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Ubi-Banshee
07-21-2016, 09:23 PM
Hello Assassins!

I'm looking for community feedback, we've really appreciated the community feedback we've done on other subjects, so much so that we're eager for your input (woo hoo!!)

This time we're looking at the in-game economies of the following games: Black Flag, Rogue, Unity, and Syndicate.

If you have a moment and would like to share your thoughts on the balance in-game economies and how that relates to gameplay, it would be very helpful!

We know that the economy is really important part of the gameplay experience, and having a satisfying economy makes doing missions, resource grinds, rewards, upgrades, etc. all the more exciting when done in a balanced way.

Please let us know what you liked, didn't like, and any features you'd like to see in the future. Also, if you have any examples (from AC or other games) that you think did this well, that's great too!

Thanks for all your help, you guys are amazing :cool:

Sorrosyss
07-21-2016, 11:09 PM
I've always enjoyed the theme of putting your touch on the world. Throughout the series we've been able to own our own ships, islands, towns, shops. In the older games I used to really enjoy buying my way across the city, and watching the money come in. I'd like to see something like that return in a big way, again tying benefits to specific shops etc. Being able to personalise and expand your hideout has always been engaging, especially in the case of the ships as you could customise the colour of the sails etc to your taste.

One thing I really missed in the more recent titles was hunting. It was kind of novel to go hunting for unique creatures in the wild, whilst seeking out specific materials. Admittedly some of those had tangible benefits in terms of monetary value too, but it also encouraged you to actually go out and explore areas in depth.

I'm touching a little on customization here, but having various weapons, clothing, outfits, armor shaders - all were items I would happily farm for especially if I liked the look of them - or purely for completion sake. Crafting is a fun pasttime as well, which ties into hunting as well in the earlier games. Then there is the skill trees, which genuinely feel like a progression curve for your character.

Elements I don't like - Medicine springs to mind. Or bullets. Throwing knives. The common use materials that you use on missions. I personally didn't like having to remember in Syndicate to go to a shop between missions to go and stock up on things. I mean yes, there were several shops around, but you would still find yourself wandering around for a time purely just to stock up. Sometimes I would start a mission or event with insufficient items and have to quit out to go get some. I know its realism to a degree, but I'd personally prefer to have items be automatically restocked coming out of missions to try and remedy this. I'd be in favour of returning to the AC3 style regenerating health to try and get away from the medicine tedium anyway.

One thing I really disliked was putting critical maps behind microtransaction barriers. I don't mind microtransactions existence for convenience such as materials or in-game cash for those who want to cut corners, but something like the glitches map in Syndicate - good luck finding all of those purely off your own back. There is convenience, and then there is fleecing. ;)

I've played alot of MMOs in my time, and one thing you often find is public auction houses. It would be speculation as to how multiplayer might work in future titles, but I suppose it might be handy to have players able to post their own materials to a central depositary in this way. For example, players who just enjoy hunting could then make a decent amount of in-game income by selling their wares to fellow players.

Another feature I've seen in other games is player created content. If we could build our own small instanced events to test other players, this too could provide a potentially engaging experience if you were to reward/purchase/tip other players for their creative efforts. "Introducing the Sorrosyss Parkour Charity Fun Run." It would certainly keep people playing long after they expired the standard content.

To sum it up, the more we have to spend money on the better. Customisable elements are high up my wish list, especially the hideout, the Assassins themselves, and an increased connection between ourselves and the cities/towns that we visit - such as the shops from the Ezio era. The economy can be engaging so long as most items are fairly affordable. Its a great danger to give players too long a grind to aim for, but I feel there should be some special vanity rewards for those willing to put in the effort.

SixKeys
07-22-2016, 04:52 AM
• I'm not a big fan of hunting, personally. It worked in AC3 thematically, but in AC4 it was kind of one of those leftover bits that hang on even when there's no real reason for them to be there. The only reason it worked for Connor was because he was a native who was raised to live off the land, but most of our assassins are city dwellers. So please, only bring hunting back if there is a narrative reason for it.


• The biggest problem with the economy system IMO is how quickly your bank fills up. It's every 20 minutes or so, I believe. That time could be stretched much further, like up to an hour or more. If it were up to me, I would ditch the investment system entirely. Again, it's a narrative thing. It made sense for Ezio, the son of a banker, but hasn't made sense for other assassins since. The only one where I kinda liked it was in Rogue where Shay would invest into repairing buildings, because it was interesting to see a Templar working to improve life for the common people. But I would have repaired those buildings just for that reason alone. The extra incentive of doing it for personal monetary gain felt tacked on.


• AC suffers in many ways from the "don't know when to stop" syndrome. You make the game more balanced initially by making combat harder, but then you allow players to buy skills - force them, even, like in Syndicate where you literally cannot advance to the next level until you've bought a certain amount of skills. Skills that undo the intended challenge by allowing you to absorb an insane amount of damage or make the enemies miss their shots (and you can upgrade that skill three times!).
Similarly, with the economy, Syndicate allowed you to purchase skills that allowed for doubled revenue - and that skill could be upgraded five times. Stop giving us all these cheats to remove every bit of challenge from the game!


• Chests: in my view we should only rely on one or the other, investments or chests. Not both. As I mentioned earlier, personally I would prefer to ditch the investment system and just stick to chests. Give us money from completing contracts, raiding tombs, looting, pick-pocketing, doing favours for interested parties and the occasional treasure chest. Those should be more than enough, and they fit more organically into the world than every assassin being a stock market genius.


• Don't know how tangential this is, but instead of being able to refill our stock whenever we want, it might be interesting if we had to craft the rarer (more powerful) weapons ourselves. Put crafting ingredients in treasure chests that we can use to create and upgrade poisons or darts. And again, stop giving us too many upgrades: we should only be able to carry up to 5 units of the most potent weapons, not 15 or 25. Only five berserk darts per mission, full stop, no refills unless you happen to find the right crafting materials along the way. Make us get creative with what we have and think twice before using the easiest weapon in any given situation.

MikeFNY
07-22-2016, 07:48 AM
I don't actually think money as we know it works in the game because as others said you get way too much and pretty quickly.

For example I love to take a break from the main missions to complete either side missions or go after collectibles. The problem is that in Syndicate I had a lot of money(coming from chests) when I was yet to hit Level 3.

I actually like the idea of using certain material to craft/upgrade your weapons and armour instead of buying them using coins.

You could get material:

1. By discovering hidden areas
2. By looting
3. After completing a main mission or side mission
4. By having them crafted by your people inside your owned buildings

Maybe certain material can only be found in hidden areas, they cannot be crafted by your people and in that case one has to be very careful how to use them. For example if you use a rare material to craft a heavy weapon but you're a stealth type of player you will regret it because you will not have enough of this material to craft a special type of throwing knife.

Of course I would still deploy an alternative solution, for those players who don't want to go through the "hassle" of finding material, crafting the right items, etc. And I believe the best way to do so is to keep chests that contain whatever coin used in the game in order to be able to buy these materials.

You'll probably ask: What's the point of getting material through hard work if you can buy them? It depends on the player, if you want a challenge you will do it the right way, if not you can do it the "old way".

That would leave the player with the "normal" coin that can be used to:

1. Buy material from merchants, although it's more fun and challenging to get these from what I mentioned above
2. Buy the land on which to build buildings
3. Hire people

But as SixKeys said, definitely NOT to purchase skills.

And material, that can be used to:

1. Build buildings on the purchased/won land(using wood for example)
This one could be pretty interesting in my opinion. Land can be bought with coins buy not only. Scattered throughout the map you will find enemy-occupied zones that you can free by killing all enemies, that would secure the land. You then use wood, a very popular material, to build a place which can host only one person who can craft weapons or armour or heal you from damage. More wood and another type of material would upgrade the building to Level 2 where you can host two persons inside and you can keep upgrading up to, I don't know, Level 4. It would be up to you to decide which part of the map deserves a high-level building, you might decide to have only a healer for a zone you rarely visit.

2. Craft armour and weapons
3. Heal from damage
4. Use as bait if we are to have something similar like AC3

ERICATHERINE
07-22-2016, 08:39 AM
Ac Iv black flag

The kenway fleet take too much time for some missions to be done again. For an exemple of how that could be improved, check the fleet of ac liberation hd.



Ac rogue

The fleet take too much time to go to the destination. Some fleet missions takes an entire day to be finnished, if not even more time. As for the renovations, I would have like it better if we could buy materials in the shops, like we can buy crafting materials. On the other hand, I don't want to buy them to upgrade my ship. So maybe we could just have the choice to pay the workers and give materials or pay the workers and give money to the guy who own the place for him to buy the materials in a shop. This would mean that the shops wouldn't need to sell those materials to us, which mean we would have to do the same thing than in the actual ac rogue.




Ac unity

There is way too many chests. Plus we don't need them, if we have the green chest each 30 minutes.




Ac syndicate.

These chest were a lot more useful, which is, of course, apreciated. They gave materials which are needed for many things. Also, the train chest was a great plus, since we still need money.




To conclude, I'd say that syndicate have the best in-game economy since ac iii. ^-^

RobertMcSassin
07-22-2016, 09:03 AM
Being a simple man with simple tastes, I really very much enjoy the whole, "Use the getting of all the early chests to accumulate the money in order to fund the first round of upgrades..." and have it snowball from there...

I love getting all the chests (however many there may be...); I love unlocking - and upgrading in ACII - the banks/tailors/art merchants/etc in the Ezio games; I very much enjoyed working out the whole Economy system for everyone - except the priest - on the Homestead to make money from the trading convoys, even if it was actually always more profitable to go hunt a heck-load of bears and load all the ships and carts with the skins...

