This is a compilation of all the things I wished I knew about PW: Blackout going into it.
Useful Tips and Trick for Beginners in PW: Blackout
I'm going to assume you've played Project Winter a bunch of times, enough to know the basics. You're here because you want to know what makes the Blackout DLC new and cool and different. So here's the three most important parts of Blackout:
- There's only one traitor to start.
- The traitor can convert other traitors.
- It dark.
These factors change the game in a bunch of ways, but if you have to find out how the hard way you're going to crash and burn and sometimes that's frustrating. I'm here to help you fail less. Let's begin.
Only One Traitor
That's right, there's only one traitor. What does this mean?
- You don't start with a red radio. There's nobody to chat with except the other survivors.
- A survivor trusting someone blindly in an 8 player game of classic PW has a 2 in 7 chance to get it wrong (They're always right about themselves, ya dingus). A survivor in Blackout has a 1 in 7 chance to get it wrong. This means, in practice, that everyone should trust each other much more.
- It also means that the old strategies of PW do not and cannot apply. You will fail if you peace out immediately and chug energy drinks all game, because the remaining 7 survivors will power through their objective and mess you up. You have nobody else to rely on to get your traitor game going in the beginning of the game, and the survivors have every reason to get the objectives moving quickly.
So you have less time to cause chaos and more penalties for not causing it. It's a good thing you can...
Convert To My Friendly Demon Cult, We Have Pot Pie
There are two kinds of traitors in PW: Blackout: The Demon and The Whisperer. Both can convert survivors into traitors. There is no limit to the number of survivors which can be converted. Both have radically different approaches and demand radically different playstyles and counterplay. First, let's talk about the Demon.
- Has a charge that takes about a minute to build up.
- Can spend their charge to convert a downed survivor into a traitor when reviving them.
- Upon converting a survivor, the Demon gets +15% to all stats.
- If the Demon dies, all their converts immediately die.
This means that certain plays from original PW are much more dangerous, like:
- Knocking someone down to talk about whether they are a traitor without them running off.
- Running off in pairs.
- Being a lone wolf survivor.
- Chasing down a known traitor.
- Dying as a traitor to make sure a key survivor dies and relying on your traitor buddy to finish the job.
The best way to avoid the clutches of the Demon is to stick together. Don't get caught out solo, don't follow someone into a portal, and stay in a tight clump even if it's a little slower to get around.
The second best way to stop Demons is to have a designated reviver. People are gonna die to wild animals, darkness is dangerous. Once you find people you trust, pick someone to be the go-to reviver. If someone tries to jump the line, it's safest to let them revive, then kill the reviver, not the person being revived. If they are the Demon, their convert will immediately die, and you'll know you're safe.
Is this harsh? Yes. Is it better than dying or becoming a Demon worshipper? Also yes. Is it safer than staying in a big clump? Also yes, because of...
- Has a charge that takes about two minutes to build up, but can be accelerated by opening crates and harvesting resources.
- Autofills the charge to 100% if you open a traitor crate.
- Can spend their charge to add Whispers to everyone in a radius with a short charge-up similar to the ghost's freezing ability but without any visible effect.
- If the Whispers reach 100% on a survivor, that survivor is converted. Again, this is without visible effect except to you and the target.
- If 3+ survivors are converted, the Whispers grow more powerful (less Whispers to convert the remaining).
- If the Whisperer dies, the first converted survivor becomes the new Whisperer.
Split into teams, change up teams after the first objective. If you're not in a huge group, the Whisperer won't be able to convert as many of you.
Be on guard for anyone harvesting and leaving the raw materials behind, especially berries and herbs. Warn them once, kill them if you see them continue. If you find yourself with a survivor following you like a lost puppy, tell the team about it.
New Survivor Roles: What Do You Mean I Can't Convert You?
So now that you know about the two big traitor styles, it's time for a look at the survivor side of things. Survivors get a few new cool roles to play with. Here's a few tips for each:
- The Medium can see ghosts. They can hear you even if you can't hear them; if you get a cooperative ghost, you can do all kinds of cool things with ghosts. The best medium I ever saw said stuff like "spin in a circle if Bex is the traitor" or "ghosts, all of you hold food in your hand if we should exile Bex." Develop a method of communication, use the ghosts to tell you where the traitor is, where you should go next, and more.
- The Hunter has a lengthy charge that can be used to identify someone's role. Like the Soldier, this is often so slow as to be useless, which is why they have a secret secondary perk: They cannot be converted. Whisperers will see a bar with a red O sign through it, and Demons will only notice when they down the survivor and try to convert them. As a Hunter, confide your role once you trust others, because a Hunter is a prime target for traitors to pick off.
- The Padre has the ability to supercharge someone with a blessing once their ability is fully charged: They can bless survivors for +50% of their stats. But beware! If they bless a traitor, that traitor gets even bigger boosts. This can only be performed once per game, so make sure you trust whoever you bless.
There's one other role I didn't mention, because they're not a survivor...
Yeti to Party
- The Yeti is maybe the most confusing addition to PW: Blackout.
- The Yeti is not a survivor, but the Yeti can board the escape vehicle.
- The Yeti is not a traitor, but they can sabotage consoles.
