Snowballs: Hushed River Valley


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6 hours ago, Dan_ said:

Great prize  @Drifter Man! Looking forward to your report! :coffee:

 

5 hours ago, Riotintheair said:

Are you still retreating or will you hunker down on the moose and recoup? Or did you kill it after retreating? Anyhow it's always awesome to get a moose!

Thanks! The moose was out of HRV - I'm not hunkering down there. The problem of HRV was more of weather and the impossibility to maintain a fire to warm up. Food was a secondary issue. I'll be back to HRV when I'm ready, but that can take quite some time. The great thing about TLD is that it doesn't impose time limits on you.

Report to follow :)

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Snowball 54 / Day 69

Rewind back time... I'm in the Valley Cave, the lowest point of HRV and the lowest point of my game so far. Two or three hours remaining in the fire, sun still hasn't come up. Reishi tea bubbling next to the campfire. I look at my "prize" I brought from the Landslide - a ruined baseball cap and worn work gloves - and harvest it. I use the leather to fix up my combat boots to 50%.

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Up the rope to back to Many Falls Vista, then a wolf blocks the way, I walk straight up to it and 'unblock' with my flare gun. I'm losing condition too fast and don't have time right now to build fires. Another wolf charges at Stairsteps Lake, another flare shell fired. I reach the cave to Milton in 20% condition.

Over the next few days I stay there, getting my condition back up. I don't have much food, so I use the 'accelerated' method - sleep for 10 hours, run yourself to exhaustion, sleep 10 hours again. This makes me leave the cave during a few consecutive nights for my cardio, and I notice a curious thing:

The weather is quite good in the Hushed River Valley during the nights.

Clear skies, no wind. Not always, but it must be more than just a fluke, because during the days the wind is crazy almost 100% of the time. It is still very cold, but at least I could make a fire and warm up during my journey. And the visibility is fairly good when the sky is clear at night. Maybe exploration would be more practical in nighttime? The risks are enormous - if the weather does turn bad, it can as well be the end.

Snowball 54 / Day 71

A few days (and nights) later I'm at 75% and decide to test my theory. It is dusk and winds are still, skies are clear, I have decent amount of firewood. How about a small trip to Stairsteps Lake, build a fire, get some cattails? Maybe even hunt a deer if I get the opportunity.

So I go, build a fire, and before I'm done with my reishi tea, a snowstorm rolls in. I'm forced to light a flare on my run back to the cave, otherwise I wouldn't see a thing. Theories...

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Snowball 54 / Day  72

Today's the day of retreat. I out-wait a blizzard at the MT end of the cave and make it along the river and down the rope to Milton Basin in late afternoon. Grabbing a few cattails on the way, I run almost headlong into a moose in the Basin, who gives me a warning. Mindful of @FunkyFuggerson's prophecy and of the fact that the part about being mauled by a bear has already come true, I make a hasty retreat and take a longer way around. I spot the Basin wolf at a distance as a black dot and think I can easily avoid it, but the dot just keeps growing and homing in on me. I check for decoys, I have none, does it smell me or what? I'm freezing badly, I haven't built a fire since I left the cave from HRV, and don't have condition left to build fires. The wolf barks, then charges, and there goes another flare shell.

As I climb down to Marsh Ridge, I notice the deer has respawned - great, I'll have food. At a second glance I realize the deer is much bigger than a deer. Fortunately the beast doesn't block my way to the cave.

Snowball 54 / Day 73

Rested after a night's sleep, I peek outside. Heavy fog. I'm in such a bad mood after being driven out of HRV and hated and threatened and attacked by about every creature in this world plus weather that potentially adding broken ribs to my list of trouble suddenly doesn't feel so bad. And I need food, cattails won't last forever. Moose it is today.

