Wizardry 8 - Missing Men and Mutant Frogs
Jay Barnson has upped the next entry in his Wiz8 diary, titled Missing Men and Mutant Frogs. From the design notes (spoilers apply):
The quest with the missing party member was another of those really memorable quests that make an RPG. Face it - in most RPGs (including this one), the endless combats get capital-B Boring. Yeah, they shouldn't, but they do. Lots of wandering around, lots of killing - and it all blurs together over time.
But the quests like this one really stand out, because unique and different things happen. The shake-up of party composition with the missing PC was a surprise. It was a great twist. Finding Brekek who was just "somewhere" in the swamp was not nearly as much fun. A few old-school gamers complained about Oblivion where you were always directed exactly to where your next quest would take you. Does that take the fun out of exploration? Well, yes, sometimes. But so does stumbling around the world hoping to stumble over your next quest objective, because you were (or were not) only given general instructions that you've already forgotten.
There's gotta be a happy medium in there somewhere.
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