31 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2013 1:42 PM by Megadog14 RSS

    The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

      It's pretty obvious IMO that Zombies mode is a dead end game.

       

      First, it's a side game of an alternating year series. If you look at the series, Zombies is a fraction of a fraction....maybe as little as 12.5% of the franchise (25% of 50%) of the COD series (and thats being generous).

       

      Second, Activision has a rep for not stepping out on the ledge of innovation, prefering instead to stripmine revenue with subtle innovation and reskins till a series dies of exposure.

       

      The zombie game....the maps, have become pretty lame to the point that high rounds are not really about challenge/skill but more about time/luck. If you have 12 hours to play, you might make the top 20% of the leaderboards....unless someone quits, times out, server down, anmi error, etc. Just look at the BO1 leaderboards vs BO2.....the direction is obvious.

       

      They are already in the "milk it for all its worth" mode as far as zombie gameplay....target marketing the weak/casual group with eased gameplay....too allow them to compete on stats and rounds they would otherwise never have been able to accomplish.

       

      So...adding all that up...

       

      If the next Treyarch release has a zombies mode at all, I think it will continue the direction of BO2. They are not going to step out on a ledge and alter the game drastically and I seriously doubt they'll go backwards from the over powered guns and buildable traps. If there is another zombie mode in the next disc...it will be the cashing out release....

       

      Of course, those "if's" assume they are still able to milk out COD into 2014-2015. It's just a matter of time before someone else innovates FPS (maybe a viable MMO) and the sales take a "Guitar Hero" nose dive.

       

      The Conundrum is that there is a formula for "milking out" and "abandoning"....I think we are nearing the end of the milking stage. They are targeting the casual zombie players....they've abandoned the hardcore.

       

      An interesting quote....

       

      “There was nothing that Activision or anybody could have done to save Guitar Hero,” said Jesse Divnich, vice president of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, in an interview with Wired.com. Divnich said that Activision realizes the “opportunity cost” of continuing to make Hero games when it could instead be putting those resources towards more profitable games. Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of guitar games’ audience have now moved on.

       


        • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
          whots_his_face

          It's so close to being right it's silly.  They're succeeding in appealing to a wider audience and thus hopefully increasing it's life span.  For the next one they just need to work on this idea of an easy mode.


          If they can have 2 leaderboards, a normal board for the casual, and a hardcore one to represent the increased difficulties - be that the exclusion of builadbles etc, then I think they'd hit gold.

            • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
              LilRobot

              i want a classic buried--no buildables, all destroyable barriers have to be purchased with points, no bank, no weapon locker.

                • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                  LilRobot wrote:

                   

                  i want a classic buried--no buildables, all destroyable barriers have to be purchased with points, no bank, no weapon locker.

                  Again.....expansion isn't part of the formula. This would require they devote money to a disc that's life is about to end. They aren't going to code anything for free and they won't step on Ghosts sales.

                • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                  whots_his_face wrote:

                   

                  If they can have 2 leaderboards, a normal board for the casual, and a hardcore one to represent the increased difficulties - be that the exclusion of builadbles etc, then I think they'd hit gold.

                   

                  Except that would sidetrack the formula.

                   

                  How many serious zombie players would be shocked to see this statement in the future? Not me....

                   

                  “There was nothing that Activision or anybody could have done to save Zombies” said Jesse Divnich, vice president of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, in an interview with Wired.com. Divnich said that Activision realizes the “opportunity cost” of continuing to make a Zombies Mode when it could instead be putting those resources towards more profitable games. Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of Zombies audience have now moved on.

                   

                  It's now a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop.....losing the casual.

                   

                  It comes down to marketing. Once they have abandoned the serious core group to stripmine the glitchers and emblem chasers.....where could it possibly go from there?

                   

                  If they had a game "DNA" test.....Buried is in the glitching family tree. Nobody can seriously argue against the similarities.

                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                      whots_his_face

                      While I share your uncertainty about it's future, the fat lady certainly hasn't sang yet.  By your own reasoning the formular has been changed.  I can not view Nacht and buried as being part of the same game.

                       

                      My first experience of zombies was Nacht, I absolutely loved it, I felt compelled to buy the map pack.  However, rather embarrassingly, I refused to touch any of the other maps due to what appeared to be  a completely different game.  It wasn't in fact until Kino, that my stance changed and I started to like these new perks and gameplay.

