Dev Discussion #21 - Quest Breadcrumbs



  • FuryBladeborneFuryBladeborne Member, Braver of Worlds
    Ashes is the first MMO that is aiming for quests that do not give exact information such as map markers and reading quests will actually be necessary. While I can see that more time will be required, I am looking forward to trying it out.
  • I really loved the quests in old school runescape. You definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when completing the harder quests or even all the quests!
  • TresTres Member
    I think this helpers should only be accesible through utility skills. That way you promote group play and interdependency that rewards players for seeking social interactions.
  • showykshowyk Member
    Quest must be something you need to read what you need to do and go out on the world looking where to kill a certain mob etc.
    Its boring just follow arrows always having the same destiny as everyone!

    Quest in Ashes should follow the same idea of the game: explore this new world that we know nothing!
    If every quest tells you where to go, so we know everything about the world, and thats boring!
    Let us feel that we are realy exploring, not just following the trial to X on the map!
  • AY4LAY4L Member
    "breadcrumbs" or icons will just remove the incentive to read or immerse myself in the game. No thanks!
  • showykshowyk Member
    showyk wrote: »
    Quest must be something you need to read what you need to do and go out on the world looking where to kill a certain mob etc.
    Its boring just follow arrows always having the same destiny as everyone!

    Quest in Ashes should follow the same idea of the game: explore this new world that we know nothing!
    If every quest tells you where to go, so we know everything about the world, and thats boring!
    Let us feel that we are realy exploring, not just following the trial to X on the map!

    and i think quests shoud be more fun than just go arround and kill the mobs arround!
    explore the game, like: in the spring a npc appears in a node of level 3 or above asking for a quest to collect a certain type of tree that only appears in some places.

    quests need to immerse you in the game and not just be a quick task to get gold and experience
  • RavudhaRavudha Member
    edited August 13
    For me, showing a quest target/destination on the minimap with a highlighted zone is too much - I always use it as a crux to avoid reading quest text and figuring out the location through clues or references to features that would require me to actually explore an area.

    Too little would be if an NPC givng out a quest isn't clearly highlighted (but only for the starting quest in a chain - follow-up quest-givers could be located by reading the quest text). I think I prefer something a bit more overt than the name tag shine effect: maybe some kind of icon next to the name (doesn't have to be the exclamation/question mark). But it's hard to say how easily my eyes would get used to identifying that shine effect.
  • Just don't dumb down the game for everyone only because casual players have a short attention span or can't be bothered to complete a task. People here are smart enough, and if u give them a difficult task it will feel meaningful to them that they have completed it.
  • I don't want to spend all my time staring at a mini-map for quest locations, quest givers, etc.

    Markers for quest turn ins, or at least make it clear where I got the quest from.

    No markers for quest givers. Force players to click on NPCs to see what they have to say. Maybe have some audio clue that a quest giver is around. "Adventurer! A quick word!". But then again, some players may be deaf, so that might not be good for everyone.

    At best, a big circle on the map indicating the general location of where a quest needs to be completed. Let's not make it too easy. And if there's nothing on the map, please don't be too vague in the wording in the quest text.

    But overall, the less we use our mini-maps, the more we need to focus on the actual game. And I like that.

  • I prefer quests like Skyrim but without map markers, only marker on compass when the quest is selected.
    NPC's who gives the quests shouldn't have an icon above their head, only the ones (or objects) that gives the reward when they're in visible range.
  • NefariNefari Member
    I'm surprised how many people don't want markers. I've played almost every mmo and I assumed that a lot of other people had as well. The only time I've ever enjoyed reading quests is if it's a good storyline. If I need to go kill or gather things for a general quest and theres no marker I'd definitely find it frustrating. SWTOR is incredibly immersive with a great storyline and they tell you exactly where to go. It's not that finding objectives is too hard, it's all stuff we've already done before. AoC, to me, seems like it's going to be very competitive. The competitive side of the community will end up having everything mapped out anyway and the people who say they don't want help are going to end up looking that stuff up. I'd rather be helping build a node, exploring your epic dungeons, or pvping than questing. So the faster I can quest, the better. I saw someone suggest an editable ui where players can choose to hide or show quest objectives. That seems like a good idea \o/
  • I'm fine with minor breadcrumbs, though I wouldn't want to be given specific highlights on maps and such. That stuff is boring at best. Sometimes, when the game even trains you to just follow highlights, you can end up completely lost when those highlights suddenly disappear.

    A well designed quest log with useful hints should be the goal. Including information on where the quest giver is, in case I get side-tracked for a while and don't remember where I'm supposed to deliver these furs.

