ScumRat1

Theory on Quest Design

68 posts in this topic

12 hours ago, lonequeso said:

If you need them to complete the story, they are. I can't 'member if the OG game required them. Later games for sure.

 

You need them to complete the game. The story part is already written for you. You don't need to complete it. :P But seriously, the story in Metroid it was hardly there. Hell, it was hardly there at all in any of the Metroid games up till Fusion (or Super Metorid maybe, but you still spent the vast majority of time without a peep of it in that game). There are no NPCs yammering on and telling you to do this or that, or big dramatic setpiece cutscenes (the addition of them is one of the reasons most Metroid fans hated Fusion and don't even get me started about what people feel about Other M). Not that the series didn't have some interesting setting building and lore, but it's a series primarily about finding secrets and experimenting with items. If you are saying these qualify as 'quests' just because you happen to need to do it to win, welp, I guess Chess has quests now! Look it's an allegory for war that totally counts as a 'story' for you to 'complete' right?

 

12 hours ago, lonequeso said:

I said "philosophically", didn't I? :P By the literal definition, Super Mario Bros. doesn't have quests. All I'm saying is they're tant amount to the same thing in the end.

 

And all I am saying is, no. They don't. At all. Or at the very least that there needs to be some fundamental dividing line between any gameplay with a win condition and how games use 'quests'. Or 'missions' or whatever. And okay, look. I get it. The word 'quest' is supposed to indicate some grad adventure, something you can put passion behind, go out and have fun with. There is a reason I keep putting 'quest' in little air quotes. But for whatever the romantic idea of questing might be, that's not what I at least am getting out of RPGs most of the time.

 

...

 

How the hell are we still ranting at each other about this crap anyway?

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I think quests are essential elements in a RPG, but how they are handled by the developer(s) is what makes them enjoyable or just meh. For me, quests are about telling stories, but also a way to reward the player for their involvement. There are two ways to present quests to players: passively or actively.

"Passive quests" are not directly thrown at the player: there is no hint, no quest log, and little to no indications from NPCs. A perfect example of this is the "Souls" saga. In these games you encounter an NPC, he/she says some cryptic things, mentions something about a personal mission and vanishes. Then, you encounter the same NPC later on in another area and maybe, he/she requests something. Screw up something and you screw up the entire quests. Or maybe, you have joined a covenant that is contrary to the NPC's covenant. Most people won't complete all NPC quests on their first playthrough. So, what makes people want to know how to complete them? What makes players want to even do these quests? For the rewards? Maybe, but there is something more: the story they tell. Speaking with NPCs will provide some insight about their stories, their background, their motives. Advancing in their quests reveals bit by bit and that is what compels the player to even do the quests: the story of each NPC, often tragic and dramatic, but nevertheless interesting. Considering NPCs can be killed by the player or die by the hands of monsters, it is even more interesting.

Another example of "passive quests" is Minecraft. Granted, the game as no quests per se, but the elements are there. You can craft a portal to the Nether. You can craft an ender portal to the End and defeat the Ender Dragon. You can complete each and every one of the achievements. Or you can just live happily in your dirt house. Is up to the player, but the elements for these passive quests are there to be experimented and played with.

 

Now, "active quests" are your typical quests. The player arrives to a town, speak with a NPC and he/she requests the player's help, offers a reward and then, thanks the player. Quests are thrown directly to the player in the form of dialogue with NPCs, a book, an event, a scripted encounter, etc, etc. No matter how it's done, active quests are directly presented to the player, who knows (more or less) exactly what he/she has to do. Here is where the developer plays an important role. You can go for the classics: fetch quests, kill quests, delivery quests, gather quests, escort quests... you name it.

However, I think quests should tell a story. Play a game like Fallout: New Vegas and you will find plenty of quests that, not only tell a story, but also are enjoyable and can be completed in several ways, thus compelling the player to do them. Interesting NPCs, stories, backgrounds, a nice plot to follow, choices and a good reward are elements that a quest should have, in my opinion. In most books there are always side plots, secondary characters and in general, characters and events that are not the main events but add something more to the story. The same should happen with quests. And even if you have some classic quests you can add some complixity to them.

