Project Quest

DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
There is a project that we are currently working on which, in good ol' Holy Celestine Empire fashion, has been dubbed Project Quest. It is not only a rather massive undertaking but also something which is not officially mandated. It is quite frankly a pet project and we are not interested in tying ourselves to a deadline. There is a sleek, comprehensive spreadsheet involved though and, as Havens people can attest, nothing keeps my interest better than stats and charts.


The project consists of three phases which in short are:

1) catalogue all the quests already in the quest system (the one accessed by QUESTS)
2) convert existing quests into the quest system
3) re-evaluate rewards and other minor issues for all the quests in the system

Phase 1 was a bit daunting with 18 fields to fill out per quest and a wealth of places to jump around for information but we are 82% done. You can see the result of some of that in Changelog 986, which includes the noticeable changes. You will also notice that almost all quests now list the giver and associated area as well - that is something we made sure to add while cataloguing. We've also been fixing some issues with quests not being visible (despite existing and being doable), having no or bad descriptions, etc.

We'll be slowly moving to Phase 2 soon but it is not something we are likely to need your assistance with because we have very good quest lists of our own. You have been sending Ianir lists of quests which you would like to use for guild tasks so we have that to go over too. Once we exhaust all of these lists we will ask you for more ideas. 

Which brings us to Phase 3 and this post. We will only be doing some heavier rebalancing once we have a clear picture of everything (Phase 1 and 2 done) but far as I can tell already there will, at the very least, be some extensive tweaks to XP and gold some quests reward. Tweaks for the better of course! We'll be looking at ikons, curios, blessings, etc., too.  

So this is where you come in. This thread will be here for updates, queries, feedback, but also info from you. We want to keep cataloguing these issues even as we work on Phase 2. Mind you, we are not looking for information about bugs. We know where those demons lie very well and they are being worked on. We are also not looking for information about whose epic quest sucks the most or how we should totally rebalance the whole Sea Battle. That is a whole other thing that this project will not be distracted with and you can expect such posts to go the way of Ned Stark's head. You have been warned. 

So what we would like to hear: 
  • quests which give too small or too large XP/gold rewards
  • quests which could thematically award some type of ikon but don't, or they do but shouldn't!
  • quests which give blessings which need an upgrade or downgrade - based on quest difficulty/length etc.
  • quests which give no rewards
  • quests which don't give an honour but you think they should (because of how hard/long they are)
  • anything else you can think of that does not involve changing the nature of the quest
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Comments

  • OrventaOrventa Member Posts: 576 Mythical
    edited August 6
    There's a side quest in Clarramore, given out by Detrii that I think could use some love and rewards/honours for all the puzzling, influencing and gathering you have to do. And there's a lantern that I'm unsure if it's involved, but has been a conundrum (lantern166305) as to its use and presence.

    Oh, and that quest to help the trill hybrid guy repair his balloon to access Lirangsha!


    I'm a consent-based roleplayer! Kindly ask first, and I will return the favour. Open to developing tinyplots.
    Atlantis is my client of choice! (Guide)
  • PortiusPortius Likes big books, cannot lie Member Posts: 1,296 Transcendent
    I love that you are doing this.

    Maybe add ikons to the Fink and Gnome quests in Newton? I'm not sure if any of the sets are great fits, but it'd be a good way to introduce them to new people.

    Both sides of Mornhai should probably give vernal ikons if they don't already. I can't remember if they do or not.
    Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    edited August 6
    re: Baloon - will go on the to-do list
    re: Mornhai - good idea re: ikons, will consider

    re: Deitrii - his quest is what we call a pocket expansion and while areas will always be associated with honours, pockets don't always do. It generally depends on how much work goes into completing a pocket's quest which is hard to gauge due to all the variables involved. The rule of thumb is that it should take +/- an hour, maybe 40min if you know it well. From a brief glance it looks like that one might qualify. It currently rewards xp and gold on completion, and eats your xp if you fail :o . The mysterious lantern is simply one of the hiding places for things. 

    re: Fink & Gnome - we did not add ikons to those on purpose as we felt it might be too distracting and confusing at that point. At the moment, ikons are usually introduced to new players when they start doing their org quests (power, essence, etc) and get enough points. We are considering adding them at the college level though, perhaps when you complete the last quest and graduate with honours. 
  • DaraiusDaraius Shevat The juror's taco spotMember Posts: 4,302 Transcendent
    edited August 6
    The Ixthiaxa peg jump game puzzle is super easy to do (especially after the first time you've solved it), and it gives a village and a soulless ikon, and an honors line. I love it for those reasons, but it might be too generous.

