Salem Defense and Safety Guide by Sevenless
Do note: These defensive measures do *not* protect you from griefers. If someone is intent on ruining your day, what I suggest will only make it possibly more time intensive to do so. This guide is the defense against the other 95% of raiders: The ones who are in it for the profit, and the kills.
Defense in a SeaTribe game:
As a beginner it really seems like there’s nothing you can do to defend your hard earned items, but this is far from true. Even without using the infamous “Alt-vault” (secondary characters who log off with items), there’s plenty of tricks you can use. A properly set up camp can defend itself quite nicely from having things stolen now that the braziers have been buffed. There’s multiple things that can be done to frustrate and slow raiders down to the point that they will only steal a small handful of very valuable items. And those are simple to store on your character when you log out. Do remember: This guide is for beginners, with low stats. This is not about how to protect your life if you leave summonable scents. Tresspassing and punching but not knocking someone down are the only two that aren’t summonable. KO’ing someone in self defense leaves no scent if they attacked first. Murder always leaves a scent. Criminals: figure out your own defenses.
One thing worth noting: Avoiding trouble all together is often the easiest form of self defense. Walking a minimum of 2-3 hours out of boston (watch the clock, work on your stats/skills while you do it with foraging) will massively decrease the hassle you receive from raiding types. If you have 40+ stats, you can consider moving out into the darkness at the edges of the world. Life is much much harder out there, but there’s even less to worry about from other players.
Golden rules of self defense:
#1 Your most valuable asset is your character. You can instantly log off (close client or type :lo) or instantly teleport upon emptying your inventory if you *don’t* have a crime debuff and are not engaged in combat. Nothing you acquire will take longer to get back than the character you used to get it.
-Occasionally when logging out the game may stick you as perma logged in (crash your javaw applications to fix this), or not log you for a couple minutes. This happens about 1 out of every 100 logouts. Weigh this against the possibility of getting hit by a bullet while trying to dump your inventory to teleport. I tend to prefer the logout personally
-Get the enders client from here. This is the client I use, and occasionally there will be references specific to said client. The other popular & public option is the BDSaleM client by Apxe found here.
-Never *ever* afk outside of Boston. Logging on/off is very easy to do, use it. I don’t care if you think you’ll be gone 30 seconds, or if you haven’t seen anyone in a full week. That one moment when a raider is near is enough to end you permanently. As a beginner to SeaTribe games, there’s a decent chance you won’t come back.
-Always try to log out in a safe location where/when possible. If you’re feeling really paranoid, make sure to taskbar end your javaw process. Several villagers of mine have been online the whole night because of this. I personally prefer to log in Boston out of the main walkways.
#2 Trust no one you meet in person within the game
-It’s sad to say, but as a beginner it’s better to trust absolutely no one. I don’t care if they brought you three deer. Or if they helped you chop a tree down. If they’re out wandering around, it’s quite unlikely they’re just foraging and willing to help you out. If you want to meet players to team up with, use the forums. People’s in game name is often hard to link with their forum account, but forum accounts are much harder to replace. If they’re going to betray you, make sure to muddy the name that’ll stay with them the longest at the very least.
-If you’re about to be attacked attacked and have not yet been hit by a combat ability, log off. you can type :lo or hit the x button on your client. Other alternative is to run to your claim and port to Boston (standing anywhere you claim touches will let you port), or dumping all items in your inventory/backpack and then teleporting. Fighting as a new player who is unprepared is essentially suicide.
-When running away, run in a zig zag pattern. Low blood beginners can be taken down with a single bull rush (an attack the moves the character forward as well as attacking). This also makes it harder for them to tag you with a rifle.
#3 Never stockpile things of value that can’t be stored on your character when you log out. If you do, fully expect them to be missing the next day until you have a very thoroughly defended base.
-If you have no more than 20-30minutes worth of work that can be stolen from you, raiders hitting your base will be a much less devastating problem. Use your good inspirationals as you get them, never cook food into the final edible form until you are ready to feast them.
