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  #1  
Old 07-26-2012, 05:15 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Default Quest System: Central Job Board

The problems with the quest system have been discussed at length in other threads, but basically the fact that all quests are linked to random single planets has several undesirable effects once races expand:
  • Quests can be safely ignored when race has more than a few planets
  • Quests can do this
  • Races never team up on quests, not even against a common enemy, which means the player usually has to check every race just to find out which one wants the giant monster dead
  • Planets are interchangeable, and no one wants to remember which one was the quest giver planet
  • Going to Relations and clicking on multiple race is entirely too many clicks when you just want to see what's available in your system

All of these problems can be addressed by having a central job board (J? No one needs to access the Journal repeatedly in play), possibly with the ability to sort by category. Not only would this let the player quickly check available jobs pre-expansion, it would also allow:
  • System quests - receive reward from each race with a planet in the system
  • Multi-race quests - two races might have the same goal
  • Galactic quests - save the galaxy!
  • Combining rebellion/civil war quests together - give a reward once the problem's cleared from all the race's planets. (Or maybe a race wants you to spread propaganda on X enemy planets, but that would be a feasible quest even in the current system.)
  • Drox quests - the Drox guild might give you secret missions to test your worth

If it's important for some quests to disappear when certain planets are destroyed, designate different planets for different types of quests (bounty planet, research planet, espionage planet), and one planet as the Capital (all quests). Some quests would be un-typed, so you can always turn them in. Other quests would require a specific planet type. You could get a quest to help them convert a planet to that type. I'm not sure this is necessary, though, but the typed planets could do other things as well (special shops?). I think Bluddy had some ideas in another thread.

Last edited by Chumpy : 07-26-2012 at 06:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2012, 05:19 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Sort quests by:
  • Race
  • Reward
  • Quest type
  • Counter-quests (ie. mutually exclusive goals)
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:15 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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That's an excellent suggestion, and it incorporates the ideas that have been floating around in a very elegant way.

Many of the bigger quests should not happen until the races are big enough and are co-located in enough systems.

I would really love to work in some consequences for you as a mercenary. For the sector-wide quests, the consequences are fairly obvious -- the end of the sector. But what of the other quests?

My mind just happened to go back to the floating base idea: what if you had a floating base that needed protection? Initially it's unprotected and you have to protect it, which is why you want to get an ally ASAP. But you soon make enemies, and they might try to attack your base, so you need to make sure you have enough allies to defend it. Anyway, it's a thought. Sorry for polluting your thread.
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:23 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Pollute away.

I think the floating base and central quest planet ideas are both based on the same idea - the "oh shit, I have to go save that thing right now" moment that was present in Din's Curse. In Drox, though, there are way too many planets for that to feel meaningful.
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:38 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chumpy View Post
Pollute away.

I think the floating base and central quest planet ideas are both based on the same idea - the "oh shit, I have to go save that thing right now" moment that was present in Din's Curse. In Drox, though, there are way too many planets for that to feel meaningful.
Right. But also, if you think about analogous games: Privateer and SR2 for example, they had that "oh shit" moment derived from your own survival as well: you wouldn't resurrect in those games, you'd just die and be forced to try the exact same challenge you got yourself into again. There was a very strong barrier placed in front of your progression. SPAZ seems to have that same barrier except you can try the mission again instead of bothering to save and load. In all these games you were given specific goals and challenges, even if they were often random and fairly open (especially in SR2).

Drox doesn't have that because of a. resurrection and b. the fact that no challenge is specifically put in your way (also mostly a result of a, but additionally because the big picture challenge systems from DoP and DC are missing). So it kinda feels like you're floating in limbo, unattached to anything in particular.

Also in Privateer and SR2, you weren't given the nitty gritty of quests developing because they didn't affect you that much. You simply needed to know your quest goal. In Drox, we're essentially spammed by quest developments that don't concern us that much.
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:52 PM
aReclusiveMind aReclusiveMind is offline
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Playing hardcore eliminates some of the issues you have regarding challenge. After an initial play or two to test the water (or reaching level 25 in Drox as I did), I tend to only build hardcore characters. Since there is no end game in Drox, except perhaps the challenge missions, this adds a more compelling reason for me to keep pushing forward with my character. Character builds just aren't varied enough to keep things replayable, so hardcore helps fill this role for me.

