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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Idea: Remove questing from MMORPG’s

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  Lathial

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 176

 
OP  10/17/11 3:19:05 AM#1

 

I have played (and tried) pretty much every MMO from UO to Rift and one thing that has become more and more predominant in games is questing.   In most games these days you can quest from level one to cap.  In my opinion, game companies used the single player quest driven games (like Oblivion, Balders Gate etc) and just added a multiplayer option to them.  With SWTOR coming out soon and taking questing to “another level” with voiced actors etc it got me thinking: I think this might be the wrong direction for MMO’s
 
Below are some ideas of why this may be the wrong direction and maybe some suggestions of how to correct this.  (This list of ideas is not complete nor is it about one game.  It is my opinion of how questing is “hurting” MMO’s) suggestions, additions and comments are welcomed-
 
-questing is “grinding”.  It is grinding with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.  You still have to kill 1,000 rats but at least you are doing it for a reason. Unfortunately, the reason you are killing rats is so bland that most people do not read or do not care to read why.   Most of us have done this so often that it hurts our eyes to read the quests.
 
-quests have no impact on the game.  In single player RPG’s you kill the rats and “poof” you can see the results and now all the rats are gone from the sewers.  You can re-visit the sewers and all the rats are “still” dead.  You made an impact on the game.
 
-questing hurts exploration.  Questing guides players through a predetermined set experience.  Everyone does the same thing from start to finish.  Games do not have to be “worldly” if they have a lot of quests that guide players though the experience.  For example, RIFT, is a very small world.  There is not a lot of exploring to do in the game and it is so packed with quests that each zone zooms by without impacting your experience.
 
-questing ruins “your story”.  I think this is the most important point of them all.  “Your story” is being created by the quests.  Your character is the result of quests- not the story you created for your character.   In single player RPG’s your story is usually grand and you “save the world” and the things you do have an impact upon the game (you killed all the rats in the sewer. Now, there are no more rats in the sewer).  In EQ1, UO and other older games, I can only remember a handful of quests.  I think there was some basic “turn in rat pelts” and the other quests were epic quests for “epic” rewards.   In the in-between-time the player created their own story by exploring and experiencing the game by weaving their own characters quests and story. 
 
What if we took the quests out of MMO’s? Why not just created a large explorable world with interesting lore and creatures. Where “living” within this world and learning of its cultures and finding ancient ruins to explore was the “quests”.  Remove the predetermined set of experiences (quests) and just release the players into the world and let them create their own stories.  If we do this, we won’t be “cookie cutters” of each other.  We will truly have our own stories of where we have been and what we have seen and done.
 
Lathial
  Hurvart

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 566

10/17/11 6:34:12 AM#2

I agree. I think MMO:s should have a big open world that we can explore. Quests should not give any xp. You should do quests to get items and other rewards.

And there should only be a few quest. But they should be interesting. Not kill 10 boars or fed-ex quests... And they should be independent or part of a short quest line.

The player should not feel that he/she needs to do any quests at all. And finding quests should be something that sometimes happens when you are exploring new areas of the virtual world.

Doing linear very simple generic quests feels like a terrible grind, IMO. At least when you are forced to do a lot of them and you are forced to run like crazy from quest hub to quest hub. And with NPC:s telling exactly what to do and arrows that you follow that guides you and tells you exactly where to go. IMO, it is very boring to play like that. And its more fun and less grindy to kill random mobs...

Hopefully there will be some companies that try to offer different games without boring quest on rails levelling.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9937

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

10/17/11 8:24:34 AM#3

MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11356

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

10/17/11 8:29:11 AM#4
Originally posted by lizardbones

MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.

Very true. MUDs and the early MMOs has little or no questing. Most players back then were looking for a virtual world, whereas most players now are looking for online entertainment. Quests are a quick and easy way to meet the demands of today's audience.

  udon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1457

10/17/11 8:33:32 AM#5

Sounds like Minecraft is the game for you.

  GrayGhost79

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4885

10/17/11 8:41:45 AM#6
Originally posted by lizardbones

MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.

Yeah UO was 14 years ago. They are still up and running and still able to charge a monthly fee but the facts show the money is clearly in themeparks. 

AoC - oh wait...... they went free to play. 

DDO - oh wait...... they went free to play.

LotRO - oh wait..... they went free to play. 

