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dankweeddave

Lack of vanilla-esque Character mods actually worth playing

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dankweeddave    51

Heres some opinion:
The modding community for DST has ridiculous talent in creating mods.
They look great, they have unique features, and they add a lot of fun.


But they have no eye for balance.

Most of the great looking character mods are either:
Wilson but much better
Absolute clusterf*ck of features

 

Saying "just play as one of the wilson but much better characters, but then make the game harder for yourself" doesnt work.
If a character mod is to be balanced, it needs to be a complete package.
Many character mods try to add tons of craftables, like Wormwood would have in the vanilla game.
I think this is too ambitious.
If you want to create a good, well balanced character mod, dont be ambitious with the UPSIDES your character has. Be ambitious with the DOWNSIDES.

What downsides are actually fun to play with in DST?
Low max health- Not fun. Playing as maxwell and fighting is not fun.
Low max sanity-This IS fun. Being able to easily manipulate your sanity for benefit, when you know what youre doing, is rewarding.
1.25x hunger drain-This is alright. Not too noticeable, makes you strive to get set up well.
Cant eat meat/veg-This is a playstyle choice. This will cut off a third of potential players of the character.
WX's damaged by rain-This is a good downside. It adds a threat you need to hide from.
Insomnia-Just removing gameplay choices. "limiting options is fun" could be argued
Monster character-More removing gameplay choices, feeding pigs monster meat for werewolves is fun. This one is tricky though, as "faction gameplay" is for sure fun. Im not so sure myself on this.
Allergic to X- This is a bad trait on Walter. He has FAR too many characteristics, this one on top of the rest is too much, and bees are not too common in everyones gameplay for this to be notable. A trait like this for mobs like spiders & pigs could work though- Take 20% more damage but deal 20% more damage to pigs for instance.
Delicate stomach/hates spoliage-I think these mechanics are good. Forcing the player to get CLEAN sources of food, unspoiled and cooked properly, seems like good gameplay.

 

These are all vanilla downsides, but they can be expanded upon. Modders should look for more ways to add interesting downsides that create unique gameplay. WX's low starting max HP makes him strive to go and collect gears. Something similar with an urge to get to the lunar island or archives could be created.

I will expand this posts with edits when i have time. Please bear in mind i have never proclaimed myself to be an expert, nor given any mean criticism. Frankly im a moron so don't think i think everything im saying is based in facts. Cheers

I'm now very much thinking of a moon-based character, can consume ice shards or something for sanity, or a buff like Warly can cook up. Moon rock, moon dial, meteor shower, lunar island related gameplay.
Possibly...cant switch characters as one of their downsides?
"not alive"-cant be resurrected by certain methods of resurrection.

Edited by dankweeddave

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Well-met    5148

Interesting perks require an immense amount of LUA knowledge, something that most people can't afford. The really good modders also have little interest in modded characters from what I've seen.

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Hornete    7526

Most people dont really care about "balance", they're just looking to have fun with their characters/mods and that's okay.

I think theres already a good amount of vanilla esque "balanced" characters that play well but to each their own.

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CarlZalph    4760
47 minutes ago, Well-met said:

Interesting perks require an immense amount of LUA knowledge, something that most people can't afford. The really good modders also have little interest in modded characters from what I've seen.

I feel that there's still a large stigma for character mods in specific that deter players from giving them a go.  Seems to me like a waste of time to make something that only such a small fraction of players would want to experience.

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gaymime    5089

your expectations aren't really a priority in most instances though? like, i've seen a lot of custom chars and before i started playing wes i had played a lot of characters too. the greatest majority of customs were/are bespoke and serve the specific needs of the creator NOT the community, they are there because the creator wanted an experience catered to them and the community getting to use the character was/is a bonus for the community, not the main purpose. the next largest group are fandom chars which are not grounded in balanced playability either but are generally worked around their original capacities which tend towards over-powering(the bulk of these are protags, villains and other powerhouse sorts). the purpose of these chars are to be fun not to be challenging to long-term players and entertaining not sustainable for someone 6mo down the line

 

also, and this is the part that many forumites in particular are not honest with themselves/each other about; most players doesn't actually want a difficult well-balanced long-term character in a practical-application sense. they just don't; they generally want someone fun that won't die in a single fresh play session on default settings and who looks neat. people looking for custom chars want the same things vanilla users want and a character that has the kind of stuff op is asking for are not going to be wanted without being heavily compensated-for elsewhere. i mean you can just look at the stats on which characters get used the most; characters that are more 'easy' to survive as with medium or lower experience at the game do best. even persons with higher skill levels use the less challenging characters. it is normal and expected when people are given choices that they generally pick the ones that do not give them less to work with

 

also, before anyone gets on my case about how they are a special little star who loves super challenging well balanced difficult characters and never play any of the easy characters; this is a generalization and is meant to represent the majority. if this doesnt seem like it applies to you then it probably doesn't and you should not take it as a personal jab at your gamer sensibilities or as an invitation to fight over whether or not you deserve to get public recognition. don't be a lolcow.

