Crystal Dreams

March 29, 2020

I both really like and am really frustrated with New Horizons

I’ve been working on my daily entries and going back and forth on if I want to make one big entry with Days 2-10 or individual ones. While I really hoped to keep up better with it all, I haven’t been able to and it’s partially as New Horizons probably takes up more of my time than any previous Animal Crossing game. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

To try and focus more on those, I needed to get out my feelings a bit in general about the game because it’s been rough and my feelings towards it are very different than to most Animal Crossing games.

They absolutely aren’t all bad. I truly enjoy playing the game. But some things are just… not good and I’ve already hit points of the game that I know I should probably be doing every day that I just don’t want to do anymore.

In no surprise to anyone even though I tried to give it a chance: I hate the crafting system with all my heart. Adding resource management to Animal Crossing has added an extensive amount of repeatable activities that I just don’t care for. I don’t want to smack every single tree of mine for wood (or bamboo for, well, bamboo). I don’t want to hit every single rock every single day for ore and stone and clay. I don’t want to have an extra supply of flowers for me to pick the bulbs from. It’s boring, it’s too repetitive, and at this point, I’m frustrated because SO MUCH is tied to crafting and there’s no real workaround for it. Materials aren’t sold anywhere for anyone who would rather not comb through their island every single day for resources, many items are literally craftable only, you can’t even customize everything’s color, and it doesn’t add anything to the game for me. I think it’s a good option to give people things to do– I just don’t think it should be the sole option for so many things (and then be pick and choose with parts of it *coughcustomizationcough*).

Collecting recipes is fun, sure, but it’s less fun when I see the materials. And to be honest, collecting recipes in the first place isn’t as fun when it’s constantly random.

And that’s kind of what kills me the most, the immense amount of randomness in the game this time around. Surprises can be fun, sure, but that works a little more with the Nook Miles (and not always– we’ll get to that) and a lot less with what recipe you get and when. There’s a lot of recipes I’ve seen people have that I’d love to get, but have not been lucky enough to. Starting with Nothing has made such a big difference between those who time traveled and those who did not, not having Nook’s Cranny and Able Sister’s from the start was weird and honestly, not that enjoyable to get to the point where we could have them, having such a small amount of our island originally accessible and then being just tossed in to needing to place these giant plots and maybe not having an island with a decent amount of room to place things just yet due to all the trees around and not really sure what to expect

When it comes to Player Quality of Life, it just doesn’t feel like it’s there. Crafting one item at a time, only being able to buy what you could wear out of Able Sister’s and thus needing to go in multiple times, locking QR codes still that were transferred in even if you were the one to make them, limiting how much you can order and mail to people from the catalog, being unable to access the ABD for an entire day during construction (While they at least made up for the Nook Miles Streak, my issue was more being unable to pay off my loan and I use the catalog to keep track of things)…

I also think having colors is a great addition, but I think making it so we can’t customize them and while making each count separately versus letting all colors be unlocked when an item is gotten was honestly a mistake as it

This is especially frustrating when things like The Nook Miles items end up having their colors vary per island. I like playing with my friends. I like surprising them with gifts and hanging out. I don’t like feeling like I have to work with a bunch of people to do things because none of the items are customizable to change their colors and the colors don’t change.

Part of the fun of Animal Crossing is being able to play how you want. Which doesn’t feel like the case in New Horizons with tools constantly breaking (even gold tools!! What is even the point?! What kind of reward is something I have to constantly remake even then), really limited progress (And as someone who likes taking it slow, I wouldn’t even mind this normally, but it feels weird having mainstay features just… on hold for a while like the hourly music and certain shops), and having to patch in events. If people can change their time back to an event after it happens for the first time, I’ll take back at least some of my complaints on this, but otherwise, it’s a lot more limited. Not everyone has the same schedule and even as someone who doesn’t time traveler, I feel stressed thinking I could mess up and miss out.

It doesn’t help that it’ll be at the same time as the Cherry Blossom season which has a whole load of special seasonal recipes and a rare material with the cherry blossom petals and balancing those won’t be fun. And then with also gathering stuff for Easter? How might that effect what drops and what shows up?
Why can’t I just buy the cherry blossom recipes during the season? Why does it have to be such a random mess?

The fact that the Easter Event is 12 days long has me more concerned as it feels like it’ll require a lot of effort and like… I already feel overwhelmed with what I want to do.

In general, Animal Crossing has always had walls, but I think the ones I’ve struggled the most with are when it comes to moving buildings. You can’t switch bridges or move them as far as I can tell– you can only demolish and remake. While you can move shops and resident’s houses (plus your own), not only does it cost quite a lot of bells, but you need to wait until the next day for the move to happen and can only move one thing at a time.

In a realistic sense, I can get that, in a game-sense, this is incredibly frustrating and is the one wait I just can’t really understand. Spatial awareness is not one of my fortes and for me to really work with things, I need to have all my cards on the table. Moving things once and then having to wait 24 hours and move again is a really quick way for me to lose my footing and not be able to keep track of what I want to do or really get a good feel of it.

I do A LOT of shifting things around– a little to the left, a little to the right, depending on how things get placed as we go. I could end up moving multiple buildings several times and it could be months before I have everything where I want just due to how I tend to work when it comes to landscaping.

With how easy they added a method to move trees, I wish that feature was considered other ways. I wish everything could be that easy to move and even the ability to move rocks over just destroying them.

I wish the Tool Ring actually brought the tools in versus still taking up inventory space. I wish the Wands worked more as copies of clothing items versus removing them so I wouldn’t need 8 pairs of tights to use it the way I want.

I wish everything didn’t feel so complicated and random. I wish it was clearer that I could’ve gotten more villagers I wanted sooner. I wish they didn’t restrict which personality types you got when. I wish I had the option to say no. I wish I knew why starting with nothing feels like it has more rigidness than starting with a lot of things.

Even though Villagers feel more emotive and they interact randomly in general, it doesn’t feel like they interact much with items versus like… Pocket Camp. I feel like they rarely want me to do anything and it’s weird not having any way to ask for things to do.

It’s great that we don’t have to worry about them moving out necessarily, but why is it such a pain to move them in? Do Amiibo Cards really need to be tried so many times? I can understand the randomness of the Islands, but I wish I had more choice when Nook first moved people in– even a chance to go to islands to ask (Which, yes, I know I could’ve before I finished setting up the plots, but I didn’t expect them to immediately be sold) before they were randomly picked.

I feel like so many controls just aren’t explained or are so easy to miss. Some controls just feel really awkward. Why is there no multi-select option for selling, dropping, and storing things?

I miss the house styles and it feels like we have less options this time. Why are the rooms smaller? Why are there no colors for fence options? What’s even the point of customizing tools when they break?

Where are even so many items? My Classic set, my Rococo set, my lovely set… The game has so many new things, but is missing tons of old stuff and feels incomplete. If they plan to patch things in, I wish they waited until everything was in already. I don’t want another Splatoon 2 thing. Not to mention the crazy prices of items in comparison to what they used to be (Over 60K for a Clawfoot tub?? 100K for a Desktop Computer???).

I feel like some people could say maybe I’m just burned out, but I’m not at all. I WANT to play. I ENJOY playing. But it also makes me feel anxious and discouraged and sad.

With New Leaf, I loved watching people’s videos and writing things down that I want and keeping up with things. Seeing how people handled things, when they unlocked each shop.

With New Horizons, it makes me anxious and feel like I’m doing something wrong when I see people with all these amazing recipes and items that I don’t have. Even though I know it’s random.