I've only seen three moose so far in all my runs, one some time ago on Lake Monolith, and the two others yesterday. Incidentally, I think even the first one was seen by Snowball 54 (or was it 53? Doesn't matter). Marsh Ridge is good for hunting deer, just like Ravine - you will always find your kill, and there aren't any wolves to interfere. Will it be good for a moose hunt too? This is what I know:

  • They don't bleed. Have to take it down on the spot.
  • They charge you when you get close
  • They charge you when you hit them
  • They fear fire (?)

The advice around is to hunt them like bears - have a spot they can't trace a path to, like a cliff face or fallen tree, and shoot from there. I watched an instructional video by GELtaz, where he brings one down using some gymnastics on rocks combined with his usual impressive archery. There is no way I can pull that off. Instead I crouch-walk into the area and build a fire next to a fallen tree, for warming and protection. Then I realize I can't climb up that tree. Never mind. I wait, boil water and listen up into the fog.

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Hours pass, then the moose appears and vanishes again.

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Later it comes closer again and I get a shot at it from medium distance from behind, where it doesn't see me. I miss it - I'm not good with the bow at all - and the moose runs away. This allows me to pick up my arrow. Later the fog lifts and the scene is repeated - another shot, another miss. I move my fire closer to the place where the moose is grazing now. I remain crouched next to the fire.

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In the end the wind picks up, it is late afternoon and it's about time to give up. But I want to get a better shot at it before I go. So I leave the fire when I see it coming in my direction, and shoot an arrow. I see a blood splash (it only skirts the moose, as I later find my arrow lying there), and the moose charges. I run to my fire, replacing the bow with the flare gun. The moose comes closer, then turns around and runs away.

They fear fire!

Snowball 64 / Day 74

Fog again. This time I let it get closer to me and to my fire, and stand up. The moose strikes its threatening posture and receives and arrow into the nose in return. It runs away. When it comes back, it's behavior is different, it stops more frequently and makes disgruntled sounds. Once it comes too close to the fire and runs away without me doing anything. Later that day, I hit it again into its foot with my last arrow and that's enough to bring it down. I think I was lucky, I'm told they can take many more hits.

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I grab the precious hide first thing, run with it to the cave to begin curing. Then I take out meat with my hatchet, first 1 kg between warming up at the fire, later by 2 kg when it is 75% frozen and the hatchet begins to work as it should on frozen carcasses. Having high carcass harvesting skill level doesn't necessarily help, it actually increases your harvesting time on frozen carcasses. I cook as I go, I don't care about condition and exhaustion because I know I can recover easily with so much food. In the carcass the meat spoils fast, I estimate about 2% per hour, so what I don't get out know will be lost. In the end I get out all 42 kg of it, and cook at least a third of it, until it next dawn breaks and it is time to go to the cave to sleep and recover.

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I decide not to take the guts. I would have to start another fire next to the carcass and guts can be obtained from rabbits and ravaged deer carcasses.

Now, the meat is at Marsh Ridge. I can't take it elsewhere, but I can use it to support the exploration of the Milton Basin, Forlorn Muskeg and maybe Broken Railroad. The 10 days needed for the hide to cure are just about the right timespan for that project. Great opportunity.

Edited by Drifter Man
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Snowball 54 / Day 79

After a few days of recovery, collecting wood and waiting for weather (and achieving the Stone-age sniper along the way), I went to the Milton Basin again. I found quite a lot of resihi mushrooms and especially rosehips, but only few cattails. I took the cooking pot from Hermit's cabin that I can use on Marsh Ridge.

While in the Basin, I was again attacked - jumped this time - by the local wolf. It seems to have an ability to see from a long distance and just goes straight for me. Although I carried a small piece of cooked moose meat for decoy as per @Ruruwawa's advice, I habitually built a fire - I needed to warm up anyway, so no harm done. The wolf came back again and then again. The third time I stayed hidden behind a rock with my bow aimed at the place where I expected to wolf to show up. I took a nice shot at it while it was turning away to flee, and took the hide and a gut.

