Thursday, 25 March 2021

To Further New Horizons



As of March 20th 2021, it's been a whole year since Animal Crossing New Horizons released and helped a lot of us to get through the (sadly still ongoing) pandemic.
During the first year, we had fairly frequent updates which introduced the seasonal events, but now a whole year has passed, what updates could they have planned for the second year of the game to keep interest?

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Like with many others, I played New Horizons to death for months after I started the game at launch, but eventually I burned myself out on it and during the later half of the year, I wasn't playing as much. I've found, though, that I was actually very thankful for the frequent updates for the seasonal events, as they actually reminded me to pick up the game and play again. Though this hasn't had the same drive for everyone. Many are upset that there are still a lot of missing features from previous games, and some of my friends stopped playing because they became frustrated with how infrequently Redd visited the island, thus feeling like collecting the artwork was a huge chore.

For me, the updates were definitely a drive to keep playing, even if it wasn't as often. Back when I played New Leaf (the only other Animal Crossing game I've played, other than Happy Home Designer), the same thing happened that I played for months, then I stopped playing when I burned out on it, but I never really picked it back up as there was never anything to really remind me or drive me to do so. Everything was already in the game.

That said there are a ton of characters and features that are still missing. Some may never get added, but some would be great additions to the second year of the game.
The only game I can really compare to is New Leaf and what I experienced with that, but I've read through threads of what others would also like in terms of additions and quality of life updates. It made me feel like making a list of things I'd like to see. I've also added some personal wants as well to help me keep interest in the game.

Granted, I feel some of my personal wants will never really happen and is mostly wishful thinking, but I also was doubtful that they'd give us more custom design slots, and that's something they've introduced very recently! Some of the other stuff will very likely to get re-introduced this year for updates, especially since they're now at the point where seasonal events are now being repeated.

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- Brewster, The Roost and Gyroids

I think this is at the top of everyone's lists at the moment. I feel this is 100% an addition that will happen this year. I believe Brewster is already mentioned in the coding of the game so I'm absolutely sure it will be an addition at some point. Gyroids have also been mysteriously absent from the game and I feel the re-introduction of them would give players something new to collect, especially since a lot of players who have played for the full year have now finished, or are finishing, their fossil, bug, fish and sea creature collections.

Just hanging out with Celia at The Roost

- At least one more upgrade for the Museum, Nook's Cranny and Able Sisters

It's rumoured that the Roost will be placed in the museum when it's introduced, so that would be the perfect time to make upgrades for the Museum itself. I'd also be interested in having rooms where we can make our own displays, like we could in New Leaf. I'd honestly love to dedicate a room to Flick's art, or a room full of different types of Gyroids when they're introduced.

For Nook's Cranny, I'd honestly would love to see Leif get his own little gardening shop in it so we don't have to wait for him to appear in the plaza. The same goes for Able Sisters with the addition of possibly Label and more clothing designs from her, or even Kicks. This would free up the traveling merchant slots for maybe introducing new characters to appear... or y'know... make Redd appear more often.

I would love to see some more standalone shops too, but unless they give us more land to develop on our islands, or a second island, I don't really see more shop buildings being feasible without it upsetting everyone's island layouts or having space issues.

That said...

- Additional land or the ability to develop a second island (Maybe with the addition of at least 3-5 more villager slots)

This is one of my personal wants that I feel won't happen, but I can dream.

As someone who's played for a full year, my current island is mostly developed how I want it now and all the villagers I have I'm attached to and don't want to get rid of any of them, so it makes my interest in the game rather limited now. It's great to get new furniture sets and such, but I tend not to get too excited over them because I don't have anywhere to put them. Having additional land added to the island I currently have would be a great benefit to keep my interest in the game and give me more to play around with.
That said, I'd also like the ability to create or have a second island to develop. Currently you can only create a second island by having a second Switch, then you have to consider that you'd also likely have to get another Switch online subscription for online access and it's just really not worth it, but it would be great to be able to have a second island, or just additional space on my current island.

Honestly, I'd even be happy to spend money on paid DLC if it meant I could have extra land or another island.

Along with this, it'd be nice to have maybe 3-5 more villager slots. There's a lot of other villagers I'd like to have and search for. I currently don't have a cranky villager on my island and I'd love to have one, but I just don't have the heart to kick out any of my current villagers who I'm attached to.
I also love designing gardens for them according to their personalities, goals and hobbies.


- Additional or Updated dialogue for the Villagers:

One of the biggest complaints among players has been the rather stale dialogue for the villagers. They repeat a lot of the same stuff often, and to get to slightly more unique dialogue you have to talk to them repetitively over and over, which runs the risk of annoying them.
I think adding, or at least changing up the dialogue would be a really fun thing for players. Also making dialogue a bit more flavourful would be a bonus. I know they wanted to avoid making any villagers come off as 'unpleasant' but in the process the villagers don't really seem to live to the full potential of their personalities. Cranky villagers don't seem that cranky and snooty villagers not that snooty. The dialogue in New Leaf, although did get somewhat repetitive eventually, did seem to give the villagers more character. I remember having one snooty villager in New Leaf that told me at one point specifically to not give gifts to another villager. She also at one point said that 'word had been getting round' that she was 'talking about me behind my back'.

