Guides:Meta-Careers

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What is a meta-career? A meta-career is the role you play inside the game. Due to the way the game is structured, you tend to specialize in one of the meta-careers, and as you max out the meta-career, you take on other meta-careers and side-jobs, and eventually be a master-of-all-skills.

Another way to say it is that meta-careers are skill sets and game techniques developed to deal with tasks you take on in the game for various strategic purposes.

Both Zombies and Survivors can practice a variety of meta-careers.

Zombie Meta-Careers

It may seem as if zombies have only one goal: eating brains and killing humans. And this certainly is important to them. However, zombies can acquire all the skills needed to do this fairly quickly, and the zombie population as a whole often benefits if some zombies dedicate themselves to other tasks, much in the same fashion as survivors who play a support role frustrate the goals of zombies and counter the damage they do, without actually attacking the enemy. However, zombies do not require any special equipment to perform these roles, and so can switch between them without needing to use or throw away old gear and search for new. This is in fact of great strategic advantage for the zombie players, as they are not locked into any one meta-career for longer than they choose to spend AP on it.


Medical

In the medical field, zombies have two main meta-careers to choose from. These careers are often overlooked by both young and senior zombies, but experts in this field are twice the nuisance to humans that they would be in any other job.

Vectors

These are zombies who seek to spread infection as widely as possible, by any means possible, for as long as possible. This generally means getting into safehouses (best done as a member of a strike team) and biting ALL of the uninfected inhabitants. It doesn’t much matter if the humans are killed in that same raid, or die of infection- the newly dead will still be infected when they are revived. Thus, vectors truly give the gift that keeps on giving. Infection is also particularly effective against active survivors. At the very least, the infected survivor must deplete their stock of FAKs before they can do anything else, and at the best they may be forced to move off in search of a new one, because they have run out.

Many Vectors will choose to claw a victim first, in order to show their love with a hug before giving the kiss of death (and to benefit from Tangling Grasp) but this is a sub-optimal strategy when killing the target is not the goal. To spread infection over many, many people, you should simply make bite attacks on all of them. Important skills for Vectors include:

  • Vigour Mortis and Neck Lurch – these are crucial skills to maximize your chance of landing a successful bite.
  • Digestion and Infection – you can’t give what you don’t have.
  • Scent Fear and Scent Blood – these are very useful for spotting who has not yet received the gift of infection, and who would most likely receive the full deadly benefit from it.
  • Diagnosis - can be useful for those who do not yet have the above scent skills, but is much inferior for the Vector’s purpose.

Ideal workplaces for the Vector are any place with a large number of humans that is also not in close proximity to a good source of First Aid Kits. That generally will mean making house calls to buildings that do not have a hospital or mall nearby. Spreading infection around inside a hospital or mall is generally quite futile.

An often overlooked workplace for the Vector is the revive point. The gift of infection can still be given to those who missed out before their death. To spread infection around at a revive point, simply stand there for a while, and wait for a zombie to ask for the gift. They will generally say “Mrh?”, meaning “May I please be infected?” When you see this, you should add the speaker to your contact list, which will enable you to single them out as the recipient of your special gift. This is perhaps a less rewarding workplace, as you can not use Scent Fear or Scent Blood to ensure you are not duplicating another Vector’s efforts. Still, if the revive point is far from access to a hospital or mall, you can be sure that some of those who you do deliver a fresh infection to will reap its full effect.

Antibodies

Antibodies (also known as “Needle Breakers”) block the spread of the pernicious toxin known as “revivification.” They primarily do this by locating revive points and standing at them. This may seem a boring job, but it is actually pretty amusing, because the technicians who find you often say silly things out of frustration or ignorance. Also, this need not be a full time job; if you have other work near the revive point, you can easily use the revive point as a place to kick back and regain AP’s, while still advancing your meta-career. Indeed, there are very few cases in which full-time work as an Antibody is called for, or even productive. However, Antibodies do work best in large numbers; if you are sieging a mall, its easy to maintain a very large group of Antibodies at the malls revive point, for example. Locating a revive point is very easy, even without the multitude of powerful metagame tools survivors make available to help Antibodies find a worksite. Using those tools, an Antibody can even register themselves for revivification, ensuring they will break a maximum number of needles. The presence of Antibodies at a revive point accomplishes several things:

  • It adds another body to the mass that a technician must scan, potentially slowing them down. This works especially well if the Antibody has Brain Rot.
  • There is a decent chance they will get jabbed with a syringe, especially if they do not have Brain Rot and “look” like a dead survivor (in terms of name, skills, description, and group affiliation). Either way, this wastes a technicians time and resources (syringes).
  • There is a decent chance they will get killed by a zombie hunter, if they do not “look” like a dead survivor. This requires the zombie hunter to spend AP’s traveling to the revive point, killing the zombie, and returning to their safe house. It also costs a great deal of the zombie hunter’s resources (ammunition).
  • There is a near certainty they will observe technicians reviving zombies, allowing them to view technician profiles. This information can later be used to target the technician. Ideally, the Antibody would share this information with other zombies, preferably via a UDTool list or some such. Technicians tend to work just one area, and if you target and kill off all the technicians in that area, it takes a very long time to recover, because nobody is working to revive them!

