!December 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
Tags: game design, of quests and questing, World of Warcraft
Well, it’s been two weeks, and whilst I’ve been playing World of Warcraft more than I might over the course of an average week, I’ve not exactly been hammering it either.
I’ve got to level 85, and whilst I’ve enjoyed working through them, I’ve completed all the quests I could find in Mount Hyjal (apart from the jousting quests; hates them), Vash’Jir, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. I’m currently idling my way through Deepholm, having got through a decent chunk of it.
This is a strange situation for me, as previously quests have seemed to be a never-ending torrent of things to do. They don’t *end*, so much as I out-level them, and move on.
The fact that they’ve ended, without me necessarily moving on, means I’m left wondering if there isn’t some huge secret that everyone else knows but I don’t. Is there a big secret? If there is, you can let me in on it, honest. You know that, don’t you? We’re mates, after all.
So, moving on with the thought that I am, after all, *completing quest chains* (I had to suppress a shudder at that. I’m not a completionist. Whilst I am aware of the concept, and both respectful and slightly in awe of those who *are* completionists, it’s not something I can be), and that I’m not just imagining it, here are a few thoughts:
This isn’t just a new thing for me, but a new concept for questing, from what I’ve experienced before.
From my recollection, many quest chains back in the goode olde days of World of Warcraft involved solo questing, topped off with a group quest against an elite mob. Lord of the Rings Online took this model and really went for it in grand style; virtually every quest chain involved solo gameplay until the final quest, which involved a group fight against big narsty monsty. Usually with adds.
Of course, it wasn’t just artificial, it was jarring. Having to find a group meant delays spent forming that group. It could also mean that quest never got done . Well, it meant that for me in a lot of cases. It didn’t matter that the xp reward was great, that the cash bonus was considerable, and it didn’t matter if the item handed out was really good for the level.
Most of the time, I’d just carry on questing, because I knew that for less hassle I could get more solo quests done, giving me just as much xp and cash, and the item would probably be out-levelled soon enough anyway. As with most players, I’ll go for a fun gaming experience, as opposed to the not-fun of *doing it right*.
The ‘Clysm has been different, and that gets a thumbs up from me. Group gaming hasn’t been thrown away, as it’s still possible to group up for questing content. As ever, grouping for quest content means a blitz through whole swathes of content, so if you want a challenge, then solo is probably your way to go.
Anywhere where a group quest would have been added, NPCs and devices which “weaken” the elite mob have been put in. It’s not all formulaic; sometimes the item will remove the elite status, sometimes there are game land-mines to kite a mob onto. Sometimes the NPC will tank for you; other times, *you* are the tank.
And if you’re after some hot group action (oo-er missus!) then it’s instances and raids you’ll be looking at.
Is it a cynical move? Allow more people the opportunity to easily and seamlessly see all your levelling content, therefore making it easier to attain achievements based around it?
But as a gamer, I’m glad I didn’t have to look at a quest, then immediately consign it to the “In case of Blue Moon” file.