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Norman Barrows

should i have both epic AND mundane quests?

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should i have both epic AND mundane quests?

 

the game: Caveman 3.0 - a FPSRPG/person sim hybrid , stone age setting, open world, sandbox, survival, emphasis on realism.

 

I'm still working my through the list of possible types of quest generators for Caveman.

 

But i've noticed that some of the types of quest i've gotten down to in the list are not that epic.

 

Quest fall into two basic types, those with some sort of special quest encounter, along with the usual random encounters, and those with no special quest encounter, just the usual random encounters.

 

Special quest encounters are specially balanced to party strength to always be epic, but not impossible. quest treasures are also carefully balanced to be quite generous, but not "monty haul".

 

if the player takes on a quest with no special quest encounter, such as a basic escort NPC quest, they only have to contend with the normal random encounters along the way, and the quest's challenge level is therefore most likely "somewhat less than epic".

 

should i make all non-epic quests epic (where possible), and cut the rest? IE things like add badguys trying to whack the NPC you're escorting - that kind of stuff.

 

== OR ==

 

should i have two types of quests: epic and mundane. mundane would not have the epic encounters, but would also not get the epic treasure. epic quests would be rare encounters. mundane tasks/jobs would be  common quest encounters.  this would allow the player to both take on mundane jobs for "pay" (fedex, escort, gather, etc), and take on epic quests for great rewards.

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If possible you should have the non-epic quests earlier in the game and the epic quests later in the game.  I think it's good to have both though.

 

 

 hmm...

 

there really is no "earlier" vs "later" in the game, unless you measure it by number of days alive, or total skill exp, etc. there's no over-arching storyline where mundane tasks might appear early on (like tote shields for the companions in skyrim) with more epic undertakings later on in the story.

 

both quest and random encounters are scaled to party strength, the difference being that quests range from a single 1st level opponent on up, while random encounters have a minimum of one and a max of num_appearing for that animal type. but you might still encounter a single 10th level animal while at 1st level (so to speak).  so random encounters may be imbalanced with a weak party vs a single strong animal (sabertooth! time to run!), or they may be imbalanced between a strong party and a small/weak herd (rhim gazelle! time to hunt!). quest encounters are carefully scaled to always provide as close as possible to, and no better than, 50-50 odds in favor of the player's party.

 

almost all quests are "random encounters" that can occur at the shelters of friendly bands: "the cavemen here tell you of a great treasure... go for the treasure? yes, no.", that kind of thing.

 

i was thinking that mundane tasks/jobs might make sense from both gameplay and immersion standpoints. its more stuff you can do that might have occurred in the real world. and given the random encounter driven design of the game, from bushwhackers to sabertooths to catching a cold to montezuma's revenge from drinking dirty water, even a mundane fedex or escort mission might turn into quite the little adventure.

 

it could potentially almost double the number of quest types possible, such as escort quests with and without a special quest encounter. tasks/jobs for those who want them, and epic challenges for those who seek that. between the quest and random wilderness encounter scaling for party strength, both jobs and quests would be appropriately challenging. about the only challenge in implementing it would be determining the proper reduced reward for jobs vs quests. maybe start at 1/2 quest treasure levels and adjust as necessary.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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While epic quests add a lot of intense fun, mundane quests can afford players a break to level themselves up at their leisure, hone skills for an epic quest, and (from the development side) prolong gameplay. This allows for more playability instead of repeating the same epic quests over and over. Just be careful not to make the mundane quests a drag.

Are they inescapable random encounters, or can a player search for epic encounters? Are there faces that hold legendary beasts?

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I feel kind of dirty using this example, but I am positive you will need both in your game. WoW (World of Warcraft) had an expansion without the mundane daily quests and people got pissed.

 

I think @[member='Oove'], hit the sweet spot with his comment:

Like 1 Like Posted Today, 07:36 PM While epic quests add a lot of intense fun, mundane quests can afford players a break to level themselves up at their leisure, hone skills for an epic quest
 

 

Some of your player base will have issues defeating enemies even at equal levels and having the option to take a few side quests and level up or gear a bit better can allow them to more fully enjoy the experience you have created without making it too easy.

