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  1. #1
    Game Journalist Reputation: 484

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    Default Just a Thought

    So, I was talking with a friend of mine who is working on a small MMO-style project with some friends and students. He showed me their work-in-progress web-page and as I was reading their "vision," I realized something.

    However, before I go further, here's the portion of the text that made the click.

    Do they honestly think everyone isn't going to realize that they're ALL the legendary hero of that town? On top of this it seems every hero of the land has been reduced to a loafer who goes and kills 10 wolves for the farmer in order to make a living.

    Now, I doubt any of you have actually read any of my reviews, but if you had, you would noticed that I absolutely hate questing in themepark MMOs. It's repetitive, boring, and mind-numbing. Mostly because you're doing the same exact thing that every other Joe Hero is doing, which is (more likely than not) a kill quest that has you killing X amount of Y mob so that you can get Y reward.

    Honestly, til this point, I've done nothing but ***** about the problem. Usually I'll get fed up with a themepark game and just go play a sandbox to help recharge my batteries, so to speak. However, when I read that paragraph it got me thinking.

    Why do quests in MMOs have to be so boring, repetitive, and exactly the same? Why can't developers add in some randomness. It honestly doesn't have to be too much.

    One idea I had is, instead of telling a person exactly how many wolves they need to kill, just have the quest ask them to help thin out the local population of wolves and not tell them exactly how many to kill. Eventually, when the hidden value is reached, the quest will update with something like "That seems like enough, return to the Village Elder for your reward." Then you could take it a step further and have that hidden value of wolves that need to be killed be slightly randomized. Just a quick roll of virtual die to determine the exact amount that need to be killed (you might get lucky and have to kill less than others, or have to kill a few more).

    You could even take it a bit further and have the number of people who have completed that quest recently become a modifier in the roll. Perhaps if a lot of people are completing that quests today, you will get an automatic -4 to the number of wolves you need to kill, applied before or after the dice roll that determines the hidden value of wolves needed to be killed?

    Then, perhaps, the NPC could reward to according to how many wolves you needed to kill. If you only had to kill very few because a lot of people were doing the quest and you got a low roll, you would just get a bit of gold and a few potions and be sent on your way (this is mostly because I'm a fan of crafted gear and hate the quest gear in games...). However, what if you were the first person to do the quest that day so the wolf population (theoretically... it doesn't even have to be physically represented in the game...), and you got a high roll that increased the amount of wolves you need to kill to the max.

    The Village Elder could then see that you had to kill quite a number of wolves and that it must have taken you a lot of work. So, he gives you an item (probably a weapon) that have some randomized stats, a bit of extra gold, several potions, and maybe a hint/side-quest that will lead you to another, similar quest that is a bit harder and can give you a few more rewards. Maybe the weapon you'll get will be related to the quest as well, "It seems to be a dagger fashioned from dire wolf teeth." or "The staff is crowned with a circlet of wolves teeth that have arcane runes carved into them."

    Of course, I guess a lot of the reasons that we don't get this is either A) The people that have the money to put forth the effort only want to do what is proven or No one is willing to put forth the effort/time to do all the writing/coding/etc... that would be required to make such an interesting questing system work.

    Oh well. It was just a thought.

    For anyone interested, here is the websitefor the game I was reading about.
    "....However, as with all things, you will encounter the odd retard and or ******."
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  2. #2
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    Quite a few console game use what you describe just no one really applied it to an mmo game. Simply the games you seem to describe are your typical mmo that gives you the boring clear objectives.

  3. #3
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    The problem with most games imo is that they can't find a good balance between fun, variety, and overall gameplay. Take Age of Wushu for example, I had a blast with that game up until half a year later. The Publisher treating their cust****s like such shit and finally realizing how pay to win the game is along with how dull the overall "action" combat got really ruined the game for me. I still love the overall sandboxy feel the game has with all the stuff you can do and all but not even that was enough to save the game for me. Another example would be Tera, for obviously, it's combat. It's got such a fun combat system that playing even the healer class was a challenge in dungeons and general group instances. The problem Tera has even now is how freaking grindy and boring the combat system is with no variety whatsoever save for the stale sidequests which involve even more grinding. Not only that but the fact that the PvP is literally just a gear race that you absolutely have the grind in one of the most poorly designed upgrade systems I've seen in a game that more or less say "Go kill yourself" 90% of the time. I haven't seen an upgrade system that bad since I got to the end game for Forsaken World and saw the upgrade chance (15 freaking percent even with the cash shop gems, what a load of shit.). Some games do a good job of having a balance of themeparky/linear questing along with really fun combat/gameplay overall, the best example I've seen recently being Swordsman Online. Sure everyone plays through a similar story (Not the same because theres actual quest choices that effect which path you go through in the story) but the gameplay really was what made that game such a blast to play through originally but also made me anticipate the English release that much sooner.

    tl;dr The overall issue isn't so much a need of variety in questing as so much a good balance of fun questing and actual good gameplay/combat overall. Least thats how I see it anywho.

