Daily Quest #1

I am constantly considering quests and missions of all sorts, thinking up new and interesting quests that I would love to see implemented into a wide variety of MMO’s. After all, this is ultimately what I want to do as a career, so shouldn’t I be thinking about this stuff? In that vein, I decided that I would come up with a new quest of some sort each day (hopefully) for either a specific game or one that would fit any number of MMO’s out. Obviously, without knowing the inner-workings of these games, some of the details might have to be shifted a bit, but they provide a general idea of what would happen. I also know nothing about the format these would be written in, so bear with me. So for the first day, I’ll create two. Since I’ve been playing Mythos mostly, I figured I’d use it for my quests today.

Game: Mythos

Quest Title: Helping Raskin

Setting: Instanced

Quest Giver: Raskin

Quest Giver Location: Stonehill

Quest Destination: Stonehill Valley

Quest Text: “Greetings <player>! It is truly an honor to meet you. Stories of your valour have reached even my little ears, which is saying something. Adventurers such as yourself do much to ease the fears of the villagers here in Stonehill, and we can never truly thank you for that. However, there is a task I would very much like your assistance with. Though it doesn’t involve slaying any great beasts, it is something that I fear I cannot do myself. You see, I am in need of some wood to fix several holes in my home, but no one in town seems willing to share any with me, so I need to go find some. I know of an old windmill that no longer works that would likely have some wood that I could use. I don’t think it would be missed since the valley is swarming with beasts, anyway. If you could go destroy it and bring back five of the best pieces, I would reward you for your efforts.

Reward: Unknown

How It Works: The windmill spawns in a random location with X hit points. After dealing X damage, the windmill explodes, splintering into a mass of pieces. The pieces worthy of retrieving are labelled as such, and once enough are collected, “‘Helping Raskin’ complete, return for your reward.” flashes briefly across the screen.

Obviously this wouldn’t need to be instanced, it would just need to be set to respawn on a regular basis so it could be completed by more than one person.

Game: Mythos

Quest Giver: Unknown

Quest Giver Location: Stonehill

Quest Destination: Stonehill Valley

Quest Text: “<player>, as I’m sure you know, Stonehill Valley is teeming with monsters of all kinds, but there is one kind that is truly a nuisance: the Lazarus Beetle. They have the power to resurrect their fallen allies, and they must be stopped.

This is not all, however. Their wings have powerful magical properties. If you could bring me 15 of their wings, this would provide me with plenty of material to experiment with as well as craft you a fine cape. This cape can also be imbued with other properties, depending on what you need. If you desire to be stronger, a wolf’s frayed hide would be required. Should you seek great intelligence, the eye of a hollow would serve well. Greater dexterity could be achieved with the use of an imp claw. Bring me the wings and the reagent of your choice, and the cape will be yours.

Reward: 1,500 xp and:
“Lustrous cape of [modifier]” Stats: 8 armor, +5 to all attributes, with a +3 bonus based on the reagent.

How it works: It’s pretty self-explanatory. The creatures could of course be switched, and the drops could be things that they already drop, so they wouldn’t necessarily need to be a unique item used just for this quest, but the general idea is there.

I think the idea that you can alter your quest reward is one that hasn’t really been used enough. Yes, there are currently reward choices, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to alter the stats to suit you better? Obviously they could simply offer more items, but I think this is better because something that you do (acquiring the reagent) has an effect on your reward.

So there are a few quests I thought up. More than anything, this is a way for me to get some of my thoughts out. I just figured they might be worth putting up here. Let me know what you think. I tried to make them pretty simple so they wouldn’t be all that tough to implement. Obviously, the windmill explosion would have to be created, but barrels and crates can explode, so the ability to do this is already there.

~Kanthalos

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9 comments so far

  1. Tim on

    Great idea for a recurring MMOre Insight feature!

    I like the customizable reward with the Lazurus Beetle. You could tweak the quest so that harder-to-earn components gave better rewards.

    I’d practice paring down your quest text, and I say that as someone who loves lore in games. Your goal is to give maximum flavour in minimum words. I bet you could eliminate 50 percent of Raskin’s words without losing meaning or tone.

    Looking forward to more.

  2. kanthalos on

    Yeah, I suppose it’s just a matter of making quests feel more alive and interesting versus sticking to the point. It’s all about finding the right balance.

