So I got into Cataclysm a few months ago. Naturally, I was pretty terrible at the game. But after a bit I found a progression that tended to work however I set my game up. It was basically this:
Pre-Car: Getting a car working or raiding a school/mansion for books. Add bed to car. Live in car from now on.
Car (reading): Search for school or mansion to raid for books (if not done already). Find something with Kevlar from all the wreckage on the map. Get 6 Tailoring + 6 Fabrication.
Car (crafting): Make light survivor suit, boots, gloves and mask; survivor hood; survivor duster; survivor runner pack and survivor belt. Make a welding rig and put it on car. Cover car in solar panels from first solar car found. Move to RV or similar if one turns up on the road. This is around day 10, usually, and it’s the point that everything stops being threatening if I’m not stupid.
Labs: Use books to get 8+ on all skills I need. Raid labs for quantum panels, nukes, fusion blasters, guns, CBMs and manuals. Install all the CBMs. Get a torsion ratchet, get unified power system, convert light amp mp3 to UPS to have both forever. Pick a mutation tree and fill it - usually one of the melee animals.
Base: Clear a prison or other relatively fortified place. Use Q panels to set up power. Promise myself I’ll build furniture and individual crafting rooms. End up piling shit by category. Set up a forge and make a new sword. Base is token and functionally inferior to car. But NPCs can be left here without me feeling terrible.
Fuckaround: Clear cities by the sword, do mines, do temples, find nothing that threatens to overwhelm repair nanobots, pain dulling and survivor firesuit+boots (for the acid) barring things with big guns or bombs. Maybe try power armor if I find any. Get bored of playing a god and start over.
I always use melee. I always end up following these steps. I have my spawns at 1.5, cities of size 10, wander spawns and static spawns.
I’ve been trying to disrupt a couple habits of play but have been having issues with each, I’d like to know if you guys and gals have a different schemata to mine and how you might suggest disrupting these habits:
- City avoidance. Cities are fuckin’ packed early on if I put wander spawns on, even if I tone down my spawn value. Labs are a pushover even for starter characters as are mansions. Both have all the weapons and tools I need so I never go near the cities early. I like wander spawns because it validates securing any base I build - there’s a chance the defences will be tested - but all the advice on handling them in cities early game is to do what I’ve been doing; head off elsewhere. I did have a game where I lived in the subways and did night raids but getting that going isn’t something I think I could expect to manage regularly.
How might I play my early game in or near cities without relying on luck or a beefed up starter character? Do you have advice for settings that balance threat with achieve-ability when it comes to early game city engagement? Has my learning to live in the pushover woods simply prevented me from learning an effective method to dealing with cities on my settings?
- Light armor melee building. I keep trying to make bows work. Really. But even when I start with bow hunter, some points in bows and ranged and manage to get an arrow recipe book it seems like melee has both more staying bower and less timesinking into retrieving and crafting arrows. I’ve read a guide on archery, though it seemed to recommend a day of practice firing which seems super tedious. In melee I find a sword or a machete or a bat or whatever and start swinging at basic zeds. My skills seem to scale with my character’s place on my progression path. Ultimately, I can never seem to find the advantage bows have over melee. I mean, a lone zombie I can kit and never get hit (though the same can be said for spears) but whenever I have to deal with a few it seems like melee is more efficient; find a choke and start swinging.
How do I get into ranged use without excessive grinding? How do you do it? I’m also interested in what sort of equipment you’d shoot for armor and weapon-wise with a bow user.
Also, also. Is a heavy armor melee user a thing? The dodge malus from torso encumberance seems an okay tradeoff except that the survivor armor loadout I listed further up seems to have enough armor to soak everything but lots of bullets or brute and up hits. Sometimes I do the bear or cattle mutation and use XL gear when I go mad and try to live with the tedium of carless travel but that’s more of a necessity corner case. Do you do melee different to me? What does your melee loadout look like?
- Book dependency. I loathe grinding. I like exploring, planning a raid and dealing with threats. I’ve started taking fast reader and at least 14 INT on every character because I can gather books, food and water by doing the things I like. I can then turn all those things into skills. Lately I’ve been trying to ‘practice’ stuff to get skills up. I actually found making way too many bandanas, briefs and leg warmers not so different from book use. I found a similar thing with using soldering irons on things. I kinda like needing to hunt for specific tools to upskill early on. That’s felt less grindy and more explorey. But after maybe the 3rd rank in a skill it really does become a grind. Uninstalling and reinstalling parts, for example. Once I have my tools it’s just a grind.
Is that just a fact of higher skill progression? How do you reach the highest skills?
I think those are my major points. I’m really interested in how you like to play and build your characters. If you’ve taken the time to read all of this; thanks a bunch.
OH! Also, I actually still have no idea what a very high end weapon looks like. What are your preferred high end weapons? I usually use a machete, then whichever sword seems to have the best balance of damage and swing speed.