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Buying Don't Starve vs. Don't Starve Together


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The Terraria crossover has noticeably attracted a lot of new people to the series itself from what I've seen, especially in public discords. Some of them come asking the question "Don't Starve or Don't Starve Together?" Arguably, this isn't a straight forward question to answer since both games branch off in terms of content (with DLCs included). I've tried to help a few people by explaining the differences between the games, such as the multiplayer aspect, how both games have their own different branches of content essentially, and DLC/pricing differences. Despite pointing out multiplayer, cost, and the fact one has the actual Terraria content, this isn't the deal breaker to some. While I could keep writing about the exact different DLC playable characters there are and the full layout of the content updates, I feel like people would get further get lost.

With that being said, how would you guys explain to someone the differences between games given the challenges mentioned? Also, do we have resources that properly explain the differences even with the current state of the two games? If not, I implore our community's respected content creators to see if this is something they can tackle better than a fat blob of text. Overall, I'm excited to see the positive coming out of this crossover even though some may be split with their feelings if it was worth doing.

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Don't Starve together is effectively Don't Starve 2 or 1.5, the game even acknowledges this as a "sequel of sorts". It is basically vanilla Don't Starve expanded, with a multi-player bonus, since it includes the Reign of Giants dlc, with a New Reign and Return of Them being both exclusive to dst and making it the better option if what you want is to focus on one world to play with your friends. 

 

Singleplayer Don't Starve shines at its feel and atmosphere,  you feel distinctively alone and more lost in the wilderness. It's base/RoG content is lacking in comparison, but it makes up for it with the shipwrecked and hamlet dlcs,  which are pretty cool experiences to someone who likes the formula.

 

TL;DR

DST is better if you want a single world with tons to do and multi-player. 

Singleplayer is better if you want more varied content across different worlds each with their own feel.

My take? I'd recommend dst first because its a better bank for your buck (15 bucks once for two copies as opposed to 25 for singleplayer with every dlc), it's multi-player and still actively updated. If you really love it, buy singleplayer. 

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Okay let me put it this way.. Dont Starve Single Player is a You Only Live Once Simulator.. if you don’t have resurrection items, and you die- it’s Game Over and your World is Deleted Forever.

If your not into the whole “Good-Bye all my Hardwork” you can instead opt to play Dont Starve Together that lets you Roll the World back if you Die, Become a Ghost & float around until someone else revives you or you find a way to revive yourself, or even has Modes like Endless and Wilderness where Dying Doesn’t mean entire game progress Deletion.

It ALSO has world Gen toggles so you can choose how much, how little or not at all a certain feature or enemy will bother you.

In addition to that- DST is the only one that has skins and let’s you customize the look of your characters, your belongings, and your world from head to toe.

Dont Starve (Single Player) is an Outdated Ancient Relic of a game at this point that doesn’t even have the most basic of QoL features such as items you pick up off the ground Auto-Stacking into your inventory.

Unless your playing DS solo for its DLCs.. just play DST it’s overall better- once you decorate your Character AND your Beefalo to have matching outfits it’s really hard to go back to the relic that was the original DS.

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In theory DS is a good place to start with this game (I played it awhile back and was surprised that some bosses have health similar to a DST clockwork lol), and it is better for the trial and error playstyle. That being said, I think DST is better after your first couple tries in DS, and therefore not really worth buying single player. It's better to jump right into DST financially speaking l, which might turn some players away.

I'm  definitely taking the @Mike23Ua approach and saying that it would be beneficial to have a world gen setting tailored towards newer players that scale the enemy health. 

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59 minutes ago, Dr. Safety said:

In theory DS is a good place to start with this game (I played it awhile back and was surprised that some bosses have health similar to a DST clockwork lol), and it is better for the trial and error playstyle. That being said, I think DST is better after your first couple tries in DS, and therefore not really worth buying single player. It's better to jump right into DST financially speaking l, which might turn some players away.

I'm  definitely taking the @Mike23Ua approach and saying that it would be beneficial to have a world gen setting tailored towards newer players that scale the enemy health. 

