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Atkvin

The Winona Rework

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Atkvin    726

After recent discussions about the state of Winona in the general forums where people again brought up the lacking nature of her kit that discouraged them from playing as her consistently, or others how they continued enjoying playing as her because of her compelling character, I felt like thinking about how to improve Winona as a whole to be more fun, interesting and engaging (with more impactful perks and drawbacks) while telling more of her character and background through gameplay.

This took many hours of agitated rumination across several days - so I hope you give it a fair shake and consider adding your own ideas on how to improve it or add onto it and why, if you find the concept to be lacking somewhere or just absolutely heinous lol

I've hidden my thoughts and reasoning behind most decisions in spoilers to break apart idea and rationale into more digestable parts, so please check each one out to get a better idea of this entire concept. Happy reading!

 

Winona the Handywoman (TLDR/character screen perklist:)

* Fixes tools and clothes up

* Works fast, but only if she remembers how

* Holds her own against the dark

* Builds a mean machine

 

Winona now crafts, picks resources (such as grass) and eats food faster than other survivors (skipping face-stuffing animations for meat / cooked meals).

rationale:

Spoiler

Right now, faster crafting is a very niche perk that only visibly saves time when occasionally crafting several items - but rather than replacing it, I think giving Winona more small, time-saving flavor perks would more prominently speed up other repetitive actions in her gameplay and make her more desirable and fun to play long-term, specifically for resource-gathering and mid-combat healing - while reinforcing Winona's characterization as a hardworking and efficient worker.

Downside:

Removed - Winona no longer loses hunger from not crafting every minute, nor crafts slower at low hunger.

Instead, she now forgets recipes she has prototyped after a day (telegraphed through crafting tab UI) unless she crafts the recipe again in that time and resets that timer - once forgotten she will need to prototype it again at the respective crafting machines.

This will not affect recipes she starts with, nor any blueprint-learnt recipes - and so will mostly affect her accessibility to crafting new weapons, armor and clothes on-the-go.

Spoiler

Winona's current downsides are underwhelming, uninteresting, and ironically vaguely discourage crafting.

From my perspective, players tend to craft what they need when they need it, so crafting as Winona will feel less desirable over time with how often they will run into the per minute hunger penalty since again, crafting is usually only done every so often - and while hunger is never a danger in DST after learning how to make food farms, the latter's annoying effect on consistency makes Winona's fast crafting perk less reliable and impactful - both cancelling out or discouraging the already humble benefit of faster crafting.

This new downside punishes players for not crafting without making crafting less desirable - playing into that mentality and behaviour to encourage players to go out of their way to craft (and hopefully use) what they need regularly to maintain accessibility to the item / have the necessary crafting stations pre-built in their crafting tabs as backup - or else be entirely locked out of crafting the item until they can find the station to prototype it again.

While less seamless in tying lore and gameplay than the flavor perks, this still somewhat plays into Winona's background as an assembly line worker - neglecting how to reproduce items she does not regularly work with and has to repeatedly mass-produce on a daily basis.

 

The following are mechanics and two new unique pieces of equipment, designed to work in tandem with and/or alleviate this proposed downside (which has probably already furrowed your eyebrows), so hold your judgment for a moment:

First!

Instead of being a lore perk that only cushions newbies or helps Winona get insane faster, Winona's free hit from Charlie now deflects the attack into a small AOE burst of shadows around Winona, dealing 100 damage around her, specifically without triggering herd mentality mobs (but still aggroing the mob onto Winona if it survives).

Spoiler

This allows Winona to assassinate smaller mobs in the dark through her sister and importantly, have a 'free' method of dealing damage if god forbid she is alone and unable to craft a proper weapon, at the cost of sanity and possibly health while trying to aoe the mob around herself in the dark - though the former can easily be replenished prototyping crafts again later.