  4. #4
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    Quest Creation Guide

    After you read the image below (yes, read the image), you realize that most quests in MMOs only hit 1 or, at most, 2 of the important 6.

    It's WNxPyrZern. Pleased to meet you. My 3D Character Artist Folio

  5. #5
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    Personally, i want an MMORPG that evokes emotion. Emotion opens up so many doors and possibilities for the story writers, it provides an explanation for your character's purpose in the world (Is you character angry at an Orc King for killing your young sister and then devoted their life to being a monster hunter? Is your character envious of the high-born families and has been offered a life of luxury in exchange for defending the realm? Is your character a lust-filled individual who has chosen to become a knight in an attempt to woo the girls in the state capital?)

    I honestly wouldn't mind slaying 10 wolves but if i am, then i had better be doing it because:
    A ) They're too close to the livestock of a farmer who does not want to risk his family starving through the winter.
    B ) They are devouring the corpse of a woman, you chase them off, rip the pendant from around her neck and then proceed to find the man featured in the photograph in a brothel whereby you tell him the news and he breaks down crying because he spent more time with other woman than telling her how much he loves her.
    C ) I am helping the tailor who wishes to turn the wolf fur into coats and informs me to come back in two game days to receive my own fur coat for helping along with some currency. This fur coat would obviously be purely cosmetic because nobody wants to wait two game days to receive an item with statistical bonuses.
    D ) I am riding through the wilderness on my horse and the wolves have turned aggressive on my horse and if i don't fight then i risk losing my horse that i just paid 50 gold at the stables for.

    So then if there's some emotional involvement, you would actually feel bad about failing to collect [Insert Herb Name Here] for the Blacksmith's daughter because she would pass away, the quest would become permanently unavailable and you would also have a negative consequence similar to affinity whereby some functionality of the Blacksmith might disappear if his affinity drops too low (Eg. He stops enchanting your weapons, or his prices rise...)

    Can i also talk about my biggest issue with some MMORPG's? It may seem ridiculous but these are what commit the "Quest Crimes" most of the time!

    The concept of job offer boards are awful because you receive a quest from this list with nothing attached to it, it simply says...
    Kill 10 Wolves - 0/10
    And then when you are done, you apparently whip out your "COMPLETED" stamp, stamp the job offer that was posted on the board and then magical faeries come and deliver the money to you.
    Instead, game developers could turn this job offer board into a usable interface which shows players their unaccepted quests in the form of legitimate posters put there by the NPC in question. Eg. "Help! My wife was kidnapped by the Black Rose Brotherhood! Please find [Insert NPC Name Here] at the [Frozen Siren Inn]"

    And then! You can ask the player to confirm the quest, it shows their character ripping the poster off the board (From a reality standpoint, if you do not rip the poster off, some other adventurer will see the poster and possibly beat you to it) and adds the quest to their quest journal. Then the quest will proceed as if you never interacted with the board to begin with...

    Sometimes i wonder if game developers actively read these suggestion or "Just-A-Thought" forums because the amount of ideas and suggestions that are just being wasted on our fellow players is so upsetting. If you went through all the suggestion forums and squished all the ideas together than you would have a fully functional and "probably" enjoyable game that breaks the cookie-cutter MMORPG mould!

    But alas... MMORPG developers are too busy counting coins than devoting mental space to innovation.
    Last edited by ManiacShinzo; 05-01-2014 at 09:28 AM.

  6. #6
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    I don't mind being the hero in the storyline of an MMO. It's a roleplaying game. It doesn't have to be 100%-realistic. If I don't like the storyline I can skip it. I like the questing in Guild Wars 2 (dynamic events), and I like the voice acting in FFXIV and Dragon Nest. Also, a lot of games have your party as the heroes saving the world instead of just one person. Anyways, it doesn't matter how many protagonists there are BECAUSE IT'S A ROLEPLAYING GAME. If you go "Aha! This aspect is unrealistic!" then you are lacking imagination.

    Also, I like killing stuff in videogames. I don't mind the extra XP for doing it. If you don't like killing stuff in MMORPGs then... Be a Healer.

    If you want complex detailed quests then play the player-created content in Neverwinter. That's what it's there for.

    If that still doesn't cut-it, go play a Zelda or ICO game.

    And if it's the idea of NPC-driven content that you hate, then go play EVE.
    Last edited by Phenoca; 05-01-2014 at 10:44 AM.

  7. #7
    Chrono's Crony Reputation: 61
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    This is why I enjoy games with unorthodox leveling systems like GW2, or if the game presents multiple options for leveling like FF14, Rift, etc. Just adding variety to the "theme park" aspect of an MMO can go a long way.

    Currently playing: FFXIV (Elucifer Arclight, Leviathan server), LoL (Trash Tier Waifu, NA server), SMITE (Zacewing)

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