This is a guide for playing as Wendy, the Bereaved. It will give a general summary of her strengths and weaknesses, and will also explain some of the most common and effective ways to utilize her twin sister, Abigail.
Preferring to employ elaborate tactics and strategy in combat, Wendy is a unique character whose gameplay often involves fighting large-scale battles into the darkest hours of the night.
One of her more easily overlooked strengths is a lower sanity drain debuff from monsters and the slow drain of dusk and night. Night time can wear her sanity down eventually, but it will take much longer than with other characters. This gives Wendy much more freedom to do as she pleases when the sun falls.
The first hurdle one will have to face as Wendy is that she simply doesn't have the strength to one-shot the same enemies that some other character could. Her physical strength is equal to Wes', leaving her more vulnerable to some threats that might have been overlooked with other characters, such as Wilson or Willow. Kiting is almost a necessity as Wendy, and it becomes increasingly important to get a feel for the timing of your enemies' attacks, as well as to avoid getting overwhelmed - something that is easier to fall victim to without Abigail around to help.
Abigail is Wendy's deceased sister, called back into ghost form through her Flower. Summoning Abigail lets you trade a hefty 50 sanity for all of the destructive powers of an angry spirit. Once summoned, Abigail will follow Wendy around until either Abigail dies, or until Wendy attacks her. Abigail will harmlessly float near Wendy most of the time, but she will attempt to attack any enemy that Wendy attacks, or any enemy that attacks either Wendy or Abigail herself. When Abigail attacks, she utilizes a short-range area-of-effect (AoE) attack that will deal damage to any enemy in a small radius around her. This damage starts off weak in the daylight, while gradually becoming stronger as night falls; eventually ramping up to four times as much damage during night as she does during day!
Learning how best to use Abigail's strengths, and how to manage her weaknesses, is what will set the stronger Wendy players apart from the rest. Abigail isn't perfect, but she can easily carry you through some of the most common threats in the game, letting you rest easy where you could have struggled alone.
Combat with Abigail
As she is more vulnerable by herself, one of the most valuable assets Wendy possesses is the ability to throw her sister at creatures in order to kill them for her. Often you can let her take the brunt of enemy attacks for you, while you rush in after the aggro has been triggered to get your own attacks in (or just to collect the loot). Abigail regenerates health gradually over time in the same way that Chester does and can take quite the beating compared to Wendy, though it isn't hard for Abigail to be bested by certain kinds of enemies.
Abigail will start to attack things when you click to attack them, making a viable strategy to attack-click, quickly move to break the path finding, and then let whatever you just clicked at feel the burn of her ectoplasm.
Unlike the player (usually), Abigail can be brought back several times in the same world. Don't be afraid to throw her to the Hounds or to use her as a scapegoat in dire situations; your life is far more important than hers.
Some of the situations in which Abigail shines are listed as follows:
Enemies to face with Abigail:
- Spiders will melt beneath Abigail by the dozen due to the way they attempt to swarm their prey, making assaults versus dozens of spiders simultaneously a relatively simple endeavor. Send forth Abigail to aggro the nest, plus whatever spiders are in the area, then rush in and back her up while she takes the heat from the horde now rushing towards her. Farming spiders with Abigail can be tricky to manage properly, however, so it's best to keep an eye on her and try to keep an opening for yourself in case she goes down and the swarm targets you instead. Don't be afraid to bail if you think things have gotten out of hand; worst-case scenario, you'll just have to make a quick dash through the nest creep to grab her flower again.
- Bees, likewise, are easy to kill by the hive due to their swarming tendencies. When spread out they can give Abigail a bit of trouble, but most of the time an entire swarm can be stunlocked all at once as she sits on their hive and scowls and thinks ugly thoughts at it until everything dies. Unless you've taken a jog through a killer bee forest or they manage to start kiting her, Abigail can probably handle any amount of bees you'll encounter naturally.
