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Thoughts on Player-owned questgivers and the SOTA quest system

Discussion in 'Shroud of the Avatar Discussion Hall' started by Krellian, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Krellian

    Krellian Visitor

    Mar 8, 2013
    Likes Received:
    * SOTA quest system is accessed by the player through communicating with NPCs with language queries


    1. how to extend player-owned quests capability within the SOTA quest system
    2. address the player who isn't accustomed to remembering quests without a questlog

    ## Player-owned quests##
    I presume guild followers, party members or maybe even friends list/house guest list, etc are the likely recipients of player-owned quests. These recipients will probably frequent the players house or other land holdings and would benefit from a quest-giver at these locations, such as players do from a player-owned merchant. That isn't to say players couldn't have a quest giver posted in the public commons but, regardless -I digress.

    The NPCs a player positions in their home/other will have their own built-in dialogs. To allow a player to assign quests, you might give that player "Dialogs" to unlock and add to their vendors/NPCs. This would fit the SOTA questing system outlined in the recent videos with language queries being the interface to questing. It would also make the NPCs more interesting as the player progresses and unlocks more story for that NPC. The owner of the NPC would get to determine the type of stories that apply and thus, DM a bit.

    You can make these unlockable dialogs as complex as your team has time to develop, from customizable dialogs at the most sophisticated to an array of dialog types/and personalities in the middle and at the simplest, dialogs that are pre-set and limited to level, etc. Some dialogs may even be conditional, a player might have to be a member of the thieves guild, complete a pre-quest, able to cast the right spell, posses the right item, wear the right hat, etc.

    ## Quest logs ##
    Concerning quest logs... this feature is eventually going to pop up, and I'm willing to bet it will be a popular request. Especially once SOTA reaches back out of it's fanatical core of enthusiasts and into a general audience. While it's good to keep a vision under such pressure, lest you alienate players from what defines your product - it may be a good idea to consider some middle-grounds on this issue or better yet, improve your own vision in a way that even the common audience will be thrilled.

    (Idea 1) Books, scribes
    For example: in UO there were tons of books laying around that never were used by many. In-game books might be an ideal place to keep a log of quests. Not like a traditional log but, let's re-invent the in-game book, shall we? Maybe when a player is talking to an NPC, they could hover over the NPC text and a quill-pen would replace their cursor. Then they could hover over a book in their backpack, and it would auto-expand on the screen to a modest size. Whenever that NPC says something, the player can then click on a word to auto-record that word into their book under an auto-generated NPC name and date. You might even link this to a scribe skill that only allows them to click so many words in a sentence for recording based on their skill.

    This would allow you to have a quest log that isn't standard, and yet give players an alternative to keeping a pen and notebook at their computer, or having to type out notes for all of their 20-something quests they have lined up.

    * You might even allow a player with skill in navigation to use a tool to read the star positions in order to pinpoint a location on their map, whether at sea or on land.
    * notes taken from successful quests could be traded with NPC loremasters or barkeeps that love rumors, rewarding the player for participating in the alternative questlog, and making the players quest a little more a part of the game after it's completed, people with higher scribe skill/storytelling skill? (since they can record more words) would get more for their reward (xp gold or tips on new quests) - this might even lay way to a system of getting players who are talented at storytelling to participate in some storywriting by just logging their quests creatively and submitting them to the library

    (Idea 2) Libraries
    Because SOTA has a goal of eliminating UI clutter, you may consider taking advantage of libraries. Players can go to a library building in a town, and browse the shelves for the book that contains the UI for certain stats they are interested in concerning their character, property, advancement, or quests. Libraries may make a good place to pick up esoteric quests, or high level quests in a similar way to NPCs. Library quests can also allow a player to take advantage of their quill pen (from idea 1) to take notes in their own book about some lead.

    I wouldn't put frequently-accessed data into library books and records for the player, but some of those ones that they would probably have to be in town to use anyways.

    The study
    In a player house a player might build a bookshelf and fill it with books that enhance his UI. Books which are relevant to the game, some which he/she might take along on an adventure.

    SOTA is going to get a wiki whether anyone likes it or not. Players are going to be minimizing the screen, going to the wiki, typing in a quest hint to find out where it is. The library would be a great place to add an interface to a Portalarium-hosted and approved wiki, or a partner wiki from stratics or somesuch. Frame it in a theme of the game and stick it on the library shelf too. Let people check out or buy books on it in-game (with their ingame money of course). Updates to the wiki may even give them a reason to come back and get a new book to see the changes. You might even find a way to get in-game authors are coming to your library to put their books up for sale for in-game gold on questing and training in magic skill.

    Hidden maps
    On the library theme, because of the two types of navigation around the game (high-up view and close-up view of your character), you have a lot of opportunity for mystery and maps. Rather than everyone knowing what is on each point in a map, you can easily add new adventure areas to the game. You can dynamically add new areas to the game and hide them in the library tomes of ancient lore. Players may not know that if you go to the tree next to the mountain on the map and enter 1st person mode that there is a new land there as long as you carry a certain item, or treasure hunting related skill.
    #1 Krellian, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013