STO - Oh wait......... they went free to play. 

DCUO - Oh wait....... they went free to play. 

CO - Oh wai........ they went free to play. 

Surely EQ2 - oh wait they went free to play. 

You know...... come to think of it. How many themeparks that have come along since EQ1 are still able to charge a monthly fee? How many flops have there been? People are clinging to games like DFO and MO because there really isn't any other option. EvE is doing well still though. 

So sure....... some have made more money by adding quests. Aion, WoW, Rift, EQ1.....

But most seem forced to either go free to play or shut down. 

 

  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4036

10/17/11 8:43:55 AM#7

Quests are fine.  I'd rather have quests that give me objectives as opposed to planting me in a field of 100s of boars and expecting me to kill enough of them to level up.  Quests can give me a story to follow and can point me to some cool places in the zone. 

Now, quests could use a refinement.  For example, stop sending me back and forth to the same npc and same zone location more than once or having me kill 10 bears and then kill the same bears for their tongues or feet which only about 1 in 5 of them actually have.

Give me quests the likes of LOTRO's epic book quests and make that the standard.  Another good example of quests are the Missions in FFXI and a few of the sidequests that had cutscenes.  Basically just make them stand out more and be examples of good storytelling.

Take quests away from MMORPGs, and we end up back in the UO, EQ days.  No thanks.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9937

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

10/17/11 8:45:55 AM#8


Originally posted by Loktofeit


Originally posted by lizardbones
MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.



Very true. MUDs and the early MMOs has little or no questing. Most players back then were looking for a virtual world, whereas most players now are looking for online entertainment. Quests are a quick and easy way to meet the demands of today's audience.



I think there should be a new version of quests. We started with no quests, then we had the mission format we have now...now we need something better. A meta questing system.

I have no idea what a meta questing system would look like or how it would function. I suspect the game worlds that our games are housed in would need an upgrade before you could really upgrade the quest system.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9937

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

10/17/11 8:47:03 AM#9


Originally posted by GrayGhost79


Originally posted by lizardbones
MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.



Yeah UO was 14 years ago. They are still up and running and still able to charge a monthly fee but the facts show the money is clearly in themeparks. 
AoC - oh wait...... they went free to play. 
DDO - oh wait...... they went free to play.
LotRO - oh wait..... they went free to play. 
STO - Oh wait......... they went free to play. 
DCUO - Oh wait....... they went free to play. 
CO - Oh wai........ they went free to play. 
Surely EQ2 - oh wait they went free to play. 
You know...... come to think of it. How many themeparks that have come along since EQ1 are still able to charge a monthly fee?
So sure....... some have made more money by adding quests. WoW, Rift, EQ1.....
But most seem forced to either go free to play or shut down. 
 



Making more money is making more money. Doesn't matter if you make more money with box sales, subscription fees or a cash shop.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Thorqemada

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1172

10/17/11 8:48:15 AM#10

Questing is an essential of RPGs and should not be removed!
But beside questing there should be room for other major ways of gameplay and progression and the virtual world element should be revived!

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  Dvalon

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/10/07
Posts: 316

10/17/11 8:54:00 AM#11
Originally posted by Lathial

 

I have played (and tried) pretty much every MMO from UO to Rift and one thing that has become more and more predominant in games is questing.   In most games these days you can quest from level one to cap.  In my opinion, game companies used the single player quest driven games (like Oblivion, Balders Gate etc) and just added a multiplayer option to them.  With SWTOR coming out soon and taking questing to “another level” with voiced actors etc it got me thinking: I think this might be the wrong direction for MMO’s
 
Below are some ideas of why this may be the wrong direction and maybe some suggestions of how to correct this.  (This list of ideas is not complete nor is it about one game.  It is my opinion of how questing is “hurting” MMO’s) suggestions, additions and comments are welcomed-
 
-questing is “grinding”.  It is grinding with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.  You still have to kill 1,000 rats but at least you are doing it for a reason. Unfortunately, the reason you are killing rats is so bland that most people do not read or do not care to read why.   Most of us have done this so often that it hurts our eyes to read the quests.
 
-quests have no impact on the game.  In single player RPG’s you kill the rats and “poof” you can see the results and now all the rats are gone from the sewers.  You can re-visit the sewers and all the rats are “still” dead.  You made an impact on the game.
 
