Suggestion: My thoughts on making the Plains more bearable, especially on corpse runs.
After a few hours spent in the Plains trying to get my original stuff back (and then my backup stuff back, and some backup-backup stuff back) after a death (which turned into multiple deaths and multi backup equipment) I have this idea that also fits into the general framework of the game.
Simply put, a potion that one can drink that gives 5 minutes of ‘thorn/barb’ damage back to a melee attacker on the player. It would also slightly boost ones hardiness via AC (armor class). This needs to be close to enough damage to kill our favorite ‘glass tank’ the Deathsquito when it attacks. The Deathsquito is ruthless in speed and attack when one is under equipped. Instead of another nurf of the Deathsquito itself, how about giving a player an alternative way of facing it with crafting? For if a player is willing to put in the time to make this it would be handy for just normal Plains living.
This is how I would implement it in a way which fits into current gameplay. (Note: By describing gameplay there are some spoilers below if you have not reached the Plains yet.)
The basics, one would need a new item: A lined mortar with pestle.
This item would be for making alchemy-type potions from raw ingredients. It is made via the Artisan Table by design. This is to keep a player from jumping ahead to the Plains without some structured progression. For the Artisan Table requires killing the boss directly before the Plains if one goes in logical order. The Lined Mortar itself would require a couple ingredients in its crafting. Mainly stone and chitin. The stone is for the bowl (mortar) and chitin from the Abyssal barnacle would line the mortar to keep ingredients from reacting to the rock. To make the final item one would take the unfinished mortar made from the Stonecutter, combing with the chitin at the Artisan Table. Finally, one would cause the chitin to set via the Blast Furnace for 151 seconds (11 coal lumps.) This fits with a plausible method of construction, while also requires the player to have also engaged in the Iron Age.
Second comes the use that is related to the problem/solution listed above. I suggest the Mead of Protection. I would leave it to the developers to set the ratios, but I suggest using a sample of ingredients from each biome since this is a counter to one of the upper biomes’ mobs. So, for example, it could be carrots, turnips, blueberries, raspberries, yellow mushroom and the kicker …. An Ancient Seed. That last ingredient is to slow down production of the mead so there is a cost to the player getting this protection and to give it a mystic power element to allow one to have barb/thorn protection and a hardening of the skin via the final product.
The mortar and pestle is used to combine the items much like the cauldron. Like other meads it would then need to be fermented. I suggest that consumption at this point boosts armor class without the protection barbs on the player. That is, it would take full fermentation to get a fully usable potion.
Speaking of use, it would work by placing the protection effect on the player. This would boost the player’s AC and return piercing damage to a melee attacker. (remember my initial focus would be to counter the Deathsquito) Five minutes of time or until it did a set number of points of damage (say 75 points of damage) would be a reasonable duration. Of note, during this protection effect, while it would only have a very short cooldown, this is balanced by not being able to use a stamina potion or the Bonemass forsaken power at the same time. The former is to limit offensive use of a defensive power and the latter will not stack because Bonemass power is already a damage reduction power.
In sum, this would create a process to make a Plains potion to make Plains corpse runs more enjoyable. The player could drink this and have some AC boost while unequipped and the one mob that can out run (fly) them will die at least once or twice when it attacks. It is done in a way to enhance gameplay while making the player more survivable in some circumstances. In the same token, it does this in a way that does not require modification to any of the mobs in the game. Likewise, if a player wanted to invest the time, this protection would outright kill a few annoying Greydwarfs before dropping away. (remember that the damage the shielding does is limited to so many points of damage before dropping away).
Thanks for reading this far.