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Hamlet feels too short (oinc economy, ruins, goals)

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After leaving the game alone for a few days and browsing the forums to see what the impressions of other people were, I think I know that the biggest issue with the DLC is for me. It simply feels too short. I know the Aporkalypse is coming, but it feels like everything can be rather easily accomplished in the first year.

And I mean, with no stealing. Stealing - as many topics around show - makes the game plain trivial. I'm not talking about difficulty here though, but immersion and length. I think it stems from a few problems that could possibly be solved without too much issue (possibly - I'm not a game dev and I don't want to pretend to be one :D But I'll try to offer some solutions to what I see could use improvement).


1. It's fast and easy to buy everything

If you wanted to get some end-game items in RoG, it took a while. You had to hunt them in various seasons, sometimes go way out of your way to travel to far away places in difficult conditions to acquire them (ex. walrus tusk, thulecite).

In Hamlet, there's really not much you cannot buy. All the items that used to require adventuring and exploration can now be bought. And you do not have to explore anything to buy them! Trim hedges, make some rope, bring petals and some berries, pick up poop and voila - you get a Tam'o'shanter, clothes, tools, rare materials. You just have to run through the ruins once to get it all.

My change idea:

Two currencies. A currency that can be earned by doing mundane things - for which you can buy mundane things like food, basic home decor, basic supplies.

And a fancier currency that's out of reach for regular pigs and is only dealt with by more special pigs. This currency can be acquired by selling archeology stuff, hence encouraging more exploration. Some Aporkalypse-exlusive drops would do well to also be sold for these special tokens to not only make them renewable, but also encourage interacting with the season more.

Things to buy for rare currency:

- other-world boss drops

- rare items

- high-end fancy house decorations

- house cellar and attic upgrades (we all want them all right)

- dare I say it - the Slanty Shanty house deed and new-town pig houses


a) Postponing the purchase of Slanty Shanty until the player has found, let's say, 1 or 2 of the artifact statues would prevent it from feeling rushed and prompt a little bit of exploration (perhaps a short jungle foray) before settling down. Getting the house on day 2 feels a bit free, and while it's not an inherently bad thing, I think having to lick the treasure hunting beforehand wouldn't hurt. Especially since in Temperate season there's no real issue with setting up a small camp beside the shanty or wherever else. Just... make it feel more earned to get a place to call home.

b) Gating the high-end house decorations behind rarer items would make them feel fancy and high-end instead of day 3 purchases. Upgrading slanty-shanty looking hole into a mini-palace would feel much more rewarding if it took some time and effort. Bigger differences in furniture prices (both for oinc and the other currency) wouldn't hurt either to give a nice feeling of progression.

c) Clear division between early and mid-late game - from "just surviving" (buying food and necessities) to "thriving" (being able to acquire fancier stuff)


2. The world is too small, the exploration too fast

This one is pretty clear cut. From what I understand the world size is limited by the presence of no-loading structures? I'd honestly prefer to load into the ruins if both them and the overworld were bigger. The new biomes are beautiful, but the sense of exploration and danger is a bit... gone from Hamlet, due to how close and small they are together. In Rog venturing into the desert could be a few days adventure if one wanted to map it out and see if there are any set pieces or whatnot around. In Hamlet biomes are simply put too small to make such trips feel like actual excursions, encourage some mid-way bases, strategic food hubs, and all that fun stuff.


3. Full-world exploration is not rewarding enough

I loved that in RoG/Classic you had those funky things to find - the teleportato bits, the adventure mode portal. Set pieces in the form of traps and weird places were scattered around. Going into a new biome you could find a big cemetery promising a lot of fun garbage and a lot less sanity, you could encounter an annoying hound mound hub. There could be insane spider nest circles that liked to all turn into queens sometimes and wreck havoc, there were traps with fire hounds and staves, mushroom rings, etc, etc :)

What I'm trying to say is - set pieces encouraged and rewarded exploration, made some biomes feel unique, tempt the player to base nearby (beefalo herds, tallbird forts, pig king, slot machine).

I think Hamlet biomes are absolutely beautiful and I'd love to see more reason to explore them entirely.

Not to mention it was always a grand fun to figure out some way to create a meat farm from the tallbird fort or to try and get rid of the hound mound fort blocking the entrance to the desert. Those things also prolong the progression, give player-made goals and alternatives to survival methods. I think Hamlet has so many possibilities here and they're just a bit under-utilized.


4. No long long-term goals

With the shorter seasons surviving a year takes less time than before. It's nice that we have a new style of play with the houses and city lights, but it's also possible to just huddle up in town, buy food each day, and just... weather the weather. It would be nice if there were some other long term goals to look forward to. The bosses aren't many, the ruins are short. It'd be great if the treasure hunting aspect took more time and had a nasty ass boss at the end that drops something really fancy and game-changing - a bat killing machine, a repairable multi-tool (<3), something like that.

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