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baconcow

Suggestions: World Generation / Camps and Farming / Research Points / Difficulty

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baconcow    11

Note:

Didn't realize just how long this was, when I wrote it. I bolded, italicized, and coloured my key critiques and suggestions.

My first plays on Chrome browser demo, I got to day 2 and 3. Then I played on Steam and got to 5 then 18. The hunger and health aspect of the game is done well, until you farm around a base. The tree creature is difficult and causes survival issues, but I wasn't found by it until around day 15 or so. I think the game needs more than one difficulty setting. This game is a survival simulation, but I didn't feel like I would die when staying on the main island. When I moved to the other islands, I felt urgency of survival more because there was less food and more enemies.

Before I mention my suggestions, I want to mention that I am loving this game and see the amazing potential it has.

(1) Circular Islands, Bridges, and Random Generation

My suggestions are to get rid of the bridges. They create an unnecessary safe-feeling area between the islands. Not only this, but they can take forever to transverse and makes that part of the game boring. I would suggest making the world a randomly generated land mass with lakes, rivers, and such... not much different than the areas that were generated in Diablo II (while not really random, as they were seeded from a smaller amount of generated areas, their design felt ok). In creating a more fluid area, people will likely wander from one "zone" (possible more inhabited and safe) to another much more commonly. This, in my opinion, will create a much more immersible experience for the player and improve the feeling of adventure. The circles islands also let the players immediately know how big the landmass they are on is and also how far they need to travel. Having one side against the water, there is also a blade feel when traveling around the circumference. In conclusion, I suggest doing away with circular islands, removing land bridges, and making the area a more fluid and diverse randomly generated world. The idea would be to make this a large unknown where the player must explore and adventure into the unknown, dangerous, world to progress.

Will upload a rough sketch, shortly.

[2] Camps and Farming

From my limited experience, and from what I have read on these forums, the campsite is not dangerous enough. Sure spiders, tree enemies, and other enemies can wander by and into it. However, they rarely cause any issue. Having a handful of traps, spiders are easily contained (at least, early on). The tree enemy that I encountered is too slow to catch up or kill me, and running in circles was enough to fool his tree-person AI. Same deal with spiders. Their AI is not threatening enough in the campsite. I suggest making AI for the creatures far more aggressive, at night, actively searching for the fire. If you are an enemy in the world, you will see a large burning fire and be immediately attracted (or scared away) from it and those around it. Spiders turn away and ignore you far too easily. There needs to be a much larger sense of urgency in a survival game. The lit campsite should not be an easy place to survive. However, by bringing more conflict into the campsite, I also suggest increasing the amount of healing that flowers do, to partially balance the fact that you are likely to take more damage. As it is, flowers take 30+ to do a significant amount of healing, yet are the most abundant resource for healing at low levels. Next, once you have a self-sustained farm of trees, twigs, grass, and berry plants, you can essentially survive there without needing to leave. Where are the enemies with fire breathing capabilities (i.e. fire breathing lizards in Ocarina of Time or enemies with other fire properties)? Put the players crops at risk: rabbits eat crops, or should. Make it essential to protect your campsite with traps. Give players a bow (unless there is already one) so they can attack rabbits that are feeding on berry plants. Add beavers that will decimate tree and twig plants, if unchecked, not allowing them to grow into larger trees (potentially making them remain in a small tree or cut down state). Make enemies attack crops and such. The idea here is to give the player more risk in this survival simulation. Make it so that, once they are self-sustaining, the game isn't on-rails and limited to dangerous exploration.

[3] Research Points

Having the research points carry over from game-to-game makes them, in the end, unnecessary. Finding the necessary items to craft the item/tool/etc. should be enough along with a proper set of prerequisites to do so. This removes the grinding aspect of the game in an early stage. Players will just play to unlock everything, then be able to full enjoy the survival aspects of the game which are much better. Removing research points will not make Wilson any less of a Scientist, as he still will have all of the same science-based capabilities. The research points, to me, just come off as fluff to add length and grind to the game. Having played for several hours, already, I don't think there should be any worry for game length. It just makes your first plays more restrictive, and unfortunately, more boring. My subsequent plays, with items unlocked, were far more enjoyable. An indie game such as this will thrive on initial impressions. Boring players with unnecessary grinding is, in my opinion, not the best way to start the players out in a players survival simulation.

