RMMV [MMO] Wytches and Wyverns

Ellie Jane

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The RPG Maker MV MMORPG @ www.Afar.ws

What is Witches & Wyverns?

W&W is an MMORPG created in RPG Maker MV. It is a box-breaking project, with many features unique to this project that have never been attempted elsewhere.

Set in the world of Afar, a world which I have built up over 16 years of game making, this is a new game that incorporates everything I have learned over all this time.



W&W uses PVGames 2.5D graphics and QSprite.



Scope

Initially the plan is to have a small but complete game that can be used as a test-bed to build from. This means there can be a testing release quite early on, to allow a small group to play the game and build from their feedback.

www.Afar.ws



When will this be playable?

There are a list of key features and content that have to be created before the game is released. This includes balancing, a good variety of content, and systems such as trading, guilds and shops.

The Battle System

The battle system in W&W is unapologetically best described as a "Guild Wars Clone" - that is the game that the battle system aims to emulate.

The player chooses their weapon and six abilities. Their weapon gives them an attack ability. These seven abilities are then used to decide what "class" the player has, which gives them an eighth, elite ability.

For example, the Thief class might look like this:



Battles are on the map scene, and are entirely focused on choice of abilities. Like in Guild Wars many abilities invoke conditions, which can have an affect on the ambient HP stream:


This generally sits at 0, but if you idle it starts to creep up so as to heal you outside of battles. Conditions normally have an amount of time or distance before they disappear:



They do not stack themselves but they do compound with other conditions so you could have a mixture of positive and negative conditions all affecting your HP stream.



Character Customisation

To begin with there are 19 hair styles in 8 colours, with 6 skin tones. This will be very easily expandable in future, but may be implemented as special rare items such as hair dyes to boost the economy.



Vertical Playstyle

W&W is unique in that it is designed to be played vertically. This is a personal preference, and is how I always play MMOs, in a small window to the side of the screen while other things are going on. This lends itself well to Mobile play, although that is something that is going to take a lot of testing as it is not somewhere I have experience with.

The game scales in every way, always keeping the same aspect ratio. For example, smaller:



The player can scroll to zoom to their preferred level.


Crafting and Merchant Skills

As the player journeys around the world they interact with their scenery to gather materials used in the crafting system.





This is used to level 12 Merchant Skills, to allow you to produce better items and to enter special areas of the game.



The World

W&W is set in the world of Afar, but currently only a small part of it. At the minute play is limited to the Township of Stonewood Keep, a test-bed map.



Interiors in this game collapse rather like The Sims, allowing you to seamlessly enter buildings.



As you roam the world you encounter two types of NPC. One type, active, give you quests or sell you items. The other, ambient, are rather like those in FFVII-Remake, and have dynamic conversations as you walk by.




The wider world will be revealed in future content updates, but is not presently the focus of development. Therefore we have this dummy world map for now.



Quests and Adventures

Storyline is given through quests, however these quests are far more complex than those seen in Guild Wars.



Quests must be more than simple go-and-fetch tasks. They have to invoke storyline and they should introduce the player to some kind of new content, as well as developing characters.


Quests chain together to provide the storyline of the game, in a non-linear way.





Wildlife

Enemies in the initial game are largely drawn from wildlife or livestock. This gives flavour to forest maps and such.



In-Game User-Guide

We have an in-game wiki-style user-guide, which I can edit while in the game.





This is linked to by scenes such as the quest list or bestiary.


Currently Implemented Features

All of the above, plus:

- In-game forums
- Global chat
- Private messaging
- Login via Discord, Twitter, Facebook or Google
- Paperdoll visual equipment
- Server-based saving of variables and switches



Appendix - Further Screenshots









 
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pasunna

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did you do all this by yourself this is insane!
sorry that I donot read all your text because English is my weakness
I con fuse is it abs or turn base?
from screen shot but you say you use qabs?
if it turn base that very interesting
I can’t imagine how turn base going to be mmo

1500 player reach is sound incredible
I don’t have any suggestions
as you said Idea is not a game
I will wait to try your demo
good luck
 

Ellie Jane

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Hiya, thanks for replying!

My old game was sideview.

