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Tips for new players (from a new player)


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Vintage Story is the best game I've encountered in a couple of years and after 125 hours of play over the last 3 weeks I've gathered some tips based upon my experience so far. I hope they're helpful.

For a first play-through when you're learning the game in your world generation options -

Set player health to max

Set enemy strength to 50%

Set keep inventory on death

Bump tin and copper deposits up a notch.

ProPick to 8

In the early game there is nothing worse than losing your first hard-won pickaxe and all your bags in some unmarked bush in the forest somewhere because you got one-shotted by a wolf you didn't see. With the above settings a single wolf will probably still kill a new player but it's much more 50/50. Save yourself that frustration with the above settings.

Enabling the prospecting picks' second mode will help you zero in on ores, otherwise you will be digging blind.

If you have copper but can't find the ingredients to make bronze dig up ruins to get the Bony Soil. Make a pan (log and knife in the crafting grid – where you put the knife decides whether you make a club or pan). Put the bony soil on the ground, stand in water then with the pan in hand right-click the bony soil to load the pan then right-click again to sift the material. You will find many things but you are after bits of bronze armour. Once you've found a piece of bronze armour you can break it into chunks/nuggets that you can smelt by putting it in your crafting grid with a copper chisel. One piece of bronze armour will give you enough material for two picks.

If you have a bronze pick but don't have bees yet you can still make lanterns. Again pan bony soil for candles then combine with 2 clear quartz from mining quartz deposits and a copper/bronze/etc plate to make your first lantern.

Never keep all your torches in a single stack, either in your active or off hand. If you're deep in a cave and fall into 2-deep water (or kneel in 1-deep water) your torches get extinguished and you get left in pitch-black darkness. Caves and most nights in Vintage Story are completely dark. If you lose your light source, you're drifter food.

Berries and meat have a very short self life. If you bake them in a pie you can massively extend their life. A slightly charred pie stored in a vessel in a cellar will last 40 days or so. I exclusively subsisted upon berry pies during my first winter. You will need a quern to grind grain into flour, a bucket or bowl of water to craft dough (water+flour in your crafting grid), a table upon which to build your pie (place dough onto table to start) and a clay oven to bake (made from fire clay). Once baked, place it on a surface and use a knife to slice it into edible pieces.

The Helve Hammer is amazing! Build one! Do it now! Do you want a full set of iron plate armour? That's 20+ iron plates or 40+ iron ingots. Do you want to manually beat 40 iron blooms into ingots then beat 20 iron plates after that just to make the chainmail for your fancy armour? No. The helve hammer can beat ingots and plates for you. The helve hammers' super-power is in teleporting a single voxel where it needs to be in a single strike. Your super-power is in moving lots of voxels at once. Combined you can spit out ingots and plates in no-time. Put blooms on the hammers' anvil and knock off the slag for it. Put ingots on the hammers' anvil, select plate, place the second ingot then smash the mass mostly flat with a few heavy hits and let the helve hammer clean up the mess. Easy.

2-deep pits and trenches are a great passive way of getting meat and keeping drifters under control. You don't have to chase rabbits if they can't run away and drifters down a hole can be ignored.

Keep an eye out out for sedimentary areas (sandstone, claystone, limestone etc) because they will have resources that granite/andesite areas will not have (coal, lime for leather etc)

You can fertilise your farmland with saltpetre (from caves), bonemeal (grind up bones in a quern) and compost (fill a barrel with rot and seal). The fruitpress is probably the best way to generate lots of rot (from dry fruit mash).

Please add more tips if you know of any more. I'm a new player and only know a few.

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I just remembered one. You can use a pit kiln as a fireplace in your home during the winter. It burns all day for next to no fuel, steadily produces crocks and tiles throughout the winter and looks really cozy if you have a decorative fireplace around it. My pit kiln fireplace saved me twice though the winter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel like as a new player this game could use a lot in the area of not pushing people away from it. Spending all day playing the game and just re-creating worlds trying to find enough berries to make it past day 2's starvation and death is just...not fun.
And then you throw in being insta-shotted by everything that is around you as soon as you spawn.

want to like the game so bad because it looks so cool but damn does it do everything to turn me away, especially needing to be on the wiki the entire time: or guides or tutorials. The game should be intuitive enough that people can pick it up and play, even if it is hard/tedious or requires trial and error/learning as they play from the player.

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10 hours ago, imperialwaltz said:

Spending all day playing the game and just re-creating worlds trying to find enough berries to make it past day 2's starvation and death is just...not fun.
And then you throw in being insta-shotted by everything that is around you as soon as you spawn.

