My mood still swings widely between being “okay” and feeling too bereft to do much at all. I canceled all of my subscriptions for now. If I play anything at all, it’s Don’t Starve or Darkest Dungeon. They both offer opportunities for gaming sessions that are fun, have quick options for progression and are just the right amount of detail to take my mind off things.
For Don’t Starve, I’ve moved exclusively to playing the co-op version, Don’t Starve Together, albeit playing it alone. I liked the option of continuing in my quiet bubble while having the option of sharing the experience with others in the future. DST and Darkest Dungeon are the only Steam Early Access games I've ever purchased and I'm extremely happy with both.
I have three different “new player friendly” worlds going, all of which have seen multiple winters solo. The first one has all of the normal nasty monsters enabled but “more” of the critical resources. This was before I realized how impossible it would be to kill some of them solo. Or at least at my level of game play, killing them alone wasn’t doable. I ended up running from Deerclops after he wrecked half my base. He eventually de-spawned into the nether world. I’ve seen other more experienced players requiring multiple people to kill the various MacTusk settlements that spawn during winter. So that was another run around until they de-spawn and OMG I need winter to end now!
Having learned from DST game 1, in game 2 I reduced the spawn rate of the nasty named mobs to “less”, left the material spawn rates at their defaults and tried a new character. In game 3, the nasty named mobs are turned off, days are longer, a few resources are set to “more” and I tried another character. Recently, I’ve been playing game 3 the most but I pop into to play game 2 as well.
Last week I started visiting other players’ DST games. I wanted to see how it all pans out for normal players joining other player’s hosted games. The experience was very hit-n-miss.
I encountered many young players or they appeared to be so by their language skills. DST is a very unforgiving game. And depending on the host’s server mode, other player deaths have a negative impact on the living players. I played on a few servers where I spent more than half of my time trying to recover sanity from others dying repeatedly and it wasn’t even winter.
There are a lot of trolls intentionally burning down other player’s environments. It’s very easy to start a flame in a forest that starts a flash fire across a whole zone because the content is densely packed or players made base camps right next to flammable resources. I saw this scenario MANY TIMES.
Fire trolling is so bad that the developer has nerfed one of the characters who had a lighter equipped by default and automatically goes pyro when her sanity is low. That seems a bit extreme when a troll can simply accomplish the same thing by making a torch.
I also had pleasant experiences with players who were experienced and we worked silently toward common goals. People naturally tend to fill the role they find most rewarding and the days and nights roll along. The downside to even these sessions is landing in the world without supplies and making to safely to the base camp or an area where you can harvest something, as many of the easily accessible zones are picked clean over time.
After taking all this in, I incorporated changes in to my third “friendly” world with the idea of eventually allowing people to join in – at least friends.
- I made a conscious effort not to have my base camp immediately adjacent to anything flammable.
- I intentionally allow space in between areas – planting trees, berry bushes, farms, etc., to avoid someone burning everything in a single go.
- I cull forests while I’m in them by harvesting in a way that leaves space around clusters of trees. Sure, it’s more work but this will prevent a whole forest from going in up in a single go.
- I build my base camp in the most optimal situation I can find off the brick road. There’s only one in the game. This makes finding the camp easier once you find the brick road
- I placed mini camps on both ends of the brick road so people can have some supplies once they get that far – can craft harvesting tools to help get started.
The first time I allowed access to my hosted game I was immediately joined by someone I know from a Twitch stream where DST is one the primary games streamed. 10ofSwords popped in and we had a really good time! We were off doing our own thing a majority of the 3 hours but in a way that contributed to the collective growth of the base camp.
I wish DST incorporated voice chat like EVE Online and Everquest II. Typing in such a fast paced environment isn’t ideal. I understand the downside to doing so but it would definitely be helpful in a game that is very reliant on cooperation across players.
When I host I only allow friends to join. Not up for any troll drama. If anyone is playing and would like to join in when I’m online, please send a friend invite to Alysianah on Steam. Don’t worry about disturbing me. If you can “see” me on Steam, I’m having a good day. Otherwise I’m on invisible. *Smile*