I want to preface this by saying that I think Walter is a fun addition and I do not discredit Klei for any of their efforts in his creation. Walter has a lot of personality, which is something I adore in characters, and the main concept of his character (a boy scout) is such an interesting idea for a survival game and it is one that I love. I've been seeing a lot of people call Walter a "mod character", which I personally don't agree with. Walter's fearless mechanic and Woby are both mechanics that I think could be really interesting if explored further. That's where my main issue with Walter begins, however.
Despite being a boy scout, Walter doesn't feel like one.
As much as I love Woby, she's adorable, I can't help but feel like she was forced into his moveset. Walter hardly has anything to show for his boy scouting except a portable tent and some stories. In my personal opinion, Walter's kit should have been focused entirely around being a boy scout, and the fearless gimmick and/or Woby should have been additions to completely separate characters. The only thing Walter brings to the table for his team is being a ranged combatant, which I've found to be particularly underwhelming. I'd rather Klei just port Wheeler over to have her fulfil that niche with her much more fun Pew-matic Horn.
So, how would I "rework" Walter? Well, I'm not a game developer (shocker, I know), but I've come up with an entirely new kit for him. The goal with this was to completely make Walter a nomadic character, who excels at scouting and resource gathering for his friends. I would have removed Woby and her gimmicks entirely as, again, I feel like they're out of place in his moveset, but I've seen a lot of people like the animal companion aspect and I figured that, with a few tweaks, it could really fit Walter's role as a boy scout.
Walter, the Boy Scout
130 HP | 140 Hunger | 150 Sanity
* Expert survivalist
* Has a four legged friend
* Suffers from pesky allergies
* Holds a Scout's Honor
The first thing you'll probably notice from this portrait is that Woby isn't present. In her stead, Walter brings with him a piko named Walnut. Frankly, a squirrel felt more forest-y and in-line for a boy scout's companion than a weird dog that can turn into a huge beast. Noticeable removals also include Walter's slingshot and most of his sanity gimmicks. Walter now loses sanity exactly the same way everybody else does, and doesn't lose sanity from getting hit or being below certain health. Again, these were interesting concepts, but felt weirdly tacked on to Walter's character.
Similar to Woby, Walnut will reunite with Walter the second he spawns. An immediate, second Chester is kind of... er, not broken, but... again, out of place. If Woby is to remain her ability to store items, I personally think she should hold less than Chester - which is exactly what Walnut does. Unlike Woby, Walnut cannot grow into a huge monster nor can he be ridden. Like Woby, however, Walnut cannot die but also will refuse to partake in combat.
Walnut has three inventory slots. Items cannot be stacked. A single food item can be placed inside Walnut's mouth, which will be signified by his bloated chubby cheeks. While stored inside, the food item spoils at half its rate. Can be regular foods or crockpot dishes.
Walnut can be ordered to climb up trees and scavenge any kind of plants. Walnut will then toss out an extra item that would have been dropped by their respective plant. Climbing up birchnut trees will let Walnut give you an extra birchnut, scavenging berry bushes will give you one extra berry, scavenging reeds will give you one extra cut reed, etc.
Walnut can also be ordered to gnaw his teeth on boulders. Doing so will grant one extra rock. The same can be done on mini glaciers and salt formations for an extra ice and salt crystal respectively. If objects that have gold in them are gnawed, such as stalagmites or gold boulders, then an extra gold nugget will always be prioritised.
Walter's perks all revolve around his nomadic playstyle and his familiarity with the woods.
Walter is able to climb any kind of tree to scout out his surroundings. Doing so will reveal a chunk of the map around him, at the cost of a small amount of hunger each time. This allows Walter to map out the world faster without having to run around everywhere, and can prove especially useful in forest biomes, where a boy scout feels most comfortable.
Walter can craft campfires for cheaper (1 log and 1 grass). Campfires built by Walter also do not spread as quickly to nearby flammable objects. This is to incentivise Walter to constantly be out and about exploring. Fire pits aren't cheaper.
Walter can still tell spooky stories around campfires and fire pits to boost his and his team's sanity. However, doing so will drain Walter's hunger the longer he tells a story for, and if Walter is by himself, he does not gain sanity.
