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For those who hate linear questing.

filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
First would you explain what you call linear questing and then tell us what exactly is the alternative?  The only thing I can figure is a zone mixed with all kinds of level mobs.  I don't see how a mmo can exist if it doesn't have zones that have certain level mobs in those zones.  How would you feel as a lvl 20 running into a level 90 group of mobs?  I think the market has done an excellent job in placing super strong mobs in every area.   But mobs that are unkillable is more realistic however do you really as a lvl 90 want to visit a level 20 area just to kill that group of mobs placed there?
Are you onto something or just on something?
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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,092

    A lot depends on how linear.  I don't have a problem with WoW-style quest hubs, where you go to this area around level 20 or so, then over here around 25, then over there around 30.

    But I didn't like how Atlantica took basically all of the quests in the game and put them into a single, supremely long quest line.  It might actually be several quest lines with a strongly implied order and you're allowed to skip somewhere.  But most of the quests consist of, you talk to an NPC, he gives you a quest, you do it and turn it in, he gives you another quest, you do it and turn it in, he gives you another quest, and so forth, then eventually he sends you to go talk to someone else and repeat the process.  That got rather jarring.

    There's also a question of, what if a quest is broken and incompletable? Does that mean you're shut off from the entire rest of the game?  Or at least the next 30 quests in the area?  Or does it mean you just skip that quest and do the rest? If one quest being broken means you can't do that one quest, or maybe can't do two or three follow-ups, that's fine.  If it shuts you out of questing in a large chunk of a zone, that's more of a problem.  Bugs happen.

  • KabulozoKabulozo Member RarePosts: 932
    I don't want to be forced to do quests, but MMOs now force me to do hem because it's faster for the sake of reaching the cancer called end game. I prefer the model of Black Desert where quests don't give xp, so you do them if you want because they only give you extra rewards besides the drops you receive from mobs. But you won't level up faster by doing quests.
  • RobokappRobokapp Member RarePosts: 6,208
    OP needs to play EVE to find the answers he seeks.

    image

  • AmjocoAmjoco Member UncommonPosts: 4,858

    Linear to me is being driven through a game by using quest hubs or the conditions and surroundings of a game. Games like Oblivion and Skyrim are less linear, more open world. Sandbox games imo are less linear than themepark, merely because you are not guided in a direction allowing you to make your own choices to survive.

    Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059

    I didn't think WoW started out "linear" - you had 2 differing factions, with different starting areas within each - it started out pretty varied, even up towards the upper-end content there usually were at least 2-3 different areas you could go out and play in that were in your level range, although there was not a lot of variety within level ranges (ie: Zone A was pretty much only L10-20, B was L20-30, you didn't find L50 content in a L10 zone accidentally, for instance).

    But by the time the first expansion had come out, it became pretty linear and has stayed that way (at least since I quit playing a while ago) - even with the quest hub concept - you just went from Hub A to Hub B, and that went lockstep with Level Range A and Level Range B - within those hubs there was some variation in the order you could do (or not do) quests, but not a lot, and almost no variation in the level ranges.

    I remember fondly running into the Griffon in East Commonlands, or the Sand Giants being trained around Ro. But a lot of that is tinted, because I remember it fondly now, I also remember swearing and throwing things because I just ate another 3 hour corpse run because some idiot druid thought he could kite a L30 griff at L15.

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236
     
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    Originally posted by filmoret
    First would you explain what you call linear questing and then tell us what exactly is the alternative?  The only thing I can figure is a zone mixed with all kinds of level mobs.  I don't see how a mmo can exist if it doesn't have zones that have certain level mobs in those zones.  How would you feel as a lvl 20 running into a level 90 group of mobs?  I think the market has done an excellent job in placing super strong mobs in every area.   But mobs that are unkillable is more realistic however do you really as a lvl 90 want to visit a level 20 area just to kill that group of mobs placed there?

    I personally am fine with linear quests.  But I've seen RPGs that don't have level-based zones, so I figured I'd describe the possibilities for you.

    Possibility one - Mobs are not aggro, and the level of a mob is visible before you choose to fight that mob.  This usually goes with an instanced combat system.  Dofus has some areas of the game that are like this - a map might have two level 50-60 mobs (usually they are more than one monster so it will say a difficulty which is calculated from the levels of the individual monsters and the number of monsters) and 3 level 80-90 mobs, and you walk up to the one you want and attack it.  That spawns a combat map, and if you're in group with anyone on the same screen they get pulled into the combat with you (depending how you have your combat start settings).