[4]Difficulty

One of the reasons games like Minecraft are popular is that they have several ways to enjoy the game: creative mode, survival mode (with differing difficulties, including hardcore). Being that this game is a die (without effigy resurrection) once and it's over, the game should provide a challenge from the get go and throughout so that players will want to have another go. If I played today for 200 days, and then just stopped playing because the game was too easy, that would be the last time I played and I would end up liking the game a lot less than if I was challenged. Games such as Binding of Isaac challenge players with fairly high difficulty. The game takes memorization and skill to succeed and not just farming. While these two games are not very similar, they both have aspects of a roguelike nature. I believe the players should be given difficulty settings so that the game will play to their enjoyment: in words, an easy, medium, and hard. Where easy would be much as the game is now. Starts out more difficult but can be easy to sustain later on. Medium would add elements as suggested above, or other. Hard would add all sorts of elements of difficulty: increased enemies, more aggressive behaviour, etc. People will talk about "how far did you get on hard"... and be impressed with people who made it 30 or 40 days.

Once again, these are just my feedback from the Steam Alpha (Beta aspect of the game). I know people may not all agree with everything mentioned here, but these are the aspects of the game I would modify and work on in order to improve an already incredible concept. I wouldn't bother posting this if I didn't think the game had nearly unlimited potential. As far as graphics, music, and effects, these are excellent.

Edited by baconcow

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mobius187    29

Another mega-post? Well my stubborn nature demands I respond, whether you want my responses or not. ;)

I think the game needs more than one difficulty setting. This game is a survival simulation, but I didn't feel like I would die when staying on the main island. When I moved to the other islands, I felt urgency of survival more because there was less food and more enemies.

Difficulty level has been discussed, with some wanting literally to allow a player to choose at the very beginning between different difficulties (Easy, Normal, Hard), and the attribute limitations to the island and possible inventions based on their choice. For example, the Meat Effigy would be in "Easy" and maybe "Average", but not in "Hard". I'm sure that the difficulty was in part a plan by Klei to allow players a chance to figure out how to survive before introducing new difficulties. Like islands with no natural grass. That one killed me once... :p

In general several balance issues though have been raised, from bunnies being to frequent and easy to kill (even without traps) to animals like the beefalo and tall bird becoming extinct, to issues with research points. I'm sure that given time and suggestions these issues can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

In conclusion, I suggest doing away with circular islands, removing land bridges, and making the area a more fluid and diverse randomly generated world.

Circular islands have been an issue for me too, so I agree it would be nice to have more naturally shaped islands. Of course that's not to say EVERY island mass you'll encounter right now is exactly circular... because in some cases islands will overlap and you'll get an eight-like shaped island or some approximation. My guess however is that the end product will see us with more naturally shaped islands as right now I don't think there's a reason for Klei to want circular islands.

As for the bridges, they may also be a stop-gap measure, but don't quote me on it. I have no serious issues with them, but my hope is that at a later date they'll include alternative means to reach other islands, whether by boat/raft, zeppelin, or underground cavern passages. There are lots of possibilities.

From my limited experience, and from what I have read on these forums, the campsite is not dangerous enough. Sure spiders, tree enemies, and other enemies can wander by and into it. However, they rarely cause any issue... I suggest making AI for the creatures far more aggressive, at night, actively searching for the fire. If you are an enemy in the world, you will see a large burning fire and be immediately attracted (or scared away) from it and those around it. Spiders turn away and ignore you far too easily. There needs to be a much larger sense of urgency in a survival game. The lit campsite should not be an easy place to survive.

Well keep in mind that depending where you camp starting fight with one spider at night can quickly snowball into a massive fight. And now that fires need to be tended more regularly it could leave you in the dark during a fight. Also, keep in mind that spiders fear fire, as you can witness from time to time, they'l shrink away from it in terror. Only goading them will cause them to attack you while inside the fire's protective aura. Of course if you want monster meat or silk you'll have to deal with spiders Sooner or later.

I will say that maybe spiders you harass during the day should come looking for you at night... especially if you're camped nearby. That or maybe we just need more monstrous threats to add to the pot.

