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Author Topic: Spirit Quests  (Read 3793 times)
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Iceman
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« on: January 30, 2010, 09:58:58 AM »

This is intended to be implemented alongside the Treasure Maps and Buried Treasure suggestion, to compliment and balance it. It could just as easily stand alone though, so there are two possible versions suggested here. It would be more complicated than the Treasure mechanic, but I believe even more worthwhile. I would argue for both, as they really do capture what I feel are two of the main themes of the game, exploration and shamanism, and would work well together in balancing the Outsider and Native factions. This suggestion is less well-formed, with many of the specific details being just rough ideas, but the concept is simple.

Version 1 (in conjunction with Treasure Maps and Buried Treasure)

A new hut would be added to Native villages – Vision Hut. When in the Vision Hut, an additional action button would be available; ‘meditate’ or ‘receive spirit quest’ or the like, for the cost of 10AP. Flavour text along the lines of “You close your eyes and commune with the ancestors. The spirits require you to prove yourself and set you a spirit quest. You must [insert quest here] to receive their blessings.” A random spirit quest would then be set. Further meditation would be possible to receive a different quest, fo variation or RP purposes – hence the AP requirement to prevent them effectively being chosen.

The information below the map interface would then read along the lines of ‘You are ClickClick, a native from Dalpok, and you are currently on a spirit quest to [insert quest here]’ Outsiders would require Native Knowledge to undertake a spirit quest.

Suitable quests could include, but are far from limited to: kill 10 tigers/alligators/rhinos/bears etc; heal 500HP; kill 3 pirates/cannibals; travel to the waterfall/a ruin/a cave/a shaman/another Vision Hut; find a shargle egg; fill a gourd from the waterfall; etc. Feel free to make suggestions – this is where the details get a little sketchy.

When the quest is completed, you receive a message such as “The spirits are greatly pleased by your efforts and obedience, and bestow their blessing upon you” and you receive 150XP. This is greater than the trading or treasure hunting bonus to reflect the additional effort and AP required. Quests can be carried out repeatedly.

To prevent the database from having to keep track of quests which will not be completed, they will expire after a week. “The spirits are displeased by your lack of efforts in gaining their favour, and withdraw their quest.”

A statistic would be added to profiles and statistics pages – ‘Spirit Quests Completed’ and ‘Top Spirit Questors’ respectively, to encourage competition.

Variations:
Certain quests would be available from certain villages, to encourage travel and make completing them all more difficult.
If a character completes all the available quests, they receive a one-off reward of 1000XP –  this would encourage long-term commitment to the game. An additional, more detailed statistic page would be required to keep rack of completed quests.
Quests could be chosen from a drop-down menu rather than bestowed randomly – less engaging from a narrative point of view, but perhaps less frustrating too.
Rather than having a new type of hut, quests could be received from shamen – slightly less work required, and also opens up the possibility of hard-to-get quests from roaming shamen.

Version 2 (Stand Alone)

Basically as above, but quests are received from shamen, in all towns and villages, and outsiders do not require Native Knowledge to undertake them.


As said elsewhere, the lack of set objectives can sometimes lead to a somewhat meandering, directionless feel to the game. This suggestion would give players something to play for that doesn’t necessarily require RP or interaction with others, and brings actual rewards in the form of XP and acknowledged achievements. There are also many, many examples of this in various cultures that fit perfectly with the shamanistic and spiritualistic themes of the game.

When taken in conjunction with the Treasure Maps and Buried Treasure suggestion it ensures there is a balance between the two factions without simply mirroring the other, adding variety and flavour to the game – Outsiders rely on objects whilst Natives work with the spirits.
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Ahnaom
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 03:19:12 PM »

This would probably mess up your whole idea about spirits vs. treasures but why does it have to be ghosts of ancestors?

Trader could ask you to bring certain amount of rare goods -> additional gold and xp upon delivery
Village shaman could ask to deliver something to another (roaming) shaman -> some herbs and xp as a reward

That way we would have common quests (available in every town) and exclusive quests (treasures only for pirates, body part quests for cannibals...)

