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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Quest Hubs Are Dead, Finally!

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Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 6315

9/12/12 6:35:25 AM#201
Originally posted by Felheart5
Originally posted by Nailzzz

On a related note, i would love it if all of the GW2 DE critics could describe how DE's are just like quests in other mmo's without using the word "except". Everytime i see This or similar topics brought up, it always comes down to the GW2 critics trying to convince people that DE's are not any different from quests, but yet they always have to throw in the term "except". Yeah that little except addendum is actually proving that it isnt the same thing as a regular quest. If you have to use that word (or some related term) when describing DE's compared to quests, you have lost the game.

You are of course right that the DE's and hearts aren't carbon copies of the regular MMO quest, but they really aren't all that different and the feeling of going from "hub" to "hub" is still very much there is you just follow the flow of the game and don't directly decide to break away from that flow. 

I booted up a fresh Norn character yesterday I went through the first couple of "zones". The thing I noticed is that I'd largely go from "level appropriate renown heart" to "level appropriate renown heart". Once there I'd usually be exposed to a selection of DE's in close vincinty of that heart. Which at the end of the day made the experience feel quite similar to going from hub to hub, the only difference being that I didn't have to physically pick up or deliever(except for in the DE's that actually does have me run back to deliever things) the quests once there.

Don't get me wrong I do prefer not having to run back and forth in the same manner I used to any more, both from the experience I have made in GW2 and TSW. But that doesn't mean the feeling of going on a fairly linear path from one hub to the next is entierly absent, particularly in GW2. Even World of Warcraft had a ton of quests hidden around the world outside of the hubs for that matter, which again doesn't make the "explore to find things to do" feel that special in GW2's case.

i think there is a bit too much of an obsession over this whole questing business, it really doesnt matter that much whether you pick up a quest, or join in a DE or not, or even how you get them, its a game mechanic at the end of the day, which obviously comes in several forms, its a bit like preferring cheddar over doublegloucester.. and vice versa, what matters really is how they make the game feel..   which apparently is a bit empty.. at least there is one consistently recurring complaint, or observation, and that is the social dynamics, and what appears to be a lack of them, SW;TOR, rightly, was accused of being a largely single player game, with the odd bit of multiplayer, GW2 seems to achieve something similar, at least, the multiplayer bit is more a case of a bunch of single players who just happen to be doing the same thing, but not necessarily together, Rift had more 'inclusion' where you joined a group for its DE, or rifts, but GW2 appears to stepped back from this level of integration, so that even when partaking in the same DE, there is little or no interraction, hopefully this is just because the game is only just out and people are too busy playing to bother with other players, but just as WoW has gained a reputation of being extremely solo friendly.. GW2 seems to be doing the exact same thing.. im not sure thats a good sign, though hopefully it might be an aberration. Hopefully this is something that will not carry over into W v W  PvP


Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/10
Posts: 897

9/12/12 7:16:15 AM#202
Originally posted by illmaculate
Originally posted by itgrowls
Originally posted by illmaculate
Originally posted by itgrowls
Originally posted by GeezerGamer


Originally posted by itgrowls
Just love the nonsense posts here in these forums about games these people obviously don't play. Claiming that GW2 questing is linear is like saying that the earth is still flat or that it's the center of the solar system.


Wandering around one runs into the zones that DE events happen in, one doesn't get directed to go to the next town by a quest handed to you by the quest hub guy you just stumble onto them.

Add the feature of hidden underground and underwater zones the mixup is complete. I went inside the norn mine via swimming underwater in their small river and ended up where the dredge were mining the mountain in the norn area instead of going the standard way through the heart area (hearts deplete over time so there eventually ARE no guides aside from the shield or boss symbols on the map as only SOME events are occurring),

And Drops scale to your level, you don't get a level 1 item when you are level 80 fighting a level 15 vet/miniboss.

So where these weird haters are fabricating these notions is beyond me. They really are getting tiresome spreading nonsense about a game they really have no intention of ever playing and need to spend their time playing some other title instead of lying about this one.


Quest hubs are dead, the holy trinity is dead. Get over it move on and have fun. That's my advice to them.


So, basically, you wrote a wall of text saying you stumbled into a quest hub only you don't want to call it a quest hub?

So basically you didn't read a thing i wrote and assumed something? just like most here do. smh hearts disappear eventually, and they are only there to help transition the less fortunate (those lke you stuck in the past who want quest hubs to be everywhere and continue to claim quest hubs exist where there are none).

