Feedback:User/Zerpha The Improver/Miniature Box

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Mockup of the Miniature Box

The Miniature Box is ought to be an item to store miniatures.
The basic thought behind this proposal is to use largely existant coding, which would allow realization of this item without a great amount of effort.

Concept[edit]

The main idea is to have the Miniature box be based on the Incubator Kit, which again essentially works like the storybooks. To the extent of my knowledge these "book items" store their information with boolean values: The page is either filled (yes) or empty (no). (Or in the case of the Incubator, the specified slot is either used or empty.) The same could be done for the Miniature Box: It provides space for each single miniature once.
Like this it would not require coding a special kind container like equipment packs - which was an issue back then since complex items like armor and weapons couldn't be stored in book items.

Description[edit]

A possible view of the Miniature Box window. Selected is the first birthday tab, which holds miniatures of the first and second annul series.

When double-clicked, the opened window would basically work like that of the Incubator Kit.
Since there are roughly 100 miniatures, displaying all at once won't be a good idea. Therefore the list could be split up into different tabs sorted by their type of acquisition (Nth annul series, in-game reward, promotional, miscellaneous). These tabs could look similar to the materials storage tab.

Pros[edit]

  • Collecting miniatures becomes possible without storing problems.
    • One Miniature Box would be enough to cover the entire miniature collection of a player.
    • A character could carry every miniature without the inventory being filled by them.
  • Acquisition of the Miniature Box either leads to a gold sink or is beneficial for ArenaNet in a commercial way through the In-Game Store.
  • Coding is widely based on an existent item type, which makes the implementation easier.
  • Having miniatures stored in such a box requires less space than being stored in a regular item slot, which is a positive effect for the server.

Cons[edit]

  • Players which collect multiple miniatures of the same kind need to store them in multiple boxes or a regular item slot. (Although there is currently aside from trading no real reason for this.)
  • Players would preferably want to be able to put out their miniature from the box directly by double-clicking (rather than dragging it from the box into the inventory at first). Such a feature would require additional coding.
  • Requires getting updated: new miniature slots would have to be added subsequently whenever new miniatures are released.
  • Emptied item slots that used to hold miniatures will sooner or later hold something else, so the pressure taken from the server is temporarily.

Coding issue?[edit]

(This section is largely based on speculation. The issue might not be an issue at all. Yet since i believe simplicity is the great upside of this proposal, i visualized my train of thought about this point of coding.)

A miniature might either be dedicated or undedicated. I wondered how this could be handled with a single boolean variable for the accordant miniature slot. I am not a programmer, but i can possibly help with inspiration through these solutions i thought up:

Solution 1: Dedication status specific boxes[edit]

Pro: The coding for a box would still widely be based on the existant item type.

Realization 1.1: There could be two seperate versions of Miniature Boxes that either only allow dedicated or undedicated miniatures.

Pro: Players will be able to store both kinds of miniatures.
Con: A mixed collection of clean and dedicated miniatures is spread across two boxes.
Con: Implementing two boxes might cause more hazzle.

Realization 1.2: There is only one version of Miniature Box that allows dedicated miniatures.

Con: Players can only store one kind of miniatures (the dedicated ones).
Pro: Coding just one box is easier.
Pro: Players get encouraged to dedicate their miniatures or to buy dedicated ones to have each part of their collection fit in the box.

Solution 2: Use twice that many boolean variables[edit]

Pro: Only one box is needed to store the entire collection.

Realization 2.1: The box could be made a little more complex than the Incubator Kit by having two boolean values instead of just one for a certain miniature: If the miniature is in the box, the second value would tell whether a dedicated one or a clean one one is being stored.

Pro: Only more boolean variables have to be added.
Con: Requires a slight change of the existant pattern used for the Incubator Kit/book items.

Realization 2.1: The box could be made a little more complex than the Incubator Kit by having two boolean values instead of just one for a certain miniature: If the miniature is in the box, the second value would tell whether a dedicated one or a clean one one is being stored.

