Guides:First Day in Malton

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XXXXX This page is for people who come to the UDWiki after (or hopefully on or before) their first day in Malton — or for those who wish they had done so.

In such cases, you need simple instructions on what to do, and not much of justification as to why. After reading this bare-bones guide, you will have a better idea as to what further information may be helpful.

The UDWiki has many other useful articles with more in depth information. Where appropriate, such articles have been linked in the text below. Other articles of use can be found at the end.
XXXXX

Getting Around and Interacting with Malton

At first glance Urban Dead would seem to be a simple game, but the longer you play and participate, the more you'll be surprised at the variety of experiences possible. Most of these will come from dealing with other players of varying levels of expertise and commitment, not to mention whether they are among the living or the undead.

In the upper left quarter of your game window, there is a map. This is where you move your character around. Each square represents a single city block. The central square is your current location. Above the map is the name of the suburb you are currently in. You move by clicking in any other square in this map; doing so will take you to that block, and refresh the page view. Read the scene description after you move as it often contains useful information.

As you move, the amount of Action Points (AP) you have will decrease. Since you have a limited amount of AP, do not let them run out unless you are are inside a barricaded building, or are a zombie. Once you run out of Action Points, your character will be unable to move, perform any actions or view your surroundings. Using most things in your inventory will consume an AP. Most are done by clicking on the item (e.g. to reload a pistol, click the pistol clip item) Actions that can be performed on multiple things/players will either have drop-down menus to select targets or boxes for text entries (e.g. tagging a building). Many items are specialized and require certain skills to use. Your Action Points will be automatically replenished at a rate of 1 AP every 30 minutes (at approximately X:00 and X:30). You can never have more than 50 AP. Use them wisely, and use them every 24 hours at least, since waiting longer will not add additional points.

The first goal for new players should be to work towards earning eXperience Points. (XP) A button below the minimap enables you to spend XP on skills that will improve your effectiveness. There are numerous guides on UDWiki that go into more detail, but keep in mind: All skills are available to all players. Be aware that factions of all types exist in Malton: Fanatical death cultists, undead hordes, religious zealots, generator-killers, devoted squads are loyal to a cause/building/character, you name it. You will find that interaction with any group can either improve or diminish your survival chances.

Completing the trifecta of point values are Hit Points (HP). This shouldn't need much explaining. Every character, whether alive or undead, has them, and they can be gained and lost through many aspects of play. You start the game with 50 HP and will lose them if you are hit by another player or injured. There are many ways to lose HP on both sides and a few ways to regain them, but the outcome of having zero is the same: Death. But in Malton, death is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is often the end of the beginning. You can rise up infinite times and continue playing, just not as you may have planned.

Advice for the Living

General Advice

Choosing to play as a living character offers a wide range of actions you can perform, but is often more complicated than playing as a zombie. Staying alive can be surprisingly difficult at lower levels. The sections below include specific info, both on what to do, and how to do it, but always keep the following advice in mind if you don't want to become a zombie prematurely. If you do want to play as a zombie, just skip to the appropriate section.

  • Sleep inside. - Most survivors have a temporary safehouse (a barricaded, zombie-free building that they know they can enter), and return to it when they get low on AP. If you log out or leave the computer for a long time, and are still outside, it is very easy for a zombie to find and kill you.
  • Read and obey advisory graffiti. - Spraypainted messages such as "Revive Point here." and "Keep this building at VSB." are typically put there by other survivors as part of an effort made by survivor groups for organized aid or defense.
  • Know your limits, don't overdo it. - New survivor players should be mindful that they won't be very effective at killing zombies and should avoid them for their first few levels. They also need to conserve AP, especially when it comes to finding safe spaces. Many players will deliberately save a few AP, even inside a safehouse, so they can escape quickly if they login to find themselves in danger.
  • Attack zombies inside buildings. - Zombie players have it easy: if they're killed they can expend a few AP and stand right back up. Killing zombies outside on the streets grants you XP, but they can stand right back up and kill you as soon as they come online, often after you've already spent most of your AP. Higher level zombies can also track you to your safehouse and lead others to you.
  • Get Free Running ASAP. - Easily one of the most useful skills for living players is the ability to go from building to building while staying inside and off the streets. Make getting enough XP for this skill a first priority.

