About the Puzzle aspects.

#1 Edited by Grimhild (721 posts) -

I may have been a little premature based on my Beta experience on dismissing the puzzle/investigation mechanics of TSW. The problem being that I was getting bored of the general gameplay before I actually got into any of them. But, it was one of the features that I was most excited about when I initially started following the game, so it kind of put me off of the game when I was immediately going into the well-worn kill X quest treadmill etc etc. But I'm not ready to entirely write it off yet, I suppose.

For the people playing, how much of the game does it usually comprise? Does it feel shoe-horned in? I thought the original meta game ("A Friend" email) to get the beta invite was really interesting, and it got me pretty excited with what they might do with it. I'm in the middle of catching up on the Bombcasts, and Jeff talking about it has me curious again. So there you have it.

Thoughts?

#2 Posted by zigx (73 posts) -

From my experience in playing it the very first zone of Kingsmouth seems to have the highest ratio of investigation type missions so far. I would say at least every other quest giver in Kingsmouth offers an investigation mission. When you're talking about running questing in each zone, the investigation missions so far don't take up a huge part of it. Although, they usually do come just when you want to change things and often serve as a nice breath of fresh air.
 
Not sure what exactly you mean by shoe-horned in. Do you mean do they feel unnecessary from a gameplay perspective? If so, I would argue that they don't. I think they put in just enough so that it breaks up the more traditional MMO quest structure so your PVE experience always feels fresh.  

#3 Posted by HarlechQuinn (444 posts) -

Unfortunately there are only ten of them and there are none in the last zone and we finished them all already :(

I think the investigation quests are the best part of the game and hopefully they will add more of them with the next updates.

#4 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@zigx:

Not so much unnecessary, but as in do they feel like they were just put in haphazardly to make good on what they promised initially. Like "There, see? We did it, now moving on." The PR vibe I got at first was very much the Lovecraftian-what-terror-so-great-that-it-drives-you-to-madness sleuth kind, but later on the trailers were mostly people running around throwing majik at zombies. Maybe I just fooled myself and saw what I wanted to with the early meta-game.

@HarlechQuinn:

Aight, appreciated. I'll keep my eye on it I suppose. Here's hoping.

#5 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Grimhild: The highest congestion of them is in the first zone, Kingsmouth. There are 5 of 'em in that zone (as opposed to the 1 in Savage Coast, 1 in Blue Mountain, 4 in Scorched Desert... and as far as I've been able to find, 0 from that point onward). The achievements list 10 in total, but I get the distinct impression from developer commentary that this is going to be a large focus moving forward.

Call me crazy, but I also adore Sabotage missions. There are significantly more Sabotage missions than Investigation missions, and they add almost as much variety to the questing experience. Then again, I also enjoy stealth games. As the game moves forward, the standard Action missions also get more interesting (personally, I found all of Solomon Island to suck pretty hard with regards to the Action missions). Scorched Desert is a wonderful zone, and all of Transylvania has been just a delight.

It's also worth noting that a lot of side missions act as "lite" investigation missions (like trying to discover the lost location of alpha team based on the fragmented reports from the other three operations teams).

#6 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@project343:

Cool. I'm trying not to jump in and grind away at it, just because I have an irrational fondness for Funcom. I end up getting burnt out way too early, so I might just see what they start to flesh it out with, for the time being.

I guess I should clarify that it's not so much the number of missions I'm interested in, but more that if it's comparable to the amount of time you spend on the MMO standard fare missions. I remember them trying to sell the idea way back in the early development that it was almost like a choice of the players if they wanted to focus primarily on one type of mission or another, which is what got me excited.

I know it's totally unrealistic, but I was really hoping it would be something akin to reading diaries in the 3rd person like many stories from HPL's Dream Cycle and deciding to go on these quasi-detective, pan-global missions that involved picking up the pieces of someone's past experience, even though the end result was most likely some traumatic contact with the "Elder Gods" and what not. Like I said, probably set my hopes a little too high hehe.

#7 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Grimhild: I'd say that your MMO playtime will look something like this:

  • 40% Action missions
  • 30% Side missions
  • 20% Sabotage missions (depending on how long it takes you)
  • 10% Investigation missions (depending on how long it takes you)

Now, some of the investigation missions will take you a while. Despite the fact that there are only 10 of them throughout the game, they can still take 2-3 hours if you're actually going through the process yourself. Thankfully they're worth boatloads of XP. In terms of variety, they're spectacularly varied in the skillsets that they ask of you. Some focus on researching art history, some focus on fiendish math problems, some focus on language translation, some are closer to traditional riddles. All of them typically confine themselves to very specific locations in the world (close to where they're given)--so there's never pan-global adventuring. Personally, I think this saves a lot of headache specifically with regards to the riddle-type investigation missions. If you had to scour the entire globe for a single interact-able object that only had a vague riddle pointing you in the right direction, I'd probably head right to my nearest web browser and look up the answer without hesitation.

That said, don't dismiss the value of the Action missions or the Sabotage missions. So many of them are so brilliantly well designed. There's one that tasks you with finding pages from literature and watching the events on the page come to life around you (remind you of another game?); there's one that sends you flying back in time throughout the history of a haunted house and watch it evolve as the owners from each generation are met with very untimely deaths; there's one that tasks you with going on a wild goose-chase through a city, breaking into houses, taking down security systems, and working your way toward the identity of an informant...

#8 Posted by Grimhild (721 posts) -

@project343:

Hmm. Aight. Your testimony has been noted hehehe Thanks for the info. :)

#9 Posted by zigx (73 posts) -
@Grimhild: I would agree with much of what project343 says. Both in the % spend doing the various kinds of missions as well as saying not to dismiss the other types of missions just because they might have standard MMO types of goals. Even in the various kill X of X missions I never felt like the story behind why you were doing it was some throwaway reasoning. Nothing like "Hey I'm a farmer, could you kill these wolves that are being jerks? That'd be cool."
 
Also to your earlier comments, that's kinda what I thought you were asking about the whole shoe horned in question. So to answer that, no I don't think they're putting in investigation missions just to make good on a promise. My view on investigation missions being in the minority is they want to make sure  each investigation mission feels unique and is well designed. Rather than have the same hooks for every investigation.  
 
They've mentioned how they're committed to providing new content to the game on a monthly basis and that the first few updates will add more investigation missions to each zone. If you're still on the fence about it I would wait to see how these monthly updates pan out. Even as someone who is enjoying this game a lot right now, I have my reservations about promised updates as the last MMO who promised monthly updates out of the gate fell flat on it's face about it (looking at you DCUO) and ended up losing a lot of momentum.

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