For you what makes a good quest? This thread has been created to gather research for modder makers.
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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:02 PM
Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:58 PM
I voted other. For me, it's the characters. Are they people I'd want to do said quest for? Does the quest develop them in any way? How does it impact their story? Stuff like that.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 01:12 PM
A good quest for me should have a clear goal and multi ways to get to it.
For example, my quest is to reach to a specific actor in a location, however, there is an hostile guard between my goal and myself. I would then have multiple options to get past that obstacle:
- I could sneak around the guard, or find another entryway.
- I could persuade the guard to let me pass, through dialogue or disguise.
- I could "persuade" the guard to let me pass, because of my gorgeous eyes.
- I could murder the guard, and any other individual that gets between me and my goal.
- I could just decide that it isn't worth and and go away.
- Then get back months later with an army and level the place, to eventually find my contact hiding under a bed.
A good quest to me, is a quest that accept any choice I make to meet the end goal, even if that goal is unknown to me. Maybe that contact was a spy, put in place to sow discord inside the walls of a city, but since I managed to conquer the city anyway (last point) his role became irrelevant.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 02:14 PM
One that fits with the world and story.
The mechanics of it can be as complex of as simple as it needs to be. No quests for content sake, and no choices for choices sake.
There are also differences between having just one quest or one quest line versus having multiple quests each serving different purpose. Don't think of quest as an end but rather as a tool.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:27 PM
I chose depths, but to be more specific: it should have a logic, consistent, but surprising story. Imho Get Stripped! is a good example for surprises, and for some spice aka entertaining dialogues and scenes too.
Trapped in rubber is a great example for consistent and logic, and believable characters too. Everything is explained while you play the quest, you learn something about the characters and see that they aren't just random guys out of nowhere who do strange things to you for unknown reasons, everbody has a story and follows strictly his agenda. Sometimes surprising nevertheless, but at least at hindsight, it becomes quite clear what they did and why.
Although, i'd made an exception in case of logic for a character like Harley Quinn. But at least her madness is consequent.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:27 PM
For the generic "quest", a lot of possible things are possible:
-Are the characters involved compelling or amusing?
-Do I actually want to take on the Quest? Some Quests are just given with an unlikeable questgiver to begin with. That's usually the start of a bad quest...
-Is it challenging/fair? (If there's combat or riddles, at least)
-Is the story told interesting OR did my choices make a difference? I can see, that these two aren't always compatible, but to have one of the two is a big bonus.
A reward is most often just "nice to have", a few coins or a bow that's good for the next two levels is quite meh, uniqe abilities like becoming a Werewolf are much more fun (and still that questline sucked in Skyrim).
Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:13 PM
I'm with the blue guy.
To me, no matter how good the quest is, it is only good once.
I prefer a more free-style game. My current set up, which I've been using for quite a while now, has as much of the vanilla stuff removed or otherwise disabled as possible. I try different combinations of mods to give me various options, e.g. change who is hostile and who is friendly.
I'm currently wandering around with a pack of trolls, skeletons and goblins doing what I want, to who I want, when I want. Skyrim has never been so much fun.
Funny how binning the Bethesda stuff and using mods makes for a much more stable game.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 09:21 PM
For me, it's largely the story. Is it creative--is it well written?
I also like a variety of options. I like there to be *dialog* with NPCs. not just a monologue or a conversation on rails. I like having some choice in the direction it takes. A shorter quest with a couple outcomes far outshines a long quest with one outcome. On the other hand, a longer story can be more compelling as it builds momentum.
Sometimes, it's nice to also have the illusion of choice--dialog which pretends to branch, but loops back to an inevitable outcome.
Posted 20 November 2016 - 10:04 PM
What makes a good quest is no different than what makes a good game, writing and directing. A linear by the book companion loyalty quest can be very good if the characters are well written. Example, Mass Effect 2, everything is A to B and do C but writing makes you care about the characters. Vice versa, even well designed multi-outcome, multi-approach map/objective can be ruined by poor direction. Example, any lousy FPS or in the case of RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition, the world is beautiful and semi-open but quests are not well written and directed in broken disjointed pieces.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:55 AM
I picked other. Basically for me, the quests should add to my character's story, and give me options for that.
I really don't care about the rewards or the length, or even if I finish the quest. What I care about is the options that I'm given during the quest, to make choices that affect my character.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 01:06 PM
For me, quests should be:
I. Worthwhile. A shitty quest is one that has a poor ending; "Thank you for saving the world, hero! Would you like this stale piece of bread or rock I just picked off the ground?" is very much an excitement killer. Remember the ME3 ending? Good.
II. Fun and challenging. An effortless quest is most likely going to bore me, unless it's Adult-themed.
And effortless adult-themed quests can only hold my interest for so long unless they include better girls than any other game I have up to that point, or some great animation, and if that's the only gimmick then I'll throw that game away the first time it's surpassed (in short, missing longevity).
