Last Oasis Tips for Beginners
I started putting these ideas together at the end of beta and we’re just barely out of the gate with Early Access. I’m assuming the meta will change as the game and players shift and react to each other.
First Things First: Accepting the Limitations
This game has mechanics to support solo, small group and casual play but it is also designed to be engaging for large groups (even very large groups) that have an easy time breezing through what is very challenging for a solo player.
Simply put there is a lot of content – stuff on the Tech Tree – that you just aren’t likely to ever get to on your own. You aren’t going to have the larger walkers. Fortunately the smaller walkers are better for solos, anyway, for the most part.
No matter how good you are, how careful you are you will still get killed and have to deal with recovery. Its a PVP game so that’s just part of it. That means part of playing solo is preparing for losing everything so you’re as ready for it as possible. The key to playing solo more or less on your own terms is understanding and using the mechanics available to mitigate loss.
Second Things Second: Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon
Since a solo nomad can be at a disadvantage against groups of nomads (with equal skill) the simplest way to avoid getting killed is to avoid the fight altogether. A solo nomad is well served by ~constantly~ paying attention to the world around them, keeping track of terrain variations that could hide another walker – or be used to hide your escape if you see another walker- and always looking for the wings of potentially hostile walkers.
After you’ve been wandering for a little while you’ll start to see that most nomads fall into certain patterns of movement. You know where all the bone shards are, for example, so you’ll approach it carefully assuming other nomads are there, too. You can pretty much expect a walker at one loot drop to go to another visible loot drop next – and if you avoid that line of travel you’ll likely avoid them.
You’ll also start to see the pattern in the places most nomads don’t go. And its in those places where you can find a few precious moments of peace.
While this is entirely un-immersive…. I suggest you also keep an eye on the global chat log. When you see lots of people dying its time to decide if you’re in a safe enough place, where the hot spots are likely to be, if you have an escape route and if it’s time to just log out – especially if you have a lot of valuable stuff that you aren’t quite ready to use.
Speaking of logging out…
Mitigating Loss: Transferring Walkers to the Lobby
There is nothing at all immersive about this but its a mechanic that serves large clans and solo nomads equally well: you can safely log out many walkers and their contents using Transfer to Lobby.
You’ll probably transfer your first walker to the lobby as part of the tutorial quest for building your second walker so I won’t go over the mechanic here. I will mention a couple things about it, though:
- Your character has to be on the same map as the one where your walker was transferred to the lobby. If you left a walker safe logged at an oasis that has burned then it’s gone unless….
- You can have up to 5 “favorite” walkers that are automatically transferred to a living Oasis eastward when the Oasis it was parked at burns.
Those 5 favorite walkers are your safety net, your bank and your way to mitigate the (extreme) risks of being a solo nomad.
While the first day, for example, I had a camp set up in a little hidey hole and realized it would take a little time for the water to purify, the earth wax to be pounded and the various parts of the nomad cloth to be made. I had almost enough to make another walker so I split my time between managing the crafting devices and finishing up the farming. Then I made another Spider Walker and upgraded its water, cargo and hatch and loaded them up with some essentials and some walker modules I might want later. I also packed the crafting devices I had made into it since the Ballista Spider Walker isn’t able to pack a camp at all. Then I transferred it to the lobby.
The idea is pretty simple: a solo nomad can easily farm far more than the small walkers we ride can store… so we “store” those materials in the form of a backup walker that we can use as banked storage and a backup walker ready to go when (not if) we get ganked, camped and wiped.
Believe me, having a few walkers in the lobby greatly eases the stress of playing solo. Just knowing that you have a backup (or 4) lets you relax a little more about loosing the rig that you’re currently using.
Less Is More: No really, I’m serious
Those big walkers are really cool. And I mean really cool. And… the coolest of them are both mostly out of reach for solo nomads and completely impractical. If you want to work up to them you can certainly figure that out but your bread and butter is likely to be the smaller walkers. And I’d suggest the tiny ones.
My favorites for solo farming and exploration are the Spider Walker, the Spider Walker with Ballista and the Firefly.
The Firefly is dirt cheap, you don’t need Vision Powder to build it, has enough storage for solo nomad level farming and is a lot faster than you think once its got wings.
But… about those wings…
Those wings are what makes a walker very easy to see over vast distances. And the larger the walker and wings the more visible it is and the harder it is to find places to conceal it from view. The firefly is small enough that it can get into some pretty tight little hiding places but it isn’t really all that agile. And if you have to run in one be very careful with your driving: they tend to bottom out on small landscape variations and that will slow you down.
Which brings us to the Spider Walkers. In my mind these are the perfect solo nomad machines as long as you have (at least) the Dinghy you built for the tutorial tucked away just in case.
- Having no wings they are nearly invisible on the landscape and can be hidden in many, many places in the Oasis maps I’ve seen so far.
- The regular walker cargo upgrades make it hold quite a bit.