My recommendation is to start with Exploration mode and change the walk speed to "normal".
And if you keep making new worlds because you have problems (not really a solution anyway, because the spawn area is normally not really the problem - just play and explore more, you shouldn't really stay in the spawn area anyway, unless you really like it for some reason), try changing the settings for the next world.
Problems with starving? Change your hunger rate and/or food spoilage rate, until you know what you're doing. Monsters/animals killing you too often? Change creature hostility to "passive" or "never hostile" and/or lower the creature strength, until you know what you're doing. You feel like you just need a few more days before drifters appear? Change the grace timer to up to 10 days for a smoother start. Just want more HP? Change it. And so on. Give yourself time to learn things. Don't force yourself to play "Standard" just because it is called that way. The game has so many settings - use them!

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9 hours ago, junawood said:

My recommendation is to start with Exploration mode and change the walk speed to "normal".
And if you keep making new worlds because you have problems (not really a solution anyway, because the spawn area is normally not really the problem - just play and explore more, you shouldn't really stay in the spawn area anyway, unless you really like it for some reason), try changing the settings for the next world.
Problems with starving? Change your hunger rate and/or food spoilage rate, until you know what you're doing. Monsters/animals killing you too often? Change creature hostility to "passive" or "never hostile" and/or lower the creature strength, until you know what you're doing. You feel like you just need a few more days before drifters appear? Change the grace timer to up to 10 days for a smoother start. Just want more HP? Change it. And so on. Give yourself time to learn things. Don't force yourself to play "Standard" just because it is called that way. The game has so many settings - use them!

If the solution is to change every setting in the game to make it playable; I'm not sure that's much of one. And there doesn't seem to be a "increase berry bushel" option.

It's very jarring coming from every other survival game under the sun to this one where RNG seems to be the biggest source of frustration or just blatantly creates an impassable wall where I simply cannot find enough gatherables before succumbing to starvation and death, or they're spread so far all I'm doing is just running around looking for food because I'm always hungry.

You may not be new; but this is the new player experience. I think that's worth talking about rather than sweeping under the rug?

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On 6/24/2022 at 7:10 PM, imperialwaltz said:

If the solution is to change every setting in the game to make it playable; I'm not sure that's much of one. And there doesn't seem to be a "increase berry bushel" option.

It's very jarring coming from every other survival game under the sun to this one where RNG seems to be the biggest source of frustration or just blatantly creates an impassable wall where I simply cannot find enough gatherables before succumbing to starvation and death, or they're spread so far all I'm doing is just running around looking for food because I'm always hungry.

You may not be new; but this is the new player experience. I think that's worth talking about rather than sweeping under the rug?

As a relatively new player myself, I don't really think food is all that rare. If you're only looking for berry bushes that's one thing but unless you chose to spawn in a hotter/colder climate you shouldn't have any issues finding plants dotted around like turnips/carrots/grains etc... which should keep you sustained fairly easily until you get a basic farm set up.

I understand that as a brand new player it may be hard to recognize some of those plants (particularly grains like flax, rye and wheat) but even then unless you spawned on a very crappy seed or just aren't looking for anything other than berries food should not be a problem until winter at the earliest.

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On 6/25/2022 at 9:23 PM, Caramel_Guy said:

As a relatively new player myself, I don't really think food is all that rare. If you're only looking for berry bushes that's one thing but unless you chose to spawn in a hotter/colder climate you shouldn't have any issues finding plants dotted around like turnips/carrots/grains etc... which should keep you sustained fairly easily until you get a basic farm set up.

I understand that as a brand new player it may be hard to recognize some of those plants (particularly grains like flax, rye and wheat) but even then unless you spawned on a very crappy seed or just aren't looking for anything other than berries food should not be a problem until winter at the earliest.

In general I agree, but if they selected black guard for their class, the hunger penalty can make an ordinarily normal start pretty hard. 

@imperialwaltzThere's options to reduce the base hunger rate which can in essence "increase" sustenance from berries (as well as other foods).  It's kind of a back door way to increase the benefit of food.  There's a lot of options for the world and that's part of why I prefer VS over other survival games.  I can make the game as fun as I want while others can adjust it to do the same for them.  I'm not good with combat and ease up on the difficulty there but make other things a bit harder to keep the challenge high; but that's what makes it fun for me.  Others are excellent at combat and most other aspects of the game and there's setting adjustments that they can use to cater to them.

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/24/2022 at 4:10 PM, imperialwaltz said:

If the solution is to change every setting in the game to make it playable; I'm not sure that's much of one. And there doesn't seem to be a "increase berry bushel" option.

It's very jarring coming from every other survival game under the sun to this one where RNG seems to be the biggest source of frustration or just blatantly creates an impassable wall where I simply cannot find enough gatherables before succumbing to starvation and death, or they're spread so far all I'm doing is just running around looking for food because I'm always hungry.

You may not be new; but this is the new player experience. I think that's worth talking about rather than sweeping under the rug?

I struggled with food a lot as a new player as well. The game is tough, especially in the first few days as you have to both learn the core mechanics *and* survive.

