Now that you’ve learned everything Rost can teach you, it’s time for The Proving. If you want to complete any side missions in this area, now’s the time to do it as things are about to change. When you’re ready, go talk to Rost outside Mother’s Heart then head into the village to start the cutscene. After you’re back in control, head through the village to talk to Teb. He’ll be your first chance to get new armour, he’ll give you a new set for free but you can also buy some if you have enough shards.
When the conversation’s over, head up the hill to the Matriarch’s Lodge. You can watch the various shows and such if you want, but there’s no bonus to it other than learning about the game’s world a little more. On the way to the lodge you’ll bump into Karst, the first trader you met, and you can learn some interesting things from him, but it’s not essential. When you’re ready head up to the Lodge to start the cutscene. When you’re back in control, scan with your Focus to find the mysterious stranger. When do you, go talk to them.
When conversation’s done, go down the hill to perform the ritual, and once you’re back in control you can go talk to Ollin if you like. Once that’s done, head for the lodge, have a confrontation with Bast, chat to Vala, then rest up, cause tomorrow is the Proving.
Alright, this is what the prologue was all about so it’s time to set about it. You’ll be dropped right in the action, with the task of taking down a Grazer. These machines are fast, but not particularly dangerous, and the Blaze canisters are the perfect target for a well place fire arrow.
Take one down and loot it. There will be a short cutscene then you’ll have to bring down another one, just use the same tactics you used to take out the first one and you should be fine. Once it’s down, it’s a race to the top. Now, there’s no time limit, but it’s worth not hanging around. Run the trail as fast as you can. It’s not particularly tricky, and Aloy is an agile character so you shouldn’t have a great deal of trouble getting there in good time. Once you reach the final zipline, it’ll start a cutscene.
When you’re back in control, you’ll be in a tight spot against human enemies, who are smaller and more agile than any Machine enemy you’ve faced thus far. Your best bet for the first wave is to flank left behind cover, then climb up the embankment the archers are on and take them out one by one that way. A headshot will normally kill them outright, or severly damage them.
Once that wave is down you’ll have another cutscene where wave 2 is introduced. This time you’ll have archers and melee guys who will charge you. The archers you just need to shoot in the head, but with the melee guys, if you can’t get a shot off before they reach you, the best tactic is to wait until they attack then dodge out the way and return with a heavy spear attack. That will often kill them in one hit. If not, rinse and repeat until they’re done.
The third wave will introduce a heavy machine gunner. They take 3 head shots from your bow to take down, and they’ll be spraying fire at you the whole time, so keep light on your feet. You’ll also have heavy melee guys who won’t die with one heavy spear hit. However, the heavy attack will knock them down, allowing you to finish them off.
Once they’re all down, you’ll trigger another cutscene, and things will never be the same again.