The Purge

PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
It is currently Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:17 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: "Questing" vs "Grinding"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:11 pm 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
Back in the days of EQ, I decided that grinding was the worst thing ever. There you are, killing NPC after NPC for no reason other than loot and levels. That was your whole EQ life (or would be if you weren't on a PvP server). Just grinding for XP.

WOW came out and I thought it was great. Finally, I can follow quests and feel like I'm doing something other than killing mobs for no reason. Most other games followed the WOW model.

Now I feel like I'm doing a 180 on my position. Questing is ultimately the same thing as grinding, but with extra steps.

e.g., what's the difference in killing 10 mobs for 100 xp each with a quest turnin for 1000 xp, versus simply killing 10 mobs for 200 xp each? Sure, maybe the quest says, "Blah blah rats eating my crops, bring me 10 rat tails, etc etc" but it's really just the same thing with an extra step: you're out there grinding mobs for loot and levels one way or the other. Quests fail to be satisfying because the text of the quest is meaningless and therefore it just amounts to directed grinding.

Quests, in fact, add an extra barrier, in that if you and I aren't on the same step of the same quest then one of us is going to have to get the other caught up, which can be an extensive process of repeating less than ideal content. With grinding, there's no worries. You just join me and away we go.

I think POTBS and Champions Online drove this home particularly well. POTBS had quests but some of the best leveling was just in grinding on the open sea. And while grinding, anyone could join you, even if the level difference was extreme, and still contribute and not worry about who was on what quest.

Champions Online went the exact opposite direction, where the whole game is quest driven and "grinding" isn't really supported. You can never really play with anyone you know unless you made a point of staying in synch.



So maybe the real question is, "Do we need those quest turnins for some psychological reason?" Does that chunk of XP/loot bring some sense of satisfaction that you wouldn't have gotten had the same rewards and loot been offered up during the course of the grind?

If so, maybe all we really need are Warhammer style "kill quests", where the game basically tracks how many rats you kill and when you decide to go in to town, you talk to the guy and he says, "Congratulations, you killed 231 rats, here's 231 rats worth of quest reward." No need to actually pick up the quest and kill a certain number and trying to keep everyone in synch.

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:32 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 4:46 pm
Posts: 7107
Location: Phoenix
I've stood by this point since EQ and my position hasn't changed at all. I still think item camps are one of the best things ever for community and pvp. In the same vein, camps that were identified as being xp slaughterhouses created value and points of contention. XP and items have always been good currency and if you want to create good pvp you ought to have just under the number of camps available as would satisfy your player base.

_________________
Caveatum & Blhurr D'Vizhun.
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:34 pm 
Offline
Member

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 11551
Location: Brooklyn, New York
The quests break the monotony for me, I actually enjoyed running around in wow questing (and killing alliance that were question), whereas grinding I was ambivilent about it. I think its psychological. Plus, despite being 'meaningless', alot of the wow quest text was actually fairly amusing - and from a lore dork perspective WotLK had some fantastic questlines.

A good thing about quests is its a good way to give the players equipment upgrade rewards without forcing them to get lucky on a random drop.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:39 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 4:46 pm
Posts: 7107
Location: Phoenix
Psychologically for me finding a grind spot in a pvp zone has that hot potato feel, more like a hot nipple feel; you can suck on it but you always have your eyes shifted to the side watching for the other hungry piggies that want at it. It becomes a mini game of king of the hill basically. But in the open world.

Another thought. It's also self-regulating because rarely do you go to an xp camp with more than the optimum number of players that would net you the most xp per hour. Rarely do you find more than the optimum number of players there as well. This means you are more likely to get a fairly balanced pvp experience as groups of relatively equal numbers try to force each other out of the camp.

Thinking about this really makes me miss EQ. Questing and content are fine but the natural consequence of having a ton of quests and content is that your player base is diffuse making pvp contact less likely.

PvP resources ought to be like a game of musical chairs where if you want a chair after the music stops you have to kick someone out of it.

_________________
Caveatum & Blhurr D'Vizhun.
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:43 pm 
Offline
Member

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 11551
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Thats apparently how Aion is in the abyss, much to my chagrin.

I used to be able to handle grinding by getting high and listening to techno, but I quit smoking dope so techno sounds like shit and grinding gets on my nerves.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:41 pm 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
That's a great thought about XP areas tending to attract certain numbers and questing resulting in a diffuse population. You might go to an XP spot suitable for 10 people with 30 people to "raid" it, but you aren't going to just hang out with 30 people. So it will tend towards being a 10v10 area most of the time.

