Friday, March 23, 2007

Confessions of an Urban Dead "Zerger"

This post has been coming for a long, long time, and I'm kind of relieved it's finally time to write it.

Urban Dead. The for-free, low tech MMO zombie apocalypse game. I've played it, on and off, for a couple years now. But as of today, I'm done.

See, I am what in UD is called a "Zerger," or a "Multi Abuser." I have multiple characters, and I use them in concert to achieve my goal. I'm not the first, and I certainly won't be the last.

Some people, unfamiliar with the game, may ask, "Multiple characters? So what? I have 10 alts in my MMO of choice." Well, it's because the guy who created and runs the game says so, and with good reason. The game is free, and nothing stops you from creating all the characters you want, but the design of the game is built around each character only having a certain number of turns per day. Everything you do in the game uses up turns, or "action points," which grow back at a rate of 1 per half hour. So, if one person say, created 50 zombie characters, he could use them to assist his one "main" zombie character to tear open a barricade without spending any of his "main" character's action points. Obviously unbalancing. So there is a real, genuine need to keep this sort of thing from happening. But the implementation falls on its face in certain situations, which I will detail later.

I didn't start out a multi-abuser. I came to UD honestly and normally, by somebody talking about it in a forum. I decided to check it out, and rolled myself up a character. Within 10 minutes, my little newbie was out of action points and hadn't accomplished much of anything at all. Still curious to see more of the game, I made another character, and when he ran out of AP in 10 minutes, I made another. I wanted to see all the different angles of the game, so I made one a policeman, one a fireman, one a soldier, one a scientist and one a zombie. These five characters were spread out across the city (the game's location is the fictional city of Malton), in totally different suburbs.

And so there I was, with my four little guys, each struggling and not getting much accomplished, but still growing. I quickly ran into Kevan's (the UD gamemaster) first barrier to multi-abuse, and perhaps bandwidth hogging, in the form of a 150-click limit from a given IP address. By this point, I was intrigued with the game, and decided to go ahead and pony up the 5 bucks per character Kevan required to lift this restriction. I've spent 25 bucks on far worse things.

I went on playing this way for a month or two, finding my soldier grew the fastest, my fireman survived the longest, and my scientist just had an all-around rough time of it in every way.

After a couple months, someone in the forum I mentioned earlier had the idea to get together and form a cooperative group, which was called Skulls Skulls. I joined up with them with my four human alts, and as we converged on Yagoton (our chosen area of operation), I first became aware of the policy on "multi abuse," and expressed concerns to the leader of the group about my situation. He wasn't too worried, but I decided it would still be best to take corrective action. I didn't, however, want to rob the group of manpower, so I "gave" three of them to friends and coworkers I knew in real life. We all worked together, passed information to each other, etc, but I was really the only one who kept any communication with the Skulls group, or anyone else in the game. The others mostly just wanted to play and win and were happy to let me coordinate everything.

So there we were, a minor group doing what we could to help each other grow stronger and fight zombies, until a fateful day when the guy who I gave my scientist to scanned a zombie asking for a revive and found him to be the leader of a local PK gang called the "Amish Liberation Front", and refused to revive him. He got to safety and told me about him, and I coordinated with the others to put him down. That was the beginning of the end for Skulls Skulls.

The PK we killed started digging around, went to our forum and started accusing us of multi abuse (Ironic, ain't it?). In reprisal, he ordered his entire group, which outnumbered and vastly outleveled ours, to start concentrate on killing Skulls Skulls. They were pretty successful, mostly on the other forumites who weren't as experienced as my little crew and I were. My pack fought back as best we could, but the Amish were higher level, more closely coordinated, and didn't have the handicap of having to try to stick together that Skulls did. The forumites in skulls suffered rather badly, and one by one they started either dropping the group tag or just not logging in any more.

We weathered the storm from the Amish, but it hurt the skulls bad. They didn't have quite the headcount they used to, and I think many of them, the leader included, felt resentment toward me for starting the whole mess by killing that PK instead of reviving him. On top of all that, the guys I gave characters to were starting to feel like they didn't want to play anymore. So they gave me my characters back, I removed them from Skulls Skulls, let them know we were retiring, and tucked the characters away in 4 different directions from Yagoton, to sleep until a zombie ate them for the last time.

Fast forward in time 6 months.

