Suggestion:20080202 Hyphens in character names
I've got three characters:
- Waynette is in the northwest.
- John Parrott is in the northeast, but he's going idle because I'm bored with him.
- and my personal favorite, Sterling Bershadsky, is with the Big Bash.
When I first came into the game, I liked The Opportunists' stance on gameplay. Conceptually, it comes the closest to what zombie movies are like. When a person gets killed, their body rises up and destroys their friends and loved ones. And, no doubt, if they could be resurrected they would return to the allegiances they had in life.
But after a while I dropped that view, because it's just a lot more fun to play as a zombie. Being a zombie is like playing Pac-Man and all the survivors are blinking ghosts and you've got infinite quarters. Being a survivor, on the other hand, is very unsatisfying. You can't kill zombies. All you can do is knock them down, and make them stand up again. That's fine for gaining XP, but what good is it in the long run?
Recently I've begun to max out the zombie skills on my characters and started advancing their survivor skills whenever they get combat-revived, and I'm finding that there is some fun in the higher-level survivor skills. For instance tagging, repairing, and barricading. It's no fun just wailing on zombies, but there is a certain nice feeling you can get from changing a building from dark grey to a nice pastel.
I like to muse about the "winnability" of the game. Since zombies cannot revive their fellow zombies, it is theoretically possible for the zombies to "win" the game by zombifying every person on the map simultaneously. Then there would be no one to wield the revivification syringes, except new characters. On the other hand, if the survivors were to simultaneously revive every person on the map, PKers could still create new zombies with ease. So, the zombies have an advantage in that respect.
A sufficient amount of zombies following the Salt The Land Policy would pose a serious threat to the continuing existence of survivors, by effectively cutting off the supply of revivification syringes. But the simple fact that there are more active survivors than active zombies right now shows that survivor extinction will probably not happen anytime soon, in part because most of the players are against it.
As I've been following the Big Bash around with my namesake zombie, I find myself admiring Kevan's homages to the Romero zombie films. The two main survivor strongholds in the game -- malls and forts -- come straight out of "Dawn of the Dead" and "Day of the Dead". One of the recurring themes in Romero is that humans are more of a threat to each other than zombies, and that has generally been true in this game. Zombies are really no threat to humans, except when the humans are weakened by PKers (like the motorcycle gang in "Dawn of the Dead" and the infighting in "Day of the Dead") or when they gather together in large, noisy bunches, drawing hordes of the angry dead to their doors (like "Land of the Dead"). But if you consider, say, "Night of the Living Dead", that's a small group of survivors in a house by themselves, and they would have survived the night if they hadn't been fighting with each other about keeping their barricades up, and if they'd been smart enough to dump the body of that little girl.
The update at the end of January 2008 reminds me quite a bit of the part in "Day of the Dead" when the zombies learned that they could walk across the bottom of the river, and massacred the survivors who had left the shore undefended. At Giddings Mall, the survivors had grown confident that they could hold their mall with superior numbers and diligent barricading. So they stayed holed up there, even though there were 9,996 other map squares they could enjoy without an enormous zombie horde knocking at their doors. Then the zombies learned not to let people drag couches to the doorway, and massacred the harmanz.
Of course, the big difference between UrbanDead and the Romero films is that no one dies in UrbanDead. Corpses can stand up as zombies, and zombies can be syringed back into humans. The result is that most characters decide what side they want to be on, and when they've been killed or combat-revived they suicide back into zombies, or line up at an RP point, or life-cult, or death-cult, accordingly. So the zombie:survivor ratio remains stable over years and the willingly dead tromp back and forth trying to sate their hunger for the flesh of the living, and the living... well, it seems like they mostly tromp back and forth setting up generators and listening to the radio.
I found out from the pinata article, that it's possible to get one or more living survivors into a ruined, EHB building. Basically, it's the normal pinata process, with the twist that you have some revivifying corpses lying around in the building before it gets ransacked. Here's the two-man way of doing it:
- The two characters, both humans, enter an empty building together.
- They barricade it up to EHB.
- One character kills the other, but doesn't dump their body.
- The now-dead character rises as a zombie, and infects the living character.
- The living character then injects the zombie with a revive syringe, and again doesn't dump their body.
- The living character barricades until he dies of his infection. Then he rises as a zombie and ruins the building.
- The other character now rises, as a revived human.
It made me think, someone should create a Maltonian cult of Anchorites, monks who walls themselves off from the world and spend their days in prayer, meditation, and repairing the cades. But then I remembered, oh yeah, you can't cade in a ruined building, so the anchorite's meditative retreat would only last until a single zombie decided to spend their day's AP taking it down to VSB, at which point worldly survivors could once more intrude on the solitude.
Maybe with a dedicated organization, constantly creating new pinatas? It is a little AP-intensive, though. The biggest sinks would be getting the barricades to EHB, and possibly PKing all the survivors in the building in order to get it clear.
So I guess the only place in the game where you could currently shut out the outside world and repair your barricades, is at one of the two forts. But those are too high profile to occupy for long. You could come in the wake of the Big Bash and barricade the gatehouse up to EHB, but so many people love forts that they would all team up and tear the barricades down unless you had some very good coordination.