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Zeklo

Final Thoughts

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Zeklo    19196

With the Gorge coming to a close soon(tm) I thought I would give my final thoughts to potential better future events.
These are obviously my opinions.

 

Roles - Probably one of my biggest qualms with the Gorge is the sheer lack of impact "most" roles had. When it came down to it, all that mattered was if you had a good cook (unless you were trying to go for records). You'd see lobbies with "looking for good cook", while in the case of the Forge there was rarely (if ever, never saw any myself) cases of looking for specific roles. Part of this was due to the fact that this mode was soloable—which for a number of people was a good thing, but unfortunately had a negative impact for a multiplayer gamemode. Literally a single cook could play a round with 2 other people, and do the entirety of the work. Teamwork only really mattered for achievements, which makes sense, but still shouldn't be limited to that style of play.

Another big issue is simply the matter of "fun". Chopping wood for an entire game is boring. It was the role I only ever played if I didn't want to use any effort and just leech xp off the people who were actually doing the work. Cook was the flashy role who did most of the obvious work, usually assigned to the highest level player, but also the most stressful. The fate of the entire match rested on them alone, and messing up would be on the cook, and cook alone. I found gardener to be the most enjoyable while balancing gameplay impact.

RNG - While it didn't really affect me much, the RNG elements were not favorable. For a long while people kept getting destroyed on the early bread round, and while this isn't the case as much anymore some highscore runs rely on getting a specific set of cravings, or getting lucky with mixed seeds. Consistency should be considered before all else, especially in the case of the Tournament. A Tournament makes much less sense for the Gorge with it's RNG aspects than in comparison with the Forge. This only really matters because competition, leaderboards, and tournaments got involved with the events (sadly).

A case in which I would love RNG in an event is in a sort of rogue-like dungeon crawl. Unfortunately if future events follow this competition oriented outlook it wouldn't work—to which I bring up the case of direct competition. If you're going to have competition make a proper PvP event, not necessary combat, but just players against players. If the pattern holds, the next event will be about sanity. So lore-wise I'm sure you could manage the characters going a big mad and having at one another for one reason or another.

Players Count - I honestly preferred the 6-player matches of the Forge. I understand it might be difficult for some to find 5 additional teammates, but I feel that matchmaking with randoms was much more enjoyable. Particularly, because if one person wasn't as good as the rest, the others could make up for it, and while this is true with the Gorge it isn't to quite such an extent. As an occasional streamer it also limited the amount of viewers I could play with, and while this isn't a concern for most, in my opinion more is better, together.

Timer - To start off I just want to say how much I HATE timers in any form of game. They're by definition limiting and stressful. I much prefer having a goal to complete and if my team and myself are not capable of doing such then it results in a loss. What I very much didn't enjoy is that, at least initially, higher score related to longer time. In my opinion, an event match should last no longer than 30 minutes, and lower time should equal more score. It's both efficient and convenient.

Characters - Surprisingly, I actually kind of missed the character specific accomplishments from the Forge. I suppose there wouldn't be as much diversity in the Gorge—which is another topic. Character perks were much less interesting, and as a result there was much less diversity in matches. Although there was still a "meta" in the Forge there was much more variety. Ever see a Wigfrid in the Gorge? I can say without joking I didn't (Except as a joke during the all meat accomplishment I guess).

Lore - On point—er I mean it was severely lacking and you need to add a lot more.

 

Most of these are negative, so I want to at least address that there was still a bunch I enjoyed, but I didn't want to double the size of the post. This is enough for now, as I can't recall any more qualms off the top of my head, but I'm sure I'll be back to complain. Bahaha.

