In this week's Community Spotlight we'll be focusing on the thread "The 'Kill 10 (x)' Conundrum" by jdlamson75. We often lament the prevalence of "Kill 10 X" quests, but are they really that bad? And if they are, what would you rather see? jdlamson75 elaborates:
Perusing the MMORPG boards as I do, I see a lot of hate thrown at the "Kill 10 of (X)" (known as KTX from here on out) types of quests. These are in just about every game that has a questing system, they've been around forever, and, just maybe, the MMO players are just plain TIRED of seeing them.
I, on the other hand, enjoy at least the occasional kill quest, as it lets me just go out and beat the snot of of a group of mobs in the same area, head back, and collect my rewards and experience. As long as I have other types of quests thrown in there, I don't even mind having the majority of them equate to KTX. I know I'm in the minority here, but hear (or read) me out.
Instead of KTX types of quests, some games have created other types of questline, such as "Cut down the mightiest tree in the forest wiiiiiith...a herring". Now, this would be great in theory, as the cutting down of said tree could trigger something wonderful (or devastating) in the world. BUT! In this quest, first you have to find the mightiest tree, then you have to go find the particularly rigid herring suitable for cutting down a tree, then actually cut down the tree. With a herring.
In this day of instant gratification in MMOs, how many of these quests will gamers really want to see? In the example given above, there would be no quest reward for the first step of finding the tree, nor for obtaining the herring, so the whole instant gratification thing goes out the window.
How about puzzle-type quests? Bopping along in the Flajamada Desert, whence suddenly I happen along a tomb! The tomb is locked with a complex puzlle, one that is ever shifting and is never the same when clicked upon. Knowing there's got to be some good booty inside (minds out of the gutter, folks - it's a TOMB - nothing but dead stuff in there), I attempt the puzzle. I'm not very bright, so I fail it. And die. Then I come back, attempt it again, and fail again. On my third attempt, I get it right. Woohoo! I get inside, only to find a treasure chest with a decent item and some stale food.
The puzzle quest could work, but again, the instant gratification isn't there if I can't solve the puzzle. And there's nothing to fight. MMOs are about getting new skills, new combat abilities, super duper weapons. I could be wrong, but I don't think there's a Sword of Puzzle Ass-Kickery out there. If there is, I've never seen one.
My question to the MMORPG.com crew is this: what would you rather have in place of the KTX quests? Why? I'm not putting up a poll, as that would limit the choices to those my feeble mind could produce. Discuss away!
So how does the MMORPG.com community feel about these quests? Read on to find out!
Quixote doesn't find these types of quests problematic, instead citing their presentation as the root of the issue:
The problem is not that there are KTX quests in a game but that most of them, if not all, are presented in a very boring fashion: we first must go to a quest giver that tells us this story about his farm/village/car/keep/city/family/plan-to-conquer-the-world and that in order to solve the problem at hand we must KTX. So off we go and kill said Xs and we come back to the quest giver for our reward. And this is repeated over and over and over.
It is the introduction of the quest-hub that breaks immersion and makes you realize you are quest-grinding. It doesn't matter that developers try and hide this making a progression between different quest-hubs.
After taking a break from MMOs for a bit I was gladly surprised when playing Skyrim by one tiny little detail: I was out in the field and a wolf attacked me, I killed it and suddenly a woman walked to and thanked me for saving her, she told me where a cave filled with these horrid creatures was located and off she went. That is a great way of delivering a quest, I completed the quest before it was even given to me. It felt part of the world I was in.
The question is not what other types of quests we could create in a MMO, but how could we deliver the same type of quests in a different fashion.
Zekiah feels randomized quests may be a better choice:
Random is so much better. How about random quests that just have you turn in the item if you ever come across it?
It really is retarded when an NPC tells you to kill X number of mobs to get Y. How do they know how many to kill? And why don't they just go do it themselves? It's ridiculous.
Where's the creativity? Where's the imagination? And why are you putting up with the same canned crap over and over again?
We all should demand better.
Edeus offers an even more interesting alternative:
What about no quests at all, just villagers or whatever complaining about certain monsters. You go out and kill said monsters and the more/faster you kill them, the more bonus xp you get at each kill. The more bonus points you rack up is also correlated to item drop rates, so after killing for 15mins you could have a few nice pieces of armor as well.
Once you have proven yourself to the villagers, the real quest begins, involving the kill of the evil bandit lord/whatever riding around the outer feild of the village... Killing him unlocks a larger overworld quest.
PS: make sure you know to also kill the rare monsters that spawn in the corners/caves, as they are haunting some little kid's dreams...
I don't mind 'Kill 10 X' quests as long as that's not all I see. I also hate when games have you kill X amount of a creature and then send you to do the exact same thing when you turn it in. I recall this happening in TERA where I had to kill four of some creature only to be given a quest to kill 5 more once I turned it in. Why not just have me kill 9? I'd also like it if these quests tracked what you killed prior to you even taking them. This was something I think was advertised for WAR, but I don't recall if it ever made it in. Did I just kill 10 bears before I took your quest to kill 10 bears? Great! Now I'm done! Nothing is more annoying than being told to kill X amount of monsters that I actually just spent time killing for fun or on the way to the quest giver.
Do you feel 'Kill 10 X' quests should be abolished? If so, what would you replace them with? Share your thoughts in the comments below!