It's okay tho, if those who claim quest hubs exist in gw2 actually played they would spend less time being monsters-under-the-bridge on these forums and more time killing monsters-under-the-bridge in game.

You don't get it. The article is about quest hubs being dead. You're arguing there are no quest hubs when there clearly are. Just because you can do a particular zone once you've outlevelled it doesn't make it any less true.

I'm sorry, I can't help you any further. No one is saying there aren't a multitude of things to do in the game if you choose to do so; but, you arguing there are no quest hubs is insane. I'm sorry you can't wrap your tiny brain around that.


Your cognitive dissonance is showing. If you actually played the game everyone who has will tell you that post level 30 the guides to help people who have the handicap of expecting hubs dissappears. sorry you can't understand how that works or why they put hearts there in the first place.

Someone running up to you to yell at you about an event in the area is in no way the same as having a ! above the npc's head while he stands there dead to the world, where you have to talk to him to pickup the prohect to complete or where it directs you to the next are to talk to the next ! npc standing there waiting. Hearts are guides to help those who are stuck in the past learn how GW2 works. Nothing more. Eventually they are gone.

Sorry you view everything in the world as exactly the same. There's only one tiny brain here and it's definitely not mine. Have fun drinking your koolaid that's exactly the same as your sandwich that's exactly the same as the photons coming from your lamp, that's exactly the same as your keyboard.

Thanks for confirming that there are, in fact, quest hubs. Smoked. Next.

Trying too hard. You'll probably still be saying the same thing if GW2 had only ONE renowned heart in game.

Hearts were put in response to the early testers on how they get lost in the open world. It eases the players into the system.

As to the sweeping declaration that quest hubs are dead, only time will tell. Personally I prefer the GW2 style of "quest-giving" over the WoW style.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/10
Posts: 3

9/12/12 7:57:50 AM#203
So I'm confused as to why so many people are mad about this article. Everyone has a problem by saying that other games came before wow or other games are like gw2, blah, blah. Lol. The point of the article is to show the progression of quests in mmorpgs. I think the point was made. I don't think that GW2 has gone far enough, though. Perhaps Mark can put his money where his mouth is and come out with a truley dynamic quest system that pretty much gets rid of questing as we know it. GW2 still has markers on the map to show people where to get quests, so for me, it's the same as it was before, except now it just takes longer to go from quest to quest. And they didn't get rid of talking to NPCs. After quests you still need to find the person who was looking for their lost cat. When we can truley have objectives that don't require us to run from point to point, and then find the completion NPC, we'll know that questing has evolved.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/11
Posts: 809

9/12/12 7:58:41 AM#204
Originally posted by Atibra

Before making a grand statement like "Quest Hubs are Dead" should you not define what your interpretation of a Quest Hub is?


My definition, and the general defenition from a quick web search:

Quest Hub:  Location in a zone that contains a number of NPCs that give Quests.


So - let's filter this definition through GW2 to see if Quest Hubs are truly dead:


Renown Hearts: As defined by GW2 wiki are - Area anchored by specific NPCs with supporting lore and local goals that need to be accomplished.


My Interpretation of Renown Hearts: This is not the death of Quest Hubs, it's simply an enhancement or an evolution of quest hubs.  You are still directed to a certain area, you still must achieve particular tasks as defined by an NPC in that area.  The  primary difference is not being forced to go back to turn in the quest.  However, Renown Heart NPCs shift into Merchants after you complete their task - promoting you to actually return to them to see what goods they have to offer; typically they provide level appropriate items and rare crafting materials that could hinder your progression if completely ignored.



Dyanmic Events:  As defined by GW2 wiki are - Events that occur in a persistent area.


My interpretation of Dynamic Events:  Again, not the death of Quest Hubs, simply an enhancement or an evolution of the same concept.  Due to the events occurring in a persistent area, you must travel to a specific location in order to take part in the event.  The primary difference once more being that you do not have to "turn in" the quest, and that success is area wide - as long as you took place in the event.


Conclusion:  Take 100 new Orc players in WoW, they will start at Razor Hill.. complete the associated tasks, and then move on to the next area.   Take the same 100 new Human players in GW2, they will start at Queensdale.. complete the associated tasks, and then move on to Kessex Hills and spend the next 12 levels running around in a circle from Bandits to Bridge to Lieutenants to Overlord (the problem with fixed dynamed events).


You're still forcing people to set locations for "optimal" character progression - and thus, the essence of the Quest Hub continues.  For anyone who plans on responding back saying "you have the option to level outside the "optimal" progression - the same goes for WoW, so that arguement is moot.



