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[Column] General: Quest Hubs Are Dead, Finally!

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,614MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MMORPG.com is proud to introduce our newest regular columnist, Red 5's Mark Kern. Yep, -that- Mark Kern! In his inaugural column, Mark opines on the idea that a game has finally arrived that deals the death knell to 'quest hubs'. Find out what he's got to say and then weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

They were my fault to begin with, at least partially. You see, I worked on World of Warcraft, the most quest-hub heavy game in existence. I even helped come up with that dang exclamation mark, borrowing it from Diablo 2 and being inspired by Metal Gear Solid. Since WoW, everyone shifted their online quest design to hubs and spokes, and a forest of exclamation marks as far as the eye could see. I, for one, am glad someone finally killed them for good.

Read more of Mark Kern's Quest Hubs Are Dead, Finally!


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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon

    Welcome, welcome! Have a seat, and try my mead! That'll be 15 silver pieces. :D

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • marz.at.playmarz.at.play Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member
    Great article. Glad to see you on board and contributing as some of the articles here are...not up to par to put it mildly. Well writen, and easy to read.

    image
  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member

    Yes, I will agree that "Quest Hubs" have been dealt a Death-Knell in GW2. However, zones are still horrbily linear, and quests are just "Prettied" up by hiding all the relevant data behind a "Progress Bar". However, the grindyness & ease of GW2 lends itself to a standard themepark, of which it fits perfectly into.

     

    I will say that GW2 is the only themepark in the last 7yrs I paid for, and am still casually playing when I'm bored with DAOC, other side projects, and EQ.

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • ohpowerohpower ParisPosts: 72Member
    Well, Mr Kern, glad to have you onboard, and very nice article. Best of luck for Red5 and Firefall by the way.
  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Not that I want to be a doubting Thomas, but weren't the "!" ripped directly from D2?

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • TalulaRoseTalulaRose Long Island, NYPosts: 480Member Uncommon

    At Red 5, a company I founded to try new things, we’ve been cooking up our own version of dynamic world events for a few years now.

     

    Cant really take this article that seriously since its in the writers best interest to have GW2 be as successful as possible in order to better his own company.

     

    I will say that GW2 is the only themepark in the last 7yrs I paid for, and am still casually playing when I'm bored with DAOC, other side projects, and EQ.

     

    So you prefer 2 other MMOs and work before playing GW2.

     

     
     
  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member
    Originally posted by WhiteLantern
    Not that I want to be a doubting Thomas, but weren't the "!" ripped directly from D2?
     

    Which were inspired by Metal Gear Solid.

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member
    Originally posted by TalulaRose

    At Red 5, a company I founded to try new things, we’ve been cooking up our own version of dynamic world events for a few years now.

     

    Cant really take this article that seriously since its in the writers best interest to have GW2 be as successful as possible in order to better his own company.

     

    I will say that GW2 is the only themepark in the last 7yrs I paid for, and am still casually playing when I'm bored with DAOC, other side projects, and EQ.

     

    So you prefer 2 other MMOs and work before playing GW2. Interesting.

     
     

    Yea, GW2 was BuyToPlay for a reason. I also don't believe playing a B2P title like it is a P2P title is a feasable outcome. Otherwise you end up hitting level cap and complaining about end-game within the first week (like so many others). I'd rather take my time when I have some to spare than rush to the end.

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member

    Silly articles are silly. Daoc had quest hubs long before wow and trying to claim the early success of one game is somehow going to do away with quest hubs is moronic.

