Sunday, May 30, 2010

Questing, how it should be

Over at Tobold's Open Sunday Thread, a discussion began about leveling up, and I gave my idea of breaking the current quest system into a 3 tier system, so that quests can feel more like Quests.

The three tiers would be: Errands, Missions, and Quests.  I'll break it down, and give some examples, based on the Human Starting Zone in WoW.

Errands - Rewards are based on distance needed to travel to get to the turn in.  Reward would be the unlocking of Missions or Quests, monetary (for delivery), with a small experience gain.  Typically Errands would be used to help guide a player, much like such “quests” are used currently.  Errands typically would not include killing 10 foozles.  Errands text would be minimal.

Missions - Rewards  are based on difficulty of the mission.  Rewards would include unlocking ‘next level’ missions, monetary or item reward, and good experience gain.  Though most “quests” would fall under a mission, the changes would be that a mission would have a more ambiguous goal.

For example:  “We’ve been having trouble with Kobold’s lately.  We’d appreciate your help in eradicating them from the grounds of the Abbey.”

Mission now says, Kill Kobolds near the Abbey.

You go and start killing Kobolds, algorithm kicks in and you’ve killed enough that they fear you and run away.  Mission updates to have you chase them down.

You follow them (UI helps guide you if you lose track of them or have to AFK) into a cave.  There it updates for you to finish the extermination (Paladins should understand that Kobolds, though sentient, are no better than rats).  You go in killing them, when you run across a demonically possessed crystal that has been driving them insane.  (note that the mission may not update).

You now either finish killing them all, or you destroy the crystal.  Destroying the crystal snaps them out of their possession, and you are approached by their leader for a peace treaty (at this point you can make a choice).  Mission is now over, and you go submit your report (turn in the mission and get your rewards).

These types of missions would replace 3-4 WoW quests.

Quests - These are overarching with a zone, dynamically updating (much like missions), and should be the MAIN storyline of the zone (with Missions providing supplementary stories to a zone).

Quest rewards are massive, magical items and large payments, large experience gains.  Typically you would have 1, maybe 2 quests per zone (though usually not at the same time).  Quests would also fall under Class quests, and Rep quests.

For example:  You have talked to the first guy you saw after starting the game, and he gives you an errand to speak with the Marshall.  The Marshall, gives you the quest for helping out around the Abbey (notice how open that statement is).

You start out by helping with a wolf attack (mission), meeting up with your class trainer (errand), destorying the Kobolds (mission), grabbing some grapes (errand), stopping the defias (mission), and finally killing the leader of the invading defias (end of mission, and end of quest).

The Marshall thanks you for all your help, rewards you, and gives you an Errand to go to Goldshire.