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JigokuSenshi

What kind of "Quests" would you like in an MMO/RPG, etc?

37 posts in this topic

[quote name='JigokuSenshi' timestamp='1347678602' post='4980273']
Yes I totally agree with what your saying, but based on people it wont work as well as you think. (Awesome that you brought up contracts because thats exactly how I picture everything. Every deal, trade, quest, etc).

Lets say I post a quest asking another player to gather specific items from a specific monster. Again this brings up "items" and with items why not just go to the market and buy it instead of paying someone to go get it and have to wait when you could get it instantly. It would only work if it was out of stock or something. Lets say a player chooses to participate in the quest. Is that the only player that can participate in that quest? Is it up to the player that gave out the quest to choose the player amount? Okay lets say the player that took the quest begins the quest and then stops halfway and logs off the game. Does the quest automatically becoming void? Will every contract need to have a time limit? Lets say that every player given quest will require a time limit. What if 3 players all fail before they finish, they player that gave out the quest will have to wait for the 4th player to finally finish to get what he wants. What if you give out a quest and a player takes it and then you find out halfway through that you don't want those items and don't want to pay the player for finishing the quest. Will you be able to cancel the quest halfway through making the player that took the quest angry that what he did was for nothing? Will the player that gave the quest just be screwed and have to pay the player anyways?

I've thought this through a lot and the only way to do it is to make it simple like I said before. A way to make it work better would be to not have an in game market at all, and I'm sure players would hate that. Even then players would just trade personally and go onto forums and the like in order to trade instead of dealing with quests.
Everyone wants instant satisfaction instead of having to wait for what they want.

EDIT:

I guess I'm not saying that there isn't a way it could be implemented in game, just that there is no point in implementing it when there are much easier and quicker ways of getting the item.
[/quote]


I believe here the point is make the item, and economy of the game, as coerent as possible. One fun implementation I just saw on the MMO Path of Exile, is that there is no money/gold in this game. Every piece of loot has a price in scrolls and some new kinds of items that have the ability to empower your gear. I can't say yet if that economic model works, but seems fun and true enough in a fantasy enviroment.

Another point is, quest giving and time. One game that has a fun loot system and great quest design is Monster Hunter Tri. There is no trading though, because it would make questing/looting pointless, since the only way to "get stronger" in this game is loot (there is no character level progression), one thing that Diablo 3 failed to accomplish. In MH3, for instance, quests, all of them, have time limit. Every single quest has a 50min time limit, and that feels just great. While some quests need no more than 5-15 min, many times you can fail at the time limit or finish the quest at 45-49min. And that quest design is good in many ways. When you log in to play it feels like a "round" of game, so if you have less than an hour to play you can just make some short quests. If you have an hour make one hard-long one, and you feel you accomplished something on that time.

That quest design just fits into a "player as quest-giver" enviroment and also gives players the feel of fullfillment for a short ammount of time played. I believe most MMOs fail at this point with it's repetitive quest design and grinding of level (or loot) at high levels of the game. And even if you have a good "arc" or linking between quests you can give players a feel of "campaing" (MH3 delivers that also on the single player campaing) with this time limit.

As player I even have this problem when logging out-in. Sometimes I get like "wut quest was me doing anyway?" ¬¬ Maybe that is because of the repetitive design of quests. But again I don't think the flaw is in the design of the quest anyway. I think the flaw is in the way quests can be accomplished, most item quests are designed around the kill-and-loot concept while that can be fun sometimes it becomes boring after you've done it a thousand times.

An item quest could be designed to be accomplished in various ways, that would customize gameplay. Let's think about real life for instance, If I am hungry I have several ways to accomplish that quest. I can go to a pub/snack house or restaurant. I can go to the market, buy some materials and cook my own food. I can order food at home. I can look into the fridge and eat whatever is there. That is what gives me personality and meaning, the fact that I can choose the way to do some thing. I can choose a cheap way, a quick way, a delightfull way of doing that and all of them can be fun to me for different reasons. I can even train some skills (like barter and cooking) while doing that "quest". An item quest could be designed the same way. I can steal that item from someone, kill and loot, craft it (maybe even craft a cheap version or fake version of the item), buy it from some vendor (maybe even steal it from the vendor), but all that needs to be meaningfull. If the item is too cheap in the market the quest doesn't even make sense, since in a "real" enviroment the vendor would already have reached the quest giver (or that would make the "buying from the market" option mandatory).

