In continuation of the previous two articles. It is time to set a larger scene. In the first we talk about sustenance. You see there are always food places in RPG games, yet until Monster Hunter, I never saw any of these games take advantage of the sustenance factor. In this I got to thinking.
In the first, the levels of that. As I see it there are coffeehouses, taverns, Inn’s, restaurants, and as such we get to the basic setting we see below. As you might understand, you cannot have a village with a 4 star (or larger) sustenance place. And some places could get an upgrade. The upgradable settings are furniture, sustenance, and lodgings. Taverns can only upgrade sustenance and furniture. Sustenance are upgraded by getting that place a cook, it gets you a 20% discount for the rest of the game. Cooks can be upgraded by getting them a cookbook. Furniture can be upgraded by getting them better furniture and it gets you a +20% discount for the rest of the game. And the setting for the upgraded places is what I wrote earlier. In towns the production goes up, happiness goes up. It has all kinds of long time benefits for the gamer and the gaming area. Then we get another benefit, its benefit is temporary, but larger. You see in the old days the minstrel (bard) could invigorate the area. But the bard can only be in certain places. Restaurant/inn with terrace (as such it would have a podium), and there is an upside in that area.
It is one of the benefits of the cog system. It showed me the ideas and the benefits of a larger stage, it brings the larger stage to the player and stops the person from being the centre of attention. The player still gets to set the tone in places, set the upgrades. But the larger stage will become the populous and the economy, stages where the player is a simple small factor, not the staging agent. And as we consider that the minstrel can be upgraded (2-3 upgrades in total) we need to make choices. A setting most RPG games tend to avoid, we can do it all, but it takes away replayability and sets the stage for blanket actions and grinding. That are things we can avoid to some degree and we get aa better game because of it.
Consider that the minstrel can be upgraded 2-3 times. The clothing, the instrument and the music. Then we see that these are extremely limiting items. Like 2 outfits, 1 instrument and three pieces of music at the most. Who will you upgrade? One minstrel completely, or three minstrels partly? All choices we have to make. We could even adjust the music to the max of the highest minstrel, or the level of the minstrel in your home town. All parts that shape a game, all parts that make a game more desirable to the gamer, because a game that shapes in different ways, a game that gives more than one option and makes it replayable, that I a game that will be cherished for a long time and streamers will need long term interest in a game, it is their margin of profit on a large scale. And in this article I am merely scratching the surface of what is possible.