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Year and a Half of Raid Content

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Livnthedream, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Roadblock

    Roadblock Cupcake-About-Town

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    The majority of the complaints about questing/leveling has nothing to do with difficulty.
    If anything the fact it's relatively (to other mainstream mmos) challenging is its one saving grace.
  2. Dirty Outlaw

    Dirty Outlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    The majority of complaints I hear that it's very boring. To which I have to agree and it's not just the ark ship area I was over level 15 and much rather do bgs or do something other quest grind. Judging the dungeon content and the raid content I know the game will get better once you get to it. But it's hard to get your friends to keep playing till that point if they are not invested in wildstar. I'm sure it will be harder with the guest keys that the game is supposed to have when the game is released.
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  3. Felion

    Felion Cupcake-About-Town

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    First just to point out that I'm not delusional, I was surprised by your responses because the majority of my friends changed their minds about questing past level 10. Judging also from chat (which is really a bad indication since those having fun won't care to type in chat, only those who are bored or bothered do) in earlier beta weekends, people are in general finding that as the level progress, questing got more fun. It is an assumption on my end, and although I still have sufficient reason to hold my ground I think your concerns are quite legitimate and reasonable. But I don't think the concerns by themselves help a lot here, and I'll detail my reasons below.

    I'm a firm believer that if there's no alternatives and no suggestions to a complaint, the root of problem lies else-where, for example general player mentality or industry atmosphere. I would be lying if I said I'm having extraordinary fun doing quests, I'd also be lying if I said I didn't have any fun at all. So it's not that I do not see some of the problems that you mention. But I ask myself long and hard, how could this be better, and I don't have an answer. Now this is a very subjective judgement but I ALWAYS have answers, even if they're wrong or involves a lot of assumptions, I ALWAYS have them. So in those cases where I can't come up with good answers, I personally know that "OK, I'm looking at the wrong place, the problem may not be the problem, it might be me." Not that I can necessarily do anything about it, especially if we're talking about no longer self-adjustment but social phenomenon, but the point is the problem might lie elsewhere than game design.

    The reason that I don't think this jurisdiction about Wildstar questing is fair is because mmo questing or hell, the notion of "questing" by itself (which is already different from traditional RPG story progression) is limited. To me personally at least, in the past decade of playing I've very, very, very rarely played an mmo where I said "oh I'm going to play this game for all the quests". That feeling increases as time goes on, it's always "been there, done that". Boredom and Ennui is a mental disease, I tell ya, the final version of this disease is called Depression.

    I've conditioned myself to enjoy as much as I can regardless of how much I've seen it, not just games but life in general. But I know that most people probably will be increasingly bored, again not just games but life in general. I won't go into those messy topics. In terms of questing, there's no clever tricks to pull, every game tries hard to make their quest engaging, yet we see how that goes. It's a dead horse, beating it is not going to make it come back to life, better accept it and enjoy it as much as you can, OR offer your suggestions (keeping in mind restrictions). To put it in other words, if I say "I don't like First Thermadynamics Law, get rid of it", it doesn't help at all because well, no one knows how to do that so no one can please you, and you're not providing a suggestion. In which case, maybe you should re-examine yourself in order to be happier.

    My solution is really simple, and it works, it can make people happy. But from experience I know that it just rarely get through to people no matter how sincerely I advise it. I definitely feel ya when you said sometimes you worry that you can't get others to play with you --- don't you see, it'll be the case no matter what game you're playing. There are always that enthusiastic person (probably the same one in every instance) trying to rally the friends who find everything boring. And that is fine, albeit a bit depressing, I'm just saying the problem is bigger than just quest design. Short of a war this trend of boredom is just going to go on everywhere, such is the price of freedom.