This new game is an ABS, specifically it's using QABS.

As for doing it all myself, well, mostly. This represents about a week and a half of work in total (but I have a lot of time to invest in this at the moment).

There are a few other credits however:

Graphics

- PVGames
- Assets from GameDevMarket
- Remos (trees)

Programming

- Quxios (QABS, QSprite, QMovement)
- Galv (Messages)
- Rexal (Visual Equipment)

Music

- Currently the RMN Music Pack

Base System

- RPG Maker MV
- PHPBB (c) PHPBB Group

PHPBB handles all of my user management while RPG Maker MV handles the game, and then the two interact through my scripting. I think that's the best way to describe it, anyway.

While I'm here -

I am seeking a scripter -

I have hit a stumbling block I have hit before, which made me just collapse and lose interest in the game... The more I delve into it the more confused I am. If anybody has experience of QSprite and knows how to use it, let me know. I have a quick plugin request for it.
 

pasunna

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well I'm not sure how good of Q combo plugin
because I choose mog chrono engine
but as you want to do online game
I suggest you checking out
his plugin is focus on abs and online
and map Inventory
and still active updating
so maybe this will help you more than Q that I don't see him on forum for a while
 

Cormorant42

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I was about to suggest Alpha NET and AABS as well, as it works well with diagonal movement plugins and whatnot, except it's not as robust on the client side (yet, there's still a bit of dev work tbd). It only supports P2P LAN servers, or one default server atm...either or, no in-between, with a hardcoded player max of 1000 players (as there's 1000 actor slots in the editor, not sure if plugins that increase that number increase the number of simultaneous players). Account handling is practically nonexistent, so there's that, too. Still, might be a good system to look at for inspiration.

On the other hand...if you ever need help writing a massive amount of quests, hit me up!
 

Ellie Jane

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Answer in a spoiler so the thread isn't too wordy.

Alpha Net has its bonuses but personally I am more comfortable with the system I have come up with - from a background of working heavily with web security and from having a lot of experience with RPG Maker online scripts, I just feel that I can make a game with my system that is more stable and more secure. Whether that's true is another matter, but for piece of mind, I am sticking with my own system.

I think the best way to describe my system is passive rather than active. In a system such as Alpha Net, you have the server sending out stream after stream of data all the time. This is great for things such as visible other players and PvP. It's less suitable to a game that is relatively quiet, which is what I found with Afar - there were rarely more than ten players online at once and in those circumstances, resource intensive things such as that just aren't sensible.

So in my game the server processes things as you as it to, rather than all the time.

This does lead to some issues with cheating, some of which I have overcome through traps and design. Any RPG Maker game is hackable, if it wasn't, it wouldn't be an RPG Maker game any more, it would all be done server-side.

But things such as any gold processing, shops and inventories, etc, are all handled server-side. This has a bonus as I am able to build in traps to try and catch people out who are say, in the wrong place at the wrong time, or too powerful for their skills.

Anyway.

In short, my way may not be the best way to go about it, but I can tell you that Afar did not have a single day of downtime in 11 years of being online, beyond those forced by me for updates to the OS and such. Compared to Netplay, that's incredible, but not unexpected.

I also have, by virtue of my system having phpbb as a backbone, a huge amount of user management tools available to me, including phpbb plugins themselves. So things such as forums, private messaging, and even chat were right there out of the box, tried and tested. Social media login too, and then things such as moderation and other tools.

This is going to make handling content such as Guilds really easy and powerful too.

On to game updates.

I've been playing around with QSprite, and working out how I am going to handle skill animations. The game is in 8 directions and I do have 8 directional frames for walking, running, sitting, idle, kneeling, dying, bowing and other things.

For actual battle animations however I only have one direction (4). One thing I have done is to mirror these for the other direction, and then apply these to 7,4,1,9,6,3 directions, then for directions 8 and 2 I use other animations such as kneeling or running on the spot to try and show those animations. It's not ideal.

In the distant future I will use PVGames' 2.5D graphics, which have all the animations I need. However, this is not only resource intensive, but there aren't enough of them out yet for this to be worthwhile. For now my system will have to do.

