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So I've taken some time to enjoy the recent updates we've been getting with both the new character, Wortox, as well as Winona. However, there has been one thing that's been on my mind since the updates began which has bothered me, something which progressively is a growing concern. That thing is... Moon Rock Idols. No seriously, hear me out on this one. To clarify, the majority of Winona's buff (to my understanding) is construed in a massive buff to her item/structure creation. I understand that there are perks around her character itself, however for the sake of this we'll be focusing primarily on her new structures, as well as the one issue I've noticed developing in relation to the usage of moon rock idols. After the calming down of her hype, a significant portion of players I encountered have started using her solely to build her structures and then immediately switch back to their (usually) meta characters, making her "buff" really more a buff to the farms which can be used by any character (ironically buffing the meta even more). She became what I half-jokingly like to call a "swap" character, which is a term I coined for a character who's only useful for their items/structures, but isn't actually played because they're still not Wolfgang or Wickerbottom. While I agree that being a "swap" character is better than not being played at all I don't think it's necessarily the game design DST should have, at least in my opinion. Characters should be buffed so that they're played, not used merely as construction tools for another, more powerful character. This issue stems from moonrock idols themselves, which degrade the importance of character choice as a whole (you can be anyone on essentially a whim with no realistic limits) however the purpose of this discussion isn't really so much about these items themselves (although they need some sort of fix in my opinion) as it is the upcoming rebalance for this month: Willow. Now why would I be concerned about this? Because Bernie and the lighter both exist, and the same concept can be applied to them. Make no mistake, buffing a character's items as opposed to the character themselves is not by any means a bad thing, it's still a buff, however it's also indirectly a buff to everyone else in addition, which is arguably not the intention of "character-specific" items. To sum up what I'm saying is I'm concerned with the rebalance Klei is going to use up a lot of their assets working on Bernie instead of working on Willow as a character herself, which is going to realistically have one of two outcomes. Either Bernie will be useful enough to matter, resulting in people swapping to Willow solely to craft him and then swapping back (similar to Winona now) or he's still not going to matter, either of which at it's core isn't a good thing. I find it extremely unlikely that the buff if focused heavily on Willow's items will garner enough for people to be interested in actually playing her so much as it will cause people to just have yet another set of tools to acquire when they switch characters. There's multiple solutions to this issue, and I'm completely aware it may not be an issue at all in practice, as Klei may focus solely on Willow herself for the rebalance (we obviously have no idea). Foremost, (unfortunately) nerfing moonrock idols in some way may be a solution. Since I'm not a fan of nerfing stuff (it usually makes the game less fun) I'm not exactly thrilled at this thought, however perhaps a tentative cooldown could be considered as a simple solution that doesn't ruin their purpose and yet makes them not spammable (making character choice at least slightly more important as a result). Another solution is if the future rebalances focus solely on the characters themselves moreso over their items/structures. Obviously Winona is a fringe case where her items and structures being her main thing is thematically appropriate, however future character reworks should be more focused on the character over their items (unless their items are genuinely character specific, ie can't be transferred and used by another). Honestly I'm probably just paranoid and this may not even end up being an issue, and I recognize that. I just want Klei to focus more on the characters themselves and consider the implications of buffing character items when moonrock idols exist and are relatively easily to acquire/use. TL;DR I don't want the primary direction Klei takes with reworking Willow to go towards buffing her items, specifically Bernie, which would encourage her to become an item "swap" character. I think the focus should be on mechanically buffing Willow herself before attempting to buff the items is considered.
So I've been thinking about how certain Set Pieces fit into DST and I thought I'd make a little place for us to kick around a few ideas concerning the future of Set Pieces and how they fit into DST. Most of the Set Pieces are nice to get but don't make or break a world. Except for the Reed Trap. For most of us the Reed Trap is a necessity, most of us going through world after world searching for a Reed Trap before even considering making something of that map. And in DST time is more precious, if you want to make a proper world with your friends you need to tip-toe your way around all of your schedules to fit in a decent amount of game time, because of this most people don't want to bother world regening for hours trying to get the holy grail that is the Reed Trap. I for one feel like the more important Pieces should either be guaranteed to spawn or have an increased chance to spawn to - at least - speed up the tiresome process of trying to get certain Pieces. So I pose the question to you all, what do you think of how the current system of Set Pieces fits into DST? Should it be changed by Klei and if so how? Or should we simply suck it up and go with the RNG or perhaps even leave it to mods? Whadaya think guise? And if anyone is open to making a mod that does this, you should do that thing mkay.