Are quests any better than a grinding guide?

| Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Raise your hand if you don't read quest text beyond whatever you need to complete it. Okay now raise it if you don't even read that much and just follow the addon that tells you where to go.

Really, that many? Wow. Makes me wonder why they bother to make quests.

If a quest tells no story, which it effectively doesn't if no one reads it, then how is it any different than a grinding guide? Kill this. Kill that. Explore here. Kill there.

They're grinding guides with bonus xp.

How boring! But efficient!

If WoW had no quests and instead just had an in-game guide which updated for the most efficient mobs for xp, rep, or coin, would you still play it?


Ninjasuperspy said...

I actually turned "Instant Quest Text" off the other day. I don't regret it at all.

Thisius said...

I've been struggling a lot with the lack of effective story telling imho in WoW. I keep reading about these great quests and fantastic storylines but when I go and do them I don't feel like they're epic. Way too much suspension of disbelief required I guess. Third time questing through Northrend, reading all the quests, and while Northrend felt the best in terms of quests by far, it still didn't feel like a real storyline.

I know I'm stepping on toes here, but the Wrathgate is a fantastic story. Every time I go through the quests, it doesn't feel that great though.

Weird thing is I'm an avid reader. It's not like I don't like a great story line. I'm constantly reading.

bo-breaze said...

you mean theres more to questing than just grabing the quest finding out how many animal paws or beast i need to slaughter and doing it. Guess ive played wow wrong for the last several years oh well.

Unknown said...

I read them all the first time I was leveling. Now, after becoming a loremaster, I still read those that I can't remember, but I just accept those I know what they're about. It's not like the quest will change.

One of the reason I can't wait for Cataclysm is because of the new quests and lore.

Now as for not reading quests = grinding, I can't agree with that. Grinding is much more monotonous compared to doing quests without reading. At least with question, you travel more, have a higher chance of encountering other people or something of the sort. With grinding, you just kill the same monster for a long time in one area and then move on to another.

Leah said...

yeah, like Nikola, I don't read the quest text much anymore, being an altoholic, I know precicely where to go and what i'm supposed to be doing whee I get there, at this point.

I used to read the quest text though, its the reason why I would get caught up in quest chains (last one to get me caught up like that was the chain that tells you about the last fall of Arthas in northrend, the one with a little boy ghost and illidan fight)

P.S. I read to quickly to tolerate scrolling text, so I turned instant text on the moment I knew how >_> For the same reason I cannot stand books on tape - that pace is just so slow, I end up not paying attention and actually missing the story.

Gronthe said...


When I started playing I read everything. Then at some point, when I wanted to level faster I stopped. Slowly I realized I didn't enjoy that now I take my time and read everything again.

Not every quest has a great story, but for me I get out of it what I put into it. Cheesy cliche, I know, but for me it's true.

Anonymous said...

I wish WoW had the distinction between quests and "errands".

Quests are those long storylines, rich with lore, sometimes awesome, sometimes just annoying because they require a lot of travel, interweave group quests etc. But they're worth reading, and following.

Errands are just glorified grinds, fluff you do purely to level up. Kill ten rats. Bring me ten rat tails. And bring me ten cheese from their nests.

At the moment for someone who doesn't already know which of the quests are true "quests" and which are just errands it's hard to tell beforehand.

There are so many "errands" because creativity had its limits and so does developer time spent per unit of "gaming experience", and simply cutting out all the "errands" in older MMOs caused people to scream in panic "Halp! I've run out of quests!"

Anonymous said...

I wrote a lengthy rant about the meaningless abundance of "quests" and what I'd rather see instead a year ago.

Glyph, the Architect said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who reads quest text. If it wasn't for the story bits, I would be off playing something else.

And sure, you could say "It's just a kill ten rats quest. What's the point of reading the story?" The story gives you the background of the world. Even if you aren't getting into the lore of the place, you still get to know about the people who inhabit it. If the quests are well written that is.

Syl said...

I don't read quest texts fully and I explained in the past why I think blizzard did a rather poor job trying to include lore or story in their game that way. it's a complete overkill if you enter a new quest hub and get 10+ quest texts thrown at you. I don't use addons though, I just skim read what I need to know.

and yeah I think I would play WoW without quests texts. there's other ways to make the grind less boring imo, quest scrolls aren't the only one.

Anonymous said...

I started playing about a year ago without any add-ons. I read the quests and I often didn't know where to go or how to finish them because subtle quest descriptions are just vague if you're a noob. I remember a lot of wandering around trying to find the right type of murloc or some NPC that despawned. That's not fun; that's not "immersive". It's just frustrating. I dropped quests because I couldn't figure out how to do them. I missed the end of quest lines because I got stuck at some step along the way. Instead of having a richer story drawing me into a complex world, I had a fragmented, partial story where few things got resolved EXCEPT for the errands.

The difference between a grinding guide and more explicit quests is that there are lots of quests which are inefficient in terms of xp/hour. The guides exist to show an optimal path through the forest which nobody would follow simply by going from quest to quest.

Say your friends invite you to a party tonight. Would you settle for it if they tell you it is somewhere you'd never been before but you should just drive northwest and find it on your own?

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