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Quests are useless

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Humanity has risen!, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    I am beginning to cringe more and more when an NPC approaches me and says I "might help him". Well thank you very much sir, how about you shove it? Thank you for adding clutter to my game!

    I don't think I can think of a single quest in the dozens of RPGs that I played that I cared about. I have come to believe that quests are just developer wankery, wanking about how creative they consider themselves to be. I want no part of it. I think it's why I play far fewer RPGs, and the ones I still want to play are those that have little to none.

    I made a thread like 8 years ago where I said that quest design was just a pretentious gimmick, but now I think it is quests themselves.

    Even a game I loved like Bloodlines, I didn't like it at all because of quests. I liked it because it had well written, relatable characters, a spooky atmosphere, and enjoyable levels and situations.

    It's much better to just have FedEx quests for 100% of the game than having to jump through a series of hoops that I don't give two shits about.

    Stop thinking that you're going to be a great DM, you're never going to be. A piece of software will never give you the total freedom and adaptability that a pen and paper game and a bunch of friends will.

    Just let me go through levels, kill monsters, find loot, rest and shop in towns, rince and repeat.

    I just think of my years old unfinished PoE save, and on the rare occasions I think of reinstalling it, I think back of all the quests, and all the hoops and pretentiousness tied to them, and I think "not this bullshit again" and try to forget this game ever existed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  2. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik

    Hóngwèibīng
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    So you want to turn all RPGs into dungeon crawlers?
     
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  3. taviow Magister

    taviow
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    Even a fully combat oriented game needs to provide context to your actions. You need to do the things you're doing for a reason, and that's where quests, or at least a general vague objective, come in.
     
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  4. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    I don't think that's the same thing as having a structured quest.
     
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  5. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    Yes, pretty much.
     
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  6. Nano Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Nano
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    That's rather extreme. It's true that "you seem capable and I can't be bothered, do this thing for me" is a shitty motivation for giving the player quests, but the solution is for the writers to just be more creative about how quests are handed out instead of removing them altogether.
     
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  7. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik

    Hóngwèibīng
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    Dungeon crawlers are a respectable (sub)genre in themselves, doesn't mean that there isn't a market for other types of RPGs, lad.
     
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  8. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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  9. Trashos Arcane

    Trashos
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    If you want to make such a point, you have to pick a game that is recognized for its good quests, and explain how it would have been better without them. Otherwise, it just sounds like you are playing games with bad quests.
     
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  10. lukaszek the determinator Patron

    lukaszek
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    deterministic system > RNG
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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  11. Lurker47 Learned

    Lurker47
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    I love the idea of quests even though they're a little game-y. It's the same reason why I love journals in RPG's. It provides some context if you're a little lost after not playing for awhile and it's a nice reflection of your character's journey (to see all of the completed quests marked down.)
     
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  12. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Instead of narrative designers, there should be combat system engineers, combat encounter designers and dungeon designers.
     
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  13. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik

    Hóngwèibīng
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    Why not both, lass?
     
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  14. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Because storyfaggotry has had its run. It's time for the pendulum to swing the other way. And after that, it doesn't center itself. Instead, it settles at 85% combat, 15% story/questing/lore.

    That's fabulously optimistic in this faggot-era, but that would be my ideal.
     
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  15. Tacgnol Shitlord Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I don't see why both can't co-exist.

    There is room for both Age of Decadence and Icewind Dale in this world.
     
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  16. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    There is only room on my PC for Jagged Alliance 2, Silent Storm and ToEE clones.

    Combat system, combat encounter design and dungeon design needs to refine itself to "a science".

    Get rid of 80% of the artists/writers/designers.

    It's time for coders and engineers to head up game design again, like it used to be.
     
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  17. barghwata Savant

    barghwata
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    Why not have both a good combat system AND a good narrative, when did these two things become mutually exclusive?
     
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  18. Falksi Arcane

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    I like that rare late 90's early 00's method of talking to folk & being given a hint as to something that may be occuring.

    Adventurer Bob - "Aup, I'm new in town, owt happening?"

    Adventurer Arry - "Ah duck, thiz a gret griffin eating all the osses up on t' mountain. Thee reks thiz tons of stuff it's nicked off 'em up theeyr too"

    Adventurer Bob - "Well bugger me Arry. I might have a gander. Iz thi gonna pay me any coin forrit?"

    Adventurer Arrry - "Fuck off thi soft twat. If thiz owt up theeyr tha should keep it if tha don't get thi scone bitten off"

    Adventurer Bob - "Ta flower".


