Morrick

A Pilgrim tries to be an Interloper: how long can he last?

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12 hours ago, MatoroTBS said:

You can still do calorie-intensive stuff without actually losing any calories. Food is too precious to eat during day - you'll need food to regain condition while sleeping.

Thanks for this piece of advice! I didn't really realised I could do that. This is what happens when you approach things with the mindset of a well-fed Pilgrim, haha! :)

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I started and finished a new interloper run on Hushed River Valley, and I was lucky enough to find matches which is great but caught hypothermia and was unable to live long enough to find the bed roll . I think the biggest thing is knowing each map well enough for you to be able to navigate each of the potential loot locations. Not knowing a map well enough is pretty much a death sentence. Keep trying and you will get that one run that can get some momentum and you will be on your way. I have a 100 day run now which is pretty cozy at the moment but once again once you get to that point it's kinda boring after. 

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I hate spawning in DP and HRV is a nightmare without good map knowledge. I feel the slot machine factor particularly when it comes to time of day at spawn - midday is so much easier whereas night is a whole extra level of hard.

I like a FM spawn so, should you get one, my advice would be: if you're on the Spence Farmstead side of the tracks, head for the farm. Hopefully you can warm up there (don't use/take all the coal, you'll want the forge soon enough. Then head on to the abandoned cabins. From there, cross the ice, via the hunting blind if possible, to the tracks to check the train carriage pile-up - beware thin ice! From there, head for the Camp Office in ML. If you spawn near the waterfall, go back through the cave, exit and turn right looking for a small cave with loot. Then go back through the cave (warm up), loot the radio tower then head for the train carriage pile-up, again on the way to the Camp Office.

General advice: when you have a fire, always take several torches and chain them to your next fire if possible: carry one, drop it and light the next from it before it goes out and then use it to light your next life-giving fire. Don't travel in three arrow down cold if possible. Pick up every stick you pass. If a wolf you haven't seen barks, immediately attempting a fire will protect you - you can't take those matches with you...

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Mr. @Stone, thank you for your detailed and useful tips. I'll keep them in mind. I should be able to dive into Attempt N. 10 later tonight — let's see what The Long Dark Interloper Roulette has in store for me!

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On 1/15/2019 at 2:58 PM, Morrick said:

This is ridiculous. I throw myself down the mountain.

Made me laugh.  I wish I could go back and be new again.  When I spawn on the mountain I'm thinking "Sweet". Go check the hut for clothing and a hacksaw and if I'm lucky I'm in line for a good start.

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6 hours ago, Spakerman said:

 When I spawn on the mountain I'm thinking "Sweet". Go check the hut for clothing and a hacksaw and if I'm lucky I'm in line for a good start.

And two packs of matches. One in the three-way cave and one in the hut

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Another small update:

Attempts 10-16 have made me feel like a rat in some kind of sadist lab experiment. Average playing time: 6 minutes. Spawns have all been like this:

  • 1 spawn in Forlorn Muskeg. Time of day: Night. Weather: Snow becoming blizzard. Outcome: Death by weak ice, 3 minutes in.
  • 3 spawns in Hushed River Valley. Time of day: Dusk; At crack of dawn; At dead of night, respectively. Weather: Blizzard; Windy; Snow, respectively. Outcome: killed by the cold, by the scarce knowledge of where to go, by falling down places without escape routes.
  • 1 spawn in Timberwolf Mountain. Time of day: Noon. Weather: fog. Outcome: mauled by a bear before even getting a Hypothermia Risk warning.
  • 1 spawn in Desolation Point. Time of day: Dawn. Weather: Snow. Outcome: killed by a wolf on my way to Hibernia Processing.

At least I got to take a good screenshot of Hushed River Valley at night:

 

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On Attempt No. 17 I finally got my Pleasant Valley spawn, but of course it had to be like this (see attached pictures). Anyway, despite having to go against the wind all the way to the Pleasant Valley Homestead, I have managed to survive so far. I was especially lucky with matches this time: three boxes of 12 wood matches. Flip side: no food whatsoever in the whole building except a granola bar well hidden under the desk in the ground floor studio. As soon as there's enough light outside I'll try heading for the barn. Fingers crossed.

This Interloper experience so far has proven to be weirdly fun, though! (It's simply impossible for it to be frustrating, because each attempt lasts too little, haha!)

 

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That's a good start just keep moving and hopefully you'll get some momentum going , all the best :) 

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Most people think "veterans" are so good they can make a good Interloper whatever happens. The truth is, a majority of the runs is very short, but you can see that only with people who report all the runs.

