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Author Topic: The Art of Quests  (Read 2952 times)
Demon_Princess_Kay
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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2011, 06:46:28 PM »

To me quests have to be rewarding whether it comes in the form of rare items, exp etc or expanding on a characters back story or stuff like that. It doesn't matter what the quest entails of as long as i get something worthwhile from it.
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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2011, 10:44:59 PM »

I like a fetch quest if you don't realize it's a fetch quest, or the number of items in the quest is ambiguous. Some games do a great job at taking a fetch quest and completely turning it upside down. Like halfway through the quest you're forced to abandon the quest because of some reason. I remember FFIX did a really good job with this kind of thing.
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« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2011, 02:04:55 AM »

Another question is how many mediocre side quests can a game get away with? 5 kill quests for every good side quest? What's the ratio that a developer can get away with before the game is considered a side quest filler?
Also, I'll +1 the Radiant Historia getting it right comment.
You mean by finishing 10 specific optional quests to have an impact on the ending(AKA true ending)?
Personally I don't like the side quests in RH because the time travel mechanics(AKA quests) were messy . it is basically a straight lines, and any deviations just end the game and the the bad endings don't do much to contribute to the overall story. Radiant Historia doesn't get it right at all unless i am missing something ?

You must have missed the bad end where drunken baby Marco goes apeshit and nearly TPKs the entire party. You don't see anything like that in sidequests from other games due to the fact that you'll only get one shot at them, and most of the time all they can do is net you some extra cash for farming a few boar tusks or the game's equivalent.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that sure it has its own filler quests. Games that have sidequests have filler ones since not everything you do changes the world in grand sweeping ways. But in RH its got like 30 sidequests, of those a third of them directly impact the story. And none of the above involve the side quests featuring skill gaining sidequests. There's also the fact that other sidequests confer characters with some of their best equips over the course of the game rather than dog piling them at the end. Think of it this way, how many side quests in Chrono Trigger affect the ending and how many of them don't? RH has probably the best mix going due to the fact that there are so many side quests worth doing and more importantly, there's no blink and you miss them permanently sidequests like so many other games have. Yes RH is incredibly linear when you get down to it, but it has to be given how much freedom the time and space travel mechanic gives. There's nothing stopping you from visiting the Sand Fortress, Granog, or Cygnus once you first access them nor are you forever locked out of Alsteel when the plot says you can't be here right now because you can always go back to when its still available to you.
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« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2011, 10:16:03 PM »

I like quests which actually make you care about the task, and make you want to complete the quest instead of just wanting to get over with it to get the rewards, or the ones which start as relatively simple, but turn out to be something a lot bigger and more significant. Overall quests, that are more like small adventures instead of mindless fetching or killing quests. Baldur's Gate 2 for example has got it right; investigate a mysterious cult holed up in sewers beneath the city - save a town being attacked by wild animals for some reason - your party member becomes aware, that his former wife has given birth to their child after he left, and you got to deal with it - find out why people of a small rural village keep disappearing at night - solve the mystery of people murdered and skinned for no apparent logical reason - a noble hires you to kill a bunch of ogres marauding his lands, but it turns out to be something quite different - find a caretaker for an orphan child, and so on and so on, no "go there, kill chickens and bring me 10 chicken lips-bullshit. And all of these are completely optional, yet full of interesting stories and dialogue, different ways to accomplish them, choices to make and usually proper rewards. I also like (optional) quests considering your party members, which open up their background and in the end make the character stronger.

Overall I think sidequests tend to be a lot better and more numerous in wrpgs than in jrpgs where there are usually very few of them, and they tend to be simple "talk to person A, talk to person B, talk to person C and kill monster D, or just those simple fetching quests. Not that they always suck of course, everything in moderation.
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« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2011, 11:48:21 PM »

Another question is how many mediocre side quests can a game get away with? 5 kill quests for every good side quest? What's the ratio that a developer can get away with before the game is considered a side quest filler?
Also, I'll +1 the Radiant Historia getting it right comment.
You mean by finishing 10 specific optional quests to have an impact on the ending(AKA true ending)?
Personally I don't like the side quests in RH because the time travel mechanics(AKA quests) were messy . it is basically a straight lines, and any deviations just end the game and the the bad endings don't do much to contribute to the overall story. Radiant Historia doesn't get it right at all unless i am missing something ?

Play Nier, ATTEMPT several side quests, then come back. What Radiant Historia gets right is that few (if any?) are merely about beating X number of enemies or grinding some stupid item off of them. Ys Seven did similar as Nier actually, but was generally more tolerable about it because each enemy was liable to drop a ton of crap anyway. I guess if you prefer those kinds of quests then, yeah, Radiant Historia did it "wrong".

Anyways, I think the filler quest tolerance has more to do with how much they drown out the neater quests and how essential they are to bother with. Nier was mostly great for its story, and you only needed to do a few quests to see every ending, so despite having some of the worst quests in a game it was still acceptable, not to mention a good chunk of those quests DID have interesting story material. However, unlike Nier Dragon Age separated the quests that were pretty much gather X number of items by putting them on bulletin boards and whatnot, whereas the more interesting quests were initiated with the NPCs. So even if it's 10 to 1 you'd still be able to ignore the dumb grindy ones and zone in on the interesting ones.
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