Drifter Man

A Few Dead Men

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Posted (edited)

Deadman 13 / Day 16

[The previous Day 13 and 14 entries were actually Days 14 and 15.]

Subjectively, the move across Pleasant Valley is one of the most difficult parts of a deadman's journey. It's already cold and shelters are few and far between.

I finish the book in the morning and leave the bunker in the afternoon. After a quick visit at the hunting blind (nothing found), I proceed towards Skeeter's and build a fire sheltered by the rocks that mark the end of the ridge. Three birch saplings grow nearby, so I take them. While warming up, I observe wolf activity at the burnt cabins: wolves are on patrol, so I'm not visiting this place in this run either.

Then I goat down to the shelf between Skeeter's and Draft Dodger's. I don't goat down rocky cliffs (too dangerous, I don't know the ways) but I do climb down steep slopes. I take a break at the deer carcass on the shelf - 1.9 kg is going to feed me for the rest of the day. Just like last time here, a blizzard breaks out while I'm working on the carcass, but I manage to do everything without losing any condition.

Naturally, I'm forced to spend the rest of the day in the Draft Dodger's cabin. I already know there always is a small treat in here, and I find a 21% chocolate bar under the bed. Before I risk it, I harvest all curtains and repair my mittens and underwear. My stale chocolate supper has no negative effect on my health and I sleep well for the 9 or 10 hours.

Edited by Drifter Man
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Posted (edited)

Deadman 13 / Day 17

Typical bad deadman day.

Morning: weather is nice - sort of, if you find the breaks between windy periods - but already too cold. I repair my bedroll and collect some roeships, reishi and sticks, but rabbits play their usual games with me while my time away from the cabin/fire to hunt them is severely restricted by the cold. Basically, if I venture out from the cabin to the rope, it's time to go back or risk my temp bar running out.

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I only manage to bag one bunny. My hacksaw breaks while I'm harvesting it, so I do the rest of the work with bare hands. It is afternoon by now and although the weather announces a soon-to-be blizzard, I have to move.

As soon as I cross the river, Hinterland's Evil Wind (TM) algorithm (patents pending), Raphael's own invention and core element of TLD gameplay, knows where I'm going, turns around and starts spitting snow in my face. I seek shelter behind a rock and build a fire, determined to sit it out. Evil Wind (TM) turns again, kills the fire and breaks into a blizzard. I sprint back to Draft Dodger's and sleep/pass time until the morning. The blizzard lasts all night.

Surprise surprise, I'm running out of food. This deadman is losing one afternoon after another to blizzards, which spells doom.

Deadman 13 / Day 18

Almost a copycat of the previous day. The morning is nice but too cold for me to to take the walk to PV Barn or Farmstead. I make some repairs, boil water, kill-cook-eat the two remaining rabbits and harvest the hacksaw - because I've got nothing else to do. Then a blizzard breaks out in early afternoon and lasts until after nightfall.

I kill time, sleep, then kill some more time. I eat my last cattails and drink a tea for calories. Sleep/pass time through the night. I wake up in the morning with no food left and stomach in the red.

Deadman 13 / Day 19

It doesn't take long for my body to process the remaining calories. I lose the well-fed buff and begin starving. It's still too cold to move, so I use the morning to collect a few remaining sticks around Draft Dodger's. I'm low on fuel.

Although the weather in the afternoon is far from perfect - felt minus 19C, I move out. I make a warming fire about halfway to the Barn, and because I fail at the first attempt, I lose some condition to freezing. The weather threatens to turn into a blizzard, so drop a coal and I move on as soon as I'm ready.

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As if things weren't bad already, the bear is blocking the direct path to the Barn. I take a detour and reach the Barn from the side of the road. As I hoped, there's my new hacksaw in the barn, along with some other tools, but only a stale granola bar for food. I'm starving but will keep it for later.

Warmed up again at the barrel, I make my next move to the Farmstead, grabbing two cattails on the way. The carcass at the Farmstead is here this time. I harvest it just in time before the blizzard rolls in and cook the meat at the stove.

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The farmstead is unusually well supplied with matches (3x) tea (2x) and coffee (1 can and 1 cup). I don't complain, although right now I wish I could find more food. I find my third ski jacket under a bed, which is nice, and my second pair of wool socks in the basement, which is nicer. I risk some really bad food before bed but all turns out fine.

