Sunday, 4 January 2015

Some Vocabulary 2/2 (L to W)

"7 Days to Die" has a lot of jargon, and it can be useful to know.


IndexLeg Injury, Loot, POI, Shell, Skill Book, Spawn, Stamina, Time, Wellness.

Link to part 1 here.


Leg Injury
A series of Debuffs, mainly the Sprain and one indicating an actual broken leg, which is more severe, and the assocaited status effects of applying a Splint to yourself. They slow down your movement speed, less so when Splinted. To make a Splint you need 2 Cloth Fragments and 2 Sticks. To acquire either of these Debuffs, you must fall from a large height. Landing in water (unless shallow) seems to guarantee you won't get injured. Likewise, landing on Hay Bales gives a lot of protection from fall damage, but perhaps not total immunity.

Loot
Stuff you take/find in buildings and trash bags, and on Zombie corpses. Nurse Zombies used to have a chance of dropping sweet medically pertinent loot, but this seems to have gone away. Fat Zombies still drop Animal Fat and occasionally other useful stuff, but apart from Cop Zombies whose loot I am not really familiar with - they're very dangerous - you don't have to obsess about looting them. Loot when you can, but don't worry if they despawn (60s timer) before you manage it.

No, to get valuable loot you must loot ruins and buildings, and as a very rough rule of thumb, the more ruined a given building is, the less rich it'll be, e.g. in terms of how many lootable containers it has. See POI, further down.

Loot is random, with each loot container having its own random table of potential items, sometimes (this is known for bookcases, but speculated to also apply to some others) divided into Common and Rare items. It is not known whether some loot containers exist as multiple types (depending on Biome or on POI type), each with its own loot table but outwardly identical to player character senses.

POI
Stands for Point-of-Interest. Established player jargon, referring to any building or site, from tiny Camps to large Factories or even small Towns.

The fixed Navezgane map has a lot of POIs, but the random genreated map has some quirks. It used to be that POIs would only spawn a very few at a time, at most once per biome section, and only along roads going straight north-south or east-west. Fortunately, that has now changed, and POIs can also spawn in the form of small or large clusters, the smallest being four sites arranged in a 2x2 pattern as a form of tiny village, although the buildings that spawn might not necessarily be homes (one possibility is a Gas Station). In my experience most such village are 2x4 units, but they can be larger. Usually there's a maximum of 1 such per Biome (any type of Biome can contain one, AFAIK) but many contain none.

There can also be off-road POIs, at least Barns (beware of Dogs!), but hypotheticall other types as well.

In the Burned Forest and the Wasteland Biomes, there are a lot of tiny ruins, most which 1-2 loot containers, possibly a Bird's Nest, some trash (a Trash Can usually) and perhaps some curtains (Cloth Fragments), but arguably those don't qualify as POIs.

No, a POI is something that, when you find it in cooperative multiplayer, you immediately tell the other players about it, given them directions or even the map coordinates.

Shell
My term for a fully enclosing building, with four falls with no openings, defined by how solid the walls are, and with a floor and roof with no openings. Since Zombies cannot dig up or down (not even diagonally), it's OK to have a floor of Dirt voxels and a roof of WoodFrames, but ideally the floor should have a hatch, or the stairs or ramp up to the roof should have a Door somewhere so that climbing Spider Zombies can't get up on the roof and then inside the Shell. Likewise, the door opening into the Shell must be protected by a sturdy Door, preferably a fully upgraded (tier 3) Hard Metal Door. As such, the Shell is strategically classified based on by its weakest spot.

Skill book
These are items, findable as loot (and in Air Supply Drops) that player characters can read to unlock special skills, both useful ones such as Leather Working (nifty to be able to process Animal Hide into Leather Armour) and ones that are currently useless such as the one for making a Combat Knife. Reading the same Skill  Book more than once conveys no benefit other than denying its use to other players, which may of course be desirable on a PVP server but is bad behaviour in cooperative multiplayer mode. It seems as if in recent version, the game keeps track of what Skill Books have already been read and won't let a player character read (and thus waste) an already known book, but this may not yet be 100% consistent, so players in coop games should still be a bit careful.

The most prized Skill Book is probably Forge Ahead, now required in order to make Forges for smelting Iron (previously, all player characters started the game able to make Forges, so this is new), followed by the Leather Tanning Book, since Animal Hide is plentiful and a single player can supply an entire coop team with armour.

Spawn
Spawning is the process of an entity entering or re-entering the game world. Zombies spawn according to various programmed rules, ones rather more primitive and unsophisticated than what one might desire but, hey, the game is still alpha.

Players spawn into the game world the first time they join any given server. On servers with Friendly Fire disabled, players may spawn all at the same point, making it easier for them to find one another, but my experience is with servers with Friendly Fire enabled. That usually designates a server meant for PVP, but can also mean a cooperative PVE server meant for more tactically complex play. With Friendly Fire enabled, players spawn at random points, and must find each other, either to fight or to cooperate.

Upon dying, a player who has plonked down a Bedroll gets the choice of respawning either right on top of it, or close to it. You can also delay the decision, staying logged on to the server, e.g. if you want to wait for sunrise (I've played very little singleplayer recently, so to be honest I've forgotten if you can also postpone respawning there). If you haven't plonked down a Bedroll, you'll respawn at a random location upon dying, probably a few kilometers from where you died.

