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19,375 Views 21 Replies Last post: Aug 19, 2013 5:43 AM by NIGHTFIRE5
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LOCHIAS 8 posts since
Jun 16, 2013
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Jun 17, 2013 7:04 AM

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I purchased Animal Crossing: New Leaf on NA release day (just over a week ago) and I am already seeing a significant amount of grass erosion (dirt patches throughout town are expanding and the amount of green grass is shrinking). I have been a long-time fan of the series, having avidly played the GC and DS installments of the game for many years. My only reason for purchasing a Wii was for AC:City Folk and, likewise, the franchise is what once again pushed me to buy the 3DS XL.

 

I am familiar with the concept of Animal Tracks in City Folk (it is what ultimately led me to stop playing after only a few weeks) and Nintendo seems to have acknowledged the issue in the past. Most gaming sites/blogs are under the impression that grass decay has slowed considerably for New Leaf and that grass will grow back much faster. However, I am not finding that to be the case.

 

Furthermore, the problem seems to be exacerbated by the fact that I play in short bursts throughout the day rather than in one long session. My friends who have multiple players in one town have even more grass decay than I do. Why should frequent gamers be punished for playing when the very nature of the handheld system allows for play whenever/wherever?


Although this complaint may seem solely centered around aesthetics, there are many in-game features which cannot be accessed without a substantial amount of grass (like building snowmen in the winter to receive the special furniture series). Past strategies for combating grass decay involve the laying down of paths, planting flowers, etc while not walking on the affected areas. But Animal Crossing is a game based around exploration in search of fossils, hidden objects, shaking trees, etc. For a game which is marketed as a social and care-free experience, grass decay is ruining the very foundation of those claims.


Are there any new ways to combat this embarrassingly outdated problem in the newest installment of the game? Does anyone know if there is a maximum cap for the dirt-to-grass ratio in a given town? Any information would be most appreciated, since what is currently out there doesn't offer much, and even the official Prima game guide has nothing to say on the matter.

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
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Jun 17, 2013 11:28 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I don't see a lot of grass erosion to be honest.

 

Then again, I have the beautiful town ordinance in effect.

 

Plus, any erosion that does occur, is minor (I have a lot of trees and flowers to go for perfect rating).

 

 

I'd say my town is still 85-90% grass (besides the dirt that is always there).

 

Even when erosion does occur (like when a resident moves out), the 3x3 square or whatever of dirt, usually goes away in a day or two, replaced with almost all grass (if not, I plant one flower, and it does the trick).

 

I run all over my town and it's not like the whole thing is a desert.

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
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Jun 17, 2013 11:52 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

Well still, I don't run around all that much, so maybe that's why (grass erosion really only happens severely if you're running everywhere).

 

Plus, every acre of my town has at least 10 flowers, so any erosion that may occur, is nullified within a few days.

 

I would just say plant more flowers I suppose.

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
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Jun 17, 2013 12:05 PM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

LOCHIAS  wrote:

 

Sorry, I should have been more clear: I do not run anywhere and each of my acres has at least 10 flowers as well. I've beeen bringing in loads of flowers from the island ever since it was unlocked.

 

Do you water your flowers? With the beautiful town ordinance, they do not wilt, but I only water the flowers which are on dirt patches. It seems most gaming sites are under the impression that, unlike City Folk, flowers actually have to be watered to re-grow grass in this game. But it seems as if walking to the flowers to water them is actually counter-productive.

 

Is there any way to find out exactly what rules grass erosion follows aside from the official guide, which is no help on the subject?

Deterioration is determined by the player's speed when walking, and the season. Grass grows fastest in summer, slowest in winter.

 

Also, each time you load your town, the deterioration occurs, so....playing in short bursts does cause issues with it.

 

The only prevention is to walk slower, load your town less, or just take the same paths all the time, to limit the spread. And of course, flowers.

 

Unlike City Folk, it doesn't take MONTHS to grow back (City Folk required 1-6 months for full regrowth).

 

I believe New Leaf has it to where it only takes a few days with flowers, or a few weeks without.

 

And City Folk had it so deterioration occured even if you just stepped somewhere once, basically.

New Leaf seems to be much better in handling it.

GILLRICE 5 posts since
Dec 29, 2012
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Jun 17, 2013 3:44 PM in response to: GLACIUSX25
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

Thanks for this answer. I guess I need to stop playing on and off all day! Darn.