Ah yes, the ships...Loved the Black Flag/Rogue "Clear the way, then trade/mission" thing and Liberation's simple "Buy goods and trade in best-priced-port" easiness of making a crap-load of monies...

What was Unity's again?...I forget, but I ended up with an effluent-load of money by the end of it...Kinda the same with Syndicate, but I got mine glitched and ended up with varying amounts of monies coming in at seemingly random times...Actually, I didn't get quite as much money as I usually do in an AC game with Syndicate (Current Brotherhood playthrough has me at 1,200,000 Florins :o ) but still had enough to do everything I needed...

Also, I love the "Send small band of merry Assassins on infinite amount of missions to get a *procreation-load of money" that Brotherhood and Revelations gives you too...

Erm...What was my point again?...

With the greatest of respects to the above posts...And I know that when people say that it's assumed to mean the other one, but genuinely not in this case...I'm mightily impressed with the ideas therein...

Personally, I'm a simple man who, when it comes down to it, wants to play a simple-fun-yet-occasionally-challenging game, where I get to stab people inna face and make a bucket-load of monies with little to no effort whatsoever...

So...My wish-list...

However it works...If it's a standard amount of money per standard amount of time...Please keep it consistent...I want to know how exactly much per 20 mins...Not the oddness I ended up with on Sydicate...

Reet...

Chests - In much the same quantity as ACII and without the need for fiddly lockpicking balls...

Unlockable shops and all the like - Brotherhood stylee, where you have to do something else for them to become available...

Erm...Oh yeah, that's something that's been bugging me for ages...Make the "Home-base" relevant again...When you had to go back to Monteriggioni for yer monies, there was an opportunity to visit the shops there, or look at yer artwork/weapons etc...I don't think I ever went back to the Black Flag island one unless it was story related...

Hell, make another Homestead-type thing that can (could be...Optional and all that...) be upgraded for trading, possibly include a ship trading thing like Liberation even as far as maybe an acquiring a fleet to do conquest missions in order to free up trading places...

Also...Please bring back the infinite Assassins missions with the pigeon coup thing...I love those little minions...Such sweeties..."Ah yes, f1946 for 20 mins stabby...That'll do nicely!"...

Basically...I want it to be as quick and easy as possible to make as much money as possible...


Oh...Actually...Also...Stop with the microtransactions...If it's something that should be in the game, you should be able to buy it with in-game money...Don't end up with too many currencies, like Unity...Where you had the three bloody things...Francs, Helix Credits and those bloody Assassin Point things...

Oh...and all skills should be just acquired as part of story progression...Not bought with "skill points" (Or microtransactions)...Especially as if you play the bleedin' game properly anyways, you end up with all the skills, negating any need for the appearance of choice in the first place...


Whatever we end up with, I shall probably work it out, and thus work out how to make as much as I can, as quickly as I can...

Good luck with whatever it is...

I hope the twopenneth of a simple fan of the simple version of the economy might help some... :o ...


P.S....Also, while I think about it...Can you keep the weapons and armour stuff in the shops, like it used to be?...Not in the menu button thing...I don't want to know at stage one that there's this awesome thing I can have, but I've got to wait until I complete the game before I can have it for seventeen million of whatever credits we're using...

It's always more exciting for new stuff to pop up as the story progresses, I think...

Ta...

MikeFNY
07-22-2016, 11:25 AM
Basically...I want it to be as quick and easy as possible to make as much money as possible...

Yes, which is ultimately why I suggested to keep the old system of getting money, a lot of, and quickly.

Changes are nice but I hope Ubisoft don't make the mistake of completely forgetting the fact that there are many players out there who like the system as it is.

Granted, I may not be one of them but anything new in the series should still take in consideration the "old system".

RobertMcSassin
07-22-2016, 11:45 AM
You'll probably ask: What's the point of getting material through hard work if you can buy them? It depends on the player, if you want a challenge you will do it the right way, if not you can do it the "old way".

That would leave the player with the "normal" coin that can be used to:

1. Buy material from merchants, although it's more fun and challenging to get these from what I mentioned above
2. Buy the land on which to build buildings
3. Hire people


Indeed you did...^ This bit here, I think?...Which is, pretty much how I approached all the upgrades in Black Flag...I had/have absolutely no interest in hunting down white whales and whatever if all I had/have to do is take out a bunch of ships and sell the cargo/wait for my fleet to finish some mega-bucks mission and then buy the things from a shop...

If people love challenges, fair play to them...But I don't... :D ...I quite happy play Assassin's Creed for hours...I mean, serious hours...And yet, stupidly enough, I cannot be doing with the idea of spending that time hunting down stuff for the making of stuff...(Maybe I should actually try on this latest playthrough I'm on...Hmmmm... :confused: ....)...

Aaaamywho, all this is why I'm hoping that they can implement both something new and an old-school standby system, even if the old-school gives you less but consistent coinage, so that it would build up eventually, whatever you chose to do with the AC:Minecraft system... :cool: ...

As some wise people are fond of exclaiming..."Heeeyyy!...The easy wayyy!!"... ;) ...

MikeFNY
07-22-2016, 11:50 AM
Indeed you did...^ This bit here, I think?
That's right.

In all fairness I'm looking at a very simple system made up of coins and material with the ultimate objective being that of upgrading weapons and armour which cannot be purchased from merchants.

You get material from main/side missions or hidden places, you use them to build a "HQ" on a land, you hire people with coins like a blacksmith who would use material to craft more powerful weapons.

If someone like yourself is not interested in getting material through this new system, he can opt for the old one, open chests scattered around the map, find a merchant and buy the material. That would give you enough coins and material to build a HQ, hire people and have them craft the weapons you need.

No sweat :)

Helforsite
07-22-2016, 04:34 PM
My ideal Economy would offer:
1.Customization
2.Crafting
3.Diverse methods of wealth accumulation
4.Integration into cities/areas

1.Customization:
I hereby mean the customization and personalisation of your character. This would include a variety of weapons to chose from, ranged as well as melee,(also bring poison back and get rid of medicine), and armor customization similar to Unity with a greater variety of different armor pieces while eliminating the lesser versions of gear sets, which I found to be quite undesirable.

2.Crafting:
I propose a system whereby you can either buy or find blueprints which are necessary to craft armor and weapons. All crafting materials should be buyable at shops, but also available through huntig, which definitely needs to come back, chest searching and as rewards of side missions. You would buy the blueprint for a weapon or piece of equipment and then go to a blacksmith to let it be crafted for you when you have the required materials.

3.Diverse methods of wealth accumulaion:
Let us have the option to passively and/or actively booster our income. Make the wealth accumulation curve rise linear and not exponentially as it has been in so many games before. At the beginning of most games you never had enough money and ressources, but by the middle a switch always seem to flip and your drowning in money.
Let us earn money passively by renovating shops and making arrangements with traders or actively by selling materials we gained through hunting etc.
Crafting materials, blueprints and money should be acquirable through different kind of sidemissions(for example the save delivery of goods for a trader), by looting chests and through hunting.

4.Integration into cities/areas:
This goes hand in hand with my idead that we should have a hideout/headquarter in each city or area. This hideout should be customizable and upgradeable. It would then works a hub for the buisnesses and earning money in the aread with you renovating buildings and gaining unique and profitable side missions(like giving you the map to the location of a specific blueprint which you would have to get/steal).

HDinHB
07-23-2016, 01:28 AM
Hello Assassins!
We know that the economy is really important part of the gameplay experience, and having a satisfying economy makes...resource grinds...all the more exciting when done in a balanced way.


This sentence really stood out to me, as it seems backwards thinking. Instead of using the economic system (or any other reward) to make resource grinding worthwhile, how about eliminating the grinding altogether? Grinding shouldn't be a thing--if gathering resources isn't an activity worth doing for itself, maybe it shouldn't be part of the game. Some people like hunting or whaling or ship-boarding or puzzle-solving or crafting or whatever; a lot of people like more than one; some people enjoy all of them. One way to make the grinding not grindy is to have multiple paths to the same end. You want a certain outfit (or weapon or thing)? You can get it by hunting certain animals OR crafting components OR by exploring hidden tombs OR by stealing, earning, or trading for certain items OR a combination of these. That way the player can do an activity they enjoy doing and might do anyway, and minimize doing things they don't find fun.

Thanks for seeking feedback.

Black_Widow9
07-23-2016, 01:45 AM
I always enjoyed renovating shops, like in ACB & R because of the design transformation.


I'd love having to craft precious items and searching for the materials. Make me want to search for the chest and materials by hiding them behind with puzzles, side missions, guards, etc.. Give it a reason. Make me work for it. Some players may not want to go this extra step but that's where "purchased" maps come in handy if you don't have that kind exploring style. If you wanted to add customization/upgrade of weapons, outfits, hideout, you would need specific items from these places but it wouldn't need to be mandatory.


Black Flag & Rogue:
I didn't mind any of the Kenway Fleet missions and if you acquired multiple ships you could send them all at once to speed up the process. I liked using the resources to craft my ship.


Unity:
The speed in which your chest fills up is too quick or there should be another place you can collect it from besides your one hideout. I realize I can fast travel, but I will be all the way across the map wandering around and then I have to go back. It's very distracting. There's also way too many chests.


Hopefully, that wasn't too rambly.

ze_topazio
07-23-2016, 03:07 AM
Something that needs to be fixed is how easily we get rich, halfway through the game and we're already millionaires with enough money to finance a small country, I'm playing Metal Gear Solid V right now, I'm near the end and I'm still struggling with money to develop stuff and maintain the base, we shouldn't get so rich so easily, make money hard to get or the prices higher, to make buying something, renovating a building and acquiring a building actually a more satisfying achievement.