- The ballista spider is an easy way for the solo nomad to break open those harder crates. This really speeds up advancement.
- Both spiders have great maneuverability and traction: they are like the ATV’s of Last Oasis.
They are small, not as fast as winged walkers and will certainly feel cramped, so….
OK, Bigger Is Better, Too
The nice thing about the Dinghy and larger walkers is that you can pack entire camps in them and not just individual crafting devices. So you can make a small camp that has a variety of crafting devices and storage placed in it and pack them all up – along with their contents – into the walker. And just as quickly unpack the entire base and have it ready to go in short order.
So a solo nomad might log in with a ballista spider, explore a bit while farming fragments from crates then settle in for some cattail farming to make nomad cloth at a temporary camp. After breaking down the camp we ride the ballista walker to the edge of the map, grab all the material farmed that session and send it to the lobby and log in the Dhingy.
The Dinghy has a camp with some more storage and a woodworking station so we unpack that and get some Wood Shafts going while adding the day’s stash of Nomad Cloth to the walker storage and the wood, fiber and extra cattail to in the fiber crafting station of the camp for later. After that’s all done camp is packed back into the Dinghy and we safe log to the lobby.
That ends up making the larger walker very valuable (to the solo nomad, at least) so I tend to bring it into the game only when needed and try to keep enough packed in it to make another Spider so I don’t have to drive it around if I lose everything else.
Its the fastest way to level up, you get fragments from completing sections of it and it does a great job of guiding you through the game’s most important mechanics. If you make a mistake very early on and unlock the wrong thing then it can be hard to progress through the tutorial. I saw a few streamers do exactly that and they found themselves having to explore and fight before they knew how to fight or make bandages….
1) Even in the wingless walkers avoid being on top of ridges for long. You’re very visible and any movement will draw eyes to you.
2) When going over a ridge stop before you get to the top and see what’s on the other side. If someone could see you if you went over the edge you then have the option of watching to see what they are doing or turning around.
3) Fight the rupu, especially the larger, smarter ones. You’ll want all the practice fighting you can get and the rupu are the best a solo nomad will get for melee practice. If you have trouble with a White Death you will certainly have trouble with a player that knows what they are doing.
4) If you are being attacked by players use it as an opportunity to practice fighting and learn instead of giving up and getting frustrated.
5) Get REALLY good with your grapple. It can save you from fall damage, allow you to move in ways that are much harder for ranged weapons to hit and is just generally a cool way to move around.
6) You can kick. By default its mapped to “2nd middle mouse button.” If you don’t have that button remap it to something else. I’m using R and so far its working well. Be careful using it, though, as it uses stamina.
7) As far as I know there isn’t any way put markers on the map, yet. All I’ve been able to figure out so far is taking a screenshot to mark a place. You can also put down a quick sandbed which will be easily visible on your map but I’d do that very sparingly. Other nomads will find and destroy them and they are a sign of your presence since they have your name on them.
8) Have a lot of looted repair hammers and wondering what to do with them all? They’re better at opening the hard loot crates than any weapon you’re likely to have. Its a great use for them, less wear on your other tools and you spend less time being vulnerable at a highly visible landmark. Win win.
8) Get really, really good at blocking. When it comes to melee it doesn’t matter how good their weapon is: a block is a block. Again, practice with the rupus. Players are WAY better than rupus but its a good place to start.
9) Put those fragments in your walker storage. Right away. No exceptions. Yet at the same time…
10) Avoid hoarding too many frragments in your walker. Its better to know what you want to unlock and do that as soon as you have the frags for it. While your walker storage is safer than any other storage ingame your walker can still be broken into with the right equipment. It might not happen that often because that ammo is expensive but its good to be in the habit of using those fragments as soon as you can because it WILL happen at some point.
11) Also, if you’re about to get ganked and you can’t avoid it…. take those fragments and unlock whatever you have time for. Even if those aren’t the things you were working towards its better to unlock them than to just lose the fragments.
“What are those tier 2 fragment things? Tablets? Where do I find them?”
(sigh) Yes, Tablets. And you might as well forget they exist for a while. You make them. From 100 fragments, each, and 1K torque to power the machine that makes them. Torque is made with wind powered walkers or placed windmills and stored in Torque Batteries. You take these supplies to static crafting stations that only exist on hard maps to make the Tablet(s).
You can see the dangers, yes? First, that’s a lot of effort to farm up. Second, you have all that stuff on you or your walker as you approach the crafting station. Third, if you manage to make one you then have one of the game’s most valuable items in your inventory and you’re standing at a highly visible landmark…
Making Tablets one or a few at a time is likely to be endgame play for solos. It takes 100 of the SAME Tablet (of which there are 3 kinds, determined by RNG at creation) to unlock the largest walker…
See what I mean about the limitations of playing solo? That’s not a bad thing: its simply a consequence of a game that allows for both challenging solo AND large group play.