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Willow - DST 2021


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Hi folks,

I'm a newbie at DST, and I love the Willow character (actually I haven't tried any other character besides her - as she is just the one I sort of identify with. I'd love it for her to be scientist as well, but arsonist also cuts the grade ... somehow - I guess I just try to project myself in the game for better immersivity, and Willow 'just does it'). I've watched now several 'Let's Play's' and also tried eagerly to survive ... but somehow never made it past day 14.

If you are passionate Willow players and do have some tricks and tips, please share them with me!

Thanks and ... keep on the Continuum! :)

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Willow is fairly easy to play, I mean I won’t give away too much but I’ll just give you a heads up about the items she Spawns into the game with: the portable lighter that she spawns with has about 10x the duration of a common torch, and as an added bonus, you can cook food with the lighter without needing to build a campfire.

Bernie is something you will also spawn with, Bernie is your stuffed Teddy Bear, it will protect you from being too cold by holding him in your hand slot, and if you start to go insane you can drop Bernie on the ground and he will grow to big size to protect you from those Shadow Monsters.

(that’s literally what he is designed to do best.. fight away insanity monsters.)

Willow is also completely immune to fire.. so ;) Do with that what you will.

Good Luck, have fun.. try not to die!

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Use your lighter to your advantage! You don't have to make torches or campfires, since your lighter has a small light radius and the ability to cook food (cooked food restores more hunger, health and sanity than raw food). 

If you're struggling with insanity, don't forget to utilize Bernie. You can easily restore sanity through cooked green caps (found during dusk), cooked cactus flesh (found in the deserts) and Taffy (crockpot dish, requires honey to make). Standing close to Glommer also does the trick, though it takes time. If you're feeling desperate, you can pick flowers for a little bit of sanity and use them to make a garland that, when worn, gradually restores sanity. 

If your health is low, you can use spider glands to heal a little, but I recommend saving them up to make healing salves (you can get the ash required to make them by burning the foliage around ponds). Honey poultice and dishes made with honey are a great way to heal. Raw blue caps (night) restore 20 health, but note that they lower your sanity by -15.

And if you're looking for a general pick-me-up, I highly recommend making a tent. Sleeping though the night efficiently restores sanity and health at the expense of a little hunger. 

Most of this is just general advice that can also be applied to other characters, but I hope that it helps! 

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Also remember that she restores insane *ba-dum-ts* amount of sanity when stading next to fire, so you can drop like 20 manures (not as stack of 20 but drop them like 20 single items) using quick-drop and fire this up, that will easily restore you a lot of sanity!

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The very first days kill butterflies and keep them on you as an easy source of healing.

Aim to have at least a log suit and a spear in case you have to fight, and try to make a crock pot at some point, so you can start making healing foods alongside meatballs (butter muffins and trail mix at least).

My point is that It doesn't matter if you take damage as long as you always keep a flow of healing items and healing foods, and don't let the damage accumulate.

Also please  let us know what causes you to die more often, and maybe we can pinpoint more specific tips. :eagerness:

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I often find that people that are fairly new to the game, and even some more experienced players, tend to just set up a base area fairly early after not exploring much (say around day 5 or so, give or take a few days) and just sit around their base, not going anywhere. They'd usually just die from a lack of food, resources, or both!

To clarify, it's ok to set up a base early. If you're exploring, and you find a great place for a base, it's perfectly alright to set up some of the basic structures. But after you do that, you should definitely keep on exploring. Knowing where important areas and structures are is incredibly important. Touch stones, Pig King, the swamp/deserts, Mac Tusk camps, etc etc, are all very nice things to know the place of. 

Personally, I'm usually more nomadic in the first season, and take my time to map out most of the world (or at least the main land) and gather most of the resources and items I need for winter/a base. Around day 12-15, I set up a base area and spend the remaining days of Autum stockpiling resources and such.

Of course, that's just my playstyle! As someone who's fallen victim to staying in base too long (many times, I'll admit) don't be afraid to take your time setting up a base or to venture out from your base. 

