Ramble On About: Quests, writers, and how to make more

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doctorface, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Doctorface

    Doctorface Avatar

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    Hey everyone, Yordic Meyers here. Kept you waiting,huh?

    Real life has been crazy for me. The holidays brought new trouble, we had some pretty big issues and I lost my father back at the end of november. Things have been bonkers but here I am. Today's topic is: Quests. More specifically how to solve the problem of not having a writer anymore. The content in the game as it is leaves a lot to be desired in both clarity and substance and I think I have JUST THE SOLUTION!

    We all see those maps with little to no player interaction in them, towns where you have one thing to do there and then nothing else. Well what if they didn't have to be that way? What if instead of having all these empty towns we had quests with minor rewards and short,repeatable, story lines? Without a writer these things would be borderline impossible to implement...for any game other than shroud.

    See, Shrouds biggest asset is it's players. We exist to further the game development and pay for the game with our purchases. We test for bugs and we build the world around what it is. So,whats to say we can't fill it with content? official content?

    Introducing: The Monthly Quest writing challenge!
    YES! A contest to become immortalized and help build out this wonderful world we all live in! My idea is simple: Set up at each release a contest theme and announce the theme on the Telethon stream. Players will then have three weeks to write out a quest line using an easy to fill form that the developers can then translate into the game with a quest reward that simply pulls a few random things from the loot draw pools. The storylines would have to utilize an already existing NPC, have to be triggered by a specific word or phrase and would be limited to, say, staying in the region. These submissions would then be filed and looked through and a set of finalists would be selected from which a winner will be announced on the next live stream.

    BUT YORDIC! The Forums would just bury these posts! it would be a mess and impossible to track!

    I knew you would say that,imaginary man, and I already have a solution! Introduce a new Email to send these quest forms in to! The writers would then send the quest line into the new email (quests@portalarium.com?) where they could easily be filtered for necessary key words. This would also keep the questlines from being revealed to the public before they are ready. Not only would this create more content for the game but it would be a great way to help publicize the game! What looks better than a game where you can change the face of the game?

    Now I know what you are thinking: How will anyone know I created this quest? saying the quest is created by a player in the name would be immersion breaking! Well I thought about that too. At the end of the quest you will be given a piece of paper as one of your rewards that lists the name of the quest and the creators name(whether they want their actual name or avatar name put in). I think those people who win should also be given a title to hold above their heads to show off their contribution as well as to stop any economy breaking items from being introduced into the game.

    In order to stop the same people from winning over and over I suggest that you can only win the contest once ever. Their quest becomes a part of the world and they have left a mark on a game they love. I think people would want to play a game they might have a say in. Sure it might mean more manpower is needed but that's what interns are for.

    Personally I think this would be an incredible addition to the game world and would drum up some publicity for the game and potentially bring players in to stay if they have an actual say in what goes on even if it's on a fundamentally small level. I think this might also get people moving to create more player run quests in the game as well for practice.

    But what do you think? Would this be good for the game? Would you write a quest for the contest? Leave your comments and questions down below and lets get talking about this!
     
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  2. Doctorface

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    Post 2 yordic here. Time for a TL;DRing.

    Problem:
    Quests lacking, no writers for quests.

    Proposed solution:
    Quest writing contest every month with winners being added two releases later.
    Quests will pull three random pulls from the loot system
    Contest can only be won once per player
    Quest also drops a ceritificate of completion with the quest name and the creator's name.
    Contest winner gets a title.
     
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  3. Lord Trady of Blix

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    They should have Quest writing livestream where they fix quests and add quests instead of giving out more useless junk deco.

    I really don't want to get a 4 story aether juniper tree set next stream.....
     
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  4. Cora Cuz'avich

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    But... now hear me out... what about a four story aether juniper tree set with icy effects?
     
  5. Olthadir

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    This, so many times this. Sooooo many times....


    Deco is cool and all, but really: story is what this game needs to live up to Ultima.
     
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  6. CarlNZ

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    Ehhhhh, players generally aren't as good at creating content as they like to think they are. Most player created stuff is in the cringe / fan fiction category.
     
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  7. Lord Lonn

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    I have't even tried the quests yet because they are so messed up....
     
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  8. Humbert_Humbert

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    Good idea!
     
  9. Vaentorian

    Vaentorian Localization Team

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    I love the idea, but for the time it might take for a member of the team to review all the submissions, I'm not sure it would be any more efficient/give more value for money than employing a writer; and having the community review submissions instead would surely attract accusations of favouritism; and on the flip side if there are no 'worthy' submissions in a given month, does the least worst one have to be selected as official anyway or do you disappoint everyone who took the time to at least try and do something...

    So I love the idea, but think it's probably best to keep game features designed by players as 'unofficial' at least for the most part. Part of the strength of the community is that you can generally depend on people showing up for the event you put together or the quest you managed to implement with the tools available (so more tools for that would be great - player-made dungeons should be a big boost for example).

    Like some other posters, I've also been a bit disappointed with the state of some of the official quest content, but have to say I've not been great at reporting inconsistencies and bugs and so forth when I find them. I actually hope that Ep2 will have a simpler storyline and not try so hard re: 'actions having consequences', because as much as love that principle, I feel that not being able to keep track of all those consequences has contributed significantly to the profusion of edge cases where NPCs are 'broken' and quests fail to resolve properly.