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pedregales    480

Yeah, the character roles were very bland this event, and in most cases inconsequential:

  • Wilson/Wolfgang/Wendy were amazing cooks, and Wendy in particular was useful because of how fast things burned in the grill (plus the free rot), but none of them compared much to Wes' bargaining powers unless you were doing something very specific. Willow was kinda useful, but getting fuel was not really a problem to begin with, specially if you had sap to use; so you only used her if you liked the character, if at all.
  • Wickerbottom's books were nice for a heads start against bread in 2nd round, but after that she had barely any impact on the game; but honestly the bread on 2nd round was only a problem if you played solo, or had bad money management.
  • Maxwell despite being inferior to WX and Woodie, he was a decent gatherer, but very annoying to use (throw book around trees --> chop trees alongside your shadow --> shadow is gone --> grab book --> rinse and repeat)... Although at the end he was being used more and more, so maybe he was a better chopper than Woodie? Or maybe they were just fed up with Woodie and WX as gatherers and seeing the same faces each match...
  • Wigfrid was, to say the least: useless. Wickerbottom at least was useful for a head start, but Wigfrid was useful if, and only if you wanted to kill beefalos, and even then she was not really needed one bit. You didn't need her to make each beefalo meal at least once and you still got beefalos to kill, you didn't even need her to win the "Killing Spree" accomplishment, and she was just as useful as Wickerbottom without her books.

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TheOracle    13

Maxwell in our group at least didn't have to stand there chopping trees. He can just throw down the book and go run salt or cook or something, then just pick up logs and reset book next time he passed by. Frees you up a lot when you don't have to chop the trees yourself, and time is important.

Don't forget Webber/Winona, they made great farmers. Webber didn't have any animations for picking and planting, so personally mained him in gorge. Winona seemed pretty popular too since she did everything a lil faster.

Wes's ability to buy plates for one blue was amazing.

I agree on RNG being a pain. It sucked having to restart so much on rounds 2 for that bread. In the tournament, round 5 resets until we got soup was pretty annoying too. Mainly just upset that early bread is so much weaker than the vegetable, so you felt like you had to reset it.

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myxal    367
On 7/18/2018 at 2:29 AM, pedregales said:

Maxwell despite being inferior to WX and Woodie, he was a decent gatherer, but very annoying to use (throw book around trees --> chop trees alongside your shadow --> shadow is gone --> grab book --> rinse and repeat)...

 

6 hours ago, TheOracle said:

Maxwell in our group at least didn't have to stand there chopping trees.

This was intentionally changed by Klei some half-way during the Gorge. I think I read about it in a changelog, but can't find it now.

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maradyne    4979

I loved the premises of both the Forge and the Gorge. I've been playing DS since sometime around the Birds And The Bees And The Dogs That Want To Kill You update; regardless, The Forge was the most fun I've ever had with these games.

I stressed out hard enough on the Gorge that I never even touched it again after the first couple of days.
Previously mentioned issues with the role system (or lack of one) were a major contributor. Combined with only 3 players per match...
Well.

 

Don't Starve is fun because while it's punishing, you have a chance to learn from your mistakes and try again. While there are limits like the spawning of Giants that you have to prepare for, for the most part, you can prepare...or you can try different strategies, like running away like the nerd you are until you figure out what to do...or trip over an angry bee hive. It might be difficult, but it's fine because it doesn't feel like a big deal. You steadily face more challenges, and learn how to deal with each.

The Forge followed this pattern, by advancing the match based on wave-clearing and health levels, rather than, say, piling everything onto you at once and telling you to make it snappy. The mobs didn't all spawn at once and dog-pile on you. They pig-piled on you, it's different.
In the same vein, Hounds don't spawn on the first day.
Giant's and challenges like Wildfire don't spawn during the first season.
Even lure-plants give the player time to get comfortable, and take advantage of that comfort in a pretty neat way.

 

...the Gorge immediately puts you in a beyond-end-game-skill situation with little indication of what to do. There's no steady buildup, it's just BAM, DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY RIGHT OR YER DED. Take time to experiment? YER DED.
Pile this up with other conditions.
A constant ticking down timer; if you don't know what to do to appease the angry mouth immediately upon starting the match, it's going to tick down faster and rush a result.
Combine this with a concerned, anxiety inducing cute goat lady following you around bleating about impending doom and how YOU NEED TO DO THE THING RITE NAO every 4 seconds if you're near the center, i.e. cooking or farming.
Combine this with the recipes not being shown in-game until someone else makes them in a match, and not really having time to look at them or the web-page while the angry sky descends upon you anyway.
Combine this with it being a multiplayer mode, so if you don't know what you're doing you're trolling and ruining everyone else's match and obviously it's on purpose because that's how mob mentality works.
Combine this, again, with just 3 players. In a time sensitive mode. Unless you really have a master player in the mix (which assumes you managed to find one who didn't immediately run away screaming bloody murder upon seeing a level lower than their own), learning means screwing up the game for the other players, who you'll meet again in matchmaking. Even if you have a master player, one mistake can wreck a match, or at the very least feel like it did.