To add on to all of that, make sure to have some sort of armor and weapon on you at all times! Hounds attack usually one or two times in the first season, and you never know what other threat you might run into. Football helmets can be made with one pigskin and one rope. Pigskin can either be dropped by pigs or dropped from hammering pig heads found around touch stones or in the swamp. Log suits are more readily available, but are take up the much more important body slot, and can be made with some logs and rope. Spears, as a weapon, are fine for the early game. Also, make sure to learn some of the crockpot recipies! They're rather important to survival, making hunger much more easy to deal with. 

Welcome to the game, and have fun! Learning is all part of the experience. :)

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Well it would be great to know what you struggle with most, one downside of willow is her low max sanity stat, the best passive sanity gain gear is the Tam o Shanter, but you get it in winter, other options for early sanity are picking flowers, or cooked green mushrooms, you may also want to set up base near the pig king, as the pigs around are a source of food and protection, never forget to have basic resources at all times: grass, twigs, food, log suit is a good early armor, or a football helm, a weapon, and light, (lantern or even better miner hat) this game has a ridiculous amount of layers, an it takes time to learn it, the game is not about skill but knowledge of the mechanics, fortunately everything you will need is covered on forums and youtube, final note is to just play to any given character's strengths, and learn from your impending deaths!, good luck! 

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Yea alot of deaths I've seen come from people waiting at spawn for someone to come take care of them or waiting at base saying their hungry but believe it or not there are afew things to keep in mind.

1. If you need to fight in the early game but don't have gold don't be afraid to use a grass suit and a axe sure they aren't as effective as normal combat gear but you'll find yourself alot better off.

2. Always carry atleast piece of armor there are plenty of players who don't seem to use armor unless they have a football helm but log suits are easier to get and better than nothing

3. Always be sure to know where a easy fall back food source ideally I'd recommend cactus, spiders and butterflies. Monster meat shouldn't normally be eaten outside of dishes but if your low on food cooked monster can hold you over while cactus and butterfly wings will fill your belly and other stats until you get proper food sources setup.

4. As soon as you can craft a top hat  while it won't always keep you sane most of the time in the early game.

5. This in my opinion is the most important thing people overlook don't be hesitant to run. Most things in dst can be avoided by running so if things aren't going well in a fight, your caught unprepared, or you might get swarmed running and coming back later is usually the best choice.

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-5 on the run list is becoming more and more impossible. Klei is making changes to the game (used to you could just outrun shadow monsters till they Despawn, NOW they won’t ever Despawn and you have to actually deal with them.)

And also if your out on adventures on a painfully slow boat, you can’t outrun RockJaw Shark either.. those things are highly aggressive, and they attack your boat, jumping onto it, biting like crazy and jumping off before circling back around to repeat its attack. My first time encountering him I literally screamed out loud because it was something new I wasn’t expecting..

Sadly- you have to go way way way out at sea at almost the edge of the game world to encounter him (I think if you could encounter them Earlier on it would possibly add a bit of life to an otherwise boring flat empty sea) but other then that they’re cool.

But since Klei only lets the spawn at like the edges of your world or something to that effect... I’m thinking that maybe they are there to “Guard” something that’s not in the game yet- such as a harder land biome, or valuable resource, something..

Anyway- don’t be fooled: Running away from everything is not always an Option, Fight or Flight is largely intact but... you can’t also get rid of all your problems without fighting them.

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I agree with what some others are saying here, and not just for Willow--it's okay to plop down a science machine and firepit early on, so you can prototype important things (such as making sure you have a logsuit before the first hound attack!) and have a marked spot on the map to come back to--but DO NOT just sit around your base; you'll run out of supplies in the nearby area.  Keep exploring, and if you find a better place to live later, don't hesitate to move there.  To this end, always carry fire materials on you!  You'll need to explore for longer than a one-day-there-and-back trip, to find anything new and useful.  Usually.
(One advantage Willow has in this department, in case you DO need to move base, is that her lighter lasts longer than a torch--which can help if you find that part of your move takes place in the dark.  However, you might want to wait until just AFTER a hound attack to move base, as it's better done when a crisis isn't happening.)