Another inspiration from MGSV, in that game going on missions actually costs money and resources, since we are the leader of a mercenary organization we are responsible for the costs and if money starts failing, soldiers leave the organization, in Brotherhood for example, Ezio, after buying a building gets income from whatever business is happening in that building, but, he should also be responsible for maintaining the building and that should costs us money, the more buildings we own the higher the bill should be and if we fail to pay there should be some kind of consequences.

SixKeys
07-23-2016, 06:57 PM
A lot of problems in AC are intersectional. Last time when the devs asked for UI feedback, the discussion somehow veered off into collectibles for several pages. At the risk of going slightly off-topic, the economy and renovations are inextricably linked, or have been thus far. As much as I have enjoyed renovating buildings and transforming my home base, I feel these are things that have been part of the AC formula for far too long. They were a welcome change back in 2009 when almost everything about AC2 was revolutionary. But now they simply feed into the feel of AC being samey from game to game. I almost dread the moment in each new game when some NPC comes to me with a contrived reason why I should become a businessman and start repairing shops. Unity was especially egregious, as Arno had zero emotional investment in the Café Theatre, and AC4, while Great Inagua was a gorgeous location, felt contrived too because Edward's real home was the Jackdaw.

I want Empire to be the fresh new start AC needs. A game that's truly innovative and transformative the way AC2 was. Sometimes a franchise has to cut popular features in order to innovate, and IMO renovations and investments are one such feature. Whatever economy system the next game has, I hope it feels vastly different from the AC2 formula.

Ureh
07-23-2016, 07:54 PM
Elements I don't like - Medicine springs to mind. Or bullets. Throwing knives. The common use materials that you use on missions. I personally didn't like having to remember in Syndicate to go to a shop between missions to go and stock up on things. I mean yes, there were several shops around, but you would still find yourself wandering around for a time purely just to stock up. Sometimes I would start a mission or event with insufficient items and have to quit out to go get some. I know its realism to a degree, but I'd personally prefer to have items be automatically restocked coming out of missions to try and remedy this. I'd be in favour of returning to the AC3 style regenerating health to try and get away from the medicine tedium anyway.

They could include hidden caches in the city... at the bureau, tucked in alcoves, on rooftops, and even close to mission areas. They could also serve as dead drops. And if they want, they could make it as a "bureau" upgrade where you have to help to either 1) buy the upgrade or 2) do side mission with Informants so that their influence slowly spreads through the city and they're better equipped and more able to help you. These caches can take on the form on urns, pottery, potted plants, at the base of trees, chests, informants in alleyways and rooftops, etc. Another form of a "hidden cache" are falcons/hawks/eagles, where if you point the camera at them and press a button, the Assassin will hold out their arm for the bird of prey to rest on and then retrieve the small bits of supplies that were fastened to their legs (just make sure the on-screen button prompt can be turned off in the hud menu for those that want it).

So at the beginning of the game there might only be a few dead drops near the hideout/bureau and a few key places. But as you upgrade, their influence will propagate, which means more forms of caches/dead drops and they'll be slightly more common (we don't want the mini-map to be clogged with all those icons).


• I'm not a big fan of hunting, personally. It worked in AC3 thematically, but in AC4 it was kind of one of those leftover bits that hang on even when there's no real reason for them to be there. The only reason it worked for Connor was because he was a native who was raised to live off the land, but most of our assassins are city dwellers. So please, only bring hunting back if there is a narrative reason for it.I thought the hunting had a place in AC4. At least when you take Edward's character into consideration. These days you hear about how people will skin poor animals, pluck out their feathers, or remove just 1-2 parts from their body before discarding the rest (sometimes when they're still alive). Edward seems like the type of person to not give a tinker's curse to anyone or anything. If he wants to get a bigger pouch for more ammo then he'll kill a majestic beast for that one small improvement. I think there are a few times where he'll put a crocodile to sleep with the blow pipe and skin it alive for a bit of coin or a bag.

I just wish the animals were more "alive" like the ones in AC3 (baby bears, bears fishing, elks eating/fighting/drinking, wolves and bobcats taking down prey, etc).



• AC suffers in many ways from the "don't know when to stop" syndrome. You make the game more balanced initially by making combat harder, but then you allow players to buy skills - force them, even, like in Syndicate where you literally cannot advance to the next level until you've bought a certain amount of skills. Skills that undo the intended challenge by allowing you to absorb an insane amount of damage or make the enemies miss their shots (and you can upgrade that skill three times!).
Similarly, with the economy, Syndicate allowed you to purchase skills that allowed for doubled revenue - and that skill could be upgraded five times. Stop giving us all these cheats to remove every bit of challenge from the game!My initial impression of ACS is that it seems like Gang Upgrades are entirely optional, they don't really wall off any gameplay, the bonuses they give are pretty clear, they don't level up the character, so if you don't get them then the train income remains low. Instead of removing those Gang Upgrades and Skills they can do things to off-set them...

If they really want to keep the Lvl system then they could include a Lvl 7 upgrade/skill - let's call it "Aptitude" or "Prodigy" - that will lower the Lvl requirement of all equipment or if a player prefers the aesthetics of lower-lvl equipment they can improve it so that it will be just as powerful as the high-lvl stuff (that way players don't have to buy all the skills to max out at Lvl 10 in order to equip the cool stuff). I think they should keep the overpowered skills/upgrades for more player freedom/choice and for those that want to feel like their character is becoming more powerful.

Probably not a good idea - since we're reliving memories so this kinda goes against the idea of the "Master Assassin who eventually gets all the abilities" - but they could make more skills than you can buy. So let's say the max lvl is 10, but instead of making everyone buy the same skills to reach lvl 10, how about they have several "paths" or trees where the players have to specialize a little bit... that way you can pick the less overpowered (or more practical) skills and still be able to max out like everyone else. One of the downsides is that people will miss out on a some of the skills (especially if they don't start a new save).


• Chests: in my view we should only rely on one or the other, investments or chests. Not both. As I mentioned earlier, personally I would prefer to ditch the investment system and just stick to chests. Give us money from completing contracts, raiding tombs, looting, pick-pocketing, doing favours for interested parties and the occasional treasure chest. Those should be more than enough, and they fit more organically into the world than every assassin being a stock market genius.

I think Syndicate is like this... or at least really close. Like let's say you don't want the gang upgrades that increase the income... or you just don't want to keep going back to the train, then it seems like some of the side activities provide more than enough money to balance it out (ex: some of the smuggler boats, certain hijacks, and fight clubs have huge payouts that might actually exceed the train income if you do them fast enough). Although I've only tried two types of Associate activities so far: Ned's and Rob's. Maybe those are the only kinds of activities that give a large and stable enough income, in which case they would need more variety. I could be wrong about this also - haven't really paid attention - but it looks like the "main" associate activities for Henry, Fred, Clara don't really pay all that much money. Might be intentional since they probably wanted people to also play around with the other associates.



I want to say more but I g2g cya every1!

RVSage
07-23-2016, 10:02 PM
My points are as follows
Economy
1. I am not a fan of economy connected to chests


2. I loved Black Flag's hunting, and whaling , and treasure hunt economy, everything in that was beautiful and interesting

3. Black flag's resource earning missions and activities blended well with setting and era.

Customization

1. Unity wins hands down, I loved everything about Unity Customization

2. Skill Tree upgrade from Syndicate , when it came to gang upgrades were not meaningful and you really did not need them to complete missions

On a related note

Enemy AI
1. In syndicate tougher enemy meant more HP , this is bad. At level 2 you can easily kill a lvl 10 guy, if you are ready to counter and attack grind

2. We would prefer a smarter AI, like using counter Assassin measures.

3. If an enemy dies (body is found) , have a tougher and smarter guard replace his patrol route, and deploy more aggressive counter measures


Overall the economy should fit and have an impact with the world being created

Ureh
07-24-2016, 05:32 AM
Hello Assassins!

I'm looking for community feedback, we've really appreciated the community feedback we've done on other subjects, so much so that we're eager for your input (woo hoo!!)

This time we're looking at the in-game economies of the following games: Black Flag, Rogue, Unity, and Syndicate.

If you have a moment and would like to share your thoughts on the balance in-game economies and how that relates to gameplay, it would be very helpful!

We know that the economy is really important part of the gameplay experience, and having a satisfying economy makes doing missions, resource grinds, rewards, upgrades, etc. all the more exciting when done in a balanced way.

Please let us know what you liked, didn't like, and any features you'd like to see in the future. Also, if you have any examples (from AC or other games) that you think did this well, that's great too!

Thanks for all your help, you guys are amazing :cool:

Black Flag

I should start off by saying that I didn't delve too deeply into the Kenway's Fleet (same goes for Cormac's Fleet) so I've no firm idea on how efficient or fun it is compared to the primary way to earn money in the game: boarding and sinking ships. I'm sure there are glitches and exploits to generate infinite amounts of resources/money without breaking a sweat but I've never bothered to try them. To me, boarding felt great at first because the lower upgrades were very affordable and the gameplay felt new enough (the world and the music that fills it also helped to tide me over). And the ships in the Easy zones gave just enough resources to bump up the Jackdaws upgrades at a respectable pace. When we're at the halfway mark, some of the upgrades start to cost a lot more... most requiring tens of thousands of Reales and several hundred resources per upgrade. The frigates in the Medium zones can put a long fight and there's a good chance you'll lose if you face more than one of them when you only have mid-tier upgrades. Gameplay is getting a bit monotonous at this point, all the ships are just circling each other and every now and then you find out that your Jackdaw doesn't have enough damage/health to take out the enemy before they do you. And even if you've successfully boarded a ship, you find out that you have to do this dozens and eventually hundreds more. For me at least, I think I had to defeat nearly 300-400 ships before I owned all but the elite upgrades.

