Drifter Man

A Few Dead Men

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Deadman 14 / Day 4

It's too cold in the morning. I use my precious improvised knife to open my last food - a can of peaches - then sharpen the knife for about an hour. More sleep.

Before noon it is foggy and the temperatures are tolerable. I light a torch (10 matches left) and get down from the Lookout Tower to Derailment, where I make camp next to a deer carcass. The meat is good but otherwise there is nothing to be found here. I stay for a while, warming up and nervously observing a wolf that blocks the tracks in the direction of the Loading Area.

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When I'm done with my lunch - mouldy venison and reishi tea for warmth - I climb up the hill and decide to reach the river, for cattails. I do reach it but it costs me an arm and a leg, as expected. On the river I collect cattails, then proceed to the trailers. I only search the one with beds and find a can opener. Then I move to the Dam entrance and make another fire at the deer carcass there. 1.3 kg this time, which is great. I gulp it all on the spot.

The rest of the day (and the beginning of the night) is spent searching the Dam. I include the upper offices (nothing) and safe (20 dollars). But I find decent amount of food and some helpful pieces of clothing - a wool hat and work gloves - which get me just above zero in the Dam. I process the rest into cloth.

Too bad I lost so much condition initially, but in an unknown and inhospitable region I'm not sure I could avoid it. Otherwise it would be a good start. I put down my bedroll - I found it in the Camp Office, in bad shape and I haven't got the time to repair it, but it will do. Beef jerky, granola bar and chocolate for dinner, then 11 hours of sleep.

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Deadman 14 / Day 5

Three questions: Rope? Stim? Flare Gun?

These must wait for the afternoon, for it is too cold outside! Repairs first. I get my clothes up to astonishing +6 C bonus. Later, in early afternoon, I leave for the Ravine and reach my favorite cave first. The skies are clear and I have a mag lens - did I find it in the Lookout Tower? I don't remember. Wherever I found it, it saves me a match today. I warm up and process the carcass outside: good 1.5 kg.

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Once warmed up and done with the cooking, I leave the fire burning and head out. I focus on collecting stick and cattails first, then go to the derailed train cars. Only kerosene is inside - a valuable find, but no rope. I return to the fire, pull torches and go again. Now that Ravine connects to Bleak Inlet, and people may come from the other side, perhaps they put the rope up on the attachment point? The answer is nope, no rope. But there's another deer carcass and I process the meat, too.

Then I cross the fallen tree and go to the second cave. There's a can of tomato soup at an abandoned campfire, but no rope. Not even the usual coal. It is getting late and it's windy. Should I stay in the cave for the night? A waste of time and fuel. I continue, make a warming break in the tunnel and cross the trestle. How many times have I been here?

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As I enter CH, I get an unexpected bonus:

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I head down the Bear Creek, collect more cattails and some coal, and reach the campground. The deer carcass is there but I decide to leave it - don't want to get caught by the bear. Instead I walk up to the cabin at Rabbit Grove and call it a day.

If the weather holds I can go on like this for a while but at just 14% condition, I don't think I can make it all the way to the Summit.

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1 hour ago, Drifter Man said:

Oh no, just one of many.

Then at least my favorite one :D 

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21 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Then at least my favorite one :D 

OK, I'll try not to disappoint by dying too fast :)

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Deadman 14 / Day 6

Perhaps going to the Summit from here isn't the best idea. One of the graves is at Desolation Point. If I go to TWM from here, I'll have to retrace my own path - twice - one way or another. That's not a good idea because of the Dyson effect of Deadman games. Instead, I'll go to Desolation Point, to the grave there, and return as fast as possible. The Lighthouse is another objective (stim?).

The weather is good, light fog at first, some snowfall but no winds in the afternoon. I make it to the Fishing Camp - find a well hidden can of dog food under a bed - and continue to Jackrabbit, then to Misanthrope's. An uneventful journey, I only get to see wolves from safe distance. I find just enough food to keep me going and some decent pieces of clothing, mainly a toque and a pair of wool socks. I'm tempted to try and push from Misanthrope's to Crumbling Highway but resist, as it is getting late and the weather could turn for the worse anytime. Instead I stay in the cabin a make repairs to my upgraded wardrobe, which is starting to shape up.

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Deadman 14 / Day 7

Today I move straight to Crumbling Highway. I check the situation from high ground but don't see any wolves on either side. I choose to go via the ocean side and reach the other end without any trouble.

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I choose to light a flare to get through Old Island Connector. An odd choice it may seem, but I already have three (plus the blue one) and in my experience they pile up unused, and are heavy. In the connector I find coal, another toque and a pair of new trail boots (I already have one but still nice). I drop plenty at the entrance as I have more than I need, and more than I can carry. Then I proceed to Katie's Corner and feast on the deer carcass. It's already night when I'm done and it would be very risky to go to the Lighthouse, so I move to the abandoned mine. Great find inside: matches. One of my big worries is pushed back by at least 10 days.