    The Tosha monastery lotus/pilgrim quest (which I think qualifies as a pocket expansion) requires the same amount of influencing as the Tosha pits honors quest, and only gives a gold/xp reward. I'm biased, but I think it's worth an honors line, or at the very least a Vernal ikon.
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    re: Ixthiaxa - it no longer awards village ikons, we removed that when we added a Soulless ikon on top. Ptoma actually no longer awards a village ikon either because neither of those two was ever meant to award those. If you look at the Village set, none of those ikons reflect the Undervault at all.

    re: Ikons in general. There has been a Kephera set planned but never began. We might get to it but there's others we'd like to look at first, one of which has been sitting half finished. It has been a while since anyone made new ikons though and it's a challenge to keep sets well-balanced (though the system does help balance it all on its own). We'll definitely want to finish this first before getting into that though.

    re: village quests in general. Villages always award honours and some are definitely easy once you know them well. Acknor has been tweaked to not be so easily farmed but now it's almost never done at all (also going to be looked at). We might look at Ixthiaxa being a bit too easy too.

    re: Tosha pocket. Will add it to our list.
  • ThylacineThylacine Member Posts: 12 Apprentice
    I could have sworn Latifah's quest in the Presidio had a qhonors associated with it, but I haven't seen it awarded when run and the people I vaguely remember having it no longer show on their honors.

    Am I going crazy, or did it get removed?
  • FalaeronFalaeron Jolteon Member Posts: 1,614 Transcendent
    Would love more ways to get Vernal ikons.
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    edited August 7
    re: Latifa - you need to complete the quest 5 times before it awards an honour, check honours on people in the rankings with >= 5 completions.  We have made a note to consider lowering that to 3, along with lowering a few other requirements (the quest does involve some serious running around). The blessing for alive/undead relies heavily on how much effort you put into the last stage and that's the part that should be challenging. 


  • MrakMrak Member Posts: 157 Adept
    Thylacine said:
    I could have sworn Latifah's quest in the Presidio had a qhonors associated with it, but I haven't seen it awarded when run and the people I vaguely remember having it no longer show on their honors.

    Am I going crazy, or did it get removed?
    You have to do it 5 times, and I think it's "He is an esteemed associate of the Effervescent Beauty Laboratory."

    This is awesome! The fix to beggars is wonderful.

    - One thing that would be nice would be for the generic blessings to stack.
    - I don't think the Throne of Urlach gives vernal curios or vernal ikons, that would be a nice addition.
    - (common Mag complaint) It's my understanding that the Spire gives vernal curios for fixing it, but very little for destroying it. It would be nice if we got something for the other side.
    - Opening the catacombs might be tough-ish for someone who doesn't know what they are doing, but it is real easy otherwise. Vernal curio+blessing+undead released (okay, the undead aren't a big deal) seems like a lot.
    - It's my recollection that these random quests in the mountains (Sleghi, Rasebal, etc.) give blessings that are almost negligible for the effort required. It would be cool (and doesn't seem game-breaking) if the blessings were beefed up. 
    - There's a large gap in difficulties of village quests, but it seems like they all give essentially the same reward. 

    My impression is that in general, gold rewards are low enough now that they can be essentially disregarded. If you are out for gold, questing is almost never your best bet. 
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    re: beggar extra. The best thing about this is that the feature has been there since 2007 but somewhat messed up. I've tested and updated it (and again just a moment ago because clearly beggars hate me), and now they also hint you can do that upon being given soup. Similarly, Celest's supplicants have had it forever but without hints, few remembered about it(added hints there too, and tested). 

    re: Catacombs. Funny story, the Catacombs have been even 70% easier before a fix a few years ago, an easily overlooked operator mistake. Quests which award curios will be looked at with extra scrutiny in Phase 3. 

