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Canis    2,337
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So, Im not going to butter you up with anything, I'm just throwing you right into the story.

So, imagine being me, 11 o clock at night, bored out of my mind and deciding to hop into a pub. I look into the server browser and the closest server to me is in the middle of winter, around day 28 or something. I think to myself "screw it, I want the challenge" and join. I pick Wilson for the hell of it since I didn't really expect to get anywhere, and because I didn't want to do anything long-term because of how late it was.

I spawn in, it's the middle of a winter day, almost everything around spawn is barren. I say my hellos in chat but the 2 people on the server aren't talkative. When they are, it's trivial things among themselves such as "do you have X" or something. I wander around the most I can, hugging the portal when I start freezing (the portal gives warmth when someone just spawns) and I manage to pull together the stuff for a torch. I set off in a random direction hoping to stumble across a base. 

Dusk rolls around. I survive by running as fast as I can in a direction and lighting the closest thing on fire when I start freezing. Keep in mind, I am still a fresh spawn, I have absolutely nothing on me, no winter gear, no beard, nothing but a torch, and not even the materials to make more of them. I come across a Swamp. I venture further into the swamp because someone finally responds to me with the general direction of base, which is south of spawn. I am the type of person to rotate my camera every 2 seconds so I very easily lose a sense of direction 10 seconds out of the gate. I light a spiky bush on fire and open up my map, trying to find the angle that I had as I spawned in (it starts you out pointing north). I get a general feel and learn that Im already heading south, so I assumed that the base is further in the swamp for the sake of deterring new players from entering or something along the lines. 

Night time hits, and I hit an ocean barrier. I say something along the lines of "wtf its not south, im in swamp and I hit ocean" and I get a reply with "you went the wrong way." I look at my map and sure enough, there is a fork in the land half a screen away from spawn, so I have to head all the way back, which is easily a fifth of the map length, on a dying torch under 20 percent. I flick the torch up for a fraction of a second when Charlie hisses at me, and I light the nearest flammable thing on fire when im freezing. It's starting to look grim since the torch is on it's last legs.

I can't really go far in terms of speed because I have to constantly stop and warm up, but by daybreak I am almost out of the Swamp. A good minute later, Im back at spawn and I go to the other side of the fork in the land. To my surprise, there was a base like 4 screens away from spawn. There wasn't much there, however. Granted, there was a backpack with a low-durability thulecite crown (which was oddly out of place), some logs, a stack of 40 twigs and grass each, and an axe. At least, that's what I bothered to pick up / scavenge. There was a spider den only a few meters away from the science machine that was there, so I'm guessing there was a Webber that didn't play nice. The people in the server said that this old base was abandoned early in the winter because most people died. After a quick flick of my map, something catches my eye and I turn the map back on as I throw some logs into the base's fire pit. There was a map marker at the base I was at, so I instinctively scrolled out and saw another map marker extremely far away from where I am. I was, however, already in the right direction, ie south from spawn. I'm close to starving to death, my health is somewhere near 100 due to freezing damage, and I still don't have a single piece of winter gear. I make a new torch and I set off towards the newly discovered map marker.

I ward off my starvation with juicy berries that, thankfully, weren't touched at all during the Winter, presumably as the bushes had berries in the first place. There were few and far between so I couldn't really stay above 75 hunger, but it gave me time to explore, albeit still at an excruciatingly slow pace since I still have to stop and get warm every 10 seconds. I come across a big hurdle, a killer bee biome. I light a tree on fire for warmth, say my prayers, and hold the W key like my life depended on it. I start freezing halfway through the biome, for obvious reasons, and it takes a huge chunk of my remaining health, I'm at somewhere around 50 now.