O_CASTITATIS_LILIUM 1 posts since
Jun 17, 2013
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Jun 17, 2013 12:25 PM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I am having a heck of a time trying to get all my dirt patches to grow back with grass. I wasn't aware that this was in New Leaf, but, I guess so. I play in long bursts but, I am noticing consierable wear on my grass, patches that werne't there yesterday have started showing up today and patches that were there have gotten really big. I don't know why Nintendo would put this in a game where the villagers and your public works projects could be placed where you and they pleased. Then ot have huge patches of dirt when villagers move out or something, that's a little rediculous. I mean, it's a neat idea, but only in theory. A lot of people that I have talked to about it, like my fiance and the one friend I do have that has the game as well, says they are none too pleased with the grass wearing away. It makes the town look patchy and really run down looking. I knwo there is the beautiful town ordinence but, that can only do so much. For me, aside from the gass wearing away at what seems to be a pretty fast rate, considering that I never run and have only had the game a week, it's the only negative thing for me that the game has, so far. Who knows, maybe they will patch the game so that it doesn't do that anymore, I don't know lol. It is an irritance to be honest to have the grass erode away like that

GILLRICE 5 posts since
Dec 29, 2012
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Jun 17, 2013 3:41 PM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I've only had this game one week and a day and I have SO much grass erosion. It seemed to just happen over night. Today I've noticed way too much is now gone. I also have the beautiful town ordinance set in place. Not happy

DAVIEP 4 posts since
Mar 18, 2013
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Jun 19, 2013 2:03 PM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

To the players complaining about the overwhelming grass erosion after one week of playing: relax. 99% of the grass erosion (like those random dirt patches, wear near the bridges, or where the grass ends near the edge of the river) was present in your town since day 1, and your worrying is blowing it out of proportion.

 

Grass wear is a fantastic idea in principle, but awful in practice. Even toned down, it is a huge problem. This is because Nintendo has the arrogance to assume how much their players will play the game. Perhaps the feature will work as intended for players that play the "assumed" length of time: an hour or so a day, but this feature robs players who enjoy playing for frequent, longer periods of the full game experience, as OP mentionned. A game developer should NEVER include a feature that has an increasingly negative impact on players who play for increasing amounts of time; it's counter-intuitive, unless they don't care about players playing the game and rather focus on sales alone. This sentiment was expressed loudly and frequently towards Nintendo regarding City Folk, and their band-aid fix for New Leaf did not solve the root of the problem.

 

Here is a video of a Japanese player who likely plays more than Nintendo expected, and is therefore experiencing a total deterioration of the grass in some parts of the their game. This player likely feels discouraged to continue playing extensively everyday to slow down the wear, which is exactly the OPPOSITE of what a game company should promote.

 

Nintendo has shown that they are closed to the idea of removing the feature by reintroducing it in New Leaf, and that is fine. It is an interesting and potentially game-enhancing feature that someone on the development team is clearly very fond of. What needs to be done is something that deals with the extreme end of the feature for players who enjoy playing more often than Nintendo expected. Nintendo should introduce an item such as "Grass Seed" that allows instant or overnight regrowth of an area of grass. This will allow the feature to continue to exist and function in regular towns, while soothing the fears of people who are hesistant to play as much as they like due to the negative impact it has on their game. Players will still be able to carve paths where they like by putting in time frequently traversing those areas, and will be able to reverse the pathing effects immediately when it mistakingly begins to appear in areas where it is not intended.

 

As OP stated, players should NOT feel restricted and confined to paths and certain areas in a game that places so much stress on exploration.

I am confident that if enough negative wind reaches Nintendo, they will do something this time around, as an ability to patch New Leaf which was not present in City Folk was added to the franchise.

 

EDIT: Another easy solution would be to simply pump up the time it takes for watered flowers to repair grass to one day as opposed to the several weeks it currently takes. This forgoes the need to introduce a new item/mechanic to the game via patch, and is a simple variable change and would be incredibly easy to implement, and would pacify the concerns of a very vocal game community.

BUFFY730 1 posts since
Jun 20, 2013
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Jun 20, 2013 1:39 PM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I am also unhappy that Nintendo decided to leave in this feature. I have not seen one person who enjoys the grass erosion. This feature punishes the player for playing the game and is much too hard to reverse. It has absolutely no place in a game where you have to roam around the entire map to find bugs, fish, fossils, villagers, etc. I would appreciate it if Nintendo would patch the game to remove grass erosion entirely in the same way they patched Mario Kart 7.

