Dev Discussion #21 - Quest Breadcrumbs



  • I'd like the markers for getting the quest so you don't have to run around talking to every single npc every time you get to a node so you don't miss any quests but as soon as the quest starts I'm all about the figure it out deal where you have to read the quest to figure out where you'll need to go. This will also increase the social aspect of the game since if you can't figure out where to go asking fellow players that have already done the quest for help is a good way of making relations between players.
  • LeiloniLeiloni Member
    edited August 13
    I think a mix of quest types is good. For the main story/lore questline in an area, tell me what NPC gives me the quest, and where on the map to go to do it. But nothing big and obnoxious in terms of icons - think more GW2 style delicate indicators as opposed to WoW's in your face icons and shading. So you know the general area to go complete the quest and that's it. I wouldn't overload an area with these types of quests, though as it gets to be too much visually to have a bunch of NPCs with icons and a map full of shading if the idea is to have a big, open world we're getting immersed in. Themepark style "pick up 10 quests at this hub and go murder all the things" level of efficiency and visual noise would detract from what this game is trying to be.

    But other quests - side quests of various types - can be done in a variety of ways. For text I'd keep it short but informative so they know what to do and where to do it in a paragraph or two if they read it.

    Maybe some are picked up via items in the world with a highlight to indicate its something I should click on and it gives me a quest(and clickables of all types should have a similar highlight so it's not only for quest items and I won't always know what clicking does until I do). These might also have similar delicate looking map indicators to show where to go generally to complete it. But these are the sort of side quests I might just happen upon while exploring or running to some other quest. I'm thinking like what I see in Dragon Age: Inquisition where I find a ton of side quests with extra XP and fun little stories just by exploring and clicking on random things. I don't suffer if I don't find these, but they're a fun bonus if I do find them. Or to an extent ESO, but I like how DA:I does it because all I get is a quick letter or something to read, get the quest, and done. The extensive dialogue in ESO is too much sometimes for me (I appreciate story, but I'm impatient and just want to get in the action - so tell me the story via my actions after a quick bit of text I can zoom through if I want, not some NPC talking at me forever), and when you see NPCs in ESO it becomes way too obvious that I'm "supposed" to talk to them.

    Maybe others are like GW2 style heart "area" quests where I can do a variety of tasks in the area to "complete" the quest, but nothing that shows up in my log, no obnoxious pop ups like Wildstar, just a gentle "here if you want extra XP do these things in this spot". Still typical side quest type activities, but not where I have to go to an NPC and pick it up. But also a short paragraph maybe with the requests of what activities I can do for it, and no need for map indicators since these would only be able to be completed in the area where the quest auto-pops up on my UI somewhere (so it disappears if I walk too far away).

    I also like the idea of sort of "hidden" quests, where for example if some people like grinding, they can grind X amount of a certain mob in an area for XP, and X amount of another mob in the area, and maybe these are hidden in a achievement type interface where they can navigate to that node area in the interface and it gives them optional other methods of earning XP if they don't want to run around doing traditional questing - it would give you alternate avenues for earning XP if you skipped the other quests.

    So essentially you don't have to do any of it. But you can pick and choose what you want to complete and where to level up. And much of it isn't in your face icons, but largely stuff you just happen upon as you run around the world. And I imagine what types of quests you see might be influenced by what type of node it is, what level it is, etc.

  • UlquiorraUlquiorra Member
    edited August 13
    Location Name + Objective. Is enough. Also a mark above the objective would be nice for multi-questing like when you happen to pass near a quest objective without looking for it. Exploration is what matters to me the most.
  • I like the subtle flavours we've seen in recent gameplay. I do not like overt signals for quest NPCs it breaks immersion. The shimmer on name plates is enough and will be learnt by players.

    I like zones to be on my maps for potential quest locations and X Mark's the spot. I love all the nuances of quest markets. I would appreciate if quest gives wander rather than be static.
  • NerrorNerror Member
    edited August 13
    A huge no thanks to glowy paths or arrows, or similar intrusive stuff.

