April 26, 2015, 01:09:47 PM *
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 on: April 17, 2015, 05:01:26 PM 
Started by TheSilverhead - Last post by Justplanefun2
Where is this located?  I'd like to come help if it's not more than a few hours away (I live in Minneapolis MN).  If I remember correctly from shipping you the centurion, you live in SD?

This event sounds like it could be a TON of fun if you pull it off right.  Sounds like a lot of planning for missions and logistics is needed.

 on: April 17, 2015, 03:47:10 PM 
Started by supermidget - Last post by irishknots
So speaking for some games in my local area, Colorado.

Some games have had their swells and deflations depending on the interest across the board.

CU - started in '08 had some huge popularity until the Campus Police nixed nerf blaster use on campus. Really killed a lot of interest. In the years I attend school there, the games were sock dominated on campus, making it very difficult for a modder and career human to compete in a fashion befitting my skill set. They did have off campus missions which I participated in almost exclusively but were difficult to get to due to class and location. It was during this time that the real saving grace for CU HVZ game into being. Once a semester, they would host an indoor lock-in event on a Friday night lasting approximately 5-7 hours. These events grew in such a way that they had to limit the number of players to 150 as we took up too much space for the facilities we were using at one event that was nearly 300. These events continue to this day. In the spring of '12, they started adapting and having day games during the weekend that many many more people could come and didn't discourage the use of nerf. Those became much better events. It was in this that the week long game really died at CU, and it did so with not a sound. There were plenty of other ways to play that were easier on the schedule, allowed more flexibility in the player base, and became much more hyped. So after some living and learning, this group has grown and shrunk and grown again. I can rely on this group to have multiple day games and a lock-in game twice a year or more (this year they are moving up to once every 3 months)

CSU - A regularly scheduled game that has shrunk in the last two years but still hosts regular weekend events and moved away from the standard week long game. They host games about 3-4 times a year that I attend. They have had up to 150 people and as few as a dozen. They still continue to play and grow with the times, and leadership changes too. Right now they are a little smaller, but I fully expect to see their growth come back in the late spring as the weather will actually cooperate with their events.

Longmont (run through Game of Foams) - a recent discovery of mine, but have been running since around '05. Had up to 300 players at one time but typical size currently is 40. Run under the moniker of SvZ for legal reasons, it operates day games with HvZ style action. Plenty of interest for high school aged players and between two colleges can draw more people in. Expecting to see a large increase in the summer months with their population.

WSCU (Gunnison) - smaller college = smaller game. Tons of hardcore players and great enthusiasm across the board. I tend to see them on the eastern side of our mountains a few times a year for invitationals and CU lock-ins. They host typical weeklong games once a semester and weekend games throughout the year. I cannot say enough that these guys probably closest resemble the original Goucher game.

Overall, I am not seeing too much decline. I really do think it comes down to how games are managed. Good moderators keep a good game alive in times of struggle and bring it back to the forefront. Bad moderators can easily kill a game. It is absolutely essential to make sure that the people who take over after a successful regime know what made it successful. I have seen many of the groups listed above have a change of the guard that brought about a huge growth spurt, or drop attendance.

I personally am getting a lot of support in organizing a large collaborative event for all of these groups this summer. That shows me that the interest is there and that declines for these clubs are merely bumps in the road. We tried to have something like this in the past and it fell through due to the people running it. We now have a huge group of dedicated individuals pushing forward and making large scale events possible.

 on: April 17, 2015, 12:25:38 AM 
Started by icyblaze13 - Last post by icyblaze13
Thanks for the information! I closed the duplicate topic. Sorry about that by the way, I have been having issues with my internet recently.

Post Merge: April 17, 2015, 02:56:01 PM
Are there any other motors that could be used instead of this particular model that would be as good?

 on: April 16, 2015, 10:17:55 PM 
Started by torukmakto4 - Last post by torukmakto4
Lately I have experienced an issue with HTTP requests hanging for up to several minutes when submitting posts. The post goes through, but nothing comes back down to the browser for some time. This has caused me to double post accidentally several times until I figured out the behavior of the server. Just now a user double posted a thread and I am fairly sure was caused by this.

 on: April 16, 2015, 09:55:21 PM 
Started by icyblaze13 - Last post by torukmakto4
You double posted.

There is a shortage going on right now. There was really only one supplier that had them in bulk at low price and he has run out of stock and is now trying to deal with MOQ and such to get them back in, from what I have heard.

They are sold by Eflite/Blade (as stock RC helicopter motors) as pn EFLH1210 or EFLH1211. E_sky also has theirs that is cheaper. You can score these on ebay for about $2 more per motor than Zinky used to sell them for.

