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The "Kill 10 (x)" Conundrum

jdlamson75jdlamson75 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 984Member Uncommon

Perusing the MMORPG boards as I do, I see a lot of hate thrown at the "Kill 10 of (X)" (known as KTX from here on out) types of quests.  These are in just about every game that has a questing system, they've been around forever, and, just maybe, the MMO players are just plain TIRED of seeing them.

 

I, on the other hand, enjoy at least the occasional kill quest, as it lets me just go out and beat the snot of of a group of mobs in the same area, head back, and collect my rewards and experience.  As long as I have other types of quests thrown in there, I don't even mind having the majority of them equate to KTX.  I know I'm in the minority here, but hear (or read) me out.

 

Instead of KTX types of quests, some games have created other types of questline, such as "Cut down the mightiest tree in the forest wiiiiiith...a herring".  Now, this would be great in theory, as the cutting down of said tree could trigger something wonderful (or devastating) in the world.  BUT!  In this quest, first you have to find the mightiest tree, then you have to go find the particularly rigid herring suitable for cutting down a tree, then actually cut down the tree.  With a herring.

 

In this day of instant gratification in MMOs, how many of these quests will gamers really want to see?  In the example given above, there would be no quest reward for the first step of finding the tree, nor for obtaining the herring, so the whole instant gratification thing goes out the window.

 

How about puzzle-type quests?  Bopping along in the Flajamada Desert, whence suddenly I happen along a tomb!  The tomb is locked with a complex puzlle, one that is ever shifting and is never the same when clicked upon.  Knowing there's got to be some good booty inside (minds out of the gutter, folks - it's a TOMB - nothing but dead stuff in there), I attempt the puzzle.   I'm not very bright, so I fail it.  And die.  Then I come back, attempt it again, and fail again.  On my third attempt, I get it right.  Woohoo!  I get inside, only to find a treasure chest with a decent item and some stale food.

 

The puzzle quest could work, but again, the instant gratification isn't there if I can't solve the puzzle.  And there's nothing to fight.  MMOs are about getting new skills, new combat abilities, super duper weapons.  I could be wrong, but I don't think there's a Sword of Puzzle Ass-Kickery out there.  If there is, I've never seen one.

 

My question to the MMORPG.com crew is this: what would you rather have in place of the KTX quests?  Why?  I'm not putting up a poll, as that would limit the choices to those my feeble mind could produce.  Discuss away!

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon

    Perusing the MMORPG boards as I do, I see a lot of hate thrown at 'instant gratification' and a lot of ideas bandied about to compensate for it. Lack of puzzle quests or thinking quests aren't the result of some lazy 'gimme now' audience. They are absent from moment-to-moment gameplay (thought sometimes present in special quest lines) primarily because of two things:

    1) Google. Although you couldn't figure out to Google the puzzle solution or how to work toward the solution, most will. If the failure in your example is due to an RNG working against player knowledge then that's even worse.

    2) Moment to moment gameplay events in most MMOs are a means to an end. As such, they are not perceived as goals in and of themselves, but as the steps to their goal. Any step that presents a particularly difficult or penalizing roadblock is one that retards progression and negatively impacts their efforts to gete to where they are going. Developers would first have to break the concept of 'endgame' before they can even try to make more complex moment to moment content.

     

    And here's your Sword of Puzzle Ass-Kickery  :)

     

    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
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    instant gratification has no place at all in MMORPGs in my opinion...

    Im more of a sandbox fan than themepark quest driven games.. but saying that i dont mind kill quests now and then as you said its good to just go out and kill..

  • jdlamson75jdlamson75 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 984Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Perusing the MMORPG boards as I do, I see a lot of hate thrown at 'instant gratification' and a lot of ideas bandied about to compensate for it. Lack of puzzle quests or thinking quests aren't the result of some lazy 'gimme now' audience. They are absent from moment-to-moment gameplay (thought sometimes present in special quest lines) primarily because of two things:

    1) Google. Although you couldn't figure out to Google the puzzle solution or how to work toward the solution, most will. If the failure in your example is due to an RNG working against player knowledge then that's even worse.

