Ep. 2 - What would you like in a new quest system?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vyrin, Jul 27, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Vyrin

    Vyrin Avatar

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    7,652
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Looking toward the future, I thought it would be interesting to elicit people's wishes in terms of a new quest system. In case you missed the telethon, Darkstarr said the quest system would be overhauled "completely". At least at this point, that's the thinking, and let's hope it stays that way!

    What do you want to see in a new quest system? Let me dismiss one possible objection that was used in Ep. 1 - it is not valid to say it's too early. Quest mechanics can and must be considered at the outset of a new project. If you want sources from veteran game designers, I can provide them.

    I will throw out one idea which is not so much a part of the system as a recommendation for the process. I hope there is communication about what is planned and a way for the community to provide feedback at every stage. Maybe starting with some sort of vision doc/proposal all the way to reviewing individual quests in detail BEFORE they ever get programmed. Of course, how to manage such feedback and ensure that info doesn't leak outward in inappropriate ways is important (like the old Dev+). However, having to review quests in game and then file bug reports was incredibly inefficient and too late to tackle some big and recurring issues.

    Ok, one more about the process. I hope they engage a professional writer or at least a professional editor.

    I imagine more people will want to share ideas about quest mechanics, not the process. So share it, what do you want?
     
  2. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,200
    Likes Received:
    12,070
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    NPC's need character growth. They are still just single interaction entities. Bad guys should appear multiple times through a questline, frustrating you as you go, laughing at you, making you hate them and at the same time get to know them. Good or medium should also appear multiple times, having some sort of character growth, or at least reveal some of their personality. Right now the characters are just wooden. I couldn't tell you a single personality trait of 99% of them.

    As an example, the royal family on the path of courage, some of them should appear in Highvale Outskirts, Resolute, maybe even somewhere else, on diplomatic missions, etc. Brigette seems like "oh this will be a major NPC!" and then she's totally not. But actually, since none of our NPC's are anything to speak of, she kind of is. So it's sad, where's the personality in any of the characters?

    Of course, the dialog UI is just blech, and needs to be made not blechh.
     
  3. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    4,042
    Trophy Points:
    153
    For me I just hope the quests will keep the same primary aspect of not being "kill 50 boars" stuff. I really liked the fact that quests were a story, and I want them to stay like that. Now maybe some more obvious pointers, I know I got stuck for a long time talking to "some people" in etceter and NONE had an answer, I eventually skipped that part and still managed to progress. I still wish it isnt too obvious, but less broken, but the change has been announced, so we will see how it goes, as I said, just try to keep it a story
     
    Nog, Fionwyn Wyldemane, Womby and 8 others like this.
  4. Tiina Onir

    Tiina Onir Avatar

    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    1,823
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Location:
    Bramble, South Paladis
    (note: I'm going to be vague here, to avoid "spoilers." I've written more indepth in the past)

    While there are the bugs, and maybe there are changes that could be able to be made to make those less likely, I think the kind of things we really need to discuss (and are some of the worst part's of the current mainline quests) is really writing problems. The biggest glaring example is Artifice. The lack of character development is an issue. Noone in there has anything worthwhile to say until we get past the first three rooms, and even then I can't act on any of it. I don't interact with anyone long enough for me to gain any form of attachment to them, leaving them just vapid characters who I care little more about their feelings then I do the feelings of the L block in Tetris. It mostly felt like the original Pirates of the Carabean ride in Disneyland. It was there, and I watched it, but I had no agency. My character was a viewer, not a participant. Even where I wanted to intervene I wasn't permitted to, and in the end nothing that happened had any affect on the world at all. Not even dialog changes significantly.

    That whole zone could have (and probably should have) been a cut scene.

    I want that to be different.
     
  5. Moiseyev Trueden

    Moiseyev Trueden Avatar

    Messages:
    3,023
    Likes Received:
    8,456
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    Quest system:
    I'm ok with what we have, in regards to how you get new quests and being involved in talking with everyone (though I wish there were more to those we currently can talk with). I would (to some extent) prefer more of an interaction like U7 had (no more guessing keywords or having keywords that should work not work, yes it has been mildly implemented but still has keyword issues even when clicking highlighted keywords in a sentence). Yes, it is novel having the ability to type sentences and more immersive... until it is implemented in such a way that you can parrot back exactly what was said and the one who originally said it doesn't have any clue what you are talking about. If they could fix the chat box AI, I'd be fine with it, but otherwise just make it simple. There is a reason why most (if not all) RPGs have dialogue trees instead of free-form dialogue interaction, it's too difficult to code successfully.

    More journal improvements.

    Less NPCs with more interactions. I don't want to have an NPC seem like a one and done. It would be nice to develop them over time and keep seeing them pop up in different locations or come up with a "You were so useful last time you were here, I was hoping I could have your assistance again" (think Cantra's mom in Monitor running up to you after the feast for help).

    That's all that readily jumps to mind, though if more comes I'll add some more.
     
