That way you have time to escape from the fight - otherwise you'd just be killed as soon as you turned human in the middle of the battle.

Logged-of humans fall unconscious. An unconscious human can obviously be easily killed by any zombie, so better find a safe location. No place is inherently safe (zombies can attack you everywhere), but of course the players can establish player-guarded resting areas in the ruins of abandoned cities (in fact I'd put the entire game into such a city), and of course zombies would consider those their main targets. People will still have to leave them to get exp, to scavenge for resources, and so on.

Oh, and the zombies can see in the dark, while the humans can't. To avoid cheating, a zombie in suitably deep shadow is invisible to the client as well - that is, the server won't send the geometry at all.

Of course all this requires a game engine that can take a lot of people in the same area at the same time. It would also require pretty low lag, since zombies hiding in the dark leads to surprise attacks. Alternatively, you could perhaps determine a "guard location", so that your character shoots as soon as a zombie pops to the guarded area - this would make the game more strategic than reflex test.

Anyway, that's how I'd do it.

Re:Urban dead? (1)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14891448)

That's a neat idea, but I'm afraid that a swarm of level 1 zombies desperately trying to become human again will quickly result in an exodus of players frustrated with the zombie experience. After all, if it takes 20 zombies to take down a human, 19 of those zombies are going to be unhappy even if they're successful. Which of the 20 wins? The one who strikes the last blow? That seems unfair. And if you have to go through 10 zombie raids to become human, only to die (as a human to another zombie raid) ten minutes later, that would quickly drive most players away from the game.

I like your idea of low-level zombies, but I think a cap of level 1 is way too low. I say pick a fraction like 1/5. When a human dies, he loses 4/5 his levels. Zombies get experience 1/5 as fast as humans. When a zombie becomes a human, he gets all his human levels back, plus his accumulated zombie xp - but that zombie xp is not multiplied by five, so the xp penalty sticks. Then make it somewhat challenging to zombify a human. Like you have to use some special attack when the human's below 10% health but still alive. That could make being a zombie fun enough that some people would rather be zombies than humans, at least sometimes. Hopefully that would keep zombified players from quitting en masse, keep the populations somewhat balanced, and make raids less arbitrary.

Regardless, I think it's a neat idea and I wish we saw more like it. Even if your zombie game were a dismal failure it'd sure be interesting!

Re:Urban dead? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888378)

Zombie unlife is quite interesting now. hunting and killing people is always fun.

once you get ankle grab and lurching gait things are pretty smooth after that. every once in a while get yourself revived and go on a generator smashing spree when the human players annoy you.

Re:Urban dead? (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888581)

Are you kidding? You get to play a ZOMBIE! That's how they're going to make it interesting.

I want to preorder this. Now.

I call dibs on the name "Bub."

Re:Urban dead? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889727)

What happens when you have 1000 Survivor players log in, and 5 Zombies?

A simple solution: a zombie can't be permanently killed, while a survivor who's killed becomes a zombie. Of course this logically means that everyone becomes zombie eventually, but hey, that's how it works in these things.

Of course this whole thing is going to be toned down to "harmless fun" and won't have anything to do with real horror stories; after all, we can't have players doing really nasty stuff, even if they're playing living dead. That, and the fact that this thing has to stay online for years, pretty much guarantee that the game will have nothing to do with horror.

Re:Urban dead? (1)

Cybrex (156654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889941)

What happens when you have 1000 Survivor players log in, and 5 Zombies?

Um... Caiger Mall?

BARHAH, mah zambah braharz!
-Dedboy, er, "Cybrex"

That's funny, I was actually just going to say (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887390)

That it sounds to me more like MySpace [myspace.com]

Re:That's funny, I was actually just going to say (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14891175)

Yes, if they could make a FPS or a MMORPG that would invove killing off the fake spammer myspace accoutns(and actually delete said accounts), sign me up.

Re:That's funny, I was actually just going to say (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14891434)

Even zombies have more brain activity than that.

