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The Disease : Motives & Issues + possible rework

The Disease : Motives & Issues + possible rework  

78 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your approach on disease ?

    • I usually do grass/etc farms (-50 plants)
    • I usually do grass/etc farms (+50 plants)
    • I only use alternative farms (geckos...)
    • I play Endless for minor consequences
    • I disable it from world settings
    • I use mods to tweak it (?)
    • Other... (?)
  2. 2. What do you think of this rework ?

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Disease has come into play nearly 4 years ago, first introduced at the start of A New Reign and didn't moved an inch since in the exception of adding more plants that can be affected like Lunar Saplings or Stone Fruit Bushes.

This aged gameplay element changed players approach on plant farms with 3 distinct reactions :

  • Do small farms (50 plants ~) and be very cautious about the time remaining before refreshing the farms
  • Simply doesn't do farms with disease assignable plants and look for alternatives (geckos, twiggy trees, wild plants, marsh bush)
  • Turn off the disease parameter in world setting

During those years, some alternatives appeared like cures and tweaking mods or playing in endless to renewed plants, but now all these groups are quite equilibrated with no one being especially dominant as we all noticed on the forums, the plant disease is a very redundant topic and you can't do much but pick your side and stick to it.

The only thing we can confirm is the result : players avoid the disease like pest on various ways !


In the exception of disabling it, the disease should be very proud of its job cause it's being done, but it haves multiple unfair and pointless characteristics in the design that must be corrected... so in addition of all the things going on for Don't Starve this year, I hope for a balanced disease rework.

Let's begin with the most important thing, why introducing disease to DST is a good thing ?

I think some numbers are requested here :2.thumb.jpg.b485be411cad397d90bfded51f955247.jpg

A default survival map have around 700 grass (or ~500 for gecko maps + ~125 geckos), 700 saplings and 150 berry bushes or 75 juicy berry bushes on the surface,

just remind that such statistics can be very different from a world to another depending of setpieces >

or luck in general...




Let's say we're about 1500 standard plants in a map (surface only), it's a lot and they're located on every spots of the map in different density and sort : forests have many saplings, savanna have most of the grass and you have a decent amount of berries in plains. This will fill every map completely and give you interest to your world.

Now imagine if disease was not a thing, what's stopping from depleting the entire map ? Nothing : grab your shovel, get them all and replant the entire relocatable vegetation in a super tiny area, use your chests of rot to fertilize all the plants and protect the place with few Ice Flingomatic. When you need resources, just place a Lureplant and start farming with Wicker's books, collect chests of grass, twigs... and return later when you need more, repeat...


thecoolachievement.jpg.97b839aceb63189ec7f9ed6c31e02f94.jpgAt this point, the rest of the world is just made of trees, mushrooms and the plants resisting against your unlimited power like reeds, cactus...

Of course if you're like me and I believe, most of us, you like having a good looking map so you will probably not go for this, but some players just don't care, they want grass, that's all.


Then, disease appeared out of nowhere and decided to put an end to the world massacre, if you want resources, you have to be invested in your farms, just like most other things from the game. If you want to do the same storyline, then good luck, planting and refreshing hundreds of plant is tiresome when you have to do it more than one time...

Consequently, you can still do cut-grass, twigs and berries farms but with a more reasonable size to make it profitable and not wasting too much effort, if you need more but you don't fell like expending your farms, look for wild plants, the rest of the map will probably stay intact and be thankful for this.

This is why we have disease. I guess.

However, disease have unnecessary consequences on some aspect of the game :

To make it simple, the biggest issue with disease is the game immediately assuring you use plants for farms exclusively, this is terribly wrong.

First thing, I personally don't have dig up plants cause it happens without asking for it. Some scenarios like Bearger, Wild Fires, Meteor Fields, Antlion, etc can force you to gather lot of plants with time. That's a small problem but it really annoy me, you just collected something you certainly don't needed at his moment and you have to carry on with it. Don't even think about replanting it somewhere else cause it will just get diseased one day or another and maybe affect more plants if you didn't paid attention.

