This is a guide for how to play as an effective crew member. This guide will outline the do’s and don’ts, as well as ways to deal with bad crew members.
Picture this: Its the day of the blizzard and the ship hasn’t even made it half way, the iceberg hasn’t been destroyed, the armoury isn’t open, and you’re all running around looking for food and wood because you’re starving and freezing. Does this sound familiar?
This situation is extremely common not because the Thralls are strategic masterminds, but because the crew often fails to conceptualize what their roles are and what they need to be doing. Dread Hunger is a PvEvP, and most crews fail at the PvE aspects before they even have the chance to master the PvP.
Many a game has ended with the crew crawling around this cabin
This is perhaps the most important section of this entire guide. Many of these are among the biggest round winners.
Do work as a group
While pairs are sufficient, they can be risky if the other person is a Thrall. Groups of 3 or more are always preferable. Working as a group is good for the following reasons:
- Makes you less vulnerable to animal, cannibal, and Thrall attacks
- Makes collection, cooking, and heating more efficient
- Ensures all areas are completely looted
- Helps to establish trust triangles (squares, pentagons, etc.)
- Makes it harder for Thralls to run off without being deduced
Do be cooperative
Being oversuspicious, uncooperative, and unfriendly not only makes the game harder, it makes you seem like a Thrall. It is important not to let frustrations from past games bleed into the new one. Here are some key reasons for cooperation:
- It is better to have all crew at 12.5% nourishment than one crew at full and the rest starving
- Communication helps establish trust. While you may be good, other crew may not know that
- Cooperation helps establish trust. Sharing items is a good way to signal that you are good
- Friendly crews work more efficiently, and makes crews more willing to work hard for the team
- Cooperating with the crew makes them more likely to cooperate with you in return
- Cooperating helps make the uncooperative Thralls more obvious
- Being polite makes the crew willing to listen to you and reduces the chance of tilting and griefing.
Do drive the ship properly
Driving the ship properly is essential. Always ensure the following tips are employed:
- It is always helpful to have a navigator, even if you see the iceberg, it helps for efficient turns.
- Always have someone slow-feeding the boiler to mitigate white-outs and sabotage
- Guarding the person driving the ship is important to avoid poisoning/backstabbing
- Monitoring the speedometer can detect Thralls who are lagging (<70 is too slow)
- Do not let bad drivers captain the ship, being ‘new’ is never an excuse
- Having someone available for quick repairs is essential
- Stay close to the shore, crew should never have to swim to the ship
- Never stop driving forward, the ship is not a taxi and crew should wait until it stops to board
‘Oops’ is never an excuse
Do go back to the ship often
The worst thing to do is to sit around in caves or tents. It is always preferable to make it back to the ship before night fall instead of camping out. Visiting the ship often is important for the following reasons:
- It is much harder to sabotage the ship with crew aboard
- Assembling in one place makes cooperation and grouping easier
- Being on the ship allows for quick access to the brig for quick respawns
- The ship has superior amenities compared to the camps
- The ship is warmer and does not require as much fuel
- The ship is the easiest and most effective place to make stew
- The ship is more likely to move forward if crew is aboard
- The armoury codes are more likely to be entered if crew is aboard
This place will not protect you from cannibals and is not as warm as the ship
Do play the objective
It is important to understand that the goal of the game is to drive the ship to the end, NOT to discover and kill the Thralls. It is possible to win the game with the Thralls still alive and to lose the game with both Thralls dead. The following should always be on your mind:
- Always push the ship further. It makes it easier for the crew to return and keeps morale up.
- If the ship sinks, you lose. Always repair the ship immediately as it slows down the ship speed and can waste warmth if it takes on water.
- If the crew dies, you lose. Always keep the crew fed, equipped, and warm.
- Always enter your armoury code. The sooner the better since if you die you may not get the chance. The armoury is crucial to fending off Thrall attacks late game and clearing nitro.
- Clear nitro path as early as possible. It is much easier for someone to do nitro if the path is clear
- Carry the nitro. This should go without saying, but alas…
It is important to recognize that the post-game score reflects how many of these activities, save for a few, that you completed. If you are constantly scoring Ds and Cs, try doing these activities more.
The magic anti-bear room.
This section is also extremely important as it contains several common mistakes that many well-meaning crew members often make.
Do not try and ‘kit’ yourself.
Trying to feed, arm, and equip yourself in the wilderness is much less efficient than gathering and returning to the ship with supplies. It is bad for the following reasons:
- Cooking food solo is very inefficient
- Kitting yourself in the wilderness fills your inventory and limits what you can bring back
- Picking through chests solo forces you to leave behind valuable resources
- Wasting keys on locked boxes prevents you from rescuing imprisoned teammates
- This approach wastes time and makes the other crew suspicious of your extended absence
- You are extremely vulnerable. You will likely not win a 1v1 against a Thrall after they summon cannibals
- Dying to said Thralls with all your loot gives them an extreme advantage
Do not run off and look for weapons.