-Eric

Re:Urban dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887996)

But Urban dead will probably be better...

"Exanimus will allow players to experience a MMO based in a horror genre by creating a dark and visually "intense" environment."

So in other words, they're going to use a combination of hypnotising audio along with a suggestive environment to make you afraid like doom 3.

Accept doom 3 completly sucked. Infact, instead of putting actual gameplay into the game, they made it more or less into a liniar, playable movie. There's a difference between Far-Cry and Doom 3; Far-Cry used it's graphics engine to deliver a fun environment, Doom3 used it's graphics engine to scare you. Both are considered "cinematic" games, but Far-Cry is still sold on shelves.

90% of people agree, being scared isn't fun, which is why Doom3 did pretty horrid. Natural selection, a mod for Half-life, had all the special effects plus the strategy, and it's users got pretty angry of the ambient sounds. I, personally, just locked them all with file permissions in windows and that was that.

Don't call a playable movie a game; it isn't. Doom 3 wasn't a game compaired to the likes of Starcreaft, Total Annihilation, the Tribes Series, Sims series, GTA series, Quake Series, Thief series, Battlefield series, and even the horrid (but stragely fun) UT series.

Hey! (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886669)

Players of Exanimus will have the option of playing as a living survivor or as one of the dead roaming the earth.

It is based off of my experiences at work. I demand royalties!

Un! (3, Funny)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886672)

Players of Exanimus will have the option of playing as a living survivor or as one of the dead roaming the earth.

Sheesh, how many times is this? Undead, not dead! Zombies care very much about these things. You should too if you like your frontal lobe.

Re:Un! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14886839)

Nice correction. I'm also wondering why Warcry felt the need to post the picture of a zombie from another recently-released game: Stubbs the Zombie [igniq.com] .

Re:Un! (3, Funny)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886852)

In my experience, zombies care very little about much of anything except the frontal lobes of pre-zombies. I guess I've been associating with the wrong zombies.

Oh for shame! (4, Funny)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887369)

Shame on you, you should know better than to call them "Zombies"... what is this, 1965?

They prefer to be called the living impaired

I suppose you think they should stick to eating the back of the head, too..

Is it possible to "win"? (3, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886687)

Given that the zombies will not breed (except by converting the living), there would be a finite number of them.

Would it be possible to "win" this by killing 6 billion + zombies?

Before you start laughing, remember, we're talking an online game here. It is possible to kill thousands and thousands of "monsters" in other games. Five years into this, will the few remaining living be searching for the few remaining zombies?

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (3, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886776)

That actually sounds like a clever marketing ploy - five or so years after its release, the game will suddenly get many more players who want to be the final zombie-killer.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

maumedia (951250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886844)

I think they'd have to cheat this.

Technically, if you start as a human, and you're killed, wouldn't you become a zombie?

And, depending on how they work the origin of the zombie in this case, the zombie population could be bolstered by the dead and buried.

If they were going to be harsh about it, the game would be entirely zombies in short order.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888358)

Urban Dead does turn killed humans into zombies, seeking a revive point or necrotech building is how you turn back human.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886855)

No, zombies don't breed -- but then neither do most MMOG characters. (At least the non-pornographic ones!) Zombies are replenished by new users.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (2, Funny)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887932)

At least the non-pornographic ones!

I find your idea intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887986)

No, I don't run a porno site. But there's an adult "virtual world" site out there (can't remember what they're called) where anything goes. Alas, their graphics are not, shall we say, high resolution. One particularly depressing teaser graphic shows a bunch of cartoon quality figures going at each other, with the caption, "Have sex whenever you like!" Yeah, right.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886874)

I'd guess if things got too out of balance from their storyline, they could tweak the amount of zombie or human NPCs. More undead could always dig up out of the ground, or more humans could show up from outside the game's scope, to keep things even.