About Buildings

An important aspect of living in Malton is using buildings. You need to know how use them to survive and find useful items. This wiki has detailed maps and descriptions about different types and attributes of buildings. Zombies can't enter most buildings in areas with active survivors without substantial effort, so you are significantly safer inside than outside. Even in buildings with open doors where zombies can reach you, they can not see you if they are just wandering around the map, so you are still a bit safer than if you're standing in the streets. You will want to go outside each day to explore, but if you find a building that seems safe to sleep in, you may decide to remember the location and return to it.

To enter a building, you must move onto a block that has the building and then use the "enter building" button. However, barricades may impede your progress. If the building is described as Heavily Barricaded, Very Heavily Barricaded, or Extremely Heavily Barricaded (and many buildings are) you will not be able to enter. Accessible buildings are described as Doors Wide Open, Doors Secured, Loosely Barricaded, Lightly Barricaded, Quite Strongly Barricaded, or Very Strongly Barricaded. Buildings that are Quite Strongly and Very Strongly barricaded offer good protection against most feral zombies. Lightly or Loosely Barricaded buildings afford almost no protection beyond getting you out of sight and have likely been under attack recently.

Pay attention to the description of the insides too as recent attacks tend to leave bloody gore stains behind that will appear in the text. Buildings may even still have zombies inside so having enough AP to actually see (read description of) the interior of any building you duck into is strongly advised. If there are any zombies inside a building, DO NOT STAY, regardless whether barricades are present. The zombie players inside are liable to wake (go online) at any moment and attack you while you're offline. They have a variety of methods by which to bring even more zombies inside or drag you outside. In the same vein, it is best to quickly clear out any dead bodies from the insides of buildings to prevent zombies from standing up behind barricades.

Barricades can only be built by survivors with the Construction skill. Many buildings in Malton are Extremely Heavily Barricaded against the hordes when under siege. Again, it is best to buy the Free Running skill rather early, if not first. If you started as a Military Scout, you will have Free Running at the start, allowing movement directly from the interior of one building to the interior of a building in an adjacent block. You still must find a building you can enter, but from there you can move to buildings with heavier barricades - which offer the best protection from zombies, and are more likely to have high level survivors defending them.

According to the often-ignored Universal Barricade Plan, most Police Departments, Fire Stations and Hospitals should be kept at Very Strongly Barricaded (VSB) to allow new players to have a safe place to stay, as well as allowing those players to gain experience points. In practice, these are often overbarricaded by death cultists wanting to trap you outside and help the zombies kill you, or by survivors more concerned with keeping the building zombie-free than newbie-accessible. Look in the wiki at a suburb's map information and even the individual building's page for details. Always keep AP in reserve to find Entry Points to clusters of buildings.

Ruined buildings present as a darker grey square on the minimap and are described as such. These buildings have been ransacked by zombies and left to decay afterwards. Ruined buildings are also an impediment to Free Running since they cannot be free-run into — instead, you are forced to the street and may lose HP to a fall injury. Only survivors with the Construction skill and a toolbox can repair ruins, sometimes at a significant AP cost, depending on how long the building has been in a state of ruination. Ruined buildings cannot have new barricades built and are often dangerous to stay in, but can be entered to avoid being seen. One risky tactic is to occupy areas with buildings already left in ruin by roaming hordes.

Some buildings also classify as Dark and are often valuable as safehouses since anyone inside is harder to attack by either zombies or other survivors as long as they remain dark and unpowered. You will also find that performing searches or erecting barricades more difficult as well. If these buildings are ever ruined a survivor will require all the other skills and items plus a fueled generator providing light in order to repair dark buildings from a ruined state.

