Hotzn

V1.19-21 Stalker Achievement Run

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So. It's been some time since I last played, and the Rugged Sentinel update is out. I don't have much time right now, but I want to get this started. Can continue later. Fire up the game... ah, nice music, watch the intro... for a moment, I see Trapper's and think the main menu has gone back to the old screen (joy!), but unfortunately it hasn't. Game tells me controls have been reset. Grrr... ok, I leave them there for the time being. Now... interestingly, I feel like doing a Stalker game instead of the usual Interloper business. Because in Interloper, the game is a lot slower, with trips across maps requiring careful planning, and resource management taking up more time in contrast to travelling and exploring. This time, I want to travel & explore more than usual, to see where the terrain has been changed and what else might be new. Therefore, Stalker. Pick the girl, no buffs. Aaaand... I can pick the starting map, so why not Mountain Town? I know Milton from story mode (which I still did not push through episode 2), but it should be interesting what it brings to the table in survival mode. So... hit it!

Day 1:

I spawn in the early afternoon, on a clear and sunny day. In leather shoes, sports socks, thermal underwear, jeans and a ragged sweatshirt. The sleeping bag is with me, haven't seen that in a while. Accelerant, 12 cardboard matches, a tinder plug. So I could make fire, if I collect wood. And a bottle of antiseptic.

Alright, where am I? Somewhere outside - small cliffs, some trees... I scale the next crest and soon realize that I am above the road leading to town. I run down, staying to the right hand side and above the road for better overview. The chapel and the surrounding frozen marsh come into view. I collect some sticks, cattails and two stones, then enter the chapel. Still feels like -3°C in here, so better keep moving. I grab two books (not from the altar though) and find a prybar. There is a blanket in front of the altar with vivid colours... can I collect that? No, it's a stationary makeshift bed. Gives +3 temperature bonus. Given my current clothing, I'm unsure whether that would suffice for warming up. Better head on to town.

Now... use the road or run around the right in a wide arch? I have a slight suspicion that the main entrance could be guarded. I am not yet freezing, so I decide to try the alternative to the right. Or not? There are some cars on the way to the bridge right in my view, and all seems quiet. Well, can't do much damage to take a closer look, can it? The car closest to the bridge yields a hatchet (yay!) and fleece mittens. I pause and listen. No animal sounds to be heard. I decide to cross the bridge and make it into Grey Mother's (what a name) house around the back. In here it's a felt +3°C now for me, so I can take my time.

Her rocking chair is turned over in front of the fireplace. Even though I found her character exaggerated and not very credible in the story mode, I am a little touched. Also by the pictures on the nightstand in her daughter's room. Searching the place, I find some food, clothes (best thing are trail boots, ha!), a sewing kit and a packet of herbal tea. I also collect some cloth and water from the toilet. The sun is setting now, and I will stay here overnight. Light a fire in the fireplace and spend some time mending clothes and making more water. I check whether I can still pull torches from the fire... yes, I can. And I still think that is overpowered and unrealistic. On top, it devaluates the torch as an item. I really advocate to return to the brand and reserve the torch for crafting. With these thoughts, I go upstairs, eat and drink to my satisfation and go to sleep for 8 hours.

Edited by Hotzn
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Day 2:

8 hours of sleep should have taken me into the day, but I wake up fully rested in the darkness. Because I was not fully exhausted when I went to bed. Although I kind of appreciate this, I find it tedious to micromanage myself into the morning now. It would be very nice indeed to have an option in the evening to sleep and/or rest until sunrise. Just because I do not particularly like to run around in the dark in this game. Which is kind of strange, come to think about it, because I do not mind running around in the dark in the evening. But in the morning, I do. I want to get up when the sun rises, it just is like that.

Anyway, checking my clothing I see that I have now a +6°C warmth and a +3°C windproof bonus. Let's see where we can take this today. I have a little breakfast and set out to explore the town... and am immediately barked up by a wolf. So back inside. Damn. I rest for an hour and peek outside again... wolf seems to be gone. I run across the road and into the bank. Searching it, I find more clothes, a box of rifle rounds, food & sodas, a flare shell and a can opener. The latter used to be a good item in the olden times, now it seems mostly redundant. In my view the game is missing out on an opportunity here. There should be more downside to being without can opener - smashing a can or opening it with the knife or hatchet should carry a risk of slipping off and injuring a hand. With a risk of infection following if the wound is not treated properly. Anyway, I digress. Of course I also find a body in the safe room, face down on the floor with cash lying around him, and a hunting knife. I like this scene very much - reminds me that money is really only an imagination, its worth represented by what people THINK it is worth. The fellow on the floor thought it was worth much, and apparently someone else did so, too. But it further seems that that certain someone took the other one's life, but in the end not the money. Or did he, and just did not have the time to collect it all?

