Dark Times and Dance Parties in Grimmwood
Welcome to the dark forest! Grimmwood is set within the woods teeming with danger, but also abundant with resources. Your goal is to survive as long as possible, and earn the highest score you and your fellow villagers can.
Getting started and meeting people:
Before you can join a town, you must create the character who will join that town. This process is fairly simple. You can choose to keep the random results seen, or to reroll something. For the appearance there are currently several options that you can get, but no real customization. What is more important is the starting items you get, and the traits you have. The items can all be obtained in game, so they are actually less important in general. However, some items may be hard to obtain without a crafter, making them much more beneficial to a town without a craftsman. The traits will determine what you are best at, and can be thought of as your ideal role within a village. Some of them are also just boosts to your character.
Once you are ready, enter the village. The village serves as the hub for all members. You can share resources and will need to do so to succeed, and this is not a game that works solo. The very first thing you will see is a welcome screen, much like the picture above. Note that you can see a log of events from before you joined the village. Every notable thing will appear here. Your status changes will not show to everyone else, such as when you are hungry or thirsty, but almost everything else will show up.
If you click on the Town Hall building you can see a list of all the villagers currently in the village. This list will let you know any background they wrote, what traits they have, what conditions they have, their current location, and a few of their latest actions. You can also mark that somebody is trustworthy if you think they are cooperative, or vote to banish them if they are harming the village.
Using this information along, with the chat and message board systems, will allow you to coordinate your efforts with those who can support your work, or with whom you wish to be social. Social activities are one of the options available at night, and are selected on the icons near the clock in the lower left corner of the screen. You can attend a big get together, romance somebody, or meditate alone for increased health and energy recovery. The other options help restore sanity to your character, which can be useful if your character is losing their grip on reality.
The message boards, your home, and defending the town:
In order to defend the town you will take several actions. These will include scouting for enemies at the tower in town, building defences and fighting the attackers at night. Fighting the attackers is one of two options, so if you have really low health and others can defend, you might just lock the door and recover for the night. To get to those options you need to go to your home in town and click the icon that is on the clock. There is a different icon, to get the social choices back, just click the door to leave your house. You can swap your choices at any time until the attack timer runs out, so do not feel like you are locked into a choice right away!
Additionally, you can build in your home and add defenses or storage at much lower cost than the village upgrades. However, the benefits are personal and the defense improvement only applies if you are hiding in your home. It is in your own best interests to save the materials for village defences most of the time. I’ll talk about village defences in a little bit!
The message boards are where you can leave ideas, create discussions, and involve people who are not currently online. This is important for the classic mode, as attacks occur every 24 hours. People will not always be online at the same time! It is far less important for Blitz mode, which is 15 minute attack periods, and may be of varying value for any future modes. Post messages about anything you think is important, but remember that everyone can read your posts.
Building village defences is your biggest step to making it through more nights. Weapons and people are great resources, but without the defences in place they will not save you. Building village defences does take a fair amount of materials and effort. You will need to have a plan that people agree with, or you will waste your resources, time, and effort. In a dangerous land that could be a deadly error.
You can see the materials and tools needed for any project simply by opening the building interface in town. This is the key icon on the left of the screen. Resources will be consumed as you work. Tools will take some wear, requiring repair or replacement eventually. Craftsmen will process new resources, repair or craft new tools and can even break down old tools for parts at the workshop in town. They will be an integral part of fortifying the village!
In order to start work, you must have the resources and tools you need in the town storage. If you do, you can use some of your stamina to put in the work needed to do the project. Each point of stamina is 1 unit of work. Multiple people can work on any project and that is not limited by the number of tools available. Accessing the storage is as easy as hitting ‘I’ for inventory. Anytime the inventory is open in town, the storage will be open. In order to recover stamina you have several options. You can eat food if you are not full; rest using the ZZZ icon by the character and once enough time has passed, you will regain one point of stamina. That is regardless of your log-in status. Also, at night attack time you will recover a big chunk of stamina if you survive the attack. It is possible to use potions from herbs to help recover stamina or health, if you have the right herbs to make them.
