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Quest Building

Guest Writer Posted:
Developer Journals 0

As I type this, I sit at my desk, the final draft of a new quest script laid out before me. Over the last month, this script has gone through several revisions, as we've received new information, new insight, and new flashes of inspiration. The relief of having the finished project in hand is incredibly freeing, and yet there's a part of me that feels trepidation at the thought that soon, thousands upon thousands of players will be running through these quests. This work that I've poured so much effort into will soon face the judgment of that core group of players who closely follow the Atlantica plot.

We take our quests very seriously. A lot of care is taken in crafting intriguing scenarios, with an intricate web of figures and organizations working in the background of the story for the players to puzzle out. And of course, there's also the experience--one of Atlantica's crown jewels is its battle system, so why would we want to waste that by making players grind their levels out? Your experience of the game should be the exciting quests you went on, the guild and nation raids you did with your friends, and the heated battles you have with your rivals, not hours spent fighting the same mobs over and over again.

To this end, with every patch we do we focus on adding quests in two directions. First, we add new high-level dungeons, typically with one or two questlines, offering a new level of challenge for our highest level players. Second, we flesh out existing areas, adding new quests and bits of lore to help our users edge their way to the next tier. During beta, I remember players mentioning that there weren't enough quests around level 70 to 80, and that they had to grind. A little after launch, the big gap was in the high 90s. At the time of this writing, the most grind happens after level 100, but even that is rapidly changing with each addition of new content.

As the game has grown, we've also seen new storylines emerge that run in parallel with the main quest to find Atlantis. In North America, mysterious forces are at work to wreck havoc (as mysterious forces are wont to do). In Central Asia, a group called Chin Tai Dong Do is pulling the strings of several nations. And throughout the world, the Historia Association is creating a monopoly on historical artifacts, a theme that Atlantica Online takes and runs with.

The Historia plotline is somewhat unique in its structure. For several patches, players have been able to find dispatchers and representatives of the association who would send them on various tasks, protecting ancient ruins or excavating precious treasures. It's a great way to gain some extra experience when you're between levels, and even better, some of these quests can be repeated daily without having to use any extra items to reset them. Many of these quests also rewarded the players with special insignias that could be collected and traded for goods and supplies, creating a sort of secondary currency within the game. Still, until now, we've only seen the surface of Historia's operations, which is one of the things that has me excited about our next update.

Sitting in my pile of scripts is the newest series of quests in the Historia line. Very soon, players will have the opportunity to become a full-fledged member of the Association, as they get to know and work with one of Historia's top minds. We'll get to learn more about the Association's inner workings, motivations, and best of all, actually get to become a part of it.

As we continue to build up and add more of these side quests, you can be certain to see more such crowning moments. There are entire continents left to explore, and even in the regions that are open there's plenty of room for more intrigue and mystery. One thing is certain: the possibilities for future adventures are endless.


Guest Writer