It was a slow period at work, and in the process of looking for something to kill a little time and yet still look like I was working, I checked back into my main character on Urban Dead. There had been some changes in the game that piqued my interest.

And after seeing how things were, I made the decision to become a zerger.

I make no apology, and I sure don't regret this decision. I had spent months playing it on the up and up, and frankly I was tired of being alone and impotent, especially after I'd seen what could be accomplished by 4 people working in close coordination. I'd watched good people, honest players screwed over by intellectual preadolescents and a system designed to cater to chaos and antisocialism, and decided I was going to do something, and do it my way, rules be damned. I wasn't afraid of any repercussions because I was already "done" with the game the way Kevan wanted it played. I had nothing to lose, and fully acknowledged that from this point on, I was playing on borrowed time until the inevitable ban hammer fell.

I converged my four human characters, my zombie character (who I revived and spent the thousands of exp he had accrued maxed out as a non-rot zombie), and even a character donated to me by another person who had lost interest in the game. Additionally, I rolled a new zombie, just to have an extra set of eyes roaming about that didn't cost my "main" characters any AP.

I decided that my efforts would be focused on fighting against the type of guys who made my last foray into UD less than enjoyable: the "PKs." The survivors who, like me, had gotten tired of the game but instead of quitting decided to make a game out of making life miserable for other survivors still trying to play the game as intended.

I picked out a group called the YRC, short for "Yagoton Revivification Clinic." These were an altruistic bunch of survivors trying to do their damnedest to get life back into those who didn't want to be dead. They were known across malton for their fast service and helpful demeanor. They also tried to maintain neutrality in matters political (read: drama), but all this didn't stop the asshole contingent from trying to make their life miserable as well. They were routinely plagued by PKs, generator saboteurs, organized zombie attacks numbering in the dozens, etc. I decided what was needed was a vigilante group dedicated to trying to make the YRC's life easier to do their work by doing what their neutrality wouldn't let them do: hunt down and kill those who would make hell for them.

So, I started the group, Guardians of the YRC. Our members were Me (Gasbandit), Me (Captain Jack Testes), Me (El Camino), Me (Blaze Steelbuns), Me (GeeBee1), Me (The Angry Scientist), and Me (a disposable zombie noob). For 6 months, we patrolled Yagoton from The Whatmore Building (headquarters of the YRC) to Bale Mall, looking for known PKs and helping against zombies. Except for the occasional (usually about once or twice a week) execution of a PK, the work was mostly barricading, healing, and helping to revive people.... and lots of walking. Walking around, looking at who was inside each of the many buildings. It got pretty complicated to remember where I had and hadn't been, and even with six alts on patrol, you coudn't cover everything if you were hitting the same buildings multiple times. There wasn't much experience, but the characters were already level 41 (max level) before I started this little project, so there really wasn't a point to worrying about experience... just results. And I like to think I made a difference.

I'm astounded it took at least six months for UD's vaunted "anti-abuse" algorithms to catch on and finally ban the above characters. Over the last six months, through trial and error testing limits and seeing what worked and what didn't, I learned how to work around the system. It was only this last week, where I completely stopped protecting myself and blatantly abused UD in the heaviest and
most obvious manner possible that the characters finally got banned.

I kept each character in a different building adjoining Whatmore. I alternated computers (I have two IPs at home, and an office computer, and the ability to remotely log in to all of the above) between alts, so that my IP was never consecutively used for two consecutive alt moves. I found that the magic 3 triggers for the anti-multiabuse system were attacking, healing and barricading, with the most sensitive trigger being barricading. If Alt1 even attempts to barricade in BuildingA even once, Alt1 is the only character at your IP address who can successfully barricade, attack or heal for the next few hours. Anyone else from that IP would miss constantly, or get the "you can do nothing for this person" message when trying to heal. Attacking and healing were a bit less sensitive, but multiple alts from one IP attacking a single target in a short space of time is a big alarm flag (which I am sure is how they finally caught me). Healing wasn't so much a flag as just something that seemed to be turned off when one of the other two activities triggered the alt flag. So after a few days and a few dozen wasted AP, I learned how to work around the system. Only barricade on the alt that had the most AP, so he could get the job done, and do your killing and healing first on other alts if you need to do that in that square. Sleep in separate buildings, though side-by-side buildings seemed to be enough. And never attack the same person on the same day with more than one alt from the same IP address.

