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Implicit quests and content


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So I got to thinking, does every quest have to come explicitly from someone? It's nice to get clearly defined tasks sure, but what about quests and content that don't present themselves to the player so easily?

 

Though the experience is rare, I really like when I can find a riddle, vague instructions, or gossip in a tome or hinted through dialogue but never clearly expressed that leads me on a "quest" I wouldn't be given. It's very rewarding to follow a lead only thus hinted at to discover otherwise "hidden" content.

 

To be clear, I'm not talking simply about extra caves and such here that aren't tied to any task. I'm talking about (fairly) rich content that is tied to lore and social interaction that doesn't yield itself in the form of a "go do this" journal entry.

 

A book detailing the death and ritual burial of a legend might implicitly convey a particular landmark hiding powerfull treasure. Words written on the wall of one cave might contain a riddle leading you to the next, which of course could also only be opened by knowing the riddle. After a long series of riddles and locations/NPCs/tomes, you discover the lair of a cult to which you just unwittingly completed a hazing ritual to join. Words shared between citizens on the street might be mostly garbage, but hint at a rat infestation in the city's infrastructure. Hearing of rats showing up in peoples' basements enough times, you investigate to find a HUGE rat nest in the sewers (with a giant rat queen, of course). No one "tells" you to solve the rat problem, you just decide to see if there was anything behind it but garbage dialogue.

 

I enjoy the satisfying feeling of discovery when I find this content without explicit aid. It also helps the world feel more organic and adds history, I think. Some things may be forgotten in time to NPCs, but are still recorded in the world for you to find. Maybe I can't find every task in the game by asking people explicitly for them, but problems abound whether people request of my assistance or not.

 

This ended up much longer than I intended to type about a very simple idea. Anyway, what are the thoughts or ideas of the fine folks on this forum about my request?

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I think quests like this should definitely be included in P:E; they add to the roleplayingness of the game as you essentially chose whether to investigate or not. To me quests like this give more choice than "Go and clear the sewers" as you're essentially inventing the quest as you play.

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Hate to be "that guy", but this sounds way to vague to me. I mean I get that, that's the point but I'm not too tough to admit that without journals/quest logs I would have no idea where the eff I'm going.

Thing is, you'd easily be able to complete the main quest, since I'm certain it will be designed in a linear fashion in order for its story to remain strong throughout. You'd have people bothering and bugging you and pointing you in the right direction everywhere, as it should be :).

 

I love the idea of additional, implicit quests. Lilarcor would be one example from Baldur's Gate 2, where, unless you find certain areas in game, you're going to have no idea that you can use some items found on your adventures to obtain what is possibly the coolest (but not best) weapon in game. Expanding on what I said above, actually finding that area did give you a journal entry, something like: "Today I found some strange pipes in the sewers with writing on them", so you're never really left to having to remember vague references found here and there. In BG, even with implicit quests, it's made abundantly clear when it's actually something worth pursuing.

 

I love the idea of encouraging exploration with rewards, which is a function implicit quests of this type achieves. Better than the solution of placing a wildly glowing and sparkly chest at the end of every god damn cave.

 

Lots of this, please. I mean, I don't mind helping the occasional damsel in distress (there better be one of those!), but if you manage to make it feel like the adventure is mine to choose now and again, and not someone else asking for help, or offering rewards. I do it purely for my own sake and benefit!

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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I like the idea, but it's also very difficult to pitch a hint to a reward so that it's not either far too obscure for most people to interpret or far too simple that any player who comes across the hint feels like they're being smacked over the head with it. Plus the fact it rewards those who are good at problem solving - but not everyone is and they may just feel frustrated. As I said, fun but it needs to be handled very well to give it broad appeal among people who will play P:E.

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I'm certainly intrigued by the concept; Though, to me it seems as if there is a distinct possibility of it actually being implemented within the finished game itself. If only to a lesser extent.