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I couldn't cover the far end of the Basin. The moose is still there and I don't want to dance around it just for a few cattails and birch saplings that aren't going anywhere, anyway. Even less, risk hunting it with only three arrows left. Nevertheless, Marsh Ridge could be an excellent place to stay long-term. Easy hunting, unlimited meat (four deer, two moose, at least 3 rabbit runs), few wolves (just the one in the Basin, enough to keep one's coat repaired), mild weather. Disadvantages: no safe spot nearby to fight cabin fever, and the workbench at the Spences' is a bit far away and not easily supplied with firewood needed for crafting in that place. But there's also the forge, which is a great plus.

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My stash in the cave is growing and I should start thinking how to get it to the crafting table at Spences'. Especially the 5-kg moose hide, which still has a few days to cure.

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Excellent moose adventure, @Drifter Man!  I read it with a huge smile on my face.

What will you do with the moose hide: Satchel or cloak?

A suggestion, practice with decoys as you do moose... with a fire at your back.  That way you can retreat to the fire if needed.  For me decoy-and-shoot is my get-out-of-my-way-I'm-cold "flare gun".  Arrowheads are a little hassle to make but not finite like flare shells.

In my own HRV loper adventure, I retreated to MT and I also find the late afternoon/ evenings are often clear with little wind.   Usually the warmest part of the day, so it's when I do my travel and gathering.

Edited by Ruruwawa
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20 hours ago, Ruruwawa said:

Excellent moose adventure, @Drifter Man!  I read it with a huge smile on my face.

What will you do with the moose hide: Satchel or cloak?

A suggestion, practice with decoys as you do moose... with a fire at your back.  That way you can retreat to the fire if needed.  For me decoy-and-shoot is my get-out-of-my-way-I'm-cold "flare gun".  Arrowheads are a little hassle to make but not finite like flare shells.

In my own HRV loper adventure, I retreated to MT and I also find the late afternoon/ evenings are often clear with little wind.   Usually the warmest part of the day, so it's when I do my travel and gathering.

I imagine the huge, knowing smile, remembering your first moose :) I choose cloak - safety first.

I started prcaticing with the decoy. They do smell it - the on/off behavior was apparent as I was dropping it and picking up again. But as you say, matches and flare shells are finite, and I need to learn new tricks if I want to survive in the long run. At 131 days, Snowball 47 has been my longest so far.

Where do you stay in MT? I find it hard to make a step there without a pair (or more pairs) of hungry eyes staring in my face.

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20 hours ago, Riotintheair said:

@Drifter Man, there's a warm outdoor cave in the Milton Basin that's a good place to fight cabin fever. It's on the NE shore of the lake (probably east of the moose).

Thanks, that's really helpful - I found it on another trip. Could be a great base for hunting the second moose!

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Snowball 54 / Day 88

I've changed my mind - rather than exploration of FM, I decided to focus on the upcoming crafting project. I made two runs to the Spences' with firewood, coal and material for crafting. My plan is to craft the moose cloak, deerskin boots and a few arrows while earning the Deep Forest achievement. Nearly all material is now in place, but I still need to bring in much more fuel to burn for 3 days. The current stash I've built there wouldn't last for more than a day.

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The deer reappeared at Marsh Ridge right after the moose kill, then disappeared, then reappeared again about a week later. It was then that I killed it and cooked on the spot. I hear people complain about the cooking times, but I just don't see the problem. I can cook the whole deer while harvesting it and end up spending no more total time and firewood than before.

I've also resumed my 'warming on the go' practice: 1) put in just enough sticks to get above zero, so that you stop freezing, and start boiling water or making reishi tea (I usually do both at once with two cans). Often that's around 30 sticks. 2) by the time the tea is done, add one coal - you now start filling up your temperature bar 3) once you're warmed up and ready, pull torches and turn them back into stick still at the fire. It's a bit tedious, but at my current firestarting level 4 I can recover nearly as many sticks as I've put in, so the warming break only costs me a coal.

