Friday, November 28, 2008

Wrath of Bad Quest Design

A few days ago I mentioned a neat quest chain in WoW involving those always fun Druids from D.E.H.T.A. Often after a high, you will hit a low, and I did with another quest chain in Wrath. This one starts North West of The D.E.H.T.A camp in the quarry.

There is a quest giver named Etaruk and a stone, that also gives quests. I forget the name of the stone, I do not want to back to that forsaken quarry. The gist of it is that some Mages, dogs and gnomes are stealing Kalu'ak stuff and you have to stop them.

I picked up the initial two quests and entered the quarry. Almost immediately I knew this was going to be bad. I have a quest to kill the treasure hunters and a quest to look at some signs. What I see is 3 types of creatures and a lot of potential flotsam to click on. You can probably guess where this is going.

I will spare you the pain and give you the condensed version. I had to go back to the quest givers 3 or 4 times, just to get sent out to kill the different mob or click on the different item. Does it matter I had to fight my way through all of the mobs every previous quest? Of course not. I passed by the garbage on the ground each time, but the rock didn't want to tell me to pick it up on my way by.

This is one of the main reasons I get frustrated with WoW. Does Blizzard pay their content folks per quest? Did they just need a time waster? Are they just mean? Blizzard is supposed to be about quality, this was the opposite.

The Death Knights get phasing, the rest of us in Northrend get this?


Overall the quests at Northrend are pretty well designed. There may be two-three quests like the one you described (I started in Fjord and did not do that, but I think there was a similar one in Fjord).
Those quests are a means to boost your experience without you realizing it. For example, just killing 10 mobs and clicking 3 stones will give you 10*1200 + 20000 = 32K XP.
But since they scatter the mobs within other irrelevant mobs (for the current step of the chain) you end up killing 30 mobs instead of 10.
So you get 56K xp.

That was a classic Blizzard tactic since the first days of the game.

WAR on the other hand did not have that issue. If you needed 10 mobs for a quest, you went to the area, pulled them (mobs where not linked) and finished the quest with killing the minimum amount of mobs. But if you think a bit closer, this raised a number of complaints from people, that there were not enough quests per tier in order to move you to the next :)

@Dimitris: Good point. From an XP (rested) point of view it does make sense. Is it fun to go over the same ground and kill the same monsters multiple times? Not for me but I am sure it is for some.

I did not compare the XP I got from the DEHTA camp, but that was much more pleasant. 2 other quest chains (which will be posted tomorrow) I did after were also much more fun.

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