Well... exiting the bank, I head to the right on the main road, carefully on the lookout for that wolf. I search two more buildings, then head out of town on the other end and approach the Orca gas station. Suddenly, I am barked up by a wolf. Sounds pretty close, why did I not see it coming? I start running towards the gas station and intend to slip through the front door quickly - mistake! It's jarred, and I start prying it open... hrrch... this takes a minute... but I make it, maybe the wolf has lost track of me. Anyway, that was a scary moment, and I like it very much that the door has given me this nasty surprise!

The gas station yields more food (always handy), a stim (I've hardly ever used this) and - yippie - wool longjohns! However, most of the interior is a little dark, and the breath effect is still a grave disturbance. It is still too bright, I cannot see any improvement that should have come with the Rugged Sentinel update. The gas station has a makeshift bed in the back and a fire barrel next to it. I like this place and will make it my first base. After a short trip to the prison transport bus (yielding nothing but a few sticks), the day is almost done. Returning to the gas station, my excess food & equipment goes into the lockers next to the bed. Then I do some more clothes-mending before having dinner and heading into 10 hours of sleep.

 

Edited by Hotzn
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Day 3:

It's dawn, but still pitch dark in the gas station, so I rest 2 more hours until the light is up. Then I leave for the wooden gate and ascend to the climbing area. The hut up here does not hold much, and apart from that it's just sticks, mushrooms and Old Man's Beard. I make a fire up here to warm up, then head back to Milton for more loot, especially cloth. Moving through town carefully, no wolf interference. My equipment is complemented by a hacksaw, cargo pants, working trousers. I am still looting when night falls, so decide to stay in one of the smaller houses for the night. Some more mending of clothes before going to bed. My clothing provides +11°C now.

Now what am I still lacking? The rifle, obviously, but do I actually need that? It's 4 kg extra baggage, but still... might come in handy when I decide I want to hunt. Clothing could still be a bit better. Some fishing hooks maybe.

Anyway, I have made it through another day.

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Thank you Hotzn for more survival journals!!!!! I literally check the Survival Stories tab on here every day hoping for some new ones :) You kick ass good sir, and your journalizing is much appreciated *tips hat*

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On 12/16/2017 at 11:12 PM, Hotzn said:

However, most of the interior is a little dark, and the breath effect is still a grave disturbance. It is still too bright, I cannot see any improvement that should have come with the Rugged Sentinel update.

That would probably be because, although dark inside, it was still daytime.. as the release notes for 1.16 say: (emphasis mine)

Quote

* Reduced opacity of nighttime breath effect.

 

And now you know why I still use a mod to kill the breath effect altogether... ;)

Edited by JAFO

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On 17.12.2017 at 7:31 AM, The Gentleman Bastard said:

Thank you Hotzn for more survival journals!!!!! I literally check the Survival Stories tab on here every day hoping for some new ones :) You kick ass good sir, and your journalizing is much appreciated *tips hat*

Thank you, good sir. Good to know that a gentleman bastard is following this. ;)

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14 hours ago, JAFO said:

That would probably be because, although dark inside, it was still daytime.. as the release notes for 1.16 say: (emphasis mine)

That could be the explanation. Yes, it was daytime, but in a darkish interior. So that would still need fixing.

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Day 4:

The day is basically spent looting several buildings in Milton and mending various clothing items. I end up at Grey Mother's in the late afternoon. Outside it's windy and snowing, so I feel like spending the night here. I have found a flashlight, a Canadian toque, a lantern, a cotton scarf, two flares and of course some food. My clothing now gives +13°C temp and +4°C windproof bonus. What I'm still lacking is a weapon to start hunting. And... thinking about it I haven't seen a workbench yet. Or have I? No, I think I haven't. No workbench in Milton? It's probably over at the isolated farmhouse which you find when heading straight ahead out of Grey Mother's door and out of town. That place could also harbour a rifle maybe. I'll check it out tomorrow...

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Day 5:

I wake up... around 2-3 hours before dawn, fully rested (sigh). Strangely, I can see fairly well in the house. Why is this? The windows are pitch dark, so I assume there is no aurora going on. Going outside just to make sure... no aurora. But the breath effect is blinding even at night.It seems that @JAFO's theory that the effect was changed for nighttime only is not entirely correct. At least not for my system. So back inside. Hmmm... back to bed and pass time into morning...