I hate having to place all these things where I don’t want to because of such a closed-space with the river and not really having enough room to do what I want.

I have a vision with my town. I have so much I want to do. I want to see it come true.

But I feel like I’m trapped in such a tiny room and nothing will work.

I love Animal Crossing so much. And most of the time, I do find ways to have fun. But then I try to make progress in changing things how I want to and have no plan or structure as all I can do is wait and it breaks my heart that this is how I end up feeling.

March 20, 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Day 2

Twitch Collection | Youtube Playlist

I essentially took it a bit easier. Partially because I had been up for over 24 hours by the time the day rolled over at 5AM, but mainly because I worked so hard preparing on Day 1, there wasn’t much I HAD to do. Most of what I wanted to do either involved running around on semi-outdated information ooor just luck which is a bit frustrating, but lets start with the things that actually went somewhat well with the game itself progressing after everything I finished yesterday.

I headed over to Tom Nook’s tent for an update to see he and Timmy in deep conversation.

Timmy wanted us to build him a store and needed 30 of each type of wood plus 30 Iron Ore. This was… not a good feeling, honestly, because that is a lot of materials and I still had been struggling quite a bit. I also accidentally destroyed some of my rocks (I forgot eating fruit can be used to break them as well as lift trees and had wanted to have a stock full thinking I had more control when I could use it… and at the time, I had no way to reset them and didn’t think of just picking up a tree and putting it back down) and thus, iron was not something I had much of. And considering we needed these materials for many other things, it was really frustrating needing to give up an entire stack of each.

This may be the case for some people, but certainly not for me.

Regardless, what I COULD get done was continuing my house loan goal of paying it off every day:

Most excitingly, Blathers was here and I had quite a lot to give him.

I may have been a bit TOO prepared though as I still had quite a lot left for him.

With the sadness of continuing to have an army of random sea creatures and insects outside my house, I continued forward and got revenge from yesterday’s mishaps by catching a Wasp:

Something I never really expected is this game has probably been the best I’ve been at catching them. Or maybe I just found a good strategy of dealing with them.

I also found my first golden spot. I wish we could still get a golden shovel from them.

Regardless, it was back to work and to my surprise, Teddy and Mira actually tried to help out with the shop project.

As a side note, I feel like this game could have so many really pretty wallpapers. The sky is especially lovely.

Anyway, thanks to Blathers showing up, even if I wasn’t able to give him everything, he DID give me two very important recipes– the pole and the shovel so I could dig up fossils, but also so I could see the rest of my island. I also finally got to find one of my waterfalls.

When picking my island, I mainly focused on things I knew I would be unable to change since I knew Terraforming is a thing eventually. I just really underestimated how long it’d be, but also it kind of kills me that I just have two barely able to be seen side-set waterfalls while so many people I know not only have lovely frontal waterfalls, often two-story ones and multiples. I think for what I’m hoping to do, my island is a great starting place, but right now, it still feels kind of hard to deal with.

Like I helped out Blathers, I made sure to help out Timmy the same day too and got Nook’s Cranny all ready to go along with all the materials.

And with the airport now open, I was finally able to take a flight to some of the Nook Miles Islands.

I also spent some time in my husband’s town.

One day I’ll have amazing waterfalls too.

A big surprise was running into Wisp as the day came to an end.

It took a while, but I eventually found his spirits.

I hope so too, Wisp.

March 19, 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Days 0 and 1

It’s kind of crazy that we’re finally at the launch. I’ve been so excited to play and it’s nice for it to be happening finally. I will be streaming Twitch every day barring any issues and then uploading to Youtube after. This page will also continuously be updated to keep a general track of my progress.

Twitch Collection | Youtube Playlist

It’s hard to believe that the game is finally here after so long. It’s such a nice break from everything going on, honestly, and I’m really happy that I’ve been enjoying it despite my apprehensions with the crafting system. I will say there are still some issues, but none of it changes how much fun I had– I do think it’s going to test a lot of people’s patience though.

It started off meeting Timmy and Tommy at the airport to check in, picking our map, and creating my character. I’ve said it before, but while it has grown on me, I was a bit disappointed by how limited the starting options were.

Considering some of the big features were having so many options and being able to change whenever, I really expected it to be more like Pocket Camp or Happy Home Designer and not through unlocking a handful of things. The ponytail especially is used on a handful of things and yet it wasn’t even a starter one either T~T

Though, honestly, I think my least favorite part of this was the outfit. Normally, the outfit I got with the eyes I usually ended up getting (which I have kept even now out of habit) I really liked and this was just… not my style in the slightest.

Regardless, despite my issues with character creation, I feel like I got pretty lucky with nearly everything else. I ended up getting a map I really like:

The red airport along with Mira and Teddy as my villagers:

And cherries for my fruit:

Red was one of the ones I wanted most, Cherries were one of the 3 options I was hoping for (AND it’s pink on my passport which was the only reason I was hoping for Peaches more), and Teddy is actually one of the only Jock villagers I really like (though, the new sheep, Dom, seems cool too). Mira is also one of the few Uchi I’m fond of. I don’t know if they will stick around or not just yet, but I will admit the opening sure made me attached to them.

After setting up my own tent, I made sure to help them with theirs.

I sadly didn’t have any waterfalls in sight, but it works for now and to be honest, I’ll probably have to move every single building at some point.

Despite that, the bonfire party was a really sweet bonding experience and really warmed my heart, honestly.

It was a group effort to name and all of us shouted out different ideas.

Pink Sea was voted in unanimously in the end though.

And thus, my villager got to add “Resident Representative” to her long resume of things she has done.

We then toasted some fresh cherry smoothies to celebrate. (Why… have I never had a cherry smoothie?? I need to.)

With some final chatter and last gifts from Nook, it was time to head to bed.

And that finished up the tutorial day– aka Day 0. After a very odd dream of K.K. Slider talking to us, we finally hit the next day.

Tom Nook ends up waking us up to give us our Nook Phone and tell us about what we owe him.

Of course, I have no bells to my name and thus, Nook comes up with a solution with the Nook Mileage Program.

With that, we’re free to finally get moving and one thing I was surprised about was I already had Mail. Three letters from Nintendo, apparently.

I also updated my Passport. I love that Cherries are a pink stamp, as is my zodiac sign.

We then got a DIY Crash Course directly from Nook so we could finally craft stuff (also I ditched my blue plaid shirt).

Mira and Teddy were quite nice. Mira gave me a new recipe to make an umbrella while Teddy ended up giving me a new hat.

I then started bugging Tom Nook for some tasks while working towards the 5,000 Nook Miles I had to reach to pay off my current loan and get an upgrade to a house. There were a handful of Nook Miles items I wanted outside of the 5,000 needed and I needed to earn 98,000 bells for the next house upgrade so I began a routine that had me almost constantly going around the perimeter of the small area of my Island I was on.

Once I had paid off my initial 5,000 bells and gave Nook 5 creatures to convince Blathers to come, there was really nothing to do except wait until tomorrow… but I like preparing so I went kind of hard on it.

And that was all I really needed to prepare even more. Just because the museum didn’t exist yet didn’t mean I should sell all my stuff. Now that we were able to put items outside, I used that to my advantage and put the first item of each outside my tent.

I also bought the Pro Designer planner for a nicer dress until I could actually get some official clothing and the Pocket Organizer for more inventory space. I know there has to be another one (probably when the tent upgrades into Town Hall), but it really can’t come soon enough.

I also got the Tool Ring, which I’m still having trouble fully getting used to (also why can’t it keep our tools in it versus taking up inventory space??), the Pop Hairstyle Pack for my ponytail, and a few random accessories. I bought a Nook Miles Ticket as well, even though I couldn’t use it yet as all Airport functions were closed down for the first day. It still looked pretty nice despite being “closed” though.

