This is the official unofficial urban dead thread.
From the Website:
In death, the city stirs. Its borders still locked down after a sudden government quarantine two years ago, Malton's trapped civilians make their way through the derelict buildings, surviving the changing seasons to rebuild their fragmented society from the rubble upwards. Military cleanup squads patrol the empty streets, stationed in the city for the long haul, while embedded scientific groups continue the experiments that brought them here.
And the dead rise up and thrive, trailing through the ruined streets of the city, milling between buildings and clawing through makeshift barricades and diversions, reclaiming the city as their own.
What's this game about?
You're a citizen of Malton, a city that's in the process of being evacuated and quarantined to contain a sinister contagion - you play as either a trapped civilian, a member of the evacuating military, a scientist operating in the background, or a victim of the early outbreaks.
Malton is a grid of 100x100 city blocks, each of which is either a nondescript street, or a particular type of building - you move around the map by clicking on the names of the blocks. Buildings can be entered and barricaded by survivors, to shelter from the zombie hordes that roam the city.
Other citizens of Malton appear on the map as names in coloured boxes (the colour matching their class; green for Military, blue for Science, red for Civilian and grey for Zombie); they also appear in the location's description.
Some character classes start with equipment, and all characters can search to find further objects during the course of the game - some are weapons, some are one-use items, others have subtler or more permanent effects. All characters start with at least one Skill, which grants them an extra ability or bonus in the game - by gaining experience points, players can buy further skills and develop their characters.
Players get fifty "actions" per day - these are be used to move, attack, search or otherwise interact with the city. When your action points are gone, you have to wait for them to recharge. (Players remain visible and vulnerable on the map when they're out of Action Points or logged out; survivor players should find secure shelter between logins.)
What should I be doing?
It's up to you how to play the game, but as a general guidline: as a survivor, you should search the city for helpful equipment, and for other people to team up with. You'll be quite vulnerable to begin with, so don't risk drawing too much attention to yourself (some higher-level zombies have the ability to follow a survivor that's attacked them and run away), and make sure that you're safely hidden in a building that's either secured or barricaded, when you've finished for the day.
Existence as a zombie is rather simpler. It can be a good idea to find a horde at the end of the day, though - a lone zombie is a much easier target for a passing zombie hunter.
(There are some more in-depth player guides in the Wiki.)
Is there a mailing list or discussion forum for Urban Dead?
There are a few. The Wiki has comprehensive list of forums, mailing lists and online chat areas, and the Wiki itself has discussion space for each of its pages.
Is there a full map of the city?
The Wiki suburb map gives an overview of the city, along with danger levels and links to each suburb to show what's going on in your area.
Am I allowed to play multiple characters?
You are, provided that they lead completely separate existences within the game - your characters should not collaborate, nor share (or stand outside) the same building. Multiple characters found to be working together in a suspicious fashion will be automatically flagged, penalised or even banned permanently by the system. If you're running a few characters, it's best to make sure that they stay in separate suburbs.
(If you're sharing a computer or workplace with other players, it's recommended that you don't work together too closely, as this may be wrongly interpreted as a single player using several accounts.)
How do I report game abuse or zerging?
You don't. A number of automated detection systems and countermeasures are already in place, and time is better spent on improving those systems, rather than carefully investigating reports and screenshots (and all reports would have to be investigated at length, given that any of them could be easily-faked attempts to get innocent characters banned).
There's no need to email reports in - if there's some exceptional bug-based game abuse going on, you can file it as a bug report on the Wiki for attention.
How should I report bugs?
The best place to report a bug (or check whether it's already been reported) is the Bug Reports page of the Wiki.
Isn't this game similar to some other games?
The game was derived conceptually (and with permission) from RavenBlack's Vampires, which was itself derived from my annoying brain-eating viral (with a touch of the Zombie Infection Simulation). Raven and I know each other, this all goes back years - Urban Dead and Vampires really take their roots from the grid-map PBM games we were both playing in the early 90s.
A few UD-style games have sprung up as a result of the game's popularity, but they all post-date this, and (apart from some friendly consultancy on Shartak) none of them are anything to do with me, or use any of my code.
