Celeblith

RPG Survival Challenge: "The Academic"

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This is something that I thought up after playing the Nomad challenge and that I'd like to try my next survival run, and I'd like to open it up to others as I think it might make for an enjoyable and challenging survival/RPG experience.

The backstory is as follows (feel free to, in your own playthrough, add to or adjust the backstory to suit your preferred RPG playstyle): you are a Canadian academic of little renown but who is nevertheless a household name in the obscure fledgling field of arctic geomagnetology. Not quite the unforeseen disaster to the layperson it appears to be, the aurora and its effect on the world's technology was something you and your colleagues hypothesized could happen months before it actually did. Consequently, you were one of the few (and perhaps the only) people on his or her way into Great Bear when your plane was knocked out of the sky by the very event you were on your way to study. Where anyone else in your shoes might begin to despair at the vacuity, the lunar waste of the husk of the island of Great Bear, you find yourself becoming more and more optimistic. When after a halfhearted search you conclude that there's no way off of the island, you decide to do what you came to do: learn. To that end, you take it upon yourself to uncover the secrets of this frozen desolation, and to preserve that which remains--the knowledge left behind. But if you're going to save from the ravages of time and nature what humanity is left to the island of Great Bear, you'll have to study the land itself. Armed with a notebook, a degree in geography, and GIS certification, you set out to achieve your new purpose: to map your new home and to protect and preserve the knowledge you find there.

Image result for long dark book smarts badge

Playing on any difficulty, complete the following objectives

"The Cartographer" (main objective): map the entirety of the island of Great Bear. At a minimum, map enough to gain the Faithful Cartographer achievement. Optimally, you'll map all the traversable space in the game.

"The Keeper" (side objective): read and collect every note, and read each buffer memory.

"The Librarian" (progressive objective 1): read every skill book/magazine you find in the world, and then store them all in a single location. 

"Bradbury's Fireman" (progressive objective 2): do not burn a single book. Do not use newsprint, newsprint rolls, or stacks of paper as tinder or to make tinder plugs. 

"The Pacifist" (BONUS objective): do not fire a single shot from the rifle. 

Hints and tips (to make the challenge more difficult, do not read the hints and tips):

1. Use sticks to make tinder plugs. Also, use sticks for starting fires as they give a higher success chance than fir or even (I believe) cedar. 2. Travel light so as to carry as much charcoal as possible. 3. Craft a bow early and collect/craft plenty of arrows; using it to hunt often will improve your skills and allow you to hunt larger prey earlier without relying on the rifle. 4. Carry more than one flare in case of confrontations with wolves. 5. Completing "The Cartographer" challenge will require a balance between nomadic and homestead playstyles, but I'd expect it to be more of the former than the latter. Therefore, for long-term survival, it might make sense to stock one or two main bases in every region. 6. Since hunting won't be exceptionally feasible early on, learn the best spots for fishing and stock them, maybe finding a good spot for an alpha base nearby. 

If roleplay is your thing, consider keeping a journal in-game in the "journal" tab, from the point of view of the character you're playing. 

If anybody has any suggestions to improve this challenge or any ideas for different challenges, please share them on this thread, or make/find a challenge thread and let me know so I can link this post there. If you try the challenge, I encourage you to share your experiences in the replies. I'd be very interested to know if it feels tedious, too difficult or too easy, and/or just to hear people's experiences. 

Edited by Celeblith
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As much as I like role-playing in TLD, I honestly believe that some of the objectives suggested might take the overall fun of the challenge itself.

On 28/8/2018 at 12:07 AM, Celeblith said:

"The Cartographer" (main objective): map the entirety of the island of Great Bear. At a minimum, map enough to gain the Faithful Cartographer achievement. Optimally, you'll map all the traversable space in the game.

The ‘Faithful Cartographer’ is IMHO the most difficult achievement/trophy in the game. Besides, and also from my humble point of view, I think it is no fun at all, mainly because the level of frustration it generates on the player is just off the charts. You only need to check the sticky topic here to see what I am trying to bring forward. I personally would see no incentive in remapping the game world again, even from a role-play perspective. 

On 28/8/2018 at 12:07 AM, Celeblith said:

"The Keeper" (side objective): read and collect every note, and read each buffer memory.

"The Librarian" (progressive objective 1): read every skill book/magazine you find in the world, and then store them all in a single location.

I am also not a big fan of in-game collectibles. Being a rather proficient PS4 trophy hunter, my personal experience is that I tend to dislike games that force me to search every nook and cranny just for the sake of picking up random stuff and popping up the related achievement. Yes, it can happen that sometimes these collectibles can shed some light about the game lore (just like it happens with TLD, which is by the way brilliantly done), or perhaps show some bonus content and even easter eggs, but all in all, it is while questing for this kind of collectibles that a game’s fun and immersion may be often replaced by senseless grinding and tediousness.

