Progression in Blightfall is mostly explained via the HQM questbook, but if you want a brief overview of how to get started in one central location, look no further. There are a lot more tips on the Tips And Tricks page, ranging from early to late game. If you're looking to play with others, refer to the page Private Servers.
Welcome to the Jaded Edit
The Jaded is the colony ship sent to this alien world. You will spawn in the central hallway facing the pod room with the NPC Mirabelle Hacket. If you turn around there will be two doors on your right and left and another room at the end of the hall way. The far room is not important. On the left side, facing away from the pod chamber, is the command room. In there is the biome scanner - a machine to chart your progress cleaning the land- and another NPC, Captain Shiitake, who will give you a tutorial on the biome scanner. Directly across from the command room is a room containing the ship's teleporter and the colonist drop machine (though you won't need that for a long time).
Picking a BiodomeEdit
Walk forward into the room with Mirabelle in it. Look at the exits to the side. Each leads to a different biodome. The others are around the same level of difficulty. You can also approximate the biodome's difficulty by looking at the color of the lamp in the entrance. Talking to Mirabelle with the input: Which one? will give you a more detailed explanation of the different biodomes.
- Alpha is widely considered the easiest, along with Beta - it has a small cave you can explore for basic materials, and is located centrally.
- Beta is also very easy, with a cave that branches a little down. This cave does go into tainted territory, but not dangerously far. It has access to water, which is always nice as a taint-monster-free method of transport.
- Gamma is located in a snow biome.
- Delta is located in a clay mesa biome, directly next to a small river. The ground rises up around this biodome, making expansion more difficult than in other biodomes.
- Epsilon is located in a desert, which provides early and exclusive access to quartz. However, there is not much water, dirt, or pretty much anything except sand.
- Omega is indisputably the most difficult. It is located about ten blocks underwater, but does have access to a small mineshaft instead of a cave.
To pick a dome, just walk into the exit, climb down the ladder, right click the spinning cube with an empty hand, and hit "Yes" at the prompt. You will be teleported to your dome!
Complete your first quest Edit
Break a dirt block and pick it up. Open the HQM book by right clicking while holding it. Click on "Click Here to start" to get to the main menu, then "Click here to show quests" to get to the crew menu. Click on "The instructor" to select him, then "Open" to enter his quest tree. Click on the quest "What is this thing?" in the upper left corner to open the quest, then click "Manual submit" to give the dirt block to the instructor. You have just completed your first quest!
Get a tree Edit
Do not entirely cut down the silverwood tree. If you choose to, you can cut every block except the one in the middle - marked with a noticeable black dot. This is the block that keeps your biodome secure, and breaking it is a very bad idea. If you want a tree you can cut down, right click in the quest book until you get back to the crew menu, then click "The supplier" to get into his quest tree. Click "Request starting sapling" to get an oak sapling. Now, you'll want something to grow it with.
Right click until you get back into the crew menu, then click on "The instructor" again. Click on requisitioning items, then click on "Manual detect." The instructor will be so impressed with your ability to ask for things, he'll give you two stacks of bonemeal. Exit the quest book by pressing escape. Plant the oak sapling (it's best to plant it halfway between the silverwood tree and the edge of the dome) and then use bonemeal to grow it, or wait if you wish. The tree should drop a sapling when you cut it down. If it doesn't, visit the supplier's quest branch to request another one.
From then on, bonemeal will be available every few minutes for when you may need it. Some crops grow incredibly slowly in this mod, so stocking up initially is a very good idea.
Make tools Edit
Get another dirt block by punching it. Open your quest book again, then right click to get back to the instructor quest tree. If you want Tinker's Construct tutorials, click "Tutorials, please!" and then click Manual submit (Skip this entire section if you don't need a Tinker's Construct refresher). This tells the instructor you want Tinker's Construct tutorials. Follow the questline. If you get stuck, use NEI or another wiki to help. First, it will ask you to make four blank patterns. Then, it will ask you to make a pattern chest and a part builder.
Then, it will ask you to use the part builder to make a pickaxe head, a shovel head, an axe head, and a tool binding. To do this, place the pattern chest in the world, then right click it to open it. Take the appropriate patterns from the pattern chests. Then, place the part builder down in the world, and right click it. To make a part, place the pattern in the slot with the square icon, and a wood plank block in the slot with the cube. Remove the part from the slot on the right. (When making a binding, you will also need to remove the stick from the slot next to it before making another part.)
Then, it will ask you to make a tool station. After that, it will ask you to assemble the tool parts into a tool. To do this, place the tool station in the world. Right click it, then click on the pickaxe icon on the left side of the GUI. The GUI will change to show a slot for a pickaxe head, a binding, and a stick. Place the tool parts in their proper places (A stick in the stick slot) and then retrieve your wooden pick from the right-hand side of the GUI. You can follow the same steps for the mattock.
