Author Topic: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies  (Read 4977 times)

Black Mask

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 193
The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« on: June 18, 2006, 09:15:12 AM »
Spun off from the "dragging bodies" thread because I thought it was an interesting topic for suggestion.

     Wow, well OK. It seems a very altruistic thing to do but I guess that's why i'm not playing as a zombie. As far as altruism goes, I can see the greater need for medics and of course necrotechs. This is sort of fascinating to me because i'm a psychology grad student (outside of Malton). Zombie clans and members of those clans seem to share a greater communal responsibility than harmon groups. I mean you'll see groups come to the aid of their allies when you guys hit a mall really hard (the RRF is pretty vicious when it starts rolling). I guess city-wide domination can only be achieved in strength in STRONG numbers and that would be a means of getting there.

I can think of two main reasons for this.

The first is the fact that zombies were so screwed for quite so long.  I think one side effect of this is that it meant that zombie players actually have a sense of solidarity that you don't get to the same extent with human players, particuarly with people outside their group.  And remember that the high level zombies (who I suspect are going to be the most altruistic about dragging bodies out, as we don't need the XP) are more likely to have been around at that time and for the strike.

Secondly, ironically, it's because zombies are more anyomous and less 'heroic' in the traditional sense.  So you don't get the same level of trenchcoating gloryhounds among the zombie population.  Apart from a couple of very prominent exceptions (Xyu, Petro) who are heavily involved in the UD community as a whole, the only way for a zombie to gain fame is vicariously through being part of an infamous horde.
Whatever. Continue to insult people over the internet. As long as it makes you feel better go ahead.- Sonny

cyberbob

  • Latent Psychic
  • Shareholder
  • ****
  • Posts: 1254
  • WHY HELLO THAR
    • My Wiki User Page
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 09:19:53 AM »
Agreed. Survivors have many ways of gaining fame and/or notoriety, not the least of which is prolific PKing. Zombies don't care about ZKing, because it's not a problem to them. They can get up, with no worries. Survivors, on the other hand, get all worked up about PKing because they have to go through the motions of waiting for a revive.

Thus, survivors have incentive to betray their fellow humans. Zombies don't.


I'd agree with you except that I think you are wrong.

thegreathal

  • Refugee
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Founder, Independent Nation of Owsleybank
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 05:55:43 PM »
With less conversation options, it's much simpler for zombies to talk about their feelings. Which is why the radio programs are totally throwing off zombie balance.
--AIM thegreathal
Visit Owsleybank!
This user or group knows exactly what to do with a banana.

pesatyel

  • Refugee
  • **
  • Posts: 42
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2006, 11:27:03 PM »
Well, as I said in the other thread, zombies often HAVE to work as a team and a lot of their skills are "horde oriented" where as survivors are all "one man armies" (at least once you have a few skills).  Also, as thegreathal pointed out, communication is an important key too.  Again, zombie communication is generally tied to horde activity (Feeding Groan, for example).

But one thing too, I don't believe Headless Gunner has EVER played a zombie (Mrh?-cow doesn't count).  And THAT is part of the psychology of it as well.

Jabu

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 447
  • But I Love Her!!!!
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 06:30:41 AM »
Spun off from the "dragging bodies" thread because I thought it was an interesting topic for suggestion.

I can think of two main reasons for this.

The first is the fact that zombies were so screwed for quite so long.  I think one side effect of this is that it meant that zombie players actually have a sense of solidarity that you don't get to the same extent with human players, particuarly with people outside their group.  And remember that the high level zombies (who I suspect are going to be the most altruistic about dragging bodies out, as we don't need the XP) are more likely to have been around at that time and for the strike.

