New Player Survival Guide
What follows is a loose set of pointers and advice to help new players tackle Salem headlong with some measure of success. Let's start by noting some important things:
1) Salem features permadeath and a constant possibility for danger in the environment. As such,it is important not to get too attached to your character,as no matter how well you play,you may very well log in the next day and be missing your scalp!
2) Continuing on the above, it is strongly advised to each player to make "alts" or extra characters once they are comfortable with the game play mechanics. This serves two purposes actually: not only will you have a "fall back" character(s) if your "main" succumbs to death,but many of the most successful players will tell you it is prudent to make different people for different jobs. While it is entirely possible to have a "Jack of All Trades" i.e. a character who can perform all the various tasks in the game,it is a massive undertaking to do so,and also leaves you even more susceptible to losing every bit of hard work if/when that character succumbs to death or is murdered.
3) PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR HUD! I can't stress this enough, I am not exaggerating when I tell that even more dangerous than the other players is yourself,you will be getting Knocked Out (and losing Proficiencies/inventory when you do) by such silly things as running out of Phlegm while moving furniture or boulders for example, or blundering headlong into a bear because you weren't looking at your minimap/radar, etc. Watch what you're doing and where you're going and you'll save yourself A LOT of headache and wasted effort.
4) Have Patience,and a Plan. Salem is a very deliberate sort of game. It requires patient persistent hard work, you're not going to be an epic warrior or sinister spellcaster in your first week or even first month, not here. As mentioned in #2, you really need to think about what role you want your character to fulfill. Am I going to be a hunter, gathering animal skins and meats for good food and clothing and trade? Do I want to be a farmer, tending my fields and raising valuable crops of quality veggies and cottons to assist the hunters and Tailors? Am I a smith, able to quickly reduce the hardest substances in the game to mere rubble with ease, and harvest rare and precious stones to make me wealthy? These are questions you should ask and answer for yourself BEFORE you go too far up the skill tree, as inspiration points and studyable objects are a precious and finite resource.
5) Ask for Help! While this game necessarily breeds some very begrudging attitudes, many of the players remember how hard they had it starting out, and are more than willing to try and help the polite, patient player starting out. Use the forums and in-game chat to the utmost to learn what you don't already know.
6) Consider Joining Up with a Town. The game mechanic necessarily causes people to be somewhat paranoid, but through perseverance you should be able to find an established group of players to join with and enjoy not only sage advice from experienced characters, but also added resources and protections that come from an established town/village complex, for just a small example it will allow you access to various crafting stations that you wont be able to build yourself starting out. As in most MMOs, belonging to a group or community goes a long way to your progression and success, and generally makes the game more fun!
Now, let's talk a bit more about your first few days/sessions starting out in greater detail: When you start the game you will be in a private instance (Tutorial), not the game world at large,and walked through creating your character and most of the important menu interactions and gameplay mechanics. I won't hash over this too much as it's pretty self explanatory,just listen to and read the instructions given and do as asked,my advice moving on from here will assume you have a grasp of the basic concepts like Humours/biles, Proficiencies, Skills and so on provided in the Tutorial. In the instance you can wander around a bit gathering objects to study and foodstuffs to "stock up" for the real game world, but I do not advise spending too much time and effort here for one reason: your character does NOT EXIST on Salem's servers until you finish the tutorial instance and Homestead in the game world, so if any crash or glitch happens and you get disconnected while in tutorial, it's ALL GONE and you have to restart the character creation process from scratch!
Once you finish helping the natives in the tutorial, the guide will take you to up to five different locations in game world to make your "Homestead". This will be your main spawn point and base of operations, as it were, and it can be eventually changed so it's not too terribly important but it IS advisable to seek a location with a variety of Terrains and plants/animals nearby, as this will allow you the potential to do more later, as you will see (setting up fairly close to any water source like, river or ocean is a good idea as well). Be advised, once you have chosen "show me another location" or whatever, you will NOT be able to return to a previous spot to choose, and you only get 5 locations, if you choose to be shown the 5th, that WILL BE your Homestead no matter what you do (or don't!) have access to there,so choose carefully.
