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> Norco's Wall of Text Part 4, Quests - More teamwork and roots
post May 11 2020, 08:09 AM
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Introduction - Some short info of what I think in general
Ok, after seeing different threads about how they think the game can be improved I have decided to make a few threads covering as many areas as I can. Some areas such as Tradeskills and PvP I will just mention small things because I hardly ever tradeskill, I have not pvped on the pvp server in years and in those years changes have been made that I am not all up to date on. One thing I am going to put a lot of weight on is things that could attract more players. Other things I am going to put a lot of weight on is special quest in the same style as third book. Making bosses more unique and interesting to fight and how I think they can be added without upsetting the community. I am also going to focus a lot of feats, I know new feats will be coming out with the RWD update, however I want to mention some ideas there anyway.

In my previous thread I talked about bosses, what's wrong with them, what makes a boss worth it vs what doesnít make a boss worth it. Finally how bosses could be improved.

Disclaimer - Because of the upcoming update
Okay, before I start I must mention that I know that FujiQ have already gone through an insane amount of quests already in order to get the quest log working. With that in mind, some of what I write here might have been tweaked already in the upcoming update with the quest log. Even so this is something I planned writing years ago and I figure might as well throw in my 5 cents in case some inspiration is needed.

Quests - What I think of quests in general
I think quests are often a cornerstone of a lot of mmorpgs. They often add more to the world in terms of lore and often a great way to level up and sometimes even gear that you can use. When done right they are soo much fun to do and other times they are down right awful. I mean who else here HATED getting the Spy Plans for Mukk quest for example? Sure it's a great reward but quests should feel more fluid. Also the experience rewarded from a lot of quests are not balanced. Many of the quests feel identical after a while. To this day the most advanced quest in the game is still the 3rd book for guild quest, which I love. However there should be more quests along those lines, just toned down a little if you ask me, because come on that quest takes A LOT of work.

I also think itís important that not all quests are lore heavy, I mean there's a lot of people that just want the experience reward so they can get to the endgame. That is totally fine if you ask me, however I think that if quests hinted at something hidden then those that read everything could get rewarded in some fashion. It certainly would make quests more interesting. So Iím gonna go through a few key points that I think are important for quests.

Experience - Why it needs to be more consistent
So this might be one of the most boring parts but I think it is actually really important. For example there is a quest in Silvest that gives over 100k exp, while another one gives around 1k. Neither of them are that hard from what I recall but the experience difference is so big that people start skipping quests because they are tired of looking for quests worth their while.

Sure there are more streamlined quests such as running Monks, doing Dransik Trading Mercenary quests, Lotorian Knight quests and Chaos Knight quests. However not even them are balanced and could use some tweaks. I am going to bring up some of these later in the post.

Bottom line is, the experience for quests is a GREAT motivator to keep playing and consistency helps with that A LOT.

Streamlined quests - Kind of dull but very important.
Sure this is an mmorpg, a roleplaying game at its core. But let's face it, not everyone wants to engage in the roleplay aspect. Even though it pains me a little bit to say that. A lot of games I play nowadays have specific level up quests to help newer players catch up to the veteran players if they want to. I actually find this especially healthy on a PvP server. I think if a low leveled player got killed over and over again they might want revenge and if they cannot get that it will be like ďwell this sucks, Iím going back to FortniteĒ. I am not saying the experience here should be INSANE but it should be good enough to feel like you can make progress and like you have a chance to progress.

So what are these ďstreamlined questsĒ I speak of? I am going to list them here now.

Streamlined quests
- Lotorian Knight (LK) Requires no expansion
- Chaos Knight (CK) Requires Talarzarís Revenge (TR) expansion
- Dransik Trading Merchant (DTM) Requires Tideís of Fates (ToF) expansion

LK quest give you a random monster you can find in the non-expansion area to take down enough times (somewhere between 40 - 100 ish if I recall correctly?), return and you get experience pool (epool). Quite simple on paper. The problem with the LK quests are, most new players have probably never heard of the monster because a lot of the time it will be too far away. Yes, you can ask for a new task, but that could also lead to up to 15 minutes of resetting til you get the task you want. Also let's face it, the experience reward is not that great compared to the other options. Though in its defence, it doesnít require an expansion pack, it's free.

