Guides/New Player's Guide

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New Player's Guide & Having Fun in Urban Dead

Welcome to Urban Dead! If you want the horror movie experience of running from zombies screaming, running out of ammo, and getting trapped outside of a barricaded building and eaten, this guide is not for you. This guide explains how to get through the challenging early levels and find a place as a midlevel character.

1) Start as a firefighter. This will give you the fire axe weapon and skill.

The most important tools for a new character are the First Aid Kit and fire axe. These will give you tons of XP per 50AP with very little skill investment. You start with no XP, skills cost XP, and you need skills to get XP, so the first few levels can really drag out otherwise.

2) Don't die. Find a building that says "very strongly" barricaded. This is your safehouse, and you should go inside whenever you are not actively spending AP. If the barricade level drops, find a new safehouse.

If you are outside looking for a new safehouse and see a lot of zombies, go in the opposite direction. Lots of zombies mean a dangerous neighborhood. If you see few or no zombies, a hospital can be a good safehouse because you can search inside for first aid kits, worth 5XP each. However, hospitals are common targets for zombie attacks, so only get enough to bring you to 100XP and read step 5.

3) When you have 50AP or close to it, go outside, look for a zombie, and hit it with your axe. Save enough AP to get back to your safehouse and go inside. Yes, even if the zombie is only one hit away from dying.

Don't lose track of your safehouse! If you are looking for a new safehouse, find one first, attack zombies later. Saving a random number of AP and hoping it's enough to find a new safehouse is a real gamble. If you're not reckless, Urban Dead is not very dangerous (I've steadily racked up over 2000XP on a new character using this guide without dying, only taking damage once).

4) At 100XP, buy either Hand to Hand or Free Running skill. Next 100XP, buy the other one.

Hand to Hand raises your accuracy from 25% to 40, nearly doubling your damage. Free Running lets you move from building to building, which is the only way to get into heavily barricaded buildings, such as XP-rich hospitals. If there's zombies to kill, buy hand-to-hand, but if you're using 10AP just to find a zombie OR your safehouse keeps losing barricades, free running might be better. Once you have free running, use an "extremely heavily" barricaded building as your safehouse!

5) By now, you can get inside any hospital. If the lights are on (you can see this on the map), your search rates are boosted, so definitely get enough First Aid Kits to afford the next skill or two! Each one will give 5xp when you use it on anyone besides yourself.

Use first aid kits on survivors who ask for them. If you see a survivor trapped outside with a zombie standing next to them, they will usually need to be healed also. Sometimes zombies need to be healed. Zombies are just living-challenged people, that's no reason not to give them medical care! You can make sure a zombie needs to be healed by hitting them with your axe. If they have very low HP, kill them for a 10XP kill bonus. If not, heal them up to full, then hit them a couple times with your axe and repeat! You may feel silly not "fighting" the zombies, but it only costs a zombie 1AP to stand up again with full health, so killing them doesn't really hurt them either, it's just for XP. Note that if there are no zombies to be found, you can hit and heal survivors also, but this may make them get angry and kill you... with no zombies around they're getting bored too.

6) When you have 100XP more, buy Diagnosis to identify survivors who need to be healed. This is basically all the skills you need to get XP and stay safe, after this you can just fill up your entire inventory with first aid kits every time you find a lit hospital and really rack up the XP.

After Diagnosis, Body building (+10HP), Construction (barricade), or Necrotech employment (use DNA extractor for 4XP) can be useful. Once you have 700XP spare, you can buy all of the firearms skills plus Shopping and Bargain hunting to boost your damage output quite a bit if you go to a mall for ammo (police stations are not such an advantage).

7) IF YOU DIE, DON'T PANIC, just stand back up.

Playing as a zombie is fun, but until you have 300-600XP spare you can't afford decent zombie skills. Stand up, move to the nearest cemetary or block with no building, and wait for a survivor to revive you. Standing at a "revive point" will get you revived faster but may take AP to walk to, that's your call. People will shoot you. Keep standing up. If you reach 50AP, you can hit people or barricades for a few XP. Getting revived usually happens within a day, but can take a few days if you're unlucky.

8) Most survivors skills can be fun but are not essential, so save up 200-600XP in case you find yourself dead.

200XP gets you Lurching Gait and Ankle Grab, which lowers the AP cost of dying significantly! If you want to spend some AP as a zombie, Vigor Mortis, Death Grip, and Rend Flesh are essential, as is Memories of life if you need to get inside buildings. This 500-600XP total will let you spend your AP in much more fun and productive way than just waiting around and wasting any AP over 50. I save up lots of XP because I want to be able to be able to play the game every time I log in, and not have to stop if I die until someone feels like reviving me. I personally skip the entire firearms tree until I have zombie skills.

