Quests and journals

I like quests. I like journals. I like maps. I don't like to be spoon fed.

Because of this I thought about how I would like to have stories guide my gameplay, but have something like a journal and map to help guide me.

The journal:
I don't always have a lot of time to play, so when I return to a game after a few weeks or months, I often have trouble catching up to what I was doing. Because of this I would love a journal.
However, I don't like the idea of an automatic journal. It should be up to the player to create a journal entry when an NPC says something that sounds interesting. Oblivion's chatter system was a nice idea, albeit very repetitive. But I wouldn't mind seeing a variation on this in VQ. With the difference that the player should click on the speech bubble, and choose to add this topic to their journal manually (or ignore it if it doesn't sound interesting or fun).

The same possibility should exist for interesting topics that come up in chat with an NPC. A way to mark an interesting topic for further inquiry and to write it down in your journal.
I suspect the traditional "Rumours" option would work here.


The map:
In the real world, when someone tells you that the dragon lives in the mountains nearby, they'll point and you'll be able to see the mountain. In a game like VQ or even minecraft, this isn't possible because of limited viewing distance or viewpoint.
Morrowind tried to solve this by giving you roadmarkers and a description of the road, but more often than not I got lost and became a bit frustrated. Oblivion went the overkill route and pointed to the exact spot where you needed to be.

I'd like to propose a solution in between. Let the NPC tell the player in which general area they'll find something. If they're talking about the mountains in the North, then allow the player to attach this knowledge to a map, linked to the quest entry in the journal.


An example:
Jack and Gill are talking to each other about strange smells coming from one of the farmhouses to the West of the town. You pick up on this chatter, and add it as something worth investigating in your journal. At this point, the journal entry creates a very broad area on the map "west of town" where the farm could be.
You could now talk to Jack and/or Gill, and with the journal entry available you're able to ask them about this information, and you get a more detailed description of the location of the farm, including the extra knowledge about how many people are living there, and if they're the welcoming kind of people or not.


I realize this system probably wouldn't serve much purpose in the roguelike part of the game, but it could work well in the sandbox mode. Any other ideas or comments? :D
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Comments

  • A writable journal is always a nice addition, but there is some point where taking certain notes/mapping for the player is not hand-holding, but tedium reduction. For instance, if you can access logs of what everyone says, it removes the necessity to write everything down ever, drastically reducing tedium and allowing you to re-reference exactly what was said. This doesn't give the player any extra information, it just makes it easy to reference the information they were already given.
    Similarly, if you have a map, asking a player to manually fill in the terrain on it is simply tedious. Auto-logging what was seen simply removes a make-work portion of playing. The ability to add notes to regions or points is very helpful in addition, but auto-adding certain notes can be useful. The key is to automatically allow the player to access information they have already been given without them doing a lot of drudge work, while not expanding on that information unreasonably. Of course, you also want the player to be able to say "oh, this was important, I'll flag this specifically" for easy reference.

    One idea I have toyed with was to use probability regions for mapping. This is similar to what katarone said, but more detailed. Rather than marking points on map, regions are marked. If someone says something is too the north, you get a huge smear to the north of where it might be. If you know its in a mountain to the north, it will constrain itself to places which could be mountains.
    This can also work for NPCs. You say jim at the village pub last. However, Jim is likely to move around, so his location will spread out as a probability smear. If you know things about him, like where he lives, the places he was going to travel too, etc, the probability smear can highlight those places as being more likely.

