How to play Zombies Live

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by jonn_msft, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. jonn_msft

    jonn_msft Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    #1 jonn_msft, Jun 29, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
    [update 7/2/09: I have reached Level 32. This post now describes Hunger's Aggressive Strategy.]
    [update 7/5/09 at level 43]
    [update 7/15/09 at level 64]

    Since I haven’t found any discussion of how to play Zombies Live, I thought I would write up my thoughts. Please reply with corrections and additions, and I will update the original post. I suspect the rules are similar to other Storm8 games, though oddly I haven't found anything on the Internet. Links would be welcome!

    Hunger's Aggressive Strategy:

    Your goal is to find "honeypots", vampires/zombies with cash ("flesh") on hand, who you can thrash over and over. My guess is that these are players who built a few traps, but haven't logged on for a while (or a long time) to protect their earnings.

    You find and exploit honeypots by attacking over and over, looking for targets with cash to take. Conversely, you protect yourself from being a "honeypot" by spending or banking your cash (store in "butchery") as soon as you get it. If you have zero cash on hand, you don't have to worry about being attacked, since losing costs you nothing but a little health.

    Starting up:
    • Rage generation is the key to long-term success, so choose the zombie type which gets extra rage.
    • You can put a few early Skill Points in Energy, to allow quick leveling without having to log on every few minutes. However, your long-term priorities are (1) Rage and (2) Attack. Do not invest in Health or Defense, and limit investments in Energy.

    Basic play cycle:
    • Burn off your energy on missions before it tops out, either before or after your attack cycle.
    • First recover all your health at the Morgue.
    • Pick a vampire in your Attack list, the smallest and weakest horde you can find. Attack them. Over time, you'll keep seeing the same names and you'll know who you can beat.
    • If you win and collect lots of flesh, keep attacking until you or they run out of health. Don't worry if you lose the second round, just keep trying.
    • Otherwise, pick a new target. If you are low on health, top off first at the Morgue, so that you won't lose your honeypot because you ran out of health.
    • Do not top off your health when you are done attacking. Low health is good for keeping others from attacking you.
    • When you run out of rage, you need to get the cash away from other vampires who might attack you. Either spend it on abilities or traps, or bank it in the Butchery. The 10% Butchery charge is well worth it. If you don't bank your case, then you're the "honeypot", and likely as not you'll lose it all.

