ID:151866
 
So, say you have this game all about questing, finding quests and completing quests. Many of these quests have some sort of story element that binds them to the world, not just "Go kill N rabbits and bring me their hides!".

As such, a quest could change things in the world for the player that completes it, like opening up new areas or changing how the NPCs react to you, so on. Many of these can be handled with tracking which quests the player has completed and reacting accordingly, but what of opening new areas, or cases where the change caused by beating the quest is something that affects everyone?

Players can't go around beating all the quests and simply leaving the world essentially "solved", and you can only mask others progress so much for new players. So what are some ideas for ensuring new players aren't met with a world with few unsolved quests?

One idea I had was to create circular quests. One quest will open new areas, but also unlock the counter-quest which will essentially reset the first quest's effects. It should be a simple matter to tie this counter-quest into the story (bad guy quest, perhaps?), and essentially making a revolving quest with one or more states that it cycles through.

With that sort of setup, new players will always have the full set of quests available to them, but they may not always be the same. The story would get kinda weird for those who stick around, but I'm seeing this as a more casual type game, with short sessions. The story elements are simply there to add value and meaning, and to motivate players towards new quests.
Every time you spawn 5 wolves for the "Kill 5 wolves" quest, place a wanted poster in the nearest town.

Periodically open and close pathways between towns with bandit raids and natural disasters. - You may also have these effect item pricing between towns with a supply and demand model.

Make all caves and dungeons instanced. - Allow parties to enter the same instance for a tougher challenge and greater rewards.

For your circular quests you could also tie in a sort of Fable-like good/evil version. ie: Raid the town or protect the town from raiders.
In response to SuperAntx (#1)
SuperAntx wrote:
Every time you spawn 5 wolves for the "Kill 5 wolves" quest, place a wanted poster in the nearest town.

There won't really be that sort of thing, at lest, not without some good reason. I'm mainly looking at these sorts of quest types:

<pre> retrieve/return item rescue/capture person escort/guard person/item slay/revive person solve mystery/commit crime </pre>

But instancing off areas might be a good way to keep it separate for others, so that's good.

Periodically open and close pathways between towns with bandit raids and natural disasters. - You may also have these effect item pricing between towns with a supply and demand model.

I like the natural disaster idea, but that might get old if over-used. Same with any one plot device or quest type. I mean, after the 10th time saving the damsel in distress, you'd think she'd learn. :P


Make all caves and dungeons instanced. - Allow parties to enter the same instance for a tougher challenge and greater rewards.

That might be a problem, since each, um. Each area has a large dungeon type thing with a big boss, who's kinda central to the story bits in that beating him unlocks an area, so I was thinking of having a counter to that, where you'd close the area and reinstate the boss.

For your circular quests you could also tie in a sort of Fable-like good/evil version. ie: Raid the town or protect the town from raiders.

Meh, but that would be more like a single quest with two sides you could pick, not two separate quests that cancel each other out. At the end, the village is still burning. There should be a counter to that, that rebuilds the village, and restores the area to its default state.
In response to Xooxer (#2)
Xooxer wrote:
I like the natural disaster idea, but that might get old if over-used. Same with any one plot device or quest type. I mean, after the 10th time saving the damsel in distress, you'd think she'd learn. :P

Well, there can be more than that. A bridge could go out which requires someone to repair it. Instead of a bandit raid they could set up a toll. It's up to the player to decide to kill their leader or pay up.

At the end, the village is still burning. There should be a counter to that, that rebuilds the village, and restores the area to its default state.

Having something like that would probably leave the village in a constant state of being destroyed. Having to do all that questing to rebuild the town just to have it destroyed would be like some bully coming up and kicking your sand castle.

What if there was some sort of automatic cycle? Say if nobody fixes up the village after an hour the quests auto completes and the village is fixed up on it's own. After another hour if nobody raids the town, bandits automatically come in and trash the place anyway.

Put all that stuff on their own timers and there's bound to be something dynamically going on at any given moment.
OK, so you are always providing the user with quests and your idea is a good one, but the way you have it set up, they will always still be just completing the same quest over and over. Once they defeat all of those bosses, and then reinstate them, what happens? They get a chance to defeat them again?

If you could generate quests on-the-fly, that would be pretty sweet. But then for your awesome idea of a changing world, you'd also have to be able to generate dynamic changes to the world (which shouldn't be that hard if you think about it, don't make the changes too drastic) but even that is still limited. For games, there always has to be a means to an end, but if you want long-term players, make a long-term game.
In response to CaptFalcon33035 (#4)
CaptFalcon33035 wrote:
OK, so you are always providing the user with quests and your idea is a good one, but the way you have it set up, they will always still be just completing the same quest over and over.

Well, I'd rather not go into it (it would take some time to explain), but players don't stay in one area very long, especially if they defeat a big boss. If they defeated the big boss, that's half the progress they need to advance. They'd be lucky to witness both states of the boss quest, though smaller quests my seem repetitive.


If you could generate quests on-the-fly, that would be pretty sweet. But then for your awesome idea of a changing world, you'd also have to be able to generate dynamic changes to the world (which shouldn't be that hard if you think about it, don't make the changes too drastic) but even that is still limited.

Hrm, I haven't gotten into any details of quest generation. I suppose it would be sort of dynamic, but I didn't consider something *that* dynamic. Might be easy to do if I break down the world into basic bits and concepts.


For games, there always has to be a means to an end, but if you want long-term players, make a long-term game.

Ah, yeah. I wasn't looking for long term players. This would be more like a quick fun game you play from time to time. You could probably level up your character to the max in a few hours if you work at it. It would be high replay value, but not much investment of time.
Pit players against each other. Two or more rival teams compete against each other. When one player completes a quest for their team, it creates a quest for the other team. If one team completes all their quests, then they "win" that round and get some bonuses, and it all starts over.