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Thread: Unique, Meaningful Quests (Personal sagas)

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    Ascendant Morvick's Avatar
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    Default Unique, Meaningful Quests (Personal sagas)

    Here's an older idea of mine that has been kicking around for a while.

    Problem: Even for someone like myself, who loves Lore and the plot of games, it's hard to stay interested in Quests for their own merit. Also... Dailies: yawn.

    Solution: The player drives their personal history, in ways that I can elaborate on later. I don't know how this unfolds on the technical side of the house, but for a layman like me it seems fairly straight-forward.

    Reasoning: Here's what most games purport: "Though the end of the world is fast-approaching, we would still like for you to take the time out of your busy, heroic day to help Old Man Jenkins collect toad stools for his family's famous stew. And then help a dozen of his friends with equally pointless tasks that do nothing to advance the safety of the world as we know it."

    Here's what I am suggesting be taken into consideration: "Look, you're a really busy hero, we know. People can take care of their little problems, and we can't expect you to help everybody; your time is valuable and we don't want to waste it. So here's the situation on how to help this gloomy, forested valley..."

    The skinny: Quest-lines evolve from "Go to this hub and complete 20 tasks" to "This is your mission in this Zone, and these steps along the way will determine exactly how you help us all out."

    Now, "Morvick!" you say, "But less quests means less experience!" Easily balanced to reward the total amount, I retort.
    "But Morvick!" you shake my collar vigorously this time, "I want to do everything in the game ever!"
    To which I say, Don't worry. The game will credit you with completing each "stage" of your saga, and shall not penalize you for which quests you choose over others. When you make a new character, (as most of us have Alts by now), the game will remind you of which quests your alter-ego completed, so that if you really want to see what every quest is like, you have the chance.

    So let's take an example, because I think that will illustrate it best. (Caution: I am not that great at imagining Quest Rewards. Would you like a cookie instead?)

    Guardian zones in from Noob Town, brought to the Future as dictated by the Vigil's Prophecy...
    QUEST 1 CHOICE: Choose between rescuing the drowning soldiers, or dousing the flames from the Defiant-sabotaged catapults. Both of these tasks are urgent and nearby, thus the Player will only have time to complete 1 or the other. Peace or power?
    QUEST 1 REWARD: If you saved the victims, you are rewarded with potions and maybe a new set of clothing. If you doused the flames to renew the attack on Freemarch, then you are rewarded with a new weapon or a scroll. Either way the Guardian defense has been bolstered by your efforts, if only temporarily.

    Guardian is thanked for their help either way, and told to advance to the Bridge and show the Machineborn what's what...
    QUEST 2 CHOICE: You either yank that haughty Defiant Commander to your side of the bridge and rough his day up, or you are asked to Summon a Messenger of the Vigil who throws a nifty attack their way to give the present NPCs a taste of divine righteousness. Minty!
    QUEST 2 REWARD: If you killed the Commander, you are rewarded with a consumable item that can disguise you as a Defiant for 30 seconds, allowing you to bypass some nearby patrols. If you summoned the Messenger, she can reward you with a 1-time use item that subjugates a Defiant NPC to your control for 30 seconds. Come, patsy!

    Etc, ad nauseam. Eventually you get to areas where the previous decisions you've made will factor in heavily with how Quests advance for you, but that could be near the end of the "Zone saga" and represent a wrap-up of how you've chosen to save the world. There could still be "Sideline" quests that are considered optional, which increase your renown with the local populace and offer monetary rewards, almost like they saw you as a Mercenary. Regardless, I believe the focus can successfully shift towards a personal Player story that determines how you help your faction, the zone, and in return, how those things benefit you--thus shift away from an endless, ultimately meaningless sting of quests that send you to hub after hub after hub, before FINALLY getting you to the Storyline stuff. Cut through the crap; show me how I can save the world.

    I still believe you should be strongly rewarded for completing ALL of the quests through your various Characters, thus once the game tracks that you have, indeed, completed every 1-time Faction quest that it has offered to date, then every Character of that Faction that you own (and make upon that Server) will receive a nifty title and Achievement (Morvick, Ascended Out of Time), etc.

    Anyway, I hope I didn't lose anybody in there. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Morvick; 04-20-2011 at 08:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

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    Ascendant Morvick's Avatar
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    It should be noted; I would also deeply advocate for a "Racial" saga, where throughout our entire journey, we uncover clues and details as to our heritage. This should start as soon as we enter Sanctum or Meridian, and be a series of 50-some-odd quests that dictate how our character relates to their past, ending in Stillmoor or having multiple conclusions/plot twists through Expert Dungeons.

    Consider the things that could be done;
    - Racial Abilities/Passives would have the opportunity to change or be "evolved" into specialized versions
    - Personal markings (tattoos, etc) could be changed as you learn more of your past (see: Barber shops)
    - Unique titles could be earned along the way or at the conclusion
    - Race-specific gear, accessories, or items could be made available (even Runes and Planar goods)

    Just a little food for though; currently I feel, as do many, that my connection with my character's Race is purely cosmetic. It doesn't have to be that way, I think.
    Last edited by Morvick; 04-20-2011 at 08:33 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    I also made other enhancements to certain aspects of the game for various reasons.

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