Author Topic: Quest Level Range, Accessibility, and Balance  (Read 618 times)

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on: October 29, 2021, 05:45:55 PM
Hi folks! I was curious if there is an audience for discussion of quest level ranges.

So here's what I understand about quests:
-Quests can be taken once per reset.
-Some of them are static; some move around.
-The level requirements (min and max) vary.
-Rewards, be they XP or loot, vary in scale and scope.

In general, this has a few effects on the quest loop:
-There is a niche for prospecting non-static quests on behalf of other characters.
-There is uncertainty at the outset about what will be encountered.
-The distance between static quests increases the odds of encountering random ones.

In previous chapters, it was easier to plan a route for what is colloquially referred to as the 'quest train'. In the City of Rings, however, the 'quest train' is usually more variable. The variety should make it more rewarding, both in terms of loot and roleplaying. However, I think there are some impediments to achieving the full potential of the scripted quest system as a whole:

First: when the unexpected quests lie outside the group's level range. Typically, this excludes the high-level characters from a quest with a lower maximum level requirement. Apologies to the nameless few who have had to sit outside and type ugh miss me with that noise. It's awkward out-of-character, and feels bad to exclude for a mechanical detail.

Second: Lower-level characters will join groups high above their level range, not anticipating the spike in difficulty. Example: Quests with deadly traps, close spawns, or ranks of ranged attackers. In many cases, these challenges require subtle metagaming of spawn triggers and cover to avoid the full consequences. New players can end up walking right into these traps.

Third: There is a chance these first two issues might discourage smaller groups from questing at all, due to a gulf in level range/ability.

My personal opinions are thus:
-The randomness of quests is a positive change. It adds replayability that outweighs the time/risk costs.
-Temporary negative levels could be used to allow higher-level characters to support lower-level ones.
-Awareness of the exploitability of spawn triggers going forward can inform more insidious quest design.
-Veterans should be mindful of the experience of players, and slowing down where necessary solves a lot of this.


I'd like to know what my fellow players think about these observations. Am I out of touch? Am I on to something? What solutions are available or desirable?
im LTS tho


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on: October 29, 2021, 08:09:34 PM
I like the random spawning of quests in combination with non-quest encounters (e.g., holes in the ground leading to monster camps). This opens up the narrative from "hey, who wants to go kill lizards in ring 95?" to "hey, who wants to go explore ring 95 and whatever else we end up in the mood for?" Instead of a group forming in a social hub and bee lining straight to a quest, they do more exploring and socializing. They're also incentivized to take their time because it means when they do find a quest or camp, they don't need to wait for the rest counter to hit zero.

Agreed that finding a quest which limits some of the group is a jarring experience. I can't think of any (viable) solution that wouldn't a) allow high level PCs to smash the difficulty of a quest into the ground or b) allow high level PCs to load up on supplies/gold. Temporary lowered levels sounds like a good idea but it sounds complicated to implement (granted, I have near to zero technical knowledge on this). Even as a player, my first thought is: how messed up are my memorized spell slots going to be?

New players can end up walking right into these traps.

Non-new players should be walking into these same traps unless their characters have IC knowledge warning them against such.

The real solution to deadly traps, surprise spawns, and firing squad ambushes are to have people check for traps, being quick to buff up/go invisible, and running back behind cover so you can prepare a plan a proper charge.


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on: October 30, 2021, 12:48:43 AM
Higher level pcs will always have more difficulty questing than lower level. Ideally when your pc is level 10 your character should have a lot more impact that just wanting to fight trolls.  I get supply can be an issue, but higher levels aren't made to be sustainable, that's part of the difficulty.

Mind, there's more stuff for high level pcs to do now than ever!


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on: October 30, 2021, 09:02:16 PM
Our goal is to have known locations where players know where they can find a quest of certain level range. So groups can form out and head out somewhere and, while they might find something better along the way, they certainly know there'll be something they can do when they arrive. More work needs to be done on this. And more feedback and opinions for the ideal questing experience for EFU is always welcome.

Temporarily decreasing levels sounds silly and probably won't happen.