Use a 2S lipo. 3S is unnecessary, gains only 5-10 fps, is harder on motors, and fries darts. And is loud, scary loud.

 on: April 16, 2015, 09:39:46 PM 
Started by icyblaze13 - Last post by icyblaze13
I can't seem to find these motors anywhere. I am planning on modding my Rapidstrike and have heard these are the best motors for the price. Also, what kind of battery works best for in a RS with these motors?

 on: April 16, 2015, 08:19:59 PM 
Started by steve4835 - Last post by Cazzums
The main advantage of blowguns - range - has been reduced somewhat in recent years due to the increased effective range of stock Nerf blasters. However, I can see them as still being a viable niche weapon.
I agree with the above short of the blowgun's main advantage not being range, but accuracy. The reason I have incorporated a blowgun into pretty much every loadout of mine since '13 has been because of its ability to conserve ammo by requiring less pot shots. Its the only piece in my arsenal(or anyone that I know for the matter) that can consistently(roughly 80%) make tags 30 yards out. Not to say there aren't well-modded blasters that can't do the same with a much higher and steadier ROF but again, these are 'well-modded'. The best use for a blowgun is either secured onto the top rail of your primary or attached to a sling of some sort for easy carrying.
"Why not to use a blowgun as a primary?":
Blowguns can be(...)awkward and potentially teeth-shatteringly unsafe to use at close range.
That and the fact that 9 out of every 10 people use a blaster that uses mags, so the prevalence of whistler and buzzbee darts are starting to die out. Less people using these types of ammo means theres almost no such thing as scavenging ammo with a blowgun(atleast in my meta I've been noticing).

Overall, I'd say they're still relevant and have a place in games but there are risks that need to be accounted for before deciding to go out and "spittin' dat foam".

 on: April 15, 2015, 09:12:30 PM 
Started by supermidget - Last post by supermidget
Today I spent a little more time diving through the web, searching for a general online hangout spot for HvZ players.  There are a plethora of facebook groups for individual colleges' games, but the main HvZ page doesn't function as a player hangout.  I'm not big into reddit, so I didn't realize there was a subreddit for HvZ.  It does appear to be quite a bit more active than this forum, so I might end up making an account and posting there.

On campus today, I spoke with and observed both players and moderators.  We have a decent mix of newcomers and hardcore players, and none that I witnessed were having a bad time or complaining about the game.  A few moderators seemed burnt out, but they were still making an effort for the sake of the players.

I also shot an email to the founders, and got replies from Sklover and Cweed.  I learned that there are still daily requests for new games on Source, and merch sales are still steady.  Cweed mentioned the natural ebb and flow that games go through with regard to popularity and player numbers, and there is logic in that.  A campus that has been playing for 5 years definitely has more opportunity for a shrinking player base than a game that just started up.  Goucher's been playing for a decade now, and they've had their share of barren games along with the popular ones.

I do hope people keep commenting, though.  I'd like as many perspectives on the issue as I can get.

 on: April 15, 2015, 03:43:21 PM 
Started by supermidget - Last post by torukmakto4
Something is definitely amiss. I have thought about starting a thread myself.

To get it out of the way, lately there has been a decline of traditional forums in the HvZ and nerf world. Alternate messageboards such as facebook and reddit tend to steal the traffic. About the only nerf group in the world that primarily hangs out in a forum anymore is the American NIC on nerfhaven, which is also seeing less traffic than in the past. (Why this has happened, I do not know, but it does have its problems in that these new venues have no archival value and make content hard to find.)

Regardless, this is probably a large part of why there are fewer posts right now. I wouldn't take it as an indication of HvZ's health.

I am in Florida. Within range of me are 4 HvZ sites (UF, USF, SEU, Florida Polytechnic University).

Of those:

- Polytechnic is a brand new game as of early 15. It has played 2 full games and approximately doubled its attendance in the second, amounting to 1/5 the campus playing HvZ.

- USF is an established organization which just ran its big 5th anniversary game. I couldn't play this last game, but I haven't heard anything negative. About 260 players. This is a large school.

- SEU is a smaller school. They have an established HvZ. I also have not heard anything worrisome about this game and have attended a few missions.

- UF is where I started in 2010, but unfortunately, it is the local game where I can say beyond a doubt that trouble has gone down and evidence of any global decline has arguably manifested in rare form. Also 300-ish players in recent years. This game is notable in that its popularity was astronomical early on and dropped to its modern numbers around 2011.

So overall, based on games and numbers, local HvZ is not doing too bad.

I think more of what has declined is the quality of gameplay. I see a stagnation of both human and zombie sides and a lack of new blood and fresh interest in hardcoring HvZ. For instance (I am a career human) I am not seeing the weapons and tactics posts of the old days, anywhere. Along the same lines I see less of the original spark, the thrill of earlier games that drew people in so well.

Note that HvZ is NOT a fad. The game has been around since 2005. Players of my generation (which are veteran and often retired from university games by several years by now) were not even in high school when HvZ originated. The game has remained of strong appeal all this time and continued spreading. If anything is going wrong at any given site now, it has to be down to some recent change in the way things are done.

