Guides:A Beginners Guide to Urban Dead

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A Brief Introduction

In death, the city stirs. Its borders still locked down after a sudden government quarantine last year, Malton's trapped civilians make their way through the derelict buildings, surviving the winter to rebuild their fragmented society from the rubble upwards. Military cleanup squads patrol the empty streets, stationed in the city for the long haul, while embedded scientific groups continue the experiments that brought them here. And the dead rise up and thrive, trailing through the ruined streets of the city, milling between buildings and clawing through makeshift barricades and diversions, reclaiming the city as their own.

Welcome to the city of Malton. This guide serves as a brief introduction to the game, as well as a pseudo strategy guide for beginning players.

Gameplay

Characters receive a steady trickle of Action Points (AP), which are used up any time they move, attack or attempt any other sort of activity except for dropping items. They receive one AP every half-hour, up to a maximum of fifty points. When a character's AP total reaches zero, that character falls asleep and is unable to do anything until at least one AP is restored.

The use of AP puts a limit on the amount of time any player can spend playing and imposes a need for strategic planning. Should a human be so unlucky as to run out of AP while in an unsecured area, he or she risks attack by zombies while vulnerable. As a result, it is advisable for humans to seek shelter before they run out of AP. Upon reaching or going under zero AP they shall either fall asleep, for humans, or be unable to think, for zombies. This renders them unable to see the in-game map.

As characters successfully attack opponents or perform certain other actions, they gain Experience Points (XP). XP can be used to purchase new or improved skills. Human characters can learn skills from any of the human Character Classes, not just the class they begin with, but out-of class skills cost more for some classes. Zombies can pay 100 XP for any zombie skill.

Survivors are able to find and use items, including weapons and ammunition. All character classes start with at least one item; others can be found by searching streets and buildings.

Zombies are able to use blunt weapons, but those are inferior to even the weakest claws. Zombies cannot use any other type of item. If you are a dead survivor and are wanting to be revived, see Revivification Points.

Character Classes

A character's class determines his or her starting skills, equipment, and the XP cost for buying new skills. Character class is chosen when creating a character, and cannot be changed later in the game.

There are three character classes available to human survivor characters: Military, Science, and Civilian. Each skill has several subclasses. For example, civilians may be consumers, firefighters, or cops. A character may also begin as a zombie, an animated corpse that was once a civilian.

Each side in the human-zombie struggle has its own advantages. So, to help you better choose, lets look at the different classes, and each of their advantages.


Military

Survivors with the Military character class pay 75 XP for all military skills, 150 XP for science skills, and 100 XP for all other skills. There are three specific military character classes:

Private

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Generally considered one of the best classes as they are able to gather XP from attacking zombies fairly quickly. A new private's main weakness is the reliance on ammunition for which they must spend time in Police Departments, risking a zombie assault and necessitating the use of lots of AP on searches. As a class, they also suffer from the weakness that killing zombies really doesn't hold that much strategic value.

Medic

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Generally considered the weakest of the military classes. The pistol is of little use without Basic Firearms Training and the First Aid skill heals people faster for the same amount of XP. On the plus side, the Medic starts with a skill for which they would otherwise have to pay 150 XP, and so have to spend fewer total XP to max out their skill trees.


Scout

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Starts with the Free Running skill (can move between adjacent buildings without going outside, bypassing any barricades and using fewer AP) and a flare gun. The class has no favoured way of gaining XP and thus may be hard to level initially since it also lacks the Consumer's easy access to equipment. On the plus side, Free Running grants access to buildings whose barricades can't be bypassed by normal survivors, making this class the best choice for those relying on avoidance and building entry for their survival strategy. They also carry Binoculars which can be used from High Buildings to scout ahead of them. Because this class is also favoured by zombie spies, low-level characters with Scout attributes may be met with suspicion.


Scientist

Survivors with the Scientist character class pay 75 XP for all science skills, 150 XP for military skills, and 100 XP for all other skills. This means they must pay a little above 20% more than any other characters to buy all available survivor skills due to the abundance of military skills in the game.

There are two types of Scientist character classes:

NecroTech Lab Assistant

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Lab assistants are a popular class to start with, as they can quickly earn lots of XP by "tagging" zombies without having to spend AP on searching for weapons and ammunition. Their Scientist status makes it cheaper to buy the Diagnosis skill, which makes it much easier to earn XP, and they need spend only a further 75 XP to be able to use revivification syringes (as opposed to 200 XP for civilians and 300 XP for the military). Revivification syringes used to be the most effective weapon a survivor could wield against the zombie hordes, and syringe-wielding scientists are far more valuable to survivor groups than trigger happy soldiers.


