Jessica wrote:Another super late reply from me, but I will say that I have almost the exact experience with C3/DS Norns! It's really difficult to get attached to them, and I think you put into words what I never realized: I get attached to groups, rather than individuals. It isn't that I dislike it, but it's a different sort of attachment than what I experience in Creatures 1. I also agree that smarter Norns tend to be my favorites, although I also seem to take a liking to those who are a little... Not-so-smart. Ha! I've had some who make horrible decisions all the time, say all the wrong things, and make me smile.
One quick question: You mentioned the Creatures Exodus breeds, but all except the Mall Breeds are available for free. If you need any help finding those (like the Magma Norns and Siamese Norns) I'm happy to help! Sometimes finding those download links can be a pain.
In the previous two creatures' games, the Norns appeared to have some sort of personality and demonstrate it by actions with/around the hand as well as their interactions with other Norns. In Creatures DS (and from what I understand, Creatures 3) it's way less rewarding and harder to take care of a single particular Norn, but their relationships are far more defined. Norns (and Grendels, and Ettins) straight-up tell you they like or dislike you, or other creatures they've met. With C1 and C2 Norns, you've only had the subtle indicator when the Norn decided to follow your instructions or not, run from you or immediately try to follow you when they've seen the hand approach. So basically it feels like in Creatures 1&2 you observed individualities, while in 3/DS, you observe relationships, as such making it much more rewarding to perceive Norns as a group / society rather than follow single Norns around for any reason. Though of course, it is nice to learn that our Norns particularly like or dislike one another, and even more so, us, it discourages observation. 'Well, okay, you dislike Amanda, what're you gonna do ab... produce an egg, apparently.'
As for Norn smartness, well. In Creatures 2, most of my more silly Norns ended up dying far too easily - and at the same time, the basic Norns bred like *crazy* when given the opportunity and as such watching over individuals quickly became a problem. Now that I am trying out the smarter breeds I may develop some fondness for the local 'silly Norns'. It's worth noting that my favorite Norn to date, a Nova Subterra named Aine, did have some very silly moments (she learned that critters were toys, declared she was going to stop them, the computer, and then eat the lift, and finally gorged herself on sleep-inducing berries), but on the whole was by far the smartest Norn I ever raised.
Issue I've had with some breeds was that despite me finding installing them according to the directions, many breeds (including some of the free ones like Magma Norns and the fanmade Frost Norns based on them) seemed to default to ChiChi genome and appearances anyways. I did end up gathering a fair number of breeds that gives variety and allows for me to enjoy playing, but pretty much all of these are fanmade.
Amaikokonut wrote: (...)
1) Here's something, you mentioned the learning stage being almost non-existent in DS and that contributing to feelings of detachment. I feel that way too, since those first moments with your newborns are a good time to form emotional bonds, but I also feel like teaching every creature the long way can get kind of tediously chore-like after a while and take away from the fun of the game. Does anyone else feel this way? What is your preferred way of dealing with it?
2) I suppose one way would just be to use breeds that produce drastically fewer offspring so you don't have to go through the process as often; another (usually what I end up doing) is to just teach newborns the bare minimum that they need to know and hope they learn the rest along the way, though it gets bothersome when I can't understand what they are saying.
3) I kind of favor a theoretical system where vocabulary is more easily picked up by surrounding creatures and the newborn learning stage is more about how to eat and play rather than repeating a bunch of words, but I'm not sure how well that would work out in practice. I wonder what other ways norns could have a learning stage that is important/beneficial enough to actually make people want to go through with each creature (and hopefully get to know/bond with them in the process), but interesting enough that it doesn't get tedious.
1) I don't know much about Creatures 3, but there's an extra problems in Creatures DS where the learning computer basically addicts the Norns. Many will insist on going to it if it's in the vicinity and those that used it 3+ times will recommend bored or understimulated Norns should use it as well. It's really worrying...
And... yes. The schematic basically repeats every generation. With the first Norn I hatch (in a generation) I'm always ultra careful, notice everything they do, enjoy it when they seem to be smart and find it adorable when they do the silly stuff, and I often get so caught up the Norn is an hour old by the time it has company. The second Norn gets great treatment particularly if they are opposite gender to the previous Norn. Thou art the chosen one, quick, learn this stuff so the first Norn is not lonely, oh no you learned this stuff wrong, come let me correct you, oh WOW you can survive now!
And then come the other Norns. "If I stuff one in the upper incubator room and one in the lower, I can raise and teach two at once." This eventually turns into. "Just hatch... Ugh, I'm leaving this egg here, that Norn is smartish, maybe they'll teach the kid how to survive." And so on.
Essentially it feels more gratifying to teach a very limited number of norns to me (1-2 every generation, occasionally 3-5 in the first generation, 2-3 every generation afterwards), and then honestly I'd rather just let them hatch wild, bring the laptop to them, and let them learn the rest from observing others.
2) Part of the reason why I tried to create a breed where breeding is actually more difficult is to avoid a certain cynicism when it comes to Norn numbers. "You're the fifteenth Norn alive in the world. I don't know what to name you, I will see you twice during your baby stage of life, and frankly it feels wrong that your mom is your dad's aunt. Still, like you better than number 13, their dad... UGH Oh. Oh wait, something is wr... Awww. Time to grab one of those 13 eggs I'm sitting on. Byebye, number 15."
3) I feel like the system's flaw is that in most of the games the Norns can't really teach one another adjectives / feelings, only nouns and verbs. A Norn/Ettin/Grendel will almost never learn from another norn what is sadness, hotness, or hunger, it will always be 'extmly doo daa." until you drag the critter to the right computer. Even if a Norn starts learning the word for feelings, they'll usually associate them badly. The reason I wanted to try Hive Mind Ettins is their supposed empathy. Essentially, Norns that are taught by other Norns can't express themselves, only survive, and it's really something that hampers them.
These flaws are part of the reason why I installed the magic words agent in my DS installation. So I can send the Norns off into the world stupid, visit a place or two and decide "Today you'll learn how to say you're hungry for starch". It actually improved my enjoyment of the game, since Norns/Grendels/Ettins are no longer separated into extremely vocal and well-versed smart ones and absolute infidels who speak language known only to the engine's randomizer.
Ps. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the chief dangers in each Creatures' game doesn't affect our attachment... In Creatures 1, it's the illnesses, in Creatures 2, it's environment, poisons, and the creatures' needs, but in Creatures DS the most frequent case of norn death for me was often nornicide...