    Personally I'd be fine with no bread crumbs and having to rely on descriptions. Heck, I'd even be fine with no ingame map. It forces people to actually learn the lay of the land. But, realistically, I do think people need visual aids. Not everyone is a strong reader, or they may not be fluent in any of the language options they have.

    My preference is a subtle sign for the important questgivers, but don't give it to everyone. I would like to reward people who click randomly on everyone and see what they have to say, so please save some quests for those.

    I also prefer when the game only provides vague visual directions to the quest area. Show the general area of the object on the map, and hide any exact pin-pointy bread crumb until the player is within a few meters at most.

    In one of the earlier gameplay videos I saw you had a compass bar at the top of the screen, like in Skyrim and such. I love those as part of any bread crumb system.
  • I personally like it to be minimal. I know there will be new MMO players and that the community as a whole will have varying opinions. So maybe a balance where there is some information to help players along without telling them exactly where they need to go and what they need to do so that some thought has to be used.
  • I believe in limited bread crumbs maybe give a direction and names as well as the items or requirements of the quest and send me off to explore. Just provide a way to look at the quest text such as a quest journal. I'm sure people are excited to have to explore. Having reasons to explore will make people less lost in the long run. Someone who has spent a lot of time in the area should know about the area. If the bread crumbs are toggle able then there really wont be much option as people who have it on will know exactly where to go and level faster than others. I believe in quest journals and brief descriptions of the general direction and the objectives listed. Highlighting map areas is too much and makes things too casual and mindless. This world should be based on exploration and learning what is around the world. Maybe a map that we can draw on ourselves would be better than a map with markers.
  • I think that having subtle indicators of quests is a good idea. I think the big yellow exclamation point and overwhelming loot sparkles are a little juvenile. If you've ever played breath of the wild, the Korok's locations and puzzle types always clued you in that there was a korin seed there without beating you over the head, in my opinion.

    The more I stumble upon something that feels secret, the more rewarding it is rather than being pointed to everything.
  • DracusDracus Member
    As long as a balance is maintained we should be ok. I don't want to have to talk to every NPC and spam next to gather all quests, and I also would not go as far as an auto walk function that walks you to the quest area or to the next NPC on the chain.

    A proper balance between these should work out great. I don't want to relive the Lineage 2 class change quests which were a NIGHTMARE. (I do agree they were epic).

    but I don't want a twin saga experience where I'm just pressing auto walk and auto mount like a roller coaster ride.

    Imo. WoW has the right balance if you ask me. Its informative, but not an auto pilot thing.
  • RomtimRomtim Member
    I prefer so that when there's a particular NPC to find, they will be marked on the map.
    However, when you're sent to a hunting zone, it should not have a mark on the map, just the name of the zone.

    Definitely don't want to follow a golden line that shows exactly where to run on the ground. I also dislike when I have 30 quests and quest markers are all over the place.

    Depends on how quest heavy this game will be, but I prefer to have slight pointers to where to go, without making it too easy.
  • I use to love classic RPGs. Like Elder scrolls Morrowind and stuff. Where you had text that gave you an idea where stuff was for quests. But you had to explore and read into quests to find out where things were. I miss exploring and just the casual text log. Felt more immersion. If everyone is doing it the pace of the game will be the same no matter what. For markers above specific quest givers I could see the idea you guys had of people with colored nameplates. So it doesn't feel like a cluttered world of exclamation points and question marks above people in the world.
  • Exclamation marks for quest givers I think are fine if they're not too intrusive and break immersion.
    If I have a quest, for example, of harvesting a specific herb, let the man either tell me where to gather them or tell me who knows. Bright map area might be too much, but wouldn't complain. It saves time, for sure, but I allways saw it as something that lets players go mindless on doing quests and not paying attention to what they're doing.
    If in the end we get quest area markers, I'd prefer them as an option rather than a must if possible.