    OK I'm getting a bit too wordy for a simple problem. In conclusion, I'm just saying, it's not that I don't agree with you, but if you don't have a good answer, I don't have a good answer, Carbine doesn't have a good answer, and the world doesn't have a good answer, maybe we should either track down the root of the problem (I'm not dumb enough to take on the world though) OR move on to the next problem, hopefully that one is actually manageable.
  4. Roadblock

    Roadblock Cupcake-About-Town

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    Oh but I do have specific complaints and suggestions.

    Furthermore questing is not the same in every game, games put their own spin on it all the time and as the genre evolves some traditional questing problems are solved or at least alleviated.

    1. A traditional problem for example is how to reconcile storied quests with grouping ("what step are you on dude?").
    GW2 has solved that in its personal story by making parts of it instanced (seemless in the world) and letting grouped members that are not on that story step or even following an entirely separate race story participate, and get rewards.
    WildStar has both weak storied elements AND bad support for grouping (from simple UI things like not showing group members shared quest / progression to poor support for path side quests, to issues with kill / objective credit for support roles)
    2. While it has innovated quest delivery and pickup "somewhat" with the phone-in, remote delivery quests, the system is under-utilized and follows no reason or rhyme. For example you'd expect that information gathering, exploration or kill quests would be mostly remote delivered while item turnin or fedex quests have you (re)visit quest givers to hand over the goods, I mean that would at least make some sense from roleplaying pov.
    3. Quest volume. A quest tracker that can hold 40 quests with many players carrying 20-30 quests at a time is just a cluster<REDACTED>. What it promotes is a playstyle of "mass pickup" run around following the arrow, skipping every quest dialog, "mass deliver". Such inflation "cheapens" the individual quest and enhances the feeling of grind, it makes players weigh quests with 2 criteria only: how much xp will I get? how fast?.
    The Secret World has a vast amount of quests, but lets the player only hold 1 main quest, 2 or 3 side quests, 1-2 special missions at a time. You can jump from one story line to another (main quest) and the game will automatically "pause" the previous main quest so you can pickup where you left of later.
    4. Quest path. Many-many occurrences of pickup 10 quests from A, cross half a continent completing objectives, get to B, grab another 10 quests for C, return to A to deliver, cross "explored" area again to get to B, proceed to C etc. WoW has traditional questing like that but QuestHelper (addon solution making a path of optimal questing for you) is a thing of 4 years ago, it is now built-in the quest/area integration. Area completion follows a logical path that gets you from A > B > C without excessive backtracking (not all players enjoy that, hence the disparaging remark of "questing on rails") but if you are going to have that system of area completion, might as well have an evolved one than a primitive/haphazard one.
    5. Group questing. This was mentioned in passing but deserves its own bullet.
    WildStar doesn't seem to know what it wants to do with group questing.
    This has 2 parts.
    a. Quests that require a group to tackle successfully. WildStar has those but it seems "shy".
    They're off to the side, they're not part of a chain so what happens is you randomly meet another player waiting outside a cave to kill x g2/3 monster, you group up, then part ways as each one carries 15-25 random quests.
    I would expect group quests to be the "main dish" front and center and be part of mini-chains to encourage groups to stay together and form friendships, with options to bypass them for "lone wolf" style players, not the other way around.
    TERA to give an example has sections of maps from the very early levels that are full of hard mobs (BAMs) both as quest objectives or for superior loot/xp, it encourages players to form "farming" or "questing" groups since the group content is not random and incidental, but has its own place.
    RIFT has "public groups" that auto form when you come across a group activity It also has "Instant Adventures" an LFQG (looking for quest group) that you can queue for and romp around the map for a fast paced questing raid.
    b. Soloable quests where grouping is optional but still rewarding. This is not the case.

    I could go on really...
    That's not to say there are no enjoyable quests and elements of quests in WildStar, but there are many design issues.
    This late in the development cycle I don't expect or even request sweeping changes and I'm still going to play the game on its other merits.