This also ties into Winona's first new piece of equipment, the Welding Mask - a piece of headgear that offers slight protection and is not limited by durability. Its function is partially to be a last-ditch armor for Winona, but mainly it blocks out ambient light while worn, inducing darkened vision that resembles nighttime & invites Charlie to attack Winona at any time of day (think the inverse of Moggles) to take advantage of her new AOE in a fix. While continuing to wear the mask, any other characters wearing it (presumably to farm fuel) / Winona after her free hit must use light sources to protect themselves from sanity drain and Charlie, just like at night, or take the mask off to end the effect.

Winona's second piece of equipment is the Welding Torch, which can only exclusively be used by Winona while wearing the Welding Mask to fuse two of the same tools, weapons or pieces of armor together, allowing her to stack their durability up to 200% while also generating light in a wide radius as she welds.

Spoiler

Like her Trusty Tapes, the Welding Torch now allows Winona to extend the durability of equipment so she can continue to use them for longer in a pinch when she is unable to craft or prototype them again.

The Weld Torch also gives her a much stronger reason to regularly re-craft equipment she needs, as she can mend and stack durability onto existing equipment (for herself and others!) while working or after fights, so she won't just constantly be choosing between carrying or dumping extra items crafted just to retain recipes.

 

Lastly, for Winona's machines: spotlights will now also warm and dry players (ever been near a real stage light? they get real hot) they are attached to, giving them use worthy of the upkeep during daytime as well. They will thus also target players who are cold, frozen or being drenched by rain in daytime, continuing to prioritize players in the dark at night.

However, Winona's catapults are now less self-sufficient, having less health and no self-healing - but if destroyed, they leave behind a wreck that Winona (exclusively) can repair with Trusty Tape, or be hammered to remove completely.

Spoiler

This is a compromise in the question of whether or not catapults should be exclusive, as they aren't completely locked from the rest of the cast without Winona around after a character swap/while she is away from base, but feel less external and alienated from Winona's kit the moment it is crafted and set down, and players have more reason to stick around as her in order to maintain the base's defenses.

That's all

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Auth    10727
15 hours ago, Capybara007 said:

i think after almost 3 years they are not looking back at other characters

I mean, it took 2 years for Winona to get her first refresh. She was also most likely the first one up for refreshes in the first place due to community conversation surrounding her, so, I wouldn't just immediately discount the idea that they may revisit the characters based on community feedback at some point. It looks like for now they're just trying to push them all out so they can know what to really work on when they do decide to read the forum posts.

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Theukon-dos    4098

Having played Winona with a mod that increases her work speed (albeit at the cost of hunger), that alone does make her much more appealing to play. Not sure it entirely solves the pick & swap problem, but it does give her a strong, simple niche that she's currently lacking.

Not sure how to feel about weaponizing Charlie. I suppose it could be a fun mechanic to play with, though I think the current implementation as a simple flavor perk works well. Winona's isn't a master of the night, or someone who made a faustian bargain. She's just Charlie's sister, and is able to dodge a hit from her because of it.

 

And finally, the downside. While being unable to properly prototype items is interesting, I'm not sure it works here.

The thing with downsides is that the best ones are both interesting and play off a character's strengths in interesting ways. Either purely from emergent gameplay, or because of purposeful interaction.

Wigfrid's carnivorism is great because it spurs her into an aggressive playstyle. Making use of her damage bonus/resistance to obtain food, and her vampirism to restore stats that she would otherwise struggle with early game.

Wanda's health is replaced by time, and her healing options are severely limited. But it's her magic proficiency in old age that makes players risk everything by staying old in hard fights.

Wagstaff's poor vision means that he can't effectively wear weather/tempature protecting Headware, but he has a variety of goggles that only he can wear in their stead, each with unique perks.

Hell, even something as simple as Wendy's 25% damage reduction encourages her to have Abigail out at all times so that she can make up for the missing damage.

 

For each of these examples, the characters downsides directly function as pedestals for their upsides the shine upon. And your suggestion for a Winona downside doesn't do this. Winona can craft faster, but this doesn't interact with the short-term memory at all. And I guess being able to fuse 2 items together for double durability kind of does? though I'd argue that it just as much makes the downside worse, sense you're less likely to have to craft the item again in the memory time frame.

