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Author Topic: A treatise on why foam melee weapons should not be permitted en-mass in HvZ  (Read 36896 times)
Rec0n412


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« on: April 09, 2010, 11:45:08 PM »

Warning: rant is about to begin.

To begin, I would like to emphasize one point that very few people seem to get while playing a game of HvZ. HvZ is a GAME. HvZ is by no means the olympics, no one will give you any recognition for surviving 5 days in a zombie infested campus (I do distinguish bragging rights among fellow participants from recognition among the general populace.) there is no medal for being the "best survivor", and you don't even get a cookie. So please, for all our sakes, do not make this a hyper-competitive game where no-one has fun

All clear: rant is over.

Now, on to the main point.

Melee weapons of all types should be banned from HvZ games.

There are several reasons why melee weapons should not be permited in games of HvZ.

First: In the rush of close combat, the adrenaline is flowing like beer at a frat party. So, people cannot be relied to take measured, "polite" swings that are not going to injure people.

Second: The zombies only have one real advantage, being able to beat the humans at close combat. Simply put, a zombie has two weapons and both of them are 2.5 feet long(In case you did not figure this out, I'm refering to a person's arms) and are no match for a 5 foot home-made foam sword. By giving the humans foam melee weapons, the humans no longer have to think in a strategic sense. There is no longer any concern about corners, all a human has to do is madly flail their foam sword of doom at the corner and they will generally flush the zombie out of hiding or even hit the zombie and stun the afore-mentioned zombie. HvZ, generally, has a rock-paper-scissors-nerf gun mechanic to it. That is to say, that if the zomie is at range the humans win and if the human gets too close to the zombie then the zombie wins. However, giving humans melee weapons throws this balance off.

Third, this game is not supposed to be a power-trip for one side or the other. Which is to say that the teams should be decently balanced in capabilities against one another. This is not God-of-War and you are playing the part of Kratos, nor is it Devil May Cry and you have taken the role of Dante to slay demons(or in this case zombies). This games whole concept is based off of "horror" movies, and giving the humans melee weapons removes much of that sense of horror(or paranoia depending on how you look a it) and simply replaces it with an adrenaline rush. It bceomes a case where the humans no longer say "O my god they're getting closer, fall back!!!!", but rather the humans say "Hey, theres a zombie, lets rush him and beat him to death!!!!".

Fourth: As more people join a game, the chances of an idiot or someone who is just plainly malicious joing the game gos up. Again, this goes back to my first point. People simply cannot be trusted, in the heat of the moment, to take measured and "polite" swings at one another.

Fifth: You all must ask yourself this. Would you still enjoy HvZ if someone was beating you about the head with a stick? "Wait!!!!" you say, "they're not sticks they are just foam swords!!!". Well, here is the catch to that statement. Most people, when making foam swords use closed -cell foam. This foam is quite stiff and still presents a pretty hard surface that can still transfer alot of force into a target. Next, even if a person uses open-cell foam, open cell-fam is extrordinarily soft and presents hardly any resistance to stopping a blow. Basically,whatever you have got under that foam is what will hit your target with.

Fianlly, I appeal to all moderators and game hosts to consider this one siple question. After giving humans their arsenel of zombie stunning death, will the zombies still have any fun? The whole point of this game is to have fun, and if one side has fun at the expense of another then the whole point of "fun for all" has been lost and we might as well go home and play Modern Warfare 2, or go play a LARP(or join the SCA, where in order to use foam weapons you must have a ton and a half of safety gear and be certified to participate in a large scale battle.).

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Ozymandias
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I met a survivor from Zombieland...

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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 05:58:57 AM »

For starters, this is very well written. Good job.

I agree with you on some points, and I disagree on others.

Our main point of agreement is the 'heat of the moment' bit; during the last mission of the game we just finished, a human was straight up tackled by a zombie. She had to be taken to a hospital for treatment, but she is fine (and high on codeine) now.

However, I believe some melee is ok, such as the boppers used at a Northern-school-whose-name-escapes-me.

What is your opinion of Zombies getting melee, either exclusively or in addition to human melee?

Also, what is your take on socks? Socks are a source of effectively-unlimited ammo in close range 'skirmishes'.

