[MUD-Dev] Congratulations Horizons...

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Sun Jan 11 12:20:22 CET 2004

According to Lee Sheldon:
> From Brad McQuaid:

> A Fed Ex quest to me is simply, "Give this item, message, or
> password to Larry."  Or a string of such assignments.  I'm not
> against FedEx quests per se, particularly at low levels, or even
> as pieces of larger quests.  I use them all the time.  But only
> FedEx quests?  Anyway, I started to make one up, but finally
> decided it would be easier to illustrate by using a quest already
> in the game [EQ]..."

Ask any player, and they'll give you about the same answer. Having
to go from NPC A to NPC B is "FedEx". Ask them if they have a FedEx
when they have to gather 4 bone chips and give them to a NPC, and
they'll answer no. That's a kill task. Or a collection. But not a

So, that seems to be a kind of bad definition.

> ...  But for me to reduce all quests to the same simple mechanism
> is to follow a postmodern reductionist path where there is no
> reward at the end but empty canvas: not art, not life.

Well, ultimately, all quests can be reduced to the following

  - The player record has a specific pattern of data when the quest
  check is triggered

And that's true, since, by definition, this is how quests are coded.
I don't see any way to create a quest that does not involve having a
specific data pattern found in the player record, and checking for
that data pattern at a specific or periodic point.  Except by
abstracting the quest so much that it is not tied to any stored data
or doesn't have a check, which means the quest exists only outside
of the game, in the mind of the player (and we call them goals then,
not quests).

The biggest innovation so far has been to allow world record to have
those specific data patterns (purging of the Olthoi hives in
Asherons Call for example, or the new player race unlocking you
describe), which removes the quest from the hand of the player and
makes it a world quest (the player does not have the quest, the
world has, and the player helps, just like I go along with my friend
to help him in his quest, rather than mine).

>> I believe my point was you are ALWAYS taking something from one
>> place/NPC to another place/NPC, hence it is like 'bringing a
>> piece of mail'.  Whether that 'mail' is in the form of an item or
>> something else (generically, a 'flag' on your character) was
>> simply my point that all quests can be boiled down to that --
>> regardless of all the cool story and setting you can place on top
>> of it, you still need that fundamental mechanism.

Well, just to take a counter example that has yet to occur in EQ,
you could have a quest that advances when you reach, say, 200 in
jewelcraft.  It doesn't matter where, or when, or how, it triggers
when you reach that skill point.

However, since EQ's engine doesn't allow that kind of trigger to be
checked for (and doesn't have a quest journal anyway), you
ultimately simplify it to be: when you go to NPC, you "bring" your
skill of 200. Does that makes it a FedEx? Depend on your definition;
I suspect it wouldn't for most people.

	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)
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