Common Items

Guns

Most players choose characters that are equipped with guns at the start. Your gun(s) will run out of ammunition very fast. The best way for a low-level character to get more ammo (and guns) is by entering and searching Police Departments. Guns can be found both loaded and unloaded at random.

A gun in your inventory will have a number after its name, indicating the number of rounds loaded. For example, Pistol (3) indicates a pistol with 3 rounds remaining. When a gun has 0 rounds, if you have ammo in your inventory, you can reload it by clicking on either a Pistol Clip or Shotgun Shell, whichever is appropriate. Reloading consumes 1 AP and the selected ammo, and adds either 1 shell to a shotgun or reloads a pistol with 6 rounds, even if a pistol is partially loaded. While pistols tend to be more efficient in terms of damage per AP and use less inventory space, shotguns deal twice as much damage (along with twice the XP) per hit. Per hit means that, especially starting out, you will miss... a lot. Skills can be bought with XP to improve your accuracy and effectiveness, but put away any notions of going in hot, guns blazing and slaughtering masses of foes.

You'll probably want to use both types of firearms, rather than discard unusable ammo, costing even more AP in searching. Once you have a decent supply of ammo, you'll find that injuring and killing zombies (with your gun or any other weapon) earns you XP very quickly. Firing a bullet from a pistol into a zombie and actually damaging them will earn you 4 or 5 XP, doing the same amount of HP damage to the zombie. Shooting survivors with pistols will earn you 2 XP. Firing a shotgun blast into a zombie will earn you 8 or 10 XP. Shooting survivors with shotguns will earn you 4 or 5 XP. Killing either will earn you 10 XP. The variable comes from certain items and skills for survivors and zombies that negate some of the damage from firearms.

Actually attacking zombies is relatively safe. Select "a zombie" in the drop downs, choose your weapon in the next drop down and click Attack; the zombie player is rarely online as you attack, so you can often do damage or score a kill without any reprisal, unless they are part of an orchestrated attack by a horde. Shooting zombies will often mean going outside. If you spend all of your AP attacking, you'll have none left to find your way back to a barricaded building, and then you'll have nothing standing between the zombies roaming the streets and their favorite food (you). Be sure to head back inside before your AP drops too low. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Axes

If you started as a Fireman, you have an axe, making them another favorite. Attacking zombies with an axe is a good way to earn experience points, but keep track of your AP. You will want to end your day in a barricaded building, even if it means you don't get to kill a zombie. (Don't be alarmed if you can't kill one, as your attack is relatively weak.) On the plus side, you never have to spend AP searching for ammo, potentially saving you a couple dozen XP per day. Each time you manage to strike and damage a zombie with your axe, you will earn 3 XP. Damaging a survivor with your axe earns you only 1 XP. Killing either earns you 10 XP. Axes are also handy for demolishing barricades if necessary.

First Aid Kits (FAKs)

You may have started with 1 or 2 of these. You will want to find more of them — lots more of them. They can most easily be found by entering and searching a hospital. Every time you use a First Aid Kit on anybody who is actually in need of healing, you get 5 XP, regardless of the amount of HP healed. The Diagnosis skill (which you may have started with, if you play a Doctor) makes it possible to see other survivors' HP; the Hit Points (HP) number next to their name will be below 50 if they are injured. Mid- to high-level survivors can have 60 HP, so if you see somebody with 51-59 HP, they can also be healed for XP. If you don't have the Diagnosis skill, use common sense and keep trying - you do not lose the FAK if you use it on somebody with full health, but you do lose one AP. (Note: Anybody in the same square as a zombie likely needs some healing.) You can also earn 5 XP by using FAKs on injured zombies, solely for obtaining XP. It's also best not to heal zombies that are inside buildings, as that makes it harder for other survivors to clear them out and repair the building and it's barricades.

