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Revamp The Weapon/gear/level System

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It's a problem with this game that weapons and gear get obsolete every time, from a beginners perspective, when you level up and are ready to get new, naturally better guns or from the perspective of a veteran to this game, a new update with new suburbs and new items gets released. 

Looking at how the game developed I know why we have that issue and why it wasn't possible to avoid it, but .... I can't be the only one thinking how this was a major flaw to the game's logic and consistency. I mean, an M16 is by far a more powerful weapon than an Mtar, a Desert Eagle is naturally a more powerful hitting weapon than some of the newer pistols in the Dead Zone are and a kitchen knife might be a worse force multiplier than a Katana but not by several hundred times. 
It's not just that. 

Looking at the loot tables, those can be really boring after a while. And also slightly illogical. Anywhere from lvl 44 to level 50 and above you will be able to loot for M107s. In those areas you'll also be having M417 drops, maybe a PSG once a decade but that's it. Hunting for that particular rifle, for example, is only possible there (or with a lower chance in the newer areas above) but that's it. Why are so many people in those areas are holding on to that particular gun and why noone nowhere else? It's lacking realism there. I know, rather weak argument, but still.
It's not just that. 

If you're a beginner and working your way up the ladder, and you wish to raid, you need to keep up with your opponents who are also getting better. That is problematic because it is depending on itself. A beginner is depending on other beginners to be around, which is not a good thing. Because if there is a lack of those, there also is a lack of market structure and in return, players without rich friends or alts are even more at the disadvantage against players who can compensate the continous obsolescence of items. So the current system favors the veterans more than it should and by that makes the available newcomer-base even smaller because people who face enemies who are too strong when raiding are more likely to leave the game. 

I've been thinking about that for years and thought maybe now is the right time to write down what could be done to solve a bunch of problems with this game. It may sound radical, it is radical, but please hear me out: 

Enable all weapons to be dropped in every location on the map and when dopped having the level of that certain location. Make a new stat-table ranging from lvl 1 to maximum for every weapon and gear at the same time to cover the new situation.
To give you an example: MSR could drop (with a very very low chance) on any lvl1 location with new specific lvl1 stats but could then be upgraded continously and used by the player until he reaches level cap. 
A player shouldn't be able to upgrade his MSR more than the level of his lowest level survivors. There could be downgrades for weapons aswell, but maybe just very expensive to get. 
Trading any gear or weapon could be limited to only items above level 30 or 40 maybe, optinally, to avoid abuse, or disable trade for downgraded weapons in general. 
Lower the prices for upgrading weapons/gear drastically. 
Lower the drop chances for uniques and rares in higher areas significantly and raise them for the lower levels.

Benefits for the beginners: 
- Grow with your items instead of being forced to trade for new ones every few weeks on a difficult market or depending on your luck finding new ones.

Benefits for the veterans: 
- Have a more diverse market.
- Depending on how well new stat-tables would be executed, this could open the door for a lot more strategic depth and also more diverse combat. 
- Remember that cool gun with the great stats you found back at level 20 that now serves no purpose other than sitting in your inventory? It could now be a jewel!  

Benefits for the developers: 
- Depending on how it's executed, ... quiet a bunch. I only write all this because I know you're a capable team with much experience. 
- You could give the big spenders something to do again. 
- You could have your new players spending on upgrades instead of a tiny amount of fuel on the market. The way it is, you waste potential. 
- Even have more trading because more items are worth it again.
- You were not forced to come up with new suburbs. Instead you could just release new guns and gear independently. I think I noticed that the map is almost full and doesn't allow you to expand much further so you need a solution either way, to my knowledge. 

Downside for the beginners: 
- I see none. 

Downside for the veterans: 
- It is possible that with new stat tables you could not be able to continue being superior with your currently superior setup, which could hurt .... depending on how all this would be executed. 

Downside for developers: 
- Work
- Risk .... to a certain degree. 

Please see this as a blueprint, an idea I had, that may not be fully finished. Feel free to give it some polish and your opinion.
Thanks for reading. 

Edited by Winspector, 10 August 2017 - 02:58 AM.

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I've always wanted this system. However, I have to disagree with all weapons spawning at all levels. Certain weapons should spawn past a certain level. I really don't want to see level 1 m107s.


An example of this would be the M16. It would spawn after level 15, and would continue to spawn afterwards. However, as the higher your level increases, the rarer it would be to find, as better weapons would be found. I'm not stating that it would stay low leveled, even in stats, just that it would be slightly inferior to other higher tier ars.


This would combine your idea and the game's current sense of leveling up. Basically the higher tier, military type weapons would be more common towards the higher levels, while lesser tier weapons would be more common during the lower levels. For example, lets say you're level 35. The list of Long rifles you can find would be say the SVD, Sportshot, FAL, and the Hunter Compact. You'd have a higher chance to loot the SVD and the FAL, and the Sportshot and Hunter Compact would have a rarer chance. However, considering you're only level 35, instead of say level 50, you still have a decent chance of looting both of those guns. SVD and FAL stats would be higher than the Sportshot and Hunter Compact, but not completely. The Hunter Compact could feature better reload/accuracy over the SVD and better per bullet damage over the FAL, while the Sportshot would feature a better rate of fire over the SVD and better accuracy than the FAL. This would apply throughout the entire weapon sandbox, other than a few exceptions. Some "Junk" weapons would always be pretty much the worst of the worst, and this would include mostly low level weapons for the most part. A level 55 Manning .22 is going to be completely inferior to a level 55 M107.