Walter's Exclusive Items
As mentioned earlier, vanilla Walter brings almost nothing from his life as a boy scout despite boy scouts typically having a wide arsenal of items that prepare them for survival in the wild. All of these following items are meant to reflect his training.
The Multitasker (x3 twigs, x5 flint) | Tools tab (requires a Science Machine)
The Multitasker is an item that only Walter can use. If any other character tries to use it, they'll mention that they need to be a scout in order to use it properly.
It's a multitool that allows him to chop, mine and dig all in one tool. The Multitasker has 150 uses and loses durability regardless of whatever tool is used. It can also be used to damage mobs, in which case it deals 30 damage.
This tool allows Walter to gather resources more efficiently without having to worry about constantly crafting different tools for specific tasks, although it is still not recommended to use as a weapon.
The Camper's Tent (x1 straw roll, x4 twigs, x2 rope) | Survival tab (requires a Science Machine)
The Camper's Tent functions mostly like it does at the moment. It can be set up and slept in, and can then be packed up and placed in the player's inventory. Other characters can still use the Camper's Tent.
There is a stat change, however. The Camper's Tent now only has 6 uses, like the regular Tent, and Walter loses the same amount of hunger that every other character does while sleeping.
The Pinetree Pioneer Hat (x4 silk) | Dress tab (always available)
The Pinetree Pioneer Hat functions mostly like it does at the moment. Walter can wear it for a +2 sanity regeneration every minute, as well as a 20% rain protection and a 60 overheating protection. It lasts for 10 days.
Other characters can wear the Pinetree Pioneer Hat for the rain and overheating protection, but won't get its sanity regeneration.
As Walter's fearless perk has been removed, the Pinetree Pioneer Hat will not divide by two the sanity loss of Walter when he takes damage.
The First Aid Kit (x6 silk, x6 spider glands, x2 honey) | Survival tab (requires a Science Machine)
The First Aid Kit is an item that cannot be used directly by other characters, but can still be used by Walter to heal them with.
Using the First Aid Kit restores 25 HP, and has 4 uses.
The Water Bottle (x1 water balloon, x10 ice) | Survival tab (requires a Science Machine)
The Water Bottle is an item that can be used by Walter and any other character, though Walter is the only one able to craft it.
It can be drank to cool the player off, and restores 10 sanity and 5 HP, and has one use but can be stacked.
The Water Bottle doesn't spoil, but it can go warm if left in the player's inventory or ground for too long. Warm water won't restore any stats, but can raise the player's temperature a bit. Water Bottles can be stored in ice boxes to restore their coolness.
The Scout's Essentials (x12 silk, x5 cut grass) | Survival tab (requires a Science Machine)
The Scout's Essentials functions similar to a backpack, but only has 4 slots. Items cannot be stacked inside it, but the Scout's Essentials can be stored inside the player's inventory similar to a Bundling Wrap, as opposed to a backpack which requires the player to equip it.
All characters can use the Scout's Essentials, but Walter is the only one able to craft it. The Scout's Essentials can also be placed in chests.
Foods placed in the Scout's Essentials of other characters will spoil twice as quickly than usual, but foods placed in Walter's Scout's Essentials spoil at the same rate they usually would.
The Canoe (x4 boards, x3 cut grass) | Seafaring tab (requires a Think Tank)
The Canoe is a boat exclusive to Walter. It acts as a two player vessel that slowly uses durability over time, much like the boats in Shipwrecked. Oars are still required to paddle, and structures cannot be placed inside it, unlike regular boats.
Only Walter is able to operate a canoe, but it allows an extra passenger. If Chester is the passenger, then a second player cannot enter. This makes Walter a great character for getting to the Lunar Island, but its limited space and low HP as well as its draining durability makes it an awful choice for boss battles on the seas, sea basing, or long periods of time at sea.
The Sunscream (x1 water balloon, x3 nightmare fuel) | Survival tab (requires a Shadow Manipulator)
The Sunscream is an item exclusive to Walter. When applied, it temporarily deaggros Shadow Creatures. The Sunscream lasts for 2 minutes, and has 4 uses. The Sunscream also protects players from the sun, making them harder to overheat. During Winter, its cold substance can cause them to freeze if applied.
The Sunscream can be used by any character. Using it also makes the player lose 5 sanity. This makes it effective at keeping Shadow Creatures at bay while the player focuses on something more important, but still keeps the player insane meaning they're only delaying the inevitable. Additionally, applying it too many times can cause freezing.
