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Dynamic Questing Concept

mikecacklemikecackle City, ILMember Posts: 151

The concept is simple... To retain mystery in an MMORPG and create a system that is more open ended and dynamic (anything is better than kill 10 rat linear quests). To prevent websites and search engines to spoil the systems, imo adding a touch of life to games. (i reckon it would stop quest botting as well)

I have concepted the following system to random generate quests in MMORPG's. It was just a thought that popped into my head only a couple hours ago. Not even sure why, but I'll make it a concept for others to analyze and or put to use. Has nothing to do with my project, not that I won't perhaps use it in some way :D

Design Goal: A dynamic quest system to add mystiq and adventure to gamers. Totally random quests, where you may never know what the tasks may be, what the rewards may be, or where they might take place...

1. Initial NPC quest giver

2. NPC creates random quest name.

3. NPC quest giver generates a random goal from database of tasks.

4. NPC randomly generates a list of NPC names from a database that may pertain to this quest.

5. Player accepts quest and must seek out and do random tasks that NPC's assign that correalate to NPC's named.

Simple enough concept.

With using random quest name's, it can't be searched or researched. With random NPC's, you never know where you are to go, or what exactly will be done when you get there... have very good rewards for effort, so that in the players mind, it creates that random jackpot mindset that makes for fun as opposed to these boring quests where you know you are going to get 1.2s.

To make it even more dynamic, you can spawn NPC's via a coded system that is based off a engine trigger. This will really alleviate long term tasks and spawn points from being tracked and shared.

Obviously not used for entire games content (I wouldnt think) but just for extra flavor....






  • ForumPvPForumPvP KingstownMember Posts: 871

    Let's internet

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember Posts: 14,247 Rare
    You just described UO's quest system in 1997 and about almost every mission board from EnB to present. :)

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
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  • mikecacklemikecackle City, ILMember Posts: 151
    From what I've read it's not quite the same, while the quests might be random generated, they are static and re-given from what I can tell from reading all that
  • ghstwolfghstwolf hampstead, NHMember Posts: 386

    I'd make a couple tweeks.  If you've ever played UWO (or the single player games before it) the quests were somewhat random, but used a single name.  This would be as hard to reference as a random quest name, and likely simpler.  A universal tag like "letter delivery" or "pest control" would give the general idea yet allow almost limitless variation, making it "wiki-proof" especially if NPC's wander (even if just within a town) and spawn points move.

    I'd be inclined to limit it some, depending on other factors.  For example, in a "themepark" I'd use either levels or a "has talked to" flag on the player and cross it with a list of people the NPC knows.  This would be to observe the gating limitations in that style (in the case of levels) and to encourage exploring the towns in the case of the flag.  An added benefit would be the depth that it adds to an NPC in the form of questions.  "Why does the widower farmer at the edge of town know the shady apothecary many miles away?"  Little mysteries like that add some great spice and a bit of replayability/reusability to the game, all for the cost of a list entry.  Those advantages kind of get lost in a completely random setup.

    Granted this is all mostly the filler type of quest, replacing 100's or 1000's of the uninspired busy work quests MMOs seem to need.  I would love to see this extend to something bigger, but really multi-solution questing almost seems a long shot for fixed quests, never mind a system that randomizes elements.  Hopefully, the set questing can move in that direction as the volume of set "quests" decreases.

  • mikecacklemikecackle City, ILMember Posts: 151
    It definately needs to be bigger.
  • ghstwolfghstwolf hampstead, NHMember Posts: 386
    Originally posted by mikecackle
    It definately needs to be bigger.

    It would be eventually.  I used a simple example with the "has talked to" flag, but really we could add other factors that go into the NPC logic.  For example we could add market sensitivity to merchants and producers (through datamining).  Depending on how far you want to go (or can afford to go), we could add a number of situational factors and give each NPC a unique weighting for them that goes into the decision logic.  Taken far enough, we are talking about creating a semi-sentient being.

    Long before that we would likely hit limitations for hardware or at the very least practicality.  I have a feeling that even modest intelligence would be quite a feat.  Not because an individual merchant  adjusting prices and playing the market is some insurmountable challenge, but several dozen such individuals would greatly add to the challenge.  Striking the balance between competition and collusion, their knowledge (which should be imperfect) and I'm sure if I could get Molly* out of my head I'd have other factors and interactions which would require a ton of balancing to make right.  Oh, let's not forget, this is only 1 sphere (economic) where I could see at least 1or 2 more.

    *= This Molly,  I'm not sure why but it's the soundtrack of this post (way better if you can hear it).

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember Posts: 6,684 Rare
    Originally posted by mikecackle
    It definately needs to be bigger.

     Games  have used some of these.  Monster generators in some games as well.  Nothing new or original being suggested that hasn't been suggested before.

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