Those who played Gothic 1-3 remember that there were Lecterns that permanently increased your magic power and rare plants that could permanently increase your stats. This was cut from Gothic 4, perhaps to make the game more "accessible".
However, what we got instead were four quests that need you to find 30 hidden items each so you get a reward near the end of the game. Miss one, and you get no reward.
Can anyone out there tell me if this makes sense to you?
Imagine if there were four types of plants, lecterns and potions scattered throughout Arcania, EACH ONE boosting your stats just a little bit, so if you found them all you get the same bonuses as the item you get now, but if you found just half you would still get half of the reward. Would that really have made Arcania harder to grasp? Would it make the game less or more fun to play? Would it make exploration less or more rewarding?
What you get here is the dreaded "gotta catch em all" quest in which you get no reward at all if you miss even one item, which considering the size of the game is really easy to do. You still get to explore and search for these rare items, just like in Gothic 1-3, you just do not get a reward if you miss one of them.
In Gothic 1-3 you got an instant reward for finding the rare stuff so it was often instantly rewarding to explore the wilderness. These bonuses will be used by you all the time throughout the game. In Gothic 4 even if you find all 30 items you need, you just get to use your powerful item near the end of the game for less than an hour of gameplay, after spending probably over a week finding them all.
I do not think these kinds of "gotta catch em all" makes for a fun or rewarding challenge. I believe they just waste time and exploit people with OCD so that the game appear longer.
I think they really should have let these special items carry over to your next play through once you managed to find all the artifacts and such. As it stands now, using the scythe and other stuff for the very last part of the game wasn't worth the hunt in my eyes. --- "Not even suicide or my acid words can teach you anything useful..." - Nevermore