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Netheril : Age of Magic

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Poll

Should quest areas be opened up to entry for players not currently on said quest? Such as players who have outleveled the quest, already finished the quest, etc.

Yes
7 (33.3%)
No
6 (28.6%)
There should be separate, non-instanced versions of the quest area
6 (28.6%)
Other, please explain
2 (9.5%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Author Topic: Should Quest Areas Be Opened  (Read 426 times)

samb123

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2019, 04:16:43 am »
The more I think about it, the more the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.


What a lot of folks don't think about is BALANCE. If Quest Areas are opened, even if it were just removing maximum levels, then the trajectory at which people can level goes up expotentially. That's bad. Why is that bad? Because right now, quite frankly, we have a pretty solid leveling curve that allows folks to NOT level to maximum overnight. People have to earn their levels, and that makes them feel accomplished.
Now, you can disregard that idea all you want, but I've played on servers where fast leveling is a thing. What happens? 9/10, people get bored once they reach maximum level because they feel as if there's now - at maximum level - nothing to do. Removing the level restrictions from quest areas will NOT fix that. It won't. Eventually, if you don't RP and get involved in server plots, you will be bored, no matter how many goodies there are for players.


For instance the giant wasp quest; it has MANY useful things in it that anyone could use, but with RP, DM quests, and typical gameplay you end up PASSING it before you can actually get the items you need in it. You really only get the exp of something in your range inside of it which is around 16-40 exp depending on the monsters level. its basictly a weaker DM event with a time frame on it. I've heard a few rumours that sometimes someone will willingly die when questing just so they can get EXP loss so they can keep trying to get items in the quest.
Sounds like an issue with that particular quest, NOT an issue with the quest system as a whole. It also sounds like you just reported an exploit.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 04:18:17 am by samb123 »
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Briar_Rose

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2019, 05:32:18 am »
True, if humans don't have goals, they tend to feel lost / bored.

The rest of the post, I'd kindly ask that you back it up with logic. The "more you think about it" is not an argument that provides any objectionable evidence to the contrary. ^_^ Perhaps provide math, as it's extremely objectionable as long as it follows sound logic. I can also provide math, if it's requested and propose trajectories in leveling based off of my logic. Actually, I'll do that now!

Proposed Trajectory as it is, assumptions / baselines:
*Average of 15 XP / kill
*Monster count per dungeon: 20
*Average time in dungeon: 20 minutes / once a reset (when alone)
*Quest reward: 300
*Quests are locked to certain level ranges
*Higher PCs cannot come into quests for aid
*Higher PCs can come into exploration areas for aid
*Not counting DM quests / plots / XP
*Average tick of 15 XP / 15 minutes

Proposed Trajectory with minimum level, assumptions / baselines:
*Average of 15 XP / kill
*Monster count per dungeon: 20
*Average time in dungeon: 20 minutes / once a reset (when alone)
*Quest reward: 300
*Quests are locked to certain level ranges
*Higher PCs can come into quests for aid
*Higher PCs can come into exploration areas for aid
*Not counting DM quests / plots / XP
*Average tick of 15 XP / 15 minutes

Here are the formulas I used:
k = kill XP, m = monster count, a = quest reward, t = time to complete, c = XP tick
XP / min during dungeons/quests (remember, this is once a reset): ((15 <k> * 20 <m> + 300 <a>) / 20 <t>) + (15 <c> / 20) = 30.75 XP
XP / min during RP: (15 <c> / 15) = 1 XP
XP / min during exploration: (15 <k> / 2 <takes half the time to find monsters>) + (15 <c> / 20) = 8.25 XP
XP / min during higher explorations: (40 <k> / 2 <takes half the time to find monsters>) + (15 <c> / 20) = 20.75 XP

If you did 3 quests a day, no higher help, and played 5 hours a day only killing things:
Time per day = 300 minutes.
3 quests would total (30.75 * 20 min = 615) = 1845 XP. Take that from 300 minutes for 240 minutes. The rest would be 8.25 / minute = 1980 XP. The end of day, you'd have 3825 XP.
If we use level 9 to level 10 as a baseline, you need a total of 9,000 XP. Meaning you can level to level 10 in 3 days. This is the heart of the argument.

