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Newbies have a tough time in Malton. Everyone knows that, and having just left the "newbie" phase to enter the "seasoned player" phase, I thought I might leave my thoughts on basic survival strategy in Malton, advice on what to do if you are dying, and most importantly, how to achieve a reasonably high level. Urban Dead is not a difficult game if you have a basic education in how to survive.

This guide will be structured first as a walkthrough of levels 1-4, then as some more general information on what you should carry, where the action is (in-game, that is) and how to not get on every zombies, Pkers and groups hit list (ie: a guide to surviving player politics.) A guide to safehouses will be in here somewhere as well.

Finally, in the words of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic! Also remember that death is never permanent. Someone can shoot you, chop you up with an axe, and even digest you, and you will still be fine (once you get a revive.) So without further ado, lets get started.


Your First Day

Your Starting Location

Before you do anything else, check where you have started out. This depends on your choice of class (for example, Doctors start in a hospital.) If the barricades are at very strongly barricaded (referred to as VSB from here on) and the building is populated, its worth remembering. Sleeping in a tactical resource point is stupid for anyone with Free Running-they are a target of zombie break-ins and people only do it if they want to defend the buildings (ie: dam tactics.) At your level though, you don't have much choice. All safehouses are barricaded extremely heavily (EHB,) so you won't be able to enter without Free Running.

If the building is barricaded EHB, you might want to spend your first day searching for items you will need later on (obviously starting class dependent) and sleep in the safe(er) building. If you want XP however, venturing outside is something you will have to do.

Getting your first XP's

Once you have checked your starting building's barricade levels, you'll want to start getting some XP. XP is the way you get skills, and getting skills is how you advance in the game. For most characters, getting XP needs using disposable items (FAKs, ammo,) so you will spend a large amount of time searching (boring, I know.) If you started as a firefighter however, you have a fire axe. A fire axe doesn't need ammo, so you can happily kill zombies without searching every few days. Below are the best ways to get XP (when starting) for all classes.

Military:

Private: Find ammo in police departments. Chances are you will find a few extra pistols as well. Keep them and go out and kill zombies. Unless the suburb you are in is under attack, killing zombies out in the street isn't a problem-it's the only way to get XP. If the suburb is under attack, try getting the local zeds out of survivor buildings.
Medic: A bad starting class, so don't choose it. If you did however, the only real way to get XP is by getting first aid kits from hospitals and then randomly healing survivors. If you are lucky, then you will find someone injured (start healing from the bottom of the stack, as those people are more likely to be injured.)
Scout: Not a brilliant starting class. Best way to gain XP is by healing, so follow the tactics listed above for medics.

Scientist:

NecroTech Lab Assistant: Use your DNA Extractor to extract DNA from ferals. You will get 4XP per DNA extracted, and you won't need to use any disposable items. You will also help out more experienced survivors with NecroNet Access so they can track zombie movements. Try to go to a moderate (yellow) suburb-there will be lots of zombies (and a bit of danger too.)
Doctor: You can detect if survivors have an injury (their HP is listed next to their name.) This means that healing is very easy-ether stay at a hospital and heal those who come, or visit the local VSB buildings (this becomes easier with Free Running.) XP gain is slow in green and moderate in yellow suburbs, but there are lots of injured in orange suburbs and at besieged malls-however their is a lot of danger (and you probably won't be able to enter them anyway.) However, be sure to search for FAK's at local hospitals.

Civilian:

Policeman: Pretty much the same as the Private, search for ammo, and kill local zeds.
Firefighter: Use your fire axe to kill the local zeds. The strategy here is the same as that of the Private, but you won't need to search for ammo.
Consumer: A bad starting class. Use the same tactic as the Medic, heal random people and find some FAK's.

Ending your first day

Simply, make sure you are in a VSB building-they may be hard to find, but thats because the survivor community overbarricades them (shame...) Remember, once you log out, you continue to exist in the game world, so don't end your day on the street. Also try to end your turn in a populated building, as they provide a "safety in numbers" against the zombies. Sure, it's cold, but so is a zombie apocalypse.

Your First Few Levels (1-4)

What skills to get?

In one word, the first skill you should get (with a few exceptions dependent on class) is Free Running. Free Running allows you to get into those elusive EHB safehouses, by running into them from an adjacent (usually VSB) building. However, if you started as a Medic, Scout or Civilian, you may be better off getting diagnosis, as that will make healing a LOT easier.

After Free Running, it's pretty dependent on starting class. Here are some suggestions for each class:

Military:

Private:
Pistol Training: Pistols are a lot more common then shotguns, so go the pistols route first.
Advanced Pistol Training: A logical follow-on from the above. A 65% hit rate makes ammo wastage a lot less.
Medic:
Diagnosis: Makes AP-wastage from healing non-injured survivors nil. However, the 150AP asking price is a lot.
Pistol Training then Advanced Pistol Training - Very cheap and allows a faster XP route through firearms. Some may want to get this instead of diagnosis.
Scout: Same as medic. Note that you won't have to bother about getting Free Running (a big plus.)

Scientist:

NecroTech Lab Assistant:
Lab Experience: Allows you to revive survivors. Not a brilliant source of XP, but it will get you in the locals good books.
Diagnosis: Opens up a second XP-gaining option by allowing you to heal as well.
Doctor:
NecroTech Employment: Opens up another potential XP-gaining route by reviving and scanning
Lab Experience: As above

Civilian:

Policeman: Same as Private.
Firefighter:
Hand-to-Hand Combat: Makes killing zeds a lot easier, and makes it statistically possible to kill one zed a day.
Diagnosis: Opens up another XP-gaining path in healing. Useful in a big siege and when there are few zeds around.
Consumer:
Diagnosis: Makes AP-wastage from healing uninjured people nil.
Bargain Hunting: Ups the find rate to 50% in malls.

Surviving as a newbie

Alright, this will be the final section before the general guide. I might add a bit more later if I see fit. As a newbie, the things that applied to finding a safehouse still apply, except now (with Free Running, hopefully) you can use the EHB safehouses, that where previously inaccessible. Generally, you should always spend the night in a non-TRP (tactical resource point) building (such as towers, clubs, etc.) Zombies know that survivors like to inhabit these buildings, but prefer to attack TRP's as lower-level players and silly survivors live there. Even in a green (safe) suburb, TRP's are targets of Pkers.

Another general tip is to make sure you always have a first aid kit on hand. This is so if you get infected, the infection can be cured quickly, instead of having to wait for a doctor or find one (consuming precious HP.)

Finally, don't be a jerk. This point is expanded on later, but it's important and needs reinforcing. Survivors won't like you if you destroy there generators and radios, and will probably put you on a DNR (Do not Revive) or a KOS (Kill on Sight) list. Finally, don't spam chat messages and radio messages. Survivors won't kill you, but you will get a bad reputation (and perhaps earn the attention of a passing Pker.)

