[Poll] Woddie's Design  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Woodie's established lore matter to his design?

    • Yes, I think this new Woodie fits with the lore.
    • Yes, I don't like how this new Woodie doesn't fit with the lore.
    • No, the lore shouldn't affect Woodie's design.
    • Don't know, don't care.
  2. 2. Should Woodie's established identity matter to his design?

    • Yes, I think this new Woodie maintains his old identity.
    • Yes, I don't like that the new Woodie doesn't maintain his old identity.
    • No, it's fine for Woodie to have a different identity after his rework.
    • Don't know, don't care.
  3. 3. Should Woodie have to plan ahead to not transform? Keep in mind I'm not asking for how specifically.

    • Yes, I think having to plan ahead is a reasonable drawback.
    • No, additional treeguards is a significant enough drawback.
    • No, human Woodie should have other drawbacks to incentivize his transformations.
    • No, human Woodie shouldn't have significant drawbacks so he can chop as much as he wants.
    • Don't know, don't care.
  4. 4. Should Woodie's design be simple?

    • Yes, I want Woodie's fundamentals to be simple so they can interact in deep ways.
    • Yes, I want Woodie to be easy to use.
    • No, Woodie needs to be complex to be deep and fun.
    • Don't know, don't care.
  5. 5. Should Woodie have multiple transformations?

    • Yes, I think it improves his design.
    • Yes, but only because so much effort was put into their art and the animated short.
    • No, he would be better off with only the beaver.
    • Don't know, don't care.

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Cyberboy2000    659

This topic isn't about balance. I think everyone agrees Woodie needs a buff. I'm more curious about Woodie's fundamental design. Because I've only seen a few people that seem concerned that this new Woodie is so radically different from his old versions.

Should Woodie's established lore matter to his design?

Now, we don't know a lot about Woodie. That's part of the disappointement in the animated short, but it's beside the point. The point is, what we do know, is that Woodie is a lumberjack with a talking axe, and at some point he was cursed, turning him into a werebeaver. Nowhere in the lore is there a hint that Woodie has the ability to transform into something other than a beaver. It seems we are supposed to think he gained this ability because of the recent events around the moon and the lunar island, which, frankly, sounds like a total ***pull to me. There's also the fact that the beaver is supposed to be his curse, but aside from full moons, it's now really easy to choose between staying human or transforming.

Should Woodie's established identity matter to his design?

All the characters in this game (at least the ones from the singleplayer game) have a certain identity. Something to make them stand out from the other characters and make you want to pick them. Woodie's singleplayer identity has multiple facets, like the mystery of how to best manage and wield the werebeaver's power, or even what his secret is to begin with if you haven't seen Woodie in action before.

Regardless, I personally think this new Woodie doesn't maintain his old identity at all. Ignoring the fact that his forms are extremely weak, because that's sure to change, the dynamic between Woodie and his forms has changed. Now that Woodie has (almost) full control over whether he stays human or transforms, there's no mystery in figuring out how to use them.

Having multiple transformations I think also weakens Woodie's identity, because each individual transformation is now less special. Celebrating his new forms just because they're stereotypical canadian animals paired up with a stereotypically canadian character seems like a very superficial reason to me.

Should Woodie have to plan ahead to not transform?

Speaking of Woodie's identity, having to think before you chop was part of what made Woodie interesting. Now I know people are going to disagree with that seeing as that was a big point of the reason people wanted the rework. I understand that wood gathering is an inherently weak niche and one that is already close to cornered because of Maxwell, so I don't think it's unreasonable to want this drawback to be altered or tuned down. However, there is a big difference between to only have to think about something a little and not having to think about it at all, as with the current Woodie.

People of the forums have celebrated that characters like Wormwood and Warly have interesting, impactful downsides. Yet Woodie is now a Wilson that's better at gathering wood, because there's no reason to use his transformations. Yes, I know his forms are going to be buffed to be useable, but that only worsens the problem that he doesn't have a significant downside. Remember, in singleplayer his perks were "Has a lovely axe and a terrible secret" implying that his drawbacks were built into the werebeaver. Now I'm not saying that werebeaver should be something to be avoided, then we'd just be back at his previous DST version. Ideally, I'd want the beaver to be tricky to use effectively and even harder to master, which brings me to...

Should Woodie's design be simple?

I like that the singleplayer characters are simple. A good design should tell the player immediately what they are about. Now that doesn't mean that every character should be easy to use, nor that some characters shouldn't be complex. I'd argue that some characters, like Maxwell, aren't as complex as their designs seem to imply. Also, just because a character is simple in concept, doesn't mean that they are simple to use. Look at wormwood, not being able to heal is a simple downside, but leads to interesting gameplay.

That's what the singleplayer version of Woodie was. Even though the game doesn't tell you what the werebeaver does, as soon as you transform, it immediately becomes clear what it's supposed to be about. There was a clear risk in transforming, but if you knew how to use it you could turn it into an advantage. The last multiplayer version was not like that. Not only did human Woodie have lots of unneeded perks, but the werebeaver was counterintuitive.

Now look at the new version. It's style over substance. The new forms look cool but they don't let you do anything you couldn't before. They add more complexity but they don't interact with each other at all. This is a trend we've seen with Willow's and Winona's reworks too, the team handling these reworks just can't seem to settle for something simple. Someone made an on point comparison to Riot Games (oh god I can't believe I said that).

To sum it up: Should Woodie have multiple transformations?

I personally don't think so. I didn't like the idea when it was first brought up, and even ignoring the clear balance issues I don't think merely buffing his forms would help. Unfortunately, because of how much time was spend creating the art of the new transformations as well as an animated short focusing on them I don't believe this update is gonna get reverted any time soon. Even if he's buffed to where he actually plays well, we have to deal with the fact that the Woodie I and many others loved is dead, and has been replaced with an impostor.

Edited by Cyberboy2000
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