[ANALYSIS] Walker, equipment, and survivor progression

JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,709
EDIT (5/23/17): This appears to be fixed.
- See the official announcement here: http://forums.nextgames.com/walkingdead/discussion/26158/changes-to-end-game-stats#latest
- See the official discussion thread here: http://forums.nextgames.com/walkingdead/discussion/26159/changes-to-end-game-stats-discussion-thread#latest
- I have not conducted an updated analysis with the new numbers, but hope to get to this by the end of the week to let everyone know if the numbers are lining up better.


This is going to be a very long post, so bear with me. Most of you guys have seen my other post (click here), that does a bit of analysis about equipment progression from level 20-24. This is an updated version of that analysis, which more comprehensively looks at equipment, survivor stats, AND zombie stats.

The tl;dr version of this is: you should NOT upgrade your survivors/equipment from level 20 to 21 if you have not already done so. There are some balance issues that make it so you can't get as far in challenges, which I think we all knew anecdotally, but the rest of my post will show the data that supports this. If you have an amazing team of level 20s and have nothing else to do, it might be worth your time to start upgrading equipment to level 21, but SAVE your survivor upgrades until the starting point in the challenge (or the balance issues I discuss here) are addressed.

To summarize:
1. Walker health always increases at the same rate from level 20-30 (19%). When you look at survivor/equipment damage together, level 17-20 survivors with level 20-23 gear experience damage increases at a rate of 17.5%. Level 21 survivors with level 24 gear experience a damage increase of 15.0%.
2. Walker damage always increases at the same rate from level 20-30 (16%). When you look at survivor/equipment health together, level 17-20 survivors with level 20-23 gear experience health increases at a rate of 15.5%. Level 21 survivors with level 24 gear experience a health increase of 12.8%.
3. Points 1 and 2 mean that you get WORSE returns for upgrading from level 20 to 21 (survivors) and from level 23 to 24 (gear). This debunks the notion that a level 21 survivor can get as far (relative to their starting point) as a level 20 survivor. Not only are there growing pains when you upgrade to level 21 (unless you're obscenely rich, it'll take a lot of time/resources to upgrade your survivors, find base level 21 gear with the right traits, and upgrade that gear), but EVEN AFTER the grind, you SHOULD NOT do as well as a player with level 20 survivors because of how the numbers scale. This is wrong.

What can we do? (because complaining without proposing solutions can lead to bad things; read my thread about how to complain intelligently by clicking here)
1. Make armor/weapon upgrade values consistent with before (19% increase) so that level 21 survivors with level 24 gear can make it AS FAR (relatively) as a level 20 survivor with level 23 gear.
2. To ease the short-term burdens of upgrading/transitioning and actually give end gamers an incentive to reach the end game more quickly, let players with level 21 survivors start at RSL 14 instead of 15 (aka "The 69 Solution" - where the starting point is calculated as 69% of your top survivors' level instead of 70%).

By now, I've shared all of the main points, so you can stop here if you want. If you're a data geek, you can keep reading to see the tables that I created. Big shoutout to @OneLessTitan's website (click here), as well as other forum users, for helping me gather this data.

The first few tables below will illustrate point #1 (walker health vs. survivor/equipment damage):

Walker health always increases at the same rate from level 20-30 (19%).

Equipment damage increased at the same rate from level 20-23 (19%), but equipment damage increases at a LOWER rate from level 23-24 (15%).

Survivor damage increases at a LOWER rate from level 17-21 (15%).

Taken together, survivor/equipment damage increases at a rate of 17.5% except for end gamers which increase at a rate of 15.0%.

The next few tables below will illustrate point #2 (walker damage vs. survivor/equipment health):

Walker damage always increases at the same rate from level 20-30 (16%).

Equipment health increased at the same rate from level 20-23 (19%), but equipment health increases at a LOWER rate from level 23-24 (12.8%).

Survivor health increases at a LOWER rate from level 17-21 (12-12.8%), with melee survivors seeing higher increases.

Taken together, survivor/equipment damage increases at a rate of 15.5% except for end gamers which increase at a rate of 12.8%.

