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


I will say this about the UI switch: it took me an hour of playing to get used to it, just because I was pretty Stockholm Syndromed into the older UI (which wasn’t game-breakingly terrible, just a little clunky).

After relearning some things, I started to appreciate the HUD notifications, though. And yeah, the graphical stuff is neat. Whole build is definitely an upgrade in polish for final release.

The alpha build for Faithful Cartographer goes into official EA channel sometime this week, I believe. The save wipe apparently happens by Wednesday/Thursday.


Eh for me, the UI is still a bit of a weird/clunkfest, at least I was used to the old clunkfest and it had disappeared. I can get used to all the new stuff without much problem, but the having to hold down a button now to search just drives me ()&(&) bonkers. It was awesome before, because everything in the game was just click. You didn’t have to think about it, and it helped the interface to vanish. Now, some things will activate with a click, and some things you have to hold, and invariably I mix them up while trying to pay attention to other things at the same time.

It’s one of those things that on the surface seems like a very small thing, but given how much you search in this game, doing that over and over just adds a level a tediousness to the game that is completely unnecessary. I dunno, it just completely takes me out of the game for some reason, and I’m just constantly reminded now that I’m playing a video game, whereas before I could really just be in the game world.


New build is now pushed to the masses. I really do like it. Seems to have added a bit more difficulty to the non-Pilgrim levels of difficulty. Some good lighting balance too. (The first few iterations of this build had it turning impossibly dark in your cabin/shelter/whatever too early in the afternoon, and staying dark too late at night.)


Sonky is out of town for the weekend. I might try to give this a go as I’ve never played it. I guess I could stream my fumbling.


Let me know if you do!


I picked this up today on a bit of a whim and I’m really quite pleased at how well this is clicking with me after two hours. The art direction and audio design is incredible, and I’m digging the lack of combat.


I managed to make it three days on my first attempt, but had much less luck on my two subsequent tries. I’m starting to get the feeling that I need to know beforehand safe places to make a beeline to before I begin–is that about right?


The mapping mechanic makes it so that you don’t necessarily have to refer to an outside source for that info as much anymore. Grab charcoal from a wood-burning stove and equip and use it. At that point it becomes a bit like a roguelike, a little. “I got a bunch of locations for shelter at Mystery Lake or Coastal Highway mapped before I died the first two times, so now I have a little bit better notion of where to steer my third character to.” That sort of thing.

Other than that, follow some basic survival tenets. Following water or railroad tracks is usually good. Look for signs of civilization, and even chopped down trees is a sign of that–maybe an abandoned logging camp is nearby.

Today while watching McMaster’s stream, I learned that one tried-and-true location on the first map at Mystery Lake has been demolished. So they’ve also been changing up the maps somewhat.


The things that The Long Dark do that make it great seem gob-smackingly obvious, but I guess they’re not.

TLD recognizes that cold is (ha ha) a matter of degrees. 25 degrees F is different from 12 degrees F, and both of those are markedly different from -10 degrees F.

And the game also knows that the wind can be just as nasty (and just as much a killer when it’s cold enough) and models that.

The game also knows that building a fire in a survival setting isn’t the same thing every time. If you’re building a fire with sticks and logs and a book of matches…well, good luck. Making tinder plugs of old newspaper, using an otherwise unuseful book as kindling, having a fire-striker…these all make something as simple as building a fire into a variable process that creates interesting decisions of conserving scarce resources for the player.


I had no idea about any mapping mechanic! I’ll give that a shot tonight. The first time through, I found the Camp Office right away, which served as a nice base and probably contributed greatly to my survival. The other times, it’s felt like I’ve wandered the wilderness for much longer without finding indoor shelter.

Barely it all the way up the mountain with the tower as the sun set only to discover things were in ruins with little in the way of supplies was one of the more heartbreaking (if memorable) gaming experiences as of late.


[quote=“triggercut, post:88, topic:75578, full:true”]Today while watching McMaster’s stream, I learned that one tried-and-true location on the first map at Mystery Lake has been demolished. So they’ve also been changing up the maps somewhat.

I discovered last night that it’s random! That place was back and had all the old crap in it. I like this game more and more!


I’ll have to try the game again once it’s released. Sadly I used my free game preview of this on Xbox One when it first came out.

The one thing I personally thought the game needed the most is something to give it warmth from a character point of view. I haven’t played Firewatch, but from the trailer, I love the idea of a voice on the radio talking to you as you make your way through the wilderness. Now, I know that’s probably all scripted in Firewatch, but if you could have a voice on the radio who tries to talk to you and encourage you to stay alive in The Long Dark, I think that would be a really cool addition to the game.


They’re releasing a Story Mode in August that should have a lot of that in it, I believe. They’ve added some flavor text your character will say to break up the silence.


I discovered last night that it’s random! That place was back and had all the old crap in it. I like this game more and more!

Now that’s cool. I know other stuff, like gear placement in locations, is also random.

So here’s something that’s just cool about The Long Dark, and the location we’re talking about.

There’s a tall firewatch tower on top of a mountain in Mystery Lake. If it’s not demolished, the tower has a stove, beds, and all the amenities you could want.

But…it’s a lousy place to hole up. Why?

Well, getting up that mountainside, even with a trail, takes a while. And as you go up, the wind just howls. You get colder. And then inside that firewatch tower at the top, you discover that not all structures are created equal. This one’s actually kind of flimsy. The windows rattle with the gusts of wind…and it really doesn’t do much to keep the cold out. It’s fine as an emergency shelter if you need it, but mostly it’s a place to raid for supplies and leave alone.


This game - I can’t bring myself to play it again. It’s 96F outside here now, and I shivered reading that. I do have the A/C on, but still.

Yeah, you could be talking to your wife, who is back in Florida:

Wife: “Hang in there, honey. I know you can make it.”
You: “I-I think I see a sh-shack up ahead. I’m not sure.”
Wife: “Well, call me back if you do find shelter.”
You: “You’re hanging up?”
Wife: “Yeah, neighbor Bob is taking me and the kids down to the beach today.”


Map knowledge is pretty much essential if you start playing stalker, and especially interloper. Wondering around not knowing where you are becomes much more punishing on the higher difficulty levels. The mapping thing is handy, but to me, one of the best parts of the game, was getting to know areas like you would in the real world. Every subsequent failure/death wasn’t usually completely futile, as you gained some knowledge. This becomes especially important when you start doing some of the challenges that make you trek across multiple maps with a time limit ticking.

It’s also possible to sustain for quite a while once you get into things like fishing and traps, and get some skill in them. There’s a natural transition away from foraging and into sustainable living that the game does really well I think. There’s only so much stuff you’re going to find lying around in the world etc.

At any rate, amazing game. My favorite game of the year so far by a big margin.


The randomness of that location is actually the same for several areas throughout the game. Sometimes cabins will be intact… sometimes they are not. It’s all as random as the location of supplies and objects. Makes for some replayability.


That could be the funniest mod.


This comes out of EA on Tuesday, with the launch of story mode.

Concurrent with that, the developers warn that if you’re playing an endurance sandbox game, if you or your stuff is holed up in any of the cabins or the camp office or the hydro dam in Mystery Lake that you need to clear you and your stuff outta there to some other location.

Guessing those locations are critical spots in the story mode patch.


I’ve got a couple hundred hours into this already, looking forward to story mode!!