Peeking outside, I see it's foggy. Hmmm... I step out onto the street nevertheless and am immediately barked up by a wolf. I retreat to the porch and look around, intrigued... there seem to be two wolves, I think I can hear two different growls. Very close, too, but where are they? Ah, here comes one around the corner! I want to slip back inside, but apparently am not fast enough - the wolf gets me! No... I make it inside. On the right hand side of the screen, the red "Affliction Blood Loss" has flared up, but when I check may health it says "No Afflictions". Hrgn? My condition is down to 85%, so the wolf bit me. But the blood loss was... imaginary? And even more mysteriously, my clothes are completely unscathed. Hmmm... so how did the wolf bite me? I appreciate that the wolf can get me while slipping through the door, but something seems off here.

Anyway, I rest for an hour to allow the wolves to wander elsewhere, then try my luck again. Again, on reaching the middle of the road, I am barked up. And again, I can't see the damn thing. I decide to run for it, straight ahead, and try to cut the line of sight. It works, and I make it safely to the farm. Paradise Meadows, it's called. Aha, workbench in the barn here. The door to the estate is locked, I like this very much, but I find the key a little too quickly in the car nearby. Anyway, jarred and locked doors add a lot of excitement and variety to the game, I like it.

So, what have we got in this place... ah... a "Decent Expedition Parka". Nice, have I had this before? Also a ski jacket, looks like I will have to compare all those jackets in a minute. Then I turn the corner into the bedroom and... ha! A rifle leaning against the fireplace! Excellent... I run over... and discover that it is a... broom! Hrrrnnnhh... damn broom looked like a rifle from the door! But when I turn around in frustration, lo and behold - a rifle is lying on the bed! Nice surprise just at the right moment. And a corresponding book under the bed, "Advanced Guns Guns Guns". Advanced? Does that mean I have to read another book first? Basic Guns Guns Guns? I'll find out soon enough. What else... ah, quite some canned food in the pantry. That's good, since it is late afternoon by now, and I will stay here overnight. With some nice dinner.

I have not yet gone to starving in this run, and I will see whether I can keep this up. I called this the achievement run, because I want to get some of the achievements I am lacking since new achievements were added. And there is one for going 10 days without starving, if I am not mistaken. However, I will need to start hunting soon, since prefabricated food will probably run out tomorrow. Checking the rifle, I see it it only at 24%, so I will definitely want to clean it before shooting anything. The cleaning kit is in the gas station, so I will head back there tomorrow morning. On the way, I plan to pick up some cattails on the river to buy myself some more time without starving.

On a side note, I find it a nice addition that we now occasionally see kitchen utensils hanging on the walls in house interiors. That does much for the atmosphere, since it better conveys a feeling that someone has actually lived there. Something I would still like to see very much is the customization of my base. First thing: cleaning up. If Hinterland is looking closely at the forums here and on steam, they will have seen that quite a number of people feel an urge to tidy up the place they choose to live in. I feel that way as well, maybe I am a tidy person, whatever. It makes me feel uncomfortable to have chairs lying around and seeing scraps of paper on the floor. This urge to tidy things up in a video game may seem strange, but it is definitely there for many people. The weird game "Viscera Cleanup Detail" is a testament to this, with lots of players admitting to the strange satisfaction they derive from tidying up virtual realities. Well, what can I say.

Anyway, not to digress... I put on the expedition parka and like it. The regular parka goes into a drawer. And even though this place looks terribly untidy, I decide to transfer my base here. Because... workbench. Dusk is nearing, and I dismantle some planks, overturned chairs and a crate, then make a fire and produce some water. After that, it's dinner and off to bed.

Edited by Hotzn
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Best part is "outdoor workbench". So you can put all those hours into a wolfskin coat and it won't hammer you on the cabin fever.

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10 hours ago, stratvox said:

Best part is "outdoor workbench". So you can put all those hours into a wolfskin coat and it won't hammer you on the cabin fever.

I had not yet thought of this, but yes. An indoor workbench provides warmth, but I would probably have to work in smaller chunks and do other things in-between. Outdoor workbench may require a campfire, on the other hand. Each alternative has an upside.

