A redesign of Wendy's Ecthobology.
I feel like there is a lot of potential in the elixir and want to share my ideas to improve Wendy's Ectoherbology.
Currently the potion are stats boost: regeneration, shield, attack and speed.
Here is my idea for a replacement to the current elixirs.
Regeneration (Revenant Restorative): (1 Mourning Glory, 3 Spider gland)
Abigail effect unchanged.
Wendy gets a small heal aura while beside Abigail(+1hp/15s)
Dual: (3 Mourning Glory, 1 Telltale Heart, 2 Living Log)
Abigail applies petals(lasting 3~5seconds) increasing damage that the mob takes by 10% (having that mechanic tied to a potion).
Wendy doesn't get additional extra damage to enemies that were marked, instead Abigail deals more damage to single enemies(also tied to the potion).
Wendy heals Abigail for a portion of damage she deals to the marked target(25% Ham Bat -> 16,5 health per hit).
Spirit: (3 Mourning Glory, 1 Nightmare Fuel)
Abigail max "Spirit" rises to 1500hp but applying the elixir does not change her current health. After the potion Abigail's max health quickly decays(from 1500 to 600 in 3min). If another elixir is applied her health is immediately set back to 600.
Wendy hunger drains faster during the effect and Abigail is a negative sanity aura to Wendy (+20%hunger drain and -3 sanity/min)
Night (Nightshade Nostrum):
(1 Mourning Glory, 1 Moon Rock)
Abigail is now able to attack Crawling Horror, Terrorbeak and ghost but her passive health regeneration is reduced(depending on how easy Abigail kills the shadows creatures)
Abigail glows more (50% increased light radius).
Aggression (Distilled Vengeance):
(1 Mourning Glory, 1 Honey, 1 Stinger)
Same effect of Vigor Mortis plus Abigail periodically taunts mobs(every 5 seconds she does a taunt that aggroes pigs, bees, bosses,... in a screen wide area)
Wendy has bonus attack speed when fighting beside Abigail(+10%)
(TL:DR, design and explanations)
I'm going to talk about my thought proses behind the Ectoherbology changes.
I have two main goals with the potions, first Ectoherbology should, by modifying Abigail, enable new playing styles, expand Wendy's general gameplay and/or addressing some of Wendy's weaknesses.
Second have the elixirs effect both sisters and be most effective when working together.
Ghostlyelixir of Regeneration
I feel like to elixir is pretty good as it is. Its the only one I really use in game and allows Abigail to do more Abigail stuff.
The small healing aura is a thematic addition.
The increase in spider glad cost is to reflect the healing Wendy gets. 3 Healing Salve = 60hp, 1hp/15s = 32hp over a full Day.
Ghostlyelixir of Dual (a fair 2v1 fight)
This is the main Boss fighting elixir. This is probably the hardest potion to get "right". Wendy's main drawback is that she is terrible against the Big Bads of the constant. Ether in long lasting worlds, or just as show off, killing bosses is integral to the game and often a highlight. This elixir is my attempt to help Wendy deal with the Giants in her unique way.
The main issue that I feel need to be addressed is Abigail dying "5 seconds" into the fight, so healing her is crucial. The current way to do so is to spam Spectral Cure-All and hope that the numbers are high enough, which they are. But Spectral Cure-All doesn't feel right to me. After thinking about how to get a lot healing and about boss fights in general, I decided to have Wendy heal Abigail with her attacks. This should be more engaging and feel more rewarding.
Now to the healing values, they should be high enough that if Wendy play well, Abigail does not die in most boss fights (not sure about something like the Bearger fight). So going off the Ham Bat damage, something like 25~30% life leach from attacks would be it in line with Spectral Cure-All healing(25% spear -> 9.35 health per hit, Ham Bat -> 16,5 health, testing required).
When it comes to Wendy's damage, I don't like the additional extra damage from the petals effect. It feels like an overwrite to the characters base damage modifier. I prefer the approach of buffing Abigail's damage to single targets, similar to the implementation in the first Wendy rework. This time its tied to an elixir. Something like a 50% damage increase to single targets during the effect.
Last point is the cost. For it being the "Boss fight" potion, it should be the most expensive. And I thing its the most powerful to.
The Telltale Heart represents healing and the Living Log is the petals aspect.
Ghostlyelixir of Spirit
So yes, Abigail can have 1500 max hp. But I don't thing that it's op.
My initial idea was to play around with the Spirit theme. I Also wanted a tank/defence potion. The simplest way is to give a damage reduction buff, similar to Wigfird. Also I wanted a "preparation" mechanic, let me explain. In DST you tend to prepare for upcoming fight by making weapons, getting armor and healing items. All three ideas went into this potion.
Now how do you get Abigail to 1500hp? She start at 600hp and the potion does not change her health value. You can wait a day, she heals 480hp/day so at the end of the potion duration she is at 1080hp and now you need another potion.
You need 2 full days of waiting and having Abigail not take damage to get her to max spirit and now with the third spirit elixir you are ready to fight. Or you use 45 healing salve.
Having 1500hp instead of 600 is similar to having an 60% armor(with 900 durability) or 3 log suits. This pumped up Abigail is hard to get and probably most useful against medium mobs (spider queen, tentacles), but she still can't solo Treeguards with that health.
Chaining this potion with a different one, effectively getting 900 "free" health and then also the elixir you want for the situation is probable the most broken aspect of this potion. This could be addressed by limiting how and when you can use elixirs (like not allowing to overwrite potions).
The Spirit component is Wendy getting mentally better and Abigail growing in power. Wendy is more active and need to eat more. Wendy is able to think more clearly, and seeing her dead sister is pulling her right back into her usual mental state (negative sanity aura).
Nightmare fuel is simply cruel.
Ghostlyelixir of Night
This potion came in two parts. One from the absurdity of almost newer needing a torch on Wendy, so why not make it even worse by giving Abigail a bigger light radius. Second and the main reason is to help Wendy get Nightmare fuel, or fend off shadows. Wendy has a harder time dealing with shadow creatures and generally relies on Abigail in fights, so have having Abigail fight Crawling Horror sounds like a good match.
Moon rock has links to the night, full moon light, and also shadow fight (lunar island).
Ghostlyelixir of Aggression
The Vigor Mortis is fairly boring and I can only thing of one use for it, killing Mac Tusk. To make it more interesting, and playing off Abigail's Rile up, she now taunts mob to attack her. Taunting pigs to want to murder her as much as she want to kill them.
Having her be more agitated(speed) and getting into fights ties well into a potion of aggression. Maybe also have her randomly "Rile up" on her own could make for an entertaining day.
Wendy seeing Abigail agitation, is motivated to help in the fight(attack speed boost).
Getting stinged and being on a sugar rush.
It might be good to not allow changing potion. Having to wait the end of the duration before applying a different one. Therefore increasing the decision weight of the elixirs and forcing to play with it for a day.
I think the changes are mainly code based. Effectively you can reuse all of the current game assets, maybe creating new bottle sprites.
On a side note, it might be a good idea to transfer Abigail's aggro to Wendy when the player manually recalls abi. Being able to easily lose aggro with this trick is odd.