French Design - Interesting Questing Using Only Questing Structure
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 March 2009, 11:51 pm

Along the same lines as the concept of a limited set of basic tools is the often muttered MMO adage that there less than a dozen quest objective types. I actually think it's a lot less than 12. In fact, most of the folks I know who are making MMOs think there are only 7, just like my basic tools:

  1. Kill Things
  2. Acquire objects
  3. Talk to NPCs
  4. Give objects to an NPC
  5. Interact with Objects in the World
  6. Travel to Locations/Waypoints
  7. Protect or Defend something

You could probably argue that some of those object types are really just embellishments of others as well, so maybe it's more like 5:

  1. Kill something/prevent something from dying
  2. Acquire Objects
  3. Talk to NPCs/Deliver objects to NPCs
  4. Interact with Objects in the World
  5. Travel to locations/waypoints

In either case, that's a pretty restrictive collection of things a player can do, right? There are only so many combinations of those objectives you can string together before a player has essentially done every quest you can imagine, mechanically. In other words, if you've played an MMO with questing, there's a good chance you've already played every type of quest you could possibly think of. Even on a small game, this is true: there were thousands of quests in Auto Assault across the three factions, but all of them used objective types listed above and pretty much nothing else. So how does a designer use these simple quest types to make interesting content?

The answer is context. Read moreĀ»

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