I've been working on player animations, and something I've worked out is that independent armours can have their own skill casting animations. For example a fire armour could have the armour come alight as you're casting. A simple example:



One thing about my game is that because I want your ability to be based on the spell builds that you choose, there won't be levelable combat skills in this game. So there will be no EXP as such.

What there will be is Prestige. This is basically a combat level that doesn't affect your stats and abilities in battle.

I think that each combat style could have it's own prestige. For example, magic could have a prestige.



As you level in this you unlock things such as: new quests, new areas (magic guild perhaps), new items and spells from shops, etc.

But your actual battle stats remain static, it is the choices you make in the spellbook and of course your three equippable items that define your ability.

I think this sets it apart from a lot of games. Think of it like Level 80+ content in Guild Wars 2, where everybody is the same except their sills - without the previous 79 levels until you get there of course.
 
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Ellie Jane

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Ellie uses 72 hour bump. It is super effective.

So, three days no see, what have I made?

The Path to Merchant Skills

My next task was to implement Merchant Skills. The prerequesites for this became apparent as I began:

- character animations for swinging pickaxes, cutting trees, fishing, etc
- the actual merchant skills scene
- crafting system
- nodes

Those seem like three very small projects. As it turned out two of them were huge.

Character Animations



I have converted my game to use PVGames 2.5D character graphics.

What does this mean?

Previously we had walk and run animations, and then battle animations in one direction only, which I flipped. In all 576 frames were used.

PVGames 2.5D has 2,088 frames of which I have used 474 and trimmed them down.

That's 102 frames less than before, but we now have:

All animations are in 8 directions and 3 frames unless otherwise stated

Walk (8 frames)
3 different idle
Kneel
Lie
Sit
Down (1 frame; 8 styles)
Sulk

Throw
Self-cast
Cast
Punch
Kick
Attack
Rifle
Pickaxe
Bow

Jump (4 directions)
Climb (4 directions)

I think this will be more than enough. All has been implemented with character creation and visual equipment fully working.

I have begun to apply this to merchant skills but nodes must be created first really.

This was a pretty hefty undertaking and took a couple of days, but above is what I have to show for it.

Crafting

The second system I have finished is crafting.

This was quite tough because it has to be so modular.

My recipes come in the form:

Array of ingredients
Array of tools
Array of resulting items
Array of skill requirements (half implemented)
Array of exp to give (not yet implemented)



Click an item to use it. If it's consumable you "use" it, if it's craftable you "craft" it. I will edit the button to reflect this later.



Click "create" to craft that item (you get a message if you don't meet the requirements).

An item can have an endless amount of requirements, so you might find you need any number of ingredients (consumed), tools (retained), or levels (merchant skill prestige).

On to Merchant Skills

I have implemented 22 items, 5 weapons and 6 armours just for merchant skills, just so that each skill has at least one thing to do, and at least one connection to another skill - and importantly so that all skills are connected.

I haven't implemented these yet. I have however removed the Cookery skill, which is now just a part of the Hunter skill. This rounds off the interface like so:




Phew!

I don't think there is anything else to report.
 

padr81

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I remember seeing an only thread for this ages ago or at least a game with the same name and being super excited. Delighted you are back to this. Looking great so far.
 

Ellie Jane

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Thanks! The timing of that thread wasn't great; I got a promotion at work pretty much straight after posting and ended up diving out of game making for a long while unfortunately!

I reused the name simply because I didn't want to spend time making a logo (that's why I say Working Title above); other than that everything in this game is a start afresh, though it's a spiritual continuation of my other games.

2-day Progress

Pretty big but also pretty small update. So what I've been working on is another aspect of Merchant Skills, which is nodes. Nodes are just events that are modular and can be spawned.

Using YEP Event Spawner I have managed to create items that spawn events on the map, next to the player.

This is harder than it sounds because the engine has to look and see what tiles around you are passible and plonk the event in the best space.

So the first concept is:

Fires

Firestarting is asubset of the lumberjack skill and it's something that is used in most other skills. For example you need it to make leather (leathermaking), cook food (hunter), refine metals (metalwork), burn herbs (gathering), and there will be uses in miner too.



