Dev Discussion #21 - Quest Breadcrumbs



  • Short version:
    This should be a choice from the player, so configurable.
    Activated by default, fitting most/casual players needs.

    Longer version:
    For me, this is linked to end-game content.

    If the end-game experience is poor,
    devs will want people to lose time on stupid things like finding a NPC,
    to keep players artificially longer in the game.
    This is a really bad deal for most players, who want to have some fun, not only to be part of something big.

    Some players prefer to have nothing or very few indications,
    and I don't see any good reason to prevent them from enjoying this kind of experience.

  • Some of the best mmorpg questing experiences were in vanilla wow where you wouldn't have many directions for quests... but keep in mind that was almost two decades ago - I don't think it would work nowadays. If that format is to be replicated it will just become frustrating for players.

    Also, if for example you have a quest to find an npc and you don't get it's exact location on the UI, if that particular npc is always in the same location it just makes it obsolete since there will definitely be 3rd party websites (like wowhead) to get all the info you need.
    I once shot an ant off a worm's backside, but only aimed to wound. - Lyralei, the Windranger.
  • Click Here wrote: »
    ABSOLUTELY NO BREADCRUMBS!!!! this game will be one of a kind in all mmorpgs categories.. one thing I can’t stand is the pathetic, mind numbingly boring gameplay, designed so even a goldfish could quest. One SMALL neon or glitter aura for the npc to start is sufficient. Everything else should be due to common sense, story line following and 100% good old fashioned immersion. If you can’t figure it out, then that is what your guild/community is there for, without the need for communities you will create a toxic and selfish environment that reflects the exact condition and decline of World of Warcrafts environment today. I’ve seen it happen, I know it exists. I’ve played WoW since beta. Do not make the mistake of creating ostracised solo playing selfishness, because people are not engaging with others due to stupidly boring and bland questing.

    That's an interesting take on it. I see your point though. Who has time to randomly trash talk when they need to be asking how to get to XYZ?
  • quest_breadcrumbs.gif?h=250

    Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

    Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

    Dev Discussion #21 - Quest Breadcrumbs
    What is your opinion on quest breadcrumbs (target locations highlighted, quest givers with icons above their heads, etc)? How much is too much? How much is too little?

    Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding immersion!

    I really don’t like quests, or much pve content for that matter. But my favorite questing system so far is from ESO. Not only are all the quests narrated (yes the game size as a result is massive). But also the quests are very immersive in the sense that you watch parts of the quests play out and the atmosphere around you changes based where you are in the quest progression.

    I think for a questing system to be great, it needs to be immersive. Like part of key parts of the game, like your progress in guilds, or unlocking areas within dungeons (or entire dungeons for that matter), but not make it so folks have to do the quest lines to progress in the game, that has always been annoying to me. Questing and grinding mobs, IMO, should have similar leveling speeds time wise, but I think that is a different conversation heh.
  • Preface:
    I don't think there is just one answer to this question. Many people here have said that it is hard to satisfy all players. There are players with 40+ hours a week available to them to play, there are players with 20 hours a week, there are players with maybe 8 hours a week. This game really appears that it wants players to be social quite a bit and have full player driven mechanics in it. It's also been said that the game is expected to have a narrative driven story behind it full of quests and what not.

    So my thought is why not attempt to satisfy all of them. Do that with a quest difficulty rating. I'm not sure how many people here have read the Awaken Online books, but those books are a great example of how I'd LOVE to see a quest system designed. So a rating system of "S" to "C".

    TLDR at bottom

    "S" difficulty:
    "S" difficulty would be the most difficult quests, there would be no breadcrumbs for these, none what-so-ever, not even to start them. These quests would be started randomly, they may not even start out as quests but just entries in a log book of "possibly interesting things" (might be hard to implement that), You may just talk to someone random who didn't have a quest marker or anything and he mentions something he heard, saw, experienced, or whatever, like a rumor. The rewards for these should be theoretically very very good, if they are repeatable by other players then they would need to maybe have a limit as to how many can repeat it or their reward would have to diminish based on how many complete it over time maybe. Maybe you find this quest, you discover how to complete it but realize it needs a full group, you share it to the select few group members with you and complete the quest, then this guy who gave you the quest despawns permanently or the boss you killed that completed the quest doesn't respawn for weeks maybe months at a time. My hopes for quests like this is that people who complete these quests are given unique items/titles/cosmetics that show they did this and really make other people want to explore more to receive similar rewards or find other unique quests that are extremely rare.