For example: a NPC requests to deal with some bandits near a town. However, when the player manages to get to the bandits, he/she witness a guard of the town accepting bribes from them. You, as the developer, get to decide what the player can do: expose the corrupt guard, kill the bandits, accept a bribe for not saying anything... The sky is the limit. Adding an extra layer of complexity helps to create a story, something that happens in the world and the player is asked to help with it. At least that's what I am aiming to do in my game: quests that are much more than the classic ones. And yes, there will be consequences, both positive and negative, for your actions. Not in the form of "bad/good karma" like in Fallout games, both similar to the reputation system of TES: Oblivion. This is easily done with variables and checks.

 

 

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@Kayzee- I'm surprised you're so resistant to the idea. Think of it this way. You want to create an RPG, but you hate the traditional quest structure. So how do you make an RPG without getting pigeonholed into the structure you hate so much? Maybe try broadening your idea of what a quest can be. Also try playing some games that were made this decade. A lot of games in general have expanded far beyond that traditional structure. Pick up a game that was made recently. Not some RPG Maker game someone made. A game by one of those big, evil companies you hate. You may just be surprised. 

 

@AnarelHaeran- Ahh... quests with multiple solutions. Those are always nice. Having various ways to complete tasks is a good route to go. If it's one thing people love, it's having options. It really ups replay value, too. Especially when your choices change how the quests progress. They make you want to play through again and see what happens when you do something different. 

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@lonequeso I just think it's an incredibly misguided way of thinking about gameplay goals to look at them through the lens of 'quests' in the first place. When you start doing that, you start organizing everything in that lens. And that way of thinking is to me the problem that every other problem stems from. The bells and whistles or the various convenience features don't matter. At best they smooth over some of the most glaring issues a bit, but they don't solve the underlining problem. And that problem is that anytime a game arbitrarily sets an obstruction in the player's path that has no real mechanical gameplay reason to be there, it is disrespecting the player and devaluing the game's mechanics. And I guess that can be iffy and subjective, but it's still why I rather try coming up with alternative ways of thinking about it rather then broadening my idea of what a quest can be. Because I don't want to be caught in that trap.

 

Also: I might play more new games if I could afford them and had a system that could run them. Maybe I will get a switch for Yule and try Breath of the Wild at least, that looks like a fairly relevant one. From what I have seen of it so far though, it's a tad disappointing how much it falls into questy traps, but I have to admit it looks fun enough and free roaming enough that it shouldn't be that much of a problem.

 

@AnarelHaeran I personally don't think it really counts as a quest unless the game outright tells you 'hey go do this thing'. Also personally don't think it counts if it's an obvious gameplay goal that is naturally something the player does through play. A hidden cryptic thing hinted at by an NPC might be a quest, but it might also be better qualified as a secret or easter egg. On the other hand, there are plenty of games where you are given 'quests' even if they are never formally recognized as such. I remember the days where the whole 'quest journal' system hadn't taken off yet and you had to remember everything yourself. And sometimes, like in a lot of adventure games, the line between 'quest' and 'puzzle' could be pretty thin.

 

Achievements are debatable and depends on how they work, but honestly I am gonna have to partly reverse a previous stance and say Minecraft's achievements at least actually are basically a kind of quest. I have always been kind of annoyed at how achievements in Minecraft work, and in retrospect I can see why: Because they are annoying in exactly the same way quests often are. Because unlike most games, achievements in Minecraft are organized in a tree-like progression where each one you get shows you a few more you can do, and instead of the information being recorded on the player's account, it's recorded per-world. It's kinda sneaky like that. I mean I get the whole point of them is to act as a sort of tutorial of sorts (though they aren't a very good one), but I spend half the time barely progressing because I did the first few things in the wrong order and never feel motivated to do them because they are only for whatever world I am playing on anyway. Luckily they also offer no reward that I know of, so I can just ignore them all I want.

 

On the other hand, I tend to kinda like achievement systems where the goals are at least party hidden. You can look up a list and try and get them all of course, but I think it's more fun to get a little thing unexpected for doing something if you have no idea it's going to happen. Hmmm... You know, that reminds me of that 'exploration bonus' feature of Dues Ex (the original at least). It's nice to find a game where doing something meaningful rewards you just for doing it even if you were never told about it.

