Interloper challenging experience... when fire starter is found (so, rarely)


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Posted (edited)

So I've been playing in Interloper mode about 30 plays over the last few weeks and the most likely reason of death was... didn't find any fire starter. So basically I am not going to play this mode anymore because there is no point in playing half an hour or 1h and then dying because there is no way to light a fire. I think there is a balance problem here. I am not asking the game to be "'easy", I am just asking it to be playable, because with no way to start a fire most of the time, we cannot do much.

I also noticed learning books were very frequent in Interloper mode compared to Stalker which I am usually playing. This means that randomness is not so random, so what's the point of making fire starter so scarce? 

In a realistic survival experience, it would be possible to light fire with just dry wood and herb/lichen, as well as drink snow even if we don't heat it.

Edited by yoli
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Hi,

I have the same feelings. Interloper mode is matching my actual game understanding and skill level (as far as I can tell). But the lack of matches in the beginning is driving me crazy. I do not want to check offline maps with guaranteed spawning points. For now the only way is to stick to civilized areas with toilets to get water from.
But maybe this is the sensible way in a survival situation too.
My current run at 120 days is getting a bit boring, as I am quite set up and getting food and water is no longer a problem. I think, I will have to start over. 

By the way, I do love  the very frequent gun and rifle skill books. They burn so well...

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Matches are not that scarce on Interloper - you can find more than 300 of them in a single Interloper playthrough if you explore the whole world.

But honestly, only the first box of matches kinda matters in a run, which can be found easily if you just visit the main buildings/locations of each region. So it clearly helps if you already have some prior knowledge about the region that you're in (from playing easier difficulties or repeated attempts).

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On 5/16/2021 at 9:52 AM, yoli said:

So basically I am not going to play this mode anymore because there is no point in playing half an hour or 1h and then dying because there is no way to light a fire.

This is the only way you'll progress at any level, die, die, die... die! Haha. The thing about interloper is it's /much/ more difficult than the other levels. Putting the fire issue aside, everything decays more quickly, your meters drop more quickly, you have no real weapon until you craft one, and that can take a while, or find the heavy hammer. You generally have to craft hand/head gear to prevent frostbite because you may not find gloves or a hat for a while. You need a sewing kit and cloth for that.

There are fixed locations where matches will be found every single run. You just have to die enough times to figure that out. I only play interloper, the other levels are just way way too easy, but I've put a lot of time into the game. And yes, I griped about the game early on. I would guess everyone does. The Long Dark is just different. The object of a sandbox game  is to survive. That's it, that's all you get. :)

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Thanks for your replies. About "There are fixed locations where matches will be found every single run", I am not sure what to think of this, if there is any design value to this. I am not complaining about the difficulty mode of Interloper in general, the only issue to me is initial fire starting. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, yoli said:

Thanks for your replies. About "There are fixed locations where matches will be found every single run", I am not sure what to think of this, if there is any design value to this. I am not complaining about the difficulty mode of Interloper in general, the only issue to me is initial fire starting. 

Yeah like others said there's places that have guaranteed match spawns you can count on, and still other places that with only a chance to have matches. It is definitely a first priority to get these on a new interloper run, mostly for water. Your first fire will suck because even using a book as fuel, the best you can do is 80% chance at succeeding to light the fire. I've had multiple unlucky instances of going through 5 matches 😐

If you're sick of searching for matches and firestrikers, here's some locations in the spoiler tags. Not all are guaranteed. Feel free to ignore it if you want to keep looking:

 
  • Wood matches at Spence's Homestead on top of the workbench
  • Wood matches at fireplace in mountaineer's hut
  • Wood matches in basement of PV Farm Homestead
  • Wood matches in cave along the hushed river, not too far from reclusive falls
  • Wood matches in cave close to Mystery Lake in the Mountain Town region
  • Wood matches on the shelf I think? in the Hibernia Processing Plant in Desolation Point
  • Fire starter at the summit in TWM, sitting on the floor. Look closely, it is easy to miss
  • Fire strikers in Cave Overlook in Mystery Lake

After lighting your first fire, you can pull out a torch ideally above 25% condition (once that fire has enough fuel in it) and extinguish it immediately. Next time, light the torch first and use that however many times necessary to light the fire. This will help you ration fires better.

