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I know this question may be too broad, but I really don't find a way to state my problem in a more concise way.


I recently began playing Don't Starve Together with my girlfriend, but it has not been a very enjoyable experience for either of us so far. We just keep dying, over and over and over, and we can't really identify a reason for it.

I'll give some examples:

  • We just finished exploring the map (took ~6 days) and started to build a camp of sorts. Suddenly a band of around six or seven wolves came and killed us. We even had spears, but we had no chance.
  • After the wolf encounter, our sanity was pretty low. We had already picked the flowers from the surrounding area, so the only way we had to regain some sanity was to kill spiders to get silk to make a top hat. Again, the spiders killed us both.
  • So our sanity was near zero again, and the monsters continuously chased us around. We couldn't fight them, and they wouldn't disappear. We died again, and stopped playing.

After that, I tried to look at several guides on how to begin playing Don't Starve Together. At first I looked at this "beginner guide", which I did not find very beginner-friendly. He used a lot of terms that seem obvious to him, but which mean nothing to an actual beginner.

I also had a look at this guide from the Don't Starve Together Wiki, but it contradicted the previous guide in some points (e.g. "Don't make the Garland, it's useless" vs. "You should make a Gardland, it'll help you"). It mentioned the wolves (or hounds, rather) briefly, stating:

Hounds are monsters that attack in waves, approximately every 3–12 days. They are extremely dangerous without adequate preparation. Hounds cannot be outrun unless they are being distracted. If the player passes by other mobs, the hounds will usually turn to attack the other mobs.

Hounds might be a big problem sometimes, especially when spawned at night when the player has to run away from the campfire / fire pit.

For such cases, you should prepare a torch when you hear them coming,

Beefalos can kill Hounds quickly, although some of them will die if the wave is too large.

So if I understood this right, when the hounds spawn, I will die?


What am I doing wrong? Why do I keep dying? Or is death just an integral part of the game and I am expected to die over and over?

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    I've never played this version of the game, but if its anything like the original I'm not surprised. That game is supposed to be hard and you'll die a lot. – DJ Spicy Deluxe Jul 22 '19 at 18:12
  • @DJSpicyDeluxe But my question is, is it part of the game design? For instance, in Dark Souls you will die a lot, but it's not necessarily a part of the design - in the sense that dying is anything other than a punishment for mistakes. – MechMK1 Jul 22 '19 at 20:34
  • @MechMK1 you can easily avoid dying in early game. In late game, however, it becomes problematic. – trollingchar Jul 22 '19 at 20:37
  • That "beginnER'S Guide" is more of a "beginnING guide." I'm not sure who its supposed to be for. It's too advanced for beginners and useless to anyone who knows enough to understand it. (Also he's very wrong about a few things.) – Dallium Jul 22 '19 at 21:22
  • @Dallium That was my impression as well. It's a guide by someone who knows the game very well, for someone who knows the game very well. – MechMK1 Jul 22 '19 at 21:58
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Why do you keep dying? There are two aspects that affect your survivability: health and sanity. If you waste them, you die.

Wasting Health

You waste health if you:

  • Fight without armor. Log suit protects you from 80% of incoming damage.
  • Attack a spider on webbing near a 2 tier nest or that nest itself it it has spiders - jumping spiders will emerge and attack you. There is no reason to do this.
  • Do not kill hounds ASAP - in packs, they are harder to kill, but they appear one after another - exploit it. Also they can be stunlocked, so if you fight them 1x1, you will take less damage.
  • Tank a Treeguard. Don't do this. Land three hits, dodge its attack and repeat. You both should fight him because he has more health in DST. Or plant pine cones.
  • Eat monster meat or red shrooms.
  • Tank a big wave of spiders. Kite them with 2 hits, kill with traps or escape.
  • Directly attack a frog during frog rain. Use traps instead.

Wasting Sanity

You waste sanity if you:

  • Are exposed to rain. If spring is your starting season, make a Straw hat and a Pretty Parasol ASAP. Trees also provide some protection.
  • Are close to monsters for a long time. Almost every monster has an insanity aura, and hounds are not an exception. It's recommended either kill them quickly or escape battle if possible.
  • Eat raw green shrooms. They decrease sanity, cooked ones increase.
  • Eat raw meat or monster meat.

Recovery

Health is recovered in small amounts when you eat food, but don't eat monster meat and red shrooms. Also you can recover health by using spider glands and eating raw blue mushrooms that can be harvested at night.

Sanity is easily recovered by eating cooked green mushrooms. Also, sanity is restored when you invent something (craft a thing the first time).

Build a crock pot and drying racks. Crock pot foods and jerky are more effective for restoring health and sanity.

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  • Thanks for the answer. I kept trying for a few hours today, but I kept dying to various causes and determined the game was not for me. I'd rather spend my time with a different game. – MechMK1 Jul 23 '19 at 16:52
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Yes, you are essentially expected to die over and over (and over). That's just the sort of game this is.

In the original DS, death was mostly permanent. You could use a touchstone once if you found one, and you could build meat effigies eventually, but otherwise one death was it. Mechanically, that meant that those of us who learned on DS started over a lot, rather than attempted to recover from our early disasters. We took what we learned from the last "run" and applied it to getting further next time.

If you decide to keep trying to learn the game, I would recommend turning respawning off for a while, until you have a good grounding in the basics. If starting over again and again is a deal breaker, this might not be the game for you*. That said, there are probably mods that would let you mitigate or eliminate the resurrection penalty, but I am not familar enough with them to recommend any.

*I understand that statement could be interpreted as elitist; that is not my intention. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not liking this style of game, nor should someone subject themselves to something they find unpleasant to appease internet tough guys, and the sunk-cost fallacy is aptly named.

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    I personally don't mind roguelikes, where death is an essential part of the experience. I would just prefer my roguelikes to identify themselves as such. – MechMK1 Jul 22 '19 at 22:00
  • This style of game is very, very hard. Rogue-likes can feel very depressing if a player have never had a game that does this. Some games will even, literally, cheat FOR you (latest is Mario Galaxy 2 with Rosaline/Bronze Star). Your permanent gain will be understanding the game and knowing what doesn't work. – Nelson Jul 23 '19 at 2:52
  • @Nelson I frankly do enjoy Roguelikes, but rather games like Dead Cells or Rogue Legacy, which give you more action-oriented gameplay. I prefer my "basebuilding" games to be a steady stream of progress, rather than one hour of me collecting stuff, then dying and repeating. – MechMK1 Jul 23 '19 at 16:54
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    @mechmk1 cases like this is why I think a distinction between roguelike and roguelite is important. To me, Roguelikes have no metaprogression beyond player knowledge and tend to be significantly longer (not unlike Rogue), while roguelites have unlocks and/or a meta currency and individual runs play are an hour at most – Dallium Jul 29 '19 at 19:50
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    @Dallium Yes, it does make sense. I just personally believe that the term "rogue-lite" has become somewhat derogatory, as in "Pfff, learn how to play a real roguelike". – MechMK1 Jul 29 '19 at 20:05

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