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[Video] The Problems with DST


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I wouldn't normally post videos on the forums, but this one is a bit different.

Obviously, whether you agree/disagree on what I say is fine, please reply to this topic with your thoughts if you so wish. I really want to see how people may react to my thoughts (the Klei forums generally seems to have different viewpoints to a typical YouTube comments section.)
Thanks for reading and (hopefully) watching!

 

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Well, that ending was a cliffhanger. Thanks for being honest. Post the second video here when you get to it.

I hope Klei responds to it. There's some honest commentary here that is worth the listen. Though the editions to the Florid Postern are a positive change for the base game, looking forward to what they're planning for the future.

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While I do agree with this, there's just a few things I'd like to clarify on Toadstool:

Firstly, he is no longer on a timer. That was removed not too long after his first implementation. If for whatever reason you want to punch him to death using Wes, nothing is stopping you from doing that (aside from the agonizing boredom and complete waste of time it would result in).

Secondly, his drops are not entirely decorative. The mushroom hats are rather niche in both the hunger reduction and spore farming, but if you want to get the most out of mushroom farms then these are valuable tools (Using spores instead of mushrooms themselves in a mushroom planter results in a higher harvest if you didn't know). I'd say that mushlights and glowcaps are the main selling point for defeating toadstool though. These are sources of light that last significantly longer then any campfire and require less maintenance. Pop in a few lightbulbs (or spores with the glowcap) and they're good for several days. These are more of a late game convenience then anything though. The convenience factor is doubled for any cave base, as lightbulbs are plentiful and darkness is everywhere.

Now are these worth it for such a tedious fight? Not really. Not unless you're bored. But that's not really the point I was trying to make.

I'm also surprised there was no mention of misery toadstool. A "secret" boss that has a significantly higher health pool, and gives you a significantly less rewarding item then normal.

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According to Steam Charts, the game popularity is currently higher than average and continues to grow. Thus I do not quite understand what you mean by “the game is obviously dying”. I am by no means defending the gameplay imbalance, which is indeed in a bad spot, but I don’t think the devs really put much time into playing the game and, because of that, any rebalancing is absolutely impossible.

Personally I think that limited-time events and skins are good because they generate a lot of hype in a short amount of time. If they were to be freely accessible, everyone would be like “Meh, I guess it’s there, but I don’t feel like grinding for nothing today”. You’ve suggested making them available through the gateway, but then how are the new players supposed to enjoy the content?

As for character rework, although I think that would be very nice, it is not necessary to insure the game’s popularity. 

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10 minutes ago, Alarsin said:

According to Steam Charts, the game popularity is currently higher than average and continues to grow. Thus I do not quite understand what you mean by “the game is obviously dying”

What were they like before September 27th? That was when there were announcements for the Forge, Hollowed Nights, ect, ect. So of course announcements of temporary content, and a drop of permanent content like that is bound to cause a large spike in active players in a game dealing with a content drought. Looking at it's current popularity as of now is obviously going to be high of course. There's 2 temporary events going on at the moment, so a lot of people are going to come out of the woodwork to milk them, then return once it ends. It makes more sense, to me at least, to look at the state of the game before and after (although we obviously can't look in the future, so we'd have to wait for this) temporary content, and the announcements of them.

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1 hour ago, Sinister_Fang said:

Firstly, he is no longer on a timer. That was removed not too long after his first implementation. If for whatever reason you want to punch him to death using Wes, nothing is stopping you from doing that (aside from the agonizing boredom and complete waste of time it would result in).

 

Well, I have too much time on my hands a the cool Wes skin.... so you just gave me an idea. However, I think the reliance on skins might have something to do with them being a safe and easy bet that everyone likes and most of Klei's attention being elsewhere.

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1 hour ago, Sinister_Fang said:

While I do agree with this, there's just a few things I'd like to clarify on Toadstool:

I agree with this, all I can add is that the Toadstool has not 156k, but 52k health.

1 hour ago, Sinister_Fang said:

I'm also surprised there was no mention of misery toadstool. A "secret" boss that has a significantly higher health pool, and gives you a significantly less rewarding item then normal.

