A short and simple guide to the different islands in Thea 2: The Shattering, to help with pursuing questlines and choosing settlements.
Other Thea 2 Guides:
- Introduction to Crafting.
- Beginners Weapons Guide.
- Ringbearer Blues (Other Ring).
- Concept Challenges Made Simple with Debuffs.
- How to Get Free God Points.
- Planning Your Game.
- Healing Guide.
Build a Ship
First of all, in order to travel to the other islands, you'll need a ship. These are easily built from the Crafting>Buildings menu while camped - but be mindful that once you build the ship you'll be carrying it around in your inventory, adding to your encumbrance.
Additionally, your ship will have a set group carry weight for when you're sailing, based on the materials and amount of essence used to craft it. Note that if you exceed this new group carry weight when embarked on your ship, you'll suffer standard movement penalties - but you can still sail.
Once you have a raft or ship crafted, note that you can only embark from coastal tiles. Meaning you must first move your party to the coast, and then you'll see an anchor icon appear in adjacent water tiles. You can't move straight to embarkation from inland, even if you have the movement to do so - it took me a little while to figure out that I just needed to be at the coast first! Both embarking and disembarking use up all remaining moves for the turn.
All I want to do in this guide, is give you a quick reference for what is available where. Generally speaking there's usually a trade off for abundance in some type of resources, for a scarcity of other types of resources. This may influence where you choose to create a settlement, or which factions you're looking to pursue relationships with.
While this information comes from my exploration so far, Thea is generated randomly - so please keep that in mind, as each playthrough will give you some variation.
I've listed the islands in rough order of difficulty below.
Just a final note that Lightbringer faction settlements do seem to appear in many different places - and they are always unfriendly unless you make certain story decisions.
One other faction I have had interaction with is the Water Demons. While I've seen no pre-existing settlement for them - it is possible for a quest location to become a permanent settlement for them through a questline that begins while sailing.
Choosing where to Settle
I'm not interested in making a guide to the "best" place to settle (or whether you should settle down at all!), as that will be entirely dependent on your play style, random chance, whether you want to challenge yourself, and any roleplaying considerations you might have. Proximity to other islands is also worth taking into account, as you will want to know you have quick access to other resource types you might be missing.
I recommend settling on the Slavyan island where you have access to a variety of resources and food. Make sure you have enough people to defend your villages from the occasional wandering group of Lightbringers, while another group goes off sailing on expeditions to gather resources and quest along the way.
With some experience
Both the Darkness and Ice islands will often have locations that provide a good combination of their T3 resource, access to a couple of food resources, and at least a couple of the other resource types at tier 2. They will however require better or more proactive defence than a Slavyan island village - which means clearing local nests frequently with a good adventuring party.
High Risk / High Reward
The Ancient Forests pose quite a challenge, with powerful groups of elven bandits and forest demons raiding you. But you do get access to plenty of food, and two different types of tier 3 resources. To be honest I've never been able to scout the whole island to decide on a location to settle before I've had to retreat. If you are very lucky, you might get a smaller island in this biome that has access to a bunch of good resources. If that's the case it's a no-brainer - as you'll only have to worry about defence when a monster nest spawns on your island.
For a challenge or roleplaying reasons
Finally, the Volcanic and Metallic Islands pose considerable challenge, as food is not easy to come by, and as their T3 resources make heavier types of equipment (which make it less useful for adventuring gear), it may not be worth the risk depending on why you want to settle there.