State of Decay 2 gets Xbox Series X|S optimisations and new Lethal difficulty

Undead Labs are rounding out 2020 with an update for open world zombie survival game State of Decay 2, giving it a spruce up for the new generation of Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, while also adding a new top tier difficulty level for the hardest of hardcore players out there.

The optimisations for the new consoles are pretty straightforward on a surface level. Both consoles now run the game at 60fps, with Xbox Series X doing so in full 4K and Xbox Series S running at 1080p. However, there’s also improved image quality settings, faster loading times and they’re tightened up the controls. Undead Labs say that these improvements will be rolling over to the PC platform at some point as well.

Regardless of the platform you play on, the new update also takes you to the Lethal Zone, which ramps things up even further compared to Nightmare difficulty. As with the other difficulty settings, you can set the whole game to Lethal difficulty, or shift individual difficulty sliders for different aspects of the game, like zombie damage, blood plague deaths.

Here’s the full patch notes and run down of what this means:

Lethal Action

Combat is murderously unfair.

  • All sources deal +100% damage to the player (compare to +60% in Nightmare)
  • Infection gains from zombie attacks are +100% (compare to +60% in Nightmare) –Infection from plague consumables is unchanged from Nightmare
  • Blood plague kills survivors within 5 minutes of infection (compare to 10 minutes in Nightmare) – Zombies can cause nearly twice as many different injuries as they do at lower difficulties, leading to deeper injury stacks piling up
  • Duplicate injuries instead apply 80% of that injury as trauma (compare to 66% in Nightmare)
  • Dodging costs +100% Stamina (compare to +50% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicles take +300% damage from hitting or getting hit by zombies (compare to +160-180% in Nightmare)
  • They also take +200% damage from other sources (compare to +125-150% in Nightmare)

The undead are terrifying and relentless.

  • All freaks are replaced with the blood plague freaks from Heartland
    You can encounter hordes with one of each plague freak. It’s a plague party!
  • Gun noise is raised by +150% (compare to +75% in Nightmare), bringing even more zombies
  • Zombies will now chase a sound for up to 5 minutes (compare to giving up after 1 minute in Nightmare). Got your running shoes on?
  • The baseline siege threat at your base starts at 8 (compare to 5 in Nightmare)

Plague hearts are extremely tenacious and dangerous.

  • Destroying a plague heart does not kill all nearby plague zombies.
  • Plague Hearts take significantly less damage. Note that melee is now (comparatively speaking) a bit more effective than other options, rather than less. Get up close and personal, if you dare!
  • Melee = -50% Damage (compare to -33% in Nightmare)
  • Ranged = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Explosion = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Fire = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicle Impact = -75% Damage (compare to-25% in Nightmare)

Lethal Map

There’s almost nothing useful left in this town.

  • About 70-80% of houses are pre-looted
  • There are zero non-guaranteed resource drops of any kind – That means you only get the resources you expect from looking at a site’s flyout on the Map Screen, if that, and never any surprise bonus rucksacks
  • Other “lucky find” drops are similarly reduced to very low rates, or even zero, including a lot of mid-range guns

Good luck finding a ride.

  • The map has only 33% the normal number of vehicles (compare to 65% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicles are always out of gas and seriously damaged

Plague hearts are everywhere.

  • There are 3 times the standard number of plague hearts (compare to 1.5 times in Nightmare)
  • Plague hearts are hidden, and the radio command to find them is available (same as in Nightmare)
  • Plague hearts are allowed to cluster up with each other like crazy (unlike in Nightmare)

Lethal Community

Your survivors know they’re doomed

  • All survivors have a -30 Morale penalty (compare to -15 in Nightmare)
  • All survivors gain experience at -60% the normal rate (and Nightmare is now -30%)
  • Nightmare used to be -50% but we reduced the penalty
  • All survivors gain standing at -40% the normal rate (and Nightmare is now -20%)
  • Nightmare used to be -30% but we reduced the penalty
  • Resources are consumed quickly
  • Survivors consume 2 Food each (compare to 1.5 Food in Nightmare)
  • Food outposts provide 2 Food to compensate, and this time, they won’t break your entire community when the update launches
  • Costs at the base are increased over Nightmare in a few areas:
    • Ammo costs are +150% (compare to +100%)
    • Materials costs are +150% (compare to +100%)
    • Parts costs are +100% (compare to +50%)
  • Weapons repairs cost +50% (compare to +25% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicle fuel efficiency is reduced by 25% (compare to no reduction in Nightmare)

Other Difficulty Changes

  • From the Wishlist (link): Nightmare Action now features blood plague screamers and bloaters in addition to the existing blood plague juggernauts
  • Blood plague bloaters now do half as much plague damage on exploding, because otherwise, they were literally instant death when hit by a vehicle at Lethal
    • This is balanced out by a more intense Burning Lungs injury (replacing the usual Gas Inhalation)
  • Blood plague screamers also have a new injury they apply to avoid a problem with one-shotting survivors at Lethal difficulty
    • Now they apply a single-shot Chemical Burns injury 75% of the time
  • We reduced the prevalence of crossbows across the board, as players have reported that they were showing up too often
    • They used to spawn more often at higher difficulties. Now they look like this:
      • 75% standard on Dread
      • 66% standard on Nightmare
      • 50% standard on Lethal
  • Fuel efficiency (which is increased at Green difficulty and reduced at Lethal difficulty) now lives on the Community slider, instead of the Map slider.

Are you brave enough to give Lethal mode a go?

Source: Undead Labs

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