To Klei and prospective buyers of Don't Starve Switch Edition


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To Klei and prospective buyers of Don’t Starve Switch Edition (DS: SE),

 

After lurking in the Klei forums reading the numerous well delivered bug reports and spending an equal amount of time sifting through the various Reddit posts at /r/DontStarve, I have come to the very disappointing conclusion that I will not, contrary to my initial intentions, be buying DS: SE and I wish to recommend that anyone else currently ‘on the fence’ about purchasing DS: SE simply to refrain from doing so. 

The primary reasons being the existence of bugs which hamper progression and a lack of reasonably timed response from the dev team or its representatives.  Please permit me to address the matter further.

Whilst the amount of bugs on Switch is concerning, many of them don’t necessarily hamper the player’s progression or ability to continue playing. It’s the bugs which directly affect the player’s ability to enjoy the game to the extent it was meant to be played which concern me more.

Bugs such as ‘The Cave Season’ bug, which has been well documented so I won’t be repeating the details here, can clearly been seen to effectively ruin the player experience. With their progress hampered to the point it’s unreasonable to expect the player to enter the caves at all, limiting their access to a great portion of the game and, therefore, much of the end game content that makes Don’t Starve so enjoyable.

The ‘Too Dark to See **** at Dusk’ bug seems to have made it over from the PS Vita version and whilst I understand the re-use of assets is a valid business strategy, I find Klei’s disregard for the experience of the end user, at best, completely lacking forethought and, at worst, a damning indication of the direction this growing game development company is heading in.

It is my humble opinion that as these two bugs directly affect the players ability to continue unimpeded with their in game progression and therefore should be front and centre of the current bug fixing agenda and, perhaps most importantly, discussed with the community regarding the progress on fixing said bug and any future intentions should fixing not go as planned. Is a cave fix attached to the Hamlet DLC? No-one knows.  It’s the lack of communication that exacerbates an already frustrating situation which is starting to sour my personal view on Klei as a company and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  I have taken a look at the forums and the ‘Cave Seasons’ bug is stated as a “common bug on all versions” with some of these posts going back 5 months or more!  Similarly, the last post from a Klei dev I could find on the matter was a couple of months old and simply linked a response to another thread which itself was a couple more months older.  A bug of this magnitude should not be considered common, at least not for the length of time this one has.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the PS Vita (understandable), PS4 and mobile editions have all but been cast to the wayside, out of the way of more important development, in a bid to increase cost effectiveness and efficiency of output from the no doubt very busy dev teams at Klei.  I believe that DS: SE is an off-shoot of at least one of these products thus giving us a comparably inadequate version to the PC version.  Though to some extent this is just a smart way of doing business, when it starts to have a detrimental effect on the end user and therefore potential customers of future games, then you have to wonder if it’s being cost effective at all.  In my case, these actions have caused me to be more cynical of future Klei offerings to the point where I, in this instance, I have not been persuaded to part with my hard-earned money and I’m sure I’m not alone in this regard.  And whilst you could argue that for every cynic that severs their ties to a company, there are plenty more fresh new naïve customers ready to fill that void, you would have to be in the bracket of ‘Too Big to Fail’ for this attitude not to come back and haunt you.

I feel at this point I should make it clear that although I am not a rabid fan of Klei I have always respected their output and as such have often bought their games on faith. I own Don’t Starve on PC and PSVita, Don’t Starve Together (which I feel may be the reason that so many of these bugs have been given a low priority), Mark of the Ninja, Oxygen Not Included, Invisible. Inc, and very nearly Crypt of the Necrodancer of which Klei was the publisher; though I decided against that one as the only steady beat I am able to maintain is my own heartbeat and even that requires effort.  I had planned to own the Hamlet DLC for Don’t Starve on PC as soon as it was released but now that plan has become a ‘Wait and See’.

I do not own Don’t Starve on the Switch. Though I hope Klei give me reason enough to do so in the near future.

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read this reasonably long post and I sign off with the hope that any responses are offered with pragmatism and a kindly disposition.

 

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Yeah, i agree with You 100%. The thing that makes me mad is the lack of comunication from the devs. I've spent 20€ in a product that is unplayable. The map that cover itself and the cave bug are really a serious thing. Now that I've realized that they will never be fixed, i'm really really sad. 

There is no review that mentions all The glitchs and bug and we cannot do anything. They fix things that are worthless like sound bug or Little visual glitch, missing the important ones that make the experience impossible and not enjoyable at all. 

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Thanks for posting this. I totally agree. I am gutted. I sent an enquiry to Klei and got fobbed off with a generic response.

I love Don't Starve and have played it on PS4 (some bugs initially that seemed to get sorted) and on Steam on Windows which seemed to have no problems at all. I have ploughed hours into this game and bought it 3 times (more fool me maybe). 

When it came out on Switch I didn't hesitate. Now, (having had one 300 days+ game crash and die and having started another with the hope it might just be an early bug that had been fixed by updates), I have just hit another game-breaking bug in the Ruins.

I get that Klei are a relatively small outfit without the resources of bigger studios but I find the lack of response pretty poor. I have spent money on their products and now regret it. Not sure I will again.

A real shame as when it works DS is a great game.

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