    "A" difficulty:
    These quests would be able to be completed by all server players but would be extremely hard to complete, or at least take a long time. These quests might have a breadcrumb to start but the NPC or item that you pick up would be hard to find or extremely low drop rate. Something like this scenario: Player is grinding killing things whatever-what-not and loots something from a corpse that is extremely rare, maybe a blade fragment, shield fragment. OR while player is killing things a .000000000001% chance of a rare monster spawns and immediately agro's on the player upon killing it they receive some reward from it that has a descriptor on it along the lines of "someone in a (insert scientific metropolis building here) might be interested in this". You can have the standard "Right-click this item to start a quest" type thing on it (Just so the item gets tagged and not thrown away by the player, though it not being tagged could be funny). These quests may chain extensively and you would possibly run errands for this scientific NPC and gather additional materials for this NPC's theoretical project. I'd love to see quests like this branch off and go different directions for people based on what materials they gather for them if possible. Other options would be a World boss, with a minimum spawn timer of 4 weeks, but only has a small chance to spawn every hour. These bosses could be seasonal bosses, as some places have seasons, so they could only spawn during a certain season. Others could be "another terrifying yeti has taken up a home in a cave in the mountains". You'd have to get groups/raids together to complete these world bosses and the groups with the highest level of participation get the highest rewards but everyone gets something for participating type thing. Large node events like this could really bring players together.

    "B" difficulty:
    These quests would be easy to find but more complex to complete. Alpha wolf needs taken out, elite mob. Other quests here would have bold words in their quest text to get you to go to a certain area to search for something. "A party of NPC's are lost in the (insert forest, mountains, swamps, wherever) they were last known to be heading towards (insert relevant named area here). Please search for them." With this a simple breadcrumb could just be with the bold named area you can click on it and it shows you that area on the map and you just start heading towards it.

    "C" difficulty:
    These would be your classic every day quests. All the breadcrumbs would exist here. "The giant rats are growing out of control, please take care of them in X place." "We need pelts to stay warm for the upcoming winter, please retrieve X number of pelts from X type of creatures." These quests would also be narrative quests that may culminate in a B level quest at the end of a chain. I have no ideas worth mentioning here because these would be standard template quests that all MMO players are used to. The purpose of these quests would be leveling a node and progressing the story.

    Also in the realm of quests, I'd love to see governor driven quests if that's not already in the works. "We need X amount of resources to complete a thing for our city or to defend from an upcoming siege". Something like that. Could bring a sense of community.

    Personally the reason I like this system is it allows the devs to come up with cool unique "S" quests to randomly implement them into the game during a patch and we'd just assume that no one found it yet. This would also give a sense of personality in the game and an ever changing world, more so than it will be already.

    Insert quest difficulty, the level of difficulty determines the level of breadcrumbs received for quests and also their difficulty to be completed.
    "S" no breadcrumbs at all, extremely rare rewards, not game breaking, but definitely legendary.
    "A" quest begin breadcrumb, rare rewards, the quests themselves are also rare, hints in quest text, no bold words, maybe give directions based on a landmark somewhere.
    "B" Bold words in text, bold words are specifically named places on the map, click bold words and it shows you the named place on the map.
    "C" All breadcrumbs, standard quest giver, cull these beasts in this location circled on map and bring back proof, or these NPC's have a camp positioned here, go talk to them and help them.
  • Plenty of other people have already written comments in better detail than I could, so I just want to say that I think only the minimum amount of breadcrumbs should be used--dialogue descriptors should be sufficient. Please no glowing symbols over NPCs' heads or minimaps so cluttered with interest points in towns that you can't even see the map under them.
  • I like the idea of giving directions based on POI (look near the old oak tree etc.). I would hate big quest icons or even worse a quest path on the ground that you just had to follow.

  • My View-
    I would prefer some highlighted areas marked for me. Maybe it can be an option you can turn off if you like less info.
    My thoughts-
    If you make it to difficult to find where or what to do- If most things need a group to do. It is not going to be to popular to, look for a group for an hour- just to have to search for where your quest leads you for an hour- to do the quest for another hour. This will not be a popular model. Yes, there are some that will enjoy this but if you want a larger player base you are going to have to give some.
    People with limited amount of time each day to play will want to feel some accomplishment with the time they have and if it takes hours to finish simple quests, they will be turned off by the time sync.
    Now maybe there are larger quests with bigger rewards and special items that should give less information and that players will have to take the time with doing. But 5 pig livers from the pigs over on Bobs farm, let me mark your map for you. Should not be that big of issue. But maybe the sword that was taken by the bandits that headed to the south should take some extra time.
    In the end everything will be placed on a website somewhere telling players where to go. Do you Intrepid, want players to just go look to a 3rd party site to find the info or it to be in game play the finds it. Maybe a hint system might be a middle ground. 1st hint toward the North, 2nd hint large area marked on map, 3rd hint smaller area marked on map.
    My point is that if players to not feel they are accomplishing things in game they will stop playing. If it takes hours for pig livers to drop because of drop rate on top of that it takes hours to find the pigs and it took hours to find group and when you find group, arrive at where the pigs area and on top of that everyone else is there camping pigs well that’s going to be messy and people will stop playing.
  • I align with prior posts on it being configurable, if possible. Personally, i am an explorer and appreciate finding a "quest" because i explored, not because of a neon "look here" on a map. But i accept that larger numbers of players want the neon "look here".
  • I prefer nothing on the main screen, no quest indicators floating above the NPCs. We can note stuff like that on the map ourself if given instructions.
  • I think quest descriptions and directions should be clear to make it as easy as possible to actually find the general area of the quest and the quest itself. there's nothing more frustrating as trying to read the clues and misunderstanding them as you're not native English speaker.. on the other hand most modern mmo's that have all these breadcrumbs, giant arrows, autographing etc. goes overboard with oversimplifying everything, to cater for the carebear masses...

