Tips from a Newb


Willbonney

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Howdy Folks,

After about 40 hours into the game, I've figured I suck pretty bad. I've only ever tried playing in Voyager (normal) mode, and still the longest I've survived is 9 days. That being said, I've searched everywhere for tips and tricks to try to help me out. Suffice it to say, most of what "veteran" players put in their guides either confuse, or are too advanced for folks just trying to get by day to day. So I've come up with a list of things that is starting to work out well for me, and I'm just now trying to go for extended life, rather than fumbling around figuring things out. Hope some of this helps others:

1. Starvation:

Do not be afraid of starving, especially that first day. Early on I kept trying to keep my calorie count up with all the food I'd find, thinking that was the way to go. It's not. When starving, you lose 1 condition after a long period of time. Sure, your fatigue seems to go up faster. Sure, some activities (like gathering wood or skinning animals) take a bit longer to accomplish. Your goal however is survival, not to live in luxury. IRL you can live 40-60 days without eating. In this game I don't think it's that great, but I plan/hope to find out in one of these run throughs. When you sleep and are not starving or dehydrated, you gain quite a bit of condition. It's rather pointless to go to sleep without having condition loss. That being said, ensure that you have no thirst and have plenty of calories to sleep the full time before sleeping. And if your goal is to gain condition, don't sleep for more than 10 hours or you will wake dehydrated (and have lost some condition points).

2. Fires:

Your first fire should be a priority to melt snow and boil that water to make drinkable (potable) water. I normally ensure I have enough wood for a 4 hour fire, then melt 5.0L of snow then boil it, there's usually about 45 minutes left on the timer by the time I'm done. That's enough time to cook coffee or tea (when made, coffee gives 100 calories, reduces fatigue, and replenishes thirst; not certain about tea, but does give 100 cal), or a couple of the low quality cans of food I've found.

When starting your fire making skill sucks, use those Accelerants you find out and about. These can those as stated, fuel from a jerry can, and I believe the lantern fuels (not already put in a lantern). You will run out of matches quick failing a lot of fire startings. The firestarter can also be helpful (not sure what % it adds) as well as the magnifying glass. I've heard there is also a flint+steel, but I've yet to find it. Personally I don't pick up the mag. glass when I see it lying around, because I've yet to live long enough to run out of matches. But one day I will and it won't have loss any condition because I picked it up too soon. The glass must be used outside when there is sun to work. Base chances of success:

Books: 85%

Cedar: 70%

Fir: 50%

Reclaimed: 45%

Using Wood Matches adds +5% chance.

Kerosene and Accelerants adds +40%.

Each skill level gain adds +1%

3. Gear Matters.

Not only does the condition of your clothing protect you better from the cold, it also adds a bit of defense against those wolf attacks. I'm currently playing around with different conditions, but those I have found that matter are your Coat, Shirt, Pants, and Gloves. I have yet to find a noticeable difference with high or low condition Hats, Scarves, or Shoes. That said, your gear loses a butt ton of condition after a melee fight with a wolf. It's why I've started keeping 2 sets of Coats/Shirts/Pants. One warm set for traveling, and one decent condition but warmth doesn't matter set for knife fighting (that is easy to repair).

4. Rebind Imporant Keys: Equip Gun, Equip Flare.

I personally do not use the H/Holster key. The keys for actually equipping the item does the same, pulls the item when clicked and puts it back when hit a second time. The actual Holster function also seems to bug out quite a bit and doesn't actually pull out your gun or flare. This happens most often from entering/leaving a building or after sleeping. For whatever reason if you don't tell the game that you want it equipped, it forgets. I've rebound mine to the F for the gun and the C for the flare. Much easier to find those keys when I'm in a panic than the 1 or 3 (or that hell a far away H key), and I'll often hit the wrong one anyhow. I also had the idea of rebinding the "Drop Decoy" function, but I often forget to have any candy on me. You'd think it would work best with a slab of raw or even cooked deer meat, but it doesn't. I guess those furries have a pretty insatiable sweet tooth.

5. Bed Rolls:

Sleeping outside isn't something I've done a whole lot of yet. One day I will in order to get the achievements, but it's not priority at the moment. That said, I often Harvest the one I get for 10x Cloth, which I then use to repair some of the better clothes I find. Often there is a second one inside the Camp Office in Mystery Lake, and I've found up to 2 more in Coastal Highway.

6. Eat Raw Meats and Canned Foods:

Eating Raw food you always have a chance to get sick from. As I've read from others, it's about 1-5% of the time if it is above 80% Condition. Some opinions vary when the chance to get sick actually starts, whether at 70 or 75%, it's why to be "safe" I've been using 80%, heh. Often it's the first thing I do after a fresh kill, skin 1 kg and eat it right away. I've personally yet to get sick from doing so.

