The quote is from Michael Zenke, making a comment over on Tobold’s blog about WAR’s Public Quests.
Without breaking the NDA (maybe stretching it a bit, bending like the willow, not breaking like the oak), I have to agree with Michael. There are some thoughtful posts in the comments about the structure of the public quests, and Mythic seems to have hit on a good system here.
I think I can say the following based on information already released by Mythic. What I like so far about their system, in theory (you’ll have to wait until I’m not under NDA to hear my thoughts about it in practice) is that you’re always doing two things at once.
For example, when you get involved in a Public Quest (PQ from here on), you’re obviously gaining experience toward your next level, but you’re also gaining influence, which will bring you gear rewards, and you have a chance at winning loot during the random roll at the end of the PQ.
When you’re involved in a PvP scenario, you’re gaining Renown points, but you’re also gaining experience. I don’t think Mythic has announced if going straight PvP would be as effective for gaining XP as grouping in PvE might be, but you definitely gain experience in PvP. You can also get quests for PvP objectives to increase the XP you earn, and I think you get experience for winning a scenario as well…or everyone gets experience at the end of a scenario, but the winners get more…I’m not positive, so clearly, I’m not breaking the NDA there 🙂
There’s actually a third benefit from participating in PvP scenarios or PQ’s. Each event has an impact on zone control, so by successfully completing PQ’s and winning in PvP, you’re helping your team gain control of the zone, which leads to being able to conquer the next zone, building toward TOTAL CITY DOMINATION!!.
Sorry, got a little carried away there. It just sounds like so much fun.
You can solo in a Public Quest, but grouping is easy to do, and advantageous for some classes (tanks who will, well, tank and need heals, healers who contribute to their PQ point total by healing, everyone in a group receiving the benefit of buffs, etc.). Also, you get experience and influence bumps for completing PQ’s, not just participating in them. To complete a PQ, you’re probably going to want a group, or have a good strategy for how to contribute without getting torn up by the PQ boss mobs. If you’re part of a group and can dive headlong in against boss mobs, you’re going to get a contribution advantage over someone who’s got to be more careful with their damage or other contributions.
So what might it be like for someone who wants to solo a Public Quest? Let’s say, hypothetically, that you discover a PQ with no one else from your realm around. You might be able to rank up some decent Influence soloing the first round opponents, but you can’t finish the PQ alone, so you won’t get a completion bonus of experience and Influence, and you won’t get a shot at the random loot at the end. Everyone else out there with you benefits from grouping, so the barrier to getting together should be somewhat lower than it was in other games.
Other people posted comments on the same post on Tobold’s blog that the best rationale for grouping is making friends with people you see in the world all the time. That was the best part of DAoC for me, and I hope Mythic continues the trend in WAR. You saw the same people each night, you fought alongside each other, and you made friendships in your shared endeavours. Mythic is taking that DAoC idea and extending it to PQ’s and scenarios. If you’re already in a group from a PQ, why not queue for a PvP scenario together? If your realm is losing control of the open-world PvP objectives, why not run over there in the group you’re already in and see if you can lend a hand?
Of course, early and frequent grouping will lead to people having a better idea how to play their class as characters advance, so hopefully it’ll grow more skilled future groupmates. Time will tell, of course. The urge to solo can be strong, but there are definite advantages to overcoming a reluctance to group. Mythic has plenty of incentives available. I’m not saying these concepts will make die-hard solo players join a guild and sing Kumbayah in group chat every night, but grouping is attractive.
I’m seeing it as Mythic’s Rock, Paper, Scissors approach to gamers. You don’t like PvP? Fine, you have PQ’s. You don’t like PQ’s, or don’t like feeling like you should be grouping when you really prefer to run solo? Fine, you have straight PvE questing. You don’t like straight PvE? Ok, try open-world PvP. You don’t like running around looking for fights that might turn out to be unbalanced, and unpredictable? Fine, queue up for a scenario where the teams are even. You’re bored by another game of Capture the Flag? Ok, try open-world PvP for some unpredictability.
Michael’s right, they really have thought this crap through a bit. The true test of all that thoughtfulness? Coming to a server near you, this fall 🙂 God, I HOPE it’s this fall.