jeffpeng

Norman, the Normaloper

Recommended Posts

Hello fellow survivors,

these are the boring adventures of Norman, a normal Interloper. Norman has not a lot going for him: no special game modes, no special rules, no special goals. All in all his life is the boring life of an interloping citizen of Great Bear. Nothing to see here, move along.

So, you're still here? And you still want to hear Norman's tales of a life so uneventful that if he wrote a biography it would be classified as a narcotic substance? Well, you have been warned.

Norman 1 / Days 1 and 2 - A life in the day

What a beautiful day! -20°C FL, 10 am, the location: HRV. How lucky.

screen_35162417-0f57-4e89-b480-334cf7302d27.thumb.png.c5d7e4a194b552ac9c49e57200912c24.png
Possibly the greatest place to start a boring life

With no source of ignition I venture into the dark of the nearby cave, already freezing. After mere meters into the unknown I find an abandoned camp, alongside a bedroll, a hacksaw, some cedars, a tin of sardines and a granola bar. No matches, however. At the first valid place I lay out my bedroll and sleep an hour to warm up. When exactly, by the way, has it become so hard to place a bedroll? 

After a short nap I continue my journey and soon find another fellow survivor that... well ... didn't survive. But he was kind enough to leave behind a most welcome pry bar. When I reach another exit I am 100% sure where I am, so I take a look. Yes, it's the exit near the Valley. My orientation skills did not betray me. I also see that the signal fire is on the "easy" side.

screen_57b6aaf4-2adf-47cd-bb82-fe3fc0229077.thumb.png.33928969bf0a73faf77074dc27a952b5.png
Looks like someone left the cooker on.

So.... why not get it while I am here? I head back into the cave, and find a rabbit. I pick it up, and then suddenly think "wait wasn't there...." but then the wolf is already on me. I'm well rested, and I give him the pry bar. The struggle is short - and I win it. It take about 20% damage, but sustain no wound. What a boring start to the game! I climb up the short rope, sleep another hour, and off I go!

Outside I see another wolf patrolling under the tree bridge. I drop the rabbit and get up the slope. I could drop down the rope here and make my escape fair and square - but what would be the fun in that? I cross the bridge, but don't find the cache - only find a deer carcass for which I have no use. Overly confident that I will survive this I saw down the the maple saplings. I slide down from the other side of the tree bridge, unspotted by the wolf, and use the one-way bypass for the scrub-brush barrier. 4 lumps of coal in the cave before reaching the signal fire mock me for having no way to set them ablaze. Then I am there:

screen_6cf6686b-a2dc-4c41-99b7-1fed1f2a164c.thumb.png.27960246e0871c3fbdcd8e01e2d2e3f1.png
Looks warmer than it is: the signal fire

Yet again no matches, but the snow shelter is warm enough for me to put in a few hours of sleep before attempting my suicical descent. I also find a Mackinaw and some freshly cooked, alongside a can of tomato soup, which I drink on the spot, and a hammer I really have no use for right now. I pick it up anyways. I sleep. When I get up the weather spills disaster:

screen_9c19d1a9-e91d-4f1f-a5c7-54dd3b992aa6.thumb.png.c4709eb333998bf49257194867e382d2.png
Yup, we screwd.

No matches to hide in the cave. I can't sleep the blizzard away. Making the descent in this weather would be certain death. My best option is to wait it out - and probably die trying. Luckily - after merely an hour - the weather reverts to a "normal" state of just being terrible. With no water left staying isn't an option. I gotta go - now. A murderous and dangerous descent beckons.

Freezing and parched I have no choice but to make a run for it. Of course a wolf see's me and stalks me subsequently ...

screen_4d117ae1-006d-463e-a33d-0dd4b1f0f0c8.thumb.png.c51bb9ae5a97367a43af556822c14d1d.png
A wolf!

... until it see's my improbable saviour ...

screen_b755fda6-8aa9-42a2-8e83-c9c865494af5.thumb.png.ede2d6c45d8f1ce6cf33aa1a1eb04acb.png
Not a wolf!

Still: The situation is dire. Lose no time looting or being careful trying to save my sorry ass to Milton. Without any light source traversing the cave will be a treat in itself. And of course the cave is too cold for me. I sleep and pass time until I've got some light in the cave. And at that point's I'm already close to death. How I find the exit - I don't know. But I do.

screen_479c98de-b5e4-4f22-bdb0-7fa030fb1fef.thumb.png.93e3e7123c6f0bc6b8539df9c6624623.png
So many colors!

I drag my dying bones to the trailer in hope of something with a bit of water in it. But all I find is this:

screen_c2e54222-a99b-48ab-bd7d-48584ee0a11b.thumb.png.cdc873ab6c1d1cc0c0e95f0304995939.png
Yes, it's a squirrel mocking me.

At this point I know it's over. I try to reach Grey Mother's, but not even having reached the bridge I stumble down a cliff. Good bye Norman 1.

Norman 1 lived not even 24 hours. On his grave survivors more lucky than him can read the words: "His bravery was only surpassed by his lack of matches."

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Days 1 and 2 - Life of a camper

A new day, a new life ... in HRV!

screen_e5aded5c-4ae1-424e-a61c-0ad2fef2ed35.thumb.png.e51003ac17638d8cdffe0095027625c7.png
Home sweet home!

You might think you know how this movie ends - but I don't agree. Yet. I turn left, and then follow the river. I don't wanna run into the wolf in the canyon, although I will need to confront him at some point. But another barker forces me down to the canyon regardless. Maybe there is some form of justice in this world and I am lucky with the wolf down there? I am.

I find the matches in the cave Norman 1 should have gone for, plus mittens, a tshirt, 3 coal and some jeef berky. My fire succeeds at first try, and two lumps of coal get me warm and cozy in no time. This is already infinitely better than my last vacation here. A second look through the cave yields two more coal than seem to have just appeared out of thin air. Hot as a Chippendale and armed with so much goodness I get going, heading for the ice cave. Reaching it I cannot tell which signal fire is active due to dense snow.

I find the bedroll again, this time with matches and the hacksaw again (did Norman 1 just miss the matches in the dark?), plus a few other goodies including a book about arson, but no magical mystery pry bar. I turn back, hoping to have a better chance to assertain which signal fire is active now. No, I don't.

screen_093f4e13-cd4b-4e2a-bd93-277686b6f956.thumb.png.20817812306e6af1962f15edcf0423c3.png
Yes, I can't see shoot as well.

I kill the torch an give myself two hours of rest. After that I can clearly see that the other signal fire is up this time, and hence I have no way of reaching it. Disappointing. But it also means that there is no reason for me to go toe to toe with the wolf in the cave. I decide that the best way to the other side of the Valley ... is through the Valley and begin my descent.

Sadly an atypical blunder goating down yields me not only quite a bit of damage, but also a sprained wrist, which constitutes a two hour timeout in the valley cave. Well, I wanted to rest up before making the climb anyways. Inspecting the cave after one hour of warm-up-water-boiling-sleep I find some very welcome accellerant and even more coal. Lovely aurora music signals that getting past the wolf on the way to Milton might not be so easy this time. I consider waiting it out, and decide that I might as well check out the landslide. My food reserves comprising of a can of dog food and jerk beefy allow me this detour.

The body near the landslide yields some more matches. Now I'm drowning in them. Sadly the Landslide is a bust, and harsh winds force me to make camp between a few trees near the Moose Overlook. After warming up I quickly check out the overlook, but no dice as well, and freezing I return to the deceptive safety of my fire. I don't dare sleeping in this wind as a sudden change in direction could quickly foil my plans. So .... I cook water, and wait.

screen_11791448-84ab-433c-8d82-3b77392d8d9f.thumb.png.391dd7279ceb0dd465ce8b49c9d4fb30.png
Life of a camper.

Two hours later I am on the move again, in milder but still snowy weather. My rest bar is down to two thirds, but I don't feel comfortable sleeping out here in the wild. But having to warm up again upon reaching the climb I decide to risk it in the little cavelet nearby. However, after an hour, the weather turns sour again, and I see myself trapped in a blizzard. 

screen_cab36fe1-6776-4403-ba25-ad4ff437f293.thumb.png.21be34941cde1c453e1249bd5b731f27.png
Well at least I get a fire duration bonus, right?