 

I am unsatisfied with the way Nintendo has handled this issue and if it is left in future installments of the Animal Crossing series I will not be purchasing any more games. I have been enjoying Animal Crossing since the very first game came out on the Gamecube, but the grass erosion severely decreases my enjoyment of the series and makes me afraid to play as much as I want to play for fear of ruining my town.

TCO013 2 posts since
Jun 22, 2013
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Jun 22, 2013 6:58 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I too am having issues with grass deterioration. I do not run, and I have never ran. There are some spots where I've had flowers from day one, and still no progress. They have been watered every day. And with the exception of yesterday (Summer Solstice), its been raining for nearly a week, yet every day the grass is looking worse and worse.

 

Why include a feature that punishes the player for playing the game? At least have grass seed that you can buy. Make it so that barefoot walking causes no deterioration. Beautiful towns have no erosion. An option from the main menu that you can toggle. SOMETHING. ANYTHING for the people who hate this feature (which seems to be a majority of people). Also, if it MUST be kept, maybe make it so that it deteriorates once per day, not once per play session. Who had that idea? Handheld systems are meant to be played in ways that suit the player; long hours, short bursts, you name it. "Why not just leave it in sleep mode?" Yeah, that's fine, but I have two reasons why that's not a great solution. One, battery life. Two, there have been multiple occasions where the game cartridge has popped out while in my pocket.

 

Also, I seem to be noticing a lot of people say "You're blowing this out of proportion!". Please. If you saw my town, you wouldn't be undermining our concerns about this issue. I understand the game is still new and everyone loves it. The game can do no wrong for many people right now. I cannot wait until many people have desert towns and then these message boards will be flooded with complaints. I'm not understanding the thought proces here. Why would people be lying or making this up? I have no reason to. I like this game, and I want to love it, but the grass is ruining the experience for me. For a game that primarily deals with aesthetics, this is a feature that adds ugliness.

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2013 11:17 AM in response to: TCO013
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

TCO013  wrote:

 

I too am having issues with grass deterioration. I do not run, and I have never ran. There are some spots where I've had flowers from day one, and still no progress. They have been watered every day. And with the exception of yesterday (Summer Solstice), its been raining for nearly a week, yet every day the grass is looking worse and worse.

 

Why include a feature that punishes the player for playing the game? At least have grass seed that you can buy. Make it so that barefoot walking causes no deterioration. Beautiful towns have no erosion. An option from the main menu that you can toggle. SOMETHING. ANYTHING for the people who hate this feature (which seems to be a majority of people). Also, if it MUST be kept, maybe make it so that it deteriorates once per day, not once per play session. Who had that idea? Handheld systems are meant to be played in ways that suit the player; long hours, short bursts, you name it. "Why not just leave it in sleep mode?" Yeah, that's fine, but I have two reasons why that's not a great solution. One, battery life. Two, there have been multiple occasions where the game cartridge has popped out while in my pocket.

 

Also, I seem to be noticing a lot of people say "You're blowing this out of proportion!". Please. If you saw my town, you wouldn't be undermining our concerns about this issue. I understand the game is still new and everyone loves it. The game can do no wrong for many people right now. I cannot wait until many people have desert towns and then these message boards will be flooded with complaints. I'm not understanding the thought proces here. Why would people be lying or making this up? I have no reason to. I like this game, and I want to love it, but the grass is ruining the experience for me. For a game that primarily deals with aesthetics, this is a feature that adds ugliness.

Well it's just a feature they decided to put in there.

 

Regardless, these forums are for tech support only, not to express complaints about games. If you have concerns, address them directly to Nintendo via their webform.

 

And just to add my own personal opinion, it is blown out of proportion. I've been time traveling (meaning I'm loading up my game even more than other people) and my town has basically the same erosion that it started out with. My town is still 80% grass, with most of the "dirt" spots near the edges of buildings or the river, but nowhere near making my town a "desert".

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2013 11:35 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

LOCHIAS  wrote:

 

I contacted Nintendo since starting this thread. They were of no help at all. They said that they do not have any information about how grass deterioration occurs in New Leaf and can only provide me with tips to preserving grass in City Folk.

 

And, as a side note, maybe people wouldn't complain so much if people like you didn't try to belittle the issue. If you don't have grass decay, then fine, but that doesn't mean others don't. This thread is about trying to overcome it as much as possible using collective knowlege of the fans. Obviously, even the game's maker doesn't have that information for us, so it's important to come together and figure it out for ourselves.

