Still, I try tons of different games. I game on the PC, the PS3, the iPhone, and the Nintendo DS. I like games. I like multiplayer and single player – they both have their merits. So, kind, generous, and slaving developers, please understand that I say this in the highest regard and with the greatest respect: PLEASE STOP PUTTING “QUESTS” IN SINGLE PLAYER GAMES.
Now, I like MMOs. And I understand why quests are necessary in those games. You want players to keep playing and take their time, to go through your content slowly, otherwise players could max out, get bored, and stop paying your subscription fees. More player time means millions of dollars spend on making the grind interesting, and an easy way to do that is through quests. I get that not every quest can be “go kill your arch nemesis who’s been flagging your progress for the fifty levels.” Sometimes it has to be “get me 10 grapefruit” and well you’re at it, “kill me ten bears.” I UNDERSTAND.
But in single player games, the goal should be a focused, tailored experience. Pinpointed, like shark’s teeth honed with freakin’ lasers. Multiplayer games have to be balanced so players have a chance to be equal to each other. But there’s no reason that single player games shouldn’t make the player feel like s/he’s the goddamn HERO, the Kwisatz Haderach, the Messiah, and at least one of the comings (preferably the second) all rolled into one.
The Kwisatz Haderach does not fetch 10 grapefruit or kill ten bears. The HERO pwns everything and doesn’t want to deal with a cumbersome quest log, or journal, or what-have-you that helps her deal with all the fruit fetching and wildlife slaying you’ve bestowed upon her. STOP IT. Write your games so the player is always doing something epic, and preferably isn’t doing more than three epic things at once.
It’s forgivable in a multiplayer game, but stop putting them into single player games. Nothing makes me leave a game faster (or worse yet, watch the review and decide not to buy your game) as quests in single player.
Maybe this is sacrilege, but I like short, linear, single player experiences. I like single player games that are paced by a master of the art to be exciting, heart-pounding, and able to be described with other overzealous adjectives. But once you put lameduck “quests” that make me collect 10 grapefruit and kill ten bears, I think your pacing is poorly thought out. I think your pacing sucks. I think you need better writers. Or designers.
Or maybe, you just need to stop being everything to everyone. Leave the quests for multiplayer. Please. It's okay. Really, it is.
Reposted from my blog at http://mispeled.net