State of Decay 2 - Time is your worst enemy

Just picked up State of Decay 2 : Juggernaut Edition for $8 in the Epic Game holiday sale ($17.99-$10 coupon). I absolutely LOVED the first game, so was looking forward to getting into this one.

So far I am enjoying it (I’m at the point where the tutorial ends, asking me to move to the truck stop). However, I am not impressed with how consoley (is that a word?) this sequel is. The first game had what I thought was a pretty solid and detailed UI for a PC game. Sure, there were parts of it that were a bit monotonous (inventory management), but overall it worked well. This game’s UI just seems so made-for-console, and since I am a hardcore KB/mouse user who never plays with a controller, it’s kind of annoying. The whole clothing thing is ridiculously consoley as well. Finding a floppy pimp hat or whatever instead of much needed supplies makes me feel like I’m playing Zombie Fortnite. Ugh.

That said, much of what made the original game so much fun for me is back for a second round in this game, so I can overlook the awkward UI and floppy hats and hopefully just enjoy the State of Decay experience of smashing zombie skulls, maintaining supplies, strategizing how to place my outposts for maximum effect and micro-managing my base building and survivor development.

You’ll find lot’s of nice quality of life improvements in the UI as well, transferring stuff from your car once it’s parked straight into base inventory is excellent for instance…

We are enjoying it as well. Currently playing it co-op with 3 other people which has been fun. We’re switching back and forth between each other’s communities helping with missions and plague hearts for rewards.

My one complaint is that the missions / quests? come non stop and it hard to keep up with them all without losing repuation with various groups. “Like I know ya’ll need help, but these people just asked for me to come help them with something 10 minutes ago…can this wait till later?”

That’s by design. In a zombie apocalypse, you can’t save everyone! Difficult choices have to be made!

-Tom

True, I see their plan but I have to agree with the original complaint. Why’s everyone such a whiney bitch. I’ve got food and materials to salvage, just get bitten already :)

Walkie-talkies would be better with a block option!

-Tom

Imagine if all words were made like this - its one of my favorite words, and I can’t fathom the thing that went through whomever invented it, to call it…what you do, in childrens language :-D

Razgon
Writing this from his Sitty-thingie…

And to top it off, after reading the wiki, pretty much everyone can be ignored as they will all circle back around given enough time. No missions are a one time offer that I can find. So Stress gone.

So about those missions…I was just visiting a new enclave (The Doctors, sadly they had zero sonic screwdrivers for trade) and while I was there they got attacked by “Raiders”. I helped them to successfully kill all 4 people who attacked the enclave (and got some nice loot from the bodies). Now though I am wondering, did I just kill off another enclave somewhere or do raiders just magically appear from nowhere to threaten your home base and other enclaves?

Also, working vehicles seem to be in much shorter supply in SoD 2. I’ve been playing for hours and explored pretty much all of the camp town where you start and driven all over the larger town where the truck stop is and have yet to find another driveable vehicle aside from the SUV I brought with me from the prologue. Does that magically fix itself when I finally get around to taking over the truck stop and officially ending the tutorial phase?

I’ve never played a game where there were no vehicles available. Yes a lot of them are very banged up and out of fuel, but once you find or can produce repair kits you will have more vehicles than parking bays. At which point, you just build a vehicle barricade to keep the ankle biters out.

Pretty sure it wasn’t called that by the inventor.

I am now in the mid-game and I’ve gotten over the console-based UI and am really enjoying the game. I may in fact be even more addicted to SoD 2 than I was to the original (which I loved). So much of the game is exactly the same (door bashing zombies with my SUV never ever gets old) in a good way, and the new aspects make the game even more appealing to my zombie apocalypse OCD.

The expanded base building is excellent, I love the choices you need to make, the mods you can install, and the features each structure give you, as well as the morale and noise factors. So many decisions to make! Crafting has been expanded as well and I’m finding it really useful, especially now that I’ve found several skill books so some of my characters are quite good at making some really nice stuff or grant really nice bonuses. The addition of power and water is cool, as is the extra layer of decisions that come with it.

I like that there are more enclaves of survivors, not all of them friendly, and while it seemed overwhelming at first with all the radio calls for assistance, you can get a feel for who you should be helping and who you just need to let go fairly quickly. I’ve reached Allied status with four of the closest enclaves to me (the truck stop is my base right now) and they provide a good mix of medical (Doctors), military (Soldiers), tech/radio (Residents) and food (Neighbors). I have friendly status with a couple of other enclaves, and have only one that hates me (Nomads) because I refused to help them wipe out another enclave. The soldiers in particular are handy to have as allies because they will follow me for 0 influence cost, and they’re very well equipped for plague heart fights.

