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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is there really any way to "spice up" quests?

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  MMOwanderer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 417

9/12/12 8:29:48 AM#41
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Volkon

Yeah, you think you have it bad now? More on Hercules: (From here, credit where credit's due)


 

Thank you Volkon, I pretty much said the exact same thing in another thread.

If one goes through all our favorite mythology stories you find that all quests boil down to the same simple but enjoyable formulas.

Maybe players forget the "role playing" part and don't use their imagination when they kill Aunt Edda's giant wyvern in the garden.

One player kills a giant Wyvern threatening Aunt Edda and her prized beet pies and another gets 150 xp but no cool drops.

The difference is that Hercule's taks felt important. In single player games, kill, fight, destroy, fed ex, collect, etc, is what you do all the time. However, it feels important, like you're making a different, taking part in something epic and majestic, and whatever else words of large importance i can think off.

If Hercule's taksks where just a bunch of disconnected quests with no real meaning to the world, of course they'd be alot more boring.

Using my farmer example again, if doing these kinds of jobs eventually connected to a larger storyline, with characters, items and weapons, if doing them "meant" something, i'd be fine, IMO. But what you get in mmos is just work that makes you think "why am i doing this? Who are these people? What si it that i'm delivering? Why can't teh npc's do it themselves?" etc.

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

9/12/12 8:41:23 AM#42
Originally posted by MMOwanderer
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Volkon

Yeah, you think you have it bad now? More on Hercules: (From here, credit where credit's due)


 

Thank you Volkon, I pretty much said the exact same thing in another thread.

If one goes through all our favorite mythology stories you find that all quests boil down to the same simple but enjoyable formulas.

Maybe players forget the "role playing" part and don't use their imagination when they kill Aunt Edda's giant wyvern in the garden.

One player kills a giant Wyvern threatening Aunt Edda and her prized beet pies and another gets 150 xp but no cool drops.

The difference is that Hercule's taks felt important. In single player games, kill, fight, destroy, fed ex, collect, etc, is what you do all the time. However, it feels important, like you're making a different, taking part in something epic and majestic, and whatever else words of large importance i can think off.

If Hercule's taksks where just a bunch of disconnected quests with no real meaning to the world, of course they'd be alot more boring.

Using my farmer example again, if doing these kinds of jobs eventually connected to a larger storyline, with characters, items and weapons, if doing them "meant" something, i'd be fine, IMO. But what you get in mmos is just work that makes you think "why am i doing this? Who are these people? What si it that i'm delivering? Why can't teh npc's do it themselves?" etc.

Hercules tasks were pretty much a bunch of disconnected quests with no real meaning to the world. All they were for, really, was to satisfy one person, King Eurystheus of Tiryns. People in Rome didn't care if Hercules was catching cattle, killing chickens or cleaning poop.

 

That last sentence was deliberate. Basically, it's all in the delivery. Take GW2, for example. There's an event in the lower level zones (15 - 25 I think...) where a giant breaks into and takes over a small town, killing everyone inside. Basically, you have the monumental task of killing the giant and libarating the town. To top it off, the giant is far two powerful for one or even a small handful of people... it takes a good number of people in the zone to come together, kill the giant and save the town. When the giant is dead, the town is once again a place with NPCs, merchants, etc. that everyone can share in... until the next attack. Delivery is what matters. The aforementioned "kill quest" becomes a lot more epic in feel when delivered right. Hercules tasks seem a lot less epic when described at a basic level... killing birds, catching cows, holding something for Atlas while he does the work, etc.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  dave6660

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2350

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

9/12/12 9:48:13 AM#43
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by dave6660

For the forseeable future I'm done with quests.  Unless I absolutely have to complete them to get through the game I don't bother anymore.

What bothers me most about them is they are virtually impossible to fail.  In thr process of me "Killing 10 boars" even if I die 7,372 times they consider it a sucess.  In the process of "Picking up 10 rocks" even if it takes me 3 years to complete they consider it a success.

 

Well, it would be easy to reset quests if you die once or a few times during them but the problem is realy that in most MMOs you can have quests in your log for months without completing them.

GW2 and TSW are really right there, what totally blows are overfilled questlogs.

Quest or DEs should be large and epic, when someone ask me to pick up 10 rocks lying next to him I hust get mad, I am an adventurer, not a manservant. Conan would have him beaten just for asking.

That's where I think they're going wrong.  Just as all quests have a sucess condition, all quests should also have a failure condition.  Once a quest is failed it should not be repeatable, ever.  The NPC should then lead you down an alternate quest line.  The quest lines can become like the old "choose your own adventure" books. 