I don't think such simple tasks can ever become an alternative to roleplaying though. There will be limited number and variety of them, not enough to keep players for a long time. But a nice thing to have anyway.

We just need some kind of note-taking tool inside the game. Like a quest journal.
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Simon
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 10:02:31 PM »

This has been added to feature votes, together with the Treasure Maps suggestion.
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Iceman
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 08:42:48 PM »

The major identifying theme to the game is shamanism. Not the only theme, but the over-riding one. The spirits curse characters whose actions they disapprove of, it makes sense for them to bless those that please them. It's not vital to the concept that it be the ancestor spirits, but I did feel it was the most evocative and thematic approach.

I like the idea of Traders setting tasks, and it's another suggestion I was working on, one that would be common to every village and town. But regarding these particular quests, I think it's important that Natives and Outsiders don't simply mirror each other. Scouts/Explorers, Soldiers/Warriors, Settlers/Villagers are all the same apart from the name. Villages and towns - they all have the same resource huts and practically the same items available. By limiting Spirit Quests to Native villages and Treasure Maps to Outsider towns, you have balance but not symmetry.

And this is not designed to replace RP. Just to give some structure to the game, and provide diversions and challenges to new and old players alike. Sometimes when you can do anything, you actually end up doing nothing because you don't know where to start.
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Twist - boner-inducingly handsome | ClickClick - guardian of the Dalpoki | Sympathetic Phil - hard-bitten mercenary and surly drunkard |
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 10:40:09 PM »

I like the general idea.  The two implementation challenges I see are:
  • varying the types of quests enough to stay interesting
  • thinking of rewards that would be worthwhile, given the limited selection of items that exist in this world

I would suggest quests have different time limits, depending on the difficulty, but agree that most or all should be time limited.  Furthermore, I might suggest that the time limit begin only when the first action for the quest is taken (so that, for example, a person wouldn't have to drop everything immediately to go work on the quest, but could prepare themselves before the timer started).

I would further suggest there be some general code for "achievements", that would appear on a profile in some way, and that completed quests be included as such.  That mitigates the second challenge somewhat, because people will work for something that publicly becomes part of their character, regardless of the material rewards.  Other achievements, non-quest related, could involve activities such as land and sea exploration, hunting, combat, etc.

So, for the first challenge: what sort of quests?  Let's flesh this out a bit before expecting Simon to come up with it all himself.  Some obvious ones that occur to me:
  • kill <n> <animals>, where <n> depends on your level and the time-limit, and <animal> is a random selection.
  • kill a giant squid.  the time limit would make this really hard, if the timer started immediately.
  • kill <n> <animals> using only your bare hands, or only a knife.
  • find <n> <objects>, where objects could be driftwood, fruit, or...? and bring them back
  • deliver item to another shaman or village elder and return, or perhaps multi-destination treks
  • go into and remain in the jungle and survive <n> days without using food, water, or healing herbs
  • go into and remain in the ocean and survive <n> days without using food, water, or healing herbs
  • plant a sign with <n> skulls on some remote island or other difficult to reach place
  • make <n> <brewed items> and bring them back
  • plant <n> <fruit trees> near some place and water them to full size
The killing quests would require keeping track of damage done so that others can't help you (much) in accomplishing your quest.  Similarly, finding objects quests would not count those received from others or from a trader.  Brewing or planting quests might let you buy at least some of the fruit needed.

I left off quests that involve killing other players, because not everyone chooses to play that way; it doesn't seem right to make a quest that pushes someone out of character.

Looking forward to hearing other ideas.!
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KingBiscuit
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 11:04:39 PM »

I like this suggestion slightly less than the treasure maps one, but it's still good.

My problem is the reward - extra XP isn't that important to established players. With the treasure maps, you get a tangible reward. Perhaps XP gains could be the same as treasure maps, and instead you get some sort of buff that last for a week or two - added accuracy to search rates, or to-hit ratios or extra HP such as cannibals have. This would reflect the ancient's blessings upon you. This would make it still useful to maxed out characters, but still retain a different flavor than the outsider quests.
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Simon
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 11:32:38 PM »

Here are some notes from previous discussions I've had about quests. We came up with an entire "language" to define quests so there could later be a quest creation system for clan leaders or game admin or whoever. It is by no means considered complete, but it might kickstart some discussion.