55% condition.

Edited by Drifter Man
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Just caught up on this. It actually has me more on the edge of my seat than yesternight's episode 3 of Game of Thrones...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hotzn said:

Just caught up on this. It actually has me more on the edge of my seat than yesternight's episode 3 of Game of Thrones...

Thanks, great to hear! I don't watch GoT, I'm too busy deadmanning...

Edited by Drifter Man

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Posted (edited)

Deadman 13 / Day 20

After reading some books in the morning, the next stop is Signal Hill, weather permitting. I leave in the afternoon, weather less than ideal but passable. I know there will be that bear at the rope up to Signal Hill, because this particular deadman gets everything. The bear is there for sure. I miss a flare gun shot, retreat to his home cave to warm up, then miss a second flare gun shot when he comes for me. I don't know how I do this but hitting a bear from a few meters is apparently an impossible task for me.

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Once I'm warmed up at the fire, I head out carefully as the bear could still be lurking. The bear is gone. Instead, a blizzard explodes in my face. Rather than sitting it out in a bear cave, I take the rope up and run to Signal Hill. I reach it with a little bit of freezing damage.

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The radio hut has, finally, some food - dog food, tomato soup, sardines, coffee (I've already got heaps of coffee but good anyway). A new pair of jeans and work boots in good condition - I take both and replace my heavily worn jeans and trail boots, warmth is preferable to light weight and mobility right now. No combat pants, but at least I can stop starving for today.

Deadman 13 / Day 21

Finally: good weather. I head out to Hilltop Cave (salty crackers, deer carcass; nothing in the blind or on the corpse), then through the Cave System (just a lot of coal, no carcass) to Winding River. As the good weather seems to be holding, I go to the cave with the rabbit run to warm up, then process the carcass on up on this side of the river. The other carcass is not there, but I notice rabbits hopping under the Dam. That means no wolves. It's too late to hunt rabbits but at least I snatch a few cattails.

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I finish the day (or start the night) by processing the carcass under the Dam and then searching the Lower Dam. When I reach the turbine room, I'm too tired and decide to roll out the sleeping bag.

Deadman 13 / Day 22

I wake up in late morning, not yet fully rested, but it's time to carry on. I search the rest of the Dam - I declare the guy up in the turbine room as my friend, because he gives me new thermal underwear. I don't know if I ever found a pair on Interloper loot settings. I harvest the deer carcass at the ML entrance, play a bit of hide and seek with the wolf guard, and visit the Ravine to collect supplies I left behind - especially two deer hides and four guts, but also a heavy hammer.

I want to get some rabbits but the bunny runs are empty. I sleep in the cave closer to ML and when the weather clears up at night, I try getting the bunnies from the nearest run to ML. I manage to bag one in the darkness. This sets the other two running around - they never stop, because the place is narrow, they send each other running and they keep passing around me. I give up after a few minutes and return with just one bunny. Whether this adventure was calorie-positive is highly questionable.

49% condition.

Edited by Drifter Man
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Sorry to say, but it feels sort of nice to see that was Pleasant Valley and not just plain bad luck how the weather forced me into the Farmstead most of the time with my #35. I'll never do that again, PV is made just to be crossed. Glad you came out safely tho. Do you have a no-stim rule in this run?

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21 hours ago, BareSkin said:

Sorry to say, but it feels sort of nice to see that was Pleasant Valley and not just plain bad luck how the weather forced me into the Farmstead most of the time with my #35. I'll never do that again, PV is made just to be crossed. Glad you came out safely tho. Do you have a no-stim rule in this run?

I do - I haven't used any stims.

Remember that the game is not designed only for extreme interlopists, Snowballs, Sleepwalkers and Deadmen. On a lower difficulty PV may be a nice map :)

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57 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

Remember that the game is not designed only for extreme interlopists, Snowballs, Sleepwalkers and Deadmen. On a lower difficulty PV may be a nice map :)

Well, I mostly play a modified Stalker (wolf population tuned down a bit), and I hate the map, too :D And since I finally posted in your thread, I want you to know that I enjoy your stories and writing very much - thank you for that :) 

Michal.don

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, michal.don said:

Well, I mostly play a modified Stalker (wolf population tuned down a bit), and I hate the map, too :D And since I finally posted in your thread, I want you to know that I enjoy your stories and writing very much - thank you for that :) 

Michal.don

I have to admit I find the map hard to like. CH has amazing blue scenery, ML has cozy cabins, FM has friendly fog, PV has... well, PV has blizzards.