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Day 6:

In the morning, I sort my equipment, leaving some things in my new home. Fun fact: Generic books I pick up and then drop again from my inventory magically all turn into books with a fish on the cover. With the rifle on me, I head out the door... see a wolf off to the right, but I can circle it in a wide arc, no problem. After collecting some cattails on the little river, I make a short stopover at the cabin on the hilltop between Paradise Meadows Farmstead and Milton, finding wool mittens (which are still an improvement for my clothing), a chocolate bar and another box of wooden matches. I also find both Maple and Birch saplings around here and take them with me. Trying to cut across to the gas station, I am confronted with a wolf, but turning back and running I manage to cut the line of sight. I circle around to the right again, towards the climbing area. Another close encounter with a second wolf right at the front door of the gas station, and I'm safe inside. For a moment, I fear that my memory has deceived me and that I misplaced the rifle cleaning kit in another house. But then I see it, on the desk next to the makeshift bed in the back. I clean it away, and interestingly, it breaks while going down from 10% to 5%. So my rifle is at 96% now instead of the 100% I aimed for. Well, it'll do.

A second and more thorough search of the gas station unearths a granola bar and a packet of salty crackers, both of which I overlooked the first time. While conducting the search, I feel that urge to clean the place up again. Then I settle down at the fire barrel to make some more water and call it a day.

Edited by Hotzn
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Day 7:

Waking up shortly before dawn, I see the lamp on the ceiling flickering, also the PC screen flashes. It seems the aurorae are on. If I was in a place devoid of wolves, I would go outside to take a look. But here I don't. What I do, however, is go over to the front desk and listen to the radio playing some piano music. Nice and lonesome. Then I remember I found those flashlights which I still carry around. Do they work during the aurora? Lessee... they do. I can turn them on and off. And when they're on, I can turn them up really bright. Now what could that be useful for? Hmm... Probably blinding wolves. But I'm not sure I want to try that out, since it would probably require me to go outside at night. And that totally spooks me. Nah.

Well... today is a hunting day, and I want to hunt deer. So I pass some more time in bed until the sun is fully up, then load the freshly cleaned rifle (ah, new loading animation, with hands, nice) and step out the back door. I hear a wolf stalking around, it must be very close... right, WOOF, WOOF, and me back into the gas station. So... front door. Step out... WOOF, WOOF! Another one out front. Back inside. So what now? I don't want to shoot a wolf at this time, so I pass another hour in bed, and try again. This time I want to distract any potential wolf by throwing stones, so I take one into my hand and slip out the back door again, crouching... hmmm... foggy... I can hear it nearby, but it seems to be walking away... right... I sneak away clean. A little further towards the Paradise Meadows Farm I see a deer. Sneak close, aim, shoot. It runs off, but checking the spot where I hit it, I see plenty of blood. Now I can follow it around for an hour, but I know this to be tedious, with disappearing blood trails, possibly clipping through the deer when it bounces back from a cliff, and it running and running until it drops dead. So I check the temperature - fairly warm - drop down my bedroll and go to sleep for an hour. I hear the deer dropping in the distance. I can't find it directly, but soon the fog lifts and circling crows indicate where I have to look. There it is.

I strip the carcass completely, but immediately drop everything to avoid attracting wolves, then light a fire with some sticks I collected while looking for the deer and cook some of the meat on the spot. I eat some, yummy, leave the remaining raw meat here for the time being, grab the hide and guts and head off towards the farm. I can see a wolf over there, and it spots me from really far away. Hmmm... I don't even have a single scent bar. Anyway, I break the line of sight, run off to the right and run a circle. There are two wolves over there at the farm, maybe more which I cannot see from here. They are moving about, what are they doing? Ah, hunting rabbits. I want to approach the farmhouse from the back, on the way I find one more Maple and Birch Sapling each. Then I see the way to the back door is blocked... by a wolf eating a rabbit. I try to circle further around, but I am spotted and find myself in a dead end. OK, get out the rifle. The wolf shows it also knows how to run in a circle, and of course I am out of practice and miss it. A hand fight ensues, I pick the hatchet, and the wolf runs off right away. While it is till running around me, whining and senselessly bouncing of rocks, a second wolf is suddenly upon me. It also gets the hatchet and runs off, whimpering. Frantically, I flee into the farmhouse. The damage is not as bad as I feared - condition is down to 84%, I lost a couple of % from the parka. That's it, no afflictions. I do have to say my clothes grant 20% protections altogether by now, maybe that factors in there.

Anyway, dusk is nearing and the day is done. Deer hide, guts and saplings go onto the floor, excess venison on the veranda and old Hotzn into bed...

Edited by Hotzn
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Awesome!  Another @Hotzn adventure to follow!  And this time...

On 12/16/2017 at 5:23 AM, Hotzn said:

I feel like doing a Stalker game instead of the usual Interloper business. Because in Interloper, the game is a lot slower, with trips across maps requiring careful planning, and resource management taking up more time in contrast to travelling and exploring. This time, I want to travel & explore more than usual, to see where the terrain has been changed and what else might be new.