Now if you want a more relentless enemy try attacking a beefalo or visiting a pig man village during the full moon. Then you'll get your fill. Or maybe try a stroll through the swamp... and if you see anything stirring just beneath the much be sure to check it out. ;)

The only AI issues I would like addressed are with bunnies. They are waaaay too easy to kill. It's not a sport so much as a game, and I hardly ever lose. Either bunnies need to be faster (reduced chance to kill with a tool/weapon), provided with more than one hole to escape to, or pathfinding that lets them avoid me better. That or reduce the bunny spawn rate (i.e. respawn killed bunny after, say, 3-5 days) so I can't just live off killing them every day.

...I also suggest increasing the amount of healing that flowers to, to partially balance the fact that you are likely to take more damage. As it is, flowers take 30+ to do a significant amount of healing, yet are the most abundant resource for healing at low levels.

Well I see your problem... you're relying on flower petals for healing. What you need is a manly mean. Try eating carrots, meat chunks, and berries after you've roasted them over a fire and watch as they restore your health much faster. Flower petals aren't special, they're just "desperation food" right now, and like all food they heal you... just very slowly.

Next, once you have a self-sustained farm of trees, twigs, grass, and berry plants, you can essentially survive there without needing to leave. Where are the enemies with fire breathing capabilities (i.e. fire breathing lizards in Ocarina of Time or enemies with other fire properties)?

Yes, where are they? I imagine they're hiding in Ocarina of Time... those smug bastards. A fire enemy would be interesting... but also insanely deadly. Fire destroys everything. EVERYTHING. Well okay, not boulders. Boulders are safe, but try lighting camp fires when all your trees burn down leaving no pine cones, all the grass burns down and is removed permanently, and all the saplings burn to ashes and disappear, never to regrow. Fire is dangerous. That's why only you can use it...mwahahaha! :D

In short, I wouldn't want to see fire-breathing enemies anywhere on an island where these things grow. If ever.

Put the players crops at risk: rabbits eat crops, or should. Make it essential to protect your campsite with traps.

Yup, I agree with this idea, as I've suggested it myself. Rabbits and crows should cause trouble for farms. Crows should try to eat the seeds you planted and bunnies should eat the vegetables when they're growing or have completely grown. To deal with them you would need traps, or a scarecrow, or maybe even a wooden fence or wall.

Give players a bow (unless there is already one) so they can attack rabbits that are feeding on berry plants.

No bows yet... but they have been suggested (by me and others). As for berry bushes bunnies might like them, or birds, or maybe even tall birds at some stage. In which case you would certainly need to protect them with the measures I mentioned above. Of course these are all just suggestions. ;)

Add beavers that will decimate tree and twig plants, if unchecked, not allowing them to grow into larger trees (potentially making them remain in a small tree or cut down state).

As a Canadian I can assure you that your view of beavers is misguided. They are proud and noble beasts, and one of the most industrious in the animal kingdom. No doubt you have fallen prey to rumors... for example, Tasmanian Devils. No spinning. :p

In short, I think trees are doing fine as they are right now. They have their own cycle and if anything maybe all we need is to slow that cycle down rather than allowing trees to pop-up as young pine trees right from the get-go. I certainly haven't suffered even with my darnedest deforestation efforts in play. Treeguards hate me. Ha-ha!

Make enemies attack crops and such.

Why would they do that? That makes about as much sense as that asdf movie where that guy starts punching the other guy's salad. Why was he doing that? Why wouldn't he stop? Why? WHY?

But on a more serious note I think crows, bunnies, and tall birds could cause enough crop issues for players, while beefalo could potentially wander in and eat their grass. That would make more than enough trouble for the player in my opinion.

Having the research points carry over from game-to-game makes them, in the end, unnecessary.

Yup. Kevin knows... he knows. But it's good we all agree.

Finding the necessary items to craft the item/tool/etc. should be enough along with a proper set of prerequisites to do so. This removes the grinding aspect of the game in an early stage.

