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Collectables in Games
Topic Started: Feb 8 2013, 12:25 AM (250 Views)
Indy_S
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I've been playing through Arkham City again in an attempt to get a bunch of achievements. I'm quite fond of making the little bar move up. Anyway, the game has 400 Riddler trophies, each a little puzzle, and they're all throughout the city. On top of that, each area has several riddles and a ton of breakable objects. Given the size of the environment, all of these collectables are very thickly spread. The green lights are on all over the city.

And so my thoughts turn to all the crappy trinkets I've scoured throughout my recent gaming career. The bone charms in Dishonored, the manuscript pages, the skulls in Halo and even the intel in Call of Duty games. These are collectables that give you something in-game. But what about the coffee thermoses or the orbs of light in games like Crackdown and Prototype? Are these decent collectables? And what about things like the 'bug in a jar' from Skyrim, where there's no achievement tied to them but they're clearly a set?

So my question is: How many collectables should a gaming environment have and what form should they take? What is the right way to do collectables?
Benevolent overlord of all you survey as well as a small part of the Australian Outback.
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Scimitar

Hmm, it really varies depending on how the collectables work and the type of game itself, in my opinion. Things like the 'bug in a jar' work in an open-world RPG like Skyrim, since that game is all about just screwing round and making your own fun. People collect pretty much anything for any reason in those sorts of games.

I think Dishonored hit my sweet spot for collectables. They were rewards for exploring odd areas and gave mild power bonuses - nothing so major you -had- to collect them but nice enough that you'd make a detour for them if you spotted/heard one.
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Daemian Lucifer
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For me it depends on how much I like the game,and how easy these are to spot.For example,the things in gta that arent labeled on your map,I just skipped.Things in asscreed that you got maps for,I collected them all,even when I had no need for them.

If those offer a boost,like in dishonored Ill turn to a guide and collect them all.

But if its just useless trinkets like in new vegas,Ill skip them completely.Though I may hold on to a unique weapon if its a cool one.
Souls?! Don't be ridiculous. It's their life forces that've been stolen. It's scientific!
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Indy_S
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What do you think getting something unique is worth in an RPG? I kept every unique weapon I found in that game and stored it in the 38's wardrobe if I didn't like it. If it had nothing to do with the plot or a quest or a chievo, would people try to find Excalibur?
Benevolent overlord of all you survey as well as a small part of the Australian Outback.
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Thomas
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I feel like there should always be the option to have the collectable appear on a map somehow, Arkham did that really well. Because I want to get them but it always seems superhuman to me that anyone can ever find the things. Having story resonance is nice too, the Subject 16 things in Assassins Creed 2 were pretty much the perfect collectibles in terms of impact.

There was a game that had a system where the next collectable would always be visible from the one you've just found that was quite a nice system.

Other than that if you want to reward the insane people who can actually find collectibles, some rarer one off events is a nicer way to do that I think
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Lame Duck

I do enjoy collecting things in games, but if there's no in-game means of identifying where they are I absolutely just use online guides. I quite liked the star bottle-cap collection quest in New Vegas because you don't have to sweat about getting every one everywhere you go, you just need to keep an eye out for them and eventually you'll get enough. One thing that drives me completely nuts is collection side-quests in which you can permanently miss one of the collectables, especially in long RPGs.

As for self-imposed collections, I did the same as Indy_S and kept all of the unique weapons in New Vegas as well as building some character specific collections. I'm pretty sure I did a similar thing when I played Morrowind a million years ago, but I can't think of any other games I've done it in. I certainly didn't keep all the unique weapons in Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age, as soon as they became obsolete I sold them.
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Daemian Lucifer
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The new tomb raider has both the best,and the worst collectibles mechanics at the same time.I really cant fathom how they managed to get both into a single game.

Aside from artifacts,documents and the rest you get pointed on your map,there are a few challenges,which are somewhat interesting in that they are a bit varied.The best one of those revolves around destroying effigies.You need to destroy 5 of those,and yet there are 7 or 8 littered around the level.Thats great.Plus,with your detective vision,you can spot them from very far away,seeing how they are usually in high places.

And then,there is the mine hunt...Ignoring the fact that its bugged(or maybe intentionally infuriatingly coded?Im not quite sure*),there are exactly 10 of these buggers,and you need to destroy them all.Furthermore,some of them are completely submerged in the ocean,so you will never be able to see them.And even worse,this somehow makes them immune to the detective vision.So unless you know where exactly to point your trigger(or have a guide),youll have to painstakingly scan the vast body of water in order to find them.

Luckily,these only count towards achievements.And while the effigy one was really fun to hunt down,the mines were infuriating.In a lesser game,that would make me quit.

*One of the mines can wander off from the place it is supposed to be in.So even if you follow the guide,you can still miss it,because it can shift.And there a really big chunk of the level where it can shift to.That is,if it doesnt disappear completely,which is just as likely.
Edited by Daemian Lucifer, Mar 12 2013, 01:11 PM.
Souls?! Don't be ridiculous. It's their life forces that've been stolen. It's scientific!
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