Regarding these statistics, you're a very good interloper!

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12 hours ago, BareSkin said:

Most people think "veterans" are so good they can make a good Interloper whatever happens. The truth is, a majority of the runs is very short, but you can see that only with people who report all the runs.

I'd say roughly 50% are salvagable, but you only get a few good starts. At lot hinges on weather early I feel like, and if you have a quick grasp on your position and where to go. Then there is loot luck or rather the absence of that determines if you get far. Once you stabilized things are looking up, but getting there ..... yeah, that's the hard part.

Plus it took me really quite a long time to get good at salvaging a bad position. It's easy to just quit if things are looking bad, and once you quit in your head, your demise will follow shortly.

On 1/26/2019 at 5:55 PM, Morrick said:

3 spawns in Hushed River Valley.

HRV is pretty unforgiving to start at. You can salvage pretty much any position since the ice caves allow to traverse most of the terrain without direct exposure, but knowing where to find what is crucial and there isn't much margin for error. It's a bit like TWM in that regard. And truthfully: you need very good map knowledge in general. You have no time to map, and unless you know your way navigating just landmarks from memory you're screwed pretty much everywhere eventually.

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2 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Then there is loot luck or rather the absence of that determines if you get far. Once you stabilized things are looking up, but getting there ..... yeah, that's the hard part.

I fully agree. Regarding loot, what I've noticed in my runs so far is that — at least in the beginning — the variables Clothes, Fire, Food have felt kind of mutually exclusive. I.e. when I managed to find some additional clothes early on, I ended up not finding fire (matches) or food that easily. Other times I had more luck with matches or food, but no clothes whatsoever. (And even if I know by now how things go on Interloper, I still can't help feeling annoyed when a locked trunk or locker turns up empty). Apologies to experienced Interlopers for stating the obvious here. :)

 

2 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Plus it took me really quite a long time to get good at salvaging a bad position. It's easy to just quit if things are looking bad, and once you quit in your head, your demise will follow shortly.

So, so true. There's another aspect of Interloper I've been repeatedly and painfully made aware of: strategising is a waste of time for the most part. I mean, in easier difficulty levels, sometimes you approach things like this — "I'm low on a particular resource. But I can reach [location] and look for it there. I can stay there for the night if I arrive late, and continue searching for [resource] in that area." Or "I'm out of reclaimed wood, but I remember passing a few cedar limbs on my way here, I'll just double back and chop one..."

This logic doesn't really work on Interloper. In my attempts at salvaging a bad position, I was trying to approach the situation by planning some moves. Like, "Okay, I got to the Lonely Lighthouse, I can recover a bit of condition by sleeping a few hours until there's daylight again, go to Hibernia to look for matches, then reach the mine, get warm, go through, exit the other way, and head for Crumbling Highway". Sounds like a plan. Except you exit the lighthouse the morning after and there's a blizzard. Or you get to The Riken on your way to Hibernia, exit the ship, and two wolves spot you. You might be able to retreat, but every setback like this severely compromises your 'plan' and you realise you have no Plan B, and feel trapped. This is when — as you've brilliantly put — you start quitting in your head.

Planning for even the medium term in Interloper is just silly. It'll only just bring disappointment. This was my biggest mistake coming from a Pilgrim mindset. Interloper makes your plans look like castles made of sand.  In my most recent runs I simply go with the flow until my last unit of energy. With a sort of "Prepare for the worst, hope it doesn't come right away" attitude. 

Edited by Morrick

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20 minutes ago, Morrick said:

Interloper makes your plans look like castles made of sand. 

I love this quote.  Isn't this just what a hard survival game should do.  I'm only in Stalker so far, but one of the reasons I enjoy reading  playthroughs like @jeffpeng's Interloper TWM-only run, is exactly because he talks about his plan, and the blizzard that foiled it, and how he salvaged a day doing something else.

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With Interloper you learn to be happy about even the small stuff. A candy bar? Very nice. A can opener? YAY! For clothing, thermal underpants or a thin wool sweater are fantastic. The best clothing simply doesn't spawn.

Also, really check everything. Sometimes the devs hide candy bars below beds or shelves or behind crates. So you need to crouch and take a step back to see anything. Cat tails are king, but there is quite a bit of man made food around if loot all structures. I rarely have issues with food and even keep cat tails in emergency stashes for later because they don't go bad.

