The Skill Tree
This game is mostly gear based, skills just make certain playstyles easier. Don’t be shy to bring along some serious firepower even if you’re doing stealth, and don’t forget to bring along a melee weapon no matter the situation. It’s always nice to have a backup in the worst circumstances.
To be frank, the skill tree is rather ♥♥♥♥. Why, you may ask? It’s because skills are not additive. Meaning that ‘Self Taught’ gives a meagre +15% xp at max level rather than +30%. Once you know this it’s pretty easy to see how much you’re getting ripped off per skill point. It does not help new player confusion that the skills use the words “further increases” as if they stack. Should probably change that.
That being said, there are a few skills that are valuable no matter what, namely gold prospector, strong back, medical training, thick skinned, bloodless, pitcher and comfort weapon.
Skill prices will be shown in brackets for each level, if there is a question mark it means I haven’t bothered levelling the skill up enough to see the final upgrade cost.
– Gold Prospector (1/1/1) can be maxed out as early as your first level (and i recommend doing so) costing only 1 skill point at each tier. It’s primary usage is for its tier 3 bonus: +30% chance for loot on monsters. This helps get your economy going via sold items, helped by the first tier of +10% shop prices. It also means getting more artifacts of off rarer enemies such as wendigos and wraiths. This will very likely be your primary means of making money throughout the game.
– Strong Back (2/2/3) offers something unique and universally valuable: storage space. It does this by giving you more storage directly as well as making previously unstackable items like bird feathers and wendigo hearts stackable. It also allows you to stack bullets and bandages higher as well. Pretty pricey at 2/2/3 but well worth it in my opinion as you will scavenge and hunt so much stuff that storage is constantly at a premium.
– Medical Training (2/3) Also quite pricey, but well worth it and combos well with Strong Back. At max level it doubles bandage healing from 10 to 20 and stacks up to 7, meaning 140 points of healing per stack with the added bonus of stopping bleeding AND it does all that over just 2 seconds! A stack of 3 bandages can be bought for around 1/3rd of the price of a healing potion and on top of that take up half the space. Highly recommended, it gives you *so* much more endurance before a rest.
– Bloodless and Thick Skinned (1/1/? for both) Pretty simple to see why, -25% from common damage sources for only 1 point is a pretty easy pick. Bloodless becomes incredibly valuable in chapter 2 especially. Again, diminishing returns at higher levels but it’s a pretty cheap skill, I usually get the first level in each and then leave them til later.
– Pitcher (1/1/?) Throwables are quite handy when you need to crack a hard target, namely wendigos, later death stalkers and skin collectors. Optional but nice to have, especially in chapter 2 with how tough the big dudes are. (Quick tip, you don’t have to put points into this until chapter 2, 1 dynamite stick is enough to 1-shot a wendigo from full health. Death Stalkers will eat that ♥♥♥♥ for breakfast and then have you for brunch.)
– Comfort Weapon (2/1/?) This one is good but optional tbh. It’s one of the ripoff skills giving you most of the utility at first level. I use it mostly as a means to facilitate faster travel via stamina regeneration so I spend less time travelling to murder ♥♥♥♥ and more time murdering ♥♥♥♥.
– Gunslinger (2/2/?) and Quick Fingers (1/1) These depend on whether you prefer to use guns or bows/crossbows (<– these show up in chapter 2) and are rather self explanatory, helping with reload speed for both along with utility.
– Gotcha! (forgor/2/?) and Steady Aim (2) Great for ranged, terrible for melee (how shocking).
– Fast Hands (forgott/2/?) A rather small bonus that nonetheless allows you to swing at a more comfortable speed letting you stunlock chapter 1 enemies easier. This is mostly useful in the event you miss their head as most common enemies you can one shot headshot with the rusty knife.
– Practice Makes Perfect (huh/2/?) Lets you swing like a maniac for longer.
– High Tolerance (who/♥♥♥♥♥♥♥/cares) is so bad. Alcohol increases weapon sway, which is negated by Steady Aim which you’d want anyway for ranged stuff. But guess what? You can just wait a bit and the booze will wear off on it’s own! Hell, it might just wear off before you get to wherever you’re travelling! It also has no effect on melee builds! This skill ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ sucks and if I catch you spending points into it I will feed you to the leeches.