                       

                      Don't give up on her yet.

                        • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                          whots_his_face wrote:

                           

                          While I share your uncertainty about it's future, the fat lady certainly hasn't sang yet.  By your own reasoning the formular has been changed.  I can not view Nacht and buried as being part of the same game.

                           

                          My first experience of zombies was Nacht, I absolutely loved it, I felt compelled to buy the map pack.  However, rather embarrassingly, I refused to touch any of the other maps due to what appeared to be  a completely different game.  It wasn't in fact until Kino, that my stance changed and I started to like these new perks and gameplay.

                           

                          Don't give up on her yet.

                           

                          I didn't change.....zombies did. They gave up on me.

                           

                          I've been pounding google for a new challenge that me and my core friends can roll to. Im really interested in the MMOFPS concept but nothing along the zombies genre looks very appealing.

                           

                          My first game addiction was Tribes 2....stopped gaming after Dynamix abandoned that. I played on the community server patch a bit....lost interest.

                           

                          I know IW wasn't behind Zombies mode but the defectors seem to be pushing some innovation. I'll be keeping an eye on them.

                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                      kubaork

                      To autor: Hey! You are right!

                      But there are way to make your game very HARDCORE.

                      Try. Choose:

                      -NukeTown Zombies

                      -Only Headshot

                      -Without magic.

                      Your game will be VERY HARD. I LOVE THIS GAMEMODE :-).

                       

                      I still hope, that in DLC4 will be small map for survival. I don't like BIG maps with stupid bank and many features!

                        • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                          SevenThug

                          It won't be small (ie, you move around on a tank, we've seen several different areas, and 1000 ft tall robots), but it probably won't have a bank/weapons locker.

                            • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                              kubaork

                              Okey. You are right. But they can CUT map and make small maps like on Green Run.

                                • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                  SevenThug

                                  They might have a grief/turned, doubt we're getting anymore survival, but I suppose it's a possibility.

                                   

                                  I feel like it might just be like die rise, and be nothing but Origins.

                                  • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                    kubaork wrote:

                                     

                                    But they can CUT map and make small maps like on Green Run.

                                     

                                    Green Run was an abomination....one they apparentantly recognized and abandoned. The prerelease hype was more than underwhelming....seemed like an attempt to morph campaign mode with Zombies mode.

                                     

                                    Tank = Bus? I hope not!

                                     

                                    I hope Origins is nothing like Green Run.

                                      • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                        SevenThug

                                        Me either. I lag horribly when I'm on the bus pretty much every time...and I have fairly good internet at my house. Hope I don't lag too much between the Mark IV tank+the robots.

                                         

                                        Origins just sounds awesome. Green run just sounds confusing to me. Always had. I never enjoyed playing tranzit. I can hold my own, but I'm not expert. I dislike die rise almost equally, but I feel like I can do much better on that. But the concept of die rise was much better, even though the map didn't pan out quite as awesome as concept.

                                          • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                            SevenThug wrote:

                                             

                                            But the concept of die rise was much better, even though the map didn't pan out quite as awesome as concept.

                                            Following the WaW maps, doesn't it seem like the only maps that did pan out to concept were the ones that were not really story related?

                                             

                                            Ascension

                                            COTD

                                            Moon

                                            MOTD

                                             

                                            Moon and Ascension are mildy story related but concept was not. Moon by EE and characters Ascension by characters.

                                             

                                            Like I said in a prior thread....they seem to do best when they aren't chained to story.

                                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                      kubaork wrote:

                                       

                                      To autor: Hey! You are right!

                                      But there are way to make your game very HARDCORE.

                                      Try. Choose:

                                      -NukeTown Zombies

                                      -Only Headshot

                                      -Without magic.

                                      Your game will be VERY HARD. I LOVE THIS GAMEMODE :-).

                                       

                                      I still hope, that in DLC4 will be small map for survival. I don't like BIG maps with stupid bank and many features!

                                       

                                      I don't just play for the challenge....I'd like my efforts to score against the field.

                                       

                                      Why not force the casuals, noobs and weak players to play the non leaderboard "Custom" mode?

