Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Beware DogSnekPigMan Alpha 17

A few weeks back, 7D2D dropped Alpha 17 for PC users. This was a HUGE patch that we’ve been waiting for since… well sometime during the summer. It kept getting pushed back, but it’s available now to opt into as an experimental build.

Our Zombie Team has put some hours into the new build over the past couple of weekends. While I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what’s there, and haven’t seen anything that constitutes as end game (we had to start over twice — once because of a patch incompatibility), I think I’ve got a feel for it enough to write some stuff.

Welcome to Fort DogSnekPigMan

See that picture above? This is Fort DogSnekPigMan, our newest digs. In the past, we usually made a beeline to find a forge house to reinforce as a fort. But with changes to the game (they removed my beloved Log Spikes), this just isn’t as feasible to do by the first blood moon anymore. 

So when we had to restart the last time, we decided to go the route of finding a pre-existing building with a roof we could hold up at. Fort DogSnekPigMan became it. 

And actually, it did a pretty good job! 

First Blood Moon Horde

The first blood moon horde was nothing to sneeze at. It even had a couple of cops… which you traditionally don’t see to later in the game. But Fort DogSnekPigMan already had some traps (spikes and mines) in place before we got there, and it had this spiffy little side yard area that helped a lot with defenses. 

So, in the end, it was a good pick. 

I don’t think we’ll use this forever, but for a place to start, it was a good one. 

Lots of Changes

There are so many changes to the game with Alpha 17, I just can’t even begin to remember to talk about them all. Everything from how battle works to how you earn XP was completely overhauled. I don’t agree with all the changes (zombies should not be able to jump like they do!), but it does make for an interesting time. 

New party system that lets you share experience and see where your friends are at a glance

Here’s some things I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Grouping and shared experience (builder lifesaver!)
  • More RPG elements – NPC quests, skill “trees”, etc
  • Stamina cap is based on hunger, so food is important
  • Stamina useage – you use more, but regain it back faster
  • Houses that act as dungeons – there’s a specific path through a house to find a “treasure” at the end
  • Lots and lots of traps and tricks – don’t just rush into any building anymore, use the intended path for better results
  • New melee combat system – power swings!
  • Retrieve arrows from zombies (yay!) 
  • New vehicles (though I haven’t seen any yet)
  • Zombies no longer drop loot (but they also don’t leave bodies behind)
  • Updated graphics (it seems)
  • …other stuff I’ve probably forgotten… 

Most of this is pretty fun. But some things still need a lot of tweaks. 

For example, if you’re a builder, you’re out of luck when it comes to earning experience for leveling. Zombie kills are the prime means of XP, and unless your buddies are sharing experience and racking up kills around you, you’re going to get left in the dust. Syn helped to offset this by tweaking building experience so that it’s a bit better in the .XML files. But really, this shouldn’t have to be a player tweak. 

7D2D was such a fun game because it allowed players of all interests to work together to overcome the threat. If you liked to build, you could create the safe house. If you liked to explore, you could bring back supplies. If you like to fight, you could fend of hordes. 

But the way that it’s balanced now, this isn’t true anymore. Not to mention, a number of items were taken away (log spikes) and zombies that jump… make builders have to rethink their approach to designing a place that’s safe for the team during a horde night. 

RIP Color Crayon Spikes 😦

The jury is still out on how progression moves in the long run. We’ve only just cleared the first Day 7 horde. And I have a feeling there will be other patches that come along for fixes to this alpha… likely to ask us to start over again, I wouldn’t doubt. 

7D2D still remains my favorite zombie survival game — I’ve put more hours into it than any other game on Steam. I’m interested to know where it’s going and how it’s going to develop now there’s a much more RPG slant to it. I guess only time will tell!

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Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

Blaugust Dev Appreciation Week: The Fun Pimps

I never thought I’d use the word “Pimp” in a title of a blog post, but there you are. I love this team and what they do, so I’m pimpin’ their name right now… (Oh… that was awful… I’ll see myself out.)

The Fun Pimps is the development team behind the zombie survival crafting game, 7 Days to Die. If you look at my archives, you’ll see that I first reviewed 7D2D back in July of 2014… and this is a game that the Posse still enthusiastically plays today (we were playing it last weekend, in fact)! I have over 700 hours put into this game, which makes it my most-played Steam game ever.

Even though it’s still wading through various stages of alpha, we are awaiting the next big patch drop eagerly. Jeeps and gyro-copters!! Woot!

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So who are the Fun Pimps? Based on their website:

The Fun Pimps A.K.A. TFP are a small dedicated group of highly experienced Game and Software developers with a passion to make games that both our team and gamers really want to play. Our goal is to create a lasting gaming experience you can’t get anywhere else. It’s more than a game it’s a labor of love!

