Archive for the ‘Survival Tip’ Category

There was a point when the Leaderboards received zero respect from me. I dislike any system that is so easy to manipulate through cheesy means that I pay it no true heed. And while the game remains just that, a game or a source of fun and amusement, the Leaderboards within the system have made some serious improvements to actually have value in my opinion. Where before I would look in amusement at the Top Safehouses as a meaningless title, I now view with all seriousness the work and effort of the members within these houses and what it actually means.

Within the old system a Safehouse merely needed to have members willing to pour real money into the system. Get your Safehouse to level 8 and then dump mass amounts of supplies within the Safehouse storage until your number is bigger than the biggest Safehouse on the list. It meant nothing other than a pissing contest of who spent the most money. Zero effort in the game and in all reality it was possible for a Safehouse of one person at level one to be the top Safehouse on the list if that one person was insane enough to spend the money to do it. While many of us realized that this was the broken situation it was the debacle of particular Safehouse’s rogue member that really brought it to the front in many people’s eyes. She exposed just how valueless this list was, along with also exposing an exploit that was being used and resulted in trouble for more than a few including herself.

The new system, however, actually gives some weight into the efforts that one spends on their character. While money spent can still play a factor it is not the same as what was displayed before due to the more complicated calculation in values. Safehouses, Strongholds and Top Survivors are all rated now by the CVC Survivor Rating. So how is your CVC Survivor Rating calculated and what does this mean for your Safehouse or Stronghold?

CVC Survivor Rating is calculated by the sum of your level and skills, not including the Energy and Stamina skill. For example: At the time of this writing my CVC Survivor Rating is 155. That’s my level at 28 plus Hunting 15, Scavenging 27, Trader 28, Healer 28 and Duel 28. Ideally if I maxed all my skills I would have a rating of 168 however since my Hunting is half of what it could be and I haven’t maxed out Scavenging my rating is lower than the maximum.

Stronghold and Safehouse ratings are the sum total of all the members CVC Survivor Ratings. I am therefore contributing 155 points to my personal Stronghold. Strongholds and Safehouses have been separated into two different lists.  What does this mean for the Safehouse or Stronghold I belong to?

If your group cares about their position within the Leaderboards you are responsible for aiding with that value. Every member that does not max out their skills lowers the value of the Safehouse or Stronghold’s potential. Many Safehouses and Strongholds will not be concerned about this however those who consider themselves elite are going to start paying attention to their member’s stats. While Terry Fox will not be among those to chase after members I would predict that some of this has already occurred in some Safehouses and Strongholds and created divides among members. Those who formerly were on the top of the Leaderboards will continue to want to remain there. Overall membership will contribute and aid to the rating because ultimately this is a numbers game and a level ten with five points in each value is still worth more within the group than kicked out of the group.

I’d like to use this to encourage those who have let some stat fade off, especially those like healing and dueling, to consider the challenge you are presenting to yourself in showing your value to your community or gathering. It brings little benefit other than bragging rights, so consider for yourself the value of such kudos and if they mean something for you. And for those pushing members that have slacked in some way I would urge you to remember that ultimately this is and always should be a game to have fun and enjoy.

Source of information: wiredl0ve at the following posting, Global Chat, PAL conversations, confirmed within my own stats and Leaderboard position.

Beebles nibbled on the edge of her pencil staring at the paper in front of her. Her dark eyes flicker up for the hundredth time in irritation at Malkoris who paced the room in front of her. “Look, either she’ll call or she won’t, but wearing out the floor in front of me isn’t helping! Go somewhere else, shoo!” He shot her a dirty look and stomped out of the room. Beebles sighed softly and peered down again at her ledger of numbers. Chyram cannot come home too soon the way Malkoris was behaving! Despite his distracting her, Beebles had finished compiling her list. She smiled in satisfaction and stood up to go post the results to the bulletin board.

Dueling for Profit

Tips:

  1. When looking for profit always look for Favorables with max values. This might take a few refreshing of your duel list to come up with your master list.
  2. Write down Favorable’s names so you can search for them faster in the future. Make a master list for your level of Favorables with the max values.
  3. Monitor your own supplies and cash levels. You must match the values of your targets and both must be the maximum value for your level to get the maximum profit. This also means you take equal risk at losing the max values.
  4. Note you can figure out the value you will gain if you do not carry your level’s maximum value by seeking the value lower on the chart. For example a level 10 carrying 1,000 cash/supplies (instead of the recommended 2,000) should gain 50 cash/supplies in a duel instead of 100. However at level 10 holding over 2,000 cash/supplies will not increase your profit in a duel until you level to level 11.

