(This is also posted in the Pre-Alpha 3.0 – General Discussion forum. I wouldn't normally double-post, but Gordon/Tyrant suggested it, so here we go!)
New players are streaming into Crowfall, and since the first experience can be quite daunting, I wanted to put something down that might make those first hours in the game a bit easier. Because I want players to like the experience and stay in the game! (So that we can fight later on! And I can loot your apples! No, just kidding, I meant to make up for killing some of you the other night!)
I will assume here that you are on one of the PvP servers, where the main danger is other players. You can do some exploring and basic crafting on the PvE server, but the good stuff, and the action, is on PvP. I will comment on how you can use them in tandem further down in the guide.
Do this first
When you first spawn in a PvP world, you'll be in a graveyard. That's a dangerous place to be, and you'll be naked and unarmed, so for a while, you'll have to play the survival game. Run away from there, and avoid any player you see, until you are in a lonely spot. The center of the map is around 1500, 1500, and the edges of the map are sometimes quieter, so go for that. When you run, you can sprint by holding down Shift, but this drains stamina, so you might want to save that until you need to get away from someone.
Now you need basic weapons, and for that you need tools. Chop down some trees and pick up everything that drops. Look and listen to make sure that you are still alone.
When you have a bunch of wood, twenty or so, go into the crafting menu, hotkey J. Open Basic Crafting and select Basic Harvesting tools. Put in wood, wood, wood and click through until you have a rune in your inventory.
Close the crafting and open inventory, hotkey I. Equip the Runestone Hammer you made by right-clicking it. Now you can harvest stone!
Harvest the nearest boulders until you have some stone, say around 15 or a little more (to account for failures). Keep checking your surroundings, using eyes and ears, to make sure you are still alone. Run if people are approaching!
Go into crafting again. Under Basic Crafting, go to Basic Weapons and make the weapons you need (and shield and arrows if you need them). Make and equip them.
Check your food meter, the chicken legs in the upper left corner. It's probably run down a bit, so eat any apples you got from the trees. It's not good to be much under 7 (of 10). You can chop more trees for more apples.
Now you're armed and (maybe not that) dangerous!
Decide what you want to do now! Probably either trying out combat, crafting better gear, or just checking out the world.
For trying out combat, be ready to die a lot, at least if you are running solo. Best is to get into the mindset of dying, and to make that hurt less, try not to have much in your bags that you don't want to lose, because your killers will loot your bags! In my opinion, getting into fights and mostly dying was a lot of fun in the first hours of playtesting, at least when I didn't loose something too valuable. And sometimes you will win, and that's exhilarating!
For checking out the world, try to still be ready to die! People will manage to jump you now and then, and they'll probably loot your bags, so again, don't have anything in them that you aren't ready to lose! But do it anyway, because the world is really pretty (even if the edges of the map just look out over a white nothing)!
If you want to craft, I really, really urge you to start playing with other people, because in a group of only three or so, you are sooo much more likely to survive and thus keep all the materials you harvest!
I won't tell you everything, because it's fun to explore the crafting menu and figure things out, but I'll tell you a few things straight away!
First, make a Runestone Pick, to gather metal ore! It's the same Basic Harvesting tools, but this time, you put in wood, wood, stone. Make and equip the Pick!
Then, get potions! For this stage of playtesting, there are craftable potions (under Alchemy) that simulate higher skill levels. Make a bunch of harvesting potions, to gather the materials you need faster!
Find an ore node, preferably copper or iron, because those are the lowest level ores, and easiest to harvest with basic tools. Harvest until you have two or more, and then make a Plentiful Harvest potion. Drink it (right-click in inventory) and then keep harvesting ore and making a few other harvesting potions (I won't tell you exactly which one, you'll have to figure that out, because that's fun!).
Then, figure out what materials you need for what you want to make (probably some weapons and armor that are not the Basic ones), and go find them! Check the timers on the potions and go about it in a way that seems smart to you.
