Friday, February 4, 2022

Catching Up With Chimeraland

True to my word, here's a post that talks about what I've been doing in Chimeraland. Quite a lot, as it happens, although not always to very much effect.

The honeymoon efect is beginning to fade, by which I don't mean I'm losing interest, just that not everything feels as new or as confusing as before and everything's starting to take longer and require more effort. I did say this was going to happen. It's all but inevitable in a sandbox game.

The developers are clearly aware of the possible problems that could arise from players running out of steam and drifting away. In the short time I've been playing, I've completed two in-game surveys, one for new players and another for "Seasoned Travelers". They're good, solid surveys with questions covering most aspects of the game, at least that I've experienced. They also point very clearly to an intent to make the game as accessible and relevant as possible, as well as how to monetize it efficiently without scaring anyone about how that might be done.

Lying or sitting down restores you to full health very quickly. That's why I pop into other peoples' homes and take cat-naps in their beds. I guess that should be fox naps. Also, never build your house in the wandering range of a Grand Beast. Just a tip.


I've done surveys like this in several games recently, some under NDA. Although I fill them out as honestly as I can, I'm not a great respondent. If I'm enjoying a game, as I am with Chimeraland, most of my replies tend to be "Very Satisfied" or "Extremely Satisfied" and when I'm asked what I'd like to see done differently I often take the "Other" option to say "Don't change anything - it's all fine as it is."

One question in the Chimeraland poll asked about direction or the lack of it in the game. There were a lot of options but I took the final one: "I'm happy with having no goals" or words to that effect.

It's true and then it's not. I'm entirely happy for the game not to set any goals for me and I don't feel the need to draw up a list of goals of my own, either. Even so, my gameplay isn't wholly unmoored. I do have things I want to do, eventually. I just don't have any deadlines I need to meet. 

Can we get a saddle on this thing? Or at least a safety-harness?


One thing I would like to do is tame an underwater mount. There are good reasons for wanting one other than it would be cool as f*ck to ride a shark. 

There are resources I need that can only be found underwater. As with almost every mechanic in the game, the length of time you can stay underwater without drowning is very generous, but some of the nodes are deep down and it's never a comfortable feeling, knowing you've dived as far as you dare and you have to come back up soon or die.

If you're on a mount that can dive, the requirement to hold your breath goes away. It's like having a living scuba suit. I know how it works because I've managed to capture temporary versions of several different types of fish and try them out for the permitted five minutes.

So far I have no luck getting any fish to drop an egg. The drop rate on hatchable eggs in general is better than I expected - possibly as high as 15-20% - but it's fairly awkward capturing fish, what with having to hold your breath and orient yourself in three dimensions. I find it quite tiring so I tend to stop after four or five attempts and go do something less stressful instead.

It's my lucky day!


I did try capturing a Warcrab on the grounds that they can be found swimming in the sea as well as sidling along the sand. I was very lucky, too. I got an egg on the first or second try. Unfortunately, when I took it home and hatched it I found that it couldn't go underwater, only along the surface. Also, as a ground mount, it moves as slowly as... well, as a crab.

My menagerie is slowly growing. I'm reasonably adept at capturing creatures now but I've also learned that sometimes eggs can be found just lying on the ground. I acquired a couple of creatures that way, one of which I had never and still have never seen in the wild. 

I also have a whole load of unhatched eggs that either came from the tutorial or from some login or achievement reward. Even though Floradyne's edging into the upper thirties, she's still receiving tutorial quests from Bella. You'd think she'd be done with the tutorial by now but she's not. There's a reason for that.

On the whole, Chimeraland is well-translated. Almost everything is clear, even if it's not always idiomatic. Occasionally, though, there are instructions I can't quite follow. I have two or three tutorial quests pending that I haven't been quite sure how to finish and it seems those have been blocking further quests I should have done some while ago.

Then again, maybe not...


A couple of days ago I had a flash of insight about one of the roadblocks. The tutorial wanted me to use "Active Search" to find a totem but I couldn't figure out what "Active Search" was. The extensive, illustrated in-game guide had an answer: click on an icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. That made sense because there are always several icons in that spot - just not the one I wanted.

I could see the icon in the illustration in the guide but I couldn't figure out why I couldn't also see it on my screen. And then it hit me: all the screenshots in the in-game guide are taken from the mobile version of the game. No wonder those icons are where they are! They're thumb-ready for a touch screen.

All the ones that still appear there also have keyboard shortcuts on PC although if you want you can activate the cursor and click on them with your mouse. The rest of the touch-screen options are on a menu you bring up with the "V" key. I'd been using it since I started - I'd just never clicked on the particular menu option that opened "Active Search".

Once I'd kicked that log loose from the jam a torrent of tutorial quests poured out. In the main, they covered a bunch of things I'd already worked out for myself, albeit not without some head-scratching but there were a few wrinkles I hadn't yet straightened out.