Great thing is that a player can spend the first dozen(s) of hours just grinding away, doing nothing else except boarding ships till they're nearly maxed out. That's freedom of choice and exploration... but I feel like it comes at a price of the narrative. Let's say someone has some pretty high upgrades, lvl 5-6 or even elite, so they're accustomed to the idea that most ships will just crumble under their cannon fire. But there are a few times in the story where you're supposed to ignore the enemy ships and escape, which doesn't make sense if you know that you can beat them. When you're supposed to take a fort, and you might hear Adewale warning you that their mortar will tear the Jackdaw apart, but your high lvl hull barely takes a scratch. You could try to put a level suggestion at the start of each mission so that some players won't go over it but then that kinda removes the "mystery" of the mission because you're already telling them that it's either going to be a cake walk or it might be a near-impossible experience before they even start. I played the entire main story with only mid-tier upgrades, I think most of them were lvl 4, and it turns out you can finish the main story without high upgrades.

On one hand, I like how Edward had to go from island to island, searching for treasure. Eventually looting a map that'll take you to an Elite upgrade. But my main gripe is that Elite upgrade locations are "random" if you aren't using any guides. Instead maybe they could've been gained from defeating the Legendary ships? I think it's possible to defeat one of them without any elite upgrades and it would make some sense too since the Jackdaw is a bird trying to imitate an Eagle.

As for sword & pistol upgrades, I felt that they hardly mattered because any sword will do the same job in the kill streak system and the pistols were almost the same (all of them can stun in the middle of a streak, kill weaker enemies in one quickshot, all can instantly kill in double-tool takedowns, all headshots were lethal, etc). Only noticeable difference for the golden pistols is that they can kill the high health archetypes in one quickshot which means fast-paced combat ends earlier. Obtaining them required you to go all over the map and completing several missions. I never really felt like I had to choose a sword/pistol over a Jackdaw upgrade, I thought it was clear: Jackdaw. I felt that the Mayan armour kinda had the same issue as well, where it was a lot of egg hunting, but too little and too late by the end. The only time where this feeling was appropriate was when Edward initially helped the Assassins in order to unlock the Templar outfit, but by the end he's like, "Eh, it's nice, but I don't really need it cause these Assassin robes suit me just fine. I am an Assassin."

I thought the crafting upgrades were fairly reasonable because you can either hunt the animals yourself or just buy them.

Treasure chests made sense cause.... ARRrrr!!!! We're playing a pirate. But the money in them was pretty insubstantial. A schooner could give more than that and would require less time. So yeah... chests were just there.

Rogue

I could probably say the same things here as I did in the Black Flag section. Only difference is that your piggy bank is inside the Captain's quarters which is a bit convenient while you're upgrading the Morrigan.

Unity

The economy system was pretty different in this one because once I obtained my "preferred" sets of gear, I didn't really have any motivation to try and collect the rest. I've my lvl 5 weapons so why do I need the rest, right? I don't think we had an armoury gallery to view them. The price tags were probably another reason why I didn't bother trying to grind for them: the higher-tier items ranged from 35k Livres to 150k Livres (the latter is where most of the Legendary items are priced at). The only way we're gonna earn enough money to collect all of that in a reasonable time is if you repeat the same heists over and over again. I lost interest in the heists after I played them a few times. Last but not least, it's possible to complete all missions with lvl 1 equipment, I tried it on my 2nd playthrough (after 30 hrs on my first). So the only incentive, from what I can tell anyway, to buying higher lvl equipment is if you need to carry more consumables (meds, ammo, etc) or simply for the looks.

This is probably me just being a crazy person... but I felt like those huge price tags were trying to make the microtransactions look more tempting. They didn't tantalize me but maybe it did for some? or not... I guess the devs will know based on the statistics.

Another issue, I found out is that the stats on the gear don't really have as big as an impact as I hoped. For example, the stealthiest armour in the game, Legendary Sans-Culouttes chest piece, only increases the restricted area detection time from 1.8 to... around 2.6, sometimes 3.2 seconds... depending on how far you are from the guards. Most of the armours that give you damage resistance only allow you to take maybe 2-3 more hits than the less protective equipment. I'm guessing they didn't want to make the items too different, or give them clear advantages, otherwise quite a few players might lean towards the "overpowered" set.

I'm a little ambivalent when it comes to the increased stats as you upgrade your weapons/pistols. On one hand, you can clearly see that the damage is increased, and you can receive more damage, as you're able to face higher lvl enemies. But some of the skills can undermine these upgrades. Skills: Ground Executions can instantly kill any lvl enemy regardless of the weapon you're using, pistols finishers with weakest firearms can also instantly kill any enemy.

Ummm.... we've probably mentioned the chests and other collectibles too many times. Way too many chests in a big city, and they didn't carry enough money - usually ranging around 1k-3k, peaking at 5k-10k, I think - for those that were interested in Legendary gear. So they're basically like all the chests in the series since AC2, they're just there to be opened.

The Cafe Theatre was kind of interesting because as you upgraded it secret compartments would open and you can go find a letter or news clipping with a bit more backstory. If the place was bigger then you could put these secrets behind platforming puzzles like the ones in Monteriggioni. The events on stage also became more varied as you upgraded it and crowds were more lively. But that was pretty much the extent of it since it was a pretty small building. It kinda reminded me of Monteriggioni except instead of the facade changing, the stage events received the most improvements. I think the issue with this is that it might not be as "apparent" to some players since they would have to sit and wait for the singers and actors to come out. Whereas in Monteriggioni you can just press the "renovate" button, then BOOM, hey... there's a few trees that weren't there before. I think I heard some dialogue from the NPCs like Gouze and Grisier - which might've been exclusive to the night time setting - but I was barely audible with even my headphones so I couldn't tell if it changed as you upgraded the Theatre. But yeah, since it's a small building, it didn't take long for you to upgrade it and the benefits basically came down to more stage events and a slightly larger income... I think it was 50k after ~1.5 hrs? That's almost 5 hours if you want to wait for enough money to buy one piece of Legendary gear.

My memory is failing me here, but I only recall the Armour of Carnellion being the only one where we had to go on a pretty long egg hunt. I will say that the Nostradamus riddles were really fun when trying to remember what we've read in the database entries. But the final reward, was just an outfit which was disappointing for some players. Personally I thought the journey was greater than the destination, which I didn't mind at all.

I felt like medicine was little bit more important this time. It was a little interesting to see their prices multiply by quite a bit when you upgrade your health.

Monetary rewards from Crowd Events felt really far apart and grindy... the more sets you completed the longer it would take to get another 25k Livres. So imo, not practical income.

So I would say that there wasn't enough variety in terms of income... mostly just wait for the Theatre income and/or grind the same heists repeatedly.

Syndicate

Haven't really spent much time with it so I can't say much. So far it feels much improved compared to ACU and certain aspects of the previous games... although I should mention that I rarely withdraw money from the train safe. But yeah... more ways to earn money, prices more affordable.

I noticed certain Gang Upgrades will allow you to "sponsor" certain events... such as football, gambling, or whatever... I haven't seen a single football game and I see a deck of cards on the table there's nobody playing with them. I'm assuming these sponsor events are supposed to be similar to the renovations in some of the previous games but I've yet to actually see the visual changes.

I'm hoping if they do bring back renovations in a future game that the upgrades will be more apparent... like an entire monument being completely restored and climbable. Or an entire ramshackle boulevard filled with potholes, beggars, shacks, empty stalls, etc eventually becoming a thoroughfare of healing and restoration. I really liked some of the stuff we saw in ACB, hopefully the Ubi devs can take that farther.

I guess the main thing is there should be more viable and feasible ways to earn income, and of course more things to spend the money on even after the game. That's asking a lot... because it requires you to build the most ambitious AC ever... a city/land that keeps "living" even after we supposedly finished everything. Kinda like a Tomagotchi, where we need to spend money to keep feeding it (I believe most games these days are calling it "end-game content" or... paragon levels or... systemic system... I dunno.). Anyway I'm not the best with words, so hopefully what I said made sense and is relevant to what you're asking. I'm just an admirer of AC, like everyone else here. I'm not a game dev, perhaps I'm talking rubbish because I can't comprehend game development, but this is pretty much how I see the economy system in three games... based on what I can remember.

RobertMcSassin
07-24-2016, 09:55 AM
*Reads entire of previous post*...


...Anyway I'm not the best with words...

Seriously?!!...

Fair dues...*Applauds heartily*... :) ...

I'll get me coat...

(P.S...I still would like a simple system like AC2/Brotherhood/Revelations though... :p ;) ...)...

SixKeys
07-24-2016, 07:38 PM
They could include hidden caches in the city... at the bureau, tucked in alcoves, on rooftops, and even close to mission areas. They could also serve as dead drops. And if they want, they could make it as a "bureau" upgrade where you have to help to either 1) buy the upgrade or 2) do side mission with Informants so that their influence slowly spreads through the city and they're better equipped and more able to help you. These caches can take on the form on urns, pottery, potted plants, at the base of trees, chests, informants in alleyways and rooftops, etc. Another form of a "hidden cache" are falcons/hawks/eagles, where if you point the camera at them and press a button, the Assassin will hold out their arm for the bird of prey to rest on and then retrieve the small bits of supplies that were fastened to their legs (just make sure the on-screen button prompt can be turned off in the hud menu for those that want it).

