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AileTheAlien

Warly: less gimmicky, more interesting

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AileTheAlien    66

I feel like Warly's concept is very interesting, but the execution is poor. Some of his mechanics could be fixed with smaller changes, but others would need an overhaul. His theme seems to be "variety is the spice of life", so let's start this journey...

His food-variety mechanic is the biggest offender. First, it can be gamed; According to the wiki and this other thread from single-player, all you need to do is mash several meatballs into your face every two days, because the timer just resets to maximum when you eat repeated meals. You could fix that specific aspect by having the timer add instead of resetting for repeated meals, but that leads me to my next point - the mechanic itself is boring and punishing. It's supposed to encourage players to seek out new foods they may not have tried, or to explore the work for different ingredients, but instead it forces players to keep a flippin' spreadsheet open, with how recently they ate certain meals. (Alternately, eat a meaty stew every 2 days, since it keeps you full long enough to outlast the variety-timer, completely bypassing the whole point of trying to have varied meals.) That's madness - other players have everything shown in the UI, because DST is a happy fun-time game for relaxation, not salaryman training! Rather than clutter up the UI with a dozen icons for his most recent meals, let's take an idea from that single-player thread - simply give him a random target every day. Simple targets like "meaty" or "sweet" would give him a small boost to sanity, in addition to the meal itself, while something specific but with common ingredients like meaty stew would be medium, and rare ingredients meals like Glow Berry Mousse or Volt Goat Chaud-Froid would be a large boost to sanity. Missing targets would penalize him for increasing amounts of sanity for every day missed (in a row). If you really wanted to put in the extra variety, you could have location-targets - maybe he's craving to eat at a certain location on the map (with a player-visible marker), or a certain biome!

His spices are pretty good, but not great. First, it seems like adding spices overrides his food-variety mechanic, since he doesn't say his "I'm sick of this" lines; Alternately, it's just because the game doesn't show two pieces of text for the same meal. If it does override the variety need, I feel like that's just a grindy way to get rid of a grindy mechanic - the preceding paragraph obviates the need for this. If it is just a UI-limitation, then it is again made irrelevant. Now, onto the bigger problem - his spices encourage the opposite behaviour of his main mechanic. You just grind (literally and figuratively, so it's doubly-bad) ingredients, then apply them to food for small bonuses. Monotony is the spice of life! The game already has special meals like Volt Goat Chaud-Froid, Glow Berry Mousse, etc, so why invent a whole new mechanic that also is boring? Ditch the grinding mill, seasoning station, and just add a few more recipes with specific effects!

The rest of Warly seems pretty fine to me. Not eating plain ingredients? Fine. Special backpack to encourage and help with his food-theme? Also fine. Faster food drain? Exactly as fine! Special meals only cookable by him and his special pot? Fine dining at its finest!

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Couple points here:

1) There's a very simple way to avoid a need for food spreadsheets as Warly. His food memory lasts 2 days. In two days, his stomach loses 180 Hunger points. He has 250 Hunger points in total. So if you prepare a few unique dishes whenever he falls below 70 Hunger and give him a proper feast to fill up on, he'll always have forgotten them and reset to normal the next time you have to do it again. No need to keep track of anything. It only becomes complicated and spreadsheet-y if you're feeding him in little increments all the time, instead of in one big meal every ~2.5 days or so. There's tons and tons of great options to prepare a cheap feast of 180 or more total Hunger points with just two or three dishes; meaty stew + kebabs, moqueca + turkey dinner, bone bouillon + fancy spiralled tubers, bacon&eggs + honey ham + fistful of jam. If you know how to cook 2-3 of the really hunger-efficient recipes (meatballs, meaty stew, bacon&eggs) you're set.

2) 

On 8/10/2019 at 8:07 AM, AileTheAlien said:

Alternately, it's just because the game doesn't show two pieces of text for the same meal

yes, it's this

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Lizardhiney    528

My problems with Warly are the spices and unique recipes, those are his main upsides, but his downsides generally make the game a lot harder towards the start of the game when playing alone, and upsides make things a lot easier towards the later game. I would argue that singleplayer Warly is more fun to play in general. 

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AileTheAlien    66
On 2019-08-11 at 11:10 PM, Swanky Psammead said:

give him a proper feast to fill up on, he'll always have forgotten them and reset to normal the next time you have to do it again

I'll grant, I didn't think of this strategy. It definitely gets the player to get into a rhythm, once they know about it. However, once you're in this rhythm, Warly's effectively just constantly draining 20% more food from the world, compared to other characters, which just makes it feel like a constant chore. Compare this with Wolfgang, who gets to choose when to be hungry. Players who know how to play him get to feel like they've overcome a penalty, by only chowing down food like Popeye, right before a fight, but Warly players are only removing one annoyance (memorizing which food was eaten), and still left with the extra hunger penalty. To put it another way, Warly needs to spend 20% more time grabbing ingredients from the world, or farming in the mid- or late-game, instead of doing other things.