To be completely honest about it it’s only the Bosses that need health scaling.. or at the very least change them ALL to be like Eye of Terror (as in their health doesn’t regenerate and you can fight them over multiple nights worth of attempts until they die & Respawn again at full Health.)

Content outside of bosses don’t need scaling because- Characters have been getting cool OP abilities that help them combat the scaled up foes, Beefalo are now instant Day 1 companions and can be used anywhere, craftables that used to be expensive to craft have had reduced overall crafting costs (you can now make 2 sets of Marble Armor or 3 Bat-Bats for the cost it would took to make one) the Moon Rock Walls crafting costs were lowered as well for some of the best tier walls in the game (or so I’m told)

The only thing that I feel can be just a “little bit” overwhelming on a Solo player is the sheer Number of enemies attacking at once- it can at times become impossible to deal with Alone, some examples- 25 hounds per hound wave & Cave Worm waves, 15 water striders boarding your tiny boat you have no room to move away from- Cookie Cutters- A lot of this is CLEARLY designed with the intent you’d have other players around to help…

This is where setting them less or little in world Gen settings can actually prove to be useful.

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6 hours ago, l0rdgumby said:

With that being said, how would you guys explain to someone the differences between games given the challenges mentioned?

Don't Starve Together is the multiplayer sequel to the Don't Starve single-player game. Don't Starve Together includes the base-game of Don't Starve as well as the Reign of Giants DLC, but after that, that's it. They are both sandbox survival games and if you can play one game, you can play the other, but otherwise, there are just too many differences to list, as characters and game mechanics just sometimes work differently between the two.

The main ones that are easy to notice is the Don't Starve has two exclusive DLC's to it: Shipwrecked and Hamlet. Don't Starve Together has A New Reign, Return of Them and much more content to come while Don't Starve is considered to generally be a finished game by the devs (not to say they may not do something with DS later in the future, but as said, they are done with DS and are focusing on DST).

I think that is what I would say.

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Don't starve together because it still gets bug fixes, 'nuff said.

Still waiting on those bug fixes for DS single player on console. Traveling between worlds is still broken, the ruins are broken and if you find the work around it rains permanently, just a lot of un-fun bugs.

(Not a complete rant, I know they're working on it.)

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This would be my answer to that: What type of game do you want to play? A harsh solo survival adventure game or a social multiplayer survival, building and bossfighting experience?

If the former is what you're looking for, go with the original. The vanilla with RoG has less content overall but you'll get to play the adventure mode, won't have any lag, and will be able to experience entirely new realms of Shipwrecked and Hamlet later if you buy the DLC.

If you want the latter, go with DST, it's my preference and it is the much more streamlined game. As the sequel, it gets all the attention with regular updates, a lot more content added to the Reign of Giants base game to the point where some footage of DST has barely anything recognisable for the original-only players, and most importantly the multiplayer- be it with irl friends, random people around the world or player communities, the social aspect changes everything by adding infinite replayability value, if you get into it DST becomes a lifestyle.

Despite this there are quite a bit of people who enjoy playing DST solo and it's still a great game to play but if that is your sole intention, to play a brutal survival crafting game by your lonesome, I think singleplayer dont starve will have more to offer you than DST, as DST is optimized for multiple people playing.

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11 hours ago, l0rdgumby said:

With that being said, how would you guys explain to someone the differences between games given the challenges mentioned?

I just tell people that Don't Starve is the better singleplayer game and Don't Starve Together has multiplayer. Opinionated and not very descriptive but I think it's a lot more helpful than overloading someone with 10,000 paragraphs of information spoiling both games for them.

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The difference between the games is that you are alone vs you have multiple people to contend with.    


I know that obvious, but let me explain.     


In DS (singleplayer) and Terraria (singeplayer), you learn and fight and conquer the world on your own. You'll die and revive, or you'll die and restart ... over and over again. Bosses are designed to be defeated on your own with skill, with loot and craftables being backup. You may be able to Google all the answer to your questions, but you and only you are responsible for how your gameplay turns out and your longevity, based on how you apply the knowledge you've learned and what you've crafted or found.    


