First of all, weapons don’t need to be removed. Instead, make it more of a risk to use a weapon rather than leave the other player in peace and go on fighting for your OWN survival.
A gunshot should attract more enemies, zombies are quite suitable for this so I ask the question why they should be removed? If a player wants to shoot another, shall he, but he should need to think before whether it might be worth the risk or not and not just simply -boom boom- ‘oh, there’s no loot, well I only wasted 2 bullets, let’s craft 50 more in a minute’. The gameplay at current is pretty imbalanced.
Also, resources for weapons should be found in areas further off. Of course, high-end weapons should NOT be craftable at all, instead they should be achieved for very challenging actions.
When you put resources for gunplay in areas further off, those players will stick in those areas. Like, create safe-zone like factoires where ammuniton and high-end gear can be crafted. You don’t need to put the game back to stoneage.
The environment should be a lot more hostile, really. Anyone with a 9mm can go around shooting every type of zombie getting the whole loot and only being interrupted by another player equipped with a machine gun. Also, when you bother killing something and a better equipped player comes around, he just gets what you earned.
Sure, real life can be like that, but in real life you can hide, look around, be creative and don’t need to chop wood with a stone, so let’s leave the “thats-real-life” sayers out of this. In real life you can’t craft an assault rifle with a few stones and some wood within a matter of minutes. Games are NOT real life and games designed for systems like a simple PC will not easily come close to that. So games should be designed as games, making rules so the game can be enjoyable for everyone. Games don’t want to be real real-life. Nobody wants to spend 50 hours of his lifetime to chop rocks and trees just to have a small house on a virtual machine. People want to play games to easily have fun and, yes, sometimes even very challenging fun.
Also, when you equip a gun, you shouldn’t be able to just run and keep shooting at other players. Aften running, you should be heavily breathing and crouch for 2 to 3 seconds to gain back concentration. When you’re equipped with Kevlar, a shotgun and 30 rounds, you shouldn’t still be able to run as fast as an unarmed guy. What can he put against you then? An armed player’s gaming style should be WAY different from an unarmed players gaming-style.
Also the inventory needs to be reduced. Backpacks desperately need to be introduced. Another good idea would be dropping only 2 to 3 random items when you die, so others players don’t just kill you and take ALL your stuff, guaranteed. Right now, there’s absolutely 0 effort in killing another player who’s not as armed as you and hasn’t had time for the last few hours to build up.
So far, just a few suggestions. I know the game is alpha and I knew that when I purchased it. I just think that the developers wanted this forum to have these suggestions. Developers want the gamers to enjoy the game and therefore assist in building it.
Edit: Stones should at least be throwable. There’s no real chance to kill an animal when you start with your rock. There’s always a bear, wolf or other player near the animal. You just end up starving or getting by another player because you have to do way too risky things.
Players should be absolutely encouraged to finally move away from the beginners-zone and only rarely come back. Maybe radiation could affect metal stuff and there only unarmed players will stay in highly radiated zones?