I like this idea. Not sure about the hawks/eagles, seems a bit on-the-nose that the assassins would all be expert bird-handlers. I am a fan of making bureaus and the brotherhood more important again. I would prefer to have multiple small bureaus all over the city over having a single homebase, and having the brotherhood's influence felt in small ways throughout the city. Like we're scattered and vulnerable but if you know where to look, you will always find help and signs of solidarity.



My initial impression of ACS is that it seems like Gang Upgrades are entirely optional, they don't really wall off any gameplay, the bonuses they give are pretty clear, they don't level up the character, so if you don't get them then the train income remains low. Instead of removing those Gang Upgrades and Skills they can do things to off-set them.

With that attitude all the things that make AC too easy, like medicine or learning new moves or being able to carry 1,000 units of ammo, are "optional". The game should scale up in difficulty as I level up. It shouldn't be up to me as a player to create artificial, self-imposed restrictions to keep the game challenging. The fact that the gang upgrades exist at all is bad because they throw the carefully crafted system out of balance. What use is it bragging about "oh, we've made the combat much more difficult this time" if you make it possible for the player to upgrade their character to God-tier? What use is there asking for feedback on how to make the economy more balanced if you still put in what are essentially cheats to break that balance?

The most ironic thing is that getting the upgrades is only "optional" insofar as you don't care about platinuming the game, since getting every gang upgrade and every skill gives you an achievement. I don't WANT to get the skill that makes Evie invisible, but if I don't, the game essentially acts like I haven't done everything that I'm supposed to.

Helforsite
07-24-2016, 08:41 PM
I am a fan of making bureaus and the brotherhood more important again. I would prefer to have multiple small bureaus all over the city over having a single homebase, and having the brotherhood's influence felt in small ways throughout the city. Like we're scattered and vulnerable but if you know where to look, you will always find help and signs of solidarity.

I have to agree. I am a strong proponent of having the influence of the Assassins be felt through out the city and be enhanced and strengthened by doing missions which would also unlock new missions and content.

MikeFNY
07-25-2016, 07:49 AM
With that attitude all the things that make AC too easy, like medicine or learning new moves or being able to carry 1,000 units of ammo, are "optional". The game should scale up in difficulty as I level up. It shouldn't be up to me as a player to create artificial, self-imposed restrictions to keep the game challenging. The fact that the gang upgrades exist at all is bad because they throw the carefully crafted system out of balance. What use is it bragging about "oh, we've made the combat much more difficult this time" if you make it possible for the player to upgrade their character to God-tier? What use is there asking for feedback on how to make the economy more balanced if you still put in what are essentially cheats to break that balance?

The most ironic thing is that getting the upgrades is only "optional" insofar as you don't care about platinuming the game, since getting every gang upgrade and every skill gives you an achievement. I don't WANT to get the skill that makes Evie invisible, but if I don't, the game essentially acts like I haven't done everything that I'm supposed to.
Silly features like invisibility should never be part of the Platinum trophy.

But I do agree that they are optional, as in, if you want to use them do it, else ignore them.

Imagine the frustration if the game forces us to use all newly-introduced features. I was very critical of the rope launcher and the invisibility feature but I was glad to see that both were optional, it made my experience less frustrating.

Also I cannot understand why you believe self-imposed restrictions to keep the game challenging is a bad idea. I mean if the game was designed to be easy, extremely easy, it's up to the player to improvise to make it challenging.

I'm also not so sure about scaling the game up in respect to difficulty the more the player levels up. Or better, are you suggesting that we should be able to access certain areas only when we reach Level "n"? Or else new enemies will make their appearance when we reach a certain level?

I will not annoy you guys with the same details I mentioned in other threads but I would opt for the other way round: make the game difficult straight away and then it's up to the player to upgrade in order to be able to match the difficulty level of strong opposition.

Ureh
07-25-2016, 09:27 PM
(P.S...I still would like a simple system like AC2/Brotherhood/Revelations though... :p ;) ...)...

Oh yeah the good old days. The menus and interfaces were much more simple, less intrusive. The maps were smaller. AC2 was pretty simple indeed. Brotherhood was a more simple version of Syndicate, I think. There were less "Borgia towers" than there are in ACS, which means that I didn't get the feeling of repetition (even though some of the ACS "towers" were pretty unique). It might have to do with there being fewer side content, but I thought they were a little bit more memorable compared to the ones I've played in ACS (although I should finish all of them first before I jabber away). I've met Darwin, Wynort, Topping, Green and none of these characters seem to feel as notable as Claudia, La Volpe, Bartolomeo/Pantisilea, etc. I do like Clara and Freddy though.

So yeah... less is good. Sometimes. :p


I like this idea. Not sure about the hawks/eagles, seems a bit on-the-nose that the assassins would all be expert bird-handlers. I am a fan of making bureaus and the brotherhood more important again. I would prefer to have multiple small bureaus all over the city over having a single homebase, and having the brotherhood's influence felt in small ways throughout the city. Like we're scattered and vulnerable but if you know where to look, you will always find help and signs of solidarity.

Yeah, instead of map icons or floating markers, they could us "blood" to mark some of those points. Something that only EV can see.

Anyway, not saying any of those ideas are perfect or even acceptable, I'm positive that I'm not the first or the only one to have thought of them... but they're the ones I can think of atm. It's kinda like one of those kids in school that are scribbling drawings on their book instead of paying attention to their lessons.


With that attitude all the things that make AC too easy, like medicine or learning new moves or being able to carry 1,000 units of ammo, are "optional". The game should scale up in difficulty as I level up. It shouldn't be up to me as a player to create artificial, self-imposed restrictions to keep the game challenging. The fact that the gang upgrades exist at all is bad because they throw the carefully crafted system out of balance. What use is it bragging about "oh, we've made the combat much more difficult this time" if you make it possible for the player to upgrade their character to God-tier? What use is there asking for feedback on how to make the economy more balanced if you still put in what are essentially cheats to break that balance?

The most ironic thing is that getting the upgrades is only "optional" insofar as you don't care about platinuming the game, since getting every gang upgrade and every skill gives you an achievement. I don't WANT to get the skill that makes Evie invisible, but if I don't, the game essentially acts like I haven't done everything that I'm supposed to.

Yeah I know what you mean. It's one of the topics that comes up in any rpg (or rpg-like) game. I think one of the tiny things that Unity did right was that the price of medicine went up by a significant margin if you continued to upgrade your health. They could take that a bit further with other things - but I'm not sure how feasible it would be for the rest of the game - by scaling up the difficulty as you level up. The only "downside" is that when AC keeps building up the rpg-facade then they're gonna have to consider whether or not difficulty should scale with your level. That have to change a lot of things... the difficulty of missions, when you're lvl 1 all missions are 1 star but as you level up will the missions level up too (And if so, what is the difference between Sequence 4 Memory 3 at lvl 1 to a lvl 5 version of it? Just as an example.)? Instead of having easy districts, medium, and hard districts, all of them will go up at the same time based off our level. The amount of money/xp that quests in each district will give would probably be based on the cost of the equipment that matches our level. The amount of damage the weapons inflict, all of the enemies will lvl up as you do. Let's say we're at lvl 1, the enemies will be lvl 1 or around that, right? If it at that point, we can only afford a lvl 1 weapon, then it will take 3 hits to kill a lvl 1 enemy with it. But few hours later, we're lvl 5 and the enemies scale to lvl 5, and I'm using a lvl 5 weapon, it will still take 3 hits to kill one guy. Doing so could defeat some of the rpg elements because these days they usually open up most of the world at the start, but if most things scale then players can literally go anywhere without worrying about enemy lvls. If enemies always retained the same amount of "power" then there would never be a point in the game where someone can feel like they're powerful. I think all of the rpgs that I remember playing always had the end-goal of becoming the ultimate master... you got all the powerful stuff, can kill everything quickly, we can't die, etc.

I think they're just trying to balance the flow of money, resources, the number of ways that you can earn these incomes, etc. That way the players can obtain all of ultimate skills/upgrades, max out their equipment, in a timely and entertaining manner and without feeling like they're like they're grinding forever. This also applies to players who choose not to buy all the upgrades/skills because they also need to reach a certain set of gear if they want to player comfortably in the higher zones. So I guess their question is... The destination will be the same: players will eventually get all of the upgrades/skills, but what about the journey? How do you want to reach the end?

They could always remove most of these rpg things and go back to AC1 all the way ACB models (where districts, certain abilities, etc) are walled off until you advanced in the story. Back to the days of no xp, no lvls, no stats, fast cash flow, etc. It's one of the things I prefer about the older games. But so far they seem pretty settled on making AC more rpg-centric.

I agree that trophy/achievement hunters aren't allowed to play the game more freely. On one hand, a lot of the trophies involve actions that players would normally do without being pointed to it (like achievements related to story or whatever), but some can be pretty crazy (I keep reading about that "destroy 5k objects with a carriage"). And there are trophies in between, not as outrageous and maddening but still restrict a/t hunters to do things they wouldn't normally do.

Hopefully I addressed parts of your post. I have the tendency to misinterpret posts, leave incomplete thoughts, or start going off rails from square one. However one of the biggest reasons why I like this forum is just talking - hopefully in a coherent manner - with other fans or just listening what they have to say... there are plenty of opinions and ideas on here and I never know when one might sway my stance. But one things for sure, you guys always spark my interest. Keeping that AC fire going. Anyway... gotta go!

