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Filler / Grind Quests


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I just wonder how people felt about quests that were clearly just made to fill up empty space / help you level / get items?

 

I personally don't mind them as long as:

 

1. It's fairly clear what they are, so you don't feel obligated to do them.

2. Combat ones are presented in the form of dungeons that respawn creatures (better yet, if these "respawns" have a clear reason - e.g. enemies coming to take over the land and retaking a fort, a necromancer raising the dead in a crypt, etc. If you can permanently end some of these respawns on you choose to do so by killing/destroying the source, all the better for realism).

3. Can't really think of noncombat ones that can be enjoyable without thought - go get "x' and bring it to "y" was never fun. Sure, it's ok in main quests where the NPC realistically can't get across a dangerous area or something, but then it's almost a combat quest anyway.

 

Well, that's my .05 rant.

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I don't want a lot of great quests ruined by a lot of **** quests (which is what happens inevitably). It's like having good and bad writing in a game, you can't just ignore the dumb stuff.

 

I understand that. Another option is not to make them quests at all. For example, you can have a dangerous area where the player is NOT told to go by anyone, but can go if he chooses. Boom "filler quest." Or he can choose to hunt certain monsters to sell their fur to shop keepers, but is not given this as a quest by anyone, etc.

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Avoidable for the most part. If the devs are willing to put in the time and effort good side missions can be fulfilling stories within themselves rather than mindless go to x, fetch/kill y, return to z for reward. That's not to say that bounty quests or other such petty "town needs" quests aren't welcome, but if I can take a look at it and immediately identify it as "filler" then I consider it a failure.

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I'm ok with these sort of fetch quests or kill X quests so long as they're in the minority and non-story related.

 

Really the place I don't want to see filler is in the amount of combat encounters. I'd rather have a battle last 10 minutes or so and do 3-5 of those per dungeon than have 20 1-4 minute battles. I just hate clearing pack after pack of monsters in a dungeon, it becomes drudgery, especially if they're just all the same sort of group over and over. So I would ask that they don't pad the game time with wave after wave of the same monster packs just to increase the game play length. Or if there must be caves with 25 or more groups of monsters add a mid boss every 10-15 groups or so. Preferably with a bit of dialogue or guarding access to some interesting world lore to break up the combat grind.

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I like having "filler" quests personally. They allow for some minor non-story related goals when you're in the mood for that sort of thing, as well as allowing you to get some more xp if you're underlevelled (or want to be overlevelled) for some reason, especially if no xp for killing enemies is still in.

 

As for varying them so that they're not just "collect 10 bear asses" or "find winterwolf pelt" or whatnot, sure, why not. But please have them in some form in the game. The bounty board from DA:O worked well for this, the quests were obviously filler and optional for example.

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Filler for filler is bad.

They got enough gamecontent not to need it I hope.

 

Things like selling wolf pelts to the vendor or bandit scalps are fine, since they are not really quests. "fetch 50 scalps" however, no, not really...

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I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I look at "filler" quests and "grind" quests as different things. The former can be interesting with self-contained plotting and whatnot. BG2 = A filler quest chain would involve, for example, all of Umar Hills.

 

Grinding is defined by tedium. These quests are more appropriate for MMOs. See repeatable quests (e.g. "dailies"). I don't want PE to have any grind quests for the reasons stated in that thread.

 

Edit: To further clarify, I define "filler" as any quest unrelated to the main storyline when it comes to a CRPG designed around a particular narrative. So really, games like BG1/BG2--tons of nice filler to me. Games that are not railroady like Dragon Age tend to have lots of nice filler. I suppose the odd, rare grind quest like BG1's bandit scalp bounty was okay (extremely optional and out of the way), but we shouldn't "need" that (the way MMOs "need" grinds).

Edited by Ieo
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As long as it is avoidable, I'm okay with this type of scut work quest because it's humbling; somebody has to clear the rats out of the cellar so it might as well be us lowly adventurers. Having nothing but high importance quests is unrealistic, unless the game is written in such a way that you're already starting out with a high-importance character.

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just because a quest is a side-quest doesn't mean it has to be half-assed. I say no to filler quests.

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I never mind filler quests, it really depends on the disposition of the quest giver - if they're likeable and have a distinct personality that helps flavour the quests they give no matter how generic they are. Filler quests sometimes have a purpose too (find item x, bring it here - then receive a bucketload of information about it's context plus a multitude of non-filler quests that spring off it), for example in Arcanum there's a simple filler quest that is the beginings of a massive and enthralling conspiracy.

