Vaius

The Ultimate Beginner's Manual to The Long Dark

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The Only TLD Guide You'll Ever Need - Steam Guide to The Long Dark

I created this reference guide for TLD players that wanted a self-contained pocket manual to the game, that teaches all the basics and important mechanics, but omits spoilers, item locations, walkthroughs, and all the other stuff on the Wiki and Reddit that I basically consider TMI for new players and a major detriment to doing-it-yourself (the point of The Long Dark). I wrote it to be the only TLD guide you'll ever need. Upvote it on Steam if you like it and comment on it, I spent a lot of time researching and making it, and the likes help me out a lot.

With the influx of new players, a lot of them just hit the Wiki a few days into playing (like I did), trying to find out how game mechanic X or Y works, and get many more spoilers than they were asking for in the bargain. I sure did. I agree with Hinterlands that this game is best played blind, but for people that need to know the game mechanics (realistically, we have to look things up at some point) I hope this manual can be a buffer for new players, as it's written to explain all the mechanics and keep the actual content from being spoiled - the Wiki is always an option for Lopervets that want to know the item lists & locations, regional screenshots, strategies, game code, etc. The Wiki is also daunting in scope and takes hours to sift through, and this manual takes all that info and boils it down to 10 pages of basics. Hope you like it, and thanks to Hinterlands for some of my best gaming experiences in recent memory.

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You should make a downladable PDF.

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I was just reading your guide and found something that isn't quite correct.

Under BEDROLL, you state:

Quote

You cannot sleep or Pass Time without a bed or bedroll.

You can actually rest (Pass Time) without a bed or bedroll. At least in Survival Mode. I'm not sure about the other difficulty modes.

I do find your guide - thus far - quite good. :)

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I just confirmed: You can Pass Time in all difficulty levels without a bed or bedroll.

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One more quick comment.

In the Q&A - How do I take a screenshot?, maybe you could also mention the F8 & F9 keys.

Great guide! :)

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5 hours ago, Hawk said:

I just confirmed: You can Pass Time in all difficulty levels without a bed or bedroll.

Thanks, fixed it in the guide ;)

Edit - Added you to contributors.

Edited by Vaius

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7 hours ago, Jacksy said:

How do you pass time without bedroll?

In the Radial menu, click on the Campfire icon (Campcraft), then click on the deck of playing cards (Pass Time).

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On 5.5.2018 at 3:23 PM, Hawk said:

You can actually rest (Pass Time) without a bed or bedroll. At least in Survival Mode. I'm not sure about the other difficulty modes.

Actually, the game provides for another opportunity to sleep without a bed/bedroll: the snow shelter (although you can also use a bedroll in the snow shelter and will get an additional temperature boost from doing so). And if I recall correctly, you can also sleep in the back seat of cars without a bedroll, but please check on that again, as I haven't played in a while. Aaaand - rumour has it that there is a single "leaf bed" in the game, which technically is neither a bed nor a bedroll, but where you can sleep. I'm not going to tell you where it is... ;) 

EDIT: The logo you created (axe with wolf outline) is actually quite cool. And +1 for creating a guide.

Edited by Hotzn

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2 hours ago, Hotzn said:

 if I recall correctly, you can also sleep in the back seat of cars without a bedroll, but please check on that again, as I haven't played in a while. Aaaand - rumour has it that there is a single "leaf bed" in the game, which technically is neither a bed nor a bedroll, but where you can sleep. I'm not going to tell you where 

Yeah, all this is true.

The leaf bed is a bed, as far as I'm concerned. I was actually a bit disappointed when I found that it had been added, as I have fond memories of dying in that place due to not being able to sleep.

You can sleep in cars (front or back seats) without a bedroll and in cabs of pickup trucks. I've never thought to try sleeping in a tractor... Maybe? 

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Here are some suggestions...

Quote

Also, Auroras cause all the electric lighting disabled by the geostorm to briefly come back online. The Flashlight, an item that is always out of batteries, only works during Auroras and projects a powerful beam of light. The light cast by the Aurora also allows you to see much better at night than by moonlight alone.

Strange you don't mention how profoundly wildlife is affected by electric light during Auroras. Traversing between lit areas under streetlights, near headlights of cars, etc. requires some legwork but is quite dependable. Also, Aurora nights are generally very warm with clear and calm weather, making for distant travels.

Quote

"Fixed" fireplaces will heat their entire indoor area and not just a small circle around them. They are also immune to being Windblown.

There is also a number of stoves situated outside - in ruined buildings, sheds and like. It's crucial for novice players to know that these do not  provide any wolf deterrence.

Quote

Carcasses can be Quartered - a process where the animal is skinned and gutted, placing the remaining meat in a large sack. This sack can be carried with you so you can finish harvesting the meat when you please.