I played somewhere between 10-11 hours on Day 1 doing all these goals. My tools broke over 50 times. If I had to say my biggest complaints with the game, it’s the breaking of tools (for Flimsy, fine, whatever, but anything beyond that is unneeded and even then, not all materials can constantly be gotten), some of the excessive rarity for certain materials for recipes, and most of all, the brick walls.

Animal Crossing has always been a game that you played to relax and go at your own pace. But you run out of things to do within an hour or two of Day 1 at MOST. You can’t visit friends. You can only wander around in circles in the same starting area you have until things have progressed further. It feels really slow and while I could more or less deal with it because I enjoy having moments to prepare, I know that isn’t the common idea. To make matters worse, the regular versions of the crafting items barely feel worth it with how annoying iron ore is to get versus shaking trees for some branched to repeatedly make the Flimsy tools.

I never time traveled to get ahead, but there’s a lot of reasons people did and making it so things need to be patched in (I generally fell out of interest with Splatoon to the point where I stopped checking in relatively quickly– I don’t want that to happen here and I don’t MIND finishing a game. One big update is fine, but constant little ones that are anything beyond a monthly free item get annoying to me) just feels like furthering that waiting progress.

I think what frustrates me the most is that you’re locked to such a small amount of your island at first. My first part is already so cluttered and even once I can jump across, I’d be too worried about it breaking to WANT to put things over there. I will have to move every single facility already, I can’t even try to imagine what I want to do because I have so little to work with right now and it’ll be a long while before I get to that point.

There’s still a lot I want to do and I think right now my big goal, besides trying to keep up with loans to pay them off the next day immediately, is trying to get all the bugs and fish that will be leaving when this month ends. Unfortunately, not everything matches up with New Leaf so I feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes down to it.

Among all the craziness, I ended up getting stung by a wasp twice and fainting… But it unlocked a new Nook Mile card so it wasn’t all bad. Teddy, meanwhile, seeing my face ended up teaching me how to make medicine with my DIY staton and thus, I was healed back up very quickly.

The Villagers are kind of weird in this game. I’ve never really gotten a task to help them out and everything feels so quiet in a way. They also react a lot more personally to things, but at the same time, Teddy had no reaction to my character appearing back after his suggestion. It’s honestly a bit crazy how random it can be.

I still haven’t fully figured out how DIY stuff unlocks. I actually ended up unlocking more trash recipes after finding so much. Sadly forgot to screenshot it though.

I will say I don’t feel all the controls are always explained well. I still haven’t figured out a better way to organize my inventory as an example beyond dropping and picking things back up. And how long it ended up taking me to get a Sling slot because I missed the R second page and thus, missed out on so many of them. I did, however, get a pretty cute closet and some nice boots from recycling the ones I fished up.

While I did miss out on so many, the ones I have gotten have been all over the place, having become a lot more random. I did, however, get these super cute boots which went nicely with my recolored pattern dress.

I think my only complaint with the dress is I wish it could have the poofed shoulders with some long sleeves like the Lolita dresses have.

Regardless, all that was left was the hair and while I had gotten the mirror from a DIY Recipe in a bottle, I was an Iron Ore short :( Thankfully, due to the lovely balloon gifts, I got dropped off a package of ore and thus, had my ponytail hair.

I REALLY hope more hairstyles get added in updates. I would love to see a ponytail version of the wavy hairstyles so much.

Pocket Camp to New Horizons (and a Special Delivery!)

With my Animal Crossing: New Horizons-themed switch in hand and the game itself being available in just a few hours over in Australia (and a couple more after that in Japan), we’re getting really close to its release. They recently finished up a special fishing event with Tom Nook, Timmy, and Tommy along with a special code we can redeem starting early tomorrow morning for some items in New Horizons and so I wanted to share some screenshots from the event and one other special thing.

Not to mention, today is Merengue’s birthday! So a very happy birthday to my great assistant. Here’s hoping she’ll be with me in New Horizons sometime soon…. though, likely not on her birthday.

The choices were “Happy Birthday!” or “I did know!” and honestly I wish I could’ve picked both because I DID know, but the first felt more appropriate to say…

As for the event, we had to fish for the New Horizons versions of fairly familiar Fish for lovely New Horizons-themed items.

The fishing rod is pretty neat (and thankfully doesn’t break unlike the suffering I will soon be facing in New Horizons), but I didn’t get to use it for long:

I expected a special goal version too– maybe even a gold version of the special one, but no, it was just the usual gold rod which wa sa bit disappointing.

I still enjoyed the event though.

And it was really neat seeing the new fish models.

I also had fun doing the HHA missions too.

While not NH-related, I also made a small update to the Afternoon Tea Cafe as I got the Tea Cup Fountain and well, that was incredibly on theme so:
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Finally, yesterday I also got my adorable bag from being one of the winners of the Pocket Camp Club contest!!

The cute logo on the back:

It’s a lot bigger than I expected (and also a bit shorter– I expected it to be more long and stocky over short and stout, but I still love it), but it’s really great. It also came with this cute Thank you-manual:

March 8, 2020

New Horizons Plans 3.5? Or just random excitement I suppose.

Because if there wasn’t enough from the PAX Videos, there was even more extra footage revealed the following week of direct feed some people were able to get. I spent all day looking through videos and while most of them had a tendency to show the museum over and over (I love the museum too guys, but…), the biggest highlight for me was seeing some new furniture and especially, a lot of new clothing.

Being completely honest, Animal Crossing (before Pocket Camp) was always a mixed bag for me with clothing. There was never anything I SUPER liked– my favorite top/dress was changed from pink to blue when in City Folk:

(Credit for CF Princess Top)

And I never really managed to find a replacement. The dress I liked best after that were the Fluffy Dress and the The Pink Lace-up dress (though, I found it a bit bright). The Ballet Outfit was also kind of nice, but I preferred dresses with sleeves. Maybe a sleeved one will exist through New Horizons. The Kiki and Lala and My Melody dresses that were introduced in the Welcome Amiibo update were also really cute at least. I probably would’ve used the My Melody one if it was a bit of a more pale pink (or the Kiki and Lala dress if it had long sleeves) and I wasn’t already attached to the pattern dress I was using.

I’m also really hoping we could see a pink variant of it (and maybe the Princess set in general) considering all the different colors in this game. That said, some items seem to have 3 or less recolors, if any, and I’m not sure if some items just don’t have multiple colors or if not all colors always show up in Able Sister’s and just what recolors they have in stock that day. I guess we’ll see at least. I’m also curious if you need to buy every color for the catalog or if only the “original/main” color will show up…

I feel silly getting so hyper-observant and focused on the clothing of all things considering I have no idea when I’d even be unlocking Able Sisters, but with clothing like this how can I resist? (And heck, this isn’t even everything I’ve liked…)

Video credits: 1, 2

I’m pretty sure the top left one is New Horizon’s version of the Pink Lace-up dress and not only does it look amazing in general (plus it’s a more pastel pink), it has my two favorite sleeve types together– Poofy Princess Shoulders and bell sleeves. At the moment, I feel like that may be my main dress, but it’s hard to say as SO MANY of those are just… really great? When they first mentioned the Star Wand to quick-change outfits, I kind of shrugged it off as I don’t usually change my outfit anyway as there’s not many I like, but I may have to actually consider it this time. These weren’t even everything I saw that I liked– just a few highlights.

