Is It Hard to Buy Art in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? from V SADFS's blog

When the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game released an update in April that brought a new art wing to users' museums, it appeared to be just another pastime to add to our daily excursions around the island. We'd soon be able to go art hunting and fill our lovely new art gallery, just like we'd done with fish, beetles, and fossils up to this point.

Unfortunately, about 6 weeks after that initial update, our gallery still appears to be almost completely empty, with only a handful of lonely-looking paintings to show for our efforts. It is not Jolly Redd's intrinsic sketchiness that is to fault, but rather the reality that we have so few opportunities to purchase art despite playing the game every single day. Because the art dealer rarely visits your island, your museum is reduced to a sad shell, and you don't have to seek far online to discover other gamers who are equally dissatisfied with the situation.

It begs the question: why build a brand new, massive, empty gallery and then rely on the presence of a merchant who can go AWOL for weeks at a time to provide the only method of collecting stuff for it. Why is Redd's visits so unpredictable given he provides a considerably more valuable service than, say, Sahara, CJ, or Flick? While those sellers may be able to assist you in the acquisition of a carpet or may be willing to pay a little more for your fish or bugs, they are not the only means of decorating an entire wing of your museum with furnishings. If Redd's visits were at the very least assured on a weekly basis, would it be so detrimental to the relationship? What's the harm in trying it out?

The fact that Redd's products are chosen at random means that it is conceivable for him to visit your island with just fakes and no genuine artwork to sell only adds to the difficulty of dealing with him. As a matter of fact, that happened on my own island: we had to wait more than two weeks for a Redd appearance, and when he finally arrived, he was just selling bogus art. And how could you possibly go through anything like that without being disillusioned with the arts system? Furthermore, why wouldn't you build the shop so that it always has at least one piece of genuine art on display, given that the alternative is very certain to be terribly disappointing to the player base? There isn't a single player in the world who would willingly sit around for weeks on end for nothing.

As a point of comparison, the art system stands in stark contrast to the operations of the museum's other three wings, which are all either dependable and predictable or a direct function of the player's level of effort. It all comes down to how frequently you go fishing or insect hunting. When it comes to fossils, a certain number sprout on your island every day, and you can locate even more by taking one of Nook Miles' mystery island excursion. To some extent, the player has complete control over his or her capacity to obtain things for these three wings. Comparatively, attempting to obtain art is akin to asking for a higher force to anoint your island and hope that it will soon bear fruit. We would like not to play by "time traveling" to different days, but the inaccessibility of Redd appears to encourage the player to do so, which is contrary to the spirit of the game.

By the way, I understand what you're saying: the nature of Redd's shop is intended to be such that purchasing his Animal Crossing items entails an unavoidable risk. To determine whether a work of art is authentic or a fake, you must conduct extensive research on it. You could argue that the rarity of Redd's visits is intended to work against the desire that many players have to obsessively check items off their ACNH to-do lists, but that doesn't make it any less unsatisfying when you visit his boat and he doesn't have at least one genuine piece of art for you to take away with you. This is also true of the recommendation that you should continuously inquire of your friends as to if Redd is visiting their island and if you would be able to stop by and inspect his items.

These don't appear to be concerns that would be difficult to address or rectify in the short or medium term. Simply ensuring that Redd visits players' islands on a more frequent basis would go a long way toward achieving this. It would even assist to lessen the impact of the experience if he made more frequent appearances, even if he didn't bring any genuine artwork with him.

The bottom line is that when people go into my art gallery, they should be greeted by works of art rather than a slew of empty showcases. I believe that most New Horizons gamers would agree with this view.

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Added Jun 10


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