The Deflator Kit (x1 First Aid Kit, x2 gold nuggets) | Survival tab (requires a Science Machine)
The Deflator Kit is an item that only Walter can use. Its main purpose is to treat his allergies, reversing the effects instantly. In addition to that, it gives Walter a small protection against his allergies for 3 minutes.
The Deflator Kit has 5 uses, and cannot be stacked.
Personally, I find vanilla Walter's allergy to bees to be very fitting for his character. He's going to be outdoors a lot, and running into a lot of bugs, which thematically ties in to his boy scout status. My issue with this downside currently is that it feels really lazy. Walter only takes extra damage from bees, and that's it. No visual change, no status effects, nothing. It feels shoehorned in and that's what I think a lot of people are disappointed with. Don't Starve has a lot of absurdity in its character perks, so I decided to take Walter's allergy and bump it up a notch.
Walter is now allergic to all bugs, not just bees. This includes butterflies, mosquitoes, fireflies and moon moths.
The extra 20 damage from bee attacks is still present, but now also applies to mosquito attacks.
Walter's face will massively swell up if he either gets attacked by bees or mosquitoes, but also if he remains in contact with the other types of bugs for too long (ie, if Walter stays near butterflies for a while, he'll swell up). While his face is swollen, Walter has a variety of characteristics:
Walter moves twice as slow when he's swollen, and his attacks deal half their usual damage.
Walter constantly loses sanity while swollen, at 5 sanity every minute.
Walter is considered a disgusting creature while swollen. Any followers will run away in fear if he's stung in their presence.
Pigs will attack him on sight.
Walter swells up after eating butterflies and butter muffins, making them non-viable food choices.
Walter cannot adopt Mothlings.
Walter stays swollen for 5 minutes. This can be cured instantly by using a Deflator Kit. Using a First Aid Kit won't cure him immediately, but it will make the form last for 2 minutes instead of 5. Using it again will cure him.
Walter won't swell up if he has any caught bugs in his inventory. Instead, he will occasionally sneeze, which plays a short animation that leaves him vulnerable, and has a chance of making whatever tool he has equipped slip out of his hand.
You'll notice that a lot of Walter's items require materials dropped by bugs. This is done to force Walter players into risking encounters with insects so they can reap the rewards.
You may have also noticed that one of Walter's perks listed next to his portrait is "Holds a Scout's Honor". What this means, is that Walter has sworn an oath to only use the tools he's been taught to craft from his time at camp. This means that, if any of Walter's exclusive items have a non-exclusive counterpart, Walter will refuse to use them. This means that Walter cannot use:
Any other sleeping structures such as regular tents, bed rolls, siesta lean-tos, etc. This makes Walter rely on his Camper's Tent.
Any other healing items such as healing salves, spider glands and honey poultice. This makes Walter rely on his First Aid Kits. Healing foods only give Walter half their HP regeneration.
Any sanity restoring hats such as garlands, top hats and tam o' shanters. This makes Walter rely on his Pinetree Pioneer Hat.
Additionally, it takes more swings for Walter to chop, mine and dig with regular axes, pickaxes and shovels, and it also takes more durability to do so. This makes Walter rely on his Multitasker to gather resources.
Walter also has low maximum HP. This makes it riskier to engage in solo fights with mobs. Vanilla Walter is designed to be a support character that attacks from the sidelines with his slingshot, as his sanity loss upon hit discourages him from meleeing. While this Walter doesn't have the latter disadvantage, his kit still shapes him up into performing more of a supportive role while letting his team deal with enemies, but doesn't penalise the player for getting hit.
His low maximum Hunger as well as the hunger sacrificed by climbing trees and telling stories means Walter runs into issues of starvation. This incentivises Walter players to constantly be scouting out for food, which ties in to his nomadic playstyle.
Well, these are my "ideas" for a more nuanced and well-put together Walter. As I said, I'm not a game developer nor do I really know how these stats would actually play out, which means crafting recipes could change, exclusive items could get removed, etc. It was just fun to create this whole thing and to perhaps get off my chest just how cool I think a scout character could have been.
Hopefully you had some fun reading it! Constructive criticism is always appreciated, as are discussions about my concepts, or even your own concepts! Thank you for reading, and have a good day.