Monday, September 15, 2008

Questing for... what?

Next entry I will write beforehand and only paste here.

Ok. Everyone is so pepped up with the WAR launch, that it's almost sickening. Blogosphere is full of posts about WAR, about not to write on WAR and about how the launch is feeling somehow anti-climatic. Blame it on the long beta or whatever. I'm not in it, but I'm never the less fed up with the whole ruckus. Admitted, I'm a bit jealous, too.

Instead I played WoW again during the weekend. Soloing again to catch up my brothers, whose toons are around lv40 at the moment. My arms/prot warrior is 'only' at lv 36 at the moment, plunging through the warrior quest Cyclonian for The Axe. And doing a lot of quest along the main Cyclonian-requisite route. I'm quite well versed with Stranglethorn now, almost passed all Nesingwary's questlines in my search of the Troll Tusks for the Cyclonian. Thankfully that is almost filled up and it's time to head to the Arathi Highlands.

Where I'll do the same: hoard the quests from all around and do them alongside the elemental slaughter.

What I noticed, however, is the fact that the questlines seem to be a) longer and b) more rewarding and c) advancing the toon faster in the level range 26-33. The questlines in Duskwood are fabulously rewarding - XP-wise - compared to the ones in Stranglethorn at 32-36. The Duskwallow Marsh seems to continue the long lines and high rewards style better, but the warrior quests do not even touch that area, making it something to worry after the lv40 questline for the warrior.

Which obviously leaves me in a bad levelling position, as I'm closing the Duskwallow level cap. Need to find another place to advance, though the quests will be easier and possibly faster to go through.

Now that I have written that down and read it again, I'm amazed and appalled. Why? Because I, former next-to-fanatic tabletop roleplayer, lover of immersion and stories and adventuring exitement, am talking in terms of power levelling and faster advancement. With this particular toon I have made it my aim to read the quest descriptions as well as possible and I have loved the winding stories contained within the quest structure. However, in Stranglethorn I noticed that I just skipped everything. First time ever I noticed that the 'been there, done that' mentality is setting in. After all, I have done those quests twice with my horde toons in the past two years I have been playing the game. And honestly speaking, Stranglethorn is quite stale as whole.

I can say honestly, that I have read the quest descriptions almost every time, always. I find it insulting to the game developers, writers and creative people to whom I pay my 12€/month that I would abuse the content by just rushing it through. However I understand fully the players who have played from the beginning, that the content gets stale after the third levelling to the cap. For me the question however is, what is the game about?

Is it to rush to the cap and grind the end game instances? Or is it the story of the character growing from zero to hero? Or is it something else?

WoW doesn't have a kind of continuity for a character: the quests are repetitive and they are the same to every toon in the game. What I would like to see in a future game would be the influence of your playing to the quests and affiliations. More role to the playing. EQ2 has something like this, but it's still in it's infancy. WoW has the reputation system, but it's not really worked to the max.

Make me a Call of Cthulhu rpg in which your actions will decide whether you end your days in an asylum or die in a horrible ritual for the Old Ones or are the one to conduct such a ritual. Make a game in which our decisions make the progress of the game different.

That'd be something to quest for.

1 comment:

Garumoo said...

I've found it's not just familiarity with content that leads to skipping the quest text - I'm recently playing a toon on the other faction, looking forward to leveling in zones I've barely even flown over let alone played through .. and I catch myself skipping quest text even here.