You may want to start out by boosting your Proficiencies/Skills a bit and Gluttony to raise your starting Humours a bit, so as to be able to do more, this is actually not a bad idea, just don't get carried away as you aren't going to be able to do a whole lot starting out regardless, and there are other things to worry about!
Salem has a strange sort of seasonal progression, there are three main Seasons that change weekly (i believe) mostly at random, but the ONE season you have to concern yourself with starting out is COLD SNAP, evidenced by the little picture in the corner of trees and a river being somewhat dim and having a windy looking icon in the skies, you will know for sure it's cold snap if you already have a little debuff icon below that, it will say "Hypothermia", which is caused by the low Temperature. In Salem, there is a hypothermia mechanic during cold snap whereby you will steadily freeze if poorly clothed (as starting out) and it will cause your food to not regen your humours, tasks to take longer, and eventually you can even freeze solid!! To prevent this you need to look through your crafting menus and/or learn skills and get the Patchwork & Rags skill so that you can craft some basic clothes (Jute) . Then, you will need to gather the required materials to craft each item. IF you are unlucky enough to start during a cold snap, do not fear! Once your temperature drops to where you are no longer regenerating your humours, you can warm up inside a building until you are back to full temperature and can work a bit more. The easiest way to do this is to travel to Providence (under the "Adventure" button in your actions menu) and seek refuge in the barn, from the town square cross the bridge over the river to the north, turn left at the far side and follow the wall around the corner to your right, the barn should be directly left across from the wall. If you have trouble finding your way just ask for help in Area Chat, and hopefully someone nearby will assist you.
Your main pursuits starting out should be to glutton a bit to raise up your starting humours some (see appropriate wiki page for more info on Gluttony) and learning some Skills to build some things to help you. Most of this starting out will be wandering around foraging for food and objects to study or use as building materials, mainly some basic Containers to hold things (as carrying too much weight in inventory will slow your character movement WAY down and prevent you from traveling to Providence) and perhaps a Whittler's Bench to craft some of the basic items. PROTIP: be sure to peek in (Open) old tree Hollow Stumps, fallen Hollow Logs and Myrtle Oak Trees (bushes) for some valuable goodies, oftentimes people will "hide" things like small bits of silver or uncommon studyable objects ("Inspirationals") in the various stumps and bushes, so it's really a good idea to check them all when you find them.
If you happen to come across an "abandoned" camp you can often get a real jump on starting by gathering and repurposing the left behind materials and resources. DO NOT initiate your Crime! state to attempt to pilfer claimed land, doing so will RAPIDLY drain your starting humours and leave you knocked out on the claim, awaiting the owners' Justice!!! Pilfering other players claims is a grand and important part of Salem, but not one you're equipped to deal with the consequences of starting out, save yourself a headache and take my advice, JUST DONT DO IT!!
When in doubt,you can tell if a "camp" is active or not by looking at the lean-to structure(s) nearby. If they are inhabited there will be a small notice or paper tacked to the left side pole of the lean-to (just like yours!) if there is not a paper tacked on the lean-to, it is uninhabited and you may even make it your own by right-clicking it and choosing to use as your homestead, this will make the new lean-to your spawn point and ABANDON your old one, so be careful not to jump about too much and get yourself lost.
Ultimately and as mentioned before, you're best strategy is to PLAN in advance. What do you want to do next and how do you gather what you need to do it? This will save you untold effort and frustration through aimless wandering, wasted humours and proficiency points, and so on. Caution is your boon in this game, if you encounter something unknown/unsure, your best bet is avoidance, at least until you research it through wiki or ask a (trusted) fellow player about the action and potential ramification. Salem might fairly be referred to as "Unforgiving" in its gameplay, so an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, hands down.
I hope you find this information useful starting out, above all Have Fun!
- This Guide was compiled by Bleuwulf
For more information on specific aspects of the game, please visit the following pages: