Starting Off - What do YOU do?

Hey everybody!,

Just wanted to take a little survey here… I’m a bit interested.

Whenever I start the game, I usually just start collecting resources, put up my crafting stations, layout stockpiles, and then just lay beds on the grass. And I’ve seen that with a quite a few people.

But! I’m curious! What do you guys do when you first start the game?

Let me know!

  • Oh oooo! And just for extra bonus discussion, if you have any thoughts on it, how do you think the game should start instead of how it does now?

Again, let me know!


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Prior I select a safe spot, where there is a minimal chance of evil cornering my hearthlings. Then I order for seats and beds for all my hearthlings. They will dine and sleep under the stars for at least a few nights. I collect as many flowers, berry bushes (and berries), stone and silkweed as possible. First in one big stockpile, then when there are more proffesions I start to filter and place smaller selective stockpiles near crafting stations.
To start an economy I let my carpenter craft finer items for the merchants, meanwhile the first walls or houses are erected. From there on out it’s finetuning and growing in wealth and decorations really.



Yep, that’s exactly what a lot of people do.

Hmm… Do you like that way of starting the game or would you prefer something different?

And to all those reading this reply, same question to everyone else.


A barrier at the beginning is that erecting buildings is quite time consuming. If the weaver could craft tents out of bolts of cloth and thread that’d be cool. Tents shouldn’t take long to build.
Another option would be sod huts, dug out from the soil, add some wood for structure and use soil as a roof. Should be quite quick aswell, and a good alternative when you start your settlement.



The tents I agree with.

But the sod huts! I never thought about that! Good idea!


First off I drop an All Stockpile next to the group and harvest trees/clay depending on group. Then I set my primary crafter to work making 10 beds while everyone else builds walls. I’m a very slow builder, as I kinda want access to all the decorations before I start getting serious with houses/shops. Since I need time to plan things out, I wall off a large area around my whole town with a 2 block high fence made out of wood for Ascendency and stone for Rayya’s. That gives me plenty of breathing room to gather all the plants I want in one area and build walls in peace. Once I figure out what I want them to look like lol. I only play in hard mode though so while the wall may be cheating in a way I like to focus on crafting up front and the walls let me do that without my whole village getting wrecked by zombies.

Temporary housing options like tents would be awesome as I’m loathe to build a temp building for folks to sleep in cause I know I’m just gonna tear it down anyway. My hearthlings aren’t happy, but they’re content until they get their individual homes and I’m okay with that.

I greatly admire the streamers like @Banto that aren’t pausing the game all the time to plan things out and just randomly construct great buildings, I’m just not that kind of player lol.



Yeah, I’ve seen that strategy as well.

Well same question I asked @ZwoeleBeer - do you like that way of starting the game, or what do you think would be better?


As far as me liking the way I start the game, I love it. It suits my playstyle. I can gather all the plants I want in peace, terraform anything I think needs to change, and build the permanent walls I want surrounding my city without constantly having to activate town defense mode. Once that’s done I usually remove my temp walls and I can focus on building and decorating within the walls. Honestly I’m not quite sure I’d change anything. The current way the game starts allows the player a whole lot of freedom. That can be daunting the first time or two, but once ya get the swing of things each player will develop an opening strategy that caters to their needs.

We REALLY need some sort of cutscene to properly convey the feeling of exploration and wonder (this could just be an excuse to get more amazing artwork from @Allie lol). :jubilant:


Right on!

And I’m liking the idea of more artwork! : D


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You can sum up my game starts in one word: defense. Everything else is secondary. I always play on peninsulas or in cul-de-sac formed by natural walls so there’s only one path to entry to the village. Knock down a couple trees to get wood for ladders, then go dig out trenches in the stone to safely block off areas to mine heavily, later. I’ve always started with a lot of food and the loadouts make that even easier now, so I don’t need to worry about crops for the first two days. Just pure defense.

The world will get nasty and it will try to kill you. But if you set up a trapped entry maze with turrets, and funnel all the incoming enemies into a point of your choosing, you’ll never have overwhelming difficulty. The game is still designed to slightly punish defensive posture (maybe it will always be thus; dunno what the design concepts are) but the benefits outweigh the costs, imo.


I start off by digging into the side of the mountian (I usually have a mountain on one side and a lake on the other). I make a hallway with small rooms off to the side where beds and storage go for now. I then get my crafts up and running and plan my city layout. I do that in blueprints and make all the roads for a guide as I build. My houses end up having ladders down into then small rooms previously dug out and the rooms wil become specialized storage.

I think it would be fun if when you placed the flag in the beginning, it was a ghost so one of the hearthlings would place the flag. It would also be great if they had to unpack from a cart or something so it looks like they just arrived at the location.


I like to start out either right beside some foothills/mountain or sometimes on an island. I’ll hit pause right away and promote my hearthlings to carpenter/potter and trapper. I keep it paused and will select a bunch of trees to get chopped and then I look around for flowers, silkweed and berry bushes. I try to get at least 10 flowers and 10 silkweed (though i prefer more for my early herbalist and weaver) and hopefully 12 or so berry bushes. If the berries are too far from where I placed my banner I try to get a farmer right away, otherwise i usually wait a few days for more people.

Still paused, I figure out where I want my trapper zones. I usually want at least 2 full zones in a forested area close to town. The trapper usually doubles as an early warning for incoming monsters so I like him/her to have a decent body stat so they survive running home. With all this done I set up a few storage yards. I like one specifically for food and another for just weapons/armor. The rest goes in a general stockpile with those sections toggled off.

After that I’ll un-pause and we’re off to the races.

As for the bonus question: I’d like there to be a choice of, say, 3 citizens whenever your town earns a new settler. Perhaps a moveable/placeable cart like in Timber & Stone at the beginning, maybe acting as a low capacity storage box.

I’d also like it if the starter templates were more concise to the available jobs. We have jobs that have advanced jobs when leveled, so I think that the starter templates should have templates for the first row of jobs available and then when you get to township level 2 the more advanced jobs have templates there. So Township level 1 Ascendancy: Small barracks for the footmen, herbalist (apothecary maybe?), smithy, carpentry, masonry, farmhouse, trappers shack, and weaver. Then at level 2 there are templates for a larger barracks/fort, chapel (cleric), engineering workshop, pottery, restaurant and a shepherd’s cozy home.



Yeah, I’ve seen that type of start as well.

Actually, I have yet to do that. I really need to try that out!

Oooh! But in thinking about that, I was reminded of all of the Kickstarter goals! And lo and behold, there shall be Dwarves! Ah man, so perfect for that type of play-style…

And if you or any reader of this reply don’t know about the Kickstarter goals, check them out here!

… Reading those goals really shows the full power that this game will show!

And I love your idea about unpacking a cart! My thought was to just have all of our starting materials in one squared-style, square-wheeled wagon at the start.

Anyway, thanks for the comment.


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Yeah, I’m noticing a lot of similar play styles here. And out of most of the styles, I’ve seen that many players don’t actually start building stuff right away, but rather just focus on resource gathering. Hmm… The whole point of this forum post is try and figure out what to do to fix that. Make it more, I don’t know the word… Make it more ‘realistic’ I suppose.

Someone did mention the idea of having tents as part of the starting off kit. I do like that idea, but I feel like there should be more to it…

Anyway, sorry for thinking aloud there…

A per your idea on selecting from 3 choices of Hearthling when your town earns a new settler… I think that’s a fantastic idea! As for a moveable / placeable cart, well, same goes, love the idea!

And as for all the templates, I agree, but I think all of those extra templates plus the extra organization of all of them will come in the Beta rather than anything else. That’s a more ‘Quality of Life’ sort of feature. Still though! Definitely would like to see it in-game eventually!




I play on peace-full but I guess this would work on normal too, just with constantly worrying about getting some footmen. Layout stockpiles, get a carpenter and massive deforestation along with 5 farms and 2 farmers 1 turnip 2 carrot 2 pumpkin later corn. Then I have a designed building with 7 mean beds and 4 small chests for food, then I get a mason quickly and a cook to boost mood, blacksmith, trapper, weaver, 2nd mason and 2nd blacksmith all with mining and deforestation in the background, I suppose on normal there’s also the military working in the background. On peacful it take 15 days at best, with ib command maybe 8 for leveling.

As Cavalry/Horseback riding has been discussed, this could be an expensive way of getting your first horse up front much like a hunting knife. I like the idea they should have something, either a cart they pull or a horse-pulled wagon.

Personally I have some issues with the proper size. I like to build big eventually so I dig out waterways that will create a vacuum between a lake and a mountain. I then dig a hall in the mountain for basic beds and storage. Fast forward to the part where I always have the management issue of hearthlings vs professions and re-do.


This seems to be the most common of play styles. However, I did like that you included the mason in the very beginning in order to craft the Cook’s spoon. With happiness and sadness now in the game, yeah, I haven’t really haven’t incorporated that part yet into my own play-style. Probably should… : D

Anyway though, do you like this way of starting off or do you think there’s a better way? What would you prefer?


For me, the largest part of starting out happens before I even load the map – I spend some time (admittedly, a lot less thanks to the new customization options!) creating an interesting, reasonably balanced party of adventurers with some kind of inherent narrative/reason for setting out. I’m also not afraid to re-roll the map a few hundred times until I find one with a good variety of terrain features.

Like many of the others here, I like to settle between the mountains and a lake. However, I often try to settle in the foothills, above the plains and usually in a valley. This helps a lot with early-game defence, since it limits where enemies can attack from. I focus on a small village rather than a rapidly expanding settlement, so space isn’t an issue for me when I play this way.

Immediately after settling, I promote my carpenter and have them set up their workbench, using the starting logs to produce crates as a way to level them up. This means I can more quickly unlock advanced classes, but it also helps me avoid large stockpile zones; helping to create a neat campsite look.

My first task is usually to gather the nearby berry bushes and other such plants, and arrange them for easy harvesting. I try to avoid clear-cutting the forests, but I will clear out an area for the village in the first couple of days. After that, I chop down the trees which have grown into each other, and “thin out” the forest to make it look more inviting. I’ll also clear trees from around the base of any bunny statues nearby, since I like the look of having them in a small clearing. Later, once my farms are set up and I’m not relying on my transplanted wild plants, I’ll move them around the bunny statues to create lush meadows.

While the workers gather the early necessities, my carpenter has generally reached level 2 or 3 by the third day. At level 2 I have them make 10-ish beds (enough for everyone and some spares for later) and lay them out around the fire pit, reinforcing the look of a campsite. As soon as I can, I make a farmer’s hoe and get some fields dug, although I don’t worry overmuch about planting them immediately – I have berries to help out for a while, and I prefer to plant my fields when the farmer has some down-time so that the whole field gets planted at once. There’s nothing more aggravating to me than when the farmer gets interrupted halfway through planting or harvesting, so you end up with half a field of seedlings while the other half is ready to harvest.

Once the farms are sown, the next priority is somewhere for the hearthlings to live. I have a “tent” blueprint which fits a bed and not much else, although I should probably update it to take into account the cramped room mechanics… anyway, I start building these one after the other, expanding the camp right out to the edge of the forest or lake. At that point, my town worth is high enough for migrants to start arriving, so I start creating the more advanced classes and setting up my guards.

Once I receive a visit from the Royal Herald, I switch over from the “camp” phase to the “village” phase. I build up permanent houses (usually rustic log houses on the outskirts to begin with, e.g. a farmer’s house with a barn or a carpenter’s workshop), start creating roads between key areas like the farms and the village center, and I start designing a tavern/inn which will house the cook.

With the village set up, I let the game start to dictate my narrative a lot more – allowing the incoming migrants and enemies to decide what my next priorities will be. It’s usually a good 4+ in-game months to get to this point, so I’d say I’ve moved out of the early game by now and I’m progressing slowly through the mid-game. The efforts taken at the start of the game allow me to take the next steps at a leisurely pace, knowing I have a foundation for whatever I need next – whether it’s an army, a large population, a massive construction project or pushing for Tier 2, I have all the things I need in order to build up to those kind of goals.

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For the smallest pre-designed building you could make your own with about 8x8 and fit in 1 table, 1 dresser , 1 bed, 1 chair and 1 crate for the “basic tent”. Also a dininghall/sleeping hall inside a mountain is glorious as it gives you resources rather than take.

…what’s the point in playing in hardmode if you’re cheating with a wall to block out the things that would make it hard to focus on the easy tasks like crafting? do you ever actually destroy the walls?