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Winona's Rework is Lackluster and Bad, Leaves Concerns for Future Reworks and Characters (Including DLC Characters)


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The goal that they stated in the DST 2019 Roadmap was to "make each character unique, interesting and valuable in their own right and we expect this to be game changing in many ways" (emphasis mine). I'm very critical of Winona's rework, and for good reasons as stated in my Summary.

She currently makes for very boring gameplay honestly. With most characters as they are right now, a combination of their stats and perks provide a unique, interesting, and valuable way of playing the game (stats being HP, Sanity, Hunger) - some sort of twist to the survival experience. Winona just doesn't do that for me, as her dominating playstyle revolves around setting catapults and cheesing and/or automating everything that we can already automate.

Crafting Perk
Winona went from being the best crafter in the game to being the worst crafter in the game. I had actually picked Winona before for the faster crafting, but the 5 point penalty to each craft does not provide a challenge to the game, but rather an annoyance to an everyday task that's done en-mass.

It kinda becomes like the original science point system from DS. 5 points of hunger for a Science Machine, 50 points of hunger will get an alchemy engine (4 boards, 4 cut stone, 2 of which are refined into Electrical Doodads), 10 points for a spear, making a pet costs you 5 hunger.

Either limiting this to 1 or 2 hunger a craft or outright removing and replacing this with her crafting speed being scaled to her hunger, or maybe even a combination of the two would fix this issue.

Her Spotlight
Many people have said this already, so I'll keep it short. They are not capable of targeting multiple people, and even if they were, why would I use them over a campfire? Seems more like an aesthetic thing at this point. I know the devs have expressed not wanting to place an on-off switch, I'm indifferent to it honestly.

Her Catapults Cheesepults
And my biggest complaint? Her bloody cheesepults. These things are just so broken and very unbalanced.

The catapults do comparable DPS to the Houndius Shootius (17 DPS for the catapults versus versus 21.66 for the Shootius).

The Houndius are very desirable as I can do many cool shenanigans with them, but we're limited to the one Deerclops eyeball every year (2 if Klaus is nice to you), which makes them very balanced.

As for the catapults? Their "high costs" are rocks. Now people keep telling me that this is expensive, to which I keep saying that there are a dumb amount of avenues to farm them for (Rocks on the Surface, Meteors, Moleworm Farming, Petrified Trees, and all the damn rocks in the caves, including the Spalagmite and Cave Rock Biomes that almost no one ever mines).

Their cheap costs and rather comparable DPS makes them better and cheaper Houndius Shootius. They can kill Misery Toad in 10 minutes; Bee Queen, Dragonfly, and Fuelweaver in 3-4 minutes (I'm the author of these by the way). They just obliterate FW's minions, which is one the reasons I've seen many people fail the fight. This cost is only a one time setup, with gems only being the cost each time (ruins and varg farms gives you tons of gems). Why make these bosses in the first place only for them to become destroyed like this?

Suggestions? Make them cost a gear instead of rocks, and lower the DPS to maybe 8-10 DPS. They should be a low tier turret, not something better. And most importantly, make it so that these bosses will actually go and attack them. As they are right now, mobs mainly put all their focus on the players and ignore the catapults, which slightly differentiates them from the turrets. That way I can't cheese the bosses this easily.

It stills make for boring gameplay imo.

Summary

The goal that they stated in the DST 2019 Roadmap was to "make each character unique, interesting and valuable in their own right and we expect this to be game changing in many ways."

Winona was originally a meh character that was sorta a meme punching bag ie. Jimmy Neutron, whose 2x crafting perk was actually pretty good mid-late game, and had an appeal to newer players as well. Her rework made her an even bigger meme character (Wolfgang 2.0, Wolfgang 34.0, Jimmy Neutron) that even newer players can't enjoy anymore (b/c of her hunger drain).

People have suggested that her tape to repair armor and tools, which at this point sounds much more interesting (though niche) than what she became. Though'd that still suffer from the Celestial Portal issue and would need some balancing as well.