Generally you'll want to know where biomes that contain resources you use all the time are, and what the good routes to and from there are.  Not a Willow specific thing, but I've started making lines of trees along the routes I normally take, to guide me so I don't have to keep looking at the map.  (Which comes in handy if you're being chased and/or it's dark.)  It also helps if you plant them by the roads so you know where the roads ARE, even when they're covered with snow.  _You walk faster on roads_.

106springiscoming.png.f724c4bea99a11b028c8abc64f7a28a6.png

The Road Trees:  Guiding me home without a map since late 2019!  (Don't ask why some of them are so huge.)

A good fallback food source for me is rabbits, and you can also make them into earmuffs for the winter.  I like to live in or near a savannah full of bunny holes.  In spring, know where your nearest group of frog ponds is, if you want to continue having a source of non-monster meat (for jerky and such).

Anyway, hope some of this rambling helped.  The main takeaways:  Don't hesitate to make your STARTING base early so you can prototype important stuff, but don't hesitate to move if a better location is found later, carry fire materials on you at all time, be willing to explore, and planting trees in a line can sometimes be helpful.  :)

...Notorious

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Thank you Continuumtopians! haha I'm really surprised at all the replies I got and all really detailed and helpful! <3

My main reasons of dying were (chronologically):

1) In my first more seriously played game (where I was really determined to NOT Starve), well ... starvation (hahaha) - as I was following the advises of some youtuber to first explore the map along the riverside. I didn't have many things with me, and got to a zone where I didn't find any passive food (like berries/plants or carrots) and no butterflies. I somehow also couldn't catch bunnies, and also was somehow not equipped to fight the frogs (or anything). I'm still not sure what "weapon" can be used if you don't have a real weapon yet. I mean, can you kill with an axe or pickaxe? I tried, but didn't seem to inflict any damage.

2) In the following games:

2.1) Warmth: I lit one too many trees, in my (exaggerated?) need for light at night, and that fire quickly spread, surrounded me, and while I was able to run from it, it seems I still was so overheated to die. Some of you mentioned Willow is immune to fire ... but is it different then with the heat from fire?

2.2) Almost starving on travel (again) and stumbling upon a herd of beefalos. I think I tried to attack one (although reminiscing now, I didn't have proper weapons) which seemed a bit further from the herd, but I just made everyone angry and - even though I tried running, death was my certain fate.

2.3) (ironically with Willow) The Dark. I really tried to follow the advises of exploring, but Willows lighter also has a limited life span, and if you don't have enough resources, or encounter a sparse area along the river which you explore ... Ah, and since I play the Endless option now (not that always respawning really helps) I once respawned without anything (no lighter or cuddly bear) directly when the night started. hahaha

2.4) Being killed by the Hounds surely makes for the majority of my deaths. I was almost each time still on the road, exploring (maybe 8th / 9th day), and now realize I should have made more plan for building weapons and armor. I totally agree with @Mike23Ua that outrunning is not quite a solution (anymore?) as I tried to outrun hounds for a long, long, long, long, loooong time. And nope. In fact (with the Endless option) I was once killed by hounds, and haunted as a ghost, exploring the map and otherwise not readily reachable areas like islands for over 36 game hours, and when I returned to respawn, the darned hounds were still there. XD

2.5) Frog and Big Bird attacks. Seems without any protective gear, they can be very quick to kill you.

 

I'll try to look up more on combat, and your experiences were also very helpful! 

 

Thank you a lot, and keep on not starving! :)

 

Kitty

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5 hours ago, KittyLithIum said:

I'm still not sure what "weapon" can be used if you don't have a real weapon yet. I mean, can you kill with an axe or pickaxe? I tried, but didn't seem to inflict any damage.

Yep. They do 27.2 damage while a spear has 34—not too far off! Of course, it's still around half the damage of the better weapons, but axes are pretty decent early game.

5 hours ago, KittyLithIum said:

Some of you mentioned Willow is immune to fire ... but is it different then with the heat from fire?

Yeah, Willow can still overheat. She does take half the damage from it and such, so it's not a big deal—just be aware when you notice you're starting to overheat and go away. I also recommend burning trees that aren't near others unless you need sanity/warmth.

