[GW] Questing Against Your Interests

Many games have challenges and achievements for making things harder, like beating a boss without using any potions or cutting down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring. Early the the Guild Wars Nightfall primary quest chain, the Master’s rewards are mostly for intentionally delaying and acting against your interests during wartime. You are in disguise and headed to a rendezvous with a traitor general, being guided through the swamps by her lieutenant … so why not slip away at hunt down some cobra=headed velociraptors? You are leading an assault on the enemy base, where time is of the essence as reinforcements are arriving and artillery fire is raining down … so why not take your time and scour the corners for enemies who are not engaging? You are sneaking a group of monks through enemy territory, with a primary objective of avoiding notice from the troops garrisoned there … with a special bonus for visiting every guard post and slaughtering the troops.

As a player, your meta-game knowledge tells you that time is not of the essence unless there is a timer in the corner of your screen, and enemies only react as scripted. I slipped away from the lieutenant as the dialogue for the boss fight with the traitorous general was starting. It merrily followed me into the swamps as I searched the corners for rinkhal monitors. She was threatening to destroy me and all that I love while I was fighting giant insects several blocks away.

That’s the other thing you Guild Wars has been training me to do: avoid winning too quickly. Once you reach your objective, everything resets, so you cannot complete the bonus objectives, or if you are in an explorable area, you will need to re-clear areas to complete other quests. While questing, let crises pile up so that you can clear them all at once, and when fighting the war, stop to smell the roses. Well, don’t stop, because you’ll need to hunt down those roses in the corners of the map while clearing another dozen spawns of trash mobs.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “[GW] Questing Against Your Interests”

  1. avoid winning too quickly
    This is the case for most (good) game designs. When the fun is over, unless there’s something else coming down the pipeline in terms of content, it’s *over*.

    I didn’t pick up from the OP: are you praising or criticizing the GW design here? It wasn’t evident (to me) from the context and examples.

  2. The first couple of master bonuses in Nigthfall are like that, the next mission is the same too and a couple later on, but trying to get to the bonus mobs is a lot harder when you’ve to protect an ally or defend an area at the same time. There’s a few timed ones, some that involve puzzles and others might involve some research and preparation beforehand. I prefer the bonus objectives in Prophecies there is more variety. On the other hand I disliked Factions, because almost all the missions are timed. There’s no bonuses in EotN however, I wonder why.

    1. Agreed! But Eye of the North is why I played Guild Wars in the first place. My favorite content comes from that expansion. (All of the other installments of Guild Wars are considered to be games on their own. EOTN is the only true expansion.

  3. As far as achievements and the like are concerned I just let them fall as they will. If they happen, fine. If not, equally fine. I’m not much of a one for efficiency anyway so I tend to just do what I’m doing and if that means I need to some of it again later then I will if I enjoyed it the first time round or I’ll skip it if I didn’t.

    Guild Wars does very much suffer from having too much combat, though. The zones are beautiful and merit much exploration but you can’t really appreciate it properly with scorpions pushing endlessly up out of the sand or spiders forever dropping down out of the canopy. I’d at least halve the number of spawns in pretty much every GW zone I’ve been in and cut some by more than that.

    1. But I think it’s way nicer for explorers than many persistent MMOs are. After all, if you kill the enemy, he stays dead until you rezone. There is no “go five steps back and you run into respawn”. And there is no ten year old named “Naruto of Dead” jumping through your lovely view. If you did not invite him into your team, that is.

  4. I have a personal dislike of timed missions, there enough rush in daily life I don’t want it in my gaming.

    Generally I’ve ignored bonus stuff in GW as in Prophecies I’ve been going for the safer path just to complete missions, maybe I’ll go back to do some vanquishing and complete bonuses then (if that’s even possible) …

  5. They changed their design approach to the mission bonuses between Prophecies and Factions. In Prophecies, the main mission and bonus objectives were independently tracked, and in most of the Prophecies missions it’s actually easier to do the main mission and bonus in two separate runs (the extreme example is Dunes of Despair, where it’s almost impossible to do both). In Factions and subsequent instalments, you have to complete the main mission to qualify for the bonus – if you fail the main mission, you don’t get credited with the bonus, even if you successfully completed it, so you have to do both in one go.

  6. I agree with this post, but it is true for practically all RPGs, not just GW. Going down the right path the first time is never a good thing in an RPG, because all the good stuff are hidden away in obscure locations.

    As for factions, I both love and hate the fact that most of them are time based. Hate it because I hate rushing, but love it because doing things quickly is a very simple criteria to achieve. Unlike some of the nightfall missions that requires you to do some annoying out of the way things, with factions if you’ve gone through the mission enough times you know exactly where everything is and what’s going to happen, so doing it quickly becomes easy.

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