    On the other hand, if I have a quest to kill some NPCs, either humanoids or beasts idc, I would like to know exactly where they are with area markers. Only to not have to be bothering about finding them just to see that "that guy over there" could be farming them and all of them on respawn CD. Not like getting a quest of killing let's say 50 bandits and I see 1 or 2 roaming around. If I know they spawn there I can assume they're about to respawn if I wait. If not, I may think "they're close to this spot, lets check there" and get on a wrong lead.

    More or less that's what I'd like to see :)
  • artemarkantosartemarkantos Member
    edited August 13
    i think, we need iconic WoW Quest givers icons, but i more prefer, the quest text contain the information, what to do and where is my target (without coords)
  • You’re never going to make everybody happy with one system. Provide lots of options that toggle.

    Quest giver icons above head ☐ None | ☐ Small | ☐ Medium | ☐ Large
    Quest giver map markers ☐ Off | ☐ On
    Quest arrow indicators ☐ Off | ☐ On
    Quest area highlight ☐ None | ☐ Subtle | ☐ Obvious | ☐ Intrusive

    You get the idea.
  • Nerror wrote: »
    But, realistically, I do think people need visual aids. Not everyone is a strong reader, or they may not be fluent in any of the language options they have.

    Yes I'm very much a visual person. I need to see things to learn and remember anything, so merely reading a quest log isn't going to help much. Sure I can figure out where to go and what to do from reading the quest, but I'm going to forget it a second later.
  • SalhyrrSalhyrr Member
    edited August 13
    I've been playing mmo's since Dark Age of Camelot and been there since the very start where there were zero help, up to now where some mmo's have an almost guided glowing path.

    I can respect people who just want to go around and explore and really do nothing, but i cant really believe that they represent the majority of people. At least whenever you see players in other games, almost uniformly they choose the path of least resistance and quickly download an addon that can guide them or lookup the quest/problem on a webpage anyhow.

    You also have to ask yourself, what is it we want our players to have difficulty with and how do we reward that? Is it that it should be like some of the old WoW quests that were almost impossible to find (virtual detective), but didnt actually give you anything special to complete them?
    Or should the focus be other game systems and how you utilize them, your character and so on and let the leveling be a more smooth experience (and from what you have told us, already take a long time)?

    Personally i dont want to spend time futilely looking for some hidden plant to complete a quest..

    With that said, there could be a middle way between lighting the screen on fire to visualize the breadcrumbs vs. delicately displaying the necessary information.
  • I'm fine with question marks and area highlights but maybe you could have different colors for quest icons which indicate that it's increasing in difficulty thus some elements won't be presented. For example, you could have yellow question marks stating things but there would be orange and even red-ish question marks indicating that these quests won't give you any hint or fewer tips. Maybe for question marks could have other symbols too but always depicting difficulty based on the background color (yellow => orange => red).
    Some purely exploratory quests could have no area highlight whatsoever but the background color of the question mark (or w/e icon) would convey the quest difficulty and goal. I'd also like that some class utilities would play a role making certain quests harder for some classes but easier for others and maybe incentivize collaborative behavior? :)
    "Magic is not a tool, little one. It is a river that unites us in its current."

    I heard a bird ♫
  • novercalisnovercalis Member, Founder
    edited August 13
    here is my suggestion:

    Basic Quest from townies - no indicator over head but they do have a different color name / outline upon mouse-over. This is enough to get new mmo players involved with how questing in AoC.

    Main Story Quest (if there is one) - Can have an indicator over heard. This allows everyone but most importantly, newbies to mmo this is an important person. There shouldn't be that many NPC with indicator over their heads. Keep this very very minimal.

    Special Quests, non basic - non story-mode quests - side quests - No indicator or name change. Gotta interact with the world and talk to every npc you run into. Eventually some ended up giving you a NPC AND/OR a quest appeared on your Quest log w/o the NPC informing you have accepted a quest.

    As for items highlight - NO NO NO. I don't mind if an item says it's a quest item - but I don't want to see a glow or sprinkle over an item in-game.