Between the marine, the captain, and the armoury, there is no need to look for weapons. You are not the enforcer.
While it may seem helpful, collecting weapons can have the following adverse effects:
- Makes the crew more suspicious of you
- Encourages the rest of the crew to arm themselves instead of collecting
- Wastes valuable collection time
- Gives Thralls more available weapons to loot if you happen to die
- Wastes keys as most weapons are found in locked boxes
You should never need to open these as a non-Thrall
Do not try and solo.
Running solo is never a good look. Unless you return with a significant amount of food or coal, the crew will be extremely suspicious if you take an extended leave by yourself. Being a solo player has a variety of downsides:
- It makes you seem like a Thrall
- It makes you a suspect, which makes it harder for the crew to deduce the actual Thralls
- You are extremely vulnerable to cannibals, Thralls, and animals
- You do not build trust with any other crew members, making it hard to trust you
- You do not gain any insight into other crew members, making it hard to discern the Thralls yourself
Do not hoard.
It doesn’t matter if you have a musket, 10 ammunition, a stack of cooked meat, and every tool if you don’t have anyone else alive. Hoarding is bad for a variety of reasons:
- If you do not feed a hungry crew member, they will simply continue to beg until someone else does
- If you do not help equip trustworthy crew, they will be inefficient teammates
- It is better to have two crew with 3 shots each than one with 6
Do not do nothing.
While this may seem silly, it is important to consider the following:
- Make plans to cook, craft, debrief during the night, do not waste this time.
- Constantly ask yourself the following: “What am I doing right now, is it helping us win?”
- Ask the other crew what needs to be done and how you can help. This will also build trust
- Idleness begets idleness. Sitting around will make the other crew less likely to want to work
- Being too silly makes you suspicious and makes it harder to tell who the Thralls are
There is zero difference between a Thrall and bad crew. Both will waste your time, burn your resources, and prevent the ship from moving forward. Both must die.
It is important not to waste your time considering whether they are actually a Thrall. If they are bad they are bad, regardless of their role. This will help you focus on identifying problematic behaviours rather than trying to guess the identity of the crew member committing them.
Step 1. Identify
You must first identify the bad crew. Here are some key tells:
- Rude, uncooperative, or silent
- Refuses to announce any tasks they’ve done or plan to do
- Spends days away from ship with nothing to show for it
- Constantly bungling or wasting time
- Draws absurd conclusions
- Hasn’t participated in completing any objectives (see: Do’s)
- Says they’ve done something they haven’t (i.e: “I was getting coal” but has none)
- Does not effectively help when fighting wolves or cannibals
- Is silly, a troll, or griefing
If the crew member in question satisfies even 2 of the above grounds, they are a bad crew member. Unfortunately, the penalty for this is death.
Step 2. Build a Case
Building a case against a bad crew member is crucial. It is important to not only identify the characteristics of a bad crew early, but announce them.
If the chef isn’t driving straight, announce it to everybody. If the engineer hasn’t brought back any coal, announce it to everybody. It is important to begin signalling to the crew that this particular member is bad and must be punished.
Don’t give too many warnings as Thralls will push your patience as far as possible before running off anyways. A single warning followed by an ultimatum is sufficient.
Step 3. Deliver an Ultimatum
This is the last chance for you to correct a bad crew member before you take drastic measures. A good ultimatum is immediate and whose failure to perform signals a clear grounds for execution to the rest of the crew.
A good ultimatum is as follows:
- You’re no longer allowed to drive the ship
- Stay away from the stove while I’m cooking
- Leave the boiler room
- Drop the [item] you just took now
- Go and clear those wolves
These ultimatums are good because they make it clear to the rest of the crew the undesirable actions the bad crew member is doing, and gives you a clear excuse to kill them on the spot should they breach the terms.
A bad ultimatum is as follows:
- Go and bring back coal by tomorrow
- If you kill one more person you’re done for
- Go and do nitro or else
These are bad ultimatums as they give bad crew an excuse for bad behaviours, are overly lenient, or are not actions you want to entrust to a bad crew member.
Step 4. Deliver a Sentence
There is only one available penalty for dereliction of duty, and it is death. This is how you carry out an effective sentence:
- Ambush the bad crew member while they are driving, crafting, locked in a room with you
- Announce to the crew that you are killing them for x reason once they are close to being downed or are downed
- Kill them as quickly as possible. Thralls or other bad crew may attempt to stop you
- Reiterate why you killed them and what you are about to do to help the team
You should continually reiterate why you killed them and why it was justified. Instruct dissenters to get back to work and to focus on the objective.
