User:Tethran

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Thoughts on...

Urban Dead

It's a great game and what's more it's free. However, there do seem to be a lot of people playing it that feel that because they play it any bugs or balancing issues should be fixed in five minutes flat. Personally, whilst it's nice to see them getting fixed. We're not paying for this game and Kevan is. From what I've seen he's done a better job of fixing issues than most companies that produce games that do get paid for. (I'm still waiting on a fix for Knights of the Old Republic II and that was out at the end of '04...) I wish people would stop complaining about what they don't like in the game (or what they feel is missing from the game) and just enjoy what is there.

I've tried playing several character types (including zombies) and from what I've seen the in the current state of play Zombies actually have a slightly easier time than low-level doctors, medics and consumers. This isn't to take away anything from the problems that Zombies do have, I'm just trying and put it in perspective. Zombies gain XP for attacking survivors and/or other Zombies (although they do get less XP for the latter). For the lone Zombie this can be a hard task as survivors often barricade themselves in buildings and you have to be lucky to catch them out on the street. For low level doctors and medics they have to find someone to heal (either by asking in a building "Does anyone need healing?" and waiting for a response, all the while hoping someone doesn't heal whoever responds before they do or by randomly trying to heal everyone in the building... At IP cost hits and if there's more than 50 at AP cost too.) Whilst doctors, consumers and medics can all find firearms it's actually very hard to gain XP with them due to the low hit percentage. The hit percentage is about as accurate as a low-level zombies attack but the survivors also have to find ammo. Personally I'd like to see a skill that marks survivors in the same square as you that are below 15 or 20HP with (injured) after their name or something similar. This would be superseded by the diagnoses or scent fear skills as they are far better than this one - scent fear allows you to spot who's injured on the map and diagnoses gives you an accurate number of HP the person has left. However, as it stands it is possible (if a little hard) to raise these characters level and is enough to put new players off the game, or to at least make them create a different (probably military or cop) character. Maybe all that's needed for the zombies is not so much new skills or upgrades to existing ones but instead new zombie classes to add more choice at character creation?

For those wondering what my position was before the headshot revision I would agree that zombies had a much harder time back then and the revision needed to happen. I'd also like to see another revision so that headshot doesn't affect zombies under a certain level as this would give new zombies a chance to get ankle-grab before they start getting headshot.

At the end of the day though it's Kevan who puts in the time, effort and money and it's always going to be his game. I'm just glad to be able to enjoy playing it.

Multiple characters and Zerging

Multiple characters are not a problem. I've mentioned that I've had multiple characters (even if all but one of them are inert corpses littering the ground and are likely to stay that way) at times I've played more than one at the same time. But they've led completely separate lives as they've moved around Malton killing zombies or eating survivors.

Zerging. The term references the Blizzard computer game StarCraft where one team, the Zerg, had a unit called the Zergling which could be quickly mass produced and even though it had a weak attack and defence you could just swarm your foes. The term now means pretty much the same thing occuring in any game. Someone creating a lot of low level characters and even if they can be easily killed and don't do a lot of damage there's enough of them to overwhelm a single opponent. This usually breaks the ToS and for good reasons - foremost amongst them the fact that it makes the game less fun for players who don't zerg. (There's nothing more offputting than to be killed by 20 players with pretty much the same name other than a number at the end. At least that doesn't happen in UD.)

Zerging in games like Urban Dead is very hard to prove - even if you have the IP adresses there's no certainty that two characters in the same area are actually being controlled by the same person. It's fairly easy to find situations where a large group of people end up with the same IP (for example people in college dorms or in university) and ISPs which rotate the IPs make this problem even harder (AOL being an example of this.)

Kevan has attempted to stop Zerging by imposing a limit on the number of hits a particular IP can make on the map.cgi in Urban Dead. Although this is not totally successfull in stopping Zergers (espcially those who use proxies) and does make it harder for some legitimate players to have fun in Urban Dead. There is also a rule about characters of the same person not being in the same area. Although I'm not sure how this works. How close do the characters have to be for this to kick in? Is it an automated system or a manual one? If one of the characters in question is a corpse does it still apply? Does it work of the IP of the people in question or another of the pieces of information supplied? Zerging accusations often flight thick and fast on the wiki (although they are usually removed by moderators or other users) and even moreso on the forums (where it's much harder to remove the claims.)

The Urban Dead Wiki

It's a great idea. Anyone can edit it to improve the information present. The problems come when you have people with varying points of view (especially about what constitutes POV/NPOV). Absolute neutrality is impossible to achieve, especially about groups, as everyone will have a point of view in one form or another (even the mods and arbitrators.) The closest that can be reached to complete NPOV is - in my opinion - a statement which contains a balance of the good things and the bad things about that group. Maybe they're too secretive but have good ideas (even if few people hear about them.) Perhaps they've got good intentions but are perhaps a little naive or misguided. Putting a balance of the good and bad was certainly how I was taught to be netural in essays and conclusions right the way through school (and has lasted me fairly well thusfar.)

The best thing about the Wiki though is the comprehensive listings of groups, skills and classes and the suburbs. It's an impressive way to communicate even if it is open to abuse in places.

PKing, Griefing and Spies

I don't like PKers of Griefers. With one slight exception. I don't mind the PKing of combat revivers - you revive a zombie that doesn't want to be revived you got to expect something to happen.

What's the point of survivors killing generators? It serves no purpose. I mean. It's just to annoy the survivors that have spent a lot of AP looking for a generator and fuel for it.

A survivor killing another survivor for no reason is just a pain in the ass. I mean what's the point of survivor groups specifically created just to kill other survivors? It just annoys people and makes the game less fun for them.

Spies. I hate it when Zombies use spies to map the survivor locations in an area. I also hate it when people (whether they play survivors, zombies or both) join forums or groups just to watch what's going on with other groups. It saps the fun out of it if everyone knows everyone else’s detailed plans.

10AP per revive/another blow to scientists

Well, whilst it's probably fair to say that things needed to change to make the game a little more fun for zombie players increasing the average cost to revive someone to 30AP is not the way to go about it. Scientist characters have a hard enough time already. 10AP just to press the needle into someone? It's not fair on the scientists. Seriously. They were already underpowered compared to military/cop classes and now things have got even worse for them. 10XP reward for spending 20AP making a syringe and 10AP administering. Say good-bye to random revives. Unless you have friends playing UD or you're a member of a group you're probably screwed because who's going to waste their time reviving some level 1 character when they could be reviving their friend? It's just going to put new characters off when they first get killed and are looking for a revive when they stand for two weeks at a revive point waiting for someone to be nice enough to get around to them.

On a more positive note the idea of rotters being able to track scientists that try to revive one is a good idea that would have been fine on its own.

Characters

Tethran He's a millitary guy who dropped into the North West of Malton and wandered through some dangerous areas of the city including Riddleybank and the surrounding suburbs (and survived it) before he worked out where to steer clear of until attaining higher levels. Whilst he's been moving around Malton he's hooked up with several survivor groups including the (now defunct) Galbraith Hills Defence Union and the Black Berets. Most of the time he's awake he tends to spend killing zombies and barricadings.

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