No, you'd want that. (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887001)

I'd guess if things got too out of balance from their storyline, they could tweak the amount of zombie or human NPCs. More undead could always dig up out of the ground, or more humans could show up from outside the game's scope, to keep things even.
If the living are losing badly, that would add to the horror of the game.

If the zombies are losing badly, that would work also as the living would have to go searching for them. And you're most vulnerable when you're searching. Do you risk being killed for the chance to be the one who kills the last zombie?

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (3, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887462)

What I would love.....and what would never happen...is to have "rounds" of the game. You start off the world, and you have a single zombie running around and he converts a few NPCs. Then it spreads....the world would start off very heavy on the human side, but gradually, if things went smoothly, it would convert to zombies only....depending on the organization of things. Of course what you can't account for is griefers who might get converted to zombies and try to prevent them from killing humans, or humans who try to get other humans killed.

After all of one side had been killed off, the game would "reset".

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887500)

It'd be more fun to have it consist of different zones. You could have one city get overrun, and then move to another that tried to quarantine itself from the outside world, set up defenses and the like.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (2, Interesting)

2008 (900939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888650)

Absolutely.

What I really want from an MMO is a kind of massively-multiplayer-co-op-FPS, basically 1000 player co-op Serious Sam, with the squad organisation from BF 2 and with huge GTA-style (but detailed interiors of buildings) freeform levels. Have each round last about a month, starting from spreading out from a beachhead, clearing the streets, rooting enemies out of buildings/rooftops/sewers, defending against counterattacks, then finally taking the city which brings out a final boss. Basically have each enemy that dies stay dead, or be permanantly killable in some other way, e.g. fight your way through a regenerating swarm to kill the egg layer, infected zombies that can convert players, but the infection can be stopped by killing them all. This means you'd actually have an impact on the world, unlike most MMOs. Permanantly destructible scenery would also be very cool, if even more technically difficult.

Make killing the enemies effectively require co-operation, e.g. pilots needing gunners, medics, different weapons more effective against different enemies, directionally-shielded enemies that you need to attack from all sides to beat.

No stat based levelling (i.e. skill based), though rank/respect is good, and medals for killing bosses etc. Preferably no instancing, except for PVP DM levels for those who want them. Respawning and getting back to the fight should take under 30 seconds, apart from in the final phases where finding the last few concealed enemies and triggering the super-boss.

Finally, each reset should bring something different. It doesn't have to be much, a new enemy type, a somewhat different layout, new vehicles.

FPS games do seem to be heading somewhat in this direction, e.g. UT2004's Invasion mode, and Serious Sam 2 have the many-players co-op, Planetside is MMO, but nothing yet has the semi-persistent huge world with enemies that stay dead.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887964)

come on men. We've wiped out the dodo. We've annihilated the great Auk. Now it's time we wiped out the zombie.

Re:Is it possible to "win"? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889854)

Given that the zombies will not breed (except by converting the living), there would be a finite number of them.

How do you know that ? Emily (from Corpse Bride) certainly seemed eager to find a husband - just what do you think she was going to do with him ? Heck, I've even found Corpse Bride porn from the Internet... Or, for that matter, what do you think the Mummy (either the original or the remake) was going to do with his bride ? And vampires are notorious for playing with their food...

Giving up breathing is though enough, don't expect the undead to give up sex too !

Prejudiced warmblooded breath-addict... I bet your brains wouldn't taste any good either.

PKers (3, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886746)

So they finally found a solution to pkers eh? It's pretty hard to kill something that is already dead.

Re:PKers (1)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886999)

Tell that to my Undead Rogue :(

Re:PKers (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887240)

Just because you're not "dead" doesn't mean you aren't incapacitated. Player Killers won't be nearly as feared as Player Chopper Uppers And Into Small Lockbox Stuffers.

Or maybe I'm thinking of the Troll race in Nethack Online...

At last! (1)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886840)

At last! A reasonable explanation of the creepy moaning, thumping, and gunfire sounds coming from my neighbors apartment! They're beta testers! Still doesn't explain the polka music though, or does it.... What is the sound track like for this thing?