CK quests are basically the same thing, just that itís only monsters from the TR area. The monsters are higher level and therefore you get slightly better experience. Since the TR area is a bit more compact, it's easier to find the correct monster. Also since TR has advanced skills, you can choose to receive slightly more experience but it goes into one of those skills instead of epool.

DTM quests, oh boy. So instead of getting a random monster you get to choose a monster type and based on how hard they are that influence the experience you get when turning in the quest. Not only that though you can ask to receive more of a challenge which means that can take down somewhere between 280 to 1400(cannot remember the exact numbers) of a monster type. Which in turn will give you A LOT of epool when you turn it in, sometimes you skip several levels. This gets even more insane when you do it during an experience boost. The only drawback is that for the quest that give the best experience you probably have to travel quite a bit. But with all the portals, speed boosts and soulstones itís not really an issue.

So for starters what can we learn from these quests? (Other than that Sands of Creation expansion hates leveling) Well anyone who got all expansions will tell you ďJust do DTMís, LK and CK quests suckĒ. Which is kind of fair, the difference is actually pretty significant. You get to choose exactly what you want to hunt and for most part the experience is better. LK and CK quests probably need a revamp. The reason that I am not saying DTM should be nerfed is because without it getting to level 110 is quite frankly ridiculous, which is why these quests are needed.

How can LK and CK quests be revamped? First of all since LK quests are the first streamlined quests players come across I would say that depending on which LK you talk to it should only give out monsters from that area. That way it's not as exclusive as the DTM but still a more viable option. It also makes way more sense from a roleplaying perspective. For CK quests I think it should be similar, though since CK is TR only I think it should yield more experience then LK quests. Maybe even add in the option to get more of a challenge, just not as insane as DTM. Maybe cap at 500, not sure what would be optimal but I think DTM should still be exclusive for that high a number.

Another idea would be to make it so you get to choose based on difficulty, so if you say easy you get monsters from a certain level span, normal another one and hard high level monsters. Still donít get to choose exactly what you want like with DTM but itís something.

Patron quests - Dear lord what happened here?!
So at the early stages of the game you can align yourself with one of three towns. Silvest, Whisperdale or Krog. Also known as the starter towns. In doing so you get an extra orb in the stat the town represents. Silvest gives +1 Int, Whisperdale gives +1 and Krog gives +1 Str. These orbs also ignore the cap of 100 in a base stat, meaning you can go up to 101 in one of the stats. The other part is that you can do Patron quests which give you points that can then be used to get a piece of armor representing the town and stat. This all sounds cool on paper but the patron quests are NOT COOL.

Oh dear lord, I mean honestly. Completing these quests are ACTUALLY INSANE! No offence to the people who have, but I am sure you guys agree as well. The reward for these quests are not near enough for the amount of work that you need to put into them. I mean with the streamlined quests you can at least ask for a new task.

Okay, letís say you do these quests. Early on the amount of points you get for each quest is laughable or you get something you cannot handle. And even if you have done a couple of quests the points are still pretty laughable. I mean first you accept the quest letís say Silvest and then he gives you a quest to take out monsters all the waay over in New Lands near the Broken Finger Dungeon (BFD). The spawn there is okay at best, but thatís not the real issue. Why on earth would the Patron send you that far, what have these monsters ever done to Silvest? It feels more like a suicide mission then a quest to strenghen the town you are trying to represent. It feels especially weird considering it is one of the first quests you come across after leaving Valinor. Back on track. So to get the gear you sometimes have to turn around 20 of these quests to get the reward.

So how can they be changed? Well we already know that these quests are being worked on but I am going to throw in some suggestions anyway, else this part is just banter (Sorry for that xD). There are a number of ways this quest could be changed. The point reward to be bumped up, maybe even throw in a really nice experience reward. The points required for a reward could be lowered. Both of these are good, though I personally feel that these quests should be a bit more local. It makes more sense from a roleplaying standpoint and it is easier for the player doing them. Another idea is to make the gear more worthwhile.

