Warhammer Public Quests Problem

A while back I read at The Cesspit and Nerfbat about some issues Warhammer Online will face. One quote:

Too many parts of Warhammer’s core design are strictly dependent on keeping a fine balance on the number of players participating, and so vulnerable. It’s not about PQs only. It’s about PQs, faction balance in open RvR, issues of overcrowding and depopulation in all the parts of the game. The *fun* strictly depends on that fine balance, to keep all the options viable at all times, and to keep the single option fun without suffering overcrowding or depopulation.

I hadn’t really seen it as an issue until it slapped me in the face last night. I was playing on the side of Order in the lower levels and the first two Public Quests I participated in could not be completed. There just was not enough people to take on the spawning mobs and people would not bother coming back if they got killed. I tried several times and eventually I got to the point that I would just slip into the PQ area and look at the quest progress to see if the mobs are being killed fast (the first phase is usually something like kill 25 somethings). If the numbers didn’t go up quick, I knew there was not enough playing and moved along – thus feeding into the problem more.

I’d hate to see what the early PQ’s look like a year from now (not to mention the even larger related problems mentioned in the quote above) if they don’t make some changes to address this.

– Ethic

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17 thoughts on “Warhammer Public Quests Problem”

  1. Well, PQs are a refinded version of the occasional ‘group required’ quests you find in other MMOs, only, the requirements for grouping are much lower. Literally everybody can join in at any given time.

    Just use the open grouping system to check out the groups in your area, team up and ask them, what their up to. I’m quite sure, you will find a group to do the PQs at any given time of WARs lifespan. It might just take a while. Most PQs can be completed by a 3man group setup of a tank, a healer and a damage dealer. Shouldn’t be too hard to get that going.

  2. It is a pickle indeed. At one point I thought they might scale the PQ’s for numbers, but that would create more problems than what you currently face. People getting angry if too many in are in the area (making it too hard) or others getting mad if you hop in on thier 3 man taking away their loot bag.

    I play odd hours where not as many other people play. It is still much easier to muster a group for a PQ in lower levels than muster a group in WoW for a group quest (mostly because of centralization and open party systems – people gravitate to the area because they typically know others will be there sooner or later).

    The comfort part is that even solo, you can still get the end influence reward. Do the parts you can, gain INF, and go hit another one in the chapter to continue building INF. By the time you are done those phases the first one should be reset. Not ideal, because the stories and encounters in PQ are definitely fun, but not so bad either because you can still get good rewards for your time instead of sitting around spammin LFG in global chat.

  3. I think this happens in every MMO that gets old. I mean I dont log into my level 15 Blood Elf pally in WoW and expect to get Wailing Caverns groups anymore, or Deadmines on the Alliance side. Its just the way things happen

  4. That’s one thing I didn’t understand from the open beta reports. It seemed like many people were saying “this is so cool… why hasn’t anyone tried it before?”

    Well, this is why.

    Granted, they added a few different caveats and controls into the system to try to minimize the problem… and I wouldn’t expect PQ’s to look the same a year from now, once they get a clearer view of things…

  5. Well first off, did you start an open group? You can start one by yourself, and when players are searching for PQ open groups they will see a hopefully new PQ they want to do (because it shows which PQ you are at).

    Secondly, there are just too many PQs per chapter, and people are going to go to the most populated one a lot of times.

    It reminds me a lot of TF2 servers. There are undoubtedly more empty servers than not in TF2, but you can camp one out, invite a few friends, and before you know it the server hits some magical critical mass.

    I found the same thing happen to me in Chapter 2 and 3 Orc PQs.

  6. I was happily running around my first PQ when it finally dawned on me that I was the only real person there! There were lots of NPC dwarfs pretending to help, but it was all window dressing.

    I was able to beat the first two stages solo, which felt great, but the final one needed a tank, and I died enough from the same baddie to earn the “Run Away!” title. That was it for the night for me.

    When they work, PQs are great, but that first experience did give me a sinking feeling for what it will be like for WAR newbies a year from now.

  7. While indeed not a 100% solution, creating a one man group helps, and then actively inviting anyone who joins the PQ. This is exactly what happened last night during the Chap1 dwarf PQ. Started with just me and my gf, but eventually we got enough to finish it.

    Does it solve ‘LFM’ 100%, no. But it makes it easier at least.