7. Hunting:

At first I was a really bad aim. Even with the tip I've read on multiple occasions about chasing a deer into a wolf then killing the wolf, I was bad. I've gotten a lot better though, and continue to do so. The two tricks that have helped me the most are: Kneel. Kneeling puts you down lower to the ground against a wolf, and puts the gun more in line Head to Heart. Then second, aim for the nose. For whatever reason, the bottom of the head counts just as well to getting an instakill as the brain. So I've found aiming for the nose, if the wolf dips at the last second I brain him, and if he had raised his head last second I still shoot through his body and thus his heart. With deer I've found this technique to work really well too. I kneel down in the path it is moving towards. It's key to not move at this time, or else your movement will spook him and off he'll go. But if you sit still, he'll move rather close to you, keep the nose in the sight, and boom, down he'll go.

My other tip about hunting is if you're ready for it, it gets a lot easier killing a wolf in melee. When you know the attack is coming and you have the right gear on, you're ready to spazz out on the LMB to charge up those RMB attacks. Often now when I know it's coming, I come away from the fight 70+ condition and without needing to bandaid or apply antiseptics. The pain in the butt sometimes is when/if it runs off, tracking it down. I've gone from outside the Trapper's cabin all the way to Clear Cut trying to get that meat. If anyone has some tips about tracking 'em (other than "follow the blood"), it'd be appreciated.

8. Stock Camps:

Your main base is as stated, your base. But you'll also want to set up "travel camps" along specific routes so if/when you get stuck in a storm, you have somewhere to go that has some supplies. So far I use the Trapper Homestead as my main base, and Set up a Camp at the Logging Camp for when I start traveling to Coastal Highway. Stocking it with 5kg of meat and 10kg of water. There's too many wolves around the Camp Office for me to rely on it as a quick hideout. I haven't lived long enough in Coastal Highway to give great advice, but I keep trying to set up Travel Camps at the Fishing Camp on the west side, and Jackrabbit Island (with a dozen or so snares in stock).

9. The Night Time is the Right Time...

For gathering wood. Often it will get dark, and I still feel the need to get something done before laying down for the night. I have found gathering Fir with a Hatchet to be the perfect way to kill an hour or two of the night, and still be able to get back inside to my bed without any issue. This however can be troublesome at the Camp Office with the wolf patrol, but at Trapper's it's perfect. Just step outside the door and gather away. I often also do my water boiling and food cooking in the evening/night time hours.

Added 3/6/2015

10. Mark your Paths.

I have read in a couple other posts, as well as some others here who have made the suggestion of dropping Potable Water on the ground to mark paths for traveling, sort of Hansel and Gretel style. Bonus of the water, is if you're out and for whatever reason you run dry, you can drink your path. I have found something that works better for me. Cat Tail Heads. They are used as an alternative type of Tinder, but with all the newspapers and rolls you find around (that if you click and harvest can become 2x-4x tinder each) I haven't needed to use them, like ever. You can gather about 60 of them in Mystery Lake alone, and they are a lot lighter than bottles of water. You can drop 2 .50L of water in the same weight as 10 Cat Tail Stalks (.5kg compared to .1kg). They are also dark brown in color, and so they stand out a heck of a lot better than water bottles in a blizzard.

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Nice collection.

Especially liked he night tips, what definitely needs to be extended. (just a tip to make this topic useful for others as well not only for newcomers, include night time activities and the topic will be successful)

Two minor things came to my attention.

"do not be afraid of starving" have to be tuned in game for sure.

Multiple solutions for those whom hate canned food, and dont want or cant hunt should be implemented.

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I don't personally do a whole lot of other things at night. Repairing and crafting I normally wait to do when I'm stuck inside with a blizzard going on. Other than Fir gathering and cooking/water boiling, I don't really know what else is good to do in the night time hours.

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Multiple solutions for those whom hate canned food, and dont want or cant hunt should be implemented.

If you are stranded in a wilderness only with canned food, you will change your mind and eat it. :)

I personally prefer the pork & bean once a month, because I like it so much, I cant exist without all the chemicals in it.

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My biggest confusion: What happened to all the Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread in the world?

Well, at least Peanut butter can already be found ingame. You can loot it from cabins/freezers and sometimes it's standing around somewhere in a kitchen.

Apart from that: Nice guide. :)

Especially the paragraph on "Stock camps" is helpful, as many other guides omit this point.

In my opinion, it is one of the most important things in TLD to always have a plan B at hand should plan A fail for whatever reason. (E.g., being able to wait for a blizzard to end in one of your side bases without fear of starvation or dehydration.)

I'm always using several of these minor bases spread across the map and leave about 2l of water and 2000kcal in each of them. This strategy has already saved me several times, especially in Pleasant Valley.

The only disadvantage is that you have to recollect everything before changing maps, but that's really no big deal imo. ;)

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Nice tips Willbonney!

Stocking travel camps is indeed an important aspect. I always have a stash at key locations with at least 5L of water, 5 Fir logs, 3 tinder plugs and 1000-2000 calories of food. Double that for places I travel past a lot like the dam. In PV this technique is more difficult to use because there are so few buildings you can use.

Here's another tip: for important locations like your travel bases that are difficult to find when the visibility is poor (fog or blizzards) it helps a lot to mark trails to get there. I use Cedar logs or water bottles (I happen to have way to much water). This way you can find your shelter much easier when that blizzard hits.

