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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 8:33AM Dumac said

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Would it be too weird if i said it depends on my mood, and that often there is no pleasing me ><

Sometimes i just want to have fun, i want to take a quest, not be bothered by a blob of generic quest text and annoyed with searching for the objective, and yet still know what to do, where to go, what to kill. Other times i wish exploring on your own was more rewarding and i wish the game didn't pull you by the nose in the direction it wants you to go. Sadly the two are not compatible.

This is why Guild Wars 2 sounds so appealing to me. The way the event system is described, i will be able to explore, stumble upon content on my own, and still have clear objectives and nice rewards, without all the useless NPCs and the mess of trying to find the damn rats he wants me to kill.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 8:33AM ewingmaestro said

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Iv never played an mmo without pointers, and I have to say its always a turn off in the genre, I would adore a game with a little bit of exploration and brains to it.

Alas, no such game exists....

Posted: Jun 17th 2010 7:15PM (Unverified) said

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Sure it does - final fantasy xi has no such pointer system.
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Posted: Jun 15th 2010 8:49AM JeekFreak said

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Actually, the questing in EQ1 was very much that design. You actually had to "learn" the world and where to go for what purpose and who to seek out. It became dumbed down over the years, but that was the original intent, so you were not railroaded.

While the use of the "easy path" is understandable from the mass market appeal requirement, it is disappointing that developers no longer attempt to build layers and inter-dependencies for questing. We now have Hubs, spoon fed, surface-type questing.

Think about this... when was the last time you remembered an NPCs name and where they were located? Without having already been to him/her for 20 quest turn-ins...

While there are options to turn off indicators (arrows) and maps with all the info/waypoints, no one is going to go this route... simply because it is there and will make it easier to move forward.

Hopefully, we will find an MMO that allows hubs, or area quests as I like to think of them, allowing for repeatable grind xp, if desired for solo-play or quick and easy progression for those short sessions. Then allow the story and exploration of the world be completely open. Have faction, but don't make it dumb grinded faction to open new questlines. Make them meaningful and varied. Make them fun to seek out and share with friends, but not a requirement to do content and enjoy the "Game"!

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 1:19PM Djinn said

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"While there are options to turn off indicators (arrows) and maps with all the info/waypoints, no one is going to go this route... simply because it is there and will make it easier to move forward."

I think its so humorous when people complain about a feature that they have a choice of using or not. Its not even like they're saying "if you don't want to use the arrows ignore them" - you can actually turn them off! But no, that's not good enough. You want to force people not to use a quest navigation system by not having it available in the game, rather than give people the choice to use it or not as in most current games. LOL
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Posted: Jun 15th 2010 9:42AM (Unverified) said

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There should be a mix of the two. Make some quests that are very low on the puzzle side of things, perhaps with obvious destinations or a quest helper to point you in the right direction. Make other quests that are (clearly) marked as being more difficult, they might require you to solve a puzzle or explore for a bit to find an out of the way mob or NPC. Mix up the rewards a bit, so that players who do the harder puzzles get special rewards that make them worthwhile, but at the same time players who choose to do all the easy stuff are not handicapped by missing out on rewards they need to remain competitive.

Quest text is a bit harder to deal with, because over the course of playing an MMO (Which will span multiple months) there will be times when you're interested in the quest text and times when you really don't care. The best way is to just cut all the quest text away from the quests - instead use short, easily digested bits of dialogue and shutter away the storyline bits where the player can access them at his or her leisure. An easy way is to just include quickie alternate quests that are low on reading and cutscenes and all that, for players to do when they don't feel like doing their Epic Destiny Quest just yet.

At this point, all the things required to make an MMO feel complete are just too much to expect to have at launch in addition to the 50 levels of content, so I really think MMO devs need to scale back and start with just 10-20 initial levels brimming with the content they'd normally introduce over 50-60 levels and then fill in after the fact. If you can't think of other points of progression to keep players busy when they hit level cap, you obviously don't have enough creative thought to be making a game, so you ought to just quit while you're ahead.

Start with 20 levels, fill them up with quests that satisfy all types, story heavy, puzzle heavy, grind heavy, PvP, and let players loose. You can add more levels later (if you even need them).

-SirNiko

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 10:04AM xBludx said

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@ewingmaestro

There are some new games coming out like Dawntide, that might interest you. Also, I think Mortal Online might be worth a look in a month or so, once they patch the game up. Read the forums first and research a little bit. Think there are some games out there. More are coming, but the developers are new and untested (Xsyon, Earthfall, etc.). And if you don't mind ffa full loot pvp, Darkfall is getting some big patches this year.

Anyway, there are games out there, but you need to research first and see what you might like.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 10:11AM jpo said

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It doesn't matter what we want. From this point on, all games will haves flashes and arrows.

We've seen the future....and it's the same as it is now.

Innovation in MMOs does not exist. Sad.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 10:23AM Spookimitsu said

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Everything in FFXI was an enigma.


On one hand, it is really cool trying to figure everything out.