 

At the very least, I would certainly enjoy such features; aslong as in moderation.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

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I like the idea, but it's also very difficult to pitch a hint to a reward so that it's not either far too obscure for most people to interpret or far too simple that any player who comes across the hint feels like they're being smacked over the head with it. Plus the fact it rewards those who are good at problem solving - but not everyone is and they may just feel frustrated. As I said, fun but it needs to be handled very well to give it broad appeal among people who will play P:E.

I myself have little fear of such conent being too inaccessible. Riddles can be pretty straightforward, and not everything has to be one. Verbal directions conveyed through a tome can be followed so long as a distinct landmark is presented (or at least definitively referenced). My rat example requires almost no problem solving skill whatsoever.

Besides this though, even a little content that is relatively inaccessible would be welcome to me. To be rewarded for connecting and understanding bits of lore to find a unique (though perhaps not rediculously powerful) item could be neat. It rewards an understanding of the world, but doesn't depreciate the value of the game to those who don't find it. Kinda like an easter egg without the metagame references. (People will just find it through the internet eventually anyways).

I don't think it's wrong to reward those observant enough to find this "hidden" content, I do think it'd be wrong though to make that content central to the game though.

 

Hate to be "that guy", but this sounds way to vague to me. I mean I get that, that's the point but I'm not too tough to admit that without journals/quest logs I would have no idea where the eff I'm going.

You're not always alone there. However, I think that while the journal can dictate my adventure for most of the game (main story and most sidequests), I would also like to experience many adventures outside of its strict instruction. Can't just have everything handed to me now, can I?

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I obviously am pro-this... a lot.

 

Although with this there definitely also should be the option to make manual entries to the journal (possibly having it's own tab), so you may log stuff yourself to not get confused much later in the game...

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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'm also a big fan of this. It makes exploration feel more worthwhile, and makes the world feel deeper and more real to me. Completing a quest that someone in the inn gave me is all well and good, but piecing together something from scraps of lore in the world is a much more rewarding experience. It makes the game feel like it's set in a real world with a history that extends beyond my quest, rather than it being some sort of WoW-like "go to next location to pick up today's batch of quests" experience.

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Hate to be "that guy", but this sounds way to vague to me. I mean I get that, that's the point but I'm not too tough to admit that without journals/quest logs I would have no idea where the eff I'm going.

 

[...] with this there definitely also should be the option to make manual entries to the journal (possibly having it's own tab), so you may log stuff yourself to not get confused much later in the game...

 

^Second: with this type of quest system an editable journal is a must.

 

EDIT: This was what I was attempting to say earlier:

I'm also a big fan of this. It makes exploration feel more worthwhile, and makes the world feel deeper and more real to me. Completing a quest that someone in the inn gave me is all well and good, but piecing together something from scraps of lore in the world is a much more rewarding experience. It makes the game feel like it's set in a real world with a history that extends beyond my quest, rather than it being some sort of WoW-like "go to next location to pick up today's batch of quests" experience.

Edited by Ape_Style

Brown Bear- attacks Squirrel
Brown Bear did 18 damage to Squirrel
Squirrel- death

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[...] with this there definitely also should be the option to make manual entries to the journal (possibly having it's own tab), so you may log stuff yourself to not get confused much later in the game...

 

^Second: with this type of quest system an editable journal is a must.

 

Yes. Very much. Finding stuff on your own is cool, but there should be an option to manually record in the game our findings, to not lose track of what we were doing.

 

That's not to say an automatic journal should be scrapped though, as this system is very useful for the more traditional quests. So yeah, two tabs would be best: the Journal tab, for the automatic quests, and the Notes tab, to enable more deductive findings. If the game also allowed us to organize our notes (by location, NPC or other criteria), even better.

 

We can wish, right? :)

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I'm also a big fan of this. It makes exploration feel more worthwhile, and makes the world feel deeper and more real to me. Completing a quest that someone in the inn gave me is all well and good, but piecing together something from scraps of lore in the world is a much more rewarding experience. It makes the game feel like it's set in a real world with a history that extends beyond my quest, rather than it being some sort of WoW-like "go to next location to pick up today's batch of quests" experience.

