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Sliver

Make No Mistakes, Take No Unnecessary Risks: New Difficulty Balance Discussion

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Scarlacs    10

I still find the game to be very easy if you're careful.

You say not to take any unnecessary risks. If you look closely, you'll find that basically ALL risks are unnecessary. You don't need to attack level 3 spider dens; you can just leave them alone and get your silk from regular black spiders when they come out at dusk (currently, spider warriors never seem to appear unless you attack a nest). You don't need to attack pigs or tentacles or treeguards or tallbirds or anything. You can just get all your food from harmless rabbits and all your materials from totally unguarded trees and rocks and ignore or avoid everything else. Outside of farming the occasional black spider for silk (which are still easy enough to kite without taking damage once you've gotten the hang of it), the only time you ever HAVE to draw a weapon and fight a monster is when the hounds attack. You don't even need to put much effort into avoiding monsters; there just aren't that many mobile, openly-hostile creatures to be found.

I find this to be one of many problems with the game at the moment. Combat is more dangerous and more resource-intensive, which is great, but the wilderness is so content to live and let live 90% of the time that it doesn't really impact your overall odds of survival too much once you get used to the new rules. If hostile monsters were a more consistent threat during your day-to-day survival activities, fine-tuning the combat mechanics would become more significant.

I agree with this. The variety of enemies feels thin in the game because there's no reason/incentive to go after them. I usually chop a ton of wood in the first three days so I don't have to bother with treeguards. I have yet to bother with Krampus, because I don't feel like a 1% drop chance on a 10 slot bag is worth the hassle of chasing him down (and having him mess with my stuff!). Tallbirds are currently just easy meat. They should probably be adjusted the way pigs were, so you can't stunlock them. As it is, I built my base right next to a tallbird nest, so every day I just go spam my spacebar and I have 2 big pieces of meat to fill my stomach (plus the occasional egg).

It's still way too easy to turtle and avoid risk, so increasing the risk without increasing the reward is only going to push players further in that direction.

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blitz4    10

I agree with this. The variety of enemies feels thin in the game because there's no reason/incentive to go after them. I usually chop a ton of wood in the first three days so I don't have to bother with treeguards. I have yet to bother with Krampus, because I don't feel like a 1% drop chance on a 10 slot bag is worth the hassle of chasing him down (and having him mess with my stuff!). Tallbirds are currently just easy meat. They should probably be adjusted the way pigs were, so you can't stunlock them. As it is, I built my base right next to a tallbird nest, so every day I just go spam my spacebar and I have 2 big pieces of meat to fill my stomach (plus the occasional egg).It's still way too easy to turtle and avoid risk, so increasing the risk without increasing the reward is only going to push players further in that direction.

I totally agree. It's like Don't Starve is this awesome dinner you're working on, you want to eat it, but it's missing something. It smells so good though!If the goal is to savor the taste for as long as possible, it's much more enjoyable, and fun, to eat delicious food, rather than just hold the food between our cheeks for as long as possible.

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Sarcosuchus    455

Fireweapons or bombs..........omg

When I read that at first, I saw firework..."Hmm how could you use that in a fight..."Then I had a mental image of that scene from Mulan where she sets off the avalanche with the firework and buries the Huns. Only, in this case, Wilson was Mulan, the Huns were hounds, and Shan Yu was the Deerclops. http-~~-//media.tumblr.com/f6882bc19d3b0b044619f47d5ac4b129/tumblr_inline_mhqhp2FccS1qz4rgp.gif Anyhow, hooray for gunpowder! We already know Wilson is skilled at making things explode (unintentionally) , so it makes sense that he could make some kind of weapon.

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That is a very well-considered analysis of the game's difficulty. And it references two of my favourite recent games!We are currently finding the sweet spot for combat. I think that Melee combat in DS should be seen as a last resort, 'it's him or me' kind of situation. That's why the most powerful direct combat equipment in the game comes with a sanity penalty - combat should be the exception, not the norm.We need some more interesting indirect ways of overcoming enemies, and turning enemies against each other. Traps and tricks fit the theme of the game much better than directly applied violence. We'll be adding more things like that soon (and even post-launch).Things are going to get more interesting when we add collectable niter!

Kevin you should add a bunch of traps and trickery in 1 huge update for that!

