Ok, it isn't anything that special. Simply put, this is an attempt to define the amount of damage that a victim takes from the zombies attack. As the victim receives more and more trauma from the zombie attack, it is very likely that the victim will become useless as his limbs and organs are suddenly ripped from his body.
While, canonically speaking, all undead create undead. Not all undead are equal. In order to ensure efficient zombification, better techniques than teeth and brute strength are required. This will lead to a series of upgrade paths, and subsequent decisions: Conversion strength will most often utilize slower, more refined techniques. Combat strength will utilize massive damage, killing quickly; but seldom producing any zombies. (The ultimate combat zombie will look something like a reptilian, Edward-Scissor-Hands, zombie)
Designers note: I am currently trying to decide between three options for early game play.
- Using items to generate beneficial effects in the early game. EG - Needle and thread equipped zombies produce more zombies. I dislike this, because I don't envision zombies running around with needle and thread cleaning up after themselves.
- Specialty zombies, such as the doctor, who can be assigned to an operation or squad to alter the stats. I lean most towards this, because it feels the most plausible. Perhaps converting a medical character will produce a 'Stitcher Zombie' who pieces together the remnants of the zombie battle.
- Battlefront II style 'item' - I hate this, but I am making a list of options. A burner item that you use before battle breaks immersion far too readily.
In the early game, your options will be limited to the basic zombie, which will not be very good at anything. Only sheer durability will allow these zombies to accomplish any task at all. It will also be very difficult for you to avoid detection in the early days. This annoys me a little bit, I want the beginning to involve lots of secrecy and maneuvering, while you build your undead army.