 

Well put. I'm also glad you managed to address a point that was part of the impetus for my original post, but that I had failed to nail down into a concrete idea - finding content shouldn't solely be a game of entering a tavern and conversing with every uniquely-named NPC in search of a quest.

 

Also, needless to say I'm definitely on board with the option to include player notes in the journal. Along this line, it would also be beneficial for me to be able to mark points of interest on my map.

 

Edit: Knick-knack, this thread is back!

Edited by Pipyui
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Hate to be "that guy", but this sounds way to vague to me. I mean I get that, that's the point but I'm not too tough to admit that without journals/quest logs I would have no idea where the eff I'm going.

Thing is, you'd easily be able to complete the main quest, since I'm certain it will be designed in a linear fashion in order for its story to remain strong throughout. You'd have people bothering and bugging you and pointing you in the right direction everywhere, as it should be :).

 

I love the idea of additional, implicit quests. Lilarcor would be one example from Baldur's Gate 2, where, unless you find certain areas in game, you're going to have no idea that you can use some items found on your adventures to obtain what is possibly the coolest (but not best) weapon in game. Expanding on what I said above, actually finding that area did give you a journal entry, something like: "Today I found some strange pipes in the sewers with writing on them", so you're never really left to having to remember vague references found here and there. In BG, even with implicit quests, it's made abundantly clear when it's actually something worth pursuing.

 

I love the idea of encouraging exploration with rewards, which is a function implicit quests of this type achieves. Better than the solution of placing a wildly glowing and sparkly chest at the end of every god damn cave.

 

Lots of this, please. I mean, I don't mind helping the occasional damsel in distress (there better be one of those!), but if you manage to make it feel like the adventure is mine to choose now and again, and not someone else asking for help, or offering rewards. I do it purely for my own sake and benefit!

 

I do like the idea now that you mention it, but I have a feeling I'm just going to use a strategy guide. I always miss stuff like that.

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I do like the idea now that you mention it, but I have a feeling I'm just going to use a strategy guide. I always miss stuff like that.

I think using strategy guides, or wikis, is great! A lot of people seem to think it "ruins" games when all the information is available online, but I just see it as another way of doing research before embarking on a quest. If you like the game enough to go and read about it outside of the actual game, all the better! I probably won't use a wiki until my second play through, if I feel like there's a lot of adventure that I'm missing out on even if I explore carefully. That said, I would never read a step-by-step guide to solving a quest, but I might use Google to find out where to pick the first clue up, and then figure out the rest for myself.

 

After finishing BG2 I turned to a wiki (well, this was a time before wiki's existed, but it was the same idea). It was easier to track quest progress by following the check lists there, rather than keeping track of the quests in the BG2 journal (amazingly immersive as it was, it became a pain to use due to always being sorted chronologically, with no option to sort by quest). I wanted to make sure I did every single quest in one go.

 

:)

Edited by mstark
"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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I read the OP and the first few replies & I haven't read the rest yet but.

 

DA:O did this fantastically and I cannot see any reason why it wouldn't work.

 

2 examples.

 

1; You come across some mages trying to summon something as a part of there studies and you overhear the conversation about the different planes. You can then read the different books around the library and figure out how to do the summons yourself. Then you get a bad arse mob to fight. Which first time killed me, repeatedly.

 

2: You read in a book about something to do with a statue.. You find nothing at the statue another book tells you about how they banished/locked away this demon. You can undo it by following clues and doing a bit of exploration. Again you get to fight a bad arse demon with awesome loot - that you get no mention of if you didn't read the book you picked up.

 

ps. I wish when I played NWN2 the first time around there was a guide up. Or just a general tips list because I went through ACT1 without getting any ore :(

Edited by Juneau

Juneau & Alphecca Daley currently tearing up Tyria.

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