Survival of the Fittest-General Survival Tactics and Strategies

This section will make up a fair portion of the guide. Here, is where basic survival tactics, many of which are common knowledge are kept. There is also some "unorthodox" survival strategies and a section on surviving player interaction and not getting on the DNR/KOS lists for local survivor groups. So, without further ado:

Choosing a Safehouse

The title implies that you must choose a safehouse and stick with it. This is far, far from the truth. In my case, I'll rarely stay in the same safehouse two nights in a row. However, at the same time, don't be afraid to. Generally, if you survived one night in a safehouse, you'll be fine for another. However, spending long periods of time in a safehouse isn't a good idea-soon a local minihorde will catch onto you, or randomly stumble upon you.

Basic Criteria

All safehouses should (preferably) meet all the following conditions. If you are in a safe suburb (or even a moderate one) any barricaded building will do, as the lack of zombies means a break-in is unlikely. However, always be alert of Pkers.

All safehouses should:

  • Be Barricaded: Obviously. Unless you are Hiding In Plain Sight, your building should have barricades. Don't be afraid to do some barricading yourself, if you want to.
  • Not be a TRP: Zombies love TRPs, as they know that silly survivors hide in them. Pkers love them even more, as there are lots of survivors for a "high profile" kill.
Note that NecroTech buildings and malls are frequent targets (Malls frequently find themselves under siege.)
  • Be populated: The maths is easy. If you are the only person in a building, then there is a 1:1 chance that an attacking zombie will attack you. If there are two characters in a building, then there is a 1:2 chance. And so on. Sure, it's cold, but so is living.
Ironically, TRP's are highly populated. However, staying in them is still dumb as zombies know that survivors are there and will break-in.
Note that a highly populated building, when broken into, will attract ferals via feeding groans. In a safe suburb, this isn't really a threat. In a dangerous suburb, this could mean the difference between life and death. However, IMO, the "meatsheild" effect mitigates the "feeding groan effect."
  • Not be a church or junkyard: If you have to hide in one, that is usually fine. However, they don't have doors so a low-level zombie without Memories of Life can break-in easily.
  • Be a dark building: Makes an attacking zombie fight just a little harder to kill you.
  • Not be lit: Lights draw in zombies like flies to honey. Sleeping in a lit building is suicide in a dangerous suburb.

In a dangerous (orange), very dangerious (red) suburb, or a ghost town, you are probably better off ditching this list and adopting alternate tactics. Examples include WanYao's excellent Hiding In Plain Sight guide, Grim's guide on Guerrilla Warfare and Rat Tactics.

Individual Building Types ranking

Here is where I rank each building based on the criteria above, my own experience and "other factors" (stated in the description.)

"Descript" Buildings (TRPs, etc.)

Malls

Pros: Malls are easily the best TRP in game, where nearly all items can be found (be sure to see Mall Search Odds for more details.) Although raiding a mall and retreating to a nearby safehouse is ideal, if you need that extra item before tomorrow... Malls are full of varying character types-ranging from friendly doctors who will heal you without you asking, to dangerous Pkers and Gkers. Most malls have been the site of at least one historical event (such as Caigar)-so if you like your Maltonian history and want to say "I spent a night in Caigar"-then why not? There are also large numbers of survivors there, effective as a meatsheild and they will frequently check the barricades.

Cons: A major target for zombies. Ferals will often attack the barricades and they occasionally break in, infecting all that are inside. Major hordes frequently lay siege to them, and a lot of luck is needed to survive a mall siege. Passing Pkers also like the "high-profile" kill allowed by a mall, and the generators are frequently attacked by Gkers. Also, malls are a favorite hangout of trenchcoaters and talk spam. Malls are always kept EHB, so it's not a place for non Free Runners.

Conclusion: A good TRP, and worth looting (assuming you have Shopping and Bargain Hunting.) However, staying a night in one should be avoided, as Pkers like malls and zombies break in occasionally. Just retreat to a nearby safehouse (unless you are acting as a meatsheild-doing survivors a favor.)

Safehouse Rating: 2/5 (Good in a safe suburb, but don't stay in one in a dangerous suburb.)

NecroTech Buildings

Pros: None, really. Although there might be a helpful doctor that might heal you, it's not too much of an effort to free run to a nearby square. Barricades are generally looked after as it is a very important TRP.

Cons: Many. Scientists inside usually can't fight until their higher levels, and can't defend. Zombies know this and exploit it, as well as the fact that NecroTechs keep survivors alive through revives. They are a very important TRP for that reason.

Conclusion: Unless you are acting as a meatshield (good on you,) free run to a nearby square and save yourself some trouble. NecroTechs are where zombies spend most of their time trying to get into. Note that they are especially dangerous when a nearby mall is under siege, as zombies take out NT's so survivors can't revive their fallen comrades.

Safehouse Rating: 0.5/5 (Only if you really have to.)

Police Department

Pros: Survivors inside are generally fighters, and will defend the building if attacked. There are no healers however. Again, the barricades are watched as it's a TRP. A decent source of ammo outside of malls.

Cons: Trenchcoaters like Police Departments, and so do zombies (as it's a TRP, and a ammo source.)

Conclusion: A decent safehouse. You can be sure it will be defended, but again, its a TRP and a zombie magnet.

Safehouse Rating: 2/5 (At least it's defended.)

Hospital

Pros: Friendly survivors inside who will heal you, and a decent source of first aid kits. Barricades usually kept stable as it's a TRP.

Cons: Wounded survivors inside attract zombies and Pkers, as well as it's TRP status.'

Conclusion: Good if you are injured and have no FAKs as doctors will heal you.

Safehouse Rating: 2.5/5 (Free heals, anyone?)

Auto Repairs and Factories (grouped due to similar use)

Pros: A source of fuel cans and generators. Survivors check barricades, and not as "descript" as other buildings in this category.

Cons: Still a TRP, and zombies will check inside if they have nowhere else to go. Almost always lit.

Conclusion: A good safehouse if you have nowhere else to go. As always, an undescript building is better.

Safehouse Rating: 3.5/5 (Pretty undescript, but still a TRP.)

Forts

Pros: None, really. Always pretty defended, and FAKs and ammo can be found inside.

Cons: Trenchcoater haven, and also a Pker haven. Since the cades can only be kept at VSB (to allow survivor entrance,) zombies check inside. They are frequently overbarricaed, so you may be lucky to get inside.

Conclusion: Again, only in extreme circumstances.

Safehouse Rating: 1/5 (Only a backup)

Other Large Buildings

Pros: None of them are TRPs and have minor novelty value.

Cons: Zombies like the novelty value too. Since they are not TRPs, cades are not checked as frequently, and less survivors acting as a meatsheild.

Conclusion: Good novelty value, but a decent safehouse.

Safehouse Rating: 2/5 (Novelty value, but zombies like them.)