Realization 2.1: The box could have twice the amount of possible "entries": There is both a yes/no value for a dedicated miniature and a yes/no value for the accordant clean version. But in the window only one slot is visible (and available) for either of them. So if one of these variables' value becomes "yes", for example that one for a dedicated Miniature Jungle Troll, putting a clean Miniature Jungle Troll into the box would become impossible.

Pro: Like regular book items it would still use one list of boolean values.
Con: One slot that represents two entries yet can only hold the miniature of one of them might overall be more coding.

Acquisition[edit]

(Note that this section does not affect the item itself, so it can be liked or disliked independant of the view about the item's functionality.)

A way of acquisition is needed of course. Yet the possibilities and the advantages and disadvantages can widely differ.

Suggestion 1: From an NPC[edit]

The box could be acquired from an NPC.
Reasons for functional details in this section are justified in the flavor-subsection, which also suggests a suitable persona for this NPC.

Realization 1.1: It could be crafted (similar to the Incubator Kit). The required materials could for example be:

100 Skill Point[1] 100 Pile(s) of Glittering Dust 50 Bolt(s) of Cloth 50 Steel Ingot(s) 10 Onyx Gemstone(s)[2] 10 Platinum

Pro: Simple coding since it's a regular crafting service.
Pro: Effective gold sink.
Pro (in this example): Further use of Onyx Gemstones, which have only one purpose right now.
Pro (in this example): Effective consumtion of Skill points, which are normally no relevant cost aspect since they get rarely used up (even for those which sell on Consets for example). Nonetheless this requirement is easily met at least once: One is gained at level 20 for every 15.000 experience points. In addition 20 points are gained for each level-up and many more are gained from quests and missions.

Realization 1.2: It could be traded from a collector. I thought of a of a special kind of collector and let myself inspire by Chuntao: The box could be traded for a certain amount of miniatures, for example 10.
To prevent this NPC from consuming unwanted miniatures (e.g. more valuable ones which are normally carried by the character), they could be given to this collector one by one. (This might work like Raw Amber Chunks given to Master Architect Gunther to increase the meter of Gods' Vengeance.)

Pro: Common miniatures are (1) more sought after and (2) get drawn out of the game, so their value increases again.
Con: Coding such a collector might be a hassle.

Flavor-wise[edit]

A sample model for the toymaker who could provide the Miniature Box.

Regarding flavor i'm not exactly sure what miniatures are. Excluding the Black Moa Chick, White Rabbit, Brown Rabbit and The Frog, i would consider them to be (enchanted) toys.
Therefore such an NPC could be a toymaker. Since Asura love Polymock and their figurines, this race would suit great for that job.

Asura are normally only found in Eye of the North (or related quests like Zinn's Task), so the Miniature Box couldn't be a Core item anymore. As an Eye of the North feature, players would get a further little reason to purchase this expansion. But despite that anyone could still acquire it by trading, similar to the Black Moa Chick or items from Consumable crafters such as Perfect Salvage Kits.

  1. ^ The toymaker could entrust himself only to expirienced players, therefore the proposal of the big amount of skill points. This again would suit to the role of the Asura, which also only show the respect once the player has achieved a sufficent reputation. (The box would not be customized though.)
  2. ^ He could be an elitist that only wants to craft Miniature Boxes of high quality, including ornamentation. (I also chose Onyx Gemstones instead of any other gems because i was amazed by the Gemma Augustea, which convinced me that these might suit better as required crafting material than one might think.)

Suggestion 2: In-game store[edit]

The box could be only purchaseable through the in-game store for a certain amount of money (e.g. $4.99 or $9.99 like a storage pane) When purchased, the Miniature Box could automatically appear within the next free item slot of the character's inventory the next time the player logs in (similar to Birthday Presents. Like every item related to the in-game store,

Pro: General arguments for the in-game store. (In favor of ArenaNet.)
Pro: No coding for further NPCs or related quests required.
Con: General arguments against the in-game store. (In favor of the community.)
Con: No flavorful toymaker ;)

Conculusion[edit]

I listed many proposals for major or minor aspects and tried to consider all their advantages and disadvantages. But eventually they are all intended to serve one purpose: An easy and satisfactory Miniature Box.

I hope you did not get deterred from the long description of this feedback. Feel free to share your thoughts about the Miniature Box here.