In DST (multiplayer) and Terraria (multiplayer), you have to manage and coordinate advancement as a team. Some players may be rogue individuals, some players may be base-builders, but there does have to be a manager - someone in charge. Someone who directs and tells everyone what to do and how to do it, so that the team as a whole contributes and survives. The manager even tells the rogue/individuals what to do. Bosses are designed to be defeated with loot, crafts, and skills as a group (only expert players can solo). Any gaps in knowledge are made up for by the manager directing the group, and the team members themselves having individual strengths and weaknesses that the manager recognizes.  


These are very different ways of playing a game. Terraria players should understand this though, since it was made multiplayer quite some time ago also.   


The major difference in the two game franchises is that Terraria lets you develop your own individual character abilities through item drops, while DS/DST has fixed character abilities. Both have quests, although I would say Terraria is more heavy in that area for individuals while DS/DST is more heavy for the group. Terraria players may find DS/DST difficult because of the lack of creativity of character advancement, while DS/DST players may find Terraria difficult because of the abundance of individual choice.  

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1 hour ago, Cheggf said:

I just tell people that Don't Starve is the better singleplayer game and Don't Starve Together has multiplayer. Opinionated and not very descriptive but I think it's a lot more helpful than overloading someone with 10,000 paragraphs of information spoiling both games for them.

I don’t feel like that’s accurate though, and the more content Klei adds, changes or modifies- the more vastly different the games are going to become..

Vanilla DS Garden < DST RWYS Garden
 

Thats just one example of many many many MANY more.

Want boats to feel like driving an actual boat with rowing, anchor dropping, raising and lowering masts, turning steering wheels etc or do you just want your boat to be a shoe accessory with no life of its own that lets you walk around on water?

Shipwrecked Boats < DST Boat Cookie.

And I have this unshakable feeling it’s not done changing yet…. DST is finally being treated as a SEQUEL to DS and unless the games name is “Call of Duty 21..” Usually games changes DRASTICALLY between sequels.

Sod/Sod 2, Batman Arkham Asylum/City/Knight, GTA 4/ GTA V.

The TL:DR- Just look at DST as being a Work in Progress (WiP) things will change, new ideas will be brought about content that was poorly thought out (disease) will be removed, content that was well thought out but did not quite fit the original intent will be Re-used (Original Rework Low HP Wendy < Wanda) Content that was old, outdated and boring will be changed to be even more in depth and fun- (Gardens, Fishing, Boating, The Way Beefalo are Tamed)

New biomes, mobs, playable characters, existing character character abilities, events, skins etc will be added.. 

Surely you get what I’m saying- trying to compare DS Solo to DST just doesn’t make any sense like.. at all.

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1 minute ago, Mike23Ua said:

I don’t feel like that’s accurate though, and the more content Klei adds, changes or modifies- the more vastly different the games are going to become..

I think it's accurate. I much prefer the lag-free game balanced for one player with two entire expansions DST is missing that you can freely hop between over the game that always has at least a little lag no matter what with worse balance for singleplayer. DST has a few things over DSA for a singleplayer experience like the bosses that don't get melted into dust immediately but overall I prefer DSA for singleplayer.

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While I do prefer DS atm because hamlet and shipwrecked are interesting, DST has the new characters and character reworks.

DS has absolutely no support from Klei. No new characters ported over. Ported skin mods get taken down from the steam workshop. The character reworks are a lot more fun than their single player counterpart (willow expecially).

Ultimately I'd say DST. I doubt people are gonna buy both games and DS is a lot lacking compared to DST. I'd say the character reworks are more fun than the DLCs and the DLCs lose their fun once you survive a year so DST has more bang for your buck.

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I´d say both. Even though DST is overhauled with extra content and so, it will start to be boring at some point. So playing unique Shipwrecked or Hamlet DLCs for a change might be very refreshing. The only crucial things missing in DS are skins imo 

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Assuming they plan to get all DLC's.

 

Don't Starve has more variety in locations, the enemies aren't bullet-sponges for singleplayer(can be modded in DST), you can build houses and face all kinds of interesting challenges DST does not have.  The downside is that DS lacks the end-game polish that DST has introduced, it lacks a lot of the common-sense buffs/nerfs/changes to further polish the existing mechanics and a lot of the older areas that both DS and DST have are no longer as interesting as they used to be when measured up to DST.