    2) Moment to moment gameplay events in most MMOs are a means to an end. As such, they are not perceived as goals in and of themselves, but as the steps to their goal. Any step that presents a particularly difficult or penalizing roadblock is one that retards progression and negatively impacts their efforts to gete to where they are going. Developers would first have to break the concept of 'endgame' before they can even try to make more complex moment to moment content.

     

    And here's your Sword of Puzzle Ass-Kickery  :)

     

    The puzzle example I gave was one of a constantly shifting puzzle, never with the same combination, and thus, un-google-able...I anticipated a response like yours.  As to the sword, you, good sir, win.  image

     

    And the instant gratification part - I agree, there's much hate tossed at those who want what they want now.  I'm not averse to grinding or going through, as you call it, moment to moment gameplay.  I rather enjoy it.  I suppose the majority of posters on these forums aren't the ones to be asking what gives with the whole instant gratification thing. 

     

    In my defense, I woke this morning with a 104.3 fever, and have been in a bit of a delirium for most of the morning.  Worse than posting when drunk, I think.

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    Instant gratification is fine. Its the fact that this is ALL we see that is the problem.

    There's no reason every single new game out there needs to adhere to this style. Its a matter of the AAA developers (western ones anyway) putting all their eggs into one basket. If devs REALLY want to capture a wider audience, the best way for them to do so would be to host a variety of games for multiple audiences rather than trying to make one game to please everyone. Hell, EA could've easily made 2 or 3 very good quality MMOs with SWTOR's budget.

    All it takes is some money management skills and some inspired ideas.

  • jdlamson75jdlamson75 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 984Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by FrostWyrm Hell, EA could've easily made 2 or 3 very good quality MMOs with SWTOR's budget.

    All it takes is some money management skills and some inspired ideas.

    I'm 100% in agreement there.  Agree with your whole post, actually, but these two points especially.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,401Member Uncommon

    There is no gratification with this system. The rewards are always junk and will be replaced within 24 hours.

    It's all boring bs.

     

    My gratification comes when battling another guild over a contested raid mob, killing players in the World (not that instanced bg bs), running into socializers who idle in the INNs and Cantinas, and trying to locate the best crafter on the server who's capable to blendnig my ingredients.

    I get gratification from dealing with other players. Not NPCs.

  • SuraknarSuraknar Montreal, QCPosts: 824Member

    The problem here is the concept of Instant Gratification in my opinion, which stems really from the conditioning players get in a game that offer "Instant Reward" mechanics.

    In my view this is a cause and effect situation. Instant Gratification did not just appear in a given generation of players it has been instilled to them because games themselves moved towards an Instant Reward based Gmameply and now it is expected by some players and hated by others.

    Digging deeper I believe this has to do with Demograohics, at a certain degree, Instant Gratification is a feeling sought after younger age players usually as most older aged player can be more patient. Since nowdays the demographics of MMO's encompass a large younger audiance, instant rewarding as a mechanic to keep the player interested was a logical path many devs chose for their games in order to try and appeal to more players that would stay and play their game.

    A possible solution could be in the way the quests are presented, right now we have quests that the players seek or must do in order to progres, what if this was reversed, and KTX quests became available only after the player progressed at a given step.

    For instance, your character just leveld and you got some new skills, the quest could now appear and be available by the Trainer himself, so that you can learn to apply your new skills through a simple and short KTX quest, maybe even be a requirement to seal the acquisition of those skills as a proof of proficiency with them.

    So the reward is not material but utilitarian and tied with progression.

    All of the sudden the KTX quest gets a new outlook by the player.