The wolf reappeared in the Basin almost immediately. This time, I waited for it to catch a rabbit before closing in for the kill. Another pelt is curing in the cave.

Edited by Drifter Man
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1 hour ago, Drifter Man said:

My plan is to craft the moose cloak, deerskin boots and a few arrows while earning the Deep Forest achievement. Nearly all material is now in place, but I still need to bring in much more fuel to burn for 3 days. The current stash I've built there wouldn't last for more than a day.

If you mean you intend to use the forge as your 3-day-long fire for that achievement, I must warn you right now that that won't work, as it has to be a regular camp fire! I learned that one the hard way (ironically at that very forge) and I was only on pilgrim (I love my casual experience :D), but I imagine it would be infinitely more painful to learn that on interloper...especially since this snowball is doing so well!

That being said, I love these stories! My favorite thing to do these past few days has been to read the updates before I go to sleep :D

Edited by TheIncredibleHibby
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1 hour ago, TheIncredibleHibby said:

If you mean you intend to use the forge as your 3-day-long fire for that achievement, I must warn you right now that that won't work, as it has to be a regular camp fire! I learned that one the hard way (ironically at that very forge) and I was only on pilgrim (I love my casual experience :D), but I imagine it would be infinitely more painful to learn that on interloper...especially since this snowball is doing so well!

That being said, I love these stories! My favorite thing to do these past few days has been to read the updates before I go to sleep :D

Ouch - I can imagine that disappointment after building up such a supply of wood and then burning it for 'nothing', even on Pilgrim. I appreciate your warning note :)

Actually I intend to craft at the workbench, and the heat from the forge doesn't reach that far, so I'm going to build a campfire right next to the crafting table. I have every reason to believe that the place is windproof, I already crafted and slept next to a fire there in a blizzard and checked that wind indeed doesn't reach into the homestead. Which is quite surprising given how the structure looks.

I'll make sure to keep the story updated! Snowball 54 is doing well, considering he is already 'trebly cursed' by combat pants and prophesized to be nibbled to death by evil rabbits. Thanks for the feedback :)

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4 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Where do you stay in MT? I find it hard to make a step there without a pair (or more pairs) of hungry eyes staring in my face.

My main base is the Barker Farm.  I really love the outdoor workbench with the wind-resistant firebarrel right next to it, so I can cook while I craft.  And the six-burner stove inside.  Deer and rabbits nearby.  Lots of wolves too, but I simply kill them ASAP when they spawn and enjoy a wolf-free environment most of the time.

My secondary base is the trailer near HRV, for moose and bear hunting.  I've been using blizzards to haul the meat to the trailer, cooking it there, then hauling the cooked meat to the farm.  

5 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I started prcaticing with the decoy. They do smell it - the on/off behavior was apparent as I was dropping it and picking up again. But as you say, matches and flare shells are finite, and I need to learn new tricks if I want to survive in the long run. At 131 days, Snowball 47 has been my longest so far.

BTW I noticed a typo in my earlier post, but since we can't edit posts I couldn't change it.  The pieces I carry are 0.01kg - one-tenth the size I mentioned.  I usually get a new one by pressing ESC while eating a steak then carefully nibbling down to 0.01kg.  The weight matters.  I have a stack of spare 0.01kg decoys by the farm house and I'll sometimes pick up a few more to increase the detection range for a wolf so I can maneuver it into a favorable spot to shoot it.  It's easy to see the difference between carrying 0.01kg and 0.05kg.

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8 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Ouch - I can imagine that disappointment after building up such a supply of wood and then burning it for 'nothing', even on Pilgrim. I appreciate your warning note :)

Actually I intend to craft at the workbench, and the heat from the forge doesn't reach that far, so I'm going to build a campfire right next to the crafting table. I have every reason to believe that the place is windproof, I already crafted and slept next to a fire there in a blizzard and checked that wind indeed doesn't reach into the homestead. Which is quite surprising given how the structure looks.

