Grounded Preparation is Key

After all the hours I spent focusing on my base in Grounded, I finally got back on track with the Grounded Labs. A lot has happened since that last post and the biggest of them is Grounded preparation. The fun and frustration in Grounded revolves a lot around the grind to prepare for traveling deeper into the yard.

I definitely spent plenty of hours in that fun and frustration cycle.

Recon Work on the Black Ant Lab

Grounded Black Ant Lab interior

Immediately after my base upgrades last post, I prepped my equipment to go find the Black Ant Lab. I did find it amongst the trash bags in the yard, but ended up wasting time on preparation. My plan was to farm black ant parts to build a full armor set like I did with the Red Ant Hill.

I spent a good hour antagonizing black ant workers and soldiers, then retreating up a pole to handle them single file. Grounded preparation at it’s best and worst. Although I was happy when the full armor set was ready, it was a huge disappointment that the armor did not conceal me from the black soldier ants.

Had I known it wouldn’t fool them like the red ant armor fooled the red ants, I could have skipped that prep. I had to resort to switching to my Aphid slippers and running past ever ant I could. Found my way to the lab entrance easy enough, but was hit with disappointment again when I realized I needed an explosive.

I had none in my inventory nor at my base. That meant more preparation. It’s easy enough sneak into the red ant hill to grab the eggs I need, but it’s still time consuming. That ordeal added an hour to my quest to even get into the Black Ant Lab.

Proper Preparation for the Assistant Manager

When I finally did get inside, I met the Assistant Manager robot who utterly destroyed me a few times. Grounded is hard when poorly prepared like I was. The lasers spinning amongst groups of smaller robots while electric surges go off was overwhelming, at first.

Preparation did get me through easily, once I figured out the best strategy for my build. I setup my mutations, gear and salt arrow tips to go full archer mode. I was able to fully take advantage of the boss’s weakness (salt). Combine that with my go-to Aphid slippers to get out of the way quick and it was light work.

I basically chipped down the Assistant Manager’s health so quick, I just avoided most of everything else. It was great to advance the story, but his security badge was the biggest reward. I remembered the locked room it would open in the tree lab and that room included my dream upgrade for my zip line.

If only I had rushed to get to this point in the game, my zipline network would literally have taken half the time. The new zipline upgrade uses an Aphid to spin a wheel on the handle. That means I could quickly cruise downhill and zip uphill.

Before that, I had to build a downhill line to get to a location, then a downhill line from the location to my base. Now I only need 1 line per location, round trips possible on the same line. This was a huge time saver for me later.

Grounded Sandbox Adventure

Grounded Sandbox overlook

Since the first time I reached the top of the picnic table, I wanted to explore the sandbox. At one point I thought that was where the black ant hill was located. Turns our there is an entrance, but the Antlions are the big surprise there.

When one of them first jumped out at me, the size of their pincers jump scared me. They did plenty of damage to me, so I was once again back to prepping better for this area. I upgraded armor and setup my gear to take advantage of their weakness (salty and slashing).

Defeating my first one was great, but then I stepped onto the hot sand and realized I was still nowhere near ready. I had the option to wait until nighttime, but it’s hard to explore in the dark. Instead, I committed an hour to lure enough Antlions to the edge of the sandbox to farm their parts for the sizzle resistant armor.

Having a zipline setup nearby made the Grounded preparation for the armor easier and that Antlion armor (like a cowboy outfit) helped me explore. It was then I ran into more surprises. Those Antlions could burrow under the sand like the movie Tremors. Not only that, there were bigger ones hiding tunnels lined with great resources.

It was worth all that effort for the armor alone, but finding a key a chest with a Salt Morningstar recipe was a big bonus. That whole area was it’s own whole adventure.

Grounded Preparation for the Barbecue Pit BBQ

Grounded BBQ Spill

With my full set of Antlion armor for sizzle protection, I glided over to the BBQ spill to fetch some EverChar chunks. I really wanted to build the oven and that resource was a must. It took some trial and error, but I was able to perfect running up to a chunk to hammer it and then running away.

It’s too hot to stay near it too long, so I had to do that first step, cool down and then run back to fetch the chunks. Usually that was not too hard, but when the Ladybird Larva would pop out, I’d have a decent fight on my hands.

They became easy over time when I learned their weaknesses (fresh) and gave me confidence to reach the upper yard. Again, proper Grounded preparation makes life much easier. I built some grass stairs and ladders to get from the BBQ spill to get up there. After dealing with more of the Ladybird Larva, I got cocky and ran into a Black Ox Beetle.

That thing was huge and fast, plus it could throw rocks. I ran away that first time and hurried up to setup a safe spot in the upper yard to hook up my zipline back to my base. In typical fashion, I was not prepared with enough silk rope, so next stop is I’ll need to visit the Hedge again to farm my spider web.

I’m sure the spiders will love that and not cause me any delays to continuing onto my upper yard exploration. That’s a perfect example of when poor preparation can lead to frustration and time delays.

Until next time, it continues to be a great journey, but I’d be a fan if resources were less expensive and time consuming.

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