If you did all the quests a day, no higher help outside dungeons, and played 5 hours a day only killing things:
Time per day = 300 minutes.
15 quests would total (30.75 * 10 min = 615) = 9225 XP. Take that from 300 minutes for 150 minutes. The rest would be 8.25 / minute = 1980 XP. The end of day, you'd have 11205 XP.
If we use level 9 to level 10 as a baseline, you need a total of 9,000 XP. Meaning you can level to level 10 in 1 day with 2205 spillover.

If you did 3 quests a day, higher help during exploration only, and played 5 hours a day only killing things:
Time per day = 300 minutes.
3 quests would total (30.75 * 20 min = 615) = 1845 XP. Take that from 300 minutes for 240 minutes. The rest would be 20.75 / minute = 4980 XP. The end of day, you'd have 6825 XP.
If we use level 9 to level 10 as a baseline, you need a total of 9,000 XP. Meaning you can level to level 10 in 2 days. This is the heart of the argument.

If you did all the quests a day, higher help during exploration and dungeons, and played 5 hours a day only killing things:
Time per day = 300 minutes.
15 quests would total (30.75 * 10 min = 615) = 9225 XP. Take that from 300 minutes for 150 minutes. The rest would be 20.75 / minute = 3113 XP. The end of day, you'd have 12338 XP.
If we use level 9 to level 10 as a baseline, you need a total of 9,000 XP. Meaning you can level to level 10 in 1 day with 3338 spillover.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

With the math out of the way, I definitely see the concern (Also note the average of 15 XP / kill isn't even exactly what I've ran into - it's more like 8-10 for me). However I still would like to find a way to open up dungeons for explorations for PCs like Zazie or being able to go into a crypt for PCs like Teuivae. So here's my simple compromise to both parties:

TL;DR
Leave quests alone but allow players to enter the instances without requiring the quest to enter. The XP amount would be no different than exploration areas and without that sweet quest XP reward, the XP / min goes back down to exploration areas (or equal to dense exploration areas). This way the XP / minutes stays about the same as it is now but allows PCs to explore quest dungeons without quest rewards.

Just add a latch that says, "if PC has quest, only those with the same quest enter the same instance" to stop any sort of loop holes of higher PCs entering the same instance as a questing PC. A higher PC could still take them to an area to "train" and yet even have a reason IC to say, "you must do this quest on your own, prove to me that you've been paying attention".

(I spent 3,600 seconds on this, don't let it flop!)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 05:50:07 am by Briar_Rose »
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ElvenStarr

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2019, 06:19:46 am »
Leaving aside the topic of opening quest for the moment. I would like to get an understanding of why players do not want to do the exploration areas.

Is there a reason for this. Is it that it lacks rewards, XP or loot or is it because of some other reason. Because we have a lot of these areas in the mod currently that can be done with a group or solo. So I think this is the biggest question I have is why they are not being used because they are there for this reason so it can be inclusive to everyone no matter on levels.

I would love to hear thoughts on this.

Gmork

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2019, 08:33:24 am »
Some things that are coming in and will slowly be rolled out as time permits. These things will be added to existing quests and exploration areas as well as the new ones.

-Movement skills for traversing difficult areas (think climb checks, balance checks, jump checks, escape checks (for getting through tight spots)) We have some now, but there is an extensive update to add that will add a lot more interesting functionality)

- Descriptive Skill Trigger. These are invisible triggers that can roll any skill check, any ability check rolled blind so the player does not know the DC. (If you fail a check, you do not even know that a check occurred) On a success, they can either give a descriptive text (detail depending on what you rolled), reveal an object, item or creature as well as give out XP.

-The new rnd loot generation system will let us add a chance of a 'boss' creature spawning. These bosses will have a rnd chance to spawn a special magical item on death. These will only appear in exploration areas or overland areas.

In regards to something that caught my eye here:

Quote
Posted by: Briar_Rose
you'd like to continue your story by fighting undead in a crypt.... oh, but look, I can't because some random NPC says he doesn't need my help. Why would that stop me from destroying undead though? Then again, life is just hard for a PC that doesn't want to wander around and kill things for fun.

I'm not sure exactly what you want. You don't want to wander around and kill things for fun, but opening up quest areas will let you in to kill stuff... Also, you said that you don't want to go out and kill goblins just because they are there, but you want to go in and kill wasps because they are there.