Well you're given the basic necessities at the start. You only need the science/alchemy machines for more advanced items and placeables. I've never had a serious issue with it, except that RPs collect really easily, carry over between games, and lead to grinding. Kevin hates grinding, so you can certainly expect to see changes to how RP work in the future. For example, he already fixed two issues, the first being a bug that let graves respawn as un-dug (a serious issue) between games and nerfed it so gold ore doesn't spawn every time you break open a boulder. Now he just needs to nerf the RP for tall bird eggs... or make them a lot more challenging (or spawning fewer eggs).

...The research points, to me, just come off as fluff to add length and grind to the game.

No one wants grinding... but I do like the idea of an invention system. Suggestions for an improved system have been made elsewhere that do not even use RP. I won't bore you with the details, so if you're interested feel free to search the forums for them.

It just makes your first plays more restrictive, and unfortunately, more boring. My subsequent plays, with items unlocked, were far more enjoyable.

I find this debatable. My issue wasn't with locked inventions, but rather with the fact that once they're unlocked future games are that much easier. While I hate grinding, I like inventing and making tough choices as to what inventions I want, one or another. Having access to everything from the get-go, to me, would be somewhat boring. Have you ever played the new XCOM game? It strives for a similar feel in terms of decisions you are forced to make.

...Games such as Binding of Isaac challenge players with fairly high difficulty. The game takes memorization and skill to succeed and not just farming. While these two games are not very similar, they both have aspects of a roguelike nature....

The Binding of Isaac is a great game and shares some roguelike features, namely random dungeons and permadeath. I'm not sure if unlockables are associated with roguelike games or not. However the Binding of Isaac wasn't turn-based, rather it was a twitch/reaction game that rewarded players with fast reflexes.

Difficulty levels certainly have been mentioned before, so I'm sure some players would agree with you. I'm a fence-sitter on this matter. I would personally like it if the game was just "difficult enough" to be fun and challenging.

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mobius187    29

And because the forum hassled me about "too many images" (maybe smiles?), here's the rest of my post:

...Where easy would be much as the game is now. Starts out more difficult but can be easy to sustain later on. Medium would add elements as suggested above, or other. Hard would add all sorts of elements of difficulty: increased enemies, more aggressive behaviour, etc. People will talk about "how far did you get on hard"....

Well it's hard to argue whether this is bad or good. Still, it certainly couldn't hurt. Then again, I think the current game, which you commented as being "easy" could be made more difficult with certain tweaks in the long run. So I guess we should wait and see. However it would be interesting if there was a difficulty that removed the Meat Effigy from the invention list. Just a thought.

Al in all, lots of good suggestions. Keep up the good work, just maybe in smaller posts, say with only one topic. It would make this whole process faster. :)

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baconcow    11

Wow. Thanks for the excellent response. I am very new to this game as well as this forum, so I have not yet learned the majority of the games content or the way forward. I'm glad you agree or find interest in many of my suggestions. I wrote down my suggestions as I played, which is why it got so long. I played the new update today, with the Willow character and was overwhelmed by spiders at a campsite. My observations from today suggest that trees not only grow too quickly, they drop far too many pinecones. I was able to plant a huge forest near my campsite by the end of the first day. Not that great of a sign in a survival game. The spiders caught me off guard, though.

My two biggest concerns are just the difficulty being too low (no urgency for a survival game) and the shape of the randomly generated islands. I was working on an image of an example of what a randomly-generated world would look like and how it would work for this game. It wouldn't require the programmers change the way the different regions work, just how they attach together (seamlessly and with river bridges instead of large bridges). I have seen an image on this forum where someone had a map with no bridges and that is similar to the idea I had. However, I was disappointed at the small size of the final map. Regarding difficulty, I hope they tune that a little better (more enemies and less safety in a harder game, versus what they have now). I like starting a game off on easy or normal to get the feel. But, eventually, if you play enough, almost any game can become easier.

Oh... I am Canadian. I still think there should be tree-eating beavers. There is a reason the beaver is on the 5 cent coin... because if it was put on a piece of paper money, it would have just eaten it. :D

Overall, it seems like there are a LOT of excellent ideas in the works for this game. I don't know if any of the developers will ever read my idea about a randomly-generated world, but if they read this comment, I would be happy to provide my ideas in more detail.