And then disaster strikes ... almost: the wind shifts, and reduces my fire. I nurse it, and the blizzard actually ends, but the winds still keep reducing my fire, and my rest bar is running lower by the second. When the winds finally die down in the morning I put in one hours, two... three.... four hours of sleep. Time to go, or I will die down here. The climb is one of the more challenging ones in the game, but well rested I make it with ease.

screen_45780455-b83d-4ff4-aaa5-72d7be94d3f9.thumb.png.8bbd2af3951204f3b9dd0318c31c10cb.png
No cross.

At the top I tea up, light my torch again, and hit the road. I miss the wolf by an inch, and it in tow I meet the bear again, at almost the same spot. But with the wolf so close I have to get much too close to the bear for comfort. While the bear disposes of my unwelcome friend, it isn't too thrilled to see me either shouting some insults at me, and I push the pedal to the metal - and somehow end up in the stairsteps lake cave. This stay in HRV is turning out to be a snowball on it's own. I find a simple parka at 39% in the cave and some coal, but I can hear a wolf outside hunting bunnies, so my stay must be rather brief. After warming up for the duration of a can of water I'm out of here.

I leave the cave, and narrowly dodge the wolf I heard before it sees me. I backtrack .... and end up with the initial wolf back in tow. But I make it to the double tree bridge on the way to Milton. What a ride! I reach the transition cave, safe and sound - but freezing, and very tired. Being in safe waters for the first time since leaving the ice cave I light up at the end of the cave and warm up for two hours taking a nap.

I reach the trailer without further incident. Neither the hammer nor the hacksaw or the storm laterns makes an appearance, which gives me a good idea what kind of loot table I'm on. I head out to confirm my assumption in the church. And indeed: the mag lens is where I expected it. I nap two more hours in the church before I plan to make my final journey for the already very late day.

But as every so often things go differently than you would expect. Harvesting some of the cattails behind the church I spot two bunnies playing happily on the carcass of a deer. Well, don't mind if I do! It's 6 am the next day when I finish taking apart the last rabbit after thoroughly cooking and eating both bunnies and the deer. I have no idea how I am gonna going to make to grey mothers smelling like the downtown butchery - but that's for another page in the book. For now ... it's 9 hours of sleep in the church.

 

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 5
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

these are the boring adventures of Norman, a normal Interloper. Norman has not a lot going for him: no special game modes, no special rules, no special goals. All in all his life is the boring life of an interloping citizen of Great Bear. Nothing to see here, move along

Good old Loper is always a show I wouldn't underestimate. Actually, I've noticed regular black wolves exhibiting new behaviour around the fires, which might put a new spin on harder modes.

😅 My first HRV Interloper 'Norman' had the most chilling TLD experience I've registered to this date. I hadn't even voyager mastered at that point and literally had zero knowledge of HRV. Within the first 2mins of the start a most horrific blizzard set it that dropped temperature to -60C day1. After stumbling in complete oblivion, climbing two looooongest ropes and obtaining about three frostbites with more on the way, my survivor dropped into an ice cave where in semi-darkness she bumped into a jackpot of a bedroll, hacksaw and a pack of matches and food and a jacket. With more experience I may have lived longer having my situation much improved, but after sleeping some, my survivor stepped into Aurora night and followed the cliff side until she hit a row of prickly bushes unsurpassed without a hatchet. She got a sprain trying to bash through the bushes and hadn't been able to limp back to the safety of the cave to sleep it off before another frostbite developed and she joined the sky lights.

I just remember a blinding wall of snow and utter disorientation and night drifting in and then the cold blue light of the ice cave that seemed the most unlikely place where you could find salvation.

Edited by tulkawen
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

Good old Loper is always a show I wouldn't underestimate. Actually, I've noticed regular black wolves exhibiting new behaviour around the fires, which might put a new spin on harder modes.

Oh this is mostly a pun on my recent adventures speedrunning As The Dead Sleep. Compared to that Loper really is a vacation :D Also, yes, regular old wolves are completely nuts now. There are ways to deal with them, but best ... leave them be, walk away.

37 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

😅 My first HRV Interloper 'Norman' had the most chilling TLD experience I've registered to this date. I hadn't even voyager mastered at that point and literally had zero knowledge of HRV. Within the first 2mins of the start a most horrific blizzard set it that dropped temperature to -60C day1. After stumbling in complete oblivion, climbing two looooongest ropes and obtaining about three frostbites with more on the way, my survivor dropped into an ice cave where in semi-darkness she bumped into a jackpot of a bedroll, hacksaw and a pack of matches and food and a jacket. With more experience I may have lived longer having my situation much improved, but after sleeping some, my survivor stepped into Aurora night and followed the cliff side until she hit a row of prickly bushes unsurpassed without a hatchet. She got a sprain trying to bash through the bushes and hadn't been able to limp back to the safety of the cave to sleep it off before another frostbite developed and she joined the sky lights.

Did you post about this? I feel like I have read this before 😁

Edited by jeffpeng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Days 3 to 5 - Gotta go down to go up

When I wake up it's already 3 pm. My rich meal from yesterday night is mostly digested by now, and even tho I could put in 3 more hours of sleep I want to reach Grey Mother's before visibilty turns against me. I light my torch and load up with all sorts of stinky stuff. Into the fray! But ... to my surprise the local gang of wolves must be busy harassing someone else and I reach my destination without attacting the attention I would have clearly deserved.

Plundering the kitchen yields an amazing can opener. Finding one of these in a spot you wouldn't neccesarily expect them is always a joyful experience. I celebrate with a can of dog food I had saved for this very occasion. Finding the storm lantern in the living room surprises me, as I would have expected that to belong to a different loot table. But I must admit that my recollection of those does mostly include key loot. Storm lanterns ... aren't, really. The sewing kit however is very welcome and should resolve my cold ear problem shortly. A pair of jeans upstairs also isn't shunned.

Leaving behind the smellies and some water I go about my business starting to relieve the town of a few surplus supplies. The bank yields some much needed food and a pry bar. The post office: more dog food and a book about frankensteining together unrelated parts of clothing. The rest of the town has a lot of this and that food, but nothing special. Being really brave I chance a 55% cooked venison I find in a fridge, and am rewarded with a belly much less empty. Let's see, maybe we can sustain well fed this time. And since the day began late I end it early.

I wake up at 5 am, an hour early to do anything useful, so I think about a few important things. As usual, like in all my loper games, I heavily gravitate towards Timberwolf Mountain early. The reason behind this is simple: good guaranteed loot, especially one of possibly just two ear wraps in the entire game, which are something you can't make up for if you don't get them. Ever. Plus the rather rare thin wool sweater, which is best in slot no matter how far you come. And, yeah, flare gun. But I think ... this game will be different. Being this close to HRV after being somewhat established there's actually a good argument to be made to get an early hatchet and get the Mackinaw from the Signal fire, plus the Combat Pants and the ear wraps from the caches. So, it's decided then: We're going to the Muskeg.

I craft a few bandages and some tea until sunrise, then spend an hour fixing a few of my rags, until there's finally enough light to navigate the house. I leave behind a few of the things I won't necessarily be needing, like my library of tinder books. An improvised head wrap will serve me well enough for now.

screen_4b798f96-21bd-42c5-ae3e-7366fd793e74.thumb.png.7c3038cd5b0c959b9b8d2bab11d2e41a.png
Don't approach this man when you see him. He'd like to be armed and dangerous.

My first waypoint will be the farm, where I firmly expect to find the hammer. I hope I am not mistaken on that one. Locating the key goes quick and easy as I find it on the poor guy in the barn, and I slip in right in front of a wolf clearly disapproving of my being alive. Inside I light a fire and get to work taking the place apart. The most important finds other than the hammer are a pair of worn down but good enough combat boots and a second simple parka, in much better condition. I drop what I don't need and get going again.

I find my first birch saplings on the way, but leave them behind at the rope. The deer carcass that flirts with me has to make due with the promise of my return in a few days. For me the only way to move up in the world is to go down to the basin. Down there I find a reporter from MNN that tells me to freeze off most unkindly, apparently not interested in my mundane story.

screen_56778ff7-1ed7-4af4-894c-e0764f3f87a6.thumb.png.08789e6c6699c7f5c17a94358c4f7413.png
I swear I heard him say "Gitgud."