Undescript Buildings

Dark Buildings (Clubs, Cinemas, and Banks are all Dark)-Note that Fort Armories are too, but they are included above

Pros: A contender for the best safehouse, as zombies have a much harder time killing you (hit rates are reduced by 50%.) Good in safe suburbs for that reason.

Cons: You can't see dead bodies inside, which means that you pretty much have no idea if zombies are about to rise up and eat you. Barricading is also tougher. Also, zombies know that survivors like to hide here and frequently come knocking-the reduced hit rate might let you survive an extra hour, but a few Feeding Groans later, you'll be dead anyway. Also tough to barricade.

Conclusion: Worth hiding in if you are in a safe suburb, but in dangerous suburbs, you are better off hiding somewhere else (as you can't see dead bodies and zombies know that survivors hide here.)

Safehouse Rating: 4/5 (In safe suburbs, good, anywhere else, bad)

Churches and Junkyards (Included as they both don't have doors)

Pros: Pretty undescript and not a TRP. Most zombies have Memories of Life anyway so the lack of doors isn't really a problem. Junkyards have a decent variety of items, Churches have some healing items (not classified as a TRP.)

Cons: Don't have doors, so ferals might come knocking. As stated above, this really doesn't matter as most zombies have Memories of Life anyway.

Conclusion: If there is a building with doors nearby, use it, but otherwise, they are fine. The chance of a lone feral destroying an EHB barricade is nil (in groups, however...) and even a VSB barricade is still low.

Safehouse Rating: 4/5 (Needs doors)

Buildings, Hotels, Libraries, Museums, Arms, Railway Stations, Schools, Warehouses and Towers.

Pros: Very "undescript." There is nothing special about them-they aren't dark, don't yield items, and have doors. The best place to stay. Usually not lit, and the barricades are usually EHB. Zombies know that there are survivors in there, but prefer the "bigger" targets. Only really secondary targets during a siege.

Cons: Survivor population is always low, may need to do some barricading yourself.

Conclusion: The best safehouses in the game.

Safehouse Rating. 5/5 (Best safe house in game.)

Fire Departments

Pros: Can find some items there (fire axes,) barricades are usually up.

Cons: Counted by some as a TRP. Zombies frequently check inside. Usually lit.

Conclusion: Not a TRP, but some people count it as one. Again, only if you have to.

Safehouse Rating: 3/5 (Only if you have to.)

Final Notes

Remember the zombie skill Scent Trail. This skill allows zombies to track down a survivor that has interacted with them between turns. This means that if you have attacked a zombie, DNA-scanned them, or any other action, they can track you down. There are two ways to counter this-killing the zombie, or moving five or more squares away (they lose your scent.) Generally, if you are in an EHB building, then you will be fine-just hope that the zombie's buddies don't come after you and get some revenge on you. So, keep that in mind before settling down for the night.

If you have time, it might be worth checking the Rogues Gallery or any local KOS/DNR lists, to see if there are any known Pkers inside the building. If you stay the night in a Pkers overnight hideout, then they will see it as Christmas come early and procede to kill you (even more likely if you are on low health.) Pkers, likewise, may want to check for a known bounty hunter.

Finally, if you are in a safe suburb, you might want to see if there are any group-run safehouses in the suburb (an example is the Malton College of Medicine's safehouse/HQ St.George's Hospital in Greentown.) Although the safety level might drop a bit (it's a safe suburb, after all) the conversion is usually a lot better then that of a normal safehouse, and you might pick up some useful information.

Don't Be a Jerk! and other rules for surviving player interaction

This section has been influenced by other guides, especially Grim's excellent guide on surviving player interaction. Although I don't support his selfish philosophy, his guide does have some valid points.

When starting, you probably got the feeling that survivors are your friend. After all, they are targets of the zombie menace too, right? Well, yes, but there are plenty of survivors who will willingly kill you if they think the will get away with it (and even some who will if they know they won't,) and even more who will refuse to help in times of siege, or not heal you (instead, shooting zombies outside, a brilliant way to help the survivor cause.) Having a reputation as a trenchcoater, Pker, Gker or whatever won't help you, and make getting that revive a lot harder.

How NOT to be a jerk

This is pretty simple, and all common sense, but it's remarkable how many people will forget it in their travels. The golden rule here is Don't piss off other survivors, so if you follow that at all times, you will be fine.

  • Don't spam radio and chat messages: Pretty simple. Spamming chat messages is stupid-the survivors will know exactly who you are, and ether tell you off as a noob, or add you to their personal DNR/KOS list, or maybe kill you, if they feel like it. Radio messages are anonymous, but people in your building will still find out who is transmitting them, and probably do the same to a chat spammer. Besides, radio spam can get over the top and is annoying (thanks to Silisquish for the itrecord.)
  • Don't destroy generators, barricades or radio transmitters: Unless you are a zombie or have decided to be a death cultist, then destroying vital survivor equipment is the quickest way to get put on a DNR/KOS list-the last thing you want to be on (effectively making the whole suburb a "hot zone.").
  • Don't kill other survivors: Again, unless you want to be a Pker, killing other survivors is like painting a big "Kill Me!" logo on you. Bounty Hunters will come and kill you to "avenge" the poor survivor that you killed. Getting put on a KOS list for a local group isn't that bad in perspective-just move suburbs, but getting put on a large metagaming list like the Rouge's Gallery is bad news-in some cases bounty hunters will travel across the city to kill you.
  • Co-operate in greater survivor efforts: Being selfish is the number one way to die. Unless you are at a low level (<10-then getting XP is more important) then it's worthwhile donating a days worth of AP every now and then to help repair a building, barricade a few safehouses, or man the revive points. Sure, people won't hunt you down for being selfish, but if everyone was selfish in your local area, then they would all have a headache with a hunger for live brains. In short, selfless people are the only reason why you are here, so it's worthwhile helping out.
  • Don't be a trenchcoater: "Trenchcoater" is a broad term, but it's generally thought to mean someone who acts like they are a l33t p00ner with their AK47s and Uzis. The Trenchcoater Wiki page has more details. The term is overused, but trenchcoaters are generally seen as a burden to the survivors. In short, don't be one. Some groups see the word trenchcoater as elitist and work to dismantle it's use, but a "trenchie" is generally broadly defined as someone who acts annoyingly towards other players.

Getting along with local groups

Again, this is pretty simple, and nearly all common sense. In most suburbs, groups just lurk in the background, helping out by manning the barricades, maintaining a safehouse or doing some revives. Some groups form alliances (this is less common) such as the Dulston Alliance, who can become a pretty big presence in their suburb. Becoming an enemy of a local group is possibly the most suicidal thing to do. Although groups don't loudly announce their presence, they do lurk in the shadows, and killing one of their members or attacking their safehouses will put you on their KOS list, so you can expect a lot more heat from them. Living in a suburb where you are openly hostile with the local groups isn't impossible, but hard, and it may be easier to retreat.