If they’re not listed here I have not used them extensively and cannot attest to their efficacy and how good they are on the skill point/gain ratio.
Starting tips for combat; A primer on righteous fury (WIP)
This all applies for chapter 1. Later chapters are different beasts all together and require more grace, though I will say that once you get your footing in them they’re quite manageable.
Let’s get one thing straight; murder is easy. It’s piss easy. You can clear whole cave systems with the rusty knife if you know what you’re doing. It’s mostly a matter of knowing how to pick fights and managing equipment, but all this is obvious so let me be more specific.
– Stealth is reliable, but time intensive. You can clear damn near any location completely undetected but it’ll take a looong time to do so. Stealth in this game boils down to playing red-light green-light with the detection bar and most stealth items just serve to make it less tedious.
– Stealth is flexible in this game. You can get away with charging enemies with a knife and stabbing them in the face, it’s quite fun and is my preferred method of clearing act 1 with melee. Gun sounds have a surprisingly short distance at which they notify enemies, but it’s something you get a feel for.
– Straight combat is viable, so long as you know what you’re doing. That means hitting headshots is a must as most enemies can take a decent few body shots before they go down. It also means taking the right gear such as buffs from liquor and potions and packing the right ammo for the job. Make sure you bring spare bandages and a couple red potions in case things go sour.
As I have yet to use the buffalo rifle or the crossbow extensively I can not give their ammo a proper review.
– Standard rounds can be fired in a relatively liberal manner as they drop from birdmen and Prodigal Daughters fairly often.
– Gold rounds are highly valuable problem solvers. Save these for wraiths, large monsters and bosses, anything else is does these beasts a disservice.
– Silver rounds are used for killing ethereal enemies, mostly spirits, however these can also be killed from one short range shotgun blast (make sure most/all the pellets hit) and thus silver ammo is best saved for usage in later chapters or for spirit adjacent enemies such as birdmen.
– Flame rounds are good for chapter 1’s armored enemies aka the coffin zombie as it bypasses the armor and burns them directly. This can be achieved with 2 rounds of short or shot ammo.
– Throwables: Dynamite is good for clearing hordes and for killing big beasts and can 1 shot the big boy of chapter 1 (the wendigo). Molotovs are weaker across the board in comparison, being quite poor at area denial due to having a small pool of fire and being unable to kill big beasts. They’re still useful for common tough enemies like coffin zombies and skin collectors (ch.2) and can be used decently on the rare occasion enemies bunch up in one spot.
Potions and Booze and Buff Items (WIP)
– Bowler Hat: Quite useful with minimal drawbacks, recommend keeping 1 or 2 in case of ambient spirit swarms or a wendigo encounter
– Gold Mead: A favorite. One of the few items that directly increases your movement speed, and it does so for quite a while. I like to keep one on me in case I don’t feel like spending time travelling but don’t want to use a chicken head.
– Red Steed: It’s kinda meh but the others are so good it’s not really a fair comparison. The whole buff package is nice a bit niche as single targets in melee will likely be stunlocked to death and prolonged melee with more than one target is downright suicidal.
– Healing Potion: Worth carrying around even if you have upgraded bandages as it allows you to stack their healing.
– Yellow River: Great potion, useful in all circumstances whether that be traversal or hectic combat.
– Green Snake: This ain’t no snake oil. A great choice for melee users, allows you to do ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ like walking up to a wendigo and beating it to death* (*without fear of reprisal, you can beat them to death without these but it’s much less safe).
– Purple Revival: I tend to save these for cursed artifacts (ch.2) or for when I get one of the really ♥♥♥♥ curses (stuff like -XP or -Stamina), usually I take blessing of the cat to ignore the curse mechanic completely.
– Sure Shot, Rose Bonbon, Owl’s Shadow: These are all pretty straightforward buffs. Fairly rare out in the world, so save them for a special occasion. These are wasted on chapter 1.
– Long Jack Cigars: These are only useful for ranged people, and aren’t even really worth it in my opinion. Fairly rare, you can smoke ’em to feel cool or before a boss fight, just make sure you have enough as the debuffs are insanely debilitating.