    Make us read the quest - make the quest feel like puzzles / riddles. Give us a general area but don't hold our hands too much.

    This is a quests from WoW that is done right.

    The quest starts from a scroll and the scroll can be found in 1 of the 4 boats, completely RNG.
    See how the scroll wasn't sprinkling or didn't have a glow when you weren't moused over. that good. I had to check to see if that scroll was intractable

    but to reiterate - I believe NPCs telling their story w/o letting me know they are quest givers would be great. Not all NPC will be direct with asking for help, others will make mere suggestion or hints - some may be false rumors / gossips / dead end and others ended up leading you to a quest.

    2 examples:

    Example 1 - NPC (No indicator, only color name change) informs you her son is sick and only a mushroom can help calm his fever down but she is unable to leave her home to pick it. She asks for you if you can help, do you accept?

    OR - for immersion and uniqueness - and perhaps it doesn't have to be EVERY single quest NPC

    Example 2) NPC (no indication whatsoever) - tell you her woes about her son being sick and she wish can leave to go pick up this mushroom that she normally sees around a cave to do the southwest. She hopes maybe she can find time to go to the local herb shop to see if they have it but is very concern leaving her son side.

    2 outcomes can happen from here:

    outcome 1) you get no notification but if you actually check your quest log - you will see there is a quest there to pick up a mushroom (and w/o stating it in the quest log - you may be able to buy this mushroom at the herb shop she mentioned).

    outcome 2) consider calling these quest something else - altruism, kindness, morality, whatever.
    you get no notification that you accepted a quest, nor does it appear on your quest log, however mechanically speaking - you unlock an intractable item in the world. Now if you go to the southwest cave - what once was a mushroom you were unable to interact with, becomes intractable. AND/OR if you go to the herb store - maybe you'll see a cure or a mushroom that is purchasable. If you can remember what that item was meant for - you would remember about this mother story and return to her - from there, maybe she officially gives you follow up quests that enters your quest log - as in fetching other ingredients or helping brew the medicine....

    With that said - you can have other NPC tell of tales that we may chase and it leads to a dead end. there should be some fake quests that completely wasted our time. In turn - this allows you to throw in special / unique / epic quests. The players has to decide to chase a rumor down or not - or maybe the rumor is true but not in this node level and we have to wait. This keeps players coming back or staying in their node perhaps. Every node has their own legends, rumor, myths - the tales starts at node 1 but may not be accessible until node 4-5-6. Perhaps on each node, the story or tale gives more and more info, clues, hints. With a node system, you have a new way to handle questing for us players.

    I am more than happy to help clarify any issues or to elaborate deeper.
    {UPK} United Player Killer - A potential Perma-Red guild incoming to Ashes of Creation.
    All your loot belongs to us.
  • MykkalaMykkala Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited August 13
    Salhyrr wrote: »

    Personally i dont want to spend time futilely looking for some hidden plant to complete a quest..

    This so much. There's nothing more frustrating, to the point where i want to turn off the game in annoyance.

    I think that it should be a toggle or option somewhere. Those that want to find it themselves can frustrate themselves, I don't want the aggravation of going the wrong way because the text wasn't clear enough.
  • This is a difficult decision to make. Now I don't think it should be one or the other. Simply 'cause there is situations in which you want breadcrumbs and those when you don't want any.
    I believe having a giant question mark above an NPCs head isn't the way to go. Instead giving them a shimmer like particle effect around them which would be seeable only when in let's say 20yrd of the NPC would be nice when they are the objective of the quest. It gives a little help finding them instead of running around for 10 minutes cause you missed that one NPC you needed. Available quests, however, should be clearly noticeable (unless it's a hidden quest or something).

    Other objectives like killing 10 boars or finding 20 silver tree logs shouldn't have any breadcrumbs. Missing breadcrumbs in quests like that encourage players to read the quests instead of just skipping through. It's bringing attention to what actually happens and why you're doing this quest (storywise).