Secondly, ironically, it's because zombies are more anyomous and less 'heroic' in the traditional sense.  So you don't get the same level of trenchcoating gloryhounds among the zombie population.  Apart from a couple of very prominent exceptions (Xyu, Petro) who are heavily involved in the UD community as a whole, the only way for a zombie to gain fame is vicariously through being part of an infamous horde.
please forget that dumb edit peeps. A pal of mine said he had messed with my account in someway but I didn't see it until now.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 04:35:22 AM by Jabu »
Quote
Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past... Though we hope for promising years. After shedding a thousand tears, yesterday's sorrow constantly nears.

thegreathal

  • Refugee
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Founder, Independent Nation of Owsleybank
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 07:07:34 PM »
I was just being sarcastic, but it depends what angle you take psychology from...I guess we're seriously saying it's easier to cast for and cast zombies. Especially when they're really humans.
--AIM thegreathal
Visit Owsleybank!
This user or group knows exactly what to do with a banana.

Masumi Minogue

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 02:56:47 PM »
I was just being sarcastic, but it depends what angle you take psychology from...I guess we're seriously saying it's easier to cast for and cast zombies. Especially when they're really humans.

The most interesting part of the game for me is the way that dedicated survivors often forget that the zombies are 'really' people too. I've seen it happen to people in my survivor group. They actually expect zombies to be stupid. Fascinating study in the demonisation of the 'other'.

flareblade77

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
  • All your zergs will be killed by us.
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 07:02:39 PM »
I don't know, a few weeks ago, one person in my main's survivor group asked how many zombies were NPCs..

Jabu

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 447
  • But I Love Her!!!!
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2006, 07:09:46 AM »
*cough*damn shrinks*cough*
Quote
Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past... Though we hope for promising years. After shedding a thousand tears, yesterday's sorrow constantly nears.

Snuffleuff

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 167
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2006, 07:38:25 AM »
The most interesting part of the game for me is the way that dedicated survivors often forget that the zombies are 'really' people too. I've seen it happen to people in my survivor group. They actually expect zombies to be stupid. Fascinating study in the demonisation of the 'other'.

Coincidentally, our zombie group has had the most fun when up against humans that we can actually interact with - We post on their message boards, they post on ours, and we have a good time taunting each other.  A lot of times, though, we just get those humans that just shoot, and aren't even conscious of organized horde activity in their area. 
I've seen a bear do things, well... even things that even a bear wouldn't do.


Mardigan

  • Anti-Spam Group
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Malton's top gameshow host!
    • The GMT Breakfast Club
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2006, 03:44:44 AM »
Coincidentally, our zombie group has had the most fun when up against humans that we can actually interact with - We post on their message boards, they post on ours, and we have a good time taunting each other.  A lot of times, though, we just get those humans that just shoot, and aren't even conscious of organized horde activity in their area. 

+1

My most memorable experiences playing UD have been when we've fought against survivor groups who have openly expressed their appreciation for a good fight.  Some of these exchanges have been really, really good in the past--especially when the survivors involved have made clever leverage of the zombies' strictly limited communication skills.  But you're right; those sorts of encounters are countable on the fingers of one (rotten) hand.

Having played as a zombie from the outset (7 months and counting) I decided to create a human alt not so long ago.  The specific aim of this alt was to try to understand just how different things could possibly be on the other side of Malton's "cultural" fence.  And, to be perfectly honest, I pity survivors.  Really.  It's been a shallow experience in comparison to my zombie adventures.  Part of this shallowness may stem from the fact that my alt isn't in a human equivalent of The RRF, but then there really doesn't appear to be any reason for camaraderie when playing as a human anyway--so this fact - not being in a survivor group - holds little significance in my mind.

Typical survivor fair squeal orders at each other - purely in the interests of self-preservation, rarely for the benefit of the group - whilst hastily pumping their ammo into all-comers.  The practice of "cruising" is particularly barbaric in my opinion, too; leaving a safehouse to pick off lone zombies here and there, before slithering back behind their barricades to grow fat once more on scavenged booty.  In contrast, lone zombies must keep moving--there is no safe haven, except within the largest group of shamblers you can find.  And if you happen to lose this group, well, kiss your decomposing ass good bye.  When considered in this light, zombies are the ultimate, perpetual victims in Urban Dead.

One thing that's struck me most about playing as a human is what little effort is required to actually level up your character.  As a zombie, joining a well-organised group and scouring Malton for ripe safehouses is the only viable way of keeping your corpse fed with regular intakes of experience.  On the flipside; a quick trip outdoors, taking in a couple of kills, will net you at least 2 levels of experience, using less than one day's AP allocation.  Zombies must strive for days to level up to that extent, and I think this is a secondary reinforcement to the 'horde' mentality.