III. Can be done with any of the established mechanics I was allowed to bring to it; if you give me stealth and a sniper rifle as an option, and I choose to use them, I will expect to be able to complete the quest with them.
"Oh well someone tipped them off to your presence, but it's also too late to change your gear\skills. Oh, and there's no sniper rifle ammo anywhere here but you're also not allowed to pick the other guys' guns. Have fun with your melee weapon beyond your first four shots!" Doesn't quite entertain me.
IV. Has a reasonable length. While single-fight boss quests are entertaining, there really isn't enough meat in them to last and I get hungry again too quickly. That's not good for my diet (AKA I'll finish the game too quickly and there's only so much money in my budget for games, plus some kind of build-up to the boss battle is appreciated).
V. Does not include misfitting words in any way, shape or form; things like "lol", "omg" and "wtf" should never be said by any NPC ever. Proper alternatives would be, for example: "Hilarious!" "By the Gods!" "What in the world is going on here?!"
VI. Has proper grammar.
In short, a good quest is one that is well designed from a mechanical perspective.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 02:10 PM
Oh my. This is basically asking "what makes a good game", and there are a lot of articles on game development - those just barely scratch the surface.
In a nutshell - it's 1) balance 2) feeling of progress 3) somehow captivating story and characters. I hope I haven't forgotten anything basic.
1. Balance means that you can overcome the challenge but have to work for it. In an open-world game it's probably a good idea to give player hints what to expect. Are you going to explore some nordic ruin with draugr? Or a dwemer ruin? Are you going to face vampires? Because for some of us this is a big difference - like those who play Requiem will certainly want to know.
2. Feeling of progress means that the game should reward a player for completing the quest - just don't overdo it, like some of those mods that reward a player for some relatively easy quest with a full set of enchanted Daedric armour.
3. Captivating story... well, this one is the hardest part. Good example here would be quests from Interesting NPCs - I can't imagine playing w/o it anymore. Don't overdo NPCs monologues - that's the most boring part of Wyrmstooth, for example. They are kinda okay when you play it for the first time, but then it gets really boring. Story here is like a book, but with an exception that this book may (and ideally should) have multiple scenarios - depending on player actions. Some humour is welcome - yet again, don't overdo it, like Amorous Adventures (don't get me wrong, the mod is great, but after playing it for some time I start feeling like my character is the one from Leisure Suit Larry series... I wish it was a bit more serious). And it also has to make sense for many characters.
There are good and bad (IMO) examples in the vanilla game.
- Mehrun's quest - brilliant. You know what are you dealing with, the path is open and you can choose options. Doable by any character. Even good character (unless you're some paladin type who avoids dealing with deadra completely) can do the quest up to the point where the quest giver proposes you to go to the shrine.
- Molag Bal's quest - actually... pretty terrible. A vigilant asks you to join him in checking out the house, and then you have no choice but to kill him and submit to Molag Bal. I had to use some "I have a terrible premonition" excuse for my vigilant character to refuse helping him. And why would a vampire want to join a vigilant (those who usually attack him on sight) in checking the house?
Posted 21 November 2016 - 03:56 PM
You had to mention the Molag Bal quest didn't you. I totally agree with you. As soon as I hit Markarth in the game I disable the vigilant so I can walk up the street without him pestering me every effin time.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:27 PM
You had to mention the Molag Bal quest didn't you.
Yes, because it's really terrible, IMO. From RP perspective, why would my vigilant character refuse coming in? He should have been like "yes, brother, let's do it". But this would ended up with him having a murder on his crime list (provided he survives the battle) and damnation from divines, with no choice. That's just total bullshit.
Anyway, I wish quest designers were giving a bit more attention to the RP part of RPG. Take, for example, Wyrmstooth - one of the best Skyrim quest mods, IMO (too bad it's not supported anymore, and not even available on Nexus either). Better than much overrated Falskaar (which is a shining example of a bad design by itself). Still - why would a mercenary be interested in quest giver's blabbering about some East Empire Company's internal problems and why Lurius was put in charge? Who cares? He or she would be asking questions - what to expect? It's really nice when quest authors allow players to rely on character's knowledge instead of checking a site/page.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:34 PM
Does the story interest me? Can I go through with it in more then one way? Are there any decisions for me to make, or are they all made for me? Does it fuck with my head-canon? etc...
Like the Missing in Action quest, you can learn where Thorald is through dialogue or unlawfully, do it on either side of the war, and save him either diplomatically or violently.
Give me a reason to want to play, and there will likely be very few complaints from me.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:38 PM
The only choice a player really has is to do a quest or not do a quest, even that is questionable at times, the rests are all permitted.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:44 PM
The only choice a player really has is to do a quest or not do a quest.
You haven't played classic Fallout, have you?
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:48 PM
Choices and outcome are still predetermined or work in a slider/threshold format, real choices in game do not exist.
Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:51 PM
Choices and outcome are still predetermined or work in a slider/threshold format, real choices in game do not exist.
Oh, let's not go into philosophical discussion whenever choices really exist in life too.
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