JAFO

Think you're good at TLD? Try the DEADMAN CHALLENGE

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Interesting insights. It's true that too much challenge can take you out of a game's atmosphere and into Excel sheets, calculations, micromanagement and a total grind. How could the game prevent this and still be (more) challenging, especially in the long run? I would advocate for enhancing the hunting mechanics. It would be cool if hunting required a complex skillset - tracking, sneaking, staying downwind, preparing equipment for a longer hunting trip and so on. The reward should be moments of respite when the hunt is at last successful - meaning enough calories to spend days "off". Time to just move around and explore, take in the weather, watch the sunset, maybe take a little care of equipment. Light a campfire, listen to it crackling merrily and look into the flames.

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3 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Interesting insights. It's true that too much challenge can take you out of a game's atmosphere and into Excel sheets, calculations, micromanagement and a total grind.

To be honest, after watching TheDEADP00L's latest almost-got-there run, I've concluded that despite all the luck @TheEldritchGod had on their 30 day run, they really did it the hard way.. it's possible to succeed at this challenge without the super-micro-management, and without all having the fun sucked out of the game.. 

Also, TEG is wrong about the value of the bow/arrows.. it's a game-changer in this challenge.. get them as soon as you can.

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Impressive level of detail in your method @TheEldritchGod. Congratulations on your achievement!

With that said, I believe with @JAFO that you don't have to bend and exploit the game to succeed - maybe you won't make it to 30 days or to some other number, but you will enjoy the run much more. I'm breaking almost every rule listed in @TheEldritchGod's account - starting fires with a torch (heck I just started one with a mag lens, 75% chance), climbing, not eating raw meat, harvesting big chunks, not levelling up skills, drinking my teas to the bottom and I don't know what else. Still, I'm doing fine so far, 10 days in. That's also my message to @Pillock - play it any way you like, it's a fun challenge.

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3 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

I'm breaking almost every rule listed in @TheEldritchGod's account - starting fires with a torch (heck I just started one with a mag lens, 75% chance), climbing, not eating raw meat, harvesting big chunks, not levelling up skills, drinking my teas to the bottom and I don't know what else.

Pretty much describes exactly what TheDEADP00L did.. and yet he made it to within inches of 30 days.. if it wasn't for a really dumb decision (we were all yelling at him, but it was too late) he'd have made it with room to spare, and gone on to day 50 or beyond.

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3 hours ago, JAFO said:

Pretty much describes exactly what TheDEADP00L did.. and yet he made it to within inches of 30 days.. if it wasn't for a really dumb decision (we were all yelling at him, but it was too late) he'd have made it with room to spare, and gone on to day 50 or beyond.

I didn't say what I did was the best way. I said it's the way I did things. I meant it when I said I went through about 30 games. Not all of them with over in the first 24 hours. I tried making arrows, both forges. I tried Going for cooking 5 and the flare guns. I tried every trick I knew. The problem is the way I play interloper relies on flirting with death. I realized I always needed SOME way to heal.

If I wasn't freezing to death, I was burning through matches too long to survive.

If I was making sure to husband my heat and making fires as I traveled, I didn't get out of harms way fast enough.

If I got the arrow heads made at FM, I died trying to get out because of the weather.

If I got arrows made at DP, I got them done before I had the arrows, sapplings, and guts I needed to make use of them, and starved to death waiting for them to cure.

If I got the flare gun and went bear hunting, I didn't level up my cooking fast enough to take advantage.

If I leveled up my cooking and got the flare gun, then It'd be too cold to hunt the bear effectively.

The obvious methods, the ones that should have worked, they all failed. Something happened. Bad luck, bad timing, just not enough resources to push through. In the end, I was making the runs to test the plans, not actually expecting them to work, but just to see how they failed. Then I was flipping though Youtube and a suggestion came up of a clip from an old ST:tNG episode where Data lost playing a game to a master tactician. Data's solution was not to play to win, but to play to tie.

So I stopped trying to "win". I deliberately avoided the "win" state. I didn't go for the "game changer". I went for the safe bet. I went for the "tie". I went for break even and playing it safe.Yes, it was a great deal more work, but I won, sliding in at the end with a burned out map and no where to go, but past the 30 day mark. Long term, I'm dead. Long term, there's no where else to go. but I stopped trying to "win" and went for crossing the finish line by the skin of my teeth.

