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Posts with tag quest-text

Breakfast Topic: How often do you read quest text?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

If you have played WoW for more than five minutes, you have done a quest. It is nearly impossible to avoid doing them altogether. Since the option has been implemented to have instant quest text and the options tracked on the map by Blizzard's default UI now, most players see the exclamation mark, click on the NPC, accept the quest, and go get the items -- whether it be someone's head, 10 rocks, or going to kill a certain number of creatures -- without paying attention to the why. We want the gold, experience, achievement, or perhaps a quest reward, but we cannot be bothered with why we need to commit genocide on a population of wild animals. We would rather crit the mobs required for the quest than be crit by a wall of text.

I am as guilty of this as the next person: Oh, bring you murloc eyes ... Sure, why not? Kill a bunch of boars? Whatever. However, when I recently went back and finished off Loremaster, I found myself actually paying attention to some of the quests, and I realized there can be some great stories there. The Burning Crusade, Wrath, and soon Cataclysm have come a long way in terms of making the quests feel like they are leading somewhere, as opposed to killing these random mobs for no apparent reason. While working on Loremaster, I was like, "Wow, that was a neat little storyline in that quest chain!" It made me both impressed and a little sad, wondering about all the possible nuggets of story I had simply ignored just so I could level a couple of minutes sooner.

Do you actually read the quest text? Do you ever want to know why we have to kill the creatures we kill and why the NPCs want these seemingly inane items? Or do you just do it for the XP and money and could not care less?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Patch 3.3 PTR: Target marking, the end of lowbie raids, and other UI tweaks


There are quite a few interesting UI tweaks in the latest build on the patch 3.3 PTR. First up, Blizzard seems to be making quite a few changes that aim at streamlining current frustrations: the Ignore list is set to 50 different entries (to match the Friends list), XP earned in a quest will show up in the rewards section on the quest log, and not only can any member of the raid now mark targets, but instant quest text is now turned on by default for all players. The last two changes are somewhat questionable -- cynics that we are here at WoW.com, we can see raiders in PuGs messing around with raid marks "for the lulz," which could be frustrating for raid leaders. Then again, it'll be much easier than the current situation of having to set up a marker as raid leader or assistant. Instant quest text, too, seems like a choice by Blizzard to step away from the immersiveness of having quest text write itself across the window, but then again, who doesn't have it set on instant already, and Blizzard has already admitted quests aren't that immersive anyway.

There is another issue, though, that may be worth Blizzard's reconsideration before bringing all of these changes live.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, News items

Telling a story without quest text


Tyllendel's friend had an interesting reaction to the game when he first played it: he felt that all of the quest text was unbearable, and that he wanted to play the game rather than reading what NPCs told him. We've talked a little bit about this before -- obviously, when Blizzard kicked off WoW nearly five years ago, quest text was just the way quests were done, and while Blizzard has expanded the concept a bit since, it's still mostly the way MMOs work: you go to a character, talk to them, and they tell you where to go and what to do.

But I can see Tyl's friend's point: games are much less about telling these days and more about showing. You might understand how, if you've never played an MMO before, reading the quest text can take you right out of the game, rather than running off with an NPC or having the game show you rather than just tell you what to do. And Blizzard is getting there: later in the thread Slorkuz points out the recent Afrasiabi interview, and talks about how Alex mentions new ways of doing quests. For example, the quest team is trying to do a quest with no text, or direct players' attention without actually telling them, "look here." Text is the easiest and most basic way to help players accomplish goals, but as the game moves on, even the developers realize it's not the most elegant or immersive way to do it.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Quests, Lore, NPCs

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