Monday, December 7, 2015


Subnautica is so good! I love it. I was originally going to write about what I like about it - it's beautiful, it seems like a vivid and well-fleshed-out world, it feels like it makes sense, it's got a good balance of hardness vs silliness. The crafting system is obviously far from realistic, but I do feel like it's really consistent. Minecraft always felt a little too symbolic, to me. This stretches the idea of "what can I make" by adding nanotech fabricators, but other than that it feels really reasonable! Your survival gear just requires you to find sufficient quantities of the raw materials. No need for you to "design" a sword on the crafting bench. So I like that. It's very glowy and so far has done a reasonable job of balancing progression (in building more advanced things) against how hard it is to get the required materials. Following is a brief log of my experiences - don't read if you want to avoid being spoiled for the progression in the game!
You can find these things by swimming around near the surface, and not going near dangerous creatures: salt, titanium, copper, small fish (though they take some work to catch), quartz
Quartz, most importantly, lets you make a survival knife, which is the first essential item. You need it to get samples, and make more stuff. No need to venture into dangerous areas: coral samples, needed for bleach, needed for disinfected water
Disinfected water is important because you basically need it to survive... Although you can also make do with airbag fish, but that's a pain and I didn't figure that out at first. I spent a long time panicking about finding salt, due to an abortive first attempt at the game, but eventually I had stability and a solid supply of clean drinking water. Ate fish to survive. Mended wounds with first aid kits. The next big advance was an oxygen tank, for which I needed quartz and titanium - the latter always in great supply.
In order to make more advanced stuff, you really need silver ore. To get that, though, you need to venture into the stalker-filled depths of the creepvine forests. That's dicey, and I only did it once or twice before I built a Seaglide (underwater propulsion unit) which has served me well. That got me enough silver that I could make a "builder", which is a device that can construct habitat segments and things like that. Hell yes. I have a home now :)
Getting power set up was a bit of a pain at first - I built my first solar panels on a rocky outcropping, but it ended up too far from my base... So now they're sitting on a piece of foundation at the surface level. It looks very silly. I'm strongly considering moving them, although that feels like a waste of resources. I might do it anyway, because the builder can deconstruct things freely! Anyway.
Building a hab takes a lot of titanium, but that's always in great supply on account of debris fragments. At this point - having made a radiation suit to survive closer to the wreck - my main goals are stockpiling batteries for the Seaglide, extending my depth capacity, and maybe building an ocean-going craft of some sort. We'll see!

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