    But bottom line - really nice idea and even if it doesn't get official backing, I hope you can take it forward in some form!
     
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  10. HannahAlpenglow2

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    Ding Ding Ding. Noble idea, but yes, most player quest material would likely not be great. Devs would spend more time sifting through bad ideas that it defeats the purpose. The only solution for professional content is professional writers/quest designers (yes, more than one as last time around there was only one, and look how that turned out). Not seeing where the funding is for such things though.

    Besides, players have tools to make their own quests, right now. Those tools are rough and rudimentary, but it can be done. Lily Byrd makes great quests, for example.

    I made a series of quests that had rewards (cotos, heraldry items, rare deco - like $20 worth of items for every person that finished) and even tracked virtue that affected if you could access special loot chests. It was not a masterpiece by any means, but you can do fairly complex quests that are player run, in game, right now.

    Only about 25 people did the quests over six months, and it included fairly substantial rewards, advertising it and Lord British stopping by to check it out. More people like the grind than quests is what I surmised, so I stopped doing them.

    Good luck in your efforts to improve quests though - they are sorely needed, especially for newcomers who are treated to a very poor system today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  11. Doctorface

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    overwhelmingly negative response to this and people getting off track. Noted
     
  12. Nick

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    I think if we can get port to hire a quest writer, he can also help review the materials too!
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/quest-writer-stretch-goal.147489/

    Perhaps if the submissions are overwhelming, we can have a small team of volunteers to review the scripts and then narrow down to say 3-5 quests, for the @Lord British to review. I can't imagine Atos sifting through quests.
    If the winner's quests cannot be implemented in NPC towns, why not the more popular PRT towns?

    It would also be great if they allow POT town owners have access to the tools to do it themselves using their own NPCs.
     
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  13. Gregg247

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    I'm surprised Richard hasn't fired up the old Apple ][ and typed out some new quests for us. After all, SotA is his baby; he created the world we play in, and co-wrote the book that serves as the prequel to everything we do here. Certainly, he has some great ideas for in-game quests.
     
  14. Kara Brae

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    My condolences on the loss of your father.
     
  15. Astirian

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    It's a lovely idea in theory but it absolutely positively would need *strict* curation.

    Or else you end up with "Han Solo wents you to kill teh dragin."
     
  16. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    This is an RPG. And RPG (in parts, i know) stands and afalls with it's story and it's quest.
    Though this gama absolutley has a couple of diamonds (in regards to quests) we still need MOAR. And we will ALWAYS need MOAR.
    That's the way it is with live service games.

    Beside that i am asking for a quest writer contest for AGES i still think we should get a quest writer streatch goal. Maybe spread about a couple of theletons or as EP2 streatch goal.
     
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  17. Xee

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    As a player who is waiting on the tools to be in place, I can tell you there are some of us that really can't wait to work on quests. I do agree not all folks will create great content, but there are some that I am sure will shine. I do think that the tools are the most important part and what we have to work with for creation of quests. If we are very limited to simply dialog scripts then I can see this not being as good. What I would like to see is some of these things which would take things further.

    1. Dialog for NPC's that allow one to assign emotes at specific times. example. NPC: "Greetings traveler" %EM=bow This would present the NPC telling the person greetings then takes a bow. Having ability to use the emotes that the player knows promotes one to collect more to expand their npc's.

    2. Reward system for completion of quest (We need away for players to come back and get rewards or for players to get rewards from other NPC's in the quest for the completion of all parts. XP I don't think is a requirement as that can be gained from killing along the way. I think having items and coin options for rewards would be best. Think of not only adventure rewards but this could be away for people to utilize vendors further like a quest for gathering and turning in ore or hides which they reward you with coin which is like a buy order but created through a quest dialog which makes it seem more natural imo to have npc's tell you what they want and assign a quest.

    3. Linking of events / triggers. In landmark when creating dungeons we had the ability to link NPC's and dialog to conditions. Example if box opened trigger spawn of npc guard. NPC guard then had dialog before changing to attack. Or boss monster that is neutral or not attackable standing behind a chest. if player opens chest NPC spawns in hall walks into room commands boss to attach the thief. There were amazing tools in Landmark that could be implemented here as well that would allow for some stellar quests. I made a mr meeseeks box it was a box with a button. that when a player clicked on the button it spawned a neutral mob that said I'm mr Meeseeks. each press spawned another up until 4 presses then at that time the doors in the room locked and the mobs turned aggressive. On death of all mobs the doors unlocked.

    4. Keys and other items that can be used as triggers. If someone uses a key on a door or chest it unlocks. Or if someone has an item that places it in a box or on an object they can be used as triggers. Example magic symbol decor placed on floor. If someone places book of Xee in the circle it unlocks a chest or door.

    These are just some idea I think could be doable and would take some time for sure for the devs to implement the tools correctly but would open up what I think is needed for the truly creative folks to build incredible quests. the more tools and creatures / items we give players to play with the more they can create and do.