Is what you want an NPC to go and tell you do things? That is, if an NPC directs you to an exploration area and tells you to kill things, then you will do it? Because we can definitely aid NPCs that ask you to go do things that are not part of the quest system.

Overall, the quest system is designed to be the way it is to control the story and make sure that it is a challenge for the level of the players. It is there as a means to replicate the DnD feel of a DM run story. To have people in it that are outside the level range enter defeats the purpose of the system. To put this into PnP confines, as a DM you are not going to try and run an adventure for your 1st level players that are made for levels 10 - 16 and your not going to run an adventure for your players who are level 10+ that is made for level 1s. It would not be fun for the players.

So to compensate for this we add in areas for you to make up your own stories about (exploration areas) where you can gather your friends and go and see if you can find the 'Lost Sword of Destiny!' even if you know there is no such thing. You never know, a DM might take notice and actually create more of a story for you while you are doing it.

When I jump on to DM (and do not have a specific quest to run) the first thing I do is jump to players out and about to see what they are up to. Then into quest areas that have players in them and then finally to people in player hub areas to hand out RP XP. If you are out and about then there is more of a chance that I will run something off the cuff that could lead to something much more involved down the track.

Anyway, I will end this with my personal opinion (which may or may not be that of other team members): Scripted quests should remain as they are for the reasons I stated above but also because it will take a lot of time and effort to change it. Time and effort that would be better spent working on new and fun things for players.
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Briar_Rose

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2019, 01:27:30 pm »
Note: this is just regarding my PC, not anything else that was said.  :)

 I never mentioned wasps? Unless you're making the leap to the wasp quest. Teuivae isn't going to kill them simply because they're there... she did the quest because an NPC said their home was infested and it was causing them to essentially be homeless, so she went with purpose.

Like there are orcs out there, but she won't march into their own camp without reason. But this is probably an issue only unique to my PC. Most people would go to the orc camp if they can just because they're orcs. And it has to be more than "please go kill orcs".

Honestly even with wasps she'd be inclined to try and get a druids aid to remove them rather then kill them, but that would ruin the quest... because she'd want a permanent solution to it, so I don't pursue those things as a player for a reason.

Also my choice is self inflicted. I choose to play an exalted PC. No one forced it.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 01:46:38 pm by Briar_Rose »
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Zazie Rotten

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2019, 01:42:22 pm »
There are a few things that cannot really be listed as simple poll options, but here is what I believe should be available:

1. Even if quest areas are not available or opened up to non-instanced players, please provide exploration areas that touch on similar themes. The graveyard in Southbank is a good example, where an undead-hating character can go knock some loosely-contained brains around. I do not know if there is a quest area there, but perhaps keep one mausoleum as a quest and set up another that is open to explore for the same level range.

2. Some safe roads. I understand that the world is dangerous, but it seems counter-intuitive that bandits, wild animals, hags, and troglodytes would band together to jump any poor soul that dares to wander too far east of the farm lands of Hadrian. The roads should be somewhat safe in most places that you travel; shortcuts would be dangerous. Another example is the area north of Sullivan's Port; why are there so many hostile goblinoids right outside of Sullivan's gates, when they know they are just going to get butchered by some vaguely irate minotaur or bloodthirsty gnoll that passes by?

3. Non-hostile exploration and lore zones. Along the same lines as the safe roads, there are surely some places that are simply too hard to get to or too far away from any possible profit or raid. Scenic areas, completely abandoned tombs, gorgeous caverns (until you go too deep and wind up in the Underdark), and other such locations would be wonderful to have and can serve as potential roleplay scenarios as well as free territories for DMs and EMs to spice up an adventure a la random encounters. That usually-empty elven ruin might one day be home to a group of hapless grave robbers hoping that other looters that got there first left something behind. These areas would also make for wonderful story locations and server lore; surely that same elven ruin could have once been a bustling trade village where the elves first taught the Netherese magic before they discovered the Nether Scrolls, and they abandoned it shortly after out of fear of mankind's hubris. Or maybe it was just a former outpost that watched the hordes of the orcs before it was overrun some day. Lore!

It is just a few ideas to open up areas that do not require the slaughter of dozens just because someone wants to travel.

ElvenStarr

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2019, 01:53:15 pm »
Quote
1. Even if quest areas are not available or opened up to non-instanced players, please provide exploration areas that touch on similar themes. The graveyard in Southbank is a good example, where an undead-hating character can go knock some loosely-contained brains around. I do not know if there is a quest area there, but perhaps keep one mausoleum as a quest and set up another that is open to explore for the same level range.