Not only that, the biggest issue here that's not brought up much is this: If this is what Winona is like, what's going to happen to future reworks like Willow, or even worse, the DLC characters of all things? There's needs to be a longevity aspect to these reworks, or else they all become a pick-them-and-then-dump-them type of character, like how Winona is right now. That's the worst thing to could happen to them.

These concerns and my critique are why I'm extremely harsh and critical of this rework. Don't just give us the cheese, we'll figure that out on our own as we always do. Instead, provide unique twists to the survival experience that is unique, interesting, and valuable that provides longevity to a character.

You guys are capable of doing this, as you've proven yourselves that you can with everything in the game before this rework.

Also, are the rest of the characters going to follow this same format of some downside followed by 5 crafting items?

Thanks. (I love her short btw <3).

Edit: This separate thread on reddit provides a lot of other insights too.

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I think paying 10 hunger for a 5 second speedcrafting window would be a lot more interesting and keep the spirit of what they were going for. You'd then have to plan your crafts around maximizing the amount of crafting done in that window. Craft smart and the penalty is not that bad, craft dumb and you'll be clearing out the squad's fridge.

I also think that when speedcrafting, recipes with common, unrefined components should consume less (so, a torch could be 1 stick/1 grass, but an alchemy engine would still require all its components, since you would be saving on costs when refining materials). This would hopefully solve the celestial portal issue, and give you a reason to continue playing Winona, instead of swapping out once your catapults are down.

The spotlight is pretty bad, I had high hopes for it as a cool, mega-base vanity item, or a useful spelunking tool, but it just isn't reliable/efficient enough to plan around it.

The cheesypult is definitely a  cool item, but I agree it needs to be harder to build en-mass.

 

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1 hour ago, lakhnish said:

She currently makes for very boring gameplay honestly. 

This is how I felt about her before the changes XD

1 hour ago, lakhnish said:

Her Spotlight
Many people have said this already, so I'll keep it short. They are not capable of targeting multiple people, and even if they were, why would I use them over a campfire? Seems more like an aesthetic thing at this point. I know the devs have expressed not wanting to place an on-off switch, I'm indifferent to it honestly.

I think it's too early to tell wether these are as useless as your claiming them to be. There's still a lot to test.

Personally, I've found some uses. They're great to place down in storage areas (as in areas in your base where you've got thousands of chests. You can organise your chests through out the night and move freely. 

Also, they're quite cool for animal enclosures and farms.

However, I do think there's room for improvement. The devs have said that they won't to add a turn off/on switch for the generators. I think they should automatically turn off the during the day. It's just horrible to have to waste resources. 

Another thing that could be cool (and Klei will never do this, but I'll suggest it anyway) is that if the lights could have different modes of function. It be great to have a security mode, so you could place them near your base and it illuminates incoming enemies. I have this image in my head of building a base that's almost like a prison, where the lights are set behind some walls and the lights shine the exterior of my base.

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Well said.

I think it's very unlikely other character updates will follow this model.  Crafting recipes fit Winona's theme, and she was given a downside because she didn't have one yet.

The way I look at the spotlights is this: they're hands-free, uneqipped, heatless sources of light, so the thing they most closely resemble is lanterns placed on the ground.

Spoiler

 

 

Lantern on the Ground

Spotlight

Fuel Duration

0.975 days

1 day (nitre) / 6 days (gems)

Fuel Cost

Very Cheap

Expensive Until Late Game

Crafting Cost

Very Cheap

Medium (Firefly)

On / Off Switch?

Yes

No

Relocatable?

Yes

No

Versatile?

Yes

No

Light Radius

Large

Medium

Light Follows Player?

No

Yes

Out Of Harm’s Way?

No

Yes

 

The way I see it, the spotlight is mostly useful if you want to fight something in the dark, in a predictable location, with your equipment free for weapons and armor, with freedom to run around, and without having to worry about setting fire to objects on the ground.  That doesn't come up very much: just the raid bosses, and of them, only dragonfly sets fire to things.  In fact, you might be better off just placing a bunch of lanterns on the ground to keep the whole area lit up instead of having the light follow you, and carrying a luxury fan to save your lanterns if they catch fire.

On the other hand, if you have no caves then lanterns aren't readily available.

