Hotzn

V1.44 Interloper Run

11 posts in this topic

OK, long time no play. Waiting for all this download to happen. Download finished... fire up the game... intro and music starting... then black screen. With music, nice. More music with black screen... hm. Is this really the Long Dark now? Am I supposed to do something? Press Ecs... nothing... various mouse buttons... ASWD... nothing. Return key at last... aha! New information screens pop up. Weird. Am I supposed to find out I have to press Return? Or was this just a coincidence? Confusing. Alright, click through the info screens... click, click, click, click... at last I find my way to the real stuff. New game, of course (my pre-Redux Stalker achievement run may be broken now, and anyway, I want to die more often)... Interloper... pick the girl... no feats... and go...

Day 1:

I spawn... somewhere on the seaside, shortly before noon. Waves are lazily lapping the shoreline, an elevation behind me blocks the view inland. Walking around it, the Lighthouse comes into view. So this is Desolation point, and I must be somewhere half-way between Hibernia and the Lighthouse, probably near the Riken. The weather seems OK-ish, mostly clear with some wind going on. Time for a plan. I shall plunder the Riken and Hibernia, then try and reach the Lighthouse for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, I will hopefully hit the transition to Coastal Highway and reach Jackrabbit. When I get there, I will decide whether to stay a little and gather/craft some equipment, or whether to move on. I always like it on Jackrabbit. So... off we go.

I reach the Riken freezing. It’s very dark inside, I manage to find some coal, must be near the furnace, but since my condition is still dropping and I can hardly see a thing, I return outside and head for Hibernia. Get a strong headwind and lose condition to freezing. The rowing boats on the shoreline yield a can of dog food and a medikit with a bandage… then I have reached the trailer. Inside, I am confronted with my own white breath obtrusing my vision. Can’t believe this is still a thing. I find a whetstone, but am unnerved by the white breath and so stop searching the trailer and make for the factory hall. Reach it without wolf interference.

Inside, it’s still a felt temperature of -2°C. I could sleep for an hour in one of the beds to stop the freezing, but I’d rather search the place while there is still daylight and maybe find some clothes. First, I find various food items and soda cans, then – downstairs – my first flare and, yay, a hacksaw. The safe…  can of peaches inside (who covets peaches so much as to keep them in a safe?)… and… a new mackinaw jacket! Look at this! My freezing inside the factory is stopped, ha!

What else is lying around downstairs… a new cotton toque to cover my head, and a pair of fleece mittens for my hands. That’ll help against parts of my body freezing off. The hidden cache by the overturned boats only has food (but well, I can use it anyway).Now all I really need to be happy is some matches. There is a strange feeling that I should already have them… did I overlook something? Returning upstairs, I do another thorough search, and yes indeed – they were right there atop a little shelf. How could I miss them? Only twelve matches now, but better than nothing, and they are wooden matches (which give a better firestarting chance) so I am happy for now.

Hotzn, think. There is still some good daylight left. It would save time and resources to push on to the Lighthouse right away. But… condition is around 60% (the [C] menu doesn’t show the exact condition value, just a bar… is this new?). I could take the shortcut through the mine, and might not lose too much condition to freezing on that route. But I would have to cross wolf and bear territory, which could get tricky. And I haven’t played in a loong time and am not sure whether I would find the best route. Find the mine entrance at all (I remember that in a former update long ago they moved a mine entrance, and that made me die in a run in which I needed to find that mine).

Ach, Hotzn… adventure calls. Go for the Lighthouse, go for it! Turning the corner of the factory, I pause and listen… damn… some pawsteps are moving around… not right next to me, but not too far off either. I walk on… huh. There is another trailer here, behind the factory. Has that been around for long? Can’t remember. Anyway, there is nothing of use inside, not even a bed. So I leave the precincts through the doors of the truck and approach the road. Stop, crouch, listen… argh. A wolf, and very close. Maybe below the bridge? Reaching the road, I wonder where the mine entrance was. To the right? There seems to be a path leading up there. Run for it, Hotzn, and yes – just then there is that bark that you hate. Wolf is on my heels, run run run! Aaand… there is the mine! I make it safely inside. Phew. This part has paid off, but by a shallow margin.

Now… this is a dark place, and I need light. Did I mention I found a torch in the factory? That comes in handy now. The mine is short, as I remember it. Oh, a firestriker in a crate somewhere, thank youuu. And a looot of coal. You can never have enough coal on Interloper. Now before leaving on the other side, I think again… there is a bed in the Lighthouse for sure. But reaching the Lighthouse can be quite dangerous. Is there an alternative? I could head straight out of DP. But then the next place to sleep would be far away, maybe something like Misanthrope’s. Hmmm…

On exiting the mine, I am greeted by wolves howling somewhere. OK, I’ll head straight out of DP. Find the next mine without much ado and make a fire near the entrance inside with my torch, pulling new torches (still think this is overpowered, ach, bring back the brand!) and heading on. Collect more coal, a prybar from a frozen body and – yay! – trail boots at the exit. These badly need repairs, and my sneakers are in top condition, so I just put the trail boots in my backpack. Make another fire, pull more torches and make some coffee to stay fit (forgot to mention I found a tin of coffee in Hibernia).

