Guides:First Day in Malton

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XXXXX This page is for people who come to the wiki after (or hopefully on or before) their first day in Malton — or for those who wish they had done so.

In such cases, you need simple instructions on what to do, and not much of justification as to why. After getting off the ground with this bare-bones guide, you will have a better idea as to what further information may be helpful.

This wiki has many other useful articles with more in depth information. Where appropriate, they are linked to in the text below, and some also can be found in a table at the end of this article.
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Getting Around

In the upper left quarter of your game window, there is a map. This is where you move around. Each square represents a single city block. The central square is your current location. You move by clicking on the button in any other square in this map; doing so will take you to that block, and refresh the page view. Read the scene description after you move each time - they may contain useful information. As you move, the amount of Action Points (AP) that you have will decrease. You have limited Action Points, and do not want them to drop to zero unless you are a zombie or are inside a barricaded building. Once you run out of Action Points, your character will be unable to perform any actions. Your Action Points will be automatically replenished at a rate of one AP every 30 minutes (at X:00 and X:30). You can never have more than 50 AP. Use them wisely, and use them every day.

Advice for the Living

General Advice

Playing as a living character offers you a wider range of actions you can perform, but is more complicated than playing as a zombie. Staying alive can be surprisingly hard at lower levels. The following sections include more specific info, both on what to do, and how to do it, but always keep the following rules in mind if you don't want to play your characters as a zombie. If you do want to play as a zombie, which is arguably even more fun, just skip to the appropriate section of this guide.

  • Sleep inside. - Most survivors have a temporary safehouse (a barricaded, zombie-free building that they know they can enter), and return to it when they get low on Action Points. Barricades can be built by survivors with the Construction. If you log out or leave the computer for a long time, and you are standing outside, it is very easy for a zombie to find and kill you. You will want to go outside each day to explore, but if you find a building that seems safe to sleep in, you may want to remember the location and return to it. Various maps can help greatly in doing so. Most buildings in Malton are Extremely Heavily Barricaded and could be difficult to find one building to get in, so it is best to buy the Free Running skill rather early.
  • Earn experience points. - You use experience points (XP) to purchase skills. Skills are generally helpful either in staying alive directly, or in earning more experience points more quickly.
  • Read and obey advisory graffiti. - Spraypainted messages such as "revive point here" and "keep building at VSB" are typically put there by other survivors as part of an overall community effort to organize defenses.

Entering Buildings

You need to know how to do this just to survive, and also to find any useful items. If you are outside and you run out of Action Points (or even just get close - that's why you get the big red warning when you get to 9 AP) you are very likely to die. Zombies can't enter most buildings without substantial effort, so you are significantly safer inside than outside. Even in buildings where zombies can reach you, they can not see you if they are just wandering around the map, so you are still a bit safer even in a building that has no defenses than if you are standing in the streets.

To enter a building, you must move onto a block that has the building and then use the "enter building" button. However, barricades may impede your progress. If the building is described as Heavily Barricaded, Very Heavily Barricaded, or Extremely Heavily Barricaded (and many buildings are) you will not be able to enter. Buildings that can be entered are described as Doors Wide Open, Doors Secured, Loosely Barricaded, Lightly Barricaded, Quite Strongly Barricaded, or Very Strongly Barricaded. Buildings that are Quite Strongly and Very Strongly barricaded offer good protection against zombies. Lightly or Loosely barricaded buildings afford almost no protection (beyond getting you out of sight) and have likely come under attack recently. They may even still have zombies inside!

If you started as a military Scout, you will have the Free Running skill and can move directly from the interior of one building to the interior of a building in an adjacent block. You still must find a building you can enter, but from there you can move to buildings with heavier barricades - which offer the best protection from zombies, and tend to also have high level survivors defending them.

If you did not start as a military Scout, buy the Free Running skill as quickly as you can!

According to the Universal Barricade Plan, most Police Departments, Fire Stations and Hospitals should be kept at Very Strongly Barricaded (VSB) to allow new players to have a safe place to stay, as well as allowing those players to gain experience points. In practice, these may be overbarricaded by death cultists wanting to trap you outside and help the zombies kill you, or by survivors more concerned with keeping the building zombie-free than newbie-accessible.

If there are any zombies inside a building, don't sleep there, regardless of the level of barricades. The zombies inside could come online at any moment and attack you, and they have a variety of methods by which to bring even more zombies inside.

Remember, you can pass through barricades that are Very Strong or weaker; zombies can't. Barricades are the only thing that keep the shambling hordes from tearing you limb from limb, so if you want to survive, it is absolutely vital for you to be in a barricaded building every time you're offline.