Our team grew from humble beginnings making mods for games and those roots have taken seed. But we haven’t forgotten where we came from and the importance of growing a strong vision with the support and passion of the people we’re making the game for. The average 7 Days to Die Team member has over 14 years of experience in Game and Software Development working with or for many top companies.

We’re too experienced to call indie but still small enough to do the innovative and sometimes risky things that AAA studios are afraid to try. So if you’re with us buckle your seat belts survivors, grab your pickaxe, compass and knapsack and let’s start kicking some Zombie ass and making some cool ass MacGyver shit!

Can confirm this is accurate.

Sometimes TFP take some flack for being a slower dev team to push updates. But to their credit, the game they’re working on is already huge and extremely complex. When they do release, they drop a HUGE amount of new content. In fact, every patch has made it like a brand new game each time.

Yes, this means you have to start your game over for big patches. But you know what? Even after over 700 hours in this game, the Posse never complains about starting over. With the random gen system, each new game is always vastly different. It’s just as engaging to wipe the slate clean as it is to have a nice fortified base and move into exploration mode further into the game cycle.

There’s so many complexities that even after all this time, the game continues to surprise us in devious and delightful ways. Due to that, I can absolutely be patient for the next content drop without complaint. It just makes it all the more delicious when we get it.

I don’t know if Joel and the team will ever see my thanks, but this is my appreciation post for a darn fine game that’s brought us more enjoyment, ripped down walls and jump-scares than I could have ever anticipated. Keep on pimpin!

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Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Welcome to 1313 Elm Street, Milton

The Posse has been back at playing a new 7D2D map, using a fantastic seed we found named “Milton.” Try it. You’ll like it.

Just like any game with building and housing, that’s where I spend most of my time during the zombie apocalypse. I get made (gentle) fun of for being addicted to painting and decorating our house-base. But, hey, if we have to live in a place, I want it to look nice!

It doesn’t help that painting is quite audible to everyone nearby, often compared by other players as the sound of a cat lapping up milk.

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We named the new place “Elm Street” due to the fact that Xaa had fun lining the approaching road with huge trees on either side.

This play through, we tried something a little different. Instead of swiping a forgehouse somewhere outside a town, we snagged the outtermost house on the edge of a suburb. I usually don’t like to build so close to a town since it might cause more zombie spawns, but I haven’t really seen a difference.

I put up the normal fortifications outside, and built a roof-garden by modifying a garage across the street. This has served us well.

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We managed to find a working chemistry station in a nearby Poppin’ Pills, and I’ve taken advantage of that to paint the base. Sadly, many of the paint textures are dirty and grimy, but I’ve done the best I could to make it look nice.

The living room / work room:

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The kitchen:

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Landing at the top of the stairs:

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An office space:

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Later, I dumped the old chair pictured up there, and put nicer wood chairs instead. I don’t dare put a swivel chair in there, though, cuz it’d be immediately raided and broken down for parts. 😀

But, just because things look nice on the inside doesn’t mean everything is safe. Oh, no!

Our base is fortified outside with concrete and steel!

This zombie dog looked particularly vicious in the position it died on the spikes:

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Our night 21 horde was quite a ride, too!

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A couple days later, Xaa had this fellow follow him all the way home. Props to Xaa for sending me this cool shot:

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Feral Radiated Spider Zombie: Not something you see every day!

I don’t know what it is about 7D2D that has made it one of the longest-played games in my Steam library. It’s got a similar appeal to something like Minecraft (which inspired it), but only more gritty, with FPS and tower defense elements mixed in.

Maybe it’s the fact that there is so many things to do, and that playing it as a group, everyone can find something they enjoy. I love to build, some people love to mine, some love to explore and loot. Some like fighting zombies.

The game keeps getting better, too. We’re all really looking forward to the new vehicles releasing with the next big patch!

Granted, releases take their time to reach us. But we can be patient for the good things to come.

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Base Beautification – Fun with Painting

So, in between schedules and work trips, our Posse has been able to continue making progress on out longest running 7D2D game in a while. Last time, I talked about how as time passes, we started seeing more dangerous, glowing zombies in hordes. But while designing a base has, up until now, mostly been about function, with the new painting feature and skills, it can now be about form.

Painting is something that was just introduced with this last major patch. This patched in paint brushes, paint, and patterns that you learn from finding recipe books. Paint itself can be found (usually in hardware stores), or by crafting it using the chemistry station and common plants. Thankfully, you make a lot of paint per plant, so there’s lots of room to experiment.

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In the picture above, you can see the base concrete block all the way to the right. The rest of the blocks are concrete with a brick pattern painted over them. Keep in mind that when you paint, it only covers one side of the block. Also, if you upgrade that block (ie. from concrete to steel), the paint is overwritten and you will have to paint it again.

