At this point, I know enough flower crown and wreath recipes. I can make like 10 different wreaths in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and yet my villagers, ever helpful, remain convinced that I should know how to make more. Sometimes, they take a break and teach me how to make something I learned from a recipe book I bought from Tim and Tommy at the beginning of the game, or maybe they want to show me how to put some boxes together to make a cardboard bed. I can make a complete set of cardboard box furniture now, and I am livid just knowing that. DIY recipes have become the worst part of this game to me, and my patience is wearing thin.
A primer: the endgame of New Horizons is amorphous, but it basically revolves around decorating your house and your island. You get items to do this one of two ways: by crafting them with a recipe given to you by a floating present, a message bottle or a villager, or by buying them from Nook’s Cranny. The pools of two items are separate, and you will never be able to buy an item that you could otherwise craft.
Now more than a month in the game and I have a good idea of what I want to do, but nowhere near the materials I need to do it. The game insists on giving me recipes I’ve had before, sometimes two or three times over. It’s a problem that’s bound to get worse, because it seems like the game is assigning these completely randomly, and so the more stuff I get, the more likely I am to get repeats and the less likely I am to get something new.
It’s a problem when the game veers both towards the esoteric and the standard. All I want in the game is really some basic furniture: a table, some chairs, a double bed. A bath would be great. I’ve seen park benches for outside, and those would really pull my public spaces together. I want some of the stuff that my villagers flaunt every time I visit them: one of them even has a hot tub! It looks great. But when my odds of getting something actually useful are the same as getting something weird, I wind up with a dozen wreath recipes but no couch.
The absolute worst part of this system has to do with prerequisites: I was over the moon when I first got the recipe for the Ironwood Kitchenette and Cupboard, because I had been waiting to make a kitchen in my game, all my appliances strewn all over the floor. But both of these require the Ironwood Dresser, which I do not have. The Kitchenette also requires a cutting board, so the odds of being able to finish that thing on your own are vanishingly slim.
When I finally got the log shelves, I was excited. But I can’t make them without the log bench, which I don’t have.
Balancing the excitement and disappointment of random loot with the expected, reliable rewards of pre-determined loot it basically the monkey on the back of every loot driven game in existence. Just because Destiny 2 looks a whole lot different than New Horizons doesn’t mean that people’s brains don’t look similar when they play them, and here Nintendo is basically dealing with that same problem.
Luckily, there are ways to help. Interestingly enough, I suspect that the bunny day recipes currently floating around the game are protected against duplicates, because I’ve now collected all of them without a single duplicate recipe. So if we say that such a system is possible, Nintendo should theoretically be able to make it so that we never see a duplicate recipe. Play for long enough and you’re assured to get what you want.
This wouldn’t be a great idea, because the purpose of duplicates is to encourage trading and make new stuff more exciting, which we do still want to do. But we need something more than nothing: maybe one DIY source a day that’s guaranteed to give you something you don’t have yet (Wisp does this with furniture, so it should be in the game in some form), or maybe just give items you haven’t yet collected a higher weight in the probability pools. We should also do away with prerequisites entirely, and remove anything you can get from Timmy and Tommy from the loot pool.
Whatever happens, this system just doesn’t seem to be working. At this point it’s seriously affecting my enjoyment of the game, and I just don’t want to head into the wilds of trading forums to get what I want. This is a game that should be better with others, but still possible to play on your own.