1000 Days in The Long Dark

Joey Puckett’s 1000 Days in The Long Dark on Stalker difficulty.

Shelby: I believe some introductions are in order. Joey Puckett, also known as GrievingSage, is a longtime player of The Long Dark, and a friend of mine on Twitter for some time. There are few folks out there that I would consider to be an authority on how to play The Long Dark, and Joey is one of them. His adventure to surviving for 1000 days took a ton of time and effort, and he’s asked me to allow him to share the chronicles of his mindset during the quest to hit 1000 days. His post is also available to be read at Survival Gamers, a site dedicated to survival games and news surrounding the genre. Please take a moment to go peek at their content if you get a chance.

So without further ado, I’d like to give the floor to someone far better at The Long Dark than I.

Take it away, Joey!

A personal test of fortitude in the frozen Canadian wilderness

Introduction

This is a journal of thoughts as I tried to exist from one day to the next, one week to the next, one month to the next, to almost 3 years in-game.

Early Game

Days 1-300. I started in Mystery Lake and went for a prepper cache like I always do. This sets me up for a good run, out of the gate, per se. Those first weeks/months are important. I wanted to clear regions out, scrap them for everything they are worth without sacrificing anything I’d already gained.

By days 300-400 I’d gathered every scrap of cloth I could find because I knew it would be important end-game. I just piled my cloth in the corner of the Quonset in Coastal Highway. Then moved everything I had collected to the Farmstead in Pleasant Valley, later in my run. By this time I’d amassed my small arsenal too. Twenty or so bows, fifty (or more) arrows along with my rifle and fifty rounds of ammo. At this point things are going pretty smoothly and I’m confident this is a good run.

At days 400-500, I’ve collected a lot of stuff. Regions I’m not good at or unfamiliar with, I just go in, get what I can scavenge, and get out. There’s a sense of worry and abstract urgency here as I’m afraid my run is in jeopardy. Forlorn Muskeg is dangerous and Broken Railroad is a maze of dead ends. Desolation Point has but one objective for me. Find the forge for arrowheads. Get in, get them made, and get out. I need everything ready before heading to Timberwolf Mountain.

At days 500-1000, I’m looking at supplies, long term: lots of cloth, the best clothes, food, and ammo. The grind officially starts! Five trips from the Pleasant Valley Farmstead to the prepper’s abandoned cache. Drop a load of supplies then divide it in half and haul it up the rope to Timberwolf Mountain. Being encumbered prevents the climb all together. Emergency Stims to help boost some of the climb and save all the coffee for it too, as all this moving takes all the stamina I have. Two hundred and nine cloth, I feel certain this is enough. Having all my supplies gives me confidence and a comfort that I can beat the odds… this time.

End game, the last 100 days in particular, mostly skins for clothing now. Used almost all my cloth and my ability to stay warm is diminished. Without clothing to stay warm, I’ll be stuck up here. I can’t travel very far now because it’s too cold. My best clothes are whittled down for scraps to fix other clothes. My last snow shelter broken down for cloth and fuel. I’d trade some of my five hundred matches for just a handful of cloth. The wolves seem braver and smarter now. They don’t go for the decoy as much anymore. We’ve become… frenemies. We have a deal, I score a kill and give some of the meat to them in exchange for leaving me alone. Even with my 2 bear coats, double deerskin pants, rabbit gloves and, deerskin boots, I find myself “min/maxing” them by repairing them once they hit 85%. It’s a constant struggle to keep myself at 40°F warmth bonus and 22°F windproof bonus. Without those numbers I know I will get hypothermia risk in just 4 hour’s time. A blizzard at this point in the run can hit -60°F. I shed a tear when I broke down my wool toque for my last piece of cloth. I had no choice but to repair my balaclava because if it goes, frostbite will follow. One of my top fears was frostbite because of the permanent damage to condition. This will lessen my total amount of condition to survive “unfortunate incidents”.

Conclusions?

Aside from my personal goal of one thousand days in The Long Dark, I learned a lot from my own experiences. I also watched and studied a lot of other players far better than myself for tips and tricks to eek out one more day of survival. A heartfelt thank you goes to Hinterland Studio for such a beautiful and challenging game, as I made my way to one thousand days. I had the support and love from one of (if not the) best communities in gaming. I look forward to playing through time and again, and I hope other gamers will get to experience everything this amazing game has to offer, in the quiet apocalypse.

Sincerely,

Grieving Sage


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