You now have the tools you need to complete the final quest in the tutorial.
Start farming Edit
Right click bone meal onto the grass blocks to make it grow tall grass, then punch it to get seeds. You should have a block of water in your biodome. Right-click the ground next to it with the mattock to turn it into farmland. Plant and seeds you find in farmland to make crops. If your mattock stops working, it means it probably broke. Craft it with a stick (in your inventory) to repair it.
Get wheat Edit
Right-click the crops with bonemeal to make it grow up. When it is fully grown, right-click it again to harvest it and replace it with a new seed. You now have wheat. If you are hungry, you can craft three wheat into bread, but there's a better way to do it, as mentioned below under "Make Bread". Save the majority of your wheat until then.
If you don't need wheat specifically (which you don't, unless you're making cookies or breeding animals), barley grows twice as fast and can be used for the same purposes. It's best to grow a bit of both.
Start mining Edit
In alpha and beta, there are holes in the ground leading to mines. Using your wood pick, mine at least 16 pieces of metamorphic or igneous stone - if it doesn't drop a cobblestone variant it's not what you want. It will be slow going. While here, dig some gravel using your hands. Keep digging it until you get a piece of flint, or better yet several pieces.
Furnaces and stonefting it in a 2x2 square in your inventory. With 8 of it, make a furnace just like in vanilla. Put the remaining three cobblestone into the furnace and cook it into smooth stone by burning spare saplings or sticks or something - two wooden planks works nicely. The last four vanilla cobblestone pieces can be used to complete a quest in "The Geologist" quest tree, which requests four cobblestone and explains how to convert alien stone. Edit
Make Bread Edit
Using a stick and the three smooth stone you just cooked, make a mortar and pestle. Craft the mortar and pestle with the wheat or barley in your inventory, and you will get flour. Cook the flour in a furnace to make bread. You can turn this bread in to "The instructor" to complete a quest. Make a few extra as well, to eat.
Bigger Farm Edit
In the "Supplier" quest tree, there is a quest called "Request Seeds." Complete it. It will give you an item called a "Seed bag." Open it. It will probably contain a Harvestcraft seed inside (If it gives you something else instead, wait a few minutes, complete the quest again, and open the next seed bag.) Plant the seed in more farmland. Right-click it with bonemeal until it is fully grown, then right-click it again to harvest and replant it. You will now have a food item of some sort. You can craft surplus food into more seeds to plant. This quest does cost reputation, but it is trivial and the quest is necessary for a varied diet.
Teching up Edit
With the piece of flint you got, make a flint pick head using the part builder. Show it to the instructor by opening the "Teching up" quest in the quest book and hitting "Manual Detect". Repair your wooden pick to full durability by crafting it with sticks until it is full. Then, right click the tool station. Place the pick in the "pick" slot, then place the flint pick head in the higher of the two slots to the left of it. Retrieve the pick from the leftmost slot. It now has a shiny new flint head on it. This will allow it to mine coal and (more importantly) Prometheum.
Teching up more Edit
With the flint pick, dig a spiral staircase down to height 45 or so. At this height, dig around under your biodome until you find a green metal called "Prometheum." Mine it with your flint pick. If your pick is running out of durability, you can repair it by crafting it in your inventory with another piece of flint.
If you have a hard time finding prometheum, you can try going lower than height 45, but don't go much higher. Prometheum spawns between heights 20 and 50. If you find anything other than Promethium, give it a test tap. There aren't a lot of minerals you can mine with a Flint pick, including iron.
If you break into a cave complex, don't panic. That silverwood tree you didn't chop down keeps all the land under your biodome safe in a giant column stretching from bedrock to the sky. Just put up fences or something to keep tainted creatures from sneaking into your mine, and keep looking around for prometheum under your biodome. Try not to mine outside the boundaries of your biodome in the beginning, or your mine will become covered in taint tendrils where you go outside the borders. As you advance, putting in doors to exits from your biodome is a good precaution.
Once you have at least 3 prometheum, head to the surface. The more prometheum you have the better, so keep mining until you get bored.
First, show your prometheum to the geologist to complete his quest.
Next, cook 3 prometheum in your furnace to get prometheum ingots. You can craft these three ingots with two sticks the vanilla way to get a prometheum pickaxe that works like a vanilla pickaxe. Show it to the instructor to complete his quest. Don't smelt a lot more prometheum than necessary, because later you can make a Smeltery which will double metal output. Once you have a smeltery, then you can alloy bronze and iron to make Damascus Steel, which has a mining power of diamond and a powerful sword.
