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I've been thinking about his for awhile and have wondered, with the possible exception of Saga of Ryzom, why MMOs have not introduced any means for players to create quests for other players. This seems like a wonderful way to encourage player interaction and roleplay and I believe it could be done with a fairly simple system based of existing COD mailboxes.
First, the player in question decides they want to offer a mission/quest to someone. These quests would likely have to be of the collection variety (at least to start). The player opens up a quest interface and sets the conditions of the quest, such as 'collect 50 iron bars and return them me' using drop-down menus or something similar. Then the player sets the reward be it in gold, items they own or both and sets a quest duration time. These items are placed in teh quest as if it were a mailbox and cannot be removed for the quest duration. At that point the player activates his quest which triggers a special 'quest marker' above his head.
At this point anyone seeing the quest player can go talk to them. If the quest player is AFK then there would be some minimal quest dialogue....anything from a minimal description based on the parameters of the quest or a longer description if the quest player decided to use that option. Alternately, the quest player could respond to the quest seeker directly, activating the quest once both were satisfied with whatever arrangements.
Once the questing player aquires the sought items, they could mail or physically return them back to the quest player which would trigger the reward for the successful quester (via mail or pop-up dialogue).
This seems pretty straightforward, a minor variation on exiting mailbox functionality. Anyone see any major problems with it? I can see some things that might be worked on a bit, like:
1) Collection Quests Get Old
Perhaps be incorporating some part of the game database into the quest engine (nothing really different than the auction, exploration and current quest systems already do), quests could be expanded to include delivery, exploration, trade, kills... any number of game states or events.
2) What about quest spamming?
To limit this the special quest marker would be colored, liek an encounter, to give you an indication of the relative worth so you could filter by site. Additionally, using somethign similar to auction/vendor minimum pricing a minimum 'worth' for the quest could be set fairly.
3) What about XP?
I think this is not something you could give out with player quest. Way too easy to exploit. You would get XP as you would normally for going about the quest, but not a chunk of XP for the quest itself. Using the relative worth idea in 2 it might be possible, though I would think this would be a lot more difficult of a system to create due to the factors involved. Open for suggestions though!
What do you think?