Now I figure a lot of people have never actually seen the full armor sets so I am going to link them there so you can see the stats.
Silvest - https://www.aedatabase.com/search_results.php?name=Silvest
Whisperdale - https://www.aedatabase.com/search_results.p...ame=Whisperdale
Krog - https://www.aedatabase.com/search_results.php?name=Krog

The armor count on several of the pieces are actually quite good, the resistances and stats are a bit lackluster considering the work. Most people have probably already found better gear by the time they get any of these which basically renders most of it useless. I am not saying they should be overpowered but maybe just throw in one more resists, slight increase in the stats they are representing and a hp buff on some of the parts. Adding some con could also work. Possibly even change some of the resistances all together.

Another idea is if the quest got a lot easier is to revamp all the gear to make it consistent for a certain level span. Either way is fine really but personally I think that revamping the entire set would be better. Apology for anyone who has completed this quest and already has all the pieces.

World quests - Quests that make you progress through the world
What do I mean with "world quests"? I think there should be one quest in each area that is slightly harder than the rest which either makes you walk to the next area for a reward or recommend you to talk to an npc in the next town over.

What would this accomplish? It would sort of force you to walk the land rather than ask someone for hotspots and power level there. Mostly because you won't have to ask. This is another reason why I think LK quests should only offer to kill monsters in the area relative to that LK.

This also goes hand in hand of what I talked about in Norco's Wall of Text part 1. Town uniqueness. Because if both the quests and the shops give enough reason to travel there, why wouldn't you?

An example would be Silvest > Varg > Hothbra > Jeel > Lotor's Castle > Vrethpool. Which as a collective area would be Krythan for example. So what if you complete all the progressive quests for Krythan? Well there should be a cool reward for all that hard work. Personally I think Sandals of the Fleet would make a perfect reward, because the travel distance is only going to increase from there.

Same should of course go for Whisperdale and Krog. Though I think the towns there could use some tweaking, maybe even a whole nother town will have to be added. Especially Whisperdale, not a lot of towns in that area which would make the progression quite steep compared to Silvest.

Hopefully with all this Lotor's Summer Palace (LSP) wouldn't feel as relevant. Sure you could still skip and try a hotspot for powerleveling but then you would miss out on quest rewards and what I plan to mention next. Tying into that, I personally think that some LSP portals should have level requirements. The portals I donít think should have level requirements are Silvest, Whisperdale and Krog. This way friends who picked different towns by mistake can still find each other and get access to more starting quests.

Possibly we could even throw in a quest to enter the rest of LSP, that way people still have to rely on other towns as well. Would also make sense from a roleplay perspective, I mean anyone can waltz in and out and its Lotorís(the king representing good) own resort. You should have to earn the right to enter that area in my opinion.

Hidden areas - Pay attention to the quests
I think if written well enough the npc handing out a quest could hint at a hidden area for the player to find. That way those who care about the roleplaying and lore would get a sense of accomplishment.

It could be as simple as "We keep losing people in the forest south of Hothbra, so be careful." Now this could be just stating the fact that monsters are dangerous for your level or there could be a trapdoor for you to find. What is in there could either be more lore or even a hidden quest. Could also be a good spot to level up. There are a lot of things that could be done there. Either way it makes the world more interesting.

This is done to a certain degree with Galen's quest where you have to enter the Kobold Castle. Which by the way I think can have more lore and quests. Especially the kobold town to the east. There are other quests which do this too but I think they are either too few or the quest doesn't feel worth it.

Lore - Gives more flavor to the world
This goes hand in hand with what I wrote earlier. Most of the time the lore is just thrown in there, which is fine, but what if the lore came in handy in a later quest? Basically your knowledge of the world is tested to a certain degree or you won't get a quest/get to continue with a quest.

Could be a couple of questions or the lore help you navigate an area to complete a quest or reach a boss. Now honestly I don't remember all the specifics so bear with me in the following example. One way in a dungeon is well lit up in various ways hinting at something for Isos and one way is barely lit and leads to something regarding Agon. This is a really simple example just to give you an idea and can be done a lot better, for example the hints could be more subtle. Also picking the wrong way you could walk into a trap.

This will give the lore more meaning other than just being lore. Also a little humor in there wouldn't hurt. I mean given how dark the world is, there must have been at least one drunk scholar writing the stuff you find in books.