Doctor

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Doctors used to be a slightly "hit and miss" class. They need to spend AP in Hospitals (a beacon for hungry zombies) searching for First Aid Kits to derive XP from healing survivors, and (before they were given Diagnosis as a starting skill) at first have to hope they will come across enough "patients" by randomly attempting to heal (or hoping that a fellow survivor asks for a heal in a safehouse). Now with Diagnosis, they can gain XP easier and this makes them different to the Medic Class. This is also a decent class to pick if you plan on playing as a zombie, as the Diagnosis skill is very useful to zombies. You can earn 100 or 200 XP (by healing) before you die, and then buy Vigor Mortis and start your zombie career.

Civilian

Civilians pay 100 XP for all skills. This means that they need to spend fewer experience points than the other classes to buy all available skills.

Cop

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview A useful starting class, with a defensive bonus in the form of a flak jacket, and significant damage potential in the form of a pistol and spare rounds. However, Cops must spend AP searching in police departments to find ammo, and will often have to recover AP in these buildings at risk of zombie assaults. Players looking to play as Zombie Hunters will find Cops as a good starting class because of the initial basic firearms training, weapon, ammunition and flak jacket, as an added bonus cops spend 100XP on any skill so they can pick and choose between useful skills in multiple trees.

Ironicly, this is also a good starting class for players wishing to play zombies, due almost entirely to the "free" flak jacket, and because you can earn some fast XPs (with the gun) before becoming a zombie.


Firefighter

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Widely considered to be the best class in Urban Dead, as the firefighter's class bonuses provide him or her with a means to inflict three damage with 25% accuracy without having to use AP searching for weapons or ammunition. This also means the firefighter can stay away from police departments and recover AP in less conspicuous buildings (such as warehouses or cinemas) which will not attract the unwanted attentions of zombies. They also carry a radio to listen into broadcasts from other survivors. This replaces the now useless wirecutters.


Consumer

Starting Equipment

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview Consumers are best suited to malls, where their Shopping skill allows them to choose which shop to loot, and this can give them a great advantage over other classes. Outside of malls, however, this skill is not useful. This makes life difficult for starting consumers, since malls are virtually always either ransacked or barricaded so heavily that no-one can get in without the free running skill. Some players dedicated to roleplaying see the Consumer class as the one most accurately reflecting the status of the vast majority of people who would be caught in a zombie apocalypse, and thus choose the Consumer despite its weaknesses.


Zombie

Zombies are the walking undead in the city of Malton. They are either players who started out as zombies, or humans who died and stood up as zombies. Zombies pay 100 XP for all zombie skills. A revived zombie that started out as Corpse class will revive as a Civilian. Zombies move more slowly than the human classes, taking 2 AP to move one city block without the Lurching Gait skill. When their HP are reduced to 0, zombies don't stay dead. Instead, they can stand up at full health by spending 10 AP (or 1 AP if they have Ankle Grab); this cost is increased by 5 AP if they were killed by a headshot.

Zombies begin the game with the following combat skills:

  • zombie bite: 4HP, 10%
  • zombie claw: 2HP, 25%

These may be progressively improved by obtaining zombie skills. At one point, the headshot had the effect of causing zombie players to lose XP; newly-dead survivors started their lives as zombies with a measly 10% hit rate; more experienced zombies felt their maxed-out attacks were also somewhat weak compared to survivors' combat abilities; zombie coordination in-game was almost impossible; and in general it seemed the survivors were getting more attention in the game updates. This confluence of factors caused hundreds of zombies to go On Strike and cease playing altogether. However, several new skills and tweaks have been added to the zombie experience since then. Newly-dead survivors sport a better hit rate; experienced zombies can acquire Tangling Grasp to boost their combat effect; Feeding Groan helps bring zombie hordes together for community feasting; and in general the zombie experience is improved. And of course, there is nothing quite like seeing the panicked messages of fleeing survivors as they realize their comfortable safehouse is suddenly overrun with the hungry undead.

Corpse

Starting Equipment

  • N/A

Starting Skills

Tactical Overview The only class availible to zombies, thus slightly limiting choice. However, some zombie players choose to start as survivors to gain acess to useful skills such as Body Building before switching sides. Police Officers and Doctors are good classes to start with if you choose this route.