    Possibility two - Mobs adjust to the party fighting them.  In some games, if you attack a monster that's 'gray' for you it will get a +hp +atk buff that makes it 'green' for you instead.  In other games if two players in group start a fight with a single monster another monster will run over to help.  Wizard 101 is an example of this second type.  In some single player games, like FF8 and Skyrim, monsters in all areas of the game level up as the player does, but this is difficult to do in an MMO; temporarily down-leveling the player to match the current area might be easier.

    Possibility three - some MMOs either don't have levels, or have only "safe" "slightly dangerous" "dangerous" and "insane" areas in the game world.  This is usually sandboxes where monsters are scarce and even a brand new character can stay alive for a few minutes in a dangerous zone if they carefully avoid the monsters.  Xsyon is an example of this type.

    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • deniterdeniter Member RarePosts: 1,367

    Vanilla WoW was non-linear enough for me. Even though it has quest hubs, many quest lines made you to travel other zones or ended up several levels later, giving you some freedom to do something else like farming mats for crafting or run dungeons. Quests didn't give exp too much and the rewards were not too great, so you always had motivation to take part for dungeons and group quests to improve your gear.

    Also the quest lines had parts you needed a group to complete it, and some parts lead you to dungeons or even raids. in addition, there were hidden quests and some quests that started from an item dropped by a mob you killed and looted.

    I still think vanilla WoW had the best questing experience in all themeparks to this date. I wouldn't mind if it had been a little slower, more grindy, and more gear dependant for all classes, not only for a warrior. The journey to level 60 was awesome nonetheless.

    Linear questing is the worst thing ever happened to MMO games along with the finder tools. I wish we got rid of them in very near future, although i'm a realist enough to understand this is not going to happen.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Originally posted by deniter

    I still think vanilla WoW had the best questing experience in all themeparks to this date. I wouldn't mind if it had been a little slower, more grindy, and more gear dependant for all classes, not only for a warrior. The journey to level 60 was awesome nonetheless.

    Let's not go overboard.  Vanilla WOW's quests had worse flow, almost nonexistent quest 'events', which resulted in worse story-telling and an overall boring leveling experience.

    Linear questing zones do suck, but let's not go overboard.  It's enough simply to say that the game should support more than 2 characters worth of leveling, since quite a few players have more than 2 and would like more variety to questing.  I think with just 2 chars in WoD you could probably achieve 30-40% quest overlap by choosing different paths inside a zone with two different characters, but in Vanilla the overlap was a much lower percentage and probably supported 3+ characters.

    Honestly the two are partially related.  One involves spamming crappy quests across multiple zones (resulting in less linearity) and the other involves really awesome quests in fewer zones (more development time per quest to make them awesome, which leaves no time to spam side quests.)

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • KilrainKilrain Member RarePosts: 1,178
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    OP needs to play EVE to find the answers he seeks.

    yes, except the missions are dull. Otherwise, yes.

  • MardukkMardukk Member RarePosts: 2,221
    I hate forced linear questing.  I like researching and then picking the area I want to hunt in a big open dangerous world.  There should be multiple areas to choose to hunt in for any level.  Mobs must have specific unique loot and slightly differing exp, regardless of level.  No universal loot table.  Older EQ1 is the best example I can think of.  Rare spawn boss mobs with unique loot tables.   You can pick up some side quests but they are not the focus of the game.  A complex faction system where you can ruin your faction with your home city and be booted to the sewers or out all together.
  • RobokappRobokapp Member RarePosts: 6,208
    Originally posted by Kilrain
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    OP needs to play EVE to find the answers he seeks.

    yes, except the missions are dull. Otherwise, yes.

    I didnt do virtually any missions.

     

    I started the tutorial, did the basic mining mission...loved mining. Then i get another tutorial mission to do some fighting or scouting or salvaging or w/e. I do it, thinking now I can go mine. No. another tutorial mission. Do it. Now can I mine? nope, go ferry a box. 

     

    So about 4 missions into the tutorial I said "okay. we are done with this". Screw this, I'm going mining.

     

    4 years later I still havent done more missions. Still mining nearly daily. 

    ---------

     

    but back on topic:

     

    MMO questing most often can be: 

    linear

    branching

    open

     

    linear: go to Hub A. get 10 quests to kill, loot, explore, retrieve stuff. Upon completion you get 5 more follow-up quests. Upon completion you eventually get a quest telling you to go to Hub B. Repeat, and go to Hub C.