-questing hurts exploration.  Questing guides players through a predetermined set experience.  Everyone does the same thing from start to finish.  Games do not have to be “worldly” if they have a lot of quests that guide players though the experience.  For example, RIFT, is a very small world.  There is not a lot of exploring to do in the game and it is so packed with quests that each zone zooms by without impacting your experience.
 
-questing ruins “your story”.  I think this is the most important point of them all.  “Your story” is being created by the quests.  Your character is the result of quests- not the story you created for your character.   In single player RPG’s your story is usually grand and you “save the world” and the things you do have an impact upon the game (you killed all the rats in the sewer. Now, there are no more rats in the sewer).  In EQ1, UO and other older games, I can only remember a handful of quests.  I think there was some basic “turn in rat pelts” and the other quests were epic quests for “epic” rewards.   In the in-between-time the player created their own story by exploring and experiencing the game by weaving their own characters quests and story. 
 
What if we took the quests out of MMO’s? Why not just created a large explorable world with interesting lore and creatures. Where “living” within this world and learning of its cultures and finding ancient ruins to explore was the “quests”.  Remove the predetermined set of experiences (quests) and just release the players into the world and let them create their own stories.  If we do this, we won’t be “cookie cutters” of each other.  We will truly have our own stories of where we have been and what we have seen and done.
 
Lathial

I think Blizzard agree's with you, at least in terms of Diablo, just look at how they are now delivering lore, and quest type data to the player, its done via voice over as the player is out in the field, cains voice groans out your headset explaining some lore about the spiky demon you just killed.

 

I also think that quests are good but have to agree that they should not be the sole purpose of play, I think all quest hubs should be removed from mmo's there should be no hints where to go, you leave the city and are faced with an open world to explore, while doing so you come accross a field full of rats and some farmer chasing them about, he shouts you over and asks if you will help him kill them, you do so happily killing all his pests for a small reward.

 

Put quests in or near their objective, make players look around the world to find them brings back exploration, keeps quests, the only quests that you should gain from a central location are epic quests that send out on some epic mission.

 

 

  GrayGhost79

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4885

10/17/11 8:54:19 AM#12
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by GrayGhost79


Originally posted by lizardbones
MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.



Yeah UO was 14 years ago. They are still up and running and still able to charge a monthly fee but the facts show the money is clearly in themeparks. 
AoC - oh wait...... they went free to play. 
DDO - oh wait...... they went free to play.
LotRO - oh wait..... they went free to play. 
STO - Oh wait......... they went free to play. 
DCUO - Oh wait....... they went free to play. 
CO - Oh wai........ they went free to play. 
Surely EQ2 - oh wait they went free to play. 
You know...... come to think of it. How many themeparks that have come along since EQ1 are still able to charge a monthly fee?
So sure....... some have made more money by adding quests. WoW, Rift, EQ1.....
But most seem forced to either go free to play or shut down. 
 




Making more money is making more money. Doesn't matter if you make more money with box sales, subscription fees or a cash shop.

 

Hey your right, just because players didn't enjoy the game enough to actually stick around and play it that shouldn't mean anything for an MMO. Long as you get that box sales. Most that play free to plays actually don't spend any cash, those that do though tend to spend a good bit so I will have to give that one to you. 

But keep in mind, that model seems to be tanking faster and faster with each release. The markets saturated with Themeparks and this is the biggest reason most themeparks fail to hold people or perform well. 

Also keep in mind some of the best selling games period, Non MMO of course are sandbox. 

While MMO devs seem to ignore this, at least other devs aren't. 

 

  Eladi

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 1043

10/17/11 8:55:44 AM#13
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Loktofeit


Originally posted by lizardbones
MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.



Very true. MUDs and the early MMOs has little or no questing. Most players back then were looking for a virtual world, whereas most players now are looking for online entertainment. Quests are a quick and easy way to meet the demands of today's audience.



I think there should be a new version of quests. We started with no quests, then we had the mission format we have now...now we need something better. A meta questing system.

I have no idea what a meta questing system would look like or how it would function. I suspect the game worlds that our games are housed in would need an upgrade before you could really upgrade the quest system.

 

unless you give every player a in game Job, questing is the closest thing you ever get. in rl you work/quest for you're money, you clean ten plates, greet 15 customers and investigate 4 problems  after you filled in 25 documents in the end your reward will be $xxxxx coins.