So, what can you do with these plants excluding farms ? Someone playing with the disease turned off will no doubt tells you :


and this would be correct, a bush can be cool for ornamenting your roads and gardens in a base. The thing is, no one have the time to dig up all the plants you placed cuz it was cute. You will probably end up doing this the rest of your days before disease strike on this sapling you forgot in a corner and never harvested. never forgetti. :(

It also get out of control when you play on public servers or play with friends, one player can't and don't have to take care of the plants of someone else who disconnected, but you still want to play, what should you do ?


Quite the dilemma, hm ? On one hand the disease protects the map from being a no plant's land cause players should fear it, but on the other you can't use them for reasons the disease affects just to mess with you.


How to rework the disease ?

Disease needs to be fair in order to be something interesting/accepted by players and not affect creativity, not summed-up to a turn off option and bye.

A good method would be to only affect crowded plants used for farming and ignore unexploited (decorative/uproot accidentality) plants. There's an extremely easy way to do it : when you plant something, the game will check the area on a X distance and count plants, if there's above Y plants, the disease timer will start for the plant and maybe do so for the Y plants surrounding and spread. This solution also makes each plant customisable to have an unique tolerance of density.

Think of it, a grass farm is effective when you have a lot of plants in a restricted place and protected by a single Ice Flingomatic, this is what the disease should care about, but if we put in application this new method, we also unlock a more farming process where plants have more space between and ignore disease. Is this OP ? No, because just like Improved Farm cost more resources than Basic Farm, this method will require way more space.


This farm have 100 grass

The plants are as close as possible, thanks to Geometric Placement.

It results in a very productive farm but the disease will obviously strike, so you be cautious and replant regularly, it's at your own risk.





This one have 20

You have to play around the space between each plant to block the disease, which result in a less effective farm but you can count on it to be durable and cost you less effort, of course I did something more decorative than anything else, you should be capable of doing twice as best with a disease rework like this one.




I hope the disease will be changed, with this solution or at least something to have more freedom with plants and not reduce disease to a pesky mechanism. You can tell me what you think of the idea and participate in the poll on how you deal with disease. Anyway, please take care of your plants and yourself.

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Reworking the idea isn't a bad idea, I love your idea @ADM ! (Like alot of the others that you've been up to...)
But I feel that maybe, we could have an item that works like a cure, if you have a diseased plant, put the cure, and it will not have disease for the rest of his life till you pick it up, that would prevent decorations from being spoiled by disease.

And, it will let people easily have diseased plants for their decorations. It might sounds a bit off, but, I love to have zoo on my worlds, and, the diseased berry bushes add a nice little touch to a cage of vermins like the depth worms or something abit dirty, and with your rework, it would be hard to have like, 1 or 2 berry bushes diseased without having like 25 berry bushes on the same place risking to get it too. So, if Klei choose to add an item that work like a cure (as how I imagined it, cauz it's the ideal in my opinion) or rework the disease like you said, I'll be happy for both of the idea, but I just hope that we'll have something to counter it/ or something that tweaked it in any case !

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Tumbleweeds are my grass and twig farm so I gave a meh. I wish digging wasn’t something people indulged in. I’d prefer players take time doing something that outright creates more value like pig houses, bee boxes, even mushrooms. Digging and fertilizing is degenerate, turning automatic resources into something needing constant upkeep.

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14 minutes ago, Portmanteau said:

I'd rather see it removed myself to be honest instead of Klei further wasting development time

Reworking something already existing is not wasting time... they have been doing this for so much things and it's very valuable for players.:wilsondisapproving:

Especially on the disease topic and its negative reputation overall, I edited myself the diseaseable function to make it work the way I mentioned during my tests, took me 2 minutes so it ain't a waste of time :


local function makediseaseable(inst)
	local x, y, z = inst.Transform:GetWorldPosition() 
	local ents = TheSim:FindEntities(x, y, z, TUNING.DISEASE_RANGE, {"plant"}, {"tree", "INLIMBO"}) 
	if #ents >= TUNING.DISEASE_MAXPLANT then 
		if inst.components.diseaseable == nil then

Maybe I'll do a mod on this...


43 minutes ago, Le Rafistoleur said:

And, it will let people easily have diseased plants for their decorations.

Oh that's right, I've never used dead plants for decorating but yeah this is a pretty cool concept.

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applied horticulture curing the plants, a custom wormwoood turf to stop disease spreading for plants, wilson science potions for diseased plants. it isnt hard to rework disease like comeone.