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One of my favourite quests in The Witcher 3 was the frying-pan one.  If you've played the game, you'll know what I'm talking about.

 

I think that's all the evidence you need that mundane quests should be included.

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should i have two types of quests: epic and mundane. mundane would not have the epic encounters, but would also not get the epic treasure. epic quests would be rare encounters. mundane tasks/jobs would be common quest encounters. this would allow the player to both take on mundane jobs for "pay" (fedex, escort, gather, etc), and take on epic quests for great rewards.

 

This is best course, IMO. Personally, I like to gain a little coin escorting Granny Babaluu to the grocery store without having to fight for my life in some epic or near-death experience. Some downtime quest-wise is a good thing.

 

Another idea is to have mundane quests lead to epic quests. For instance, you get a hint about an epic quest everytime you take a mundane quest. Once you have enough clues, you can go to where the epic quest is or the epic quest can be unlocked for you.

Edited by Alpheus

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mundane quests can afford players a break to level themselves up at their leisure, hone skills for an epic quest

 

defense is the only skill that only goes up in combat. all other combat related skills can be learned or practiced to gain exp in that skill. You don't have to grind to get exp in combat skills (except for defense skill) . you can just train.

 

 

 

and (from the development side) prolong gameplay.

 

cheap tricks to prolong gameplay is a "bad designer! no twinkie!" move. 

 

from "what to do when you're high level"...

 

"the player needs a continual supply of compelling new content to prolong gameplay. "

 

mundane quests are not compelling.  i started this thread with the thought that:

 

"just because a quest can be done doesn't necessarily mean it should be done."

 

 

 

Just be careful not to make the mundane quests a drag.

 

ah, but that's the thing. they ARE mundane tasks. stuff like escort NPC with nothing but the usual random encounters to contend with, fedex missions with nothing but the usual random encounters to contend with, and so on. IE these are simply freelance "jobs" that one might have been "hired" for in caveman times. the game has always had mercenary warriors in it that the player can hire.

 

but as you say, they do give the player the opportunity to gain some trade goods and/or useful gear. or simply something to do other than wander around looking for, or sitting around waiting for, encounters.

 

 

 

Are they inescapable random encounters

 

well, you can always try to run away....    <g>

 

 

 

can a player search for epic encounters?

 

 

there are two types of encounters:  

1. standard random encounters

2. epic quest encounters - only occur during epic quests.

 

almost all quests begin as a random "quest encounter" at a friendly shelter. so you must be at a friendly shelter to get a quest. so in that respect, you can go to friendly shelters to seek out epic quests with epic encounters.

 

 

 

Are there places that hold legendary beasts?
 

 

planned, but not implemented yet. special encounter areas are part of the questgen todo list.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Some of your player base will have issues defeating enemies even at equal levels and having the option to take a few side quests and level up or gear a bit better can allow them to more fully enjoy the experience you have created without making it too easy.

 

actually as i think about it, it would provide a way to get gear and trade goods without crafting and research. which gives you another way to play the game.

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Another idea is to have mundane quests lead to epic quests. For instance, you get a hint about an epic quest everytime you take a mundane quest. Once you have enough clues, you can go to where the epic quest is or the epic quest can be unlocked for you.

 

interesting thought.

 

right now all the quests are atomic stand alone quests, often multi-stage, but no true quest lines or campaigns.

 

seems like having jobs lead to epic quests would have to be custom coded so the stories fit together somehow. 

 

i do plan to add a "quest editor" for hard-coded quest lines like that. and the quest editor will be one of the built-in tools in the full version of the game. so users can make and share quests.

 

its could be done with a questgen as well, just a really big one that handled both jobs and the follow on epic quest as one big quest.

 

or possibly some way to track jobs completed and set flags to trigger specific epic quests on completion of certain jobs who's stories can be made to match up with the quest.

 

its all about generating / editing a cohesive story.

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