- Beefalo are a mixed bag as well, due to their natural tankiness, heavy (yet slow) attacks, and their tendency to rush in from large distances when their comrades are attacked. In the darkest hours of night is the best time to take on a herd due to her higher attack damage, but make sure you back Abigail up or she might not have the power needed to melt through an entire herd. Be prepared to sprint if she falls, but if the group is small enough you should be able to mop up what's left, even if Abigail didn't have it in her to finish the job.
- Koalefant hunting can also be made easier with Abigail's help. Once tracked, place the Koalefant into a wide area. Next, run past the Koalefant and drift to the side, so that Abigail falls behind and you gradually force the Koalefant between the two of you; issue an attack order on the Koalefant, and Abigail will try to attack it too. One of you forces the Koalefant into the other as it tries to flee, the other can jump in from the opposite side to land a strike, triggering the aggro and preventing its escape. From there, it's a simple matter of securing the kill through normal methods.
- Hound waves, particularly early on, are easily handled by Abigail. Versus larger groups she can be overpowered, but the first several weeks can be spent in relative safety as you can largely ignore the handful of Hounds that came for you, picking up bits and pieces of them when the deed is done. Beware of fires later on: the burn damage can harm Abigail if she spends too much time sitting inside of it.
- Pengulls are a mixed bag, leaning more towards not a good idea; they tend to take a while to attack up close and she can sit on an entire group all at once, but the strength of a Pengull attack is very easy to underestimate and an entire group bellysliding into Abigail can sometimes take her out instantly. She will also stop attacking when her first target is dead, allowing the group to wait for their attack cooldown to rush in and ram her again. Keep issuing attack orders if she gets distracted and be sure to lend a hand, or she might have some trouble.
- Tallbirds are a mixed bag, as Tallbirds generally target the player. Even though the tallbird is fast enough to reach the player, it's attack won't connect (given the player does not stop running). Abigail will then catch up to the Tallbird and attack it, which will normally result in a victory. It may take time for Abigail to kill the Tallbird, especially if the fight takes place in the morning. However, if the Tallbird targets Abigail, Abigail's chances of death skyrocket (…because it's not like they are already dead or anything).
There are also many enemies that Abigail will struggle to fight against. These foes are often plentiful on the map and can be extremely dangerous to any Wendy player. Care must be taken when attempting to pass through the areas where these mobs reside when Abigail is in tow.
Enemies to avoid with Abigail:
- Tentacles will wreck Abigail. Striking them resets their attack cooldown, and she will do so consistently with no consideration for her own safety, making things that much harder for herself. She can sometimes take a single tentacle, but strolls through the swamp will sometimes trigger the aggro of many tentacles in a row, and each time she will break off from you and attack the thing that just took a potshot at you. The end result will leave you vulnerable for several days or just straight up leave you injured, leaving you open for the next Hound attack as a result. If you must go through a swamp with Abigail, do so after a Hound wave has passed through recently, and try to stick to the paths; most tentacles don't spawn close enough to them to take a swing at you.
- Frogs in small numbers won't pose much of a threat to Abigail. But an entire swarm, or even a small group fought during the Day, will probably be too much for her to handle. Frogs can't be stunned when hit, and Abigail's tendency to sit right on top of her prey will most likely be her downfall as the frogs constantly attack her until one side perishes. One or two is fine, but it's probably better to avoid them completely without the aid of darkness to boost Abigail's power.
- Treeguards could, arguably, be a useful enemy to throw Abigail at. She will fail miserably versus the creature one on one - but when she dies the Treeguard won't remember it was mad at you until you strike it or start to chop another tree down. This makes it possible to run away and equip yourself properly to duel the beast on your own terms without worrying about a lumbering monstrosity looming on the horizon. Be prepared to do a lot of kiting when you do engage it, however; it will take a while to kill it by yourself.