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mobius187    29
Wow. Thanks for the excellent response. I am very new to this game as well as this forum, so I have not yet learned the majority of the games content or the way forward. I'm glad you agree or find interest in many of my suggestions. I wrote down my suggestions as I played, which is why it got so long.

While i didn't write them down, I did create a similar huge multi-point thread not too long ago. Then I realized it was too intimidating for many users to respond to... I mean it took ages for me to respond to your post. Still, the important thing is you have suggestions and you explained not only your problems, but how you would like them resolved. And that's what's important.

I played the new update today, with the Willow character and was overwhelmed by spiders at a campsite. My observations from today suggest that trees not only grow too quickly, they drop far too many pinecones. I was able to plant a huge forest near my campsite by the end of the first day. Not that great of a sign in a survival game. The spiders caught me off guard, though.

So you didn't accidentally start a forest fire? I've seen a few people do that by accident when they plant trees too close to their base camp. Not sure if a normal camp fire will do it, but torches certainly do the trick. And yeah trees should randomly drop between 0-2 pine cones. And the treeguards should drop several more. :)

It wouldn't require the programmers change the way the different regions work, just how they attach together (seamlessly and with river bridges instead of large bridges). I have seen an image on this forum where someone had a map with no bridges and that is similar to the idea I had. However, I was disappointed at the small size of the final map.

Well the land bridges vary in size. Some are long, others can be short. But on average they are long right now.

Regarding difficulty, I hope they tune that a little better (more enemies and less safety in a harder game, versus what they have now). I like starting a game off on easy or normal to get the feel. But, eventually, if you play enough, almost any game can become easier.

Yes, as proven by PewDiePie and his Let's Play of Cat Mario. God damn Cat Mario...

Oh... I am Canadian. I still think there should be tree-eating beavers. There is a reason the beaver is on the 5 cent coin... because if it was put on a piece of paper money, it would have just eaten it. :D

Mmm-hmm. Sure. :p

Overall, it seems like there are a LOT of excellent ideas in the works for this game. I don't know if any of the developers will ever read my idea about a randomly-generated world, but if they read this comment, I would be happy to provide my ideas in more detail.

The developers are reading the forums... that mining hat they recently added. I swear that was my idea. Or we think alike. ;)

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mobius187    29
I am going to add my ideas on different difficulty settings into a separate thread, as I have several ideas.

You may want to perform a forum search for a similar existing thread on this topic and just revive it with a post of your suggestions. That way the suggestions can be centralized.

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baconcow    11
You may want to perform a forum search for a similar existing thread on this topic and just revive it with a post of your suggestions. That way the suggestions can be centralized.

Ah, damn. I just posted my topic. If someone mentions it in my thread, I will add my ideas to the central topic and have mine deleted (if possible). Otherwise, my ideas on trees and pinecones (so far) are up for reading.

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mudarris    15

Hey and welcome to the forums and to the game!

First off, you might want to read this article, something the developers wrote to explain the intrinsic vs extrinsic behaviourism fundamentals they scaffolded the game upon.

[1] About the land mass and circular islands, I feel that as a casual player, I like the feel of familiarity of the same map that I play in every time I do die. If you wish to have a different world, you can click New World at the menu.

About the random generation, I suppose it would be more difficult to do it at the programming end. I mean, they are a small indie developer company. For something that grand (I say it's grand because look at Diablo 3), I'm not sure if they can do it.

[2] Honestly, I like it that the camping area is not too dangerous. Yes, I'd rather have the time to continue farming (and not grinding, mind you) for logs and searching for stone lodes, but as a casual gamer, I like the night time to be for me to do some small time farming or thinking which items to make because I do have different strategies for every time I die (I've only been at my 5th attempt). Furthermore, it's an excellent time for me to wait out and relax from the 'work' during the day and anticipate the save so that I can quit the game to do other stuff. And personally to me, and I think to many other players, the sounds at night (if you do use noise cancelling headphones and play the game in the dark) are enough to scare you. Even if you know it's just a jackalope (rabbit) running back to its hole.

It's definitely a possible idea for more hardcore gamers, but for the general audience of casual gamers, I think the night time is just nice.