Another concept is virtual ingredients. So when you're next to a fire, you get an invisible item called "fire" that can be "used" in the crafting system I have already mentioned.



So when I'm making recipes, now all I need to do is specify "fire" as an ingredient.

It's the same for stoves, furnaces, spinning wheels and all manner of utilities.

The actual event spawning system can be used for other things too, notably I think it will form the basis of summoning and necromancy type skills.

Tying this into merchant skills you can see the start of level requirements:



Merchant Skills

In retrospect "merchant skills" as a single task is a bit silly, and this is gradually developing into just "game making", but that's a good thing. As I stumble upon a task I'm focusing on that as such.

So looking at the eight skills I have, I want "something to do" for each of the first five levels, for now. These can change and move around later, or be tweaked, but for now my task is to create "something to to" for levels 1 through 5.

So for starters we now have 55 items, 7 armours and 5 weapons in the game.

Using these we have 29 recipes, which range from as simple as "wood + axe = plank", to more complex such as:

Cotton plus knife = thread
Thread plus needle = cloth
Cloth plus needle = armour lining
Cow hide + oil + knife = leather
Tin ingot + hammer = tin studs
Leather + needle = leather boots
Leather + needle + armour lining + tin studs = leather body
Leather + needle + armour lining = leather legs
Leather legs + leather body + leather boots = Leather Armour

So to make one set of armour we've used three skills. That means if you're trying to train one skill you can buy things from other players, motivating the economy. Or if you want a rounded character and solo play you can use all your skills together.
 

Ellie Jane

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....................Your Three Day Update

So, what's been occuring?

Content: Recipes

There are now enough items and recipes such that each merchant skill has something to do for each of their first five levels, apart from a couple I need nodes for (trees, rocks, etc).

Graphical Update: Icons

Took some time now to save some time later on; quick graphical switch. Promise I won't make a habit of this.

Whether or not I prefer the old icons is moot; the new icons I have literally 7,000 of, the old ones I had 500 or so.

Old top, new bottom:



If anybody is interested here is the source (it's for charity, raising money for Corona Virus defence):


System: Messages

There are two new ways messages can be shown in-game. One of these proved more difficult than I expected because I am working with somebody else's scripting (my chat system) but it is done.

So I have two neat quick functions I can call from anywhere. One pushes a line to your chatbox (locally only) and the other creates a graphical prompt with a message in. A third lets me send messages globally, but the game client does not have access to that.

Chat push messages will be used very sparingly.



System: Crafting

Crafting is now fully implemented including tools, skill level restrictions, exp gain etc.



This has been combined with the above message system.





I have also begun to utilise JQuery to give some simple animation to my menus.

Bug Fixes and Lag Swipes

Have spent one of the days working out some bugs with QABS which were destroying your FPS. I can now confirm that even when running the complex animations seen far above, the game runs at a steady 57-60 FPS (more on Edge for some reason).

Not much to show for this for something that took so much time, sorry.

Concept: Merchant Skills Leaderboards

The following screenshots are non-working mock-ups.

Landing page:



Each skill's page looks like this:



When you click the skill icon it will give you a menu to switch:



Lots to plan here, but implementation-wise we're not far off.

Concept: Trophies

As shown in the above screenshots, I intend to introduce trophies, which are much like the trophies you get on forums like this one for achieving certain things.

This could be being top of a leaderboard at any one time in the past, being a community support champion (nominated), being the first to complete a particular quest or owning a top guild at some point.

I haven't worked this out too much yet, but they will at the very least have a tag for what skill they are related to, so they show on your leaderboard as above.

Concept: Interiors

Brief demonstration of how interiors could look, though I'm not decided on this. This concept is collapsible walls, such that interiors are on the same map. Benefit then is that if other players are shown there are less maps for them to be on.

 

Ellie Jane

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Sorry if it seems a while without an update!

I've been mapping and world building, which is just one snowball after another.

I do have some things to show however.

The World

Currently looks like this. Each area has a specific reason for existing (that is to implement and test particular resource nodes).



Large image:


So this is the "starter world" I guess. The game won't be released by this, but this can function as a test bed. So I'll get everything implemented in this little world and then we can progress from there.