Now that is precisely the case with the UF game. I would pin most of the blame for its ills on misguided changes to the game with positive intent. There has been a serious push to cater to casual players, I am guessing in the belief that newer players were being discouraged by a highly competitive gamestate with major skill and equipment barriers to entry. Moderators have thus had a serious bias/grudge against hardcore or effective players with the default idea being that they need to be reined in and nerfed, and the culture has trickled down and led to anti-veteran sentiment (culminating in the banning of a high-level and respected player for extremely dubious reasons with major evidence of corruption) and an attitude I would call sour and unsporting. Zombies have become much less of a fair, square, can-do optimistic bunch and increasingly demanded specials and human nerfs, complained about velocity limits and guns hurting, complained about everything. There is more cheating and arguing. Adding to that, moderators have taken to leashing the gamestate very tightly and using NPC enemies (often immortal) to herd players around and increasingly contrived and lame ways to off people.

I do not play this game any more and have not played their last, but as of the previous game I have seen an excellent cross section of the decline. Is UF turning around? Perhaps. Perhaps it is declining more, signs point to yes (the last I heard, the mods have adopted this police state us-vs-them approach, created a 5 page document of various ways to be banned and warned, and adopted a velocity limit that is clearly intended to trip up any serious upgrading player with the statement that "we will make sure you never use that gun again and if you do, you will be banned"). But the observations stand. The game in such state is highly unrewarding to play as either a human or a zombie, and this type of corrosion of the game structures perfectly explains what I was getting at earlier with the stagnation and loss of the original thrill that I see reflected everywhere.

What I consider most important in efforts to turn it around is that the determination of the game's state/skill level/etc. by player vs. player interaction is critical. As much as some hate arms races, HvZ is an arms race. It is a framework in which players come together to challenge each other with their best honest efforts and abilities and that is what the thrill is derived from. They, and you, get to do anything safe, legal, and sporting to succeed. It is all out survival. That is what the spark is. It is the stuff of batshit insane plays, epic dodges, heroic moments. The legitimacy of it is what makes each kill and each narrow escape so intense and satisfying, you are playing against fellow players. Not against mods, not against rules or a rigged system. The game is genuine and honorable; and you can advance as far as you want in it by putting effort into it, thus it rewards involvement and loyalty.

The vast majority of large scale problems with HvZ I would attribute to attempts to fight this, mainly associated with the great fallacy of "hardcore = bad"/"don't take it too seriously" or that what is going to discourage the noobs is the skill level (and not the culture which is the real issue); thus attempts to seize control and force a de-escalation which end up only violating the core principles of the older games and rendering the end result tedious, lame and cheap, not thrilling. Yet, in all this time, accounts of games with solid sporting attitudes being trashed by over-escalation of the serious players' abilities are few and far between, or even nonexistent. Hardcores/Vets are the foundation. They are who do the promotion and help get noobs involved and act as the game's bedrock. You want them in your game.

Game balance has to come into play, but the best balancing methods are the ones you don't see as artifice when you are a player. Changing mission objectives slightly and metering out perks carefully (to simply change the difficulty of the gameplay) is how it used to be done. By contrast, sending an immortal NPC enemy to run through a squad and murder them, or setting off an unannounced EMP so that players attending a mission with electric guns (not previously knowing that the game itself is even aware of electric guns as a concept) all get iced, is fucking bullshit. Cheap and lame as hell. It isn't skill-based. When it gets that heavyhanded that players are being randomly smited by TPTB and the randomness is the key element to how, you can't do anything as a player to improve! You can't develop better tactics, better weapons, better communication, anything. The only winning move IS NOT TO PLAY.

Another common problem is that we forget humans, versus, zombies. That is, was, the original draw. Most early games around here were strictly plotted with zombie scenarios and did not dilute this too much. That has changed and there is way too much complexity. It could be argued that the freshness of the game is no longer there and the zombie apocalypse allure has got old, but again, in my experience the zombie apocalypse concept doesn't get old and the real cause of any staleness is once again misdirected effort to "fix" the game or change things for the hell of it thereby diminishing elements that made the game as awesome as it once was.

So I hope this was not too much of a detour to get into my theories on the HvZ decline, but that is what I think it is. I have been trying to put this together in a blog post or something for like a year now, and forgive the lack of polish and possible missing pieces.

We need to recapture the original allure of the game and the players will return. It is as simple as that, we need to go back to mid 2011 or earlier. How we did things back then worked.

 on: April 15, 2015, 02:02:34 PM 
Started by supermidget - Last post by Justplanefun2
Wow that's morbid.  My thoughts:

1.  The original creators of HvZ have now graduated, and many of them have moved on.

2.  Therefore this leaves "us", people who are still in college but not the original creators, in charge.

3.  This can lead to a lack of participation, new ideas, or enthusiasm but this can be remedied.

I would encourage you to think analytically about why HvZ is in decline at your school.  Then think creatively about how to get more people to join.  Every four years (on average) your school's population completely changes.  So try and think about how to make the game permanent at the school instead of dying each time a leader graduates.

I do agree, HvZ seems to not have as many people involved as it did a few years ago but that doesn't mean that a given university can't still have a huge game with a ton of fun.  And if the original founders wanted, they still could do a nationwide ad campaign and probably get enrollment levels to surpass those of a few years ago.

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