[3] I don't think the idea was to grind: in fact, if you read the article, they wanted to remove the grinding aspect from the game. Personally, I don't feel like it's a grind at all. When I died, it had a very intimate and remorseful effect on me and all the items I built had gone. But I learnt a bigger lesson: don't mess with the Beefalos without a log suit and run towards the swamp. So, to me, it's a consequence I had to face having poked a Beefalo and being chased across the map and then die.

So the next time when I build my stuff, I'll remember my mistake and not do it again and basically be more prepared. With the hammer present now, I think the intrinsic value of the items you build will decrease because you can basically destroy them for items and move your base camp elsewhere.

[4] When you said that the game was too easy, how was it easy? I mean if I wanted to survive as long as possible without getting any research done, I could just grind grass, twigs, flint, logs and have a berry bush farm and just survive. I'd probably go up to 500 days.

If you were like me and some others who prefer to explore the map and create challenges for yourself, oh I don't know, like having a pig army fight tentacles and frogs and clear the swamp (now that's an idea, seeing I hate the swamp), well, maybe the chances of you dying would be higher.

Of course, you also have the choice of being an Oppressor and killing everything you find on the island. That too comes with its fair share of fatal consequences.

So when you say easy, it's easy and it's difficult depending on how you choose to play it. That's just my opinion.

All in all, I think you should read the philosophy behind the game first. Maybe then you'd have an idea why Don't Starve isn't another Minecraft or Terraria.

Cheers!

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baconcow    11
[3] I don't think the idea was to grind: in fact, if you read the article, they wanted to remove the grinding aspect from the game. Personally, I don't feel like it's a grind at all. When I died, it had a very intimate and remorseful effect on me and all the items I built had gone. But I learnt a bigger lesson: don't mess with the Beefalos without a log suit and run towards the swamp. So, to me, it's a consequence I had to face having poked a Beefalo and being chased across the map and then die.

So the next time when I build my stuff, I'll remember my mistake and not do it again and basically be more prepared. With the hammer present now, I think the intrinsic value of the items you build will decrease because you can basically destroy them for items and move your base camp elsewhere.

I think I was misunderstood on this point. I was saying the act of initially saving up research points is grinding. There is no way around it. When you are collecting for the purpose of unlocking things that stay permanently unlocked, you are grinding those "levels of research". I don't mean having to get my stuff again, that's the best part of the game. The research points and unlocking things initially, I feel that very grindy and boring as I know that it won't be part of my future playthroughs, so I know it is really just a fluffy part of the game. I am not a big fan of unlocking things just to have the game fully playable. When I am getting the research points, I know that the current survival run will be limited as I am throwing away resources on research points. Having everything initially unlocked, with some sort of strict prerequisite system (or placement system) would work better, I feel.

[4] When you said that the game was too easy, how was it easy? I mean if I wanted to survive as long as possible without getting any research done, I could just grind grass, twigs, flint, logs and have a berry bush farm and just survive. I'd probably go up to 500 days.

If you were like me and some others who prefer to explore the map and create challenges for yourself, oh I don't know, like having a pig army fight tentacles and frogs and clear the swamp (now that's an idea, seeing I hate the swamp), well, maybe the chances of you dying would be higher.

Of course, you also have the choice of being an Oppressor and killing everything you find on the island. That too comes with its fair share of fatal consequences.

So when you say easy, it's easy and it's difficult depending on how you choose to play it. That's just my opinion.

All in all, I think you should read the philosophy behind the game first. Maybe then you'd have an idea why Don't Starve isn't another Minecraft or Terraria.

I definitely don't want this to be like Minecraft or Terraria in all aspects. If you can grind to 500 days, then there is no survival. I find that the only time I am in peril is when I put myself in peril such as adventuring to other islands in such. But, that removes the survival feel. It could then really just be coined an adventure game with survival features, and not just a Survival Simulation with adventure aspects.

I think many users will just misunderstand my suggestions because I don't understand the way this game is supposed to be played. Oh well.

Edit: I am currently in a map where several of the areas are connected without bridges and merge into one another. It is a far more mysterious and interesting environment to search. I still have the feeling that many areas feel too void of enemies. The first two "regions" had 1 beehive, 2 spider nests, and 1 pig house, altogether. I also found one wandering Tree Guard. Made adventuring less interesting.