I had the quest to find the ferry for a couple of weeks before I ever did find it. And even when I got there I was too nervous to take the trip. The guard on the pegasus there has the big, red "KoS" eye and the ferrymaster gives some warnings about timers and faction. Maybe next time.


For some reason, although I'd made and placed a dressing table long ago, I'd never sat down to use it. It does a lot more than I imagined. There are a ton of outfits available, most for purchase in the cash shop but some for in-game currency and a few for free. I have to say most of them look kinda weird on a bipedal fox but it turns out there's also a change-race option there, too. (Or species, I guess it should be.)

One of the many very user-friendly aspects of Chimeraland is the way most quests retro-complete if you've already made the item or done the deed before you got the quest. All I had to do for about ninety per cent of the tutorial quests I'd missed was click "Done" and collect my reward.

There were a few that needed tidying up. For some reason I had to go and check my mail and there were a few trees to chop down. I had to complete the whole section on Capturing and Hatching pets, even though I'd already done everything in it. Those quests won't update until you go into an instance accessed by using the in-game video game terminal, one of the first devices I ever crafted. I hadn't bothered to try out all the options there yet. If I had, that would have retro-updated, too.

I captured Big Bird in the instance but now I'm out in the real world, letting my pet devour him for the next stage of the tutorial. Observant readers may notice my Leoparbeak now has antlers. That's because he already devoured a Horsedeer (or whatever they're called) and acquired the antlers as a new atribute. If he can eat something with wings he might yet learn to fly. Sadly, this one seems to be some kind of flightless ostrich knock-off.


Pretty soon, though, I was up to things I hadn't yet worked out for myself and Bella had started telling me to take breaks between the quests, first five minutes, then fifteen, sending me off to amuse myself before carrying on with the next set of tasks. It's a tactic I can't recall having seen in a tutorial before and, like most of the design choices in the game, it strikes me as intelligent and thoughtful, although I guess others might think of it as time-wasting.

Other than failing to find a fish to keep as my very own and catching up with my lessons, most of my time has been spent either exploring or working on my house. The world is as big as advertised. I've spent hours roaming around and doubt I've opened even half of the areas on my home continent. 

It's hard to be sure because the map isn't the greatest. Functionally it's quite good but I like to be able to open a map up to see the whole world or at least all of the continent I'm on and Chimeraland's map doesn't display that way. 

Every racial village has a giant statue to show you who lives there. Birds, in this case. I found their town when I finally decided to try the "Main City" teleport button on the "V" menu. It turned out to mean "Go to the nearest racial village". Either that or the local concept of a capital city leaves a lot to be desired.


I found two more racial villages, rhinos and birds, although that's not what they're called. Disappointingly, the daily quests in each are identical, although that makes it sound more restrictive than it is, since the quests already cycle randomly and there are more than you can take in one day. I realise it's a sandbox and narrative isn't a priority but I do think they could at least have changed the dialog a bit for the different races.

That's almost the only complaint I have so far. I suppose I could make something of the way every upgrade requires more materials than the one before, a trend that seems unlikely to slow down, let alone stop, but that would be like complaining that you have to kick the ball too much when you play soccer. Gathering more and more stuff to make bigger and better things is the gameplay.

It is also likely to be the off-ramp for my involvement with the game, eventually. At the moment it's still fun and honestly, if I have cricket on the radio I can gather for hours, but there comes a time in every crafting and building game where I find myself questioning the time I'm spending. That's no criticism of Chimeraland; it just means I'm never going to be one of those players that literally makes their home in a game like this.

For the time being, I have plenty of not-really-goals left that feel both achievable and entertaining, plus I'd like either to get to the level cap or the end of the tutorial, whichever comes first. At the moment it's far from clear which it's going to be.


  1. Wait, you've had posts that AREN'T about Chimeraland lately? ;-)

    1. Well, I haven't had all that many that don't mention it but if you just count the ones that are actually about it, it's not ALL of them...

  2. I've been running through the tutorial as much as I can during my play sessions. I've found this in a lot of mobile games where they like to throw a whole bunch of systems at you all at once without much information other than "Here's how to get to the menu and do the thing". I'm finding those breaks in the main tutorial nice to figure out what else I can do in each new menu I'm shown.

    Though I've noticed that as the main tutorial advances other characters appear in that menu who seem to have their own tutorials. So I'm sure at some point while I wait for the main tutorial I'll be doing another tutorial!

    1. I have four tutorial NPCs advising me now. There's Bella, then there's some elfy-looking guy, a racoon and one more I forget. The racoon does all the racial village daily stuff, I think and the one I forget does crafting/housing. I think the elf is combat? Really sticking with me, as you can see.

      Based on the things that ares till being explained to me, I think I'm probably at least 20 levels too high for the tutorial quests I'm getting - probably should have finished them in the teens if I'd just stuck to the schedule and only taken my official breaks instead of going off on my own for whole days at a time!


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