Everyone else can choose to obtain a bonus objective. The Yeti is assigned a bonus objective, and it's often something difficult like 'Kill 2 Players.' They get even more bonus points than usual for completing their bonus objective, and if they complete it, they can win with the survivors OR with the traitors, as long as they survive.
Here's some tips on being the Yeti:
Don't announce your role at the start of the game
Traitors will see you as an unreliable ally at best, and survivors will see you as someone who could turn on them at any moment. A thoroughly rational survivor will kill you early on so that you cannot turn on the other survivors at a critical juncture.
Don't announce your bonus objective until it's done
Once your objective is complete, you don't have to do anything else except survive. Get some campfires, hide in a remote location far from the lights of civilization. Blackout is a big map, go get lost if you want.
Don't commit to one side or the other
A smart Yeti will help the survivors as long as it helps their objective, but will turn on survivors if the traitors have overwhelming numbers. Don't burn bridges if you have to.
Don't let yourself get tested
The Hunter's ability and the truth serum will register you as an innocent survivor (if a traitor uses it) or a general traitor (if a survivor uses it). Generally it's always bad. Don't ever stand for that serum thinking they'll see that you're a Yeti, or that they'll believe you if you only explain. You will be chased and killed.
Remember your bonus objective
You can't board the escape vehicle if it's not done, and the game won't end if all the survivors escape and it's just the traitors and you with your uncompleted objective. Maybe the traitors will understand and let you finish out your bonus then board an escape vehicle. I doubt it.
What Just Happened
There are two new events in PW: Blackout: Darkness and the Witching Hour. They happen very frequently, so plan for them.
Darkness removes nameplates, exiles everyone, reduces vision due to extreme darkness, and grants traitors and converts infrared (everything is reddish but you can still make things out clearly). Yetis do not get infrared. Have a campfire ready near the cabin.
The Witching Hour causes holybooks and stake launchers to deal extra damage, raises the aggro radius of all animals, turns moose aggro, *and* summons ghosts from dead animals who are equally aggressive. Maybe just stay inside for this one unless you're really pressed for time, the ghosts will go away once the event is over.
There's a bunch of new items, and NO easy guide to figure them out! Here's the basics:
Torch, holy book: These are new weapons that do as much damage to survivors as every other melee weapon, and they're about as effective at harvesting resources as using a pickaxe to chop wood. The torch grants light AND reduces warmth loss- you'll still get cold outside, but you won't get cold nearly as quickly. Just be aware that you're going to be a beacon for anyone outside in the dark.
The holy book is Not the Bible and deals extra damage to animals and ghosts during The Witching Hour. The stake launcher also does bonus damage during the Witching Hour, but is otherwise a fast-firing crossbow.
The flashbang is kind of the opposite of a smoke grenade. Everyone else will be blinded for a few seconds, but you won't, because your character will blink or something when it goes off. Sure. Let's go with 'they blink.' Works great during Darkness.
The rosary is expensive to make, but it will protect you against one (1) conversion as long as it's in your possession. They try to convert, rosary breaks, conversion attempt wasted. Good stuff.
Get Me Out of Here: Transportation
So there's a weird pack of seven sigils southwest of the cabin, guarded by two wolves. The sigils correspond to six hatches that survivors can use to teleport around the map. The hatches can be trapped just like traitor hatches. The hatches very broadly correspond to the quadrants of the map. They make the same noise that traitor hatches make in classic PW, so don't be alarmed.
There's another hatch all by its lonesome south of those six. Only traitors can use it. That leads to 'Traitor Island,' formally known as Turncoat Shoal. There are always four traitor crates and a permanent campfire there as well as herbs and berry bushes, and it's blocked off by a major destructible ice wall in the northwest part of Traitor Island. Good stuff, but frequently trapped by savvy survivors. Go in, maybe don't come back out that way.
There are new escape paths in Blackout: The DSRV (Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle) and the Toaster Portal.
The DSRV works like the Helipad. Get there, get out.
The Portal works like an escape vehicle, it just doesn't look like one. Board the Portal, wait for everyone, set the toaster. Don't be alarmed.
It should also be noted that instead of power lines with wooden scaffolds, there are metal poles with red bulb-lights on top marking the path to the second objective.
Conclusion, or How to Get Killed in Blackout
That's the basics, that's enough to keep you alive and not make a complete fool out of yourself.
Oh, you wanted to know how to make a complete fool of yourself? Here's easy ways to lose:
- Go through a portal by yourself, or any group less than three.
- Go through a portal at someone else's urging.
- Join a group of survivors which suddenly seems really tight-knit and organized.
- Explore on your own during Witching Hour.
- Bless the first person you find in the wilderness as the Padre.
- Dose someone with the truth serum in front of everyone, split up, and trust them blindly once they come back from a solo trek in the wilderness.
- Huddle real close together near someone with a torch during the darkness event 'for warmth.'
- Allow someone to knock you down 'for their objective.'
- Trust the rosary to make you immune to worrying about traitors.
- Trust the Yeti with weapons.
- Go aggro as the Demon because you have two followers now and your health is at beast mode levels.
- Get in the water because someone 'wants to heal you.'
- Go back to base alone to call for the escape.