World of the Living Dead permanently shutting down

This is a tough post to write. We’ve worked hard over the last five years to keep World of the Living Dead going, but sadly we’ve reached the point where we have to call it a day.

We had hoped that the last server would prove that we could make ends meet and at least pay for server costs, but it gradually became clear that it wasn’t working. We could get the players and I think (hope) most people liked the game, but in the end, it was costing us way more money to run than it was making.

Part of the problem was the complexity of the game, which meant that the servers cost more than a simpler game would require. The gameplay itself was also difficult to monetise, as we never really made it easy enough for players to feel comfortable paying for supplies or advantages. If WotLD had been a more graphically-rich game, maybe we could have sold more cosmetic items, but that’s just more than the two of us could manage.

So we’ve been running the numbers and discussing our options since the server came to an end, trying to find a way that we could justify putting all our time into the game, hoping that we could magically find the solution which could allow us to put another six months into setting up and running another server.

But the sums just don’t add up and we’ve had to make a really difficult decision. WotLD won’t be coming back from the dead this time and Ballardia is already in the process of being shut down.

Thank you to everyone who played the game and thanks especially to those of you have helped out in so many ways. You guys made it possible for us to remain optimistic and keep working.

We hope you’ll all remember WotLD and NECRA with fondness as time goes on.

World of the Living Dead R.I.P.

Note: The forum will remain online for another couple of weeks, but we’ll gradually be shutting down all servers and we’ll eventually stop checking WotLD/Ballardia email addresses.

posted 1 month ago

Research nearly completed in World of the Living Dead

NECRA experts have announced that a cure for the virus is only days away, with tkobo currently ahead in the race to complete all research stages.

SCUGS has analysed the data collected so far and predicts that the Autolab will have reached a successful conclusion when stage 50 is completed.

All operatives should be aware that all SCUGS comms will be shut down soon after this. Make your peace with your survivors. Some of them may survive after the cure is deployed, but you will be unable to control them as soon as research has been completed.

Note from the devs: this means that this server will shut down soon after any operative completes research stage 50.

posted 4 months ago

Kill zeds now enabled

NECRA has now authorized the putting down of zeds for non-scientific reasons. What this means to you is that the kill zeds button has been enabled on your squad menu. Go to the map and look for this icon.

If you click it, your survivors will do their best to kill zeds in their current grid square. You need to make sure they’re prepared, so equip your best weapons, check ammo levels and top up combat skills. Clicking the kill zeds button triggers a combat round just the same as when your survivors move, so be warned that injuries can occur.

Don’t be surprised if the noise of gunfire attracts more zeds than they can kill. That’s how it works when you make a racket in the zombocalypse. But in some cases - especially if you cooperate with other operatives - you might be able to clear areas, or at least bring z-density down to more manageable levels.

We’ve also put in a zeds killed counter in the top menu. You can still get to the Earn NC page by going through the gold NECRA Credit icon in the top menu.

There’s another big change going in today, although this is a temporary test designed to see how increased recovery rates affect the game. Depending on how things go, we may keep recovery rates at these levels.

Fear, fatigue and health will now recover at many times their original pace. 

An unskilled survivor in an unmodified safehouse will recover as follows:

Fear: from 100% to zero in 3 hours

Fatigue: from 100% to zero in 4 hours

Health: from just above zero to 100% in 12 hours.

Health is still the slowest as we want to model the fact that the survivor has been injured. Fear has become the most rapid, because we want to model the idea that the survivor recovers their confidence when in a safe area - a little like catching your breath. Fatigue has halved so that you should be able to get a few good sessions of WotLD in every day.

Of course you can also use meds to speed things up even further or to get yourself out of a tight spot in the field.

There’s also a cool new video on the front page, so be sure to check it out when you log in to start killing some zeds!

 

posted 5 months ago

NECRA Task Force gets even better and research is rebalanced

This is a tough post to write, because nobody ever wants to mention the ugly subject of costs and cash, but we feel that we have to explain why we’ve decided to make Task Force a more integral part of the game.

World of the Living Dead is free to play but we really need some support from our players if we’re to continue. We don’t have the volumes of people that most free to play games have, so we’re not even coming close to covering our costs.