    If you go too far into "don't do anything for the player", the game becomes a notetaking task. Considering that the design goals expects sub-hour runs frequently, that would be a lot of effort for notes that are only relevant for a short amount of time
  • I wasn't talking about having the player manually type or draw though. They would click on a text and it'd get added to the journal, together with the collected information on that topic. The game would make the entries, but only those that the player wants to add.
  • That very easily leads to "wait, what did that one person say about this obscure things I didn't realize was relevant at the time", and then they add everything to the journals . Everything should be there, it should just be a matter of what you have flagged as relevant.
  • I don't really agree with that. If someone tells you something, and you're not listening, then it's on you. :)

    Not only that, but with an infinite world with infinite quests, your log would become huge. Sure, text isn't that large, but at some point it will be easier to return to a town you visited two weeks ago, than to scroll through your entire chat history with the hundreds of NPC you've encountered since.
  • edited October 2014
    @Katorone‌ - your log would become huge eventually, and so would your journal... but perhaps there's away around that.

    If the game is adding the journals, then they could be separated into "categories". For example:

    "I found a cluster of day-lilies just south of Port Hanshan. They're an ingredient in minor health potions, so I don't want to forget where they are."
    "Lady Millie told me about a field of day-lilies a little to the northwest of Oakville. They're an ingredient in minor health potions, so I don't want to forget where they are."
    "I bought a map to a field of day-lilies half a day's walk north-northeast of Robertburg. They're an ingredient in minor health potions, so I don't want to forget where they are."


    Eventually, you might level up far enough that these entries aren't of use to you anymore. Instead of scrolling past them... you could click one and select the option "hide all messages like these". The game would then search through and automatically hide all entries concerning where to find day-lilies - which could then be expanded if the player clicked on them. While "minimized", they might display a grayed-out text in italics: Entry hidden: Where to find day-lilies Other topics might include fetch quests, enemies made, people who flirted with you, and so on.
  • Interesting.
    Categories would also allow you to link your perception to your actual skill. For instance an herbalist would be more interested by finding a specific plant, than a warrior would be.
    The same for NPC. An NPC with no interest in herbalism shouldn't detect these plants without being on the lookout for them specifically.

    Personally though, I don't just want to run around and have everything detected. As a novice in herbalism I would need to examine a patch of flowers and eventually become better and better at understanding their properties. Eventually I'd be able to just look at a flower and get what it is by just passing by.
    Perhaps the same could be done for quests? You could teach the game what kind of quests interest you by putting them in your journal (it doesn't have to mean there aren't any others available through some kind of backlog or going back to an area). After a bit the game could automatically enter these type of quests in your journal.
    If you predominantly take combat quests, you'll automatically pick those up, or NPC will come and find you because you're getting renowned for your combat skill.
  • Besides categories, it could be fun to have quests categorized per area as well. It doesn't make sense to have a bunch of quests predominantly displayed when they're 100 of kilometres away from where you're now.
  • One game that goes quite far in the no hand holding direction is Dwarf fortress, where you can hear people talking about stuff, but there's no way to note them down (That I saw) nor is there an easy way to know where the places they're talking about are.
    "Anybody looking for glory should seek the hill titan in the plains of murder"
  • Dwarf Fortress automatically notes any information like that down in a list, which can (as of right now) become ridiculously long and unwieldy. :P Particularly if you're trying to spread a rumor.
  • It will always be easier to search a log than to physicslly travel someplace. Esp. If that NPC has been killed
    There are many things which add a burden to the player without any gameplay benefits. These things should be avoided. Letting players miss crucial information due to poor note taking is one of these. Esp in a procedural world, where there is literally no way to reclaim lost information, not even looking it up online. The interesting part of the game is the player picking out which clues are relevant and deciding how to act on them, keeping logs that you can look through only enhances that
  • Yeah, I admit, I've never really delved too much into the adventure mode menus. Too busy delving into how the map is stored.
  • Katorone said:

    I like quests. I like journals. I like maps. I don't like to be spoon fed.

    Because of this I thought about how I would like to have stories guide my gameplay, but have something like a journal and map to help guide me.

    The journal:
    I don't always have a lot of time to play, so when I return to a game after a few weeks or months, I often have trouble catching up to what I was doing. Because of this I would love a journal.
    However, I don't like the idea of an automatic journal. It should be up to the player to create a journal entry when an NPC says something that sounds interesting. Oblivion's chatter system was a nice idea, albeit very repetitive. But I wouldn't mind seeing a variation on this in VQ. With the difference that the player should click on the speech bubble, and choose to add this topic to their journal manually (or ignore it if it doesn't sound interesting or fun).

