Fetch Quests

Fetch Quests

Can I Borrow Some Sugar? I'm Trying to Save the World

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I would like to submit the fetch quest chain in Orace of Seasons as the most insane. Starting with you lighting someone's torch, it spans the very dimensions in a mad chain of trading seemingly random items.

All so a deku scrub could hear a nice tune.

One I remember was in Oblivion. I think I only noticed how strange it was as it was fully voiced - in MMOs it's second nature to skim over trivial quest text to grab the basic info you actually need - who's got it and how many do you want?

But when they're actually talking to you it's harder to ignore the rest of it... well, yeah, I get it that you want me to go and collect your potatoes but there's an actual gateway to Hell just over that hill over there so... priorities?

There really should be an option to say "Okay, I'll go run your petty errand for you. Whilst I'm away - here's my sword, you go and fight the demonic hordes until I get back. Deal?"

Actually, Skyrim does have a postal service... or at least a small legion of professional couriers.

note: the pineapple in that trading sequence is consumed whole on the spot for ten seconds by a human.

Mortuorum:
Actually, Skyrim does have a postal service... or at least a small legion of professional couriers.

Said couriers are amazing in their ability to deliver.
I wish there was a quest line in the game to be a courier, be part of the Couriers' Guild or something: walk the roads, meet new people, fight off Stormcloaks (or Imperials) trying to block the mail, stick it to the Thalmor running resistance letters, determine the fate of New Vegas, all that jazz.

After all, the mail must always go through...

Hilary Goldstein:

Can I Borrow Some Sugar? I'm Trying to Save the World

I appreciated that read, but I think you might be stark raving mad, Hilary.

"I don't know about you, but I play games not for escape, but to be reminded of all the boring tasks I have to do in my normal life."

I thought that was winding up the big punchline at the end of this article, which was about to blossom into a colossal piece of sarcasm, but then... you never made the sarcasm clear. You seem to be actually stating this and backing up the idea that fetch quests are a good thing in games, that they are some kind of realism mechanic for us to identify with.

But nothing could be further from the real truth -- that fetch quests are the result of a dearth of creative game design and world building. They are filler, and grinds tossed out there to keep you busy, keep you playing, keep you paying.

There are some exceptions. And truly great games allow you to be something much more complex than a hero. In Lord of the Rings online, for example, one can spend years just tending to chickens and pies in The Shire. They are setting and lore appropriate, light hearted, and fun for all. It's brilliant for role players (you know, in a role playing game where the whole point is to interact with others). Whole kinships are built around the "common folk" and just go about their business.

But then there are the pointless fetchy grinds, the ones that aren't setting or lore appropriate and bring nothing to a players enjoyment. The widget hunts, the mindless drivel littered throughout the broader adventuring world. Mindless button push, after mindless button push, after mindless.... what were we looking for again? Aren't we supposed to be breaking into the Witch King of Angmar's stronghold? Oh no but first we have to collect 16 bat wings for that Ranger who, although he's a Dunedain Ranger, needs our help thinning out this bat population. Righhhhht.

Actually I understand most fetch quests
Lets imagine that there is WW3 (for some reason non-nuclear), and you are baker in some small town
Your are run out of flour/yeast/pixie dust/whatever and there is someone asking for information only you posses, would you:
a)give him info from kindness of your heart
or
b)offer him barter- he brings you things you need and you tell him the info
I know, I would pick b option. I'm professional and professionals don't get distracted by such tiny things as global war and imminent apocalypse.

blackrave:
Actually I understand most fetch quests
Lets imagine that there is WW3 (for some reason non-nuclear), and you are baker in some small town
Your are run out of flour/yeast/pixie dust/whatever and there is someone asking for information only you posses, would you:
a)give him info from kindness of your heart
or
b)offer him barter- he brings you things you need and you tell him the info
I know, I would pick b option. I'm professional and professionals don't get distracted by such tiny things as global war and imminent apocalypse.

You'd better hope you aren't in a Bioware game, then. Because now they have the option to:
a) Honor the deal because that's what heroes do.
b) Demand payment beyond the information... he's a professional too.
c) Murder your family while you watch, one at a time, until you crack and tell him what he wants to know. For the lulz.

Scars Unseen:

You'd better hope you aren't in a Bioware game, then. Because now they have the option to:
a) Honor the deal because that's what heroes do.
b) Demand payment beyond the information... he's a professional too.
c) Murder your family while you watch, one at a time, until you crack and tell him what he wants to know. For the lulz.

Good thing that I don't have family then :D

I love the subtle ways games imitate life. The last time I went to check the mail, I got a magazine about science, and I felt the familiar swoosh as my mental acumen improved, and along side it I got to improve my lockpicking, to see if my neighbor also got a similar magazine.

Zhalath:

Mortuorum:
Actually, Skyrim does have a postal service... or at least a small legion of professional couriers.

Said couriers are amazing in their ability to deliver.
I wish there was a quest line in the game to be a courier, be part of the Couriers' Guild or something: walk the roads, meet new people, fight off Stormcloaks (or Imperials) trying to block the mail, stick it to the Thalmor running resistance letters, determine the fate of New Vegas, all that jazz.

After all, the mail must always go through...

It is entirely possible I have seen what you did there, and had a great laugh. You can believe this or not, there will not be accompanying images.

The Forlorn:

Hilary Goldstein:

Can I Borrow Some Sugar? I'm Trying to Save the World

I appreciated that read, but I think you might be stark raving mad, Hilary.

"I don't know about you, but I play games not for escape, but to be reminded of all the boring tasks I have to do in my normal life."

I thought that was winding up the big punchline at the end of this article, which was about to blossom into a colossal piece of sarcasm, but then... you never made the sarcasm clear. You seem to be actually stating this and backing up the idea that fetch quests are a good thing in games, that they are some kind of realism mechanic for us to identify with.

But nothing could be further from the real truth -- that fetch quests are the result of a dearth of creative game design and world building. They are filler, and grinds tossed out there to keep you busy, keep you playing, keep you paying.

There are some exceptions. And truly great games allow you to be something much more complex than a hero. In Lord of the Rings online, for example, one can spend years just tending to chickens and pies in The Shire. They are setting and lore appropriate, light hearted, and fun for all. It's brilliant for role players (you know, in a role playing game where the whole point is to interact with others). Whole kinships are built around the "common folk" and just go about their business.

But then there are the pointless fetchy grinds, the ones that aren't setting or lore appropriate and bring nothing to a players enjoyment. The widget hunts, the mindless drivel littered throughout the broader adventuring world. Mindless button push, after mindless button push, after mindless.... what were we looking for again? Aren't we supposed to be breaking into the Witch King of Angmar's stronghold? Oh no but first we have to collect 16 bat wings for that Ranger who, although he's a Dunedain Ranger, needs our help thinning out this bat population. Righhhhht.

I think you should have been the one to write the article. I'd elaborate but I am so ticked off after being told by the article that it's somehow my gamer's due to do WoW-ish fetch quests, no matter how bad or boring they are, that I just wouldn't be able to hold back. Grrrrrrrrrr!

 

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