manolitode

Why Pleasant Valley deserves your love

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Posted (edited)

So I decided to crown the midsummer’s eve celebrations by having my long time interloper totter down the ravine. Too bad, it was such a good run.

Which is why I spent the morning of midsummer’s day starting all over. Unfortunately I always start in good ol' godforsaken Pleasant Valley. But just a few minutes into the game this morning I realized something. While I was busy elsewhere, eradicating the fish population and moving stuff from container to container, a subtle love for the Valley had grown on me. 

How I learned to stop worrying and love Pleasant Valley

The point of starting in Pleasant Valley is to be done with it. To get out of there with all the loot before hell literally freezes over. It's a messy place without protection but with time it might just grow on you and anything beyond becomes a walk in the park. The disadvantage of starting in Pleasant Lovely is that if you die, you start over. And over and over and over. Nonetheless, it's a great starting region for plenty of reasons and I'll attempt at describing them below and thereby spread the love for the valley. Brace yourself for a wall of text. 

Getting out of there today

First, a short summary of my wrestle with PV this morning. I was very lucky with the airplane clothes and found both a hat and gloves early on. But I was less lucky with some poisonous deer meat that really worsened my condition before I was able to sleep it off in a cavebed. So I roamed the region with very little health to begin with, so I had to stay warm and that slowed me down quite a bit. I spent a total of 20 days there, it may seem like a long time but I wanted to loot it all, down to the last cattail (more or less). I found all the tools but the prybar. I also popped my head out of the sand to craft some tools in Forlorn Muskeg and carry some stuff out of PV for future use. 

The weather

Lets start with the reason why you don't love Pleasant Valley: the weather is so-so. However, there are ways to get around that problem. I like to carry a two day supply of food and water so that I can remain at a decent condition even when tedious blizzards have me staring at the inside of farmbuilding walls. Also, if you just stay patient and avoid the cold mornings, carry a couple of reishis teas to stay warm when scanvenging for cattails, you'll be fine. Also, your hand should always clench a burning torch, as it will prolong your excursions. And the coal in the coal mine is there for a reason. Perhaps you'll leave the valley looking back one last time with +30% protection, plenty of tools in your backpack and some rabbit and deer clothing. And all that from just one map.

The gear  

If you pick up a handful of stones on day one and visit a couple of rabbit spots you can leave the hides and guts to dry and by day 6 you will have material for both gloves and hat without much hassle. That plus some regular clothing means you get +20% protection early on. Now if you’re playing pilgrim, voyager or stalker you won’t have any problems dressing up in Pleasant Valley. On loper, you gotta dry the hides and guts to be sure to get to +20% protection within the first week. The crashed plane alone may however contain a variety of useful clothes, from your favorite red and white hat to a thin wool sweater, extra longjohns. And when the sun shines its merciful light on your helpless cold body: the combat pants. The pleasant farmstead may provide you a ski jacket, the Radio Tower the combat pants. And possibly combat boots, which alone grants you 10% protection. And coolness. But still not enough coolness to wear the military jacket, like ever. The farmstead is the best shot you get at finding some useful tools. If you also visit the barn and coal mine you may find most of the Tools. 

Food

There’s usually plenty of food to go around (but no airplane food for the loper) and if you happen to run out you can always scavenge the river's many bends for some 150 cattails. Tear down the cloth of Thompson’s crossing early on, leave it in the coal mine and bring some 12-15 coal with you down and you’re good to go hunter-(cattail-)gatherer. 

Finally, why you won’t die from a wolf attack...

… because the vast open planes will help you spot the wolves from a mile. Which is why you don’t go exploring in fog since there are only a few wolf-free locations. 

… because you don’t run around smudging with fresh guts unless you’re close to a shelter.

… because you don’t have any projectiles to fire at them and therefore take precautions like crouching at corners and hilltops.

… you will probably die from a wolf attack anyway.