Logically, my method isn't a good one. I know in my heart that Getting the cooking 5 and flare gun and going for the bear is the insta-win. I know if I get arrows early game, calories won't be a problem. Calories not a problem. I would have plenty of time to make water. I knew it. I KNEW it. And yet, I would die. over and over. Something would kill me, or render the game unplayable. Wandering around at 4% for 16 more days was never an option. And after 30 attempts I came to the conclusion, the problem isn't the game. It's me. I cannot win that way under those conditions.

My method, your time is spent getting calories, then barely making enough fluid to stave off dehydration, then scraping up food and always always never taking any risk. Always playing it safe. Never taking risks and always going for just enough. Never get greedy. Minimize my profile. Instead of going big, I went small. Sleeping from self inflicted food poisoning at minimized caloric intake to pass the time. Boring. Dull. Predictable. Yes, every instinct told me that I should go for the "game changer". And I failed every time.

This is why when I was asked, "when did you get over the hump", the answer is, "I didn't". The point of this method isn't to get over the hump. You never get over the hump. Don't even try to climb the hump. I moved the finish line back to the Hump. Reach the hump, you win. That was the mind set. That was how I played.

I'm not saying this is how YOU beat the challenge.

I'm saying this is how I beat the challenge.

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Well my first attempt at this challenge is in the books... 6 hours and 31 minutes. I started in PV, my least favorite zone. I managed to make it to the farm house. While enroute to the Rural Store I was jumped by a wolf, which I managed to fight off with my fists. But I was pretty much dead, I was down to 25% health, so I didn't even attempt to bandage myself... I just continued on until I bled to death.

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Thanks for the followup explanation, @TheEldritchGod... yikes. You really did do things tough.. kudos to you for hanging in there and making it, through sheer grim bloody-mindedness and determination!

 

12 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

Then I was flipping though Youtube

Personally, I think you might have been better served by watching some other Deadman attempts on Twitch.. 

The ones recorded by TheDEADP00L are quite entertaining, and educational too. https://www.twitch.tv/thedeadp00l/videos/all*

* Bad language warning applies!

12 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

I'm not saying this is how YOU beat the challenge.

I'm saying this is how I beat the challenge.

Fair enough.. but it kinda gave some others the impression that only that kind of gruelling slog could get one across the finish line.. which is why a couple of us were being somewhat critical of it. It is possible to do this challenge and also have fun doing so.

And the whole point of a challenge is that yes, it might be tough, incredibly challenging and difficult, but it still ought to be, on some level at least, fun.

Edited by JAFO

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1 hour ago, JAFO said:

Fair enough.. but it kinda gave some others the impression that only that kind of gruelling slog could get one across the finish line.. which is why a couple of us were being somewhat critical of it. It is possible to do this challenge and also have fun doing so.

Yes. As demonstrated by others it is very possible to play the game normally (without minmax, seeing beyond code etc.) while still having a shot at this. As in normal game getting the bow is key if you don't wanna exploit the cooking skill bug and other min/max-stuff.  You need a bit of luck early game getting namely a hacksaw though.  

This challenge demonstrates to me how The Long Dark can really benefit from a higher skill ceiling by increasing the challenge of survival over time in the normal interlooper game. It will be more fun to play and more fun to watch. 

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20 hours ago, TheEldritchGod said:

I didn't say what I did was the best way. I said it's the way I did things.

True - your detailed post didn't say anything about this being the best way or only way. It contains many great insights I had no idea about because I've never tried to stretch the game to such extremes. I'm especially impressed that you did it with only 3 stims, which, in my opinion, isn't much. I've already found 3 and hope for 3-4 more.

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Twitch streamer Mosterdpot has reached 30 days...

Deadpool progress update.. Deadpool #9 spawned on the BR/FM border, and by the time he reached ML had found 2 (!) Mackinaw jackets and a plaid shirt, among other sundries. Thanks to paying religious attention to not taking damage, after 3 days he was still at 100% condition. He has so far made his way to DP, and, at Day 13 is at 93% condition, has not yet used a stim, and has 2 stims on hand if needed. He collected the flare gun along the way, and has stashed some canned food along with enough coal, deer hides, rabbit skins, cured guts and saplings, to craft boots, mittens and a bow and arrows when he returns from his forging run.

He's done a full rethink of his tactics and strategies, which I'll cover in another post soon.

Edited by JAFO
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47 minutes ago, JAFO said:

Deadpool progress update.. Deadpool #9 spawned on the BR/FM border, and by the time he reached ML had found 2 (!) Mackinaw jackets and a plaid shirt, among other sundries. Thanks to paying religious attention to not taking damage, after 3 days he was still at 100% condition. He has so far made his way to DP, and, at Day 13 is at 93% condition, has not yet used a stim, and has 2 stims on hand if needed. He collected the flare gun along the way, and has stashed some canned food along with enough coal, deer hides, rabbit skins, cured guts and saplings, to craft boots, mittens and a bow and arrows when he returns from his forging run.

