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Player-Driven Questing

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?


  • CaellachCaellach Member Posts: 25

    Good idea. When it comes to roleplaying matters, I really support it.

    However, because of several features in the mmorpgs, it might seem unnecessary. For example, if a player needs 50 iron bars, he/she will simply check the Auction House or announce this in the trade channel. That is a much faster way to achieve them than to wait for a single player to gather them. Therefore, the player-given quests should revolve around something else. Where players roleplay, these quests are given unofficially for the sake of RP. (E.g, assassination missions, spying missions) Some players pay 'real' game-money for it too, so the player-given quest idea isn't new. There is just a lack of any official feature for it.

    I used to roleplay as a mercenary, letting low-level players hire my character for hard quests/instances. The pay used to be low, so maybe gaining XP through such player given quests might be an idea? Don't know how to prevent players from exploiting it though.

  • SkythianSkythian Member Posts: 14

    Very valid points!

    I agree Caellach, thus the thought about exploration, delivery and possibly kill quests using the existing game event trackers. Mostly, the point was to give an option to RP more than a way to get items. Sure an auction is easier but it's still an auction so you may not be able to get what you want for x price. Giving a player a quest would enable you to set a price and have someone do the work for you. Not a huge advantage, but something. This way also you could do something like faction quests but for your guild. RP-wise collecting 50 cloth or whatever for the guild storage vault might have more meaning than collecting the same for an NPC faction. Sure, as a guildmaster or officer I can jsut give you the quest and give you a reward 'in character, this system would just be a way to ensure everything stays fair.


  • CaellachCaellach Member Posts: 25

    True. If anything, such a feature would make sure the quest-giver wouldn't take back his promise of reward. There is nothing more annoying than dragging a player through an instance, a hard quest,  or completing a RP-based mission only to find out the player simply refuses to pay.

    Unfortunately, I think this is the last thing the developers of mmorpgs consider. =P We may have a chance of seeing it in PlaneShift though, since the game is created for mainly roleplay.


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