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Coat of Arms
Motto: Quaeris et nihil reperis
|Introduced:||July 3, 2005|
Malton (known in zamgrh as Marzan) is one of three cities available in Urban Dead, the others being Monroeville and Borehamwood. The Malton map, like the Monroeville and Borehamwood maps and the game itself, was created by Kevan Davis. As the first available map, it was introduced on July 3, 2005 when the game was released. Malton is the only city in which revivification has been possible and which has never seen suspended registration of new characters. Although Monroeville and Borehamwood are still active maps, the number of active players they contain has dwindled to such a degree, that those maps are considered to have been temporary. Thus, Malton has been the only "permanent" map available in Urban Dead.
Creating and logging in with Malton characters is done from the Urban Dead main page. A player may choose to create either a zombie or survivor character, but any new character name must be unique. Names from Monroeville and Borehamwood cannot be reused in Malton (and, conversely, Malton names could not be used in Monroeville and Borehamwood.) All three cities share the same user database and, for the most part, game mechanics. Differences in the gameplay mechanics of each available city are related to the availability of certain items and building types. Notably, the lack of NecroTech buildings and syringes in Monroeville and Borehamwood has made zombification permanent in those two cities.
Unique features of Malton
- The maps of Monroeville and Borehamwood were created using many of the same building types previously available in Malton. When the Monroeville map was released on February 25, 2008, it consisted of several new building types. Similarly, when Borehamwood was introduced on October 28, 2008, it featured more new building types. However, several building types and complexes were not seen in either Monroeville or Borehamwood, and remain unique to Malton. These include: NecroTech buildings, forts, power stations, stadiums, cathedrals, and the City Zoo.
- The presence of NecroTech is unique to Malton. This means that Malton is the only city available that contains NecroTech syringes and DNA extractors. Consequently, it is the only city available in which revivification of zombies is possible. Malton is also unique in that it is the only city in which the registration of new characters has never been suspended.
- Newspapers are available in all three cities, but each city has a unique set of news stories. The news stories found in Malton's newspapers are compiled here.
Whilst little to no information is available in regards to Malton's location on a regional scale, what knowledge is available from anecdotal observations suggests that Malton's climate is Oceanic. Heavy snow falls on the city in the Winter from as early as December 10, and settles enough that snowbanks establish and those walking the streets leave clearly distinguishable footprints. During late October to early November, Malton has also experienced significantly lessened visibility due to fog, to the point where binoculars have been rendered useless. Interestingly, no external military reports have been recieved during these periods of heavy fog, though it is unknown if this is a result of the fog or merely a coincedence.
Neighbourhoods and areas
The Malton map is divided into 100 suburbs arranged in a 10 by 10 grid. Each suburb consists of 100 blocks similarly arranged in a 10 by 10 grid, meaning there are a total of 10,000 blocks in the city of Malton. 4,286 of these are empty blocks, meaning they contain no buildings. Players can be either inside or outside the remaining 5,714 blocks containing buildings. This gives a total of 15,714 places a player can be in the city of Malton. The following map displays the location of all 100 of Malton's suburbs, and is color coded to reflect an approximation of zombie presence in each suburb.
From the presence of Malton's 227 factories and 268 warehouses, it can reasonably be inferred that Malton had a large manufacturing industry that comprised a large part of its economy. Further, Malton contains 238 auto repair shops and 262 junkyards, and jerry cans are readily available as common loot for survivors, suggesting that the city also enjoyed a healthy automobile industry. Aside from these more traditional industries, the scientific company NecroTech also seems to have had a large presence in Malton prior to the outbreak, as implied by their 211 research facilities, as well as old newspapers containing interviews with the head of the company and advertisements for employee positions. However, it is unknown whether NecroTech was solely a scientific research company or also offered products and services for sale.
Shopping and retail
Malton's retail economy primarily consists of nightlife establishments, including 235 clubs, 250 pubs and 221 cinemas. However, Malton also contains 20 large, high-profile malls housing bookstores, drugstores, gun stores, hardware stores, liquor stores, sports stores and tech stores, catering to the average consumer. Most of these malls span 4 blocks, except Lumber Mall which spans 2 blocks and Pole Mall which spans 3 blocks.
Unlike the pre-outbreak history of Malton, the timeline of events that occurred in-game after July 3, 2005 is largely well verified and undisputed. The history of Malton has thus far followed two very basic trends:
- The formation and eventual fracturing of mega-groups. Both zombies and survivors have incentives to combine into larger and larger groups. Larger groups provide better protection for survivors and greater odds of carnage for zombies. The largest of groups tend to be fleeting, however. Typically groups are sporadically brought together to form larger alliances with a specific goal in mind, such as holding Caiger Mall for survivors. Whether the mega-group either succeeds or fails in it's goal, the smaller groups tend to fracture and go their separate ways. Due to the fact that mega-groups require a large amount of players actively contributing to their cause to maintain their high in-game influence, the relevance and significance of mega-groups naturally dissipates over time as the in-game activity of their gradually decreases or ceases altogether.