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osadat    15

That is a very well-considered analysis of the game's difficulty. And it references two of my favourite recent games!We are currently finding the sweet spot for combat. I think that Melee combat in DS should be seen as a last resort, 'it's him or me' kind of situation. That's why the most powerful direct combat equipment in the game comes with a sanity penalty - combat should be the exception, not the norm.We need some more interesting indirect ways of overcoming enemies, and turning enemies against each other. Traps and tricks fit the theme of the game much better than directly applied violence. We'll be adding more things like that soon (and even post-launch).Things are going to get more interesting when we add collectable niter!

whats niter? edit: never mind saw that post

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Sliver    44

Despite the things I've learned in this thread, I still can't get through winter! I had finally gotten everything I needed to make the winter vest after taking down a tier 3 nest with a pig and four traps. I was walking home, satisfied, when I saw an extra piece of silk on the ground. I went over to grab it, and a tentacle popped out and immediately killed me. Lesson learned, I guess. When snow is on the ground, never walk through the swamp no matter what.There goes like 2 hours of my life, gone and nothing to show for it. I hate this game so much, I never want to play it again, and I had to go somewhere to complain. I'll probably just try again tomorrow...

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Yello    10

Despite the things I've learned in this thread, I still can't get through winter! I had finally gotten everything I needed to make the winter vest after taking down a tier 3 nest with a pig and four traps. I was walking home, satisfied, when I saw an extra piece of silk on the ground. I went over to grab it, and a tentacle popped out and immediately killed me. Lesson learned, I guess. When snow is on the ground, never walk through the swamp no matter what.There goes like 2 hours of my life, gone and nothing to show for it. I hate this game so much, I never want to play it again, and I had to go somewhere to complain. I'll probably just try again tomorrow...

I survived through winter. I had 2x deerclops in winter but died to a Spider Queen

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Delnizz    10

Ok, long time player and forum lurker here. First time poster.The extreme difficulty of this last update has caused me to register and post my 2 cents. I have to say Winter is far too difficult and needs adjustment.I have been playing the game since the Naughty update. I am usually pretty good at surviving. Typically when a new update becomes available, I play the game until I have created or obtained everything. Usually at that point the game becomes somewhat boring and I let it sit until the next update comes out. To be fair the game has been too easy, in my opinion, up to this point. I typically never come close to dying and live on monster meat, seeds, honey, and crops grown in turbo farm plots. I have only really used the crock pot to make kabobs with the seeds or stick recipes. With those gone, I am using the crock pot for monster lasagna. Sanity has never been a problem for me. I can avoid going insane fairly easily. In fact, I have to make my self go insane to even see the new content. I typically avoid it. But with the reduced damage on the spear now, I may delve into it for a night sword. I was enjoying the winter update. This update seemed to add some polish to the game in some areas, but ruined the game for me in others. Winter hit me on day 12 and lasted until day 21 or 22. I seemed to hit a massive brick wall here. By day 12 I had a science machine, an alchemy engine, an ice box, one turbo farm plot, and a chest. I did not find any beefalo or bees by this point. Perhaps this was bad luck, but this placed me in the position of having winter and no protection against cold. I cannot go too far from my camp because I start to freeze. Hunting the winter Koelephant is absolutely not possible. So no chance at the new vest. No beefalo means no wool for a winter hat. I had 4 monster meat and 2 carrots when winter started. Somehow I was able to survive. I had 5 silk which allowed me to make some boomerangs to kill birds for morsels. I also managed to take some rabbits here and there. The ice hounds came and I survived earning 4 more monster meat. I managed to sprint to a couple carrots and make it back to camp before freezing, but there was a range I was not able to go past. I also tried building campfire "pitstops" along the way to go a bit further. It was not easy, but I was getting by. Winter seemed to drag on a little too long and this killed the fun of living like this. Had I died from starvation in winter I think I could have started another game and kept trying.Around day 19 the deerclops showed up. I was barely getting by here and this thing just smashes most of my camp. I can't understand the reason for having this mob in the game in winter. This completely crushed my game. In warmer seasons it wouldn't be as bad, I could have a chance at rebuilding, but in winter with no way to get out for materials it is too much. I did barely limp along though. By this point I had unlocked enough that I could still make a boomerang for evening food and rope for fire. Winter ended around day 21 or 22 and that night Deerclops returned. That killed it. I died the next day and honestly I can't find the desire to play this game anymore. So, I will be lurking in the forums and waiting until there is some adjustment to this. It is just not fun anymore. I can only imagine how much worse things would have been had the Walrus hunter showed up. If there is no planned changes to this, well thanks for a fun game while it lasted and good luck. :)

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Bigfoot    2461

Winter hit me on day 12 and lasted until day 21 or 22.

Are you playing Adventure mode? In Sandbox it should arrive around day 20, and Adventure is hella hard!