Quest are  simply the best and only way to keep it "fun" whiteout going into boring job like repetitive stuff we try to avoid when playing games.  how you package the quest is the only thing we will see some improvements in , specially whit gw2 en sw:tor  (gw a fair bit more) both will follow the go there and hey look you now have a side quest , and hey look, you can do something here whiteout the need to walk to a npc and back.

you either have no quest and try to be a sandbox(virtual life simulator) or a theme-park whit progression story novel book alike quest/work/adventure.

 

  sanshi44

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1020

10/17/11 9:05:08 AM#14
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by lizardbones

MMORPG started without quests. Companies added quests and they made more money.

Yeah UO was 14 years ago. They are still up and running and still able to charge a monthly fee but the facts show the money is clearly in themeparks. 

AoC - oh wait...... they went free to play. 

DDO - oh wait...... they went free to play.

LotRO - oh wait..... they went free to play. 

STO - Oh wait......... they went free to play. 

DCUO - Oh wait....... they went free to play. 

CO - Oh wai........ they went free to play. 

Surely EQ2 - oh wait they went free to play. 

You know...... come to think of it. How many themeparks that have come along since EQ1 are still able to charge a monthly fee? How many flops have there been? People are clinging to games like DFO and MO because there really isn't any other option. EvE is doing well still though. 

So sure....... some have made more money by adding quests. Aion, WoW, Rift, EQ1.....

But most seem forced to either go free to play or shut down. 

 

I liked Everquest 1 quests system they went realy quests the npc rewards people for items they are looking for these items drop anytime and dont need the quest for them to drop, the quest items were quite often no drop and you needed to find the npc that wasnt that item was quite fun looking for them, the epic weapon quest for your class was amazing  : )

I hate the games with the current quests system ! above head give u quest to kill 10 thing nearby and repeat sometime the quest varies but ther emostly kill 10 thing hand in number varies.

  User Deleted
10/17/11 9:07:13 AM#15

The biggest issue with removing quests is that many current players expect them.  They run around the world looking for "?" and when they can't find it, they say there's nothing to do.

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2645

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

10/17/11 9:08:35 AM#16

Quests are the alternative to grinding on mobs... though honestly... I do miss just senseless killing for leveling. Sure it wasn't that amazing all the time, but some games just made it fun and you could actually enjoy the experience. So much instant gratifcation though, people want a "BAM EXP/LEVEL" feel rather then "Oooo my bars slowly going up." 

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

10/17/11 9:10:22 AM#17
Originally posted by Lathial

 What if we took the quests out of MMO’s?

We'd have a fine collection of Korean Grinders.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Lexin

Novice Member

Joined: 3/09/05
Posts: 701

Mess With The Rest
Die Like The Best!

10/17/11 9:11:11 AM#18

I don't mind quests I just don't like the fact they give insane amounts of exp, currency, and gear.

  crysent

Novice Member

Joined: 6/01/05
Posts: 828

10/17/11 9:13:06 AM#19

It seems to me this has already been done before - Ultima Online had no real quest, Shadowbane was questless, Mortal Online, Darkfall at release. 

 

It's been done by a couple of "sandbox" MMO's - The result has not been as great as you would think...the big problem with questless MMO's is the powergamer, the guy who spends 14 hours a day playing MMO's and discovers everything within the first week leaving nothing for the casual player..

  Robgmur

Novice Member

Joined: 12/12/09
Posts: 323

10/17/11 9:15:19 AM#20

 Quests are also a functional alternative to 'grouping' in most cases. Although a lot of quests require groups or even raids, that brings in the 'X' factor content to that whole theme of the game. When I used to play EQ2, leveling from 1-90 was rough because grouping wasn't always there. Usually it was a few guildies/strangers and I running around trying to knock out the zone quests and also shooting for the heroic quests for some better gear. I think the best alternative to removing all quests would be to simply remove the one's that insult my intelligence lol.. I.e ("kill 20 of those baby boars".. then "kill 10 adult boars that are angry" and then I'll be damned " kill the Alpha boar! it's angry you killed his friends" and so forth) :( Why not just put the quest as -Keep killing the boars until the big Alpha one comes after you- it would add more suprise and excitement.

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