by: animorpherv1 ft. JDGA
Reviewed by: CuddlyCaucasian, xofelf & Nicholas1024
Just as a note, each individual section is a bit verbose, but well worth reading! If you're looking to get into the Large Social Queue, here's a good place to start! This guide won't make you a winner, but reading through it will get you out of the early stages for sure! Take what's in the guide and run with it to get far.
Before we start with anything official, remember this is just a game. There are many ways to play, and just as many ways to win! It's up to you to find your skill set and see what works best for you. On top of everything else, make sure you have fun! This is just the opinion of one player, you may even invent a new strategy! Don't be afraid to try something new or risky if you think you can benefit from it. You never know what could happen!
Congratulations! You just got accepted to "Newbie Guide Survivor"! It's going to be great! Wait, you don't know how to play? I guess I should have expected that. I'll be your guide then! Click the link you were given, log in, and let's start from there. As a side note, if you are interested in looking at any of the Survivors done on this forum in the past, look at the Survivor wiki page!
OK! Here we are, the first day of your Survivor career. There's a bunch of stuff to look at before we start getting into details, so let's start from the top of the screen and go down.
The first thread is always the announcement thread. Anything related to the game that doesn't fit any other category goes here. You'll find the rules, contact information, and any announcements (ex. who gets voted out and when the next challenge will start) normally go here. It's always worthwhile to go here and read everything before you do anything else!
The thread underneath that is where the challenges will be posted. In order to gain the title of Sole Survivor, you and your tribe need to compete in these challenges to win Immunity! If you win Immunity, you cannot get voted out.
Underneath that is your tribal forum. Here you can talk with your tribe! Most of the time it is used to discuss challenges before all remaining players end up in a single tribe (otherwise known as 'merge'), but you are free to discuss with your tribe about anything you want both in this forum and in PMs (aka Private Messages). Make sure to only talk to your tribe unless told otherwise!
Let's go into that forum! It has a message for us! It has a 'Welcome to Your Tribe' topic to look at. Getting to know who your tribe is will be very important!
It looks like Your Tribe has 6 players in it! That's on the small size for a tribe, but that's not a bad thing! We have Your Account, JDGA, and Random Tribemates 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Finally, we have Your Confessional. Here, you can talk about whatever you want! There will be an assortment of spectators watching the game, who may at any time ask you questions. These spectators have access to every confessional forum and any forums except those specifically for mods only, but are not allowed to give away game related information. They're basically neutral 3rd parties. The mods can also ask questions!
There tends to be 2 threads to start off in every confessional, a welcome thread, and a voting thread. If Your Tribe ever loses a challenge, or the tribes merge, you will have to vote out one of the players in that tribe. Make sure this isn't you! Talk to the members of Your Tribe over PMs both before and during Tribal Councils, so you build up rapport with them! Let's check out the welcome thread.
What we just went over, with one vital exception. The PM box is above the logo, in the top right corner. Use it often!
The core of Survivor revolves around making allies and using them to get farther in the game. So let's talk about allies next! Eventually someone on your tribe may ask you to ally with them, or you may find someone you really enjoy talking to and want to work with moving forward! Let's talk about getting an ally message before we talk about sending them.
Before we talk about what to do with allies, we need to set a ground rule on what allies are. Simply put, allies are players that you can (somewhat) safely expect to be able to talk strategy with. They may have plans to stick with you until the end, or they may want to only work with you in the short term, but both are allies, and it's up to you to choose allies that will benefit you in the long term.
Now, why do we want allies to begin with? There are a few reasons. Firstly, no one can win Survivor alone, so you'll need some help. Secondly, everyone gets further engaged in the game. Lastly, when you go to Tribal Council, you'll need people that won't vote for you. Let's get back to the forum quickly.
As you can see, you just got a PM! This one is from JDGA, let's see what it says!
Here is where we start getting into the real meat of the game. Most of the game will take place in your Inbox, talking to your tribe mates. Let's start with this:
Yes, this does mean if someone gives you an entire wall that you'll need to respond in a similar length, but the opposite also stays true. If someone messages you a few lines, they aren't looking for a novella. There are occasional reasons to not do this, though. For example, if you need to plea a case to someone, but that PM chain is mostly shorter messages, it's fine to break this.
In this case, JDGA has sent you a relatively short PM asking you what you think of your tribe mates. Since this is the first message we've gotten it's impossible to judge the rest of our tribe, so that's what we want to respond with. However, this brings up the golden rule:
A "hook" is something that makes your tribe mates interested in responding back. You could say "I've not gotten a chance to talk with any of them", but that's bland and boring. No one is looking for that. Instead, keep the conversation flowing like you would with a conversation with a friend! I would consider an acceptable response something like "I've not gotten the chance to talk to any of them yet, but I'm very excited too! While we wait for the rest of our tribe to get online, what do you think of the Pokémon Sun and Moon news that was revealed recently? Battle Royale look so exciting!"
