Why I personally feel that some towns in Breath of the Wild worked and some didn't, and what could be done to improve them in the sequel
When it comes to BotW, most people will talk about how, in terms of Divine Beast quests, not all of them were created equal. They cite the time spent on building up the lore of places like Zora's Domain compared to the fairly simple Rito quest. However, I think this problem goes a bit deeper in that not every town is created equal, and it's for a very simple reason.
Some towns feel like they are built to be lived in, and some feel like they are built to be visited.
I'll explain. The town that most people talk about in BotW is Gerudo Town. Not only were the Gerudo given a much needed boost in culture and lore, but their actual town was so deep with things to discover and locations to hang out in. There's a town square with stalls selling various goods, back alleys with just a few passing residents and the goddess statue, a sand seal stable near the edge of the town, a garden you can start, a whole waterway system, and a ton of optional buildings to be entered from bars to libraries to classrooms. It feels alive. It feels like it existed before players arrived and it will continue to exist after they leave. This is a place where you could easily map out a resident's every day activities.
Compare that to Goron City. This town has an entrance, some metal bridges connecting two shops and an inn, empty houses that are basically just caves, Bludo's house which has a chair and a bed, and an outdoor grilling place. If you go a bit outside the city, you can find a mining spot, some hot springs, and mine tracks. That's really it. There is no central area where you could picture all the Gorons hanging out or celebrating. There are no buildings that would be used by residents like the Gerudo's bar or classroom, just shops for tourists. One of which literally only sells armor the Gorons don't need. The houses don't feel lived in. Whereas in Riju's room in Gerudo Town you can find unique decorations and a diary and sand seal stuffed animals, every Goron house looks the same, just having a bed and maybe a game of what looks like a version of checkers.
Other towns in the game fall somewhere within this framework. Towns like Kakariko Village or Zora's Domain are closer to Gerudo Town in terms of world building while Rito Village is honestly even worse than Goron City. Korok Forest is another that's really small without much to it, but due to the nature of the Koroks and the way it's framed it actually works out really well. Everything the Koroks sell are specifically meant to be sold to Link. They don't need houses because they just live and play in the forest. They have their own set of trials that make use of the forest around them.
I'd like to briefly touch on the major villages of the game and talk about what I think should be added to them in order to bring them all up to a similar level of being lived-in and populated. I won't be talking about Gerudo Town, Korok Forest, Hateno, Lurelin Village, or Tarrey Town, because I felt those were generally good at accomplishing the lived-in feeling or at least accomplishing the specific goal they set out to accomplish. For example, Tarrey Town may be small without much to do, but it is a town that is basically built by the player as a side quest, so it's really just getting started.
In order for a town to feel lived-in and not just there for player entertainment, there has to be something there that feels like it's a place for the average citizen to go. The Zelda series has a long history of putting fun side activities in their towns. The main town of Zelda games always has some kind of side thing to do, whether that be the various shooting galleries, claw games, fishing holes, gambling spaces, or what have you. Majora's Mask had things like the Goron races and Zora concert hall. The Oracle Games gave the Gorons a passion for dance. Gerudo Town in BotW as said before has a central square, a bar, a library, a classroom, and even an official sand seal racetrack right outside the town that opens up upon completion of the Divine Beast. Hateno doesn't necessarily have all of this, but every house feels populated and customized to its inhabitants. And the kids playing in the main area of town show that there are things to do to have fun, and space to do it in. Lurelin has fishing and gambling. But the others are sorely lacking this.
Kakariko Village is honestly the best at this of the ones I'm addressing here. While there aren't any buildings that seem to have a purpose beyond tourism, the Sheikah Heirloom sidequest shows a great deal of depth to the schedules around the town, there's a graveyard off to one side, there are areas growing crops that you aren't supposed to touch. It generally feels like it isn't just built to be a playground for Link. Even still, it is possible that a few things could be added such as a library with lore about the Sheikah's connection to the Hylian royal family or perhaps the return of that guessing game from Ocarina of Time that could be cheated with the Lens of Truth. Things to do in the town besides just talking to NPCs and watching them walk around. Again though, Kakariko Village is about on the level of Hateno when it comes to this.
Zora's Domain is a mixed bag. The area with Mipha's Statue is a good central square type area, but every building seems less like a building and more just like another part of a branching path. They aren't enclosed spaces, they are just areas with archways and ceilings that contain goods to sell. The Zora don't have houses, they just have a weird central pool that they all float in to sleep. There is nothing for the average Zora to do beyond swimming around in the water. There are a few things the sequel could add, some of which could even just be an evolution of things seen in the original game. For example, the sidequest in which you take a picture of all of the Zora stone monuments could lead to him setting up a new building with this gathered information. Gruve could have turned his diving sidequest into a game for young Zora, similar to the diving game in OoT. The path to Shatterback Point could be well-marked now that the Lynel is gone and be a popular place to hang out and dive off the highest point. Now that Vah Ruta is calmed, the reservoir could have some attractions within it up on floating platforms like in Lake Hylia in Twilight Princess. Or, it could be explained that the Zora's houses are deep underwater in the reservoir and that's why they aren't in the main village that tourists see. Just make this feel more like a place where the Zora actually live.
