Sons of the Forest patch fixes NPC's chaotic behavior, but it turns out a lot of players liked him that way: 'I hate Kelvin now'

Survival game man giving a thumbs up to a guy
(Image credit: Endnight Games)

Learning things and getting smarter is normally a cause for celebration, but in the case of Kelvin, everyone's favorite Sons of the Forest flunkie, it's having the opposite effect: A recent patch gave him a bigger brain, and some players do not like it.

Lauren Morton recently declared Kelvin "the new best boy of videogames" thanks to his adorable blend of energetic industriousness, childlike friendliness, and, well, let's call it not-fully-developed problem-solving skills.

"Kelvin is not a dog. He is not a toddler," Lauren wrote about her best digital pal. "But my friends and I have been cheering on every one of his little feats as if he were. He runs with small, fast-paced little steps. He tosses items you request exactly where he's told (what a smart boy). He smiles in a dazed, happy-to-be-here way, and look at how good he is at fishing."

But the first patch for Sons of the Forest smoothed out some of those charmingly rough edges. From the patch notes:

  • Kelvin catch fish order will end after a time
  • Fixed Kelvin cutting down trees with player structures attached
  • Fixed Kelvin dropping radios destroying the radio

Individually, these are relatively minor points, and even obvious improvements. I mean, if you tell Kelvin you need some logs, and he runs off and chops down a tree you just built a treehouse into, well... What the hell, Kelvin?

But as GamesRadar noticed, quite a few Sons of the Forest players on Reddit aren't happy about the upgrade. They liked slightly-gormless-but-deeply-devoted Kelvin, the boy who really tried his best at everything, and now that he's better at things... he's just not so good anymore.

(Image credit: SB10K (Reddit))

Others shared similar thoughts in the replies:

  • "Kelvin isn't Kelvin anymore" – art_syber
  • "This is going to get a whole lot of kelvins killed" – ChalupaPickle
  • "He was sooo good at getting logs" – Eisenfuss19
  • "I hate Kelvin now" – Financial-Look-1155
  • "Ok that’s it im replacing kelvin, next cannibal that walks in the gate is my new companion" – Potato_Dealership
  • "I mean, I always found his clumsy AI to be immersive because you know he’s got brain damage" – Various_Ask_8727
  • "They need a toggle option. Like 'Clumsy Kelvin' vs. 'Clever Kelvin' that people can switch between" – PurdyDeadly

I can understand the response. In some ways, Kelvin reminds me of my dog: Full of loyalty and love, and somewhat less blessed with brains. Would I make her "smarter" if I could? Sometimes I wish she was a little brighter, sure, but there's something undeniably endearing about a big girl who does her goddamn level best even when she has no idea what's going on around her. (Which is most of the time.) Kelvin isn't a dog, as Lauren said, but he definitely has a similar kind of chaotic energy.

(Image credit: Endnight Games (via SauceMansBack on Reddit))

The good news for fans is that while Kelvin may be slightly less dangerous to everyone around him than he used to be, he still has plenty of lovable pain-in-the-ass potential remaining. 

"Players shouldn't worry as there are still plenty of ways Kelvin can destroy your base, such as chopping a tree directly onto it," developer Endnight said in an email sent to PC Gamer. "We do plan to keep adding to Kelvins abilities over the course of Early Access and hope we can keep him both useful and fun to experience the world with."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.