Sunday, 15 May 2011

Dead Again


The Urban Dead online game has finally left the doldrums! The balance of power has shifted in Malton and, according to the stats page, the zombies now outnumber the living by 4:1.

The cause of this shift? The Dead have returned after having launched an invasion a few years ago, organised by the Something Awful forum in early 2008 as an attempt to ruin the game. Apparently they are at it again, The Dead have returned.

The first invasion was a big one, but was, in my opinion, one of the best times to play the game as it had a real apocalyptic feel to it, what with hiding and sleeping in ruins, because all the 'safehouses' were overrun and ruined. There was real difficulty in finding vital resources such as first aid kits and revivification syringes until Kevan, the game's designer, tweaked the search rates and sort of spoilt things. I feel too many people are stuck in their comfort zones in the game; and the furries that occasionally pop-up in Malton Zoo are even stranger than the idea of a zombie Apocalypse so kudos to the Dead for hunting them.

A certain amount of revisionist history in the linked forum thread above, as they didn't come close to their intent of trashing the game the first time round; ruined buildings always were viable locations for searching and living in, it's just that the standard survivor is afraid to use them and prefer huddling together with the lights on waiting to get eaten. Also those who whinged about being dead (lowercase) are probably without friends to priority revive them. The original Dead had a good rampage, trashed the place big style and then things went quite, with only around 10% of invaders carrying on; This still made them the biggest single group in Malton.

Unfortunately, regardless of the current record ratio, the numbers are not currently as much as last time and despite the Danger Map on the wiki being mostly red (for zombie controlled) or grey (ghost town - few zeds or survivors) the humans are still holding out, they just can't hang around one spot too long. Time for the old 'river tactics' of ducking and diving behind the zombie 'wavefront'. Thankfully the actually density of the zeds compared to map locations is low enough to make hiding possible. The 10000 locations in the game (more if you include inside of buildings as distinct) are too much for even the 1500 members of The Dead to cover.

Update: (22 May) The maps slowly changing to a more friendly colour, less Red and more Orange, but not in the area I'm currently camped. Kevan has tweaked the search percentages again so very easy to find first aid kits and revive syringes. My group is currently trying to set up a series of decoy repaired buildings to distract the zombies a bit and continues to work on the still long revive queues.

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