    Growing your zombie:
    • Missions and energy: The only purpose of Energy is to run missions. Missions are your primary source of experience and flesh in the early game. Use your energy before it tops out.
    • Building your Horde: You can invite other zombies to your horde using their code, or expel current members. You can collect codes from other zombies' in-game comment threads, or leave your code there; however, the easiest way is online, here at TouchArcade or elsewhere.
    • Why build a horde? You have no real interaction with the fellow members of your horde. Only the number of zombies in the horde is important. Having a larger horde enables you to run certain missions, and changes the combat dynamic (see below).
    • How combat works: The total attack value of the attacking horde is compared with the defense value of the attacking horde, with some random modifier. The attack value is the attack skill of the attacking zombie, plus the attack value of all equipment used by the attacking horde. Similarly, the defense value is the defense skill of the defending zombie, plus the defense value of equipment used by the defending horde. The highest total wins.
    • Equipping your horde: The attacking zombie supplies all the equipment for his horde. In each category (actions / regenerative / enhancements), the abilities are ranked by attack value, and the N best attack abilities are used for a horde of size N. Similarly, the defending zombie supplies his horde, and the best defense abilities are used. Some traps also affect combat (the only one I know of is Graveyard Trap which is +5 defense versus zombies). Equipment is not used up in combat.
    • Equipment guidelines: Ensure that you have enough equipment to cover your horde in each category, and get the best you can afford. Only consider attack skill, never defense. As you advance in the game, you will find that upkeep is more important than initial cost. You need trap income to exceed total upkeep, and traps start around 75 flesh per 1 income, and gradually increase in cost to over 200 flesh per income. This means that to maintain an ability which costs 200 income, you will spend 40,000 for traps. In general, actions are more efficient (in terms of attack per unit upkeep) than regenerative, and regenerative more than enhancement. You can "unlearn" your old abilities to recover half their cost.
    • Who can you attack? You can attack any vampire/zombie who has recently attacked you (from the Home page), or who appears in the Attack page. There is no way to choose targets arbitrarily. Only zombie/vampire hordes around your level will appear on the Attack page.
    • Flesh economy: Flesh is the basic currency of the game. You gain flesh from missions, from winning in combat, and from income-producing traps. Try to spend it when you get it, or else bank it in the Butchery – otherwise vampires/zombies can take it from you in combat.
    • Income-producing traps: Always have more income from your traps than what you spend in upkeep. However, don't have too much more -- unless you log on immediately after you collect income (every 50 minutes or so), some other zombie/vampire will probably take it from you before you can use it. The cost of a particular kind of trap increases every time you buy one, so keep track of the ratio between cost and income when deciding what type of trap to buy.
    • When should you attack? If you have health and rage, there isn’t much reason to hold back. Either spend your flesh first, or bank it in the Butchery – that way you can only gain flesh and can’t lose any. If you win, keep picking on that target as long as you can. Even if you don't win flesh, you still gain experience. Low health protects you from being attacked, so only buy health if you intend to continue attacking (and remember, even if you buy back your health, your target may already be immune due to low health).
    • The list in the Attack screen changes every time you click anywhere. This is why you can't heal yourself up and then return to a honeypot you've found -- when you go back, they probably won't be on the list anymore. This is why you should try to keep your health sufficient to suck your honeypot dry before attacking a new target.
    • The best time to play is when no one else is playing, early morning or late night. This is when you have your best chance to get multiple shots at the same honeypot. Normally, the vampire/zombie scrum will keep honeypot health hovering around the minimum, so you will only get one shot before they go under the limit.
    • Gaining Levels: When you gain a level, you will recover all your health, energy and rage, and get 3 skill points to spend. Spend liberally on Max Rage, even though a point of Max Rage costs 2 skill points. If you have only 4 rage, you will need to log on every 8 minutes to make your attacks and spend your rage efficiently. If you have 30 (as I do), you have a full hour. I find that 30 is about enough, otherwise it takes too long to spend it all, and I run out of juicy targets.

    I hope you like "Hunger's Aggressive Strategy". Please follow up on this thread with any thoughts or corrections.

    jonn_msft (“Hunger”)
  2. jonn_msft

    jonn_msft Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    #2 jonn_msft, Jun 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
    This is easier than I thought!

    Since writing the above, I have stumbled into a technique for making loads of money (flesh) and experience fast in Zombies Live. Perhaps this was always there and I missed it, perhaps there was a server change, or perhaps you have to get to horde size 7. Anyhow, here it is:

    Your goal is to find "honeypots", vampires/zombies with loads of cash who you can thrash over and over. My guess is that these are players who built a few traps, then got bored and left their zombie/vampire running unattended.

    The basic technique is to store all your cash in the Butchery, then attack any smaller hordes available in your Attack screen. If you lose, or win but don't collect much cash, move on to the next target. If you hit the jackpot, attack over and over as long as possible.

    The basic routine is:
    • Wait until you have all your Rage back. Once you start using this technique, you'll want to to increase your Max Rage so that you can go longer between attack sessions.
    • Go to the Butchery and store all your cash (if you have any).
    • Go to the Morgue and recover all your health.
    • Go to the Attack screen and look for a horde smaller than yours. These are the easiest to beat.
    • Rinse and repeat until your Rage is used up.
    • Store all your cash in the Butchery, so that no one can take it while you wait for your Rage to return. Of course, you can also spend it on traps and abilities...

    Using this technique, I have gained four levels (15 ->19) and at least 10,000 flesh in the past eight hours. I always maximize Attack and never Defense -- I don't care whether other hordes can attack me, since I don't keep any "cash on hand" for them to take away.

    It is important to be able to attack any "honeypot" you find as many times as possible, until their health goes critical. The problem is that as soon as you switch screens, the "Attack again" button disappears, and the list of targets on the Attack screen is completely replaced. Here are some advanced techniques:
    • If your health is running low, top it off at the Morgue before starting on a new target.
    • If you run out of Rage while a honeypot is still available, just set your phone down until you recover another Rage point.