That, my friend, is where you are wrong. Where what you posted IS a method of leveling in GW2, there are MANY other ways to level as well (i'm not even going to list them anymore, I assume you already know XD)


In addition, from Queensdale, you don't EVER HAVE to go to Kessex Hills! Don't wanna follow the story? Head to the charr, norn, asura, or sylvari zones! Heck, forget PvE all together and just party in WvW.

THAT is the difference between GW2 and traditional MMO questing: GW2 you have choices in your progression...and leveling is only 1 form of progression in the game. In traditional MMO questiing, you have the set track that you so artfully described.


It's not the game's fault if someone chooses to play connect-the-dots with hearts. They've provided so many ways to play the game...if you don't want to play linearly...THEN DON'T PLAY LINEARLY.


"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2


Novice Member

Joined: 12/08/08
Posts: 303

9/12/12 8:02:00 AM#205

I'm not sure doing away with quest hubs is a good idea for a game genre that is as social as MMORPGs. Quest hubs is a place for people to stop and chat with each other, meet up and go on quests together, which is what they should be about, doing things together. I feel that doing away with quest hubs is as detrimental to the social aspect as the automatic looking for group/dungeon tools are.

I could also agree that quest hubs and content based on them have become very formulaic and boring, but doing away with them seems to be the wrong solution, unless your game is supposed to be very solo focused, then all is good i guess..

  User Deleted
9/12/12 8:15:36 AM#206
Originally posted by illmaculate
Originally posted by itgrowls
Originally posted by illmaculate
Originally posted by itgrowls
Originally posted by GeezerGamer


Thanks for confirming that there are, in fact, quest hubs. Smoked. Next.

"With exception to story missions, which aren’t all that interesting, basic quests in their traditional sense are gone, replaced with open-world events that can be completed either alone or with other players in the area. Since everyone who contributes to a kill or an event gets experience regardless of their group (and level, since Guild Wars 2 downscales you to the appropriate level for every location), players naturally work together to complete these events, taking down centaur armies or defeating rampaging dragons."

This should destroy anyone elses misguided attempts at putting words in my mouth. Quest hubs are dead. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/03
Posts: 1130

9/12/12 8:44:11 AM#207

Not a quest hub? Doing the same events over and over, running to different areas of the map trying to get repetitive vistas or POIs, and doing daily grinds sure does have a quest hub feel to it.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/08/11
Posts: 521

9/12/12 8:45:24 AM#208
I still consider Heart Quests "quest hubs" because - they are.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/10
Posts: 54

9/12/12 9:19:49 AM#209
I personaly like exclamation marks like D2. I have no problem with them.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 533

9/12/12 9:24:26 AM#210

Not that I am a fan of quest hubs (came up through EQ1), but how are the Heart/Event Hubs any different? Sure they Only have 1 Quest(Heart) and rather than bring me 10 Wolf Fangs, it is some combo of Wolf Fangs + Poison Wolf Food + Scare the Cattle to the Corral... Rather than a fixed number of 1 item, you just do stuff until the progress bar fills or empties.


Dress a Skunk in pretty new clothes and call it a Mink, and it is still a Skunk.

The Hearts may not lead you to the next Hub in a traditional fashion, but it sure seems like the Storyline does that job quite nicely...


Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/06
Posts: 527

9/12/12 9:57:18 AM#211

Does the delivery method really matter that much? A boring quest is still a boring quest regardless of wether you have to click on an NPC to get it or if it atuomatically activates when you walk within an area. I didn't find GW2's questing to be all that innovative because at the end of the day you're still killing 10 rats and collecting their tails.


If anything, TSW took the gold for this year's innovative questing. Decyphering morse code? Yes please. Although I can see how that can turn off a lot of player considering the average attention span now days.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/07
Posts: 56

9/12/12 9:58:43 AM#212

I just wanted to thank everyone for a truely stimulating debate. While it has gotten heated at times, I think the fact that it has generated so much opinion is good for the industry, which needs to do better and "think different."

This article is, of course, just my opinion. Many of you have a very different opinion and that is just fine. 

Many of you are suggesting ways to improve DE's and take what GW2 has done even father. Next week I'll outline some things that I would love to see in MMOs in the future, and hopefully we can have a great discussion then too.

I just have one request. Please don't attack each other personally in these comments. I love to see debate, arguments and thoughtful posts, but it should not be personal. Attack the ideas with counter-ideas, yes. But please don't attack the commentor.