Preparing to scout Edit
Open your quest book and go to "The scout" quest tree. There is a quest called "Learning to scout". It gives you an X-Y-Z Coordinate (For example, Alpha's quest says 859, 66, 942.) Copy those numbers onto a scrap of paper or something, then exit the quest book and press "B". It should open up a "New Waypoint" menu. This menu asks for a set of coordinates, in X-Z-Y format. Put in the numbers you copied down, taking care that the Y goes in the Y slot and the Z goes in the Z slot. (For example, for Alpha, enter 859, 942, 66). If you did it right, the waypoint should be somewhere in your base. Walk over to it, break the dirt block underneath it, then open up your quest book again. The "Learning to scout" quest should have a new task on the left side of the quest screen called "Consume task." Click it, then click "Manual submit" to send the scout his dirt block.
Now that you know how to set up waypoints, go back to the scout menu and click on the Swamp. Copy the coordinates down (it should be 592, 63, 1000) and press B to put them into a new waypoint. (Remember to input it as 592, 1000, 63). You'll see the waypoint in the distance. Going that far is going to take a little preparation. Definitely bring a boat, because no matter what biodome you are in you'll be crossing a substantial amount of water. Make sure you're registered with your teleporter - it looks like a spinning diamond cube. If you're not, right click it to register. Next, if you have any prometheum left, cook it up into ingots as well and use it to make armor. If you run out of prometheum, make wooden armor out of wood log blocks to cover any gaps in your defenses. If it's night, sleep to make it day, and make sure your hunger bar is full. If you've eaten too much bread, try baking some in an oven to make toast, or ask for some emergency nutrient bars from the supplier.
To the swamp Edit
You should be able to see the waypoint from your biodome. If you can't, it's in the north for most biodomes. To get there, break the glass to your biodome in the appropriate direction and maybe put a door there. Once you're out in the open, sprint-jump your way out there. Give Taintacles (the wavy purple things) a wide berth, but if you get a moving tainted creature's attention just keep running. If it's a chicken, you can't outrun it and you'll have to defeat it. Once you reach the water, get into a boat and head for the waypoint.
The waypoint has a silverwood tree, two ethereal blooms, and a teleport beacon by it. Grab a bloom, some mushrooms, and a pumpkin or two (grab these the first time around, they get tainted easily), then right-click the teleport beacon. Select your biodome from the menu, then click the big button at the bottom to teleport back home with your loot.
Congratulations! You are now well on your way to a successful Blightfall run!
Further goals Edit
Your next objective should be to find Oureclase (it's under the swamp) and make a pick out of it. (You'll need this to mine gold) You can also do more scouting quests, make your farm bigger, ask for some mobs or new trees, or explore a ruined village.
It's highly advised that you complete scouting quests as they grant access to several important areas. Every village in Blightfall has Smeltery blocks within it, which will start your Smeltery off.
Stone ladders can be made out of stone rods/tool rods, and are far more efficient than wooden ladders.
Upon obtaining a diamond-level pickaxe, the Volcano will become the best place to mine for ores. Essentially everything there is useful, whether as a weapon, pickaxe or armour, and once you obtain Cobalt everything should go incredibly smoothly in terms of resources.
There are massive ore-filled structures to the northeast of Team Epsilon, the west of the Volcano and the west of Eerie Island. Not much exists at their tops, but they are full of ores such as atlarus and mythril.
If you die, don't worry. As of update 2.1.0, your world will never be deleted. Also, you keep your inventory on death. Try not to die, as it costs you 10 reputation points every time you do. The first three times you die, you can go to the instructor and claim his quest rewards - they restore some of your reputation.
BiblioCraft offers a recipe for a checklist, which can be looked at or placed. It's a highly efficient way to keep track of your progress and plans for the future.
Final Advice Edit
It should also be noted that once you have a nice little house set up, you are going to want to start getting in deep with Tinker's Construct and Thaumcraft. A REALLY helpful place to get a jump start on both of these mods would be at X:1357 Y:615 or a large greatwood tree directly to the right of Biodome Omega (The underwater dome). At this lovely tree, which is also quite a nice house, you can find several key pieces to both these mods including but not limited to a Thaumonomicon, a Thaumometer, a Tool Forge, a couple Silverwood Saplings in a chest and much more.
Before you even consider doing this however, grab 4-6 Ethereal Blooms (pillage them from where ever you see fit) to prevent the taint from consuming the tree as well as several torches. There is a Sinister Node in there which spawns Angry Zombies (who have 60 health and hit like trucks). This can be thwarted with adequate lighting around and inside the tree. Once everything is all bright, you're done! You have a nice tree house with enough stuff to allow an easy slide into the two larger mods in this modpack!