Urban Development

Ransacking and sleeping in buildings. Area/Resource denial. The Salt The Land Policy deserves special mention here.These class of Zombies generally have the Ransack skill and try to Ransack all buildings they see.This prevents Survivors from getting new items thus slowing their progress to a grinding halt.Others of this class go so far as to destroy Generators.Other skills adivisory for this class are Lurching Gait and Memories of Life.

Salter

A Salter zombie is a zombie that finds NT buildings and Ransack it.They then stay inside the building and make sure no survivor retakes it.They generally follow the Salt The Land Policy.What is the point of being a Salter?Read the following:

  • Without NT buildings,no more syringes!Now,if there are no syringes,zombification will be permanent!
  • It will waste some hotshot survivor AP killing you and dumping you outside.It will also waste his AP to dump you out and repair the Ransacked building.

Feral Ransacker

A Feral Ransacker Ransacks all sorts of buildings,regardless of important buildings or not.Unlike a Salter,they do not stay in the building they Ransacked.If they find a Generator,they will also destroy it.The point of being a Feral Ransacker is:

  • You would save a lot of zombies wasting AP to ransack and destroy other buildings and Generators.
  • Survivors will waste AP to repair buildings in order to find items.
  • No more Generators will do a crippling blow to the Human Resistance.

Scouting and Espionage

Either gathering info as a zombie, or intentionally getting revived and using Free Running.By gathering information, I mean: is there any survivors in there,what is the barricade level,is it a Necrotech Lab etc.Next,send a Groan or report this back to your pals or other zombies.Joining a group may be better.Skills advisory for this class are:Lurching Gait,Memories of Life,Ankle Grab and Feeding Groan.Those who get revived and try this class are advised to have:Free Running and Necrotech Employment.

Snitch

A Snitch is a zombie or human who was a zombie that finds out intel about buildings.If there is food,simply send a Feeding Groan.They generally just survey buildings.Also,check out the barricade level and telling other zombies.

  • You'll be giving zombies food if you report a location of Harmanz.
  • You'll contribute to a Siege if you reveal all safehouses to zombies.
  • You'll be saving other zombies AP instead of them searching for survivors themselves.

Hidden Spider

Unlike a Snitch,Hidden Spiders destroy barricades if any and send Feeding Groans to zombies.If they still have spare AP and find a group of humans, they will kill some of them itself before sending a Feeding Groan. They will also Ransack NT buildings if they find any.

  • Instead of leaving living survivors, you spare a zombie AP by not kill them themselves.
  • Ransacking a NT building contributes to the Salt The Land Policy.
  • Destroying barricades allow less defence, less enough for zombies to enter....

Leadership

Using in game methods to co-ordinate zombie efforts. (X:00 tactics come under this heading, but there are other ways to go.)

Education and Resource Development

Spending all your AP to take down barricades, groan, use feeding drag, and otherwise acting in ways that maximize the experience the "younger" zombies earn and minimize the AP they waste on barricades, wandering, etc.

Special Tactics and Operations

Being part of a group that makes very highly co-ordinated, organized strikes, either on their own or as a "wedge" for a larger, less organized group.

Survivor Meta-Careers

Here are the primary survivor meta-careers

  • Combat / Gunner
  • Combat / Melee
  • Support / Medic
  • Support / Barricade
  • Support / Scout

These five primary survivor meta-careers actually help the survivors survive longer.

And here are the secondary meta-careers

  • Support / Necro
  • Support / Surgeon
  • Support / Refueler
  • Support / MalTel

These meta-careers do NOT directly contribute to survival and are thus considered as secondary jobs.

Primary Meta-Careers

Combat / Gunner

The combat gunner is your typical "fighter", specialized in ranged weapons.

As pistols and pistol clips are more readily available, and lasts longer, you should probably develop pistol skills first, and shotgun skills second. Weapons do quite a bit of damage, so you should gain quite a bit of XP as long as your ammo lasts.

The main difficulty is you have to spend quite a few APs looking for ammo between forays. And when your accuracy (to-hit%) is low, you will need to spend a LOT of ammo to bring down even 1 zed. And you are on the front-lines, so you will get hurt, which means you better know where the safehouses are, and/or have a few first-aid-kits available.

