Escort Service

Few things give me more irritation and grief than your common, garden-variety escort mission. Years ago I came to the personal realization that, well, I didn’t have to do them. I like to think my life has gotten better as a result of that. I can say that I’ve been reasonably free and clear for years.

Yes, every now and then I’m forced to take a hit and do one or two. But believe me, it’s not by choice. A designer somewhere had the idea of putting one of those in the middle of a primary quest line, or even worse as the necessary step to perform in order to progress into another area. That’s how it is. I hate them. With a passion. But sometimes we’re forced to do them. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Just what is it about escort missions that make me feel as if I had eaten week-old meatloaf?

A few points come to mind. To wit,

Whatever you are escorting will inevitably be slower than you.

Of course we don’t want the reverse, because if we can’t catch up to it then it’s gone. And if it’s gone, since it has the brains of a marshmallow (see further below) it will die, making you fail the mission. But that’s a long shot from making these things slower than you by default. They never seem to be able to run alongside you, at the same speed as you now, do they? You’re always starting and stopping to let them catch up. It does get irritating.

Whatever you are escorting will have the brains of a marshmallow

This is pretty much a given. It will take paths straight to danger. When attacked, it won’t get out of the way of peril. It will not seek your protection, but rather test the limits of it. It will try to separate from you when it’s not advisable to do so, and remain in place when time is an issue.

Whatever you are escorting is essentially deaf, mute and blind.

Normally, you can’t tell it to do anything. It starts going on its rails, and that’s it. Normally you can’t tell it to stop, to keep going, to vector it to one place or another, to sit a fight out, or even join in when its help would be needed. It’s like a toddler, only that this one makes you fail missions.

Whatever you are escorting is a jerk.

Because when you’re done, and after going through all the trials and tribulations of the actual escorting, sometimes it has no better idea than to tell you “Hey, why don’t you go back to the place you picked me up and tell them I made it fine, huh?”.

Most notable offenders (just a quick list, feel free to add your own):

– Togo and Mhenlo in Vizunah Square (Guild Wars: Factions)
– The Lambda class shuttle carrying the Emperor (TIE Fighter) (yes, I’m old)
– Corporal Keeshan in Lakeshire (World of Warcraft)
– Prospector Remtravel in Darkshore (World of Warcraft)

(I dedicate this entry’s title to Zubon and his recent searches initiative. This should bring in the hits a little)

12 thoughts on “Escort Service”

  1. How about the any and all ships (including the Battlestar Galactica) in the XBOX version of BSG. What a pack of useless tards!

  2. Best escort quest is the Turtle you have to run all the way across Tanaris, because he is lost and looking for his wife :). He doesnt actually start walking, he follows you around, which is a big plus !

  3. The only escort quest I will ever do again in WoW that isn’t entirely necessary is the skettis escort quest because it only takes 2-3 minutes and you only have to kill 4-6 mobs. I completely agree with you on how terrible they are, though.

  4. The three robot chicken escort quests in WoW (Feralas, Tanaris, Hinterlands). On top of the fun with bad pathing and inability to avoid danger, it’s one (three) of those types of escort quests where there are waves of enemies that attack the object of the quest. In addition, those enemies will sometimes aggro other, similar enemies, meaning that a barely-manageable four enemy ambush turns into a non-soloable (by most classes) six enemy ambush.

    On the other hand, the robotic clucking is hilarious. I do the chicken quests every time I get them solely to click on the goofy thing.

  5. I agree with Joe. The chickens are the worst I’ve seen. Part of the problem is the unspoken trick to escort quests in WoW. You absolutely cannot go ahead and clear the path to keep them out of danger, because if they aren’t attacked directly, they ignore the fight and keep running. Therefore you have to follow behind them, let them aggro everything in their path, and then run up and hope you can kill everything before it dies.

  6. I would add another annoyance with a number of the escort quests:

    – There is only one of them active at any given time

    If you are in an outdoor zone and the quest can take a while, you are bound to have a number of people/teams competing for grabbing the quest next time. People get annoyed with each other and it can take quite a while sometimes to actually get the quest. And then the other factors come into play and the annoyance if it fails…

    The least annoying ones right now I think are the Tabula Rasa escort missions, at least those that do not require you to keep all NPCs alive and/or protect them at all. Those are generally straightforward, the NPCs usually do not have any trouble keeping up with you. In many cases they work fine as long as you do _not_ fight anything in your way.
    And in the current version on the test server they can spawn multiple escort missions at the same time (thank you!).

  7. hah kanthalos I will never do that quest because I’m on my holy priest with no +damage talents and a whopping +580 damage on my gear which means skettis is where i go to die!!!! (sometimes I’ll buff up but stopped when I realized my buffs never last more than a few minutes before I get killed)

    The escort itself is easy if at first I clear everything ahead of it (but that usually means someone else gets the quest while I clear for them) But even worse is the damn birds that descend on me from the heavens. Always I get 1-2 birds plus the 3 attacking him. I could handle the 3 but 2 more birds chain stunning me? And the best part is the other faction players who sit and laugh at me so they can go get the quest right away after I die.

    Augh i hate skettis! if I were shadow I might like it…. I could solo the small group quests as shadow.

  8. Tabula Rasa’s escort quests do fairly well, because of a few aspects : your allies are usually smart enough to do a good deal of damage on their own, and your goal is to get them to point B, not keep them alive. The first point is rather obvious; it’s irritating to have to babysit people, but not so irritating to have allies. The second is surprisingly, though, and it’s rather disappointing that few other games implement it. You can heal and revive people rather easily in this game, like in many others. Why would you fail people for letting someone hit 0 hp when that really doesn’t mean much?

    The roughly standardized movement rate (outside of Sprint and Motor Assist) is another bonus.

    City of Heroes usually does well on its escorts. If they’re unable to fight, they just give up if too many enemies are around, allowing you to re-rescue/capture them. Those that can fight, usually can take the ambush/summoned groups without much help, so you have to go out of your way to get them killed.
    There are some exceptions, though. Fusionette is well-known for dying horribly, like all good Energy Blasters do. Thankfully, it’s usually okay to let her bite the dust. “Thunderhead” Bartlett is the real nasty one; he’s the archetypal horribly bad Storm/Elec character, without a lot of important powers, but heavily abusing the more delicate ones, and fairly suicidal.

    WoW’s were horrible, though; outdoor respawning areas, combined with random spawns, and very stupid characters, all make a real problem.

  9. Heh, Sente, you are so right. I love that on a busy night there will be a line up of people waiting to run a given escort quest. I had to get in a queue in Felwood on Saturday for just such a quest.

    The worst part of the WoW escorts is that the active radius in which you must stay can be surprisingly small. The most frustrating time I ever had was in Thousand Needles where a guy I teamed up with to run an escort quest could not get it through his head that he had to stay close to the NPC. We had to run it three times because twice he bolted out ahead to clear the way, got out of range, and got the “Failed” message.

  10. I just did an escort in Bloodmyst Isle with a Vindicator Shaman dude who ran REALLY fast! I had a hard time keeping up with him and he was killing way more mobs than my group & I were. He was a bad-ass, killing everything and dropping fire totems, but still you gotta keep up with him so it’s a challenge. Another thing I hate is when some opposite-faction jerk comes up and kills your escort before you finish. That’s just… rude!

Comments are closed.