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Will there by anything more that can we expect in terms of quests?

Discussion in 'Release 39 Feedback Forum' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Mar 6, 2017.

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  1. 2112Starman

    2112Starman Avatar

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    I sure hope you are watching the telethon right now, Lord British just basically repeated every thing I said.
     
  2. Leinad Laurelwreath

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    Arghh!! Missed it!!! What exactly did he say?
     
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  3. Burzmali

    Burzmali Avatar

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    Port can commit to quality as much as they want, their tools are inadequate for the task. The tools are inadequate because of the design limitations. If you walked through a narrative driven game like U7 or Baldur's Gate, you'd find that half or more of the quests are impossible in SotA simply because the design forbids them. Spending the last 20% of developement making content is noble, spending it reworking the design is a recipe for disaster.
     
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  4. Barugon

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    I love how everyone on these forums is an expert in game design.
     
  5. yarnevk

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    Its not the forum 'experts' that said the questing tools are inadequate, it is the devs themselves. This is not something we are making up that town quests cannot be consequential because of PC housing, it is something the devs have said for many months that they wish they could write such quests because they know how they can tell a better story with consequences, but are unable to implement it due to engine limitations. However the forum does consist of game playing experts and know what they want, which is consequential questing. So what we are asking is for the devs to give a episodic, quarterly or monthy update plan that fixes that problem. The forum should be discussing compromises they would be willing to make to get those consequences, rather than denying the problem exists.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  6. Bubonic

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    Absolutely no chance this game is releasing in 3-4 months. They are still developing phasing/questing tech. I'll be amazed if it comes out in 2017 at all.
     
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  7. uhop

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    All points are fair, including the one I quoted above. Yet I would argue that it is an attempt to address an important point of the whole quest mechanics: discoverability. When I started questing in SotA, I spoke with hundreds of NPCs, if not more. It makes sense only if quests are static. Imagine that all NPCs have a different story every single day (hour, minute, time you speak with them) --- that would be frustrating to go over all of them every single time in hopes to find "that new quest".

    Obviously it doesn't work this way in RL (tm). If we look at medieval times, we'll see that rules make proclamations at public places to announce a war, a warrant to catch notorious bandits, to buy certain non-common goods, and so on. Additionally town criers, posters, and even leaflets can be used for that. If an avatar missed such proclamation, I suspect that town criers can inform out-of-towners, and even NPCs can talk about it.

    Another natural place for information are taverns. I suspect that servers, proprietors, and some regulars would gossip. I think that we may have even "information brokers" that can sell you some actionable info at a reasonable price. They can even take into account their relationship with an avatar to offer discounts, or some super-good information.

    My point is: if you don't like the "blue glow", we should have some alternative ways to get all (local) information. Clearly, while the "blue glow" is highly functional (you see immediately, if it is an NPC of interest, or not), it is more technical and less role-playing.

    Yes, the current setup (Unity and all) has its limitations. It could be seen from a mile. Yet, it is not all gloomy. Even given all limitations it is still possible to craft cool quests --- the real limit is an imagination, the literary part is there, token-based quests clearly work, even dead guys can be accounted for --- see how Min Liang Tan was substituted locally.
     
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  8. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Population is a big problem in SotA. There are way too many NPCs in the cities and too few look unique. Also, every NPC you talk to initiates a dialogue and you can ask him/her about everything. We don't know who is important and who isn't.
    Let's take some examples from other games:

    The Witcher 3 and Horizon: Zero Dawn. In The Witcher 3 and in the cities of Horizon there are many NPCs walking around. But most of them just say hello and maybe say one unique sentence without initiating dialogue. So I know when someone is important when the dialogue window pops up. This helps a lot in terms of distinguishing important from none important NPCs. Also important NPCs yell towards the player, wave or behave differently so that I see that they are interesting/important.

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: A similar situation but with much fewer NPCs. So even when talking to the maybe 10 people living in a village, it doesn't feel like a chore. Also this way even the not so important NPCs can say a few sentences more and thus get some personality.

    In the old Ultima games there were much fewer NPCs running around and the dialogues were much shorter without losing significance. It is interesting how in Ultima 7 the NPCs had so much more personality but had so much less dialogue than in SotA.

    So for me one of the problems of SotA is the much too large population of NPCs and the fact that all of them initiate dialogue and tell you their whole story in "thousands" of words. With fewer NPCs hand waving, yelling etc. would definitely be enough to distinguish important from non important NPCs. Also do we really need to have dialogues with every NPC in the world? Wouldn't it suffice to just have them say one or two sentences when we click on them and this without going into dialogue mode? So we would notice that an NPC is important when the dialogue mode appears.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  9. Miganarchine

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    I cannot believe Unity does not have a script system for questing!, I was hoping we would get cut scenes, I like to be rewarded like a good dog when I complete a quest, Final Fantasy online does great stuff as does Secret world, ESO has it's tried and tested formula and you can talk to anyone but get limited options with mainly goodbye for non important people. I am fickle when it comes to playing games and regularly rotate my playtime so as not to get bored, but when you have a game as large as Sota and come back after a long delay it's difficult to pick up where you was if there is no on screen quest reminder of where you need to go, Then you got to re-read stuff to jog your memory, I want a seamless adventure that's exciting and takes me out of my hum drum life, I like the idea of type to talk but the team seem to have done away with most of that with clicking on all the underlined words, They may as well present the story in a nice UI like ESO and just give a few responses and have the NPC act in the window, at least it would give the game some story telling feature and make the game more professional.
     
