Guides:The Mall Defence Manifesto
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A summary: B.H.K. - Barricade, Heal, then Kill (and then dump the bodies)
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So you want to be a happy shopper?
With the fall of malls one after another, I have been thinking a lot about Unlife, the Universe, and Everything - or, more specifically, how survivors can best defend a mall. Prepare yourself for the rantings of a madman - appropriate feedback is appreciated. Everything below is my own opinion, obviously, and should not be taken as anything other than a lone voice in the wilderness spouting off.
Shacknews was perhaps the most organised zombie group in Undead history, going beyond what Mall Tour 06 achieved - ransacking Caiger via systemic, synchronized attacks. They ended their reign at Gidding's Mall, and disbanded after the mall fell. Zombies have since been feared less, and the Malls of Malton were quickly retaken by survivors. But zombies have recently been delighting in the early successes of Mall Tour '07, and this article is as pertinent as the day it was written.
So, without further ado:
No Mall can stand forever. You notice I said "best defend," above. People often claim victory in siege scenarios, I've noticed. But when you get right down to it, there are only a few situations where victory is clear-cut.
For the zombies, it's simple: You've won the siege when the zombies outnumber the humans for anything more than about an hour. When you get right down to it, it's that easy. Sure, I can envision a scenario where the humans pull a feint and appear to cede the Mall, only to return en masse, but ... let's face it, this isn't a likely scenario. The reality is, when there's more zombies than there are humans for any real length of time, the zombies have won. This happens because a.) the zombies have killed sufficient numbers of humans to gain a numerical advantage, or b.) the humans have fled the scene in sufficient numbers to give the advantage to the zombies.
For the humans, it's even more cut-and-dried. You have to make the zombies want to leave. That's it. Until that happens, you've not won. It's only happened one time. You have to out-wait the zombies, essentially. You have to frustrate them to the point where they leave willingly, because there's no other way to get rid of them.
That's why I say "No Mall can stand forever." If the zombies are just committed to not quitting, then, eventually, they will win. They have all the tools needed to do so. In the days of the old (griefing-esque) headshot, frustrating the zombies was a lot easier. Losing several days' worth of xp every time you died, and never being able to gain new skills, would get very old, very fast. In the new age of headshotting, the skill is little more than an inconvenience. It's still useful, to be sure, but it won't sour a zombie on a good siege nearly as fast as it used to.
The Art of Being Boring
It comes, then, down to this. You will win a siege, not by putting up a good fight, per se, but by putting up a frustrating one. Zombies win shootouts, even without guns. Always. So avoid them as much as possible. Make unlife difficult, not entertaining.
Like the condom ad says, "Play in spurts.": If you log in, the barricade is extremely heavy, there's no zombie gnawing on your leg, and there aren't any people in need of triage, don't shrug and search for ammo 50 times. You may regret it later.
Lose the Trenchcoat. Are you heading to Caiger Mall to kick some zombie ass? Really? It's one thing to talk like that, but if you plan on standing atop the barricades and raining death down on the undead scourge, you need to know a few things.
First, you're extremely expendable. The only real purpose you serve is as cannon fodder. Yeah, you whittle away at the zombies so they can be tossed outside, but basically, you're a meat-shield. Do not be surprised if, when "Mrh"ing in the revivification queue, you get passed up by the prudent NecroTechnician in favor of a more intelligent defender. The wise defender wants you there only to reduce the possibility that he gets clawed to death. You're a distraction. Being the tank's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.
Second, you're *not* the best form of defense. Not even close. So when nobody thanks you for your work, don't be surprised.
The Defenders Best Friends
Axes and Shotguns aren't your best friend. No, really, they're not. A siege-defender's #1 best weapon is the barricading skill. 1 AP of successful barricading requires 4-5 AP of barricade-bashing to undo. If you log in to a breach, the building's wide-open, and there's 20 zombies inside, the first order of business is to seal the breach. It's thankless, zero-xp, nobody-even-knows-you-did-it work. And it's THE most important thing you can do. 20 zombies versus 200 humans is not a problem. That open door? That's an issue. At this point I must recommend: Donate some money to Urban Dead. Not only is it good for the game, but you'll be able to log in several times a day and refresh to check on that barricade. Oh, and remember: Your little quadrant of the mall is not the world. Go check the 'cades in the other sections.
First aid - Second-best. If you're a dedicated mall-rat (you have the Shopping and Bargain-Hunting skills), then the first-aid kit represents, by far, the easiest, and most valuable, item to acquire. Even if you lack Bargain-Hunting, it's still your best bet. Searching for ammo is fine and good, but finding another empty shotgun doesn't do much for you. Every survivor should have at least 1 first-aid kit on their person at all times. Always.
