So, first up, hi! I’ve been obsessed with the game for about a week now, and having a blast. I’ve been reading a bunch of various threads about this and haven’t yet seen this tip, so now I have a suggestion for if you’re having trouble surviving on your own. Was gonna put it in the tips and suggestions thing, but then I realized I’d written a novella. Oh well, new thread it is!
Grab a buddy and play Cataclysm DDA Multiplayer! Sorry, “multiplayer”. There’s a bit of a distinction. But how, Mij? Well, it’s easy with this 8 step process! But first, lemme explain a bit about what you’re getting:
The game has a persistent world and allows you to have multiple characters. The purpose of the persistent world is so if you wander into town and get murdered, your next character can come along and find your corpse along with all your stuff. But because you can have multiple characters, and the world is modified when you save any character, this means that you can totally make a character go grab some stuff and drop it in a pile, save, load another character and go pick up that pile.
Despite being a complete exploit for single player use, this has a wonderful side effect in that it lets us pretend the game is multiplayer in a kinda turn-based fashion. You take a turn, your buddy takes a turn. You never see the other character, but do you see their improvements on your base and your vehicles, and you get to watch as magically your piles of tins of beans turn into piles of empty cans. With me so far? Okay, on to the 8 step process! If you’re lazy or in a hurry, I’ve bolded the important parts of each step.
Make sure you’re using the same game version. This works with .1, haven’t tested it with .2 yet. Presumably you should also have the spawning option (static or classic) set the same, but I don’t know if it’ll make a difference. Probably won’t.
OPTIONAL: Make a new world for your buddy and you to explore! This will delete any saves you currently have, so making a backup of your current save folder might be a good idea. Alternately, you can choose to make a completely separate folder with a copy of the entire game, which is the option I’ve been using. Keeps everything nice and compartmentalized.
Make your character! The great thing here is you can choose to specialize in something. Wanna be the quirky hunter/mechanic who takes care of all the food and water prep, and spends off time working on the Raid Chopper Mk1? Or maybe you wanna be a sneaky scavenger type, quiet and stealthy, who makes nightly raids into the city to gather supplies? Discuss expectations with your buddy - or don’t and hash it out as you go along!
Play for a predetermined set of time. I like doing it in roughly 1 day increments. You could do a hard and fast rule on time frame, if you wanted, which would be useful for fidelity of tools and equipment. For example, if you can’t make it back in time for your buddy’s turn, then she might not have access to the desperately needed hacksaw and batteries you just looted, meaning you won’t have access to a nice fixed and/or upgraded deathmobile for you next day’s adventure. This puts a lot of pressure on small trips or communicating goals and expectations.
Save and quit, then send the save folder to your buddy. I like to use a combination of WinRAR and puush, but there are tons of ways to do this. Early games, with not a huge amount of exploration will be a under a meg. My current save on day 8 (where it took my person a 24 hour journey by car to get to my survival partner) is about 12 MB, or zipped 809 KB.
5b) OPTIONAL: just zip and send them the entire game folder. It’s not that big, honestly, so if you have high speed internet, you’re golden. If you do this, skip step 6.
Your buddy replaces their save folder (again, safest to set up a copy of the game, same version as you, which is reserved for multiplayer.
Buddy starts new character, then plays for predetermined amount of time.
Buddy saves and exits, then copies and transfers the save/game folder back to you!
Wow, I’m bad at organization. Oh well! Hopefully this is pretty clear anyway. Lemme know if you have any difficulties with steps in here. It’s worked fine for me, so maybe I can help troubleshoot. Again, this hasn’t been tested yet on the newest version, although it probably still works based on not seeing any announced features that would preclude it.
Finding your buddy:
This can be tricky. Sometimes you start in the same basic area. I made two characters on the same computer while doing initial testing with this, and they both started at the same evac shelter. They had different names, however the same skills. I’m not sure if that’s a determining factor for sure (based on small sample size of tests), but I can say that when my buddy and I tried this, when making character two on their computer, they kept spawning way the hell away from me. In fact, it would probably have taken three to four days to get to them on foot (a stolen car is a godsend) and that’s without actually knowing where they are.
If you’re lucky enough to start in the same evac shelter, this isn’t a concern for you. If not, here are a few methods you can use:
Have one person, doesn’t matter who, send the other person a screenshot of their map. Make sure to explore a decent bit during the day time, so you have a lot of notable terrain features to use. For me, it’s really helpful to have a good idea of the basic shape of the town you’re nearest, plus any of the more rare features, such as evac shelters, LMOE shelters, sewage treatment plants, mines, etc.
Start exploring! This can be slow. Like I’ve stated, in my current “multiplayer” game, our spawn locations were incredibly far apart. In fact, here, this is what it looks like: http://imgur.com/JUr9Epq
In this, the main terrain feature to help me find my buddy would be the river. If you can manage to notice some common features, bends in the river, etc, then you’ve got it made, but it does require both people actively exploring. There’s the constant threat that you’ll waste days going the wrong directions, sadly, but… hey, the apocalypse is hard, man.
- Roll a new character! I don’t have experience in how it saves things, so this might just bloat the size of your save folder. Dunno! Could use some further testing. But the gist of this tactic is to have player two make a new person, scout for terrain that player one fed them via screenshot or description, then Q the character if they’re not in the right place and try again with a new person.
One concern I have here, as mentioned previously, is that characters with the same skill set might just start in the same evac shelter. Again, I did not test this exhaustively (or at all! :D) but it’s worth mentioning that if you seem to see a lot of the same location with a few characters, try again with a different skill set!
