Noob here!


Hello there folks, I started playing Cataclysm a few days ago, I tried it long ago
but didn’t really get into it. This time I did, but seeing how horribly and unpredictably
crashy it was, I’ve decided to switch to this branch which at least is alive, even if it
has some stuff I don’t like. Like feeling as if Lugonu was toying with my mind the first
time I tried to steer a vehicle. I’m going to stay clear of them for some time I think.

First wail: You all talk of firearms, buildings things… Excuse me, how does one get
any far into the game? The amount of nasty monsters right away from the start
is forbidding.

Last game:

I managed to loot a couple of military surplus during the first hours, lots of food and
useful survival gear get back to the shelter, dig some pits to slow access to it around a door
just in case, and taught myself Construction 1 and First Aid 1. Night came, and I went to loot
a house. Got some cigarettes (phew) and a couple useful items too. I managed to make a
silent exit out the house just as zombies were getting in, left them thrashing the house
wondering where the walking food was, and started my trek back to the shelter.

Midway back to the shelter, enter a Bear. Bye-bye, character. I never even learned his name.
I don’t think a starting character can either kill or run away from a bear. So if there’s a bear
around, it’s going to kill you, probably sooner rather than later.

Zombies spawn from apparently safe directions too, and specials start spawning right away,
with other characters, I’ve seen a smoker zombie (well, that one at first I didn’t see), a
lightning zombie and a spitter zombie all together as the first enemies I faced.

There’s some troll back at the vanilla cataclysm forum raging about how DDA is “too easy”.
I really don’t know what the f*ck is he talking about.

Tips and advice, please.

Cataclysm is a game that seams stupidly hard at first but as you play more gets easier and easier, I couldn’t even begin to list all the strategies, but go and read “tips tricks and noob questions” its not that long and mostly full of helpful hints. (Some of which may not longer apply because of static spawn where all monsters spawn at the beginning).

A few quick hints:

  1. one tile windows can be used as good strong points for combat, hit the zeds as they climb through
  2. if on static spawn go slowly and lurk round the outskirts, running into the center is asking for a hulk to kill you

To answer your specific case, it is quite possible for a starting character to kill a bear (throwing rocks is surprisingly effective), but it’s true that they’re better left alone at first. Avoid running around at night, you won’t see a thing and therefore can’t avoid threats (but most threats can hear/smell you).

I personally avoid doing anything that is too time consuming, like digging pits, until I have a safe supply of food and water. In fact I never really use pits.

Using slow terrain to get an advantage works, but really what you want is to be able to attack things at a range, which is why throwing rocks is a good early strategy (for hunting too), and also that’s why bows are so overpowered. With a melee weapon, it’s really hard to avoid getting hit or surrounded.

If you’re really having a hard time, I suggest trying the “classic zombies” option, it’s easier to deal with when you’re learning the game.

Lugonu eh? Just play it like dungeon crawl. Dont run towards the unknown to fight zombies, but instead advance just far enough to pull a few. Instead of 1 tile wide corridors you have windows and nature’s windows (aka shrubs) These tiles have a movement cost of 400 (versus 100 for flat ground) so you will get several free hits on zombies if you stand behind them.

Do not hesitate to run. One major difference between Cata and other roguelikes is how wide open the map is. Only a few of the zombie types are faster than you. Stimulants will make you run faster. Caffiene pills are easy to find, but not very effective. Adderall is insanely good but only found in pharmacies. Also running has the advantage of separating the zombies by speed, so you can fight them in small groups as they catch up.

Find books. The easiest place to get them is a mansion if you can find one. Other than that, check libraries.

Fight towards the buildings you want to loot in the morning to spend your exp on combat skills. Once you are out of exp go read books until the evening. Use whatever exp youve gotten to go hunting/cooking for the next days food. Basically repeat this until you run out of books\get bored\get your combat skills high enough to start exploring beyond the city.

And, if you weren’t aware, zombies sight range isnt as large as yours. If youve spotted a zombie you do not want to mess with, and its on the edge of your LoS, you can run away.

But once you find guns, you will realize why this game can be easy. A lot of monsters are only dangerous when they are next to you.

Good luck :slight_smile:

P.S. Bears are only aggressive when you get close to them. Night is dangerous…

Yes, I use broken windows, shrubs and whatever other terrain advantage I can think of.

As for firearms, well, to use firearms, you need to found matching ammo. Last four or five gun stores I checked, across several characters (and worlds), just didn’t carry any ammo. Go figure. And ammo I find lying around in map extras or zombies never matches anything. So I just take the route of a baseball bat / combat knife / machete to the head.

Besides that, the only firearm I’ve used successfully, with 3 different characters in vanilla, was a 9mm handgun.