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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Pointless Quest Syndrome

Default Pointless Quest Syndrome

June 18th, 2010, 12:35
So we have all done them, collect 15 pieces of X to get reward Y from me.

Go from person A to person B with message C.

Kill ten monsters of type Z.

What I am woundering is if anyone acctually enjoy these kind of quests? ussually my first reaction when I get them in RPG's these days is…… not again.

What are your thought about these kind of quests. Is there any point to them ? do you want them in your RPG game?
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June 18th, 2010, 13:06
Crap filler suitable only for MMO's!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 18th, 2010, 13:18
I award you 500xp for this thread. Create 4 more threads to earn enough xp to gain a level.

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June 18th, 2010, 14:53
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
So we have all done them, collect 15 pieces of X to get reward Y from me.

Go from person A to person B with message C.

Kill ten monsters of type Z.

What I am woundering is if anyone acctually enjoy these kind of quests? ussually my first reaction when I get them in RPG's these days is…… not again.

What are your thought about these kind of quests. Is there any point to them ? do you want them in your RPG game?
Depends.

If there is a nice backstory writen why monster type Z must be killed. Or why Person A needs something delivered to person B. Make me care about this objective. I think it would be fun if you would add twists and turns to these harmless looking quests.

Like you would be mentoring and some young militiaman on his first official mission (helping him to kill wulfs that are threathning the village), so that he would gain prestige with the village elder and could marry his daughter. OR you could totally make him look like a tool and destroy youngsters chance for happiness which would lead them running away from the village etc. Later on you would run into them in some big town and they would try to repay you for your evil deeds. At that point you could try to restore your wrong deeds or kill them outright or take advantage of them…

An other example. Maybe the reason why person A asks you to deliver some goods is because he desires to frame you for some reason (old revenge, conspiracy and so forth). The goods he asks you to deliver are actually stolen/illegal/dangerous and thus you end up trouble with the local law enforcement and the judge throws you into jail which leads to…

Or what if the wulfs attacking the village because of some ancient curse and you could try to lift it and restore natural order of things. Or they are attacking the village because local hunter hasn't done his proper job due to drinking problem. Or the wulfs are actually summoned by a local druid who is not happy how villagers are treating their cattle/nature…

Well you'll get the picture. "Kill monster z" , "deliver item c from a to b" or "find item C and bring it to A" are all meaningless tasks if there is no story writen around this task. It can be a basic delivering job if you write it in an intresting way. It doesn't have to lead to massive conspiracy quest or anything. What if the dialog itself was just extremly funny which would justify the meaningless task to player. Or what if he could ask the guy for a favour that would influence the main storyline much later on in a way that you could have never guessed.

Just make them intresting.
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June 18th, 2010, 17:50
I don't mind those types of quests, in fact, I expect them. The thing is not making them the core of the game (like in WoW and other WoW clones) and not make them as you say… pointless.
A different approach to them would be to not make it a 'fetch me x' or 'kill x of stuff' quest, but just a 'help me do something' and you might end up killing 10 creatures to get enough leather to help the dude, or you might need to go to New Hamburgershire to get the hammer, etc.
Let's face it, almost every fantasy story can be reduced to a 'go and click', 'fetch me' or 'kill stuff', with the occasional detective quest. The Lord of the Rings was just a 'go and click on a glowie (to throw the ring into the fire)' quest.
You can also spice them up, like when you go and click, the glowie is behind a wall, to open the wall you have a puzzle, or a subquest, etc.
The problem as you say is not the type of quests, but their typical 'pointlessness' in most RPGs.
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June 26th, 2010, 12:36
I don't mind these quests - as long as they are really scarce and have a good backstory.

The "grinding factor" can imho be avoided with never letting the amount/number of these "filler quests" be greater than the amount/number of the "proper quests".

Personally, I'd roughl guess 1/5 "filler quests", or even less.

The point is to let the player never reach/have the feeling as if these quests were included just for filling. This can be difficult, I guess, but I also think it is manageable to a certain grade.

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June 26th, 2010, 16:28
In the end, aren't all quests like this though?

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June 26th, 2010, 20:10
I think what makes them different is if you have many ways to achieve the goal and many different outcomes.