Edited by Serenity
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Just now, Morrick said:

Clothes, Fire, Food have felt kind of mutually exclusive

That's because loot on Interloper isn't random. At least much less random that you would expect. There of course are random loot spots (and containers are pretty much entirely random afaik), but a lot is balanced with the so called loot tables. They do exist on every difficulty, but they really show their teeth on interloper. So it's pretty much balanced so that you have to check several spots to get your things. Matches, at least those found in the world and not in containers, are pretty much guaranteed spawns across all games. It's important to know them. Pretty much everything else is loot tabled to some degree, even key clothing or things like the can opener.

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On 1/13/2019 at 7:32 PM, Morrick said:

How can people play on Interloper and find it "not challenging enough", I wonder?

I think what people that say that mean is there's kind of a formula to follow to maximize your chance of a successful start.  The first week is touch and go, as you scramble to find basic starting equipment, so that you can craft a set of tools and clothing to survive long term.  If you can get past the first week-ish curing saplings and getting your gear assembled, you've got a real good shot at months or longer.   It's always that first week or two that are the worst, and then you settle into a routine.  I think these players are the ones that want the game to constantly be that week 1 sense of imminent doom, high stress, high risk....no thanks.

Interloper isn't really my thing.  I played it a few times just to say I did it, but Pilgrim/Voyageur are more my speed.  And Custom too, it's fun cranking the loot tables way up, making the days 4x as long, then seeing how quickly I can loot the whole world and haul everything to wherever I choose to call home.

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Just now, ajb1978 said:

I think these players are the ones that want the game to constantly be that week 1 sense of imminent doom, high stress, high risk....

You just explained the problem I have with interloping: the starts are really hard, but once you have some calories before you, any mistake you make that don't kill you can be "washed off" by a good sleep-heal.

To be honest, the starts of a Sleepwalker and an Interloper are quite the same: deadly. That's the management of "after you get the chance at a good start" that changes. Some people even have to play Deadman to feel challenged, most of those certainly have declared in the past "can't play Loper", and before that " can't play Stalker", etc... :D

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Attempts 18-23 have all been quite forgettable, and the usual mix of awful starting points and weather conditions, peppered with tragicomic episodes like in my Attempt N. 21, where I spawned in Timberwolf Mountain just above Crystal Lake. As soon as I understand where I am and where to head, a wolf is on my tail. I manage to successfully goat down to the frozen stream that goes to Crystal Lake without a single injury… only to bump into a bear :D

Now I'm managing two mildly successful attempts (N. 24 and N. 26), where I've been rather lucky with loot. Attempt N. 24 finds me in the Prepper's Abandoned Cache in Pleasant Valley, after spawning in Timberwolf Mountain and finding the heavy hammer in the Mountaineer's Hut. Attempt N. 26 finds me recovering from the cold in the Old Spence Family Homestead in Forlorn Muskeg, where I've really been lucky with clothes this time: a sports vest, a pair of combat boots(!), and in the safe I found another pair of jeans and a thin wool sweater.

Attempt N. 25 started so well: spawned in Forlorn Muskeg again, near the railway tracks close to the Broken Railroad entrance. Since weather was fine, this time I decided to just follow the tracks to go straight to Mystery Lake. I managed to reach the Poacher's Camp without seeing or meeting any predators. I picked up some goodies in the train carriage, then proceeded towards Mystery Lake. I was able to sneak past an approaching wolf just before reaching the tunnel. Then, as I exited the tunnel in Mystery Lake — dammit! — I got ambushed by another wolf that was essentially waiting for me near the wagons. Pretty sure his last words before killing me were "Oh, you wanted the 'easy' region, didn't you?"

So far, I'd say I've become better at managing resources, but when you finally get to a safer spot and you're already down at 35% condition, it surely makes for a road uphill from there, as recovery is pretty much out of the question given the circumstances.

By the way, the aurora in Forlorn Muskeg is really something else!

 

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Pretty standard interloper runs I died pretty quickly on all the Forlorn Muskeg spawns that's a tough region to start on. In the only 3 runs I had that I lasted more than 6 days one was a Timberwolf mountain start  and two were a Pleasant Valley starts. Forlorn one is tough , I usually died of the cold trying to leave the region. The only good thing about Forlorn start though is the amount of cat tails to pick up there. :) 

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Herbal tea is really nice if you can find it. Don't do the "I'll save it for later" thing. It's especially useful early on when you're struggling more with condition loss due to the huge amount of traveling and freezing

FM isn't too difficult with the cold. You can make a fire in the train car by using a flare. Day of time is important though since it's a long walk

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8 minutes ago, Serenity said:

You can make a fire in the train car by using a flare.