 

Chart Legend:

  • Level: Your current level. This will not necessarily be the level of your target.
  • Max Profit: The maximum amount you can win in cash/supply values off of a target at your level. Values equal (Level X 10)
  • Target Amount: The minimum amount you and your target must carry on their person in order to win maximum value in the duel. Values equal (Level X 200)
  • 10 Win Streak: A quick value of the amount you would gain if you won ten duels in a row with maximum gains. Values equal (Max Profit X 10)

 corrected error in chart

 

 

Credits:

Thank you, Rite Aid for their Dueling Guide that taught me all the basics and a lot of the details about dueling when I first got started. I’m glad your reference is still up for the PSC public!

Thank you, Label of Evil Industries Inc., Itcus of World’s End and Allie Mount of Aspi for patiently helping me figure out the late night math for this chart!

Searlait settled into the middle of the beat up sofa from the teacher’s lounge. She started to pick through the berries in the bowl in front of her, looking for the raspberries over the other flavors. Her eyes flicked from bowl to the beat up television waiting for her show to start. It was the only show worth watching anymore now that most television stations broadcast either emergency signals or government programs. The static cleared and Lessifer stood in his ill fitting suit behind the KSAT TV logo that was now spray painted on the back of a wall.

“This is Lessifer bringing you the top news stories of the week here at KSAT TV where propaganda is prohibited. First off Algiers Point is attempting to repeat the wild success they obtained with their first Caption Contest by hosting a second contest. Contestants must provide their PSC screen names, Friend Codes and a caption to be emailed at the appropriate address by 9:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday May 28th 2012. There is a prize announced. We’d direct fellow survivors to see the URL at the bottom of your screen for details.”

ALGIERS POINT CAPTION CONTEST #2

Quickly she scribbled down the address for the caption contest to look at later. “We here at KSAT TV,” Lessifer continued, “have breaking news on a new trend at the CVC. Ongoing sales are appearing for many of the popular products and…..”

So other than to spread the information about Algiers contest I want to quickly comment and give a very simple tip regarding the sales that have started to appear both in the News Feed and in the “Buy More Credits”. First let’s cover the basic facts:

  1. There are two types of sales, Credit Sales for real money or in game purchase for Credits
  2. Both sales bring bonus amounts and are provided for a limited time with limited supplies. For example, a sale might announce that for the next six hours 1000 Stamina pills are for sale in lots of 8 at a time for cheaper that if you bought them one at a time.
  3. To purchase these sale items you must to go the “Buy More Credits” screen, even when purchasing items with credits.
  4. Each sale displays how much time is left and how many items are left for sale. When the items run out the sale timer still remains displaying what the sale had been.

Opinion:

I, for one, happen to be very glad to see this sort of fire sale because there are times when I have a lot of credits from saving them up and not some place focused to use them. However there is a danger with these sales for impulse buying. (Which is the goal of any sort of fire sale and why they are successful.) You must view these sales as you would any sale in any store. Sure it might be a deal, but if you don’t need or you won’t use the items right away, is it worth the cost? Items that are half off aren’t saving you money if you never would have bought them in the first place! In short, there will always be another sale, buy what you need when you need it.

I hope to see the CVC continue this trend as it’s very exciting and a great addition to the game in my opinion.

Examples:

When I saw Beebles chewing on her pen I knew I had caught her at a moment of trepidation. The young woman was often uncertain about a great number of things in life, but it was rarer to find her expressing these classic Beebles’ signs while writing up some sort of form to send out for others to review. Beebles was a librarian at heart, and she always liked to have her facts in order, double checked with references underlined. If she was stuck on something it was likely because she couldn’t find the research needed to verify her facts. I folded my arms and leaned against the wall near her desk, “You know if it’s something that I have some sort of experience with,” my tone died off. I was immediately concerned it would be questions about a boy. Not to say I haven’t had experienced, I just didn’t want to have to go through the birds and bees with her or some such.

“I’m writing up tips about how to hire the best ally that works for you. Only,” she hesitated for a moment but I waited patiently letting her collect her thoughts. “Only it’s all theory. I haven’t been able to confirm any of it. It’s based on personal observation and not hard numbers. I’m not comfortable with that. Plus my experienced has been quite limited.”

I made a face, mine wasn’t much better. Sure I had allies and I’ve hired allies but only for specific fights when going alone made it too difficult. “Beebles write it. Write your thoughts, mark it as an editorial and give warning that this is all theory. Let the community dispute it if they think you’re wrong and take their feedback when offered. Adjust your advice based upon that.”