    However even at this point there are low-cost (in development hours) things that can be done and more so in the immediate post-launch period to smooth over alot of issues.
    1. The new quest tracker that's part of the world map borrows the TSW concept, grouping quests by zone and kind (zone, path, tradeskills etc)
    Apply that stuff in the actual questing system.
    Split the quests to broad categories, let the player carry only x (small number) from each category, no more of this 30 quests at a time.
    Implement Quest Branching like you have in Adventures. Player picks A path, lock out B path, keep it in a lore-like frame so next time you go through the zone with an alt, you can follow the other branch, your quest content half-life just doubled, people will actually have incentive to redo the zone with an alt and not get deja vu.
    Halve the quest number, double the xp, make each quest more meaningful.
    2. Support grouping while leveling up ALOT better. Starting with UI problems: Make finding group members on map / minimap easier, Show shared quests and progress in questlog and I'd go as far as saying on friendly nameplates / unit tooltips.
    3. Revisit your zone completion, limit backtracking, use remote pickup / delivery alot more.

    Honestly the thing that makes questing in WildStar bearable is the combat, I'm having enough fun fighting that I can pretty much ignore the why.
    Luckily the world is dangerous from the early levels, danger makes for engagement even if the story delivery (I carefully picked the word because I'm not claiming that there is no story) does not.
    I fear though that with the weak sides of the quest design there will be an overwhelming demand for trivializing the leveling world because of a pressure to make questing rush-able.
    If that happens, for me personally the questing experience loses it's last saving grace, so I'd prefer improvements on the side of design that make the whole thing more fun, so it can keep its difficulty and pacing.

    As it stands, I can slog through the quests personally to get to the meaty parts (group content) but I also know that alot of gaming friends I've played with for years and would like to bring into the game will find it very hard (tedious not challenging) to get even to 15.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
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  5. Convicted

    Convicted Super Cupcake

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    You know that several of your ideas appear to support faster leveling, which seems to also support the "rush-style" questing that you seem to be against.

    I wouldn't mind your idea of halving the quests and doubling the xp........IF they also doubled the time it took to complete them. Time is the one variable you left out of your request, which is why it looks like you are wanting faster leveling, you are contradicting yourself.

    Same goes with "phone it in" quest delivery in the name of "lore" or "immersion", the end result is the same.....faster leveling.

    Dont understand this......if you can bypass this and just do it solo, then how does this help your desire for grouping to be main focus over solo questing?
  6. Roadblock

    Roadblock Cupcake-About-Town

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    You are correct, I left completion time out of the equation, it was an oversight not intentional. It's part of what I implied by "more meaningful".
    The end result should be a similar time expenditure with discreet "moving parts" instead of a quest soup.

    Likewise it's not a matter or "lore" or "immersion" alone, although a better job at the necessary "suspension of disbelief" is not a bad thing.
    It was more along the lines of it helping to make the area completion process better.
    In short as long as the idea of quest hubs remains the primary quest delivery system I think all quests you pickup and return after you visit a hub that sends you out in the world should be "phone in" until it's time to get quests that send you to the next hub.
    If everything else remains the same, then it would be faster to take out backtracking, but I'm not suggesting a singular change with all other parameters identical.

    I probably wasn't clear, I'd prefer questing content that is not just group friendly but actually requires grouping to complete to be more prevalent, to be the main avenue of questing if you like.
    At the same time there should be solo alternatives (at the cost of slower leveling) so there are no hard blocks for players that through preference ("lone wolf") or circumstance cannot or do not want to group up.
    I see this more relative to my idea about using branching and alternate paths for world quests similar to how it's done in adventures for example.
    So say you get to a hub, you have some quests to kill high ranking officials of an enemy faction, that require a group and award high xp.
    Or you can pickup a quest to kill x footsoldiers that are soloable but will take slightly longer to get the same xp.
    Picking one of them up, locks the other (because killing high ranks disrupts the enemy so you don't need to go after the small fry, or killing foot soldiers wages a war of attrition when you are not strong enough to attack the leaders)
    That setup would encourage "quest farming" parties, and it can be tuned to not be punishing for soloers (just not optimal)
    This is my preference, I'm sure others would look at it from the opposite direction.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  7. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    But there is no real merit to forced grouping. The only thing it is actually effective at doing is limiting your player base.
  8. Fishsticks

