What if only quests gave gear?

| Monday, August 3, 2009
Raids and instances and crafting would remain, but as content for quests.

Gear would remain, in fact become even more important, as the primary method of character advancement. Think of it like this: you start out with your usual terrible starting gear. The mobs early on will be easy, but they will get steadily harder. So much harder that you'll either have to start grouping up for quests or... do some easier quests and get gear from those.

There would still be 'levels' of gear, so a blue from WC will be much weaker than a blue from BRD which is much weaker than one from Gundrak. However gear would be primarily from quests or crafting. Instances would exist only for either lore or as places for more challenging quests and resulting better gear.

The result would be that a person in greens would be pretty common, all blues would be rare, and you simply would not find many epics at all. Think of the number of quest epics, that's about it.

What's the point? Well first off, I've recently found that I just don't like raiding. It's a lot of time being told what to do and failing because other people failed (not a bash at them, just the odds are against them). I also love quests. In fact I think I might like leveling more than end-game content simply because it is so much more quest-based. At the level cap you raid or do heroics, at least until you outgear them and then move on to only raiding. Maybe you do dailies, but they're not really quests; more like homework or a job.

Quests are discovery and adventure and lore. You learn more about the world and possibly take on some challenges along the way. What's wrong with them? For the most part, they give pretty poor gear. But that's only relative to raids which are gigantic loot pinatas, except every instead of just getting spun once, you get spun every time you swing, and someone steals money out of your wallet while you're distracted. My point is that quest gear is only bad because other gear is better. Yes, I know that sounded really dumb and obvious, but it has a lot of truth to it. We'd like quest gear more if there wasn't such easy superior gear from raids and instances and we'd not complain about the quality of it because there would be nothing to compare it to, except other quest gear.

I won't pretend this is a breakaway from the loot hamster wheel of current WoW. It's not. However it makes the hamster wheel a lot more interesting and less painful.

6 comments:

Che said...

I'm definately a quester (too laid-back to go raiding every other night). I enjoy the stories, the scenery, and the freedom to stop in the middle and go get a shave and a haircut.

I get jealous sometimes (yes, I admit it) when I look at my gear and see that it's just not a "cool" as that epic stuff everyone in Dalaran is sporting, I wish there was a path in the game for me to get some of that without being funneled into raids. But alas, my options are limited.

It's kind of like college, you start out allowed to be well-rounded (a quest here, dungeon there, pvp over there), but sooner or later you need to choose a major or drop out. It would be great to get access to the best gear through quests (not easy ones) but it would open an avenue in the game that I think a lot of people would enjoy.

Stabs said...

Wonderful idea.

Maybe for a different game rather than WoW. I think WoW is so good at doing what it does there's no point changing at this stage.

It's possible SWTOR may be a bit like this.

Klepsacovic said...

@Che: Not to crush your hopes, but there would still be raids and instances. The main difference is that you'd have little reason to farm them endlessly waiting for the RNG to bless you. They'd also be easier. I imagine them being mostly like Quel'serrar in Onyxia's Lair or the dungeon 2 upgrade chain; instance-based, but not reliant on farming.

@Stabs: Oh definitely, WoW is too much a raiding game now.

Kiryn said...

The problem I see with this lies in having "little reason to farm them endlessly waiting for the RNG to bless you."

The current method of getting gear through drops gives you a reason to keep running instances over and over again. You might only run an instance once or twice for lore and to finish your quests, but then where's your reason for going back? It's boring, but quite necessary for the game to keep functioning as it does.

Think of how hard it would be to find a group for an instance if people only needed to run it once or twice ever.

If gear from the instance quests is better than the gear from solo quests, people won't bother doing the solo quests (unless the instances are balanced so that you need that gear to do them at all) and will quickly run out of things to do and stop playing.

If gear from solo quests is the same or better than the instance quests, people probably won't bother doing the instance quests at all. It'd be next to impossible to find a group for them in the first place.

Damini said...

I'm on the fence about this. Naturally, I'm for the idea of getting gear from quests. However, Blizzard has yet to show that they've managed to put out a fun quest-based loot system.

Quel'Serrar forced tanks to purchase a random drop for thousands of gold, at a time when scrounging up even a single grand was a major undertaking (gg 60g epic riding training). The Dungeon 2 set relied on people having the original dungeon set, which were tied to random drops to begin with. I remember the nightmare that was Sulfuras/Thunderfury/Benedicthema/Lok'delar. Countless guilds were cleaved in twain as they bickered over the randomly-dropped reagants. All these systems still relied upon a random drop in one way or another.

Given Blizzard's record in the past, I have very little faith that they would be able to balance such a system.

Klepsacovic said...

@Kiryn: You raise a very good point. Part that I forgot to mention is that there would be many more quests so you would likely come back to an instance or raid several times. Also, since the game would be without levels, it would be more likely that people would do instances and quests which they otherwise might have outleveled.

@Damini: The random would have to be controlled somehow. It's hard to figure out; how do you make something rare without making it easier random or time-limited? Tier .5 might not be all that rare in this scenario (tier 0 would probably be quest rewards from the instances), but Quel'serrar definitely would.

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