Edited by Kayzee

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See, the problem is- well there's two problems here. Neither have to do with quests. 

 

One: You have an incredibly narrow-minded idea of what a quest should be and refuse to accept another possible definition or interpretation because 2,

anything you don't disagree with is automatically fundamentally flawed. You need everything to fit into your super narrow little box because you just can't handle being wrong about something.

 

I don't like racing games (in the Gran Tursimo, Forza variety.) I'm not particularly into cars and driving around a track doesn't really appeal to me. That's my personal preference. With your logic it's: I don't like racing games. They must have some fundamental flaw. If you want to find the flaw, try looking in the mirror. As every conversation always goes: Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's wrong. Please deal with that and stop rambling in about flaws that broken systems that aren't there.

 

@AnarelHaeran- Don't listen to the close-minded fairy. The way you described active and passive quests is perfectly apt, and a great starting point for developing quests.

Edited by lonequeso

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You might as well say that about all possible flaws about anything anyone can come up with, which would make discussion threads kind of pointless. If I don't like something and can articulate exactly why I don't like something and what I don't like about, it is still I feel an opinion worth sharing for anyone seriously thinking about this stuff. That this is all opinion should go without saying, and I think I have presented what I think is a reasonable case for why I feel that way. And I will acknowledge you have to, more or less. Or at least made some interesting counterpoints. I just don't happen to agree with you. The opposite is also true, just because you like something doesn't mean it isn't flawed.

 

You say you I have an incredibly narrow-minded idea of what a quest is, and partly I do by design. Because I am trying to laser focus exactly on what I don't like and the kind of terminology and way of thinking it entails. You on the other hand are trying to stretch the idea to include all sorts of things that, 'by the literal definition' as you said before, are different things. This isn't the first time you have done that I think. I try and make my terms as clear and exact as I can, explaining what I do and do not count as something, and you talk in vaguer terms, then we squabble over semantics until we both get sick of it. I could accuse you just as easily as having an incredibly narrow-minded idea about some things.

 

Your typical response is 'such and such was this way in popular game x', most of your examples being games I haven't played and have zero interest in playing because frankly most of what I see about them indicates exactly the kind of problems I am pointing out. But okay, I can buy that I might be an old narrow-minded ultra-hipster bitch from hell. It's also possible that you are overlooking flaws in popular games. I have no idea, and I am to lazy and poor to go out and buy and play all these new games that you like but I have heard lots of negative things about elsewhere. And yeah maybe there is too much negativity when it comes to gaming that I have seen over the net. I only know what I have observed.

 

Unless your point is that I have an incredibly narrow-minded idea of what a designer might use quests for as a tool? I do think some design tools have more utility in some ways then others, but my point is not and has never been 'bah, everyone who has quests in their games are dumb'. My point is 'here is a tool that lots of people use, but I feel other tools would work better to accomplish similar ends in many cases'. But again, like in the minigame thread, anyone making a game with quests, I am not the boss of you. I am just a person that is expressing an opinion on the internet. :P

 

Anyway, this isn't about winning or being right. I have just been sharing my observations and feelings about a element of game design, and responding to comments about it to hopeful explain them better. If it is making you upset that the grand high bitch queen of the fairies is daring to question a element of game design, well, that's kind of what I try to do here. If I am condescending and smug about it I am sorry. All I really want to do here is encourage people to think about it a little more carefully.

Edited by Kayzee

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Your typical response is 'such and such was this way in popular game x', most of your examples being games I haven't played and have zero interest in playing because frankly most of what I see about them indicates exactly the kind of problems I am pointing out. But okay, I can buy that I might be an old narrow-minded ultra-hipster bitch from hell. It's also possible that you are overlooking flaws in popular games. I have no idea, and I am to lazy and poor to go out and buy and play all these new games that you like but I have heard lots of negative things about elsewhere. And yeah maybe there is too much negativity when it comes to gaming that I have seen over the net. I only know what I have observed.