Reaching the broken down hut Well Fed kicks in. I'm not sure how long I will be able to maintain it, but we'll try for the time being. Two bunnies that circle the hut meet their maker in an untimely fashion. That's when I realize, again, that the detection ranges for wolves have gone totally bonkers recently. Just holding the rabbit makes a wolf track my scent from halfway across the lake. Luckily my "bop'n'drop" playstyle helps me out a ton with that. I warm up, eat my wabbits, and get going, avoiding the wolf on the lake.

At Marsh Ridge I find yet another book about how to pin scraps to rags and make carrer out of it, alongside some quality crackers and the stim. I'm pretty worn down from the two climbs, so I decide to make camp in the nearby cave and call it a day.

When I am done resting it is around 8 am, and the Muskeg greets me with freezing cold, but mostly wind still weather.

screen_0e809c35-d24c-440d-9448-8e20dc54ef3f.thumb.png.321e33c50fe084be6fa74df995d8d67d.png
You know your lifestyle has flaws when you regard this as inviting.

Before sliding down to the less hospitable part of the Muskeg I warm up and prepare a few warming beverages. Scraping along the edge to dodge the wolf, which I successfully achieve, I sprain my wrist, which shouldn't be of much concern for now. I find my first metal scrap along the wrecked logging train, but the weather is turning sour on me fast. My torch dies, and a blizzard is rolling in - I can feel it. But watched by various hostile fauna I reach the shack near Spence's, not freezing too horribly.

screen_3a21aacd-6166-4411-a279-5411dd56ad62.thumb.png.7148b0a9734f822c13e0979a5399558e.png
They see me livin', they hating

Two more scraps and a lot of coal at the shack and the broken down hut, and I am home free to Spence's. Looting the place I find more matches, a second hacksaw, quality tools, the famous double dog food - both of which I gulp down on the spot -, aqua pur tablets, something I have come to value only recently, another manual on how to burn down a house, plus a pry bar and a famed Mackinaw in the safe. Praise RNGesus! With another scrap metal around the house and the 4 from the metal shelf I even have enough scraps to forge a knife as well, but not enough for a few arrow heads. Since the blizzard never came I chance a trip to the old bunkhouses, but not before I get Cooking II for making some tea. Then, not even 10 feet out of the door the weather turns again, and the promised blizzard arrives late. The bunk houses will have to wait.

I work down the metal shelf, cracker up, and get working on the hatchet. By the time I'm done it's night already, and the weather is still horrible, and by the time the knife is done I'm so tired I don't want to risk stumbling into a wolf at night, so the message is clear: Time to rest. I hammer down a few planks to sustain the fire through the night and give my work battered body a much needed timeout.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Day 6 - The truth is out there

The next morning I check out the little hay cache next to Spence's - some wood, but no dice. My food reserves are down to 3 cans of various food and 45 cattails. That's not worrying yet, but I will have to acquire more if I want to return to HRV maintaining Well Fed. In bright daylight I leave for the bunkhouses.

screen_638b07d6-ef5b-4d10-a4d9-e2737d6a0694.thumb.png.badbe217474c5e2f67937a3a65abfd79.png
More futile endeavours

The bunk houses are a royal waste of time - and calories. I could make it to Poacher's, I guess, but there and back would cost me half a day and invite unneccessary risk. I decide to break down my surplus hacksaw, and the second pry bar. I don't really do that lightly, especially since pry bars will eventually run out on me, but time is of the essence with HRV waiting for me only so long, and the summit still beckoning in the hopefully not too distant future.

After getting my 8 arrow heads done, which will have to last me quite some time, I get going, not wasting any more time. I'm out of most of my firewood anyways, and my cattails are counting down with each hour. On my way out I take a look at the deer carcass at the broken hut, and decide I can't say no to 1.3 kilograms of free proteins. I make quick work of it, keeping the wolf in my sights. Yes, this distance is still not enough to not make it react to me picking up some meat.

screen_49dbfeb6-bc67-4c2e-9ddb-f99499371a24.thumb.png.2169c1cae44460d0bc9a20b25567fc96.png
Blind as a ground hog, but a nose like a long range radar telescope: A wolf. Can you see it?

I consider taking the hide, but deem it too risky with night approaching and the weather not being on best terms with me lately. But the weather holds, being so warm I barely lose any warmth. But then a wolf finds me, and I have to detour to the arch - where I find another deer carcass. And I decide to give the wolf the good old (well, actually rather new ...) "Earth, Wind and Fire" treatment - meaning take a stone (earth) and throw (wind) it at the wolf while sitting at a fire (fire ... obviously). The move is risky, since I have no accelerant, but it works - must be September. My reward are 1.9 kilograms of venison, which my belly can hardly accomodate for. Having to wait for my second round of venison anyways I take the hide this time.

Visibility is great, and I can see Poacher's clearly from here, so I decide to beeline there first.

screen_b4d2eb19-2638-4197-9a7a-cca955ae5aec.thumb.png.8b19f88d433016750e448ffa1d653ede.png
"Perfect visibility"

But another (or the same?) wolf picks me up, and I have to detour and cross thin ice twice to stay ahead of the beast. Then - suddenly - the wolf is gone. Is there a limit for how far a wolf tracks you from it's initial position? It appears to be so. I have witnessed this multiple times now. But anyways - Poacher's is out of the question now as hat creek is closer than those train carts.

I reach the cave to Marsh Ridge without further incident. Traversing the cave I find the deer carcass. And here is somehting interesting: I looked for it before, when I was in this cave to spend the night before going to spence. And it wasn't there before. Do interiors really spawn new corpses and carcasses now? Possibly even new loot? There are a few mysteries with Errant Pilgrim that are yet to be resolved. But mystery or not, I make camp for the night, and take apart this welcome surprise. 1.7 kilograms of venison, and I also take the hide, because why the hell wouldn't I ? With the one waiting at Grey Mother's I have all the parts for my first Deer Skin Boots. Amazing.

screen_4097bb77-c0c5-494a-9e0c-8363a8eb69f1.thumb.png.e195626308a1360627e386a0ecf0b5ca.png
Did this deer come from outer space? Am I the first human to digest extra terrestrial DNA? 

But really: There are a few very strange things going on on Great Bear Island.

  • Upvote 6
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Did you post about this? I feel like I have read this before

I'm pretty sure several months ago I've recorded this experience in my Newbie thread. It was mixed in with my long voyager log. It's too bad my computer simply doesn't pull off the recordings. This would have been one crazy experience to youtube. It was extremely contrasting, one of those games where your bacon gets magically saved two minutes from utter demise only to find that demise several game hours later. I'm pretty sure if this was my start in one of the current games I would have simply deleted the character after two perma frostbites, but that was one of the first Loper experiences and it hit my stubborn streak to get as far as possible.

Deadman experience is challenging, but I also find that it doesn't really let me relax much. I tend to make easier mode games for that purpose or I send my voyager survivor into dangerous zones too to explore and get the Rambo feeling.

I LOVE puns. :D

Edited by tulkawen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

It's too bad my computer simply doesn't pull off the recordings.

I found a fix for that on windows lately: run OBS as Administrator. Fixes a lot of performance issues with games.

And yes, then I've seen that video. ^^ 

Edited by jeffpeng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Day 7 and 8 - Of cats and mice

I wake up at 8, venison from yesterday night for breakfast. I pick up the hides and the saplings I dropped to cure a bit and get going. Outside I use the bright weather to employ my maglens to light a free fire. I don't say no to that - even if it takes me 4 tries. I warm up dumping two coal into the fire and get some beverages warm, including my lonely cup of coffee I got at the bank.

