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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 10:42AM (Unverified) said

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I can't say what quest I'd make, but you would go get trained by Tim the Enchanter for your Enchantment training, and Roger the Shrubber for your herbalism.

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 2:04PM (Unverified) said

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I wouldn't really "write a quest" per say, but given the chance I would love to create a dynamic mission system that issues players tasks based on simulated socioeconomic and political factors, all with the ability to tip the scales in gradual amounts upon successful completion. Something that allows people to interact with the world, rather than ride through it like a theme park.

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 5:14PM (Unverified) said

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I would have to say that the problem lies not in creativity but the medium through which the story is represented. In an MMO especially, the world is always static because creating change on any scale requires development. Players looking for that quest that really grips them need an outcome and that outcome means there needs to be change. For instance, I'll create a quest which is not "kill X for X times" and call it Quest A. Quest A involves saving a town from disease by inoculating NPC's in this given town. If i fail what happens? Well obviously there cannot be the ultimate repercussion where all the NPCs die a horrible bubonic death. If i fail the only outcome is I do it again and this time get it right by cutting seconds off the time between point A and B. If I succeed on the other hand what should happen? Well obviously I should be called a Hero and have parades in my honour, maybe even a statue. (i just saved their entire village!!!) That can't happen though so instead I receive a crappy sword with a slightly different texture and a bonus to certain stats. MMOs cannot be designed for true immersion because they lack both of these qualities. First, there are no repercussions for failure, and second there are no true rewards for success.
There are no repercussions because the code cannot be changed. If one player failed or succeeded then that quest can never be redone because the outcomes are too drastic. If the village dies there are no quest givers, and if the village has been saved who needs the next player to run the quest? (barring you don't live in industrial age London surrounded by filth)
The answer is simple, MMOs make crappy quests. Is there a solution? I think player/ dev run events are the key. This is not a new idea so i don't think i need to elaborate but one look at the top ten MMO moments tells you the player/dev moments are the ones people remember.

Posted: Feb 8th 2008 8:14AM (Unverified) said

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I disagree, but you'd need counterbalancing quests ... you might be trying to save the village from some horrible disease, but my faction might be experimenting with inventing some new plague. It would also help for the effects of quests to be small but accumulating - if you fail in delivering the medicine, the entire village doesn't succumb, just the blacksmith. Fail again, and the farmer bites the dust. To lose one villager may be regarded as a misfortune; to two looks like carelessness, to lose them all ... a conspiracy?

Ebb and flow.

Thus, the game is no longer static, but nor is it constantly moving onward, leaving behind earlier content development. Instead, as events occur various quests become unavailable (the village is dead), but other quests become available (the king commissions a settler's expedition, along with a bundle of quests). Later, the tables turn and there is no longer those settlers quests, but now a new village is in place (until the next plague).

The interesting thing is that the levelling journey of your second character could be, due to a different world, be quite different from your first character. No more the tedium of doing the same quests over and over for every new character.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2008 10:52AM (Unverified) said

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good points. I hadn't framed the quest that way in my mind (shows you what two heads can do :) ) .. If you were to add morality to this as well there could be some real interesting episodes. Maybe certain characters don't want to succeed while others do who are in the same quest area and this would create tension. I definitely love the idea of accessing quests and blocking off quests to create new experiences in static worlds.

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