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26 minutes ago, TemporaryMan said:

The way I see it, the spotlight is mostly useful if you want to fight something in the dark, in a predictable location, with your equipment free for weapons and armor, with freedom to run around, and without having to worry about setting fire to objects on the ground.  That doesn't come up very much: just the raid bosses, and of them, only dragonfly sets fire to things.  In fact, you might be better off just placing a bunch of lanterns on the ground to keep the whole area lit up instead of having the light follow you, and carrying a luxury fan to save your lanterns if they catch fire.

My thoughts exactly on the spotlights. The lanterns don't catch on fire either, which makes this even funnier. I like your chart as well. I wouldn't even use the spotlights mid-to-late game because mid-to-late game, I use Star Callers and Moon callers to light my base, both of which last a long time, light a large radius, and are very fun to use.

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1 hour ago, TemporaryMan said:

The way I see it, the spotlight is mostly useful if you want to fight something in the dark, in a predictable location, with your equipment free for weapons and armor, with freedom to run around, and without having to worry about setting fire to objects on the ground.  That doesn't come up very much: just the raid bosses, and of them, only dragonfly sets fire to things.  In fact, you might be better off just placing a bunch of lanterns on the ground to keep the whole area lit up instead of having the light follow you, and carrying a luxury fan to save your lanterns if they catch fire.

Best use I see would be throwing them around the ruins so I can get some light and see where I'm going while still being able to have my equipment slots free. Instead of holding a lantern or wearing a miner hat I can wear a football helmet or hold a cane! I can't just stick my lantern on the ground because those demonic monkeys will just take it. It's a bit of a niche and would require multiple generators meaning it's probably not a great option, but it seems like a fun thing I might try and do at some point.

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5 minutes ago, Mr Pig said:

Best use I see would be throwing them around the ruins so I can get some light and see where I'm going while still being able to have my equipment slots free. Instead of holding a lantern or wearing a miner hat I can wear a football helmet or hold a cane! I can't just stick my lantern on the ground because those demonic monkeys will just take it. It's a bit of a niche and would require multiple generators meaning it's probably not a great option, but it seems like a fun thing I might try and do at some point.

Also useful for fishing in caves or sticking them next to spider and slurtle nests when you're farming. 

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3 minutes ago, Mr Pig said:

Best use I see would be throwing them around the ruins so I can get some light and see where I'm going while still being able to have my equipment slots free. Instead of holding a lantern or wearing a miner hat I can wear a football helmet or hold a cane! I can't just stick my lantern on the ground because those demonic monkeys will just take it. It's a bit of a niche and would require multiple generators meaning it's probably not a great option, but it seems like a fun thing I might try and do at some point.

If they automatically powered on and off when people were in range, they'd be more useful and it'd be easier to keep them fueled.  Lacking an on/off switch for the catapults, okay, sure, if you build 18 of them they're better than 2 extra Wolfgangs, so I can accept that.  But the lanterns are just so uncompetitive with other options.  With automatic power conservation, you could build them in the ruins, fuel them, and they'd be ready for you on return trips and you could just top them up once in a while as needed.  

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13 minutes ago, TemporaryMan said:

With automatic power conservation, you could build them in the ruins, fuel them, and they'd be ready for you on return trips and you could just top them up once in a while as needed.  

this is what id love to see! i think as always when it comes to big changes people get very critical. i like her new gadgets but id appreciate some quality of life changes like the spotlight turning off during the day and when no player is nearby. 

the nagging on the hunger cost for crafting is kinda funny to me. i always have SO much food i dont know what to do with it. 

what i personally wouldve loved to see for winona is if she could craft Drones like the drone glommer mod in the workshop. i think that'd be sooo neat for her if she could automate farms and such. ill just use the mod and pretend its a winona exclusive :p 

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3 hours ago, lakhnish said:

Also, are the rest of the characters going to follow this same format of some downside followed by 5 crafting items?

This is very concerning to me. Taking the Wickerbottom approach just because she's a beloved character is completely missing the point of a character's uniqueness and usefulness. Wicker is good, but nobody plays her in my experience, because her perks, while powerful are dull chores; set up tentacles for people, charge up WXs, grow food, farm birds... the dopamine of her power wears off pretty quickly.

