The Basics Edit
There are two teams in Zombie Master: The Survivors and the Zombie Master. The Survivors play the game like a traditional first person shooter and the Zombie Master plays the game like a real time strategy game. The Zombie Master is chosen at the beginning of each round by rotinaj.
Both teams will have a goal. The goal can be as simple as 'survive for 10 minutes' or as complex as the map's creator wants it to be. Killing all the players as the Zombie Master will automatically trigger a win, although the Zombie Master also often has other goals to complete (or prevent the Survivors from completing) which may take precedence over killing the players.
The crosshair in Zombie Master has the standard pointer and on the left and right are two curved lines. The line on the left represents health, and the line on the right represents ammo currently in the weapon. As you lose either one, the bar's interior shrinks and eventually turns red. This is a helpful reminder to reload or run, so use it well.
Being a Survivor
As a Survivor, you represent a typical human pulled from the population. In order to defeat the omniscient Zombie Master, you must complete certain goals. Teamwork is critical to winning as the Survivors, as they are often at a severe disadvantage against the Zombie Master.
If rotinaj is in need of ammo or weaponry and you happen to have an excess, for the sake of both of you, drop some of it. B and N are the default keys for weapon and ammo dropping, respectively. If you have two guns you can only use one at a time, so share the love.
The Tools Edit
The Survivors can find several different weapons around the map, among them:
This 'weapon' is used to carry or push objects around. You automatically activate it when you push the 'grab' key (e by default), but can also activate it by manually selecting it.
The weapon of choice among gentlemen fighters, it is coincidentally also the weapon of choice among people with nothing better. The important thing to remember here is to get something better! These aren't any good, although they may just become awesome once we get a backhand animation (hint hint).
A tool that can be found in many places across the world, it is used for prying open things, breaking windows and now, smashing zombie skulls. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/1345/crowbarnd7.jpg
The king of melee weaponry, the sledge is a massive weapon. It is capable of destroying a Banshee or a Shambler in a single blow. Make sure you have this weapon at your side when you're out of ammo. Key hint: There is a secondary attack! It is much better than the primary one, although takes more practice to use well. You can use it to push objects with strength, but be careful this may hurt rotinaj!File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/6002/sledgelv6.jpg
The pistol, the gun that you'll likely be using in a full server. It has pretty good accuracy and range but doesn't really pack much of a punch. Be prepared to throw a LOT of bullets at the zombies, and don't even try to kill a Hulk with one of these. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/2775/pistoljb3.jpg
A favorite of basically anybody, the shotgun is a good weapon to be toting. It's powerful and you don't need to be very accurate, just don't try hitting anything too far away. This is the one gun to be stopping Hulks with and is basically an all-around really good gun. Really. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/2917/shotgunwc5.jpg
The ONLY gun to be sharpshooting with, this gun really packs a punch. It will drop a Shambler or a Banshee in a single shot anywhere on the body. It is quite accurate and has a zoom function as a secondary attack. File:Http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/6387/riflekc2.jpg File:Http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/3603/rifle2rg3.jpg Scoping with right click. File:Http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/8666/rifle4py4.jpg
A powerful gun, this thing sprays bullet like there's no tomorrow, which there won't be for whatever you're shooting. It has pretty pathetic accuracy, so short bursts at close range work best. If used properly, this can be a monster. File:Http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/2871/mac102ft2.jpg
Don't forget about this guy. Without him, when the lights go out you can pretty much kiss rotinaj goodbye a lot of the time. Light on. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/5493/flashlight2mb5.jpg Light off. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/1880/flashlightno1.jpg
Your traditional zombie movie zombie, he's slow moving and stupid, but he makes up for it with his punch. You can almost always avoid these unless you have to go somewhere where they are. They are almost never worth shooting, because they eat up bullets like... like something that eats bullets. They're dirt cheap for the Zombie Master, so don't bother killing them unless you have to. Key note: These guys tear up barricades faster than anything, so either barricade well or hope the Zombie Master can't get any of them near you. Alive. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/8630/shamblerrg9.jpg Dead. File:Http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/8523/shambler2eq0.jpg
These are the only zombie type that are faster than rotinaj, so be careful. They leap and climb like monkeys and are really the only zombies that can get anywhere, such as on top of buildings. They aren't too tough, nor do they hit like a Shambler, but they hurt nonetheless. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/7412/bansheewi2.jpg
These guys hit like a Mac truck and look like one, too. They're faster and stronger than Shamblers, so watch out. They can absorb bullets like a sponge and basically require teams to take down. A viable method of extermination is the exploding barrel, but there are really only so many of them. Watch out for rotinaj. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/3579/hulkkz5.jpg
These burnt, floating corpses can be dangerous but are rarely used. Watch out for their attacks, they're the only ones with a ranged one. When you get hit by them, they do a little damage but also shake your screen. Be careful not to get mobbed by these guys combined with just about any other kind of zombie - it can be a deadly combination. In the new patch (1.0.2) they have increased range - now you have to be extra-special careful. They also have a creepy head twitch thing. File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/3356/drifterbx8.jpg
These completely charred corpses are dangerous, as they set themselves on fire and run at you. These are the hardest hitting zombie with an attack of 75. When they die they explode causing everything, including rotinaj, in the surrounding area to be set alight. These are rarely used by the Zombie Master though, just be prepared if you see one.
Being a Zombie Master Edit
As the Zombie Master, you are the controlling, omniscient entity that rules all undead. For whatever malevolent reason, you have decided to crush the life out of that puny rotinaj and bring him into your ranks. You have several powers at your disposal as well as the ability to create and control the undead.
Whereas the Survivors try to work as teams to complete certain goals, your goal is to shatter their teamwork and break them apart. While a single zombie is vastly inferior to a human, the humans have fear, and you have numbers. Using these to your advantage can often give you a win.
