Time to rethink summer?


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I'm really impressed by DST and think it shows a lot of hard work and creativity by the designers and community.  But like many players I feel that the the ROG-style summer season is tedious and needs an overhaul.  I've listed some suggestions below for making summer a richer and more enjoyable challenge.  I hope Klei will consider incorporating them into the game.

 

Richness and open-endedness are among the original DS’s greatest strengths.  It’s very satisfying to apply creativity and real world intuition to challenges, and experiment with solutions until you succeed.  Often there are multiple solutions that support different styles of play.

 

ROG’s summer overheating/withering/spontaneous combustion mechanic breaks this pattern.  Intuition won’t help you: unlike the real world, nightfall, caves and nearby water doesn't help you cool off much, but crafting a bunch of random special purpose items does (ice cube, fashion melon, flower shirt, etc.).  Things randomly bursting into flames is ridiculous, and the only way to prevent it is the flingomatic, which serves no other purpose: a contrived solution to an absurd challenge.  You can’t leave your base for fear of setting the landscape ablaze wherever you go, and you can’t expand your base beyond the limited range of your flingomatics.  Instead of pursuing the style of play you enjoy, the game forces you on a quest for gears to build flingomatics, then makes you sit around all summer.  Blah.  It detracts from the play experience rather than adding interest.

 

Turning off the spontaneous combustion helps, but how about rethinking summer to make it more interesting instead?  Here are some suggestions geared towards enriching the player experience and creating choices:

  • No spontaneous combustion.  Instead, have occasional severe lightning storms in summer which set fires.  Maybe occasional lightning without rain?  Reduce the frequency of lightning in other seasons.  This is more realistic.
  • No overheating in caves.  This is more realistic, and makes for an interesting dilemma: risk the caves or brave the heat?
  • Bigger day/night temperature swings.  Make it an option to sit out the day and be active when it's dark.  Increase the challenge with a wandering critter that only shows up in summer in the dark  (night hounds?  queen bat/werebat?  mound building termites that favor grass/savannah and gnaw wooden structures if they wander onto your base?)
  • Temperature depends on biome: desert, and savannah are hotter, forest, and swamp are cooler.  This makes forests and swamps more attractive choices for base locations.
  • Cooler within a short distance of the sea.  This also makes for interesting dilemmas in choosing a base location, especially combined with the previous suggestion.
  • Trees die in extreme heat of savannahs and deserts, making it impossible to grow trees year-round in those biomes.  This is more realistic.
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I agree with most of these. It seems to me that the desert is a bit too useful compared to the other biomes, providing meat, rocks, gears, twigs, grass, teeth, gravedigger items and plenty of sanity food all year round. Making it especially hot in the summer and/or especially cold in the winter could be a way to balance it.

 

Also, a new furniture item in the shape of a big parasol to protect your base from the sun would be real neat.

 

 

  • Cooler within a short distance of the sea.  This also makes for interesting dilemmas in choosing a base location, especially combined with the previous suggestion.

 

 

Can't agree with this one, though. The ocean is just there to indicate boundary, it's not interactable in any way. I don't think building a base near the edge would provide any additional challenge or make it more interesting.

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I agree with most of these. No random fires in summer but overheating and withering is aight. or maybe the combustion only happens to man made structures meaning you would need a flingo near your base (for chests, machines, etc). Also i reaaaaaaaaaly like how different turfs can have different temperatures. Speaking of, how about if you live near ponds, you stay cooler?

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I agree with most of these. No random fires in summer but overheating and withering is aight. or maybe the combustion only happens to man made structures meaning you would need a flingo near your base (for chests, machines, etc). Also i reaaaaaaaaaly like how different turfs can have different temperatures. Speaking of, how about if you live near ponds, you stay cooler?

 

when was the last time standing next to a pond made you feel cooler?

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I agree with most of these. It seems to me that the desert is a bit too useful compared to the other biomes, providing meat, rocks, gears, twigs, grass, teeth, gravedigger items and plenty of sanity food all year round. Making it especially hot in the summer and/or especially cold in the winter could be a way to balance it.