He's done a full rethink of his tactics and strategies, which I'll cover in another post soon.

Whoa, sounds like a great start.   In reading about how folks are approaching this challenge, I've been surprised that more folks don't go for the bow.  Beyond the basics of managing food, water and condition, a lot of the rest sounds like luck, so why not go for it?  Once you have a bow, you'll be King of the Wolves.  That's the express path to cooking 5 and easier survival.

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2 minutes ago, Ruruwawa said:

Whoa, sounds like a great start.

Yeah.. he's still mindblown at the luck he had with this start. But he's definitely capitalised on it by playing a lot smarter this time around.. As he describes it "All that time I felt like my brain was melting? It wasn't melting, it was re-wiring itself to the new realities and requirements of this challenge." He's thinking a lot smarter about his whole approach, step-by-step goal and movement planning, and long-term strategy as well.. it certainly seems to be paying off for him.

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On 9/12/2018 at 7:53 AM, Hotzn said:

Interesting insights. It's true that too much challenge can take you out of a game's atmosphere and into Excel sheets, calculations, micromanagement and a total grind. How could the game prevent this and still be (more) challenging, especially in the long run? I would advocate for enhancing the hunting mechanics. It would be cool if hunting required a complex skillset - tracking, sneaking, staying downwind, preparing equipment for a longer hunting trip and so on. The reward should be moments of respite when the hunt is at last successful - meaning enough calories to spend days "off". Time to just move around and explore, take in the weather, watch the sunset, maybe take a little care of equipment. Light a campfire, listen to it crackling merrily and look into the flames.

I think part of the problem is that once you're geared up, you just have to maintain yourself.  It would be interesting to have longer-term projects to complete and cycles of good times and bad times to plan around, rather than conditions just getting linearly worse until day 50, then basically remaining the same until you run out of metal, cloth or saplings (do stones respawn?  Sometimes when you throw them they bounce somewhere inaccessible or glitch into a cliff).  It would be neat if, for instance, the phase of the moon mattered - animals could be super aggressive on a full moon, for instance, making hunting (and the carrying of meat, hide and guts) much more desirable with a new moon.  This could add  some more RNG to the beginning of a game - start on or around a new moon, it will be around a full moon when you get archery equipment - bad time for hunting.  On the other hand, start on a full moon = more chance of becoming wolf snacks when you can't really defend yourself - but get that bow and eat like a king on the new moon.

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As promised, here's a distillation of lessons learned from TheDEADP00L's 29 day run, and the strategies and tactics that grew out of them. They come from both my own observations, and discussions between Deadpool and his viewers.

Most of them are in no particular order or priority. And this list is probably far from complete.. I'll probably add more as time goes by.

 

Part One: Planning

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" ~ Benjamin Franklin
The 7 P's: "Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance" ~ Every Military Everywhere

When you spawn into a new run, get yourself to shelter, then pause the game, take stock of what you have, and take the time to make up a plan. From start to finish. Before you take another in-game step. You need to prioritise getting the flare gun as soon as you can. What route will get you to it from where you are, and where will you go once you have it? This goal also needs to be integrated into the rest of your planned movements, as described below. At a bare minimum, you should make a bow and several arrows. probably a knife as well. Decide on which forge you want to use to craft the arrow-heads/knife. Figure out a route that will take you there, and another route back out of the same region. Where will you collect coal en-route? What will be your preferred crafting location for weapons and clothing? You'll want to drop as many supplies as you can there before doing your forging run. What route will you use to get those supplies there, and what route will you use for the return trip? What route will you then take to your next destination? What is your end-game destination, and why?

For most places you visit, your mindset needs to be, "This is the last time I'm going to be here.. I won't be coming back." Make your plans accordingly.

So far as possible, never take the same route through a region twice. Looping around, or criss-crossing, means you won't have to go back along a route that you've already stripped clean of supplies. Almost every region has multiple routes through/across/around it. Even the Crumbling Highway/Old Island Connector has two routes you can cross it by. "No back-tracking" should become your mantra. Once you have a bow and arrows, you'll be able to relax the no-back-tracking rule, because all those barren regions will have meat just walking around for the taking.