Re:At last! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14886966)

A reasonable explanation of the creepy moaning, thumping, and gunfire sounds coming from my neighbors apartment! They're beta testers! Still doesn't explain the polka music though, or does it....

You must know my upstairs neighbors. The guy likes playing shooters really loud, the gal likes playing Dance Dance Revolution aerobics style until midnight, and there's a whole lot of moaning, groaning and thumping after dark.

Re:At last! (1)

GibCat (673866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887008)

I don't think this is in beta, yet. In fact the whole thing seems like someone had an idea and posted a link to /. and digg to see how much interest there would be. It's a clever new market research strategy.

Meanwhile, the Japanese will be playing ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887151)

a game version of Shaun of the Dead, since most of their game designers are actually located in Britain, and mindless zombie violence is only half as fun as very silly British mindless zombie violence.

Re:Meanwhile, the Japanese will be playing ... (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887437)

a game version of Shaun of the Dead, since most of their game designers are actually located in Britain, and mindless ****** violence is only half as fun as very silly British mindless ****** violence.

Edited for content. We're not using the zed word.

Re:Meanwhile, the Japanese will be playing ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887490)

I'm sorry, is it ok if I cross my 7's and say nought?

Pity that ...

Websites before Content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887304)

How many other MMOs are out there that featured websites before they had anything to post on them? This game sounds like a cool idea, but any random person could just as easily create a website and call their game "in production".

WTB [Brains] (0)

Onetus (23797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887569)

You have to wonder what non-combat / non-quest additions they could add to the game to give it a bit more depth.
Without the underlying trade skills and the like, will this ever have enough attraction?

Re:WTB [Brains] (3, Interesting)

Jubetas (917500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887961)

I doubt it would be very hard to have integral trade skills for survivors, i.e.- scavenging, security, various knowledges, etc. Knowing how to run a base that has an electrified fence with a few motion sensors off of a diesel generator you patched together seems like it would be a useful skill. I can only hope that this MMO, which is based on the MMO premise of my dreams, can live up to even a few expectations.

As for zombie skills, that might be a little more difficult, but they could take a little influence from Land of the Dead, where the zombies are able to develop some rudimentary communication. Perhaps you would see WTB [Brains], so that way your zombie could learn how to turn doorknobs or wield melee weapons. I admit that I see very little in the way of actual trade skills for zombies, but I don't really see that as hindering my fun when I'm gnawing people's brains out.

Re:WTB [Brains] (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888323)

the Urban Dead Skill tree is focused around improving attack abilities and gaining misc. skills such as opening doors, coimmunicating, infecting harmanz, tracking harmanz, moving faster, and staying dead (not being revived into a human)

Re:WTB [Brains] (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888702)

Actually I was just thinking that while this might be a great premise for an online game, it is possibly not a great premise for a MMORPG. World of Warcraft, and Everquest, both borrow heavily from many facets of the fantasy and horror genres.

This game is, presumably, going to try and be viable for the same business model as WoW, but by cutting out all the facets of fantasy and all the facets of horror - zombies only!

WoW has a lot of content and that content is multiplied by the playability and replayability aspects of the range of races and classes in the game.

I don't see how such a game with a small point of view could come quite as close. I would get bored of it pretty quick! And certainly wouldn't want to pay a monthly fee.

Weapon of choice for zombie slaying (5, Funny)

TrickFred (231420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887610)

Just let me have a cricket bat, and I'll be the first in line. :D

Re:Weapon of choice for zombie slaying (0)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888028)

yeah boyeee!

Re:Weapon of choice for zombie slaying (1)

Bullet-Dodger (630107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888675)

We're not using the Z-word!

Re:Weapon of choice for zombie slaying (1)

MrKibkibs (898100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14891895)

You've never taken a short-cut before?

MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (0)

illspirit (957034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887636)

Is it just me, or are MMO's like totally antithetical to the idea of a zombie apocalypse and stuff? Unless they're not designing this in line with George Romero's rules, how on earth are they going to create a plausible suspension of disbelief? Would be kind of hard to get the panicked feel of a ragtag group of survivors against an unstoppable army of the dead if there's a hundred noobs farming zombie rats around you or something. That is, unless players can become shambling brain munchers themselves. But that would hardly be fun for long....

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888016)

I've always had a problem with Zombie movies. They always present them as hordes of unstoppable killing machines. Let's face it though, Zombies are slow, mindless creatures who are stopped by an injury to the head.

No need for silver bullets, no need for garlic, a holy symbol or sticky rice. No need for any exotic materials what so ever.

It shouldn't be hard for a group of people with automatic weapons or explosives to wipe out a whole mess of zombies. Hell if I was a soldier I'd place a whole bunch of claymore mines about head height down a long narrow corridor. I'd then lure a bunch of them down it and when the corridor is full just denotate the mines.

Burn the corpses and rinse and repeat.

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (2, Insightful)

xhrit (915936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888184)

>It shouldn't be hard for a group of people with automatic weapons or explosives to wipe out a whole mess of zombies.

If they are classic zombies then yes. I'd almost rather have a katana. A sword doesn't run out ov ammo. you could just stand in a doorway and hack! At least until the blade got dull.

If they are neo-zombies then all bets are off. I'd hate to try to fend off insane AI controlled alien zombie cyborgs with a sword (unless it was a glowing blue sword).

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888347)

if they are infected zombies then one jackass with a grenade could screw over a large number of other humans nearby by blowing up a zombie when shooting it's head off would have scattered less

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888495)

Good point. I am going to have to remember this argument next time I advocate the use ov kung fu + swords in exterminating zombie infestations.

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888938)

the problem isn't in your katana, it's the other guy. the one with the itchy trigger finger ready to splatter infected gibs all over you because he wants to make things go boom

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14891006)

That, and the fact that a katana is a 4' razor. The chances of you cutting yourself are extraordinarily high, given that you've (probably) never handled a live shinken, or had any experience drawing, striking, and cleaning the blade.

Despite what the movies tell you, the katana is not some thing you just grab and fight with -- you *need* to be given at least some rudimentary training, or else you're going to hold it incorrectly, swing it like a baseball bat, get it stuck in something, and chop off your hand when you go to pull it out.

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (1)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888651)

You guys have thought about this way too much...

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (2, Informative)

illspirit (957034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888319)

"Let's face it though, Zombies are slow, mindless creatures who are stopped by an injury to the head."

Hmmm, yes, and no. Starting with Day of the Dead, zombies started to learn/remember how to use weapons a little bit, and by Land of.. they were using rudimentary strategy. While they're still not exactly rocket scientists, they're still quite dangerous in packs, seeing as it only takes one bite and all. Besides, with a large enough group, even blind weiner dogs could be deadly.

Granted, this only works if you accept the Romero rules. But I'm not going to argue with the guy as he wrote the proverbial book on zombies.

/loves zombie movies

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14888538)

"Starting with Day of the Dead, zombies started to learn/remember how to use weapons a little bit, and by Land of.. they were using rudimentary strategy."

Sounds like 10-19 Alliance in WSG compared to 20-29.

Meanwhile the Horde is going all Resident Evil 4 on they ass.

