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What if Maxwell's shadows drained sanity instead of resources?


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For about a year I've had this idea but I want to see what you guys think. I play Maxwell a lot, probably my most played character, and he's a ton of fun right now. I think this might be a fun change but there's some people here who seem to be a lot more experienced than me and I'm particularly interested in what they think. I'm also interested in what less experienced players think of this idea, too.

Flint's not particularly hard to get, outside of public servers where people like to disconnect with a stack of it in their inventory, and Maxwell's really good at getting NMF so that cost isn't particularly high either. What if instead of needing to use tools, and possibly even removing the NMF cost as well, Maxwell could freely summon shadows from his Codex Umbra but they had a sanity drain over time and were dispelled if Maxwell reached 0 sanity? It would give more depth to Maxwell's sanity (currently only really a problem in prolonged boss fights) and allow him to be more free in his control over shadows. I constantly see people complain that their shadows automatically do things on their own and they want to be able to turn them off, they don't want to punch the shadows because of the little cost in doing so. If they drained sanity over time instead of resources they wouldn't feel bad about dismissing their shadows anymore.

Maxwell would feel less compelled to need to deforest an entire area if he wants to summon his loggers since the cost of it would be proportional to the time spent. He'd still be able to deforest an entire area, obviously, but maybe he might bring along a little bit of sanity food to do so instead of needing to craft a few axes? It would allow for a less minmaxy and more impromptu Maxwell who can at any moment do any task instead of prepping for one and doing it to the extreme.

Maybe it could even allow for a Shadow Duelist buff, making them less niche and more well-rounded. I think it would be pretty fun to have a more powerful Duelist at the cost of it having a high sanity drain, allowing you to enhance your combat capabilities at the cost of sanity and the potential of them being dismissed if your sanity runs out. Maybe they don't even need a buff, but if you were able to summon them without spending 2 nmf, some flint, some rope, and some twigs people would be more open to using them.

I never specified any numbers and kept everything vague because it's the idea that matters and the numbers and such could be tuned to whatever is balanced. What do you guys think? I think it would make him more interesting but probably not affect how strong he is. The cost isn't really too much currently and Woodie can already get infinity logs for free free, so I don't think Maxwell being able to get infinity logs/rocks/etc for a sanity cost would be busted. I'd love to hear your feedback regardless of how much you play Maxwell. I think it would make him more accessible and more fun while still mostly being the same character, but maybe I'm wrong.

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That would sort of add a timer to the shadow puppets which can be extended with sanity food.
To be honest I personally would like the shadows to be even more "permanent" than now, like a more organic thing with Maxwell's actions, instead of being more limited. Specially the duelists which currently, beyond a few cheese strategies, have no use.

For example I'd like that once you spent their initial cost, you can "save them back" to the codex umbra (Like when you send Abi to her flower).
Once saved to the codex, you can summon and unsummon the ones already paid for in the umbra for free, with just the sanity cap damage limit when they are outside of the codex. So as long as they don't die, you don't have to spend new resources to use them, and you can control which ones you want out so they don't destroy things, or die to hounds.
This way they can even be upgraded, maybe with more fuel, armor, changing them at a pseudoscience, etc, and losing them will be an even harder loss.

And the Duelists... well just don't get me started. They need a full revamp.... 

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I'd prefer the classic Don't Starve hybrid shadow, but I guess since pvp is a thing they separated the shadows for balance reasons.

Although I love the concept and ideas that were presented, as @ShadowDuelist had mentioned, I don't think I would want a "sanity time limit" for the shadow puppets, or have them disappear when reaching 0 sanity. What if for some reason you want to use shadows in a lunar biome but need to be insane to not get pummeled by gestalts, or if you needed to wear a nightmare amulet for ancient fuelweaver fight and your shadows just vanished because of that?

The worker shadows are fine as they are, and a way to recall them would be helpful. The tradeoff for a more expensive cost to summon a shadow compared to solo DS is automation, which is fair in my opinion, but I would like to have an option to summon a hybrid shadow as well, which would help with well-roundedness as the OP had mentioned. I also hope to see another use/improvement to shadow diggers because of their limitation to tree stumps/graves. Hopefully there can be a way to toggle them from digging only tree stumps/graves to digging all entities that can be dug up, such as when you need to gather a bunch of grass tufts, and also make it so that multiple shadow diggers don't target the same tree stump.

And although this may be just me, I'm hoping that there can be a way to create more expensive versions of shadow minions, such as with golden tools, more nightmare fuel, a dark sword instead of a spear, or purple gems (since Maxwell claims they bring power), that can either do tasks more efficiently or just survive better in general. It would also allow the stronger version of a shadow duelist be more capable of dealing with tougher enemies instead of dying instantly, but the current crafting recipe for the weaker counterpart can be kept due to the cheap cost which is more early-game friendly.

