Roguelike quest system

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tangar
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Roguelike quest system

Post by tangar »

Roguelike quest system

Wanna share an idea considering quests in rlg (and especially *bands).. It's mainly applied to my variant (Tangaria), but general concept could be used anywhere.

Quest system is't present in V because quests are not really good suited in *bands, good analytics about it there.

In addition in PWMA (and Tangaria).. and TomeNET :) there are more problems:
- quests to kill certain enemy are just boring.
- players often forget to take quests as it's very rare to complete them and you got dull rewards; most just play without them

Those problems came because quests in roguelike games often implemented like in traditional MMO/RPG-quests (kill 5 chickens, bring 5 ribs), while it should have it's own, roguelikish type of quests - to encourage players to have an adventure, with a proper risk VS rewards rate.

/rfe to improve quests and to encourage players to play in more roguelikish way - implement this minimalistic (and yet deep) system:

Retrieve an ancient relic fragment from the dungeon vault // reward: gold
- every (or some) dungeon will have an item which could appear only in the vault on the bottom level of the dungeon. It wo't appear often (as vaults appear not too often) - so you'll have to look for it. Sounds like a good adventure;
- at low player's lvls such relics will appear in small vaults, while at end-game only in Great vaults;
- after you pick up this item - you can not use 'Word of Recall' scroll. So you have to get back with this relic using stairs (which is quite dangerous). So it's like an optional way to turn the dungeon into NO_RECALL;
- while you holding this relic - there is a tiny chance to summon monsters around you (minor curse of summoning from V) - it makes way back more fun!

Actually this type of quests come from original - from 'Rogue' where the player had to retrieve Amulet of Yendor and bring it to the surface. Oldies, but goldies. This is the right truly roguelikish quest system.

Benefits:
- to encourage players to get into the vaults and take the risk
- strong anti-cheezing (vaults provide it)
- easy to rebalance (to set certain gold amount as reward and rebalance it with gold drop table)
- these quests are still optional, so you could play without getting into quest hunt if you do't want to get additional risks
- adding variability; some dungeons will be easier to complete, some are harder. Sometimes if you will kill everything on sight you will have too much exp to visit all dungeons - so you will need to play more strategically, sometimes to avoid battles. It's adding yet another strategy to 'win' the game - like with completing all available quests (to do it you will need to spend a lot of gold for consumables, but you will get additional money back after completing quests) OR avoiding quests (be more economical in terms of consumables in general).
- make the game deeper and bring back some traditional Yendor'ish flavour - as there appears yet another goal and challenge - to complete all quests - gather the whole Relic from fragments

So.. The idea is to give additional motivation for players to get into the vaults. As right now *bands are quite winnable without getting your foot in most vaults. Quest=vault=NO_RECALL could be really good way to solve this problem.

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Comment from the V community:

fph: no-recall part sounds incredibly boring to me. How is "climb up by finding 54 sets of stairs ond 54 levels that have no challenging monsters" supposed to be fun?

In my variant there are separate dungeons which are mostly ~7-10 lvls deep (and only one quite deep - "Angband" which is 25). . So it's alright there.

But even in deeper dungeons it could be fun.. As you are not simply finding stairs, but actually have a cursed item in your backpack which summon monsters upon you sometimes - what makes gameplay quite harcore and fast-paced. In 99.9999% players do not mess with items which have such curses on them, but actually it could be really great to have such adventure.

Another way to solve the problem of deep dungeons (could work even in V): make NO_RECALL work only for 5-7 levels, after which you could recall back. Eg:

1) you took a relic

2) you have two curses on it - NO_RECALL (last 5 levels) and SUMMON (different relics could have different curses - some will summon demons, some undeads, etc). Hm maybe even add there moar curses - like siren, aggro, etc (not at once, but make every relic different).

3) now you can't recall back until you will take 5 stairs up. When you did it - curse removed, you are free to go

Also it's optional quest.. so you could just abandon it if it's too harsh.
Tangar's tileset, addon, guides & maps: English TomeNET page ||||||| Russian TomeNet page
http://youtube.com/GameGlaz — streams in English // http://youtube.com/StreamGuild — streams in Russian
My chars @ angband.oook.cz
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tokariew
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 8:20 pm
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Re: Roguelike quest system

Post by tokariew »

My useless 5¢ about quests…
* no "good" way to give a player rewards, which will be useful and not trashed right away or to powerful that will "carry" player for some time…
* giving currency is useless… Players are too lazy to hunt good pieces of equipment, so they will probably buy consumables…
* quest should have some "story" to tell --> but this fail miserably in roguelikes, where you potentially will not beat with single character, and you will need some retries. How many times quest will be interesting, when it will become I need to go here or do that to finish it, without even thinking…

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In this retrieve ancient relic from vault where did player learn about this quest? How will player known that quest is optional, and what rules it have?

When I read roguelike reviews I often see angry reviews, because some gameplay mechanics is hidden, and player learns about it after loosing a character or way later and thinks if he knew this info the game will be somehow magically way easier… How new players will react to loosing character to optional quest, in which he receives only gold? He will be probably salty, do we need that? I know that this review are not from veteran roguelike players, but still…

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Slapping quest will not make better roguelike in most cases, but crappy rpg-like… which will be probably not be accessible to new players.

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I will ask again what with obsession with cheezing :D
This quest in tomenet look way to cheeze, what you will back for this gold? Cheezy item from pstore?

I'm not sure if player who will go into vault will be interested in gold as reward, and as carrot in doesn't look to sexy, after going into vault player will collect items, which he will probably sell to similar amount as reward or can be useful…

Cheezy strategy:
if relic isn't heavy cursed inside dungeon, and don't dissapear after putting on the floor
find stairs, clear path, go back for relic, go quickly to stairs, drop relic, repeat…

Is this cheeze or minimalization of exposure to sudden summon?
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