Exactly! You complain about things that you have no clue about. Hell, if that's what we're doing I'll start rambling on about how Einstein's Theory of Relativity is wrong. It's funny that you say there's all this negativity and these games are terrible flawed yet the industry just keeps rolling right along. I don't know what whiny, pessimistic little subcultures you hang around in. The market is selling its wares just fine so obviously they're doing something right. Ohhh right, that's because we human consumers are too stupid and addicted to realize the big bad industry is manipulating us to get there greedy hands on our hard earned money. (To anyone else reading this, Kayzee in so many words argued this once. See the level of crazy I have to deal with?)

 

You may not like the idea of some guy saying "Hey go do this for me and give you something", but it works just fine. Deal with it. Like it's so unrealistic for that to happen. Like never once in human history has one person ever asked someone for help and offered compensation. Such a weird, foreign idea.

 

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Sometimes resolutions just can't be reached between two parties. That doesn't mean either is wrong, or even less than, just different. So, let's try to keep it friendly here guys as you're both excellent people with valid arguments :)

 

On the subject of quests though. I don't think what you're suggesting Kayzee is particularly practical. It would mean putting substantial manpower into creating quests, or just the events of the world as you seem to prefer to view them, only for the player to be unaware of where they should be looking at what time or even what they should be doing possibly. Its a nice idea for some players but not necessarily the majority; Heck, I cant even find the time to complete a game, never mind for the level of immersion you're demanding of players.

Primary research will always be the best form of research and making the case that you are too lazy to do some isn't as potent a point as you might think. I'd really recommend you give the first two Souls games a try. Dark Souls executes these 'world events' pretty much exactly how you describe as desirable and is a more commercially polished version of Demon Souls (that I'd think you'd prefer but is harder to obtain) which pretty much threw out the rulebook for much of its design (like progressive punishments for continually poor performance and some bosses so bizarre as to be criticized as gimmicky).

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Sometimes resolutions just can't be reached between two parties. That doesn't mean either is wrong, or even less than, just different. So, let's try to keep it friendly here guys as you're both excellent people with valid arguments :)

Fair enough. Now lemme 'splain to you why the Theory of Relativity is all wrong... =3

 

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@lonequeso Geez, it's not like I am saying every popular game is universally bad or anything. There are problems I see with the industry sure, there are flaws I hear about in many popular games sure, there are few people who would deny that are a few stupid (or more likely lazy) consumers out there who are just completely uninformed buying stuff because of the ads flying in their face all the time. and I am a rather contrary person who complains a lot about all this, but in the end I like the games I like and you like the games you like. I am not accusing you of being a mindless drone who only buys popular stuff because it's popular.

 

It's just that I personally don't really care about popular trends and that x popular game that did y got z sales. It's kind of irrelevant, because unless there is a super big shot game industry person here I don't know about, we aren't part of any of that. Not really. We, most of us, are armatures, independents, hobbyists. People with the ability to frankly discuss things and experiment. People who are in the exact position to play around.

 

You know, honestly, what's the point of even discussing my opinions if you just going to assume I am being a crazy person out of hand? Should I just stop? Do I do this too much? Do I really go too far? Is it really that outrageous to think things aren't perfect and wanting to talk about my thoughts about things? Is it really that crazy to think that maybe someone might care about what I want to say?

 

Also: The Theory of Relativity is wrong because it formulates time as a dimension when it's obviously an iterative process or something. The very idea of anything being able to subjectively experience a 'now' is proof enough there is more to it then that. Though technically 'time' in terms of The Theory of Relativity is just 'the rates at which clocks tick' so the math still works out. But the whole idea of time travel is completely ridiculous. Also the whole quantum thing, but we are talking about crack science here! 

 

@Tarq I donno if I ever really properly gave a real alternative for quests in general, just a whole bunch of scatter shot ideas about how things could work. Most of them with a lot of crazy scripting, yeah they are not gonna be practical for most people probobly. But I don't think it's too crazy to at least just have the lost dog in the woods and let you find it with a collar with it's owners name on it without having to go talk to the owner first. No reason you can't talk to the owner and/or see lost dog posters to learn more and ask around to see where it might be. Is that fundamentally any different then a quest? Maybe not. But it's a different way of thinking about it. It's the mindset that is the important thing. To sit and think 'how can I make this seem less like a task and more like a part of the game or world'. Maybe something similar to a quest journal, only it records notes about things you have learned instead of quests? Maybe have little puzzle shrines to find to get optional stuff like in breath of the wild instead of making them quest rewards.  I donno. I just pointed out the common problem as I saw it, good solutions are trickier.

