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Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning: Outside the Box: Public Quest System

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Garrett Fuler returns today with his Outside the Box column. Outside the box is designed to look at innovative and interesting choices being made by developers thorughout the industry. Today, Garrett talks about the Public Quest System in Warhammer that will allow players to cooperate without having to group.

Many of the next generation MMOs have brought out some unique gameplay features for players to experience. One of the big titles that people have their eye on is Warhammer Online. I know there are many areas to talk about with this column; however, I chose to look at the Public Quest System in W.A.R.. Granted, this is primarily because I had experienced it last week at the EA Mythic Press Event. Please understand the following write-up is based on what I have personally seen so far. Do not take this as being written in stone, Warhammer Online is still in development and anything we have seen may change in the near future. For now, I am writing this based on personal experience and opinion. Yours may differ drastically.

For those of you new to MMOs, questing has become one of the primary ways for you to level up your character. Players in most MMOs meet with an NPC and are given a quest dialogue to play out. "Go and kill swamp rats, collect ten swamp rat tails and bring them to me." This is just an example of the common grind quests we have gotten used to in MMOs.

Read the whole column here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • ArgentArgent Richmond, VAPosts: 20Member
    Interesting concept.  I am eager to see the Public Quest feature in action in Beta.  WAAAAAAAGH!
  • DracisDracis Kingsford, MIPosts: 434Member
    Sounds like an interesting concept, but it still sounds very exploitable. I guess we'll have to wait for the beta to see.
  • Veiled_lightVeiled_light hartfortPosts: 800Member
    Maybe people will just sit AFK like they do in WOW BG's and get some xp.
  • ArathArath DundeePosts: 119Member
    Originally posted by Veiled_light

    Maybe people will just sit AFK like they do in WOW BG's and get some xp.

    You have to however contribute in someway to the quest in order to be rewarded for it. You are then rewarded in accordance to how much you actually helped. If you enter an area where a public quest is taking place the assumption is (and we can only hope practice will be) that if you decide to not partake in the quest (i.e. AFK or you are doing something else) you get no reward. Unlike the Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft were leeching honor was due to everybody being rewarded equally once the game ended (which isnt the case from what has been stated so far).

  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common
    It sounds like a good idea, hopefully there will be a great many of these kinds of things and will help towards building a better community.  I think its about time someone came up with something that allows everyone to make a tangible contribution for their side/faction/whatever without having to be a part of some uber guild that works against their own side as much as the opposition.

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  • ArgentArgent Richmond, VAPosts: 20Member
    Horizons:Istaria kinda/sorta tried this idea but called it a 'world event' (ie:  the unlocking of the new player races).  Then WoW did the same thing with the global 'war effort'.   But only a few people actually benefitted from the efforts of hundreds of people in those events.  The population of the server gather an insane amount of resources then a small group/guild grabs the gold ring at the end.   I truly hope WAR will be different.  
  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Millersburg, INPosts: 803Member Uncommon

    Sounds like a interesting idea. But I have to ask though is this really outside the box? From the sounds of it, it just sounds like a quest chain where people can hop in and out as they please and meet with other players. I guess it just depends on how you look at it. I can see both some positive sides to this public quest and some negative sides to it. Only large scale public testing will truely say if this will work or just be another feature that doesnt really do much of anything once you have done it once or the population has leveled past it.

  • Chosen1Chosen1 Third dimension, Planet EarthPosts: 36Member

    .

  • paulscottpaulscott WI rapids, WIPosts: 5,613Member
    original idea? not particularly.  though using it extensivly would be new.

    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • LearyLeary Memphis, TNPosts: 49Member
    When I first heard about the Public Quest System awhile back, I wasn't sure I liked the idea of it. After reading this, I am still not convinced. I think it is going to be something that has to be tested out in person to get a good feel of how it works.