    Then a little note goes in the journal "rumours of a Griffin eating horses and storing their treasure up on X mountain". Could be owt. Could be bandits killing folk and spreading lies about the Griffin, could be a Griffin, could be a Chimera and whoever said it was a Griffin is a thick cunt. Could get there and be a ton of loot, could deal with whatever it is and there be fuck all but bones, blood, shit & spunk left. And along the way you might meet more folk & rumours that makes you think "fuck it"

    So yeah it's still Questing, but not structured Questing. Morrowind-esq.
     
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  19. barghwata Savant

    barghwata
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    Indeed, it's really just a quest design problem more than an inherent problem with quests themselves, developers are generally really lazy so they just have a quest giver shove a quest right in your face because they can't be bothered to deliver it in a more creative manner or perhaps because they fear the player will miss the quest that they worked so hard to make, it's kind of like in Baldur's Gate 2 where NPCs interrupt you every 5 seconds to ask for your help and it eventually just gets really fustrating, like why the hell are all these people asking me specifically of all people for help and why the hell should i care?

    Quests should be delivered organically to the player and without giving him the whole picture directly; just enough to pique his curiosity to persue the quest by himself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  20. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    I believe a good portion of the frustration with quests and quest systems stems from their rigid structure.

    There are exceptions but in most RPGs questing is a fully incremental process. You have to follow a quest step by step, going from talking to some guy, to hitting some monsters, to collecting your reward. This is especially true for main quests, where you iterate through this process countless times and there is no possibility of skipping over anything, often due to narrative reasons. I don't know how many times I visited places in RPGs I "shouldn't be in yet" and I got pieces of dialogue that hinted towards later events or challenges in the game. For example: In Arx Fatalis you can pretty much immediately walk down to the snake women and they outright tell you that you came here to soon.

    It's immersion breaking, it's annoying, but most of all it is one thing: It's design-based. It's not a matter of having the right technology to create a "DM engine" or something (even though that could help I guess). I believe it's more about structuring your world and challenges properly into independent modules and shrinking the amount of things that have to be done in sequence down to a minimum. Then at least you don't have the problem that the narrative stands in the way of you going out and just winging it - which is honestly what most people wanna do. It's the reason why Elder Scrolls is so damn successful.

    Interestingly enough, though probably by accident and due to technical limitations of the time, Ultima 4 actually followed a more free-form way of questing.
    In Ultima 4, appart from the literal "Quest of the Avatar", there pretty much were no quests at all. There were mostly just rumors. That's it. You wrote them down and went on your way. Thief:TDP did a similar thing with its documents. Sure they are not "quest givers" but they deliver certain pieces of information on either greater goals or small rewards. And mostly those rewards could be found without even reading the document - by accident so to say. In my opinion, it's way more interesting to stumble over a certain item or location and learning its purpose than having some NPC explain it to you beforehand. You just have to watch out that people don't do anything to deadlock their run by trashing an important item or killing an important NPC. That's the other side of the matter.

    But there have been approaches for that as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  21. TheImplodingVoice Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    TheImplodingVoice
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    Have you played Grimoire?
     
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  22. Thal Augur

    Thal
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    AoD is a poor counterexample because its combat system and encounters are brilliantly designed.

    I think the bigger problem is that writing has come to be seen as separate from level, quest and encounter designs. So the people who write narrative don't have much to do with basic gameplay and so when narrative dominates, we get passable gameplay at best. At the very least quest, encounter and level designs should be strongly linked. Because they are, whether the devs intend it or not.
     
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  23. Ladonna Arcane

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    Agreed.

    This is how a bunch of Wargame coders and designers made the brilliance that is the Goldbox engine.

    They did receive story and quest ideas from DnD headquarters, and then incorporated them into their game engine, which is largely centered around Tactical combat.
     
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  24. Valky Arcane Manlet

    Valky
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    This.
    Grimoire does its concept of questing and world building fabulously. Due to the dialogue mechanic Cleve made, there aren't any artificial gates preventing you from discussing certain topics. Different npcs know about different things, but you can bring up any topic at any time, and what prevents you from doing so is simply not knowing that something even exists because you never encountered it yet, like real life. I never knew about the Samhain Horror until I discovered the secret surrounding Crowl by exploring the dungeons near it, but I could have asked about it at any time. Quests similarly aren't given to you, you simply can find NPCs and talk to them about topics you have recorded, and they might have something that they are looking for that you could someday help them with, like Raghilda looking for her sister. This method of indirect questing is fantastic and flows much more naturally than most rpgs. You discover something in the world and can make your own decisions to do something about it or not, and along the way you might help somebody in need and be rewarded in kind.
     
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  25. Swigen Arbiter

    Swigen
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    WTF guy?! How do you not liek Witcher?
     
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