On 2019-08-11 at 11:10 PM, Swanky Psammead said:

meaty stew + kebabs, moqueca + turkey dinner, bone bouillon + fancy spiralled tubers, bacon&eggs + honey ham + fistful of jam

Many of these recipes won't be really available until the mid-game, either by hunting or by farming, and some of them like bone boullion, require ingredients that are pretty uncommon. Once you've got some farms built, a bird for eggs, or are farming spiders or pigs for food, Warly can stop worrying about starving. If you have the means for meaty stew, you can simply spam those, and bypass the hassle of keeping ingredients and cooking many different things. However, his early game is pretty much constantly about starving, because there's so few recipes that will make use of what's available. Depending on the biome and world-gen, you'd be able to get morsels, fish legs, carrots, berries, sticks, butterflies, monster meat, and birchnuts. Sorting the tables for the crock pot and portable crock pot by food-value, and going down the list looking for recipes which use these ingredients, you'll get pretty much only these meals:

  1. Turkey Dinner
  2. Meatballs
  3. Monster Tartare (if you have other food to counteract its penalties)
  4. Kabobs
  5. Monster Lasagna (if you have other food to counteract its penalties)
  6. Butter Muffin
  7. Froggle Bunwich
  8. Fist Full of Jam
  9. Ratatouille
  10. Trail Mix

Now remember, that these won't be in every biome; The smaller list you're left with, will leave you constantly worrying about food.

Warly's playstyle feels like a lot of penalties to compensate for other mechanics that were too powerful. In addition to making his playstyle hectic, he just feels over-complicated. Other characters can be described fairly simply. "Boring and grows a beard.", "Eats rotten food, short-circuits in rain, and can upgrade with gears.", "Hates the dark, but becomes mighty with food.", "Can't sleep or eat spoiled food, but has helpful books." - compare those to "Can't eat seeds or ingredients, needs food variety, constantly starves, gets different health and sanity values from food for some reason, and needs to keep his pack filled with an assortment of ingredients and crockpot instead of useful tools."

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Mooka    64

I'm main warly and he is fine. You just need to learn his play style. I don't even feel that he consumes 20% more hunger, like swank said, do the math to know about food rotation. Also I think 250 Hunger stats is an advantage, because you can stay 2.5 days +- without eating anything, it's one of the reasons I like him.

If you don't like to worry about food, you should not play warly. That is what fun about him. As warly, you should think ahead and about what you're going to eat after 2 days.

Also, you forgot about fishsticks and honeyham in your list.

Fishing is not hard in early game, since you can craft it from the science machine.

Also, with 20 berry bush and some fences, you can bait globber and live from turkey dinner forever.

Hammering bee queen hive early game provides you 6 honey, that you can use to make 6 honeyham. And you can repeat this process every few days.

Also, eating 2-3 different food every 2 days instead 3 of the same type can reduce your food waste.

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14 hours ago, AileTheAlien said:

I'll grant, I didn't think of this strategy. It definitely gets the player to get into a rhythm, once they know about it. However, once you're in this rhythm, Warly's effectively just constantly draining 20% more food from the world, compared to other characters, which just makes it feel like a constant chore. Compare this with Wolfgang, who gets to choose when to be hungry. Players who know how to play him get to feel like they've overcome a penalty, by only chowing down food like Popeye, right before a fight, but Warly players are only removing one annoyance (memorizing which food was eaten), and still left with the extra hunger penalty. To put it another way, Warly needs to spend 20% more time grabbing ingredients from the world, or farming in the mid- or late-game, instead of doing other things.

This is not quite accurate. Wolfgang's hunger drain will always be higher than "average". It will usually be much higher than Warly's even if it is being managed by an advanced Wolfgang main.

Here is a list of all characters arranged by their effective hunger drain. Warly is actually pretty close to the bottom.