Thanks, happy to hear that you enjoy deadman stories!

Edited by Drifter Man

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Deadman 13 / Day 23

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With a fire burning next to the rabbit run I visited last night, I plan my moves for the day. Normally I'd go home via Clearcut, but taking the river path to Mystery Lake promises more food. Remember, I didn't clear the lake cattails. It does, however, involve the wolf choke point at Southern Access.

There is only one rabbit this time. I stone-harvest-cook-eat it and look for the second one, but it is nowhere to be found. Then I realize that last night there was a bonus rabbit. Just like bonus wolves appear at night, so do bonus rabbits.

I pack up and move to the Dam to recover supplies. I have a problem: without the well-fed buff, I'm going to be heavily encumbered. Hammer, hides, guts, saplings, scrap metal... I have to weigh carefully what I take and what I leave behind. In the end I squeeze everything into a 35kg load, which will still make me slow and easy target for wolves, and I still leave many items behind I wish I could bring along. Tools, books, extra saplings, extra scrap.

I shake off one wolf on the train bridge and another at the Southern Access choke point, build one warming and one defensive fire, and reap heaps of cattails. I shouldn't be starving for some time. A day or two, perhaps. The weather is perfect.

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The lake is guarded by a full metal jacket between the Fishing Huts and Camp Office. I squeeze past and check out three fishing huts. The one nearest to Camp Office is guarded, I would have to ask a wolf for permission to enter. I get a bear as a bonus. I sleep for an hour in one of the Lake Cabins, then return to the lake and collect all cattails in the western part. It takes some dancing with the bear, but there is enough room for us both if I give him space.

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When I'm done for the day, I fall asleep in a lake cabin, stomach filled with cattails. Finally, deadman enjoys some good days.

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Deadman 13 / Day 24

Deadman 13 wakes up into a post-update world - Steadfast Ranger. I plan to start a new game, but for now this deadman can be used as a testing platform. The main question is: does birch bark kill the deadman idea?

As soon as it is passably warm, I move to the westernmost cabins (only one is standing) to reunite with my supplies. While resting there, I regain my well-fed bonus, which is going to make the rest of the journey to Trapper's much easier. Instead of the Lake Trail, I climb the rope and take a shortcut to the Rail Tunnel.

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I pick up two pieces of bark on the way and fully test the sprain mechanic on the slope above Rail Tunnel: I sprain a wrist. Apparently now I can hold a gun as long as I have one good wrist. The pain effect is enough to be annoying, but not enough to warrant the use of painkillers.

I return to Trapper's and meet an old friend.

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I am out of water - I let that happen on purpose, to save weight - so I quickly make one liter to stave off thirst, then start making snares while two full pots are getting ready (impossible until the previous update, remember?). I make three and place them on the rabbit run, then return to the fire and prepare three doses of birch bark tea.

I take one tea before sleeping for 5 hours and see my condition improve by 5%. Then I repeat for another 5%.

Deadman 13 / Day 25

I begin working on deerskin pants - I'm not retired yet but I figure some proper clothing will be helpful for my trip to FM - and especially back from FM. However, food is the priority, and while I manage to get 5 hours of work on the pants, the rest of the day is spent processing 4 rabbits - two from the nearby run and two caught at Max's. Whenever I'm outside, I keep one eye on the moose, but it doesn't give me trouble.

I test the third birch bark tea - the healing benefit seems to be quite fast, I estimate it takes about 2-3 hours the get those 5%. I end up at 69% condition. Deadman is dead - there now is a free, renewable and relatively abundant source of health - and calories. It's still a challenge, but the spirit of deadman - condition as a finite resource - is gone.

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Dammit. Hinterland keeps making things easier. Do they not know what we can do? That we can walk outside of the boundaries designed for normal players, hop along the fringes of maps, not intended to ge gazed upon by mortal eyes? Survive on scraps of code debris, exist almost on nothingness? Do they not follow the Deadman reports of the notorious @Drifter Man(his name only whispered at the campfires, his dropping-of-the-fish-naked-BAM and dam subsistence legendary)? 

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Deadman basically became easier condition-wise than the hardest sleepwalker (+3%/12h awake) then, right? Trapper's full of birch nearby.