  3. isobelle on

    those sound as about generic as any quest in any of the games i’ve played. if you’re looking to be dropped into a dev team and not make waves then those would certainly fit right in.

    here’s a BRAND NEW quest idea that took me all of 12 seconds to think up:

    (We Don’t Need No Stinking Potions)

    (flavor quest text, blha blah blah BUT A TRUE WARRIOR HAS NO NEED OF SUCH TRIVIALITIES! MY CHALLENGE TO *YOU* [playername] IS TO FORM A GROUP AND SLAY THE KEEPER OF TOWER X, BUT WITHOUT ANY PARTY MEMBERS USING ANY POTIONS! WORD OF YOUR VICTORY WILL SPREAD FAR AND blah blah blah vanilla quest text here)

    wow! a brand new quest idea that i’ve NEVER seen done! imagine pugging it! you’d need to verify that everyone in the group is on the same page, and everyone knows not to pot or whatever from the instant they zone in till the last boss is dead.

    you could tailor it for solo play:

    GO FORTH AND SLAY CHIKEN LITTLE, BUT BE WARY! HIS HEARING IS SO FINELY TUNED, THAT HE CAN HEAR THE CLINK OF CHAINMAIL APPROACHING! YOU MUST THROTTLE THIS NEFARIOUS DEMON BUT NAKED! GO FORTH, AND BRING OUR TOWN GREAT blah blah blah.

    … see where i’m going here? kill 800 wolves and bring me back 500 noses is lame. the genre needs NEW ideas, not rehashes of the same boring crap we’ve been doing forever.

  4. isobelle on

    and yeah, i didn’t spellcheck. sosueme.

  5. kanthalos on

    Bitter much?

    Besides, how often have you come across quests where you destroy structures or tailor quest rewards based on what you turn in? They aren’t life-changing, but they offer something new. Not every quest can be completely “zomgawesome” for two reasons. First of all, it would be far too difficult to create enough concepts for quests that were entirely unique and original. It would just take too much time and too many resources. Second, if you want to make quests feel completely unique and original, this likely means creating new resources, unique items, game mechanics, and structures to interact with that simply can’t be done on a quest-by-quest basis.

    It’s a matter of taking the tools that you’re given and working from there. I was working under the idea that I would require as few unique resources or game mechanics as I could to do what I wanted, because that would frequently be the only way a quest would be implemented. I included some slight innovations that make the quests more interesting than “kill 10 foozles” and “bring me 10 foozle furs” keeping that in mind. If you are this cynical about questing in MMO’s, why even bother writing this comment, and why bother playing MMO’s at all for that matter?

  6. isobelle on

    the “it would be too difficult” excuse is the reason there’s no diversity in the first place. everyone just wants to jump on the bandwagon and try to cash in on what works.

    the first MMO that comes along to “shake the very foundations” will be the one that beats wow.

    by just making another football game that does what madden already does doesn’t give anyone incentive to try something new. this is the major problem facing the MMO market.

    as for being bitter? um, ok? you posted two quest ideas that could be found off of NPC865 in Zone453 and nobody would bat an eyelash at. just click the guy, hit the OK button, and blah blah blah, here i am in vanilla MMO#2343. i don’t want to toot my own horn, but i think if i came across either of the two quests i crapped out, i would have at least stopped and reread the quest log to make sure i understood it right. the quest itself has more going on than “fight X to loot Y” whether X is a windmill or tiger is moot.

    your second choice offered has a variation to it, but it can be boiled down to “fight X OR Y for doodad P OR Q”.

    i mean, whatever. you’re absolutely right. why innovate when “it would be far too difficult to create enough concepts for quests that were entirely unique and original”, right?

    /sigh

  7. kanthalos on

    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be innovation, I’m just saying that writing up quest ideas that require a wide array of entirely new game mechanics and resources would get far more flack than those bordering on the conservative side. What good is writing up the coolest quest in the world if it is impossible to actually implement? Yes, there can be the occasional quest that steps outside of the boundaries, but the vast majority need to make slight innovations, not huge leaps. In terms of coming up with new concepts for quests, I qualified this by saying that they would also need to be implemented which is another challenge and time sink for developers. Combining those two things means that you really need to pick and choose when and where to implement quests that really go above and beyond versus quests that are run-of-the-mill to slightly more innovative.

    As for “the one that will beat WoW,” this statement is a huge problem with the industry right now.

  8. Tim on

    Isobelle’s harsh, but the idea of completing a quest with arbitrary limits (no potions, no armour) is a good twist.

    Technically, I’m not sure most MMOs could monitor player behaviour throughout the quest without extra programming. It might be easier to put the quest in an instance and block players from entering until they dropped their disallowed gear.

    Isobelle’s main point is sound too — if you’re auditioning for a gaming job, it’s better to have memorable, eye-catching quests that push the boundaries than a portfolio of variations on existing quests.

    You’re right that recognizing the limits of the system is important. Finding ways to do more with the existing tools is what will make you stand out.

    Depths of Peril found some interesting ways to spice up standard Diablo/MMO-style quests without adding too much complication. Might be worth a look.

    I hope you don’t take these workshopping-style comments as spiteful criticism. I’d love to see you get a gaming job.

  9. kanthalos on

    hehe, I’m an English major, I know how workshops go, and I understand their purpose. I’m not afraid of criticism, I just want it to be backed up with a reason or a solution, which you have provided. Thank you, and I’ll look try to spice things up a bit more next time 🙂


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