Plague Hearts are the other new thing that I am enjoying. Since there doesn’t really seem to be a story to the game like there was in the original SoD (at least not yet, despite radio broadcasts from the Red Talon and The Network that hint at a story), the goal of clearing the plague hearts helps fill the gap. I like that they require some tactics and planning to clear effectively. I also assume that once I have cleared them all from the current map, I will be prompted to move to the next map?

Finally, I like the hero system and the individual missions each character spawns that are unique to that character and their skills/personality. It helps you spread the play time around to all the characters instead of just switching between two favorites, which in turn helps develop everyone, adding more skills and features to the community. Plus some of them are just fun to listen to (Five makes me laugh every time out).

I’ve got the truck stop all built up with power, water, fuel and outposts supplying beds and meds. I turned Jordan into a Builder leader, and several other characters have Hero status. I have upgraded infirmary, workshop, garage, storage and lounge areas, so infections, maintenance and morale are no longer a problem and once I moved from the starting location I found several vehicles I’ve reclaimed and am using (including a couple just for their trunk storage for extra supplies). At this point, with basic needs met or exceeded, I am pretty much ready to start taking down the remaining plague hearts (I’ve killed 3 of 9 so far) and making sure my survivors are as ready as they can be for whatever happens after that.

Yep, pretty much.

What difficulty level are you playing on? As you’re clearing plague hearts, the zombie ecosystem is supposed to ramp up in difficulty. But there’s also a sort of overarching difficulty progression among all your games. I think the idea is that you’re supposed to build up tough survivors on the easier difficulty levels who will then help you get established in the harder difficulty levels.

-Tom

I’m playing on “Normal” or whatever the default setting is called. There was an Easy choice below it, and the two above it seemed like they would be too frustrating for a first run at the game.

There are definitely more hordes, plague zoms and specials roaming about now that I’ve cleared several hearts. Good to know that the next maps will ramp up in difficulty, so I’ll be sure to try to increase at least the combat skills of all my survivors, and have the most frequently used special skills leveled as well before moving on.

Is there still perma-death with characters you grow through the game? So, if you get to a higher difficulty with these built-up character but get them killed, would you need to bump back down to a lower difficulty to grow a new group up to be able to handle the higher difficulty again?

They won’t unless you actually play on a harder difficulty level! It’s not like the DLC in the first game where the maps got harder as you progressed.

Theoretically, yes. I don’t think you need higher level characters to play the harder difficulty levels, and you can only import three characters into a game. But developed characters will certainly help you secure a beachhead, as it were. You can also choose one of the specializations you’ve unlocked when you start a new game, regardless of who lived or died.

-Tom

Oh, OK. So I guess there isn’t really a reason to delay knocking out those last couple of hearts if all I’m delaying for is to increase a couple of survivor’s skills here and there. Sounds like I can do that just fine on the next map.

Is there ever an actual story plot like there was in SoD? Like where you worked together with the locals at first, then the military, to not only find out more information about what was happening, but escape Trumball Valley in the end?

Do you have the edition with all the DLC? There’s a story mode where you control two pre-rolled characters (you pick from several options) and it works out much like that - you’re searching for someone, things happen etc.

It’s great. I think the enemies might be tougher - the ferals have reinforced noggins - so investing in a sniper tower makes a lot of sense.

I have Juggernaut Edition, so yeah, I started with Kyle and Five in campaign mode, but so far there doesn’t seem to be any story other than some radio chatter between Red Talon and The Network.

Still playing this regularly. After clearing a couple of the maps in Campaign mode and never really uncovering any sort of story I was getting pretty bored. I had eight pretty much maxxed out survivors, had built the heavy upgrades to my vehicles (love the snow plow on the front of the military pickup!) and could quickly ramp up a new base when switching maps. I suppose I could have turned up the difficulty to Hard from Normal, but it would still have been just more of the same.

Then I decided to try the Heartland DLC…Ah-ha, here is where the story is! Right away you’re on a mission to find someone familiar from the first game, and then you’re off to help that person’s enclave, followed by contact with the military and then some reveals about just what the hell is happening in good old Trumbull Valley. My interest in the game was quickly and completely renewed!

Now I have Jurassic Junction built up rather nicely, and have recruited pretty much every remaining survivor into my enclave with the exceptions of the military scientist who is integral to the story (thus can’t be recruited, at least not yet) and the Santos enclave (who it would not let me recruit at the time except for the one girl who asks to join you, though I haven’t gone back lately). This has allowed me to build most of the specialized buildings in my camp, which makes like a lot easier. I’ve got a few more supply runs to do and a couple of plague hearts to take out, then it will be time for the Gauntlet.