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I've done a lot of thinking about hounds and a way to alleviate the frustrations with hounds for experienced players who want to be doing other activities while keeping it balanced, as well as leaving hound mechanics alone for newer players. The Hound Giant. It doesn't appear in the world until the 3rd year (we get Bearger 2nd year, so maybe Hound Giant 3rd year.) When it spawns, it announces that it has spawned (should be a big scary woof) and does not seek any players out. Once you find it, it is neutral to the player but has hound followers (similar to Varg/Spider-Queen) who will not aggro a player unless they have a hound's tooth in their inventory. (maybe killing all of the Hound Giant's hounds begins the actual giant fight). When inspecting it, it could say something like "so this is who sends the hounds" etc. I have no clue what to do for an interesting boss fight, so I'll leave this to others. Upon killing the Hound Giant, The Hound Giant does not re-spawn for 70 days. Yes. 70 days. Because.... The major drop from killing it would be an item that allows you to stop a hound wave from spawning as soon as you hear a hound wave alert. (I guess most similar mechanic to Dripple Pipes, just reversed). It has 10 uses and can not be deconstructed. Would allow you to strategically choose if you want hounds or not. The ideal adjustment to the Hound Giant item drop would be to increase the difficulty/variety by tying the drop to each season. If you kill Hound Giant in autumn or spring, the item drop affects hound waves in both autumn and spring, but not in Winter/Summer. Meaning you'd have to kill the Hound Giant in Winter for the Ice Item to stop Winter hound waves, while killing Hound Giant in Summer drops Fire Item to stop hound waves in Summer. Requiring the player to fight the Giant multiple times and putting it behind a full year (+ an extra season for the alternate drops) helps balance the idea of completely controlling the hound waves. Any thoughts?
Currently, I feel there is not enough incentive for use of the scalemail. Its durability is 1800 units of damage, consequently allowing for extended periods of use. However, it is ultimately outperformed by the log suit, providing 80% resistance to physical damage as opposed to 70%. Additionally, when at low durability the log suit can be disposed of by burning it, serving as excellent fuel. This means that, instead of having two slots taken by a piece of armor about to break and its replacement, you can consistently maintain high durability alongside periodic fuel for fires. Scalemail, unfortunately, is comparatively more expensive to craft (and has an inconsistent availability) but absorbs less damage. Another perk of scalemail is its fire resistance. This is rarely useful, as prolonged exposure to fire seldom happens. On the other hand, its ability to ignite attackers often requires remaining aware of resources/structures in the immediate area, which the fire could spread to as well. Overall, it's almost as if the scalemail was designed for future confrontations against the dragonfly, in a continuous cycle of killing and crafting. This is reminiscent of the lantern/miner's hat, bound to use in the caves because of light bulbs and their fast spoilage times. Without a variety of applications it ends up becoming a boring mechanic, seen as more a routine rather than an actual game that's dependent on player input. Perhaps there is a way to incentivize use of the scalemail more than now (e.g. synergy with fire-based weaponry).