Infection: Infection occurs when a mid to high-level zombie lands a bite. If infected, you lose 1 HP for every action you perform, except for speaking, allowing you to ask for help if somebody is around. You will die from it, unless healed with a First Aid Kit. Being healed not only cures infections, it restores HP as well. If you want to stay alive, try to carry at least one First Aid Kit at all times.

DNA Extractor (DNA Scanner, Scanning Zombies)

If you started as a NecroTech Lab Assistant, you will have one of these. Getting a sample of a zombie's DNA grants you 4 XP. A successful scan will also identify zombie players to you so they are no longer nameless hordes, but individual players, whose name you can click on and add to your Contacts. Using the scanner can also identify fallen friends and allow you to revivify them instead of horde players. Higher-level zombies may be harder to scan, but most take only one try.

The best way of earning XP with a DNA extractor is finding an active or recently subsided siege. Zombies are most susceptible to scans after performing an action, including hitting the barricades. Note that this tactic is dangerous - be sure you have a safehouse or entry point nearby and keep some spare AP just in case, because if you become exhausted near a zombie mob, you'll wind up undead like them.

Finding and Hauling Stuff

The contents of your inventory of items will vary greatly on how you play. Some items will be more important to you than others, or you may run out of them; ammunition gets used up, and many items like FAKs are single use. To find more of any item, you need to search for them in appropriate locations and buildings. As you carry more items, your encumbrance percentage will increase. Encumbrance can potentially go over 100%, but when it is 100% or higher, you can no longer pick up more items. This has no effect on any other actions except searching; encumbrance does not hinder movement or combat in any way.

Other Gear

A variety of other devices, gadgets and items will surface as you play the game. Most of them can be used simply by clicking on them in your inventory (e.g. Clicking on radio transmitters or generators will permanently set them up in whatever building you are in.) Many items will depend on other items in the game to continue to function (e.g. fuel cans). This introduces the dynamic of maintenance to the game as some survivors dedicate themselves to maintaining a shared service. For a full listing of items, see Items.

Welcome to Malton! Now stay alive, or read the next section for when you die.

Advice for the Dead

General Advice

Whether by choice, by accident, fate or karma, you may find yourself dead, but don't worry: Everybody dies. (The game is called "Urban Dead", after all.) In Malton, death does have it's upsides. First, nobody can do anything to harm your corpse, although they can move it from inside of a building to the outside of the same building. Other than that, you are "safe" until you stand up. Use that time as a corpse to let your Action Points refresh up to the full 50 since, depending on skills, you may use 6, 10, or even 15 AP just to stand up. While there are ways of being brought back to life, a much simpler and perhaps even more appealing option would be to join the hungry, shambling undead hordes and cause some mayhem. Another bonus to being a zombie is that even if you're killed, when you stand up your HP is fully renewed. Just like your living counterparts zombies have their own agendas and playing styles, but they still depend on getting XP to purchase skills. Here's some pointers:

  • The Dead Walk. - Being a moving mass of dead flesh your activities and range are initially limited as an undead. A skill zombie players should get early is Lurching Gait, which reduces your movement cost to equal your prey, allowing you more AP to spend getting XP. (Even if you don't want to be a zombie, earning enough XP for this skill makes getting to Revive Points easier.)
  • The Dead Talk?! - Initially your vocabulary is very limited but some skills allow you to summon other zombies, give simple directions or even form complex sounds to communicate. Keep your rotted ears out for groans from feeding frenzies too. Some easy XP gains may be nearby.
  • The Dead Stalk!! - Even more useful is when zombies can track survivors based on a whole tree of Scent skills that get more useful as you get more of them. This is one huge way mid to high-level zombies are able to find survivors, even inside safehouses. Any scan, shot, hack or stick done to them by overzealous survivors can wind up costing them their lives.

Bra!nz!