    re: Spire. Agreed on the tangible unevenness but taking it down is easier than putting it up, hence lower rewards, also would not make sense to reward Soulless curios there sadly. We can look at something else though (ikons at least, more xp, etc) and we have talked in the past about adding extra ways of keeping the Spire down. Way down the line though, with the size of staff we have and the amount of plates we're spinning, not eager to make promises just yet. 

    re: Throne. It's not in the system yet so I can't look it up quickly but definitely should be giving something Vernal once we get to it.

    re: Raseball. Completion gives 2x dmp_divinus. We're gathering info on blessings as well because we might need to adjust them post-Overhaul. Frankly, I have no idea how good or bad 2x dmp_divinus is at this point and when we get to Phase 3 we'll need pros weighing in.

    re: village quests. There's a very large disparity in the XP and gold they award actually. To give you an example, Delport awards the most XP (142.5k), while Dairuchi is amongst those who award the least (10k). Gold-wise, Talthos awards the most (10.7k), and Rikenfriez the least (250).

    While most quests are not good for money at all (highest being Nightmarket with 35k and with good reason for it), it shouldn't necessarily be so. Bashing/influencing will almost always be better (and vastly level dependant) but gold rewards in quests were not meant to be an afterthought. Back before all the inflation, Paavik awarding 5k was a good deal as that was the worth of one credit on the market. It's unlikely we'll suddenly make Paavik give you 20k but it is my hope, with this project, to make questing more rewarding and enjoyable, and a passable alternative.
  • AeldraAeldra Member Posts: 948 Mythical
    I'll go ahead and mention the Cay here. The cay, given how much it's contested/interrupted and what it gets you in the end ( 5000 gold, a bit of xp ), Maybe it could reward a celest/mag icon depending on which side is done?
    Avatar / Picture done by Xeii. Wheeeeee 
  • OrventaOrventa Member Posts: 576 Mythical
    edited August 7
    I can't remember if it awarded anything other than a chest and a memory crystal, but would that quest to uncover Taimon and Lira (sileni) count for honors? If it already does, ignore this one please.

    Another thought I had, it would be nice if there was a column on the Quests list that mentioned a minimum average level (with the gauge being someone with minimal buffs and few to no arties) it would be suited for. Or some way to allow newbies to be aware that we have a Quests list for them to consult right off the bat. I've had newbies in the past ask about quests beyond Newton, and always just send them to Toronada or Tolborola since that's where I started out, but I think there's probably more out there for them.




    I'm a consent-based roleplayer! Kindly ask first, and I will return the favour. Open to developing tinyplots.
    Atlantis is my client of choice! (Guide)
  • PortiusPortius Likes big books, cannot lie Member Posts: 1,296 Transcendent
    Orventa said:

    Another thought I had, it would be nice if there was a column on the Quests list that mentioned a minimum average level (with the gauge being someone with minimal buffs and few to no arties) it would be suited for. Or some way to allow newbies to be aware that we have a Quests list for them to consult right off the bat. I've had newbies in the past ask about quests beyond Newton, and always just send them to Toronada or Tolborola since that's where I started out, but I think there's probably more out there for them.


    Other good options for novices who ask for quests:

    Golden Salmon-requires bashing elemental
    Estelbar and Stewartsville-basic influence/finding stuff and a logic puzzle.
    Clarramore Swans(?)-I think no combat or influencing, but I might be forgetting a section.

    If you want people to use QUESTS to find quests to do, it might be good to include ratings or reviews so it doesn't feel like you have to pick at random.
    Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.
  • OrventaOrventa Member Posts: 576 Mythical
    edited August 7
    Portius said:
    Orventa said:

    Another thought I had, it would be nice if there was a column on the Quests list that mentioned a minimum average level (with the gauge being someone with minimal buffs and few to no arties) it would be suited for. Or some way to allow newbies to be aware that we have a Quests list for them to consult right off the bat. I've had newbies in the past ask about quests beyond Newton, and always just send them to Toronada or Tolborola since that's where I started out, but I think there's probably more out there for them.


    Other good options for novices who ask for quests:

    Golden Salmon-requires bashing elemental
    Estelbar and Stewartsville-basic influence/finding stuff and a logic puzzle.
    Clarramore Swans(?)-I think no combat or influencing, but I might be forgetting a section.

