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Aly

Worldwide decay and timing

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Hello all! I'm new to survival games in general, The Long Dark being just my second (or third if you count a few hours in another that didn't grab me). I've found it to be a tremendous, challenging, beautiful game and I'm glad to have found such a helpful community around it as well. Thank you for the myriad of great information and tips in other threads, and in advance for your input here.

On to my question: As I began to venture further out into the world, entering locations for the first time after a few weeks, it seemed as though most of the food and clothing I encountered had decayed to noticeably lower than those I found in my first days. I'm not sure worldwide decay from the start of the game is actually the mechanic, but most of the more recent discussions I've come across seem to suggest so.

Assuming that is the case, I'm curious what the more experienced among you keep in mind as a deadline to hit the hotspots for good finds? While I've not gotten there yet, I imagine the majority - if not entirety - of calories in the later days are meat, but I'd hate to come across a rare article of clothing only to find I waited too long and it was decayed beyond repair.

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Hi @Aly, welcome to the forums!

As a rule, the decay of items all over the world begins on Day 1. So your observation is correct, as time progresses, eventually you will find fewer and fewer usable food and clothing items. The rate of decay depends on the difficulty mode you play, some items may last many hundreds of days if properly stored. Unfortunately, in the later game you may find rare clothing that cannot be salvaged anymore - it happens and it is part of the experience of the game. As for food, everything except salty crackers and cattail stalks gradually and inexorably turns into dust.

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On an Interloper run, you will usually try to cover a lot of ground over the first few days and collect a number of items, especially clothing. So you will have some decent clothing before it turns to dust in other places. Later on you will exchange that prefabricated clothing for crafted clothing, so clothing you haven't found until then becomes less important.

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Thank you for the welcome and the input. Helps to understand the way it works, and to appreciate the encouragement to be more nomadic, at least until everywhere has been pilfered. For now I'll take some solace in the fact that I'm only playing on Voyager (trying to learn the game and the maps) and will probably find more than enough clothing long before it is unusable.

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18 hours ago, Aly said:

For now I'll take some solace in the fact that I'm only playing on Voyager (trying to learn the game and the maps) and will probably find more than enough clothing long before it is unusable.

I think you will, probably for hundreds of days. Get what you need first but then, unless you enjoy being rushed, don't rush just because stuff decays.

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I usually try to hit a few hotspots within a month.  Places where I've found clothing that I like - signal hut in PV is one,  the various cabins in CH and the two main buildings in ML

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I'd recommend hitting TWM sooner rather than later - nothing more disappointing than finding crates FULL of useless items.

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