Another Torture Quest
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 August 2012, 8:22 am
Maybe Blizzard learned from the torture quest in Borean Tundra.  For context, it was a quest in which you're tasked by some mages, who are themselves not allowed to use torture, with torturing information out of a prisoner.  Some people were not happy with this quest, giving us no choices or options, only requiring us to go ahead with the torture, or abandon the quest and the many that followed.

There is another torture quest, added with Cataclysm in the Northern Barrens.  Though that's not the right term.  It's an interrogation quest.  Note the word choice.  Interrogate. The goal of the quest is to get information and it can be done by means which do not involve the use of a neural needler.

Here are the summaries, if you hate clicking on links:
Librarian Normantis on Amber Ledge wants you to use the Neural Needler on the Imprisoned Beryl Sorcerer until he reveals the location of Lady Evanor.
- Prisoner Interrogated
 Question the nearby Razormane prisoner. If he's not there or unconscious, Togrik can revive him for you.
 - Razormane Prisoner Interrogated

Both use interrogated in the quest completion part, but the brief descriptions have a different way of phrasing it.  The Borean Tundra quest only mentions, specifically mentions, the torture device.  In contrast, the Barrens quest gives the more general word of question.  And it means it.

You get five options at first.  One is the predictably ineffective choice of demanding to know who is leading the Quilboar.  Second and third options are punching and kicking.  Fourth is to give food and the fifth is tickling.  All of these options work.  In fact, the last two options, the non-violent ones, work faster.  Apparently no one can resist tickling or criticizing food.  You even get a buff based on the actions you take, though the 'nice' buff isn't very useful.

I wonder what the extra development effort is for this compared to a few jabs of a neural needler.  I suspect it's not a terrible increase in effort.  Enough to not do it for every quest, but I think not so much that it cannot be done more often.  It's only a small change, with no impact on the quest text or rewards.  But small changes, small choices, are important to players, especially when we've got a neural needler and a willfully blind mage.

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