Edited by Hotzn
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Day 1 (continued):

When I exit the mine into Crumbling Highway, it has gotten dark. This is not good, my breath is blinding me again, and the torch does not really help. Hugging the cliff to my right shoulder, I pass by the deer carcass and eventually the ruined houses. There was a basement here last time I passed, but I cannot sleep there without sleeping bag, so I just head on. Wolves start howling, and a rabbit appears in front of me and then dashes away into the darkness. Let’s hope it does not come back with a wolf on its heels. My hair is standing on end as I approach the road and make for the exit, really can’t see well and might get jumped any moment. When I duck under the stone arch and come out on the other side, I know I am safe. Phew again. I could make a fire here, tear up some clothes, make a snow shelter and spend the night in this spot. It has worked for me before. But no – after the coffee, I am still not too badly exhausted, I have torches, and the weather seems to hold. Better move on.

Entering Coastal Highway at Commuter’s Lament, second thoughts come up: It’s dark now, cold and snowing, vision is pretty bad. If I cut right across the ice from here, I am not sure I will hit Misanthrope’s or Jackrabbit Island straight away. Might get lost or even run into the bear or some wolves. Rather take the road? Not sure that would make things much better – can’t really enter Wolfen Wolfsite in my condition, and leaving the road at some point to cut across the ice would bring about the same problem… so… I leave the road right away and try to stay close to the ocean, keep it to my left… and then I do something stupid – I exit the game to take a break. Because I think there was a loading screen on entering Coastal Highway and therefore the game must be saved there. Later I find out it’s not. I am taken back to the entrance of the last mine. Replaying the way from there to the transition between Crumbling Highway and Coastal Highway, I now have different weather: It’s a clear night, although a bit windy. That’s a different story now, and I soon make it safely into the cabin on Jackrabbit Island, with around 35% condition left. Since I made a little water underway and have plenty of food on me (by Interloper standards), I can eat & drink and settle down for 10 hours of sleep…

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Day 2:

I wake up at… 69% condition. I dislike it that we cannot see the exact condition value in the health menu anymore. I have to deduct it from my journal entry for day 2 (range 39-69%). Anyway… I shall make Jackrabbit my temporary base. Inventory check: My clothes give me +6°C and an additional +3°C windproof bonus. Concerning tools I have the hacksaw (that’s most important), the prybar, matches & firestriker, two recycled cans (almost forgot them at the fireplace in the mine). Definitely need more – sewing kits, snares, fishing gear. There is still food (3 Granola bars at 300 cal each, 4 Pinnacle peaches at 450 each, 1 tin of sardines) and slightly more than 2 litres of water. Plan: Drop gear not currently needed (like the 30 or so pieces of coal I am acrrying around), plunder the Fishing camp, then Log Sort & Wolfen Wolfsite. Return to Jackrabbit unscathed, with at least one gut and more food. Let’s go.

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That breath effect (and, in general, any other glowing fog effects in the darkness) annoys me too. If there is no light source, how can it glow in the dark?

Edited by Drifter Man

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14 hours ago, Drifter Man said:

That breath effect (and, in general, any other glowing fog effects in the darkness) annoys me too. If there is no light source, how can it glow in the dark?

I mean I get why it is hard to code otherwise. As it is now, the breath effect is a plain 2d transparent overlay. It doesn't glow - it has its own opacity and hence its own brightness. Maybe one could introduce a function where the overall opacity drops with the available light until it becomes invisible in the dark. Maybe a bit of a dirty fix, but surely better than what we have now. But truth be told: I would very much like a setting to disable it all together. Immersion and everything .... it's just plain annoying at some point. I know that it's cold - it's always cold. We should just be glad Mac doesn't wear glasses - or otherwise we'd get 5 minutes of steamy view every time we enter a building.

On 25.12.2018 at 12:05 AM, Hotzn said:

I dislike it that we cannot see the exact condition value in the health menu anymore.

Agreed. Feels like a totally unnecessary layer of obscurity - especially considering I "know" the amount of calories I have to the last digit. Thinking about that: obscuring the exact amount of calories would actually help the game out with a few issues.

Edited by jeffpeng

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6 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

I know that it's cold - it's always cold. We should just be glad Mac doesn't wear glasses - or otherwise we'd get 5 minutes of steamy view every time we enter a building.

:D Tell me about it!

 

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17 hours ago, stratvox said:

:D Tell me about it!

 

Yeah, with winter in Germany right now I experience this multiple times a day as well :D

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On 27/12/2018 at 9:41 PM, jeffpeng said:

Agreed. Feels like a totally unnecessary layer of obscurity - especially considering I "know" the amount of calories I have to the last digit. Thinking about that: obscuring the exact amount of calories would actually help the game out with a few issues.

I see a consistent push to take this type of exact information away from the player - some two years ago it was possible to get exact clock time from the journal and hours remaining of daylight from the UI overlay, now all we have is the sun/moon symbol. I expect that calorie store will go next.

I'm fairly indifferent about it - it was helpful initially to understand how the game works, but at this stage I no longer care what my condition exactly is.

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The more I think about it, I actually feel like this is a good thing. Being vaguely uncertain about certain values makes it harder to "game" the system. I mean everyone doing Interloper+ stuff does that. Gaming the system is part of beating impossible odds in life as well as TLD. But it also makes other things easier if you are aware of such mechanics. Being uncertain about remaining calories will make you eat a bit more to complete certain tasks. Being uncertain about condition will make you factor in a small buffer you otherwise wouldn't have.

In general, from an immersion perspective, being too detailed about some things has quite a bit potential to spoil the experience. On the other hand it makes the game less predictable and makes it harder to communicate what went wrong if things go south.

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