It stung at first but after a while I realized it wasn't too bad, as I was able to forge and craft stuff in the meantime with an easy way to gain 3 more days toward my 500 day achievement :) and at least pilgrim is pretty forgiving and firewood is infinite.

Hopefully that works though! I remember trying to redo the achievement in the very sheltered part of the structure next to PV farmstead, which is the same building model as the FM forge area, but twice blizzards ruined my progress, even though there were protective walls between wind direction and fire :( so I wound up doing it a third- successful- time at the top of the lonely lighthouse in DP since it's sheltered, despite all the broken windows :D

Edited by TheIncredibleHibby
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On 4.7.2018 at 1:35 PM, Drifter Man said:

Then I crossed the cave and used my burning torch to start a fire, to make some water and cook the rabbit. I tried it the usual way - dropped the meat on the ground and RMB-moved it onto the fire, but for some reason it wasn't possible. OK, so I'm told I can place it from the radial. I find the meat on the radial menu, click it, eat it and get poisoning. Why oh why does it have to be so hard to avoid food poisoning while cooking? No one in their right mind eats raw meat, but the game offers multiple easy ways to do just that, while placing raw meat on a campfire is complicated.

I could not help it, but I had to laugh really hard here. If even the careful and astute @Drifter Manfalls into the pit traps laid out by the cunning Hinterland developers, how would the average player hope to avoid them? For the fraction of a second, my inner eye saw all those poor souls in front of their screens out there around the globe, howling and cursing in frustration over the most recent piece of raw meat consumed by mistake. And imagine how hilarious a cartoon one could make of this: The survivor, only barely clinging to the last percentages of his/her condition, standing in front of the campfire, with a slab of raw meat in his/her hand... hesitating... stretching out that meat and retracting it several times as if uncertain how to place it on the fire... and then, as if befallen by a sudden madness, wildly sticking the raw meat into his/her mouth and gulping it down in a mere second. And then the widening of eyes, and realization... what have I done? Why, oh why? 

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On 5.7.2018 at 1:58 PM, Drifter Man said:

It was bad luck that the bear was right there round the next bend, but it had to happen at some point - I've spent some 1500 days in sandbox and had never been mauled by a bear, until today.

Welcome to the club. In fond memory of my first bear-induced death on day 93 of a Pacifist run, I retraced my old, old survival stories... and indeed found it. Enjoy:

I underwent two other bear maulings after that. One happened when I was trying to unravel a sticky wolf situation in Coastal townsite: Staring down wolves and operating hastily with decoys, I went up the slope behind the townsite backwards. Backwards implies not looking behind me. Unaware was I at the time that recently a bear had moved in. I survived that one, presumably as the mauling also terrified and drove off the wolves. So I could hobble to the safety of a building when the bear was done. The other incident happened in Pleasant Valley (an unlucky map for me) when I was lighting a fire next to a boulder and a bear walked around it. The mistake there was not to pause and listen before descending into the fire-making tunnel. That one was fatal - of course I made the fire because I was already in difficulties, far from the next shelter.

Edited by Hotzn
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22 hours ago, Ruruwawa said:

My main base is the Barker Farm.

I may check that place out once I'm more comfortable around wolves. I don't like the name of the farm :)

22 hours ago, Ruruwawa said:

The weight matters

That's interesting, some time ago a TLD scientist (maybe you?) studied the scent mechanic and concluded that only the number of items carried matters, not weight. But if we now have weight-dependent cooking time, I can imagine we also have weight-dependent scent. I'll prep smaller pieces next time.

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15 hours ago, TheIncredibleHibby said:

Hopefully that works though! I remember trying to redo the achievement in the very sheltered part of the structure next to PV farmstead, which is the same building model as the FM forge area, but twice blizzards ruined my progress, even though there were protective walls between wind direction and fire :( so I wound up doing it a third- successful- time at the top of the lonely lighthouse in DP since it's sheltered, despite all the broken windows :D

It's good to know that the barns like at PV Farmstead and Trapper's aren't fully windproof. I'd tend to trust the section where you have to crouch-walk in, and happily sleep next to a campfire there. Maybe you've just saved my life.