Heck, even the wigs are cute:

(Video Credit)

While I generally don’t prefer wigs as I can’t wear a cute hat with them, I would make an exception for that. Especially a ponytail version (but I’d still prefer an actual hairstyle):

Disclaimer: This is an edit!! It should be obvious as my edit skills are poor, but just incase…

I really hope there will be a wavy/curly/ringlet-y ponytail sooo badly :( Or maybe one can be added at least… I feel like there could still be a handful of hairstyles we haven’t seen yet as there’s still ones like this one we really haven’t seen outside of a single short video:

(From one of the videos in the crafting section on the official site)

The closest otherwise is a short ponytail with sideswept bangs or the bun with the long wavy side bangs. There’s also a lot of hairstyles introduced through Pocket Camp that we haven’t seen and I feel have a good chance of coming over. Pocket Camp has SO MANY unique items and it’d be a shame if they are kept solely to that game as they could open up all kinds of opportunities in this one just like Happy Home Designer. Still really hoping we’ll see ceiling items.

Anyway, besides my failure at deciding what the heck my character’s “main” outfit will be and hairstyle woes, I’ve also been struggling on a Town Tune and if I should still use the same as I did in my original Pink Sea town:

There’s 7 themes in that video including the one I used for New Leaf. I’m also tempted to try and see if I can make a town tune from part of SHE’S by Letter from one of the recent Japanese commercials for the game as it’s an absolutely beautiful song and I think it could work really well.

But yes, feel free to vote for what you think!:

What should my town tune be?

  • Town Tune #1 (33%, 2 Votes)
  • Town Tune #3 (17%, 1 Votes)
  • Town Tune #5 (17%, 1 Votes)
  • Town Tune #6 (17%, 1 Votes)
  • Try and do SHE'S by Letter! (17%, 1 Votes)
  • Town Tune #2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Town Tune #4 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Town Tune #7 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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It’s crazy to think we’re less than 2 weeks out now. I can’t wait to finally play :) I just wish knowing the fruit stamp would show up on my ID card wasn’t making me reconsider my no-resets policy… 💔 (Sorry Resetti T__T)

I hope I at least get a nice spot for Dodo Airlines… And I really hope there will be more bridges and ramp styles than we’ve seen (and maybe even a customization for Town Hall and the Airport like New Leaf had for Town Hall and the Train Station) as I didn’t super like any, but I’ll probably be using the Stone, Brick, or white fence ramps depending on where I’m putting it and probably stone bridges otherwise.

On a side note, and one of the other reasons I’m really excited, is after my general aesthetic of cute things, teddy bears and plushies, animals, pink frilly things, waterfalls/fountains, and pink + ocean colors together, I absolutely love travel motifs. My dream has always been to travel the world so things like… old passports filled with stamps and even just the idea of traveling hype me up so much. It’s part of why I absolutely adore the Plane Ticket from one of the France pre-orders and the Press Kit given out by Nintendo France. The “suitcase” is beautiful and the bottle of sand?? Amazing. I have a small collection of sand bottles and just, there’s so many little details. As much as I am looking forward to bringing Pink Sea to such a new level with the terraforming option (WATERFALLS EVERYWHERE PEOPLE!!! …I promise I’ll use my new powers in moderation), I really hope to find a way to bring that travel motif into the Island as well. At the very least, I’m definitely completing all the Nook Miles to get all those stamps and it’s one of my favorite parts about them.

Edit as of March 12th: With with one of the recent new trailers, I just need to scream once again about Waterfalls because LOOK AT THESE!!!:

These look absolutely amazing. We get an idea of how close ramps can be (maybe even closer??), my double decker waterfall idea is pretty likely, I could do a combination of tall, short, tiny, and double waterfalls… There’s so much I’m hoping to do. I sure hope I can do it.

Latest Pocket Camp-ness and random thoughts

I’ve been playing a lot of Pocket Camp again lately. Partially due to wanting to finish up some loose ends (getting villagers I need, getting everyone to at least level 15 for new items to craft (I’ll go for 20 for each after and each milestone in steps after that), and just generally “preparing” for Pocket Camp-New Horizons Collaborations), but also because with New Horizons so close, I just really want to play some Animal Crossing and as much as I adore New Leaf, I’m super paranoid about messing up again and still kind of bummed about not getting to go through all these Dream Addresses due to my capture card dying (at the very least, it’s an easy fix if I ever manage to get that sent in).

Pocket Camp, as frustrating as it makes me, is a lot quicker to just pick up and at least not worry that all my villagers abandoned me and my hair has become an unruly mess as I stayed in my camper for months. There’s also no cockroaches so that’s nice.

But even ignoring my Animal Crossing kick and the easy pick up of Pocket Camp, I also just can’t resist some of the new outfits:

This pink dress and adorable pink boots? Perfect and also one of my favorite shades of pink.

Picking between that and the Princess dress is hard, but I figured a change was worth it for a bit. As much as I love Princess dresses, I really love casual frilly dresses too.

I also really loved this dress as well:

Unsurprisingly, I could not resist the new earrings. I’m still not sure what I’d say is my “default” outfit in this game with the amount of dresses I just really adore, but my camp site continues to barely change:

I don’t think it ever really will. Maybe if we get an Amenity I like better. At the very least, if we ever have more space, I’d likely add on to it, but that’s it. I really hope the items I’ve used could show up in New Horizons though as I’d love to try and set up a nice area using a lot of the same things.

In general, I have mixed feelings about most of my other set-ups (mainly due to having issues working with the space given with how large some items are), but part of it is there’s just so many items I like too.

I’ve also managed to somehow finish the gardening event as my friend’s list is clearly better at this than I am.

I don’t know if I’ll finish the “hard challenges” part. I have yet to finish one, though, this has been the closest I’ve gotten so maybe something will happen before it ends. While I hate the gardening events, I genuinely love the cutscenes at the end so I do wish I had an easier time completing them. Unfortunately, I just find them too stressful to really deal with.

And I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would change things in Pocket Camp and why it bothers me and after recent situations in another mobile game I play that features customization, I realized a huge issue is that Pocket Camp, while yes it is for Animal Crossing fans, a large focus is honestly for those who play games with a lot of customization. And while this doesn’t apply to everyone, a lot of them are very impatient and/or kind of selfish. And by that I mean an update can happen and if they finish the content and there isn’t new content within 24 hours, they start complaining. Similarly, older events can’t stay around to participate in because it’s considered an “eye sore” if they constantly have to see something they have no interest in or it’s out of season.

And I think that easily explains a lot of Pocket Camp’s choices along with the constant events. But as an Animal Crossing fan, it’s so overwhelming and completely against the principle of the game. If you focus only on items you want or maybe your favorite villagers for the like… memories and certain events, it may not be as bad, but as someone who likes collecting everything and loves seeing all the cut scenes, it’s actually really disheartening. And considering these types of things are a large part of Animal Crossing, it does make it a bit pay to win.