  6. redfish

    redfish Avatar

    Messages:
    11,268
    Likes Received:
    27,489
    Trophy Points:
    165
    What I'm wondering first and foremost is if they're also going to work on the conversation system. Because last time I was doing quests, it wasn't very conditional. You had "yes" and "no" underlined even if you weren't asked a question, and you could ask questions and provoke responses that were out of context of anything you'd talked about previously.

    I'd like to see more context-based quest triggers. In the Ultima games, there was story content that only happened during a certain context, because of the schedules. So, there might be some secret meeting in the middle of the night that you would need to arrive on the scene of. This was in U5 for the Resistance meeting, and in U7 to discover the mayor's tryst. Or everyone might meet at a tavern in the middle of the day, which exposed some conversation to the player which he wouldn't have seen otherwise. It might be also possible for an NPC to only be in a specific location at a certain day of the week. For example, a mourning widow might stop by her husband's grave at Brittany Graveyard every weekend (though I guess that might be an outlander graveyard, so it might be a bad example).

    With context-based triggers, there could also be more dynamic storytelling. Like an NPC might be in the middle of being robbed by a thief, and the thief then escapes and runs down an alley. Or there might be an NPC gathering at the site of a murder (like in U7).

    I would like to see more quests involving roving encounters as part of the quest chain. This come it at many angles. For example, you're told to stop bandits on the road, which leads you to a bandit encounter. The bandit encounter might give you some clues as to the bandit hideout, or might provide you a key for the hideout. Etc.

    Of course, I would like to see more permanent consequences too, not like with the same thief showing up at the graveyard even though you've killed him. Maybe even some semi-permanent consequences too, like a bandits den or kobold camp being cleared out for a while until they're re-populated.

    Also, I have to say its a little disappointing to have certain quest items stuck in your inventory or the bank, and also not being able to place them as deco even if it makes sense that you should be able to.
     
  7. Dermott

    Dermott Avatar

    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Florida
    Agreed with Artifice coming off as shallow. For me, though, it was less the people inside as much as it was the difference between an old school (especially PnP RPG) and a Persistent World Online RPG. In an older style RPG, the game could be run such that taking any of the food in the Gluttony area or gold/treasure in the Greed area or partaking of the Lust area could actually trap your character in that area like the NPCs are leading to a non-standard "Game Over". The way SotA is developed, this can't be done so it leaves that entire portion as much more hollow because you can ONLY take the one item you need from those areas. There's no Fail condition at all because it would not be "fun" to log in and not be able to play because your character is "lost to the sin of XXXXX". After those rooms, Artifice gets better, but those rooms particularly were weak for that reason to me more than the NPCs. While the conversations could vary more with the NPCs, I can at least understand why they'd be more involved in the sin they have trapped themselves with than a random person coming up to make small talk.
     
  8. redfish

    redfish Avatar

    Messages:
    11,268
    Likes Received:
    27,489
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Btw, the treasure system might be integrated with questing too, rather than just being generic treasure maps like in UO.

    Also, I think I've mentioned before... I wouldn't mind seeing things like travellers and merchants showing up at docks or in taverns. These NPCs might randomly stay for a week at a time. Some of these might give out quests, or help initiate a quest.

    As far as involving random encounters in quests, it might also be more particular than using stock encounters like bandits, too. For example, you might run into refugees from the Solace Bridge fire.

    Darklands is a good game to get a lot of ideas on quest-building from; procedurally generated quests (ie go into some collapsed mine or gravesite, retrieve an artifact), repeatable type quests (overthrowing robber barons), quests that involve random encounters (witch encounters etc).
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  9. Mykll

    Mykll Avatar

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Davidian Bunker
    I don't recall this being brought up. When they remake the entire quest system from the ground up, will our quest progress be saved, both with what has been completed and currently in progress? If a quest has multiple steps, will the entire quest chain be saved, or will we have to restart the current part of the quest chain, or will we have to restart from the very beginning of the quest chain? Will there be a quest reset, either optional or forced?

    If you rebuild something from the ground up not everything may be compatible and able to just transfer over to the new system.
     
  10. moxiepilot

    moxiepilot Avatar

    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    I would like the journal to be more user friendly when working in conjunction with the quest system. If the quest contains multiple elements tht have not been completed, then list them as ???, but have a running record as to what was accomplished and what needs to be accomplished. For example:

    Quest: Revamp the Quest System
    • Discuss Quest System Modification at Port
    • Solicit Feedback through Forums
    • Implement plan of action for coding
    • ???
    • ???
    • ???
    • ???
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
    Astirian, Nog, Witcheypoo and 8 others like this.
  11. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

    Messages:
    13,865
    Likes Received:
    21,623
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    What I want is stability. I want active quests to not just mysteriously disappear from my journal. When I complete a quest, I want it marked as complete and then removed from my task list. I want this to be reliable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    WeirDave, Nog, LoneStranger and 15 others like this.
  12. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    4,042
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I'm just going to point out that for me that zone had the opposite effect on me, showing me how empty people became with each room, and how far some were ready to take it, It kinda made me want to stay Virtuous. That zone is one of them that that emptyness of characters was accepted for me, but I will agree that others could be more living
     
    Womby, Svahn, Paladin Michael and 2 others like this.
  13. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,200
    Likes Received:
    12,070
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes, at it's current state a cutscene would have been a much better delivery. I was really disappointed by exactly what you wrote. No agency in Artifice, total waste of time.