 

DST has multiplayer, way more characters, more polish in its mechanics, continued support(this is a big one imo), endgame content.  It also has a competitive amount of new bosses which can be more interesting or more frustrating to deal with when you consider their bullet-sponge HP levels. Many of the characters with useless perks were updated and has a collectible skin system so that you have a much bigger aesthetic freedom in the gear you use. 

 

However a HUGE benefit in singeplayers favor is the lack of input-lag. You can reasonably play singleplayer with a controller(my preferred method) and have complete agency over your character at all times. It's extremely baffling to play DST for so long and then suddenly switch to SP and be able to move on command. Even when I play entirely solo by myself in DST there's a very, very small input lag that I can notice. It does not hinder my gameplay anymore like it used to, but it can be felt. 

 

Ultimately I would say the scale tips in DST's favor, while SP has some features that DST is lacking there is just too much going for DST including its potential future that makes it the winner. After all we may get some sort of housing system in DST eventually. To my knowledge there are already mods for it but I can't vouch for their functionality.

 

In order for Singleplayer to compete with DST in my opinion, it would at the very least need to adopt the skin system from DST and add a ''ruins type'' of endgame area to either Shipwrecked or Hamlet, with all the complexity of the ruins itself. If it had just these two things I'd probably keep playing SP. I would even pay for a ''Shipwrecked part 2'' or ''Hamlet part 2'' expansion pack.

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Both games are good but you should definitely recommend dst to someone new.

Unlike ds, dst is constantly receiving updates, hotfixes, bugfixes and is overall a more polished product over ds. If one plays dst chances are they'll get hooked on and will soon discover ds and its dlcs. Then it's usually just a matter of time before they buy them. That new player'll most likely be a little disappointed since ds lacks a lot of qol and is generally more buggy but if they bought all 3 dlcs then their content should be enough to make that new player happy with their decision.

Tbh, now that I think about it, dst nowadays has so much original content that this principle might work the other way around as well. A new player will enjoy ds and its dlcs and then they'll most likely also want to experience all of new content that dst has. Then they'll realize just how much more polished dst is and will get hooked on.

So yeah, I guess it just boils down to recommanding what's cheaper.

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Alright I'm really enjoying the responses so far and people seem to be bringing their own factors in what they like in a game. What I really wanted to explore in this post though was how would you exactly explain the differing content in both games?

Hamlet and Shipwrecked have absolutely world changing phenomena to it that Don't Starve Together simply doesn't have. How would you guys discuss that to somebody? I remember talking to someone and even though I had mentioned cost, polish, and others you guys have mentioned here they still weren't really sure. While that may just simply be indecisiveness on what factors they value most, I find the differences in how both games play (DLC included) is something that's important but hard to explain.

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51 minutes ago, l0rdgumby said:

Alright I'm really enjoying the responses so far and people seem to be bringing their own factors in what they like in a game. What I really wanted to explore in this post though was how would you exactly explain the differing content in both games?

Hamlet and Shipwrecked have absolutely world changing phenomena to it that Don't Starve Together simply doesn't have. How would you guys discuss that to somebody? I remember talking to someone and even though I had mentioned cost, polish, and others you guys have mentioned here they still weren't really sure. While that may just simply be indecisiveness on what factors they value most, I find the differences in how both games play (DLC included) is something that's important but hard to explain.

To be honest with you, DST is a WiP.. it’s still changing, it’s still getting new ideas, it’s changing and Improving upon Outdated Ideas, and with each month it continues to get better and better.

Klei have stated they have no plans of ending that roller coaster ride anytime soon, (and why should they? DST is probably there best selling most widely known IP..) 

So you can bet that there will be HUGE new content changes for DST, in fact I’m looking forward to December’s Wolfgang Rework- Hoping they make being mighty “FUN” beyond just stupid high damage.

Yes Dont Starve Single Player has two great DLC expansions- But if your buying the game only for those DLC expansions your buying it for all the wrong reasons.