Map Zoom

Have implemented a scroll-to-zoom feature, which doesn't seem to be having any impact on framerates whatsoever, though I may need a cruddier PC to really test it on.


Will try and program this to work with two finger zoom on a device.

In reality this will probably be limited to a range between 0.5x and 2x.

Other Peeks


Oh no!

 
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Ellie Jane

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Here's what I am currently working on: Interiors.

Very basic demonstration:


This windmill is how you get to the spider cave above.



In-game:


The village pub - this is just a very small village so there's not much here.



Some smaller buildings:



The exteriors of those huts could do with some work.
 

Ellie Jane

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Hi guys!

So, some progress. Have finished all the interiors for the starter world. Finished in the sense that they are at a point where I can move on to the next stage; I can come back to them later to neaten them up or repurpose some buildings.

Some buildings are relatively empty but I have tried to make them feel like that's intended. One (empty house) is a bit plain but I don't quite know if I'll need it for a quest yet.


I've created a Discord for the game where we can discuss some things and where I can post screenshots far more frequently than here; I won't post it here as I don't think that's allowed but PM me and I'll send you a link, or you can find it on Disboard.
 

Ellie Jane

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Not a lot to report this time around, as I have been working out various plugin ideas that haven't worked in the end.

The plan was to implement Proximity Battle Music, where battle music plays when you are near the enemy. In the end I was convinced otherwise, I think. We're discussing it here:


Anyway. On top of that I have been working on region map music, and have sourced some nice tracks from... a remastered RMXP soundtrack that someone on RMNet is working on. I know, I know, but the RMXP soundtrack is just so good!

In terms of anything to actually show you, I have implemented the message system I want (credit: Galv), reworked it a little, and got it working with my scroll-to-zoom system:



Needs a little tweak to account for player's position being pixel not tile based, but almost there.

I've been procrastinating however, what I should have been doing was implementing my interiors. Still some work to go. Making nets is just so annoying. Here's how a passability map looks to me:



Somehow looks like the Iberian peninsula, right?!

Equates to something like this:



But there is a LOT of clipping work to do etc.

Have also begun to implement trees as nodes.

As a bonus, here's Arshes as a bartender:



Edit: also just so you know, I've changed my username, to fit my name elsewhere!
 

GoodSelf

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This game looks absolutely ridiculous. I would like to offer my play testing services if and when you need it.

Seeing a project like this on these forums both inspires me and crushes me, but most of all I'm just filled with excitement for what this game can be!
 

Ellie Jane

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Thank you :) Just happy to show everybody what can be done with RPG Maker.

As far as play testing goes, because of the nature of this project - it's online - the game can be "released" quite early to testers, with regular updates from then on. That's how I did it in my last project and it worked well.

However before that point I have a GDD I'm following that defines how the base game will be - what I need to have finished before we're at that stage.

That includes the starter world mentioned above, plus various dungeons to demonstrate different aspects of gameplay (I include forest walks as dungeons), each merchant skill needs several things to do, there need to be a variety of enemies with different play styles, a wide variety of spells with my build system implemented, and there need to be several different quests, to demonstrate how story will be implemented.

That's all a long way off (lockdown pending), but perhaps not as far away as a "full" game would be.

I'm aware that I tend to go off on tangents where features are concerned. One leads to another. As I said before the temptation is to have a game full of "features", but to me any feature should be cut if it does not actually feel like part of the game. Shouldn't feel like a feature but a mechanic, if that makes sense.

But every time I go to add something I'm led down further tangents - and suddenly there is too much to actually work with.

Anyway. Getting somewhere.
 

Ellie Jane

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Hi guys, it's that time again!

I'd actually like to start by discussing a concept, though it's not an update yet. It's something I do know how to implement though.

Ambient NPC Conversations

I really want to create a living world with this game, and it's not just from playing Final Fantasy VII-R, although the system I describe might as well be directly ripped off from that, because it's done the same there.

I want my NPCs to have a lot of backstory to them. But my game is also built up of quests, which means you'll have to talk to a lot of NPCs. That means some lengthy conversations if it's not handled right, and that can be incredibly off-putting, especially if all you're trying to do is find out some info.

