User:Secruss/Discourses

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Before reading these essays, I would like to note two things:

  1. There is always bias in any essay or display of facts.
  2. I have tried be concise and elegant in my argument in order to avoid said bias as well as to make this palatable to read.

Credits:

Rosslessness

Jen

Quotes by Me

"You know that feeling you get right before an imminent catastrophe? It's called hope."

"Shakespeare once said 'The world is but a stage, and we are but players'. Guess what, you're an extra."

"Wake up to the exihileration of another day, just like yesterday."

"Wanna know why I love sex so much? It makes it so easy to spread crippling diseases."

"All I ever get on my email is advertisements for 'enhancers'. That's why I never check it."

"It is moments like these, that only reinforce my beliefs that I should learn the ways of the mountain men and avoid all human contact."

"Anything worth doing, is worth doing really, really fast."

"Everything to an extreme!"

"Peeps always talk about being the leader. Why does nobody realize that good followers are harder to find?"

"Just expect casualties."

The Mindsets of the Factions

I believe that survivors have a "defensive-individual" mindset as compared to the zombies "despoiler-cog" mindset. PKers have a "Despoler-individual" mindset.

The defensive-individual survivor mindset accounts for why zombies are able to take malls with survivors staff that outnumber the undead 5:1. The survivors do not cooperate to fend off breaches which the "despoiler-cog" zombies have coordinated with strike teams.

Why?

Why could this be?

I believe that the barricades, ability to see each other's profile, and buildings of Malton create these mindsets.


Barricades

The barricades incline that the survivor must keep their distance from the zombies. The zombies view these barricades as obstacles to overcome.

Barricades must be repaired, rebuilt and maintained. This is a job for a defender. A destroyer only needs to remove them to be rewarded. The maintenance must be ongoing over a long period of time. Even when few zombies are in the area, the barricades need to be maintained. I believe this need for patience (and the "home" idea discussed later) accounts for the rarity of a survivor backing down from a siege. Even a doomed siege.

Zombies must deal with barricades right then. I believe this is why zombies sometimes back down from a siege. Unless they are hardened veterans, have experienced the rewards first hand, or are enmeshed in a horde of sufficient size to take down an entire mall easily, many ferals or groups back down.

When a survivor wins a mall siege, it is viewed as a temporary victory. The barricades must always be maintained and the zombies fought off. When zombies break down barricades and kill the survivors, the survivors are dead. They can't get right back up. The deal is done as far as the zombies are concerned, thus they move on and vacate the premises leaving only stragglers in their wake.

Barricades represent the ebb and flow of tides in UD. Their absence represents zombie wasteland. Their existence represents a survivor "eden" or safety. Fluctuations in their levels show the struggle between the two. Their decimation represents encroachment of zombie territory. Their rebuilding represents the old guard, new hope, or the return of stability.

Profiles

The ability to see the other's profile inclines that the survivors are all different and thus creates a struggle to differentiate themsevles further. The zombie's blindness to one another makes them more like ants or bees, gears in one great machine.

Zombies tend to bud together better since their goals are universally the same: Kill survivors. This can be reflected in the Big Bashes, Mall Tours, and sporadic mall sieges initiated by multiple zombie groups. They are not seperated by petty differences in territory nor do they need any supplies. They cannot fight amongst each other, either.

The survivors do fight amongst each other occaissionally. See the CGR and their over a year long war with the CDF and their current war with the DEM. Also see the Invasion of Gibsonton. See the The Great Military Biscuit War or Great Red Wat between the CGR and Red Rum. See the Gibsonton Nationals eviction of the Winchester Boyz from Gibsonton. The Malton Uprising.

This individual mindset of survivors also accounts for why zombies are able to take malls with survivors staff that outnumber the zombies 5:1. The survivors do not cooperate to fend off breaches which the zombies have coordinated with strike teams. They view each struggle as their personal struggle to deal with their own personal way. The closest they seem to come to cooperation is adhering to the same doctrine: "Kill, dump, cade, heal."

Buildings

The buildings represent something to be defended by the survivors or ruined by the zombies. When ruined, these buildings represent some edifice to be relcaimed. This last facet is mostly represented when one's own "home" has been ruined. Buildings See the Dear Street Police Department and the Blythvilles with TZH's and the Olney Militia's constant struggle to maintain survivor dominance of the area. Also see the CDF's attempts to hold the monolith that is Fort Creedy. Observe how they constantly struggle to maintain "their homes." Whenever Pitneybank goes down, the CGR is always called back from whatever duty they were on previously to answer the distress call.

Sometimes, when the survivors whole city seems threatened, they band together (albeit a loose band) to fight off huge hordes in large battles and sometimes win. This represents their fight to protect their greater home of all of Malton. Observe The Dead and the survivors and some PKers (dealt with later) that came together to fight off the 1600 member horde . It helps that some [www.somethnig awful.com Something Awful] goons zerged to convince them to fight. Not all SA goons, just one or two examples that were illuminated with spotlights and sent to center stage. The Second Siege of Caiger Mall, with over 3000 survivors in attendence, represented a "coming together" of the survivors to fight what had been the unstobable machine of the Mall Tour '06. These represent the rare occaision where survivors band together (or really camp together with no upper echelon communication among the groups) in order to fight a common menace.

Stubborness as a virtue.

Abberations

As abberations cannot always be classified in neat order, they must dealt with on indivual cases much like the Incorporation Doctrine of the US Bill of Rights.

Invaders and Defenders

There are such aberrations as survivor groups that tend to stay on the attack into zombie held (not controlled) territory and zombie groups which control territory.