To give a little context of how lore could be represented(other than the example earlier) I am going to list the gods and what they stand for. (If I missed any please let me know so I can edit it in!)

Isos - God of Light
Agon - God of Darkness
Veldan - God of the Land
Ulthien - Goddess of Life
Sabal - Goddess of Chaos
Arna - Goddess of Order
Kuthos - God of Runes

Manlith - Prophet from Arda
Manelox - High Priest of Agon

Ulthien for example had a part in orcs creating Krog. Whisperdale pray to Veldan for keeping their land safe during the Rune Wars and so on. Then there is also the Rune Warriors, Lotor and Talazar which play a pretty big part in the story. There is a lot of dialog and text referencing to a lot of this.

Lore just being lore is great and there is tons of it, but when the lore plays a part in how you navigate the land it becomes more interesting and makes the world feel more alive. It doesn't even have to be a new quest, it could be altering an old one.

Third Book - Why it is awesome and also awful
In case there is anyone out there who doesnít know. Third Book is the third part of the guild quest and what makes it so special is that it takes you plus eight more people. Yes, it is a quest which needs nine people in total and here is the kicker only one person can get the quest update per run. So if those helping also need it, you will probably be doing it nine times in a row. Now the purpose of this for a person to prove themselves worthy by gathering enough people to help them, itís a rite of leadership. So the leader does the quest and the other 8 join his/her guild. Also everyone doing or helping with this quest have to be guildless.

Now for the purpose of the quest, this is actually really clever. You have to communicate a lot or you will fail, same goes if you are running a guild. Though it becomes a problem when people wanna help someone to complete it but they donít wanna leave their guild because it is too troublesome to rejoin. Also every other game you can make a guild by the press of a button, so that can frustrate people too. Only change I am suggesting for this quest is actually just to change so you can help even if you already are in a guild. For one it takes away the frustration factor from those helping and also gathering 8 people is still a good way to show leadership. Hard part is actually getting people to listen during the quest, so I think the core idea is still there.

Teamwork quests
Anyway the main reason I am bringing up Third Book is actually not to suggest that one thing(although it is part of it). The cool part about this quest is that it takes more than one person to complete. I think there should be more quests like that, just on a smaller scale. I am thinking maybe a group of three or four, an argument could even be made for six. Though I think people only say that because of VF and BFD. Which is fair it makes the game feel more consistent. The idea here in my opinion is to get people used to hunting in groups. The smaller it is at start, the easier it will be to keep track of. Also I think everyone in the group should get the quest update unlike Third Book where itís all for one.

The reason I think three or four is quite simple. One warrior, one archer and one mage and if it's four you got place for a filler. With this you get a good party to take one a small boss or dungeon with relative ease. Could also be that you have to split up in order to pull switches, this is the case in the Darkwing dungeon so itís basically preparing you for whatís to come. Also another point is that if there are more people, there is a higher chance someone paid attention to the lore and the party might find something even cooler. Now I donít have an example for a whole quest, but I think this gives a general idea of what could be interesting and why.

Quest rewards - Being able to enter new areas and item rewards
When talking about quest rewards one of the first things that comes to mind is how much experience of course. However I am not going to discuss that here, for one I already talked about it earlier and secondly because in a way other rewards are more exciting. What I am going to discuss here is perks, gear and access areas.

Access to new area
First off, I am going to bring up access to new areas. Now there are several quests that do this. Just to name a few we have Proudblood Valley, Valekarís Fortress, Dragons, Mukarramma, Artraxis, Mushroom Land and many more. For these quests, experience is not the focal point rather what you gain. For example Artraxis and Dragons have very good drops for the respective area. Valekarís Fortress does this to a certain degree as well but there the majority of the monsters drop a lot of what the bosses drop. So the quest reward is not as impressive in a way (though that place looks dope).

Basically the point I am trying to make here is that the area you gain access to has to be worth it. So if the experience is massive, well maybe there doesnít have to be that many good drops, but if itís low maybe there should be some cool drops there to compensate. You could also make the case that the monsters there give more bonus experience than other monsters in the area. Quite simply, it should be one or the other so each area feels like it has a purpose. Else it will just be empty land.

