I hate that you basically have to play with a web browser open

#1 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1606 posts) -

There's so many cases in this game's side content that you're left flapping in the wind without a web browser open next to you, and it's a pain in the ass. Quest objectives only show up in the mini-map when you're right near them; descriptions can be ridiculously vague or outright incorrect (to the point that several objectives have been in different zones); certain collectibles and enemies are placed annoying specifically; enemies and characters only appear at specific (and odd) times of day; and the gift and trading systems would be almost impossible to use efficiently without just looking stuff up online.

If you were just looking to go through the main quest, didn't mind a lot of running around aimlessly, and didn't mind playing with a pen and paper, it would be possible to do this stuff offline, but I just don't know why you would. I hate using guides and searching for game info online, especially in a game as spoilable as Xenoblade (even topic names can and have revealed huge spoilers), but I feel this game has left me little choice.

Judging from how specific and highly ranked some of the Google suggestions I'm seeing for "xenoblade <x>" are (especially relative to how niche the game is), I get the sense I'm not an outlier. Anyone else feel the same way?

#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

I feel the same way. 
 
I didn't even bother finishing a lot of the quests on Colony 9 because it was just too annoying running around looking for stuff.

#3 Posted by Karkarov (3284 posts) -

Uh don't agree. Most of the quests are fairly easy to figure out and they aren't too bad. The worst parts is just the huge crapton of annoying colony 9 fetch quests. Oh it is time to do a village upgrade, all we need is 3 items shulk! Oh well they do all drop from rare spawn enemies who only show up in certain weather.... at a certain time of the day though.... Well and they are rare drops to boot.... Oh well isn't like we will do this to you on like every one of these though right? What's that? We will.....

#4 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

Uh don't agree. Most of the quests are fairly easy to figure out and they aren't too bad. The worst parts is just the huge crapton of annoying colony 9 fetch quests. Oh it is time to do a village upgrade, all we need is 3 items shulk! Oh well they do all drop from rare spawn enemies who only show up in certain weather.... at a certain time of the day though.... Well and they are rare drops to boot.... Oh well isn't like we will do this to you on like every one of these though right? What's that? We will.....

This.

Then again, I'm not concerned with gunning for 100% completion. However, I'm getting absolutely everything out of the game that I can (which is a hell of a lot), but I have yet to actually consult a FAQ for anything.

#5 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1606 posts) -

@Hailinel: I think I might just have less patience for hunting around. If it turns out that a character I need to talk to in order to complete a quest only appears in the basement of Frontier Village from 21:00 to 06:00, I'd rather just google "xenoblade <character>" and know exactly where and when to go. There's not much fun in running around aimlessly, and I've been cognizant of the risk of burnout in such a big and long game.

Collecting Hode Planks for Colony 6 comes to mind -- they only seemed to drop from the Hodes with bows (which the game didn't tell you), and I had to make sure to kill at least two monsters in the battle or they'd drop a regular chest (I'm not sure if that's because I was over-levelled), which they didn't drop in. I would never have figured that out without looking it up. That's not obvious, not fun, and just plain lame game design.

Don't take my negativity the wrong way -- I'm generally liking the game -- there's just some aspects of the side content that rub me the wrong way. I wouldn't have sunk 60 hours into a game that I wasn't enjoying.

#6 Posted by Superkenon (1506 posts) -

I understand where you're coming from, but I disagree. One of the thing that bugs me about modern game design is how quests oftentimes become nothing more than FOLLOW THIS ARROW. Completing quests is completely trivial anymore because they basically solve themselves.

With that in mind, I feel like Xenoblade is a breath of fresh air in a lot of respects. For one thing, there are so many quests that it's clear you're not really meant to do them all -- it's like they just throw a shitload of them at you and say, "hey, pick what you want," and there's nothing (that I've seen) in the game like a completion % that makes you feel bad for not doing everything ever. "It's okay," Xenoblade says to you. So, that silly obligation is gone, and that's good.

But I've done nearly everything I've come across regardless. It's rewarding to actually complete a quest, because I put the pieces together, I found the monsters, and the game didn't feel the need to hold my hand the whole way. Few quests are truly nebulous, anyway -- if it's not described fully in the quest text itself, most of the time you'll find that talking to the npc a second time gives you a vital clue. And that's the key: clues. I love getting hints so much more than a big fat arrow on my map. I'll agree that a couple quests are fucked, but I still felt good about them in the end after I brute-forced my way through.

Admittedly I'm an old fogey though with a penchant for punishment. You kids with your modern conveniences. Why, back in my day...........!!!!

(By the way, there's totally an in-game screen where you can see when NPCs are active. It's the same place where you check relationships and all that.)

All that said, I do have a problem with the quests: it's that there's so many of them, and they never stop a-comin'. But, as they're well emphasized as optional that's not too bad a complaint. Eventually I just felt like they were just interrupting the flow of the story, so I ignored more of them towards the end of the game, haha.

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