[MUD-Dev] Congratulations Horizons...

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Mon Jan 12 18:27:36 CET 2004

Matt Mihaly writes:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2004, Brad McQuaid wrote:
>> From: "Lee Sheldon" <lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com>

>>>   2) Here's one for Brad McQuaid to chew on. His quote: "All
>>>   quests are FedEx." In fact out of several steps (5?) in Trials
>>>   of the Gifted only one step requires you to go obtain items
>>>   and return to the questgiver and that is if you solve a simple
>>>   riddle. The rest are not.

>> In fairness, I'm trying to think back to the exact context of
>> that paraphrase, yet I do recall saying something similar.

>> 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.

> This is untrue I think. There are, for instance, maze-based quests
> that don't involve transferring any 'item' or 'information' as
> well as puzzle-based quests that require one to solve a puzzle,
> such as touching colored stones in a certain order to turn them
> all one color or whatnot.

Certainly the very fun games "Neverhood" and "Myst" spring to mind
when you talk about such things.  And when I contrast those games
with the MMORPG quests that I've encountered, I realize that the big
differences are:

  1. The entertainment value in the actual quest steps themselves is
  far greater in the puzzle adventure games.  MMORPGs retain that
  feeling that the quest is a means to an end.  In contrast, there
  are quite enjoyable graphics and sounds that go into Neverhood's
  and Myst's activities.  In MMORPG quests, I feel like I just want
  to get through the quest because it's probably something that
  needs doing before I can do something else.  And 'talking' to an
  NPC is not particularly interesting to me.

  2. The quest step density is much higher in puzzle adventure
  games.  Working through the quest is the point of such games,
  after all.  MMORPGs that I've played are noted for their penchant
  for placing long periods of travel between each quest step.

Perhaps the 'delivery man' sensation would be diminished if quest
steps were more involved (i.e. entertaining), and there was less
dead time (e.g. travel time) between the steps.

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