Lootable containers (except - as of 10.4 - cars) also respawn new random contents, at intervals configured in the game settings. For more realistic play, the interval should be set to a high value. I favour 30 days. There are some rules about container respawn not happening if the player is close, so if you decide to move into an existing building and make that your base (not that I'd recommend it) you can use all its containers for storage, without worrying as long as you're never far from home for very long intervals (a week or more, I imagine).

Items despawn some time after being dropped on the ground. For this reason, when one player drops an item on the ground to give to another player, this other player must be attentive and react swiftly, especially if the item dropped was valuable (i.e. required scarce resources to produce). Dropping items is often used to get rid of unwanted items, e.g. Dog Food. Zombies probably also despawn after some time if no player characters are around, and a somewhat common tactic is to run away from the fortress to lead a Horde of Zombies astray, leading them far away (this obviously only really works with the slow daytime Zombies), then circling around and returning to base. It used to work well, but might perhaps not be so good in recent versions. That remains to be seen.

Stamina
Your charcter's exertion meter. How much physically strenous work you can perform, including digging, swinging your tool against Trees or rock (or Club category weapons in combat), and running. Stamina regains a lot faster than HP, but is very important since it's largely the "brake" on how active you can be ingame. Certain conditions, most importantly the Infection debuff, nerfs your Stamina regain, so you want to avoid those. Drinking Coffee or Beer or Grain Alcohol gives you a buff to Stamina regain, but don't overdo the booze (there's reputedly a Hangover debuff, but I have yet to experience it myself).

Stamina regain appears to be non-linear. The lower your Stamina is, the more slowly it'll regain. This means that the most stupid thing you can do is to work or run to exhaustion, then wait for regain, then work or run yourself to exhaustion again. Instead, it's probably a lot more efficient to stop when your Stamina is at around the half-way mark or even a bit above it. I believe you'll get a lot more done, in terms of digging or travelling, that way.

Time
The game has an in-game clock, whether you play singleplayer on your own computer, or multiplayer on a server. The Day Length value seens to (still) be meant to be the time from sunrise'ish to sunset'ish, with a default value of 40 minutes, although some players favour a longer period, 50 or 60 inutes or even more, some a shorter one of 30 or fewer minutes. On top of this, it seems (time is still not well understood by us players, and the devs aren't helping), comes the Night Duration, expressed as a percentage of Day Length. The default value is 35%, which suggets that the Night will be about 1/3 of Day Length, thus about 20 minutes, for a total of about 60 minutes. In SP mode, the available Night Percentage options are 20%, 35% and 50%, but on servers, any percentage appears to be chooseable

Time actually speeds up, during part of the night phase, though, and for large Night Percentages such as 20% that's very noticable. Perhaps a bit less so for 35%.

Back in April 2014, I made some observations, using a 20% Night Percentage and a 60 minute Day Length. That's not very good data, being from version 7.9 alpha(!), but I don't have anything more current:

The clock slows down at 650. Then at 720 the Zombies stop running, switching to their slow day-time movement mode (note that at 720 there's still not much light - exploring may not be a good idea this early in the game). At 2050 the Zombies speed up to a run again, and then only at 2110 the clock speeds up. This means that at the morning end of hings there's a 30 minute interval where the Zombies still run but the clock is slow, meaning you have to spend a lot of time waiting in your hideout. And likewise around sunset there's a 20 minutes (or thereabouts) time interval in which time is slow but the Zombies are sprnting around.

Wellness
This is the physiological or metabolic well-being of your character. If you take good care of your character's body, don't abuse it, and make sure his biological needs aren't neglected, Wellness will increase slowly. Starving or being thirsty causes Wellness to drop (especially if you sink so low you get hit by the 2nd tier debuffs for thirst or hunger!). Allegedly certain other debuffs such as Infection and Leg Injuries also slow or stop Welness increase for as long as they last, but I'm not sure if that is actually implemented as of 10.4.

I'm not sure if you actually get Wellness increase over time automatically. If so, it's very slow. Most Wellness increase you get comes from eating natural foods, meaning food that doesn't come from a can and isn't Yucca Fruit. you can sometimes find cooked foods as loot, such as Stew, but most you'll make yourself, in the form of cooked Meat or Corn Bread and Boiled Eggs. Be careful of Baked Potatoes (and Yucca Fruit) as they don't seem to give any Wellness at all! Given that you can't eat when your Food Meter is filled, you should try to eat good foods rather than poor foods. According to a forum post dealing with 10.2 or 10.3 game data files, almost all foods that give Wellness increase give the same Wellness increase per Food Meter increase, so thankfully you don't have to worry about some foods being bettr than others. Instead, you only worry about some foods giving Welness and other foods not giving Wellness.

Wellness serves the important function of being the cap for your HP regain and your Stamina regain. Wellness starts at 100, meaning as long as either one is under 100, they'll regain. Very slowly for HP, not so slowly for Stamina. Regain seems not to be proportional to the max, though, unlike in other games such as Skyrim, so if you've boosted your Wellness up to 140 or 150, you'll have a large Stamina pool to burn, for work or running around, but once burned it'll take quite some time to recover.

Each time you die, you'll lose a bunch of Wellness, so dying more than 1-2 times will be painful, as it takes time, often several days, to recover the loss. I've always played the game carefully, played in a realistic style, being reluctant to die, but many other players have learned a near-suicidal style, in the many months prior to version 10.0, and are thus having to unlearn a lot of bad habits.

-- 
Peter Knutsen

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