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DarkenMerlin

Importance of Quests?

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I am wondering at the importance or need of quests in an MMORPG. World of Warcraft has hundreds of quests for all levels that give the player money, experience, or equipment. I am trying to think of a way to remove a large number of quests in a MMORPG; I don't mean removing all quests, just not have a quest-heavy or quest-driven game. The problem I run into is satisfying the "achiever" players (from Richard Bartle's paper on MUD players). What can you have players do that is fun and rewarding, but not mundane or repetitive?

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For some people questing is fun, that's why they are there. That's the same reason trade skills are there. Without them you have a game of nothing more than level grinding, which is what most of them are anyways. Quests/tradeskills/jobs/whatever are alternatives to killing stuff 24/7

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What can you have players do that is fun and rewarding, but not mundane or repetitive?

This is easy to answer. Quests. Create WELL written quests that immerse the player within the game world. Upon completing a quest, if it was written and scripted correctly, the player should have a feeling of accomplishment.

Some of the worst quests are the "go out and kill x number of y monster". Those are the type of quests that make any MMO seem repetive and mundane.

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I'm a bit confused. I don't play MMORPGs, but how will removing the number of quests make the game less repetitive? I thought that the quests were there to add variety to the usual grind of killing everything in sight?

I'd be more in favour of having greater variety of quests, but I'm a single player RPG fan, and the quests are part of what defines that genre.

DarkenMerlin, what is it about the present implementation of quests in World of Warcraft that you don't like? I haven't played the game so I don't know how they are implemented.

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One example (at least I think) of a fairly successful MMORPG with a very limited amount of quests is Ultima Online. Instead of creating a certain type of class of character, you are given a number of skill points, some basic items, and are dropped of in one of the towns. From then on, you are on your own do do / train whatever you want.

I'll admit, that some portions of the game get repetitive at times (especially crafts). However, having multiple options on what to do and where to go make the game more interesting.

As for the "achiever" players, character development, unique item collection, and symbols of there status (ie special Names, Items, Classes, Abilities ) can be completely sepereated from a quest based system.

For example, Instead of making a quest in which the players muct kill a dragon to get the mystical sword that everyone wants, spawn Dragons throughout your world, at the deepest parts of your dungeons. Then, give the player a chance to recieve this item if they kill one of the dragons.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that the sense of accomplishment from an MMORPG can be achieved without quests. Just giving a unique an open ended way to develop (much broader than "leveling up"), obtain recognition in the community, party together with friends, and just have some of the coolest items there are, make an MMORPG fun to play.

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Yes quests do offer a break from just killing monsters, but quests (at least in World of Warcraft) seem to take the roleplaying out of MMORPGs. The game becomes more about doing quests and less about becoming emerged in the world. I guess another problem I see in WoW is that many of quests are similar, so it seems like you are doing the same quest just at a different level and in a different area. I am interested to D&D Online because it appears that it will have fewer quests, but the quests will require grouping and large amounts of time. It seems that quests can be very mundane when they are not well written. Thank you all for your feedback, it helps me think and checks my ideas.

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For me quests are about interaction and immersion. In one MMORPG I played most quest were "Kill 5 Dire Wolves" and after you did that you got the "Kill 3 Massive Golems" quest. Hey, I asked for a quest because I didn't like the purposeless slaying (grinding).

I think quests are a must-have in a MMORPG, but the quests in most games currently don't qualify for the term quest.
In the game described above, I stopped asking for quests, because I was already killing enemies, and finally I stopped playing too.

IMO, Quests can enhance your game by letting me feel I have a goal to fulfill and by making me interact with the NPC that needs here house cleaned of killer spiders. I, personally, would really dislike a game that has fewer quests and just have me kill dragons at random, so maybe I can get that cool sword I want.

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