 

On the subject of research, I am also too poor, and without the right hardware. Dark Souls is one of the few relatively modern games I do own, though I haven't got far in it because of technical reasons. Lazyness isn't a non issue, but my primary problem is just the investment I would need to make to play most of today's popular games. That said, this isn't a research paper. If it was I would never have posted anything at all. This is a opinion from what I have seen and experienced and based on my subjective feelings.

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 But I don't think it's too crazy to at least just have the lost dog in the woods and let you find it with a collar with it's owners name on it without having to go talk to the owner first. No reason you can't talk to the owner and/or see lost dog posters to learn more and ask around to see where it might be.

Stuff like that is more common than you think. A lot of times in games you can complete a quest before anyone gives you the objective. For example in Dragon Age 3 there's a wyvern in a cave. You can come across it and kill it at anytime. There is an NPC on the map that wants it dead. If you happen to kill the Wvyern before talking to her, the MC is basically says "Yeah we did that already" and she gives you stuff. That game has a lot of those instances where you can find or kill something while exploring and then later find someone who was offering a reward for it. 

 

 

Edited by lonequeso

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@Kayzee Well, seeing that you don't like quest logs and such, I'd recommend you to play some Final Fantasy games, specially 6, 7 and 8. In those games you will find quests mixed with puzzles and little to no indication as to where exactly to or do. The player can complete them if they want (mostly, for the rewards which are really good) but you can finish the games without doing them as sometimes there are ways to get the items the quests award you.

 

HOWEVER (and is a big however, capitalized, even) players won't simply do that. People play RPGs not only for the gameplay, but for the story, the world, the characters, the plot... and, of course, this includes quests. IN Final Fantasy VI there is a character named Shadow. He is an optional character that can even die unless the player saves him. If he manages to survive you can, in the second part of the game where you have to reunite your team again, NOT search for him and ignore him. You will miss several cutscenes where the game shows his past. Cool? Heck yes. It is not gameplay, it is a story. Generally speaking you will miss many cutscenes and quests that further explain the past and lives of the main characters, which are great, by the way. AND many of these quests involve a lot of gameplay in the form of puzzles and bosses.

 

Similarly, in FFVIII there is a quest that involves the humanoid race of the Shumi and statue of Laguna, an important character for the plot. It is entirely missable, but adds a little something to the story of that character. Again, zero gameplay but a lot of story.

 

See, playing a RPG is like reading a really good fantasy book. You obviously won't want to read just the main plot: you want to get to know the characters and the world. However, there are also several (specially in a book series) side plots that help to add more live and colour to the world, the background, the lore. In RPG games terms, side plots are quests. Granted, classic quests such as fetch quests are boring and do not tell a story, but anything above that is interesting. People play RPGs for the story and a quest is the bets way to tell them.

 

That is my opinion, at least.

 

 

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^^Yup

 

Ya know, there's one type of quest I don't think we've covered yet. Escort quests. Protect a person or a convoy while heading to a destination. They don't seem to come up as often in games, but I always find them fun. There's two versions: Either you lead an NPC or group around to a destination or guard a convoy or person that's going on a set path. The same thing happens either way. Enemies attack. You have to not only kill the enemies, but make sure who or what yo're protecting survives. I like the convoys more because there's usually more stuff/people to guard which makes for some interesting scenarios when the enemies attack. 

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I think I am going to stay out of the discussion from now on, but let me respond to a few things first.

 

@lonequeso Yeah I know several games have done lots of things I have suggested. I do wonder how common it really is to do things that way.