I agree there are just too many menial quests.  That's probably part of the reason most players don't read the quest text anymore.  The stories are silly and the objective is trivial.  I would rather see fewer but with grander purpose and more difficult to complete.

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

9/12/12 10:47:29 AM#44
Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by dave6660

For the forseeable future I'm done with quests.  Unless I absolutely have to complete them to get through the game I don't bother anymore.

What bothers me most about them is they are virtually impossible to fail.  In thr process of me "Killing 10 boars" even if I die 7,372 times they consider it a sucess.  In the process of "Picking up 10 rocks" even if it takes me 3 years to complete they consider it a success.

 

Well, it would be easy to reset quests if you die once or a few times during them but the problem is realy that in most MMOs you can have quests in your log for months without completing them.

GW2 and TSW are really right there, what totally blows are overfilled questlogs.

Quest or DEs should be large and epic, when someone ask me to pick up 10 rocks lying next to him I hust get mad, I am an adventurer, not a manservant. Conan would have him beaten just for asking.

That's where I think they're going wrong.  Just as all quests have a sucess condition, all quests should also have a failure condition.  Once a quest is failed it should not be repeatable, ever.  The NPC should then lead you down an alternate quest line.  The quest lines can become like the old "choose your own adventure" books. 

I agree there are just too many menial quests.  That's probably part of the reason most players don't read the quest text anymore.  The stories are silly and the objective is trivial.  I would rather see fewer but with grander purpose and more difficult to complete.

So you're talking about making quests once again single player lines instead of the more open world cooperative system GW2 has (for example)? You'd have to, otherwise someone that missed it originally would never see it and others could affect the whole pass/fail thing. After events in GW2 there's no way single player static quests would appeal to me personally, even if they did have fail options. Too linear, too "me only, the heck with what everyone else is doing".

Oderint, dum metuant.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3373

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

9/12/12 7:05:48 PM#45


Originally posted by Tardcore

Originally posted by Volkon

Originally posted by kadepsyson

Originally posted by Loke666 I am an advanturer, not a manservant.
Exactly!  I mean, I'm this human that has a MAGICAL bow that shoots an INFINITE amount of arrows, and with that I've managed to slay over a thousand centaurs, I've banished ghosts, and helped take down enemies so immense they could have ravaged all of civilization!  But, sure, I'll just be cleaning up your cows.  I don't know why I'm cleaning your cows, but if I don't I won't get these achievement points, see?  These points are important, not because they do anything, which they don't, but because without achievements, well now there wouldn't be anything left to do.
  You know... even Hercules had a task to clean stables. You think you're better than Hercules? Well, DO YOU?!
Yeah and he did it in the most ass way possible. He just redirected a river to flood the place out. "Yeah great work Herc, its spotless. Too bad all my family and livestock have drowned, my crops are ruined, and my house has been swept away ..  ya big dummy."


I bet he never got asked to clean stables again, though :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17500

9/12/12 7:19:06 PM#46
Originally posted by MMOwanderer
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Volkon

Yeah, you think you have it bad now? More on Hercules: (From here, credit where credit's due)


 

Thank you Volkon, I pretty much said the exact same thing in another thread.

If one goes through all our favorite mythology stories you find that all quests boil down to the same simple but enjoyable formulas.

Maybe players forget the "role playing" part and don't use their imagination when they kill Aunt Edda's giant wyvern in the garden.

One player kills a giant Wyvern threatening Aunt Edda and her prized beet pies and another gets 150 xp but no cool drops.

The difference is that Hercule's taks felt important. In single player games, kill, fight, destroy, fed ex, collect, etc, is what you do all the time. However, it feels important, like you're making a different, taking part in something epic and majestic, and whatever else words of large importance i can think off.

If Hercule's taksks where just a bunch of disconnected quests with no real meaning to the world, of course they'd be alot more boring.

Using my farmer example again, if doing these kinds of jobs eventually connected to a larger storyline, with characters, items and weapons, if doing them "meant" something, i'd be fine, IMO. But what you get in mmos is just work that makes you think "why am i doing this? Who are these people? What si it that i'm delivering? Why can't teh npc's do it themselves?" etc.

Well, I can, for the most part, agree wtih you.

one of the reasons I stopped playing LOTRO was because, in the latest expansion, I got to a point where the quests were "go help the people around the town". And all that was "work". job stuff. I started saying "no" and just continued to explore on my own, only the land just looks so bland at the moment so that was pretty much it.

