When you first start playing WOTLD, you will be assigned three survivors. It's your job to keep them safe, healthy, and alive. Humanity rests on your shoulders, so remember that if it's in your best interest to do everything you can to ensure their survival.
To start off, it is recommended that you follow the tutorials that are given to you. They help give you a running start with some supplies, and allows you to earn a great deal of Survival Points, or SP. The tutorial can be reopened at anytime by clicking the red skull in the top right corner.
Some tutorial steps do not have to be completed in order (such as the page on messaging another player). It is best to complete these as soon as possible, so don't be afraid to browse.
Make note your survivors' genders, for their genders may vary and this is an important factor. Males have a larger carrying capacity, allowing them to carry up to 30 kg as opposed to the 20 kg carried by females. Furthermore, males consume 2000 calories a day, as opposed to the 1000 consumed by females.
Movement is determined by your survivor's skill as well as how much they're carrying.
When moving, take care to pass through lower z-density areas. The density of an area can easily be determined by its color and the note off to the side. High density areas have a higher chance of getting your survivors hurt, so often times it is far better to take a longer, but safer route. Furthermore, as you move make sure to keep an eye on the houses. Zombies used to be people, so there tends to be a lot in residential areas. An easy way to avoid too many zombies is to go for highways and the roads by them, as these roads often have a smaller z-density.
Something many new players forget about is how much items their people are carrying. The limit given (usually 20 or 30 kg) is a recommended limit, as anything over the limit slows down your survivor. A squad travels at the speed of the slowest survivor, so a straggler could be fatal for everyone. A survivor can no longer move when the weight carried is twice their recommended capacity.
Survival points, nearly always referred to as SP, are sort of like skill points in any MMORPG, the only difference is that it can be used for any survivor and a few other things. SP can be obtained by doing missions issued from the tutorial or the broadcast,and can also be obtained by looting items, therefore it is in your best interest to loot as much as you can to help rack up SP.
Some players have this mindset that it is best to balance your survivors with SP, allowing each survivor to have decent stats. This strategy does not provide the best returns. In some cases you may want to sacrifice a survivor, whether it be for a scouting mission, or as bait. If you spread things out, no loss is an 'easy' loss.
A good strategy is to designate certain survivors as leaders, and allot most of your SP into these survivors. Squad skills would help greatly and benefit everyone. Alloting most of your SP into one survivor is also a risky tactic. Although they are a lot harder to kill, they may still be killed by PVP players through a coordinated attack.
How you invest your skills is largely up to you, but it's recommended to invest in skills to increase the effectiveness of looting and melee combat early on. Keep in mind that you must invest in a skill in order to use it - A survivor with no skill in a certain weapon will not use it, even if it is equipped. This applies to all weapons, whether conventional or improvised.
On your map, NECRA Safehouses should be already marked out. After a day of scavenging, it is wise to return to the safehouse to recover. ONLY in a safehouse can you recover fatigue, fear and health. NECRA Safehouses are permanent, therefore it is a good place to hide out, whether it be from zombies or gun toting survivors out to kill. Inside a NECRA safehouse, you can create stashes, which allow you to hide some supplies for later use. Stashes can only be seen by you, but will not be marked in anyway. It is your responsibility to remember where you left your stashes. The best way to remember your stashes is to mark the safehouses, so you know which ones to return to. A stash can only hold 4.0 kg worth of items.
Unlike NECRA Safehouses, Player Safehouses have to be made. Making a player safehouse has some advantages and disadvantages tied to it. Higher level players make their own safehouses rather than using NECRA safehouses, primarily for the reason that they can be upgraded to suit their needs. You'll be able to make your own safe houses at level 4, and better ones will be available at later levels.
- Can be made anywhere
- Provides an area for looting bonuses
- Increased regeneration rate of fear/fatigue depending the type of Safe House
- Can be upgraded
- Personal safehouse, no one else can enter, unless you give access to faction members
- It can be used as a item vault, so you can store unlimited items
- Costs SP to construct
- Always needs survivors to defend, and defending survivors recover fear/fatigue at half the normal rate
- Needs upgrade items, which take up encumberance for the survivors to carry there
- Limited survivor capacity
If a safe house is not assigned defenders, it will slowly deteriorate. Once the safe house reaches a certain point, it becomes unusable and disappears, leaving your survivors out in the open. It's usually best to have the bare minimum of survivors in order to prevent this, but it's not necessary if the safe house is a temporary base, which is useful when traveling long distances. Higher Z-Densities means that safe houses deteriorate faster.
Safe houses can also be given to a faction, allowing all survivors in that faction to use it, but remember that the process cannot be reversed.
A major priority is to keep your survivors well fed and watered. Hunger and thirst can kill people as easily as zombies, so be sure to give your survivors plenty of food and liquid. When distributing items, keep in mind that whatever item the survivor is holding in their backpack will be consumed when it is "dinner time". "Dinner time" is a certain time on the server where all the survivors will automatically consume what supplies they have to keep themselves alive. Currently, it has been determined that "dinner time" is around 8PM (EST). So far, there is no other way to make your survivors eat, therefore you should keep in mind how much longer you have before they consume. There is no way to stop them from consuming the supplies they are carrying, so if for any reason, you don't want them to eat/drink, take the items out of their backpack.
Survivors also gain Hunger/Thirst at Dinner Time. Once a survivor reaches 100% Thirst or Hunger, they will die the next time Dinner rolls around. Unless you do something about it, of course.
Fear builds up as you travel in zones with zombies. Essentially, fear will always keep increasing unless you are in a safehouse. Equipping your survivors with Melee Weapons or firearms will slow the rate at which fear increases. A higher fear level makes it easier for your survivors to get hurt, so it is imperative that you keep your survivors well armed. Fear decreases at a base rate of 18 per hour inside a NECRA safehouse.
Fatigue is one of the most important factors in the game. With fatigue, you cannot scavenge, and without scavenging you cannot progress. Fatigue increases from movement and scavenging. When making a trip, it is best to start looking for a safehouse to retire to after your fatigue has hit the 50% mark. A higher fatigue level also makes it much easier to get hurt. Unlike fear, fatigue recovers much slower, at a base rate of 4 per hour. It is highly recommended that you increase your fatigue regeneration with skills.
Scavenging is a very important process in WOTLD. For new players, it is suggested that you don't scavenge at areas with high difficulty or low "lootability" - They can usually find needed supplies in other places, and probably shouldn't loot in anywhere with a difficulty level higher than 6 nodes. A higher difficulty and lower lootability means that it tires survivors more to scavenge, making their scavenging less effective and making them need to rest more.