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WX-78: meaningful upgrade choices, and rust

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AileTheAlien    113


Give him interesting upgrades with a variety of recipes, and real choices between them.




So, having gotten back into DST, and read a few WX re-work ideas, I'm going to give my own. I think that his core ideas are good, but his current upgrade system is both too powerful and expensive, and also too weak and cheap. The reason for the seeming contradiction there, is that gears are hard to come by early on because of the dangers of clockworks and grave-digging, but later on those dangers are more manageable, and you can farm tumbleweeds to get all the gears you need, albeit very slowly and tediously. As for the power level - early on, health, stomach-size, and max sanity are all very helpful, to either let you stock up before leaving your base, or to tank hits in fights. Further increases to those stats aren't as meaningful, as at some point you'll feel like you have 'enough' to fulfill your needs in any given short-term situation, and as your skill increases that further exacerbates the problem.

He's something of a 'new player' character, so simple numeric increases to the three main stats can be the early-game upgrades that are easy to craft. For late-game, and more skilled players though, there should be real choices to make, on how you want the character to play. Very skilled players would still want another character, since permanent upgrades can't be very powerful, without just breaking the game, or making other characters obsolete. (Let's say for a ballpark figure, that if he fully commits to one aspect of upgrades, he's be not quite as good as another character's base stats in that area. For example, full combat would be not as good as Wigfrid or full-stomach Wolfgang's innate stats, and he wouldn't have Wig's combat songs.)

The following changes might seem overly complex, but they're all really easily compartmentalized, long-term decisions. There's nothing to decide in the middle of a fight, and you'd really just be choosing how you want to play the game long-term.


So, without further messing about:

Innate Stats and Penalties


He should start out with less max health, hunger, and sanity than a Wilson, but still keeps his ignore-food-spoilage bonus. Unlike right now, lightning will just be a penalty to avoid, not a bonus. He's harmed by lightning instead of healing, and doesn't glow or gain speed. He'd be more likely to be struck when more wet, and wouldn't be struck if (nearly?) dry. Cold should slow him down instead of hurting him.

He'd also slow down from rust, and extra meter he has to deal with. This should increase slowly over time, and increase very quickly if you're completely wet. It should hinder his speed for pretty much everything, and should also drain his sanity the more rusted he is. At maximum rust, he should be moving at a crawl. To remove it he can use an oil can, like Dorothy on the Tin-Man. To refill his oil can, he'd have a something like a meat-grinder that has slots like a crock-pot. The total nutrition of the ingredients would be used to determine how much oil he gets.

Spare Parts


To give him some companion-focused ability, he'd be able to rip gears out of his chest, costing a large amount of health and maybe some sanity too, much like Wormwood crafting living logs. Give him a 'machine parts' crafting tab, like Wormwood's Green Thumb tab, where this recipe (and the later upgrades) will be crafted.

I'd even venture that he should be able to yank frazzled wires out of his head, for a large health and sanity cost. That might be a bit too powerful, even with high costs, since it's a way to get lots of gold. But since you can farm trinkets from tumbleweeds, and you'd have to spend other resources healing, this might not be too bad.

Upgrade Closet


Built with relatively common resources, this would work like the wardrobe in that you get an extra menu when clicking on it, to install or remove upgrades. Removing upgrades should cost some large amount of health, so players can't min-max it by constantly changing things. (And you get a cool animation of drills, grinders, and sparks coming in and out of this closet he's jumped inside.) WX should have some small number of upgrade slots, so that players need to choose what they want, and can't just spam one thing. Let's say 4 chest, 1 leg, 2 arm, and 1 head slot?

Chest Upgrades


Sturdy Frame

Increases his max health, and heals him by the amount increased. Easy-peasy, built at a science machine. Maybe costs cut stone, gold and flint?

Better Fuel Processing

Increases maximum stomach size, maybe decreases hunger-drain a small amount? Built at a science machine, maybe costs gears and an electrical doodad?

Heavy Plating

Absorbs some damage, slows him down, built at alchemy? Maybe costs stone and marble?

Ragnarok Proofing

Absorbs more damage, slows him down less, built at ancient pseudoscience? Costs thulecite and gold?

Leg Upgrades


Overgeared Legs

Increases speed a bit, drains some hunger, built at alchemy? Costs two gears, one gold?


No longer slowed by webbing and doesn't wake up spiders in their dens. Unlike Webber, they're still hostile if they're already outside, and still drain sanity. Costs one gears, a bunch of nightmare fuel, prestihatitator?

Arm Upgrades


Overgeared Arms

Increases all tool-usage (axe, pickaxe, ...) speed, but drains some hunger. Built at alchemy for two gears, one gold?

Horticultural Digits

Increases speed of planting (both farm and tree seeds) and harvesting. Costs gears, electrical doodad, alchemy?

Sinister Arm Mechanics

Increases damage, but drains sanity. Built at shadow manipulator with a bunch of nightmare fuel and gears?

Thunderous Fists

Increases damage more, drains less sanity, ancient pseudoscience? Costs a bunch of gears, orange gem, and thulecite?

Head Upgrades


Expanded Computatrix

Increases maximum sanity, and gives a small amount of sanity over time, like a weak garland? Costs gears, and two electrical doodads, alchemy, head slot?


Gives off light like a miner hat, goes in the head slot, and increases hunger drain while lit. Costs four electrical doodads, two light bulbs, alchemy?

Trogloditic Optics

Works like moggles, head slot, drains hunger and sanity while active. Costs three electrical doodads, two moles, two glowberries, three nightmare fuel? Built at prestihatitator?

Unholy Heat Rays

Give him a ranged attack, like the bishop, or like shooting Tropical Laser Beams from his eyes! Should drain a bunch of hunger when used, and drains sanity. Should be expensive-ish, built at shadow manipulator?

That took a lot longer than I'd expected, but hopefully the spoiler tags help you skim and scroll through it. Thanks for the read!

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