     

  • YolenYolen ZgierzPosts: 14Member
    I like the game, I play it, I enjoy it... but it doesn't feel as "revolutionary" as some people state it is. It's an evolution I agree. I like the ongoing events, I like dye system, I like feeling constantly rewarded for doing hearts, crafting, visiting points of interest... everything. I like underwater fights... I like fights that are ore arcade than usual WoW-style "click enemy and push rotation till the creep dies", I like the personal story, that it has choices and that you can be charing or ferocious or whatever. I absolutely LOVE that you NEVER fight over a node or loot from monster within the game and a player nearby is ALWAYS an ally, whatever you do (well except PvP, duh;P). Is it worth to buy? Yes. Is it worth to lose any hours playing it? Definately. BUT. There's this feeling it's not ENOUGH. Event's just rotate... there are no cities destroyed and rebuild, no quest hubs taken over, no feeling of terror creeping on the walls of safe cities. Personal quest despite choices STILL feels pretty linear, the choices are close to insignificant and even if you save a guy by your choice you won't see uch of him if at all anyway. Those charing or ferocious choices are pretty insignificant too. I can't really tell if they ipact the way you talk in the quests, but suppose they don't. And y sylvari the way he talks feels pretty... heroic but naive. Not a character I would play (feeling closer to my light side sith inquisitor). And regarding the ain topic... well the hearts are just an EVOLUTION... instead of a hub with three quests we have one quest that you can fill up doing any of the three tasks... plus you don't have to talk to all the questgivers. It's better. Is it revolutionary? No. Personally, waiting for other titles like Wildstar or Storm Legion to unveil.
  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisPosts: 1,066Member

    [mod edit]

    "quest hubs are dead" hmm that's strange because the number one game on this site now GW2 has been released has all the claasic quest and marker hub system of game like WOW.

    GW2 system will be short lived,it's just not enough,i good mixture of both is what's needed.Any dev team thinking of doing what GW2 has don't may want to think again,give it another few weeks and many people will soon realise that it really is tedious.

  • grummzgrummz Aliso Viejo, CAPosts: 56Member

    Thanks for having me. Yes, D2 had the marks as well, but both games were in development for a long time, and WoW was being developed even before D2 shipped. 

    DAOC had quests, but not nearly to the level that WoW did. During WoW, the feeling was that you always had to have a stuffed quest log that never ran out, so you always had "one more thing to do" 

     

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    these are changing times in mmos! and gw2 is leadint the pack!- i hope to see more games take this kind of aproach!

    respectively FireFall beign another beast , aside giving missions a fresh look (like sim towers)  i will hope itll have group events! the invasion in the beta are awsome so far!

    welcome!

  • grummzgrummz Aliso Viejo, CAPosts: 56Member
    If I seem overly emphatic about my judgement of hubs, its because I'm trying to make a point and not be wishy washy about the way I feel. I'm sure developers will still attempt quest hubs in the future, I just don't think that formula, having been played out, will be very popular in the future.
     
  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    Saying WoW came up with quest hub just underlines the "quality" of the article.

    Darkfall also suspended sales (probably too "niche" for the author). 

    Anyway, hearts and DEs are actually quest hubs. Quests and quest hubs were not removed, just transformed into automated lore-less zerg fests. 

     

     

    REALITY CHECK

  • grummzgrummz Aliso Viejo, CAPosts: 56Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    Saying WoW came up with quest hub just underlines the "quality" of the article.

    Darkfall also suspended sales (probably too "niche" for the author). 

    Anyway, hearts and DEs are actually quest hubs. Quests and quest hubs were not removed, just transformed into automated lore-less zerg fests. 

     

     
     

    Hearts are DE's are not hubs. Hearts give you 2-3 tasks which all serve towards filling a bar and completion. DE's are single events. Quest hubs are like 3-8 NPC sitting around a POI that give you 8-12 quests. WoW was the first game to rely soley on quest hubs as the primary means of playing and progression (its the best XP), and really polished them and made them a consistent and dominant form of play.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    well i got bored within 2 weeks as the heart quests are some of the most boring pve i have come accross..

     

    Maybe other games will incorporate some things from GW2 but i hope its not the boring quests..

     

    but that at the end of the day is my opinion..

     

    also at the end of the day a GW2 zone is just a quest hub.. with probally less quest content then your average quest hub in other themepark MMORPGs..