Once all the needed work is done, the improvement will be built and will help defend anyone in the village during the attack. During the attack, when your defenses are damaged and need repair, simply select the first section of an upgrade tree and do the work to repair it and those defences will be ready for the next attack.
How to get more supplies:
In order to get supplies you will need to head into the forest and find locations of interest. There are two ways to leave town. You can click on the gates, or you can click on the map icons at the right edge of the screen. You can only move to a location right next to your current location. If enemies are present, you must move to a map edge in the location area map to continue, or the enemies must be defeated.
When traveling you may scout ahead for danger at the cost of some stamina. The more resource nodes in a local area, the higher the likelihood for foes to be there. Some foes will also be visible on the forest map. You can also look at the various locations to see how many resources are there. If any resources have been found at that local area, the type of resource will be displayed.
Currently resources do not regenerate. This means exploration and finding new resources is very important. Doing so is a job that will benefit the village and any wise group will have at least a few good scouts. Finding the resources requires not only the stamina of moving to each new location, but searching them out as per the picture here. To look for them you click the eye icon near the character. The closer you are to the location of a resource, the more likely you are to find it. Some traits also help with finding resources.
You should also note the campfire icon. This allows a some smaller measure of safety when you cannot return to town for an attack phase. Any expedition to remote locations should keep camping gear on them!
When monsters attack:
Once the attack timer reaches zero, the village and any people outside the village will be subjected to attacking monsters. So long as the defense rating of any place is higher than the monster attack rating you saw in the tower when scouting, you should survive. The closer the attack rating is, the more likely it is that somebody will die. Also noteworthy is that if the village is destroyed the game ends for that village. Even if a camp would survive this means your final score will be calculated. The village must always be defended!
If you and the village survive the attack you will get a report on what happened that day. This will include the day phase, the changes to your health and mood, and what happened with the attack. Taking stock of the situation and the defences you need to repair will help you get started with the next day’s projects. Just don’t forget your role in the village. Spreading the work to the best people is what makes or breaks an effort!
The end of your village:
After the forces attacking grow too strong, the village will end. You can always start over with another village and character. However, you may also wonder just how well you did!
The gear icon will bring up the menu and the ladder will show you the ranking of best efforts to date. In my case I played through a Blitz mode with two other people and we survived nine days to claim the tenth highest score in Blitz mode at that time during the open beta. Your villages get a green icon next to the score and you can search for your efforts alone to see your village rankings.
This menu also has video tutorials you can play if you are feeling lost, however, it is only accessible in a village. The icon in the same position in the game’s welcome screen will close the game.
Tips and tricks to success:
Work with the team. Enemies can be dangerous alone, but may be handled easily in a group. The loot you get off them may help the village, so fighting them is one way to get new resources if the local area is depleted.
Eating enough food gives a well fed condition, but you cannot eat and gain stamina until it wears off. Having it when the attack happens gives you bonus sanity, which can help keep you ready to go. Remember to balance your need for stamina and sanity with available food supplies.
Not drinking or eating will kill you. You need enough food and water during the day to survive.
Weapons, supplies and resources can be found in locations as part of caches that are abandoned, or where somebody died. They provide free goodies, but can only be looted once.
Where to find out more:
Have fun in the forest all!
About the Author
Robert joined Gaiscioch during the Rift chapter, and decided to stick around because the people are awesome! He has a long history of playing games, mostly RPG or Strategy, and has played MMOs since they were born of MUDs.
Aside from his gaming, he also enjoys reading and cooking. Robert has also been previously published as a contributor with Rift Junkies for several articles during the 'Storm Legion' expansion. He does not always use the moniker 'Jairone' but it is a frequent choice in honor of one of his Grandfathers, as it is based on his middle name of Jerome.