User:Aichon/Other/Fighting the AP War

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This guide serves as an introduction to AP efficiency, and is aimed primarily at intermediate players who understand the basic concepts of the game, but haven't yet delved into some of the game's mechanics in detail. This guide may also be helpful to more veteran players of the game, especially those of the trenchcoater persuasion. If you're looking for the meat of the guide, jump to the very end.

An introduction to the AP War

Many players of Urban Dead assume that the game is a simple matter of standing survivors vs. standing zombies, which gives rise to the idea that the more standing characters you have on your side, the better your side is doing. In truth though, the number of standing characters on a side is a poor indicator for which side is the dominant one, since it emphasizes quantity over quality.

The true currency of the game, the statistic that gets traded, exchanged, and spent on a daily basis, is AP. A standing character is a meaningless statistic, since characters that waste their AP on frivolous activities contribute nothing to their side's war effort, while those spending their AP frugally can turn the tide of battle singlehandedly. Thus, the objective is to drain the opponent of their AP faster than they can drain your AP. Successfully forcing them to waste their AP means that your side can more effectively take and hold ground while leaving the opposition in a weakened position. By thinking of AP as a natural resource and asking how much of your opponent's AP you're costing them with each AP you spend, you can become a more efficient and effective warrior in the true war: the AP War.

Strengths and weaknesses of each side

From the numbers located below, we can see a few key points of interest, most of which are already common knowledge:

  1. The act of killing an opponent takes far less AP for survivors than it does for zombies
    • If reloading is necessary (as it usually is), the gap closes even further
    • If restocking on ammo is considered, skilled zombies are, in comparison, more efficient
    • The syringe is the survivor's most efficient weapon
  2. Recovering from death is far cheaper for a zombie than it is for a survivor
    • Even in the case of a combat revive, zombies can still recover more quickly
  3. Barricading takes far less AP for survivors than does tearing down barricades for zombies

Tactics

Using these ideas, we'll now consider a few tactics that provide good AP efficiency and force the other side to spend as much AP as possible while spending as little as possible yourself. I'll generalize a bit on some of the numbers, but the principles still apply.

Survivors

  1. Barricade, barricade, barricade, stop. Barricades up to VSB+2 are a GREAT return on your investment. Each AP you spend costs the other side 4x as much, normally. When faced with a zombie breach, barricade first. The importance of barricading cannot be overstated.
    • Barricades up to VHB+2 are still an okay investment. From VSB+2 to VHB+2, each AP you spend costs the other side 2x as much, normally.
    • Barricades past EHB are not AP efficient. By that point, you're costing the survivor side more AP to put them up than you're costing the zombies to tear them down. Only barricade beyond EHB if you have a very good reason for doing so.
  2. Stop shooting them. For every 8 AP you spend preparing to kill and actually killing zombies, they spend only 1. That's a poor investment, so you should only kill them when you have no choice. E.g. if zombies have breached a building you're holding or are in a ruined building that you intend to repair. DO NOT KILL ZOMBIES THAT ARE OUTSIDE or in ruined buildings you don't intend to repair, since you gain nothing.
    • Between Pistols and Shotguns, choose both. While the AP cost of reloading was not considered here, the largest AP cost, by far, comes from having to search for ammunition. If you limit yourself to just one type of weapon, you'll require more searches before you'll have enough ammunition for a single kill. Using multiple types means that you won't be throwing away otherwise useful ammunition and can get enough for a kill together more quickly.
    • If you do settle on one firearm, pick Pistols. It's no secret that Pistols are far more AP efficient than Shotguns, simply because of the searches involved. If encumbrance is an issue and you can't carry both, Pistols are more AP efficient.
  3. Use combat revives when they make sense. While combat reviving a death cultist is rarely a good idea, reviving zombies is more AP efficient than shooting them if you need to clear the building. Of course, scanning them first to make sure that they will be harmless as humans (and aren't Brain Rotted) is generally a good idea.

