Mission Based Questing
April 9, 2009 1 Comment
I am on a questing kick in my last few posts. I believe that questing and how it is done is what is breaking the MMO experience for me. If a company were to mix all of these elements together in some way, I believe that it would be the perfect MMO. Or I am just getting sick of the whole genre and I should go buy a Wii and play a bunch of shitty casual games.
Mission based questing is a quest system that uses personal or group instances a lot. City of Heroes uses this in most of its quests as does Dungeons and Dragons online. Anarchy Online was the first to to do it and it was a big selling point for them and it would of worked had you been able to play AO in the first 3 months. The idea is simple go to a NPC and they give you this quest/mission to go here and find some thing or do some thing. You then go somewhere on the map and zone into your own private questing area and complete the task. The areas are usually full of mobs and a few bosses. When you are done you get a reward.
The benefits of this type of system is the ability to control the encounter. You can have scripted events and mobs that act a little smarter because they are in a controlled environment. You can tell better stories and the experience is not hampered by other players. You also do not run back and forth much for the quest, you get there and you spend 20 -30 minutes completing your task. This is very good for casual players, it allows you to log on do a quest that you actually make some progress on your character on and log off.
A few recent games have dabbled in this and have had some success. Age of Conan does it pretty well in the first 20 levels after that it is back to the old fashioned run here and do this and run back type of questing. DDO relies extensively on this and as a result does not have a very large world to explore. LOTRO does this for its epic story line and a select few quest most of them are group based. WAR does not do this at all and it would be a very welcome addition.
I want this type of questing to be an option that you can do any time and do not need a quest to do. I want to be able to grind these if I want. The questing zones must be very well done not random like a lot of the previous games have done. There needs to be mini missions inside that grant you extra experience or gear, like killing all of the mobs, finding the rare chest, or finding the secret room. The quest giver needs to be stationary so all quest to this particular mission area are given by one person. You could create story arcs. Just the act of zoning in could start the quest. They must be repeatable.
All of this must be mixed with other types of advancement to give the player the option to level how they want to. This is all about choice, we play these games to have fun and we should be able to choose how we would like to play, and one person should not be penelized for doing something different.