A couple of tricks I learned:

Biomes are important. Each has its own quirks. Some are more plentiful than others, and may be harder to start out in. You may have to travel a bit to find the best place to settle but survival should be possible in most/all of them.

The areas with lots of water tend to have a few cranberry bushes and a lot of cattails. If you are desperate, head for a big lake, gather firewood and cattail roots and use the area as a semipermanent campsite.

Meadows may have a lot of berries. They will also have a lot of other plants.

You can actually see the different plants as different colors on your map, allowing you to head to bushes and crops directly instead of wandering aimlessly hoping to find them. 

Forests and rocky areas tend to have less vegetable and berry food. Check mushrooms to make sure they will not kill you. They tell you how much damage is done.

If you are grabbing berry bushes only grab the ones with 8+ days to bloom left. Grab them after you take the berries if possible. This ensures that you dont remove all the berries on day one. If a bush has 3 days to produce berries, let it produce the berry in 3 days. I grabbed all the berry bushed on my first and second world and spent the first week starving. 

Cattail roots are not great but can keep you alive if you don't have berries. I grab a bunch to plant near me when I finally settle down. Cattail roots do not go bad, far as I can tell. If you settle near a pond you can plant them next to you for easy reed access and emergency food. Downside is you have to cook them.

If you can't find berries you may be forced to hunt early on.

Meat in a cookfire isnt great, and you definitely want to fast track learning to make cooked meals but its better than berries. 

Real meals requires pottery, which takes a couple of days to prepare. Make at least a cook pot and 4 bowls when you settle down. 

Big animals will murder you. Small animals are hard to hit. But there are tactics to help. 

Rabbits are attracted to crops so I set up my first garden next to a pond. The rabbits flee into the water when they see me and give me time to throw spears at them. The water slows them down. 

(Above pit trap method may be better but I have not tried it)

Ponds may hold fish which are really easy to spear if the pond is small (ie, nowhere for them to escape). I keep 3 spears, and throw the first two. Larger ponds are also good for escaping wolves. Throw spears, swim around the enemy. Keep a spear in reserve. Throw from above, stab from below (but not directly under them, they can dive to attack).

Fighting big animals is a risk. Throw spears from a distance and flee if they charge you. The animals do way too much damage in my opinion. Not balanced for stone age- so avoid confrontations. If you can hit them from a place they can't hit you, do it.

Keep fat if you can, its used in crafting and storing food for the winter. But if you need food, fat is worth 2-3 berries and doesnt need to be cooked. Its found more often on larger animals though. 

You can make healing items with the asparagus looking plant found in pine forests. Don't wander around on low health.  Wolf and ram can kill you in 2 hits.

Don't fight the monsters at first. They rarely drop loot and aren't worth it. Dirt makes decent walls though. I like to have a backup hut in case they spawn in my base.

Emergency supply hut near spawn may allow you to survive the night after dying. (Havnt actually tried this yet). Campfire and some cattail roots with fuel stored there. Cattail roots do not expire.

You can put a torch in your left hand and that lets you see at night. You need this to identify blocks when its dark.

F6 is minimap. B (or v?) Toggles description of the block in front of you.

Press H to view the in game resources instead of alt tabbing for the wiki. Unless you want to stop time while you browse for info, which is valid.

You can open you map and place a marker after you die, but before you respawn. That helps a lot. Stuff despawns in 10 minutes so don't spent an hour looking for it like I did.

The problem with restarting on a new world is that you aren't learning from it. 

Dieing isn't game over, its a chance to use the knowledge gained from your past life experiences. 

I restart when I want to see how much I've learned since I started the world. I'm on world 6 or so and feel confident I can survive the first week now... though its no guarantee. (did I mention wlves do 8 dmg and you start with 15 HP?)

Press c for character stats.

As Maelstrom said, try playing something other than blackgaurd. Hunter might be a good option for the first world because you can make crude bows. I assume you regret it when you try and get ore though. 

Also, if you can find friends to play with, that might help a lot. (Mine wouldn't let me join their world until I hit copper age,  lol)

 

I restarted a few times out of stubbornness or when I died too many times and wanted a change. In the end, the standard settings are a pretty intense survival game. Even if you do not like changing settings of the game, you still have several modes to choose from. If you don't want a hardcore experience while learning to survive, try exploration mode while you learn the basics. Its ok if survival mode is not for you.

Oh, and fun fact: you can bounce stones off the floor so that they fall down and hit the target at the base of your wall. But the stones can bounce and hit you too. I recommend standing on the block next to the top of the wall to try this. I have to jump to throw spear straight down without hitting myself. Still working on how to do murderholes with these physics.

(This isnt a good fighting strategy, but might save your life if the monsters wont leave)

The drifters barely drop loot. I got my first gear by panning sand. Second by killing a fancy drifter after a light storm. Avoid them unless you need string or have the gear to make the fight fair. (I fight for fun no judgement here, just little profit with stone tools.)

Edited by Gorm
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