See, that was what finally got me, I'm sure... in trying to retake the whatmore building this week from a very large and highly organized group of zombies (possibly even zergers themselves), I made the cardinal errors of keeping all my alts in the same building at the same time, and attacked the same zombie (because how can you differentiate zombies you haven't scanned and put in your contacts?) with more than one alt from the same IP address (laziness on my part). But I'm not all that sure about that, because the ban didn't actually kick in until the zombies had won, and I had saved up ~25 AP, so that I could move them across 3 suburbs to the nearest survivor-held revive point. So that might have been another trigger... having the same IP move multiple characters across suburb boundaries to the exact same coordinates (the revive point, in this case) in a short period of time. 8 hours later, when I checked I got the message that my characters were disabled.

I guess my hubris had caught up with me... I'd worked the system so long that I got sloppy and didn't even try to cover my tracks any more, or perhaps I just wanted to push the envelope to try to retake Whatmore, or maybe I was just subconsciously tired of it all and stopped caring. Even now, I feel liberated that I have been freed of my self-imposed responsibilities and management tasks. This must be, on a small scale, what a career soldier feels like dying on the battlefield. My work is done.

I don't care what anybody thinks of me, particularly those who would condemn me for "cheating" at this game. This game needs to be cheated. I'll detail why:

  • One character, be it zombie or survivor, cannot accomplish anything on his own. Be it clawing down a heavy barricade or gunning down a zombie (if you count the time to scrounge ammo and load weapons, or if you are using melee weapons), each action of consequence takes roughly a full day's worth of AP, and that's all that you can store (50 ap max).

  • The methods of communication in the game are woefully insufficient, and punish the player for communicating by making them spend AP to communicate. Talking and broadcasting should not cost AP, at least not a half hour's worth per sentence. UD's communications paradigm forces players to metagame (use outside-of-game communication and planning) if they want to work together, and as noted above, multiple characters MUST work together to accomplish anything.

  • PKing is far too rampant and has no repercussions other than what survivors themselves decide (and are able to) impose. This exacerbates the already-rough time survivors have, which brings me to:

  • The game is terribly unbalanced in favor of the zombies, even at max level. Zombies incur minimal penalty from dying (they just stand back up again, for as little as 1-6 AP, and be at full health and ready instantly), whereas survivors incur a tremendous penalty (stand up as a zombie, have to wander until you find somewhere/someone to revive you, wait for the revive, cure your infection, and get to safety, all to the tune of probably close to a full day's AP gone). Survivors must spend AP barricading to have safe places to sleep, Zombies don't even need safe places to sleep (see dying above). Survivors need to buy abilities just to be able to survive (shopping, free running, construction, etc). Zombies can buy an ability to keep from being revived, but no human ability can stop them from being zombified. Infection needs to be cured by revival. A level 1 survivor can't even defend himself or attack zombies, but infinite level 1 zombies can be rolled and herded into a building under attack so that once it is ransacked it cannot be reclaimed and repaired by survivors (and you can't barricade a ransacked building). Some survivor abilities are still useful as a zombie, but only the stinky corpse ability works as a survivor, and its utility is questionable. Zombies PKing each other does no harm, unlike survivor PKing. And the list goes on and on.
I shudder to think of the chaos and destruction I could have wrought had I been a PK or if I decided to go full zombie with my alts. But now it's all over, and I'm glad. I'll just list what needs fixing, in my not so humble opinion, and head off to greener pastures-

  1. Communication in-game needs to be revamped and not cost AP. If you are worried about channel spamming, make a rolling limit on the number of "says" a character gets in an hour, of about 5 or so, after which "your voice is too hoarse to speak."

  2. Cell phones need to work 100% of the time. The powered mast dynamic needs to go away.

  3. Survivors need to be able to shoot out of second story windows at zombies outside.

  4. Infection needs to be cured by revival.

  5. Survivor-on-survivor killing needs to be worth no experience, and if not be made impossible or punished by the system, then at least put some kind of marking on characters to indicate their murderous nature.

  6. Free running needs to be standard issue to everyone who starts a character as a survivor.

  7. The maximum number of AP needs to be raised to 100 or possibly even 200, though the regeneration rate should stay the same. Zombies should have a lower max AP than survivors.