Zombies

  1. Make yourself a target. Each time you're killed, you're costing the survivors 8 AP for every 1 AP you spend to get back up. Sponging the AP from survivors by forcing them to kill you frequently is your best offense.
    • ?rise to the occasion. If you have Ankle Grab, ?rise is your most effective tactic. Essentially, each time you ?rise, you cost a survivor their entire day's worth of AP to undo your ?rise.
    • If you're down, get up. Anytime you log on and see that you're dead, standing up is the most AP efficient action you can do, even if you don't intend to do anything else right then. Even if you log back on later and find yourself dead again, you've cost the survivor side far more AP. It's not glamorous, but it works.
  2. Coordinate, coordinate, coordinate. Barricades are the survivors' strength, so if they get the chance to rebuild them, you're doing it wrong; you should be getting as many zombies through the doors as possible before the barricades go back up. If the barricades are VSB+2, a lone zombie would only get in with ~9 AP. On the other hand, if four zombies work together, they'll each get inside with ~39 AP.
    • Establish a beachhead. Once you're inside with a group of zombies, you automatically start to run interference on the barricades, forcing survivors to spend extra AP building them. This has the dual benefit of costing them extra AP while also costing your side less AP to get in (since less barricades will need to be torn down).
    • Help a friend out. Now that you're inside, the survivors have to clear you out. It's better if more zombies get in though, so if those barricades go back up, tear them down. While it may not seem like a great use of AP, every zombie that comes through those doors costs them 8:1, so it pays off.
    • Give a shout out. Speaking of getting more zombies inside, you can give off a Feeding Groan and let all nearby zombies know that there's an open building with survivors ready to be eaten. Again, each one that follows you in costs the survivors dearly. It's a wise investment at just 1 AP.
  3. Sleep inside. Zombies that are outside are not a threat. Zombies that are inside are in the way. You want to be in the way. You'll also be forcing the survivors to burn otherwise useful AP just to clear you out. Plus, you'll make barricading harder/impossible, which is a good thing. It costs you very little and costs them quite a bit.
    • Nurture your ruins. Ruins cost 6 AP to create, but potentially just 1 AP to repair. Ruins only pay off if they stay ruined for six day or more, or if the survivors have to clear zombies before repairing. Make them pay for the ruins: sleep inside.
    • Ransacking is better than nothing. If you're down to your last few AP and have cleared the place, don't move out. Ransack! 1 AP spent Ransacking prevents survivors from barricading, and if you sleep in it too, they can't repair it until they clear you out. That's 1 AP well spent.
  4. Infect them all. Between searching for First Aid Kits and applying them, each infection you inflict costs the other side ~8 AP. Given that you have a 40% accuracy with Bite, it costs them at a 3.2:1 ratio in your favor.
  5. Finish them. Survivors have to spend a large amount of AP to recover from death. Plus, if they have to wait more than a day for a revive, they may end up wasting AP ticks while at max AP. Every AP you spend making someone dead costs them more to undo, so make sure you land that finishing blow.

Other notes

Will type this up later.

  • Syringes as a currency. In ruined suburbs.
  • Exceptions to the rules listed here.
  • Etc.

Conclusion

To borrow a common line, it's not the size that matters: it's how you use it. The number of standing characters doesn't matter as much as how they're being used. If a zombie uses a fraction of his AP to make a survivor spend most of his, the zombie has neutralized the survivor's efforts and still has the opportunity to advance the cause of his side. And even if the survivor has enough AP to go and kill another zombie, the zombies can rest, content in the fact that the survivor will be out of commission for a few days, restocking on ammo.

This game is about the AP War. Understanding the issues involved and how best to exploit them is really very simple, but is overlooked by so many players. Many of the tactics put forward here are not glamorous, and some of them are even frowned upon, but they're known to work and they're known to be effective at reducing the other side's collective AP pool. When you can force the other side to fritter away their AP on needless actions, you're reducing the opportunity they have to advance their agenda, while giving your side more opportunity to do so.

Hopefully some part of this guide has been helpful to you, whether you're new to the game or a seasoned veteran. Just remember to ask yourself as you go through the game, "How much AP will the other side lose because of this action?", and if the answer is less than what you're spending, consider a different action.

Appendix A

How much does it cost?

Let's examine the math and analyze how much AP is drained from each side (not necessarily from a single character) when certain activities occur. While most of these numbers are common knowledge to Urban Dead's players, they bear repeating. Feel free to skip the section if numbers bore you.

A.1

This table provides the amount of AP necessary to kill a member of the opposing side in a variety of situations and using a variety of methods.

Approximate Costs for Kills
Survivors Zombies
Weapon Against 50 HP Against 60 HP Zombie Skills Against 50 HP Against 60 HP
Shotgun
  • ~8-9 AP to kill
  • ~11-13 AP to kill against a Flak Jacket
    • Total cost: ~72-117 AP to find enough shells + ~8-13 AP for the kill = ~80-130 AP *
  • ~9-11 AP to kill
  • ~12-15 AP to kill against a Flak Jacket/Flesh Rot
    • Total cost: ~81-135 AP to find enough shells + ~9-15 AP for the kill = ~89-150 AP *
No skills ~100 AP to kill ~120 AP to kill
Pistol
  • ~15-18 AP to kill
  • ~20-24 AP to kill against a Flak Jacket
    • Total cost: ~27 AP to find enough clips + ~15-24 AP for the kill = ~42-51 AP *
  • ~18-22 AP to kill
  • ~24-27 AP to kill against a Flak Jacket/Flesh Rot
    • Total cost: ~27-45 AP to find enough clips + ~18-27 AP for the kill = ~45-72 AP *
Vigour Mortis ~63 AP to kill ~75 AP to kill
Fire Axe ~43 AP to kill ~50 AP to kill Vigour Mortis and Neck Lurch ~42 AP to kill ~50 AP to kill
Syringe
  • 10 AP to kill
    • Total cost: ~12 AP to find a syringe + 10 AP for the kill = ~22 AP
  • 10 AP to kill
    • Total cost: ~12 AP to find a syringe + 10 AP for the kill = ~22 AP
Vigour Mortis, Death Grip, and Rend Flesh ~33 AP to kill ~40 AP to kill
Vigour Mortis, Death Grip, Rend Flesh, and Tangling Grasp ~29 AP to kill ~35 AP to kill