                                       

                                      On another note....I also got punished by the ranking system by choosing to play hardcore. Nuketown with a round 20 start....not easy to roll w/o jug and just a butter knife and 40 bullets that do nothing. I'll bet 30% of my downs come from playing that and bus survival.

                                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                      SevenThug

                                      I think you make some good points. But playing fake instruments gets boring after a while. Killing zombies is always in style.

                                      • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                        DeathBringer-Zen

                                        Of course, those "if's" assume they are still able to milk out COD into 2014-2015. It's just a matter of time before someone else innovates FPS (maybe a viable MMO) and the sales take a "Guitar Hero" nose dive.

                                         

                                        Brilliant thread, and 99% accurate, except of course for the "Guitar Hero" nose dive part.

                                         

                                        Call of Duty is, unfortunately, a completely different premise to Guitar Hero and Rockband. Those games were more novelty, like the dance mat games, and wore thin faster because they really could not change drastically from the original premise they used.

                                         

                                        Call of Duty is a FPS, and they are the dominant choice for todays gamer. Multiplayer is it's biggest factor. It is a game mode for everyone, casual or hardcore, and each game offers a different experience each time, unlike Guitar Hero.

                                         

                                        Since the first CoD launched on PC 10 years ago, the series has continued to grow in popularity, despite what is a clear lack of innovation from the various creators. Sure, they improve the visuals and mechanics each year, but the game is shockingly still using the same, dated engine it has for 8 years now, and it is sadly showing. This is down to Activision's determination to produce a new CoD annually.

                                         

                                        Either way, as long as they keep making money, and unfortunately they will, we will keep getting the same garbage. The CoD train is in full motion, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

                                          • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                            DeathBringer-Zen wrote:

                                             

                                            Guitar Hero and Rockband. Those games were more novelty, like the dance mat games, and wore thin faster because they really could not change drastically from the original premise they used.

                                             

                                             

                                            Perhaps not for COD as a whole but, do you think Activision sees Zombies mode as anything more than a novelty?

                                             

                                             

                                            DeathBringer-Zen wrote:

                                             

                                            Either way, as long as they keep making money, and unfortunately they will, we will keep getting the same garbage. The CoD train is in full motion, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

                                             

                                            If something comes out that breaks the COD mold that the other major game publishers are duplicating....they'll drop it like a hot potato.

                                             

                                            I agree though....they are fine running the "new-improved" clone machine for now. I have already tried to buy/bribe my 9 year old out of Ghosts. It might cost me double but I like to vote with my wallet...send a message. Not sure other parents care and will simply fork up the dough.

                                              • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                                DeathBringer-Zen
                                                Perhaps not for COD as a whole but, do you think Activision sees Zombies mode as anything more than a novelty?

                                                 

                                                Possibly, but there is more to the premise than there was with the Guitar Hero/Rockband games. It is open to extentions that were not viable to those aforementioned titles.

                                                 

                                                The game has endless possibilites for expansion, expecially now that we are going to be venturing into a new generation of technology. We could see maps that are more open world in the next game. So many viable options available for it to keep going for the forseeable future.

                                                 

                                                Also, zombies is growing in popularity just now... not fading.

                                                 

                                                If something comes out that breaks the COD mold that the other major game publishers are duplicating....they'll drop it like a hot potato.

                                                 

                                                Unfortunately, not a lot of companies have the financial clout behind them to give the CoD and Battlefield series some real contention.

                                                 

                                                This is also the case with other genres of games. Take the FIFA Soccer and Pro Evolution Soccer titles. They are the biggest, and ONLY soccer titles that get released on consoles. This is because no other company can produce anything that could knock these games of the top spot. It is considered financial suicide to even attempt such a thing.

                                                 

                                                This may not be "exactly" the same for CoD, but not a lot of companies are willing to spend the time, effort or money on producing something that will challenge for that top spot, especially when they see the technically superior Battlefield series, and decent but not as good Medal of Honor series fail at such a task, and they are produced by financial powerhouse, EA!

                                                 

                                                Games like Halo, Gears of War etc have their own dedicated followers, but attempts at making a console based war simulator to challenge CoD is unlikely until a CoD title actually flops in sales. Only then will a software division feel brave enough to go all out and try their luck.

