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Mr.Mulk

Moon Rock Idols and Character Reworks

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Mr.Mulk    1,163
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5 hours ago, lakhnish said:

@Fidooop @Mr.Mulk Is this about character swapping that's the issue, or is it the design behind the character that doesn't promote longevity that's the real issue? Cause with character swapping, an alternative solution to any restriction you'll place on the Celestial Portal is just to have an alt account that surpasses that (though that would be a much more limited use), and kind of removes any sort of fun that I can have with the portal, which I see as a positive addition to the game.

Your preferences seems to be for playstyle characters where even if you can do a playstyle where you pick and drop a character, there's something more to them that kinda incentives you to stay as them (my preferences are similar). 

This is slightly edited version of what I wrote to another user elsewhere on what I thought about Wortox, and I hope that Klei creates more characters like Wortox in terms of design (playstyle characters, or a character with longevity, a twist to the survival experience, yada, yada):

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I need to play Wortox some more, but from what I've done and seen, I can confidently say that I like Wortox. It's very evident to me that lot of thought and effort went into the design of Wortox (the devs themselves on their own stream say that as well).  

My motto for a long time has been that its players over characters, as in I'd prefer an experienced Wes over a nooby Wolfgang. It's player creativity and ingenuity that really makes the game fun and interesting, and if everyone were to choose "the trio," I'm of the firm belief that many of the cool things you can do with other characters simply wouldn't exist. Not only that, the majority of characters have a fun and unique playstyle that can be done with them if you really make use of their perks in my view. 

Wortox fulfills their goal "unique, interesting, and valuable [characters] in their own right" from their DST 2019 Roadmap, and to keep my judgement consistent and standardized, I use this expanded criteria.

  1. Unique, interesting, and valuable character in their own right. Keep it in theme with their design/archetype as much as possible.
  2. An innate ability/perk that's tied to the character, that's difficult or at least not easy to to replicate (unique), and/or can offer a different way of playing the game (this is to promote character longevity and reduce incentives to turn characters into crafting stations). Something to offset their downside possibly that is again, tied to their perks or ability.
  3.  A downside that brings a twist or challenge or something different to the survival experience. This is honestly the most difficult part to design. Some good examples are: Webber's a monster, Reduced Damage multipliers, low health pool, cant't heal from foods like Wormwood, etc.
  4. Has an appeal to both newer players and Veteran players. Both can take advantage of their perks and/or have a challenge to their downsides, though veterans are typically able to ignore downsides b/c skill and experience normally triumphs.
  5.  And of course, something balanced and fun, or at something that at least close to this as possible (ie. not a boring or bland character).

I made this criteria after Winona's rework, cause, if you're not aware, I was extremely critical of Winona's initial rework on the dev's forums. I of course knew that a balancing act was going to occur, but I predicted that even if they made balance changes to her, she would just be a bland and boring character and wouldn't really pass the criteria I listed above. 

Winona, is what I would classify as "bad OP." She still lacks perks to continue playing as her, something that could have given a twist or uniqueness to the survival experience. It's honestly better to just pick her, make catapults, and then pick a character that you think is actually fun to play as and it hurt her in terms of longevity gameplay in my view (I made that judgement after making several videos where I showcased the sheer firepower that the catapults were capable of doing, which made for boring gameplay in my opinion. And the fact that once they were down, you don't really need her really irked me). While she has more "stuff" to her, she ultimately a "miss" character as she could have been made better based on my criteria (you of course can disagree with this).

Wortox, on the other hand, would be "good OP" as he fulfills this criteria I layed out above. His souls offer an interesting dynamic to the game. I have to think about how to always have souls on hand in a variety of scenarios. His Soul Hopping ability, while being a lazy explorer, is actually fun and costs a soul to use and using an actual Lazy Explorer the same way as Wortox would be an annoying way of transportation.  

The 1/2 the healing, hunger, and sanity value of all food items is actually a rather decent downside. Half the value from food can be evident in a few situations (perogies heal and feed the same as a soul!) so you would primarily want to eat souls for hunger for 20 hunger (though doing so drops your sanity by 5) and to drop a soul to heal for 20 hp. Soul hopping itself also costs a soul per hop and since souls only stack upto 20 souls (anymore makes you drop about half of them) and the fact that you can only have souls in your hotbar means you need to do proper soul management or at least think of cool ways to indirectly expand you soul holding capacity. I could keep going, but I'll stop here.

At this point, not only does Wortox pass my criteria above while being a strong character, I can still see Wortox being a fun character to play as post balancing.

So yea, I hope that future DLC characters and character reworks pass my criteria and don't end up like Winona ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. 

