Don’t Starve: Wilson. Days One to Five.

Preamble

Alright, as there is little to catch up on – this is my first Video Game post, I’ll let you know about the world setup I’ve chosen for this run and how skilled I currently am with this game.

I’ve been playing Don’t Starve for quite a long time. I was there in beta. the game has changed dramatically since then, with three major expansions that make me feel old. I’m rusty because I’ve only played sporadically since just before Reign of Giants (RoG) released. Pre-RoG, my record was 322 days with Wolfgang. A cooked green cap killed me. That’s one of the great things about this game; you can be as ready as you ever will be before you head out on an expedition, and sooner or later you’ll be caught out there, far from camp… Hungry. Hurt. Insane. In great danger. You make a silly decision. You’re dead. It shakes you as a gamer; you’re better than this! But you’re dead. You smile, because that’s what a good run of a rogue-like game feels like.  Reign of Giants scares the bejeezus out of me. I’ve played maybe 25 hours of this expansion, and it is so different from the original game. Shipwrecked? Whooo boy! I have lots of learning to do here to become a master of these expansions. Lots of experimenting. We’ll do it together.

Because I’m pretty new to this RoG expansion and because this is going to turn into some kind of proto-guide, I’ve modified the starting settings to my world. I do this for multiple reasons usually, but for these runs, I really need to study the seasons and see what they do to me and my camps. My settings will reflect this approach. The world size has gone up from Default to Large. Autumn’s length has gone from Default to Very Long. Season Start has been set as Autumn. Boons have been increased from Default to More.

Five days doesn’t seem to be like a lot when my goal is 200, but these starting days are super important in determining what I need to do in the following weeks.

Here’s a list of what we’ll try to get done in the first five days:

▪ Follow roads in search of Grassland, Savannah and Mosaic biomes.
▪ Gather Cut Grass, Twigs and Logs.
▪ Gather Berries and Seeds.
▪ Gather Flint, Rocks and Gold Nuggets.

As soon as I spawn, I’m going to want a road to follow. I’ll head in a spiral pattern away from my starting point until I find one, uncovering my map as I go. I plan on the spawn point being my first camp, so it is good to get familiar with the area, and there tends to be a nice lush Grassland biome full of needed goodies close to where I spawn. Even if a road is found, it’s a great idea to gather as much cut grass, twigs, flint, logs, rocks, berries and seeds as you can before moving on, as these materials are essential to immediate survival. Aside from these items, I will try to keep my inventory clear.

Keep in mind — Without a backpack, you start with 15 inventory spaces, plus an equipable hand slot, a body slot, and a head slot. There should be no more than two stacks of cut grass, twigs, logs, gold or rocks. Anything else; one stack is more than enough. Keeping a minimized inventory is worth it, because upon returning to camp on day five with full stacks of materials (mats)… It’s like adding bacon of some sort to your sandwich, if you will – you get to ‘Go Ham’ on the building screen, while at the same time keeping your belly full and the fire roaring.

Having gathered some essentials, two tools will eventually be required, an Axe and a Pickaxe.

Chop every large tree you see down with an Axe and gather the Logs that are dropped. The Pinecones are somewhat useful, and gathering these doesn’t hurt. It will pay off if you don’t use them for fuel. Again, no more than two stacks of Logs. Pinecones are non-essential, but useful.

Mine every Gold Veined Boulder you find along the way with a Pickaxe too; the Rocks and Gold Nuggets they drop are both non-essential at this early point in the game, but make things dramatically easier in the coming days and should never be ignored. At the least, try to find yourself  around 20 Rocks and a single Gold Nugget.

Stopping at every Berry Bush to grab Berries is key, as is the slow and inefficient collection of Seeds. These should be sufficient to keep you full, but don’t hesitate to whack a Moleworm or scrap a Frog for easy meat. Leave the Carrots be; they’re not hurting anyone, and they are a great source of emergency food when all is lost.

The Savannah biome is full of grass, rabbits, and most importantly the Beefalo are found here. I want to find that herd before winter, and preferably before mating season. This should always be a main objective until the herd is discovered.

The Mosaic biome is great, because it takes all the nice basic mats and throws them into one area. If you find the Mosaic biome, you should be laughing for mats. Fill up your inventory with Logs, Rocks, Flint and Gold Nuggets, then boogie on home to camp. Watch out for Spiders and Tallbirds. It’s also likely you’ll find a Plugged Sinkhole here. Leave that apple uneaten for the time being, as the temptation will prove too great once its secret is revealed.