Farlander1991
07-25-2016, 10:07 PM
They could always remove most of these rpg things and go back to AC1 all the way ACB models (where districts, certain abilities, etc) are walled off until you advanced in the story. Back to the days of no xp, no lvls, no stats, fast cash flow, etc. It's one of the things I prefer about the older games. But so far they seem pretty settled on making AC more rpg-centric.

AC has always had RPG elements, though in AC1 it was more hidden in plain sight.

After all, in AC1 all enemies are essentially divided into 4 levels (3 levels for guards and then a top one for Templars and bosses). And then as you progress through the game, for example, you get better swords which do more damage. So if when you have level one sword it might take two-three successful combos to take down a level 3 enemy, with the level 3 sword close to the end of the game it will take just one successful combo, and the level 1 normal guards fall down like flies.

And AC2 also had even more prominent RPG elements. This time it actually showed the stats of swords (well, ease of counter-attack makes those stats a bit useless, but they're still there, though, to be fair you need a very good sword to kill some harder enemy with one counter attack for example) which affect the damage you deal and the amount of damage you deflect when parrying, as well as the speed of the weapon (upon which depends the rhythm of your combo). And if in AC1 you'd get upgrades for your inventory based on progression, in AC2 you'd have to buy it yourself. And in ACB it's even more prominent. It's just that money are essentially XP for your character in this case which you use to level up and/or buy new abilities (like in ACB there's a glove that allows you to climb jump, a second hidden blade that allows you to double assassinate, plus things like Crossbow etc.).

So RPG elements were always a part of AC. Yes, later games focused on that even more than games like AC2-ACR, but they're not concepts alien to the franchise.

RVSage
07-25-2016, 11:35 PM
Agree with Farlander AC always has had some RPG elements. But I hope they do not go core RPG like the witcher series. There has been rumors that next AC game will take a lot inspiration from Witcher 3

SixKeys
07-26-2016, 12:07 AM
Also I cannot understand why you believe self-imposed restrictions to keep the game challenging is a bad idea. I mean if the game was designed to be easy, extremely easy, it's up to the player to improvise to make it challenging.

Frankly, I can't even believe this is an argument. Self-imposed restrictions should be something you do for fun, not to make up for the devs' failures. Because yes, failing to make a stealth game challenging unless the player comes up with arbitrary rules themselves is a failure.

I don't believe AC being extremely easy was by design. The fact that they've tried to revamp the combat several times is a testament to that. They clearly want to make it more challenging, but every time they come up with promising changes, they're afraid of actually going all the way. They made combat challenging in AC3, but some aspects of the game were criticized so they made AC4 press-X-to-win. They improved again with Unity, but the bad reception to that game made them pull back and make Syndicate a cakewalk.



I'm also not so sure about scaling the game up in respect to difficulty the more the player levels up. Or better, are you suggesting that we should be able to access certain areas only when we reach Level "n"? Or else new enemies will make their appearance when we reach a certain level?

I'm saying AC should work how most games work. Enemies should start off low-level and unsuspecting, and gradually become tougher and sharper as the assassin keeps slaughtering people. More captains should appear, the troops should be equipped with better gear and more moves. It's ridiculous that not even the highest-ranking enemies know how to grab the assassin and throw him to the ground, like they did in AC1.

A friend of mine has been playing Shadow of Mordor lately and not once has she complained about the game being so easy and boring that she has to impose made-up rules upon herself. The game does a fine job of keeping you on your toes, it forces you to adapt and learn. Enemies get stronger every time you die, so if you don't learn from your mistakes, you'll eventually end up with an army of grunts who are all extremely tough to eliminate. THAT'S how you create challenge.

Ureh
07-26-2016, 06:30 AM
AC has always had RPG elements, though in AC1 it was more hidden in plain sight.

After all, in AC1 all enemies are essentially divided into 4 levels (3 levels for guards and then a top one for Templars and bosses). And then as you progress through the game, for example, you get better swords which do more damage. So if when you have level one sword it might take two-three successful combos to take down a level 3 enemy, with the level 3 sword close to the end of the game it will take just one successful combo, and the level 1 normal guards fall down like flies.

And AC2 also had even more prominent RPG elements. This time it actually showed the stats of swords (well, ease of counter-attack makes those stats a bit useless, but they're still there, though, to be fair you need a very good sword to kill some harder enemy with one counter attack for example) which affect the damage you deal and the amount of damage you deflect when parrying, as well as the speed of the weapon (upon which depends the rhythm of your combo). And if in AC1 you'd get upgrades for your inventory based on progression, in AC2 you'd have to buy it yourself. And in ACB it's even more prominent. It's just that money are essentially XP for your character in this case which you use to level up and/or buy new abilities (like in ACB there's a glove that allows you to climb jump, a second hidden blade that allows you to double assassinate, plus things like Crossbow etc.).

So RPG elements were always a part of AC. Yes, later games focused on that even more than games like AC2-ACR, but they're not concepts alien to the franchise.

Hey I appreciate the reply Farlander. I think we're on the same page. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was saying that the older ACs were devoid of rpg elements. That's why in the part you quoted I said "most rpg things". I made the mistake of mashing everything into a tiny paragraph, when I said "no stats" that really only applies to Ac1 and Acb (the former because they aren't displayed and the latter because kill streaks nullify any purpose of stats).

In Ac1, the enemy didn't scale with us, instead we scaled back up to them based on our progress through the story. So it's not like the recent games where we can power up to the highest equipment and skills from as early as Seq. 3. In AC1 you'd find weaker guards mixed with stronger guards as you progressed through each district, but in ACU/S all of the enemies are categorized by level which usually means that the level of your weapon should correspond to that. It's rare - I don't want to say impossible - to find a lvl 1 guard in a lvl 5 zone, etc. I'm not denying that the upgrades in Ac1 aren't rpg-ish but rather they're fixed and determined by the game, we've no choice but to accept as we go along.

Without a doubt we do have to use florins to buy the armor. And they even give us the option to not buy them (except the pauldrons and boots during the story?). But they are determined by the sequence you're in. So earlier sequence you only have leather.... Later you get special leather for purchase. Then in Forli or Venice we get metal... So on. Even the rate at which you can access Tombs are determined by story (in ACU and ACS I think you can get the ultimate armours from the get go if you put time into it? I think.). Climb leap and all that jazz was determined by story. As well as the certain ACB upgrades to mentioned like crossbow, double blades, climb leap... All unlocked at certain points in the story.

Definitely agree there are rpg elements since day one. But my point was that thet were more controlled by the flow of the story, you know?

Anyway, thanks again for spending part of your day with us. Means a lot man.

Farlander1991
07-26-2016, 06:33 AM
A friend of mine has been playing Shadow of Mordor lately and not once has she complained about the game being so easy and boring that she has to impose made-up rules upon herself. The game does a fine job of keeping you on your toes, it forces you to adapt and learn. Enemies get stronger every time you die, so if you don't learn from your mistakes, you'll eventually end up with an army of grunts who are all extremely tough to eliminate. THAT'S how you create challenge.

I'm not sure it's wise to use as examples games that you have not played yourself, because it seems to me you'd use it as a negative example if you had played it yourself :rolleyes: Correct me if I'm wrong if you have played it as well. But I would find that weird honestly that you do such an argument for SoM given your arguments for ACS, because Shadow of Mordor has the EXACT same progression system that Syndicate does.

At the beginning you have a basic set of abilities and it's fairly challenging, but as you upgrade things you become a killing machine. You can make it so the amount of hits required for an execution goes from 10 to 5, that you can do two executions in a row, that getting hit once doesn't remove from hit counter. That shadow strikes (ability that teleports you to an enemy to strike at him) becomes lethal. There's a special ability that if you activate you become invisible for 20 seconds and can teleport from enemy to enemy stealthly killing them. You can wreak so much havoc in one zone with that. I'll be really surprised if you're gonna tell me now 'yeah, that sounds fine' :D

If you're good enough and upgraded enough, the game doesn't always keep up with ramping the difficulty for you, so what you can do is just have skip time so that enemy Captains and Warchiefs would level up to the level you want or send a Death Threat to give a level boost to a particular enemy. That's self imposing challenge, because you can literally control how difficult you want things to be if you feel they're not difficult enough. Well, there's also special challenge modes, by the way, with different rules.

When I have played Shadow of Mordor, I've died a couple of times from the hands of the orc named Grisha, and it felt very satisfying to finally kill him at one point. But then eventually at the half-point of the game I got to the point where no orc would ever escape me and I'd just kill everyone and not die at all. There's a section close to the end where the game puts you against your Nemesis, i.e. the orc that you have the most relationship with by that point of the game. When I got there there was this orc who yelled at me how I burned his face, to which my reply thought was 'I did? Well too bad cause I don't remember you'.

And don't get me wrong, I think Shadow of Mordor is great. But looking at your criticisms of how Syndicate does it and how you don't like self-imposing challenge (which I don't quite get what your issue is with it exactly), I don't think you'd use it as a positive example.

But what your example does show is that it's challenging enough for your friend to be engaged and entertained. Which also means that there are people playing Syndicate for whom it is challenging enough for them to be engaged and entertained.

So this whole thing about difficulty, skill/ability progression, and self-imposing challenge is not as clear cut as you'd might think ;)

MikeFNY
07-26-2016, 07:57 AM
Frankly, I can't even believe this is an argument. Self-imposed restrictions should be something you do for fun, not to make up for the devs' failures. Because yes, failing to make a stealth game challenging unless the player comes up with arbitrary rules themselves is a failure.

But indirectly we are saying the same thing.

If the game you're playing is not fun because it's way too easy, you deploy self-imposed restrictions to indeed make it fun.

