Thread: quest system?
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Old February 24, 2012, 16:10   #19
Derakon
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I will admit to only having skimmed the thread at best, but here's my thoughts on quests:

1) They slow down the game. This can be desirable sometimes, but Angband's already a pretty slow game -- it takes a long time to travel down 100 dungeon levels! Whether Angband should have 100 dungeon levels is a different issue...

2) Most players will play with them, and try to complete them, by default. Even if they aren't interesting and don't provide a meaningful reward. Thus you have to make certain that they're fun to complete because the alternative is to introduce boring gameplay. This is unfortunately one of those areas where you can't necessarily introduce a mechanic and then say "but don't worry; you don't have to do it!"

3) As generally formulated, quests involve killing some number of out-of-depth monsters. Assuming this is feasible, those monsters will tend to give more experience than in-depth monsters, which will tend to overlevel the player. Which in turn makes killing anything besides quest monsters somewhat meaningless.

4) Material rewards for quests are either meaningful or not. If meaningful, then they have to be taken into account when calculating the power curve for the game (read: the game needs to be rebalanced to take them into account); if not, then quests become aggravating on the part of the player because they're accomplishing difficult tasks without any visible reward beyond the experience.

This is all rather negative, I'm afraid. I'll freely grant that quests can create interesting scenarios and encourage the player to get into fights that they would normally try to avoid. And I've played NPP and grabbed every quest I could, played ZAngband / ToME with quests on, etc. I'm just not convinced that we've figured out how to do them properly yet.
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