I had a thought the other day (while I was running around collecting reagents for crafting), that it would be really neat to have a Reagent Garden Castle Item. As a wizard who crafts items, cards and pet snacks, I am often running around looking for reagents. And although reagents are around in abundance (I have no problem finding all that I need) I think it would be a neat idea to have a reagent spawn point at my home castle. I pass through my home quite often during a gaming session and quickly popping in, picking up a reagent then heading on out to wherever seems like a fun thing to do. Plus, I like castle items that do things, like crafting tables and pets.
I think it should be just a little garden looking object about 4 units wide by 4 units long square (16 square units) (whatever the unit measurements are in the Wizard world but in earth terms 16 square feet). The first picture I had in my head was of a wood-fenced-in tilled field of rich looking soil.
The item would spawn a reagent at a random location inside the garden up to three times a day. There is only one spawn assigned to the garden so if you don’t “harvest” frequently another reagent will not “grow” in the garden. For simplicity’s sake I was thinking that the garden would spawn a random reagent weighted by the rarity of that item in the wizarding world.
I don’t believe an item like this would break any system currently in the game. But, on the database side of things, I would probably make it a “Limit 1” type item. Since the item only spawns (potentially) three times a day and there are currently over a million wizards, I was thinking that it should only run its “Update” routine when you port to your castle (no point running it any other time because you would never see it). So all the object needs is a Harvest Variable (date/time stamp) to store when it was last harvested, an index into the reagent table for the currently spawned reagent and a spawn point variable (which could also be an index to valid locations within the garden 3D object) to save the current spawns location (incase you don’t get around to harvesting the current spawn).
In my mind that is the simplest I can make the garden item.
I think the garden should be either a reward for a crafting type quest, or possibly a crafted item itself (similar to the Grizzleheim Castle).
Now, if we wanted to do a full-blown, Expert Gardening experience then I have a few ideas for that:
Option Garden 1:
A Leveled Garden with a mini-game. In this version the garden starts out as mentioned above with only a single spawn point. But, it also has an activation point (perhaps gardening tools/shed or something similar) that you can trigger a mini-game (I have a very simple idea, see below). As you play the mini-game, your score acts as an experience bar for the garden. You play it like the Fair-Ground’s 2D games. Your score from each session gets added to the running total and after a certain number of points, your garden “Level’s Up”. At each “Level Up” your garden gets an additional spawn point and slightly adjusts the reagent spawn rarity percentages (meaning; at each “Level Up” the chance that your garden will spawn a reagent like a Fire Blossom becomes slightly more probable). If there was a visual change to the garden at each level, that would be pretty neat too.
The Mini-Game (rough draft): Since you are gardening, I think it should have a gardening theme. I see the game starting out with an empty field (a 2D representation of your garden). You play as a generic gardener (or perhaps as Moolinda Moo, since she is the life teacher and therefore it stands to reason that she is probably pretty good at gardening). The specifics are a bit hazy, but I see you moving your character around the field with the keyboard arrow keys or WASD keys. As your garden grows, you have to harvest the full grown plants, all the while fending off snakes, bugs and birds who are trying to eat the plants before you can get to them. I was thinking for simplicity’s sake, that you would just have to walk over an adult plant to harvest it, but you have to use the space bar to activate your club (or whatever weapon your character would have to get rid of the critters attacking your plants). The plants will grow in random locations around the field. The plants go through stages, about 4 stages (seedling, sprout, shoot, flower/adult followed by death). You have to harvest the plants when they reach the Adult stage before they die, but the various critters can attack a plant at any stage. The 4 stages act as a timer for each plant with a couple seconds between each stage. Having the harvest action be triggered whenever you walk over a plant would add the element of strategic maneuvering through your garden as each plant goes through its growth stages they are like little mines until they reach adulthood, harvesting a plant before adulthood counts as killing the plant. As a critter attacks a plant it pauses and even reverses the timer until it eats it down to the root and kills the plant. What I mean by reverses the timer is that if a critter attacks an Adult plant it has to eat the plant backwards down the growth stages of the plant, so that if you scare off or kill the critter before it gets to the root, that plant will recover and start growing again. Any plants that die count against you and if you lose 5 plants (depending on testing) the game ends. Until you lose 5 plants the game continues indefinitely, increasing the number of plants growing and the speed/number of critters that attack your garden. The point of the game is to harvest as many healthy plants as possible. As I said this is a very rough draft, so any ideas of a better, more fun mini-game would be greatly appreciated.
Optional Garden 2:
World Inspired Gardens: Since each reagent appears in different types of climates, I was thinking that you could make the garden smaller and graphically similar to the environment that the specific reagents are typically found. Such as Ore and Fire Blossoms would grow in the ash of Dragonspyre or Parchment and Stone Blocks would prefer the arid desert of Krokotopia. Therefore, each garden’s look would be based on the world the reagents can most likely be found and each garden would be restricted to only those reagents that are found in those worlds. This would allow for multiple spawns because although each garden would still have only a single spawn point each world garden is a different item now you could have multiple gardens.
You don't want it to be too easy, but I think a garden we could have at our homes would be nice to grow flowers in such as black lotus, frost flowers, nightshade, ect. We could purchase the seeds for each flower we want to grow, but we would have to tend it and water it or it would die. KI should like that idea, as it means you have to log in the game everyday to keep your reagent flowers alive and growing :) We would still have to hunt for ore and diamonds and those other things.
I would LOVE to have that. That should be one of the crafting quests in wizard city! She would tell you about the regeant garden, then tell you to go buy one and customize it. (Meaning design the fence, what kind of plants will grow there, etc etc etc) Then when you harvest a regent you to go your little garden in your castle and plant it. Then you give it water and maybe even protect it from little animals! You could like have one or to of your pets protect your garden from other animals trying to eat it.