More subtle things, like spraypainting/broadcasting/speaking hate messages against them won't get you put on a KOS list, but they may be less enthusiastic to revive or heal you. Since groups do quite a bit of reviving, then getting put on a group's DNR list can be annoying, at best.

As for hostile groups, they are going to kill you anyway, but it's still worthwhile being kind and friendly to them through metagaming channels. You are better off being a friendly foe of a horde or Pker group, then being a hostile target.

Altruism when dealing with other survivors

For some reason, many guides promote a "selfish survivor" or "survivor vulture" strategy-don't help out other survivors, and only think about you, or at very most, your group. I'm going to say this now. That strategy is stupid. If it wasn't for survivors barricading, reviving, repairing and shooting, then the city would have fallen to the zombie hordes a long time ago. Many people see selflessness as a waste of time and AP, but in short, AP that you spend on selfless activities won't only save your AP in the long run (that survivor you heal today could be the one headshotting the zombie chewing on your arm in a few months,) it may also put you on someone's contacts-for a good reason (I, for example, always put someone who revives me on my contacts so I can return the favor.)

Final Notes

Another seemingly obvious step when creating a character is their name and description. Names like 1337 zombie headshotter or zombie p00ner will just make you a target for zombies, and make you look like an idiot to fellow survivors (Some more noteworthy examples are A Bradley M2A3 and Grue in a Trenchcoat.) Zombies will be attracted to you... just to say "Fuck you!" and then proceede to eat your brains.

Similar rules also apply to descriptions. Take this one from another trenchcoater:

Christopher Hunt said:
This total badass (better than you and your kids) wears five trench coats, all with popped collars, has 78 shotguns strapped to his absurdly large testicals and has 16 katanas sticking out of his ass. He's also got a ninja star sticking out from his face

Profile link

Again, don't draw attention to yourself in your description, just like with your name.

Also, be careful when joining a group. Check their friends, foes and who they have pissed off in the past. It could save you some trouble.

I'm Dead! So now what? How to get a revive

As stated above, death is not permanent. For example, my zombie has died nearly 50 times in around three months. Some people's zombies have died hundreds of times. For a zombie, however, death is merely annoying, costing between 1 and 15 AP to stand up and continue eating the local survivors. For a survivor, however, you need to get revived by a fellow (usually scientist class) survivor. A pain in the ass, and something that you won't want to do often. Death isn't all bad though. If you follow the Dual Nature Policy then death gives you a chance to follow a zombie alt-life, and it's the only chance that you can get zombie skills (more on this later.)

Getting a Revive

Firstly, to attract potential NT staff, write clearly in your description something along the lines of Wants to live again. This means that NT staff know you are a carrier survivor and want to live again. Secondly, go to your suburb's wiki page, and look for any groups advetising revive points. Check the pages for these and see if any groups are advertising (usually via fourms) a revive request tool. Using this tool will usually speed up your revives. Also lodge a request with the most-used revive request tool. Finally, be sure to Pay It Forward (if you have NT skills) and report any violations of the Sacred Ground Policy (being killed at revive points.)

If there is a survivor nearby, saying "Mrh?" is frequently taken to mean "Revive me!." Be sure not to attack other zombies at the revive point or survivors, however.

Restocking

Chances are, you'll need items. Every survivor does, ranging from pistol clips, to first aid kits, and fuel cans. It's a reality of being a survivor, and nothing can fix it. Therefor, you will spend unholy amounts of AP searching for items. Most of the items you find will end up being crap (another reality.)

When restocking, there are some guidelines:

  • Spend the full 50-AP cycle searching: Means that less AP is used traveling from your safehouse to the restocking point, and means that your restocking can be done in one shot.
  • Get Shopping and Bargain Hunting: Makes Malls the best TRP in the game. If there is a mall nearby, and the item you want is required there, use it.
  • Use Malls: Explained above. Malls are the best TRP in game, use them if you can.
  • Watch the Barricade level: If it falls, then a zombie may be about to break-in.
  • Have a planned escape route: In case the worst happens and the zombies come. Planning will save you.

Finally, don't be afraid to loot generator-less buildings. Obviously, if there is a generator around, that is preferable, but getting that FAK in 8ap is better then not having that FAK when you are infected. Looting ruined buildings, however, should only be a last resort.

What items are actually worth getting is found in the next section.

Metagame... or die

Metagaming will mean the difference between life and unlife. There is a large amount of websites on the internet offering different tools. The Wiki is obviously the most used, but there are brilliant maps, and the above mentioned revive request and rouge's gallery tools. Simply using the wiki can save you a lot of trouble. Before storming into an area, check the area's Suburb danger status, the status of all it's TRP's (especially NT's and malls-remember that those smart NTers will save you if you die, so it's important that there is a running NT.) It's also worthwhile (but never as easy) to check the status of local groups. See if they have posted any safehouses or raid times on the wiki. Don't immediately assume that the fact a suburb is red means that there are no groups active. Some groups like waging a guerrilla war in a red suburb (although this is usually the semi-coordinated actions of individual survivors.) Also check if there are any active hordes in nearby suburbs-for example suburbs surrounding Ridleybank will probably never be completly safe due to the efforts of the RRF. Some hordes like the MOB are mobile, so especially keep an eye out for them.

Useful Metagaming tools

  • The Wiki Use it. Period.
  • Red Rum's UD map Much better then the wiki map. My personal favorite, but there are other (similar) ones
  • Rogue's Gallery Report Pks here. Bounty Hunters will usually perform a kill on the Pker. (There is also Red Rum's Rogue's Gallery of Bounty Hunters if you are so inclined.)
  • The Revive Request Tool may make getting a revive slightly faster. Lets NT know where you are
  • The Combat Calculator is useful for the more combat-oriented players.
  • This novel map takes data from zombies using Scent Death and correlates it into a map. Although a lot of the data is old, it can still be a useful tool for determining general areas of zombie activity.
  • The Malton Metatac is another map that lets you highlight building types.
  • The Profile Database is just that... a profile database. Use it to find other people in game.
  • Swiers excellent Urbandead.info has Iwitness (very useful for evidence reports or saving UD moments,) and udWidget, which is a great Firefox extension (Kevan should take note.) Note that UD Widget doesn't work with Firefox 3, so you will have to download the FireFox 3 fix.

Groups

I'm going to state this right off the bat: I'm no expert on groups, so most of this information would have been collected second-hand (as an onlooker) or from the wiki. Anyway, groups can be both a blessing an a curse. On the plus side, groups can be a great help in the local area. They can send out people on medic runs, refueling runs, and maintain the revive points. However, a lot of the time, groups can just be a pain in the ass. They get into arguments over minor issues, and these occasionally escalate into war. A question that comes up for higher-leveled survivors is "Should I join a group?" I can't really give an honest answer here (as it's all situation-dependent,) but I can tell you to check the group's history, if they have irked other groups in the past, if they are at war (some groups even have counter-groups, although this is rare,) and just check that all the people are good. There is nothing worse then joining a group that are all jerks.