NECRA Task Force goes Pro

The best way to keep the game going is to support us by getting some NECRA Credits and regularly activating NECRA Task Force membership. So we’ve made the Task Force package even more attractive. For just 100 NC each week, you get all these features:

  • 25% bonus modifier to scavenging
  • 25% boost to XP earned from SCUGS missions
  • 25% faster Research with NECRA Autolab
  • Daily special NECRA care package with surprise item!
  • Rename characters to anything you want!
  • 20% boost to XP earned from SCUGS missions
  • Enhanced SCUGS satellite visibility enables you to see 2x grid distance around your squads
  • Limit on map markers increased from 5 to 25
  • Choose from a range of custom squad icons for better recognition on the map
  • Access to internal SCUGS data servers allows you to download maps and spreadsheets to help track your progress

Of course you can still play without Task Force, but the game will certainly be more difficult and you’ll be passing up on a chance to help a tiny (there are two of us doing everything) independent company. We want WotLD to keep getting better and better, but we need your support to get there!

Extra goodies in Task Force

The boosts and bonuses are straightforward advantages for players who want to get ahead. Lots of free to play games have these kinds of advantages for more committed players. The daily surprise is something we thought would be a fun addition to the game. Task Force members can log in every day and go the NECRA Deliveries page. Click the button there and a random item will be queued for delivery. It could be anything from an ultra rare sniper rifle to a case of beer and every day is another chance to get something cool!

Research rebalancing

We’ve also made the decision to make the requirements for research a little easier. We designed these to cater to factions of us to 10 players, so the later stages are punishingly difficult. We’ve rebalanced the required ingredients so that a solo player will find them a challenge but will still be able to manage without too much frustration.

As part of the research changes and to make things more transparent, we’re also changing the base rate for scavenging. This is now clearly connected to the number of green lootability boxes in a grid square. 1 box = 1% base rate, 10 boxes = 10% base rate. So you know that it’s going to be tough going if you try scavenging in a grid square with low lootability, especially if you’re looking for rare research compounds.

Earn free NC!

Finally, we want to make getting NECRA Task Force as painless as possible for everyone, so we’ve put back in offer walls to allow you to earn NC. We don’t make as much from these as from direct payments, but it will allow you to take part and support us even if you can’t directly buy NC.

Remember that any NC you buy during this server comes with a huge bonus and you’ll get back all the NC in the next server, so you can’t lose!

posted 5 months ago

NECRA Task Force online in WotLD

NECRA Task Force is online and ready to be activated!

Membership in the Task Force lasts 7 days and costs just 100 NECRA Credits. You can extend your membership at any time and for as long as you want.

Click on the red neon text which says “NECRA Task Force” under the level progress bar to activate or extend your Task Force membership.

Every Task Force member gets all this:

  • Rename characters to anything you want!

Renaming lasts forever, so your survivors will keep their new name even if your membership expires.

  • 20% boost to XP earned from SCUGS missions

The boost will automatically be applied when the mission is created, but you’ll see an overall general increase in the value of missions. This is to represent the concept of Task Force members taking on more important missions.

  • Enhanced SCUGS satellite visibility enables you to see 2x as many grid squares around your squads

This is a completely new feature. We had to make it a Task Force only part of the game because showing extra grid squares is computationally intensive for us and so actually costs us real money. What you will get is an extra grid square all along the outside of your visibility range, effectively doubling your field of vision.

  • Limit on map markers increased from 5 to 25

This should help with trades, faction management or even just keeping your own records.

  • Choose from a range of custom squad icons for better recognition on the map

We’re rolling out an initial range from the classic version of the game, including country flags and minimalist-style alphanumerical icons, but we’ll be adding to these in future updates.

  • Access to internal SCUGS data servers allows you to download maps and spreadsheets to help track your progress

You can download the following from the Command page:

  • Survivor statistics
  • Survivor skills
  • Resources in survivor backpacks
  • Resources in safehouses 
  • Resources in stashes
  • Strategic map data (open in Google Earth)

These should help you really keep track of your survivors and enable offline management for the operative who wants to plan ahead.

To give you a chance to try out NECRA Task Force, we’re giving everyone a free 3 day trial. Just log in at http://cbt.worldofthelivingdead.com and click on the red neon “NECRA Task Force” to claim yours!

posted 5 months ago

Research and factions

There are a some very dedicated operatives working hard on research stages so I wanted to clear up something about the underlying design of research as a gameplay element.

The redesign of WotLD was based on the assumption that faction play would be an integral part of the game as players reached advanced stages and started cooperating. Because we’ve made a world where it makes sense to team up and we’ve seen such cooperation in the past, we wanted to encourage this.

So the decision was made early on that NECRA would have designed the survival cell and distributed research system to work together. Keep survivors under separate operative control to prevent z-density accumulation and infection, but assume cooperation between operatives when it came to the punishing needs of the hungry Autolab.

It is in theory possible for a really efficient operative to complete all research stages, although it would take a lot longer than our projections and could be disheartening, especially as later stages become more demanding.