     

    Branching: go to hub A. get 10 quests. Some have follow-ups. Some follow-ups take you to hubs B, C, D, E, F. Without having completed Hub A. It's your choice if you stay and finish or move into the new hub and repeat. 

     

    Open. can go to any hub and quests are ready for you. Dont depend on one to start the other. 

    image

  • bcbullybcbully Member EpicPosts: 10,204
    Originally posted by filmoret
    First would you explain what you call linear questing and then tell us what exactly is the alternative?  The only thing I can figure is a zone mixed with all kinds of level mobs.  I don't see how a mmo can exist if it doesn't have zones that have certain level mobs in those zones.  How would you feel as a lvl 20 running into a level 90 group of mobs?  I think the market has done an excellent job in placing super strong mobs in every area.   But mobs that are unkillable is more realistic however do you really as a lvl 90 want to visit a level 20 area just to kill that group of mobs placed there?

    Wushu has beautifully brilliant system. Quest are 100% optional. They don't even give XP really. There are any number of things you can do to earn xp. Things like cart robbing, book stealing, spy mission, school wars, guild wars, lots of stuff. Once you get that XP it's turned slowing over time into cultivation points.  Once per day you can train martial arts. You select what skill you want to cultivate, and n groups of 10 you do this tai-chi like mini game. The practice cultivates the xp into the skills.  See below -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbaZ9PnTzq8

     

    This system frees players from all grind including questing and mob grinding. Mobs didn't even give XP and they were super simple to kill from the start of the game to the end. You could spend your time fishing, crafting, doing caligraphy, robbing, farm, dueling, you name it. Whatever you wanted to do without worry about "man I wasting time", "Man I could have X level by now". Truly brilliant non-quest centric system.

     

    edit- like Robo above and EVE. Systems like these allow you to spend time in game doing whatever it is you enjoy. 

  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,131
    Originally posted by Enbysra
    Originally posted by filmoret
     

    Linear Questing & Linear Zones looks like : 

     

    Level 1 => L.10 => L.20 => L.30 => L.40

     

    Non-Linear Questing & Non-Linear Zoning looks more  like :

     

    L.40 <= L.30 <= L.20 <= L.10 <= Level 1 => L.10 => L.20 => L.30 => L.40

     

    Non linear questing and non-linear zoning look more like [Level 1 <=> level 50]

    Just think about your garden where you have ants (level 1) , birds (level 40) , worm (level 5) , other insect (level 10-30) mix in one map called garden.

  • Trudge34Trudge34 Member UncommonPosts: 392

    Pre-PoP EverQuest is a great example in my opinion. It focused on your freedom in what you wanted, without being chained to having to do a quest. You went out and hunted and went where you wanted in your level range, you would come across a mysterious object, usually marked No Drop so you knew it was used for something, and have to go research, ask around or whatever to figure out what it was for. None of this quest items only drop off the next x amount of mobs when the quest is active. You just went what you did, if you came across a quest or quest item, you could fulfill that. 

    Would be my idea MMO again if something came out similar to that without all the quests shoved in your face to lead you where you were supposed to go.

    Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
    Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
    Currently Playing: GW2

    Nytlok Sylas
    80 Sylvari Ranger

  • dreamscaperdreamscaper Member UncommonPosts: 1,592

    Linear question is just a symptom of a larger problem of poor questing design. Questing should not be something that you do because it's the only way to efficiently level your character, they should be something you do because they're fun. To date, the only two MMORPGs I've felt accomplished this are The Secret World, and to a lesser extent, City of Heroes.

     

    City of Heroes missions were interesting for a few different reasons. You had many, many story arcs available, all of which gave you a small item at the end that served a memento and synopsis of the arc. The arcs themselves were always somewhat varied, and it wasn't uncommon for the game to send a hit squad after you in the open world out of the blue. This combined to give them a more organic feel than than your run of the mill quest; much like phasing, without the need to separate people. If you saw a pack of pack of level 35 enemies attacking a random high level player in the starter zones, chances were someone like Nemsis had put a hit out on them.