Other characters are going and are already falling under this problem. Wormwood has some other useful perks, but his crafting leaves much to be desired, and Winona especially, since she doesn't really have many useful perks. I would suggest for her to rather:

1) Can craft things with half the cost by default (very useful, would eliminate the issue of pick-them-and-dump-them for her).

2) Crafting should not consume hunger, but at low hunger, she still gets the bad crafting penalty. Perhaps even being slower when having low hunger (dropping her default walking speed down to 4), meaning she's a character you would always want to be at the top of your hunger at all times.

3) Her tape should repair both clothes and armory, may be even weaponry, but may be make the latter two something only she can do, and everyone else can only use it for sewing clothes.

As for the crafting recipes, they could either be reworked and enabled to be craftable for all or just simply removed, as they don't provide much of a change, except for the catapult being a new cheese method. Definitely agree that the catapults should have a gear for crafting them. Perhaps even two, which would mean Winona would be the handywoman to work with them.

 

And honestly, that would put her at, what you could consider, an S tier character. Pretty significant drawback, while having fitting and powerful perks on the other hand.

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14 minutes ago, EuedeAdodooedoe said:

As for the crafting recipes, they could either be reworked and enabled to be craftable for all or just simply removed, as they don't provide much of a change, except for the catapult being a new cheese method. Definitely agree that the catapults should have a gear for crafting them. Perhaps even two, which would mean Winona would be the handywoman to work with them.

I personally like the idea of the Winona having exclusive crafting recipes, it fits with her mechanic/engineer character.

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Can you guys make up your minds? Before this rework, everyone wanted all the characters to be on par with the meta 3. Now? Winona has gotten one thing (the catapults) that makes her situationally pretty good, and all of you are deciding that it's overpowered and needs to be nerfed.

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6 minutes ago, Sunset Skye said:

Can you guys make up your minds? Before this rework, everyone wanted all the characters to be on par with the meta 3. Now? Winona has gotten one thing (the catapults) that makes her situationally pretty good, and all of you are deciding that it's overpowered and needs to be nerfed.

I think the general consensus is that people wanted Winona, Willow and Woodie to be viable options.

I am happy so far with Winona's changes, but there's definitely room for improvement.

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Over all I like Winona more now than I did before the re-work. That being said, I agree with everything you said. Things need further re-balancing and adjustments.

For the catapults, one aspect of them I don't see many people mentioning is; why do they even regenerate health? It doesn't make sense in lore because they don't have anything to do with living creatures or nightmares, and it doesn't make sense from a balancing perspective because more can be build to replace the broken ones and, they're already OP enough as is before hp regen is added. If nothing else is changed then at least remove the hp regen.. and ability to heal them with things like spider glands, they're machines =.=

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I don't think I like the hunger drain - not because I couldn't keep my hunger full, but because it means I have to keep cooking more food... which takes up the time I save crafting...

 

Also - why no off switch for lights?  Is it because its too powerful?

Oh yeah - but we can have a dozen catapults obliterate waves of hounds gg lol

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6 hours ago, Shosuko said:

I don't think I like the hunger drain - not because I couldn't keep my hunger full, but because it means I have to keep cooking more food... which takes up the time I save crafting...

Exactly.  It takes an extra 64 dragon pies to save half a day's worth of crafting.  Can you even make 64 dragon pies in half a day?

Edit: spare you the work, I did the math.  If you have 12 crock pots - that's 2 stations with a circle of 6 around some ice boxes - it'll still take six batches to cook all those dragonpies.  At 40 seconds each, that's 4 minutes, or half a day, not counting the time to fill the crock pots and walk between them.  That's also ignoring the time needed to get the twigs, plant the farms, renew the seeds, make the books, read the books, harvest the fruit... so even in the best case scenario, you'd be better off just having Wickerbottom do the crafting and the other player be Wolfgang instead of Winona, and to heck with the pies.

 

6 hours ago, lakhnish said:

Here's the clip in question for the switch on the lights.

https://www.twitch.tv/kleientertainment/clip/FaithfulNurturingLEDDeIlluminati

Was that about the lights?  It looked like they were talking about the catapult.