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[referring to entire post]

Yes, I was having the same thoughts you're having, pretty much. 

The question remains if we'd want to favor game logic and immersion that way or simply balancing and diversity ..... because of course it would somehow still be smart and consistent to have certain borders in your way to loot certain items but it would again lead to the current problems to have any kind of general obsolescence within the game, just way less. 

I'd prefer to completely get rid of such barriers but I would still see your variant as way better than we're having it currently. 

Another idea would be to have soft level barriers. Rough, quick example: 
M16 could spawn lvl 1 but with a chance of 0,05% 
M16 chance at level 5 would be 2% 
At level 20 around 15% 
And at level 55 maybe around 2% again. 

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a level 1 m1o7? You do realize how OP that would be? And since you made it rare, veterans/alts will still be the ones to get them to em first, and have a good stock of them.


Then you want to significantly lower the chance of finding high level uniques... A lot of High level players don't have a bunch of max Range m107's and MSR's lying around... Despite what you may have heard. Only the small percentage of the high level player base do. I'm a level 41, and I've only found one Unique Long Rifle in my entire career, and it had a crappy range as well.



Also, when trying to persuade people, it's best not to list the negatives, because you cause the audience to doubt whatever it is that you are trying to get them to believe (just some friendly advice).


You're missing the point, I believe. M107 or MSR at lvl1 wouldn't do 200+ damage but something between 2-6 .... to not mess up the balancing. Via constant upgrading it would be possible to have that very same gun do, around 100 damage at level 25 and the currently normal amount of damage at max level. The same development would be required for its range. 
That is the work the devs had to deal with because balancing all the weapons in their game for every level would be a ton of work for sure. 

Despite your mid-high level, you're still a beginner item-wise. 
The new system would enable you to actually use that one Long Range rifle you found other than having absolutely no Long Range rifle to use properly and by that making it more likely to be able to compete with rich players.
To compensate that, drop chances would have to be lowered in the long-term to avoid inflation.

When you try to persuade someone you always bring up the negatives because nothing is more persuasive than honesty. 
Besides that: I'm not trying to persuade. I want to discuss. 

Edited by Winspector, 10 August 2017 - 03:46 AM.

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The main reason I don't want to see those guns at such a low level is that the lower levels are a lot more different and slower paced than the rest of the game, something i'd like to see remain. 

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While it makes sense, game design must trump realism.


Guns only drop at certain levels because you are supposed to be switching up your guns periodically (game design).


If all weapons drop at all locations then only 1-2 will be favored and all other weapons of that type will be ignored (bad game design).


Unless you make all weapons of the same type have the exact same stats.  i.e. they're all just skins of one another. I'd argue that's bad game design as well, since it'd make the game a lot more boring in some ways.




It'd also be a huge advantage to paying players.   DMU players can run nearly unlimited missions.  They''d simply run missions until they got he right gun with the right stats and the upgrade it.  Free to-play players wouldn't have the resources to upgrade -- doesn't matter how much you lower the cost,

Edited by Zingman, 10 August 2017 - 06:15 AM.

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Lana Woo

Lana Woo
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I don't think weapons can be scaled linearly across all 55 levels without getting into "trouble", especially when scaling level 51-55 weapons to levels 1-10 and vice-versa. You will inevitably reach a point where your lvl 50 Hunter Compact will be either way too powerful or way too crappy, and you can't adjust it without screwing up the level 20-30 Hunter Compacts. You would require a complete readjustment of the stats of every weapon, including those that are already looted, and I'm absolutely sure that it will piss off a lot of people.

Plus, it's not the same to design one or two sets of stats for every 10-level-tier than to design 12. For level 51+ LRs, for example, we have a fast-firing medium-damage weapon with decent range and a high-powered, extremely long-range weapon that's slow to fire and carry. They serve different purposes and adjust to different playstyles. How many more variations can you find? 2? 3? Certainly not 10 more without making them painfully similar.

I would prefer to revive an idea that was floating around, about "special missions" where your survivors were temporally reverted to a lower level, and you could use low-level items during the mission. Or maybe you could introduce "re-skinned" versions of those weapons, where the stats are similar to one of your current level weapons but the weapon model would correspond to a lower-level weapon. Think a PSG with a Sporshot rifle skin.


My point is, there are many ways to use low-level guns, but revamping the whole weapon (and gear?) system would bring much more trouble than it's worth.

Edited by Lana Woo, 10 August 2017 - 02:48 PM.

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I think the easiest way to spice things up would be to make it so that High Activity Zones have loot that is similar to their default suburb, but scaled to your level.


For example, in say Union Bridge, you'd be finding level 50-54 AK74s, if you did the HAZ at level 55

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