    - Duke Suraknar -
    Order of the Silver Star, OSS

    image
    ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  • EmwynEmwyn MoatshirePosts: 546Member

    I agree with Loktofeit. Even if you had complex puzzles and quests you just happened upon unexpectedly you would still find the answers to these online elsewhere in a wiki or wherever. The same for unexpected quests. They would be pinpointed on a map somewhere online. I also think this is a problem with crafting in games. Imagine a game with crafting where you had to use specific recipes but you had to discover those recipes on your own. I think in times past, such crafters /would keep such secrets to themselves thus making their crafted item less common.  There are walkthroughs for everything now in MMO's from quests to crafting, gathering, dungeons etc. Some people will speed through this content as fast as possible and move on to the next game. I'm not sure why. To say it doesn't affect the gameplay of those who choose not to look up this info online is not really true at least for me. The community changes over so fast it never really becomes "community".  I don't think the Kill 10 X conundrum being solved will fix things. Someone mentioned in another active thread here, some people hate time sinks of any sort and there in lies the problem.

    the poster formerly known as melangel :P

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jdlamson75


    The puzzle example I gave was one of a constantly shifting puzzle, never with the same combination, and thus, un-google-able...I anticipated a response like yours.  As to the sword, you, good sir, win.  image

     

    For those puzzles you simply write an online solver. You enter the starting state into it and it gives you the correct solution.
  • Don-QuixoteDon-Quixote Sant Pol de MarPosts: 87Member

    Originally posted by Suraknar

    A possible solution could be in the way the quests are presented

    I agree with this.

    The problem is not that there are KTX quests in a game but that most of them, if not all, are presented in a very boring fashion: we first must go to a quest giver that tells us this story about his farm/village/car/keep/city/family/plan-to-conquer-the-world and that in order to solve the problem at hand we must KTX. So off we go and kill said Xs and we come back to the quest giver for our reward. And this is repeated over and over and over.

    It is the introduction of the quest-hub that breaks immersion and makes you realize you are quest-grinding. It doesn't matter that developers try and hide this making a progression between different quest-hubs.

    After taking a break from MMOs for a bit I was gladly surprised when playing Skyrim by one tiny little detail: I was out in the field and a wolf attacked me, I killed it and suddenly a woman walked to and thanked me for saving her, she told me where a cave filled with these horrid creatures was located and off she went. That is a great way of delivering a quest, I completed the quest before it was even given to me. It felt part of the world I was in.

    The question is not what other types of quests we could create in a MMO, but how could we deliver the same type of quests in a different fashion.

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    Random is so much better. How about random quests that just have you turn in the item if you ever come across it?

    It really is retarded when an NPC tells you to kill X number of mobs to get Y. How do they know how many to kill? And why don't they just go do it themselves? It's ridiculous.

    Where's the creativity? Where's the imagination? And why are you putting up with the same canned crap over and over again?

    We all should demand better.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Caldrin

    instant gratification has no place at all in MMORPGs in my opinion...
    Im more of a sandbox fan than themepark quest driven games.. but saying that i dont mind kill quests now and then as you said its good to just go out and kill..

     

    And i think otherwise.

    With today's busy schedule, i don't want to work 6 hours before i see a chance of a reward. It is a game, not work, and certainly not life.
  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by Caldrin

    instant gratification has no place at all in MMORPGs in my opinion...
    Im more of a sandbox fan than themepark quest driven games.. but saying that i dont mind kill quests now and then as you said its good to just go out and kill..

    And i think otherwise.

    With today's busy schedule, i don't want to work 6 hours before i see a chance of a reward. It is a game, not work, and certainly not life.

     

    It used to be that playing the game WAS the reward...


    Is anyone else post screen being really weird? All I have is a white box. No options or greyed quotes. Just html tags.
  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    One or two of the kill 10 x quests were quite good in WoW...

    Those were the ones in Duskwood - they had extremely sinister stories (a school master's obsession with a schoolgirl, which turns him into the undead - it's a very macarbre story, and nothing else is like it in WoW).

    However, the vast majority of kill 10 x quests are boring because there is no compelling story - you're not interested in what happens - you just want the reward - so it's just like a job.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by Caldrin

    instant gratification has no place at all in MMORPGs in my opinion...
    Im more of a sandbox fan than themepark quest driven games.. but saying that i dont mind kill quests now and then as you said its good to just go out and kill..

    And i think otherwise.

    With today's busy schedule, i don't want to work 6 hours before i see a chance of a reward. It is a game, not work, and certainly not life.