    The traditional option in RPGs is usually to give the player the choice to accept the quest or not, with the acceptance auto-creating a journal entry with a summary of the quest including location details. Declining the quest would mean this entry isn't created. I've seen this system work pretty well in a lot of games, and a lot of players might even come to expect something similar if they've played other games in the genre.

    What I'd love to see is a version of this system augmented by some extra systems for tapping into the world-building.

    In addition to the "Quests" section of the Journal, you get a couple other sections in tabs, with headers like "Points of Interest", "Rumours", etc. (And a notepad-style section for custom typed notes.) Ideally, you'd be able to set the journal to filter the display of Quests taken/Points of interest discovered/Rumours heard to show those in Local/Regional/Global areas (probably using a specified distance radius from the player), so you don't get overwhelmed.

    If you want to get even fancier, you can put in some kind of tags system so that the player can selectively filter their results; e.g. "Don't display points of interest with the 'Herb' tag", or "Only show me the rumours containing the word 'Dragon'." And then you could even let the player add custom tags to the entries that get logged - tags like "Mission Critical" or "Ignore This", that they could then also use to filter displayed lists.

    Of course, all this is supposing a system where everything gets auto-logged and added to player-accessible lists, but you could easily tweak the system so that a player is required to manually mark each Point of Interest, or click a button to record a heard Rumour, and still have the system work pretty well.
  • edited October 2014
    Something I don't like about the "Do you want it or not" system in most RPGs is that choosing not to accept the quest is an inherently bad thing - it means you can never take that quest, and therefore never get the experience from it.

    A good way to counter it (which I'm surprised I've never seen anybody do) would be to make reputation tie in with how quickly (and successfully) you complete a quest. Turning down a quest might not have any positive or negative effects on your reputation, while failing a quest (or not doing anything about it to the point that the bad guy gets away) lowers your reputation. As normal, completing the quest within a decent timespan would have you get a better reputation among the involved parties. As an example: If someone asked you to fetch wood for their fire, they shouldn't wait all month for you to come back for it - and yet, most games do, or worse, allow you to simply take the quest again as if you'd never failed. If you don't complete the quest, someone else should get around to doing it themselves, or someone else should come and accept it.

    What this would do is make it so that every time you were offered a quest, you would have to decide, right then, "Am I strong enough to take this quest, and do I have the time for it? What are the chances of finding someone with a better quest for me to do, and if I found one, could I afford to take it on as well?" It would turn what would have been a simple, "Yes, of course I accept" into a real decision.

    On the other hand, not everyone likes to feel like they're on the clock... but I suppose if you didn't want to hurry along with the quest, you wouldn't have to take it at all.


    As to the map, I can't comment on Morrowind (never played), but in Skyrim... While I liked the overall map and knowing where I was, the little compass at the top almost completely took away any urge I had towards exploration. All you really had to do was walk through an area and look for markers that weren't filled in.
  • Talvieno said:

    Something I don't like about the "Do you want it or not" system in most RPGs is that choosing not to accept the quest is an inherently bad thing - it means you can never take that quest, and therefore never get the experience from it.

    Exactly. This is one of the reasons why I'm looking for alternatives.
    Talvieno said:

    A good way to counter it (which I'm surprised I've never seen anybody do) would be to make reputation tie in with how quickly (and successfully) you complete a quest. Turning down a quest might not have any positive or negative effects on your reputation, while failing a quest (or not doing anything about it to the point that the bad guy gets away) lowers your reputation. As normal, completing the quest within a decent timespan would have you get a better reputation among the involved parties. As an example: If someone asked you to fetch wood for their fire, they shouldn't wait all month for you to come back for it - and yet, most games do, or worse, allow you to simply take the quest again as if you'd never failed. If you don't complete the quest, someone else should get around to doing it themselves, or someone else should come and accept it.