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Stroomschok    22

That is a very well-considered analysis of the game's difficulty. And it references two of my favourite recent games!We are currently finding the sweet spot for combat. I think that Melee combat in DS should be seen as a last resort, 'it's him or me' kind of situation. That's why the most powerful direct combat equipment in the game comes with a sanity penalty - combat should be the exception, not the norm.We need some more interesting indirect ways of overcoming enemies, and turning enemies against each other. Traps and tricks fit the theme of the game much better than directly applied violence. We'll be adding more things like that soon (and even post-launch).Things are going to get more interesting when we add collectable niter!

It's interesting to see how the game has finally managed to turn away from 'Stop Underestimating Monsters' to the core gameplay mechanic that gave it its name. And the ironic part is, that this is basically the result from making the combat harder, because now you either need allies like a pig militia, which comes at a high food cost themselves (and are likely to nom your spoils of war as well), or requires a lot of preparation like bee mines, cutting into your time foraging.And that's what this game desperately needs more of: consequences for some of the choices of tactics and tools that provide too many benefits for too little cost. When an unbalance between the pros and cons make the decision an obvious one, a strategic choice becomes more of a mandatory chore instead.For instance: the game doesn't force the player to chose between living close by a steady supply of wood, grass and twigs, of menure, of pig-militia, and a lot of farms and berry bushes. If you're lucky you can even have some rabbits and spiders close by too. Not even winter can effectively hamper this operation once set up, meaning end-game death is still going to be caused by combat.This is because many of these individual elements lack sufficient soft counters caused by each other. Hungry pigs and rabbits should plunder your farms, Beefalos should eat your grass, trees should grow too slow to provide a continuous local supply of wood, pig villages should actively destroy nearby spider dens and in turn, spiders should scare off Beefalo herds.In the same way there are too many choices that are not presented with enough benefit or consequence. Eating food raw is simply never a viable choice. Cooking with the crockpot should require a operating cost of charcoal instead of a negligible lump-sump construction cost. Fishing is pretty much a waste of time, exploration of swamps is hardly worth the risk and flints are so abundant, golden tools are just for the bling (though the same goes for gold).Ugh... a lot longer then I intended. Anyway, yes, combat can be more varied. But perhaps people are discussing this so much is simply because the rest of the game is still way too easy.

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K-Dawg    15

Somehow I'm thinking of some mushroom spores condensed into an unstable recipient that drives every living being caught in the puff to enter into an aggressive, uncivilized state of mind :PTo OP, you should forget about lvl3 dens w/out a good pigmen "army" but with their new pathing they are somewhat less killable but might get the job done slowly. I don't play Willow all that much anymore, but I really like making a good cluster of planted trees around the nest while separating anything around it, just so that it's the only thing that catches on fire. Enjoy the warmth of the burning sight while in winter, collect the monster meat, the silk and the charcoal. Team pinecones & firetorch 1, team Spear & Log Armor 0. :)I don't understand how people find winter *this* hard. It seems most of the people are overpreparing and actually end up not having what really is needed to handle winter. I realized today that the most important things (or at least this is my own conclusion) you need for winter isn't a base or a large food supply. You really can do winter away from any kind of base. To do this you need to plan out as much map exploration as possible to decide of the main areas you will hang around. Anything that is a meat source, whether it is rabbits, fishes and so forth - if you find areas adjacent to each other that do this you will be fine. Just make sure you know a route where you can get to a savanna biome for a lot of grass and keep those pinecones to have access to wood logs at almost any time. That's my real conclusion to winter: it's not exactly the food that is absolutely needed. It's a supply of grass and wood that is going to be the most used ressource.I did try a winter with a base having the bare minimum and only visited it once over the 15 days of the season. My reasoning was, concerning bases, "the harder they fall" when imagining super well made bases should deerclops come around to say hello. My only reason going back was to free a couple of inventory slots and crockpot the food I found.My point is, don't jump to any conclusions about winter being too hard yet. I promise you once you manage to adjust, you'll be able to deal with early winters (when they show up during the 10 first days in adventure mode w/out warning for example) and detach yourself from this "I don't have anything, I'm screwed" feeling. From my perspective, winter doesn't only emphasize on applying some kind of pressure to the player, but furthermore pushes on the 1st priority, scouting as much as possible, settling as last as possible. And to an extent, do researches in a progressive manner as means of sanity recovery until you get enough clothing to stabilize your sanity. Make the most out of everything you do pretty much :D Just because of the sanity part combined with scouting, Wickerbottom really takes the cake as the first character to have less hassle in the 1st world should you play adventure mode or want to play sandbox mode but still hop on the other worlds as much as you can.And long live the long termed swamp bases! <3