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On 5/8/2019 at 10:41 PM, Hotzn said:

Dammit. Hinterland keeps making things easier. Do they not know what we can do? That we can walk outside of the boundaries designed for normal players, hop along the fringes of maps, not intended to ge gazed upon by mortal eyes? Survive on scraps of code debris, exist almost on nothingness? Do they not follow the Deadman reports of the notorious @Drifter Man(his name only whispered at the campfires, his dropping-of-the-fish-naked-BAM and dam subsistence legendary)? 

:D

Every new option added to the game makes it easier... and since Hinterland thinks that 'punishing experience' means recovering 30% each night, we shouldn't be surprised that we get 5% from a cup birch bark tea.

This is a punishing experience: recover nothing. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nichts. Nada.

Be a deadman.

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On 5/8/2019 at 6:55 AM, BareSkin said:

Deadman basically became easier condition-wise than the hardest sleepwalker (+3%/12h awake) then, right? Trapper's full of birch nearby.

Well, at least a deadman can choose not to use birch bark tea (unlike the well fed buff).

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ruruwawa said:

Well, at least a deadman can choose not to use birch bark tea (unlike the well fed buff).

I think @Drifter Man said it about Outerloper, where you refrain yourself from doing something the game allows: for me it's hard, I prefer putting the restriction in the Custom Code and then have to deal with it. Code is Law. That was the best thing to do in order to kill deadman mode!

8 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Hinterland thinks that 'punishing experience' means recovering 30% each night

I just said myself the exact same thing while watching the video...

Edited by BareSkin

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On 5/8/2019 at 10:55 PM, BareSkin said:

Deadman basically became easier condition-wise than the hardest sleepwalker (+3%/12h awake) then, right? Trapper's full of birch nearby.

I don't know yet how much tea you can make - I haven't been able to find more than two pieces of bark in one place. The fact is I haven't been paying any attention to bark until now. Maybe the amount of birch bark spawning in the world was reduced.

4 hours ago, Ruruwawa said:

Well, at least a deadman can choose not to use birch bark tea (unlike the well fed buff).

That's true, but then I can make a rule "Anytime I see a cliff, I must run and jump off" :) As @BareSkin says, I'm looking for rules that come naturally because they are part of custom settings, or at least are easy to follow. It's fine with stims, because there are few of them, or with outerloping in regions like TWM, because it really takes a decision to leave that region. But dying surrounded by magic birch bark medicine seems just stupid :)

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Posted (edited)

I put Deadman 13 to rest and started a new sandbox to play with custom settings and try out the new features. It is based on deadman, including no healing, but stalker base loot (although with inteloper densities), rifle, low animal populations, medium item decay and low weather/wind variability.

  • The improvised head and hand wraps came in really handy and I still wear them on Day 8 because I just didn't luck out with clothes. I like the idea, they are an interesting option without making things too easy.
  • Birch bark is a reliable elixir, you don't find it everywhere - but the Ravine is a birch bark paradise, I found 14 pieces there.
  • Sprains do make more sense and there's more of them in store for me now. If I have to pay for situational awareness with sprains, then so be it. People get eaten on the beaten path.
  • Revolver ammo is common, I've found enough bullets to arm a few bandits and rob the Bank of Milton. No revolver yet though.
  • The new aiming mechanic looks good, makes sense too.
  • Energy drink makes you rested for a while but the effect is gone fairly quickly. It is followed with a headache that has next to no effect and goes quickly too. Could be useful for climbing a rope or outrunning a wolf when tired, not much else - unlike coffee, it doesn't extend your day.
  • Blizzards have gone quiet. I miss the howling on the wind, indoors and outdoors, it was a really nice sound effect. I can't believe someone thought it would be a good idea to switch it off. Or is it just on my PC?
  • They put a wolf on the sprainy hill between the lake, river and railroad tracks in Mystery Lake . Nearly killed me.
  • Birch bark starts with a B. Cattail head starts with a C. Do you know what it means?
Edited by Drifter Man
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5 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Birch bark starts with a B. Cattail head starts with a C. Do you know what it means?

You stupidly loose them on emergency defensive fires? A chance the first starting interface is supposed to be redesigned soon.

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18 hours ago, BareSkin said:

You stupidly loose them on emergency defensive fires? A chance the first starting interface is supposed to be redesigned soon.

Exactly!

