[MUD-Dev] Dynamic Quests & Event Chains

Lachek Butalek lachek at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 08:55:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


On 11/21/05, Dave Mitchell <timex at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> of World Events in this thread - we looked at doing world
> instancing based on major quest events. That is, a world instance
> would exist for each linear "world changing event". As players
> completed these events they would be moved to the next world
> instance with players that had also completed this event.

Guild Wars does something similar to this in the beginning of the
game. You play through a tutorial-style set of character-defining
missions, and at a certain point the game produces a cutscene of,
essentially, armageddon taking place. You are taken out of the
idyllic farmland you were in and transported into a post-war
wasteland. If you play with friends, they too have to complete the
historical tutorial-instance before they can join you in the
post-war instance.

This worked well to set the mood of the game and to provide for
great attachment to the character's situation - you had seen the
idyllic (albeit ravaged by animated skeletons and giant worms)
farmland firsthand through your character's eyes, so the view of the
wasteland really hits home in a much more "real" way than had you
merely read a background story. It is, of course, not dynamic, nor
does it have anything to do with the actions of the players, so it
does not directly address the issue of quest quality.

Another problem I can see with such an approach is that you either
have to create a new world instance for each group completing a
world-altering quest, or you would have to live with the same
inconsistencies quest produce today, where everyone completes the
same quest. For example, if you took the second approach, NPCs would
address everyone in the world instance as "S/he who saved the
world". Of course, this is not different from the current system of
100 people saving the old lady's cat from being eaten by the wolves,
every hour, 24/7.

I suppose that having a world instance with very few players could
occasionally be useful - rather than creating a new high-level area
to take the load off some overcrowded servers and let newbies
experience the game with less lag, you could move all characters who
have completed a certain world-altering quest forward in time, in a
world that is the same but still different, where they cannot
interact in any way with those in the "historical" world. I guess
WoW is planning on something like that in Burning Crusade, although
they were going to go backward rather than forward and allow for
some mobility between the two ages.
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