Patient Zero can get rather screwed over. They can lose it if they infect an AFK player (which are rather frequent), meaning they’re still essentially alone to take on the other up to 10 players, now without a boost.
This is obviously a problem.
My suggestion? Just have the enrage effect stay up for longer. Maybe until up to 3 survivors are infected? It could scale with player count.
with 2 - 5 players, you lose the effect after infecting one player, with 6 - 9 players, you lose it after infecting 2, and with 10 - 12 players, you lose it after infecting 3. The numbers can be changed however the devs wish, but I think this would make the game more fun, as the first infected will be less likely to get steamrolled if they’re not the greatest at the game.
Edit: Another idea is maybe for an infected to get the enraged status if they die a lot quickly? And then they lose it after infecting a player, provided they weren’t patient zero.
OR Another idea is to give patient zero ANOTHER buff if they die too many times, or if they haven’t infected any players once the timer hits 30 seconds left, or they die several times quickly. I don’t think more speed is the idea, since that can be a bad thing with bad internet, especially in close-quarters maps. But a health and damage resistance increase could be good.
Again, this could only be a thing for games with more players, maybe 8 players and above?
I think this is idea is awesome as there are many games where everyone wins except for two players and that feels a little odd. but it could be approached differently much so to speak. I believe if the system was more flexible to having a different range of speeds calculated all from player count, like enraged but less then rescaling once a player is infected. Like 1 v 10 is really easy with the buff but then 2 v 10 can be very challenging and even frustrating for the infected players so why can’t we have like a quarter enraged buff just to get to 3 infected where making a group scenario for the infected becomes easier and shouldn’t need a buff.
Huh bit unfortunate I didn’t see this sooner. But I think your initial suggestion is a pretty solid one!
However I would suggest some revisions to both simplify the explanation and cover some potential problems.
1) Patient zero maintains the enraged buff until 25% of the lobby is infected.
2) Enraged will be/continue to be granted to the lone infected until there is more than one infected in play.
The second clause should provide a failsafe against people leaving and causing the percentage to drop below the 25% threshold again, triggering enraged. This is because it would be possible for somebody to leave the lobby, thus letting patient zero get enraged again, then rejoin the lobby with a buffed patient zero. Basically it’s a bit of protection against people trying to metagame.
However, it should also provide a failsafe from patient zero infecting one person, one of them leaving, and now the other is stuck trying to take on the entire server alone without enraged.
As another tack and slight revision to your ideas for patient zero enraged buffs. Perhaps it could be something like:
1) Upon being enraged, every death grants an increase of 20 HP.
At the present moment it takes only 10 Tommy Gun bullets to kill enraged, put that up against a lobby of 11 people spewing out >100 bullets per second and that really isn’t enough. But adding 20 HP every time will make it so that enraged becomes progressively harder to stop and rapidly killing them repeatedly will quickly make them resistant the volume of fire thrown at them. For example if patient zero was killed 11 times (initial spawn, then 10 deaths after enraged) they will have 400 HP, double that of the base enraged’s health. Even if they get hit with two plasma rifle alt-fires they’ll still be standing.