Dev Blog
Quest system concept

February 15, 2005

   Looking at current MMORPG games we soon realized that game quests were the area where the most improvement is available. Quests in typical and current MMOs are, for the most part, boring. We call them 'grocery list' quests. A quest in a current MMORPG might be, "Bring me 32 thigh bones from an Orc". Or, they might be, "Take this apple to Bob the Inn Keeper". Again, 'fetch me this or deliver me that' quests.

We have decided that in our MMO you will be the main character in your own amazing story. EVERY quest that you undertake will be part of your personal story, and NOT ONCE will it be a grocery list quest telling you to fetch a number of the same items or deliver some boring object to someone.

Of course, there is a reason current MMOs don't do this, it's hard. But just because it's difficult to accomplish is no reason not to undertake the goal.

The most fundamental reason that quests are so repetitive and simplistic in current MMOs is the very basis of their world design. Their world is a static place. This means things always return to the same state. If you kill a bear, that bear will reappear a few moments later. Any effect you have on the world is incredibly temporary. They must do this because their play area is massive multi player.

So, we said, what if instead we took the world and made it change, every day? What if nothing remained the same, or EVER returned to the previous state a few minutes later? In order to do this we had to redesign the very concept of how the world worked for players.

What we have decided to do is create a large Massive multi player area. Here you can do all the things that you need to do in a massive multi player game. You interact with other players, form up groups for adventuring, do commerce with other players, pick up quests and other story advancement, seek entertainment while waiting for friends, form guilds, craft objects, etc.

However, we've also noticed that once you are on your quest with your current group of adventurers, the other players (not in your group), tend to be a distraction and at times an annoyance. They get to the guy you want to kill before you do, and kill him. You end up standing around waiting... until the monster 'pops' back into existence. Sometimes you then have to try to attack him as fast as possible so that another group doesn’t 'agro' him and make you wait yet again.

Not only that, but because there are other players in your adventure, there are many types of interesting adventures that just aren't possible to create.

So, some of these games make little instanced areas trying to keep other players out of your hair during the adventure. However, this is a bandage, rather than a cure. In order to have real adventures with intriguing plot twists and personalized encounters, the entire adventure needs to be in an instanced area.

This is what we plan to do. You can go into the massive multi player part of the world any time you wish to do all the good things about an MMO, and when you want a REAL adventure, you and your group can go into a dynamic world where the adventure is built just for your group. You get all the advantages of an MMO and all the advantages of an RPG.

Quests can now be amazing adventures. Players can join or leave your group almost at any time, yet you won't run into other groups who will mess up your adventure. However, when you want to find other players, a quick trip to the massive multi player area will do the trick.


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