Back in the basin what was a lovely day has turned into the soup of death.

screen_e5b5c846-ccec-4932-a876-6ceb84cbdabd.thumb.png.ec1b439c87cebb0318bb275a1ec753c0.png
Thick as a brick

I stick to the edges, not wanting to get lost. Yet another deer carcass is lying on the ice, but it quietly whispers "It's a trap" and I listen to its advice. Not knowing where any of the wolves are I won't risk this. Good instinct as I've got a barker right at my tail moments later:

screen_8c50476a-56a8-41cb-8989-319cfc5fb700.thumb.png.7cebfe875b9967e0fe71197ac2a4b50a.png
Find the error in the picture

Too close to make a fire, too close that my torch still is a reliable deterrant. What to do? I keep walking, hoping to have it leave me alone for one of the rabbits - no, it wants me. I still .... keep walking. In a desperate attempt to maybe throw the wolf off this way I climb to the rocky refuge - and it works - but the wolf is still on the other side of the small cave. I'm trapped.

screen_db5eef57-1b5a-4b7c-aed4-8aa26db6c7f1.thumb.png.1b03129e541959b2fbbf9a7032b64394.png
Persistent little son of a wolf

Then ... it dawns on me. I light a fire, and thought he wolf is behind the wall threatening to throw a stone is enough to make it packing. Whew! That was way too close for comfort. While I am here I warm up and pack up the birch sapling, and my first maple sapling as well. I sleep a total of three hours to regain some stamina for the climb that lies ahead. Meanwhile the weather clears up. I leave behind some firewood and water for the next survivor to pass through here and then I'm good to go.

Leaving I can see the faint remains of paws leaving the refuge, so I am probably clear. I reach the rope, gulp my coffee, drop a few more things in favor of some rosehips and cattails I picked up, and climb. Reaching the top I redeem the promise I made my deer freind and fire up (and get Firestarting II) next to the carcass, albeit for just 600 grams of venison. But wolf or not, I should be able to bring in the guts as well. Before going to work I pick up my second maple, and while I do two little wabbits join the party.

screen_592a5371-9fb4-48b8-9e5e-9839995426c2.thumb.png.7cde591b341b2ee14dc9bbfa2851d4c4.png
The more the merrier

I cook the rabbits on the spot, but leave guts and pelts on them for later, and harvest everything the deer has to offer. I eat my meat on the spot, and stinky as they come I take to the farm, awaiting at least one wolf the try and eat me alongside my gross trophies. But again - nobody shows up. Strange. I reach the farm without any sing of contest.

After finishing up the rabbits I drop my cureables - a total of 4 guts, 3 deer skins, 2 rabbit pelts, 6 birch saplings and 2 maples - and take time. Midnight, Day 7/8. Most of this should be ready when I return from HRV. If I return, that is. Time for bed.

When I am ready to get going again it's 11 am already. Since I won't have the materials required to do anything with the stuff from Grey Mother's I will skip it and get to HRV straight. 49 cattils, 3 cans, and quite a bit of tea. Has to be enough. I pick up three more maples and a birch sapling behind the farm, which I will leave at the trailer, together with the arrow heads I forgot to leave behind. Keeping track of what's where is a challenge in itself.

Being low on coal I tank the cold to the trailer. What's the point of birch bark tea when you are always 100%? I spend an hour stitching up my mackinaw, and sleep another for good measure. After making it to the cave I traverse it, and find a few new lumps of coal - either those I missed before, or they have indeed respawned already. At the end I warm up and get some tea going. Into the fray, again. My first target would be Reclusive Falls via Stairsteps Lake. How well that goes, with the amount of wolves patrolling the area - we'll see.

screen_0308d15b-07da-4877-b7af-fdbbf055de46.thumb.png.68626c7db79694650d1a43b1f50a8a26.png
Why am I doing this?!

10 feet in and I already regret coming back. My torch dies a few steps later. Whatever. I pass Stairsteps, but struggle to find a sheltered spot where I feel confident warming up. Tired of looking left and right I decide to head for the refuge next to Reclusive Falls. I find nothing of interest up there, but at least shelter.

screen_0c596168-d8fd-424b-9287-f6a1594f96a2.thumb.png.c17da48d4139851ec7272aa6f73dfb8c.png
Call me a cave surfer.

An hour later the weather has cleared up, but night is falling fast and the winds remain. I head for the little island near Offset Falls, and find wool socks and a maple leaf toque on the the corpse lying there. That alone counts as a success. To escape the winds I goat down to the canyon - I've come full circle. Further in two bunnies play joyfully near the ice cave. Dinner has arrived. Right before I enter the ice cave my torch dies again - but that's of no consequence. I take a shower and enter.

I find the cache, with the combat pants and the ear wraps. Mission No. 1 accomplished. It was worth to go back after all. Soaking wet but happy I carry on. Another shower later, and a few more meters further I'm at the rope. I find a few revolver cadridges on one of the corpses. Curious. I make camp below the rope, and bring everything up in two trips. I realize I brought the hammer, and I forgot to drop off the arrow heads. Sigh.

Upon reaching the end of the cave I make camp again, dry my clothes while sleeping for an hour, and after that put on enough fire for 2 more cans of water - and sleep deep into the next day.

screen_aaef185e-833d-4d1e-8daf-414a39e73ae3.thumb.png.98eefce8f63c3e640803622f655e5b3a.png
The Signal Fire beckons.

 

 

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normal 2 / Days 9 to 11 - Celebrity Deathmatch

The next day looks promising.

screen_32e9bc0c-3446-407b-9058-2f41a06591b7.thumb.png.9cd4c6d4972cb2803411aa96f10f6df2.png
Little did he know ...

I take a quick loot at the spot above the cave, but to no avail. The cattails in front of the cave, however, are welcome. Reaching the brush wall I fire up, for free, as the sunlight is providing ignition. Then I reach the fire:

screen_8fc357c5-1711-42ee-8d1c-61f84dd62328.thumb.png.87f803032a4a3ac3908378eedf0a625a.png
... that after he found the fire ...

I find the promised Mackinaw in dubious shape, a sewing kit, a whetstone, two cans of peaches, and another hammer. Now I'm totally overloaded. I consider leaving it, but can't bring myself to it. In the end I decide to goat down to the path leading to the ice cave since I don't wanna meddle with the wolf crawling. It works, albeit with a few bruises and a sprained wrist. But nothing serious. Then I enter the cave, crawling through the dark, with my greatest challenge yet ahead of me: *uffy.

Things happen as they have to. *uffy ignores my torch and my fire, and jumps me regardless. I had expected to fight her, but on my terms - not hers. I fend her off with the hammer, but at a steep price. Nevertheless: there's only one of us leaving this cave alive. I patch myself up, stim up, pick up my hatchet, and go after her to finish her off.

screen_32d8d78f-da19-4e63-97eb-e7ee3047d31d.thumb.png.06b596a0f3cb3e31337a12387711d8e3.png
... he would find himself in a death match, which he would ....

I find her, confront her with the hatchet, then again, with the knife. Both struggles are short.

screen_1ae8ce19-e66e-4e3a-87bc-bc620b03bf13.thumb.png.e39e923f631a00dca38a224fe1e19df0.png
... win.

But the price is high. My stim is gone, my clothes are in rags, my condition sub 40%. Totally exhausted there is nothing left but to rest.

I wake up the next morning, in the ice hall, at around 8 am. A day of rest and repairs is in order, but not before I harvested *uffy. I wouldn't want her to have died in vain. I take 5 kilos of meat off her, and my first wolf pelt. I feel brave, and eat two kilos. 4% sounds still low enough to get away scotfree in all but the darkest timeline. The rest of the day is the typical frustration when trying to repair clothes. I had brought a pair of running shoes to repair my combat boots when needed, but both tries fail. I'm more lucky with the rest of my gear, but my boots are flapping at my feet at dangerously low 13%. After it is too "dark" for me to continue repairs I haul my stuff up the rope and make camp at the end of the cave.

The second morning in the cave things are looking up. I've recovered most of my health, my wounds are healed. I want to take a quick peek if I might actually find something worthwhile outside, before I make my final exodus from HRV.  Outside things look as usual.

screen_1f3c3057-5da2-426f-b873-e7af9bda9dce.thumb.png.553fecee7bb1c10f07d3aac6fd7b085d.png
Minecraft draw distance: -1

I don't find another cache across the tree bridge, but 2 maples and another deer. 1.5 kg of free proteins I don't say no to. But the wolf from down there spots me up here(!), and I see it sprinting up the ramp on the other side. Can it actually cross the bridge?! No, it can't. Phew. But I still have no idea to get down from here. I take the hide, and if it's just to let the wolf go away. Carcass Harvesting II is great - but doesn't neccessarily help me in my predicament as the wolf is patrolling the other side of the ramp. I'm trapped, yet again. I look for a way to slide down. It should work. Should..... I make it. On top of the cave I find accellerant, peaches and antibiotics. I think: who knows, maybe I will need them sooner than I would like to. But mere moment's later: my risk for parasites is healed. Yes.