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Deadman 14 / Day 8

I set out earlier than usual - at felt -16 C it is quite cold bu I want to use the fog. I start out from the second entrance to the mine, close to Hibernia, but don't go to the processing plant. Instead I head straight for the Riken and tick off the first grave.

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The ship holds only two items of value for me - a Sewing Primer book and a can of tomato soup. I take these, warm up in a bed, and continue to Matt's truck. I only find a rope there and leave it in the back of the car. Then, carefully, I move to the Lighthouse. I reach it without seeing a wolf and open the door just before my temperature bar runs out. I get my sweet reward!

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Of course I don't apply it immediately, it is only early afternoon and a Deadman must move fast. I warm up in the bed - fully this time - and goat down to the sea via the wool scarf guy on the back slope. Then I pass by the rocks towards Katie's corner and eventually back to the connector. From there I walk carefully to Harris home - ideally I'd like to reach CH Misanthrope's but there's a deer carcass nearby and I decide to make a stop.

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The stop is well worth it, 1.8 kg meat - no need to reach into my precious reserve of cattail stalks for dinner. When I'm finished with cooking (Level 2 now), I sneak to the basement. Two wolves patrol the compound.

The basement is empty, but it will be my home for tonight. I apply the stim and once the effect wears off, I collapse into the bedroll. It gave me 20% instead of the usual 15% condition. I think I have a chance now.

Edited by Drifter Man
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Deadman 14 / Day 9

A blizzard rages until noon, so I finish reading "Wilderness Kitchen" and start on the "Sewing Primer" to pass time. In the afternoon I sneak past the wolves out of Crumbling Highway, and then across the ice to Log Sort. While working on the carcass at Log Sort I notice an entrance or building I haven't seen before. But today is not a good day for this kind of exploration.

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There's another carcass past the Log Sort (both are guaranteed spawns I think), so I work into the night - have to relocate fire once due to wind, but I end the day on a full stomach. TLD is incredibly spooky at night, and although I'm passing through areas I know to be relatively safe, I keep jumping at every sound. The sound design of this game is just amazing.

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I'm a bit tired but I push on to the Cinder Hills mine. The loot seems to be similar to Interloper settings, so I should find my second stim as I am used to. I'm careful not to get greedy with coal as I already have more than I need. And yes, there it is:

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Stimmed, I fall asleep at the second (PV-side) exit. The second stim increases my condition to 49%, i.e. only by 15% as it has always been the case. Maybe the boost depends on your initial condition.

Pleasant Valley is expecting me tomorrow.

[EDIT: The extra 5% "after the first stim" is actually the well fed bonus. I keep forgetting.]

Edited by Drifter Man
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Phew. Had me on the edge of my seat there again. So the stim bonus works, good to know. I like the "wool scarf guy" - funny how these expressions find their way into TLD 'jargon'.

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On 12/16/2019 at 6:07 PM, Hotzn said:

Phew. Had me on the edge of my seat there again. So the stim bonus works, good to know. I like the "wool scarf guy" - funny how these expressions find their way into TLD 'jargon'.

And I'm trying to make it look that it's easy :) It's not harder than the old deadman - that's for sure.

Yeah the wool scarf guy has always had a scarf with him... he's a notable landmark!

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Deadman 14 / Day 10

The stim has exhausted me and my wake-up time next morning it timely - I'm fully rested when the day has already advanced, it's nearly noon, the sky is clear and the winds are still. It's felt -10 C out of the wind, -12 C when exposed. Good enough.

I walk down the road from the mine. I can hear wolves howl in the direction where I'm going, so I'm cautious. As soon as I spot one in front of me, I divert to the river and continue on the ice. After a few moments I hit a cave that I wasn't aware of, or have forgotten. It even has a "feather bed" inside. I don't intend to sleep but I need a fire to warm up.

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It is clear so I save a match. Initially I wait for the coal, then I remember things have changed and I can add coal immediately. I think it was a change for the worse. Having to wait for coal gave the coal a different quality and forced the player to plan ahead. So this is an element that used to make the game challenging, now dumbed down.

The skies are still clear when I leave. After a moment I return on the path on the right bank, near the bear cave on the way to Misty Falls. I check the cave - unoccupied. Should I make a stop for the deer carcass? Just as I'm sitting down, I see first snowflakes fall. The winds are strong. I can smell blizzard coming. The cave will protect me but I will lose the rest of the day.

I stand back up and continue towards Misty Falls.

