So I was digging around the intertubes, and happened upon this old gem. It’s a good piece of animation, almost like Wildstar in style. But what stuck out to me was the end of the clip, that takes a lighthearted jab at collection quests.
Which got me thinking about how the notion of ‘quests’ as content has evolved over the last decade or so. I’m not quite veteran enough to claim experience in Everquest or UO, but I remember back to the days of yore with my very first ‘quests’ in the original Runescape. It didn’t have much to do with your overall progression, but they were a fun addition to do whenever you were bored, and had some nifty rewards.
And then came World of Warcraft. Streamlining the quest experience, and in fact making it the focal point of all experience gain. At the time, this was much appreciated. Instead of killing 100 rats for three hours, we simply killed 10 rats, and gained a boost of experience for bringing their tails to somebody.
Since then, Warhammer Online launched it’s prototype of ‘Public Quests’, RIFT introduced ‘rifts’, and Guild Wars 2 subsequently rubbed more polish on it’s fantastic ‘scalable dynamic events’. Needless to say, the questing experience is improving, not just in quality, but also in methods of participation.
But what is a quest really? When you boil it down, it’s merely an objective with a reward at the end. We’ve (thankfully) started to move on from getting and turning in all quests from NPC ‘quest hubs’. And as the definition of quest continues to blur, what other strange possibilities unlock before us? What kinds of ‘quests’ will we be doing in 10 years?
Because I really like the direction it’s headed…