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May 19th, 2012, 22:29
I've been wondering about the idea of a "Quest clock" as a means of pacing a game's main quest. Not a timer as such, but completing a certain number of miscellaneous quests would cause the main quest to advance to a new stage.

For example, in a main story quest you retrieve a Mystic Relic and give it to Faction Blue, thus pissing off Faction Red. You then go on your merry way exploring random dungeons and delivering letters for strangers.

But meanwhile Faction Red is gathering its strength for revenge, and once you've completed any five sidequests (maybe you advance five ranks in the Mage's Guild, or maybe you clear two dungeons and advance three ranks in the Fighter's Guild, as you like), Faction Red attacks! Now you have to deal with the next stage in the main quest.

So, not so much a time pressure with the threat of failure, but a way of both keeping a realistic sense of time and keeping the main storyline front and center while also encouraging free exploration.

Does this sound like a decent idea? And are people aware of any games that use a similar mechanic?
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