So far, I've been pretty unsuccessful with setting up a base. I've been trying to build near replenishing resources (grass, berries, etc) but I guess there's more to it than that because it hasn't really worked out for me. What's the best location to set up a home base? What are the most important things to have nearby? Basically, how can I make the most stable base possible?
To avoid dying, you need to watch 3 major states:
Additionally, some security against other ways of dying (mob attacks such as hounds, mactusk, deerclops, ...) can lower your chances of dying too.
The good news is: everything you need to keep the 3 states up can be moved: you can plant farms, move berry bushes, grass, twigs, trees, spiders, ...
Resources you'll need to build a base but are not easily movable are manure and stone. (Update 22/07/2016: manure is movable if you build pig houses, pigs give manure if you feed them fruits. Turn the pig into a werepig and drop a stack of 40 berries to get 40 manure fast)
- The easiest ways to find manure are beefalo (which can be moved) or pigs (whose houses can be moved or (re)built).
- The easiest ways to get stone are quarries (a stone biome), but those are non-renewable. The only renewable way to get stone is by farming the caves. (Update 22/07/2016: with meteors, stone biomes are now renewable - but don't build too close or the meteors destroy your base)
So you can build your base anywhere you like. You can move all vital resources anyway, it only costs manure to fertilise the grass and farms, and stone to build your walls. It helps to have those close!
Conclusion: build your base close to
- caves, for stone, gold, flint, gems
- beefalo, for manure (although you can move beefalo in the long term, starting close gives you a headstart)
- as many different biomes as you can find (savanna, grass, rocks, forest, marsh)
- Having wormholes near makes the base more interesting, since travels to other biomes are shortened, and you have an escape hatch.
- Having a respawn near (touchstone, meat effigy) makes for a good base, too, since after you respawn, you can reach your base fast (before you die again)
- Having multiple bases can make the difference between life and death when you get chased out of your base during winter/nighttime or when you respawn. Build a second base at your touch stones, in the caves, in the ruins...
A good example of a base in my latest game, day 3:
I have the best luck building my base near a beefalo herd. This supplies you with several important resources:
- Manure - you can build farms with it, fertilize them with it for quick crops, and burn it for fuel
- Beefalo Wool - you can burn it for fuel, and you can use it as an ingredient in some winter clothing
- Beefalo Horn - if a beefalo dies (or you kill one), you can get one of these, which lets you create a Beefalo Hat, the warmest hat in the game
- Grass - perhaps the most constant resource you'll need, and obtainable because beefalo tend to inhabit grasslands
- Rabbits - important for food in the winter, when crops don't grow. You can set traps right over their holes
Set up near the beefalo, and you'll have food and fuel year-round. Beefalo are also helpful backup fighters against hounds, and they're great for killing koalefants when they're in heat.
If you can't find a good-sized herd of beefalo, another good option is near a pig village. This gets you manure (from feeding plants to the pigs), and gold (from the pig king, in exchange for meat and other objects). I find getting manure from the pigs more labor-intensive than getting it from beefalo, though.
Update for Wigfrid
If you have the Reign of Giants DLC, things are a bit different. Wigfrid in particular takes some special handling because she won't eat vegetables (by themselves). She'll only eat meat, meat dishes, and eggs.
For Wigfrid, my ideal location is a pig village near some spider dens. This allows several sources of food:
- Monster Meat from the spiders. This can be combined with non-twig filler in a crockpot to produce Meatballs, one serving of which restores nearly a day's worth of hunger.
- Meat from the pigs. If you feed four monster meat to a pig, he becomes a werepig. Killing the werepig yields two meats and one pigskin. The meat can be eaten on its own or combined in the crockpot to make meatballs or other items.
- You can also feed cooked monster meat (from the spiders) to a bird in a birdcage to make eggs, which you can trade to the pig king for gold.
This is a great setting year-round, because pigs and spiders are active during all four seasons.