I make my way out of the bee biome and set the nearest object, in the case a berry bush, on fire as soon as I could and danced around it until the killer bees de-aggro'd. Now I'm starving, and close to death, not to mention my garbage sanity due to walking around in the dark. I check my map, and oh, I'm only halfway there. I spend my very tiny break making a new torch pre-emptively, and I keep walking. The next few minutes were a nice change of pace as there were a good amount of berry bushes around to make my hunger not an immanent threat. After around a full day and night of struggling to stay alive breath after breath in the middle of winter, I take a second to peek at my map, and I'm almost there, I'm only about 5 to 10 screens away. The relief was extremely short lived, because there was one more thing blocking my path to base. The dragonfly desert.

Nothing to burn to keep warm, save for cacti but they were extremely un-generous in their placement that they were barely an option. I couldn't use the lava or else it'd be suicide. I have to lose all of my hope and make a mad dash for the map marker. There's a road going through the desert so I stay on that. 

Freezing starts, nice. I start intensely watching my HP number go down as I keep running.

Dragonfly is in the middle of the god damn road.  I thought of myself as a dead man anyways, so I ran past her, being so close to her that our hitboxes collided, and she unsurprisingly hit me. The thulecite helmet absorbed most of it and broke, and in a very welcome stroke of luck, it only did around 5 damage. After that, Dragonfly couldn't catch up to me on the road so she gave up. my health is nearing single digits, and I start to count my losses.

But then I get to base.

I b-lined straight for the fire pit and dumped every single log I had into that thing. I take a second to breathe and look at the base. It's much more well off than the last base, it has a lot of grown saplings, tufts, berries, it has everything a well-off base should have. There's a webber and a wicker at base, very surprised on me surviving to even see base in the first place. They don't have any noticeable curio cosmetics on, so I assumed they weren't *that* experienced, however I guessed the Wicker was the more experienced out of the two because of the base layout. After giving my hands a break from the keyboard, I lean back in my chair, take another breath, and look at the day count- oh wait its day 30 and dusk is about to end.

I internally panic as I took some liberties and started to rummage around their chests for a last-ditch effort at surviving. I managed to put together a football helmet, a spear, a campfire, and a sign (deerclops bait). I also found a spare winter hat, which was a good relief.  I also also had to eat some healing food in the base's ice box because I wasn't fighting Deerclops while under 20 HP. (I think it was either 1 pierogi or something else that did 30-40 HP.) I basically ordered both people to follow me away from base (about 3-4 screens away) and threw down the campfire, fueled it to max, and put down the sign/Deerclops bait as fast as I could. I was worrying that we were too close to base, among my health being worryingly low, about my sanity being basically ensured to reach insanity in the first few seconds, I was worrying about the other 2 players, as the Webber specifically and obviously didn't have a clue what Deerclops even was.

So, Deerclops spawn, and I say my prayers for a second time. I start kiting it, and the Wickerbottom actually helps kite it too and is doing surprisingly well. I shrug it off thinking that it could be a semi-experienced player that just likes default looks of characters and keep kiting, even though more often than not the Wicker would take Deerclops' aggro away from me and make it very hard to kite him without being hit. The Webber tried to pitch in and help with a spear and gets instantly deleted by Deerclops. Cool, more sanity drain, thanks. My health is low, hunger is starting to become a problem again (around 25) and ive hit insanity. I desperately try to form a sentence with 1 word per message in between kiting and tell Wicker to keep shadow creatures off of me while I continue kiting. After what feels like forever, Deerclops dies. I start picking up the loot and head back to base as both people follow. The wicker drops a life-giving amulet on the ground, and Webber resurrects. I make a meaty stew with Deerclops' meat, and try and prototype anything I could to get shadow creatures off of me.

After I had a well-deserved moment to breathe, I sit back and actually realize the feats that I've just accomplished. I have survived several dead-of-winter days off of torches alone, with little to no food, with death around the corner at every second, and straight after I had to prepare for Deerclops in the span of a single minute and try and micromanage players into not screwing up and dying to Deerclops, I actually fought and killed Deerclops with every one of my stats extremely low. I thought to myself, "This is it. This is what defines me as a professional."

Edited by Canis
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