    The one thing I dislike is when quest givers are completely highlighted and flashing like supernatural beacons. That is so much more immersion-breaking than even a gigantic questionmark floating ahead.
  • George BlackGeorge Black Member
    edited August 14
    Keep indicators subtle, and map marks that point in the general hunting zone, with clear written discription on quest long, but not too many icons on player screen and maps/minimaps/compass.

    Also, quest mobs should have a name colour change for any player that undertakes a quest needing them.
  • Magic ManMagic Man Member
    edited August 14
    I think most of us would agree that we like worlds that are immersive. Intrepid's stance was no quest markers which i appreciated but this dev discussion kinda baffled me. Anyway..I prefer some breadcrumbs but like to figure out things myself. As for how much is too much - I'd say FFXIV as an example. Too little? well not a single MMO i can think of...Probably no UI at all i guess.
  • It may be more work to implement, but i think most people would agree that a good approach would be to have a slider in the settings for adjusting the size of the markers on NPCs. They could be medium or large by default (as new players often quest more) and as players learned the game more and discovered the setting they couple tweak it based on there preference. For me, at times i wont them and at times i dont so a slider would be awesome.
  • TetrachromaTetrachroma Member
    edited August 14
    When I imagine my ideal MMO in a "perfect world" I suppose it would resemble more the tale of Hansel and Gretel than a panko breadcrumb factory. As a player I desire at least a certain minimum threshold of breadcrumbs for a fluid questing experience. When it comes to breadcrumbs either end of the spectrum seems too extreme and devoid of fun mechanisms.

    For example I DO NOT want a system that immediately informs me of all the quests within the zone, where the quest objectives are located on my map, mini map markers, objective compass directions, etc etc. As others have pointed out, it removes any level of immersion and storytelling. It strips the quests of any semblance of adventure or challenge. With this extreme version of breadcrumbs you create a completely brain dead system that fails to convey any lore, story progression, or history of the surrounding world.

    Alternatively, the other end of this spectrum equally terrifies me. Imaging a world with literally zero breadcrumbs can create some frustrating moments for the player. The last thing I want is to complete a quest originally acquired in a labyrinth city, return to said maze like space, only to waste the next 20 minutes failing to relocate the original quest giver for completion. Aimlessly interacting with every NPC hoping that this is the schmuck who asked me to acquire the 20 headhunter's amulets from across the way. No thank you.

    The fact remains, I don't want my hand held through the entire questing experience, but some basic quality of life quest "guidance" when applied appropriately creates a fluid continuity of game play from one quest to the next. With that in mind, I have never been opposed to "!" or "?" markers to indicate available/completed quests. I am however completely opposed to introducing any map indicators. Allow me to discover the quest giver, but only in my direct line of vision.

    If Ashes tends to go the route of less breadcrumbs is the best route. I think adding an NPC to encampments / zones / cities that you could engage with for quest information would be welcomed. I just reached a level 3 node in a newly discovered zone, I know that if I at least interact with this Commander NPC I've spotted, he will be able to provide a listed directory of other NPCs in the vicinity that might be a point of interest for me as the new adventurer. Little concepts like this would bridge the gap between a completely open world and a monotonous sea of stale breadcrumbs.

    My pure wish list for a questing system would be that the various quest "!" would be different colors pertaining to the nature of the quest. Ex: Green ! = Exploration quest / Red ! = Kill quest / Blue ! = Gather / Silver ! = Class Quest. Additionally, your quest UI or quest log would be organized as such with those different categories.

    Another wish list desire for my ideal breadcrumb would be the amount of quest information available on your own map is directly related to the amount of exploration you have achieved in that specific zone. You enter a new zone, zero exploration, zero information available on the map. Once you've explored 100% of the map, you inherently acquire more breadcrumbs on your map UI. From a adventurer or lore perspective, it makes sense. Now that I am fully acquainted with my surroundings, it's logical to think that I would have a heightened awareness for the variety of objects to still accomplish in the zone. This concept also creates more incentives for the apt world explorer and zone exploration in general. This concept is more desirous for the player in favor of breadcrumbs for obvious reasons.

    My two cents.
  • I would want quest givers and breadcrumbs to fall into two categories.

    Important quests/quest givers.
    Hidden quests/quest givers to reward exploration and speaking to NPCs.

    For important quests, an example would be any story quest, or quests for like siege defense preparation, or general node development quests etc. For those quests, make the quest giver and the task easy to find relatively speaking. I do not care if quest givers in this scenario have some sort of icon or indication that they have a quest. I do not want quest locations highlighted however, just make the text clear on where/what to do.