-Never stockpile more silver than you need for your current purchase. Invest it in items that are not worthwhile for the raiders to steal. Or impossible for that matter. Braziers, cabinets, chests, a smelter. Stuff they can’t put in their inventory. Anvils early game are very valuable though, so don’t think that’s a safe investment.
#4 For every cabinet you have, have at least one brazier
-It’s just a general rule of thumb, but it emphasizes a point. Cabinets = comfort, Braziers = defense. I can’t tell you how many towns I’ve heard of getting raided with ten cabinets and one brazier. If they’d had five cabinets and five braziers, nothing would have been stolen. Instead they lost everything. Personally I think an eventual goal of two braziers per cabinet is worth working towards once you progress beyond early game. This is a slightly outdated example now that silver is harder to get (therefore braziers are cheaper and you should have even more), but the point stands. It’s far better to over-invest in defence than it is in comfort.
-Brazier construction is unlocked with “Blacksmithing” and “Rights of an Englishman”.
-As far as I know, braziers attack over any summonable crime (knockout, murder, theft, vandelism). I’m unsure if they attack over assault.
-Braziers do 3 bb damage shot, ~1.5bb per second.
-They can fire at least 3 shots per coal. They can hold 20 coal in total. *This exact mechanism is under debate, there is no player who claims to have done extensive testing on coal use of braziers to my knowledge.*
-Braziers cost 4 iron bars.
-The range of an individual brazier is a radius of 22.7 (11 pixels/tile, total range of 250 pixels). Credit to the investigative reporting of the Tumbleweed Courant for being able to pry that tidbit out of Loftar.
-Braziers can NOT be built or moved inside a house. This gives outdoor metal chests the dubious privilege of being the best item defence available in game. I’m assuming this will change at some point in the future as things evolve.
-Both braziers and torchposts do not have their shots blocked by objects. They shoot through walls and houses. Braziers cannot however shoot into a house.
-Torchposts act like “mini braziers”. They do 0.5bb damage per second.
-Torches are fueled with 30 tinder instead of 20 coal
-The “expensive” inputs are 4 leather and 1 nail.
-Torchposts have a range of 18.2 tiles (11 pixel/tile, 200 pixel range)
Braziers are capped at 5 braziers worth of damage. It’s my assumption that torch posts are the same. There is a diminished return in how much each additional brazier/Tpost will deal in damage when they’re overlapping. I’m unsure of the mechanics, but mixing torch posts and braziers *may* lower brazier damage. This depends on how it’s programmed.
Targeting: How many walls? At least THREE walls!
Last I asked jorb about it, braziers have an “aggression” value that is increased as people commit crimes on the claim in question. At the time I understood it to mean you needed 2 vandalism attempts to get the braziers to attack. It turns out, either through my misunderstanding or a ninja update, the first two vandalism acts go un-noticed by the braziers and it is only the third wall that the braziers begin defending.
This means you need at LEAST 3 claimed walls to ensure one of the walls is actively defended by your braziers. After the braziers are aggressed, they will attack anyone committing further summonable crimes on the claim.
Credit to realak for updating me on the state of affairs with regards to defenses.
mod edit: Ensure that walls are not stacked. You still should have more than one wall, but there will need to be space in between each layer so that splash damage doesn’t severely damage the next layer. Also, braziers were changed so that they activate on the first waste attempt instead of the third. –MagicManICT
Of Claims, Fences and Keys Claim em, lock em, and hide the master key on an alt
At the start of the game any storage object put into your leanto (Do this by picking up the storage object and right clicking on the leanto structure to put it in, right click to get it back out) is going to require theft to steal. This isn’t going to stop anyone with larceny from raiding you though. Get a claim up *and expand it* as soon as you can afford it (no excuses). At this stage you can invest in torch posts, which will make taking items out of your leanto more of a pain. Anything left in a wooden chest or a crate can be stolen via picking the chest up and walking off the claim with it. Metal chests or cabinets can’t be picked up, so each item has to be individually stolen (costing a LOT more black bile, which your braziers are already draining).
