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Implementing a (Unique) Quest Log

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So i was on the toilet thinking about how i was going to create the quest UI for my game. I dont really want to use the same-old boring quest log like you see in WoW and Runescape where your quests are simply listed. I also didnt really want to use a journal (as in Dungeon Seige) because that would reflect activity more than a quest to a storyline. I like the Diablo 2 quest UI, however it doesnt really demonstrate a story-line that well. It seems more of a list of missions that you complete. So something i came up with was using multiple books, which could be obtained by talking to an NPC, purchasing the book from the NPC, or looting the book from a mob you killed. Each book would contain story and information about the quest-line the book is about. The book would have its own UI, with a changable "skin" or "background", depending on the book. You would be able to flip through the pages, with "Previous Page" and "Next Page" buttons. Each book represents a quest-line, where the player can read lore, and complete quests throughout the books. A structure of the book: The Cover: Would contain the title of the book (the quest name), and a picture. Page 1: May contain some starting-information/lore about the quest-line. Page 2+: Would contain more story-telling, and occasionally a spot where you complete a quest. The player completing the quest would fill in that empty spot in the book. The Last Page: Would tell the conclusion of the story. All parts to the book would be hidden, but completing quests in the book will uncover more and more story, and unlocking more quests (allowing the player to flip to the next page). This way the player cant just skim through the book and read the lore, they will experience the adventure quest by quest. Note that this isnt for "go kill 10 zombies" quests, its for actual stories in-game, and the game's lore. All current quests, including the "go kill 10 zombies" quests could be in a quest-log for easy access, but i havnt decided if i should include the quest log. Books may also be stored in inventory as items/objects so they bring that "inside this book is a story" feeling. Please leave any feedback and opinions about this quest UI.

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This actually sounds like a really interesting idea! Feels like a fresh take.

What if the shorter quests ("go kill 10 zombies") doesn't have go into a big old book/tome, but instead a small notebook (or even a single paper, like an old worn note)?

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What you described is almost exactly what the new Warhammer Online MMO does for its quest tracking. The simple quests aren't a part of the major faction storylines, but the chapter quests and scenario quests are handled exactly like you have described.

To be honest, It seemed like a neat idea but I only read one chapter story summary. The other hundred pages were just giant walls of text that I skimmed over to get a glimpse of the rewards and objectives.

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You know what would be nice, is if you could set 'wall of text' type things to be read aloud to you while you were traveling or doing a kill 10 zombies quest.

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I like the idea, but my concern would be immediately finding what I needed to do. I enjoyed reading the books in Morrowind, but I hated the way quests were embedded in the journal because I had to do a lot of reading and re-reading. Would there be some way to avoid that? I think that's the advantage of the more sterile quest log approach. (Maybe notes could be scribbled in margins or in the back of the book?

Something like, "What I've learned:
* The king is in on the conspiracy
* His daughter is said to be in the Black Gate ruins
* The Black Gate key may be on Dragon Island"
or whatever.

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It's a good idea for players who are interested in the lore of your world but you risk annoying those who aren't. What about the players who come back to the game a few months later and start a new character? If there's no easy way to see what the quest objectives are they forced to reread all the lore even though they remember the gist of it all?

Bolding the name of characters or places relevant to the quest or having a page with a summary could help.

I'm assuming you're working on a MMO since you described how some MMOs use the quest log. If this isn't the case my concerns might not apply as much.

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Sounds pretty much like (or a derivation) Baldur's Gate II diary.
However you should be able to place a WoW/Neverwinter Nights diary style too (the "Go kill 20 zombies" or similar) for those who would get annoyed.
Seriously even liking the diary-style you're talking about, if I suspend playing the game for say, one month, I would be really annoyed to read the book just to remember what should I do next. But it's great to remember the whole story if I miss something from the plot. I think both styles should be in the game.
BG II diary was very similar to what you're suggesting

Cheers
Dark Sylinc

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