Edited by K-Dawg

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Solvite    10

It's interesting to see how the game has finally managed to turn away from 'Stop Underestimating Monsters' to the core gameplay mechanic that gave it its name. And the ironic part is, that this is basically the result from making the combat harder, because now you either need allies like a pig militia, which comes at a high food cost themselves (and are likely to nom your spoils of war as well), or requires a lot of preparation like bee mines, cutting into your time foraging.And that's what this game desperately needs more of: consequences for some of the choices of tactics and tools that provide too many benefits for too little cost. When an unbalance between the pros and cons make the decision an obvious one, a strategic choice becomes more of a mandatory chore instead.For instance: the game doesn't force the player to chose between living close by a steady supply of wood, grass and twigs, of menure, of pig-militia, and a lot of farms and berry bushes. If you're lucky you can even have some rabbits and spiders close by too. Not even winter can effectively hamper this operation once set up, meaning end-game death is still going to be caused by combat.This is because many of these individual elements lack sufficient soft counters caused by each other. Hungry pigs and rabbits should plunder your farms, Beefalos should eat your grass, trees should grow too slow to provide a continuous local supply of wood, pig villages should actively destroy nearby spider dens and in turn, spiders should scare off Beefalo herds.In the same way there are too many choices that are not presented with enough benefit or consequence. Eating food raw is simply never a viable choice. Cooking with the crockpot should require a operating cost of charcoal instead of a negligible lump-sump construction cost. Fishing is pretty much a waste of time, exploration of swamps is hardly worth the risk and flints are so abundant, golden tools are just for the bling (though the same goes for gold).Ugh... a lot longer then I intended. Anyway, yes, combat can be more varied. But perhaps people are discussing this so much is simply because the rest of the game is still way too easy.

I agree with a lot of this, but remember that this is a beta for a 10 dollar game. For the money this game currently has too many features.So they are doing fine.

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Greybeard    10

I die usually on day 21 in adventure mode. I dont play sand box so cant comment on that. Death comes this way:either its Deerclops trashing winter base or the 5 hounds showing up at nite and freezing winter. I have now died 3 times at day about 21....first time Hounds killed me. Was not expecting them to go from 2 hounds to 5. Second time killed the hounds but Deerclops got me. Third time survived the hounds and Deerclops came while i was trying to get back to base from fighting hounds and recovering....Im no programer but it seems like either Deerclops or hounds timing needs modifing. LOVE WINTER otherwise.

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Snob    1272

I agree with a lot of this, but remember that this is a beta for a 10 dollar game. For the money this game currently has too many features.

So they are doing fine.

Please don't say that ever again, please.

Just because the game is considerably cheap; doesn't mean that the game shouldn't have a lot more features than it is intended. There's always room for improvement, it signifies such potential.

Also, a game can never have too many features!

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Stroomschok    22

I agree with a lot of this, but remember that this is a beta for a 10 dollar game. For the money this game currently has too many features.So they are doing fine.

Pretty much everything I mentioned would require either extremely simple tweaking of stats (the growing speed of trees) or some mere alteration of attributes (pigs viewing spider dens as a threat).I've spent the last few days digging through the game's LUA files and I'm positive that even new mechanics like hungy Pigs plundering farms or Beefalos grazing grass, the behavior and mechanics for it would require little more than relatively simple adaptation of code for already existing features.Small investments of programming that would have a considerable impact for some min-maxed player strategies that now go virtually unchallenged. Edited by Stroomschok

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Solvite    10

Pretty much everything I mentioned would require either extremely simple tweaking of stats (the growing speed of trees) or some mere alteration of attributes (pigs viewing spider dens as a threat).I've spent the last few days digging through the game's LUA files and I'm positive that even new mechanics like hungy Pigs plundering farms or Beefalos grazing grass, the behavior and mechanics for it would require little more than relatively simple adaptation of code for already existing features.Small investments of programming that would have a considerable impact for some min-maxed player strategies that now go virtually unchallenged.

"Small changes" like pigs attacking spider dens would cause huge changes in the random world generator. Suddenly if pigs spawned next to spiders there's free meat there constantly, or the spiders get rolled.It's really easy to speculate on developing a game but when it's your name and livelihood on the line it takes time to make the right changes.Honestly, ignoring sandbox custom which flat out solves all these issues, this isn't the first indie game I've played where people had unrealistic expectations.For ten bucks I got (so far) 40 hours of fun for me and 10 or so for a buddy.Game just released a huge update. Things are fine.

