The Assassin's Creed games have lost a bit of their identity over the years. What was once a relatively focused game about finding and assassinating a series of targets has expanded to a full-on ancient city simulator — but as the scope and scale of the games have increased, the level of polish has started to waver.
The last two games in the series, Unity and Syndicate, are perfect examples of this: not only are there larger problems in terms of story and gameplay, but even the smaller systems have seen a noticeable drop in quality. One would think that something like an in-game economy wouldn't be all that hard to balance (countless games have done it before), and yet, something as simple as buying upgrades can be an obnoxious chore in recent Assassin's Creed titles.
Thankfully, Ubisoft is finally doing something about it: Community manager Grace Orlady took to Reddit earlier today to ask the fans what they want from the next Assassin's Creed game's economy. The post, simply titled '[Community Feedback] In-game Economy', asks fans of the franchise to weigh in on how the next game's monetary systems should work:
"We know that the economy is really important part of the gameplay experience, and having a satisfying economy makes doing missions, resource grinds, rewards, upgrades, etc. all the more exciting when done in a balanced way.
Please let us know what you liked, didn't like, and any features you'd like to see in the future."
For those who haven't played the past few games, Assassin's Creed economies typically fall into one of two categories: there are those that throw piles of money at the player, and those that barely give out any. Assassin's Creed II and Black Flag were notorious for giving players more money than they could spend, while Unity charged an absolutely preposterous amount for its end-game upgrades. Assassin's Creed III took it a step further and forced players to actually learn accounting if they wanted to make a decent amount of cash.
So far, most of the thread has been dedicated to discussing how upgrades should be kept separate from gear, as well as the idea of reintroducing the settlement-building mechanics that debuted in the second game. For a series that can draw so much ire from the gaming community, the thread seems determined to give Ubisoft some actual, well-thought-out criticism — which is a nice change of pace from the insults and death threats that seem to dominate the internet these days.
It'll be interesting to see how Ubisoft uses this advice: the studio may not end up using one idea in full, but pulling a number of changes and tweaks from the community could help the developers finally find a balance between upgrades and in-game currency.
The next Assassin's Creed game won't launch until next year, but the feature film is due out this December. If you have any suggestions for Ubisoft, make sure to check out the publisher's Reddit thread.