    Fishsticks Cupcake-About-Town

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    So, you're anti-raiding? Because that's forced grouping. What are you trying to say here?
  9. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    No its not. There is clear choice as to whether you want to raid or not. Making the entire game nothing but forced grouping was what I was getting at. You are getting almost as bad as Playerone.
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  10. Fishsticks

    Fishsticks Cupcake-About-Town

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    I don't think anyone is suggesting that "the entire game be nothing but forced grouping" so I'm not sure where you're getting that.

    Roadblock wrote: I'd prefer questing content that is not just group friendly but actually requires grouping to complete to be more prevalent, to be the main avenue of questing if you like.
    At the same time there should be solo alternatives (at the cost of slower leveling) so there are no hard blocks for players that through preference ("lone wolf") or circumstance cannot or do not want to group up."


    I'd say you're getting almost as bad as someone else, but you set the gold standard. :inlove:
  11. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Many (I want to say most, but I don't know if that was indeed the case) could solo to max in Eq yet it was considered "forced grouping" to level because it was the only effective way to do it. You see similar status in multiple other games, like Daoc. Forcing that sort of paradigm has no actual merit because there is nothing actually gained by it. The statements of community building and the like were not due to grouping itself, but because of proximity and downtime, both of which can be facilitated in other ways without cutting out that ~60% of the player base who doesn't want to group.
  12. Deltre

    Deltre Cupcake-About-Town

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    Entertaining video man, thanks for the share.
  13. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    This is news to me too, thanks.

    I love the extra info you get out of convention panels and videos in this vein, too bad they're hard to attend/track down, and then also sit through when they're so long.
  14. Felion

    Felion Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'm very glad that you do have reasons and suggestions for improve questing! Now, some of them I agree with, some of them don't, I've numbered your main points above and will be going over them. The abstract of my argument is that while there's good and there's bad, overall it's on par with other AAA mmo games (many of which you've mentioned) such as Tera, Rift, WoW. I did not take your argument listing other game as examples as an indication of their superiority, because for every single thing they did right, they often did "other wrongs", I think we can agree on that. Secret world might have a more sophisticated system as well as do Guild Wars 2, I'd admit to these two recent mmos only. So basically I'm saying we shouldn't get dramatic about it, it needs some tweaking, but it is NOT bad, they've done their job and it's a complete job, it just could be even better, and I'm sure through patches and whatnot they'll try to fix it --- Like I said, I still had fun doing them, some of the quests strike me harder than many other recent mmos. So by all means let them know your ideas! I'm just saying please don't sound like an angry mob while doing it.

    1. I agree. Perhaps a simple indication of whether or not this person is on the same quest, will be sufficient.

    2. I see your point, but I have concerns. Obviously having it more categorized makes the whole experience more clean and makes us level faster/easier, but clean means clustered means formulaic, which you yourself opposed in point 3. I personally do not have an issue with it because I noticed that a slightly messy system forces me to read the quests, I gotta know where to go and what to do, I gotta investigate locations of mobs/items before picking a direction.

    3. Oh if only it's that simple. You can't mass deliver in Wildstar without knowing what to do. There's too many quests requiring you to press T instead of killing the mob, too many quests that requires specific tasks that you wouldn't normally do. If you don't read the quest objectives, there's a lot of wrong turns that you'd make. Most efficient questing is done by an organized mind, and within the same area there is only around 5 quests anyways. I assure you the person who picks up 30 quests in his quest log and try to do them all at once will level SIGNIFICANTLY slower than the one that keeps the quest number between 3-10. I've done plenty of incredibly streamlined cluster questing in other games (Tera, for example). And this isn't that.

