As I sit here in my armchair, smoking jacket and bunny slippers donned, coding what may or may not be a fantastical new quest just for you lovely folks, I find my mind wandering back to my own questing days of yore. I enjoy a bit of ‘figuring out’ in a good quest, but I do appreciate a little subtle guidance from time to time.
For me, doing a quest in which the questgiver says “Kill x of thing A, put them in thing B, recite ritual chant C and do puzzle D.” can certainly be challenging, depending on the difficulty of the individual steps, but it’s not as rewarding as if I’d been forced to do a little deductive reasoning, careful scrutinising, or investigating on my own.
How about having to find your way into a secret enclave in order to kill thing A, necessitating the careful reading of room descriptions to find the hidden entrance? What if thing B needs repairing before it can hold the corpses, but none of the questgivers remember how to slap it together and return it to working order? It falls to you, the quester, to put on your thinking cap and try a couple of adventurous things that you’ve no idea about regarding their effectiveness until you take the chance! Bit of a brain-wracker, potentially, but tell me that doesn’t leave you proud of yourself after all’s been said and done.
Of course, I’m not advocating that the quester be left completely in the dark, but a few well-placed hints can go a long way, I’ve found. Thus, if I were to give one good piece of advice to new questers, it would be this: Pay attention and listen to what the questgiver has to say! You never know when you might gloss over a crucial bit of information, or a juicy piece of gossip about Bob over on the other side of the ravine that would unlock a nifty side-quest.
What about you, canny questers? You, the krokani hunters – you, the cross-dressing harlequin influencers – you, the aide to the priestesses of Shallamurine – what’s your favourite quest? Why? If you were given the opportunity to put one good piece of advice in a true newbie’s ear, what would it be?