Mel Guille

Tips for new survivors

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Let's help our freshly-stranded survivors get off to a good start!

What's your best piece of advice for a new player? What is something you learned that made the difference between life and death in your game?

 

Here's a basic one to get us started:

Fires not only provide warmth, but allow you to collect and purify drinking water. If you're low on liquids, be sure to melt some snow next time you light one.

 

meltsnow.png

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Don't weigh yourself down by carrying lots of tinder. You can break a stick down for two tinder and you can find wood everywhere. The amount of new streamers I see carrying 10 books and newsapaper rolls and wonder why they are encumbered

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Upgrade your clothing as soon as you can, it really does keep you warm! You will need cloth (or hides /guts & maybe a sowing kit of some sort)

You can find extra cloth in buildings (curtains, old pillows etc.) or just harvest any older clothing you no longer need.

Edited by nicko
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Cheeky Fluffy looks happy...1.thumb.jpg.13607522f81ab06a2ddb6bf7506068e9.jpg

 ...he had a piece of you for dinner. You now have blood loss from a wolf bite. (A small red cross in the bottom right of the regular play screen will show you you are afflicted)

 First, radial menu (or the "i" key: thanks @Hawk) to the "First Aid" area (sorry for the 2 different screenshots).

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Choose antiseptic or Old Man's Beard Dressing first...(EDIT: @Quarbani 79 claims that you should do the blood loss first and do the infection later after you find a safer location. This then really depends on where you are and what you can do. But, blood loss first if in dire circumstances after the altercation) (Second edit: @Ruruwawa rightly points out that blood loss has a massive 30% condition penalty per in-game hour, so this should always be treated first. Additionally he adds that the scent from a bleeding wound will bring in wolf buddies and/or the old fighter - if only beaten off with fists or crowbar - back for more. Props to Ruruwawa!)

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 Apply to the infection, not the blood loss!

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 Then back to the radial menu, "First Aid" again but now choose "Bandage".

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 Apply to the blood loss.

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 Success. You live to fight another day! :)

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Edited by Carbon
Added good tips from other players!
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Personally, I haven't found any real advantage to using the radial menu and don't really like it. I find just using the 'i' key easier.

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Better to stop the blood loss first as that will kill you quicker than an infection. Then you can move to a safer spot before healing the infection as sometimes you may get attacked again whilst you're probably panicking in the multiple first aid menus

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37 minutes ago, Hawk said:

Personally, I haven't found any real advantage to using the radial menu and don't really like it. I find just using the 'i' key easier.

 So just a preference then.

32 minutes ago, Quarbani 79 said:

Better to stop the blood loss first as that will kill you quicker than an infection. Then you can move to a safer spot before healing the infection as sometimes you may get attacked again whilst you're probably panicking in the multiple first aid menus

 Good tip. I'll edit my post to reflect this and Hawks note. Thanks guys!

Edited by Carbon

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31 minutes ago, Carbon said:

 So just a preference then.

Yes. ;)

I guess, since this a thread about tips for playing, I should have kept my preferences out of it.  Sorry! :x

Edited by Hawk

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4 hours ago, Carbon said:

@Quarbani 79 claims that you should do the blood loss first

I'd simplify this to "Always treat blood loss first, and ASAP.  Be sure to carry a bandage for this purpose!"

Blood loss causes 30 condition loss per game hour.  That's 1 condition every 10 real life seconds.  

There's an additional reason with Faithful Cartographer.  The scent from blood loss attracts wolves... including that wolf you just beat off with your fists, once he's done fleeing.  Now I can't think of any circumstance where I wouldn't treat blood loss before all other ailments.

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Tip for newbies: Wolves don't like fire. But if they're pissed off they will charge even if you carry a torch or throw one to them. Make a fire on the ground instead when countered or suspecting trouble..If you want to harvest a corpse that is also the way to keep warm, keep the corpse from freezing, and to keep the wolves away.

Stones can be used not only to stun rabbits, but also to scare rabbits or deer and have them run to a specific area, as well as to distract wolves or bears.

Last but not least: Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't hear, smell or see you. Listen well, bears tend to be quite noisy so you should be able to spot them in advance. Wolves can sneak up on you, but you can sometimes hear them walking through the snow. If you hear something and you aren't hunted yet: Stop and listen. If you are not moving and you still hear movement it's time to determine the next action. Also, if you hear a wolf howling in the distance stop and listen. Usually most of the wolves nearby will answer, which means you then know how many there are and approximately where they are.

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 I have a feeling that Mel started this thread to be a very simple and very basic guide for novice players and further, I think this was motivated by some people having trouble with even the most basic of game play aspects (like getting water).

 I'm no authority around here and I am only surmising that if we can keep it super basic and add as many instructional pictures and simplified explanations, the thread will serve its purpose well. That was my take on the rationale for Mel kicking this off.

 Thanks again for the great tips everyone; my OP is edited. :)

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I thought that any newbie that doesn't start on Pilgrim might need some tips on Wolves though :D

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Another tip!