# Conditions to be able to start a quest
prerequesites=[
   level=10,        # Minimum level
   skill=[03,04],     # Expert Language and Close Quarter Combat
   inventory=[01,0M],    # machete and a bottle of beer
   quests_completed=[1,2,3],    # other quests
]

# Quest goals

# Find item(s) (a machete and a healing herb)
find=[01,07]

# Give item 01 (machete) to npc id 123 (a hermit, trader, shaman, whoever)
give=[01,123]

# Go to specific location (probably through the use of waypoint-like directions)
go=[x,y,z]

# Kill someone/something
kill=[name="wild boar"]
kill=[id=npc-59]     (a very specific npc, probably a one-off creature)

# Reward?
reward=[xp=1000]    # Gain 1000 XP
reward=[gc=20]       # Gain 20GC
reward=[inventory=0H]   # Gain an item - a bunch of poisonous berries!
reward=[badge=01]    # We don't have badges, but that could be part of the quest system
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Neil Tathers
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 12:28:42 AM »

We going to have the town shamans give these quests, or are they going to be given by a yet undetermined NPC?

I would like to have some of these random ruins or huts have NPCs in them, so you can find someone random in the jungle who can give these quests.
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2010, 12:47:10 AM »

could have some npcs traveling around like the wandering shamen, maby a few npc ghosts that you can only contact via a seance,


what does everyone think about the idea of class specific quests? say a quest to exorcise a specific hut that only shamans can do, or a quest to find some character that requires tracking mastery to find?
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Iceman
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 10:40:16 PM »

I would suggest quests have different time limits, depending on the difficulty, but agree that most or all should be time limited.  Furthermore, I might suggest that the time limit begin only when the first action for the quest is taken (so that, for example, a person wouldn't have to drop everything immediately to go work on the quest, but could prepare themselves before the timer started).

It would indeed seem fairer, but I was thinking about the characters that might idle out whilst on a quest. I don't know exactly how much information this would take up on the server, but I felt if it were set to a week, quests would expire before a character could idle. Perhaps Simon could tell us how important this would be to the suggestion, as I would prefer, as you say, longer limits for certain quests. This would also allow for varied rewards, based on difficulty. Although I'm not sure how you'd judge when the 'first action' was taken. Perhaps you have one week to [Begin Quest] then x number of days to complete it.

I left off quests that involve killing other players, because not everyone chooses to play that way; it doesn't seem right to make a quest that pushes someone out of character.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Peaceful characters have made a conscious choice to refrain from what is a basic part of the game. A great deal of the trouble with Sacred Space came from this, and whilst I was and still am in favour of the concept of Sacred Space, I feel it could have been implemented much better. Quests to kill other characters would be amongst the most engaing and satisfying, and shouldn't be denied to players.

My problem is the reward - extra XP isn't that important to established players. With the treasure maps, you get a tangible reward. Perhaps XP gains could be the same as treasure maps, and instead you get some sort of buff that last for a week or two - added accuracy to search rates, or to-hit ratios or extra HP such as cannibals have. This would reflect the ancient's blessings upon you. This would make it still useful to maxed out characters, but still retain a different flavor than the outsider quests.

I like that. I like that a lot. Only a very small, non-stacking bonus - of say +5% to melee or ballistic hit rates, +2HP healed, +3HP max etc. To last for a week, or until another quest is completed.

what does everyone think about the idea of class specific quests? say a quest to exorcise a specific hut that only shamans can do, or a quest to find some character that requires tracking mastery to find?

I like that too. I would suggest that it be implemented after the basic quest format, but it would be a natural direction to take, and could be expanded to include Neil's idea of various location where other quests can be found. A sort of Spirit Quests v2, when it has been seen how (if) the original is accepted.
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Twist - boner-inducingly handsome | ClickClick - guardian of the Dalpoki | Sympathetic Phil - hard-bitten mercenary and surly drunkard |
Tkltchk - hungry, want eat | Fist McRhinopuncher - fairly self-explanatory

"Iceman?" How gay is that? | Suggestions
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