I feel like Pocket Camp could really use a Premium version (not a subscription, a premium to buy) alongside an option for a free version as is as a lot of the recent issues can be pinned down to three specific factors: Constant Events, the overuse of Gulliver, and Fortune Cookies– all which can only really be a little less of a burden if you invest leaf tickets into them. So, general ideas on how things could be different:

  • Fortune Cookies – Cost Bells. Have ones that can show up randomly be cheaper (maybe 2,000-3,000) and then you can buy them outright for 5,000 or 23,000 for 5. Scratch Cards could still be used, but you could also use Leaf Tickets to buy a specific item instead. This would get rid of the large issue of gambling as the real money currency wouldn’t be attached to that part. Similarly, don’t expire fortune cookies or just make it so “out of season” ones have a limited stock each day and/or are more expensive.
  • New Villagers – They should not be gotten through Gulliver or the Treasure Map situation. This was silly to do in the first place and is just a huge pain. A new villager should just be guaranteed to take up one of the four spots the first time you met them and there should always be at least 2 villagers you haven’t invited to your camp yet (including a new one), if any, out to do favors for.
  • Gulliver – In general, only being able to get extra cargo with leaf tickets is stupid. Instead, it should require more materials equal to the amount it took the sale (IE: If it took 140 Points of Cargo for Gulliver to go to the island, it should be 140 more per each extra piece of cargo you want). This would continue the point of Gulliver to help get rid of excess items versus another leaf ticket drainer. Like fortune cookies, leaf tickets should only be used to pick something specific from the Island– possibly even without waiting for Gulliver to return.
  • Events – They just… need to not have so much overlap and honestly more time. Most people don’t mind having a break or taking more time to gather resources. And if they have to, add them permanently as being able to be crafted (with
    • Gyroid Gathering Events – Should just be general crafting events with only existing materials, Gyroid counts should be less (or spawns should be a lot quicker), and/or let people buy the special material with bells in addition to finding it.
    • Event goals shouldn’t have exclusive items attached to them. More of the items from the event themselves and/or things to help with the events (IE: Nets for Fishing Tourneys, Honey for Bug Tournaments, Flower Feed for Gardening Events, etc.). This goes for the new month-long ones that need you to hit pretty much every single event. There’s been plenty of times now I’ve liked the final item only in one of these and could never get there (and even buying all the bundles with the “goal increase” item, I still fell short…).
    • Gardening Events – Flowers shouldn’t take 3 hours to grow. 1-2 hours is already long enough. Some of the counts are awful, especially with the sucky catch rate. People who play alone would not be able to finish unless they use Leaf Tickets and even then, there’s no guarantee if they have particularly awful luck. Also a way for friends to leave some even if there are no free flowers would be nice. More often than not, I end up having tons of whatever it is we need to catch left over because everyone I want to leave them to is full and anyone who isn’t doesn’t need any.
      • On a similar note, alternate colors should not be through the “hard goals” section and that should just be used for additional colors. Recolors should be available through the normal part of the event or flower trades with Lloid.

I don’t even really have an idea for the map feature. I kind of hate it, to be honest? But I think how it works is fine, it’s just not my way to play things and I usually use Leaf Tickets to auto-complete for every Villager. Just Villagers really shouldn’t be part of it. All the other materials? Sure, fine. Having Leaf Tickets while gambling with bells? That makes sense and works. I just don’t care for this mode at all, but I don’t think it’s a bad feature outside of tying villager maps that you get from Gulliver to it (which getting villagers through Gulliver was silly in the first place).

There’s a lot of little things I can think of too like I wish we could let Villagers know we made something versus needing to invite them and place it (not to mention get the crafting recipe without inviting them) or just wanting better ways to organize things. I still think Storage shouldn’t be a subscription service.

I will say if I ignore all the things I’m missing, Pocket Camp can be a bit more fun, but as someone who loves to collect everything, I just feel a little sad to know I’m missing out, even though it’s a lot less stressful to play this way.

February 29, 2020

My New Horizons Plans 3.0 (PAX East and Maps) and expanding from New Leaf’s Pink Sea

I never expected to do a 2.0, let alone a 3.0, yet here we are a little over a week later. Between the terraforming and multiple gameplay videos and screenshots coming out of PAX East, I’ve found myself constantly thinking of what I want to do. Ceiling items still seem a bit MIA so I haven’t really thought too much about interiors. I’m essentially expecting to do similar to what I did in my New Leaf town for my mayor’s house, but I genuinely really loved some of the other rooms I did and if we can have more rooms this time, I could see myself doing some of them again or even incorporating them into exterior areas.

Outside of my “main” house in New Leaf where I really enjoyed most of the rooms (The only one I didn’t care too much for was the “back” room– I love all the items in it, but I wish I had a better idea that WORKED with putting them out versus it just being a Toy version of Scrooge’s money bin) even though they were just… aesthetic-based general house rooms, my favorite of the theme rooms were the Toy Shop, which did a better job of displaying things than my Plushie-animal-everything room did, The Sky Room which was kind of a expansion of the Plushie room, but more organized, and the Street Cafe. A lot of the Sky Room items I hope to manage to put into my main room this time around while the Street Cafe I may try and work parts of it into the exterior. The Mermaid Room was one of the general house rooms that wasn’t as much of a standard, but if we had more rooms in our house, maybe I’d be able to split it up between new rooms or even just the exterior and interior to make it even better.

I also really liked the Concert Room just in a fun way to do things with the instruments and Gyroids, but the colors were all over the place. The Detective Agency part of the office was fun too, but for a full room, it just felt kind of plain. The Backyard Room was another room where I just really wanted to fit in more things I like, but couldn’t find a place for. Also to run through wheat because it’s fun to. The idea of “items I really like but just can’t work into this room or I don’t have enough space” was pretty much the plan with most of these themed rooms, especially the ones in Emi’s house– the Birthday room is a big example using a combination of the dessert, birthday, and balloon items. The Forest Room and the Autumn Forest were two more examples, though, I suppose some of these I truly could put outside now and mesh into the exterior.

As mentioned, I’d love to try and do some kind of little cafe or dessert area and I think, if I did do more villagers for any reason, it would be for that idea in mind. I wouldn’t branch it out as much as I did in New Leaf, but more to literally be an establishment in the town, like maybe a special Tea Room that has various themed cafe areas, but is still generally a specific facility. It could even work well into really bringing the Street Cafe avenue to life as part of the town. We’ve already seen a lot of different house types for villagers and if we have even close to that for our own character’s houses, I feel like we could really make our own little town, similar to how we did Happy Home Designer’s exterior buildings.

I could also try and merge some of the items I used for the Japanese Shrine room into the area I had in my New Leaf Town. I’ve already seen so many items I can use to take a lot of the areas in Pink Sea to new heights and it’s one of the things I am really looking forward to.

We really didn’t get to see much at all of our personal home exterior options for our own house and while I’d like to hope we’ll see everything from Happy Home Designer and then some, I don’t want to get my hopes up. I feel like making it similar to my New Leaf design is a definite at minimum, but I’d love to see newer stuff too. At the moment, the only thing I really find myself debating on with the home exterior for my own character is the Wreath! I had hoped they would be a general DIY for wreaths where like a combination up to maybe 4-6 different items could work, but clearly that isn’t a thing. I’m really hoping I can maybe do one that is a combination of pink flowers and seashells though to keep things on theme, but I guess we’ll see what options there are.

For now, I’ve done a very rough draft of some kind of map:

It’s absolutely not smoothed over, acres are messy, waterfalls aren’t properly rounded out, and it doesn’t even account for everything! But it’s a very loose idea of what I am hoping to do and really gives me a better idea of how much space we truly have. I’m also still not sure if I will do gardens for all the villagers or not… I guess we’ll see– at the very least, I can probably work with transparent patterns to stop things from growing in their “areas” so to speak.

I have a lot of questions based on if waterfalls can truly curve, if there’s a limit to bridges and ramps, how many villagers can we have max, and even what the minimum is as well. For now, I’ve put in 8 Villager spots to essentially have a spot for each of my top favorites. Of course, we don’t know all the new villagers yet so it’s possible someone besides Cotton Candy Cub could claim a “top favorite” spot as well.