    The generic quests in Freelancer work like this.

    Personally I also like the idea of traveling back to a town where you heard a rumour, only to find out the NPC have sold the problem themselves already. For instance, a haunted house that got cleared by the local magi, fueled by the AI's decision making. (perhaps they were hired by another NPC who needed something from the house.)
    Talvieno said:


    What this would do is make it so that every time you were offered a quest, you would have to decide, right then, "Am I strong enough to take this quest, and do I have the time for it? What are the chances of finding someone with a better quest for me to do, and if I found one, could I afford to take it on as well?" It would turn what would have been a simple, "Yes, of course I accept" into a real decision.

    On the other hand, not everyone likes to feel like they're on the clock... but I suppose if you didn't want to hurry along with the quest, you wouldn't have to take it at all.

    Personally, I only find this enjoyable after I know a game thoroughly enough to make an informed decision. Another reason why I'm more in favour of having "taken the quest" as a concious action of the player, not some full automatic quest log. You heard about some dragon somewhere that guards a nifty trinket? You hear that someone wants to buy that trinket? That's a quest right there, with no real need to have an "accept" button. You'd just need an easy way to aggregate this information in your own log.
    Talvieno said:


    As to the map, I can't comment on Morrowind (never played), but in Skyrim... While I liked the overall map and knowing where I was, the little compass at the top almost completely took away any urge I had towards exploration. All you really had to do was walk through an area and look for markers that weren't filled in.

    Indeed. You can of course turn off the compass, but the NPC aren't given you any directions, so you'll have a very hard time looking. If they'd tell you in what "general area" the quest target is located, you can still go around exploring, scout the area for ambushes or good ways to attack.
  • edited October 2014
    Katorone said:

    Personally I also like the idea of traveling back to a town where you heard a rumour, only to find out the NPC have sold the problem themselves already. For instance, a haunted house that got cleared by the local magi, fueled by the AI's decision making. (perhaps they were hired by another NPC who needed something from the house.)

    Yep, that's about what I meant. :) There shouldn't really be any downside to not accepting quests, other than the fact that someone else may come along and pick it up before you can - which, coincidentally, was what I meant when I said the bit about deciding whether you wanted to take a quest or not. The downside is that someone else could come along and snatch it up.

    I see two basic types of quests.
    1: Quests for a single person. Examples are assassinations, fetch quests, guard quests, etc. - someone in asks you to do a favor for them. This type might have "time limits" - i.e. they want you to get it done within a particular amount of time. With this type of quest, they might only want one person on it - therefore, accepting it would be necessary.
    2. Quests that benefit a larger population, or just you. Slaying dragons, killing rat populations, finding artifacts. This kind of thing might be passed around as a rumor. The only time limit is that someone else might get to it before you do. If someone asks you to slay a dragon and bring back something it's guarding, that's a fetch quest, and belongs in #1.

    Type #2 might get logged in your journal, but not as an accepted quest - rather as a piece of knowledge you've gained. Perhaps it doesn't get written into the journal at all.


    edit: typo.
  • Personally I hate #1 quests most of the time. It's very hard for a game to convey enough information so the player can make an informed decision.
    In VQ NPC can lie to you, so you can't even ask them if they think you can do it. Perhaps they're just setting you up by luring you to a trap.

    Another problem I have with #1 quests is that these NPC need something done urgently, but they're just standing around with an exclamation mark above their heads. NPC that need something done should take initiative to get a result.
    Suppose NPC do look (actively) for other NPC or the player to do the job for them, there probably wouldn't be many quests for the player to undertake. Unless the questgiver lives very remotely.
  • edited October 2014
    Not necessarily. Perhaps our lovely bar maiden can't go check on her brother over in Catkin Falls herself - maybe she's sort of stuck... being, you know... a bar maiden. I doubt she has any sort of skills necessary to hack her way through to Catkin Falls, and would probably get herself killed if it turned out her brother had actually been captured by bandits. I'd call asking a strong-looking adventurer a real initiative in that case. :)

    Part of taking these quests that have less info is the element of risk. It's a gamble - will you be tough enough to defeat the enemy, or would it be safer to keep leveling up your herbalist skill in the fields right outside town?

