Toros Posted October 16, 2017 Share Posted October 16, 2017 What follows is a detailed analysis of Wilson's beard as a perk to describe both a realistic and idealized level of how it may be used. There will also be an analysis of alternative sources of beard hair and its utility. I believe based on comments I've seen that the benefits and especially the hair production of Wilson's beard is grossly overestimated. This impacts perception of character balance as there appears to be roughly two groups: Those that believe that Wilson is only marginally above Wes due to his beard being his sole perk, and those who feel Wilson is average due to his lack of downsides. Starting a fresh game in DST, the first decision point occurs at day 5 when Wilson has reached his first stage of beard, which provides 15 insulation (Rabbit earmuffs provide 60, Winter hat 120, Beefalo hat 240). The player can choose to shave at this point and acquire 1 beard hair while still having a full grown beard for just about the start of winter, as it takes 15 days for the beard to fully grow. They could instead shave at day 8 when the beard reaches the second stage, providing 3 beard hair, which is still not enough to produce an effigy alone. If the player reaches day 16 and has not yet shaved, they could shave for the full amount (9) of beard hair, but as the insulation provided by the beard goes from 0/15/45/135 it is really only the last stage that provides significant benefit. This would not be reached until day 31, only a few days before Winter ends. This means the player can either acquire 9 beard hair and forego insulation benefit for the majority of winter, or can acquire 0-1 beard hair and retain the benefit. A Wilson then will shave at the start of spring, having acquired 9-10 beard hair in 4 hours and 40 minutes of playtime. Spring and summer are likely to provide another 13 beard hair as letting the beard grow during the summer is actively detrimental. This provides a total of 23 beard hair in 9 hours and 20 minutes of playtime. That's a rate of roughly 1 beard hair every 3 days as a practical matter, which adds up to a total of 7 effigies. This is probably the most useful way to use the hair as it is a mediocre fuel and the only other recipe that uses it is bernie. In isolation, this doesn't seem bad considering that it's all passively gained. Unfortunately this is an ability that is directly helpful only in winter, and the slow rate of beard hair needs to be compared with other sources. For example, beardlords always drop 2 beard hair, so killing one is equivalent to 6 days of Wilson's passive gain. Shadow splumonkies have a 50% chance of dropping and beardlings have a 20% chance of dropping. Both of these are relatively weak and low hp enemies and any character can farm them for beard hair. It's not difficult to match or exceed the rate that Wilson produces the hair, and again hair has very limited uses. Effigies themselves have some issues as a resurrection method. Unlike an amulet, it doesn't restore you to life near your body. It also is vulnerable to fire and destruction by a boss or another player. For solo players it has clear disadvantages compared to an amulet, and for multiplayer telltale hearts are cheap to make and booster shots aren't very expensive either. Being revived near your body is probably more desirable. It's a mid-tier resurrection option which is often out of reach of new players (dying too much to grow beard, unable to effectively farm other sources) yet unnecessary for skilled players who are unlikely to die period, and will likely have an amulet before the end of the first spring. The other very relevant issue when it comes to Wilson is that his beard is lost on death. New players are very likely to die before reaching the end of winter, negating Wilson's sole perk. Wilson is considered by many to be the ideal starting character. For a new player, is 10 beard hair after nearly 5 hours if they survive a reasonable bet or a worthwhile benefit? I believe a strong argument could be made that Winona provides a better introduction as her perks are not dependent on continuous survival, which is exactly what a new player fails at. Wigfrid is a popular and reasonable choice as her mid-tier starting gear provides a potent and forgiving introduction to combat in don't starve and encourages swift crockpot prototyping. I hope this has granted you a better understanding of how Wilson's beard works in practice, and how especially new players will struggle to benefit from it. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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