Saturday, October 8, 2011

Molten Front Dailies and Quest Design

The 4.2 patch was a while ago, however, Mornara and Kuanchichi have still not completed the Molten Front dailies. Mostly because they are dead boring, and the rest of the game is a lot more fun to do. Those quests are so repetitive and anything new adds on to the very end of the sequence of quests.

Blizzard for some foolish reason decided to make the Molten Front Dailies a giant quest chain that you have to repeat every day. You can't skip the horrible and tedious Wisp Away quest when it is up, not unless you don't want to do the rest of the quests that follow it. Also, is it really the case that the Druids of the Talon and the Shadow Wardens are so completely incompetent that they lose ground every single day and we have to help them retake it?

I think that the cause of all this misguided chain of daily quests is due to Blizzard learning exactly the wrong thing from the Death Knight starting area in Wrath.

See, the Death Knight starting area is quite well done. You wake up a slave of the Lich King and he and his lieutenants send you to do stuff. You get one or occasionally two quests at the same time, and until you do those quests you don't get to do anything else. It is extremely linear, but that's ok, because you're a slave of the Lich King. You have no free will. LK says jump, while in the air you ask how high. LK says kill peasants: you get evil encouraging whispers as they die. Eventually the Death Knights are released from his control, but up until then any Death Knight is on a straight and narrow path of doing exactly what they are told.

But in the Cataclysm expansion Blizzard decided that they wanted to take more advantage of their fabulous phasing technology. This is fine on the surface of it, but it has led to very linear story lines. There are usually a couple of paths to take, but they all ended up at the same exact place eventually. For example in Mt Hyjal, you can do the 4 ancients in whatever order you want, but you have to rescue all four of them before you can move on to the next part of Hyjal. Unfortunately every Cata zone is like that. There are few to zero side quests that are in there for fun or randomness or to help flesh out the world. Everything is all about YOU the HERO coming to save things.

I really wish that for the next expansion (Mists of Pandaria or whatever it is) Blizzard goes back to their older style of questing where things were a lot less linear. But especially I want any daily quests to not be some sort of linear chain of painfulness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with this. My dislike of the linear quests is that they are exactly the same every single time, no variety, no skipping quests you hate. I will NEVER make another worgen because I hate their starter quests so, and I probably won't make another goblin either. I like it better when a zone has multiple quest hubs and you can pick and choose - skip that one quest you hate, do this long chain while picking up some optional quests, just grab the easy ones, etc.