Re:MMO + zombie = cognitive dissonance? (2, Informative)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14892650)

In many the zombie movies I've seen, the problems come about because two human factions are fighting each other rather than fighting the zombies:

1. Night of the Living Dead: Cooper (and Family) vs. Ben (and Friends)

2. Dawn of the Dead: Ex-SWAT & Reporter group vs. Biker Gang

3. Day of the Dead: Soldiers vs. Scientists (with a third faction, the Civilians, trying to ignore both).

4. Land of the Dead: Kaufman (and Militia) vs. Cholo (and Rogue Militia) vs. Poor of Pittsburgh vs. Smart Zombies (lead by Big Daddy)

Land of the Dead meets XCOM, "V" and Fallout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14887843)

One of my favourite games of all time is Microprose's "UFO: Enemy Unknown" (aka XCOM: UFO Defence). I used to spend many hours developing complex bases, with dedicated research, production and tactical types placed at strategic points. I recently saw Land of the Dead and thought it was great (also enjoyed the Dawn of.. remake). The concepts of pockets of survivors battling it out against the enemy also reminded me of "V [imdb.com] ".

I'd like to see an XCOM style base building element where you develop defences (razor wire, electric fences, machine gun pill boxes), build new camps & supply stores etc. Research would be done by collecting books from libraries on tactical missions or finding dusty archives filled with CD-ROMs. The needs of the community and people in each camp would mean that you would have to venture out into the world to collect supplies, so for instance picking up bullets and new guns from gun shops or police stations, but after a tough battle to get there (e.g. Dawn of the Dead). Food supplies would be gathered from abandoned supermarkets like those in "28 Days Later" and later on harvested in the safe zones to enable survivors to reproduce. Abandoned cars could be towed back to camp and disassembled for glass, electronics and metal to be melted into new items. The game could offer a variety of ways in which to churn zombies via traps laid around the camps e.g. land mines, stake pits, fields of tar etc. The tactical element could be a combination of XCOM and Praetorians whereby soldiers are arranged into fields of fire and left to cover various choke points whilst the raid team collect supplies etc. As squad members die, it could affect the morale of the rest of the squad, causing them to drop supplies or run off to hide. Actually, I really do hope that they make a game like this, becuase it would kick a serious amount of ass.

"Mature" (4, Insightful)

jayeates (954304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887846)

"Exanimus is expected to be rated "Mature" and not intended for anyone under the age of 18."

So my guess is it'll be filled with 14-16 year old idiots then...

ooer... (4, Insightful)

ameoba (173803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14887954)

Exanimus is expected to be rated "Mature" and not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

If they can enforce this, I'll definately start playing.

Re:ooer... (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890232)

In my experience the younger players can be annoying, but it's when they're bored and looking for other ways to create their fun. Include them in things and they often settle down quickly, or often you can ignore the really idiotic ones and they wander away on their own.

But if you run into an adult player who is rude, inconsiderate, and just a general pain in the ass, chances are that person will still be exactly the same months or years down the road.

Re:ooer... (2, Interesting)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890531)

They settle down until they don't get the phat loot or something, and then it's evens they'll throw some immature hissy fit.

Re:ooer... (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14893152)

Exanimus is expected to be rated "Mature" and not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

If they can enforce this, I'll definately start playing.


One credit card and one click through agreement later....yup...it's the death of teenagers.

The worst is yet to come... (1)

AvoidTheNoid (772246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888160)

NPC: Unnnnnnghh!
ZombiePlayer: Braaaaaaaaaains?
NPC: Braaaaaaaaaaaains....Unnnnnnngnh!
ZombiePlayer::Listening to Soft Zombie Rock that plays over the loudspeaker...it's some song about Brrrrraiiiins::
NPC: No Braaaains!

WoW (1)

Drakin030 (949484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888412)

I can see this being like my old wow server. Undead to humans will be like Orcs to humans...Billion to one....No one likes the humans *sob*

Ratio (1)

Drakin030 (949484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888446)

What if everyone wants to be humans...Then the Ratio of Zombies to Undead is like 50 to 1. So its going to be a small pocket of Zombies striving to survive.

Not for kids? Hurray for Media Influence (1)

Drakin030 (949484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888461)

This is DEFIANTLY NOT FOR YOUR CHILDREN!
So I guess that takes out the WoW team? But seriously from what I read this could just be another target for the media to blame violent kids on video games, rather than their shitty parenting.

Come on! (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888552)

Don't say the "zed" word, Ed.