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Here's another tip: for important locations like your travel bases that are difficult to find when the visibility is poor (fog or blizzards) it helps a lot to mark trails to get there. I use Cedar logs or water bottles (I happen to have way to much water). This way you can find your shelter much easier when that blizzard hits.

Agree, Hänsel & Gretel-style is great for orientation during blizzards! I've usually build campfires for this purpose, but a water bottle trail is way better, requires much less time/material. Thanks for that! :)

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Heh, glad to have so much positive feedback. On my first real attempt at surviving now with Voyager. Wolf Coat done, Deer moccasins done, Rabbit mittens done. Cleared Mystery Lake, moved all the stuff to Rabbit Island in Coastal Highway, and now chilling a bit. Stocking back up on food and water, and adding a couple more Travel Camps for this new map. Waiting until I need more stuff before going out grabbing some more. Day 27 and counting.

But man do wounded dogs seem to run a hell of a lot longer while bleeding out on this map. I just had to run all the way from just off the Rabbit Island all the way to the group of 4 cabins south of Abandoned Lookout, and it was still running and I lost him. Jeez.

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My biggest confusion: What happened to all the Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread in the world?

Well, at least Peanut butter can already be found ingame. You can loot it from cabins/freezers and sometimes it's standing around somewhere in a kitchen.

Found my first jar of peanut butter just today, lol. In the trailer near the train wreck at the very top of the path down from the Ravine. Pretty nice calorie count for its weight.

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Here's another tip: for important locations like your travel bases that are difficult to find when the visibility is poor (fog or blizzards) it helps a lot to mark trails to get there. I use Cedar logs or water bottles (I happen to have way to much water). This way you can find your shelter much easier when that blizzard hits.

Agree, Hänsel & Gretel-style is great for orientation during blizzards! I've usually build campfires for this purpose, but a water bottle trail is way better, requires much less time/material. Thanks for that! :)

Indeed nice one, not thought about leaving things or a fireplace as a mark yet.

Thanks! :)

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I've figured a new alternative to the Water Bottle Path. Cat Tail Heads. I gather 50-60 of these at Mystery Lake alone, and they too do not lose condition when dropped. They also stand out a lot better, being dark brown, than the water bottles. At 100 grams each, 50 of 'em being 5kg, easy to leave several paths all over the place in one go, and not difficult to pick them up if/when you decide to move on.

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Multiple solutions for those whom hate canned food, and dont want or cant hunt should be implemented.

So far I've figured Cat Tail Stalks @ 200 cal per, and roughly 60 of them can be gathered in ML. There's 12k calories right there. Make some snares, I usually have 5-6 outside Trappers in the grove always. And then there is always fishing, which I find best to do at the NE corner of Mystery Lake, as I've yet to see a wolf walk by that location.

My next run I'll likely try doing both the Pacifist and Silent Hunter achievements, surviving on the Stalks, then the canned and wrapper food for those first 25 days, and then start trapping and fishing for Silent Hunter. Hopefully I'll be able to find enough wolf-killed rabbit and deer hides to make the shoes and gloves.

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thank you for your hunting tip, i needed it :)

i personally like to plan for the future because i know i am going to run out of matches sooner or later. i start a fire only when i have meat that needs to be cooked. i wait for the meat to drop to around 50% first because cooking it adds 50% more condition and that way i can keep the meat a lot longer than cooking it right away. i also eat it raw but only when fresh. once the meat is cooked i melt and boil more than 20 liters of water. i keep 5 and store the rest wherever possible. currently i have over 115l of water stored somewhere. i just keep the fire running as long as i can.

i have a lot of cedar firewood. i don't use a hatchet to forage it. sometimes i can spend the whole day foraging soft wood and come back home with 40-50 pieces. i don't like foraging hardwood without a hatchet because i dont see the point of it. in one hour, you can get 3x soft or 2x hard and they burn for the same amount of time. i guess it really doesn't matter which way you go but cedar will be lighter to carry and easier to start a fire with. everything takes a little longer to forage in the evening but if you start early enough before it gets dark you might not be influenced by that factor.

i only use the hatchet to harvest frozen meat and possibly hardwood, nothing else. i often don't use tools when crafting clothing either because i just enjoy having something else to do other than the usual stuff.

i don't feel good leaving food behind because it spoils. i would rather use cat tail stalks. 10 of them can give you 2000 calories. should be enough to keep you going for a few more days.

starving is definitely a good way to go. i only make sure to drink enough water.

i always take a good look around where i am and plan a route i can take if a fog drops while i am harvesting meat but that doesn't always help but it's better than nothing.

as far as wolf tracking, it takes a long time because it runs away from you which creates a huge distance. if you stay where you are and maybe forage wood for 1 or 2 hours and then you start looking for the wolf, you might find it very close to where it got shot because it doesn't seem to run far unless it is being chased. just look for the general direction it runs off to.

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I like the cattail head trail-- very nice idea

I've been against it in other threads, but this sensible path marking idea is makes me think one advantage of a wieldable hatchet could be the ability to hack blazes in trees to mark your trail. If it decreased the hatchet condition it would hardly be worth it though.

Anyway, great ideas in OP.

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