On Side-Quests and Loot

#1 Posted by Apollo87 (148 posts) -

I've been refraining from doing side-quests in this game because I've found them a little bland and I don't want to overlevel, I know that if I start doing them I won't be satisfied until all of them are done, another factor into making this decision is that you don't really know the reward for such quest until you've finished it, now I don't have a lot of experience with WRPGs but this seems a bit outdated, I mean I don't want to spend 30 minutes of my limited play-time to find out that the reward for the quest were some Finesse gloves which I don't plan on using and unless they're blue or purple they're hardly worth anything.

From the odd MMO I've seen that showing you what item you're going to get is a common practice, so am I wrong in my judgement that this system that keeps the reward under wraps shouldn't exist nowadays? what's the point of not conveying to the player this tiny bit of info? Personally, I could see myself doing some of the boring quests if I knew that after completing it I was going to get some awesome piece of armor.

#2 Edited by Tennmuerti (8007 posts) -

@Apollo87:

Your MMO comparison is apt and since Amalur is so gear focused appropriate.

Other singleplayer RPGs don't show show you quest rewards beacuse it's largely irrelevant, firstly because doing sidequests and exploring the stories should be fulfilling in it's own right and if you do get a cool item at the end it's usually custom made and story related. It's also fun going on an adventure just for it's sake and a promise of some reward at the end, possibly many rewards, like finding a proverbial dragon hoard. Mostly you get gear along the way as part of the adventure, not some random NPC X will givve you sword of awesome +5 if you kill a troll, it's a more natural and immersing way to handle things. And when RPGs do convey what you will get beforehand it's much more natural for some legendary blacksmith to say so in words like: "if you bring me some dragonscales hero, i'll be able to forge you some sweet armor, dude" to put it very roughly.

The pavlonian cycle: do short quest for a piece of gear is better suited to MMOs and dungeon crawlers like Diablo (it would be appropriate for Amalur, but most side quests just give you cash anyway, no items). Where gear progression is much much more granular then a focused singleplayer RPG that can ensure you are getting better stuff almost all the time.

#3 Posted by SuperCabboy (89 posts) -

I keep getting better daggers, I keep doing sidequests. Yes they can be bland, but the reward in enough for me.

#4 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I decided on the completionist route playing pure Finesse (daggers/bow) with no crafting. At least until I'm bored with that. The lack of challenge is somewhat disturbing, but it's a far cry from the usual 'I'm OP and oneshot everything' business this usually comes down to. I'm OP, but the core combat mechanics allow me to be OP in style.

Just wish enemies would want to win harder. A more aggressive AI would go a long way. Too bad cooldown-less consumables make taking damage somewhat too trivial to top it off. So the only real danger of death comes from getting lazy and neglectful. At the very least heal- and mana-pots should be on a 30sec-1min cooldown timer.

Rumormill has it, that Big Huge Games ponders crafting a Hardcore mode for DLC (hopefully free of charge).

#5 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

Everyone seems to complain about this, but side quests are just an excuse to go out, destroy mobs (which btw feels awesome and is a ton of fun) and get more loot to me. The coolest purple pieces I have are all from something behind a hidden door in some random dungeon that I would not have gone into for the main quests, and when I feel like doing something with a bit more depth I just advance a bit more the main quest or a faction line. Im 40ish hours in and it keeps getting better for me.

That said, I think that showing you the rewards you are going to get could be nice, but I dont think the game suffers from not having it.

#6 Posted by zaglis (909 posts) -
@Seppli said:

Rumormill has it, that Big Huge Games ponders crafting a Hardcore mode for DLC (hopefully free of charge).

Great! 
And thats then I'll pick up the game.
#7 Posted by Nux (2305 posts) -

I just do the side-quests to level. Whatever item I get that I don't need I just mark as junk and sell later. Its a good way to get gold if you want to put the time into it.

#8 Edited by lclay (383 posts) -

After Jeff's warnings about how most of the sidequests are pretty boring and fetchy I've been doing a lot less of them than I would usually do in an RPG.  
 
I have been doing the major ones that seem important like 
 

 
I have been avoiding the ones that sound boring though. If someone asks me to go collect some stuff for a potion or to go rescue some dude from some mobs then I tell them where to go.
#9 Posted by MB (12020 posts) -

@zaglis said:

@Seppli said:

Rumormill has it, that Big Huge Games ponders crafting a Hardcore mode for DLC (hopefully free of charge).

Great! And thats then I'll pick up the game.

Where did this rumor even start? Or was it just started here in this thread?

Moderator
#10 Posted by Shun_Akiyama (490 posts) -
@MB said:

@zaglis said:

@Seppli said:

Rumormill has it, that Big Huge Games ponders crafting a Hardcore mode for DLC (hopefully free of charge).

Great! And thats then I'll pick up the game.

Where did this rumor even start? Or was it just started here in this thread?