Where's the hero stuff? or the master thief stuff? or Master Assassin? or the mage who is going beyond what simple dime store mages do by truly reaching for master magics? To use fantasy examples.

if there are going to be quests, there need to be fewer quests but more involved, longer quests. I don't mind fetching something if the journey from "hey I need you to get this ..." to "... he reached up, clutching the chalice in his weak but resolute grip only to notice the pale face in the corner, smiling knowingly in the pale light" is interesting and involves me thinking at times, me fighting my way through things, me discovering things, etc.

But most quests are short and feel like some sort of relay race. Or they have horrible components such as go talk with x when x is standing right next to the guy talking. Then after you talk with x, y wants a word again. Asian games do this a lot. Or they send you across the city to talk with someone only to be sent back to talk with the person who sent you in the first place.

ooo I just shivered with disgust. Maybe that's an example of the "have you ever been disgusted in an mmo" thread.

 

 

 

  User Deleted
9/12/12 8:57:22 PM#47

How to spice up a quest?

Remove the NPC

 

Create a NEED for the player to kill that perticular mob that doesnt require a developer to reward them with a crap amount of xp and junk gear.

Add the threat of full loot pvp

 

Bam...a very spicy "quest"

  TobiasGrey

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/12
Posts: 170

9/12/12 9:21:00 PM#48

Easily. 

 

First make them actually quests again, like they were before WoW systemized them and made them the primary way to level up.

Make them fewer, but far more important, with some actual puzzle solving and exploration involved. Make them more about the world than exp grinding. Basically, how Dark Age of Camelot to have them.

 

And actually make the quests branch and have an impact on the world, like in GW2.

 

Done.

 

The more quests you have the worse they are. Don't make leveling depend on them, don't systemize them, and you're all set.

  Oracle_Fefe

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/04/10
Posts: 219

Feethree

 
OP  9/26/12 1:13:01 PM#49
Originally posted by TobiasGrey

Easily. 

 

First make them actually quests again, like they were before WoW systemized them and made them the primary way to level up.

Make them fewer, but far more important, with some actual puzzle solving and exploration involved. Make them more about the world than exp grinding. Basically, how Dark Age of Camelot to have them.

 

And actually make the quests branch and have an impact on the world, like in GW2.

 

Done.

 

The more quests you have the worse they are. Don't make leveling depend on them, don't systemize them, and you're all set.

How were they like "before WoW systemized them"? Just a curiosity cause the only game I've played before Warcraft was Runescape. I have to admit I enjoy the questing there because they feel well-made, sparse, and involve a plethora of tasks with good rewards for a great of them.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17500

9/26/12 1:19:33 PM#50

yes.

and that way is not to make thousands of the same quest where the crux of the quest is to open your map, follow the glowing x, click on something, kill x of something and then return and then do it again thousands more times.

Every quest you find in mythology, fantasy/sci-fi/western books, movies, etc all follow the same goals.

What is different about them is that the journey to complete the quest has many different segments and sub adventures that help shape the hero and his/her parfy.

To use a somewhat cliched example, the Lord of the Rings is essentially leaving point A, going to point B, right clicking on the mountain, spawning golum, fighting him (mini-boss) cue a cut scene and then spawnign back at Elrond's place for your reward.

But obviously, everyone who has read the books or seen the movies know that it's much more than this.

  Dakirn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 373

9/26/12 1:25:37 PM#51

Someone is going to have to go back to what a "quest" is in order for quests to change.

 

"Quests" in MMOs today aren't quests, they're tasks.  A Quest is Frodo taking the One Ring to Mt. Doom and throwing it into the Lava.  Quests in current MMOs aren't like that.. they're tasks that are exactly the same for every player.

 

The only game I've seen promising to change this is Citadel of Sorcery (and maybe Origins of Malu but they don't offer much information on HOW they're going to be dynamic for each player).

 

Not much activity for Citadel of Sorcery on these forums but the devs seem to post a lot on their official forums.  We may even get to see the game sometime soon because they've been talking about a Kickstarter sometime soon.

 

I hope someone can change it because they are horribad tedious these days :(

  nariusseldon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

9/26/12 1:52:51 PM#52

Phase the world so that quest outcomes can change the world (for the player who completed).

To some extent, quests are just excuses to kill lots of stuff. Make combat fun. I have been playing Borderland 2 lately, and the tasks in each quests is very little different than those in MMOs .. find x, kill y, click on the stone, .... the only difference is a) presentation (with full voice acting, cut scenes and scripting), and b) the world changed afterwards. In fact, in BL2, the world does not change that much either.