    How do you know what stage of the quest it is on before entering the area? I might want to be there from the start of it to get all rewards and experience.  Will I know when a new series starts, somehow? What's wrong with the tried-and-true of just grouping up to complete quests? Are these areas for anti-socialites that want the group exp and better group-based quest rewards without having to be socialable with others?



    Either way, I do not know if I like the sound of it all. Time will tell...



    Regardless, I will be playing Warhammer Online when it releases.
  • wjrasmussenwjrasmussen west toluca lake, CAPosts: 1,493Member
    Leary, lets do something different, but not too different. Dang, why are all these games the same? lol...
  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon
    Sounds fun to me. I do hope to be able to tell what stage a quest area is at before I enter it though. Don't want to always show up just for the boss fight.
  • ReidenReiden Sierra Vista, AZPosts: 12Member
    I like the idea, and I see it working very well, as far as it's intended purposes.  I don't believe  WAR is going to be like WoW as it would seem many people are comparing it to.  WoW seems to have embedded many of it's ideas into peoples heads.  While normal questing does tend to move you about the world, most MMO's don't send you as far as quests in WoW do, and most worlds are not split up into the different zones like WoW.  I remember in DAoC spending 10-15 levels in a single area, never wandering more than about 5 minutes getting to wherever the quest was and then returning to where I started. 



    With this possibly being the case, I don't see the issue of wondering what stage a public quest is in, unless you are on your way somewhere else, in which case, you wouldn't stop anyway.  Chances are, you are already going to be in an area, questing, hunting, whatever, when a message shows up saying that "example public quest" is now underway, in which case, you could begin working on that.  I don't imagine these are going to be rare occurances, where it would get announced and then people from all over the world would rush to take part in.  While that would be cool, I just don't think that is what these public quests are intended to be.
  • dreemy1dreemy1 Carrollton, GAPosts: 3Member
    I think this will be a break from the regular quests as it does get tedious doing the same thing over and over for hours on end just to get up a few levels and it also is a help to solo players in defeating something that on their own would crush them with 1 hit, I would like to see the developers come up with an alternative to defeating a boss character in a quest for the solo player,Yes I am a solo player, mostly because I like to do things at my own pace and when I am in the mood to do it. For example, I have just spent four hours to level up to a point where I can start the next quest but to finish it I have to again kill a boss, which I am now bored with and can only do if in a group. Why not have two ways to end the quest? One choice is to join groups and kill and the other could be say running errands for npcs including trying to convince an npc to relinquish some item to you to give to another npc and the only way to convince said npc is to say the right things in a dialogue with the npc. Or answering riddles>but not easy riddles, The Player has to work for the experience if this choice is taken, It would be only fair since the player chose this route (for whatever reason) instead of defeating the boss
  • AranStormahAranStormah OsloPosts: 278Member
    This is definetly a step in the right direction for the genre. Zones being static is one of the big bores in MMOs, allthough instanced content sometimes interacts a bit more with you and changes as you progress. Taking that into public zones to make different mobs and different events trigger, like npc-town raids (or rescues) in WAR, will hopefully bring us closer to the sense of adventure (and actually being in the story as it progresses) which offline RPGs have, but MMOs are short of.

    This is the kind of thing that would have worked wonders in Auto Assault, where you never bother to team people cause there are tens of thousands of short quests you can solo. I'm not a WoW player, but from the time I tried it I noticed people always found some way to have fun with an event spawned miniboss in the area called Duskwood, either kiting him long ways or simply trying to kill him. He didn't have anything worth collecting, but because he was different and would come charging into the alliance town (with npcs defending), killing lone questers in his path he made that area quite lively. I think stuff like that is more than welcome :D

    I'm not crazy about another hotkey mashing mmo when people could be making Conan clones, but I'm going to try out WAR anyway because of the alternativ level progress, public quests, rvr and it being Warhammer ^^
  • LearyLeary Memphis, TNPosts: 49Member
    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Leary, lets do something different, but not too different. Dang, why are all these games the same? lol...
    Yeah, because that's exactly what I said. Nice reading comprehension.
  • mugboy312mugboy312 San Antonio, TXPosts: 141Member
    I am worried about a certain scenario that may occur : If a much higher level or just a big group of people basically take over the entire public quest area. For example, let us say that I am running to an enemy to attack him or i'm going to gather wood by a tree - what if this group just swarms the area and kills off the mob or takes the resources I was going to obtain.