Incidentally, Syndicate is extremely easy EVEN with self-imposed restrictions so yes, I see no reason not to call it a failure in that respect.

We also agree that Unity was the reason why Syndicate was designed this way. Unity, and also the fact that it was going to be the last game before the revamp; they didn't want players to remember the series for being a frustrating experience.


I'm saying AC should work how most games work. Enemies should start off low-level and unsuspecting, and gradually become tougher and sharper as the assassin keeps slaughtering people. More captains should appear, the troops should be equipped with better gear and more moves. It's ridiculous that not even the highest-ranking enemies know how to grab the assassin and throw him to the ground, like they did in AC1.

This was mentioned by two other users in two other threads.

Personally I don't like the idea of enemies becoming tougher and sharper through magic, without no explanation.

I prefer the AC1 approach with those very tough-to-beat Templars. If you approach them at the start of the game you're dead straight away but if you approach them after you train and upgrade and after you learn the combat system, you should be able to kill them.

Which is why I said, make enemies with Level 1 to 10 straight away, maybe you will only get to meet the tough ones in Sequence "n" after you travel to a different city, but have them strong straight away. Then it's up to you to upgrade your character in a certain way to be able to face and kill those higher-level enemy.

Maybe because I consider AC more "human" that these monster games but in my opinion there should be a logical explanation behind what is going on in the story. Why should enemies become stronger every time I die? I mean they killed me, they know they are already stronger than I am, why should they train to become EVEN stronger?

I believe it's all about balance. Farlander1991 raises a valid point in saying that the risk is to become so strong that even the strongest of enemies will be a piece of cake to beat. But I say why not? If players like Robert McSassin don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading, analyzing enemies to understand the best way to kill them, etc. they should be free to do it.

But then there should be a system for those who want a challenge.

Farlander1991
07-26-2016, 09:31 AM
In Ac1, the enemy didn't scale with us, instead we scaled back up to them based on our progress through the story. So it's not like the recent games where we can power up to the highest equipment and skills from as early as Seq. 3.

But then two questions are raised, none of them have a right answer mind you, but it's still something that developers have to decide what fits for the experience:
1) Is it ok to forcefully scale the character without the ability for the players to not upgrade and add additional challenge to their game if they want to?
2) Wouldn't it be fine that you can power up to the highest equipment and skills from very early in the main story if you still have to go through hours and hours of open-world content to do so anyway?

There's advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios I feel. Yeah, games like Brotherhood have sort of a mixed balance, but there's advantages and disadvantages to that approach as well :)

RobertMcSassin
07-26-2016, 10:57 AM
Oh yeah the good old days. The menus and interfaces were much more simple, less intrusive. The maps were smaller. AC2 was pretty simple indeed. Brotherhood was a more simple version of Syndicate, I think. There were less "Borgia towers" than there are in ACS, which means that I didn't get the feeling of repetition (even though some of the ACS "towers" were pretty unique). It might have to do with there being fewer side content, but I thought they were a little bit more memorable compared to the ones I've played in ACS (although I should finish all of them first before I jabber away). I've met Darwin, Wynort, Topping, Green and none of these characters seem to feel as notable as Claudia, La Volpe, Bartolomeo/Pantisilea, etc. I do like Clara and Freddy though.

So yeah... less is good. Sometimes. :p



This is pretty much how I felt about Syndicate...That is was very close to Brotherhood in feel...

And very much agree about the characters...

The first time I played Brotherhood was the most fun I'd had with AC, and it was absolutely my fave game for a while...And though I'd enjoyed all the games to varying degrees, when Syndicate came along, I got the same feeling of fun, joy, excitement and contentment somehow, that I'd gotten from that first Brotherhood runthrough...

Just a shame that I absolutely hated the soundtrack and that the money thing glitched out, otherwise Syndicate would have been near perfect for me!... :o ...

Also, on a side-note - as I appreciate this whole nostalgia riff is - I was laid up with the worst flu I'd had in years the week Syndicate came out, so I played through it barely moving off the sofa...(The wife was mightily impressed... ;) ...)...And over the past few weeks I've been off with chronic back-pain...And, how it's worked out nicely that I've ended up going through Brotherhood while off ill...Booyah!...

You know, that all sounds both odder and funnier in my head... :( ...

Nevermind...



I believe it's all about balance. Farlander1991 raises a valid point in saying that the risk is to become so strong that even the strongest of enemies will be a piece of cake to beat. But I say why not? If players like Robert McSassin don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading, analyzing enemies to understand the best way to kill them, etc. they should be free to do it.

But then there should be a system for those who want a challenge.

I'm reading that sentence trying to see if there's some subtle dig in there... :D ...

But I do upgrade...Even - especially, even - if it means I'm in some sort of God-Mode...And if by analyzing enemies, you mean that repeated skirmishes teaches me that those will need more than just a repeated smack 'bout the noggin with a slab o' steel, then I do that too...

But as I said earlier, I'm all for any sort of change in how the ECONOMY system - for that is what I thought we were on about here, not difficulty in enemy sliders, I thought that came under something else...But I admit to being a tad dim about these things... - works...Provided, that even if it rewards you with less money in the short-term, that there is still some far less challenging way to get an income overall...Even if it means putting the hours in to get the same results as those who've worked at it quicker through the new "Challenging" system...

Hell, it's probably not like I won't learn that one too...

But I've played through the AC games and they have a certain economic system that I've enjoyed a lot...This is the system (and while we're at it, the difficulty level...) we were presented with from the off...

This feels - though I grant this isn't quite the same, it's just what it feels like to me - like the whole Star Wars thing...You love Star Wars when you're a kid and it's just come out - R2 and Threepio; the cute stuff...Hell, quietly, and to yourself you even have a soft spot for the Ewoks...But come several years later, you're older and what you want from Star Wars isn't the cute stuff...It's The Terminator, Guillermo del Toro, The Walking Dead...All darkness and violence and everything moodily dark and difficult...And where sometimes the bad-guys win...

I freely admit to hating change...I admit that I have trouble adapting to new things, new ways of doing something that should be just the same as what came before...My recent difficulty switching from the controls of the early games to the change they made for Revelations is nothing short of pathetic...

What's my point here?...

Everyone here (barring myself, of course), is, quite clearly, clever, imaginative, erudite and Masters Of The Games...Or, as us oldsters used to call them, Gamesmasters...Ah, Dominik Diamond, where are thou?...

But who here is likely to be more like the average AC player, the one that just picks up a game following the Movie in December?...

As much as it seems change is wanted...You simply can't go too far for risk of alienating the Average Bahb in the street, due to the difficulty in grasping any new "Challenges"...

The old system...You put yer time in, you makes your easy money is basically the ideal for life, let alone that game... :D ...

Plus, this is starting to sound like it's heading towards wanting some sort of Dark Souls level of enemy difficulty...Which is pretty bloody scary a prospect, I tell ya!... :D ...

Look, all I'm saying is like MikeFNY sort-of said, way back when...You can have change, but please, make it optional for some of us to keep playing like we have for years now?...

SixKeys
07-26-2016, 05:07 PM
I'm not sure it's wise to use as examples games that you have not played yourself, because it seems to me you'd use it as a negative example if you had played it yourself :rolleyes: Correct me if I'm wrong if you have played it as well. But I would find that weird honestly that you do such an argument for SoM given your arguments for ACS, because Shadow of Mordor has the EXACT same progression system that Syndicate does.

Fair enough, I'll admit I haven't played SoM myself yet, though it is on my to-do list. It's just that I have seen lots of AC fans compare AC and SoM due to the clear similarities between both games, and it's always in SoM's favour for being the more challenging game. Can't really go into more detail without having compared the two personally, but from what I've heard, SoM seems to remain challenging despite having the same kind of progression system, so it must be doing something right that AC is not.




Personally I don't like the idea of enemies becoming tougher and sharper through magic, without no explanation.

But you are in favor of us, the player, getting tougher and sharper through magic? :rolleyes: There's really no difference between saying "Jacob levelled up because he's been training hard" vs. saying "the guards keep leveling up because they train every day". It makes no sense for trained soldiers to never upgrade their weapons even when there is a known killer loose in the city who has an arsenal larger than Bruce freaking Wayne. It makes perfect sense that they would at least invest in bullet-proof vests or upgrade their weapons to be more accurate or carry swords that are higher than the most basic first sword you get handed at the start of the game. It's not magic to picture a world where the law enforcement will from time to time take extra precautions to safeguard themselves against known terrorists.

I think captains should be able to learn and adapt. They start out not being able to counter, for example, but as word spreads of your most commonly used tactics, you will eventually start running into troops who will know how to counter them. The game could keep track of your fighting style: if it registers that your approach to fighting is to just mash O until everyone is dead, without ever using more complex tactics like blocking or countering or switching tools, it would eventually make certain enemies immune to button-mashing. You would HAVE to learn new tactics because if you used the same one too often, enemies would pick up on it and adapt.

MikeFNY
07-26-2016, 05:17 PM
But you are in favor of us, the player, getting tougher and sharper through magic?
No.

Let's move slowly :)

I never said our player should be upgraded through magic and I've been very critical of the Syndicate skill system in other threads.

I already proposed a system and explained how we, the player, should be upgraded:
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1388165-Lets-re-examine-the-AC-Franchise-and-help-out-the-devs!?p=11786350&viewfull=1#post11786350

To summarize, you upgrade via:

1. Training
2. Completing missions
3. The background algorithm

And not with experience points + skills.

Some might say (2) and (3) are upgrade through magic but not really, because if you approach a mission in stealth mode then it makes sense that you get percentage points to upgrade your noise level.