Why the valley deserves your unconditional love

Once you have depleted Pleasant Valley of loot you have pushed yourself to the limit of the standard difficulties. The game won’t get much harder. You may say, ”sure, every map is an excellent starting map once you know it inside out”. That is correct. You may say ”but the forge is so disturbingly far away”. That is correct. You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us. And the valley will be inhabited by everyone.

And if you made it all the way down here through this stream of consciousness, guide or whatever, feel free to add, agree or disagree. And join us in emptying Pleasant Valley one last time, forever over and over again ;)

 

Edited by manolitode
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I agree. Pleasant Valley is a thoroughly enjoyable region to explore.

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I'm currently doing a YouTube series in Pleasant Valley in Stalker difficulty, and, from what I have found, it is a much easier region to survive in long-term than the Broken Railroad, despite the former region being described as moderate difficulty (Pleasant Valley is advanced).

Two of the main reasons why: there are large open spaces, so, as long as the weather's half-decent, avoiding wolves and bears is not difficult at all. (The same can't be said for the forests though...) Furthermore, the region is large, so your chances of running into a predatory animal are not too great when stepping out the front door.

The second (and arguably more important) reason: especially since the release of the plane crash, there is lots of loot available throughout the entire region. From Thompson's Crossing to the Farmhouse to Signal Hill to the plane wreck, finding food and clothing is generally a fairly trivial task (except on interloper). I also would recommend checking out the Misty Falls cave, as I found a rifle, revolver, and bow there in my stalker series.

So yeah... I totally recommend spending some time in Pleasant Valley if you haven't already. Scouting out the area in story mode first is a good idea so you know where everything is.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Glflegolas said:

especially since the release of the plane crash, there is lots of loot available throughout the entire region. From Thompson's Crossing to the Farmhouse to Signal Hill to the plane wreck, finding food and clothing is generally a fairly trivial task (except on interloper). I also would recommend checking out the Misty Falls cave, as I found a rifle, revolver, and bow there in my stalker series.

It's nice to see a fellow Valley enthusiast here 😊 share a link to your Youtube PV adventure below if you want to.

I agree that the loot became imbalanced with the plane crash site. There's more food, better clothing and a lot more cloth, even on interloper. While there's lots of more stuff to carry out of the region nowadays I can't say I find it that much easier after the update. Perhaps because I haven't changed how I play the map much.

7 hours ago, Glflegolas said:

I'm currently doing a YouTube series in Pleasant Valley in Stalker difficulty, and, from what I have found, it is a much easier region to survive in long-term than the Broken Railroad, despite the former region being described as moderate difficulty (Pleasant Valley is advanced).

Two of the main reasons why: there are large open spaces, so, as long as the weather's half-decent, avoiding wolves and bears is not difficult at all. (The same can't be said for the forests though...) Furthermore, the region is large, so your chances of running into a predatory animal are not too great when stepping out the front door.

PV is one of the largest maps, BR one of the smallest, so the latter seems like a naturally harder area to survive in. Unless one is very much into wolf meat. It's true that the main danger in PV is its weather. The daylong blizzards, heavy fog and record low temperatures. A map like HRV, in comparison, looks hard at a first glance. No buildings, just you and mother nature. Still, there are plenty of shelters and an underground subway system. Getting caught in a blizzard there is like, ok I'll keep walking for 10 sec til I find a hill and thereby a shelter from the wind so that you can light a fire and throw a piece of coal at it. Get lost in a blizzard on the large, flat open spaces of PV and you may very well have to walk a long way to find leeward.

Though one predator is pretty dangerous: the bear in the birch woods is a master at sneak attacks.

Edited by manolitode

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pv wouldnt be my first choice for a longterm home but i always end up spending much longer there than i intended too.  with interloper playstyle and habits its not that bad, weather sucks everywhere, you get used to it.  lots of resources, lots of manmade structures, roads and rivers for navigation.  caves sprinkled around the outer rim.  if you stay with one direction while lost you will find something eventually.  the coal caves are awesome too

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Posted (edited)

@manolitode

I agree with you.

