Theukon-dos

Character reworks and the Importance of interesting downsides.

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Viktor234    4650
On 4/27/2020 at 8:03 PM, Theukon-dos said:

give it another month or two. We'll see if the natural order returns to normal

One month has passed and Wendy is still number one in terms of popularity.

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x0-VERSUS-1y    5636

Wendy was always popular, not as much as now, but her skins weren't and aren't the most expensive for nothing.

Wigfrid is a less punishing Wolfgang and for most this is all that matters. Also she permits players more mistakes via tanking/less taken dmg perk plus easy and good armor from get-go - excellent in case of high ping & rubberbanding as well.

Wilson is default character pick and player-base bulk being mostly newbies/noobs - no wonder there.

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Mike23Ua    6465
1 hour ago, x0-VERSUS-1y said:

Wendy was always popular, not as much as now, but her skins weren't and aren't the most expensive for nothing.

Wigfrid is a less punishing Wolfgang and for most this is all that matters. Also she permits players more mistakes via tanking/less taken dmg perk plus easy and good armor from get-go - excellent in case of high ping & rubberbanding as well.

Wilson is default character pick and player-base bulk being mostly newbies/noobs - no wonder there.

I’m not going by this not even in the slightest bit, it would be wise if everyone started looking at all the Klei Vignettes and official artwork, look at how those characters are portrayed in that Klei Dev official art- Because however they appear there.... is what Klei envisions them to actually Be like.

Look at Wendy as an example- prior to her Rework all her art showed her hanging out in graveyards, plucking petals off flowers and when at a Hallowed Nights campfire everyone else is scared by Maxwells story while Wendy sits mildly unamused.

The TL:DR- Wendy needed more interaction with graves and the Dead, and I’m really glad that’s how her Rework turned out.

I defiantly DO NOT expect Wilson to remain to be the generic boring default character with no interesting perks, just look at his artwork... even in his very first debut cinematic the dudes seen slitting his hand open and bundle wrapping lab rats together in the name of SCIENCE!

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x0-VERSUS-1y    5636
26 minutes ago, Mike23Ua said:

I’m not going by this not even in the slightest bit, it would be wise if everyone started looking at all the Klei Vignettes and official artwork, look at how those characters are portrayed in that Klei Dev official art- Because however they appear there.... is what Klei envisions them to actually Be like.

Look at Wendy as an example- prior to her Rework all her art showed her hanging out in graveyards, plucking petals off flowers and when at a Hallowed Nights campfire everyone else is scared by Maxwells story while Wendy sits mildly unamused.

The TL:DR- Wendy needed more interaction with graves and the Dead, and I’m really glad that’s how her Rework turned out.

I defiantly DO NOT expect Wilson to remain to be the generic boring default character with no interesting perks, just look at his artwork... even in his very first debut cinematic the dudes seen slitting his hand open and bundle wrapping lab rats together in the name of SCIENCE!

Regarding Wendy I didn't wrote why I believe she is popular (or why she should go, lore-wise translated into game-play, in one direction or another), just that she is. Probably a combination of her play-style (relying on an NPC for combat, being good vs small-yet-numerous mobs - stuff nice to have in all stages of play-runs yet this aspect helps newbies/noobs a lot), implied persona (pensive introverted emo type - perhaps a hefty amount of DST gamers are more-or-less fitting in said category), and aesthetics.

 

What I want to underline: "punishing downsides" (which some people call "interesting") wasn't what made these characters great picks.

Edited by x0-VERSUS-1y
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Mike23Ua    6465

That last bit holds especially true, punishing downsides could actually end up having the opposite effect- making a character someone wants to play and enjoy all that much harder to enjoy playing as due to their downside.

I get why some people want them, but I also get why some people want to see them go away.

The middle ground? Make it available but only in a harder game setting or through a personal toggle option you can select.. 

For example if people think Abigails petal bestowment buff now completely removes Wendy’s damage reduction downside all together, then give them the option to play without the buff being useful.

boom, you just made the game easier for new players, and didn’t make it feel like it’s becoming too easy for the people who want things more complicated.

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Theukon-dos    2796
2 hours ago, Viktor234 said:

One month has passed and Wendy is still number one in terms of popularity.

I said a month or two, 

 

And the numbers do show that Wigfrid is catching right back up, with only an ~2% difference as opposed to an ~5% difference

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Viktor234    4650
22 minutes ago, Theukon-dos said:

And the numbers do show that Wigfrid is catching right back up, with only an ~2% difference as opposed to an ~5% difference

3 hours ago, CarlZalph said:

Later in the day the Wathgrithr (wigfrid) count will go down once US/EU pick up, for some reason people in China pick her a lot whereas people in the US/EU pick Wilson more.