All these steps.. "first I go here, do that, then I go there, place these items ready for later, move on through A en-route to B, do X, then back via C and D, do Y, then go to E and F before finishing up at G" (there will probably more steps than this to your plan, but you get the idea) need to be figured out in broad detail before you get going. Write it down if you don't think you'll remember it all.

 

Part Two: Rules, Strategies, Tactics

Pay religious attention to not taking damage. Watch all your bars, and when one gets low, take whatever action is necessary to correct it. Thirst, cold and hunger do more and faster damage than exhaustion. Pay particular attention to them. (Yes, I'm stating obvious stuff that you already know.. because lopers are too used to ignoring stuff like this)

If you have no can-opener, and you can do so without taking damage, rather than wasting some of the calories by smashing them open, try to get by on other foods. Even though they're heavy to lug around for a while, building up a stock of cans can serve as a stash of food for a crafting session later.

As you travel, place firewood drops of sticks, cedar, fir and coal at strategic locations and region entrances/exits, so that you'll have firewood ready to take with you when you need to go that way in future.

On your travels, make sure to collect scrap metal.. cutting up metal at the forge will cost you a lot more calories than carrying some with you.

There will be times you need to break down items for firewood. In terms of wood gained/calories burned/time spent, the hammer is more efficient than your bare hands.

While lanterns have their uses, torches are everywhere. Lantern fuel is far more valuable for use as accelerant. Accelerant means you don't have to spend several in-game minutes freezing your ass off at 20° below zero while you wait to see if the fire will light or not. I don't care if that shit's heavy. Bring it with you. All of it.

Be wasteful with your resources. In a sensible way, that is. If it helps you get food, do it. If starting a fire will get that wolf off your back, do it. If a chain of fires is the only way to advance against wolves blocking your path, do it. If you need to sprint to get to a sheltered place to warm up before you start taking damage, do it. Don't let being stingy with your resources get you killed.

If the wind permits, you should try to always be carrying a lit torch. Yes, that means making a bunch of torches whenever you can. Not only do you get a small warmth bonus, when a wolf turns up, you can scare him off by making a fire, without using a match. Whenever possible, collect your burnt-out torches, and harvest them into sticks. If the wind doesn't permit carrying a torch, then you should have a flare-gun at the ready. Don't forget to load the damn thing first!

If at a key crossroads location, which is to say, one that can be approached from more than one route, make more water than you need, and leave a couple of litres or more behind when you go.. next time you pass through, you may be glad that you did. Bonus points if you leave some sticks and/or other stuff as well.

If the potential warmth bonus gain is worthwhile, fix that clothing! Staying warmer means you can travel further, harvest more, and stay outdoors longer between fires. It also means you'll have a bit more time in which to get to shelter, when the weather turns sour.

There is plenty of coal in the world.. dropping strategic reserves of coal at both ends of mines, and other locations, along with any excess water, will pay dividends down the track. On your return trip through such places, don't forget to grab whatever quantity of it you can manage to take with you. (You're not coming back, remember?)

Be efficient with your fires.. try to make them do triple duty.. you should be warming up, making food or water, and doing something else all at the same time, whenever possible. Harvest those burnt-out torches you've been collecting, maybe. Repair some clothes. Sharpen your knife, if you've made one. If nothing else, while your food or water is being made, get some sleep.

The best time to move through caves and mines is at night. Your character's eyes will adjust to the dark (if necessary, an hour's sleep will do it) and you will be able to see to find your way, and even find items, without any light source at all. Crouching can make it easier to spot coal on the ground ahead of you.

Get into the habit of taking items that need curing with you, and get religious about both dropping them as soon as you get to any interior location, and picking them up again before moving on. You can't afford to leave them all over the place, where you'll later need to back-track through now-barren regions to collect them for crafting. (And that's if you remember where you left everything!) When you have a bunch of mostly-cured stuff, drop it at a crossroads point (preferably one with a crafting bench) to finish curing, to which you can return (via a different route, remember?) once you've done a forging run.

Make sure your stomach is never empty, but if you're getting by on cattails or other non-meat items, keep it fairly low. If you harvest a deer, ideally you should eat ALL the meat right then and there. That way you won't be attracting wolves. If your stomach is too full, you won't be able to eat it all.

Harvesting meat? If at all possible, don't miss the chance to grab some guts, or even a hide if your long-term plan (you did make one, right?) involves crafting some clothing. As you travel with them, remember to get in some curing time at every opportunity.

Once you have line, fishing is very worthwhile.. but you need to prepare first. Stock up on firewood so you can settle in for a good session. Dawn and dusk are the most productive fishing times.. try to be there for them. Also, fish-oil = accelerant.