    4. Well see, I never used quest helper in WoW. But I am very proud of the speed with which I level my characters. I know every single quest in every zone, I know how to best juggle them, I get a max leveled toon FAST let me tell ya. And it only took me 2 characters during noob phase, leveling through with occasional death, to know everything everywhere. So I'm really not into quest helper at all, I mean I'm not against it, I just don't think you need it. If it's your first time playing the game, you should figure it out yourself, that's the point. If you really can't, ask in chat, check forums/websites, you'd know in literally 10 seconds. But what do you gain from it? Lore, involvement, investment and pay off. The difference seems small but soon enough it shows, I simply had more fun questing and got more out of it compared to my friend who was just clicking away. AND, by the third character I was leveling significantly faster than my friends' alts who are still using quest helper.

    5. In TERA, BAMs can be soloed. And that's the point. BAM grinding and skipping quest was the leveling "norm". What is the difference between coordinating with that random player in taking down a group mob versus grouping with that random player and take down a group mob then disband? I think grouping should be encouraged sure, but that really isn't the bottom line. The REASON that grouping is good is because it builds community, it encourages coordination and communication, and if there's other ways that can do this without pushing a "invite to group" button, why not?

    6. I know you said you chose the words carefully as you know this is a debatable point, so I of course still have to address this statement. You talked about story delivery and you questioned how Wildstar deliver the story, but it is unclear to me why you'd say that. I mean, what does "story delivery" mean? Do you mean you didn't care about the story because "they didn't make you care enough about the story"? To which I have to say, it's two sided. Many people have the experience of trying to get your spouse/friend to do things but they just don't. They don't care enough, they brush it off. You then try different things like small talks, getting angry, bribing them, threatening them, work in a long story and atmosphere, get other people to talk to them, you try everything but they just don't care enough, they say "yeah OK" but don't do anything, or they say "meh". I'm saying, there are things that they can do to make you care or make you like it, but they can only go so far, the rest is up to you. Can they think of ways to make it more persuasive? Oh absolutely, I loved GW2's story presentation, they made it easier for me to care about a story that is frankly Mary Sue. But ultimately it's up to the individual. Things like seeing Studrock walk around the bar picking up women AND in the Lopp village trying to flirt with a Draken woman, it made me curious, so I waited and followed him around to see all his lines. Doing the Galeroc story line at the end with Durek and Kara, I was just questing along until I felt "hmmm, why are we suddenly killing birdies instead of Dommies?" And I paid closer attention to their dialogue and bam, there I was really siding with Kara and wanted badly to go to a forum to vent about how much I despise Durek's mentality. Yeah, a player could've just did their quests, killed mobs, and gone. Some people skip dialogues no matter how much you try to shove it down their throat. Some people seek out stories even if those are hidden. Maybe Wildstar can indeed be more forceful with its story telling, but I'm saying, I don't know how much it'll help. Even with Guild Wars 2's cut scenes and personal stories, many of my friends with multiple characters at level 80 still don't know who Trahearne is, I had to tell them "he's that leaf man that was fighting with you beyond level 50". Now I'm not saying I'm opposed to a different or more elaborate presentation of stories, maybe more cut scenes (which are just camera play in Wildstar, should in theory can be applied to almost everything) etc. I'm just saying that mentality is still a very big part of it.

    Conclusion: Most of your points that I agree to are regarding UI. How to organize the UI better to reflect shared quests and perhaps make questing less messy. But I do want to say that you really can't have both a clean tidy straight forward questing system AND expect people to read the quests. Even someone as interested in lore as myself, if I'm given the choice to just horde the quests and go in a line and all quests just nicely fall in place (aka confident that I never have to visit the same hub ever again, just need to walk and kill all the way to 50), I'll probably do it. The fact that if you don't read your quest you'll be killing wrong mobs doing wrong things and missing hand ins and missing optional quests, is not a problem to those who level a lot and enjoy leveling, I feel. It IS a problem for people who just want to get to max level or level as fast as they could, and there are many people like that, so for them I say we need to perhaps make it more "clear cut".
  15. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    Overall with the whole "bunches of quest thingie" and "Picking up more quests trying to complete one" is...well. I find it mildly annoying. The quest log really fills up quick.