Her nose crinkled in a familiar expression. This is a thought that has been on her mind a lot of late and been bothering her causing hesitation. Yet she nodded her head and her pen went to paper to write.

I want to start this off by saying this is theory. Game theory in part along with practical thinking in game design but I have no hard numbers to give you to back up what I’m about to say. I’ll present my few ideas and you can dispute them or use them as you see fit.

First off, what is an Ally? An ally is who you can hire to fight with you for an hour. Their cost appears to be based upon their level. When you hire someone nobody else can hire them for the next hour. Half the money you put into hiring them goes to the actual player. To hire someone the following must be true:

  1. Nobody else can currently have hired them.
  2. They must be five levels bigger or smaller than you.
  3. You must have the full amount of cash to afford the hire.
  4. You cannot already have someone else hired for that hour. (Only one ally allowed at a time.)
  5. Do not expect hired allies to help you in duels. They are strictly for zombie fighting.

So the question becomes, how do you actually go about hiring someone and who should you pick? It’s very simple to hire anyone in the game. They don’t require being on your friend’s list though that makes some things easier. You must view their profile page. Here are a three ways to do this when searching for an ally:

  1. Review your friend’s list for people for people within the right level range
  2. Review your safe house member list for people within the right level range
  3. Search in the random duel list for people within the right level range. (Click on their image not duel to see their profile page.)

Once there you can view in their Personal Stats if they are currently hired. If so the words appear in green under their Hiring Fee. If not you get a value as to how much it will cost to hire them. You then select the “Hire as an Ally” button and pay the fee.

On your profile page you will see who you hired, their level and a timer for how long you have before they are no longer with you.

When you fight zombies they appear in the box at top that lists all the people in the “zone” fighting with you. This list can include people who have gone to that same zone or people from your friend’s list. Up to three non ally people can appear on this list giving you a possible total of four people helping you fight. You only have control over the ally you pick.

Now here is where I get into theory. Who should you pick when you choose an ally? I pick people who are the largest level I can get that have been maintaining their stats and upgrading their weapons. My reason for this is because I want an ally that will hit as hard as possible when they strike. I know I cannot control what weapon they use, but bigger players have better chances to use bigger weapons. In theory, if it uses their actual information, the better upgraded weapons will strike harder. I base my opinion on their skills from their Personal Stats focusing on Hunting, and Duel. Their weapon upgrades I base upon the one weapon I can see and how far they have upgraded it so far, what class it happens to be.

Does this work out in my benefit? I can’t give numbers. I can say that on at least one fight I stacked Searlait, Beebles and Malkoris into a room. I hired a fourth person who was bigger than any of them. Three of the four hit zombies for me but the hardest hitter was my hire. At times I’ve had Malkoris and Searlait in a room with me fighting zombies. Malkoris always hits harder being the bigger player.

Now you cannot control if allies will hit. Sometimes they just sit there for the full fight. Most of the time I want them there to give that big zombie someone else to hit allowing me another strike before I need to use a health pack. But if I’m going to bring someone in to do damage, I’d like to try to maximize as much damage as possible.

Note: Observed a graphic glitch where hired allies show having “none” for their health. This appears to be a bug as in this case Malkoris remained at full health. Reported bug to forum at time of this posting.

I acknowledge that some hire friends or potential safe house members in order to help them save money. This tip does not reflect those reasons for hiring a player.

I suppose this tip is more to do with the blog than it is to do with the game, though the connection between the two is self evident. Without Please Stay Calm there would be no blog, and without the incredible community there’d be no reason to write. The support that the community has given me continues to surprise me, and humble me to some extent. Over and over I’m invited into safe house communications where you’re gracious enough to show to me not just what it means to be a part of your group, but why you are all so pleased to be within that piece of PSC. None of this would be possible without the amazing players within our game community.

I am continuing to write and continuing to find ways to bring up previously mentioned safe houses within the stories. But each week I seek out a new safe house and ways to brag about how great our players are. I’ve been asked how I pick the safe houses I do, and what a safe house needs to do in order to be a part of the story. I want to provide that information so that as many as possible can be included.