    Even worse, the trap at the bottom. "GOTCHA! Look at the bad thing you did on accident because we put you to sleep upstairs and you weren't paying any attention! If you even figure out that it was you which maybe you didn't because it's so poorly put together that most people have no idea they set it off."
     
    Nog, Witcheypoo, Womby and 3 others like this.
  14. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,200
    Likes Received:
    12,070
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Once you're trapped you have to suicide to get out of it, how about that? A very obvious suicide booth. Pay for your sins.
     
  15. Canterbury

    Canterbury Avatar

    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    3,895
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    A lot of this stuff being talked about requires a hell of a lot of work. Even Starr's comment about a "complete overhaul" suggests tons and tons of work.

    I think what I just said there ^^^ is undeniable. As such...

    Where is this work going to come from? It took 5 years and a large team to get the game launched with an incomplete Episode 1 and unsatisfactory systems.

    So, please, in all seriousness, how is this mammoth amount of work going to get done... and if done, in what timeframe... with the 50% depleted dev team?
     
    Astirian, Nog, Womby and 5 others like this.
  16. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

    Messages:
    10,000
    Likes Received:
    24,312
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    Hopefully we will hear more on this from the devs. I really wouldn't mind a list of choices type of questing. Choosing correctly could be important and sometimes saying the wrong thing would have consequences or make something happen. So many consequences ideas that could happen that would give more of an alive feeling.

    Also we need a lovely journal system that lets you know if you're on a main quest line and which one. It could be sortable by location and more and of course by difficulty and it should list completed or in progress after each and every quest.
     
    WeirDave, Nog, Glimmer and 7 others like this.
  17. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

    Messages:
    3,795
    Likes Received:
    5,683
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Estgard/ Cologne
    I ask myself if this overhaul for Ep2 is a excuse to not fix broken sparkles in Ep1.

    Seriously, forget about Ep2 overhaul until the broken sparkles and Quests ins Ep1 arent working!!!

    They should fix this asap!
    I dont go and support an overhaul of a broken system what they cannot fix.
    What if the overhaul brings another broken system or the old quests are still broken?

    No trust here!

    If they cannot fix it , to be very honest, then they messed up one of the most important Systems of the game what was anounced with rich storytelling, consequences etc...

    Nothing of this happened until.

    I did the Drumplemouth quest in Aeri.
    There is no consequence if you kill him.
    Nothing. You can even speak to related quest NPC and they state that nothing changed, still a bad man she told me although i killed him with a single strike.

    And that was what they initially developed and wanted for SotA ?
    And now i shall pay for an overhaul im Ep2 what we are not sure if it even happens at all?

    No, sorry to spoil and share my desperate view here, but before they havent fixed it, just no.

    This said:
    The only incentive to login is to play solo and do quests or explore some new things.
    Neither UT Grind nor community stuff is interesting to me. The things for me developed in a direction i need to segregate from the majority of the community, because their playstyle and wants destroys mine.

    So, I barely login to do this and that, oh und btw all quests i approach i'm op to do with level 80.
    Maybe some quests will be challenging or even not doable for me until i grind another x Million xp.
    This way they can spare for something else instead of doing an overhaul of the questsystem.
    I'm used to have increasing difficulty level and allways a challenge when doing quests.
     
  18. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

    Messages:
    3,795
    Likes Received:
    5,683
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Estgard/ Cologne
    Ok, I had an idea in the Moment.

    I would like quests beeing sandboxish like Baldurs Gate or even like ArmA.
    Example for the Drumplemouth Quest in Aeri .

    Spoiler
    I'm told Lord D. is bad.
    I shall go kill him silently.
    I decide to do so, but sneaking up and ambush him is impossible i need to talk to him and then decide who is right after i speak to some Supporters who give me some sort of letter of recomendation.
    Ok here is what Stundorn thought over.
    I already know his family from the Bloodriver Outskirts.
    I know what 2 people say who want him dead and i know what 2 people say who want him alive or even say he isnt that bad, because he reliefed their debt.
    Honestly, that hasnt convinced me to safe him. Vendors for sure say everything for money. That's proof nothing. So i e did it short and without pain. But regarding sandbox i should be able to just sneak into the Castle and kill him without any conversation with him or trying to proove my customers wrong. And i shouldnt be able to then go through the entire castle and Guards do their duty as if nothing happened .
    I also should be able to kill the Supporters or my customers, i shall able to kill them all if i'm honest.
     
    Womby, Vyrin and Vladamir Begemot like this.
  19. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    4,108
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perennial Coast
    Well, where should I start? I made a summery of all ideas I posted over the last 4 years including all things I would like to be considered for a better story feeling and posted a thread days before, so Avatars, feel free to watch it here :)
     
  20. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    4,108
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perennial Coast

    Good question also asked similar here :)
     
    Womby and Vyrin like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.