Can definately look at doing up some things like this for sure.

Quote
2. Some safe roads. I understand that the world is dangerous, but it seems counter-intuitive that bandits, wild animals, hags, and troglodytes would band together to jump any poor soul that dares to wander too far east of the farm lands of Hadrian. The roads should be somewhat safe in most places that you travel; shortcuts would be dangerous. Another example is the area north of Sullivan's Port; why are there so many hostile goblinoids right outside of Sullivan's gates, when they know they are just going to get butchered by some vaguely irate minotaur or bloodthirsty gnoll that passes by?

This suggestion here is already being worked on and we are looking to move back some of the road spawn in some areas.

Quote
3. Non-hostile exploration and lore zones. Along the same lines as the safe roads, there are surely some places that are simply too hard to get to or too far away from any possible profit or raid. Scenic areas, completely abandoned tombs, gorgeous caverns (until you go too deep and wind up in the Underdark), and other such locations would be wonderful to have and can serve as potential roleplay scenarios as well as free territories for DMs and EMs to spice up an adventure a la random encounters. That usually-empty elven ruin might one day be home to a group of hapless grave robbers hoping that other looters that got there first left something behind. These areas would also make for wonderful story locations and server lore; surely that same elven ruin could have once been a bustling trade village where the elves first taught the Netherese magic before they discovered the Nether Scrolls, and they abandoned it shortly after out of fear of mankind's hubris. Or maybe it was just a former outpost that watched the hordes of the orcs before it was overrun some day. Lore!

This also is a great idea and one we would like to add in as well for players. It is on the todo list.

But a new thread with some ideas on what you all would like to see in regards to this would be a great help to the team. If someone would like to make one that would be great otherwise I will do one tomorrow (when its not so late) and we can get a discussion going on it.


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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2019, 03:59:42 pm »
To answer your question, ElvenStarr, people don't do the exploration areas because there's often very little to gain from doing them. Very few areas generate loot beyond the very small amount dropped from monsters. Orc Hills has chests with loot in them, but considering the challenge level of the area it isn't much. I can't think of any other examples of areas that have any kind of meaningful loot. After 15 monsters no longer award xp. The exploration markers were good for some areas but they aren't repeatable.

When dying loses you hours worth of time spent doing the quests you have access to, and that's assuming you get a raise or resurrection and aren't taking the full hit, there's no incentive to go out and engage these areas beyond doing them to experience the encounter. Many areas are a blast to check out, but once you've experienced them the imbalance of risk v. reward discourages going back.

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2019, 01:24:05 am »
I think many people are missing the point.

Opening quest areas to exploration will not allow a high level to drag a low level through it and allow them to complete their quest.

Leave the instanced quest system in place. When you take the quest then the quest loot and quest appropriate monsters spawn within an instance that only those with the quest can enter.

If you don't take the quest and just enter the area freely, then the quest loot won't spawn and you can put monsters in there that might make sense to see after someone has already done the quest. Broken chests with a little coin that might have been "missed by the quester" and monsters that might have moved in to take advantage of the area having been cleaned out by the quest groups who did the quests in the instances.

These quest areas are some great areas and doing it this way will give them double duty and allow them to be enjoyed by characters who have out leveled the quest itself as well as characters who might have done the quest but go back before reset and RP taking care of other issues.
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Gmork

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2019, 10:27:02 am »
The transitions are not standard NWN transitions. They are NQS transitions, specifically liked to our quest system to perform the checks needed on the entering player and then to assign that player to a new instance. To try and insert another check and then have it instance a different 'finished quest area' and to then write all the information needed to the appropriate tables in the database would mean breaking down the NQS system and rewriting large chunks of it. It's not a simple task. It would be like taking your 4 cylinder care to a mechanic and saying 'hey, can you chuck in another 2 cylinders for me?' It's just not practical.

I feel that all that can be said on this topic has been said, yes? I'll give it 24 hrs and then lock it unless something else that is viable is brought up. Sound good?
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Gmork

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Re: Should Quest Areas Be Opened
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2019, 09:17:31 pm »
Okay,  thank you all for the discussion. We have gotten some great ideas from this and we will be trying to get them into game as soon as possible.
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