  8. Zombie max HP needs to scale from 10 up to 50 (or 60 with body building) with level.

  9. Only zombies should have the option to destroy generators/radios, and then, only as an automatic function of ransacking.
Ok, that's enough of that. As my parting words, I'll just say, Yellow Dart, you were incorrect when you accused me of zerging, but I fixed it for you 6 months later.

Farewell, UD.


udplayer said...

Sometimes it’s not what you fucked up, it’s whom you fucked. Forget the anti-abuse mechanics but beware the players you play with. Some people didn’t like to be cheated, didn’t like to get fucked.
You are free now, but I bet you’re coming back, with new characters incapable of quitting the game and you will end up like you end up before…as a cheater.

axel said...

I just hope YRC, of which I'm passionated member, won't have to suffer from your actions (well, YRC is on "holidays" for now anyway). At least you ackowledged your crimes ! So long Gasbandit.

Gas Bandit said...

I acknowledge and fully accept each of your scorn in turn as justified, but I'm not sorry, and rest assured I'm not returning.

You're absolutely right, udplayer, I was cheating. That I was "cheating for the good guys" is meager defense, and so I make no excuse for myself. Rest assured, however, that I will not be back.

See, I made a calculated and sober decision to do what I did. I played the game the "right" way until I was tired of it (all my alts were 41 *before* I turned zerg, if you can believe it), and then I decided to play it without regard for rules just so I could leave without regrets, without wondering what it might could have been. I never expected it to last this long, and truth be told it was starting to get to be a chore.

And udplayer, the only people I "screwed" were PKs and Maxime, about neither of which I am concerned.

axel, I too, hope that the YRC doesn't suffer because of my actions. As I said in my main post, they're a great bunch. This is why I formed my own group, rather than just have my alts join them. They never asked nor gave permission for my "guardianship," and since I knew this little affair could only end one way, I separated myself into a different group so that it wouldn't stain them. But really, all I was was helpful. Maybe some career zombies would be angry that I was able to revive way more in Swithun's than I should have been able to, or headshot and dump Maxime the rotter multiple times a day, but I say screw the easymoders. Playing a zombie is like growing moss. Slow, but inevitable.

Anyway, thank you gents for reading my story, and leaving your feelings. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Die on a fire, fucking zerg. There is no excuse to cheat. Cheating is far worse than PKing.

Gas Bandit said...

Oh, your words how they burn (rolls eyes).

Guessing you're either a Zed or a PK, either way (or even if not), *shrug*. Just another moron on the net who says someone should die "on" a fire (can't even get the latest clever quip the script kiddies are all using right?) because they didn't play a free online game the way it was supposed to be. Nice sense of proportion.

And anonymity really shows your lack of balls.

Dan Mayer said...

Hey. I just wanted to say I understand your frustration with the game, but it seems to me like zerging is a somewhat extreme way of making it better for yourself.

First off, you're right that a single player can't do much, but come on. It's a zombie apocalypse. No single human being could hope to survive in a zombie apocalypse, and no single zombie could hope to kill a reasonably intelligent human or tear its way into a barricaded building by itself. The game encourages teamwork because teamwork is how you survive.

Second, I think you're wrong that zeds are overpowered. Yeah, they don't suffer from death, but they also are very weak by themselves. A single human can deal much more damage in 50ap than a zombie could ever hope to, and humans don't need to spend 40+ ap tearing through barricades to find something to kill. They can just run outside, shoot some zeds, then run back inside.

Your other big complaint seemed to be about in-game communication. I understand where you're coming from, but I honestly like it that way. It makes more sense in-genre. Mobile phones working 100% of the time is horribly unrealistic. You think you could get 4 bars on Sprint's network after their phone mast got shut down?

As for PKers, I realize they can be irritating, but (and sorry if I sound like a broken record here) people going crazy and killing each other is practically encouraged by the fact that it's the apocalypse, and people tend to lose their shit in the apocalypse. It's not getting around any rules, and if you really wanted to fight fire with fire, you certainly could. Labeling PKers is a bad idea, too. How can you recognize a murderer just by looking at them?

If you hadn't guessed, I play a PKer. I also play a legit survivor, and a zombie. I've been playing them for about a year and a half. I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.

