Guides:How to defend a mall

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So one of the major zombie hordes has come into your neck of the woods, and you're wondering if you should fight or flee. There are many people who would say you should cut and run, but doing so isn't always the best option. Sometimes the nearest mall is a good 20-30 AP away, and sometimes it will be the next target of a megahorde anyways.

Although it is intimidating, here are a few things to keep in mind should you decide to stand and fight:

1. Death isn't permanent.

If you're relatively new to the game, then getting killed is probably still a unsettling prospect to you. However, after you die a couple of times you will get used to it. Sure it's still an inconvenience, but the annoyance factor can be reduced with the following steps:


A. Get Ankle Grab. This means that after attaining all your essential skills, you should have a reserve of 200 XP for the next time you die. You'll still need to spend 10 AP to stand up, but that will be the last time you'll have to pay such a exorbitant sum. You can then buy lurching gait and ankle grab, and your net loss with each death will be 2 AP + the amount of AP spent traveling to a revive point. That is hardly something to lose your head over. Compare that to otherwise spending 20 AP with each death (10 to stand up as a zed, and 10 to stand up as a survivor), and you'll see why saving 200 XP is a wise investment, even if it means putting off buying knife combat.


B. If the RP you're currently at has more than 20 survivors, then MOVE. It shouldn't be that hard on your AP if you have lurching gait, and there are usually multiple RP points in any given suburb. You'll get revived quicker, and someone in that revive stack will get revived quicker too. Maybe if more people do that, then the RP will eventually become unclogged.


C. Join a group that has their own revive unit, or start one. If the group you're in has productive survivors, it's much more beneficial to the mall's defense if you revive them before trenchcoaters who's only talent is stalling RPs.


2. You'll earn a ridiculous amount of XP.

Normally if you're at a mall in a safe suburb there won't be a zombie for miles. Although you get very efficient searches, the trade off is you'll generally have to venture out to find zeds to gain XP off of. In a siege this isn't a problem, in fact there will probably be more zombies than you'll know what to do with. With zombies outside your door the AP you used to spent traveling can be spend shooting zombies, which combined with the high search rate for guns, means you'll max out your survivor in no time.


3. It's fun.

One of the few challenges left in urban dead. The only other things on the same level is Pking and Bounty Hunting. If you're getting bored with the game then try traveling to a mall under siege. It can truly rekindle your love for Urban Dead.


Now the real guide begins. The above are reasons you should participate, but the following will cover how you can be a truly productive survivor.

A mall is a lot like a girl, in that she only wants survivors that have great skills.

You should have, or be in the process of getting, some or all of the following:

Construction

Headshot

Maxed Firearm Skills

Necrotech Employment

Lab Experience

Obviously you should also have these:

Maxed Shopping Skills

Free Running

If you have any of those skills then you can really make a difference. Here are the three main types of survivors that significantly contribute to a mall's defense:

Cade Watcher:

This is perhaps the easiest type of strategy to use, as it can be highly effective without coordination with other survivors. Basically a Cade Watcher periodically logs in several times a day and repairs the barricades when they drop too low. If everyone contributed to maintaining the barricades then most zombie sieges would be stopped before they even start. However, the reality of the situation is that only a few survivors actually do this. Most trenchies will just piggy back on the defense that's being provided for by the few truly productive survivors.

Don't be a trenchie. You don't have to dedicated all your time/AP to cade watching, but if you have a reserve and the zombies busted through then don't wait for someone else to do it. FYI building the barricades up to loosely and calling it a day isn't "doing your part" either. If possible try to get the cades to VSB1. Heavily barricaded is optimal, as it will scare off most ferals from attempting to break through single-handedly, but I realize it isn't always possible. Remember, survivors have a 4 to 1 AP advantage on zeds when it comes to barricades, exploit it.


Black Ops Striker

This particular survivor is the guy who strikes in tandem with others in order to retake key buildings, primarily of the Necrotech variety. The fundamental difference between this survivor and your average trenchie is that the Black Ops Striker knows all the golden phallic-shaped pistols, and bullet time sommersault crotch chops in the world aren't enough to retake a building packed with a serious zombie presence.

I regularly see zombie groups of 10 or more strike in unison, yet I rarely see survivors in packs greater than 3. I think the reason why is players take the survivor's strength for granted. Zombies are forced to work together because they can kill 1 full HP survivor max, and that's only if they don't waste all their AP on bashing barricades. Survivors can easily eliminate 3 zombies single-handedly, sometimes more if they don't have flak jacket/body building. A group of even 7 survivors attacking simultaneously can easily retake even the most heavily infested buildings, especially if the horde is divided between holding the building and attacking the mall.

The name of the game is killing as many zombies as possible before they start to stand up and walk back in. In essence, meat shielding is the zombie equivalent to barricades. You'll save a lot more AP if you take them all out at once before they have a chance to replenish their defenses.


Forensics Specialist

Perhaps the most important type of survivors in a mall's defense. These are the people who bring back fallen comrades, and the outcome of many sieges is determined by whether or not the Forensic Specialists are able to do their jobs. When the local NT is shut down and the RP is filled to the brim with zeds, that is a good sign the siege will probably end in a zombie victory.

Obviously, the zombies win if all the mall's defenders stay dead. When the level 41 survivor who was watching the cades/retaking vital buildings/reviving other players is now stuck in queue with 50+ survivors, the mall's defense will suffer tremendously as a result.

Unfortunately, not all Forensics Specialists are created equal. Some do their jobs better than others, but if you just do the following you'll instantly become a invaluable asset to the defense:


Scan before you revive. More people are starting do this, but I still occasionally see a few rotters get the needle. What I see far more often however is PKs getting revived. You can avoid this by downloading UD Tool and using the PK list. I can't emphasize the following enough: reviving PKs is one of the biggest mistakes a Forensics Specialist can do. Instead of bringing a comrade back into the game, you'd be bringing back an enemy who can easily kill multiple mall defenders. The net loss for the defense will be 10 AP for the needle, the AP spent searching, and one less defender being brought back into the game.


If you employ the above strategies then chances your mall will withstand the wrath of barhah increases dramatically. I may make a guide detailing how to retake a mall after it has already fallen in the future, but this is more than enough to get you started on the path of a veteran mall defender.


Good luck, and happy zombie hunting.

--Trunksoul 06:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

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