 

@AnarelHaeran I have played Final Fantasy 6 and 7 a bunch actually (8 not as much, but I don't think it does that much differently), and they did do a lot of good things in terms of 'quest' design I am not going to argue with that. In lots of ways Final Fantasy 6 and 7, as well as Chrono Trigger and a few other games I could think of, are absolutely brilliant examples of how good quests work. In other ways though, they also kinda indirectly prove my point. Because in Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger, you don't actually do many things that resemble traditional 'quests' until the vast majority of the game is over, and other then that the games tend to have side areas and events sprinkled around every once and while rather then 'quests' in the same way we are talking about. The example with Final Fantasy 6's Shadow feels much more to me like secret events then a quest for example, most of the side things you do in Final Fantasy 7 come in the form of extra areas to explore, and maybe to you there isn't a huge difference between them, but they feel different to me.

 

Besides, with games like those you have games that are for the most part linear and focused completely on the main story outside of maybe a side area every once and a while, and when you finally get an airship or something and have free reign to explore it's usually only at the point where most of the main plot has already been wrapped up and you can just go right for the ending if you really want to, or go around and tie up loose ends and get more of the little details behind things. But if we are talking about open world games where 'quests' are the primary way of telling stories rather then a way of wrapping up loose ends, it's then that I think the weakness of quests really start to grate. And do keep in mind, I am not saying a game that uses quests this way is always bad, I am just saying it's something I don't tend to enjoy, even in games I otherwise like. And there are plenty of examples of games that use quests that way that I like, though most of the examples I can think of are relatively obscure or borderline. But heck, one of my favorite series is the SaGa series which is almost completely based on quests and side events, and I am fond of the Ultima games where going around and talking to NPCs to learn what to do is a huge focus. There are some of the Etrian Odyssey games that I really enjoy, some roguelikes with quest systems like Elona and Pokemon/Etrian Mystery Dungeon. But I am not a fan of these games because of the quests, I am a fan because I like the gameplay. I don't mind elements of story and context in my games, I just don't agree that 'quests' are usually a very good way of doing it.

 

Maybe that's petty and picky of me but I, for example, Never got into Skyrim or any of the Elder Scrolls games past Daggerfall, and to be honest I didn't even find Daggerfall or Arena very playable. And yes Skyrim is one of the few modernish games I have actually played, and it just didn't hold my interest (also once again had more then a few technical problems with it). Now Skyrim is probobly an old game by this point and probobly a bad example, but it's still a rather good window into my kind of disconnect with the modern RPG. Maybe I have not given games like The Witcher series or the Dragon Age series or whatever a fair shake, but they don't grab my interest in the same way Final Fantasy 6 or 7 did. And maybe this could be spun off into a discussion of open world vs. linear design, but I don't think that's really too relevant. I really do think it's the quest-based structure of how open world RPGs work rather then the fact that they are open world that rubs me the wrong way.

 

In the end though, that's my final argument, accept it or not. I have blabbed into I am blue in the face and I am probobly not convincing anyone. So be it.

 

 

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 Yeah I know several games have done lots of things I have suggested. I do wonder how common it really is to do things that way.

This is why talking to you  is pointless. You say "Hey wouldn't it be great if quests did this. Then I give an example of the EXACT same thing and that's your answer. Yo would already have that answer of you actually did some research, but you are far happier just assuming the opposite you can keep complaining. 

 

I honestly have no clue what you're trying to convince us of. You rail that the quest system is flawed, but don't provide any real basis for your argument, offer "solutions" that have already been done, and contradict your own argument. :blink:

 

Edited by lonequeso

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It's a basic small part of my answer, and if it's more common in modern games, okay then. All I know is that I haven't personally seen a lot of games where that is the norm. Does it happen? Yes. But are you talking about one or two examples of one or two things that a few games do in particular instances, or are you saying the whole concept of quests has been radically different in the vast majority of modern games then in the games I have played? Because it doesn't seem like they are. If that is ignorance talking, that is ignorance talking.

 

I think I have explained exactly why I don't like quest systems from many many angles, given a basic argument why I think they are flawed. and if you don't agree that's fine. But the more you keep playing semantic games, trying to make the whole argument out to be pointless, appealing to popularity, accusing me of not knowing anything because I haven't played the exact same games you have, accuse me of being crazy because I don't think the exact same things about some things as you, acting as if one or two examples of a few things that managed to side step parts of the issue suddenly solves the whole thing, say I don't make any sense without refuting my actual points and instead trying to skirt around them, and making this more and more personal as time goes on, well, I don't have any real reason to see you as an authority here.