In closing, I'll just say this: UD isn't for everyone. If you really want to play a game where you feel like you can change the world all by yourself, go buy God of War II (I highly recommend it). If you ever decide you want a team experience with a vibrant community in a game that requires strategy, and can be pretty challenging yet rewarding, then considering coming back to UD again someday.

W. Broke said...

Going Zerg only shows two things: You have no (UD) friends and you want to win. Winning in a game who has no achievable goal is an odd thing to do. In UD everybody choose what he/she wants to accomplish and you gave yourself a mission that cannot be accomplished by a single man. Only your own mission objective (winning over immortal monsters that cannot be removed from the world and have the tendency to come back) makes your enemies overpowered and you goal unreachable. In this frustration you turned to boost you power in creating your own army. Many players go that way, but in the end they fail even with greater zerg armies as yours. Look around the wiki and you find some players who set themselves goals that can be accomplished and also fun to do.
PKers (and I’m one of them) choose to be survivor killers because it’s a fun way to play the game.
I hope you consider your decision to quit the game for good and come back and try again with another goal, a mission objective that is achievable. Find some (UD) friend, join the community via one of the many forums and just have fun.

Gas Bandit said...

Thanks, fellas. Even if I don't share your opinions, one can't help but respect them when they are presented eloquently and in a civil tone.

Incidentally, w. broke, yes, as I said in the main post, all my friends had quit UD, and yes, I wanted to win... so your observation is correct, but a little redundant ;)

Specialist290 said...

Just thought I'd stop by to make a comment myself.

I don't condone zerging myself, but I do appreciate your honesty in the admission, and I wanted to let you know that I can certainly sympathize w/ the frustration angle.

When I was new to Urban Dead about a year ago, our group was relentlessly singled out by a group of PKers through no fault of our own. The grief they caused me was great enough to cause me to leave Urban Dead for about six months. I'll admit that I took the game a little too seriously back then, but it still had a definite impact on the way I play and view Urban Dead.

I can understand the temptation to zerg in certain circumstances, but that still doesn't mean I see it as anything other than cheating. However, I have nothing personal against you yourself. If this is indeed your ultimate departure from UD, then I will bid you adieu.


hagnat said...

yes, the first levels can be really frustrating to be played as survivors... my main zombie account was the first of my 6 or 7 survivors accounts to die, and only the 4th account, tanenbaum, i created acctually succeded the task of surviving the first week... but i never zerged with any of them, and condone anyone who practice this kind of actions...

you see, all the problems you are talking about that favors the zombies and punish the survivors, most of them were made to combat the favor that survivors used to had... a few months ago the ratio were 60% harmans vs. 40% zombies in the game... and zombies had a real bad time back then, to the point that my harman turned a pker and my zombie abandoned to root... now the situation is quite the opposite.

anyway, ud is a good game... if it wasnt i wouldnt be playing it for more than 18 months already...

Elsinthun said...

Its interesting to see the views of a zerger. I've suffered their attention an awful lot and have grown to hate them. But seeing this perspective is extremely interesting.
I'm not going to say what you did was right, its quite obviously not and you know this. But I can understand why you did. UD is an extremely difficult game for lone players. Survivers struggle to get to safehouses and zombies struggle to get into safehouses, Both don't have an easy time and need a group to help them. I was lucky and found the DEM and joined them with my main. But the amount of meta-gaming it required drained my real life and led to my recent retirement. UD would certainly benefit from more in-game communications. And help for newbies that doesn't rely on other players. Only trouble is, none-player help detracts from the 'realism' of the game, in a 'real' zombie apocalypse, you're going to get insane murderers who shoot you sooner than look at you.
Perhaps it would be a good idea if you e-mailed Kevin to give suggestions on how to prevent zerging. Your perspective might be extremely useful.
Glad you saw the error of your ways man, and its interesting to see them here.


johann said...

someone said zeds aren't overpowered because they need to spend 40ap to destroy barricades. But that is simply the equivalent to the 40ap humans need to search for the ammo then need to shoot zeds with.

So yes, zeds are indeed overpowered. The 50ap humans used to search for ammo and the 10-20ap used to kill one zed is in turned negated into the 1 to 6ap the zed uses to stand up with full health.

How unfair is that?

Do I even need to go to the amount of AP needed to search for revive syringes and the 10ap needed to revive someone?

I think a fair solution would be to simply increase the search odds for ammo and revive syringes. After all, it only costs 6ap to stand up for the undead.