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dankweeddave    51
1 hour ago, gaymime said:

your expectations aren't really a priority in most instances though? like, i've seen a lot of custom chars and before i started playing wes i had played a lot of characters too. the greatest majority of customs were/are bespoke and serve the specific needs of the creator NOT the community, they are there because the creator wanted an experience catered to them and the community getting to use the character was/is a bonus for the community, not the main purpose. the next largest group are fandom chars which are not grounded in balanced playability either but are generally worked around their original capacities which tend towards over-powering(the bulk of these are protags, villains and other powerhouse sorts). the purpose of these chars are to be fun not to be challenging to long-term players and entertaining not sustainable for someone 6mo down the line

 

also, and this is the part that many forumites in particular are not honest with themselves/each other about; most players doesn't actually want a difficult well-balanced long-term character in a practical-application sense. they just don't; they generally want someone fun that won't die in a single fresh play session on default settings and who looks neat. people looking for custom chars want the same things vanilla users want and a character that has the kind of stuff op is asking for are not going to be wanted without being heavily compensated-for elsewhere. i mean you can just look at the stats on which characters get used the most; characters that are more 'easy' to survive as with medium or lower experience at the game do best. even persons with higher skill levels use the less challenging characters. it is normal and expected when people are given choices that they generally pick the ones that do not give them less to work with

 

also, before anyone gets on my case about how they are a special little star who loves super challenging well balanced difficult characters and never play any of the easy characters; this is a generalization and is meant to represent the majority. if this doesnt seem like it applies to you then it probably doesn't and you should not take it as a personal jab at your gamer sensibilities or as an invitation to fight over whether or not you deserve to get public recognition. don't be a lolcow.

Well i would say i like characters that go away from Vanilla "im 5% better at this and 5% worse than that", and prefer "im 0% effective at this, but i have this mechanic no one else does(wendy ghost, WX gears) or im WAY worse in this aspect". More extreme gameplay differences are more interesting.

Youre mostly right. Lets pretend the fandom characters dont exist for now, youre mostly right about custom characters being bespoke to the creator but I am certain that people make mods for other people to enjoy. Some modders create a rounded experience, a full package. Sure what we mostly see on the workshop is content tailored to the creator, but it doesnt have to be that way.

Lets take the charlie mod for example:  https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=395420686&searchtext=
Beautiful character work, looks great.
But her perks are boring.
Cons: Sanity drain x1.25, lower max hp(113)
While the lower max hp is alright, not as egregious as maxwell, the extra sanity drain will likely just prove annoying.
These downsides are not enough to create an interesting character where you have to avoid certain situations(wigfrid getting caught with no meat source, maxwell getting caught with no armour, wolfgang low on food ect).
Especially compared to the huge upside of extra damage at night(2x)
Other characters with damage bonuses:
Wigfrid: 1.25x damage, also with another lifesteal perk that makes combat interesting. Not just a damage bonus.
Wolfgang: up to 2x damage, but dependent on the hunger bar, which also effects your max hp and movespeed.
Both these characters have interesting mechanics behind their bonus damage, not a modifier depending on time of day, or always 2x in caves.
 

This mod is so close to being brilliant. If a little more work was done to make modded characters fit in well with the rest of the character roster, then the mods would be a lot more appealing to vanilla players. Thats why i put "vanilla" in the title, to try and get the character design close to on par with vanilla characters.
Not really disagreeing with what you said though, you make good points

2 hours ago, Hornete said:

Most people dont really care about "balance", they're just looking to have fun with their characters/mods and that's okay.

I think theres already a good amount of vanilla esque "balanced" characters that play well but to each their own.

Id love to hear about them. Ive browsed the workshop lots but not found many to my taste, there are definitely some good ones though. Whemy the witch might be one, charlie is close to perfect

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gaymime    5089
1 hour ago, dankweeddave said:

Lets take the charlie mod for example:  https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=395420686&searchtext=

Beautiful character work, looks great.
But her perks are boring.
Cons: Sanity drain x1.25, lower max hp(113)
While the lower max hp is alright, not as egregious as maxwell, the extra sanity drain will likely just prove annoying.
These downsides are not enough to create an interesting character where you have to avoid certain situations(wigfrid getting caught with no meat source, maxwell getting caught with no armour, wolfgang low on food ect).
Especially compared to the huge upside of extra damage at night(2x)
Other characters with damage bonuses:
Wigfrid: 1.25x damage, also with another lifesteal perk that makes combat interesting. Not just a damage bonus.
Wolfgang: up to 2x damage, but dependent on the hunger bar, which also effects your max hp and movespeed.
Both these characters have interesting mechanics behind their bonus damage, not a modifier depending on time of day, or always 2x in caves.

hm, you are right in saying she is about as close to a vanilla(ds) experience as one can get. nothing extreme or insurmountable for a medium-skill player. i am not sure  i would agree there is anything wrong with tying her unique perk to the day/night cycle within the perimeters of her lore(though i wonder if it would make more sense to have it tie to her sanity meter though that is well and good outside of my knowledge of the coding limitations of the game, ha!) but i do think her stats are not going to wow anyone. i do see your frustration though in that a player who is really good at dealing with sanity wont have much of an issue and might find her a bit boring though i am wondering if perhaps she'd be more viable for someone who isnt as capable or is playing in a pub/communal server where not being able to use a flower crown, pretty parasol, tophat or straw roll and getting a swift tank from using staffs and dark swords can make a fair bit of difference? assuredly by the time i have a crockpot up in a world(less than a week in-game in both solo and pub) i never want for food outside of the rare cave run that goes a few days long so if i minded my hunger bar i could play a no-downsides wolfgang in perpetuity which negates any challenge to him for soloing. it really is a matter of perspective

 

if i could suggest the dst version of my favorite char mod though;

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=387593739

fair warning i didn't use the crafting and i never played wynter because the audio files are bugged and are much MUCH louder than anything else and too frequent to not be a headache but aside from that it was pretty good(in particular wei was oodles of fun in shipwrecked since he is so suited to noncombative sailing). i think they meet your criteria of being different enough to stand out but not so different as to feel inauthentic and the stats on them suits their perks/limits

 

Edited by gaymime
sloppy structuring

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