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Disease makes me just never use things that can become diseased.  I used to replant a few berry bushes, grass and twigs near my bass but once disease hit I never move any of those.

I don't think space-consideration is the way to go.  That seems to be a specific build based on your needs, but it isn't very flexible.  I think there should be a treat & plant option that removes the disease element from a plant when you plant it.  Make it something that might take some time to produce, maybe using guano or something.  This way I wouldn't feel bad about bringing some plants to my base knowing I'd only need to do the "dig up and replant" event once or twice.  Sure a player could dig up the entire map and relocate all grass / twigs / berries to 1 place, but if they've gone through the extra steps of whatever is involved in making them disease free, then give it to them.

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Disease shares 2 things in common with "World Regrowth":

  1. They are direct opposites of each other. One creates, the other destroys
  2. They're annoying as ****

That said, I'd love either a rework to Disease, a compromise to its mechanics, or (like other users have stated) an entire removal of Disease as a whole.

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I like the mechanic of disease, you cant live forever with the same plants, but the only counter mechanic is to shovel all the plants or let them die, for twigss and grass i dont have problem, i can bring more which is the goal of the mechanic, making you go after more plants, but berry bushes.... if all of them get disease and they dont regrow how i suppose to counter that. I wont make the tedious work of shovel every bush

At the end i dont use berry bushes for fear

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I'm gonna agree with the "just remove it entirely" crowd. I mean, what even is the point of disease?

Replanted plants already come with a downside of needing to be fertilized and then re-fertilized after a certain amount of harvests. Why do we need the additional risk of losing non-renewable resources?

It's just a redundant hazard that doesn't even reward you for "overcoming" it.

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7 hours ago, QuartzBeam said:

I mean, what even is the point of disease?

It's actually should go more like this: you yeet most plants but since world regrowth is a thing, thats were disease comes in and kills your farms and makes you go shovel up the plants that are made by world regrowth. but its already hard to manage everyones twigs/grass depending if you play activly together with people on discord or not.

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the things we need to better the disease mechanic

1. Change Tufts, Saplings, and Bushes from non renewable to renewable, either through some god awful crafting recipe or some enemy killing involving dark magic.

(cuts to fuelweaver dropping a grass tuft, wilson in the arena screams hallelujah)

2. Create some sort of canon cure for disease, much like the moon oil from uncompromising mode. also would be great if we could get some sort of vaccine for it that can immunize plants for a long time, possibly with a mid-game recipe when disease would set in and could be made easily in late game.

3. some more interesting ways plants can get disease. this is more of my own point, but maybe lower disease chance in the summer and the winter, letting the temperatures handle the difficulty. maybe some sort of sick mob that could infect plants or increase the chance of disease in plants, possibly using it's drops to create a vaccine.

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I can appreciate the effort that went into this suggestion but to me the biggest problems with diseases can’t be overcome.

The first issue is that it’s not in any way fun, and where food is concerned there’s plenty of disease-proof options to fulfill your needs.  So it fails at the primary reason it exists.

The second issue is that for large farms it’s relatively easily bypassed even if you don’t use disease proof resources by digging up and replanting which adds tedium and not challenge.

Even the hardcode “no mods, vanilla settings only” players I’ve met are ok with disease being turned off.

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38 minutes ago, Toros said:

The first issue is that it’s not in any way fun, and where food is concerned there’s plenty of disease-proof options to fulfill your needs.  So it fails at the primary reason it exists.

Yeah that's the biggest problem and I did not mention that ! If devs wish to do something about disease they should eventually try to do a lot more about it to make it somewhat interesting, to compare let's take the Antlion topic : annoying during summer cause it can easily wack things you wanted to keep intact or make you slower in area you go often on a long period, but lucky for us the Antlion can provide some useful things in exchange, it's not just a random event with no way to counter it, we can even kill the Antlion.

I'm not sure but I think the Antlion is something players appreciate and keep enabled most of time. The disease is not, when a plant die there's nothing to do but kill it and repeat, maybe (just a random thought) a boss or monster could appears after some plants have been diseased and killing it could... unlock a cure or a building disabling disease around it ?

It's not that I like disease or what but it's terrible to see something with so many potential reworks and improvements being abandoned in the game.

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