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Do monsters fight off screen?

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So I found 3 Walrus Camps in the summer and planted 2 spider nests at each camp. Giggling through the whole winter like a little girl I envisioned the hellish welcoming party McTusk awaited every time. At last it was summer again and I went to check on the nests/camps awaiting more loot than I could carry, but there was...nothing! Only when I could see them, they started fighting and to my dissapointment there was no loot to be had :(


So my question is: is this normal? Do the mobs only get "active" when I am near them?


First time posting here, be gentle :-)

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The world isn't that big. I bet a lot of computers would have no trouble with CPU usage.

Some computers might. But, if any, only very few could really run it smoothly, since Don't Starve uses a single CPU core.

Performance aside, the game was developed having in mind that only what's nearby would be active. I just decided to try the alternative out (by writing a simple mod which keeps the whole world active), and even ignoring the lag the game felt much more boring. By the end of day 1, most tentacles were already dead, for instance.

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