Klei could announce Shipwrecked & Hamlet :Together is coming- and then the only reason you’d still have to play the original game over DST is to play with Pre-Reworked characters.

Klei could ALSO later announce they want to truly separate “Classic” and “Together” World Gen Settings so that Classic Truly means CLASSIC and you will be playing in worlds Pre-2019 character & content updates.

Then you would only be playing DS Single Player I guess for its fun 5 chapter Campaign Mode and Characters you need to unlock through progression or secret unlocks.

^^^^^ That last one makes DS solo a unique enough experience in its own rights.

But to buy the game just for its DLCs when Klei continues with each DST update to incorporate ideas, mechanics and mobs from those DLC’s into DST is Silly.

Not to mention: if your on PC you can download entirely free Mods that let you play Shipwrecked and Hamlet Content but Together with friends.

I feel the need to remind everyone that when huge highly popular ideas like Elevated Land was suggested- The Klei Dev team said they enjoy seeing discussions like that because it helps them decide where they want to steer their development stages towards.
 

The more updates DST gets: The further it separates itself from DS, but at the exact same time- like with the above “Classic Mode” example- They can easily make it feel like DS again.

Just tell everyone that

DS- Single Player, Dying means world deletion, Outdated characters & Mechanics, No Skins.

DST- Multiplayer, Dying turns you into a ghost you can have a chance to revive, Improved Characters and Mechanics, 15 completely free skins per week.

(and most definitely DO NOT tell them DS Solo has more content because of its DLC’s.. that’s a lie, Klei has been adding content to DST on a monthly basis since early 2019.. And will continue to add more.)

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1 hour ago, l0rdgumby said:

Alright I'm really enjoying the responses so far and people seem to be bringing their own factors in what they like in a game. What I really wanted to explore in this post though was how would you exactly explain the differing content in both games?

Hamlet and Shipwrecked have absolutely world changing phenomena to it that Don't Starve Together simply doesn't have. How would you guys discuss that to somebody? I remember talking to someone and even though I had mentioned cost, polish, and others you guys have mentioned here they still weren't really sure. While that may just simply be indecisiveness on what factors they value most, I find the differences in how both games play (DLC included) is something that's important but hard to explain.

Honestly shipwrecked pissed me off. Even after I got a lot better at the game Shipwrecked seasons take up like 80% of my time. In the first season you have to find an island to settle and then prepare for the lightning season. During the lightning season you gotta prepare your island for flooding and that takes freaking forever since each storm slows you down a lot and you need to ferry a LOT of materials to your base and hack a ton of bamboo for cloth. And then the entiretly of the monsoon season you gotta prepare for the dry season which is hunt the volcano down and premake your entire base..

I think I had like.... 7 days to do some trawl netting before dry season hit. 7 free days out of the entire year. That's hard.

I'd describe shipwrecked as just different harder seasons than the base game and nothing else. Boat building to travel around was a chore rather than an advantage or something. The seasons are a LOT more difficult than the original while you're trying to setup the base, but it is a LOT more easier than the base game seasons the 2nd time round. Once Lightning rods, flooring, and sand bags are setup all the seasons are taken care of forever. In Winter you at least needed to have fuel on hand 24/7 on top of keeping the durability of your winter gear up, and in summer go down to the caves or the desert and watch for smouldering.

Despite that Shipwrecked is probably my most played DLC because its the hardest DLC by far and challenge is something hard to find in this game when you get good.

DST first solely because you can have better players help you when you get extremely frustrated. That's my advice.

Shipwrecked is the same game except differently harder seasons.

Hamlet imo should be played last because its unique and you can only get the feeling of uniqueness after you know what's normal first.

Yup yup, DST first to prevent rage quits by receiving help first hand, RoG is skipped because its worse than DST in every way, and if he wants something new he can buy shipwrecked and hamlet to have a good time.

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5 hours ago, QuartzBeam said:

Eh. They're practically the same game.

One could just as easily argue that they are nothing alike. There is hardly anything recognisable to Singleplayer players in many screenshots of DST, let alone that functions in exactly the same way. Same principle applies the other way with the singleplayer DLCs

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