But the point here is giving player roles (or playstyle) some meaning on the task. What classes have your game? What kind of resources they have to accomplish the quests? In this enviroment it wouldn't even hurt to have some quests being impossible for some classes or too easy for others. While most MMOs focus on combat that quest design would give players the option to never get into battle if that is their playstyle (and that is an option I'd like to see implemented on MMOs). Edited by Xoyo
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[quote name='JigokuSenshi' timestamp='1347683093' post='4980285']
Yes this is how it should be, but paying someone to find it is just the same as buying it at the market no matter how rare an item is. Also if everyone can post quests there will be thousands upon thousands of quests available probably with many of them being very similar.
[/quote]

I belive this comes around the character customization you can deliver in your game. Even if the game is designed around item hunting (what would make players quest giving easier) there could be several stages to accomplish that. An armor is different from a dragon scale, and if someone will craft the dragon armor he will need tools and a forge. So these tools can be hard to find too, and the forge extremely expensive. A player with a forge will need wood or coal, fresh water and lots of resources and time so he can manage to build up his dragon armor piece.

Finding the dragon scale can be a very fun quest too, players could go around some dragon's lair to pick them scattered on the ground (but very few of them at a time). The dragon could have some kind of behavior, like getting out to hunt once in a week (what would give players some 30 min to get into his lair and get his scales there (the greedy ones would want to steal his gold/treasure too) but on a very danger management kind of play, with a very time consuming dungeon to explore. But some gnomes or goblins npcs could be on that business too, selling those scales at a very expensive price. A good party of players could even try to lure the monster out of his lair, while another party enters it (what could give players dungeon crawling the exact 30 min). (so here you have two quests in one) So a quest like this would be a vey complex one, needing lots of player skill and coordination, character improvement, teamplay an even some luck. That would be fun... ^^ Would be fun even to do some thousands of times maybe (needed to complete the full dragon scale set). The killing the dragon quest could be an entirely different quest, hardest one ever, needing some traps setting, magic management, a very well balanced and level capped party.
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[quote name='JigokuSenshi' timestamp='1347679570' post='4980277']
[quote name='MichaelRPennington' timestamp='1347679140' post='4980276']
I'm not saying it would be easy by any means. Something like this would be extremely complex, and balances would have to be put in place, but as it says in my signature, nothing is impossible. You can always find a way to do something. I know the way I posted it was kind of restrictive and lack luster, but it was just an example. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]

Oof, I don't know how to make it any better for people that don't want to get involved in the game at its core... I've always been one to get immersed.
[/quote]

Yeah there is ALWAYS a way. Just saying why do an action that takes 30 minutes to get a specific item when you could do a different action that would only take 1 minute with the same end result. Paying for something in the market would also probably be cheaper than paying someone to take the 30 minutes to go out and find it.
[/quote]

Just eliminate the non-players market for that item because then every player will need that 30 min to get that item (even the seller so the item will be "30min" expensive), but then a player can manage to get that money in other ways if he wants to. Every way to win a quest needs to have its pros and cons. I believe here you should think your design of the game backwards. What is your game about and what you want your players to accomplish? What is the hardest ever quest you want a "maximum size" party (or groups of parties) to accomplish? You have to think on that limit and limit every economic issue and character development into that. The game must have an end, after that maybe you can have a PvP or something like that, but the game needs an end that makes the game fun and nice.
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[quote name='JigokuSenshi' timestamp='1347687991' post='4980297']
Back to player given quests though. Even if the in game market is removed like I said before people will just resort to player to player trade and people will set up forums to post items and prices instead of taking the long route and questing for it. Also if you really want something in game wouldn't you just go get it yourself since it would take up the same amount of time for you minus the expense. People will almost always go for the fastest route to get things done.
[/quote]

No my friend people will look into the most fun way to do it (I would). Giving several options is not about giving a mandatory one or a easy and a hard one, but giving lots of fun ways to do it.

You need to think on money sinks and economic issues too. The economy needs to work as this: the income of an [b][i]adventurer[/i][/b] needs always to be = 0. Means that the difficulty level of the game needs to match the player income at the level he is. So his gear (and repair) and items (like potions/scrolls/food) needs to be as expensive as the money he gets. Maybe a little more, a little less, depending on playstyle. Money on these games needs to feel as another way of character improvement, so a player that does not goes into combat don't needs to focus on lvling (because money by itself is a kind of xp). You can't have a balanced gameplay if the players who want to be traders/crafters get "phisicaly/magicaly" stronger as well as they progress. So here you will have three kinds of progress: xp, money and crafting skills. And all those three can revolve around item/loot design.
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Thanks Xoyo for replying so much [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] . It's nice to talk about these kinds of topics.