 

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ArubaroBeefalo    3591
1 hour ago, Mike23Ua said:

That last bit holds especially true, punishing downsides could actually end up having the opposite effect- making a character someone wants to play and enjoy all that much harder to enjoy playing as due to their downside.

I get why some people want them, but I also get why some people want to see them go away.

The middle ground? Make it available but only in a harder game setting or through a personal toggle option you can select.. 

For example if people think Abigails petal bestowment buff now completely removes Wendy’s damage reduction downside all together, then give them the option to play without the buff being useful.

boom, you just made the game easier for new players, and didn’t make it feel like it’s becoming too easy for the people who want things more complicated.

is not a good desing the fact of turning on downsides, will be a work for nothing. You only need to check the steam worshop (i know you play on xbox) to check how many mods are to make the game stupidly easy like being able to stack up to 99, armor+backpack, etc so a big amount of people will miss the entire character concept just because they will never want to play "normal" difficulty

what klei should do is to think better how to balance. Has no sense that abi has almost the same damage than DS abigail but with more controll and the debuff that makes her and others do more damage. 

The only thing wendy needed is to have controll over abi to be perfect, klei bring us it+potions+ damage buff+ pokeball mechanic and no one new downside

in the other hand we have DS willow that burns your base if she loses few sanity. I think this is a very boring mechanic that fits in a survival with short gameplay time but DS and DST has infinity duration (until you get boring of that world)

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Misa22    641

I just want to point out that I laughed so hard at the fact that people from China pick a character that sees catcoons as "cute meat with fur". 

This post covers an interesting topic, btw. I agree with the Wormwood thing, but FOR ME (can't stress this enough: my opinion), Warly feels kinda annoying when starting a new world. Still like him though. 

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CarlZalph    4136
6 hours ago, Theukon-dos said:

I said a month or two, 

 

And the numbers do show that Wigfrid is catching right back up, with only an ~2% difference as opposed to an ~5% difference

After each DLC character release their pickrates normalized after 2-3 weeks, Wurt going really fast to low pickrates after the first week.

I've edited the post pointed to you there for a sample at this time (~9PM), reposting here since it seems pertinent.

Much lower player count, but Wig's pickrate dropped down to Wilson levels and Wendy's still high.  Before the rework Wendy really never took off as rocking the charts, but she's still #1 since it dropped.

I'd say that the update made her much more appealing to players than the others have, and if I had to guess I'd assume it's the powerhouse of Abigail making combat not a huge focus.  When I watched new people on servers combat was always a contention point to them so much so that they were struggling with hounds and shades.  Making that element that they struggle with out of the equation eases the burden a lot, as a lot of gameplay in DS(T) is combat.

Spoiler

Worldwide
  Servers: 8582
    Group Only   :   57 ( 0.664181)
    Mods         : 6345 (73.933815)
      Players    : 5054 (64.332994)
    No Mods      : 2237 (26.066185)
      Players    : 2802 (35.667006)
    PvP          :  185 ( 2.155675)
    Passworded   : 4757 (55.429970)
    Dedicated    : 7275 (84.770450)
    Client Hosted: 4134 (48.170590)
  Players: 7856
    Modded: 697 (8.872200)
    In Lobby: 303 (3.856925)
    Vanilla: 6856 (87.270876)
      wendy       : 1127 (16.438156)
      wathgrithr  :  872 (12.718786)
      wilson      :  822 (11.989498)
      wickerbottom:  532 ( 7.759627)
      woodie      :  528 ( 7.701284)
      wolfgang    :  473 ( 6.899067)
      wx78        :  452 ( 6.592765)
      winona      :  407 ( 5.936406)
      webber      :  372 ( 5.425904)
      willow      :  348 ( 5.075846)
      waxwell     :  270 ( 3.938156)
      wortox      :  170 ( 2.479580)
      wormwood    :  164 ( 2.392065)
      warly       :  153 ( 2.231622)
      wurt        :  124 ( 1.808635)
      wes         :   42 ( 0.612602)

 

 

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Mike23Ua    6465
15 minutes ago, CarlZalph said:

After each DLC character release their pickrates normalized after 2-3 weeks, Wurt going really fast to low pickrates after the first week.

I've edited the post pointed to you there for a sample at this time (~9PM), reposting here since it seems pertinent.