On the other hand, some of the stuff to figure out was VAGUE as SH*T

so I am on the fence. Sometimes, I could stand for stuff to just be pointed out (go here, kill that, bring me this) Other times, I do enjoy trying to figure out the mysteries

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 12:56PM Tanith said

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As others have said, often it depends on one's mood and how much time one wishes to spend. However, I prefer to turn quest trackers off (there is an option for this in LOTRO, can't remember if GW has one) and actually go on an ADVENTURE. After all, Aragorn didn't require flashing green arrows overhead to guide him in the Lonelands. And he had a wounded Hobbit with him! ;)

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 10:40AM (Unverified) said

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I like WoW, but I *hate* it's quest system.

Present me with 10 quests at a time and I will not read them. Give me 1-3 quests at a time please, and just make the quest chains longer.

Yeah, this does increase the chance that you might miss out. I really do not care, the only fun in having 15 quests at a time is trying to do them as efficient as possible. That should *not* be the fun of questing.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 11:56AM (Unverified) said

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What should be the fun in questing?

Personally, I liked the idea of having a half dozen quests or more at a time you could complete while exploring a zone. The first time through it provides incentives to explore all the little corners of the area, and if you find a few quests you dislike or that are more difficult than you want to bother, you can drop a few and not be upset. The second time forward it provides an incentive for clever players to progress faster by mapping out the best ways to get from A to B. Kingdom of Loathing went so far as to turn this into a game in itself, where players trying to figure out the shortest path through certain zones with certain handicaps, and it vastly increased the replay value of that MMO, while simultaneously creating another player interest group with unique motivations related to speed.

In the mix is usually one or two more involved quest chains that offer superior rewards. If it was all the one-shot quests, I'd understand, but you get a little bit of everything as it stands.

By contrast, if the game has three linear quest chains and that's all, you're going to wind up doing all three of those every time, and they'll always be the same. That's not necessarily bad, especially if the quests have some variety within them, but it gives the player very little choice if they aren't interested in just that at the time.

-SirNiko
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Posted: Jun 15th 2010 10:58AM breezer said

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Neither? If I never did another stupid, pointless, mundane, timesink, there only to advance the quest grind quest, I would be a happy man.

When WoW came out, it was mind blowing and awesome. In 2010 it's 10x worse than just regular old camp and grind (to me). I can't STAND the extra nonsense of having to talk to NPCs about there cliche problems. It's just added steps that adds to the repetitive boringness.

Been playing BoI a little, and I'm surprised that I like the auto-path quest system, but it makes me feel like even having quests is pointless, just let me go kill stuff and give me huge chunks of exp every now and then.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 11:46AM (Unverified) said

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUCEMENT

Is more easy for developers to give arrows and flashy lights to players themsevles that having a third-party monkey do it anyways. Besides, people SAY that they like challenge. That's a LIE.

THANKS.

THIS WAS PAYED BY THE "STFU WANNABE HARDCORE/ARMCHAIR DESIGNER" COMITEE.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 1:08PM Sean D said

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I agree to a point and sometimes I find myself saying the same things, but to say that people are lying when they say they want challenge is presumptuous on your part, and disrespectful. Who are you to say what people want? I ask myself the same question. There are different perspectives. Accept that.

Personally, I think I would be frustrated as hell at first in an MMO without the exclamation points and "quest objective here" markers, but that's because my thinking has been already heavily influenced by that mindless quest mechanic. The genre would only benefit from an MMO or two that offered a quest-less dynamic. I'm looking forward to Guild Wars 2 for this reason. Seeing the dragon attacking the town and hearing the locals screaming for help would absolutely create a stronger sense of immersion and would do more to motivate me to complete the quest than the one local standing unmoving at the entrance to the town with a yellow exclamation point floating over his head. That is, until I save the town and the quest resets for the next joe to come through and I wonder, "What's the point?" Hopefully this will change soon, too.
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Posted: Jun 15th 2010 6:36PM Graill440 said

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"Is more easy"?

How dare you blog a dangling participle with feminine and negative contextual ramifications in that paragraph.


(easy now, just a bit of a jab)
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Posted: Jun 15th 2010 2:21PM pixledriven said

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A mixture is probably the best way to go forward, but I have to say that I prefer less direction in quests.

When the risk of missing things is there, that allows for 2 awesome things to happen:
1) You and I don't necessarily have the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE playing through the content.
2) When I play through the 2nd time, or with an alt, I run the risk of having a different experience than the 1st time - which would make the game even more enjoyable.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 4:21PM Heraclea said

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I suspect it's a matter of how your zones and your reward structures are put together.

If the main method of advancement is just defeating critters and taking their stuff, go ahead, be vague about the locations you need to go. Make the zones and the critters in them interesting to look at and to fight, and I'll be happy even if I am not looking in the right place. But if all the rewards have been offloaded into quest rewards, I am definitely going to want Xs marked on the map.

Other aspects of the design might need to be adjusted as well. If you expect players to just wander around the map looking for stuff to do, you probably can't have elite bosses wandering the map with them or just waiting to be happened upon. That would be annoying.

I'd rather wander aimlessly and be rewarded for simple exploration than to be given a specific quest to collect boar livers, only to discover that only one in ever ten boars is equipped with a liver. Somebody should call the EPA when that happens.

Posted: Jun 15th 2010 6:31PM Graill440 said

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Vague hints or just rumors, a map possibly found in a stream caught on a branch in the water, as a random example no one else would get to interact with. And that kiddies is why we dont need no stinkin levels in MMOs (grin)

Sadly devs are to ignorant to make games for fans, just money models in which they excel.


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