 

 

Overall, I do think this is an improvement over current Winona, but between the unnecessary Charlie perk and annoying; disjointed downside, that's mostly on account of this being a very low bar to match.

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Atkvin    726
On 2/18/2022 at 3:36 PM, Theukon-dos said:

For each of these examples, the characters downsides directly function as pedestals for their upsides the shine upon. And your suggestion for a Winona downside doesn't do this.

Maybe I'm just clouded by bias, but I disagree. In my research, the recipes that would most be affected by this downside are weapons and armor, while most other items aren't usually needed suddenly away from base, and most tools aren't affected or needed for survival (with the exception of the oar, which isn't a necessity, boat patches, which her tapes can substitute, and new boats) - and so being able to fuse and use other tools for longer instead becomes strictly a positive.

To combat what is affected, Winona has essentially a free source of aoe damage, and is able to repair and enhance her own and others' weapons and armor if both are being worn down consistently with regular combat, but loses access to them personally if she isn't regularly needing or crafting more for a while. 

It serves to encourage crafting and maintaining equipment, makes combat less reliable as Winona on her own, and somewhat plays into her flavor perks (which I cannot see the faster crafting as anything other than) where she spends less time crafting the item again, more quickly collects the resources needed to craft it, and (debatably noticeable) eats to heal a little faster than others in combat.

On 2/18/2022 at 3:36 PM, Theukon-dos said:

Winona's isn't a master of the night, or someone who made a faustian bargain. She's just Charlie's sister, and is able to dodge a hit from her because of it.

I just like the idea of Winona being able to take advantage of her possessed sister's hostility to assassinate stuff, to be honest. Like a weird inversion on Wendy and Abigail. And I dunno, I dislike how one of Winona's most important characterization points is hidden away in a useless flavor perk, and also didn't want to her to be bloated with perks like Walter - so I gave it a use explained simply by Winona deflecting the attack around her.

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Theukon-dos    4098
6 minutes ago, Atkvin said:

Maybe I'm just clouded by bias, but I disagree. In my research, the recipes that would most be affected by this downside are weapons and armor, while most other items aren't usually needed suddenly away from base, and most tools aren't affected or needed for survival (with the exception of the oar, which isn't a necessity, boat patches, which her tapes can substitute, and new boats) - and so being able to fuse and use other tools for longer instead becomes strictly a positive.

To combat what is affected, Winona has essentially a free source of aoe damage, and is able to repair and enhance her own and others' weapons and armor if both are being worn down consistently with regular combat, but loses access to them personally if she isn't regularly needing or crafting more for a while. 

It serves to encourage crafting and maintaining equipment, makes combat less reliable as Winona on her own, and somewhat plays into her flavor perks (which I cannot see the faster crafting as anything other than - unless you want to restrict when Winona can craft things) where she spends less time crafting the item again, more quickly collects the resources needed to craft it, and (debatably noticeable) eats to heal a little faster than others in combat.

How does it do this though? Do you not need two of something to weld them together? that's the impression I got. And I guess that makes sense, though I already established that I don't like the Charlie perk.

 

If you want an example of how this mechanic can improve one's downside, look no further than the WIP Modded character Whimsey (Note, everything in here's subject to change, but it still serves as a good example for me)

As demonstrated in the Video, she can't prototype items at all. But she can craft portable crafting stations. This is what I mean when I say that Good downsides serve as pedestals for a character's strengths. If Whimsey could just prototype things, then having portable crafting stations wouldn't matter in the slightest. But because she can't prototype items, then suddenly those portable crafting stations become incredibly valuable.

6 minutes ago, Atkvin said:

I just like the idea of Winona being able to take advantage of her possessed sister's hostility to assassinate stuff, to be honest. Like a weird inversion on Wendy and Abigail. And I dunno, I dislike how one of Winona's most important characterization points is hidden away in a useless flavor perk, and also didn't want to her to be bloated with perks like Walter - so I gave it a use explained simply by Winona deflecting the attack around her.

