Fewer Quests, Higher Quality

I’ve come to notice in recent years that I have a slight disdain for quest logs, commonly found in RPGs. I wouldn’t mind if the quests were interesting and fun to play, but many can feel like they are just there to pad the content out. One such game that I found to be particularly bad for this was ‘Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.’ It’s a good game that I recommend regardless, but I found the sheer number of quests to be a little overwhelming. I often aim to complete the quests as efficiently as I can by going through all of the ones in the same area at once and then handing them all in at once (which is admittedly an incredibly satisfying feeling.) The problem is that by the time I have returned I’ve usually forgotten the reasons behind why I was doing them in the first place. I don’t feel like I can avoid doing these quests because I probably really need the experience/rewards from them, as well as OCD rearing its ugly head.

If I’m playing because I’m interested in developing my character then it doesn’t matter so much, but when I’m invested in a story I do find it slightly frustrating to find myself falling by the wayside as a result of a surge of minor quests from minor characters. Originally It was the plot that made me want to play more of ‘Kingdoms of Amalur’ and yet my enjoyment of the gameplay was already starting to dwindle before I even got around to unravelling much of it. In fact I’m not quite sure what happened because I ended up following one quest line into another quest line into another until one day I found myself on the other side of the map and none the wiser – hoping to return back to this game one day to clear that up. I did rather like my character with her glowing daggers and magical chakrams.

When I was younger I had more spare time so I didn’t mind these types of fillers, but now that I’m older I’m finding such large games to be a little daunting (I haven’t started Skyrim yet despite having finished and enjoyed Oblivion.) In the limited time that I have I would much rather play a game that allows me to be fully invested in the main story events or goals without distraction. One such game for me was Dark Souls; the game doesn’t have a quest log nor does it have any really lengthy sections padded out with enemies. In fact, if it weren’t for the difficulty it’d probably be rather short. I can imagine for some that having to die and re-do so much would be considered worse than instead having spent that time clearing out a quest log, but for me this is much more preferable. Another example for me is Mass Effect – if we choose to ignore planet scanning -, which had some quests but I didn’t feel as inundated and I found most to be engaging. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’d probably prefer slightly fewer quest lines but of a higher quality, or maybe side quests that still link to the main plot in some way. After all, when the fate of the world hangs in the balance I don’t think that helping denizens through the collecting and delivering of random items would be on the top of my to-do list.


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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

4 responses to “Fewer Quests, Higher Quality”

  1. jdh5153 says :

    I think that’s why I enjoyed Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3. There may have been some side quests, but there was never a seemingly overwhelming amount. I also have never finished Skyrim, though I would like to eventually, I just feel there’s way too much to do. Sometimes I like to take a more linear approach. When I first played Morrowind back in high school I had a lot more time to try and do everything, however now I usually end up distracted by the time the next major release is out.


    • wallcat says :

      I don’t know anybody who has finished Skyrim, lol. The value for money is good on such a game, but I don’t want to have lots to do just for the sake of it. Sometimes it’s nice just to have a story that I can engage in fully for one or two weeks. I often find the linear approach can be more fun because it cuts out a lot of bulk and lets you get straight to the point. I tend to enjoy big open worlds more in MMOs, but I still don’t really engage with what the quests are about.

  2. Astro Adam says :

    I wonder what would happen if an RPG removed all the side quests and simply focused on making a long and excellent main quest. Would it cease to be an RPG?

    • wallcat says :

      I was wondering the same thing myself. I suppose it depends on how you define the genre. For me it would still count so long as I could still have some control over how I developed my character or the choices they made within the story. I imagine for others extensive questing could be considered more of a staple and a part of that choice. It would be interesting to see such games.

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