What attracts zombies

Zombie players who are not actively moving towards or attacking one location tend to travel toward the feeding groans of other zombies. Flares fired by survivors also are seen at a distance and thus flares can be used to confuse distracted zombies, because it clutters the coordinates-type messages. Historically speaking, zombies would move towards flares because it usually meant there was a surivor nearby, who had set the flare off, but currently feeding groans get more attention. Zombies, especially metagaming organized groups, tend to attack police departments, malls, and forts, since these are well-known locations for survivors to hide in. They will seek to gather around these locations and, if possible, to break in and kill all or most inhabitants. Next to these, hospitals and Necrotech buildings rank a close second as zombie objectives. Because most humans have learned to stay off the streets, and most buildings are barricaded, any survivor standing on the streets or traveling through an area of active zombies is unlikely to last long. Previously if there was signs that a building had a functioning generator (such as lights on inside, or a mobile phone mast with blinking lights), the chance of an attack was generally increased, since this was likely to mean that there was a group of survivors inside maintaining the generator. However since the 29th April changes in 2006, a powered building is less likely to induce an attack.


Skills

Skills allow characters to improve existing abilities or gain new ones. Skills are purchased with experience points. The cost of a skill depends on which class was chosen at character creation. Once purchased, skills cannot be deleted. Human skills can only be purchased while living, just as Zombie skills can only be purchased while dead. The number of skills a character knows determines his or her level. (Submission and discussion of possible new skills for the game can be found on the Suggestions page.)

Skill Groups

There are five skill categories. Four are available to Survivor characters and the last is available only to Zombies. Listed are all the current skills for all groups. Feel free to click on any of them to learn more. The categories and skills are:

Survivor:

Shopping,
Bargain Hunting,
Body Building,
Tagging,
Construction,
Radio Operation
Civilian Skills cost 100 XP each regardless of character class.
Basic Firearms Training,
Pistol Training,
Advanced Pistol Training,
Shotgun Training,
Advanced Shotgun Training,
Hand To Hand Combat,
Knife Combat
Axe Proficiency,
Free Running
Military Skills cost only cost 75 XP each for military classes, 100 XP for civilian classes, and 150 XP for scientist classes.
NecroTech Employment,
Lab Experience,
NecroNet Access,
First Aid, Surgery,
Diagnosis
Science Skills cost only 75 XP each for scientist classes, 100 XP for civilian classes, and 150 XP for military classes.
Headshot
The Zombie Hunter skills can only be purchased after the character's level has reached 10+ before buying the skill, at the cost of 100 XP, regardless of character class.
The big list of all human skills.

Zombie:

Scent Fear,
Scent Blood,
Scent Trail,
Scent Death,
Digestion,
Infectious Bite,
Vigour Mortis,
Neck Lurch,
Death Grip,
Rend Flesh,
Tangling Grasp,
Feeding Drag,
Memories of Life,
Death Rattle,
Feeding Groan,
Ransack,
Flailing Gesture,
Lurching Gait,
Ankle Grab,
Brain Rot
All Zombie skills cost 100 XP to buy.

Completing the Skill Tree

Currently it takes the following amount of XP for the different classes to complete their skill trees:

Living:

The Civilian Character requires only 2100 XP to max out their skill tree.

Characters of the Military class need 2200 XP to complete their skill trees unless they started as a Medic. The Medic starts with a Scientist class skill and thus only requires 2125 XP to max out.

Science Class characters need the most XP to max out - 2425 XP!

Note: Survivors can also benefit from the Scent Death and Ankle Grab skills.

Dead:

Zombies require 2000 XP to max out the skill tree, unless they started as a zombie. Starting zombies receive Vigour Mortis and thus require only 1900 XP to max out.

Note: Zombies can also benefit from the Body Building, Diagnosis, and NecroTech Employment skills (although Diagnosis is redundant if the Scent Blood skill is purchased).

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Items

Items are found by searching various buildings. All buildings turn up different items. Items use up a percentage of a character's encumbrance. Searching with a full inventory yields a message stating, "can't carry any more"; and no P is lost if this occurs. An exception to this is a supply crate; all items found in a supply crate are added to the finder's inventory, ignoring inventory limits. Dropping items from your inventory does not use any AP; it does, however, count against an IP's Hit Limit. It also requires that you have at least one AP to keep the "Drop [item]" menu available.