  10. mass

    mass Avatar

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    I think UI 'beautification' is one of the last things they will do. I don't expect cut scenes, but I think we'll at least see a substantial prettying up of the UI. I know some people don't like cut scenes in MMOs, but I love'em too!
     
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  11. yarnevk

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    They said during the telethon they are not going to do cut scenes, not because unity cannot do it, but because that requires scores and voice overs (they don't want to do comic book style), it is their budget that restricts them to doing text based quests. Unity has several languages that it can be scripted in, that is why it is so popular because you develop and immediately can try out things out in the scene editor rather than waiting for things to compile and having to play thru the game. There are also assets on the store that will graphically manage the creation of quest state machines for those that cannot code.

    Scripting is not the issue, the issue is the existance of player housing in a scene prevents instancing for consequences due to their database design. They are testing instancing of emotes as a replacement for the blue glowing quest giver. With the upcoming battlecamp idea they are removing non-consequential questing out of town where things can have consequences.

    They said in the telethon they do want player scripting, but not with the programmable complexity that is available in Unity, but rather with more controlled things like spawning of treasures and mobs. This is an MMO you cannot have freely available modding like you can in a single player game, because your changes affect other players. Give questers scripts to write quests, someone will write a macro quest that dings their XP gains all day long.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  12. Caladhan

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    @Lord_Darkmoon I admire your persistence in fighting for the single-player experience!
    My interest in this game has waned over the years, mostly because I miss quests and interesting NPCs.
     
  13. Sir Cabirus

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    Same here :(
     
  14. Dantuin

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    Agreed :(
     
  15. Lifedragn

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    I do have a degree and 11 years of industry experience with a AAA publisher. It is nothing compared to Starr Long or Richard Garriot, but yeah I have something of an idea about how the process works. :)
     
  16. Paladin Michael

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    Very interesting thread. With information I didn't knew. As you can read in my threads I love quests, meaningful quests. Sidequests are nice, too.
    But one thing I can't understand: why is it so important to release in 2017? Well, if it takes time to implement a really good quest engine - do it!

    I can just speak for myself: I don't need that many things like housing and stuff like "robocop" dresses or pattern or more pets looking around like german garden dwarfs "Gartenzwerge" ;)
    Oh no! What did I say! PLEASE developer never implement these german dwarfes in game! :(
    And sure, I wrote about, if we need things like such cozy absolute not neccesary emotes.
    Until we have no quests, who cares about such things?
    I learned, there are people creating this content, while other people creating other content.
    So my feeling was (and is) we need more people doing QUEST content ;)

    I remember the UO days without quests. You ran around and thought by yourself: "What I am doing here?" - slayed a lot of times from other players.
    Well, later I thought, they were bored of having nothing to do ;)
    May be that's the reason to bring pvp in the game? Just kidding.
    I would prefer a good book to play in. And for this I can wait.

    Everything of content is important for the whole meaning of the game!
    And just because the further quests aren't inside ... yet (and I really await them - more than christmas) for me there is no question of a "failed target".
    Is it a race?
    For me it's not important when the official release is. It's not important, if it is 2017 or 2018.
    Important is, that all content given by the game designer has a meaning. And in my opinion they do nice work to do so and make it a unique game.
    And if engine needs a further year to give us more -meaningful- quests, than it's okay.
    As Elvis Presley said: "Well, the world turns."
    Ok, I hope I will SEE the quests before 2020, but if they come in with release date or within a year after, that's not so important.
    If the three mainpaths are finished and playable without bugs - and they will be until release, there can be done a lot of things for a lot of months ...
    I am positive that we will hear and see about further quests in Q3 / Q4 this year.

    Keep cool, don't worry, be happy, and don't ask too much questions, so that the dev. have enough time to do their work ;)
    Let them breath in a good way. Who can do a really good work under pressure?
    Sometimes a "thank you for ..." is much better as thread 99 with rumours about a ship full of trolls coming to Kingsport ...
    (Just to bring the ale, Braemar is waiting for such a long time - like we for our quests ;))

    Fare well, I think the surprising content we have seen the last months will go on ...
    "Don't Panic!" as Douglas Adams gave us a very good advice :)
    And what I wrote about the Telethon: Qi Gong is good for everybody, too to calm down - not only for the dev. who must sit such a long time infront of the pc to read our whole posts ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  17. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Master of the Mint

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    In my opinion, it is a race.
    The game was due in 2014. The longer it takes, the more people we lose.
    Are we gaining more people than we're losing? We don't have those numbers.
    But it is important to stop the losses.
    Starr said half the people that own property deeds haven't claimed them.
    I wonder how many have written the game off and might never log in.