- Pigs are simple one on one, but their kiting AI will give Abigail nothing but trouble. If you intend to fight a pig, Abigail will compliment you very nicely if you both were point blank to it, but if it slips out of range it could give you both a bit of a run-around. Anything higher than two pigs will almost surely be the doom of Abigail, or at least make your day significantly more difficult and less enjoyable.
- Merms are difficult for the same reason as the Pigs above, accentuated by the fact you will almost always be swarmed immediately if you were too close to the Abandoned House. They're also faster than the Pigs, making it even harder for you and Abigail to do any damage. Generally speaking, swamps and Abigail do not mix.
- Boss enemies in general will easily do Abigail in. The supplementary damage is always useful, but in that case you're probably going to wind up taking most of the heat if you didn't start the engagement out with Abigail. It's not always possible to run, but it's recommended to do so unless fighting them is your specific goal and you came prepared.
Other notes about Abigail:
- She will pass through walls when trying to avoid you, but her path finding forces her to seek openings like normal creatures.
- Her AI does not consider her health and will attempt to sit directly on top of enemies, regardless of how much damage she takes.
- At low HP (~20%), Abigail's normal appearance will change to indicate her weakened state. Her eyes will turn from the "blank stare" look that she and Wendy usually share, into a more "worried" or "hurt" look - the same type of look that Wendy will periodically display at low Sanity levels.
- Occasionally she will sit just out of range of her AoE attack if her AI hasn't registered it because it's too small a distance; it might be necessary to nudge her a centimeter or so closer to something, or re-issue the attack order.
- She is a bit slower than Wendy and can be left behind on long walks down paths or roads. If Wendy moves far enough away from her, Abigail will teleport to just off of the screen, and then keep following normally.
- If you lose her flower, it will show up on the mini-map.
- Striking Abigail with Wendy will immediately exorcise her… unless you use an ice staff. If hit with an Ice Staff, she will get angry and will attack you for a little while. (Could be patched in the future.)
- Any aggro against you will trip Abigail's aggro, possibly drawing her into unfavourable fights. Be aware of how close you are getting to enemies!
- After a certain amount of time, Abigail will get distracted and neglect whatever she was attacking unless hit again. You might have to remind her to keep doing her thing if you sent her at a structure via more attack clicks. (Holding the button down doesn't help.)
- Abigail will not assist you with hostile hallucinations. If you go insane, you're on your own.
Abigail is summoned using her Flower. When the flower is fully open, killing anything (even yourself!) while the flower is on the ground will summon her, causing you to suffer a -50 Sanity penalty as a result. However, this does not apply to murdering a captured animal within your inventory (in DST, this method works).
Abigail's Flower goes through three distinct stages; the first will show it curled up with a white hue, the second will show it starting to open with a faded pink color, and the third will show it fully open and glowing a red-pink, as well as it levitating when left on the ground.
Be warned: -50 sanity is a high price to pay for summoning Abigail. While usually worth it, unprepared players can find such a sanity drop hard to recover from. Try to have some sanity-restoring food or clothing at the ready in order to replace the cost. It is also recommended that the player should not try to summon Abigail when their sanity is already low to begin with.
The easiest way to ensure that you can summon Abigail is to have a nearby Flower and wait for a Butterfly to spawn. Even Wendy, with her tiny fists, can kill these flying carbs in one hit. During Winter, stored Rabbits or Birds can be used instead; though they must first be placed upon the ground before sacrificing them in order to summon her.
Above everything else, it's important to know your own limitations and to keep a watchful eye on your items' durability and your health. Abigail will help, but don't let her presence make you feel indestructible. Be prepared and have a plan for any engagement; Abigail can fail you, and you are much weaker by yourself, particularly if you get blindsided or something breaks unexpectedly. Be conscious in combat with Wendy: surprises and being careless are your worst enemies.
As long as things stay on your terms and you exercise caution, Wendy will carry you well into day 100 and beyond.