    When it comes to specific objects, when they are laying around in the world for you to pick up, you shouldn't have location breadcrumbs on the map but shimmer like particles when you are close would be good and quest items should ofc be clearly depicted as such in your inventory
    ~ Unity Through Allegiance Masks.png?width=1204&height=677
  • RelhazRelhaz Member
    I like the vanilla WoW style where things were buried in the quest text, however I do think many of the quests were too vague. Indicating that a mob patrols or doesn't have a 100% drop chance might be useful.

    Having the level of guidance be adjustable might be a good way to please everyone
  • ArisenArisen Member
    edited August 13
    No quest markers over heads and no quest markers on the minimap.

    I am scared by everyone proposing the opposite - those are quintessential themepark features that go against the spirit of this game, imo.

    Instead, make the actual quest text easy to read and clear independently of context. So if you forget who you got the quest from then it should still be easy to understand what it wants you to do. The actual text for the quest requirements can also be dynamic, e.g. depending on your current location it can say "go to the east and kill mobs x" or "go to the southwest and kill mobs x".
  • 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?

    Hello dev team! I feel like this sort of question might be dependent upon how "active" NPC quest givers will be and whether we'll be able to get quests from inanimate objects in the world (such as picking up an item from a downed mob, or a quest posted on some sort of town square message board).

    If NPCs will be static and lifeless, then an exclamation mark or question mark above them would draw us to them. If they will approach us or call out to us when we are near, asking for assistance, then the visible marker above their head may not be needed.

    The level of hand-holding will depend on the immersion that the NPCs are able to generate through their actions/expressions.

    With message board quests (like bounties), then it would be known to us to simply approach a certain location to check for active/available quests.

    Finding random items that initiate a quest would be fun and immersive in the world building aspect of questing, and having a starting point dialogue entry that says "... perhaps I should take this ring to the jeweler's guild..." would guide the player in the right direction, without needing to completely hold their hand.

    Having exact location markings on a map/mini-map aren't as fun as a radius of investigation that prompts the player to explore.
  • AeriusAerius Member
    edited August 13
    I'm glad to see the majority speaking up against map highlights and compass pointers.

    When games eliminate all need for the player to read or think, the quests lose almost all immersion and impact. I would much appreciate having to interpret quest text and direction, even just slightly. I do not want sections of maps marked to show me exactly where I need to go. I do not want arrows and pointers holding my hand and playing for me. It's a game, and I would like to play it myself.

    Let us find quests, read or listen to them, and hunt for the objectives. The hunt is essential. There is no hunt when you're shown exactly where to do exactly what. Let us adventure, explore, and uncover. This would also increase player interaction/communication, which is a nice bonus.

    As for things to indicate that an NPC or item is able to provide a quest, it is reasonable to add some sort of marker or highlight when near the NPC/Item. Without it, players would need to attempt interaction with everything and everyone, which is a bit excessive. A minimal quest giver marker can be helpful. The more options the better, though. Being able to disable markers is a must.

    Keep up the good work.
  • Fuppo HeadhunterFuppo Headhunter Moderator, Member
    Well... this is a fun one...

    I think that the Main storyline as a easy to find line of quests is important.. also having branching side quests to keep things interesting to fill out and explain the lore. Having quests that are more hidden as well and where you are just not led there can be some of the most exciting and fun experiences... the sense of discovery is much more intense when it is not scripted and you are not led to the next part of the chain by your nose...

    Having quests that require real time and effort... serious dungeon delving and getting that rare spawn mob that only spawns sometime in a 12 hour period is great, this also helps to foment PvP in the wait for the spawn (can oddly cause alliances of players to form from my past experiences of these types of quests in EQ 1 and a few other games.)

    The hidden Quests that you get hints about from other quests that are very random at the start to get going... if those are in the game people will literally spend years trying to find them even if there is not one maybe where they are looking....

    Then the Legendary Quest for the Holy Cookie.... well got to have that!!