    Some thoughts on horde size:
    • At horde size 7, I can attack hordes between sizes 5 and 9. Presumably this means that I can only be attacked by hordes in the same size range.
    • This means that you should carefully consider whether to increase your horde size. This will take away your access to the smallest/weakest target hordes, and make you a target for bigger hordes. Only increase horde size if you are ready to buy top-notch equipment for your new companion, to make you competitive in the next bigger weight class.

  3. jonn_msft

    jonn_msft Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    I am now at level 43. New abilities seems to have shut off in the early 30s, although new traps and missions continue to appear. I also noticed some sort of inflection point between horde size 9 and 10 -- at size 9, the attack list showed hordes from size 5 to 15, and at 10, it shows 10 through 29.
  4. jonn_msft

    jonn_msft Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    How big a horde?

    I am now at level 64. There are hardly any zombies at this level, I encounter almost exclusively vampires on my attack list.

    I have been reconsidering my strategy of keeping the horde small and super-well-equipped. While I was around 15, virtually all my opponents had clans/hordes 50+, which made hunting difficult. I have been aggressively expanding my horde, now at 52 while most opponents are showing 90+. I have downgraded the equipment I purchase a couple notches. I still do quite well against opponents 80+ with motley equipment.

    I accept invites at PEAYYD.
  5. aboll2009

    aboll2009 Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    Wow, I'm sorry, but may I be the first to say NO ONE CARES! We all know how to play MMO's, god forbid we want to. Please, please let this thread die so I dont have to keep seeing its stupidity.
  6. lumberjak0431

    lumberjak0431 New Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Retail store manager
    Zombie Strategery

    Don't worry, I care.
  7. jonn_msft

    jonn_msft Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    #7 jonn_msft, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
    Burning out

    I'm now at level 71, horde size 95. I think I'm burning out on Zombies Live. I've learned a lot about the mechanics, it's just an hourly drudge now. No complaints, I got plenty of enjoyment from this free app.

    At this point, I see very few zombies at my level, although I did briefly glimpse a level 88 zombie on the death list a few days ago. Except for late night / early morning, most targets on the attack list are already out of health by the time I can click on them. The rest are giant hordes (300+) which I can't handle.

    I nominally joined the Dead Rising Clan (, but never did find out how to get the death's head symbol into my zombie name.

    Here are a few more learnings:

    Death List: Here's how it works, and how you can use it:
    • You can add any zombie/vampire you can see to the Death List by putting a bounty on their head. The bounty can be a little (102 minimum?) or a lot.
    • A zombie/vampire on the death list can be seen by any other zombie/vampire, regardless of level or horde size. This means that they are likely to die very fast. Usually, by the time you see them on the Death List, someone else has already taken them down.
    • Whoever finishes off the health of the targetted zombie/vampire gets the bounty, regardless of who won or lost the individual battles. In theory, you can collect any bounty if you have enough rage and keep refreshing your health, and if no one else gets it first.
    • I believe I have seen two unusual uses of the Death List. One is to transfer cash between zombies/vampires. The donor places a large bounty on an easy-to-kill target, and coordinates timing with the recipient who kills them off quickly.
    • The other unusual use is to accelerate experience collection by placing a large bounty on your own head (perhaps with help). If you have a large horde and a lot of health, you will accumulate lots of incoming attacks. Why? If you win an incoming attack, you collect experience. So, this is a way to trade cash for experience/levels.

    I suspect that there may be an alternate approach to accumulating flesh, based on exponentially growing your trap list. There is a maximum amount of cash which you can lose in combat, based on your health recovery rate, the amount of damage you take in combat, and the maximum amount of cash you lose per battle (depends on the level of the attacker). If you can get ahead of the curve, and continuously purchase more traps with your free cash, you could get to a huge cash balance without having to depend exclusively on combat income. Perhaps this is the true nature of the "honeypot"...

    Sayonara, and


    Jon "Hunger"
  8. Theta-Omega

    Theta-Omega Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2009
    You don't seem to know how these function. This is useful to anyone who plays them. This wasn't made so you could come in here and complain. Did someone flame your thread recently? Did you get shot down like your trying to do here? Wow, i'm sorry, but i may be the first to say "Deal with it!" and "NO ONE CARES!" about your post on this thread, goodbye, end of story.

    Thanks for making this thread, and it's not only useful for one mmo, it's useful for all of them since they are so similar :)

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