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There is nothing at Misty except 'shrooms (lots), and even the loot in the cave is a bit disappointing (plaid shirt - I take it). There's a new room in the cave separated by a waterfall. I start a campfire before going in so that I have a warm spot to come back to, then I take the icy bath. But I find nothing of use on the other side - just a cup of coffee. Quality Hinterland merchandise.

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When I'm done at the cave, there's a blizzard raging outside. That's annoying, I wanted to reach the bunker by nightfall. I drop some extra sticks to reduce load, drink hot coffee and make a run for it. I know I could find the bunker even blindfolded.

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I reach the bunker easily. It's empty as usual. Only in the last drawer I find something: a newspaper. I think Hinterland put it there so that I can't complain that there was nothing. I spend the last hour of the day putting some supplies that I don't want to haul to TWM and back into a locker, and repairing clothes. I'm down to only a few cattails - need to find more food tomorrow. But I'm already used to running out of food in this place, it's something of a critical point on deadman runs before I get my hands on new supplies.

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Deadman 14 / Day 11

First thing out of the bunker - measure temperature. Minus 30, brrr! Two hours later, minus 35 in the wind. I have to wait for better weather, munching down my last cattails.

Eventually I move to Mountaineer's Hut, with a warming fire along the way, which I also use to collect sticks around Landing Gear. Scratched trees - watch out for the moose. It does not appear, but it could turn up later when I take the same route out of TWM.

For the rest of the day I collect sticks and cattails. There are two cans of dog food in the hut, which is excellent. On the other hand, no hacksaw. There's a mag lens under the bed, so there should be a hacksaw at the Summit if my memory serves. But I won't be able to break into any containers on the way up.

Weather quickly turns from clear skies to snow and then to blizzard before nightfall, so I tick off the second grave and go to bed next to the fireplace. Later in the night I do two more rounds for sticks near MH and for cattails in the cattail bay. Just like old times. Oh, those snowball days.

No wolves seen today.

DM10_D11.png.6b4e3e3d187ca1d77925dcb9b0168aec.pngNo wolves seen today.

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I'm wondering whether all those Hinterland staff who purportedly keep dying in this challenge are reading this. How many graves to go?

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21 hours ago, Hotzn said:

I'm wondering whether all those Hinterland staff who purportedly keep dying in this challenge are reading this. How many graves to go?

Three to go :) I'm in no hurry. Unlike one @jeffpeng who beat this challenge in a bit over 6 days. I bet it involved some traffic violations.

I don't think game developers need to be the most hardened survivors - they know the game for sure, inside and out, but they probably don't have the time to play systematically at high difficulty levels. And deadman requires some sort of instinct that only comes when you have been playing in that mode for a while.

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4 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Three to go :) I'm in no hurry. Unlike one @jeffpeng who beat this challenge in a bit over 6 days. I bet it involved some traffic violations.

:D Still paying off fines.

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:D It doesn't cease to amaze me how some players manage to recover their health so high up when it drops nearly into the red zone, without the birch bark either.

While I have some deadman experience (my record is alive 30% after 30 days with birch bark), I haven't gotten past the first marker at the Broken Railroad, so, I can certainly relate to the mods still not being able to pass this challenge. Currently, I'm on my best run where I've managed to put a check mark at the RR and got out of the Muskeg, sitting at the lakehouse office with about 70% health.

Watching people ace deadman is an intriguing experience.

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7 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I don't think game developers need to be the most hardened survivors - they know the game for sure, inside and out, but they probably don't have the time to play systematically at high difficulty levels.

Touching on that ..... I agree and I don't. I know how I at some point stopped playing Minecraft and only developed mods for it, up to the point where I was defending balancing changes that made perfect sense for me from a theoretical point of view, but clearly didn't once I actually got to play the mod(pack) myself after a long, long time. Not saying I'm as good at developing games as the people that have an actual rather impressive track record. But it clearly helps having a user-perspective on the software you are developing, since "Developer's Blindness" is a real thing. I don't wanna hijack the thread, so that's as far as I'm willing to expand on that 😉

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19 hours ago, tulkawen said:

:D It doesn't cease to amaze me how some players manage to recover their health so high up when it drops nearly into the red zone, without the birch bark either.

While I have some deadman experience (my record is alive 30% after 30 days with birch bark), I haven't gotten past the first marker at the Broken Railroad, so, I can certainly relate to the mods still not being able to pass this challenge. Currently, I'm on my best run where I've managed to put a check mark at the RR and got out of the Muskeg, sitting at the lakehouse office with about 70% health.

Watching people ace deadman is an intriguing experience.

I think it's about moving fast, knowing how far you can go and how far the next shelter is, knowing when and where to stop and warm up. I'm pretty bad in unfamiliar territory. I'm sure it will come with practice!