Step 5. Rinse and Repeat
A bad crew member is always better off dead than alive. Even if they are not the Thrall, eliminating them will make it easier to deduce the true Thralls and you will not have to waste time feeding, warming, and policing them, nor will you have to continue to correct their ‘mistakes’.
Do not feel bad killing a crew member. It is important for bad crew to learn that their actions make them seem like a Thrall.
Do not accept excuses, bad behaviour must be punished decisively
It is crucial that you play your class’ specific role. Crew who do not play their class properly are squandering the class-specific benefits and are creating deficiencies that other crew will have to fill.
These tips are not exhaustive, and it is important to be flexible in situations where a specific crew member is not playing their role properly or they are a Thrall. If you notice a job is not being done, communicate this with the team and take steps to fill the gap.
The captain is the ships pilot and guardian. Their sabre is for enforcement and protecting the ship from sabotage, and their tea tides them over for longer if used in conjunction with the ship survival bonus. Here are some tips:
- Stay on the ship as much as possible
- Always pilot the ship if possible
- If you need help navigating or are nervous about hitting an iceberg, announce it
- Do not allow people to loiter on the ship, send them out for coal/food
- Keep a mental list of who went where and who did what
- Ensure the crew are entering their armoury codes
The chaplain is a versatile character, but is often suspect due to their ability to farm bones and use keys for nefarious purposes. Here are some tips;
- Don’t be afraid to dig up graves, they have valuable loot
- Do not waste your keys on locked boxes
- Save your key for dead crew
- Interrogate dead crew on why they died, who killed them, and what they plan to do next
- Use looting bonus to collect trinkets, bring them back to ship and offer them to crew (i.e Laudanum for the doctor, gunpowder for the marine)
- Can also collect coal and food
The cook is not the most powerful character, but can easily establish their trust and help the ship immensely. Here are some tips:
- Collect 10 meat as quickly as possible, ask crew to leave the carcasses alone
- Return to ship by first nightfall to begin making stew
- Ensure nobody tampers with your stew while you make it
- Take the stew from the stove and throw it on the table, making it harder to tamper with
- Hold some stew in reserve for crew who are out collecting
- Reward efficient crew with stew for their efforts. Reinforces good behaviour
- Try and make a second batch of stew
The doctor is an extremely suspect character, and as such, should work to establish their innocence clearly. Here are some tips:
- Collect herbs for antidote, and communicate this purpose clearly
- Announce to the crew that you have antidotes ready if the stew is poisoned
- Ask crew members if they need healing, especially after animal/cannibal attacks
- Collect coal and food, but avoid doing so by yourself
- Do not hover near people, especially with your syringe out
The engineer is an extremely efficient coal collector, and identifying a bad engineer is very easy. Here are some tips:
- Collect coal immediately using your barrel
- Bring back 4-5 coal as quickly as possible to move the ship further on the first day
- Help slow-feed the boiler whenever the ship is moving
- Use your repair boost to repair the ship
- Collect wood and store it throughout the ship in case of leaks
Probably the most powerful class, you will have the most leeway in terms of suspicion, but will have to make sure you can justify your extended absences. Here are some tips:
- Help the chef collect meat for the stew
- Collect scrap to accumulate more bear traps
- Stock up on arrows to deal with the polar bears
- Clear animal packs, especially on the nitro path
- Explain what you plan to do before leaving
The Royal marine is the enforcer on the ship. You are more likely to be correcting bad behaviours and dealing with Thralls, but you must first earn the crews’ trust. Here are some tips:
- Make sure you have a follow-up weapon for your pistol
- Question the crew as to what they plan to do and what they’ve done
- Carry out the ‘bad crew’ procedure
- Help clear nitro path
- Patrol hiding spots for effigies
- Remain near the ship to build your trust and authority
- Collect food, wood, and coal
The Navigator is a very flexible role, and if played properly, can be extremely helpful. Here are some tips:
- Use your spyglass to observe the crew and look for suspicious actions
- Use your increased movement speed to carry the nitro while a crew uses your lamp to warm you
- Patrol hiding spots for effigies
- Ferry crafting materials back to the ship
- Collect wood, food, and coal
With the tips above in mind, here is some general advice for putting this information into practice:
- Communication is key. Always explain what you’re doing and ask what others are doing
- Take initiative. If something isn’t being done, speak up. Don’t assume the crew will self-regulate
- Trust your instincts, if you see someone do something suspect don’t second guess yourself
- Do not concern yourself with whether someone is a Thrall or not, only if they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’
- Being new is not an excuse. It is the responsibility of the new player to let that be known before they elect to drive and crash the ship
- Never give up. The most satisfying wins are the ones that you really have to work for
- Stay positive. Making mistakes is part of the game and it is meant to be confusing
Losing is fun!
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