* Some of the more astute readers will have noticed that the total cost per kill for firearms once search rates are considered seems high, and you are absolutely correct. Survivors oftentimes look for both clips AND shells at the same time, and may also replace their empty firearms with loaded ones they find. The AP costs of the searches given here look at the case where survivors are ONLY searching for a single type of ammo, and nothing else. In reality, survivors who are looking for multiple items will have searches that yield useful items more often than is implied here, driving the overall AP cost down somewhat.

A.2

This table specifies the amount of AP necessary to recover from being reduced to 0 HP. Keep in mind that the numbers used here refer to the AP expenditure for each side (i.e. multiple people), and not just for one person.

Death
Survivors Zombies
  • ~12 AP to search for a syringe
  • ?? AP to exit safehouse, walk to a RP, return to a safehouse, and enter
  • 10 AP to revive using the syringe
  • 2 AP or 20AP to Stand Up twice (once as a zombie, once as a human)
  • ?? AP to shamble to most revive points
  • ~21 AP to search for the First Aid Kits
  • ~3 AP to heal (with First Aid skill)
    • Total cost: 24-42 AP (plus any walking) to get up + 24 to heal = 48-66 AP
  • 1, 6, 10, or 15 AP to stand up
    • Total cost: 1-15 AP normally, 3-21 (plus any walking) AP in case of a combat revive

A.3

This table specifies the amount of AP that needs to be expended in order to affect barricades in a way that is favorable for each side.

Barricades
Survivors Zombies
  • ~10 AP to barricade from open to VSB+2 (85.1-99% success rate per level)
  • ~4 AP to barricade from VSB+2 to HB+2 (61.5% success rate per level)
  • ~7 AP to barricade from HB+2 to VHB+2 (38% success rate per level)
  • ~20 AP to barricade from VHB+2 to EHB+4 (20.5% success rate per level)
    • Total cost: ~10 AP for VSB+2, ~41 AP for EHB+4
  • ~4-5 AP to collapse one barricade (depending on skills)
    • Total cost: ~40-50 AP for VSB+2, ~84-105 for EHB+4

Appendix B

Here are some quick ratios to demonstrate just how strong or weak each side is in those areas (survivors are always on left of ratio; smaller numbers are better for their respective side):

  • Killing and recovering
    • 8:1 - Low-end average AP to kill a 50 HP zombie vs. minimum AP for a zombie to recover
      • 9:6 = 3:2 - Same, but assuming 60 HP and Flesh Rot/Flak Jacket vs. Headshot
      • 48:6 = 8:1 - Same as last, but with searches also factored in **
    • 29:48 - Minimum AP to kill a survivor vs. minimum AP for the survivor to recover
      • 35:57 - Same, but assuming 60 HP and some light walking needed for the revivee/reviver
  • Combat reviving
    • 22:3 - Average AP to combat revive a zombie vs. minimum AP for a zombie to recover
    • 22:21 - Average AP to combat revive a zombie vs. minimum AP for a zombie without AG to recover
  • Barricading and tearing them down
    • 10:40 = 1:4 - Average AP to barricade up to VSB+2 vs. average AP to tear it down
    • 11:24 = ~.9:2 - Average AP to barricade from VSB+2 to VHB+2 vs. average AP to tear it down
    • 31:44 = ~2.8:4 - Average AP to barricade from VSB+2 to EHB+4 vs. average AP to tear it down
    • 20:16 = 5:4 - Average AP to barricade from VHB+2 to EHB+4 vs. average AP to tear it down

Based on those ratios, it's pretty clear which activities give the most bang for your buck and which ones provide very poor returns on the investment. Survivors excel when it comes to barricading, while zombies excel by sponging attacks from survivors. The next question then is how does each side play to their strengths while amplifying the weaknesses of the other side?

**Shaky math warning: after 27 searches, the player would have, on average, located 3 shells and 3 clips. Against an opponent with a Flak Jacket/Flesh Rot, the shells would, on average, yield 16 damage, while the clips would, on average, yield 48 damage, for a total just above 60 HP. So, 27 searches + 3 Shotgun shots + 18 Pistol shots = 48 AP.

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