Well you are free to discuss it, but not on these forums.

 

These forums are for technical support. Like, if you have error codes when trying to visit another town, or the game doesn't run, etc.

 

If you wish to discuss the actual mechanics of game features, such as this, you'd have to do it on an actual general discussion forum.

TCO013 2 posts since
Jun 22, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2013 2:40 PM in response to: GLACIUSX25
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

Let me put it this way. The people saying its an issue are by far outnumbering the people saying its not. Especially in this thread.

 

Also, in regards to this thread being in the wrong spot, I didn't make it. Am I aware that it is? Yeah. However, there's nothing I can do about it. This seems to be one of the more popular threads on Nintendo about the issue. I too have contacted Nintendo and I'm going to try anything I can to get this "feature" fixed. You said you see little to no deterioration. Then going by that, you would barely notice the feature missing. So there's no use sticking up for it.

GLACIUSX25 1,749 posts since
Jun 6, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 22, 2013 4:15 PM in response to: TCO013
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

TCO013  wrote:

 

Let me put it this way. The people saying its an issue are by far outnumbering the people saying its not. Especially in this thread.

 

Also, in regards to this thread being in the wrong spot, I didn't make it. Am I aware that it is? Yeah. However, there's nothing I can do about it. This seems to be one of the more popular threads on Nintendo about the issue. I too have contacted Nintendo and I'm going to try anything I can to get this "feature" fixed. You said you see little to no deterioration. Then going by that, you would barely notice the feature missing. So there's no use sticking up for it.

Well of course it is. The only people who would be looking up "Grass erosion" would be people who have an actual problem with it (and then, probably googling it, would erroneously end up on these forums, instead of an approrpriate forum like on neoseeker and such). The only reason I posted here is because I'm a forum regular so I come here often. Most people DON'T come here often, since it's just a tech support forum.

 

No one's going to start a thread saying "I think the grass erosion idea is a great one, keep up the good work!". Any and all posts are more than likely complaints against the game mechanic. People tend to voice their opinions more if it's a negative one.

 

 

And I'm not "sticking up for it", I'm saying it's only an issue if you make it one.

STRAHD91 1 posts since
Jul 8, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 8, 2013 6:35 AM in response to: GLACIUSX25
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I am looking for some answers here myself.  If this is not the correct forum for Grass Erosion, can someone please point me towards where the non tech forums are please.

 

***Edited to remove personal information. Please do not post personal information on the forums.***

 

Message was edited by: NOA_TECH_MIKA

PANDIIHO 1 posts since
Jun 28, 2013
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Jun 28, 2013 6:59 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

I was wondering this as well. I have a perfect town, my ordinance is set to beautiful, my town is littered with tons of flowers and trees, there is no running and I still have the patch of dirt where my first animal left. I have placed 3 flowers in the square and my animals have filled it up by planting even more flowers in the area, I water daily, even when it rains. I was told that it may occur if I open my gates to friends? I dont really know what to do anymore but to take pictures of the progressing dirt patch.   I love this game but dread this one feature. I am worried that I will be living in Mud Town USA by the time winter comes to town.

PARASITEEVE99 1 posts since
Aug 19, 2013
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Aug 19, 2013 4:49 AM in response to: LOCHIAS
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

Hi

Is there a way to contact the makers of Animal crossing new leaf to report this problem?

I too love this game and play every day and the grass erosion is awful thats why i stopped playing CF.

Does Nintendo read any of the messages on this forum?Wish they would so they can see that its really awful and maybe make an update to fix this problem.I too have tons of flowers and trees and its not helping.

NIGHTFIRE5 2,941 posts since
Mar 29, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 19, 2013 5:43 AM in response to: PARASITEEVE99
Re: Animal Crossing: New Leaf Grass Erosion

The "makers" of Animal Crossing would be Nintendo.

And I'm sorry to say, but this is not a problem with the Animal Crossing: New Leaf game, but rather, a game play element of it. Because this is how the game is designed to work, there is no need or reason for a patch or update of some kind.

As for the matter of Nintendo reading this site, this is primarily a peer-to-peer tech-support site, meaning it's members help one another. A handful of the members here do work for Nintendo of America, all of whom have usernames that start with NOA_TECH, but they really only appear when a thread needs to be locked or in cases where none of us can really help at all.

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