    I think quest markers over NPC's are great, you don't want to go around and talk to all the NPC's in the town to find the quest.

    Quest markers of general zone, of quest NPC, etc etc is fine as long its on the map. not on the play screen.
  • Im just going to be quick, I want the breadcrumbs to be obvious. I don't enjoy quest and only the really exceptional PVE is entertaining to me beings that i prefer PVP. If there was a means to literally fulfill my needs with enteriely PVP i would do it. That being said I want breadcrumps, i want to speed run the quests and move on. Thats just me, but no matter I will have to accept whatever ends up being implemented
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member
    edited September 9
    While, I've tried to read most of the posts I didn't see anything about color coding the Npc's name plates who have quests.
    I dont think it would be too hard to do especially since your going to color code the classes.
    It could be like blue is for available quests, which turns yellow when you are on the quest and green when it's ready to turn in.
    Or you could go thr ESO route and have the Npc's call out to you as you get near them, then have them change colors once you accept the quest.
    Another thing I didn't see mentioned was the ability to have a journal/quest log that you write in and keep, sort of like the windows notepad. Nothing fancy just something to keep your notes in.
    I'm not a fan of marking the mini map where to go for said quest or the main map. Or even a general outline for it.
    I think the quest should be clear enough to get you where you need to go or at least in the vicinity for completion.
    Voice over is a nice option but I'm sure very expensive and that would just add to the time line for release.
    Anywho just my thoughts. I sure dont want to see !'s again or ?'s above Npc's evr again.
  • VoidwalkersVoidwalkers Member
    edited September 10
    Why not have both ends of the spectrum?

    Let a good number of quests have breadcrumbs, clear objective guides, quest giver in nodes with a big ! over their head, the standard type of quests that help players progress - just no mass mobs grinding plz.

    And then have a number of secret-ish quests that starts anywhere, (could be in town, could be in the wild far away from nodes), initially withOUT a big yellow ! over the giver until triggered (may be through some creative ways, e.g. player comes across a skeleton in the wild, /prays or /mourns, and the spirit of the deceased appears and gives a quest for the player to avenge his death ...), intended to reward players who pay enough attention to the surroundings / lore / details / any subtle hints the devs have left. Bonus points if the devs came up with the right incentives to discourage players from publicly sharing information about this kind of secret quests for free - and keep these quests off from any "walkthrough" or "guide" websites. So secrets remain secrets. An open world game is likely more fun if beneficial information actually have value.

    TL;DR - Please find the right balance between making all quests so obvious (to the point that ppl would just go read a walkthrough / guide and try to complete all quests in the most efficient order, effectively turns quests / contents into chores), and making everything too "free" / secret / puzzling / explorer-centered that ppl feel like they must talk to every single npc in town in order to progress. (if you've played old JRPGs, you know what I'm talking about)

    At the end of the day different players want different experiences. There's always the "been here, done that" type of achiever who wants to clear every visible quests, the casual player who just wants some quests to provide exp & rewards for progression, the dedicated explorer who delights at solving puzzles / riddles & uncovering secrets which others haven't. Why not have something for everyone?
  • Standard minimap icons and icons above quest npc heads. Focused quest has a trail generated to lead to the target location/npc.

    My preference is minimap icons, beacon of light (visible above buildings/in line with UI compass), with a pixie leading trails of sparkling lights towards you're target with a subtle border to show you've entered the target zone (border turns even more subtle to help prevent accidentally exiting the target zone). This is the best I can think of for an intrinsic yet immersive design.

    While seeing every target enemy npc on a map is very useful, I tend to disagree with it. It makes the quest quicker, and may help lead you to a small opening you'd otherwise miss. But I think it causes map clutter and takes away from the immersion of actually searching yourself and following the walls to discover every corner of the area. Is this tedious at times, yes, but those finds are your reward for utilizing every square inch that was developed.

    Options to toggle these all off for pure challenge/rp playstyle. I prefer to have the markers and UI guide since language may be misinterpreted. Though scavenger hunts or riddles are an effective use to reward players who read the text. Perhaps bonus or secondary objectives instead of just those who fly through quests and disregard all text.

    Options to toggle npcs icons to an aura/beacon of light, ring (similar to sports games), have pet flytowards and circle/pixie sparkle. Everyone has their preferred flavour.
    Options to change the trail generated to a compass/mist arrow around player (I sense I must travel this direction), line showing optimized path/roadways leading to closest road and then shortest route to location, mist, pixie/pet, etc.
    Diablo minimap overlaying the whole screen with sliders for contrast, map size, icon size etc. I personally wouldn't recommend this as it literally covers the game and players are just an icon moving around a map now....
  • Will there name plate on the houses to give more feeling of having ourself......will the name plate going to be editable, so that we can write our name on our house.
  • Due to how many games have decided to throw exploration out the window, giving players the direct marker to their next target/objective, anything but something like this will see people complaining about the quests. I prefer hints that require a bit of thought and exploration, but the consumers clearly don't.
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