Be careful about letting your supplies spoil -- food poisoning can be serious. Try to store perishable foods like meat outside where it's cold and packaged food indoors to keep them in good condition longer.

 

@CarbonPretty much! The Long Dark can be a deceptively complex game and the learning curve for new players can be a little steep. As in real life, what better way to learn to survive in the unforgiving wilderness than to learn from an experienced guide?

And everyone likes a good picture. :)

CookedFish.png

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After starting your first fire, never use matches to directly start another one.

Always put enough firewood on your first successful fire so that you can remove a torch. Extinguish it and from that point on always keep a torch with you. Whenever you are wanting to start another fire with matches, use a single match to light your torch, and then use the torch to start the fire. Otherwise, you will run out of matches from firestarting failures far too soon in your survival experience.

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Tip: Fishing and snaring are your friends. In bad weather, fish next to a fire to keep your food stores high. In good weather, set out and maintain a trap line to keep supplies of rabbits high. For both activities you need cured gut that you can find from old carcasses on the maps or by successfully catching a rabbit stunned by a thrown stone. Find a crafting table (there is at least one per main map) and combined with cured gut with scrap wood to make snares or scrap metal (made into hooks first) to make fishing tackle. Then you're off to the races!

Note: to fish you will need a tool to break the ice first. 

 

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Curing Hides, Guts, and Saplings

To cure hides, guts, and saplings simply drop them in an indoor location or cave. If the location is one where curing can occur you will see "0% cured" when you look at the dropped hide, gut, or sapling. All indoor locations will cure hides/guts/saplings. Only some caves will. If the cave has a transition map to get inside it will cure hides/guts/saplings. For caves that are on the main map, placing the item to be cured at the very back should be fine. If you're ever unsure, again, remember to look at the item to verify that it says "x% cured". 

Also, be patient! Many items take 4+ days to cure. 

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37 minutes ago, cekivi said:

In good weather, set out and maintain a trap line to keep supplies of rabbits high.

.. but try to place your snare next to a boulder or tree that can help shield it in high winds, or you'll likely return to a useless broken snare.

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There are several excellent tips here, not only for newbies but for all you experienced players too! We've been talking about using torches to light fires for a while now privately and yet making fire the slow way is still very common even amoung experienced players that I've watched on YT.

Strictly speaking, corpses refer to dead humans whereas a carcass refers to an animal. I don't know why people want to refer to a former deer as a corpse. That's not how the word is used in the game nor common usage. We do NOT harvest corpses, only what you might call road-kill. Normally I don't touch a dead animal; chances are it has died of a disease or it has already been contaminated with diseases by a scavenger or predator but in TLD these animal carcasses are an important source of guts, food and a hide.

As for advice starting out, I would add some strategy. Get your clothing sorted out as quickly as you can by looting and thus extend the amount of useful time you can spend outdoors. Acquire some guts as soon as possible and get them curing; this will let you make fishing line, tackle and catch food as well as make rabbit snares. With the changes in rabbit harvesting, this should become a very respectable way of getting sustenance.

For new-ish players, I highly recommend playing on Pilgrim level until you get the hang of the new mechanics (if experienced don't be too proud). I think you will find that Voyageur level is competitive enough and once you have spent a few months learning the ways of the wolves and you are adept at avoiding them, then move on up to Stalker. My opinion on Interloper is that it is a level designed for those who need to be punished for their hubris! Stalker just seems to be too easy for certain experienced players especially after they have beaten "the hump" (the beginning of the game before you acquire hatchet, knife and ranged weapons)

A tip for the more experienced players: many people just run through the towns and loot everything; in the long run, eventually you will set up a base of operations (or perhaps two) and move into subsistence mode: getting enough food and water resources to survive indefinitely and make it into the day to day regime hopefully evading the many threats posed by predators, weather and terrain. It's a good idea to have plenty of items of clothing to choose from so that you can match your outfit to the needs of the day. Sometimes you will move faster and safer with less weight and you will be planning to make fires that day. That is like a hunting/harvesting day. Wood gathering can be interesting if you are going for the larger pieces; it makes sense to kindle a small fire, grab a torch and head for another location to chop up another big limb or two. By this way, a single match at the start of the day provides fires all through the day. I always try to look for an optimal location to lay my fires however that's not always possible. If there are large trees or such about, you can often find a wind sheltered spot behind one of these. Bear in mind that the winds often change direction and can snuff your fire. (pet peeve)

Having an adequate source of cloth (curtains, towels, bedrolls, pillows etc) is important so you can maximize your sewing and repairing skills and maintain your kit. I like to have a base where I can store the wardrobe. I don't harvest the looted clothing; I often repair it. If the weather outside looks iffy, that's the order of the day. It's a good plan to go outside to check the weather several times each morning because each time you go out, the chances of the weather being good improve (typically) until about midday. Seldom does it storm all day even though you may have several days of storms; usually there is a good time of day. Of course, that depends upon your level and challenge such as white-out.