Groups generally fall under four categories, based on size and influence levels. Naturally, all of them have their pros and cons.

Micro Groups (2-10 players)

These are the tiny, "flavor" groups that make up a large, although uncoordinated and oft-forgotten amount of the player base. Generally, most of these will only last a matter of months before inactivity, time, or simply bad luck leads to their demise. However, closer levels of co-ordination and friendship are allowed by the numbers (especially if in the same time zone,) and all groups have to start from somewhere, so if your group hits the "big time," then you may be in for leadership positions.

The obvious should be stated, most groups in this category won't get beyond five members, and will soon fall apart. These groups generally won't be able to exert their influence over a block or two.

Small Groups (10-20 players)

These groups are on the stat page, which is naturally quite useful for figuring out actual numbers. Since they have a grounding, they have gotten past the hardest part in making a group (getting initial members,) and can now recruit more widely. However, they probably haven't yet made a splash in the Urban Dead community. Towards the larger end of the scale (around twenty members,) different levels of commanders, or squads may be needed. They won't be exerting their influence over more then a small area of a suburb, between five and ten blocks.

Regular Groups (20-50 players)

Most Urban Dead groups that you have heard of fall into this category. Although they don't have the numbers of large survivor groups, they can be quite an influence over suburbs, especially towards the larger end of the scale. Regular groups normally make up member groups in alliances, and several of these banded together can be a major influence on a suburb, (such as the DA in Dulston.) By this stage, most of these groups have a two-or three tiered system of leadership, and that can be becoming increasingly complex with there leadership. However, by this stage, it can be possible to not know members in the group, and the friendships allowed by smaller groups are less common (simply because there are more people to befriend.)

Large Groups (50-70 players)

Not much different to the above, except that by this stage, they can be exerting their influence over a suburb, or several suburbs, and a real powerhouse in their home suburb. They usually have a complicated system of command, and some have a specialized training "camp" for newer players.

Huge Groups (70+)

Very uncommon. These have a very complex system of command, and are ether mobile, or exert their influence over a relatively large area. Most have specialized training camps for newer players, and have a long history.

So, which one should I join?

It all depends on what exactly you want from a group in the first place, and how active you are prepared to be. Most groups make allowances for varying activity among players, but be careful for signing up for "strike teams" that require you to be online at a specific time. Larger groups usually provide services for members, and will allow you to get revives faster, and are less likely to collapse. However, smaller groups usually have a greater feeling of comradeship, and usually haven't made any enemies (or friends.)

Traveling

To top of this section, a bit on traveling. Most people don't spend much time traveling-for varying reasons. Usually, it's because they are tied down due to a prior group commitment, or because they just like the local area. Many just can't be bothered. However, when you do have to travel-be it short, medium or long distances, it is important to keep a few pointers in mind. Over long distances (5+ suburbs) some equipment may be required.

Short-distance travel (1-2 suburbs)

Not much to say here, except that you should be very aware of the local scenarios when doing this, and also know where you are going. Although this may sound obvious, getting to your location and finding no safehouse or place to stay after your trip is annoying and frequently deadly. This goes for all sections-but be sure to have more then the amount of AP you need to get there. This is if the building is overbarricaded, or if you have to make a quick escape. Finally, on short distances, it is advisable to use free running routes-saving you AP and a bit safer. This useful map has the option to toggle Free Running lanes (useful over short distances.)

Medium-distance travel (3-5 suburbs)

Pretty much the same here as the shorter distance travel. Using Free Running lanes may be inadvisable or annoying-if there is a clear (safe) Free Running route to your target, then you might as well take it, but there isn't much point in making a large detour so you can free run. If you have the AP to spare, barricading and healing along your route is a good way to make friends. Again, be aware of the local situation (using the Suburb danger map is a good idea.) Don't spend a night in a dangerous suburb if you don't have to!

Long-distance travel (5+ suburbs)

Traveling for more then a day brings up a few complications. The obvious ones are finding a safehouse along your route, being alert of the situation in the suburbs you plan to travel through and being well stocked. Finally, some "alternate" travel arrangements can be of use here.

Some general pointers for long-distance travel are to always carry a FAK (or three) and any other supplies you know you will need (a complete list is below.) Also remember that you should take precautions to not travel through very dangerous suburbs, and to have a planned route. Free running to your destination is unlikely. Especially if you are passing through the center of the city, a ruined building is inevitable. Also, the extra AP cost will cancel out in the safety bonus.

What to take

You should always carry the following on a long-distance trip:

  • A First Aid Kit (preferably more then one.) You will take some sort of damage or become infected. It's pretty much inevidable. So, carry a FAK and be ready.
  • A Fire Axe, which doesn't need ammo, so you save on weight.
  • A Toolbox. A "just in case" item, in case the only option is to make your own safehouse...

These items are optional, but highly useful:

  • A Pistol or Shotgun. Requires ammo, which takes up a bit of weight. However, they are much better for clearing-out a safehouse.
  • A GPS Unit. Sure, a map will tell you. But a GPS unit does it quicker.
  • A Flare Gun. Again, more a luxury in case you have to signal.
  • Revivification Syringes. Useful to contribute to the effort in "knife edge" suburbs.
  • If you are doing some revives, don't forget to bring a DNA extractor.
  • A Portable Radio. Useful for keeping up to date-especially if you have no prior knowledge of that suburb.
Traveling as a zombie

Survivors with Lurching Gait (Ankle Grab is useful too,) may want to consider dying, doing their traveling as a zombie, and getting a revive at your destination. This strategy shouldn't be used if you are traveling to a dangerous suburb, or one without a decent reviving system. However, if you are traveling to a safe suburb, traveling as a zombie has a few advantages:

  • Can use more AP for travelling-no need to worry about safehouses and can just stand on the street.
  • Especially when traveling though dangerous suburbs (for survivors,) it's unlikely that you will be shot (even in safe suburbs, there is still a chance, especially if you are in a mob.) Zombies won't attack you ether.

The only real disadvantage is the fact that you have to get a revive at the end of your trip.

Items and their uses

This section will be spit into three sub-sections- weapons, useful items, and useless items (some of which have a use, ironically.)

Weapons

So, you wanna fight, eh? Weapons fall neatly into two main categories, ranged and close-combat. Ranged are generally better at more "pro-active" jobs-say clearing out a breached safehouse or defending a mall that is about to be breached. Ranged weapons should be used when ammo isn't a concern, and you are better off getting as much damage done in as short a time as possible. Melee weapons are better for a more defensive role-if you are on a medic run and need to ward off a few incoming zombies, or your safehouse has just been breached and you don't have any ammo spare. Everyone should always carry an axe. No exceptions. It takes up only 6% of your inventory and doesn't need ammo. A great defensive weapon. Knives arn't usually used as an offensive weapon, although some Gkers use them as their generator killing weapon of choice.