What about games where there is one sword to rule them all, i.e. only one human gets melee?
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Dallas Metroplex, Texas
Rec0n412


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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 06:10:28 PM »

Is some melee alright, maybe. I'd have to say that in order to use melee there must definitely be some restrictons on what can be used. E.g. someone should not be allowed to carry a 15 foot polearm.

Again it comes down to the mods discretion. However, and I will use an example from the recent game at Bradley University, some people will purposely hit a zombie with a melee weapon as hard as possible in order to intimidate the other zombies into not attacking the humans. My example, which actually comes from one of my fraternity brothers, is that this brother verbalised his intent to strike a zombie as hard as he could either in the neck or the head in order to intimidate the other zombies.

To me, this defeats the whole purpose of the game. Namely, that people should not be afraid of actually being injured by playing.

On socks, socks are the greatest weapon in a humans arsenel. First, everyone generally has two of them on hand at all times(in fact, this is because they are wearing them). Second, there is almost no way for someone to be injured by being hit with a sock. Third I do disagree with your point about them being an unlimited source of ammo in skirmishes, in fact socks will almost be the first thing that runs out when the humans engage the zombies. Since ,generally, the humans throw the socks.

Next, on the concept of "one sword to rule them all". Find a way to integrate this sword as a mission and it sounds good to me.

Finally, zombies should not be able to use melee weapons. Lets face it, zombies are brain dead and probably wouldn't be able to figure out how to use a sword or axe in the first place. Next, if the zombies were given melee weapons then this would be more of a LARP than a game of HvZ, IMO.
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ritHvZack

Eveyone has HvZ in them, some just dont know it.

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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 08:24:14 PM »

::Grin::

At RIT we gave away a badge if you survived... just saying

/agree I dont like Melee weapons
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 08:28:53 PM by ritHvZack » Logged

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Cmdrmack

The Kilted Nerfer

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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 08:41:16 PM »

I think that melee weapons are something that must be heavily regulated, but not necessarily banned. It's something that could conceivably be unlocked at heavy cost.

However, I would be unlikely to use them in a game I organized. Safety issues go up significantly when people are whacking each other.
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TWW2

Zed -> Dead

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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 10:22:56 PM »

I like the system that was used in the game at my school. There was one melee weapon that was hidden on campus at midnight when the game first started. There were squads out combing the campus until 3 or 4 am looking for it. If the human who had it was turned, he would have to surrender it to the mods to be hidden again in a new location. This served two purposes, it was a status thing for the squad that eventually found it (on day 2 I believe) and it gave the humans a reason to be out of safe zones even when no missions were going on (which is a significant problem that our most recent game has had). On top of that, I don't think the guy who found it ever even used it. He felt that his guns were a better defense anyway.
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Rec0n412


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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 11:45:42 PM »

During the game at Bradley university, all of the humans were able to use melee weapons. This is partially the reason I am so vehemently opposed to melee weapons.

As melee weapons allowed a single human to take on anywhere from 4 to 8 zombies depending on how good/careful/lucky they were. Basically, the humans just got in an impenetrable group of 4 or 5 and formed a "hedgehog" which none of the zombies could penetrate(simply beacuase no-one wanted to become impaled on a pvc pipe).

As I said in the first post, this is not god-of-war or devil-may-cry. Humans should not be on a power trip while playing HvZ. There should always be an element of apprehension on the part of the humans when engaging zombies. Giving the humans melee weapons did a few thing: 1 major confidence booster as even the most inept humans could hold off two or three zombies by just making wide sweeping motions with their melee weapons, and secondly a lack of participants(who would bother to show up) ussually led to a situaiton where the number of humans to zombies was in a ratio of approx. 1:1 this meant that melee armed humans invariably held the advantage.

I suspect two things contributed to our difficulty "fighting" as zombies.
#1. ratios were 1:1 in regards to the number of humans and zombies, so melee weapons gave the humans a massive edge over zombies in a 1:1 confrontation.
#2. Massive(I'm assuming this is what happened because even though we had "86" zombies I never saw more than 35 at a single mission) rage quitting was brought about by humans who were eaten and did not want to be zombies and zombies that just did not want to deal with any actual "melee combat".
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URX

A zombie bird. Don't ask.