Here is what I need from you to write you into the story:

  1. I need to know you. I don’t need your deep personal thoughts, but I at least need to know your name and the name of your safe house.
  2. I need to know which of your members are active in the Global Chat so that I can observe their behavior and form an opinion not just of your safe house, but also who you would represent within the story. I am on at all kinds of hours so telling me what time zone your safe house shows up in Global helps me to look for you.
  3. I need ways of getting in touch with you so that when I have questions I can get answers. These include any of the possible following, message me on the PSC forums, talk to me in Global Chat, send me whispers on PSC (if I see your whisper I will respond), talk to me on Palringo (I’m Chyram there as well) or email me directly. (For my email address, send me a message on the forums requesting.)
  4. I need your safe house to be at least a week old. Please understand that if your safe house is gone before I get a chance to write about it, your name maybe removed from the list. If you’re safe house had a big impact within the game in that short time you may still appear as a tribute.
  5. I need to know where to place you in the story. Unfortunately this one largely lies with me. There have been a number of safe houses on my list that I want to include, but I have yet to figure out where you fit in the lore I’ve created. Hanging out in PAL rooms, or talking with members in Global Chat helps me get an idea, or a feel for who you are as a group. It also sparks my imagination. You may also have an opinion on how you feel you would be best represented. Talk to me, I’ll work out a deal with you and reshape the story where needed. This is a very fluid process.
  6. I will not feature any safe house that was created with the express purpose to belittle or attack another specific safe house. You can have your grudge match, but I’m not involved.
  7. I will feature specific people who become friendly with me, even if I haven’t featured their safe house yet. There’s perks to being a friend but I’m a friendly person and rarely reject anyone’s conversation.
  8. I will not feature anyone who glorifies racists’ behavior or expresses violence to women or children. (To the best of my knowledge, as I may have eyes and ears in many places they aren’t everywhere.)
  9. I require your permission to use your name. You will not get a preview of the writing in most cases before it is published. I only require being told directly in any of the means of communication listed. If you are displeased with how your specific name has been used you may request your name removed from the story.

Many safe houses have approached me and are being patient in my adding them. I will continue to seek you out. Be persistent in talking to me. There is no such thing as a safe house too small, but you have to be a part of the community. Talk in Global, leave messages to help or add to conversations on the forums or just leave me comments here, but make sure I know which safe house you’re from.

I hope this helps anyone who’s had questions. If I’ve left out anything, or you want additional information just leave me a question here in the comments section and I will respond!

Keeping in mind that every day we see brand new players joining the game I decided to do another basic tip and trick set this week. This week I’m featuring the basics to Scavenging. There is a potential exploit that I’m still doing further investigation on as I don’t know if it’s a bug or intentional. This information might be published at a later point under future postings on advanced tips.

First thing to understand that scavenging affects you “Scavenging Skill”. Your current skill level as well as the progress towards the next level can be seen in two places. First is in your Profile page where your Scavenge skill is listed along with a yellow bar representing how far you have progressed through the current level. The second location is any area you have investigated. On this page the button you will press in order to scavenge displays your current level and the progress as a yellow bar.

In order to scavenge first you must go to a location. You do this from the main page by selecting the “Investigate Nearby” button and select a location off the list. Once you have come to a location you will want to select the Scavenge button. Each location can only be scavenged by you once an hour. If the location has been scavenged within the last hour a timer will appear both on the pop up before entering the location as well as on the button to Scavenge within the location. When the button says “Available For Scavenge” you will know that you’re able to scavenge at this location.

Selecting the button will bring up a pop up with three options, “Explore”, “Search” and “Scour”. Each option takes a different amount of energy and provides you with of time to perform the Scavenge activity game. It should be noted that the energy costs raise as you level your scavenge skill, however the higher your skill level the more amounts of supplies you can obtain from a scavenging. The amount of possible items to scavenge also increases as you pick harder levels. Each level can have a “white dot” to scavenge which will be an item that is not supplies but could be either MISC. Items or defense and dueling items. Recently during the Heavy Metal event Energy Drinks and Stamina Pills were also recovered which previously could only be obtained by buying with Credits. I do not know yet if these items can be obtained outside the Heavy Metal event but I expect them to only appear during special Scavenging events. The energy cost starts with a base cost, doubles for the second level and triples for the third. It is also important to note that your energy bar refreshes 1 point every two minutes. Given the numbers I’m displaying that means I need just over two and a half hours to naturally regenerate “72 energy” in order to perform a “Scour”. I’m nearing the halfway point in level range and therefore you can gauge your own costs to be higher or lower based on that information.

