Saturday, December 24, 2022

One of the things I rather like about Subnautica: Below Zero is that it's a fairly safe environment to explore but not devoid of dangers. Mostly though, its predators are more a nuisance to navigation than a major threat once you've crafted a knife or a sea glide. The crocodile like things in warmer waters, for example, will mostly flee if you bop them with the blade and largely stick to their personal territory. After building the drill arm for my P.R.A.W.N. mech suit, I figured out that you can actually eliminate these.

And then there's the leviathan class predators. Mostly those are classified as apex predators, those I typically choose to avoid. But some are more pragmatic than others.

The ~40 meter or so Chelicerate are large enough to tell from squid sharks by the time time you want to mossy along. Avoiding becoming a snack is always a good plan. An initial attempt at neutralizing one of these that proved too aggressive did not go very well. Attempting to rope it with the grappling arm and drill the sucker while avoiding its teeth, ended with nearly being chucked into a cave near the edge of the tree spires. Round two was more like being dragged into open ocean and ended in a draw. Glaring at each other while repairing my equipment on the other side of a vent garden.

Mostly though, I've managed to avoid those. But then the search for story items sent me to the purple crystal caves, where I previous decided to return to base after the heads up of a particularly large leviathan class predator in the area. Joy.

Well, good old "Claw Face" is a very aggressive bastard about ~60 meters long. The Shadow leviathan is like some kind of cockroach slash snake from hell with all the peaceful happy feelings of Darth Vader. Attempt to explore the caves and it will try to eat you. Drive it off for a moment's reprieve and it will quickly circle back for another attack run. Since the area isn't conductive to swimming and just about any kind of noise and activity will attract it, it's less a nuisance and more of an obstacle!

Acquiring the Torpedo Arm for my P.R.A.W.N. and the docking module to haul it by Sea Truck, I decided on an experiment to see if these things can die. Unloading over a dozen poison gas torpedoes did little more than piss it off, and I was forced to retreat and rebuild. For round two, thanks to a big of foraging and the assistance of the Sea Monkey Army, I returned with nearly twenty poison gas torpedoes and over half a magazine of gravity vortex torpedoes.

Found a nice little nook where it's possible to retreat and repair, while hoping not to be snatched and ate hole. Attracted its attention with the drill arm and jets and made for a second bout. Unloaded all the torpedoes. More than a few of them down its gullet along side the drill arm. Again, and again, and again it shrugged this off. I probably would have withdrawn and declared it mission failure, if ol' Claw Face didn't tend to cycle back and try to EAT me while repair tooling my mech suit.

In the end, I was standing on the edge of my nook, waiting for Claw Face to swoop in for the kill and using a mixture of drill arm and mech-punches. Eventually, I switched to punching with both standard arms as this seemed to drive it off much faster. One attack run would do about 30% damage to my P.R.A.W.N, and it might return before repairs were completed. It took about a battery and a half of this, punching the crap out of it after unloading two dozen torpedoes. 30-40 minutes, but finally the thing died. I wonder if it healed from the first wave.

In any case, when the player has 100 HP and the leviathans have 5000 HP, it takes quite a lot of punches in the face to kill something that orny with fifty times your health!

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