TOW will have a quest compass, there is no question about that.
The question is: will quests and NPC dialogue be written to support playing without quest waypoints and goals shown on the compass? Quest compasses are great for those that want them, but for a lot of players, we find it takes us out of the world. Quests and dialogue that are designed without a Quest Compass in mind do several things to pull you into the world more than if you're simply following a beacon.
Playing a game designed without a Quest Compass *required* forces the player to do several things
- Use landmarks. The simple act of describing the location of a place or person in relation to other fixtures of a world makes the player build a mental model while they navigate it, and thus develop a deeper connection to the game world. Think navigating a city with google maps vs looking at the streets and buildings, it's a totally different experience.
- Search the environment. Sometimes a questgiver doesn't know exactly where person/place/mcguffin is, and describing it in a general area forces the player to explore, and in the process, become better aquainted with the nooks and crannies of the world they're playing in.
- Enjoy the world. Quite simply, having beacons placed all over the world make for an ugly aesthetic. Look at The Witcher 3 for some egregious examples of this. Less clutter and junk on the screen makes it easier to "get lost" in the experience.
- Think. OE has arguably built a reputation on making a "thinking xir's" game, and it is simply more rewarding to have to read details and work out the location of people places and things.
All of the above requires quest goals and NPC dialogue to be written such that enough detail is provided to solve quests without the use of beacons and POI indicators.
Think I'm kidding? Try playing Fallout: New Vegas with the compass disabled. I know, I tried to but there simply was not enough detail provided by NPCs and in the quest "log" to solve them.
On the other hand, the recent release of ELEX does just what I've laid out about: the quest compass is optional, and quest log entries and NPC dialogue written such that you can complete all quests without the compass. I believe this was one of the factors that lead to players having such fond memories of old games such as Baldur's Gate and Fallout. The lack of a quest compass forced writers and quest designers to provide the detail that drew the player into the world, rather than plopping a PoI indicator on every quest objective.
As an aside, I also hope that if there is a minimap, we can disable it, and if there are quest update popups and objective text on the main screen, we can disable them as well.
Edited by agris, 07 December 2018 - 08:49 AM.