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    Welcome Mark, I look forward to reading more of you're articles.
  • Johnie-MarzJohnie-Marz La Puente, CAPosts: 865Member

    My problem with Quest hubs isn't the quest hubs themselves, it is how linear games have made them. After cataclysm I played through the lvl 1-60 quests on WoW. You did quests in a hub, then the quest giver sent you too the next quest hub, and so on. 

    WoW has always be somewhat linear, but the new 1-60 quests made it completely linear.

    Right now I am enjoying TSW questing. I like that, if you are observant you can find quests,  not every quest is part of the main storyline.  it's fun to just search around and explore, you never know what you may find.

    I still haven't tried GW2, but if they are being innovative with quests as well, then good for them.

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    Saying WoW came up with quest hub just underlines the "quality" of the article.

    Darkfall also suspended sales (probably too "niche" for the author). 

    Anyway, hearts and DEs are actually quest hubs. Quests and quest hubs were not removed, just transformed into automated lore-less zerg fests. 

     

     
     

    This ^, I'm concerned that the OP is not only a developer, but has limited experience with GW2 and is exclusively talking about GW2 in a very uneducated fashion with regards to that product.

    Hopefully no offense taken Mr.Kurn, but I don't believe you know enough about the subject to talk about it given the article at hand. Perhaps it has to do with the fact you sound as if you're in the "Honey Moon Period" with regards to GW2, and don't quite see its flaws yet?

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • Reas43Reas43 New York, NYPosts: 297Member
    Ummmm. This might come up as difficult to digest but: Many people out the enjoy Quest Hubs. They were emulated again and again for a reason. They are effective and they were well received. That you have a very vocal subset of players living in forums or having direct interest in the success of one new specific title does not mean most people don't want quest hubs. Let's see where these new so called dynamic events stand a few months after launch.
  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member
    Originally posted by grummz
    Originally posted by Thillian

    Saying WoW came up with quest hub just underlines the "quality" of the article.

    Darkfall also suspended sales (probably too "niche" for the author). 

    Anyway, hearts and DEs are actually quest hubs. Quests and quest hubs were not removed, just transformed into automated lore-less zerg fests. 

     

     
     

    Hearts are DE's are not hubs. Hearts give you 2-3 tasks which all serve towards filling a bar and completion. DE's are single events. Quest hubs are like 3-8 NPC sitting around a POI that give you 8-12 quests. WoW was the first game to rely soley on quest hubs as the primary means of playing and progression (its the best XP), and really polished them and made them a consistent and dominant form of play.

     

    There are several hearts that are like this within a given area. Essentially, you could take a "Zone" in GuildWars 2 to be a "Quest Hub" as it is so linear in design & laid out in plain numbers on the map to be considered otherwise.

     

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • SephastusSephastus New Brunswick, NJPosts: 448Member Uncommon

    To me it was never about the quest hub. I hated the Exclamation mark, since I loved finding out what NPCs had something to say. I would read their story and once I changed something, I would like to see what they had to say next. It would be bonus if they actually had a new quest to do.

    I was a PATIENT player. The quest hubs just dumbed things down for those with attention deficit. And without being insulting, the new method of getting quests is just a further delving into babying the players. No longer do you have to try to understand the story... just walk up to a place and look at what happens. WoW created the problem (didn't even have to read the quest story), but GW2 is putting frosting on it.

    Those who play GW2 without reading and just race to max level are going to be sorely disappointed as its not progression based. GW2 is a story-themepark.

     

  • grummzgrummz Aliso Viejo, CAPosts: 56Member
    I won't say GW2 is without flaws, but I am saying that its a step in the right direction. The article is not meant to discuss what could be better with GW2, but to focus on what its doing to shape our industry.
  • Reas43Reas43 New York, NYPosts: 297Member
    You know. This website would garner more hits if it just dropped the facade and renamed itself GW2MRPG.com your site for all things good and positive about GW2, dissenting editorial pieces will not be harbored!
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