5 hours ago, KittyLithIum said:

(ironically with Willow) The Dark. I really tried to follow the advises of exploring, but Willows lighter also has a limited life span, and if you don't have enough resources, or encounter a sparse area along the river which you explore

You can unequip your lighter and only equip it briefly when you hear a hissing noise if it's low durability. Note that this will drain your sanity, though. Otherwise, you can be prepared and craft more lighters.

5 hours ago, KittyLithIum said:

Being killed by the Hounds surely makes for the majority of my deaths.

If you really want to run away and don't directly fight them, go towards something like beefalo which can kill the hounds if it decides to attack one of them.

Still, it's kind of a crutch for early-game waves. They're easy to kill if you have at least an axe and a football helmet/log suit.
 

As far as basic advice goes, other than exploring I recommend prioritizing science so you can craft armor and get comfortable fighting. Armor is very important, don't ignore it.

Bernie is great but at this point you'll likely only be using him to help with insanity—you might want to help him fight to regain sanity unless you have something else to restore it. Otherwise you'll just be stuck insane until bernie dies.

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While Bernie is best at and will always target Shadow Monsters first- you can actually use him to fight Non-Shadow monsters but you have to do it in a way that Wendy used to have to get Abigail to fight enemy mobs in Dont Starve Single Player Version:

You have to run the enemies directly underneath Bernie’s feet and have them attack him.

Bernie has a whooping 2000 health points and when he dies a single sewing kit use brings him back to 100% 

A sewing kit is good for 5 uses so that is 10,000 health points on ONE Bernie doll.

If you craft 4 Bernie’s and then carry a Sewing Kit for each one you have a whooping 40,000 points of tanking damage (you won’t ever need that much because to put that into perspective for you one of the highest health boss monsters in the game has 27,500 hp.)

Summary: You should rarely ever have any problems fighting anything With enough Bernie’s & enough Sewing Kits.

Comparing her to Wendy: Abigail starts at 150 hp and after 3 days time caps out at 600 Hp, each time Abigail dies she rests to 1hp and has to gradually build back up to full power over time, Wendy has no items that I am aware of anyway... that lets her continuously heal or use Abigail at her max 600 hp- Therefore it’s not advisable to try to use Abigail in Boss fights- But BERNIE on the other hand... you actually CAN

With enough dolls, sewing kits & patience of course ;) 

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1 hour ago, Mike23Ua said:

snip

It is not advisable to rely on Bernie's damage because it's low and summoning him means you have to be insane, which spawns more distractions to attack. Bernie's true power is his powerful taunt, which is extremely useful CC.
For example, you can mass-farm monkeys by caging Bernie and killing them yourself. But if you put Bernie on the front field and solely use his damage, you may indeed burn through 40k health.

Abigail is, in fact, extremely useful for bosses (not by herself of course) with her 40% damage buff to Wendy and 10% to others, as well as her own formidable damage.
She can't be healed to 600 hp after dying, but you can continuously heal her with potions instead or just don't let her get hit. And although Bernie is supposed to be the tank, Abigail has a shield which makes her temporarily invincible, which can have interesting applications..

In any case, I wouldn't recommend using Bernie outside of regular insanity to a new player. You should probably be comfortable and familiar with insanity first

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On 1/19/2021 at 5:53 PM, KittyLithIum said:

Thank you Continuumtopians! haha I'm really surprised at all the replies I got and all really detailed and helpful! <3

My main reasons of dying were (chronologically):

1) In my first more seriously played game (where I was really determined to NOT Starve), well ... starvation (hahaha) - as I was following the advises of some youtuber to first explore the map along the riverside. I didn't have many things with me, and got to a zone where I didn't find any passive food (like berries/plants or carrots) and no butterflies. I somehow also couldn't catch bunnies, and also was somehow not equipped to fight the frogs (or anything). I'm still not sure what "weapon" can be used if you don't have a real weapon yet. I mean, can you kill with an axe or pickaxe? I tried, but didn't seem to inflict any damage.

2) In the following games:

2.1) Warmth: I lit one too many trees, in my (exaggerated?) need for light at night, and that fire quickly spread, surrounded me, and while I was able to run from it, it seems I still was so overheated to die. Some of you mentioned Willow is immune to fire ... but is it different then with the heat from fire?