Next you want to find a mag lens ASAP, because that's what really let's you extend your ability to survive. You can cook and boil water in large batches on a sunny day. If you are a conservative nut, you can avoid using matches for hundreds of days as long as you have that buffer of food and water in place. The hardest is moving to areas that don't have that buffer yet.

Some possible mag lens locations:

 
  • In the upstairs closet at Grey Mother's house in Mountain Town
  • Upstairs under the desk in the Camp office in Mystery lake
  • Inside the still intact lookout tower at Mystery Lake
  • Under the bed in the TWM Mountaineer's hut. Easy to miss, look closely

Did you know there's a really small chance to find matches inside a cabinet drawer? I stumbled upon some while scouring the dam connected to Mystery Lake.

Anywho, finding fire starting materials is challenging when you're new to the mode and not yet attained a great amount of map knowledge. If you keep at it though, it won't be so bad.

Edited by darkscaryforest
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Posted (edited)

Go into the custom menu.  Select the Interloper template.  Change only your "Starting Gear Allocation" from "Low" to "Medium."  Low is the standard Interloper starting gear; medium is the Stalker level starting gear.  The only real difference is that Medium will give you 1 box of matches and a bedroll in your inventory at the start.  If you leave all the other settings the same and refrain from using more than 2 feats, the rest of the run will play just like a standard interloper run.

This beats asking HL to change standard inteloper.

Edited by UpUpAway95
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Honestly, in all my Interloper runs, i had little need of a fire during the first 5 days.

My problem with Interloper is that the chances of a starting run going well succeed are 1 in 5 (from my observations).
I must say that i start in random location every time. Even one having enough knowledge of the regions, simply there is no viable way to survive on every single start, and it is a bad game design on my opinion. Chances should be EXTREMELY hard, but never non-existent.

Anyways, after 30 or 40 days i am tempted to start a fresh new game, because it becomes a regular gameplay, but without firearms and pretty fewer wolves ^^

that's why i still prefer Stalker.

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In the long run the number of matches on Interloper feels about right. There are still lots of them, but they aren't as annoyingly common as on Stalker. On lower difficulties you find so many matches everywhere that they can literally become a burden.

Early on matches are only a problem on certain maps. With a FM start you basically have to go to Spence's Farm or you're probably screwed. With a TWM start you easily get two packs right away and then more in PV.

You can also go for a while without a fire. But again, depending on the map. Toilet water can last you several days on some maps.

Also if you absolutely can't find matches early: you can use a flare to start a fire

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On 5/18/2021 at 5:19 PM, yoli said:

Thanks for your replies. About "There are fixed locations where matches will be found every single run", I am not sure what to think of this, if there is any design value to this. I am not complaining about the difficulty mode of Interloper in general, the only issue to me is initial fire starting. 

While I can understand your perspective I would argue exactly like this. The design value of guaranteed spawns is that early fire starting is not a game stopper.

I love interloper and I don't want to get back to the other difficulties. And the way I think about interloper is: "You can only play it if you know the game well." Be that spawn location for critical items, maps or your first matches.

And you can either look those things up or learn them over time. I found Athenon's series for each interloper starting region very helpful https://www.youtube.com/c/atheenon/search?query=start

But that is just how I think about it and that's the beauty about TLD beeing a single player game. Everybody can approach the game in their own way and decide what is cheating and what is not.

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Car glove boxes often have matches on interloper. Otherwise, just check the main buildings you already know will have good loot. I don't know where the 'guaranteed'  match spawn points are, but I've never had an issue with them. There are a LOT more than there used to be.

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On 5/18/2021 at 5:19 PM, yoli said:

Thanks for your replies. About "There are fixed locations where matches will be found every single run", I am not sure what to think of this, if there is any design value to this. I am not complaining about the difficulty mode of Interloper in general, the only issue to me is initial fire starting. 

Interloper is very challenging for many players and it's a whole lot easier once you learn a couple of given match spawns. There is on average about 3 matchboxes per main region. Without giving away too much, Timberwolf Mountain is a nice starting region for finding matches early, if you're familiar with the region.

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