    If you want people to use QUESTS to find quests to do, it might be good to include ratings or reviews so it doesn't feel like you have to pick at random.
    Might depend on the person though, I think it's kind of enjoyable to be able to pick a quest at random, I usually read the blurb about the quest to see if it's something I'd like, and go off to find it. But knowing an official general level of the area especially if there's hunting involved beforehand would be nice.


    I'm a consent-based roleplayer! Kindly ask first, and I will return the favour. Open to developing tinyplots.
    Atlantis is my client of choice! (Guide)
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    edited August 7
    Re: Cay and ikons. We will certainly be looking at rewards, however, it is unlikely that it would award either for the same reason Ixthiaxa should not award a village ikon. We'll need to look over the sets carefully but it might just not make thematic sense. These areas being of import to Celest/Mag does not make them Celestian or Magnagoran areas. They also ultimately allow for epic quests to be completed and those award a lot of power to the org so there's that too. 

    Re: Sileni. Will check when not on my phone. If it doesn't it is likely that it's not time and effort consuming enough (see above).
    EDIT: No, doesn't have an honour, and doesn't seem to have a reward presently beyond lore. 

    Re: Quest system upgrades. Adding level brackets or anything of the sort is outside the purview of this specific project. We have considered trying to gauge a suitable level for each quest when starting our spreadsheet but ultimately decided it is already complex enough and that is not our purpose. The moment we start expanding the scope, we extend the time spent on this and it is already significant. There is good news though, we have discussed this and it is among the various features on our wishlist (along with categories and tags).


    Post edited by Drocilla on
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    We are officially done with Phase 1 which means we have completed an audit of all the quests in the system - we catalogued as much info as we could, added giver/area, fixed up blurbs, and made other minor fixes while we were there. Now we are staring in the face of the beast which is Phase 2 - adding new quests - and I have a question for you after a short long prelude:

    Already few quests in, I am confident that some things may end up being set on fire and a few admin may need to be admitted to the Havens ward for frustrated volunteers by the time we're done. In theory, this is a really easy undertaking because it involves making a quest in the system, finding two important spots in the code (start and finish), smacking the quest system on top of them, and prancing off into the sunset.

    Unfortunately, ignoring other major changes, finding the spots always means rewriting them (often very radically) since the mobdialogue system is our standard now. At the very least we should easily guide the player into the quest with its help, even if later they have some figuring out to do on their own. For lower-level quest we also offer some hints (should the player have these on), including dialogue hints pertaining to what you could inquire about. 

    Now, old quests, they don't give a Kethuru's tentacle about that. Who needs hints? Some of them are like point and click adventures from the early 90s. If you happen to talk to this person about that other person you might find out that they like apples and if you give this random thing to someone else, they might give you a thing to trade to yet someone else for something that you then put into something and get an apple! And sometimes that's okay because it is meant to be a hard quest and you need to use all of the quest tools at your disposal to figure out who, what, and where. You will note we have made fewer of those in the last few years (*cough*and still sometimes people have problems because they often don't read what the mob says at all*cough*).

    Questing is a skill some people say, and that's true. You need to know that it's worth greeting a mob a few times (especially for older quest), that it's worth mentioning everyone's names to everyone, and asking everyone about some of the things they or others mention (keywords), and then go do that all over again once you move onto a new stage of the quest in case they have new info for you now. You need to make connections, investigate, and push, pull, turn, touch, open, close, use all those verbs and more on whatever objects you divine as being there from reading descriptions really carefully. 

    It's not easy, it's not always meant to be, but sometimes it's really asking you for nothing short of omniscience and that is my question for today. What are the quests that you had a really hard time figuring out or perhaps still haven't? Be careful with spoilers please!
  • PortiusPortius Likes big books, cannot lie Member Posts: 1,296 Transcendent
    I had a hard time finding the start of the Clarramore Gardens quest because I ran into the miniquest there first. Someone had to point me to the correct start point.

    Highwater was briefly hard to figure out at the point where you have to kill a dude who has a diary page. It was not clear that he had to die and the initial attack message made him sound kind of like he was immune to attacks.
    Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    Hopefully once all of those are in the system (re: Clarramore), people will have an easier time of it as there will be a clear starting point - quest giver.

