For a long time, I have been interested in trying out A Tale In The Desert, a non-combat MMO focused on crafting and trading. I finally decided to do it!
Logging in and creating a character was simple… in fact I just took the defaults because there didn’t seem to be a preview system. Basically I could select a few attributes (hair color, clothing style) but I had to close the menu to see the effect, and after a few minutes I just took whatever happened to be there.
The tutorial started out with some simple tasks: rotate the camera, movement, and simple resource gathering. After a quick lesson on how to pull up the map, I was off to find a School of Architecture.
I made my way across the landscape to the School of Architecture, where I was to learn Stone Blade Fabrication. Learning from a school is easy: merely click on the school and select what you want to learn. Paying tuition is a different matter, because it involved bartering resources. The cost for Stone Blade Fabrication is 7 slate, and I had none.
I followed the tutorial directions and went to a nearby river to look for slate. I clicked on everything, but to no avail, I couldn’t find slate anywhere! Then I noticed the “gather slate” icon would appear at certain spots. It seems the the slate nodes have no visible graphic on the landscape, other than the gathering icon. I finished gathering slate by inching along the shoreline, stopping wherever the icon displayed.
This pattern continued – gather resources to pay for tuition, learn a new skill or buildable project, gather more resources to make the next item in the tutorial. Eventually I built a Wood Plane, which I am proudly standing by in the above screenshot.
After that I build a brick rack and then dried bricks… feeling happy with my progress in the game, I decided this was a good stopping point – in the overall intro quest to become a citizen, I’m midway, at the point where I need to visit the School of Art and Music and get flax seeds.
After a little break, I fired up ATiTD on my Windows notebook instead of my Mac, and played a bit more.
I traveled to the School of Art and Music and picked up 3 flax seeds. The tutorial instructions were “See if you can figure out a way to grow more flax”. Hm.. what could that mean?
I didn’t over think it and just planted a flax seed and watched… a few seconds later the graphics changed, adding some greenish plants to my flax plot. I checked the action menu and there was an option to weed the garden, so I did. This repeated but eventually I was able to harvest flax.
Now I had 2 flax seeds and 1 flax, so evidently what the tutorial message meant was that I need to figure out how to get more flax seeds.
I planted another seed and this time, didn’t do any weeding. Eventually when I checked, I discovered I grew a “wild flax plant” that could be harvested for seeds – aha! With this figured out, I was able to balance growing for seeds and growing for harvest and accumulated the flax I needed.
So far so good, and next time I play I’ll push to complete the welcome/intro checklist and become a citizen!