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13 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

That's interesting, some time ago a TLD scientist (maybe you?) studied the scent mechanic and concluded that only the number of items carried matters, not weight. But if we now have weight-dependent cooking time, I can imagine we also have weight-dependent scent. I'll prep smaller pieces next time.

Uh oh, you may be right.  I took a long break from the game and since returning I've done all my personal "testing" with those same tiny pieces.  Poor study design!   I found this from @Timber Wolf... going to re-read it now.  (Had to edit my post quickly before it got locked.)

 

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2 hours ago, Hotzn said:

And then the widening of eyes, and realization... what have I done? Why, oh why?

and then, out of desperation, harvesting his only pants.

2 hours ago, Hotzn said:

Welcome to the club. In fond memory of my first bear-induced death on day 93 of a Pacifist run, I retraced my old, old survival stories... and indeed found it. Enjoy:

Enjoyed immensely - the beginnings of Hotzn, discovering Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway and Pleasant Valley. Three years later, I'm collecting the same achievements you got back then.

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12 minutes ago, Ruruwawa said:

Uh oh, you may be right.  I took a long break from the game and since returning I've done all my personal "testing" with those same tiny pieces.  Poor study design!  Maybe it was @Timber Wolf who tested it a year ago... time to go back and read.  Thanks for the reminder.

What we observe now is what matters - let's experiment when we get the chance :)

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3 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

What we observe now is what matters - let's experiment when we get the chance :)

After re-reading Timber Wolf's test, I think I'll try his methodology to test this.   Drop two cooked pieces of meat on the ground, identical in condition but differing in weight.  Then wait for a wolf to wander close enough for testing.  Touch each piece of meat and screenshot the farthest distance for wolf detection for the lighter and the heavier piece.  If it's the same, weight doesn't matter.

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Snowball 54 / Day 99

On Day 94 I bid goodbye to the Marsh Ridge, my base for the past 20 days. I like the place and I want to return later. But for now, there are more pressing tasks.

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The fire burned for 96 hours. I spent 11 pieces of cedar, 5 pieces of fir, 15 pieces of reclaimed wood and approximately 100 sticks. That would be roughly 38 hours of nominal duration at firestarting level 1, and 48 hours at my current level 4. This means the fire enjoyed the full duration bonus factor of 2 all the time.

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I crafted and slept, through days and nights, blizzards and auroras, hell and high water, and the fire burned next to me. I ended up with a moose cloak, a pair of deerskin boots and 10 new arrows. I also found the time to repair some of my clothing items that needed it the most. On Day 98 I waited until the evening for a heavy fog to lift, then transferred via rail tunnel to Camp Office. Now, in the morning of Day 99, I'm at 88% condition and ready to move on to the Dam trailers, from where I plan to do some deer hunting before checking out Coastal Highway. I have a small hope to find at least one salvageable thin wool sweater.

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24 minutes ago, Ruruwawa said:

After re-reading Timber Wolf's test, I think I'll try his methodology to test this.   Drop two cooked pieces of meat on the ground, identical in condition but differing in weight.  Then wait for a wolf to wander close enough for testing.  Touch each piece of meat and screenshot the farthest distance for wolf detection for the lighter and the heavier piece.  If it's the same, weight doesn't matter.

A clever method, as could be expected from Timber Wolf. I look forward to your findings.

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1 hour ago, Drifter Man said:

It's good to know that the barns like at PV Farmstead and Trapper's aren't fully windproof. I'd tend to trust the section where you have to crouch-walk in, and happily sleep next to a campfire there. Maybe you've just saved my life.

I can confirm that on Stalker, I've had a campfire blow out in the crawl-space of the shelter by the pleasant valley farmstead, multiple times. Almost like the wind blows through the gaps between the boards... Sometimes, I wish we could re-enforce our little shelters. 

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