 

Also, a new furniture item in the shape of a big parasol to protect your base from the sun would be real neat.

 

 

Can't agree with this one, though. The ocean is just there to indicate boundary, it's not interactable in any way. I don't think building a base near the edge would provide any additional challenge or make it more interesting.

 

Makes sense that you wouldn't venture into a desert in summer without adequate preparation.

 

I like your idea of a shade structure as well. How about a giant mushroom that you plant, and needs occasional fertilizing?

 

Even fantasy games benefit from being grounded in reality because solving problems with your wits is satisfying - as opposed to figuring out some nonsensical game logic by trial and error, which is sometimes fun but sometimes frustrating, especially with permadeath.

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I agree most of you, except that the essentials of this issue is not how hard it is, but: there are almost no advantages but only disadvantages in summer compared with any other season.

 

Obviously, winter is more challenging than autumn. But still there are resources that can be obtained only or easier in winter.

 

Examples: Blue Gems, Blue Birds, Ice, Tusk Tooth, (Pengulls, though not useful themselves, it is fun watching them.)

 

Although summer has Fire Hounds and Dragonfly, red gems are not so useful as blue gems, because fire staff is not as useful as ice staff, and Dragonfly only appears on the end of summer.

 

You may say cactus flowers. Cactus flowers can be used to craft flourish shirt, but it is only used to struggle against summer itself. And flower salad, doesn't seem to worth the risk.

 

And summer has nothing else, only challenging but not rewarding.

 

So, yes, I agree that summer desperately needs redesign, maybe by introducing mass of stuffs that can only be acquired in summer. But maybe something else.

 

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Dragonfly only appears on the end of summer.

?

*scrolls up to see what forum I'm in*

...

"Don't Starve Together - ROG" 

...

 

I'm sorry to say but in DST, the Dragonfly has been turned into a raid boss and can be found in her arena in the Desert year-long regardless of season. :)

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I agree, the smoldering mechanic is especially bad, and I agree with you that the in-game solutions to it are contrived. Nobody likes burning-your-base-down griefing and the developers nerfed Willow because of it, but the developers themselves grief everyone's bases in summer. Odd.

Also agree of course that the spontaneous combustion during night and as such is ridiculous, as is the spontaneous combustion of metal structures.

Can anyone report how playing with the smoldering setting on 'low' is? Maybe it's bearable enough to consider, rather than turning it off.

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?

*scrolls up to see what forum I'm in*

...

"Don't Starve Together - ROG" 

...

 

I'm sorry to say but in DST, the Dragonfly has been turned into a raid boss and can be found in her arena in the Desert year-long regardless of season. :-)

 

O____O

Sorry but I haven't yet played DST long enough to know that for sure.

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My advice, get better at the game.  All your complaints about the "difficulty" or chaotic nature of summer fall on deaf ears when it comes to the Don't Starve vets.  Ill say this everyone who is a veteran of Don't Starve was eased into summer and were mostly already very familiar with vanilla Don't Starve beforehand so the introduction of summer was a welcomed challenge.  For everyone in Together you were all thrown into the deep end and told to learn how to swim.  I get it, it sucks but nerfing summer will only detract from the game not make it better. 

 

In all honesty all the "challenges" of Don't Starve Together are quite EASY to overcome if the player base just did what the title implies, work Together.  Sadly this is not the case and most people are more inclined to grief and work selfishly rather than collectively. 

 

So in answer to your post's question "Time to rethink summer?"  NOPE!

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For me, summer lacks exclusive content. Winter have pengulls, mac tusk, winter bird (for the feather). It make winter more unique because you see news things and can obtain some specials items. Summer... Cactus flower, but it's very little.

 

I would love to see some special creatures in summer. It could add fun AND challenge, and making summer something dangerous but exciting.