                                            • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                              Cheesegrater28

                                              I do agree that having an easy mode leaderboard, regular leaderboard, and then original game mode with no perma perks or buildables like the old maps with its own leaderboard, would have been a real nice edition to this game. I still think Activision would benefit and profit from turning zombies into its own game. I think both MP and Zombies could benefit from a 2 year gap between each's release, but if they wanted to keep a MP game released each year, then just let Sledgehammer or whoever take over Treyarchs spot. But a COD Zombie game given 100% development attention would be an awesome thing with real thought out gamemodes.

                                               

                                              One gimmick I'm very interested in seeing used in a zombie game is all the new VR stuff like the Oculus Rift and Omni. By the time the next gen zombie game comes out, those things might be perfected and cheaper. Add some Wii like hand controls to them and zombies would both be more entertaining and a really good workout. Imagine trying high rounds on those things with peripheral 3D vision so you crap yourself everytime you sprint around a corner and the unexpected zombie gets you.

                                               

                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG3aPl0NX1I#at=69

                                                • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                                  whots_his_face

                                                  Lol, I hope your vision only extends to the head gear and not the adapted tread mill.

                                                   

                                                  Watched your vid then reread your post - it does.  I've never been one to watch someone play video games, but I doubt I would ever tire of watching someone in that contraption. .  

                                                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                                      whots_his_face wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Lol, I hope your vision only extends to the head gear and not the adapted tread mill.

                                                       

                                                      Watched your vid then reread your post - it does.  I've never been one to watch someone play video games, but I doubt I would ever tire of watching someone in that contraption. .  

                                                       

                                                      Imagine all the 911 calls for people that train zombies.....maybe the new Omni comes with a defibulator upgrade for high rounds.

                                                    • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                                      DeathBringer-Zen

                                                      Video was funny to watch, but in all seriousness, I think training would be impossible in the treadmill they supply, and without that feature, all the Oculus and Omni are, is a TV cellotaped to your face!

                                                       

                                                      I mean, if they let you use a controller with it, then it becomes nothing more than TV goggles that have a motion sensor included to tell with direction to follow, based on head movements.

                                                       

                                                      Most FPS are made for VR, or at least could be enjoyed that way, but zombies is not, and even IF you got into a groove with it using the treadmill, you would be pouring of sweat by round 10. Imagine trying to train till round 50!? :laughing:

                                                        • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                                          Cheesegrater28

                                                          They have videos of people walking on it and the character sprinting, so at least it seems to adjust to how much effort people want to put into it. They would also have to have a separate leaderboard for it somehow. Something where getting to round 30 is a big deal. Would also add new strategy to the maps because teams would have to plan wisely to set up camping rounds for taking breaks. Even keeping a zombie at the end of the round would be a challenge if everyone is tired.

                                                           

                                                          I don't think they should create the game around it, but I'd love the option to use it (if it worked properly). Would beat going jogging or running a treadmill any day.

                                                           

                                                          The one good thing about the Oculus though is the peripheral vision and 3D which makes the world feel more real as apposed to just a TV. Wouldn't make much of a difference in most games, but could add lot to a horror type game. Something jumping out from the side of your eye in full 3D would scare the crap out of people.

                                                          • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum
                                                            whots_his_face

                                                            DeathBringer-Zen wrote:

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            I mean, if they let you use a controller with it, then it becomes nothing more than TV goggles that have a motion sensor included to tell with direction to follow, based on head movements.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            This guy may disagree with you.  Had me chuckling all day when I watched it.

                                                             

                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoQ0OXJCbaE

                                                        • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                                          Innovation is the big problem with zombies? Lack of difficulty?

                                                          Innovation has been in zombies, but you see if you "innovate" too much you take away from the core experience of the game. For example, a popular sony exclusive for PS2 and PS3 was the Ratchet and Clank series. It was similar to COD in that each installement they mainly focused on refining the experience and always kept the core gameplay mechanics. And it was great, that is until they tried to "innovate". Ratchet and Clank 10 (titled All 4 One) strayed so far from the series game mechanics that many people lost interest in the franchise. This attempt to innovate continued into the next installment which tried to revolutionize the game again but once again, failed at delivering a solid game. The same goes for the COD gameplay experience. In Multiplayer the core mechanics are great (perks to customize your characters abilities and playstyle, a long with sets of unique guns and customizable kill streaks), only broken mechanics keep it from succeeding (if you don't believe that Multiplayer is broken look up the video by OvenBakedMuffin he shows every measurement and testing that proves it is near unplayable). Zombies is based on round-based survival and strategy, I think we can all agree that, like shown in the classic maps that Zombies has great core gameplay mechanics. In BO2 they have introduced plenty of new gameplay experiences as well (like buildables) but thankfully they haven't strayed too far from what makes Zombies Zombies.