I decide I don't want to chance more wolf meat, especially not at 52%, and leave it behind. I warm up getting some tea going, consolidate my loot to below 50 kilograms, and take off. Anticipating my move to the Lonely Cave winds turn right at my face. Good job, AI. I hack down my last brush barrier next to a warming fire, cross the tree bridge, and find some good dog food and a granola at the lonely cave, along with some coal. Time to get out of HRV. Sliding down I sprain my wrist but ... whatever.

screen_49473368-8141-44aa-84d6-28dd8dfad949.thumb.png.16148932fce044f84cb9d5eb55bccfaa.png
Surviving HRV. Twice!

Being too tired to face a wolf and too slow to get away from one I decide to end the day at the trailer. I would feel terrible to come back from HRV in (mostly) one piece two times in a row, and then die to a wolf in Milton of all places. I end the day fixing up my ear wraps, and tearing up a worn down parka I left here to repair my second Mackinaw with the scraps. Then it's time for bed.

  • Upvote 5
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep boring us, Norman. It seems to me that the wolf-human power balance has shifted a fair bit on Loper.

The deer carcass in the cave at Marsh Ridge indeed spawns the second time you enter, together with a hole in the ceiling. It took me a few of these "how the heck did I miss a dead deer?" moments to realize it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

The deer carcass in the cave at Marsh Ridge indeed spawns the second time you enter, together with a hole in the ceiling. It took me a few of these "how the heck did I miss a dead deer?" moments to realize it.

So it came from "above" after all!

6 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

Keep boring us, Norman. It seems to me that the wolf-human power balance has shifted a fair bit on Loper.

I'm not entirely sure. I had fairly protective gear (cboots, cpant, mackinaw, maple toque, worker gloves, ear wraps) for that early in the game, was about 66% rested, and close-to-perfect health, and the wolf still took me down to around 40% in one go, despite hurling a blunt weapon at it. That's not a terrible outcome, but also not a surprisingly good outcome, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

I'm not entirely sure. I had fairly protective gear (cboots, cpant, mackinaw, maple toque, worker gloves, ear wraps) for that early in the game, was about 66% rested, and close-to-perfect health, and the wolf still took me down to around 40% in one go, despite hurling a blunt weapon at it. That's not a terrible outcome, but also not a surprisingly good outcome, either.

I understand the struggles haven't changed, just they occur more often as players grapple with the wolves' new behavior. I used to get past that icy wolf by laying campfires in the cave. Wouldn't work anymore.

Edited by Drifter Man
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

I understand the struggles haven't changed, just they occur more often as players grapple with the wolves' new behavior. I used to get past that icy wolf by laying campfires in the cave. Wouldn't work anymore.

Ah, that you mean! Yes, in that regard the balance has changed.

My actual plan was - not that I had implemented it before - to scare her off the fire with a stone, gain some ground, new fire, new stone, gain some ground, repeat, until I either ran out of space and would continue to stone her to soften her up, or had the miracle happen that she would actually run past me.

But I guess I effed up. Or the game did. No idea how, but all of a sudden *uffy was in my face, like she rose from the ground. Maybe .... now that I think of it..... maybe she did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/24/2019 at 7:14 AM, Drifter Man said:

I understand the struggles haven't changed, just they occur more often as players grapple with the wolves' new behavior. I used to get past that icy wolf by laying campfires in the cave. Wouldn't work anymore.

I'm mourning over the fact that I won't be able to rob Scruffy so impudently at DP where food isn't plentiful.

On 12/22/2019 at 8:59 PM, jeffpeng said:

*uffy ignores my torch and my fire, and jumps me regardless

I've heard somewhere that this one got named Frosty. 🤔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking "Hey, isn't that the Fluffy cave? Is there no wolf?". And then it happened. But a first day wolf struggle with the prybar? Wow. Those never go well for me even when properly equipped. I hate the thing in struggles

Edited by Serenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/25/2019 at 2:31 AM, jeffpeng said:

My actual plan was - not that I had implemented it before - to scare her off the fire with a stone, gain some ground, new fire, new stone, gain some ground, repeat, until I either ran out of space and would continue to stone her to soften her up, or had the miracle happen that she would actually run past me.

Her actual plan was to kill you :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Norman 2 / Days 12 to 14 - Musings of a bunny munching man

I'm done sleeping at 5 am. Too early to do a whole lot but bring my knife and hatchet back into shape and craft some tea. After that, with the winds raging outside, I finish my book about how to not freeze up repairing my boots again, which I had started in the cave in HRV - before I realized, that finishing it wouldn't grant me Mending II anyways. At least now I finished it. Then I get going, and am welcomed to a lovely day in God's own Mountain Town.

screen_ef519696-a550-4df4-96bc-5fc0989dbabe.thumb.png.7f8696c38bf26d6f83bed00926a3cfa2.png
What can go wrong on a day like this?
 

I'm still heavy as hell, but I should be making it to Grey Mother's alive. The skies are clear, but it's too windy for a fire. The weather turns snowy almost immediately, and slow as I am I am freezing before I even reach the cave on the way. Seeing the wolf in a safe distance I decide to tank the damage and make a "run" for it, but with the winds turning into my face any way I try to cross it I soon regret that decision. When I reach Grey Mother's less than an hour later the storm has turned into a full blown blizzard, and I lost about 20% condition. How?

No use argueing the facts. I sleep for an hour and then start sorting out what I will leave behind - and what not. I leave behind most of the fresh saplings I got from HRV, and also the deer hide and the wolf pelt. Maybe I will come back for those in the distant future. Only now I realise that I carry 4 kilograms of rose hips - but I don't feel comfortable leaving them behind. Which makes me think about where I want to have my "retirement home" this game. This would actually deserve a thread for itself - again - but I cut this short at this point and declare this game a Ravine/Carter game. I still have much to discover in Milton, but it'll have to wait until I return much later in this run as well. For now the summit calls me.

When I leave the weather isn't particularly welcoming, but manageable. I give two houses on the way out a quick sweep, and find a marine flare. I guess those I should indeed keep. But food is a bust, and save for 2 cans of peaches and 50 cattails I am out of calories. Yes, I know. That's indeed complaining at a fairly high level. But Orca comes to the rescue.

screen_e2f6f8fc-af83-4fdc-b6a4-4da707f03322.thumb.png.9c5d956c7c0f9c7b73ad9f5aa5a0a883.png
I heard you liked crackers?

I pack the crackers and a granola, but pass on a can of 12% dog poison. But the real treasure is a can of coffee in the back of the store. Two bunnies on the way up to the Registration Office collide with a few stone by means not disclosed, and as such I make camp to store them in my belly as I don't have the means to carry them around - and with the possible furry downstairs that wouldn't be a particularly good idea anyways, but I pack the pelts as I. Giving the office a sweep I find even more coffee. Splendid. Climbing down the rope the blizzard returns.

screen_fbeaf75b-6354-4a32-9804-f5d2b4e7d89f.thumb.png.894c99dd8b4d546bc8fcdc71aa1b27e7.png
Great timing!

I find the cave in zero visibility, and thank the Lord for not making the wolf I am sure is there take me. Not breave enough to try to find the rope in this weather I make camp yet again. But with the 2 cedars in the cave and my 2 lumps of coal which I kept leaving Grey Mother's my fire has limits, and I might still have to venture out into the unknown.

My prayers for better weather are answered, and 4 hours of stutter-sleeping later the blizzard releases its grip on me. Visibility still isn't great, but since this isn't exactly my first rodeo I find the rope with ease. Freezing in no time and out of torches I make camp halfway to the cave with my last lump of coal and the three sticks I picked up at the rope. I warm up some tea, pull new torches and bid Milton farewell - for now. It's then I realize, in the transition cave, that I left the two fresh rabbit pelts at the other cave. Ah .... whatever. At least they were some skinning practice. Then, through the cave, and the homey appearance of Trapper's is in my view.

screen_e02366b3-9081-4a7b-aa85-654d0fb82be9.thumb.png.ef8ab785e9d7a4b8118e8fc042ccf724.png
Welcome to Safehouse 1A

The deer carcass in the barn is missing. That's a shame. The safe also doesn't yield anything worth noting. With the world outside being it's coldest the wisest choice to make is to sleep. I pop my good night soda, which I found in the cave at the Milton climb, and do just that.