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My advice, get better at the game.  All your complaints about the "difficulty" or chaotic nature of summer fall on deaf ears when it comes to the Don't Starve vets.  Ill say this everyone who is a veteran of Don't Starve was eased into summer and were mostly already very familiar with vanilla Don't Starve beforehand so the introduction of summer was a welcomed challenge.  For everyone in Together you were all thrown into the deep end and told to learn how to swim.  I get it, it sucks but nerfing summer will only detract from the game not make it better. 

 

In all honesty all the "challenges" of Don't Starve Together are quite EASY to overcome if the player base just did what the title implies, work Together.  Sadly this is not the case and most people are more inclined to grief and work selfishly rather than collectively. 

 

So in answer to your post's question "Time to rethink summer?"  NOPE!

 

Wrong.  You completely missed the point the OP made and went on to argue something completely different, which was difficulty.

 

The Original Post was unrelated to difficulty but FUN.  There is a small percentage of the community who only see and care about difficulty in Don't Starve, and that's fine for them, they'll be pleased either way as long as manna doesn't fall out of the sky for them.

 

There's a much bigger (vast majority) chunk of the community who want a very good balance between difficulty and fun.  They want both, but difficulty by itself will quickly turn boring.  The OP already explained how to survive summer, there's isn't much depth to it as far as the majority of the community knows.

 

The real point here is how to make a challenging season more fun, while keeping it challenging.  So to condense his points, this is basically what the OP suggested summer makes players do, which it currently doesn't:

 

  • Think long and hard about WHERE you setup camp and if/when you want to move it elsewhere later on. Think what biome, which resources and how close to the sea you want/can be, without sacrificing too much the previous two points.
  • Consider braving the caves as opposed to sitting out in the red hot sun during summer, and see how well you can manage surviving exclusively in the caves.
  • Hunt during the night, facing interesting and unique monsters, and seek shelter and refuge during the day, when the sun is at its strongest
  • Trees won't be as helpful as they are currently in the savannah / desert biomes.

I believe the point being made wasn't to make it easy, rather the opposite but more importantly more fun.  As you advised him to get better at the game, I advise you to read the bloody post.

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My advice, get better at the game.  All your complaints about the "difficulty" or chaotic nature of summer fall on deaf ears when it comes to the Don't Starve vets.  Ill say this everyone who is a veteran of Don't Starve was eased into summer and were mostly already very familiar with vanilla Don't Starve beforehand so the introduction of summer was a welcomed challenge.  For everyone in Together you were all thrown into the deep end and told to learn how to swim.  I get it, it sucks but nerfing summer will only detract from the game not make it better. 

 

In all honesty all the "challenges" of Don't Starve Together are quite EASY to overcome if the player base just did what the title implies, work Together.  Sadly this is not the case and most people are more inclined to grief and work selfishly rather than collectively. 

 

So in answer to your post's question "Time to rethink summer?"  NOPE!

Disagreed. Just because it is easy to overcome doesn't mean it is good enough or interesting. 

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If caves and some biomes were cooler overall, this would make them harder on winter. Therefore I totally agree with the OP suggestions and don't think it would make things easier, no. Just more fun.

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If caves and some biomes were cooler overall, this would make them harder on winter. Therefore I totally agree with the OP suggestions and don't think it would make things easier, no. Just more fun.

 

Caves should be warmer in winter and colder in summer. Since they are inherently dangerous and difficult, this would present players with a trade-off: deal with the harsh weather outside, or the constant darkness and various other dangers inside.

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Caves should be warmer in winter and colder in summer. Since they are inherently dangerous and difficult, this would present players with a trade-off: deal with the harsh weather outside, or the constant darkness and various other dangers inside.

 

This is already a thing according to the wiki

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My advice, get better at the game.  All your complaints about the "difficulty" or chaotic nature of summer fall on deaf ears when it comes to the Don't Starve vets.  Ill say this everyone who is a veteran of Don't Starve was eased into summer and were mostly already very familiar with vanilla Don't Starve beforehand so the introduction of summer was a welcomed challenge.  For everyone in Together you were all thrown into the deep end and told to learn how to swim.  I get it, it sucks but nerfing summer will only detract from the game not make it better. 