Much lower player count, but Wig's pickrate dropped down to Wilson levels and Wendy's still high.  Before the rework Wendy really never took off as rocking the charts, but she's still #1 since it dropped.

I'd say that the update made her much more appealing to players than the others have, and if I had to guess I'd assume it's the powerhouse of Abigail making combat not a huge focus.  When I watched new people on servers combat was always a contention point to them so much so that they were struggling with hounds and shades.  Making that element that they struggle with out of the equation eases the burden a lot, as a lot of gameplay in DS(T) is combat.

  Reveal hidden contents


Worldwide
  Servers: 8582
    Group Only   :   57 ( 0.664181)
    Mods         : 6345 (73.933815)
      Players    : 5054 (64.332994)
    No Mods      : 2237 (26.066185)
      Players    : 2802 (35.667006)
    PvP          :  185 ( 2.155675)
    Passworded   : 4757 (55.429970)
    Dedicated    : 7275 (84.770450)
    Client Hosted: 4134 (48.170590)
  Players: 7856
    Modded: 697 (8.872200)
    In Lobby: 303 (3.856925)
    Vanilla: 6856 (87.270876)
      wendy       : 1127 (16.438156)
      wathgrithr  :  872 (12.718786)
      wilson      :  822 (11.989498)
      wickerbottom:  532 ( 7.759627)
      woodie      :  528 ( 7.701284)
      wolfgang    :  473 ( 6.899067)
      wx78        :  452 ( 6.592765)
      winona      :  407 ( 5.936406)
      webber      :  372 ( 5.425904)
      willow      :  348 ( 5.075846)
      waxwell     :  270 ( 3.938156)
      wortox      :  170 ( 2.479580)
      wormwood    :  164 ( 2.392065)
      warly       :  153 ( 2.231622)
      wurt        :  124 ( 1.808635)
      wes         :   42 ( 0.612602)

 

 

As a Wendy Main I feel the need to correct you that Abigail will not actually help you at all in attacking Shadow Creatures, she just stands there and watches you die. At least Abigail will not help on Xbox, not sure about  on PC..
Which is good, it makes managing Sanity as Wendy one of her biggest downsides, it also helps to keep Abigail from feeling like she’s Bernie- Aka the TRUE Shadow Monster Nightmare fuel farming character.

Theres only one thing I question though- Why if Willow is best at farming Nightmare Fuel.. can she NOT at least use said fuel to refuel her lighters? Ugh (I hope this will be covered in tomorrows QoL patch.. but who knows.)

 

Edited by Mike23Ua

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Theukon-dos    2796
3 hours ago, CarlZalph said:

After each DLC character release their pickrates normalized after 2-3 weeks, Wurt going really fast to low pickrates after the first week.

I've edited the post pointed to you there for a sample at this time (~9PM), reposting here since it seems pertinent.

Much lower player count, but Wig's pickrate dropped down to Wilson levels and Wendy's still high.  Before the rework Wendy really never took off as rocking the charts, but she's still #1 since it dropped.

I'd say that the update made her much more appealing to players than the others have, and if I had to guess I'd assume it's the powerhouse of Abigail making combat not a huge focus.  When I watched new people on servers combat was always a contention point to them so much so that they were struggling with hounds and shades.  Making that element that they struggle with out of the equation eases the burden a lot, as a lot of gameplay in DS(T) is combat.

  Reveal hidden contents


Worldwide
  Servers: 8582
    Group Only   :   57 ( 0.664181)
    Mods         : 6345 (73.933815)
      Players    : 5054 (64.332994)
    No Mods      : 2237 (26.066185)
      Players    : 2802 (35.667006)
    PvP          :  185 ( 2.155675)
    Passworded   : 4757 (55.429970)
    Dedicated    : 7275 (84.770450)
    Client Hosted: 4134 (48.170590)
  Players: 7856
    Modded: 697 (8.872200)
    In Lobby: 303 (3.856925)
    Vanilla: 6856 (87.270876)
      wendy       : 1127 (16.438156)
      wathgrithr  :  872 (12.718786)
      wilson      :  822 (11.989498)
      wickerbottom:  532 ( 7.759627)
      woodie      :  528 ( 7.701284)
      wolfgang    :  473 ( 6.899067)
      wx78        :  452 ( 6.592765)
      winona      :  407 ( 5.936406)
      webber      :  372 ( 5.425904)
      willow      :  348 ( 5.075846)
      waxwell     :  270 ( 3.938156)
      wortox      :  170 ( 2.479580)
      wormwood    :  164 ( 2.392065)
      warly       :  153 ( 2.231622)
      wurt        :  124 ( 1.808635)
      wes         :   42 ( 0.612602)

 

 

Well bugger

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CarlZalph    4136
12 hours ago, Mike23Ua said:

As a Wendy Main I feel the need to correct you that Abigail will not actually help you at all in attacking Shadow Creatures, she just stands there and watches you die.