Sleep should almost always be done one hour at a time. This ensures that if there's a sudden break in the weather, you won't miss it, and will be able to put some distance under your feet before the weather turns bad again.

Stuck inside because of an aurora? Not many people know it, but that means you have enough light to read, or craft, or repair clothing.. same goes for full moons. Take advantage of them whenever possible.

Never have meat or rabbit carcasses on your person for longer than necessary. If you're after 2 or 3 rabbits, when you kill one, drop it before hunting the next one. Pick 'em all up when you're ready to go. When harvesting meat, drop each piece before harvesting the next one. If you're cooking more than one piece of meat, drop them all before you start cooking. If you're not cooking on the same fire you used to harvest the meat, drop the meat before you light the fire. The less time you spend being a wolf-magnet, the better.

Following these principles/rules will mean you end up carrying a fair bit of stuff around at times. Being over-encumbered may cost you some calories, but it is still far better than having to back-track over routes you've stripped bare, to grab things you left behind. Doing THAT will cost you condition.. in both directions.

Edited by JAFO
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I have finally started my attempt...and 4 days in am just about through The Connector on my way to DP...and the only wolves I've seen have been thankfully very far away...I have yet to see a living deer...or bear for that matter.

I will be doing a series of posts about my attempt on my blog...and eventually uploading a LP...no matter how quickly it turns south from here.

To be honest I'm not even sure if I was seeing a distant wolf or 2 on Coastal Highway...I'd prefer to not run into any myself.

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Got all my ingredients if you were ready to forge...except the heavy hammer.

So I heard rumors of one near the fishing village...so I guess I'll backtrack to there.

At least all my stuff will be cured should I make it back to hiberina...if I make it back and do my forging.

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I am trying to figure out where the emergency stims are.  The ones I can think of are:
1) Desolation Point lighthouse

2) PV-CH Mine on a shelf

3) PV Barn in the truck

4) Milton by the plane crash

5) TWM Summit

6) Ravine by the flare gun

Is there more?

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1 hour ago, fauxjargon said:

Is there more?

On Twitch attempts, I keep hearing mention of "there are (up to?) 3 stims in BR".

No idea if there's any truth to it at all.

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3 stims would almost make BR worth it.  I might have do some offline kamikaze runs to scout.  The hunting lodge offers some interesting possibilities though.  The fuel efficiency from a 6 burner stove is crazy.  It is just that if your goal is to hunker down somewhere and take advantage of the ability to use 1/3 as much fuel, there are easier places to get to.

Edited by fauxjargon

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6 minutes ago, fauxjargon said:

3 stims would almost make BR worth it.

That's the thought that's driving other Deadmen crazy.. with emphasis on the 'almost'.. 

"Is the chance of almost certain death worth the potential reward?"

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4 minutes ago, JAFO said:

That's the thought that's driving other Deadmen crazy.. with emphasis on the 'almost'.. 

"Is the chance of almost certain death worth the potential reward?"

If you had forged gear, the Hunting Lodge would actually be an interesting place to end your run surviving as long as you can on the local wildlife.  I've seen bunnies, deer, wolves and moose on the lake, and there is a bear just down the rope.  Sticks are a little scarce, but with a six-burner stove and whatever coal is leftover from forging you could probably manage it.  Intestinal parasites aren't that bad as long as you have the drugs to prevent them from eventually killing you.  Lots of mushrooms.

You could do the same thing more easily in Milton or PV though.

Edited by fauxjargon

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7 minutes ago, fauxjargon said:

Intestinal parasites aren't that bad as long as you have the drugs to prevent them from eventually killing you.

except that parasites forces your max condition down to 50% after 20 days so it's a forced loss of condition.  They aren't that bad outside of deadman but I could see them being the end of most deadman runs.

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15 minutes ago, Spakerman said:

except that parasites forces your max condition down to 50% after 20 days so it's a forced loss of condition.  They aren't that bad outside of deadman but I could see them being the end of most deadman runs.

They only last 10 days on Deadman.

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25 minutes ago, fauxjargon said:

They only last 10 days on Deadman.

oh, well that's not so bad then. I assumed it was everything Interloper level and beyond. I'll go back and read the setup.

 

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18 minutes ago, Spakerman said:

oh, well that's not so bad then. I assumed it was everything Interloper level and beyond. I'll go back and read the setup.

 

Yeah Atheenon got them twice I'm pretty sure in a 50 day run.  Didn't hurt him, and the many kg of wolf meat he ate while he had them sure helped.

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