On Questing

Hello everyone! Apologies on the lack of news from us last week. The development team (small as we are) was taking a bit of a vacation before we head into the crazy period where we officially enter Alpha in a few weeks.

Today I wanted to do a brief post on our thoughts regarding questing in OrbusVR. Specifically, the role that quests play in an MMO in general, and how we want them to work in our game.

Wait, how do you even define 'Quest', anyway?

The first thing we have to do is define what a quest actually is. A quest is really anything that the game directs you to do in an ordered fashion. For example, it might be a task that an NPC gives you to help them out. Or it might be a series of steps that you need to accomplish in order to learn the recipe to craft a new item. It's really just anything where the game says "You need to do A, B, and C in order to get the reward you seek."

Some MMOs have taken that to an extreme, building their entire leveling process around quests like "kill 10 lions" or "gather 12 flowers and bring them to me." While these types of quests can have their place when used sparingly, when overdone they can be monotonous and boring. Instead, we think that quests should be used sparingly to accomplish great things in the game, such as helping an NPC who really needs to be aided, or going on a long, epic quest to gather the right items to fight a menacing dragon.

How will questing work in OrbusVR?

In OrbusVR, we anticipate having several different types of quests: Main Story Quests, Story Side Quests, Feats, and Hidden Quests.

Main Story Quests are pretty self-explanatory. They're an opportunity for us to tell you a little bit of what's going on in the world, and involve you (the player) in the current political events that are happening. The primary goal for these quests will be to get you to explore the world, and to tell you an engaging and compelling story with a cast of characters you will get to know. There will only be 1 Main Story Quest per level, and we anticipate each one taking around an hour to do. So you won't primarily be leveling up by doing these quests.

Story Side Quests are quests that tell a story about a specific character or thing in the world. For example, you might meet an old woman by the road who tells you about a lost family heirloom that she has a map to -- only she can't get it because it's in a dangerous location. Of course, these things are never as straightforward as they seem initially. These will not be boring "kill 10 things" quests, but rather we'll only include them when we have a story or a fun activity that we think you'll enjoy doing. They will grant some XP, but there's not a set number we'll have per zone or anything like that. We'll likely continue adding these as the game builds up. You may end up back-tracking to earlier zones to do them, and you can also feel free to skip them if you like. Some of them might require that you have a certain skill or certain item, and not everyone will even be able to do them all right away. The highest-level ones will require you to use multiple skills (such as combat, crafting/trading, and exploration) and journey across the world to accomplish a great deed.

Feats are a special type of "quest", in that they aren't given by a specific NPC and they aren't about telling a story. They are activities that we'll track your progress in to grant you rewards just for playing the game a certain way. For example, we might have a Feat that asks you to craft a certain number of potions, or a feat to complete every wing of all 4 end-game dungeons. We'd like to really get involved with these, even going so far as to have things like "Swords that you've enhanced with Runesmithing have slain 1,000 creatures." These might reward additional crafting recipes, titles, or even cosmetic items. They're just fun little goals that you can spend time working toward whenever you'd like.

Finally, we want to put in several Hidden Quests as well. These are quests that are only unlocked after special criteria are met (for example, a Hidden Quest might appear the 10th time you enter a dungeon, or you might get one if you visit a certain place in the world at a specific time). Basically they will reward players that take the time to really dive into the world and uncover its secrets.

Questing during the leveling process

In OrbusVR, we want the leveling experience to be around 30% questing (the Main Story quest and Class Quests (which are like tutorials) for each level will provide a good chunk of this XP), around 30% Hunting (a special type of quest/feat that asks you to kill monsters and collect samples from them), and around 30% free-form, which might be doing dungeons, killing high-level monsters in a group to get XP chain bonuses, or working on your Feats or doing other Side Quests. So it won't be a matter of just going from quest hub to quest hub, doing quests and leveling up. It will be up to you to make up your own mind about how you want to progress in the world.

Next Test Date Announced

Just in case you haven't already heard, our next Pre-Alpha Test will be held Thursday, February 23rd starting at 12:00 PM (Noon) US Central Time. Here's a countdown to the time: http://itsalmo.st/#orbusvrtest3

See you then!

Riley Dutton

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