    And yes, the guy is actually immune until you give him the thing! I'll pass it along.
  • MrakMrak Member Posts: 157 Adept
    edited August 15
    There are a few bits of Djarrakh which are quite difficult, of course. 

    The Glinthor quest is in the system and I still can't figure out how to wake him up.

    I don't know what to do for the Lucidian side of Plaxios at its current state, and I don't know how to do the first half of the Taerin quest (I have the line, but only because I encountered it halfway done). 

    I for one am super grateful for any work done on the questing system. It's my favorite part of the game!
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    re: Plaxios - the quests are active but set to unlisted in the system right now because it's one of the areas getting a look at in terms of bugs.  No ETA though.
    re: Taerin - also being eyed for improvements.
    re: Glinthor - I remember cataloguing these and both sides need to be woken up. We'll have a look at whether or not there is enough evidence/hints on how to do that.
    re: Djarrakh - therein lies despair and madness. I never figured it out as a mortal and having looked at it as an admin I am still left with a bewildered look on my face. Props to people who figured it out on their own.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,736 Transcendent
    I figured you were talking about Djarrakh with the apples.  Don't forget the plow.  And all the gears.  Plus putting a chef to sleep (because killing him is Too Easy).  And that white heather can only be gathered with gloves that you only get if you randomly guess the exact right phrase...
    image
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 430 Divine
    @Xenthos I actually wasn't! :D I made the whole thing up. What does that tell you.
  • AeldraAeldra Member Posts: 948 Mythical
    Hmm. the emerald enclave (aegis) is confusing to start off if you're not a dreamweaver, as the staff's rather confusing and at least the first time I discovered it, it did not seem to be an actual quest denizen to give out a quest.

    There's this supposed quest in the plaxios lowlands ( I'm not even sure if there really -is- a quest ) where none of the npcs involved gives you any hint as to what you should be doing if you don't want to help the lucidian side ( the something Oakvine denizen just goes on about not letting the lucidians proceed, but nothing else could be procurred ).
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  • MrakMrak Member Posts: 157 Adept
    Xenthos said:
    I figured you were talking about Djarrakh with the apples.  Don't forget the plow.  And all the gears.  Plus putting a chef to sleep (because killing him is Too Easy).  And that white heather can only be gathered with gloves that you only get if you randomly guess the exact right phrase...
    What kills me is that another quest was added to the area which also requires making a poison. The same two mobs are involved in making both - I spent hours making this other poison, ineffectually giving it to people, remaking it, etc. I definitely never would have finished if Ixion hadn't been around to tell me I was talking to the mobs in the wrong order. 
  • RilunaRiluna Member Posts: 1,089 Mythical
    edited August 15
    There's a few mini quests scattered throughout the orgs that aren't real clearly connected with anything, and don't give much reward.

    A couple specific examples I have in Seren (just cause that's what I'm most familiar with) would be gathering the music sheets from the elfen wandering the treetop shops. Part of the old SS quest, which was probably most of the reward, besides a pittance in gold. But if there's no more SS connection, maybe that gold could be slightly more worthwhile?

    Also coming to are the sick plants you give to Abeytu, which he does pay you for, but then it triggers some kind of defunct quest from the early days of Lusternia involving watering a tree, endlessly. For basically no reason at all, and no reward whatsoever. It takes a while to figure out this one isn't even really a quest anymore unless somebody tells you. But maybe it could be?

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • IanirIanir Administrator, Moderator Posts: 400 Creator
    Riluna said:
    A couple specific examples I have in Seren (just cause that's what I'm most familiar with) would be gathering the music sheets from the elfen wandering the treetop shops. Part of the old SS quest, which was probably most of the reward, besides a pittance in gold. But if there's no more SS connection, maybe that gold could be slightly more worthwhile?
    They all died. In very, very gruesome ways. Don't think they'll be giving out gold any time soon.
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  • RilunaRiluna Member Posts: 1,089 Mythical
    Right. Still catching up, lol.

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • KerithKerith Member Posts: 266 Gifted
    I miss the elfen/faeling quest. RIP  :( 
  • AeldraAeldra Member Posts: 948 Mythical
    can't give enough praises for this project happening <3
    Avatar / Picture done by Xeii. Wheeeeee 
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