 

And that's kinda how arguments go on the internet and I realize mine are just as flawed in many ways. Here is the thing though: I am giving my opinion and trying to explain it as best I can why I find something flawed. Maybe it ultimately does come down to personal preference, maybe not. I think I am being relatively reasonable, and I don't really think I can convince anyone of anything. I think it's a relevant opinion. Yet you come in, like you always do, and try and convince everyone I am crazy and wrong for daring to give radical opinions. If I am crazy and wrong, there is no need to argue.

 

So, one last time, to sum up what I have been saying one last time: I think the idea of 'quests' seems more about giving the player busywork to do rather then engaging gameplay, or even telling a compelling story really. I think a lot of them are filled with inconvenient hoops you have to jump through, tedious interfaces, and a lot of them ruin immersion. I think the whole idea of organizing a game based around giving the players 'things to do' seems forced and leads into this mindset of giving lists of chores rather then making fun gameplay. I think the same basic goals can be accomplished better by instead adding more interesting gameplay mechanics to engage the player and focusing more on making a world that feels alive and reactive, even if it is only so in prescripted ways.

 

That's it, no examples, no appeals, no huge paragraphs trying to convince you. That's my opinion. Agree or not, I have not seen anything from you yet that has changed it, and I doubt I ever will. And consequently I am not going to waste my time trying to make you agree, my only goal has been to explain myself. I think I did. So I think I am done here. Everything else is fluff at this point, unless I really want to hunker down, do all the research, write a whole book about it or something, but even then it's just going to be an opinion and you will probobly ignore it, so what is the point?

Edited by Kayzee

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Maybe it ultimately does come down to personal preference

That's what I've been trying to tell you! :lol: That and execution. Pretty much any concept can work in a game as long as you can develop it properly. Sometimes that's a lot easier said than done, but the better devs out there make it look easy. The other thing about quests is usually most of them are optional. You don't like 'em? Cool. Go kill stuff or craft something or wander around exploring. Most RPGs give you tons of stuff to do, and it's pretty easy to multitask. Got a kill X enemies quest to complete? Kill them periodically while you're exploring or doing other quests. Hopefully, the main quest line/story doesn't suck cuz you kinda have to do that to get to the end. 

 

I usually look at user reviews before buying a game. What do people like about it? What do people hate about it? If the game's strengths are things I personally look for in a game (number one for RPGs is always the combat system) I'll buy it. After you rob a bank to get some money check out some reviews for some games and see if it's strengths appeal to you. Like I said before, you might just be surprised. 

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Well, it's not that you don't have a point there. But while I do think there are a lot of things that do come down different tastes, I also think it's worth it to take a good hard look at the tools that people commonly reach for in our common design toolbox to ask if they are the best tools. A skilled craftsman can still use a poor tool well, but that doesn't mean it is a good tool. A lot of it has to do with what the designer is actually trying to do, but I don't think that means there aren't some ideas and practices that are better or worse then others. Maybe that's the difference I guess between us. I am more interested in taking a hard look at how and why games are designed the way they are and the tools game designers tend to use and why. You seem more interested in something else, or maybe you are just apologetic for the people who use those tools. At this point it doesn't matter, but please believe me when I say I am not trying to attack any game devs or point out flaws to hurt anyone. And while I have my own (justified I feel) criticisms about the business side of the game industry, I think most of the actual designers down in the trenches are still doing the best job they can and the ratio of good games to bad games probobly hasn't really changed all that much since the time I think of as gaming's peek. Whatever I feel about the industry this isn't about that.

 

Also, it's not like I don't read/watch reviews at least. Most of the games you recommended just don't seem like they appeal much to me anyway. But most of that does come down to taste half the time, whatever flaws I think they have. I am very very picky about a lot of things and little things tend to annoy me more then they used to, but a game doesn't have to be perfect to hold my interest. I could complain all day about some aspects of Undertale for example, but I still think it's a great game (or at least a great story hiding in a so-so to good game's skin).

Edited by Kayzee

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