The next morning again greets me with terriffic weather, but also with crows signaling I shouldn't rely on it too much. So I grab the opportunity while it lasts and make a free fire behind the cabin. I take the time to procure two rabbits and properly disassemble them - roasting them grants me Cooking III - and leave the guts behind in the cabin before I leave in snowy, but warm weather. The two cooking pots come with me. They will serve me well in the Ravine.

Leaving for the Camp Office I can hear the bear behind a rock. I take note and vow to return at a later date for a heart to heart. While doing so a wolf invites me to dinner. I decline, politely, but it insists and tries to convince me all the way up to the Camp Office. 

screen_edea5ddf-4fc4-4f9b-9a74-256d30f67261.thumb.png.da7a3d18e96803b4968b197790dbbcf1.png
Clearly has boundary issues: A wolf.

I pick up the bedroll at the office along with a bit of food to replenish my constantly dwindling reserves. So far I managed to avoid starvation, but it's taking a lot. I find nothing else worth noting. Heavy as I am I sprain all limbs at my disposal on the way to the Lake Overlook. The deer is missing - another one - and any rabbits I may have hoped for are absent as well. I take the rope, pick up the storm lantern, and make camp in the cave with the weather turning sour. Four hours later it's midnight already, but a starry sky should allow me to reach the dam safe and sound.

Stiff winds hinder my approach for a bit, but half way to the dam the weather lends me a hand and it's indeed smooth sailing afterwards. I leave the cattail farm be for now as I have no weight to spare. I'm already closing in on 50kg again, and I don't want to chance more knowing I will maybe have to escape a wolf. I reach the trailers, but they aren't very interesting. The deer in front of the dam however is, providing me with 1.3 kilograms of proteins, a hide and guts. I leave my crafting parts - the saplings, hides, guts, arrow heads and feathers - at the work bench in the dam, give the safe a quick check for some cash, and get going again. The rest of the upper part of the dam will have to wait for tomorrow. The lower part for much later.

After making it to the cave which will serve as my endgame home a lot of sorting and storing ensues, as well as cashing in on the deer on the doorstep. Once I am done my humble riches are lined up on display and I am ready to leave again.

screen_fc9509d0-9db0-4f68-b1a9-e766ea6e5706.thumb.png.833005d3b7c27acd2fe9e82fbc777824.png
So this is home now

Looting the upper dam yields a wool toque, albeit in a pretty rough state of just 20%. Other than that it proves hardly worth the effort - as usual. Then, after an hour of sleep to keep my eyes open, I fix up my boots that still are in rags after my encounter with *uffy pinning a pair of driving gloves onto them I brought for this very reason. 35% will have to be enough. I also patch up my pants and the wool toque I just found. Then it's time for dinner - cattails and water, of course - and time to rest up before I lock horns with the Winding River and Pleasant Valley.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 3
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Norman 2 / Days 15 and 16 - The Valley of the Damned, Episode I: "Into the un....seen"

After almost 12 hours of sleep I still stare at absolute darkness in the dam. Damn. I craft a bit of tea and read a page about how to not become a naked maniac by repairing essential body coverage, sleep a few more minutes and then venture into whatever lies on the other side of that door.

screen_c5c197e0-aeed-458b-ae00-a838ae7839eb.thumb.png.f78dd1d72ce474e29b2d55f8d4a45965.png
Into the unknown! Into the unknohown! Into the unknowaaahahahah aahaahaahaah. Sorry.

It's cold - and windy. And the first thing I hear is a wolf barking. Hopefully just hunting a rabbit - and not me, but with the new wolf AI I wouldn't put it past a wolf to pull a rifle on me. But no - it's indeed a rabbit that found its premature demise. I play it safe, take the mountainside shortcut, and drop down right in front of the cave - greeted by two bunnies. You know how that movie ends by now, don't you? I make camp at the cave, cook my breakfast, but leave guts and pelts on the poor little fellas. I don't trust the weather in this place. Having quite the route ahead of me today I coffee up and get going.

The moment I enter the transition cave a blizzard starts raging outside. Hu. Talk about game sense, eh? The deer at the entrance warrants another stop. 1.8 kilograms? A feast. With the weather outside being nuts I pack the hide as well before I make my way through the darkness. I restock a bit of coal - 3 lumps - but the weather outside forbids any travel. Time for an early nap. Two hours later the situation has not improved. I read one hour, two hour, three hors ... sleep one ... and finally I can get going again. Into darkness. Pleasant Valley and I don't start on the best of terms.

screen_ce6423b6-7568-4022-82cc-61a969914b5d.thumb.png.bc07e54db53f84c740bae7d8c114dd32.png
I feel like this could become a recurring theme...

My torch dies shortly after this wonderful picture is taken. I don't have the resources to wait out the storm in the hilltop cave, so I will have to bite and make it to the radio tower - somehow. Visibility is good enough, but the wind is relentless. I'm freezing, and every step I advance I pay for. I keep my eyes open and my ears to the ground as the last thing I need now is a surprise hook up with the bear.

screen_73584b8d-136c-4ac9-8df0-39373bc38bcf.thumb.png.f56aa946b20b22b6bcedc27c0148cbd3.png
Saying I can "see" the radio tower would be bragging.

But I make it. Seeing no point in wasting yet another match I pad through the dark and sleep as much as my body permits. Four hours later the weather still sounds daunting. Some more padding, and I find trail boots in a locker. I might as well tear them up for my boots later. It's not like I got anything better to do. While I do the next full blown blizzard starts shaking the hut. Aflippinmazing. Too dark to read and too rested to sleep I prepare some tea - something I have been neglecting for quite some time now. But it just won't stop! 

I finish my book, I sleep some more, loot the place (and find a Thin Wool Sweater!), repair my shoes, sleep even more, try to repair my Thin Wool Sweater three times without success (85% my backside), sleep yet another hour, even break down the stupid cardbox box (because why not - right?), craft two old man's bandages, craft some more tea and sleep another hour. Then, 5 pm, the weather is just plain horrible, but not actually lethal anymore. I go. Screw it. Outside I find a pry bar, which I take, right before I throw myself down the mountainside in best goat fashion

At the bottom I see the farm bear roaming the fields, so no direct route for me. I head for Molly's barn. With the bear right around the corner I don't dare hunting me some rabbits. I slip inside, search the place, and see this when I leave.

screen_f96d5efa-44d4-4fc0-9576-e800a3d671f0.thumb.png.80979561b4554c3ed8b8634e04fe353a.png
Well at least it's a white puddle, not a dark one.

Freeeeeze you! I'm done. So done. This is it. I don't even care anymore. I follow the power lines into the farm house. Bear or not. Screw this godforsaken Valley of the Damned. I can deal with super AI wolves. I can deal with timberwolves (can I though?). I can deal with bears, moose and all of those in cahoots to make my life miserable. But I can't for the love of RNGesus deal with this weather.

While the farm house makes moves to lift up and land in the kingdom of Oz I loot the place before the winds take it away. At least I find some good amounts of food to restock my battered reserves. I even take the time to finally fix my Thin Wool Sweater - and lo and behold the blizzard moves on. I store what I don't need in the kitchen and take off, hoping to finally make some strides. It's 8 pm, but night is still better than blizzard.

I shortly consider staying the night at Draft Dodger's. But really: I need to make use of weather I can somewhat navigate. So many times I've got trapped for days in PV trying to travel in daylight only to be grounded by yet another snow storm. The basement at Skeeter's is thoroughly off limits with the guaranteed wolf standing guard there. But I use the Burned Ridge Cave to warm up sleeping an hour. I contemplate taking the deer carcass outside. I really want the hide so I can leave it here to cure. But can I afford the time? I might get stranded here. Again. I risk it, and take hide, 1.5kg of venison and even the guts, combining tea and dipping in and out of the cave to stay warm. Maybe the guts will be ready when I return. In that case I could make my boots at the Farm. We'll see.

The weather holds - which is a bit cynical to say. My torch dies shortly after reaching the Crash Site. I still sift through the disaster, despite -15°C FL and very little visibility. Among other less interesting clothing items I find a pair of Combar Pants. This further strengthens my suspicion that there is always at least one high quality clothing item here. In the last games I visited the crash site I found a Mackinaw, Ear Wraps, a Thin Wool Sweater and now Combat Pants. Never I came up empty. But the weather I put up with for it is horrendous.

screen_9758f6a0-444c-4950-84cb-729c0d4f65ca.thumb.png.e692e66b612f8ce743f6ee27d034acf6.png
Yes, I can't see shoot either.