Ah, sorry I was a bit vague- the new players treated combat entirely as a danger panic point with the two biggest offenders being hounds and shades.  With Abigail taking care of the threats like hounds it leaves them the ability to focus on trying not to go insane.  Wendy doesn't lose sanity as fast as the other characters during nights and even has the sisturn to regenerate more sanity.  And with ghosts not affecting her sanity at all when the other new people die (it is inevitable) the Wendy players aren't punished for it.

So it eases the burden of the new player by removing the requirement of fighting the hounds since Abigail roughs them up, and with a lower stress on sanity keeps the shades as bay easier.

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pedregales    456

I have to disagree.

Part I: It makes (NOT) the character more interesting

Some have already explained a few characters like Wormwood, Warly, and Wes. How their mechanics makes them not only hard to play, but frustrating to many. Wes takes too long to kill enemies and you have to take more time to prepare for absolutely everything, he is less forgiving with mistakes, but at least that is the point of his character so it makes sense, even then, that is why he is only interesting for "OTPs" and "fanfic". Then Warly is way too picky with food, he would be pretty fun if you didn't have to memorize so many crock pot recipes (still waiting for that recipe book!), plus if you didn't have to be foraging for food so often. I will not talk about Wormwood as I have little to no experience with him, but from what I have seen and read, he seems to be easier to play in single-player, but harder in multi-player, mostly due to how sleeping works in both modes, but at least you still have healing items in both modes.

Now let's take a look at Winona post-rework. Her downside was straight up absurd. When she was first re-worked, her hunger-crafting was awful, since just building 1 log armor costed her over 15 hunger, and spears and footbal helmets costed her 10 hunger, and each shadow sword costed 5 hunger. Since you have to make several of them to fight bosses (or in general), she easily consumed just as much food as Wolfgang, before even  starting the fight. Not only that, but an alchemy engine costed her 55 hunger (not counting the hunger from crafting the axes, pickaxes and the science machine you needed before that), just setting up the essentials of a base took easily 1/2 of your total hunger. This rendered her speed crafting useless because the time she spent looking for food, was not worth the time saved by her speed-crafting. In a team set-up, her niche (speed-crafting), had to be saved for mass crafting, so she had to "rely" on teammates to craft simple stuff (or eat food, just because she needed a single birdcage). The handywoman was not handy at all during that first phase of her re-work.

In general, strong downsides make for less interesting and more frustrating characters.

Part II: It helps (NOT) characterize the characters

It can help characterize them as long as it works around the character, not against it. Which is the case for Warly, and was the case for 1st phase of re-work Winona. But it also causes discrepancies: Wes is an adult man that hits as hard as a little girl (Wendy), and Wigfrid is just "acting" but somehow hits harder than most other characters, has innate damage resistance, and can steal the life force of her enemies (this one may come from her being a ginger though).

Downsides may help give more character to a character, but in other instances it is just there because "game logic".

Part III: It encourages (NOT) teamwork

I already mentioned 1st phase of re-work Winona, right? I don't think I have to say much... No, wait, let's mention Wes. What does Wes give in a multi-player setting? What does he bring to the table? Nothing. Zero. Nada. He is currently pointless in multi-player due to the plethora of downsides (with no upsides) he has, and currently only works as the "joke" or "flex" character. And then you have Webber that can't cooperate very well with most other survivor made farms, and his farms are not useful for most other survivors (and I believe Wurt might have the same issue, but don't know for sure, same as with Wormwood).

Downsides do not encourage teamwork in the slightest. The character mechanics encourage teamwork. Willow works well with Maxwell because she is currently the best nightmare fuel farmer, and Max likes the stuff, plus Max can get tons of wood for Willow to burn. Wendy or Wickerbottom (or both) with Wolfgang is great because they can provide him with an endless supply of food, and Wolfgang kills everything in a 1-2-3 (add there Warly and you can do it in a 1-2).Wickerbottom and WX are perfect for each other because Wicker can activate the overcharge in WX, and WX is the perfect trash can for Wicker's over-production of food.