    The solution isn't to keep other NPCs from getting your quests - it's to keep "quest givers" (And all NPCs should be capable of giving quests) more reasons to give quests. "Aye, laddie. I'm looking for a better ax 'n I have right now, but I don' want to stop trainin' for tha battlefield. Wanna help me out for some coppers? I'll pay ye right handsomely."

    It's important to have a reason the quest-giving NPC won't do it for themselves, though, and they definitely shouldn't stand around in the same place (unless confined to their local bar, like our lovely maiden illustrated above). Maybe they don't even have an exclamation mark over their heads - maybe you have to actually talk to them a bit before they go, "Well, now that you mention it..."
  • Someone who is in distress will find a way to get help. She could find the guards after her shift, and report the disappearance. She wouldn't be waiting on customers while waiting for an adventurer who just happens to stop by.

    The example of the axe sounds more like a #2 to me. It could be a #1 if there's a competition a few days later, and local resources (like the smith) are a last resource. At least this kind of task would be open ended. Perhaps you're a better smith than the one in town, or have found better materials on your travels. Or he might hint that a great axe of his got stolen by a group of bandits. You could make the logical conclusion here that this guy who's already a great fighter won't go after the bandits himself, means the bandits are pretty strong.
    In this case you can sort of see from the circumstances that the fight would be a considerable challenge.
  • Hmm... With the barmaid, I suppose you're right... but you could add a few twists to it to make it interesting. Perhaps you might even talk to the guards and they say she's crazy and always going on about it. It'd be a nice random, interesting event. Perhaps, if your conversation skills are high enough, you could press her farther on the matter and get it to slip that she's actually trying to lead you into a trap. Maybe she's not actually a bar maiden at all, and only posing as one - asking the regulars about her might gain you the information that they've never seen her before.

    For any #1 quest, there should always be an answer to, "Why can't this character do it themselves?" Even if that answer is, "The character is mad" or "The character is a liar". However, in either case, there should always be a way to find out if the character is telling the truth - this could easily be done a number of ways. You could talk to others, or perhaps wheedle it out of the NPC themselves.

    I suppose the axe is a combination of #1 and #2 - however... if we assume that the man is giving you money to buy an axe yourself, you're left with the problem of, "Do I keep his money, or do I buy him an axe?" And yes, I would assume that the local smith would be a last resource, because no quest should arise randomly - there should always, always be a reason behind it. I really like the idea of him asking you to go fetch it from bandits, though...

    Another possibility is that he has an axe he wanted not for its physical value, but more for its sentimental value. "Ach, yah, I've lost somethin' indeed, now that ya mention it. There was this great axe I lost once. Old thing wouldn' cut bread e'en if ya lathered it up with butter, but it meant a lot to me old da. I thought I'd never see it again and gave up on it long ago, but if ya might be willin' to fetch it offa those bandits up in Merrywhiles Cave, I could make it worth yer while. ...I'd go meself, but I'm always too busy."
  • Suppose you took a #1 type quest, and then go talk to people about it. A few problems arise here however. How will you let the player know how to find NPC related to these quests? How will you be able to find the father, without having to go from door to door, wasting valuable time in the process.
    What if you find out the quest is actually setting you up for a trap, would you abandon the quest, or will its nature change to a type #2 quest where you're aware of a group of bandits luring people into a certain area, and the option to deal with them?
  • Katorone said:

    How will you be able to find the father

    I suppose I worded that wrong. "Old thing wouldn' cut bread e'en if ya lathered it up with butter, but it meant a lot to me old da, rest his soul." <--- better description? :P

    I would say a quest setting you up for a trap is a Type 2 quest to begin with. The person would be happy with any number of people walking into her trap, and wouldn't say "Too late, somebody's already on it" to the next NPC.