They are also coming out with a DLC quest where you actually meet Commander Shepard.
#11 Posted by Amilmitt (237 posts) -

30 hours in, ive done every quest ive encountered.

most sidequest just lead you to places you wouldn't normally go, and find some great treasure along the way.

the overleveling is a problem though, i was playing on normal but have recently turned it up to hard and still see no difference

#12 Posted by Adamsons (877 posts) -
#13 Edited by Apollo87 (148 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: Yeah I thought maybe it was for immersion sake since your character doesn't really know what he's going to get for doing some deed. I compare this game losely to Borderlands since that was loot driven as well and in that game when you got quests you saw at least what kind of item you were going to get, say for example when you finish some quest you'll get a shotgun, it could be a horrible shotgun but at least you knew what to expect.

@lclay: Oh man! I'm definitely doing that quest in Webwood, I had no idea about the house which again has something to do with mi complaint, by the time I went past Webwood I was doing the main quest so I decided to focus on that.

I've been focusing on the main quest and Factions which has been pretty entertaining, but I feel I'm kinda cruising through, I'm going to switch it up to hard to see if that helps.

I agree that this is not a major problem with the game just that it seems that since other games that have been around for many years do it I consider it a weird design decision.

#14 Edited by jakob187 (21644 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I decided on the completionist route playing pure Finesse (daggers/bow) with no crafting. At least until I'm bored with that. The lack of challenge is somewhat disturbing...

Why is that disturbing? When did "difficulty" become such a huge thing in role-playing games?

Is is Dark Souls? Is that what caused this sudden occurrence? I mean, Dark Souls is very much its own thing.

Personally, there is enough of a challenge for me to feel fine with it, but I also look at the level of power my character has from the standpoint of the story (which you should always do in EVERY RPG): I am the Fateless One. I'm supposed to be the master of my own Fate, as well as all-goddamn-powerful! I shouldn't necessarily be slumping to these chump minions around the world. I should be wrecking their shit. It's not about the DIFFICULTY of the fight: it's about how much fucking fun I'm having wrecking into shit. No one complained about Skyrim being easy as shit. I mean, I can two-shot any dragon in that game on the default difficulty. Kick it up to the highest, and I can four or five shot them...with one-handed axes. -_-

Difficulty does not equal a good RPG. What defines a good RPG is a well-realized world, good lore, the ability to customize your own character and watch him become more powerful, and still allowing yourself to have a player-authored experience. Kingdoms of Amalur does all of these things.

_____

Now, as far as loot is concerned, I still feel like loot is devalued in this game solely because you are given epics and set pieces so early in the game. Moreover, I'm finding on the Kingdoms of Amalur Facebook page and even in the forums that people are crafting blue items that are better than the epics and set pieces. In turn, they essentially devalue the entirety of loot drops in the first place by allowing you to build stuff that is much better!

#15 Posted by Turambar (6677 posts) -

A simple way to fix a lot of what's wrong with the side-quest and progression issue is to have the level cap be higher, like 10 or 20 levels higher.  Even if the sidequests make you over powered and give superfluous loot that you never use, the fact that that bar under your level keeps moving up is a giant incentive in games like this to keep going.

#16 Edited by Tennmuerti (8007 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

@Seppli said:

I decided on the completionist route playing pure Finesse (daggers/bow) with no crafting. At least until I'm bored with that. The lack of challenge is somewhat disturbing...

Why is that disturbing? When did "difficulty" become such a huge thing in role-playing games?

Not difficulty itself. It's the complete lack of difficulty. I don't want the game to be super hard. But when my character takes almost 0 damage from enemies on Hard, it gets boring. I play games to entertain me, which is the oposite of being bored. I shudder to think what normal and easy are like.

This game mostly relies on loot lust plus combat (for a lot of people). When you have no challange at all, the want for better loot becomes less, the incentive to get better and do interesting stuff in combat becomes less. This decreases the enjoyment most people get from such a game. Skyrim for me had nothing to do with combat, huge part of it's draw was exploration and seeing a huge living world. Amalur doesn't have that to rely on imo.

Difficulty does not equal a good RPG. What defines a good RPG is a well-realized world, good lore, the ability to customize your own character and watch him become more powerful, and still allowing yourself to have a player-authored experience. Kingdoms of Amalur does all of these things.

RPGs are about different thing sto different people. To you it's about that. To me RPG is defined by choice and effect. The less choice i have in my actions and the less effect my choices have on the world the less I consider a game to be an RPG. For example Skyrim for me was more of just an adventure with some RPG trappings, I consider it an excelent game, but not a good RPG. To other people RPGs are all about the setting. To others about the gear. To yet other people a game is an RPG as long as it has a levelng progression mechanic, by which standard I would consider Amalur also to be a poor RPG since the character progression trees are exteremely limited and bland with easy to see only few worthwhile abilities. As far as the world goes, the lore in amalur did not manage to drawn moi in at all (the fae cycle gimmic was interesting but shortlived) and I will agree with Jeff (which is rare) that while Amalur has plenty of good quests, problem is the other 9/10 of them.

2c and all that.

PS: I'm not trying to convince you that your personal enjoyment is somehow wrong because difficulty is of no concern to you. Only to point out where other people might be coming from.

