Be warned: there is a lot involved in this idea so be prepared for a lot of reading.
The spread of the zombie infection has become global and HERC is increasingly desperate to contain its spread. Herc scientists have developed a treatment that prevents zombification as long as the treatment is administered regularly. It is not a cure as the treatment is only as effective as the supply, HERC scientists are working tirelessly to develop a cure. However, the effectiveness of HERC paramilitary units is greatly increased when the treatment is applied to the front line troops.
The source of this treatment is a closely guarded HERC secret that has not been shared with political figures of any nation’s government. The treatment is immunoglobulin (antibody) found to be present in 100% of the virus resistant survivors inside the dead zone. Thus far HERC scientists have not been able to make synthetic versions of protein and have been forced to use what they can collect from survivors. The HERC collection facilities house hundreds of survivors that have been captured, but do not yield nearly enough of the protein for research and treatment. HERC is now beginning a secret operation with the goal of capturing all the zombie infection resistant survivors in the DZ, so that they can be used in the protein collection facilities. Heavily fortified HERC outposts have been created inside the DZ and extraction squads have been striking survivor compounds.
-HERC outposts appear on map: These are similar to player compounds in that they have defensive structures and defended by armed NPCs. HERC outposts are different from player compounds in that they are not constructed out of found materials, they are much more polished and professional looking. When attacking a HERC outpost there will be zombies on the map that will attack either HERC troops or your survivors depending on threat/noise levels. HERC outposts are extremely well fortified and take much longer to assault then a player compound (30 minute mission duration). If a HERC outpost is destroyed it sends a distress signal to the other HERC outposts, in response the other outposts recall their extraction teams and go into high alert. This stops HERC extraction attacks on your compound for the duration of the high alert timer (23 hours), but also means any HERC outposts attacked during the high alert timer will have more defenders and be harder to take down.
-HERC extraction squads attack player compounds: Similar to zombie horde attacks, but instead of zeds you get HERC troops. Number of troops would depend on AI quality, if we get a decent AI that can adjust its attack in response to the defensive set up then small numbers of attacking troops would work… but if it is a simple AI then the attackers would be a large group. If all your defenders are killed and your compound falls you get a message along the lines of “The HERC extraction squad was ambushed and destroyed by a team of survivors before they could transport you to their outpost. Your team has been freed, but not before large amounts of blood was taken by the HERC squad’s medical officer for analysis. Your team is now suffering from blood loss fatigue. Blood loss fatigue is a debuff that subtracts moral, move speed, and health from the survivors, while adding a small amount to all action times.
-HERC extraction squad ambushes: Occasionally on the DZ map an icon will appear that indicates an ambush can be carried out. Send a squad of survivors in and the street will appear normal and have zombies spawning. However, very soon after you start the mission a HERC team will appear at the opposite end of the map and begin working its way across. With the HERC extraction squad are a few prisoners. Zombies will attack both your team, the HERC team, and the prisoners. The HERC team will protect the prisoners if possible and zombies will target HERC team over prisoners, but if the prisoners are killed you lose the mission. If the HERC team gets to the green zone on the other side of the map you lose the mission. If there are any surviving HERC troops when the mission timer runs out you lose the mission. If you succeed in killing the entire HERC team with no prisoners being killed then the mission is a success. Since lootable moving objects is a problem you cannot loot any special HERC items on this mission. However a successful mission will reward you with a “team leaders lock box” which is much like a HERC supply box but requires no key. The box has a high chance of yielding something useful like lvl 4-5 medical supplies and a very very small chance of yielding HERC gear.
-HERC antibody collection facility/ DZ island: The as yet unlocked island of the deadzone would be an excellent place for the HERC collection facility. The collection facility has to be near the deadzone because the collection facility technicians must have a way of exposing the infection resistant survivors to the zombie virus, or the survivors immune system will eventually stop making the antibody. Therefore HERC has turned the island into the most heavily fortified research facility on the planet. This facility can be attacked, but only in played missions. Also to be able to attack any of the areas on the island you must first destroy two HERC defensive areas, one zone on the bridge and another zone right at the end of the bridge. Once these areas have been cleared you will have a 48 hour window to attack zones on the island before the defensive areas must be destroyed again. As this post is already quite long I will not go into details about what is on the island, but sufficed to say it would be the hardest of HERC locations to attack and would yield the best items. There would also be boosters (increased morale, faster heal time for injuries, etc) that would be gotten by completing mission objectives on the island (freeing prisoners, destroying lab equipment, etc).