Also: the differences between successful human play and successful zombie play are gulf-like, IMHO.  Being blunt; you appear to need much less skill to be considered a "successful" human than you do a "successful" zombie, and that's just from the (stupid) viewpoint that "levels attained" is the decisive metric.  This isn't how I measure "success" because it doesn't take into account the experiences you had whilst gaining these over-coveted levels.  "It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it," as the old adage goes.  And this couldn't be more true of UD as I see it...
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 03:48:40 AM by Mardigan »

Black Mask

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 193
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2006, 06:49:32 AM »
Controversially, I'd argue that it takes far more skill for my PKer to survive than any of my more 'standard' alt accounts...
Whatever. Continue to insult people over the internet. As long as it makes you feel better go ahead.- Sonny

Mardigan

  • Anti-Spam Group
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Malton's top gameshow host!
    • The GMT Breakfast Club
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2006, 07:03:43 AM »
Controversially, I'd argue that it takes far more skill for my PKer to survive than any of my more 'standard' alt accounts...

For sure, but then you could argue that PK'ing is outside the implied scope of play for UD; it's arguably a disruptive spin-off, not core to the game's mechanics.  But yes; I bet you lot get chased all over town. 8)

Coincidentally, my alt is currently stock piling for a mass PK descent on a particularly deserving target. :shh:  Should make for an interesting new experience if nothing else--finger's crossed we catch the occupants when they're awake and it be a total bloodbath... :dance:

My alt's already a member of The DOA, but I haven't really gotten involved much beyond posting in their forums occaisionally.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 07:14:12 AM by Mardigan »

Headless Gunner

  • Refugee
  • **
  • Posts: 22
  • Creedy Guerilla Raiders/PKer Alliance
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2006, 05:09:52 PM »
     Pkers certainly are outside the scope of Kevans' original intention I'm sure.  I'm a graduate student in psychology OOC, so I dig studying the evolution of human behavior. I think a lot of PKers are people who have a genuine love for this game, but are now bored being restrained by the original roles implemented by Kevan. What would have really sucked would have been if survivors were not allowed to shoot each other through in-game design. I really think we would all be playing Nexus Wars now. Evolution has occurred though, and I think that's pretty cool. Hey, even Day of the Dead had the psychotic, trigger-happy Captain Rhodes right?

When I first started playing UD, I was a good survivor. I hung out in the malls, and ventured out to kill my quota of zombies. I think I got up to Level 30 before I ever PKed anyone. At the time, the highest level you could achieve was 32 I believe. I was unaffiliated, levelled up, and bored. However, I still loved the game. I tried playing as a zombie for awhile, and even joined RRF Department of Homeland Security and made a couple of campaigns. I just didn't want to be a zombie though. No offense to the zeds, but it was boring to me. There was no individualism, and when I kill a zombie, it's just another zombie. There's nothing personal about it. My first PK was some lone survivor in a warehouse. I was really nervous that someone would find out. It really got my heart pumping though, that first time. It was forbidden, which made it more exciting. I didn't even know PK groups existed, and didn't know how to use the WIKI too well. For that matter, I had never even heard of Revive Points, much less where to find them. I knew PKers were shunned throughout Malton. But, I was on the verge of giving up Urban Dead.  I figured, "What the Hell, I'm going to stop playing anyway". That was back in February.  I didn't mean to give Headless Gunners life history,but I just think I'm typical in my motivations to play my character the way I do.
 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 05:12:55 PM by Headless Gunner »

Black Mask

  • Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 193
Re: The Game Psychology of Humans and Zombies
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2006, 06:13:10 AM »
  Pkers certainly are outside the scope of Kevans' original intention I'm sure. 
I'm not convinced they are you know.  If they were, then there would be no need for flak jackets, and they've been in since the start.
Whatever. Continue to insult people over the internet. As long as it makes you feel better go ahead.- Sonny