  • Talvieno said:


    I would say a quest setting you up for a trap is a Type 2 quest to begin with. The person would be happy with any number of people walking into her trap, and wouldn't say "Too late, somebody's already on it" to the next NPC.

    But this difference would already give away to the player that something is up. Just by looking how the quest is classified.
  • Not necessarily. :P If you're desperate to know if your brother is okay, might you send more than one person, hoping that at least one of them would return? Or, rather, would you be okay with it and calm down after just one person went? I think that the girl would still be upset, simply from not having heard back from her brother, regardless of whether or not she'd talked to someone. After all, there's no guarantee that the person she talked to would do anything at all.
  • but would you want to pay the 10 people you asked who all went to check on him?
  • That makes sense. But, we started by considering this type of quest as an example of a time limited quest. If there's a real problem with the brother, and you take a month to check it out, the brother could be dead, and you'd have failed the quest.
    On the other hand, if it's a trap, there's no real time limit or urgency.
  • edited October 2014
    Mystify said:

    but would you want to pay the 10 people you asked who all went to check on him?

    I see your point. Realistically, she might not offer payment, but in a game, you would expect her to. However... it all depends on how it's presented. She doesn't necessarily have to tell you that you're not the only one she's going to ask it of.

    @Katorone: Whether it's a trap or not, she should still set a time limit. Otherwise, it's not a believable trap. "Please hurry, I'm afraid something's happened to him, he may need help!"

    Perhaps we need a #3 that's a mix of #2 and #1... if that's what you're saying, I wholeheartedly agree at this point. :P
  • I don't know. For me, the root problem is still how to let players consciously accept a quest, and display collected information in a coherent way so that the player can make an informed decision.
    Perhaps the game doesn't need any type, perhaps the time limit can be inferred from the information collected.
  • edited October 2014
    Oh, that's what you were saying. Yeah!

    Okay, here's how I see it working out.


    Type A: Just you, for one person: (You need to click "accept")

    Availability:
    - Just you ("Bring this to Old Dame Williker over at Firepig Inn, will you?")
    Need:
    - Only one person needs this done. ("Could ye go kill the rats in me cornfield? That's a good lass.")
    Quest location: Multiple types - always shown if it exists.
    - No set location ("I need you to bring me a better axe than this.")
    - Unknown/moving location ("These bandits took my axe!" + describe bandits in detail)
    - Known location ("She was taken to this castle..." + location described in detail)
    Payment: Always shown if it exists.
    - Not offered, given after completion: It's a "thank you". Maybe it's extravagant, maybe it's not much - perhaps the person can't even afford to pay you... but you knew it before you accepted. If you get no payment, then you at least get reputation. Never marked in a journal.
    - Offered before the quest, given after completion: A regular payment.
    - Given before the quest ("Take this coin and fetch me a better axe than what I have now - you can have whatever's left over. You'd better not steal from me or I'll make sure you're never welcome in this town again.")
    Time limit: Invisible, never shown. Sometimes there isn't any time limit at all - and there is never any "pre-set" time limit. If there is any sort of time limit, the Questgiver will tell you in detail how fast you need to be. Time limits depend on three things:
    - Expiration of the target ("Old Dame Williker died because you took so long to deliver her medicine. This is all on you.")
    - The Questgiver not needing it anymore ("Sorry, he and I don't talk anymore.")
    - The Questgiver's death.




