The Long Dark (aka Gah...Wolves!)


I live up in the Sierras most of the year and last weekend we had a blizzard (15" of snow in the flattest spots, drifts over two feet). This inspired me to fire up post-redux story mode this week. It is indeed much improved. I’ve just made it to the part of chapter 2 where you need to repair the boar spear and the extra characters and voice over make a real difference.

Also since everyone who has played this game has probably spent an inordinate amount of time watching virtual hares hop across the screen, for comparison here’s a real one from the security camera on my road.

I’m on the edge of the wilderness so there are hares, and bears (but no wolves, just coyotes) passing through my property and in front of the camera on a regular basis. I can’t help but look at this now and not mentally line up a shot.




Also, throw some rocks!



Or, if you’re going to shoot one, make sure you shoot as the sight of your rifle hits the top of the circle you inevitable move your arms in.



I played this a bit awhile back but didn’t really “get” it. Is there any way to actually, you know, survive? Or is it really just how long you can go before you drop dead? I was having a hard time finding any motivation to do… much of anything really. It also bothered me a fair bit that your character would rather freeze to death than be bored (i.e. the cabin fever mechanic).

Anyway, trying to figure out if I’m missing something (seems likely!) or if it’s just not for me.



Eh, if it bores you, it bores you. I can certainly understand how some people wouldn’t click with it. It’s a walking simulator in the worst way really. I’ve had characters that survived for a very long time, once you get to a certain threshold of gear and supplies, especially once you get to where you can fish and trap well, I’m pretty convinced I could go on forever.

I would say try the challenges, they will give you some kind of focus and something to shoot for. The one where you have to retrieve the flare gun is particularly good. If you don’t get something out of that, uninstall and forget about the game.



What @Ultrazen said. Spot on. And people have survived for a thousand days in the game, but then it becomes a matter of attrition at that point, when you run out of wood, leather, matches, etc for the basics of life.

I also really like the harder modes. I am playing a stalker run right now, and am on Day 58 I think? This is when things start to get interesting because he number of wolves keeps going up, while the number of other things keeps going down.

And if wolves aren’t your thing, there’s interloper mode, which is basically the same game but with very very few man made items. You literally have to live off the land, and each day it gets just a bit colder…



I wasn’t aware of these alternate modes being discussed, and that definitely sounds like it might be more my speed. Thank you (and Fozzle) for the thoughtful response!



Yeah, the challenge modes have a terminus point where either you succeed or fail, and are not just “See how long you can survive.”



Motivated by all the snow/ice/wind here, I finally tried this game out this weekend and failed miserably. I was playing the story mode on medium difficulty and did not get very far before I kept dying repeatedly. I am sure I looked ridiculous as well, hurling stones at scampering rabbits in a futile attempt to avoid my untimely death. :)

In addition, the visual effects when you are very weak were giving me intense motion sickness, which is normally not an issue for me with games. I didn’t see any way to tone them down. I was getting a Firewatch vibe so I would at least like to play through the story mode. Maybe I should just crank it down to easy level? I feel so ashamed.



The rocks and rabbits thing that the story mode forces you into early remains one of the worst design decisions in the entire game. And it’s sitting there, in the first half hour-hour of play. It’s a shame, because to me it feels like something that can be very frustrating and off-putting to new players, before they get a feel for all the stuff that makes this such a great game.

In survival and challenge modes, you’ll resort to chucking rocks at rabbits much later on, after you’ve gotten a chance to up your supplies and find some fairly permanent shelter and really let the game get its hooks into you.



I too failed miserably multiple times. I leaned on knowledge from this -fantastic- survival school series on YouTube by Hadrian:



You don’t have to kill rabbits with stones and I don’t recall feeling like the game was forcing me to kill them before moving on. Maybe that’s because I’ve played before and know that a) it’s f*&^ing hard to kill a rabbit with a stone and b) you probably don’t need rabbit meat or hide yet so why waste time? I can see where it could be confusing for new players tho and the game has a habit of not explaining things well.



Just wanted to echo this. In story mode searching homes will yield more food that you can use early on. Being able to bag a rabbit is a nice bonus on your travels so take opportunities to practice, but your life doesn’t depend on it. Rabbits barely give enough calories to justify spending a lot of time trying to hunt them.

My main rabbit stoning tip is to go around and get in front of the rabbit. I like to have them coming towards me at an angle (dead ahead presents a smaller target).



Yeah, the text in the story makes it feel like it is tutorially necessary to stone those rabbits, which is going to hang players up as they stand outside there freezing hurling rocks at the bunnies.



Yah the timing of when they bring up the rabbits thing is horrible. People are conditioned to think, that in an early phase/tutorial, ‘this is what the game wants me to do now’. When this is introduced, is probably the worst time you can stop to fiddle with this.

I also still think that story mode, is the worst way to learn the game, and the least compelling part of the game.



Yup, I was thinking it was weird to do this so early in Will’s story of survival where, as mentioned above by @Thrag, the town of Milton is just down the hill and loaded with food and clothing.



Thanks for the tips. That was me, freezing to death while chasing rabbits like a moron because I thought that was required. I figured the story mode would introduce me to the basics at the beginning, but clearly I need to rethink my approach. I will regroup and try again, though the vertigo-inducing visual effects may be a dealbreaker unless it is easy enough to avoid that weakened state during regular gameplay.



Typically when I get in that state, if I can’t remedy it very quickly it’s a death spiral anyway. I don’t think I’ve ever had to run around for any period of time more than a few minutes in that state and gotten it back. And I get the hurls badly, and and definitely when this happens.



That certainly makes me feel hopeful about giving the game another shot. Amazing how effective that hurl mode is, damn. Maybe I will skip the story mode or just play it on easy as an introduction before trying the survival mode.

That was helpful, thanks!



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