Mar 29, 2009

[How Not to Write A MMO Quest]

Via Shacknews: At the GDC, WoW's Jeff Kaplan did a panel talking about how NOT to write quests in an MMO:
“This is the worst quest in World of Warcraft,” he said. “I made it. It’s the Green Hills of Stranglethorn. Yeah, it teaches you to use the auction house. Or the cancellation page.”
“So I’m the asshole that wrote this quest. My philosophy was, I’m going to drop all these things around Stranglethorn, and it’s going to be a whole economy unto itself… It was horrible.”
“It was utterly stupid of me. The worst part… one of the things that taxes a player in a game like WOW is inventory management. Your base backpack that the game shipped with only has 16 slots in it. But basically at all times, players are making decisions. For a single quest to consume 19 spaces in your bags is just ridiculous.”
“So it’s a horrible quest, and I’m the only who made it, and somehow I am talking to you guys today.”
At least he admitted it. I never finished that quest on any of my four characters... =P
"Basically, and I’m speaking to the Blizzard guys in the back: we need to stop writing a f*cking book in our game, because nobody wants to read it."
You know, I actually don't mind 'reading a book' in my games, only in 99% of MMOs the story, quite frankly, is stupid. At worst, the lore makes no sense or goes on for miles on cliched world-building minutiae that serves no purpose.

I actually enjoy reading many of the WoW quests. But seeing as how WoW as a MMO is not really about the world and immersion in it as it is a fun treadmill game on rails, that kind of creative effort is pretty much wasted on most of the players. Because they're not playing the game for that purpose, nor does the game encourage them to (and it has no real tools for it, anyway).

1 comment:

Darth Solo said...

Actually I like the Pages of Stranglethorn quest a lot. Why? Because at the level you encounter those quests you get a big XP boost by completing them.

The trick is to plan a bit ahead and simply buy all the pages you need from the AH. Usually you will find them as low as 20 silver but if I need them quick, I will buy any page that's reasonably priced - up to 1G.

Then, when you encounter the quests, you already have the pages, turn them in and bam!

Later, you just sell the pages you find or you can keep them for an alt. Alternatively, for even more gold, you can complete the whole set and advertise it on trade chat for a hefty premium.