 

In all honesty all the "challenges" of Don't Starve Together are quite EASY to overcome if the player base just did what the title implies, work Together.  Sadly this is not the case and most people are more inclined to grief and work selfishly rather than collectively. 

 

So in answer to your post's question "Time to rethink summer?"  NOPE!

 

As a Don't Starve vet with hundreds of hours played I can assure you, you don't speak for everyone.  

 

The criticisms of summer in this thread are spot-on accurate.  

 

The smoldering mechanic is particularly troubling because it forces you to play a certain way.  Sufficient preparation(flingomatics+ice wands) does mitigate the problem somewhat, but the amount of work required to protect even a moderate sized base is disproportionate. 

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As a Don't Starve vet with hundreds of hours played I can assure you, you don't speak for everyone. The criticisms of summer in this thread are spot-on accurate. The smoldering mechanic is particularly troubling because it forces you to play a certain way. Sufficient preparation(flingomatics+ice wands) does mitigate the problem somewhat, but the amount of work required to protect even a moderate sized base is disproportionate.

 

You must not be much of a vet if you're complaining about summer.  Rethink your "you don't speak for everyone" when you speak mr "hundreds" of hours.  I know I don't speak for everyone but I know A LOT of Don't Starve vets and while summer is annoying none of them complain about it this much.  NONE OF THEM. 

 

And no the criticisms of summer are not spot on accurate. 

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My only issue with summer is the lack of exclusives. The smoldering issue while annoying isn't terribly hard to deal with. It doesn't cost you much health to put things out if it is out of range of your flingos. Plus there's things such as water balloons, or even just regular ice if you must.

But that's the thing, that's really all there is to summer. The world catches on fire, you catch on fire, a butterfly catches on fire and then so does everything else... you get the picture. Let's compare it to winter, which has obviously freezing, but it also alters a few other things. Ponds for example can no longer be fished in, but can be walked on. There's a few exclusive mobs, such as MacTusk and the winterbirds. It feels like a different season.

Summer at the current moment feels like Autumn just with some shriveled plants and more fires. I think it's a good start, but as OP said, expand on it. Exclusive creatures would be great, like say snakes/lizards or perhaps locusts. Or maybe as also mentioned a unique weather to mirror Winter's snowfall, which would be dry lightning storms.

I don't hate Summer (I can play through it fine), I just think it needs a little more spice in it.

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Maybe we could debate with argument and example rather than number of hours or friend ?

 

Also, it's not only a matter of difficulty but of goals.

For example, the way i play :

Autumn : search a good place for the base, start preparing winter. Finding beefalo, gears, silk... All the basics.

Winter : expanding the base since i spend time in it. Expeditions for harvesting resource far of the base. If possible, some walrus fight for the cane/tam/gems.

Spring : finding more gears if possible, ice. Preparing summer. If not still build, special camp for hound attack.

Summer : there is a lot more waiting for the next season.

 

You don't really have to prepare for autumn (you could prepare yourself for fighting giant, sure).

There isn't really purpose for travel : no unique resource to search, gathering resource is dangerous (you could miss a smoldering thing, starting fire and destroying nature), and most of the resource could be withered..

Of course, surviving is possible, and not especially difficult if you prepare summer well.

 

But, for me, it lack of something that make you decide "I'll go outside my base for a trip". I spend more time in my base because i avoid destruction of the world and i haven't really reason to move. For what ?

 

Summer could be dangerous in a way that make you SEARCH the danger. Because this danger give you something worthing it.
Like, i don't know. Exclusive monster giving you something great. It could be a way to have more grass/sapling/berry bush (and would create a way to make it renewable and balance the destructive part of summer). Or item allowing you to control weather (make rain, stop rain). There is a lot of things possible.

 

This monster, for example, will not make summer less dangerous, but will make summer more fun. You will have new goals, things you can only do in summer, so reason to take risk when you have to manage the heat and fire and all.

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