- Since late 2005, the total number of active players has been slowly decreasing, which generally benefits survivors. Barricades present a significant obstacle for zombies, particularly because of the action points advantage that survivors possess in this context. Consequently, with fewer total players, smaller groups of zombies must spend proportionally more time breaking down barricades in order to kill fewer survivors. As a result, rule changes occur sporadically to address balance of power in the game between survivors and zombies, a phenomenon scrutinized by players with zombie characters and observed and analyzed by all players alike. Urban Dead has received notable criticism from players for this imbalance, with many perceiving it as poor game design.
2005 saw the explosive popularity of Urban Dead and the Malton map after its introduction on July 3, 2005. By the end of 2005, the number of active characters in Malton peaked at approximately 60,000. 2005 also saw the peak of survivors relative to zombies. In late 2005 survivors outnumbered zombies by almost 3:1. As a result of larger overall numbers the following famous events and confrontations from 2005 are some of the largest Malton has ever witnessed:
- Dia de los Muertos is the term given to the rapid fall of Giddings Mall around October 31 and November 1 at the hands of a zombie horde numbering approximately 500. Several zombie groups were present under the name The Ministry of the Dead. This was arguably the first successful alliance of zombie hordes. The rapid fall of Giddings Mall built upon previous zombie victories and it's success set the stage for the first siege of Caiger Mall.
- The First Siege of Caiger Mall occurred between approximately November 10 and December 2, and is famous for being the first major survivor victory against so large a zombie horde. The survivors in Caiger Mall held off an estimated 1,300 zombies in what was the longest siege ever at the time.
- By the end of 2005, many zombies came to believe the game had become unbalanced in favor of survivors. These zombies (as well as some survivors,) calling themselves On Strike decided to hold an event: Stanstock (a portmanteau of Woodstock and Stanbury Village.) Stanstock took place in Whetcombe Park in Stanbury Village from December 19 to December 23. By the end, over 1,300 zombies and survivors showed up resulting in some noticeable server strain. Kevan responded by implementing two major game adjustments. The first came on December 22 and introduced feeding groan which allowed zombies to more quickly congregate at the sight of assaults and sieges. This change satisfied enough players that Whetcombe Park was gradually abandoned. December 23 is considered to have been the end of Stanstock. However, yet another game change came on December 30 which changed large buildings (such as malls) to allow both zombies and humans to move freely inside; it allowed zombies who breached one square of a large building to quickly move through the rest of the building, hastening it's fall.
- The Mall Tour '06 began just weeks after the post-Stanstock game changes. From January 3 through January 29 the mall tour (comprised of a horde of approximately 1,000 zombies) destroyed every mall but Caiger. Ackland Mall was the second to last hold-out up until January 29, but it fell to approximately 400 zombies that day. Mall Tour '06 in January was seen as a tremendous zombie victory and, for zombies, a vindication of the rule changes. Ultimately, however, early successes set up the second siege of Caiger, which would end in survivor victory.
- The Second Siege of Caiger Mall occurred from approximately February 20 to March 19. Around January 31 zombies began slowly moving toward Caiger en masse, laying waste to survivors in the surrounding area. Their plan was to move slowly, attracting a large number of feral zombies. Ultimately around 1,000 zombies laid Siege to Caiger. However, their hesitation, combined with the fall of every other mall in Malton, led to around 3,000 survivors defending Caiger. Ultimately the zombies decided their efforts were futile and dispersed, resulting in a second major survivor victory at Caiger.
- On March 28 another prominent change came to the game's rules. The rule change increased the AP cost of reviving zombies from 1 to 10, making both combat revives and legitimate revives more difficult.
- Another important change to the game's rules occurred on June 16 which tweaked the ransack ability that had been introduced on April 29. This allowed zombies to block survivors from barricading building squares which had been ransacked. This allowed for zombies to in some way control buildings (forcing survivors to kill them all before retaking a building.) It also made large buildings less defensible for survivors, as if one square became ransacked it could not be barricaded until all zombies were first removed.
- After Mall Tour '06 ended on a down note for zombies, there was a void for a mega-horde in Malton. That void was filled by The Big Bash, which formed around July, 2006 and lasted until it was supplanted by Mall Tour '07. Their stated goal was to organize "a grand alliance of zombie hordes to partake of a rampage across Malton." They succeeded in rampaging through most of Malton (except the northwest.) Unlike previous large-scale zombie offensives, however, The Big Bash was more loosely coordinated and aimed at ruining whole suburbs rather than being narrowly focused on specific buildings (such as malls or Necrotech buildings).