On top of that, respond to messages as often as possible! If someone is waiting on your PM for days, people will assume you don't care about them. Most Survivors on this site take around 2 months, and you'll want to appear on the forum and be sending messages at least a few times a day, if possible. Sometimes real life happens, but try to get in what you can! Seriously, don't wait for days to respond to a message.
When someone sends you a message asking to ally, saying no is something that's infrequent but possible. If you keep saying yes to everyone, you may overflow with allies, so everyone has to say no eventually! So, you want to say yes most of the time, but how? By using the first two rules, of course! Respond like you would any other message, but make sure to say that you're interested in working with the player. An appropriate response may look like "I'd gladly ally with you! Who else are you really close too?" but it's dependant on the game and how close you are with that player.
With all that said and done, how do you give an ally message ? Stating the obvious, you want to say that you'd like to ally, but you also want to mention why as well! Endear them to you even further. If you wanted to ally with JDGA, saying "Hey JDGA, I want to ally with you! I've really enjoyed your messages so far, and you're very funny! What do you think?"
A special kind of alliance exists, FX (Final X) alliances. These alliances are meat to hold an alliance of X size together until endgame. Common variations are F2, F3, and F5. Sometimes they work amazingly and everyone works together until the end and that alliance dominates the game, but sometimes they break up due to infighting and other outside circumstances.
The last thing to talk about in regards to allies is the concept of backstabbing. A backstab is when you attempt to vote off or otherwise sabotage someone you’re supposed to be allied with. While this may sound like bad strategy (and when done poorly, it can be), there are a few common and very legitimate reasons for people to backstab. The first reason is if you can’t trust the other person. If you have good reason to believe they’re secretly working against you, it might be best for you to take them out before they have the chance to do the same to you.
The second possibility is if you have conflicting alliances. As the game drags on, you’ll rapidly run out of easy targets to go after at tribal council, and you may find yourself needing to decide which of two sets of allies you want to stay loyal to.
Finally, there’s the problem of the jury vote. As great as it sounds to have a close ally to take all the way to the end… if they can destroy you at FTC (Final Tribal Council), then it’s actively playing against your win condition to actually take them there. In this case, for you to have a good chance of actually winning, you would need to eliminate them beforehand, even if they were planning on taking you to the end themselves
Before we move on to the next section, let's cover mistakes most newbies make in the early TCs, because they're common mistakes and easy to fix. The first of which I've already stated, and it's not messaging people. No one wants a person on their team who isn't putting in the work. The other common mistake is making your tribe upset at you. This sounds obvious, but if people don't like you, they won't want to ally with you, and you'll be painted as a common enemy and easy TC fodder.
We've talked about alliances and how to PM people correctly, but what happens when the mods throw you a curve ball? That's what we'll get into here.
Let's talk tribes for a second. There are two kinds of tribes in Survivor. Small tribes and large tribes. Small tribes have between 5 - 7 members, and large tribes are tribes of 8 or more people. The important thing to know about small tribes is that you have to stand out in a good way. Alliances tend to form much faster as people are generally more uneasy about their spot in a small tribe, so being well received is much more important in a small tribe than a large tribe. By the nature of there being less people, it is also easier to make big moves in smaller tribes, because it requires less people to do so. It's easier to convince 2 or 3 people than it is to convince 5 or 6 to make a large move.
Meanwhile, large tribes are an entirely different beast. It's actually very possible to float by in a larger tribe simply due to the sheer number of people in the tribe, so you can have a strategy that consists of flying under the radar and being generally unnoticed is more possible if that's the kind of playstyle you desire (this doesn't mean don't PM!). People are much more inclined to make safer moves and target smaller threats and lesser opponents, because you can more easily grab a bunch of people who aren't fond of that guy who only talks about his uncle's pets.
Next, let's talk about the two most common twists, swaps (or shuffles), and shipwrecks (or a fake merge, or a psuedo-merge). A swap is when your tribe is changed, but you still have enemy tribes to compete against in challenges. Once your tribe is swapped, you can no longer PM the members of your old tribe, and can only PM members of your new tribe. Some members of your old tribe and your new tribe may remain the same, but that isn't guaranteed. From here, you want to gain the trust of your new tribemates. As a rule, there will usually be at least 1 swap per game, but there are often 2 or more. This allows you to meet new players, and shakes the game up. Sometimes players will be able to have a hand in how the swap is handled, and sometimes the mods have already predetermined the swapped tribes. Make sure to talk to everyone on your new tribe! A common mistake is to only talk to the people from your old tribe, which makes the other members of your tribe not get the chance to know you at all, and may want to vote you out because of that.