For a place called Goron City, it really doesn't feel very sprawling. I already described my issues with it before and I won't repeat them here, but what's funny is that the Gorons have a few activities or games, but none of them are actually in Goron City. The hot springs are the closest, but then you have the game of golf down in a pit in the Tabantha Region (if I remember correctly) and you have the Goron Blood Brothers in a few areas giving Link the challenge of scaling Gut Check Rock or withstanding intense heat for awhile. If more things like this were moved into the town proper, we'd already be getting somewhere. Obviously this would mean the addition of a more central area or just more size in general to accommodate. However, if they wanted to keep things spread out, they could make Goron City actually live up to its name and have the Gorons basically colonize all of Death Mountain. Have a new Gut Check Rock be on a marked trail from the Goron City area we explored in the first game. Have a golf course set up somewhere behind it. Make a big stadium area somewhere near the base where players can watch and bet on Goron races. Have a restaraunt that's meant for the Gorons as they only sell various forms of rock roast, and the chef's supply could come from that one area on the mountain that had a Shrine Quest involving rock roast similar to how Gerudo Town had their ice supply off in the desert. And obviously, make the Goron's houses feel like actual houses. Give them doors maybe. Have some rooms with etchings made on stone slabs hung on the walls and others with kitchens that consist of big kettles full of lava that rocks are cooked in. Things to give the Gorons more everyday activities.
Everything said before is especially important for the Rito. Their village is one single spiral up the main tall rock with occasional buildings off to the sides. The structure of their homes is the same as the structure of general stores. They have the flight range which is only ever visited by Teba and his son and doesn't seem like a very busy place. And they have Warbler's Nest on a cliff away from the village which is a bunch of rocks in a circle that the Rito themselves don't even use to make music. I think in the sequel we should see more Rito flying to these far off destinations to make them feel more inhabited. Almost the only bit of Rito lore we get in the game is that male Rito like archery and female Rito like singing. So have some male Rito NPCs be programmed to, at certain times of day, take off from Revali's Landing to fly to the flight range and practice their archery. And have the female Rito NPCs do the same to go to Warbler's nest, which is now more decorated with maybe gazebo-like structures and instruments, like a legitimate outdoor practice space. To really kick things up a notch, I think there should be a higher area with no bridges connecting it. The Rito, and Link with his paraglider, are able to use the updrafts to access it. Here is where we'd see the more Rito-exclusive activities. A central square setup with a stage to perform concerts on and seating which the Rito flock to for dinner and a show, with outdoor bars to walk up to and order from.
The biggest thing to keep in mind with my suggested changes is that it's not asking for anything the game hasn't done before. All that would be added are minigames that can already be found elsewhere in the world, and sidequests that other villages have in bulk. If you need further proof that some villages dropped the ball in this regard, look up the sidequests in BotW divided by location. You'll see tons taking place just in Gerudo Town or Kakariko village, while Goron City has...a Goron asking you to find his brother and a Goron asking you to fight a Talus. All these changes would do is expand on the pre-existing towns and bring them up to the same level as the better examples in the game, which I don't think is asking for too much when the world itself is already created and based on interviews it seems additions are the name of the game.
TL;DR: The towns in BotW are a mixed bag and I think adding more activities to some to make them feel more alive and lived-in is a must for the sequel.
submitted by Koala_Guru
Been out of the scene for so long should I email him?
Update: Emailed him, but have received no reply. Wasn't meant to be I suppose!
Long story short(ish). I (40/f) ended up helping a stranger (45/m) who was stuck on the street outside of my apartment and had ran out of gas over the weekend. He had been stuck out there for a while and when I checked to see if he needed help he told me that he had just simply ran out of gas. Of course, I was like this is easy I'll just go get you gas...which I did and we chatted (I'm a single mom, he had been out fishing and is going through or had recently gone through a divorce, He's a single dad, etc) as we got gas into his car and he got his car started and off he went. Before we parted, he was really thankful that I stopped to help him and insisted on paying me back... which I said of course was not necessary.
Fast forward two days later, I step out my front door and there's a fast food bag on my doorstep. I open it up to look inside and there's money inside...puzzled, I took a look at the bag further and there was a really sweet note written on the bag (heart drawn, and a note thanking me for being the epitome of the golden rule for helping), But he also included his full name and then wrote his email address on the bag. I'm wondering if it seems more likely that he included his email address just so I would let him know I received the package...or if he wanted to keep in touch which is why he provided contact information. I've been out of the dating and flirting game for so long I'm completely clueless... Thoughts?
submitted by KyliMd468