 

Klei may feel differently though and designs more mechanical characters similar to Winona.¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

 

Having an alt account is a completely separate issue I think I saw maybe once or twice being utilized to get around character swapping before it was a thing, primarily because it required taking the effort to actually set up and oftentimes requires re-purchasing the game (most people give away the second copy before realizing they want an alt), then logging in with said account, all of which is a significant pain if you only have 1 computer. I'm sure it happened, but I think a majority of the time I saw alt accounts come up with issues it was for griefing servers.

To answer your question it's both things that have issues, however the primary issue I'm addressing here is that characters have to be designed to be mechanically good, not just good in items, because being good in items is a buff to all characters due to the ability to just change and transfer said items. It makes characters essentially disposable tools when they have great items but lack that unique niche making them interesting and playable, similar to your second point in your referenced post.

The main post point about longevity is what I'm trying to look for in the character refreshes, and what I'm alluding to is that since character swapping exists longevity must be acquired via: actual mechanics tied to the character themselves, actually character specific items, or some sort of nerf to character swapping. I already pointed out that I don't like nerfs in my initial post, and would be most likely a fan of the first option listed.

I understand that to an extent it's subjective, some people don't really care about interesting characters so much as they care about making the game as fast and easy as possible, and that's fine, it's their opinion. However, I think most people can agree that characters and their items should matter at the end of the day, which isn't really the case when items can just be easily transferable and there's characters who are still fundamental upgrades to one another on a purely mechanical level.

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Cosheeta    244

I know nerfing is kind of the opposite of what we want here but, I wonder if it wouldn't mildly feel more earned if you had to survive a set amount of days in order to use a moon idol again. Which also means not dying during those days, actually trying to live with a new character.

But all and all even then, I strongly agree with everything said that making a character a swapper is devastatingly terrible. Even this "survival buffer" between swaps only serves to punish and force you (in a negative light) to play as a tantalizingly lesser character, live out every day in longing teasing annoyance. I don't have to tell anyone that these are not positive experiences to play in.

I don't have much of a suggestions for a fix. I just want it to be known for the developers how much and how many people feel like it still needs consideration.


My ideology would be that
A character needs to be engaging in it's own right, not let other characters taunt you negatively but if so encourage curiosity instead.
A character should bring something to the group, and it doesn't always have to be physical items they leave around. At this point this is almost haphazardly treated as a novelty bonus, when it could be treated as a holy scripture of engaging gameplay.
A character truly changes how you choose to route your way through choices, and again not by using drawbacks as a main force.

Honestly because of Wilson and the fact the game came from a singleplayer perspective there is so much focus on character cons in DS. And sometimes a problem is all in the presentation. If every character we choose has so many cons there is no other way than than to interpret it as "punishment" and so a lot of focus gets put into this aspect of the gameplay from everybody. Instead of letting gameplay be a base Wilson at worst with perks only from there on out which would probably feel a lot more liberating and like you're making a good choice no matter what you literally give up from the other characters' perks. I feel like people would embrace every other character a lot more if we were looking through this lens.


But that is such a big bold change that literally none would dare to see it through, developer or player. I'm not even fully convinced, light drawbacks can be alright, maybe, perhaps. Not a lot to compare with at this point.

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-Variant    4,570

Gonna be that one here, so excuse me.

I dislike the idea of only Winona being able to refuel the generator. 

I thought It'd be better if they just slowly degraded, and could only be repaired by her tape.
Like, anyone can fuel it, but if you swap characters, it'll break over time with you having no way to repair it unless you switch back.
And an added teamwork thing is if she makes a bunch of tape and goes off into the wilderness or something. 
You can take care of them till she returns.

Sure, you could stockpile before swapping characters, but at some point you're going to run out.

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That makes sense, but I really don’t think her tools need a nerf, but making her only refuel the generators might make it Winnona exclusive without needing them, or perhaps the catapults only respond to Winnona attacking.

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TealsMyth    20
16 hours ago, lakhnish said:

Your preferences seems to be for playstyle characters where even if you can do a playstyle where you pick and drop a character, there's something more to them that kinda incentives you to stay as them (my preferences are similar). 

This is what would make most people happy to be honest. That way people can switch to a character to do something with that character's specific ability and switch back to something they prefer, but not completely invalidating those who play that character all the way through. The way Winona is currently is that most of her utility relies on her buildings, which is what the thread is addressing about "swap picks" for. As some other users said, Winona really doesn't have much to offer outside of her buildings. The faster build speed and extra hit from Charlie is incredibly situational in comparison to something as simple as Wilson's beard or Willow's lighter.

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