     

    It used to be that playing the game WAS the reward...


    Is anyone else post screen being really weird? All I have is a white box. No options or greyed quotes. Just html tags.

     

    Same here - no tag bar and just HTML source in the text window.

    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
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • OnigodOnigod Noord-HollandPosts: 688Member
    the kill 10 (x).. is easy content.

    I dont think it will be diffrent any time soon.
  • gr0und3dgr0und3d Why, CAPosts: 113Member
    You also need to think about scale. There are thousands upon thousands of quests. How many unique puzzles can you come up with? Then you're face with the KTX 'problem' in repeating puzzles. At least in KTX I get to use the spells/skills of my character to complete the objective.
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by Caldrin

    instant gratification has no place at all in MMORPGs in my opinion...
    Im more of a sandbox fan than themepark quest driven games.. but saying that i dont mind kill quests now and then as you said its good to just go out and kill..

     

    And i think otherwise.

    With today's busy schedule, i don't want to work 6 hours before i see a chance of a reward. It is a game, not work, and certainly not life.

     

    This really is just a demographic issue. Not a right and wrong issue.

    For me I don't want an "x marks the spot" for my quests and I want things to be harder and longer. Others find that they want these things because otherwise there is tedium.

    My thought is that the Kill X quests require an elderscrolls solution. Don't have a go kill x" quest. Have a quest where you have an objective and there just happens to be a certain amount of mobs in your way.

    How many mobs have any of us killed in a Morrowind dungeon? But our reasons for being there were probably not so we can kill X amount of mobs and leave. Yet mobs were killed and probably a lot.

    As far as the puzzles go, I don't see any reason why the puzzles can't be more like mini-games. Where once the rules are figured out one has to play the puzzle each step of the way in order to solve it.

    However, this would be for players who are interested in this type of thing. Again, different demographics.

    I"m sorry for some reason this site is not allowing me to put paragraphs!!!!!
  • Mister_ReMister_Re Detroit, MIPosts: 142Member
    I think we should stop calling them quests. I just call them requests, because thats what they are.

    Just my 2 cents
  • SythionSythion Salem, ORPosts: 422Member

    I don't think it's an attention or generation thing, but perhaps I'm just an exception. As I get older, and more responsibilities are heading my way, I have less time to spend on stuff. The idea of having to manage my role in a seperate society is exhausting to me, and the idea that I should have to grind out 100 hours of crap content just to see a number next to my name slowly grow is ridiculous.

    I think the reason these quests are so prevalent is because of the player base. We have a very large number of very avid players (those who subscribe the longest), who actually don't care if the content is good or not. As Lok said, it's seen as a means to an end, so what does it matter? To expasperate the issue (and me), players expect this sub-par content to last a long, long, long time because they feel a sense of progression.

    So what is the driving force behind this? Abnegation. For those that want more information on this there is an excellent PATV Extra Credits video that talks about it in the Western vs. JRPG series. Basically, the players who determine how the genre evolves are those who put the most time into it (and sub the longest). Those who put the most time into the genre are going to have the thickest skin to things like weak content, and repeatable stuff, and get the strongest sense of enjoyment out of seeing their characters progress. This is abnegation: being able to do something mindlessly and relaxingly, and feel that you've accomplished something. It's completely valid, and I have a strong sense and need for it as well. However, the AAA games in this genre have to cater so hard to those who look solely for abnegation that their games have falter in many other ways: case and point: SW:ToR, which despite focusing so hard on trying to make the content palatable for players have ended with a bunch of KTX quests with VO. These become more common the furhter you get into the game.

    There are other things to. KTX quests are usually incredibly jarring ot the narrative because you're supposed to be killing stuff for a reason, such as destroying the masses of undead that have risen from the graveyard. But when you're done, there are still masses of undead in the graveyard. So obviously you didn't actually accomplish anything. But the quest giver says you saved the village, or whatever. So you're like "LoL, okay whatever man, give me my sword."