It's easy. Check the zombie skills page of the wiki, if you doubt it. Zombies, at best, do 1.5 points of damage per AP spent attacking, on average. At best they have a 60% chance to hit (with Tangling Grasp). You have a 25-35% chance per search of finding a first-aid kit, and it'll heal a minimum of 5 hp - 10 if you have the first-aid skill. The effective defender is not the one who kills the most zombies; it is the one who prevents the most new zombies from being created.
The reason for "Always have 1 first aid kit" is simple: If you log in to a breach with 25 HP and an infection, you won't do anybody any good by literally working yourself to death. As in the case of sudden cabin decompression, tend to yourself first, then help those around you.
Diagnosis, then, becomes very important. Know who needs help and dispense it accordingly. Nothing frustrates a zombie faster than a human who won't die. Remember: The life you save could ultimately be your own. Frankly, 10 first aid kits take up the same amount of inventory space as 5 loaded shotguns, and are ultimately worth more in a siege.
Needles - get the point. OK, let's start with the simple one. DO NOT "COMBAT REVIVE." That zombie in the mall doesn't want to be human, OK? Either he's a brain-rotter and you'll waste a needle, or he'll stand up, walk outside if necessary, and tell his mates to chow down. Best case, you spend 10 AP and a syringe on a guy who'll jump out a window at the first chance. Worst case, you waste AP and syringe, the guy comes back and kills you with a shotgun, then goes and gives xp to the enemy, and now you're behind the valuable defender you COULD'VE revived in the needle queue. Expect brain rot to become much more common, now that there's a way to revive rotters. The tactic of combat reviving is now even more foolish. Save it for someone who'll appreciate you being a pain in the neck.
Combat reviving is for morons. Are you a moron? No? Then don't combat revive.
All humans are created equal, but some deserve to be human more than others. The guy who keeps saying "Well I went outside and killed two zombies ... now I gotta find some more ammo!" ... that guy? Put him on your contacts list. Then, when you're working the revive queue, and you see him swaying there? Don't revive that bitch. Waste of a good needle. Know your buddies. Know who's committed to the defense of the mall. Put them on your contacts list, and revive them when they go down. Let the trenchcoats wait til there's no high-priority targets left. That guy who's healed you three times after you re-barricaded while wearing a zombie like a scarf? Yeah. That is the guy you revive.
The contacts list is your friend. I'm harping on the point, but, know who the good people are. Add them to contacts. Put them on a "good people" list in UD-Tool (which, if you don't have, you should get). Help out the level 20 guy who's keeping the barricades up before you help the level 1 consumer cowering in the corner. With the new contact list coloring update, UDTool is still useful, but not as necessary. The built-in coloring scheme works well.
Spray it, don't say it. The change in speech that occurred after Stanstock was actually a major nerf to mall-siege defenders. Ergo ... to get your message across, don't waste a lot of time and AP talking - 250 of the 300 people in that quarter of the mall won't see it. Maintain a spray that directs your fellow survivors to a forum. Use that. The Caiger Mall Survivors already have one. If you're in Caiger and aren't on their forum ... why? When some twit wants to spray over the URL and put something about his schwanz, spray back over it.
Make lists. On the forum in question. Link people to profiles of other mall-rats. Tell everyone who the PK'ers are. Tell them who the (confirmed, don't just guess) zombie spies are. And while you're at it, make sure the zombies outside know who they are. Generally the zombie spy inside is only aiding a few zombies outside, so the horde will "self-police" when he's on the gray side of the line.
Include zergers on the list. When you see a room in the mall that's got "Slapnuts1," "Slapnuts2," and "Slapnuts3" all in the same room -- let the horde outside choke on deez nuts. Shoot them, chuck them, and link the zombie players (after all, they'll be reading your forum too, just like you oughtta be reading theirs) to the nuts in question. Nobody likes a cheater.
While you're at it, link your fellow mall-rats to every brain-rotter you can find. With any luck, when said rotter sneaks into the revive queue, the NT's working the queue will see him and call for someone to bounce him, rather than wasting a needle on him. I'm not going to get into the argument of whether this is griefing or not, but if you can at all do it, avoid wasting time with rotters.
Outside the Mall
Buildings - what's important and what's not.
There are only a few types of buildings that adjoin malls that should ever be defended. All the others are entry/exit points for incoming revived and outgoing revivers. If you have spare AP and want to cade buildings just to annoy zombies, go ahead. But good luck finding a building that isn't full of zeds already.
The first, and most importantly, is a NecroTech building. Powering them and all is great, but that's of secondary importance. These should be defended as tenaciously as the mall itself, if for no other reason than so that people can search for syringes without a zombie biting their head every six seconds. Intelligent zombies will ransack every NT they see to dry up any sources of syringes, so the importance of NTs cannot be stressed enough. Breaches will happen, period. Humans will get bitten and die, period. These humans are going to need revives if they are ever going to be useful again, and syringes come ONLY from NTs. Once the NTs surrounding the mall is down, revive queues get longer, and some people may even get so annoyed at the lack of revives that they start joining the zombies.