Some footnotes:
1. I only analyze legendary survivors/gear. I do not account for body shots, pink stars, etc.
2. I do not factor in the Lethal or Health Boost traits into my calculations.
3. As far as I know, the numbers I use should be accurate as of 4/18. Even if they are slightly off, they should still be directionally correct.
4. Note that at high levels, armor increase rates matter less, because every walker attack will result in critical damage (so increasing armor at a higher rate than walker damage is NOT a big deal).
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  • KaLiKaLi Member Posts: 426
    @JayZ thanks for the nice and very informative post
  • MarkMark Member Posts: 253
    well done @JayZ
  • zeeblackzeeblack Member Posts: 1,200
    @JayZ great article. The players have always been at a disadvantage. Now it's time NG reverses some of the nerfs it has done in the past

    Zee Black 

    Playing the game since 2015, Level 75 and 200K plus stars

    Part of SG Woot since 2016. We have played more than 300 challenges and earned  4 million plus stars

  • paintbeastpaintbeast Member Posts: 1,188
    @JayZ My intuition (not to mention my playing experience since 2.5) knew this to be the case. Thanks for doing the leg work to prove it.
  • JuanloJuanlo Member Posts: 89
    Thanks for putting all that info in such a clear way. I've upgraded just one of my survivors to 21, and it will stay that way for a while until NG fixes this mess.
  • Human3001Human3001 Member Posts: 103
    To sum this up. Most players want a linear progressing game. The devs probably intetended to increase the difficulty level by going a new way, which isn't liked by many players.

    One remark to this great and with much work created thread is left for me. What os won by reaching the end game faster? End game is a nightmare for any game, because the motivation usally takes a huge bump.
    Mavericks UC
  • JackBauerJackBauer Member Posts: 1,550
    Ok, it looks like I need to scrap my lvl21 survivors.
    Oh ! How can I scrap Heroes ? :#
    Remember to use your charge abilities
  • Conan1976Conan1976 Member Posts: 758

    thanks so much for this. Lets hope NG uses this to re-balance so lvl 21 survivors gives us a slight advantage compared to lvl 20 survivors! Respect!
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  • nadecirnadecir Member Posts: 271
    Hmm, you would think NG would like players to spend to upgrade survivors and equipment, wouldn't you? This thread gives players cause to think twice before spending to upgrade their 20 level survivors with fully upgraded level 23 gear.

    I seriously doubt that increasing a level 21 with level 24 gear by 2.5% really tilts the game balance in favor of the players that much. About 80% of NG revenue comes from in-app purchases. If enough players refuse to spend in-game, maybe NG will reconsider this change to the normal survivor progression.
  • Human3001Human3001 Member Posts: 103
    Seriously the way some players comment in this forum is sometimes pretty strange. I really learned to like the community here during my first four weeks, but it seems to me that some people think that NG would make any changes with the goal to make the game less enjoyable for the players.

    They test new ways from time to time. Then listen to the reaction of the players and made adjustments. I read my way through this forum since I registered here and one thing became pretty clear right at the beginning. This is a game from a publisher who is in touch with his customers. They will take care of the bad balance that is caused through the latest changes as well as they took care of other failures in the past.

    Don't get me wrong this discussion and many others are very constructive. It's only a small minority of comments that leaves me speachless sometimes. I'm 100% sure that they will fix this within a reasonable timetable.
    Mavericks UC
  • DLichDLich Member Posts: 5,541
    edited April 2017
    @Human3001 alot of us hang out in the off topic threads because it sometimes gets "old" seeing the same old things being repeated over and over and over as is why The Redundancy Thread was created.

    Over time players all "evolve". When I first started here in the forums almost a year ago I was very hopeful and happy to share my thoughts and strategies with others... then I started being a data monger which made me angry and confrontational on the forums to the "higher ups"... then I remembered this is just a game and started to chill out and have fun.

    I've come to expect the negative posts just as members of the forum have come to expect me to insert my witty memes or youtube video links for a laugh whenever I can fit one in (that's what she said).

    I do agree the devs want to make a good game. The game is good or else we wouldn't still be playing it. Personally I don't really care too much about stars because as I mentioned this is a game. I want my guild to strive but at the end of the week if we have 10K stars it's still a good week.

    My star total weekly is usually around 650 and I start on RSL 15. So as a data analyzer i just look at the data regarding what I could do after compared to what I could do before. But if my team needs 25 more stars for the next reward I'll try my best.

    Somehow I feel like i'm going off topic here (sorry about that). Come check out off topic... Feel free to start a tread there as I'm sure @capibara is looking to make 2-3 more that sound remotely close to what you post LOL.

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  • tallinietallinie Member Posts: 393
    edited April 2017
    Totally agree with @JayZ . Wish I hadnt upgraded my training camp and survivors first. And now Im getting 100 less stars in each challenge until maybe after 6 months or so I get some decent lvl 24 weapons and armors, currently I have just the free flamethrower..

    Edit: well not free but could get it with TG so no money spent anyways
  • capibaracapibara Member Posts: 6,665
    Damn! I was sleeping!! Who said @capibara ?? @DLich ? What now? I will be awke the whole night?

    To be in topic... Awesome @JayZ !! :D
    Usually i don't care about nefing, new game rules, walkers health... I play for fun and when something is unexpected i use to have more fun.
    Trying to push every challenge to the limit... Doing of my best with everything i have, painful and sorrow... if necessary with urine too... :#
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