Made a start on the Monster Hunter World expansion, Iceborne, this afternoon. Not only do I enjoy the puzzle of figuring out each new monster (I just beat Beotodus and Banbaro, and tracked down a Viper Tobi-Kadachi), but the central farming – crafting – upgrading cycle is a source of inspiration.
I also played a little of Slashie’s Ananias roguelike on mobile. The more time goes on, the more convinced I become that BotLG can be even more a roguelike, and that I should lean more into those features and away from the idle ones. I’m seriously considering making most, if not all, gathering nodes have a limited supply of resources with a respawn timer. That would force more active play, and alongside that I’m thinking of slashing action times in half, to make the gameplay much more immediate.
Once I’ve got all the features I plan on implementing sorted, I can fiddle about with action durations and resource availability and generally balance the numbers. Limited resources that respawn and more immediate gameplay options would definitely work; I’ve been testing that with the wood logging nodes, but I still want the game to be playable as an idle one; there needs to be long-term actions that the player can set their character doing and then leave them to it for a while. One option is to make gathering more immediate, but have crafting take longer. You gather interactively while playing, and then idle in town turning your gathered materials into useful products.
Another option is to have a spread of materials available in each location; the most common would be infinite nodes that you can idle at, and rarer materials would limited and on a respawn cycle. This would make the gathering professions a little like fishing in most MMOs, where the fishable water provides an infinite supply of fish, but to catch a specific or rarer variety you have to hunt down a limited, respawning “fishing pool”.
Either way, what I’m concentrating on next week — tomorrow — is procedural dungeon generation. Once I’m happy with that, it’ll truly be more roguelike and I’ll feel less self-conscious describing it as such, and taking part in r/roguelikedev discussions.