Hospitals are iffy. A powered hospital allows surgical types to be more effective at triage if they have the Surgery skill, but the last thing you want to do, if breaches are frequent, is have a building where all your wounded are sitting around waiting to be spread onto Weetabix. If you can reliably hold it, though, it might be worth it.
As Fuel Cans cannot be found in Malls, it's vital to keep Auto Repairs in survivor hands. Factories have a better chance of providing a Portable Generator than the Hardware Store and also provide Fuel Cans so these too are useful. Fuel allows radio broadcasts for better organisation and better search odds so we can all keep FAKing.
And hey, if you don't have free-running? Stay outside. Mall sieges are not for you. Come back when you've capped enough zombies to buy the skill. You're just dead wood. Sorry, but that's how it is. And don't even think of smashing down the cades to go in.
If you can get into the mall without free-running, feel free - contribute as best you can. If all you can do is look for first-aid kits and apply them, then that's a help. I don't mean to suggest non-free-runners are useless.
But if you don't have free-run, and find yourself outside a mall for any reason, don't spam up forums asking for help getting in - and for God's sake don't try to let yourself in. You could well bring 50 zombies in with you.
George S. Patton
Lastly, and speaking of trenchcoats ... People who vow to defend the mall to the death piss me off. In the immortal words of George S. Patton, 'No poor dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his.' And zombies can't die - and you become one when YOU die. So, please, don't die. I've done a lot more for the human cause by fleeing two malls that were fallen, than I would've if I'd stayed and emptied my guns. I've sneaked back in, gotten health, ammo, syringes, and kept the fight alive. Don't be a martyr - martyrs wind up chewing on your arm, in the world of Urban Dead. Defend the mall to the hilt, yes, yes ... but when your hand's in the wound, and the stab victim is still coming at you ... it's time to move on.
but sometimes hanging on to ground in this case malls could allow more survivors to be armed and ready for the battle. Lets say we're at Giddings mall and were completely surrounded by 400 zeds and there are only 150 of us they can't get in if we're barricading like hell so if we continue to barricade and fight to the death we don't just slow down the horde we infect it with pkers. We could kill mountains of zeds and also increase the time it takes for the zeds to reach the mall
Edit by McTrout: - No idea who posted the above paragraph; it's there for the considering, but I'm not even quite sure I understand what the poster is saying. What good does PKing a zombie do? I maintain that going down guns-a-blazing does no one any good.
- Edit by Tigerfangred - I do believe that the above poster was trying to say that it's ok to stay in overwhelming odds if you and the others are dedicated and barricading "like hell". But all that other nonsense, i have no idea what he was talking about. --Tigerfangred 01:26, 14 May 2007 (BST)
- Edit by Paffers5 - I believe that guy was saying, that if you stay the PKers in your ranks will eventually die, not be revived, and because a lot of them are bored they will probably kill the zeds out side as zeds. atleast that is what i got out of it.
- Edit by SpelChek - I think what he is trying to say is to die fighting and become part of the horde and kill other zombies as a zombie.
I can definitely see how that would work.
- Edit by Ms.Panes: - I think he's saying that, if you keep the zombies out, eventually some of them will get bored/frustrated with attacking the mall and start killing each other.
- Edit by Lucile: - I think SpelChek has the idea. If one dies and resurrection is not a ready option, ZKing seems like a fair course of action. More productive than standing around spamming 'Mrh?', non?
- Edit by ADADQGG: - I think he means that we should give up b4 dying and come back when healed and got more ammo, instead of staying in the mall defending and die.
- Edit by Scout - I think he (or she) means that when you die, you turn around and kill the zeds.
The Checklist of Life
In closing, I'd like to offer:
The Mall Defense Order of Operations. (What to do when you log in to defend the Mall)
- Check the barricades.
- Check for zombies inside.
- Check your health and infection status.
- Heal yourself if you're infected, or your health will get dangerously low. Count on being attacked while you are active if there are zombies inside (you may not be, but it's best to assume you will), and heal yourself BEFORE you are in immediate risk of dying.
- Perform triage on any badly-injured fellow survivors. Prioritize by the value of that survivor.
- If the doors are open, CLOSE them and cade a little.
- NOW kill the zombies. Killing zombies have being slightly more important with the latest update, since they block cading efforts.
- Dump them IMMEDIATELY after you kill them. Remember, you can only dump ONE zombie at a time now. Be quick. Many zombies spam ?rise when someone attacks them. If you attack a zed that was attacking you, get it down to a low HP, and then he stops attacking you, DON'T attack. Chances are he's spamming ?rise and will simply waste your AP. Do something else and wait for it to run out of server hits or resume attacking you.
- If the barricades aren't at max, get them there.
- Heal yourself / any other survivors as needed / possible.
- NOW search for supplies, starting with first-aid kits. Once you have at least one ...
- THEN do whatever else you need to do (search for ammo/syringes, go work the revive queue, etc.)