Ranged weapons however take much more effort (measured in AP) then melee weapons. You have to find the ammo (roughly 10% find rate in malls for 1 shotgun shell or 1 pistol clip,) reload, and then kill the target. Takes a lot of time, obviously impractical during a live fight or siege. However, "assault"-oriented players prefer firearms as they do a much higher damage per AP in combat, and you can take down your target with AP to spare (more kills/fleeing.) At the same time, this is balanced by the fact that ammo and weapons are extremely heavy (it's not uncommon for survivors to carry around 8 shotguns)-and in a "live combat" situation, FAK's can be just as important as ammo.

So, without further ado, onto the more detailed info:

Ranged Weapons-for stats visit the Firearms wiki page.

Pistol The general, all-purpose weapon in Malton. Ammo is plentiful (compared to the shotgun,) the weapons themselves aren't that rare, and they can carry six shots before reloading (instead of the shotgun's 2.) The pistol is generally used as a sidearm by support players (although many, including myself, use the axe) as it's not as heavy as lugging around 10 shotgun shells. The pistol is a logical middle ground between the axe's low accuracy, low damage, no need for ammo, and the shotgun's high accuracy, high damage and huge need for ammo. At the same time, that puts it at odds-"heavy assault" characters will generally prefer the shotgun, as they don't have an issue with ammo, and support players who use the axe as it doesn't have a need for ammo. Accuracy is quite good with Advanced pistol training, but it is expensive (especially for scientists.) Personally, if I need a decent, general purpose firearm for clearing out a building, I use the pistol, with my axe as a backup.

Shotgun A more specialized weapon, usually used (as stated above) in "heavy assault" roles. Some players are knowen to spend days loading/finding tens of these, and then going on a massive killing sprees. Although such killing sprees are probably uncommon (and utterly useless if the zombies are on the street,) they do make quite a statement over the destructive power of the shotgun. However, the shotgun is too specialized for use by support players, as the ammo (ie: one shot) weighs as much as a pistol clip (ie: six shots.) This means that shotgun users frequently find themselves loaded with tens of shotgun shells (and at 2% encumbrance a pop, that is a lot of weight.) Accuracy is the same as the pistol, and is still expensive XP-wise (especially since it's a different tree to the pistol.) Personally, I don't use the shotgun much. If I find one when looking for pistols, I'll blast it into a local zombie, but the extra weight for little gain doesn't add up.

Flare Gun An "alternate" weapon. Has the potential to do massive amounts of damage (up to 30 points,) but the accuracy sucks and they are only one shot. Flare-gunners can fire the flare for 15 points of damage at a zombie (with low hit rates,) but if the zombie is "fuel-soaked" (recently hit with a fuel can) then they will ignite, doing 30 points of damage. Some players keep a hold on their flare guns, hoping for a fluke when the zombies come, but, except for novelty, you are better off sticking with a "conventional" firearm.

Melee Weapons-For stats see Melee Weapons wiki page.

Axe The only decent melee weapon. As stated above, an axe should be carried by everyone, even if they are carrying other weapons, at all times. The reasoning is simple. If you run out of ammo before the "kill" the axe is good as a simple finish-off weapon. However, the axe has it's fanbase among support players (such as medics) who need a decent weapon for the odd scenario when they need one. Axes are also semi-popular among lone players and those fighting a covert war or "behind zombie lines," where ammo supplies would be rare, at best. The axe's lack of ammo means that one person could become a single-person zombie knockout squad. The axe however doesn't do as high a damage/AP ratio as firearms and therefor isn't a common choice by more combat-oriented players. Personally, the axe is the only weapon I always have on me, for the reasons stated above.

Knife Not as good as the axe, but is useful for rare situations where accuracy is important, but damage is not. The best example is that of someone destroying generators (as the amount of hits count, not damage done.) The knife is also a theoretical good starting weapon for newbies due to it's starting accuracy. Personally, I think that newbies should stay out of combat until they have at least one combat skill. A 20% hit rate is still crap. The knife is never used as a primary weapon for those reasons (although some Pkers use a knife as a "signature weapon" that they always kill people with.)

Other Melee Weapons (Full list at link) Most of these are just random "civilian-type" weapons that would be lying around the house (or stadium.) Includes things like crowbars, fuel cans, toolboxes, and cricket bats. Some have another use (such as fuel cans,) but most are totally useless. However, some are somewhat notable:

  • Crowbar The best weapon that a survivor can use to take down barricades. Although it's hit rate is only 20%, all other weapon's hit rates are halved, except for the crowbar. This means it's the best for killing barricades (although you are probably just better off finding an entry point.)
  • Fuel Can As stated above, can be used to make someone "fuel-soaked," which doubles the damage of a flare gun attack.
  • Newspaper Does no damage, so is used as a way to tell a survivor that you where there, or for jokes.

Most other random melee weapons are just there for novelty value.

Useful Items

Non-weapon items that have a use. Some you should have on-hand all the time (ie: a FAK,) and others are only useful sometimes- (ie: a toolbox.) Some items will have a section on strategy when using the item (ie: revive tactics.)

First Aid Kit Always carry a first aid kit. No exceptions. Just carrying one of these saves you a lot of trouble if you get infected. First aid kits (commonly abbreviated to FAK's) heal 5HP without any skills, and give 5XP, but for healing to be a good XP-gaining enterprise, you need the skill diagnosis which shows the amount of HP every survivor has. If you are taking on healing as a carrier, be sure to get udwidget (link above) which highlights injured players. First aid kits can be found in Hospitals, Mall Drugstores and Churches. It is disputed (after the 14 October update if hospitals or Mall Drugstores are better. In my experience it is hospitals, but I have no statistical evidence to prove it. If you are low on health, there are usually medics on station at a hospital. The skill First Aid boosts the healing rate to 10HP per FAK, and the skill Surgery boosts it to 15HP per FAK if you are in a powered hospital.

  • Tactics

People who are taking on healing "full-time" need the skill diagnosis. Unless you are willing to be frustrated with "blind-healing" tactics, you will need diagnosis. The XP-gain from healing is slower then that of combat, but your friends and neighbors will thank you. Don't bother getting First Aid until your later levels-although you'll be able to heal more people, there is no XP-boost via first aid, so it actually slows your XP gain. People with an array of skills and lots of FAK's might want to consider going on medic runs, which is where they go into surrounding squares and heal anyone. It saves the locals from visiting the hospital (a high-profile target.)

NecroTech Revivification Syringe Can only be used by survivors with Lab Experience, but it is an important item, as it can revive survivors who have died and become a zombie. People with the revive skills may find themselves having an easier time to get a revive, as they can pay it forward. Although reviving does give some XP (10), it is not used as a dedicated method of XP-making as there are simply better ways. It's also worth noting that the find rate for NT syringes (~12.5% in NT buildings) changes depending on the survivor/zombie ratio. Finally, survivors with NecroNet Access can make their own syringes for 20AP (finding them is better AP-wise.)

