Persistent quests (PQ's) never end. They continue to provide rewards for continued effort, but a "diminishing returns" system prevents abuse. I go on later in this proposal to explain that I'm really adhering to simple Supply and Demand, not Diminishing Returns. Proposal: Locations: After meeting certain prerequisites, the player sees orange dots on the map (a limited number in each world). Traveling to these orange locations on the map provides the quest start. It has also been suggested that quest NPC's be found in each county, to prevent grind. The Quests: Once the quest is accepted, they appear in the quest log as usual; BUT, you must physically return to the orange location to collect rewards. This further deters abuse. Payout: Anything, from random equipment of a certain "luck tier," to money, products, XP, or even required items for other quests. Example quest: Disrupt the Smugglers! Character: Marcus McDysan Pre-requisite: Has spent 8 hours Chasing Bandits (job) Dialog: "I see you've been hitting the local villains pretty hard, [player name]! My group has been trying to do our part by infiltrating a group of smugglers transporting arms to a notorious band of outlaws led by the ruthless Jeffrey Millhouse. We haven't been successful, but you seem like a sharp one, so here's the deal: The Federal Government rewards us for turning in smuggled goods, so if you bring us some, we'll give you a cut." Requires: 3 Stolen goods Reward: $1400 After collecting the reward, the requirement goes to "5 Stolen Goods," then to "7 Stolen goods." After a while, the requirements lower again. This would prevent the player from abusing the quest to make endless cash. You could also simply offer less cash for the same number of items -- i.e. 3 Stolen goods only gets you $1000, then next time, $500. Wait a week or so, and the reward climbs back to $1400, etc. It may also be a good idea to limit how often a PQ can even be completed. These quests could also have counterparts, forcing the player to make a decision between them. The rewards and requirements would be different, making the decision not only important, but difficult to make. Alternate quest: Aiding Millhouse Character: Jeffrey Millhouse Pre-requisite: Has spent 8 hours Ambushing (job) Dialog: "You can take your blindfold off now. People around here have been talking about [Player Name] for weeks. Your hands appear to be filthy as sin, so how about you do us a favor? The law's been gunning for us hard, so I like to keep my men close. I hired some mercenaries to smuggle stolen army supplies into our camp, but they haven't returned. If you can pick up their slack, you'll get a share of the loot." Requires: 3 Stolen Goods Reward: 400 XP and one random item (equivalent to 72% luck) And same with supply and demand... as more rewards are earned, the rewards are reduced, until it becomes uneconomical to continue completing the quest without waiting for a set amount of time. If the player chooses one of the quests, they are unable to accept the other. The quest can be canceled if the player has run out of quest spots, but the orange location remains and the same quest is still accessible there. Obviously, canceling the quest and then re-accepting it does NOT reset the "required" timer. In fact, canceling the quest freezes the timer. Requirements only return to a lower level while the quest is active. I suggest that path-choices be permanent, even if you cancel a path quest -- you can't simply cancel a path-quest and then choose the other path. Prerequisites: Examples of prerequisites for location/quest/courier access could be: Character Class Character Level Equipped items Completion of other quests Specific skill above a certain level Other milestone achievements (has won 500 duels, etc) Any combination of the above! Couriers This aspect of Persistent Quests may be considered auxiliary to the main premise. It is not a vital component. Once the pre-requisites have been met by the player, a "courier" appears in the Saloon with an anonymous message in the style of the sender. For example, for the quests above, the courier's messages would be "Telegram from MM" and "Letter from JM." Once you "accept" the message, the location for the quest-giver appears on the map. Once all outstanding messages have been read, the Courier disappears until another message becomes available. One way in which Couriers could be presented is through special messages in the Telegrams area. These messages are similar to regular telegrams, with the following changes: Instead of "Reply," an "Accept" button appears; also, the courier's seal, image or other "calling card" appears as an embedded image below the text body (to add flavor to the couriers as individuals). These are simply whimsical afterthoughts, for now. IMPORTANT: Initial Persistent Quest Implementation Understanding that developers already have a full plate, I propose that many of the "auxiliary" components mentioned above would be introduced over a course of several builds (updates). An example ordering for the timeline could be: 1. PQ's made available with nominal, static rewards -- some may depend on class or other static criteria. These are basically regular quests, only with the "repeatable" component. 2. New and existing PQ's amended to offer player decisions (which path to take -- which rewards to receive) 3. Existing PQ's amended to provide better rewards, but with diminishing returns ($500, $400, $300, $200 -- wait for 2 weeks -- $500, $400, and so on) 4. New PQ's, which are multi-tiered, get introduced. Once one is finished, another may become available, with clues leading the player to the next location/NPC (must be wearing this or that, etc.). 5. The introduction of Couriers -- NPC's who deliver PQ-related letters and notes to the player periodically when certain criteria is met. Think: Carmen Sandiego! Diminishing Returns vs. Supply and Demand (Shame on me): Put simply, diminishing returns is an economic law, stating that steadily increasing investment doesn't provide steadily increasing benefit. As additional investment is made, rewards continue, but are less significant (or even thwarted altogether). Ignore this definition for now. I'm referring to "Supply and Demand," instead. As an example, you manufacture the only pink soap in Columbus, OH. At first, 5 bars sell for $50, so you decide to manufacture twice as much. Next month, each bar sells for less cash, because there is less demand. 5 bars now sell for $40. So, being greedy, you triple your stock! Now, there's a LOT of pink soap floating around Columbus, so 5 bars only sells for $20. You may be selling a lot more soap, but each bar is worth less, so you were actually making more profit three months ago! The best way to "reset" the cost of your soap is to cut back your supply. You stop selling your soap for a month, and suddenly, 5 bars are worth $40 again! Supply and demand is fundamentally different than the law of diminishing returns. Within the scope of my feature proposal, your rewards become less impressive the more often you complete the quest. The only way to receive the best rewards again is to wait a while! So, "Diminishing Returns" was a poor word choice on my part, but the premise is rather similar. Just think "Supply and Demand." A merchant isn't going to pay you the same for objects if she's already bought a bunch -- because the objects aren't as in demand!