When I dropped to 14% in this run, I didn't expect to live for much longer either...

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18 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Touching on that ..... I agree and I don't. I know how I at some point stopped playing Minecraft and only developed mods for it, up to the point where I was defending balancing changes that made perfect sense for me from a theoretical point of view, but clearly didn't once I actually got to play the mod(pack) myself after a long, long time. Not saying I'm as good at developing games as the people that have an actual rather impressive track record. But it clearly helps having a user-perspective on the software you are developing, since "Developer's Blindness" is a real thing. I don't wanna hijack the thread, so that's as far as I'm willing to expand on that 😉

Either way, there is no shame whatsoever in not being able to beat the Deadman mode right off the bat, or many bats, developer or not :)

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Deadman 14 / Days 12-14

The trip up to the Summit and back was uneventful. Weather was generally bad but nothing I couldn't handle at this point. I took the trip mechanically, knowing where to look for carcasses, fuel, how much I need to rest before the next climb, how long to wait before the air temperature is high enough, how much wind I can handle. Home turf, Old Hotzn would say.

Wolves left me alone, the closest I got to one was a dot on the horizon. I met two bears but that's no trouble when you know what their patrol routes are. On my way back I triggered a bear by coming close to the waterfall and rope at the Engine, as always. He showed up while I was warming up next to a campfire on the river going to Crystal Lake, as always - we always reach that spot at the same time. It looked it was coming at me, as always. Then it turned away, as always. I look forward to next time when Hinterland changes his patrol route and I'll become dinner.

On the eve of Day 14, I was back in the bunker, with extra matches, a new ski jacket, a flare gun and a ton of cattails.

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"Antibiotics guy"

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"Encounter"

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Deadman 14 / Day 15

Morning in the bunker. I finish reading the "Sewing Primer" to get my mending to level 2, then drop the book and go outside. Still a bit cold, but that's not getting better - the world will only be getting colder from now on. It is foggy though, light fog, and that's good weather for a move. I light a torch and go.

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My first steps lead me to the hunting blind. Nothing - just a book on carcass harvesting that the hunter probably read during the wait. Then I move towards Skeeter's. Before Skeeter's I have to light a fire and notice something red in the background. A crashed plane, which I recognise from the "Crossroads Elegy" title image. Should I go in to investigate? Experience shows there tends to be good stuff around planes. Once warmed up, I move closer and search the plane.

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I don't spend much time there. There's a dead guy with a windbreaker jacket but I already have one. Nothing else in the cabin. I don't go any farther and return to Skeeter's.

After processing the deer on the shelf above Draft Dodger's, I climb down to the cabin. There's always some food, this time a granola bar. There's no reason to wait and I'm soon on my way to the Barn.

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For a long time I don't see any wolves, which is unusual. Then there suddenly are three. I'm certain they must have spawned as I passed.

The barn has three useful things. A whetstone, which replaces the worn one I have. A stim. And two cans of dog food, which I eat immediately. This brings me nearly to full stomach. Need to save cattails for later.

I hestitate whether I should go to the Farmstead to day as I'm getting tired. In the end I go. It's windy and cold, so I sprint, which costs me almost all remaining stamina. I don't want to start a fire, so I stim myself for the final run. I break into the basement on my last breath, roll out my portable bed and collapse.

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Huh, the last entry just popped up as I am skulking around the forums. Would have been cool if the wolves didn't just pop up, but had pursued you for a while. And you discovered them by accident, turning around.

Also, there seem to be planes everywhere nowadays.

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6 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I think it's about moving fast, knowing how far you can go and how far the next shelter is, knowing when and where to stop and warm up.

Actually exactly that. Funnily enough the faster you move the easier it gets. On my 1D 15H run which I scrapped at the ravine because I forgot the rope I didn't even bother picking up cattails that weren't exactly in path anyways. Being fatigued? No problem if your maximum of anticipated days to live is 4 anyways. You could probably even skip eating altogether, never sleep, and still get through the challenge alive with 4 stims if you are just fast enough. Basically... speedrunning really invites playing the game all the wrong ways. You know something is up when you see a bedroll and think "nah, useless".

Edited by jeffpeng

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On 12/20/2019 at 11:52 PM, Hotzn said:

Also, there seem to be planes everywhere nowadays.

I agree - the traffic above Great Bear was quite heavy that night.

Animals seem to get activated by your presence in the area. When you are not in range, they are either frozen or despawn. Sometimes it is not done well, I think, especially in areas with unobstructed view to long distances. They can spawn right before your eyes.

On 12/21/2019 at 3:20 AM, jeffpeng said:

You know something is up when you see a bedroll and think "nah, useless".

That's the ultimate form of deadmanship :D

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