So NPCs are split into two categories: Ambients and Actives.

Active NPCs are important ones that you can (and should) go and talk to. They will be marked with a symbol above them, something like the green diamond in The Sims (I ripped it off below as a kinda joke but it's the sort of thing I want).



Ambient NPCs then are NPCs you won't talk to yourself, but can overhear.

What I am going to create is a plugin where you have a bank of messages, connected to spots on the map. If you are near that spot, a message can spawn. You don't interact with this message, it just pops up and fades away, and follows the character as you move away from them; this is exactly how it's done in FFVII just without the voice acting.

Consider the map above. You could be talking to the weapon seller at the very top. Your messages are by your character and the weapon seller. But while this is happening, the two townfolk there can be talking to each other in the background.

This takes far less processing than it sounds like it is going to. Messages are only shown if you are in an area of the map where they would be visible, and there are no events involved... NPCs can literally be embedded in the parallax map if they aren't mobile. It's the messages that spawn.

To bring us to actual content updates now:

NPCs



I have been playing around with the PVGames graphics to try and create some interesting poses and scenes.

This is Arshes' pub.

Now it may well be that only Arshes is actually animated here. Would that be a problem do you think?

Those NPCs in the background would in practice be a mix of Actives and Ambients of course.

Quests

The reason for needing NPCs is that I want my testbed game to have some quests to perform, to show what they will be like. So I have begun to plan and implement the first quest, which involves some monsters, some key characters, and a dungeon (you may already have seen that above).

Here is my first attempt at an animated cutscene. It does have some issues that need ironing out. Particularly the jumping sitting animation and the character disappearing at one point!


Interiors

My interiors for this map are now implemented (15 of them).


This one was tricky because of the close proximity of the doors, and the buildings themselves overlapping.

I also turned a bug into a feature: turns out stairs work out of the box by mistake:


Anyway I really appreciate any comments and critique. No advice is unsolicited.
 

ozubon

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It's incredible you've done this on MV. And the speed you're doing it at! The speed!
 

Ellie Jane

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Thank you. Without trying to crush myself I fear it's mostly down to the quarantine. I don't know how this will play out when I eventually go back to work.

I've been tinkering with the idea in my previous post; done it slightly differently but here is a quick demonstration.

 

Ellie Jane

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Hi guys! It's that time again. (Jesus, where is the time going?)

Work has mainly been boring behind the scenes stuff you won't see but I do have some things to show.

NPCs are growing around the world now which is feeling a lot more alive.





NPCs are split into ambient and active. Ambient NPCs show messages as you walk around that you can largely ignore if you wish. The important ones have this icon above:



Placeholder for now, very Sims, but that's the sort of thing I'm going for.

Potential quest list.



Needs work.

The first eight quests there are going to be the ones in the test-bed initial released game.

They flow together like such:



Quests are going to be a big part of W&W since they are how the storyline is conveyed. I am weary of quests ending up like those in Guild Wars however - short, fetch me this item quests - to me that is not a quest but a tast. Quests, to me, are miniature games, which require a significant amount of gameplay and storyline. Completing a quest should be a sense of achievement. A bartender asking you to fetch a rock, and you finding that rock and bringing it back, isn't a quest. A bartender asking you to raid a keep however, could be.

The first quest is more or less complete now, including boss and interesting battles...


The Rules of Quest Building

  • A quest cannot be solely text based
  • All quests must progress the storyline
  • Quests cannot be solely tutorial based
  • A quest is not just a task; must take longer than 5 mins to complete
  • All characters need to be fleshed out and have motivations
  • The player must be clearly involved and have a reason for doing the quest
  • Any fetch quests need to be story driven and fleshed out
  • Quests should reference what is going on in the world and in other quests
  • Where possible, quests should chain together into campaigns

The Purpose of Quests in the Test Bed Game

With that in mind, there are reasons for the quests in the starter world.
  • To introduce the storyline and key characters
  • To provide tutorial and learning elements, which should be optional but strongly hinted towards
  • To open the player up to new maps and areas
I don't want to end up with quests like Witch's Potion in RuneScape, where she asks you for three items and they're easily obtainable.
 

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