I gave the guide my measly twenty silver, only armed with the knowledge that he would take me into the wilderness. After a few moments I found myself in a far away forest, surrounded by maple trees and an environment covered in colors of gold, green and red. Near me there was a rudimentary shelter made of wood, my new home, some-thing I eventually learned is called a lean-to. My first order of business was to make some storage, which I recently learned how to create through one of the low level skills, probably foraging, and I set off to gather autumn grass, which is normally very common, but I had no idea how hard it would to find in a forest. No longer was I a traveler on the plains, now I was a explorer of the forests.
|A friendly non-aggressive bear greeted me in my wandering|
After twenty minutes of finding plenty of useful items in the forest that were not autumn grass I decided to head back to Boston and head to the plains, where autumn grass is plentiful. On the way I saw a bear, contemplating killing it, but then looked at my combat skills and realized I had none, so to Boston I went. I quickly learned that you can fast travel to Boston from your residence, which was my lean-to at that moment. You always have the option to fast travel to your residence or Boston, but normally you can only do so if your inventory is empty. If you are at your residence it doesn’t matter what you have, you can travel to and from Boston with ease. Upon getting to Boston I noticed many experienced and impressively outfitted players, people obviously more adept at the game than I was. I wondered if their success was a result of hard work or of less than savory means like thievery and murder. Many tales of attacks and theft I had heard by this point and I was glad that I had been lucky enough to experience none of that.
|People love their swords. It is currently the strongest weapon in the game, to my knowledge.|
After easily gathering ten pieces of autumn grass I then proceeded to make that into two baskets back at my camp. After that I made a temporary campfire in order to cook some berries and create some inspirations. Inspirations are items that you can make that increase skills, similar to the items that I talked about previously, like the basic smooth stones or chestnuts except there are many inspirations and some of them give a great deal of skill. The main draw to inspirations is that you can create them and use them to consistently build up a specific skill. For instance, I built up enough skill to learn blacksmithing by continually making these log based inspirations that a thousand points in two of the three skills needed to learn blacksmithing. Nearly every time you learn a new skill you get some new inspirations with it. After I made my camp a little more homely I set off to wander the woods, further and further each time I set out, always being careful to remember what direction I came from.
After days of living in the woods, corresponding with kinsmen and learning new skills I decided to head farther out in the hopes of finding some items that would actually make me money, like arrowheads or Indian Feathers. The forest stretched farther than I could imagine. There were lakes, rivers and swamps here and there, but for the most part it was all forest. After wandering for hours I found signs of others living out in the woods. The first of which I came to after following a random road in the forest, it was a paved area with a bench nearby and a couple of empty containers, but the shelter was gone. Someone had lived their and left already. Less than a minute of walking distance from that was an actual shelter with a few amenities, much like my own home, but far more organized. I was not comforted by the close proximity of this shelter to my own, for I had heard terrible stories of murderers roaming the world killing all they find. My closest kinsmen had been wandering the forests near his home, several hours walking distance from my home, and found a town full of dead colonists. All I could think about was if those people weren’t safe, that many people, how could I possibly be or how we will be safe when we set up our small settlement.
Throughout all of my wanderings, days of exploring the massive forest around my camp, I never found any item that would earn me money, merely many different types of food and items that I may study for skills. One of the great things about exploring is that you are always rewarded in one way or another. Even though I spent days finding nothing worth money I learned a great many skills. All of the time I was exploring I was also studying items and increases my skills in order to purchase new skills. After those days I learned how to build a house, among other things, and had learned settling, a skill needed to place a claim. Claims are one of the first things you will want as a budding colonist, for claims make an area explicitly yours and if others enter they are trespassing, which slowly injures them and can make them fall unconscious. A town claim is the same except it makes a huge area into a claim and of course many people can be under that claim.
|To attempt to read that click on the screenshot and enlarge it|
Throughout all this time one of my kinsmen had been more successful than I and he had earned quite a bit of money. He found somewhere suitable for a settlement, with my reservations in mind about being far from Boston in order to prevent gangs of murderers from finding us, and invited me to come join. I went through my several crates of belongings and set out, leaving everything else behind in that forest that had long been my lonely but safe home. I wasn’t told how far from Boston it was and all I had to follow was his arrow. When you party with people they have arrow indicators that show you what direction they are, but it doesn’t indicate how far they are away nor is there any kind of world map to look, just the small minimap. I followed this arrow and after an hour of walking I still hadn’t received my kinsmen. I did bump into someone’s small camp, the owner of which regarded me with cautious hostility and refused to engage me in conversation. They stopped their work, watched me and resumed their work as soon as I left. Apparently they had heard similar stories of terror as I had.
|I’m the one on the left, waiting for some response, but all I received was silence|
After another hour of traveling through brilliant forests, dusty plains, green pastures, large bodies of water and small swamps, I reached the upstart town. He had set up a house, a friend of his had set up a lean-to nearby and there were all kinds of benches, tools and farms being built. Seeing as to how I could build a house I tried to smooth out a piece of land in order to place a house, a task that is one of the most difficult things I have dealt with in Salem. After thirty minutes of constantly eating to regain my strength and constantly trying to flatten out the land I gave up, for the moment. The land in the game is on all sorts of different levels, so to make a house you have to get a shovel of some kind and hold down control while you dig, which will make that area flat, but when you dig anywhere near that spot it will have ripple effects on the ground near it, generally making them less flat. Someday I will learn how to properly flatten my land in order to build a house, but for now I will work on helping the settlement in other ways.
I don’t know when I will be writing part 3, but I expect to write it at some point within the next week or two as we start to get our town up and running. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about the game, especially about the mechanics that I barely explain, then do ask. If you want to check out more on Salem look to the two links below.
Main Forums: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?590-Salem
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SalemGame