Choose the category that relates to the sort of items you want to know about.

All Items Available in Malton


Building Types

Buildings have many benefits for survivors, since they can be secured, barricaded and cleared of dead bodies that might rise as zombies. It is highly advisable for human players to try to end their spells of play inside barricaded buildings. There is at most one building in each city block; some large buildings such as malls and mansions occupy more than one block. A wide variety of types of building exist within Malton. The following building types are considered Tactical Resource Point, because they render supplies needed for survivors to survive.

Mall

Malls are four-block (2x2) squares, with the exceptions of two-block Lumber Mall and three-block Pole Mall. Malls are an excellent place to find a wide range of items; the only major items that cannot be found here are flak jackets, fuel cans, and the NecroTech Revivification Syringe. As such, Malls are frequently used as safehouses and fortresses by survivors. Zombies often check inside (when they can get in), and organized zombie groups sometimes lay siege to them. They are listed as a Tactical Resource Point.

Characters with the Shopping skill can loot specific stores. Those without will find these items at random:

For a full listing of all Malls in Malton, see Category:Malls. For further information, and a table of which suburbs contain malls, see Mall Locations. To see which malls are safe, go to Mall Information Center.

Provisional Search Probabilities

  • With Shopping: choice of store, 20% in each store. Even though the odds of finding a random item are the same as in a police department, the gun store is actually slightly better for finding guns and ammunition because there are no flares or flak jackets in the gun stores.
  • With Bargain Hunting: choice of store, 35% in each store. Gun Store: 25% guns, 75% ammunition.
See Search Odds for more information.


Power Station

There are two Power Stations: Krinks (2x2 block square) and Tolman (two blocks).

  • Tagging the outside of a Power Station earns 1 XP (with the Tagging skill).

Forts

There are two Forts in Malton — Fort Creedy and Fort Perryn. Each is a 3x3 square of ground with an Armoury in the center and various other military buildings around the outside, all surrounded by a solid impassable wall.

Both forts have a Gatehouse, which is the only entry point. To enter the fort, you must move to the Gatehouse square from the outside, then enter the Gatehouse building. From there, you may move to other squares within the fort (but will always end up outside the target building, whether or not you have Free Running). Clicking on the Gatehouse while located inside the fort moves you inside the Gatehouse, even if you were outside. You can free run from the Gatehouse to any building outside the fort as long as the Gatehouse is not heavily barricaded or greater.

Once inside a fort building (other than the Gatehouse), you can free run between fort buildings, e.g. from the Armoury to the Infirmary. However, you cannot free run into the Armoury; attempting to do so places you outside the Armoury and gives the message "The defensive design of the armoury bunker prevents you from free running into it."

Several other illegal moves use 0AP, do not move your character and provide a feedback message:

  • Free Run into the Gatehouse from outside the fort: "The gatehouse only has a single, low entrance - you cannot free run into it."
  • Free Run out of the Gatehouse to outside the fort walls if the Gatehouse is heavily barricaded or greater: "There is only one way through the walls of the military base, and it's been heavily barricaded."
  • Free Run into any fort square (other than the Gatehouse) from outside the fort: "The fort complex has been designed to be inaccessible from nearby buildings."
  • Move to a fort square (other than the Gatehouse) when standing outside the fort (or vice versa): "The heavy walls of the fort complex are impassable, from here."
  • Free Run out of the fort (other than from the Gatehouse): "The fort has no accessible exits or windows overlooking its exterior wall."
  • Whilst outside the Gatehouse, attempting to move to another fort square: "You must enter the gatehouse to reach the rest of the military compound."

Bodies cannot be dumped outside of the fort (only outside of the individual buildings).

Fort Locations:

Police Department

NecroTech Building

  • Tactical Resource Point
  • Office buildings owned by the company often associated with the zombie outbreak. From the outside, they are indistinguishable from other buildings, but characters with the NecroTech Employment skill are able to recognise them.
  • Items: GPS Units, DNA extractor, NecroTech revivification syringes and books can be found.
  • Within a powered NecroTech building survivors with Necronet Access can revive brain rotted zombies, can make revivification syringes at a cost of 20 AP (though changes on March 28th 'o6 made it more effective to search, with a 1/8 chance of finding one), and can view the locations of tagged zombies.
  • Because of the importance of syringes and the presence of scientist characters that usually are weak fighters, the NT buildings are favourite zombie targets. The presence of scientists and syringes also makes these buildings popular among those zombies that want to be revived.
  • General protocol for getting a revive is to stand in an adjacent street, rather than directly outside the facility itself – standing outside, an attacking zombie looks the same as a zombie wanting a revive.
  • Tall building: allows suicide and binocular use.
  • Status Tracking: NT Status Map, NT Building Status List and Necrotech Information Center.