– Whetstones: A nice buff to melee damage. Not really worth wasting on chapter 1 enemies as they’re just so weak.
– Golden oil: Fantastic buff for melee people and a nice amount of cash for everyone else. If you waste this stuff on chapter 1 big G will look upon thee disappointed. Use for bosses and big boys in chapter 2 and beyond exclusively.
Tips for enemies; Chapter 1
– Animated dead: Can be killed by anything, even a rusty knife to the skull. Can cause bleeding and do a lunge attack, dangerous in numbers, non-threatening on it’s own. You can charge these guys head on, most of the time they’ll roar at you and get their head split for the trouble.
– Miners: Even more pathetic than animated dead, these poor bastards can’t even leap. Complete fodder, nothing notable.
– Coffin dead: deceptively tanky and sneak attacks have a decent chance to hit the coffin and alert them by accident. Easily dealt with via 2 flaming rounds of either type or a molotov as the fire will burn them through their armor. Can throw stakes from the coffin, loses this ability and speeds up when the coffin breaks.
– Birdmen: The bane of new players methinks. Predicts where you’re going to go and fires there instead. Can be baited into firing six shots at which point they will reload leaving them vulnerable. Dodges on occasion and seems to do so more frequently when aimed at. Considered a partial spirit and is thus vulnerable to silver though they’re not really worth it.
– Prodigal Daughter: Wields a shotgun in one arm and vicious claws in the other. Highly damaging, can be baited into firing both rounds (though it is quite dangerous to do so) at which point she will reload. The front of her face is protected from headshots by a mask, knocking this off will enrage her and cause her to run constantly. If you run up and heavy stab her in the mask you’ll have enough time to do her head in before she can fire.
– Spirit: Common ethereal enemy, vulnerable to silver and difficult to kill until a shotgun (or the orb of night) is acquired, these can kill with regular bullets.
– Wendigo: Not quite as tough as they seem, but still respectably dangerous. Can sprint on all fours and cause bleeding on a swing. Usually summons spirits upon sighting the Gunslinger. You can fire on it’s chest cavity to destroy the skulls there and nullify the ability, though this will enrage the beast and cause it to sprint constantly. Can be easily killed with a stick of dynamite, 2 golden shotgun shots to the head or a few more golden short rounds to the head (when alerted, I’ve 1-shot a wendigo with surprise damage before).
– Wraith: located these dudes are mean as hell. Will chase you for ages, wields twin guns and I personally haven’t seen them reload. Vulnerable to silver, but more than that has a vulnerability to gold. Only engage with silver or gold and bring a Bowler’s Hat just in case.
– Scallywag: Only one is seen at the farm. Wields a sawn-off and molotovs, has a thick skull. Honestly I can’t say much about them, they become a common enemy throughout chapter 2 but they die so fast I’ve never seen them actually throw a molly. Major source of shotgun ammo and mollies in chapter 2.
Beware that killing the boss immediately takes you to chapter 2 and you CANNOT RETURN. Finish your business before you fight it.
Pretty easy boss fight, bring some Bowler Hat, plenty of flame and golden rounds and you should be set. Attacks with easily avoidable floor spikes, the major threats are all the spirits it summons and the wendigos later on. I don’t think they can summon more spirits, they just sprint at you and claw you to death.
Loot notes below, spoilers
I haven’t played this game since chapter 1 was still the sole chapter you could play. One thing I learned upon returning is that legendary weapons were changed so that they can be at random preset spots within a local area; meaning that if an item is specified to be in a certain zone but not precisely where I noted it, it’s still in the area and just takes some searching. Extensive testing and documenting of all spawn points is a pain in the ass since it requires multiple playthroughs which do not guarantee a different result each time, so this info will likely not be fleshed out with my knowledge alone.
Additionally, these notes are mine copy+pasted from steam’s relatively new notes feature with no regard for readability beyond basic info, so if you notice them unformatted or like they were written by the mentally ill that’s why.
Chapter 1 notable loot (Bestiary incomplete)
– 1 in the top left canyon camp in the second tent from the ramp near the wendigo’s patrol route
– 1 under the railway bridge at the north end, and by ‘under’ i don’t mean in the canyon but on the platform. this can be accessed safely via the destroyed crane on the south side, there is a rope you can use to climb down.