Like you can either save, destroy, betray, ignore or pretend to be an ally to a city. If you save it you'll be the hero of the city and have discounts and free housing there for the rest of the game. But if you destory it you might get a loot of good lot. If you ignore it they might win or lose the battle and they'll be neutral to you. If you betray them they'll hate you forever. If you pretend to be their ally they'll first love you, but if they found our later hate you.

Isn't this quite different from fetch 10 wolf pelts?
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June 26th, 2010, 22:43
Sounds great, if it is well worked out !

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June 27th, 2010, 05:51
Hmmm, you described a main-quest sounding action but asked about side or trivial quest actions. If you have 5 or 6 choices in several quests it makes a game confusing and a little boring. For the most part, I want one or two outcomes. Any more and it frustrates me because I can't see everything in one playthrough. I have a 50 hours/week job, I don't have time to replay several scenarios. I'm going to get one shot at your game, or none if there are so many choices that it sounds impossible to complete it.

I may not be your target audience though. Someone like Maylander will complete a game multiple times, so would like several branching choices perhaps. You have to decide which game you want to make and balance that against who you think will buy it. Are there more nuts in the world or more maylanders?

'nut
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June 27th, 2010, 10:12
Are all pointless quests really "pointless"?

Generally they have two purposes. The first is to get to know the rules and what works. I tend to be a typical guy and just jump into games. Rulebooks are for when I get stuck. So I am happy with this.

The second is about developing the PC from weakness to something with strength.

(There is a third - sometimes a simple quest suits my mood especially if I am just tired but want to do something fairly mindless.)

For me the solution is that the filler or side quests should always be optional and have no/ little impact on the main quest. Then it does not matter whether you do it or not or how many there are.

Just some thoughts.
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June 27th, 2010, 12:38
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
So we have all done them, collect 15 pieces of X to get reward Y from me.
A variation could be to get these 15 pieces collected in order to get something made out of it.

Something like … a potion. Or a special kind of armor. Or you find a recipe which needs special, somewhat rare ingredients - but you really cannot make much out of the text so you don't know what it will actually become, after everythuing's collected. And then ou need someone special - like an lchemist, or a master smith - to be able to let something out of this recipe be made. And of course that special person wants something from you (a gift or a deed done) because he or she won't be doing it for free …

I think that's the most basic layout of things like that.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 28th, 2010, 15:34
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Hmmm, you described a main-quest sounding action but asked about side or trivial quest actions. If you have 5 or 6 choices in several quests it makes a game confusing and a little boring. For the most part, I want one or two outcomes. Any more and it frustrates me because I can't see everything in one playthrough. I have a 50 hours/week job, I don't have time to replay several scenarios. I'm going to get one shot at your game, or none if there are so many choices that it sounds impossible to complete it.

I may not be your target audience though. Someone like Maylander will complete a game multiple times, so would like several branching choices perhaps. You have to decide which game you want to make and balance that against who you think will buy it. Are there more nuts in the world or more maylanders?
I don't think you're the target audience though, the target audience that 'wants to see everything in the game in one playthrough'. I think replayability is an important part of a game, and the best replayability there is is when a game has 'branches'. In first playthrough, I helped the Zabu people restore the gem of Zabuness, which is used to kill the Mombus tribe. Second playthrough, I help the Mombus find the Well of Happiness (and when they drink it, the Zabu people die horrible deaths, as that what makes the Mombus happy). So, you have a set of quests that you'll find, and a set you won't see.
If you don't have time for multiple plays, then decide for one and stick with it, that was *your* game. Forget of what could have been.
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June 29th, 2010, 10:25
I think EVEN if I play through a game only one time it is fun to have choices…. otherwise I can just read a book…. IMHO one of the big differences of playing a game is that I can choose what would happen next.

Ussually books have better stories, so I think time is better spent reading a book in that case
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June 29th, 2010, 11:07
You know, there ARE kinds of books where you can "chose your own adventure".

In TDE, these "Solo Adventures" as they are called are also very common. There is quite a number of these books availble - with different flavours of mechanics (all within the scope of the TDE rule set) and with different qualities. Most of them re regarded as being good, though.

And at the RPC I saw a new edition of the older "Lone Wolf" books. Which are of a similar genre. More about them here : http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rp…hp?qsSeries=24

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