[MUD-Dev] Effort to produce a quest

Damion Schubert dschubert at gmail.com
Sat Nov 26 18:29:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


On 11/23/05, Mike Rozak <Mike at mxac.com.au> wrote:
> Damion Schubert wrote:

>> Work backwards.  I prefer to use the 'zone' as a unit of
>> measurement, and then say 'a zone needs X hours of content in it'
>> (total content is that number times X zones).  Then build one of
>> your zones out, and play it with a stopwatch.  The right number
>> of quests will become clear.

> It seems like you're making the typical MMORPG assumption that
> zones are divided into PC level ranges. PCs advance linearly
> through levels, so at any given level, they have a choice of N
> zones they can be in, which means they have a choice of M quests.

> It's kind of like a buffet where you're continually pushed down
> the line; there are four food trays directly in front of you. If
> the line is moving slowly you can sample all 4, but if it's moving
> quickly you must quickly chose 2 before you're pushed on to the
> next bay of the buffet. (Forward movement is caused whenever the
> player gets XP.)

> My world's concepts of space and "levels" are a bit different than
> the norm so, unforuntately, I can't use this recipee.

You misunderstand me.  I know because I'm actually agreeing with you
- your gameplay paradigm differs from the norm in many ways from
WoW, given posts you've made in the past.  As such, trying to take
lessons from WoW may not be the best way to go.  If you take WoW's
measurements and it turns out to take twice as many quests in your
paradigm, or quests take half as long, or whatever, you'll be way
off.  Obviously, not good.

Instead, try to subdivide your experience in some way.  I use zones
because geographical is a very natural and easy way to think,
although you may find a better division in your gameplay paradigm.
Choose one of those zones (er, subdivisions) and just build it the
way you want it built, until the play time and gameplay experience
is about what you think it should be.  After that, you can just
multiply those numbers out

Also, level has nothing to do with it.  In WoW terms, if a zone has
10 quests for levels 10-25 that take 4 hours to complete, and a zone
has 5 quests for levels 55-60 that take 2 hours to complete, that
zone has 6 hours of content.

>> Having fewer quests also has the benefit of building communities
>> - yes, it sucks that everyone does the same quests, but it also
>> provides a common base of experience that everyone can relate to.

> I understand why creating a small number of quests and making sure
> that everyone experiences them is potentially a good idea: (a)
> Common base for a community, (b) Cheaper.

> However, if every player has the same palette of quests, then as a
> player, I know the goals/motivations of all the players I meet. If
> the quest arcs lead to the killing of the evil overlord, then I
> know that all players are trying to kill the evil overlord.

> This has problems: (1) It reduces the illusion of the world and
> emphasizes the game/themepark aspect of the experience, (2) It
> allows me to read other players' minds (in a way) because I know
> their motivations. Plus, to get back to the buffet analogy, a line
> that moves too slowly (which means I end up sampling everything),
> or a bay where there's only one large food tray (a huge quest)
> means that I have no real choice in the food (quests) I select.

Different strokes for different folks.  It took me a long time to
realize that I don't like quests that fork because I'm a
completionist - I want to see ALL the content, I don't want to be
forced to have to see only half of it - the funny writer might have
written the OTHER half!

I concede I am likely the minority in this regard.

{rest of post deleted}

--d
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