    I get together with about 25 Ultima Dragons/SotA backers every few months. In that group, there are only two that follow development, and only one that actually plays. The rest have either sold their accounts, written them off, or might check in when they start hearing that it's done.

    It's a small sample, but from what I can see, SotA is losing the single player backers.
    Maybe the MMO players are happy. I'm not one of those, and I don't really know any.

    The sooner Portalarium gets Episode 1 out, the sooner they can start attracting new customers and getting lost customers back.
     
  18. Sir Cabirus

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    I totally agree. SotA is losing the single player backers. And these are more people than many believe. I know many Ultima fans through my website, most of them gave up. They lost their interest and don't follow the development of the game any longer.
     
  19. Paladin Michael

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    Well, I understand your concerning.
    And I can't say what is the "right point in time"?

    @Sir Frank,
    "Starr said half the people that own property deeds haven't claimed them."
    Well, maybe they don't want to pay the high rated taxes to early? ;)
    Or with there tax free deeds they can't decide where to claim them? ;)
    This seems not be a reason of thinking people don't like to play anymore, but maybe until it is finished?
    I agree in this point (not with the race thing, I don't like races *g*) - let's tell me another story:
    Three nephews of mine were UO players, too, like me. After that they played a lot of games, like WOW. Two liked it, one not (because of the graphic!).
    I used to play WOW from time to time, because of the story and of course to be honest I like(d) to be a Paladin! [What about a quest to receive this title?] :)

    My nephews are really not interested to play a game "in work" and also a game without fully translated in german.
    I understand - how should they do the quests with fun, if they have to read every 4 words in dictionary? ;)
    And because of newer games like Star Wars they even don't like to read text and would prefer to have voice output.
    [Starr: is this elicited for Episode 2? ;) I think there are enough loyal backers for recording voices :)]
    Remembering WOW: it IS very hard to read every small quest. So better not TOO much small quests but more meaningful of them!
    I think these are reasons for a lot of people.

    It was a little sad for me to receive the informatin about SotA too late to get a beginner pledge with these wonderful cloaks and shields ... [inconsolable about this ...]
    With my first pledge in 2014 I really didn't play a lot, because of my time and I couldn't do meaningful things.
    I came in looking around - felt a little lost, but from R to R I liked the Braemar quests and went further - the quests were/are MY thing to go on with playing.
    Not housing, making gold, lvl up to GM ...

    Now I really enjoy watching the progress of the game and used to play the main paths and all quests in game. My focus isn't on decoration, collecting stuff and gold.
    For me it is like reading in a good book - and so I prefer the adventure part of the game.

    A lot of people are full. Not in a negative meaning.
    By playing one game after another to have better graphics, better sounds, better voices, ... this makes full.
    So comparison to other games and expectations are very high.

    I think, SotA is on a really good way. A release on Dec. or Jan. should work to get a lot of people inside.
    But to hold them in game to play frequently is a matter of personal interest in this kind of game.
    People get bored at graphics or other effects very fast in a time of "one new game hunts another".
    Just good s/g effects and 1000s of items are not a guarantee for a good release ... neither are 1000s of (meaningless) quests ;)
    Yes, an earlier release could be a good thing - but it must not. I don't know it.

    I agree to the point, as I often read in threads, that a lot of players - because of Ultima - awaits a really good story telling game.
    And this is a really big point you told about single players! I am with you. Playing single needs a really good logical storyline. And for this I prefer to get a release having it at 90% :)
    I hope and I trust it will be!

    At this time I just say: the game is really good, I like it to play (exceptions I mentioned in other threads - nothing is perfect ;)) and I think with release date (if Dec. 2017 or April 2018, whenever!) a new player (not we!) can do really a lot of things for months to lvl up, doing the main paths and all side quests.

    So from that point of release, every month could follow well-thought-out quests, based on the main quests to give highlights with a dark wretch meeting at the end ... and fantastic treasure too :)
    I am sure a lot of players will come (back) to release time. And I am sure, the state of the game at this point is meaningful to them to play further - or not.
    I like to be surprised what is coming around ... this is a one-thing time never comes back, backers - enjoy it ;)

    By the way: @Sir Cabirus - first time I saw your really good page - I like it :)
     
  20. Duke Aventine

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    This has been a great discussion on an important topic so far.

    I find myself also asking a next question: "How will I know when this is achieved?" The SOTA NPC dialog system makes it so that quests can be embedded nearly anywhere with NPCs and I just won't know how many quests exist until I go looking. Unlike some games, there are no glaring quest indicators (the blue highlight is not a glaring) to intuitively know how many quests exist around me.

    Maybe a revealing question to answer that is: "what is the goal?" Is the goal to have two NPCs per town with a quest, or ten or thirty? Is the goal to have NPC quest givers give one quest each or three each? Separate quests or in success?

    As a gamer, I'm ok with ambiguity in finding quests. That can be part of the fun. But it would be helpful to know what to expect (how many I should expect to find). Because the worst case is expecting to find quests but finding none.
     
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