Plus if you're the hunter, you know where to go. You know where the good grind spots are that people tend to always be at versus the bad areas that are usually empty. XP spots double as hunting grounds.

Maybe it's not so much a question of "which is more fun, questing or grinding" but simply that grinding ends up being better for creating a PvP environment as well as a community. You'll rarely (if ever) quest with strangers but grinding near strangers is commonplace.

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:16 am 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 5:25 pm
Posts: 4856
Location: Dagobah
Side note on quests:
My stance is that there are quests and then there are quests. For example in POBS, there were all the boring quests that were obviously made in 10 minutes because some guy had a job to make 132 quests by the end of the month. Then, out of no where you get this quest that sends you off the edge of the map, onto an island with hundreds of undead zombie types that slowly shamble after you, makes you look for stuff that actually goes along with the story line of the quests, and gives you the feeling that someone spent some actual time making this quest fun. You finish those quests having had fun and -- oh look at that, I just got a level without even having watched my xp bar.

_________________
"Hamilton is really a Colossus to the anti republican party. Without numbers he is an host within himself. They have got themselves into a defile where they might be finished but too much security on the republican part will give time to his talents and indefatigableness to extricate them. We have had only middling performances to oppose to him. In truth when he comes forward there is nobody but yourself who can meet him. His adversaries having begun the attack he has the advantage of answering them and remains unanswered himself. For God's sake take up your pen and give a fundamental reply to Curtius and Camillas" - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:36 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 4:46 pm
Posts: 7107
Location: Phoenix
Sounds like the difference between making a quest using the already programmed and available infrastructure in the game vs having to program new stuff to create a unique story line. The quest might be fun but it sounds like a lot more work to program. Programming a truly unique and unrepetitive quest experience throughout the entirety of character's lifespan is a noble development goal. It would probably resemble something like a single player RPG but take many more hours to achieve.

_________________
Caveatum & Blhurr D'Vizhun.
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:25 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2002 4:41 pm
Posts: 1584
Location: Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada
What Dustie is saying. He is talking about epic quests! Everquest had them, Warhammer has them. I am sure many other MMO's have them.

Quests with multiple steps are fun, I have to agree, but they need to be limited to one per 'zone' and one or two per 'class'.
The 'epic' quests are a good escape from the PvP. They are a must in games.

_________________
Kakarat Keys ~ Thief ~ Guild Wars 2
Kakarat ~ Shaman ~ WoW ~
Kakarat ~ Witch Hunter ~ WAR:AoR
Riona ~ Knight of the Blazing Sun ~ WAR:AoR
Kakarat ~ Swashbuckler ~ EQ2 ~ Venekor
Eef Eigten[F-18]~ 60 Aracoix Rogue ~ Shadowbane
Kakarat ~ 60 Ogre Warrior ~ EQ ~ VZ


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:32 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
I'm sick of quests and even public quests are horribly static. Someone needs to make some more dynamic content.

Instead of some static mother fucker sitting there with a '!' how bout I see villagers running to me screaming and flapping their arms, with mobs running behind them. Theres the start of a real quest, and not this weak ass 'you must fulfill these conditions to complete quest' deal, I'm talkin roleplaying

Villager runs to me for help from monsters approaching

(A)help the poor sap
(B)demand some form of payment (you can demand gold or haggle for items later)
(C)shank him and take his money and blame it on the monsters

_________________
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth EA The Greed? I thought not. It’s not a story other Developers would tell you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:41 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2002 3:43 pm
Posts: 4028
Location: Atlanta
Ditch the XP system completely and go with a "use it or lose it" skill system and let the good times role. You should spend your gametime playing the game and not farming XP.

_________________
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
-Thomas Jefferson

Spread my work ethic not my wealth.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:37 am 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
Public quests are dynamic content, but they're thinking way too small.

Typical WAR public quest was like that thing with the giant.

Squigs are bothering the giant. You kill the squigs.
Giant wants a drink so you get the giant a drink.
Giant gets drunk and decides to go throw a giant exploding mine up against the dwarf fortress door.
Door blows open and the dwarf boss comes out.
Kill the boss and the whole thing resets.


Well, it's the right technology, but on too small of a scale. Killing the boss should trigger a takeover of the fort. Meanwhile the dwarves have their own side of this PQ to reverse the damage.

You could make a really dynamic world fairly easily by taking this PQ concept to extremes. That's how I'd like to see quests become.


Cause otherwise I just don't really get into them at all. Kill 50 rats. Shamble around and pretend to be a zombie. Whatever. It just doesn't do much for me when I know the only eventual impact is my XP bar moves a little bit.