Now how do we get Kevan to look here so he can fix things.

Mac said...

Man... I've been wondering where you went, lol. At first I was ready to BLAM your blog entry when I noticed that you weren't being sarcastic about zerging, but after reading through the entirety of the post, I can understand now why you took to such means. Kinda reminds me of why people auotmined/trained/killed etc on Runescape back in the days of Classic. Meh.

It's sad to see you go, dude, but have fun in whatever you're doing right now to pass the time. Things have actually gotten a little better around Yagoton since you left, Death's Embrace and their zombie friends have been losing pretty badly recently and we've retaken most everything except the kitchen sink someone threw at a lone zed last week. Oh well.

-Private Mark Aka Macampos

Dean Lewis said...

While I don't condone zerging of any sort, it is very interesting to see a report like this from a non-zombie, non-PKer zerger. The fact you played the game properly for so long, had your friends leave the game due to being targeted and harassed (something this game makes easy to do), and then returned months later to do the zerging mitigates it a little in my mind. Why? Because it shows exactly some of the flaws zergers can use or get around in the game, and that is needed.

I like some of your suggestions. I don't necessarily agree it should be easier for low levels. I don't even think zombies should be less powerful since this is, after all, a zombie apocalypse. However, I agree the infection after revive is ridiculous. The number of things that eat up survivor AP is ridiculous, too, considering the extremely superior zombie ability of standing with full health for just 1-6AP.

And the idea of being able to shoot out windows or off roofs of tall buildings at zombies is something I've brought up before elsewhere. It's in the zombie movies. And survivors could whittle down the health of incoming zombies before they break in. Zombies could combat it by moving a square away from the tall buildings and attacking en masse (and the coordinated attacking is already happening anyway). And zombies could coordinate to take out sniper posts, while snipers could move around the city taking potshots. A whole new dynamic to the game.

At any rate, I definitely understand the frustration. UD is fun enough that we really WANT to make it all work, but there are some flaws that just keep it from being better. I don't make too much a fuss because it is essentially free. :)

Good luck in the games you pick to play next!

Anonymous said...

you not instantly winning and being proclaimed god of the game is not indacative of a weakness in the dynamics. Metagaming and PKing is part of the game and is actually way more interesting than sitting around endlessly pegging zombies and maxing out survivor characters.
Players who play as zombies or PK's are not "lesser" players and if you think the dynamics are biased against survivors, then you probably haven't had to play it as a zombie for very long. Ransack, the new headshot rules, and the feeding groan have made things fair and have stopped things from turning into a shooting gallery.
Also, if you think you would have shook things up as a PK or a zombie, then that's what you should have done.

Anonymous said...

Pendarrin here, of the YRC.

It was quite fun having the GotYRC around; I thought they added a good bit of flavor to Yagoton at large, and was a bit of an ego boost to this humble YRC member, if I do say so myself...

But I'm really a little dissapointed in how this little debacle turned out. Mostly, I'm just dissapointed that you're trying to justify your actions. I disagree with the assertion that UD "needs" to be cheated on. I also disagree that PK'ers detract from the game -- on the contrary, I think they make things a lot more interesting. One major exception to that rule would be "to talk" of course-- there is a line between PK'ing and griefing, and I for one think that he crossed the line. But I digress.

I'm sorry you feel you needed to cheat, and I'm also sorry the Yellow Dart accused you of zerging even before it became a reality. One of those self-fulfilling prophecy situations, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I want to resurrect the GoYRC and I want to ask your permission to refound the group (i.e to edit the wiki page and all that shit)

Anonymous said...

Dude, some feedback plz?

Gas Bandit said...

Oh, sorry, man. I don't really come back to check the comments on old posts. You can do whatever you want with it, I've been done with UD since I wrote the article.

You could have e-mailed me any time for a faster response, you know :P my e-mails right up on the right in the corner of the main blog page.

Anonymous said...

