Passed Persistent Quests

Discussion in 'Development Discussions' started by The Yellow Dart, Mar 5, 2009.

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Would you like to see this idea added to the game?

Poll closed Feb 9, 2010.
  1. Yes

    71 vote(s)
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
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  1. 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.


    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.

    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!

    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!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
    Bevoir and marcothy like this.
  2. Darknoon5

    Darknoon5 Evil Monkey

    Jan 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I think it's a good idea. Might not be easy to add in though.
  3. It would definitely require some coding; however, I think persistent quests would add a ridiculously addictive new aspect to gameplay, especially when you have multiple PQ's active.
  4. Luap Nor

    Luap Nor Guest

    PQ = ? coughed up these possibilities:

    ****** PQ Peak
    ****** PQ Parti Québécois (provincial political party, Quebec)
    ****** PQ Pourquoi (French: why)
    ***** PQ Parque (Portuguese: park; postal usage)
    ***** PQ Picture Quality (video, tuner, television)
    ***** PQ Product Quality
    ***** PQ Police Quest (gaming)
    ***** PQ Priority Queue
    ***** PQ Province of Quebec
    ***** PQ Performance Qualification
    ***** PQ Pre-Qualification
    **** PQ Priority Queuing (TCP/IP)
    **** PQ PlanetQuake (gaming)
    **** PQ Parliamentary Question
    **** PQ Party Quest (online games)
    **** PQ Per Quarter
    **** PQ Pop-Quiz
    **** PQ Process Qualification
    *** PQ Productivity and Quality
    *** PQ Process and Quality

    Edit: never mind, LOL. Got my answer when I hit "save" and the thread title flashed in front of me. :)

    So... as a suggestion, lay out a vision for this, but create a proposal which is a simple subset of that vision. Then if it gets implemented we can lobby for extending/expanding it toward the ultimate vision -- or toward a revised vision, perhaps.
  5. Thanks, Luap. Good advice.

    A good place to start would be with a handful of persistent quests that are available to everyone at a certain level, etc.

    The rewards would be less "awesome," but there would also be no diminishing returns. Players could turn in specific products for random items of certain luck tiers or slightly more than a general store would pay for the item, etc. I believe that would be extremely easy to implement (code-wise). It's basically just a new quest that gives items as though the player found them while working with a given luck %. Simple, simple.

    As you said, once the proof-of-concept is implemented, the next logical step would be to expand upon it -- creating more PQ's with more complex requirements and mechanics.
  6. shadow dragon

    shadow dragon Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I see nothing wrong with this idea, so I am in favor of it.
  7. Luap Nor

    Luap Nor Guest

    That's sounding pretty close to the town quest idea. Related, at least. Somehow I'm thinking they should be combined, but I could be wrong.
  8. John Rose

    John Rose Guest

    I think we've seen something similar before, but I still support this.

    Anything and everything to improve the concept and longevity of the game.
  9. I really hope I haven't accidentally plagiarized. This forum is just like the issue tracking system I used to use for work... you want to log an issue regarding the UI, but someone else has already logged it under the title "Menu is destorted in wide-screen risolution." THANKS. Hehe. I ran a thread search for "unending," "persistent," "quests," etc. Lol... I did end up finding an article about abortion in the results! w00t.

    In any case, I am very excited when I think about finding a use for all of th these random products I've amassed. Sure, I could use the $18, but... um... Not getting me hot, you know?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2009
  10. John Rose

    John Rose Guest

    Meh, nevermind the original idea, if there was one, this one is probably better anyways.
  11. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I really like this idea. It is well-thought out. It would be nice to see it implemented, even though it might take a while.
    The Yellow Dart likes this.
  12. Revisit?

    I've given up on some of my ideas, but this one stands out as posing a definite boon to player retention and play value. Persistent quests provide players with a new way to earn rewards, kill time while waiting for motivation to replenish, or to simply bolster their sense of accomplishment and gratification.

    I would be fine with persistent quests with relatively meager rewards (in comparison to other quests), if only because it's something new, and the possibilities are endless -- as persistent quests could be added periodically without requiring full builds.

    I would really appreciate more support, advice and -- of course -- constructive criticism for this idea! And -- of course -- thank you to everyone who has already shown support and consideration. :)
  13. sdjx22

    sdjx22 Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I think this is an excellent idea. I'm all for anything that adds more quests to the game, especially different types of quests. This game desperately needs more quests, and those quests need to have more variety.

    This is one of those things that could be implemented on a very simple level, for example a small number of these persistent quests available for different level players. Then, everytime they did an update to the game, they could add more, and more, etc.

    It would be more work for them, but if they broke it down over numerous updates it probably wouldn't be that bad.
  14. Thanks for the support, sdjx! I agree, and believe that subsequent PQ's would be progressively easier to implement. Developers would initially develop how a PQ works, and once that's handled, they simply need to plug in rewards, locations, class requirements, etc. It's not necessarily a template (nothing ever is in the programming world!), but I think it would be very front-heavy on the workload, with long term benefits and very little work thereafter.

    Once simple, straightforward PQ's are available and established as being safe (development-wise), developers could consider expanding the scope of PQ's, adding dynamic, multi-tiered bla bla bla, etc. To start off, I would be very satisfied and excited by linear, repeatable quests with diminishing returns, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2009
  15. sdjx22

    sdjx22 Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Yes, that's definately the best way forward, I think. It's all about making small improvements that add up into big ones.

    To be honest, I doubt the developers will do any of our big ideas because they already have thier own big ideas of where they want to take this game. But smaller ideas, like this, that can be expanded in small doses to become a big idea, are probably the best type of ideas to submit to them.
  16. cassius335

    cassius335 Guest

    Instead of diminising returns, what about simply a set amount of time before the quest becomes available again? Lower value PQ's becoming available again sooner(i.o.w. more persistantly) than higher value ones.
  17. sdjx22

    sdjx22 Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    That could work too.
  18. Dr.Drud

    Dr.Drud Guest

    This is a brilliant idea! I don't have anything to add, but I'd love to see this in game. As you say, 18$ for random products doesn't really get anyone hot. I especially like the thought of getting random (high luck) items, even if they might be fairly expensive product wise.
  19. Thanks! Yeah... I think the prospect of getting a random 70-90% luck item in exchange for 5 Elixirs is -- on the surface -- a wash. Selling Elixirs in town gets you $180 apiece. 5 of them gets you $900. Most 70-90% luck items sell for around $600-$1300. But when you think about it, exchanging elixirs has three distinct benefits:

    1. You can receive items you otherwise don't have access to.
    2. You just might receive an item toward the upper end -- 90% luck, like a Precise Revolver no 1, Fancy Bow Tie, etc. That's a clear win!
    3. There's an element of chance and an accompanying thrill. Each exchange is like a game of chance!

    The mechanics of a random exchange would need to be weighted so that players don't usually get crappy items, however.

    Still, other quests would provide straightforward rewards, such as XP, cash and perhaps even other, valuable products (like Silver, etc.). Quests offering valuable products would be extremely useful for Workers and Adventurers, who like to stockpile items for shopping later and donate their wallet cash to a treasury now.
  20. That sounds like it would be simpler to code. That addition certainly doesn't change the premise of PQ's, so I'm very open to it.
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