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Playing With / Video Game Delegation Penalty

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Basic Trope: A video game gives you a less desirable result for setting a mechanic to "automatic" or delegating a task to an NPC.

  • Straight: In Tales of Troperia XI, Hiro can gather ten Healing Herbs in The Lost Woods every day. He can also tell Maria to gather them for him... but she'll only give him five herbs a day.
  • Exaggerated: Maria only gives Hiro one herb a day.
  • Downplayed:
    • Maria gives Hiro nine herbs a day.
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    • Maria only gives Hiro five herbs a day, but he can still collect the remaining five himself.
  • Justified:
    • Maria is too poor to spend hours gathering herbs for free. The herbs she keeps are just compensation for her work.
    • Maria just sucks at gathering herbs.
    • The game offers two NPCs who can gather - Maria and Jim. The game implies that Maria is bad at gathering herbs while Jim is good. If Maria is still assigned to the task, she gathers fewer than Jim or Hiro would.
  • Inverted: Maria gets Hiro fifteen herbs a day.
  • Subverted:
    • Maria gives Hiro five herbs... but then shows off the remaining five.
    • Maria gives Hiro five herbs a day, but they turn out to come in addition to the ten he can collect every day.
  • Double Subverted: It turns out she's offering to sell the last five herbs to Hiro.
  • Parodied:
    • This conversation:
      Hiro: Only five herbs? Isn't it supposed to be ten?
      Maria: Yeah. I kept the rest to sell them.
      Hiro: Are you kidding me? I'm The Chosen One. I'm the only one who can stop The End of the World as We Know It. I need all the healing herbs I can get.
      Maria: I know. But since I'm a greedy piece of crap who only cares about short-term profit, you're not getting them. Unless you hand over a few of those shiny coins, of course.
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    • If you die with 0 healing herbs after having used Maria's services, you get a special Game Over screen in which Hiro curses Maria for not getting him enough herbs.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Maria gives Hiro five herbs, but collected two more she plans to keep as payment, but is willing to sell those two to Hiro. Hiro can then go collect the remaining three himself if he wants them.
    • Hiro's various followers have different skills - some are worse than Hiro would be at menial tasks, and others are equal or even better than him.
  • Averted: Maria gives Hiro ten herbs.
  • Enforced:
    • The executives insist that the developers should do something to encourage players to try the minigames (like the herb-gathering one), but also allow you to avoid them if you're only interested in the main game.
    • Time management is an important part of the game. The penalty is there for balance reasons - if Hiro can get herbs without spending time on it, there has to be a drawback.
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  • Lampshaded: Hiro says, "Aww, come on! That girl can't get me more than five herbs? I can do much better than that myself."
  • Invoked: "Hey, Maria, that guy probably won't notice if you pocket a few herbs. Don't feel bad - it's not like he pays you for this anyway."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Maria initially takes some herbs for herself because she's reluctant to work for free, but Hiro convinces her to stop doing it because of how important his mission is.
    • Hiro notices that Maria sucks at gathering herbs, and finds a more competent NPC to replace her as his herb gatherer.
  • Discussed: After Hiro asks her to gather herbs for him, Maria ponders whether she should keep some for herself.
  • Conversed: "You can skip the herb gathering minigame, but it cuts the number of herbs you get in half. I guess the devs are proud of that minigame and really want you to play it."
  • Reconstructed: Time management is a factor and Hiro can't do everything by himself. He might not get as many herbs from Maria as he would with his own two hands, but he can spend the time he would have spent lost in the woods mining for mythril ore or doing some other productive activity.
  • Played For Laughs: If you ask Maria to gather herbs for you, you can find her doing just that in the woods. It turns out that she spends half the time failing in hilarious ways and getting frustrated.
  • Played For Drama: Maria knows Hiro's mission is important and that he needs all the help he can get. She feels horrible about her inability to get him more than five herbs a day.

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