Gear

Guns

Chances are, you have a gun - most folks choose characters who come with them. Your gun will run out of ammunition very fast. The best way for a low-level character to get more ammo (and guns) is by entering and searching a police department.

Your gun will have a number after its name, indicating the number of bullets loaded. For example, Pistol (3) indicates a pistol loaded with three bullets. If your gun has zero bullets, you can reload it by clicking on a Pistol Clip or Shotgun Shell, if you have any in your inventory. This will consume one AP, the ammo clicked on, and add either one shell to your shotgun or bring your pistol to six bullets, depending on the type of ammo used. Pistols are more efficient to load and they use less inventory space, but shotguns deal twice as much damage (and earn twice the experience points) per hit. You'll probably want to use both, rather than discard unfavored ammo and spend even more Action Points searching.

Once you have a decent load of ammo, you will find that injuring and killing zombies (with your gun or any other weapon) earns you experience points very fast, so long as your ammo supply remains. Finding ammunition and then attacking zombies is relatively safe; the zombie player is rarely online as you attack, so you can often score a kill without any reprisal. Firing a bullet from a pistol into a zombie and damaging them will earn you four or five XP. Doing the same to a survivor will earn you two XP. Firing a shotgun shell into a zombie will earn you eight or ten XP. Doing the same to a survivor will earn you four or five XP. Killing either will gain you 10 XP.

Shooting zombies will often mean going outside. If you spend all of your Action Points attacking, you'll have none left to find your way back to a barricaded building, and you'll have nothing standing between the zombies roaming the streets and their favorite food (you). Be sure to head back inside before your AP drops too low. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Axes

If you started as a Fireman, you have an axe and know how to use it pretty well. Attacking zombies with it is a good way to earn experience points, but remember not to get stuck outside. You want to end your day in a nicely barricaded building, even if it means you don't get to kill a zombie - and usually you won't kill one, as your attack is relatively weak. On the plus side, you never have to search for ammo, so you can probably earn a couple dozen experience points every day. Each time you manage to strike and damage a zombie with your axe, you will earn three XP. Damaging a survivor with your axe earns you only one XP. Killing either earns you 10 XP.

First Aid Kits (FAKs)

You may have started with one or two of these. You want more of them. LOTS more of them. You can find them by entering and searching a hospital or (less frequently) a church. Every time you use a first aid kit on somebody who actually needed it, you get five XP, regardless of the amount of HP healed. If you have the Diagnosis skill (which you may have started with, if you play a Doctor) it is very easy to tell who needs it; the Hit Points (HP) number next to their name will be below 50. Most high level survivors can have 60 HP, so if you see somebody with 51-59 HP, they also need healing. If you don't have the Diagnosis skill, use common sense and keep trying - you do not lose the FAK if you use it on somebody with full health, but you do lose one AP. (Note: anybody in the same square as a zombie likely needs some healing.) You can also earn five XP by using FAKs on injured zombies. It's best not to heal zombies that are standing inside buildings, as it makes it harder for other survivors to clear and repair the building. Healing zombies standing outside is usually harmless.

Infection

Infection occurs when a high level zombie bites you. It's really bad news-you lose one HP for every action you perform, except for speaking (allowing you to ask for help if somebody is around). You WILL die from it, unless healed with a First Aid Kit. Being healed not only cures the damage, it removes the infection. Anybody can find and use a First Aid Kit to heal, and you can heal yourself. If you want to stay alive, make sure to always carry at least one First Aid Kit to use in case of infection. If you are not prepared for infection, it can kill you. If you have a First Aid Kit on-hand, it's just a painful bite and entirely manageable. Healing yourself does not earn you any experience points, however.

DNA Extractor (DNA Scanner, Scanning Zombies)

If you started as a Necrotech Lab Assistant, you will have one of these. Getting a sample of a zombie's DNA grants you four XP. Some zombie DNA is hard to scan, but most take only one try. Find a building you can enter, preferably one with strong barricades, and maybe with resources inside that you need.

The best way of earning experience points with a DNA extractor is finding an active or recently subsided siege. The trick is: zombies are scannable after performing an action, including hitting the barricades, so, while they are busy, you can earn experience points. Note that this method is dangerous, be sure you have safehouse nearby and keep some spare Action Points just in case, because if you become exhausted near a zombie mob, you'll meet certain death.