Part IV: Conclusion

Downsides are very nice in a single-player setting as they add a layer of difficulty to overcome, but not quite needed in a multi-player setting (mostly co-op, but also in PvP). What is needed in multi-player is that the character can fill a niche (Wickerbottom and Wendy share the same niche but they do so very differently, or how Wolfgang is the champion of combat), or change the way you play with them without affecting others much, if at all (Wigfrid).

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LordNiggle    37
7 hours ago, pedregales said:

No, wait, let's mention Wes. What does Wes give in a multi-player setting? What does he bring to the table? Nothing. Zero. Nada. He is currently pointless in multi-player due to the plethora of downsides (with no upsides) he has, and currently only works as the "joke" or "flex" character.

Which makes perfect sense considering that is his purpose.

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pedregales    456
14 hours ago, LordNiggle said:

Which makes perfect sense considering that is his purpose.

A purpose that I stated is great in single-player, but no-good in multi-player.

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BreadScientist    386

Intent does not equal good design. 

At Wes' current state, he is actively a detriment to a team. I know the common argument is "any character is OP in an OP player's hands", but this is a meaningless point. Because it is quite obvious that a better character in the same hands is still better, so... There's clearly a problem.

Wes' max potential is simply lower than other characters. This is almost objectively true, considering you must spend more time eating and fighting each monster due to his debuffs. He isn't actually that much harder to play, his stats are low, sure, but it's not like he provides a unique challenge beyond just "I will waste more food and be less useful in fights." His balloons don't provide any tangible benefit, but they're still the most engaging thing about the character. If a player, no matter how good, was to pick Wes without first discussing with us if that was okay, I would be a little annoyed. Because, again, no matter how good the player is, they will still be a bigger drain on supplies than if that person were to pick someone else. (Anecdotally, most players that I have seen that choose Wes to flex are not actually that much better at the game than others.) 

Wes doesn't need to be an easy character, or even a GOOD character, really. He can be awful, and keep his current time-wasting abilities if people really wish to show off how epic they are at eating more food than another player, but he needs to provide some UTILITY. At his current state his only utility is impermanent base decor, which is not helpful in the slightest. If Wes simply got an item or perk that provided some benefit to a team he could be considered not worthwhile, but as it stands he is genuinely a frustrating character to see someone pick.

Before someone argues "Some people just want to play the game harder with their friends", yes, obviously, right now if you and your buddies on a private server want to play Wes because you want to make the game more challenging, that is absolutely fine. I don't want to take away anyone's enjoyment for a harder difficulty. But on a public server picking Wes just means that you'll be larger drain on resources than if you were to be someone else. 

 

And please don't think that I am making the point that added difficulty is bad, it's absolutely not, but the issue with Wes is that picking him adds difficulty to EVERYONE on the server, not just the person picking him.

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Sweaper    691

Considering most of the "grim" new/reworked characters have a pretty debilitating downside(s) I expect Klei doing the same for other grim characters that are to be reworked. Meanwhile most of the "slim" have some very negligible downsides. So I think it's fine to have that separation for those that got better at the game over time and want to try some harder character.

Edited by Sweaper

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Mike23Ua    6465

If Wendy, Wurt and Willow are any Indication of what’s to come- Expect to see crippling downsides faded out completely.

Wendys one and ONLY Downside was her attacks being weaker, but Now with Abigails petal Bestowment buff she’s more powerful then EVER.

Willows Downsides was freezing & Insanity now she can cuddle Bernie for Warmth and unleash him to never worry about being Insane again.

Wurts Downside is simply “Is a Vegetarian & Pigs Hate Her” that’s it..? She can build her own personal Army, has all these OP Buffs and her only downside is she needs to eat a few carrots or berries? 

Walters Downside is quote being “Deathly Allergic to Bee’s” except in the game they are a Minor annoyance to him at best- When the Words DEATHLY ALLERGIC means that he would likely be needing immediate medical care after coming in contact with them. & even though the Shipwrecked & Hamlet dlc’s are chalk full of the Health core poisoned bleed out mechanic, Walter doesn’t have it that harsh.

The TL:DR of my point?- Characters don’t NEED -insert harsh crippling downside here- They should be easy to pick and play at first.... for the casual players. But there should also be harder difficulty options- like an Uncompromising Mode where each character DOES have a harsh downside... and everything in the game is much harder.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they removed Wolfgang’s Puny form and made him only have Normal & his Mighty Form.

Edited by Mike23Ua

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