Ordinances in the next AC game

Alolan_Apples

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We were kinda spoiled by the ordinances from ACNL, but in ACNH, they were rather useless, as it is essentially the same as gutting the ordinances feature from ACNL. To be fair, the ordinances kinda broke the game.
  • Because flowers don’t wilt with the Beautiful Town Ordinance in effect, it was very popular and is the most recommended ordinance for those who don’t play for a long time. The only real downside is that you can’t get a weeding badge (which doesn’t matter to those who aren’t interested into achievements).
  • The Early Bird Ordinance only added hours before the opening times rather than shift the opening and closing times earlier. It was hardly a popular ordinance, but still.
  • The Night Owl Ordinance only added hours after the closing times rather than shift the opening and closing times later. If you had this ordinance in effect and T&T Mart, it essentially kept the Nookling Store open 24 hours.
  • The Bell Boom Ordinance was the only ordinance with a disadvantage. But since it had no effect on PWPs and debts, and since we had Tortimer’s Island, this was a game-breaker as well.
My question is, how should Nintendo implement the ordinances in the next Animal Crossing game? Do you want it to be the same as ACNL, same as ACNH, or have more balance than ACNL, yet more benefit than ACNH?
 
Without knowing the features of the next game, it's hard to say what ordinances are needed. Early Bird and Night Owl seem like a given, but it depends if they're handled like NL or NH. If they were to add shops that only open at night, for instance, Night Owl in the design of New Leaf would be a detriment instead of a boon.
 
Here’s what I suggest for the next game:
  • Beautiful Town - I liked that they took away the flower wilting feature in ACNH, but it would be better if it weren’t for the breaking tools. Stopping all weed growth and trash in rivers would be a benefit, but the fact that these materials can be used for crafting would make this a detriment. At the same time, hybridization would be easier, and vegetables will always yield three picks. So this one is balanced.
  • Early Bird - all stores are open three hours earlier, but also close three hours earlier. Animals also wake up three hours earlier, but go to bed three hours earlier.
  • Night Owl - all stores close three hours later than normal, but also open three hours later. Animals also go to bed three hours later, but wake up three hours later.
  • Bell Boom - same as it was in ACNL and ACNH, where selling prices are higher, but buying prices are also higher. To add more drama, rare fish and insects will be more common, but debts and project funding will go up in price.
  • And a note on the Early Bird and Night Owl ordinances, the reset hour should be 4 AM (in ACNL, it’s 6 AM).
There should also be a night life ordinance, where opening and closing times, as well as villager waking times, should have a 12-hour shift.
 
Maybe the beautiful town ordinance can also give a boost to your town rating and make it easier to obtain non-native fruit?

As for the bell-boom ordinance, maybe villagers can buy and sell things at a higher price?
 
I'd keep the ordinances that we have now, but I think it would be cool to have some new ordinances added too- they have a lot of potential since they give the player more choice in how they want to play. I'd also like the ability to have more than one ordinance in effect at the same time.

But one adjustment I'd make: I'd split the beautiful town ordinance into two separate ordinances - a flower growing ordinance and a weed prevention ordinance. (They'd both remove trash from rivers.) That way, you can have fewer weeds without extra flowers, or extra flowers with normal weed growth for achievements like the weeding badge, since the beautiful town ordinance made it pretty much impossible.
 
Of we assign villagers to shops we build like in acnh dlc, and we get some villagers that are nocturnal like owls or bats, we may not need the early bird or night owl ordinances. How likely this would be a thing is hard to say. I think the Palworld circumstance may very well push Nintendo a little more to look at fan suggestions for their big sellers. Acnh sold well during the pandemic and people will remember that game they played that was chill and kept them company in uncertainty.
Either way, assuming the new game will be similar to past ac games, some ideas are....

Player must somehow unlock ordinance ability via time or bells accumulated in the ABD. Ordinances can be changed only on Saturdays or Sundays to activate on the following Monday.



I wanted to give a reason for players to change the ordinances sometimes.

50,000 activation fee.

Early Bird- shops open at 6 am. Selling and buying prices are higher before 12 pm.

Night Owl- shops close at 1 am. Selling and buying prices are higher after 7pm.

60,000 activation fee

Beautiful- allows the possibility hybrid flowers to spawn randomly each day, increase to hybrid breeding chance with watering, removes trash spawn, weeds don't grow or spawn, sticks don't drop. Fossils don't spawn, gyroids don't spawn, pitfalls and planting gyroids are illegal (anything that leaves a mark on the ground like burying items). Picked flowers restore themselves every 6 hours.

100,000 or higher activation fee

Fertile Ground- flowers, fruit, and crops, mature/restore a day less. Slight Increase to foraging spawns ( shrooms leaves sticks shells ECT) allows the chance of large crop or perfect fruit to appear. Slight increase to bug and fish spawns. Wasps increase by 2.

