I had started my latest Navezgane SP Survival game in the desert, and almost immediately came across a bridge leading to a petrol station. Not only a petrol station though, one that had been thoroughly protected with metal fences and barbed wire. A perfect place to start at least.
I had not spawned in a desert for some time, but I did remember that the essentials: plant fibre, wood and stone were in abundance, if not the same abundance as some other biomes. Possibly more importantly at game start was the ease of finding feathers!
As of writing this article I have approximately 2,500 unused feathers in this particular save. I’m not entirely sure how many I’ve collected in total, or how many that I’ve ignored, but i have reached the point where I look and then exclaim: ” NO! You don’t need more fucking feathers”.
EDIT: By comparison, when I started at a snowy wooded biome, there were many nests, but all I could find was eggs, and big, fucking angry, frozen lumberjacks. Eggs aren’t the best form of ammunition for these motherfuckers!
EDIT: It gets better when you get to a forested area. There, not only are nests probably sparse, but, whether they are or not, you can’t see them . The good news is that there is plenty of game to hunt with the arrows that you don’t have yet, and when you do kill something, it’s almost certain that you’ll only do it when a big fucking bear is really, really close, and either eats it, or stops you from doing anything about it until the carcass disappears. Such is life!
Why are feathers so important? Well, without access to anything else, which is likely in the early game, a bow and arrows are the only long range attack you have. This is extremely important given that all of the short range weapons you have access to at this point are complete shit.
Get a bow! Make some arrows! Do it now!
As for the rest (early game at least), I had a water source (the river that the bridge was spanning), I had yukka plants (great for cooling juice), lots of iron ore on the surface (not as efficient as a mine, but what can you do), and a blasted biome with lots of trees. Everything seemed great.
Food became the first immediate problem. In a desert biome (if only it was a dessert biome instead) there is, for the sake of argument, no food. You can hunt the very meager rabbit and chicken population – if you can find it, and if you can kill it – but mostly you scavenge.
Top tip: Don’t use a bow to kill chickens and rabbits in a desert biome. Chase after them and hit them with a stone axe, or chase them in to a cactus instead. This, particularly the cactus part, is unlikely to work in other biomes, but if you try, please have the Benny Hill song in your head as you’re doing it.
Fortunately, I found a rural settlement. Not a town, but a collection of eight buildings, in two rows of four, near a main road. I proceeded to scavenge the fuck out of that place. Methodically, I took all the food, water, supplies and wood (they had trees) that I could find. It was a good start to my campaign, or so I thought…