2.2) Almost starving on travel (again) and stumbling upon a herd of beefalos. I think I tried to attack one (although reminiscing now, I didn't have proper weapons) which seemed a bit further from the herd, but I just made everyone angry and - even though I tried running, death was my certain fate.

2.3) (ironically with Willow) The Dark. I really tried to follow the advises of exploring, but Willows lighter also has a limited life span, and if you don't have enough resources, or encounter a sparse area along the river which you explore ... Ah, and since I play the Endless option now (not that always respawning really helps) I once respawned without anything (no lighter or cuddly bear) directly when the night started. hahaha

2.4) Being killed by the Hounds surely makes for the majority of my deaths. I was almost each time still on the road, exploring (maybe 8th / 9th day), and now realize I should have made more plan for building weapons and armor

General tips for what was described:

1) You can trap bunnies, spiders and frogs in traps (they are on the survival tab, look like a small basket) just placing the trap on the ground and leading the creature close to it will let you effortlessly capture it. Frogs and spiders captured instantly die.

2) Do follow advices like exploring the map but also prioritize survival items like light and food all the time and exploring in between those. If you find an area with a lot of food, a lot of grass or a lot of twigs, just stray away and take the time to collect the resources you need. You can make torches for exploring the night, or try lighting single trees on fire that are not too close to other trees, so it doesn’t spread and gives you more time of your lighter or torch.

3) Try to get one gold, 4 stones and 4 logs to make a science machine. You can prototype many useful items like spears or log suits to make battles against hound waves easier. Also a Crock pot adds more value to your food (1 meat 3 berries will make a meatball and make any food you collect let you survive for longer)

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Yeah, I knew about trapping bunnies but it was MUCH longer before I learned you could use those exact same traps on both frogs and spiders.  Place traps around the frog ponds in spring (or any season except winter), then come by and check them at dusk (when the frogs go back to their ponds, so you won't be attacked while checking) and you'll get plenty of frog legs for froggle bunwiches (20 health) or jerky (does a little of everything--food, healing AND sanity.

Jerky is good to have around in general, at least I think so. The trick is to have a bunch of drying racks that started drying their pieces at different times, not to wait forever for just ONE piece to finish.  For most of the year rabbits are a good source for that, in the spring, it's frogs because the rabbit holes close up.

I totally agree on the prioritize food thing, 'cos there's a LOT going on in this game and it's super-easy to get sidetracked by a shiny cool-sounding new project.  I've seen people die because they were too busy studying the crafting menu to notice THE FIRE WAS GOING OUT!  More than once.  Darkness-death, the most basic one in this game, due to being too distracted by the fancier stuff.  Remember the Hierarchy of Needs--make sure you have the basics such as food ("shelter" is debateable, in DST...) first.

If you can get an umbrella, please do because it helps with both rain in the spring and sun in the summer.  It's a two-fer!  

LIGHTNING. RODS.  If you don't know why yet, you will soon.  There's a mod that shows you the lightning rod range; if you can use mods I'd recommend it.  (I don't know why the game doesn't give you that information, honestly.  I mean, it does with the fling-o-matics.)

Last but not least on my list o' random tips:  Keep any hounds' teeth the hounds drop, so you can make tooth traps out of 'em.  At first it won't be much, but eventually it'll add up to enough traps to make a great big just...area, of traps, and all you'll have to do is run around a bit and you'll be invincible from hounds.  Heck, if it's big enough your character can stand in the middle and yawn!

boringtraps.png.fae788812c00a0291ef853d73d823990.png

Ho hum.  Just another day.

These do require wood and rope to make as well, though, which is another reason why you should either live where forests and grass already are, or bring them to you (by planting pinecones/birchnuts, and digging up and replanting grass.  Note that grass does need fertilization, though).  I like to live in an area where things already are nearby and go to THEM, rather than arranging everything together in nice neat little rows, because that means that just _one_ fire won't be able to take out ALL the grass/berry bushes/saplings in an area. But that's just me.

...Notorious

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