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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2010, 12:14:29 AM »

Melee Weapons:  I believe that Dagorhir weapons should be the only permitted melee weapons.  They should be awarded as a mission reward, with a limited amount going out and only to those deemed "sporting" by the admin. 

Hedgehog Formation:  I did this with a bunch of other guys with Raiders, zambies were still scared.  Zambies get scared sometimes.  No big deal. 
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My 'veppins:  Rapid-fire 20, "Not Yours" with Zombie killmarkers, a blowgun as long as a longshot, a NERF football and a crap-ton of socks.
Ozymandias
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2010, 12:32:07 AM »

Hedgehog Formation:  I did this with a bunch of other guys with Raiders, zambies were still scared.  Zambies get scared sometimes.  No big deal. 

A PVC pipe hurts a good deal more then a dart.
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Dallas Metroplex, Texas
Faedother

"Live with passion not apathy!"-ARR

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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2010, 09:52:50 AM »

I would like to say that here aw WKU we, the admins, have ruled that Melee weapons are not permitted in any shape or form.

The reason this is, is because standard NERF melee weapons are not padded enough to be safe. A Standard Belgarth or Dagorhir weapon has 2-3 inches of closed foam on the striking edges and at least 1.5 inches of foam on the flat sides. Now compared to the half inch of foam on the Nerf sword and that is the striking edge.  Also, I am no were near built and I know for a fact that I can severely bruise someone's ribs with a standard Belgarth weapon and I am a knowledgeable Belgarth player who know how to pull a hit.

Now image that you have six yahoos running around your campus with NERF swords striking players as hard as possible. That just reeks of the potential of the police being called and the game getting in trouble.  Now I am not willing to risk my game for the use of melee weapons, including sock fails.
That is just my two cents.
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flapjack


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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 08:12:42 PM »

Admin for the WKU game too here.  We banned foam weapons because they can be very painful.

Major point you missed: Hitting someone full swing with a foam sword is basically assault.  This is a game, and the action's taking place should not be anywhere near assault.  If you run up and hit someone with a foam sword, and they call the police and charge you with assault, chances are you are going to be charged and convicted of assault.  Melee weapons of any sort are a big NO NO for any game in my opinion (I don't understand how the dagorhir or baelgarth people get away with it).
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Shane


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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 01:49:18 PM »


First: In the rush of close combat, the adrenaline is flowing like beer at a frat party. So, people cannot be relied to take measured, "polite" swings that are not going to injure people.

As you began your post with saying, this is a game.  This is not close combat.  If your players can't tell the difference between combat and a game then yes, giving them a chunk of foam can be dangerous, but it's because of the players not the weapon.  At Pitt players are generally rather relaxed, and we haven't had problems allowing melee weapons for our game.

Second: The zombies only have one real advantage, being able to beat the humans at close combat. Simply put, a zombie has two weapons and both of them are 2.5 feet long(In case you did not figure this out, I'm refering to a person's arms) and are no match for a 5 foot home-made foam sword. By giving the humans foam melee weapons, the humans no longer have to think in a strategic sense. There is no longer any concern about corners, all a human has to do is madly flail their foam sword of doom at the corner and they will generally flush the zombie out of hiding or even hit the zombie and stun the afore-mentioned zombie. HvZ, generally, has a rock-paper-scissors-nerf gun mechanic to it. That is to say, that if the zomie is at range the humans win and if the human gets too close to the zombie then the zombie wins. However, giving humans melee weapons throws this balance off.

A couple friends and I used to go around corners at about 5-6 ft away from a wall and throw socks as we did it.  This works just as well as melee if not better by allowing you to keep at range.  Not only does melee build confidence in players, it often brings overconfidence, which makes them slip up.

Third, this game is not supposed to be a power-trip for one side or the other. Which is to say that the teams should be decently balanced in capabilities against one another. This is not God-of-War and you are playing the part of Kratos, nor is it Devil May Cry and you have taken the role of Dante to slay demons(or in this case zombies). This games whole concept is based off of "horror" movies, and giving the humans melee weapons removes much of that sense of horror(or paranoia depending on how you look a it) and simply replaces it with an adrenaline rush. It bceomes a case where the humans no longer say "O my god they're getting closer, fall back!!!!", but rather the humans say "Hey, theres a zombie, lets rush him and beat him to death!!!!".

