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Browsing the forums and some videos I've seen on youtube have come to a fairly split opinion on how insanity is viewed within the community,

While many preach that there are very few downsides to insanity and a player should be insane within the 1st day and wish for dramatic buffs to shadow creatures and the threat that being insane brings, while others adamantly say insanity is hard enough and that any increase will hurt the player base, especially the new player base.  My idea would be a compromise between the two, while keeping with what I believe Klei's idea of risk/reward system in DST in long term planned gameplay.

This would better fit how don't starve works, everything is planned in long term, so theorized like thus:
0-1 day of insanity, just crawling horrors show (maybe 1 nightmare fuel per kill)
2-3 days of insanity terrorbeaks begin to show (1 or 2 nightmare fuel per kill)
4-9 days of insanity larger packs of terrorbeaks start to appear (up to 5 at a time)
10+ days random shadow monsters appear, these are just shadowed versions of any regular enemy/mob in the game (non giant bosses) with rare variants such are vargs, mctusks, treeguard, and ewecus (spit only damage not the stun) and these could drop a lot more nightmare fuel, beard hair, living wood (depending enemy) or one of 3 common gems (blue, red, and purple)

This method would give an increasing risk; increasing reward while not requiring even new assets to be generated by Klei apart from shadowing out a character model, making it much easier (thus more likely) to institute. Would also appease both sides of the fence while allowing new players to only have "light insanity" vs a more professional player diving headfirst into insanity to reap those rewards.  The only break I would give players for consecutive days insane would be they have 30 seconds of coming up above the sanity threshold to get it back down under it, since killing too many at once might restore too much sanity to keep it, and shadow creatures do not stop attacking you during this above the sanity threshold window, unless raised substantially. (or another variation is you can only get the 30 second grace window if you do it by killing a shadow creature, and not by other sources such as food.)

For a further fetched idea, stay insane for 30+ consecutive days and you can fight shadow bosses or even giants that can drop orange gems or anything from a chest that appears in the ruins.

 

P.S. This is just a thought it threw together after watching a video, so if you like some parts of it please run with the idea in other directions.

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What would be even cool is being able to do Insanity runs where you can have an alter somewhere in the world that makes you insane permanently (At least for the most part until something happens) In which shadow monsters are always present in waves that happen periodically. In which if you get to the seasonal boss it will be a shadowed version of itself and drop special items but are really really hard. Having its own minions for the boss fight.  

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You missed the point that you can easily get your sanity back up and nothing different from normal would happen, so it wouldn't affect lesser experienced players.  This is to reward those who run the risks by making the game harder, and could be a additional source of gems for Winona players, again this was to appeal to a wider group of people, those who hate insanity because its too hard, and those who are not bothered by it at all, and if you start to get into trouble there are several easy ways to shoot your sanity back up.

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the only problem I see with this, is it would decrease the value of short term nightmare farming. but that could be a good thing, the other thing is I feel that ramp is too slow.. considering now to go at a consistent pace you now have to stay insane of a minium of two days.

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well this idea was thought up on the fly, but the time scale at how the difficulty increases could be easily sped up, such as every day it would increase a tier (maybe have more tiers) so that you wouldn't already have 500 nightmare fuel already on hand when the rewards actually start to increase, unless you want to light the entire world with nightmare lights.

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