Sub Log: Day Two

This is an ongoing log of a play-through of Subnautica, which distracts me from the real world and its recent dystopian turn for the worse. This is a continuation from last time. Or you can start at the beginning.

Casa De Panelface

The detonation of the Aurora power core was…something of a disappointment. I’m very much still alive and not particularly irradiated. The lifepod wasn’t even particularly distressed. Still, another batch of scrap and wreckage has been distributed throughout the region, which is useful since the printer-thingie can extract the titanium out of it.

This is a point where there are notable design differences between Subnautica and Terraria. In the latter, for instance, the player occasionally finds chests just by exploring, and these are collected, brought home and used until enough iron is available to freely make chests. (For a while, it isn’t.) Also most materials stack, so that up to a thousand units of the same material (say blocks of dirt) would fit into a single inventory slot. In Subnautica nothing stacks, and it’s one-for-one. It only takes three titanium to make a beer cooler, but then you have a lot of beer coolers to manage, full of stuff that isn’t beer.

So the more economical approach is to hurry up and build that base. This involves getting some silver to make a habitat builder (essentially, a handheld fabricator / printer thingie). I’m fond of T-segments for having a wall against which to make lockers, yet three points for expansion and a spot for structural reinforcement which is what allows for breathtaking glass walkways between rooms and junctions without the base falling apart.

For now, though, a foundation platform, a simple T-junction and a hatch will provide a place to put stuff. Without power, it won’t have air, so I have to remember to track my oxygen while sorting. If I can plant it near a shallow reef, I can put solar cells on the reef which will fix the no-air problem.

As a note, in Terraria, one is compelled to build a shelter for two reasons: One is the nightly onslaught of zombies. It gets dark and they keep coming all night. The other is the villagers. You start with the Guide who serves as your crafting index, and your first zombie victim if you leave him out in the cold. The other villagers come with time as you provide them a room they would like. Since many of them offer useful goods and services (healing, piggy banks, rocket boots, firearms et al.) there’s an incentive to build room enough for everyone. So in Terraria, no base is provided, but it’s an early order of business. In Subnautica though, while a base is good to get started early, one can be fairly contented living in the lifepod if they’re not too claustrophobic.

Just Bricks in the Wall

It’s not that I’m claustrophobic, but I’m worried about overfishing. And besides which, I don’t know when rescue is actually coming. Space is big. Really big.

So, if I’ve made a place for my stuff, what stuff do I need?

Here are the building blocks to a better Subnautica lifestyle:

Titanium: Titanium is the building block for pretty much anything I might want to construct that isn’t edible, from my knife for getting coral scrapings to segments of my undersea base. Literal bricks for literal walls.

Quartz: Anything that is transparent (most of my base for maximum awesome) is going to be quartz glass. People who liked the original Empire Strikes Back Bespin sequence (no windows) vs. the special edition (windows with vistas) may prefer just basic segments and adding windows later. But for those of us who want to ogle the seascapes, we’re going to want a lot of glass. Eventually I’ll get the observation room which comes with an orchestral sting when I walk in.

Salt: The ultimate seasoning for food. This is crystallized salt from deposits. (Extracting salt from seawater comes later, and requires a big machine.) Salt is used for curing when I’m on a fish diet, and an ingredient in an intermediary process for rendering water. It’s a tedious process, of first producing bleach, and then using that as an ingredient to create disinfected water. I long for the automatic water-purification plant, even if it will sap all my available power. Eventually I’ll just have to go nuclear. Still, snacks for on-the-go are usually cured fish, and for these salt will always be a necessity.

Copper: Necessary for batteries which power all my basic electronics. Until I create a battery charger, I’ll be storing my depleted cells for future charging and (/ or!) conversion into larger power cells to fuel vehicles. As with other more advanced minerals (e.g. silver and gold) this involved mining, though unlike Terraria mining which is a lot of digging to the core of the world, Subnautica mining is just breaking off chunks of rock where useful minerals are hidden.

…and the Rest: Soon, I’ll want to adventure into the creepvine groves, specifically for creepvine seeds with which I’ll make silicone rubber, and silver with which I’ll make microchips, a necessary component for fabricator (printer thingie) tech.

So, for the next few days, it’s about gathering stuff for the long wait…

At least until I come across wreckage.

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