I've participated in 9 hvz games, at least 8 of which allowed melee at various points and I have never seen anyone charge a zombie just in order to beat him.  The only injuries that were ever reported to me when I was a mod or player involved players accidentally tripping or slamming a foot into something.  Players do sometimes get injured, but none have been reported to me that have been caused by another player, and I feel as though if such a thing were to happen it would be reported.

Fourth: As more people join a game, the chances of an idiot or someone who is just plainly malicious joing the game gos up. Again, this goes back to my first point. People simply cannot be trusted, in the heat of the moment, to take measured and "polite" swings at one another.

This game is about trust.  If you can't trust your players you shouldn't have a game.  The mods can only do so much policing and they shouldn't have to in the first place.  As for heat of the moment swings, these can just as easily occur with a plastic Nerf blaster.  Generally with point and shoot type of things you have to point before you shoot, and if you catch a zombie in the corner of your eye and turn too quickly while overestimating the distance between you and the zombie you might hit him while he is reaching out to tag you.  Things happen.

Fifth: You all must ask yourself this. Would you still enjoy HvZ if someone was beating you about the head with a stick? "Wait!!!!" you say, "they're not sticks they are just foam swords!!!". Well, here is the catch to that statement. Most people, when making foam swords use closed -cell foam. This foam is quite stiff and still presents a pretty hard surface that can still transfer alot of force into a target. Next, even if a person uses open-cell foam, open cell-fam is extrordinarily soft and presents hardly any resistance to stopping a blow. Basically,whatever you have got under that foam is what will hit your target with.

This is why we have mods check all modified or homemade equipment, including both blasters and melee.

Fianlly, I appeal to all moderators and game hosts to consider this one siple question. After giving humans their arsenel of zombie stunning death, will the zombies still have any fun? The whole point of this game is to have fun, and if one side has fun at the expense of another then the whole point of "fun for all" has been lost and we might as well go home and play Modern Warfare 2, or go play a LARP(or join the SCA, where in order to use foam weapons you must have a ton and a half of safety gear and be certified to participate in a large scale battle.).

Yes, zombies will have fun.

Finally, zombies should not be able to use melee weapons. Lets face it, zombies are brain dead and probably wouldn't be able to figure out how to use a sword or axe in the first place. Next, if the zombies were given melee weapons then this would be more of a LARP than a game of HvZ, IMO.

We gave one zombie one melee weapon once that if hit with a dart or human melee weapon would induce a stun because it was considered part of the zombie.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.

Seriously guys, melee is not the worst thing to ever be introduced into hvz.  At the very least, melee isn't left around campus like darts, socks, and marshmallows often are.
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URX

A zombie bird. Don't ask.

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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 11:01:00 PM »


Fifth: You all must ask yourself this. Would you still enjoy HvZ if someone was beating you about the head with a stick? "Wait!!!!" you say, "they're not sticks they are just foam swords!!!". Well, here is the catch to that statement. Most people, when making foam swords use closed -cell foam. This foam is quite stiff and still presents a pretty hard surface that can still transfer alot of force into a target. Next, even if a person uses open-cell foam, open cell-fam is extrordinarily soft and presents hardly any resistance to stopping a blow. Basically, whatever you have got under that foam is what will hit your target with.

Which is why you need to put the open-cell foam on top of a layer of closed-cell foam, or make sure there is no core in the first place.  A 1-2 ft. piece of pool noodle with nothing inside it will provide a flexible and soft, albeit extremely short ranged, blow surface. 

Trust me, I'm a Dagorhir player.  I know foam. 

Quote
Finally, I appeal to all moderators and game hosts to consider this one siple question. After giving humans their arsenel of zombie stunning death, will the zombies still have any fun? The whole point of this game is to have fun, and if one side has fun at the expense of another then the whole point of "fun for all" has been lost and we might as well go home and play Modern Warfare 2, or go play a LARP(or join the SCA, where in order to use foam weapons you must have a ton and a half of safety gear and be certified to participate in a large scale battle.).

