Selecting a mission
Each day you will have uncovered a handful of rumours about where you might be able to find Supplies, Weapons, and Survivors. On the left you will see who is coming with you on the mission, though this will only become important later, once you've found some survivors. Initially, you're on your own.
Pay attention to the distance of the rumour marker from your base. Even though you will not have to run the entire way (you just have to run the last few blocks through town), distance means travel time and travel time means burning daylight — your game clock is still there in the top left of the screen. Also, keep in mind that you may encounter zombies along the way!
Running a mission
Once you have chosen and confirmed a mission by clicking on its marker, you will travel to the start of the mission, at which point the mission will load. Once you are in the mission, make a note — time has passed! Keep an eye on the clock and head towards the Mission Marker on the Compass. The Compass will always guide you to the building you are headed to, but you do not have to take the direct route if you do not want. In fact, more often than not, it's better to wide your way there carefully, avoiding any undead complications. But safe means slow, so it's up to you.
If you played the tutorial, or read the hotkeys list, you'll know you can move through town at a variety of speeds. You can sprint, run, or walk. Each one affects your stamina differently, with sprinting winding you the worst and walking the least. Jumping also takes energy out of you, but if you rest or walk for a moment, you'll get it back. Besides keeping in mind that you want to perhaps save your strength for a frantic escape, how fast you move also creates noise and movement that zombies might spot, so slow equals quiet and fast equals come–and–get–it. Also bear in mind that your stats dictate just how sure–footed you are, and if you try and hop something a little too high, or a little too fast, or a little too carelessly, you might trip up. On the plus side, zombies will not point and laugh. The down side should be obvious. When you have survivors with you, they will follow you and generally keep up, but if you're particularly speedy or shut that door a bit too quick, they might fall behind, so keep an eye on them, just in case. If you're team gets spread out, you can can call them back to you using your Team Orders.
Piety contains a diverse array of buildings. Once you find one that's worth investigating closely, you will have to search (press and hold the F key to search your immediate area) for hidden goods. If you are seeking survivors, you will need to search the building room by room. Survivor missions may have some hidden goodies — in fact, a lot of buildings in town might, but you have to be a good spotter, and they will never be as easy to find, or as rewarding as a mission building, so keep an eye out for anything that looks promising, and give it a careful search.
If you find a container of goodness, Right Click on it to open it — this will bring up the container and its items, and your own backpack. You can open your backpack at any time, if say you want to drop an item you're carrying.
If you find a survivor, Right Click on them, or the Chat icon, in order to interact with them and see if they want to come with you. It's possible a survivor may not want to join you, but that's only if you're an amazing jerk. Even in an apocalypse, nobody likes a jerk. If they join you, they will automatically begin following you. You can give them more specific commands with the new UI buttons that appear on the right-hand side of your screen. When you're ready, return to base, by returning to the point where you started the mission. Just as with the Mission Marker, your entry point is marked on the Compass.
After the mission
Once you've returned from a mission, your work is not done. For starters, you should unload your backpack and all the swag you found, if any, into the Base Inventory. The Base Inventory works just like opening a container found around town, only besides yourself, you can select survivors from the bottom of the screen to see their personal inventory, so you can not only unload their packs, but to load them up with anything they, or you for that matter, might need on the next mission.
Fort Zombie uses a very straight–forward abstraction about the player, his away teams, and what they are carrying at any given time. Essentially, the character equipment system is focused on things which you can carry on your person at all times, such as while running up a flight of stairs, while sidling past the tangled mass of a five car wreck or a fallen tree, or while running through the darkened aisles and tumbled shelves of a looted shop or the still–stinking ashes and tumbled brick and stone of a burned out hulk.
In the period following the apocalypse, vehicles became a liability. In Fort Zombie, the player and his people can never afford to take the tremendous physical and personal risks of spending time foraging for food and supplies and then losing all their effort by having to leave behind a wagon, a bike, or a car that couldn't be dragged over / through rubble or past a barricade, or up and down the stairs of a house. Also, no living human being left in the world is expendable anymore. Every life is precious — you don't even want someone to get hurt, much less lose them.
At least in the short term, the survivors can't base their thinking around the concept of moving massive objects that require a vehicle. Times are desperate. Stick with the backpack. As far as encumbrance, sometimes the best idea is to keep it simple — people understand the term maximum weight in terms of repercussions much better than gradually slowing a character down as their load increases.
Your backpack is sensible gamesize. Which means its somewhat tesseractish but not ridiculous. You can stuff 2 or 3 rifles into it but since you cannot shoot all of them at once, your room is likely better spent with one rifle and more ammo.
You are limited to moving around in town — your only mode of travel is foot. Even a 10-mile trek past the city limits to the nearest farm would carry unnecessary risks:
- exposure to zombies
- dangerously large time expenditures.
As you prepare for the rumored onslaught, your daily jaunts are sanely limited to just a few hours of travel.
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