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On 5/11/2019 at 8:43 AM, Drifter Man said:

Blizzards have gone quiet. I miss the howling on the wind, indoors and outdoors, it was a really nice sound effect. I can't believe someone thought it would be a good idea to switch it off. Or is it just on my PC?

It's not just that, I found the background music gone when I'm adventuring. The sound effects like morning comes are there, but no accompaniment. Also the wolves no longer give a short bark when they're near, which I found super helpful. It's kind of a bummer because music and things like blizzard sound are a very big part of the atmosphere for me and the music was in part responsible for me selecting this game, I wouldn't want it gone.

Overall I like the update. I like all the new crafting items and the birch bark is awesome. Though, I believe it's been mentioned before how the birch bark influences the deadman and possibly high sleepwalker settings. What would be considered mastering the deadman mode now? I believe the line was 30 days? I've actually given deadman a try before this update and got to live about five and a half days or so, but now I'm not sure what would be considered beating this challenge.

Also the character seems to be stuck less on snowdrifts, which is good. BUT THEY STILL HAVEN'T FIXED THOSE STAIRS! There are Hydro Dam and PV Farmhouse stairs and well stairs where for no reason my character gets stuck and needs to crouch or crawl to get up the steps. That's just bonkos.

 

 

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 12:03 AM, tulkawen said:

It's not just that, I found the background music gone when I'm adventuring. The sound effects like morning comes are there, but no accompaniment. Also the wolves no longer give a short bark when they're near, which I found super helpful. It's kind of a bummer because music and things like blizzard sound are a very big part of the atmosphere for me and the music was in part responsible for me selecting this game, I wouldn't want it gone.

So that looks like design decision rather than a bug with the blizzards. I've just exited into a blizzard, thinking it was a fog - I had to check the dropping temperature to find out what the weather was :D But the removal of background music surprises me - I thought Hinterland considered its approach to music a success - although I turn it off, because music is not a deadman thing, you have to listen up at all times.

And yes, I was approached by a silent wolf recently too.

On 5/17/2019 at 12:03 AM, tulkawen said:

What would be considered mastering the deadman mode now? I believe the line was 30 days? I've actually given deadman a try before this update and got to live about five and a half days or so, but now I'm not sure what would be considered beating this challenge.

Go ahead and give deadman a try - it's still one of the hardest modes out there. I think it's an achievement to live 30 days in it, birch bark or not. Once you hit 40 or 50, things become quite easy.

On 5/17/2019 at 12:03 AM, tulkawen said:

Also the character seems to be stuck less on snowdrifts, which is good. BUT THEY STILL HAVEN'T FIXED THOSE STAIRS! There are Hydro Dam and PV Farmhouse stairs and well stairs where for no reason my character gets stuck and needs to crouch or crawl to get up the steps. That's just bonkos.

Funny, stairs don't seem to be a problem to me, or I just don't notice.

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:D To be honest, I'm rather glad to have the birch bark tea as I found the 'no healing at all' deal punishing. I think it's magic tricks that you've been surviving so many days. The starting day alone can cost so many life points before you can even get to shelter plus the constant nibbling here and there, the health just gradually crawls and crawls down without recovery. The entire process is intense just seeing it diminishing very slowly. The items update is very cool in general I like the revolver and cloth hat and gloves.

Yeah, for some reason some stairs won't let me walk up them and want me to crouch and bump into them repeatedly before I can go up. I keep waiting for a bear to eat me one of these days in PV farmhouse as one of the porches doesn't want to let me in.

The wolves are pests, I feel like their range has been increased a bit as well. Not my cup of tea when the games wolfs it up.

 

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On 5/18/2019 at 2:31 AM, Drifter Man said:

So that looks like design decision rather than a bug with the blizzards.

Surely must be a bug. The howling is one of the coolest aspects of the game.

 

On 5/18/2019 at 2:31 AM, Drifter Man said:

by a silent wolf recently too

Sounds truly horrifying. 😮

 

On 5/18/2019 at 2:31 AM, Drifter Man said:

Go ahead and give deadman a try

Anyone got a revised deadman challenge code?

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3 hours ago, Looper said:

Anyone got a revised deadman challenge code?

I believe the old one still applies - 8MHI-/z8M-Dw++-wSWm-bAAA

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This is what was unthinkable on a pre-birch deadman... running around in a blizzard.

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