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Snob    1272

"Feature creep" is a very common and bad problem.

It's not a feature.It's supposed to make the game difficult. Edited by Toaster Fu

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InSpace    164

Oh man.. adding explosives to remove the need to fight everything by hand.. AWESOME.I really hope they don't make the classical grenades or super simple proximity mines, I would rather have the good old bait to a spot, then pull a rope and the explosives go off! I am not very fond of too much automatic killing, it removes so much gameplay, like the tooth trap would need some rework too.I think that the toothtrap would get really cool if you connected like 4-6 tooth traps after they have been placed to an item that can be activated by the player or by having proximity activated component. This way you don't have a minefield where all traps go off killing everything too effectivly, but having that big trap you spent time making do the job hitting a big area with normal to low damage. The tooth trap is way to practical at the moment.

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ryishu    11

It's interesting to see how the game has finally managed to turn away from 'Stop Underestimating Monsters' to the core gameplay mechanic that gave it its name. And the ironic part is, that this is basically the result from making the combat harder, because now you either need allies like a pig militia, which comes at a high food cost themselves (and are likely to nom your spoils of war as well), or requires a lot of preparation like bee mines, cutting into your time foraging.And that's what this game desperately needs more of: consequences for some of the choices of tactics and tools that provide too many benefits for too little cost. When an unbalance between the pros and cons make the decision an obvious one, a strategic choice becomes more of a mandatory chore instead.For instance: the game doesn't force the player to chose between living close by a steady supply of wood, grass and twigs, of menure, of pig-militia, and a lot of farms and berry bushes. If you're lucky you can even have some rabbits and spiders close by too. Not even winter can effectively hamper this operation once set up, meaning end-game death is still going to be caused by combat.This is because many of these individual elements lack sufficient soft counters caused by each other. Hungry pigs and rabbits should plunder your farms, Beefalos should eat your grass, trees should grow too slow to provide a continuous local supply of wood, pig villages should actively destroy nearby spider dens and in turn, spiders should scare off Beefalo herds.In the same way there are too many choices that are not presented with enough benefit or consequence. Eating food raw is simply never a viable choice. Cooking with the crockpot should require a operating cost of charcoal instead of a negligible lump-sump construction cost. Fishing is pretty much a waste of time, exploration of swamps is hardly worth the risk and flints are so abundant, golden tools are just for the bling (though the same goes for gold).Ugh... a lot longer then I intended. Anyway, yes, combat can be more varied. But perhaps people are discussing this so much is simply because the rest of the game is still way too easy.

these ideas are simple but would add a lot to the game, currently as it is first thing i do is find pig king and make base near him, it would be nice to have more reasons to play differently each time.

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Avarice    20

I find a wormhole that connects to beefalo or pigking and build my base on the other side. I build a walled in arena area with traps for hounds on the other side and jump through the wormhole to fight them when I hear them coming. This method has worked best for me and keeps my base from being damaged. Still curious if it works the same with deerclops but I've only encountered him while I was out exploring so far. I use gold tools over flint ones because they last longer and gold is infinite, it's annoying building the flint ones over and over when they break.

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Khrayfish    85

The thing is though, there aren't many things to achieve in Don't Starve other than killing the Bosses... We need achievements that are from different tasks...

Ideas:

- Chopping more than X amount of trees will allow the chance to gain a Golden Acorn, which in return makes a Golden Tree... And such

- Breaking more than X amount of rocks will allow the chance to find something underneath the rock - Perhaps a basement of some sorts

- Surviving more than X amount of days will allow the chance of __________

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Sliver    44

The thing is though, there aren't many things to achieve in Don't Starve other than killing the Bosses... We need achievements that are from different tasks...

Ideas:

- Chopping more than X amount of trees will allow the chance to gain a Golden Acorn, which in return makes a Golden Tree... And such

- Breaking more than X amount of rocks will allow the chance to find something underneath the rock - Perhaps a basement of some sorts

- Surviving more than X amount of days will allow the chance of __________

Just read this.

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/intrinsic-vs.-extrinsic-rewards-in-kleis-latest-game-dont-starve

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Khrayfish    85
It's an interesting read and I understand entirely where it is coming from.However, I mean player made achievements - such as "Kill the Spider Queen" etc. My examples were bad to be honest but what I mean is that Mining, Woodcutting, Farming etc are very thin and do not have much within them other than the obvious - resources. The only thing that actually has depth is combat which is why the majority (Guess) of the community tend to wander towards it.

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