Make Quests More Fun!

This is sort of in response to both Tipa and Darren which I’m going to sort of combine. Tipa wants a game thats more difficult, intuitive, and puts more faith in the players. Darren quoted someone from WAR describing a quest which was actually rather amusing. I’m going to sort of combine them and discuss realistic expectations for what we should expect from quests in MMO’s coming out soon or enhancements to current games. While we can say that we want town-building, better AI on mobs, player created content and a whole slew of other things, there is one thing that can be improved which is far easier to implement and isn’t too much to ask for. Better quest writing. Quests should be interesting enough to the players that they should WANT to read them. No more of this crap on your screen that says “Commander Keen (hehe) wants six wolf hides: 4/6” Quests should interest enough that they can’t be summarized into one sentence at the bottom of the quest with a number on your screen telling you how many more you need.

For instance, you find a dilapidated tower in the middle of the woods has been taken over by some goblins. Occasionally a patrol walks around the tower but eventually go back inside. If the patrol spots you, they would shout to the others and they would all charge you, forcing you to flee or fight. If things go well though, this won’t happen. A pile of hefty stones is laying at the back of the tower, which you can pick up and place in front of the door once the patrol walks back inside. You could then toss an explosive to the top of the tower, burning the goblins alive. If you don’t secure the door well enough they could burst through enraged and attack you dealing twice as much damage with only half health, but if you secure it tightly you watch them jump from the top of the burning tower falling to their death. Once the tower burns down, you enter to find a lockbox containing a jewel that could be returned for a reward, or simply sold. You could gain faction for killing the goblins, a reward (monetary or item) for the jewel, and you’d get to watch a tower burn to the ground! This shouldn’t even be that difficult to code either. LotRO has the ability to pick up, carry, and drop things as does Guild Wars so it’s already in games. Then you would just have to determine whether the stone adequately secured the door or not then they would break out or jump out accordingly. If you had more than one person, you could put multiple stones at the door to secure it better.

This is much more thrilling than “Armorsmith Stonehand needs lumber for a shield, you should be able to find some in the outlying forest.” I mean come on, a nine year old could come up with that. So there you have it. Quests simply need to be written better and with more originality. All it takes is a little imagination. That took me five minutes to come up with, and while there might be some flaws to work out, it has a lot of potential, and it’s pretty interesting (or so I think.)

~Kanthalos

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4 comments so far

  1. Wombat on

    Most MMOs do tend to rely too much on delivery/fetch quests and kill quests. I did like the use of item carrying/dropping in Guild Wars. EQ2 also innovated in letting you move items around the game world (such as stacking crates to get into otherwise inaccessible areas, etc.) Yet, sadly, even those games still ended up being mostly delivery/fetch quests and kill quests. Its just that much easier, I guess…

  2. […] was mentioned here (wish my writing was as good as hers) and here, this is also the sixth bullet (posted 5th) in my quest system paper, there is the need to remove […]

  3. freeletterst on

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  4. Malissa Juarez on

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