[Pro-Lategame Idea] Why not make it so that prototyping something actually creates a prototype?


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Perhaps this is a discussion that was had long ago on the forums or by the developers themselves because it's something that I've wondered since the first day that I played Don't Starve. I apologize in advance if I'm beating a long-dead horse, but otherwise here's the pitch for some lategame options.

When you first create an item using a science/magic machine, it's called "prototyping" it, right? So what I immediately thought was that the item I'd be making would be a lesser version of the item's full capability that could be improved upon, yet taught me the basics of making the item so that I could make it on the fly. I was slightly disappointed to find that this was not the case. Prototyping the item just meant that I, from then on, knew how to make it without needing a science machine and that's it. 

Personally, I think there's room for a gameplay feature that adds depth here!

Imagine this; when you first make a prototype of an item, (Say, a spear or a shovel) it's cheap, it's shoddy, and it will get the job done. It's a true prototype. However, if you continue to use the appropriate or higher tier science machines and choose to devote extra resources to the crafting of your item, you can eventually reach the completed, standard product we use now, optionally tying in a (removed) idea from the very oldest phases of this game, which was science points and feeding resources to the science machine to learn how to craft stuff! A neat idea, right?

But that's not all. Just like you'd intuitively think when seeing a prototype, you're not limited to simply reaching a finished, default product. With this idea, you're able to bring it even further if you make your later creations with even more expensive testing ingredients at a superior science machine (for example, a spear at an alchemy engine) and with time, effort, and plenty of excess resource spending that would just be sitting in your lategame chests anyway, you can have a spear or logsuit 2.0, using gold or marble or hound teeth, and perhaps it would last longer, do a little more damage, or both! Maybe you could even make that choice yourself! Maybe you can even use blueprints that you've found for items you already know how to make to improve the item further! Think about it.

How it would work:

First off, I'd love to say that you could just make your own, custom items with all sorts of crazy sciencey magickey combinations for crazy, lategame-worthy costs (slotting things with gems and unique hilts/handles with unique functions,imbuing things with nightmare fuel, etc) but, frankly, I just don't think Klei would wanna put the time and effort toward something like that because it would just take so much work to make it possible to make totally customizable items. But don't get me wrong. If they did add that in, it would be absolutely amazing. Maybe it could even be something only Wilson can do. Maybe ALL of this could be something only Wilson could do, to make him a little less "I am default character" with some more veteran interest. Anyway, moving on:

Each time you craft the item, and each time the item breaks, you gain 'knowledge' or 'science points' (or whatever the heck you wanna call it) toward that item, like experience. I'd like to say that you get more experience from using the item until it breaks than just making the item over and over, but hey, if we're talking balance, wasting a huge amount of resources making like 10 spears you wont even use, just to get a better spear can be an option, though probably not the best way to spend your resources, especially earlygame. Also, since the 2.0 product might cost some pretty expensive things, it may be best that it's possible to choose either the 1.0 or 2.0 version of the item in the crafting menu. (it's not like you'd forget how to make the worse versions of the item)

You can accelerate the process by adding experimental items to the creation of the item, which may or may not actually make the item slightly better, but either way will give you extra knowledge if it's actually an applicable resource. (Adding more sticks to a tool can help with durability and knowledge, and adding something unrelated like silk or charcoal will obviously do nothing. Maybe it wont even be allowed)

Here are but a simple few of the many different ideas that came to mind when I thought of "items 2.0 or even 3.0" (when utilizing a shadow manipulator)

Spear 2.0, requiring an alchemy engine: Marble/limestone tipped (x1 marble) (marble seriously has like no uses) with a gold trim (x2 gold) and plenty of sticks. (x3-5) (can involve rope too, but if I remember correctly, items usually only have 3 separate ingredients?) It'd have more durability and slightly more damage than the ordinary spear.

Spear 3.0, requiring a shadow manipulator (or presti/piratehatitator I guess): Walrus Tusk hilt (x2 walrus tusks, another item ending up being in abundance and completely useless once you have a single walking stick) with a living log handle (x1-2, same issue as walrus tusks, so few uses) and a stabber fueled by the cruelest nightmares. (x3-5 nightmare fuel) Function: Same durability as 2.0 if not less, but the two walrus tusks allow this weapon to dual-function as an upgraded spear and a walking cane. Maybe a tiny bit more damage too, something close to dark sword but perhaps a little less. But as with all nightmare fuel uses, great power comes with great scariness, and it'll drain your sanity a little when held.

Spear 4.0, involving ancient pseudoscience nonsense and incredibly rare items like thulecite, YOU GET THE POINT :wilson_laugh: )

Better, more expensive and trade-offy boats and sails and boat lights!

