Salem Beginner’s Guide by Sevenless
Welcome to the New World pilgrim. It’s now officially time to have a nice serious chat about the nature of permadeath and open world PvP. Although the graphics may be “cute”, Salem takes after its predecessor Haven and Hearth for being a vicious game. Competition is fierce, there are Raiders and Griefers out in the world and they will try to kill you at some point. Many people see this as a game to live peacefully with a little hermitage off in the woods, but the honest truth is Salem is a land at war, and always will be. To live a peaceful life your best chances are to sign up with a powerful faction and live inside their massively defended towns. Hermitages can never afford the defenses the larger towns can, and although they are also bigger targets end game there tends to be stalemate between large factions. This can all change on a dime as defenses and offenses in the game get adjusted, but I still believe it to be generally true.
The healthiest way to play this game in my opinion is by looking at characters as tools. They are shovels for digging, swords for fighting, or rakes for gardening. When you lose a character, as you almost inevitably will, look at it as a tool that was broken. This means you should at all costs avoid making “Swiss Army Knife” characters that do everything for you. Sending your 100 Stocks and Cultivars character out to afk chop wood is a terrible risk for something that could easily be done on an alt that is an hour old. You are allowed multiple characters, so use them. Make alts and level them so that when you die you will still be useful for your settlement. That isn’t to say that you will be killed, I know a couple players that have managed to avoid it (as in 1-2 out of 50-100 players I’ve talked to). But expecting it as inevitable will help you prepare for it and soften the blow a bit.
If any of this alarms you, *seriously* reconsider playing this game. I hope my advice on this matter is heeded. Salem follows in the footsteps of Haven in being one of the most brutal and heart wrenching games I’ve ever heard of or played.
Preparing for your Voyage
Login on the “vanilla” client found in the account section of this website. And then immediately close it. What you’re going to need is a custom client by either Enders or Apxe. Before you get on a soap box about mods being disrespectful, the developers *fully* support this and even made a special section on the forums for it. Jorb and Loftar (I will refer to them as Jorbtar) are a very small dev team and the modding community has stepped in to fill the role of UI for them. Not to say I approve of all additions, some of the non-public clients made by the larger factions likely offer very good botting abilities for example, but it’s a price we have to pay in order to have a functional game in the mean time.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, I personally use Enders more out of stylistic preferences than anything. Definitely check them both out and see which you prefer. Apxe now has a leveling tool of his own, which was a big reason to suggest Enders earlier on. From what I understand, the Java 7 problem with enders has been solved.
Is the interface difficult for you? Not everything is fully explained.
Check this post out for shortcuts to open things like skills window that
apply to all clients, no matter which you use:Salem User Interface GuideP.S. Your Hearth Secret is found in the buddy list window.
Your First Steps
At this point it’s best if you head out and read the Skills and Humours Guides before doing anything else. This will give you an idea of what to do as you wander out from boston, and will let you start to see how the mechanics work.
Note: Maple leaves are used in several early game inspirationals, but the trees take a good long time to regenerate their leaves. Don’t expect to find maple leaves anywhere closer to boston than a 30 minute walk directly away from the starting area. Be patient and try Rock Maracas instead. They provide a lot of useful starter skills, and flint isn’t hard to find.
The starting tutorial gets you out into the new world fairly quickly, and provides helpful advice along the way. I’m going to start this guide with your arrival into Boston as a fresh character. Your first task should be to leave the area and start walking away from Boston. The Boston Village claim gives protection to starting characters, and in the past when there were large waves of beginners being born, raiders would camp outside the claim to kill noobies for sport. Since we’re unlikely to have very large waves other than when open beta begins, hopefully this won’t be an issue. Either way be cautious of anyone you meet, *especially* if they’re wearing anything other than beginner clothes. If someone starts looking dangerous or threatening to you, simply log out by closing the client and check to make sure your Javaw process is dead. If not, crash that. Also, NEVER afk in this game outside of boston claim area. Once you have a camp up, you can teleport to boston or alternatively just log off. Afking is a very stupid reason to get killed. There is a safety portion to this guide, but these little tidbits should suffice until you’ve made a permanent camp.
Now, we have one skill (Childish Things) from the tutorial. This little gem unlocks some very early game crafted inspirational which are absolutely crucial to your progress. Wander out in any direction you please from Boston. The first skill we’re interested in is survival skills. This will give access to a free random teleport that (if you’re not unlucky) will dump you someplace relatively uninhabited compared to the areas around Boston. As you head out, start paying attention to your minimap and look for items. We’ll need 200 Frontiers/Wilderness and 200 Hunting/Gathering in order to nab our first non-tutorial skill. A fairly common way to level this is with the foraged curiosity Smooth Stone. However, since childish things is unlocked, we do have other options. Go take a look at the wiki found here. It’s probably best that you bookmark this for future use.