     

    The Secret World's missions, to me, are on a completely different. They're extremely well written, engaging, dark, and often have very challenging and even meta puzzle solving elements. Everyone's probably familiar with the investigation missions, given how popular they are, but TSW has an unfairly large number of very memorable NPCs. They generally drip which character, and they're entertaining even when repeating. Usually, whenever you feel you've gotten a handle on TSW missions, they throw you a new curve ball. I love it. Also, I'm totally not just saying all of this because KG threatened to send me to Q&A again. Really.

     

    What these two games share in common is that their questing is engaging, fun, and feels meaningful, things that your standard linear questing titles like WoW and LotRO have a hard time doing.

    <3

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,569

    Linear questing exists in almost every single MMO that comes out of recent. It consists of constant hub grinds in a row, where you run along the treadmill of quests to get to the end game where you finally get to choose what you want to do. There are only a couple games with quest systems that aren't really linear, off the top of my head I can think of Runescape, which the quests weren't even required and you could do them out of order or in whatever order you wanted. It was a separate experience instead of being a required part of leveling. The Secret World had zones with quests covering them, but the quests weren't really in a required order, and were super in depth in some situations and it felt really fun to play and find new things. Maybe GW2 would count too since there really isn't quests, just zones with levels attached and random events in each one to partake in.

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    Originally posted by iixviiiix

    Just think about your garden where you have ants (level 1) , birds (level 40) , worm (level 5) , other insect (level 10-30) mix in one map called garden.

    Haha.  If the birds are level 40, I must be over 100! :D  Normally I tend to assume I'm pathetically low level at real life; below 30 probably.

    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • JohnP0100JohnP0100 Member UncommonPosts: 401
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Kilrain
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    OP needs to play EVE to find the answers he seeks.

    yes, except the missions are dull. Otherwise, yes.

    I didnt do virtually any missions.

     

    I started the tutorial, did the basic mining mission...loved mining. Then i get another tutorial mission to do some fighting or scouting or salvaging or w/e. I do it, thinking now I can go mine. No. another tutorial mission. Do it. Now can I mine? nope, go ferry a box. 

     

    So about 4 missions into the tutorial I said "okay. we are done with this". Screw this, I'm going mining.

     

    4 years later I still havent done more missions. Still mining nearly daily. 

     

    As a bitter vet who is 'winning at EVE', I am in awe.

    I saw something legendary! I found someone who LIKES MINING!!

    It shows what PvP games are really all about, and no, it's not about more realism and immersion. It's about cowards hiding behind a screen to they can bully other defenseless players without any risk of direct retaliation like there would be if they acted like asshats in "real life". -Jean-Luc_Picard

    Life itself is a game. So why shouldn't your game be ruined? - justmemyselfandi

  • JoeyjojoshabaduJoeyjojoshabadu Member UncommonPosts: 162
    Originally posted by filmoret
    First would you explain what you call linear questing and then tell us what exactly is the alternative?  The only thing I can figure is a zone mixed with all kinds of level mobs.  I don't see how a mmo can exist if it doesn't have zones that have certain level mobs in those zones.  How would you feel as a lvl 20 running into a level 90 group of mobs?  I think the market has done an excellent job in placing super strong mobs in every area.   But mobs that are unkillable is more realistic however do you really as a lvl 90 want to visit a level 20 area just to kill that group of mobs placed there?

    You and most devs too, apparently. Fortunately, some gaming companies can think outside that awfully restrictive box. Heck, Ultima Online was one of the first MMOs and it had no zones. As a noob you could indeed wander into a valley inhabited by cyclops, or encounter a wandering gazer in the forest and have your pink arse handed to you. Added to the excitement and danger in fact.

    I much prefer it that way over shoebox zones of fixed level mobs and quest hubs. That's like playing in a filing cabinet filled with "choose your own adventure" books.

     

  • free2playfree2play Member UncommonPosts: 2,035
    Originally posted by JohnP0100
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Kilrain
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    OP needs to play EVE to find the answers he seeks.

    yes, except the missions are dull. Otherwise, yes.

    I didnt do virtually any missions.

     

    I started the tutorial, did the basic mining mission...loved mining. Then i get another tutorial mission to do some fighting or scouting or salvaging or w/e. I do it, thinking now I can go mine. No. another tutorial mission. Do it. Now can I mine? nope, go ferry a box. 

     

    So about 4 missions into the tutorial I said "okay. we are done with this". Screw this, I'm going mining.

     

    4 years later I still havent done more missions. Still mining nearly daily. 

     

    As a bitter vet who is 'winning at EVE', I am in awe.

