Guides:Siege PKer Guide

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(This is the text of a speech originally given by IAmRisen[1] in the QSG. It was so popular on the Gore Corps board that I decided to put it here on the wiki. This is the full, original text, with headings added for easier reading.)


Howdy. I'm IAmRisen. Y'all may remember me from Blackmore-1 and the sieges of Stickling and Giddings Malls. I'm here to talk to you about what I did at those three sieges, namely PKing in support of an attacking zombie horde.

The Why

First of all, why bother to coordinate with a zombie group? Why not just find a safe suburb and blast people there? Well, because if you work alongside a horde, you can do more damage. Face it: you're pro-zombie. PKers do the same thing that zombies do, namely turn breathers into zombies; they just use different tools to drain the HP. In essence, you're a zombie that happens to be breathing. And can use guns. So it follows that you should add to the mass of a horde that already has a bunch of holed-up survivors near the breaking point if you really want to change the course of history.

The How

If you decide to get your PK on in a major siege, expect to get killed. There is simply no way around it. No matter what precautions you take, no matter how well you think you've covered your tracks, you are going to die. If you stay in your target building, there will be swift and deadly retribution for your heinous crimes (and doing this is preferable to running, as will be discussed later). If you duck out after a kill, it's still entirely possible that you'll be hunted down, and a zombie is likely to munch on you anyway. Besides, hit-and-running depresses your kill count. The AP that you spend fleeing could instead be spent murdering.

So what's the first thing you should know about this kind of PKing?

RULE 1: A competent PKer is a competent zombie first.

Max those claws. Have Memories of Life and its dependent skills ready to go. Be able to Ankle Grab. Simply put, you should be able to get up and continue functioning after sucking down a few pounds of buckshot from the local self-righteous bounty hunter. As a matter of fact, for those of you looking to start a brand-new character and have him be a PKer, I'd recommend starting as a zombie. If you're rolling with a decent horde, you'll be able to gain experience at a reasonable rate, and you'll be doing more for the zombie cause than you would if you'd have started as, say, a Scout and FAK'd your way up the ladder.

On top of that, being a competent zombie will enable you to parachute, which will be discussed later.

Alright, back to the siege. A siege, as we all know, is a war of attrition, plain and simple. The zombies are trying to crush the survivors under the weight of their combined AP. It follows, then, that you should be doing things to burn away as much defender AP as possible. And it just so happens that the most ruthlessly AP-draining activity you can engage in... isn't PKing.

RULE 2: A competent PKer is a competent GKer second.

Anti-materiel operations are where it's at. This is simply the most AP-efficient thing you can do in a siege. If you're hitting a mall, the first thing you should do upon entry is destroy every last generator in that mall, and the attached NT if the mall has one. In fact, de-power that NT first. Syringes are the most important item to the survivors during a siege, because they enable dead defenders to get back to defending again. So kill those gennies, and then kill the radios.

Now, how does one become a competent GKer? The answer may surprise you: Knife + Knife Proficiency. Here's how it breaks down: a Knife with proficiency has a 50% chance to hit. Compare that to the axe: 40%. The knife wins. Get one and get good with it.

Killing generators not only messes with the search rates of every defender who would have otherwise been able to search with the lights on, costing potentially hundreds of AP from the time the genny is taken down to the time a new one is put back up, but they're hell to put back up, as the PTT had complained during the siege of Stickling; a genny and a fuel can aren't THAT easy to search up. I believe that the PTT's official position was that powering a square costs about 50 AP, while de-powering one costs about three. They were considering going on strike over this. I'm not about to argue with their numbers, and I highly recommend that you exploit the hell out of those numbers.

Alright, so far I've got you PKers doing a bunch of stuff that isn't PKing. Time for the actual killing stuff.

RULE 3: If you aren't in a siege, you're getting ready for the next one.

Urban Dead is a 24/7/365 game of cat and mouse. Ideally, you wouldn't even bother waiting for a new siege to start up and just bounce from one to another, but it's simply a reality that there is downtime. What to do during that downtime? Why, search for ammo. Load your inventory screen up with life-ending instruments. Don't go on a shooty rampage and use up all that ammo; you never know when the next siege will start and you'll be able to do some REAL damage.

RULE 4: Don't bother preparing for a siege once it starts.