If it turns out your save folder bloats from this method, one thing you can do is simply to revert the save folder with each attempt, to keep it “pure”. Or don’t do that, accept the massive file size, but gain the benefit of random piles of loot next to clones. Hell, that even falls in line with the thematic parts of the game. Just assume one of those teams of scientists managed to track down most, but not all of the escaped clones.
- Cheat! Be warned, this is Pandora’s box. The game is more fun for me without cheating, and it’s soooo tempting to use this thing. You have a few methods I know about to help you out, which will be kept in spoilers in case people don’t want to know how for whatever reason. will be displayed below because I can’t figure out how to use spoilers. Sorry folks!
To cheat, use the cheat console. It’s mapped to Z by default, but I think you can change it in the options.
4a) Check the map! Z -> 4 will reveal the map, if you then close the game, it will not save. Alternately, check it then just replace the save folder again before you actually head out there. If you check your buddy’s location screenshot, or look on their character, then check yours, you should be able to spot the place to head. Either map out a quick route to get there, or just gauge based on the general distance direction and figure it out on the fly. WARNING: this will totally show you where everything is, ruining some of the fun of exploration. Your call.
4b) Teleport! Z -> 3, then choose your destination. Point and click, basically. This probably requires you to check the map with the above step. In theory, you could teleport into unexplored squares without doing that, but it seems clunky and annoying. Both breaks realism and is inefficient. It does preserve a some of the exploration factor, but at the risk of taking forever to actually find your buddy. WARNING: when teleporting, it may look like you’ve pulled vehicles along with you and sudden your map is broken. Not so - the game just doesn’t update until you move out of the 12x12 submap.
4c) Check your grid coordinates! To do this, use Z -> 7.: Check game state… It tells you what location you’re at, with an image like this:
So, there’s some useful stuff here, but the part we want is the first line. It is, basically, x:y in XX:YY, where lower case is your local map, which you can see normally, and upper case is your over map, which you can access by default m key. I’m not at all knowledgeable about the map code, but maybe you can check this for further reading: [URL=http://imgur.com/DiEiotg]http://imgur.com/DiEiotg[/URL]
From basic experimentation, it shows me that x:y goes from 60-71, meaning its a tinymap with 12x12, before incrementing XX:YY is. XX:YY is our moneymaker. Heading east 12 tiles will increase XX, heading west will decrease it. Heading south 12 tiles will increase YY, heading north with decrease it. So, basically, If upper left of the map is XX:YY of 0:0, then heading directly southeast for 120 tiles will leave you at coordinates 10:10. Furthermore, for every two increments of XX:YY in a given direction, the m map will update your location.
So how do we use this?
- Z -> 7 at your destination. It’ll say "Location x:y in XX:YY, [description]. Make note of XX:YY.
- Z -> 7 at your location. It’ll say "Location x:y in XX:YY, [description]. Make note of XX:YY.
- Understanding that heading south or east increases XX or YY respectively, and heading north or west decreases, figure out how far you are from your destination. Take the larger number, subtract the small number from it. Divide that by two. This tells you how many tiles on the map screen (accessible by default key m) it takes to get to where you’re going.
- Write down directions, then head off in search of your buddy! Good luck!
Aaaand, there we have it! A weird hybrid of single player/multiplayer. Can you use this to cheat in single player? Sure! Should you? Eh, I’m not one to judge. It could be a lot of fun to make a few characters, for these purposes. Multiplayer in this fashion is definitely fun, although there is a lot of pressure on completing your turn quickly so the other person can get back to it.
I’m tired of typing so here’s some things in no particular order to watch out for:
This method of “multiplayer” will will totally work with more than two characters. Unless there’s a hard limit in the game, the limiting factors are how long you’re okay with not having a turn and how difficult you want the game to be. (having magical tools teleport into the base while you sleep much easier than having to find every damn thing yourself).
Food will decay twice as fast if stored on the ground. ~36 hours for meat is pretty short when your day takes 48+ hours. Since I’m the survivalist, cooking person, I find it helpful to make a bunch of food, then store only about a days worth in the meat pile for my buddy. The rest I hold on my person when I pass the save off. Annoying, but works.
Your dates/times will not match up between characters. This is helpful in making sure you’re playing for roughly the same times.
Current weather conditions and monster locations are specific to each character - not shared! I had a situation where my buddy told me about a bear outside the sewage plant we were holed up in, and asked my to take care of it. Wandered outside, saw no bear, shrugged and went on my way. When I passed the save back, I left the door open and they got mauled by the bear, which happily wandered in. Be warned!
Prediction from above: assuming there are no issues with the .2 version, using the static spawning means that each character will probably have to deal with their own zombie hoard. I’ll update this when I’ve got more info on it. Pacifist characters are still just as difficult with this method, for better or worse.
Skills are specific to each character. Sadly, my scientist buddy can’t install bionics in me with the same efficiency as she can upgrade herself. On the other hand, I do feel less guilty about save scumming for a successful install when I know I’ve got someone there who would be able to realistically upgrade me. YMMV.
Battery use will be ridiculous. Seriously. Ridiculous. Work together on resource expectations! If you have a big project you’d like to do, make sure to clear it with your buddy first! A town’s worth of batteries can be sucked up in a day by a single character, and when you have two or more? Not to mention you have to share bionics, mutagen, vehicles, engines, etc etc etc. That said, the ability to have two mechanics work together on a vehicle is pretty damn cool.
Did I miss anything? shrugs Anyway, I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried this, and what their adventures have been like! It’s been immensely fun for my buddy and me, and I have to say that I absolutely love this feature of the game, intended or not. It’s done wonders to keep me interested.
edit: Fixed a few spelling errors