Notwithstanding the above, please don’t get me wrong. I love the backstory of your challenge! I think it is beautifully thought out and presented, and it truly has an outstanding potential from a role-play approach. :)

You can find some good discussions on challenges and end game ideas in the ‘General Discussion’ forum and ‘Survival Stories’ subforum, although perhaps you’ll have to dig deep and do a bit of necromancy with some topics. Good thing is that it makes for a great reading if you have some time to spare!

Edited by Senauer
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46 minutes ago, Senauer said:

As much as I like role-playing in TLD, I honestly believe that some of the objectives suggested might take the overall fun of the challenge itself.

The ‘Faithful Cartographer’ is IMHO the most difficult achievement/trophy in the game. Besides, and also from my humble point of view, I think it is no fun at all, mainly because the level of frustration it generates on the player is just off the charts. You only need to check the sticky topic here to see what I am trying to bring forward. I personally would see no incentive in remapping the game world again, even from a role-play perspective. 

I am also not a big fan of in-game collectibles. Being a rather proficient PS4 trophy hunter, my personal experience is that I tend to dislike games that force me to search every nook and cranny just for the sake of picking up random stuff and popping up the related achievement. Yes, it can happen that sometimes these collectibles can shed some light about the game lore (just like it happens with TLD, which is by the way brilliantly done), or perhaps show some bonus content and even easter eggs, but all in all, it is while questing for this kind of collectibles that a game’s fun and immersion may be often replaced by senseless grinding and tediousness.

Notwithstanding the above, please don’t get me wrong. I love the backstory of your challenge! I think it is beautifully thought out and presented, and it truly has an outstanding potential from a role-play approach. :)

You can find some good discussions on challenges and end game ideas in the ‘General Discussion’ forum and ‘Survival Stories’ subforum, although perhaps you’ll have to dig deep and do a bit of necromancy with some topics. Good thing is that it makes for a great reading if you have some time to spare!

Thanks for your input! I guess my deep affection for maps has imposed itself rather thickly on the composition of this challenge. Since I map everywhere I go in just about every playthrough anyway, I didn't stop to consider that other players might do it a little differently.

As for "The Keeper" and "The Librarian," I was thinking those would be more of a "If you find them, do the thing, but don't bother hunting for them as that would be tedious" kind of thing. I don't even know how many skill books are in the game, but it's probably a lot.

I probably should have mentioned that the idea of this challenge is that one would otherwise play normally except where these constraints apply (picking up a skill book when finding one, opting to snap a twig into tinder instead of burning that newsprint roll, and mapping when it's convenient). I'll think about what you've said and change the challenge around a little bit, or add a little variety, like "Hard: map the whole game world; medium: map every named location; easy: map each base location," or something like that.

Thanks again for sharing your perspective :) Glad somebody finally replied on this thread!

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What a cooincidence! This is almost exactly what I'm doing on my current Pilgrim playthrough. I'm still pretty new to the game, so I want to explore the world fully on the wolves-won't-eat-my-face difficulty before I make any serious attempts at higher difficulty sandboxes or challenges. My goal is to map the entire island and read every buffer memory and note. On higher difficulties, I probably won't have the luxury of hanging out near dead computers for days, waiting for an Aurora, and it will definitely be harder to map locations when predators are in the mix. I also avoid using books as fuel, purely for roleplay reasons.

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With the exception of "Bradbury's Fireman" and "The Pacifist", I've already done this :)  I've never burned any skill books however, only the no-name firewood items.  My stretch goal is to find all lost cairns, but I haven't been able to do better than 137 so far.

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I had a similar idea but instead of mapping the regions, you simply have to explore 100% fully, every location in the game. As well as locate every buffer memory and collectible. Also you have to note every location you come upon in your journal, it's detail and potential stories that went on there. I call it the Lorekeeper challenge. 

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Sounds like you guys share my sentiments about burning books in the game! I try not to do it even when I'm not playing this challenge.

11 hours ago, Swales said:

I'm still pretty new to the game, so I want to explore the world fully on the wolves-won't-eat-my-face difficulty before I make any serious attempts at higher difficulty sandboxes or challenges . . . On higher difficulties, I probably won't have the luxury of hanging out near dead computers for days, waiting for an Aurora, and it will definitely be harder to map locations when predators are in the mix.

Cartography and collectible-hunting definitely lose a few priority points when you're losing condition rapidly to the cold as you try to barefoot sneak around the bear that just ate your boots to get to the car that you think maybe you left a pair of socks in. Still, I've found that once I've got all my ducks in a row and don't have to worry too much about minor encounters, cartography becomes viable again. It's kind of like sex in that the first time you do it, you don't want to have to worry about distractions, but after that the possibility of getting caught makes it more exciting.

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:30 PM, Celeblith said:

It's kind of like sex in that the first time you do it, you don't want to have to worry about distractions, but after that the possibility of getting caught makes it more exciting.

To each their own! I'm quite happy to have left behind the days of parking the car in some shady spot and praying for no interruptions from cops (or possums, or bears... hooray for college in the mountains) A home with doors that lock is plenty exciting enough and one of the best perks of adulthood, IMO :D

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