  • Tactics

When reviving, there are three ways to do it, doing it blindly, combat revive and "educated revive." Generally, blind revives are stupid. The zombie could have brain rot-a waste of 10AP, or it could not want to become a survivor, and will promptly stand up and kill you (assuming they have weapons skills.) Combat reviving is a controversial tactic. AP-wise, combat reviving a zombie is the best way to "take it out"-make it a dead body, taking only 10AP (a shotgun or pistol takes between 20 and 30.) However, many zombies don't join the survivor cause, and will usually commit suicide (by jumping off a tall building, or standing up in the street and waiting for a zombie to eat them.) Others, are death cultists and will then go Gking, Pking and scout out active survivor locations. Most survivors think that the "hidden costs" of combat reviving outweigh the benefits. Combat reviving isn't a good tactic, although some groups support it, and in some situations it may be your only choice. Finally, educated reviving, is using revive request metagame tools to track down a willing recipient, and then revive them. Even if they are not on a revive request tool, then DNA-scanning and checking their profile can be just as good, assuming they have stated "want a revive" in their profile. Assume that anyone at a revive point, that doesn't have brain rot, wants a revive.

Portable Generator A pretty important item, as it boosts search rates in buildings where one has been set up. It does, however attract zombies (as they know that survivors live there,) and should not be set-up in safehouses for that reason. A generator also allows radio transmitters to be used, as well as syringe manufacturing and NecroNet in NecroTech buildings, and allows the cell phone tower to be used in a building with one. Generators need to be refueled every 120 hours. Generators are useful in TRP's, but be sure not to use them in safehouses. Generators can be destroyed by zombies, and repaired by survivors with a toolbox (assuming it hasn't been totally destroyed.) Obviously, generators circumvent the effects of a dark building.

Fuel Can Provides fuel for the generator (above.) Also can be used as a weapon (see weapons section.) Some groups provide dedicated "fueling" services for suburbs, but generally fueling will have to be in the hands of a few altruistic survivors. Fuel cans can be found at Auto Repair shops.

Radio Transmitter A useful item. Radio transmitters allow you to receive radio, and broadcast. This is extremely useful for issuing danger reports, distress messages, or propaganda. Radio frequencies are generally dedicated to a purpose (ie: a group, or building.) Be very careful not to spam radio frequencies-it's annoying and although radio is anonymous, the people in the building can still detect that you are broadcasting, which might earn you a Pk. Transmitters can also be destroyed, and also need a generator to be used. Note that the skill Radio Operation is needed to broadcast on most frequencies. For a list of all frequencies and people who have claimed them, click here.

Radio Receiver Lets you receive radio broadcasts (but won't make them.) You should always carry one around tuned into the local suburb/mall frequency. People can carry multiple and listen into multiple frequencies. Zombies can still receive broadcasts with this, but they can't make them.

Toolbox Anyone who is going on a long-distance raid on the zombie menace needs these. They allow you to repair a building that is ruined, which is common in many suburbs in zombie hands. However, the toolbox can be a burden in safe suburbs, as it weighs a lot. The toolbox can be used as a weapon. Repairing a building costs 1AP per day ruined, so a building that has been ruined for a month would cost ~30AP. This means that some buildings in very dangerous suburbs can cost up to (and over) 100AP to repair. Survivors frequently repair these in a tactic called suicide repair.

Binoculars Binoculars can be used to see a view of nine blocks in any direction. This does not include your current location. Binoculars can only be used from a tall building. They are useful for "scouting ahead" (as they show zombie numbers,) and for seeing survivor activity (as they show if a building is lit or not.)

DNA Extractor These can be used on a zombie to give you a profile link, pre-death class and brain rot status. You also get a link to revive. These tags the zombies on the NecroNet, allowing higher-level scientists to track zombie movement and activity in the local area. Tagging is a decent source of XP, but it requires the skill NecroTech Employment and zombies can only be tagged once per day.

Flak Jacket A very useful item, and you should get one as soon as possible (or when you feel under threat by Pkers.) Flak jackets automatically reduce the damage done by firearms attacks by 20%. This means that pistols only do 4 damage, and shotguns 8. It doesn't affect zombie attacks. It generally acts as a deterrent for Pkers, as it takes quite a bit more effort to drop someone with a flak jacket. A flak jacket can also be used by zombies.

Flare Gun As well as being an "interesting" weapon, the Flare gun allows you to fire flares (go figure,) into the sky. This displays the location to nearby survivors (within a 14-block radius.) It does not work inside a building (although flares can still be seen from within one, and the flare gun cannot be reloaded.

GPS Unit Simply displays your current co-ordinates next to the name in the inventory. Pretty much useless as maps and addons will do that for you anyway. Clicking on the item does nothing.

Mobile Phone Allows you to send text messages to mutual contacts (someone who is on your contact list, and you are on theirs.) The person you are sending it too must be in a suburb with a working mobile phone mast, but if they are out of service, they will receive the text message when they are in service.

Spray Can Allows you to spray messages for survivors (and zombies) to read. Spray cans can be used by anyone, but the skill Tagging will make the spray cans last longer. Graffiti is generally used by survivors as part as a greater effort to co-ordinate, and many groups spray messages as propaganda.

Useless Items

Not much to say here. The only items in this category that may have a use are wine and beer (both heal 1HP,) which are useful if you are on 50HP, and need to advertise to medics that you have Bodybuilding. Books have a small chance of granting the reader 1XP (2 if scientist,) but there are far more efficient ways of gaining XP then reading. Decorative items can be used to make your safehouse just look a little better. Reading a newspaper will also give you a random news story about Malton.

Details on Skills

Skills are how you advance your Urban Dead character from a Level 1 newbie to a Level 41 expert. Skills are brought using experience points (details on how to gain XP are scatted throughout the guide-healing and combat are the main ones.) All zombie skills cost 100XP (class doesn't matter,) while the cost of survivor skills change depending on class. The cost follows:

  • Civilians pay 100XP for all skills-for a total XP cost of 2100XP for all survivor skills
  • Military pay 100XP for civilian skills, 75 for military skills and 150 for science skills-for a total XP cost of 2200XP for all skills (2125 for a medic)
  • Scientist pay 100XP for civilian skills, 75 for science skills and 150 for military skills-for a total XP cost of 2425.

It should be noted that most survivors then go onto get all the zombie skills (except for Brain Rot.) As this guide is deliberately survivor-focused, zombie skills are beyond it's scope (except for the few that are useful to survivors.) There are 20 zombie skills at 100XP each, meaning a total of 2000XP. Since survivors don't need brain rot, thats only 1900XP.

Depending on class and luck, it may take between two and three months to get a maxed out character (it took me ~3 months as a doctor.)

Military Skills

These skills focus on combat-both ranged and melee. Most survivors opt to get the Pistol skills first as pistol ammo is a lot more common. Support players generally opt for the axe.