As for generic shadow duelist improvements, maybe just increase their health pool or give them a natural damage resistance, and when they're low on health they'll dodge attacks and avoid combat to heal before returning to the fight, don't really have any other ideas.

EDIT: I had another idea for shadow puppets, what if when hurt they teleport similar to how shadow creatures do when you attack them, instead of just tanking all the damage like they do now? I don't have too many details but it could be an idea to be implemented if you put in more thought than what I am putting in right now

tl;dr: Shadow minions are fine resource-wise, need a few tweaks such as a way to toggle them on/off and their behaviors changed. I also hope to see new shadow puppet crafts that can are more reliable but are more expensive, or the return of the classic DS shadow puppet that can do multiple tasks, but disappear after a few days and doesn't require tools. (Ex: craft the current shadow duelist for 2 nightmare fuel and spear, or craft a better shadow duelist for 4 nightmare fuel, a purple gem, and a dark sword that is more reliable in damage and has more health or damage resistance).

 

Here are some other Maxwell opinions if he had a rework but it may be off topic since it doesn't discuss much about resources put into shadows, so I put it in a spoiler:

Spoiler

I liked the classic Don't Starve Maxwell better than the DST version, and I still wonder why his sanity regeneration was nerfed from 20 per minute to 6.66, which some could say was a buff to make it easier to go insane for nightmare fuel. Considering that he can lock himself in a state of insanity in DST, nightmare fuel is in fact less of a hassle to obtain, not to mention other methods of easily amassing large amounts of fuel such as killing shadows in the ruins. It would also make him work better with shadow equipment than non-dapper characters since he can negate the drain of the dark sword or armor, which is supposed to be his specialty.

Also since Maxwell no longer has his other starting items in DST, in the event of a rework I hope he has tier 1 magic knowledge similar to that of Wickerbottom as well. It makes up for the purple gem that he used to have which helped with getting a shadow manipulator early. Plus, another feature I hope to see is that shadow duelists can fight shadow creatures, although I can see reasons why some people might not want this.

Due to Maxwell's low health pool, he's less of a combat-oriented character and more of a resource gatherer, especially seen in DST, which is why I'm hoping that the shadow duelists can be improved in a way to acknowledge this. I'm hoping that with the aid of his shadows, Maxwell can be a "glass cannon" type of character who has the potential to deal above-average damage with enough skill, but of course, can die very easily as he does now.

tl;dr of the spoiler: If Maxwell got a rework, I hope he gets his high sanity regeneration back, more shadow crafts, tweaks to shadow behaviors and stats, and a tier 1 magic knowledge.

Also I hope @Hornete's shadow rower mod will be an official feature, it would be a nice addition to ocean content, and give Maxwell more variety with his shadows.

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8 hours ago, Knowbodie said:

Also I hope @Hornete's shadow rower mod will be an official feature, it would be a nice addition to ocean content, and give Maxwell more variety with his shadows.

I made that mod as a joke mod but it actually works surprisingly well for boating haha, I especially love using them for the crab king fight.

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I like this idea, I think. Though I think some QoL adjustments should be made similar to what Wendy has with Abigail, because in its current state, the shadow puppets are very wonky, and don't even get me started on the duelists...

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I don't have enough experience with Maxwell to say if the ideas would be good, they certainly sound good, but I just wish Maxwell could have at least a few tweaks for convenience before he gets his rework (which could still be ages), like toggling them active/inactive.

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19 hours ago, ShadowDuelist said:

To be honest I personally would like the shadows to be even more "permanent" than now, like a more organic thing with Maxwell's actions, instead of being more limited. Specially the duelists which currently, beyond a few cheese strategies, have no use.

Yes, temporary shadow minions would be awful. the way they work now is fine

a rework would do well with new minions, new ways to control minions (using the book to make them stop all actions perhaps), and buffed duelists. Maybe a cheaper minion that acts similar to singleplayer, but we still have the logger miner, shoveler and duelist, replacing DST minions with singleplayer minions would be the worst thing ever (They suck),  but making singleplayer minions coexist with the current minions would be nice

A lost page can be created by combining papyrus/orange gems allowing you to craft minions that pick things

7 hours ago, Hornete said:

I made that mod as a joke mod but it actually works surprisingly well for boating haha, I especially love using them for the crab king fight.