Edited by baconcow

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mobius187    29

Well I think it's a moot point to argue over the current RP system because, as anyone who reads the forums frequently should know, Kevin plans to adjust the existing system because he feels there exists the potential for grinding.

We know there's a problem. So instead we need to focus on what could be done to fix the problem. In another thread someone else brought up a similar point and I suggested a new research method that didn't use points, but rather had players examine the world and collect "words", and then via a journal interface, connected words to form ideas, and those ideas led to new inventions. Then as the player progressed through the islands they encountered new creatures and resources, and in turn discovered new words. In this way no player could simply sit around and come up with every invention from the very beginning. They would need to explore, discover new things/words, and then form new ideas. Is this the solution? Maybe... maybe not. But I'm hopeful that "outside the box" suggestions like this will give the DEV team the ideas they need to come up with a better solution for research.

As for the risk factor... yes... the game needs to be more difficult. Bunnies and berries are too plentiful. It's great at the start of the game when you're just getting on your feet, but later on the system lends itself to being exploited. Oddly enough carrots on the starting island appear to be there for the player's benefit... so it looks like steps were already taken to ease hunger issues at the very start of the game.

My suggestions are:

1) Spiders - Spiders need to be more dangerous. Why aren't they venomous? Maybe being bitten can turn your stomach or heart sickly green and blackened, leading to a gradual loss in health. Anyone who plays Minecraft and has dealt with cave spiders has learned to fear those fast-spawning and poisonous monsters. God knows I always get a shiver when I hear them through a wall and wonder if they'll drop on my head from above or are just around the next corner. If poison death is too cliched, then maybe it could make the player nauseas and have him eventually throw-up, which would impact the need for replacement food. Also, maybe a fourth tier in spider nests that spawns even larger numbers of spiders when hit... or maybe even a giant "mother" spider?

2) Rot - Any meat or vegitables left on the ground should rot within 1 day, and this spoiled food should become inedible. I know Kevin discussed how would rot work on food in stacks... and now that I think about it food stacked in Project Zomboid and they also had rotting food. I think the way it worked was even though the food was stacked each had its own "freshness" value, and when that value elapsed that piece of food became rotted. Then when a player ate or sorted the food stack they could come across the rotted food. Rotted food did not create its own stack, but continued to stack with non-rotted food, so it didn't mess with the player's inventory. Or at least that's what I recall.

3) More monsters - The "easiest" solution, we just need more threats to be cautious of while exploring. I won't make any new suggestions, as I'm sure everyone has their own ideas, but previous the ideas of wolves and bears did come up. Of course I would like to see more monstrous and unfamiliar creatures appearing.

4) Events - Things in Don't Starve are too static. We need random events to break the monotony. In the past I suggested everything from small events, like a mass spider migration (that abandoned old spider nests and had spiders create new nests elsewhere on an island and double the number of nests) to crazier events like an earthquake that causes an island or two to sink beneath the waves, forcing players to abandon an early island or two, along with anythign they could salvage while escaping the catastrophy.

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CoolRanch    10

I don't think I've played enough to have experienced every possible world layout. I would suggest the developers take a page from the Civilization series when it comes to worlds. You could have a massive Pangea world. Or you might end up with a bunch of small islands and anything in between.

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mobius187    29
I don't think I've played enough to have experienced every possible world layout. I would suggest the developers take a page from the Civilization series when it comes to worlds. You could have a massive Pangea world. Or you might end up with a bunch of small islands and anything in between.

Right now the islands are all circles and they a randomly sized and placed. Sometimes the islands overlap, but when they don't they are connected by land bridges. But yes, right now people are interested in the islands appearing more natural (i.e. not circular). And others would like the land bridges eliminated. For now I think they serve a purpose in the BETA, but maybe down the road a better system will be in place for travel between islands, like rafts/boats, zeppelins, or maybe even underground caverns. Or multiple options. We can only hope that whatever the solution that it's interesting. :)

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PistonPower    10

I would definitely agree with Mobius187 on this, I found that on my fifth attempt I survived for 33 days and spent most of that time sitting pretty and hunting rabbits and not once did I feel that I had to move.

But we definitely need to have events, maybe a stampede of Beefalo across the island towards your camp? or a random forest fire generated near your camp? although that last one would definitely do some damage though

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