Definitely get any skills that help you find things like shopping / bargain-hunting. Then decide whether you want to use a mall as your main ammo supply, or are you going to run for local Police Departments for ammo instead. Choose your safehouse(s) based on proximity to the supply caches.

It is recommended that combat gunners carry at least 10 pistols and 3-4 shotguns (fully loaded) at all times, though some survivors find that less pistols can be used to conserve space. It takes roughly 16 shots, assuming you are max-trained to 65% to-hit, to kill a zombie with pistols alone. Carry enough ammo/guns to go out and kill 3-5 zeds without needing any more supplies. If you found loaded gun and still have guns that are empty, drop the empty gun. If you found a fully loaded gun and have partially loaded gun, drop the partial.

As the "skill tree" here is relatively shallow, you will need to cross-train soon.

It sure wouldn't hurt to know first-aid, as you can stay in the fight longer if you carry a few first-aid kits.

Pros: kill zeds quickly when developed

Cons: must spend AP to search for ammo

Overall: probably the easiest career if you don't mind spending APs searching for ammo.

Combat / Melee

The combat melee specialist is a fighter that specialized in either axe proficiency or knife proficiency. While melee does not do as much damage per turn as the gunner, AND has a lower to-hit overall, melee fighters do not need to scrounge for ammo. They are good for finishing a wounded enemy, or as a secondary combat skill for the gunners.

The fire axe (found in fire stations) is the "best" melee weapon. There really is no reason to study knife proficiency at all other than to raise your character level. It is often believed that the fireman is the best initial career because it provides an axe and a bonus to axe accuracy, providing a steady source of early experience. This, of course, is debatable.

As you are not supply dependent, you can spend more APs actually fighting instead of constantly searching for supplies. However, you are better at picking off the wounded zed than trying to hack a fresh one as you often can't do enough damage to kill one, even at full 50 AP and max axe proficiency. And a wounded zed may be able to track you due to the zombie Scent Trail skill.

I personally consider combat/melee as a secondary career.

Since half of the skill-tree is useless, you will need to cross-train even sooner.

Pros: never run out of ammo

Cons: low to-hit and low damage together makes leveling quite slow

Overall: may be easier to start, but lacks damage when developed, better as secondary or backup.

Support / Medic

Support Medic carries as many first-aid kits as they can find, be ready to lend a hand where-ever needed. S/he will usually hides in a safehouse near the front-lines. First-aid kits are not easy to find, so anything that helps you find more, such as shopping / bargain hunting are good skills to have. Having diagnose skill would help you spot the wounded faster, but is not essential. You could just spend 1 AP and announce that whoever's wounded should speak up if they need healing.

Having the first-aid skill is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is you can heal the wounded in half the time, using half of the kits. The curse is you get only half the XP from act of healing once you have the skill. What used to bring 10 XP (and 2 kits) will bring only 5 XP with first-aid skill (albeit only use 1 kit). And if you aren't near the front lines, patients aren't that easy to come by.

With the zombie skill 'infectious bite' available, most survivors carry at least one first-aid kit (FAK) in case of emergencies. However, for large amounts of healing a medic is still invaluable, esp. after huge battles and/or recharging someone that was just revived.

The "surgery" skill is probably not needed, as you need a specific building AND a working generator with fuel to do the special 15 HP healing. You don't see those very often. Pick it up with you have plenty of XP to spend, but if you're tight, leave off surgery for last.

As a medic, you should carry at least 5, if not more first-aid kits (i.e. FAKs). Basically, you want to be able to treat more than one patient. A common situation is a recently revived survivor (ex-zombie). S/he would have only 25 or 30 HPs, and thus would require at least 2 FAKs to heal up.

In general, it's NOT necessary to "full" heal a patient. It's generally considered sufficient to heal into the forties (or fifties if they have body-building skill). The few remaining HPs are not really worth spending one FAK on unless you happen to have plenty of FAKs and every one else is healed.

Should you enter a building and found multiple wounded survivors as well as zombies on the scene, and your supply of FAKs are limited... You MAY want to heal the LESS wounded first, as they have more of a chance to actually survive long enough to leave the building, than someone who has their HP drained to just a few points. It's cruel, but so is survival.

At only 5 XP per heal, AND spending time to find first-aid kits, this career produces XP quite slowly, certainly slower than the combat classes. As a support medic, you should definitely pick up a side-job, such as Necro or even one of the combat jobs, with the pre-requisite skills of course.