- Battle of Blackmore occurred from August 18, 2006 to October 13, 2006. It began with a small group of survivors barricading and occupying Ridleybank (widely considered to be a zombie controlled suburb and home to The Ridleybank Resistance Front). The survivors made their stand in The Blackmore Building, Ridleybank's only necrotech building. They held it for approximately 2 months while generally outnumbered by zombies. Ultimately, The Blackmore Building fell very quickly on October 13 to a very organized Shacknews horde.
- The Third Siege of Caiger Mall became notable because of the result of the battle: a zombie victory. The third siege of Caiger lasted from October 23 to November 10. Through the use of advantageous game changes and superb coordination, the zombie hordes, led largely by Shacknews, achieved what had never been achieved before: the fall of Caiger Mall.
- Mall Tour '07 lasted between January and February, and resulted in the fall of all of Malton's malls to zombie forces, except Caiger Mall (which was still in zombie control when the mall tour began.) Mall Tour '07 is notable for being the first Mall Tour to take advantage of the X:00 zombie tactic. With the recent fall of the formerly impregnable Caiger, many survivors took to using river tactics. The only notable survivor hold-out of the mall tour was Stickling Mall in Shearbank, which stayed in survivor hands for over a month due to the effort of New Malton Colossus among others.
- The Battle of Santlerville was a notable zombie siege that occurred between April and May in Santlerville. A back and forth battle between the RRF (among other,) and several coordinated survivor groups ended with a survivor victory when the RRF declared their withdrawal after almost two months of fighting.
- In June, a completely new zombie group was formed, calling itself LUE. They very quickly (while many of their members were still level 1) went on a successful series of campaigns. Eventually, they attacked the suburb of Santlerville, in what came to be called The Battle of SantLUEville. The battle lasted about a week in late July and early August, and is notable for being a quick zombie victory (despite the strong resistance the RRF had previously encountered.)
- On June 18, Yahoo published an article on Urban Dead that inspired more than 4000 people to join the game in the space of about 12 hours. The following few days were a boon to zombies, as the streets were filled with many inexperienced low level survivors. June 18 was dubbed Yahoomas day by grateful zombies.
- A game update on August 14 introduced ruins to the game. Buildings which had been ransacked 5 times could now become ruined by a zombie. A ruined building is visible from the street, and (like ransacked buildings) cannot be repaired while there are zombies standing in the square. Unlike ransacked buildings, ruined buildings can only be repaired by survivors with the construction skill and a toolbox.
- The Second Big Bash began October 8 and lasted until April 3, 2008. Over that period, zombies ruined most of the same suburbs hit by the first Big Bash.
- A game update on January 23 introduced interference to the game. Zombie interference (or barricade blocking) is a passive zombie ability that takes effect when there are more than 2 zombies inside a building. Interference hinders survivors ability to construct barricades (by about 50%.)
- In Febuary, a new zombie group began to take shape. They were The Dead and within a week had become the largest zombie horde ever seen. They cut through and ruined the entirety of Malton in what came to be called the March of the Dead.
- The introduction of the Monroeville map on February 25 drew large numbers of players away from Malton (which were disproportionately survivor characters.) When the quarantine of Monroeville was implemented on March 28 many of those players returned to Malton, boosting survivor numbers.
- A game update on May 28 made ruins more challenging for survivors to repair. Previously survivors had to expend 1 AP to repair a ruined building. After the game change, a ruined building cost more AP to repair the longer the building had remained ruined (1 AP per 24 hours.)
- On June 13 the first quarantine of Monroeville was lifted. Monroeville was re-quarantined on August 15. These events altered the population of Malton in the same way the introduction and first quarantine of Monroeville had.
- On October 28 the third city of Borehamwood was introduced. This too drew (mostly survivor) characters away from Malton. Borehamwood was quarantined on November 28, prompting idled Malton characters back into the game.
- After a two year hiatus, Mall Tour 2009 was as successful (from the point of view of zombies) as the last mall tour (Mall Tour '07.) The tour lasted from January 9 through May 4. 17 of Malton's 20 malls were visited by the tour's hordes and ruined. Only Ackland Mall, Blesley Mall, and Treweeke Mall were not ruined by the mall tour (because they were previously ruined and remained so for most of the duration of the mall tour.)
- In honor of Urban Dead's fourth birthday, on July 3 it was announced that the Emergency Broadcast System would be findable somewhere in Malton. That same day, it was located in The Coram Building in Lukinswood. It is the only building from which survivors can broadcast on the otherwise restricted military frequency of 25.92MHz (provided The Coram Building has a powered generator and working radio transceiver.) The building has since become a higher profile target for zombies and survivors alike. It has been the scene of numerous small sieges, changing hands frequently.