Now that you’re on the wiki, look up Rock Maracas, and the other inspirationals that have appeared in your crafting menu found in the bottom right of your screen. It’s time to wander until you find the curiosities to level your survival skill, it shouldn’t take long and remember to harvest berries off bushes as you go. As soon as you get 5+ berries, go into glutton mode and start getting those early levels of BB in order to make skilling up easier. Once you have survival skills, glutton/eat your food, study any curiosities you have ontop of what was required for Survival Skills and use the Boston teleport in the adventure menu. Until you have a leanto or claim, teleporting can only be done with an empty inventory.
Now, from here talk to a wilderness guide and get your free teleport. This will spawn you somewhere random in the world and give you a claimed leanto. Now, it’s very very very important to remember: You will not be living out of this leanto. There are many things that are important for a permanent living space, and a randomly chosen spot is very unlikely to even meet minimum requirements. Now port back to boston, it’s time to afk and learn how to use the Plymouth World Map.
Multi server support has finally been added, but new maps have not. For the moment all we have to work with is the plymouth map. Take a quick look anyway for when maps come out for your server, or just read on. The choice is yours.
The minimum requirements for a good living location are Autumn/Pine Forest, grassland, few ridges and water. Additional helpful biomes/features are the other kind of forest you’re missing (Pine or Autumnal depending), Sand, Game Trails and Lime Deposits. Just by scanning the world map I found a spot that is literally perfect to live in:
Every biome is within walking range of a fairly central location, and the forest has some lime deposits. That being said, places this ideal are very few, and there could still be ridges in the area that would make foraging a real pain. Sufficed to say, the best spots will probably already be taken, so the simple water/grass/forest formula should work for you. Also remember that the grassland and forest should be more than little spits of land. Furthermore, remember that any area closest to where you set up your home will not forage very well. Foraging is based on maps reloading after having no players in sight of them for a certain time. It’s important therefor to not settle too close to sand, the biomes come in small amounts and the coarse salt that can be foraged off them is a very valuable resource. Most other biomes are big enough that the area taken out of them isn’t a big deal. Settling 3 “minimaps” (1 minimap is your sight radius in all directions on the item radar roughly) should be enough to ensure good respawn rates. If you’re living in a larger town, multiple foragers going to the same area can keep it from reloading quite easily though, so try 4-5 minimaps away to be safe for valuable areas like sand.
Now that we’ve had that discussion, you can port to your random ported leanto and take a look at the area. “Badlands” are a light brown and filled with venomous snakes. Also look if there’s ridges more than 2 tiles high. If you have either of these features, you’re probably better off starting from Boston. Be it from your leanto or Boston, start walking and begin your journey into the world of Salem.
It’s the Journey that Counts
As you begin wandering, start collecting and crafting inspirations as you can. The first skills you’ll want to get are Colonial Tradesmanship and Foraging. Both of these skills require slightly different proficiencies, just save curiosities and get whichever you can first (assuming you have space in your inventory for this). Colonial Tradesmanship is easiest to acquire by hunting chestnuts in the forest, but if that’s not an option there are craftable inspirations that will suit your needs. While you’re walking don’t forget to keep an eye out for gluttonable blackberries to get your BB up to 10. And while we’re on the topic, keeping an eye out for a place to live should be something always ticking in the back of your mind.
Once you’ve got Both of those skills, the next most important thing to get is Lore of the Lumberwoods. This skill is the gateway to many skills necessary as a beginning player, but it will take leveling several Proficiency bars to do it. Do remember, even Survival Skills unlocked some new Inspirationals to craft, it’s very worthwhile to investigate each one to figure out how easy they are to craft and what they give for Proficiency Points.
Once Lore of the Lumberwoods is acquired, Hiking should be acquired as soon as possible. Hiking will allow you to construct new leantos, a must have as soon as you find your new living location. If you’re Knocked Out (snakes and bears are both aggressive and can easily do this), you’ll be sent either to Boston, or to your leanto/claim if you have one. Naturally this is why we preferred the random teleport if luck allowed. Once this is acquired, Exploration, and Indian Tracking should be worked towards in that order. Once Indian Tracking is unlocked, keep ANY indian feathers you find, but don’t pick up an arrowhead until you’ve got a feather. These can made into Savage Charms and then sold in Boston to NPC stalls for 35s and are likely how you will get your first cash in the New World.