Because it's already begun, duh. If you've been revived and there are zombies howling at the gates, you should be actively helping them, not two suburbs away searching for ammo. The siege could very well be over by the time you get back. And you might miss a critical point in the fight where you could have tipped the scales to the breaking point, the result being that the siege could continue for days or weeks longer than it otherwise would have, or even that it might end in a survivor victory when the zombies could have taken the place down if you had been there actively contributing.

Now that doesn't mean that you shouldn't search at all once the fight's on. Maxed pistols are slightly more AP:damage efficient than axes, assuming that you're searching for ammo in a powered mall with both Mallrat skills. So if all you've got is an inventory full of empty pistols and an axe, you're better off spending your AP searching up clips and loading them than you are swinging that axe. So search if your guns are dry and there's only one lit square left in that mall (then destroy that generator, dammit).

Once you're in the clinch, two items become quite useless: shotgun shells and empty shotguns. It simply isn't worth the AP to load them. Drop all of both whenever you get the chance. If you're raiding the gun store and come across a loaded shotgun, by all means blast away with it; but after it's empty, it's dead weight. Get rid of it. You're better off spending the AP that would have gone towards loading that shotgun searching for a clip.

So you want lots of ammo when the siege begins, and you want to be frugal with your AP when in the trenches. That means being frugal with your ammo. Fortunately, the Shack and I have recently developed an excellent way to do that.

RULE 5: Paradrop if the opportunity presents itself.

First, read the parachuting guide.

Okay, now you know the "what" and the "how." As for the "why," paratroopers can do truckloads of AP-efficient damage because they're using claws, which require neither searching nor reloading. So you're still getting your kill on, with a sweet AP:damage ratio, and you're stretching your ammo budget because you aren't shooting for quite a good bit of those kills.

On top of that, forcing the defenders to kick you out of the building (twice, with a successful ?rise) sucks up defender AP like mad. With a single successful quick-stand, it'll cost them a grand total of ~100-150 AP to boot you out for good. Or, y'know, until you get back in again.

Alright, so you've got your ammo, you aren't using that much of it, and you're ready to shoot stuff to burn off the last of your HP when on a parachuting run. How do you use that ammo most effectively (read: in a manner that costs the defenders the most AP)?

RULE 6: False infections > kills.

Start at some arbitrary point on the list of survivors in the building and start taking pistol shots at someone with full HP. Now hope he has a flak jacket. A hit! You've knocked him down to 56 HP. Stop shooting at him and move to another full-HP target. Continue.

See what you're doing? You're filling the square up with people who are down by 4 HP. To a dutiful defender, that looks like zombie bites, most likely infected. The other survivors will spend FAKs to heal that 4 HP of damage because they have no way of knowing where the damage came from.

Why do this as opposed to just killing people? Because doing this takes more defender AP to fix. Look at it this way: it takes 15 pistol hits to take a Body-Built, jacketed survivor from 60 HP to zero. The effect of those pistol hits takes one syringe to fix; that's about five AP to search up a syringe, about five to move to the Mrh-queue, ten to administer, five to move back. 25 AP to fix.

But spread those 15 pistol hits out among 15 defenders. Giving the defenders a 100% search rate on FAKs, that takes 15 AP to search up the FAKs and another 15 AP to administer them. 30 AP, assuming godlike defenders and no movement costs. Creating false infections costs the defenders more AP, making it more cost-effective than outright PKing, assuming that you've got a lot of fully-healed survivors on hand... which you undoubtedly will in a mall siege, especially.

Once you drop from your (real) infection and stand back up, just claw like crazy. False infections are vastly more cost-effective than real infections; the FAKee has a 65% chance to connect, the real thing has a 30% chance (it's not as convincing and costs more AP if you try it with Tangling Grasp).


I guess that's that. To review: PKing alongside a horde does more damage than simple rogue PKing, because you're adding weight to an assault that's already in full swing instead of just picking off survivors one by one in a green suburb. But doing this means you'll die a lot, so when you work like this, you aren't operating as a true PKer. You're operating as a dedicated zombie / opportunity PKer. And it's kind of deceptive to call you a PKer, because your first order of business upon entering a building should be GKing. Budget your ammo and AP wisely, and use the Parachuting technique to stretch your ammo supply out. Also, empty shotguns are quite worthless. And spread those false infections far and wide instead of emptying your pistols into a single target.

For great BARHAH!

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