Pros: everybody needs healing sooner or later

Cons: each act of healing only produce 5 XP, must spend lots of APs finding first-aid kits

Overall: slow career if you want to make it your primary, may be better as a side-job.

Support / Barricade

Support Barricader is basically a survivor with construction skill, so he can help build barricades. However, knowing WHERE to build is quite important. It is not possible to enter a building that's BEYOND "very strongly barricaded", and in general it's often considered rude to do so, as this prevents someone from getting in.

It takes several AP of zombie bashing to break down even ONE level of barricading. Thus, barricading is the most efficient form of defense.

As building is done at a safehouse, this is a safe career, but lack of career XP income is a problem. Think of it as a thankless job overall.

This is definitely a side-job, not a primary job, but an important one.

One of the major defenses in containing a zombie breakthrough is to keep the barricades up even if the zombies have made their way into the building. The survivors inside can still fight and dump the bodies outside, and the barricades prevents the zombies from reinforcing those who's already inside.

Pros: barricade doesn't take materials, safe career in general

Cons: you don't get XP for building them either, thus need alternate XP source

Overall: side job, but a very important one. It's the barricades that keep the zeds outside, not the firepower.

Support / Scout

The scout locates the enemy: zombies. After you know where they are, locate a nearby building that's ideal for a temporary attack safehouse and wait for everyone to get there and recharge their AP. Scouts generally do not engage in combat unless they wish to, thus this is a relatively safe meta-career.* On the other hand, there is no XP income, so one must do something else to get XPs. Thus, this is another "side job".

Free-running would definitely help here, as it will help you move without being seen.

Pros: usually stay away from threats, thus very safe.

Cons: career does not generate XPs, thus need a different XP source.

*Meta-gaming con: some players assume scouts are zombie spies and kill on sight. Now that most players understand that zombies generally just assume that Hospitals, PDs, etc. are always full of survivors, this may be less of an issue.

Overall: side job, but an important one.

Support / Necro

Necro are those who can at least operate the Necrotech revivification syringes, AND the DNA extractor. With the advent of NecroNet access skill, Necro career is becoming a major contributor to survival.

Necro does generate XP for its activities, but the only way Necro contributes to survival is through the use of those revive shots. Basically, it is the only 100% to-hit weapon in Urban Dead. The ONLY way to avoid it is by getting the zombie skill "brain rot". In the past, a Necro could put down 1 zed per AP as long as he had enough syringes left. Recently, this was changed. Syringes now cost 10 AP to use, and so are not very effective weapons anymore.

With the ability to produce revive shots in a necro building that's properly powered, the NecroNet access skill is becoming very useful. One can produce 2.5 shots per day rather than leaving the revive syringes to pure chance. This also makes the support/refuler more important. However, as the chance to find Syringes are 12.5% in a powered NT-building, it is generally agreed that you get more syringes, on average, by searching than by producing them yourself.

Extracting DNA from zeds is kinda fun, but risky, and doesn't really *do* anything to help survival. On the other hand, it DOES help those with NecroNet access to spot zombie concentrations. With the 22nd July update, now the process of extraction is more useful, because when you tag a zombie, you can see his profile and revive him immediately.

Pros: Generates some steady XP without needing supplies

Cons: DNA extracting and reviving can be risky, takes 20 AP to produce one revive syringe (statistically less to find one searching).

Overall: Side-job, but a far more important one than before

Support / Surgeon

With the advent of surgery skill for the survivors, a new secondary meta-career has opened up. Fully trained in medical matters, a surgeon can heal 15 HP with just 1 FAK... Provided he's in a hospital with a working generator. This is essentially a sub-career of the Medic.

Pros: heals a lot of HPs, better than medic

Cons: Must wait inside a big bulls-eye (the hospital)

Overall: Side-job, be ready to run

Support / Refueler

Some buildings have portable generators, and as a result, have their lights turned back on. However, these generators need fuel, and someone have to keep fueling them.

With advent of surgery (needing a powered hospital), radio (needing a working generator), and NecroNet (needing a powered NecroTech building), as well as the mobile phone network (buildings with MalTel antenna and power) refuler can contribute more than ever before. Factories are good resource points, as they give both fuel cans and generators (in case someone has smashed the old one) and are rather low profile targets for hordes.

Pros: relatively safe career, just "trade" items

Cons: generates no XP

Overall: Side-job, involves a lot of running

Support / MalTel

Each suburb in Malton now has the option of putting up a cell phone antenna tower, and thus, enable the use of text messaging. The problem is someone has to build and keep the antenna running, and keep the antenna powered. So this is both a construction job AND a guard job.

Pros: relatively safe career

Cons: limited XP growth

Overall: Side-job, as most people don't use that yet.


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