    I saw something legendary! I found someone who LIKES MINING!!

    I think the point is, if he wants to mine it's an option.

    Some would see blowing up ships as they decloak on a gate as boring. Or bookmarking data sites, knowing a crippled, covert ops will be along to run a screen hogging mini game, making it easy pickings as boring.

    One thing EVE does though is create choice, even if most practical choice is quite linear and had been determined in an off site min/ max number cruncher. For the average player who keeps their game manageable, EVE provides an effective optic of choice and diversity.

     

    Many games, it's do the dungeon grind or do the dungeon grind and when you are done, do it again but 'hard' mode.

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236
     
  • deniterdeniter Member RarePosts: 1,367
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    Originally posted by deniter

    I still think vanilla WoW had the best questing experience in all themeparks to this date. I wouldn't mind if it had been a little slower, more grindy, and more gear dependant for all classes, not only for a warrior. The journey to level 60 was awesome nonetheless.

    Let's not go overboard.  Vanilla WOW's quests had worse flow, almost nonexistent quest 'events', which resulted in worse story-telling and an overall boring leveling experience.

    Clearly we are disagreeing what makes a good leveling experience. I hate the flow, i prefer quests that makes me feel important, not something trivial i do 100 meters away and get rewarded with uncommon quality weapon or armor. Quest events can be great if they are not overly used, but even they lose any meaning if the quest itself is only a minor task.

    Story-telling doesn't make a good game for me, it makes a good movie or a good book. MMOs shouldn't be about a player being a center piece of some story, no matter how great it is. Most players should be 'uncle owens' and 'aunt berus', and by playing long enough they could become something else, but we should be talking about years, not weeks, like it's a case in MMOs these days.

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Member UncommonPosts: 2,167
    Originally posted by sunandshadow
    Originally posted by iixviiiix

    Just think about your garden where you have ants (level 1) , birds (level 40) , worm (level 5) , other insect (level 10-30) mix in one map called garden.

    Haha.  If the birds are level 40, I must be over 100! :D  Normally I tend to assume I'm pathetically low level at real life; below 30 probably.

    The bird could be 3m tall and weigh 200Kgs with a beak like a broadsword.

  • Originally posted by filmoret
    First would you explain what you call linear questing and then tell us what exactly is the alternative?  The only thing I can figure is a zone mixed with all kinds of level mobs.  I don't see how a mmo can exist if it doesn't have zones that have certain level mobs in those zones.  How would you feel as a lvl 20 running into a level 90 group of mobs?  I think the market has done an excellent job in placing super strong mobs in every area.   But mobs that are unkillable is more realistic however do you really as a lvl 90 want to visit a level 20 area just to kill that group of mobs placed there?

    EQ did it perfectly and it is safe to assume you have not played it. So, I"ll elaborate for you.

    EQ was mostly killing NPC monsters, either at a camp or roaming. Finding a group and deciding on a leveling were both part of the game and not a chore as some would think. The thing was if you were in an open area zone (non-dungeon) then wildlife enemies, humanoid enemies, and random undead enemies roamed the zone. Every enemy wasn't sitting in a neat little pack waiting to be killed. Sometimes there were higher level roaming enemies the were rare spawns or other times they are just there to provide a danger to watch out for while leveling, but they were usually significantly stronger than the leveling enemies of the zone. There were also camp enemies for leveling, which consisted of a few to a dozen enemies to pull away and kill, those usually stayed in a tight little pack around their camps. That is how leveling worked in EQ.

    Now the reason I enjoy it so much is not that I like to grind. I feel like questing should not be a part of leveling. Now, don't get me wrong, there were quests you could turn in to gain levels in EQ (ie. crushbone belts and pads) but it was a repeatable turn in for experience. Like a bounty on Crushbone orcs' heads. Instead of, "These orcs are terrorizing my forest. Kill ten of them." Oh, they're still terrorizing the forest....maybe ten more. No, they are still here - I can't help you NPC. 

    What I call Linear questing is when you have a quest line and you follow it. This quest brings you to the next one and so on and it's the primary leveling method. A quest line is not a bad thing, in my opinion, until the quest line is the whole game. A good quest line will last anywhere from a few to several levels and rewards above average gear. A good quest line should take a few days to finish, maybe even weeks. A bad quest line starts at character creation, is the primary means of leveling, and includes menial tasks like killing rats. I hope I have been able to shine some light on this subject for you.

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