Finding and Hauling Stuff

You may not have some or all of the above items, or you may run out of them; ammunition gets used up, and FAKs are a single use item. To find more, you need to search an appropriate location. As you pick up more and more items, your encumbrance will increase. Encumbrance can potentially go over 100%, but when it is 100% or higher, you can no longer pick up more items. This has no effect on actions other than searching; encumbrance does not hinder movement or combat in any way.

Other gear

A variety of other implements, devices and jeejaws will surface as you play the game. Most of them can be used by clicking on them in your inventory. For example, when you click on radio transmitters and generators, you will permanently unload them and set them up in whatever building you are in. For a full listing of items, see Items.

Advice for the Dead

Whether by choice or by accident of fate, you may find yourself dead. Everybody dies. The game is called "Urban Dead", after all. However, you can come back. Or perhaps even better, you can join the hungry, shambling hordes and cause some mayhem.

Dealing with Death

Death in Malton has its upsides. First, nobody can do anything to harm your dead body, although they can move it from the inside of a building to outside that same building. Other than that, you are "safe" until you stand up. Use that time as a corpse to let your Action Points refresh up to the full 50; it will cost you 10 (or even 15) AP to stand up.

A second potential upside to death is that you now are a zombie. Many people enjoy playing zombies. Every one of the zombies you see is played by a human being just like you! In fact, the game offers you a choice of starting out as one, and it is a good idea to do so if you want an effective zombie character. There is no disadvantage at all to doing so (or to playing for awhile as a zombie) even if you wish to play again as a survivor.

I want to live again!

That's not a huge problem. Most high level characters can bring zombies back to life (called "revivification" or "revive" in game). These folks generally travel from cemetery to cemetery (or to other places marked as "revive points") looking for zombies that want to live. Move to one of these places and then just wait. You might have to wait a whole day - but during that time, you will regain AP, and being killed is not nearly as troublesome. If you are shot down before being revived, you can just stand back up, albeit at the cost of 10/15 AP. If, after a day or two, neither you nor any other zombie has been revived, move to a different, and hopefully better maintained revive point.

Eventually, somebody will inject you with a NecroTech syringe, and you will slump to the ground. When you spend 10 AP to stand up again, you will be alive. You will only have 25 HP and will be outside, and might still have an infection, so you'll probably want to look for a hospital that has been Very Strongly Barricaded, where you'll be healed quickly.

Or...

Bra!nz!

Attacking survivors (or even other zombies) as a zombie can earn you experience points very quickly. To do this, you should have the Vigor Mortis skill, or buy it as quickly as possible. Characters that begin play as zombies start with this skill, and those zombies who lack it earn experience relatively slowly. Damaging a survivor by biting them earns you four XP. Damaging them with your claws will typically earn you two XP. Biting a zombie earns you two XP, and clawing them earns you one XP. Killing either a survivor or a zombie will earn you 10 XP. Damaging barricades and machinery will earn a meager one XP. Thus, to grow quickly, you want to attack and kill as many survivors as possible. Attacking zombies may serve as a substitute source of experience points when you can't find any survivors, but it's less than ideal.

The main obstacles to your success at finding living meat as zombie are barricades and doors. You should only attack barricades with claws, as bites have no effect. Damaging a barricade (which happens half the time when you hit- other hits just make it creak) earns you one XP and weakens the barricade. Once the entire barricade is gone, you still cannot enter the building if it has a door, unless you purchase the Memories of Life skill. Most buildings have doors, but churches, cathedrals, and junkyards do not. Joining a zombie group will let you meet up with other, stronger zombies who will happily remove barricades and open doors for you. High level zombies can even use their advanced skills to grab survivors and drag them outside so you can eat them. However, when there are many survivors standing around outside, lone zombies can do very well indeed, with no need to worry about attacking barricades.

Enjoy your unlife!

Moving Forward

Right now, your primary objective is to earn as many experience points as possible. But eventually, you'll find that you've purchased all the skills you need. By then, you'll want to develop a raison d'être for your character.

Most choose to either support the survivors in securing the city, or to join the zombies in destroying it. Some will fight for whichever side they find themselves on at the time, and others find less mainstream ways of enjoying the game. It is generally recommended that, if you have multiple characters, they have different goals and modi operandi, to keep things entertaining.

For more information

Guides:

  • A Zombie Guide - A general purpose guide to zombie (un)life, both mechanics and tactics.
  • Guides - Guides for all characters, focusing more on advanced tactics than mechanics.
  • Glossary - A glossary of all features of Urban Dead and descriptions of their mechanics.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Kevan's guide to the game.


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