Helping Hands- villagers collect anything on the ground, collect fruit, collect crops, and pull weeds, that day and place into a large, seemingly bottomless, community box for you the start of the next day. Villagers watering frequency increases. Building projects complete a day less.

------

Popular- uncompleted thought but something that increases the frequency of villager visitors for inviting to move in, increases the villager acceptance rate to move in, increases tourist visitors you can't invite to move in, allows you to sell and buy one item from/to each tourist, increases visits from merchants, allows merchants to carry two more merchandise item slots at their stall to sell. Maybe effects stalk market? 80,000 activation fee?
 
We were kinda spoiled by the ordinances from ACNL, but in ACNH, they were rather useless, as it is essentially the same as gutting the ordinances feature from ACNL. To be fair, the ordinances kinda broke the game.
  • Because flowers don’t wilt with the Beautiful Town Ordinance in effect, it was very popular and is the most recommended ordinance for those who don’t play for a long time. The only real downside is that you can’t get a weeding badge (which doesn’t matter to those who aren’t interested into achievements).
  • The Early Bird Ordinance only added hours before the opening times rather than shift the opening and closing times earlier. It was hardly a popular ordinance, but still.
  • The Night Owl Ordinance only added hours after the closing times rather than shift the opening and closing times later. If you had this ordinance in effect and T&T Mart, it essentially kept the Nookling Store open 24 hours.
  • The Bell Boom Ordinance was the only ordinance with a disadvantage. But since it had no effect on PWPs and debts, and since we had Tortimer’s Island, this was a game-breaker as well.
My question is, how should Nintendo implement the ordinances in the next Animal Crossing game? Do you want it to be the same as ACNL, same as ACNH, or have more balance than ACNL, yet more benefit than ACNH?

I feel like they could change Beautiful Town into Bountiful Town. If they bring back farming, it could make crops grow faster or always be at maximum amount of veggies per crop so you don't have to water them.

They could also just keep Beautiful Town and add Bountiful as a whole new one.

@MiniPocketWorld I do love the ideas you provide, especially for Early Bird and Night Owl.
 
Here is something that could be possible that hasn't been mentioned yet.

Clear Skies Ordinance
60,000 Activation fee

Nights will have more shooting stars each night and auroras in the wintertime. However, there will be less gifts balloons as a result. Rain and snow will be less likely in the nighttime.

The trade off will let you choose between wishing every night or getting balloon gifts once a day. Pretty fair if I might say.
 
Ordinances were a pretty neat addition to the series. I don't care how they were "balanced" in New Leaf because Animal Crossing is a life-sim — "balance" doesn't really matter in this particular instance. They were implemented to cater to a specific play style, and I think they all slotted in nicely.

The only worthwhile Ordinance in New Horizons is the Bell Boom Ordinance, largely because it remains relatively unchanged in regards to the design choices in NH, with the only two things about it not being able to account for Tortimer Island souvenir cost or daily premiums in Re-Tail. Here's my take on the ones in NH:
  • Beautiful Island Ordinance — What made its NL "Town" counterpart a GODSEND was the fact that flowers would wilt if they weren't taken care of on a daily basis. Wild World, and especially City Folk were guilty of this because there was no effective safeguard to keep them from dying if they weren't tended to on a consistent day-to-day schedule. It was pretty bad. Flowers were important to keep grass from turning into patches of soil, so there was incentive to keep them alive. People who played NL, but didn't play the previous two games beforehand have no idea how good it felt to play Animal Crossing without worrying about flowers wilting (sans the N64 game and its ports). Despite what I stated here, I'm a bit conflicted with flowers not being able to wilt anymore. Inconveniences such as this are a part of the simulation; I can maybe understand the developers axing this mechanic (not feature), and can even sympathize with those not wanting it to return, but they decided to make them virtually immortal. It's a very poor-sighted decision, and makes the game less comfortable and fun to play as there's no easy way to get rid of flowers because you can't even PICK THEM UP BY THE ROOT BY HAND, anymore, and have to use BREAKABLE shovels to do what you previously could do without them. I mean, good grief... Why not just introduce a new tool type specialized for doing what shovels did to flowers in previous games? What's wrong with Nintendo?
  • Early Bird/Night Owl Ordinances — These Ordinances are total trash; there's just no getting around this. One hour is NOT sufficient, especially if you compare the various extended schedules of villagers and shop hours from the previous game when either of these were under effect. By the way, T&T was open for 22 hours, under the Night Owl one; not the entire day. Let's look at the stark contrast right now, starting with NL:
    New Leaf Early & Night Times.png
    New Horizons E&N Times.png
  • Bell Boom was never "broken". It'd be more accurate to say Tortimer Island was broken, but even that would be a stretch. You could reasonably make a profit from there, but it'd take a while to catch as many of the most valuable animals there as you could. It had to be at night, too, because that was when said most valuable wildlife would spawn.
I'd like to see new Ordinances come about, but I don't have anything in mind on that front at the moment.
 
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