Aggro Me: Choose Your Own Adventure
Choose Your Own Adventure
Sometimes, I like to see what quests I remember from when I first started playing EQII and then think about why they stand out in my mind. One such quest was from my early days in the Qeynos suburbs.
I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the quest, although I remember the structure of it quite well. You hail a somewhat shady NPC who asks you to pick up a package from his associate down by the mariner's bell. You are given hints throughout the quest that the item you are picking up is likely stolen or otherwise illegal. You obtain the item from the second NPC and then you are presented with a choice. However, it's not a choice between two options on a dialogue tree.
It's a real choice based in morality. You can bring the item back to the original NPC for a reward or you can talk to a member of the Qeynos guard and reveal the unscrupulous activities. I don't remember all of the details, but I do remember getting a nice bag as a reward. I'm not even sure this quest is still around.
Why does this glorified fed-ex quest stick out in my mind amongst all the quests I did at that level range? Simple. It's the only one I can recall with multiple solutions. It's the only one I remember where you, as a player, choose the outcome of the quest. I think that is a powerful thing. I would love to see more quests like this which don't follow a simple path but instead branch off based on your actions.
It's easy to say, "Make more quests with differing outcomes. Come on SOE. Do it." But to be fair, rather than just throw out an idea, I like to think of possible pitfalls. If the reward for one "solution" to the quest is markedly better than the reward for the other "solution" you will have these problems:
1. People will complain and feel cheated if they took they wrong path because it's an irrevocable thing.
2. People will use spoiler sites to choose the "correct" path.
3. The solution with the better reward will become a requirement rather than an option, defeating the purpose of the whole exercise.
One way around that is to make the rewards the same for both divergent quest paths. Another, better way is to make the rewards harder to compare (i.e. one path grants a better immediate reward while the other opens up an entirely new quest).
Does anyone else remember the quest I'm talking about? And would you like to see more quests like this?