Guides:Scientist

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This is the survival guide for Scientist characters.

Scientists

Scientists start out as doctors or NecroTech Lab Assistants. While scientists generally don't get dirty with the weapons, they will often be up close near the fighting, often going so far as to stab syringes directly into zombies. However, lone scientists face great dangers on the streets of Malton. Scientists lack (and can't quickly attain) combat skills for when undead or crazy humans approach. However, as a result of their specialized abilities, experienced scientists can be instrumental in turning the tide of battle. Indeed, only those technically competent with NecroTechnologies are able to make any real progress: curing infected zombies and making them human again.

Starting Out

Choosing between Doctor vs. NecroTech Lab Assistant will greatly affect your first few weeks in Malton. Doctors are really best if you have a group to play with, while Lab Assistants can really get into the action more quickly.

Doctors require people to heal in order to gain experience. They also need to visit hospitals and constantly search for First Aid Kits, which further complicates play. Unless you know you'll be with a group of players who will be getting into fights, and will really appreciate the extra healing that your Diagnosis skill provides. Having the Diagnosis skill helps since you will not waste AP healing survivors with full HP.

NecroTech Employee have an easier time starting out. They start with a tool that can provide endless experience, the DNA Extractor. Used on a zombie, this provides four experience and tells you the zombie's username and general data. It only works a few times on each zombie in any 24-hour period, but that's not a major restriction (as long as you are in an area with many zombies and few Necrotechs). Besides, it keeps your character moving, and that's good. After all, you have basically no means of defending yourself, which makes running and hiding a good option.

When you begin play, you will have a full fifty actions to spend in preparing yourself before someone attacks you (in all likelihood). These first few steps may determine whether you live through your first week. Enter the nearest hospital and search up several First Aid Kits. This gives you a secondary source of experience, and a way to save your own hide once something is on your tail. Once you have about five to ten kits, head out and explore the area. First-aid kits are not the only available beginning items of use, so consider searching a fire station to find a fireaxe or a police station to find a flak jacket. Given your lack of training, swinging an axe is the best weapon you can come by. The flak jacket will help against any batty humans with firearms, which may be more common than you'd like to think.

Surviving

As a scientist, anyone can kill you. You aren't an axe-master, you barely know the right end from the very wrong end of a gun, and zombies consider you a tasty appetizer. Your best bet, like anyone's, is to make sure you don't end your day outside in the street. Pay extra attention to general survival strategies that apply to those living in Malton.

Because both your primary and secondary XP-gains for the first few levels of your existence are based on contact with others, you will still need to cross paths with them. Use "strafing runs": Build up a large number of actions, and head out onto the streets and interact with a lot of people while still ending up safe inside a building before you set down for the night. You'll never be perfectly safe, of course. But if you keep moving, most hostile entities will be far enough away that they wouldn't bother to follow you.

For actually using your skills, simply find concentrations of people and zombies. Tag zombies with your DNA Extractor, then heal whoever is listed at the top of your "attack {person}" list. They likely have been attacked repeatedly, and can be healed several times before they hit full health. Then move on to the next group, but preserve enough actions to reach safe harbor. Remember that even with barricades and a closed door, zombies might be hiding inside, so leave yourself a few extra actions just in case.

Leveling

Any scientist should be able to gain a level within a week, though it is sometimes slower and less consistent for Doctors, unless they have a consistent group to heal. Regardless, you don't need a full 100 experience to learn a new skill, only 75.

The good thing about being a scientist is that science skills are discounted for you. The bad news is that there aren't many science skills. Since the science skills are your primary route to experience, focus on them early. All other skills can wait until you have gained a couple more reliable ways to gain experience.

If you're a doctor, become a NecroTech employee as soon as possible. You'll then gain benefits merely from having zombies around, and there's plenty of those in Malton. After NecroTech employment it's useful to have Shopping and Bargain Hunting - you'll then be able to find first-aid kits very easily in malls. For each day that you spend searching, you should find 100 XP's worth of kits.

Another alternate way of getting fast exp as any scientist class (or any class in general) is to injure and then heal a survivor. Yes, a survivor. Find a high accuracy weapon (like a knife), attack a survivor until he/she is injured. Then, immediately heal the person. This method is considered underhanded and cheap, but will be a good way to stay in a barricaded building with other survivors in the early levels. If you play with this method, you will want to get Free Running much sooner than usual. Hand-to-Hand combat will also be very useful, increasing exp gain as you require less AP to actually hit a person. The drawback is that, as a scientist, you will need 150 exp to get both Free Running and Hand-to-Hand combat.

You'll still want to get some Lab Experience before branching out into non-science skills. Bringing the dead back to life is mighty, indeed.

When searching for zombies to scan/revive/attack, remember to walk diagonally when possible. This reveals 2 more squares than walking in a cardinal direction: walking N, S, E, or W reveals 3 new squares and walking one of the diagonal directions reveals 5. Walking diagonally is also a good strategy for running from zombies: it is much more confusing to follow someone who is moving like a checker piece in different diagonal directions, plus you will cover more ground.

Revivification

Revivification Syringes are only found in NecroTech buildings. When you inject a zombie with one, you cure the disease that makes him or her a zombie (and you gain ten experience). Most undead will stop attacking after you've turned them human, though you can't really be sure they are on your side. Many zombies liked being undead, and may finish killing you due to the inconvenience you've caused them. (They'll probably just jump off a tall building and kill themselves, but they might decide to do you some damage before or after that.) Beware that some hardcore zombies have the Brain Rot skill, making them immune to revivification unless they are located in a powered NecroTech building and you have the NecroNet Access skill.


This doesn't mean you reserve syringes for friends. The DNA Extractor tells you the original names of the zombies you tag and a nice, clickable link to their character profile. A reliable way to tell if someone wants you to revive them, is written right in their description. There are also "blue rules" when deciding to inject or not to inject: their names may give you some clue as to whether or not to revive them. If their name contains the word "zombie," and isn't in some sense insulting to zombies, you might do best by leaving them to their fate. However, zombies with proper human names such as John Smith are often grateful to be resurrected.


Once you have Lab Experience, your skills all work together. You can tag zombies, resurrect them, and then heal anyone they've hurt. Even if they aren't thankful for the help, it's a fine way to make your way through Malton.

For a list of people actively seeking revivification, check the databases in the NecroTech Yahoo group. Those entries may be out of date, but anyone listed there will likely be happy for a second lease on life. Of course, you can revive almost any zombie in the city, which are easy enough to find.

You may also choose to seek out Revivification Points, where zombies seeking revivification tend to congregate. These are oftentimes marked with spray-painted graffiti. Some regularly draw large hordes and are a great place to gain XP quickly. However, brain-rotted zombies also sometimes linger among the hordes, so always "test the waters" with your DNA extractor before using a syringe.

Higher Levels

As a scientist, it will be hard to get as good at fighting as a military person, since the skill cost is double that of science skills. The best military skill for you is probably Free Running, but that should still wait until you have most or all of your science skills. Even then, the benefits from civilian skills may be better, and are always easier to come by.

On the other hand, free running is essential for any human character to make it to heavily barricaded and heavily defended hideouts.

If you must go into combat, take a look at the guide for military personnel. Then decide how you want to take any zombie threats to your person... or human threats.


Welcome to NecroTech. It's up to you to cure this city of its plague.

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