Especially in the beginning of the game it’s not going to be the Zeds or other players killing your survivors. It will be you. A death sentence carried out by a single extra click of that button that says “MOVE” when you should have stayed put. The following is a guide on movement through the World of the Living Dead and how not to die by doing so.
Just like planning your family trip to Wally World, you need to make sure you have everything that you will need in all the right places. First and foremost in this are the weapons and firearms.
Melee weapons should be in every survivor’s hand. Period, at all times. Fear mitigation and being able to deal damage cheaply is always a plus. Firearms & Ammo have a much greater amount of Fear mitigation but is much more costly in that ammo runs out and it’s not easy to find. If you are planning a short trip for some scavenging and you have a modest amount of ammo, it may benefit you to stow the firearm and go with melee. On the other hand, if you have a long trip planned, particularly through densely populated areas, having every available firearm at the ready can give you a much greater boost to the distance covered and help you better defend in the case of a player attack.
In the case that you choose to carry a firearm, it’s useless without the proper ammunition. With enough survivors, it could be easy to put the wrong ammunition with the right gun or simply overlook one, which could cause your expedition to prematurely come to a halt due to an injury.
Hit the Distribute Ammunition button to make sure that doesn’t happen.
When all have the right weapons with the right ammunition, even if not going to be in use, you are nearly prepared to go out.
The last step, assuming you have everything you plan to take or leave wherever you are is to check encumbrance. First, be sure that no one is overloaded and redistribute as needed. If you are planning to go scavenging, make sure your encumbrance is as low as possible.
When everyone is locked, loaded, and not overloaded, you’re ready to click on Map.
Plan your route. Simply selecting something in the distance and letting SCUGS choose the way for you can shorten your trip or get you perished if you follow it blindly. Let it choose the way but be prepared to Cancel if it’s taking you through orange or red when there may be another better way around. Look at the map and determine yourself what way looks good. Sometimes just slightly altering the course down a side street can make the trip a little longer but much more pleasant, keeping the Fear far lower than it might have become. You can also select your route in pieces before you commit, clicking multiple times to extend your planned travel.
As you move, especially the longer you move, don’t be afraid to deviate off your course when you see places that may be great scavenging locations to restock your supply in the case that you need to stop. It’s always good to keep developing your route as you move.
It’s No Rush:Edit
The Zeds aren’t going anywhere fast, you shouldn’t feel like you have to either. In the beginning it’s going to be harder on you than later on. You’re needing to survive first, get better later. So, aim for that location but don’t be afraid to call it a night half-way through for any number of reasons.
- Injuries: They can happen right out the front door. One click and you have an injury. The moment a survivor receives a serious injury, I make camp. If there is a nice scavenging location very near, I may risk another move or two to get to it, though that also depends on their Fear and Fatigue status. If the location is distant or their Fear and Fatigue are much higher than 50%, I build my apartment or dive into a Necra Safehouse.
- Fear & Fatigue: Once either goes over 50%, it seems that the chance of injury increases that much more. Even if the survivors have suffered no injuries yet, that is soon going to change. Over 50%, it’s good policy to start looking for a place to land and Recover.
- Rough Way to Go: If your Fear is still moderate (30-40s) but you see a sea of red ahead of you with no short way around, especially if you have any injury already, discretion may be your best course. Back tracking or taking a small detour to a Scavenge site to build an apartment or Recover in a Necra SH could allow you to be ready to tackle the rough way ahead with relative ease a while later.
- Bad Starting Areas: Some will get a bad hand to begin with, having high density all over the place. Baby steps may be your real best effort to get out of there in one piece. Try to keep up with the tutorial but be prepared to give it a rest long enough to try to keep your supplies up and move, when you can, slowly out of the area. As you do move out of there, be prepared to make short jaunts and then hole up in a Safehouse and scavenge until you are more in the clear. This could literally take many days in the beginning.
It’s good policy to travel with a safety net of 10 SP for EACH Squad on the move in preparation to throw together an Apartment, even with what may look like relatively safe distances outside of staying within your SH radius. At the moment you least expect it, you could suffer injuries that put one of your survivors in Critical and that very next click to Move could be his last. And it probably will be. Ask the late Ali Shelstad.
UPDATE 6/28/2011: Just Hide has been tested to find that you can Heal from Injury at 4 hours a tick just as if in a Safehouse. Your Fear and Fatigue however do not recover but do not rise as previously thought. It's not a true SH but will be able to actually pull your fat out of the fire after all.
When moving out of an area, plan your move to a Faction Safehouse, Necra Safehouse, or be prepared to build an apartment as you go and take the entire Squad with you in one move. Be rested, packed up, and ready to leave the old Safehouse and what you can’t carry or worth the trouble behind to find another refuge or prepared to build your own. It’s an expensive way to travel as far as SP goes but well worth it as far as survivability goes. It may only be a few blocks or a few miles, but be prepared to move on and not look back.
Take stock of what you want to take with you. Strong Melee weapons in Good condition should take priority over those of weaker and/or Fair condition or worse. Firearms that you have ammo for should take priority over others that you don’t and in Fair condition or worse. High Calorie/Low Weight foods like Emergency Food Bars, MREs, Nuts, and such should be packed onto survivors along with as much liquid as each can carry. Liquids are more important than food as far as how fast you can perish from not having it. Put the things you may not want and/or cannot carry into the Safehouse Public Storage and leave it behind for someone else that may have more need of it than you do.
Move the entire group as one.
Added Note: Remember that if you build a SH with a scavenging location within the Hex, you get a bonus to finding supplies to travel on.
Mission Broadcasts: Edit
When rushing over a distance may be necessary, the It’s No Rush rule needs some exceptions. Pushing forward, you can receive injuries without Fear and Fatigue playing a part in it, or you may have started off with Stable or even Serious Injuries in a race to get to a Public Broadcast. When an injury is Serious or especially if it’s Critical, use your extra SP Supply to build an apartment, drop the injured off, and move the rest of the capable Squad forward. You’re taking a risk with the rest of the Squad if Fear and Fatigue are climbing and they’re moving into a high density area. Use good judgment at this point and realize that you’re going to be going on a one-way trip for that day until Recovered.
The rest after that point is a gamble that you will have to determine on your own as you will know the distance and your condition status to weight if the mission is too far or not. Especially if you have spent all of your SP supply on the last Safehouse.
However, even if you are currently at zero SP after building the new Apartment, the mission bonus itself will easily provide enough SP to build another. Once completed, build another safehouse and recover with plans to reunite your mission Squad with the injured the next day.
Most importantly though, and key to your survivors well-being, know when to just plain stop and let it go. Realize you can’t make it without losses, rest, and hope that the mission is still there the next time you’re able to move toward it. If it isn’t, there will be more.