Despite all that I reach the Abandoned Cache safe and sound. I pad through the dark, and collapse into the bed. I made it through Unpleasant Valley yet again.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/4/2020 at 9:01 AM, jeffpeng said:

try to repair my Thin Wool Sweater three times without success (85% my backside)

I have to say one thing for TLD - this game turns every player into an expert in probabilistic calculations :D

  • Upvote 2
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Days 17 and 18 - Where the winds may take me

I wake up to the lovely sound of blizzard at 12 pm. Well, not so bad, I think, I still have to loot the place and sort out a few things, although I already have a suspicion this might take me more time than I want to.

Looting is a bust, and after sorting out, fixing my backup cotton toque and a few more minutes of sleep the world still drowned in white. With nothing else to do I harvest some of the less interesting clothing from the crash site and frankenstein my second pair of combat pants. They will serve me quite some time, so having them at a good condition isn't even a waste. Four more hours later I've read 4 pages in my book about using carbon based plantlife to fuel exothermic reactions. Now it's too dark to read, and the winds still rage. But finally, after another hour of sleep .... the winds die down. I seriously wonder if traveling to the hut in the shade of a dark snowy night is my best idea yet, but I seriously don't want to waste more time. Let's gtho.

screen_c14c54b7-d2bb-48be-97ba-dfc905d4ebc1.thumb.png.1fc8e30458765ac596b75306770a8ba2.png
Yes, please.

Upon reaching TWM a blizzard on the way out kills my torch, but weather recovers to snowy dark in a matter of moments. Still, I'm freezing, but visibility is somewhat workable. I rather take the damage than risk being caught in another blizzard out here more than I have to. I reach the Mountaineers Hut in utter darkness and sleep a few hours. 4 hours later it's 3 am. It's cold, but remarkably clear. I fire up and hit the road. On the way I meet an old friend from my Snowballing days:

screen_13a4c497-e761-4203-a2f5-765e050abcf0.thumb.png.62ad48cb5b0792ff3ac989d425f72309.png
Harvey the bear under a starlit sky.

With Harvey on his stroll I steal the Reishis from his cave and take the "normal" route into the Echo Ravine, meaning not sliding down, but actually taking the road the developers had intended. I have no stone in inventory, but traversing the ravine I pick up a few. I will need them. I make camp in the cave and sleep three hours reininforced by a cup of herbal tea. I want to be as rested as possible before facing the wolf in the Engine Gorge.

When I wake up the weather is amazing. I make a short trip to the body in the ravine, but nothing. I still need my second pair of underwear, so I will keep checking those bags and corpses. I return to the fire still alight, warm up and go. To my surprise I find the wolf missing. I make quick work of the container. There is nothing surprising about the loot. I got my second Thin Wool Sweater and my second pair of wool socks alright. But I remain weary. I don't trust the peace just yet. But: No wolf. I enter the cave. I restock on coal a bit (3 lumps), but the body that's often here is missing. Onwards to the Three Way Cave. There I find the famed can opener Thatcher never found:

screen_fb1305a9-5d56-4e52-b813-1860c3c69b7a.thumb.png.5cffa5e4c131e00b79b2906f5107b3ea.png
It's real!

On the way to the halfway cave two bunnies meet their sudden demise and end up in my belly for a combined 1.8 kilograms of proteins. I keep the carcasses for now and make camp at the cave. I leave some stuff behind and track towards the Broken Tree Bridge to check on the deer carcass. The deer isn't here (heh), but two bunnies, a maple and 4 birch saplings are worth the detour. Back at the cave I end up taking the guts and pelts - more for practise than actual gain - of all four bunnies as a rather sudden blizzard invites me to stay indoors. When I am done it's night already, but the winds have somewhat calmed. I decide to drink a cup of coffee and make the climb to Deer Clearing today.

The deer carcass on that side is also missing. The climb is slow but secure, and as a last order of business I make it to the Deer Clearing cave in utter darkness. Time to sleep.

screen_936949ba-3752-4ee5-9e3b-d1392141645e.thumb.png.678f835832df8c714cef3a9bd53da3e7.png
On the inside looking out.

Tomorrow the summit beckons.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Norman 2 / Days 19 and 20 - There is only one Summit Day (Director's Cut)

When I wake up at 6 am a blizzard rages. Not good. Before I realize I could have slept at least one more hour and dodge the blizzard a bit it's already too cold. I fire up (and finally get Firestarting III!) at the temperature border of the cave and start passing time with the usual: water and sleep, preparing and cooking tea. When everything clears it's past noon. I keep the fire up and make a short trip to the container.

screen_8c78f200-421e-4756-ab96-ac8e9f2eb562.thumb.png.55440dc57c088eaa67f667654320555c.png
" .... in a winter wonder land!"

I get what's in the container - which is mostly tomato soup and scraps - but then I hear a wolf kill a deer and I remember something @Muestereatesaid yesterday about scaring away a wolf from a kill with an empty revolver. Would that work with a stone? No way to find out other than to try.

screen_e5ba8f47-ab9f-49fc-bc06-db4ffb1f42c2.thumb.png.8ccce37ca98d0632e2afb9d0fb91a95c.png
"Those who are without food throw the first stone."

It does. Deer driving maybe isn't as reliable as it used to be, but it sure as hell is easier to get rid of the wolf when successful.

I go back to the cave, pull the fire into torches and transfer it to the carcass. But the wolf is so close I'm really not sure this is a good idea. Before? Yes, sure. But now it's a brave new world, and wolves are more afraid of empty revolvers and hollow threats with stones than actual fires. I could quarter the kill - but then how would I get it away from here reeking like a butchery with 18 kilos on my back? No, if I want this meat most of it will have to be harvested, cooked and eaten here. Crouched, dropping my meat after every 0.5kg, I get to work. Carefully. Very carefully. Meanwhile I get Carcass Harvesting III and also Cooking IV. I end up bringing the meat I couldn't consume to the cave in a rather dramatic sprint, half of it cooked, half of it raw. It'll serve me well coming down from the Summit. Hide and guts go to waste.

Seriously short on firewood I cannabalize two perfectly good torches to cook some coffee. I do want to get to the Secluded Shelf today. But I won't take the goating path up there - but again the longer one. Not only to save 2 to 4 bandages on the way, but also to restock some tea and firewood. The travel to the climb and subsequently the cave is uneventful - except that of course my torch dies to wind. Not wanting to waste a match just to kill it at the end of the cave I sleep right at the entrance.

I wake up early - 4 am. I spend a bit of time prepairing tea and bringing my knife into shape, then sleep another hour. Outside the weather doesn't seem like I'll get a free fire today, so lighting a torch it is. The corpse yields nothing, not even the usual book. I make camp at the Summit Prep Cave since it is the usual 6 am freezing cold, and sleep another hour cooking some snow. I sort out my stuff and up I go. Well rested I can afford the climb in one swift go. Then I am there.

screen_4b09761a-e2ed-4399-8113-1b70ea5a25fd.thumb.png.bb350ce06b82ef89c847e6487820d942.png
"In each life, there is only one Summit Day." - @Drifter Man, Captain of the USS Stargazer, 1969

I find the expected hacksaw, fire up with a book about firing up - ironic, isn't it? - and get to work. I have a few containers to crack open. The sodas and the peaches have already decayed. That's a shame, but not mission critical. Everything else is in place, even the ear wraps which are the only real reason for me to be here, albeit in dreadful shape. Then it's already back whence I came. However, being 10 kilograms overweight, there is only one way down. Let's sprain some limbs.

My wirst gives in, but considering I have no weapons and nothing to shoot at anyways this is considered optimal. Suffering from an atypical abundance of firewood I fire up at the Summer Prep to warm up. On the way to the cave winds kill my torch. Of course. Inside I sleep four hours in hope of being able to get a free fire later, but no dice. I make it through the cave, but when I exit visibility has decreased to negative levels.

screen_67134400-3eba-4a19-ab08-81c32fce210c.thumb.png.c0f6a70111ddb1895a2f82761ede8f1d.png
Nothing to see. Move along.