 

  tupodawg999

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 623

9/27/12 6:36:06 AM#53
Originally posted by Oracle_Fefe

There are some negative comments from any game that may be due to a repetitive quest system that feels more like a chore list rather than something "immersive" or whatever word is used in place of "immersive".

But, besides for changing the lore, is there a way to actually make a quest more fun and immersive at all to please some people? From what I've seen from posts they tend to be:

 

- Kill a creature, creatures, or objects defended by creatures

- Round up items to give, from killing creatures or picking them somewhere near creatures

- Escort someone to somewhere, defending them from creature ambushes.

- Activate a series of objects, usually accompanied by creature or spawns a creature itself.

- Talk to someone, either right next to you or somewhere else near some creatures.

- Unlikely related, but deliver something,  go through roads full of creatures or to next questhub.

- Rough up someone with the strength of a creature until they get to low health.

- Enter some dungeon, cave, or lair and complete it, usually by ridding it of all creatures.

 

Perhaps it's because the quests are all seperate and gives its own form of XP that people don't like to see. What if there was a game that could let you do all of that but in a series that makes sense and then rewards you with something more then levels, more then items. Some sort of "trait" or "talent" or "skill" point or whatever it's called nowadays.

 

Would there be anything else devs could do to spice up quests without it getting stale, or is it set in stone as of this age?

 

If different classes did different quests then the quests could be tailored to those classes e.g. a thief quest might involve successfully running, jumping and climbing over city rooftops or successfully slipping from one patch of shadow to another when wandering guards were looking the other way.

 

  Purutzil

Elite Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2904

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

9/27/12 6:47:05 AM#54

In the end quests WILL be the same. How its presented is what will change. Guildwars 2 tries to do this and its 'nice' at first, but after the first few it quickly becomes stale and often times more tedious, requiring lots of work to complete one quest that feels over-redundant, specailly if your skipping the 'lame' parts of a quest and going with more fun parts like killing stuff. Events which have been around for some time now have been a good way to change up the pace but they typically follow a format similiar to a quest though more 'flashy'. 

 

Quests can't really be changed, they will always be basically the same. How they are presented though and handled can be adjusted. A shift from quests to things like events or other delivery methods are probably the best solution for players to handle questing.

  tupodawg999

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 623

9/27/12 7:09:30 AM#55
Originally posted by MMOwanderer
Originally posted by Aelious

GW2's active events and TSW's investigation/sabatage additions have already shown ways to make "questing" better.  I'll speak on the static, icon based questing that is left:

 

  • Show a difference between "task" and "quest".  A farmer needing gophers killed is a task.  Frodo getting kicked around over three movies to get a ring to a volcano is a quest.  A real quest should be multi-tiered and span a few areas.
 

Agreed with this. Having static pve type tasks to do is perfectly fine, even in a sandbox. But they need to feel like that. A quests is an epic storyline adventure.

I have not problem with halping farmers do their job if it's just a side activitty or, that those jobs end up connecting to something very epic and important for the general are. Just collecting fish, rats, rabbits, cows, etc, etc all by itself is not what i call questing.

 

I actually like those kind of chore quests early on but i want them to fade out as i level up. I'd also like them to be flagged for things like class and morality choices so an apprentice wizard gets different chores than a new village militia recruit and paladins aren't asked to randomly murder people for some spare cash.

 

  tupodawg999

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 623

9/27/12 7:53:07 AM#56
Originally posted by Oracle_Fefe
Originally posted by TobiasGrey

Easily. 

 

First make them actually quests again, like they were before WoW systemized them and made them the primary way to level up.

Make them fewer, but far more important, with some actual puzzle solving and exploration involved. Make them more about the world than exp grinding. Basically, how Dark Age of Camelot to have them.

 

And actually make the quests branch and have an impact on the world, like in GW2.

 

Done.

 

The more quests you have the worse they are. Don't make leveling depend on them, don't systemize them, and you're all set.

How were they like "before WoW systemized them"? Just a curiosity cause the only game I've played before Warcraft was Runescape. I have to admit I enjoy the questing there because they feel well-made, sparse, and involve a plethora of tasks with good rewards for a great of them.

 

Quests weren't the main source of exp so the rewards tended to be cash, faction or gear and as most of the good gear quests required minimum levels of faction before you could get the gear quest you'd only do the ones where you particularly wanted the reward which automatically made completing them feel better.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

9/27/12 8:48:38 AM#57

LESS number of quests (like 30% of current number) but more complex, longer and with randomized locations so it is less possible to use information databases. 