I guess that's fair. Though I don't think it would be a big issue. With Walter, his problem is that he's 25% fighter, 25% scouter, and 50% flavor perks. Winona wouldn't have nearly as bad of a ratio in her perks, even without changing Charlie.

 

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Mike23Ua    14605
On 2/15/2022 at 12:44 AM, Auth said:

I mean, it took 2 years for Winona to get her first refresh. She was also most likely the first one up for refreshes in the first place due to community conversation surrounding her, so, I wouldn't just immediately discount the idea that they may revisit the characters based on community feedback at some point. It looks like for now they're just trying to push them all out so they can know what to really work on when they do decide to read the forum posts.

Honestly I think if Klei has content planned that can benefit or hinder a character then that content should interact with that character-

For example there is an old set of scrapped concept arts for some kind of ruined city that was going to be one of the biomes in the game at one point: Of those things were also Clockwork Pawns, which was well a mechanical spider thing with a light bulb on its head, which seems like a mechanical mob that Winona could have used/exploited to her advantage in some way. 

I don’t think just continuously reworking characters is the RIGHT way about going about updating them, they need to take into consideration WHAT they add that could benefit or disrupt your gameplay as her.

RWYS made positive changes to Wurt & Wormwood..

Meanwhile Eye of the Storm added Negative content that makes playing as Woodie & Willow more difficult.

While Webbers Rework and the Water Logged update added Nurse Spiders and Water Spiders into the game to Benefit Webber… but make the lives of anyone not named Webber more difficult.

I don’t think Klei should focus on tweaking a character until a game content update can increase the depth/unique qualities to that character.

For example: I’m a Wendy main, and I actively acknowledge that Wendy is a very powerful character choice, but instead of straight up Nerfing Wendy… i would rather see content added to the game that plays further into Wendy’s personality as a character, she communicates with the recently departed and I would expect to see her having both positive & negative gameplay that reflects upon that.

Currently ghost mobs in the game won’t target and attack Wendy, even if she straight up robs their gravesites of their contents.. But could you imagine something like a restless poltergeist that screams constantly draining Wendy’s sanity whenever she passes by a battle zone of fallen soldiers?

There is a lot of lore tied to Winona.. she worked for Wagstaff, and is the sister of Charlie, she could therefore get perks related to both of them in the future..

I absolutely hate the idea of buff X or Nerf Y just for the sake of Buffing X or Nerfing Y.. but what I find absolutely fun that adds more unique gameplay to the characters I’m enjoying is things like when RWYS added the Composting Bin so Wormwood could benefit from the various fertilizer types you can create from its use.

This is a change that made playing as Wormwood more unique and fun…

And it’s something I’d like to see Klei make a Priority going forward with their future content plans.

Adding new biomes/mobs and craftables just for the sake of adding new content is nowhere near as engaging as Wormwoods interaction with Composting Bin..

It took an update that was outside of Wormwoods rework & improved his gameplay.

That’s something I’d absolutely love to see at least considered going forward with content updates: And not just for Winona.. but for ANYONE that update could Benefit/Hinder.

In conclusion I don’t think saying things like “Winona/Wurt/Wolfgang Bad They need Re-Rework”

is good and constructive feedback to Klei, because that just creates this endless chain of “X is Over/Under performing and we aren’t happy with it!” Then Klei spends all their time re-reworking Wolfgang/Winona/Wendy instead of releasing brand new exciting content that could benefit/hinder/ make playing as Wolfgang/Winona/Wendy more interesting.

As just an example: What if each character has their own exclusive to them craftables that are unlocked from each of the games various crafting stations? Such as Ancient P station, Forgotten Knowledge Fountain, Celestial Alter.. etc..

These are the kind of BIG THINGS I hope Klei is taking into consideration moving forward, and they aren’t just pushing out half-baked batches of content that has no overall connected purpose.

 

 

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Skelewar    92

I like it, overall definitely an improvement. My biggest point is that no character rework is complete without a fancy new meter :wink: 

Winona creativity level meter when?

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