One Concern (2, Interesting)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14888877)

The problem with having a human controlling a zombie character is they no longer act like zombies. You end up with some big metagaming issues, zombie/human alliances etc.

It will be interesting what these guys have up there sleeves to make sure that doesnt happen.

Oh and if they screw it up it and the game bombs then it will forever taint that genre for a MMORPG. Since I have been waiting for something like this to come around for quite some time, i'd be right pissed.

mmmm zombies.. how I love to hate thee.

No problem... (1)

Faw (33935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890099)

...let zombies only talk to each other, the living will only hear moaning and "brains" every once in a while. :)

Re:No problem... (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890239)

Then you still have outside forums, voice chat, IMs that any player can use to form alliances. It will happen Urban Dead did the same zombies could only communicate with a few characters but it certainly didnt stop huge communities from getting together and making alliances.

Re:One Concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14890743)

Yeah - many many many moons ago I played the Battletech 3056 MUSE. One of the largest problems were the Clans. First off, every twink (think modern day power gaming grief kid) wanted to join them as they had much better stuff. And then, it was extremely difficult to police those guys to actually fight like *clanners*. In the novels it was okay because the author forced them to, and thus provided a bit of a check on the superpowered mechs of the clan - but in game it was almost impossible.

Re:One Concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14891046)

I could see this working with some poetic license.

Consider that zombies are still the body of a former player, then it's not a huge leap to allow some resident brain function that could allow for some form of cooperation between humans and zombies.

Were I developing this, I'd make it so that players had ample motivation to gnaw/shoot anything that wasn't already like themselves. The idea is to erode such an alliance so that the advantages in combining strengths is outweighed by the penalties of both sides working in proximity.

Any of these might help:

- Give zombies near-human movement and damage bonuses after feeding, and have those taper off quickly after the fact.
- Have zombies take damage, from bloodlust if you will, if they're near the living without inflicting some kind of damage.
- Similarily have humans take a stat penalty (speed and damage inflicted) for simply being near a zombie for more than a few moments. Alternately, allow zombies to turn a human by mere exposure over an extended length of time.
- Zombies get damage/stat bonuses for being around other zombies.
- Zombies cannot damage other zombies.
- From the human perspective, make zombies all look nearly the same, making faction affiliation difficult to discern at a distance. Do the same for zombies, from their perspective of humans.
- As someone else suggested, restrict in-game chat to/from zombies to be random nonsense - just moans and groans.

- Pragma

Zombie Themes work well... (3, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889164)

I DM a regular tabletop game based around a zombie-themed variant of the D20 system called Year of the Zombie [rpgnow.com] (disclaimer: I did some artwork for the book...so buy it and help a fellow slashdotter get some royalty checks) and I've found that the general theme works very well among roleplayers. Specifically, in a lot of the games that I run, I've found that people who can roleplay well get a lot from the games, though powergamers tend to lose interest quickly. I've never let a player actually play as a zombie, and I'm curious as to how the mechanics for it will work in this game (if it is included in the end). What I think could really make the game interesting is if they play up the need to survive. In most of the games that I run, the zombies are more of a complicating issue than the real problem at hand. In general, most of the conflict, and interesting gaming, comes from the need for food, water, and shelter. It would be interesting to set up a system where there are heavily infested cities, and groups of characters have to go on raids to get supplies. PVP also is particularly interesting in this scenario. In my games, players often have to choose between trying to get supplies from heavily infested cities, or try to steal food or supplies from other groups who may be smaller in numbers, but also can shoot back.
I'd love them to make a Mac or Linux port of this so that I could play it...I might even have to consider setting up a windows machine for this game if it looks promising as it gets nearer to launch.

mmoney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14889811)

Will I be able to grind for brains and sell my parfumes?