I do agree with a lot of what you have said. One thing though that I still have to argue with is the fact that yes, the player that choses to take a player posted quest might have a lot of fun going through the quest. It won't be fun at all for the person posting the quest though. The only way to get around that would be to give the players incentive to create quests, but in a way that is forcing them to do that in order to have the full game experience. It would be much better to find a way to create player quests that would coexist with many of the basic game mechanics in games today instead of removing a lot of game mechanics just to get one mechanic to work. I think thats why this type of system doesn't exist yet, because no one can find a way of placing it in the game without making it worthless, unless they get rid of some other game mechanic.
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On the topic of players giving quests for resources... I don't know how many of you know Ultima Online... also not quite sure if that experience was because i played on a private server not on the official EA server but there was those players who earned money by mining minerals for blacksmiths .... blacksmiths needed a lot more than what could be bought from NPCs and also NPCs sold it at a high price. In order for the miners to be able to carry the heavy ore they had to have a pack animal they are able to ride. That was some blue beetle that was sold from tamers. There weren't any specific quests for that.. that's just the way the came clicked.
Also the best gear wasn't dropped by monsters... It was made by legendary blacksmiths. There were few artifacts dropped from bosses ... but they weren't all that good. What these bosses dropped was scrolls that allow you to extend your skill to legendary level. All the economy in the game was managed by players.. who were able to hire NPCs to sell your goods

More on the topic of the thread.. what i'd really want to see in an MMO ... and have been thinking of a way to implement it.... is quests that really change the world on a global scale... This i think would actually make you feel more like a part of this world.. So maybe a low level character wouldn't change much.. say complete a quest of cleaning a cave of some monsters so there are no monsters in this cave for some time ... and the other players have to do something else... and If you are a high level player... or even a guild you could make huge changes like burning a city to the ground... so this city doesn't exist any more...
The bad thing is that this brings many problems of balance.. and keeping the core of the game while still allowing the players to make these huge changes to the world.. and stuff like that .. but at least i'd like to see that in a game if not make the game that has it...
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[quote name='JigokuSenshi' timestamp='1347847329' post='4980762']
Thanks Xoyo for replying so much [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] . It's nice to talk about these kinds of topics.

I do agree with a lot of what you have said. One thing though that I still have to argue with is the fact that yes, the player that choses to take a player posted quest might have a lot of fun going through the quest. It won't be fun at all for the person posting the quest though. The only way to get around that would be to give the players incentive to create quests, but in a way that is forcing them to do that in order to have the full game experience. It would be much better to find a way to create player quests that would coexist with many of the basic game mechanics in games today instead of removing a lot of game mechanics just to get one mechanic to work. I think thats why this type of system doesn't exist yet, because no one can find a way of placing it in the game without making it worthless, unless they get rid of some other game mechanic.
[/quote]

Be welcome, I like talking about these things... ^^ I think the quest-posting issue can be adressed in other ways. Asking people to do things to you may be not fun, and sometimes even when they do it may be not fun. But I believe the point is making the player so occupied he can't manage to do it by himself, or design the quests in a way the player asking it can't do it anyway. I think the whole point on RPG (pnp) is the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want, and the feel of coerence and truthfullness. MMOs, most of the times, can't deliver that just because when I go to the NPC giving the quest there are lots of people around him, asking for the same quest, and when I go to the field kill the monsters there are lots of people doing it and the monsters never end and it feels like "I am just one more player, not the hero". Once I played this game Wakfu, which is the sequel to Dofus. One nice implementation it had was the "ecological" one. When you kill too much beasts, or harvest too much, one area can end up having none of them. You can see monsters "copulating" all around and there are the "puppy" version of the monsters. I can be remembering things wrong since there is a while I played this game. But the point is it feels real. Item finding, looting or finding gold on monsters is not real never...
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Allot of people seem to be stuck on the idea of “how can we make the story more interesting”, but that 1: Isn’t what this thread was about, and 2: Wont fundamentally change anything about the task at hand.

So…if your focus is mixing up the task at hand, then the simple answer would be to create new, more original tasks (gee, what a surprise). When I think about this, my mind immediately goes to mini-games. But, lets get into quests that have relevance to the game’s combat…I would recommend battles with alternate goals and stakes (some cliché examples of these type of missions might be; “protect the king from enemies”, “survive a huge wave of enemies”, “escape from the enemy”, “defeat the enemy within a narrow time limit” and other scenarios where the player’s offensive, defensive and terrene/mobile objectives stray from the norm...be creative).

I’m personally one of those players who couldn’t care less about the plot/story of a quest. I play games for gameplay, if I wanted to be invested more in lore, then I’d read a book.

