Valley 1:How Do I Know If I'm Prepared For An Expedition?

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Make Sure You Have Basic Supplies From Stash Rooms

This is an ongoing need you'll have to satisfy, but on your first continent the need is going to be particularly strong right at first. There are a few things that you absolutely need to keep well-stocked with. These are usually found through side exploration of abandoned buildings.

Look for the yellow "stash rooms" on your dungeon map in each building, and basically get yourself to that room and then get out of the building. All the other rooms have minor trinkets and rewards in them, but nothing worth expending the time to go find if they're at all out of your way. Better to quickly exit the building, then move onto the next, loot the stash room there, and repeat as needed. So much better use of your time than trying to be "completionist" in a game that is infinite in size! You could go crazy that way...

Some key supplies to keep an eye out for:

Wooden Platforms

See a ledge you can reach, underground or inside? Well, place a wooden platform and get up there. Don't have a wooden platform? Well, then, you might be unable to proceed. If you just fell off a big cliff in an underground hole, then you're really in trouble -- in fact, you might be dead.

Depending on the hole, you might be able to journey further underground and find a warp gate that will let you gate yourself back to the surface. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes you're essentially just trapped forever. When that happens, you'll have to use the dreaded "Abandon Character" button in the Escape Menu (this suicides your character). No-one who goes out properly prepared should ever have to abandon their character, so if you have to click that button you can take solace in the knowledge that it's your own fault. ;)

Wooden Crates

These aren't quite as vital as wooden platforms, but they are close. See, wooden platforms have to have a wall to hang on -- hence their working great in caves and interiors. But when you're outside and there's a sheer cliff you want to climb... well, the wood platforms just fall to the ground. Sure, you can stack them up, but they are pretty short and so that's like stacking individual bricks to climb a skyscraper. Crazy!

Wooden crates don't hang on walls, they just fall to the ground. But they can be stacked up, and are substantially larger than wooden platforms, so you can make all sorts of impossible-in-reality structures with the crates. Staircases right up those sheer cliffs, for instance. The physics of Environ are such that no tower you make will ever topple over -- things fall straight down, but that's it, so you can build all sorts of crazy things with ease. Just be sure monsters aren't chopping away at the bottom of your structure!

Specialty Items

There are many types of special items that can be found in stashes that can make your expeditions easier, by helping you defeat difficult enemies, or just by being of some general practical use. For example, "Transmogrify Into Bat" scrolls turn you into a bat, which can allow you to fly over dangerous areas, squeeze into small spaces, and other things. Another example is Bear Traps, which can be used to lock dangerous enemies in place, making them easier to defeat. While a couple of special items can be bought in the Opal Guardian's store, such as Elusion Scrolls, most items of this type can only be found in stashes. To find out what type of region a given item is most likely to appear in, go into the "Supplies Manifest" section of the Big Honkin' Encyclopedia, and click on the item in question for info on where it can be found.

Make Sure You Have Basic Equipment For Exploring

Some of this equipment can be found in the "stash rooms" noted above, but a lot of it is also enchants that you can unlock, or spells that you can learn, etc. Most of this sort of equipment is of a more permanent nature, rather than something you need to keep collecting and keeping a stock of.

Upgrade Enchants

These are special enchants that allow you to distribute your character's 10 "upgrade points" to create a variety of possible builds. There are 3 types of Upgrade Enchants: Health, Mana, and Attack. Each has a number from 1-9, showing both the level of the enchant, and the number of points it uses up. Using up more than the max number of points will cause these enchants to turn red and stop working. Each of these enchants raises the related stats by a fixed percentage, depending on the level of the enchant. These are very important for any character, and are probably the first thing you should get. They cost Consciousness Shards to purchase from the Opal Store, but the cost is very minimal; going out and killing just a few enemies will easily net you enough Shards to buy some of these to set up a proper build for your character. Keep in mind, however, that these enchants can only be equipped/switched while you are in either the Settlement, a mission staging room, or a Destroyed Room, and only when you are at max health.

