You may want to contact Mircea Mircescu in game for a few free items to get you started.
Explore the map and notice any items laying around that do not fit into the vegetation. Some can be picked up and used (click on the item in inventory, then click in the body):
If you can't find item you want, you can trade it with other players.
When you have these prerequisites, then it's time to /explore. Exploring depletes your health, so you may have to occassionally lay down and.../die. Death is temporary and restores full health after a while, full implementation is promised only after marriage is done. You may prefer falling from the cliff. There is also a NPC who gives out a beer, that helps, too.
You will find out miscellaneous claims, and upon reading the scrolls you realize they require some materials you don't have slightest idea how to obtain. Now, after you've became hooked, is the time to... pay. Or beg, whatever. Official copper monger is one Grundin "ain't cut me throat fer ya" Goldskull, who exchanges one copper for one satoshi (by normal btc transfer, or from CoinBr.com or MPEx balance). Exchange of S.MG shares is possible too, ask him about running rate.
The main principle of the game could be summed up as "you get what you put in, plus or minus what your luck dictates". And that's valid for hard, tangible things such as coppers (satoshis), but also for other things such as experience gained. In practice, this means broadly that using higher quality things is likely to result in higher yield (in different forms though). However, it is still fully possible to get a whole lot more from less, if and when your luck strikes. Obviously, you can also get very little from a lot, if and when your bad luck strikes.
As a warning: don't try to craft with items that have negative quality!
Finally, a concrete explanation of the underlying mechanics:
<mircea_popescu> anyway, the mechanics is as follows : you need some ingredients, which make a bundle, which yields a fixed product.
<mircea_popescu> all this is specified in nominal terms, which is to say taking q 100 items.
<mircea_popescu> if you use higher q ingredients, your bundle will end up q > 100.
<mircea_popescu> if you use more ingredients than the minimum, bundle idem.
<mircea_popescu> if you have a bundle nominally worth 10000 making a product nominally worht 10000, but the bundle is q 115 and the product is q 105, then that 1000 goes somewhere.
<mircea_popescu> and it returns in the shape of something. maybe.
<mircea_popescu> meanwhile if the reverse is true, and your bundle is merely q 95, the 1k you're straight out extracting out of the game.
<mircea_popescu> so in a certain sense, it is advantageous to be a noob : take 3 grass q 30 so worth 20 each, make one thread q 105 so worth 200. you turned 60 into 200
<mircea_popescu> so it's just not so simply cut, "noob bad, vet good" or anything. cheaper is not necessarily better. more expensive is not necessarily better.
<mircea_popescu> and so on
<mircea_popescu> obviously if one was going to do away with the boring liniarity which leads necessarily to the rpg grind, one also has to do with the inequalities that underpin it.
<mircea_popescu> so instead of inequalities there's now ambiguities.
Exploring (Finding Basic Resources or "Harvestables")
Exploring is the basic action most accessible to beginners (you will still need the "gathering" skill for it though).
Optional: tools such as cruddy hoe, pickaxe, adze, chetty stick
What you can get out of it: either a claim (that needs to be "built" in order to get actual harvestables out of it) and a key for it or ...nothing.
Some items are common (such as flotsam, shiny rocks, boulders, clump of dry grass, solid branches, widow's whisp berries), other items are rare (such as abandoned eggs, elusive purple snails, deserted crab shells, wooly mushrooms) and other items are yet to be found (such as slithy tove, giant rotten canine, two-leaf clover). Usually the rarer the item, the more expensive it is and therefore if you are lucky enough to find a claim for it, you'd better use high-quality ingredients to build the claim for any decent chance of getting a bit more than the minimum of 1 item out of it.
The type of items you may find when exploring depends mainly on location it would seem. However, whether you find something or not depends mainly on skill+tool and luck (in no clear order). Hence, it's precisely in the places where you do NOT find anything that the rarer items are likely to be. Keep digging or get a chetty stick. Or move on, of course.
Index of Resources
AE - Abandoned Eggs
B - Boulder
BBB - Better Bitterbean
BN - Bird's Nest
CDG - Clump of Dry Grass
DCS - Deserted Crab Shell
DM - Dead Mollusc
EPS - Elusive Purple Snail
F - Flotsam
LH - Lotus Harlot
MD - Magical Dungbeetle
PS - Polished Stone
RF - Rotten Fruit
RR - Rickety Reeds
SB - Solid Branch
SG - Swarming Grub
SM - Spicy Moss
SR - Shiny Rock
TLC - Two-Leaf Clover
TPT - Three-Pointed Thorn
WM - Wooly Mushroom
WPL - Worthless Putrid Leather
WWB - Widow's Whisp Berries
Index of Recipes
Index of recipes (work in progress)