Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Player-created quests

Julian wrote me a proposal for player-created quests in WoW:
So, how's about this - let players create quests, with rewards for both the quest creators and normal XP etc for the quest takers?

First, creation would work something like this: Each major location has an NPC you can submit your new quests to. There are a limited number of active quest slots for each player level in that location, so quests go in a queue and have some kind of lifespan (which can itself depend on how many people take or complete the quest). Each day, rewards for the quest creators are posted up - for instance rare items, or gold - and each day the quest creators get to choose their reward (appropriate to their level, of course), with the most successful creators getting the best rewards. Really popular quests could stay on the list for quite some time.

Quest creation would naturally have to fit into predefined categories, but it should be possible to make these flexible enough to make the quests worth doing. Kill this many mob A, this many mob B, bring me so many lots of item C. Do it in a time limit. Complete the quest in a party with another player on the same quest. Complete normal in-game quest Q within a time limit. You could even simulate escort quests, by creating linked quests - quest A is to take a lower level character who is on quest B to location C, killing a number of whatevers on the way, keeping within a certain distance of each other all the way.

The level of the quest would have to be automatically calculated based on the types of mobs being killed, and the XP for completing it would be whatever XP is appropriate for the level. At quest creation time, a random list of items could be available for the creator to post as rewards for completing the quest.

To pick up a quest, a player goes to the same NPC as I mentioned above and is given a list of quests appropriate to their level, maybe ranked by popularity. To get the quest, the coolest thing would be to have ghosts of the creators standing around as quest givers - or if the creator is in the area, have a question mark over their head :-)

Now, I'm quite aware that the chances of Blizzard actually implementing something like this are approximately nil, but it could be made to work even without them, albeit nowhere near as well, using an add-on and with cooperating guilds using bank characters to hold rewards for both the quest creators and takers.

The main thing that would be lacking using an add-on is the XP for completing the quests, but you could get around this by creating meta-quests which consist of variations on existing Blizzard quests - complete Blizz quest A and B in under 10 minutes for a reward, or complete quest C while in a party with someone on quest D in under 20 minutes, and so on.
I don't see Blizzard adding something like that, but maybe it would be possible to implement in some future game, right from the start. What do you think?

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