[MUD-Dev] FedExing

Sean Middleditch elanthis at awesomeplay.com
Thu Jan 29 09:32:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


On Tue, 2004-01-27 at 19:55, Alistair Riddoch wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 10:13:31AM +0100, Jesus Lopez wrote:

>> The main problem I see with fedexing is that the player feels
>> he/she is doing the same thing over and over again, because
>> he/she can clasify the tasks as "fedexing quests", not because
>> they really mean that the player repeats the gaming
>> experience. Probably a subtle makeup of the quests would do the
>> work most of the times (e.g: if an alchemist requires the
>> character to retrieve a dragon tooth in order to prepare a
>> potion, why not ask directly the character to prepare the potion,
>> so the fedexing quest becomes embedded in the main quest?)

> So the problem is not in essence what the quest is, but that each
> quest appears to be the same as all the others. How can we prevent
> the user from perceiving things this way? Your idea above relating
> to the dragon tooth potion seems like a good approach. While the
> main body of the quest is fedex-like in nature, it is concealed
> behind a higher level task, and it is not until the character
> begins the task they have been given that they then deduce that
> they need to go somewhere and get something. If we then add to it
> a layer of low level tasks which have to be solved to complete the
> journey, then the fedex part of the quest is hidden. In fact in
> such a system the middle level could be replaced with other tasks
> in some cases, though as has been demonstrated earlier in the
> thread, almost all quest concepts can to some extent be classified
> as fedexing.

Another idea (that has probably already been mentioned) is to just
make the quest feel more important.  If you're just running about
doing this quest for some random person you met in a town, then ya,
it's boring. If your quest has absolutely no outcome other than some
money or an item, then it feels boring.  If the quest is attached to
story advancement, then it feels important, and the quest stops
feeling like you're delivering packages for living (fedex'ing) and
more like you're actually doing something.

The trick is, how do you have a story in a massively multiplayer
game? There are plenty which have done, and tons of ideas and
methods to do it, but the vast majority of games still manage to
lack one.  This is probably the #1 reason I've quit every single
online game I've played - even if it was a 'fedex' quest, it was
still trite and pointless, since all I could hope to do is get
richer and get more levels.  Whoop-de-do.

--
Sean Middleditch <elanthis at awesomeplay.com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.
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