Thanks Shiala for catching this: Swimming now takes phlegm and a lot of it! Beginners really don’t need the swimming skill right now because there’s no way you’d even get across a river without problems. Furthermore, there’s been 1 report of swimming in the darkness causing permadeath. Dip your toes in carefully pilgrims.
If you find a feather and arrowhead, but haven’t found a good spot to live yet, make a leanto anyway and claim it. Port to boston, sell the Savage Charm and buy a purse to put your money in. It can be equipped, meaning if something KOs you it won’t drop your silver. Players with Larceny are still able to steal equipped items, so you’ve been warned. It’s also not a bad idea to make a leanto at some point just so you don’t lose your progress to a snake bite or bear attack. It’s probably a good time to mention that picking up hollow old logs has a decent chance of spawning a snake under it. Another nice little tip for beginners is to make sure to check hollow stumps and myrtle oak bushes. These can be used for storage in a pinch, but they also occasionally spawn curiosities like chestnuts and abandoned cobwebs. “Stumping” can be a fun way to break up the monotony of foraging since it actually requires you to look where you’re going and not just stare at the minimap looking for forageables. Don’t expect to see stuff more than once per 5 to 10 stumps, but when you do find the nicer inspirations they are very helpful.
Credit to Princess Aurora: Stumps can occasionally spawn small amounts of silver, between 1-4 pieces. It’s a rare, but welcome treat.
At this stage in your pilgrim’s life, it’s time to settle down. Hopefully you’ve found at least an acceptable place to live, but if not you may want to start looking at less attractive options. A forest is better than grassland for early game food finding, so if need be plop yourself down reasonably close to water in a forest. At absolute worst, you can forage grass by porting to boston and walking out to the edges of the claim to find some. Ridges are a real pain in the butt and I heavily suggest avoiding them if you at all can.
Once you’ve found yourself a spot, find some relatively flat ground to build a leanto on and set up camp. If there’s really no flat land available, pick up the whittling skill, make yourself a whittlers bench followed by a shovel, and flatten out a piece of land 2×3. Once you’ve got a spot you know you can build on (hold Ctrl to unlock the building from the in game grid), pave underneath it and then build/claim your leanto. At this point it might be worth your time to put together a wicker basket or two. Containers (or any carriable object for that matter) can be stored in the leanto by doing Adventure>Lift on the carriable object, and then right clicking on the wood of the leanto. A simple right click on the bag that appears or the leanto will take it back out. This is your first form of “claimed” storage, meaning that it will require another pilgrim leave a summonable scent AND have the larceny skill to take it out.
While this doesn’t mean much after a month in game time wise, it’s better than nothing for protecting your hard earned stuff. The motto to go by here is “If it’s not on a claim, it’s game”. Now obviously this doesn’t mean take items from people’s baskets while they watch you do it, but if you leave anything unclaimed overnight you should *not* expect to see it again in the morning as a general rule of thumb.
Seeing as Wicker Baskets are pretty shoddy storage containers, it’s probably a good idea to aim for carpentry and a little bit of pocket silver next. You’ll need 2 nails to get a sawbuck, which is required to make Wooden Crates. Crates hold 15 items instead of the woeful 6 that fit in your baskets. Now, early world the only real way to do this is by either drying skins and selling them to NPCs, or by collecting savage charms for NPCs. Drying skins without a claim is usually a very frustrating endeavour, so the likely chance is you’ll need 2 savage charms to do this. Once the world has been rolling a bit, often beginners can do things like make hay (5 grass + 1 crafting action) and sell them for 5s each. The newly added player vending stands, or a player trader, will allow you access to cheaper nails than the 30s ones in the NPC stalls. Make sure to ask around, at the writing of this guide nails were selling for ~20s each from players.
Once you’ve got some crates for storage you’ve officially got yourself a nice little start on a settlement. It’s time to start diversifying skills and finally get back to working on your humours as 5/5/5/10 is probably getting quite annoying by now.
