Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Lack of Freedom
To prove that even I can be wishy washy on the subject of PvE, I present a good counter point to my questing post yesterday. Thanks Cameron. lol
Cameron, over at Random Battle has an article up about the boring journey of questing and it brings up a lot of good points. Let me say, again, that I don't mind the gathering of quests from soulless quest givers, doing their required mundane little tasks and turning them back in for Xp and loot. This particular system, which all MMO's use, seems to be a pretty efficient way to level up characters over the course a game, but it is mind numbing at times I will admit.
Everquest, to some degree, let the players have more say or freedom in the way they leveled. Sure, there were quests, but you could just as easily decide to grind out mobs in different zones for the same amount you got from a quest. This grinding for mobs presented some problems There was more danger once you left your starting areas, now it's pretty well divided by level and you're lead by the nose to the next questing zone by, well, a quest. No random chance of running into a roaming giant in the zone or mobs you just have to avoid to get where you need to grind out mobs your level. No more freedom.
One of the reasons I don't completely hate the questing system in games is it allows for more easier solo play, but as Cameron says, "questing lays down rails and puts you on a specific path". Especially when you consider the quest guides and mods that help you find the most efficient way to level up through the questing system. Even in WAR there are little blood stains that dot your world map indicating where to retrieve certain items and kill mobs for quest completions.
But in WAR, I don't feel as disconnected as I have felt in other games because my true salvation is the background story that is being revealed through the questing process and the PvP which you get quests to do. But I will admit, it does lead you around on a choke chain at times, pointing you annoyingly in the direction they, the game designers want you to go. Not sure why? Maybe it's some kind of control freak thing. I do know that players want more control back in their hands. Leveling through RvR and PvP is a good start.
I think if you are designing "The Next Gen MMO", you have to find a way to make questing less obvious and give leveling freedom back to the players. I do know that removing quest givers from the game and blood stained maps would be a start.