When you select which level of scavenging you wish to do you enter the game. At this point the game does not start until you touch the screen again. You’re left with instructions, “Grab the flashlight and move it around the area to search for loot” and “Don’t get caught by a roaming zombie!” (Seen in red boxes on example.) You have a timer bar at the top in yellow. (Seen by the orange arrow.) You also have your handy flashlight. (See green arrow.) The game’s orange arrows point to where you grab the flashlight. There are couple things to know here:

  1. The zombies can pass through the flashlight portion of the flashlight as long as they are not in the light up light section.
  2. You cannot drag the flashlight around by the light, only by holding the flashlight it’s self.
  3. If you drag the flashlight to close to the bottom of the screen it is possible to drop it below the screen so that the light shows but you are unable to move it anymore. This can make you a sitting duck for zombies wandering.
  4. If you drag the flashlight all the way to the top of the screen so that it’s off the screen and out of view you cannot get it back. However, it appears that the zombies will also be unable to find you if you’re all the way at the top. This can be useful when doing missions with large amounts of zombies where you need to grab one thing and stay safe.
  5. Most of the time the zombies move around the screen making them easy to spot, however they will sometimes hold still for a time. You have to keep note of the color difference.
  6. When you shine your flashlight on an object it will take a few seconds to expand until it takes shape. During that time watch for wandering zombies and that you’re not shining a light on one. If you are looking at a zombie quickly move away from them. Items collected will not be added until they move out of the flashlight and into a pile at the bottom right.
  7. If you are caught by a zombie you lose everything you collected during that scavenge and the energy spent. No damage is done to your equipment or health. You are able to attempt to scavenge in the same place again as only successful scavenges provoke the timer.

There are different colored dots on the screen

  • Yellowish Green – Supplies
  • Bright Green – Zombies
  • White – Items
  • Dull Green – Money (only in Locked Doors covered below)

About once an hour you will have a chance at a locked door that appears randomly in locations. This button will appear in the newsfeed section of the location. Selecting the locked door will open the same scavenging game with a slight difference, the addition of money and possibly more than one item. At low levels these are not very profitable as lock picks cost 50 dollars per lockpick and each locked door consumes one. I believe I started to see profit in locked doors around level 10. You can purchase lockpicks in the Black Market under Equipment.

Please Stay Calm's Wall of Weapons

While I had hoped to graph from levels 1 to 25 this week there has been a delay due to the “Heavy Metal” quest. This chart took me far longer than I had hoped to complete, and as it only has levels 1 to 24 filled out I will continue to add to the chart when additional information is available. When that update occurs this will be moved from a posting to a page format which will be accessible in the menu above.

Currently there is no inclusion on holiday weapons (see posting regarding promotional weapons) as I have not collected any and I am uncertain how I would want to present them given that different classes based upon level of receiving the weapons will affect numbers. All numbers gathered have been verified by me, but I want to thank those who contributed to this list and who have fed me information for future inclusions.

Values in upgrade supply costs have been rounded to the nearest fifth. Modified values due to my safe house benefits have been recalculated so that all values represented in the chart should be the value if you were not in a safe house and had no bonus safe house values to your costs. Therefore you can expect the upgrade values to be cheaper than represented provided you’re in a safe house that has said benefits.

Damage costs represent the lowest cost to repair a weapon, or how much one percent damage on a weapon costs. This value has a hidden decimal point which is not reflected visually. To use an example, the Safety Goggles at 99% fixed can cost 1 or 2 dollars to fix. The lowest value is 1 dollar. However if the damage on the Safety Goggles is actually 98.6% visually the game shows your goggles at 99% but the cost to repair them can become 2 dollars instead of 1.

Special weapons (marked in blue) have an S in their level and appear on the list as they appear in my weapon’s list. These weapons start off as Class 0 and therefore require an additional cost to upgrade to the first class. Their cost values in the column marked for Level 2 is the addition of both Class 1 and Class 2 costs. Currently only one Special Weapon is being displayed the Executioner which you receive if you purchase any of the credit packages.

Credit Only weapons are marked in green. It is notable that in the Level 1 to 24 ranges, the addition of cost from Cash to Credit nearly balances out in value thanks to the Credit Only Weapons. (This to further my discussion with Drachen and puggamoo found in my posting on buying weapons with credits.) To reflect further upon the difference previously before Credit Only Weapons I have added the total of credits spent not including Credit Only Weapons below the first totals. Not including these Credit Only Weapons the cost value of cash in credits or plain cash for the purchase of weapons is nearly half the value when using credits alone.

Despite this savings I am starting to see further value in saving credits for credit only costs going forward. Money in the post twenty ranges is easier to come by either by hunting or outposts. Money is more difficult to come by without quickly leveling yourself in the pre twenty ranges and I still recommend using the free daily credits to purchase weapons during that period of time.

All values are subject to change upon Massive Damage’s decisions. If I receive notice of the changes I will upgrade the chart but it is unlikely that I will be informed.

Please feel free to share these charts with your safe houses and on your private forums. I would request that you give me credit for the creation of them when you do so.

CLICK IMAGES: For closer look