The sleep sack can be pretty useful because it lets the player multiply shroom skins, so they have to fight Toadstool only once. Assuming that they care about the lamps of course, otherways the sleep sack is also less interesting. 

What more I'd like to add to the conversation is that we know that Klei is working on permanent content for DST. While we actually got way more skins and events in the last years than new content, I think the reason behind that is that adding those is way easier and safer. The new skin looks terrible? In worst case noone will ever use it. Events are the same, they just take more resources. However, permanent content should not go that wrong to make the game unenjoyable and so the devs need to consider what and how they implement before touching the base game. I'm also not a developer, but I think adding new content requires too much resources to happen every one or two years. 

Btw, Bigfoot said that these events will let them test "crazy new stuff" and are some sort of experiments, so I believe that features from them are likely to be implemented. At some point. Tho I too would like if we wouldn't have to wait so much.

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Okay, I can't watch the video quite yet because I'm in a library and don't have headphones. I've been thinking about this for a while, and it might be interesting to see if our ideas line up, because if we end up agreeing a point without having heard each others arguments then something's up.

The rub with the new content is that it hasn't changed how the game is played. Ultimately, ANR didn't change all that much, despite adding a ton of content. Really, we need a new update that really forces you to change the way you play and makes us rethink how we survive. No matter how many Toadstools, Bee Queens and Ancient Fuelweavers Klei adds, Wolfgang and Wickerbottom will still be better then everyone else and we'll still all cook meatballs, etc, ect. We need a new "Strange New Powers" or an "Insanity" update. Something to force you to change what you do. I don't min-max my gameplay, hell I play Wigfrid and Wendy, but I still feel the "meta" needs to be shaken up. People are naturally going to gravitate towards what's the best strategy. As a designer on X-Com (can't find who right now) once said; "Given the opportunity, players will optimize the fun out of a game." This is what's happened to Don't Starve. Now this is NOT because Klei is bad at making games, this is inevitable and DST has already far surpassed what is normal. Once new content stops, somebody figures out the best strategy. The only way to stop this is new content. One of my favorite memories from DST was playing the Gorge and deciding that the cook perks didn't make a big enough difference and that hell, Wickerbottom might be a good cook if she stops to read once in a while! Now, it would be a little rude to drone on about problems without giving any ideas of how to improve things, so I'll have a crack at it.

Character Overhaul:

Don't Starve Together's fruit of Tantalus. A good character, at least to me, is one with with upsides and downsides that make you reconsider how you play the game. A few good examples of this are Wigfrid, Webber and to a lesser degree, Wendy, because they all have powerful upsides at the price of downsides that force you to change your game plan. These are also the characters you see being played all the time on public servers because despite being sub-optimal they're fun! On the other hand, this means that we do need to grit our teeth and say goodbye to having double damage at the price of more meter management, but I would say it's worth it.

New Threats:

The two best things ever added to the original Don't Starve were winter and hounds. Seriously, if you want a neat study of game design, go back to the original game without RoG or Hamlet or anything and turn off winter and hounds. See how long you can make it before you quit from boredom. Or just let me explain: hounds and winter come to you. They are not optional (save for world settings) and you need to prepare for them. Remember (or imagine) your early days in Don't Starve, living a handful of days before something stupid happened and you died. Eventually, you figured out how not to die, to make a fire every day and to pick some berries, and you thought you had it figured out. Until you reached day 7-9 and hounds arrived. You probably died or managed to get by on the skin of your teeth, but you had to reconsider your survival plan. Same goes for winter. Eventually, players will figure out all of the things to plan for and inevitably your strategy stops changing. The only thing that can shake up this strategy is new content to learn.

Now, I also think Klei knows something along these lines. Events like Forge and Gorge with entirely new systems are a fantastic band-aid solution to keep the game growing and alive like it is while they figure out a way to tackle this long term that makes as many people as possible happy. Some compromise between me and those Wolfgang mains. I don't think Don't Starve is on it's last legs and I'm looking forward to seeing whats next!

FOR SCIENCE!