Home Sweet Home
Now that you’ve settled in the area of your choice it’s time to hunt a proper living location. I suggest spending 1-2 days in the area looking for a good final location to settle in. Remember you don’t want to be too close to any biomes that are small (sand or small forests). Three minimaps minimum. You’ll also want to be within a minimap of water if at all possible. However, do keep in mind that flatness of the area you’re moving to will make an incredible difference in the amount of work it takes to make a decent sized settlement. For a hermit, 20×20 is about the smallest area you could expect to live in comfortably if the farms and coal piles were outside the initial walls. Digging as a hermit is a very very large project when done solo. All buildings need flat land, but farms can be built on uneven land to save digging requirements. The big key here is that walls will need flat ground to be built on (not quite, but it’s safer and less hassle if they’re just built on flat areas). What this basically means is you’re going to need a flat 20×20 square made to build your settlement on, and the wall should have one row of tiles beyond it flattened to prevent issues when building it.
At this stage of the game it’s time to start thinking about the long run. No longer a fresh faced noobie, it’s time to deal the dangerous realities of this game. Getting the settling skill and amassing enough silver to get a small claim going is absolutely essential to start getting some meager protection for your items. It’s also the start of getting a full claim up on your 20×20 plot. The initial 5×5 claim costs 150s, and after that it will be 1s for each tile claimed. This means that a 400 tile 20×20 claim will cost a total of 525s. While you’re working on saving for this, perhaps now’s a good time to take a full read over the safety guide.
As a beginner with low phlegm, always claim 2-3 tiles outside the outer wall you intend to build and do it first. If someone decides to grief you, they can build a gate across your own, but with a claim this is a very expensive and difficult thing to do. Claim first, wall second until your phlegm is above that required to nuke any walls you make.
Your stuff won’t be even remotely safe until a *triple* stone hedge wall, fully claimed, is setup with at least 9 braziers guarding it. This triple wall + braziers is a good goal to attempt to achieve within 2 weeks of settling on your final location. A lot of course depends on how much you play per day, but an active hermit should be able to finish this off within roughly that time.
Note: At no point does this mean you should attempt to actively defend your claim. Warriors will always have better stats and better familiarity with the combat in the game. It’s far safer to do your best to discourage them and simply accept what losses you get rather than risking your character.
Deciding on a way to generate silver isn’t a bad idea at this point.
Living off the NPC:
The “Hudson’s Bay Company” has NPC stalls in Boston that buy certain things for a set price. Everyone makes a little money by finding indian feathers and producing savage charms of course. But drying and selling rabbit and beaver skins is an option for money that can be brute forced to produce silver if you’re willing to put the work in. The other option from this is producing cricket teams by killing 11 warbite crickets at a time. All of these are reasonable forms of income, but generally speaking selling items/forageables to players tends to be better silver per hour.
Selling to established players:
Many inspirations/forageables can be sold to other players for example. Pine Forests and swamps have the very valuable Witch’s Cap which is a great black bile food / healing food and often in demand by more settled players. Lavender bluets found in pine forests/swamps and grasslands are also something that is likely sellable to other players. Singing old logs, brains, hay. All of these and more have value to players. Head over to the trade section of the forums and have a look to see what people are buying.
Setting up your own trade depot
Having had a look at the trade section, you can probably guess what other players are buying. This is perhaps a little early on in your life, but opening a trade thread of your own and hawking your wares in Boston is by no means an impossible dream. Beginners need backpacks, nails, metal and these are likely going to remain popular staples in the long run.
Now that we’re done looking forward, it’s time to consider the present again. I’m assuming there’s probably just a basic 5×5 claim up with a leanto and a couple crates. Mushroom Hunting and Flowers & Berries are two skills that will likely make your life much easier. Flowers unlocks the delicious Wild Salad recipe which is a great early game phlegm food, and Mushrooms unlocks Shrooms on a Stick, a good Yellow Bile or Black Bile recipe depending what it’s combined with. If you’re living in a hilly area Hill Climbing is definitely a skill that will be worth your time to acquire (I suggest picking up essential minerology first for the Minerological Surveys that make Mines and Mountains a much easier proficiency to get).
From here on out, skill paths start to diverge significantly depending on what you want to do. Hermits will need a smattering of everything, but people living in small groups will want to specialize. All of the skills are in their own way equally important though so it’s tough to determine what should go first. I’ll be splitting the three primary paths: Farmer/Cook, Miner/Craftsman, and Hunter/Warrior. The requirements for each of these professions will be covered in their own section as linked.Other Salem Articles
Salem User Interface Guide
Salem Beginner’s Walkthrough
Salem Miner and Craftsman Guide
Salem Farmer and Cook Guide
Salem Skills, Proficiencies and Learning Ability Guide
Salem Darkness Guide
Salem Defense and Safety Guide
Salem Humours and Gluttony Guide