We're arch enemies now and I love it.

Villagers are supposed to have an A and B category for each of the eight personalities, but I honestly have never seen a difference in how they talk or behave, maybe one category could be more pleasant and the other have more flavourful dialogue?

Villagers in New Leaf would also do things like visit the players house and also ask you to help fill in surveys and such, but I believe the coding for villagers visiting your house has been found in datamines, so I think at least that is something that will also definitely come this year.

Also, while talking about villagers, it would be nice to have a way to find specific villagers if you need them. Sometimes you have a task, like delivering a gift, and the villager you want is nowhere to be found. I think New Leaf had the Megaphone item that helped to call villagers who are outside to help find them.

- Additional flowers, bushes, fruits and vegetables (also addition of perfect fruits)

There are a number of fruits that were in New Leaf, which are not in New Horizons such as tropical and special fruits such as Lychees, Durian, Lemon, Mango, Banana and Persimmons. The perfect fruits that existed in New Leaf are also currently not present in New Horizons. Perfect fruits were rare versions of the original fruits with different designs that would sell for a lot more bells.
It seems so strange that these were all in New Leaf but are now absent in New Horizons.

Cherries, oranges, peaches and ... lemons??


I think these would be incredibly fun additions, but it also may come with the issue of whether or not your island has the space or to have them. Additional space/land, or a separate island could really come in handy! It would be great to maybe get a second smaller island we could fly to which could be specifically for farming.

Now vegetables.

I believe some datamines last year did reveal the possibility of growing vegetables, similarly to how we can now grow pumpkins and maybe even doing cooking which would be AMAZING in my opinion. Please let me grow vegetables and cook things for my villagers. It would be a great way to introduce more food items into the game too which people really want.

Though maybe this is just me wanting Animal Crossing to just go full farming sim.

- Tree stump patterns

In New Leaf, you could occasionally get a unique tree stump pattern when you chopped down a tree. I'd love for these to be brought back for New Horizons and I feel it's strange that they're missing from the game. You could get patterns such as the Triforce symbol, heart, four leaf clover, music note ect.
They really give a nice and unique vibe to something as simple as a tree stump.

I think the unique tree stump patterns would look particularly nice in my butterfly fairy garden.

- Better bulk buying and bulk crafting

This is a quality of life update people have been asking a lot for.
Honestly, we really need the Able Sisters shop to have bulk buying options, instead of only being able to buy one of each type of item each time. I've been trying to catalogue clothing lately and it's irritating having to go in and out of the dressing room six times to buy six hats. Better bulk buying for Nook's Cranny also would be beneficial, maybe a new option to buy 10 at a time instead of just 5 at a time.

Also bulk crafting options really would be handy when crafting things such as fish bait.

Also while we're on crafting, being able to customize fences would be great, or at least having some more fence options. (We all want that white picket fence that was seen in promotional videos before the game released.)


- Isabelle's Daily Announcements

I feel this is another quality of life update that's needed.
Quite often, unless there is an event, seasonal change or campsite guest, Isabelle never has anything new to tell you. An update to her dialogue, like maybe telling you which visitor you have on the island that day (such as Flick, Gulliver, Leif, Redd ect.) would be very beneficial.

- Updates to Nook Mile Islands and Travelling

As someone who has plenty of crafting materials and no villager spaces, I literally have no reason right now to go to the Nook Mile mystery islands. An update to these islands to make more reasons to go to them would be great. Maybe if new fruits and vegetables are introduced we could have islands where we have a chance of getting them?

Also maybe introducing more places to travel to would be great! Currently we only have the mystery islands and Harvey's island as travel options (other than going to friends islands if you have online capabilities), so maybe the addition of new islands we could travel to would breathe some new life into using the airport. Maybe we could travel to a shopping district, or as I mentioned earlier, to a second island with a specific purpose that we could customize (and maybe invite a few villagers to live there), like a farming island.

Also being able to travel from one mystery island to another instead of having to go back to the island airport each time would be great for anyone who's island hopping.
It's a lot of back-and-forth and dialogue to go through.


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I think these are the main things that I would love to see in the game and could really open up some good further gameplay, though there are plenty more characters I'd also like to see as additions that are currently absent, like Katrina, Blanca, Katie ect.

Granted, like I said, a lot of this might be reaching or asking for a lot, while others I think it's just a matter of time before they add them in, but this list was really just an idea of the things I'd really like to see in New Horizons in the future.

Even though I'm not playing New Horizons as much, I'm hoping that updates through 2021 will help me keep an interest in the game and help me keep coming back to it. This game has been a great help to me over the last year and it's a game I love to turn to when I want to play something relaxing, so it'll be great to make more memories on my island for the second year.


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