It's one of the many things I think have been lost over the last two decades: The ability to fail and continue the game.
Now, for the main quest this is obviously the end. But in a content rich environment it should be perfectly OK to have the player easily fail their tasks and yes, have doors close on them.
One of the major problems with games lacking challenge these days is that a player failing a quest or questline can end up seriously disadvantaged. So you often see that quests are fairly basic, lacking complexity or challenge.
It's easy to get it right.
But that shouldn't have to be the case
Because one of the greatest enjoyments you can get from a game is succeeding at something difficult. Failing and coming back to retry, and that sweet victory when you finally figure out how to succeed.
And I think this philosophy applies to quests as well. In a world which has a high density of content, it doesn't generally matter if players don't succeed at everything they do.
Sure, many players may reload (which is why long, multi-stage quests are desired!)
But if there is more to do, then it's OK for us to occasionally see a door closed.
ESPECIALLY if you're already particularly invested in this. For instance you've joined a faction, and done quite a bit of quests for them already, and then suddenly you fail one tragically. You now cannot proceed with this faction any more. That'll be a serious hit to the player. It'll get your attention. "This **** is for real!" and lend some weight to doing quests. Quest investment will certainly lead players to be more immersed in what they are doing.
I think of games like Assassins creed, where if you fail the game actually resets you to the last checkpoint and lets you retry. You get to do EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING right. Which is boring and narratively weak. Her name is Mary Sue, good at everything.
I'm not saying I fear this won't happen, but I feel it is worthy of discussion.
Edited by JFSOCC, 24 May 2013 - 05:33 AM.