Re: Questing

William Bruvold (
Wed, 8 Dec 93 9:13:08 PST

> The difficulty of the quest being determined by the distances between
> the locations, the number of steps, and the toughness of the monsters.
> Now, design consultants, search your hearts and tell me if _this_ is good
> enough. I expect to be able to come up with some variation. But if the
> example above provokes a yawn, there's no way I can code a quest-scripter
> to keep you entertained after the 10th quest.


Some fairly straightforward comments but they may help you
prioritizing the above coding:

1. Would seem that most quests would probably involve monsters. Almost
crucial that they be put in ASAP. Otherwise players like myself may
start being a bit more agreesive simply so as to "spice up" the game
world. Having to clear out some monsters (see below) would be
great as it would keep us busy, even if we didn't have quests
associated with them, as well as test the combat codes (along with
the undertested/examined health/death aspect of the game) and
encourage exploration and comment on sublocations

2. The above example seems ok until the character has to sell the
staff. Some magic out in the world that improves skills in a way
that doesn't destroy game balance (monty hall syndrome) but adds
would be nice. Three examples....rings of horse control (20% chance
rather than 10% of capturing wild horses and possession will allow
up to 6 to be caught in a province, ring of the forest elves
(collect up to 3 yew in any forest province), ring of the rolling
stones (allow up to 30 stones to be transported as if they had a
weight of 1 lb). Tons more could be thought of pretty easily.

3. Generating quests through the computer seems fine _As long as_
doing questlike things (killing monsters/finding treasure, exploring
for lairs) doesn't require that you necessarily be on a computer
generated quest. They probably would get boring fairly soon but
only after three or four of them were generated.

4. However, quests generated by the machine should have the above
1. They should be somehow limited in the distance necessary
to travel. In other words the character should only have to go say
30/40 squares away to get to where they need to go. Having to
travel for 3 months of real time (12 moves at a week a move) to even
get to the place is likely to lead to dissatifaction.
2. They should leave something to chance. Rather than give
sublocation/monster/item in full the quest should read something
"The old man stumbles from the hut along the side of the
road. He looks up at the adventurer and mumbles through his foot
long beard, `Go find the evil one that lurk in an abandoned castle
to the north of city ev04 in Greater Atnos. The foul beast holds a
tansilman of great power, and will not easily part with it. Bring
it back to the first of all cities
in Lesser Atnos and there you must
place it upon the alter of the newbie temple."

As you can see there is more left to the character to figure out,
such as inquiring where in greater Atnos ev04 is, the simple moronic
puzzle of figuring out that there is a newbie temple (perhaps
hidden) in Safehaven, and the fact that to complete the quest the
player has to move into temple. Thus while the coded randomly
generated quest might be the same, the computer only provides the
character with some of the info (sublocation number but not province
number, general direction from city, no specific name/number of
tansliman, etc).

5. Some Monsters may be best put in lairs that restrict the number of
"attackers" that can go into the lair. Should all the fun be
reserved for those factions that can marshall 30 elite guards and 60
elite archers? For those factions, quests become either
ridiculously easy and thus boring or to be hard enough for their
interest, too hard for factions without castles/large tax bases.
Restricting the number of "men" (perhaps some weight check) that can
be in some sublocations at once would keep the sport challanging.
Would require some consideration of how to do this but Ithink would
make it more interesting, especially if my suggestion #6 was
put in place.....

6. A note on Combat -
One thing I have noticed as my faction has started to use
its recently built castle to rapidy expand manpower is the fact that
nobles can not be differentiated by combat skills and ability. It
means that questing and monster slaying may be mostly activities
pursued by those factions that build up lots of elite guards and can
support the tax base to do it. I thus would like to recommend a
slight change in the combat system (but not sure the code will
support it).

a) Reduce the attack/defense rating of new nobles to 50.
b) Have a new subskill under combat called "Physical
c) Have a new command called "Workout" (yes, I hate these
terms but it is still early on the West Coast ;-) which nobles could
do for X number of days a month. For each 10 days of "workingout"
the nobles attack _or_ defense rating goes up 1. Would be random
until maxed out.

Some advantages:

Allows even another "career" choice which is something akin
to a band of mercenaries. Rather than trade, build castles, study
magic, some factions might focus on training nobles, fighting
monsters as a small group, and hiring their services out to others.
Combines with stealth skills these groups would serve as the basis
of theives guilds, assasins, etc. The differentiated combat skills
provides some interesting incentives/tradeoffs for players to
consider plus adds to the game depth. I figure that after 3-4 weeks
of hard working out the difference would start to affect game play
in interestsing ways. (nobles would be around 10 different providing
some important advantages

Allows nobles to do something during some of the
stupid downtime that occurs other than basket weaving/pot making
(boy, aren't Olympian nobles sensitive arts and crafts kind of
Allows factions to go after some monsters (see above) even
without huge armies while encouraging those factions with big armies
to think about either creaing or cooperating with those that do have
these skills.

Some negative ones:

Makes new nobles more vulnerable to either bad guys, monsters, of
peasand mobs. Combat advantage enjoyed goes away. So some
consideration must be paid to whether this is a great idea in
respect to increasing the danges in the Olympian worlrespect to
increasing the dangers in the Olympian world.

Question of whether the code allow for changes to the "intrensic"
characteristics of nobles. Seems that this is handeled through an
inventory system (all nobles the smae they only have different

Well enough for now. Coffee kicking in so back to work.


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