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August 27th, 2009, 03:48
In a new blog post, Steven Peeler discusses the dynamic nature of the quest system in their next action/RPG, which results in genuine urgency and consequences. Here's the intro and the first of several examples:
Pretty much all rpgs have quests, so how is our quest system in our upcoming dungeon crawl different? Well frankly in most rpgs (there are exceptions of course) quests exist in a vacuum. They will sit there forever, nothing can change them and they change nothing either. Your choices don't really matter. There are no consequences to your actions. You can't really fail. Text like "hurry", "emergency", and "or else" are just flavor text and don't mean anything. And every time through a typical rpg the quests are exactly the same as the last play through.
None of this is true for our upcoming game (Depths of Peril is similar in many ways). I'm going to show this with a bunch of examples of the typical rpg and our game. These examples will overlap a bit.
Real choices:
Bonelord has taken Airik hostage and demands a ransom to be paid. In a typical rpg, if you even have the choice of whether or not you pay, either direction is going to end up with you rescuing Airik, either because the choice is phony or you have to use save games when you fail. In our game, you really do have the choice and the choices lead to different outcomes. If you pay off the ransom, you will get Airik back, but Bonelord leaves with your money and is very likely to take another hostage now that he knows he has a sucker. If you refuse, Bonelord will attack and try to kill Airik. Airik is very mortal. If he dies, he really will be dead and you might be without an important NPC for the rest of this adventure.
More information.

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August 27th, 2009, 03:48
That's a cool concept, but it's an utter nightmare for a complete-ist like me. I'd always know that I was missing a portion of the game and would have no idea if I'd taken the "best" branch. It's real world and it's true "choice and consequence"…all those things we gamers whine about wanting all the time. And it would drive me completely nuts if someone really gave it to me.

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August 27th, 2009, 04:06
I tend to agree. It sounds great but how much fun is going to be to lose the NPC if you screw up and can't reload? On the other hand, if it's like Depths of Peril, it's a constantly shifting game experience where you can start over and its not a big hairy deal. Still that example sounds sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Could be tactically interesting, though.

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August 27th, 2009, 04:11
This sounds great. I loved how Depths of Perils quests actually made a difference in the game.

I didn't really understand the consequences to skipping or failing a quest until my second run through of the game. If you skipped or failed a warning that a group of monsters were in a certain area, then later they would be more powerful and would continue to grow. When I finally figured that out, that the quests weren't exactly all random if you failed some, it was awesome. I never even suspected that the game had those kinds of consequences. I was too focused on the faction part. I didn't even consider that there were more to the quests than just your usual filler/xp. I don't believe there was any other game like that where the quests didn't exist in a "vacuum".

I'm certainly glad that they're making a game similar in concept to Depths of Peril. Kivi was a step back, imo. This game is 2 steps foreward.

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August 27th, 2009, 04:12
Based on the two games, I trust Steven Peeler to pull it off. I think it is a balancing act like everything else.

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August 27th, 2009, 07:11
Perfect, an instant-whine receipt for slow people
I'm not sure how i would feel about game that is just going by itself, and player is just swallowing up the consequences
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August 27th, 2009, 07:49
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
It sounds great but how much fun is going to be to lose the NPC if you screw up and can't reload? On the other hand, if it's like Depths of Peril, it's a constantly shifting game experience where you can start over and its not a big hairy deal. Still that example sounds sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't.
If the NPC is male, has annoying voice acting and dialog plus owns no good skills at all would you still consider saving him?

Personally, I belong to the branch of RPG fans who always hope for more games like Arcanum/Fallout, so this piece of news definitely caught my interest.
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August 27th, 2009, 08:03
I really liked the Dephts of Peril demo, but in the end I decided not to buy it because it seemed like it would become very repetitive very fast for myself. However I would certainly try this one out.
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August 27th, 2009, 09:57
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
That's a cool concept, but it's an utter nightmare for a complete-ist like me.
no offence and nothing personal, but completists are the people who are destroying the genre, forcing feeble-minded devs to make childish fedex-collection adventures.

completists, a weirded-up version of munchkins, are out of place if we talk rpgs.
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August 27th, 2009, 11:22
Airik


What's next ?

Arik ? Alrick ? Erik ?


