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The Lunch Break Blog

For those of us who would rather be leveling right now.

Author: cmagoun

More Dynamic Quest Examples

Posted by cmagoun Monday June 8 2009 at 12:02PM
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The past few posts, I have been exploring the concept of non-grindy "Dynamic Quests". Though the posts have not garnered much attention, I am pretty happy with the idea and will explore it a little more in the next few days. Here are three more examples of what these quests might look like.

Plague Town

Where It Occurs

The Plague Town DQ can occur in any town in the game world.


How and When It Starts

Plague Town is spawned randomly on a pretty low chance checked every few hours or days. In theory, a player might never see a plague town, but it is likely he will deal with 2 or 3 as he levels -- more if he seeks them out.


What Happens

Some shops close, others increase their prices dramatically. The town is littered with plague victim spawns begging for help. Spawns of street thugs, anarchists, cultists, and insane plague victims appear every so often. The entire town is affected such that any regular recuperative properties of being in town are negated. In fact, any players in the town will slowly be drained of health and energy and be checked periodically to determine if they have caught the plague (which would be a fairly debilatating debuff).


How Players Get Involved

Players will stumble into this DQ as they return from their adventures.


What Players Do

The goal of this DQ is to generate enough relief for the town. Players can generate relief by curing victims, or by escorting victims to a hospital or temple. Crafters and gatherers can contribute by collecting various plant and animal reagents and crafting them into disease cures. Ruffians in the streets can be dealt with to help bring order to the town.


When Does It End

Once enough relief is generated, the plague ends. If this does not happen, the server will end the plague after a number of days.


How Players Are Rewarded

Players who contribute to the relief effort are given payment in the form of cash and possibly an item based on how they contributed. They also receive a temporary, but long-lasting disease resistance.


Possible Variation

Once enough relief is generated, the players learn that their efforts are doing no good because the plague is the result of a cult ritual. Players must find the dungeon entrance somewhere in town, enter the lair and defeat the cultists. Defeating so many of the cultists results in the spawn of a High Priest of the Dark Gods. Several groups will have to band together and attack this evil-doer. Once the priest is defeated, the plague ends.

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The Bounty Hunters (PvP)

Where It Occurs

The Bounty Hunters DQ can occur anywhere in the world, but each time it occurs, it is limited in scope to a single region.


How and When It Starts

The server will periodically spawn this event. It is possible that other DQs which put players in the position of outlaws could trigger this DQ. So, for instance, if there were a "Robbery" DQ that had a thief burglarize a shop, this DQ could be spawned soon afterward, with the thief character as the hunted.


What Happens

One of the civilized game regions is chosen and a random individual from that region is marked a "criminal". A bounty is placed on his head at all of the Bounty Offices in the region. The player marked a criminal is given a system message to that effect. Would-be hunters can pick up the bounty notice at the Office. Once they do this, they will be given the name of the criminal, and will be marked as kill-on-sight to the criminal regardless of other faction affiliations.


How Players Get Involved

The criminal will know immediately that this DQ has started and that he is involved. Potential hunters will hear rumors in town about the "notorious criminal" that has escaped justice. The local Bounty Office will have a "Help Wanted" sign posted on its door.


What Players Do

The hunters go into the countryside and try to find and kill the criminal. The criminal tries to evade detection and escape or kill his hunters if found.


When Does It End

This DQ ends once the hunted criminal has been killed by the hunters. Alternately, after some time passes, the hunted player is given notice that he has evidence of his innocence and needs to bring it to the local Bounty Office. If he manages to do this, he "wins" and ends the DQ. Once the DQ ends, all PvP statuses are reset.


How Players Are Rewarded

The criminal is awarded for how long he can stay in the region and remain alive. This award is scaled based on the number of hunters there are. If the criminal can ultimately prove his innocence, the reward is even better. The hunter (or party of hunters) that kills the criminal is paid the bounty in items and experience. Hunters that aren't in on the kill get nothing.


Possible Variation

One possible variation puts all hunters as kill on sight to each other as well as to the hunted.

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Cartography

Where It Occurs

The Cartography DQ happens in a remote, uncivilized region of the game world, far from any city or town. Ideally, this is a woods, a swamp or a hard to traverse mountain.


How and When It Starts

Periodically, the server will choose a region and a town (of similar expected character levels) and start the DQ.


What Happens

Once the server chooses the region, a number of "Exploration Flags" are spawned at predetermined points. Each region that is eligible to be a target for this quest has about 200 or so possible points for a flag. Only 40 or so flags will spawn each DQ so that even if a player has explored this region before, some searching around will be necessary to get the flags.


How Players Get Involved

Players wandering the wilderness can stumble onto the explorations flags. If they pick one up, they will be told where to turn them in. Players in town will hear rumors of a mission bankrolled by the Cartography Office.


What Players Do

Players collect the exploration flags and turn them in. Flags are placed so that some are easy to get, others are very difficult to get to. Some might require jumping, or swimming to reach. Others might be dangerously close to monster spawns.


When Does It End

This DQ ends once all the flags have been collected, or after a set amount of time has passed.


How Players Are Rewarded

Players get xp and gold for each flag returned to the Cartography Office. Item bonuses might be awarded for getting a particularly high number of flags.


Possible Variation

Though it does not make a lot of gameworld sense, it might be fun to have every registered exploration party marked kill on sight to all other parties and give them a display of each team's number of flags. Everyone is rewarded for flags, but the team with the most flags at the end of the DQ gets a special bonus.
 

soponyai writes:

Good ideas, keep 'em coming

Tue Jun 09 2009 7:00AM Report
Reborn17 writes:

CHRIS! Welcome back man!

Wed Jun 10 2009 6:56AM Report
cmagoun writes:

Thanks guys. I have a few more of these in mind and will try to fire off at least one more DQ post before moving to another topic.

Wed Jun 10 2009 8:24AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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