Having said that, I now understand what you mean when you say that enemies should learn from how we approach the game to become stronger in that department.

It's another solution, which I personally like as well, but not compatible with my original suggestion because in the design I proposed enemies are strong from the very beginning of the game and them learning from your technique would nullify all the upgrading you have done.

To be fair what I'm looking at is to eliminate what I considered a very silly feature of Syndicate where at the very start of the game you can go in a dangerous area with Level 9 guards and kill of them through (air)assassination. Some might say, "Why not? You're a master assassin" but in that case tell me why the game has levels and why the master assassin needs experience points to improve his skills.

ERICATHERINE
07-26-2016, 05:49 PM
Isn't the real subject of this thread about in-game economy? That's the main title, right? :rolleyes:

SixKeys
07-26-2016, 08:38 PM
Isn't the real subject of this thread about in-game economy? That's the main title, right? :rolleyes:

You're right. Maybe we should start another thread?

ERICATHERINE
07-27-2016, 01:31 AM
You're right. Maybe we should start another thread?

Yea, because I don't think the devs that wanted our opinions on the in-game economy, also want to read an argument and even more if that argument is out of subject. ^-^

MikeFNY
07-29-2016, 12:21 PM
Isn't the real subject of this thread about in-game economy? That's the main title, right? :rolleyes:

Since I was rudely asked to stop going off-topic and having spent last night sobbing because I cannot expand on my level idea in this thread, I will upload a very basic HTML document this weekend explaining what I am after and will open a thread with the link when complete.

RobertMcSassin
07-29-2016, 02:30 PM
^^^^ HAH!... :D ....

Aaaaamywho...

One thing I did love about Unity was that the income chest actually had a timer that counted down to the next payment...

If that made a welcome return, that would be an awesome thing for me personally, at least... :o ...

I'm playing Revelations at the moment, and though the time between payments is supposed to be 20 mins, it bloody well isn't...Even given the amount of interrupting the Game-Time(tm) that interacting with the Mediterranean Den Defence doofy adds, it really does seem to be a goodly while more than the 20 mins of ACII and Brotherhood's Game-Time(tm)...

And, like I said about Syndicate, it just seems to come in at random moments which is...oddly annoying...For some reason...*Shrug*...

Anyways...That particular countdown feature of Unity's was pretty excellent really...

Cheers...

MikeFNY
07-29-2016, 02:59 PM
Anyways...That particular countdown feature of Unity's was pretty excellent really...

Cheers...

It's available in Syndicate as well, you also get a nice cuckoo clock animation when money is ready to be collected.

RobertMcSassin
07-29-2016, 03:10 PM
*Eye twich*...

Really?... :confused: ...

Like I said earlier, I had some mega flu and chest infection thing going on at the time of that, so my memory of it is a little hazy, but I never saw a clock thing...Though true, I never looked elsewhere than the safe itself...

It was still bugged to hell with the amounts it was giving me when...

I actually ended up with it raised as a bug by a friendly Mod, and sent to the "Fix me" department, but I was away for a few days when the email asking me for details about it came in, so I returned home to it already having been closed as a case...*Sigh*...Great timing...I'd finished Syndicate anyways, so it wasn't really a problem...But I'm very much looking forward to seeing what I get when I arrive at said Syndicate in however many weeks it takes me to get there from these current Revelations...

What the bug was, btw, was that I could do some stupid amount of time's worth of stuff away from the train and when I went back I'd have some paltry sum waiting for me, but other times I'd go back and there was tens of thousands there...I couldn't predict which I'd get...Plus, some of the sums seemed illogical, given the upgrades I had...You know what I mean?...Like...I dunno...You should be getting £12000 per 20 mins and then an hour later I'd pick up £8500 or something like that...

MikeFNY
07-29-2016, 03:16 PM
*Eye twich*...

Really?... :confused: ...
No cuckoo clock no :)

But I could swear it has the timer saying when the money will be available.

Locopells
07-29-2016, 07:35 PM
I'm playing Revelations at the moment, and though the time between payments is supposed to be 20 mins, it bloody well isn't...Even given the amount of interrupting the Game-Time(tm) that interacting with the Mediterranean Den Defence doofy adds, it really does seem to be a goodly while more than the 20 mins of ACII and Brotherhood's Game-Time(tm)...

The bank in ACR is broken, pure and simple. It is 20 mins when works, but for some reason, it never did. The only way I found to keep the income incoming was to permanently have the Mediterranean Defence missions going, as they often triggered the bank when the completed - but even that didn't always work...

Ureh
07-29-2016, 08:02 PM
There's an in-game notification for the incomes in both games (which can also be turned off in the hud). But I think ACU is the only one that has an actual stopwatch that counts every second before the next deposit. Although I think we can only see this stopwatch when we're standing near the Theatre's chest.

The stopwatch was kinda useful - for a few people anyway - because when I'm playing without the hud and I missed the global sound effect then it's a decent indicator of when the next deposit will be made. So let's say there's only 5 minutes or less... then I can just stay at the Cafe or go afk instead of having to travel back and fourth (and potentially go through multiple loading screens for fast-travelers).

jdowny
07-30-2016, 05:39 PM
Glad to see the devs are looking to revamp the ideas. Economy in AC has been one of its main flaws for a long time.

First the plus side.

Base building

The improvements to your base have always been one of the most rewarding aspects of the game. You put your mark on the world, you improve it and you feel the reward. This has been as true of Monteriggioni as it was for AC3's Homestead and Unity's Cafe. It got silly with Brotherhood and Revelations when you were tasked with rebuilding entire cities, which felt more like a chore than a reward (though at least Brotherhood there was an in-story justification for it), but on the whole these have been the best use of money for me.

It's rewarding to see your collections of swords, armour, guns, paintings, books etc. And it's great to find secret rooms, hidden passages, buried treasure etc. as you upgrade. In my view, AC2 is still the best example of this.

Crafting

Much better than simply buying weapons and items, which again feels like a chore. Crafting has the potential to be challenging say, for instance, if a swords requires extremely rare metal which can only be found on one particular NPC or one particular location. AC3 did this well. The player feels invested in the world, rather than having a more two-dimensional, dull monetary system.

Now on to the negatives.

Chests

Money is easy to come by. We don't need hundreds and hundreds of chests to hunt down to get it. I've achieved 100% on most AC games but without fail the last quarter of the 100% has always been collectibles. Don't get me wrong, I love collectibles - they encourage you to explore the world. But when these collectibles offer you simply money, there's no reward when we can get the same amount of money by literally doing nothing except collecting our earnings from the treasury.

Either get rid of chests or group them together in a handful of more challenging treasure hunt type missions. Black Flag missed a golden opportunity in this. We could have picked up the trail of a treasure hoard which would have led us on a vast trail through jungles, islands and cities until we reached it. Instead we had 200 chests to find. I slogged through that list with my eyes almost closed from boredom.

Weapons/Equipment

I honestly don't think weapons/equipment should be so easily bought from the shops. There are 2 problems here - either money is so easily earned (with the treasury) that buying weapons feels cheap and unchallenging, or else it's so slow to earn it and the weapons/equipment so expensive (I'm looking at you Unity) that it takes an absolute age to get there. Sure, you feel like you've earned it and it's good to save up, but you run the risk of it taking too long.

So perhaps a compromise. I like the crafting system in AC III. Maybe there could be a low-tier of weapons/equipment we can buy from the trader, but the elite class we have to craft, find scattered about the world, receive as rewards for missions etc. A reward system.

The Banking System

Having to slog it all the way back to your base to pick up your earnings is an effort, especially when it only collects a low amount at a time. I don't think it's bad per se, but there needs to be some reward system whereby we can increase the amount it can hold, or else have it like Brotherhood where there are banks across the city we can collect from.

These are probably the main gripes I have. I'll come back if there are more. It's important to note though, that of the positives there are only a few games that did them well, whereas the negatives seem to apply to every single AC.

Sushiglutton
07-30-2016, 05:42 PM
I actually don't think an (deep) economy system is needed in AC, but it can be great depending on setting/character. The game that did it best was AC4 (disclosure have not played Unuty/Syndicate/Rogue). In Black Flag you had a natural thing to spend your money on, namely the Jackdaw. The ship was not some far off villa, but central to the gameplay experience. The money you spent directly affected the core game (I'm playing Mad Max atm and they have a similar thing going on with Max's car). Also gathering resources was very naturally tied to the piracy fantasy. Finally AC4 was smartly structured in that you didn't have to grind too hard to get passed the story, but there were some actually challenging bosses (legendary ships) to build towards after the credits had rolled.


If you do not have a natural gameplay asset to structure the economy around, then I think it's fine to have a very stripped down economy system. Basically only let the player buy refills for some resources, perhaps some clothes. I prefer to not have weapons etc tied to the economy, but as rewards for quests/story missions, or as unique collectibles. There also need to be some fun activity that naturally fits to gather money. Piracy was perfect. This may or may not fit the character (for Altair for example it really didn't). If so I again think it's better to just skip it. The problem is that the economy has often been center to the chore like aspect of AC. Buying all the shops/landmarks in Brotherhood was the opposite of fun imo. The various managment minigames have been too simple to feel engaging and therefor also been something you have mostly just clicked through to get your banana.


As with all aspects the more personality and handcrafted feel that can be put into the economy system the better. Buying random shops = boring. Buying one bakery, a camel farm and a pyramide architect firm with colorful managers could be fun. In GTA: Vice City you could buy a few uniques businesses and do quests for them, which was kind of fun. The economy system should be used to push the tourism aspect of the game and give more personality to the world.