Skill Tree

  • Basic Firearms Training
  • Pistol Training
  • Advanced Pistol Training
  • Shotgun Training
  • Advanced Shotgun Training
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat
  • Knife Combat
  • Axe Proficiency
  • Free Running

This has been stated before in the guide, but the most useful skill available, and the most important is Free Running. It lets you move safely along the rooftops and without having to worry about an active zombie seeing you below. However, it's expensive for scientist-class players (150XP.) With Construction, they are the two most important skills in the game. So, before you do anything, get Free Running.

Another issue is what weapon to "max-out" first-the axe, pistol, or shotgun. Firstly, the shotgun isn't worth getting, as it's ammo is six times as rare as that of a pistol, and just as heavy. The shotgun is better as a higher-leveled weapon or for someone one a "heavy assault" type raid. Getting "advanced"-level skills is quite expensive, so put a bit of thought into this before deciding. Most players choose the pistol as it's more common and versatile then the shotgun. Most players would be better off with the pistol, as it's ammo is more common and easier to find. Advanced Shotgun Training should only be obtained once the pistol skills are done, if you really want a shotgun, or are a Pker.

Finally, Knife Combat is nearly totally useless as no-one uses knives. Most players (myself included) get this skill last. Axe combat, however, is very useful for those who can't spend time searching for ammo, or don't have the space. A fully-upgraded Axe has a decent damage (3), and a decent accuracy (40%.) Axes, however can be a pain to find (some people report spending days, I only spent a few AP in a hardware store.

Science Skills

These skills are support and altruistic skills, focused on helping other survivors.

Skills Tree

  • NecroTech Employment
  • Lab Experience
  • NecroNet Access
  • Diagnosis
  • First Aid
  • Surgery

The science skills are sadly an afterthought for many players, but, really, chances are if someone with Lab Experience didn't revive you, you wouldn't be here. The NecroTech tree is extremely powerful when leveled, as they can revive fellow survivors, potentially making a good weapon, can track zombie movement and can scan the DNA of a zombie. The NT tree is a bitter pill for a survivor (especially military) to swallow (XP-wise,) but if more people actually did that then there would be shorter revive lines. NecroNet access is a very useful skill, as it lets you use the NecroNet to track local zombies, allowing you to see how many are besieging a nearby location. NecroNet is a good scouting tool, too. If you can spare the XP, at least get Lab Experience, as you will be doing your fellow survivors a favor.

The medical tree is very altruistic. Diagnosis is a must if you plan on healing (otherwise, you can't tell how much XP a person has.) First Aid and Surgery, however, limit your XP growth (as you heal 10HP per FAK, but still only get 5XP,) but your fellow survivors will thank you. It's also a must if you plan on spending long periods of time dangerous parts of the city, as healing 10HP per FAK will save your FAKs. Note that Surgery only works in a powered hospital, so it's more useful if you plan on "settling down" at a hospital.

Civilian Skills

Civilian skills are more general then the other sets, and are useful to nearly all players.

Skills Tree

  • Shopping
  • Bargain Hunting
  • Construction
  • Body Building
  • Tagging
  • Radio Operation

The "mallrat skills" (Shopping and Bargain Hunting) turn Malls from an annoying and useless searching place to the best place to find items in the game. At malls, you can find nearly every item in the game (there are exceptions, however,) and all at pretty good percentages. It's a must-have if you plan on staying in supply, and should be brought after you have finished your starting skill tree and Free Running.

Construction is arguably the (second) most important skill in the game. It allows survivors to build barricades, which keep the zombies out. Barricades don't require materials to build, there is just a "barricade this building" button, so barricades can be built easily. In my experience, it's possible to barricade a building to VSB in about 10AP, and about another 10 to get to EHB. Construction also allows you to repair ruined buildings (with a toolbox.) It's worth noting that it's important to get to a building soon after it's been ruined, as 1AP is added to the repair cost per days ruined.

Body Building just adds another 10HP to you. May act as a deterrent to the local Pker and zombie, but it shouldn't be a piority (most combat doesn't happen in real-time, and if your the only human around, a zombie won't care if you have 60HP.) Tagging just lets you use your spraycans for a bit longer (some people report ~15 sprays,) and radio operation lets you broadcast on the restricted frequencies (26.00-28.00Mhz.) Note that 28.00-29.00Mhz is available to anyone (although these are usually very spammy.)

Zombie Hunter Skills

Only one skill, and it's only available to survivors after level 10.

  • Headshot

Only one skill here. Headshot is a decent skill-it's only available after Level 10, and it forces a zombie to spend an extra 5AP to get up-very annoying (especially if they don't have Ankle Grab.) Headshot (despite the FPS-inspired name,) works on both firearms and axes. Headshot is useful to break a zombie's AP during a seige, but other then that, it doesn't have many uses (except as a tool to annoy zombies.) Some zombies are knowen to specially target survivors with headshot.

Zombie Skills

I know what your thinking... Why is there a section on zombie skills in a guide focused on survivors? Well, two zombie skills are very useful to survivors, and they are Ankle Grab and Scent Death. These skills have a total cost of 400XP (they both have a prerequisite skill.)

Skill Tree

  • Scent Fear
  • Scent Blood
  • Scent Trail
  • Scent Death
  • Digestion
  • Infectious Bite
  • Vigour Mortis
  • Neck Lurch
  • Death Grip
  • Rend Flesh
  • Tangling Grasp
  • Feeding Drag
  • Memories of Life
  • Death Rattle
  • Feeding Groan
  • Ransack
  • Flailing Gesture
  • Lurching Gait
  • Ankle Grab
  • Brain Rot
  • Flesh Rot

All skills that have been crossed out are useless to survivors

Simply put, Ankle Grab is a great bonus if you are revived. It lets you stand up using only 1AP, allowing you to get to saftey quicker (if freshly revived) or get to an RP faster. Scent Death allows you to detect how many bodies in the pile are reviving. This is useful if you are in a building where combat revives have been taking place, or are looking for an RP-amount of reviving bodies is a good sign of (recent) activity. Finally don't get Brain Rot. This makes getting a revive next to impossible.

Conclusion

I was planning on including a section on tactics, but I didn't because I haven't gone through many mall sieges, and my experience isn't as good as that found in other guides. This guide was mostly a time sink over a long holiday, but it's also for the dedicated newbies of the community seeking a detailed guide-even if they only really need one section in it. Finally, and this should really not need saying, but my guide is not authoritative, and could even be wrong. If you think you've found an error, go ahead and fix it. This is a wiki after all. Although I wrote this guide, anyone can feel free to edit it (assuming they don't vandalize it.)

Recommended Guides

Everyone should read these guides as well-the authors have done a good job, and they are good for alternate tactics. In no particular order:

Finally, I'll be adding to this when I get more experience under my belt.

Thanks for reading. Linkthewindow 11:56, 10 October 2008 (BST)


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