Could be elaborated... Quartering requires a thawed (<50% frozen) carcass, takes a lot of time (3 hours), can only be done with a bladed tool and produces several "meat sacks" - I think it can be up to 8 of them from a bear or moose. They're very heavy and give a lot of scent, so retrieving your spoils sometimes can turn into a gamble.

Quote
BROKEN RIBS
Cause - Moose attack
Effect - 50% stamina reduction and 25% carry weight reduction

Also results in inability to climb ropes for the duration of affliction!

 

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3 hours ago, dead frozen dude said:

Strange you don't mention how profoundly wildlife is affected by electric light during Auroras.

He does, at the end of Chapter 6:

Quote

AURORAS
The spectacular result of the geomagnetic solar flare that caused the global blackout, Auroras are uncommon but beautiful nighttime displays - with their own dangers and benefits. The Auroras from the solar flare make predators highly aggressive while the Aurora is out. They will ignore any attempts to fend them off and immediately stalk and pounce on anything in their path. Also, Auroras cause all the electric lighting disabled by the geostorm to briefly come back online. The Flashlight, an item that is always out of batteries, only works during Auroras and projects a powerful beam of light. The light cast by the Aurora also allows you to see much better at night than by moonlight alone.

 

Edited by Hawk

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Great looking guide! Definitely something of use to the community. I've got a few suggestions for corrections/clarifications. 

All items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not, with exceptions. 
This sentence should probably read: Most items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not. 

There's some discrepancy when talking about the Outer layers in the clothing section (a common point of confusion for new players). It reads like all items in the pants and coats slots will provide stats other than warmth and weight, when it's actually only the one outermost item that will do it. (Even if it's on an inner layer slot, but you have nothing over it)

10 KILOS OVER LIMIT - Cannot Sprint or Rope Climb - You can't climb if you're ANY amount over the limit. 

Cooking meats - Cooking fish actually decreases the calorie count. 

Rabbits - should probably mention that they can also be snared. (it's mentioned later, but the section about rabbits only talks about stone hunting)

Food Poisoning - Cure also requires 10 hours of rest. 
Great work! 

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:02 AM, cullam said:

Great looking guide! Definitely something of use to the community. I've got a few suggestions for corrections/clarifications. 

All items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not, with exceptions. 
This sentence should probably read: Most items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not. 

There's some discrepancy when talking about the Outer layers in the clothing section (a common point of confusion for new players). It reads like all items in the pants and coats slots will provide stats other than warmth and weight, when it's actually only the one outermost item that will do it. (Even if it's on an inner layer slot, but you have nothing over it)

10 KILOS OVER LIMIT - Cannot Sprint or Rope Climb - You can't climb if you're ANY amount over the limit. 

Cooking meats - Cooking fish actually decreases the calorie count. 

Rabbits - should probably mention that they can also be snared. (it's mentioned later, but the section about rabbits only talks about stone hunting)

Food Poisoning - Cure also requires 10 hours of rest. 
Great work! 

Fixed the Fish Meat, Rabbit Snare, and Food Poisoning issues. ;) Although the sentence "Most items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not. " is more brief than "All items with a Condition stat will Decay over time, whether they are used or not, with exceptions. " it's also a little muddier. The vast majority of items with Condition do decay, save for Tools as mentioned later in the guide. In this case it's better to say that all items Decay and then state exceptions than to use the word "most" and keep things in the gray.

As for the Outer Layers concern, I think you may have to clarify it for me a little bit. The overviews for the Inner Layers do state that they only contribute Warmth and Weight. 

Quote

Legs Inner: The "underwear" layer. Usually Long Johns or underpants. (Only contributes Warmth - other clothing stats (besides Mobility Penalty) do not get applied.

Added "Only Contributes Warmth AND WEIGHT" to all Inner Layers descriptions to avoid confusion, at the sake of brevity, and other small fixes to that section. Should make it clear to all readers that Inner Layers do not contribute anything but Warmth, Weight, and Mobility Penalty.

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Sorry, I'll clarify what I mean by the "outer layers" confusion. 

You've got your Torso Outer and Legs Outer slots, which can each have two pieces of clothing on them. But this is a different meaning than when it's said that only the "outer layer" provides wind and armour bonuses. What provides those is only the outer-most layer, regardless of whether or not it's an "outer layer" slot. I'm entirely confident that you understand the system, but the wording doesn't make that distinction clear to a new player. I'm not sure what the best way to describe it concisely is. Maybe just a note the only one coat/pair of pants will give all the extra bonuses, as opposed to both ones warn on the Outer Torso or Outer Legs? Stacking two heavy coats has the exact same wind protection as just wearing one. 

Edited by cullam

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Do you mention the magnifying glass for starting fires? I didn’t see it listed in the fire starter section. 

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Strong Work!  Also, that is an outstanding logo at the top. Raph should ask your permission  to use it...

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Nice to know it. I just bought it and going to start to play it tonight

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