Quest Crafting: Maximizing Impact Without a Wall of Text

I was able to go to Keaven Freeman’s 3:00pm workshop on “Quest Crafting.” Freeman is the Senio Designer at BioWare Mythic.  What he primarily talked about was the complexity of creating quests for MMO games.  In video/computer games, the ability to storytell without a lot of text is important.  A quest needs to be able to engage the player by telling a story.  Unfortunately, it is easy to get into a bad habit of using large amounts of text in NPC dialogue to move a quest plot along.  The problem with having a “wall of text” in an MMO is that most players are unlikely to read all of the text, if any, and will not only get the background story for the MMO, but will probably get bored having to scroll through large amounts of text.  To fix this problem, designers like Freeman will use as little NPC dialogue as possible to move the quest along.  If text is needed, it can also be broken up into maneagble pieces through several different NPCs.  Additionally, the objective of the quest, the environment the player must go through, and any objects that the player must collect along the way can all lead to adding backstory for the quest.  By having an engaging quest with a good reward upon completion, players are more likely to enjoy playing the quest and won’t avoid it in the MMO.

With an MMO, the designer also needs to think about the large amounts of players that will try to take on quests at the same time.  Problems, like large lines to get to an NPC or waiting for a dungeon to reset itself for the next group of players, can cause players to get frustrated.  Some solutions we looked at for this problem would be having a seperately generated dungeon appear for parties or having a large area that allows multiple player to help in a quest and all recieve some sort of reward.

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