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August 27th, 2009, 13:07
'rik

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August 27th, 2009, 14:11
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
I tend to agree. It sounds great but how much fun is going to be to lose the NPC if you screw up and can't reload? On the other hand, if it's like Depths of Peril, it's a constantly shifting game experience where you can start over and its not a big hairy deal. Still that example sounds sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't.
This is why we are breaking things up into separate adventures (similar to DoP's worlds). This lets us have real consequences for the current adventure, but doesn't screw you forever.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
I didn't really understand the consequences to skipping or failing a quest until my second run through of the game. If you skipped or failed a warning that a group of monsters were in a certain area, then later they would be more powerful and would continue to grow. When I finally figured that out, that the quests weren't exactly all random if you failed some, it was awesome.
In this game, I'm trying to make the connections between the quests more obvious. Instead of getting a message that an assassin is in town, you will get a message like Grime has sent an assassin to the town. So now you would know that you have left Grime live too long.

Steven Peeler
lead designer/programmer of Depths of Peril
http://www.soldak.com/
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August 27th, 2009, 14:30
Brrrw, I am using a kind of simular system in my game, now I am going to be accused of copying this

Great to get feedback about it though!
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August 27th, 2009, 14:31
Originally Posted by Steven Peeler View Post
In this game, I'm trying to make the connections between the quests more obvious. Instead of getting a message that an assassin is in town, you will get a message like Grime has sent an assassin to the town. So now you would know that you have left Grime live too long.
Even better than the original. I can't tell you how surprised I was when I figured out that the quests actually mattered and had a real effect to the game itself.

When I first played I was really focused on the convenants. I was using my Civ experience to see what kind of diplomacy worked best. I was surprised when other convenants started sending me gifts. With other games diplomacy boils down to just bribing the AI. It's unheard of that the AI bribes you back This was one of the few games that I felt diplomacy was a real option.

I didn't complete the game the first time around(I mean all the way to the main quests end). My mage couldn't get past one of the big bosses. I put all my points into just spells and when the boss started reflecting them back at me, well there wasn't anything I could do.

The second play through I didn't have to concentrate on convenants so much and to my surprise the game had even more to offer. The quests actually meant something.

It's still one of the most surprisingly well done games that I've ever bought.

BTW thank you for getting back to making this type of game again. I can't wait till you finish….well, actually I can. Don't finish too quickly. There are tons of games being released soon to keep me busy for quite a while or at least till you're done

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August 27th, 2009, 14:32
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Brrrw, I am using a kind of simular quest system in my game, now I am going to be accused of copying this

Great to get feedback about it though!
Don't worry GG, you won't be accused of copying. It's the next logical step in gaming. It's funny that so few games actually do this.

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August 27th, 2009, 16:49
Originally Posted by Steven Peeler View Post
This is why we are breaking things up into separate adventures (similar to DoP's worlds). This lets us have real consequences for the current adventure, but doesn't screw you forever.



In this game, I'm trying to make the connections between the quests more obvious. Instead of getting a message that an assassin is in town, you will get a message like Grime has sent an assassin to the town. So now you would know that you have left Grime live too long.
Thanks for the clarification. I enjoyed the quest set-up in DoP, and how the game pulled off being intricate and clear at the same time, without being too easy or ridiculously difficult if you screwed up. Also, despite the quests being cyclical and similar every time, they never really seemed repetitive—don't know how you did that one.
Any way, if it's going to play out in the way you describe, it does add an extra layer of interest and credibility to the quests, which can only be a good thing.

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August 27th, 2009, 19:43
I like the sound of the quests though I never played DoP. The covenants just didn't sound to be my cup of tea. I prefer to go off and do my own thing and the covenants kinda tied you down. I'd rather work for whichever covenant paid me best

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August 27th, 2009, 21:25
I don't mind having occasional time-sensitive quests, as long as they generally wont overlap. I like to play at a very measured, deliberate pace. If an urgent quest comes along that forces me to act, that's fine, or even a great thing. But if that means I'm going to miss out on content of other quests that's a significant negative against which the benefits must be weighed. Of course, I take such things far less seriously in action RPGs which typically aren't my cup of tea anyways.
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August 28th, 2009, 01:11
I think a lot of people missed this stuff in DoP but this sort of dynamic world is one of the reasons I love it so much. Granted, the system isn't the same as the dialogue-heavy story-changing traditional CRPG many of us would dearly love but the nuts and bolts are there and it makes for a great experience if you play the game long enough to together the bigger picture.

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August 28th, 2009, 15:45
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I like the sound of the quests though I never played DoP. The covenants just didn't sound to be my cup of tea. I prefer to go off and do my own thing and the covenants kinda tied you down. I'd rather work for whichever covenant paid me best
You can actually ignore the covenant stuff fairly easily if you want to in DoP. When you start a world you get to choose how high a level the other covenants are. So once you level up a few times you can make the other covenants irrelevant.

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http://www.soldak.com/
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