    For some other quests, I would love to have some that are quite a bit harder to figure out or start, or that at least require you to explore a node or zone for random NPCs that might have something for you to do after you speak to them. I would also enjoy at least a few quest lines that are specifically designed to be puzzles/challenges to figure out on purpose, that have nice rewards at the end. Sure eventually that quest line will get added to a wiki or guide, but at least for a little while those who actually figure it out can feel a bit of pride or accomplishment.
  • IzexIzex Member, Braver of Worlds
    I think the majority of players will want to be told exactly where to go (like WoW) and there will also be people who will want as little information as possible, maybe do something similar to Assassin's Creed Odyssey where they let you choose how much information is given to you, ie just hints (north of Cave A, South of the Tree of Life) or just have it point you directly to the location.
  • Let's be honest if people knows the exact location from the map nobody will read the quests and you will spend a lot of efford thinking the lore and writing for nothing. I am the first that admits that always did this way but if there is no mark on the map it forces you to immerse in the world and learn so if AoC aims for a true immersive MMO experience then should't be target locations.
  • I am a vet of games like Runescape where quest direction is all quest journal based and games like WoW/ESO with more explicit in-game breadcrumbs. Personally, I love systems like Runescape. It allows the player a choice to be immersed in the story. No floating marks, no outlines on maps. I also think this prods developers to limit the number of "fetch 10 rats asses" quests, and instead focus on rewarding objectives and exploration. At the end of the day, if someone just wants to power thru questing, they can still look at guides online.
  • I like to think doing it by a quest by quest basis. Like Start markers are fine, but like say if quest A is to find Jimmy but, Jimmy is missing or like off the grid so no one knows where he is, it shouldn't be marked. Say in Quest B Carl needs to be fetched from the woods for dinner and his wife knows exactly where he is, or general area, then it can be marked. As a very over simplified example.
  • Most games fail on a fundamental premise.

    We are adventurers in a strange land.

    The idea of ​​arriving in a foreign land and having a map with all the indications, arrows pointing to places of interest and markers on the head of the Npc is something little immersive and meaningless.

    The main map is something the player must work on to build, whether that is by exploring, finding clues, interacting with cartographers, books, or listening to conversations.

    The map should be something that can progress and that represents the dedication put into it by the player.

    Regarding the missions, let's put ourselves back in the role of our character.

    Being in a foreign land, the most logical way to increase our knowledge about it would be to interact with the local inhabitants, whether in taverns, roads or properties far away deep in the wild.

    Hopefully we would have direct contact with an Npc that needs our help or otherwise we would receive clues about the possible location of said Npc.

    The clues should be enough to have an idea of ​​the area in which it is located and its characteristics to be able to identify it.

    Conversations, exploration, reading books and the interaction with monuments among other things should be the key to evolve our map and be able to advance with the available missions.

    On the other hand, perhaps there are players who are not interested in this type of interaction, so the option of activating an alternative and more direct way would be convenient.

    In the case of the mixed system, it should be taken into account that one system does not grant advantages over the other when completing challenges or some type of content where the ¨competitive¨ factor is present and is somewhat relevant.

    Whenever possible, it is always good to have different options.
  • I think there is a balance to be had between no markers at all, and a full blown quest helper.
    Some of my thoughts:
    - I enjoy reading through quest text, but it can get old after a while. (Skim for key words, move on)
    - I like having a general location marked on a map. But this too can get old and quests just become chores to check off.
    - I like the idea of more cryptic quests with maybe a puzzle/riddle to solve.

    With that said, I think all 3 styles of breadcrumbs can live together.
    - Some NPCs ask for help and know the general area you need to go, they circle it on your map.
    - Some NPCs have no clue about a specific location, but the text gives you enough hints.
    - Some NPCs are secretive and only want help from the best. (very minimal hints, riddles, etc)

    As for a more generalized solution:
    I think having npcs/mobs/interactables related to an active quest have a minor sparkle effect is fine. I just don't want my map cluttered with markers all over the place.