Also totally not existing quest gps / 98% of current markers including ones over NPC heads.

 

 

Current situaiton though is not working for sizeable part of players.   Insane amount of short 'quests' when you follow arrow or markers is NOT A GAME

When i do quests - PLAYING is figuring out what to do, looking for something, making decisions and sometimes fighting.

 

When you follow an arrow or marker on map or highlight on the ground - then I am not making any decisions, not using my brain, not look for anything - ergo I am NOT PLAYING  Just making some time consuming chore in order to get "XP".

 

================================

Above won't work in many mmorpg's because:

a) some players like to follow an arrow and don't want to find / figure out by themself

b) some players don't like to do quests or even levelling and then just want to do end game instances since first minute of gameplay

 

Thing is it is propably not possible anymore to create one game for all types of players.

 

===================================================================

GW2 try to mitage that dividing game into 3 sub-games: Arenas PvP which is TOTALLY separated from rest of the game,  WvWvW and PVE which are partially separated from themself and totally separated from sPvP / arenas.

 

This design works but I DOUBT it will work if majority of mmorpg's would copy it or even go further with it.

 

Like I said countless times - mmorpg playerbase IS fragmented, those 'fragments' of playerbase want sometimes totally DIFFRENT things from an mmorpg and it is no more possible to make universal design that will work for huge majority of mmorpg playerbase like WoW once did for long years.

 

That's also why adding cinematics nad voice-overs did not help. Because it did not change a game.

 

So @OP question is:   what audience you want to make mmorpg for?  what are your sales targets? what business model? what is your vision for an mmorpg and what should be main gameplay? ,etc

 

There is no universal best questing system anymore.  I would say that sizeable percentage of what we call mmorpg today don't even need any questing or open world.

  nariusseldon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

9/27/12 1:35:09 PM#58
Originally posted by Sovrath

yes.

and that way is not to make thousands of the same quest where the crux of the quest is to open your map, follow the glowing x, click on something, kill x of something and then return and then do it again thousands more times.

Every quest you find in mythology, fantasy/sci-fi/western books, movies, etc all follow the same goals.

What is different about them is that the journey to complete the quest has many different segments and sub adventures that help shape the hero and his/her parfy.

To use a somewhat cliched example, the Lord of the Rings is essentially leaving point A, going to point B, right clicking on the mountain, spawning golum, fighting him (mini-boss) cue a cut scene and then spawnign back at Elrond's place for your reward.

But obviously, everyone who has read the books or seen the movies know that it's much more than this.

Fun has NOTHING to do the the quest. It has to do with the gameplay interaction like combat.

Killing 10 rats is not fun in a MMO where you take them one by one, with very little challenge.

Killing 100 rats is fun in Diablo when you can blow up 10 at a time, but can die to an elite rat.

Killing 100 rats is fun in borderland 2 when you can use terrain to snipe them first, and then blow them up with grenades.

It is really about the combat gameplay. Quests are just excuses to kill stuff.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17500

9/27/12 1:39:57 PM#59
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Sovrath

yes.

and that way is not to make thousands of the same quest where the crux of the quest is to open your map, follow the glowing x, click on something, kill x of something and then return and then do it again thousands more times.

Every quest you find in mythology, fantasy/sci-fi/western books, movies, etc all follow the same goals.

What is different about them is that the journey to complete the quest has many different segments and sub adventures that help shape the hero and his/her parfy.

To use a somewhat cliched example, the Lord of the Rings is essentially leaving point A, going to point B, right clicking on the mountain, spawning golum, fighting him (mini-boss) cue a cut scene and then spawnign back at Elrond's place for your reward.

But obviously, everyone who has read the books or seen the movies know that it's much more than this.

Fun has NOTHING to do the the quest. It has to do with the gameplay interaction like combat.

Killing 10 rats is not fun in a MMO where you take them one by one, with very little challenge.

Killing 100 rats is fun in Diablo when you can blow up 10 at a time, but can die to an elite rat.

Killing 100 rats is fun in borderland 2 when you can use terrain to snipe them first, and then blow them up with grenades.

It is really about the combat gameplay. Quests are just excuses to kill stuff.

And what about the people who don't care about the "killing" and care more about the story or situation?

This was a large thread in LOTRO closed beta, where some players thought the combat was lacking but others didn't really care because to them the game wasn't about the combat.

Now is the time where you own up and say that you are one of the players who don't read the quests and just hit "ok". Or spacebar through the animated dialogue.

I could be wrong and will eat those words if I am, but I suspect, given your answer, that I'm not too far off the mark.

 

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