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Gratitude > Points

There are a ton of improvements in Dragon Quest Builders 2 over the original, but my favorite is the philosophical change in how your town is valued.

In Dragon Quest Builders, what matters is what your town has.

In Dragon Quest Builders 2, what matters is what your community does.

In DQB1, a room is worth a certain number of points toward leveling up your town. Many rooms also carry passive bonuses (for example: if you have a kitchen in your base, your hunger meter doesn’t decay inside your base) and a few are incidentally used by villagers (for example, the kitchen again: villagers will prepare food and store it in the kitchen).

In DQB2, rooms do not have point values. From what I’ve seen, they don’t have passive bonuses either. The only thing they do is get used by villagers. Sometimes this means useful items for you (as in the kitchen example), but it often doesn’t. However, every time a villager uses something you’ve built - sleeps in a bed, cooks in a kitchen, eats at a table, drinks at a bar, takes a bath, anything - they generate “gratitude.” That is the resource you use to level up your town.

DQB1 was a lot of fun, but its point system was admittedly a bit broken. In a couple of the chapters, I found myself building inaccessible hidden rooms buried underground or crammed in under staircases for the points and passive bonuses. In DQB2, there’s no reason to do anything like that - rooms are only valuable if your villagers actually use them. You’re thus encouraged to plan your town not around what rooms are worth a lot of points, but around what your community actually needs and will use.

It’s a good way to enhance the feeling that you are actually building and supporting a community - one of the core selling points of the franchise.