#17 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@MB said:

@zaglis said:

@Seppli said:

Rumormill has it, that Big Huge Games ponders crafting a Hardcore mode for DLC (hopefully free of charge).

Great! And thats then I'll pick up the game.

Where did this rumor even start? Or was it just started here in this thread?

Some news feed on some site talking about something Schilling supposedly said on an inofficial channel. A livestream I suppose. Bet he says just about anything being the dude who bankrolled much of this. It's still nice to hope though...

@jakob187: @Tennmuerti:

I like RPGs that start out full of little annoyances and frustrations. Not mechanically, but rather by my odds at succeeding being horrible at any given thing.

If an RPG with a deep progression system like Amalur starts out with a nigh 100% successrate for most things from the get-go, it has nowhere to go. Granted - Amalur goes from being mechanically perfectly fine to enabling much more stylish and fluid and powerful ways of fighting, but I pretty much do it for show - not because I must or else I'd fail.

Without punishment, no effort. Without effort, no great player performance. Coming by success without effort is simply way less rewarding. That said, I'm glued to the screen and my Amalur breaktime is over. Time to go deep again. Laters.

#18 Edited by Tennmuerti (8007 posts) -

@Seppli: I actually crossed some sort of wierd line today and started to enjoy the game more.

Due to not being damaged at all and mainly to not get bored I started doing flashy combos in various ways trying to chain the together shit just to make the combat look good frequently not doing a single same move in an encounter. And I have to give MASSIVE props to the dudes who did combat animations for this game, chaining wildly different abilities and moves together with 2 complimenting weapons looks fucking fantastic.

Just did arena today with my trusty greatsword and chakrams and it was a flurry of violence. The encounters are harder then anything so far in the main game they even put in some modifiers/requirement for some fights (like a condition to not get hit). Granted I was still in no danger of loosing since my health never dipped below 95% but it was still hella fun to crate a fluid destructive spectacle.

I don't know if simply harder difficulty is the answer. It is needed for sure, but they also would need to nerf standard attacks, to make mashing 1 button less apealing and doing special moves more incentivised. There are great mechanics and animation under the hood of Amalur it just needs to be better surfaced to truly shine.

Anyway, going to sleep now, feeling better overall about the game then I did in the morning.

#19 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Tennmuerti:

I enjoy the shit out of the game. For my peculiar taste it feels like it's been made just for me. The perfect game in that way. Not in actual execution - but overall, I'd be hard pressed to name a game which fits in my mold of the 'perfect game' better than KoA:R.

I too am all about fighting as fancy as I possibly can, and it's very satisfying to pull off neat dagger/bow combos with some mid-fight stealth kill mixed in. Gonna get Gambit soon. That's gonna mesh insanely well with smokebomb. I'm quite curious about how the Poison Could procc will mix with Poison Bomb and a mid-fight stealth kill. That might set-off a crazy chain reaction of utter devastation. Still a couple of level-ups to go though.

Playing thoroughly, doing every sidequest, listening to every line of VO - I love it.

#20 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4602 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@Tennmuerti:

I enjoy the shit out of the game. For my peculiar taste it feels like it's been made just for me. The perfect game in that way. Not in actual execution - but overall, I'd be hard pressed to name a game which fits in my mold of the 'perfect game' better than KoA:R.

I too am all about fighting as fancy as I possibly can, and it's very satisfying to pull off neat dagger/bow combos with some mid-fight stealth kill mixed in. Gonna get Gambit soon. That's gonna mesh insanely well with smokebomb. I'm quite curious about how the Poison Could procc will mix with Poison Bomb and a mid-fight stealth kill. That might set-off a crazy chain reaction of utter devastation. Still a couple of level-ups to go though.

Playing thoroughly, doing every sidequest, listening to every line of VO - I love it.

oh hey, someone else who likes the game!

I'm playing the same way you are. Pure finesse build. I can say that Poison Cloud is pretty damn effective and worth the point investment. In the rare occasion I've been overwhelmed by sheer numbers, I drop a bomb on it and stealth kill four or five dudes before getting into the heavy-hitting abilities. Love the fact that I'm doing 15,000 damage on stealth attacks.

#21 Posted by makari (594 posts) -

It's not so much that there are too many sidequests, but the game gives you altogether too much experience points in general. When you Fateshift a boss and get half a level of exp (without even using an experience potion beforehand) something is a little wrong with your rates. It spills over to normal mobs and sidequest rewards making the curve kind of exponential. A completionist in general will outlevel content in pretty much any game with a linear leveling progression though, I'm just not entirely sure why it feels it stands out a lot more in this game. Maybe it's just because you start off really strong and you avalanche in power because of the exp curve? I don't know...

#22 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I've been playing this more as a loot based game like like torchwood or Diablo and not really paying too much attention to the story. I'm enjoying bouncing between side quests and main story and factions. I find majority of the spoken content dribble and uninteresting, especially after playing a bit of Mass Effect 2 again.

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