And survive! Check your surroundings, as before! A trick is that while the crafting timer runs, while you are finishing the thing you are making, you can close the window and look around, the countdown will run in the background. Then you can open the interface again and move your new item to your inventory.
Make new harvesting tools, because the basic ones you made before are just to get you up and running. Find them in the crafting menu and make them. Check the Penetration stat of the tools you make. Higher quality materials require higher penetration tools. Explore and figure out what you need!
Also, check out Crafting Potions!
Make your stuff! As I said, I'll let you explore the menu and figure out what you need, but here is a hint: most advanced stuff requires components and components of components, so it takes quite a few steps. But it's so worth it when you're done!
Also, at one point in the process, you can name the item you're making! My first advanced weapon was called... Fantastikon's First Poleaxe. Yeah, I'm creative that way!
Hunger is a real thing in this game (both as in The Hunger, the metaphysical force that destroys the worlds of the campaigns and gives us the zombies, and as in... hunger, as in, I need more apples!).
The best way to stay on top of it is to chop trees for wood and kill boars for meat. With those you can craft a Survivalist Campfire, and standing close to one while not in combat mode gives you both food and healing. The devs are nice that way!
But of course, there are always apples!
A few other things to mention
Do find a guild as soon as possible (check the Guild Recruitment forum)! Or at least a random group. It's so much better to have people around you. Getting the materials for advanced gear, and getting the peace to make them without being killed and looted can be nearly impossible on your own (unless you log in at odd times, when the servers are empty), but is quick and fun when you are in a group. Even standing guard while someone else (with potions) is harvesting is fun, because you have a purpose! (There are chests in houses and permanent camps where you can transfer stuff between players.)
Do be aware of the stage the game is in! A lot of you belong to the 'Beta' playtester group, so it makes sense if some of you enter the game believing it to be in a beta stage. It most certainly is not! It's not even alpha, it's pre-alpha. This is basically tech testing that we are doing. It's fun testing, but it's still very early testing. Be prepared for new things breaking with every patch. Have patience.
Do check the forums (but if you read this, you already are). Leave feedback.
If you want, try out the basic stuff on the Sanctuary server! There are only basic materials there, so you can't make any advanced gear, but there is also no PvP, so you can explore some of the crafting menu in safety there.
You can also, at the moment, move things between the servers via the Spirit Bank. You access this by opening your Character Screen (P) and clicking the Spirit Bank tab. This is an account level inventory, and whatever you put in here is safe from looting, so while harvesting, you can move your stuff here until you have enough. At that point, you can log out of the PvP server and log in to Sanctuary to do your crafting in peace (don't forget your crafting potions!). Or you just take it back out when it's time for crafting, even if you remain on a PvP server.
Do note that whenever you put something in the Spirit Bank, it is locked for a few minutes before you can access it. Also, be aware that (as with many other things right now) it is not intended to remain in the game, and probably not for long in testing either. It's a placeholder until they have implemented additional game systems.
Also, my dear guildmate Tinnis has a Tester Resource Site that is worth its weight in gold. (Well actually, since the information is data on a server, it's worth more than its weight. Let's say the servers' weight!)
Be aware that there is a really nasty bug that means that sometimes when you have finished crafting an item and either press Take or you drag it to your inventory, it just disappears. It sucks, and it seems to happen especially often with the stuff that you spent a long time making, but... No, no buts. It sucks and the devs are working on it, and we all just hope they will figure it out and fix it sooner rather than later. It doesn't break the game, you can just do everything over again, but yeah, it sucks when it happens. (Did I hear someone telling me to have patience? Must have imagined it.)
That's it for now, thanks for reading, hope you enjoy playtesting! Here are some videos (made by not me) that might be helpful as well:
If you want to add something, please do!
I've been following the dev articles and videos for a while now and decided to throw what little support I could toward this amazing concept that looks like just about everything I've wanted out of online gaming but have never been able to find. I eagerly anticipate all future updates and the eventual release of the game.