Gear and item rewards
For many I think this makes a quest the most interesting, you do a quest and *bam* instant upgrade for your character. Jenkinís Boots, Tiger Pelt Cloak, Savanna Hunter, Caiman, Titan, Shadow and more. Now several of these are fine, in fact several are quite good. So I am going to focus on one that is not, Shadow quest. So why am I focusing on Shadow quest? Well for one itís early on, secondly itís filled with lore and as cool as the reward sounds it is actually kind of lackluster in terms of usability.

I want to point out that I actually think the quest is really cool, itís actually fairly well designed(as far as I can remember). Except for the last part. How the reward is executed has always bugged me and it kind of feels like a slap in the face. You could argue since the majority of the quest is interesting itís okay, but letís not settle for okay. Letís make it awesome. So what is the reward in terms of gear? You get one of four parts of the Shadow set (https://www.aedatabase.com/search_results.php?name=Shadow). There is a cloak, helm, gloves and leggings. Since you only get one piece you need to do the quest four times in order to complete the set. However there is really only one part that is worth it in the end which is the Cloak. However you donít get to choose. You could get gloves four times in a row.

So why is only the Cloak worth it? Well for the Helm you can just do the Dunaga quest and get his Cap instead. For Gloves you can just buy Platemail Gloves and Leggings you can get Chainmail Leggs, Plate Leggs or Rugged Plate Leggs. All of these which you can buy in pretty much any shop and it doesnít require anything special, so any build can use it. Then for the Cloak, well for itís level if you have no expansion there is pretty much only Ettin Hide Cape which is a rare drop and Ettins are no joke early on.

So to conclude Shadow Quest, what should be done? First of all the set should be slightly stronger. Iím talking maybe +1 Dex or +2 Con and maybe a 2% resistance in something. Also I either think you should get to choose which part you get or make it so you can get the other parts as well. Maybe each part could represent a stat. So you get something which boosts str, int, dex or con. Though personally I would like to see more parts.

There are waay more quests with gear as rewards that can be fine tuned but I figured I would focus on one early on because quite frankly, I like that quest.

Bosses and RNG - Quests should be completable
So this one is actually very simple, some bosses honestly do not spawn enough. There are a number of bosses that you need to kill for quests only that they are never home because theyíre camped due to the loot they have. Sure we donít want good gear to drop too much, but when you can go almost a year without seeing a boss you need for a quest then maybe that needs a change.

There are also some quests which honestly feel like they take forever, I am just going to mention one of these quests because honestly I cannot remember all of them. Rebel Spy Plans, I think a lot of people will agree that this quest feels like it makes or breaks you. Itís 100% luck if you complete it or not and the odds are not good. Iíve completed it three times and each time I thought of quitting the game. If the odds are not tuned then the loot needs to be more worth it or the experience there has to be better.

Now with that said, quests doesn't all have to be easy, some can be hard. Just not you know hard to the point where you think the quest is broken.

Conclusion - What have we gone over and what can we learn from this?
A lot of the quests lack consistency in experience, which we know is being worked on (GO FUJIQ!!!). Streamlined quests or leveling up quests are important for several reasons, if you wanna skip a lot of stuff or catch up because you didnít grind properly for something then you should have that option. Which again ties in with experience consistency.

Patron quests need a revamp, which we also know is being worked on (FujiQ is really killing it out there). If this is well made then maybe we could get similar quests for later levels, because honestly the base idea is pretty nice. Both of these will help early game and that is important because I think a lot of people give up early on.

Quests should guide you to other quests or other areas, lore can tie into this quite a bit which would make the world feel more alive and interesting. Especially if itís a quest which requires more than one player(but not 9 people, dear lord xD). The experience reward isnít everything, sometimes itís the other stuff you get such as access to another area or new gear.

Now for everyone who has read this far I would like to ask you to respond with quests you like and dislike, this should give the DEV team a general idea what works and what doesnít.

Coming up in Part 5.. I donít know yet, Iíll get back to you all on that one xD

Links to previous Walls of Text
Norco's Wall of Text Part 1 - Attracting new players
Norco's Wall of Text Part 2 - Feats, other features and why they are important
Norco's Wall of Text Part 3 - Bosses - The extra spice they need
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