There seem to be three or four long term food supply strategies: fishing, trapping and hunting deer. I don't know if beach combing is a sustainable subsistence  but you can try that too. Fire is key to everything. I like that we can get fire with the magnifying glass but I'd also like us to have other ways to get fire long after the last match is gone. Stealing prey from wolves is a fair strategy using fire; more fires is better!! (hint hint) Often, if you have a bonfire and a torch, that is enough to convince the wolf to head elsewhere. Of course, later on, when you are perhaps loaded with guts, you may again need fire to repel that wolf and his pals. The good news is, for now, he won't steal things you drop on the ground, or better yet, put into a container. (yes portable container please!!) Dropping the guts and meat should minimize your risk of attracting wolf/bear and you can hopefully return for those items later. Often you can also cook the meat using the same fire that kept you from freezing while you harvested the meat.

If you play on Pilgrim level, the weather can be mild enough that you can keep warm without fires; still, it's good to understand the importance of fire early on!

Thank you Mel for posting such an engaging topic! B|

Edited by SteveP
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 Animals carcasses have a set re-spawn time. This is good news for deer and rabbits, but wolves and bears might not be so welcome.

 If you kill a wolf or bear, leave some meat (or a gut, but these are a very important thing to get and you can never have too many guts!) on the carcass and it will delay the re-spawn significantly. If you kill a deer however, try to get everything - meat, guts and hide - from the animal in order to allow it a normal re-spawn time.

 The deer carcasses you come across in the game world don't re-spawn.

 Big shout out to @SteveP for the incredibly detailed and helpful post above!

 

Edited by Carbon
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10 hours ago, Miniwizard said:

.. but try to place your snare next to a boulder or tree that can help shield it in high winds, or you'll likely return to a useless broken snare.

That's because of wind? :o  I always thought it was a random chance..

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53 minutes ago, JAFO said:

That's because of wind? :o  I always thought it was a random chance..

Sure seems to be. I remember first experimenting with snares ages ago - I put them behind trappers homestead where I had seen the rabbits regularly running, and where I had seen them occasionally run, but every time after a blizzard, the snares were mostly broken. Yet putting them close to that small boulder in the middle of the area behind Trappers or between a couple of trees on the ridge seemed to protect the snares pretty well and regularly catch rabbits - if it isn't because of the shielding from the winds, then the random number gods must be playing tricks on me!

However, given how easy stone throwing makes catching rabbits, snares are somewhat defunct now anyway.

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8 minutes ago, Miniwizard said:

However, given how easy stone throwing makes catching rabbits, snares are somewhat defunct now anyway.

I find snares still useful.. they don't require effort from me to catch rabbits. And that ridge behind Trappers is sometimes a real PITA for hunting with stones. Flat areas generally work best for stones.

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23 minutes ago, JAFO said:

I find snares still useful.. they don't require effort from me to catch rabbits. And that ridge behind Trappers is sometimes a real PITA for hunting with stones. Flat areas generally work best for stones.

Terrain really makes no difference. Just crouch down and get into the same line of movement as they are (so that there's minimal left-right variation with your aim) get toi a couple of meters away with it neatly lined up between your finger and thumb. Throw, and move forward to catch it. You can bag 4 rabbits in as many minutes.

A careful aim is better than a haphazard throw. A bad throw will startle them all and you'll get frustrated at chasing them down again.

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3 minutes ago, Miniwizard said:

Terrain really makes no difference. Just crouch down and get into the same line of movement as they are (so that there's minimal left-right variation with your aim) get toi a couple of meters away with it neatly lined up between your finger and thumb. Throw, and move forward to catch it. You can bag 4 rabbits in as many minutes.

A careful aim is better than a haphazard throw. A bad throw will startle them all and you'll get frustrated at chasing them down again.

I have the technique down fine.. but for some reason I seem to get a lot more near misses on that ridge, than elsewhere.

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 Seeing as this is a thread for new survivors then I think it's safe to say that a flat terrain is best for starting out with stones and rabbits. First, a clear line of sight is important to understand aiming and second, recovering your stone is easier.

 Tip: Practice throwing stones against a tree or large boulder. Choose a location where you won't keep losing your stones (a boulder face is best), then pick a spot on a boulder or tree and aim for it at different ranges. Generally speaking the rabbits come quite close so short throws will work but if you choose to use stones to distract wolves (Thanks to GELtaz for this great tip!), then you need to learn to throw them farther. Knowing the maximum distance is useful in this latter situation; if you aren't far enough away from the wolves when you throw the stone, they might come and check you out instead of where the stone landed.

 Start aiming at a point between the thumb and index finger when the stone is cocked (press and hold the right mouse button, as with aiming the gun or bow). The stone will arc, so at short ranges it will go 'straighter' than at distance.

 Tip: Walk, don't run. If you aren't freezing, it's best to walk around the world as opposed to running. Running will use more calories and make you tired faster.

 Tip: You will learn the maps faster by taking your time and noting particular features of a map (certain felled, toppled or otherwise unusually-shaped trees, for example). You can open the journal from the backpack and actually type notes to yourself which will help you remember places easier. And don't forget to mark your map if you have some charcoal, which can be obtained by clicking on burned-out fires and choosing "take charcoal". One piece of charcoal per survey.

Edited by Carbon
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