A Light Source

Windows and interior lighting make most buildings not completely dark, but there are still plenty of dark corners for monsters to lurk in. And if you go into basements or underground buildings, those tend to be even darker. Underground caverns, on the other hand, are pitch black -- you won't be able to effectively maneuver in the dark, and will likely meet a swift end at the hands of monsters, falling into acid water or lava, falling damage, or simply getting stuck in some hole you can't even see to climb out of.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of light sources you can employ. The most basic, a Moderate Inner Light enchant, is given to you at each settlement. The problem is, that takes up your valuable Torso enchant slot, preventing you from using any other enchants there (such as damage reduction, the ability to breathe underwater, etc). The good news is that, with enchants being so heavily procedural, there are literally hundreds of thousands of enchants and a lot of them include light sources attached to them.

If you don't want to go the enchant route, then there are a variety of spells you can use. Ball of Light is the most basic, and basically just makes a miniature sun that provides light in a small area. Since mana regenerates pretty fast, and all it costs to use is mana, you can use this as much as you want. But it definitely slows exploration, and forget about trying to use this during a fight unless you're extremely dextrous.

There are other spells like light snake that you can use to see down holes, and even some lamp objects that you can collect and then deploy to provide illumination in a pinch. Sometimes dropping a lamp over the edge of a cliff is a great way to see what is down there without jumping down there yourself.

Lastly, most of your spells provide some very dim illumination themselves, so casting something like fireball can help a little with seeing in the dark. But it's really nothing compared to a proper light source.

In summary, there are a variety of ways you can customize your character even in terms of how you light your way. Just make sure that you choose one of them and bring them with you so you don't find yourself lost in the dark!

Bodysuits (For Extra Hot/Cold Areas)

If you're exploring the lava flats, or going into some other lava-filled area (such as really deep caverns), you're going to need a Heatsuit in order to move around. These hamper your movement in a lot of ways, preventing you from using things like double-jump enchants and the like, but they keep you from dying from heat in seconds. There are even Advanced Heatsuits that you can find that help you not get sucked into lava so easily upon touching it.

On the other hand, if you're exploring in the ice age, the bitter cold will make unprepared characters freeze to death pretty fast. All the characters from that time period have built-in snowsuits that are really effective and don't encumber their movement at all. But if your character comes from a warmer clime, they'll have to don an outdated and unfashionable snowsuit.

Basic Heatsuits and Snowsuits can be bought in the Opal Store for a low price. The Advanced versions, however, can only be found in stash rooms.

Acid Gills (For Underwater Exploration)

If you're planning on venturing into the ocean or the ocean shallows, you're going to need acid gills in order to breathe underwater as well as to not be harmed by the acid that normally eats away at your health. Some of the more advanced acid gills enchants actually make you a better swimmer as well, so you're not all sluggish in the water -- if you want to have any hope of dodging some of the viciously fast underwater denizens, you'll need these more advanced enchants. The oceans are truly one of the more dangerous parts of Environ! If you're having trouble finding this enchant type by grabbing Enchant Charges or by searching Stashes, it can be bought in the Opal Store for 4000 shards.

A Way To Make Yourself Smaller (For Exploring Tiny Passages)

Sometimes there's a passage that you just can't get through, because you're just too tall. Well, there are a few options for that. One is the Miniaturize spell, which makes you tiny -- but also take more damage from enemies. There are also Transmogrify Into Bat spell scrolls that you can find in underground stashes, and which let you turn yourself into a tiny bat that can fly around. This lets you get past all sorts of obstacles (through small spaces, up tall cliffs, etc), but your mana regen rate is drastically lowered in this form.

Storm Dash (Optional, But Highly Recommended)

This is one of those basic spells that you probably want in your inventory. It allows you to double-tap to either the left or the right and then run extra fast. If you want to get around quickly, especially after having already cleared an area of monsters, this is a must! You do take increased damage while using it, however, so it's not recommended to be used right when you're around monsters, though. There are rumors of "powersliding" type enchants that can let you do extra interesting effects when combined with storm dash.

Some Way To Double Jump (Optional, But Highly Recommended)

Ride The Lightning is a spell that lets you double-jump, and there is also the Lightning Rocket spell that lets you really launch yourself high. These both require mana to use, however, and must be crafted in order to "unlock" them for use. Fortunately, you need only craft these once, as they do not have levels.

On the other hand, there are various double and even triple jump enchants that let you do those sorts of moves mana-free, and without any need to learn any new spells. These are equipped in your Feet enchant slot.

A Valley Without Wind