  8. The main problem I have with the pq system is that they decided to implement like two or three per chapter, for the same level range. Top that off with three different areas for different races, and you’re looking at dividing the active players running these things into a tiny tiny fraction. Usually theres like twenty players at the one closest to the beaten trail, but the one all in a corner away from civilization has like two people solo grinding the first part of the pq for influence. It’s great fun when it works, but I can’t honestly think of a good solution that doesn’t involve cutting the amount of content in the game or making them soloable and pushovers for more than a trio.

  9. Even when there aren’t enough players to finish the PQ, I think they still add to the ambiance of the zones, the war that’s going on — and I don’t think completing or not-completing them hurts the fun of the game that much. If you really want those influence rewards, you can grind them out when the PQ resets, but I mostly find that the influence rewards are worse than equipment drops or quest rewards I have by the time I win the PQ. There are so many ways to get loot in this game, and to level. Even if the public quests are sitting at partially completed stages and resetting, I still think it’s a neat feature.

    Also, it looks to me like WAR is going to be a fantastic game for alts. 40 ranks, a fast pace, ability to level and get loot in a number of ways, rvr scenario rank boosts — this will all make leveling up your alts way more fun, and the number of classes, where even the most similar seem to have some big differences, not to mention graphically, promotes this. I’m excited about it, at least, and I know some friends of mine are, too. Plus, the feeling of the starting zones — a war going on, and you’re a part of it; brisk movement from camp to town to camp to town and addition of quest goals etc. creating the feeling of a “pace” that, perhaps, based out of a larger hub wouldn’t be there — these things I think are more attractive to a new player entering later in the game’s life, where there is at least NPC and implied movement and importance, rather than the airy, boring lowbie zones of other games.

    My only fear is that WAR follows the same sort of path that most of these games do, bumping up numbers… I favor lateral expansion, and if there were never a level cap raise in WAR, I’d be a happy player.

  10. PQs that I have seen have had tuning issues that will be fixed over time. Some are easy enough to solo, and some are rediculously hard with 10 people.

    Its just a matter of tuning, and I’d imagine the tougher ones will soon be reduced so that a decent group of 5-6 can finish it with proper coordination and effort.

  11. @mega

    That really is the beauty of it all. You can easily level all the way up to 40 is one pairing (mixing pve, rvr, pq’s) Meaning you are basically getting three leveling games in one of you exclude other pairings in your adventures.

  12. Seems to me all of the replies that say more / less “get a group” are missing the point. I mean, wasn’t the whole idea of a Public Quest that you could just jump in, even partway through and participate?

    If I’m assembling a group ahead of time, why not just put this stuff in a dungeon, or an ordinary group quest? By not having people already participating, Public Quests lose most of their charm IMHO.

  13. I don’t think people are missing the point, I think they are suggesting that you always have the option of forming a group as a last ditch effort.

    Perhaps over time, if lowbie players begins to dry up, Mythic will do something like WoW did by making lowbie content easier (i.e. Blizzard removing elite enemies from lowbie group quests).

    But who knows. I think only time will tell on this issue. Although, I do agree that WAR is more fun to grind through, thus possibly creating more frequent alts. This isn’t a game where you power grind to the level cap so that you can start having fun. This is a game where the fun is interwoven throughout.

  14. What quickly became a problem for me is that in some areas, the PQs almost seem too numerous. Everyone is focusing on the first couple and the others after that seem to get ignored.

    I wonder if this will just change as more people play, but who is to say what would even happen a full year from now. I often just leave empty PQs because they’re impossible otherwise. I have killed 50 or so enemies myself to progress to the next portion only to find myself unable to beat the boss with no other players in sight.

    Oh well.

  15. One thing that I miss is when you look for “open” parties/groups in your area you cannot add some small info as to what you are pursuing or what you are after. Whould be great if I brought up (or created)open group with the short info “PQ 2, Lumbermill” …or something

  16. /partynote apparently exists. I wouldn’t know, haven’t used it or seen anyone else using it. Which is probably part of the problem. :)

    Dang operator error…

  17. I’m finding PQ’s to be less and less populated, and fewer people using the open group system on top of that. In T3 I can pull up the group listing and find nothing. If I start a solo group I end up giving up after a half hour as I haven’t even had a single player join in. Add that to the fact order seems to only queue for the Tor Anroc scenario, while Destro avoids it like the plaque. Not to mention RvR seems to be a scarce concept as well. I sat with a group of people watching their warcamp, just waiting. They essentially assembled a warband and STILL would not come away from the safety of their hero’s to fight us. Put it all together and you’ve got a typical single player RPG with a small amount of online interaction. I can’t bear to play more than an hour a week at this point before getting bored. I see this game getting pitched in the trash real quick if Mythic doesn’t do something.

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