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Skelewar

Ideas about eventual Maxwell refresh!

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         With Webber's character refresh coming in a few days, I am getting increasingly excited thinking about who Klei will announce is next in line, and I have come up with a few ideas for our favorite magician, Maxwell. Maxwell's current gameplay is supposed to be focused around his sanity, and as a result his other two stats are seriously lacking. His power to reduce his total sanity in order to summon shadows of himself or "fragment his mind" is a very cool and unique idea, but iit leaves much to be desired. Playing him now reveals a few big issues, namely...

Issues:

  • Lack of control over minions. The loggers and miners chop and mine anything nearby without hesitation. This can be annoying. Additionally, the spear-type minions are next to useless. They do relatively low damage and have similar fighting AI to a Pig, making them actually land hits even less. In a two versus two fight, puppets will lose to pigs.
  • Inability to fully utilize healing resources. This is not a major issue, but it can be annoying to realize that some healing sources and items, like Jellybeans, cannot be effectively used by Maxwell. They heal for more than he can store in his health-bar, making them a waste of time to acquire.
  • Frustrating survivability. Unless you are always sacrificing your backpack slot for armor, Maxwell's 75 health goes by fast. For a bit of perspective, a Bunnyman kills you in two hits. He has the same health as Wes, the character designed to die. 

Potential Fixes:

  • Lack of control over minions:  I propose a way to enable or disable their automatic chopping, similar to riling and calming Abigail as Wendy, in order to prevent them from acting on their own. This action could be performed with the Codex Umbra like with Abigail's Flower. In fact, connecting the followers to the Codex like Chester to Eyebone is also be a good idea. You could summon minions and then give the Codex to a teammate so they could harness them as well. This would promote fun team gameplay, and give him a distinction from Woodie. While Woodie is the best at  collecting basic resources on his own, Maxwell can share his powers with the team.
  • Survivability AND useless spear-minions: A recurring theme in the past character reworks is to take the character's main power and amplify it. This is a great idea, and I think it could be super cool with Maxwell. Maxwell the "Puppet Master" who can "split his mind into pieces". I propose removing the spear-minions and allowing Maxwell to split himself in two, and create a Shadow Clone for half of his max sanity stat. This clone would have reduced inventory space, perhaps only five slots plus hand, body, and head. The Clone would only have a health stat, 75 like Maxwell, and could only be healed with Nightmare Fuel. While the Shadow Clone exists, Maxwell would suffer a sanity drain that would just barely overtake his natural sanity gain, causing him to be losing sanity very slowly at all times. The player would be able to switch between the two characters. While Maxwell is being controlled the Clone would slump over dormant, and while the clone is controlled Maxwell would be consumed with intense concentration. I think giving the clone night-vision would be too much, but simply making it not get attacked by Charlie and still able to do actions in complete darkness seems reasonable to me. The Clone would be unable to enter the caves on its own, and if Maxwell enters on his own then the clone would probably have to die... but if Maxwell enters the caves with the Clone nearby then the both of them should be able to travel down together. This would help his survivability by allowing him to engage in dangerous activities through his clone without getting his real body in harm's way! The catch is that Maxwell's physical body still exists in the world. If anything happens to the real Maxwell (hunger, nightmare monsters from sanity drain, darkness, lightning, smoldering, etc. etc. etc.) then you die. I think this could make for some very unique and interesting gameplay, managing two characters in potentially different parts of the map at the same time. It once again promotes teamplay since you could have a friend back home taking care of your body while the clone goes off on a dangerous adventure. The clone could even have cool skins relating to Maxwell's skin similarly to Wendy and Abigail.  Please share your thoughts!

Some extra bonus on top:

  • More/better crafts! Perhaps Maxwell starts with Prestihatitator recipes unlocked like Wickerbottom does with Science Machines. Perhaps he can craft a better version of Dark Swords and Night Armor like Wigfrid can with Spears and Football Helmets. Or even better, a "Shadow Crown" (functioning similarly to Night Armor but for your head), referencing how he used to be "king of the world" and also allowing for some quality armor without sacrificing the backpack.

In conclusion, Maxwell is a unique character with extreme lore relevancy and in much need of some love. He has a lot of potential to be a truly unique "Puppet Master" shadow manipulating glass-cannon type of character, but currently only known as the second best basic resource-collector. I hope that Klei considers my ideas (or comes up with something even better) and I would love to hear your feedback! Thank you!

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As a regular Maxwell main, I fully agree with you that he could benefit nicely from a rework. Your idea for being able to split Maxwell into 2 is quite interesting- I haven't heard of an idea like that before! I wonder how practical it could be over long distances, though. If you go too far without the other, you risk having it or him die due to something you just didn't notice- perhaps if something like this were implemented, there could be a little warning when there was danger near the other. I dunno, just spitballing here, but it seems to open up a lot of compromising situations for Maxwell.

I'm absolutely on board with the idea of a nightmare crown- what better armor for our nightmare king himself? The tier 1 magic unlocked isn't a bad idea either, all things considered. Perhaps something akin to a nightmare dagger or dark longsword could be something he could make for himself. Personally, I think more kinds of puppets, some spells, and more control over the shadows puppets is the way to go for Maxwell's rework. Maybe some fighting spells, because lets face it, the fighting puppets are practically useless outside of very niche situations (like tentapillars). An area of effect attack, or something to keep a target in place would be a nice addition.

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I played Maxwell only in Don't starve, unfortunately i didn't play him in DST but i totally agree with U, like hell a great idea for whom once was the king of the constant. and his nightmare skills should also be considered, like having a discount on itens that uses Nightmare fuel, it also makes sense.

and just thought of a new "buff" like having a craft that compresses 5 nightmare fuel + 1 spider gland (bagmare of health) for a brief boost of 25 points on his health for 4 minutes, just for the matter, but it could only be used if he has not create his shadow clones yet... or even give this to his clone, even better 

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On 6/1/2021 at 2:22 AM, CodexCorporis said:

Your idea for being able to split Maxwell into 2 is quite interesting- I haven't heard of an idea like that before! I wonder how practical it could be over long distances, though. If you go too far without the other, you risk having it or him die due to something you just didn't notice- perhaps if something like this were implemented, there could be a little warning when there was danger near the other. I dunno, just spitballing here, but it seems to open up a lot of compromising situations for Maxwell.

I agree that the player should be warned in some way if the real Maxwell is taking damage, but part of what I like so much about this idea is that it opens up these compromising situations where you will have to choose whether or not to risk it and try and preserve both of Maxwell's halves at the same time or sacrifice the clone to keep the original alive. For example, you are about to finish a boss fight as the clone, when hounds start baying. Normally, you could just spawn the hounds at the boss and potentially get the boss to kill the hounds for you or vice versa. BUT, if you're fighting as the clone you have to worry about the hounds that will be back at the real Maxwell as well. Now what? Try and take two fights at once, frantically switching between characters, or sacrifice the clone? Do you have friends like other players or even bunny men, pigs or houndius shootius back with the real Max who you could potentially trust? So many new risks and trade offs!

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