    In short - what happens if there are Mob/Kill stealers? If participation is based on the amount of damage you do to a target that is much better but then that brings up the conflict of high level PCs around killing things off very quickly - will public quests be limited to certain levels based on the zone?
  • checkthis500checkthis500 Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,236Member
    Originally posted by mugboy312

    I am worried about a certain scenario that may occur : If a much higher level or just a big group of people basically take over the entire public quest area. For example, let us say that I am running to an enemy to attack him or i'm going to gather wood by a tree - what if this group just swarms the area and kills off the mob or takes the resources I was going to obtain.

    In short - what happens if there are Mob/Kill stealers? If participation is based on the amount of damage you do to a target that is much better but then that brings up the conflict of high level PCs around killing things off very quickly - will public quests be limited to certain levels based on the zone?



    Anything that you would do in that area would be directly related to the PQ.  If you wanted to fight a Mob or gather wood, I'm sure there would be the same mob and trees outside of the radius of the PQ.  As to the question of the high level PCs, that's still up for debate, since we don't exactly know how they're going to handle high level versus low level interaction.

    What I see being the logical answer is that the High Level PCs will have no reason to do Low Level PQs since the gear they offer and the exp they offer will be significantly lower than what they need.  Besides they'll have their own PQs in the higher level content to do.

    It would be like killing things that con green or gray to you.  There would be no purpose, so you wouldn't do it.

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    I live to fight, and fight to live.

  • Sounds fun, but also sounds like a instance from DDO, Guildwars, or WoW. Chances are if there are activties in these "Public quests" that can be soloed, then when you have a group together they will completly slaughter the quest. It might come down to where the difficulty is such that a group is needed.

    Of course this isn't a bad thing, my favorite part about the above listed games are there instanced areas and quests. My real question is how many of these things can Warhammer realisticly pump out, would it be possibly to get 1 per level, maybe ajustable difficulty? I know that might be a bit hopeful but WoW instances run about a new one every 3-5 levels, not counting the 8 or so that are aimed at the end game. Of course in WoW it can take up to 10 full runs through some instances to level so that sort of makes the point moot.

    On another note I can't imagen a system like this being non-instanced, games like Ultima Online and maybe other early MMORPG's tried this type of thing on a global anyone can access it scale and it lead to either griefing, or people sweeping in at the last moment for the real reward.

  • checkthis500checkthis500 Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,236Member
    Originally posted by Guler


    Sounds fun, but also sounds like a instance from DDO, Guildwars, or WoW. Chances are if there are activties in these "Public quests" that can be soloed, then when you have a group together they will completly slaughter the quest. It might come down to where the difficulty is such that a group is needed.
    Of course this isn't a bad thing, my favorite part about the above listed games are there instanced areas and quests. My real question is how many of these things can Warhammer realisticly pump out, would it be possibly to get 1 per level, maybe ajustable difficulty? I know that might be a bit hopeful but WoW instances run about a new one every 3-5 levels, not counting the 8 or so that are aimed at the end game. Of course in WoW it can take up to 10 full runs through some instances to level so that sort of makes the point moot.
    On another note I can't imagen a system like this being non-instanced, games like Ultima Online and maybe other early MMORPG's tried this type of thing on a global anyone can access it scale and it lead to either griefing, or people sweeping in at the last moment for the real reward.