    Type B: Given to anyone by one person: (no need to click "accept")

    Availability:
    - Any number of people until the job is complete ("I'm kind of thirsty, can't anyone bring me a bottle of ale??") No need to click "accept".
    Need:
    - Only one person needs this done. ("It ain't much of a task, I just need ye to kill a few drakes runnin' around in me cornfield... ...yes, drakes, what of it? I'll pay ye for each one ye kill. ...How many? Uhhhhh...") No need to click "accept".
    Quest location: Multiple types - always shown if it exists.
    - No set location (I need you to bring me a better axe than this)
    - Unknown location ("These bandits took my axe!" + describe bandits in detail)
    - Known location ("She was taken to this castle" + location described in detail)
    Payment: Always shown if it exists.
    - Not offered, given after completion: It's a "thank you". Maybe it's extravagant, maybe it's not much - perhaps the person can't even afford to pay you... but you knew it before you accepted. Never marked in a journal.
    - Offered before the quest, given after completion: A regular payment.
    Time limit: Invisible, never shown. Sometimes there isn't any time limit at all - and there is never any "pre-set" time limit. If there is any sort of time limit, the Questgiver will tell you in detail how fast you need to be. Time limits depend on four things:
    - Expiration of the target ("Yeah, my brother died, nobody got to him in time.")
    - Someone else finishing it first
    - The Questgiver not needing it anymore ("Sorry, the fair was over ages ago, I don't need that basket anymore")
    - The Questgiver's death.




    Type C: Given to anyone by anyone: (no need to click "accept")

    Availability:
    - Any number of people until the job is complete ("Would someone please kill this f'kin dragon already?!") No need to click "accept".
    Need:
    - It benefits a large group of people, any of which can be the quest giver. Only reputation as a reward. ("The Black Scallion rode through yesterday and killed all our chickens! What a fearful bandit he is!") No need to click "accept".
    - It's a rumor, not a request. ("Listen close, lads, and I'll tell ye a tale of the mightiest weapon there ever was... I hear tell they call it, 'The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch'") No need to click "accept".
    Quest location: Multiple types - always shown if it exists.
    - No set location (There are WAY too many giant spiders in Gloommurk Woods!)
    - Unknown location ("They say that this group of bandits has a leader that wields this great artifact" + describe bandits in detail)
    - Known location ("This dragon guards a precious treasure" + location described in detail)
    Payment: Always shown if it exists.
    - It benefits nobody but yourself. You get the loot.
    - It benefits multiple people, so you get no payment, only reputation for finishing the job. And potentially loot.
    Time limit: Invisible, never shown. Sometimes there isn't any time limit at all - and there is never any "pre-set" time limit. If there is any sort of time limit, the Questgivers will tell you in detail how fast you need to be. Time limits depend on two things:
    - Expiration of the target (The crops shrivel because you neglect them)
    - Someone else finishing it first


    Edit: That's a total of 27 different quest types... which I suppose may or may not be a lot... but the actual task in each type could vary, so in reality it's a lot more than that.
  • That gave me an idea. What if there was always an option to decline payment, and doing so results in a boost to reputation based on how much was given up. Forgoing the $10 for shoveling someone's sidewalks makes people think you are an upstadning lad, while forgoing the ancient sceptor for destroying the necromancer's army will make tales spread of this noble, selfless hero.
  • Wow...so much content, I don't think I can read through everything yet, but I will make a few comments for now (and thanks guys for talking about this so actively!)

    Initially, we are probably looking at a pretty rough game in which users can just run any query they want into the system (i.e. they are omniscient about the state of the entire world). So, if they can't remember something, say the color of someone's house, they do something like: X:house. X:ownedBy(Bob). X.color? (X is a house. X is owned by Bob. What is the color of X? (What is the color of a house owned by Bob?).

    Eventually these facts will be limited to what the player has sensed (seen, heard, etc) or gathered (asked about, etc).

    There is just wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much information to store it in a journal, because every fact is relevant to the way things play out in the world, and it is hard to pin down which facts are necessarily more important than others.

    Still, you could store contracts easily in a journal. Any agreement / pact that you form with another NPC (I will take this message to this town for 10 gold pieces (fetch quest!)).
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