I don't feel comfortable to go back to deer clearing in this weather - with the wolf and bear and all - so I slide down to the three way cave. I will come back for the stuff I left up there, but not now. Rememeber: Play the hand you're dealt, not the hand you wished for. Sliding down isn't an issue, as well as navigation as I can navigate these parts almost blind. I reach the half way cave, fix up my ear wraps, boil some water and sort out my inventory. The fog clears, and I realize I'm just barely fit enough to make the climb to deer clearing. I consider, and then do it. I reach the cave up there, feast on the already cooked venison I left behind and put in some well deserved sleep.

Smiling I realize I'm back where I started 48 hours ago.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 3
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/22/2019 at 10:49 AM, jeffpeng said:

Norman 2 / Day 6 - The truth is

I reach the cave to Marsh Ridge without further incident. Traversing the cave I find the deer carcass. And here is something interesting: I looked for it before, when I was in this cave to spend the night before going to spence. And it wasn't there before. Do interiors really spawn new corpses and carcasses now? Possibly even new loot? There are a few mysteries with Errant Pilgrim that are yet to be resolved. But mystery or not, I make camp for the night, and take apart this welcome surprise. 1.7 kilograms of venison, and I also take the hide, because why the hell wouldn't I ?

 

Marsh Ridge cave always spawns the deer the second time you enter the cave. Has done this forever. Take it from an experienced Kegstander.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norman 2 / Days 21, 22 and 23 - The Gauntlet

I sleep till 7am, then it's too cold in the cave for me. I fill up on some more venison, and start a fire to cook the rest. The weather outside is okay, but not great, and I don't really feel the rush to get going just now. I leave. Driving a deer ahead of me I feel confident to have some cooked meat on me. Without contest I reach the rope down to the safe space around Halfway Cave. The day develops to be one of the better ones I've experienced so far.

At the cave I fire up shortly, cook me some tea and coffee, leave all the venison I can't eat behind and load up my first round of supplies I want to get to the hut. Passing the tree bridge I note a deer carcass on the wayside. I leave it for now, as I am as full as it gets. At the wing wolves patrol my container. I fire up to see how the situation develops.

screen_8534b68e-b131-4dfb-9b74-6e7e1d2fd0a0.thumb.png.3239ea176bae534d4f0975e926c7167d.png
Party at the Wing

I sneak up to the containers, get my coffee and tea, and at least the beans (the peaches, again, are missing), but then I get a bit too brave and earn the attention of a wolf trying to snatch a quartett of birch saplings. I retreat back to the fire, and this time .... the wolf just turns around calmly and walks away as soon as it notices the fire. What the freeze? I decide to leave the saplings for a later tour and get going fueled by some 27% beans that really need to go soon. Traversing the hill I hear my friend Harvey announcing himself with heavy breathing, but at a safe-enough distance. My ankle explodes under the pressure, but I decide to hobble wobble back to the hut the remainder of the way. There it's a lot of sorting. I will base here for a day or two. Maybe more? I hunt myself two rabbits, stock up on water, and then it's time for bed.

I wake up at around 6. After two hours of light reading I get a free fire going and face a lovely morning. Crossing the lake I see my arch nemesis retreat to his domain of terror. What did he want down here?

screen_170cca46-f521-49e3-b7a7-5cfc85a817e8.thumb.png.fcf78388f0d64b01e6bb9c8625c6960c.png
The evil wolf of the death bowl. Many survivors have fallen to his vicious fangs - including Thatcher 7.

At the Wing I have better luck with the wolves this time and get all four saplings. While in the area I check out the Forest Cave. There I find a sunken can of Peaches. Seriously, I wonder, how much loot I'm not getting because it's sunken into the ground? Another birch sapling on the way out comes with me as well. The maple too. Back at the Halfway Cave I pause and sink myself - into contemplation.

I have 4 guts here, which are 76% cured. That's easy crafting material. So it would be rather simple to just wait out another day and a bit and bring them home. Even coming back tomorrow would be an option. At the same time something is bugging me, seriously. I have found everything I could have wished for, but one key thing is still missing: my second pair of knickers. Those are something which I either get soon - or never get in the entire game. And chances of finding them dwindle with every day. There are still a few prominent locations I have found them before: Thompson's, Misanthrope's and Hibernia. But at the same time just leaving 4 perfectly fine guts behind is something I can't do either if I want to stay at least on the curve.

It's one of those moments in life when you feel like you have to risk more than you want to, have to leave your comfort zone ... if you want to stay competitive. Sometimes that works out. Sometimes it doesn't. The winners get applause - and maybe a pair of knickers, the losers get tombstones. I guess we'll find out which it is for me.

screen_4822ef61-1708-4aa7-aaae-93ff978df09b.thumb.png.3fa7cc94b8d1ae5b62dc9cec418c2c7b.png
My fragrance: Dead stuff for men.

I make it to the Wing and hold right. Winds are favorable, but a wolf is chasing a deer into my path. I consider to abort. Not yet. It chases the deer all the way to the bear cave and I slip through to the hills. I can hear Harvey tracking me from the Forest, but I should be able to outrun him. I'm seriously weary. Then everything happens at once. My arch nemesis from the Death Bowl is tracking me, but decides to go after the deer at the lake. I never see if he gets it since the lake wolf is facing me behind the big log at the lake. I take my chances sprinting an arc between both wolves and put the pedal through the metal. I survive - and reach the hut just a bit frozen, but in one juicy piece. The wolf tries to charge through the door - but eventually puts his tail between his legs and takes off. My gamble pays off - I get everything from the cave in my second go.

Minutes later I take a peek outside. The deer apparently survived, the lake wolf is retreating. It really worked. I look around and no, I won't be able to bring everything home. 45kg total load, that's all I can afford. There are so many cattails left here on Timberwolf Mountain, but I will leave them behind. Maybe I will return in the distant future. But halfway fatigued I feel like making my move today would be really pushing my luck. The hammer I found here stays - may it serve a future me for fishing - as well as some heavier surplus clothing. One hacksaw also stays. Same goes for the fresh guts from the rabbits from yesterday. But first I need to sleep, regain my strength.

When I wake up at midnight my lust for travel is seriously floundered.

screen_cc7712ae-e888-4f8d-8910-369a7c1dc236.thumb.png.e59f16959e32baa83504e0f2e585a87d.png
One of the more common sights on Timberwolf Mountain: Nothing.

I read two hours (one of the many amazing advantages of the hut), then sleep another hoping for better sights, and then continue reading. Of course this summons a blizzard, but it's barely warm enough to sustain another hour reading before I hide in bed for yet another hour. 6 am the weather is looking up, clear, but with stern winds blowing in exactly the wrong direction waiting feels like the more reasonable approach. More reading, more rest. But two hours later I have no excuses left. I pack my cureables and take off.

I lose the lake wolf tracking me by dropping the guts a few meters out of the gate. In bright sunlight I make camp halfway out of TWM - for free, of course. Fueled by hot tomato soup the rest is routine. Sliding down the rope to the Abandoned Prepper's Cache is always a bit painful, but better than traversing the rope three times - twice down, once up. Now that I am here I don't feel comfortable making the rest of the way with those stinky guts. But I wanted to pay the Mystic River Cave a visit anyways. I unload what I can, tape up my ankle and get going again while the weather doesn't totally hate me yet. Outside I pull a few new torches.

On the way I meet the wolf, but it takes off in terror at the sight of me. I probably need to bathe. Good thing there's a shower nearby - how convenient! Inside the cave I find the bedroll with a pack of beef jerky and a few lumps of coal. Taking the shower however is only rewarded with a cup of coffee and some utterly useless disinfectant.

screen_26df227a-8bcd-452c-bba6-d0db7469761a.thumb.png.7aa219fcb231ac9d14becd8647d1bd6c.png
Sanitary services of Pleasant Valley are up to spec.

Drying my clothes I take a nap. The rabbits outside are gone once I get back out of the cave, but a few new Reishis and a suprisingly well conserved can of tomato soup make this detour not a total waste. Back home the guts are not yet cured. I read two more hours, but still: 99%. Too dark to read I decide to recycle some of the shoes I brought from the Timberwolf Mountain and call it a day. However, after my first pair of shoes torn up the aurora makes a rare appearance. With two of the guts done I start working on my Rabbit Skin Mitts because: why not? I get almost two hours done before I finally get to sleep.

  • Upvote 3
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now