 

I really, really liked the premise of this mode, and would like to see many of the aspects of it included in the base game, or maybe even in a future version of the Gorge mode.
But for the love of the holy silver plated flying spaghetti monster with one meatball please never run this mode in its current state again for the remaining lifetime of DST.

 

Seriously.
This experience was horrible enough that I haven't even been playing any form of DS/DST much lately, and I have no problem steamrolling through anything else that
the game has to offer. The association with this mode by itself is enough to keep me away for a good while. I've tried playing DST several times since the Gorge experience, and I quickly feel the need to just close it and get the hell away due to immediately being stressed out.
Which sucks, because the mode did add some great skins that I'd like to get some use out of. The Victorian skin designs were marvelous.
Suppose I'll need to wait for the Nam flashbacks to ware off.

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pedregales    480
8 hours ago, lifetheuniverse said:

...the Gorge immediately puts you in a beyond-end-game-skill situation with little indication of what to do. There's no steady buildup, it's just BAM, DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY RIGHT OR YER DED. Take time to experiment? YER DED.

Yeah this was also a big problem for me. Plenty of time I wanted to come with the recipes on my own, but I didn't want to mess things up for the group plus I wasn't sure if the Gnaw was going to be satisfied (crab cake does not count as "fish", I thought fish was just short for "seafood", well, they meant it literally); and there were times where I didn't have much time to "improvise". I still loved this event though.

11 hours ago, myxal said:

 

This was intentionally changed by Klei some half-way during the Gorge. I think I read about it in a changelog, but can't find it now.

Found the post. The range lift up did open up Maxwell for more tasks, making 2 player runs easier with him as gatherer and farmer. You would still have to grab-n-throw the book every 2 trees (roughly) though.

 

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minespatch    78382

Good post, Zeklo. I had fun with both F'Gorge and very hyped for the future. THOUGH, I hope the devs read your critiques. This is what they need to focus on.

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Sunsoft    14
On 16. 7. 2018 at 8:59 PM, Zeklo said:

 

I believe that Klei didn't have many ideas what to do with character perks at first. Maxwell was same like Woodie (except slower), Wigfrid was useless because there wasn't much to do with her, since Gorge wasn't about hunting. Maybe if she could get two meat scraps from one animal, then that would make her usable, but I doubt anybody would use her anyway. Maybe for Killing spree achievement. Perks like efficient oven for Wolfgang doesn't fit with his character at all (unless Klei wanted to hint that Wolfgang worked in bakery before he became strongman, given his origins - which would be totally genius). 

Another Thing I didn't like about RNG - unlockable cases and Billy's wandering. I understand that Klei perhaps wanted people to be more dynamic by making cookpot/casserole/sap tools random, but in cases of some achievements it meant that finishing the run was at RNG's mercy. Billy's wandering was the most annoying part to me (even more than bread on second round), because it wasted time and sometimes he could hide behind some structure. Atleast if he had some pattern...

When it comes to character achievements, I didn't mind them much, because they were awarded for something given character was meant to do anyway (res as Wilson, use firestaff as Willow, deal most dmg as dps Webber) but I understand why you miss them. Forces one to try out everyone and gives that sweet xp.

On 18. 7. 2018 at 2:29 AM, pedregales said:

 

Well, WIllow was my most used character, and it wasn't just because I like her. My playstyle didn't focus on one cook station, so I liked her role for being all-around cook. Wes was good for speedruns and 7 dishes under, but there wasn't much to him in No silver linings run, given money was abundant anyway. Since I was playing with strangers and gatherer role was taken often by beginner, slow fuel consumption meant that gatherer had time and space to discover different places of the map/help with gardening and learn the role this way, without having much pressure onto him. I find funny that Klei buffed Willow later on, because I found her good enough even before the buff, but that might just be me.