The former group can be shown with the ACC, The Fortress, USAI, 404, the Channel 4 News Team, and the rest of the New Malton Colossus. These groups are uncommon and therefore "aberrations" or "outliers". Potential reasons for this aberration are the need for survivor differentiation, a need to adapt to the zombie "flood", or sheer player boredom with the usual "defensive" nature of survivors.

Zombie defenders such as the RRF, Extinction, the Zombiefied Republic of !zanbah hold territory to gain prestige, have a launch base for excursions, for RP pruposes, advertisement, to be recognized as "big and bad", and to keep survivors out.

Note that survivors hold territory for roughly the same reasons.

Decay

As pointed out by Jen, survivors now pay a price for the unattended suburbs of Malton. I cannot guess right now how this will affect survivors beyond the obvious dead zones of Malton and their zombie breeding grounds, but if they wish to avoid being backed into a corner without any place to run once the zombie strike teams (MOB, Barhah Brigade, Gore Corps, LUE, Shacknews) arrive at the Alamo, this user recomends they begin to take the offense.

Another downside of decay is that it constantly piles up each day it is left unattended. This is in reverse to the survivor situation where the barricades can only go down.

PKers

I believe that PKers like the PKA fall under the "despoiler-individual" category. You'll never find a band of big group of PKers. Examples abound of short term PKer gatherings, however: The SNS, the Samhain Slaughter, etc.

The Player Factor

At the end of the day, the player is allowed to choose which side to play and how to play. I do believe it is possible for one's first character to be the dominant persona in a characters mind. For example: I started out playing for the RRF in 2006 but decided I wasn't killing enough people. So I became a PKer. Take a look at yourself for more examples.

It's also possible that playing both sides affects how you play the others. When I became a member of the CGR who killed CDF at the time, I adopted a "survivor that kills only a specific enemy" mentality. We'd killed CDF one day, then retake Giddings the next. Replace "CDF" with "DEM" for the same results right now.

The Snap Factor: A Short Theory

While it does not need to players of UD, I would like to write a quick word on the Snap Factor.

The Snap Factor gives survivors the ability to store up "potential energy" and release it all at once. At the center of this ability is the shotgun: a weapon capable of inflicting a hefty amount of damage after a large amount of preperation.

This can be seen when a PKer accumulates a dozen fully loaded shotguns and then discharges them all at once into many victims as opposed to simply shooting one person a day. It can be seen in many survivors unloading shotguns into a zombie breach and sealing it up.

The downside is that it leaves the user drained and takes much AP and days of searching and preparing to really use.

Zombies are generally unable to "snap." They can, however, launch coordinated strikes every day. "Claws and teeth don't need reloading, and you can always find them when you get up." -The Apocalypse Horde

Temporary Death

Rosslessness has brought up the fact that survivors and zombies look at the temporary deaths of UD very differently.

Survivors must find a revive point and have another survivor revive them. A long hassle or an impossible nightmare depending on location.

Zombies simply stand back up. New zombies to UD must stand up for a much greater cost than veteran zombies who have the Ankle Grab skill. Headshot is more of an inconvenience than a hassle for veteran zombies, but can cripple new zombies.

In conflicts in UD (like the DEM-CGR conflict or the general Bounty Hunter-PKer fight), member on either side try to avoid temporary death in order to not give the satisfaction of a kill to the other side and also to avoid being put the annoyance. Take, for example, the RG and it's system of showing a PKers "points". This is kind of a badge of honor in the PKer world that PKers do not want removed.

However, inflicting this death on an opponent and showing it to one's peers is a way of gaining respect. See the Trophy Game run by the PKA.

Simply put: the more personal one perceives a potential death could be, the more likely the killer is to seek the victim and the victim to hide.

Flash Mobs

Why is it that every six months or so, a large supergroup of zombies or PKers arrives in Malton and kills everyone, then evaporates?

Examples: The LUE, The Dead, The Many, DARIS, and Shacknews.

You'd need to ask the individual members of each group why they came. Obviously, they couldn't have been forced to come, just as you can't force anyone to join any group or even stay and play UD.

One important thing to note is how few of the members from each forum come. [www.somethingawful.com SA] is a forum of 120,421 members. But, only 1600 came to UD to ruin the city.

Why do these groups always choose the zombie side? Simple: They come ready made. Zombies come ready to kill. All they need is the coordination to overcome their solo weakness. Thus, groups like the LUE or Shacknews pop up overnight and ruin the whole city before we know what's happening.

Drop Out Rate And Returns

Remember that of the 1.3 million people that have registered to play UD, less than 40,000 30,000 have stayed. Something about Urban Dead seems to do this. It might be the poor/nonexistent tutorial which leaves new players horribly confused. Another might be that new players are always looking for an "action packed thrill ride" and UD is too intellectual, political, and tactical.

The other thing is that they have not put in time into UD. As a fact, people are less likely to change political opinions or their religion the longer they have adhered to said religion or opinion. The same applies in Urban Dead.

Returns to UD after a sustained dropout are higher in people that have played a long time. For example: BenzinDevil returned to UD after a year long hiatus. I returned after a 3 month hiatus (induced by computer failure).

Jen wishes to note that members of The Many, The Dead, and DARIS (All from [www.somethingawful.com SA] ) have returned over and over in increasingly large flashmobs and that as many as 10% of their members stay permanently.

http://scripts.ranking.com/data/details.aspx?theurl=urbandead.com

Urban Dead in a death spiral:

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/urbandead.com

Looking at the following graph, UD has lost 2/3 of its hits since the beginning of this year. Put plainly: We are dying.

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