There is definately an issue in my mind regarding all of the quests to save a planet, stop riots on a planet, etc. In most cases, I avoid these as they involve tedious courier fedex quests where I have to pick up a package and deliver it somewhere. To add to that, I have no way of knowing how valuable a planet really is to a race. Unlike in a 4x, I don't know if the planet I'm being asked is critical for some reason. is it a major source of the race's food or production? Is it the only planet that can produce warships? Why is the planet important to me aside from the rewards offered? Given the choice, I'd much rather do a kill quest because they are easier, or a colonization quest because giving the race an extra planet at least provides me a new place to seek safe harbor. Terraforming quests also seem to be more trouble then they are worth, at leaast based on the data available to me.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:03 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aReclusiveMind View Post
Playing hardcore eliminates some of the issues you have regarding challenge. After an initial play or two to test the water (or reaching level 25 in Drox as I did), I tend to only build hardcore characters. Since there is no end game in Drox, except perhaps the challenge missions, this adds a more compelling reason for me to keep pushing forward with my character. Character builds just aren't varied enough to keep things replayable, so hardcore helps fill this role for me.
I agree that hardcore adds challenge to the game (as it did in the other games -- over there you had the over-arching challenge in that case + the specific challenge of survival). However, there are also issues with hardcore. The game gives you the target of reaching level 100, which is hard to pull off with hardcore characters. It causes a lot of frustration when you lose a character you've sunk so much time into. That frustration is normal and acceptable for people who really like rogue-likes (like me), but not for most people. A proper save and load system, primitive as it is, serves to make sure that a player can't die his way through obstacles ie the challenge has to be dealt with until it's beaten.

Another disadvantage of hardcore is that it encourages conservative play. This is usually a good thing because it adds a lot of tension. But in a game where you have the option of avoiding many of the challenges, that can be a problem. You can choose never to fight a boss or an enemy ship (which is often stronger than a boss), thus mostly avoiding danger. Playing hardcore, that is the most logical course of action ie. if you allow the player to avoid the challenge and penalize strongly for losing the challenge, the player will choose to avoid the challenge. Hardcore is good for games where the challenge is near-inevitable, but you can either play smart and increase your chances of beating the challenge, or play dangerously and risk losing.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:00 AM
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RoboAV RoboAV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aReclusiveMind View Post
Playing hardcore eliminates some of the issues you have regarding challenge.
I'll never play hardcore. Quick rogue-likes are one thing, but the idea of perma-death in this game makes me shudder.

I see this game as more of a randomly generated Skyrim type. The open world is there for you to run around in. You can get lost in a thousand little side quests and have a fine time doing it. The difference is the directed storylines that lead you from point A to B to C in Skyrim. I'm not suggesting layering on heavy storylines, but there is a need for quests- or planets or bases or NPCs- that stand out from the pack.

Some type of gameplay objective beyond fiddling around or crunching the numbers for a sector victory.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:18 PM
aReclusiveMind aReclusiveMind is offline
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Different strokes for different folks of course, but I think it is short sighted to not consider hardcore mode if one truly wants a challenge. I have several hardcore ships going and if I lose one I know it will be because of my actions. The tension level of playing when you know you could permanently die is much higher. Maybe instead of trying to solo that race, I'll wait for my friends. Maybe I'll save that thrust boost consumable for when they are in hot pursuit. Maybe I don't need that third weapon and should add a shield instead. All questions to ponder that have a significant amount of meaning when you can't risk failure and there is no trying again. I honestly don't care if my ships live until level 100. In fact, it is quite likely I'll get bored long before then as I'll have exhausted all the component combination options I could use on my ship already.

Anyway, I have nearly 200 hours into Skyrim, and I'm sorry but I don't see the connection between it and Drox. They both have quests and factions you can assist, and Skyrim does have some dynamic quests, but beyond that the difference is night and day. Skyrim has hand placed hidden secrets all over, several storylines, personalities with their own goals and ambitions, etc. Drox is much more procedural in nature and aside from the challenge sectors, nothing is hand placed.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2012, 04:23 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aReclusiveMind View Post
Different strokes for different folks of course, but I think it is short sighted to not consider hardcore mode if one truly wants a challenge. I have several hardcore ships going and if I lose one I know it will be because of my actions. The tension level of playing when you know you could permanently die is much higher. Maybe instead of trying to solo that race, I'll wait for my friends. Maybe I'll save that thrust boost consumable for when they are in hot pursuit. Maybe I don't need that third weapon and should add a shield instead. All questions to ponder that have a significant amount of meaning when you can't risk failure and there is no trying again. I honestly don't care if my ships live until level 100. In fact, it is quite likely I'll get bored long before then as I'll have exhausted all the component combination options I could use on my ship already.
I totally agree. I personally love hardcore modes in games. But given the strength of race ships as they are now, would you openly go to war against a race and fight it out with them? I wouldn't -- it's suicide for a hardcore ship.

Also, we need a way to give a sufficient level of consequence (and therefore challenge) to all players, not just the ones willing to play hardcore. DC and DoP had that, and most space games have that using a combination of player death (saving and loading) and overarching threats (Dominators in SR2) -- not that we need to use the same methods, but having something would be good.
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