I know I’ll move the facilities around, but they are some of the things I’m most undecided on. Similarly, I don’t know if I want to mix the housing area for villagers and the facilities together, or have them separated like they are in the current rough draft. While not on the rough draft map, I figure somewhere in the upper area above the “Villager Neighborhood” is where I’d put the Camp site and a little camping area, or maybe even below closer to the beach and airport. I’m still not entirely sure, but I do think it would be its own thing rather than part of the Facilities or Houses. Or maybe even just have the facilities in the center with Houses on the sides.

I definitely want to decorate a part of the beach as well, though, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I’d like to do and where. I hope it’ll look nice though. Maybe as part of the Camping area or a pool area… At the very least, it’d make more sense to have the Lighthouse closer to the beach, if not on it. I need to see what terraforming we can do on the beach too…

I may even do nearly the entire back in waterfalls, with flowers going around the back and only small places where you can get to the very top of the cliffs. I don’t even know if “two-tier” waterfalls are completely possible, but I’m definitely going to try. In some extent, parts of what I’m really envisioning are similar to Phenac City or Couriway Town.

Or even Waterfall Lake in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.

Or heck, some of my favorite FFXIV screenshots.

The idea of being able to essentially do like a Garden and/or fountains and this serene area and just have the water flowing around this center platform is just so beautiful to me and it’s something I hope with all my heart I can do justice to and somehow represent it in my town and really bring Pink Sea to life in a way I couldn’t in New Leaf. Heck, that top side of the cliff where the waterfalls flow and people can’t really reach could even display things in itself.

Not to mention if many of the new items from Pocket Camp come over… I could possibly make the Crystal Shrine of my camp site into an actual area, with waterfalls and flowers and more space and it could be beautiful.

Of course, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself ^^; We don’t even know how long it’ll take for me to get to a point where I CAN fully start setting up my Island. In the meantime, I’m really hoping to get a starting map similar to this:

I like the Airport in the South East mainly and I feel like it’s the best map where I can set in motion most of my starting plans. I also admit I am kind of really hoping for Peaches after learning that your town fruit shows up on your ID Card as I’m guessing it’ll be pink… and I want the pink fruit stamp. I don’t plan to reset at all, but wow do I just hope I get lucky with both the map and fruit. Other things I’m hoping for are the Circle Grass Design and Red for the Airport, though I’d take Blue… or possibly green if not blue or red. Still not stuff I’d reset over (especially if we can maybe redesign it like we could the train station in New Leaf), but I just hope I get lucky with all the things I like.

On the bright side, I’ve already seen a lot of outfits I like at the Able Sisters. The only problem is who knows when I’ll unlock it. I just hope I do before the Seasonal Outfit is gone and that I can quickly manage to get this lovely dress. I’m going to be working so hard to earn as many bells and Nook Miles as possible >< I think right now my biggest worries are just how I'll deal with crafting. While I don't expect trees to constantly give wood, I am curious how it all works still and worried about running out. I don't think they will-- I'd like to think they will always respawn, but part of me is worried you may need to replenish your trees for more wood which, as someone who just likes to have things set and done with would kind of drive me nuts. My main issue with crafting is resource management is just not my forte in games, or more accurately, it stresses me out and I generally try to play things in a more relaxed state which doesn't really work if I'm constantly worrying about running out of things or not having what I need. I pretty much farmed for Silver Axes to make sure I wouldn't run before I had the stumps I wanted and while I get that they wanted this whole ground-up approach, I'm still not sold on crafting and am just hoping I'll feel less anxious once I'm actually playing. At the very least, the larger storage will definitely come in handy so that's definitely one positive. There also doesn't seem to be an item limit for houses this time (or it's higher than it was in New Leaf) which makes me hopeful to be able to do everything I wanted with some rooms where I had to cut back like removing nearly all the wall items in the Kitchen of my Mayor's house. I am still a bit disappointed about the starting options. I think if it wasn't for the advertisement of being able to choose everything and having Pocket Camp and Happy Home Designer actually give you the options of picking from it all, I wouldn't have gotten my hopes up and this wouldn't have hit me as hard as did, but alas, it wasn't fully clear and maybe if it was just "pick your face and skin and one of eight starting hairstyles" it would've been a bit better, but maybe a bit too specific. Regardless, thanks to a very lovely Picrew, I will admit my planned starting look has grown on me a bit.

I may pick Black over Dark Brown for the Hair and Brown over Black for the eyes depending on how they look in-game, but I will likely be picking this Face Style and Hair Style at the least. I’m still undecided on the nose, but it will probably be either triangle or circle.

I think the face paint option is really cool, though, I won’t personally be using it. I just really hope Nintendo ends up making a ponytail version of this hair (maybe a bit longer) or the other wavy/curly hairstyle. And a normal ponytail– not a side tail.

I hope we can preview the hair packs before we buy them so I can get a ponytail quickly, but if not, I’ll at least try to imagine my hair longer… Hopefully I can get a vanity quickly too. Regardless, maybe this can help me bear with not having the hair I want a bit longer as there’s a lot of things that seem important to prioritize Nook Miles for like paying off the Island Getaway Package, the Tool Wheel, and more inventory space.

Finally, I just wanted to give a shout-out to Dodo Airlines which is a really cute site where you can make your own Passport* and Boarding Pass:

*Mine is slightly edited to actually use my Villager from Pocket Camp and for other stamps too because I couldn’t decide ^^; But it still originated thanks to this lovely site!

I’m really looking forward to filling out the application as well, but I’m going to wait until I actually start the game and include it in my Day 1 entry :)

It’s hard not to be hyped as new info comes forward from PAX and people keep making such cool things like this, but the game is less than 3 weeks away!! I can’t wait and I just hope I’ll manage to make the progress I’m hoping to.

February 20, 2020

My New Horizon Plans 2.0 (and general direct thoughts)

So, the Nintendo Direct aired and while I already gave some of my thoughts on Twitter, I still had a bit more I wanted to say along with extending my New Horizon plans from last month.

That said, this will include spoilers for the Direct so if you haven’t yet, be sure to watch it!:

I’m going to do my best to go in order (despite how much I want to yell about certain things) and this won’t be a super specific detailed post so much as me just talking about stuff I’m excited for and hope to use for shaping my own town. That said, while I am going to try and go in order, I may bring up things from later parts of the Direct.

To start off, I was happy to see we could choose our hemisphere at the start (If you plan to play in the Southern Hemisphere, let me know!) and also really glad we get four maps to choose at the start again. I was still a bit worried, but seeing that we can eventually unlock an option to do waterscaping and cliffscaping, that really isn’t so much of an issue. The fact that I can make my own waterfalls is amazing and I’m really excited to have ACTUAL water around the Island like I had hoped would happen and it’s even more impressive than the waterway items from Pocket Camp (not that I’d say no to those too).

I can make little waterfalls! Small water paths! Tiny ponds! Can I even do multiple layered waterfalls? POSSIBLY.

I was so worried about how I’d place my house to have a nice waterfall and room for things, but now I may be able to expand things how I’d want to anyway. I can set up my own Waterfall area. That said, with so many new things (fountains, items, waterfalls, three new types of flowers) and options, I still feel a bit overwhelmed just envisioning how much space I may need. Not to mention, we don’t know exactly when this unlocks. All we’re given is once our “island is fully decked out”, but nothing on what that means. After making a certain amount of bridges and/or ramps? After upgrading our house fully and/or recruiting all the shops?

Either way, it’s probably a bit far off and I shouldn’t consider it in my immediate plans, but I can’t help it. Heck, I’m already trying to figure out which fountain I like best and I know there will probably be more to choose from just looking at Pocket Camp and Happy Home Designer.