Is there any merchandise?
There's an official Urban Dead Mall at Cafepress where you can buy T-shirts, mugs and badges, if you really want to. It's all base-price, we don't make any money from them.
What are Action Points?
You spend an Action Point every time you move, use an object, make an attack, or take any other action in the game - when they've run out, you have to wait for them to be replenished. They're refilled at the rate of one every half hour (whether or not you're logged in), with a default maximum of fifty.
Fifty Action Points isn't enough!
The limit of 50AP per 25 hours is to keep the game balanced and to stop too much from happening overnight; if we doubled the recharge rate, it'd mean people getting in a hundred AP's worth of actions while other players were offline, which is enough to cross the city or deal an easily fatal amount of combat damage.
There may eventually be character skills which modify the maximum AP and its recharge rate, but the basic starting-character settings will remain the same.
What are Experience Points?
You earn Experience Points from successful combat (getting more XP for fighting the "other side" - survivors attacking survivors only get half the XP they would fighting a zombie, and vice versa), healing other players, and various other types of game behaviour.
You can click the "Buy Skills" button to spend your XP on new character skills from the skills tree - these typically cost 100XP, although Military and Scientist characters can buy skills within their own class for 75XP, and in the opposite class for 150XP.
What are Suburbs?
The city of Malton is divided into a hundred smaller 10x10 block sections known as 'Suburbs' - the name of the Suburb you're currently in is given at the top of your city view. If you use the city map, this can help you work your way towards other people you know who are playing the game.
How do I talk to other players?
You can speak to citizens in the same block as you, using the text box that appears when people are nearby - zombies can speak as well, but with a very limited vocabulary. Zombies can understand the speech of survivors.
Because people log in at different times, you shouldn't expect to get an immediate response to anything you say - people you're talking to will see your dialogue the next time they log in, or take a turn.
You'll eventually be able to use the mobile phones to communicate long-distance, as well, when the power to the transmitters comes back on.
How does searching work?
Each search you perform has a percentage chance of turning up an item relevant to the location you're searching. Items don't "run out" (if they did, new players would have a pretty hard time of things). If you've had a run of fruitless searching, either you're in a type of building that doesn't have anything useful, or you've just had bad luck.
What do all the items do?
The game wiki has a detailed analysis of all game items, including their effects and locations.
Can I still use my life skills when I'm a zombie?
Some of them, but any that rely on the dexterity or agility of a living body become dormant while you're undead.
How do some survivors have zombie skills?
NecroTech staff are able to return zombies to fully conscious life; virtually all zombie skills become dormant, only being activated when the player dies again.
How does graffiti work?
If you've found a spraycan, graffiti can be sprayed on the inside or outside wall of a building, or on random walls in empty blocks - new graffiti is assumed to be spraypainted over the top of the old. Zombies are able to read or interpret graffiti in the same way as survivors.
How effective is closing the doors of a building?
It'll automatically stop lower-level zombies from being able to enter the building at all, but any zombie who has developed the "Memories of Life" skill will be able to open the doors, and leave them open for other zombies to follow.
Closing the doors might be enough to stop a wandering zombie from investigating your hiding place, but you should really find a barricaded building if you want to be safe.
How do barricades work?
Any survivor with the Construction skill can start to build a barricade inside a building, or strengthen a barricade that already exists - any barricade at all will stop zombies from being able to enter the building, although they (or other survivors) will able to weaken the barricade by continually attacking it, eventually destroying it.
Building up a barricade so that it becomes "heavy" means that other survivors can no longer enter the building either. Those inside the building may still leave by the higher windows, by clicking on an adjacent block, but will not be able to return.
I'm dead! Is that it?
Death is only a temporary inconvenience in the quarantine zone; anyone dying in any manner whatsoever will be able to rise as a zombie, at a cost of 10AP. There are rumours that even this zombified state is reversible, that higher-level NecroTech staff are trained and equipped in the science of full-body, full-consciousness revivification. (There are a number of NecroTech-supported revivification points around the city.)
And if you're knocked down again while a zombie, you won't be eliminated. Death is never permanent.
If you play Urban Dead or have ever played it you can discuss it here.