It’s quite important that the claim goes up, but clearly this isn’t enough. Rush towards building a split rail fence, or preferably a stone hedge. The stone hedge takes simple fences + quarrying, while the split rail fence just takes simple fences to acquire. The stone hedge is much more difficult to knock down, but it takes at least an additional 50% of work to get it set up. If you don’t think you can complete the hedge within a day or two, set up a split rail fence and leave room for a second layer to add the stone hedge on after.
Remember! Any fence not covered by your claim and with unlocked gates is absolutely worthless! They take a little effort to knock down, but if your braziers/torchposts can’t attack them while they’re doing it the fence gives you essentially no defensive bonus. Braziers also don’t attack over the first attempt at vandalism. This means you ALWAYS need a triple wall to be sure your braziers will defend your walls.
Now, the fence is up and claimed, what next? Locks of course. Unlocked gates can have locks put on them by anyone, and then you’re trapped inside your walls! Locksmithing is very important for the defense of your claim because it lets you lock the gate. When you make a lock you must attune it to a master key (backwards from real life, but whatever I guess eh?). Right click the master key onto the lock, and then add the lock to the gate you want to close up. Make a slave key from the master key. Now, go find your locked cabinet or a locked chest (I’m hoping you have at least a couple torchposts and one cabinet by this point) and *store it*. If you make a slave key, and attune it to someone by right clicking it onto them and waiting, they can use the key just fine. However, if your friend gets koed and has the key stolen, the raider can’t use said key to get in. Master keys are the only key type that can be used by someone other than the person it’s attuned to. Walking around with the only key type that lets raiders into your base is a crime against yourself. The system easily allows you to prevent this situation, use it.
*This seems to be no longer true? Copies of Mkeys can only be made by people who are already attuned it seems? Unsure – Aug 07/2012*
The ultimate item defense: How to use in game storage properly
Note: Alt vaults are a popular haven system for storing items. I personally dislike it and view it as an abuse of allowing multiple characters. As such, I always work my hardest to make items protected within the bounds of the game rules, and only “altvault” the most valuable of my possessions. Of yet, I’ve acquired nothing within Salem that I feel requires an altvault other than what I log out with at night on my main character.
The addition of metal chests has significantly altered how valuables storage is handled. Currently, cabinets inside a house should never store anything of high value, and they shouldn’t be locked. Here’s why: Cabinets are very easy to bash, but very expensive to make. The metal chest doesn’t cost much more than a cabinet does if you value metal at 100s/bar, but it has significantly more Hit Points and/or Damage Soak. Currently houses have no form of interior defense other than the small amount of BB drain caused by being on a claim. What this means is, raiders are able to spend time bashing cabinets without taking brazier fire. If your cabinets are locked, there is a much greater chance raiders will bash them (obviously). Now this wouldn’t be a problem if cabinets weren’t so bloody expensive to make. The minimum 400s requirement to make a cabinet means they’re a serious investment for your town. The same concept goes for your wooden chests, they’re so easy to bash it’s pointless to lock them because they’re just going to get hauled off the claim and broken open. If they’re unlocked, there’s at least a chance the chests will be left alone when the raiders are done.
For your valuables storage, metal chests have more HP than any other storage type, and if they have items in them they can’t be lifted. Plopping your locked metal chests in the very center of your town, with braziers and possibly a little fence around them if you’re particularly paranoid, is the absolute best defence for your in game items at this point in time.
Yet again, this will only increase the chances at minimized loss. If the people raiding you are griefers, or out for vengence, locked or unlocked your storage will probably get nuked all the same.
This isn’t farmville. Peaceful players will need to take precautions and change their playstyle in order to deal with the reality of this game world. In the same breath, raiders can be frustrated by well designed and deliberate defensive measures. Ultimately it’s the devs job to provide players with a balanced set of mechanics to make an uneasy truce that makes everyone equally unhappy.
let me highlight this for the forum whiners of both factions:
As beta testers, it’s our job to help them balance the issues so it’s fair to BOTH STYLES OF PLAYOther 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