Simply Epic Public Quests

I badgered a few friends to run back to some skipped Public Quests in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning last weekend, and we decided to try out the more difficult Public Quest for Chapter 4: Chaos called Salzenmund, aptly named for the walled town that the Raven Host is corrupting from within.  The Public Quest deals with the actual direct attack of the Raven Host on the town.
The Public Quest Salzenmund starts out with the objective to steal the supplies from the city, which requires players to dispatch one or two simple guards and then interact with a box of supplies (50 times).  At the second stage, you have to take out two of the city’s leaders who are both Champion level mobs.  The surrounding city becomes filled with fighting as Raven Host warriors rush in to contend with the remaining Empire defenders.  It feels like the whole area’s conflict escalated from the tunnel entrance of the city where one or two NPC battles occur to the whole town.  The (anti-)heroes are of course rushing to deal with the enemies that the lesser of the Host cannot deal with.
Once you defeat the Champions, a Hero Bright Wizard boss appears.  As he appears the entire city erupts in an inferno, and it truly feels like the war for Salzemund has erupted to another level.  Buildings are burning.  Raven Host NPCs are running around sacking everything.  And in the middle of the chaotic inferno you go toe to toe with a huge flame mage.  When the triumphant Chaos players win, the city continues to burn until the Public Quest resets.
I felt in this Public Quest that Mythic’s developers truly took the reigns to use their unique play mechanic as a story-driving device –  a simple epic story.  Quite a few Public Quests are rather boring escalations with no true story except ‘your killing ten rats has angered a bigger wolf/boar/rat/man-thing.’  However, there are some true gems like Salzemund.  Another thing to note is that this epic-feeling event takes place around level 10-12 (out of 40), so players do not have to go through to the so-called “end game” to feel like a hero… or killer of one in the Destruction sense.
Guild Wars and Lord of the Rings Online both have similar story telling devices (missions and instanced epic quests), but in neither instance did I feel the story was as world changing as some of Warhammer Online’s Public Quests. Only in Guild War’s case did I feel that the mission was readily available to do again.  Mythic has created a persistent, game-driven storytelling device, and I cannot wait to explore the Public Quests at the higher tiers of play.  I hope that there will be quite a few more that have me saying “cool” outloud.

5 thoughts on “Simply Epic Public Quests”

  1. It was epic and awesome indeed. It’s a shame though that there’s simply not enough “awesome” in an MMO to go around for these sorts of things though… WAR’s PQs gain “awesome” by happinging real time in the world for whoever happens to be there (as opposed to only happening in an instance). But then they have to give some awesome back in that they, well, happen in real time in the world for whoever happens to be there… *every 10-15 minutes*.

    Still. Being a part of a good story is good and it’s nice to see different ways implemented to make that happen.

  2. I haven’t done the related PQ there, but the area certainly is cool. I was doing a bunch of PvE quests in there last night.

  3. When the devs are bored or excited with something, their mood bleeds through to the end product.

  4. I can’t get people to do that one. It’s way down in the corner and the first stage is so slow just clicking. Though there’s lots of quests for it, I never see people actually doing the PQ.

    Now I must try it out a few times.

  5. Yeah, that’s the big flaw I find with PQs. The majority of the population goes for the PQ closest to the rez point to grind out influence. Mythic has stated they are going to re-visit PQs at a later date to kind of rebalance things for the ones that are hard AND far away, like Salzemund. Lucky I have some close guildmates I can strongarm to returning to PQs, just to see what happens.

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