While I agree with the general sentiment behind this statement, I would maintain that it is much easier to have fun as a zombie than as a human.  A zombie, if stunned, can simply sit down for fifteen minutes and then come back in and try again.  A human, on the other hand, has just let himself down, and has no period of time to recover from this let-down.  Granted, after sixty minutes he will rejoin the game as a zombie, and will hopefully put his disappointment behind him, but the gist of my argument is this:  A stun is for fifteen minutes.  A tag is permanent. 

Despite these arguments, I believe that the main issue with melee weapons is that they provide even greater potential for the "I tagged you first", "No, I hit you first" arguments that erupt so frequently, and result in hurt feelings all around. 
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My 'veppins:  Rapid-fire 20, "Not Yours" with Zombie killmarkers, a blowgun as long as a longshot, a NERF football and a crap-ton of socks.
Rec0n412


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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 04:57:52 PM »

At Pitt, players may have been relaxed. However, one must also remember that this is a competitive game. As such, one cannot discount a players desire to win, overcoming some sensibilities such as not aiming for the head, neck, or exercising some restraint in such combat.

Melee (pronounced /ˈmɛleɪ, ˈmeɪleɪ/, from the French mêlée, pronounced: [mɛːle]), or sometimes referred to as "brawl", generally refers to disorganized close combat involving a group of fighters. A melee ensues when groups become locked together in combat with no regard to group tactics or fighting as an organized unit; each participant fights as an individual.

Does that describe the use of foam weapons in HvZ? I think it does, therfore I find your point of this not being "close combat" to be a moot point. As, melee is considered a synonym of close combat.
Source: http://dictionary.sensagent.com/close+combat+disambiguation/en-en/

Second, on your point of never having seen "anyone charge a zombie just in order to beat him". At the Bradley game, that became a favorite tactic of the survivors. At that point, you have a mass melee, or two sides engaging in "close combat". Now, should most people be abl to show some modicum of restraint? Yes, people should be able to show restraint in a melee situation. However, the person who believes that everyone will be able to show restraint everytime, all the time is just naive.

To me, this comes down to two branches of thought. Lots of fun with a laissez faire attitude toward player interactions(a.k.a assuming participants will be able to self judge their actions), or a still fun but with more moderator imposed restricitons style of play. I support the latter, you seem to support the first. I respect your position on this matter. However, considering that at Bradley the future of any further game play is in jeopardy. I, personally, would rather be too safe and impose a few too many restricitions and achive a lesser degree of fun than not have enough rules and leave too much lee-way for the players to abuse and in general cause problems.

Finally, and I do agree with you on this point, yes the mods should check ALL homeade blaster, swords, and other weaponry. However, when you have 3 mods and 150 players you cannot check all of the weaapons all of the time. Secondly, I will use an experience a fellow zombie had during the game as an example, some people are just incompetent when constructing a foam sword. For instance, my friend was hiding on the other side of a corner(approximately 7-10 feet away from the edge of the corner, while inside a building) a human came to believe he was hiding directly at the edge of the corner. To that end, the human began flailing his weapon at the corner in a rather pathetic attempt to flush my friend out of hiding.. However, this players melee weapon quite lliterally began falling apart as he was swinging his melee weapon.

To end, you do not plan for the expected, you plan so that you will hopefully be ready to act in regards to the unexpected. To that end some rules are put in place to cover most possibilities in regards to what could go wrong. However, one thing I do not like about melee weaapons is that they add another dimension of what could go wrong. Mainly that is what I do not like. Considering as any further gameplay at Bradley is in jeapardy, i would hope you would understand my position on being very cautious.

P.S I apologize for any spelling errors, as there seems to be a glitch where I cannot scroll past two paragraphs without the scroll bar for the post jumping back up to the top of my post.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 05:01:42 PM by Rec0n412 » Logged
Ozymandias
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I met a survivor from Zombieland...

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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 06:37:48 PM »

P.S I apologize for any spelling errors, as there seems to be a glitch where I cannot scroll past two paragraphs without the scroll bar for the post jumping back up to the top of my post.

The best solution is to copy and paste into Word, run spell czech, then copy and paste it back.
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Dallas Metroplex, Texas
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