Hello all, and welcome to the thread for my challenge game. I love Cataclysm: DDA, and I like all of the additions added to the game in recent months, but I feel in some ways that the game has grown from “hardcore survival in a zombie-infested world” to “tense survival until you find a loot-filled basement and then you’re basically invincible until you blow yourself up or crash your car or get within range of a turret”. Especially for veteran players who know how the game works, it can be quite easy to set up an excellent base of operations and a decent stockpile of supplies before the dawn of the first day.
So in an effort to get back that feeling of intense survival back for myself, I’ve started several games with item spawn set to 0.01, and I think you should, too.
Now just to be clear: 0.01 means almost no items appear in the game. 95% of the time you look through a house or a shop, there will be absolutely no items anywhere inside. Basements are no longer excellent sources of game-breaking quantities of guns, ammo, medical supplies or food… you may find a can of beans or a small box of rounds your current peashooter doesn’t even take. Groups of dead people will often be carrying nothing more useful than the clothes on their backs (give or take an ID card and an extra pair of pants). Vending machines may have, like 1 bag of pretzels and that’s it. This is not a challenge for the faint of heart or the easily frustrated. That said, here are the basic rules of the challenge:
[center]THE ROAD: CATACLYSM DDA EDITION[/center]
[spoiler=Da Rules]-Set item spawn to 0.01. This is mandatory, and the backbone of the entire challenge.
-I highly recommend you turn down the enemy spawn rate, as well. Playing on 1.0 spawn I found that it became too easy to get supplies dropped by dead enemies. 0.5 spawn rate keeps a good amount of zombies in the game while not risking turning them from enemies into loot piñatas.
-Static NPCs should be off, Random NPCs should be on. Why? To add extra FUN of course, and because on the off-chance that you get a companion, your item-less journey through the apocalypse is a lot less lonely, and the grab bag of loot carried by NPCs can be a great help should you find one that experienced an untimely end. And depending on your trait choices, their physical bodies can be a great source of sustenance for you. Static ones are turned off because the entire point of this game is that you should never be sure where your next useful item (or meal) comes from. As a fun fact: Makayla “Lighter Girl” Sanchez was met in a game playing by this ruleset so who knows? You may meet an NPC as awesome as her in your own game.
-Set city size to something fairly small: 4 at the absolute maximum.
-Optional: Start as a Shower Victim to complete the experience of sheer deprivation. Jobs with substance addictions could be FUN too, but could really kick you in the ass once your initial supply of drugs or booze runs out.
-Optional: Start as a Randomized character.
-If you find yourself in a nearly impossible situation, I implore you to not give up and Q/Y/Y. As I’ve found by necessity, characters will usually. survive a lot longer than you think they will in a given situation. For example, I found myself attacked by a pack of no fewer than 10 triffids and fungal fighters on an old 0.01 character armed with a nail bat. By the end of the battle I was “Completely Paralyzed” from venom, none of my base stats were higher than 4 due to the pain, my torso was at : and I was running for my life (at a snail’s pace) from impending horde of triffids chasing my poor ravaged body, and I had left a shopping cart containing most of my meager supplies behind out of a necessity to run faster. But RNG be damned, I was ALIVE.
-The challenge is completed whenever you decide it’s completed. Survive for a certain amount of time, adventure until you acquire a vibrator or something, reach a mutation threshold, collect a certain amount of supplies, or whenever you think it’s most poetically significant to end your journey of pain and misery.
Every other option can be customized to your liking, as well. For your first run you may want to consider turning on Classic Zombies just to make things a bit easier.[/spoiler]
If you like the idea of this challenge, I encourage you to boot up a character and give it a try! Share your stories, experiences, frustrations, and brutal brutal deaths in this thread and share them with other players!
Unless you don’t think you can hack it, in which case you can sit in your room and polish your diamond katana some more.
-If you’re allowing yourself to customize your character, there is no shame in taking the “cheap” traits like Forgetful with skill rust off. Also, taking the food intolerance traits may be prudent because you aren’t going to be finding a lot of food lying around anyway.