 

Thanks for the Gorge event, I enjoyed it a lot. While forge felt repetitive to me after 50 levels, I got 80+ levels in Gorge and still couldn't have enough of it.  Despite the smaller character meaning, the variety of possible ways to complete the game made it up for me. I actually liked that you could solo the game and do most of the stuff by yourself, because I experienced some heavy frustration in forge that occured from relying on other people (the most memorable happened when Wilson lured boarrior out of healing circle, maybe because he panicked that he targeted him, right onto me, while I was badly hurt because boarrior chained attacks at me right after I wiped most of battle pigs with meteorite - which resulted in my death and despite not being able to prevent this at all, the whole team hated me for ruining flawless run when it was clearly Wilson's fault - or the many cases where the game was ruined by one accidental attack on sleeping boarrior). Since you needed only one good player instead of couple to actually enjoy the game and win, it didn't felt "elitist", thus being more open and avaliable to wider part of public and people struggling to get whole team of decent players. But yes, where Forge might feel too hard during the unpredictiveness of the final boss, Gorge might feel too easy and forgiving in some scenarios. I think Klei should find the middle ground between (achievement) difficulties of Gorge and Forge, because both has pluses and cons. I would appreciate 4 - 5 players event next time.  

One thing that was dissapointing to me and I don't think anybody has mentioned it - is the victorian theme of gorge event. Because in all honesty, what was actually "Victorian" in gorge? Just a few of useless buildings in biome where they felt like they don't belong there and nobody paid attention to them, few streetlamps and fence. The whole map could have used things and textures from normal game and it would be totally fine, unlike Forge. It is nice to have Victorian skins, but I don't think that Victorian era is mostly remembered for cooking, or that cooks cooked in fancy suits/alchemist outfits. Take a comparison between Forge warrior skin themes, which totally fit the game, and Gorge stuff.

I just think that Victorian era has many interesting/unique aspects and elements that could produce enough interesting content for one whole event, than just using it for pointless decoration in event which has barely anything common with Victorian setting. And now we don't even have any cooking outfits now, because the ones used in Gorge were event limited. :(

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pedregales    480
4 hours ago, Sunsoft said:

Well, WIllow was my most used character, and it wasn't just because I like her. My playstyle didn't focus on one cook station, so I liked her role for being all-around cook. Wes was good for speedruns and 7 dishes under, but there wasn't much to him in No silver linings run, given money was abundant anyway. Since I was playing with strangers and gatherer role was taken often by beginner, slow fuel consumption meant that gatherer had time and space to discover different places of the map/help with gardening and learn the role this way, without having much pressure onto him. I find funny that Klei buffed Willow later on, because I found her good enough even before the buff, but that might just be me.

Gotta agree and disagree. I did use Willow a lot (before and after buff) because I liked the character, and she was decent, but she didn't compare to the other chefs or Wes, even if you used all stations and after the buff. Wes was also excellent for long runs as 1 sapphire coin was enough to buy a silverware with him, which meant you could almost serve in silverware non-stop after getting your first sapphire coin or silverware; this was specially useful for the Tournament. She was decent, but not really good.

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CarlZalph    4266

Well put.

The only thing missing for me is that if a timer is required, then it should display in exact time how much time is left and not some arbitrary bar.

Having to rely on a mod to tell you specifics isn't the best, especially since a lot of client mods break under edge cases thanks to either the inexperience of the modder or unforeseen events.  This affects public group play since one or more party members could inexplicably 'leave' making the others think they just got bailed on and then continue to leave as well.

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maradyne    4979
21 minutes ago, CarlZalph said:

Having to rely on a mod to tell you specifics isn't the best, especially since a lot of client mods break under edge cases thanks to either the inexperience of the modder or unforeseen events.  This affects public group play since one or more party members could inexplicably 'leave' making the others think they just got bailed on and then continue to leave as well.

Yyyyeaaaa...that happened the one time I almost beat the event with a group.
Wanted to see what message would be displayed if I tried Status Announcements on Sammy's shop inventory. Y'know, it's basically a crafting menu, should be functionally similar, might be useful to let people know how close we are to getting specific items.

It was an error message.

...we were just about to send up the meal for our third favor.