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I don't like to say it, but i think you are right. Don't get me wrong i love this game and i have found some beautiful people while playing DST, but we may need something to change.

The forge and The gorge were good moments to add new recipes/weapons/armor into the base game and make it more interesting but we didn't get to see that happen. The last real update was the fuelweaver one, and when was that? like 18 months ago?

Although skins and events are really nice (and always welcome) and bring some people in, regular players crave some new content. I'm talking here about those players that spend 1000 days on a base, some of those just stopped playing the base game because they found it boring. It comes the time its always the same, boss runs and then see you the next autumn/winter when they are back up. Either that or end up playing some modded version of the game adding new turfs, structures, etc. to enhance the base building experience.

I just hope this new update we are going to get soon is one that covers all angles,

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5 hours ago, faraday said:

Although skins and events are really nice (and always welcome) and bring some people in, regular players crave some new content. I'm talking here about those players that spend 1000 days on a base, some of those just stopped playing the base game because they found it boring. It comes the time its always the same, boss runs and then see you the next autumn/winter when they are back up. Either that or end up playing some modded version of the game adding new turfs, structures, etc. to enhance the base building experience.

 

Maybe we could have something like the "adventure" part of Hamlet, with some quick little risk-reward things that are easily accessible to all types of players.

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6 hours ago, The 2C3D said:

 

The two best things ever added to the original Don't Starve were winter and hounds. Seriously, if you want a neat study of game design, go back to the original game without RoG or Hamlet or anything and turn off winter and hounds. See how long you can make it before you quit from boredom. Or just let me explain: hounds and winter come to you. They are not optional (save for world settings) and you need to prepare for them. Remember (or imagine) your early days in Don't Starve, living a handful of days before something stupid happened and you died. Eventually, you figured out how not to die, to make a fire every day and to pick some berries, and you thought you had it figured out. Until you reached day 7-9 and hounds arrived. You probably died or managed to get by on the skin of your teeth, but you had to reconsider your survival plan. Same goes for winter. Eventually, players will figure out all of the things to plan for and inevitably your strategy stops changing. The only thing that can shake up this strategy is new content to learn.

Going to disagree with winter there, staying stationary around a fire is the thing that makes me quit most games. Sure there’s scarcity, but unlike my free traveling, scavenging days of autumn, winter’s limited resources means limited variety in getting food. 

then summer sadly doubles down when they could have introduced new mobs instead.

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15 minutes ago, GenomeSquirrel said:

Going to disagree with winter there, staying stationary around a fire is the thing that makes me quit most games. Sure there’s scarcity, but unlike my free traveling, scavenging days of autumn, winter’s limited resources means limited variety in getting food. 

then summer sadly doubles down when they could have introduced new mobs instead.

I don’t know how you spend your winters, but I’m usually out and about pining for a walking cane by then. 

Though, this does bring something they could focus on adding. In seasons like winter and summer, you can make all this cold clothing to help you explore and wander around more, but the scarcity of resources means there’s little reason to actually go out into the world for. Perhaps they could add some more seasonally available resources that would make it worth all the hassle getting suited up and plotting expeditions. Maybe like, there’s an island in the world and you can only get over to it and it’s exclusive resources if the water freezes over. Stuff like that. Just an idea though

 

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27 minutes ago, YouKnowWho said:

I don’t know how you spend your winters, but I’m usually out and about pining for a walking cane by then. 

Though, this does bring something they could focus on adding. In seasons like winter and summer, you can make all this cold clothing to help you explore and wander around more, but the scarcity of resources means there’s little reason to actually go out into the world for. Perhaps they could add some more seasonally available resources that would make it worth all the hassle getting suited up and plotting expeditions. Maybe like, there’s an island in the world and you can only get over to it and it’s exclusive resources if the water freezes over. Stuff like that. Just an idea though

 

While walrus hunting is something to look forward to, it’s not something you can do everyday, and being one of the few benefits there’s also competition for it. 

But I more or less agree with what you said, just want to add that Antlion doesn’t fill the same niche as Mctusk. I really think summer should replace murder you with heat to murder you with bugs or something. 

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