Global Chat: Are MMO side quests worth it?


Apparently I am a pot-stirrer. On my side blog, Bio Break, I like to throw out conversation starters every now and then, and one such recent post concerned side quests. Namely, I mused about getting rid of them altogether in MMORPGs. This generated a lot of interesting conversation around the subject among other bloggers.

In An Age said that side quests are vital for pacing: “Pacing, meanwhile, is all about enhancing the main story. How do you enhance a story? By fleshing it out. Giving context to its development. Allowing breathing room in which to digest the latest narrative bombshell. Bringing the world in which the story exists to life.”

“I’m a fan of side quests if they’re done well overall. I don’t expect every single one to be breathtaking storytelling,” said Gaming SF. And Bhagpuss goes the other way: “I have to wonder whether, rather than putting side quests on ice, it isn’t the main quest itself that should be deep-sixed. If side quests add breadth and depth to the world, don’t main quests try to put that world in a box and close the lid?”

Ravalation: LOTRO scavenger hunt review

“The travelling thoroughly tested my knowledge of virtual Middle-earth and was a lot of fun. Contrary to most, I don’t like to speed things up by using guides; I’d rather take it slow and experience the things as they were intended. This meant that I had to look around and search for things, and, as a result, inevitably spent time taking in LOTRO’s beautiful landscapes — which is never a bad thing.”

Ashen Foundry: Player conflict in Ashes of Creation’s virtual world

“PvE and PvP don’t exist as distinct, separated systems in Ashes of Creation; they are instead equal components of the grander world system. PvE and PvP action alike will determine the course of a node’s development (or destruction). PvE efforts can be undermined by the actions of other players through both direct PvP (interplayer combat) or undermining efforts (completing conflicting PvE objectives). Success by players building up one node by block progress by players attempting to build up another. Caravans are not subject to attack just by players, but by NPCs, as well.”

Z is for Zeirah: When the guild doesn’t fit

“I’ve learnt a big lesson in the last five weeks about what’s it’s like if you’re just in a guild that doesn’t suit. In the past month I’ve gone from a mental space where I loved healing and logging on to heal with my guildies to hating my my Druid, hating myself and hating my healing  in a really short space of time.  And the most ridiculous part is that I pretty much did all that to myself without much outside input.”


Aywren Sojourner: Living the Red Mage dream

“It soon became very clear that I’d never see that awesome Red Mage in artifact armor in FFXI. Eventually, I gave up on the game, and swore off MMOs for a long time. It wasn’t until games became a lot more solo and casual friendly that I came back to the genre.”

Taugrim: Thoughts on Legion and Stormblood

“I’ve had my fun with WoW for now, for I try to reach a decent rating for each expansion I play and have my fun, see the new art, marvel at how well the engine holds up, and then take a break until the next thing catches my eye. I don’t think anyone truly quits. And as the dust from Legion was clearing, a storm cloud gathered on the horizon. FFXIV beckoned me once again.”

Endgame Viable: Responding to FFXIV criticisms

“There are people who are turned off just by the Final Fantasy setting. There’s not much I can say to that. All I can say is that FFXIV is the very first and to date only Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played, so it’s all new to me. I guess I’m lucky that way. It’s hokey, cartoonish, idealistic high fantasy that bears no resemblance to any reality I’ve ever experienced.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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