Regardless, it at least makes the map choosing a bit less of a turmoil and my hopes are more on getting a fruit I really like (though, again, not the end of the world) and hoping for a color I like for the Dodo Airlines. Though, maybe the color thing won’t be the end of the world either as it could maybe be able to be refurbished similar to how the Train Station and Town Hall could be in New Leaf. Considering how we can practically redesign the island ourselves, it doesn’t feel too out there to think maybe we can adjust the appearances of facilities as well.

One thing I’m still a bit unsure of is WHERE I want to place things. While they mention you can relocate “your home and facilities”, that doesn’t include Villager Houses and I’m not sure if they meant to or if Villagers are done permanently once placed unless they move. Also considering the whole “set a plot” thing, it makes me wonder if we can limit just how many villagers are in our town.

I wouldn’t mind having less villagers especially with so much more to decorate with, but I really want more information on most things with villagers especially some kind of toggle to prevent a specific villager from moving away or not.

Moving back to landscaping a bit, I’m really excited for the stairs and hoping to do a combination of stairs and ramps depending on what I think would fit best.

We also got to see more of the Path menu and while we had seen Brick Paths in a promo image before, clearly there are going to be many other kinds.

The Pencil also makes me think custom paths could be a thing and in that case, I may do a version of my New Leaf Path after all.

As QRs will carry over, I already set up everything I would need that I plan to use patterns for. For the most part, I’m still hoping to cut back overall. There’s a lot of really nice outfits and we know there are multiple colors so I’d like to at least try and see if I find something I love officially before trying to make my own design (not to mention I’d want to see what dress options there would be for custom designs anyway). I figure I’ll just use the same flag as I used in New Leaf as I’m proud of it and planning to use the same Town Name anyway and that just makes things easier.

Finally, while less of a plan and more me just gushing, I love the new museum so much. Some of these areas are so beautiful and I hope my town can look as close to how beautiful some areas of the museum look. I mean, just, it’s absolutely gorgeous:

I really hope we unlock the museum fairly quickly, or my house’s storage is essentially going to be filled with fish and bugs (here’s hoping I can store them anyway since you technically can put them in your house…). I’m so happy we have an unlimited storage though. Animal Crossing has so many items and it’s hard to balance otherwise. That said, it does look like there are inventory increments as well (though, when and how are still unknown no matter what guesses we can make):

So at least a lot of space to carry things around too.

Amiibo Cards and Amiibo are pretty much all confirmed which I kind of expected so I am happy to be right about that. It’ll at least make getting my favorite villagers from New Leaf a lot easier and then I just have to worry about Cotton Candy Bear who sadly still hasn’t gotten a name yet anywhere, but at least we have a HQ Render of them now:

I’m also really curious about these Posters we can apparently collect through scanning the Amiibo too (so many cards to scan then though…):

I’m also more set on Nook Miles than ever seeing how you can use the points from it to also unlock new features. I had planned to try and do them all anyway, but now I think they are kind of up there in priority along with trying to pay off everything immediately.

With plans mostly out of the way now, I do want to talk about some of my new concerns. We got to show a close-up of some of the house decorating which genuinely looks amazing, but one thing I noticed is they didn’t show any ceiling items.

I don’t want to take this as a full out “oh look no ceiling items” thing because there is a chance that isn’t the case and it just didn’t fit with the room they decided to go for, but just for what felt like part of the point of decorating, the lack of it struck me. Even in other images on the official site, I don’t see any ceiling items.

Next, I want to bring up this from the start which shows some of the options… but looks like it could be the only starting options for hair:

What really hits me with it is it doesn’t even feature all the options at the start of Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp and we know those options are in the game so why limit it like this at the start?? If these are the only hairstyles to start, I’ll probably be using one of the last two on the first row (depending on if I want longer hair or wavy hair– it’s a harder decision for me than it sounds) and one of the first two colors.

I’d like to think this isn’t the case when we literally saw one of the Devs have a ponytail near the start during E3, but maybe it’s just fast to earn or something changed. I don’t know. At the very least, we know there’s more options:

So I’m still hoping for a ponytail I really like.

Finally, my last and biggest concern is this:

I don’t time travel, but I know people who do because their schedules don’t work for real time games. Similarly, even though I have never time traveled for events, there was a nice safety net incase something DID come up and I couldn’t play.

Now? It’s at the hands of when Nintendo schedules these events and I just… do not like that. Pocket Camp patching in events and removing them sucks. New Horizons doing that for events– ones that have always just been part of the game no less is actually really discouraging and I’m sad to see them doing this as it just feels like it could end up punishing more people than anything.

Animal Crossing is supposed to be this simple relaxing game, but for whatever reason, it seems they want to add these weird restrictions to stop people from playing certain ways and like, I get wanting to lessen people who cheat in awful ways, but people who do play like that won’t be stopped from something like this and it’s something that absolutely just hurts more honest players than anything.

It’s the same problem with the reasoning for no Cloud Saves (and while I know they are working on stuff for people to get their file back in case of an issue, they do not know when it’ll be ready and if you do lose progress before it IS ready, then what?).

Over all, I’m still really excited, but I also find myself with a lot more questions and a few new concerns I didn’t expect to have. I just hope maybe whenever the free patches happen, that they become permanent parts of your game from then on and not just… events that only happen when Nintendo sets them up.

If anything though, it just makes me even more glad that an official guide for the game is coming out after all. I preordered it immediately and the only thing I’m sad about is that it’ll be 2 weeks after the game releases before it’s available.

I’m hoping once I actually start playing, the anxiety of it all will lessen and maybe things will get permanently added to the calendar after each free update.

February 14, 2020

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – Valentine’s Day and Decorating

It almost doesn’t feel like it’s been long since my last Pocket Camp post, but it’s actually been over 2 weeks ^^; And with ACPC’s recent events and it being Valentine’s Day, I figured it was an appropriate time for my next entry, especially with Valentine’s Day events currently going on :)

For one, we had a new gift to give to our villagers. If you’ve seen my video over on Youtube, you’ll already know who I gave it to, but if not, I gave it to Merengue!:

These gifts are always so sweet T~T

People generally think Merengue’s probably my #1 favorite or maybe Diana due to the lovely art that I commissioned, but for art, I actually asked people to pick randomly from any of the villagers in my town… As for Merengue, while I’ve given her the gifts each time, it’s actually because these decorated streets just make me think of her first ^^; She looks like Strawberries and Cream, she wears a chef outfit, so I just instantly associate fancy looking food with her.

That said, both Merengue and Diana are two of my favorites, but they’re tied with Cookie, Peanut, Maple, Marina, and Flurry. I wouldn’t be able to pick among the 7 of them and I hope to get all of them in my New Horizons town/island as well. I wish I could give a gift to all of them, even if I only get one thing in return with all their names on it.

While I haven’t done too much with the other Valentine’s Day events for Pocket Camp, I did somehow manage to complete Reese’s Candy Shop event too thanks to everyone’s help!:

I also did buy this one new dress, though, I think I still like my Princess dress more…

But the thing I was most excited for was having more Cabin space!! I’ve been wanting more room to decorate in general and I had some worries they may tie these things to new subscription models after a recent survey, but just getting a second floor to the cabin made my day and I immediately made it into a Fountain-Afternoon Tea-Room:

I did end up switching the Cupcake Ferris Wheel with the Valentine’s Day gift from last year after taking this screenshot for symmetrical reasons and also to be able to read both gifts, but I think it still looks nice!

Finally, to finish off this entry and to wish a big Happy Valentine’s Day, some lovely Valentine’s features my favorite villagers!