Who doesn't want to be able to upgrade the stupid boat torch?! 

And keep in mind, this idea is not just limited to tools. It could be for lots of things you can prototype (but obviously not all), even science machines themselves and things like the lightning rod or crock pot. Imagine making an advanced lightning rod that has a way bigger light radius for a much crazier cost and an insanity aura, or an upgraded shadow manipulator that can dual-function AS a lightning rod, and when it's electrified, it unlocks bonus recipes you can't usually find, like obsidian items! Fun, situational, lategame things like that!

Let me know what you guys think. I'm obviously pretty into the idea but it's much more important how everybody else feels about the idea. So let me know, and feel free to add extra things that you think might make this idea even better! Who knows, this might actually happen in one way or another!

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I agree with you that Don't Starve could handle a little more endgame mechanics and your idea would fit very good for that.

 

But there are some critical problems for that implementation:

Your idea will add a lot of content that has to be balanced out and this for basically every item existing in the game for multiple times.

That is a huge effort and is very difficult to do porperly. Like imagine your spear 2.0 would only have 50 uses more but costs a ton of valuable resources. No one would even dare to touch it. Keep in mind that DS is a survival game so people will always try to find the most effective items and strategies and will even consistently exploit them if given a chance to do so. As soon as your balance is a little bit off, it is broken.

You would also run into resource supplying problems of the world. SW is known for running out of flint and gold very fast. So even if your tools 3.0 are supreme you are basically unable to build it because the ingredients are too rare or deplete too fast.

Even if it doesn't sound like a huge deal your mechanics can be game-breaking. I can easily imagine that Klei would have to completely overhaul the base game (with expansions) and additionally has to add your new content and balance it out in order to keep everything running smoothly.

 

So this is more an idea for a Don't Starve 2  or a really big expansion rather than for Shipwrecked improvements.

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6 hours ago, ThaumicParrot said:

Where would you find these in SW? There should be little ships that roam around with Captain MacTusk and cabin tusk! They could have spearguns instead of blowguns, and retire to a little dock on an island at night!

It was just an example, though I really hope walruses of some sort are implemented in SW at some point. It makes plenty of sense, right? 

Love your idea though! Sounds really cool.

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5 hours ago, Lacost said:

I agree with you that Don't Starve could handle a little more endgame mechanics and your idea would fit very good for that.

 

But there are some critical problems for that implementation:

Your idea will add a lot of content that has to be balanced out and this for basically every item existing in the game for multiple times.

That is a huge effort and is very difficult to do porperly. Like imagine your spear 2.0 would only have 50 uses more but costs a ton of valuable resources. No one would even dare to touch it. Keep in mind that DS is a survival game so people will always try to find the most effective items and strategies and will even consistently exploit them if given a chance to do so. As soon as your balance is a little bit off, it is broken.

You would also run into resource supplying problems of the world. SW is known for running out of flint and gold very fast. So even if your tools 3.0 are supreme you are basically unable to build it because the ingredients are too rare or deplete too fast.

Even if it doesn't sound like a huge deal your mechanics can be game-breaking. I can easily imagine that Klei would have to completely overhaul the base game (with expansions) and additionally has to add your new content and balance it out in order to keep everything running smoothly.

 

So this is more an idea for a Don't Starve 2  or a really big expansion rather than for Shipwrecked improvements.

I totally understand and agree with what you're saying. Please forgive me if I didn't make it clear that this post was mostly just me blathering ideas out of curiosity for what will stick with everyone else. The recipes I made were mostly just theoretical examples to give the reader some idea of what I'm going for here. The recipes and the purposes could obviously use a lot of balancing that I - as some random dink on the internet - do not have enough knowledge to propose properly. Especially because I'm somewhat new to very advanced mechanics in the game (I've never even been to the ruins because the very concept terrified me and it took me a long time to get good due to refusing to use the wiki and wanting to figure things out for myself.)

And honestly, I was trying my best to keep this as concise as possible (still failed) while still including all the different things I was thinking about for this. 

As for running out of resources in SW, I haven't run into this problem personally, but I'm sure it exists in much later parts of the game, which is why it may be best that the tools are made of renewable, yet somewhat difficult to obtain items that have drawbacks (Nightmare fuel/living logs/limestone are a great example). I was really just trying to set a standard of difficulty.

Honestly what I'm hoping more than anything else for this idea is that it's something that can be put in with something like a Through The Ages sort of deal. If I remember correctly, their goal for that mega update is to add a lot more features to the lategame, with the world changing more over time? If so that's amazing and I'd love to see something like this too. Either in part or in full, with much-needed balance corrections!

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