 

Plus I think it bears a mention that if you're always doing something extraordinary and amazing then that seems just as contrived as having loads of filler quests, and filler quests help make the more interesting quest seem even better by comparison. As a final point, for realism's sake alone sometimes people would ask you to do something ordinary. I'd be happy (in fact I think it would be ideal) if there were about 30-40% filler quests.

 

Grind quests where you have to fill a quotient of items or kill a certain number of monsters would be boring however.

Edited by Jojobobo
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I would prefer not to have any filler quests unless there's a mechanical reason for them to exist. I didn't mind the lost-and-found quests in DA2 during Act I because Hawke was supposed to be looking for ways to make money, and they were the lowest-profile filler quests I've ever seen. Still, once Act 2 rolled around they started to get kinda silly. The various Board quests in Dragon Age: Origins were really pretty pointless and unrewarding even though they had (somewhat) of a story around them.

 

If the filler is sufficiently integrated into the rest of the game, though, I don't have a problem with them. They can even be a fun addition. For instance, if a hypothetical game were built around the idea that equipment is easy-come, easy-go (and not the dominant factor in your character awesomeness), then they could put in various events that wind up with you being robbed, enslaved, or otherwise suddenly deprived of your gear and money. At which time you'd have serious cash-flow issues and be happy to go kill 10 wolves or whatever in order to make some money so you can replace your gear and go wreak your vengeance upon those who did you wrong. Stuff like that.

 

But when it's only padding? No thanks.

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Really the place I don't want to see filler is in the amount of combat encounters. I'd rather have a battle last 10 minutes or so and do 3-5 of those per dungeon than have 20 1-4 minute battles. I just hate clearing pack after pack of monsters in a dungeon, it becomes drudgery, especially if they're just all the same sort of group over and over.

I agree.

In many RPGs I too found it very awkward when the player is going amok in one room, and in the next the enemies are having their afternoon tea. Come on, can't they hear the screams of pain coming from 10 feet away? xD

Also, these filling combat/quests are unreasonable. For example in NWN 2 there was this quest where the bandit population was waaaay higher than that of a normal village + small fortress in the same area ( I think it's after encountering Neeshka). Hell, the bandits had their own fortress too.

 

I think roleplaying should not be about grinding through tons of enemies but figureing out how to deal with a few challenging encounters. When there are so many bandits in the camp, it gets awkward when none of them sounds the alarm in order to defeat the player with numbers... or like in DA2 when those outlaws were just jumping down from rooftops - in waves... like wtf? Why don't they come down together? they might actually leave a scar on the player.

 

Challenging and realistic encounters mean for me: you are facing a 10-man bandit group with your 3-man party and you have to think: "What now?"

 

And even though many people will think it's strange, but I really like how you became undeafeatable in Morrowind after lvl20-30 + some nice armor/weapon. I really hate it when in Skyrim you have a full Daedric set + etc. and enemies in leather armor are unreasonably "hard" to kill. It's like: "Hey you worked your *** off in this game to get your gear, but still even as a lvl1 character you could have killed this enemy with the same effort. What I mean is, it would be fun to have weaklings as enemies now and then when you are high lvl. The world should not be made up of stronger and stronger enemies, but strong, weak, and normal one scattered around.

 

I went a little offtopic sorry :)

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Bounty posters!

 

Go to X, slay Y, come back, get gold and xp. Straightforward, optional and reasonable.

 

Those are only fun if it's people you're hunting down, not animals/non-sapient monsters, and you get the option to help said people by letting them go, paying off their debts, and/or proving their innocence instead of killing/capturing them. Like in the KotOR games.

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Bounty posters!

 

Go to X, slay Y, come back, get gold and xp. Straightforward, optional and reasonable.

 

Those are only fun if it's people you're hunting down, not animals/non-sapient monsters, and you get the option to help said people by letting them go, paying off their debts, and/or proving their innocence instead of killing/capturing them. Like in the KotOR games.

in other words, not just a filler quest. but one that is worked out and is fun.

There's a difference between filler quests and small, low powered quests. One is to provide padding by adding a lot of mediocre content, the other is to fill the game with diverse and cared for, but not always hyper-big content, to provide better pacing.

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Or like in DA2 when those outlaws were just jumping down from rooftops - in waves... like wtf? Why don't they come down together? they might actually leave a scar on the player.

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Really, the only "filler" quests should be bounty postings. Any other quest you're given should have some sort of story tied to it, whether being part of the main story, or just telling its own little tale. But only bounty board quests should be "go fetch X item and bring it back for gold".

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