- The Escape Event was a siege that occurred on the western border of Malton (specifically Ellicott Place Railway Station in Owsleybank) towards the end of May. Escape was a group claiming to have become bored with Malton and Urban Dead in general. Although intended to be a survivor / zombie group (in the manner of Stanstock,) it received almost no support from zombies, and rather became a target for large numbers of zombies. Although unsuccessful in both retaining control of Ellicott Place Railway Station and gaining notice from Kevan, it is notable for being the largest strike type event since Stanstock.
- Blackmore 4(04) was a siege of the Blackmore Building and the surrounding area in Ridleybank that lasted from August 19 to August 31. The survivor group 404: Barhah not found held off the RRF and The Feral Undead during that time, but ultimately fell to zombie forces.
- Big Bash 3 was a major factor, along with the rise of the Militant Order of Barhah and Ridleybank Resistance Front, in the swing of the game's ratio much more towards the zombie side than it had been in quite some time.
- Although The Dead had been an active zombie group since 2008, starting around April 2011 The Dead saw reinvigorated numbers again in Malton, this time branded as The Dead 2.0. With the lower overall population totals, The Dead 2.0 went on a second march, devastating the city as had never been seen before. At the height of it's success the city's population was comprised of over 85% zombies (an all-time high for that percentage.)
- Due to The Dead's success in early 2011, search rates changed to favor survivors. As a result, survivor numbers bounced back to more sustainable levels.
- Mall Tour '11 occurred from October to December. Although survivor numbers at this time were fairly high and stable, the mall tour encountered little notable resistance.
- On October 23, after news that long-time player Winka passed away, friends and fellow players held a memorial for her at Quartly Library. Winka was 78 years old.
- Samhain Slaughter 6(66) takes place at Marven Mall. Committed by survivors of the PK Alliance, at least 71 casualties were recorded.
- A short siege takes place at The Blackmore Building in Ridleybank on November 5.
- In response to the events of the November 5, Blackmore siege, the PK Alliance and their member groups host Sith of November: Order 66.
- The recent trend of survivors outnumbering zombies became worse in 2013, with most of the city remaining green or yellow unless a major horde was actively going through the suburb. Fiddler's Green Syndrome became a major issue in a number of suburbs, and active player numbers dropped even further as survivors had less and less to do while zombies had a harder time accomplishing anything that could last for more than a few days. Two different events seem to be shaking that trend up, however.
- After a long hiatus, The Nurglings returned in April, appearing suddenly in the Vinetown area. Helped by an influx of nearly two dozen new recruits, their arrival in Vinetown had quite an impact, transforming it into a heated battleground and bringing The Nurglings into the ranks of the largest active zombie groups in the game.
- In June, Big Bash 4 got underway, with over 140 zombies joining the party as it toured for the summer. It was joined by The Nurglings and a number of other groups and individuals. An alliance of several major survivor groups, calling itself the Malton Resistance, staged a defense of the Pitneybank area. Though it was overrun in short order, it remains notable for being the only significant defense offered against the horde, which was the largest group in the game at the time that it was active.
- The new year started with a temporal truce in New Arkham area where all the resident zombies and survivors gathered for a joint party in Harford Building. The truce was, however, short and soon it was back to the old game of claws and headshots. Meanwhile the Vinetown area became an active battleground as The Nurglings returned home from their walkabout around southern Malton suburbs. Down in south-east corner of Malton, zombie group LUE has become a long game with the aim of keeping large parts of Malton permanently ruined. The suburbs of Miltown, Whittenside, Fryerbank and Pennville were held completely under LUE control.
- Over the course of the year the zombie attacks on the eastern parts of the town increased rapidly. While the southeast Malton had been abandoned and/or ruined even before this new increase in attacks over the year the undead conquered major parts of northeast and east Malton, now threatening areas that had been very stable and in survivor hands for years before this. By the end of the year 2014 many of the old neighbourhoods of northeast and east Malton were permanently ruined as survivors left them to concentrate their numbers in other areas.
- Meanwhile in the other end of the town, in soutwest corner of New Arkham the Sons of Chester activated again after being in hiatus for most of 2013 and what used to be a ruined and mostly abandoned township suddenly came alive as the Sons fought the zombies that had taken residence in New Arkham region in the Sons absence.
- The increase in zombie attacks in the eastern parts of Malton have tapered down, it seems survivors are once again making an effort to take back several neighborhoods lost in 2014.
- During the period of May and June, several areas that were either highly contested or held by survivors were abandoned. This can be attributed to survivors becoming inactive or leaving the suburbs altogether. For example, in the suburbs of Vinetown and Arkham, many buildings are ruined and contain zombie hordes.