9) Once you have played for 2-4 weeks, you have lots of XP and the skills you need and might be looking for something new to do besides kill zombies and heal survivors. Join a group, try "bounty hunting" (Player-Killing), or camp outside and try playing as a zombie.

9a) Groups chat and roleplay and kill each other. They usually have their own site or forum. It can be lots of fun or stupid, depending on the group. Be warned that killing another survivor, even as part of a group policy, may get you put on a "Player Killer" list that many people read and then sometimes they will kill you, forever.

9b) Bounty hunters have a huge list of "Player Killers" they try to kill, and there's a browser program they use to try and stay coordinated, but half the time they disagree about whether someone was a PKer or a bounty hunter killing a PKer, so the end result of killing a survivor as a survivor, whether you call yourself a bounty hunter or not, is that you'll probably get added to someone's list and sometimes other survivors will kill you, forever. With one character I killed a random jerk for breaking my generator like 3 years ago, he added me to the list and I still get killed every few months over it today.

9c) Being a low level zombie sucks, but being a high level one can be the most rewarding experience in Urban Dead. Urban Dead is a game full of survivors who play house in extremely heavily barricaded suburbs, chatting and dressing up their characters, lining up dead at revive points on the rare occasions when a feral zombie kills someone. Be that zombie. Wreck their everything. I love to see the buildings ruined by my zombie spread, and I love to log in and see five bitten survivors empty out of their safehouse in a panic, yelling my name into the radio and warning the suburb that their coordinates are under attack. All over one little zombie :)

10) You won at Urban Dead! Keep reading only if you want some tips on having fun as a zombie.

a) You are an unstoppable force of destruction and can advance the zombie cause every single day.

Even when there are no survivors trapped outside to eat, just by getting inside a building, you can cost 20 axe hits or 75 base firearms damage to kill. Although it's a lot of work to get though barricades, you can almost always get inside a very strongly barricaded building with 50AP.

One on one, if you can break in to a building, a survivor cannot keep you out for long. The survivor may kill you and barricade back to very strongly, but you can just break in the next day, and they'll soon run out of ammo and first aid kits and retreat. End result: 1 emptied inventory, 1 ransacked building. 10 on 10, the odds even more strongly favor zombies, because once 2-3 zombies get inside, survivors can't kick them out fast enough and suffer a barricading penalty. Sometimes you can scare survivors into moving just by standing up repeatedly in front of their very strongly barricaded safehouse. If you break into a building and nobody is there, ransack it, you win! Sleep there overnight to celebrate and keep survivors from fixing it up, then find a new building.

b) Zombies have groups too!

Zombie groups are typically more focused (because all zombies do is destroy) and successful (because zombies are very good at destroying). Groups giving orders in-game is even more fun because the zombie language sounds hilarious.

c) As a weapon, syringes are stupidly overpowered, but can be countered intelligently.

10AP kills any zombie without brain rot, the same effect on average as 23 pistol shots with full skills, with no chance of bad luck. Syringes really shine in dark buildings, where instead of 46 pistol shots, there's... 50% chance of it wasting 1 extra AP. It's also easier to find than the ammo it would take to kill a zombie, and the same encumbrance as 1 clip, so you can hold 50 of them.

But! You can reward this cheap tactic by taking advantage of your temporarily-living status. Playing as a zombie even when revived is a next-level playstyle that responds to the misuse of syringes, and is typically called "death cultist." At the very least, you can kill a survivor inside of a building or destroy a few generators and force them to waste AP killing you. If you're infected, you can use the most effective tactic, "parachuting," dying from infection inside an unoccupied heavily barricaded building, then ransacking it, which forces survivors to break down their own barricades to get back in and repair it. Read the Feral Death-Cultist guide for more details. The 20AP or so saved by reviving instead of killing you is rewarded with a much larger cost to undo your damage.

d) Whoa zombies are pretty scary, can they ruin the game? Maybe the barricades should be really strong!

With just one skill, survivors can throw up 1AP of barricade that takes a zombie with full skills 4AP to break down. Plus survivors have syringes, the most AP-efficient weapon. Dying is not a big deal for survivors either, since each survivor can carry up to 50 syringes and revive 5 people per day.

Zombies freak out survivors only because survivors set the bar so high, trying to extremely heavily barricade nearly the entire city, even the buildings with no items like banks, cinemas, and railway stations! Parachuting would be much, much less effective if only major safehouses were heavily barricaded. But until the balance of power shifts towards zombies (don't worry, there's features written into the game like changing search rates to make sure that never happens), working for the zombies lets you affect the game world and players more than one more survivor can. Have fun!

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