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I tested Winona for some days, too. I can tell her catapults are very powerful. I ried a simple setup in creative mode and could kill the bee queen with ease. I think it's a issue with 1) damage of the catapults and 2) the number you could place near a generator. Would't it be more balanced if the power consumption is directly proportional to the number of gadgets? I agree on the HP regen, it's unnecessary. I actually hoped there would be more varity of gadgets (small oven everyone?).

I didn't like the hunger-crafting. I avoided it for the first 2 days until I was hungry. Overall, I think the devs didn't make the character more interesting and unique but her new craftables.

Repairing and upgrading perks would have been a better choice for Winona.

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13 hours ago, Sunset Skye said:

Can you guys make up your minds? Before this rework, everyone wanted all the characters to be on par with the meta 3. Now? Winona has gotten one thing (the catapults) that makes her situationally pretty good, and all of you are deciding that it's overpowered and needs to be nerfed.

It's ironic, yeah, but it's not unwarranted. The change was big and we're still processing its ramifications.

I am coming around to lakhnish's POV the more I play her. Reading the hunger penalty for crafting on paper, I did not expect it to be as big of a deal as it is.

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1 hour ago, axxel said:

Wouldn't it be more balanced if the power consumption is directly proportional to the number of gadgets?

This is how it works right now already, they even mentioned it in the stream, but that doesn't do much to nerf them. With a few gems and gemerators, you can destroy some raid bosses in a few minutes with the catapults regardless of the fuel consumption. Nerfing them though isn't the main issue, it's how they are handled vs you not having the need to play Winona after they are set up being the bigger issue.

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8 hours ago, TemporaryMan said:

Exactly.  It takes an extra 64 dragon pies to save half a day's worth of crafting.  Can you even make 64 dragon pies in half a day?

If you satisfy your higher food reqirements with dragon pies, then you are beyond help anyway.

I really fail to see the problem that everybody is getting so worked up over. If you play smart, then food is pretty much a non-issue. In a good team, there is always too much food, what with pig and bunnymen farms, spiders, m/geese in spring, etc., and Winona brings something new and unique to the table. Get Maxwell to mine tons of wood for her, get Wolfgang to slaughter some animals and make some meaty stews, and set Winona to work on mass crafting boards for your floor, chests, and so on.

Here is my math: 5 hunger saves 1/2 second, so one meaty stew saves 15 seconds. When I play with a good team (or by myself), there is always plenty of meat in the fridge, and sticking it in the pot takes less than 2 seconds, plus a few seconds for Winona to harvest it. So about 10 second gained, or over 30% compared to some other character doing that crafting. When you work on a large base, you will be able to take advantage of this at regular intervals, so I disagree with those who claim that Winona will only be a character that people switch into, and then immediately back out of.

What I do agree with is that the catapults are broken, and need a nerf. The fuelweaver used to be a legitimately hard fun fight, which the catapults have made all but trivial. I will not be using them for the same reason that I would not use the bulbs/shootius method: it ruins the fun. They need to be made much more expensive (someone suggested gears instead of rocks, but I would even suggest fuelling the generators only with rare gems or even thulecite would still make them pretty powerful). Having the bosses target them might be overkill, in that they would become pointless, because it would be too hard to keep them alive.

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10 hours ago, TemporaryMan said:

Exactly.  It takes an extra 64 dragon pies to save half a day's worth of crafting.  Can you even make 64 dragon pies in half a day?

Edit: spare you the work, I did the math.  If you have 12 crock pots - that's 2 stations with a circle of 6 around some ice boxes - it'll still take six batches to cook all those dragonpies.  At 40 seconds each, that's 4 minutes, or half a day, not counting the time to fill the crock pots and walk between them.  That's also ignoring the time needed to get the twigs, plant the farms, renew the seeds, make the books, read the books, harvest the fruit... so even in the best case scenario, you'd be better off just having Wickerbottom do the crafting and the other player be Wolfgang instead of Winona, and to heck with the pies.

 

Was that about the lights?  It looked like they were talking about the catapult.

image.png.5f20c9c550583759bd5aa2e79c56c8d3.png

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