Attacking survivors (or even other zombies) as a zombie can earn you XP very quickly. If you're a fresh zombie you should buy the Vigor Mortis skill. Characters that begin as zombies have it starting out. Biting a survivor earns you 4 XP. Biting can also spread infection or even increase HP with more skills. Injuring survivors with your claws will typically earn you 2 XP and has a higher hit percentage. Biting a fellow zombie earns you 2 XP, and clawing them earns you 1 XP. As with survivors, killing either a survivor or a zombie will earn you 10 XP. Damaging barricades, machinery and devices will earn a meager 1 XP. To grow stronger, you want to attack and kill as many survivors as possible. Attacking fellow zombies may serve as a substitute when you can't find fresh meat, but it's less than ideal.

The main obstacles to finding living prey as a zombie are barricades, doors and running out of AP. You should only attack barricades with Claws, as Bites have no effect. Damaging a barricade will only occur less than half of the time; when you do score a hit (ineffective hits do nothing or make them "creak") it earns you 1 XP and weakens the barricade. Once all the barricades are gone, you still cannot enter the building if it has a door, unless you purchase the Memories of Life skill. Most buildings have doors, however Churches, Cathedrals, and Junkyards do not.

BARHAH! Mah Brazzahz!

Joining a zombie group will let you meet up with other, stronger zombies who will happily remove barricades and open doors for you. High level zombies can even use their advanced skills to drag survivors outside so you can feed on them or score kills for easier XP. Some of the strongest and most interesting meta-gaming can be had by interacting with groups in and out of game. Tales of grand sieges, Mall Tours and great feats past, present and future are addressed at length on the UDWiki or outside forums. The largest groups of either survivors or zombies are listed in the stats link on the UD homepage.

I want to live again!

That's not a huge problem. Most mid to high-level survivor players can bring zombies back to life (called "revivification" or "revive" in game). Most cemeteries (or other places marked as "revive points") are watched by survivor players waiting to aid the undead back to being a breather. Move to one of these places and then just wait. And wait. And wait some more. You might have to wait a whole day - but during that time, you will replenish AP. If you are killed again before being revived, just stand back up (albeit at a cost of 6/10/15 AP). After a day or two, if either you or any other nearby zombies haven't been revived, move to a different revive point that is hopefully monitored better. Plan on being DNA Scanned in active suburbs, because survivors are suspicious of reviving zombie spies or PKers. If scanned, your character's info page will show what skills you have, so refrain from certain skills that greatly inhibit your ability for revivification.

Eventually, somebody will inject you with a NecroTech syringe, and you will slump to the ground. When you spend 10 AP to stand up again, you will be alive. You will only have 25 HP and will be outside, and might still have an infection, so you'll probably want to look for a hospital or other survivor safehouse, where you'll be welcomed back to the land of the living (hopefully).

Moving Forward

Right now, your primary objective as a new player is to earn as much XP as possible. But eventually, you will have purchased all the skills you need and by then, you'll develop a "raison d'être" (reason for existing) for your character.

Most choose to either support the survivors in securing the city, or to join the zombies in an effort to ruin it. Some will fight for whichever side they find themselves on at the time, and others find even less mainstream ways of enjoying the game. It is generally recommended that, if you have multiple characters, they have different goals and "modus operandi", to keep things entertaining.

The Urban Dead wiki is a fantastic resource for all kinds of players who wish to immerse themselves in Malton's long history and lore. You will find more than just maps, especially if you start to read into the huge amount of entries made by survivor and zombie groups. Some buildings, groups and events have detailed histories that have been imagined for them. Vast campaigns of carnage have been waged across Malton over the years, much of it is still documented in the pages of the UD Wiki in either group or building pages. You may even wind up contributing to it yourself, if you so desire.

For more information

Guides:

  • A Zombie Guide - A general purpose guide to zombie (un)life, both mechanics and tactics.
  • Guides - Guides for all characters, focusing more on advanced tactics than mechanics.
  • Glossary - A glossary of all features of Urban Dead and descriptions of their mechanics.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Kevan's guide to the game.


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