But even a moderately-sized and well-organized faction should have no problem gathering the supplies needed. That doesn’t mean that the game would be easy. There would still be logistical problems related to moving supplies, avoiding enemy raids, preventing other factions from advancing, and a lot of other challenges.

However… even though we want to stay true to the idea of encouraging faction cooperation, we’ve been looking at the drop rates for the Research category and think that they could again do with a slight adjustment. Nothing too drastic - Research Chemicals are still intended to be the most likely item you’ll find. They’re heavy and can be irritating, but you will need them at later stages. If the closed beta really shows us that players hate how they work, we’ll look at changing them for the next server. We did the same thing with car batteries. We still like the idea of those, but they turned out to be a pain in practice.

We want the game to be fun, so you should find it a little easier to get compounds, antivirals and test vaccines after today’s update. But future requirements for the Autolabs - especially for blood samples - could be a bit demanding for lone wolves, so remember that a little cooperation would go a long way!

posted 6 months ago

NECRA needs test subjects

The ultimate sacrifice is back. Test subject missions are online.

NECRA has put out a call for survivors to be delivered for research. The reward is high, but you will lose your survivor. NECRA scientists currently require survivors of a particilar blood type, so watch your mission list and remember that sometimes an operative needs to be willing to lose an “asset” in order to progress and succeed.

Do you have any survivors who you can sacrifice for the greater good? Log into cbt.wotld.com and find out.

NB: test subject missions are reserved for high-level NECRA operatives of level 17 or above.

Remember that you can now sign up and play WotLD: Resurrection without a beta key. We’ve temporarily removed the beta key requirement. Get in now and plan your strategy for the future!

posted 6 months ago

Rankings go live in WotLD: Resurrection

Rankings return to WotLD! The new rankings are also now live, so you can see how good you are in real time. Are you leading the pack or are you letting NECRA down? Find out now at cbt.wotld.com 

There are five main categories: Number of survivors, Zeds killed, PvP kills, PvP injuries and PvP theft. With separate sections for players and factions, it’s easy to see at a glance how you and your allies are doing. 

The new Heroes section gives your survivors a chance to shine, based on how many Survival Points have been invested in the survivor. Dead or AWOL survivors aren’t shown, so keep them aliveand get them back if you lose control. 

Research progress gets its own section, so you can quickly see which player and faction is leading in research stages. Research decides when a WotLD server ends, but remember that it’s not the only way to achieve fame. 

There’s no overall rank or complicated points system, so you can focus on the parts of the game that you really enjoy or try to be the top player in every category

We’ve also changed the AWOL mechanic to make it faster for players to recover missing survivors. All survivors will now gather in a single random NECRA safehouse when recalled. So if you’ve been away for a while, it’s never been easier to get back into the fight!

The current top players:

  • No. survivors: Tkobo
  • Zeds killed: Tomatlan
  • PvP kills: rukawa
  • PvP injuries: rukawa
  • PvP theft: rukawaw
  • Heroes: Tkobo
  • Research: Tkobo

posted 6 months ago

WotLD on Chrome Web Store

We’ve added WotLD to the Chrome Web Store as an app. We want to make it easier for Chrome users to launch the game and also hope to improve our visibility.

If you like WotLD and use Chrome, go to the Chrome Web Store, search for “World of the Living Dead” and install the app. Remember to leave a review!

posted 6 months ago

Facebook sharing, free NC for voting and easier AWOL

The latest release includes a couple of things designed to try and bring in some new players. Like the NECRA Autolab, a game can’t keep going without new blood coming in all the time.

We’ve added a Share on Facebook link to the Achievements and Infocards pages and also to the dialog box which notifies you when you get an achievement or an infocard. If you use Facebook, it’d be great if you could share some of these every now and then. It keeps our profile up and might encourage someone to play or come back to the game.

The release also sees the return of free NC for voting. There’s a little neon link saying “Vote for NC!” in the menu bar, next to NECRA Deliveries. You can vote on each side once every 24 hours. Voting helps us get players and gives you free NC, so it’s a good deal for both of us!

There have been some minor changes to the privacy policy and terms and conditions, primarily changing WORLDOFTHELIVINGDEAD.COM to Ballardia Ltd. and adding a little note about our use of cookies to comply with EU policy.

The gameplay change in the release should address a problem faced by those players who ever let more than one survivor go AWOL. We don’t want to make the mechanic too punishing, so we’ve changed how it works. Recalling AWOL survivors will now trigger SCUGS to direct them to the same safehouse. In reality, there would be a slight delay, but for the purposes of the game, they’ll appear there ready for you to get them back into service.

I’ll make another short post soon - maybe today - about something else we’re working on, so keep an eye on the blog!

posted 6 months ago