Mightygang: 3x-1.5x (it accelerates linearly as he approaches a full stomach)

Wortox: 2x (caused indirectly by reduced nutrition from material food)

Winona: 1.533x-1.0x (fluctuates based on how optimally she spreads out her speedcrafting sessions)

Normalgang: 1.5x (this is stable--hunger drain does not fluctuate from this fixed value unless he transforms)

Wimpygang: 1.5x-1.01x (it decelerates linearly as he approaches an empty stomach)

Wes: 1.25x

Warly: 1.2x

"Normal"-draining character, e.g. Wilson: 1.0x

Werebeaver: 0x (the Log meter is separate from the Hunger meter--Woodie's Hunger does not decrease at all in Werebeaver form)

Any starving character: 0x (because hunger cannot drain to lower than 0)

There is a common bit of misinformation floating around that Wimpygang's hunger drains slower than default (75/day), and that Normalgang's drain is default, but this is not the case. He will drain much faster than Warly until he falls to 40 out of his 300 hunger maximum, which is extremely far into his Wimpy form. At that point his HP pool would be down to about 56.67% of his Mighty form pool, he'd be suffering a 6% movespeed loss, and his damage output would be at 60% of standard value (Wendy and Wes hit for 75% of standard, for comparison). It is extremely rare for skilled Wolfgang players to become this Wimpy voluntarily. When they do, it's usually a trick to take advantage of the small Wimpy HP pool for more efficient healing, after which they will immediately return to Normal form and continue to drain much faster than Warly.

I feel I also ought to note that late-game worlds typically have automated or semi-automated meat farms which produce much more meat than players can actually eat, without any significant ongoing time investment from the player, with the surplus being kept in bundling wraps. So what ultimately determines how much time you lose feeding yourself late-game isn't really your hunger drain on its own--it's a function of your hunger drain and the maximum size of your stomach, e.g. how long you can last in the wild getting things done before needing to retrieve and open your bundle wrap of effectively-limitless food, as Mooka alluded in the post above me. By this metric, Warly is the most efficient of all Survivors in DST, capable of living for 2.77 days on a full stomach before he begins to take starve damage; behind him is fully upgraded WX at 2.67 days, Webber and Wortox tied at 2.33 days, the "default" characters at 2 days, Wigfrid at 1.6 days, and poor maligned Wes at a measly 1.2 days. Wolfgang is an odd duck here because he's the only character who needs to eat all the time to stay at peak efficiency. The others can all ignore their hunger until it gets very low and suffer no consequences for it.

16 hours ago, AileTheAlien said:

However, his early game is pretty much constantly about starving, because there's so few recipes that will make use of what's available. Depending on the biome and world-gen, you'd be able to get morsels, fish legs, carrots, berries, sticks, butterflies, monster meat, and birchnuts. Sorting the tables for the crock pot and portable crock pot by food-value, and going down the list looking for recipes which use these ingredients, you'll get pretty much only these meals:

  1. Turkey Dinner
  2. Meatballs
  3. Monster Tartare (if you have other food to counteract its penalties)
  4. [long list of others]

Those first three that you listed, alone, are sufficient. Turkey Dinner's +20 counteracts Monster Tartare's -20, and together the three of them restore 200 hunger, which will last you until a while after Warly's food memory is wiped. The fact that there are so many more dishes beyond those three gives tons of additional flexibility.

16 hours ago, AileTheAlien said:

In addition to making his playstyle hectic, he just feels over-complicated. Other characters can be described fairly simply. "Boring and grows a beard.", "Eats rotten food, short-circuits in rain, and can upgrade with gears.", "Hates the dark, but becomes mighty with food.", "Can't sleep or eat spoiled food, but has helpful books." - compare those to "Can't eat seeds or ingredients, needs food variety, constantly starves, gets different health and sanity values from food for some reason, and needs to keep his pack filled with an assortment of ingredients and crockpot instead of useful tools."

IMHO, "has helpful books" is a very generous way to refer to Wickerbottom's library if the ideal here is simplicity. She is a far, far bigger problem for the game than Warly in terms of complexity/depth ratio. (I definitely agree with your principle that simplicity is preferable, though)

Similarly, your summary of Warly seems hyperbolically detailed. You didn't include "constantly starves" to Wolfgang's description even though Wolfgang's starvation rate is much faster than Warly's. "gets different health and sanity values from food for some reason" is just a subset of "needs food variety" which is straightforward enough. "needs to keep his pack filled with an assortment of ingredients and crockpot instead of useful tools" is a subjective extrapolation which doesn't hold up in practice--he can make all 3 of Turkey Dinner, Meatballs, and Monster Tartare with just monster meat, drumsticks, and berries. All characters carry 2-3 stacks of food items in their pack in the early game so Warly doesn't stand out in that regard. Neither does he stand out by losing one inventory slot to a useful character-specific item like the Codex Umbra, Abigail's Flower, or Lucy.

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