Next, we have shipwrecks (named after the twist in Survivor: Sky Pillar, modded by myself and kloud1516). A shipwreck is a giant (and temporary) merge that is often times followed up by a swap after the shipwreck is finished, and is used as a method to get all players to talk to each other. This twist is extremely good at preventing a pagong (having one tribe only vote out members of the other tribe in a merge), because it introduces many players to each other at the same time. There will not always be a shipwreck in each game, but it is by far one of the most common twists in the Mafiascum mod's arsenal.
Finally, we have rewards. Rewards come in many shapes and sizes and may be passed to or from tribe mates, but here are the most common ones:
• Hidden Immunity Idols (aka HIIs, getting its own paragraph)
• Challenge Advantage (allows you or your tribe to gain an advantage in the next challenge)
• Double Vote (allows you to vote twice in a TC)
• Vote Steal (lets you take someone else's vote and cast it for them)
• Vote Nullifier (allows you to remove someone's vote from play for a TC)
As a note, each reward has a specific time when it must be played, and generally can't be used in ties. For example, a double vote must be used when you're at TC to gain its effect. All items expire at a certain point in the game, and some can't be passed at all. Make sure to ask your mod for any questions you may have about your items!
HIIs are the most common reward and the most powerful. A Hidden Immunity Idol, when played, will make you immune at the current Tribal Council, and will not be revealed until all votes are in and the result is posted, essentially nullifying all votes cast for the target of your HII (either you or the person you targeted, but most mods don't allow you to target other players with it). Most Survivor games will have at least one HII, and will often contain multiple. This is the most powerful reward, but also one of the hardest to use right. In the right situation, it's the tool to get you to endgame and survive a dangerous TC, but if you use it poorly, then you waste it. These are generally very hard to get and often locked behind passwords or riddles and attract a lot of attention for being such a powerful item. If you can find one and use it properly, it makes for a good mention in your FTC speeches!
Congratulations, you've managed to scheme your way into the merge! This is where the real game begins. The end goal of Sole Survivor is now in sight! But you still have a few things to learn about before you make it there.
The first one is the simplest. Challenges go from being team oriented to being individual immunity challenges. No one else can help you win immunity but you, and immunity means more now than it ever has before.
The second thing is also the most important bit of the entire game. The Jury. The Jury consists of the most recently voted off players (usually there are 7 or 9, but the amount may vary), and they will vote during the Final Tribal Council (aka FTC) to determine who wins the game!
So not only is it important to make it to the FTC with someone you think you can beat, but you need to have a Jury that will vote for you to win! Here are some tips to do such a thing:
#1) Make sure the jury respects you. If the jury doesn't respect how you played, you'll never be able to sell them on anything.
#2) Bring someone that is liked less than you. People will vote for someone just as often as they'll vote against someone. Just make sure they're not voting against you.
#3) Know what your jury wants to hear. If you really are a strategic mastermind, you should know what your jury will want to hear when FTC starts.
It's also worth noting that most jurors have their votes decided before FTC even begins. The Jury get to talk amongst themselves for quite a while, so leaving a good impression is key!
So now you've made merge and you've managed your jury. It's time to start Final Tribal Council! But first let's talk about the differences between a FTC thats a Final 2 and a Final 3. Getting the obvious out of the way first, a Final 2 FTC means you only need to beat one other person, and a Final 3 FTC means you need to beat two. As great as it sounds to have a close ally to take all the way to the end… if they can destroy you at FTC, then it’s actively playing against your win condition to actually take them there. In this case, for you to have a good chance of actually winning, you would need to eliminate them beforehand, even if they were planning on taking you to the end themselves.
NOW you've made it to FTC. What do you do? The first thing you have to do is write an opening speech. Look at your jury, what do you expect them want to see? Make sure to mention as much of that as you can! Now's a good time to discuss how you got where you are, or something else. You want to stand out. Sell your game! Don't be afraid to write something hilariously long if you have to. Have a strategy going into FTC. Take a look at some of the things you really excelled at, and explain why. Stick to the strategy!
Next is the jury questions. Each member of the jury will be allowed to ask you questions. Answer them to the best of your ability, and make sure to never be wishy-washy. There's nothing worse than selling yourself short or going back on something you just said in the eyes of the jury. The key here is consistency.
Finally, there's the closing speech. This is your last chance to mention anything you didn't get to mention that you think needs to be talked about, or dispel any doubts the jury has. Once again, stick to your strategy! You've made it this far, messing up on the last leg can be fatal.
That's all I can teach! Now go out there and win!