– 1 near the eevil pit, from the fort entrance go to the left into the cave, it’s guarded by a wendigo
– 1 in town upper saloon floor, contains 4 cigars and $500
– 1 in the fort’s south west warehouse (building facing the wooden bridge) contains $444 and Depths of Tahoe (Enemies dont respawn on death, each attack on esoteric enemies heals 5 hp, esoteric enemies deal 50% more damage)
– 1 by the crashed train, contains golden oil, a rusty lever-action rifle, and a few of each type of short round.
– Living Vines (axe) is in the canyon cave under the bridge (yes it’s there one time there was a bug with the spawn)
– Hermit Stick (shotgun) is in a small nook near the boss door at the end of the canyon, you need to go up above the door then drop down behind the fence.
– Decapitator (sawn-off shotgun) is located in open grave behind the church
– The others are sold by Jim Hooper and the Shaman
– animated dead is in the tutorial area right after you get the axe and face the 2 animated dead near a skeleton
– Coffin zombie located near fort safe (small building on south west facing the wooden bridge)
– humanpede – mining town left most building (the destroyed hotel)
– miner – cave near the first safe point before the bridge
– birdman – Jim Hooper’s safe zone
– in the cave near the first safe point before the bridge. much quicker to access from the “secret” rock path leading down to the canyons. from the “secret” entrance head to the left path all the way. it’s behind the crate with the clock on it. don’t use it unless you’re ready.
Chapter 2 notable loot (WIP)
– 1 located at the sawmill on the second floor of the red building
– 1 in a secret cavern towards the north. from the intersection that creates an X, go to the bottom right fork to the end of the bridge, then jump down to the water. there will be a moss covered cave entrance with bones nearby. within go to the left then right through the broken boards, then into the first hole on your right.
– 1 north of the alligator farm in the cultist camp by the tied up skeletons
– 1 north-east of the alligator farm (more east than north) at a red shack surrounded by 2 death stalkers.
1 being sold by The Madame (aka Annabelle)
– 1 at the sawmill, can’t miss it. right next to Twen’s doll in the cellar. contains gold shotgun ammo, 1 gold coin, 1 gold nugget and nitro ammo.
– 1 at the northern ship. go to the bed symbol, then to the top floor, it’s right next to it. contains silver short and shotgun ammo, various silver sellables, a raven skull and $300.
– 1 idk lol
– 1 idk lol
– 1 idk lol
– Bloody Hunt (bow) is located at the sawmill on the second floor of the red building on the left crate right as you enter through the doorway
– Second Coming (buffalo rifle) is located at mark stone’s house, aka the burned down building to the west of the sawmill. bonus: the fireweed plant is also located here! BEWARE; THIS LOCATION IS SURROUNDED BY NO LESS THAN 3 DEATH STALKERS.
– Last Breath (shotgun) is located on the top floor in the engine room of a ship to the east of the sawmill. can be found easily by going to the bed symbol. it’s surrounded by wraiths and spirits, so bring silver ammo.
– Hedera (lever-action rifle) is located at the alligator farm on the west side in front of the building with the sign “buying-in and storage”. it’s on the very top of the building, you’ll have to climb some barrels and crates to reach it.
– Emerald Eyes (sawn-off shotgun) located north-east of the alligator farms (more east than north) at a red shack surrounded by 2 death stalkers.
– Depths Hunter is at the northern ship next to the bed symbol. go to the top floor and it’s right there.
– Death Stalker and Skin Collector are both within the starting safe zone, just search around a little.
– Wraith is located at the alligator farm. i forgor to right it down immediately so the specifics elude me.
– 1 at the sawmill on the south side to the east of the docks. leads right into the cellar near Twen and her doll.
- Blood West: Quick Guide for Chapter 1 Boss
- Blood West – All Secret Bell Locations in Chapter 3
- Blood West: All Notes Location (Loremaster of the Barren Lands Achievement)
- Blood West: Cheevo Guide (How to Obtain)
- Blood West Weapon and Enemy Stats Guide