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:32 am 
Offline
Officer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 3883
Location: Warren, NJ
Diggles wrote:
I'm sick of quests and even public quests are horribly static. Someone needs to make some more dynamic content.

Instead of some static mother fucker sitting there with a '!' how bout I see villagers running to me screaming and flapping their arms, with mobs running behind them. Theres the start of a real quest, and not this weak ass 'you must fulfill these conditions to complete quest' deal, I'm talkin roleplaying

I've seen a quest like this in Warhammer.

when you're leveling in Reikland, you might notice a bunch of brigands hiding behind a particular rock by the road. you might also notice a merchant travelling down that road. if you're paying enough attention to put two and two together, or if you're lucky enough to happen by the brigands just when the merchant is passing that big rock, and if you're inclined to stop what you're doing long enough to kill the brigands before they can kill the merchant, the merchant will reward you with a quest (you'll get nothing, of course, if the merchant dies).

but it's not much of a quest -- all you have to do is travel to her destination and meet her there to receive your reward. still, I got a kick out of it.

I kind of wonder if there are other similar quests in the game that I just never noticed.

which brings me to my point -- dynamic quests are great and all, but if your customers are too oblivious to recognize them, then you have effectively wasted your development resources adding easter eggs rather than real content.

-ken

_________________
Naval Action: Taralin Snow, Snowy Iggles
EQ2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Taralin, Disruption, Preyz, Taralynne, Snowy, Snowz
ESO: Snowreap, Yellowtail
PS2: Snowreap
GW2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Taralynne
RIFT: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Snowy
PotBS (British): Taralin Snow, Taralynne Snow, Snowy Iggles, Edward Snow
PotBS (Pirate): Taralin Snowden, Taralynne Snowden, Redshirt Snowden
WW2O: Snowreap
WAR: Snowreap, Preyz, Lbz, Leadz, Snowz, Taralin, Snowmeltz, Yellowtail, Snowbankz
APB: Snowreap, Sentenza
STO: Snowreap@Snowreap, Snowz@Snowreap
AoC: Yellowtail, Snowreap, Snowstorm, Redshirt
WoW (Horde): Snowreap, Savagery, Baelzenun, Wickedwendy, Taralin, Disruption, Scrouge, Bette
WoW (Alliance): Yellowtail, Wickedwendy, Snowreap
AC1: Snowstorm, Yellowtail, Shirt Ninja, Redshirt


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:17 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 4:46 pm
Posts: 7107
Location: Phoenix
I noticed that quest. Chick on the horse. Very cool. Imo that's more of a scripted event than true dynamic content but it's definitely a nice touch. I loved that zone so much. Reminded me of where my grandparents lived in Germany.

_________________
Caveatum & Blhurr D'Vizhun.
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:52 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
Hoofhurr wrote:
I noticed that quest. Chick on the horse. Very cool. Imo that's more of a scripted event than true dynamic content but it's definitely a nice touch. I loved that zone so much. Reminded me of where my grandparents lived in Germany.


Yep, scripted...predictable...repeating....BORING, not dynamic. THere is nothing dynamic about this quest at all.

dynamic, as in I have an impact in the world. Something that I am doing is causing something else. I'll think of an example later

_________________
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth EA The Greed? I thought not. It’s not a story other Developers would tell you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:03 pm 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
You could think of Planetside in terms of being a dynamic public quest, even if it didn't tell you so in words on your screen.

If it did, though, it might say something like:

Quest:
Capture the base.
Optional:
Destroy the generator.
Destroy the spawn tubes.

Upon completion of this quest, it opens up 1-4 other quests to do the same thing to the next base(s). It might also toss out quests like:

Quest:
Repair the generator.
Quest:
Repair the spawn tube.
Quest:
Find the enemy mobile spawn and destroy it.


Of course, in Planetside you might say these were "implied quests". They were just as real and well defined as any quest in Warhammer or WOW, but they just didn't put it up on a screen for you and tell you what to do next. You had to look at the map and understand the basic mechanics.

A good dynamic quest system should be like this, just with more moving parts and more interesting things to twiddle.

e.g., the old "broken windmill" quest. There should be a windmill and it should have an actual job to perform. Maybe it generates food which feeds an NPC garrison and if the windmill breaks, it stops supplying food and the garrison eventually leaves. It's a public quest to fix the windmill and in the public's interest to do so. Once fixed, it stays fixed until something causes it to break again. (Possibly an enemy public quest to "sabotage the windmill".)

That's way more interesting than having all 1,500,000 players fix the same windmill because it just happens to be step 3 of a quest chain.

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group