    The system isn't instanced.  It's a Radius in the global zones.  And since you get reward based on participation you can't "grief" it.  You either participate or you don't and you get the reward accordingly.  If you sweep in and get the last hit on the boss mob, I highly doubt you're going to get all of the credit for killing it.  I think EA Mythic have thought of that scenario.  I'm betting it's a very complicated formula or something so simple I would have overthought it that determines how much someone participates, since DPS wouldn't be an accurate way either. 

    ---------------------------------------------
    I live to fight, and fight to live.

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,474Member Uncommon
    "Little has changed in the last five years with this type of quest mechanic. One of the things Warhammer Online is trying to do is break this mold of individual questing and give players a chance to accomplish their goals together. Don’t get me wrong, many of the quests in other games call for a group to aid you in completing them, but what if you are always a solo player? How can you take part in group activities?"


    So by dumping down the game to make it even more a singleplayer experiance, why bother to build a community if nothing isn't really neccesary, did the majority of gamers became that numb that they actualy lost way's in how to communicate by trying to make a group or find one. The moment i heard about the game i was pretty exited, but the more details they are revealing the more i beginning to dislike this game. Might be getting to old for games like this, i bet if i was still in my teens i would love the game.
  • gpettgpett San Jose, CAPosts: 1,105Member
    In any case, they have plenty of time to tweak it till it works.  The most important thing to me, the orriginal article idea, is that WAR is coming up with "out of the box" ways ot playing a MMO.  I am all for new gameplay modes and ideas.  I am bored with the current cookie cutter MMOs.
  • checkthis500checkthis500 Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,236Member
    Originally posted by Reklaw


    "Little has changed in the last five years with this type of quest mechanic. One of the things Warhammer Online is trying to do is break this mold of individual questing and give players a chance to accomplish their goals together. Don’t get me wrong, many of the quests in other games call for a group to aid you in completing them, but what if you are always a solo player? How can you take part in group activities?"


    So by dumping down the game to make it even more a singleplayer experiance, why bother to build a community if nothing isn't really neccesary, did the majority of gamers became that numb that they actualy lost way's in how to communicate by trying to make a group or find one. The moment i heard about the game i was pretty exited, but the more details they are revealing the more i beginning to dislike this game. Might be getting to old for games like this, i bet if i was still in my teens i would love the game.



    I think you can take it as either way.  It's either giving people more solo content or an easier way to access group content.  If the PQ is difficult then you'll have to converse with the players around, and since it'll create an area where people will converge for the same goal of doing the PQ, it will make finding a group infinitely easier than yelling "LFG" then meeting up somewhere, then traveling to the place you want to quest, etc. etc. which can take a really long time. 

    Hopefully you'll be able to see the flash on the screen that you're in a PQ and then find some people that are nearby that are also doing it and group up really easily.

    I took it as trying to build community in a faster more effective way, by not having people excluded from groups and not having to go through the tedium of finding people that are doing the same quest as you since your'e automatically doing the same quest.

    I could see how it could be taken as more singleplayer content though, but I ultimately think it depends on the way you look at it.  I think it'll replace the need for Raids.  My Opinion of course.

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    I live to fight, and fight to live.

  • gpettgpett San Jose, CAPosts: 1,105Member

    Now that I think about it... it would be interesting if a game took this idea one step furthur.  Make the entire game content groupless.  Often in life people do not "group" or "team up", they just do what needs to be done to get the job done.

    Would be interesting to abolish grouping systems from games entirely and give players more the feeling that the population of players is thier group.

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by gpett


    Now that I think about it... this is how all game content should be.  Rarely in life do people "group" or "team up", they just do what needs to be done to get the job done.
    Would be interesting to abolish grouping systems from games entirely and give players more the feeling that the population of players is thier group.



    I don't know about you but i know many instances that require a group of people, the easyest that comes to mind is group-sports ?

    Or generaly  "Work"

    But "Checkthis500" made a point wich made me change my view abit (just alittle) on the system, but we will know for sure when we have tried it ...

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