So - more risk taking - more enjoyment of the scenery - more stuff to play with - more fun!  :D

 

21 hours ago, Hotzn said:

But I'm not sure I want to try that out, since it would probably require me to go outside at night. And that totally spooks me.

Come on, man!  One of the best parts of playing Stalker is that you can go outside at night and play around.  Those aurora wolves are little punks, just like the regular ones are. :P  

In any case, looking forward to whatever happens next. :)

Edited by Timber Wolf

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On 20.12.2017 at 10:44 PM, Timber Wolf said:

Awesome!  Another @Hotzn adventure to follow!  And this time...

So - more risk taking - more enjoyment of the scenery - more stuff to play with - more fun!  :D

Glad you're enjoying it. Il will be away over Christmas, so progress will be slow the next few days. But I want to move forward a bit before the year ends.

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Day 8:

Back at 100% condition and bold as ever, I step out into a sunny morning. Not far from my porch, two dead wolves are lying in the snow. So I got them alright with the hatchet the day before. Well... no reason to let them go to waste. Wait... a third one is skulking around there... but runs off as I approach. Aha, they seem to be able to learn. Or not - the living wolf seems unsure what to do, does not really run away but rather here and there, then finally decides it is better to attack after all. This time I do not miss and get the spoils of a third wolf today.

This one is lying very close to the porch. I harvest the other two, then search for the raw venison I left behind when I had to get back to the farm through (former) wolf territory. It starts snowing, but I finally manage to find it. 3 more kg of venison return to the farm with me. Out there, I also stumble across a fourth wolf, dead and 98% frozen. Strange, when did I kill that one? I remember the spot, since dusk is setting in and I have no time to harvest this one today.

Back at the farm, I collect some goodies from the shelf behind the house - a whetstone, quality tools and a jerry can. I go inside, make a fire in the fireplace, cook some meat and make more water. I also try to repair the hacksaw with my newly acquired quality tools and some scrap metal I found in the barn. But I fail, maybe in part due to exhaustion, and decide I had better get some sleep.

Edited by Hotzn
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20 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Or not - the living wolf seems unsure what to do, does not really run away but rather here and there, then finally decides it is better to attack after all. This time I do not miss and get the spoils of a third wolf today.

One of my favorite things is to clear out a wolf population.  Keep on rocking @Hotzn!

Edited by Timber Wolf

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Day 9:

I wake up shortly after dawn (according to the little sun & moon icons), but in pitch darkness. Sleep one more hour and it's bright light inside, with sun shining through the windows. This should be more gradual, it's a little off. I do three more repair attempts on the hacksaw, but fail twice. My only success brings the hacksaw back to 58% condition. Maybe enough to take apart some stuff, since I have no more scrap metal for further repairs. Looking around, I see a couple of guts, two wolfskins and a deer skin are curing in the living room, Maple and Birch saplings on the kitchen table. Short-term needs are more firewood and water. I will take care of that today. Further, I have two more wolves to harvest. When that is done, I will have to decide whether I want to stay here to craft clothes/bow/arrow shafts or whether I want to move on. Thinking of my desire to tick off some of those achievements, I guess it should be the latter - the Resolute Outfitter achievement requires me to fill every clothing slot with 100% clothing items. The tricky bit here will be the 'accessories'. The only accessories I know of are the ear wraps, of which I have none yet and which I know to be quite rare. Wherever they may be, I must find them quickly, or else they may rot before I reach them. So... I shall harvest the two wolves (only hides and guts though), put the spoils down in the farmstead for curing, grab the climbing rope (also in the shelf behind the house) and be off tomorrow. And I should head for the peak of Timberwolf Mountain, as that is where the chances of finding ear wraps should be greatest. At the same time, I will get another achievement for scaling the peak.

So... I harvest the two wolves, collect a couple of feathers as well, get some sticks here and there and go back inside to repair/sharpen hacksaw, hatchet and knife to the max and make some water. Then it's off to bed.

Edited by Hotzn
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Day 10:

Waking up after sunrise, I have to make a decision: Take the rifle along or leave it here? Leaving it here might make sense, since I will be going to Mystery Lake, and there will certainly be anothe rifle there. Also, it would allow me to return one day without having to carry a rifle, and I would find one waiting for me here. Hmmm... on the other hand, in a real survival situation I would not leave my rifle behind and just trust that I would find another one of equal worth. So for reasons of realistic survival *cough*), I will take it along.

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