Thanks again for the great response, controversial though it might be. See you in the next column.

- Mark

Follow me on <a href="">Twitter: @Grummz</a>


Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/10
Posts: 1947

Confusius say: Man who go to bed with itchy bum wake up with stinky finger

9/12/12 10:23:49 AM#213
Originally posted by grummz

I just wanted to thank everyone for a truely stimulating debate. While it has gotten heated at times, I think the fact that it has generated so much opinion is good for the industry, which needs to do better and "think different."

This article is, of course, just my opinion. Many of you have a very different opinion and that is just fine. 

Many of you are suggesting ways to improve DE's and take what GW2 has done even father. Next week I'll outline some things that I would love to see in MMOs in the future, and hopefully we can have a great discussion then too.

I just have one request. Please don't attack each other personally in these comments. I love to see debate, arguments and thoughtful posts, but it should not be personal. Attack the ideas with counter-ideas, yes. But please don't attack the commentor.

Thanks again for the great response, controversial though it might be. See you in the next column.

- Mark

Hey Mark


I think it's really great for developer's like yourself to participate on site's like this one. I appreciate it.

I myself believe a good mix is the best and the quality of the questing or progressiuon content is more important then how it is delivered.

"If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee


Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/10
Posts: 897

9/12/12 10:37:56 AM#214
Originally posted by Valua
I still consider Heart Quests "quest hubs" because - they are.

For all its intents and purposes, they actually are. Based on their early beta, without them people will get lost apparently. Gotta give 'em something equivalent to the "!" thingy.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/04
Posts: 1056

"" "" "" ""

9/12/12 10:48:20 AM#215

At least I now know what the guys who put that damn "!" in WoW looks like. Thanks for coming up with the single more annoying feature in the MMO genre. I'll let it go though because I enjoyed the article and you seem to see the error of your ways.



Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5696

9/12/12 11:06:17 AM#216

Ultimately, GW2 is still a theme park and ANet has done a decent job of repackaging the traditional mechanics. However, once you start to see through it, you can tell that you are still on rails and you are really on a kiddie coaster.

Space Mountain-Lights on

(Space Mountain)


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/11
Posts: 6

9/12/12 12:06:26 PM#217

Mark, your writing style is light-hearted, smooth, sincere, with tinges of hidden wisdom and a great deal of insightful expertise in the gaming industry.

Really enjoy the article, can’t wait for the next one!


Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/11
Posts: 129

9/12/12 12:09:24 PM#218
I'll be the first to agree the questing in GW2 is a breath of fresh air and has been fun. However, I find it hard to motivate myself to keep playing. I hit 30 and quite frankly don't feel like putting in the effort to go on. I'll agree that quest hubs can go a bit over the top but to eliminate them completely I don't think is a good idea either. I personally look forward to playing the hell out of MoP when it comes out. I think GW2 lacks longevity, sure hope they can push out a expansion within the next 6 months to a year.

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 10

9/12/12 12:30:24 PM#219
If Guild Wars 2 doesn't have quest giver then there is no point of me getting Guild Wars 2 because I love doing quest just like on Guild Wars.

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 7148

9/12/12 12:33:23 PM#220
Originally posted by Krytycal

Does the delivery method really matter that much? A boring quest is still a boring quest regardless of wether you have to click on an NPC to get it or if it atuomatically activates when you walk within an area. I didn't find GW2's questing to be all that innovative because at the end of the day you're still killing 10 rats and collecting their tails.

If anything, TSW took the gold for this year's innovative questing. Decyphering morse code? Yes please. Although I can see how that can turn off a lot of player considering the average attention span now days.

I think the delivery method matters very much.  You're mixing up quest content and the delivery method.  Boring content (eg: kill 10 rats) versus complex content (eg: deciphering a code) is different from how those are delivered (talk the the npc with the bang over their head versus contributing to the quest automatically).

One key aspect that GW2 has done differently in the deliver method is provide more than one path to completion.  You can choose to kill rats until the progress bar has filled or you can choose to defend an npc or you can choose to disarm traps in the area or you can choose to do a combination of those tasks.

Another key difference is that in quest hubs there are npcs with the exclamation mark that you talk to, go out and do the deeds for, and ultimately return to them (or another down the road at a new hub) for a reward.  With GW2 you only need to be in the area to contribute to that completion.  You typically don't need to talk to an NPC in order to contribute, but talking to an NPC might open up other completion options or provide other insights along with role play and story.

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