    Like for Example in one of the Exile starter zones (algeroc?) there's the "Protostar SoS" quest. Following what some others have said, you pick up the Protostar SOS quest. In that small area there's half a dozen other quests that you pick up separately. "Recover Clones", "Fix the Ship", "Kill Yeti", "Recover Mining Bots", "Mark Mining Sites". It seems like all these quests could be rolled into one with multiple objectives. You talk to the Protostar Clone and they give you "Secure the Protostar Site" Quest. Each objective listed from the individual quests become part of it. You aren't interruped by calls everytime you wander around.
  16. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    See, I don't get this complaint at all as its exactly what they were advertising with "layered questing" for the last 2 years.
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  17. Fishsticks

    Fishsticks Cupcake-About-Town

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    This bothers me as well, because I don't find that the levels of the quests fit together seamlessly - it feels like the quests aren't really related so much as just jumbled together haphazardly. I also find that by piling on 40 quests at each hub, it really trivializes the story/lore as I end up just spam clicking through and turning things in with barely having looked at the quests.
  18. Felion

    Felion Cupcake-About-Town

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    I've been targeting this particular problem: It's partly them and partly us, NO ONE can help us if we insist on spam clicking through everything. We're basically complaining why are they not shoving things down our throat and the minute that they do, we'll immediately complain why are they shoving things down our throat. If you care enough about story and lore to complain about it on the forum, WHY do you spam click through them? 'Cause you can certainly do that too even if there's just one single big quest. It's not like the other quests do not have dialogues, they do, and some of them quite entertaining, so really reducing the amount of quests is simply getting rid of a massive amount of dialogues and stories period. Those who likes to lore hunt and get into the nitty gritty of things will have a LOT less to work with. Stitch them all in series? It will either increases the total leveling time 5 or 6 fold, OR trivialize every single quest.

    Sometimes it's not whether you like it or not, it's whether if there ARE better alternatives that will not destroy the game in ways you personally doesn't realize yet. In this case, I think there are improvements that they can make, but in terms of quest progression (or story progression) there really only ever existed two types: linear and parallel. Each would have pros and cons and it's really just a design decision, it's not fair for us to keep bashing their design decision. It's like when people bash Wildstar's art style (this is also a design decision and a personal preference) --- first time through we try to change their mind through communication, second time through we stop trying to change them but still fully respect their personal opinion, third time and he's just being a douche. Everyone wants the world to run their preferred way, of course. Yeah, we want our kids to wear what we think look better, we want people to like the music we like. So we certainly can't blame any one for trying. But there's an art to that trying, at one point we can't keep rubbing it in without being purely a pain in the butt and nothing else.

    I have to state again that I think the quests certainly can improve, as in every other AAA mmos ever existed. I just don't think it's fair for us to bash it so harshly.
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  19. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    Again - the Quests that have the Main Story in them are the ones with the Blue Brackets around the Quest Mark when you pick them up (unless they changed that). So you can choose to only read those quests and you'll get the main story of the world!! The other quests are side missions that happen right next to those Bracketed Quests that give you more to do than just one single quest/questline in an area.
  20. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    The story kind of gets lost in the maze of: "Challenge Begins!", "Hey buddy I see you are already doing something so I figured I would call you to tell you a bunch of exposition", "What? you didn't accept my call, so all the things you just killed don't count for me!", "Am I gathering even more <REDACTED> on the ground for the storyline, a task, or my path?", "Here is a pitiful xp reward for finishing a storyline since you leveled by doing shiphands/adventures/pvp". When you add in UI problems the delivery is bad as nobody wants to read quest log text for their story. Sure, you can't force anyone to read/watch the story, but you certainly can improve the experience for those that do.
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