You don't like pkers, so you cheated... did I miss anything? All justifications aside that is the crux of your story, right?
A statement from myself and on behalf of pkers as a whole; if you were half the man most pkers are you would have found like minded players and gone after us. The alternative would be joining the DEM which largely exists to find and kill pkers. We kind of give them a purpose. Without pking, bounty hunters would have nothing to do and would probably leave.
I like to see pking as weeding out the stupid, or just killing someone at random if I can't find a suitable candidate. I started off as a pker by killing anyone with the word "trenchcoat" in their description, then it moved to anyone with no description, and finally I ran hit and runs on different groups. Realizing that I couldn't hurt them too much by myself I joined a pker group, rather than creating my own private army.
On Pking: Pking is not easy, it's actually quite hard. Not only do you have to worry about zombies, but there is an entire metagaming establishment devoted to killing you specifically. Pking is like being low level again, where NO WHERE is safe.
By finding the easy way to win(whatever winning is in UD), and showing a complete disregard for right and wrong, you sir have demonstrated that you are an asshole.

Anonymous said...

Well, interesting... I found this post 2 years later, thanks to the fact that the group is being considered for Historical Group status...

Zerging is obviously cheating and I don't like cheaters. But... as there is a crusade going on against survivor zergs and no one really cares about zombie zergs, I can't say I resent you anything. I don't zerg. I have 3 characters, all prosurvivors and all far away from each other. Two of them witnessed zombie zerg attacks today (TODAY! During the last 24, actually 14, hours!) and it is not a pretty sight. No, I'm not mistaken, it was not RRF, MOB, Feral Undead, Undeadities... just zergs. Can't do much about it, though.

PKing annoys me too. Extremely. It has nothing to do with roleplaying, there is no mechanism to stop PKers, although there would be if the 'zombie outbreak' happened for real. DEM and their bounty hunters are just making things worse. I believe I can actually do something about it, so I will go for it. Will try to make PKers' life miserable, until they quit the game. I will not turn my characters to 'bounty hunters'. When they die, they will remain as zombies, breaking into dark buildings and trying to kill PKers inside. Also will try to scout RPs, identify their revivers and kill them too. It is easier to do that as a zombie, because I don't have to worry about ridiculous DEM. Yes, I take the game too seriously. I don't even consider it a game anymore.

Gas Bandit said...

Historical status? Are you kidding? That's both hilarious and tragic... and I guess a little flattering. I gotta go put a stop to this...

Anonymous said...

"the only people I "screwed" were PKs and Maxime, about neither of which I am concerned."
This is incorrect. You screwed YRC. Congratulations! Your "work" amounts to diddly squat.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I wonder if anybody reads this anymore. I just happened upon it myself. As a fairly new member of UD, I gotta say I can see why you did it. PKers, GKers, and the like, they can be really frustrating. And I haven't even been singled out specifically and beat up by any groups. I play four or five characters myself, but never thought of getting them together to zerg. I did try to get my first two together (a zed and a survivor) to try to up my xp), and that is where my gripe on UD comes down - it is a tough world for a noob. I stay because it is fun, but I'd like to see a few little changes as well. I don't condone your zerging, because it is frowned upon in general. But I understand why you did it.

Nicholas Coltharp said...

You say that the game is "designed to cater to chaos and antisocialism." I feel compelled to note that rule-breaking (zerging), playing the victim (getting PKed), and a grandiose self-image (your plan for revamping the game) are all antisocial tendencies themselves.

About PKing: PKing is simply part of the game. Even though I'm a human player, I don't hate PKers anymore than I hate zombies. They're part of what makes the game fun. PKing doesn't make them assholes. It do make them targets, but only because I could be their target otherwise.

About communication: if you're so concerned about communication, join a strong group. My group, the DHPD, has a squad that coordinates attacks in real-time, and everyone communicates on the forums. Make use of the wiki, too. None of these things are against the rules.

About everything else: the game is designed to be somewhat hard and inefficient. That's just the way it is. But I think you're wrong that survivors have it too hard. The player ratio is consistently balanced in favor of survivors. Plus, humans are just more fun to play in my personal opinion.

Joe said...

The only way to win is for everyone to become a zombie and ruin the whole city. *crosses fingers*

I think some of the changes are a good idea, but a single player isn't supposed to be able to accomplish much, that's the point- working together to accomplish whatever you are doing...

Interesting article

Anonymous said...

I have over 500 ZERG accounts created and counting. I have single handed fucked up whole districts and I will continue to do so. I will bring the game to its knees though a combination of ZERGING GKing and PKing.

Fuck Kevan and his game this is how to enjoy it by fucking it up for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas Coltharp is a typical up his own arsehole and thinks hes clever type.

500 Zergs and counting which will be looking for you.