    I'm glad there are games coming soon which seem to be catering to other groups than societists and progressionists, because there's room for more than what's here.

    image
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,586Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Mors.Magne

    One or two of the kill 10 x quests were quite good in WoW...

    Those were the ones in Duskwood - they had extremely sinister stories (a school master's obsession with a schoolgirl, which turns him into the undead - it's a very macarbre story, and nothing else is like it in WoW).

    However, the vast majority of kill 10 x quests are boring because there is no compelling story - you're not interested in what happens - you just want the reward - so it's just like a job.

    Step 1. Download and install Quest Helper.

    step 2. Set quest settings for instant scrolling.

    Step 3. Clcik through NPC quest dialog without reading and just accept the quest.

    Step 4. Follow arrows on minimap until you are in the highlighted circle.

    Step 5. Mouseover random mobs until tooltips display 0/10

    Step6. kill mobs until all tool tips related to quest(s) say 10/10

    Step 7. Run back to NPC with "?" over it.

    Step 8. Profit, rinse and repeat until level cap. This is because one thing Death Knights showed us is that absolutely everything about WoW prior to endgame is completely irrelevant.

  • dancingstardancingstar LeedsPosts: 346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sythion

    There are other things to. KTX quests are usually incredibly jarring ot the narrative because you're supposed to be killing stuff for a reason, such as destroying the masses of undead that have risen from the graveyard. But when you're done, there are still masses of undead in the graveyard. So obviously you didn't actually accomplish anything. But the quest giver says you saved the village, or whatever. So you're like "LoL, okay whatever man, give me my sword."

    This is part of the intrinsic absurdity of the MMORPG form generally (saving perhaps pure sandbox games). Say for example in a single-player or co-op computer RPG, or a small group table-top game, a gang of bandits are attacking merchants travelling to and from a frontier town. The PC(s) ride out, attack the camp, kill or drive off the bandits, recover stolen goods &c., and trade returns to normal. Or they ignore it, or fail, the bandits become more entrenched, maybe bolder, and start attacking the town. Whatever happens, actions have consequences in the world.

    In a typical themepark quest-driven MMO like LOTRO or Aion you would instead get a scenario like you described with the undead. At the end of the quest chain you might get congratulated for dealing with the bandit menace threatening Bree-land or wherever, but there are still exactly as many bandits milling around as when you first went to their camp. Even the Dynamic Events system from GW2 which was in large part motivated by the realisation of these absurdities cannot completely avoid them since there is a finite number of pre-scripted events, and no MMO company could afford a big enough dev team to write, implement, polish and test such content as fast as the player-base could burn through it. Also, having a MMO where once the first party / raid group defeats the Big Bad, the Big bad stays defeated would be commercial suicide.

    Apologies if this turned out as an unreadable wall of text, the post editor is broken for me too.

  • SythionSythion Salem, ORPosts: 422Member

    Originally posted by dancingstar

    Even the Dynamic Events system from GW2 which was in large part motivated by the realisation of these absurdities cannot completely avoid them since there is a finite number of pre-scripted events, and no MMO company could afford a big enough dev team to write, implement, polish and test such content as fast as the player-base could burn through it. Also, having a MMO where once the first party / raid group defeats the Big Bad, the Big bad stays defeated would be commercial suicide.

    Apologies if this turned out as an unreadable wall of text, the post editor is broken for me too.

    More readable than mine.

    That's why I like the idea of player created content, and, or, procedurally (non-scripted) generated quests.

    image
  • GolelornGolelorn Hiding From Social Media Peeping Toms, ALPosts: 1,099Member Uncommon

    Quest should be rare and unique. We do not need 100 quest per level. Too much is a bad thing, imo.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,586Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Golelorn

    Quest should be rare and unique. We do not need 100 quest per level. Too much is a bad thing, imo.

     


    er·rand

      [er-uhnd] 



    noun

    1.

    a short and quick trip to accomplish a specific purpose, as tobuy something, deliver a package, or convey a message,often for someone else.



    2.

    the purpose of such a trip: He finished his errands.



    3.

    a special mission or function entrusted to a messenger;commission.




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