-Disease Resistant. Take it. You will probably get a cold anyway from eating nothing but meat and water, and getting a disease on 0.01 item spawn is a massive, MASSIVE pain in the ass (and throat).
-You may want to set your Intelligence to the minimum if you have skill rust off, and also consider taking Illiterate. You probably won’t find many books anyway, and the skill gains are surely not worth the time it takes to read them.
-Fast Learner is good for getting your skills up quicker through practice, Fast Healer is good for surviving another day.
-Being a Light Eater may just save your life.
-Because almost no items will spawn on their own, scripted items like the ones you get from smashing furniture are your best friends. This is explained in more detail in the Cheat Sheet.
-Skills you should prioritize leveling for this challenge include Tailoring and Survival, as well as your combat skill of choice.
Clicking the below spoiler will teach you my acquired knowledge of 0.01 survival, from what to do in your first few hours of the game and how to acquire substitutes for the tools you need to survive. Click below only if you’re frustrated or don’t care about being spoiled a bit, but I implore you to at least try to play and figure some of this stuff out for yourself. That being said:
[spoiler=Do you want to see what’s inside?]
[spoiler=It’s a secret to everybody]
[spoiler=Okay, last warning!]
This guide will assume you start as a Shower Victim with no skills and about average traits.
- Wherever you spawn, smash something for a 2x4, then smash something metal to get a pipe. This will be the best weapon you have at the moment.
- One thing I always took for granted in regular playthroughs: the usefulness of a plain old Rock at the beginning of the game. It’s a tool used for so many recipes, and with 0.01 rocks almost never spawn in fields by the bucket like they used to. So the next thing to do is to smash a sink or bathtub or something and grab a rock from there. You can turn your pipe into a makeshift crowbar now, or grab a 2x4 and some nails and craft a nail board for an even better weapon.
- Make a Stone Knife. Knives are useful, and while a Stone knife isn’t good for fighting at all, it’s acceptable as a tool.
- Before hunger and thirst start to set in, you need some Survival and Tailoring skills or you won’t be able to feed yourself. Kill a zombie or two, grab all their clothes, tear a window curtain down, rip it up into rags and start practicing sewing. You’ll ruin a lot of clothes this way but it will be worth it. If you find any good armor like steeltoed boots or a trenchcoat, hold off on sewing them until you get to 3 or 4 tailoring skill, so you have a much better chance of repairing them rather than wrecking them. /e/xamine underbrush and butcher corpses until your Survival skill is at 2: you may find some tasty veggies or other useful things in the process.
- Another thing I took for granted: gear for boiling water. Never, ever, ever drink dirty water in 0.01. The water you lose from vomiting is much greater than drinking the water gave you, and the illness will slow your movement down as well. Cooking meat is easy enough with a wood skewer (cut up a stick or something with your knife), but you’ll need either an empty can or a pot to cook in. You can craft a stone pot with Level 2 Survival and Level 1 Cooking, so the sooner you get those skills to where they need to be, the better. The stone pot is 10 volume and a pain in the ass to lug around, but until you get super-lucky and find a frying pan or something it’s your lifeline to clean, safe water, so get used to it.
- Speaking of water, there’s also the issue of where to store it. You probably won’t find a bottle. Craft a waterskin of the largest size you can manage: this is another reason to get your tailoring and survival skills up. Once you’ve got everything, start boiling some delicious toilet water and thank me when you take your first sip of it.
- Waste nothing. If you can’t think of a better use for it, it can always be used to keep your fire lit for a little bit longer.
- For extra fun, remember where all of the parts for your equipment came from. It always makes me smile to realize my “stone fireplace” is actually made of smashed toilets and bathtubs, and that I converted the parts from an armchair into a Quarterstaff of Zombear Crushing +4.
- Medicine will be your biggest problem. Trade with NPCs and cook up as many drugs as you can, but if your wounds get infected you probably won’t survive if you haven’t found antibiotics yet. Such is life in the zombie apocalypse.[/spoiler][/spoiler][/spoiler]