The controls for a Zombie Master can be somewhat difficult to get used to because they aren't like most traditional RTS games. To start:
Your movement keys, such as WASD, allow you to pan your camera around the map, moving horizontally up, down, left, or right.
Moving your mouse to the right or left sides of the screen rotate your view in the direction your push your mouse. Moving your mouse to the top or bottom of the screen angles your view upwards or downwards, upwards being towards the sky and downwards being towards the ground.
An option many people neglect is the 'Free Look' key. It needs to be set under the 'Zombie Master' header in the keyboard configuration. When toggled on, you are able to move around the map exactly as if a spectator. This is very helpful when you need to find an annoying hidden mortal.
Unit selection, as well, is different than most games. When you drag to select multiple units, they are selected as in a normal RTS. However, when you drag a box around a completely different group of zombies, instead of clearing the old selection and replacing it, it adds them to your current selection. The way to clear your selection is clicking on an patch of empty ground or selecting zombies you already have selected, which clears your entire selection.
Clicking on a lone zombie will replace your current selection with the newly clicked zombie. Holding (by default) control + clicking on an individual zombie will add him to whatever selection you had before.
Holding (by default) space + clicking on a zombie will select all zombies of that type on your screen.
Right clicking orders your zombies that are currently selected to move to that spot or, if right-clicking on a Survivor, to attack the Survivor.
The mouse wheel allows you to change your vertical height. Scrolling up or down will raise or lower you, respectively.
With a bit of practice the controls become very natural (except selection, I still can't get that one down) and flicking around the map will be a breeze!
The Tools Edit
To a new player, being the Zombie Master can be daunting and challenging, so I'll ease your pain by highlighting a few key elements of the Zombie Master screen.
The Spawn Menu
In violet is the most important thing as a Zombie Master: The spawn point. File:Http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/421/spawnmenusg8.jpg
This is where you purchase new zombies. Each one is clearly labeled, along with the cost in parentheses. The the right of each name is a second button which allows you to purchase 5 in bulk, and in parentheses is displayed the total price.
In yellow are the 3 tabs available to a Zombie Master. The first tab allows you to set the behavior of your zombie minions. The buttons beneath are circled in red: File:Http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/2659/attackbuttonqw4.jpg File:Http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4584/defentbuttonit5.jpg File:Http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6111/ambushbuttonma3.jpg
Ambush requires some more explanation. When you click on the ambush button, it doesn't seem to do anything at first. However, when you click on the ground it leaves behind a white point, like so: File:Http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/1877/ambushpointxi3.jpg When a player passes over or near this point, all the zombies that were selected when the point was placed will attack him. In the picture above, the Banshee is ready to pounce on whatever unlucky player steps across the white glob.
The second tab allows you to access your special abilities: File:Http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/6553/explosionbuttonwy2.jpg File:Http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/6043/nightvisionbuttonkm6.jpg File:Http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/7098/summonbuttonjj1.jpg
The third tab allows you to create and manage squads of zombies. If you wanted to be able to easily select a group of zombies defending a certain area, you would want to use this tab: File:Http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/6317/createsquadbuttontg2.jpg File:Http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/1549/selectsquadbuttonyt6.jpg The dropdown menu allows you to select squads you have created.
Resources and Population
In green is the various resource and population info. The number next to the skull is your current number of resources, the otherwordly currency you spend to create zombies and activate traps. The small number below it is the amount of resources gained every minute. The first number next to the little people symbol are the number of living Survivors, while the second number represents how many zombies you currently have under your control. Key tip: You gain a resource bonus for every player killed.
In cyan is a yellow button that looks like the spawn point but is really very different. These are called manipulates and can be used for whatever the mapper wants. Often, they are traps, or open new spawn points, or close certain options/paths for Survivors. When you click on a manipulate point, it looks like this: File:Http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/6640/manipulatemenupj5.jpg You can choose to activate the manipulate by hand, which costs less but requires more of you time (a very valuable thing for the Zombie Master), and can often yield better results than the trap. Setting it as a trap works almost exactly the same way an ambush works, allowing you to place a white point, except when a player triggers it instead of zombies attacking, the trap triggers. These cost more, but allow you to 'set and forget' it, freeing you up to do more important things. If used wisely, these can be extremely deadly. Cancel, of course, exits out of the menu. Right below the cancel button is a short description of what the manipulate actually does. This can be very helpful for a new player.
Shamblers are very, very cheap. That, and the fact that they soak up bullets, makes them good. While the Survivors can barricade, your walls are the Shamblers. Use them in numbers, and preferably with support of some kind. Drifters work well with Shamblers, because the Drifters can confuse rotinaj long enough to be surrounded. Shamblers are excellent at blocking important routes, but do NOT try to use them to directly attack unless they're filler. Key tip: Player's barricades giving you a headache? Use Shamblers - it's what they're made for.
Banshees are the only zombie with their own limit apart from the overall zombie limit. They're again, the only zombie that is faster than rotinaj, and they're excellent for harassment and killing lone wolves. Against groups of humans, however, they're not very good. They're also the most fragile kind of zombie, requiring only a few shots to kill. Nonetheless, used well they can be very good.
Hulks are nothing to be sneered at. Able to take a ridiculous amount of lead and give back even more pain then they can take. They can be used for blocking areas as well, and they're great assault troops.
Drifters may not seem useful initially, but they can be very effective. They have a medium ranged attack which doesn't do much damage, but it will severely mess with rotinaj's screen. If you use these zombies in conjunction with other zombies, it suddenly becomes an easy task surrounding players. It's also funny to see players shoot their allies, which they can do if their screen is bashed around enough.
Immolators are good ambush zombies. They can light themselves on fire and charge at rotinaj.