Hospital

See Also

Factory

Normal Buildings

The following Buildings are not considered Tactical Resource Points. These buildings are attacked far less often then the aforementioned buildings.

Arms

Auto Repair Shop

Bank

  • All banks were emptied or looted prior to evacuation.
  • Tagging the outside of a Bank earns 1 XP (with the Tagging skill).

Building

  • Blocks titled "the Something Building" are office buildings. They're occasionally a NecroTech front. NecroTech buildings can only be identified as such from the street by characters (living or dead) with NecroTech Employment; characters with this skill prior July 2006 saw "a NecroTech building" displayed instead of the building's name, now the building name is displayed with "[NT]" underneath.
  • Tall building: allows suicide and binocular use.

Church

Cinema

  • Dark when unpowered, making is a common place for PKers to hide.

Club

Fire Station

Hotel

  • Includes Motels.
  • Items: Max 50% chance of finding wine. (Not yet determined) chance of finding newspapers.
  • Tall building: allows suicide and binocular use.

Junkyard

  • Junkyards cannot be ransacked as they are effectively unorganized anyway.
  • No doors: but can be barricaded.
  • Items: Searching junkyards will yield a wide variety of different items, so using it as a safehouse is non-conspicuous and can be useful for finding random items, including crowbars, cellphones, flak jackets, spraycans, fire axes, shotgun shells, pistol clips, and the now very useful fuel can, mixed in with the far less desirable knives, newspapers, bats, pipes, wirecutters and books.

Library

Museum

Railway Station

  • Train station. No trains are running.
  • Items: Nothing is ever found, so it is advised that you should not waste AP searching.
  • Note: It has been suggested that these are actually subway/monorail stations, as no tracks can be seen anywhere else in Malton.

School

Open Land

Blocks which are open land have no buildings which can be entered, and cannot be barricaded. Refer to Empty Blocks.

Revivification Point

A revivification point, or revive point, is any location which is regularly checked by one or more NecroTech employees, at which zombies who do not wish to remain undead gather to await revivification by the use of a syringe. Most revivification points are maintained as a standing location somewhere near one or more necrotech buildings, generally set on open ground (though not always), and are nearly always marked as such with graffiti. The surrounding area often has directional graffiti to help zombies find their way. Other times an organized group may establish a temporary location that is agreed upon by members of the group.

NecroTech employees monitoring an active location will regularly check to see if zombies are present awaiting revival. While most locations listed below point out a request management tool or forum to list your profile at, you may also try saying 'Mrh?' if you see a survivor at the location with you to express your interest in being revived. If you don't see a revive point near you on the list below, use the map to find a nearby cemetery or necrotech building and look for signs of a revive point.

Please refer to the List of Revivification Points to find an actively maintained RP close to you.

Important Notes

You must be standing in order to be revived in this game! This means you must periodically log in with your character and stand up if someone has killed you. This also prevents you from timing out of the game, which happens after five days. However, syringes are automatically used on the zombie in the stack who has spent the longest time since logging in, so it can be detrimental to check on your character too much. It is pointless to wait at a revive point if the people operating it are all dead. Look at the surrounding buildings, particularly Necrotech buildings (The Malton Suburb Map is useful for finding these) - if they are not barricaded and powered you may not get a revive anytime soon, so consider moving to a new location. If the number of zombies at the revive point is in the dozens you may also want to consider moving. Use the Suburb Danger Report and suburb map to find a safer place and go there before posting yourself on a revive tool. Do not attack revivers if you want to get revived. This can get you added to a "no-revive" list. Saying "Mrh?" is an accepted way to request a revive if a reviver is present.

The End

Well folks, I think this is the end of this article. Whew! That’s a lot for a beginner to know. As I have said before, this is a compilation of many articles, with many changes, renditions, and additions thrown in. I’m sure if you spent the time reading every single article used, and read this one, you’d notice them.

For those beginners among us who are still reading: I’m glad you’re still here. You'll hopefully get as much as you can out of this, and it will carry you far along your journey. May your journeys be fruitful.



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