    Personally I am against customization that if everything were turned on, it would become a full quest helper. I can already imagine the scenario of a player who does want those options on, but instead wants to ask other players for help...they would just get the response of "turn on the quest helper"

  • Here is a thought. How about the quest marker is on the map. When you wanna do said quest, just click on the marker. When you click on the marker, a glowing trail or wispy magical trail will lead you to who you are supposed to talk to. Personally this adds a more fantasy feel to doing quests than a giant exclamation or question mark over an NPCs head.
  • My general take on breadcrumbs is there should be a range from easy-hard based on what level the quest is and what it wants you to do. At the beginning the quests should be more helpful/obvious for players to get acclimated to the world and their class. However, once they start leveling up some of the quests start to drop off information, like location. I also enjoy when the information presented is different based on the NPC type. A gossip might be able to tell you lots of details while a distracted and busy farmer might just give you the task and nothing more. I also wouldn't mind some puzzle quests where you have to crack a riddle or code in order to discover the location of the quest item/reward. FFXIV had this and although it took me forever and a half to figure some of them out it was such a fun optional challenge.

    But NO AUTO PATHING. Ever. It's such a boring and pointless mechanic. If I wanted the computer to play the game for me I'd go outside and be productive.

    In more detail:

    Target locations highlighted: So I think this is okay for times when an NPC gives the name of the location you're looking for, like "Go kill 5 wolves at Riverwood Pond", but it doesn't have to be there if they only said "Go kill 5 wolves". I don't mind keeping multiple quests on my bar as I explore new locations and discover "oh hey look! Here's the wolves I needed!"

    Quest icons: I'm fine with the usual "!" to indicate an unaccepted quest, but I hate when there is another symbol over their head while a quest in progress. I can look at my questbook or talk to them again. It's just clutter to tell me something is in progress. However, I wouldn't mind if random NPC's had small quests "unimportant" quests that you could do by talking to the random NPCs, like "Can you deliver this parchment to Harold, my back is acting up" and you might notice the giver because he's walking hunched over or something.
    On that note I think there should be a divide between what is deemed important/essential vs unessential because seeing a thousand exclamation marks is again a lot of clutter
  • I love quest text that tell you the general area, and what you need to do.

    Having giant exclamation marks for quests, or highlighted mobs, or a highlighted path ruins the sense of wanderlust. I want to get lost because I thought it said east at the junction not north, but discover something new while working my way back to the original destination
  • KublayKublay Member
    I like the ideia of quest givers being marked and the area where i find the mobs being shown on the map, for griding and lvling its less stressful, but we could get some "high tier quests" with more content and better prizes that dont show u where to find to creature, but rather u have to read and find on your own (still the quest giver being market though)
  • Quest breadcrumbs are fine for me and as soon as you make them an option that can be switched on and off you can cover all tastes. Those who like them can switch them on and those who don't like them can switch them off. Also for making videos it is always nice to switch off the parts of the UI that can get in the way of making a perfect immersive video. It is better to have the option than to not have it at all. Making it toggle-able will make everyone happy.
  • ElyEly Member
    Having the NPC's some how note they have a quest is quite beneficial. Though something less obnoxious than a over head bubble would be nice., or a toggle.

    But at that point would like it to end.

    Some of my favorite time with FFXI was going to the wiki to look up how to do a quest, find the location to go, or just enjoy seeing the community work together to figure out the answer. If was fun to explore and get lost and try to figure out what was needed. As long as the contextual queues are there it gives that little bit of effort of to even enjoy the rewards for the less then stellar quests.
  • kesarakkkesarakk Member, Warrior of Old
    Quest Givers and Types of Quests:

    NPCs should be highlighted. The type of quest they give would be indicated by the color of this highlight. NPCs that give generic hunting/gathering quests would be a pale white, while Storyline NPCs would be green or a traditional yellow. Class NPCs would be Orange or Purple with Epic questlines (Mayoral and the like) being Red.


    One thing that irritates me about WoW is their quest tracking. While easy and convenient it clogs my minimap with highlights showing current quests, world quests, and if turned on, gatherable items in the area. I would prefer a compass either above or below the minimap with a glowing dot/symbol indicating which direction I need to go to complete a quest and the bolder/bigger that icon gets, the closer I know I am to the quest.

    Quest Log Descriptions/ Dialog:

    Some players, myself included, don't like to sit there and read quests all the time. In the quest log, I would like to see each quest listed with the complete dialog between the NPC and my character, even if I exit the UI window after accepting the quest and there is more to read. That way I don't have to worry about running back to the quest giver, or abandoning the quest to pick it back up and read everything again.

    Side note/idea:

    For quest logs, I would like to see an item like a journal or tome that drops after completing Storyline quests that I can open and read. There have been times when I finish a particular questline in other games I have to stop and replay the events in my head, especially if there is a tragic death or redemption ark to a character that I've enjoyed following. This item could be placed inside a Free Hold/Apartment for a future read by you or by someone you've invited into your player housing.
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