Set it up like Cell (1)

tekkou (944664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14889996)

I think a workable way to have the human/undead thing work is to do it in a way similar to what Stephen King did in Cell. At the beginning of the book, a "pulse" gets sent out to every cell phone (or at least every one in and around New England) which wipes a person's brain. They become the typical neo-zombie if they got a full blast of the signal. People that might've just been listening in on the call get messed up, and are more mindless.

What follows next has some spoilers so if you plan on reading the book unspoiled stop here for now.




As time goes on, the "phonies" as the "zombies" are called end up getting rather strange as their mind is rebooting. They move in flocks during the day, communicate telepathically, and have a hive-mind. By the end of it the original batch can levitate too. King kind of explains it the same way he did for his Dead Zone stuff, that during the "mind rebooting process," the phonies are awaking normally unused parts of the human mind. They also set up at least one camp to convert all the normies, though by then the "pulse" is bugged and isn't working the same anymore.




Ok, spoiler over. I think what it'll take for it to work is a combination of the mindless zombies, the uber-zombies that basically can reason and function at an elementary level, and those inbetween - the purely instinctual that'll rip things to shreds, but can recognize danger. The zombie player characters could be just under the uber-zombie level, working to convert the living for some local Zombie Lord. Hell you could even explain a chat system by the humans having radio, and the undead having a hive mind. There should also be "camps" where the Zombie Lords are converting humans, which would make good instances/quest locations for the humans.

Humans bitten by zombies would become infected, and would slowly lose stats until they became one of the mindless. While mindless, they'd continue losing stats until they die (maybe require that humans need to continually eat/drink, when mindless you don't have the ability to do this), and when they die they move up the zombie chain. Make it so while mindless you can still be cured, but if you die as a mindless, you become a zombie character. Body armor, clothing, etc could be used to prevent from bites obviously.

"Trade" skills could include doctor/chemist for making the cures, medkits, healing large wounds, etc. Mechanic/repair skills to rebuild damaged equipment or vehicles. Engineer to build or reinforce structures. Some sort of technology skill to build security systems or hack into existing ones. Weapon makers/armor makers for obvious reasons.

Basically, I have a ton of ideas that could be used...

hmmm.... (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890102)

Intriguing concept by a previously-unheard-of studio with no publisher (financial backing)? I'm not sure I'll be holding my breath for this one.

Human and zombies? (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890126)

Wait, I just thought of something. If you're playing a human and get bit, do you become a zombie and stay that way? Or can you be turned back to a human-class by some weird medical means (anti-virus, genetic treatment, serum, whatever)?

Because it might be interesting if you could say as the zombies go on a raid of a human base with 10 guys and as you kill humans your numbers increase. :)

Classes? (1)

modi123 (750470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14890569)

I am curious on what they will offer for undead classes (if that is the route they are going)? I hear W.O.W. allows for different types of 'undead' classes - rouges, fighters, and wizards - so I wonder what type of post apocalypitic undead are available? Clearly the are the 'shambler' type - scout or fighter? Perhaps some sort of 'undead' medic? Maybe a radioactive zombie with aura effects? Clearly I am going to have to consult my zombie survival guide to help find out what might be.

Viva the Undead Revolution!

Oblig: All your brain are belong to us.

Let the Zombies play for free. (3, Insightful)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14892146)

Seriously.

Nothing like a bunch of undead zombie griefers to make life hell for the living/paying players. Charge me $4 per live character I play. Make him/her randomly, with skills and equipment randomly assigned so I have a chance to be a soldier or a banker... and let the bodies hit the floor. You wouldn't need any NPCs. People playing zombies would line up to get a crack at killing some paying players... and the paying players would line up to see who could survive and live the longest.

Eventually the free zombies would want to try it on the other side, so it's the perfect demo to get them into the game.

I already have a post-apoc online game to watch (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14894584)

And it's Hellgate: London [hellgatelondon.com] ... Made by developers [flagshipstudios.com] of Diablo, Warcraft, and other Blizzard games. Not sure I can watch yet another one, and I'm not skipping on HG:L as the features sounds really promising.
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