This is fine. For years, I’ve had to put up with bases looking like Frankenstein conglomerations of wood, iron, concrete and steel. Like this:

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Now, I can make it look so, so much nicer!

And inside? I converted that old log cabin into something fairly nice. Even my team members were joking that they’d walked into some upscale hotel or something. In terms of 7D2D, this is pretty nice looking. 🙂

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They also laughed at me because apparently, painting splashes paint everywhere, and makes a loud wet noise. At first, this confused them.

Someone asked, “Do you hear that sound? It’s like water dripping.”

I said, “Oh, you mean this sound?” *paint paint paint*

“Yes, that’s it! What is that?”

“Me painting!”

But the most important thing to know is that you can paint things pink!

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This used to be a washing machine. Not anymore!

If you want to see this in action, here’s a pretty great video that covers painting as a whole. This looks like it’s done in creative mode, so things are a little different in survival mode.

 

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: When Radioactive Zombies Attack

Over the past few weeks, the Posse has started a new game in 7D2D, since the stable version of the patch was released. We still faced some pretty game breaking issues, which pushed us to host from the dedicate server module rather that through Steam. But once Syn got all that set up, everything was running well again.

Almost every time we start a new game in 7D2D, we experience something we’ve never seen before. This game is the longest running we’ve had in a long time. I think we were pushing up on day 40 pretty soon.

The last couple hordes we fought brought something new… radioactive zombies.

Apparently, the fat cop zombie is always glowy and green now. They were always a bit intimidating before since they could puke long distance projectiles and would rush and try to explode to take you out. But now they also glow green.

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They’re not the only type of glowing zombies… I’ve seen glowing spiders and ferals as well. And the ferals have seriously increased in size.

It’s something else to look over the hill on a blood moon night and see something like this coming your way…

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There’s five of us, and we’ve had no problem holding our own against them. The concrete fort reinforced with steel spikes has also done its job well. So you get a pile of radioactive zombie bodies burning with flame from the Molotov cocktails that Vix likes to set herself on fire with.

Oh, and sometimes the zombies catch fire, too…

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Skyscraper Fun

The other thing we’ve discovered for the first time are the new skyscraper POIs. The patch notes said these were meant to be like vertical dungeons that your team could explore. And explore, we did!

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Lots of loot. Lots of sleeper zombies. Lots of floors to explore. Good fun.

Also, trap rooms!

The “Beware” sign on the screenshot at the top of this post indicated that the floor in that area would fall out under you! We also found this little spike trap room…

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Someone was angry…

The skyscraper is interesting because you really did feel like you were exploring a place that survivors had holed up into — from the top level penthouse to floors of offices where you found working cubicles and mostly businessman zombies.

And then, you find strange things like toilets hanging out on unfinished ledges.

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I have no idea. Random generation at its finest, I guess.

Our game is currently on hold for a little while since Syn won’t be able to host until she gets back from a trip. But I did want to post about all our newest discoveries. I swear just when you think you’re familiar with 7D2D, it throws a curve ball at you.

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Alpha 16 Release

So, while the Posse is fidgeting and waiting for Stormblood to drop, 7D2D released Alpha 16 last weekend… just in time to give us a little taste of it before FFXIV whisks us away. This update upped the stakes and increased the difficulty of the game, which was something we could tell instantly (even though we play on lower settings).

I say this as a positive thing. A16 keeps you on your toes, even if you’ve been playing the game for years, like we have. Sleeper zombies are a new thing — they lay there until you get close and just wake up out of nowhere. You can put them down if you sneak up on them before they wake, but man, do these things make exploring new locations a startle-fest.

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I tried to place these chests on the floor, but they attached to the fridge instead. They are our new “fridge magnets.” (We actually call them that in game, too: “I put the food in the bottom fridge magnet.”)

Also, new wildlife, such as wolves and buzzards are in. Wolves (and dire wolves) are almost everywhere, and attack much the same as the zombie dogs used to. At first, I thought this would be annoying, but then, when I realized you could harvest them for meat, fat and hide, they’ve become more of a good thing. Instead of running after pigs and deer, you can let dinner come to you!

It looks like the old roaming zombie hoards are back. I missed hearing the frightening sounds of running zombies at night. And these hordes are pretty sizable, giving a good challenge no matter the time of day.

Despite all these things, we were able to reinforce a starting location in time for the first blood moon. The 7 day hordes are now adjustable in size — we left ours at 8 zombies (per person, I believe), but you can make them bigger. With five of us playing, we had quite a lot of zombies rushing our base.

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We found a few bugs (zombies and wolves running in circles but hardly doing damage, short weapon range, falling through the world, way too many screamers), and a few changes… but overall, we had a good time with the new build. I’m looking forward to exploring the new painting tools and making our base look faaaabulous!

But, first… who’s going to clean this all up??

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