3 Tier Research Proposal

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The idea behind the science mechanic is two fold. First, it acts as a tutorial for new players, limiting the amount of content they are confronted with. Second, science helps pace the game. A good example of this working is the more advanced weapons like sleeping darts. New players don't have to tackle the more complicated weapons, and the weapons will be available later in the game to deal with whatever monstrosities the world starts letting in.

However, I lied. There is a third reason for the science mechanic. That is the idea that the science machine is a companion to exploration. Players are rewarded for exploring through improved technology. Each tier of science should promote a distinct stage of exploration.

Tier 1 Science Machine

Keep it basic. The Science Machine is for getting the player's feet wet. Sticks, rocks, and gold require some basic exploration to find. It's fine as it is. This currently explores the immediate grassland biome and the quarry biomes.

Tier 2 Alchemy Machine

Ideally, the tier 2 machine should encourage the player to explore regions they normally do not. So instead of the current resources, I suggest: paper, meat, and silk. Paper would encourage exploration of the swamp biome while meat and silk would involve fighting or salvaging.

Tier 3 Calculus Machine

The proposed third tier would start exploring midgame content. As there isn't much midgame content yet, my item proposal is going to be incomplete. I suggest: nightmare fuel, hound teeth, and something. By this stage, I'd imagine the player would be around day 10-15. They would have explored much of their map, done a fair amount of fighting, and so the next step would be to introduce the insanity mechanic. Some of the more exotic items like the amulet and night armor will be available at this tier. There will be a notion of risk versus reward exploration here. The hound teeth is included as well to keep the player from jumping straight into tier 3. They will have to survive a few days first, acting as a signal that the player should be well equipped before venturing into insanity for the nightmare fuel.

I'd also like to suggest a bit of farmplot rebalancing here as well.

Basic Farmplot -> available with Science Machine. Lets you grow food.

Speedy Farmplot -> available with Science Machine. Lets you grow meat, giving it an incomparable quality. It'll also give an alternative to killing animals for meat for research progression. Make it grow really slowly though and maybe with another negative, it could grow monster meat for instance. Maybe rename it to Meatplot.

Turbo Farmplot -> available with Calculus Machine. Lets you grow food faster. It's part of the reward versus risk mechanic behind the third tier research. The player is rewarded with a better farmplot. This should indirectly give a reason for players to use the Basic Farmplot as a stopgap.

Some additional thoughts

I think it would be cool if there were many methods for acquiring resources as to not force the player to perform a particular task to get a particular resource. A good example of this is gold. The player can choose to mine for gold, find gold, or trade with the pig king. There are multiple methods of acquiring gold, but they all promote the basic idea of exploration. So for the Alchemy machine, resources like meat can be collected in various ways: murdering pigmen, hunting beefalos, or poaching tallbirds. There isn't much to be done with silk and paper however, but I think it's a good thing to keep the idea of multiple routes with similar gameplay intent of exploration when considering items for the science machines.

Edited by Snarks
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I believe a boat needs to be made in an upper tier, to go across the "ocean" and fight sea monsters. And have docks for the boats, and in a sandbox game like Don't Starve crossing a giant ocean to find new land would be an amazing way to put the character in his place about how the world is. I think the content would seem to double to people if they could ride on boats and fight sea creatures as they find their way to new lands. Perhaps in the ocean there could even be islands with buried treasure.

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Although I really like the idea of introduction of T3, I think that simply spreading the items we have right now across these tiers is just a very lousy way to do it. Seeing how devs constantly introduce patches with more content, it would make a lot more sense if they create T3 and slowly fill it with the most powerful items and technological pieces.In other words, I agree with OP's idea, but disagree on execution. :drunk:

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