                                                          Lack of difficulty? Please, all the maps are extremely easy. Even the ones without Jug like Nacht and Bus Depot aren't that hard, the reason people don't play them is because they have no depth (no interesting areas to open up, particular strategies, PaP, ect.) The only mildly challenging maps are Shangri-La and Nuketown. Unless your playing a decent team in grief or doing a revive challenge, Zombies really isn't challenging.

                                                          Another characterisitic about zombies is how the rounds effect difficulty. Mid-Rounds 20-40 or 50 begin the high round routine and for high-rounds only minor differences begin like using traps or the wonderweapon. I personally, and a lot of other zombies players just go to Round 40 or 50 and call it done. Don't get me wrong I've gotten to the high rounds before, and generally find them extremely boring and just a chore. Most people who can get to 50 are just as good as those who get to 100. The only difference is time. The most I have ever played Zombies in one session (my high round games in solo I take many breaks) is six hours. After 4 I didn't care what round we got to I just wanted to be done, but I stuck around because it would have been a douche thing to do just leaving after all that time. Another example is one of my friends got to 105 on Die Rise with two players. I play with him frequently and can tell you he is NOT a glitcher. But he begins playing at noon and gets off at midnight. The shear time spent sitting down and playing is the only thing that sets those players apart from those who call it enough at 50.

                                                          "Noobs" who get to high rounds and block us from getting rank 50 in the world for solo buried ruin the game? First it was glitchers, now it's players "that use cheap tactics". It's become truly ridiculous. It's gone from "Glitchers need to be IP banned", which is a justifiable comment to things like "wow u use quick revive to revive ur partners u p*ssy im clearly better...", shortly after MOTD's release: "oh wow ur playing die rise how bout u come play motd? o yea ur so afrade of losing ur precious rank... if you play motd and keep ur rank u got real skill..." to, shortly after Buried's release: "if you actually liked motd then clearly u have no skill...". And now that peopel have mastered the map doing good on it apparently takes no skill. These people are leaderboard hunters, obsessed with getting Rank X on the leaderboards. Let's face it, there are always going to be glitchers that will mess up leaderboards, and not being happy about that is understandable (even though constantly complaining about that as well is overboard) but seriously? Picking people out for their playstyle? If somebody uses buildables, they suck. Reviving somebody constantly for perma-quick revive is exploiting and to be punished by banning, quiting games when done instead of killing yourself is boosting, camping jug (I'll admit it's not as respectable as running circles) is glitching, it's just crazy how the community on this forum has become so high-minded. People like these it would seem are not having fun, and generally just helping ruin others fun in them constantly showing  a negative outlook. I love the old maps for the nostalgia but the new maps (maybe except for Tranzit and Nuketown) are just as good. And not to mention Grief is a blast. Turned sucks though.

                                                          • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                                            Chin chin. One of the greatest threads on this site.

                                                            • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                                              maybe it's me but if there's one thing that is all the call of duty's the same than its multiplayer.

                                                              multiplayer is always the same, there is not a single reason why i should buy bo2 mp instead of mw3.

                                                              maybe the graphics, but they change that on zombies to, the only reason why i bought bo2 is for the zombies. there is nothing that changes on mp that doesn't change on zombies: graphics, guns, perks, maps, ranking system. all the people who bought bo2 for the multiplayer, did it for the graphics

                                                              • Re: The "Zombie Mode" Conundrum

                                                                USarmyvet wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of guitar games’ audience have now moved on.

                                                                 


                                                                Wouldnt surprise me if they gave up when the casual people leave... BO2 is obviously made for new/bad/casual players, what with the bank, WWs, and permaperks. If they left, then rather than change the next game back to the normal difficulty of BO1/W@W theyd probably just remove zombies altogether.

                                                                 

                                                                EDIT:Forgot to mention that the fact that your round now saves when you quit helps the new/bad/casual players more than the experienced players.