This should all be doable within five days. The end result, at the very least, is being able to build yourself a Fire Pit.

To the Dawn of Day Five

I was dropped right beside a road. Pulling out my notebook, I started a map. I drew a unique design to resemble my ‘spawn point’ in this evil Maxwell’s game, and set off to collect some mats before I followed the road.

Turned out there were three reasonably sized Grassland biomes in my immediate vicinity, all connected. By day 3 I had two stacks of Cut Grass, Twigs and Logs; I built myself an Axe and a Pickaxe.

Of note, it started to rain late on day three. I used Cut Grass to build myself a Straw Hat. This helped to stay dry, as did sheltering under trees. The rain didn’t last too long and none of my stuff got wet.

I discovered a Pond not too far from my spawn point, and decided to exploit this for an easy source of Frog Legs. Attacking Frogs with an Axe is all well and good, but I find that using some of my stockpile of Cut Grass and Twigs to construct Traps is much more efficient. I left the pond with four Traps set up along its opposite edges, and three early Frog Legs.

I had some initial worryings about Flint after discovering that there were plenty of Moleworms on the loose within the vicinity of my luscious Grasslands. I was having trouble finding more than four of them, and I was determined to clear some of the large trees out of the area. I was burning through Axes. I eventually baited some of the Moleworms to me while standing over my precious Flint, Axe in hand. Moleworms will inevitably want to scarf down any minerals near them. To do so, they have to surface, and this is when you can slaughter them. They had indeed been nibbling on the nearby Flint. I walked away from them with some extra flint and some nice early Morsels for my belly. I’ll leave the Moleworms there for now as a food source. I’ll have to remember they’re near and store my future Thermal Stones in Chests if I don’t evict them.

The road split into several different directions, and one led me through a small Savannah, very close to my spawn point. There are lots of Rabbits and Rabbit Holes here. This is a great source of Morsels – especially in winter – but I didn’t take advantage of them at this point as I was on a quest for Rocks and Gold Nuggets, and I had previously stumbled upon the Pond.

Continuing on into Day Four, I walked straight into a Mosaic biome. It was rather small, but it stocked me with a sufficient amount of rock and gold to put me in a nice comfort zone for the next week or so. I was over the moon to discover that a Rocky biome neighboured this Mosaic, and it was littered with dozens of Gold Nuggets. Night was coming. The nuggets were guarded by Tallbirds. My mission was to get back to my spawn point with mats for next post before dark. I made a quick dash and grabbed what Gold Nuggets and Rocks that I could, and was chased away by the angry local fauna. I made it out of the Mosaic with half a stack of Rocks, a nice early six Gold Nuggets, and a grin on my face.

I made it back to my spawn point and threw down my first Fire Pit just before the Grue could sniff me out. I came away pretty well for my first four days of work. I still have some Rocks left over after I built my Fire Pit, and I have extra gold. I’ve accrued a nice heavy load of Cut Grass, Twigs and Logs. I’m rocking a Straw Hat, and wielding an Axe. Dark stubble is beginning to grow on my face.

Looking down at the map I’ve been updating constantly, I’m surrounded by very friendly territory.

Lots of basic mats and food to be found in the immediate vicinity of my camp. There are unexplored roads to follow, and I mustn’t forget about all those Golden Nuggets. They could really improve my comfort level early on, and they are in a Rocks-rich biome. Rocks are something I would have rather had a lot more of coming to camp, but I’ll trade it for my surplus of the basics. I haven’t found the Beefalo herd yet, and that’s going to stay on my list of top priorities. There is a nice spot along the coast close to camp that would make an ideal Evergreen farm, so that can make things more efficient whenever I’m looking for Logs or Charcoal. Also of note are two Wormholes that I found along my travels. I intend to jump into them when I have run out of road to follow, possibly by next post.

Next Up

So my goal for next Video Game post will again be five days of survival. I’ll get to dive into my mats and create a bunch of new gear, and continue to gather basics while I search the land for the Savannah and the Deciduous Forest biomes. Both hold important keys to success for the coming trials.

See ya next Tuesday, folks!

Judeway out!

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