Of course, the reason that quests in MMOs are so similar and repetitive is because MMOs are all about making as much content as possible; as quickly as possible (hence, fulfilling the word “massive“). Rehashing the same quest concepts then slapping a different story on them saves development time (precious, precious development time!)…If you want your game to see the light of day within the next 10 years, then you too should master the art of cutting corners. I know my rambling is becoming a bit off-topic [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/happy.png[/img], but in conclusion: you probably shouldn’t be making completely original concepts for each and every quest, but rather; rely on a handful of unique concepts. Edited by CommanderZorvox
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[quote name='CommanderZorvox' timestamp='1347916663' post='4981027']
Allot of people seem to be stuck on the idea of “how can we make the story more interesting”, but that 1: Isn’t what this thread was about, and 2: Wont fundamentally change anything about the task at hand.

So…if your focus is mixing up the task at hand, then the simple answer would be to create new, more original tasks (gee, what a surprise). When I think about this, my mind immediately goes to mini-games. But, lets get into quests that have relevance to the game’s combat…I would recommend battles with alternate goals and stakes (some cliché examples of these type of missions might be; “protect the king from enemies”, “survive a huge wave of enemies”, “escape from the enemy”, “defeat the enemy within a narrow time limit” and other scenarios where the player’s offensive, defensive and terrene/mobile objectives stray from the norm...be creative).

I’m personally one of those players who couldn’t care less about the plot/story of a quest. I play games for gameplay, if I wanted to be invested more in lore, then I’d read a book.

Of course, the reason that quests in MMOs are so similar and repetitive is because MMOs are all about making as much content as possible; as quickly as possible (hence, fulfilling the word “massive“). Rehashing the same quest concepts then slapping a different story on them saves development time (precious, precious development time!)…If you want your game to see the light of day within the next 10 years, then you too should master the art of cutting corners. I know my rambling is becoming a bit off-topic [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/happy.png[/img], but in conclusion: you probably shouldn’t be making completely original concepts for each and every quest, but rather; rely on a handful of unique concepts.
[/quote]

Thank you, thats what I was asking from the beginning. Seems people don't understand that quite a lot of players really don't care about the story for every single quest or even the main storyline for a lot of games. It does suck that developers need to rehash ideas and tasks in order to keep players busy, takes too much time and money to come up with all unique content.
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Personally, I've always liked quests that feel like a huge accomplishment when you finish it. Something large in scope. If you're familiar with vanilla WoW (I'm sure most of us are), the way you had to go through multiple quests in order to just gain entrance to Onyxia originally. That quest line, while frustrating at times, really was fun to do. You needed assistance from friends, it was something that didn't simply take 2 minutes to accomplish, you have a tangible reward afterward. Those are qualities in quests that I find appealing.

It was something of a trophy. You could show other people your accomplishment. It doesn't matter that a lot of people had accomplished the feat. YOU accomplished it and it made YOU feel like you did something that mattered.

You can't have every single quest seem so epic obviously, as it would lose it's luster. However, if you can sprinkle in quests from time to time that have large scope, I think it could really help with the quest fatigue that a lot of games suffer from. I know that's nothing new or ground breaking, but I think it's important.
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Also, this would have to be a major design implementation in a game, but I always liked the idea of having a political aspect to quests. Whether it is gaining favor with a specific group relative to other players, or by building your reputation as a politician yourself.

For example, if you were tasked to champion a cause like creating a militia for an area. You can speak with key political figures to convince them with words (or money, or sword/gun) of why a militia is needed to oversee the people of Whateverville. Depending on the success and method of the persuasion, you could be an outcast, enemy of the state, or appointed as an advisor or lawful figure. What would be important here though, is that your outcomes shape your character.
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Allow design of in game items using basic items made through a handful of predefined recipes.

Implement a skill based element in crafting (minigame) that dictates quality.

Allow player the freedom that EVE allows.

The quests in game will be stimulated by:
the economy
the natural separation and opposition created between players in the game (confilct is inevitable)

the economy will be stimulated by the different skills that player excel in. Some are better at combat, some are better at crafting, designing, economics, etc.

Player made quests will tie it all together and be fueled by each player's or each groups desires.
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I think of all the mmo's I've played, I would have to say that runescape has offered the best quests, (Ultima Online had the best player run events, but I would consider that a different category.)
Unlike world of warcraft quests, runescapes quests often times involve using multiple skills, including crafting and combat skills, solving various types of puzzles, and running around the map exploring things and talking to different npcs. The down side of runescapes quests was, just like the old fashioned puzzle games, getting stuck on them for a long time and having to look at the hint guide to finish some of the harder ones.
Another downside to them is they really are not replay able at all unless you start a new account. Most of them are single player, that sort of seems to go strange with the more mmo aspects of the game, but the few ones that are multi-player are somewhat of a pain in the to wait around for a quest partner( although not that bad, I got it done in a day)
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