Let’s talk about the PSO2 Closed Beta for North America!

So, I have spoken a bit about PSO2 in the past and if you follow me on Youtube, you will notice I ended up playing quite a lot this last weekend (it’s surprising I slept at all) and I just kind of wanted to talk about it a bit more.

I’ve tried a few times to pick up the Japanese version again, but a combination of the amount of hoops to jump through to buy AC, everything with the tweaker (That said, a huge shout out to those who works on it— it’s a lot of work and they deserve so much credit for their amazing job which allowed me to play on the Japanese server when I did), and just feeling a bit bad I couldn’t really respond in Japanese along with friends having given up on the game until a proper English release somehow came out, it was just kind of a lonely experience and even when I tried again at some point, the game had moved the story along to such a point with so many new features, I just felt lost.

But I always really loved the game. Like I genuinely had fun with it and enjoyed nearly every part of the game. In fact, the only things I can think of that I really didn’t care for were:

  • Time Trial missions – One of the things I generally enjoy in PSO2 is having moments where I can just explore and take a breath. Occasionally, some quests do require you to have a certain clear time, but they’re not too bad most of the time… The frustrating ones are the literal time trials which require pretty much instant precision and one wrong move or bad roll of RNG can completely ruin it. More often than not, we came within seconds of finishing. There’s thankfully not tons of quests for this, but it is one of the main dailies for farming meseta (or at least was when I had played)
  • Scratch Cards – The game does have a gachapon system split into both a premium one with a real money currency and an in-game one with FUN Points which is a currency generally gotten through interactions with other players, but can also be gotten through tickets from certain achievements and exchanging Excubes (which become more common to get further into the game). The positive part of these things is Scratch Card items are not only just “vanity” items (so they do not effect gameplay AT ALL), they can be sold on the market, as long as someone has premium or a shop pass. Unfortunately, as scratch cards are not usually recurring, most items are essentially retired once the Scratch Card expires causing prices to rise immensely, especially for any consumable items such as voices, poses (which include dances), make-up, and accessories. I’m hoping this is something the North American release make end up working on by maybe making it so the items return from time to time to lessen the crazy economy on the Japanese server along with some items essentially permanently poofing out of existence.
  • Storage/My Room Limits – While there is additional storage you can buy, it’s unfortunately only for up to 3 months at most. You do get one extra storage with Premium as well. I’d just love to see more storage options, but the Furniture Limits actually is what gets me the most. Most of my inventory in the Japanese server was furniture I couldn’t place due to these limits. Ignoring that you only have 5 slots without Premium or a My Room Pass which is painfully small, the limit can go up to 150 with Premium/a My Room Pass with three large rooms which may sound like a lot, but one item =/= one slot. An item can cost between 1-5 slots on average, some even much higher at 10-20 (though, it’s rare). A good example is any item you Auxiliary can use– those cost 3 slots each. Because of that, you can end up with a lot of empty space which is frustrating, especially as someone who is generally good at fitting things into spaces even if it can be a bit crowded. I would love if the limit could at least be reconsidered for Premium, but I guess we’ll see.

And that’s really it, honestly. And despite my complains about the My Room limit, I still managed to make a room I was really happy with in PSO2:

(These are very old screenshots from a recording done about 5 years ago so the quality isn’t the best)

The only other thing I would maybe say is the Client Order limit (20 for regular players 40 for premium) just as someone who likes to grab everything I can just incase. It isn’t the end of the world though and just requires you to take the time to think more on which you want to focus on at a time and while there is A LOT at first and it can be a bit overwhelming, eventually you manage to sort it out plus being able to give some to your Auxiliaries helps too.

Regardless, despite my FUN Point Scratch failures (sure hope those items return, but hey if you got some you don’t want, please consider selling to/trading with me!), more than anything when I played the Beta was remembering just how much fun I had.

I never got bored or anything. There was no real reason I stopped beyond having trouble keeping up with so many barriers to go through. It hits so many things I enjoy about MMOs without most of the more frustrating things.

The closest there are to raids are more free to all special events. Going in with a “PUG” (Pick-up group for those who aren’t familiar with MMO acronyms) isn’t an end-all situation. You don’t have to join a team/alliance (though, it can still be fun with good friends and there are some good bonuses and pretty base layouts!), you don’t have to play with others, you can play by yourself just fine and sure, maybe you will run into others in multiplayer areas, but there’s no guarantee and honestly, they’re pretty big!

Being able to invite AI characters (whether of actual NPCs or versions of player characters) gives support so you can still be playing by yourself while still having help. There’s still advantages to playing with others, like anyone can revive you which is really cool and revives can even pick up multiple people at once if close enough. That said, dying isn’t necessarily the end of the world either– you can go back to the ship, get some more potions if needed, and hop right back in and get your loot and things. It feels forgiving and it’s a nice chance of pace. At most, the only time I can think of where I got “screwed over” due to teammates is during some emergencies that really require more cooperation and some just aren’t fully viable by yourself, but they’re also optional content for the most part and while they can give you good items, they’re not be-alls and end-alls and even if they’re rare, you can try again.

And that’s the other thing, there’s so many ways to play– you can spent tons of time in a map, just waiting for different weather conditions or things to happen or you can speed through. Unless certain quests require things to be done in a certain amount of time or there’s a certain rank you’re trying for, there’s nothing wrong with taking your time.

One of my personal favorite things is everything feels so fluid. I can heal, I can attack, I can dodge and block and move and jump and everything feels a lot more freeing than how rigid I tend to feel in most MMOs. There can be close calls and sometimes things can get frustrating, but in general, I’m still having fun. Being able to move around so freely and explore with semi-randomly generated dungeons and events also keeps it from feeling boring. The only thing I would even say comes close to boring is maybe repeatable quests but… you can even just send out your Auxiliaries for those. They may not too great at first, but they’ll get better, and it gives you time to do other things. You can change your class whenever, you can use different weapons per class, you can use so many different skills, switching through things feels quick, and even though I know this isn’t completely unique to this game, everything together just keeps me interested.

Even if I don’t feel like going out on exhibitions, I can just hang out with all the fun things in my character’s room too. Or just send out my auxiliaries and things. Like a casual hub paired with an action game with other players too. And sometimes it just… feels fun to just jump in and see what happens. I don’t normally like surprises, but with PSO2, the chaos can just be so much fun. There’s so much to do and time goes by so fast– I never expected to play as long as I did, but time went so fast and I enjoyed every second of it.

Honestly, I wish I did more of the story during the beta, but I really wanted to wait to experience it at the same time as my husband. The voice acting was great though and I’m SO happy they dubbed Quna’s songs. So many games/anime will just leave songs in Japanese with subtitles and while that’s not a bad thing (I have plenty of songs where I listen to them in both Japanese and English), there’s something I always really enjoy about hearing the same song in other languages so hearing these songs in English finally really warmed my heart.

I hope they keep the same cast and I can’t wait until the game fully opens. I’ll probably continue poking around on the forum in the meantime :) Looking forward to PSO2’s Open Beta launch– I just really hope it includes PC too T~T <3 Sadly, the Valentine's Day decorations weren't up during the Beta, but here's a screenshot taken over on the Japanese server while working to get my character as close to the original on the North American server:

I think I got pretty close:

Even just playing around and goofing off, I still ended up getting passed level 30 ^^; On the Japanese server, I actually got a new outfit at level 19 from a very generous person… That outfit doesn’t exist in North America yet, but I sure hope I can get it again. I miss it!

Now to just… try and wait patiently until I can finally play again on the North American servers :P

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