T - T

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Lumina    2149

I did liked the fact that the gatherer job was more relaxed than others, it offered some space for beginners or for people wanting to play without the pressure of managing dishes and risking failing stuff. I was willing to be the gatherer a couple time because i don't wanted to have to much pressure.

What is a little more annoying is that there isn't a lot of space to change roles during the game in most cases, because there is no real reason for that and it will probably create more errors and wasting time. So it's not easy to experiment or have space to learn, meaning that the best way to learn how to play the cook is to look at the forum/outside informations.

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fimmatek    4204

My feedback shortly: I liked the Gorge, it was nice, but all together I enjoyed the Forge more. The Forge was more fun on the long run and I loved to play it over and over, just for the fun, but this wasn't the case this time. But I enjoyed its learning phase much more, and with friends I played a lot, but it wasn't that much fun alone with randoms.

Some detailed feedback: 

My biggest problem was the lot of crash at the beginning (and after most bigger updates). Maybe a longer beta would have been useful. I really hope that there won't be such serious bugs at the next event because it's very annoying. Our team had a good plan at the beginning to survive long (back when surviving long in the Gorge wasn't trivial yet and the best teams were just breaching 10k), but we couldn't try it because we were constantly crashing and losing progress for 3 days. And by the time we could try how good we could be and maybe even get into the top teams, the highscore wasn't about skills anymore but about who can sit longer at the computer. It was really disappointing.

I don't know which I liked more, the 3-player teams or the 6-player ones, because although it was more fun with 6 people, it was much easier to find 2 friends than to find 5. 

I liked that we had some rng and the cravings were more or less random, but I really disliked that a match's success depens on rng. I found it sad that we had to restart each time we got bread at the 2 round and we wanted to speedrun. RNGarling too - I didn't do any 5-dishes run so I didn't care much about it, but I don't think it's a good idea that some accomplishments depend on rng instead of skills and knowledge.

Also, please Klei, next time don't make any character "useless" (except for Wes maybe). So long there were always a "worst" character, Wendy during the Forge and Wigfrid during the Gorge - I know there are better and less optimal characters, but there shouldn't be any that is a "bad choice".

6 hours ago, Lumina said:

What is a little more annoying is that there isn't a lot of space to change roles during the game in most cases, because there is no real reason for that and it will probably create more errors and wasting time. So it's not easy to experiment or have space to learn, meaning that the best way to learn how to play the cook is to look at the forum/outside informations.

Funny, I found that in the Gorge we had much more freedom regarding roles than in the Forge. Basically every character could do everything fine, everyone could gather, run or cook, even if not that optimal than some others, and it was easy for us to quickly swap roles when we needed

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Lumina    2149
7 hours ago, fimmatek said:

Funny, I found that in the Gorge we had much more freedom regarding roles than in the Forge. Basically every character could do everything fine, everyone could gather, run or cook, even if not that optimal than some others, and it was easy for us to quickly swap roles when we needed

Totally possible that it was the playstyle we used that limited us. I agree it was also the case on the forge but maybe the difference was that all the forge roles were maybe all "epic" in some sort of way, when cooking is, but not cutting wood, in the gorge. So there were less need for swapping in gorge in this point of view (at least for me).

In the gorge i have the feeling that the swaping is less easy when you have character with strongs perk, maybe more easy with more generic character like winona ? Also, the swaping is easier when people have enough knowledge, but acquiring knowledge usually means either spending precious time with experiments or looking for answers.
But this point is hard to solve anyway...

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axxel    1152

Is it a bad thing to think if the farm fields and the cooking stations are too close? In my playthroughs most famers went idle (and forgot about wheat in later rounds) because many dishes don't need vegetables as fillers. Imo the starter dishes should 4 ingedients and big dishes should have 5 or 6 ingredients.

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__IvoCZE__    8373

The fact that the characters were so bland is even supported by fact that in beta ( 3 or 2 day before release ) they didn't even have ''perks''...

 

In Forge on the other hand the characters had every perk ready ( yeah they were kinda unbalanced but rather unbalanced than completely bland )

2-1 weeks ready before release is telling a lot , plus considering that the forge was annouced on September and was released on November and Gorge was had like 5 months and was completely unannouced...

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