  • Hmmm... What I'd like ot see in Ashes are breadcrumbs that are not intrusive and unique - not question marks and exclamation points. Other games do that too much. Perhaps like how we can hide names over peoples' heads in some games, maybe there could be a toggle key where you can turn on or turn up the visibility when you need to. OR they're designed in a such a way that is unique.

    In the pre alpha footage we've seen so far, I do like that NPCs have color coded names. And yet it's still hard to see. Maybe a faint aura shines around them, a fiery spark orbiting over head, or a color coded spell circle on the ground that disappears at a distance. Some games let us hide names on teh screen. Perhaps that same toggle could be used to "pulse" names, quest givers and paths and such which fade slowly back to not being there. A kind of "Fate sight" toggle.
  • DaBlackDaBlack Member
    edited August 13
    This is a good question.

    After reading sum of the comments the thing I read the most was having both but being able to toggle it on/off.

    This is cool and all but at some point people who chose to toggle them on will be higher in lvl and have better stuff cuz they did allot more than people who toggled it off. So the toggle thing would be useless.

    My solution:

    From what I read/heard in the wiki/livestreams/ama there will be quests/epic quests/legendary quests/and rumors.

    So quest npc markings (not rumors) should only be on a certain radius in the FOV not in the world map not in the mini map but only in the FOV. So u kinda have to search for quests but it's easier.

    Rumors on the otherhand should not have question marks but instead u can hear some npc talking and then u go ask them for more informations.

    The rest of the information should be in the texts/dialoges. But they shouldn't be too much.

    A example for something enough is

    1.direction (west, east, north, south etc.)

    2.and/or how the place/monster looks like

    3. or sertain landmarks u have to look for (there will be landmarks like statues. I read the whole wiki).

    And ad some variation sometimes u know all of these and some time only one or two.

    Obvious things like marking the quest area or marking every quest and rumor will let u rush the quest and that can't be part of a good gaming experience.

    If u came this far thx for reading ma dude/gurl.

    Edit: one thing about rumors. After hearing the rumor u should

    1. either get a quest in the questlog

    2. Or u should see if the rumor is true killing/getting the mob/item and then go back to the npcs who said the rumor giving them the the item/pelt of mob and finishing the ''rumor quest that isn't marked as a quest"

    Option 2 is better cuz it adds more variety and fun and could be a source for interesting rare items/titles and extra xp that only people who are smart/patient enough can get.

  • I didn't read everyone's replies, so sorry if this was mentioned already.

    As far as quest bread crumbs, having played MMOs essentially since Ultima Online was a thing, but having really gotten into them when WoW first came out, my preference would be to have enough information in the quest text to do the quest. I understand not everyone would like that, so having an option to turn on indicators telling you where to go to complete quest objectives would be nice as well, again so long as it was an option. This would give the players who like reading quests and figure out what they need to do and where to go a chance to do that, and people that just want to click accept and get the quest done as quickly as possible a way to do that as well.
  • The fact that AoC is going to have quests come and go depending on Node status and there will probably be very few online walkthroughs to help when you're stuck, breadcrumbs of some kind will be needed:

    -NPC indicator, doesn't need to be the Goodyear blimp, but at least their nameplate has a different color.
    -Summary (one liner) quest objective bullets I can pull up on my UI indicating status
    -Some sort of map indicator of the general area I need to go next. This doesn't need to be the EXACT spot, but I really hate going to the wrong side of the world because I misunderstood a line in the quest.
    -Quest object highlighting, I'd actually say NO on this one, the map/ui indicating the general area, and the quest bullets should give me enough info. Will also require I actually READ the quest and know what I'm looking for. Otherwise I go on auto pilot and could also write an RPA bot to do quests for my by simply following UI indicators.
  • jeepjeep Member
    I've enjoyed Ghosts of Tsushima's solution to this issue with more "immersive" tools to guide the player (wind blowing in the quest objective's direction, a small animal running where you need to go, etc). It strikes a good balance between immersion/discovery and not leaving the player feeling totally lost.
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