I think Pleasant Valley is a wonderful place for long term survival.  There is an abundance of wildlife fairly even distributed (and well varied), multiple opportunities for larger game, and probably the second most sustainable source of calories - Ice Fishing (beaten only by snares in rabbit coves in terms of an effort-results ratio :D).

The weather can present some rough challenges to some, and I get that... but honestly I think that Pleasant Valley really is one of the most pleasant places to stay for a "long-haul" run (once we get proficient with our survival tasks and gather up some warmer gear).


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I think too many people default to Coastal Highway; which I think is a shame because places like Pleasant Valley and Timberwolf Mountain are really wonderful and provide fairly low maintenance long-term survival... but to each their own I guess.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac

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10 hours ago, odium said:

pv wouldnt be my first choice for a longterm home but i always end up spending much longer there than i intended too.  with interloper playstyle and habits its not that bad, weather sucks everywhere, you get used to it.  lots of resources, lots of manmade structures, roads and rivers for navigation.  caves sprinkled around the outer rim.  if you stay with one direction while lost you will find something eventually.  the coal caves are awesome too

Sure, map knowledge is key. I'd like to point something out that we already know. Difficulty is not in the maps alone. It's a nature/nurture thing, to make a stretched comparison. The maps are fixed, like genes. The environment is fluid, like your playstyle. You can start in Pleasant Valley, go for the tools, pick up some cattails and get out of there on day 3. That's easy. What I like to do is empty the map down to the last plant (but I'm sure there are still one or two I've yet to locate). I haven't tried PV as an endgame home yet, but now that you mention it, that would be interesting to try. Cold, sure, but the bears are easy to track down and that's some 90 kgs of meat. 

10 hours ago, ManicManiac said:

There is an abundance of wildlife fairly even distributed (and well varied), multiple opportunities for larger game, and probably the second most sustainable source of calories - Ice Fishing (beaten only by snares in rabbit coves in terms of an effort-results ratio :D). ... I think too many people default to Coastal Highway; which I think is a shame because places like Pleasant Valley and Timberwolf Mountain are really wonderful and provide fairly low maintenance long-term survival... but to each their own I guess.  :)

Interesting, I haven't made much use of the fishing pond in PV as it is too far from a shelter for my taste. Now that I think of it, few other spots in the game provide as varied wildlife. I like to linger in both TWM and CH. From my point of view, they are regions that maintain excitement even through longer periods of repetitive play. 

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Despite all the rage that I have seen with Pleasant Valley, I have to play devil's advocate and say that I like the region. I still get lost frequently(damn you curious mind lol) and not too long ago I got caught out in a blizzard and me thinking I was screwed, I somehow made it to the Farmstead by complete dumb luck. No matter what the region throws at me, I always come back for more. I guess there's a certain charm to Pleasant Valley that I love.

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First run through Winter's Embrace put me in Pleasant Valley.. I always do random placements when starting a new survival sandbox. Needless to say.. but it was a harsh first couple of days trying to stay warm... now that I am though it's going to be a fun experience.

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49 minutes ago, dustinmico said:

First run through Winter's Embrace put me in Pleasant Valley.. I always do random placements when starting a new survival sandbox. Needless to say.. but it was a harsh first couple of days trying to stay warm... now that I am though it's going to be a fun experience.

Finally in pleasant valley for winter's embrace.... 

I also start random, and I lost my 3 first characters.... 

Twm, Twm, and hrv.... 

Lasted till the night.... 

Now in pv, it's relaxing and comfy..... 

 

I like this map 

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On 6/23/2020 at 8:53 AM, manolitode said:

Interesting, I haven't made much use of the fishing pond in PV as it is too far from a shelter for my taste.

There is a two-layer cave not too far, uphill from the nearby picnic tables and close to the map’s edge. Plus sometimes you get the bunker spawn also around that same area (except in loper, of course).

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