Three suggestions for the ranch.

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Three suggestions for the ranch.

Postby lvxferre » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:48 pm

TL;DR: of the suggestions:
  1. Plort processing: facilities to get new stuff to sell from plorts.
  2. Better resource sinks: 7Zee rewards program and area unlocking requesting more than just money.
  3. Better range exchange: simultaneous range exchange requests, with no expiration time.
1. Plort processing:
The Slimepedia gives us a lot of flavour reasons people want plorts, like: plortonium, sweetener, metals etc. It would be cool if we could actually make those materials inside the ranch, and sell them for a bit more money than just the "raw" plorts.

For example, imagine you're farming rock slimes. We could sell their plorts as is... or process them in a "Crusher" facility into "blue ore", mix the blue ore with fire plorts in a "Furnace", and sell the resulting blue metal instead. Or we could use the same "Crusher" to make fertilizer from tangle plorts, or the "Furnace" to get glass from mosaic plorts, so goes on.

I believe this would add a bit of depth to the game, given it encourages players to go back daily to the ranch, but there isn't much to do there besides the ranching loop (feed slimes, sell plorts) or watering drones.
2. Better resource sinks:
Currently both area unlocking and the 7Zee rewards program work as money sinks - throw enough newbucks at them to unlock something. This is a bit shallow, and I think we would get something more interesting, fun, and immersive if they requested multiple resources instead.

For example, imagine if the 7Zee rewards program requested 100 honey plorts for a new sweets factory, or a bunch of tangle plorts for a fertilizer-deprived area of the Far, Far Range. Now you don't just throw enough newbucks at the problem until it goes away, you'll going to ranch a bit of honey or tangle slimes for the request. This diversifies gameplay.

Note how this idea would combo really well with the idea above - unlocking the Grotto wouldn't require money "just because", it could instead require blue metal to prevent it from collapsing.
3. Better range exchange: I bet a lot of other players also ignore the range exchange as "annoying fetch quests with underwhelming rewards you'll likely not complete before it expires". This is... bad, we're basically ignoring NPC-related game content the devs spent time implementing.

I think the range exchange would be more popular with a few changes on how it works: no time limit, and the ability to take simultaneous requests from multiple NPCs and complete them in the order we want.

So for example, under the current system:
  • you open the range exchange up;
  • you get a choice between Thora and BOb, and pick the later as chickens are easier to provide than slimes;
  • BOb is asking you briar and painted "chikkEN OKs";
  • you rush towards the Glass Desert because you don't have painted chickens;
  • when you're back the request expired because you spent too much time with a gold slime and a treasure pod in the Glass Desert. You simply learn to avoid the range exchange.

Under the system I propose:
  • you open the range exchange up;
  • you click on Thora's portrait, she wants rock and dervish slimes;
  • you click on BOb's portrait, they want briar and painted "chikkEN OKs";
  • you send BOb some briar chickens you have in your ranch;
  • a quick rush to the Dry Reef and you get some rock slimes for Thora;
  • you raid the Glass Desert and take your sweet time there, gathering dervish slimes for Thora and painted chickens for BOb;
  • back in the ranch you made both NPCs happy.

I think it's clear which one is more interesting for the player, right?
Thoughts on those three ideas?
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Re: Three suggestions for the ranch.

Postby akkamaddi » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:39 am

The Plort Processing is exactly the type of mod that I added to Minecraft and Stardew Valley that I absolutely loved. (My Stardew farm was a massive liquor empire, with a perfumery on the side.)

The issue I see is storage. If plorts produce one sub-resource, that doubles the storage you need if you save things for a better sales price. If you can make multiple resources, you will basically need a new storage unit matching your plort refinery, and have it work like the decoration storage.

I would be *so* happy with this, though. :-)


I really like the idea of using a few resources to unlock areas. I think that's brilliant, and could make the Exchange much more useful. A few units of Wild Honey to revitalize the grove or some indigonium to shore up the cave is perfect.


I'm not sure if the issue with the exchange is timeout. I think it just has to be a bit more useful. As it is, it can be good to get a fruit for planting or plort for largo as soon as you unlock an area. (On my first game, I had a really bad time finding Mint Mangoes because they were instantly eaten when they ripened.) Otherwise, the main purpose is to unlock the three rancher areas.

I think the timeout is to give a "hurry!" element in an otherwise rather casual game. I think if you do an exchange, you go in knowing you have to focus on that. Otherwise, the main "challenge" I find is waiting when I suddenly need Phosphor slimes and it's morning.
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