I would love this

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I have a cool idea, if anyone wants to listen. I don't know if this really adds to the discussion, but if they ever rework Maxwell I would like them to add something called "silencing" or something. The idea is this:

- Maxwell can craft Shadow Puppets put putting the Codex on the floor and then using at a crafting station.

- Upon making them the puppets will start as "active", this means that they will act normally, chop trees, dig stumps, mine rocks, etc.

- Maxwell can pick up his book and right-click to read it to "silence" all current shadows.

- All silenced shadow puppets will not mine, chop, dig, etc. anything on screen automatically, and will only help Maxwell by chopping the same tree he is, mining the same rock, etc. This is meant to prevent the puppets from chopping decorative trees, stage 1 marble shrubs and other things. Just a QoL change honestly.

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1 minute ago, Seero said:

unnecessary nerf that replaces an already great system that would otherwise make maxwell a bad character
Do I really need to explain?

What do you think the drain is per shadow, a hundred per minute? 

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3 minutes ago, Seero said:

who said that

I think getting the sanity food would just be a pain and limiting maximum sanity is much better

So the system is bad because when you saw "the numbers would be whatever's balanced" you instead interpreted it as "The numbers would be whatever sucks and nerfs the character and makes it really unfun"? The way I'm imagining it the drain would be small enough where you'd only need to get sanity food for extended trips or duelist usage, and I really don't see how picking a few cactus or greencaps is so much harder to do than gathering 4/8 nightmare fuel, 5 flint, and 5 twigs.

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I think what would really make or break this idea is the drain rate. I'm not really opposed to it, but I think balancing it would be too much of a tightrope walk. Either the drain is negated entirely by sanity clothing, or it's clothing plus gorging on sanity food. Having it only take max sanity seems a lot simpler in my opinion. 

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On 1/15/2021 at 7:34 PM, Cheggf said:

So the system is bad because when you saw "the numbers would be whatever's balanced" you instead interpreted it as "The numbers would be whatever sucks and nerfs the character and makes it really unfun"? The way I'm imagining it the drain would be small enough where you'd only need to get sanity food for extended trips or duelist usage, and I really don't see how picking a few cactus or greencaps is so much harder to do than gathering 4/8 nightmare fuel, 5 flint, and 5 twigs.

Not only does this completely nullify his 6.67 sanity per minute regeneration

but it's not about how much he loses per minion, I despise the very concept, no matter how big or little the sanity drain. What purpose does this serve? I totally agree that idea matters more then numbers. So what does this idea accomplish?

On 1/14/2021 at 8:46 PM, Cheggf said:

It would give more depth to Maxwell's sanity (currently only really a problem in prolonged boss fights) and allow him to be more free in his control over shadows. I constantly see people complain that their shadows automatically do things on their own and they want to be able to turn them off, they don't want to punch the shadows because of the little cost in doing so. If they drained sanity over time instead of resources they wouldn't feel bad about dismissing their shadows anymore.

Depth? What depth? Maxwell's shadow miners and him being able to go insane (while having minions, mind you) makes dismissing shadows not wasteful if you know what you're doing. Maxwell is fine as he is and this system would make it really annoying to play him.

If you are worried about mining your pre-mature marble shrubs, or chopping your twiggy trees Don't have them next to your base, put distance between your base and these things, or don't have minions at base. A completely valid work-around. If you're still irresponsible enough to not be able to discipline your shadows, you can type /dance in the chat to get them to stop, and then walk away from whatever you do not want to be mined.

Or just have a setting that makes them passive, Anything but this system however, Oh if it's insanity drain based and not maximum sanity based doesn't that means you can have infinite minions if you can handle the sanity loss?

Do you know what that means? Just get a lot of cactus and green mushrooms, spam a ton of duelists and become way way way better than Wolfgang, I clearly have a different view on balance then the rest of the people on here, but this is absolutely broken Op.

 

My final thoughts on a maxwell rework: More minions, (rower tiller planter picker) Buffed duelists A shadow picker (picks grass cactus reeds etc) with a more expensive crafting recipe, a shadow minion that picks up items for you, but that's probably the most un-needed one of all

Maybe allow minions to go further away from you to make the pickers useful in places other then replanted tufts and saplings (although what other use will they have?)

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5 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

i think the ds maxwell is way more fun and less annoying to play than the dst version. was a non sense to change it for the pvp when pvp is already unbalanced by many other characters and items

the dst is more efficient but is boring and doesnt have the maxwell essence like the ds has

duelists aren't the only minion and pvp is not there only use.

 

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2 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

who said that?read for 1 time

 

You're treating Maxwell as if his pvp aspect is his only worthwhile change when coming to DST when really he was changed from the best speedrunner to the best basic resource collector

 

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