You've just basically saved one of my Forlorn Muskeg attempts by reminding me of this. It's amazing how the urgency Interloper overwhelms you with makes you forget even the simple things. All the times I've found a flare in my runs, I've always kept it to use as a light source, forgetting its importance as a fire starting tool. ¬¬

Thank you! :coffee: 

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Attempt N. 28 is another Pleasant Valley spawn, near the Point of Disagreement. Late afternoon. Stable weather. Again, in the fine Interloper tradition, as soon as you think about doing something, the game responds with "Ha. Think again, buddy". So, the idea is to take a look at the three vehicles and two corpses at the car accident site, then proceed to the Prepper's Abandoned Cache and then the Mystic Falls Picnic Area and its nearby cave. But, as soon as I approach the first car, I catch some movement out of the corner of my eye. Then a bark, and I rush inside the car. 

And… time passes, because this bastard of a wolf decides to just hang around. I bide my time (can't sleep because I'm not tired enough). But since I'm still under freezing temperatures, I start losing condition. And the bastard is still outside. When I finally manage to get out of the car, I search the car accident site, then proceed towards the Prepper's Abandoned Cache, but again that wolf is patrolling that spot exactly, so I have to improvise a long-winded manoeuvre to avoid being detected, and I'm forced to head for the Picnic Area. As I'm searching the corpse there, I hear barking. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I've fallen into some kind of new "The Hunted" challenge where Old Bear has been replaced with Old Wolf… Anyway, I manage to retreat inside the cave, the wolf gets distracted by a couple of rabbits (thank you, rabbits, I owe you one), I pass another hour inside the cave, and when I dare come out, that wolf is FINALLY nowhere to be found. It's night now. As I head for the Abandoned Cache, an aurora comes up. Good, because I have no light sources but I can search the Cache anyway.

Bad, because I'm at 33% condition, I have no food or water, no tools to start a fire, no additional clothes except a scarf, and while the bed gives me enough warmth bonus to avoid freezing while sleeping, I can't really recover condition because I'm starving & dehydrated. The big question here is — is this situation salvageable? Under these circumstances in Interloper, you start looking at the condition's bar as if it were a car's fuel gauge: Do you have enough fuel to reach another place where maybe you can find matches or (better) a building that has an indoor temperature above zero? And maybe some food? From where I am, the closest candidate would appear to be the basement at Skeeter's Ridge. But any detour will probably mean I'm done.

(I think I'll go and rename this slot The Goddamn Lone Wolf for posterity's sake…)

P.S. — I hope my adventures aren't boring you guys & girls too much… :)

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Edited by Morrick
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You can try, but it's probably over. Without matches you won't survive.

Prepper's Cache doesn't have good loot. The cave at the picnic area can have a bedroll, but it's a pretty huge detour this early. You should have gone to Skeeter's Ridge right away and down the rope there

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12 hours ago, Serenity said:

You can try, but it's probably over. Without matches you won't survive.

Prepper's Cache doesn't have good loot. The cave at the picnic area can have a bedroll, but it's a pretty huge detour this early. You should have gone to Skeeter's Ridge right away and down the rope there

I actually managed to reach the basement. Weather showed mercy. Predators were thankfully busy elsewhere. But yes, I eventually died there. Loot was surprisingly lousy there as well. I didn't expect to find matches (I never found them there in previous Interloper runs), but I also didn't expect to find… nothing. Both the washer and dryer were empty, fridge was empty, and the only objects lying there were scrap metal (LOL), and a copy of Wilderness Kitchen (double LOL). By the way, I've never found so many research books as I have since I started Interloping. I know the developers mean well (these books help boost your skills), but who has 5 hours to spare when you got hypothermia and your condition bar drops just by looking at it? :D

Anyway, I'm currently at Attempt N. 32. Spawned in Desolation Point (as soon as I heard the sound of waves I was like *groan*), after sunset and in gusty winds (Feels like: -44°C *weeps*), but near Katie's Secluded Corner, so I rushed to the mine. An aurora came up, so I could traverse the mine and come out near Hibernia, where I could keep warm. Things are starting to look up, as I'm at 79% condition without afflictions. The odd thing, however, is all the lootable places and containers I've encountered so far have given me food and drinks (seriously, on Interloper I've never had three cans of Summit Soda, two of Pinnacle Peaches, and one of Pork and Beans), but no clothing whatsoever. Let's see if this time I can finally leave this region...

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